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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Thanksgiving

Hoping you all have as much to be thankful for as I do.

Alternately, "Oh my lands!"

Oh my lawdy! Owen is feeling better, which meant that I spent all day to chasing after him at a dead run to pull things out of his mouth (electrical cord, kleenex, entire grape that Mia dropped, etc.) and saying "No, Owen" about a million times. Tis exhausting. I remember this stage with Mia very well and she was exhausting too, but she never put anything in her mouth so at least she was exhausting without a death wish.

Took both kids to the doctor yesterday and left with a prescription for each of them - antibiotics for Mia and a new reflux drug for poor Owen who was suffering so badly that he couldn't even find the will to climb the walls. Not that I went in there looking for drugs, but leaving with two prescriptions sort of made me feel like I had finally won the pediatrician game. Honestly, if one more pediatrician snidely reminds me that you can't cure a cold while refusing to look me in the eye I'm gonna... gonna... well, I'm gonna do something. Probably smile politely, like usual. And anyway, what it is with pediatricians and eye contact? Now I get that when we see one of the other doctors in the practice who don't see us that often they may have interpersonal issues that cause them to avoid eye contact, but I have seen the Hotty Pediatrician regularly for over three years now, I would think he could bring himself to look at me. Or maybe I am just intolerant because I don't have that issue myself, cause hell, I'll sit in your lap the minute I meet you, I don't care.

Oh! Did I tell you how I totally offended the Hotty Pediatrician? It was awesome! I had hauled my snotty kids in one time or another a while back to have ears and noses and such checked for infection and he was checking Mia's ears with the otoscope and I said "now if I had one of those you would never see me again." Obviously, I meant that if I could check their ears myself I wouldn't need to have him do it and would save him the trouble of reminding me again that cold medicine doesn't cure a cold. But then he said something about seven years of training, blah blah blah, and yes sure, but how much of that seven years was really devoted to learning to recognize an ear infection? Five minutes, maybe? So now perhaps we know why he won't make eye contact, and also why I totally want an otoscope for Christmas.

Hey, do I sound a little manic to you? I sound a little manic to me. Likely it has to do with not leaving the house ever at all last week thanks to my two sick children. I do tend to be a hermit, but even I have my limits, and nine straight days at home with the kids is over that limit. Well ok, not nine straight days, because on Saturday my husband recognized that I was at the absolute end of my rope what with the never leaving the house and the never sleeping at all ever and booked me a massage. Which oh my god - you can keep your flowers and candy and romantic dinners and even the jewelry and I will keep the man who books massages.

Essay Question

Congratulations! You just won the lottery! Unfortunately, it was a pretty crappy lottery. You don't have enough to buy an island or a fleet of Rolls Royces or a mansion in Monte Carlo. You aren't set for life, it would probably be a good idea to keep your job. You do have enough to send the kids to college and pay off your student loans and credit cards and even the mortgage if you wanted to, but doing all of that might not leave you much left from your winnings. You know, depending how much you owe.

But! You do have enough to spend on those mundane little things that may make your life just slightly better. What do you do?

Me? Well first, I would put all new windows in my house because I have spent the past two days shrink wrapping them and it is a pain in the butt and doesn't help all that much and they still get water and ice on the inside all winter long. And then I would have a vacuum cleaner for every floor of my house because I hate hauling that thing up and down the stairs. And then I would hire a ten hour a week nanny and get my gym membership back. There's more, I'm sure, but the taxes eat into the winnings and probably wise to leave some in savings.

So how about you?

Owen Wednesday #36: Feeling Better Edition

Bits of the Tid Variety

I had to make a quick run to Target with the kids yesterday to secure new humidifiers and filters since none of the ones we had were operational. I has Owen strapped to my chest and Mia tied down in the cart and was hussling my sick child(ren) through the store as fast as I possibly could when some lady stopped me to announce "That baby looks tired."

Um, really? What gave it away? His red-rimmed eyes? The bags that looks like bruises under same? And hey, since you are feeling so helpful, perhaps you could come home with me and get him to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a stretch, which considering that he can barely breathe through his nose or his mouth would be quite a feat. Admittedly, tearing out her carotid with my teeth was a bit of an overreaction, but I haven't gotten much sleep lately either.

**********

For my recently departed 34th birthday I requested, and received, make up and moisturizer. Anybody get the impression that I am feeling old? In typical me fashion, I have been using the moisturizer but not the make up. I never seem to get a moment where one of the kids isn't needing something from me until at least 2:00, and by then putting on the make up seems rather futile, especially since Owen is just going to lick my face at some point. Maybe once the kids are in school I will turn into an actual grown up with make up and brushed hair and stain-free clothing.

**********

Speaking of my birthday, I got one of the best presents ever on Friday. Now, to properly appreciate this, you have to play along a bit. First, you need to get that "I'm too Sexy" song going in your head. You know "I'm too sexy for my shirt..." etc. To really capture the moment, you also need to do a little booty shake. Are you ready? Are you singing the stupid song? Are you wiggling your booty? Ok then, here we go:

I'm too skinny for my fat pants
Too skinny for my fat pants
So skinny ('cept for my ass)

Why yes, I have spent the past five days bouncing around my house singing that song, although only when Chris isn't home. And sure, fitting back into your pants at nine months post partum is not exactly a fabulous accomplishment, but since I have spent the past nine months continuing to eat like I'm pregnant with triplets and since pants are always a problem for me as I have a lot of junk in my trunk thighs it is a big moment for me to ditch the fat pants. Although now I need new jeans again, and that blows.

Seriously, let's make out

People, you are awesome. I love you. Come over here and let me slip you some tongue. I have had so much fun reading all the first and middle names that you left for me (and thank you for adding partners and kids, that was brilliant!) and I am totally milking it with Mia. "Hey Bean, if you pick up the playroom I'll read you ten more names." Works like a charm. The funny thing is that Mia and I have totally different taste in names. I'll read one that has me thinking "oh my god, were her parents drunk?" and Mia will say "Ooooohhhh Mommy, that name is so boo-fidul (beautiful)."

I realized (when someone pointed it out) that I didn't give you our names, which doesn't seem fair. We are:

Elizabeth Jean
Christopher Mathew (no, that isn't a typo - at least it isn't my typo)
Amelia Morgan
Owen Gregory

I was sort of interested by the number of women who listed their husband's name and then their own name. Habit, possibly? Around here, my name is first on everything - bank accounts, tax returns, but then Chris has a horror of filling our forms so I do all of that stuff and just put my name first without thinking about it.

Hey, Owen is sick with a miserable cough and a low fever and can't sleep and won't eat and just buries his his head in my shoulder and whines all day. And I know there's no over the counter cough medicine for babies anymore, but does anybody know if you can still get prescription stuff? If I take him to the doctor, will they at least give me something to use at night so he can sleep, or will it just be a wasted co-pay to hear about using a humidifier and running a hot shower?

Na na na na na na

So, crock pot vegetarian lasagna was very good. Just as much trouble as making regular lasagna except that I could do all the chopping and sauteing and assembly during naptime and then throw it in the fridge. Which I could do with regular lasagna, yes, except that then I can never figure out how long it is going to take to cook and always underestimate and dinner is an hour late which is not good when it comes to the children. So I think I will definitely be making it again. I guess god really does love me.

Have I ever told you that I hate teeth? I do. I mean really, I have a blender and I'm not afraid to use it, why does my baby need teeth? Owen, who is the most charming, lovable, happiest, sweetest child you could ever hope to encounter has been a continual pain in my ass for weeks now and it is all because of teeth. I propose a boycott.

Also hey, today is my 29th 38th 34th birthday, although I will not actually complete my 34th year until early tomorrow morning (comes from being born late at night in California). What I really want for my birthday is to eat one meal without feeding anyone else, getting up eight times to fetch things for the chidren, or holding a squirmy baby in my lap (not gonna happen); to sit on the couch and watch an entire movie with my husband (not gonna happen); and four uninterrupted hours of sleep (not gonna happen). But, I am typing this from my shiny new laptop, so that's a consolation. If you would like to give me a gift, and you know you would, you can leave me a comment with your first and middle names. This is a lovely present because Mia is obsessed with full names and reading your names to her will score me a little easy entertainment this afternoon.

What a crock!

Hooray! Chris is at work! I get the laptop all to myself all day long! I'm giddy with power. However, I also have two children who expect to be cared for or something. It's like they never even consider my needs. Perhaps we should try therapy?

The truly sad part is that me not having my own laptop means that we only have five internet capable devices in the house at any given time rather than six, but none of them are mine and that blows.

Hey! Did you know that crock pot lasagna is just as big a pain to make as regular lasagna? Ok sure, you don't have to cook the noodles first, but the small benefit of not having to boil a pot of water is more than offset by having to saute onions and garlic in wine at nine in the morning. I'm using a recipe posted online by someone with the screen name "godlovesyou," so if dinner tonight sucks I am totally blaming god.

Hey, there isn't a single thing on my TiVo that isn't animated. What should I be watching that I'm not?

Alas! Alack!

My beloved laptop is no more. Now sure, this is not a surprise since I bought it very used three years ago for dirt cheap and the battery hasn't held a charge for longer than 10 seconds in well over two years and then the keyboard died and I had to plug a keyboard in to use the thing, but I loved my hoopty laptop and was so demoralized when it finally went all blue screen and refused to boot altogether than I waited nearly 20 minutes before I ordered a new (to me) one.

It will arrive soon, but in the meantime Chris and I are sharing a laptop and I am not entire sure that our marriage will survive. Wish us luck.

Owen, Month Nine

Sweet Owen,

You are nine months old and the world is your oyster. Everything you see is fascinating and new and an opportunity to explore and play. Well, except for other people. You do fine with family and the moms and kids that we play with, but should a stranger happen to glance in your direction or, heaven forbid, speak to you, you dissolve into miserable sobbing and hide your beautiful blue eyes in my shoulder. We are hoping, of course, that this behavior will not last forever, but in the meantime it is rather nice to be your shield and protector.

You weigh 22 pounds 3 ounces, which marks the end, likely forever, of your reign at the top of the growth chart. For weight, at least. You are 29 and a half inches long and still nearly off the chart for height. You eat everything you can get your still-chubby hands on, so the slower weight gain must be attributed to your new mobility.

And hoo boy, are you mobile. You mastered crawling in the last month and can now cross the house with alarming speed. You have also learned to pull yourself up on nearly any somewhat stationary object larger than a speck of dirt and have started shuffling your feet along and covering ground in an upright position that must fairly be called cruising. You can even get yourself into the seat of our small kids' chairs, although thank goodness the stairs still pose you a fair challenge. You are always on the move, always chasing Mommy or Mia or after the cooler, shinier toy on the other side of the room.

You are loving your hands these days. They are excellent for cramming in your mouth, of course, to try to soothe those poor aching gums, but are also good for stretching over your head and waiting for someone to high five you so you can collapse in a fit of giggles. A couple of days ago you learned to extend your pointer fingers and have been mimicking a disco king when strapped into your high chair, and today you actually used those little fingers to point at something that interested you. It was the picture of Mickey Mouse on the wall at the pediatrician's, and you were thrilled to discover that pointing at it caused Mommy to hold you over her head so you could score a closer look.

You love balls and cars and stacking cups and anything from Mia's kitchen and her maracas and a big wooden spoon with something to bang it on. You adore anything that makes noise, the more the better. You love to take a bath and splash and splash and crawl around in the water. You still love to be tossed in the air and flipped upside down and bounced and bounced and bounced until your bouncer collapses in exhaustion. But your one true love, as ever, is Mia. Whenever she deigns to speak to you or hug you or hand you a toy you light up in pure glee. You even love her when she is smacking you in the head or banging your hands with a block. (We're working on that with her, but to be fair you do spend a lot of time messing up her stuff.)

One evening last week you were getting pretty cranky and it was not yet within your Optimal Bedtime Window, so we stripped you down to a diaper and set you loose. It was like you had suddenly gotten your first taste of freedom. You barreled down the hall to the playroom and systematically examined every single toy that was within your reach. You checked in with me once in a while, but for the most part you were happy to be on your own, making you own way in the world (such as it is) and asserting your independence. I love to see that, but I also love when you spend an afternoon buried in my shoulder wanting only Mommy to make you happy.

Owen, I hate to say that this part or that part is better than any other part, because the whole thing is the best part, but right now is one of those time when I wish I could record every aspect of a day with you and save it, carefully wrapped and stored, so that years from now when you are a man with your own family and so far from this time I could take it out and savor it and remember how truly amazing and joyful you are. You are a wonder, a gift, and I love you so much.

Love,
Mama

Birdies

Clearly I Need More Sleep

Oh, hello? Yes, how are you? I am well, except that Owen has decided that 4 AM is Party Time and I have given up and gotten out of bed by 5:00 every day this week and that on top of the child waking me up several times a night has made me rather groggy. Also, bitchy. Also, deeply unattractive. I also smell pretty bad, but that is from raking leaves on a roastingly hot so-called-fall day and cannot technically be blamed on my son. I think I'll do it anyway though.

As a brief aside - if you are ever in the market for a new house (stop laughing, this crappy economy isn't eternal) and you find the perfect house with everything you wanted plus a really huge and amazing backyard and it has three beautiful chestnut trees out front (as well as a plum and a cherry, but they aren't the main problem here) RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN! I spend my entire life cleaning up after those goddamned chestnuts, and the stupid pod things around the nuts are sharp enough to jab you straight through your leather gloves, adding injury to insult.

Moving on, I have decided to save you from my diatribe on the subject of gay marriage. I'm sure if you have read more than two or three posts from me you can extrapolate my feelings on the subject (HINT: the post contained more the one invitation for the entire state of California to go fuck themselves) and people have said it all far better than I ever could and let's face it, this isn't one of those subjects on which most people are very likely to change their minds. Mores the pity.

Instead, I have a friendly Friday afternoon poll. When Mia was born, the nurse who was prepping me for surgery treated me to a lengthy discussion of the very personal grooming habits of the majority of her patients. Which um, thanks, but I could not imagine very many topics in which I would have less interest minutes before having my abdomen sliced open and an almost eight pound parasite removed. But I have to admit that ever since then I have been curious. Not curious about any one person specifically, oh god no, there are just some things which you do not need to know about your friends and acquaintances, but curious about the population in general. And since you all are my most direct access to the population in general, I have decided to ask you.

So, what is your personal south of the border grooming choice?

I Voted

Owen decided to wake up at 5:00 this morning, so I decided we may as well put the time to good use.

We got to the polls right as they opened and there were about 300 people in line ahead of me. It took an hour, but Owen and I finally marked our ballot and scored my beloved stickers. When we got home, Mia asked me who had won. I told her we had to wait all day to find out. She thinks that bites.

More fun with stickers here here and here.

Sort of hysterical, sort of pitiful

I blame you for this, internet.

Mia's tantrums subsided quite a bit once she got whatever it was about clothes out of her system, and we had a really good weekend. But at quiet time, she lost it. And so I took what many of you recommended and told her gently and kindly that I was sorry she was so upset but that if she was going to scream and cry she was going to have to do it in her room. So I shut her door and left her there and while I did pop in twice to deal with problems (took her pants off, got cold, couldn't get her pants back on) I just let her do it. And after about 50 minutes it got quiet. So I waited a few minutes more and went in to check on her.

I couldn't find her. Not in her bed, not behind her bed, not behind her chair. I thought she had snuck out and boy howdy was she going to be in trouble. Then I found her.

Can you tell where she is?

Yup, my precious baby is sound asleep in her closet. And that door was totally closed until I opened it looking for her. Mom of the Year over here, bitches, nobody even try to compete with me.

Meanwhile, I have a post up at my other site, and nobody reads it but I really want some input because I think it is sort of a fascinating topic. (Fascinating only to me, nobody get all excited and about it because you are setting yourself up for disappointment.) But, if you wanna talk a little but about kids' books, will you click on through and give me your input? Thanks.