Thursday, December 30, 2004

Little Miss Congeniality

I think Viva could win this award hands down. I love it that when you ask her if she wants a cracker, she says, "No, thank you," or "Yes, please," and if she wants you to go somewhere with her and you happen to be sitting inconveniently on the floor, she will grab your hand, look winningly into your eyes, and pull you in the direction she wants you to go while saying, "[I] help you?"

I am also flabbergasted at the number of tea parties she has thrown since receiving this from her grandma for Christmas. She is really the hostess with the mostest, running back and forth and asking genteelly, "More tea?" I admit that there is a part of me that is disturbed by this: is it genetic or is it something that I have already taught her by example? Full disclosure here: I love the idea of having people over much much more than I love actually having people over, and any kind of situation where I have to serve food really turns me into a spaz. I am a good cook, or so I'm told, so this is not where my anxiety lies. I just hate feeling responsible for other people having a good time.

Marriage to Sweet William is helping to cure me of this. His response to pretty much any situation involving guilt trips or undue obligation is this: "Are they paying my bills?" And you know, he's right. We are grown folks, are we not? (Well, some of us are.) Hopefully, Viva will (as I have) reject the "please everyone but yourself" mentality that I grew up with and be an assertive little number.

And thus ends my last pop-psych analysis of the year, I swear.


why won't Blogger let me add posts? why???

my frustration with technology has caused me to drop all capital letters off my posts.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Sneer Factor

During the holiday season, I painstakingly assembled, hand-signed and sent out 47 Christmas cards. We have received 23. Clearly, this activity falls under the whole general "love everyone/Christmas spirit/'tis better to give than to receive" banner. I admit to feeling very "bah, humbug" about the whole endeavor, particularly because I Grinchishly set up a system this year to track this, and it only confirmed my suspicions that the Blah Blah family is getting the raw end of the deal.

In fact, I am very "bah, humbug" about my entire Christmas experience this year, except where it really counts: our Christmas morning with Viva was practically Norman Rockwell-esque. Never mind that we stayed up until 12:30 assembling all her toys, wrapping gifts, and stuffing her stocking, and that she woke up at 6:30. We had Christmas music going, great coffee a-brewing, and a little munchkin who was wide-eyed and awestruck about the entire affair. She was thrilled with everything, and we were thrilled with her. It was all very huggy and smoochy and make-me-almost-cryable, to such an extent that it almost made me rethink my boycott of Santa Claus.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Reason #4,764 Why I Love My Husband

We went out to dinner at Sonora Cafe for Sweet William's birthday last night. (Yes, his birthday is right before Christmas. Yes, it makes it hard to get people together to celebrate. Yes, he does not usually have a lot of fanfare surrounding his birthday, although to be fair, he wouldn't want that. Yes, I am going to stop this parenthetical conceit right here.) When he ordered their signature pork chop, he was told they had just run out of the pork chops. He then ordered exactly the same thing I did (duck tacos, at his recommendation), and when the food came, periodically ate off my plate.

"How is it that we can be eating the exact same thing and you still have to eat off my plate?" I asked, mildly indignant.

Without missing a beat, he said, "It tastes sweeter off yours."

He is exasperatingly cute.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Female Trouble

So for those of you that have been following this and who even care, I saw my OB-GYN today. Dr. A is the ideal doctor for me. She is always calm, she asks lots of questions and listens carefully to the answers, I never feel she is rushing me, and she has a great sense of humor. I love going to see her.

She is very supportive of my resistance to surgery. While there is little she can do about my fibroids, she has suggested that I try a lower-estrogen birth control pill and use Ibuprofen for the pain (evidently, I can take up to three Advil at a sitting, if need be – see what handy knowledge she dispenses?). The lower estrogen will probably not shrink the fibroids but may stop them from growing larger. She also suggested acupuncture, saying that it has helped some of her patients. She wants to see me in three months to see how things go with this course of treatment.

This is all well and good, but the beauty of our whole encounter is that when doctors measure your fibroids, they like to describe them as the size of food. My largest fibroid measures 5 cm across. “That’s about the size of a large plum,” Dr. A said, showing me with a tape measure.

“How’s your fruit salad?” my friend M likes to say. He knows I have several fibroids of various sizes.

Now, have you ever seen the book “Once Upon a Potty”? It is a modern classic, of which there are two versions: one for boys and one for girls. I can’t speak to the boy version, but in the one we own, cute little girl Prudence receives a potty from her grandmother. At first she doesn’t know what it is, so there is this sequence:

“Was it a hat? No, it wasn’t a hat.” (next page)

“Was it a milk bowl for the cat? No, it wasn’t a milk bowl for the cat.” (next page)

“Was it a flowerpot? No, it wasn’t a flowerpot.” (next page)

“Was it a birdbath? No, it wasn’t a birdbath.” (next page)

Finally: “It was a potty, for making poo-poo and pee-pee into, instead of a diaper.”

You see the sorts of excruciating experiences you have to live through, over and over again, when you become a parent? Anyway, since that is my current frame of reference, I find myself thinking of different kinds of fruit, like so:

“Was it a plum? No, it wasn’t a plum.” (next page)

“Was it a tangerine? No, it wasn’t a tangerine.” (next page)

“Was it a kiwi fruit? No, it wasn’t a kiwi fruit.” (next page)

Finally: “It was a fibroid, for poking your tummy out and making sex really uncomfortable in certain positions.”

Whee, thanks, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.

(By the way, the fibroids have nothing to do with the blood in my urine, just as I suspected.)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tra la la

Today, I found myself really irritated that I am not done with my Christmas shopping yet. Then I looked at the calendar and realized: we are only in our first full week of December. It’s still early. Give yourself a break, nutjob.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and peace and all that. Deep breath!

As the year draws to a close, I have been making loose plans for the coming year. I say loose because things never work out exactly as we plan them, and yet I feel the need for some kind of structure, no doubt to allow myself the illusion that I am in some small way the master or mistress of my own fate. Well, for one thing, chirren, I am considering moving this blog* – perhaps to Blogspot**, which is a more logical place for it to be, and I think will be less of a hassle to maintain. Not sure yet what I am going to do about all the lovely photos I will want to post in the coming year, howsomever. Do I have to maintain two Websites, then? One more open to the public, and the other (with identifying photos) for friends and fam? Sounds like kind of a drag.

As for my other plans for the coming year, they are loosely this: enjoy the remainder of my time at home; get my multitude of health issues under control; enroll Viva in not-so-expensive summer school and then outrageously expensive regular preschool; begin working in some capacity to pay for said summer school and preschool. The question is: what to do?

Apparently, there is no easy answer to this. I know, I know, you think: how can this be? I have done my damnedest, looking it up all kinds of ways on the Internet, and it appears that there is no clear next step on my career path (if you can even call it that). So what I am saying to you, in plain English, is this: I need to figure it out for myself. Crap.

* Which I did, on Dec. 22nd. Get me, I'm some kind of 21st century gal.
** Hello and welcome to it. Now I'm archiving all my old blogs from the previous site. I know, it doesn't get more exciting than this!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Bono Paints My Kitchen

Since Sweet William has time off from work between Christmas and New Year’s, we are going to paint our kitchen. Now, while I was on bedrest during my pregnancy, and then while breastfeeding pretty much constantly for the first few months of Viva’s life, I became addicted to home design shows. I watched While You Were Out, and Trading Spaces (which won't hyperlink, don't ask me why), and Surprise by Design religiously. Months and months of watching designers re-do people’s homes in imaginative, horrible, and sometimes gorgeous ways.

Do you think I retained even one thing from any of that? The answer would be: of course not.

I can’t decide on a color. I have pretty much everything else I need but the paint – which is kind of the whole purpose of this project. I am making things more difficult by trying to find non-toxic paint without any off-gassing/VOCs (thanks to dwell magazine [Oct/Nov ’04] for making an already thorny decision more complicated).

I am going to rip and burn CDs right now while searching websites for design ideas. Repeat after me: “Uno! Dos! Tres! Catorce!” (What the flip is Bono talking about? Does anyone know?) Edit: why yes, here are some theories. Thanks, freaky Internet geeks!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Of Christmas and Crunk

Viva hates Christmas. Well, let me qualify that statement and say that Viva hates Christmas decorations. She hates the lights, and she hates the ornaments. She hates the furry boots we got her to wear for her Christmas portrait. She hates the slippers she picked out as one of her Christmas presents during a trip to Old Navy with Auntie Diva. She shakes her head violently and backs away when we turn the Christmas lights on, making little whimpering noises. I don’t understand it. Sweet William says maybe she’s reacting against the commercialization of Christmas. If so, all I have to say is, I’m with you, sister! Too bad she didn’t make this opinion known before we bought all her Christmas loot.

We haven’t even gotten a tree yet. Is 20 months too young to fake a heart attack? I guess we’ll see, although I know her daddy will be mighty irritated if he goes to the expense and hassle of getting a tree and she screams bloody murder at the sight of it. I’m hoping it won’t be the same experience as with the slippers: she allegedly loved them at the store and hugged them to her chest, but refused to put them on once they were paid for.

Viva does like: A Charlie Brown Christmas and gingerbread. That’s about it.

On a completely unrelated topic: I am thoroughly enjoying the resurrection of KDAY-FM in Los Angeles. Old school, new school (well, you know I prefer the music from back in the day, but that is because I am old as the hizzills). What could be wrong with that?

Speaking of age and trends passing you by, this past weekend, Sweet William and I were driving up La Brea, just north of the 10 freeway, when we saw a billboard advertising Crunk Juice. “What the hell is that?” said my honey. We burst out laughing, but he seriously did not know what crunk was. I barely knew what it was – I said it’s Southern ghetto hip-hop, which wasn’t completely off-base, but wasn’t completely accurate either. What is crunk? Read here on this apparently not-so-new phenomenon.

Crunk. Word to your mother.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I am not a Luddite

I am just behind the times. Until a couple of months ago, we had a microwave that was manufactured in 1988. It came with the apartment. It was good at reheating things, but that was about it. It was also missing all its knobs – yes, it had knobs, not buttons, that’s how old it was – and in order to use it, you had to pull out a pair of pliers and twist it to the approximate setting you wanted. So charmingly ghetto!

In September, Sweet William went to Wal-Mart while we were visiting family (we don’t have a Wal-Mart near us, which seems impossible these days, but I am here to tell you it does happen, and by the way, I am aware that you can buy microwaves at other places but this is just how it happened, so there you are) and purchased a new microwave. I mention this because I have just rediscovered the joys of microwave popcorn, on which I am now happily crunching away. And now I can buy and freeze things and defrost and cook them when it’s 6:03 pm and I realize there is nothing to eat in the fridge. It’s a win-win situation, and I know, you couldn’t be happier, right?

Well, hang on to your hats, because just this past week, I was at Target, and I saw this. It followed me home, and the Blah Blah family has since thoroughly enjoyed perfectly toasted bagels, English muffins, and French toaster sticks. Now we have gone totally appliance happy and my Sweet William is saying we should replace our stove (which also came with the apartment). His rationale, which is not bad, is that we should buy major appliances now and take them with us once the bottom falls out of the real estate market and we can actually afford a house. Hey, do I hear snickering there in the back? It could happen. Don't tinkle on my parade of delusion...

In other news, still don’t know what’s going on with my health. Am considering radically changing diet after the holidays in perhaps misguided belief that this may be a factor; have been reading a lot on the Internet about the links between sugar/dairy/caffeine/meat and fibroids. Wondering: if I can’t consume any of these things, what the hell kind of life is that? Further bulletins as events warrant.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I...Fall...To Pieces...

Who sings that? Patsy Cline? (Why, yes -- here's a sound clip.)

So the mysterious health thing continues, with the added annoyance of a common cold, the most bothersome symptom of which is a sore throat which I have now had for a week. Oh, and the coughing, which wakes me up in the middle of the night.

So the CT urogram showed that nothing is wrong with my urinary tract, but that I have multiple uterine fibroids (which I knew already). Although the scan says nothing is wrong, I still have blood in my urine, and palpation of my abdomen by my urologist, Dr. G, indicates tenderness in both ovaries. An internal exam revealed urethral stenosis, presumably brought on by the trauma of delivering Viva. Dr. G wants me to come in for a probe of my bladder in two weeks. Um, yuck. Sounds delightful. The troubling thing is that it appears I may have two problems converging at the same time: the bladder thing and the fibroids.

Generally not too happy about any of this. Sorry I can’t be all sweetness and light.

I feel like an old woman. And guess what? I have finally caved in to advertising and my own observations of what I see in the mirror, and I’m using night cream. Night cream!

I also recently discovered that I have dishpan hands. What the hell is happening?