Thursday, November 29, 2007

Messy Secrets

Before I left the house this morning,
I already had a banana glop
stuck to the side of my sweater
from the Babylove's hand
and a drizzle of coffee
from the drooling, half-asleep mama.

I could have changed my sweater,
but I didn't.
Instead, I readied my
"Oh, my goodness!" face.

If confronted with a helpful soul's
insights into the palatte--
that was my sweater--
a look of surprise
would cross my brow
followed by a self-deprecating chuckle.

In truth, I already knew.

Monday, November 26, 2007

B-nut Soup

I am no Mollie Katzen, but I do like to play in the kitchen. We are firmly in soup season, so I thought I'd offer up this recipe that I made up. All by myself...

  • One butternut squash
  • 3 or 4 apples (Granny Smith seem to do the best...)
  • Sweet potato or two
  • onion (I like the Walla Walla, but it could just be me missing Washington)
  • two heads of garlic
  • leek
  • 3 or 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • a half a cup of white wine (or perhaps more if you have been drinking too much prior to cooking)
  • Half a package of cream cheese
  • Fresh rosemary (or oregano)
The Roasting Part.
You can do this ahead of time. Even roast a whole bunch and throw it in the freezer.
Cut the butternut squash in half (lengthwise) and hollow out the seeds. Cut off the top of the head of garlic and tuck in the hollow space to roast. Lay the squash fleshy side down on the rosemary, so it absorbs some of that yummy essence. Cut the apples and sweet potatoes in half. Cut the onion in half. Put all in the roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with tin foil and bake for about an hour. You want the squash to be soft, soft. The apples will explode into softness.

The Saute Part.
Clean the leek really well. The slice it up and throw it into a pan, heated with a little olive oil. Then pour in the wine so the leek gets a little drunk in the white wine. Cook until the leek is soft and the wine has evaporated.

The Blender Part.
Scrape out the squash and sweet potato. Spoon out the apples, cutting out the core. (I suppose you could do this prior to roasting, but whatever.) Squeeze the garlic. Put the roasted veggies and the leek all in a big ol' pot. Add the veggie broth. (You can also use water.) Scoop ladle fulls into the blender. In one of your blender mixes add the cream cheese. Keep blending until the soup is smooth. Add more liquid to get your desired consistency.

Enjoy with some crusty bread and wine.

(I think that's how I do it. I have given the recipe to someone before and left all sorts of things out...)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tom & Jerry: Redux

To quote Elton John, "The Bitch is Back."

In this case, the bitch is the mouse.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. CST, I went to get Spence after a particularly lovely night of sleep. (No, actually it was sarcasm here.) The fatal mistake? I left the bedroom door open after returning.

Enter Byron the Cat with a mouse tucked in his jaw. A mouse that was decidedly not dead.

A typical Tom and Jerry scene started to play out in our bedroom. Except Tom had an ally.


As the mouse started to dart towards my breast pump, Dave jumped up and started to toss junk out of Byron's way. I grabbed the boy and skittered out of the room. Dave locked himself in the room with Byron and "Jerry."

Safe in the playroom, Spence and I were playing the 'make a tower, knock it down' game and shaking the maraka. No worries, Dave kept us in the loop with a barrage of text messages.

Message #1: "6:04 a.m.: It's a cage match now. Mouse grows tired, cover diminishes. It knows a larger predator is on the scene." One that may or may not be wearing pants.

Message #2: "6:10 a.m.: I almost want to leave. Exhaustion tugs at me but solidarity will see me thru." A tuffle. Footsteps.

Message#3: "6:27 a.m.: Hunters together. He looks east. I look west." A severe picture of Dave's profile juxtaposed with Byron lazily lounging on the carpet was attached.

Message #4: "6:34 a.m.: My weapon." A picture of my school binder. Great.

Message #5: "6:42: Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide." With a picture of our (now) bare floor. I shuttered to think of all of the neatly folded clean clothes that had been folded on our floor.

More footsteps and Dave's excited voice. I hear him charging down the stairs in triumph. "The game has been caught! The mouse is dead!" In the end, it was Dave, not the cat, that killed the quarry.

My hero.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oral Obsession

"I wouldn't say he's far behind. But yeah, he's behind."

With those words, my heart broke into a million tiny pieces. Just like the supposedly unbreakable Corelle bowl that Spence broke the night before when he ceremoniously rejected my attempt at prunes. (Yes, prunes. The love was a one time event.)

I just stared at the doctor. Her resident looked on, nodding knowingly. She looked to be about 24.

"If he doesn't start opening up his mouth and eating solids, he'll need to go see a specialist. He most likely has oral aversion."

Oral aversion? From the boy that nurses 24/7? What about kids developing in their own time? And the fact that he's only 8 months? Doesn't breast milk provide all the nutrition he needs until age 1? You rarely meet a healthy kid, which he is, who doesn't ever eat. Breastfeeding 18 year olds? I don't think so.

But, I nodded. Terrified.

"And how does he do with the Gerber Puffs? Yo Baby? ... What? You haven't given him Gerber Puffs?"

Call the Bad Mom Police. I have denied the boy Gerber Puffs. If you opt out of capitalism, you need to go see a specialist.

"Yes, he has another four weeks to see if he develops before we'll refer him. And how's he sleeping?"

I should have just walked out. It was a trick question. I had been counseled by friends to just lie in these situations, but like cows to the slaughter... I told her.

There was a whirlwind of words, clicking of cry-it-out, and doctor-giggles masked as empathy and then Spence and I were walking out of the doctor's office. A full 90 minutes after we walked in.

It took me a good 11 hours to realize that the doctor was full of shit. Before then, there were lots of self-doubt, fear and sweet potato Gerber Puffs. And now?

He's starting to feed himself. Sucker.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Prunes! Prunes! Prunes!

We've tried avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash, peaches, rice cereal, nectarines, green beans, pears, apples, peas, carrots, pluots, mum mums, and they were met with only scowls until...PRUNES!

It is the only food that he will routinely open up his mouth to eat.

Delight is a word that cannot possibly capture my excitement. Bliss? Rapture? Tickled pink?

And it is wrapped in with memories of a friend's mom, Pam. With every mouth full and expression of mirth, I think of Pam and how she lived her life with sheer joy. My mind drifts to memories of Pam dressed up as the Easter Bunny and hopping across the family room. (We were in college.) And her sun-like smile on her son's wedding day.

Why do prunes lead to warm fuzzies of Pam? No, she did not have issues with constipation. She was, however, the prune grand dame of Yuba City. The queen of the famed Prune Festival, now the Dried Plum Festival.

Pam left us way too soon. I wish that there were new memories to add to the old. But as Spence chows down on the prunes, I think of Pam and grin.

If You Give a Mouse Pudding...

There might be a mouse in our downstairs bathroom.

I walked into the kitchen to find Dave hunched down and ushering Byron the Cat into the bathroom. "Go! Go! Go!" he was whispering.

"Whatcya doing?" I asked on my way to get some non-fat vanilla yogurt to mix with No Pudge brownie mix and eat raw.

"You don't want to know."

"Byron catching a mouse?" and with that I had opened the floodgates.

"YES! And I need something for back up. To get the mouse! Go! Go! Get me a broom or a mop. Quick! Quick, woman!"

"Whatcya going to do with it?"

"Get the mouse," he said disgustedly.

This from the man that asks me to 'protect' him from spiders. I went back to watching Grey's and munching on my faux chocolate pudding.

Byron is still in that bathroom. Dave is, as I type, chastising me for not loving Byron enough. "Think of all of the times you have tossed him off the bed. Toss! And now he is defending OUR BABY!" (Our baby who is asleep, mind you.) "When he gets that mouse, I am going to fill his dish to the brim!"

Still no actual sighting of the mouse.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Spence, the magic dragon lived near the lakes
And frolicked in the autumn leaves in a land called Nordeast,
Little Byron Kitty loved that rascal Spence,
And brought him bugs and electric cords and other fancy stuff, oh...


I was supposed to read over 100 pages of Gadamer for today's class, plus another 50 of some secondary source.

The very fact that I focused on the number of pages, not the text tells you a lot, eh? I didn't really read it. I didn't even really read the link that I included on this entry.

Don't fret. It didn't stop me from talking in class. I found myself defining the Romantic movement (I used context clues from the discussion), surfaced the POWER issue (an ace in the hole...always able to bring that one out) and questioned the fused horizon concept as too static (mildly got shot down). It felt familiar. Almost as if I was back in college, not graduate school.

I'd like to say that my inattention to the demands of classes are because of The Boy. But, it is not exactly that simple. It is the fusion of my core lazy issue, the complete identity upheaval of shifting between mom/graduate student/wife/friend/me, and Spence's unreliable nap schedule.

I am overwhelmed by my future. What used to be so simple when I was 10 (lawyer/weekend vet) is now fleshy and unmanageable. I am hurling myself towards a doctoral degree without a clear road map.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall Back!

Walks are always tough with the boy. He is very particular. We have tried two different strollers, with very little success. We used a moby wrap when he was a little guy, and now alternate between the pad thai (our name for the mei tai) and the patapum.

We always try the stroller first, tucking the wrap du jour in the basket for meltdown. Lately with his weight increasing (a solid 18 pounds now), we do all we can to entertain him before breaking out the carrier. We got the obligatory toy bar...painted plastic from China that plays a mildly annoying ribbety song. Buys us about 3 minutes. I try to run ahead, whipping my head around to surprise him. Another 4 minutes. Growling, roaring like a tiger. A whopping 5 minutes. But yesterday, we discovered the money move. Me, running along side, schunching the fall leaves, high stepping to force the leaves off the ground like confetti. We entered into no man's land...double digits.

The boy loves fall. He samples the yellowing leaves and wrinkles his nose at the taste. Attempts to wriggle out of my arms to pull the colored leaves off of the tree. He cranes his neck to watch the birds migrating high up in the sky. Squirms at the sensation of the innards of a pumpkin.

On to winter...

Monday, October 29, 2007


The tentative looks on the travelers' faces betrayed them. These strangers were not nearly as excited for the first "all Mama" weekend as I was. I know it was their version of baby roulette....all silently praying that we wouldn't land near them. We did land next to an elderly couple who had recently met in person, after meeting virtually for months. Spence and I huddled up in our window seat in the very last row...playing with a teething block, reading books and drinking ice cold water. He kick, kick, kicked the seat in front of him when I finally offered him his second favorite liquid an hour into the flight. The guy in front deserved it...he knew that we were two and still leaned his seat back. Here's to traveling before the boy is mobile...

And then, shortly after touchdown, the boy became mobile. I watched as he assumed the crawling position and instead of just rocking on all fours, he moved forward. Progress. Right there on Aunt Emily's floor. A mixture of horror and delight all meshed together filled my heart. The closest Dave and I had come to babyproofing the house was to say the word aloud. No action. But, mobility waits for no cabinet latch. Our boy is crawling.

And biting. Those two pearly whites, still hidden from view, have been practicing on my nipples. Love at first bite? Spence seems to think so. He drink, drink, drinks and then chomp. A blinding grin follows. I try not to shriek and check for blood drips. I keep trying to burn into my memory Dr. Sears' mandate...push the babe into the breast after a bite, not away. It all flitters out of my head as the next bite floods my pain sensors. Seven bites and counting.

Midterm Procrastination

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2 Maniacs

"These are days you'll remember.
Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you'll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you."

My bloom and I were lying in the sunlight taking note of each other. Really, lying nose to nose. Snuggled in on the bed.

He squealed in delight. I mimicked. He giggled.

He shrieked. I echoed. More giggles.

Silence. He looked up at me with his eyes wide. Then he eeked out another unique Spencer-sound. I mirrored. He bubbled over with laughter. The laughter that wrinkles your nose and squints your eyes.

More silence. Spencer-sound. Before I could repeat, his face softened and snickers fell out of his lips. His anticipated! I giggled and squawked out the Spencer-sound. More laughter.

"These are days.

These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.
These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.
And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be."
"These are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs

Monday, October 15, 2007


Tonight, bath time took an interesting turn. Somewhere between the bellowing of "Splish Splash" (me) and adoring the rubber ducky (Spence), Spence started sucking on the side of the plastic bath tub. Gnawing more like it. After visions of drowning plodded through my head, I redirected. He nibbled on the washcloth. Something was amiss. After a little investigation, I found 'em.

Teeth. Maybe two.

Little Bugger wouldn't let me near them. I could feel them, but he wouldn't let me see them. He sucked on his bottom lip. Stuck out his tongue. Turned his head. Chomped on his hand.

I kept pushing my fingers in his mouth and feeling around. I was dying to see them. Still am.

Stubborn kiddo. Just like his mom.

(Happy 7 months!)

Chicken & Squash

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Free Range Chicken

There are many joys of having a could pick up any mama memoir and read them for yourself. But, one of the most overlooked is the ability to dress said child in costume...any day of the week. Take a Wednesday. With one $12.99 costume from Target, it is suddenly transformed into "Chicken Day." I had all sorts of excuses for forcing the screaming Spence into the chicken outfit today. It was cold, cold, cold and the costume was warm, warm, warm. We need a few test runs before Halloween. And well, it is fun.

I am one of those people who is always looking for opportunities to coerce friends into dressing up. Add a pair of hoop earrings and some jelly shoes and suddenly you have a total break from reality. You take up a new persona, a new view of the world. And you birth more grins into the world.

But, I am too insecure, too socialized to dress up solo. Insert my partner in crime. Do I dress up with the kiddo? Nope. I let him be my stand in. Yes, I am living vicariously through Spence.

Don't worry. We already started a counseling fund.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Schadenfreude: Pure and Pointy

Britney Spears
Anna Nicole Smith
Eva Longoria
Cameron Diaz
Sarah Jessica Parker
Dina Lohan
Rumer Willis
Spencer Pratt
Kristen Bell
Drew Barrymore

For the next six weeks, I will hope that these 10 celebrities will choose to use their lives in a way that will earn me points. For every pregnancy rumor, mental break, coupling and break-up, I will score a point. Simple schadenfreude. But, the worst possible kind...I gain, gain, gain.

Yes, another season of Celebrity Shit Club has begun. This morning, 10 women gathered in my house for brunch and our celebrity fantasy "football" draft. The conversation was limited to the text of other's lives. If someone deviated to novels or current events, they were quickly redirected.

Maybe I should be embarrassed. I kind of am. Especially when I will start earning points for Brit Brit's break from reality. But, whenever I reveal my secret society, my own personal Masons, I am greeted with raised eyebrows and conspiring grins followed by the inevitable question..."Can I get in on the action?"

How quickly paper dolls and Barbies are replaced with living beings to act out our fantasies and fears. We move from actively constructing fantasy lines of couplings, break ups and wars to passively listening in. Is it that we live vicariously or use Brit Brit to justify our own moral superiority?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Product of My Addiction

It's not sex.
It's the baby food.

I am addicted to making baby food. In my freezer, I currently have 14 ziplock bags of food, each with an average of 12 portions. From apples to zucchini. All carefully labeled and frozen into little ice cubes, which are ready to serve at a moments notice.

I have a whole mantra that plays in my head as I am steaming the latest organic veggie that I picked up on sale at the co-op. 'It's social action against commercialism!' I tell myself. A rebellion against multinational corporations that try to tell us that food in a jar is superior to what I can cook. It is a statement for the earth. Organic foods will help make the earth safe for all of us. It is a move that will ensure that Spence is introduced to and loves a wide assortment of foods.

In the 15 minutes it takes to throw together some pluot puree, I have fostered more than just a sense of quick accomplishment. I have convinced myself that I am saving the world.

And my reward?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sucking Snot

At around 2 a.m. this morning, Spence moved from "getting sick" to "sick." It was definitive. There was no longer just the illusion of a runny nose. It was there. You could hear it bubbling up near his brain. He wasn't run to the ER sick. Not fever sick. Really, just snotty sick. But at six and a half months, his body had let him down.

In a surprise move, Dave and I remained calm. Dave did not chant "ER" even once. We just pressed number 3 on the phone and hooked up with Bobbie, our advice nurse. She described in detail how to use the pale blue snot sucker and suggested that we get some saline drops.

Bobbie did not, however, mention that using the pale blue snot sucker would be the baby equivalent to Dick Cheney's version of not-torture. His sixth sense kicked in as the knobby device came into view. His screams paralyzed me, rendering me impotent. Dave looked on helplessly. He attempted to rally, but in the end was only able to extract a pin sized wisp of snot. The brook of snot babbled on.

But once again Google and Anastasia saved the day. Over gtalk, Anastasia sagely adviced another device that could divert the course of snot.

My mouth.

Tonight, I walk down my precarious stairs a different woman.
A mama that sucks snot from the nose of her babe.
A wife armed with the best comeback of them all, "Not only did I birth him, but I sucked snot from his nose. With my mouth. It's your turn to rock him back to sleep."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Learning to be White

"I'm sorry, but I will kick myself if I don't that really what you are reading?"

I do all of my school reading on public transit these days. I was on the light rail this morning and I was making a conscious choice to lift up my book so that others could read the title. I had been noticing that I was purposefully hiding the title on previous commutes. Today, I decided I needed to feel the emotions and work through what Thandeka would call white shame.

I smiled at the white man with a suitcase. "Yup. I highly recommend it."

I noticed that all of the other people on the train bent towards me as I shared the points that had stuck out to me thus far. The overweight white man that faced me moved his body closer, but distinctly turned his head. The black man that was waiting to exit the train just overtly faced me. I was on stage.

Figuring I only had about 5 minutes, I went for what I felt was the most important thing a white stranger on the light rail might need to hear. I jumped on my soap box.

Thandeka calls into question our white created illusion that white is the norm. Beyond this common sense statement, she posits that racism is constructed from the white community self policing its young. White adults subtly abuse our kids by cutting them off from their desires. Kids are shamed into attempting to fit into the unknown rules of white culture and horrified by the realization that love is conditional. I am still reading and chewing on it, so more to come.

But, she also calls us white folks to play a game...when in the company of other whites, call attention to race. Say "My white son is sitting up like a champ" or "My white husband is snoring these days." Pay attention to how you feel. Notice others reactions. See if shame bubbles forward.

I am still working on engaging in the game....indication of how much work I still have to do.

Perhaps too much was on the table. The conversation drifted to the weather.

"It's going to be raining cats and dogs. Be sure to bring an umbrella."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More on Nipples

I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but once you start breastfeeding nipples seem to dominate your thoughts. As I was showering today, I couldn't help but thinking about my exploits of "toughening 'em up" prior to the babe's arrival.

Even though Dr. Sear's recommends against it, after hearing many, many, many mamas share their painful nipples stories I decided to try to get ready. Approximately twice, I stood in the warm shower and tried to prepare. I would grab the berry at the tip top of my breast and pull, tug, twist until it hurt. It didn't take long. Really, just 30 seconds. I would wince and fear the future. I wasn't ready.

Spence came and the wisdom of 'toughen 'em up' seemed to be so wise. Spence would try to latch on and it would feel like he was stabbing me with a knife over and over again. I no longer wondered why many women give up on breastfeeding. I knew. How could this little toothless wonder be able to inflict such tear-causing pain? Other mamas told stories about how you could smear on wool-juice to alleviate the pain. Lie. Some advised that the pain would halt once the kiddo was "latched." Lie. I just thanked my lucky stars that I was born with flat nipples (again the private/public line is meaningless here) and could use a nipple shield or as my friend named "the party hat."

And now? Nothing. No pain. He feels like a soft scrunching. Consider my nipples sufficiently tough.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


In the world of online bulletin boards, this entry would be marked with a warning for TMI.

Be warned.

Feel free to skip this one.

Wednesdays are my marathon days. I bulked up on classes, so I go straight from discussing Theory (very important, don't ask) to meditating on how we teach writing. In between these, there is a brief window of time...40 minutes to be exact. That is when Team Snyder jumps into action. A carefully choreographed dance that requires a pass off from Bubbeh to Dave....then a quick fox trot down to Dinkytown to meet up with the nipples....for a 40 minute milk-o-rama.

He looks like a fresh spring pig as he laps up his milk. Spence refuses a bottle. He'll shake his head in disgust at the nipple fashioned from plastic. So, he is left to wait. Sometimes he wants to tank up for more than the alloted time. Like today.

Which led to me exposing my left nipple to my Teaching Writing class. Spence continued his milk-fest. As he is prone to do as he finishes up his meal, Spence takes in the scenery as he sips. Pulling off the breast, smiling at the world, then grabbing another gulp to wet his whistle. Which leaves a mama's nipple hanging out for her other doctoral candidates to see.

It's funny how motherhood changes things. Like my modesty. Nipple exposure? I'm a beaded Mardi Gras lady. Every day. Multiple times. No need for one of those fashionable "Hooter-Hiders." Apparently, I let them both hang out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Be Well, Martin.

"Probably he'll need a heart transplant," I said and nodded quietly into the phone.

I had yet to speak to Anastasia.
When you live more than 4,000 miles away (4261 miles to be exact) from one of your best friends, you often engage in the camp game "telephone" and creative 'truth-telling' to fill in the gaps of her life. Anastasia's partner got sick this last week. Really sick. The kind of sick that you should be delivering meals, doing laundry and entertaining the divine Ms. Malaika.

But, the 4000+ miles leaves you a bit impotent. And scared.

So, here is my virtual version of sweet potato burritos:

At the wonders (and minutiae) of this world.
Respects all creatures (except maybe the Pope) and
Treasures his beloved(s).
Insists on reading obscure
Neurology studies while sucking down coffee.

Be well, Martin. Be well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Silent No More

I ran further than I have ever run before today. My friend Jess and I were supposed to train. She did. I was, well, preoccupied.

I ran today in memory of my mom, to publicize the silent symptoms of ovarian cancer and to hope for a cure so that other kids don't have to lose their moms.

Please take a moment to look over the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Do it for the people that love you.

Now, sleep.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What Not to Wear: The Temple Edition

How do you dress to be a fashion don't at Mt. Zion? Here's a quick how to...

1) Stay up all night nursing your babe who refuses to take the bottle.

2) Wake up late for Rosh Hashanah services. Panic. Run around doing unnecessary tasks and drink copious amounts of coffee. Try to remember to bathe.

3) Holler to your husband to venture down the rickety basement stairs to get your outfit from the dryer. Start pawing through the piles and piles of clean clothes haplessly stacked on the dresser, various laundry baskets and on the rocking chair looking for the new shirt that you got to minimize that uncomfortable gentile feeling you get when you walk into Temple.

4) Have your husband return from the basement without the pants. Start to cry. Scare up another outfit that is clearly deficient. Wear clogs.

5) Leave for services at the exact time that services begin.

6) While stuck in rush hour traffic, listen to messages from the previous evening. Hear your helpful Jewish friend be very explicit about what you should wear. Look down. Notice you are dressed in brown slacks and a green short-sleeved sweater. Clogs.

7) As your husband attempts to console you, remember all of the times he as shown up inappropriately dressed. Yell. Scream. Throw fit.

8) Drop your husband and son off at Temple. Go to a used CD store.

Two Dimes

All day, I have been fixating on two dimes.
Twenty cents.
How can one number mean so little and so much?
Today is the twentieth anniversary of my mother's death.
Twenty cents,
twenty years.
One number, you would barely bother
to reach down to pick up.
The other, you can barely get up
out of your grief.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grandma NJ


Not really the answer I wanted to hear. The question? I asked my beloved husband what he called his grandmother. After some hemming and hawing, he reluctantly spit out her name. No "Grandma Selma." No "Bubbeh Selma." Just Selma. It betrayed the gulfs between him and his grandmother.

She died twenty years before Dave was even a glimmer in his parents eyes. Understandable. But, for me, the revelation was crushing. On the eve of my own mother's twentieth anniversary of her death, I just kept projecting fifty years into the future and hearing Spence call his grandmother "Norma."

So I lick his nose and tell him about how his Grandma NJ used to do the same thing to his mom. As we touch the beautiful flowers in the many neighborhood gardens, I tell Spence about how his Grandma NJ used to grow the most beautiful cala lilies. We cozy up to Grandma NJ's picture and talk to her about our day. She will be his grandmother, not just my mom.

And because she can't pull out a photo of her grandson and brag, let me..


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MetroTransit Makes Me Smart

If I am able to catch the 12:46p.m. train from the Lake/Midtown station, I can scurry on over to catch the 4B when I exit the Hennepin station. On that 1:10 bus, I see the same woman. She sits in the same spot every day...right up close to the driver. Unlike others that vie for that coveted seat, she never speaks to the driver. No mindless banter about route changes or other passengers. I think she likes that seat because she can get a good look out into the world. Her fifty year old self is betrayed by her right hand as she grabs at the safety pole...she is transformed into a little girl holding onto the prized horse on the carousel. While others on the bus strive to capture that facial gesture that balances apathy and an appropriate dose of Minnesota nice, she seems to have a vacant gleeful stare. An oxymoron, I know.

It has taken me 31 years to attempt to master a public transportation system. I am not going to flog myself for not getting with it a bit earlier, rather bask in the glow of my new knowledge set. I feel smart when I ride the bus. Smart in every cell, not just the grey matter.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eternal Moment

Spence and I headed off to our very first ECFE (Early Childhood, Family Education) class...we were both ECFE virgins. Not really sure what to expect.

I plopped Spence down on the mat and he stared at the other kiddos as Daniel's dad videotaped the whole thing. I didn't know that cameras were expected. I briefly thought about whipping out my cell phone to document the event ala Dave and the Japanese tourists in botanical gardens, but I decided to lay low. I could always ask Daniel's dad to email me the footage.

Renee, our teacher (and I lose that term loosely), attempted to get our attention. We mostly ignored her. But, she passed out a laminated card with some questions and gave up any hope of getting us to move to find a partner. We half-heartedly made our way through the list.

"What's the favorite moment of your day?" Maisi's mom (they are still debating the spelling...she's 6 months old) asked. 'Just one?' I thought.

Maybe the morning...when Spence starts to squeak. When he lures us to play, lifting the foggy veil that still hangs over our eyes. Or maybe the moments before his morning nap, when he snuggles in and nurses like a spring pig. our play time...when we belt out his fave "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" and he kicks his feet with delight. Or actually, it is baby massage time. I squirt the jasmine-scented oil into my hands and let him take it in. His eyes light up and his limbs start moving at hyper-speed in anticipation.

Define moment...can it be 24 hours?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Moving to the Country, Gonna Eat alotta Peaches?

Apparently, Spence is a city boy.

As of right now, he will eat no peaches. Nor avocados. Nor bananas.
He'll grab at food. He'll open his mouth wide in expectation of a tasty morsel. But, if the food touches his lips, he winces, shakes his head and seems to exclaim, 'Damn, mom. What are you trying to do to a son?"

I was not excited to serve the boy food. Other mothers told me stories of how fun it was to watch their little one sample the fruits of our world. Try all different exotic foods and wait for the reaction. Not me. I mashed up the avocado and mixed in the breast milk under duress.

I didn't want him to grow up so quickly. Whenever we cross the threshold of our home, I am guaranteed to hear "Enjoy it! They grow up so quickly" usually accompanied with a wistful sigh. I take it seriously. Even though Spence will be six months on Saturday, I am already wistful.

There are already so many things that he's left behind....the turtle yawn, the relaxing "ahh" after the sneeze.... I breathe in every moment and don't want to exhale. It's hard to hold in my head all the minute details that I never want to forget. Each day, the list gets longer.

Here's to sweet potatoes on Wednesday...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Another Saturday Night...

So lately, my husband and I have been sitting on our rust colored couch, side by side, and instant messaging. We flirt. We discuss the declining state of our garden. We chat about our future. And listen to the sound of the ocean. (Our son, already resisting being a Minnesotan, requires the sounds of the ocean to drift asleep.) Typing a way, our elbows brushing in a very Victorian way. Here's a snippet from our conversation tonight...

: Hi honey
What should I call my blog?
Dave: hmmm, that's a good question, pussycat.
8:56 PM ?
me: Nope. No drama.
Dave: MizWardn'Spence
Lil'Spence's Mama
Reading Rhizomes
me: Nope. I am not only defined by Spence.
8:57 PM Reading Rhizomes is funny...a take off of reading rainbow.
Dave: I know, I know... that's why I'm working on the reading angle
me: Clever.
Should I really get that stuff at Old Navy?
Dave: Oooh, I could rename mine "Gunslinger Papa" after the Stephen King series
8:58 PM me: I really, really like the Bone to be wild sleeper.
Yup. Except aren't you anti-gun?
Dave: Yes.
Whatever, I'll stick with rhizomes for the moment.

I used to have another blog, the blog that will not be named. I'll try to be more faithful to this new one. I think the new coffee maker that I got...the
best coffee maker in the world...will certainly aid in my dedication. More (oh, lots and lots more) to follow on my new pal.

Right now, my dear hubby is anxiously instant messaging me to help him figure out how to post a picture. Off to rescue...