Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Severely Neglected Blog

WOW! Two years??? It really doesn't seem that long at all! You still look fabulous, despite a couple of years with no contributions and likely no readers. You know I still love you, don't ya?? You remain the best document of Anja's first year, and it's a good thing because my memory isn't all that great.

Well, I'm on vacation now, blog. In a fit of anger over being an ignored professional at the recent company party, I decided that I didn't want to therapize anyone until next year. And I have further decided that my resolution for 2011 is to thank myself for all of my fabulousness. All those things that I didn't do in 2010...the return to belly dance, the groupons for bikram yoga and boot camp, the cooking's all going to happen in 2011.

As for you, my dear sweet blog, we need to reconnect. I was reading KF's awesome set of blogs and was inspired. Blogs get published into books! Did you know that? Now, I don't think we'll ever get farther than the internetz, but that's ok. Maybe we can find some interested readers once again.

Anyway, I saw this on NPR Books. This sounds like a great documentary, but unfortunately I don't think I live in a select city. Of course, it's being shown in cities with really good writers.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Things

Once you've been tagged you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under the tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app). Then click publish.)

Clay tagged me. Twice. Dammit Clay. Scott F. did too, but I might forgive him. Well, here goes.

1. I've never written a list of things about me, although I have a friend who puts one on her blog pretty frequently. I think she even has a list of 100 things.

2. I can hear my phone ringing in the other room right now. But I know it will stop by the time I get to it, so what's the point??

3. When I tell people I went to Westlake, they look at me like I'm a snot (yes, still, I get this, even 20+ years later. It's that whole Waller Creek thing). When I tell people I went to Trinity, they comment about my intelligence. Does this make me smart snot??

4. Whoever called has left a message. I should go see what they want. But I still don't care too much.

5. My daughter is the most amazing person I have ever known. I'm in awe that someone that incredible came out of my uterus. Maybe she will be smart snot too.

6. My husband is not smart snot. He's smart and cool. And he's one of those people who is good to know because he knows lots of things about lots of stuff. That comes in really handy sometimes. His friends love him. I love him more than I love anyone else, and more than anyone else will love him.

7. My husband is a great dad. Sometimes I get jealous because he makes our daughter laugh more than I can - I mean, serious belly laughs come out of her room when they play. I love that sound. It's because he is smart and cool.

8. I'm a damn good social worker, but sometimes I don't want to do it anymore. Sometimes I want to be a chef or go to beauty school. Or get paid to read all the time.

9. Last night, my daughter had a dream that an alligator was in our garage. She says the alligator was trying to bite because it was hungry, and that she and her dad had to go into a dark door to get away from it. I don't want to psychoanalyze my kid, but what the f*** does that alligator symbolize??? Maybe it's just because we were looking at a picture of an alligator in her baby animal magazine.

10. I'm not sure what is more amazing about #9: that she dreamt about an alligator or that, at 2, she had the verbal skills to tell me about it. Maybe she already is smart snot.

11. My dad moved into an assisted living earlier this month. At first, I thought that this was the end of the road for him, that he would just get depressed and give up. But it seems like it's going to be a good thing.

12. That comment in #6 sounds kind of stalker-ish, like "If I can't love him then no one can." I'm nuts, but I'm not psycho. Lots of people love him, and that's ok with me.

13. I am hopelessly addicted to cinnamon graham goldfish crackers. There - I've admitted it. That's the first step, and the other eleven steps can go buy me some more crackers.

14. I friended my oldest friend on FB not to long ago. She knows who she is. We were two or three years old when our UT-teaching parents met. She lived down the street from us for awhile, in this cool octagon-shaped house. My mother found some old pictures of us playing in the baby pool, and if I had a scanner I would so tag her. In one of the pics, I look really mad because my friend will not move out of my way so I can go down the slide. My daughter really likes that picture. I think it's funny because I have seen that same little mad expression on my daughter's face a thousand times. Because she is my mini-me.

15. My favorite smell in the whole world is the combination of rain, the dirt of Silver Plume, CO, and highway fumes. I can usually only smell it when I am there, but on the rare occasional that it blows in my nose other places, I am completely intoxicated by it.

16. "Nissa" isn't short for anything. Lots of people ask, so now you know. In "Anja," the "j" is pronounced like a "y." Most people don't ask about that, they just go ahead and f*** it up.

17. My husband's name is Aaron. Last summer, we had a lifeguard at our neighborhood pool who recently graduated from UTSA. Anja asked the lifeguard her name, and the lifeguard said her name was Erin. Poor Anja was really confused by that one.

18. I have played piano since I was 5. I used to be really good: played at the capitol building, around the state, in Europe, stuff like that. Now I play chopsticks and nursery rhymes. Someday I'll teach Anja how to play.

19. Poodle - that was you who called in #2. That day you called the house to see if I was home I was out picking up Anja, and, well, now you know what I was doing that next time. Love you, Poodle, Ooo -birthday soon!!

20. The crack house apartment next door to where I work was destroyed in a fire two nights ago. One of my friends banged on the doors of the residents to get them out. Everyone survived, and she was on the news. Everyone at work yesterday called her a hero!

21. I have a severely neglected blog. Some people at the reunion told me they had read it, and that's very flattering. Here it is: Maybe I'll put these 25 things in it.

22. I left Austin over 20 years ago in my Chevy Nova to move to San Antonio and I have never wanted for even a second to return there to live. Anyone who wonders why can come spend a few days with me, meet my friends and visit my haunts. San Antonio is home to the most friendly people I have ever seen anywhere; even at 1.3 million people it still feels like a small town. Plus, the traffic is way better.

23. Two examples of cinematic genius, in my opinion, are "Dude, Where's My Car?" and "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle". My friend and I were so fascinated by Harold and Kumar that we immediately went online to find the nearest White Castle. We were sorely disappointed, but later found them in the frozen section at HEB.

24. My parents were both band geeks. In fact, my dad was such a band geek that he was Assistant Director of the UT Longhorn Band in the 1960s. That's how my parents met. My husband was also a band geek: he played the flute. Not only was he the only guy in the flute section of his high school band, I think he was also first chair. I think he did it to meet girls. I, on the other hand, was an orchestra geek.

25. I was 36 years old when I gave birth to my one and only child. I'm really glad I waited so long.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Those Things That Sag

I saw a mom I know at the day care today. A couple of days ago, the sperm donor asked if I had seen this mom's new set of boobs. So today I took notice. She has four sons, the youngest of which is in Anja's toddler room. I imagine she probably breastfed at least one of those. Today, her boobs looked bigger and perkier.


Breastfeeding is not kind to your boobs. Yes - it's nice at first. I vaguely recollect an old blog entry in which I wrote about waking in the morning looking like a porn star after Anja slept through the night for one of the first times. But when your boobs no longer contain large volumes of milk, they return to their pre-pregnancy size and seem more affected by gravity than ever. I remember before I became pregnant with Anja I used to be able to go out in a cute little tank top and no bra. Now I can't leave the house without a bra. It's really sad.

Anja's ENT stated I should get a medal for breastfeeding Anja for a whole year. Screw his medal. I would like to propose that if you breastfeed your child for a year, you get a free boob job. Go for two years, you get a complimentary tummy tuck thrown in as well. Have more than one child? I haven't figured out the reward for that yet. Maybe a trip to show off your fabulous boobs.

I have no idea who I should propose this idea to. If public health officials are as gung ho as they say they are about promoting breastfeeding, they might want to consider offering these incentives. I would sure sign up.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Swimmy Lessons, Ears, and The Big W

What an odd summer this has been. Rain on most days until recently, temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s despite the heat wave across the rest of the country. It has only been the past week or so that we actually have reached our summer norm: endless heat, sticky humidity, with seemingly no end in sight. I remember last summer our city performed rolling blackouts across town to decrease the electricity usage. It was also the year we had to replace our ailing air conditioner.

In the spirit of summer, I signed Anja and me up for Baby and Me swimming lessons in June. Every Friday we would eat breakfast, put on our swimsuits, and drive to the nearby swim school. There were six baby-mommy combos (well, one was actually a baby-nanny combo) in our class taught by Coach Don. Two of the other babies were born the same month as Anja, one of which appeared to be half of Anja's size. Small baby, meet my big baby. Coach Don provided us with all kinds of water toys and songs while we worked on floating, blowing bubbles, hanging on to the side of the pool, jumping off the side of the pool, and the ultimate goal of going underwater for a couple of seconds. There was even a little slide for me to heave my nearly 30-pound child up onto, then help her slide down. Anja hated the first class. HATED. She cried through the whole class. Cried so much that we couldn't even participate. We sat on the steps going into the pool and watched all the action from there. She wasn't especially thrilled with the second class either. She cried for about half the class, then either decided that this was OK or surrendered to the fact that we weren't leaving and tried to enjoy herself a little bit. That was when the baby with his nanny started to cry.

Anja stopped crying, thankfully. In fact, she laughed and smiled her way through every class thereafter. Loved the slide, loved crawling on the top step, loved swimming in the inflatable inner tube, loved everything. I was supposed to be modeling how to blow bubbles and put her underwater, but I never could put her under the water because her mouth was open with laughter every time. She really grew to enjoy it, and I did too. She liked the other babies, I liked the other mommies (the nanny was really nice too), and we both liked the water.


Poor Anja started her bout with ear infections a little bit before her first birthday. Two infections back to back, followed by another a few weeks later. When we started swimming lessons, I really thought we were done with the battle with the ears. When she went to her 15-month well baby exam, the doctor said her ears looked fine. So I was a little confused when strange-looking wax started coming out of her ears a couple of days later, followed by an ear ache a couple of days after that. The verdict: more ear infections AND a perforated ear drum.

To make a long story short, Anja had tubes placed in her ears last week. The ENT is a nice man who tries to win her over with stickers and lollipops, but she hates him for holding her down and looking in her ears. The ENT seems way smarter than the pipsqueak pediatrician who said her ears looked "fine" just three weeks ago (Think Rachael Ray with a stethoscope. I'll keep most of my opinions about her to myself for now but just trust we won't be seeing her again. Buh bye. Add her to the list with the nurse practitioner who told me that homeopathic teething tablets were poison. Buh bye to her too).

Needless to say, Anja's ear problems have put a halt to our swimming lessons. Which makes me quite sad. I think about the other babies in our class sometimes. After our last class, we had lunch with another mom and baby. This mom had three daughters and had been constantly breastfeeding children for about eight or nine years and said she was desperate the wean the youngest one so she could get her boob lift. I laughed and tried to imagine breastfeeding children for that long. Lately, I kick myself for having weaned Anja at all, knowing that we could have avoided this whole ear infection saga if she still had a little boob juice. I think about the little boy with his nanny, who cried through every class after the first one. He got so mad, his little face got all red. Either Dad or Grandma would come to class and watch and he would cry and reach for them. I think Coach Don finally suggested to the nanny that she come with baby boy alone. They weren't at the last class we attended. I plan to go to the swim school soon to see if they will work a deal with me considering the circumstances of our absences. We will be back.

And in response to every body's question "Is she walking yet??" Well, sort of. She will take four or five little steps at a time, and the sperm donor and I kind of pass her back and forth to get her to practice. She walks like a zombie with her arms stretched out in front of her. I can picture her saying "I want to eat your brains!!" She likes to stand in the grass and take a few steps. On the Fourth of July, she fell down and went boom trying to stand up on her own and busted her lip open. I think that shot her confidence. She'll get it soon. She has significantly more poundage on her than most babies her age and I think that makes walking a little more challenging. She would also rather sit around and look at books. She may not walk very well yet, but she knows lots of words. She is my mini-me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Body Parts

Anja is learning her parts. This is due in large part to this cute little flap book that asks where certain parts are located, only to reveal them underneath the flap. So, the belly button is under baby's shirt, the mouth is behind baby's cup, and so on. In the book (and this is very important to remember), baby's hands are in the bathtub and you say "Where are baby's hands?", and you pull down the flap to reveal they are behind the bubbles.

A couple of times a day, Anja and I review what body parts she knows. We start with the belly button, since that was the first one she learned. So I say, "Show me your belly button!" And she lifts up her shirt, then has to turn up her very round tummy in order to see her belly button. This is followed by lifting up my shirt (or the sperm donor's shirt) to make sure we still have belly buttons too. Then I say "Where are your eyes?" And she points to one of her eyes. A couple of times, she has used both hands to point out both of her eyes. Next is "Where is your nose?" And she sticks her finger in her nose. And I remove the finger and place it on the tip of her nose. The past couple of days she has lifted up a foot when I have said "Where are your feet?"

I've been showing her where her hands are the past couple of days so we could extend this routine by another part. Yesterday I asked her for the first time, "Can you show Mommy your hands?"

And she didn't lift up or point to a hand.

She just said...


Because in the book, baby's hands are behind the bubbles.

I laughed so hard I almost fell over.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Separation Anxiety Defined

Separation anxiety is based on a baby's inability to use glue. Because if a baby around Anja's age could use glue, then he or she would happily glue themselves to their person of choice. If Anja could use super glue, she would paint it all over the front of me, then sit in my lap. So then I couldn't get off the floor. Because any time I get off the floor and don't take her with me it seems the world might end. She's a smart baby - she knows I can't get up easily with over 26 pounds of baby sitting on me.

I'm going to go hide the glue.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Go Baby??

Anja doesn't show a whole lot of interest in what is on TV. The TV is usually on, mainly for noise and occasionally for actual entertainment. On weekend mornings I put on cartoons. I remember Saturday morning cartoons being a big part of my childhood. Imagine waking up at 7 a.m. to watch "Superfriends"! Followed, of course, by Looney Toons. I had a black and white cat named Charles when I was a child, and I was convinced that when Charles went outside to do his business that he was actually going to California to be Sylvester.

The one show that Anja will actually pay attention to is "Go Baby!", a cute little 5-minute long program on the Disney channel which comes on every morning at about the time we have to put on shoes and socks to go to school. The show profiles the adventures of digitally-animated Baby, a little African-American boy baby as he goes to a farm, takes a bath, plays music, and even visits the moon. There are a total of eight episodes, and we have all of them recorded on the DVR. Occasionally, Baby is visited by Sophie, a precious little Asian baby. They coo and gurgle, wave and say hi and bye, and crawl around, all of the things Anja does. So it's no wonder that she will sit for five minutes to wave and dance with Baby and Sophie.

You know, all of these programs are made by adults so there has to be something to entertain the adults too (and yes, the sheer joy of watching my daughter wave and smile at the TV is wonderful, but I need some grown-up entertainment too). In one episode, Baby takes a bath to get ready for his play date with Sophie. He washes his feet and his hands and then his hair. Cue cute song: washing our hair for Sophie, washing our hair for Sophie. I think this episode is responsible for Anja learning how to wash her hair. But there, in the middle of the bath, arrives Sophie! Ready to play in the tub with Baby! And I know that they are innocently making bubble shapes, but I didn't realize that it was okay to teach my baby that she can go ahead and take baths with the opposite sex. How old was I the first time I bathed with a boy??? 21????

In another episode, Baby is sitting in a garden. There is an apple in a tree nearby and we have to help Baby pull the apple off the tree so he can give it to Sophie. Sophie arrives in the garden, is delighted with the apple, and takes a huge bite out of it.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Maybe that whole Garden of Eden thing got mixed up in the retelling??

The outer space episode is trippy. Baby and Sophie wear onesies and space helmets. Apparently, you can crawl on the moon but you can also float if you want to.

But Anja loves it. Yeah, sometimes she will glance at Little Einsteins and sometimes peer at Pooh, but she knows that when we sit on the couch after getting dressed and Mommy starts fiddling with the remote that it's time for our show. And she smiles and waves and laughs while I put on her shoes.

And that is priceless.