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Showing posts from November, 2008

Don't Forget to Wave

Now that our vacation has reached the halfway point, I've made a couple of observations about the great state of Oklahoma.

One, there is an unwritten law that requires you to wave to drivers headed in the opposite direction on the back roads. I keep forgetting until it's too late - the benevolent, waving driver has already passed me, his hand held palm outward in the unrequited gesture. I was driving with my dad the other day so I appointed him as our official waver, since apparently I cannot handle the responsibility.

My mother informed me that there are degrees to the wave that are permissible. You can extend your whole arm and rotate your hand rapidly at the wrist, in an enthusiastic version of the greeting. Or, if you are feeling a bit peckish, you can get away with raising your index finger (no, not THAT finger) above your steering wheel.

The good news is that I'm in a rental car (with out of state plates), so whenever I forget to wave, the locals just think I'm a je…

Oklahoma's OK (or at least pretty damned decent)

The kid and I made it to Oklahoma on Saturday. Our flights were on time and we had no complaints (well, A had a few, but that's par for the course). God love the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport - we had a three-hour layover and they have a children's play area. We killed an hour there, until one member of our party loudly announced that she had to poop. I took her to a handicapped stall and stood facing the corner while my daughter yelled, "Don't look at my poop!"

My dad met our flight in Oklahoma City. My parents are in the process of moving to OK permanently, and my dad is still in DC, working. So, he arrived about an hour before we did, and we got a rental car and headed to the middle of nowhere. My mother lives in the middle of nowhere, and my sister lives somewhere west of nowhere. Seriously, she lives on a road that has no name. The British lady inside my GPS was completely baffled when I tried to drive over there for a visit.

As I was out and about ye…

Off to Oklahoma (Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain)

The kid and I are headed to Oklahoma, Land of Meemaw, tomorrow morning. I've been packing since Tuesday. I'm trying to keep it pared down to the basics, but I also feel compelled to run through a few "what if" scenarios ("what if she rolls in a pile of opened magic markers?" - don't laugh, I actually have a very strong suspicion that she has done this) and plan accordingly. The kid, for her part, is being very helpful by filling our luggage with things like Mardi Gras beads and a small painted pumpkin.

We've run into one minor snag. Now, A has been housebroken for around eight months now and seldom has an accident. But yesterday, just as we were about to head out to see "Sesame Street Live," she peed through her underwear and onto the bathroom floor. I didn't think much of it, and got her changed and then cleaned up the bathroom. Later, after we got back from the gala performance, she was laying in my bed and peed again. Suddenly…

Hey, did we end up with an opened-box floor model or something?

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Mmmm, cinnaminnamon toastA had her six-month cleaning and check-up with our dentist yesterday. Her very first visit was in May and as I mentioned in a blog entry at that time, I learned then that she is defective: she's got an underbite.

At yesterday's visit, the dental hygienist was cleaning my daughter's teeth and mentioned the underbite. She gave me a knowing look and said, "You should start putting away money now for the orthodontia." She informed me that she used to work in an oral surgeon's office and that this sort of thing gets very expensive. Expensive, as in, you'll-be-living-off-Ramen-noodles-straight-into-your-golden-years expensive. "If it gets really bad, she won't even be able to bite into a sandwich," the hygienist said ominously. I had visions of my beautiful daughter developing some freakish Bulldog jaw. (In an ironic twist, I volunteer for Boxer rescue, and one of the tests to determine if a dog is a purebred Boxer is to co…

"You don't hafta go home, but you can't stay here."

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After partying like a big dogSaturday was a long one. I attended a Weight Watchers meeting at 8 a.m. I lost a couple pounds but again, it's the same few I keep losing and gaining. Anti-climactic at best.

Then I drove my van across town to the dealership for an oil change. I was overdue by 1,000 miles, but I'm sure they've seen worse. I listened to my iPod while I waited for the plastic pager to buzz the news of my van's ready-to-go-ness. One of the mechanics (technicians?) came towards me, clipboard in hand. "Shit," I thought. It seems like every other time I'm in there, they show me some random part from my car and tell me how degraded it is. "This is your schnehoozadumper hose, Mrs. M. See how rusty it is?"

But, I got lucky this time. It turned out they had forgotten to write down my pager number and were unable to summon me. They were sending me off with just the oil change, as luck would have it.

Next, I drove to Target to buy a gift card for a…

[Insert Expletives - the More Foul the Better - Here] Airlines

The kid and I are flying to Oklahoma next Saturday for Thanksgiving. We're connecting through Minneapolis. This is the fourth year we have flown for Thanksgiving, and each year the airlines find new and unusual ways to make the entire experience as unpleasant as possible. I knew there were new baggage fees since the last time we flew, so I called Northwest Airlines this morning to ask if I'd be charged if I check a car seat. In the past, a car seat did not count towards one's luggage limit at all. After all, it's a safety item for a child, required by law when traveling in a car, and not a set of golf clubs.

Knowing that the airlines are now charging for everything from Diet Coke to oxygen, I thought I'd better just make sure they weren't planning to charge me for checking a car seat. I sent an email through the NWA website (the acronym NWA always makes me think of the gansta rap group first and the airline second, which probably means there is something very wr…

Chloe-oh-wee-oh

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I, wanna take you to my cage
Lock you up and hide the key
Chloe-oh-wee-oh

I often sing to Chloe to the tune of "Jungle Love" by The Time. This means that I am: a) lame, b) mentally unstable c) old, d) all of the above. Oh, and she's stone deaf, so there's that.

Chloe, a purebred Boxer, has been a guest in our home for nearly seven months. A lot of people passed her by, despite the fact that she is young, healthy, smart, and housebroken. Well, I am iffy on the "smart" part. She is intelligent in that she learns new commands quickly and easily. But the other day I was emptying the vacuum canister when it sprang open prematurely, dumping a heap o'gunk on the carpet. Chloe ran straight over and started eating it. I thought she would stop when she realized she was eating dirt but, ah, no.

Anyway, because she is deaf, most people dismissed her out of hand when they saw her on the rescue's website. Finally, though, an applicant came to meet her last weekend. C…

Stuff Not to Say to Moi

"Mama, you're sooooooooo . . . large."

That's what my precious daughter said to me on Saturday. Couldn't you just eat her up?

I did take her to Weight Watchers with me that morning. She doesn't know why I go or that it has anything to do with my apparent enormousness. She entertained herself during the meeting by drawing letters on a points tracker. At one point she whispered, "Mama, somebody farted at your meeting!" After Weight Watchers, we headed to a craft fair and then out to brunch with my friend Nancy.

Later in the afternoon, I drove out of town and stayed overnight at my friend Becky's house (in case you ever spend the night at Becky's, please note that she seriously turns the heat off overnight. I assured her that this would not keep me from freeloading in the future, but that it was darned good try.) I spent most of Sunday at a dog fair with the rescue. Let me just say this about that. If you ever attend a dog festival of some sort an…

Truly, truly maddening

I know I've complained about this before, but would someone please tell the media that raising a child makes you a parent - not just the act of giving birth?

I stumbled across this article about Nicole Kidman.

The quote that made my blood boil:

"Then, last July, Kidman gave birth to her first child, daughter Sunday Rose. Suddenly the long lenses were back, behind every bush and mailbox.

The new mother has reacted intensely with "whatever that primal thing is, the need and desire to keep her very protected," Kidman says."

This baby is not her first child and she is not a new mother! Her other children, Connor and Isabella, were adopted at birth and are now teenagers. The woman has been a mom for a long time now. But according to the media, I guess those were just practice kids and she's got her real one now.

I was in the delivery room when my daughter was born. The moment I saw her, I understood why people say that a mom can muster the adrenaline to lift a car of…

And you thought you could rely on inanimate objects to be . . . well, inanimate. (Alternate title: this is where the tall tales begin.)

Yesterday morning, I sent my cherubic daughter off to school in a light blue Gymboree frock ("with a beauuuuutiful ice skater princess on it, Mama") and with a white plastic headband perched on her skull.

When I picked her up, no headband. I learned that an amazing feat of physics had occurred during the afternoon. Apparently, the headband flew off her head and spontaneously snapped in two. "It broked all by itself," my daughter assured me solemnly.

"Really?" I responded. "You weren't, you know, twisting it?"

A shook her head vigorously. She didn't break down under cross-examination when her dad asked her about it at dinner either. You gotta give her credit for sticking to her story, no matter how illogical.

Later, when I was talking to my mom, she suggested that maybe a malevolent spirit had attacked my child. A spirit that . . . really has it in for headbands. I believe it may be related to the same malevolent spirit that has been known to…

My Overwhelming Popularity

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One of my two readers sent me a little award. Woot!

Thanks, Jennifer! By the way, at one point I examined my friends list in Facebook and determined that a full 10% are named Jennifer. Apparently there was a scarcity of baby girl names from around 1970 to 1980. I noticed that the Duggar family held out as long as they could but ultimately bestowed the name upon the seventeenth of their J-themed clan. It was inevitable, really.

I should add that the Jennifer who sent me the award is, of course, my favorite.

In any case, apparently I am supposed to include the answers to a slew of questions. The caveat: you only get one word for each.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is your significant other? Bed
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Glamorous
5. Your father? Kind
6. Your favorite thing? Daughter (if the answer was supposed to be an inanimate object, I'll go with "brownies")
7. Your dream last night? Unknown
8. Your dream/goal? Publication
9. The room you're in? Of…

When You Can't Get a Babysitter . . .

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You stay home with your three-year-old, hook up your iPod to a speaker, and take photos of each other dancing. Wait, that's not what you did last night?

Not That Kind of Father . . .

Trick-or-Treating was pretty uneventful. I dug out the kid's wagon and hauled her down the street. We have a nursing home about five blocks from our house. I don't think "nursing home" is the correct term and I know that "old folks' home" is not politically correct, but I assume you know the type of joint to which I am referring. It's the sort of place I've been threatening to put my parents for quite some time, even though they are only in their fifties.

Anyhow, the Harmony Home had a sign inviting trick-or-treaters, so we thought we'd check it out. There was a sign inside the door that read, "Follow the feet if you want a treat!" A followed the orange feet laid out on the carpet as they wound through several rooms. Kindly oldsters handed her a piece of candy as she passed by. The ladies, in particular, exclaimed over her princess gown.

"Her grandma made it," I'd say.
"What's that?"
"HER GRANDMA MADE I…