Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who's the Boss?

Now that I have parented two children past the age of three, I am an expert on twos and threes (wink wink).
Who am I kidding?! Twos and threes are hard. But one thing I have learned (and can't seem to convince others of) is that as soon as you go mano a mano with a kiddo, you've already lost. They have more energy than you do -- they could keep it up all day.
And the truth is that they don't really want to drive you crazy. That's a biproduct of attempts to control their own environments just a little more. They're curious, and that includes curiosity about the limits. The day I learned that "if I can't explain "Why" concisely it probably doesn't need to be a rule" was a liberating day -- and it was cheating if "because Momma's head will explode" was used in situations in which Momma's head would not actually explode. Sometimes the "whys" are clear and universal. Sometimes they are family specific but should probably be universal ("because in this family, we treat all people with dignity and saying 'stupidhead' (or whatever) doesn't do that" is a good enough reason). They needed to know that actions had specific and real consequences.
It turned out my kids weren't trying to terrorize me, and I've been doing a pretty good job making sure they don't terrorize anyone else. And that's not a bad goal.

Monday, February 23, 2009


What do you all think about "David After Dentist"? David was coming 'round from a dental use of ketamine when his Dad caught his safe but delirious behavior.
If you haven't seen it, you can check it out on YouTube (a certain someone says if I link to it, and you decide it's exploitative, I will have participated in the exploitation). I find the idea of the Remixes most troubling . . .

Oscar Recap

The Oscars were shorter and sweeter than usual, with the exception of the ill-conceived "Musical is Back"! number. I was not too surprised to learn that it was Baz Luhrman's work, without the time or budget to support his usual audacity.
I worry, though, that any social conservatives who DID happen to watch the show came away only with a combination of Bill Maher's "silly gods" comment (you all know how I feel about Maher -- last night I suggested that he'd "Michael-Moored it") and Sean Penn's quotation of epithets hurled on their way into the Kodak theater "C*mmie h*m*lovers" (I've starred only because I don't want people who hurl these kinds of epithets showing up and hurling them at me) to reinforce their view of Hollywood, artists, unions and unionizers, those who support equal rights and equal protections, humanitarians etc -- as in "See, I told you they were Godless . . ."

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oscars start around bedtime, so we won't be going anywhere to watch. Here are my predictions, and Dr.Bloom's:

Actor, Leading:
A: Sean Penn
Dr.B: Mickey Rourke

Actor, Supporting:
Both: Emotional favorite Heath Ledger

Actress, Leading:
BothL Surprising ourselves, Kate Winslet

Actress, Supporting:
A: Penelope Cruz
Dr.B: Marisa Tomei

Animated Feature:
Both: Wall-E all the way

Art Direction:
Benjamin Button for Both

Both: Slumdog Millionaire

Both: Slumdog

Best Picture:
Both: Slumdog (unless there's a Slumdog Backlash.)

Sound and Sound Editing should both go to Wall-E (they won't -- they'll go to the Dark Knight). Screenplay should go to Wall-E (that'll go to Milk or Frozen River). Adapted Screenplay will ride the Slumdog sweep, but I could see Doubt getting the recognition I hear it deserved.

Happy Hollywood Partying.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dear LittleOne,
There's nothing more we can do but wait. First for NOC; in a couple months, guardianship.
Daddy called home from work and your sister, Miss I., asked "Hey, Dad, when is LittleOne coming home?" It used to be, "Hey, Dad, when are you coming home?"
Miss I has decided that girls are "amazin'" and that boys are "not so amazin.'" Your poor brother Littlebun -- he's pretty amazin.' You'll see. You'll have an interesting dynamic, I'm sure, you three.
We're missing your birthday next week. We missed Miss I's birthday too -- but we didn't know it when we missed it.
You probably have some teeth now -- but we can't tell from the pictures. Miss I threw her head back and laughed, in the worst of circumstances, in a hot room full of crying babies, while she was still healing from chicken pox, revealing for the first time four marvelous teeth. Who was tiny this person who, for all the tragedy, could find something so extraordinarily funny?
You're holding your tongue over your teeth(?), lips barely parted, eyebrows furrowed. I look at the same pictures over and over, looking for something I hadn't noticed before -- but I've already read each detail, and I could draw the image. I know your birthmark from four angles, but you are a mystery. I can't wait to find out who you are -- and who I will become, as I become your Momma.

Teaching Tolerance

If the experience of the internets is representative, hate is on the rise as the economy falls. I wanted to bring your attention to a great resource,, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Washy . . . Thursday?

When my schedule changed, Washy Wednesday went away -- and no other day took its place. I find myself cleaning at 11 o'clock at night, when I have a last bit of energy, or not cleaning at all.
My new(ish) friend Aster is coming today. I'm quite sure Aster's house is never a mess. So I'm cleaning bottom to top today, while hoping that she someday becomes the kind of friend you don't have to clean for (shout out to my bffs, for whom I really DO TRY to clean . . . but who forgive me when I don't).

Monday, February 16, 2009

False Alarm

Sfiha bubbled over in the oven, and if Little Bun and Dr.Bloom hadn't been playing video games, they would have heard that the alarm system was giving us fair warning before calling the fire department. Our siren never went off, and the alarm company tried to call us back -- on our home number, despite the fact that the alarm captures the line in an emergency.
In moments, firemen were on my porch. They were prompt and personable and tried to reassure me that these things happen, even in firemen's own homes. They were happy to meet the kids, and to agree with me that children should not run from -- but to -- firemen if ever there is a real fire.
Tonight over dinner we discussed our emergency plan, and Little Bun took notes.

How to make Sfiha:

1 t yeast
1 c warm water
2 t sugar
3 c flour
1 t salt
1/3 c olive oil

Add sugar and 1/2 c of the warm water to yeast. Allow it to become frothy. Prepare dough with rest of above ingredients. Set aside.

1-2 onions
16 oz ground meat (s/b lamb, though we used beef. Sorry, veggies, it was a rare meat night)
16 oz diced tomatoes (drain)
1/2 t cayenne, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t allspice

Divide dough into four balls. Flatten into circles. Place filling in center of dough circles on baking tray. Fold edges up to make rough squares. If you don't want to summon the fire department, be sure the edges are going to stay up OR use a baking sheet with sides. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min or until dough is golden and meat is thoroughly cooked.

How to escape from my house in the event of an actual fire:

"If the fire is upstairs, run douwnstairs. Use backdoor our front door. Meet on H's porch. If the fire is douwnstairs, go out a window. Meet on H's porch."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waiting for

Over the last few days, I've received the message "Waiting for" in the bottom left of my screen when I've tried to do a Google Search. Thereafter, I've received normal-looking searches that link to nowhere or to unrelated sites.
Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D missed it. The trojan may have already been removed but the file remained: a second file labeled wdmaud tucked away in my system32 folder (the sysaudio, NOT the driver). I read this means my searches were being run past the NSA. I read somewhere else they were being run through someone's house, in Bulgaria. Either way, someone has been very very bored -- and very very bad.

Monday, February 09, 2009

This is going to happen

Our specialist tells me. And she tells me of the beauty of the landscape, and the potential for carsickness, and the likelihood that our daughter -- who loves her caregivers very much -- will resent our presence at first (and that this is a good sign of a child capable of attaching). The latter, I assure her, were have already experienced. She tells us she thinks we'll travel by May.

More Misadventures Part II

It's been found.
Our only glitch?
Stay tuned.

More Misadventures

Our dossier -- complete, accompanied by $300 in apostilles -- is lost. We lost the tracking number as soon as it showed on the USPS website as "delivered." Who knows how many more weeks it'll be 'til our baby now.
Dear Littleone, We're trying.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Why I "Hate" the Octuplets' Mom

I just read an article trying to explain why national interest in the octuplets' mom turned to national abhorrence. Why we loved it: It's like hitting the lottery. Why we hate it: It's like hitting the lottery, and we're jealous. Another explanation tied reactions to the economy: This woman seems to have missed that we're in a period of contraction -- and here she is, expanding. That might be why the numbers are disturbing, why her family of 14 by 33 seems excessive and indulgent. Many people resent her disability payments from a previous job, and wonder if they'll be paying for her hubris.
Or it might be because she willingly engaged in a practice likely to result in extreme prematurity, intrauterine growth restriction and very low birth weight.
Having decided against a pregnancy that would knowingly result in prematurity, vlbw and probably iugr, I admit to having had difficulty being compassionate to a former friend, a mother of one from a healthy pregnancy and one extremely premature second child, who decided to have another pregnancy AMA, knowing that the next baby would be delivered even earlier. They always wanted a big family, modern medicine can do so much, the age of viability gets younger and younger, there are always miracles, prayer is powerful . . . I never said it, but I just kept thinking "What are you thinking?" She didn't know why I couldn't see it the same way and have another pregnancy too.
If I knew the octuplets' mom, I would be eight times as challenged in the area of compassion. She is a limit case of reproductive intervention. She (unfortunately) calls into question all IVF (is it only okay if there is a dad? If he's employed? If she isn't crazy? Are homestudies necessary intrusions for reproductive technology candidates? Who gets to decide?) She makes me think "What are any of us thinking?" So quickly, the discussion in some quarters turned from "Good for her for giving her embryos their deserved chance at life!" and "Good for her for not selectively aborting!" to "Did you know she was once on disbility, is a single woman, is Iraqi . . . and that she's selling her story?!"
Certainly rarer is the mention that these kids are someday going to be grown-ups, and they would have every right to be pretty darn mad that she chose to give them a less than optimal start -- on purpose -- and somebody helped her do it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

(Tongue Firmly in Cheek)

It has come to my attention that I might be biased against white people.

I asked Dr.Bloom, who is objective and credible.

He thought perhaps I might be: after all, I'm far harder on him than on the black members of our family (one of whom, LittleOne, I've never yelled at at all).

However, he realized that this could also be sexism -- though I'm nicer to Little Bun, too.

So we settled on ageism.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

From the Security Files

This is a must read.

Popcorn All Over Again

Miss I is learning to read, and she's practicing letter sounds all the time. So when we had popcorn I said "Puh Puh Puh Popcorn. Popcorn starts with . . ."
"P," Little Bun absently filled in the blank.

"Ohhhhhhhhhh! I was going to say that!" Miss I screamed before dissolving into tears that lasted a good while.

This morning in the car, Little Bun was talking about Dr.Bloom's birthday ("Do you want MarioKart for the Wii, Daddy?")
"How old will you be?" Little Bun asked.
"How old do you think I'm going to be?"
"33?" he guessed.
"Ohhhhhhhhh" began the wail from the carseat beside.
"Ugh," Little Bun sighed. "It's 'Popcorn' all over again."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I don't know how I missed the misogynist Teleflora campaign during the Super Bowl -- I was probably just so happy. But it's come to my attention (via Dawn) that they've stepped in it again:

Jezebel points out that they seem not to have learned from the "non-mom mom" disaster, and posts all three commercials, one of which includes the stunner "No one wants to see you naked."

Someone should send them congratulations flowers . . . in a box . . . just so they'd get the (right) message.

Monday, February 02, 2009

With a child on the way and a parent just diagnosed with a major illness, we're just joining those of you who are already "sandwiched." I thought we were too young, and that our lives already had enough adventure for us to have regular things happen too and also, that there would always be time.