Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What Have We Done?

Zane turned four last week - and yes, I will write the requisite blog entry full of love and devotion to my little boy, but just not today. (Really, I will. Please see last year's love letter as proof of my commitment to waxing eloquent about the wonder that is my little boy.)

Anyway, Zane got lots of cool stuff for his special day, and one of his favorite gifts is a kid's digital camera. He's gone completely nuts for the thing. He'll take 60 pictures in 10 seconds flat, ask us to upload them onto the computer, and then take 60 more - all before breakfast!

So what's a family with 800 pictures taken by a four year old to do? Well, we make him his own photo blog, of course.

A sample of what you'll see if you mosey over to Zane's blog:

My Birthday Party

This is my mama - she truly is this goofy. Here's proof that I'm not making it up - the pictures show the real story.

This is my papa - he's particularly tall, so the view will often be of his stubbly chin.

Here's me. As you may have guessed, I didn't take this particular photo. Papa took it, but I think it beautifully captures the birthday goodness which was going on. Check out my hat.

So yeah, we totally created a photo blog for Zane. We couldn't help ourselves - the pictures are hilarious, and we are so enamored of our child that we thought we'd claim a corner of the blogosphere for him. In case you missed it, here's the link to
Little Man's Got a Camera.


Monday, July 23, 2007

I Get By With A Little Help...

Last week, I went out with a group of new women friends after work, and a fine time was had by all. Such a fine time that most of the women said things like, “This was great! We have to do this again.” And “Oh my goodness, I had so much fun. We should do this regularly!”

I, on the other hand, was all, “Eh. It was fine. I suppose I’d do it again.”

At first I chalked this up to my raging anti-social tendencies, but when I thought about it a bit longer, I realized that it was actually my extreme good fortune of having a regular group of women friends to hang out with that made me so blasé about this new gathering.

You see, about once a month for the past five years (give or take), I have had a regularly scheduled Girls Night Out with three fabulous women – hereafter referred to as the GNO group.

During that time, each one of the GNO group has had babies, some of us more than one. We’ve all switched jobs (or careers), and two of us are raising children with food allergies and asthma. One of us has gotten married, and the rest of us were there to cheer her on. One of us announced that she was moving across the country, but somehow has never managed to leave us. Another one of us developed cancer. Two of us actively resist letting others support us, but the other two remain steadfast in their support.

All of us, though, have come to rely on our monthly time together as a way to get some sanity in the midst of child-rearing chaos and life’s ridiculousness.


Sometimes you get the friends you want, not the friends you deserve.

For example:

This weekend, two of the GNO group threw a joint birthday party for Zane and another group member’s child.

Why? Because they could tell that I was struggling under the weight of trying to get everything done with work and home and health stuff.

Since Zane gets a bit overwhelmed in larger gatherings, SRH and I celebrate his birthday with smaller play dates – usually about four of them. Which is wonderful and special and intimate and all, but let’s be clear it also means that there are four “birthday play dates” to plan, four cakes to make, four sets of schedules to maneuver, and about a week long of birthday-fueled adrenaline from Zane.

It’s exhausting and overwhelming – and now that I think about it, completely a middle-class angst thing. Whatever.

So, I was trying to pull together a dual birthday party for Zane and the other lovely child, and it just wasn’t coming together for me.

Then, I got an email from another member of the GNO group that said, “Hey, why don’t I just throw the party? I’d love to do it for you.”

I dramatically responded with, “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!”

And so, we showed up this weekend to a completely planned birthday party with games, arts and crafts, food, and favors. AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO PLAN ONE THING.

(Okay, I did have to make the cake, but when you have a child who is allergic to dairy, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts, that’s just a given.)

It was wonderful. Zane had a great time, and we got to celebrate his birthday without all the typical freaking out that birthday party having typically entails.

My friends take amazing care of me – when I let them.


So then I came home and started reading a very popular book, and my eye caught the following passage:

He wanted to tell them what that meant to him, but he simply could not find words important enough.


Thank you, my friends.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

I think the neighbor lady across the street is mad at me.

You might ask, Is this the same neighbor with whom you’ve had very few conversations? The one that you merely exchange pleasantries with and then move on? The one who you used to suspect might be interested in a friendship – you do both have little boys, after all – but after one flat play date, you both thought better of it?

Yes, one and the same.

And it wasn’t the failed play date that did it. We have had conversations since then, and they have been fine. At least I think they were fine…

For though I used to be a practicing psychotherapist (one who, of necessity, picks up on the subtleties and nuances of other’s behavior), I have been known to be a bit focused when going about my business, so I may not have noticed if things weren’t okay.

After all usually when we say hello, I’m heading to work trying to wrangle a preschooler who has a penchant for making me late or I'm heading out for an evening walk - my precious alone time. Add to this that I loathe chit chat with the same fiery hatred that I typically reserve for asymmetrical tank tops, and you may have a recipe for my missing some signals here.

What I can clearly tell you is that recently while leaving for the aforementioned walk, this neighbor has been shooting daggers at me with her eyes – if she deems to look at me, that is. She has also started turning away just as I would come into her field of view, pretending that she doesn’t see me. And then a few days ago, she actually spoke behind her hand to two other neighbor ladies as I walked by.

And my issue is not that I feel bothered by this. Rather my angst is that I feel like I should be bothered by it. If she’s angry at me, then I must have done something (albeit unintentionally) to make her feel slighted or hurt.

And while I act all bad-ass on this blog, I really don’t want to be the type of person who hurts and slights others willy-nilly. Really, it’s not my style. I prefer distant cordiality in most circumstances, but – if pushed – I will attend to the emotional needs of those outside my established circle of family and friends.

So I think I should at least try to make some attempt to talk to her in an effort to re-establish friendly neighbor relations, but – and here’s the crux of the matter - I don’t really feel like it.

We don’t have much in common. Our kids don’t necessarily play well together (mostly because her child tends to hit and kick), and I’m not necessarily interested in making new friends who live across the street and therefore can stop by anytime. Also, I don’t feel like I have the excess energy required to placate someone who’s being kind of stupid about a slight that I don’t even remember.

So I’m torn between acting the part of a decent neighbor (requiring effort on my part) and my natural inclination to ignore her until she eventually moves away (relatively less effort on my part).

It’s really a battle between the person I want to be (kind and neighborly) and the person I am (emotionally unavailable and lazy).

What’s a girl to do?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Because Mothering is Glamourous

While at our local crossing gate watching trains go by, Zane hands me a very small, round, flat object. (think a piece of confetti)

Zane: Mama, is this pink?

Me: Yeah, it’s kind of pink, and it’s also kind of red.

Zane: It’s pink and red?

Me: Pink and red and a little bit brown, too, isn’t it?

Zane: Pink and red and brown. (smiles with satisfaction)

Me: Yep. What is it, buddy? Where did you get it?

Zane: My nose.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday Evening Lunacy

I consider myself a relatively smart person. I mean I’m no Stephen Hawkings, but I was valedictorian of my high school class. And if that doesn’t convince you of my intellect (perhaps because you know I went to high school in southern Ohio with a student body of less than 400 people), than you should also know that I was a National Merit Scholar.

And I can almost hear you thinking, “Well maybe she’s book smart, but does she have any common sense?”

So I’ve heard this one a lot – the one where someone is called book smart as if it is derogatory with common sense becoming the gold standard of intelligence. Although to be truthful, I’ve never heard it before in reference to me. I assume that this is because to the casual blog reader observer, I appear to be neither book smart nor particularly full of common sense.

Whatever. In my life, my mother is the Queen of Common Sense. I guess growing up in a poor Irish farming family with an alcoholic father and bitter, bitter mother is the recipe for developing common sense sovereignty. I’m not quite sure if that’s the case, but I do know that the woman knows a no-nonsense answer to every quandary.

At least three times a week, SRH and I have the following discussion:

Me: I don’t know…what do you think?

SRH: (Shrugs) I don’t know…what do you think?

Me: Maybe I should call my mom?

SRH: Yeah.

Anyway, I may not have the common sense of my mother, but I’ve never considered myself a slouch in that department.

So explain to me how, this very evening - when I was washing about 250 plastic balls in bleach water to fill up Zane’s new ball pit, which incidentally, the OT is thrilled for him to have because, you know, it provides deep pressure which is helpful for both his tactile and proprioceptive systems. And anyway, I had to clean the balls in bleach water because my dear friend, M, got them off Craigslist for mere pennies, but they were filthy because their previous ball pit home was located out of doors - I had a huge breakdown of sound judgment.

Why, I ask you, would I …

…choose to do said bleach water washing in my new cute lime green top…

…while standing on the irreplaceable Scottish wool blanket that SRH and I bought in London on our 5th anniversary trip

…and upon realizing the idiocy of this behavior by noticing white spots on the aforementioned top and blanket, I would STILL run my fingers through my hair before washing my hands.

I’m sure that tomorrow morning, I’ll have unflattering orange highlights on both sides of my head. Because that’s what happens to Black hair when it’s bleached, right? It becomes an unwieldy, nappy burnt orange? It doesn’t become blonde does it?

Because if you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes, you are aware that I think that Black people with blonde hair are an abomination. Something nature never intended. (Even Beyonce, beautiful woman that she is, struggles as a true blonde.) And I feel fairly certain that the superstar doesn’t get her ‘do by running bleachy fingers through uncombed hair while trying to put together a toy for their child at 9pm at night after a long, exhausting weekend of play dates, cleaning house, and brunch making.

So, um, yeah, I think we’re clear on the verdict here: I may be a little book smart, but not so much with the common sense.

Monday, July 02, 2007

"Meme" is the word

Both Zany Mama and I were tagged by people to do this here meme. The “8 Things” meme has been flying around the web like wildfire. Mommy Blogs, Quilting Blogs, FanFic Blogs, Cigar Blogs, PoliSci Blogs, Comic Book Blogs, and even Spammish Marketing Blogs have all been infected with this meme. Zany Mothering and Under Construction were sadly not immune. But Wifey and I have decided to buck tradition and do things our own way, damnit! So we decided to post 8 things about each other on each other’s respective blogs. So, without further ado, 8 things about my wife.

Here are the previous rules:

Here are the rules:
-list 8 facts/habits about yourself My Partner
-post the rules at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed

-tag 8 people and post their names, go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and ask them to read your blog.

Things About Me:my partner:

Thing the first: Zany Mama hates listening to commentators during sporting events, even though she loves watching the human interest stuff that obscures the Olympics. Hey, color commentary is just that “human interest” crap without the extra pictures and schmaltzy music.

Thing the second: Occasionally she loses all sense of impulse control. This typically happens around me and annoying behaviors. For example she once gave me a “wet-willy” and was surprised that she actually had done it (so she says…).

“I… I… couldn’t stop myself…” Yeah, sure

Thing the third: When she gets seriously stressed/scared she sometimes finds herself laughing hysterically. In many ways it makes her look a bit insane. Many ways…

Thing the fourth: Zany Mama hates replacing the toilet paper roll. I know that is usually a guy thing, but it is true.

Thing the fifth: Wifey loves the movie, “The Clash of the Titans.” This is something that has been mentioned previously on my blog via one of my “20 Questions Tuesday” posts, but most of you folk don’t read my drivel and especially don’t read my archives. ---- Just between you and me, I don’t blame you. I ramble and prattle too much for my own good.---- Sure, sure, some of you know this stuff but most people don’t.

**Author’s Note: Holy Shnikies, this meme is hard!**

Thing the sixth: She will stay in bed for hours after she realizes that she needs to pee. The bathroom is 20 steps away from the bed.

Thing the seventh: She prefers to sleep naked. I prefer her to sleep naked as well. (Who wouldn't?)

Thing the eighth: Zany Mama hates the sound of Legos. Not the sounds of Lagos, but that is only because she has not experienced the sounds of Lagos.

Thanks for reading

& I tag no one.... ever. That's just how I roll.