Wednesday, May 26

The DFC

Doodles has a fan club. An honest-to-goodness fan club, and I'm not even in it. There are exactly two members in the Doodles Fan Club: Hannah and Wendy. The both readily agree that they're his number one fans although there's debate about who's president and who's vice-president of the club. Since Wendy will be getting married in two months, Hannah pretty much gets the presidency by default as it's been decided (again, I had no part in this) that Doodles is Hannah's boyfriend and future husband. Hannah is hilarious. Every time I see here, she'll say something like, "Can you believe he's already seven months, two weeks, and three days old?" She can come up with Doodle's age faster than I can. I heard from a reliable source that at an event that I was not even in a twenty-mile radius of, Wendy pointed out a baby to Hannah, who said, "Doodle's way cuter."

So here's the thing: I try to restrain myself from the constant public fawning about Doodles. I understand that no one (well, except for the DFC) cares about the minutiae of Doodles life like I do. While I'm constantly thinking, "He did the cutest thing yesterday!" what I'm saying is, "Did you see the season finale of The O.C.?" I follow the advice given on Irony Central, which orders parents to limit themselves to three pictures of their child when they go out sans child. I don't (outside of family) volunteer what Doodles is doing.

So it was with great amusement that I attended a farewell party at BU for a former colleague, and I watched a poor unsuspecting woman's eyes glaze over as Hannah and Wendy kept interrupting each other to tell her just how adorable Doodles is, and oh, he did the cutest thing with his head, it's sort of like a head bob, no, no, it's like this! And then he was picking up Cheerios! I'd never seen him pick up Cheerios before! He sort of grabbed a whole pile into his hand and he tried to shove them in his mouth at once. And... I could see this poor woman desperately looking elsewhere to get away.

dig the blonde!I will say, though, that it does seem to be a mutual admiration society. Doodles is smitten with Hannah. When we go out, he can't keep his eyes off of her. We were at yet another BU farewell lunch (yes another; don't ask!) and Doodles spent the entire hour and a half with eyes glued on Hannah despite the cajoling and teasing by the ten other people at the table. The only thing that could distract him for a few moments was the overhead lights (for some reason, Doodles is fascinated by overhead lights and exit signs; and he goes absolutely wild for ceiling fans!). Can you believe it? Nine months old and already hot for the shiksas!

On My Mind

"Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. Ma ma ma ma ma ma." Hey, every time I say, "Ma ma," that lady with the milk comes running, getting all smiley, saying, "Here I am!" Let's try it again, "Ma ma." Yep, there she comes! Cool! What happens if I say it to that wall over there? "Ma ma." Nothing, huh. Guess that word doesn't work after all. I'm going to stand. Watch me stand. Watch...me...stand. Damn, I can't stand. But I want to stand! Waa waa waa! Oh look, the lady with the milk helped me stand. Ooh, a toy. Bang the top, bang the top. Neat noises. Now the noises are bad. Waa waa waa! Must have the toy on the other side of the room. If I just lift my butt and wiggle my hips back and forth, I can make it across the rug. Wait, I seem to be farther away. How am I going backwards? Waa waa waa! If I throw my body--yes, that's it! That works! I've made it forward just enough that if I stretch my arms allllll the way out...yes! I've got the toy giraffe. Giraffe, meet my mouth! Mmmm, toy giraffe. Life is complete. For the next thirty seconds. "Va va va va va. Da da da da da."

Yes, Yet Another Peep Entry

Speaking of fan clubs, this entry started out as my lament that the biggest problem with summer is it's the longest stretch of the year without a peep-related holiday. However, a quick peep at the peeps Web site shows me that they now make summer peeps!! And then, who knew? There's a Peeps Fan Club! True, not as exciting as the Doodles Fan Club, but very cool nonetheless. How have I gone this long without knowing about it? How has Doodles made it to be nine months old without owning his very own Child's Peeps Shirt? I had thought I had it all before. Turns out I was wrong. This is all I had been missing:
peepster!

Wednesday, May 19

Husbands Just Don't Understand

And, yes, for the record, there is nothing innately wrong with the word "husband," as there is with "wife."

After plying me with a bottle of wine, Adam said tonight, "There's nothing in the house for dessert." I remind him that we have individually sealed bars of biscotti, but he takes a quick look at them and tells me, "Uh, no we don't." I still can't figure out how those bugs got through the plastic wrap, but there you go. These are things I'm better off just not thinking about.

"Make cookie dough!" I suggest. Adam, surprisingly, agrees. Adam does probably about 50 to 70 percent of the dinner cooking in this household, but generally, I do all of the baking. I learned why when Adam had difficulty stirring the chips into the dough. But that's not my point here.

The dough is made and Adam begins to put it in nice neat rounds on the cookie sheets. I of course dive in with my spoon. "What are you doing?" asked Adam. "What do you think?" I responded, licking the creamy goodness from my spoon. I will say, stirring ability aside, Adam makes a mean cookie dough.

I'd retreat to my computer and then return for more dough. "Stop doing that!" yelled Adam. "It's not good for you! You're a mother now! You have to eat well." (Correction: Adam just said, "It's not that you have to eat well. It's just that you can't eat things that will poison you.") I just don't understand his problem. It's not like I said to him, "Hey, Adam, make cookies!" I was very explicit. "Make cookie dough." It's not like I care what happens to the dough once I'm done with it.

(Note after the fact: I am, actually, eating one of the cookies. And it is good. Not as good as the dough was, but as good as a baked cookie can be.)

You Can't Go Home Again

Mark this date down: On May 12, 2004 at 1:43 p.m. EDT, after a mere 8 1/2 months of parenting, Adam and Jenny resorted to the thing they swore they would never resort to. Pure bribery. Doodles, after hour four, started to get fidgety and after trying toys, walking, and doing the chicken dance (which, on land, works wonders), the magic of Cheerios calmed him right down. Nothing like setting a good precedent.

So we the prodigal children returned to Seattle. And oh what a trip it was. Traveling 3,000 miles with a wee child is a recipe for disaster, but remarkably Doodles was amazing the entire time. I think I got more overwhelmed than he did. I had visions of Adam, Doodles, and I wandering the old neighborhoods, relaxing in coffee shops, and generally enjoying a slow-paced vacation. Of course I didn't realize that five mere days isn't nearly enough time to visit all of our friends (hey, I did live in Seattle for eight years--the longest I've lived consecutively in any one city). Our days were crammed with going from here to there to there. It was exhilarating, for sure. But relaxing? Not really.

Returning to Seattle was a little surreal. The place didn't feel like home, but it was too familiar to be just another town we were visiting. I knew exactly where we were going at all times, but occasionally, I just couldn't remember the way to get there. It was strange driving down streets and feeling the flood of familiarity but still being unsure about which way to turn.

We imposed on our friends J., M., and their daughter E. You know the old saying, "House guests, like fish, stink after three days." So I was worried about imposing on them for five nights. Hopefully we weren't too much of a burden on them, but it was the most comfortable house stay we've ever had. They had a lovely set-up for us and because E. is two, they had every toy imaginable for Doodles to occupy himself with. In fact, Doodles pulled himself up for the first time ever on their Intelli-Table (which I promptly then ordered for us off of eBay. And E. is simply the cutest little girl ever. It was an eye-opening view of what we're in for when Doodles hits the terrible twos (and really E. isn't terrible at all), but we also got a great role model for what we should do: J. and M. handled her so well. The best thing about E.? She liked my singing. Which means her parents should probably have her hearing checked.

The trip was a blur. We visited with lots of friends, toured the new Hillel with our absolute favorite rabbi of all time, ate tons, and generally had a wonderful time. We had dinner at A. and D.'s house on the East Side. Brunch at Green Lake with the KAG was superb. Andy cooked, once again, an amazing brunch (chocolate and vanilla waffles plus frittata!). Coffee with Dave and Diana (will you update your blogs already? And for goodness sake, bring Z. along next time!). Our buddy Sang threw us an amazing BBQ so we could hang with some of our Amazon friends. All in all, it was an incredible weekend.

Of course being there stirred up old emotions and made me (and Adam) question our decision to stay in the Boston area. There's so much I miss about Seattle, such as:
  • Our friends. Duh.
  • The lushness and greenness of the city. I remember so clearly crossing into Washington from Oregon after my three-month road trip. Washington just seemed so much more alive! It was July 2, 1994, and my whole life felt ripe with possibility. It was an electric feeling and Seattle certainly lived up the expectations.
  • The housing costs. Everyone in Seattle thinks that housing prices are insane, but they haven't been to the Boston area.
  • Hugo House. There is simply no equivalent in the Boston area (and don't tell me about Grub Street or Brookline or Cambridge Adult Ed. They don't compare in any way shape or form!).
  • The runs. There are plenty of places to go running in Boston but they're all out-and-back types of runs. The Minuteman, the Charles. The only loop I know of is Fresh Pond, which is short and not that pretty. I long for Green Lake, Seward Park, Golden Gardens, the Burke Gilman, just to name a few.
  • The restaurant culture. Boston has so many wonderful restaurants. But they're, for the most part, upscale places. Seattle is full of wonderful neighborhood places where you can get a fabulous meal for under $20. The Dish (you must, must, must order the Slacker Especiale), Hattie's Hat, Agua Verde (oh the view from there!), and a zillion other places. Boston has no breakfast culture. Seattle is all about breakfast (and I would kill right now for the Cheese-Baked Eggs at the Hi Spot Cafe, the one thing I regret not getting on this trip). There are a few places that open before 11, but not many. (And if anyone reading this has suggestions on places for early morning breakfasts--we already know about Renee's and Zaftigs--please tell me!)
Part of us (yes, "us." We talked about this) was ready to pack up and head back. But as much as we missed Seattle, we know there's no going back. You can't just slip back into your old life, especially with a little Doodles. All of our friends are in different stages of their lives and frankly, so are we! Besides, what would we do with ourselves? What kind of work would Adam find and what would I do with myself? Things click in Boston and as much I long for all the things Seattle has to offer, we're here and I plan on making the best of it.

I'm sure there's more to report on our trip, but Adam fed me almost an entire bottle of wine with dinner, so I can't think of any of it now. Suffice it to say, Seattle good.

On Flying

Mommy just doesn't understand me. I enjoyed the flight from Seattle to Boston. But there was so much to see and do! Who wants to just sit in the car seat? I tried to tell her what I wanted, but she seemed to be willfully ignoring me. After all, it couldn't be easier to understand me: Stand! Stand! I want to stand! Look, I'm standing. I'm holding onto the back of the seat. The back of the seat. Mmmmm, the yummy back of the seat. If I could just get my entire mouth wrapped around this seat, I'd just be so happy. No, no, no! I want to sit RIGHT NOW! Sit me down! Now, now, now! Okay, I like sitt--I changed my mind, I changed my mind! I want to lie with my head on your shoulder. Oh, that's nice. Quick, quick, where's my finger? Where's my finger? WHERE DID I LEAVE THAT FINGER--oh, here it is. Nice finger. But why is my head on Mommy's shoulder? I want to stand! Didn't I make that clear? I'm standing, I'm standing. Some guy in the next row thinks he's funny. He's making faces at me. I'm just staring. And staring. Ha ha ha ha! I guess he is funny! Why am I standing when I could be sitting? Sitting is no good. Wait, what's this? Mommy's trying to give me a toy. A toy? Who wants a toy? Mmm, the airplane magazine. That airplane magazine is good. Nibble nibble nibble. I can't believe she's letting me suck on the magazine. Nibble, nibble, nibble. Oh this is neat! Pieces of the magazine are coming off in my mouth! Hey! Where are you putting my magazine? Give it back! Arch back, arch back! Mommy, I don't want to stand, I don't want to sit, I don't want to lean against you. DON'T YOU DARE PUT ME BACK INTO THE CAR SEAT OR I WILL SCREAM SO LOUDLY THEY'LL HEAR IT OVER THE AIRPLANE NOISE TEN ROWS BACK! Let me crawl. I don't care if I can't actually crawl. Put me down. Okay, walk me. I don't care about a seat belt sign, WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE NOW! Why are you handing me to Daddy? I WANT MOMMY! That's better. I think I'll sit--no, stand--no, sit--no, stand--no, arch my back, arch my back--now. And only four hours and twenty-three minutes to go!

On the New Blogger

Yes, the comments feature on this sucks. But at this point I'm going to just leave it. Not that many folks comment anyway and hopefully they'll improve the feature. Sometime when I'm feeling more motivated, I'll go back to the old comments so those of you who aren't Bloggers don't have to be "anonymous."

Tuesday, May 11

Playing With New Looks

This is just a Blogger template. What do you think? Better? Worse (the old one can come back)? The same? (It's like going to the eye doctor: Can you see better out of one? Or two? One? Two?)

Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma

Every time Doodles starts chanting "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma," I run up to him, put my face in his face, and say, "Mama's right here sweetheart. Mama is right here," hoping that one of these days he'll make the connection. So far all he does is look up at me as if I'm a crazy lady and switches his babble to a different sound. "La-la-la-la-la-la." Lately he's been working on his s sounds.

Tweedle Twirp came to spend the weekend with us, and she wanted to meet up with a high school friend, J., who now lives here. J.'s older brother is the one who got married in Tulsa last week. In high school, J. and I weren't close at all--after all, he was just my best buddy's kid brother--but now that we're all grown-ups, we've become friendly and I really like his wife a lot. We see each other every six months or so and always have a good time. I called him up to confirm our Saturday plans and he said, "Well, can you do brunch on Sunday? I know a great place that only has brunch on Sunday." I hesitated, and finally I said, "You know, Sunday is Mother's Day." J. said, sounding surprised, "Oh, is your mother coming to town?" "No," I said. Again I hesitated, because the words sounded so alien coming from my mouth. "But, you know, I'm a mother." Dead silence from his end. Finally he says, "Yeah, I just keep having problems wrapping my head around that."

Which leads me into Mother's Day. My first. And so far, I can honestly say, it's the best one I've ever had. We started the day with the Melrose Run for Women, a 3.5 mile race. I didn't have my finest mother moment that morning--I packed a breakfast for Adam to feed Doodles while I ran, but I forgot to pack a spoon, so Adam frantically drove around Melrose at 8:30 on a Sunday morning looking for someplace that had a plastic spoon. The race itself was terrific. It turned out to be a fairly cold morning, but I warmed up as soon as the race got underway (I will say that Doodles was dressed just right. I always tend to dress him more warmly than myself). I ran the beginning at what I thought was my normal running pace, and it turns out I'm a bit faster than I thought. I had been under the impression that I ran 11- or 12-minute miles. But the first three miles I was doing 10-minute miles and I pulled it out the last half mile to finish in 33:37. I know that for the majority of the running world, this is still incredibly slow, but it makes me happy that I'm starting to get back into running shape.

After breakfast, Adam and Doodles presented me with flowers, chocolates, and a c.d. I had really wanted. Doodles also made me a lovely card (and how smart is he? How many 8 1/2 month olds do you know who know how to use Photoshop?). Of course, it was really my second card from Doodles: he came home from day care on Friday with a lovely gold glitter hand print for me. His first art work. You can be sure it's already on the fridge.

The rest of the day was brunch with Adam's family at Rubin's (where I almost embarrassed myself for asking for sour cream for my potato pancakes before I remembered the meat-serving deli was kosher), dropping Tweedle Twirp off at the train station, and a nap for me! A perfect day for an almost-perfect mother (stop laughing! I said almost).

Early Posts

We're off on a grand adventure so this week's post comes a day early and will be a bit shorter as I don't plan on being up till midnight packing yet again. (At least, that's the plan. We'll see what the reality is.)

Make Way for Ducklings!

Unfortunately, Mother's Day was rainy so we didn't go out of our way to watch the Duckling Parade. Based on Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, the parade features kids, kids, kids dressed up as baby ducks. You know that next year there's going to be one Doodles Duck joining the parade in the Commons.

Experimenting

Bear with me as I try to figure out Blogger's new features. I'm switching to their commenting format, which means I lose old comments, but I wasn't that thrilled with my old commenting service, so it's worth a try. But the page will probably look ugly until I sort this all out.

Wednesday, May 5

Losin' It

Adam said last week, "There's not going to be any panicking." Knowing that that was as false a statement as could ever be uttered, I wrote it on the white board on our fridge. I wanted to have it, right there in front of our faces, when the statement was proven to be the absolute lie that it obviously is.

But here's the catch. I haven't the foggiest notion what the heck this statement was in reference to. So maybe there was panicking; maybe there wasn't. I'll never know. But if I leave it up on the fridge long enough, I'm sure there will eventually be panicking over something and I'll be able to say, "See! I knew there would be panicking!" Ahem.

G-mail Evaluation

So far, I'm pretty impressed by Google's gmail. The conversation mode is terrific and the search function is amazingly fast and good. Yes, there are ads (not in the mails--in the mailbox) but they're very well targeted. I'm impressed at what good matches they are. There are some things that I'd like changed such as when a conversation changes subject, it would be nice if it was separated out from the original conversation. I'm still experimenting with the labels, so I'll let you know how that goes. The biggest problem is that I've had a Yahoo account for so long and switching is such a pain. But I think slowly but surely I'll be migrating things over. By the way, I can "invite" two friends to open gmail accounts. I already used one invitation, but if you want a gmail account, drop me a line.

Oklahoma, Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain

Tulsa, Oklahoma. What's there to say about Tulsa, Oklahoma? Well, for starters, that's where we were this past weekend. Why would anyone in their right minds spend a random weekend in Tulsa? For a wedding, of course. And why would I know anyone getting married in Tulsa? Because my best buddy from high school is, shall we say, a tad penurious. He's spending (no pun intended) a year in Tulsa doing a cardiology fellowship. When he saw how much it cost to get married at home in Miami and how much it cost to get married in Tulsa, Tulsa it was! He's very lucky his new wife is such a good sport.

ties suck!The pressure is on for this entry because Jennifer and Teener Tuna will be counting on me to say something deprecating about them, the weekend, or both. But the truth is, our weekend away was delightful and they weren't too bad themselves. Doodles was a charmer on the flight down, and despite a bit o' bad weather, the weekend was relaxing and enjoyable. His only temperamental moment came when we tried to put a tie on him (Adam declared, "He must be a Democrat") and he got fussy during the actual ceremony. But Adam quickly whisked him off and after a quick nap in the car on the way to the reception, Doodles was his old wonderful self again.

Here are some random thoughts about the weekend:
  • Tulsa. Well, I didn't really see much of Tulsa, but boy, does that town have it's share of guns and God. You couldn't go more than a few feet without running into a gun shop, a church, a shooting range, a fellowship, or a billboard advertising one of the two (my favorite: Guts Church).
  • At the rehearsal dinner, the bride's family was attempting to work the CD player. Adam sat there and watched. He leaned over conspiratorially to me, Jennifer, and Teener Tuna and said, "I could fix that in less than two minutes." When he was prodded to go fix it, he said, "Nah. I'm not the tech rep of this wedding." At least he found himself amusing. And after a half hour, he finally got up and helped out at the CD player. Sure enough, seconds later, music came blaring through. Adam came back and said, "I wish I could say it was a wiring thing, but actually they were just putting the CDs in upside down."
  • How cool is it to hear the opening strains of "I Will Survive" from the CD player but instead be serenaded by "Yo Vivire" (the bride is Cuban).
  • The rehearsal dinner meal. Oh my, this is some of the best BBQ I've ever had, hands down. And Braum's ice cream and hot fudge for dessert. I'll have to run a marathon to work off everything I ate. Oh, wait. I already am!
  • The food in general. Brunch at the Rendezvous Restaurant at the Gilcrease Museum was surprisingly yummy. The wedding cake was chocolately goodness. And I'm still dreaming of those ribs.
  • Well, the funniest moments can't be repeated in the blog. Because 1) they won't make sense because most of it was stupid reminisces about high school and 2) someday Adam will be a respected businessman and it won't help him to have stories about his female better half's (still hate the word "wife") semi-legal misdeeds as a youth posted on the Internet. These are the times when I wish I kept an anonymous blog.
  • The bride and groom made lovely baskets that were waiting for us at the hotel. Ours had BBQ sauce, fry bread mix, a horse that Doodles adored, and 101 Fun Things to Do in Tulsa. It's filled with many good suggestions (visit the ORU campus, walking tours, and the like ). However, some are, well, they're just so Tulsa. Like "Laugh at a 'Smoke-Free, Smut-Free' Comedy Club." And how about "Do the Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest" (can you imagine a New York or Boston guidebook advertising the chicken dance)? And you can "Stretch Yourself with Pilates." Because that's something you just can't do anywhere else.
  • Tulsa is a tree town. All along the highway are sings that read "Up with Trees" with the name of someone on it (who I assume donated all those up-growing trees). I, of course, entertained myself endlessly by yelling out "Up with Trees" every time we saw the sign, which might have been amusing if they hadn't been placed so close together.
  • A minor rant: American Airlines won't let people with the massive car seat, multiple diaper bags, and squirmy babies preboard anymore. We asked, and were told, "Nope. You have to board with your group." Even worse was the poor woman who was traveling alone who had to get everything down the aisle alone. So next time someone smacks you in the leg with a mammoth car seat as s/he tries to get down that narrow aisle or you're stuck in the aisle waiting for some family to get settled, know it's the airlines fault that they didn't get into their seat early.
  • I feel like I should say something mean about Jennifer and Teener Tuna. After all, I'm still bitter I didn't get invited to Jennifer's wedding (and yes there's a story there, and no, I won't tell it). But Jennifer did good by providing me with the most adorable cousins and she makes me laugh with her blow-dried hair and Teener Tuna is simply amusement in and of herself, so I'll just end this all here.