Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three cheers for headgear!

The day has finally arrived. Headgear day! I feel a bit sorry for my daughter's orthodontist. I have a feeling that most kids hate him until they see the end result of all the re-arranging and appliances  - in theory, straight teeth. We pass Dr. M's office building pretty regularly and my daughter shakes her fist at it every time. She was basically a pill during today's visit. He had to make an adjustment to her palate expander and she was not what you'd call a good sport about it. I don't think Dr. M loses a lot of sleep over the fact that my daughter dislikes him, though.

Anywho . . . the kid was fitted with her new headgear and we were sent home with instructions and about a hundred million tiny rubber bands. The instructions are that she needs to wear it at least 10 hours a day, if not more like 12. We can't even get Her Highness to flush a toilet - making her wear headgear feels like a Herculean task right out of the gate. But, we shall see.

Be glad you don't have to sleep with this bugger attached to your face.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How do you say, "Keep your affections to yourself" in Spanish?

We got a new foster dog yesterday. His name is Botas and he came from a Spanish-speaking family. He has four white feet so I'm assuming that's how they came up with his name. Apparently Botas = Boots. I took umpteen years of French so I'm not much help in this situation. My wee baby sister suggested that I watch some Dora in order to get up to speed, but I'm pretty sure that telling my foster dog how to evade Swiper or how to make the best use of my magical backpack wouldn't be all that helpful. (I had the backpack song stuck in my head for about 18 solid months when A was a toddler . . . loaded up with things and knickknacks, too!)

Botas is around one year of age and as far as I know, he has never seen a vet. The surrender form was pretty sparsely filled out. The former owners originally contacted us and said that he has behavioral issues. The only "bad" behavior I've seen so far is marking in the house. I am going to have him neutered in a New York minute so that should be the end of that. They said he jumps on people. Well, every Boxer does that. Gideon is older than Methuselah and still delights in jumping high enough to get his tongue in a (standing) visitor's mouth.  

Anyway, we might have a couple of rough days as he settles in and until we can get him neutered. If someone who speaks Spanish could come over and give him this message, that would be great:

"It's okay that you like boys. We understand that you were born that way. However, Gideon is a bit old-fashioned and wants you to keep all of your parts to yourself. That's why he keeps telling you to go fuck yourself. He sincerely wants you to do that. Also, we're not sure what sort of magical food you're expecting to see in your food bowl, but the dogs around here eat dog food. You can keep refusing it, but I guarantee that we can hold out longer than you can. Finally, when I'm lying in my bed and it's pitch dark in my bedroom, this means that I am sleeping. Sighing loudly at my bedside and occasionally delivering a right hook to my backside . . . well, it all makes me a little cranky. We can see that you're cute and that you have potential. If you could learn the rules sooner than later (and Gretchen will be happy to explain them to you AGAIN if you have forgotten), that would be greaaaat."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Everyone will live . . . right?

Two weeks from today, I'm headed to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my middle sister and her family. I can't wait! My sister's older kids are headed to Australia with their father, so I won't really get to see them (I think they get back late Sunday night and I fly back out on Monday). I'm bummed about that, but I still get to spends lots of time with this guy:

One of the younger models in my nephew collection
He hasn't seen me in a year so I picked up a couple of Hot Wheels cars to tuck into my suitcase. I figured that might help to win his favor.  As you can see, he's suffering from a severe shortage of wheeled vehicles:

It's tempting to squeeze all kinds of stuff into the five full days that I'll have at my disposal, but mostly I'm planning to relax and just spend lots of time with people who mean a lot to me. I am hoping to sneak in a visit to Tyson's Corner so that I can go to Lush (shhhhh), but I don't really have any other firm plans. My sister and I haven't figured out Thanksgiving dinner yet. I've been adding some recipes to my Pinterest board just in case I am called upon to make something or other. I haven't decided if I will attempt any Black Friday shopping this year. I'm obviously limited by what I can fit in my suitcase (or ship stuff back to myself, I guess).  I may do some online shopping. Christmas stresses me out, but I'm trying really hard to suppress my angst. 

I'm a bit concerned about how my husband and daughter will fare while I'm gone, though. As I was leaving the gym last night, I got a text from my daughter. "Dad has a headache. Please come home." It's true that my other half was a bit surly yesterday. He went to bed at 8 p.m., which was fine because no one wanted to deal with his cranky ass.

He was off work today because he works for a bank and it's Veteran's Day. Anyway, since he didn't have to work, we didn't need to take the kid to daycare before school. "You'll need to call and let daycare know she won't be there today." I knew what was coming next.

"What's the number?"

"You'll need to Google it, " I said. "Takes two seconds."

"I have to Google it?!"  He was incredulous. "Why isn't it written down?"

I gave up and Googled it for him. Like I said, two seconds. I read the number to him.

"Well, I'm going to write it down," he said. He said it like he was the first person to come up with such a concept.

I could have done all of this for him, but I was trying to push him to be just a wee bit more self-reliant. I mean, my husband is a smart man. I feel like he can handle this stuff. What if I get hit by a bus or something?

Before I left for work, I gave him a couple more reminders. "You'll need to sign her reading sheet and put her stuff in her backpack. Don't forget her lunch."  (I had made the lunch ahead of time because I think it would have put him over the edge if he had to do it.)

"I have to do ALL THAT?"

So, I don't know what's going to happen when I'm gone in a couple of weeks. He'll need to:
  • Make sure his child is dressed appropriately for the weather each day.
  • Check her backpack daily. The other day I found a wadded piece of paper that turned out to be a permission slip for her to participate in a parade next week. It was VERY URGENT according to my daughter, but not so urgent that she thought it was worth mentioning, even though it was due the next day. 
  • Check the lunch menu at school. If the meal is meatless, she can eat the school lunch. If not, he'll need to make her lunch (or supervise her verrrrry carefully while she makes it).
  • Fill out and sign the daily reading sheet. 
  • Feed himself and his child. 
  • Pay the daycare. 
  • Find a babysitter for the night he has to work. 
  • Make sure his kid bathes regularly. She does not do this sort of thing voluntarily.
We'll see how it goes. If there's one good thing about being a mom it's that you've got total job security. No one wants to come along and do any of the shit you do every day.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Well, that was a good use of your time

While I was at yoga tonight, my kid and her dog snagged my camera and took selfies. Or would it be ussies? I guess I'm just glad it's no longer necessary to pay for film and photo development.

I should add that she was supposed to do her homework and her nightly reading while I was gone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You kids, with your bad songs and your fine print

I went to the gym last night. We try to go together as a family on Monday nights, but my husband decided to stay home and eat fun size candy bars from his daughter's Halloween stash instead. Don't tell him that I told you that.

As usual, I got to the gym and then climbed onto an elliptical machine (I say "as usual" because I only know how to use three machines and the elliptical is one of them). I recently added a couple of new songs to my workout playlist so I was eager to get started.  Here's the confession part. I recently bought new earbuds. I know for a fact that one little bud has an L on it and the other has an R on it. The microscopic L and R are black, the same color as the ear buds. I have no idea which is which. I just shove those bad boys in my ear holes and hope for the best. I'm pretty sure my left ear is hearing music meant for my right and vice versa. This getting old stuff is for the birds!

I typically bring my lunch to work. I often eat vegan pockets of various kinds - like this one, for example. Every single time, I find myself looking at the tiny print on the back of the wrapper for clues on how long to cook the thing in the microwave. It either says 1 1/2 minutes or 112 minutes - it's hard to say which.

I regularly find myself studying garment tags when washing new clothing. Wash in cold water or piping hot water?  I usually just decide I'll take my chances and throw it into the washer with a "what the hell" shrug.  I know I need to give up my contact lenses and go for bi-focal glasses instead, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Vanity, thy name is Claudia.

I have other clues about my age (other than my traitorous eyeballs, I mean). My daughter is obsessed with Top 40 music. She loves listening to the weekly countdown. Last week she told me, "Mom, Meghan Trainor didn't win. She came in second!"  She frowned at me in a way that gave me the impression that I should be pretty bummed out about this tragic turn of events as well. Now, if you don't know who Meghan Trainor is, you are probably even older than I am. I'll wait here while you Google her.

"Sweetie, Meghan Trainor is making money hand over fist so it doesn't really matter if her song is number one or number two. You don't need to worry about her, trust me."

Anyway, my kid has memorized every lyric to every Top 40 song and belts them out at the top of her lungs. And, good gracious, are the lyrics stupid.  They make me cringe.

Here is a sample:

Is it weird that I hear
Violins whenever you’re gone
Whenever you’re gone
Is it weird that your ass
Remind me of a Kanye West song?
Kanye West song

Now, most of the songs she likes are chock full of inappropriate lyrics. At least the worst words are bleeped on the radio. I find that it's impossible to keep these songs off her radar, though. I mean, I can physically turn them off but she still finds a way. She is always begging me to turn on a local station that she likes. Sometimes I give in, sometimes I don't. I'm not all about that bass (no treble), I guess.

The fact that I am shaking my fist about dumb song lyrics is just another sign that I'm older than dirt. It's how I knew my mom was old when she criticized the lyrics of songs that I liked when I was a kid. In the midnight hour, she cried more more more. With a rebel yell, she cried more more more.  "More what?" my mother would ask.

With my new car, I have a three-month trial of Sirius XM radio. I made the mistake of telling the kid that there is a Top 40 station on there, so now we have to listen to that when she's in the car. Bad music always finds a way, I guess.

Another little tidbit about my trip to the gym . . . as I was zipping along (but going nowhere) on the elliptical, a cute guy walked over and then settled on the stretching mat to my right. I glanced over and noticed that he was doing push-ups. And then I noticed . . . that he was so young that he could easily be my son. So now, on top of going blind and not understanding popular music, apparently I'm also some kind of pervert.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orthodontia Update

First off, my kid does her daily reading in this position:

I'm not sure what it all means. Second, her front teeth currently look like this:

I guess the palate expander is doing its job, because her front teeth are getting farther apart by the day. It's like they're on separate coasts, one in Los Angeles and the other in NYC. In fact, they've started warring rap groups. It's a little alarming, but I know it's all part of the grand plan. We have to turn the key for a couple more weeks. Then the expander stays in place for several months so that the bone can fill in where her hard palate has been forced apart. I feel like I could drive a Smartcar through those front teeth, but the kid doesn't seem alarmed. 

In other news, she and I spent the weekend together so that we could volunteer at a pet expo out of town. We ate dinner at a fabulous vegetarian/vegan place and then went back to our hotel to go swimming. Lots of mother-daughter quality time. I even got her to tell me which boy at school she likes. When I took her to a school dance last week, I saw about half a dozen boys chasing her so I couldn't be sure which one was the object of her affections. Anyway, I have the scoop now but I've been sworn to secrecy. We also talked about a book my sister sent her, called "The Care and Keeping of You." It's an American Girl book that used to belong to my niece. I asked the kid about it and she said she read the whole book. "Well, do you have any questions about menstruation?" I asked her.

"Oh, I didn't read the page about ministration," she responded.  

"Do you want to?"

"Not really." 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lookie what I got!

The first payment is due on December 14th so if you were expecting a Christmas gift from me this year . . . um, I hope you like it?

It's a 2012 Chevy Equinox LS. No crumbs embedded in the back seat, no dog hair (yet) . . . ah, it's glorious.