Monday, June 30, 2008


We celebrated Kirk’s third birthday yesterday. I tried out a potato salad recipe using sweet potatoes on my unsuspecting friends and relatives.

Sweet! Potato Salad!

I cut up and arranged a veggie tray myself and was very pleased with the presentation.


I had asked Kirk what kind of a cake he wanted and he very quickly responded "White!" Thinking that I needed to make sure I then asked him if he wanted a white, yellow, brown, or pink cake and again, "White!" So that was easy to make. I utterly failed at the decoration, however, and turned that duty over to Mr. b. Who clearly had fun with it.


Mr. b hauled out all of our various lightsabers and the kids had a great time chasing each other around and smacking each other.

May the Force be with you.

Auntie C got Kirk a stomp rocket set. This meant that, despite her fancy party dress, A2 was gleefully climbing fences and rooftops to retrieve lost rockets all afternoon.

Holding Court

We were having so much fun we nearly forgot to have cake! The balloon candles were to match the balloons that Mr. b bought with a helium tank. The kids really loved releasing them.

Holding Court

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Warning: The following post contains Too Much Information. Turn back now. This is your only warning.

I’ve been off the pill for two and a half weeks now and things are weird. I haven’t been able to tell if I’m experiencing side-effects from the sudden lack of hormones in my body or if there are just a plethora of coincidences going on.

I spent most of my trip to Georgia this last weekend running to and from the bathroom. Ever since France I tend to have butt issues if I drink either too much in one sitting or just a little bit, too many days in a row. So my initial guess was that the copious amount of red wine I drank at the rehearsal dinner, coupled with the two margaritas I had the night before, was coming back to haunt me. After all, I had been awakened in the middle of the night with the worst heartburn I’ve ever had. At least since I was pregnant. And naturally I couldn’t find any antacids while quietly ransacking my aunt and uncle’s house in the dark.

But unlike previous visits from José Nus after drinking too much, this wouldn’t go away. And if it wasn’t actual diarrhea, then it was ridiculous amounts of gas. And if it wasn’t gas, then it was painful cramps. What the hell was going on? I had a mere two glasses of wine at the wedding reception, and that was spread out over the course of many hours, much not-up-to-par wedding food, and not a little bit of dancing.

My mother, evil creature that she is, suggested that perhaps I was not experiencing a hormone level adjustment. She thought it was hilarious to imply that perhaps I had already gotten knocked up. Har dee har har. Not funny. Too fast! Too fast! Maybe it’s just pre-PMS. After all, I have no idea what my cycle is like without the regulation of the pill. I believe I sped up a little last time, though a pattern is obviously not made by a mere two periods. And since intestinal issues are a semi-regular early indicator for me, maybe that’s all they’re a harbinger of?

The other strange thing that happened when I went off the pill is an inability to come. I’ve always been a believer that a woman is in charge of her own orgasm. So that’s got to be psychological, right? But why? I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been preggers before. Thankfully it’s only been twice, at the beginning of the month, and seems to have stopped since then.

I don’t know how I feel about possibly being up the spout again. Already. I mean, obviously I should be grateful to be so ridiculously fertile, especially when there are so many people that have had trouble conceiving even once. And I admit that it would be kind of fun to tell my whole extended family in one fell swoop next month at the reunion. How does due date math go? February? It would be winter for sure. Gah! I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Even though I’m really not ready. And they always say you need to wait three full months after going off the pill to clear out your system, or else you’re at increased risk for miscarriage. Which I don’t know how I’d be able to handle, not to mention Mr. b.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Birthday Boy

What do you get for a three year old's birthday? We've been thinking of having a balloon theme for his party, not because of any particularly excessive attachment to balloons on Kirk's part, but rather it's an easy thing to do. Balloon's are simple party favors and I think Mr. b would like to have an excuse to rent a helium tank.

Kirk's not really old enough to want anything and he certainly doesn't really need anything. He's starting to see stuff on TV and ask for it, but he hasn't gotten to the point where he throws a fit. He'll try to sneak the point-of-sale items onto the check out conveyor belt or into the cart but doesn't notice when they don't actually make it home. He'll declare that he "has that" when he sees a toy he really likes on an ad or in a catalogue.

I've been trying to work with him on telling me what he wants for his birthday. He knows that his birthday is next (technically it's Grandpa's but since he's in Texas I guess we'll give Kirk a pass on that one this year) because it's after mine. My birthday is when it's almost hot. Kirk's birthday is when it's hot. (Again, maybe not the best explanation for a cool summer like we seem to be having but it was the best I could do all winter long as cousin after cousin celebrated their birthdays.)

So far Kirk has requested the following:
  • a birthday hat

  • Lightning McQueen cars (including Mack and "the naughty cars")

  • Finding Nemo jammies

  • And that's it. That's all I have to go on.

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    belsum the Vampire Reader

    I’ve accidentally gotten addicted to reading vampire books. It’s no mere seasonal thing like I thought before. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Buffy for the first time ever? But really, these things are awesome! They’re like…the perfect smut for a sci-fi chick! And who doesn’t like that? I had previously thought there were only two choices for dirty books: literature like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski or Harlequin bodice-ripping romance novels. Yet there’s this whole world out there!

    I was looking forward to Bloodsucking Fiends since I’ve enjoyed the two previous Christopher Moore books I’ve read. It was nice to have a female vampire protagonist, Jody, for a change. And since she wasn’t centuries old it was a brand new perspective on the idea of becoming undead. There was a bit of a mystery and a bit of a love story and yet it was mostly just plain hilarious and absurd. Jody’s boyfriend, Tommy, and his friends/co-workers added a really fun and exuberant element. There’s a sequel, You Suck, which I fully intend to read, this time not just because I’m working my way through Moore’s oeuvre. Mr. b accidentally read the sequel first so I know that it will feature the boyfriend and I look forward to his perspective on becoming a vamp.

    Twilight had been recommended to me a few times and I knew that it was big with The Kids. I read a review of Stephenie Meyer’s latest book and it sounded good so I figured I’d like this one. What an understatement. I completely and utterly fell in love with the protagonist, Bella, and her vampire boyfriend, Edward. There were some major changes to “standard” vampire mythology but they all fit within the confines of the world that was created. And as a romance, it was completely chaste, yet extremely passionate. I can fully understand why it has so caught on with the middle school crowd and I’m really excited that they’re making a movie. I am thrilled that there are two more books already published and at least one more in progress.

    There were a lot of differences between Sunshine and the other two books. Robin McKinley created a dense and fully believable world, but it was a modern alternate universe. Whereas in the previous two vampires were secret and unknown to the outside populace, New Arcadia was still recovering from the last war with Others, vampires being the darkest of those. The technology and setting was modern, but with alt labels and names for things we have in our own world. And there’re demons and monsters and sorcerers. The complete realization of the way that magic functions within that universe reminded me a lot of the Dresden Files. There was the same dank realism, the same hard boiled edge. Though Sunshine herself is going through a voyage of self-discovery, so it also reminded me of War for the Oaks. Events and circumstances thrust her deep into the unknown, and by the end, I wanted more. In general this was a much more adult story and I simply adored it. I’m not aware of a sequel, and maybe it wouldn’t be possible to write one without diminishing some of the elements that made this book so enchanting, but I’d read it anyway.

    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    Imagine all the Poopies

    Kirk’s sense of humor and imagination has really been flourishing of late. It’s so much fun to watch happen. And it’s usually hysterical to hear.

    He likes to have nouns in his favorite books replaced with “fart” or “poop”. You have to keep up the replacement while reading the whole thing and he’ll just giggle and cackle every single time. Clearly he’s going to be into Mad-Libs before too long.

    When he’s being a pain in the ass and not doing something we need to have him do, it’s inevitably because whatever he’s doing – running around in circles, trying to put his diaper on over his pants – is “funny”. Except it’s not. But I’m so glad he thinks it is!

    He’s begun to be more of a storyteller, too. I overheard some game he was playing in the bathtub the other day. He was the bus driver and Mr. b was the passenger and he was going on and on about needing to get to the strawberry store but oops, the bus needs more batteries. I’m not doing it any kind of justice at all. It was a lengthy one-act and it was all of his own devising.

    Kirk’s been telling other people about his band. It’s called Steggy Steggy. (Or is that Steggie Steggie?) He plays guitar, his mama plays drums, his daddy plays bass, and his kitties play keyboards. His band has band practice and gigs. He sings and jumps and does headstands. It sounds quite impressive. I’d really like to see the show someday!

    But my favorite thing is his caring for the mustard bottle. That’s right, a big ol’ yellow Plochman’s bottle. He would play with it in the refrigerator door, taking the little cap off and putting it back on, so when it was empty I washed it out and gave it to him as a bath toy. Then he started talking about how his mustard bottle is sick. And hungry. And sad. And tired. And he needs to keep his mustard bottle safe. We’ve put paper towel diapers on the mustard bottle. The nuturing behavior has extended on occasion to the plastic green slinky his kitties gave him for Christmas and an assortment of small plastic dinosaurs. I’ve had to actually pull out jammies and “put them on” them. He’ll then cuddle with whatever-it-is when he goes to bed at night. It’s sweet and hilarious.

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    Whine, Whine, Crab, and Complain

    Usually I go into a black funk about once a year and usually it’s in the dead of winter. One would assume that means that it’s a seasonal thing, lack of light and warmth and whatnot. But it’s lack of friends that does it to me. And usually the dead of winter is when no one is going out. The holidays are done, everyone is broke, but we haven’t yet crossed that line where we’re all so fed up with the snow and cold that we say Fuck it and go out anyway. For some reason that didn’t really happen to me this winter. Which is odd because this was the winter that wouldn’t frickin’ end.

    But I’m feeling it now. And it’s not just a lengthy separation from humans that is doing it this time. It’s a strong feeling of actual betrayal. Like I’m not worth anyone’s time and effort.

    I’m expected to go to people’s events. I’m expected to care about people’s stuff. And I genuinely do care and I genuinely enjoy attending! I don’t think I’m naively overestimating my importance to my circle of friends. I know that everybody is older and busier. There are kids and pregnancies and spreading families and business trips and health issues and family drama and people have moved away and there’s career focus and fame and chores and break-ups and new loves and yardwork and home improvements and trips and surprises and real life stuff that gets in the way all the time. I love seeing how everyone has grown. I love hearing everyone’s stories, good and bad. But why am I the only one listening?

    I guess it’s the concept of a two-way friendship. Who’s doing all the work? Who’s making the plans and seeing them through? Who’s putting in the effort? If it’s always in one direction, then why is it continuing? And that’s what bothers me so much this time. If it doesn’t work out, great. But that also means it’s never going to happen. Because I’m the only one that’s going to set it up or go the distance.

    Is that naïve? Is that bitchy? Is that realistic? Is that pessimistic? Is that haughty? I don’t know. Maybe I’m being an elitist and setting myself apart from everyone else. Maybe I’m feeling sorry for myself and being a baby.

    There’s so much talk about how the internet brings people together. And I believe that strongly. I have so many wonderful friendships that would never have been possible without email and message boards. When I was little I used to long for pen pals. The internet has certainly provided them, domestic as well as international. And the US Postal Service can likely attest to the fact that long distance sharing and gift giving has increased with those long distance relationships. But what about the local ones? What about when you stop emailing friends and expect them to just read your blog instead? What about when you won’t respond to email and communication is relegated to blog comments only? What about when it’s just easier to send a text message instead of actually showing up? What about when it’s too much trouble to change your own plans to accommodate someone that’s coming a long way? The trick with Facebook and MySpace and everything else is that we’ve all become internet friends without meaning to. We don’t actually see each other any more. Most people don’t even use the phone.

    I’m certainly not excluding myself from this behavior. I’m overjoyed when I find out someone will text me back quicker than call back. It’s easier. I definitely haven’t returned the favor for people that have made the effort, whether it involves travel or a trip to the post office. I blow off parties and shows and use lack of babysitter as an excuse when I just don’t want to put in the effort. And yet I still seem to get out. Sometimes more than people than don’t have kids as their primary excuse. So what does that say about me? That I’m better than everyone else and I deserve a medal? Or that I’m more desperate and I crave the company of fellow humans and feed off companionship to function? Are they the same thing? Should I just suck it up and get over myself? Do I have an actual legitimate grudge? I am actually pretty pissed. But I’m not very good at holding grudges. It seems like a good idea until I actually see someone again. Or talk to them on the phone. Or email them. Usually email. I live for email. It’s my fault I guess. One or two close friends versus a wide circle of friends of varying closeness? I like both options. I just like having friends. And I want to know where the hell they went.