Friday, March 28, 2008

I Didn't Know I was Suppose Care?

Last night we went to Baja Fresh for dinner. It is the fourth time this week I have been there-yes those cravings are still there. By this time, I have told them I am pregnant because the other option was to just have them think I am crazy. I mean, who in their right mind eats that stuff 3-4x a week? The same thing everytime? So by now, the manager guy knows me on sight, he knows most of my order, and he almost knows my name. As I am standing around, waiting to take dinner home, he is polite enough to converse with me and upon finding out I have a son (whom I had no cravings with), Manager Guy says "You want a girl then this time?"
Okay, just about everyone has asked me that. And I do mean, just about everyone. The assumption is, we get one sex, then we must want the other, or that mommies want a little girl to fawn over and put dresses on. Hmmm, I missed that memo yet again. But let me tell you a story:
The decision to have Thing 2 (as I call the baby right now), was harder to make then the decision to have Thing 1 (Asa). Thing 1 made us the parents we wanted to be; Thing 2 is designed to entertain Thing 1, but we as parents have all the work. We decided to go for Thing 2, and I decided, based on how it went with Asa, we would shoot for an October Baby with the flexiblity of knowing September worked well also. I was shocked to find 0ut Thing 2 was due in August. I giggled uncontrollably the rest of my appointment. This wasn't what I wanted!!!! I didn't want a summer baby! My baby clothes are the wrong season, my maternity clothes are the wrong season, I have to work around a birthday in the summer now when it comes to camping, and it just wasn't what I had planned.
I grieved for a few days (pregnant women are allowed the hormonal stuff at least briefly), and then gave myself a big mental slap. There is a whole lot worse news you can receive at your fetus's doctor's appt. then the dates aren't what you want. I don't have to say them here because I know people who read this blog (my sister included) who have received bad news, and every pregnant woman fears hearing bad news. I don't need to repeat it. Besides, who evr said I rule the universe? Who declared I got to pick birthdates, or months in the first place? No one. So I figured that if god was going to change the music, I needed to change my dance step. A summer baby means I won't have a newborn at Christmas (by 4 months lights and action will be fun). I can have birthday parties outside. And the grandparents get to buy clothes all over again, which they seem to love.
So now, we find out Wednesday boy or girl for Thing 2 and I can honestly say, I will be disappointed either way. I was with Asa. Sure I was having a girl, I was sad that I wouldn't have a son. Then we found he was a boy, and I got sad because I lost my daughter. Okay, it makes absolutely no sense-I know that. I feel the same way this time-I get excited about the prospect of either because each comes with their own challenges and joys. And a healthy baby supercedes any other wish I may have.
When we find out what kind of music God is giving us, we will taylor our dance step to fit the beat.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ahhh, the Passion...

I don't ususally write about Nick so much, but I couldn't resist passing this on, because it is so in-character for...Nick and I.
We have been together 14 years this April. We have seen many changes, as I have already mentioned. Some of them personal to us as individuals, some of them together. I don't always think about the romance in our relationship. One, I am not a romantic person and two, we just have so many other things going on at any given time.
So yesterday, we were at Wal-Mart. I had to go to the restroom for the twentith time that day, so my men went one way and I went another, with promises to meet up soon. First thing Nick says to me when I find them is "I don't know if you will like this, but I really like it and want you to have it." Ooooo-I am intrigued! My first thought it was a book. Okay, big geek I am, I always want one of those. Nick wouldn't tell me what it was, so I had to follow him to...wherever. As we go down the aisle, I see bra's and panties getting closer. I am starting to get un-amused quickly. If he thinks I am shoving my pregnant, naseous body into something slinky, we will be having words. But we go past "lingerie" to a display of pajamas that are a t-shirt and shorts set with Disney Characters, upon which Nick picks up the Chip and Dale set and says "If mommy really loved me she would get a pair of these. Daddy loooves Chip and Dale. Don't you think these are cute Dena?" He just thought it would be cute if I wore these to bed. I don't know if I should be proud that I could even look at the Junior sizes, which is what these were, or disappointed that I had to get the biggest size they had in hopes of fitting into them AFTER August. Either way, the passion from our relationship may not be what it once was, but the romance is still there after all these years, just in the form of Chip and Dale.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Gift To Nick

Okay, I read Dear Amy in the newspaper. It used to be Ann Landers but she passed away and Amy got the job. So someone writes in that the MOST precious gift a girl can give her husband is to be a virgin on their wedding night. Amy answered appropriately enough that BOTH girls AND boys need to be responsible with their sexual lives. Okay, I am not going into details here; this is a public space AND numerous family members from both Nick and I read this blog. But it is enough to say here that, that comment pissed me off. In addition to being sexist, antiquadated, and completely untrue from a historical context (7 month old "preemies" are as old as the hills), it was just so stupid.
Nick gave me two of the most precious gifts before we got married, and I returned them. Marriage made it legal-it didn't change our feelings. The two most precius gifts we gave each other was our promise to be faithful and our promise to weather the good times and the bad. The faithful one has been easier than I thought-Nick and I aren't social and we both have the delusion that most people are stupid. It helps. But weathering the good AND bad times is tough, even if counting just from the day we got married. In the last 7 1/2 years we have had numerous deaths, one sudden job loss, bought a house, and had kids. Okay, some of those we invited the stress in-namely in the name of Asa and Fetus number 2. But still, I need a guy by my side who will not up and clean out the checking account and leave me with 2 of his spawn.
I am a realist-promising something in a vow is way easy. Actions are what matter and granted we have only had 7 1/2 years, we have done really good (there is still time to screw up, although I like to think we will never go down that path). Our wedding night is over and done with and compromised less than 24 hours of our entire marriage. So what matters more-one night or a lifetime? Call me a selfish *&%#$ but I want the lifetime.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whining, whining, whining

So a blog is like an on-line diary, and in this blog, I am going to treat it as such. So there is a lot of complaining and whining this time, and if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, don't read any further.
I keep getting a lot of compliments about how I have been able to keep my weight down. Pregnant women are notorious for gaining a lot of weight and at 4 1/2 months I have yet to gain a single pound. I was the same way with Asa; I started gaining a little after 5 months. Why you ask?
As with the last pregnancy, dairy makes me sick. Not-ohh, I think my stomach is upset. More like-block my path to the toilet and YOU will be sorry for the mess on your shoes. It sucks. It is temporary, but it sucks, and this is were my newfound understanding of food allergies comes in.
When I tell people I can't have dairy, and it isn't in my head, most people reply with "no milk, huh?". Yes, no milk. From there, about 50% of my listeners will get the fact that I can't have pizza. Very good. But those two items are just the tip of the iceberg my friend. The obvious ones are milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, and butter. But think of what those biggies are added to:
*Pies (butter in the crust)
*Pasta with cream sauce/or cheese (pasta period can be tricky since many people cook it with butter
*Anything breaded, including fish sticks, schnitzel, shrimp, and gizzards from Safeway (yum!)
*Chocolate (even most dark chocolate has some milk)
*90% of the frozen meals out there (even the cup o'noodles has dairy-and I thought they were mostly stryrofoam)
*About 50% of the bread items out there have dairy, so I have to read the label carefully ( this includes loaves, bagels, english muffins, waffles, pancakes, and muffins)
*anything made with cream of... mushroom, chicken, or celery soup
*salad dressing is tricky-many companies add milk to make them creamy
Even that list looks short but call it by it's street name and the list grows: I can't have macaroni and cheese, stuffed ravioli's, chocolate chip cookies, candy bars with chocolate, my favorite mushroom soup, cheeseburgers, anything from Arby's or Wendy's that I would be willing to eat anyways(must be dairy in the buns), Dorito's, Cheeto's, any chip flavor with sour cream in the title, blintzes (the filling is cottage cheese), crepes (dairy in the batter), cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs (most places add milk to make them fluffy), and I really have to watch toppings. I mean, sure I can eat the bake potato but what is a bake potato without sour cream, butter, and cheese? I can eat a taco, but again, a taco with no cheese or sour cream is a bit bland. Asian restraunts are tricky-one I know tastes great, but they bread everything. Another uses milk in their sauces. Sigh. Pasta-a-roni and Rice-a-roni are out (not that they are the best thing to eat anyway) and so is my favorite salad dressing-Paul Newman's Honey Mustard.
I know it could be worse-I knew someone who couldn't keep anything down for all 9 months and had to have IV infusions 4-5 times a week just to stay hydrated. And when all was said and done with Asa, I weighed 10 pounds less when I started the whole endeavor. That was nice. But I would give it all up for a piece of pizza and a chocolate malt. Mmmmmm.

PS-Yes, I know about soy, goat milk, and some other alternatives. So far they have upset my stomach or taste totally gross. But I have kept an open mind and at least tried them. Goat milk yogurt just doesn't float my boat.

PPS-This is what I can remember RIGHT NOW. When I look at a menu, or try to make a meal, more things will just pop right out at me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Asa Story I Forgot

I few days after I wrote about Asa, I realized I forgot to mention another of his cute, little stories. What parent can resist one more?
Right before Christmas, Asa had taken to traveling with an entrouge. Everywhere he went in the house, he had to drag along two blankets, puppy dog, baby tigger, plus his action figures of Batman and Superman. One day he hopped up on the couch to snuggle, complete with his travel fan club (including action figure Spiderman, making a suprise appearance) and sarcastically I asked "gee Asa, do we need anything else here?", thinking it would go over his head. He looked at me with those big, brown eyes and replied "a cookie?"
Hmmm, methink s my child is starting to understand what I say.

The Nerd Must Agitate

It is only March, and I have already read numerous articles on how to get your kids to read. I have no problem with this-it falls in line with my world domination plan to make everybody read books like I do. However, every single article I have read left out an EXTREMELY important part: there was no mention of role modeling for your kids and being a reader yourself.
My love of books is becoming infamous-I mention it all the time on my blogs. However, how many of you know that in addtion to being willing to steal bookshelves from my friends, I also used to get grounded from the library during middle school? My mom knew one of the librarians, the librarian introduced me to the staff, and when my grades dipped (which was often) mom would come in every Friday to check if I had been to the library. All the staff knew to ask me if I should be there. Everyone one wonders at what point in my young life I cursed my mother under my breath? This was time. Damn the woman for being so resourceful.
That is my background attitude towards reading, and I cringe when there are great articles about getting young children to read but what about older children? What about yourself? As a parent/aunt/uncle/adult in a child's life, you role model a hundred behaviors. We are advised to eat healthy, lay off the drugs and booze, watch our potty mouths, exercise, show kindness to others, etc. etc. Not one article I have read this year on READING has even mentioned the fact that if you want to raise readers, be a reader. ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH! Very loud internet scream.
So you aren't a reader? I find this incredible, but I know it to be true. So here is how to be a reader, or at least fake it really good.
1. Despite the nerd connotations, a lot of grown-ups I know wish they were readers, but think it is to late for them. Those adults books look long, and intimidating. So who says you have to start there? Hit the picture books. "Where The Wild Things Are", "Bear Snores On", and "Make Way For Ducklings" are classics in their own right and I have read them countless times-without Asa, even though I got them for him. Babar, Frog and Toad, The Bernenstein Bears, and Arthur have all been in my personal library for the last 8 years-Asa is 2. I read them again and again, and I feel no shame.
2. Feel free to self-graduate at anytime. Sure Harry Potter got all the press, but great Children's Literature has existed at least for 100 years, depending on your point of view ("The Wizard of Oz" and "Peter Pan" were written just for children). Some of my favorites that I own and re-read often are The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, books by Roald Dahl (of "James and The Giant Peach" fame) "Gentle Ben" by Walt Morey, and Encyclopedia Brown mysteries.
3. Okay, you can't fake reading. If you don't like it, you don't like it. Got a hobby? Get a magazine subscription. Kids don't import importance to the reading literature, they only see the actions, and I know this by experience. I was in middle school (of library grounding fame) before I realized my dad didn't read much. Could have fooled me-I always saw him reading...a magazine. Ohhhhhh. He has had subscriptions to 3-5 monthly, magazines at any given time and granted I can't sit and read about hunting, cars, or boats with the same passion, he did role model to me and my sister the act of Reading.
So what's the point? I mean, really, is reading that important once you graduate college, and prove you know your subject matter? Sure, kids who read, are less likely to do a host of bad behaviors and get better grades (unless it is me we are talking about) but I am past the years of peer pressure getting me to drink-I do it on my own now. So why be a reader? Well, forgetting all the great stories out there, when Nick and I went to the Grand Canyon, I researched the area and found lots of fun stuff to do. When I felt bad after Asa was born, a little reading got me to the doctor's for post-partum. When Asa looked funny, a little reading determined his problem was genetics and nothing serious (ha-ha). Seriously, we never stop reading. There is always something that maybe we need more info., whether it be a new career, a work related project, or the desire to learn for learning's sake. Wouldn't it be nice to set our kids up with those success skills?
(What am I reading now you ask? "Omoo" by Herman Melville. With a small kid running around, it takes a while. Plus I read the newspaper daily and 5 magazines-1 weekly and 4 monthlies.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Day

We recently received news that Nick's uncle, Joe, passed away. I know family reads this, and I believe everyone grieves differently, but I don't think I am being to uncharitable when I say that not only was Joe a solitary man, but his recent drug use isolated him even further. Few people even had the chance to visit Joe in the hospital. It is a sad testament to a man from such a large, loving family. But it reminds me yet again, that we die as we live.
The funeral of my Grandpa was a very quiet affair. No more than 20 people present, with a simple gravesite service-Grandpa was also a solitary man and it showed. Nick's Grandma's service at the funeral parlor was standing room only-she was very social. Funerals, and life in general, are not a popularity contest, and both grandparents are missed, but this most recent passing reminds of who I want to be.
When my sister was investigating synagogue's to attend in the Portland area, she visited numerous different sites, looking for a good fit. One in particular was the synagogue my maternal Grandma had attended and over 40 years after her passing, my sister received compliments on what a wonderful woman she was and how much people miss her. 40 years later, she is still remembered. Will people say that about me? Will I be remembered for the kind gestures I did or the fact I won't wear white socks? Will my foul mouth and gossipy ways linger longer than my work with Girl Scouts? There is no right or worng answer-it is just a ponderous thought. The sad thing for Joe is that though he may have had kind gestures, what I will remember is the drug use-I only met him a few times, and drug use was a part of his life by then. I am sure the people who knew him as a little boy will remember something kinder.
I don't know the saying verbatim (do I ever know the saying verbatim?!?!?) but Maya Angelou has a quote made famous by the internet that talks about people forgetting what you said, but always remembering how you made them feel. I think it is important to mention that now, and to always remind myself how true it is.
May you rest in Peace Joe and find the solace you were seeking.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Greatest Sports Moment Ever

This last weekend, I let Nick have the remote-no questions asked. Usually, no matter who has the remote, we try to compromise. I won't watch "Murder, She Wrote" and he won't watch IFC (The Independent Film Channel). But Nick has been sick for about a month now with the cold-that will-not-leave and I felt sorry for him. So when he turned on "The Greatest Sports Moments Of All Time", nary a peep I made. And it turned out to be better than I thought. I missed most of of it but I caught the top five and they are as I remember:

5. Lou Gehrig's good-bye speech when he retired from Baseball
4. Lance Armstrong's Tour de France rqce AFTER cancer
3.Jackie Robinson's entrance into Major League baseball
1.1980 Olympic Hockey team win-"Miracle On Ice"

Number 2 is blank-I just cannot remember what it was.

As much as all those moments are great, and to be admired in their own right, I was really disappointed that after all was said and done, the number one, all time, greatest moment ever was a hockey game. I understand it was the cold war, and few people love the Olympics more than me but really-this is what people find inspriational? A bunch of white guys triumphing against a political system-the commies"? Or was it the underdog beating a powerhouse-yet again? Sports is fun and all, and I have seen it contribute lots of good things-from keeping kids busy in a safe atmosphere (usually), to inspiring us to achieve things we never thought possible. But put it in a human world-what would be the number one triumph of all time? What one moment in the History of Sports made you cry? Inspired you to look beyond what was possible? To shout out loud even though the sport itself was less than moving?

I am biased, obviously, but every time I see clips of Jesse Owens winning Gold (in a sport I have ZERO interest) at the Berlin Olympics, I get teary eyed. That one moment just said so much for so many people, and proved so much for sceince, that I look at it as more than SPORTS.
It showed Hitler that his little policy of "The Master Race", was a bunch of scientific shit.
It was a small dent in the racist policies back home in the US: African-Americans WERE NOT, ARE NOT, inferior.
It was a small ray of hope for Jews that an American and not a German, hand picked Nazi stooge won the Gold Medal, in front of the entire world.
And last but certianly not least, it was a huge step for humanity. Jesse Owens beat his German rival, and then went on to treat his adversary as a friend. I can't remember the rival's name, and I cannot say they became the best of friends, but they did meet numerous times after the infamous race and they did have at least a very friendly professional relationship. That two men, from such different places, under such adverse conditions could grow to like one another and be friends, says a lot to me, and makes this THE best moment in sports.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Asa Stories

People seem to like hearing about Asa, maybe because he doesn't live with them? Here are a couple things he has done recently that I found...typical kid and kind of cute, or at least memorable.

Story 1
We have a lot of big fir trees at our house so we ALWAYS have dirt on our floor. Pine needles, weird seeds, etc. Asa loves to pick these up and hand them to me saying "garbage". So the other day when he came to hand me some small piece of dirt I didn't think twice about it until I got it in my hand and he points to his nose. It was a booger! Gross!!!!!! I don't care who's mom I am, I don't want that!!!!!!

Story 2
We are lucky in the design of our house that our family room is a dead end. So when I shut the baby gate, Asa is locked down there and I don't worry about him getting into chemicals (he can work all baby locks). Nick and I have been sick this week-he with the worst cold he has ever had and me with a mild case of food poisoning. One late afternoon, exhausted, we locked Asa up with us and took naps on the couch. I awake to "mommy, mommy, mommy mommy, mommy", repeatedly. If I speak, he knows I am up so I try to wait him out. No going this time, so I open one eye and say "yes baby?" "Shhhh, daddy sleeping", complete with finger to the lips. Why did he wake me for that?!?!??! And why didn't he wake daddy, to tell him mommy was sleeping?!?!?

Story 3
Asa was taking a bath and I can't remember the entire conversation but Asa said something along the lines of, he liked something. So I replied, "me, too!" Asa responded by going "three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten." It took me till five to realize that 'me, too" was a lot like "me two" when you are his age.

This last story isn't about Asa but I found it funny. A friend of my sister's, "Bertha" and I have sons one month a part in age. Comparing notes, we discovered that both boys are going through a hitting phase that is driving us insane. Bertha's son, "Lester", got in trouble at day care for hitting and as the teacher spoke to him about it, he got sassy. So the teacher had to continue the discusion a little further and finally Lester looks at her and says "this is bullshit". Of course Bertha was embarassed but I thought it hilarious to think of a 2 year old saying that. And of course he could have heard that word anywhere, since I have never heard Bertha mutter anything stronger than "damn", and only in extreme situations. Oh the joy of a 2 year old.