Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Totally-Fiction-Because-I -Would-Never-Do-This-to-My-Husband-Because-He-Does-Have-Super-Sonic-Ears

Conversation at 5:30 PM:
Demetri: I'll totally hear the cat if he wants back in tonight.
Me: Um, I'm sorry, did you just say you'll hear the cat? Scratching at the door?
Demetri: Yeah, I have Super Sonic Ears!
Me: Oooooooh kaaaaaaaaay.

After midnight:
I hear creaking and muffled thumps from the next room. Zoey is waking up. Demetri is snoring next to me, the covers pulled tight under his chin. Zoey begins to whimper. I pretend rollover shaking the bed as much as I can. The snoring continues. The whimpering has turned into crying. I do a kick like someone with restless leg syndrome might. I connect with my husband's kneecap on the first try. He makes a wet, gulping sound and rolls away from me taking the blankets with him. Damn the king size bed! The snoring resumes. I pull on the blankets so the part that is tucked under his chin is now tight and noose like. He rolls back on his back, freeing his wind pipe. I think I see a little glimmer of drool slide from his mouth towards the pillow.* The crying intensifies: Yells that say You-are-incompetent-slacker-of-a-parent-Can-you-not-hear-me?! punctuated by hiccup-y breathing that says I-am-so-pathetic-and-cute-you-must-come-hold-me. I connect my elbow with Demetri's nose via a thinly veiled Oh-no-I-am-having-a-scary-nightmare maneuver. I hear a muffled "ow". He rolls toward me and attempts to get into the spooning position. I elbow him in the stomach. Zoey is wailing, BaaaaaBaaaaaaa!. My husband, who I promised to love no matter what, nudges me and whispers, "I think the baby is up. She wants you". "I am NOT Baba," I hiss back. "YOU are Baba." "No" he says sleepily, "I've never been Baba. I've always been Dada." I sit up. "Well, you are Baba tonight, Mr. Super Sonic Ears." My kind, hot, amazing husband (Hi honey!) shuffles out of the room to get Zoey. I roll into my pillow, victorious. "Super sonic my ass." Then a yell from the shadows of the hall: "I totally heard that!"

*For future reference, this is the point when I became officially bitter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Which My Child is a Genius (and I am loved best)

link (shows the clock)

0:07 Zoey waves at the iphone instead of saying 'Hi' as directed
0:14 Zoey hisses like a snake
0:21 Zoey is admonished for waving (again)
0:28 Zoey makes cat sounds
0:30 Zoey is asked again to make a cat sound. She does not comply.
0:40 Zoey (woo)fffff's like a dog
0:45 Zoey is asked to make a pig sound. She 'beeps'.
0:48 Demetri asks Zoey to make monkey sounds
0:52 Zoey makes inadequate monkey sounds
0:53 Demetri makes excellent monkey sounds
0:57 Zoey makes owl sounds and is admonished for picking her nose
1:07 Zoey is asked to say 'Dada'. She does not. (HA!)
1:18 Zoey is unable to identify the dog as 'Gilmore'
1:20 Zoey is asked to say 'Mama'
1:28 Raucous celebration
1:35 Zoey is asked again to say 'Mama'
1:36 Zoey says 'baba' repeatedly
1:41 Demetri's 'giggle' is recorded

Monday, September 21, 2009

Our Adoption Story: The Beginning

Back in the day when Demetri and I were dating, getting serious, and thinking about the M-word, we talked about having kids. Demetri said, "I want 7 kids." Note the quotes. Note the lack of sarcasm. My response came in two parts: 1) laughing in his face and 2) "You better find a new wife!" Before we got married I talked him down to "one, maybe two kids". Early on we had talked about adoption and both agreed it was something we were interested in. Our goal was to have a child -- how that child came to us wasn't so important. In all of these conversations we assumed that both adoption and having a biological child would come easily to us. So we got married and eventually "got busy" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). We were 'busy' for many many months. In fact, we were so busy that both of us got to the point where we never wanted to be busy again. Ever. We both felt like failures. And one of us frequently threw herself on the bed in tears sniffling about Not being a real woman and being Bro-oh-oh-ken. I have a very patient and kind husband.

So we went to the doctor. We saw many (supposedly) knowledgeable professionals -- specialists, regular OB/GYNs, acupuncturists, nurse practitioners, etc. They all told us that the first and easiest test that should be performed was checking out Demetri's swimmers. After all, no invasive procedures were required. It only involved Demetri having a little 'special time' at home and then me taking a vial of his sacred fluid to the lab. No prob. Then we both met with my OB/GYN for the results.

It turns out that my husband has perfect sperm. In all 4 ways possible: count, shape, appearance, and mobility. Do you know how I know this? Because every single professional told us. Multiple times. Often, Demetri was given a pat on the back or a genial slug on the shoulder. At the very least, the doctor (or whoever) would become a bobble head and nod vigorously while looking over our charts. Dr. Whoever would then do something scholarly, like take off her glasses or grip her chin between her thumb and index finger, and I knew it was coming: "The male fertility factor looks great! Perfect even!" Pause for another, nod, wink, or fist bump. "But the female factor, I just don't know. . ."

For the record, I have perfectly clear tubes. And a nicely shaped uterus. But did I get any love from the doctors? Nope. I have spent literal hours in stirrups and not even a pat on the shoulder. No wink. Nothing. Demetri spends 5 minutes in the bathroom with a cup and is Super Sperm Guy. Please. Like it's so hard to make sperm.

But anyway. Instead of the praise I clearly deserved, Dr. Whoever would look directly at me and say something like, "I guess it's just Unexplained Infertility." The doctor would often then attempt to share a commiserating look with Demetri as if to say Sorry, dude. What a waste of perfectly good sperm. My husband had the good grace to look humiliated.

By the time we did our first round of IUI I was bitter and on the sperm defensive. The nurse brought out a tiny vial filled with 'stuff' and asked me to identify it as my husband's. I looked at her in shock thinking, Really? You expect me to identify it by sight? Are you asking my husband to identify my uterus by sight? Huh? Huh? Are you? The nurse then pointed out a tiny, typed name tag stuck to the bottom of the tube. Uh, yeah. Yeah, that's his name.

The IUI was expensive. It was vaguely humiliating. And it didn't 'take'. Finally, after months and months, I was ready to say out loud what I had been feeling for a long time. Enough.

(Thanks to Demetri for his support and willingness to share this very personal part of the story)

Back in the day

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's Your Damage?

Zoey can now say 'boobies' and take off her own diaper. Needless to say, I am thrilled! What mother doesn't dream of her child running starkers through the house, leaving a pee trail, while chanting 'boobies!boobies!boobies!'? Ok. So that hasn't happened yet. But, I assure you, it will. Oh, it will. Every moment that passes in 'boobie!' and pee-free peace brings us a moment closer to the actual event.

And while we're on the subject of words Zoey can say, let's talk about a word she can't. That word would be 'mama'. Um . . . I spend all day every day with you. I feed you. I clothe you. I wipe your poopy butt. I make above average jokes. DO I NOT COUNT? Demetri will try and tell you that Zoey does say 'mama'. And it's true, those syllables may escape her mouth. But not in reference to me. She will point at the dog and say 'mamamama'. She'll gesture at the carton of Goldfish crackers and say 'mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa'. But me? Nope. I am No Name. I am That Woman Who Sure is Around A Lot. I am The One Who Prevents All Things Fun From Occurring. Well, excuuuuuuse meeeeeeee while I point out that I am also The One Who Keeps Certain People Safe, Warm, Dry, Brushed, Fed, and Amused.

So, I ask: How is it that my child can say 'boobies' but not Mama? It's not like I run around the house yelling Boobies! all the time. I don't think I've even done it once. Whereas Mama . . . I say at least 40 times a day. I talk about myself: Mama is eating a sandwich. I make Demetri talk about me: Mama is about to lose her patience. I point to myself and say 'mama'. Plus, 'boobies' seems to be a harder word to say than 'mama'. I mean for 'mama' you really only have to be able to say 'ma' twice. 'Boobies'? 'Boob' is kind of hard because it's got the double 'b' thing going on. Zoey is not good at 'b' or 'g' sounds. And then there's the whole 'eeees' sound. A little challenging if you ask me.

What I wouldn't give to have Zoey run around naked, leave a pee trail on the carpet, and scream booooooooobeeeeeeess MAMA! like she's showing off just for me. Apparently a mama's pride has no limits.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look what I did!

The braids are out. Thanks to Sesame Street and Oreos. AND ME: The Goddess of Braid Taking Out-age! The hair? Still needs some help. I am trying two new products - the detangler and the Curly-Q Milkshake. The jury is still out . . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thelma and Louise

CJ: Dude, The Moms are busy . . . Let's blow this popsicle stand!
Zoey: Be very, very quiet . . .

CJ: Go go go!
Zoey: Eat our dust The Moms!!

CJ: Keep your hands on the wheel!! My dad will kill us if we crash his 2003 Mustang GT!
Zoey: Don't be such a baby!!!

CJ: Turn up the tunes!!
Zoey: Gah! it's all commercials. Wait . . . here's a good one . .

CJ and Zoey: 'Cause tramps like us, baaay-beee we were born to ruuuuuuun!'

CJ: Oh poop! The cops!!
Zoey: Noooooo! Not the fuzz!

Zoey: Just be cool, be cool . . .
CJ: Thym Thying . .

To be continued . . . .

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hair Police

It only took 16 months and 4 days. But I finally got up the courage to take Zoey to a hair salon. Here's what I thought would happen:

Zoey and I enter the salon. The lights go out and I am temporarily blinded by a shot of hairspray. Zoey is snatched from my arms and I am taken down by two stylists in fatigues. My hands are tied and I am duck taped into a chair. Zoey is in a booster seat in the chair next to me getting fed candy. 3 stylist 'ooh' and 'ah' over my daughter while I watch. A fourth stylist stands behind me pressing something hard, round, and I assume dangerous into the base of my skull.

She speaks. "We've been waiting for you." I am confused. I tilt my head. Clearly a mistake as the stylist jams the dangerous object deeper into my neck. "Don't move. Don't talk. Just listen." She pauses to make sure I will comply. Zoey is now smiling and happily accepting m&m's from our captors. The stylist continues, "What you have done is a crime. And you will be punished. Severely." The stylist then grabs my jaw with her free hand and forces me to look her in the eyes. Her perfectly highlighted hair frames her angry face as she leans forward and whispers, "Tell me why you are here. I want to hear you say it."

I glance at Zoey. She is busy watching Elmo on the TV the doting stylists brought over for her. I gulp. "I'm here," my voice shakes, "because I have failed to take care of my daughter's hair?"

"Not only have you failed," she sneers, "You have failed miserably. You have failed worse than anyone has ever failed before."

"But I comb it!" I whisper as tears slide down my face.

"Did I ask for your excuses?" She hisses. "Stop sniveling, you sorry excuse for a mother!" The stylists moves back behind me, roughly slaps me in the back of the head and commands, "Now watch. Watch and learn. If you can."

But what really happened was a hair styling goddess named Sheila came in to work a half hour early just to work with Zoey. She was kind to Zoey and she was kind to me. And people, Sheila has some serious braiding skills. Let me just say that Zoey was not what one would call 'thrilled' about her first hair appointment. Sheila made combing through Zoey's hair look easy -- even as Zoey was burying her head in my chest and turning from side to side. I wasn't blamed for any of the knots. I wasn't even shot an evil look. When Sheila discovered that Zoey has a majorly dry scalp in some places I said, "Oh geeze! Poor Zoey! Look what her mom did to her. . ." Sheila laughed good naturedly and said, "Girl, stop that! You didn't know!" And now I do. And I even know what to do about it. Zoey left the salon looking beauteous and at least two and half years old (sniff sniff). I left feeling heartened and (more) confident in my ability to care for Zoey's hair. I am still afraid of the hair police -- as I'm sure wearing a pony tail and baseball cap every day must be a major offense.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nemisi (it's totally a word)

We no longer have chairs around the kitchen table (or in the kitchen for that matter). No more end tables. The sofa table is now up against the wall instead of, you know, THE SOFA. The coffee table is still in it's place, but only because it's low and on carpet. That's right, Zoey is a climber. The kid has some serious upper body strength. She can move a chair from two rooms away, over carpet, and into the kitchen exactly where she wants it. Which currently is at the sink. She loves to play in the sink, around the sink, and with anything she can reach by the sink. Of course we took the regular precautions: moved the knife block far away, only gave her plastic things to play with, stood right behind her so she wouldn't fall. But let me be the first to tell you: if you are not the one actually playing in the sink it gets old. Fast.

Apparently, if you are 16 months old and my child you MUST PLAY IN THE SINK EVERY WAKING MOMENT. And if you are not allowed to play in the sink you must wait, in stealth mode, until your mother is busy doing something else (i.e. - cleaning up the plant you just over turned in the other room). Then, you must seize the moment and push a chair up to the sink and turn on the water! Or, alternately, throw a massive tantrum. Again and again. And yet again. Until your mother is broken.

I am broken. My 16 month old, 22 pound child -- she has broken me. The sink and the chairs, they are my arch nemisi. BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN SPOT SOMEONE PLAYING IN THE SINK.

Take this sink and chair!!! Hiiiiiii-yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (imagine awesome jumping karate kick here)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Cool and So Not Cool

A new post is up at Cool Moms Care. It's a fascinating post that involves a napkin ring and, shockingly, does not mention poop. But since we are on the topic, diarrhea in the tub is baaaaaaad. Very very bad. And that is all I have to say about that right now. Maybe later it will be funny. But not yet.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Last Friday I had a very important business meeting. The guy I was meeting referred to it as "grabbing coffee" but, really, it was a very important business meeting. It was about the usual businessy things -- web sites, Twitter, and, oh yeah, CHANGING THE WORLD. What did you do last Friday? Hm? Hm?

Well, the result of my very important business meeting is that I will be blogging twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday, for Cool Moms Care (sister site to Cool People Care). And the first one is up RIGHT NOW! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaasssseeeee go check it out! Bonus points if you leave a comment! Bonus bonus SUPER MEGA points if you check out the site and use 5 minutes of your day today to make a difference. Don't worry, there are plenty of ideas on how to do this on the site!

So lastly, I want to update all my loyal fans* (especially those in Finland) on my plans for this blog and the blog over at Cool Moms Care. My goal is to have new posts on this site twice a week and also to have new posts on Cool Moms Care twice a week. As of now, I do not intend to do any double posting. But if my family gets taken down by the flu or something . . . all bets are off. So, please come see me twice a week on Cool Moms Care and twice a week here!

*'Fans' meaning Niki's family and anyone else I force to read this blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Teen Years (siiiiigh)

Last night before bed I took Gilmore for a walk down the block. We live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, manicured 'common spaces', and gazebos. Nice, right? 'Scandal' in this neighborhood means that someone went two weeks between lawn mowings. Oh! And once we had someone ride a 3 wheeler on the grass by the pool and leave -- wait for it -- "tracks". We also have these street lights that are supposed to be motion activated. Which they are, I guess. Except they go on a good 15 seconds after a car has passed. So our street is pretty dark most of the time.

So, anyway, last night Gilmore and I are out walking down the dark street. We reach the end of the block and turn around. We begin to hear shrieking and movement ahead of us but can't really see much. As we get closer we begin to recognize the sounds. Yup, it's drama. Teenage girl drama. A teenage girl and her 'boyfriend' are having a fight. Punctuated by fierce make out sessions up against the car. The girl is shrieking something about who does she think she is? and Why did you look at her? Then, SHE'S HOTTER THAN I AM! Between each of these statements there is kissing, grabbing and . . .unfortuantely, thrusting. The boyfriend is sort of pushing her up against the car, but it's kind of awkward. The girl seems to be caught on the door handle somehow or maybe her hair is stuck under the guy's arm. I'm sure it looked way sexier when they saw it on 'The Hills' or whatever those crazy kids are watching these days. Anyway, these youths are between me and my house so I have to pass them. And just as we get directly across from them, Gilmore takes a ginomous crap. Which I have to try and pick up with the plastic bag in the dark. It doesn't go well. I have the sense that the teens have stopped their lusty fight to watch me struggle to pick up shit. I drop a few pieces and golly is it fun to find them in the dark! AT LEAST I DIDN'T DROP MY DIGNITY AND SELF RESPECT!! I yell. But not really.

The rest of the way home I think about Zoey and all the relationships she will have in her life. How can I help her choose healthy and safe relationships? This question actually really throws me. I mean, I know all the easy answers: through modeling, through talking to her, through enrolling her in activities that build her self esteem and sense of self. But here's the thing -- my parents did all of that for me. Still, I opted for some baaaad relationships. In high school. In college. In grad school. Part of that is how we learn. But part of that is . . . something else. Whenever my parents cautioned me, I would do the opposite. So, if Zoey brings home a guy or girl and I tell Zoey I don't like him/her she may end up married. Or with a really bad tattoo. So, maybe Demetri and I need to threaten any potential dates. Let's be honest, that's going to have to be all me as Demetri is the kindest person on the planet. Demetri: Oh? You want to take out my daughter? Here's 50 bucks for the virtual reality show. And do you want to borrow our hover craft? Me: Oh? You want to take out my daughter? Yes, well, let's have a little chat over here by this lovely laser gun and set of really really sharp knives . . . Somehow I don't really think that's the answer either.

Help me out. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

15 months 26 days

To: Mom
Fr: Zoey
RE: Update on Rules

It's been a while since my last memo but I figured it was time since you seem to be a little slow on picking up on the new rules.

1. Any time that I am not playing with water in the kitchen sink is wasted. WASTED.

2. Whining is a valid form of communication.

3. I can do it myself.

4. Except sometimes I don't want to do it myself. See #2.

5. I am now tall enough to reach the kitchen table and the counters. Anything within my reach is fair game.

6. I have zero frustration tolerance. When something does not go my way I will let you know. See #2.

7. There are moments in which I like _____ (insert any food) and moments when I don't. If you really loved me you would know which food to feed me.

8. I like to wear fancy shoes. See #6

9. Getting dressed is a game. My job is to run from you and make it as difficult as possible.

10. See #9 and insert diaper changing.

11. I am a climber of ALL THINGS. Do not try and stop me. I am also a biter.

12. I will continue my facade of being cute and adorably shy in public to undermine your 'blog'.

13. Please do NOT ask me if I went "poo-poo" in front of my friends. It's embarrassing.

14. My method of using a fork is genius: stab something, pull off the stabbed thing with hand, use hand to shove thing into mouth. GENIUS!

15. I am not a baby. Please stop referring to me a such. I prefer to be called Most Important Thing In the Universe or Super Zoey.