Saturday, March 31, 2012


My middle sister (with whom my daughter and I are currently staying on our little vacation) read my last blog entry and couldn't help but notice that I failed to mention her extraordinarily gracious hospitality, good looks, and generalized charm and wit. I regret the oversight.

In other news, I'm enjoying having some quiet time. Today I watched two Dateline episodes in a row and got some reading done. My kid spends every waking moment with her eight-year-old cousin.  They get along pretty well. One interesting little development,though .  .  .  she's been kissing him. A lot. Now, I think it's fine, but I'm not sure at what point one should discourage such displays of affection - or at least the frequency of them. Earlier, he threw a dirty sock at her and she said, "If you do that again, I will kiss you!"

He replied, "That's not really a threat because I don't mind at all." We went to my sister's gym today and while we were waiting for my sister to check us all in, A and her cousin were sitting on a couch in the lobby. They were taking turns sitting on each other's heads and kissing each other on the cheek. Since we were just about to drop them off at the kids' play area, I thought I'd pass along some helpful advice.

"Hey, maybe take it easy on the kissing when you're in the play area, okay?"

My daughter looked at her cousin and, in a conspiratorial tone, whispered: "We'll just find a place to do it in private."

"Um, can't you two just, you know, give each other a noogie or something?"  Ai-yi-yi.

I also found out that my daughter has been telling some tall tales when I'm not around. My sister took her three kids plus my kid to a frozen yogurt place yesterday afternoon. During our visit last summer, my daughter had bragged to her cousins that she was, in fact, in possession of the new Justin Bieber movie, even though it had not been released yet. My niece and nephew decided to call her out on it yesterday, and asked if they could watch the movie next time they visit our house. My daughter quickly came up with a story explaining why they would not be able to do that.  Would you believe that we have a ninja living across the street from us and that she broke into our house and stole the DVD?  Worse yet, she forgot the case and broken in a second time to retrieve it. And here I thought our 'hood was so dull.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The kid and I are hanging out in the DC area for a week or so. We're staying with my middle sister and her family. My sister had a doctor's appointment this morning and two of her three kids had school, so she dropped us off at the Metro and A and I headed downtown. The kid has been studying American presidents in school and I thought it would be educational for her to see the Lincoln Memorial and whatnot.

When we got downtown, we walked from the Smithsonian Metro stop all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, which is actually a bit of a haul. As it turns out, it takes even longer when the shortest member of your party stops every 30 seconds to pick dandelions. Anyway, we made it to the memorial and she even read part of the Gettysburg address. We also visited the Korean War memorial and the WWII memorial. The Washington Monument is closed, but we walked up to it and took some photos. 

After that, we walked to the Old Post Office Pavilion and rode to the top of the observation tower. Then we ate a couple pizzas of greasy pizza. I called P to ask if our washing machine had been delivered* and put his daughter on the phone. She told him that she "didn't do much" today. Five monuments and she didn't do much?  After we left the Old Post Office Pavilion, I then took her to the American History Museum - you know, for more nothingness. I also bought her a plush version of Bo, the President's dog. In a pink purse . . . because you know that's how Bo rolls. 

On the ride back into Virginia, she insisted on hanging on a pole even though there were plenty of seats.

Keep my baby off the pole! 
*I would tell you about my trip to the laundromat, but I've blocked most of it out. It involved a lot of unsupervised children and loud, non-English shouting. My soul died a little that day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Of broken washing machines, pet expos, and birthday parties

The worst has happened: our washing machine died. I deduced that it was not working properly when I attempted to wash a blanket, only to find that it weighed a hundred thousand pounds when I attempted to pull it out of the washer and put it in the dryer. The spinny thing inside the washing machine? No spinny now. When I told my husband about the washer's passing, he rolled his eyes and said this: "Fine! Let's just replace it. Again! I swear, we've had to replace that thing so many times!" I waited until he was done with his rant and suggested that he go downstairs, lift the washer's lid, and look at the date of manufacture. I knew he wouldn't do it, so I took the liberty of advising him of the date, which is 1998. You know, the year we bought our house? While it is true that we've had to replace the dryer, the washer served us for 14 years. To me, that seems like a pretty good run. I gave up on trying to convince my husband of the washer's dutiful loyalty, though. It's hard to reason with someone who does not understand how time works. He also maintains that he buys me flowers "all the time."  All the time = once a year on Mother's Day and once a year on my birthday.

Anyway, I went to Best Buy on Friday and bought a new one, which will be delivered on Thursday. The kid and I are flying out to DC on Wednesday. By the time we get back, I'll be looking at nearly two weeks of laundry that will have accumulated. So, I am thinking of doing the unthinkable: going to the laundromat. Now, I do not mean to imply that I think I'm too ra-sha-sha to to go the laundromat. It's just that, you know, I did my time with that crap. I'm having flashbacks to living in the dorms in college. No matter what time of day or night you tried to do your laundry, if you didn't have your stuff out of the dryer within a millisecond of the buzzer sounding, those chicks threw your shit on the floor. When P and I lived in an apartment back in the day, I had my share of hauling my clothes through the snow and across to the laundry building. Walking back to our apartment one time, I remember finding a pair of my underwear in a snowbank.  I was so traumatized by the whole thing that when we bought our house, I made sure that a washer and dryer were delivered the same day we moved in.

I may just suck it up and do a couple loads before we leave this week. I did run to Kohl's the other day and buy Miss Thang a new pack of underwear. They are iCarly drawers, which thrilled her to no end.

In other news, I worked at a pet expo Saturday and Sunday. I took my foster dog, Valentino. He was such a good boy. Everyone loved him. I did have one little mishap, though. When I was leaving the booth on Saturday (as the expo was ending), I thought maybe I should take a bunch of our cash with me so that we weren't leaving it overnight. I'm the treasurer, so it seemed to make sense. I put the money in an envelope, grabbed Valentino's leash, and headed out. But when I got home . . . no envelope. I had a panic attack. I flipped my purse inside out. I searched my car. I thought maybe I had dropped the envelope in the parking lot or something. I sent an email to the two volunteers who were working the first shift this morning, letting them know that I lost the money and to send me a text if they found the envelope. I wasn't really expecting that they would find it, though. Seeing the state I was in, my daughter asked her Magic 8-Ball if I would find the money. "Yes," came the reply.

Well, lo and behold, they did find the money. Apparently I left it . . . right on the table in our booth. However, we did cover the table with a sheet before we left, so I guess that's why I didn't see it. Anyway, half my weekend was sort of ruined, but I'll live - if my stupidity doesn't kill me, I guess.

While I worked at the pet expo this afternoon, the kid was at a classmate's party. I went to Target yesterday and picked out a gift and a birthday card for her friend. I handed A the card last night. "Here, sign this," I told her. A few minutes later, she handed the card and envelope back to me. She had written "I LOVE YOU JACK" all over it. Then she drew hearts and wrote "J+A" inside them. What the? She told me she loves him as a friend. Well, I sure hope so because what is the alternative? Also,  guess I need to talk to her about subtlety and such. I didn't realize she was so keen on this boy. They are on student council together, so maybe their love blossomed while they made posters encouraging the student body to participate in Crazy Outfit Day?  All I know is . . . Mama's not ready for any boy stuff. Nosirree.
Ensemble for Crazy Outfit Day

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pet Peeve #457

My daughter attends public school. As such, I understand that education budgets are tight. I'm all about supporting my kid's school. Book fair? I'm there. Butter Braid pastry fundraiser? I'll take three (cinnamon . . . mmmmmm). I send in snacks for the class whenever a reminder comes home. I attend the concerts and the special events. I try not to be a pain in her teacher's ass.

Recently, a note came home about a drive for hygiene products needed for local families. I promptly bought a couple tubes of toothpaste and some shampoo and sent it in. The student council held a similar drive in December and we participated then as well.

I mention all of this not to make myself sound like the most awesome mom ever, but rather to make it clear that I am not anti-charity. Obviously I've been feeding foster dogs for a dozen years now, so if I can directly help someone (someone with or without fur), I'm in. What I don't like: sending money to humongous charities and faceless causes. I do not support the American Cancer Society or the March of Dimes or any of the biggies. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. One is that the large medical-related charities do fund and support animal testing. If torturing animals in the name of science had any chance of curing cancer, I'd say it would have happened decades ago. Another is that a lot of that money is funneled into high salaries, land holdings, and other stuff not related to curing anything. Similarly, there is little evidence to support the fact that buying products that have a pink ribbon slapped on the front is helping anybody. If you know someone with breast cancer, I'd have to guess that offering to drive her to treatments and appointments would be more helpful to her than buying a random household product just because it's sporting the ubiquitous pink ribbon.

So, recently I've been in a tough spot. In the many papers that I fish out of my daughter's backpack each day, I found one for a Jump Rope for Heart event. I participated in Jump Rope for Heart myself when I was in sixth grade. We assembled in the gym and then jumped to the soothing strains of "I Love Rock-n-Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I'm aging myself here, aren't I? Anyway, I knew my daughter was desperate to participate in this event and get a prize. I don't particularly want to give money to the American Heart Association. So, what's a mom to do? I wrote a check for the minimum amount I could donate and for which my child would receive a prize. Yes, I compromised my ethics in the name of motherhood.

The school is now running a "penny drive" for leukemia. I recycled the information sheet (again, fished out of the cavernous backpack) and hoped my daughter would not bring it up. Well, they held an assembly about it at school so obviously I've got no prayer of burying this thing. I should add that A has a friend who is a leukemia survivor. I would not wish leukemia on any person of any age. I just don't believe that my handful of pennies will cure it. In reality, I suspect that there are a lot of entities out there that actually benefit from the very existence of cancer and have no incentive to make it go away, but I guess that is a separate rant.

I don't know - I guess it just bugs me to have pressure from my child's school to give to charity when all of our extra resources are already going to local causes (including the one for which we volunteer directly). Am I just a curmudgeon?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In case you didnt believe me . . .

You talk too much, you worry me to death.
You talk too much, you even worry my pet.
You just talk, talk too much.

My daughter talks a lot. So much, in fact, that her teacher made her draw a diagram of where A could possibly move her desk so as to quell the insatiable need to chit-chat with her neighbors.

I Googled the term "least populated state" and came up with Wyoming. So, that would be my vote. And of course there's always the moon.

(click for larger view)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Random weekend stuff

Well, spring has sprung, eh? It has been freakishly warm. Normally in these parts we're still wearing jackets in May. So, I was ill-prepared from the sudden onslaught of warm weather (as in, summer clothes are still sound asleep in plastic bins in my basement). What really struck me as odd is that it wasn't a one or two-day anomaly - it's been a sustained stretch of above-average temperatures.  Part of me thinks, "Well, isn't this nice? I can walk the dogs after dinner!" But the rest of me thinks, "Holy shit, we're all going to die in a fiery apocalypse when the planet hurls itself into the sun once and for all!"  Seriously, though, if this year's weather isn't proof positive of global warming (or climate change, or whatever you want to call it), I don't know what is.

The kid and I are flying to DC next week, so we are really excited about that. We're leaving P with four Boxers, but he doesn't seem to mind too much. He can play poker on his Kindle around the clock without having the ol' ball and chain asking him if he's developed bed sores (he also enjoys it when I make passive-aggressive statements like, "I know you're really busy with all that nothing that you're doing, but would you please help the kid with her math homework?"). He'd probably drive us to the airport now if he could. I bought the kid a few new spring/summer things for the trip. Most of her clothing from last year will still fit her fine, though, in as much as she forgot to grow this year. My little sprite. The only thing on her that's not tiny is her mouth, which runs from sunrise until well past her bedtime. I figured she could use a few new things for DC and then for Disney, though. I wanted her to come shopping with me, but she chose a play date with one of her friends instead. I know how I rate.

Speaking of Disney, I bought our "park hopper" tickets on Friday. As soon as I clicked the "purchase" button on the Disney website, our bank's security division freaked out and called us immediately. I guess they were surprised to see us making such a freakishly large purchase out of the blue on our debit card. Believe me, Mr. Bank Person, no one is more shocked at the cost than we are. I am concerned that they will have to call us every time we buy a bottle of water at the park, too (I'm guessing those are, what? A grand?). I suppose I'm glad they are looking out for fraudulent purchases, though.

In other news, I abandoned my family for the weekend and took a little trip out of town with a couple of friends from the rescue. We went to a St. Patrick's Day parade, drank jello shots (using vegan jello) out of dixie cups, and toured a winery.  We also did a little shopping and met a Basset Hound named Truman - possibly the sweetest dog ever. We came up with a hastily conceived plan to dog nap Truman from the shop where he was "working," but then he started woo-woo-wooing (as hounds are wont to do) so we had to leave him behind. I think Truman weighed about the same as a SmartCar, though, so I'm not sure the plan would have worked anyway. The weather was so nice that we were able to spend most of the evening on our suite's patio . . . eating, drinking, and shooting potato pellets (what? you don't travel with a potato pellet gun?) Actually, my friend Sarah bought it for her children. Or at least that's the line she gave us. We also got a lot of mileage out of a clip-on mustache that my friend Jennifer bought earlier in the day.

When I got home on Sunday, P was apparently exhausted from spending 27 hours alone with his child. He was drinking an amaretto and OJ. At noon. "She just talks so much . . . " he said, his voice trailing off. Last week A announced that she wants to be a librarian when she grows up. If they lift the whole "quiet in the library" thing, that career plan might just work out for her.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

So much for intuition

As you'll recall, my foster dog Valentino was in rough shape when he came into rescue.  I dropped him off at a veterinary clinic on Tuesday to be neutered. He weighed in at 52.4 pounds, which is nearly a 20-pound gain since he first landed at animal control on Valentine's Day.  Now, we knew that his jaw was broken at some point. We couldn't put him under anesthesia and run x-rays because he was too thin and sick to risk anesthetizing him. The vet who saw him initially felt that the bone in the jaw was starting to callous over and that it was healing. Sure enough, Valentino has been eating well and I, too, thought his jaw was healing. When I dropped him off at the vet clinic on Tuesday, I confirmed that we still wanted to run x-rays to see what was going on with the jaw. My best guess was that the jaw was healing but that it would always be misaligned (which would account for the way Valentino flings food in all directions when he eats and the fact that his tongue sticks out most of the time).

I felt about two inches tall when the vet called me Tuesday afternoon. The x-ray revealed that the jaw had not healed even a tiny bit - definitely not the bone and not even the soft tissue. Moreover, he had a broken tooth as a result of the fracture, but she didn't want to dig around in the fracture too much. She just pulled out the fragments she could clear away easily. Dr. D said it was a clean break all the way across and that she suspected that Valentino had been hit by a car while a stray. While she had him under anesthesia, she was actually able to move the whole front section of the lower jaw (not where the jaw hinges, but at the fracture line).  I felt like total crap when I realized that this poor dog has been suffering for weeks. I should have pushed to get him in sooner and have him x-rayed once his weight had stabilized. I am kicking myself, of course. I wish I had been more observant . . . or something. I just feel like I should have figured it out.

Since the vet who performed the neuter does not handle orthopedic surgeries, I called an orthopedic surgeon and scheduled jaw reconstruction surgery right away. Valentino went back under the knife this morning. He's got a bunch of hardware holding his jaw together and I'm sure he's in a lot of pain, but he will be fine in the long run.  I just can't believe the poor guy managed to gain nearly 20 pounds WITH A BROKEN JAW. I mean, I can empathize because I don't think a broken jaw would keep me from eating either, but geez. I'm sure it's been rough for him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Proud Parenting Moment #847

"She used her Play-Doh to make a what?"
School was closed on Friday, though I'm not exactly sure why (I've given up on understanding the method to the madness that is our school district's open/close schedule). My daughter spent the day at Kindercare.  When I picked her up, a staff member approached me. She smiled and said, "I just wanted to mention something to you . . . "  Uh oh.

She explained to me that the kids had been playing with Play-Doh earlier in the day. Apparently my daughter announced, loudly and repeatedly, that she was shaping her hunk of Play-Doh into . . . "a wiener."  I immediately began silently repeating in my head: maybe she was talking about a dog. A friend of hers has a miniature dachshund, so maybe?

"I'll talk to her," I told the staff member. She went on to tell me that she had tried ignoring A's loud proclamations about the phallus she was making, as she didn't want to give her the attention she was clearly seeking.

I nodded. "That was probably wise," I said.

"Yeah, and then when I tried to steer the class towards another activity, your daughter shouted, 'WAIT! I'm not done making my wiener!'" 

Moments later, I was loading my daughter into the van and clicking her seat belt for her.  "So, you used your play-doh to make a wiener? What is a wiener?"  please please please let her say something about a dog please please please

She pointed at her crotch. Great.  "Listen, I know you were trying to be funny, but making penises is not appropriate, okay? I'm not mad at you and you're not in trouble, but please don't do that again."  She frowned a bit and nodded. When we got home, I pulled her father aside so that I could share this proud achievement with him. "Your daughter used Play-Doh to make a wiener today." He (and maybe this has something to do with him being a boy) found it amusing.

I feel compelled to mention that we have no recollection of using the word "wiener" at any time. I'm not saying it's never been uttered in our home, but it's not like we replace every other noun with a synonym for penis. So, she must have picked it up at school .  . . a realization that's sobering in its own right.

If she starts molding testicles, I'm home-schooling her.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The week that was

I have been feeling out-of-sorts for a few days and couldn't figure out why. I spent several days this week feeling uncharacteristically emotional. Maybe it's because five different people challenged me to "Words with Friends" on Facebook and I am losing every. single. game. At one point, one of my letter trays contained six E's and a T. I mean, fuck my life. Seriously. So yeah, I laid down the word TEEN and racked up five points, yes I did. See, everyone thinks that English majors rock at Scrabble but the dirty little secret is that many of us are painfully bad at it. Scrabble (and Words with Friends, which is the same thing) is a game of strategy and math, not vocabulary (I felt a little better when I heard the hosts of A Way with Words confess that they are not good at Scrabble). So, while I am laying down awesome words like malaria and getting very few points, my friend Kate slaps a Q on the board somewhere (without even using a U, mind you) and gets hundreds of thousands of points from that single letter. I'm going to key her car next time I see her.

I think one source of my general feeling of unease this week stemmed from the tattoo (which itches like a mofo, by the way - nobody warned me about that part).  Getting the tattoo brought a lot of stuff to the surface that I generally prefer to keep tucked away. The tattoo represents the very worst thing that ever happened to me (four miscarriages) and the very best thing that ever happened to me (my beautiful, smart, funny, stubborn daughter, who came into my life via the blessing of adoption). My friend Rachel called me the other day and told me she loved the tattoo and that it's "the perfect tattoo."  I was happy to hear her say that, as I haven't had the most enthusiastic response from some of the people who are closest to me. I don't regret getting it, not even a tiny bit.

I think I just needed a little time to let my feelings settle back to where they were. I'm feeling a lot better now. Or maybe it's just the built-in euphoria that Friday brings. It's been a long week. Earlier in the week I had one of those "I've lost my mind" moments, which seem to be occurring with an alarming frequency now. The kid and I are flying to DC at the end of the month.  My middle sister was going to fly out to visit us, but she realized it would be cheaper if she bought us plane tickets (2 of us vs 5 of them) to visit her instead. She sent me a check to cover 3/4 of the airfare and I took care of buying the tickets. The plan was to fly there on March 28th and fly back home on Monday April 2nd (P will stay behind with the dogs). I put those dates on my calendar. I submitted a vacation request to my boss accordingly. Everything was all set . . . until I happened to look at my email confirmation from the airlines. We are flying back on Tuesday the 3rd. My only workable theory is that my other personality booked the tickets and she really wanted to stay an extra day. I really have no idea. I used to be so organized.

Anyway, the weekend's here. Woot!  I'm headed to yoga in the morning and then I have a date night planned for tomorrow night (yes, with my husband). Wait until the babysitter finds out we have four dogs at our house now - I really need to give that girl a raise. Speaking of yoga, I went to class on Tuesday and some dude actually fell asleep during savasana. I always wondered if such a thing could happen and apparently the answer is yes. I could hear him snoring softly within seconds of lying down. Keep in mind that one's yoga mat is only a few millimeters thick and that there is a wooden floor right under that. It's not like fluffy pillows and cushions magically shoot out from the walls when it comes time for savasana. At the risk of being sexist, all I could think about was something my mom once said: "Men and babies fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, because they don't have anything to think about." The instructor teased him about it after class and he was a good sport, though.

And now, if you'll excuse me, my bad-ass tattoo and I are headed for the bars the grocery store. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update on Valentino

I am happy to report that Valentino basically looks like a normal dog now. He was 33 pounds when he first ended up at animal control. As of last Thursday, he was 48 pounds. I'm sure he's gained a couple more pounds since then. I soak his kibble ahead of time (before each meal) since he has a hard time chewing because of his broken jaw. I am having him neutered on Tuesday. At that time the veterinarian will also run an x-ray of his jaw. It seems to be healing and I don't think there is anything we can do about it at this point. I suspect he will always just have a hard time closing his mouth fully. His tongue sticks out most of the time.  The reason we haven't done the x-ray before now is that (and I learned something new here) you have to flip the dog on his back so that his chin is exposed, move all of his appendages out of the way, and then shove an x-ray plate in his mouth. Apparently dogs do not do this voluntarily, which is why anesthesia is required. 

I am planning to list him on the rescue's website soon so that he can start entertaining suitors. I think he'll get adopted quickly, particularly since a lot of people have been watching his story closely on Facebook. I will miss the little guy. He's very sweet and he adores the kid. He follows her around and snoozes next to her bed sometimes. Of course, there is also the added benefit that she drops food occasionally.

Valentino is in the lower right corner

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Did anyone see you?

Although he will deny it if you ask him directly, I embarrass my husband occasionally. When we first met, I was in college. I was a junior at George Mason University. One fall morning, I was rushing to class and, as parts of the campus were fairly woodsy, I slipped on a leaf-covered path and fell. My backpack went flying and my tights ripped as my knee hit the asphalt. When I got home that evening I told P what had happened. His response: "Oh, did anyone see you?"  Not, "Are you okay?" or "I'm sorry to hear that" but "Did anyone see you?" I am not sure how I could have embarrassed him in absentia, but apparently it was possible.

So, I have known since then that the dude does not want to stand out in a crowd. He'd prefer if I stay pretty low-key, too. When I got home on Friday and told him I had gotten a tattoo, he looked at my cream-colored camisole and the pink button-down I'd worn over it. My tattoo was hidden under a glob of vaseline and a bandage at that point. I watched his expression closely and saw the corners of his mouth turn downward. "Can someone see the tattoo through that shirt?" he asked.

Growing up, my family members made fun of each other mercilessly (but all in good fun). I mean, we elevated it to an art form. You had to be able to dish it out and take it. So for me, I don't get embarrassed that easily. Last night the three of us went to a hockey game. After the first period, a handful of inflated beach balls were let loose into the crowd. One of the balls was batted around pretty vigorously in our section. I was hit in the head not once but TWICE by the ball. I did manage to bat it away once. My lightning quick reflexes and athletic prowess are clearly unmatched. After the ball grazed my skull for the second time, my exasperated husband said, "You are supposed to HIT it." But you see, I didn't really care. I was busy sending a text to my friend Karen and taking a ball to the head wasn't all that traumatic to me.

As luck would have it, the annual circus cruelty extravaganza was taking place in the building next to the arena where the hockey game was held. As we walked across the parking lot, I spotted some protesters holding signs. I stopped to talk to one of them so I could find out what organization they represented (P kept walking so as to make it clear he is not acquainted with the crazy lady who talks to protesters). The lady gave me the name of their organization and told me how to find it on Facebook. I think I may get out there and protest with them next year. The circus blows. I'll never understand how abject cruelty gets billed as "family entertainment." Maybe that's what I'll put on my sign when I join the protest next year. That should put my husband over the edge. I can hear him now . . . "Will anyone see you?"  Well, the protesters stand on the busiest road in town so . . . probably.

Another thing that's making him nervous: the location of my tattoo. It's near my heart so also . . . perilously close to my left, um . . . armpit. After the game last night I joined my friend Karen (and her friend Tammy) for a drink downtown. Before I left the house I implied that I might show my tattoo (and, by extension, part of my left bazoom) to a few random strangers and I could tell that part of him was worried that I might just do it. For the record, I only showed it to the bartender.

I'm generally pretty introverted so he doesn't have to worry about me singing at open mike nights or walking around at the state fair in a tube top and daisy dukes. But if there's something that's important to me, I'm not afraid to stir up a little shit. When we were on our honeymoon in Myrtle Beach, we stopped at a toy store. We were having the time our lives - we had so much fun that week. Anyway, as I was checking out, the cashier said something about how I had the whitest skin she had ever seen. At first I just let it go and walked back out into the mall. Then I thought better of it. I turned on my heel, walked back to the store, and verbally shredded her. My husband just stood there with a look on his face that seemed to say, "Oh God, what have I married?"

I don't know why he's so worried about me and the possibility that I might embarrass him, though. At the game last night, his kid is the one who threw off her coat so that she could fling herself into the aisle in order to (vigorously and enthusiastically) do the YMCA dance. She's the real loose cannon around here.

Oh dear God, you can see the edge of it. WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY?

Friday, March 2, 2012

And you said I'd never do it

I got a tattoo.  That's right, I'm pretty gangsta. I decided to go with a pot leaf on my neck. Kidding, I'm kidding.  Well, you'll just have to hope I'm kidding, because I can't actually show you my tattoo. It's my daughter's name (and you know I love you, reader o'mine, but there is always the possibility that you are criminally insane) . Anyway, I had the kid write her first and middle names. Then I had the tattoo artist add four shooting stars, which symbolize the four babies I lost to miscarriage before my daughter was born. The stars are emerald green (my daughter's birthstone and - coincidentally - my favorite color), purple, fuchsia, and bright blue. I think I was the tattoo artist's dream come true because my skin is so fair that the ink is pretty vivid in contrast.

Where to put the tattoo was a big decision. She took a lot of time with me and put a stencil on my calf and also on my chest so that I could see how both would look. I momentarily thought of putting it between my shoulder blades, but then I'd never really see it. Ultimately, I decided to have the design etched right near my heart. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I had a little bit of an adrenaline rush right before the needle hit because I didn't really know what to expect, but then I closed my eyes and tried to practice my yoga breathing. You sort of get used to the pain after a few minutes.

I didn't tell my husband ahead of time where I was going. We sort of have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. I mean, he doesn't ask so I don't tell.  He doesn't generally have a big interest in where I'm going and why. I'm not really complaining - I wouldn't want a husband who was all up in my bidness all the time.

My daughter is really curious about the tattoo and wants to see it, but I have to leave the bandage on for a couple hours. She knows it's her name, though. I figure that when she's 13 and screaming at me that I'm the worst mother the world has ever known, I will remind her that no matter what she says, she is forever a part of me. I feel very much at peace with the whole thing, which is weird because I've literally been debating the tattoo/no tattoo issue with myself for years. It means a lot to me to remember the ones I lost, too. Full circle, I suppose.

So, there you have it. Now that I have a tattoo, I'll probably be turning to a life of crime and I'm not sure I'll have time to keep up my blog. But if I do, you know where to find me.