Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

When I was a teen it was considered cool to go to Haunted Houses on Halloween. You would pay ten bucks to go into a dark warehouse full of strobe lights and a guy with a chainsaw who would jump out and chase you down a hall. Scared the shit out of me. And I hate being scared. I don't like horror movies or even mildly startling ones. I don't like roller coasters. I don't like surprise endings.

And I hate haunted houses.

My idea of Halloween fun is the kind for little kids. I like costumes that make you look fuzzy and mini Kit Kat bars. Anything else is beyond me.

Today I dressed my baby as a skunk (free costume from a friend of mine's son). And damn she was cute. We went to a downtown Everett Trick or Treat event so she could look at all the kids in their costumes. And damn, we will totally do that again. Lots of kids, lots of candy all wrapped up in a festive non-scary atmosphere. I hope we go again next year.

I'm already planning the family costume.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Ramona is beautiful. This is, understandably, not the most objective statement I have ever typed. And yet I think it is hard to deny. She has a big smile and huge blue eyes. But also a sparkly personality--she flirts and waves and grins at everyone she meets.

I am aware that people pay attention to babies. I am a baby gawker myself--I stop and make faces, admire their outfit, make an ass of myself. But we can't go anywhere without people tripping all over themselves to talk to Ramona. At the Y, when we go for her swim lessons, everyone comes to admire her. The other baby in her class only gets attention from his mother and the teacher. I have lost count of how many people stop me to tell me she should be in commercials. How many people emailed me Gap's Baby Model contest demanding that I enter her.

She clearly loves the attention and, for now, I think it is good for her to interact with so many people. And who wouldn't enjoy having their baby be almost universally admired (GOD, could I sound like even more of an asshole)?

I do worry. See, I was that cute baby before (though I don't know that I ever got so much attention). But I outgrew those looks and became a completely ordinary person. Since, my husband is just on the handsome side of normal and I am the plain side of normal I doubt that Ramona will grow into some sort of raving beauty. The world is kind to those who are especially beautiful--but I can't help but think that her being just plain normal isn't a bad thing either.

What I do worry about, probably prematurely, is that she is admired so much for her looks. That she will be sad when that attention is gone, but also be more upset than is healthy. I want my daughter to know that she is beautiful but I hope that she grows up and realizes that it really isn't that important. I don't want her to value looks above everything else. I don't want her self-esteem to crash down around her ankles during the awkward years to come.
There is also the gender issue. Would everyone focus so much on her appearance if she were a boy (probably)? I am ridiculously careful about complementing her skills (you sat up so SO LONG without falling down, you got stuck under the coffee table again but you DO IT SO WELL) instead of just her prettiness. It's like this ridiculous circle of stupid. But I can't help worrying about it. I have to admit that I am worried that she will be this beautiful child and grow into a less than gorgeous adult and WOW. Self esteem crush.
I am sure she will be fine. We all will be. And one day she will morph into a plain little girl. And I will still tell her she is the most beautiful girl in the world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Because Yes Seattle Is Still One Big Grungy Cliche

This week J and I went to another concert--Kings of Leon this time. When we plan to go out now, there is always a strategy session. Usually it is just me because the other general in this army doesn't care and doesn't try to figure this shit out. So I came up with a plan where his mom could stay with her and still get enough sleep and I stayed home from work a couple of days. In the planning stages, all of this work never seems worth it. I am a homebody and why can't we just stay home and watch a movie or order pizza? Or just go places that take babies?

The answer is that I always feel 80% more human after a night out, like I am not just the taxi service bringing the cute baby places. I am more than just Mommy.

It's hard, because beyond my job and the baby there isn't much going on in my life to talk about with J. And what is the point in going out without the baby if you are just going to talk about her the whole time? But I think it was worth it to go and spend time together. To be adults. To eat a meal without a deranged Fraggle screeching for more Baby-Yo or goldfish crackers.

That concert made me feel OLD though. It was half people our age and half kids in their late teens, early twenties. Really drunk girls in tube tops. I didn't even envy their fun I just wanted to make them wear sweaters.

Everyone like us (old) watched the concert with respectful head nods (anything more than that at shows we normally go to gets your ass whooped) but the kids were out there waving their hands and dancing like they were in the club. Also, most of them videoed the whole show on their cell phones--something I will never understand. I felt very "damn kids! out of my rock concert!" about it.

The defining moment was when Eddie Vedder came busting onto the stage. He stole a drag off of the guitarists cigarette and then sang half of the chorus with the singer and ran off. Everyone old is going APE SHIT because EDDIE! and all the kids are like "who is the hairy roadie? and why is he wearing flannel?"

Sunday, October 19, 2008


In 2004 J and I jokingly said that we would move to Canada if Bush won. Of course he did win and we did not move but I found that we were not joking as much as we thought we were. I felt broken open inside, like I didn't know this country anymore. J jumped right back into politics but I kept back. I wasn't ready and in many ways I still don't feel ready. We didn't leave because how do you leave a piece of who you are? This is our home, we just felt we couldn't abandon it.

I am very tired of being told that I am lesser. That because I live in a city (or really a suburb) I am not a REAL American. That because I work in an office, at a computer, that I am not a hard working person. That because I am a Jew that I am not part of this country.

It's happening now. With a VP candidate talking about the "Pro America" part of America and a Congresswoman calling for McCarthyesque witchhunts for anti-American ideals (which actually that is anti-American).

I desperately want to be a part of this country again. To be part of the solution, to help us rebuild. And I believe that we can. I believe we are better than the ugly shit that is on display right now. Better than the thinly veiled racism at rallies and Pat Buchanan's ugliness. Better than racist, anti-Semitic men hanging an Obama doll in effigy (with a Star of David painted on top).

We are broken as a nation right now. Our economy is just barely sputtering along, we are not safe, we have an energy crisis, we are still at war. There is a lot of work to do.

Today we drove to Tacoma to see Joe Biden. Ten thousand people were there, the largest crowd for him ever. We put the kid in her backpack and took her along, we took pictures and waited in line and talked to other voters and we were there. I believe that this is an important point in history--we have to rebuild ourselves. This election will really decide my daughter's future.

Tonight I put Ramona to bed and told her a story. About how today we went to see some one we hope we will be the next Vice President. That right now the race of his running mate is considered very important but I hope that when you are a big girl it won't be anymore. We hope that things will be better for you then they are for us, that you will grow up in a place that values you and wants you to succeed. And that we wanted you to be a part of it because this is when the world changed.

In a couple of weeks we will know if the rest of the country agrees.

I confess that I am fully of anxiety of the voter suppression and intimidation efforts by the Republican party. I am afraid they will steal this. I love this country--I really don't want to leave.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You're Next

Julie and Cecily said it more brilliantly than I ever could.

I am not going to lie. I cried during the debate last night. I cried when John McCain mocked all women. When he doubted our abilities to make medical decisions with our doctors and loved ones. When he discounted whether our health was important at all.

I had a difficult pregnancy. I never came close to dying. I never got very sick. But I am not going to lie that I was afraid of that every second I was pregnant. That I had already had a loss heightened this problem. I knew but did not know until I was pregnant how dangerous it was. How it all could have gone terribly wrong at any second.

I did feel safe, trusting my doctors, having talked these out with my husband before. We had access to a lot of great care.

I don't really care about how you feel about abortion. I think how we talk about this issue in this country is stupid. Because I think most of us feel the same way--we don't like them. We don't want anyone to die. We never want to have one. It's how the rest of it is managed that divides people into camps. Camps that don't change anything.

I didn't really believe until last night that there was anyone, anyone in this country at all that really believed that the mother wasn't important at all. But John McCain does.

I wish I could force people to read Cecily's story, even though I know that people discount her experience and do not believe her or her doctors (because strangers on the internet know more than her personal physician). But I feel a little smaller today, knowing that the country cares so little for me, for my gender, for my life, that a man running for President can go on TV and tell me that my health is not important.

You're next.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kids These Days

Ramona slept through the night two nights in a row. The reason I am telling the internet this, knowing that this will jinx the fuck out of it, is because I didn't really benefit at all from this. Last night she stayed with my mother while we went to a concert and the night before J was supposed to take the middle of the night shift. But still, sleeping through the night is a big deal and I am sure I will properly appreciate this milestone when she duplicates it again some time in 2011.

Those following me on Twitter would have noticed some increasingly pissed off missives concerning our concert last night. The headliner, Weezer, was fantastic. But the opening act Angels & Airwaves was the biggest waste of arrogant emo shitheadedness ever to grace a stage. Much exaggerated gesturing, I believe some jazz steps and some seriously boring music. And I think I might have made violent threats to their lighting tech at some point since I am pretty sure that shit gave me a seizure. Assholes.

Best moment of the night was Weezer's encore. They covered a Nirvana song and all of the sudden you could instantly tell who in the crowd, which was an amazing mix of ages (people older than my parents down to the little eight year old playing air guitar in General Admission), parted between Old and Young. All of us who were old were going crazy because well it was Awesome and the kids were confused.

What the hell do they know anyway? They were rocking out to that Angels & Airwaves emo weepy black eyeliner bullshit.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yom Kippur

Last night I rushed home to make our Erev Yom Kippur meal. I roasted potatoes and carrots and made a pepper oil tender loin. We ate and drank wine and yes, I cheated because the baby went down right before sundown and damnit I deserved ice cream so I ate that just after sundown. I woke up this morning with a raw throat and a head ache and sounding a lot like Marge's sisters from the Simpsons. So a lot of my good intentions didn't happen for observing the holiday.

But I really enjoyed my ice cream this afternoon. I earned that man.

Monday, October 06, 2008

And Then Be Hell On Wheels Sunday

I realized today that Ramona is thirty-eight weeks old this week. And since I delivered her at thirty-eight weeks well . . .she's been out as long as she was in. Which is probably surreal only to me. But it is surreal all the same.

My gorgeous girl has not been her most charming the last couple of weeks. She is hitting a lot of milestones (she hasn't crawled again which her grandmother and father seem to think is pure laziness but I think she is kind of like I've done that) and learning a lot of stuff and trying to pop eighty-seven teeth all at once. I suppose that would wear anyone down and my girl is no exception.

She has already started to throw tantrums which are both alarming and hilarious. It seems that she inherited the worst of both of our tempers which means the toddler years are going to be interesting. I think it's mainly frustration but I see a lot of years of trying to calm her ass down while we try to teach her to get a grip on her emotions.

Until then we are white knuckling this stage. I think once the teeth that have caused her gums to swell up in knots pop through or she finally starts crawling or I don't know she pulls that stick out she will be just fine. In the meantime it is just waiting it out and being kind to one another.

She is spending Saturday night with my parents. What do you want to bet she will be a perfect angel?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I feel like I am drowning. It's not any one thing--it's the sum of a lot of things. A swirly clusterfuck of things. The economic stuff is just making my head spin and I have to admit I have been doing some 2am disastering. Our 401Ks are shot but man my parents were supposed to retire in a couple of years, there may not be time for them to recover. I'm dealing with a lot of changes at work--including a new boss. And my business is not the most fun to be in during tough economic times (though what is? the unemployment industry?). And the baby is trying to get all of her top teeth at once which I am sure this is efficient but fuck efficient. She is just in a terrible mood and I don't blame her. Her mouth is all swollen--her gums look like we took a crowbar to them. And the damn teeth still haven't cut.

It just feels so overwhelming. And none of it is anything I can really do anything about--it's all out of my control. So it is just there above my head, swirly and worrying. Making me sick to my stomach. Waking me up at night.

I can't stop worrying. Can't get control of it all. My face is broken out. I have weird bruises on my arms. Bags under my eyes. I feel battered.

I just have to get through this, I just have to hang on. I am that freaking inspirational poster of the damn kitten holding on by a paw goddamn it. But if I fall I won't land on my feet. And there is nothing there to catch me.