Thursday, January 28, 2010


Sunset on the North Shore of Oahu. Why did I leave, again?

There were so many legitimate reasons for leaving Hawaii. Not the least of which being that we simply couldn't afford to stay. We would have lost our house.

And there was the isolation. It's so, so far away. I hated being 13 hours of travel (at least, assuming no delays) away from my family and friends on the East Coast.

And the insane cost of living.

And the provincialism and racism and general closed-mindedness of so many of the people there.

And the traffic, which was so crushing that it often made me feel trapped and claustrophobic.

But right now, when my head is throbbing from sinus pressure, and everyone in my family (except Josie, miraculously) is coughing or hacking or snurfling in one form or another, and it's cold and winter will be lasting at least a few months more, and I have to scrape the ice off of my car before I go anywhere...

right now, when the thought of being able to drive 5 minutes, like I used to, and be on the beach, feeling warm and healthy and relaxed, with my children happily playing in the sand and my husband and me taking turns grabbing a few waves on the longboard...

right now, all of those legitimate reasons feel very difficult to comprehend.

White Plains Beach, our local beach in Hawaii, 5 minutes down the road from our house

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

F-ed up body issues!

Josie had her 4-month checkup this week. She's perfectly healthy and doing all the things she's supposed to be doing -- playing with her hands, examining faces, cooing and gurgling, reaching for and grasping toys. She's eating and pooping and growing and making appropriate progress.

Except that she's a little bit on the skinny side. She's in the 60th percentile for height, but only the 10th for weight. She was long and thin to start off, so it's not unusual for her to maintain that trajectory, but she has fallen off the curve a little bit in the weight department.

And it's not cause for alarm or anything. She's bright-eyed and happy and alert and doing great, and it's not like she's malnourished. But the doctor wouldn't mind if she gained a little bit more weight relative to her height.

Except that when I heard her stats, I thought to myself, Sweet! If she can maintain that ratio, she'll be set. She could be a model or something.

Which is totally fucked up. I have no particular desire for my daughter to be a model, and of course I'll love her no matter what she looks like.

Though it doesn't hurt to go through life taller and skinnier rather than shorter and fatter, given one's druthers.

I just hate that my first thought was more along the lines of, "oooh, she'll be skinny and hot" rather than, "great! she's healthy!"*

*Of course, I also was happy that she is healthy and growing, and I thought so at the time. It just wasn't my very first thought.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aussie word of the day: sick-bed edition

Jason is still sick. Very, very sick. Like, can barely breathe or stand up and is still having massive coughing fits in which he coughs up blood kind of sick.

In Aussie-speak, he's crook, mate.

Saturday or Sunday night (they're all running together at this point), I was downstairs in my bedroom, futzing around on the computer. Jason was feeling somewhat human and was up in the kitchen giving Zeke some dinner.

All of a sudden, I heard Zeke yelling, "Daddy! DADDY! Wake up!! Wake up, Daddy!"

And then I heard Jason moaning.


Something's not right, I thought to myself.

I sprinted up the stairs to find Jason passed out cold on the floor. He came to a few seconds later.

"What happened?? Are you OK?"

"I don't know. I was standing at the sink and then I was on the floor and I heard Zeke yelling at me to wake up. I must have passed out."

"Jesus Christ. I told you to take it easy. Get into bed now, please."

It turns out his pneumonia is viral, not bacterial, meaning it doesn't respond to antibiotics. So instead of being better within 5 days or so, as the ER doctor predicted, it looks like he's going to be out for at least another week and a half. Another week and a half of him feeling like shit, not being able to breathe, not being able to do anything.

I was telling my mom about it this morning.

"Poor thing!" she lamented.

"Yeah, which one?" I asked.

"You, of course."

I'm trying really hard to keep it together for everyone. The kids are diapered and fed and in laundered clothes, and I'm doing my best to keep the house from looking like the "before" part of an episode of Clean House. This too shall pass, I guess.

In the meantime, happy Australia Day, everyone!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My bad. But still, is he mentally impaired??

OK, I'm the asshole.

Because it turns out that Jason wasn't sniveling about some little cold. He's got pneumonia.

I called him today from work to see how he was doing. He said he almost didn't call me back because he felt too weak to get to the phone, but decided at the last minute to return the call.

"How're you doing, honey?" I asked.

"I feel like shit."

"Are you still having trouble breathing?"

"Yeah. And the coughing's getting worse. I'm coughing up blood."

"Did you say you're coughing up blood??"

"Yeah. But it's not a big deal. It's mixed with saliva."

"Jesus Christ, Jason. I'm coming home and I'm taking you to the emergency room."

"Oh, I don't think we need to do that. It's only a little bit of blood. It actually started last night."

"Are you fucking insane? Coughing up blood is bad. We're going to the hospital."

He was so weak when I got home, from the vomiting and the coughing and, oh, yeah, the fucking infected mass in his lung, that he could barely move. His abdomen hurt so much that it was painful for him to stand up, and when he did manage to stand up, he'd get stricken by a coughing fit.

When we got to the hospital, there were no parking spots in front of the ER.

"Honey, I'll drop you off at the door and go park."

"I'll just sit here on the sidewalk and wait for you."

I thought my head was going to explode.

"Have you lost your mind? You're not going to sit on the goddamned sidewalk. You're 10 feet from the ER check-in area. Just go in and tell them you need help, and I'll park the car and be in there to help you in 2 minutes."

So we went in, and they x-rayed and CT scanned his chest, and sure enough, it's pneumonia, and his oxygen saturation was marginal enough that they almost weren't going to let him go home, at least not without putting him on oxygen. But he's got his antibiotics and his Vicodin and his cough medicine, and I've got him bundled up in bed with juice and Gatorade. And he's not questioning me when I tell him to take his medicine or to lie down.

I feel horrible for him, because he's terribly uncomfortable and still coughing and weak. But I seriously think his illness - any any illness he gets, really - has spread to his brain.

Dear Sick Husband,

I know you're not feeling good. I really do. Your eyes are red and watery, you've got a fever, you're stomach is in full-on revolt, you're coughing.

And I'm so, so sympathetic. I was recently sick for about 3 1/2 weeks, and it was miserable. So I feel your pain, honestly.

But for fuck's sake.

I've never encountered a transformation quite like the one you go through when you're ill. You go from big, strong strapping man to sniveling drama queen with a barely functioning brain in no time flat, and it's kind of ridiculous.

Yesterday I got a message from you at around 1:15 in the afternoon. You sounded all croaky and miserable, and said that you were on your way home from work because you were sick. And that you had left Vail at 9 in the morning. In other words, over 4 hours ago. And that you were still a half an hour from home.

Vail is a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from where we live.

As you explained when I called you back, you had been stopping at every rest stop along the highway to puke and rest.

Which is pitiful, but if you were so sick and puke-y, why get on the road at all? You've got an apartment with a bed in Vail. If you couldn't stand up without hurling, why not get in bed until you feel like you can make the drive without it taking 5 fucking hours??

But I held my tongue and left work early and stopped and got you some Sprite. I took your temperature and gave you medicine and tucked you into bed. I made you tea and toast and soup. I kept the children entertained and fed and bathed and PJ'd them by myself.

This morning I found you asleep in the guest room, where you went when you were afraid your coughing would disturb me. And I appreciate that. I asked you how you were doing, and first you just grunted, but then finally mustered up the energy to say, "not good."

"What's going on?"

"My lungs hurt. I can't take deep breaths. I feel nauseous."

"Do you want me to call and make you a doctor's appointment?"

"Yes, please."

"OK, honey."

"But not for today."


"What do you mean, 'not for today?' Why not?"

"I can't go anywhere. I can't stand up without wanting to throw up."

"Do you want me to leave work and take you to the doctor?"

"Oh, that would be great."

It's a good thing I have strong eyeball muscles, otherwise I would have sprained them from the rolling.

"OK, honey. Here, have something to drink, and take some more medicine."

"O...K....," you croaked.


See you later, honey. I'm off to take the kids to school and then to go to work. I'll be home in a few hours to take you to the doctor.

You big baby.

Your loving wife,


Thursday, January 21, 2010

TMI Thursday: Walt Disney causes gender confusion in a toddler

TMI Thursday

OK, folks, time for another TMI Thursday. Click the picture above to read more awesomely cringe-worthy TMIs courtesy of LiLu at

Zeke is increasingly interested in private parts. Both his own and other people's. He's had his hand in his junk pretty much since a) he discovered he had control over his hands and figured out how to grab things, and b) he discovered his penis.

But now, he's all interested in checking out everyone else's business, too.

"Baby's penis!" he'll say when I've got Josie on her changing table.

"No, Josie doesn't have a penis. She's a girl. She has a vagina." I decided early on I wasn't going to come up with some cutesy name for it.

"Baby's vagina!"


Or I'll be getting dressed in the morning and trying to talk to him about how he needs to go find his socks or something. But if I'm standing there in my underwear, he's all mesmerized, staring at my groin, like he's trying to develop X-ray vision to see through my clothes.

I'll say, "Zeke. Zeke! I'm talking to you! Pay attention!" But he's a total fucking zombie, all engrossed by what's behind my Fruit of the Looms. Or he'll just point and say, "Mama's vagina!" And I'm all, "yeah, yeah, Mama has a vagina. Now go get your socks."


But at least in those situations, there's clarity about what to say.

The other day I was putting Zeke in his PJs while he was playing with a little Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. The doll has a pair of pants with a hole in the back where the mouse's tail pokes through.

"Tail," Zeke observed.

"Yes, that's his tail."

"And that's his bum-bum," he said, pointing to the mouse's butt.


He turned the mouse around and pulled down the doll's little pants. "Mouse's penis," he said, pointing between the doll's legs.

"No, actually, the mouse doesn't have a penis."

Zeke thought for a second. "Mouse's vagina!"

"No, well, actually, honey, the mouse doesn't have a vagina either. He doesn't have anything."

This was not a satisfactory answer. "Mouse's penis! Mouse's vagina!"


I have no idea what to say about this one. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all (mouse) ears.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thanks for the mammaries*

Right now, Jason has a lot more free time than I do. He doesn't like being away from the family during the week, and he works long, hard hours, but the simple truth is that when he's done with work, he can do whatever he wants. He can go back to his apartment and eat, or go out with the boys for a beer, or watch TV, or read, or go to bed early, or play Guitar Hero.

I have no such options these days. But I begrudge him nothing.

On Wednesday nights, Keystone ski resort has night skiing. Jason has a Colorado Pass that gives him unlimited access to Keystone, so he and a bunch of the guys have been going on Wednesday nights, just to get a little fun in.

Apparently, some of the guys are getting guff about this from their women back home. One guy's wife has gotten super-pissed at him about it, sort of a "why-do-you-get-to-go-out-and-have-fun-when-I've-got-to-stay-home-and-take-care-of-the-kids-and-the-dog-and-the-house" kind of thing.

This makes no sense to me. Regardless of whether he goes skiing or not, she's still going to be home with the kids and the dog, so why not let him go out and have a good time?

Obviously, Jason appreciates my take on it. And generally, he's always telling me about how so many of the guys he works with bitch and moan about their wives and girlfriends, who are apparently a bunch of whining, complaining harpies who do little but give their husbands/boyfriends a hard time about everything they can think of.

"They boys all complain about their women, and I just think, man, I've got the greatest wife in the world."

"Damn right. I'm glad you recognize it."

"Seriously, baby, you're the best."

"Thanks, honey."

"We get into these conversations, and all I have to contribute is bragging about your tits."

Ah, the joys of being married to a blue-collar guy...

*Credit goes to my friend Michele for the title, suggested when I was telling her about this ridiculous conversation I had with Jason and how it would make for a good blog post.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

TMI Thursday: You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family, so can you pick your family's nose? What's that saying again?

TMI Thursday

OK, folks, time for another TMI Thursday. Click the picture above to read more awesomely cringe-worthy TMIs courtesy of LiLu at

Denver is a very dry city.

I don't mean that it has a subtle sense of humor. I mean that most of the time, the air is utterly devoid of any moisture, particularly in the winter.

Resulting in lots and lots of boogers. And opportunities for nose picking.

While I certainly don't walk around in public with my finger up my nose, the fact is, the combination of altitude and dryness make my nose a ripe breeding ground for massive boogie boulders the size of California raisins. Sometimes they can be removed with a powerful honk into a tissue or handkerchief. But other times they're just stuck, requiring some manual excavation. It can't be helped.

Let's just say that I'm sympathetic when it comes to nose-picking, especially in this climate.

Anyway, Jason and I have differing views on this, I guess. We've never really discussed it, but he seems a bit more critical of people (read: me) who overtly pick their noses, whereas I tend to give people more of a pass. So it's become a (minor) issue in the area of child-rearing.

We have a very firm policy of always backing each other up when it comes to decisions involving the children, particularly disciplinary issues. We don't argue in front of the children and we don't undermine each other's efforts at discipline. If I disagree with something he's done, I'll bring it up with him privately, but Zeke knows there is no point in appealing to me if he doesn't like something Daddy has told him, because he won't get a different answer.

When it comes to nose-picking, Zeke, like most 2-year-olds discovering the wonders of having fingers that can poke into things, spends half of his time with his finger in his nose, particularly now that it's winter. This drives Jason crazy, so Jason is constantly telling him to get his finger out of his nose and to get boogies out by blowing his nose or using a tissue.

And I'm nodding and smiling, but I never say a word, because secretly I'm thinking, "the kid doesn't know how to blow his nose. I've tried to show him, but he's just not quite there yet. He can't help it. He's got boogies! Having boogies sucks."

So while outwardly I say nothing to contradict Jason's instructions, inwardly I'm trying to beam my brain waves into Zeke's head, so he understands that my position is, "I feel you, dawg. Those boogies aren't gonna pick themselves. Let me know if you need help."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We interrupt this program so that Wendy can totally harsh your buzz

I think about happiness alot.

Not so much whether I am happy or others around me are happy, but about our national obsession with happiness as the ultimate goal in life.

We are programmed to believe that happiness is our birthright. If you ask most parents what they want for their children, the response you will most likely get will fall along the lines of, "I want my kid to be happy." There's an assumption that happiness can be and should be achieved by anyone. That the solution to many problems is in positive thinking -- believing that you can and will be happy, that the default position is that things will turn out OK. After all, it's in the Declaration of Independence, right?? (Though I would point out that the Declaration identifies as an inalienable right not happiness per se, but rather the pursuit of happiness -- it's a big difference, though a subtle one.)

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I think it's a lot of horseshit.

Because for the vast majority of humanity -- including the majority of Americans, especially these days -- life is not, has not, and never will be dominated by a overarching sense of happiness. I think, historically, if you asked most peasants struggling to put food on the table, and to avoid death by invading hordes of barbarians, if they were happy, they'd look at you like you were crazy. To them, the Hobbesian characterization of the natural state of the life of man as "solitary, poor, brutish, nasty and short," was undoubtedly more apt.

And does a guarantee of happiness and the reassurance that things will work out, somehow, have any real meaning to refugees in Darfur, who have seen their women raped and their families hacked to pieces in the name of ethnic cleansing? Or to people in North Korea, starving to death because of the whims of a dictatorial regime? Or to women smuggled over borders to be forced into prostitution and drug addiction?

I bring this up today because of the earthquake in Haiti, which is heaping death, destruction, poverty and misery on a country that has already been the victim of "piling on," in the karmic sense. Haiti is not a happy place, certainly not today.

Even setting aside people whose lives can only be characterized as overwhelmingly unhappy - groups beset by famine, victims of oppression and persecution, lepers begging in the streets of Calcutta and the like - for many people, life is basically muddling through, doing the best that you can under difficult circumstances, dealing with the stresses of trying to feed your family and keep your job and pay your bills and have enough time to take care of the mundane details that dominate our existence.

Which is not to say that even the most miserable life doesn't have snatches or glimpses of happiness -- celebrations, moments of joy with your children or your loved ones, playing a game.

But I have a hard time looking at the reality that is the conditions under which most people on this planet live (recognizing that, statistically, being a white, sort-of-upper-middle-class American in the 21st century basically means I and most of the people I know hit the genetic jackpot, and that's not even taking into consideration the fact that not only am I relatively prosperous, but my family is stable and healthy, both emotionally and physically) without feeling like all of the emphasis on life being an happy state is essentially meaningless.

Even for people like me, who don't know real suffering in any material sense -- I have a job, I'm healthy, my family is healthy, we live comfortably, etc. -- happiness is sort of an ephemeral thing. Most people I know spend much of their time stressed out, worrying about the husband who is out of work or dealing with divorce or heartbreak or trying to keep the house from going into foreclosure or grieving for sick or dying loved ones. We do things that are fun, have experiences that are pleasurable, but don't live in a state of consistent happiness. We wouldn't characterize our lives as unhappy, but not necessarily as happy, either. We get by. We endure. We might have moments of joy along the way. And that's about the best we can hope for.


As for the Haitian earthquake victims, help them out, to the extent you can. Click here for a list (with links) of reputable organizations assisting with relief efforts, or text "HAITI" to 90999 on your cell phone to make an immediate donation of $10 to the Red Cross's relief efforts (the $10 will show up on your cell phone bill). It probably won't make anyone truly happy, but it just might relieve some of the unhappiness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Listomania love

It is an amazing, amazing thing to watch a human being acquire language. I'm sort of obsessed with language anyway, so every time Zeke says something new or says something old in a new way, I'm thinking to myself, "I wonder what prompted that..."

These days, it's all about adding vocabulary words. So our conversations consist of either him asking, "what's that? what's this? what's that?" while pointing to random items, or of us making lists of things in a particular category.

We'll be driving to school, and talking about how Zeke is going to hang out with his friends for the day. He starts listing his friends:

"I see Connor..."

"Yep, you'll see Connor."

"And Lucy...."

"And Lucy...."

"And Gab-a-rella..."

"And Gabriella..."

"And Annaleah..."

"And Annaleah..."

Or we'll talk about going to the zoo.

"We go see giraffes ... and elephants ... and monkey ... and gorilla ... and tiger [which, to my amusement, he pronounces "ti-geh," like Jason does] ... and lion ... and zebra ..." and on and on.

We list Sesame Street characters, things we see out the window, colors, things we see at the aquarium, foods, and everything else that comes along in life.

My favorite, though, is when we talk about people that we know and love. Zeke is incredibly social and remembers everyone he meets. He sees enough of my family, either in person or in pictures (we spend alot of time looking at pictures) to know who everybody is. And he adores my parents and my brothers.

The other night we were lying in bed talking about people that we love and miss. He asked for Daddy, and I explained that Daddy was away at work but that Daddy loved him and missed him.

"I love Daddy," he said.

"Daddy loves you, too, honey."

"Love Papa," he added. "Papa" is what he calls my dad.

"Papa loves you."

"Love Mimi," he said. "Mimi" is my mom.

"Who else do you love?" I asked.

"Love Sam," he answered. My brother.

"Yep, we love Sam."

"Love Josh." My other brother.

"Love Emma." My niece/his cousin.

"Who else do you love? Do you love Mama?" I fished.

"Love Papa."

Yeah, yeah.

"What about Mama?"

"Love Sam."


"Mama loves you so much," I said, giving him a kiss. I was determined to get it out of him.

He gave me a cheeky smile, as if he knew what I was after. "Loves you, Mama. Snuggle?"

"Snuggle, baby."

Damn right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

When in Rome...

The National Western Stock Show is in town. It's an annual event that has been going on for over 100 years and is the biggest stock show in the world. It's got rodeos, bull riding, parades, auctions, livestock exhibitions, and just about every other thing you can think of that has to do with ranching and agriculture.

It's a world I know nothing about, so we figured we'd take the kids and see what was what. Zeke was crazy excited to go see horses and cows ("and chickens?" "sure, honey, chickens, too." "And rhinos?" "no, I don't think there will be rhinos, but we can go to the zoo afterwards if you want").

We put on our plaid shirts and our Aussie jackaroo hats and headed off to the Denver Coliseum. I'm sure we looked like complete dorks to the authentic rancher and farmer types that were there actually doing business, but we had fun.

It was kind of awesome. What was really interesting, in addition to seeing rows and rows of livestock for sale and learning about life on the farm and stuff like that, was seeing all of the cowboys and cowgirls check each other out. For people living out in the country on farms and ranches, this is THE big social event of the year, and it's something of a meat market (and not just the beef kind).

Zeke puts on Daddy's hat and says "I'm a cowBOY! I'm a cowBOY!" No idea why he emphasized the second syllable.

Josie and Mommy check out a pretty horse.

Zeke's observation upon seeing the horses and cows up close: "They've got boogies."

"Semen for Sale." This big guy doesn't even need to stand up to impregnate all yer wimmin' folk.

Saturday night was Parents' Night Out at the daycare, so Jason and I had been planning a date night. We thought about going to the movies, but decided to hit the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza instead. Our very first date was at a rodeo, so we're going to make the Stock Show an annual pilgrimage to remember the good ol' days.

A quarter-horse auction, complete with an auctioneer talking at lightening speed. I spent the rest of the night going, "EIGHTYFIVE heebadabadoobadabadeebadaba EIGHTSEVEN heebadabadoobadabadeebadooba..." It's irresistible once you get started.

A horseshoe making competition. These guys were working HARD.

Another date night at the rodeo, 6 years after the first one...

Friday, January 08, 2010

The random workings of the two-year-old mind

Last night, Zeke was running around like a crazy person, as usual, and I realized it was getting late and he still hadn't had any dinner (despite my numerous offers of sustenance).

"Zekey, are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?"

"Yeah!" He says it in a high-pitched voice, full of enthusiasm.

"What would you like?"

"Raccoon food."

This takes me by surprise, as it was only yesterday that he even learned what a raccoon is, when we were going through one of his animal books. There was no discussion of what raccoons eat, nor have we ever really talked about certain animals only eating certain foods. It's a concept I had no idea he was even aware of.

"Did you say 'raccoon food?' You want raccoon food?"


"Yes, please," I prompt.

"Yes, pleeeeeeeeze!" He's so damned cute.

"OK. Well, what do raccoons eat?"


Fair enough.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

It's so nice to have a man around the house

I can't seem to win, health-wise. I thought I had finally kicked whatever virus nastiness had been partying in my innards, and then my sinuses closed up again and I've now got a disgusting cold. Feh.

Nothing to do but make a batch of chicken soup.

So last night I'm sauteeing my onions and separating the breast meat and hacking at the remainder of the bird with a meat cleaver and looking forward to the hot, rich, salty goodness that I know will make me feel better. But then I get to the part where I add the boiling water to the onion and chicken parts that have been simmering in their juices, and I realize I can't find my bay leaves.

I start tearing apart my spice cupboard, but I'm short and the cupboard is tall and I just can't see what I'm not seeing.

"Hey, Jas? Can you come in here and help me for a second?"

"Sure, baby, what do you need?"

"I need tall."

I explain to him that I know I have bay leaves, because I just bought and used some over the weekend, but I can't find them or reach them in the cupboard.

Being far less scatter-brained than I am, he remembers that over the weekend I bought and used fresh bay leaves, not dried ones, so he opens the refrigerator door, opens one of the crisper drawers, and hands me my bay leaves.

"Oh. Oh, yeah. Thanks, sweetie."

"No problem." As he walks back to the living room, he says, "Let me know if you need any more help reaching anything in the lower parts of the fridge."


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Aussie word of the day: fake-out edition

My brother Sam, who finds Jason's linguistic machinations hilarious, recently heard someone exclaim "cheese and rice," and assumed that the person was Australian and was using rhyming slang in place of "Jesus Christ!"*

For the uninitiated, rhyming slang involves using replacing a word with other words, with the last word rhyming with the word it's intended to replace, e.g., "cheese and kisses" for "missus," "frog and toad" for "road," "Pat Malone" for "alone," etc. It gets even more convoluted when the last word (i.e., the rhyming one) is left off altogether, like when "septic tank" is used to refer to an American ("Yank"), but "tank" is omitted and "septic" is abbreviated to "seppo."

Have I mentioned that Aussies are a little nuts?


In Sam's case, he was right. The person was undoubtedly either Aussie (or maybe British), and was using "cheese and rice" as a sub for "Jesus Christ."

But sometimes Jason will use an expression that sounds to me like it should be part of a rhyming combination, but actually isn't, so I'll sit there racking my brain trying to figure out what he's trying to say and what's supposed to rhyme with what.

My favorite example is "she'll be apples," which means "everything will be OK." As in, "Don't worry about the party, love. We'll get what we need from the store and I'll watch the kids while you cook, and everything will get done in time. She'll be apples!"

The first time I heard this phrase, I assumed that "apples" was part of a rhyming combination, so I was sitting there with my brow furrowed and smoke coming out of my ears, trying to be all clever and figure it out, as I thought to myself, "apples and pears? what rhymes with pears? apples and something else??"

And Jason saw the confused look on my face and asked, "what's up?"

"Apples and pears?"


"What goes with apples?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What's 'apples'? You said, 'she'll be apples.'"

He laughed and explained what it meant.

"Oh, OK. You're not just messing with me?"

"Fair dinkum, baby, I wouldn't do that!"


*Incidentally, I did some research and discovered that the Cockney rhyming slang for "jew" is "five and two." But Jason said he'd never heard this, so it must be a Brits-only kind of thing.

Monday, January 04, 2010


I just want to munch on those cheeks

Second babies get the short shrift. You've been there, done that, so while the baby is cute and sweet and all, the first couple of months aren't really that interesting, particularly because the first child is likely to be so much more engaging and time-consuming than the newborn. The adjustments, jealousy, and just the fact that in my case, I'm dealing with a 2-year-old who is going through astounding changes and who, right now, is a million times more work than his sister is. The quiet little baby who causes no trouble tends to get lost in the shuffle.

Looking back over my posts the last few months, there isn't much about Josie. And that's not fair to her (to the extent that fairness is even a relevant concept in assessing my choices of blog topics). Because she's fucking adorable.

Her goofy grin cracks me up

She has a habit of sitting with her arm up, making a fist. Fight the power, JoJo!

Zeke was not a difficult baby, but he was definitely fussier than Josie is. She's just so mellow and happy. I sit with her and talk to her, and she smiles and laughs. I make funny faces and she grins and tries to make the face back at me. I put her on the floor in one of those little baby activity-center thingies, and she bats the toys around and squeals with happiness.

My favorite thing to do is hang out with her resting against my legs. I'll read a magazine and chat with her about it. I'll tell her about my day. We watch sports together -- she's learning about football. And she coos and gurgles and blows spit-bubbles and gives me this huge happy face that starts with the twinkle in her insanely beautiful navy-blue eyes and ends with one side of her mouth cocked up in a silly half-smile, and we sit there grinning at each other like a couple of goofballs.

And she's just so damned easy. She goes to bed at 7 every night and sleeps until around 3:30 or 4, takes a bottle for about 15 minutes, and then goes right back to sleep until 7:30 or 8. She enjoys taking a bath. She likes everyone. Seriously, the only time she cries is when she gets overtired sometimes and will have a little bit of a hard time settling down to go to sleep, but even then, it's a matter of 10 minutes tops, and then she's fine.

I look back at pictures of Zeke and think about his developmental milestones, and I get so excited. "In a month or so, she'll be rolling over! Then she'll be sitting up! Then she'll start babbling in discernable syllables! Then she'll start to crawl! Then walk! Then talk!"

I know, I need to slow down and give her a chance to catch up. But I can tell that she's going to be so much fun, and I can't wait to get to know her better.