Another Successful South Side Outing

I miss the South Side for a lot of reasons: the convenience, all the stuff to do, easy access to just about anything, the people, the ethnic food.

Of course, after living there for 15 years, including nine months with a baby, I know it’s no place to raise a young’un (or two).

Thank goodness we’re only a few minutes away.

Quotable Quotes

Logic doesn’t fly with a 2-year-old

The girls run screaming from something in the driveway. DearDR goes to see what’s up.

It’s a tent worm. He calls the girls back over to explain and wonder and be in awe of nature. This goes well unless the tent worm starts to crawl. Because, you know, the dreaded, flesh-eating, voracious tent worm! Hide the women and children!

In an attempt to give Bun some perspective, DearDR says, “Bun, look, stop running away. See? This is how big you are” holding his hand about 2 feet off the ground. “Now, this is how big the tent worms is” holding his hand about 1/2 inch above the ground.

“So, who’s bigger, you or a tent worm?”
“Tent worm!” Runs screaming down the driveway.


File under: Things to say to give your parents a heart attack

Monkey: “I wish I was in high school.”

Weekend Recap: With Pictures!

I know, I know: it’s Thursday.

But this is what I got.

From Saturday:
Wedding Party

Some of Us Girls (That’s Misfit Hausfrau on the right)

Bride and Groom: First Dance

From Sunday:

“What Chocolate Bunny?”

“These are not the Chocolate-Eating Droids You’re Looking For.”

Dry Clothes I

Dry Clothes II

What I Am: Listening to This Week

M.I.A., Kala (2007) and Arular (2005)

I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, and I am always trying to discover more and new bands, musicians, sounds.

I don’t play an instrument — I can’t play an instrument. I’m utterly tone deaf. I used to play piano, but I don’t remember how to read the left hand music any more, so it doesn’t count.

I can’t make music; I don’t know a lot of technical details about how music is made. I’m not 100% sure what a producer does.

I consider myself a pure music fan — maybe not even a fan insofar as that is short for “fanatic”. I don’t know what some of my favorite bands or musicians do when they are not making music. I don’t know who’s going with whom (although I did hear something about John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston. Is that still on?) There are times — and I’m not proud of this — that I am not even sure where some of my favorite bands or musicians hail from. (I look it up on Wikipedia if I’m not sure.)

I like music. I like music that makes me react viscerally — after it catches my ear, it catches at my heart or my brain or my emotions. Or all of them. It moves me or makes me move. I like a good catchy pop tune with bleak lyrics or a droning musical odyssey or fast & furious punk rock. I’m like those people who say about art, “I don’t know much about it, but I know what I like.”

Granted this also may not make me the most qualified music critic in the world, either. I know a lot about the history of music, especially the types of music I like; I know a lot about influences, inspirations.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying: I have discovered M.I.A., and she is good.

iTunes calls her sound Dance/Electronica; I guess I’ll go with that. It’s beat-based, world rap. M.I.A. isn’t just a pretty face; she has something strong to say. I especially admire her for her sampling/mash ups: you’ll find The Clash, the Pixies, New Order, plus a host of guest DJs/rappers.

The other notable thing about M.I.A. is that Bun turned me onto her. We were flipping around on the radio and came across World Cafe on WYEP; M.I.A. was the featured artist. Bun was transfixed. She stood in front of the stereo for an entire song — stood, stock still. Bun never stands still.

When the song was over, Bun turned to me and demanded: “More.” Another M.I.A. song came on.

I’ll have to make her a little mix of “age appropriate” M.I.A. songs. She’s gonna dig it.

rpm choice cut: Paper Planes.

Brain Cramps

I’m not sure when over the three-day weekend I decided to turn off my brain. But two things on Monday made it clear I was not operating on all cylinders — which, really, it’s fine, that’s what three-day weekends are for. But it’s kept me off balance for the better part of the last 24 hours.

The second brain cramp was fairly innocuous. When we (the girls, Soul Sista, and I) headed down to the SouthSide Works to hang with ClumberKim and her daughter, I didn’t really plan for water activities. The girls got soaked running around and through the fountain. I didn’t have swimmy diapers for Bun, which is how she ended up sans pants and diapers for a time (her dress covered her bits up, don’t worry), or dry clothes for either Monkey or Bun. I didn’t think too much of it until I realized that going to lunch with Soul Sista would be nice (she was in town, on her way to Virginia).

So I sent Soul Sista on a search of the surrounding stores. Only REI had any kids clothes. At the time that SS reported this to me, I was waiting for Kim to pull ’round to my car. One of the reasons we had decided to meet up yesterday was because she had a box of clothes for my kids.

While I was debating on whether or not to spend $14.99 each on a couple of dry shirts for my girls, someone was giving me free clothes.

Kinda hurts your head, doesn’t it?

Once SS pointed out the painfully obvious, I picked out a couple of passable outfits from the box and got the girls changed. Bun was wearing clothes two sizes too big, but at least everyone was dry.

The first brain cramp was, to me, more troubling. I’m still wrapping my head around it in a way. DearDR and I are still talking about trying for one more child. We’d like to have another boy (that *another* is important here). Kim has a book about choosing a baby’s sex, and I think I’m going to borrow it & give it a read (I know, I know, there are no guarantees; still, it can’t hurt). DearDR and I will probably make a decision after that — we are leaning toward trying again, which probably only proves what masochists we are. We just haven’t… you know, gone for it.

In passing, I mentioned that Dr. Bro has four boys. Kim responded that in some cases, men can only make one kind of baby or the other. I nodded toward the girls wondering if we could make a boy.

Kim said, “What about Gabriel?”

Uh, yeah, RPM, what about Gabriel?

I forgot — utterly, fleetingly — about my boy, my lost child.

I am not going to beat myself up about it; you don’t have to worry about any public flogging here. The simple fact of the matter is that come June 8 this year, we are six years out. The girls are my every day, my present. When DearDR and I talk about having another baby, we talk about another boy.

I will visit his grave again this year, with white flowers and with hope for the future. I am still grieving; it has become such, though, that… that I forget. He slips out of my head.

Never out of my heart, as when I realize that a moment has happened where he disappeared from my thoughts: the heart cramps, then thumps a little harder. “How could you?” the heart asks. And the brain says, “It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.” But, of course, here I am a day later, thinking about him, and forgetting about him.

Ironically, I have been spending time over here, feeling like a grizzled veteran. I read of parents who have lost more than one baby; I read about parents who have recently lost babies; I marvel and I remember; I share some of my stories in the comments. If I could say to them anything it would be: This is what healing looks like. At least for me.

Things I Learned at (or Because of) My Friends’ Wedding

1. Purple is the perfect color for a wedding.
2. St. Paul can be funny.
3. I must be doing something right. Everyone told me how fantastic I looked.
4. A kilt makes a gay man look straight. Until he dances with his boyfriend.
5. Too much wine can have the same effect on a man as too much whiskey.
6. My children are capable of getting themselves breakfast. However, left to their own devices, they will each eat a six-inch-tall hollow chocolate bunny instead of something sensible like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
7. Mild hangovers and kids are doable until about 5 o’clock.
8. A three-day weekend is perfect for a wedding.

Tough Transition

The transition from crib to big bed to toddler bed, and now to sharing a room, has not been an easy one.

We switched Monkey into a twin-sized bed when she turned 2 years old. She had never climbed out of her crib. We worried — I did at least — that she would be out of her “big-girl” bed in no time.

Didn’t happen. I don’t even think it crossed her mind to climb out of bed on her own until she was nearly 3.

Even now, with the switch to the shared room, Monkey will climb into her bed, pile the covers around her, wait patiently until I can sing her lullabies, and fall asleep. Once she’s in bed, she’s in bed. It’s pretty remarkable.

Not surprisingly, Bun is a completely different story.

She started climbing out of her crib back in March. Not every night, but almost every nap time. We started “letting” her sleep in the guest bed; if nothing else, at least she wouldn’t hang a leg up on a crib rail.

We started making plans for the room renovation.

We ordered parts of Bun’s big-girl bed from IKEA, and they are ready for pick up. It’s the same style as Monkey’s but it only comes in white now, two years later. And once we add a mattress and bed clothes, it’s going to be $150 more than Monkey’s was, too. We’ll probably (correction: DearDR will probably) paint Monkey’s bed white to match.

In the meantime, we simply converted Bun’s crib to a daybed.

It wouldn’t matter if we magically transformed that bed into a playground of ponies and fairies: Bun wouldn’t stay in it. She is up and down and jumping and walking and trying to get into bed with Monkey and crying out for ‘mama’ by the gate that traps her in the room.

I go upstairs with the girls, and we brush teeth and read a book and have lullabies. I give kisses and hugs and we say our little nighttime prayer.

I let Bun go as long as I dare. But Monkey gets upset if Bun tries to get into bed with her. Or if she cries. Or if she tries to turn out the night light. Now, Monkey doesn’t actually get up out of bed and do anything about Bun, just yells for me.

One night, around 10 p.m., I went to check on things. Bun was kneeling morosely on the floor in between her and Monkey’s beds. Her pillow was on Monkey’s bed, and her blanket was by the door.

Monkey was curled up in her bed, asleep. Her hand was up over her face; she was on her side facing Bun’s bed. I think she was plugging her ears so she didn’t hear Bun wandering around the room or talking to her stuffed animals, and that’s how she, Monkey, fell asleep.

I go up and down the stairs a lot in between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. these days. It’s driving me pretty nuts because that is MY time: to clean, and be on the computer, and do laundry, and read.

It hasn’t been a week yet. DearDR has not experienced the new bedroom phenomenon yet. I’m hoping he’ll have some ideas. Or, at least, he’ll make a trip or two up those stairs himself.

The Results Are In

After all the hard work, our upstairs looks very good. I am very happy with the results — the heavy lifting and sleep shortage was worth it.

We have to pick up some shelving and storage for the closets, and that is part of this weekend’s plan (I hear IKEA is having a huge sale, so that should be fun). In the meantime:

The Guest Room:

The Girls’ New Room:

I’m pretty sure they like it.