Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Previously on 24:
It has been 11 days since our stuff was picked up by the moving truck and we left Chicago. We are exhausted from horrible trips to Philadelphia, followed by living in an empty apartment for over a week. We’ve been told that their stuff will arrive on Sunday morning at 10:00 after already being delayed several times. On Sunday we reach the driver, Troy, again and are told it will be more like 2:00. At 2:00 we are told it will be 4:00. At 4:00 when we have heard nothing we call the driver again and are told by his sidekick, Pops (seriously, he went by Pops) that they now have a flat tire and have no money in their account to get it fixed. We are told that the truck will arrive Monday morning at 10:00am. We wonder how a person who drives across the country for a living can have no funds for situations like this. Expecting several days to go by without ever seeing our belongings, Hubby’s parents take us out to get us a TV so that we can at least have something more to do than play cards on the floor (they were there visiting to help with Sam while the movers were there. So much for that.). We come home and hook it up only to find out that the cable does not work. Hubby nearly has a breakdown…

The following takes place between 6:00am and 7:00am:
Monday morning Sam gets bitten by a horsefly while I am changing his diaper. We still have no internet, no cable, no air conditioning, and still no furniture. Nothing can be done about any of the utilities since it is Memorial Day weekend. Sam hasn’t slept at all because he is constantly sweating so much that his bed is wet.

The following takes place between 10:00am and 11:00am:
Troy calls and says they are still in D.C. with another stop to make. He intends to arrive later in the afternoon.

The following takes place between 1:00pm and 2:00pm:
Troy calls and says they are about 20 minutes away.

The following takes place between 2:00pm and 3:00pm:
The truck actually arrives (much to my amazement – I was sure they come up with some new excuse to get through to at least Wednesday), but Troy says that the truck can’t get up to our building because the parking lot is too narrow.

The following takes place between 3:00pm and 4:00pm:
I call my mom to have her give me phone numbers for every truck rental place in the area (remember, no internet). After several calls a truck is reserved for the purpose of shuttling our belongings between the big truck out on the street and our apartment building.

The following takes place between 4:00pm and 5:00pm:
Troy and Pops are loading the new little truck from the huge one, as we discover that the elevator in our building is out, as is most of the electricity. It is up to about 86 degrees in the apartment.

The following takes place between 5:00pm and 6:00pm:
Pops indicates that he is very concerned about how they are going to get all of our stuff up the stairs without an elevator. They have been told by maintenance that the elevator will not be working for at least 2 hours. Hubby and I point out that we could have lived in a building without an elevator at all. What would have happened then? We just moved out of a third floor apartment in Chicago and we had no elevator there for the movers.

The following takes place at 5:58pm:
Miraculously, the elevator is fixed. It begins.

The following takes place between 10:00pm and 11:00pm:
Despite a working elevator, and the fact that it only took two trips between the two trucks to get all of our stuff to the building, it takes Pops and Troy, with Hubby’s help, 6 hours to unload our stuff (no, we do not have all that much stuff. We live in a two bedroom apartment, how much can we have?). My dresser is broken, as is a shelf unit, a glass door to a bathroom storage cabinet, the ironing board and several boxes appear to have been crushed. But it is all there. At 11:00pm they left our apartment full of our furniture, clothes, and boxes.

The following takes place between 6:00am and 7:00am:
We wake up in our own bed.

Later on 24:
The air conditioning gets fixed just as Sam really starts to lose it from lack of sleep. Several other items are broken. Hubby has it out with our moving “coordinator” and gets a call from the big honcho at the moving company. He doesn’t answer this call so that he can better prepare. The internet gets connected finally around 9:00pm but goes in and out in its connection. We’ll see if I am even able to post this. The cable got fixed at 5:00 but has just gone out again as I write this. Hubby is now laying on the floor staring at the ceiling rubbing his forehead, periodically sitting up and turning the TV on to see if the screen is still black. It is.

I keep asking myself: Did we make the right decision when we decided to move to Philadelphia?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Camping in the new place, a meme, and 80’s Sunday all mooshed in a really big ball

Wow, where to begin? We’re in Philadelphia and have been since Sunday. Our stuff still is not here. As of yesterday it was scheduled to arrive tonight. Then this morning it was pushed back to tomorrow. I was not surprised, but actually thankful that they were willing to bring it to us on a Sunday and not wait until Tuesday with Memorial Day and all. That’s what I’d expected when they started saying it wouldn’t be until the evening. I guess I’ll believe it will be here when I see it though.

Hubby, Sam, our two cats and I have been living on the floor of our very spacious apartment for a full week now. I’m sure it will look lovely with furniture. We still have no internet service. That won’t work until Tuesday. I am writing this on the laptop and then tonight we are going to go back to this sandwich place where we had lunch because we realized while sitting there that they had free wireless. I have to say, not having the internet may be just as bad as not having our furniture. This is for two reasons primarily. One is that it is extremely difficult to find one’s way around a new city without the web. I didn’t realize how dependent on it we were. And two: I have really, really missed blogging. Not only writing and posting, but reading everyone’s and commenting as well…and checking comments of course. Again, a dependency I had not quite realized had taken such hold so soon.

There was something nice about knowing I might sit down and write each night. I paid more attention to things maybe, knowing I’d be taking that time to reflect later. I was better able to organize my thoughts and the goings on of the day, especially anything in relation to Sam. I lost that for the past two weeks and have missed it terribly. Everything has been scattered. And yes, I know that is mainly due to the ridiculous situations in which I have found myself, like arriving to the apartment after driving with a screaming Sam for three hours, only to find out that the key they gave us to the bottom lock doesn’t actually work. Sometimes it has all just felt like too much, and I can’t help but think that had I been unloading and uploading some of it throughout this process I maybe could have handled it better. And certainly having a cheering section would have felt good too. I felt better after writing the post that shared some of the details of the moving day and reading your comments made me feel even better after that, so thank you all for that.

And then I was cut off. I’d written my 80’s Sunday ahead of time and just posted it up the morning we left, fully believing I’d be back by about Tuesday to write more and read more. But no, that’s not how it happened. And now my thoughts are so disorganized I can’t even narrow down anything to say. When I realized we’d be able to go back to the sandwich place and get online (as long as we were willing to have the same sandwiches for dinner that we’d had for lunch) I was totally overwhelmed. What to post with such a short amount of time? Do I do one of the tags that I still need to do from a few days before I left? Do I write about the new place? Complain more about all the crap that has happened in the past week? Post an early 80’s Sunday challenge for fear that I won’t get to put one up on Sunday since the movers are supposedly coming tomorrow? Write about what it feels like to be in a new place? I still have no idea what this post is about and it’s already ridiculously long. What do I need to say? Because we write these for ourselves, right? Boy, that’s a post all its own…I guess I’ll try and do a little of everything.

I’ve learned some things in the past 2 weeks. I want to get them all out. That’s more important to me right now than paragraphs with transition sentences.

1) I have “control issues.” I do not handle it well when I feel that things are beyond my control. I’ve always known this, but finding out that all of your belongings are not even on their way to where you are and no one is doing anything about it and you can’t do anything either has a special way of really bringing out these…issues. Recall two posts ago when I wanted to scream or sleep. Yeah, that’s been a continuing theme.

2) My son is the sweatiest baby ever. He sweats when he eats, when he sleeps, when he plays, when he smiles. This kid sweats. We’re talking wet through the clothes, visible dampness on the bed. And I have to tell you, it’s not that hot.

3) Having a washer/dryer in my apartment is just as great as I’d imagined.

4) Having trees outside one’s windows is exponentially better for one’s psyche than looking at a gas station and highway.

5) Moving from a very flat place, like Chicago, to a very hilly place, like Philadelphia, is very hard on one’s calves. I think I need new shoes with better arch support.

6) While in many ways it is good to recognize that many people do not do what they say they are going to do and that often things go wrong, expecting that to always be the case is not a nice way to live; it feels bad. I want to be more optimistic, especially for Sam and for Hubby, who always manages to look on the bright side and generally trusts people.

And now I think I’ll go ahead and post a meme that Rachelle tagged me with like 2 weeks ago, maybe even more, I can’t even remember. I have one more meme for her and one from Cmommy coming up. I promise I won’t drop the ball, it’s just taking a long time for fairly obvious reasons.

Four jobs I've had:
Arts Education Program Manager, Actor – Got paid $10 per show so technically it was a job, right?, Café Barista (latter 2 were simultaneous – you do the math), Teacher

Four movies I watch over and over:
Clue, Sense and Sensibility, Amelie, Dead Poets Society

Four places I have lived:
Texas, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Chicago, Philadelphia

Four TV shows I love to watch:
The Office (did you see that finale!?), 24 (missed this finale due to TV being in storage in Illinois), American Idol (again, no TV but I know who won.), Survivor (saw this finale but wish I hadn’t. So lame.)

Four places I have been on vacation:
Alaska, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, London

Four Places I'd Love to Go to On Vacation:
Thailand, Greece, Italy, Great Barrier Reef

Four websites I visit often:
My blog, your blog, others’ blogs, weather channel

Four favorite foods:
Sushi, chocolate chip cookies, doughnuts, my mom’s chicken and dumplings

Four Places I would like to be right now:
About 2 feet higher, then I wouldn’t be on the floor but on my couch, which is hopefully at least in the right state by now; in my bed, see above and know that Hubby and I have been on an air mattress for 6 nights now; my tree house from childhood; back in Chicago.

I’m not sure who to tag because I’ve been so out of the loop that I don’t know who has not done this one yet. And I know Hubby is not going to sit in the sandwich place while I go through everyone’s blogs – that would be dangerous anyway since I’d probably want to sit and read everyone’s posts for the past week. So for now, if you have not done this meme yet and would like to, consider yourself it!

And last but not least, for those of you still reading this horrifically long post: 80’s Sunday, That’s My Fun Day. Yes, I realize it is Saturday but if I don’t post this today then I’ll miss it altogether since I am sure that tomorrow I will not be returning for more sandwiches in the midst of the movers finally bringing me my bed. And I’d rather get to have the 80’s challenge early than to not have it at all. Next week I will be back on track and on schedule…at least I hope so…nothing else could possibly go wrong, right? Right? So obviously I can’t see your comments here, but I will read them when I get to the internet sandwich place to see if anyone guessed that last week’s song was “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde. Oh, the dance routines I had to that one…I think one involved me hanging on to an imaginary rope…ahem anyway, if you were the first to guess it then congrats to you!

Below are the lyrics to a popular 80’s song. Be the first to guess the song and artist and name them in your comment. First to do so correctly is deemed 80’s Goddess Divine for the week (or God Divine, I suppose. Pretty sure the only males that have ever seen this site are Hubby and my Dad). Here goes:

You know I call you

I call you on the telephone

I’m only hoping that you’re home

So I can hear you

When you say those words to me
And whisper so softly

Signing off until who knows when. Can’t wait to read everyone again!

Friday, May 19, 2006

80's Sunday, That's My Fun Day

Congratulations to Kate for guessing last week’s 80’s tune and "artist" correctly, and to ABC Momma for a close second. Oh, Rick Astley, did you have any other songs? So here we go with week two, and it looks like we've got a competition going here so bring your A-game ladies.

Below are the lyrics to a popular 80’s song. Without using the internet as a resource, guess the song and artist and name them in your comment. First to do so correctly, wins. I'm signing off for a few days as we head out to the barren apartment, and I'm not sure how long it will take to get our internet going there. I look forward to seeing the results and checking in on your blogs soon. Enjoy!

You say although we broke up
you still just wanna be friends
but how can we still be friends
when seeing you only breaks my heart again

We're all fine here...just fine...really... fine

Did you ever feel like things were so out of control that there was nothing left to do but go somehwhere and scream? Or curl up in bed and sleep? The activities surrounding this move have not been going well. Nothing ridiculous has happened I guess, but no aspect has gone without a hitch, at least not yet. Here are some highlights...

Our flight out: I was flying out to Connecticut to stay with my in-laws with Sam on Tuesday afternoon. I had two seats for us so that he wouldn't have to sit on my lap the whole 3 hours. I was told I would have assistance transporting the car seat to the gate from check-in. When I called the day before to arrange for this assistance I was told that "they don't do that." Skip to the end of that argumentative conversation. I was told that if we arrived early enough we could potentially get a pass that would allow Hubby to come with us to the gate to help with the stuff. We arrive super early only to find out that the parking lot is full and we would have to park in the "Remote Parking." By Remote they mean so far away you shouldn't have bothered to drive. We would have had to take the shuttle after backtracking and by the time we got there the whole get there early thing would have been moot. Fine. I'll work it out and get to the gate on my own. I'll rent one of the little cart things. Hubby comes in to at least help check the bags before pulling away from the curb. I am off to security check. Hmm...no carts. Ok. I'll drag the car seat while pushing Sam in the stroller while carrying the backpack. And that is what I did, all the way to the gate, where we had arrived 2 hours early (remember the whole "get there early" thing? Well, we did) leaving me to entertain Sam at the gate before the flight had even boarded. I speak to the check in lady and am told there is no early boarding so that I can install the carseat. Again, not what I had been told before purchasing the tickets. Fine. Can I get help transporting the car seat onto the plane? No. Fine. How about holding the baby while I install the car seat? No. Fine. Has anyone person helped me at all? No. Ok, after an intense battle as I buckle in the seat while holding Sam on the other seat with my knee we're installed. Sam is done screaming. Surrounding passengers are done moaning and then, "I'm really sorry to do this to you, but I need you to change seats. You see, we can't have a carseat installed in the rows before or after the exit row, so I need you to switch with the people behind you and reinstall your seat." F.I.N.E.

Meanwhile, back in Chicago: Hubby was dealing with the movers and then driving to Philly with our 2 cats before driving on to CT to join us at his Dad's. (That's right, I stayed with my Father-in-law, just us, for 3 days. Awkward? Um, yeah, I'd say so.) While I don't know all the details I do know know of a few little tidbits, the best of which is as follows. Hubby packed the keys to our storage unit in one of the boxes. This is the storage unit we rented so that we could start packing our stuff 2 months ago and get it out of our apartment. It was totally full. The keys were packed and loaded onto the truck. He doesn't realize this until it is time to take the movers over to the storage place. That's fine. Hubby goes to Home Depot and is told he needs a hack saw to cut through the lock. Fine. Comes back with hack saw which does absolutely nothing. Fine. On to Ace hardware where, after being given a hard time because his license doesn't have his current address, he rents huge cutters, which do the trick and then need to be returned. He doesn't get out of the city until 4:30 that afternoon with cats yelling and puking in the car and who need to be snuck into a Best Western in Ohio that night.

3 days later, in CT: Today we find out that our apartment manager in Chicago wouldn't hand over the keys to the subletter we found at THEIR REQUEST because we hadn't signed some form, even though we had already been told that we had done everything they needed us to do. So now we are faxing and signing and causing grief for this poor subletter who isn't being given the keys to our place. This process gets delayed because in its midst we also happen to put a little call in to our moving company to find out if they have a better sense of when our stuff will be arriving in Philly. Well, you see, it didn't get onto the truck that was supposed to take it yesterday because they misjudged how much stuff someone else had and ours wouldn't fit. It's in their warehouse still. She'll check and see when it can be reloaded onto a truck and taken over. The answer: Monday. Our stuff has been in storage since Wednesday and will get out and BEGIN the trip Monday. It will arrive...SATURDAY, as in a week from TOMORROW. Hubby's Bar review class begins this Monday, that's the whole reason we did the move so soon after his graduation. So now we get to choose between staying here for another week while he misses a week of his classes and our cats sit in an empty apartment, or we can all go and live in the empty apartment together for the week. Oh yeah, and Sam has a fever again. Please excuse me as I try to find a helmet strong enough to hold my head together.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"Goodbye Chicago," board book style

In the great windy city
There was a Picasso
and a park by Gehry
and a pizza that
was stuffed with pepperoni.
And there were Chicago Bears
and a tower called Sears
and lots of police
and buildings by Mies
and pretty street blocks
and a team with white Sox
and the Cubs
and the El
and a Beluga whale
and a bad old governor who was going to jail

Goodbye City
Goodbye pepperoni
Goodbye pizza stuffed with pepperoni
Goodbye schools and the park by Gehry
Goodbye Bears, goodbye Sears
Goodbye police and goodbye Mies
Goodbye river bends and goodbye great friends
Goodbye pretty blocks and goodbye Sox
Goodbye Cubs and goodbye El
Goodbye everybody, goodbye whale
And goodbye to the old Governor going to jail
Goodbye park, goodbye Drake
Goodbye city by the lake.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

80’s Sunday, That’s My Fun Day

Welcome to the first ever “80’s Sunday, That’s My Fun Day.” I experimented with this last week and have decided to make it a regular addition to my site every Sunday.

Below are the lyrics to a popular 80’s song. Without using the internet as a resource (and we’re on the HONOR SYSTEM here, ladies), guess the song and artist and name them in your comment. First to do so correctly wins. You win nothing, but if you beat ABC Momma you will win my applause and respect – she’s your competition, and also the inspiration behind this little challenge. Enjoy!

We've known each other for so long
Your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it
Inside we both know what's been going on
We know the game and we're gonna play it

Friday, May 12, 2006

Get Ready For 80's Sunday

So everything here is officially insane. Family is in, Hubby's graduation is Sunday, and we move to Philly on Tuesday. Insane. Needless to say I will be a bit out of the loop for a little while, but I didn't want to go without leaving a little something, so get ready for the naming of tunes.

This Sunday will be the first "80's Sunday, That's My Fun Day." This will be a chance for you, yes, you to read the lyrics of an 80's song and try to guess it before ABC Momma, a true 80's expert. You will win nothing, you will lose nothing. Prepare to blast to the past, and be sure to bring your hair pick and banana barrettes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Night Ritual

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while because it is something I want to make sure I always remember. Every night is the same here in our house. I have alluded to some of Sam’s sleep problems before, but this is not an instance where I am going to complain. I love how we get Sam ready for bed every night. And ever since he was old enough to really benefit from a going to bed ritual, this has been it.

After Hubby and I eat dinner we change Sam’s diaper. I then give him a leg massage with some lavender scented lotion, although, lately he has been much more interested in dropping the lotion bottle, one of his favorite toys, back behind the bed and leaning over the side to see if it is still there and if he can reach it. Meanwhile I try to keep him from falling with my hands and his legs covered in slime as he wiggles and writhes. Hubby and I then read him 2 books. Up until a few nights ago, the second one is always “Sam Loves Kisses,” which ends with Mommy and Daddy giving Sam a "snuggly kiss" when he can't sleep. Then we nurse and I bring him out to the living room and dance with him to one or two songs. For as long as I can remember we have been dancing to The Innocence Mission. Lately he has added hugs and his very special kisses to our dance time. He’s also begun laying his head on my shoulder when he’s really sleepy. He’s a real boy! I then put him in his bed and he holds my hand until he falls asleep while I hum him a combination of the songs I have sung to him since his birth. This is the part I want to make sure I remember. And no, I do not think all of these songs are amazing or anything like that. Most of them were just all I could think of while trying to calm him down and they stuck.

My Repertoire:
Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Eternal Flame (The Bangles), The Rose, You’re the Inspiration (Chicago), Unchained Melody, Stand By Me, Yellow Submarine, Glory of Love, Carrie (Europe, that’s right, Europe), I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You (which Katharine slaughtered last night on American Idol), Everything I Do I Do It For You (Bryan Adams), Holy Holy Holy, What A Wonderful World, Tomorrow

After just one year some of these already make me feel nostalgic and remember when he was tiny, fussy, and needed to sleep right up against me (or on top of me – the hand holding is a HUGE improvement). I think back to what those crazy newborn days were like and I’m amazed at how much has happened. I thought I would never get the hang of this mom thing, yet here I am. We kept him alive for a year so I guess we’re ok so far. And I still love singing him to sleep, except for when it is the umpteenth time and it's 4:00am.

What are your favorite songs to sing to your children?

Bad Technician, Mad Mommy, Sad Story

Yesterday was Sam’s one year check up at the pediatrician and with that came the dreaded vaccinations. I remember the first time he had to get shots I started crying as soon as I saw the needles. I had to go in the corner and calm down while my husband held him. I got much better after that, and the last time he needed a shot he didn’t even notice it and didn’t cry at all. That is, until yesterday.

I didn’t like this tech from the moment she walked in, so maybe my account of the events is a little skewed because she just rubbed me the wrong way, and we had to wait for her to arrive for a very long time as Sam grew more and more restless. What bothered me first is that she began the procedure before I was able to get up next to Sam at the table. I was late getting there because she was standing in my way. And as I stood behind her trying to find a way around and mumbling excuse me, she gave him the first shot (there would be 2 more, unfortunately). It was clear from his wail that he did, in fact, notice this one. This time I was much louder as I pushed past her saying I needed to get up to the table. He was already very upset.

I just happened to look down at what she was doing just as she began the second shot. Now, I’ve never actually watched the injection happen, but I’m pretty sure what I saw was not normal. (If you don’t like needles you may want to stop here.) It looked to me like she was having trouble getting the needle to penetrate his skin at first, and then all of a sudden it went through and the whole needle was thrust into his leg. And by the whole needle, I mean the entire thing. All that was visible outside his leg was the syringe, and he SCREAMED, and my husband and I both GASPED. But that is not all. At this point she let go of the needle to hold Sam’s hand down and ask my husband to take over that duty (this, in my opinion, should have been taken care of before the injections began – each person should have been assigned legs and arms...and mom should have been up at the table – that is what everyone in the past has done), so I was left watching a wobbling syringe stick out of my son’s leg as he sobbed. I asked her if the shot was supposed to go in that far and she said yes, but I can tell you that the 3rd needle was not put in that far. I really felt like I was going to lose it at this point so I think I just had to believe her in order to keep it together.
That was yesterday.

Last night I did not believe her as I tried to get to sleep. This morning I do not believe her. As I write this I do not believe her. As I have pictured this horrific sight over and over again, feeling nauseous all over, tearing up all over, I absolutely, with perfect clarity do not believe her. And it’s not that I think something really bad happened. I mean, this situation was really bad, but I am not worried that there are going to be serious ramifications to his health. It is that the way she handled the whole thing was not ideal. Vaccinations are painful for babies anyway, when done perfectly. I believe that she made an already difficult situation much worse than it needed to be. She did not prepare Hubby, me, and her assistant for our roles, resulting in awkward pauses where she had to ask one of us to take an arm or leg more than once, which I think made her a bit flustered. More importantly, she shoved a needle into my son. Then she told me she meant to do it that way. I think she knew she couldn’t tell me that it was an accident, and she was probably right. But now I am left to fume after the fact.

I’m not sure what, if anything, I should do about this. I could call the doctor under the guise of asking her if a vaccination is really meant to go in so deep, in the hopes that she asks me what happened and then I can describe the events (the passive aggressive approach). Or I can call her with the specific intention of tattling on her tech (aggressive). Or I could write a letter describing the events and send it to...someone...someone important (responsibly aggressive?). Or I can call and try to speak to the technician herself and explain what I think she could have done differently (direct and very conflict resolutiony – I could say things like, “When you stabbed my baby with a needle, it made me feel rage”). Or I could do nothing (potentially cowardly, potentially right).

I could try to accept her answer and believe that this is just how these vaccinations are. I could realize that no matter what it looks like I will probably find fault because no matter how you slice it it’s something that is traumatic for my baby. I could accept that no one is perfect and maybe she did just make a mistake. I could.

Monday, May 08, 2006

80's Name That Tune

In honor of ABC Momma, who I owe one to for tagging her last week and then realizing she gets the heebegeebees when she is tagged, I am issuing a challenge just for her. In the same tag where she expresses her discomfort at being a tag-gee, she also asserts that she would be champion of an 80's Name That Tune. I kind of liked the idea because in truth I actually think I would be the winner, but hey, I tagged her and feel bad so I'll get this going and not even be there to face off.

Below are the lyrics to a song from the 80's. Be the first to name the song and artist and you win...I don't know what. Respect? Love? Adoration? Well, you may just have to be satisfied with the knowledge that you won and beat a self-proclaimed guru - that's assuming, of course, that she doesn't beat all ya'll (and no internet resources allowed). Good Luck!

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

Addendum: If you are reading this now you are way too late. ABC Momma had it immediately. But please do leave a comment if you would be interested in another 80's Tune challenge.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Birthday Dreams

In lieu of presents for his birthday (the move and all) I decided to collect wishes for Sam from our family and friends. I knew I was going to do this at some point ever since he was born, although I have not yet worked out the details of what we will do with his “wish box.” I’m not sure if we will read his wishes to him each year on his Birthday once he is old enough. Or maybe we will save wishes for him every year and then give them all to him at some significant age, like when he leaves for college or turns 16. Maybe I will add a new wish to the box for him each year from Hubby and me, along with a bit about what he did that year. Or maybe I will have Sam write his birthday wish each year and add it to the box with the ones we have collected. We have some time to figure it out I think, but I love the wishes we received from our friends today at his party.

It almost intimidates me, some of the things they wrote, because now it is time for me to write my wish for my son. Perhaps I am a little lost since I don’t know what exactly we are doing with these, or perhaps I am just overwhelmed with the fact that my baby is one year old today and I have so much that I want for him in his life that I have no idea how to narrow it down to words.

What do all parents wish for their children? Happiness, right? For them to be healthy and enjoy life. For them to feel love, and sorrow, hope, joy, excitement, and fear. For them to live their lives to the fullest and appreciate what is happening to them as they do so. For them to feel fulfilled emotionally, spiritually, mentally. But now these words are too big to understand – they become meaningless, non-specific. What do I want for him and what I am I really saying? It’s too much.

Whenever Hubby and I discussed having children it always turned to the happiness we felt as children growing up. We wanted that joy, wonder, and excitement for our kids, and we wanted to be a part of that again, to help create it. I've also been thinking a lot about my childhood this week in response to Rachelle's writing assignment for "My Life Monday." Over the week I was asked to recall my most memorable childhood experience, but for me I was only flooded with images of delight; there was not one specific memory that took the cake (Birthday pun for ya). I just loved childhood - all of it. And that was what Hubby and I looked forward to the most: to have a child who got to feel those wonderful things we took with us, for the first time.

Today, my wish for Sam is that he stay a child as long as possible. Ironically, I don’t mean that because he is my baby and I don’t want him to grow up. I mean that I want him to feel that awe and curiosity and innocence for as long as he can hang on to it. I want him to feel the thrill of turning around on his bicycle to see that the parent who was holding him up is 25 yards back, yet he is still moving forward. To feel the disappointment on Christmas Eve when his mom comes in after he has worked so hard to stay awake, to tell him that she saw on the news that Santa is running late and is still a few thousand miles away, and he realizes that he won’t be able to stay awake long enough, no matter what he does. To feel the fear of finding a slug (which he has never seen before – what is it?!) on the ladder of his tree house and the relief when he finally gathers the courage to return 4 days later and it is gone. To feel the wonder of sitting in that tree house as the sun goes down and hear the change in the noises of the woods and feel the sudden chill in the air on his sun warmed arms. To jump on mattresses, to build forts out of boxes, to dance before he cares what he looks like, to lick the batter off the spoon, to fall asleep on the way home from fireworks on the Fourth of July, to ride his first roller coaster, get his first pet, make his first best friend…

I have no idea what I’ll actually write for Sam’s wish. But today, I wish for myself to help give him all of these things and more. Hubby and I wanted a child so that we could share with him his childhood, and I wish that it could last forever.

Young, by Anne Sexton
A thousand doors ago
when I was a lonely kid
in a big house with four
garages and it was summer
as long as I could remember,
I lay on the lawn at night,
clover wrinkling over me,
the wise stars bedding over me,
my mother's window a funnel
of yellow heat running out,
my father's window, half shut,
an eye where sleepers pass,
and the boards of the house
were smooth and white as wax
and probably a million leaves
sailed on their strange stalks
as the crickets ticked together
and I, in my brand new body,
which was not a woman's yet,
told the stars my questions
and thought God could really see
the heat and the painted light,
elbows, knees, dreams, goodnight.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Little Baby Pukey Pants

Sam is finally asleep. He has a fever and threw up his dinner. I didn’t know he was sick until tonight. He’s been cranky lately, especially today, but he also has a molar coming in so that was to be expected. I felt like we were neglecting him as we got back to our packing mission, and I thought he might be resenting the lack of attention a bit. And I was impatient. Didn’t I say just a few days ago on that meme that I am not always as patient as I would like to be with my son and husband? Let’s go back and check the meme. Yep, that’s exactly what I said. And I have now discovered the downfall of blogging.

I was impatient, despite the signs that something might be wrong. And even if he wasn’t sick he was still teething and clearly cranky because he was in pain. I even thought about this and was still completely…impatient. As I watched the numbers on the thermometer climb I berated myself for my complete and total bitchiness today. And then I realized that the fact that he had a fever did not matter. I should have been more sensitive anyway because he was teething, because we are moving and I know he feels our stress, because we have not been paying as much attention to him due to our being completely overwhelmed, because it is almost his birthday, because he is my baby and he makes me smile and feel better when I am down.

As he fell asleep tonight, just before he closed his eyes, he looked at me and gave me his sweet smile, and I just couldn’t believe he had a smile for me despite the fact that he felt like crap. So I am back to where I was before in mommy fear , where something bad happens to Sam before I realize that I need to relax about this move and the graduation and the party (Oh no! The party is supposed to be in 2 days…and he’s sick…I am totally defeating my point here…) and all the logistics and details of everything. He is all that matters. And if he is able to look at me when he has a fever, an upset tummy, and a huge molar breaking though his swollen gums yet still muster up enough love to make me feel so good, then I certainly should be able to do the same.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two Men Kissing

This was the first time that Sam gave Hubby one of his "special kisses."

On the Birthday party front, I finally let go today and ordered a cake for Sam. The thought of baking a sheet cake and 2 dozen cupcakes Sunday morning while trying to get everything else ready (including the Birthday Boy) did not sound appealing. I am a bad bad mom who isn't going to bake her son's first birthday cake. But you know what, he's not going to eat it anyway and I'll be in a much better mood for his party knowing I am not serving potentially burned cupcakes. I'd much rather spend as much time with him as possible that day; he'll probably enjoy that a lot more and so will I.

One year ago today we were one day past our due date, wondering why the Mexican food I'd had the night before was doing nothing, and waiting...stewing. Sam would not be born for several more days...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That's It Gymboree Man, We're Throwin' Down

I have decided since becoming a mom that the world owes me something. I don’t mean that obnoxiously, like I earned a free ride because I gave birth, but I have to admit that I've been feeling rather indignant lately. This mostly occurs when I am shopping somewhere, something becomes inconvenient, and I feel I’ve been shafted because I have a baby and stores should make my shopping experience as easy as possible. In many ways this is not completely off the mark since moms are such a huge target audience for said stores. Here, some examples of places that should be nice to me because I give them my money and am hindered by an infant:

In the past month both my Target and my grocery store have decided to remodel. This is extremely inconvenient since they are moving around absolutely everything, none of it makes any logical sense, and none of the employees can help because they don’t know where anything is yet either. What used to be a fairly easy trip through these stores has turned into an infuriating, backtracking, maze solving quest to find the cue tips or the bread (yes, they temporarily hid the bread in the greeting cards aisle behind a huge metal pillar – TWICE I came home with no bread and my husband did it once as well).

To make matters worse, I believe both of these places specifically set out to make “the mom’s” life more difficult (please understand I am writing this tongue-in-cheek...sort of...I mean listen to this!). Target, in their reorganization, decided to move the entire baby section to a strange island in the middle of the store. The result: baby aisles that are half the width of regular aisles. That means that if you want to buy diapers you must literally wait in line to get into the aisle with your cart because there is not enough room to pass each other. Once there, you have to hope that the people who flank you know what they want because otherwise you are trapped while they read the difference in weight ranges between the number 2’s and the number 3’s or contemplate the benefits of the “Gigglastic” waistband. Now I ask you, are the people you want to do this to the ones that are there to buy DIAPERS? And at Dominick’s, my grocery store, they have placed the baby food section behind one of the previously mentioned metal pillars. In order to reach 1/3 of the baby food I am contorting the top half of my body around a huge metal barricade that rests approximately 8 inches from the shelf. I painfully stick my head back there to see what I am doing or I can blindly reach behind the pillar and hope I grab the right thing. Again, the people you want to mess with are the ones that require baby food in their homes? It just seems to me that perhaps the people that need these types of things should be cut some slack. Obviously I am biased, but I’m not sure I am totally wrong either.

But the worst obstacle of them all is not the asinine layout or the physical obstruction; it is the Scammer Salesguy. This is the sales guy that knows you are a mom and uses it against you in the worst way, in the take your money for cute things that you don’t really need way. He insinuates, either subtly or blatantly, that you owe it to your kid to spend because your kid is special. Now, I know we all know this guy when we see him, and we are not fooled; they are just not that clever. But recently I encountered a Scammer Salesguy of a new breed.

I was shopping at Gymboree - - ok, really I was returning something in the store next to Gymboree and happened to find myself in there perhaps checking to see if there might be something wonderful for Sam to sport at his upcoming Birthday party. I know this store is too expensive for us, but I was thinking maybe he should have something special for the big day. And you never know, there could always be a sale or something so perfect that you just have to spring for it (he must have just looked at me and known I was the prefect prey). Anyway, Scammer Salesguy approaches, offering his friendly services. I explain my reason for stepping in and he proceeds to show me some Tiki/Island themed options. Not really my style, and he notices me checking the price tag. He then points out a sale they are having on shorts and T-shirts in this one area. This sale makes the prices much more reasonable and I tell him so with a big smile on my face. Together we create a little plaid shorts, matching shirt, floppy sun hat combo. It is quite adorable and I can just see Sam happily mushing cake into it while crawling around the park. At this point I say, and I quote, “So both of these are part of the sale then, right?”
“Yes, both are on sale.” I proceed to the register, we pay, we leave, I smile more.

It is not until I arrive at the car 3 blocks away that I add up the prices in my head and wonder how I just paid $50 for this cute little outfit that will last approximately 1 hour before its demise. I have no clue how the total could have been so high and on checking the receipt learn that those cute little plaid shorts were, in reality, TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. They are the size of a washcloth.

I promptly return to the store, and I realize that this is getting long but this next part just blows my mind. Scammer Salesguy is there again to greet me. I explain my confusion at which point he explains why the plaid shorts are not part of the sale (because they are not pull-ups...uh, ok...) to which I say, “But that is why I specifically asked you if both items were on sale, to which you said, ‘Yes.’” And he tells me again that only the pull-up shorts are on sale and that is why he was “pushing me toward the Tiki outfit.” Yeah, yeah Scammer Salesguy, you were really watching my back there. Thank YOU. Even as he was doing the return he was acting like he had tried to steer me toward the less expensive outfit and to each remark I respond with, “but that is why I asked you if they were both on sale, to which you said, ‘Yes.’” And he ignores me every time I say this, as though he doesn’t hear me. What, you’re not even going to tell me you must have made a mistake, Scammer Salesguy? And then, after trying to just void the transaction, which will leave me with no receipt showing the return of my fifty bucks (um, no!), he actually has the audacity to say, “I still thought the Tiki outfit was cool.”

That’s it! I call you out Scammer Salesguy! After school, on the playground! I call you out on behalf of every mom you have tried to swindle out of an extra fifteen bucks because you knew she didn’t have the time or energy to come all the way back once she realized what you did. I call you out for saying things like, “He should really look special on his birthday – we need to find him something really cute.” I call you out, we’re throwin’ down, and bring your Tiki torch with ya so I can show ya where to stick it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My First Tag!

Mama D has tagged me for this meme. It’s my very first tag. As I’ve been looking around everyone’s blogs I’ve seen a few of these and been a little scared. Of course, I knew no one would ever tag me so I wasn’t really worried. Mama D, what have you done to me?! Actually, many thanks to you for your all too generous compliments and including me, because we all know from The Middle School of Mommyhood that I want to be included. So here goes: my first meme. And it serves me right because I was just telling Hubby as the computer warmed up that I didn’t really know what to write about tonight...be careful what you wish for.

I AM: so happy and thankful that I have started blogging. I wish I had started earlier in Sam’s life so that I would have written more about him as a little guy and so that I could have been reading the blogs of others longer; I feel behind.

I WANT: for everything coming up in the next few weeks to be wonderful – Sam’s birthday and his party, Hubby’s graduation from law school and the visiting relatives, the move to Philadelphia, the packing and unpacking, and the flight Sam and I will be taking ALONE (ah!) – for it all to run smoothly, be as fun as possible, and for us all to survive.

I WISH: that my son’s birth had gone differently. I think what happened will make me scared/anxious during the next pregnancy, whenever that may be.

I HATE: fighting with my husband. We’ve been at each other a lot lately. I think the stress of the move is getting to us. We had another huge argument today that I wish had not started. How do we stop? Neither of us wants to fight and we know this, and yet it still happens so frequently. And as soon as it begins I can see that we both want to stop and we don’t know how.

I MISS: sleeping more than 3 consecutive hours.

I HEAR: for the past 3 years, my husband sitting behind me typing on his laptop, studying for his exams, writing, researching, working. Congratulations, you are almost done...

I WONDER: what Sam will be when he grows up. (Who Are You?)

I REGRET: (I have to steal Mama D’s here) being so depressed and run down when Sam was born. I wish I could have been more mindful and appreciated him more.

I AM NOT: sure of what comes next for me.

I DANCE: with my son whenever there is music playing. He bounces and sways to everything no matter where we are. It is one of my very favorite things in the world.

I SING: almost constantly since Sam was born. I sing to him and to myself. If he wants me to stop he’ll just have to start talking to me.

I CRY: when I am really happy and just a little bit sad.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: as patient with my son and my husband as I would like to be.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: my family’s meals...except for when I talk Hubby into ordering out.

I WRITE: for the first time, here on this blog.

I CONFUSE: what I think others want with what I really want.

I NEED: Dr. Sears’s home address so I can go over to his house and explain to him exactly why his sleep plan for babies results in a one year old who doesn’t know how to sleep on his own, resulting in wakings every 2-3 hours, and a mom who feels guilty every time she lets him cry.

I SHOULD: stop procrastinating and pack the wedding china tomorrow. I almost wish Hubby and I were living in sin and Sam was out of wedlock; I wouldn’t have all this china, stemware, and flatware to pack!

I START: a new chapter in Philadelphia.

I FINISH: with my life in Chicago, where I first started dating my husband, where we got engaged and planned our wedding, where I worked at least 5 different jobs, including a brief attempt at acting, and where we had our first baby, who is about to turn one.

Oh no! Do I have to tag someone now? Now I am seriously scared. Do people like being tagged? I barely know everyone. I’m just getting started and no one knows who the heck I am. This is exponentially more frightening than writing the meme!

Ok, here goes. To the first person who ever linked to me, I don’t know if I am thanking you or punishing you. I hope I’m thanking you in your mind, and if not, know that writing this was not that bad. It was even a little...bit...fun.

ABC Momma - You’re it!