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July 2008

From the I've Been Meaning To Post This File

I've been planning to write this post for, oh, nearly fifteen months? And I haven't quite gotten around to it because, oh, it seems about five hundred percent less important than it did fifteen months ago? Something like that.

If you are one of those poor souls who have nothing better to do and have been hanging around this website since the pre-Jackson days, you may remember some neurotic handwringing (a Mighty Maggie specialty!) over having myself a half Asian half white baby. Culture! Language! Food! WILL HE LOOK LIKE ME?

And the Internet says to itself, "THANK GOD HE DOESN'T." (Also! Gratuitous third trimester photo! Oh, the horror! Now stop asking!)

I might not have written as much about that last one, but I confess it's the one that took up most of my thinking time. For someone who had done plentiful research on international adoption and who claimed to not care about biological ties, I was pretty concerned about whether or not my kid was going to look like me. I am well acquainted with over a dozen hapa babies and they fill the whole spectrum, from "you would never ever guess that kid has an Asian parent" to "you would never ever guess that kid has a white parent." But I think I assumed, maybe because I knew he was a boy, that I was having a mini Phillip. Not that I wasn't excited to unleash another Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Boy on the world, but gosh I hoped I could find some of me in his face.

When he was born I couldn't find any trace of myself in that wrinkled old man face. But I couldn't find any trace of Phillip either. He started filling out a bit and right around then, even though I still couldn't see any resemblance to me OR Phillip, I had absolutely no doubt that he was the cutest boy in the universe. (Note: I did not think this until he started to gain weight. Until then I was certain that he was the cutest wrinkly old MAN in the universe.)


Because... I just think that's what you THINK. I don't know how many times I've been in waiting rooms or play groups or church and thought, "There are some really cute kids here! But none of them are as cute as Jack." AND I BELIEVE THAT. Even though I am well aware that children are not made equally adorable, but I sincerely doubt that any one of us thinks our own kid falls into the lesser category.

Not MY kiddo.

And that sort of negated the whole Will He Look Like Me thing. I still don't think he looks anything like me. I don't think he looks like Phillip either. Some people say he looks a little like Phillip, some people (mostly Phillip's family) says he has some of my dad's features, but for the most part the comment is, "He's a good mix."

I suppose this is why I haven't spent one iota of time wondering about what New Baby is going to look like. Wait, that's not exactly true. I do wonder whether she'll look like Jack, the way my brothers and sisters and I are so obviously related. Or if she'll look different, the way I would never guess that Phillip and his brother are from the same family. But I don't care if she doesn't look like me. She probably won't. That's probably a good thing. (See gratuitous third trimester photo.)

I wondered if having a mixed race baby was going to throw me into spirals of Doubt and Confusion and Guilt. I suppose there's still time for that, seeing as how he's not really old enough to know he's got one Chinese parent and one Caucasian parent. But right now it's more Puffed Out Pride in how beautiful my kid is- MY kid.

Even if he's got a plug in his mouth. And for God's sake, can someone please remind me to brush my hair once in a while?

And for you advice-givers, I'm at Parenting today asking what I'm supposed to do with my kid when we go to the hospital. I'm guessing I can't pack him in my bag.

Who's in charge here?

Before I had Jack, when I imagined what kind of parent I would be, I saw myself as fairly no nonsense. I didn't plan to be Miss Hannigan or anything, but I had some definite ideas about what my kid would and would not be doing. The Internet educated me on all the different parenting styles and philosophies and I felt I landed on the stricter side of the spectrum. I didn't have any issues with cry-it-out, if necessary. I would not be a short order cook. My kid would eat and sleep in specified places. Schedules would be adhered to.

I've known for a while now that I am not as tough as I thought I was. You could say I'm a softie, but I think 'lazy' would also be an accurate qualifier. For example: I can't stand it when toddlers drag their sippy cups around with them. Why can't they have a drink of water and then put their cup down in the kitchen? Or sit at the table? Well, guess whose kid not only drags his sippy cup around with him, but so violently sloshes it around that I am constantly finding little puddles on the floor? I could be a real stickler on this and insist on drinking in one place and leaving his cup where he found it, but it turns out I'd rather not have that battle eighty times a day. I'd rather mop up puddles.

But with other things, I'm just not as rule abiding as I planned to be. When he was born I had no idea how much I would love "wearing" my baby. I don't know if I ever laid that kid down for a nap until he was two or three months old. At the time I was just doing what felt right, but now I look back and think, "Seriously? I did what?" Even when Jack was responding well to crying-it-out and he was sleeping longer and better and everyone's lives were getting easier, I still managed to have giant fights with Phillip about whether or not we were doing the right thing. And if Jack is about to have a meltdown in the high chair, there are definitely times when I finally let him out and collapse on the couch with a bowl of macaroni and cheese, depositing spoonfuls in his mouth whenever he deigns to drop by for a bite.

For the most part I make my peace with all of this. I try to standardize things in our house and I try to make sure he knows what he's supposed to be doing, but sometimes I don't want to deal. Or I'm tired and pregnant and do not have the energy or stamina to force an issue.

Other times I am gripped with Oh My God I'm Doing Everything Wrong Terror.

Jack has been a terrible napper lately. He has not had a consistent nap schedule for the last four months, I kid you not. He'll do two naps for a few weeks, then switch to one nap for another couple of weeks, then revert to two- I never know. And I've been a lot happier since the day I decided I was no longer going to freak out about the nap schedule. But the last week has been insane. Three hour afternoon naps. Twenty minute catnaps. An hour in the morning and nothing in the afternoon. And my personal favorite: no nap at all. I've decided to blame this on the recent appearance of molars and I'm leaving it at that. Like everyone says, in two weeks he'll be frustrating me with something else.

But then two nights ago he came down with a fever. (That has since disappeared. I blame the teeth!) And last night he barfed up his dinner (barfing seems to be what he does when he's A Little Bit Off) and would not go to bed, even though it'd been one of those no afternoon nap days. I thought for sure he was exhausted, but he wouldn't go to bed, and the crying he was doing in the crib was of the Freak Out variety, not the I'm Getting My Grumpies Out So I Can Fall Asleep variety. So we got him up and Phillip, because he is always super concerned about the state of Jack's stomach, ended up feeding him more dinner around 8:30 at night.

I was sitting here thinking, "THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT." Why can't we get him to go to bed? Should we be feeding him this late at night? No wonder he has no schedule! What is wrong with us? WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WRONG.

You all know how much I hate the nap thing, but the discipline issue is where I think I feel the most out of control. I have yet to get anything other than a laugh when I say "No." I can be mean and stern and scary and hand swatty, but he still goes right back to the oven, puts his finger on it and grins at me. It's a game. It's fun. I've had friends say, "I can't believe he laughs at you!" I've also had friends say their kids are doing the same thing, but it's still hard feeling like I'm not in charge. I'm the mom, I need to be in control. And so often I'm not, and so often I suspect that it is my own fault.

Anyway. I'm hoping for a Regular Kind of Day. I'm hoping yesterday was just a fluke so I can say, "Oh, it was just a fluke. It's okay to have flukes."

The better things

I just sent a preview of the website I'm building to my client. And now I am writing here so I stop thinking about throwing up. One thing though: Phillip was pointing out that 99% of the world uses Internet Explorer and how I should be looking at how my pages render in IE as well as Firefox and I KNOW THAT except I FORGOT and now I see that I have something stupid to fix and can I just say PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD USE FIREFOX PLEASE.

All right! Not throwing up!

Today was better. Which is good because today tonight I am writing about How Things Are Better.

Thing Number One!
I don't remember when it started and I don't know how long it lasted, but with Jack I had several rather memorable nights of Surely This Is Going To Kill Me Heartburn. Like, heartburn so bad I nearly called my pharmacist friend in the middle of the night because I KNEW she had a giant bottle of Zantac left over from her pregnancy and I'm sorry but Tums were NOT cutting it. There were nights when I had to sleep propped up in bed lest my insides be burned up by my horizontal position. When I would wake up in the middle of the night wondering if this is what it felt like to drink battery acid. When Phillip was calling his lawyer to see if the court would accept "heartburn" as the reason on the divorce papers. Also? Tums? DISGUSTING. Oh man. I could barely choke those things down. But with this baby I've had minimal occasional barely annoying heartburn AND I found a version of Tums I can stand to put in my mouth. Excellent!

Thing Number Two!
My skin? WAY better with New Baby than with Jack. I think I've had exactly one red eruption on my face since January. And did I mention that those gross calluses on my feet totally went away? I know, like you want to hear about my feet (NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT FEET) but you GUYS. Here I was thinking that I was going to have these weird little bumps on the bottom of my foot until the day I died, that I'd end up going to the foot doctor at age eighty-four and saying, "Yes, Doctor, I wore stupid shoes in my youth", AND NOW THEY ARE GONE. And even though this happened with Jack too, I love the thicker hair and the long fingernails. My usual mode is Thin and Stringy and Bitten To The Quick, but pregnancy is like a little hair and nails oasis. (Although, because my hair started falling out at 3 months post-partum and then started growing back about 6 months post-partum, I have all these short chunks of hair that stick out and look totally weird. WHATEVER.)

Thing Number Three!
Guess who has successfully avoided the evil store that rhymes with Botherhood Fraternity? ME. I have spent WAY less money on stupid maternity clothes and the money I DID spend I spent on things I actually liked wearing. GO ME.

Thing Number Four!
No one is bothering me about a Small Baby. Although there is still time for that, I suppose.

Thing Number Five!
I haven't had time to worry about all the things I worried about with Jack. It's not that I am NOT worried about those things. I am well aware of the Horrible Things That May Happen. Of course I am nervous about The Newborn Stage and What Kind Of Baby I Will Get. But I don't have time to think about it! Even when I come across blogs where the Horrible Thing has happened, I don't fall into a pit of terror. Someone is whining for his goldfish crackers and I must snap to attention. You know? So yes, having a toddler while pregnant is exhausting, but it's definitely helped in the Psychological Department. (These crazy anxiety-inducing hormones, though, are an entirely different story. I mean, you should hear the things I've been anxious about. They are not even REAL. But I am not talking about those things! Only the better things!)

Thing Number Six!
Thing Number Six isn't something I've thought much about since I first got pregnant, but it bears repeating. It may be the best better thing. Thing Number Six is: this baby appeared out of the blue. (Well, not ENTIRELY, but you know, as blue as it is possible to be in my obsessive-compulsive world.) The lead up to my first pregnancy, while a tropical BREEZE compared to internet standards, was still a time period in which I managed to Bring The Drama. Like, a lot. For all I knew baby number two would require the same emotional work. But no. Baby Number Two just HAPPENED. And even though I freaked out and was even sort of angry about donating my body to an alien creature so soon after the first go round, it was so nice, so very very wonderful, to not have to do the emotional work.

And there is your yearly dose of positive thinking! Are we all gagging on our coffee? Shuddering at the Sappy Cheer and Irritating Good Humor and Annoying Glass Half Fullness? Then it would be my duty to inform you that while the boy napped today (OR ELSE I WOULD BE DEAD), he also went to bed with a FEVER. OH JOY.

Posted tonight because there will probably be no nap tomorrow either

Today? Sucked.

Put molars, no nap, a baby who has lodged herself firmly under my rib cage with plans to stay there for at least the next six weeks, deadlines, dirty dishes, hormones, lack of decent sleep, and oh yeah did I mention MOLARS and NO NAP and put them all in the food processor and push "Puree". The resulting sludge equals my day.

I lurched out of bed this morning, determined to take some ownership in this baby rearing thing as Phillip has been doing the morning routine on his own for weeks now. He'd already been up for an hour in the middle of the night sitting with a miserable and wide awake baby so the diaper change and breakfast readying was the least I could do. Phillip got an extra hour of sleep and all was well until I strapped myself into the car for the ride to church and felt that by now familiar gut bursting feeling. As in, how in the world do I have six weeks left because there is no more room in there.

I have no idea why church is so crazy uncomfortable. I can't sit or stand without feeling short of breath. I don't even bother kneeling anymore. I spent most of Mass thinking back to my pregnancy with Jack, trying to remember what it was like. I know for a fact that mere days before his birth I was thinking to myself, "Gee, pregnancy's not so bad, I could totally do this for a few more weeks!" And here I am, with at least six weeks left to go, AND I AM DONE.

And from that point on I was The Grumpiest Woman Alive. Don't touch me, don't talk to me, don't ask me anything, don't need anything. Not even the doll I bought for New Baby on Saturday could snap me out of my funk.
When Hello Kitty does not put a smile on your face, things are Looking Dour.

Then Jack didn't nap [INSERT GASP OF SURPRISE] and I didn't get the relaxing afternoon I was hoping for and did I mention POOR PHILLIP? Because not only am I Grumpy, I am shuffling about the house like an invalid, clutching my stomach and complaining about my back and bemoaning how much I ate at our friends' barbecue.

Phillip took care of Jack all day. He put the crib together. When he ran into Trader Joe's to buy brownies for our friends' barbecue (like I was going to BAKE them, AS IF) he came out with a tub of brownies for the barbecue and a giant chocolate bar for his wife. He did not plug his ears when I fretted about my deadlines and my utter ineptitude with Photoshop. He fed the boy dinner. He put the boy to bed. He is currently leaving me to My Internet and will obediently follow me upstairs when I announce I'm going to sleep.


He even suggested Jack and I meet him for lunch tomorrow, which I don't understand because work = escape from whiny wife and teething child. Would YOU want to meet us for lunch?

And tonight someone said to me, "I would NEVER guess you're due September 10!" Granted, I was sitting down with Jack on my lap, but STILL. I'm not quite sure what to do with that. I either feel horrified, that I must look this elephantine when I'm NOT pregnant, or guilty, because I'm not that big, why am I so grumpy?

If I eat that chocolate bar before I go to bed I'll get heartburn. DAMMIT. All right. Next post? Things that are better this time around. Believe it or not, some things are better. [INSERT ACTUAL GASP OF SURPRISE.]

Morning in our house

It's 8 in the morning and Jack is only now starting to make waking up sounds. I'm taking advantage of my Free Computer Time... Jack doesn't normally sleep so late, for those of you who are all, "EIGHT O'CLOCK? HOW DO I GET ONE OF THOSE?" But I will tell you how to get one of these on occasion: have him take one twenty-minute morning nap and maybe one twenty-minute afternoon nap the day before, then have him wake up at 3 in the morning yelling about his teeth? or a bad dream? or gas? who knows, and try to rock him back to sleep, hold him for a long time, have him wake up every time he goes back in his crib, then GIVE UP and let him CRY which you never do in the middle of the night because IT NEVER WORKS, but then have it work after fifteen minutes or so... THAT'S how you get a kid who wakes up at 8. And in my opinion he should be waking up at 9.

Thank God it's Friday. I'm thinking cheesecake for breakfast.

Today is supposed to be the last sunny day for at least a week, so like a true Northwesterner I must take advantage of it. We're supposed to be hanging out with Liz today and we might drag her to the wading pool, give her a taste of what's coming. I should probably water my flowers- you know those giant hanging baskets you can get at the grocery store? I bought one (my Mother's Day present to myself) and a few weekends ago I neglected to water it and now it looks like a very expensive basket of weeds. At least my zucchini are finally blossoming. I might even have a few cherry tomatoes. I've had grand plans for my little garden for two summers, but the garden is now part of my Hot By Thirty plan. I will be skinny (okay, skinny for ME) and my garden will be weed-free, landscaped and ACTUALLY GROWING THINGS.

Now it sounds like Jack is trying to dismantle the crib. Let's all take votes on how neglectful a mother I am for not bounding up there to get him out of bed.

Reading this over it sounds as if I may be in a less than stellar mood today. Excellent. I'm off to retrieve the boy and make us both giant stacks of waffles, to be slathered in butter and syrup, and possibly eaten in front of a TiVo'd episode of Shear Genius (which: damn Project Runway and their Shear Genius previews! Like I need another reality show obsession! I'm ALREADY hooked on America's Best Dance Crew!)

A thesaurus entry for "tired"

I couldn't think of anything to write yesterday, even with Princess Nebraska's writing prompt. I mean, there are only so many ways to say "I'm exhausted" and I'm pretty sure I've used most of them already.

I spent most of my day organizing the upstairs (while Jack hovered around me swinging his new toy, a wrapping paper tube I foolishly neglected to immediately recycle) and I think I can say it looks decent. His closet is emptied of everything unnecessary, space was made in the dresser for pink onesies and sleepers, the wardrobe is finally finished (we had to get Ikea to send us extra hardware) and all the pictures are up. I'm dying to give back the one baby item we still have on loan from friends, a swing we never ever used, but the friends are moving and it wouldn't be nice to just show up tomorrow morning, swing in hand. I vacuumed, I dusted, I placed the stuffed animals on the shelf just so. It was all very nesty and comforting, even with the repeated whacks from the wrapping paper tube.

I still have to set up the portable crib (thanks Mom!) and (even better) buy the girly bedding to go inside. Any recommendations for where to buy portable crib bedding? I'm thinking we'll keep the pack 'n play downstairs because OMG you guys, I am now completely freaking out over all the things I won't be able to do due to Two Babies and Two Flights of Stairs. I don't know why I'm so worried about this- plenty of people live in two story houses. What's one more story?! But I never rarely leave Jack on one floor while I'm on another. Sometimes I know I'm going to take two seconds to grab a pair of socks upstairs, or I get tired of trying to coax him to climb the stairs by himself and I haul the groceries up without waiting for him to go first. So now I have to make sure I can do everything on every floor. I want the pack 'n play in the living room so I can put New Baby down for naps without dragging Jack along. I'll need diapers and wipes in the living room AND my room (because we're not doing middle-of-the-night diaper changes in Jack's room.) I've worked hard to make Jack's room more play-friendly, because I think we might be spending a lot more time up there.

Don't even talk to me about how you go to Target with two babies. I'm not even sure how I get myself, two babies and their assorted luggage down the stairs and into the GARAGE.

I'm starting to feel that familiar anxiety tension in my shoulder blades. I don't know if I'm nervous about the baby coming or what. You are probably all thinking "DUH" but I don't know, a lot of times that shoulder blade tension is there because there's nothing on TV. As in: NO GOOD REASON. Note to self: schedule glorious pregnancy massage before you are so huge you are embarrassed to get a glorious pregnancy massage.

Have I mentioned I'm tired?

I wrote about months Eight through Twelve on Parenting today. I wonder if the Parenting editors are considering deleting my bio over there and replacing it with: WHINES A LOT.

Don't worry guys, I'm going to take over this blogging thing to SAVE US ALL.

Oooh! Oooh! What did you think of Project Runway last night? I thought [SPOILER!] Bettie Page and her vaguely reminiscent of Daniel V's orchid dress should have won. But that's because I think I like Bettie Page and can't stand The Suede. Oh well.

A Mighty Update

The Mighty Car
So I am loving my new car, folks. Really. I can't tell you how much sliding doors have improved my quality of life. And I think we are going to appreciate our little starter minivan even more when the new baby is here. It doesn't feel like a van (and I am Experienced in this area), it hauls all the gear, we don't break our backs trying to load Jack in his car seat and because it's only as long as our old Jetta, I have absolutely no problem backing it into our tight driveway and garage. Go me. I shall now sit back and wait for the Mazda people to thank me with the iPod package we couldn't afford to install.

(Except I will also tell you the things I don't like. 1) The front bumper is so low that I keep driving it into things. Like parking spot curbs. Don't tell Phillip. 2) I can't figure out how to get the groceries to stay in one place in the back, although I hear this is a problem for all cars with open back space. Not a huge deal, but I grimace every time I hear a canteloupe thump against the side of the car. 3) The gas mileage. KILLING ME. I don't think it's horrible, and considering the car I used to drove (Ancient Ford Explorer) it stacks up rather well! But with my Jetta I could drive to my folks' house and back without the needle moving whatsoever. Now I watch it go down a quarter tank. SO PAINFUL.)

The Mighty Nap Schedule

We had a few weeks of one consistent nap. We had a few weeks of two consistent naps. We had weeks and weeks of a Well Adjusted Mother, because she was being Flexible and Easy Going. SHOCKING. And today we had one hard-won nap in the morning and no afternoon nap. Which: fine. Except I tried two different times to get him to go down and both times involved hollering of the horror movie sort and I am SPENT. Phillip got home from work and as soon as he scarfed down his dinner, I disappeared. I've been decompressing on all the posts I haven't been able to read today due to the screaming and the whining and the PICK ME UP PICK ME UP.

The Mighty Birthday

It was lovely, thank you. There was the silliest movie I have ever seen (silly and AWESOME), cheesecake, a gift certificate for a pregnancy massage (THANK YOU GOD. And Phillip.), a picnic in the park, sleeping in and a bowl filled to the brim with Hershey Kisses. There was also birthday money, some of which I spent on (AND KEEP THE SNICKERING TO YOURSELVES) another diaper bag. I KNOW. Some of you may remember that I agonized more over my diaper bag decision than I did over the new car. Shallow! I ended up with this bag in the "perky perennials" print, which I positively adore. It is, perhaps, a bit loud, a bit bright, a bit embarrassing for Phillip to carry when he's taking a cranky Jack out of church, but I LOVE IT. Also? Super functional. It has a place for everything. However! Certain people (HI MOM) have been telling me I'll need a new bag for the new baby. I am DOUBTING this, because can I even CARRY two diaper bags, plus whatever else I have to drag around? But, you know, new bag! Whee! I'd been eyeing this bag, (sans monogram, ugh) and when I tallied up those birthday checks I was all, "IT WILL BE MINE." And I went and bought it today. In red. Love. Of course, it's completely impractical. It has one measly barely useful pocket. When it gets dirty it will be a pain to clean. The top does not snap or zip or lock or have any way of making sure a toddler doesn't dig around for his goldfish crackers when you are not looking. BUT I BOUGHT IT ANYWAY. Why? Because I think I WILL need two bags (those full days at Grandma's house require a lot of stuff) and I think my laptop will look very cute inside. What? And it is a little more, ah, grown up than my other bag. For when I am concerned about such things. Not that I AM concerned about such things, sniff, but I HAVE noticed that my friends carry black Skip Hop bags or canvas backpacks or, you know, bags that are not smothered in hot pink flowers and maybe SOMETIMES I want to fit in. (But not too much. I did buy the red one. Pretty!)   

The Next Mighty Baby

Is still in there and still making me uncomfortable. I swear, her feet are inside my lungs. I couldn't even STAND in church on Sunday, I couldn't BREATHE. I had to hunch over the pew in front of me, like I was 107 years old. I'm glad I liked being pregnant so much the first time because now? I AM OVER IT. Oh! And I think we have a name. Even though I have one or two misgivings I think it is The Name. Oh, by the way, I am taking a poll. My best friend from school has, in my opinion, a beautiful name, I love it, I loooove it, I totally wanted to use it. I even ASKED HER if I could use it. But Phillip nixed my idea because 1) it's a [Of This Place] name and we are not [Of This Place] and 2) it's SOMEBODY ELSE'S NAME. He did not care that I loooove this name, so it's out. Oh well. I have moved on. But do you agree with Phillip or me? (Hint: AGREE WITH ME.)

Whether or not to fall down on the job

At his one-year appointment, Jack's pediatrician asked us if he was saying any words. Phillip and I offered "DA!" as evidence that sound actually does emit from Jack's mouth, but we did have to admit that "DA!" covered everything from "Daddy" to "Doggie" to "The Roomba is coming to eat me." The pediatrician told us that if Jack didn't have one or two or three words by fifteen months, to schedule an appointment.

I didn't think much about this at first (hello! three months away!) but it settled into the back of my mind as The Deadline. As in: must say his first word by fifteen months OR ELSE.

On February 29, 2008 (not that I am obsessive about dates by ANY MEANS) Jack said "Mama". He said "Mama" THREE TIMES and my little sister was present which was extra useful when I needed her to say no, Maggie isn't making it up. But he never said Mama again, or anything else. That said! I want you to know that my level of Freak Out on this subject is pretty low. All kinds of people have told me this is no big deal, not unusual, boys are often slower on the talking thing, he IS communicating, blah blah blah (including you kind people!) and REALLY, I am not freaking out. In the past month or so there's been a communication explosion in our house- pointing, different sounds and tones of voice, facial expressions, different cries and yells, even babble that sounds like talking. Yesterday some friends with a baby visited and Jack took this baby over to the corner of the room where the Roomba lives, pointed at it and proceeded to "talk" to his friend. I imagine he was saying, "This is the Roomba, it tries to eat me, if I were you I'd stay away." So it wasn't English, but it was definitely some kind of starter version. And I can't count the number of people who've remarked, "Oh, he's going to start talking any minute," after listening to him.

Also, I have my mother and mothers of her generation constantly telling me it's No Big Deal. "Your sister didn't say her first words till she was fourteen," my mother said recently. "Remember? We called her 'Helen'?" (As in: Helen Keller. My family is MEAN, people, MEAN.)

As you know, I haven't spent a lot of time reading books about development or anything like that. As far as I can tell, Jack has hit all the appropriate milestones and seems to be Just Fine. If the doctor hadn't said anything I wonder if I'd even be thinking about it.

Still, I have The Deadline in the back of my head. Jack is fourteen months and a week or two and I am not sure whether to schedule an appointment with the doctor or pour another glass of wine and roll my eyes at the whole thing.

(This is also how I'm feeling about the Egg Allergy issue. I planned to give him eggs again a few months after his reaction (which would be about now, although I'm sort of nervous about it.) But the ped said I should also schedule an appointment with an allergist SO THE ALLERGIST CAN POKE HOLES ALL OVER MY BABY because, you know, allergies are a big deal and I don't want to fall down on the mommy job. DO I?)

It's great to drink to someone and I guess that you will do

We'll get to that talking thing later, all right? Because I have much more important news for today.


I don't really want to talk about it, but I feel twenty-nine deserves at least a passing mention. I mean, when I hit 28 I knew I was solidly in my Late Twenties, no more passing for Mid Twenties, but 29? Gah. Am OLD.

You may be heartened to hear that I do not feel this way about turning 30. Not at all. In fact, I am EXCITED to turn 30. When I am 30 I can say, "Be gone, twenties!" Because while my twenties have certainly been good to me (see: Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Man, Perfect Angel Baby, Perfect Angel Baby The Sequel) I've had quite enough of the Identity Crises and the What Am I Going To Do With Myselfs and the Why Don't I Feel Like A Grown Up Yets. Know what I mean? Because when you are 30 you are DONE with all of that. You are official. (You 30+ year-olds, don't try to tell me otherwise. My fingers are in my ears. LA LA LA.)

I have even started PLANNING MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY. Of course, I haven't exactly decided, but options abound! Maybe I can convince my girlfriends to leave the kids at home and go on a weekend trip! Maybe I will host a cocktail party! Maybe I will drop the kids with the grandparents and go away with my husband! MAYBE I WILL RENT A ROLLER RINK.

Of course, my biggest most important plan for turning 30 is to lose the baby weight. No really. I have been planning this pretty much since I found out I was pregnant and was going to be gigando for yet another summer. It took me 9 months to lose it all with Jack and I figure I can do that again. Right? RIGHT? And be back in my storage tub of cute summer clothes in time for my birthday. THIS IS THE PLAN. It's called "Hot By Thirty". Hee.

Anyway, I am Super Duper Serious about this and am warning you now about the wretched number of weight loss posts you are going to endure come fall. I'M SORRY.

But! Back to Twenty-Nine, Ho Hum. I have no big birthday plan this year, as I am too tired to do anything and also not allowed to drink gin. (BOO.) Jack and I are driving down to my parents' house (which perhaps is my best gift, as I have been Single Parenting all week and will now enjoy a day of passing off the baby work to my mom). I am hoping there will be cake. (Actually, with my family, there is always cake, birthday or no.) There will be dinner with my husband at one of the two Fancy-ish Restaurants in my parents' town. AAAAAAND I am going to see Mamma Mia with my sisters. I can't say I'm an Abba fan, but I am a huge Amanda Seyfriend fan. (On the application to Be My Friend you are required to write three pages on Lilly Kane: Why She Rocked.) Also: Colin Firth! Singing! On an island! MMM, DREAMY.

So! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Unbirthday to you! (Does anyone else know all the words to that song? LIKE I DO?)

TV and ice cream, my favorite things

In new baby news: If one more person tells me how tired I'm going to be, I will stab them with a plastic toddler fork. Read more at

In television news: for those of you whose TiVos, TiFauxs and DVRs did their job, what'd you think of this year's crop of Deezeyenerrz? I watched it live AND I recorded it. If I were a good little blogger I would go back and watch the episode all over, share my Top Three, give you my rundown on the Garments, who will be this year's Christian, Santino and Wendy Pepper etc. etc. But the truth is that I was working while I watched, and you know how the first episode has so many contestants you long for the days when it was just Christian and Jillian and Rami and Chris in the workroom? When you were attached to your characters and excited for Fashion Week and WHO ARE ALL THESE NEW PEOPLE INVADING PARSON'S?

That said. I kind of loved the girl who said she was going to be a "silent fashion assassin". I liked the girl with the big yellow flower in her hair. I suppose I should be rooting for the hometown boy, but GAH. (Also, he said he was from Seattle, but his bio says differently. Of course, if I were Blayne growing up in YAKIMA, I would have escaped to Seattle ASAP as well.)

Anyway, I promise to have a few more opinions once we whittle down the cast. Also, I promise not to be googling "css forms" while watching because wow, is that distracting.

Oooh! I DID want to tell you that on account of 1) passing my glucose test and 2) NOT HAVING GAINED ANY WEIGHT SINCE MY LAST APPOINTMENT I treated myself to an entire pint of Rocky Road ice cream while the deezeyenerrz ironed frat party cups and had meltdowns over their tablecloths. OH YES I DID. I haven't eaten ice cream since my You're Getting Too Fat Lecture (although I didn't exactly cut back on the Hershey Kisses and fudgesicles. Ahem.) IT WAS SO YUMMY. And because the pints were for 2 for six dollars, Phillip bought one and guess what HE HASN'T EATEN IT YET so I'm looking forward to another fabulous evening. At home. Alone. With my pint of ice cream. SIGH.

Anyway, I have a couple things I want to ask you, but I need to put the boy down for a nap and I don't have time to be Thorough. So for future blog topic reference, tell me: when did your kid start saying his first words?