Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sloooow as molasses in January...

I think I'll just unload the dishwasher before bed.

Put away three or four glasses.

Well
that's annoying. That glass isn't even close to clean.

Set it aside for re-washing. Put a few plates in the cupboard.

Ugh! That bowl is still dirty.
Wait, so is this knife. And that spoon is filthy.

. . . ? . . .

Children are born. A Democratic president is elected. World hunger is solved. The ice caps re-form.

. . . ? . . .

Ah yes, perhaps I should try
running the dishwasher through first?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The doll

Due to a fractured childhood that saw the disappearance of both of my parents by the age of 7, life with this Nana, and an eventual group home stint, I have very little of the memorabilia of childhood. One of the dolls I cherished as a child was my Cabbage Patch Kid, Cora Deanna. She was one of the early dolls, a pretty little thing with light brown yarn hair and a sweet-smelling face. Oh, how I loved her. As a child I was compulsive about keeping her clean and tidy, with her original outfit, her original hair ribbons, even her original diaper. As I grew a older I played with her less and less, as kids do, eventually leaving her on prominent display on my shelf.

My Nana was not known for sentimentality. Although I wasn't a child with a tremendous amount of toys, I came home one day when I was about ten or eleven years old to find her packing up a few precious toys and dolls.
I may not have played with my doll anymore, but I certainly didn't want to part with her. However, no amount of pleading would change my Nana's mind, and off went my beloved Cora Deanna.

A little while ago we started to notice that Peanut had a lot of interest in dolls. For her birthday we bought her an inexpensive doll, which she seemed really enthused with... for about 10 minutes. The doll was a little large and heavy, and we started to realize that she couldn't really pull it around with her. Remembering how much I had loved my doll, I started to toy with the idea of getting her a Cabbage Patch Kid, preferably with her same birth date. I scoured the shops, only to find that the new Cabbage Patch Kids were ugly. Hideous in fact. Streaked hair, "hip" clothing, "messy" wipe-away faces. Ick! These were not the dolls I remembered.

I decided that I would try to find an older, retro doll on eBay. A few clicks here, a search term there, and I was presented with an assortment of retro Cabbage Patch Kids. And then I found her...


The infamous Cora Deanna

Cora Deanna. Oh sure, she had a different name on her birth certificate, but she was my doll. The same hair and eyes, the same outfit right down to the shoes. She even had her original hair ribbons! I showed her to Mr Babbler, excited for him to finally see the doll I had told him about so many times. He told me to just go ahead and bid on it. Buy the damn doll he said, reclaim a part of your childhood.

I hesitated. The doll itself wasn't that expensive, but the shipping cost was going to be more than the doll. A wasteful extravagance. In the end, after much prodding, I went ahead and put in my bid and bought the doll.

A few weeks later she showed up, in brand-new condition in her original box. I pulled her out while Peanut was napping, stroked her hair and then set her on the back of the sofa, glancing at her periodically throughout the rest of the afternoon. While I knew that she wasn't my original doll, it still felt like I had a piece of my childhood back.

When Peanut came downstairs after her nap, she made a beeline for the sofa, having spotted the doll. She jumped up and down and attempted to hurl herself on the sofa. I pulled down Cora Deanna, sure that her interest would be fleeting, as is generally the case at her age. Surprisingly, it hasn't been. Mr Babbler suggested I take Cora Deanna upstairs, and tuck her away. But, you see, I can't.

The joy of recapturing parts of my childhood, those moments and things that I lost, and those moments and things that I never had, doesn't lie in having them for myself, but in being able to offer them to my Peanut. It's in giving her the things and opportunities and experiences that I never had (within reason, of course, so as to not spoil her) and seeing her obvious delight. In knowing that in 10 years, in 20 years, I'll be able to pull her favorite toys out of storage for her to pass along to her children, in being able to share those memories with her - memories of her first steps, her favorite past time, our special routines, and the trips we took as a family - so she can carry them with her into her own family.

And so now I get the pleasure of the return of a beloved childhood item, but more importantly, I get the giddy pleasure of watching Peanut with her doll. This doll, that I loved so much as a child, now her beloved Cora Deanna, who she grabs by the leg and drags around the living room, whose hair she plays with and diaper she scrunches, w
ho she solemnly gives kisses to when asked. Who she grabs in a big hug, arms wrapped tight around her soft body. And that is a far better feeling then merely having an item on a shelf.


Mummy, get your hands away from my doll!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Stolen Child



Where dips the rocky highland

Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,

There lies a leafy island

Where flapping herons wake

The drowsy water rats;

There we've hid our faery vats,

Full of berrys

And of reddest stolen cherries.

Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.




Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses

We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scare could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.



Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:

He'll hear no more the lowing

Of the calves on the warm hillside

Or the kettle on the hob

Sing peace into his breast,

Or see the brown mice bob

Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child,

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

- W.B. Yeats

For my dearest friends, now, in this time of hurt and loss. For the child that should have been yours, to love and to hold. For the child that should have been.

My heart aches for you, and if I could shoulder some of this burden for you, I would.


Instead, I will hold your hand. I will offer you my words. I will be there.




Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Introducing...

So, this "introduction" has been sitting in my drafts folder for, oh, a month and a half. (Hey, it's still interesting now, right? Your readers are no longer inundated with introduction posts, right? It's an easy post to read during the crazy insane halcyon days of NaBloPoMo, right right right?) I thought I'd pull it out today, as I seem unable to pull together a coherent thought these days. Lots of posts rolling around in my head, but they just aren't coming together. So, instead I give you this:

1. Who is your man?

Mr. Babbler.

2. How long have you been together?
10 years together, 5 years married.

3. How long did you date?
10 - 5 = 5

4. How old is your man?
355 days younger than me. He's the first younger man I ever dated. Apparently that must have been what I was doing wrong before.

5. Who eats more?
Most of the time, I would say he does.

6. Who said "I love you" first?
I honestly can't remember. How terrible is that? Possibly him? He's so much better at remembering this stuff!
Update: I am vindicated. He does not remember either!

7. Who is taller?
He is, by almost 9" (and no, there isn't a dirty joke in there...)

8. Who sings better?
Ooh, definitely him. I'm going to completely embarrass him now, but he was a soprano when he was a boy. Shhhh... It's a secret.

9. Who is smarter?
I'd have to say we're pretty evenly matched. My formal education was broader, his was more focused on a specific subject. However he reads more current events magazines and newspapers, while I read more fiction and non-fiction. I'm probably more street-smart while he has more business acumen.

Like I said, we're pretty evenly matched.

10. Whose temper is worse?
Ooh, once upon a time I would have said mine was worse, as mine flares up and down fairly quickly (especially when driving). However, since Mr Babbler started his own company and became a manager to many employees, I'd say his is probably now worse.

11. Who does the laundry?
Whoever needs clean clothes first, or gets irritated first by the massive piles. I, though, am responsible for Peanut's laundry.

12. Who takes out the garbage?
This falls squarely in his range. I change significantly more diapers, so he gets the garbage. It's only fair, really.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
From the bed's perspective, I do. I just can't read when I'm lying on my left side, probably because I'm left handed.

14. Who pays the bills?
He does, but I manage the budget (when I actually get around to it that is. Ahem.)

15. Who is better with the computer?
I think we're probably actually fairly even on this. He is better about things like networking, but I'm pretty good about finding software solutions.

16. Who mows the lawn?
He does, but I'm convinced this is part of his escape plan. "Sooo honey, I need to mow the lawn this afternoon. Of course, I need to go to Home Depot first, for, um, something." Does this happen in anyone else's house, or just mine?

17. Who cooks dinner?
Most of the time this is my job, as Mr Babbler gets home from work too late.

18. Who drives when you are together?
Me, me, me. He doesn't really like driving all that much, so this is my job. I guess it balances out the mowing of the lawn and taking out the garbage.

19. Who pays when you go out?
He does, chivalrous man that he is, although it all comes from the same place.

20. Who is most stubborn?
I'd say him. He can stay in a snit hold a grudge longer than I can. I seem to be unable to hold a grudge no matter how much someone pisses off. It's quite ridiculous, really.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
Who me? Wrong? Never!

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
His. All this isn't difficult due to my appalling "family".

23. Who kissed who first?
Ah, this one I do remember, as it was completely mutual. Sitting on top of a rooftop patio, something just clicked and bang! We were kissing (to the complete horror shock of his friend who was along with us. Perhaps this was because we weren't actually dating as of yet. Or something like that.)

24. Who asked who out?
There really wasn't any official asking out, per se. It's a long story involving evil boyfriends, horrific girlfriends and two people who were too blind to see what was right in front of their noses. Suffice it to say eventually we finally figured it out and one day we were friends and then another day we were just together. It was just meant to be.

25. Who proposed?
He did. It was all very sweet, and involved nerves, a moonlit beach and a dead fish.

26. Who is more sensitive?
I'm a delicate flower! He's a gentle butterfly!

27. Who has more friends?
I'd have to say him, although I have all you good internet-folk.

28. Who has more siblings?
I do. He has one sibling, I have a menagerie of siblings, half siblings, step-siblings, and foster siblings. I tend to think he got the better deal.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
Peanut, of course!


Friday, November 16, 2007

A child is born

Listen to the mustn'ts child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
the impossibles and the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen child
Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein


One of my closest and dearest friends, Lady A and her husband R gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby boy, late Wednesday evening.




Is there anything better in the entire world than seeing people you care about with their first (or second, or third) baby? Seeing the wonderment and amazement as they hold the creature that is theirs, with all of the attendant responsibility and love and hope and dreams? Of seeing two people, already bound together by love and now this permanent, most perfect connection between them?

Little one, you don't know it yet, but you're a very lucky boy. You have incredible parents, and I know that you will be raised with love and laughter, morals and integrity. You have grandparents that are just waiting to dote on you. And you have aunts and uncles (and bonus aunts and uncles) and all the cousins and friends that will love and surround you.

Welcome to the world, precious little one!
We can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

* * *

(Thank you everyone, for you words of advice and wisdom the other day. After an incredibly restless night, Peanut seems to be back to normal. We've had two good days in a row and last night she slept through the night again. I think it may have been teething, as nothing else has manifested itself. Thank goodness!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sick Peanut

Taking a brief moment while Peanut actually seems to be sleeping.

Hysterical crying.
Fever.
Lethargy.

This is how my day has gone today. Normally I'm not a worrier. We've had reflux. We've had teething. We've had colds. I'm pretty used to it, and not really an alarmist.

However, today Peanut was completely lethargic and unhappy. All she wanted to do was lie in my arm, bunny clutched tight, as we watched our three PVR'd episodes of Sesame Street over and over with her dozing in and out. (Highly unusual behaviour, as Peanut is a happy baby, and isn't normally a cuddler, generally sitting with you long enough to have a bottle, and then is off again to explore. She wasn't even interested in her books, and that's truly alarming!) This was punctuated by several bouts of hysterical crying, lasting up to nearly two hours. She has had a fever of 39 degrees most of the afternoon and evening.

She doesn't seem to have a cold. There are no sniffles, sneezing or coughing. There don't seem to be any new teeth coming in, and the first four didn't result in anything like this.

I'm a little concerned. So, parents out there - should I be? When do you cave and go the doctor/ER. Should I be worried, or am I overreacting?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Me me, all about me(me)!

I was tagged by the always interesting Megan over at Reflections in the Snow Covered Hills for the seven random facts about yourself meme.

First, the rules
  • Link to your tagger and post the rules.
  • Share seven facts about yourself, some random and some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of the post and list their names.
  • Let them know they were tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
Alright. Seven random things about me? How hard can it be...

1. I can't sleep without something covering me. It doesn't matter what it is, but if I'm not covered neck to toe by something - a blanket, a sheet, even a jacket if necessary - I can't sleep. I can be completely comfortable on the couch, but without something covering me, sleep will not come. Even on the hottest days of summer, something must cover me.

2. In relation to #1, while I can't sleep without something covering me this does not extend to the wearing of socks. Wearing socks while sleeping is bad bad bad news. The only exception to this rule is when camping, but it doesn't make me happy.

3. I hate the texture of popsicle sticks. I will go to incredible lengths to avoid licking or scraping my teeth down a popsicle stick, often forgoing a popsicle in favor of the less offensive freezie. If pressed to eat something on a stick I'll go to great lengths to avoid those last few bites, often flipping the popsicle of the stick so I don't have to bite the stick. And people that chew the stick? What is the matter with you?! I'm not sure what it is exactly that I find so offensive, but truly it is like nails on a chalk board to me. Even the mere thought of scraping my teeth on a popsicle stick weeges me right out. Blehhhh.... Oddly, Mr Babbler shares this same affliction. Perhaps that's how we knew we were destined for each other.

4. Are we only at 4? I dropped out of highschool in the first semester of grade 12. I was three credits away from graduating, seventeen years old, holding down a nearly full-time job and living on my own.
Surprised? I couldn't relate to the teachers, the students or the whole high school situation, as my life was so drastically different. I was most definitely not ready for university. I spent a semester off working full time and saving money. I went back to school part time for my last year at an independent learning school that was the best experience of my life. I went to university the following year, a much better person for the whole experience.

5. I'm short. Very short. Think under 5" short.

6. I am ridiculously cheap. That's not to say I have cheap taste, I just have the most difficult time paying full price for anything and will out-wait all stores to get an item cheaper than retail. Electronics stores? I am the queen of open box. Children's clothing? Sales, further discounts and coupons combined with trade boards and consignment stores. Books? Used book stores, book sales and my previous employer discount. (This is the one place where I will bend my rules a bit, although I do have a discount card). Oh, and I love craigslist (and I get to feel better about my purchases, because we are reusing!)

7. Last last last (tapping keyboard in impatience, sighing deeply). I have a pathological inability to remember names. I try, really I do, but somehow they just slip away into the abyss. I'll leave a job, and two years later I won't be able to rem
ember the name of the person the next department over. It's really quite embarrassing. Unless I talk to you regularly (or visit your blog, rest assured), there is a good possibility that I've forgotten your name. It makes introductions and random meetings in public places really stressful.

Phew. That was harder than I expected. Okay, here are the tags:

Roz of Chez Roz
Den of
Work + Play ≠ Dull Boy
crazymumma
Mad Hatter of Under the Mad Hat
painted maypole
beck of Frog and Toad are Still Friends
flutter

... you're it. If you're not interested in playing (or have been tagged a dozen times before and enough with the damn memes already) no harm, no foul. (I do, though, admit to a certain fascination/curiousness/all out nosiness.) I'll be by to give you the heads up!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Tappin' toes, bouncin' along

Tapping toes, wriggling in my seat, bouncing along.

Good feelings on a cold and rainy Monday evening.



Edited to add:
This feel-good moment brought to you by Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Overheard...

Last night, on a rather full bus.

"I'm just going to cram my fat ol' ass right on in there, and I don't give a damn what anyone says...

Because I'm from a small town where I was raised with
manners!"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A year ago today (epilogue)

A year ago today...


Peanut and I saw the sunrise for the first time together.


A year ago today...


Peanut left the hospital.

A year ago today...


Peanut felt the sun and the wind on her face.

A year ago today...


We had our beginning.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dear Wal-Mart mom

Dear Wal-Mart Mom,

At first I couldn't hear your children in the store. They seemed to be well-behaved kids.

I could, however, hear you screeching and yelling at your kids from two aisles over.

You swung into my aisle, barking at your son to do up his jacket. It was hot in the store, hot enough that I had taken Peanut's jacket off. You had your jacket wide open. Yet you yelled, repeatedly at your son to do his jacket up.

But mommy, he said quietly, I'm hot. Why do I have to do my jacket up?

Because I said so! you bellowed. Do. It. UP. NOW!, each word becoming progressively louder, as you swung your cart around the aisle, others moving their carts quickly out of the way.

Your daughter, a quiet little girl sitting in the cart seat whispered, mummy shouldn't we say excuse me? You merely grunted in response, and continued your tirade against your son. Your son, following behind, struggling to zip up his heavy winter jacket, his shoulders slumped dejectedly.

I wanted to say something to you, but sensed it would only make the situation worse. I really hope that this was an anomaly, but I sensed it wasn't. If you need help, I really hope you get it. I hope that at some point very soon you can step back, and see the effect of your angry, irrational words and behaviour have on your children - how it demoralizes them, embarrasses them, hurts them. If not, I'd be happy to share some first-hand experiences with you.

Sincerely (hopefully, wishfully, wistfully, carefully),
The lady in the toothpaste aisle, sending sympathetic looks at your children.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mouth already open - so simple, really, to insert foot

Today I went to the dentist. Specifically I was visiting the hygienist for a scaling.

Incidentally, is there any worse word in the English language than scaling? Couldn't they find a better, less fear inducing word than scaling? But I digress...

I've recently begun visiting this dentist, and this was my first meeting with this particular hygienist. We traded the usual pleasantries, and she told me that she loves to chat with her patients. I set my iPod aside and in between scrape scrape scrape we talked about jobs (mine) claustrophobia (hers) and the bearing of children. A few moments later, this conversation:

"Do your in-laws come here?" she says. "I'm not really good with names anymore. But, being a hygienist, as soon as I see a smile I can remember someone instantly."

I start snickering. Loudly.

"Oh," I said, thinking of our earlier discussion and now laughing uncontrollably, "my poor obstetrician."

There was a pause, and then from the hallway came gales of laughter from someone overhearing our conversation, my hygienist joining in shortly thereafter.

Yes, I'll bet you won't forget my name now. I'll be the one with the endless supply of dirty and inappropriate comments.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Books books more books memes

I borrowed stole this from doppelganger of 50 books (because really, with my weekend birthday party post, my crossroads redux post, my interview post from Aliki [haven't forgotten about it, really!] and my significant other meme post, why wouldn't I start another post instead of finishing those first?)

1. Total number of books I own.

I have to hang my head in shame, as I own over 2,000 books. Seriously. It makes me look I have money to burn, but please note that I have worked at two different publishers and have been lucky enough to get ridiculous discounts (books for $1? How can I possibly say no?) It's one of the things I'm going to miss the most about not returning to work. Oh, that lovely lovely perk.

I've tried to pare down. I do go to the library. It's the one place where I know I know I overconsume and am greedy, but I just can't help myself. I'm an addict. I need my fix on a regular basis.

2. Last book I read.
The last book I finished was The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer (sent to me by the lovely ragdoll of My Tragic Right Hip). I have a review coming on this, as I really enjoyed this book. However, I have A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka, Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank, and The Emperor's Children by Claire Messaud all in the end stages.

3. Last book I bought.
It was a shopping trip, so I can't cop to a single book. The Keep by Jennifer Egan, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini and Giving by Bill Clinton (for Mr Babbler). Ooh, do you see why I have a problem?

4. Five meaningful books.
Wow, five meaningful books. Where to start? Perhaps I'll wander down memory lane.

1) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.



(Really, the whole series, but it specified a single book) My all-time favorite book from childhood (and well into adulthood), it made me believe that perhaps there was a good family out there for everyone.

2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.



So clichéd but with smart women, witty dialogue, love in the end what's not to love? I remember reading this as a pre-teen, feeling all grown up, then again as a teenager when I got a little more out of it, then finally as an adult where it all made sense.

3) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang adapted by Al Perkins.



This was the book when I was a child, the book that I had read to me over and over and over (and over) again until I knew it backwards and forwards. Now if only I can find a copy of it for less than $70 used.

4) Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.



Why is this so significant? Because it is the book that I've owned for more than ten years. I've dragged it around to vacations, plane rides, train rides and weekends away and still have never managed to read it. Sadly, because I love historical fiction, I love Arthurian legend, I love the cover and I love a good thick book, and yet I've never managed to get into it. Strange.

5) The Historian by Elizabeth Kotsova.



Another unfinished book. This one is significant as it is the book I lugged around in the last few days of my pregnancy. I had it with me the day my water broke. I read it at 3 am while on bedrest and unable to sleep in the hospital, having been awoken again by the nurses. It is the book that I never returned to, the bookmark firmly in place from mere hours before Peanut was born. I'm not sure I'll ever finish it. Maybe when she leaves for college?

Time to tag! I'd love to get a glimpse of BubandPie's, kittenpie's, metro mama's, HerBadMother's and Aliki's recent reading. Anyone else want to play along? You guys out there doing the NaBloPoMo thing - feel free to grab it and run. Leave me a link in the comments so I can stop by!

Friday, November 2, 2007

What the h*ll?

Christmas music.

Damn it, CHRISTMAS MUSIC.

Everywhere.

It is two months until Christmas, folks.

Two. Damn. Months.

Now please, take your Sleigh Ride and Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and shove them up your...
 

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