Friday, June 29, 2007

Crabby crabby crabby

Not him. He's delightful. Me. I am crabby.

Oh my god. I woke up with a sore throat, but I can't even notice it now because I TWISTED MY ANGRY LITTLE HEAD THE WRONG WAY AND HURT MY NECK SO DAMN BAD that my throat isn't bothering me anymore.

I told Ben he was going to have to take me to the ER because I couldn't look down (so don't look down, freakshow). Then, I made him be late for work and go get some of those thermacare sticky pad things, and I cried -- cried-- because I couldn't stick it in the exact right spot, but I DID NOT WANT HELP. Then, I cried and cursed because the receptionist at Urgent Care (yes, I called fricking urgent care for a neck ache, what's it to you?) was rude to me -- as if my problem weren't serious. Then I cried because the Icy Hot was neither icy nor hot (it was, though, expired). Then Harry cried because his asshole parents forget to feed him breakfast.

(4 Ibuprofen and a heating pad and also a neck massage helped a little, in case you were worried)

To add insult to a injury, I had to clean my own damn house today, and I did not like it one little bit, damn it. Our cleaning lady canceled 3 times this week and has not returned our calls, and we have been expecting her to show up, so the place was d.i.r.t.y. And Harry is all about self feeding right now, so the place was also s.t.i.c.k.y.

Now Harry is with his lovely babysitter, and I am at Panera, where I am clearly very busy and important. And also full of mayonaise and cookie and a little self-loathing for eating the mayonaise and cookie.

The guy behind me is a loud talker and a loud chewer.

And he is wearing sweat shorts. I believe he's doing that newfangled thing called "telecommuting."

{Edited to Add: He is also WHISTLING and apparently suffering from delusions that make him think he is all alone.}

I don't want to read about eugenics-- that's what chapter 2 of my dissertation is about-- it's icky and depressing and I am already icky and depressed, and I have had a very rough day.

Luckily, I didn't have to clean alone. Harryella was there to help. Look at that face-- he means business.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Swimming Lessons Update: They're Going Swimmingly.

No surprise, but Harry loooooves his swimming lessons. Loves them. Even when we're 10 minutes late and he misses playing with the noodle. Even when the water is so cold that his cute little lips turn blue. Even when the 16-year-old instructor forgets that we've already sung "The Wheels on the Bus." Twice.

He loves watching me jump into the water. loves taking a shower after the lesson is over, loves running around the locker room naked, loves holding my hand and walking back to the car like a big boy. He doesn't seem to mind that he is the only baby who's enjoying himself.

There's an adorable chubby girl with curly hair who gets angry when she has to get her face wet and refuses to speak to her mother or the teacher, communicating only with splashes and pouts. There's a skinny little girl who clings to her mother's neck and shrieks except when it's time to blow bubbles; blowing bubbles cracks her up, and she's the only one who can do it (Harry, for example, thinks that bubble time is all-you-can-drink time and ends up with a belly full of chlorine). There's a rolly poly 7 month-old who appears to have no idea where the hell he is and has the same placid look on his face when he's floating, bobbing, or fully submerged. Finally, there's a pale little blond boy who hates the pool, the water, the other kids, the teacher, his sister who's happily swimming with the big kids' class across the rope, and his mother for bringing him to the pool, the water, the other kids, and the teacher. He is a sad, wet little boy who pleads, "Bye bye!" every time he's asked a question and bursts into tears as soon as he opens the door from the locker room and sees the pool on the other side. Today, his mother FINALLY took him out of the water and sat with him on the bleachers instead of forcing him to swim. She kept saying, "This was supposed to be such a good experience." I was inches away from saying, "Dude, your kids HATES this-- get the hell out of the pool and don't try to dip him under the water-- what would you do that for?" when she came to her senses and gave him his bye bye. Harry, by the way, freaking loves to be dipped under the water-- it's a trick he can't wait to try in his tub every night. Great.

So, he's not really learning anything at swim lessons, per se, except ways to scare the shit out of us at bath time.

Since he takes such a kick ass nap after swim lessons, I've been taking him to the outdoor pool in the afternoon to see if he'll start sleeping better at night (by better I mean all damn night in his own damn crib-- so far, no dice). Here are a few pictures of a semi-recent pool outing and its aftermath:

Yes, he is alseep sitting up.

No, these pictures aren't totally current, since he is a TOTAL BIG BOY WHO ONLY DRINKS FROM A CUP now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Play Date

When he honked from the driveway, a few minutes late, like he always was, she approached him nervously and paused for a moment next to hs door.

"You look nice this afternoon," he stammered, unsure of himself.

She laughed and looked down at the shiny red convertible, her sunglasses clutched in her sweaty palms, wondering if he drove fast and if she would be able to feel the wind in her hair.

Smoothing her skirt and thanking goodness that she was wearing a fresh diaper, she got in the car. He scooted closer to his door, thinking that he liked the smell of her baby lotion but worrying that she could smell his Desitin. They slipped on their sunglasses and stared into the bright afternoon.

"Where do you want to go?" he asked, turning to look at her, as she simultaneously chirped, "Sure is a nice day!" while swiveling her head to look at him.

"You go first," they both blurted. "No, really, you," they said in unison. Embarrassed, he fixed both eyes firmly on the road, and she did the same.

"I'm on whole milk now," she offered, venturing a glance.

He tore his eyes off the blacktop to give her a knowing look. "Me too," he said. "Want to go to Starbucks? My mom and I go there sometimes. They'll give you whole milk hot or cold in a cool cup with a really fun lid."

"Okay," she said.

"Wait!" he gulped, sensing her hesitation. "We could go to Barriques or EVP instead. If you're into supporting local businesses instead of multinational conglomerates, that is."

"That's okay," she told him. "Starbucks treats their employees really well, and they're helping the failing CD industry, so as far as corporate giants go, they're pretty jolly."

"And you know what else?" he asked, happy that she shared his love of Big Coffee. "The drink standardization is comforting."

"Totally!" she exclaimed, her voice warm and genuine. "I could be at an airport, or a college campus, or even a Target store, and my cup of milk will always taste the same."

"I love that," he said.

"I love that, too."

Happy to have a destination in mind, they both relaxed against the hard plastic seats and listened to the music coming from the general direction of the speaker decals.

Checking his blind spot, he wondered if she noticed his personalized license plate, decided she had, and debated if he could put his arm around her, or if he should wait until they were both a little giddy with hormone-laden milk fat and the novelty of paper cups.

He decided to wait, and they rode in companionable silence.

Clutching a couple of plastic balls in her hands, she soaked up the June sun, glad she was wearing spaghetti straps and wondering if it was safe for him to drive with no hands, in his bare feet that dangled feet above the pedals.

He, meanwhile, was soaked through wth a sense of self importance and-- quite possibly-- some urine.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I just look big because I'm crammed in a baby's wagon

Harry pulls slow

Also? We let Harry ride in the wagon

He also stumbled around the hills,

tried to attack the camera,

and rubbed his sleepy eyes.

We saw Jamie and Theo and their little cuties Ben and Hunter, too. Harry and Hunter enjoyed some baked goods. And sticks. Yummy.

And Harry saw a this on the way back to the car.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Best Part of Waking Up

is some thick milk in a cup??

Whole milk is so gross-- it's not exactly liquid, and it's not exactly solid. OH MY GOD! IT'S QUICKSAND!!!

Whatever. Harry can eat whatever he wants because he's

Attitude rompers are so great-- the perfect thing for your TODDLER to wear! Yeah, he officially toddles, him and his random arm roll fat and his measuring cups, just toddling along.

Look how moist and red he is from all that toddling.

At brunch today, Harry and Jo decided they'd had enough bagels and oranges, and they took off into the mall, leaving their sippy cups and torn up magazines behind them.

Ha! Busted!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Sound of Silence

I have been quiet about Harry's first birthday, I know. And not just here-- in his baby book, too-- I still have to fill out the very last page-- the one about his "Onederful" party. And it WAS wonderful-- so many family members, some excellent pizza, and lots of gooey fun with Harry and his smash cake (his second smash cake, by the way, because Ben accidentally smashed the first one). On the way home from the party, however, there was an accident, and Ben's grandfather passed away.

I haven't known what to do or say-- and not just here-- in real life, too, trust me. We got home from the wake and funeral, which were everything you'd think they would be-- cathartic and sad-- today. So many people came to pay their respects that police officers had to direct traffic outside the funeral home, and the funeral director said he stopped counting after the 860th person signed the guest book.

Standing in the cemetary today dodging locusts and watching one of his great aunts cheerfully wrangling a squirming, teething, off-his-schedule Harry, I realized that I was happy to have married into such a huge, close knit family, that it really is amazing to watch a group of people close ranks around each other, shielding the little kids from too many details while making sure the grown ups remember to laugh a little here and there, and that if a nasty, red-eyed cicada landed on or near me, I was going to scream so loud no one would be able to hear the bugler playing "Taps." Also? We both realized that we want our own big loud family, which might mean more children than Harry and the perfect sister we imagine he'll have. Who knows? Maybe I'll be the proud mother of 4 boys someday-- and how could I ever keep myself from trying for 5 so I could have my own basketball team?

To think that this kind man who was treasured by his family and friends could be standing in my garrish yellow bedroom, or watching my baby smear frosting in his own eyes, or patiently waiting for Ben to run down to the car with a handful of baby food jar M&M favors (with Harry's picture on the label because I am nothing if not committed to my crafts) one minute and could be... gone...the next is unsettling to say the least. We will never forget Harry's first birthday party, and not for the reasons we thought we'd remember it.

But we'll remember it for those reasons, too, and here are a few pictures to show you what a lovely day it was.