Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Change Is Gonna Come?

So busy at work, so tired at home, so not blogging either way.


But then I read about this, the latest in a string of racist hoaxes thrown together by the likes of Susan Smith, Chuck Stuart, and most recently Ashley Todd (how quickly we forget).


Wow. I love Post-Racial America. Thank God we've gotten past all that uncomfortable racial mess.


I have so much more to say but I'm having trouble concentrating. Why do some people think it's a good idea to have a conference call on speakerphone with someone on a cell phone (which means both sides have to scream to be heard) in their office and not close the door?


Will try to update later.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

I'm moblogging today. I think.
Just a quickie. Overheard while Viva was trying to distract Cily from crying (teething, teething, OH THE PAIN):
Viva [singing energetically]: Oh Celia my Celia Lou, how much I do love you, you're smarter than a monkey, smarter than a sock, you're smarter than my mom who's an astroNAUT...
I think I'm an astroNOT. And I'm pleased that Viva thinks her sister is smarter than a piece of clothing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gratuitous Cuteness

Hey, guess what? My “newborn” will be seven months old tomorrow. She’s awesome:

I like to squish her and kiss her and all sorts of unspeakably embarrassing things. My voice gets very very high, because that makes her laugh. Here is what she is doing now: lots of talking (even in her sleep), rolling over, sitting up on her own for increasingly longer periods of seconds, grabbing everything within reach, and screaming with frustration when she’s on her stomach – because she clearly wants to crawl, even if she doesn’t know what that is. She adores her big sister, and if I haven’t mentioned it yet, let me say how impressed I am with how much Viva loves her baby. A few weeks ago, we assembled the long-awaited crib and located it in Viva’s room, and now – minor miracle – Cily spends most of the night there. Viva is thrilled, because now it's two in one room and two in the other* (until the 4 AM feeding. I am lazy and cold and sleepy at 4 AM. Did you know that baby experts consider sleeping 5 hours straight “sleeping through the night”? Yeah. What do they know?). Viva wants Cily in her room. She wants her in her bath:

She wants to read bedtime stories with her, and sing to her, and she wants to watch the NBA playoffs with her:

At any rate, as we all know, babies grow. And they grow quickly. And we're all just enjoying having her around, so small and warm and sweet-smelling. So huggy. She bounces into little spasms when she sees me, and beams. It is like a drug. I have to be around her. As does Viva. And her daddy? Also has a pretty bad case of Wrapped Around Her Little Finger. Seven months? Pretty damn near perfect.

* You know, she likes things to be even. And fair. And prior to Cily, Viva would often protest loudly that it was unfair that Dub and I got to sleep together, while she had to sleep in her room all alone. Now all is right with the world...for five minutes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hair Advice, Please!

[Before we begin, apologies: last week I was out of the blogosphere for family issues. Early in the week, I got a call from daycare that my little one had pinkeye, which is highly contagious, so I had to keep her out of daycare for a bit, and then on Thursday my grandma was taken to the hospital with what turned out to be pneumonia, so I was out of town/away from the computer Friday and Saturday as well. Highlight of the trip: I arrive at the hospital with my sister and all of our kids. It has taken 4 hours since I got to town to get all the kids together and get to the hospital. I am trying to remain on an even keel. Less than 60 seconds into the hospital room, my grandmother says: “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were two months pregnant.” WHAT? Who says that? What does it even mean?! How can anyone look two months pregnant?! But, I digress.]

I have several things I want to write about, but what is most urgent is this: my current hair routine with Viva is that I wash her hair on Sunday, comb it out and oil it and style it for the week. She sleeps with a sleep cap, so most mornings I just have to oil it a bit, smooth back the edges and maybe tighten a few twists here and there – put in different color clips or barrettes and she’s good to go. A few years ago I went to and at the time they had elasticized sleep caps for sale. These basically look like a cloth swim cap – machine washable and hold up well, but I would like to order more. Ay, there’s the rub. Snapaholics no longer carries them! AAAAAGH!

I emailed them just now to find out what happened. Doubly frustrated because the owner went through some monstrous move and the website was down for some time, so I was happy to log on this morning and see it was up – but no sleep caps! Of course I then went online to see if there is anywhere else that carries them and I came across this concept: using stretchy book covers for the same purpose (you put them on and then knot at the nape of the neck). I guess it would work. It seems a little strange, but I guess it would work.

Any other ideas? I’ve tried bandannas but even when they are clipped to her head, Viva is such an active sleeper that they come off.

Thanking you in advance…

Thursday, May 07, 2009


In my mind, she is about 28 years old, laughing, dark eyes flashing, with a navy bandana holding back her dark hair, slim and lovely in a sleeveless white top and jeans. She is more beautiful and wonderful than anything, and if I can make her laugh, it fills my heart to bursting, so I clown around and make goofy jokes and funny faces. When she laughs, I can’t even stand how much I love her. I hug her over and over as hard as I can. I snuggle with her and bury my head in the fold of her neck, and breathe in deep. She holds me close. We read together. My sister joins the pile. We sing. We weave our fingers together. We dance around the living room.

She teaches me to be curious, to express myself. She embraces my love of color. She buys me art supplies, takes me to museums. We sing a lot – in the car, to the radio, and at home, to LPs. She loves Motown and the Beatles. We read constantly. We draw, we play games. We do yoga. Sometimes she is sad, and she can’t explain to me why. It hurts my heart when she cries. I climb up on the bed and hug her and wipe her face with my sweaty little hands. She smiles and she cries and she hugs me back.

We are poor. She plans for things months in advance, and on Christmas Day and on birthdays it is like a miracle. There are boxes to open, and toys to play with. How much does she go without so we can have these things?

It is a golden time, when she is the star in my universe. My sister and I are her whole world.

Things change. Today I don’t recognize her. The only commonality seems to be the sadness. She is unhappy with how her life has turned out. We disagree about so many things. Now when we talk it is like we are speaking through some strange device that garbles our words as they come out. We can’t understand each other.

She gave me such a huge gift. So much of how I am raising my children comes from those early childhood experiences. Somewhere along the line, my mother lost her way. She grew clay feet. She exposed her flaws. Natural, it happens. We are all human and imperfect.

But having given unconditional love, she now looks for unconditional support. Even for decisions that are flawed, actions that are hurtful. I struggle with how to deal with her.

As Mother’s Day looms, I try to be mindful of these old memories. I want to be with my children on Mother’s Day – not to get gifts or be fed breakfast in bed, but just to hold them. And sing a little. And maybe dance around the living room. And maybe that’s the best way to honor my mom.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Decidedly Unfunky

I am in the midst of a clothes funk. Ecch, my clothes. Why are they all so hateful?

Added to that, the family has booked a trip to Maui in June. I know, I know, all I should need is two pairs of shorts, a few T-shirts, some flip-flops and the sunscreen. And a hat. Wait, I just re-read that sentence and realized I didn’t even think to include bathing suits. What does that tell you?

Summer is coming! I want to spend the entire summer looking fabulous in cute little sundresses all in bright citrus-y shades. With adorable little strappy sandals! Alas, my budget does not allow for this. I need to buy clothes for my children. They insist on growing, which is completely inconsiderate of them and certainly something which I will never let them live down.

I have a friend who always looks completely fabulous. (Maybe it’s you!) I always want to ask where she gets her clothes. She is at least 10-12 inches taller than I and always wears amazing high-heeled shoes. I mean, her shoes are like a party in and of themselves. She can rock short hair or she can rock cornrowed braids (the look she is currently rocking). She could probably shave her head and look abso-fricking-gorgeous. She is just one of those peeps who has a presence. I have a little bit of a girl crush on her.

She, like me, has two small kids. I don’t know how she does it. I love her, and while I’m all about the self-acceptance I do occasionally feel kind of short and frumpy around her. Now, I do own a mirror and I am aware that most people of the adult sort are, indeed, taller than I am. I embrace my shortness. I just don’t embrace feeling frumpy dumpy.

I realize there are more important things to worry about. So many more important things to worry about – and I do. But I feel the need to jazz myself up a bit. And maybe that will make me able to tackle some of those more important issues. Like, Viva telling me last night that she was mad at God. My 6-year-old is having existential angst! Is it any wonder that I just want to fixate on my closet?