Monday, November 30, 2009

My new godson

The plan was simple. My friend Amanda was going to go into the hospital on Friday night to be prepped to be induced on Saturday morning. I would go to the hospital on Saturday morning to be her labor support (along with her husband (and my cousin) Matt).

Of course babies aren't so good with the whole "plan following" skill so I wasn't too terribly surprised when I got a text on Friday night that said "My water just broke!"

I got to the hospital as quickly as I could and by the time I got there Amanda was already pretty uncomfortable. Her contractions were coming pretty much one on top of the other. In spite of this she said that her plan we still to go epidural free.

Around midnight a nurse checked Amanda and said she was at 4 centimeters. Matt and I helped her get onto the birthing ball and she spent the next two hours there, gently rolling from side to side. Matt and I traded off positions, rubbing her back and holding her hand.

The next few hours are sort of a blur. All I know is that all those contractions coming so quickly certainly did their job. Less than six hours after her water broke Amanda told us she felt ready to push.

I was amazed. This was her first baby and not only was she in touch with her body enough to know when the big moment had arrived, she had also gotten to that point without an epidural. Other than a little moaning (and one tiny little "Fuck!") she was astoundingly composed and calm.

Amanda only pushed for a little over an hour. With each push I could see how much progress she was making. Even the nurse was impressed with how well she did. Sometimes she would have a break of up to five minutes between contractions and during those breaks she would rest. I don't think there has ever been a woman who was more serene than Amanda was during delivery.

When the baby was born his cord was around his neck but otherwise he was perfect. He cried loudly right away and was a beautiful shade of pink. I got to cut the cord (my hands were shaking so much that I was certain I was going to cut the doctor's finger off) and then took about a million pictures.

I felt like I was on a high after seeing that birth. It was so beautiful and everything went so smoothly. It was a huge privilege just to be a part of it. After Amanda and her new son were resting comfortably I headed home. Even though I didn't gotten any sleep during the night I wasn't able to rest. It's hard to fall asleep when you have a giant grin on your face.

Today Amanda and my gorgeous new godson* will come home from the hospital. I'm so happy for them and for Matt. I'm excited to see them start their new life as a family together.

I'm still walking on air over being able to be there when it all began.

*They asked me to be his godmother and I answered with the traditional response of "Ohmygodshutupyou'remakingmecry!" I blame the hormones surging through the room.

Two years ago today I had a killer headache.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nice customer service T-Mobile

I don't know if you know this about me but I'm sort of attached to my phone. I pretty much always have it within arms reach. Even though most of the time no one is trying to get in touch with me it's exciting to know that at any moment someone could.

So you can imagine my distress when I woke up the other day to find that the phone that had been functioning perfectly when I went to bed was now ... not. If my phone rang I could answer it but not hear anything. The person calling could hear me but I didn't know that at first and that may have led to me swearing at my grandma as I tried to answer her call.

I took my phone into the T-mobile store and I had to wait a good half hour just for my turn to seen. When it was my turn the salesperson punched some stuff into his computer to bring up my account info. Then he told me that we were over on our minutes (thanks to some person who will remain nameless but who's name starts with a J and ends with an esse.) and would I like to purchase a plan with more minutes? I asked him if that was the cause of my phone not working and when he said it wasn't I asked if we could please focus on the issue at hand then.

Jesse (user of more than his fair share of cell phone minutes) said I was rude but come one! Was that really the best time to try and sell me a different plan. What's that you say? I should get even more minutes that I won't be able to use on my broken phone? Sign me up!

It didn't really matter anyway since my phone is apparently broken beyond repaid and in need of replacing. Did the store have a replacement? No they did not. Buy they could send me on! And it will only take 3-7 business days and I'll have to pay for shipping. Now that's some sweet customer service.

3-7 business days actually turns out to be a long time when you're waiting on a functioning phone. I can still talk on my current phone as long as it's on speaker phone. That's neat. Of course, I'm slowly losing other features. Like the feature where the phone doesn't turn off 87 times a day and can't be turned back on until the battery is removed and replaced. And the feature where the phone doesn't reset itself in the middle of a text. Or the feature where the phone doesn't suddenly start to emit a high pitched squeal that can't be stopped no matter what you do. Or the feature where the phone doesn't suddenly decide on it's own to turn the volume down to the lowest setting. You know, little things like that.

In conclusion, if you try to call me in the next week or so (THANKS T-MOBILE!) don't be offended if I pick up the phone and swear at you or hang up on you. It's not me. It's this stupid phone that I paid way too much for foolishly thinking that it would not break for no reason at all after only six months.

One year ago today I tried to give up caffeine. Ahahahahaha.
Three years ago today I got a love letter from Dr Hot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet

I admit it, I am nosy. I hear about some internet drama and I go sniffing it out. I can't help it. I just loves me some good gossip.

Recently there was a big dust up with a blogger admitting that she killed her dog only maybe she didn't and she only dreamed it or hallucinated it or god only knows what. )You can read about it here if you are so inclined. Chances are you either know what I'm talking about or you don't care but that site lays it all out nice and clear.)

This blogger was ripped to shreds both on her own blog and several other places. The place where she got it the worst was on a hate blog that I won't link to and will hereby be known as The Cackling Hen Blog THE CONSCIOUS OF THE INTERNET because that's what the blog writer likes to pretend that she is. The commentators on this blog like to engage in wild speculation and dramatic fantasies. Dooce writes about giving her daughter an enema? Clearly the poor kid is doomed to be in therapy for the rest of her life and never be able to get a job or have friends and also she dresses funny. Pioneer Woman posts a picture of her husband with a scowl on her face? Obviously he's emotionally abusive asshole and Pioneer Woman does all those giveaways so that she can raise enough money to escape from the ranch. it would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad.

But sometimes it crosses the line and it's so over the top that it goes back to being funny again.

When commenting on the recent dog-killing dust up a CONSCIOUS OF THE INTERNET reader said that she had read the blog of the husband of the alleged dog killer. She noted that on his blog was a picture of him wearing a shirt with a fire fighter logs. Based on this she concluded that he was an abusive cheat who liked killing animals.


Really? All fire fighters are abusive cheats who like to kill animals? Really? Thank god they all went into one profession so that the rest of us would know to avoid them.

And what about people who aren't fire fighters but who wear shirts with fire fighter logos? Are they also abusive cheats who like to kill animals? Or are non-fire fighters who wear fire fighter shirts just the sort of people who are rude to waitresses and never remember their spouse's birthdays?

Here's the real kicker though. The picture on the blog? The one of the abusive cheat who likes to kill animals? It was a picture of actor Kevin James from the movie Chuck and Larry. Of course, you know what they say about people who post pictures of people wearing fire fighter logo shirts. Don't you? Come on, there has to be some random, bizarre generalization we can make about people like that. How else can we feel superior to people if we're not judging them based on our own wild and erroneous presumptions?

Sometimes you just have to laugh at people so that you don't end up sobbing in the corner.

Two years ago today Joseph was "thakful".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Her real name rhymes with ... nothing I can think of

Joseph has a new girl in his class. He kind of loves her.

The day before she came to the class he told us excitedly over dinner "We're getting a new girl in our class and her name is Sunshine*. I wonder what she'll look like and if she's nice and if she'll want to talk to me."

Before he even met her he was hooked. He had a hard time falling asleep that night because he kept thinking of more and more things he wondered about Sunshine.

The next day was very exciting for Joseph. Not only did Sunshine come to school but she was assigned a seat at his table! This child who NEVER talks about school or what happens there was suddenly full of stories. Stories all about Sunshine. What she wore, what color her hair was, how she was shy, how he wrote her a welcome note and left it on her desk. He just went on and on. The best part was when he told me "I want to tell you everything I know about Sunshine. She has whiteish, yellowish hair and she sometimes wears a pink coat and she has a water bottle that says Pure Life on it."

A couple of days ago I was telling someone this story and Joseph overheard me. "What!?" he asked indignantly. "I like to look at her because she's nice!"

I hope she is nice because Joseph is totally smitten and he doesn't know how to hide it.

*Not her real name but her real name is a just as hippy-dippy.

years ago today Joseph tried to be polite.
Four years ago today I read too much Dick and Jane.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shhhh! It's a secret!

I've discovered that a funny thing happens why you lose your voice. When you whisper to people, they whisper back to you. Even if the thing you whisper to them is "I've lost my voice."

"Oh no!" they whisper back.

People, it's not Everything Is A Secret Day. I've just lost my voice. YOU can still talk.

Anyway. You know what makes me smile? Youtube. I mean, not everything on youtube because most of it is stupid and pointless but there are a few gems out there that make me smile no matter how many times I've seen them. My favorites are:

The wedding dance video. I know, I know. Everyone has seen this a million times but I have to share it. I love seeing people happy and having a good time and everyone in this video just looks so into the whole thing. I cry when the bride comes out.

Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent. Remember when this woman shocked the world by being able to sing despite being overweight, middle aged and a little bit frumpy? I do because I watch this video all the time. Watch Simon fall in love at 1:27.

Baby laughing at Wii Golf. Baby laughter is good for the soul.

Evolution of Dance. It's funny and I sort of dance along in my seat when I watch this.

Evolution of Dance wedding video. I love this couple's take on the previous video. And what a story this couple will have to tell their grandchildren someday. "You see Sally, grandma and I used our first dance as a married couple to pay tribute to a video some random had posted on youtube."

Joseph sings Jackson. The best youtube video ever.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I like you so much that I would read a bad book for you

Remember how I am on a quest to meet new people? And how sometimes it goes terribly, horribly wrong? Yeah, I remember that.

Well, I don't give up easily so a few weeks ago I went to a book club meeting. And guess what. It didn't suck! It was fun and the people in it were normal. Well, there was this one lady who would not SHUT UP about her back surgery but there's one in every group* so I can't really complain.

The best part was that I met someone. And she was nice and funny and interesting and she smelled like lavender. And the more I talk about her the more it sounds like I want to date her.

Now I have to make the plunge and ask her next week if she would like to exchange phone numbers and maybe get together for coffee or something some time. I'm not really nervous about it because we got along well last time and ended up chatting for half an hour after the book club had ended so I don't think it will be too weird.

My only problem now is that in order to see this person again I have to read the books that the book club picks. The books. Oh god, they're awful. This month's book is so horrible that I actually feel resentful every time I pick it up. I have over half of the book left and I'm having to force myself to slog through it. It makes me so angry that every few pages I find myself thinking "Oh forget it! I'll just stop reading it and skip out on this stupid book club!"

But then I remember this nice person I'm trying to get to know and I remember how she funny she was and how she smelled like lavender and I keep pressing on. I know that sounds stalkerish and but she laughed at my jokes so I kind of don't care how creepy I'm coming off here.

I guess I should get back to it. I have 237 pages of total crap to get read before next week. Sigh. Wish me luck.

*Really, there is one in every group. If you're ever in a group and you think there isn't at least one weirdo? It's because you're the weirdo. I'm sorry to break it to you but speaking as a person who has played the part of the weirdo many times, I know of that which I speak.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barbie girl

I played with Barbies for a lot longer than I care to admit. I found it soothing to dress them, brush their hair and line them up alphabetically according to the names that I had given them. I hesitate to say how old I was when I put my Barbies away for the last time. I consoled myself with the thought that someday I would have a little girl of my own to play Barbies with.

Elle got her first Barbie when she was less than a day old. It was a present from one of my best friends, a fellow Barbie lover. She got her next Barbie a couple of months later as a Christmas present from her grandparents. In her four years on this planet she has managed to collect nearly 30 Barbie dolls. Many of them are hand-me-downs from me. She has inherited my private stash of "just for show" Barbies. Dolls I thought were too pretty or special to play with. Now they are a part of jumble of arms and legs and frizzy hair that covers the floor around Elle's dollhouse.

And what a dollhouse it is. It too is a hand-me-down. It was built by my grandpa, uncle and dad as a present for two of my cousins. Nearly 20 years later my parents took it and gave it a little tlc. It got new carpets, paint, shingles, hardwood floors and hand made furniture. Elle got it as a present for her 4th birthday and she's played with it every day since then.

Every time she asks me "Mama, will you play Barbies with me?" I have to smile. I smile even though playing Barbies with a four year old ranks among the most boring activities you can imagine.

I smile because Elle has given her Barbies names like Ruth, Christina, Lucy, Clicky, Ariel Teenager and Shooty. I smile because I remember what a treat it was when my mom would play Barbies with me. I smile because sometimes Joseph will join in with us and it never occurs to him that nine year old boys don't play with Barbies. I smile because I know how how Elle will scream with laughter when I make a Barbie fall out of bed or run into a wall. Even if I've done it 100 times already.

I smile because I have an excuse to play Barbies again.

years ago today Joseph defended me.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Why would you even tell me that?

I've noticed something odd lately. While most people I know are supportive of me being a surrogate some of them are not shy about telling me about people they know who don't think it's such a great idea.

In the past few months I've had several people tell me things like:

"My neighbor doesn't understand how you can use your body that way. She thinks it's just like being a prostitute."
"My co-worker's sister thinks it's wrong to get paid for what you're doing. She thinks you're doing this for the wrong reason.
"My brother-in-law said he thinks you're damaging your kids by doing this."
"My friend doesn't understand how your husband can let you do something like this."
"My uncle's girlfriend thinks what you're doing is really unnatural."

You know, it's not that it bothers me that someone's friend's uncle's co-worker thinks I'm a baby selling whore who's psychologically scarring my children but come one! Why would you tell me that stuff? What reaction do you want from me?

Want me to acknowledge that not everyone approves of what I do? I get that, I do.

Want me to smile politely as you insult my life choices by proxy? Sorry, I'm not that passive.

Want me to say something nasty in return? Maybe say your neighbor can suck it? Sorry, I'm not that aggressive.

Want me to think that you've got your own unkind thoughts about my choices but you want to blame some anonymous person for your opinion rather than claim it as your own? Because that's pretty much where I'm at.

I don't look for or expect unanimous approval for what I do. I know I'll never get that. But is it too much to ask that I not have to hear about the disapproval of people I don't even know?

Two years ago today Elle wanted an itchy potty.
Three years ago today Joseph saw a commercial for an ED medication.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Private parts

When Joseph was little he was, as most little boys are, fascinated with what he had going on in his pants. He wasn't shy about it either. To solve this we intoduced him to the concept of "private parts". We told him those were his private parts and if he wanted to touch them he could do it when he was alone because it polite to do it in front of other people. We also used it as a "bad touch" teaching moment. He shouldn't be showing his to anyone, no one should be showing him theirs. It was a good, simple, concrete concept that really seemed to work for Joseph.

It worked so well in fact that I decided to have the same conversation with Elle recently. She seemed to take it to heart too.

Maybe too much so.

Yesterday Elle and I ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. She kept trying to run away from me and dart into different aisles. That's very unlike her since she's usually glued to my side begging me to buy her stuff when we grow grocery shopping. At one point I was at the end of an aisle and she way way at the other end. We treated the two older ladies between us to this conversation.

Me: Elle, come back over by me.
Elle: I can't! I have to go to the next aisle!
Me? Why baby?
Elle: Because I have to touch my privates and I need to be alone to do it!

Turns out the poor kid had an itch to scratch and she was trying desperately to find somewhere she could be alone and take care of it.


At least I know she's listening to me.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I hope it's in the shape of a horsie!

A couple of weeks ago I took Joseph to the eye doctor because he was complaining about "floaties". Turns out he has the tiny problem most commonly know as Terrible Eyesight. The poor kid has been going around half blind and I didn't even know it.

Yesterday Joseph had an evaluation with a physical therapist because I notices his ankles were starting to turn down. After watching him run around the gym for a while the therapist recommended ankles braces and twice a week physical therapy.

In the span of two weeks the kid has gained glasses, braces and a standing therapy appointment.

I think next week I'll take Joseph for a social assessment where they'll determine that he's fitting in too well and recommend that he gets a farm animal shaped birthmark tattooed on his face.

One year ago today I loved Obama.
Two years ago I asked people to pray.
Three years ago today I nursed Elle for the last time.
Four years ago today I was having a bad day.

Monday, November 02, 2009

You noticed me! You really noticed me!

Oh! I didn't see you there at first. I've been so busy "sorting" Halloween candy for the last two days that I've hardly had time to think about this blog, much less it's readership. So you'll understand my surprise when I checked my stats and discovered a rather large and glorious upswing in my page views. Specifically, it went from "none" to "some".

I've had these odd blips before and I know it doesn't lead to lead to sustained, long-term readers but I thought I would throw out this offer anyway: If you come back I can promise you lots of stories about boobs and poop and having babies for gay men. And I'm sure my long time readers (hi Jean!) will vouch for and tell you that I can occasionally be amusing or interesting. I'm like a car wreck where the cars are driven by clowns. You can't look away and you feel a little bad for laughing but come on, it's clowns in a car wreck! There are giant floppy shoes all over the highway.

Ok, I lied. I'm nothing like a clown car wreck. I'm more like a housewife who's trying to avoid her domestic responsibilities. Doesn't that sound fun?

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

One year ago today I had issues with the neighborhood vagabond.
Four years ago today Elle had her first real bath.