I’ve got family in high places

Once a year my uncle buys about 50 tickets to a Mariners game and we have a pseudo family reunion in the nosebleed section, and yesterday was The Big Day.  As the game’s start time coincided with Vincenzo’s nap time, it was not the most pleasant of experiences for us.  Vicnenzo spent most of the game covering his ears when people cheered; asking, “Is it over?” then following up that question with, “Is it over now?”; and really nailing down the smoldering eyes look. 

There were a few bright spots in the game for him, though:

Thank you to my BIL for taking these gorgeous pictures…and for letting me touch your equipment whenever I wanted throughout the game.  My sister and my husband either didn’t notice or didn’t care.

Anyway, we’re not big baseball fans ourselves but we managed to keep ourselves entertained.  Like how in the second inning when I pretended to go into labor and my younger sister rushed over to help me birth a bag of blue cotton candy.  She held it up for all to see and announced proudly, “It’s a boy!” 

Later in the game she traded in her surgical mask to give her inner artist a try. I hope whoever this foot belongs to enjoyed the improvements my younger sis gave it!

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Honey mustard pork
Pea and cheddar salad (you know the one)
Spinach salad with strawberries and walnut vinagrette

What not to say

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Know how football players get to their games, Mommy?”  Me: “No; how?”  V: “They take a blimp.”
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I ran into an old friend this weekend, who noticed (because it’s impossible not to) that I was pregnant.  I filled her in on Angelo and she said the worst possible thing someone can say to someone in my position.  I pass this on to you so you know what NOT to say:

“Oh my gosh, my friend just had a stillborn at 39 weeks.  Everything was fine up until that point.  I guess it was the cord…” 

You would be surprised at how many people think it’s appropriate or comforting to tell a paranoid, freaked out pregnant lady who buried her own son just a year ago that babies die all the time!  They can have heart defects undetected by ultrasounds!  The mother could get an infection that kills the baby without her knowing it!  Doctors may never know the reason your baby was stillborn!  The cord!  The cord!  The cord!

So anyway, if you know someone who has lost a baby and is currently pregnant, do her a favor and just listen quietly and tell her you’re sorry and ask about the baby.  Do not mention other stillborn babies.  Do not say, “Well you’ve used up your bad luck, so this baby should turn out fine!”  Statistics get pretty skewed when you’ve already won the unlucky lottery once, so when my OB says not to worry, they only see a cord strangulation once every two years in her office, I kind of FREAK OUT a little bit and have to physically restrain myself from asking, And how the f*** long has it been since the last one??! 

I do want to say there’s a different set of rules for someone actually going through the process of having a stillborn (i.e. either carrying a child she knows won’t live or having just given birth to a stillborn).  During this time, she needs other people there who have been through it–people who understand her pain and who can tell her how they got through it themselves.  If you know someone who the mother can talk to, those are the people to share your stories with, but only if it leads to some kind of support, and not if it just adds to her list of Things to Lose Sleep Over.

Before my own experience with Angelo, I have to admit I’d have been the one throwing out stories of other people whose babies died.  It’s hard to know what to say unless you’ve been there…or you’ve read the blog of someone who has.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  Like you had a choice.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Leftovers.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

The other half

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “Mom, we don’t need to eat breakfast tomorrow.”  Me: “Why not?”  V: “Because we already ate it today!”
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I decided I’m feeling generous after my last post, so here are the other 12.5 random things about me.  I have to admit, I used up all the heavy-hitters in my first one, so this list is a bit fluffy, but still fun!

13 (i.e. the rest of 12.5) …to my son that I don’t have a penis.

14. Right now there are 12 kinds of cheese in my fridge. This is perfectly normal.

15. I’m 7 months pregnant and while most people know the baby as Mbungo, his real name rhymes with Taco.

16. There is currently a plastic sword lodged between my dress and my boobs. I did not put it there.

17. I am afraid of flying, dentists, salamanders, bridges, Yellowstone National Park, and pretty much everything else.

18. If I could find a job that let me cook, scrapbook, hang out with friends, go to the beach, take naps, blog, work out, and be with my family all day, I’d quit what I’m doing right now and sign up! Oh wait…

19. On the 6 month anniversary of our blind date, Kevin and I wrote each other letters that we planned to open one year later. I told him how cute he was in mine; he proposed to me in his.

20. I was supposed to be named Jennifer but when my dad went downstairs to get a “Jennifer” nametag at the hospital, they were sold out.  (they named me MrsMouthy instead because they thought it might look good on a blog in 30 years.)

21. I heart tube socks.

22. I also heart Jessica Simpson. I even dressed up like her one day when I was a junior high teacher and taught the whole day like that, just because.

23. I took piano lessons from the 3rd through 9th grade. Every year I got pulled out of school to go to “auditions.” No one ever told me what I was auditioning for, but I’m pretty sure I got it.

24. I have eaten turtle poop and gotten salmonella from it.

25. My will states that the top three commenters on my blog will equally divide all my worldly possessions.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Honey marinated pork loin
Gnocchi with pesto
Chocolate PB cookie bars

12.5 Random Things

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, taking off his crocs: “My feet are naked!”
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Anyone on Facebook has either seen or at least heard of the “25 Things about Me” meme.  I’m not sure what a meme is, but I think I just used it correctly in a sentence.  Anyway, I did it awhile ago, but shortened it to “12.5 Things about Me” to match the attention span of most of my friends.  Since I don’t have much to post about today, here it is for the ENTIRE WORLD to read and wonder at.

1. I met my husband on a bona fide blind date. It got off to a rocky start in the café as, while he was working up the courage to approach me, some other guy introduced himself and gave me his number.

2. In April 2008 I gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. It was the hardest experience of my life, but also one of the most beautiful.

3. I spent two summers teaching at a camp in Switzerland. On the weekends I got to take kids rafting, spelunking, to chalets in the Alps for overnight stays, to operas in Italy, etc. It was so perfect I sometimes wonder if maybe it was all a dream??

4. I taught elementary school for 4 years and junior high English/drama for 2. Drama was my favorite, even though it shouldn’t have been. During the first play I directed, in front of an audience of parents, teachers, and students, my main character psuedo-mooned the audience and then changed one of his lines to have an overtly sexual innuendo. I stopped the play and made him do it the right way. Thank goodness he did because otherwise I would have sent everyone home 15 minutes into it!

5. In college one weekend I went on a hike up to some bat caves. The next day I left for a mission in Tijuana and could not get comfortable in the van. Finally, in San Diego I had someone look at my back and it turns out I had a tic. I had to go to a border town hospital and have it cut out that night.

6. I was severely anorexic my senior year of high school, and mildly anorexic throughout college. I don’t think I really overcame it until I met my husband and he persisted and persisted that I eat more. I eat healthy now but still struggle with body image. And my husband still thinks I should eat more.

7.  My husband is Italian.

8. I spent one quarter of college studying Spanish in Mexico. Everyone else in my group went down to party, and while they were taking excursions to the beaches and going to clubs I was hanging out at the abuela’s house and playing Scrabble with my hermanas. (Well, I may have gone to a club or two myself.) I feel like everyone else missed out!

9. I have written two middle-grade novels and several picture books. I’m currently working on building up the self-esteem to attempt publishing them.

10. Growing up, our only source of heat in the family room was a real, wood-burning fireplace. From the second grade until high school I’d come home, gather kindling and logs, and build a fire. We also ground our own wheat for flour and made our own shoes out of old tires.

11. I’m kidding about the shoes from tires, but not about the wheat.

12. I bungee jumped off a 100-foot high bridge in Nanaimo, Canada.

12.5. I have taken my underwear off to prove…

Believe it…or not

QUICKIE: Vincenzo to Kevin: “Remember when we had a whole day full of fighty-ness?”
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Kevin worked on the playground all week, sometimes getting up at 5:30 to start on it and coming in after 10PM, even though the box claimed, “EASY ASSEMBLY!  4-8 HOURS!”  Either my husband is a little s-l-o-w or the box really meant to claim, “EASY ASSEMBLY!  48 HOURS!” in which case that hyphen between the 4 and 8 was put there by a disgruntled, underpaid employee who wanted to take out his revenge on some unsuspecting, first-world, (possibly s-l-o-w) dads.

Either way, I can’t believe it!  I can’t believe this is in my backyard now!*

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It goes right into the file of other things I don’t believe, such as:

1.

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2. 

3.

A Very Speidi Wedding

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Copper River salmon with tarragon cream sauce
Grilled squash and mushroom skewers
Salad with honeyed rhubarb and goat cheese

*Not pictured: 20-foot drop off to a set of train tracks just feet from the end of the swingset