Friday, August 25, 2006

More Incompetent than a Cervix...

Sometimes I wonder how people get the jobs they do. I wonder what they said or did in the interview that gave the employer the confidence that this person could indeed do they job they claim they can do. Once, at the private school at which I taught, an English teacher was fired because she claimed on her resume to have been published in Time Magazine and to have held some professorship somewhere. One would think the decision-makers would have checked these "facts" prior to hiring her, but somehow in Education, that doesn't always happen. It wasn't until a student's parent who actually did teach at the college the teacher claimed to have been on staff at, outted her as a liar, that she was escorted from the building and out of our lives. Why don't employers check more carefully before handing over a job to a moron?

Yesterday I was out to lunch with my friend Amy. I fed Ethan, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Ethan behaved like a pro. The waiter, however, seemed to be under the influence of something that made him very, very stupid. Whether he was sneaking out back to smoke up or he was naturally just that vacuous, we'll never know. But believe me when I say that he rivalled the dumbest of the dumb.

I am no one to complain about bad restaurant service; being a waitress would have to be one of my biggest nightmares. I doubt I would last through one night, what with the keeping track of who ordered what, remembering to smile, carrying giant plates of food without dropping stuff and let's not forget the math involved in settling checks. BUT...

He seemed utterly confused that we wanted food at all in the first place. "Can't you people just sit here quietly for awhile, then get up and leave?" Taking our orders seemed to confuse and pain him, even though it was as simple as "I'll have spaghetti and meatballs." Amy ordered spaghetti and meatballs. He asked if she wanted Alfredo sauce on it. Alfredo on meatballs?? i.c.k. He returned to our table no fewer than three times to reassure himself that he had our orders correct. Seriously...spaghetti and meatballs, people. And he wrote it down...this was not a fancy, "I'm so skilled I can recall your 5 course order off the top of my head. Go ahead make substitutions, I can handle it" sort of place. It was Bertucci's.

We were at a "bottomless salad bowl" place--he brought us two separate salads that had definite bottoms to them. Huh??? We longingly watched the table-sized bowls go by on other waiters' trays and cursed the lucky patrons who got that waiter. When Amy asked for more salad, our waiter seemed offended that we didn't appreciate what he clearly saw as the "individualized attention" he was giving us by deciding for us how much salad we were allowed to have. Finally, he caved (seriously, we had to put our collective foot down about the more salad thing), and brought us the "to be shared" bowl of salad.

When our entrees arrived, he stood at the table, holding each bowl up, hesitating, clearly unable to remember which one of us got what. Even after the whole "do you want alfredo sauce on your spaghetti and meatballs?" query to Amy, he didn't remember it was her who got the spaghetti and meatballs---with tomato sauce. We had to remind him. Please keep in mind, he had only taken the order moments earlier. It was lunchtime; you know there was no chef out back preparing each meal individually and taking 30 minutes to do so. All he had to do was reach into the big vat of spaghetti, put it in the bowl and bring it to the table.

By the time we had finished eating, Little E decided he was no longer content to nap quietly in his stroller and needed to hang out in mom's arms. That's fine, right? No problem to have a 3 month old lounging in mom's arms at a restaurant after a meal, right?

Well...unless your waiter decides to come over to the table and clears it by attempting to balance every plate, glass and utensil in one hand, creating a potential scenario in which plates, glasses and knives fly everywhere within inches of said 3 month old. Amy and I sat there, unable to see eachother through the "leaning tower of tablewear", but when the waiter walked away, our expressions said the same thing..."I cannot even believe this guy is for real!"

I left the restaurant irritated at the lousy service, but on the other hand, relieved to find that there really is something out there more incompetent than my cervix...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sleep Blogging...

Two quick notes before I begin:

1. CONGRATS to blogger KMW, of, and her husband. After months of anticipation and cerclage-y fun, they welcomed their baby boy into the world this week. Welcome, baby boy KMW!!

2. On a far less significant note, the slab of beef I threw into the crockpot yesterday turned out to be edible, and depending on the morsel of meat on your fork at any given minute, pretty tasty indeed. Some bites were like a mouthful of sand and I'm definitely not getting my own Food Network cooking show anytime soon, but at least it kept the pizza delivery guy from darkening our doorstep.

Now, onto my intended rant for the day...

Last night after getting up for the 4am feeding, I lay back down, my brain all abuzz with something that I apparently thought would be an excellent blog topic. I distinctly recall writing and revising said post in my head, in expansive detail, cracking myself up all the while. I remember thinking, "I should really get up, go downstairs and write this up now, so I don't forget it all." Then I thought, "How would I ever forget this gem? It's the best blog entry I've ever written!!" and drifted contentedly to sleep.

This is called "sleep blogging", because, internet, you know damn well I woke up this morning with absolutely NO idea what my greatest blog entry ever was actually about. I have only the vaguest memory that there was an idea, it was fantastic, and nearly completely written inside my head and now, alas, it is gone...lost somewhere in the recesses of the unused 90% of my human brain, never to be heard from again.

so instead, here--have a picture of the little man practicing his tummy time....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What a Crock

So when Husband and I got engaged, we partook in the time-honored tradition of gift-grubbing, I mean, registering for a variety of house-hold goods, the vast majority of which, we neither needed nor had the space for. (By the way, could I have more hyphenated words in that sentence?)

Something came over me when as we walked through the aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond. Maybe it was the heady power of toting the sku-gun (another hyphen!) or the shiney, shiney small appliances, but something akin to a really out of control sugar rush, or a dose of terbutaline (remember those??!) came over me and I suddenly needed one of everything, and it all needed to be stainless steel. Mini-food processor, cooking utensils and holder, measuring cups. I became a simple, simple girl who just wanted shiney stuff. And shiney stuff I got.

One of the shiney gifts Husband and I received was a crock pot. Neither of us knew a thing about cooking in a crock pot--is it called 'crock pottery'? I don't know. I'd never used one. I have no idea why I registered for one. The combination of the glinting stainless steel finish and the desire to channel a "short cut" version of June Cleaver in my new identity as wife? Who knows. There was something intriguing about throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pot, pressing a button and then coming back 12 hours later to...a meal. Isn't that just one step away from putting a little pill on a plate, wetting it with three drops of water and having an entire meal just sprout up before your eyes? That only happens in cartoons, but a crock pot! That's real life!

So after countless trips to the "pre-prepared meal" and sushi sections of our local Whole Foods, I decided enough was enough. I was never going to channel June Cleaver with these yuppy urban habits of mine. Something had to change.

Out comes the crock pot...and in goes a big chunk of meat. Meat and potatoes and carrots and mushrooms and celery and onion. There was some confusion about the whole "coat the meat in flour and brown it" segment of the directions...a giant pot roast looks pretty stupid in a frying pan; and then there's the issue of how do you turn a big old slab of meat like that without spattering fat all over the place? Spatulas seem inadequate.

And how do you coat a big old hunk of meat with flour? I think I might have channelled Lucille Ball more than June Cleaver. I realize now that perhaps I should have taken the roast out of the frying pan and rolled it around in the flour, but instead I sort of tossed flour on the roast as it sat in the pan, then rolled it over a little with the aforementioned inadequate spatula and tossed more flour on it. There was a lot of flour flying in my kitchen this morning at 8:30. And I noticed that flour and beef juice makes a glue that is really hard to dig out from under your fingernails. Good times...

And so we wait. For pot roast or the pizza delivery guy...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eat here, Get gas....

Aside from the fact that people are still trying to blow up planes, and this time with such materials as will necessitate my tasting my own breastmilk going through security to prove it's not an incendiary device, I have found yet more reasons to avoid contact with the outside world.

1. Bug bites. Before Ethan was a little peapod in my belly, I had some sort of anti-bug force field surrounding me which prevented me from being bitten by mosquitos or bugs of any kind. I swear, I had citronella coursing through my veins or something. It was fabulous--while those around me were swatting unsuccessfully at the hungry little buzzers and welting up under the onslaught, I sat undisturbed in the summer twilights, sipping my beer, not a blood-sucker in sight.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, where I spent both Saturday and Sunday evenings outside with friends. Apparently pregnancy does something to one's body chemistry (go figure--as if the horrifyingly expanding butt isn't enough of a slap in the face); if my body were a mosquito restaurant, it would have been sporting a neon sign, flasing the words, "Under New Management". Whatever went on in my body during pregnancy turned me into an irresistible culinary temptation for those disgusting little pests. I am awash in little red itchy welts.

I cannot adequately explain what a shock to the system bug bites are to a person unaccustomed to being an all-you-can-eat buffet to mosquitos. There isn't enough hydrocortizone cream or calomine lotion to take away the urge to scratch. There are about four bites on my left foot and at least ten times a day I am tempted to chew off my own foot at the ankle to get some relief.

And on top of my own agony, yesterday as I was admiring my napping little E, I noticed a tell-tale red bump on his otherwise perfectly soft and kissable forehead. A BUGBITE ON MY BABY???!! OH NO, THEY DIDN'T!! My poor little man, accosted by those heartless blood-sucking fiends!!! He, of course, shows no sign of even being aware of its existence and he certainly isn't Itchy McScratcherson like me, but STILL! A BUGBITE ON MY BABY, PEOPLE!!

When I'm done over-reacting, I'm sure I'll notice the vampire-like speed with which his skin bounces back and is once again bite-free. I am amazed by how quickly babies heal from scratches, acne and bug bites. Ethan can wake up with a patch of acne that on a teenager would require two weeks and an entire bottle of pro-activ to combat it; by lunchtime that patch of skin is again as smooth as....well, as smooth as his butt.

Speaking of his butt....I come to reason #2 why I should just stay home....

2. It wasn't me; it was the kid! My son has quite the talent. He passes gas like it was his job. He could enter a fraternity sponsered farting contest and put the beer-guzzling meat-heads to shame. He is good. In both volume and duration, it is a marvel; I had no idea babies were capable of such adult sounding bodily functions. It reminds me of that adorable one-toothed, diapered baby in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", who looks so cute and cuddly when the camera is rolling and the second they shout, "Cut!", he is swearing like a sailor and smoking a cigar. That's my boy.

It's funny, but not so funny when you are, oh, I don't know, say, in Target, pushing the baby through the photo album aisle when he decides to let one rip. Especially when that aisle is full of people. People who couldn't possibly believe that the raging fart just ripped could come from that adorable little baby boy in the cart. People who believe it came from that vile. disgusting. shameless woman pushing the cart. Even when you smile at baby and say, "Goodness, little man! Excuse you!", they look at you like they aren't quite sure they believe you; like you might be the type of person who would pass loud, rambling gas in public and then blame it on an innocent, sweet infant. For shame....

So, to avoid the swarming mosquitos and the giant Scarlet "F", I think it's probably best if I stay inside until bug season is over and the bulk of winter clothing muffles my son's butt music...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

You'll Be Hungry Again in an Hour...

Scene: I am changing Squirmy E at the wrong time. One can never tell when the surprise poop attack will sneak up on you. As I reach for the wipes, I hear the explosion. Then I see the results of it on the changing table. The following dialogue takes place...

Me: "Husband, you have to come see this! It looks hot & sour soup!"

Husband walks casually into the room. Surveys the hot & sour soup like poo.

Husband: "We haven't had Chinese for a long time. We should order in Chinese tonight"

Husband casually walks out of nursery and back up to his office.

Clearly we need to get out more...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Three Months & Some Change...

Dear Ethan,

So I couldn't do my little monthly musing on the actual day you turned 3 months; forgive Mommy, she's been a little under the weather & on that day, a nap, rather than blogging, seemed essential to her very survival. But I am here now...

This month, as the other two, has flown by at an unbelievable pace. Partly I think it's because I was sick for almost half of the month, but also because I am realizing that when you fall madly in love with someone and want to squeeze the most out of every second together, the time/space continuum plays a dirty trick on you and speeds things up, so everything seems to whisk by before you've even noticed it.

Your Daddy and I are amazed at how much you are changing every day these days. Yesterday I decided to start packing up some of your preemie clothing, which stopped fitting you about 5 lbs ago. Being the big old sap that I am, I held up my favorite preemie outfit against you as you lay in your crib--it's neck came up to the middle of your chest--it was just so tiny. I can hardly believe you were ever that itty bitty, now that you are tipping the scales at about 10 lbs and turning into a pudgy little baby.

Your hair, which when you were born reminded us of a middle-aged comb over, continues to grow and fill in, leaving us wondering just what color it is going to be when it decides to settle down. It is dark, seemingly brown, but in certain lights it has mahogany red highlights in it that leave us wondering if a couple days in the sun might not turn you into the elusive redhead that hides within our families' genepools. It also has quite the mind of its own in terms of its daily style. Your pediatrician likes to take the hair on the top of your head and spike it up while he examines you (we LOVE him). Yesterday you had a bit of a "flock of seagulls" thing going on--a baby pompadour, if you are stylin', my little man.

Your eyes are doing their slow change from deep blue to whatever color they are going to be. In some lights, they are already a honey brown. In others they are grey, greenish or still clinging to the blue they have no hope of retaining. Regardless of their color, they have been so attentive the past several weeks, watching Mommy and Daddy (particularly Daddy) so carefully. You make eye contact like never before and you watch our mouths as we talk to you. You have also developed a love of the TV; I hope it is the bright lights and primary colors that attract your infant eyes as opposed to the initial signs of a couch potato in the making. Please rebel against mommy and daddy in the future by watching way less TV than we do; if it weren't for TiVo, we might leave the house more often. Or maybe not. We try not to let you watch it, but sometimes when we are holding you, you manage to sneak a peak. I see years of "Don't sit so close to the TV; you'll hurt your eyes!!" in my future.

A couple weeks ago you did something amazing. You insisted on nursing basically every hour during the day for almost two days straight. Then you slept almost an entire day. When you woke up the next day, you were a new little boy, with smiles and half-giggles and an entirely new awareness of and interest in your toys. Rather than crying yourself awake in the morning, I got a real smile as you woke for the day and saw me coming to get you. Instead of 3-4 minutes on your play mat before melting down and needing to be rocked for hours on end, you now enjoy 10-15 minutes of kicking and exploring on the mat, bouncy seat or swing before needing to be rocked for hours on end (that hasn't changed so much). It's so much fun to watch you explore and imagine what is going on in that little baby brain of yours.

Then Mommy got sick and went to the hospital; those were the hardest days of parenthood so far for me. Mainly because I practically stopped being a parent. The day we went to the ER, my fever was 104 and I thought I MIGHT stay overnight one night. If I had known that I was going to be dragged into a blackhole of medicinal incompetence that would take me from you for six days and render my boobs virtually useless, I would have just packed myself in ice and taken the antibiotics I'd been given by my OB.

Since being home, we've had to readjust to eachother. Daddy did such a good job taking care of you while I was away that we really had to find our rhythm again and it took a little time. Of course, that's mainly because the milk-machine was on the fritz. Pumping and nursing weren't very compatible with a raging fever and short daily visits, so the boobs just about completely forgot that they have a job to do. We're working on getting the factory going again, ramping up production and working overtime. We have good days where everything is going to be fine and bad days that remind me of the very first times we tried to nurse. We are only at three months; I hope we get to the six month exclusive mark; the last week or so has really challenged that goal, but we're sticking with it.

Speaking of sticking with it, this is sort of a 3 month and 3 day thing, but your tummy time paid off earlier this week and you ROLLED OVER!!! Of course, I screamed at your daddy to come see, but not only was it all over by the time he got there, but your daddy nearly killed himself running down the stairs because he didn't know what I was carrying on about. Ooops. It was so exciting, though, to see you set your mind to something and accomplish it! Once you got over, you just sort of laid there, relieved it was over and happy to stare at your lamby mobile going round and round---you love that thing!

No pictures this time around, just because I want to get this published already and blogger's been a bitch about pictures lately. You know there are already albums filled with pictures of you! Next month I promise I'll be more on the ball and get your monthly update done before you head off to college...

Mommy and Daddy love you more and more everyday. I can't wait to see what the next month has in store for us!

Friday, August 04, 2006

i'm home...

Have been since tuesday when I basiclly begged and insulted the doctor "caring" for me. I'm not sure I adequately described these quacks to you, internet. My main doctor was a ditsy soft-spoken woman who told me she wasn't used to dealing with patients under 60. This put me about 25 years outside her comfort zone. She seemed truly disconcerted by my c-section scar and she was totally antsy everytime she came in when Ethan was there with Husband.

The other main doctor I saw, I couldn't pick out of a line-up. You see, he did his rounds after midnight. Yes, that's right. 12:30 am & my overhead flourescent lights burst on and there he is. I know he has a big head and is exceedingly pale (what with the vampiric hours he keeps), but that's really it. I haven't a clue what he did for me in the 5-6 days I was there. I just know he is the infectious disease guy.

So on Tuesday, when I started truly panicking that my son was forgetting he has a mother, I basically told the doctor of 60 year olds that she wasn't doing anytghing for me in the hospital that I couldn't do for myself at home. Truly, how hard is it to give myself tylenol every six hours and an antibiotic twice a day??? Granted, we are lacking MRI anf ultrasound machines at our house (space issues, you know...), but how many of those little amusemrnt park rides can you go through in one hospital visit? With an ultasound, MRI and chest xray, I really felt like that was enough superfluous medical gadgetry for one stay.

And here I am; at home. With my baby and Husband, away from the creepy vampire doctors and the med students who don't wash their hands or wipe down their stethescopes (did I mention that I got a cold while in the protective care of these professionals?)

I still feel like all kinds of crap, it's good to be home.