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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Things I need you to tell me

Please tell me the following:

  1. Where to go for a pre-show dinner in NYC, keeping in mind that we are vegetarians who do eat fish but it isn't usually our first choice.

  2. Where a nearly 35 year old mother of two should look for a not overly expensive dress to wear to her 10th anniversary dinner at a restaurant where the other patrons are equally likely to wear jeans or evening gowns.

  3. That no 19 month old child has ever given up naps entirely in all the history of time and I therefore have nothing to worry about.

  4. How I should get my hair cut. You need to tell me this one before 6:00 today, which is when I leave to get my hair cut.

Ther was more, but typing this out on my iPhone while Owen screams in his crib and refuses to sleep has gotten more than a little tedious.

Bugged

I woke up this morning to larvae is my kitchen. Larvae. My first thought was "fuck, are those maggots?" After some research, I moved onto "thank god, those aren't maggots." And then I finally landed on "fuck, I wish those were maggots." Maggots seem to be pretty easy to get rid of, other possible sources of larvae, not so much. (People, never image search "maggots." You've been warned.)

Now, it was a grand total of about 12 larvae over the course of the day, which I think I can live through, provided there aren't any more. I asked Chris to pick up a flame thrower at Target on his way home, and he said they didn't have any, but I'm thinking Wal-Mart has to have them, right? And if the larvae keep coming, I will have to get one.

I have a bug... thing. Not a single-bug thing, which don't (he he) bug me all that much, but herds of bugs creep me out. I blame it on the day at the old house when I was walking up the front walk just as a massive termite swarm flew out of the door jamb and straight into my face. I never really recovered.

Which explains why I set out to just check the dry goods in the kitchen this afternoon, and then decided to go ahead and throw out the flour and crackers and pasta and cereal and corn meal that was open, and then decided I may as well be safe and pitch all of the wheat and rice and corn products, and ended up filling twelve trash bags with every bit of food from the pantry that wasn't in cans or jars. I am refusing to even speculate about how much money is out on the corner right now waiting for the garbage men, but at least I feel confident that I will not be feeding the children bugs.

So then I had to make Chris stop on the way home to replace the things I could not live without until tomorrow morning. And he did, and as soon as he brought them into the house I packed them into ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. So if you come over, that's why I have chocolate powder and granola bars in the freezer.

I haven't seen a bug in eight hours, except for the ones I generously saved in a baggie to show to Chris. (He was quite appreciative.) Wish me luck, would you?

Prima Ballerina

Signing Mia up for ballet class with her BFF was a brilliant idea. Getting them matching leotards was just the icing on the cake. I would post a picture of them together, but it would make your ovaries explode, so here's Mia, channeling her inner ballerina, and then reverting to her natural state.

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Right Answer/Wrong Answer

Him: Are you ok?
Me: Oh yeah, I'm just groping this massive third eye zit on my forehead.
Him: Ah, is that why you've been wearing you hair like that?
Me: Yup.
Him: I like your hair that way.
Me: Thanks. Unfortunately, the only hairstyle that hides the massive zit also showcases my biggest patch of gray hair.
Him: Yeah, I'd noticed you had a lot of gray hair lately.
Me: And you'd been doing so well too.

Big Girl

I don't know what happened to Mia over the summer. She... expanded.

I think it has a lot to do with swimming. On Memorial Day, we could barely coax her to put her toes into the baby pool. By August, she had taught herself to swim. By the time the pool closed this month she could go an entire length, 25 yards, without stopping.

Last Spring, she did two highly-unsuccessful rounds of swimming lessons. The main goal of these lessons was to get the kids to put their faces in the water and blow bubbles. Not only did Mia never do that, but half the time she wouldn't even get in the water. The instructor (who Mia adores, that wasn't the problem) recommended that I move Mia down a level. Instead, after our summer at the pool, I moved her up a level. And at her first class, the instructor said she was too good and had to skip that level completely. At her next class, someone she had never met before told her to jump into five feet of water, and she did it without hesitation.

When Mia started preschool last Fall, she cried about it every day. And I don't mean she cried the two days a week that she actually had school, she cried every single day because she was going to have to go back to school at some point in the future. She cried about school every single day for four months. And then she was better for a while, and then in the Spring it started again. I was terrified when school started again, and Mia was stressed about it for weeks beforehand. And every morning, she runs the entire way from our house to her school, singing and yelling all the way that she loves school. On the first day, she ran straight into her classroom and it took her five minutes to remember to come tell me goodbye.

And I'm so proud of her I could burst. Mia has always been a little shy, and now she walks up to people in the grocery store and tells them her life story. She makes immediate friends with any kids she meets. She will go and do and try anything, and then compose and perform an operetta about the experience. Suddenly, she's confident, and outrageous. and larger than life, and I am in awe of her.

Poll time!


Owen, Month 19

Sweet Owen,

You are nineteen months old. Over a year and a half! Closer to two than to one! The baby-ness melts from you by the day now, and sometimes by the minute. I think the main reason you seem so boy-ish rather than baby-ish lately is the way you talk. And oh boy, do you talk. You talk all day long, you know so many words and you add new ones at a constant rate. My favorite recent word is "crocodile." Just like that, very clear, four syllables, almost always followed by "aaaaaa," which is your version of the sound made by lions, dinosaurs, bears, and now crocodiles.

You have gotten descriptive lately. Doggy is now big doggy, chair is now high chair, car is now Mama car. Your favorite word is potty. You love to sit on the potty and go through all the motions, and you demand a trip every time you take advantage of your diaper. You always tell me about it moments after it is too late for the potty to do any good, but I wonder whether one of these days you will clue in and make it in time. I have no interest in potty training you at nineteen months, but if you are determined I won't stop you.

You are, well, frankly you are a menace. You can turn doorknobs and open doors, climb anything, start my car, blithely pluck childproof outlet covers from their outlets, and have just lately learned to open the gate at the bottom of the stairs. You have, by default, the run of the house that your sister didn't have for a full year later, and you are far too young to be anything but a series of accidents waiting to happen. You usually insist on walking down the stairs just like everyone else does, but you see it as a great chance to practice your "big jump." It is not. And I am glad you are so trusting that Mama will be there to catch you every time, but I wish you would cut it out.

You are constantly engaged in the composition and real-time performance of your No Opera. You yell no all day long, with or without cause, and in response to any provocation. Earlier tonight, when you were especially enraged that I would not allow you to play with the humidifiers, I asked you a series of 54 questions and your answer to all but one of them was "no." Where are your ears? No! Do you want some ice cream? No! Where is Mia? No! Are you sleepy? No! What's your name? Owen! However, your dedication to no has eaten into your tantrum time, and those have gotten a bit better over the last month. At least it is variety.

I have finally figured out how to get you to eat, most of the time, and how to get you to sleep fairly well at night, most of the time, but we haven't figure out how to get you to fall asleep at night in under an hour or before 8:45. Earlier bedtime, later bedtime, forced post-dinner three mile runs through the neighborhood, toys, books, no toys, no books, soothing music, no soothing music, nothing seems to have an impact. But most nights I am only up with you once and some nights and am not up with you at all, so it seems a fair trade.

Mia started back to school recently, and you are despondent. As soon as we drop her off, you ask for her. Every time I move toward the door, you get excited thinking we are going to get her. If we get into the car you start gleefully screaming her name and are crushed when I only take you to the grocery store. I hope the advent of Owen time will eventually make up for the loss of Mia. You do seem to be starting to enjoy the idea that we can take a walk and you can decide which way to go, that you can play with any toy you want, that Mama never tells you to wait just a minute while she finishes braiding hair or dressing princesses or checking feet for imaginary splinters.

And I am enjoying school. I am enjoying the chance to spend time with just you, to focus on just you, to see who you are when you get the opportunity to be the center of the world. I don't miss my baby boy anymore, because my little boy is such a joy.

As words fail me

First day of school

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Mia loves horses

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Owen feels as I do

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But he's fine once you take him off the horse

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Mia rides a rhino

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What is Owen so worried about?

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Oh. Alligator.

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Conceeded

"She looks like you," they tell me. "They" being everyone we meet or encounter or pass in slow-moving traffic. And my response is always "That's what they tell me." But yeah, ok, the kid looks like me.

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Sigh

So, I got into this diet and exercise thing this Spring as a beach/spending most of the summer in a bathing suit prep, and I did great. Exercised every day, ate really well, lost a bunch of weight (for me), it was great. And then we went to the beach in early July and I said screw the diet, this is vacation, and I never went back. And predictably, I did go back, to just about where I started.

Which sucks. It isn't a surprise, of course, but I had been fooling myself into thinking I had held off at least a couple of pounds.

And the thing that really pisses me off is that I was enjoying it. I loved exercising every day again, I liked how much better I felt when I ate less crap and less overall. It honestly was its own reward, and I don't know why I stopped.

Chris and I are taking our first ever trip away from the kids for our 10th wedding anniversary this Fall. We leave six weeks from today. (As always, if you want to break into my house while we are away, the blue rug and the inlaid screen in the living room are by far the most valuable things in the house - bring a friend and a dolly though, those buggers are heavy.) And so I'm going back on the wagon today to see if six weeks from today I can be closer to my wedding weight than my 38 weeks pregnant with child #1 weight.

There isn't that far to go. Ten pounds would be great, fifteen would probably be pushing it, twenty would definitely be too much. And just to motivate myself with shame, here's where I'm starting.

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I'm taking tips, if you have any.