Saturday, July 26, 2008

To Sisters

Well, both my sisters are funny. I had no idea my little sister Teresa had a blog - I was reading one of her old blogs and happened across her new blog. I was reading a post there that was making me smile at how very Teresa-esque it was - and by that I mean complex, thoughtful, well-written and irreverent and funny - and I had to stop to blog about it because Teresa is funny, and Teresa is witty, and I love Teresa very much. She can make me laugh like very few people can. And she and her new husband just bought a pink Vespa. So she is funny, witty, and drives a pink Vespa. The woman has everything!

And I love you, too, Jen. Who else would come over and play Guitar Hero for three hours just to unlock the four bonus songs? That is love. Oh, and you are smart and witty and funny and irreverent, too.

Here's to sisters:

If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater. ~Pam Brown

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips. ~Author Unknown

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider.... It doesn't seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we've traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder

Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize. Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks. Borrow. Break. Monopolize the bathroom. Are always underfoot. But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all comers. ~Pam Brown

Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling. ~Pam Brown

It's hard to be responsible, adult and sensible all the time. How good it is to have a sister whose heart is as young as your own. ~Pam Brown

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child. ~Barbara Alpert

Of Modesty and Men (and some cute onesies)

I'm all for dressing a child like a child. I'm no prude, understand, but I try to keep Bella out of clothes that make her look like some 22-year old club-hopper that shops at Wet Seal. Living in Florida (where the temperature at 9AM today was already 90) a backless halter dress can be more comfortable, so I will admit that Bella wears some things that are slightly more revealing, but temperature notwithstanding, I like Bella dressing like a little girl, not like a little girl dressing like a ...well, like a Wet Seal-shopping 22-year old club-hopper. Nothing against 22-year old club hoppers or anyone who shops at Wet Seal, understand - I just don't think that's appropriate for my six-year old. To each his own, and whatnot. However, enjoying the whole rock/punk/metal culture combined with my appreciation for the cliche and pop culture reference, I found the following articles of clothing to be really cute and stuff that I would buy, were it not ridicously overpriced:

Inspired by my guitar hero fetish, a little something for Bubba:

Now something special for Bella:

Heck yeah! Word to me!

And now, from the "I-would-buy-this-if-it-wasn't-$45" department - what better look for a Bubba than baby coveralls? The mohawk totally makes this look, I think.

This shirt says, "For those about to read we salute you". Phenomenal - I'll take two. If they weren't $32 each. Gosh, it's expensive to be hip. Or at least, to have hip kids.

This post has made me think about how I think about Bella and the way she dresses but have not thought once about the way Bubba dresses. Well, except one day when I told Brian that the outfit Bubba had on made him look a little "thuggish" (it was a Nike basketball outfit that was waaaay too big with these huge, galooty matching Nike sneakers) but that was more of an observation than a concern. Do you worry about boys and the way they dress the way you worry about girls? Is it because he is still young? I mean, modesty isn't really a issue for men as far as clothing goes, is it? Am I sexist without knowing it or meaning to be?

When I think about what I want for Bella, in the modesty department....well, I want Bella to wear what she wants to wear, to wear what she is comfortable in and what she thinks looks good, while having the confidence in herself to know that she doesn't have to show off her goods in order to attract attention. I want the same thing for Bubba - confidence, and comfort, not just in dressing but also in himself. And I hope that he doesn't wear pants so low that he has to change his walking stride in order to keep them from falling down, because that's annoying. But really, what I want them both to know is that the clothes don't make the man - or woman! You are more than the contents of your closet. As a questionable dresser myself, I think that is the approach to take.

Wow, what started out as a 'hey-look-at-the-cute-onesie' post ended up delving into modesty and mothering. Who knew I had that in me on a Saturday afternoon? That is most assuredly enough of me, I'm off to get some work done before going home to be sick and snotty some more.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Spitty birds and crawling babies

I am sick - some sort of sinus thing. I spent yesterday sprawled on the sofa with tissue shoved in my nose. I did venture out once to get milk, toilet paper and gummy bears, but other than that I moved from my sofa perch only when I had to. Bella enjoyed it - she spent a lot of time hiding out in her room and being that suspicious kind of quiet, the kind of quiet that means something bad is going down. However, when asked what she was doing, I got some lengthy explanation about birds, and spit, and the removal of skin, and when she came into the living room to explain it to me she had gardening gloves on. When I asked what the gloves were for she said, "The bird spit, mom! Aren't you listening?". Oh, geez, my bad. What a great imagination she has.

Bubba took full advantage of it, too, and put his new rolling/dragging/crawling skills to good use. Especially this morning. I was sitting right there - right there! - and he was into everything. Apparently there is something about Bella's shoes that make them far more preferable to chew on than either mine or Brian's. Maybe it's their smaller size. But this morning he got into the shoes no less than three times, and each time I had to remove one of Bella's shoes from his mouth. Once he finally got that the shoes were a no-no he headed over to the tv stand, where, after much fiddling and scritching and scratching around, he opened one of the cabinets there and started pulling out DVDs. His DVD removal plans thusly thwarted, he scooted over to the rocking chair and pinched his fingers in the rocking ottoman (what idiot came up with that idea, by the way?). That was the final straw for tummy time - once I comforted him, I gave him his binky and plopped him into the bouncer. I guess it's time to childproof.

I am going to spend my day after work perched on the sofa again, trying to get better. And maybe playing some Guitar Hero. Because I rock! Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I need a hug....

....or a cocktail. Or both. Some random thoughts:

I went to the funeral yesterday, and it was very sad. I went home afterwards and hugged my kids until they were thoroughly disgusted with all the hugging. The graveside service was right by where my mother is buried, so after that was over I stopped by her grave, and was thinking about my mother and my children, this grieving mother and her children, and it was all too much and I had a decently-contained cry for a few minutes (you know, I tried to avoid chest-hitching sobs and all that, and managed to, for the most part). Add to this the fact that I am on my period (these horrible, seemingly vengeful periods I have been experiencing since the arrival of Bubba, the kind of period where you wonder if your body is mad at you and trying to get back at you for something - they are horrible, the worst periods I have ever had, sorry if that's too much information but it's true) and yesterday goes down in the books as a bad day.

At the end of the evening yesterday, I had gone home and was trying to rock Bubba to sleep and was suffering from a headache that was absolutely killing me. I couldn't get up to take anything because Bubba was being difficult, and there was no one else home at the time to get anything for me. I wallowed in self-pity for a little while before crying a little bit more and then just getting up and getting myself some tylenol. Then I watched 'The Office' for a while and between that and the Tylenol, felt better.

My sister-in-law and her husband just found out that they will be stationed in Viginia Beach, which is exciting for me because that is only about an eight hour drive to my family in and around State College, PA. So I can visit my SIL, visit my family in Pennsylvania, see colonial Williamsburg again (yes, I am a huge nerd), and hit up Busch Gardens, all in one visit. Hooray! Roller coasters, family, and colonial history. I'll say it again: hooray!

Maybe next time I blog I won't be so grumpy. Sorry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's Over

They took Miley off the ventilator last night. Her parents (her dad is not in Iraq as I had thought - he is here but scheduled to be deployed) had to make the decision and they are utterly tormented because of it - and who could blame them? They exhausted every avenue to make as absolutely certain as they could that she was brain dead, and poor Leigh spoke with half a dozen priests in order to make certain they were not going against the Church's teachings (the priests all assured the family that not only was it not against the teachings of the Church, it was probably the best thing for the baby). Her funeral will be Tuesday the 22nd, which is also when they lost their first child to SIDS. Please pray for the family, if you pray.

I am going to do what any good southerner does in a time like this - I am going to make casseroles and sweet tea.

Monday, July 14, 2008


The little girl is still in bad shape - she has blood clots in her leg, and swelling in her brain that prevents the administering of a blood thinner, so her leg will have to be amputated above the clots. However, the swelling in her brain has damaged some pretty important areas, so they are waiting to do the amputation until they know more about the extent of the brain damage. The doctors apparently told the family they have some very tough "quality of life" decisions to make.
The family is still asking for prayers, if you think about it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prayers, Please (please please)

A friend of mine called me - her 2 year-old nephew accidentally dropped his 9-month old sister into a tub of water (with the intention of helping his mommy). The baby is in PICU and is not doing very well. Please, if you pray, pray for her. She was face down in the water for five minutes. She has been having seizures and they have had to increase her ventilator from a 40% to a 70%. The prognosis is rather dire, but her family refuses to give up hope.

Please, if you pray, pray for this baby and her family. If you don't pray, light a candle or do whatever it is you do, because they need all the help they can get. The family that is able to be with her and the rest of their family and friends who cannot be there with them are praying the memorare together at noon. These poor people have already suffered through the tragedy of losing a baby to SIDS. The mother has recently had an emergency hysterectomy and the father is in Iraq. Please pray!

Completely Random: Bulleted Thoughts

  • My sister-in-law is about nine weeks pregnant. After years of trying, she and her husband have finally conceived, and I am thrilled for them. I generally try to avoid dispensing advice to first -timers in the wonderful world of pregnancy, because I understand how utterly saturated you can become with the lovely stand-by tidbits like, "Well, sleep now, because you'll never sleep again" and so on. I don't ogle bellies or back ends in an attempt to discern the sex of the baby, because frankly, hearing "Oh, look at the size of your behind, that is a girl you are carrying" once is more than enough. I try to listen, sympathize, and just be there for someone. I also try and make a point of making them feel special, because you can't get enough of that when you're pregnant. There are a few things I wish I had known, though. Or at least, had listened to when someone told me, because someone probably told me. Example: It isn't true that you will never sleep again. You will sleep, you just won't sleep as much or as well. So you should enjoy the manner and duration of your current sleep. My sister-in-law keeps saying, "Well, I know what it's like to have a baby because I baby-sit yours". I find fault with that logic, because 1.) she did not start watching him until he was six weeks old, and those first six weeks can be the roughest, and 2.) once I get off work, I show up and take my baby home. So after a few hours her baby obligation is over, and she can nap, or take a shower, or paint her toenails, or clean out the closets, or whatever, for as long as she wants, whenever the mood strikes her. When the baby is your baby, no one shows up to pick it up and take it home and suddenly, you find napping and showering and toenail painting and closet cleaning something that has to be condensed into the nap of a newborn, however long that may be - maybe twenty minutes, maybe two minutes, maybe an hour or more. Who knows? And at least for me, the toenail painting quickly falls by the wayside in favor of the showering. My feet might not be pretty but at least they're clean. But I don't say any of that, because she wouldn't listen, anyway, and I think it's just something you have to find out for yourself.

  • A guilty mother's confession: I was absolutely thrilled to drop my kids off this morning. I'm exhausted and grumpy and not good company for anyone, and that's not even mentioning having to spend my work day serving the general public, of whom my opinion is low even on a good day. Bubba had a horrible night and I ended up getting a grand total of 4 broken hours of sleep, and then Bella was in rare form this morning: "Mom, did you eat my tic-tacs? Mom, why did you eat my tic-tacs? Mom, are you going to get me more tic-tacs since you ate all these?" (By the way, I did not eat the tic-tacs, her father did, but he had already left for work and was not there to catch the blame) "Mom, where's my Sierra mist? Mom, did you drink my sierra mist? Mom, I want more sierra mist. Mom, dad said he would take me to auntie's house but he left for work. Mom, why would you let dad leave when you knew he said he would take me? Mom, are you just going to let Bubba cry? Mom, Bubba is looking at you and you aren't even paying attention to him. Mom, when can you get more tic-tacs?" and so on and on and on. I took them to my sister-in-law, dropped them off, and practically skipped to the car. Hooray! Off to work!

  • I remember when Bella started eating solid foods I insisted on making all of her food myself, from fresh, organic produce. My mother-in-law would buy jarred baby food at the grocery store, and I remember feeling as though this were some sort of slight against me, or she was disregarding my wishes (I'm not proud. But I'm honest!). I never said anything to her, because I knew she was just being nice and trying to make sure Bella had food at her house, but I was slightly offended by it nonetheless. Fast forward to today, with baby number two: the other day on the phone she told me, "I haven't bought any baby food, because I know how you like to make it yourself". Oh, um, yeah. Crap. Now I wish she would buy it, so I can stretch the homemade stuff and not have to transport it around. Things really do change with the second baby. With Bella, if anyone fed her something off the table I would be upset and absolutely certain that she was going to be a miserable and gassy mess. Bubba has tried all sorts of table food, the most recent being the chicken and green bean casserole I made for dinner the other night (he didn't like it). I couldn't have imagined doing anything but co-sleeping with Bella. Now Bubba and I co-sleep and I can't wait to get him settled into his own bed - that cannot happen fast enough. I love the little guy, but neither of us sleep well when we sleep together.

  • That's about it for now. I'm going to zombie my way through the day and count the hours until I can collapse somewhere and sleep, even if for just a little while.