Friday, June 30, 2006

The Complaining Complainer Who Complains

I recognize - when I write posts like yesterday's - that I'm a big fat whiny complainer.

I realize that some women would give anything to be nauseous and gagging and puking their guts out if it meant they were pregnant. There are women who would love to trade positions with me.

Before my brother came into their lives, my parents tried desperately to have a baby. (There's more about my brother in this post.) During this period, my mother attended numerous baby showers for others, all the while wishing she had good news of her own to share. My mother once told me that during a party for my newborn cousin, the other women cajoled her into holding the new baby. She wanted a baby of her own so badly that she could barely look at her sister-in-law's infant. She didn't describe the feeling as jealousy, but heartache. She couldn't bring herself to cuddle the baby, and didn't want to touch him. She laid my cousin in her lap for a polite amount of time, then handed him back to his beaming mother.

She said that for the entire time she held him, she wanted to push the baby off her lap.

My mother remembered that urge with horror and disbelief. She loves children, especially babies, and always has. She'll snuggle and coo at anyone's offspring, and will spend hours chasing and rolling around on the floor with a toddler to whom she's just been introduced. But she was filled with such longing for a baby of her own that she couldn't enjoy being with her new nephew.

I think of my friend in L.A., who has been eager to have a family since she got married in 2002. After one miscarriage, she and her husband have not conceived again.

I almost dread sharing our news with them. I know - because they are warm, wonderful, unselfish people with big hearts - that they will be happy for us. But I can't help but fear our joyful news will hurt them, her especially. Each month, her body betrays her and she is left feeling defective in some way. "Two!" I imagine her inside-the-head voice yelling, "Two babies! Lumpyhead's Mom will have two babies and I don't have one. It's so unfair."

And it is unfair. Because my L.A. friends will be great parents, whether they adopt, conceive, or simply continue to lavish attention and love on nieces and nephews and friends and pets. It is unfair because she would gracefully handle the trials of pregnancy and not bellyache about feeling tired or throwing up or being denied a martini.

Or maybe she'd be just as pissy as I am, but she would be giddy with happiness about being pissy.

So yes, as I write complainy posts, I know I should be grateful. I know I shouldn't be such a huge grumbling shithead.

I know.

Whatever. Bring me a damn popsicle.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crankypants Strikes Again

In case you're wondering, I'm still really cranky. I've managed to avoid the full-on puking [knocks wood furiously], but the dry heaves and nausea are still hanging around.

I've tried to explain morning sickness thusly: it's like a constant, low-grade hangover.

Let's imagine, shall we? Say you have an early meeting tomorrow morning, but a good friend is in town for only one night so you agree to meet up for some beers. After about four hours, some good conversation, and before-you-know-it holy-cow-that-many? beers, you bow out. You've got a respectable buzz, but nothing too goofy. Your judgment is intact enough that you decide not to drive home. You're leaving the action at the crucial tipping point in the evening. If you stuck around, you'd be doing Jagermeister shots with your buddies; instead, you're going home and going to bed, because you have to be at the office early.

But when you wake up in the morning, you're a little foggy. You had planned to hit the gym before going into the office, but abandon that idea quickly. Your goal of getting to work 30 minutes ahead of time slips and you roll in five minutes before your meeting starts. You can function just fine, but your tummy is a little tender. The smell of your colleague's egg sandwich might be the most disgusting thing to ever touch your nostrils. You eat lunch an hour later than usual, because nothing sounds even slightly appealing.

For the most part, that is what being pregnant is like.

But this low-grade hangover is punctuated by intermittent bouts of severe, gut-rotting, I'm-never-drinking-again hangover. You know what I mean: it's 11:30 on Saturday morning. You can remember snippets of the previous night up to a certain point, and what you can recall is pretty funny. You woke up at 8:00 a.m. to pee, felt like shit, so drank some water and took some aspirin. Now, your head isn't pounding any more, but you feel like absolute crap and one sip of orange juice makes you gag. An attempt to eat some fruit salad fails miserably, you puke it up in less than 10 minutes.

So, if you have this terrible hangover, what can you do?
1) Blame yourself, because you drank that much.
2) Vow never, ever to do it again.
3) Have a light beer around 3:30 p.m. and start the party over again.

Guess which one I always picked? Go on, guess.

If you're feeling this way because you're pregnant, however, what are your options?
1) Blame your husband, because it's his fault you're knocked up. Demand popsicles.
2) Vow that next time around, he's carrying the fetus, so help you god. He'll condescendingly agree, because he knows it will shut you the hell up. He may also bring you a popsicle.
3) Complain about not being able to drink. Demand another popsicle. Object loudly to the fact that the popsicle is not made of rum. Settle for strawberry.

Guess what happens in our house?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The APA Parenting Meme

Coming from Daddy in a Strange Land, I felt like this was more of an interview than a meme. It's pretty clever, actually - think of a bunch of questions you would like to ask another blogger and call it a meme. (You sneaky bastard, you.) I feel like a lot of my answers aren't APA-specific, because while being Asian is a big part of my appearance, it's not a large part of my culture.

So here goes.

1. I am:
A Korean adoptee. My parents are Dutch, and I was raised in a very Dutch community.

2. My kids are is:
Half Korean, half White Western European Mutt (mostly Polish and English, I think). Also Half White Trash. Ironically, the Half White Trash part is from the same parental source as the Half Korean.

Although I'm 100% certain the second one will have the same genetic makeup, s/he just isn't out yet. I don't want to jinx anything.

3. I first realized I was APA when:
I looked in the mirror. (I didn't exactly blend with the other blond, blue-eyed kids in town.)

Instead of stories about the day I was born, I heard stories about the day my parents came to get me at the airport. I came to them in a big bird (a 747 widebody). The stork myth held a lot of significance to me.

4. People think my name is:
Jennifer. I have no idea why, but if someone calls me by the wrong name, it's invariably Jennifer.

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
Farts are funny.

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
The Dutch Reformed Church. [shudder]

7. My child's first word in English was:
Then "cake" and "carrot." Also "book."

8. My child's first non-English word was:
All the other ones. I don't know what language he's speaking, but it doesn't seem to be English, and it often cracks him up.

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
"hopi maka" - which is a bastardization of the Dutch "to make a pile."

10. One thing I love about being an APA parent is:
How cute my kid is.

It's a very odd thing to have someone else on the planet look so much like you. I never really experienced that before - other than in the moronic "all Asians look alike" way. Lumpyhead looks very much like a combination of his father and me.

11. One thing I hate about being an APA parent is:
The question - asked in a disparaging tone - from other Asians, "Is his father White?"

12. The best thing about being part of an APA family is:
I don't have to put my son in a race box. He can check "other" like the rest of America.

13. The worst thing about being part of an APA family is:
I worry that he won't "belong" to any group, that he won't be "Asian enough" to be instantly accepted by Asians and won't be "White enough" to be considered White.

14. To me, being Asian Pacific American means:
Being beautiful.

I was going to tag CityMama, which I thought was sort of like tagging Dooce, but she's already been tagged. Can I get half-credit for it, though?

I'm tagging Daddy L from the Jasper Chronicles. He's Canadian, so he'll have to replace the corresponding "A"s with "C"s, but I'm sure he'll figure it out. I'm really interested to see how or if his answers are different from those coming from the south of the border.

I'm also tagging Bump - Yes, you'll have to read the answers to the same questions, again, on the same blog. Deal. I'm not sure if that's kosher or not in the grand scheme of meme-ing - I guess I'll take the blame if the world comes crashing down on itself or disappears into a vortex because I broke the meme rules. I'm tagging him because I'm pretty sure his answer to most/all of these questions is, "I never really thought about it." I could, I suppose, just ask him this at dinner, but this way he's more likely to give it more careful consideration.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Until Later Today, When All I'll Want To Do With Cookies Is Toss Them

I felt so nauseous after dinner that I decided to just go to bed, so at 2:00 am I was wide awake. I’m having odd cravings lately, but if I don’t satisfy them immediately, they’re often replaced by mild-to-severe aversion a few hours later.

It was under these circumstances that I came across Bridgette’s entry about baking and food and a photo of possibly the most delicious-looking chocolate chip cookies ever.

I was so pissed.

Pissed that she didn’t live closer, so I couldn’t just go over to her house and demand that she hand over the cookies now and no one gets hurt. Never mind that I’ve never actually met Bridgette and it was nearly 3 in the morning, but if she lived within 20 minutes of my house, I would have gone knocking, all greasy-haired and twitchy with cookie-jonesing.

The only cookies in the house are some Chips Ahoy Bump had stashed, but Bridgette’s looked all soft and chewy and warm, so I knew those crusty crunchy Elf cookies wouldn’t do.

I don’t have any room temperature butter, so I couldn’t just make my own damn cookies. Plus, it was 3 in the morning, and I wasn’t sure how Bump would respond to my clanging around the kitchen making cookies. (Who am I kidding? If Bump woke at 3:30 to the smell of chocolate chip cookies, he would come tearing out of the bedroom, squealing like a middle-school girl over Orlando Bloom. He would then proclaim me the Most Fabulous Woman Ever. Or, he would blearily ask me what the hell I was doing, clanging around at 3 am, I’m gonna wake up the baby already.)

Moot point anyway, I wasn’t making cookies.

But! A few days ago I sent Bump to get the makings for rice krispie treats, because I needed some immediately. Predictably, I lost all interest in the thought of rice krispie treats some time later and have had marshmallows and cereal sitting on the counter ever since.

The Le Crueset dutch oven was still out from dinner, so it seemed like a good idea to use it. (White Trash meets Foodie! It’s like Lumpyhead, only less of a metaphor!)

I felt really smart when the marshmallows and butter melted beautifully. "Ha!" I thought, "Why doesn’t everyone use enameled cast iron to make rice krispie treats? This is great!"

Once I added the cereal and had to transfer the sticky, warm goo to a pan, I realized why the craze for making rice krispie treats in Le Creuset hasn’t swept the nation. Holding enameled cast iron in one hand while trying to pour a hot, clingy substance into another vessel is rather tricky. Difficult, even. That would be why all the recipes recommend a saucepan. (A saucepan, dumbass.)

But I completed the task and you know what? Picking warm marshmallow-coated rice krispie bits off the pan? At 3 in morning? Awesome.

And the dutch oven cleaned up really easily. If you can just find someone to help you hold the pan, I highly recommend using Le Creuset for your next rice krispie treat adventure.

So, now that the rice krispie treats are cooled and ready to be cut? I don’t really want one. I want one of Bridgette’s damn cookies.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Grandma Sophie

In a week and a half, Bump, Lumpyhead and I will head to Minnesota to visit my family. It's our first trip there since Lumpyhead was born; it will also be the first time my grandmother will see Lumpyhead.

I fear it will be the last.

My grandmother's health has declined over the past few years. I remember her as vibrant and active; I struggled to keep pace with her when I was in high school. If she wasn't canning the beans from her garden, she was baking bread or cleaning her house or painting the garage. If my mother invited Grandma to dinner, she would rarely come. If instead my mother asked Grandma to come help her __________ [insert "clean," "cook," "bake," "paint," "mow". . . whatever] and then stay for dinner, however, Grandma always said yes. If she couldn't be helpful, she preferred to stay home.

A series of small strokes has left Grandma confused, tired, and angry. Her conversations are stilted as she searches for the words that have disappeared from her mind. She is frustrated when her memory fails her. Her personality has changed.

She is short with my mother, and sometimes is downright mean. She's depressed. She doesn't sleep well.

She had a near accident in her car, so at her request, my uncle sold it. She relies on my dad to take her to the grocery store once a week. It drives her crazy that her children won't let her mow her own damn lawn. They take care of her yard for her, but in her opinion, they always come a day or two later than it needs to be done.

Every once in awhile someone from town will see her on her front walk with the weedeater, and instantly tattle on her to my parents or uncle. At the next Sunday dinner my mom or uncle will chide her for doing yardwork again, which she'll deny. After being busted because so-and-so saw her on Tuesday with the weedeater, she'll claim she was only out there for five minutes because the walk needed trimming and "you kids weren't coming to mow until Thursday." There will be much eyerolling and sighing on everyone's part, and Grandma will begrudgingly promise to call my mother or my aunts next time. Which, well, you know.

She's old and feeble and sick. And it makes me so sad.

I want Lumpyhead to know the woman she used to be. The hard-working, strong, funny lady who made me popcorn when we watched The Love Boat and Fantasy Island together. Instead, if he remembers her at all, he will know the disoriented, gloomy old person who talks slowly and took my grandmother away.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I'm not going to BlogHer.


It sounds really fun, but I can't swing it, work-wise (meaning I wouldn't be able to get the time off). Also, I would ruin this carefully crafted anonymity I have going.

(Snort. I'm an Asian woman from a town of 200 people. Call anyone in that town, ask about the Asian chick who lives in DC now, and they'll give you my name. Probably also my family history along with a story about how my Grandpa Ray used to put firecrackers up cats' butts when he was little.)

(Also, I've posted pictures of my damn face. How anonymous is that? Not very, is the answer.)

But! But! You don't know where I live so you can't mail me threats or pipe bombs.

(Also, you can't mail me cookies. Which, waah.)

You also can't stalk me or rob my house when I go on vacation.

(Why would you stalk me? I'm not even that nice. And are my mismatched Ikea bookshelves fetching so much money on the street that people are looking to steal my stuff? Because honestly, the mismatched Ikea bookshelves are probably the most expensive things in our house. I have nothing valuable yet portable for thieves to burgle.)

(I'm so boring, I can't even get my babysitters to rifle through the underwear drawers. Believe me, I've offered, but they all seem to just carefully tend to the baby and then watch tv once he's gone to sleep. Them and their <airquote> responsible< /airquote> <airquote> behavior.< /airquote>)

(Does the period go on the inside or the outside of the airquote? Oh never mind.)

So, my precious anonymity . . . Yeah, whatever.

But I'm still not going to San Jose.

Did I mention, "Waah"?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And Verily, I Wanted to Throw Up

I've been reading a lot of "lo" and "behold" and "ye" in blogger conversation lately, so I wanted to join in the Biblical interjection fun.

On Sunday evening Aunt Bob asked me how I was feeling, and I cheerfully announced that I was feeling pretty good. Much better, certainly, than I did the first time around. Well, the Nausea Gods heard me and their vengence was swift and mighty. Yea, did I feel their wrath.

We ordered pizza, I smelled it, and verily, I wanted to throw up.

I ate some of the cheesy bread that I ordered because it sounded so yummy, it was very garlicky, and verily, I wanted to throw up.

I took the metro to the dentist over lunch yesterday, read my blackberry whilst on the train, and verily, I wanted to throw up. (Yes, one would think I would have remembered that reading the blackberry on the train is stupid, but lo, I am not very bright.)

I read the Linda Hirshman discussion on the Washington Post, and verily, I wanted to throw up.

She reports that a lot of women seem to have that reaction to her.

I've been keeping my distance on the whole Mommy Wars thing, but it's time I got my damn head out of the sand. Honestly, I did not find her as offensive as I thought I would.

Maybe it's because she's telling women to do what I'm doing. (Ha, ha, she's yelling at you but not me. I'm the crazy lady's pet.) She's doing it in a less than diplomatic way, but if she didn't cause controversy, she wouldn't sell books. I also think she firmly believes what she is saying, that educated women staying home with their babies are selling feminism short and letting us all down.

Ms. Hirshman seems to think that if you're not furthering the cause of economic equality, you're part of the problem. It's your fault there's still a wage gap and not enough female CEOs and no women in math and science.

Stay-home parenting isn't the only field that is dominated by women and undervalued by society, but it's probably the only one so rewarding that highly educated women chose it over the careers for which they've spent years training. There aren't many college-educated women leaving their corporate jobs to became cashiers.

Ms. Hirshman thinks jobs like child-rearing should be left to those who haven't studied at elite universities, and trading the boardroom for a board book and a sippy cup is counter-productive to gender equality. Choices that make the world a better place but don't maximize your earning potential aren’t helping feminism along.

They're just making the world a better place.

So shame on you. Shame on you for raising bright, well-adjusted children. Shame on you for not being a pioneer every damn day. Because unless you're out in the workforce, busting through glass ceilings and using your fancypants education to build networks, Hirshman's feminism has no place for you. Forget that you're raising the next generation of men and women - raising them to value important things and honor others and disagree respectfully - because you might as well have been born in 1930. We should probably take away your right to vote. Also your blog. (What's with the dissing of the mommybloggers? Ms. Hirshman slams her critics as pregnant Bible-thumping dunderheads. That's probably not the best way to foster civilized debate.)

So here's my problem. In the first words of her article, she says it's "[f]unny that most men rarely make the same 'choice.'" Ahem. Over here? The mommyblogger writing about nausea? (ooh, nausea! How original and creative!) I disagree.

I think in Ms. Hirshman's eyes, I'm doing the right thing for feminism. Yet she insults my husband and his chosen field.

"Prepare yourself to qualify for good work, treat work seriously, and don’t put yourself in a position of unequal resources when you marry," she says. Good advice, indeed. But when she goes on to suggest that if you want to stay in the workforce you should find yourself a liberal or an artist, but certainly "marry down," I start to get a little twitchy.

She tells women that if you don't have a full-time partner in child-rearing, you're getting a bad deal. She says "When men can count on stay at home wives, they have a huge advantage at the office." Yes, and yes again. But does feminism demand that all educated mothers work full-time, even if they hate it?

What bothers me the most is that she's not offering a solution. She offers no better way to ensure that the next generation of Americans is well-adjusted, happy and healthy. Are we to turn the raising of our children to nannies and daycare centers? If you have a degree, is that the choice you must make? If you want to be a mom, are you supposed to just wait by the side of the road after graduating from high school so some nice man can come rescue you?

I hope Bump, Peter, Daddy in a Strange Land, Mom-101's Nate, and all the other stay-home dads out there are helping to stand Hirshman's criticisms on their head.

Stay home with your children if you want to stay home with them. Your degrees, your alma mater, and your fellow women can support you or kiss your ass.

If you're working full-time and hating it, wanting to spend your days with your children, stay home. If you're staying home and feeling isolated, unrewarded and bored, but going back to work would make you a terrible mother, bite me. No, it's not always an easy choice. But make the one that's right for you. If the one you picked isn't working for you, make a change. If your husband would never consider staying home himself because that's "beneath him," he's an asshole.

And if Linda Hirshman says something that makes you angry, ignore her. It's not like she's your dinner guest.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Things I'm Re-Learning

If you have a minor problem with motion-sickness anyway, and you read your blackberry on the metro while newly pregnant, plan to become really, really sweaty from the nausea.

If you forget to take your prenatal vitamin at night, so take it in the morning, be prepared to gag intermittently for several hours.

Duet chewable prenatal vitamins are the nastiest-ass shit you've ever tasted. The aftertaste is a combination of three-day old trash that's been left in the sun, funky fridge, and spoiled meat (with a hint of oak and new-mown grass); and there's nothing you can do to get rid of it. If you swallow them whole instead of chewing them, they get stuck about half way down and you can feel the mass for at least an hour.

WTF? Is that some kind of joke? Create a disgusting product specifically for an audience that's already feeling a little queasy?


That is all. For now.

Crankily yours,
Lumpyhead's Mom Sibling-Pod

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Somebody needs to go on a diet

By Bump

Lumpyhead had a routine follow-up appointment today with the pediatric surgeon who performed his butthole embiggening.

Our exam room had a scale. It had been a while since I’d been on one, so I decided to weigh myself. I’d lost a few pounds after Lumpyhead was born—not a lot, but enough so that people commented on it and my pants kept sliding down my butt. This was partly because LHM was burning so many calories with breastfeeding that she was eating my leftovers for once, not vice versa; and partly because being a stay-at-home dad afforded me little opportunity to snack. Or eat lunch, for that matter.

Pre-Lumpyhead, I think the heaviest I’d ever been was about 290; by a couple of months ago, I was down to 265. Well, I stepped on the scale today, growing increasingly worried as I slid the little weight further and further to the right (the big weight was already on 250; I wasn’t fooling myself). I couldn’t believe it when the balance finally dropped on the 48.

298? Two-hundred and ninety-freakin-eight pounds?!?!?!? I was stunned. I mean, I know I’ve been indulging my sweet tooth a bit too regularly lately, but this is ridiculous. I need to go on a diet ASAP. Exercise. The whole nine yards. Holy crap.

Anyway, the rest of the appointment was fine. After a 45 minute wait, we saw the doctor for less than 5 minutes, and we were on our way. It wasn’t until we were in the car that I realized that I’d been holding Lumpyhead when I was on the scale.


What an idiot.

School's Out For Summor

I got this from Electricyoak yesterday, with the subject line: Class Valedictorian.

The email was from a friend of his colleague, who said, "This car was in front of me at a stoplight in Eden Prairie today. The more I think about this, the funnier it gets."

I was going to fuzz out the license plate, but decided not to.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

You Gotta Have Friends

As Lumpyhead grows up, I hope he is blessed with good friends. I hope he finds the kind of friends that I have. The kind who feel like family.

My friends are all smarter than me. I think this is a brilliant strategy on my part, to have really smart friends.

Because in the end, if your friends aren't smarter than you, why have them around? Shouldn't your friends be able to give you an answer to a crossword puzzle or help you work through your problems or bail you out of jail? (I mean, if you're all sitting in the hooskow together, you're kinda fucked.) You should have at least one friend who consistently has better judgment than you, right?

I like to think I'm not a complete drain on the relationship; I bring something to the party. They may be smarter than me in certain respects, but I can hold my own in others.

(I guess I have some friends who aren't smarter than me at all, but they're certainly a blast to be around. Those friends who are dumber than me in all respects, who make poorer choices than I do, are endlessly entertaining. Those three things are probably related, come to think of it.)

If you are judged by the company you keep, I look pretty good. My friends are funny. They can laugh at themselves and others. They all possess that unique knack for self deprecation while still being able to openly ridicule dumb people.

My friends are reliable. I can honestly say if I made some odd, urgent request of any one of them right now, they would all come through for me. If I called and said I needed a ride to Philadelphia for something important, most would be at my door in twenty minutes. Some would be there in less time, particularly if the something important was a cheesesteak.

So here's hoping Lumpyhead chooses the right sort of people to hang with. People who are smart, funny, and reliable. Maybe even good-looking. I want him to know what a great thing true, lifelong friends are.

By the way, I'm not talking about you, so stop grinning like a monkey. You're the entertaining one.

Monday, June 12, 2006

But He's Not Very Grumpy

Lumpyhead has a hair across his ass.

Okay, not exactly.

This morning, Bump found a hair in Lumpyhead's diaper. "Look, a mama hair!" he called out.

"In his diaper?" I asked. "Or on the changing table?"

"In his diaper."

Bump has a buzzcut. Lumpyhead has thin hair that, while getting longer, is probably not more than three inches at the longest. If we find hair around the house, it's mine.

Unattached hair grosses me out. You think I would be over this by now, because my hair falls out a lot, but loose hair totally gives me the skeeves. The drawer I keep my hairbrush in is a nightmare. Every once in awhile I bite the bullet and clean it out, but most of the time I reach my hand in there and try not to think about it. My efforts to confine most of my shedding to the bathroom have been largely unsuccessful. My hair is all over the floor of my house, office, and car. Ick.

Blond or light-colored hair is even worse, because you can feel it, but you can't see it. Mine is at least dark enough that you can find the hair, pluck it off and throw it away. But it's still repulsive, even when it's mine.

It would have been no mystery to find a hair on the changing table. When I first wake up I'm even more prone to dropping a hair or three, and because Lumpyhead serves as my alarm clock, I often change his diaper first thing in the morning. I've found a stray hair on the changing table before. I was surprised, but not shocked, that a hair might turn up in the boy's pants.

But this hair wasn't transferred into his diaper from the changing table.

It's not a hair across his ass.

Lumpyhead has a hair in his ass.

He's pooping hair.

He apparently ate a loose hair, and it's working its way through.

Bump: I guess hair isn't very digestible.
Me: Yeah, you'd think the cellulose would break down more easily.
Bump: Huh. The stuff you learn when you spend so much time looking at another person's bunghole.

We discussed ways he might have ingested the hair. Did he just pick it up off the floor and eat it? Was it on one of his toys?

I can't tell you how horrifying I find this. My first thought was of my dad's childhood pet, a dog that died from eating a toy which obstructed its bowel. Could hair twist up Lumpyhead's digestive tract and kill him? (It's obviously coming out, so I'm pretty sure the answer is no.) Then I thought of the dreaded "hair tourniquet" that Aunt Bob told me about when her little guy was a newborn. Gah! (I obsessively checked Lumpyhead's fingers and toes for hair all the damn time.)

When I actually saw the strand, I was instantly reminded of my hair aversion. Poop really doesn't bother me at all. With Lumpyhead's butthole issues, I've done a rather intensive tour of duty at the terminal end of his digestive system, and I've been unfazed. Runny, solid, smelly, sticky, oily, green, brown, yellow, whatever comes at me, I'm fine. But hair? I could have fainted.

A loose hair. [shudder] Coming out of the boy's butt. [gasp] Which means he ate it. [thunk]

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Linked Post Doesn't Make Much Sense Because Sarah's Blog Doesn't Look Like That Anymore

I dithered about whether or not to post the, ahem, news. We didn’t openly share Lumpyhead’s existence until the start of the second trimester. I was a little superstitious, and more importantly, we didn’t want to have to un-tell people.

The people who knew about Lumpyhead from the start were the people we would have told if there were any problems or a loss. They were the people whose love and shoulders we would need if the unthinkable happened.

I’m a little uneasy about having this out there. Our parents don’t know yet. I’m not sure how I feel about strangers knowing before our families.

But I know this: I blog about what’s on my mind, and if anything is large and looming and distracting and ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT, it’s this. I don’t know how I could write around it.

I also know that during Lumpyhead’s surgery, the support and good wishes I received from the blogosphere were so uplifting - so overwhelming - I don’t know what I would have done without them.

So you know. I told my blog.

(You: You told your blog but you didn’t tell me? How could you? Me: You know about it now, don’t you? Shut up.)

So there it is. Can I get a little discretion, though, Real Worlders? At least until we tell our parents? Congratulate me privately or pretend you don’t know (even though I see you, lurking. I see you! Would it kill you to comment?) or help me keep it quiet. Bring me a club soda or give me a secret wink but for the love of god don’t ask me loudly why I’m not drinking.


And for those of you waiting with bated breath for Fork You, the next installment in the Drinking Game Challenge, sorry. It will be awhile. But I promise, once I'm back in the drinking saddle, Fork You: The Long-Awaited and Over-Hyped Drinking Game That Will Probably Be So Very, Very Lame will make its debut.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Because The Stick Said So Last Weekend

or Reasons I’m Not Pregnant

I don’t feel pregnant. (Really. And I oughtta know, right? Plus the stick thing is pretty iron-clad evidence.)

I’m not light-headed. (Except for that tunnel-vision thing, but that was because I was so tired I couldn’t see straight.)

[TMI alert] No boob tenderness. (Sorry Electricyoak, just forget I said that.)

I’ve gone to bed really early the last couple of nights, but my sleep schedule is all out-of-whack. (I went to bed too late a couple of other nights. But did I nap on those days?)

I felt nauseous on the drive home last night, but that was because I was so tired. (Tuesday night, too, but for the same reason. See above.)

We’re going to the beach in August, and I really don’t want to have to be sober the whole time.

I reveled in not being a child-pod on Tuesday.

[TMI alert] I mean, it was just that once on the edge of what possibly could have been the right time last month. What are the chances?

Wait, the boob-tenderness thing is often absent for second pregnancies?

[TMI alert] My cycle’s been a little weird, with the weaning and restarting only a couple of months ago, so last weekend might have been too early for the stick.

Because the stick said something different on Tuesday night.

That guy? Was Bump.

Consider yourself blogformed. Or enblogged. Or blogified.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Like Blogstipated, But Not

I read the term “blogstipated” somewhere - I’m sorry, I don’t remember where, but it was made up by one of the creative souls whose lovely online diary I frequent. (I googled it and it’s everywhere, so I don’t know who deserves credit.) I think it’s a particularly apt term for blog writer’s block; a wonderful description of that less-than-creative feeling, or when you don’t have anything of note to say.

I think there needs to be a term for when you find out about significant events in your friends’ lives through their blogs.

Me: So I [insert Thing I’m Going To Do or Moronic Thing I Did].
Pete: Really? (to Aunt Bob) Did you know about this?
Aunt Bob: Yeah, I read it on her blog.

Aunt Bob: Did I tell you about [Thing]?
Me: No, but I read your post about it. That’s [Great/Really Exciting/Shitty].
Bump: What? What happened?

Me: Mateo’s baptism time got moved to 1:30.
Bump: Did you talk to Pepper today?
Me: No, it’s on the blog.

What do you think? What should we call it when you don’t have anything to say to “So what’s going on with you?” when your friends ask, because you’ve written about everything worth talking about on your blog, and they read you?

Enblog? Blogform?

“I told her about our upcoming trip to Minnesota, but she’s already been enblogged.”

“Do you think I need to call him about that, or can I assume he’s been blogformed?”

What do you think?

Hey, remember that guy I told you about? The one who wants a promotion and a raise? No? Here.

I don’t want to jinx anything because it’s not official yet, but it looks like things are going to work out for him. I’m really excited and happy for him.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Before I went to sleep last night, I composed a post in my head about not having enough time with Lumpyhead. The long holiday weekend and two vacation days last week - followed by two short days at work before the weekend - spoiled me. The harsh reality of the regular old routine set in yesterday, complete with the knowledge that it would be four days before I was able to spend a whole day with the baby again. Four more days of seeing him for only an hour before work and an hour afterward.

You'd think that after this unfinished post, I would have been psyched when Lumpyhead woke this morning at a little after five. "Sweet!" you'd think I would have said, "Extra time with the baby!"

Except, yeah, not so much.

Blearily, I rocked him; he was drowsy but wouldn't go back to sleep. I tried laying him down in our bed to see if he wanted to sleep there. He didn't. (It would have set us back with the sleep training anyway, so it was probably for the best.) We rocked some more. He was quiet and his eyelids were oh so heavy, but he decided he was done sleeping for the morning.

So I changed his diaper, gave him some breakfast, then got out some toys. At about 6:45, I felt the full-body chill of impending exhaustion. I sat on the floor, playing with Lumpyhead, wrapped in a blanket. I realized that if I was going to get through the three meetings I had today without nodding off, I needed to do something. If I went back to bed right then, I could squeeze in a half an hour of sleep. So woke up Bump, handed off the baby, and snuggled under the covers for a nap.

From bed, I could hear Lumpyhead babbling and squealing, and it made me sad. It reminded me of the phone calls I get at the office from Bump, when I can hear Lumpyhead in the background giggling at himself in the mirror or telling some elaborate story that only he understands.

I felt left out of my son's life.

I was making a conscious choice to do something other than spend time with Lumpyhead, after complaining (only in my own head, but it was still complaining) about how little face time I have with him.

I felt terrible. I was tired. I was trying to will myself to sleep, but was not able to make it happen. After ten minutes, the babbling stopped and Lumpyhead went down for his morning nap. After another ten minutes, my extremities had warmed up and my nose no longer felt like an icicle. The adrenaline rush of guilt had worn off, and I was sluggish again.

I hadn't slept, but it was too late. I staggered out of bed, running into the doorframe on the way to the shower. I went to work and had a bout of tunnel vision while I stumbled to the carryout for some coffee. Thank goodness I'm no longer an operating dairy or a child-pod so I can avail myself of the sweet, sweet magic of caffeine.

I should have gone to bed earlier last night, but a fat lot of good that sentiment does you as you're struggling to stay awake during meetings and keep the imaginary ants off your arms.

At least I'll get another hour of Lumpyhead time tonight.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Family from a Strange Land

On Friday, Lumpyhead, Bump and I met Daddy in a Strange Land, la dra. and The Pumpkin. We spent waaaay too much on a fabulous dinner, the babies behaved pretty well, and it was quite wonderful to meet people who - despite being perfect strangers except for what you read on a blog and who live on the other side of the country - are exactly like you in so many ways.

Aren't they cute? Couldn't you just eat 'em up?

The Family from a Strange Land is wrapping up a two-week East Coast tour while their kitchen is in the midst of a remodel. Their ability to do this, all with a 19-month-old, amazes me. I would be a quivering bunch of goo, occasionally popping my head out of random hotel rooms to get more beer, hissing at Lumpyhead "Don't touch that! It's dirty!"

Them? They're out meeting bloggers, seeing the sights, and possess the intestinal fortitude to take their toddler to a fancy-pants restaurant. They even gave Lumpyhead a birthday present.


I could barely keep it together on a four-day trip to North Carolina where I was surrounded by in-laws eager to hold the baby so I could eat. If my kitchen were being remodeled, I don't think I could cope. I can barely handle moving - when all my stuff is in boxes and nothing is where it should be - the thought of having a room in my house under construction nearly sends me to my bed.

So yes. While meeting Daddy in a Strange Land was terrific, it confirmed my status as a whiny wimp.

But look! Pictures! Of cute babies!

The Pumpkin and Lumpyhead
The restaurant follows dessert with cotton candy and warm macaroons. I think because we had two babies at our table, they gave us more cotton candy than usual.
Yes, it's bigger than her head.

And finally, bloggers with progeny:

Friday, June 02, 2006

Random Shit and A Fan - A Postmortem

The long-awaited results of the Inaugural Drinking Game Challenge are here!

The verdict: lame.

Rather, Lame.

Yes, with a capital "L."

If we had absolutely nothing else to do, I suppose it would be a good way to kill a few hours (and a few dollars worth of United States postage).

Special thanks to Aunt Bob and Sarah, who helped road test the game.

Here are the assembled game pieces (and Aunt Bob).
We filled the mug half-full with water, because we didn't have any coffee and we thought water would be neater. We also didn't have a desk fan, so we used a full-sized one.

Here's another photo, complete with the Idiots Trying the Game and some offspring:
This is Sarah's photo, which is better. I look dumber, but it's a better shot of the equipment. Plus, it's got more offspring:
I began as the Arranger/Chooser/Fan Turner-Oner, and affixed thusly:
The plain post-it note is on the top, the water-dipped one is at 3 o'clock, and the one with hand sanitizer on it is at 8 o'clock. I don't remember which postage stamps are which, but there's a naked one, a water-dipped one, and one with hand sanitizer on it. Didn't I do a lovely job of arranging? (Drink one for this, if you're playing along at home. We forgot to toast me and my lovely job of arranging when we played; I feel like such a chump.)

The fan was on when I plugged it in (oops) thanks to tiny fingers, so we got a preview of how things would work (Cheaters!). Based on our ill-gotten information, I chose the post-it dipped in water, Sarah chose the post-it with antibac, and Aunt Bob took the naked post-it by default. We could tell the stamps weren't going anywhere.

Here's the full photo of the above shot from Sarah. It's right before I powered up the fan. Can you feel the excitement? The anticipation? Look, Aunt Bob is reaching for her beer.I turned on the fan (again) and we drank. Sarah took a great action shot, no?
I know it looks like I'm going to win, but in a shocking upset, Aunt Bob's post-it flew off first, with Sarah's and mine flying off pretty immediately thereafter. Serves us right for cheating. I think mine came off a millisecond before Sarah's.

We only played once, even though the rules specify that each player gets to be the Sticker/Arranger/Fan Operator, but 1) the game is lame and 2) there were thirty tiny fingers jockeying for the chance to be hacked off by the fan (it would have been forty, but Lumpyhead was in bed). So we put the tempting, tempting Fan of Finger Off-Hacking away.

Side Note: I made a mess when I stopped drinking rather suddenly and my beer foamed up. (Party foul! Drink.) I thought the items would take longer to blow off.

Lesson: We learned that pink post-its plus antibacterial hand sanitizer equals pink stains on hardwood floors. Sorry Aunt Bob and Pete.

Because I am the World's Worst Dogsitter, I know that germ-free pink post-it stains are not the worst thing to ever happen under Aunt Bob and Pete's dining room table (uh, yeah. Sorry about that, too) but I still felt bad.

Here's a helpful hint, if you try this yourself: Don't use neon post-it notes. (I don't know why in the world you would try this yourself, but I feel it's an important lesson that needs to be learned only once, you know?)

It's probably a good thing we only had three players, because if someone had to choose one of the stamps, they might still be drinking now. A week later.

The stamps were just fine after playing one round [Dutchness alert] so I dried them off and saved them for use as actual postage later.

Here's hoping Fork You (coming next week - jeez, with all this buildup it's going to be a crushing disappointment) is better. Hell, it can't be any worse.

Oooh, I forgot to tell you, because you would be all jealous and probably say mean things about me behind my back: I'm meeting Daddy in a Strange Land today! Live and in person! Family from a Strange Land is in town for a wedding, so I'll be meeting la dra. and The Pumpkin too.

Are you jealous? I know you are.

(Look, I distracted you from my bad drinking game by the shiny, sparkly news of meeting another blogger! But then I just reminded you of it again. Crap.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Because I Like to Steal (and Lie)

Nothing But Bonfires did a frequently asked questions post a few weeks ago. She said she would answer her questions while waiting for her plane at Newark, and one of the questions was this:

When you are sitting in the airport, surrounded by fellow passengers, I would like you to pick out three of them and come up with a scenario in which they are all connected. Or tell us their life stories, or where they are going, or what they will be eating for dinner.

I adore this question, and am sorry Holly ducked it. She was no longer at the airport while answering her questions, so she just told us what she was having for dinner. Since she's not using it, I'm stealing it.

Well, kind of.

I love to make up stuff about complete strangers. Bump and I used to commute together, and on the drive home I would provide irregular installments of a story about a bachelor who lived in a highrise we drove past each night. It took a couple of editions for Bump to realize I didn't really know this guy and was making it all up.

"The guy who lives in the third unit on the left is really lonely. He orders Mary Kay and Avon cosmetics for his 'wife,' only he doesn't have a wife. He does it just to have some company."

This story made Bump very sad, to think about such a lonely man. Also, it was kinda creepy.

A couple of days later, I admitted, "The Mary Kay lady knows this man isn't really married, but doesn't mind coming over to his house to visit. It helps her sales numbers."

Every once in awhile, Bump would ask about the guy, and the story would continue. "So is the Mary Kay lady just using this guy to perk up her sales?"

"No, she's actually quite fond of him. He's not a creep, he's just lonely."


"What does this guy do?"

"He's a contractor for a government agency. He goes to an office every day, but he doesn't know anyone there very well. He doesn't have a lot of interaction with colleagues."


"What about the Avon lady?"

"She's nice enough, but kinda clueless. She's an old woman who has been wearing the same shade of bright pink Avon lipstick for 45 years. The guy much prefers the Mary Kay lady."

Sometimes Bump would get really detailed with the questions. "So the Mary Kay lady suspects this guy isn't really buying makeup for his wife. Does she wonder what he does with all the makeup he buys? What does he do with it all?"

"Sure she does. She's curious about it. He keeps it all in the linen closet. The Mary Kay lady is going to tell him that battered women's shelters take unopened makeup as donations, so in case he's keeping it around, he can put it to good use. Next weekend he'll box it all up and donate it."

Sometimes I would just blurt a new detail as we drove by.

Me: His name's Frank.
Bump: Whose name is Frank?
Me: The guy in that building. The one who buys the makeup.
Bump: Okay.


Me: She confronted him.
Bump: Who confronted who?
Me: The Mary Kay lady confronted Frank. She told him she knew he wasn't really married.
Bump: Oh. How did that go?
Me: Pretty well. Frank was embarrassed, but glad to get it off his chest, I think. He told her that he donated the makeup, and she seemed pleased about that.

One day, I announced that Frank and the Mary Kay lady were dating. Bump smiled, and said he hoped things worked out for them. I think Bump grinned the rest of the way home.