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

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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Where my breasts get political

We've spent so much time talking about my breasts over the years, (and by that, of course, I mean that I have spent so much time talking about my breasts and you have sat there trying to be tolerant and thinking to yourselves, "yes, we get it, you have breasts, now would you please stop nattering on about them" and "damn girl, enough of the breasts already" and "look, are they lonely? Will it help if we talk to them? Hello, Beth's breasts, very nice to see you. Did that do it? Will you stop now?") and hey, this train of thought really derailed leaving the station, didn't it? Let's begin again.

As my breasts have been a frequent topic of discussion around here, I thought it was time you knew where they stood politically.

I think they are missing out on a real powerful marketing campaign here - Breasts for Obama. Also, hey, guess who got three hours of sleep last night? And oh, do I need to start wearing lip gloss? I feel like maybe some regular application of lip gloss might improve my whole life, but I am just not a lip gloss kind of girl. (Please note that my gray hair is not a topic for discussion. Am sensitive.)

Also, Chris bought Mia this ball that has an assortment of princesses on it. Is it just me, or is Ariel looking a little peaked?

Actually, I think she looks like a jaw-less, neck-less hunchback, but if I actually say that I know I will get a comment that says "hey, my cousin in a jaw-less, neck-less hunchback and how dare you make fun of the jaw-less, neck-less hunchbacks among us!", so I will just go with Ariel is looking a little peaked.

Stomach for days

Hey, tall people! Where do you buy clothes? I'm only 5'6", but about four feet of that is torso leaving most of my shirts straining to meet my pants, and I am far past the point in life where sporting a couple inches of bare belly is either appealing or appropriate. Surely there must be t-shirts that will cover my muffin top that aren't maternity shirts (which is what I am wearing today, but it is highly depressing), but where? Where?

Erratic

Owen has been on a fairly predictable schedule since he was about two weeks old. Sure, it has changed as he has gotten older and it does vary a fair amount. For example, some days he is desperate for his morning nap 90 minutes after he gets up and some days I have to force him down after three hours. Some days he sleeps for 30 minutes, some days (although not bloody often) he sleeps two hours. Some days this is just fine, and some days it is a royal pain in the ass. But for the most part, I can guess when he'll be sleeping and when he'll be up and can plan our days to avoid most exhaustion or starvation induced melt-downs.

However, Mia starts preschool next week, and with our various other activities, it means that Owen's schedule is about to be trashed. Two days a week we drop Mia off at 9:00 and Owen can't nap until after that. One day a week we have a program at 10:00 and Owen needs to be up by 9:30 at the absolute latest. One day a week Mia and I have somewhere to be at 9:00 so Owen needs to be napping by 8:30 or deal with a Daddy-directed nap, which is Not Popular.

I am a big believer in schedules for older babies and I feel bad that I am going to do this to him, but there isn't another option. Have any of you had any success running two different schedules that vary by an hour or more? I would love to hear your tips.

Owen Wednesday #27: Blocks Edition

Recognized

I was at my weekly American MILF Society meeting this morning, and for the first time ever someone actually recognized me from my blog (or, more likely, recognized the children) and came up to say hello. Now, I've been mentally preparing for this moment for years, planning how I would be all witty and cool and totally better in real life than I am online, but when it came right down to it, it was all I could do to string a few barely intelligible sentences together. I just kept thinking how I wished I had done something with my hair, or brushed it in the past 24 hours even, and wanted to say "look, I swear I am just about to start doing something about this pot belly" or "hey, yeah, I'm a loser, didn't you know?" Oh well, it was still fun.

I totally forgot to tell you that Owen stood up last week. He was sitting on my lap and then all of a sudden the child was upright. Sure, he would have gone ass over tea kettle if I hadn't caught him, but still. This child need to chill the fuck out and loll around on the floor for a while longer.

Be advised

If posting here suddenly becomes (even more) sporadic, or I disappear entirely for a time, I assure you that it is not because some tragedy has befallen me or because I have thrown in the towel. No, it is more likely due to this. You see that stuff under Owen's (massive) belly?

Wait, here's a better angle.

You see it now? That pile of... of... air? Yeah, he's about 4 minutes away from learning to crawl.

Grosser than gross

People, what follows is disgusting. I am telling you now so that if you are not in the mood for something disgusting or know you are sensitive to things of a disgusting nature, you can click away now and save yourself from the nastiness. Also, so that you will not continue reading this post and then come to the end, fully disgusted, and chastise me for grossing you out. You have been well and fully warned, and I don't want to hear it.

Still here? Are you sure? Ok then.

Owen has a lovely habit of getting a mouthful of food and then getting too distracted by either the joy or injustice of life to bother swallowing it. Which leads, as it did at lunch today, to a charming and adorable baby with a mouthful of avocado drool. And hey, if I have to look at it, so do you.

Nasty, yes?

Moving on, since you all have to listen to me bitch about my hands, I figured you may as well see what I'm bitching about. My hands, let me show you them.

Left hand, not too bad, even wearing my wedding ring lately, which I was unable to do for months.

Right hand, much nastier, but only about a four out of ten at the moment.

There now, don't you feel sorry for me? Don't you feel the sudden urge to send me copious amounts of wine? And brownies? Yes, yes you do.

Somewhat less pissy

Since you asked, the NP took it upon herself to chastise me for breastfeeding on demand, regaling me with all the ways in which it would damage my child. It seems that all three of her perfect children were breastfeeding only three times a day by six weeks. Sadly, I was too flabbergasted at being slammed for the way I feed my child by someone who should damned well know better to offer any response, but wish I had been quick enough to come back with Leah's suggestion of "And your children survived? You didn't have to take them to the ER for rehydration?" Ah well, next time. Not that there will be a next time with this woman, but I will be better prepared for the next idiot who recommends starving my child.

Pissy

So, yesterday was fun! First thing in the morning, my laptop bit it. Now sure, I bought the thing for peanuts on Ebay three years ago and have known it was only a matter of time, but I was really bitter. I kept trying and poking at it and cussing at it and the fucker just would not boot. So finally, round about late afternoon I decided to plug it back in, and that fixed it. The sad thing is that this is not the first time I have done this.

Anyway, while my laptop was hosed I packed up the kids and went to visit my doctor to say hey, you have to do something about this miserable rash on my hands because there are times when a bullet to the brain starts sounding like a damn reasonable cure, and my doctor, who is really a Nurse Practitioner, decided to take the opportunity to criticize my parenting. Which, the hell? That has nothing to do with my poor, poor hands, and anyway the children have their own doctor so I think criticizing my parenting falls under his professional purview, not hers. But then she gave me sweet, sweet drugs, so I suppose it is a small price to pay.

Except that then Chris got home unexpectedly early and I bolted out the door as soon as he got here to fill my prescription (couldn't do it earlier because first Owen fell asleep in the car and then I had given Mia my solemn vow that we would go to the pool) and they said if would take 15-20 minutes and after 40 I got fed up and left, so I have to go an entire night without my sweet, sweet drugs. Which hey, I've had this crap for nine solid months, so what's one more night? And anyway, they are supposed to help "some," which is not exactly an awe-inspiring endorsement. But still, some is better than none.

Owen my friend, I could have real damn drugs if it weren't for you. You owe me for this one. Big time.

And! And! My blog is not emailing me my comments, so I am sitting here feeling all alone and unloved and wondering why the hell nobody thinks my kid is cute, because my kid is hella cute, and it turns out that my blog is just feeling bitchy and wants me to feel like an outcast. Bite me, blog.

Wow, does anybody else think I need to chill?

Owen Wednesday #26: Daddy's Hat Edition

The best part is, we have very similar shots of Mia. Does anyone else feel a montage coming on?

Day in the life

Beth: Babe, do you want orange juice or grape juice?
Mia: Orange juice!
Beth: Orange juice?
Mia: Orange juice!
Beth: Not grape juice?
Mia: No, orange juice! I hate grape juice.
Beth: Ok, here's your orange juice.
Mia: WAAAAAAAA! I want grape juice!

Beth: Watermelon or grapes?
Mia: (Contemplates meaning of life.)
Beth: Watermelon or grapes?
Mia: (Begins removing clothes.)
Beth: Watermelon or grapes?
Mia: (Wanders off to find her tea set.)
Beth: Mia! Watermelon or grapes?
Mia: Grapes!
Beth: Grapes?
Mia: Grapes!
Beth: Not watermelon?
Mia: I hate watermelon!
Beth: You love watermelon.
Mia: I hate watermelon!
Beth: Grapes it is then.
Mia: (Accosts her brother, just to pass the time.)
Beth: (Serves grapes.)
Mia: WAAAAAAAAAAA! I want watermelon!
Beth: Fine, a big piece or little pieces?
Mia: Big piece!
Beth: To bite?
Mia: Yes!
Beth: Not to eat with a fork?
Mia: No!
Beth: Ok, a big piece of watermelon coming right up.
Mia: (Blows spit bubbles.)
Beth: (Serves watermelon.)
Mia: WAAAAAA! I want it cut!
Beth: (Bangs head against refrigerator. Repeatedly. Hard.)

Some days, I dread the arrival of September, because WAAAAAA! My BABY! Is going to PRESCHOOL! And I am NOT PREPARED! Other days, I think hey, seven hours a week without a petulant three year old riding my ass? Bring it on!

Meanwhile, Owen cut two teeth this weekend. WAAAAAA! My BABY!

Follow-up

Results of my highly scientific poll reveal that exactly half of your kids slept through the night by the time they were six months old. So I suppose I will not firebomb my pediatrician's office for distributing highly inaccurate information, but I will definitely harbor a grudge, because the other 50% of us should not be made to feel like ineffective parents just because our kids are in the half that aren't sleeping through the night by six months.

And I purposely didn't define "sleeping through the night," because if you think your kid is sleeping through the night then that is reality. Four hours? Six? Twelve? If it makes you happy, it counts. For example, last night, Owen slept from 8-2 in his crib, then ate and went straight back to sleep and then I think ate again around 4:00 or so, but I'm not sure. I consider that sleeping through the night, because a) I got an entire evening to myself, b) I didn't have to be awake more than five minutes or so overnight, and c) any waking I don't remember doesn't count. Your mileage may vary.

Now, nobody won the name the play dough animal contest from yesterday. Sure, you did pretty well with the giraffe, elephant, snake, gorilla (Mia contributed the head on that one), octopus, and bunny, but nobody figured out that #2 was a lion. I mean really, people, that is obviously a lion. Yeah yeah, it looks much more like a triceratops, but it was supposed to be a lion.

Finally, do you put your kids in pajamas for naps? I don't, because dude, most days it is all I can do to get them into their beds with clean-ish diapers and faces, but I understand that some people do, so I am wondering whether I am missing some major parenting boat here.

In the Jungle

Mia and I devoted a portion of yesterday to the creation of play dough animals. I would offer prizes for the first person to correctly identify each of them, but I still owe someone a cd from a year and a half ago, so clearly I'm not good for it. Anyway, name 'em and claim 'em as you see fit.

P.S. I am trying to get a new blogging job thingy, which if I do I promise not to exhort you all to read it since it is mostly a local thing, but I have a guest post up on one of their sites today and I would like to throw up some numbers, just to be fancy. So would you purty, purty please click over here for me? You totally don't even have to read it, although if you have kids in one of the areas they cover, they have some nifty stuff. Cool? Please? Kisses!

Owen Wednesday #25: Happiness is Applesauce edition

Babies, with the sleeping, or not so much?

Owen had his six month well check this week, and one of the stupid things on the stupid sheet they gave me was "some children may still not be sleeping through the night." And my first thought was, "some"? Some? My impression, based on anecdotal evidence from, you know, you people, is that it should at least say "many." Actually, my impression is that it should be "most," but then I got to wondering whether you are all just sparing my feelings, and those of you with kids who all slept through the night at three months or four months or hell, fifteen months are just generally too polite to mention it.

(Which would be wise, because my standard response when someone tells me that their little Susie started sleeping twelve hours straight at six weeks is "bite me.")

So anyway, poll time! You know how much I love polls! Today's question is, when did your kids start consistently sleeping through the night? More than one kid? Vote more than one time. And you had better believe that if the result is significantly later than 6 months, I am going to march straight into the pediatrician's office and demand that they change their stupid, offensive, judgmental, outdated handouts. (Gee, are we sensing I am maybe too bitter about a piece of paper?)

So, vote!

(Hey, remind me later to tell you what the Hotty Pediatrician said to me at Owen's appointment. It was positively indecent! You know, in my head.)

Owen, Month Six

Sweet Owen,

You are six months old. Six! Halfway to your first birthday! Unbelievable, really. And unbelievable what a little person you are already. We spent some time yesterday with a four week old baby, all floppy head and dazed expression and thousand yard stare, and I found myself searching my brain to remember if you had ever been that way. Which you must have been, I suppose, one newborn being more or less like any other, except also, not really. You've had this light in your eyes since birth, this wicked gleam that seems to say that you are totally on to us and prepared to work the system, and I think it is that as much as your size that leads strangers to guess that you are a year old.

Although the size certainly supports that conclusion. You are 21 pounds 4 ounces and 28 and 1/4 inches long, which puts you on track to be 6'6" tall, which I can virtually assure you will not happen. You aren't missing any meals, my friend. In fact, in the past month we've added quite a few meals and started you on solid foods. You've tried rice cereal, oatmeal, pears, sweet potatoes, apples and bananas, and while you don't seem to like all of those things you eat every bite you are offered regardless. A wise choice as you need to keep your strength up for all the moving you are doing.

This month you became a fully independent sitter. Sure, you've been sitting on your own in one fashion or another since four months, but now you are totally in control. You can sit for as long as you want, reach and bend to retrieve toys or make another futile attempt at reaching your toes, and recover easily from even a major wobble. You are also starting to crawl. You lie on your impressive belly, upush up on your arms until most of your torso is off the floor, and then cram your chubby thighs up under you. So far, you always collapse, usually making several inches of backwards progress, and you are starting to figure out that backwards is still moving and using it to your advantage. I'm guessing that I have at most another two to three weeks before I spend most of my waking hours running along ahead of you moving bits of princess detritus out of your rapidly crawling path.

You have discovered that Mommy is best, strangers are bad, and that there are times when even Daddy simply will not do. This is quite a change from the little boy who would go straight to anybody and settle in for a major flirting session. This is especially true at bedtime, when the mere sight of your father is enough to set of a screaming fit of epic proportions. It is nice to be needed, yes, but it is also nice to shower occasionally.

You love to listen to books, especially if they are close enough that you can try to get them into your mouth, love to sit up and play with toys, prefer standing to any other position, and have taken to sleeping flat on your face. When you sleep, that is. We've had a run of bad luck when it comes to getting you to bed at night, reflux is a likely suspect and we are trying some medication to see if it will help. When you do settle down, though, it is almost always with your head tucked up under my chin, and those moments of falling asleep with your sticky-outy hair tickling my lips are some of the best of my days.

By the time you reach seven months old, Mia will have started preschool and left us to our own devices two mornings a week. I am looking forward to having those small blocks of time to devote exclusively to you, although I think you will miss Mia badly and it may take you as long to adjust to her absence as it takes for me. I have lots of plans for things we can do, but hope to spend much of that time bouncing you on my lap and barking at you (never fails to crack you up) and tickling you under the chin. You are an amazing little guy, Owen, and I am excited to finally have the time to just bask in your glow.

Love,
Mama

Her life just sucks

I knew it was going to be a long afternoon when Mia pitched a screaming, crying, hiding behind a towel tantrum because the cookie I let her have an hour before dinner was too small.

She cried even harder when she discovered that pitching a tantrum about the size of your pre-dinner cookie is an excellent way to lose access to your pre-dinner cookie.

Jumping Bean

Mia is generally pretty intelligible, a total stranger could likely even identify her rendition of "paleontologist." But there are still some things that give her trouble. For example, she is very proud to be "free" years old, and words that start with "j" sometimes start with "d" instead, like "jump." Which I how, one day this week, my newly potty trained (ish) child was running around the house saying "Mommy, do you want to see a big dump? I'm doing a big dump, do you want to see? Look, Mommy, that was a really big dump!"

(Ah the potty humor, it just never gets old.)

(Wait, yes it does.)

On a related topic, does anyone know how to communicate that pooping in your underpants is totally fine and everybody does it when they are learning and does not upset Mommy at all, but is also absolutely not the desired outcome?

Whoops - gotta go. Owen has trapped himself under the couch.

Owen Wednesday #24: Party Like It's 1972 Edition

Owen sporting a totally kickin' outfit originally worn, lo those many years ago, by his father.

Super

If I could choose any one super power, it would be the ability to transfer a sleeping baby from my chest to his crib without disruption.

Oh, and the ability to make the little bugger sleep longer than two hours at a stretch.

And that's when he flipped me the bird

At dinner, last night...

Mia: Daddy, did you eat all of your sauce?
Chris: Yes.
Mia: Daddy, did you eat all your noodles?
Chris: Yes.
Mia: Daddy, let me see your big tummy.
Chris: Ok.
Mia: I'm going to call you Mr. Big Tummy.
Chris: Great.
Mia: I'm going to hug and kiss Mr. Big Tummy.
Chris: At least it's better than "Old Guy."
Me: Not really. You can't do anything about old.

(Chris asked me to add that this post did not make him seem hot, and he is totally hot. Then he told me he was hot like a tranny. Then he mentioned that at least it was better than her asking to kiss the man boobs. Yup, that's one hot husband I have there.)

(Chris really is hot.)

Bullshit. And not even good bullshit.

Dear Door to Door Solicitors*,

I admit that I could easily pass for a teenager until I was 28 or so, but that is no longer the case. I now have gray hair and wrinkles and usually a semi-naked child attached to my hip, so asking if my mom is home really just pisses me off because it proves from the get-go that you are full of shit. Just a tip.

Love,
Beth

(As an aside, a fireman totally got flirty with me in the grocery store this morning, and I was way too busy trying to figure out which child was going to pee on me first to care. How did it come to this?)

*Solicitors, in this case, means salesmen, not prostitutes. I rarely get door to door prostitutes anymore.

Saving to disk

I would like to have a TiVo in my head, so that when I am old and gray(er), I could come back to yesterday. To a mild July afternoon watching Mia, still smelling of chlorine from a morning trip to the pool, wearing her too big, baggy-ass big girl underpants and a too small t-shirt pulled up to reveal her belly "like Pooh." She had the hose, and used it to water the bushes and the flowers, the garage and the house, the windows and finally her hair, earning herself a face full of water. Owen was in my lap, smelling of green apples and breast milk, drool puddling off of his several chins, squirming and climbing all over me in an attempt to rocket himself into the wider world where there are so many fun things to cram into his mouth.

Minutes later, upstairs, Owen executed his first ever backwards commando crawl across the bedroom until he wedged his lower half under the bed and had no means of escape. As soon as Mia discovered him, she joined him under the bed and then cajoled her father until my entire beautiful little family was peeking out from under the bed, smiling and laughing.

I can't imagine how life could get any better.

Idiot

I hesitate to even mention this in case I get flamed, but then I truly deserve to get flamed, so have at it.

Mia wanted to go to the playground this morning (hey, it's only 93, why not?), so I got her and Owen all sunscreened up and packed water and hats and the Ergo for when Owen invariably decided to boycott the stroller and we were all set to go when I realized I had neglected to snag anything for Owen to chew on. Not advisable. So, I assessed the situation: both kids in the garage, Owen strapped securely into the stroller, Mia standing nearby. I decided I could leave them where they were and run into the house to grab a toy.

So I did that. I asked Mia to watch Owen (just to make her feel important, I do realize a three year old is not a reliable babysitter), ran through the kitchen and into the family room to grab some toys, then scooted up to the playroom for some plastic rings to attach the toys to the stroller. I had Mia talking to me all the while, so I felt pretty sure that all was how I left it.

When I returned to the garage, Mia proudly announced that she had helped Mommy by lifting the levers. The levers that are the brakes on the stroller, which were the only thing preventing a gentle shove from sending the stroller and my second born barreling down our very steep driveway and straight into the street.

I would elaborate further on what a fucking idiot I am, but I'm still waiting for my heart to start beating again.