October 13, 2009
September 15, 2009
Or, What Happens When You Let Your Wii Bowling Pro Status Go To Your Head
Or, Not To Be Overly DRAMATIC, Or Anything
Scene, Bowling Alley, Saturday Night
Amy: Ew. Bowling shoes? Hasn't technology rendered community shoes obsolete yet?
Jason: Wait, did you forget to wear socks?
Amy: Also, none of these balls have sparkly stars on them.
Amy: So how will anybody know how awesome I am? That I am their better? They should put my face on a blimp, at least.
Amy: *makes lighthearted jokes at her expense, trying to mask how DEEPLY and GENUINELY rattled she is, OH MY GOD, she cannot LOSE AT THINGS, gaaaaaaah*
FINAL SCORE: 34
Two couples arrive, including one guy who is already slurring his words at the top of his lungs, and are assigned to the lane next to us. The one we share tables and a score machine with. I am immediately thrown even further of my game by the presence of other actual human beings who are not part of my Mii gallery and shockingly, do not exist solely to cheer when I bowl a strike. Am so unnerved I send the ball backwards into the seating area on my next frame.
Drunk Asshole: WHOO HOOO WAY TO GOOOOO.
Jason: Hold the B button down longer next time!
Drunk Asshole: (to the waitress) Your goal tonight is to get our wives druuuuunk. The druuuunker they get, the hiiiiiiiigher your tip, okay, Peaches? (continues in graphic detail to describe WHY, exactly, he needs his wife to get druuuuuuuunk)
Amy: That one was because of FEMINISM, by the way. Not because I suck at this.
Jason: *not bowling particularly well, but at LEAST manages to knock pins down most frames*
Drunk Asshole: *is obsessed with returning unused balls in our lane to the racks, keeps trying to take our balls away, has also started referring to us by our first names, thus illustrating the reason why you always go with initials-only for the scoring screen in real-life bowling*
Drunk Asshole: Niiiice. Try aiming for the pins next time.
Amy: Really? You're going to heckle me? Because...no.
Drunk Asshole: *opens mouth, wisely closes it, appears to sense he has been outmatched in assholery*
Jason: Holy shit, what did you say to him? You actually said something to him? We've been together over 12 years and I've never seen you confront so much as a laundry hamper.
Amy: I hate him. I hate him so much. I hate this game. I hate everything going on right now and WHY AM I SO BAD AT THIS? PEOPLE CAN SEE HOW BAD I AM AT THIS AND IT'S FREAKING ME OUT, MAN.
Amy: *OMG POINTS! POINTS! LOOK*
Drunk Asshole: *too busy rearranging the tables to notice*
Amy: *storms back to seat, pulls HER table with HER mozzarella sticks back towards HER side of the lane because it is HERS and NOT HIS and PERSONAL SPACE and ALL THAT*
Drunk Asshole: *bowls a turkey, like an ASSHOLE*
FINAL SCORE: 19
Amy: Fuck this, let's go home.
Amy & Jason: *go home, to find both children still awake and ornery and needy, thus defeating the WHOLE POINT of getting a babysitter, but whatever, our rockstar lifestyle is what it is, yo*
Jason: Maybe next weekend we'll go play some ping-pong.
Amy: *gets on the Wii and bowls a 217*
Drunk Asshole & Co.: *are probably still trying to figure out what was up with that raging bitch at the bowling alley last weekend, Jesus H. Christ, her husband should try getting her druuuuuuunk next time or something*
July 29, 2009
DAY THREE, SATURDAY
Part One: They Vacuum Carpets, Don't They?
The baby's breakfast consisted of a couple handfuls of swag bag fruit puffs tossed on the floor of the hotel room.
Part Two: It Takes A Village
I once again attempted to attend an actual panel at the actual conference that I had paid actual money for -- this time with the Vaginally Challenged Men of Blogher. When I walked in, Ezra was asleep, but oh, no, that did not last very long at all. Luckily, there were plenty of women around us willing to offer us various forms of baby-amusement: toys from their swag bags, handfuls of Quaker cereal, their noses.
The first time he squawked an emphatic "EEEEEEEHHHHHHHHAAAAA," it was funny, and all the faces that spun around to stare at us were sympathetic and amused. By the third or fourth time, not so much, and when I caught a definite glare of "ENTITLED MOMMYBLOGGER" from a few rows up, we got up and left. Which was a shame, because it was a good panel, except that apparently NO ONE on that panel was sleeping with ANYONE in the audience, except for like, THEIR WIFE, or whatever. Booooring!
Part Three: Amy Storch, Star Of Such Films As "The Internet" and "Getting Too Big For Her Old Navy Britches"
At lunch, my tablemates and I were approached by a marketing type offering entry into a contest for a new MacBook. As my current MacBook is in need of a new motherfuckingboard (I believe that's the technical term for it, I am pretty sure), I enthusiastically agreed. As she explained the rules, she stopped and mentioned that I looked VERY FAMILIAR and asked my name.
ME: (all smuggish asshole-like) Amy. Amalah.
HER: And your blog name?
ME: (less smuggish asshole-like) Amalah. Dot Com.
AMY: (holds up business card, points) Eh?
It turns out that she thought I looked like some local newsperson's daughter, or something. I get that a lot, I told her.
(Actually, despite the fact that I get a good 25 PR pitches A DAY over email, not one single PR or marketing person at the conference had ever heard of me or my blog. Which means there are either 1) waaaaaay too many PR and marketing types out there targeting bloggers, or 2) the ones who send me pitches are not really reading my blog like they claim to. Whichever could it be!!)
Part Four: Stop! Paneltime.
Things I did not bring to our panel on Pop Culture & Gossip & Feminism & What We All Think About Gwyneth Paltrow & Jon & Kate:
1) My notes
2) Something in lieu of notes to serve as a Fidgeting Prop that would keep me from doing weird twisty things with my hands the whole time, as can be seen here.
Ezra tried to participate in the proceedings, first by shrieking, as if to bring to mind the level of discourse in the comments section at Perez Hilton, then by attempting to climb up a microphone stand like a stripper pole, as meta-commentary on the sexualization of young celebs these days, and finally, in a brilliant bit of performance art about the plight of the drunken young starlet, by passing out cold on the stage:
Photo shamelessly swiped from Poobou.
Photos I actually got permission to use, by Suzanne at Twentyfouratheart
As for all the other photos floating around from this panel, and hell, the whole conference, I would just like to ask my chin, which since getting pregnant decided to melt downwards and eat my neck in every photo: WTF, chin?
("In every photo." Ha! Because it can't be that I actually LOOK LIKE THAT, with the double saggy chin. No, there must be something wrong with your camera. You should get a new one. I hear Nikon does good work.)
Part Five: Quality Assurance Standards Are Slipping
The baby's dinner consisted of a lamb lollipop and five mini Beef Wellington hors d'ourves at the official conference cocktail party.
Incompetent mothering? MOI?
(Photo stolen from AngellaD. My word, I am a TERRIBLE example for the children.)
The Beef Wellingtons left a ton of greasy pastry crumbs all over my dress -- my last clean dress, my last clean ANYTHING, really -- but the highlight of my babywearing weekend was looking down at some point and seeing my baby gnawing on a giant hunk of meat. Meat that I did not give him. So I immediately became suspicious of my fellow party-goers, asking them, "Who the hell gave my baby meat? Did someone seriously come up and hand him MEAT?"
That's when I realized that it had fallen out of the last Beef Wellington he'd eaten about 20 minutes before and he'd been saving it in the sling for later. Also that it was probably a good thing that I was leaving him with a babysitter again that night.
Part Six: In Which I Eat A Lot Of Cheeseburgers
And steal MORE PHOTOS from poor Angella (pictured here with me and everybody's favorite person, Isabel from AlphaMom). This is absolutely no way to repay her for stopping me from heading outside the hotel at 1:30 in the morning in search of an ATM so I could pay my sitter after the party.
I kept saying, "There's one in the hotel, right?" And everybody else kept saying, "No, actually, I don't think there is." And then I'd say, "Y'all are drunk. I'm sure there's an ATM in the hotel. Or close by. Probably not more than a couple blocks. I'll go look!"
Angella lent me the money for the babysitter. (AND my chin is behaving in every photo of me in her Flickr stream. Clearly her camera is working just fine. GAH.)
Man, who knew the apple juice from McDonald's could interfere with your thought processes and judgment like that?
I went back to my room, and not to be outdone by CERTAIN ROOMMATES who decided to stay out partying until FIVE IN THE MORNING, MISS CHICKY, I opted to pack instead of sleeping. And dance around the room listening ABBA on my iPod. Because...yeah.
Part Seven: The End
The next morning Ezra woke up with a cold, a slimy disgusting cold that he smeared all over every surface of our room and the back of my shirt while in the Ergo. It was time to go home.
There are so many more people that I should mention, link to, rave about. So, so many. I will say this, though -- I sense some people left Blogher disillusioned, irritated, and concerned about the future of our little corner of the blogosphere. That "community" word, again, imperiled.
I didn't. I left invigorated. Inspired. Pledging to do better and be better. To not show up next year and admit to someone that I've read them for YEARS, despite never commenting or linking to them. (Just like I did last year!) To make sure that if you're in my Google Reader, YOU KNOW IT, either by my comments or your URL on my much-neglected and terribly-out-of-date links page. To not talk to you, but with you. Because you -- collective you, general-sense you -- are all incredible. And you've helped make my life incredible, PR pitches and trips and swaaaaaaaaaaag aside. Jesus Christ, that baby you met this weekend? I get to stay home with him every day, all the time, and write stuff on the Internet because of you.
Thank you. So much. I'm sorry if I don't say that enough, in words or deeds.
Ezra fell asleep in my arms as our plane took off, and didn't wake up until after we landed.
We both had a great time, honest.
July 28, 2009
DAY TWO, FRIDAY
Part One: I've Made A Huge Mistake Of Bluthian Proportions
The next morning Jodi texted me and offered to sneak the baby and I into the Club Level for the free breakfast. I wrote back that I wasn't showered yet, but then decided that I didn't really care, and went up anyway, only to immediately bump into a crew of immaculately coiffed and professionally dressed women from MomCentral. Stacy DeBroff fed Ezra a banana while I blearily caffeinated myself and by my third sip my brain suddenly turned on and I realized that I was out in public -- at a professional blogging conference, where people take pictures and blog and stuff -- in pajama bottoms and no makeup and gross oily hair.
And my nipples were showing through my nursing tank. I ate a croissant and fled.
Part Two: All Better
I started meeting people and recognizing people and being recognized by other people, reuniting with Linda, fangirling at Alexa, awkwardly screaming after Kate seconds after she'd stepped on an escalator, like NOOOO COME BACK I LOVE YOU. I met...a lot of people, and I hadn't even retrieved my conference badge yet. (They didn't have it under my real name, the name I registered with, but just my blog name, meaning all weekend people squinted at my badge and said "Ahhhhmala? Who the hell?)
I want to thank everybody who listened to my plea last week and came up and introduced themselves. It was beyond lovely meeting each and every one of you, and I'm glad you got to meet his Mighty Ezness in person. (He seems quite bored of me, now that we're home. He's all, "Where all my aunties at?") I know that feeling -- that panicked deer-in-the-headlights feeling -- of stepping off the elevator and walking into a crowded lobby and suddenly realizing that you know NO ONE THERE and you've left your conference agenda upstairs so you can't even PRETEND to study it while trying to figure out what to do next and the seconds are ticking by and you have NO ONE TO TALK TO AND WILL PROBABLY DIE ALONE MOMENTARILY.
You guys are all awesome, so I didn't die after all. Hooray!
(Photo by Carla Duharte Razura)
(Arm and half a head by Lori of Spinning Yellow)
(Nail biting due to overwhelming anxiety, deflated muffin gut courtesy of THAT KID RIGHT THERE.)
Part Three: In Which I Attempt To Learn Stuff
I made it through oh, about 15 minutes of the Transformational Blogging panel before Ezra decided noisily to work out that banana from breakfast. Good job, son.
Part Four: OMFG I LOST MY iPHONE AGAIN
It fell out of my pocket at lunch and was hidden under somebody's purse. I proceeded to panic for...oh, a good amount of time because I DIDN'T WANT TO TELL THE INTERNET I LOST MY iPHONE AGAIN, and pretty much everybody at the table remembered the time I dropped it in the toilet, which is still one of my top trafficked posts thanks to all the other people out there who turn to Google after dropping their own iPhones in their own toilets.
Part Five: "I Just Think You Need To Keep Things In Perspective"
Ezra and I retreated to the Lactation Lounge (yes, seriously) at some point in the afternoon for some downtime -- I realized I'd left my wipes container in there from the morning's diaper change and was kind of surprised it was still there, what with everybody kind of losing their minds over OMFG A FREE HUGGIES TRAVEL WIPES CONTAINER MINE MINE MINE. I nursed the baby and hummed to him and cuddled, feeling very calm and motherly and proud of what an amazingly good little trooper he'd been all day. He smiled at everybody (except for Mir, who made him cry) (but only one time, and they later bonded), took naps right in the carrier, and patiently indulged the approximately 6,429 people grabbing at his toes. (NOTE: I may have encouraged this. In fact, I believe I told at least one woman to "git in there an' git you sum.") After a rocky start, we were getting this thing down, we were both having fun, and I was cheesily treasuring this trip -- the most uninterrupted one-on-one time I'd had with my second child since our hospital stay.
Two women came in right as we were getting ready to leave. One was there with a four-and-a-half-week old. The other was there with a two-week-old.
I'd entered the room with a BABY and left with a goddamn freaking Godzilla child strapped to my back.
Part Six: Sponsorville
I've read quite a bit about the sponsored bloggers and whether people found them rude or amateurish or whatever. I only met two, and in case they're reading those posts as well and feeling embarrassed or worried that they came off that way: No, you did not. I'm not sure either of them actually knew who I was so they may never read this, but I met a lovely woman who was sponsored by Born Free and who let me get ugly and baby-elbowing over bottles and sippy cups and listening to my long and involved story about how I clogged the hotel room toilet with a gDiaper insert, and another (and I don't remember her name, I'm sorry!!) who simply admired Ezra for a bit before presenting him with an Eric Carle lizard from Kohl's.
I haven't been able to afford Blogher some years either -- this is actually the first time I went on my own dime, having been lucky enough to have employers who sent me in the past, and I've skipped the other years when that didn't happen -- so I totally understand desperately wanting to go but wanting to offset the cost. And I also understand that some sponsored bloggers did not necessarily do this in the most professional manner, or even realize that it was indeed, a professional arrangement and not a lottery ticket. Hell, there's a right and a wrong way to go about everything. As Kristen said, quite aptly: Not all bloggers are like that. Mommy or sponsored or otherwise.
(Also, I stupidly only packed one bottle for Ez and so I was REALLY REALLY GRATEFUL for the free bottle. Yay!)
Part Seven: Sparklecorn 2009
That was a ridiculous amount of fun, no?
(Unicorn cake by the CakeGirls. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't red velvet cake, but it was still a really nice piece of ass.)
I have no bragging rights to that party -- Tracey and Catherine planned it all, down to every last geektastic poster on the wall and the stand-up Edward (who vanished mysteriously at some point in the evening...I really earnestly hope someone out there tried to get him through an airport security line). My contribution was writing an entry once upon a time about talking deodorants, and one of those deodorant companies turned out to have an incredibly good sense of humor and agreed to help sponsor our party. The sole swag (besides, uh, booze) was a tube of Dove Clinical Strength, and for the record I did not get one. And I am pissed, because that's what I actually use and last time I went to Target I got so distracted by the new "deodorants as elaborate showpieces" trend in packaging that I FORGOT TO ACTUALLY BUY SOMETHING I WOULD USE.
(If you haven't seen the professional photos of the party, click here. I think I am dancing in that one photo, or possibly threatening to punch someone for not keepin' her hands offa mah damn man.)
After the Mamapop writers arrived but before we started letting people in, I had to take a moment and sit down on the dance floor to compose myself -- my laughing at the cake, the Edward, the posters soon turned to gaspy crying, because it was like the prom planning committee had been taken over by the nerds, by my people, by my friends, read my diary to plan my dream prom, and everybody got crowned prom queen just for showing up.
I kicked off my shoes and danced like a drunken moron to every song, I hugged everybody I could get my arms on and I wondered why I never did stuff like this anymore.
I woke up the next morning and was like, "Oh, right."
(Oh my God. Will I ever shut the fuck up about this? One more day to recap, I swear. Trust me, nothing else has happened since I got home, except that Ezra has suddenly become Mr. Professional Cruiser and is spending horrifying amounts of time upright on two legs and RUN IT'S GODZILLA BABY NOOO.)
July 27, 2009
(Wow. So I originally planned to write about the entire conference in one post. HOURS AGO, I planned that. HOURS, I have been writing this and it really gets away from me at the end and I think I use the word "community" in a totally unironic sense and basically I'm going to publish this and write more tomorrow, because now I have to go punch myself in the neck.)
DAY ONE, THURSDAY
Part One: Not Off To A Real Brain-Trust-Like Start
I woke up at...oh, 4 A.M. in a dread pirate panic over things I had forgotten to pack. I should point out that I was still at home. And had many, many hours left before my flight to pack these things. No matter, I clearly needed to get out of bed and pack them RIGHT THAT SECOND, or ALL WOULD BE LOST. If a blogger goes to Blogher without her business cards, is she really at there? Does she cease to exist? These are the deep thoughts I had at 4:30 A.M. when I found out that not one, but BOTH of my babysitting leads had fallen through, and that I didn't have a confirmed sitter for the Mamapop party after all.
Some people might think: I know! I shall contact a reputable sitting service in the Chicago area! I shall use my SitterCity account! I shall ask the hotel concierge for recommendations!
I thought of none of those things. I contacted Twitter instead.
I...yeah. I know. I KNOW. Very very bad and irresponsible and boneheaded parenting, finding babysitters on Twitter. Except when you find a babysitter like Annabelle. Who was just SO lovely and sweet and Ezra and I both adored her. (I did like, you know, meet with her ahead of time to get a read on the whole "are you going to steal my baby and/or all the hotel room furniture" thing. She passed! I have terrific instincts.)
Anyway, my Twitter babysitter was totally better than your babysitter. I also remembered to pack my business cards.
Part Two: I'm Sick Of These Motherfucking Babies On This Motherfucking Plane
After reading all of your comments and suggestions for airplane-related entertainment for Ezra, I packed a small treasure trove of crappy cheap toys (and toy-like substances) that he'd never seen before. He ended up playing with 1) the laminated emergency procedures pamphlet, 2) plastic cups from the beverage cart, and 3) Jodi.
Jodi warned me that she was a nervous flyer, so our agreement was that in exchange for the baby-wrangling help, I'd do my best to distract her from the fact that we were in a rickety tin can 37,000,000 miles off the ground.
Part Three: I Went To Blogher & All I Got Was Your Elbow In My Face
After getting to Chicago and to the hotel and into my hotel room and meeting my lovely roommate and eating a burger topped with cheddar cheese AND bacon cheddar cheese sauce and watching my baby sneeze hamburger meat directly into my lovely roommate's face, I was already Hearing Things About Swag. My Twitter stream was full of swag bag descriptions and people were whispering stories about other people getting gross and ugly and grabby and ditching parties as soon they got a bag and pwning wristband systems in order to steal more swag. I mentioned that last year I brought home 1) a tire pressure gauge, 2) a bottle opener keychain and 3) a magic 8 ball. I was informed that this year was PROBABLY going to be a little different.
I stuck Ezra in a sling and decided to check out the People's Party. It was loud. And crowded. Insanely crowded. By the time I filed into the room and realized OH MY GOD, the room was easily three times too small for the number of people crushing through the door, I was kind of stuck. I spent a few bewildered moments shouting at people I knew before I realized what a huge mistake it was, bringing Ezra in there, and that I absolutely had to leave. This realization was cemented when someone abruptly pushed past me towards the swag bags, I saw Ezra's head kind of...jerk to the side, and when I looked down at him his eyes were wide with surprise...and fear...AND PAIN. He dissolved into a wail.
People, someone goddamn elbowed my baby in the face. While rushing for SWAG. At a party sponsored by freaking PBS Sprout.
At the time, I 100% totally and completely blamed myself. I was horrified that I'd unwittingly brought my baby to a party where he wasn't SAFE. I mean, Twitter babysitters aside (which...you know I'm taking a little creative license with that, as I absolutely would never leave him with someone who I didn't believe was responsible and trustworthy), I take my care of my little people very seriously. I felt stupid for even thinking that this was a good idea. And I left, taking my own swag bag only after Jenny insisted I take one. ("But I'm not staying! Is that okay?") I Twittered about being stuck alone in the hotel room feeling sorry for myself, too embarassed to admit that my baby got hurt because I wanted to wear a pretty dress and get a drink ticket.
Part Four: We Used To Blog Uphill In The Snow, Both Ways, Hand-Coding CSS Until Our Fingers Bled, And We Liked It
I still blame myself, in part. The room was crowded and hard to navigate and while Ezra wasn't the only child there, I was asking too much of him, after a long day of travel and super-short naps and a heapload of sensory overload. And really, he's FINE. He's not bruised, he didn't get a black eye, maybe the mystery elbower had to pee, or something. Once we got back to the hotel room he was all smiles.
But as the weekend progressed and the swag thing turned into a Swag Thing (to the point that I commented how nice it was, since I didn't miss Noah as much I thought I would, what with being surrounded by toddlers), the Elbow Incident became oddly emblematic of the whole attitude. People completely disregarding other people's personal space and hard work (seriously, planning those parties takes EFFORT, you guys) and just goddamn common decency. Would let your kid show up at a birthday party, grab a handful of cake and a goodie bag and leave? Would you let him cheat at the games at Chuck E. Cheese, just so he could get more crappy prize tickets? Would you sit by and let her bitch on Christmas about not getting the gift she REALLY wanted, or whine that the gifts she got didn't cost enough?
God. I feel old and finger-waggy, but get a fucking grip, people.
I've gone on some nice trips, I've gotten some really nice gifts from companies, I've gotten laughably bad product pitches that I would never in a million years want or use or "review." I've alternated between being delighted by the attention and annoyed by the way it's changed our community, I've struggled to keep that balance between wanting my blog to be "successful" and wanting my blog to be...you know, MY STUPID LITTLE BLOG.
And yet, even I need the occasional dose of perspective.
When I started writing online, signing up for a brand-new service called "Typepad," nobody really liked the word "blog." The people I read wrote journals or diaries. There was a still a wide gap between the two groups, a definite sense of old guard vs. new upstarts. Moveable Type was taking over the old hand-coded clunky sites, your free blogging platforms were Diaryland or livejournal or Blogger and when Diary-X went down, people lost everything because the entire service existed on one dude's hard drive that he'd forgotten to back up. Oh, man. There were A-listers and people who wanted to be the A-listers and people who spent most of their time complaining about the A-listers. People fretted over whether the new generation of "bloggers" were ruining the community, now that it was so easy to start a site. If you had your own site the hosting could cost you a fortune, since there was no Flickr or Vimeo, but there was still endless debate over whether an Amazon Wish List or PayPal Donate button made you a tacky sellout. Are bloggers even writers? Are all web writers bloggers? No! Yes! Sometimes!
When Google text ads started showing up on PERSONAL WEBSITES, the wank level went through the roof.
In summary: six short years on the Web and I'm a freaking dinosaur, apparently, but I guess my point is that there has always been something threatening the community. We have been on the brink of sellout-y destruction for as long as I've been doing this, and I'm pretty sure me and my weirdly-named blog and TWOP-aping writing style were once considered harbingers of literary doom and made fun of on some old-skool message board. Now we all just get to overreact on Twitter.
In other words, it's all going to be okay, as long as we at least stop elbowing each other in the face.
(I promise this entry is the only one where I'll get preachy and philosophical about Blogher. I had a fantastic time and did a shitload of stupid things that did not involve people beating up babies for free pens.)
July 01, 2009
Conclusion to Amy Takes Her Foot-in-Mouth Show On the Road: Holy awkward SHITBALLS, people. She walked by me this morning and didn't even LOOK at me. And then picked her son up EARLY this afternoon. Probably just to avoid me, because I am sure I made that much of an impression and there couldn't possibly be any other explanation, like a doctor's appointment or a vacation or...okay, there are possibly a few other explanations. But me and my mad social skillz remain suspicious. Suspicious and lonely and very glad we were both too lazy to follow-through on the cookie idea.
Over the last few weeks I've read more than a smattering of blog entries addressing the whole "are we done having babies" question. A good number of them were written by women with babies somewhere around Ezra's age. And they of course got me thinking about writing a similar entry, because I haven't had an original thought bash around my skull since at least 2004. (Unless you include the thing with the talking deodorants. Then I am a national treasure of useless creative vision.)
A few weeks after Ezra was born, I tentatively said something to Jason about the topic. Something like, "We're done, right?" And he immediately said yes, we're done.
So I asked him when, you know, he planned on calling the doctor, as per our longstanding agreement on the division of childbearing and childpreventing duties. And then he immediately said, oh, wait, I didn't mean THAT done.
Noah was going to be our only child -- a plan that lasted about five weeks or so. The whole experience was exactly like a roller coaster -- terrifying, thrilling, hard on the eardrums -- and we were already shrieking "LET'S GO DO THAT AGAIN!" before the safety bars had even been released.
And Ezra, of course, was going to be our last child. I tried to savor my pregnancy accordingly: This is the last time I'll feel a baby kicking. The last time I'll prepare a nursery. The last time I'll have the belly and the boobs and the nausea and the fat face and the weird skin and the backaches and the puking for SIX GODFORSAKEN MONTHS.
Right. So maybe I could kind of see the positives of the "no more babies" situation. At times, anyway. Plus, it was finally dawning on me that babies are actually SMALL CHILDREN. Who become slightly bigger children. And that no matter what we do or how hard we pray it to be otherwise, I am going to have to deal with a three-year-old ALL OVER AGAIN.
We're done. Right?
Last week Jason and I booked the babysitter and went out for some sushi and a movie. There was a young couple next to us with their baby girl, who was about Ezra's age. I made some kind of involuntary squawk at the sight of her adorable little cotton sundress, and Jason sighed.
"You want a girl, don't you?"
Do I want a girl? Do I really want a girl knowing how hard it is to raise one in this culture of over-sexualized Princess Dora Bratz dolls and Mean Girls and eating disorders and oh God, the INTERNET? Do I really want a girl, a teenage girl, who may end up being exactly like me, or nothing like me, but either way will be all but guaranteed to hate me for at least a few solid good years? Do I really want a girl to come along and blast me out of the comfort zone I've created as being the mother of boys?
"Yes. I think I do."
Jason sighed again and admitted that if we KNEW we'd be guaranteed a girl, he'd love to have another baby. And before I could even mention the A-word (a complicated discussion we've had many times before, for the record) (edited to add: ADOPTION, holy crap, not the other A-word), he went on. "Whatever. Even if we had another boy, I'd be so happy."
He then went on to wax rhapsodic about Ezra, sweet Ezra, the baby who at one time Jason hoped would be a daughter, but who is a son and who is exactly who he is supposed to be and who our family needed, because HOLY CRAP HE IS SO AWESOME.
Okay, so maybe we're NOT done. At least, as Jason said, not THAT done. But I am not in a rush, far from it. We have a few more years before my (admittedly already erratic) fertility clock winds down, so perhaps it's best to simply say we're not ruling it out sometime in the future, when the boys are older and a little more mature or at least capable of wiping their own butts. Perhaps, as Noah's issues become a little more understandable and a lot less of a question mark, we could adopt, thus skipping the fairly awful process of trying month after month after month to conceive. Perhaps we will rule it out later down the road, but for now, let's not rush into anything. Let's just leave everyone's anatomy as-is and...you know...BE CAREFUL in the meantime.
Yes. Good plan!
So of course this means that I -- she of the 75-day cycles, the wildly erratic and oftentimes completely absent ovulation -- would suddenly start getting regular periods. Like clockwork! Like birth-control-pill regular, down to the HOUR. Down to the hour BEFORE, when I suddenly realize that I've been a raving bitch all day and developed a single angry large pimple right in the middle of my forehead. Of course.
See, here's the thing: When you don't ovulate, you don't get pregnant, even if you want to! And I've spent most of the past six or so years of my life wanting to get pregnant, TRYING to get pregnant, but only very rarely actually succeeding in getting pregnant. And even before that, I generally viewed my condition as a plus, a perk -- who cares about birth control! I've got your birth control RIGHT HERE! <points to barren, uncooperative womb area, ohhhhh yeah>
And here's another thing: As a relatively-inexperienced regular-period-type-of-girl, it turns out that I am also really terrible at math.
And...dates. And...calendars. And stuff. I pulled up my old fertility-charting/period-reminder program this morning and entered in some data and...oh. What? This weekend? When we...and we didn't use...and...oh. OH.
No. I don't have any big announcement to make. NO! As I scan what I've written so far I realize it totally sounds like that's what I'm leading up to, but no.
I'm just a 31-year-old mother-of-two in the midst of her Very First Pregnancy Scare, on the short end of the first Two-Week Wait where she honestly has no idea what outcome she's hoping for.
On the one hand: SPECTACULARLY TERRIBLE IDEA.
On the other hand:
I wouldn't kick another one out of bed for eating mini-waffles, you know?
June 18, 2009
...if only I didn't have to take my beloved rotten children with me.
(Alternate Title: My Own Unintentional Personal Testimony to Bad Mothering)
SCENE, YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, ABOUT 24 HOURS AFTER I WARNED JASON ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT PUTTING THE BABY TO BED IN JUST A DIAPER, AS HE'S BEEN GETTING A LITTLE GRABBY WITH THE VELCRO TABS ON HIS SUPER-FANCY CLOTH DIAPERS, AND ABOUT TWO HOURS AFTER I PUT HIM DOWN FOR A NAP WEARING ONLY A TOO-SMALL DISPOSABLE DIAPER BECAUSE I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE RETRIEVING A SUPER-FANCY CLOTH DIAPER FROM THE DRYER ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAAAAAIRS WAAAAHHHH I'M TIRED
I heard Ezra stirring in his crib and I went immediately to collect him waited until he sounded good and mad before getting up off the couch.
I walked into his room. His diaper was off. There was...oh my God. Everything. Both. Everywhere. The sheets were soaked in three distinct places. And the...yeah. All over the sheets, the crib, THE BABY. The baby who lifted his head and beamed ear-to-ear when he saw his loving fucking horrified mother and that's when I saw the poop all over his FACE and immediately rushed over to rescue the poor thing from the filth turned and left the room to go back downstairs, sat back down on the couch and felt sorry for myself. And then I told Twitter about it.
When I returned, I was better prepared to properly deal with the situation. Because this time I had my phone. I took a picture and promptly emailed it to Jason with the subject line: YOU NEED TO COME HOME RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I QUIT.
Two baths...TWO baths were required. (Helpful Hint: Don't forget to check behind the ears!) The good news is that I finally had a good reason to finally get around to finally removing those terribly dangerous crib bumpers that I wasn't supposed to ever have on in the first place, I KNOW, but I've just been so terribly BUSY. Rest assured that the bumpers are off and firmly in the category of Things We Shall Never Speak Of Again. because even though cloth diapering has given me a stronger stomach for this sort of thing, there are just some indignities from which fabric and padding cannot ever recover. Sorry, Wendy. You had a good run.
Luckily, the baby is even cuter than an old hand-me-down bedding set, so he can stay.
June 01, 2009
Yeah, so. Shut up. We saw Rent AGAIN on Friday night. Again-again. Those tickets have been on my (non-working, asshole) refrigerator since CHRISTMAS, and I was excited. I got dressed up, complete with cleavage and a sparkly headband that I later decided looked more like a tiara. This was not a decision I was proud of. There was regret about the headband, is what I am saying. And as anyone who has experienced headband-related regret knows, you cannot just undo a headband once you've committed to a headband, because of the hair dent.
Dent rhymes with Rent! You know, sometimes I start writing stuff without any idea of where the topic is going to take me, without any real grasp on the entry's structure or conclusion, and sometimes it just works out anyway. Other times...no.
We took the boys to see Up on Saturday. I was a little worried about it, honestly, since I'd read some reviews that mentioned scary packs of dogs and we're STILL kind of dealing with the fallout from 101 Dalmations, which shattered Noah's innocence with the necessary truth that sometimes dogs bite, and that sometimes they bite your butt. Thank you, Disney, for that.
But Noah was super-excited to see the "Going Up" movie about the balloons and the house and the house going up with the balloons and we're Going Up! Balloons! Yaaaaay! We went to a super-early toddler-friendly showing, Ezra fell asleep 10 minutes in, Noah thought the scary packs of dogs were HILARIOUS, and the whole outing was a complete success, other than the little tiny part where Noah screamed bloody murder everytime the house was shown floating in the air. Which not to spoil the plot for you or anything, HAPPENED A LOT. IT WAS KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT.
The theater was mostly empty, but I still whisked him outside every time he started shrieking and tried to explain that it was okay, it was just pretend and goddamn WHIMSICAL and offered to take him home instead. Which then caused MORE crying, because he wanted to watch the movie. He just wanted the house to "not be going up anymore." And after, oh, the seventeenth or maybe the fourteenhundredth explanation of How Movies Work and Mommy's Limited Pull At Pixar, I finally told him he could eat all the chocolate-covered raisins he wanted for the rest of the movie if he would just stop crying about the stupid house, because so help me God, Mommy really wants to watch this movie so please don't call my bluff and make me take you home like a responsible parent. You sit down and be quiet and enjoy getting scarred for life! Have some candy!
Guess who hasn't stopped talking about Up ever since? Guess who thinks it's HILARIOUS to stop mid-sentence, turn to the left and shout "SQUIRREL!" over and over and over? Guess who wants to see it again?
(BESIDES ME, I mean. Obviously. Duh.)
Jesus, this entry is boring. I've checked my email 17 times in the past 15 minutes in hopes that someone sent me something more interesting to read. I have received -- no lie -- exactly 10 press release pitches since I sat down to type. Chick-fil-A has a new milkshake flavor, in case that's relevant to you and/or your life and/or your highly-savvy blog audience. Here's one with the subject line "Summer Drinks the Celebs are Sipping."
Oh god, not a bucket of beer! That's just so...so...regular. Stupid recession, keeping us drinking the bathtub gin and moonshine while the celebrities sip glamorous cocktails and laugh at us, pelting us with martini olives from the rooftop bars! The email actually contains recipes for celebrity-inspired cocktails, which is not really what the subject line promised. I feel kind of lied to. There's a. jpg attached with photos of each celebrity and their hypothetical drink, and Paris Hilton is one of them. She is wearing a headband.
And. Here. Have a picture of a pretty baby. I've completely lost interest in this entry.
(runs away to drag bucket of beer out to the kiddie pool)
(what? THE CHILDREN SAID THEY'RE THIRSTY.)
May 15, 2009
(This fucking economy, man. Hollywood is HUNGRY.)
So last night I had the distinct privilege of being Linda's plus-one for the big! red blue carpet! premiere! of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. (The PR team in charge of the outing: "You have a blog too? That's adorable!")
This is how we do big fancy movie premieres in DC, you guys:
Port-o-potties as far as the eye could see. As we pulled up in our glamorous stretch limo short bus in front of the Air & Space Museum and a huge crowd of people who had apparently not figured out that the celebrities were already inside, I could barely contain my excitement and sudden terror about tripping on the bus steps and falling flat on my face.
I did not fall down, which meant it was now time for the descent into increasingly embarrassing fameball douche behavior.
"Smile, people in crowd who don't have tickets to get in! We're posting these on our MOMMYBLOGS!"
(I cannot lie, though. Linda. Sundry! Seriously just as funny and wicked and potty-mouthed as you imagine, or at least desperately hope. Port-o-potty-mouthed. Between her sailorspeak and my tendency to worry out loud over whether my breasts were leaking, I think we made an AWESOME impression on the Hershey's PR people. By the end of the night we were speaking exclusively in some kind of weird mind-meld twin-speak where we finished each other's increasingly obscure sentences. The fact that she's getting on a plane to fly back across the country right now pretty much symbolizes everything that is wrong and unfair with the world.)
Night at the Museu: Battle of the Smithso!
My shoes. I would have gotten a pedicure, but I figured that's what the celebrities were expecting me to do. And that's precisely when they eat you.
RED BLUE CARPET PRESS LINE JACKASS TIME OMG
Our first movie-star sighting! And it's the Butterscotch Stallion himself! He is short, for a stallion. Could strap on the old feed bag for sure. Toula! Eat something!
(Check out Access Hollywood's coverage and you'll see Linda trying to nonchalantly snap Owen's picture behind him. And to think, my elbow almost had its big break!)
(I am the blindingly reflective white person suppressing a cough in the way, way background at the 1:18 mark in USA Today's coverage, however.)
My camera thinks Owen Wilson should appear in one of those "Talk To Chuck" ads for Charles Schwab.
The back of Robin Williams' (very short) head. The lady in the sequins appears to be conducting an in-depth interview with his shiny jacket.
Ben Stiller. He's blurry because my camera doesn't have enough megapixels to properly focus on someone so tiny.
Ricky Gervais, who despite being considered on the portly side, basically looks like a completely normal and healthy-weighted person in real life. I'm goddamn chubbier than he is. Jason could fit half these people in his pocket. Noah could snap Ben Stiller like a twig.
And yes, if you're sensing that I've developed a bit of a complex about this, you are correct. Now sit down and eat some ham.
I think this was the RENO 911! guys (who wrote the movie), but. You know. MY THUMBS ARE TOO FAT.
Hank Azaria. Looks like a giant in IMAX, is not really. Fact! Was really, really funny, both onscreen and off.
Amy Adams. A reporter friend of mine said she was rude. I nearly tripped right in front of her on my way to my seat; got a vague sense she was horrified at how close the Dirty Normals were premitted to get to her. She's tiny and Disney princess-like and WHATEVER.
I've never in my life been to a movie premiere before -- I didn't know they'd have THREE people introducing the movie (well, one person introducing another person who introduced the person would actually introduce the movie) ("Movie? This is Crowd. The Crowd would like you to begin so they might rip into their gigantic boxes of Hershey's candy without it echoing throughout the theater. Crowd, this is Movie. Movie enjoys long walks on the beach and also thinks you are fat."). And I didn't know that people would applaud like, EVERY name in the opening credits, which did get awkward because some people got a lot of applause and then like, other people only got applause because they brought their mom.
Also everybody went nuts at the first shot of the Air & Space Museum, like OMFG THAT'S WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW! HOLY SHIT! EVERYBODY WAVE AND MAYBE THEY'LL PUT US ON THE JUMBOTRON!
Then there was the afterparty. Drinks, canapes (INCLUDING SANDWICHES!) and possibly more celebrities to harrass, but I was pretty over it. It had been hours since I'd blabbed endless on about my children with anybody, so save for one terrifying moment when Linda and I were approached by a couple of clearly very confused teenagers with cameras, that's exactly what we did for the rest of the night.
It's actually really hard to know which camera to look at on the red blue carpet. This is why movies stars are better than us: superior camera-looking talent.
Tonight I'll be back at another IMAX theater, but one more closer to my natural dork habitat: we're seeing STAR TREK again. How many times do you think Amy Adams has seen Star Trek? None, I'll bet. None times.