Archives for July 2008

squeezing my heart

My son is 27-months-old. When he was six-months-old, he started clenching his fists once in a while and making a really crazy straining face. He’s done it ever since, mostly with toys in his hands. (Specifically his favorite toys, so right now it’s limited mostly to toy cars and foam letters. But it can also happen with french fries, dinosaurs, balls, etc.) We’ve always called it Hulking Out.

On two occasions over the weekend, his “squeezing” visibly alarmed people who didn’t spend time with him regularly. My husband and I are used to it. My mom is too. (My dad is, but he hates it and reprimands my son for doing it.) When I found myself needing to explain his behavior and laughing it off as his “crazy side”, I had to be honest with myself. I’ve blogged a little about the squeezing before–with more than a little feigned nonchalance.

Is there something “wrong” with him? (It feels like a betrayal to even ask that out loud.) But his squeezing behaviors do strike me as compulsive. For instance, when he squeezes cars, he turns the car and squeezes each side of it before he puts it down. Front. Side. Back. Side. Arrange. Over and over with about twelve or fifteen cars. Or all the foam letters in the alphabet. When he colors, he arranges all his markers and pencils in a long rainbow after only using each one for a few seconds.

Nothing about his behavior really alarms me or seems to harm him. (What parent doesn’t read about autism rates in the news before keeping an eye out for every potential symptom on the planet.)

He seems advanced in some ways. He started speaking at 10-months, started identifying letters and numbers at about 13-months and knew the entire alphabet by 18 months. Now he knows all the consonant sounds and most of the permutations of vowel sounds. We don’t go out of our way to teach him–he asks us and then likes to teach us once he’s learned. “What sounds does a B make? Buh buh buh buh buh.” Over the past three months, he’s started speaking almost exclusively in complete, somewhat complicated sentences. His social behaviors seem completely in line with what I’ve seen from other kids his age. He definitely doesn’t act older than his age at all.

I’m going to chat with his pediatrician about it. She noticed the squeezing in an appointment a year or so ago and thought he was having a small seizure. (That’s how weird it looks.) Once she determined it wasn’t involuntary she wasn’t concerned. We didn’t mention how often he did it–and I figured he’d have grown out of it by now.

It doesn’t bother me. I love his crazy parts. I’m a weird person. My husband is weird. It only makes sense to me to have a son with goofy behavior quirks. I feel guilty for wondering if he’s okay and voicing my concern. But I also feel guilty for brushing it off for as long as I have without really wondering if it could be a sign of future problems or something I need to be doing something about.

Every night before I can go to sleep, I have to go into his room to whisper goodnight to him. I put my hands on his back and I touch his hair and I thank him for being the light of my world.

kiss my ass

I had one of those randomly blissful weekends that make Monday morning extra painful. This time, not so much in the “ugh, work” way but in the “ugh, I don’t want to say goodbye to my chipmunk for the day” way.

Nesting has kicked in full force. Thank god. Cause the clutter in my house was starting to devour me. I spent most of S’s nap time on Sunday cleaning. Then I watched the Project Runway premier while knitting a scarf that looks like someone skinned Abby Cadaby and spun wool from her fur. I love it. Also, knitting with novelty eyelash yarn while watching Michael Kors and Heidi Klum wench together is a near-transcendent experience. I recommend it.

The Chipmunk nearly killed me with Cute twice this weekend. On Sunday afternoon my husband took off for a week-long work trip. I ran out in the driveway for onemorekiss and then ran back in and sat on the couch and started bawling. S looked up and took off across the room at a full barrel run, threw his arms around my lap and said “Mama, I make it all better!! Hi Mama. Hi Mama. Hi. Hi Mama. All better.” He lifted his chin and puckered up until I kissed him.

He made it all better.

Then later last night my best girl Meagn came up to introduce me to her new boyfriend. (My quick diagnosis: Very hot, very nice. Total keeper.) One of the fun things about having single friends is vicariously enjoying the dating lifestyle. (I never directly enjoyed the dating lifestyle having married my first serious boyfriend six years after we started dating. October will be our ten-years-together-anniversary.)

So Meagn and her boyfriend Jacob, who my son named “Blue Jay” (seriously), were running around in circles with S. The Chipmunk enjoys running around in circles more than just about anything else ever. He overshot a loop and skidded and landed really hard on his butt.

So he runs over to me making fake crying sounds and juts out his hip and points to his diapered ass.

I kind of die.

“Do you need Mama to kiss your butt and make it all better?”

My son nods with big crocodile tears. So I kiss his butt.

(I made it all better.)

My Pants

My pants are starting to get snug. The belly is Expanding now. Rapidly! And painfully! I don’t remember this rapid painful expansion with the chipmunk. My guess is that my abdominal muscles have already thrown in the towel and my junk is already preparing for the inevitable re-destruction of all things good. Alvin (dudes this is not actually the baby’s name, he doesn’t have one yet) is kicking up an unholy storm. The kid is strong. Epically so.

This week was weird. I had a total breakdown over feeling like shit the day before my recent OB appointment and then the day of. Let’s just say I’m officially pregnant now, since I have cried and/or yelled at my doctor’s office on the phone, have nearly passed out at work, and have developed a bizarre all-day snacking schema as a result. I’m better now though, really!

I even went to the movies. At nine am! Which, let me tell you, is the best time to see a movie. Why? There are no goddamned teenagers.

I realize I’m spawning little boys who will some day be teenaged little boys. But until then I completely don’t want to deal with them. At all. Especially when I’m paying about $45 dollars for two movie tickets and a bottled water. (Seriously though, the bottled water I got this morning was $4.95.) (Gangsters.)

What movie did I see? Why, The Dark Knight. I don’t want to be a spoiler-monger. So let me say this, and only this. Christian Bale is welcome to party in my pants at his leisure.

(Unfortunately, it’s slightly crowded in there right now. Sigh.)

I like fireworks.

I’m a sucker for spectacles. Not the old-dude-glasses kind. The big production number, fireworks, loud music, shiny lights, splashing dolphins kind. I watch the Oscars and the Tony’s and I can generally be tricked into observing any sort of goofy show that makes itself out to be an event.

My husband does not necessarily share my tendencies, but he puts up with them. On Saturday night I dragged him and the chipmunk to Seaworld’s After Dark thing to try to see one of the night shows and the fireworks. We made it through Shamu Rocks–which despite having most of the criteria I need to cry over a spectacle mostly sucked my balls and included a really loud extended ear-bleedy guitar solo and very few aerial stunts by actual mammals. Ow.

S had one general impression of the show, which appeared to be that it was really loud and at various times was worth bopping his head to. I’m not entirely sure he noticed that Shamu(s) were part of it.

So afterwards we headed home. I wanted to stay for the ski show even though it was more than an hour past S’s bedtime. (What can I say, I’m twelve.) George and I managed to get in a snarky fight while pushing the stroller through the crowded traveling in the opposite direction. Said snarky fight hobbled to a close just as we hobbled to the realization that we’d taken some grievously wrong turn and added almost fifteen minutes to our trip back to the car. Fail!

We got back to our hotel and George went off in search of ice. S and I stood at our window getting in jammies and admiring the I-Drive skyline. We were looking at the “rainbows” in the distance when Universal Studio’s fireworks show started. It was probably a couple of miles away, but S immediately exclaimed “FIREWORKS!” I turned off the hotel room lights and sat on the floor with him.

The grand finale lit up the horizon in the distance, and S stood up straight and started clapping. Not because I told him to. Not because other people were clapping. He stood there in our dark hotel room on the fifth floor and started clapping because damn it, he was excited about those fireworks! (Plus they were far enough away not to scare him.)

Hell yeah, kid.

I want to be his buddy. I want to sit on floors and watch fireworks and tear up and grin and clap. I want to keep my arms around him. I want to have fabulous adventures way past bedtime while I can still be his ambassador to the spectacles of life.

Thank you, chipmunk. You made my weekend.


My son is super, super super obsessed with letters. Since 14 months he’s been able to identify them and now he’s on to letting you know what sounds they make. Any show or songs about letters sends him into a complete trance. Right now he’s really into Word World (DID IT OCCUR TO NO ONE THAT THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY OUT LOUD) and Super Why.

One of his big things is “squeezing.” He’ll pick up foam letters or block letters and he’ll say the name of each one and then he’ll squeeze the shit out of it like he’s trying to perform some serious jedi shitkicking on them. It freaks people out. I think it’s funny. If he starts squeezing his girlfriends like he’s performing some serious jedi shitkicking on them, I’ll start to worry.

He gets bored with the same song if he sings it too many times. The kid likes to freestyle. He’ll sing something like “A B C D E F, DADDY! H I J K LMNO PABLO!!!!” (The Backlardigans and the Yo Gabbas crew make a lot of appearances in conversations with S.)

The Alpha Pig ABCS from Maria on Vimeo.

Also, 22 weeks today!

I don’t like BK Coffee, but I do like this stuff.

In light of my week of crappy nights’ sleep that have been largely my own fault for staying up too late writing/reading/playing Halo3 on Xbox Live I’m going to write a post about things that make me happy. (Instead of chewing on my keyboard and crying pitifully about having gained four pounds in four days.)

Behold! Shoppy/Hobby things I Like or Getting To Know Your Resident Pottymouth:

Lush: It ain’t cheap. And really, it ain’t even that environmentally friendly or free of chemicals. But damn, people. Lush products smell good. The store is porn. Porn for your nose. I use their Flying Fox shower gel when I’m feeling frisky (which is never lately, but still) and their bubble bars and bombs are wonderful indulgences. If you like Jasmine, the Godiva hair bar is just about the nicest smelling thing on the planet. But I only recommend it for short/oily hair, since it can be a little drying. Your best bet is finding a local store or finding a friend who can help you get started.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: When you get past the silly (amazing?) gothic tone and horrible information architecture of the site, what you have is one of the most diverse selections of hand crafted perfume oils available anywhere. A lot of love and creativity is put into these blends. I collect the imps–tiny awesome samples you can buy in packs of six or trade with others online for. Favorite scents? Zombi (fresh earth and wet roses) and Fae (peaches and musk) and a vanilla-one I’m forgetting the name of right now. Oh well. Normally I cannot CANNOT cannot stand fruit/food flavors, but the Lab’s scents don’t reek of chemical Bath and Body Works crap.

Knitting: I’m not great at it, but I really love it. It’s a chance for me to indulge in my weird desire to Collect Things without just… collecting things. Sure, all I can make are baby hats and various scarves, but. But. I’ve never been a crafty chick so the whole thing makes me feel highly accomplished. It’s relaxing and it makes me feel less like a drain on existence when I’m watching American Idol orSo You Think You Can Dance. (I love those shows so, so hard.) Favorite knitting destination? Definitely Ravelry.

Male on Male Romance: Yeah I know, this is the part where my blog nukes the fridge bare weeks after it’s launch. But I have to be straight with you (hur hur hur). I think dude on dude romance (and by romance I usually mean smut?) is hot. The cool thing? I’m not the only lady who thinks so. In fact, some wonderful people I know started a small publishing house a few years ago. Now (NSFW) Torquere Press is thriving and entirely badass. While you’re thinking about how weird I am, think about how shows like Grey’s Anatomy and daytime soaps include scenes with attractive men being all schmoopy into each other and/or making out.

Moving on.

Halo 3 on X Box Live: About five years ago in Gainesville, my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I and two of our best friends started playing Halo 1 together every weekend. This involved lots of beer and (for me) tequila and lots of yelling “DERELICT MY BALLS” at each other. Later on, we joined up with a bigger group of kids and played 16-man games on four TVs in one apartment a couple times a week. I am competitive. However, I am also really super uncoordinated and I hate physical conflict. The perfect solution is clearly running around online with grenades and a shotgun yelling “YEAH, BITCHES!” on Xbox Live with cool people who I can’t see as often as I want to because they live out of state now. I play as captainkitten.

Watching TV: WHAT A LAME HOBBY. But seriously, when my husband and wind down after babybedtime we watch a lot of TV. When S was a tiny baby I used to watch Scrubs on DVD while I nursed him. When we were in college we spent months watching all of Buffy and Angel. We watch a lot of crap on Netflix DVD. Dead Like Me. Wonderfalls. Battlestar Gallactica. Weeds. During the regular TV season we watch Lost, I watch Grey’s, and our current favorite show is Pushing Daisies. I’ve definitely been trying to read more often but–hey wait, no rationalizing. I like watching TV. There, I said it!

Musicals: I. Adore. Musical. Theater. And not even decent, respectable musical theater. I’m taking Les Mes, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, The Buffy Musical (yeah I know, that doesn’t count). Jesus Christ Superstar is my very favorite. I watch the Tony Awards. I go for totally obscure shit like Once On This Island and the briefly-staged musical version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. I have a horrible voice but know lots and lots of songs by heart for private vocal sessions in my car. (When they are not interrupted by No, Mama, BACK LARDIGANS.)

What do you guys love? You know other than your kids and significant others and pets and all that.