Monday, June 30, 2008

In Re Amway

Before I start my post, might I mention that right now, as I type these very words, the boy is sleeping ON HIS OWN IN HIS PLAYPEN? There is a God. Anyway...

Fran from down the street come over today.

I thought it was nice, albeit kind of weird [Fran is, like, 70 years old, and the only time I'd met her was at Rosie's party and OH BY THE WAY Rosie is taking an... interesting... vacation but I won't judge her because I actually do really like her... OK maybe I'll judge a little bit, but don't we all?].

Fran talked about the layout of our homes [they are all very similar, but each has its own design quirks, kind of like the
Gosselin sextuplets], and about the updates she's been doing because she's trying to sell hers in order to move permanently to her vacation house. She talked about the baby, because she has a grandson two months older than him [but my kid is already as big as hers so IN YOUR FACE OTHER BABY]. Mostly she just made small talk for probably an hour and a half. Oh, Nino from up the street made a brief appearance too... another post for another day... but he left abruptly after I denied stealing his hedge clippers.

So I noticed that she was carrying a business card around with her. As I thought she was getting ready to leave, I asked her whose business card it was... and then I realized that she wasn't fidgeting because she was getting ready to leave. That would have been too easy; my life is not such that people stop by innocently just to chat. But, oh, how I wish it were.

Turns out, Fran has an Amway business [but it's not called Amway - it's "Quixtar North America"]. She wants me to start one too! We could be Quixtar friends and go to meetings and seminars and make money for our families together! We'd make money for buying things that we already buy! Doesn't it sound great?! And there are so many more benefits that I have to throw in a few more exclamation points!!!

Seriously, me with an Amway business? Are you kidding? Insert your own joke here, because there are too many to choose from.

Ugh. It's a rock and hard place situation, because I just met this woman, but I'm going to be living next to her for a while [even if she does sell her house, she'll still be on the street all the time visiting the rest of the neighbors]. I don't want to make any enemies [or any more enemies than Nino, see above]. I know she'll be calling to get me to come look at a "business plan" [emphasis on the quotation marks, please].

It's too awkward... I can feel myself recoiling from the social progress I've made in the past couple of months. Because it's a snowball, guys. If things get weird with Fran, I'll assume that she's told everyone that I'm not a nice person, and therefore I will avoid everyone on the street and we will turn into That Weird Anti-Social Couple, which is worse than before we ever became involved with the neighbors, because then we were just That Weird Couple We Know Nothing About.

Maybe we should move.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mock Trial

So, the little one's baptism date is set.

We have to invite people.

I had my eye on this invitation from Inviting Smiles, but our party is going to be decidedly less formal than that suggests. And $2.39 a pop? Um, nah, thanks.

So off the little one and I went to our local huge craft store conglomerate franchise to purchase supplies. Bless his heart, he let me wander around for over an hour contemplating paper styles and ribbon options! [I realize I have about 2 minutes before he says "I hate shopping, and I'm not very fond of
you either, Mom."]

So I picked a few shades of cardstock and ribbon, but this is my first try... what do we think? It may not be up to Martha's standards, but I think we can make it work. [The text is clear when you click the picture, and click it again to zoom, but you
likely don't really care enough to click twice, and I don't blame you.]

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daddy's Boy*


*Apologies for the blur.
**Apologies to Husband, for this is not his best angle. But no one's looking at him with that little SCHMOOPY WOOPY NOM NOM in sight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Restart Later

I hate it when my computer demands an update. Even after I comply and choose 'Express Install,' it's not done with me. No, sir. For the next infinity days, it will implore me to 'Restart Now.' But I don't give in that easily. Instead, I click 'Restart Later' every five minutes until one day the computer loses power/spontaneously shuts down/asks the Husband to 'Restart Now' [ever the diplomat, he bridges the gap between me and machine].


I choose 'Restart Later' in a lot of other ways, too.


The in-laws surfaced yesterday. For a lot of reasons, the Husband and I have limited contact with his immediate family. We see his Grandmother and extended family pretty regularly [who can resist when we're greeted with off-the-boat Italian deliciosity?], but since we married, our relationship with his parents and sisters has been... strained, to say the least.

How cliche.

But maybe it takes a life-altering moment like that to put things into perspective. Simply put, it became clear to the Husband that his participation in his family was completely one-sided.
Husband mulled this over on the beaches of Costa Rica during our honeymoon [how romantic!], and decided that, instead of phoning them, we'd wait for them to call us upon our return [he did let them know that we'd arrived safely home]. They didn't call and, predictably, the situation deteriorated and that was that.

The situation isn't a happy one, but we [especially
he, Husband] are markedly happier now that we're not jumping through hoops all the time. Our legs are recovering nicely as well [really bad, awful joke].


Of course, as they say, a baby changes everything.

When addressing our baby announcements [I hear you snickering! Yes, it took me nearly two months to get them ready to be mailed, OK? Mother of the year, right here.], Husband decided to send one to his parents, largely to placate his beloved Grandmother [whose
relationship with them is as, or more, strained as ours, and for many of the same reasons... but do as she says and all that, right?].

This prompted a response, in e-mail form. I won't repost it here, but I will admit that it was not combative. On its face, at least. They want to know what to buy for the baby. [Not that I think any gift is necessary, but that is most definitely not a response they would accept. Trust me.]


It's fine, I guess. We'll suggest a savings bond for college and there will be some exchange; I don't know if we'll see them or they'll mail it.

But the can's open and there are worms everywhere.


Where is that button when I need it?

I'm It

Moo tagged me for a book meme that goes sumpin' like this:

Pick up the nearest book.

Turn to page 123.

Find the 5th sentence.

Copy down the next three sentences.

Pass it along.

I recently picked up Bill Clinton's
Giving: How Each Of Us Can Change The World. I haven't read it yet, but it looks kind of like a Chicken Soup for the Philanthropist's Soul; that sort of thing is nice once in a while, right? It was on top of my bookshelf, so it's my meme subject.
The young people I met were as intelligent, informed, articulate, and future-oriented as any college group I have ever encountered. They were looking past the years of killing, even past the economic ruin left in its wake. Anyone who met them would want to support Liberia's rebirth.
Liberia, a nation founded by freed slaves, has recently emerged from an intense civil war and is trying to rebuild under its female President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The resiliency of these young people Clinton describes is inspiring, particularly in this time of political uncertainty here in the U.S. (certainly, civil war isn't on the horizon, but I think many of us need to believe that the winds of change are blowing). Instead of dwelling on the shortcomings of our current leadership, may we be as forward thinking as those young Liberians.

I try to keep an open mind about politics; Lord knows I don't have all the answers, or even some of them. But I do think that there are certain fundamental principles upon which we should center our political discourse. We'll get into them sometime, I hope, because I'd like to know what you all think.

*Edited because OOPS I forgot to tag someone. So I'll tag Lag Liv, because maybe she needs another distraction to take her mind off of the Bar exam.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Miss TJ Maxx

Ever since I stopped working, I've been plagued by the question "What do you DO all day?"

It happened again today, when Rosie stopped by to invite me to her next party. [Incidentally, OMG APPARENTLY WE DIDN'T MAKE THAT BAD OF A FIRST IMPRESSION!]

I was able to blow past Rosie's inquisition with a simple "Today we just hung out at the house," but it's not always that easy.

People don't mean to belittle me with the question. Probably. Right? Or maybe the do. But when they say those words, I hear "You lazy lout, do you just sit around all day hoping your ass gets bigger? Because, if so, it's working."

The thing is, I'm insecure about what I do all day. I don't feel like I do very much but by the end of the day you'd better believe I'm exhausted. Between sponge bathing, changing and re-outfitting the baby after his tenth 'blowout' of the day, nursing him repeatedly [and then some], trying to entertain him so his little brain doesn't go to mush [OK, also because I feel like he's totally bored staring at my ugly mug all day], and wrangling the cats, I don't get any housework done, let alone any homemaking. Martha would be so disappointed.

Truth be told, many days we don't even get out of the house, except for a stroll around the neighborhood in the evening. When the baby decides he'd like to eat every two hours, and eating takes him 45 minutes, I've got about an hour and fifteen minutes to get somewhere and do something before he's demanding a meal. And I'm not the type to whip out a boob and let him go at it in public. So I limit my outings to places a) within 15 – 20 minutes of home in case of a complete infant meltdown, and b) with parking lots large enough for me to park in a relatively secluded area so I can feed the beast in the backseat. This is tough for me, because even though I'm pretty much a loner, I like to be out and about [perusing the clearance sections of every available establishment].

Anyway, back to those question-askers. Next time one confronts me, what should I say? That I contemplate world peace? Solve previously un-solvable mathematic equations? Write SCOTUS-quality legal briefs? [Alright, sometimes their analytical integrity is questionable, but these briefs? Airtight.]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hello, Neighbor

I'm trying to meet people now that I have a kid. I think that's what moms are supposed to do.

It's not easy.

So yesterday Rosie down the street threw a party. And I was invited! Can you believe it?! OK, it's only because I pay her son $12 a week to mow my yard, so it was probably kind of a sympathy invite. But I take what I can get.


I had to bring some food. An appetizer and a dessert. An appetizer and a dessert! Double the potential for utter disaster as I give a few dozen people food poisoning. Fantastic.

I couldn't just bring something from the grocery. Oh I could. However? That wouldn't make an impression. If I'm going to a party and bringing food, it has to be a least slightly better than mediocre. That's all I'm going for. So I brought a salad and brownies. A summery salad with apples, grapes, walnuts and grilled chicken says "I'm not trying too hard, and I'm a healthy, and oh, this is something I just threw together. You think it's delicious? You flatter me." Right? I don't eat salad, but that's kind of the impression I get from people that do. And brownies. Because the mix is delicious.

So down the street we went [well, nothing is that easy, but this story is already getting a little long, right?].


Then there were the questions. The questions I'm uncomfortable answering, because maybe I don't know the answers.

How old is the baby?

Easy one! Eight weeks. Yes, he's big. But he's not off-the-charts big. Stop saying he's so big! You'll make him feel fat! And I have enough weight issues for this whole little family, ok??

What do you do?

Another easy one. I stay home with the baby.

But before that?

Oh, before that. You know, a little of this, a little of that. There was college, then law school, then...

You're a lawyer?!


Oh, I have a question for you...

The answer really depends. On what? On a lot of things... You know, the husband's a lawyer too, a better one than I am and "HONEY?! Please come over here!"


You know what? He's probably not a "better lawyer" than I am, at least in the academic sense. I went to a prestigious law school. Really. And I did well. Really. I was good at law school and I am good at lawyering.

But, you guys, I hate it. I even hate telling people that I'm a lawyer. But I am, and there's a certain credibility afforded to me when people know that I am. So I do tell, but I always regret it.


All in all, meeting the neighbors went well. Unless they're all still talking about us.... about the baby's diaper exploding, covering my husband in pee... about the monkey dish the brownies were on that I spent half an hour choosing in Target [options limited by my inability to purchase any item not on clearance]... about me awkwardly nursing the baby on Rosie's bed as her friend walked in on me... about me rambling on about how terrible it is to smoke around children as the woman behind me lit one up... oh, about any number of mishaps.

But you know what? They're not so normal either. And the husband and I are still talking about THEM.

Take that, neighbors.