Saturday, June 24, 2006

Basic JEDA 101

Here's a little something that's been kicking around as a draft for quite a while now. The idea was not mine. I stole it outright from some nice lady's blog I stumbled upon late one dark, rainy night. If she, in turn, happens to stumble upon mine and be pissed at the thievery, chill already! I mean, it's kind of a compliment, right? And besides, chances are better than good you yourself stole the damn thing from someone else, who stole it from his cousin, who still it from her college roommate, who stole it from her dorky little brother, and so on and so forth back to the first blogger's first blog.

Anyway, it felt like a good exercise in introspection and self-discovery, so I thought I'd give it a try. Turned out to be a bit more onerous and taxing than I had bargained for. Glad to be done with it.

Enjoy. Hope you learn something new about me. Hope even more that you still think fondly of me when you're done.

1--I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah.
2--I am annoyed by people who try to label me a mid-westerner because they don't know where Utah is.
3--I am not a Mormon. Don't believe any church registrar who tries to tell you otherwise. The baptism didn't take, a'ight? I shook that shit off. I'm free. FREE I tell you!
4--No, I doth not protest too much. I'm just sayin' is all...
5--I was a straight A student in high school.
6--In college....not so much.
7--I can't parallel park.
8--I have an androgenous name that I am not particularly fond of.
9--I'm not very pretty in pink, a fact for which I partially blame the name.
10--I read magazines from back to front.
11--I have a tendency to be overly negative
12--Overly sarcastic
13--And overly defensive.
14--But deep down inside I'm a dreamy romantic who wants nothing more than to see fairies dance by the light of a harvest moon.
15--Tacos and beer are my favorite dinner.
16--I like Joe better than Steve.
17--I envy anyone who doesn't understand the above reference.
18--I appear to be most drawn to the color green, though I wouldn't consciously call it my favorite color.
19--Sage is my favorite color of green.
20--I am a cat person.
21--I am not a people person.
22--I will never join the PTO.
23--I prefer my lattes, my bagels, and my cream cheese plain.
24--Once in college, an insufferable bitch told me that this made me a narrow-minded, unimaginative Republican.
25--The above accusation is patently untrue.
26--I tend to stay up way too late because I'm genuinely daunted by my inability to fall asleep easily.
27--I have never had as many friends as I do right now.
28--There are many, many things about me (facts 150 through 330, for example) my friends will never know.
29--Fact 331 regards the reason for my preference for Emma Woodhouse over Elizabeth Bennet.
30--I assume no one cares, so I won't be sharing that one either.
31--I believe in angels.
32--But I have shockingly little faith in God.
33--None whatsoever in religion.
34--I have a silly, school girl crush on Mark Wahlberg.
35--I'm a terrible speller.
36--I need to believe people who tell me this has nothing to do with intelligence.
37--I'm a sleep nazi--this means I'm snarky and judgemental about parents who don't let their children get the sleep they need.
38--Speaking of children, I love mine.
39--But I have very little patience for their neediness.
40--I'm a terrible housekeeper.
41--I do NOT do windows. Ever.
42--But I'm very good a stain removal.
43--Mine is a dry wit.
44--I want to see Macchu Picchu before I die.
45--My 7th grade locker combination was 7-13-9.
46--I like my handwriting though it is not particularly neat or pretty--just distinctive.
47--I'm not overly sentimental.
48--I know that my lack of sentimentality has, many times, hurt the feelings of those closest to me.
49--I feel bad about this, but I can't seem to help myself.
50--I'm extremely intolerant of stupidity--especially my own.
51--I prefer roses to daisies
52--Gold to silver
53--Folk to country.
54--Apparently, I'm a wee bit pretentious.
55--I let my children watch way too much TV.
56--I watched way too much TV myself as a child, so I'm confident they'll turn out okay anyway.
57--Mint is always a good idea......most especially Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.
58--I have never seriously contemplated suicide.
59--I have to have a pillow between my legs to sleep.
60--My favorite dreams are the ones where I discover something I thought I'd lost forever.
61--I like to psycho-analyze myself and I believe the above has something to do with my parent's divorce.
62--I'm pushing at a size 12 and it's killing me.
63--Though others pretend, I believe I actually do have it in me to write children's literature.
64--I lack the disciplin and confidence to actually try.
65--This blog is meant to be a step towards learning both.
66--I've never had a cavity.
67--I kill houseplants.
68--I crochet, quilt, and scrapbook-- but never very consistently, and none of it very well.
69--I love to crack the spine of a new book.
70--If I could relive my childhood I'd insist on ballet lessons and a second litter of kittens.
71--I loath chewing gum.
72--I avoid confrontation at all costs.
73--To this end, I have imaginary arguments in the shower with the people I'm mad at.
74--I hate zoos. 'Natural habitate' is just a fancy way to say cage, and cages are not nice.
75--I believe that vulgarity is an art that must be practiced to be perfected.
76--I have a simian line.
77--I spend far too much time online.
78--Nothing makes me happier than watching a toddler try to dance.
79--I am an expert at passive-aggressive warfare.
80--I've lived in Europe long enough that I no longer need ice in my drinks.
81--Other relics of my stay abroad: hairy pits
82--A fondness for bitter beer
83--And a somewhat relaxed attitude toward public nudity.
84--Objectively speaking, I'm 98% certain I have the cutest children on the planet. And by "cute" I mean attractive. Behaviorally, they rank barely above average.
85--In high school and college I was a closet smutty, historical fiction fan.
86--I haven't read a bodice ripper in nearly 10 years now. I kind of miss them.
87--I cheat on crosswords. But usually only to confirm the spelling of an answer I already know.
89--I've never had sex outside.
90--I'm genuinely okay with that.
91--People tend to think I'm smarter than I actually am.
92--I'm okay with that too.
93--The sego lily is Utah's state flower. Yesterday, I saw one for the first time. They're really quite lovely.
94--I have an over-active imagination that hears ghosts and sees spiders in many a shadey corner.
95--I like to eat raw potato.
96--I'm a terrible liar.
97--I think gradual self-tanning moisturizers are one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. Right up there with, you know, the internet and digital technology and shit.
98--I laugh when I'm nervous.
99--Dark chocolate, which I love, gives me a headache.
100--It took me well over a month to complete this list.
101--I find that rather pathetic.


102--You forgot lazy, ugly, and disrespectful.
103--Shut up, bitch! Go fix me a turkey pot pie.
104--I pity anyone who doesn't understand the above reference.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I wish to take a moment to address a minor miracle that has occurred in the past week since we arrived in SLC. But first, a little background for those few of my rapt audience who may not be aware of the full magnitude of the situation. Also, for the sake of posterity, lest I ever forget the horror.

The crux of the matter is this: The Boy has leaky pipes. Very, very leaky, often 5 pants a day, pipes that have been the bane of my existence for nigh on a year now.

On August 3rd of last year, just shy of his 3rd birthday, I embarked upon a cold-turkey potty training regimen that rocked his little world right to its tender core. He wasn't ready. However, I had little choice but to plow forward as he was set to start a pre-school program that required its students to be out of diapers. Deposits had been paid, school clothes had been bought, the time had come anyway--he was going to start school, goddammit!

The first two and a half months were the worst. He was sent home daily with 3 or 4 bags of soiled clothing. I had meeting after meeting with his teachers who eventually backed down from their threats of expulsion after I made it clear just how loudly and publicly I'd complain if they didn't shut the fuck up and just deal with it. Turns out I had excellent grounds for my hard-assedness as none of the literature or by-laws for the pre-school said anything anywhere about a zero tolerance policy towards accidents. Plus I had some inside information about ongoing behavioral and toileting troubles that several other students were having, and I was fully prepared to use it. Why they were singling out my barely 3 year old son's inability to stay dry as freakishly abnormal, I do not know. But it pissed me off, stressed me out, and (I blush to admit) embarrassed me every single day.

Sometime in October he stopped shitting his pants, and life became marginally more bearable. I don't know how or why, but one day he decided that poop was vile and belonged in the toilet. Thereafter, he started taking care of it on his own without any prompting or urging from me or his teachers. Not so the urine.

The number of bags coming home to me went from 3 or 4 soiled and wet ones, to 1 or 2 just wet ones, but this pattern went on unaltered for months on end. It wasn't until after Christmas that he'd manage the odd perfect day at school. But then he'd invariably piss through 6 pairs of pants the following day when he was home with me.

I cannot even begin to calculate the number of hours I've spent over the past 10 months dithering and worrying, justifying and speculating, arguing and rationalizing with Mister and friends the why's and wherefore's of his stubborn refusal to even try to stay dry. He clearly knew what needed to be done, because he was able to pull it off on the odd day or two. Back in January, there was even a near fortnight where he stayed dry, but then he had a bad day and it all went to hell all over again.
Whether it was physiological, psycological, or just plain laziness, none of it ever made any sense to me. And I had long since resigned myself to another 3 or 4 years of this bullshit.

Then--maybe 3 or 4 weeks ago, he started peeing standing up. I guess he had had enough of just watching the big boys at school pee this way, and he decided he had to have a go at it himself. I'd further speculate that his first attempt was successful, because folks, it made all the difference in the world.

Mind you, he still had his fair share of accidents. Mostly in the evenings when he was tired or busy playing with his sisters. But for the first time I saw signs of embarrassment and remorse at having wet himself or the floor. For the first time he seemed eager to get to the toilet on his own to try this new trick of his. For the first time in months, I had real hope.

And now for the miracle. Since we got here....not one.....not one single drop of pee anywhere but the toilet. No damp undies. No piles of wet clothes kicked furtively under the bed so I wouldn't find them and scold him. No puddles around the toilet because he couldn't get his pants down in time (this type of accident, by the way, I'm okay with, and fully expect to see again....I'm just sayin', it hasn't happened yet...)

As the title of this rather lengthy entry suggests, I realize I may be crowing a bit too soon on this one. After all, we have been here before. Hell, it hasn't even been a full week yet. But somehow, this feels like the real deal. I've even seen him get up from playing with his trucks saying, "I have to pee," and scurry off to the toilet. And today, he got off the trampoline because he had to pee. Two months ago he wouldn't even have bothered to acknowledge the sensation of a full bladder, let alone taken steps to relieve it.

It took 10 months, but by George, I think he's got it!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Summer Starts Now

There were moments of awfulness. Two moments each of kindness and cooperation. Many, many moments of exasperation. Finally, in the end, there was nothing left but exhaustion.

We did not meet the Duke of Notkickingseats, as I expected, but we did have the pleasure of flying with the Countess and the High Priestess of Coldcabincrew. So that was a special treat.

Fucking bitches--seriously--to look at them you'd think that a smile would interfer with the navigational equipment or something. I don't care how many times Missy pushed the attendent call button, a little levity would make everyone's trip a little easier. No?

Anyway, we're here. We're whole. We're still pooped, but we're already having a fine time.

I must say, though, that the weather has been a bit of a shocker. When we boarded the plane over yonder it was a brisk 50 degrees and wet. Today in SLC was toasty warm in the upper 80's--not exactly sweltering, I know, but quite a shock to the system if you're neither used to nor particularly fond of such heat.

The kids are a little wilted by the abrupt change. Boy is crabby and refuses to eat. Missy keeps pulling at the sweaty curls at the nape of her neck and whining, "Drrr-tee. Drrr-tee." While climbing into a blistering hot car after a quick trip to Walmart to stock up on flip-flops and tank tops, Elder Miss, always my serene little stoic, merely remarked, "Fwww--it's quite hot in America, isn't it Mom?"

Yes lovies, it's finally summer.