28 July 2006

The Unborn

Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.

Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber - servants, half-
Listening for the bell.

Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office

And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.

Sharon Olds


Little Lion Man will be baptised in 2 days. And then, in one month, Blue will turn 2 years old. I can't believe how quickly the time has been flying by. I was thinking today about my miscarriage. Not that I don't think about it a lot, because I do, but I mean today I sat down and thought about it and didn't do anything else for a long time.

This September, Jonathan and I would be celebrating a birthday. We would have a 7 year old.

A 7 year old what, though. Up until today, I always thought that that baby was going to be a girl. I just had this feeling the baby, who we called Gus, was a girl. We liked the name Rosemary. Who knows what name we would have ultimately chosen. Blue was almost Cora, Jane, Georgiana, Penelope or Nina depending on the day. Even on the day she was born, we were still liking the sound of Nina!

And we were so sure that Lion was a girl--and his name would have been Eliza or Violet. That's what makes me wonder, though. Why was I so sure that Gus was going to be a girl? I thought Blue was going to be a boy. I was so shocked in the hospital when the nurse said, "It's a girl!" And then I really thought Lion was going to be a girl... So maybe I was wrong all three times.

Andrea's mom saw me in the mall when I was pregnant with Gus. I had gained so much weight right from the start. Even my face looked puffy. She said, "You're having a girl. I can tell." Everyone said that. They said, when you're pregnant with a girl, you gain weight all over.

But I gained a lot of weight all over right away with both Blue and Lion. True, I gained more weight with Blue, but I gained weight like crazy at the onset of all three pregnancies. So that doesn't really prove anything either.

I don't know why this bothers me so much. Now. After all this time. Maybe because I always assumed I knew at least that one small detail about the baby who would have been my first-born. And now, having been pregnant 2 more times, and having been wrong both of those times, I'm wondering, was I right? Was Gus a girl? Or was he a boy? I would have liked to have known at least that.

26 July 2006


me: I got up at 6:30 this morning to go to the gym.

Mom: You did what?! Who are you?!

me: What? So I joined a gym...

Mom: No, I mean, I don't think you've ever gotten up that early in your life!

25 July 2006

Best Day Ever

My babies rock! They ROCK!!!

First, we actually all three made it out of this house and to the movie theatre on time! Then, we sat down--the Lion in his baby carrier, Blue on a booster seat. The movie started and Blue watched with her head down. She did not make a sound. I kept talking to her, to make sure she wasn't nervous because it was so dark.

"Who's that?"

"Do you see Elmo?"

Every now and then she would whisper "Big Bird" under her breath.

The Lion watched the movie, too. I held him on my lap and gave him a bottle. He drank the whole thing with his big, googly eyes glued to the screen.

The movie sucked. Mandy Patinkin was in it. He was a bad guy. With humongous eyebrows.

Vanessa Williams was in it, too. She was the Queen of Trash. Or something.

I stayed as long as I could and then I asked Blue if she wanted to go get some ice cream. She said, "Okay," so we left. I think they would have made it through the whole movie, but it was just so Godawful...

So then we went to Friendly's and had some lunch.Blue  had a strawberry sundae. Lion slept the whole time we were there. I'm telling you, it was a perfect day.

Jonathan will be shocked. He is prepared for all sorts of horror stories when he gets home.

Further Proof

In case you needed it, further proof that I am insane:

Today, I will attempt to take both babies to a free showing of "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland."

Wish me luck!

24 July 2006

The Real Deal

The Lion is eating real baby food now! My mom gave him some banana baby food Friday night. Yesterday he had some butternut squash, and tonight he sat in the high chair and ate a whole jar of banana baby food! That's my boy!

21 July 2006

It's Not the Pox!

Whatever. She's still horribly red and itchy, poor kid. Apparently, my Blue is allergic to the penicillin I have been dutifully shooting into her mouth with a syringe twice a day. Oops! At least I can stop checking poor Lion's fat little body for suspicious-looking spots. He, my friends, is not on the penicillin.

Speaking of the Lion, he is five months old today!

Happy birthday, little lion man!

20 July 2006

Tastes Like Chicken ...Pox

As if strep wasn't bad enough, now my Blue has chicken pox! Poor little baby.

It's a little scary, though, that she can have such a high fever and act completely normal. I get even a low fever and I start crying. It's like some weird knee-jerk reaction. I also cry every time I throw up. I am just one big cry-baby.

But Blue had a fever last week of 103 for 3 days straight and except for the fact that the child was burning hot to the touch and her eyes were a little glassy, she seemed absolutely fine. Maybe she's some kind of superhero.

She has a raging fever, but no one knows. She could be near death, but she keeps it on the down-low. She's Super-Sneaky Sicko!

Seriously. As my mom would say:

It scares the crap out of me.

I will be chasing this poor kid around with a rectal thermometer her whole childhood. "Come to Mommy!"

23 Months Old!

Blue is 23 months old today! I cannot believe how fast the time is passing! Tonight she had her first real phone conversation! Usually, we put the phone up to her ear and she just stands there, silent, or she pulls away from the phone to look at it. Which always puzzled me, because she loves to walk around with our old phone and talk into it. Anyway, I was on the phone with Jonathan tonight and I held the phone up to her ear, and suddenly she said,


So then my mom (who was here with me and can bear witness) and I stared at each other in amazement as Blue went on to say "yeah" a few times before I finally took the phone back.

Blue was so excited. You could tell she "gets" it now--that the voice on the phone really is talking to her. And Jonathan was so excited, too.

After I had hung up, I said to my mom that I am so glad Blue's first real phone conversation was with her Daddy. My mom said, "Well, Daddy always comes first." And it's so true. Blue just adores her Daddy.

19 July 2006

Celebrity Look-Alikes

If anyone ever made a movie about my life, here are my suggestions for who could play my family:

18 July 2006

Jon the Builder

And now for the most important shout out I've ever posted on this blog... And then I am retiring from this business of shouting. I'm getting hoarse (har-de-har har).

I have to take a moment to talk about this man:

Can't see him clearly? Okay. Here he is again:

This man--this wonderfully talented man--of mine has been building me a fabulous deck. It is so incredibly perfectly constructed. You should have seen the precise drawings, the hours spent poring over the books, the calculations, the trips to Home Depot, the haggling for a discount at 84 Lumber... You would be amazed.

Who is this guy? I had no idea he was lurking in my husband's soul, desperate to escape and start creating. I mean, I know my Jonny is gifted. Duh. He is truly a Renaissance man, but this... This is awesome! I had no idea. I'm watching him and I see all these projects in my mind's eye: He could build the kids a playground! He could build us a patio with a fire-pit! He could build us another house!

It is so incredible to be able to walk out our back door! This is the third house we have lived in together that had a back door that we couldn't use. It's the weirdest feeling, just opening up that door and stepping through it... I feel like I am suddenly able to walk through walls. I feel like I am stepping through a wardrobe into Narnia. God, I am such a geek!

Friends, this deck is humongous. You could see it from space. Seriously. I tease him. I say, "Why stop there? Why not keep going and deck the whole yard? The whole street? The whole neighborhood?"

He is a man obsessed. I tease him about that too:

me: Have you heard that new Hoobastank song on the radio?
Jonathan: (all distracted,
barely glancing up from his latest sketch of our back yard)

What? Um, no, I don't think so.
me: Oh, that's right! It's not about your deck...

Seriously, Boy, all teasing aside, I am very, very impressed. What are you gonna build for me next?

Oh My Goddddd

I just heard some crazy, crazy news from one of my closest friends...

So you know what that means. Yes, it's time for yet another shout out:

Congratulations to you!
Congratulations to you!
Congratulations, dear Lesley!
Congratulations to you!

I still think you are insane, but I am also very, very happy for you. And Peter. And Patrick and Lily.

I'm going to pop open a Sam Adams, at 12:45 in the afternoon (why not--both babies are napping!) and toast you:

May you not have such bad, bad morning sickness this time that you need to be hospitalized! May you have a healthy happy baby. May Lily be an excellent walker by March 6 so you don't need to borrow my cumbersome double stroller. May you come up with a truly kick-ass L or P name. And (most importantly) may you lose all of the baby weight yet again... Here's to you, Mrs. Jones, you wacky, wonderful girl. Better you than me!

14 July 2006

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

I would like to send a great big shout out today to my dear friends, Christina and Jeremy, who are celebrating their daughter's first birthday!

Congratulations, you two, on surviving this crazy, hellish, wonderful year! And happy birthday, baby!

13 July 2006

My Blue Has Strep

I Will Hold You
While the moon is still high
I hear your cries pierce any hope
of a good night's sleep.
You make out my shadow and
your arms rise up as your voice
calls me to calm you
with the magic balm of Mother.
I whisper I am here, there,
there, it's okay. I will carry you
on swaying hips, hypnotic
as a ship softly dancing on waves.
Let my lips brush your flushed cheeks
let your fever evaporate through pores
let your head rest against my chest
let my heart lull you back to sleep
let the steps of our lullaby waltz
set the pace for your labored breath
let the air flow in and out easy
as the tide of a still and steady sea.
I will hold you
'til the first glint of white
rubs its way through your swollen gums
'til the day breaks free from its nocturnal cage
and the gray light bathes the fields awake
'til the dawn washes darkness from the sky
I will hold you.
I will hold you
while all other souls rest
in the peace of these walls, of their dreams
in this night, I will hold you.
I will hold you
'til your cries subside into the sigh of fatigue.
I will hold you 'til you can no longer hold
the weight of your own eyelids
as they overtake your drive to see
to remain awake and in pain
I will hold you
'til the unbearable strain of childhood becomes bearable.
I will hold you 'til your sippy cup is half full.
I will hold you 'til the needs or nightmares of a sibling
become louder than yours.
I will hold you
while minutes melt hours into days into years
I will hold you 'til my arms can no longer carry.
I will hold you 'til you no longer reach for me
'til you find comfort in the arms of another
or the solace of solitude
until then, I will hold you
I will hold you 'til then.

Diana Ayton-Shenker

10 July 2006

This is serious stuff

Today, Gentle Reader, I am going to talk a little bit about Religion. And I'm not preaching, I'm just talking. Just airing out some confusion I'm feeling. Thasssall. Don't get your panties in a bunch, as they say.

Skip this post if you want to--I don't care. I won't even know because I don't have some kind of hidden counter on my blog to tell me if anyone other than my mom is actually reading the crap I post here. I wanted to get a counter--I think it would be cool to know if I am popular or not--but then I found out you actually had to pay for one, and I am just too cheap for that! Plus, I doubt anyone is reading this crap anyway, so I'd rather not know. I mean, I read some blogs and I am just blown away by their potent honesty. Like the Gallivanting Monkey blog. She has really summed up being a mom so well, that I think, What could I possibly have to say that could top that?

But, anyway, on to Religion.

Here's the thing: sometimes I wonder if I am really supposed to be Jewish. No, don't laugh. I have a couple of shallow reasons, and then I have some pretty valid ones. Here goes:

Shallow reason number one: My maiden name is Roth, and that is German. A lot of Germans are Jewish. Ergo, my family may have been Jewish at one time.

Very, very shallow but also very funny reason number two: My Jewish friend, Kurt, told me once, "your dad is the most Jewish-lookin' guy I've ever seen!" I look a lot like my dad. Therefore, I must look Jewish, too.

picture of my dad with the Lion

very stupid reason number three: I love Matzoh. And Rugelach. And when I made my list recently (which I didn't bother posting but I may have to now that I am citing it) of my top ten hot-hot-hotties, five out of the ten guys I listed were Jewish! Which surprised me. I have always thought I had a thing for Englishmen, but apparently not. Apparently I have a thing for Jewish men instead. Which maybe explains why I used to have a thing for my friend, Kurt. So I love Matzoh, I love Rugelach and I apparently love Jewish men.

Valid reason number one: I don't know if I would call myself a Christian. Seriously. I was raised Catholic, and just this past year I decided I am definitely not a Catholic. Don't laugh, I am being very serious. That was a difficult decision (I guess I like definitions) but I realized I have a lot of disagreements with the Catholic church. I am still very protective--I don't like people who were not raised Catholic dissing the Catholic church for some reason, but I most definitely am not a Catholic.

This decision led me to wonder what I actually am then. I guess I would be a Christian, but the word "Christian" has a very negative connotation for me as of late. Which is sad, I suppose. But the word "Christian" has been hijacked and completely redefined for me to mean a variety of negative, political things. Which is sad, because I think being Christian should have nothing to do with your definition of a good American and everything to do with whether you are a good person. And because I think Jesus, were he alive today would not care if someone were gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, black or white or rich or poor. And he would not care if there were prayer in school or in a courthouse or before a sporting event or anywhere in public for that matter as long as there were prayer period. He would just want everyone to love everyone else and treat one another with compassion and respect, right? I mean, wasn't that, after all, his message?

Wow. So I am probably not a Christian anyway. Because I cannot bring myself to love everyone. I cannot love a pedophile. And I just cannot love these sickos--check out those big grins on their creepy faces while they hold up their messages of hate:


Anyway, so it's not that I don't believe in Jesus. I do. I believe that he lived and that he died and that he taught a lot of wonderful lessons that people may or may not follow. I just have trouble with the word "Christian."

Valid reason number two: I also--and this is much more serious--have trouble with some of the major concepts of Christianity. Like the idea that I can only get into Heaven if I pray to God through Jesus. Why do I have to go through Jesus? Or a priest? Or anyone for that matter? Why does God need a secretary? Why can't I just pray directly to God? Because I do pray. I do believe in God. I just don't tack the little "in Jesus' name, we pray" onto the end of my prayers. Because I just don't understand that part. No offense Jesus, but I'm takin' my prayers directly to God.

God, if you're not too busy, could you give me some sort of sign? Am I supposed to be Jewish? Or Christian? Just check the box, yes or no.

In the meantime, we are having the Lion baptised in two weeks. Jonathan is definitely secure in his Christianity. He has some issues with the word "Christian" too, but he is a Methodist, and they are pretty decent, non-hatin' people. I don't mind if my children are Methodists. Maybe I'll be a Methodist, too.

Italy defeats France!

08 July 2006

I think

I look exactly like my mother in this picture.


has got to be the most beautiful word I've ever heard.

07 July 2006

My Little Cook

Blue's new favorite hobby is cooking. I guess it runs in the family. Here she is, taste-testing a batch of vanilla pudding.

I particularly like her technique of stirring the pudding with her bare hands. Niiice.

06 July 2006

long awkward pose

Check out this site Jonathan showed me. I added the link to my favorite blogs list. Very funny.