So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


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Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

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Rudeness! Maybe?

Help me out here, people. My brother and I and our respective spouses are hosting a joint 60th birthday party for my parents next weekend. (At my house, because I'm insane.) The invitations went out three weeks ago with a RSVP date of this Saturday and my phone number and email address.

Several people have responded with their acceptance or regrets directly to my parents. I think this is rude, since I am the hostess, it was my information on the invitation, and the guests of honor should not be responsible for dealing with the administrative details of the party. Oddly, it is largely the people I have never met who have called or emailed me and the people I have known most of my life who have spoken only to my parents. Now, I will be the first to admit that I am quick to take offense or claim a slight where, quite possibly, none exists. So I want you to tell me, is that rude? Should I rightfully expect people to respond directly to me, or should I be happy that they have responded at all and won't be on the list of follow-up calls I have to make next Monday?

Message to my husband

Dear Chris,

I am making an actual dinner tonight. Dinner that includes real ingredients that I have seasoned and cut up with my own two hands, and not just ingredients that come out of boxes or bags that include microwaving instructions on the side. I think this more than makes up for the fact that the recipe called for a teaspoon of chili powder and I accidentally put in a tablespoon. You like things spicy, right? I also think it makes up for the fact that I put tofu in it. Hey, I like tofu, and you were the one complaining about needing to eat more protein.

I just wanted you to be aware of these facts before you got home, so that you could be sure to react appropriately to the beautiful, and possibly even very nearly edible dinner that I have lovingly prepared for you. You may practice your reaction in the garage for a few minutes before coming in if necessary.


Mia Monday #85: Toddler Have a Unique Sense of Fashion Edition

Mia is into headgear lately.

Return of the boob talk

I am shocked, positively shocked, by the number of you who claimed you were unaware that we had boundaries. People, there is so much that I don't tell you, and I can assure you that we are all much happier that way. However, I do tend to talk about my breasts a lot, so I don't really see any reason to stop now. So, here's the tale of How Beth Got Her Boobs to Stop Feeling Like they had been Run Over Repeatedly by a Mac Truck, also known as, How I Am Stupid.

When I was pregnant with Mia, sore boobs was by far my first symptom. Well, sore and big (at least for me, which means not really big at all, just less small). I had to go buy new bras when I was about 4 minutes pregnant. This time, no so much. Not at all, in fact. Here I was all knocked up and stuff, and my boobs were stubbornly remaining just my regular old (rather small, a bit flattened from a year of nursing, and frankly also slightly uneven) boobs. (And hey, don't you all totally want to sweet talk me out of my shirt now? I know you do.)

It was actually a little worrisome. Ok, it was a lot worrisome. Early on, I had a week or so of mild nausea, and then nothing for about two weeks. I felt fine, great actually. No nausea, wasn't especially tired, no gas (the other major first trimester issue of my first pregnancy) and decidedly un-sore boobs. It was worrisome to the point that I basically convinced myself, based strictly on my boobs, that the parasite was dead. I wish I was exaggerating, but not in the slightest. I was pretty firmly convinced for a while there, to the point that I sort of gently told Chris about it, just so that he wouldn't be too shocked when we got the news.

And then the nausea came back, and I decided that maybe the baby-thing wasn't so dead after all, and that was good, but I never really shook the feeling until my next OB appointment and sonogram showed little arm buds and leg buds and a cheerfully beating heart. It was a long 5 weeks.

And then this week, at long last and rather suddenly, my boobs hurt like crazy. Constantly, no relief possible, and it was the exact opposite of helpful that I have a two year old who always manages to elbow or head butt or plain old punch me right in the melons, and oh man, I was just in agony. I was kicking myself for being so eager to have sore boobs early on, because I was clearly getting my comeuppance.

And then on Wednesday night, I noticed something. In the shower, which for some reason is slightly more information than I am truly comfortable sharing, but which is also I suppose the most appropriate place to make such a discovery and I don't want you walking around thinking that I just fondle myself at random times throughout the day. Not that I don't, I'm just trying to provide a logical explanation so that you don't have to have that picture in your head if you don't want it. (Um, if you do want that picture in your head, let's not tell me about it, ok?) Anyway, I discovered in the shower on Wednesday night that, in the past no more than a week or so, I have added about a cup size. And of course, I had been cramming my suddenly bodacious (again, for me, and therefore not at all for anyone else) ta-tas into my same old bras, and presto ta-da! Searing boob pain. Which was gone, entirely gone, by Thursday courtesy of a bigger bra.

And let's see... yes. Yes, I do think that is definitely enough information about my boobs to hold all of us for several more months. I'll be sure to keep you up to speed on any fascinating updates, but otherwise let's just move on to other subjects until it is time for me to start bitching about how much the first few days of breastfeeding really fucking hurt a fucking lot like a fucking big fucking dog. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that too.

Help Wanted

I have questions about a few things in my new house, and I've elected all of you to help me. Answer any or all.

1. How do you use Oxyclean with a High Efficiency washing machine? And don't laugh at me for being stupid, this thing is complicated. So complicated that the first time I used it I had to call my mother for instructions and moral support.

2. Where the hell are you supposed to put the bowls?

3. If you had inadvertently misplaced the key to this lock during your move:

How would you go about picking it?

4. What would you use to clean this tile floor?

Assuming, of course, that you were some sort of dirty hippie who only used non-toxic cleaning products. Like me.

5. Is this the most annoying microwave control panel you have ever seen in all your born days?

The time defaults to one minute, and you have to turn that dial to adjust it. Come on, people, would a fucking keypad really have been so hard?

6. Is "fucking a" a good thing or a bad thing. That isn't to do with my house, I was just wondering.

7. Oh, I finally figured out why my breasts have been hurting so much for the past few days that I have been seriously considering a metal breastplate or chain mail or something, because if I took one more toddler elbow to the boobies I was going to literally die from agony. I was going to tell you about it, but then thought that hey, that might be ever so slightly over the theoretical line we have here. What do you think?

1, 2, 3, "Ewwwww"

Hey, do you suppose the bowl thing from Mia's potty chair is dishwasher safe? Because she insists on eating out of it and I'm getting a little tired of hand washing.

Stop looking at me like that. She's never actually pottied in it.

Mia Monday #84: Cinderella Edition

Mia's latest addiction is headbands so that she will look like Cinderella. Yes, that Cinderella.

Not usually so squeamish

There's a dead frog in our pond, a big one. I'll give someone an entire homemade brownie to come fish it out for me. Now, I didn't make the brownies, my wonderful friend Laura made them and then brought them over with her deliciously roly-poly baby girl, which really is the only thing that can make brownies even better, but they are quite yummy and therefore I consider it serious payment indeed.

Also, our next door neighbor brought over an apple pie tonight to welcome us to the neighborhood. In our old neighborhood, people just left condoms in our yard. I think I'm glad we moved.

Mia Monday #83: Better on Friday Edition

Why yes, that is just the tiniest section of my extensive back yard visible through the windows. I'll get around to house pictures as soon as it looks acceptable to me. (Chris already posted some, he has lower standards of acceptable.) Also, pictures of the fetus are here. Fortunately, it doesn't have chop sticks.

On Wally

Yes, I am calling the fetus Wally, but no, I neither know nor suspect that it is a boy. I don't actually have strong feelings about it either way, but if forced to hazard a guess I would say I think we may be having another girl.

When I was pregnant with Mia, we called her Lima Bean and then Beanette and then Bean and finally Mia Bean, which she answers to and is how she frequently refers to herself. This time though, since we are second-time parents I felt we needed something a little more... punk rock. That led, somehow or other, to me calling the fetus "the Wombat". Chris didn't care for that, I can't imagine why, so I started calling it Wallaby (on a marsupial kick, it seems) and that has turned into Wally.

Chris also doesn't like when I call Wally "the parasite." He's so uptight, and also is not the one hosting a parasite.

In other news, Mia made her maiden trip to Ikea today, it was a big moment, and we also learned that she can eat rotini with chop sticks. Pictures to follow.


I haven't been ignoring you. Oh wait, yes I have so been ignoring you. But I have a list of excellent reasons for ignoring you. Wanna hear them? I mean, it's either tell you the reasons I've been ignoring you, or tell you about how I am having all these sexy pregnancy dreams that I missed out last time and how they can get pretty kinky and tend be distressingly light on, say, Clive Owen appearances and upsettingly heavy on cameos by girls I went to high school with. And nobody wants to hear about that, right? Right. So, here's why I've been ignoring you.

Let's see, on Friday morning we bought a house, which involved signing our names eight million times and getting a lecture on the care and maintenance of our new pond and the dozen or so fish living therein, and then several trips from the old house to the new house hauling most of the contents of our kitchen, all the clothes from our closets and a towering mountain of Mia's toys.

Saturday, I got up bright and early to drive Mia over to my parents' house, then dashed to the new house to meet the guy coming to install the phone/cable/internet and unpack, wash and put away the entire kitchen. It took four hours, but I got through all the boxes, got everything put away and arranged, and the house looked great. Then these four wiry Hispanic guys showed up with several thousand more boxes of stuff that they insisted on storing in my house and the whole thing went to hell right quick.

Come late afternoon-ish, my parents showed up with Mia and my in-laws arrived with wine and they all sat out on my new deck drinking while Chris and I tried to figure out where to serve 6 people dinner. (Sit on the small boxes, plates on the big boxes, obviously.) Also, the air conditioner broke, which is entirely festive and also just our luck. We really should have expected it and scheduled a repair call for 5:00 Saturday in advance, it would have saved us a very hot weekend, which I spent with two people who were very cranky and one who was very whiny. The whiny one was not the one you would expect.

Sunday was more trips back and forth between houses hauling crap we hadn't managed to pack for the movers. Monday was over an hour sitting in my OBs office waiting for her to get around to seeing me, just so she could try to rush me out of there. So I asked every question I could think of, some twice, just out of spite. After that, and a quick stop for french fries, it was one last trip to my little yellow house to clear out the last of the crap and sit on the front steps reading a book and "supervising" the three lovely ladies who came to clean my house out of the kindness of their hearts and in exchange for several hundred dollars. Worth every damned penny. While I was gone, the A/C got fixed and Chris stopped whining.

Interspersed with that is lots of unpacking and cleaning and playing dollhouse and letting Mia give us tours of her new room and reassuring her every time we leave that we are, indeed, returning to the new house in the near future and she need not be concerned or scream her head off. Which she did Subday night in Target, and golly gee willikers but that was festive. Actually, while I didn't enjoy the tantrum, I did enjoy that Chris finally got to witness a big one, which I have gotten to enjoy every other day or so for the past few weeks. As we were driving home with a still-screaming toddler strapped into her carseat behind us, he turned to me with a shell-shocked look on his face and said "it isn't usually like this, is it?" I told him that yes, it was usually like that, and that it was nice to finally have a witness.

Also, the fetus, which for reasons far too opaque to be detailed in this already marathon entry I am currently calling "Wally" has been doing gymnastics for the past 5 days or so. I never felt Mia move until she was much bigger, and even then only if she really hauled off and kicked me, so it's nice to have these little tickles and flutters and it will be something upon which I can look back fondly when Wally gets big enough to really bounce around on my bladder.

Anyway, have I mentioned that we are having a large-ish birthday party for my parents at the new house in less than a month? Because I am insane? So yeah, I've gotta get back to work.


So logical

WHEREAS Mia always poops at Sarah's house, always, never fails; and

WHEREAS Sarah is potty training the Goon Squad; and

WHEREAS after watching Claudia do it yesterday, Mia spent five minutes sitting on the potty making at the very least an extremely good show of trying to poop; and

WHEREAS we are moving on Saturday, which I believe I may have mentioned before, but surely no more than once;

NOW THEREFORE I've decided to leave Mia with Sarah for a week, since they have better toys than we do, Mia is far more pleasant to Sarah than she is to me, and I am certain to get her back fully potty trained.

I? Am brilliant.

This is important

So, do you box up your underwear, or just leave it in the drawers for the movers to admire?

Nesting, maybe?

Selling your house makes you do weird things. Or at least, selling my house makes me do weird things. Yesterday, I cleaned my oven. Ok, so it's self-cleaning, but I had to clean the door and scrape the piles of burned cheese off the bottom, and then I had to sit in my house and sweat. Maybe a 95-degree day with a heat index of a million and twelve was not the best day to jack the oven up to 600 degrees and open all the doors to clear the fumes. And then, as if that wasn't bad enough, I scrubbed the oven racks with a scouring pad.

I've learned that maybe an oven ought to be cleaned more than every five years. At least, I'm assuming the previous owners cleaned it before we moved in, I'd certainly never done it before.

Also, Mia is suddenly very two. All I hear from her all day long is "No Mama! No help! Do all by self!" This is moderately ok when she is insisting on dressing herself, which she can basically do provided you have an hour or more to wait while she works it out. It is less acceptable when she wants to buckle her own carseat, which she is not yet strong enough to do, and you spend half an hour sitting in a roastingly hot car before breaking down and doing it yourself just accepting that she's going to scream her head off all the way home. Which she did, thankfully it was a short drive.

Today, I'm cleaning the fridge and freezer, which at least will be cooler than the oven, but which unfortunately is Beth-cleaning rather than self-cleaning. After that, I'll be spending my time packing up all the piddly little crap that you don't know what to do with so it ends up in a box marked, helpfully, "Misc." and turns out to contain three critical things that you can't find for months. Gosh, moving is fun.

Just the facts, ma'am

Thank you all for the well-wishes. I've really been looking forward to telling you guys because I knew it would be so much fun.

However, as you may recall me mentioning once or twice, we're moving on Saturday, so we are going to have to wait a bit to get too far into this pregnancy thing. I'll try to hit the highlights, but then I really have to go back the damned coat closet.

I'm roughly 14 weeks along, at least according to the most recent of my three songrams, which gives me a due date of February 6. This was not the impetus for buying a new house. Actually, we found out the day before our house went on the market, and I told Chris by telling him we were going to need that extra bedroom a lot sooner than we expected.

No, I'm not moving heavy boxes. My rule is that anything heavier than Mia waits for Chris.

No, conception was not nearly the heart-breaking, soul destroying slog through months of obligatory sex that Mia's was. And that is as much as any of you need to know about my sex life.

I was sicker than I was with Mia, however, while I spent several weeks wishing I would just puke and get it over with already I never did, which makes this my second puke-free pregnancy. You may hate me for that, just slightly.

I'm fat, snotty, and gassy, have fierce carpal tunnel pain and sore boobs, although the little bitches have not gotten a bit bigger, evil whores. I thought it was a boy at first, now I think maybe girl. We will find out and will tell you guys. Same rules as last time, I expect, you can know everything except the name.

We haven't told Mia yet, too far away and she has enough upheaval to deal with right now. She loves babies so I hope she will enjoy it, although I'm obviously worried about how she will adjust. Chris, as an only child, is especially concerned about that part of it - I tend to think that I survived it and so will she.

I've already seen this kid's arms and legs and fingers and toes and heart and spine and stomach and brain and it was just an amazing thing to do at 13 weeks. Things have been so crazy with everything else going on, that this early pregnancy has been on the back burner a bit, and that drove it home. Wow, there's a whole person inside me. Again. Hooray.

Mia Monday #82: Message from Mia Edition

I'm really sorry about this one

We have a collection of Amelia Bedelia books (want your own free collection? Name your kid Amelia and then just wait) and there's one part that always cracks me up. Because I am a 12 year old boy with a dirty mind. But come on:

"But before she could get the words out, Mr. Rogers put something in her mouth. It was so good, Mrs. Rogers forgot about being angry."

Totally not my fault.


Mia's been up before the sun for the past couple of days, so when she started fussing at 5:30 this morning I made a desperate move and brought her into bed with us. This hasn't gotten her back to sleep in months.

Now it's after 8 on the one day all month that I have somewhere I absolutely have to be this morning, and here's my kid:

I've tried waking her up, and she just reaches out a little hand and shoves me away. The flash had no impact at all. Is 2 too old to just plop her into the car in her pajamas?