Thursday, March 29, 2007

la vie en rose

The Mayor and I were deeply engrossed in Lego building while K made dinner and The Rooster hid in the kitchen cabinets.

It was amidst the strewn Legos that The Mayor noticed my pedicure.

He examined the polish and declared that he wanted his toe nails painted.

RIGHT. NOW.

I told him that I didn't have any nail polish in the house and promised that we could go and buy some just for him.

He got up and headed for the door.

"We can't go right now, Mayor. Dinner is almost ready. We'll go another time."

Oh. My. God.

There was a great sadness.

Dark clouds filled the sky.

There would be no peace in the land until nail polish was procured.

What to do?

PROCURE! PROCURE! PROCURE THE POLISH!!

Hello,
neighbors!!

We found our neighbor Colleen, who ran a marathon that morning, limping across her lawn.

"Colleen! Collllleeeeeeeeennnnnn!!! We have always loved you, Colleen..."

Oh, thanks be praised to the blessed St. Colleen for The Mayor lifted up his voice and asked for the Wet & Wild and his toe and finger nails were answered with the "Mo' Hotter Cherry Flava" color, glory be and hallelujah.

Honestly, his nails looked pretty good (and we weren't late for dinner.)

The Mayor was so happy, gleeful really.

He kept asking for touch ups and sat as patiently as an almost three-year-old could while our kitchen timer counted the minutes for the paint to dry.


I have been amazed at the reaction his nails have received.

Both children and adults have conversations with The Mayor that go like this:
Random Person X: "Are you a girl?"

The Mayor: No. I'm a BOY!!

Random Person X: Then why do you have your nails polished? That is for GIRLS!

The Mayor answers with a blank stare. I can't tell what he's thinking.

Ever the mother lion, I told one little girl that she had it all wrong -- that men were starting to paint their nails - that it was the hot, hip, new thing.

"Really?" she asked me.

"Oh, yeah. TOTALLY."

[I am such a liar.]

So yesterday we had to take The Mayor and his painted nails to the pediatrician because neither of his parents was smart enough to take him three weeks ago when he said that his ear was "buzzing."

"Buzzing, schmuzzing kid! Suck it up!"

We made The Mayor wait until he was writhing in pain, clutching his ear and yelling,
"OW, OW, OW!!! My ear HURRRRRRRRTTTTTTTSSSSSS!!!"

Only then did we think, "Huh. Maybe he has an ear infection."

Try an enormous ear infection that has been festering for... oh, I don't know... say...THREE WEEKS!!!

[I am a parenting GENIUS!]

At the doctor's office, The Mayor abandoned his shoes and socks and showed off his mani/pedi to the assorted crowd in the waiting room.

A tiny girl who couldn't have been more than four took one look at The Mayor's nails and said,
"Oh, Giirrrrrrrrrrrl, you got your nails did. Gimme high fives!!!"

The Mayor
laughed and laughed while slapping her hand.

Oh, to be understood.

Right on.


IMG_5112

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hooded Sea Creature

Sometimes when my mom’s group meets we talk about serious things, but last week we talked about what to call the vagina.

It took about three minutes to unanimously agree that we all would teach our girls to call it…

Vagina.


So radical, I know.

Yeah, yeah, so technically the “vagina” is just one part of the whole package, but the reality is that most other American girls are going to be calling it “my vagina” and none of us want to make our child the one weirdo calling it something else.

Maybe it’s wrong to want your child to feel normal and to fit in? I don’t know.

We talked about the 100,000 blog posts on this topic (I think my favorite is “My Other Butt is a Volvo”) and then we devolved completely into sharing our favorite nicknames for the punani.

One woman, (the same one with the excellent post-partum lube advice) told us that she grew up calling hers “Puita” (pronounced poo-wee-ta.)

“My Puita!”

Kind of sweet, no?

It sounds like a name for a furry little pet.

Captain Kirk fondled many Puitas...
tribbles

It wasn't until I got home that I remembered that I too once had a pet name for a part of my own package.

I had totally forgotten that I played Doctor with the little girl that lived next door and we discovered a hooded sea creature that we called...

The Walrus.



Celebrate your walrus!


March ROFL Award

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Pox on the House of Joy

The Rooster is recovering well.

I am awfully grateful for all the comments yesterday. Truly.

Can't come out to play today though because --

The Mayor threw up all night and I also spent a good part of the night clutching my stomach on the bathroom floor.

I am
only barely sitting up right now.

Bleaaaaahhh.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Living with the Phoenix

The Rooster had surgery this morning.

She had ear tubes ... installed? (What verb goes with that?)

Anyway, the children's hospital gave her a big combo cocktail of Tylenol with Codeine and Versed before they wheeled her down to the operating room.

They said this would make her "drunk" but I did not anticipate how that would make me feel.

Rooster is only 19 months old and yet she flopped in my arms like... well, think of a time when you had to care for a friend who was the most drunk you have ever seen anyone -- a time when you cared for someone so drunk you were scared. Rooster was like that.

Don't get me wrong, she was feeling no pain.

It was her vulnerability that got me.

I have been that drunk before.

I drank a lot in my high school and college years and, though I hate the term, would have to describe myself as having been a "partier."

I drank, I smoked, and I otherwise dabbled with the party favors.

Occasionally, I would take things too far and black out and these were the nights that good friends were relied upon to care for me, as annoying as I'm sure I was, with the knowledge that I would do the same for them another night as needed.

Never, until this morning, did I understand how my behavior must have affected my parents.

The three things I regret doing the most I did when I was too drunk to realize I was doing them. In truth, I don't even remember doing any of them.

Two of the three I am not likely to discuss.

The third one... well.

I spent my senior year of college at Leeds University in England.

My parents and younger brother came over for three weeks after the school year ended and we traveled as a family in England, Switzerland and Italy.

By the time we got to Italy my brother and I were feeling a little restrained. I was 21 and he was 18. Both of us were "partiers" and we were traveling in Europe with our parents.

Traveling. In Europe. With our parents.

Venice sparked a romantic mood for my parents so they went out alone leaving my brother and I to entertain ourselves.

We got drunk, we met some Italians and we got drunker.

I started speaking in a unique and utterly make believe language merging English, Spanish and mathematical equations.

[Most of my college friends grew to loathe the math language as it was a harbinger of incoming Jessica doom.]

According to my brother, I was flirting with the Italians in my ever-so-alluring math language and generally spiraling out of control.

My brother, also wasted, tried in vain to get me to go back to the hotel and finally left or lost me, I'm not sure. (He and I have an agreement never to discuss this night.)

Sometime around dawn I realized that I was watching television in a Venetian flat.

Everyone around me was completely naked, though I was dressed.

The film from my camera was pulled out of it's spool and filled my purse with its curly, plastic loops.

I was disoriented.

I did not know the name of a single naked person in the room and I had no idea how to get out of the apartment or back to my family's hotel.


Finding a door out of the apartment took what seemed like ages and, while it was a triumph of its own kind, it left me lost in Venice.

Venice is perhaps the worst place on the planet to be lost.

Every narrow canal, every bridge and every building is deceivingly similar so that you have the feeling you are turning in circles even if you are making progress.

When I eventually made it back to our hotel, I fell sobbing into my mother's arms.

I was unable to speak. I just cried and cried.

I have no idea what happened to me that night. To this day I really don't know.

I can imagine the worst, but I have never had any evidence one way or another.

My mother didn't lecture me.

I remember her simply holding and rocking me.

I vividly remember the look on her face.

It wasn't shock or rage or even disappointment. It was deep concern.


I understood her face this morning. Really understood it for the first time.

How do you protect someone from their own fearlessness and attraction to danger?

My mother has always known me well enough not to try to tell me what to do or how to do it, but she and I are very different from one another.

Like me, The Rooster is a stubborn, strong willed, bull headed girl. There will be no telling her what to do.

I know first hand that she
will have to learn life's lessons the hard way -- by falling on her face.

I saw the future this morning as her head lolled from side to side while she slumped in my arms with a half grin plastered on her face.

It is going to be agony for me to watch The Rooster loose control.

I will have to bite my tongue, sit on my hands and remind myself over and over again that this is the way she and I learn and grow.


IMG_4923

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Oh, The Music

Ginjajoy, Mom-O-Matic,Nina and Pgoodness all tagged me for the Seven Songs You’re Enjoying Right Now meme.

I’ve been putting it off because I couldn’t even think of one.

I have a hard time listing my favorite anything -- in the moment or not.


Since nothing jumped out at me, I started out thinking about music I liked in general.

I realized that for me, enjoying music has often been about listening to it with other people.

My parents loved music and my earliest musical memories are of bands they liked in the 1970's -- Harry Chapin, The Eagles, The Carpenters, The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Seals & Crofts, James Taylor, Paul Simon and The Starland Vocal Band (they were into that “Afternoon Delight” thing back in their day.)

I became obsessive about music in high school.

My best friend Cindy and I listened to the Violent Femmes, The Police, Prince, Tears for Fears, U2, Roxy Music, Yaz, The Specials, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, The Cure, REM, Elvis Costello, Adrian Belew, A Flock of Seagulls, The Fixx, The Eurythmics, The B-52’s, Talking Heads, The Cars, Devo, The English Beat, INXS, The Jam, Kate Bush, Psychadelic Furs, Men At Work, Peter Gabriel, Squeeze, and Bruce Springsteen.


My college boyfriend (and first husband) was a bit like John Cusack’s character in the film “High Fidelity.” When I think about that period of my life I hear The Flaming Lips, The Pixies, Jane’s Addiction, The Minute Men, Thin White Rope, Sonic Youth, Bob Mould, Pink Floyd, Michael Brecker, Michael Hedges, Wynton Marselis, (lots of Reggae, Mon'), Elmore James, Bow Wow Wow, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, 311, The Beastie Boys, The Clash, Billie Holiday, The Breeders, Dire Straights, Cocteau Twins, George Winston, James Brown, Parliament, Led Zeppelin, Liz Phair, The Pretenders, The Replacements, Suzanne Vega, Throwing Muses, Tracy Chapman, The Sugar Cubes, Echo & The Bunnymen, Love & Rockets…

I spent my senior year abroad in England with my friend Deana and in my memories it is all set to a Gipsy Kings soundtrack.

When K entered my life the beat changed. With him I hear Ani DiFranco, Aimee Mann, Allison Krauss, Michele Shocked, k.d. lang, Beth Orton, The Weepies, Nancy Griffith, Buena Vista Social Club, Coldplay, Colin Hay, Daniel Lanois, Sarah Harmer, Django Reinhardt, Emmylou Harris, Freedy Johnston, Mana, Gillian Welch, Holly Cole, Hugh Masakela, KT Tunstall, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Macy Gray, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sade, Pearl Jam, Gomez, Ryan Adams, Sam Cooke, Shawn Colvin…

So.

What am I listening to and enjoying RIGHT NOW?

I guess songs that get The Mayor and The Rooster dancing.


The sight of my toddlers shakin’ their groove things automatically spreads a smile across my face.


K and I play their favorite songs over and over again on the kitchen cd player and have spontaneous family dances.


We dance separately.

The children watch K and I act the fool.

The children invent their own moves.

We each hold one child and dance as couples.

We dance in a big clump of four.

I give you The Mayor and The Roosters seven favorite dancing songs:

Starry Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfold

Boom Shackalack by Apache Indian

Catch That Train by Dan Zanes

Little Red Caboose by Lisa Loeb

We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner

Happy Happy Joy Joy by Ren & Stimpy

Two of Us, Aimee Mann & Michael Penn (I am Sam soundtrack)

Kitchen Dancing at The House of Joy
Kitchen Dance

Friday, March 23, 2007

You Four, Please

It is no big secret that my relationship with K started as an affair.

Cast stones if you must, but it is the truth.

I was married to someone else when I hired K to work for me.

I was K's married boss when we met.


My first husband and I were college sweethearts. We met when we were 19.

Our relationship was one of great sturm and drang. Always the great drama.

After college, he came south to attend medical school and I followed.

We married right after he finished medical school and divorced right after his residency.

Our relationship was a perfect statistic.

K came to work for me at a time when my first marriage was faltering.

Husband #1 and I weren't communicating except to degrade and humiliate one another.

We had a juvenile way of relating, probably because we never grew out of the teen age communication style that was all we had when we met.

We were complete failures at resolving conflict with each other.


When K came to my office to submit his resume, the staff person he gave it to tracked me down, handed it over and said, "Interview him! He's HOT!!"

I shrugged.

I was impressed with K at his first interview. He was trained in conflict resolution and did intervention work with men who were batterers.

During the second round of interviews I knew he was the candidate I wanted to hire.

It wasn't until his first week on the job that I realized I was in way over my head.

I wouldn't describe our affair as torrid. In fact, our physical contact was limited and quite tame.

There was no denying my heart though.

I fell for K in a way that wordlessly communicated the finality of our marriage to my first husband.

He was furious, betrayed.

He moved out.

There was bitterness.

He left the south and ended up in the Pacific Northwest where he met his second wife.

About two years after we split up I got a phone call from him and he said he had news he wanted to share.

He told me that he had been seeing a therapist.

"I blamed you for the end of our relationship, but I realize I was equally to blame. I've never apologized to you for my part in it and I want to do that now," he said.

I almost fell over.

Wow.


Then he told me he was getting remarried.

After he left, I often wondered what it would be like to hear that he found a new partner.

I was so relieved to realize that all I felt was glad.


Enough time had passed for me to understand that he was a good person, worthy of love, but that we were just not the right match.

I hoped he would be happy. I wished him well.

A few more years passed and we were invited to my friend Laura's wedding.

To this day, Laura is one of my few friends that remains close to both my first husband and me.

I knew K and I would see First Husband at the wedding and was a bit nervous.

We had never been in his presence as a couple before.


I was a bridesmaid and my maidly duties kept me away from him- though I spotted him in the crowd - until well into the reception.

Finally, K and I each took a deep breath and decided that we couldn't stall any longer. In the interest of politeness, of white-flag waving, of friendliness, we had to speak to my ex and his wife.

We walked over to them and got as far as "hello" when the wedding photographer snuck up behind us and said,
"Okay, you four -- SMILE!"


(See Julie, it was way, way too long for a comment!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You Can Call Me Steve

I've mentioned before that it was only last year that my friend Elke took me by the furry Cro-Magnon brow and dragged me to the threading lady.

Being new to the whole eyebrow grooming realm, I kept going to the threading parlor -- though not frequently enough!

This week I found myself sporting
a brow situation inside a nail place that offered waxing services.

Since I've established that it is probably a mistake to shave my eyebrows, I thought I'd give the whole wax thing a whirl.

The nice young woman from Saigon applied the wax (which was totally fine) and then she seemed to be smoothing a nice piece of fabric over the top and...

MARY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!

I actually screamed.

Just like this 40-year-old virgin guy:


chesthair



What 39 year old woman screams over an eyebrow wax?

I embarrassed myself mightily.

So right then, in my moment of deep shame, Lady Wax says (in her OUTSIDE VOICE mind you),

"YOU WANT ME TO DO YOUR LIP?"

Now I know I'm not the most learned woman in the ways of feminine beauty, but I had to say,
"STEP OFF, WAXER LADY!"

Mustachioed is the new black.

Upper Lip

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

That Poor Child!

Grandma Seattle and I hit the YMCA yesterday.

Before she up and LEFT us.
How could she just LEAVE us like that?
So cold!
Seattle?
Pssshhhh.


Anyway, I swam while she lifted weights.

When I finished my laps, I surrendered my lane to a dinstinguished looking elderly gentleman with a kickboard.

I winded my [sorry ho'] self trying to be all 'Super Fly Swimmer Woman' so I sat at the end of the lane drinking water, recovering and watching the pool fill up with children.

The woman at the front desk had warned me that it was going to become a wild and splashy place and she was right -- suddenly, out of nowhere, there were 15 three year olds and no parents in sight.

One boy, who didn't look more than two and a half, was WAILING inconsolably.

[Something about not wanting to get wet.]

He was throwing a full-on, two-and-a-half-year-old temper tantrum right there in the pool.


I was entirely unfazed. To me it just looked like dinner time at The House of Joy.

The refined, older gentleman kicked slowly to the end of the lane and looked up at me with a face full of genuine concern.

"That poor child," he said. "He must be in TERRIBLE pain!"

My jaw fell open. I was too startled to say anything.

He turned himself gently around and started kicking in the other direction.

That is when (behind his regal back) I fell over laughing.

That poor child, indeed.

Oh, the foibles of the childless.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Relax: BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!

Grandma Seattle visited this weekend (she is still here) and because she is incredibly generous, she gave K and I a twenty-four hour pass - our first ever twenty-four hour pass since The Mayor was born.

Aside from individual business trips, Saturday night was the first time that we spent a night together AWAY from the children since the year 2004.

The year two thousand and FOUR.

We booked a hotel with a gynormous bed, went out on a date and despite not yet owning a National Park Ranger uniform, were able to... er... enjoy each other's company! (Heh. Bow Chicka!)

To top it all off, we slept in.

Oh, yes. Slept in, ahhhhhh.

There was peace in our land, we found nirvana and exploded into a billion particles of light and air.

But then we had to go back home.

We arrived in time to take the children to a birthday party for a friend of The Mayor's turning three.

At the party, a different childrens CD blared from each room.

There was a puppet show -- and several three year olds lobbing rubber balls through the curtain at the head of the puppeteer.

There was a sand box - and a great throwing of sand.

There was ketchup. Everywhere. On little hands... and then on my jacket.

There were 5 three year olds playing an adult drum kit in a very tiny room so that you could feel the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM in your spine.

Our departure from the party was a combination of tears and dum dum lollipop stickiness.

Leaving only the bedtime routine - a bumpy ride at best.

The two of them wore me down to a nubbin in just four short hours.

I am a nubbin.

And still, I am happy to see them.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Mr. Fanetti Thinks Not

Despite The Strategic Plan I have no privacy in the bathroom.

I am routinely asked to answer questions like, "Mom, are you making poop?"

The Mayor insists that I respond -- confirming (or denying) the act.

The indignity!

A few days ago things escalated and it was made clear to me that now I was also expected to characterize the poop.

"Mom, is it a Regally Poop or a Fanetti Poop?"

[Blink. Blink.]

I understood that in the Mayorese language "regally" meant "regular"
but the meaning of "fanetti" escaped me completely.

Fanetti? What could that be?


I thought harder than ought to be asked of a woman trying to poop.

Is it Italian poop?

The poop of Mr. Fanetti?


This is Mr. Fanetti
fanetti
He thinks not.

Then I thought that perhaps I had the
wrong spelling.

Maybe he said "Fun Eddie" poop.

When I searched for "Fun Eddie" on the internet I got this guy...

Fun Eddie
fun eddie 2


...and I'm fairly certain that he/it and my poop have NOTHING to do with one another.

Finally I asked The Mayor directly, "What IS fanetti poop?"

"You know, Mom" he said, rolling his eyes. "Fanetti poop is SPARKLY poop."

Of course!

Whose poop isn't SPARKLY?

Sparkly


I poop The Blingety, Bling Poop!

Diamonds
shoot out my Dana!

I'm so J-Lo!

diamond tooth


After that happy thought, I wondered if The Mayor didn't mean something else, but couldn't pronounce it.

I strained myself thinking...

"Mayor, when you said "fanetti poop," did you mean "CONFETTI poop?"

"Yeah, confetti poop, mom!"

So was it regally or fanetti?

Leprechauns sounded the ceremonial tubas...

Tuba Leprechauns


The sky filled with tiny pellets that rained down upon the people...


Brian, confetti


...and the people rejoiced, for there was fanetti.





Thursday, March 15, 2007

Joy On Demand

Amy at Spina Bifida Moms asked me to write a post on the theme of Joy as part of the MSO Theme of the Week.

I've been totally perplexed by this request.

You know why?

Because I, "Oh, The Joys" have spent the week wondering what I could POSSIBLY post on the theme of joy.

Oh, THE IRONY.


Particularly ironic considering that clicking on my post tag: "The Joys" leads to 47 nuggets of completely idiotic ramblings on the subject such as the joy of cross cultural playtime; the joy of fireworks, bambi, smurfs and puppies; and the joy of tooting my horn.

Joy is the veritable plaque on this blogs molars.

But is that enough joy for my inter-galactic, space-age, blog friend, Amy?

Nooooooo
.

Amy says: More Joy!! -- JOY RIGHT NOW!!!

The pressure!! GAH!!

[I'll get you back one day, my pretty, my fellow bloganista...]

Lucky for me, Joy has a way of falling in my lap when I least expect it and...

My cousin Shannon up and done birthed herself a brand-spanky-new baby girl just in time!


Shannon & E

As you might imagine, I am FILLED with joy.

My cup of joy runneth OVER - and not just because that darned baby is cute as a bug --
I'm even more joyful because you know all that giant plastic baby stuff sitting on my back porch?

That's all going to HER house now.

Mwwaaaa-haaa-haaa!!!


wicked witch moves

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Warmth

A few weeks back K and I took the kids out for dinner on an unseasonably cold night.

The south has a way of tricking you this time of year, tempting you with pear tree blossoms only to snap back to chilling cold.

The four of us were warm inside a casual restaurant where you choose a custom salad or a meat and sides at the counter.

After we were seated a homeless man entered the brightly lit, spacious restaurant.

Everyone seemed to turn and look at him.

He was in rough shape.

I mean really rough.

His face was weathered so badly from exposure that it would be impossible to guess his age.

It had been a long time since he had enjoyed the luxury of a bath or shower.

His shoes were buckling, cracked. He carried nothing but an extraordinarily dirty blanket.

He stood, for a moment, looking at the menu board.

He turned his gaze to the floor, hunched his shoulders, walked to a booth and sat down.

I watched the manager and line staff look at each other and at the customers.

The crew looked nervous, unsure.

The homeless man shifted in his seat. He kept changing positions.

After a very short while he stood up and headed for the door, but paused and gave a backwards glance at the menu board.

K left our table and met him near the door.

I don’t know what K said exactly, but he offered to buy the man a meal and invited him to order whatever he liked.

The man hesitated, then went to stand in the food line.

K went to the cashier and asked her to charge the man's meal to us.


When K returned to the table The Mayor had to go to the bathroom. K took him leaving The Rooster and I at the table alone.

While the man ordered his food, the manager approached our table and handed me $15.00 in gift certificates.

“I’m so sorry for the inconvenience,” he said.

I was puzzled.

“What?” I asked.

“I’m so sorry for the bother,” he said. “I want you to have these. I’m sorry you had to deal with him.”

“No, no,” I stammered. “It’s no bother. It’s not necessary.”

I pushed the gift certificates back across the table towards him.

The manager looked at the floor.

“I want your family to have them,” he said. "Your husband did a good thing. I am ashamed that I didn’t do it first.”

He slid the coupons back across the table to me and I left them there.

K and The Mayor returned.

The homeless man took his plate of food and sat down at a table. He could not seem to get comfortable.

He moved
to a booth.

His eyes darted around the room. He seemed anxious. He couldn’t find the calm he needed to eat.

Without having taken the first bite, he quickly jumped up out of his seat, dumped everything in a "to go" box and headed for the door.

He stopped at our table, thanked K and then disappeared into the cold night.





This post by Jen at One Plus Two reminded me of this and inspired me to write down what I remembered. Jen's original post now has a second part which you can find here.


justpostmar2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Real Moms Need Support

So... Crank Mama tagged me to carry on Kristen's Real Mom's Meme.

I am a real mom.

I get up at the butt crack of dawn and pick noses.

[...and not just my own.]

Real Moms Pick Noses
This Real Mom Picks Boogers

Each morning I wrestle with two, larger-than-average, feral cats and dig the goo out of their noses and eyes.

Each evening, I cook a nutritious and delicious meal.


Nutritious dMeal
This Real Mom Cooks

Then I leave my children with their Father and go in search of a mo' better hammock for Gilligan & The Skipper.

Because...


Gilligan & The Skipper
This Real Mom Needs Support!

I tag all y'all, bloganistas.

Monday, March 12, 2007

When I Grow Up, I'm Gonna Be Old

When a man is nearly forty the time comes for him to spend $29.95 so that he no longer has to carry his tennis things in the bag he used as a bicycle courier in Washington D.C. nearly twenty years ago.

Oh, great moment of moments! You finally arrived at The House of Joy!

Let us go then, let us venture forth to the sporting goods super store. Hallelujah!


The Family Joy thusly ventured forth to Dick’s Sports Emporium (not this Dick) and lo, owning a tennis bag is as easy as that.

Leaving Dicks, I got The Mayor into his car seat as K helped The Rooster into hers.

The Rooster is learning to climb up into AND down from her car seat and consequently, adult help with either one of these activities is now strictly verboten.

If you so much as support her elbow she will scream like a demon child possessed,

“I DO IT!!! I CLIMB UP!!!”
She will spit great venom, her head will twist around in a full 360 degree spin and her “strong like bull” body will become rigidly convex.

The thing is, Rooster’s not that GOOD at getting in or out of her car seat yet and it can take the better part of a decade.

Me? Not so patient.

K? Mo' better patient, but still…

In the Dick’s parking lot, the climbing up had gone on far. too. long.

To keep some parental sanity in reserve, K had to “help” The Rooster.


One minute he was strapping her in and the next…

He was flat on his back in the parking lot moaning.

What the???

“What happened? What happened?” I asked.

Here’s where I would like to craft a tale of Mighty Baby Girl Power wherein The Rooster called upon her INNER NINJA and karate kicked her father to the curb.

“HY-YAAAAAA, DADDY!”


rooster ninja2


The truth is just plain sad.


We are old.

We injure our old selves doing the utterly mundane like loading a kid into a car seat.

Apparently K made one wrong move, pinched a back nerve and fell reeling to the pavement.

A man who is nearly forty years old should not have to lie in a sporting goods super store parking lot moaning with a brand new tennis bag on his chest.

The indignity.

K managed to finally get up, finish loading The Rooster and ease into his own seat.

The drive home started out quietly.

After being lost in thought, The Mayor emerged.

“Dad,” he said, “I’m going to grow up and be bigger.”

“That’s right Mayor,” K said.

“Yeah. I’m going to be bigger and my back is going to hurt.”

So we’re teaching him about back pain and all the really, really important stuff of this life.

When we got home we taught him all about drugs.

Hello, Vitamin I.

Ibuprofen

Friday, March 09, 2007

George The Blog Monkey

Momish asked me, "Why do you blog?"

I’ve been struggling with the answer.

A few years ago I went away for the weekend with my girlfriends from college.

My friend Ponygirl told the rest of us she was spending too much time reading blogs.

She got blank stares from the rest of us.

Huh?

What’s a blog?

An online diary?

Who would want one of those?

Psshhhhhhh.

Months later she sent me an e-mail with links to blogs she liked and I got the idea that it would be fun to have a blog where I could post idiotic things and make K laugh at work.

I posted a photo of me humping a pole followed by his revenge on the cuckolding pole.

I posted evidence of the the cataclysmic devastation caused by my MIGHTY WIND.

Unfortunately, K’s work put up a firewall that blocked Blogs so he couldn’t read it at the office anymore.

Harsh.

Mission (to crack up husband at work) Impossible.

By this time, my friends Ponygirl and Little Monkies knew about Oh, The Joys along with my mom, my granny and my aunt. Posts became a way to “talk” to them each day.

...and then came the freaky strangers!

I’ve mentioned before that Melanie in Orygun and Kevin Charnas were among the first to comment on my blog (and scare pee out of me), but Sayre Smiles has been here almost all along too.

One by one, I found other bloggers that made me laugh, cry, think, ache… and I became drawn in to this whole, weird... whatever it is... and I developed new relationships.

I first saw the video below about Web 2.0 on
Not Fearing Change and it fascinated me.




I struggle to explain my fascination with blogging to K and routinely come up short.

I made him watch that video because I think it captures some of what I can't articulate well.

At the very end, the video suggests that the change happening on the internet will create the need for us to rethink copyright, authorship, identity, ethics, aesthetics, rhetoric, governance, privacy, commerce, love, family, and ourselves.

After he watched it, I was able to talk about my online relationships - those established, developing and on the horizon.

Online relationships make me feel like a pioneer in uncharted territory.

What does it mean to be so intimately exposed to others through their writing and the interactive commenting without ever having met them?

What does it mean to know the hardest things they have ever faced, the things they’re most afraid of, the experiences that have given them the most pain and the most joy and yet to never have stood before them, put your arms around them or wiped their tears away?

What does it mean that I sometimes fall asleep at night worrying about a particular blogger?

What does it mean that at any time any one of us can opt out, simply turn the computer off?

What does it mean to have a virtual relationship with someone?

What are the boundaries? What are the rules?

That there aren’t any, or that perhaps they are being developed as we go, is fascinating to me.

The only thing I can say for certain is that this way of relating feels new and different.

I'm curious about it.

I am curious to learn about people – the ways they are similar to me, the ways they are different.

I am curious to learn about all kinds of people and explore what binds me to them despite our differences.

I’m curious to know if and how the definition of human relationships will be adapted or re-defined.

I’m curious.

I blog because I’m curious.

Which brings me to my final and most salient point.

I am most curious to know who is going to cough up a National Park Ranger Uniform so I can satisfy my Park Ranger fetish.

Surely if I keep this blogging thing going long enough, someone somewhere out there on teh internets is going to feel sorry for me and send me a National Park Ranger Uniform so I can dress K up in it and git busy.

Right?

[Bow chicka bow bow!]

Until then, I blog.

Curiously.

curious_george_1

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Love Lives Forever

K and his Dad

K's father passed away just hours after Christmas Day ended the year K was sixteen years old.

I have many friends who have lost a parent at a young age and all of them continue to grieve.

I know K
still misses his father -- on both extraordinary and ordinary days.

Days like the ones when he graduated from high school from college.

The day he got married or the days his children were born.

Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays.

K and I spent Christmas 2001 in Dalat, Vietnam on our honeymoon backpacking trip.

On the day after Christmas, the anniversary of his father's death, K wrote his dad a letter and then burned it and Vietnamese incense.

The scented smoke carried his message upwards.

k and his Dad
K as a baby with his father.

I know K laments not having his father around to meet our children, to ask advice about taxes and investments, parenting, career choices and life in general.

There is a way that I miss K's Dad too...

I wish I had known him.

I wish I had known K with him.

K's father was an engineer for IBM, a company man.

Grandpa John

K and his siblings often recall the way that their father would provide an engineer's complex answers to their innocent questions.

They joke about how
careful they were about asking him questions because querries would invariably lead to one of his legendary, hour long, university style lecture and discussion sessions.

Over the weekend I was in the kitchen and overheard K talking with The Mayor about the eclipse of the moon set to occur later that afternoon.

The Mayor didn't understand the word "eclipse."

The next thing I knew, K had a work lamp from his tool bench along with a basketball and a soccer ball and was delivering an elaborate science lesson on the rotation of the Earth, Sun and Moon.

I'm sure The Mayor didn't understand everything, but he was enthralled none the less.

I couldn't help but feel the presence of K's father.

He was there with us, visiting his grandchildren and delivering his gifts to them through his own son, their father.


My K

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lie To Me, Sweet Pants

The jeans I'm wearing today come up OVER my belly button.

Hellooooooooooo, Mom jeans!

Call me a loser, call me a dork.

I don't care.

These jeans LIE.

They lie in a good way, but liar, liar pants on fire do they lie.

Lyin' britches.


They are lying flatterers, these pants.


The little number inside? The SIZE number...

...is a size smaller than I REALLY wear.

Big, fat LYING Mom jeans I LOVE YOU!!

Mom Jeans

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Local Flavor

I don't know that much about the state of Idaho.

I only traveled there once for my pal Hal's wedding.

When my friend Deana and I arrived at the airport rent-a-car place we were really hungry.

So we asked the rent-a-car staff if they could recommend a restaurant where we could enjoy some of the local Boise flavor.


They scratched their heads.

They tilted their heads to one side and then the other.

They did some serious thinking.


(Who knew it was a DIFFICULT question?)

Finally, one of the staff members brightened, "I know!" he shouted, "You could try Taco Bell!!"

[blink. blink.]

Friends, I am serious as the day is long. That is what the man said.

I thanked him and moved on. I mean, is it me or are you also fairly certain that Nachos Bell Grande most likely did not originate in Boise, Idaho?

Anyway.

My friend Deana and I drove up to Stanley, Idaho at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountain Range (completely by-passing the local flavor offered at Taco Bell.)

Upon arrival, one of the first things I did was purchase a hat.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you may remember my first blog profile picture which was taken in my Idaho chapeau.


Jessica in Stanley
"I totally BELONG here. Really."

The Sawtooth Mountains are beautiful and the wedding was one of those amazing weekend long events.

So despite the whole Taco Bell thing, I left with an overall feeling of fondness for Idaho.

Jump to yesterday and me at the thrift store. (Again.)

Monday is EVERYTHING HALF OFF DAY and I loves me some bargains.

(
Remember the Seven brand jeans for $3.50?)

As cheap as I am, when I came across this t-shirt... I simply had to have it... and I think you can see why:


IMG_4953

In all it's polyester glory, I felt this shirt would provide a great deal of personal entertainment and all for the low, low price of one American dollar.

I had to pay FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS for this Ho shirt.

Sadly, not every Ho shirt has a silver lining.

I was showing all my thrifting achievements to K while The Mayor and Rooster climbed all over him.

Revealing my bounty in front of the short people was a mistake.

What item did The Mayor insist on wearing to our friends house for dinner?

What shirt did he require in order to go to bed?

Oh, yes.

He da ho now.

I am totally screwed.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Joyzilla: Terrifying Naked Woman! (and more about butts)

It wouldn’t be Oh, The Joys if I didn’t talk about butts again today.

Butts, butts, butts!

This blog is a veritable Butt Fiesta!

Yesterday I was in the locker room at the YMCA changing into my clothes after a swim and a shower.

A young girl was helping an even younger boy, presumably her brother, use the bathroom.

As he was finishing she said,

“Now let’s go and buy some chips!”
But the wee, young lad had other ideas.

“No, let’s go look at some BUTTS!”

…and WHOSE butt would be the nude one in the locker room at that very moment?

Uh huh, that would be mine.

Hello.

I used to swim at a public pool next to a downtown elementary school.

The children would routinely come to swim as part of their physical education program.


I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure I was often the highlight of most of those field trips.

Because of me, the eyes of thousands of young girls have grown to the size of saucers and then popped completely out of their heads because…

Beware!

Run screaming!

HELP US!!!

THERE IS A BLINDINGLY PALE, NAKED WOMAN IN THE LOCKER ROOM!!!

THE SIGHT OF HER IS BURNING OUR EYES!!!

I am, apparently, THAT frightening when naked.

I am The Boogie Woman in the flesh.

Great flapping buttocks! Save the children!

And while I’m talking about my butt…

Yesterday, when K was cooking breakfast sausage patties for him, The Mayor turned to me and ever so politely asked,

“Mommy, can I please put a piece of that sausage in your butt?”

Um, that would be no. NO!!!

Then he stood in front of the full length mirror and practiced saying, “Sausage in Mommy’s butt” for ten minutes.

…and no, NO, NO!!! He didn’t learn that from K or me.

Seriously.


Neither of us has ever even CONSIDERED putting breakfast sausage in our butts.

(At least not before now.)


ist2_124597_bathroom


roflfeb