Wednesday, 31 January 2007

i guess I have permission

In the car:

Some talk about when spring is coming. (Like we've really had a winter yet?) I tried to give it a point of reference and told Cass Spring would be here about the same time as my birthday, which he knows is in a few months.

Cass: Your Birthday? You're going to be bigger?

Me: No, I'm done growing. Now I just get older.

Cass: Oh you don't have to do that. You can just stop having birthdays now.

(Cue Peter Pan music)
I think I'll like floating around in green jerseys, finding snacks for the crocodiles.

Unfortunately....even he can't make time stop.

Later, at home.

Cass: Is it okay if my tooth is bending?

Yup. My boy has his first LOOSE TOOTH.

Just wow.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

how I met my husband

(inspired by Stephanie, from Mama Drama)

He could tell you the exact date.
All I remember is I brought a winter coat.

He could probably tell you what day of the week and time it was too.
I just remember being overwhelmingly excited and exhausted.
Oh, and I was afraid I smelled.

We'd been 'talking' on the internet (and spending way too much money on phone bills) for about a year. He already had a plane ticket to come see me in Michigan, but the airline I'd flown on last had sent me a freebie since I'd been bumped, and I decided to spend the holiday weekend (What holiday? Damnit!) seeing Nova Scotia.

Some freebie - the free ticket only got me from Michigan to Boston, where I spent the night on a hard plastic chair in the airport, sharing the room (while not making eye contact) with a man dressed fully in motorcycle leather who had a bowling bag as his only luggage. The next connecting flight to Halifax wasn't until the morning. In the morning I did the best wash and dress I could in the cold restroom, and was off to get on the plane.

It wasn't until the land disappeared and the plane was over the Atlantic Ocean that I started to think that this may not have been the best idea. Oh, well, I comforted myself, I'm a big girl, and Dad lives eight hours away, and why am I torturing myself with this? Things will be fine.

The plane landed. My stomach tried to flip. I went through Customs, yanked open the door at the far end of the room, walked three steps,

and looked up into a pair of smiling sparkly hazel eyes and the biggest bunch of roses I'd ever seen.

Zing went the strings...and I just knew.

Monday, 29 January 2007


His owners decided he would just be in pain, and so Barbaro's fight ended today.

A sad thing.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

i never liked those possessed doll stories

or, the freaky-ass thing I got off e-bay

The package I had to pick up?

Um. (shifting about on chair) It's...well, it's.....It's a doll. Okay?

I bought a doll. A porcelain doll.

This is so unlike me.

I don't buy dolls. I've never owned a porcelain doll, no 're-born huggable darlings made to feel so real you'll swear they're going to wake in your arms'*, nothing even remotely similar.

It's just never appealed to me.**

It all started a few weeks ago, with a toy from a Happy Meal. Rosey was smitten with her tiny doll. It was dark-haired with big blue eyes and dressed in a sailor dress and hat. It looked a lot like Rosey, actually. After she'd loved it and carried it everywhere and had it in the bath a few times, I got the bright idea that maybe I should hunt for a bigger one on E-bay. (Mainly because I'm a sucker for wide-eyed wonder and the breathless way she says 'Mama, look!') So into the world of E-bay I went.

I couldn't find the same one, but while looking idly through listings I saw what I thought was a good alternative. Sailor hat, sailor dress. I bid.

I won.

And now the freaky thing is in my house. And while Rosey loooves it, it makes both Bear and I so uncomfortable that we've had to move it out of sight.

It has this little foxy face. And it's looking at you. All.the.time.

I think, though, that the constant smirk and the staring eyes are getting to the wee one as well. Ten minutes after we put her to bed, Miss R took the doll off her dresser and carefully set it outside in the hall.

I guess this is one toy we'll put away for awhile.

I see you!!

*as an e-bay ad said, freaking word-for-word.
**I don't scrapbook, either. My feeling is that I have enough incidental scraps of paper and trinkets in my house already to make bringing in more just a really bad idea.


Yesterday I had to run into town to pick up a package.
Tossed the kids in the back, and was having a spirited discussion with Cass about which dinosaur could jump farther and how Spiderman could probably whip a T. Rex's hind end into submission (all those webs, you see)when the car began making a thudding noise. After hopping out and discovering that no, we didn't have a flat tire, (but it sure sounded like we did) I gave up and called for help.

My father in law put the kids in his car and I followed him (slooowly) to the closest garage in town, where after awhile I was told (with wide eyes) that the thumping noise I heard? Was my rear tire trying to fall off. Three of the five tire bolts had broken ("Probably over-torqued last time someone put tires on the car", the nice lady behind the counter said worriedly) and I was lucky the last two stems had held on as long as they did.

Bear had noticed a bit of vibration and a funny noise the last time he had driven my car (that was probably the first stem) and we had an appointment to have it given a physical, but this was completely unexpected.

And scary.

We're all okay. The car's okay. But the next funny noise the car makes? There will be more of a sense of urgency to get it in to the shop.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

pro choice

The room was small and dirty and smelled like old coffee and broken dreams.

I stepped in behind the social worker and tried to make myself invisible, but six pairs of eyes followed me anyway. Linnie cleared her throat. "This is Jess. She's taking some courses and is going to be monitoring this meeting for the next few weeks. Is anyone uncomfortable with that?"

A couple shook their heads. Linnie frowned. "Where's Kelly?"

One of the big-bellied girls spoke up. "She had an abortion yesterday."
Another girl snickered. "Brian's not going to be happy about that!" Several of the girls giggled.

Linnie stood up. "That's not fair, Rianne. Kelly had to decide what was best for her." Rianne rolled her eyes.

Soon the girls started pairing off, swaddling and unswaddling the dolls Linnie passed out, rocking and patting them like they were alive.

After the girls had filed out, four of them obviously pregnant, two slender and easier in their movements, Linnie sighed.

"This is a hard class," she said. "Some of them seem to think they're going to have a doll they can dress up and pass around like a new toy, and some of them are already talking about how their mothers are going to take over and raise the babies. And," she said intently, "I'd like to throttle the idiot who came up with the phrase 'my baby daddy.' They think this means they'll always have the boyfriend around, that he'll be tied to them forever. When in reality..." she gestured. "Not so much."

"These kids are too young to understand that a baby isn't accessories like a scarf or earrings - that having this baby is going to impact their entire lives. I try to get girls that have already had a baby to come and talk about how hard it is, but the ones that come back are usually the ones whose mothers are treating their babies like siblings - the others are all too busy working to spend time chatting with friends they've lost touch with."

"Would more sex ed classes help?"

"Maybe. More free condom programs definitely would. We need to start sex ed earlier, before puberty starts and the ears turn off, before they start believing they know it all. Last year I had two girls tell me they had no idea they could get pregnant on the first try, and a boy who didn't know a girl could get pregnant if he ejaculated on her underwear. It's scary what they don't know."

"Will Kelly be okay?"

"Kelly has very supportive parents. Her friends will ignore it, and she'll lose a few - and probably her boyfriend - who think she should have had the baby. It'll be tough."

A bell sounded. "Oops! We've got to go, Jess. The home ec room is used next period. See you next Tuesday, okay?"

I was monitoring a class for a psychology requirement.
The girls were in seventh grade.

I've had two pregnancy scares - one after I was married. (It's not all inter-city girls - I'm a married woman in my mid-thirties. The reasons have changed, but the fact remains the same. The right to have an abortion in a clean and safe environment is important to all women.)
Both times, I would have had an abortion. Last year it was both easier and harder to have someone in my life who I could talk it though with.

A friend went through the private hell of having an abortion without telling anyone - afraid of what her parents and her minister would say, and what they would try to force her to do.

What are the answers? I'm not sure anyone knows. I do know that the right to choose whether or not to bear a child is something that noone - not the government, not the church, not anyone except the woman herself - should be interfering with.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

when they're sixty-four

It is very hard to scold when your children look like they should be telling you to grow up, whippersnapper, and get a job.

(Baby powder fight. Casualty: My couch.)


Two more from when we had snow...

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

driving with gritted teeth

Last night it snowed. And then it rained. And then ice came down from the heavens and dented everything. And then it snowed again.

We've been enjoying an unusually mild winter here (actually, winters here are usually much more mild than people think) but this was just...yicky.

This morning most of the snow had worn away in the rain but what was left was slushy and nasty.

The roads were fun to drive on too, especially while trying to have a discussion about

a) tanker trucks. No, they aren't all firetrucks in disguise.

b) driving speed. No, I'm not passing the tanker truck.

c) the heat variables on the ouside of a car. Yes, the ice on top of the car will melt and fall off in a big crash before we get to town. No, you will not be scared. You are with me.

d) Superman and Spiderman. My feeling is that Superman would be able to clear the roads of snow faster, thus kicking Spidey's red heinie.

Big chunks of ice would hit the windshield, Rosey would squeal, and Cass would pat her hand and go on about how when the snow hits, the heat from the heater sends it zooming off, and that's why the snow blows off the car. Meanwhile, I was stuck behind the dratted tanker truck, creeping along, fishtailing in the ruts.

I may have taught them both new and interesting driving words.

Or something.

Sunday, 14 January 2007


Rosey has a....hold your breath....wait for it....ANOTHER baby doll.* This one bugs me more than the toddler-sized Blue Boy, though.

From the first look, it appears normal. Cute, even!

Then Rosey stripped off its tiny clothes and I was...disquieted, to say the least.

Mama? How come Baby's tummy is a different color than his arms, head, and legs?

But that was a small thing. Really, when the doll had its' clothes on, who could tell?

But then I saw it...

The molded plastic neck fat.

And I was squicked.

*The gender thing kicked in suddenly. She's always been happy playing with blocks and Cass's dinky cars. Recently, though, I have a house full of plastic dollies and she's feeding and burping and changing and giving them bottles

in honor of de-lurking week

I'm Jess.
And you've been reading my blog.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

not always mama

I had my hair cut today.

It's the second time my hair's been cut since Rosey was born. I had it trimmed when she was about three months old, and then....I didn't go back. (Psst: This two-kid thing? Lotta work.)

Rosey is almost 27 months old. I had a lot of hair.

The hairdresser (I tried a new place) was loath at first to begin. I had simple instructions. (I've never been terribly fussy about my hair - it grows back, after all.) I wanted height on top to direct attention to my eyes, and seriously didn't care about the rest of it. Sticky-out bits? Okay. Bangs? Whatever. 'Are you sure?' she said, feinting with the scissors, fussing with the cape, smoothing my bangs down. 'Really sure? That's quite a bit to cut off.'

After a few minutes, I wanted to grab her shears and cut off a hank, just so she'd see that I was serious. I tried to not look irritated and to smile convincingly. 'Sure. Really sure.'

She looked dubious but set to work. I really, really wanted to wait until she was halfway done and then scream 'Oh my GOD, it's too short!!' but decided she'd probably not see the humor in that.

And now instead of long hair to the middle of my back (or the dreaded ponytail set on top of my head) I have a squiggly cap, with side-bangs and movement and enough for me to tuck behind my ears or push forward or whatever I want. It brings out my eyes, de-emphasizes my jaw, and makes me feel pretty.

Today I felt like me.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

soprano toddler

Well howdy, Blogger, haven't seen you in awhile.... Does anyone besides my snarky old self think that Blogger may have bitten off more than it could chew when it merged with Google?

Or a friend of mine is convinced this is all a way to urge us all into going to Beta mode.

Either way, it kind of sucks. Quit breaking down, Blogger. We'll love you ever so much more.

Harrumph. Today was a good day (and it's not over yet!) Rosey had her speech evaluation!

And while the therapist agreed with my statement that it was like living with a small dictator from New Jersey*, Rosey did well.

She counted to three.
She pointed out colors.
She fed a baby doll and gave it a drink.
She used three and four word sentences.
She did two puzzles.
She herded the therapist and myself all over the office. 'Mama sit dere! 'Net sit dere! Wosey sit here and give Door bilk.' (Dora milk. Do all the two year olds in the world know Dora? Is recognizing her like the final test to become two?)
She shushed poor Annette, leaned over, took my hand and said firmly. 'Want toys up dere. Pease.'
(A puts all the really complex toys up high where a small girl can only dream.)

And at the end, A said that she was talking at the correct level. A little trouble on first sounds, and mispronouncing mightily, but talking at the right level.

I would have kissed her but I was too busy trying to deal with General NastyPants, who was insisting (loudly) that we go NOW and find a bathroom.

So this report will go to Early Childhood Development, who will mull it over and let me know.

Now to start shutting things down here at work!

*The 'dese' and 'doses' flew thick and fast.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

the power of the internet

Abused Canadian child rescued after Web appeal
Sat Jan 6, 11:45 AM (from News)

MONTREAL (AFP) - A sexually abused Canadian child has been placed under protection after sending an appeal for help over the Internet to an Australian website, Canadian police said.
The child used the Google search engine to send a message to the website for children, pleading for help, and the e-mail was forwarded to local police, spokeswoman Julie Gagnon of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told AFP.
The child typed in "kids help," found the Australian site offering online help to children and "sent a message saying 'this is what is happening to me, please help me so it doesn't happen any more,'" according to another spokeswoman, Corporal Lana Prosper.
The police withheld the identity and age of the child, but broadcaster CBC reported the victim was a girl living in New Brunswick province.
Police in Queensland, Australia, had alerted the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's Innocent Images International Task Force in Washington.
The US outfit determined the origin of the appeal and informed Canada's National Child Exploitation Co-ordination Centre (NCECC).
The Canadian authorities were able to trace the child to an address with help from Internet provider Bell Aliant and alert local police, Gagnon said.
She said that the child had been placed under protection and that an investigation was underway.
"Bell Aliant's cooperation helped us to locate this child and ensure that (the child) was quickly removed from the harmful environment," said Superintendent Earla-Kim McColl, Officer in Charge of the NCECC.
"This is an example of how children can be saved when ISPs and law enforcement work together."
"The most important factor to realize ... especially for children in today's society, is that there is help out there for them," said Prosper.
The Queensland-based Kids Help Line describes itself as Australia's only 24-hour telephone and online counselling service aimed at children aged 5-18.
Its website says counsellors respond to more than 10,000 calls each week about issues ranging from bullying to sexual abuse, homelessness and substance abuse.
The service, which is an initiative of the Catholic De La Salle Brothers, declined to comment on the case involving the Canadian child, citing client confidentiality.
The charity's annual report said it had received more than 640,000 contacts in 2005, more than 31,000 of them online. It said the proportion of online contacts had increased dramatically since the service was introduced in 2000.
The report did not give any data on how many of the contacts were made from children outside Australia.

Amazing. Just amazing. That little girl will always remember how she was helped by strangers.

mixed drinks are my friend

Alternately titled: Why Santa cannot come back

Sixty gagillion parts. Sixty gagillion teeny parts. Good directions, but what was I thinking??

My favorite part is how Mader is playing with glow-in-the-dark dinosaur, and they're all ignoring the big tough dragons.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

she'll never be that small again

You know they're growing up when suddenly their dolls are big enough to wear their old clothes.

I remember when it fit her.

But she is a baby no longer!
Instead, she's ready to take on the town!
Break curfew! Joyride! Wear makeup!

Geez, kid, can't you just be two for awhile?

Do you have to turn everything upside-down??

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

hello, it must be 2007

Good grief, if leaving a post up three days is what it takes to lure all you lurkers out, guess I'll be doing that again! Or else I'll be finding more pictures of squirrels...

Happy New Year, one and all!

So far, it's been 'the same as it ever was' (quote just for you, SL!) but there's a hint of promise in the air. This year B and I are going to get healthier. Not really a resolution, but it would really work....Poor B just got diagnosed with IBS (but I will NOT be talking about my husband's pooper problems - this blog has enough poop, tankyoubeddemuch!)which means a change in our diets, so why not go whole hog and start walking?

Ha! Wait until I tell HIM. This should go over big. But I'm sliding towards forty, (as is he) and I'd like to be a more elegant forty than the picture I present now.

It's raining today. Raining. In January. This is phenomenal. It's about 50 degrees, so it's still sweater weather, but the kids wore rain boots today and I'm ecstatic to not have snow.

Can you think of a nicer way to start the year?

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...