Thursday, June 30, 2005


I saw a baby today, she was maybe 8 months old, and she was being pushed in her stroller by a nurse who was pulling an oxygen tank behind her. The baby was receiving oxygen through a trachial tube. We got onto an elevator together.

I waved at her and smiled and she smiled back at me, and then they got off the elevator. The two other women in the elevator and I just started crying.

I feel so grateful that my son is healthy.

Memories from the baby-planning closet

Ambivilant Infertility has a post about using a midwife and not telling her family because of their inevitable obnoxiousness about it. Which brought out a comment from altmama about the benefits of being in the baby-planning closet, "Why share information, if people are only going to use it to judge?"

Which struck a chord with me because Mr. Spock and I hid some things in that closet ourselves.

The main one was Muffin Man's name. We have a relative who has a history of being extremely negative about the names parents have chosen for the unborn baby. "What kind of a name is that?", "But there are so many pretty girl's names", and "I know you said that you decided on that name, but here's a list of names I like better."

So we chose a name and didn't tell anyone what it was. We told them we were expecting a boy, once we knew the sex. We told those who asked the story of his conception. We told people our plans for breast-feeding, daycare and use of drugs during delivery, but we kept our mouths shut about his name.

We figured once he was born and we introduced him to everyone, it'd be too late for them to complain. And no one did. Even Mrs. Name-Hater only commented on how beautiful he is. Not a word about the name.

We got some grief about our decision to not have him circumcised though.

PT update

Progress is being made. Muffin Man peed in the potty at school on Monday (a first!), at home on Tuesday evening, and twice at home Wednesday evening. We're hoping for a school/home double feature today.

I ordered a book called "Potty Training in less than a Day" which finally arrived yesterday...It looks like we're actually beyond it but I will incorporate some of it's ideas. APL, if you want it I'll give it to you to use with AB, he's nearly ready for their technique according to the book.


MM is really pretty proud of himself over the whole going twice in the potty thing last night so we're really encouraging that feeling.

Monday, June 27, 2005


I had lunch with APL at a mall near where we both work. We ate yummy Lebanese food and talked about her work, my work, NSAH's work, Mr. Spock's work, potty training, the cuteness that is our sons, why the doggie boutique doesn't make cute outfits for anything other than little frou-frou lap dogs, perfect skinny mommies and their chubby little babies that are legion at this mall, how much we hate neighbors who shoot off fireworks at 10 PM. And of course, how we'd love to not go back to work but just stay and chat and maybe shop a little....

Alas, we both went back to work like the good worker bees that we are.

Thanks APL! I had a great time!

Mr. Spock

Mr. Spock has deigned to comment a few times here. Unfortunately, he comments enigmatically so you can't get a flavor of how funny, silly, smart, darling, and smart-alecky he can be.

So here are some Mr. Spock memories.

How We Met

'Round about this time 12 years ago, Mr. Spock moved into an apartment on West 96th Street. Two blocks away was Murder Ink, The World's Oldest Mystery Bookstore. Working there was yours truly. At the time, I had hair down to my waist (generally pulled back in a french-braid or pony-tail). He walked by the store, looked in and saw me from the back. I was up on a ladder, putting something away in the H paperback section. He came in 'cause he has a thing about long hair. I came down off the ladder and he saw that I was short and cute All of which he also has a thing about. So we started talking. And I sold him a book.

He came in the next week. I sold him a book. And the next week. And the next.

Now, you need to understand that in NYC there are alot of gay owned-and-operated businesses. And you also need to understand that at Murder Ink at the time more than half the staff were openly gay or bi-sexual. So Mr. Spock thought that I was probably gay too. And it didn't help matters much that I was deliberately taking a year off of dating anyone while I worked on some issues in therapy, so I was actively NOT FLIRTING.

So for a year he came in every week and bought a book and chatted with me and never asked me out because he assumed I wouldn't be interested. And then one day in late August 1994 I mentioned a past boyfriend. Mr. Spock's eyes lit up. A boyfriend! A PAST boyfriend!

The next week he went away for a vacation but the week after that he asked me out for coffee. I said yes. Our first date was September 15, 1994. I moved in with him in March of '95. He asked me to marry him November 11, 1995. We married May 18 the following year.

It's a Small World

Around the corner from his apartment was a bar. Tending bar were two sisters. Mr. Spock would go to that bar after dinner most evenings, have a drink, chat with the bartenders and shmooze for a little while before going home to his two-room apartment. During the year that he was coming into Murder Ink, he told the bartenders all about his crush on the girl at the bookstore (never mentioning which bookstore it was) and how she was probably gay and how he'd like to ask her out but...And they would give him advice and bolster his confidence and just generally be really good friends to him. Of course, he told them about the revelation of her heterosexuality and of course he told them about the first date.

The weekend after our first date, I went up to my mom's country house to spend a weekend with my mom and my step-father and some of my cousins came up too. On Sunday of that weekend, I made some grapefruit marmalade and promised my cousins I would bring it to them at work that week.

On Tuesday I dropped off the marmalade at my cousins' workplace and they told me that they had told everyone how they'd watched me make it and how they were looking forward to eating it. After talking with them for a little while, I left to meet Mr. Spock for our second date. During dinner, he asked what I had done that weekend.

Me: "Saw my cousins and made grapefruit marmalade"
MS: "Grapefruit marmalade? Everyone's talking about that these days."
Me: "Really? Well, in any case, I dropped some off with my cousins at the
bar they work at."
MS: "They work at a bar? Is one of them very tall and the other about your
Me: "Yes, do you know them?"

Yes, my friends. My cousins were his bartenders.

Later that evening he goes to their bar.

Them: "How did the date go?"
MS: "It went well, but there may be a problem."
Them: "What's the problem?"
MS: "Well, we know some people in common and I'm worried that they won't think I'm good enough for her."
Them: "Don't worry about what other people think. You're a great person. If
you like her and she likes you, that's all that matters."
MS: "I'm so relieved to hear you say that, because she's your

He says he could see them mentally sorting out whether or not they thought he was too heavy a drinker, had he ever said anything incriminating, was he REALLY good enough for their baby cousin?

They laughed and called my mom to tell her that there was nothing to worry about and, oh, by the way, he's not an alcoholic.

Guess who I'm having lunch with!

Bloggable lunch today.

Tell you all about it later!

Friday, June 24, 2005

I Remember Momma


My first memory of her as a mom is from when I was four. We were in my Dad's apartment on 12th Street in Brooklyn (she still had her own inManhatten). My dad was smoking a cigarette while lying on his bed one evening and I jumped up onto the bed to snuggle with him. My hand came down on the lit end of the cigarette and got burned. SingsLullabyes ran with me into the kitchen and put ice right on my hand, then she took me into the bathroom and did a whole band-aid thing with kisses and everything. She made it all better.

We used to go into SoHo and go shopping at Small Business (kid's clothing, defunct for about 25 years) and then we'd eat at Food (cafeteria style restaurant, defunct for about 20 years).

She made the most scrumptious prime rib and yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinners (SL, are you really sure you want to be a pescetarian?)

Puttering about the Soap Opera (soaps and bathstuff in the Village, now defunct) on the hunt for stocking presens, poking around antique shops ("Liz, honey, keep your hands in your pockets. If you want to touch something, ask me first") looking for ornaments for the Christmas tree.

We would go out for brunches or dinners at "grown-up" restaurants and she would encourage me to get a "cocktail" (Shirley Temple) and to NOT order off the kids menu. Ahhh, Camperdown Elm - long gone now too.



She taught me to ride a bicycle (pink & white Schwinn, handed down from my sister), holding on to the back and running behind me (she didn't believe in training wheels). One afternoon, I was going really fast and I circled around and saw her...standing in front of me. Of course I fell right over, but I got right back on and never looked back.

She had a pottery wheel in a small room on the top floor, and she made mugs and cups and collanders and bowls that are still in use even though the pottery wheel has been gone for over 25 years.

She used to ask me to play "Beauty Parlor" with her and I'd brush and comb her hair and put barrettes in and make little swirly-dos and after a few minutes would notice she wasn't answering my questions. "Are you asleep?!?" I would demand. "Mmmm, only resssting my eyessss" she would murmur back.

We would go out walking to the ice cream parlor, and she would encourage my sister and me to order cones which she would "neaten up" for us. I am currently the world's record holder for least messy ice cream cone consumption.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Father's Day Week Memories


He used to have a huge mustache which made him look exactly like Cheech Marin. Every father's day I'd buy him either a tie or something to keep that mustache in good working order: a mug with a mustache bridge, a little grooming kit...He shaved it off when I was seven? eight? I was devastated.

We once made an Angel Food Cake together - it came out flat as a pancake, but we frosted it with chocolate and ate it anyway.

That same year, I was in day camp at the Y and we had made brownies for a bake sale there. The brownies all sold before I could get one and I remember being so disappointed and then we tried to get a Creamsicle out of the vending machine and they were all out of those and so I had this HUGE meltdown and MBFG took me home and made me a "homemade creamsicle": Vanilla ice cream, orange juice, honey put it in a blender. It was so delicious and made me feel all better.

When I was in sleep-away camp, he would send me this beautiful picture letters - with fantastic curlicues and sketches of whatever he and SingsLullabyes were doing in bright happy colours.

From where I'm sitting in my office now, if I look to my right I can see a pen and ink drawing he made of the beach in Cape Cod where we used to spend our summers.

When I first met him, I thought he was the Tallest. Man. In. The. Universe! (with apologies to PS). He's 6'2".

He has a lap that is just right for a small four-year-old to sit in. He used to tell me Donald Duck stories that always seemed to parallel things that were going on in my life. The villian in these stories was an evil man named Cyrus McPherson (Nyahaha!) He now tells similar stories to Muffin Man.

In the summers, we would go to this old used bookstore on the pier in Wellfleet and buy up all the Walt Disney Comics the crotchety old man had. Most of them had the covers ripped off. I still have most of them in a box in the basement. My favorite was always Uncle Scrooge. Can you believe that Disney doesn't sell an Uncle Scrooge piggy bank? What are they thinking?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Does it count, take II (with apologies to YT)

Does it count as staying dry all day if your son DOESN'T GO AT ALL at daycare and wants a diaper to pee into as soon as he comes home after REFUSING to sit on the potty?

And he proudly ran up to me at school and yelled, "I stayed dry all day Mommy!"

Does it count?

Does it count as staying dry all day if Muffin Man didn't wet his pants yesterday because he waited to pee until he was in a diaper at naptime and bedtime?

And is this something I should be pleased or concerned about?

Looking to the right...

You may notice that some new links have been added and, sadly, some have been removed. One that I took away became suddenly defunct, another I realized I wasn't reading as much.

A quick review of the links shows I'm neglecting the boys a bit, got lots of women and very few men. The people represented have two things in common - a great, if somewhat snarky, sense of humor and an ability to write well and evocatively about whatever they are writing about.

Another quick review shows a few interesting trends. Though I'm neither infertile nor an academic, I read a fair representation of infertility and academic blogs. Lots of interesting stuff going on in both those worlds and I'm so glad that those voices are out there.

I'm from a culturally Jewish background (never attended synagogue except for weddings and funerals, celebrate Hanukah and Passover but no real familial belief in God or organized religion). In taking the "What Religion Are You?" test, I came out as 100% Secular Humanist, 96% Unitarian Universalist. So it's somewhat of a surprise to note that amoung my links are people from every color on the religion rainbow. Do I always agree with everything everybody talks about on their blogs or the conclusions they come to? No, but I always identify with the process and admire the courage of taking a stand-- even if I disagree vehemantly with where that stand is.

In general, the bloggers I link to are politically to the left of center. Even more generally, the bloggers I link to are active in their communities whether on-line or IRL. I think we all are trying to leave the world better than when we found it, though some of us may have differing views on how we can do that and what it means.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day, Dad & StepDad!

Had brunch with Dad (in town with StepMom to visit my eldest cousin who is ill with leukemia and also to visit us and especially Muffin Man). Spoke with StepDad on the phone.

I'm lucky to have two such great men to be parents. I'm lucky in my female parents as well. Which brings up something that has been bothering me in my blog.

I call them Dad, StepDad, Mom, StepMom as though they had no other role to play in their lives. In real life, I call them Dad, {StepDad's first name}, Mom, {StepMom's first name}. I want to keep their anonymity but I feel uncomfortable with the status quo here so...

For the time being, I'm going to rename them:
Dad is now MakesBooksForGrandkids
StepDad is now TellsDonaldDuckStories
Mom is now QuiltsALot
StepMom is now SingsLullabyes

I may change back. Or not.

'Night all.

Happy Father's Day, Mr. Spock!

You are a wonderful father and husband. I love being a parent with you. Thank you for being here for us, and for enjoying the process. Muffin Man adores you - and so do I.

Quick link time

Please read the Father's Day post on Bitch PhD. Excellent description of how an evolving marriage can stay good and vibrant.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Angie has a post today which is a follow-up on the post before that. Both are pretty powerful reading (warning - the earlier one is a serious three-hanky read.)

Her post today reminded me of advice I often find myself giving and that I try really hard to take as well:

"Are the assholes paying you rent? Then why are you letting them live in your head?"

Angie, I am so impressed by your ability to evict the assholes from your life and from your head.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ugh, ugh, ugh

Jen is talking about dreams and Suzan is talking about bugs which is creepy because last night I had a dream about bugs.

I was in the apartment I lived in during my sophomore year of college with my skeevy (then)boyfriend. The apartment was empty, no furniture, no refridgerator and all over the floor and walls were thousands of cockroaches. Big ones. And for some reason during the dream I went from wearing boots, to wearing sneakers, to wearing sandals, to being barefoot -- all without my intervention. And while I was freaking out in the dream, my sleeping self was really quite okay with it all. I knew it was a dream. And yet, I can't watch movies with bugs in them (one major reason the second Indiana Jones flick never got watched more than once.) So why wasn't I terribly bothered by this dream? And why dream it in the first place?

I have a theory about the reason for the dream which I will blog about later, once I've sat on it for a while.

What he said

"Bye-bye Daddy! I love you! Drive carefully! Don't go too fast or you will fall down and break your nose! Don't forget to go potty! Bye!"

PT update

So far, pretty good! Muffin Man made it to the potty every time on Monday at school (and then had an accident at home) and Tuesday he had one accident as he was running to the potty at school. I'm so proud of him!

His teachers are praising him and hugging him and rewarding him with gummy bears (we provided them). And we are doing the same at home.

I'm going to incorporate many of your suggestions for our weekends, but also want to stay consistent with what they do at school (since they can't let the kids run around with no pants on...)

Which reminds me that I need to buy him more keds (they're machine-washable).

Which one is me?

Tom Sietsema's chat has a post from me. Can you guess which one?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Another Fun Day: Good News and Bad News

Another fun day today, we woke up early and cuddled. Played, ate soft-boiled eggs, watched a highly edited (by Muffin Man) version of Beauty and the Beast. Then we went out to That's Amore for brunch, MM behaved beautifully and was rewarded with a new book and 5 matchbox cars from the Toys-R-Us next door.

We played with the cars and MM took a nap. Had ice cream sandwiches for after-nap snack, played with the cars some more and went to Mr. Spock's sister's house for dinner. Came home, MM took a bath (and was very cooperative about it which was a novelty) and then Mr. Spock came home and tucked MM into bed.

So, what's the good news and the bad news?

Bad news: MM had not one, not two, but THREE poops in his underwear today and three wet accidents. I've done 7 loads of laundry today.

Good news: The very last pee of the day went partly on the floor and partly in the potty. AND HE STOOD UP to pee. Pulled down his underpants just a tad and everything. Rewarded with lots of praise and three gummy bears.

Excellent day over all.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fun day today

Muffin Man and I are on our own this weekend. Mr. Spock is up in NYC visiting a friend of ours.

MM & I went for SoupAndBread today and had a great time. After nap, our babysitter came over and I went shopping for shorts for MM (he only had four pair and we're starting potty training again) and some clothes for me.

Fun Fact 1: I've gone from a size ten in skirts and pants to a size 8.
Fun Fact 2: I've gone from a 38 bra to a 36. Same cup size. And I am in love with the Wacoal Slimline Minimizer.
Fun Fact 3: Muffin Man is making another stab at potty training. Let's hope it takes this time.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Muffin Man noticed tonight that Aladdin and Jasmin kiss with their mouths open. And now he wants to.

How do you explain to a loving three-year-old that it's not appropriate to soul kiss your parents?

Hold it right there, buster.

Every day, before we leave daycare for home, I need to give Muffin Man a pat down.

That boy has a passion for collecting. Doesn't matter what, if it can fit in his pocket, he's taking it home. Rocks, currently, are his favorite, followed closely by little toy cars. The toy cars are appearing less often 'cause daycare has FINALLY started to ban toys-from-home.

If I don't pat him down, we'll find things in the dryer. Rocks, flowers (he had a whole bouquet in his pockets, I swear), paper towels, toys. So far, I've managed to avoid letting crayons get in there, we'll see how long that lasts.

So today was a breakthrough...I sent him to school in clothes that had no pockets, no pockets at all. Aha! I thought. I've outsmarted you this time! And then he took off his pull-up and a rock fell out.

Laura started it:

Laura wrote this post about famous people to whom she has sold pants. Well, I've never sold pants, but I've sold ice cream, cookies, movie tickets (cashier/manager at the King's Court in Pgh, now defunct, and manager at Loews in NYC) and books. So here's my list of famous people to whom I have sold sundries.

Ice Cream and Cookies (at David's Cookies in Greenwich Village, now defunct.):
Ric Ocasik

Movie tickets/passes:
Jennifer Beals
George Romaro
Rob Lowe
Chef Brocket
Gene Anthony Ray

Books from Booklink, now defunct:
Andrea Dworkin and Philip Larkin
Paul Auster
Steve Buscemi

Books from the Traveler's Bookstore, now defunct:
Victoria Tennent

Books from Murder Ink:
Kathleen Turner
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Robert Crais
Lawrence Block

People I've Bumped Into on the Street, Sat Next to on the Subway, Lived Upstairs From, Was Friends with their Children:
Cynthia Harris
Peter Schickele
F. Murray Abraham
Jennifer Connelly
Jack Nicholson
Mandy Patinkin
Jaye Davidson

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head

That's Muffin Man's motto.

Perpetually Pregnant is talking about the pluses and minuses of breast-feeding. And since MM refused catagorically to breast-feed, I felt unequal to the task of commenting there. However, Perpetually Pregnant also mentioned pumping and that is a subject I can speak to.

I pumped for nine months. My "office" at work was a cubicle. I was responsible for finding a quiet, comfortable, private place to express myself. I used empty offices (my boss' while he was in meetings, mostly), empty conference rooms, disused storage closets, bathroom stalls (had to go to a different building to find one with an outlet), and a "lounge" with no door that was in a women's restroom on the third floor of the other building. You'd think that with so many women in the work place this wouldn't be such a pain in the ass.

Anyways, what made it bearable was the hands-free pumping attachments for the Medela (you've got to buy their bra to use it) which enabled me to read while pumping. Which may explain why I still leak a bit (books as let-down cues...hmmm.)

The best part about pumping exclusively is that you don't have to be open for business at 2 in the morning. Mr. Spock took that shift when I went back to work, since he works from home (lucky dog). The worst thing is the feeling of missing out, somehow, on that special bond and, of course, the lack of opportunity to piss people off by nursing in public.

Why does this keep happening? UPDATED

UPDATE: the article I linked to below is actually from 2003. Sorry. The story Mr. Spock told me about is here. I apologize for the error. But it actually makes my point even more valid. This still keeps happening, people.

Today my Mr. Spock told me about yet another child who died after being left in a car. According to the article there were 36 in 2003 alone.

Here's the thing. How does this happen? How can a person NOT BE AWARE that there is a baby or toddler in the car with them? DON'T THEY CHECK? It's not like this isn't publicised EVERY FLIPPING TIME IT HAPPENS!

It's hot out. Every time I get out of the car, I check. EVERY TIME. Before I lock the car, I check again. EVERY TIME.

Okay. End of rant. For now.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Apparently, reading isn't fundamental

Phantom Scribbler has a school reminiscence which reminded me of my fifth grade teacher.

In general, this teacher was cool - she taught us about critical viewing of advertisements, she introduced us to Holly Near's music, she had us writing poetry and stuff. But....

I may have told you folks once or twice that I like to read.

I like to read a lot. I mean I read often, in bulk. I also love to read.

I'm like Scrooge McDuck - I love to dive into it like a porpoise, burrow through it like a gopher, toss it up and let it hit me on the head. But where he's talking about money, I'm talking about the printed word.

Ms. Fifth Grade Teacher was worried that I was hurting my friends' feelings because I wasn't playing with them enough. Because during my free time at school I would read. Nevermind that I played with them outside of school and during recess and all that crap, and nevermind that my friends didn't mind AT ALL, I was spending too much time with my fictional friends and not enough time with the real ones.

So new rule: little miss Mystery Mommy could use only 15 minutes of free time to read. All other "free" time had to be spend interacting with the other kids in the class.

That was really the start of my reading disorder. I would sneak books. I hid them in my desk, open to the page I was reading and slide it out during class time when I was done doing whatever work I needed to do (not a lot in that school). I stopped doing homework, I played less with friends after school. I would take books out at recess and my friends would cover for me. I was a classic binge reader. I guess I still am. I read the last Harry Potter book in one sitting. I can read and walk down a busy New York Street at the same time. I'm a bookaholic and I'm proud of it.

So, did I ever forgive Ms. Fifth Grade Teacher? Uh-huh. She stayed in touch with my mom and we all had dinner together when I was 25. "You're the same age I was when I taught you!" she said. In that moment, all was forgiven.

APL's Concert Meme : UPDATED

Angry Pregnant Lawyer just posted a huge list of concerts she's been to. Here's my (somewhat shorter) list.

The Weavers
Holly Near (2 x)
Pete Seeger (lots)
Arlo Gutherie (2 x)
Rick Springfield (7th grade with my friend Lisa. Second row from the top on the upper balcony. The girls behind us had a banner that said, "We Love You Rick!")
Duran Duran
Bob Dylan/Tom Petty
Bonnie Raitt/Lyle Lovett
Red Clay Ramblers
Peter, Paul & Mary
Peter Gabriel
Hall & Oates
The Proclaimers
REM/10,000 Maniacs
Dave Matthews Band/Freedy Johnston
Laurie Anderson (2x)
The Flying Karamazov Brothers (7 x. Does this count as a concert? They do play music. My favorite show of theirs is "Juggling and Cheap Theatrics")

The Clear Water River Revival (Pete Seegar, Holly Near, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Arlo Gutherie, etal)
LollaPalooza (Green Day, Beastie Boys, etal)

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.

I woulda gone to see the Police on their Synchronicity tour, but they were playing out at the Meadowlands and my mom thought I was too young to go by myself and she didn't want to drive all the way out there. "You'll see them next time", she said. To her credit, she tried to make up for it by paying for my ticket to see Sting. And don't we all need a story akin to "My mom threw out my extremely valuable comic book collection."?

UPDATED 6/8/05: OMIGOD! How could I have forgotten Christine Lavin & The Four Bitchin' Babes (6x altogether)??

Am I right to feel offended?

By the Marketplace report this morning about turning off the WiFi at a coffee shop in the northwest in an effort to "encourage dialog"?

I mean, what do they think we have here? The blogosphere, listservs, usenet...these are all the great-grand-children of the original coffee houses. Where else outside of universities are there discussions of all sorts going on at the intellectual levels that can be found on the internet? Take just the links to the right -->

A Little Pregnant, Brooklyn Girl, Bitch PhD and many others are discussing Reproductive Rights (abortion, adoption, IVF and associated assisted reproductive technology). Many, many links are to blogs that often talk about the war, class, religion, gay rights, euthenasia, Sudan, sex education, morality and television programming, commercialization and television programming, consumerism, guilt over living in wealthy nations where people go hungry and homeless.

I was especially annoyed by the reporter bringing up that old standard -- the internet isolates us. Hello? It my imagination or did APL and I not just get together with our kids this past weekend? I'm a regular reader of bloggers from all over the US and Canada, of people with differing viewpoints. The one thing you all have in common is I think you write well. And some of y'all read my blog too. In what way are we isolating ourselves? I would say that we would be more isolated if we were NOT utilizing the vast resources of the internet.


End of rant.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The What if...Meme

I caught this one from Phantom Scribbler again.

Here's how the game works. Below are a series of statements. I choose five and complete them, then "tag" three more people to do the same.

The statements are:
If I could be a scientist
If I could be a farmer
If I could be a psychologist
If I could be a librarian
If I could be an inn-keeper
If I could be a professor
If I could be a writer
If I could be a llama-rider
If I could be a bonnie pirate
If I could be an astronaut
If I could be a world famous blogger
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world
If I could be married to any current famous political figure

If I could be a farmer, I would raise coffee, pineapples and bananas on Kauai.
If I could be an inn-keeper, I would run a B&B next to Kee Beach on Kauai.
If I could be a librarian, I would run the lovely new library in Princeville on Kauai.
If I could be a bonnie pirate, I would sail the seven seas, marauding slavers' ships and come back to my base on Kauai.
If I could be a scientist, I would be a botanist and get a grant to study flowers on Kauai. may be time for a vacation.

Once again, I don't know if anyone out there hasn't been hit with this stick so if you haven't done this one yet, and you want to...Consider yourself hit!

The Nurse

Okay, so the nurse.

The nurse comes in to the delivery room (not the operating room, but the softly lit birthing room) and has a check list she wants to go over. I'm in labor at this point, so not in the best of moods. Mr. Spock is being very together, except he's just called three sets of parents and is a little on edge.

Nurse: Do you know the sex of the baby?
Us: Boy
Nurse: Do have a name yet?
Us: [Muffin Man's Name]
Nurse: Will he be getting circumcised?
Us: No.
Nurse: Will you be needing a lactation consultant?
Us: Uhhhhh, yes?
Nurse: Do you have a pediatrician?
Us: [Muffin Man's pediatrician group]
Nurse: Who will be doing his circumcision?
Us: He's not getting circumcised.
Nurse: Right. What religion are you?
Mr. Spock: I was raised Catholic.
Me: I'm Jewish.
Nurse: Okay! That's it! (Walks out)
Us: ...hmmmm....
Me: Go get her back here! Make sure she's not getting a Mohel!

Book Meme

Phantom Scribbler agreed to hit me with this meme stick. Amazon is being very slow today, I'll add links to books later, okay?

Number of books I own: Over 1000 just in my bedroom. And that's after selling a huge bunch and giving even more away. I gave away most of my young adult books to my niece and nephew, with the understanding that they'll send 'em back to Muffin Man when he's old enough.
I collected a ton of books when I was working at Murder Ink, and before that when I was working at Booklink, now defunct. So in the library downstairs I have about 100 signed first editions and advance readers copies, in my room I have more first editions (not signed) and a huge bunch of paper backs. Some of my paperbacks are stripped copies (books the store wasn't selling, the covers are stripped off and sent back to the publisher, the rest of the book is supposed to be thrown away). To be honest, these are some of my favorites -- and they are now out of print for the most part, I never would have discovered them if we hadn't been culling them out of the shelves.

The last book I bought: It hasn't arrived yet. Undead & Unemployed by Mary Janice Davidson which is the sequel to

The last book I read: Undead and Unwed. Very funny, light-hearted take on the vampire myth. And yes, that is truly the last book I read, since Mr. Spock was Muffin Man's designated reader yesterday.

Five books that mean a lot to me: Just five? Oh dear.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Makes me cry every time.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgsen Burnett. First character I met who loves books as much as I do. And aside from ALP, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy, did you know she wrote books for grown-ups too?
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Glimpses into the secret lives of neighbors. I loved the man with all the cats.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Best first line of any book ever.
Dead Heads by Reginald Hill. This was the first I ever read by him. His writing is so wonderful.

I don't know off hand of anyone who hasn't done this one. Maybe you, Jenn?

Lessons learned.

Reminder to self: Check the outdoor temperature before walking with Muffin Man to the unshaded SwingsAndSlides.

Even though we brought water with us and stopped to have many drinks, he was hot and flushed by the time we got there and had no energy to play. And there are no shaded benches to sit on and he doesn't like sitting on the grass (too tickley and he thinks ants will crawl into his pull-up. I blame the "Quartermaster's Store" song. There are ants, ants, crawling in the pants at the store...)

So we headed back and got ice-cream, but it was a looooonnnnnngggg time before his cheeks went back to a normal color.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

You guys would not believe... absolutely adorable Angry Boy is. That's right, APL, AB, Muffin Man & I all went to the Leesburg Animal Farm Park together this morning and a good time was had by all.

AB's so cute! He fed all the animals and was so adventurous. Muffin Man was very impressed by how big "That Little Boy" is.

MM also fed the animals (his first time since the pig tried to eat his fingers last year) and rode on the pony. We all went on the wagon ride to feed the ducks, geese and fish.

APL is just like her blog, super nice, super intelligent, and very pretty. We're going to get together again next month.

We spent about an hour and a half at the park, wandering around, looking at the animals and watching AB run. He has the cutest, most wiggly-butted run. MM showed off his spelling and counting skills (at my instigation).

During the wagon ride, we admired the slip&slide that was in the yard of the starter castle next door to the park and afterwards MM & AB played on some slides that were in the park.

All in all, a lovely day.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Birth Story Meme

Sometime around the middle of month 7, I couldn't fit behind the steering wheel of my Ford Taurus anymore (short legs, distant pedals, you get the picture). So Mr. Spock was driving me to work everyday and on our way, we'd stop off at the Silver Diner for breakfast.

On Friday, February 1st, we walked into Silver Diner and my water broke (but not GUSH, just enough to wet my pants), so I got into the dry pants I was always carrying around with me. I took stock. Was I in labor? No. Okay. If I didn't eat now, would I get a chance to eat later at the hospital? No. Okay.

So we stayed and had breakfast. And then, since we were really close to where I work, we went there. I called my doctor's office, told them what had happened and asked permission to go home and get my stuff for the hospital. They asked, "Labor pains?" No. "Okay, go on home, get your stuff and then come right to the hospital."

So, I said goodbye to everyone at work. Gathered up a few things, went home, went to the hospital.

Doctor checked me, no labor. No dilation. Actually, no amniotic fluid. Hmmmm....did another slide and found just a smidge of fluid. It seems I had a slow leak from the top. It was a week before my due date, so he said "Well, we could send you home and induce you tomorrow if you don't start labor, or we could induce you today." I chose today, MS agreed. MS called our parents to let them know.

Machines, pitocin. No labor. Upped the pitocin and broke my water (wow! That's a lot of fluid!) and.....the contractions started and went off the charts. MS rubbed my back. He was so great, he is the very best husband in the world.

Eventually I asked for an epidural and I gotta tell you, I am still in love with my anesthetist.

Remind me to tell you later about the nurse who kept asking about our plans to circumcise Muffin Man. It's a hoot.

Now, I've been in labor a while and my doctor comes in to check on me and Muffin Man has moved two centimeters in the wrong direction. He's digging in his heels. He does not want to come out.

My doctor says, "What are your feelings right now about having a c-section?" I'm fine with it. MS is fine with it. The doctor tells us that an operating room should be open in a few hours, and if no progress had been made at that point, we could do a c-section then. Fine. MS calls our parents to give them an update.

So at 9:01 PM Friday, February 1 Muffin Man was born by c-section. My biggest memories of being in the operating room are:
1. My first sight of my son. He was on the table across from me getting suctioned and all that and his legs were spread-eagled and all I could really see were his bright purple testicles. Wow. And he was so pissed off. "Put! Me!Back! Put! Me! Back!"

2. The doctor and his assistants counting over and over, sponges, clamps, etc. 23 sponges, btw.
Afterwards, they let me hold Muffin Man as they wheeled us from the recovery room to our room on the maternity ward. He was so perfect and small and he had decided maybe it wasn't so bad being out in the world.

Muffin Man Eats a Fortune Cookie

You are a bundle of energy, always on the go.

Ain't it the truth!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

What brought all this on?

Why am I so nostalgic this week?

A tune.

Dee da deeda dee dee da da
Dee da dee da dee da.

For the first time since we've lived in this neighborhood, an ice cream truck has come to our cul de sac. The ice cream truck! Nostalgia on wheels. And one seems to have actually ventured out into the land of the perfect lawn and found us.

The first time, I thought I was hearing things. That insidious melody had to be wishful thinking but then I saw it! The tell-tale white truck with the garrish and gaudy pictures of the most delectable treats plastered over the side. And then, I thought it was a fluke. But it returned the next day and the next. The truck has found a hidden nest of children and will not forget us again.

Taking a stroll down memory avenue

So much of my old neighborhood has changed. Over there is the chic hair salon in the place where Little Things used to be, back when they actually sold little things - doll house furniture, those cute fuzzy mice that wore little costumes, teeny-tiny farm animals...Now Little Things has three stores, one selling clothes and jewelry, one selling trendy "brainy baby" toys, and one selling I don't know what, and none of them are fun to shop in. Here's the weird little jewelry store where the ice cream store used to be. Over there is the Japanese place that used to be a French place that used to be a diner and before that they sold clothes. The realtor that used to be the Purity Diner, the many realtors that used to be actual places you could shop in. The pizza place that used to be Carvel's. The shop that was a newstand until the owner was shot and has since been a long line of failed restaurants. The butchers, the shoe repair shop, the fish market, the deli.

Some other shops have been here forever: The Clay Pot (but didn't they used to be across the street?) The health food store (Back to the Land, they took over the store next door, too.), Zuzu's Petals (it used to be called Growing Things, but it's the same owner. Beautiful plants and flowers.), Tarzian Hardware, the pharmacy on the corner of Garfield, Snooky's Pub, that little grocery store next to the weird defunct bar, Leaf and Bean.

Many of the new stores have the neighborhood rejoicing, some of the ones that are gone will never be mourned.

I wonder if my son will feel this way about our current neighborhood 33 years from now.