Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ode to Yoga Pants

Well, it’s officially Fall here in central Ohio. I don’t mean “officially” in the way of we just passed the autumnal equinox, or that the leaves are turning to gorgeous shades of oranges or reds, or even that we had a frost advisory last week. No, I mean that I have finally donned my autumn outfit de rigueur - black yoga pants and a long-sleeve white shirt.

I know it doesn’t sound very original or exciting. In fact, it sounds like an outfit to serve food in, but I somehow feel simple and classy in these clothes - although they are without a bit of color. (Don’t think I don’t hear Stacy and Quentin’s voice in my head saying, You think it’s classy? Wrong. It’s boring. You aren’t waiting tables here, lady. You’re taking your kid to preschool and the park! Let’s ACT like we have some class and buy an outfit that you can’t exercise in- maybe one that has some structure for that bottom half of yours.)

In my humble defense, these aren’t just any old yoga pants. They are the supreme yoga pants of all time – the Athleta All That Capri Pant. Lest I get carried away in hyperbole, take a look for yourself.

And since I’m not sure that the picture is clear, I will add that these pants are not gauchos. You know, gauchos - those ubiquitous pants worn by every single woman under the age of 25 right now. Gauchos - the pants that make even the thinnest women look like their behind is made from cottage cheese and their thighs are thunderous.

Oh no, these yoga pants are the boon companion of the slightly pear-shaped mama. They are forgiving of a little extra junk in the trunk and flow nicely over legs that have never been the same since pregnancy and childbirth.

I have three pair – all in black. I would buy another, but SRH might throw me out of the house. I have considered buying them in other colors, but I can’t seem to make myself do it. There’s that saying about not fixing something that isn’t broken.


Joyful, joyful, I adore thee,
Oh, sweet fitting yoga pants;
Drawstring waist and material flow-y,

Hail Thee as my favorite pair.
Melt the clouds of sloth and big legs,
Drive the extra pounds away;
Giver of immortal svelteness,
Wearing you lights up my day!

Okay, I think this post may have just crossed a line here – even for a blog.

Any of your clothes make you want to burst into inappropriate song?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Beginnings of Greatness

I haven’t mentioned it much in the past few weeks – come to think of it, I haven’t mentioned much of anything in the past few weeks as I seem to have forgotten all about this blog – but preschool has been going just splendidly for Zane. He really likes his teachers. He gets to play with new trains there. He hasn’t been accidentally exposed to any allergens. He gets to sing. His verbal skills are improving every day he attends, and most importantly – let me say it again - there are trains there.

In fact, Zane’s going to preschool has led to a new favorite part of the day for the two of us. Every night after tucking Zane in, we talk about preschool, even if he hasn’t gone that day. He tells me about singing and eating his snack. He brags about how well he shares, and he names both of his teachers. It’s really quite sweet and reassures me that he really does love going.

Today, however, we had a bit of a situation. I attribute this to the fact that I had a lot of things scheduled with friends during the past week and I had to work yesterday, so Zane didn’t get a chance to experience the I’m-so-sick-of-mama-why-doesn’t- she-take-me-somewhere-else-and-leave phenomena that he usually experiences every Tuesday morning.

But whatever the reason, this morning he didn’t particularly want to go to preschool, and he decided to employ one of the most effective forms of civil disobedience – nonviolent resistance.

I imagine his wee brain was saying something along the lines of Hey, it worked for Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and they were up against real evil. I just don’t want to go to school today.

The following are some passive resistance techniques and how my own little Gandhi employed them this morning:

  1. Resistance by Inertia or Non-Energetic Compliance – There were multiple instances of this today. Zane wouldn’t lift his arms so that I could take off his pajama top so that we could put on school clothes. He laid face down on the floor so I couldn’t get the mask on him for his breathing treatment.

  1. Boycotts – Zane refused to eat the nutritious, delicious breakfast that I made. (Two pieces of ‘nilla toast.) He refused chili or anything else. This may actually have been the first step in a hunger strike, but he caved when I brought out the Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

  1. Material Sabotage – Zane refused to go potty before he left for school. He knows the school will kick out un-potty trained kids and we’re on a wing and a prayer on that front, so he figures No potty. No school. (That’s just the way his little diabolical mind works).

  1. Occupation of Buildings – Zane wouldn’t leave our front steps for at least 5 minutes today. No matter how much I begged or cajoled. He was perched on the top step, and he wasn’t coming down. So I had to carry him down the steps and into the car – not pretty.

  1. Lobbying – This is what I heard on the way to school. Zane no go school, mama. Stay home with mama. (Apparently employing non-violent resistance does not mean that he is unwilling to break his mama’s heart).

So I was preparing myself for a difficult drop off. I had an early meeting, but I figured I’d just have to be a few minutes late so that I could stay for a while and get him adjusted and comfortable. Fortunately, as happens many times when dealing with fickle, fickle preschoolers, Zane completely reversed course when we pulled into the preschool parking lot. He ran to his class and started playing – with trains – without a backward glance. He happily kissed me goodbye and acted as if he couldn’t wait to get the preschool day started.

There is a lesson in this for me: Those who practice passive resistance techniques are capricious and unreliable, and one should trust neither their intentions nor their actions.

Hmmm…or maybe that just applies to 3 year olds.

Whatever. I stand by my previous blanket statement.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Overheard at the Water Cooler

“The problem is that American women between the ages of 26-36 years old are broken.”
---- a very obviously single man in his mid to late 30’s

Huh? When I heard this, my first response was to sputter and rant about the blatant sexism of the statement, but that doesn’t seem to be very much fun, really. It’s too easy.

What quick and witty comeback would you come up with?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Learning the Hard Way

I don’t want to belabor a point I have already made multiple times on this blog, but I have been with SRH for a relatively long time. Together over 11 years, married for 9 of those. I met him at 20 years old, and he became my best friend as we dated, got married, got our first “real” jobs, bought a house, and had a baby.

Which is simply to say that we know each other quite well. There are very few surprises in this relationship. Of course, the occasional kooky observation flies from SRH’s mouth, and I’m astonished and horrified. But in general, we’re not discovering new things about each other on a daily basis. Sure, I was shocked to find that SRH did not use hyperbole when describing the miraculous vanilla frosty. I think it was in retaliation to my blind-siding him with the recent information that I’ve never had a burrito. But those are two of only 3-4 revelations we’ve had about each other in the past few years.

This is all a long way to say that I discovered something new about my beloved this weekend. Or rather, I discovered something new about our relationship to each other. Our relationship as two objects that are moving about in the same space, to be more exact. I’m sure this relationship could be expressed as a mathematical equation, but since I don’t do math, I’ll just show you a picture.

(I am aware that I could have put one of the hundreds of normal pictures of the three of us, but really, this one is way funner.)

Look carefully. If you’ll notice my eyes are exactly at the level of SRH’s shoulder – making me approximately 84% of his height. (See, I can do math if I absolutely have to. But please do not check this figure, as it is most likely wrong). But again, I go off my point.

My point is that my eye socket is exactly at the level of SRH’s big, fat shoulder. Therefore, when big, fat shoulder man (hereafter referred to as BFSM) happens to pass me as he’s walking from the dining room to the living room, he could, conceivably, throw a shoulder and whack me in the orbital socket.

Which is exactly what happened on Sunday. BFSM was hurrying by me, when he hit me in the eye with his overgrown deltoid, and I fell to the floor in agony. Or rather, I looked at him accusingly and said, What did you do that for?

BFSM tried to act like he didn’t know what I was talking about. He tried to say it was an accident. He tried to insinuate that my eye may have been looking for a fight and his shoulder got caught up in the moment.

And while there were no marks, this is how my poor eye felt afterward.

In fact I was so traumatized that I waited a few days to post about it, filled the intervening post with senseless blather about Zane’s cardiologist appointment, and waited for BFSM to be available to Photoshop a few images . It was a burning concern, I tell you.

Clearly, secrets between partners only lead to trouble.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Zane Has a Perfectly Healthy Heart!

So Zane’s cardiologist appointment was today, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. The doctor said that Zane’s heart is “perfectly fine” and “normal” for a child his age who has next to no meat on his bones.

(Here I would have inserted a perfectly delightful picture of my child and his healthy heart, but it seems Blogger is being difficult today).

To give a bit of background, Zane’s pediatrician recommended in July that we see a cardiologist after hearing an extra “noise” in his heart at his 3 year check up. (To see that post, click here). He assured us that the murmur was probably nothing to be concerned about but just wanted us to get it checked out.

So I have been relatively low-key about the whole thing –after all I was busy freaking out about preschool – but I have to admit that I was feeling less than laid back as we walked into the hospital today.

There is just something disconcerting about taking your child to a cardiologist. Even if you believe that your child is completely heart healthy, which we did, it does raise the specter of something really serious being wrong. So the signs on the wall for “heart camp” – Are you between 7 -14 years old? Have you had heart surgery? How about camp? – seem positive because you are pleased that all kids are getting opportunities to have a good time. They are also disconcerting because, really, you hope your child never has to go there.

And the waiting room was also sobering. There were A LOT of people there. I think I would expect that at a run of the mill cardiologist, but this was a pediatric cardiologist’s office. Lots of people in that waiting room means that there are lots of little people with heart problems. It was very sobering. There was a couple with a very young baby – probably no more than 6 weeks old, and her parents held hands the entire time we were in the waiting room and just seemed so scared.

I could feel myself getting less and less certain the longer we were waiting. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too awful long for Zane to get called back. The nurse was suitably impressed with the amount of asthma medication that Zane was on, and she personally knew both Zane’s pediatrician and his allergist and thought highly of both. She said his lungs sounded good – which is always a bonus at our house.

Then, it all got a bit ugly. Zane was supposed to get an EKG, but that wasn’t happening because he screamed, cried, and twisted his little body around until they gave up. He wouldn’t let them even take his blood pressure. This was all much harder on SRH than on me. He looks about as upset as Zane when it’s happening.

But let’s move on to the good part. The doctor came in, and his first words were, “Well, he looks healthy.” For the record, those are exactly the first words you want to hear from a pediatric cardiologist. I could feel myself relaxing, and Zane even smiled. The doctor was gentle. He was kind. And, most importantly, he said that the extra noises in Zane’s heart were completely normal for a child his age who is as slender as Zane is. (Apparently, skinny kids don’t have enough insulation to muffle those noises like other kids.)

That’s it. No follow up needed. No further appointments scheduled. My boy’s heart is completely healthy!

So, to be sure, I do feel like doing a happy dance. And thanks to everyone who has sent us good energy and prayers.

But I will also admit that my happiness feels a bit solemn because while I hope that all the other parents in the waiting room today got the same answer we did, I’m sure that some of them didn’t.

So I will just say that I am happy and aware of how lucky, loved, and fortunate we are.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Rule of Seven

My dear friend, lsig, put this on her LiveJournal, and I thought it was so fun that I agreed to do it here.

If you comment on this post:
1. I'll respond with something random about you
2. I'll challenge you to try something
3. I'll pick a color that I associate with you
4. I'll tell you something I like about you
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of
7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you

(Go ahead, make a comment. Even if you’re comment phobic. Even if I don’t know you well, or even personally, at all. Even if I know you so well that you’re scared I’ll put really honest answers. I’ve got witty rejoinders just waiting for some of you folks, please let me use them!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

First Day of Preschool

Although I fear I may have alienated folks by my woeful tales of illness and neuroses, I just wanted to let everyone know that Zane had a great first day of preschool.

Zane did great. The teachers were great, and I'm feeling a whole lot better.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Preschool Makes Me Panic

Quick disclaimer for all you non-parentals: This is an oh-my-gosh-my-baby-is-going-to-preschool-and-I’m-freaking-out post.

By way of a more appropriate introduction, Zane starts preschool tomorrow.

Until this morning, I thought I was really cool with it. He’s so ready to hang out with other kids, and the place comes highly recommended. They seem to take my concerns about his food allergies seriously. He loved the rooms when we went to visit earlier in the summer – they have trains! – and potty training is moving right along.

I first got an inkling that I wasn’t “cool” last Thursday when I forgot about the preschool open house. I had reminded SRH all week that we needed to be there at 6pm. Thursday morning, I referenced it at work. Thursday afternoon at 5:20pm, SRH calls me to ask, When are you getting home? I, with some vigor in my voice I’m sure, said I’m picking some scripts up at the grocery store. I’m just going to pick up a few things, and then I’ll be home. SRH said, We have to be at the preschool at 6pm don’t we?

It took me a few moments to respond.

Because, you see, I had totally forgotten about the open house. Not like it slipped my mind forgot, but completely like-SRH-was-talking-a-foreign-language forgot. Huh? I finally responded. (Because I’m super eloquent when I’m confused)

SRH reiterated what he said, and I beat feet and headed home.

The open house went fine. Zane had a great time and didn’t want to leave. I, however, continued on my great rampage of forgetfulness and didn’t bother to put the next two preschool dates – parents are supposed to attend – on my calendar. Instead I scheduled a meeting and a conference call for those dates and had to cancel them, much to my embarrassment.

But really, I still didn’t think that preschool was bothering me too much. SRH called it active avoidance, repression, and denial. I just said I was busy.

But this morning, I woke up with such a sense of anxiety that I can no longer deny it: Preschool freaks me out.

And to be sure, there are the normal mama pangs of seeing my boy growing up, but my particular panic is of a more immediate nature. Most of my concerns are purely neurotic, and I’ll probably post about them later, but I’m losing it about one thing in particular.

Oh Nuts!

I’ve been a little slow to catch on to the hysteria inherent in sending my peanut and tree nut-allergic child to preschool. I’m a member of a group for parents of kids with food allergies, and believe me, some of the other parents have been preparing for the send off to preschool/kindergarten with a vengeance for at least the past year. (I’m not kidding about this.)

This morning, I finally got what they were talking about. It is tremendously scary to put your child into the care of others when he has life-threatening allergies. Up to now, I have been very rational about it all. I’ve talked with the school’s director. The school is nut-free, and I’m training Zane’s teachers on the use of the Epi-Pen tomorrow morning after class. I’ll be supplying all of Zane’s snacks, and I have given the school an emergency action plan should Zane have accidental exposure.

So I’m very surprised to find myself huddled over my computer crying as I write this post. Why? Because there are just too many factors I can’t control. Other parents might not heed the “no nuts” rule. Kids might come to school with peanut butter on their hands, or there might be hidden nuts in a snack that Zane gets a hold of. Zane is particularly prone to a severe reaction because of his asthma, and I don’t know how to help others “get it”.

And even if they get it, have I prepared everyone enough to know how to respond? I’m not worried about exposure to milk and eggs. Benadryl will take care of that, but it’s not easy to plunge a needle into a little boy’s thigh - even if he’s dying. Because that’s the crux of it: Zane could die if he’s exposed. And I’m worried that I haven’t done enough to keep him safe. Even though, logically, I think I’ve done everything that I can, and a few months of school will probably convince me that these fears are unfounded.

I’m just really, really scared about it all.

And so there it is. I’m freaking out today, but I’ll take him tomorrow with a smile and hope – and prepare - for the best. This is one of the really hard parts of being a parent of a food allergic kid, but I won’t ever stand in his way because of my fears.

He gets to be just like the other little people going to school tomorrow: excited, unsure, and just fine.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sick of Being Sick

I have been much out of touch for the past several days, and I apologize for that. It’s been a rough week.

One of the hardest things for me about being a mom – well, except for that whole taking my kid to the ER because he’s having trouble breathing thing, but I refuse to digress into asthma drama - is parenting while I’m sick.

And let me put on my whiny hat for a few minutes to tell you that I have been sick no less than 3 times in the past three weeks. I had a sore-throat bug, a cold, and – this weekend – a stomach virus.

At least I’m calling it a stomach virus. That way I do not have to entertain the possibility that the fancy restaurant that SRH and I went to on Friday night to celebrate our anniversary, one that I hope to go to again, gave me vile chills, the urge to evacuate my innards frequently, and the inability to eat much for the past two days.

(As an aside, I was completely intimidated by the fancy restaurant. For the first half of the meal, the server’s references to me as “the lady” made me want to giggle and say, Dude, I grew up in a trailer park. I ain’t nobody’s lady. But he persisted. Will the lady have an appetizer, he asked. A drink for the lady, he inquired. At first, I thought he was probably laughing at me behind his hand; however, by the end of the meal, I really did feel quite important and special.

Which makes me think that the whole thing could actually be used as a brilliant scheme to seduce the unwitting and uncultured. I don’t have any idea what the guy looked like or whether he spit in my food as he brought it out to the table, but all that deferential treatment could make a girl want to take him home the lady, as it were. Umm…I mean if a lady were single, that is.)

Okay, let me pull it back together here.

I was sick this weekend. And, much to my offense and chagrin, Zane didn’t seem to care much. This is a verbatim conversation:

Zane: Mama sick.

Zane comes over to pat my face as I’m dying.

Me: Yes, Zane, mama is sick.

This earns me a sympathetic look from my three year old, who pauses before saying with a shrug,

Zane: Mama come play train.

So, this is how parenting between trips to the loo goes down.

I bet mama could use some company. I'm going to go cheer her up.

First, I'll crawl all over her. Then I'll insist that she feed me spaghetti. That will make her feel useful.

Then, I'll give her that look she can't resist. Like she's the best mama in the world. Who cares if she's sick!

My job here is done.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy 9th Anniversary

Us - on the day I made the best decision of my life.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happy, Happy Birthday B

From a mama of one asthmatic to a mama of two asthmatics, I hope your day is full of love and happiness – or at least you avoid a trip to the ER or a course on prednisone.

It doesn’t take much to thrill us anymore, huh?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Never, Never, Never

Yesterday, I woke up to a family of cranky, cranky people. SRH and Zane were both in ferociously bad moods – SRH was extra snarky (which can be kind of funny) and Zane was whiny and willful (my favorite combination). So I did the only thing a smart mama can do, I just stayed really quiet and made my escape as soon as possible. (I ran an errand sans family around 4:30pm). It was a long day.

Evidence of SRH’s crankiness: while putting Zane in his car seat, I heard SRH say, From here until eternity, Zane, the answer will be NO.

I think he said it facetiously.

But it got me thinking, From here until eternity, what would I say NO to?

To simplify: What would I never do?

This is a hard one because I tend to believe that one should never say never. Who knows where life circumstances will lead you? I mean, Lionel Richie probably never believed that he would get the beat down from his wife. Whitney Houston thought that crack was whack. Life tricks us sometimes, and it seems foolish to say that we would never do something. So while there are things that I can easily say that I will never do – for example, drink my own sweat or wear orange spandex – there could be situations where both might become necessary.

But it got me thinking about things that I can’t imagine that I would do. Things I cannot invent a scenario in my head which would lead to my engaging in them.

I came up with three.

1. Put up an Easter tree.

This has long been the gold standard at my house of exemplifying an excess of disposable income. We say things like, Yea, we’ll buy that lear jet right after we buy the Easter Tree. Meaning never. I just honestly don’t get them. Why hang plastic eggs on a tree? What does that have to do with Jesus?

If I ever have too much disposable income, then I will definitely make yard ghosts out of 800-thread count sheets at Halloween, eat Turducken at Thanksgiving, cover my whole house in red rose petals on Valentines Day, send to Ireland for a customized batch of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, and buy a fireworks store for the 4th of July. What I will NOT do is put up an Easter Tree.

2. Drink pink lemonade.

Again, something inexplicable about this one to me. Lemons are not pink, and powdered concentrate of lemons is not pink.

Of course, I would rather have fresh lemonade, but I’ll drink the mix stuff if need be. But pink “lemonade” just pushes me too far. I don’t like the taste – barely lemony – and the cotton candy coloring just offends my senses. Sweet is pink. Sour is yellow. I know you’re probably thinking, But the mythical pink lemon tree creates splendiferous juice.

I respectfully disagree.

3. Sky-Diving.

This is a thrill-seeking activity that will never be in my repertoire. To be sure, if the plane is burning, I’m grabbing a parachute and jumping. But that’s not risk-taking. That’s survival.

I am not, by nature, a thrill seeking person – as evidenced by the fact that I’ve never gone mountain climbing or bungee jumped. I don’t ride motorcycles. I don’t use illicit drugs. I hate stand-up roller coasters, and camping in a tent takes me out of my comfort zone. I’m averse to spicy foods, and I don’t even drink caffeine most days.

(Lest you begin to believe that I’m boring, I should add: I do like regular roller coasters, I go hiking with cougars, and camping in a cabin is just fine by me.)

So there you have it. Three things I think I will never do.

What’s on your “not from here until eternity” list?