Thursday, August 23, 2007

Everybody Poops

For those of you who know me, poop is a ready topic of conversation. From the time I was little and my mom was making "Sara's Raisinless Granola" and "Honey Whole Wheat Bread" to ensure good BM's to the days of a malfunctioning gall bladder, my life has been ruled by poo.

How fun, then, for me to discover that it is also a favorite topic for toddlers. Every noise and gurgle elicits the same response from my darling toddler; "Mommy, I poop 'gin." By this point, I don't really pay much attention, because it usually means nothing, and my nose does a much better job of separating the wheat from that chaf than do my ears.

He had become the little boy who cried poop, so I took little notice when I heard that phrase yesterday as I was letting him know that I was going downstairs to check our mailbox.

I looked in his room, and he was making an odd motion with his was then that I realized what he had on his hands, and had subsequently rubbed on the carpet. It was, in fact, doo doo. I said "Oh No!" Jumped over the gate (yes, I baby-gate my child in his room occasionally to encourage "imaginitve play time"), grabbed his hands together in one of mine, got the lock to open the dresser with diaper-changing supplies with the other, wiped off his hands, covered them with about a gallon of sanitizer, changed his diaper (in which, luckily, the rest of it was contained) changed his clothes, and took him to wash his hands thoroughly with soap and warm water (no, I didn't just use sanitizer and call it good).

I then deposited him in his crib for a nap, for clearly only the desperately tired would stick their hand in their diaper and rub the contents on the carpet of their bedroom.

I cleaned the carpet, then treated it with oxyclean, and all was well.

Crisis averted...I closed his blinds, pushed play on a CD of soothing music from the Island of Maui, and walked out of the room humming a new lullaby to myself "Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, wash your hands after changing baby too. 'Cuz you don't want to get hep-a-titis, and we don't want hepatitis to get you. And YOU!" (You do remember that PSA from the 80's don't you?) Ahhhh, the joys of motherhood!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Step by Step

After moving 3,000 miles closer to New York City, I felt that my chances of being able to see SJP and the girls up close and personal were drastically increased. Last night, just before going to bed, I got a text from a girlfriend back home that said "Just read a sign-Sarah Jessica Parker will be at Wash. Square on 8.17.07 to promote her new perfume." WHAT?! The most random mall they could ever choose and it's within 5 miles of my old home?! Okay, deep breath, surely there will be a whole tour and I will be able to see her in Boston. This is a major metropolis. I flew up to the computer room and used my trusty google, only to find that, horror of horrors, there were only two stops on her tour; New York City (2 days ago) and Portland, OR. I feel ill...I will be going back to Portland the week after she's there. Why? Why? Why? I, sadly, could not click my Manolo's three times to get to Portland for her appearance because, oh yeah, I DON'T HAVE ANY!

Then it hit me...get a grip! What? What would I say? "I'm your biggest fan?" I'm sure she's never heard that before! (Although, I'm sure that she would be gracious, smile and thank me) It was then that I realized that standing in line to have SJP sign a bottle of perfume I purchased would not be the same as my vision of sitting down with "Carrie and the girls" (I put that in quotes so that you understand that I know they aren't real people) to have coffee. She wouldn't set aside her pen so that we could dish for an hour...

I was reminded of 6th grade; New Kids On the Block (NKOTB for those in the know) were my life. It was a time when you could buy every teen tabloid even though they all said the same thing, because it may have a slightly different picture than those already plastered around the room. At the time, my room was painted white, but you wouldn't have been able to tell because Danny, Donny, Jordan, Jon and little Joey Joe were my wallpaper. I would envision them coming to my teeny tiny hometown, seeing me, and realizing that I was the best thing since sliced bread...wait, weren't they at least a decade older than I at that point?

As I came down the stairs and told my husband the disappointing news, he looked at me a little oddly, and it was confirmed. I was being ridiculous...

I was shocked and horrified to realize that I, sensible mother of a toddler and former social worker, was behaving like a starstruck pre-teen! What is it about Sex and the City that can make women forget that they are not Carrie? We're sitting in sweats on our couches in the suburbs, knitting while we watch the show.

Flash to this morning at 9am. I read on Ireland OnLine that SJP had confirmed that filming of the movie would begin (in theory) in six weeks to release as early as NEXT SUMMER! I immediately called my sister, fellow fan (FF) and left a voicemail with the exciting news. We can meet in NYC for the movie premier! Looks like I may have to enter into a 12-step for this one, or maybe I just really miss my friends. You decide.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Let them eat cake!

Watching the Food Channel, I often come across shows where the host is decorating a great cake. To replicate this, they say you only really need to do three things: let the cake cool completely, use room temperature frosting so that it doesn't cause excess crumbs to be pulled up and to layer three sheets of wax or parchment paper under the cake in a triangle so that you can pull them out from under the cake upon completion for a professional and spartan-looking cake plate.

Last night, I was so proud of myself. My son (we'll call him Charlie) turns two today, and I made him a cake with brightly colored layers. I baked the cake at 4pm, and allowed it to cool (first in the pan on a rack, and then turned upside down) for FOUR hours. If you know me, which most of you don't, you will know that my waiting four hours was akin to skipping desert at a big family dinner...unheard of. My cakes are generally "extra moist" because I frost them when they're still warm and the frosting just kind of oozes into the cake.

Not this time! No, this was going to be the most perfect bright blue and green layered cake that was ever frosted with day-glo orange icing. Why? Because I am now an at-home mom, that's why. My entire 'job' as I see it is to make amazing pastries from scratch and host home-made meals to two-income couples so that I can continue to get praise and recognition. Wait, maybe it's to take care of Charlie and ensure that he grows to be a well-adjusted adult who doesn't have mother issues, whatever. Last night, it was perfect pastries.

So, I was literally beaming with pride because my cake looked so great! I neatly pulled out the first sheet, and then the second, leaving only the perfect clear glass of the cake plate. Then, it came time to pull out the third sheet. Somewhere between gently laying the cake onto the waxed paper, and pulling out the other two layers, the third piece had gotten so far under the cake that it would not come out. I had two options; I could just leave the paper there so that all could witness my ineptness, or, I could use my bare hands to dig that piece out...which do you think I chose?

That's right...ten minutes later, my hands were covered in orange frosting (which I had tinted myself using food coloring to achieve the perfect shade), the layers of the cake were sliding apart, and my heart was sinking because I had just failed. My child would have an imperfect cake for his birthay.

As I looked at the pile of cake and frosting with blurred vision (yes, tears of frustration), Charlie looked over at me and said "Wasss that?" He couldn't see the cake, he could just see me, and I realized that it didn't matter. Frosting can fix everything. I scooped it all back into place as neatly as possible, and slapped on some orange-tinted sugary goo. I piped on his name with bright blue icing, and added a decorative border to detract from the now-smeared plate.

So, we'll have a little cake with our icing...I'm sure to him, it will be just as good. So, my first lesson has been learned: Cooking shows are a crock!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Oh, the Places We Will Go....

First confession: I am not a native New Englander. This confession is being made based on my feeling that I will be found out, as I'm pretty sure that kids in Massachusetts didn't play "The Oregon Trail Game" on a Comodor 64 cloistered in the back of their classroom, its green characters flashing and blipping on the screen.

In my fifth grade class, there was a definite pecking order established and it was based primarily on who lived and died on the Oregon Trail. I was nearly at the bottom of the barrel, saved only by the kids who didn't play the game at all (gasp). I lost the game almost every time due to having to throw the majority of my poorly chosen, and even more poorly packed, supplies over the edge, and subsequently dying from starvation or choosing the wrong trail and having nothing to barter (having left said supplies behind miles ago).

The reason that I tell this story is that the beginning of my quest to be the perfect at-home wife and mother began in Oregon, where I convinced my husband that we "needed" a large amount of our belongings to travel the 3000+ miles with us, and not in the moving van. This resulted in the unplanned purchase of the biggest Yakima Sky Box our car could hold; only after many tears and frustration over the realization that we could not fit what turned out to be about a quarter of our apartment into the back of our newly purchased XUV.

So we were off, like the modern-day Clampetts, with our trusty Freestyle packed to the gills and the aforementioned skybox perched on top. Before moving, it had already been decided that it was my turn to be provided for so that I could stay home with our toddler, my having been the breadwinner for the past four years. I wanted, and thought I was getting, a "break."

We got to Massachusetts, and it took only a few days of being home with my wildly energetic child before I was quickly racking my brain for all my employment options...what had I done? I have no idea how to entertain this child full-time! After the panic dissipated (notice I didn't say disappeared), I realized that I have this great kid, and that he makes me laugh a lot, and that I really do feel lucky to be home with him. He seems to learn some great new thing everyday, and I finally get to be the person who talks about it when my husband walks in, instead of hearing about it from the daycare center.

Back to Oregon; While packing, I carefully emptied out my storage closet full of the miscellaneous craft supplies that I had purchased over the last four years and quickly found that I had not only repeatedly bought the same things, but I had enough to keep myself busy for quite awhile.

Let me just interject here that I have a LOT of nervous energy...when I feel uncomfortable, I DO; I make pies, I knit scarves, I sew a new slipcover for my child's glider rocker. Not, mind you, that I had done the majority of these things before, but I was raised in the school of "good enough." I had the mom who just decided that she was going to make an outfit for us, and it mania, call it "efficiency", whatever...we get the job done with that blind confidence that only those who have not yet performed the task can have.

Back to Massachusetts. As the title of this blog suggests, I watched all six seasons of Sex and the City (not for the first time) in my first few weeks here and knitted various projects at the same time...don't worry, you don't have to report me to children's services, he was napping or in bed for the night...this was, of course, before I hooked up with a mom's group that had planned activities.

Like my quest to be ultra-crafty, I strive to be a super hip mom, the kind that my child will look at someday and think "Wow...she's MY mom. How cool is that?" Pipe dream, you say? Well, we'll find out. I have the tools to be copy of Stitch-n-Bitch, which is already dog-eared and heavily relied upon, my grandmother's old sewing machine and "a head full of brains and shoes full of feet" (Dr. Seuss, for those who didn't get the reference...just so I'm not plagiarizing).

Join me on my journey as I learn all about the things that I can do, those that I can't, and the things I thought I couldn't but end up doing "good enough."