Fair enough

So the fair is behind us now and it did not disappoint! 

Well, actually, this booth disappointed:


Before you look at the picture below, get a visual of what you think a “spa of the future” would look like.


I don’t know…I guess I was expecting something more metallic?  Something that hovered?  But alas, the spas of the future are strikingly similar to the spas of the past.  I guess that explains the use of quotation marks on their sign.

Now here’s a booth did NOT disappoint!



Below is a picture of Vincenzo’s favorite ride—the rocket ship movie thing.  Kevin described it this way: “They put a bunch of kids in a dark room with a carny  for ten minutes and no adults are allowed in.  What could possibly go wrong?”


I told him to stop calling them carny’s; they’re people with feelings, just like us.  Then we came across this particular one with who had “F*** THE WORLD” shaved into his hair.  I started calling them carnys at that point, too.


There were people there wearing their children’s Tinkerbell backpacks.


And also there was this guy wearing an adult-sized Cars backpack.  Seriously.


And unfortunately, that’s all I got.  I didn’t realize how little picture taking you can do when you have a baby strapped to your chest, the stroller handle in your right hand, a bag of kettle korn you’re not letting go of in your left, and THIS bearing down on you at a remarkable pace:


Goodbye, sweet world.  Goodbye.


Happy weekending!

QUICKIE: A lady, pointing out the sights of the beach to her grandson: “There are the ducks…and there’s a boat…and there’s some seaweed…and oh look!  There’s a tired new mom!”
I just wanted to apologize for not reading other people’s blogs since the new baby has come.  Also on my list of things I have not done are cook, clean house, garden, showered regularly, and slept more than 3 hours at a time.  If I have read your blog, know that one or more of these things is also true: 1) At least one of my children went hungry for the half hour it took me to get caught up; 2) It took me three days to read a single post of yours and comment on it; or 3) You are Renee of mommyblogyay.  (The best thing about Renee’s blog is that the “yay” is silent.  Hope I didn’t just ruin the ending for you!)

Anyway, have a fab weekend everyone.  I’m absolutely GIDDY because the state fair is in town!!!!!  It’s like the Christmas of summer, only if you could put Christmas on a stick and deep fry it, which we would all totally do if they sold Christmas sized deep fryers.  But they don’t.

All by myself

Vincenzo went to Chicago with Kevin for the weekend, leaving me at home to do whatever I wanted with just the baby.  Needless to say, there was an excess of this:


The best things about my weekend “alone” were eating and sleeping.  I feel like I should add “pooping” to the mix because it seems to go, but anyone who’s had a baby knows that pooping during that first post partum month is kind of like going to a movie theater and not knowing if the movie ticket you just bought is for an easy rom-com or a grisly horror flick.

Eating sans toddler: No more of this fruit-at-every-meal thing; none of that mmm-I-love-broccoli-so-much-don’t-you thing.  Nope; I ate the way I assume Renee Zellweger and everyone else without kids eats: chocolate chip pancakes all day, every day.  Except sometimes when I ate fudgecicles.  And lots and lots of McDonalds (I had four years of driving by them without so much as slowing down to make up for!)

Upon Vincenzo’s return I was bummed out to give up my natural eating habits for healthier ones…until I was making Vincenzo a blueberry pancake and noticed something.  Maybe you’ve noticed it before too?  How much a blueberry, when placed in the right environment, and at an early enough hour in the morning, bears a slight resemblance to a chocolate chip in the same environment at the same early hour?  “Good morning, Vincenzo!  Blueberry pancakes for breakfast…again!” 

I’ve also learned to eat fudgecicles right in front of Vincenzo by carefully angling my body and strategically opening cupboards or bending down behind the counter to “pick something up.”  I’m kind of the David Copperfield of fudgecicles now.

Sleeping sans toddler: Kevin and I both got way more sleep than we have all month—he because he was with a child who sleeps through the night and me because I was with the child who might not sleep at night but still sleeps 20 out of 24 hours every day.  It was better than both Kevin and I sleeping sporadically throughout the night, waking up for frantic binky searches and trying to remember whose turn it is to nurse the baby, then fantasizing about naps all the next day.  Because while I’ve discovered how to eat a fudgecicle right in front of Vincenzo’s eyes, it’s much harder to fake being awake in the middle of a nap.  I’m still working on sneaking a nap in behind an open cupboard.

If Kevin and I ever do this whole baby thing again we’ll just plan on splitting up for six months afterwards.  Who needs romance when you could have sleep?!

Something has to be done!

Okay, I need to stress about Rocco’s name again even though I’ve said it all before and none of it really matters anyway.  Chalk it up to my OCD.  (After this I’ll go wash my hands a few times, too).

When we told people Vincenzo’s name, our biggest reaction was: “Vin-sen-zio?  Am I saying that right?”  We’d explain that no, they weren’t, and they probably never would be able to because they just didn’t have the mental capacity to do so.  His name itself is a sort of preliminary IQ screening test for any potential friends or neighbors.

But when I tell people Rocco’s name, I get a different reaction: “Oh…I know someone who just named their boy ‘Rocco,’ too!”  I hate that.  It’s not that we named him Rocco solely to be unique…it’s Kevin’s middle name, and he was named very significantly after someone dear to his father’s heart named Rocky (you know…the one from the movies?). 

(His sister was named after Wendy from Peter Pan.) 

(His Dad really, really likes TV.) 

But uniqueness was definitely a factor in deciding our second son’s name.  I mean, you can’t exactly introduce your sons “Vincenzo” and “Joe” and still feel good about yourself.  Anyway, I’m worried that by the time Rocco gets to kindergarten he’ll have to be called “Rocco B.” or worse still, “Rocco T.B.,” which makes it sound like he’s the Rocco with “an often deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria.”

So let’s review what I know:

1.  Madonna’s son is named Rocco (this I already knew; I’m just hoping it goes unnoticed in the shadow of Lourdes’ name)
2.  There is another baby named Rocco at Rocco’s own pediatrician’s office (Kevin keeps trying to convince me the “other baby” is actually our own Rocco)
3.  Just yesterday I found out that the son of the cousin of the lady in the Starbucks’ parking lot was also recently named Rocco

See?  EVERYONE is naming their sons Rocco!  People, I need your help.  If you know of anyone considering naming their child or their dog after my son,  I beg you  TALK THEM OUT OF IT.  Tell them of Rocco the Porn Star, but not Rocco the saint, for example.  Tell them their son will spend his whole life being rhymed with “taco.”   Tell them it’s spelled with a silent G at the beginning.  Just do something!

And for heaven’s sake, delete this blog post after reading it.  I’ve said too much already .

Shooting the breeze

QUICKIE: V: “Mom, we should go to Chuck E. Cheese!”  Me: “Well, I was thinking we should go for a bike ride.  What do you think of that?” V: “I think my ideas are better than yours.”
Let’s all put our hands together for the guy formerly known as my husband’s sister’s boyfriend, who waited eleven years to find the exact, perfect moment to propose to my SIL.  Wendy is getting MARRIED!!  I love that when my future BIL asked my FIL for my SIL’s hand in marriage, my FIL said, “Yes, yes!  Take both hands!”  (Sorry if that story lost anything in all the acronyms; it just takes sooooooooooooo long to type out brother-in-law and father-in-law and sister-in-law, and the hyphen is such a tricky key to hit correctly and oh dear me, now I’ve gone and typed them anyway.)

I also wanted you to know that if you see a lady walking along with a baby strapped to her chest and an overgrown child in a stroller, and that child seems to be pointing at your car and saying something, then that lady is me and that child just annihilated your car with his finger gun.  During last Friday’s walk, we hit a dry spell where no cars came along for awhile, and I noticed one of Vincenzo’s hands casually finger walk across the stroller tray, when WHAMO!  His finger snuck up from nowhere and shot it dead cold, too.  RIP, Righty.

And because I’m typing one-handed and because that’s hard, I’ll just shove a bunch of pictures at you.





I’m doingfine! Why do you aks?

Other signs I’m not doing nearly as well as I think I am:

1. I showed up at the right doctor’s office, at the right time, with the right kid, but on the wrong day.

2. I realized I wore my breast pad backwards all day—the absorbant side facing out

3. I put on a pair of underwear after going to the bathroom and realized significantly later that the “feminine hygiene product” was on the OUTSIDE of them.  (??)

I swear I’m one step away from nursing the cat* and wiping my husband’s bottom.

*Matlick, Andrea.  “Whew!”  Personal e-mail.  August 16, 2009.

I feel for the flies on our wall


Dinner conversations used to be so different in our house.  It used to be that Kevin would come home from work and ask me how my day went and I’d tell him, “Fine.  Yesterday I made a student throw away the latte he was sneak-drinking in my class, and today I was greeted by the student’s mother, the vice principal, and a representative from the NAACP who wanted me to explain my actions.”* 

Or Kevin would ask how my day went and I’d tell him, “Fine.  One student stole a box of Good ‘n Plenties from another student and would have gotten away with it had she not stashed the box in her pants and left a trail of pink and white pellets everywhere she went.”** 

Or Kevin would ask how my day went and I’d tell him, “Fine.  At the dress rehearsal for my students’ play today, the main character nearly mooned the audience of students, teachers, and parents, and he changed one of the lines about falling in love to instead be about having a boner.”***

Now when Kevin asks how my day went, my stories are…well…I’m not sure what word best summarizes it.  I’ll show instead of tell.

Kevin: So, how was your day?
Me: Fine.  Today Vincenzo was pretending two skeletons were ninja turtles and I was two little Noahs (i.e. Lego guys).  Little Noah 1 was all, “Hey, ninja turtles.  You should eat more.  You’re all skin-and-bone!”  Little Noah 2 was all, “Heh, heh.”  The ninja turtles explained they had been eating lots; they were just eating all white things. 

All four went on a vacation to Africa, where the ninja turtles started digging a hole for a tomb, as they were, it was explained, extremely good and fast diggers.  A dust storm came and buried the two Noahs.  The two Noahs appealed to the ninja turtles for help, as the ninja turtles were known to be extremely good and fast diggers, but the ninja turtles pretended not to hear.  The Noahs started slowly digging themselves out of the tomb (i.e. I got a 10 minute break) and finally made it out, where the ninja turtles were testing out their new dust machine.  The Noahs made fun of the ninja turtles, saying no one in Africa would want to buy a dust machine—it would be like selling a rain machine in Seattle.  The ninja turtles immediately began warning the Noahs not to bring any rain machine near their tomb hole because it would make it slippery. 

The Noahs decided to end their friendship with the ninja turtles and they went in search of new friends.  They climbed Baby Mountain which, they were informed, was actually a volcano, but the Noahs realized it was a sleeping volcano and they had nothing to fear.  They knocked on the Baby Mountain’s face door.  This conversation followed:

Noah 1: No one’s home.
Noah 2: But I can see the baby. I’m looking at its eyes right now!
Noah 1: Yes, but I mean the other kind of no one’s home—like “the lights are on, but no one’s home.”
Noah 2: Oh. Well look, there’s his arm. Maybe we could get him to sign this paper saying he’s our friend.
[Noah 1 moved baby’s hand on the pretend paper]

Having secured their first friend, they continued their journey northward to my face.
Noah 1: Hi. Are you the person who’s making us talk?
Me: Yes.
Noah 1: Then you’ll be our friend, right?
Me: I don’t know…I’ve been listening to you two for awhile and I think you’re kind of shady characters…”
Noah 1: But we can’t think of anyone else. Here, just sign this paper.
Me: Well, if you insist. [I signed paper]
Noah 1: HA! We tricked you! You just bought one of our rain machines and signed up for one year of rain!
Noah 2: Check’s in the mail!
Noah 2: Sucker!

The game ended several scenarios later when one of the Noahs had to go potty and the ninja turtles offered to build a bathroom, then added, “It should just take about two years…”

So…how was your day?

*True story.
**Also true story.
***Also true story.  Sigh.

Vincenzo? Oh yeah, he’s still here too…

1.  When I walked in on Vincenzo looking in the candy drawer: “Hey Mom.  I was just checking to see if all the drawers still opened.”

2.  Running to find me after helping Kevin lay down a new floor in our bathroom:  “Mommy!  Guess what Daddy’s making the new bathroom floor out of?”  Me: “I don’t know…what?”  Vincenzo: “Gravel!!”

3.  During a game of pretend, Vincenzo made his fingers into a ninja turtle and presented me with a bouquet of flowers.  Having nothing to pay him with, I instead gave him the superpower to turn anything he wanted into chocolate.  He, in turn, gave me my own superpowers.  “Whoosh!  Now you have the power to change into a ninja turtle or a crumb!”  (I immediately changed myself into a crumb and was promptly eaten by a crow.)

4.  On the way back from a walk I noticed how long Vincenzo’s hair has gotten and told him he needed a haircut.  He responded, “Yeah, that’s because you walked too long.”

5.  Vincenzo, on his way to a movie with Kevin: “I feel like every day is my lucky day.”

For Real

What do you do when the person you love so much looks at you and has only one thought: “She looks delicious!”  When his mouth waters when you’re within arm’s reach of him?  When he works himself into a frenzy searching for the third nipple on your neck, your forearm, the outside of your shirt?  (My husband has looked, too, but the baby won’t take his word that it’s purely mythical.)

The answer is you start wearing loose clothing and easy-access bras.  You bare your breasts in public or in the backseat of your car—whichever is classier at the moment.  You walk through the house shirtless and with something attached to your boob, trying to find the blasted phone. You *occasionally* sit on the toilet and have a B.M. while your nipple is methodically tugged on.  You coat said nipples with creams and oils in hopes to numb some of the pain.  You start to understand more and more what the Velveteen Rabbit felt like by the end of the book.

Because even though you are nothing more than a food source to this grasping, rooting, crying thing, he is everything to you.  Everything.  And even though it seems he is the one who needs you, you realize that it is actually you who needs him so desperately.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time…REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

From The Velveteen Rabbit

Thank you, Vincenzo and Angelo and Rocco, for making me Real.