Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ties That Bond

Well, tis' the season for weddings. We have been invited to many, finally able to attend one-and of course this is the weekend that Oregon finally comes out of 55 degree weather and instantly catapults itself into a forecasted 97. Can we say extreme's?
But a few weeks ago I was asked if I could give advice to a newly, married couple what would it be, and then a few days ago someone asked me what it was that attracted me to my husband since we didn't seem to have much in common ( I am paraphrasing here Heather!)
Let me sum up my answer to both questions-DON"T MARRY FOR LOVE!!!!
Nick and I have an almost storybook romance-written by a troll. He was 18 when I met him-practically jail bait since I was already looking forward to turning 21(yikes-younger men!) He had to chase me for 9 months, and then we seemed to argue about everything. If I wanted steak, he wanted chicken. If I was in the mood for a comedy movie, he wanted drama. I studied enough to pass, and skipped class at the drop of hat, while he studied all the time and thought I was some wayward rebel. Girl Scouts gone wild.
However, in the end, what really mattered was less the physical stuff, and where we wanted to go in the future. Education was huge to both of us and we spent the first four years of our relationship getting us both through college. Family mattered-current members in 1994 and the ones we would add at an appriopriate time (like Asa and Thing 2). We agreed on finances, where we eventually wanted to live, and the type of people we liked to hang with and be friends with (freeloaders, druggies, and thieves need not apply). And really importantly, we agreed to disagree and not stamp on each other's individuality. This is hard at times. I have had to choke back a snicker as Nick headed out the door in wrinkled tan shorts matched by an equally wrinkled tan shirt. When you roll your clean clothes up in a little ball...and tan on tan is not a fashion statement. And Nick has politely stayed home when I met up with some girlfriends he didn't care for, even though they were good people. But at the end of the day, it is nice to know my bank account wasn't emptied and I won't suddenly be left to raise two kids on my own because "Guido the Thug" is looking for my husband, who "owes him". Hey, people have told me about the Dr. Laura radio show-that stuff happens, but not to me.
Do I love Nick? You bet. And people would say that of course you love the people that fit into your lifestyle. I can't argue with that. But for me, it just happens to be a bonus, along with the fact that Nick picks out good produce at the grocery store and likes watching football with me. I am a lucky person.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Survival of the Starved

It took me awhile to figure this out. I am not a scientist by nature. But I finally figured out why some animals eat their young-they are friggin' hungry!!!
I have no plans yesterday, so I make pancakes for Asa and I. Not a culinary masterpiece-just add water and heat the stovetop. But these suckers do have to cook and being the good mom I am, I make Asa a pancake first, and then one for myself. I sit to eat mine and his is not only gone but he is looking at my pancake like a veliciraptor from "Jurassic Park". Where is the pancake I just made him?!?! I guess I should take the fact that he inhaled his pancake as a compliment since I am not the world's best cook but I made him wait for his seconds till I had first's. Honestly-I am eating for two and his stomach is the size of his fist-smaller than an apple. Mommy needs to eat. Of course we go through the same scenario for the second pancake too. I make him one, thinking he isn't so hungry now and that will slow him down so I can get a second one without his pathetic look on me. Nope-I get back to the table and he is again, eyeing my pancake like we are on a desert island and I have the last coconut. If all animal babies are this demanding for food, it is not wonder their parents feel the need to eat them-so they get a bite to eat!
If animal babies aren't eaten from sheer hunger, they get eaten to shut them up. I love Asa, but all I heard all day long was "what are you doing mommy", "what are you doing mommy", "what are you doing mommy", etc. etc. etc. I usually reply "losing my last nerve", but since sarcasim is not present at this age, not only does Asa NOT get it but he doesn't even think it is funny. But then daddy came home and I got 15 minutes to myself in the shower- a luxury I rate higher than dinner and movie right now.
For the record, I do not feel the need to eat my young. But I no longer wonder why wild animals do.

Monday, June 23, 2008


This past weekend we went camping. It will probably be the last time this season. God Bless the pioneer women, camping and being almost 8 months pregnant does not go hand in hand. Granted I bring my own matteress, I still have to schlep myself to the bathroom in the dark, at night. And a walk around the campsite is not the hikes I used to do but seem to do me in anyway. Apparently hippos can't walk far.
For adventure, we went to a new site I had never been to before in La Center, Washington. Don't get me wrong-I am glad we went and I am glad we checked out the site. We will not be camping again there anytime soon. 500 feet off of I-5 does not a restful weekend make. On the plus side, the site was super easy to get to, but we heard diesel trucks down-shifting all weekend. Hmmm-not the camping experience I dreamed of.
However, we were very close to the south rim of Mt. St. Helens, so we trekked up there and took Asa to his first cave. We didn't not go caving-I was not ready to haul my butt around uneven ground-but Asa got to go in, see it get dark, feel the temperature change, and all those other things Mr. Rogers says is good for little kids. They even still have a lot of snow on the ground, thanks to a cold and crappy Spring, so he touched the snow, walked in the snow, and fell down in the snow. We also spent some time at a Merrill Lake, where Asa got to take his clothes off and be all white-trash and wade around in his diaper. He loved this, and thank you to the tween girl who threw the dead crawfish far out of Asa's reach. He wouldn't put it in his mouth, but he WOULD HAVE touched it and promptly put his fingers in his mouth. What's grosser than gross-my son.
Our final activity was suppose to be looking at the historic Grist Mill on the way back to our campsite, but like all good parents, I left Asa's favorite two trains back at our lunch spot-which was conviently an hour away. I let him take those suckers in with us in hopes of keeping him occupied during lunch and it worked great-until he put them in the window sill. When we drove back to get them in the small, small town (pit stop?) of Cougar, you could see those trains from the road. So whoever was in town that day so them, and we still managed to drive off without them the first time. So much for our powers of observation. Still, the good news is we got them back and all is well with our train world.
We got back to camp in time to roast hotdogs, sit around the fire, and pray to the force that covers these things that Asa would settle down to go to sleep at a reasonable time. By 10pm, we realized we blew that force when we had to go back for the trains so I totally caved, went back on my word, and threw a Thomas the Train Engine DVD on the ol' portable DVD player we had brought JUST IN CASE, and got Asa to settle down that way. It wasn't what I had envisoned but it worked. And in a 36 hour period, it meant Asa saw 1 hour of tv. I guess it won't make him a criminal but I still felt guilty.
Sunday we used up the rest of the fire wood, listened to a few more diesel trucks, and saw a cottontail rabbit snack by our tent. It was pretty cute, and Asa is still talking about the "baby rabbit".
All in all, good time. We saw new sights, experienced new activities, and did at least manage to come home smelling of campfire and get a few mosquito bites. But next year, we pick a new adventure spot.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Go, James Bond, Go

Anybody ever seen the cartoon "Go, Diego, Go"? Granted it is designed for a 2 year old, and I have no problems with the appropriateness of its content, but can I tell you how much that cartoon is starting to grate on my nerves?
This kid is suppose to be about 8 years old, I think, and yet he can drive anything, fly anything, and go anywhere in the jungle. Okay, remind myself this is just a cartoon. After all, he can talk with the animals-I can't expect this to be a documentary from the Discovery Channel. But then he pushes a circle on his coat, and it is a life jacket. Push another circle and we have a safety vest. Yet another circle (actually, I think he just keeps pushing the same circle) and we have a heavy winter coat. I haven't even touched on Diego's backpack, which can turn into ANYTHING he needs. Tent for sand storm? Boat for rapids? Board for mudslides? He has it covered. James Bond would be so jealous he would shake his maritini himself.
I don't watch cartoons to get a sense of what the world is like outside my window. I realize that yellow sponges aren't fry cooks, mermaids don't exist let alone sing, and carrots are not always the favorite food of rabbits. Oh, and regardless of whether you are a coyote or not, you fall of that cliff you will do more than let out a little puff of dust. But these characters were already doing things that you don't except animals, or make believe things, to do anyway. A little boy running around with capabilities most 40 year olds can only dream of, is starting to get to me.
So we will continue to watch Mr. Diego, although some of us in the room pay more attention than others. And I will encourage Asa to watch something else-like the realistic coyote riding a bomb into the dirt.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reading List

Notice the reading list is ditched-it didn't work. I still want to read all those books, but I tend to read what comes across my radar, and not something pre-planned. I am currently working on "Last Child In The Woods" by Richard Louv, although I am almost done, and I am halfway through Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The House of Seven Gables". In my younger, wilder, pre-kid days, those books would have been read last month! Lest you think I have given up reading, I have read "James and the Red Balloon", "Where's Maisy", and "Thomas' ABC's" a gazillion times.


Okay, maybe this is my version of "nesting", because I am 2 months out from having baby number 2, but I have another "baby issue".
First of all, "nesting" is supposedly a stage you go through right before you give birth. Chemicals, shear panic, or evolution inspire some to clean their entire house and surrounding area right before they give birth. Friends of mine had this happen to them. It did not happen to me. Apprently, NOTHING inpsires me to clean my house so don't take your shoes off if you come over.
But I seem to have much on my mind regarding Junior, and today it is names. Naming your baby, dog, or anything else you need to come when called (husbands?) is apparently something akin to politics and movies-it is always okay to register an opinion.
Some couples I know have opted to say nothing about names, another to announce if they are searching for a boy name or a girl name. Others have passed on their top five list and made everyone wait. And of course some of us, myself included, announce to the world what we are thinking and then must pay the price of every opinion out there.
What gets me is how rude some people can be. I have had people make faces (obvious faces), a few were kind enough to purposely say Asa wrong so I could hear what they thought everyone else would say, and one person flat out told me it was just a horrible name and how could I do that to my son. Wow, wasn't that a fun time. And for the record, only one person mis-pronounced Asa's name, and it was on purpose. Another fun time.
Obviously if my friends picked the name "dumb ass" or "numbskull", I would say something. But naming children is very personal and I have kept a straight face (or at least I hoped I kept a straight face) on the decisions my friends have made. After all, they will be calling this name out far more often then I will-the parents are the ones who have to be the most comfortable with above anyone else.
This kid will have a name that will offend someone, somewhere. This kid will have a name that is going to be made fun-other kids are creative that way, so it doesn't matter what name I come up with. But as long as we stay away from "dumb ass" and "numbskull", I am good with that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Turn On The Ole' Merry-Go-Round

Once upon a time, I thought I had an idea about Parenting. Not that I was an expert mind you, but I have been working with kids of all ages since I was 16. I had some ideas. Note the word "had". Asa was born and the learning curve, curved even further.
So, once upon a time, I had an idea about what it was like to have baby number 2. It must be easier, since you made it through the first one. And really, how many different ways are there to be pregnant? If you got morning sickness the first time around, then you will probably have it the second time around. Right?
Ignorance is not only bliss, but stupid too.
I won't whine about being pregnant-I got myself knocked up and no one cares about the heartburn I have but me. It is enough to say that reguritating acid is not fun. However, I look at other babies and I think "Oh crap, we will have one of those soon".
Seriously, it is like the biggest brain fart of my life. How did I get Asa to take a bottle? When did he sleep through the night? How did he learn to walk? What did we do when he went through the teething stage? You forget all of it, or at least I have. And I totally feel like a first time mom again, except this time I am prepared for being clueless.
I suppose we will do what we did with Asa-muddle through, love baby number 2 as much as we can, and hope he doesn't have to much to tell his therapist.
But for all of you under the impression that as a second time mom I am prepared, you would be delusional.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New and Improved WOnder Drugs

I read an article today in our local newspaper that said the potency of pot (yes, the drug) has increased since the 1970's. So all those hippie parents who pooh-pooh their kids smoking pot should be forewarned that it is not as innocent as when they were kids, or so the article says. Hmmm-the gerbil starts running.
I am outraged and disgruntled by this. In the same time period, the 1970's to now, studies have shown that the nutritional value of our fruits and vegetables has decreased. So in a nutshell, our nation's supply of pot has gotten better while our apples, thanks to hybridization, have gotten worse.
My problem is, who do I get mad at? Mommies who have gone back to work and no longer stay home with their juvenielle delinquients? Um, I don't think so. The current conservative regime who insists that a "don't ask, don't tell policy" for drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex is the best course of instruction for teenagers? I wish I could blame them for the last three decades of societal issues but it isn't fair. Do I blame the consumer? Apparently potheads demand a higher standard for quality than the average grocery shopper. Or is it international competition? Hybdrid have a higher yield, giving us extra to sell overseas. I guess no one wants or needs our pot crop?
I think one thing is blatantly clear-when motivated, anyone can succeed.
Regardless, I am not happy that innovation and improvement has gone into something so frivolous, and the things that are truly important, a good food source, seem to be less important. Now what do we do about it, dude?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Look Down The Page

Started a blog, didn't like it, a few weeks later totally re-wrote the whole thing. Only the date I started with stayed the same so the new blog is a few spots down. Look for INTELLECTUAL in the title. Ha-ha.