Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am an empty threat.

One of the things I've paid attention to in my mothering is follow through.
It is generally understood between my children and myself that if I ask them to do something and they don't do it willingly on their own I will come over there and make it happen.

For example if it is time to leave (the park, a friend's house, anywhere fun) and they don't come when I ask them to I will carry them out. If I ask them to take their plates to the sink and somebody won't do it I put the plate in the unwilling hands of that child and walk them to the counter.

The result of this is that they generally mind me and if by chance they don't a raised eyebrow is usually enough to bring about obedience. On occasion I do have to count but I don't remember the last time I made it past one.

Lately I've found a major flaw in the system. Namely, I am in severe danger of losing the physical ability to carry a child who is unwilling to walk for his or herself. I've been worrying about it for a while now. In fact I've changed my phraseology somewhat to account for my dwindling ability to lift my children. Instead of "If you don' t get your jammies on yourself I guess I'll have to carry you up stairs and dress you like a baby" (sometimes this one back fires because being dressed like a baby when you're six is apparently all kinds of funny) I started substituting the "I'll" in the previous scenario for "Pop will." That works fine when we're all at home but if there's a mutiny while The Mr. is away I'm toast. Or so I thought.

Yesterday it happened. I was at a friends house with an over tired Enzo. I asked him repeatedly to walk with me to the door and he wasn't having it. So I hefted him up above my belly and carried him, slowly, to the door where he thankfully saw fit to put on his own shoes. Then, I carried him to the car. I'm just lucky he wasn't so tired and over wrought that he was kicking or wriggling. I never would have made it.

He went (almost) directly to sleep when we got home. It was truly a blessing.

From now until I've birthed this child and recovered from the same, it is absolutely necessary that Enzo gets an adequate amount of sleep. I just can't carry him anymore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This is my gift; this is my curse


I love to read books. Mostly good books but I tend excuse a lot in mediocre books as well just because the process of taking in their mediocrity is so enjoyable to me.

When I'm in the midst of a book I can release all the stress of my actual life. This is a great tool to have in my personal tool belt. Especially when my actual life includes things like waiting for a state run agency to decide when exactly I can fly across the country to collect my child.

It's also ridiculously addicting.

Some people (the Mr) can enjoy their reading chapter by chapter. Putting off their stress for thirty minutes to an hour at a time. I am not so fortunate. Once I taste the bliss of a book I can't stop until there's nothing left. When I am forced to take a hiatus in my devouring of pages the idea of reunion with my bound paper love never leaves my mind. If I'm busy enough with other things, it will slide to the back of my consciousness but it's still there. Always there.

That is why I didn't make it to bed until 3:00 in the a.m . after this week's Wednesday was accomplished. Still today I am recovering from the sleep I lost to the monkey on my back. Even as I've drug myself through my past days cursing my inability to stand up to my literature abusing brain and go to bed already I've had to fight the desire to go to the book shelf and pluck myself another hit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Where did my pregnancy go?

Today I learned/realized that after my next monthly ob appointment (coming up in a week and a half) I will enter the realm of bi-weekly appointments.
Already? Really? I have a hard time grasping how I got to be so far along in this process.
Somebody remind me of this in three months time when I complain of having been pregnant for approximately ever.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Carousel, blech

The other day I was singing in the shower, as I am wont to do, and found "What's the Use of Wondrin" flowing from my lips. This was a surprise. I was in "Carousel" as a high school junior but that song was a Julie Jordan solo. My job during the scene was to stand and nod in an inspired fashion while Julie poured out her wisdom about finding happiness in the midst of a beating to all us less experienced girls. Well, all that standing and nodding I did in rehearsals and so forth seem to have had some effect on my psyche because even now, no fewer than twelve years since that curtain dropped I know every putrid word of a song I never sung.

Now let me just put this out there up front. I hate "Carousel" I hated the show then and I hate it now. You might pose the question, "Eva, why ,all those years ago, did chose to be a part of a show you profess to hate?" I'll tell you. I was (and remain in my heart) a drama geek. The School Musical is what I lived for. Those were the shining months out of every school year. Hours spent rehearsing under the proscenium or giggling in the dusk of the auditorium over the sorts of jokes only prolonged exposure to the same forty five or so people can provide are priceless facets of my memory. I could no better deprive myself of that experience than I could stop myself breathing regardless of my opinions on the show selection.

Our director chose to approach the project from the angle of "Hope." Even in that awful story he pointed out the opportunities each character had to hope for the better. His goal was to inspire the audience (and his teenage cast) to work toward hope in any given situation.

That was a noble goal. It's probably the only way to serve up that show that could make it the least bit palatable, and I don't think he failed all together. I do think He was working against the very fibers of the message delivered by the script. Sure there's the one song "When you walk through a storm" whose message truly is one of hope, but the ultimate message of show is revealed when Billy Bigelow comes from beyond the grave to meet his child and set things right that were wrong in his life. What does he do with this chance? He ghost beats his daughter which then gives his widow the chance to teach the child that true love means it won't hurt when he hits you.

Here's my memory of the scene between Julie and Louise after Louise encounters her father's ghost.

Louise: He hit me Mama, hit me real hard...but it didn't hurt. When he hit me it, it felt like he kissed my hand.
Julie: (nods knowingly)
Louise: Is it possible Mama? To have someone hit you, hot you real hard and have it not hurt?
Julie: (inspired) Yes. It is possible, to have someone hit you, hit you real hard and have it not hurt. (choked with emotion and love for her deceased abuser)

Is there a sequel to carousel? The story of little Louise Bigelow out in the world looking for the man who can hit her like her daddy did. Moving from one abusive relationship to another, she searches, hoping that if she's good enough, strong enough and loves him enough someday she'll find the man whose blows feel like kisses. How's that for a synopses?

To sum up. The message of the show is: you can never change not even after you're dead, also women deserve nothing more than a good beating. If you really love your man it won't hurt when he hits you. Hopeful right?

Now, go back to when I found myself singing a song I didn't know I knew. I started out on the first verse, surprised that the words were present in my head, and thinking to myself "This song isn't as bad as I remembered."
Here are the first two verses of the song for your reference.

What's the use of wond'ring
If he's good or if he's bad,
Or if you like the way he wears his hat?
Oh, what's the use of wond'ring
If he's good or if he's bad?
He's your feller and you love him,
That's all there is to that.

Common sense may tell you
That the ending will be sad,
And now's the time to break and run away.
But what's the use of wond'ring
If the ending will be sad?
He's your feller and you love him,
There's nothing more to say.

If you take the first line "What's the use of wondrin if he's good or if he's bad" in a more figurative sense it's really not awful, and certainly there are worse things than a man who wears his hat poorly. That much of the song is excusable.

The second verse continues in this innocuous fashion. It could even be considered down right good advice for a girl who has the tendency to over analyze her relationships, killing all prospects before she even gives them a chance to prove themselves. I got that far and nearly decided I'd misjudged the song as a whole.

Once I started into the bridge though, not to mention the third verse, my original opinion reasserted it's self, and with a vengeance. Here are those lyrics.

Something made him the way that he is,
Whether he's false or true,
And something gave him the things that are his,
One of those things is you, so

When he wants your kisses,
You will give them to the lad,
And anywhere he leads you, you will walk.
And anytime he needs you,
You'll go running there like mad.
You're his girl and he's your feller,
And all the rest is talk.

It really is a shame. The melody is beautiful and so much fun to sing. But am I willing to allow my young daughters to hear me absentmindedly repeat those noxious lyrics? No I am not. And so, until I can find different words to sing. Words that won't inadvertently teach my girls to think of themselves as possessions, the song, lovely tune and all, is and must be expunged from my repertoire.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Feed and clothe

I looked forward to lunch time all morning long. Actually I started looking forward to it last night as soon as I'd finished my dinner.

The recipe was called "mini meatball minestrone" but I don't know if I can really consider it minestrone without any greens. I didn't notice the lack while I was cooking. It was as I was eating that I thought. "Wait a minute, minestrone should have some greens!"
Next time I make it there will be greens. Mark my words.

Oh and on Sunday I (we) made Grilled brown sugar pork chops and apples. Oh boy was that delicious.

The chops I used were thinner that the recipe suggests. They were fine but next time I'll use thicker ones. Also, I marinated my chops for about 6 hours in equal parts apple juice, apple cider vinegar and the prepared glaze. Next time I'll cut down on the vinegar. I still want some in there, but it was encroaching on the sweetness I was after in the dish.

Tonight were having pasta and sauce out of a jar. No one can be awesome all the time. Sad but true.

So far in the 22.5 weeks I've been preggers I've only purchased 2 tops. Everything else I'm wearing is left from last time. I would be more than pleased to buy some new clothes that fit my current style sensibilities (not to mention my physique) rather than those of my four years younger self who was in a more casual state of mind than I've ever found myself before or since. The problem is, my current style sensibilities rely heavily upon the cinched waist which is obviously not an option currently so every time I've tried to shop I've failed to find anything.

I don't even know what I'm looking for. I could make something but I don't know what I'd make.

I have never had this problem before. I always know what I want to wear. Always until now.

The other night Zizza said to me in a pitying voice "Mom, why don't you wear some of the shirts you had when you were pregnant with Enzo?" I told her that I was and she said "Well, it doesn't fit." Her tone implied that she found her efforts to be fruitless and thus washed her hands of the whole affair.

The truth is: there was an inch or two of bare belly peering out from the hem of my shirt. But listen, I wore this shirt clear though to the bitter end with Enz with nary a problem. Now, I know I am larger at 22.5 weeks this time that I was at 22.5 weeks last time but I am certainty a good deal smaller now than I was at 40 weeks previously. So either all my maternity tops shrank during the four years they sat idle in the closet, or they all shrank during the last months since they've been worn and laundered regularly again. It's a mystery. Oh, and I'm wearing all the same pants too so that explanation is void.

That having been said: last night found myself browsing the etsy shop cocoricooo and while there I found things that I thought I might actually be interested in purchasing. It's the first time that's happened since the commencement of waist thickening a way back early October. Here are my selections.

First the Lyra dress in mustard yellow.

I would most certainly need to wear it as a top as it would be on the super short side once it draped over my belleh but I'm digging it just the same. The only problem is mustard yellow can be a tricky color for me. The dress also comes in red, but too earthy a red for my taste and a lovely coral shade. Now coral absolutely sings on my skin but I'm just not feeling it this time. I think I'd rather risk it with yellow. If the color in the picture reads true that shade will be fine. Still, it's a risk.

The second item is the Please me blouse in green

I've mostly avoided that shape in maternity wear favoring instead stretchy tops that fit along the underside of the belly. The few things I've worn that flow free have had the tendency to occasionally float up and show the vast white (and pinkish red) expanse beneath. The scary thing about it is that since these tops hang there allowing breezes at all times, one generally isn't even aware of it when the unfortunate event occurs.

But, if the top is long enough for model girl to wear as a mini dress, it should long enough that I'll be safe wearing it in the family way. Right? I'll have to get my measuring tape out and investigate this.

The top does have a nice thick hem the weight of which would help prevent any unfortunate belly flashing. That's a definite point in it's favor.

Also, I'm pretty cheap about buying clothes. I would never pay what these cost (plus shipping) in a store. But If I made them and was selling them I would most definitely charge that much or more depending on the cost of materials. I was actually really impressed with the low cost for handmade clothes in the shop. It wasn't until I started thinking about actually parting with my own money that it occurred to me to think of the clothes as anything but bargain priced.

I'll think this over some more this evening as I slave in the kitchen to boil pasta and take the lid off the jar of sauce.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


There's this thing I've noticed. If I block something from the blog I tend to lose the ability to post anything else. I guess "block" isnt really the word I'm looking for. Somethings I decide are not appropriate to share with the interweb at large. Those things I express through other channels and that's that. It's when I have something to say here, and for whatever reason don't say it that I run into trouble.

Take last spring for instance. I decided not to post about our giant pit digging extravaganza until it was all done. We started in May we also finished with the digging in May but then we stalled a bit and it was July before the pit was lined and the trampoline was in it and by that time going back to write about the stuff that happened in May felt like too much hassle. While I was busy not writing about the hole in my back yard all sorts of other things were piling up and never getting written about because they were stuck in the hole and this all led to the sporadic at best posting that occurred here between May and November when I made myself snap out of it for NaBloPoMo's sake.

Recently another such incident has occurred. I've been waiting since December 16 to show you this. Now finally the image is scanned and ready to share so I can post it and move on.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Duke, the the teeny tiniest Earl.
He is a boy and seems to have inherited his hamstring flexibility from me rather than from his father so he just might retain the ability to touch his toes without bending his knees when he grows up. I guess we should wait and see how things go outside the womb before we get too confident in the matter of whose hamstring genes were passed on but for now it looks like I'm winning this one.

Oh, and here are some pictures from digging the hole because honestly, I'm never going to write that post.

It was a family affair.

Everyone took up shovels to lend a hand.

This is my game face: getting ready to show that dirt who's boss.

We worked in tiers

Eventually it got good and deep.

This is maybe a quarter of the dirt we had to get rid of after we filled the raised garden bed that spans the width of the yard.

And while we were digging Moo was working hard trying to get our attention. The result was that at 19 months old she finally decided it was worth her trouble to go ahead and stand up on her own two feet. We cheered and clapped and hollered until she sat back down and then we dug some more until she stood up again.

All in all it was 2 1/2 weeks working every night after dinner until the hole was dug, the Moo was standing, and the dirt was hauled out to the driveway so people responding to our craig's list add could come and haul it off at their leisure.

And then it was done. By the way, we planned on the trampoline staying a bit above ground level it's not just that we got sick of digging after 3 feet and called it good.