Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"thank you for the blessings"

That's the grace we say at our table. It's cobbled together out of my lapsed Lutheran upbringing (where we said grace before my mom died, and then sat in front of the tv with tv trays after she died and said nothing but pass the ketchup), my son's Fire and Brimstone Lutheran preschool grace, and my husband's deeply spiritual athiest beliefs. If we were a dog, we'd be a mutt - soulful, loyal and kind of mangy.

But last night, we said it at our table, holding hands, just as we do everytime we gather together at our table. And I felt deeply, humbly, grateful. I had a horrible flu yesterday, the kind where I actually slept during the day (which I NEVER can do unless I'm sick), I ached in my hair and my eyelashes, and coudn't get warm until I finally figured out to put my hands in the pockets of my robe, buried under down comforters. My husband called in to work, arranged to stay home, even though I told him he didn't have to. I would have crawled out of bed and walked Joe-Henry to the bus, and home again, but he wouldn't hear of it. He got Joe-Henry dressed and walked him to the bus stop in the sleeting rain, came back and did laundry, made me tea, and let me sleep the sleep of the drugged. He brought me flu medicine and the 50 lb. Vanity Fair, hunted all over for my reading glasses, made a delicious dinner and kept his sense of humor. I mention this, because I am not particularly a great nurse. I get things done, but I am efficient, in a Nurse Ratchet kind of way.

He inspired me. He is always a hardworking, loving, hysterically funny husband. And he wears a kilt! There are times when the wave we are riding seems to be too huge to believe that we won't be capsized, but we hang on - to each other, to the promise of the future, to this sweet, funny kid who could make a ride on the Titanic a lot more fun. Not that I'm comparing our marriage to the Titanic, but there have been some rough seas. But our little boat has been pretty sturdy so far.

So, Sweetheart, for no reason other than the fact that you did what you always do - you gave me your best self, selflessly - I love you. Thank you for the blessings.

Monday, February 26, 2007

potty mouth

You may have noticed a trend here in the last few days. Things are being said by Joe-Henry that might lead one to believe that we live in a truckstop, with foul-mouthed, white trash folks popping in and out that are filling my boy's mind with words that are only used by lazy adults with limited vocabularies.

Well, I have to tell you, we don't. I do my best to limit my cursing, because I think it's a sign of ignorance. But I'm not proud of the fact that he's learned most of them from me, usually when I find a cat poop surprise in the basement. Still, I was kind of stumped as to why certain things were flying out of his mouth. I mean, really, he's kind of a goody-goody, like me, and wants so much to do the right thing at all times. He's forever reminding anyone who says "Oh my God", that they should opt for the much nicer "Gosh", and if I do happen to let slip a curse while cleaning up after the cat, or in traffic, he reminds me to use nicer words. When I reprimanded him about his Bush comment, he felt so bad that he'd used a bad word. I have never said anyone was a "fuck" (or "fucker" for that matter) in front of my son, nor has his dad. But he must have heard one of us use it at some point, so he just thought it would probably be a good thing to say to stay in the conversation. Because he's just smart that way, I guess.

But last night, when he made his comment about how his feet smelled like "ass", I couldn't figure out where it had come from. But I just got it. He's been watching "Ice Age: The Meltdown", and I heard one of the characters say "your breath smells like ants." and at the same time I saw the 100 watt lightbulb go off over Joe-Henry's head. He actually said "ANTS! It smells like ANTS!" Then he said, "Mom, I thought they were saying ASS! But that's not really nice, is it?"

No, but it IS pretty funny.

So in case any of you were thinking that Joe-Henry needs to have his mouth washed out with soap, or more importantly, that he needs to find some parents with more sense and less trash talk, rest assured, we've got it under control.

At least, gosh darn it, I hope so.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

oscar impressions....

1. Loved Ellen.
2. Loved Will Farrell & Jack Black & John C. Reilly
3. Helen Mirren looked amazing.
4. What was with Philip Seymor Hoffman's hair?
4.a Celine Dion kind of freaks me out.
5. The triple whammy of Jennifer Hudson & Beyonce followed by the commercial with all the gorgeous women in their underwear prompted my husband to steal a line from my blog. ("Oh Dear God. I've ruined my panties.")
6. While I was cooking dinner, Joe-Henry would call me in urgently, "MOM! There's another pretty girl in a dress!"
7. I LOVED the choir doing the sound effects, and the gospel choir at the beginning.
8. Loved Pilobolus.
9. Loved Forest Whitaker's acceptance speech, but I'm always stymied when winners credit God. I completely respect their belief, but I just wonder if they think God doesn't like the other nominees as much.
10. My favorite speech was by the guy who won for Best Live Action Short. I can't do it justice, find it somewhere. It was really good.

I leave you now, with the little mind movie I took during the last moments of the show:

Interior: Night
The television is on. A small family watches the Academy Awards. Father is sitting in the big chair, while mom and child in mismatched pajamas snuggle on the couch. Pan from the television, where Martin Scorses has just won a much deserved Oscar to the child, who is giving his version of an acceptance speech, while snuggled on his mother's lap:

Child: "Thank you to my family and to all the people that are loving. It's nice to be in a family with people who love me......"
Close up on sweet face, rosy cheeks, then pan to mom, eyes moist with tears of happiness.
Mom: "Oh, Sweetie, that was so nice. That's the best speech of the night."
Sound Effect: The sound of child inhaling deeply. Close up of child's nose as seen through two of his toes, then:

Child: "My feet smell like ass."

Fade to black.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

new music

Our son, Joe-Henry is quite a musician. We've been recording him for some time now, but have been having a tough time trying to figure out how to post the songs. We didn't want to youtube it for some reason, but I set him up with a blog at vox.com., because I couldn't figure out how to do audio here. Let's see if this works...

The Dark Cave of Hair by Joe-Henry McQuary

Friday, February 23, 2007

tag, part two

ACK! While I was in the shower, (I know, it's mid-afternoon, why am I so lame?), I thought of more movies I love!

Here they are:

Network, Broadcast News, Living Out Loud (the last two with Holly Hunter at her best), and for fall on your ass funny The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson. Best. Sex. Scene. Ever.

Over and out.

I do love a good game of tag...

...especially if I can sit on my ass while playing. In my past life (pre-Joe-Henry), my hubby and I were quite the movie goers. Not necessarily Cinephiles, but movie goers. We'd see the big blow-em-up-good movies, along with the required if you're going to be a hooty-patootie-film -buff Foreign Films.

Here is my list of my 12 favorite films. Or as Ms. Suttonhooput it so well, my top twelve stick to my ribs films. These are films that stay with me, that even mark some milestones in my life.

1. Ponette. A French film about a little girl who loses her mother and how she copes. The most amazing children in this film. I cried my eyes out. Having lost my mother at a young age, this film came at me like a hurricane. I've never seen it again, but I want to.

2. Singin' In The Rain. I had a HUGE crush on Gene Kelly when I was a girl, and the dance numbers are so much fun. It's been a fun one to introduce Joe-Henry to. He loves "Moses Supposes".

3. The Goodbye Girl. Can't be beat for pure shmaltz. It was a seminal film for me in terms of my wanting to be an actress. I thought Richard Dreyfuss was sooooo sexy. (My taste has changed a bit, but I still like 'em smart, funny and sassy).

4. That Thing You Do! Another cheesy one, but it's where I developed my insane crush on Steve Zahn. Plus the peppy music can't help but put a smile on your face.

5. Sunset Boulevard. So crazy, so Hollywood, so beautifully shot.

6. Les Diabolique. I saw this on tv when I was about 11 or 12 and it sooooo thoroughly creeped me out. I LOVED it. The first time I went to Paris, I visited the grave of Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. I'll never forget the guy in the bathtub. Yikes.

7. Waiting For Guffman. As an aging theater whore, this one did me in. I have a hard time watching it now, but for all the right reasons. "Bastard People!" I haven't seen "For Your Consideratio" yet, but I plan to. Christopher Guest is my hero. (Like I've said before, girls love the funny!)

8. Out of Sight. George Clooney & Jennifer Lopez. This only makes my list because George Clooney is such a dreamy dreamboat in his dark suit. Oh, dear God. I've ruined my panties.

9. O Brother Where Art Thou. If it weren't enough that he's so damn handsome, he's FUNNY. We really started getting into bluegrass music after this movie. The soundtrack is amazing.

10. Time Indefinite. A documentary by Ross McElwee about family and life and death. You know, just frivolous stuff. My boyfriend at the time took me to see it, and it affected us both pretty deeply. Shortly after that, he asked me to marry him. I said yes, and the rest is history.

11. Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows. Another orphan movie. Cried my stinkin' eyes out.

12. It's a tie between Little Miss Sunshine & The 40 Year Old Virgin. I fell in love with Steve Carell when he was in Anchorman. I really didn't like that movie, but I thought he was brilliant and so funny I hurt myself. In L.M.S. he's so vulnerable and funny, and T.40Y.O.V., he's just so sweet. When we lived in L.A., I saw him at the Grove (it was right after Anchorman), and he was there hanging out with his kids, and I was hanging out with JH. It was Christmastime, and we were listening to some guys singing, and I was standing THIS CLOSE to him. He seemed like a good dad and a nice guy. So, I sort of fell in love with him.

That's it for now. Although I think I'll have to come back with Joe-Henry and we can do his 12 favorite films of all time. I'm pretty sure Ice Age: The Meltdown will be on there. He's watching it now, spilling Nerds all over my freshly cleaned floors. Sigh. What I wouldn't give for a night out at the movies.

I'd tag someone, if I knew them well enough to know it wouldn't bum them out. Franklin, if you're up to it.... you're it!

When I'm 100 Years Old by Joe-Henry McQuary

Joe-Henry had his first 100 days of school this week, and there were lots of lessons about counting, etc. But they had to tell an adult what they would be doing when they were 100 years old. (He stayed away from the old standby "I'll be dead, and so will you", so he was actually able to finish his assignment.)

So here it is, with no editing from mom:

When I'm 100, there will be black gates on 13th & Grand Boulevard. There might be new people in town. Maybe there won't be anymore cars. Maybe everyone will have to take buses. My house will change. The color will wash off and the floors will get older. I'll still be singing songs, but I'll have an old voice. I'll have wrinkles on me. There will be new things in my house. My bathtub might look different. I think the town will get older. I think that there will be different stores.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

another Chance encounter

Joe-Henry, future President of the United States, got off the bus today, looking at his shoes. I could tell that something was wrong the minute I saw his face. As soon as the bus pulled away, he gave me a hug and said "Mom, Chance was mean to me on the bus again. He kept repeating what I was saying, and was teasing me about my big finger." This story has a happy ending, but I have to do a little venting here.

As I've written before, my son was born with a rare disorder called Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. His case is fairly mild, and we consider ourselves incredibly blessed and lucky. If all we have to deal with is a few stares and rude comments, well, so be it. But still. When someone teases your kid about anything, it's very hard to keep any mama lion from roaring.

This is the second time this little boy has teased Joe-Henry, and it marks the first time that any child has teased him about his k-t. Kids have asked questions, and some have stared and whispered to their moms, but no child has ever been outright cruel. I want to meet this little boy. In a dark alley. All I could think to say to Joe-Henry was "It sounds like Chance doesn't hear any kind words at home. He doesn't seem to have anything nice to say at all. Just ignore him - he's not worth your time." What I didn't say was "This kid is an inbred peckerhead little shit meany meanpants." But it was on the tip of my tongue.

As I said, this story has a happy ending. After I told Joe-Henry to ignore him, he said, "I did Mom. And you know what? Desmond told him to knock it off. He said I was just born that way, and he needs to be quiet or he'll tell a grown up." If you've been reading this blog, you know that I've been a little worried about Joe-Henry missing his LA friends, and not really finding any pals here yet. But there he was. A friend on the bus.

Chance doesn't get any more space here, because I heart Desmond.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Joe-Henry for President

We've been celebrating President's Day somewhat differently at our house. Well, to begin with, we didn't celebrate at our house. We celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa's house in California. By the beach. Sweet! I'm sure that's what they had in mind when they came up with this holiday - "Yeah, verily, and we shall crowd the nations byways and skyways with children on holiday from school, and they shall remember the founding fathers, and be thankful." Or something like that.

Then of course, there is the general, um, how to put this politely...distaste? for our current leader. That's just in our house, of course. But G&G don't care for him much either. So when dear leader showed his mug on the news the other night, Joe-Henry said, in his best grown up, authoritarian voice "President Bush is Such a Fuck."

With all the air sucked out of the room, I quickly put on my mommy hat and chided, quietly, "Joe-Henry!", which completely dissolved him. He was trying so hard to be part of the conversation with the grown ups, and I reminded him, quickly, that he wasn't. I later told him that I was sorry, not for reminding him not to say that word, but for embarrassing him, and for using the word in front of him, at some point, so that he could pull it out of his arsenal in front of his grandparents. I told him it wasn't a good word for a six year old to use, but that if he WAS going to use it, he used in the proper context (although I didn't add that he should have added an "er" on the end). And I agreed with him. About the president.

Anyhoo, today in the car he said, "Mom, I think I want to be President. I think I'd be good at it." "Would you?" I asked. "It's a hard job. What would you do that would make you a good President?" Here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the first draft of his stump speech....
"First, I'd fire President Bush. Then I'd be kind to everybody. I'd be a good worker, I'd tell people it's important to save their money, and not just spend it all on one thing. I'd tell everybody to be good, to be nice to each other like Martin Luther King, and cooperate with each other. I'd also say it's important to spell words correctly."

That's my boy. He's got my vote.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

going home

We've been on a little vacation. We came to Carpinteria, CA to visit Joe-Henry's Grandma and Grandpa (and assorted other family and friends), and bask in the weather. Well, I don't want to say too much, because I know how cold it's been in other parts of the country, but...

This weather has been perfect. And this light. The February light in Central California is spectacular. The colors are so vibrant it's like being on mushrooms (not that I'd know anything about that, Joe-Henry, if you happen to read this later in your teen years, say, and are wondering why you can't do drugs because your mom did), and the air smelled like Eucalyptus and the ocean and campfires.

It's always hard to leave. Joe-Henry has such a bond with his Grandparents, and they love him dearly, and I always feel like the Nazi in "Sophie's Choice". But I know we'll see them again soon. And believe it or not, I'm looking forward to home.
Even though at home, there is rain, and laundry and runny cat poop, there is also our little family unit. My hardworking husband, who came down for only two days and went back early to go to work; our diabetic cat and the other one, the one that sounds like Darth Vader and shits on the rug; and there's our little Grandma house that catches the light like a crystal hanging in a window; there is our routine - school, volunteer work, my life.

I'm grateful for all of it. The vacation, and the return trip. Home.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

go, girls!

After becoming a mother, I realized the truth of "necessity is the mother of invention". But for too many moms out there, the saying goes more like this: "necessity is a motherf*&#er".

I know I'm coming late to the party about this, but I think it's worth repeating anyway. I read an article in todays
Oregonian about a new doc called "The Motherhood Manifesto", based on the book of the same name. I'm sure you've heard of it, but just in case, I thought it was worth repeating. You can learn more about it at Momsrising.

I also wanted to mention two blogs that I've loved reading in the last couple weeks. Franklin5 and More Than A Minivan Mom. Not only are they smart and funny, they also have links to other great moms to read about. In fact, I found MoreThanAMinivanMom from a link on Franklin5's blog. That's what I love about this whole blogging deal: there is a whole world of inspiration out there. Of course there's a lot of schlock, too, but that's what makes finding great blogs so rewarding. It's like meeting someone really cool at your kid's school and finding out they live right down the street. Having children is incredibly rewarding, but can also feel lonely and isolating at times too, so it's great to find community, in whatever form it takes.

And a final shout out to my friend, D., whose blog detritus I read on a daily basis. Full to the brim of beautiful pictures and keen insight, this woman can do it all. Check her out!

Ladies, you keep me going! Have a great day. Over and out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

my funny valentine(s)

Smart, funny men are my weakness. I am a gal who loves humor, as you may have noted from some of my posts. It is by far a surer way to my heart than, say, flowers and candy (unless it's chocolate, then it's a tie). When I met my husband, we were working on an industrial film together, and the jokes he kept lobbing were for me and me alone (no one else in the room seemed to get them). Our courtship was intense, and there were times I thought for sure it was the end, but he had the funny, this guy, and he kept coming back, and well, sixteen years later, here we are. We are parents who deal with the mundane everyday stuff, but almost every day he makes me laugh. He makes me think. And he stirs my heart.

He knows me, too. What makes me tick, what gets my goat, what will make my eyes fill with tears (I am a huge sap, although less sappy than I used to be), and what will make me laugh out loud. We've been through the mill together, and have had some truly hard times. There are times when I don't understand what's in his head, but I never doubt his love for me, or my love for him. We scrap it out when it's tough, and we truly enjoy each other's company when it's not.

And our son. Our son is a perfect combination of the two of us, and his own unique person. He has his Dads' killer sense of humor and his Moms' love of a bad pun. One of our treats (if he doesn't have school on Friday) is to snuggle in our bed and watch "The Office" or "Monk" with me. He LOVES The Office. Luckily, most of the grown-up jokes sail over his head, but he gets the funny. He thinks Dwight is hilarious. So imagine how excited he was that his Dad picked out the perfect Valentine's present for him to present me with this morning. He could hardly contain himself, but he did. Admirably. He's cute, funny, smart AND he can keep a good secret.

His Daddy picked a beautiful present for me, too: a tiny little gold heart with three tiny rubies in it. It's perfect. He's funny, smart, sexy AND he knows how to shop.

Lucky, lucky me.


Got a call from my gynecologist's nurse yesterday. I go in next week to talk about having a procedure to remove a "polyp" and also to talk about some thickening of my endometrium. Whatever that means. We leave tomorrow to fly to Santa Barbara to see grandparents and friends, so I'll have a long weekend to enjoy some well deserved sunshine and stay away from doing google searches on "thickening endometrium".

If I imagine Daffy Duck saying it, it's less scary.

Thank you all for your love and concern. You are my angels.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It's been an eventful few days here - not big events, but lots of small, full to the brim with crazy detail events, and it's mostly just washing over me, bathing me in soft light. Of course it could be the Lexapro. The only downside is the horrible indigestion I seem to have all the time. But I'm told that that particular side effect will vanish in a week or so. God, I hope so, because it's uncomfortable. Especially since I am used to my iron stomach (iron on the inside that is, on the outside I put the Pillsbury Doughboy to shame!)

Last Friday I had an ultrasound to determine what is going on inside my uterus. A few days before I took a home pregnancy test, just to rule out being the oldest mother on earth. (I'm not.) The woman who ran the ultrasound machine was incredibly efficient, and that was a great thing, since I had to drink 32 ounces of water before and had to pee like you read about. Every time she pressed that thing on my belly, I thought water would shoot out of me like a firehose. Luckily it didn't, and I retained my dignity (and my water), until she finished, told me to empty my bladder and come back for part 2. I did (it took FOREVER), and I came back in and she pulled out the giant dildo looking ultrasound probe. She did her best to explain what it would feel like, which, I guess you might need to know if a) you've never had sex, or b) never used a tampon, but since I am an old pro (emphasis on old) at both, I just focused on her hair and glasses as she spoke. She had a nice middle aged bob, and her glasses were too big for her face. She asked me if I'd had a lot of bleeding (I haven't), she "hmmmm"d, and typed furiously. I should know the results in the next day or so. Honestly, I feel fine, except for the cold that Joe-Henry and I both have, so I'm not too worried. Well, you know, except for the moments of sheer panic when I'm sure it's something horrible and I should start planning for the end. Hahahahahaha. Okay. I'm slightly terrified. But I'm doing my best to live in the moment. And there have been lots of "moments" (most of them wonderful) in the last few days to take my mind off things...

...Bingo night at his school on Friday night. I had volunteered to round up volunteers and also to work in the "daycare" room. I put those quotes there, because it wasn't daycare, it was a three to twelve year old free for all fiasco in the gym, with everyone on scooter boards, pelting each other with dodgeballs. I was one of five "adults" in the room, two of the volunteers being teenagers. We were soooo lucky that no one got seriously hurt (one little girl with giant glasses did get a cut lip, after her mom came to get her at the end of the night). To say that I badly needed a beer after is an understatement. It had been quite a day.

On Saturday we had a birthday dinner here for my brother's girlfriend, and the food was delicious (if I do say so myself!) - Southwest Caesar Salad, enchiladas, brown rice and banana cake for dessert. It was so nice to have all the happy voices in our house, and the capper was when Joe-Henry suggested a dance party in the living room, and all the adults agreed! I have always dreamed of having the house where everyone has a fun, non-alchohol fueled time, and this was the epitome for me. Plus, my husband made my brother laugh so hard he cried, which was worth the price of admission.

Sunday Joe-Henry came down with a cold, and he's missed school for two days. He's not too sick, but sick enough to stay home and snuggle his mom on the couch, and watch too much tv and play game after game of "Guess Who?"

Full of moments - just every day moments, most of them passing without notice, some of them shining like little jewels to be tucked away in a pocket of my memory, to visit when I'm feeling a little scared or blue.

Like right now. My son is cuddled on the couch, whining miserably about his stuffy nose, demanding saltines and watching "The Upside Down Show" for the four hundred and second time. Even when he's whining, he's still pretty sweet. I guess I'll tuck this one away too.

my valentine

"I have a crush on you. You know that? I think you're beautiful."
My son as he was getting in the tub the other night, as I helped him out of his shirt and he reached over and stroked my cheek.
You could have mopped me up with a thirsty towel and I'd still be mostly a puddle on the floor.

We've been getting ready for Valentine's Day for the last few days here. Joe-Henry wrote out most of his cards that we needed to get in the mail, and last night finished all the cards for his class. He took great care in choosing the cards for his classmates, making sure that each child got the card that he thought they'd like the most. He got the cards that had kitties and puppies on them, that said things like "It's puppy love" and "You're as cute as a kitten!". I love that he didn't want to get superhero or Cars Valentines (even though he loves them), but that he wanted to get these sweet little animals. It's kind of the last vestige of his "pink" phase - which he no longer wears because it's a "girl color", even though last year he was sporting pink and orange striped galoshes and pink converse tennis shoes. He also had princess costumes in his dress-up box along with batman and ninjas, and recently had me take them out and give them away. "Those are girl things, mom". I miss that little guy that wanted to be Ariel for Halloween, but I also love this new little "macho" kid that recently wanted to watch Basketball on tv. His dad is such metrosexual -he's not into sports (although he enjoys watching them from time to time, we aren't glued to ESPN), loves to shop, and loves reading and music. Sports just aren't really on our radar, but I suppose if he wanted to play something, we'd be all for it.

But right now, we like puppies and kitties and music and snuggling. And the occasional Basketball game on t.v. I feel like I've won the kiddo lottery.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

my fantasy

I'm in a restaurant with fabulous food, cooked by someone else, with sparkling, beautiful dishes that will be done by someone else. I am not interrupted while I speak, my best girlfriends are there and there is lots of red wine and dark chocolate. At the bar are Steve Carrell, Steve Zahn, Jon Stewart and George Clooney, all smelling really nice. They all make eyes at us, then come to our table to join us, buying us drinks and flaming desserts, and everyone tells me that I am the smartest, funniest, sexiest woman they've ever met. They all tell jokes and make brilliant conversation, and my eyes glaze over because I have a great buzz on from the wine and the chocolate and speaking with adults. My husband walks in and takes me in his arms and drives me home. So to speak. Leaving my girlfriends with the Steves, Jon and George.

Everyone calls the next day to dish on who had who, and they all tell me that all anyone could talk about was how smart and funny I was, and they couldn't believe that I could do crafts and organize a Bingo night and make instant mac&cheese ALL IN THE SAME DAY.

I am a goddess.

star student

I'm so proud I could burst. My son is the star student in his kindergarten class this week. Last Friday he came home and was almost ready to vibrate out of his skin, he was so excited to show me... There was a big piece of paper, with each letter in his first name underlined, like a game of hangman, and quotes from his fellow classmates about things they like about him. Here is what they said:
" He likes to go to parks and play."
"He likes to play every day with cars and buses"
"Joe-Henry likes to come to school"
"Joe-Henry acts nice and plays with people"
"He doesn't scream, or punch because he's nice."

This week, in addition to his homework, he is completing his "Star Student" book, which is all about him. It should be pretty interesting to see what he does with it. On Friday, his dad will get to go to school with him and take some treats, and listen to a special book he selected to read, as well as the book he made. I want to go, but I have a doctor's appointment.

It's been amazing to see what a little pat on the back from someone other than mom and dad can do. I've noticed how straight he stands and how much more responsible he's been this week, taking better care of his toys and working a little bit harder on his homework.

Great job, son!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

new arrival

Congratulations to my neice Amber and her guy Aaron - their new baby is here!

His name is Isaac Allen Lewis Jurkovich
He was born February 6th, 2007 (one day post due date!)
at 4:58 a.m.
he's 20 3/4 inches long
and 8 lbs. 1 oz.

Grandpa Dale called yesterday morning from the other side of the moon with the good news!
Welcome Isaac! The world awaits....

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I don't know about you, but knowing that there will be an early spring gives me hope. That and the fact that there is a glut of good Democratic candidates for the next presidential election makes me feel tingly and giddy and puts a big smile on my face. With apologies to anyone who might read this who is a Bush fan, but I am counting the days.

I have to say though, ANYONE else is going to seem so refreshing, so intelligent, so much safer. I feel like we've been in the backseat of some frat boy's car on a Saturday night. Mom always told us not to get in, call for a ride home if we needed one, but we didn't want to wake anyone up, and now it's 4:00 in the morning and he's gone from throwing a few beer cans out the window and yelling at sleeping cows to driving with his feet while he guzzles tequila with one hand and fires off an uzi with the other, all while smokin' a doobie, singing "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" at the top of his lungs.

But the dawn is on the horizon, if we can just hold on, the good guys are on our tail, they're setting up a road block and this country might see the daybreak yet. In the meantime, it's not over yet. Let's keep our eyes open so we can remember where we've been, so that we'll never, EVER do this again.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

adolescent humor

It's good to know that after 15 years, my husband can still make me laugh with his adolescent humor. Being the only female in this house, I am subject to lots of fart jokes, lots of physical comedy (usually involving some part of my body hurting the day after being head butted by my boy who is bursting with love for me) and I must resort to the polite voice in my head, the Lutheran mommy who says "that's enough!"

But there is also some part of me, that used to be much bigger, louder and far more profane. I know this might be hard for some of you to believe, knowing me to be the delicate flower that I am. I used to swear like a truck driver (and still can, when behind the wheel), and have been known in my house to "cut one" on occasion.

Last night, we just were on a downhill slide into potty mouth and innuendo, which was the most fun I've had in a while. It started when Joe-Henry, getting ready for his bath, brought up the fact that one of our very favorite singers, Justin Roberts was on Jack's Big Music Show yesterday. It was a show about different styles of music, and Joe-Henry was trying to describe the music Justin played he kept saying "It was screwbay music". "What?!" my husband said with a chuckle. "SCREW-BAY music" Joe-Henry said, slower and louder this time. I walked into the bathroom at this point and said "Um.... don't you mean zydeco?" "YES! Zydeco!" he shouted, triumphantly. (Say them back to back now, and notice how "Zydeco" sounds exactly like "Screwbay") At this point, Charley said in his best deadpan voice, "I believe I've been to Screwbay.com" "you were the high bidder, weren't you honey?" was my equally deadpan reply.

At his point, Joe-Henry has moved on and is in the tub, playing with his fish, when two of his plastic friends began having a conversation at the fish cafe. "I'm going to go over here and do your mom!" one of the fish, (I believe it was Joseph) said to the other fish. Charley raised his eyebrows to me, and I said "F.I.L.F."? He had to leave the room at that point, but returned in time to hear "Amanda" talking to "Isabella". Half of the fish have southern accents, and half of them sound like Peter Lorre, but Amanda sounds like a big, burly wrestler, for some reason. So naturally, Charley mistakenly called Amanda "Joseph". He was corrected immediately by Joe-Henry, who rolled his eyes at his dense daddy, who turned to me and said "of course - Amanda. A man - DUH!", at which point it was my turn to leave the bathroom.

The rest of the night went on like that, with Joe-Henry blissfully unaware that his parents were living in an alternate universe, where everything related to sex, and everything was hysterically funny.

It's nice to know that I can visit that universe once in a while. But guess what? It's morning again in our household, my darling, hysterically funny husband is off being responsible at work, and now I guess it's my turn. The dishwasher is calling me. Why am I smiling? The dishwasher sounds just like Amanda!

Friday, February 2, 2007

fear, part 2

Have you ever been to the doctor and had them totally blow you off? It's so frustrating, isn't it? But here's the other end of that spectrum - have you ever been to the doctor and had them be so thorough, so attentive, that it made you really, really nervous?

I went to my gyno yesterday for my yearly exam. We are fairly new to each other because we just moved here last spring, so I found her through my brother's girlfriend. I like her a lot, and feel like I'm in good hands. I'd been to her a couple times in the last six months due to urinary tract infections and some abnormal bleeding. At that time she assured me that it was common for women to have some changes at this stage of life, and I didn't worry too much about it. But yesterday, while taking my full history (again), and during the exam, she got alarmed and said "I think I'm going to order some tests". She says she's worried about fibroids, but wants to rule out all the "biggies". Gulp.

I go in next Friday for an ultrasound, and then she does a biopsy next month.

I'm usually pretty cavalier about stuff like this, but I have to tell you, I'm kind of scared. I had to have a biopsy once before, in my early thirties, and they found nothing, so I'm really hoping for the same outcome. I'm glad I can get in next week for the ultrasound, and I'll breathe even easier when I get the results of my pap smear and blood test.

A side effect of this is that I am feeling like a total bitch. I was so short with Joe-Henry this morning and last night, and I know he's feeling scared too. He's such a little emotional sponge, I can tell he's feeling it. Last night he had a complete meltdown over a little game, and I realized that I was having the same kind of inappropriate responses about little things too, so of course he's going to go there.

I'm going to just try my best to stay calm, take the tiny dose of Lexipro she prescribed to ease my mood swings, go for walks, and think healthy thoughts. Wish me luck, because I'm a total hypochondriac.