Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Baby Whisperer

Last night Demetri and I pretended we were real people. As in we made last minute plans and went to the movies. Awwwww yeeah! We even got a sitter. And not just any sitter. We got the Baby Whisperer (Hi FC!). The girl has skillz. Mad skillz. Babies and toddlers are putty in her gentle hands. And the Baby Whisperer has really good hair. Seriously. Every time I see her I am envious of her gorgeous long brown hair.

Part of the reason we adore the Baby Whisperer is her ability to hold a sincere and interested face. Like when we tell her where the chicken nuggets are for the third time. Or when we quiz her about the location of the pediatrician's phone number. The number for the doctor is on the fridge. The fridge. Got it? Now point to the fridge . . . Ok. We're not that bad. But we're close.

But here's the thing. When we leave, we feel totally comfortable. Well . . . after we call her from the car to tell her something we forgot. And then have a 5 minute discussion about if it's OK to call her yet again to tell her to leave Zoey's long sleeve shirt on under her pajamas or if that will put the Baby Whisperer over the edge and she will vow to never sit for us again. So we don't make the second call. Instead we make plans to cover Zoey with an extra flannel blanket when we get home. The pink striped blanket is almost the exact same weight as a shirt . . . But anyway. That (crazy) stuff is about us. Not the Baby Whisperer.

And get this? When we get home, the Baby Whisperer is watching HGTV. I mean, how cute is that? She's not watching porn. She's not watching Fox News. She is watching a home and garden show, people. And, most important of all, when we get home Zoey is safe and warm in her crib. A slight smile on her face, dreaming of her night with the Baby Whisperer. Dreaming of her night as a real person without her parents -- a night when last minute plans were made and she got spend time with her hero.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The In-Between (Dad, this contains the F-word. So just skip over that part and pretend it never happened. 'Kay?)

So here's what happened: I went to see a Fibromyalgia specialist a week before Christmas. He confirmed the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and added Chronic Fatigue and severe iron deficiency. He put me on some new meds to help with pain, fatigue, etc. And one of the meds was bad. Very, very bad. One might even use the word 'evil'. I not only lost the ability to detect and use sarcasm (gasp!) but I was unable to control my emotions. At all. Ever.

Yes, Mommy was a tad bit unstable. As in, Mommy could not be alone with Zoey. As in, when a song wouldn't play on the computer fast enough Mommy began to scream, S-C-R-E-A-M, "FUCK! FUCK! WHY WON'T ANYTHING FUCKING WORK! I FUCKING HATE EVERYTHING!" And then Mommy sobbed. And Zoey cried. . . . and was afraid of me for the next 3 days.


It took me a good 6 days to decide to go off the Evil Medicine. I thought maybe I was falling apart from getting a confirmed diagnosis of a chronic illness. I know, I know. You don't get it. But it makes sense to me. When I went to see the doctor my fear was that he would tell me, "Well, golly, No. No, you don't have Fibromyalgia. You're just a big wimp. Now go out and live a normal life!" And when he didn't tell me that I realized it was a fear . . . and a hope. A hope that maybe I was OK, normal, fine. And I'm not not those things. But I'm not fully those things either. I'm the in-between. I thought maybe I was falling apart from being banished to the in-between. I thought I was angry at being sent there forever. I thought maybe I was bitter at everyone telling me I should be happy for the diagnosis, that it's a gift. I am bitter and angry and falling apart. But only a little. The Evil Medication magnified it. Made it awful and huge.

Now I am me again.

And The in-between is not a terrible place to be. Most of the time. It can be a little grey and a little lonely. But I'm making myself a room there. With yellow curtains and a braided rug. A tea pot with fading roses painted on the side. Books. A rocking chair. A green and heather knitted blanket. I am learning to be comfortable there. No . . . here. I am learning to be comfortable here.

So here's what happened: I went to see a doctor. Bad things happened. Angry things. I got better. I am getting better. People that love me are learning how to visit the in-between. And I am learning how to let them.

So much love and thanks to Demetri, Mom and Dad, Annie, Nancy, Kate, Carla, Kelly, Alicia, and Niki.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Rules of Sneakiness:

1. Look busy. Very, very busy.
2. Pretend like you are going to do the right thing and then, at the last second, don't.
3. Look both ways out of narrowed eyes after you have done a sneaky deed.
4. Use the doe-eyed baby look.
5. When caught in the act, pretend like you weren't.
6. Ignore any and all surveillance devices.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Letter to a Very Pregnant Lady**

Dear Niki,

I know you're pregnant and all. Like very pregnant -- dilated 4 cm and 60% effaced. But it's time to get your pregnant booty off the couch and stop thinking about yourself. We, your friends and family, need more frequent updates. Hourly would be nice. I mean, just look what you have done to us. We have been reduced to spying on you via Alicia who lives across the street. And due to the angle of your curtains and blinds, her sight distance is severely limited. The only thing she could report this morning was that Corey's car was parked facing the street. And that he took the baby bag to work. This information does us no good. None. And speaking of Corey . . . his Facebook updates are equally useless. He rambled on about 41,000 frozen turkeys on I-40 from an over-turned truck. Do we care? No, no we do not. Would it kill him to write, "Niki is still pregnant." Or "No baby action last night. Niki doing well." Huh? Huh? Would it? Or maybe, to prep for the little bundle of joy, you could set your alarm to go off every hour throughout the night and you could text us all updates. We really would prefer texts so we wouldn't have to get out of bed to get the latest info. I'm sure you understand . . .

Or maybe you could set up the webcam. You know, you could aim it at the couch and we could all just watch you lay there. It would be like "Survivorman" but with less bug eating. You could be all "Hunger is setting in . . ." and then your mother-in-law could bring you a sandwich. And we, WE COULD SEE IT ALL. We could watch you nap and drool on your pillow. We could watch Charlotte try and stick things up your nose or down your shirt. And best of all, we could give up the thinly veiled facade of the rotating Is-Niki-In-Labor call schedule to ask you a 'question'* (What's seven times eight?) or to get your 'advice'* (Do you think it's OK to let Zoey play with razors?). Come on, do us a solid and set up the webcam. Remember all the nice presents we gave you at your shower? Hm? The stroller and the clothes and the toys and the cake . . .

Lastly, please remember that you can't actually shoot the kid out until after midnight tonight. That way he and I will have the same birthday and I will win the When-Will-Niki-Give-Birth pool. So no pushing until after midnight. Got it? 'Kay.

Lots of love,

* question and/or advice meaning your current state of birthing.
** Hi Niki! Please remember that I actually really do love you but that I'm sitting here eating Truffles and chocolate chips for breakfast in a futile attempt to stave off my anxiety about your birth. I know, I know, I'm not the one that that to shove something the size of a watermelon out something the size of a nostril but . . . I had to do something. Plus, I think your nice and really really pretty and very very smart.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Battle of the Wills, Plus Santa

Yesterday I was doing the mombligation* of taking Zoey to the mall to get her picture taken with Santa. I did her hair, stuffed her legs into tights, and coaxed her into her Christmas dress. Then I suggested she put put on a sweater. And, in turn, Zoey let me know that I was perhaps asking a tad bit too much of her. As in she threw herself on the floor, rolled back and forth, clawed at her own face, and shrieked, "Nonononononon!" Loosely interpreted this means, No, I don't think I will put on a sweater but thanks for asking. Even though I was clearly right and had a factual and well reasoned argument, i.e. - it was 37 degrees outside, her dress is sleeveless, she would be cold if she didn't put on a sweater, the Battle of the Sweater escalated. There was biting and drooling and kicking. Oh, and did I mention THE SCREAMING?

20 minutes later I had used my amazing mom powers (wrestling moves, bribery, weight advantage) and Zoey was wearing a coat. But now Zoey and I were standing 3 feet apart in the garage -- we both had our hands on our hips and we were both glaring at each other with narrowed eyes. Oh, and one of us was STILL SCREAMING. The other of us was pointing firmly and saying repeatedly, "GET. IN. THE. CAR." And once in a while, through gritted teeth, I would throw in a "We. Are. Going. To. See. Santa. It's Going. To. Be. FUN." for variety's sake. Shockingly, Zoey did not climb into the car. No. no. Instead, I attempted to put her in the car seat while she clung on to the door frame and continued with THE SCREAMING. Plus, she alternated arching her back with going completely limp** which kills me. After an especially well placed kick to my boob, I eased Zoey down on to the floor of the car, shut the door, and walked to the end of the driveway to 'take a moment'. As I got to the end of the driveway the screaming stopped. A head full of curls popped up in the back window. She saw me pacing and breathing. And I can only think that she assumed I was leaving her, like, forEVER because the screaming started again. But at a whole new level and pitch. One that brought our neighbor running out of his garage to ask "Where is she? Is she Ok?" He even used hand gestures. Large hand gestures.

I picked up The Screamer, who was now clinging to me instead of attempting to injure me. We cuddled for 10 minutes. I assured her I would never leave her. And then, I PUT HER IN THE CAR SEAT. That's right, her butt was strapped in to the car seat. It would have felt a lot more victorious if Zoey hadn't still be sniveling.

So we met The Grandparents at the mall. And Zoey wouldn't even look at them. She just wanted to be held by me. My parents had never seen Zoey like this before and my Dad (Hi Dad! I love you!), who is easily alarmed about Zoey's general welfare, was, uh, very alarmed. He kept saying super helpful comments like, "Golly, you must of really abused her." Or, "Gee, you must of really hurt her feelings." Sometimes he would change it up and ask a question: "Huh. What do you think you did to her?" It was super fun. Then, when I told him to shut it, he said, "I'm not being critical, I'm just saying what happened. I don't think you did anything wrong." Um . . . yeah. But he also treated us to lunch so it worked out OK.

Then, we tried to see Santa. Zoey clung to me like a life preserver in a raging storm. She would not even look at Santa. When Santa gently touched her hand it was like she had been burned. Even when Santa sang Elmo's theme song she wasn't fooled. So we grabbed a free coloring book and left. And I have to admit, I was a little proud. If my daughter doesn't want to sit on an oddly dressed, heavily bearded, stranger's lap, well . . . good for her. But if she doesn't want to bend to my will and put on a sweater or get in the car seat, well now, that's a different story.

*Term invented by the genius SWMama
** Note to the 5 people I know who are preggers right now: This is THE WORST thing EVER.

A holiday picture taken at home

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not So Silent Nights

We are back in a "phase" where Zoey is not sleeping through the night. And, in case you were wondering, a phase is defined as "a stage in a process of development." The use of the word 'development' implies progress, maturity, positivity. Which is not what we are experiencing. In fact, we seem to be experiencing a regression, a decline, a pain-in-the-ass-mess.

As a result of this 'phase', Demetri and I have returned to our most basic defenses. We are grasping at any and all straws of potential hope. We are focusing on our very survival. Thus, the return of The Lucky Pajamas. The belief in The Lucky Pajamas began back in Zoey's first few months of life when she was waking up every 2 hours. Every. Night. And I felt like a singed, shadow version of my former self. Until, one night, she slept for 4 hours in a row and . . . The Lucky Pajamas were born. We continued to put her in the same pajamas night after night hoping for a few more hours of sleep. And (sometimes) it worked! But the lucky pajamas have rules, people. Very complicated rules:

1. Any pair of pajamas has the potential to be lucky.
2. Only one pair of pajamas can be lucky at any given time.
3. Once the pajamas are washed, the luck is gone.
4. When in a poor sleep 'phase', the rules of pajama hygiene can be bent to extend the luck of a pair of pajamas. For example, what's a little spit up? a little dried on breakfast cereal? The merest bit of pee?
5. If a new pair of pajamas is worn and the results are decidedly un-lucky (i.e.- the baby is up all night) those pajamas must be shoved to the back of the closest for at least 10 days. And cursed.
6. Mocking The Lucky Pajamas or any person who may believe in The Lucky Pajamas will come back to bite you in the you-know-what.
7. If one is being punished for being a bad parent, The Lucky Pajamas can not help you. Basically, you are screwed.

Last night Zoey wore her pink bear pajamas. They were not lucky. No, no they were not. So tonight she will wear the blue zoo animal pajamas. And Demetri and I will do the ritualistic Lucky Pajama Dance. Then, after Zoey is in bed, we will huddle around the monitor, watching, waiting, and whispering please, please, please.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Art of Turkeys

A dream has come to fruition. A long awaited, anxiously anticipated, often, uh . . ., dreamt about dream. Zoey created a piece of art. And it is hanging on our refrigerator. With extreme pride. Seriously.

I am lucky enough to be in a play group with extraordinary women. One of these women is the Craft Goddess (Hi Lauren!). She tries to shun this title because she is modest. But the woman has a virtual craft store at her house and the skills to use the supplies so it's a little hard to dispute. Plus, once I bestow a title on someone they are stuck with it. Yes, I have that kind of power. So anyway, last week play group was at the Craft Goddess' house. She had sent an email out telling us we would be attempting a Thanksgiving themed craft. This was a first for playgroup. And to be honest, I thought maybe the standards were being set a tad high. I mean, sometimes I don't even really clean for playgroup let alone plan an activity.

But we showed up. And we crafted. And it was perhaps the finest moment of Zoey's young life. She made a total of 3 turkey master pieces (2 for the grandparents and one for the Mami). And, man oh man, was the kid proud of herself. She carried those turkeys around like she had won the Nobel Prize. She handed them to The Grandparents with obvious appreciation of her own artistic skills. Zoey was thrilled when I hung her art on the fridge. But then, of course, The Grandparents had to one up me and frame their turkeys. But I maintain that they don't spend as much time admiring their turkeys as I do admiring mine. I stand in front of refrigerator mesmerized by Zoey's use of color, by the placement of the print on the paper, by the googly turkey eye. I place my hand over her hand print and smile, glad that she is still small and glad that her hand still fits in mine. Glad that it always will.

The Craft Goddess is on the right. Thanks Lauren! And Cathy, we missed you guys!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Which I am Thankful

I am thankful for cute hand-me-down clothes . . .

I am thankful that Gilmore is the most non-dominant dog ever . . .

I am thankful that occasionally I posses enough culinary skills to make a balanced meal for Zoey. And yes, that is a hot dog but it's a TURKEY hot dog so it's healthy . . .

I am thankful that I am not considered 'the pretty pony' in the family . . .

I am thankful for teeny tiny kisses . . .

I am thankful for duct tape . . .

I am thankful for books and BFFs

I am thankful for grandparents . . .

I am thankful that Zoey did not fall off the table when Demetri put her on there and then took a picture . . .

I am thankful that Zoey shares (some of the time) . . .

I am thankful that Charlotte had the patience to teach me how to sew curtains . . .

I am thankful that my daughter can entertain herself for a good 20 minutes with a pair of my undies (clean, of course) . . .

I am thankful for my ever-patient-and-ever-kind-and-super-hot husband . . .

I am thankful that I am not the one responsible for fixing appliances in this house . . .

I am thankful for rock and roll and grrrl power, baby!!!

I am thankful for the airplane song on Sesame Street ("Well, I'm a little airplane nrrrow nrowww I'm a little airplane nrrrow nrrrow")

I am thankful for curls . . .

I am thankful for moments of patience . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Major Missage

Last night was not a good night. I actually uttered* the words, "If you don't put clothes on right now I will duct tape pajamas on your body so thoroughly that you won't get them off until next week sohelpmegod!" And that wasn't even the low point. Maybe the low point was when I was whining at Demetri saying, "What is wrong with me? Am I the most impatient person in the world?" In an attempt to lighten the mood, Demetri joked, "No, Zoey is . . . ha ha." I responded, "What? Are you saying I'm a bad person? Huh? Are you? FINE! You're right! I AM A BAD PERSON. Happy?" Demetri, clearly not happy with my wildly loose interpretation of his joke, then suggested I go take a relaxing bubble bath. I smacked my palm hard on the kitchen table, "No. No, I will NOT take a bath. You know what this means?" I pointed to my wedding ring. "Huh? Do ya? It means FOREVER, bucko! So you are stuck with me!" I smacked both palms on the table. "How do you like them apples?!"

I've said it before. I'll say it again: I have the most kind and patient husband. Ever. E-V-E-R.

Anyway. Preceding the-night-that-was-not-a-good-night was the-day-that-was-a-long-day. It was nothing terrible in itself. It was just a lot of things that added up: I've had a bad cold for a week. No adult contact. Rain. Lots of sitting with Zoey while she sat on her potty and did NOTHING. Boredom. A 45 minute nap which hardly even qualifies as a nap. A cranky toddler who can't express her needs other than through whining. Chasing Zoey around trying to get her to keep clothes, any clothes, on. Boredom. Not feeling well enough to go for a walk. No good snacks in the house. Thinking it was Wednesday and then realizing it wasn't, thus being crushed that 'Glee' wasn't on. Zoey pushing my buttons -- every chance she got. Zoey testing limits -- every chance she got. Boredom. Frustration. No chocolate in the house. Which was a whammy because the lack of chocolaty goodness was all my fault. Demetri is required my marital law to hide chocolate in the house. Then, when I have a chocolate emergency, I call him and he tells me where to find it. Except I had discovered his stash and eaten it all without telling him. Therefor: NO CHOCOLATE. And it was all MY DOING.

This morning things feel a bit better. Demetri's mom is flying in late this morning. She is excellent company, a wicked good Scrabble player, and a big help. The Grandparents come back into town on Saturday. There are TWO celebrations next week: Zoey's adoption day and Thanksgiving. My cold will go away eventually. There is hope for a loooong nap today. Demetri left me a small pack of M&M's this morning.

When I have days like yesterday I am reminded that parenting is like social work; Neither can be done in isolation. Or at least not done well. I need family and my mom friends and . . . chocolate. I need to talk to my BFF (Hi Tyff!) on the phone. I need to tell her my grossest stories, my parenting fails. And I need to hear hers. Not that we enjoys each others' pain, although we do make each other laugh. I think we need to know that we're not alone. We're in this wild, crazy, awesome, scary, hard, frustrating thing together. This isn't where I thought this post would end. But it is where it is. I miss my best friend. And although we've lived in different states most of our 27 year friendship, yesterday that distance was too much. Way too much.

* 'Utter' may be the wrong word here. Maybe more like sternly-yet-gently. Or maybe even sternly-and-hysterically.

Tyff and I when we were 7 . . . and yes, we thought we looked GOOD in the goggles . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh, the Pa(l)in!

Sarah Palin was on Oprah yesterday. And I watched it. Most of it. I'll admit that I went skittering away from the couch to check Facebook as soon as Palin and Oprah engaged in what may be the most awkward hug in history. Oprah kind of caught Palin's right arm as if defending from a right hook. But then both women pretended it was a touchy-feely, hand-holding, fingers intertwining intentional thing. I can't stand awkward TV. Which is why I never watch the auditions for Idol. After we were all over the embarrassing hug (some of us taking longer than others), I went back to the couch.

Here are my "favorite" moments from the interview:
1. Palin rolls her eyes and accuses Katie Couric of being "perky". Um . . . Pot? Where are you? I need you to come call the kettle black.
2. Oprah asks Palin if she felt snubbed by not being invited on her show during the election. Palin says, "No offense to you, but it (the show) wasn't the center of my universe." It was all about the tone, people. The way Palin said it was kinda biting . . .
3. Plain repeatedly refers to abortion as "the easy choice". Um . . . really?
4. The way that Palin made it sound like ALL women have the strength, resources, and desire to raise children. Um . . . all women have access to resources? really? I'm thinkin' there's probably quite a few in the great state of Alaska that don't. And in this state. And in all states.
5. The replay of the Couric interview in which Palin is seemingly unable to answer a question about what newspapers and magazines she reads. I mean, just throw something out there, "The New York Times" or "The Washington Post", for the love of god!
6. The commercial for the new dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups.
7. Palin unable to clearly say why she resigned from Governor. "For the good of the people blah blah blah lame duck governor blah blah."
8. Oprah encouraging Palin as we went into each commercial break. While we couldn't actually hear what Oprah was saying she would shake Palin's hand encouragingly, nod her head, and probably say something like, "You're doing OK Sarah. A few more questions and you get a gold star!" Or maybe Oprah was a teeny bit less condescending. We will never know . . . (sigh)

And then I went out and bought Palin's new book. Um . . . no. No. No. No. But the the interview wasn't so bad (as in painful). In some ways. Palin seemed a lot more articulate than she did, oh, a little over a year ago. Which worries me. I didn't go into this interview hoping to see Palin tank like many people did. But afterwards, I wished she had. People love her and her politics (for reasons I can not even fathom). It's almost like people warship her. Which I find very, very frightening.

There's this guy in my neighborhood who has a huge, very southern (i.e. - big wheels and stacks) pick-up truck. On the sides and back of the truck he has painted 'PALIN 2012'. This truck makes me ill and angry and disappointed in ways I never thought possible. I mean, has the dude not heard of BUMPER STICKERS?! While others might have visions of keying or egging the truck, I have other ambitions. I dream of sneaking over there in the dead of night, ski mask on, a trash bag full of trouble over my shoulder. Then, silently and carefully, I put article after discrediting article (all from reputable sources of course) under the wiper blades, in the door cracks, strewn across the flat bed. And the kicker is, ALL the articles are different. So even if Mr. Palin 2012 doesn't read them he should at least be slightly (albeit briefly) overwhelmed by the sheer number of articles. Oh, sweet revenge!!

Yes, I want a woman president. But not her. Not ever. But maybe that's a topic for another post . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009


Zoey's preferred state is, to use the technical term, nudie-butt-ness. Yes, she prefers to dash around al fresco. She likes to go starkers. She often wears a well placed accessory, like a bow in her hair or a pair of Demetri's shoes, to accentuate the nakedness. But who doesn't like accessories? And she was happy to keep her diaper on (hallelujah!). I don't think she really understood that the diaper, too, was an 'accessory'* and could be removed at will.

Until 3 days ago. 3 days ago I made a tactical error and brought home a training potty. In my defense, Zoey was showing many of the 'potty training readiness cues'. An interest in other people's/animals bodily functions?** Check! Informing a parent when she peeed or pooped? Check! Ability to take her clothes off? Eh . . . sometimes. Shirts with a small head hole present a problem due to the additional circumference of Zoey's hair. So I brought home a pink and green froggy potty. Zoey's life now consists of 3 things: 1. 'Sitting'*** on the frog potty totally naked 2. Running from us in a vain attempt to remain totally naked 3. Protesting not being naked via whining, tantruming, scratching, biting, kicking, screaming, pouting, etc. etc. In turn, my life now consist of 4 things: 1. Chanting "Pee-pee-poo-poo-potty-potty"**** to cheer on Zoey in her bathroom endeavors. 2. Chasing Zoey around with clothes 3. Getting the crap beat out of me while I dress her 4. Feeling surprisingly unfulfilled by the previous three activities.

So, Zoey has peed on her potty exactly once. She has pooped on it never. But today is day 4. Anything could happen. Anything. In fact, she is sitting on her potty right now. She is drinking orange juice, looking at a book about baby animals, and making potty sounds with her mouth: "SSssssssssss. Ut. Ut. Pssssssssss."***** Anything could happen. Maybe she'll want to put on clothes today. Maybe she won't claw out my eyes, maybe she'll avoid the jugular. Maybe the diaper will come back into fashion, like bell bottoms or clogs. But my fear is that the trendiness of the diaper has gone the way of the banana clip. Gone baby gone. But diapers held on with duct tape? They never go out of style.

* Or, to use another term, The-thin-layer-of-cloth-protecting-the-world-from-extreme-stench-and-defilement
** Gilmore may never be the same. He has taken to running away so he can pee without being closely watched and cheered on.
*** Really, she kind of sits-stands-sits-stands in rapid succession so she can check if anything has come out yet.
**** Thanks to Melissa for the potty song. Although I do think of her as a co-blamee as she was with me when I bought the potty.
***** She TOTALLY got this from her DAD, not from me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Butts About It

I am so tired of the constant arguing. The never ending debate. Which is worse: a No-Butt or a Big-Butt? Clearly, it is far worse to have a No-Butt than some junk in the trunk. FAR. WORSE. My bootylicious friends are all 'Oh, it's sooo terrible to look sexy in jeans! Oh, it's so terrible to have curves! Oh boo hoo!' So what if there's a gap in the back of your jeans when you sit down? So what if your hips are smaller than your hiney? Um . . . there's this new invention . . . it's called a belt.

Us No-Butters have far worse problems. First off, the no-butt doesn't look sexy. Ever. Not even in jeans. For example, my butt is basically concave. Instead of a luscious curve in back, there's all this extra fabric flapping around (See picture below). Literally. And let me tell you, no one has ever done a song about flat bottomed girls. Whereas "you other brothers (and sisters) can't deny"* that the big patootied have lots and lots of songs written in their honor.

Not only are our 'butts'* not memorialized in song, wedgies are a major problem. See, some of us don't have the cheek to keep the undies in place. It's a constant battle. The buttless have to learn how to inconspicuously redistribute their undergarments and keep them in place. ON A FLAT SURFACE. Which is OK until you have to move, breathe, or (oh dear god!) bend over. Totally hot.

And while we're on the topic of underwear . . . imagine having your underwear be too tight in the hips but having inches of extra fabric in the rear. Again, not a pretty site. Form fitting pants are troublesome. And it's not the panty lines that are a problematic. It's the ginormous mess of panty wrinkles. And we're not talking barely-there wrinkles -- we're talking hey-I-need-a-place-to-store-the-entire-contents-of-my-purse folds. Class-eeee!

And then there's the matter of sitting. When you don't have a butt, you are sitting on bones. Hard, pointy BONES. It's kind of like sitting on two wedges of concrete. Those who have a flourishing rear get to sit on their own personal memory foam pillow. Hmmm . . . which is more comfortable: concrete or a pillow?

Also, the No-Butt presents serious fashion challenges. There are about to be more intense visual aides*** so the squeamish may want to cut their losses and stop reading. People with true gluteus MAXimi can flaunt their fabulousness. I, on the other hand, cannot flaunt what I do not have. Thus, I have to cover it up. In the picture below I am wearing running tights. But I have to cover-up the no-butt with a shirt I know I will not want to put on. Note how my rear still looks flat even with the padding of a shirt doubled over AND a bulky collar.

Below we have, again, the wrinkles. And proof that the no-butters must always wear long shirts to project the illusion of a curve -- no matter how slight. Please note, the pants in the below picture are designed to be form fitting. FORM. FITTING.

Horrific, no? Sadly, a No-Butt was my destiny. Both my parents are No-Butters (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!). I had no chance, genetically speaking. And even though it didn't come from me, I feel a strange sense of pride when I check Zoey's diaper and see the two little half moons of her butt curving out and away from her body. My baby's got back.

* In case you're wondering why the hell there are quotes around that, I'm referring to a song by Sir Mix A-Lot
** I am using this term in the loosest possible sense as the No-Butters' bums can only be identified by approximate location, not by sight.
*** Pictures by Niki and Demetri. Even though Niki didn't want credit for such fine photography.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let That Be a Lesson*

The Dads are gathered at the playground. The football talk gets old. The Dads get bored. And, in a moment that will live forever in infamy, a bet is placed. Violence ensues.

It's toddler against toddler. Friend against friend. Pigtails versus Afro.

A command is given. Each fighter is instructed to "hug" her "friend". There can be only one survivor. One champion.

One of the contenders, let's call her The Obedient Child, has superior listening skills and the ability to follow directions. The other competitor, let's call her The Disobedient Child, fails to heed the command due to a fondness for personal space (and a blatant disregard for authority) . . .

The Disobedient Child goes down. Hard. (see title).

Then, in an end no one saw coming, the competitors go ride a dinosaur.

* All pictures courtesy of Niki

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Adoption Story III: The Wait

So, there we were -- blissfully free of the adoption paperwork. Our home study was finished on a Thursday and my parents were coming into town on Friday to take us out to fancy schmancy restaurant over the weekend to celebrate. We felt relaxed and excited. We knew we had months, if not years, to read the parenting books, paint the nursery, and figure out what kind of baby gear we actually needed. So far, I hadn't allowed myself to look at any baby stuff. It was just too painful. Sure, I had bought gifts off baby registries before. But I never thought about stuff for us and our baby. After our home study was done, I felt like maybe it was OK to kind of start looking. But I was afraid to go alone. My infinitely kind and patient parents agreed to go with me*. Armed with Baby Bargains, my Dad allowed me to lurk behind him while he asked questions. My mom ooh-ed and ahh-ed over crib sets, strollers, and pack-n-plays; she showed me it was OK to look. I felt overwhelmed by all the . . . stuff? crap? choices?And I was not impressed by my inability to remove a car seat from the stroller base. But I had time . . .

After about an hour at the baby store we headed out for lunch. We continued to talk about baby stuff. I felt like finally I had permission to say things like, "If we get a girl I'm going to get the sheets with the pink hippos on them" or "Maybe we should paint the room green -- it would work for a boy or a girl." I was feeling very pre pre-motherly. Like maybe one day I would actually be a mom. On the way home from lunch my parents wanted to stop at the store to pick up some diet sodas. As we pulled into Kroger my phone rang.

It was the adoption social worker, Brenda. And she had a "situation" she wanted to present to me. There was a Latino birth mother in Rhode Island. The bio dad was African-American and hadn't been heard from since he was told about the baby 6 months ago. The birth mother had been getting prenatal care. She had no history of drug or alcohol use. Brenda talked and talked, telling me everything she could about the mom, the dad, the baby. I scribbled notes on the back of an envelop I found in the glove box. I had heard that when an adoptive parent is presented with 'their' baby they know it. And as hokey as it sounds, about half way through Brenda's presentation, I felt a sudden jolt. For a second I couldn't hear anything, see anything, or feel anything other than: This. Is. Our. Baby. I was so very certain that it brought tears to my eyes.
Brenda finished talking. I took a deep breath and asked two questions: When is the baby due? What is the sex of the baby? Brenda said, "It's a girl. A little girl. And she is due in two weeks, on Mother's Day!" I almost dropped the phone. Two weeks?!?! Not a lot of time . . .

I went to find my parents in Kroger. I imagine I looked excited and scared and frantic all at once. "We may have a baby." My mom smiled. My dad nodded. And I started to remember everything. All the details, what we did, what we said, what we ate -- all so we could tell it to our little girl.

* Demetri had to work

Demetri and me with my BFF's baby a few months before Zoey. Do we look awkward or what?!?! Could I clutch the baby any tighter . . .?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Number 7 on the Suck It list

Last Monday night and into Tuesday I had the worst fibromyalgia 'flare-up'* I have ever had. My fibro-philosophy thus far has been to refuse pain meds in favor of working with my body to figure out what makes me well and what makes me hurt. And my body and I have done some good work together. But on Tuesday afternoon I was in the doctor's office crying and begging for pain meds. It's wasn't pretty. If I'd had the energy I would have felt bad for my doctor. All last week I was unable to care for Zoey. My wonderful, amazing, beautiful mother was here from 6:45 am until Demetri got home. Every. Single. Day. Zoey started calling my mom and Demetri 'mami'. Yup, it was a bullet through the heart. When I did manage to come downstairs, Zoey looked at me passingly and largely without interest, Oh, it's that crazy lady from upstairs again. Just what every mother hopes for: to be forgotten by her own child.

One doesn't just get over a flare-up. It can't be powered through. You don't just bounce back. It's more like clawing your way out of a deep, dark hole towards a pin prick of light. You have all this rope to help you. But you're not very good at knots. And you're not wearing a harness. One mistake and your back at the bottom, muddy and bruised. Plus, your upper body isn't exactly buff. You have to build up your strength, rest, build up, rest. Breathe. It takes a long time to climb up and out. Right now, I'm hopping to be strong and totally well again by January. That may be pushing it.

I had to make some tough decisions. I quit soccer (bailing on a bunch of middle school girls and the head coach -- yup, it felt awesome**). I cleared my schedule -- including canceling lunch with a friend for the THIRD time in a row. I put repeat posts on Cool Moms Care. I haven't run in over a week. My life has to become very small for a while. In my not-so-great moments this makes me angry. I feel like I should be able to be a mom, and a wife, and a soccer coach, and a writer, and a runner, and a good friend. All at once. In my better-ish moments I know that there are times when I can't be all those things. And I know that's ok. But right now it's still feeling pretty bad. So, fibromyalgia? You can suck it!

Oh, and if I'm posting less than twice a week you now know why. Nothing personal. Just me having to dial things back.

*The term 'flare-up' so doesn't do the experience justice. It's like calling a 15 car pile-up a 'fender bender'.
** If by awesome we mean lowly, wimpy, and guilt-ridden.