25 September 2007

Tuesday is the New Saturday (because I am not working today, that's the only thing they really have in common)

Debate with Toddler, Round II
"You lay on the white poller and I lay on the green poller."
"This poller is orange, and that poller is white."
"Um, okay, but I think your pillow is green. You just told me that."
"This one is orange, and that one is white."
"That one is green, and this one is white."
"We'll just have to agree to disagree."

You say potato, and I say vagina
Also, by evening on the day of the potato-vagina debates, everything was vagina (bachina). Bachina bachina bachina. Bachina for dinner. Bachina on the phone. Bachina in the bedtime book.

As of today, the bachina storm seems to be on its way out, unless you ask Bird what something is called, because you know it's gonna be bachina. My favorite is her scuffed and beloved baby Stella, now known affectionately as Bachina Baby if you ask.

Finally I get to really pretend to be a stay-at-home mom
Bird and I went to story time today at the public library downtown, and she's now sleeping off all of the excitement of the puppets and the songs and the other kids, worn out from exclaiming things. It was all shock and awe at the Story Time today. Bird even walked right up to the puppeteer/ story reader after it was all over and gave him a proper toddler stare down, she was so impressed (and so brave).

We showed up a half-hour early (or a half-hour late, take your pick) for one of the three story times scheduled for today, and went upstairs to check out some books from my list while we waited. I set my water bottle down while dewy-decimaling, and took a few steps away from it to a different shelf. And Bird said, in a non-library voice, "MOMMY! DON'T LEAVE YOUR BEER!"

21 September 2007

I'm Really Just an Old Man on a Park Bench Yelling at the Pigeons

So I had a patient visit today, in a little town out past the suburbs that's getting too big for its britches, if you ask me. I stopped for lunch on my way back through the 'burbs, and I would like to say this publicly: If I ever declare that I am moving to the suburbs, you should know that this is code for "Jesus, take me home, I'm ready to go." I know it works for some people, and sometimes it even seems appealing to me, what with the wide sidewalks and lack of people picking through your trash for cans. But still. For me it's a no-can-do.

The suburbs do crazy things to me, and the soccer-mom traffic makes me hostile and free with the fuck-yous. (though I do not give the finger. Ask my friend J. what happens when you give the finger. You get a brick through your window, that's what.) But anyway.

The suburb I was in today is totally Snootsville. I only stopped there because I had a little extra time and I knew there was a Target + Panera plaza, and I figured that after I watched my patient's daughter stick a tube in the tracheotomy hole in her neck and suck out the mucous, my employer could spring for a soup and salad combo. Also thought I might try to find myself an inexpensve lightweight jacket to wear over t-shirts and tank tops to work, with maybe my gnarly old black heels, maybe something in an army green. Surely Target would have something like that.

What I actually bought: Lucky magazine*, because I like to window shop when I am in the loo, two pumice stones from the dollar bin, and a light blue tee shirt that would have gone great with a lightweight army green jacket, had I found one.

What happens to me when I spend too much time in Snootsville is that I start saying things outloud, kind of under my breath, that are actually directed at people-- things like:
Are you fucking serious? (by far the most common grumble) Do you really need that much car? Do you think that looks natural? No, really, YOU go first. Extensions? Really? Do you expect people to believe those are your actual boobs?

Things like that. Under my breath. Because I just get so fed up. And the mumbling and grumbling at people just brings me one step closer to being just like the crazy guy in my neighborhood that points at passing cars and hollers and does a little jiggy shuffle. Except that he actually has a lightweight, army-green jacket, and I have yet to find one.

There was a woman at Panera that came in at the same time I did, balancing a toddler on one hip and dripping with bags of various sizes and shapes on the rest of her free arm space. At first, I really felt for her. I know what it's like to be a pack mule. But then she just kept stomping around the place in her gigantic heels, sighing and rolling her eyes at everything, bumping into people and cutting in line at the drink station and jumping in front of an older couple to place her order and just being extra-rude in general. And then I noticed that one of her bags was actually a purse-dog carrier.
With a fucking purse-dog in it.
So I said, sort of under my breath,
"Good thing you brought THE DOG."

And she heard me.
My first reaction was something like a little internal "eep!" and I tried to look away, but then got ballsy and looked her right in the face and took all the stink eye she could give me because geez, lady, don't give that old guy a bunch of shit because you just had to bring your fucking dog to Panera.

I also saw a high school cheerleader in uniform and I am not even kidding you when I say that the skirt did not come close to covering her ass. By the time Bird hits high school the cheerleaders will just be naked, slithering around stripper poles on the sidelines, letting everyone see their potatoes. (Hey, come to my eightieth birthday, everyone! I am old and crotchety!)

*I did notice in my Lucky magazine that everybody in the photos has these bangs I have, and I had no idea they were so much the thing. I mean, I guess I had to know somewhere in my brain but I really was surprised to see it on all of these swank models in the shiny pages. Of course, looking at myself in the mirror in the bathroom in my silver hoop earrings and white button-down shirt, and I look more like maybe I should be sitting in a little booth somewhere on the Jersey Turnpike collecting tolls.

Abe Says Eff It

My husband has sent me the link to this shirt twice in two days. I finally had to tell him that while it is truly hilarious (and I sincerely mean that), I just couldn't support the idea of him walking into daycare to pick up bird in a shirt like that. You know, with that foul language that offends me so deeply.

O Pish Posh linked to my Granny-ola on the same day that I was planning to link to her play-dough recipe, which is on my list of things to do this weekend. Can't wait-- I remember my mom making this and I'm so glad she posted it. I'll let you know how it goes.

And Velocibadgergirl at Pardon the Egg Salad posted about a camping trip at one of my favorite places in Indiana and maybe the world, Turkey Run State Park. Go see those pics, folks. I spent many a weekend there growing up and her post brought back many, many memories, only a few of them involving fearing for my life in an old school bus trailing a bunch of canoes on a dirt road while being driven to the "put-in." Ah, Turkey Run.

Publish Post

20 September 2007

Blazzy Blazzy

As promised, here is my Mama's recipe for homemade, bullshit-free granola/ breakfast bars, which she suspects she adapted from a recipe printed in the oft-used, dog-eared, spiral bound cookbook that lived on top of our refrigerator throughout my childhood. It's still in print, probably updated, and I think I might just hafta buy myself a copy for old times' sake.

Granny's Granola Bars
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 cups granola (I used Cascadian Farms plain Granola)
1 cup raisins
  • combine first three ingredients over med heat until creamy
  • add granola and raisins + mix
  • press into 9 X 13 pan and chill overnight
Delicious this time, and, not being able to leave well enough alone, here's what I'll do next time:
  • Maybe use almond butter, just to try it
  • probably cut some of the granola and sub with sunflower seeds, nuts, flax seeds
  • probably add other dried fruit-- dates, figs, apricots-- in addition to the raisins
  • I will definitely score the bars before chilling-- cutting required some muscle.
Kill Your Television
We're almost TV-free in our house. We watched a short edu-video with Bird last night, and aside from that, I can't remember the last time it was on. Okay, my dad watched some golf last weekend. But. I'm not telling you this to be one of those judgy mothers that says "oh, I wouldn't know, we don't watch tv at our house." I'm telling you this because I'm proud of this tele-weaning even though it was in some ways accidental, and also because I've noticed a chill in the air and I realized that fall is nearly upon us and I have no idea when LOST starts back up again. Do you know? Will you please tell me? Because I have not missed an episode yet and I do not plan on starting now.

Need Recommendations
Two things:
1. Fiction to read. Your thoughts, please. I'm number 997 on the hold list at the library (labia) for everything I want right now.
2. Photo sharing. Seriously. Anyone have thoughts about shutterfly vs. flickr? anyone? Because I think I have to pay Flickr some money to upload the volumes and volumes of baby photos stored in my computer and I want to know if it's worth it.

Still smoke-free and on day 7. (my count was wrong yesterday). Husband on day 5, I think. I'm using a meditation technique to quell the cravings: every time I want to smoke/ think about smoking, I take a deep breath in and really notice it, understand that that breath is my life right now, then send a reason for not smoking out into the world on my out-breath. So far, so good.

What I'm having trouble with is what to do with the TIME. I've not been a day-time smoker for years, I don't smoke right after meals or in the car. I have a toddler so I don't go out to dive bars to see live music anymore. I no longer have a permanently reserved seat at happy hour. These obstacles have been removed. But.

Usually, we put Bird to bed around 8:30, clean up the house a little bit, and go sit on the back porch with a smoke and sometimes an adult beverage. We've fallen into this routine and it's become the time when A. and I connect, discuss, plan, et cetera. And now? We read in silence on the couch for a while and then go to bed at 9:15. Because we don't know how to handle the time.
It will get better.

Times they are a'changin'.
A new executive director has been hired at work.
And it's a man.
And I am unexpectedly resistant to this change.
Because our little 4-woman sorority, while it was a huge adjustment in the beginning, has become a nice, comfy little arrangement for me. We have so little (and at the same time so much) in common and it really works right now. All I need is to share our little one-seater potty with some DUDE.

19 September 2007

The Smoke is Clearing

I should have written a blog post yesterday, as A. had a quite-late meeting and I chose to sit in front of my home computer during that time and burn my eyeballs to raisins. But instead of creating something (or cleaning out a closet or a drawer for chrissakes) I sat and read blog after blog, because have you seen my blogroll over there? Out of control. Some editing is in order.

Usually when A. has these late meetings (which happen on our back porch, with beer, I might add), I visit the meeting for a bit and enjoy some beverage and a few smokes. But alas, I have quit smoking-- again-- so I sat inside and frittered away time with nothing to show for it, as I have been known to do.

This quitting has been a good quitting so far-- I'm on day 5, and doing okay. My dear husband has also quit, and while I applaud his effort and I feel hopeful for the both of us, I will say that quitting smoking + marriage = rocky times. Especially when one of us (him) turns into a mean neat freak and the other (me) turns into a big no-skinned over-sensitive weenie. We have our moments when we see each other through the fog and apologize and understand it's a temporary insanity, and we have moments like last night where the two-ish hours I spent with my husband were far, far more difficult than the entire day I spent with a two year old, tantrums and all.
It will get better.

Yesterday Bird and I ran a ton of errands in the morning. We also went to the library. Which Bird pronounces "Labia."

"Bird, where are we going?"
"To the LABIA!!"
"What will we do there?"

And while we are on the subject of anatomically correct names for parts, I had always intended to teach Bird the real words for things-- parts, genitals-- rather than give her a cutsey substitute word to use that would somehow lead to her being ridiculed in 6th grade sex ed when she refers to her "cupcake" or other nonsense. But when the time came to step up to the plate, I failed. When she started asking "whassat?" about everything, right around 14 months, I said, "that's your business." And it stuck.

Not that there's anything wrong with "business." She was pointing to an entire region when I said that, not a specific part. And it was just easier. So now she goes around talking about everybody's "bensins," mine, daddy's, even poking at my poor eunich dogs and reminding them how much "bensins" they have missed out on.

It's time to introduce the real words for things, I think. And here's how it went yesterday, I shit you not:
"Bird, do you know what your business is called?"
"Yes, but do you know the word for your business?"
"It's called vagina."
"No, va-gi-na."
And this concludes the first round of the great Vagina-Potato debate of 2007.

Thirty Year Old Granola is Better
Also yesterday while running errands, Bird and I nearly starved to death, so we ran to Harris-this-is-going-to-cost-you-a-hundred-bucks-Teeter looking for snacks. And oh, did we find some snacks. I also heard Sheryl Crow's version of "Sweet Child of Mine" and it was the longest and most grueling three and a half minutes of my life, and I have had a baby come right out of my body.

Anyway. In no time we were back in the car cruising along and scarfing down granola bars. Damn good granola bars. Granola bars bought in haste. "Surely," I said aloud, "these are packed full of bullshit." And do you know what? THEY ABSOLUTELY WERE, full of high fructose maltose nastiness. So when we got home I drug out my own mama's recipe from an old seventies health-food cookbook and went to work. Damn fine granola bars, folks, don't waste your cash at the HarryTeet. I don't have the recipe here with me at work but I will post it later. You won't want to miss it.

It's turned into a free-for-all
Since my wheels are turning too fast (it has become so obvious that I am a morning person), I will stop with the sentences and just list of everything that I am thinking for the next minute or so:
  • Yoga and why the fuck I am not doing it
  • Cutting my hair short (pixie) again
  • If the stuff used to kill off the roaches is going to poison us in the end
  • Scheduled maintenance for my car
  • Severe lack of money, but I feel like the answer is within reach, just can't see it
  • Why do I tune in to Dave Ramsey, that smug sonofabitch
  • Why can't I get Mint to recognize my bank info (that's the reason I got on the computer last night in the first place, now I remember)
  • Throwing things away, thowing LOTS of things away
  • Why do I let my dogs get to a point of stink-out when I could just wash them
  • Whether or not to switch from Shutterfly (used for parents in Indiana, etc) to Flickr (which is 700X easier to organize)
  • Making play dough for Bird
  • Waldorf school, Montessori school
  • Thankful I will be listening to Larry Flick this morning on my drive to see a patient
  • Oh shit, I'm going to be late.

12 September 2007

I can think again, now that the temperature is below 145 degrees in Tennessee

A couple of days ago, I finally met Girl, Corrupted and her sweet Mr. Cooper, live and in person, walking toward me on the Greenway. If you don't already visit her in blogland, you should, because she likes to talk about poop, which automatically makes you a gem of a lady in my book. She reminded me that I have a blog, and I think she may have even shaken a finger at me? Hmmm. In any case. Here I am.

So never fear, readers (all four of you), I'm alive and well and mostly holding my shit together. My little mental break from/ at work has passed, and I'm back to busting it during the work week. I finished my very last class last weekend and hosted my in-laws for two nights. We traveled to Southern Indiana for Labor Day and attended no fewer than four major family functions/ events, all involving different combinations and permutations of the same group of people wearing different combinations of clothing. And this weekend is the single most big-assed fundraiser for the organization that pays me, A. will be traveling to Indy to play a sloppy drunken mess of songs with members of our old Hoosier college family, and my parents will come into town to visit/ volunteer for the fundraiser/ soak up as much Bird time as they possibly can. I lost my gigantic bundle of keys and discount tags and was made to pay the Honda dealership seven hundred thousand dollars to replace my huge, electronic car key (it has buttons on it. It is complicated.) My large dog seems to be losing his hair and his mind. Bird is getting tall. I cleaned the upstairs bathroom.

So far, September is kicking my ass.

This is just a bonus picture. She's taking a Bird Bath in the sink.