Saturday, August 30, 2008

the facts of life

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have... the facts of life. Right? I get the theme songs to all our favorite 80's sitcoms slightly confused, but when you really get down to the nitty gritty, I seem to remember that Silver Spoons had a song about silver spoons, Diff'rent Strokes had a song about diff'rent strokes, and Small Wonder had a song about a freaky robot zombie child dressed like a giant pageant doll that slept with her creepy eyes open in a large box.

Here are several facts, as I see them:

The good thing about being an adult is that you can eat birthday cake for dinner.

The good thing about being confident is that when a relative or friend greets your pregnant belly with, "Honey, you're HUGE!", you can just laugh and say, "Yeah, I kinda noticed".

The good thing about Unisom is that you can sleep for 8 hours in spite of pregnancy insomnia and a nightly calisthenics routine by the acrobatic titanium squid inhabiting your thorax.

The good thing about two-year-olds is that they get all the wonder of presents and parties with none of the greed.

The good thing about husbands is that they take your child to the park, wash your car, and fill up your gas tank while you are indulging in some tempura and sushi and reading Outlander after a ridiculous, meaningless, hormone-fueled crying jag because your child told you she didn't love you because your enormous stomach was taking up too much jumping room on her bed.

The good thing about parties is that they are a good reason to make my famous taco dip and then settle over it like a big, magenta vulture as I glug it into my sarlaac-esque maw.

The good thing about blogs is that you can make stupid confessions and comments, and only about 35 people a day read them, and they're your friends, so they don't judge you too harshly.

And the good thing about 9:30 is that it's the perfect time for a final shot of chocolate Silk and some Frisky Dingo before I drift off blissfully into the sound sleep of someone who gets to sleep in one day a week, that day being Sunday, which is tomorrow.

Can I get a hallelujah? No? How about some more birthday cake?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Berfday, Biscuits!

I feel kinda dirty. Just a little.

Today is Cleo's 2nd birthday, and I wanted to do something special, something "Mommy-Daughter", something that would last a while and leave her with a story and a present. But since we can't go on an African safari and shoot eland and bring home a mounted trophy, I opted to take her to the mall and go to the American Girl Store and Bistro.

See why I feel dirty? That's not at all who I am! I mean... dolls? Me? I have a hard enough time admitting that i'm a suburban stay-at-home mom; in fact, when "homemaker" came out of my mouth in customs, Craig and I both snickered for an hour. But I wouldn't choose any other life, and i'm still an edgy artist, so suck it. But let's face it-- life is a bit safer now, and I am apparently the type of mom who takes her kid to PetSmart to pet snakes on Monday and to the AG bistro for lunch on Thursday.

First I gave Cleo breakfast and a bath and got her dressed in her cutest sundress. When I asked her how old she was today, she flashed some sort of gang symbol and told me she was 2:

Our big day out began in the mall play area, where Cleo and a little 3-year-old boy who looked *just* like my kindergarten boyfriend played chase for an hour before the mall opened while a custodian vacuumed the play area. He was too fast to catch on film, but here is Cleo with an oversized disabled dalmation:
Next, we went to the newly renovated carousel, where Cleo immediately chose to ride the frog, who says "RUBBIT, RUBBIT," in case you were wondering. We had the first ride of the day and were the only folks on it. I thought about ignoring the 9,163 signs about "No Adults On The Animals", but then I thought about how graceful I would look heaving my 155-pound, 7-months pregnant carcass onto an undulating jeweled white tiger (see below) and opted to take pictures and keep my enraptured child from falling off her froggie:
When I somehow was able to lure her off the carousel without tears, we rode the elevator down to the American Girl Store and Bistro. I have never been in a place so ferociously pink, and I was instantly frightened. If you filled the New Year's crystal ball in New York with Pepto Bismol and launched it at the Museum of Natural History via a shrink-ray gun, you would get this place. Lots of tiny little multicultural people in tiny little clothes entirely surrounded by pink. We found the Bitty Babies, and once I reconciled myself to paying $42 for a stinky plastic doll and removed Cleo's death grip from the $200 doll stroller, we made our purchase and immediately made for the Bistro. Which was surprisingly good.

I asked her what her baby's name was, and she named her other two babies, Bibi and Mae. Then I repeated the question, gesturing at the new one. She looked at my stomach, and said, "Dat baby Shmoo". And it really degenerated from there. So we named the new baby Sue, not only because it is similar to Baby Shmoo, but also because I enjoy the inside joke of a child's doll named after the profane and inappropriate Baby Sue comic that cracks me up so much.

I admit to complete surprise at the tastiness of the food at the AG Bistro. I had spinach-artichoke dip, a ham and cheese panini, and delicious sweet potato fried thingies with cinnamon and sugar. Cleo had a tiny little hamburger, fruits, veggies, milk, lots of ketchup, and a little fruit cup covered with whipped cream. It wasn't on the dessert menu, but since she's never had real cake, ice cream, or cookies because i'm a horrible, anti-sugar parent, they were kind enough to provide fruit instead. Cleo was a bit scared of the sprinkles and whipped cream, but she was quite impressed that the confection arrived "on fire while dey sing birfday song". Here is her reaction to being presented with a flaming fruit cup and a 5-person harmonized version of Happy Birthday:

She ate half the fruit, spilled the other half on the floor, and was completely covered in whipped cream. So, basically, a normal lunch. Then we went to visit Nina (grandmother) at work and Mimi (great-grandmother) at home, then NAPS. Now Cleo is awake and eating her daily "vermin", the fructose-coated DHA vitamin around which her entire day hinges.

This time two years ago, I was strapped into a bed, peeing into a plastic bag and constantly pushing a little morphine button while trying desperately not to laugh or sneeze and bust open my stapled abdomen. My sparky little dude surprised us all by trying to break into the world upside down and stuck, and she has continued to surprise, amaze, and amuse us for the past two wonderful years. I never knew I had the patience or knowledge to be a mother, but it has turned out to be transformative for me as a woman, a wife, and an artist. I hope to give my daughter a rich life of interesting experiences, from snakes and cars and robots to days like today, where we wear sparkly dresses and eat fancy food in a pink doll castle.

It's a good life.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lobster quotes

Got any good lobster quotes?

Here's one from our fabulous trip to Grand Cayman, as we dined at Bed with our dear friends Adrienne and Evan. Adrienne had the Lobster Thermidore, which is basically described in the quote, which I found written on a napkin in a mysterious pocket of my purse today.

"Just because you're eating his guts in a bowl made from his body doesn't mean he's not powerful."

Because I find lobsters to be curious and powerful creatures, especially the one we found crouching, enormous, crunchy, and blue in a hole while snorkeling. The next thing that happened as we dined involved my other half crushing a roach that was about to violate my hair, throwing it across the room, and eating a crispy lobster eyeball. It's so rare one finds one's match in this world, isn't it?

A good crustacean time was had by all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

this n' that

Many random things. I'm having trouble pulling it all together into a cohesive post.

I explained Halloween to Cleo and asked her what she wanted to be. She said, "I want to be a hat," so i'm hoping she'll elaborate further. Otherwise, maybe I can find one of those enormous foam cowboy hats and cut some eye holes in it.

We went to PetSmart yesterday to run around and see new things, and my child seemed more interested in bird food and dog toys shaped like sports balls than in birds, snakes, or rodents. As a kind employee held up a gorgeous little baby ball python for Cleo's inspection and I rambled on about how amazing snakes were, Cleo was extremely disinterested and focused on a broken light in the ceiling. Sigh. One day, she'll like *something* that I like.

You know you're pregnant when mopping the floor feels like a major accomplishment.

I think that Ben Gibbard should be tied to a pine tree and have Transatlanticism discs hurled at him with a t-shirt cannon so he'll remember what genius sounds like and quit producing shoddy tripe.

And Rivers Cuomo should be forced to watch Ben Gibbard undergoing this treatment while being forced to listen to a looping recording of Gilbert Goddfried screaming, "IT'S NOT A WEEZER SONG IF YOU DON'T SING IT, DINGLEBERRY!"

I'm wearing a hideous teal-green maternity shirt that makes me feel unattractive but actually covers my belly, which reminds me of all the bizarre sacrifices we make for our children. Whenever baby Shmoo is sassing me at age 11, I will show him a picture of me, 26 weeks pregnant in a hideous zebra shirt, glasses, and wet hair, covered in sweat while I spend naptime mopping the floor and talking to telemarketers on the phone, and I will say, "See? I *do* really love you!"

That's all i've got. Besides more mopping to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

random quotes

I've really laughed a lot this week, for some reason.

My grandmother, on seeing me yesterday for the first time in 2 weeks:

"Honey, does your doctor know how... big you are?"


I just laughed and said, "No, I hide behind a door for the entire visit." Seriously, though, I only gained 5 pounds in the last month. Honest.

****

Me, to my husband: What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and I was standing over you, holding the giant yoga/exercise/birthing ball over my head like I was gonna throw it at you, American Gladiators style?"

Husband: Freak out. Freak out, and then tell you to get back in bed.

****

Cleo: I want more broccoli. To eat in my mouth.

While she points at her mouth. Thanks for clarifying, buddy.

****

Me: What do pirates say?
Cleo: OINK OINK!!
Me: No, pirates say YAARRRRRRR!
Cleo: OINK OINK YARRRRRRRRR!

****

It's a good life. I like to laugh.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

she's a tender little dude

We have a painting hung above our couch that was painted specifically to match our living room and to represent "family". Divided into squares containing circles in a range of blues, browns, and creams, the painting features birds, nests, and eggs. It was one of the first things I painted after Cleo was born, a testament to my tender feelings for her and our duty to cradle her lovingly and raise her.

Today, as Cleo sat on the couch in her diaper, chillin' with her daddy, she happened to look up and notice the painting. It went like this:

Cleo: Eggis!! I see EGGIS!!
Mommy: Yes, those are eggs.
Cleo: CRACK 'EM! LESS EAT DE EGGIS!!!!!!

I know you can't explain meaningful art to a toddler, but I think her feelings are a little less philosophical and a little more... gastronomical. Le sigh.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

thanks, jerks!

No, this is not the post detailing our amazing trip to Grand Cayman. Because then it wouldn't be jerks we were thanking. It would be very fine friends. More on that later.

No, this is the post showing you the lovely flower arrangement I discovered on our front step today:


Isn't that pretty?

It's for the jerks that sold us this house, lying over and over again in the process. Doing the most shoddy and short-lived job possible to make the house look nice. Painting over the kitchen and bathroom cabinets without sanding or priming, so that the paint is already rubbing off. Using the wrong floor cleaner on the wooden floors, leaving them in horrid shape. Leaving the gutters clogged. Etcetera.

They're jerks.
But apparently, someone likes them enough to send them a small, tasteful flower arrangement. Someone who has no idea where they live, so obviously someone that has kept in close touch with them for the past 17 months. Anyway, I called the florist, and she was very sweet and said that we should just "enjoy the arrangement", so we are.

So here's a shout out to Robin's Nest Flowers and Gifts. Thanks!


And what's the moral of the story? If you're a jerk, and someone actually sends you flowers, you're not going to get them. They're going to brighten the day of the round, sore, tired little preggo you lied to.

So there. Karma works again, kids!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

potty training - yur doin it rong!

Why, yes.... potty training is going well.
Why do you ask?



Yup, that's a pair of (clean/unused) pirate alligator Target brand pull-ups. On her head.