Wednesday, October 25, 2006

manilow and the wrath of arrabiatta

it's a miracle!
a true blue spectacle,
a miracle come true.
we're together, baby
i was going crazy,
'till the miracle came through!

on monday night, we witnessed otto in a state yet unseen: complete agony. he cried so hard that he had tears in his eyes. until well past midnight, i roamed our dark house with him cradled in a sling. i rocked him in the popeye hold in his room. i stood in our bathroom with the shower running and showed him his face in my treasured magnifying mirror [a phaneromaniac's most valued possession] which elicited some smiles and cuddles before the dreaded pain set in again.

sleep-starved, i wondered what was making otto so miserable. i checked his nightgown for scratchy tags or pins -- i recently sewed a second sling [say that three times fast] and was worried about a forgotten one sticking him. and then i remembered... the leftover penne arrabiatta from la gondola that i had for lunch! chockablock with hot peppers and slivers of garlic, it about tore me in two. otto normally does a good job tolerating my diet, piquant and gas-producing, but i think this was just a whole new level of challenging food. plus, because monday was my first harried day back working, i definitely didn't drink enough water to dilute the devils down.

eventually, after a squirt of gas drops and a few more momma-rides around the house, the pain finally subsided and he conked out. oh, but the wakefulness didn't stop there. otto cried with his eyes closed after 3, enjoyed a little amuse bouche, and then fell back asleep... for fifteen to thirty minutes... again and again and again. yesterday, needless to say, casey and i were begging for mercy.

last night, after a nice bath and feeding, casey swaddled the blue blazes out of him and put him down at around 9. we're talking hospital blanket and one of those pre-fab swaddlers with velcro and all. exhausted, we swan dove into our bed, anticipating another wakeful night.

i woke to otto's warm-up whimpers on the monitor and my eyes snapped open to see the clock.


what?! could that be right? i got out of bed, only this time, i was able to make it to my robe without feeling like fossilized cro-magnon man. i had enough sleep to actually move with some fluidity and control. though i was worried i might drown the tot in his own dinner, he took his entire repast with no trouble. i was a little freaked out when, mid-meal, his little peepers popped wide open and started to roll as he grinned with glee. i was like, "oh man, it's not morning yet!" alas, he finished up and retired to his sweet swaddled slumber at 5. and what was playing in my head for the entire hour? the chorus from barry manilow's "it's a miracle". he didn't wake up again until 7.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the bold and the... boring?

since otto and i are both sick with colds, i am borrowing this meme from jamie. you bold all the things you've done before.

what i notice? i thought i was a relatively accomplished person before i got busy with the bolding... and apparently never ate enough wildlife. damn.

01. bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain [hiked the na pali cliffs on kauai]
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. said "i love you" and meant it [you betcha]
09. hugged a tree [wasn't cuddly]
10. bungee jumped
11. visited paris [four times... i miss it]
12. watched a lightning storm at sea [on our honeymoon cruise]
13. stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise [insomnia's a bitch]
14. seen the northern lights
15. gone to a huge sports game [either as a performer or a tagger-on, yep]
16. walked the stairs to the top of the leaning tower of pisa
17. grown and eaten your own vegetables [do a few lame tomatoes count?]
18. touched an iceberg
19. slept under the stars [see shots from our camping expedition below]
20. changed a baby's diaper [...and the hits just keep on comin'.]
21. taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. watched a meteor shower
23. gotten drunk on champagne [and suffered the grisly consequences]
24. given more than you can afford to charity [a few years ago, and now they just keep calling me!]
25. looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment [too many times to count]
27. had a food fight
28. bet on a winning horse
29. asked out a stranger
30. had a snowball fight
31. screamed as loudly as you possibly can [right when my son came out]
32. held a lamb
33. seen a total eclipse
34. ridden a roller coaster [thanks to countless free trips to orlando]
35. hit a home run
36. danced like a fool and not cared who was looking [hello? i was a summer dance camp instructor!]
37. adopted an accent for an entire day
38. actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment [all the time]
39. had two hard drives for your computer
40. visited all 50 states
41. taken care of someone who was drunk [and hated every minute of it]
42. had amazing friends
43. danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. watched whales
45. stolen a sign [middle school hijinks]
46. backpacked in europe
47. taken a road-trip [i'd love to limit mine to fun ones only]
48. gone rock climbing
49. midnight walk on the beach [oh, that memorable summer of '90 in panama city]
50. gone sky diving
51. visited ireland
52. been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. in a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. visited japan [for such a short time, it seems like a dream]
55. milked a cow
56. alphabetized your cds [all our cds on our built in are alphabetized, thank you very much]
57. pretended to be a superhero
58. sung karaoke
59. lounged around in bed all day [it's called 'camp crash']
60. played touch football
61. gone scuba diving
62. kissed in the rain
63. played in the mud
64. played in the rain
65. gone to a drive-in theater [my parents took us to see caddyshack and grease]
66. visited the great wall of china
67. started a business [my own choreo/private coaching freelancing biz, i guess]
68. fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. toured ancient sites [europe and mexico]
70. taken a martial arts class [i was a yellow belt until my sensei creeped me out]
71. played d&d for more than 6 hours straight
72. gotten married [:o)]
73. been in a movie
74. crashed a party
75. gotten divorced
76. gone without food for 5 days
77. made cookies from scratch [during my high school weigh-in days, i'd make scads of sugar cookies... and then give them away. boooooo....]
78. won first prize in a costume contest
79. ridden a gondola in venice
80. gotten a tattoo [so dates me with the ankle tat but whatever]
81. rafted the snake river
82. been on television news programs as an "expert" [ESPN, baby]
83. gotten flowers for no reason [yeah, in high school and college]
84. performed on stage [i miss performing a lot]
85. been to las vegas [yeah... not my favorite place]
86. recorded music
87. eaten shark [my dad caught one and we ate it a long time ago]
88. kissed on the first date [yes, but not with queso. he was a gentleman.]
89. gone to thailand
90. bought a house
91. been in a combat zone
92. buried one/both of your parents
93. been on a cruise ship [honeymoon!]
94. spoken more than one language fluently [i used to speak french very well]
95. performed in rocky horror
96. raised children [practically raised someone else's niece and nephew]
97. followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. passed out cold
99. taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. walked the golden gate bridge
102. sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking [helped me get my voice back on the ride home after teaching]
103. had plastic surgery
104. survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. wrote articles for a large publication [i'd love to do more]
106. lost over 100 pounds
107. held someone while they were having a flashback
108. piloted an airplane
109. touched a stingray
110. broken someone's heart [yeah, and it came back around]
111. helped an animal give birth
112. won money on a t.v. game show
113. broken a bone
114. gone on an african photo safari
115. had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. smoked a cigar [gross, but yes]
119. had major surgery
120. had a snake as a pet [sorta...]
121. hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon
122. slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours [again with the camp crash]
123. visited more foreign countries than u.s. states
124. visited all 7 continents
125. taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. eaten kangaroo meat
127. eaten sushi [veggie sushi only]
128. had your picture in the newspaper
129. changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. gone back to school [finished my last two credits via correspondence course]
131. parasailed
132. touched a cockroach
133. eaten fried green tomatoes [i miss christa's cooking]
134. read The iliad - and the odyssey (not voluntarily)
135. selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. skipped all your school reunions [i have no interest in reuniting, oddly]
138. communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. been elected to public office
140. written your own computer language
141. thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. built your own PC from parts
144. sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. had a booth at a street fair
146. dyed your hair [my hair has been colored more years than it hasn't!]
147. been a dj
148. shaved your head
149. caused a car accident [crashed jeff jr. this december]
150. saved someone's life

Thursday, October 12, 2006

hee haw moment: pregnant?

gee, i thought you were just fat or something. whoops.

i feel like such an ass. i suppose it's an innocent mistake but i'm mortified nonetheless.

i went for my six week appointment with one of my midwives, probably the one i love the most, yesterday. we were discussing what i'll do once i have to get back to work, and she said, "i'm sure it will be hard for me to make time for myself to pump, but i'll just have to work on making that time." my face must have gone completely blank. huh? pump?

so she stands up to go to the sink and, staring at her belly in the scrubs, i ask in the worst possible way the question on my mind:

so, uh, you're pregnant?

she tells me she's due in three weeks. this means that she was seven months pregnant the last time i saw her and i had no idea. how did i miss that!?

i recall at all the appointments that she wore loose, sleeveless empire blouses and long skirts. i suppose i just thought she was just zaftig. i remember her ankle brace, i remember that she has a tattoo on her foot, i remember the midwifery necklace she once wore, but i do not recall any bump ever. mind you i had only begin seeing her towards the end of my own pregnancy so i'd never seen her sans enfant, but still...

not perceiving someone as clearly pregnant when they are is just as bad as thinking someone is pregnant when they aren't, in my opinion. how do you save face? i just thought about how i felt when i was at a party at about six months in and people repeatedly asked me if i wanted a beer. i kept looking pointedly at my rounded belly and said, "i'd sure love one but no thanks... got any seltzer?" what did they think that was -- a giant beer gut? ugh.

Monday, October 09, 2006

camping and the constitution

otto's serious about gun control

this weekend, we took our little granola-in-the-making for the ultimate crunchy christening -- the camping trip. he probably slept better out there in the wilds of wisconsin than at home. this kid's got a metabolism that wont quit and is always roasting hot so, bundled up right, he seemed to feel just fine. casey and i enjoyed doing very little but reading; rubbing sore backs; snoozing in the sun; and making yummy campsite fare like scrambled eggs in an iron skillet, hot vanilla soymilk to drink, and red beans and rice. we didn't see any wildlife [i think it's hunting season because we heard gunshots] but we did hear coyotes at night. freaky. if you haven't already seen them on casey's blog, here are the great photos from the weekend.

speaking of gunshots and chil'ens, can someone please explain to me why there are so many kids with firearms shooting up their schools this year? we're only into october and the number of shootings is truly alarming. i've said it before and i'll say it again: all the violence makes you start to really respect the commitment some parents make to homeschool, at least for elementary school years. just today, i heard a junior high boy took an ak-47 to his principal's office, pointed the barrel at the personnel and begged them "not to make (him) do it". when i was in junior high, i was too worried about salt stains on my black suede scrunch boots and if my rat tail was still pink to even know or care what a kalashnikov was. i think it's high time for this government to consider whether the second amendment needs some mending. it's been 230 years -- it seems to me to be a little tattered and threadbare for my liking.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the maple ate my baby

if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em

we've got a huge maple tree in the front of our house between the sidewalk and the street. it's got to be the largest tree on the block, and it's getting old; it sheds branches and big hunks of bark constantly. aside from springtime when i'm cursing it for spewing those infernal whirlicopters everywhere, i like this tree. the light that comes through the leaves makes our already green frontroom absolutely verdant. on lazy weekends, i wake up slowly by watching its thin uppermost branches dangle in the breeze outside our bedroom window.

last night in bed, we listened to a menacing scratching noise coming from above us.

"it's the tree. it's too big and it's touching the roof. we gotta call the city," casey said.

the last storm had kicked the crap out it and it seemed as if it was in its death throes, clambering and clawing at the house for help as the wind picked up.

early this morning as i was nursing otto peacefully in his teeny tiny room, i looked out the skylight to see one cute, lone branch of the apple tree to the south of the house, bouncing benignly, waving hello. at that moment, it reminded me of the tree from poltergeist outside robbie's room. i don't trust it -- that movie has ruined me.