Monday, June 27, 2011

The Neighborhood

Our neighborhood has an annual yard sale. That means hundreds of garages open for business within stroller-distance. I love a good deal and this year did not disappoint.

We got a Pottery Barn outdoor table for $40 (I found a similar one for sale new for close to $1000). With two hours worth of sanding and refinishing, Jon has it looking like we paid every bit as much as the comparable one online.
Total investment, with wood sealer included was $53.
Because we never carry cash, once we found the table, I PROMISED the woman selling it I'd be back with the money asap, if she would just hold it for me. We ran to the ATM and Starbucks, which was very crowded. When I finally got up to the counter, I ordered Jon's drink but got a venti, because, as I explained to the cashier, I could just sip off of his and I didn't have time to wait for them to make me my own, because we had to get back to this yard sale to buy a table for our patio.

And it hit me how very suburban mom I am.

How very mini-van I am.


We also scored a Bob Ironman jogging stroller, which retails for $365 for $20... (*cough* soccer mom)...

It's a little beat up, but the idea is to run fast enough that no one can tell. Just me and the blur of yellow swiftiness I'm pushing along.

Jon managed to get rid of the huge nasty green chair by putting it out for free.

Our attempt to do the same with Nathan was not successful.

Maybe they read my blog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is He Eighteen Yet?

People who read this blog and don't have children are going to pray to God for girls.

The problem with me (the only one) is that when my blood sugar gets low, I go psycho. I'm mean, I cry, I can't think clearly and I become convinced of things that don't make sense. When well-fed, I am eternally patient and logical and stuff, but forget to feed me and it's on your head.

Which is to say, I didn't get breakfast today. Or lunch, really (I tried to eat leftovers, but as always happens, Nathan was eating lunch and ate my food as well as his.) So when I was trying to do the dishes at 1 something, you can't blame me for letting Nathan play with the screen door, which sticks out a little from the door frame, leaving a couple inches of gap open to the front porch. Just enough for tiny arms to fit through. I imagine it would be a little unnerving to be walking by and notice tiny arms grabbing at the bricks and front mat, out from under the door. Nevertheless, It keeps him entertained and there's no harm in a front stoop, right?

So I washed and every 15 seconds (maybe every 25 seconds), I looked over to make sure he hadn't gone elsewhere. When he got bored and crawled over towards the dog's water bowl, I stopped him in plenty of time, only to notice he'd dragged in a funny looking leaf with him. Upon closer inspection, I realized (I cannot describe my horror) that it was the thorax of a particularly dead cockroach. It's legs and head were missing.

Poor Nathan. I grabbed him so fast and shoved my fingers in his mouth (at no other time would I ever willingly search a dark cavity for cockroach parts). I pulled out a leg.

Dry Heave.

My son ate a cockroach. This is SO much worse than the time he ate the spider. It was funny when he ate the spider. Cockroaches are never funny.

Imagine my face all screwed up and grimacing and nauseous. That's what I look like as I write this post. It gets even more grimacy with every "cockroach" that I type.

Does it make me less of a horrible, failure of a mother that I feel sick to my stomach about it?

MOST moms can leave their eyes off their 9 month-old for more than twelve seconds without said baby consuming a bug.

While sitting in the pharmacy last week, waiting for a couple prescriptions for the Bridge Troll, I chatted with an older Marine about having sons. He paused and said, "So... do you like being a mother?"

I don't suppose that it's such a strange question, but I delayed answering as I thought about the 104-degree fever and the emergency room visit three days prior, of the rash that brought me back to the doctor and had me sitting, waiting for medicine. I thought about how both times he's teethed, he pushed two teeth out at once, making everyone miserable. I thought about the spider. The way he glories in trying to eat dog food and splashing Henry's water all over the floor.

My answer is this. I don't necessarily love being a mom. I mean... I used to have things like sleep and manicured nails (well I could have) and time to read books. But I love being Nathan's mom. I love the way he grabs my shirt and shoves his face into my shoulder, giggling ferociously when his daddy makes faces at him. I love how he greets me, standing in his crib, grinning like a maniac when he wakes up. I love how he stands naked, peering into the tub, waiting for me to let him in to the water for bathtime.

I thought about changing the blog name to "Chaos" or "Bridge Troll Diaries", because I only ever write about the chaos that Godzilla Jr. brings to our lives, but I think the name fits. There goes the neighborhood. There goes the white picket fence, the clean floor and the bathing-suit body.

Here comes Nathan.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

He is My Child After All

Because we live in San Diego (you know what's next... I'm going to talk about the weather. That's always where, "Because we live in San Diego" is going...)

Because we live in San Diego, it's been in the seventies and sunny. In an attempt to look like I live in San Diego and not Fargo, I put on some shorts and laid a blanket in the back yard, carefully arranging lawn chairs and draping a blanket to provide shade for the baby, and we headed out to bask. I brought a cookbook, because I read them like novels.

And like novels, they fascinate me and distract me from the fact that my son is pulling up the grass by the roots and eating it.

As if our grass stood a chance without his help. I barely water anything.

Once I did look up from the page on Coeur a la Creme with Raspberries (I know you're about to google it, so let me save you the trouble... here and here)... so once I looked up and noticed my ruminating offspring, I grabbed a basil leaf from the garden for him to chew instead. The first one I picked had a spider on it and despite the fact that he's an experienced spider-eater, I threw it away and got him a clean one.

He loved it.

He may be blonde and have blue eyes, but he loves basil. He is my Italian son.

When we were in Bolivia, building an orphanage (which means, when we were in Bolivia, trying to keep up with the Bolivians who were building an orphanage), the construction workers chewed Coca leaves... as in Cocaine. It was addicting, but they did it because it kept them from feeling hungry, since they couldn't afford food for lunch.

That's kind of depressing now that I type it. But as we were leaving the airport, we peered into the giftshop, where a shirt read, "Coca es no droga" (Cocaine isn't a drug). As if that wasn't funny enough, the only person on duty in the Drug Control room was asleep when we passed.

I see, South America. It all makes sense now.

Basil. Coca leaves for babies.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


We had these friends in Pensacola (don't worry - it's not you, otherwise I wouldn't put it on the blog) who were total One-Uppers. If we had a funny college story, they had a funnier one. If we had a good recipe, they had a better one. They once stopped me in the middle of cutting onions while making dinner for them because I wasn't doing it right. Then finished cutting them for me. The "correct" way.


Anyway, Jon and I really don't like to hang out with that sort of crowd, but the truth is, we're closet One-Uppers.

When we were trying to get pregnant it seemed that everyone else was getting knocked up and we weren't. It was frustrating, to say the least. Then Matt and Ann (our wonderful brother and sister-in-law) announced they were having a baby. Then we found out she was a girl. Paul and Kristyn (cousins-in-law) were also having a girl, so when we found out we, too, were pregnant, we determined to have a boy. If we were going to be last, we were going to be different.

He was a boy, indeed. So when Ann and Kristyn gave birth to two sweet, 7 pound something babies, we determined to have a larger one (note: I was thinking like 8 pounds).

Skip ahead to labor day. Not the holiday, but they day I was in labor for 21 hours and had a C-section despite it all. As the doctors were wheeling me into the recovery room and I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to move my toes again, I looked up to Jon's triumphant grin as he yelled, "TEN POUNDS, ONE OUNCE!"

Once again, we had successfully one-upped.

I say all that to say this: Sadly, Nathan has inherited our One-Upping Gene. Evidenced in the post about those Jeans.

When normal babies suck on pacifiers like... well... normal babies, Nathan sucks on the whole darn thing. At once.

Par example:
That is an entire Soothie pacifier, shoved all the way in his big ole trap.

He's pretty pleased about it, too. (Even though it appears that Henry has had enough and is eating his head.)

And if you were about to get excited that maybe that mouthful of Paci might be keeping some of the drool in, you needn't:
Drool always finds a way.

In fact, there's so much room in there, notwithstanding the paci, he started trying to shove some of my hair in too:
He is gifted. Not in intelligence or agility like his little girl cousins, who have hit all their milestones much before our lumberjack, but rather in boy things. Like showing off how very much he can shove in his mouth at once.

I'm going to be the mom who gets the phone calls in elementary school that my son is on his way to the emergency room with an eraser/rock/locker shoved up his nose.

And I'm going to regret passing on that gene.