Friday, January 25, 2013

Well then, that's settled

In the morning Jordan gets to watch a video while Nick showers.

And so of late, Jordan has been watching this Welsh TV show called Fireman Sam.

It's done two things: One, make him hyper-aware of all of our smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and the possibility of fire. We have to talk about them every day. At least 37 times.

Also, he's started calling me Mom, but pronounced more like "mam" - which I know he gets from this show. It's fairly annoying to be called Mam. Mainly because it's not just Mam.

It's more like "Mam! Mam! Mam! Look at this! Mam! Can I have a treat? Mam! Mammammamamamamamamama!"

Head. Melts.

So today I thought I'd find out what he prefers to call me, and promote that. Because in the beginning it was Mama, then more Mommy, sometimes Mom, and now this new Mam.

He alternates, though, so I know it's not fixed.

So I asked, "Jordan, what do you like to call me? Do you like to call me Mama, or Mommy, or Mom?"

"I like to call you Sophie."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When yuppies collide

Last Saturday we went to a reggae dance party. At 10:30 am. In Columbia Heights

I hadn't heard of it before, but apparently BloomBars does it every weekend. Sasha's mom suggested we go, and it sounded like fun, so we bundled up our progeny and headed out.

Oh, but before I get too far, let me just ask if you've heard the word yuppie in the last, well, ever? Since the 80s, I mean?

I must say that I hadn't heard or thought about the term yuppie in years, and to my knowledge I'd certainly never been called one before.

But recently I learned that when Nick and I moved into our neighborhood, one of our neighbors, never having met us, denounced us on the neighborhood listserv for being yuppies and ruining the character of the neighborhood.

Now, one could validly complain about Nick leaving his underwear in the shrubbery, but that hardly qualifies as ruining the neighborhood.

Anyway, I was fascinated to learn that we were yuppies. Us? Yuppies? I wasn't insulted, more surprised. Aren't we  too old, for one thing?

But the derider is very much a "fight the power!" type. And Nick, though in the business of oppressing nobody, is by all accounts The Man. Now we yup around the neighborhood.

So we yupped ourselves over to the reggae dance party, with Sasha in a stroller, Jordan protestedly walking, and two babies being worn. It could have been fun except that Jordan was a complete and utter crab-faced pill, and neither he nor Sasha wanted to dance - the point! of the excursion! Have fun, goddammit!

Because say what you will, a 10:30 am reggae dance party is not MY idea of great fun.

It turns out to be very popular, and very crowded, and thus hot. We exited just before it ended, thus avoiding the tremendous crush. Determining the source of crabbiness to be low blood sugar, we  darted a couple doors down into a quiet coffee shop.

Ahem. Quiet, I should say, until our arrival.

My former single, probably hung-over on a Saturday morning self would have loathed us.

We crammed our two families into the only available four-chair spot, next to two men clearly on an early date. They were discussing Le Creuset.

We were only the beginning of the stampede. The place quickly filled with children. At one point Nick, who had just walked back to our table with a cup of milk, boomed something along the lines of, "I'm certain he's delighted to share his New York Times!"

A slightly flustered man, previously enjoying sitting alone with the paper, was now very much not alone, and in fact, was peering down at a child peering up from under his paper.

Sasha's mom looked at me and said, "When yuppies collide."

When we'd finished as much as was going to be consumed of raspberry muffin and other such yuppie victuals, we began the process of sweatering and coating our kids and ourselves.

We herded the older kids toward the door, and as I was passing a young woman in line at the cash register, she pointed to Sasha's dad, who was struggling into his coat while wearing his son.

She said, "I just realized that man in the corner has a baby with him! I thought he was just dancing by himself in the corner!"

But when it really comes down to it, aren't we all?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Number nine will put you on the spot. Number nine will tie you up, oh, in a knot.

Dear India,
You are nine whole months of deliciousness and delight, all wrapped up in a crawling, standing, squealing-in-excitement and covered in flowers and frills kind of beaming little package.

It's practically impossible to look at you and not smile. You emanate joy.

And fact, you are one of the biggest sources of joy in my life. And also the reason that I drag around limply, all haggard and tired.

I thought your brother was busy with the business of busy, but holy cow, girl. (Not holy cowgirl. Although I kind of love the image of a woman on horseback with a halo and lasso. Holy cowgirl!)

Last weekend you felt crummy with a cold, and so you were content to chill out on your dad, which never - never! - happens. It was the sweetest little scene. It's now so hard to believe I used to sit in the red chair with you nursing and curled up on me all day long.

ANYway. A number of people told me that little girls were easier than boys - that they were calmer, that they liked to sit in place and hang out. Easier in the kid years, hell in the teen years, is what people seem to say.

Not so much you. If you are awake, you are moving at full speed, racing to explore and gobble up the world. I see a high probability of you being a hellion in your teen years as well, but a sweet one.

Plus I have some hope that your first-born-rule-follower brother will dissuade you from some of your worse ideas. Because they are inevitable in your teen years 20s 30s uh, let's just say inevitable.

But you've got us, and we will always have your back, and I feel certain that you will be more daring than me, and in fact, I intend to encourage you to leap and to fly.

So far, you leave no accessible crack, crevice, stray Cheerio, etc. unturned. You see the desired object, and you do a quick grab as soon as it's within reach. Hey, look, a baby!
You currently crawl like a soldier with one wounded leg, but you're remarkably agile. It makes me feel like you'll do fine if you're ever in Civil War style combat.

Your new trick is standing, and you are oh so proud of yourself. As you should be. It's no small thing.

When I sit down and think about how you've been out in this world for as long as you were inside me, it's astounding how much you can do and how much of a whole, personality-ful person you are!

Sometimes I wish you were more cooperative, but I truly love who you are. You are beautiful inside and out. 

Stubborn, nooo more bites!, blueberrybananayogurtface and all.

I love you love you love you.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

My world is very narrow, you must understand

I don't know how you feel about animal prints but I pretty much love them and would wear them daily if I had more of them. And a daily-animal-print kind of lifestyle.

Although I'm not precisely sure what that lifestyle might look like...

But! I am seriously considering dressing myself in animal prints of one kind and another from head to toe one day and then seeing how people react.Like maybe these pants with my horse T-shirt, my leopard jacket, a scarf with birds. I haven't yet worked it out, but something along those lines.

My world is small. I told you. If you don't believe me, see photographic evidence below.

In any case, the other day I chanced across this pair of $15 animal pants at Ann Taylor Loft. They had one pair, my size, calling my name.

They are velvety and stretchy and feel basically like I think it would feel to wear a couch. But not in a cumbersome boy is my ass heavy today kind way. More in a sit back and watch TV and drink wine and maybe watch Downton kind of way.

Now, last night I had just put India to bed and was walking upstairs to get Jordan, who was hanging out with Nana. As I put one foot in front of the other, I realized that perhaps I should document the combination of rrraaawwwrrr pants and happy rainbow tootsies, which had been hidden in my boots all day.

So I did.
And then I thought, hmm, maybe my feet wouldn't look so weirdly far away if I sat down and stuck out my legs?

So I did.
Now, at this precise moment, Jordan happened down the stairs - on his way to get a gasoline truck, it turned out.

And because he is three, he wasn't all, "What the fuck are you doing?"


Instead, he immediately started waving his arms, saying, "Don't come up to get me! I'm not hungry! Go down to the kitchen!"

Because, you see, he had quite a parking garage going on Nana's bed, and was getting a couple more trucks to round it out. Once I assured him that in fact, I was interested in joining rather than ripping him from the carnival of  automotive fun he'd created, we were all good.

And then, once I'd cozied up on the bed, I took another picture of my pants and feet. Because really why not at this point?

This one is my favorite.
Then Betty complimented my pants, and Jordan suddenly noticed, and chimed in, "Oh, Mama, I like your pants! And your socks!" He and I are both big fans of stripes.

Aaaand to break up the pants and socks monotony, here's an action shot of Jordan in the background. I was about to say that I'm airing dirty laundry with this one, but in fact the sweaters on the radiator are clean.
Finally, here's my little benevolent dictator, in the middle of shoveling in avocado and papaya. She'll get all weary and drag her hand across her face, all, "Dear Lord, the world is too much with me. As is the mashed vegetable."

I like how she's pretty precisely avocadoed in one eyebrow.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday non-stalker kind of poll

So, if you were shopping at Costco and you saw a woman who you were quite sure was the wife of your most significant ex-person, what would you do?

Would you:
  1. Surreptitiously follow her around, because actually, you were already heading down the same aisles, noting how she was dressed (casually), what was in her cart (more chocolate than one would have expected), how she behaved with the sample people (politely), etc? 
  2. Do nothing – you’re glad he has found his person, but you don’t really need to know details.
  3. Introduce yourself with, “This might sound weird, but are you Signifcantex-boyfriend’s wife?”
  4. If C, would you explain how you knew that? Or just let it hang awkwardly? 
  5. Other: _____________________
 Just wondering.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And on top of state secrets I'd probably be all, yeah, and my mom makes awesome apple pie and I'll totally trade you the recipe for a pillow.

Wednesday: The Bullet Version
  • I lost another glove, thought I lost a sock (but, after getting several people in the gym involved - because how did I lose a sock in the 20 steps between the lockers and the gym? - learned that I was looking in the wrong locker), and left my purse at work.
  • Bedtime: 9:30
  • Awake with India: 11:30 pm. 3:30 am. Up at 7:00 am.
  • Caffeine: 1 cup of tea. 2 cups of coffee. With eggnog. Unspiked. Alas.
  • Weird smoothie ingredient of the day: None! Pas de smoothie! Nick has been gone all week and dear Mahavir, he needs to come home because I have eaten way too many fish sticks, slept way too little, and am kind of desperately hanging on by my fingernails.
Let me sum up:

The whole bamboo thing would super suck, and I doubt I would hold up to waterboarding, but I know for sure that I would crack faster than Humpty Dumpty if the terrorists used sleep deprivation.

Um, and if you're reading this and you're a terrorist, I don't actually know any state secrets. My mom does make good pie, though. Hand to God on both.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Downton and lack of sleep. With a dinosaur hat. But a healthy urinary tract. Oh, snap (peas)!

The Bullet Version
  • Look, it was a hard morning. And then I couldn't find my hat.
  • Bedtime: 11:30
  • Awake with India: 2:00-4:00 am. Feeding, shushing, rocking, applying gum numbing stuff. Up at 6:30.
  • Caffeine: 2 cups of tea. 2 cups of coffee.
  • Weird smoothie ingredient of the day: Snap peas.

The Text and Photo Version
Jordan's dinosaur hat: It's is a bit tight and uncomfortable, but better than cold ears. And I quite like the look. I think it says danger! Prehistoric danger! I can totally kick your ass, paleontologically speaking!

Yes. I am a tremendous dork, if that's what you're thinking.

Bedtime: So it's my fault that I stayed up until 11 pm watching the Downton premiere, but you guys, Downton!

I don't know if you've read The Night Circus, but I decided last summer that if I could live between there and Downton, I'd be delighted. Recognizing that both are fictional. And that I'd want my family to come along.


I have to say, I was underwhelmed with the premiere. It was fine, but for me to stay up until 11 when my daughter is sure to rip me out of a sound sleep within three hours, I need spectacular.

For starters, I wanted more wedding. I thought the Matthew inheritance thing was sketch. And Shirley MacLaine's lines weren't clever. She was kind of flat and overdone.

Which is not to say that I don't want Downton playing on a continuous loop at my house, because I still do.

OK. So now let's talk about this one fact that underlines everything in my life at the moment:

MY BABY IS KILLING ME. She has woken up no fewer than three times per night for weeks now. Sometimes more like five or eight times. It is fucking brutal.

She's hungry! And she's teething! And standing! And I am old and tired, oh so tired. Tired like I want to do shots of hard liquor and crawl into a warm, dark hole and sleep for three days straight. Kind of like a little hibernating bear.

Caffeine: See above for explanation.

The smoothie business: So, in an effort to eat better and incorporate more vegetables into our lives, as a present to ourselves, we got a Vitamix for Christmas. We have just begun exploring the possibilities.

I learned immediately that yes, you can have too many beets in your juice. And that if your husband has never eaten a beet in his life, he will be alarmed when it comes out the other end.


Nick has, very kindly and enthusiastically, been making smoothies for us every morning. He gets up before me, or gets up when I'm nursing India, and he gets all kinds of things done before I stagger downstairs. For which I am grateful.

The smoothies, however, are...unconventional.There's always a mystery ingredient that I can't quite place and wouldn't choose, if left to my own devices.

One morning it was an innocuous brownish green. I took a sip, and ooh, it was tart, oh so tart!

"What's in this?"

"Apple, pear, spinach, carrot, banana, blueberries, orange..."

"It's kind of, uh..."

"And cranberries! We have a lot of frozen cranberries! I may have gone overboard."

Good for our urinary tracts, anyway.

Another morning it was cauliflower. Which turns out to be kind of a bold flavor in a beverage.

This morning's tasted kind of like grass clippings. I was trying to put my finger on the flavor.

"Snap peas!"

Thursday, January 03, 2013

These boobs were made for talking...

While looking through 2012 photos to make a calendar, I realized the following: I have a lot of photos of my nipples.

Always one boob at a time. I clearly spent a lot of my maternity leave taking pictures of India in milk-drunk bliss, right off the boob. Also, I clearly spent that same time sitting in the red chair with at least one breast exposed at all times.

None of those made the calendar, in case you're wondering. It's not that kind of calendar.

So by this point, India has an old friend kind of relationship with her cafeteria staff.

She'll be nursing, and then she'll pull back, and chat to my nipple. She'll pat my breast, all, "Good job! I'm a big fan of today's flavor! What is that? Peppermint and chocolate? Good stuff!"

She might look up at me - although not with the same surprise that Jordan did - and give me a hello or a smile or something. I mean, she's glad I'm there, generally.

And then she'll turn back to eating and hanging out with her friends.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

India's New Year's Day dinner consisted of: squash-prune-apple, Cheerios, and avocado. As you can see.

All of which she insisted on eating ALL BY HERSELF. As you can also see.

Now if you try to feed her, she waves her arms frantically in front of her face, batting away your spoon and sending food flying. She's also generous about offering food to others. Jordan got a cheerily proffered cheek- and noseful of yogurt yesterday.

And when she is done, she is soooo over it, like, right now, stat, get me out of here, done!

We have a bath every night to get the food out of her hair, ears, chub chub creases. I'm constantly finding Cheerios in unexpected places.

As for me, my dinner consisted of Jordan's uneaten fish sticks. Which, hand to God, I kind of love. Sometimes he, my mom, and I all have fish sticks for dinner. Betty makes tartar sauce with her homemade bread and butter pickles, and it is great.

Fish sticks are a new food for me. I grew up with chapatis and dahl. Not macaroni and cheese, not fish sticks. And so, at the ripe old age of 43, I've discovered my love of this popular childhood staple.

Fish sticks, by the way, are significantly better with beer than red wine. I'm not proud of this knowledge.

But in case you share my interest, Costco has delicious ones. They're big rectangles of Cod, very crispy, but not too much breading. You kind of need Betty's pickles, though, to make them awesome.

As for my Jordan, he's suddenly very grown up. Look, look at this!
The babyness is gone. He's such a boy.

He is thoughtful. He can express himself well, and have interesting conversations. He's doing puzzles! We got this as a gift, and it's just now that he's at a point where he can handle it.

When we first started trying to put the puzzle together, I suggested that he start with the corners.

"Here, let's put in a corner. Why don't we put the corners in first?"

"I don't know what a corner is, Mama."


But now he knows what a corner is, and he is loving piecing the picture together.

He's been on winter break, staying home with my mom on the days I'm at the office. They've been up to a variety of adventures.

Today she had a doctor's appointment. So I told him he'd be going to the doctor with Nanna.

Instant drama trauma. Face screwed up, ready for a huge wail. "I don't want to go to the doctor!!!"

"No, no, honey. You're not going to the doctor. Nanna is going. And we need you to go with her to keep her company."

Well, then. This totally made sense to him. Nobody goes to the doctor alone.

This morning he said, "Nanna, I'm going to the doctor with you so you don't cry."


Pretty sure this year is going to be great.