June 28, 2006

I never used to believe in PMS. Don’t smack me, but I sort of thought it was this fictitious malady women liked to reference for fun when we wanted to talk about chocolate.

In the last several months, though, I have been SCHOOLED. I don’t know if it’s because of childbirth, careening towards my middle 30s, or the universe giving me the finger for all those years of eye-rolling whenever someone bitched about being bitchy and cited their desire for a large salt-coated hunk of Hershey’s which they planned to eat while methodically kicking their boyfriend in the balls and watching Hallmark movies on Lifetime, but nowadays I definitely notice a change in my mental weather a couple weeks before the trusty Period Express pulls into the…uh…Menstruation Station.

(Hmm, silly menses-related metaphor needs work. Before Aunt Flo comes to visit? Before taking the cotton pony on a weeklong trail ride? Before Dotty Spotty says howdy? Before driving through a redwood forest? Before I’m rebooting the Ovarian Operating System? Before my cup of joy overfloweth? Before there’s a red tide in Clam Harbor?)

(Nevermind.)

I find that I get weepy over the strangest things. Yesterday I was listening to the “Wizards of Winter” song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – because my iPod shuffled to something out of my 2005 holiday mix, if you must know – and I startled myself by getting completely choked up while it played. By the time I got to the very last part, I was sobbing openly, snuffling and wiping tears from the bottom of my sunglasses, where they had gathered in foundation-smearing little pools.

Why on earth? Because that music accompanies this video, and as I listened to it I pictured that house, and all the time and effort someone put into creating something that is so goddamned magnificent, something so cool and amazing, and I imagined the very last part of the video/song where the house is absolutely blazing with light, and while you’ve watched the whole thing with awe and wonder you see that end part and you want to pump your fist in the air and scream some wordless sound of appreciation because it’s like that house embodies everything in life that is joyous and fiercely, savagely fucking awesome.

I can’t even talk about it anymore, I’m getting verklempt over here.

Anyway, I felt very much the same way about your comments from my last entry. You are all fiercely, savagely fucking awesome and I’m proud to be a part of your life and that you are a part of mine, even in this small way.

*sniff*

God. I need some chocolate.

:::

We are finally experiencing some summer weather here in Seattle, which started with an unpleasant heat wave on Monday (“unpleasant” meaning “around 90 degrees” which, I know, you live in Texas and you eat 90 degree weather for breakfast, but us Pacific Northwesterners start charring at the edges when the thermostat gets that high. Because we are all fungal creatures who need moisture to survive, okay?) and has mellowed to a nice livable temperature, with blue skies and diamond-dusted lake waters and the emergence of mountain ranges from the clouds. On days like these I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to live.

I’ve been looking for a little baby pool for Riley, but it seems I’m not the only one who had this notion because the stores are out of everything except those huge plastic models, and we already have one of those.

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It’s taken, though.

I am living in flip-flops and I have to vehemently disagree with anyone who says they are a Fashion Don’t. Flip-flops go with everything: jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, capris – you name it, I’ve got a flip-flop for it. I’d even wear them to visit the president, controversy be damned. (Or maybe not, because really, a steel-toed boot might be much handier for that particular occasion.)

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I bought the boy a pair of swim trunks (they have ORANGE SHARKS on them, could you just die?) from Old Navy, and I also purchased – although not without a certain degree of suspicion – a bag of “Little Swimmers” diapers which claim they don’t swell up in water. I know not how this can be, but we’ll put it to the test next week at JB’s family cabin in Oregon. The cabin is on the Umpqua River and although I have a deep fear of algae and unseen fish and sort of hate the thought of exposing Riley to such things, if the weather cooperates it will be the first time Riley goes swimming. Well, swimming in the sense of being bundled into various life preserver devices, slathered in four inches of SPF 1,000,000, and briefly lowered into the water while held a vice gripe by his paranoid parents.

:::

In other news, the boy continues to be Very Uncertain about solid foods. He’ll eat most soft-ish things I give him from my own meals, like cheese or little pieces of chicken, but hand this kid anything crunchy and he pulls his “Et tu, Brute?” face. Witness his reaction to a Gerber Fruit Puff:

62806_chew.jpg

If I’m lucky, he eventually slobbers it into submission and swallows, rather than hacking and gagging and turning an alarming shade of red and basically causing JB and I to sprout tufts of gray hair and have mini-strokes as we ready ourselves for the possibility of having to perform an infant-adapted Heimlich maneuver.

I love how the parenting books warn against feeding babies strained food for “too long” as it might cause them to have “trouble” with solids. That’s useful. Next time I’m threading a toilet snake down Riley’s throat in order to remove a soggy piece of cereal from his airway, I’ll just remember that IT’S ALL MY FAULT for 1) giving him the Cheerio and 2) not giving him the Cheerio earlier.

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