over the hill and through the woods...

I know it'll be fine at the new doctor's. I'm sure the pronation and ankle angles and flat footedness is no big deal to anyone. But me. I know this is all part and parcel of a very manageable situation.

So why am I in tears?

Off to Children's Hospital - bound to lift my spirits.


Suddenly, my little dog Jack can't bear to be separated from me. He's all jiggly and whiny when I return from a short time away. He follows me from room to room and has the obvious need to be in my lap whenever I'm sitting. If I leave my desk, as I just did, for a cup of coffee he leaps off his chair and quickly and closely follows me to the kitchen and back.

me: Bear, Jack is acting strange lately, don't you think?

bear: I know it. When you were outside with Rio he was all 'Yeee, yeee, heee, wooo, arrrr, yiiii'.

me: I hope he's okay.

bear: He's fine. Just went to the vet. Maybe he knows something, like, you know how dogs have a weird sense about things? Maybe you're gonna die or something....

It's so great to have him around to ease my mind.


So, we go get Lewis at school. He's flying back to DC on Thursday so he'll be here doing laundry, stripping wallpaper, you know, he's my handmaiden for a couple days... Rio is down for her nap and I stay upstairs.

Jack, sensing some impending doom, whines at the bottom of the stairs so he can come up. Of course I capitulate and hope he's not in a barkariffic mood so the babe can get a full nap.

So, no barking but he's *under* a little bench, digging and whining and I think he might be the one losing his mind first. Not like it's a race or anything, but still.

I'm nervous.


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the wedding, part one

Very quickly because I have to go to the store while the nugget rests her precious little head. I just made bangin' spaghetti sauce and meatballs so I'm going to get some good bread and we're out of a zillion things, too.

The wedding was....okay. We were the absolute last people in and I hate to be late so there was that. I saw Eddie standing outside the room for the ceremony so I got a chance to say 'hi' and 'congratulations' and he said 'you look wonderful' and 'it's so great you came' and then, the ceremony.

We were seated on the outskirts with people from work and a girl and her husband who were friends with his last serious girlfriend who probably actually blew vessels in both her eyes when she heard he was getting married because she realllllllly wanted to be Mrs. Eddie.

And then Bear actually shh-ed me because I was cracking jokes that he thought were inappropriate while Eddie's father was giving his speech which he was only doing because snipers were posted in the overhang because his dad is completely disapproving of this union and has said so!

So, I got shh-ed and ignored and I didn't feel so welcome. I wish I'd thought about that before I tortured myself with false eyelashes, but I'm an optimist. Optimistic that people who share deep feelings can translate that into care and respect for a lifetime. I've always felt that for the special people in my life; but I suspect I'm alone in that.

Maybe this isn't part one. Maybe this is all the thought it deserves. I realized that I don't know anything about him anymore and that space he lived in when we were close is gone. He's so different; playing a new role that has no walk-on parts for the past. Besides his family and best friend, I didn't know a soul. No reminders of who he once was, nothing. Strange.

Well, if Bear ever gets married again, there is no way I'm going.

I'm kind of scared...

Uh, I'm sitting at my computer waiting for Rio to wake up and I see a flash outside. Then a HUGE CRASH OF THUNDER sounds twice. The weird thing is that it is snowing like a mofo outside right now. Sideways. White-out. And thunder?!

Is the sky broken? Is this okay? Is this even possible? Am I awake?!

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....

I don't know if any of you remember that I got a John Deere tractor for Mother's Day. Might be that 'mother' is only half a word.....but anyway. Evidently, for Christmas I got some parts to go with my beautiful tractor.

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Here is Bear putting on the chains and hooking up the gears and levers and other thingies. My car is in the driveway, getting snowed on. His is, too.

And it really did snow. Quite a bit! Here is a picture that Bear ran out in his bathrobe to snap.

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Yes, that is a cowboy hat. No, my ears are not warm - but don't I look cool?!

*Bear came home for lunch so he could snowblow the driveway. We really need to see about getting a life....

I want to be in the Jehovah's Witness Protection Program

Because I can't handle the holidays. I'm fine, but I become consumed thinking about those that aren't.

I do have a happy note here. I found a new vet. Boobah's mom recommended someone. When I say that meeting her at Baby Yoga has been a lifesaver, I'm not kidding.

So we went to the new vet. First with Jack. To test the waters. I was comfortable and everything went well. Then I brought Hobbes. The last vet recommended giving him a 'goodnight Irene' cocktail. I declined. And brought him to a fancy-shmancy dog behaviourist. So he's on Prozac. And he's much, much better.

I told the new vet every stinking detail so she could best decide how to deal with him. She was gentle, not at all squeaky, and she gave him a shot and emptied his anal glands. Sorry folks, but I have the most ass-squirtinest dog in the Northern Hemisphere. So, she was great and he was great and I was extraordinarily grateful. She liked Hobbes quite well, as did the office staff. "Beautiful" and "Sweet" and "So well behaved under stressful circumstances" were all accolades thrown about. *whew*

I love those dogs like they are my children. Because they are. I've been to hell and back with Hobbes AND Jack and hell isn't half so bad as having someone besmirch your dog. I love them and we're all safe and sound and that's that.

Ok. Me and Rio just took a bubble bath and it was as much fun as you'd think. She's growing and talking in select company and walking and learning more signs and practicing more words (but only in her crib because she doesn't know I have her bugged! and I hear "Where's my daddy?" and "Hi Mommy!" and I don't let on...) and all is well in our little corner of this vast, sometimes cruel, often surprisingly wonderful Universe.

AND! I've decided on a wedding gift. Fun martini glasses and a note saying we helped to make the holidays happy for someone without their good fortune. A glass to raise a toast to happiness and health and good fortune.

Hey. It's the secondish wedding for both and I'm fully intending to put a smile on the face of a kid I don't know over this consumer frenzy known as "The Holiday Season".


outta curiosity....

We'll be attending the marriage of a dear friend of mine, charming lad, friend from childhood, we go way back, he was my first love, on Saturday.

I can't exactly give him "Hope this marriage works out better than the last one" t-shirts and Bear has charged me with finding/buying/wrapping the gift.

How much would you spend? I've never been one to shop off a registry - should I start now? I'm terribly interested in your thoughts....and yes, Bear has reached actual rockstar rating for saying 'I'd love to attend that wedding with you!'. I don't have to shop for *his* present, if ya feel me....

the fun never stops

Miss Rio loves her some raisins. Magnificent organic raisins that she shoves into her mouth in great quantity and immediately asks for more of the plump goodness. Occasionally, she'll pick one off a fistful and share with a nearby pooch. But she sure does love her raisins.

So imagine my surprise at a diaper that looks to be full of grapes. Perhaps if she chewed them, they wouldn't sail wholesale through her intestines, grabbing moisture and rehydrating and I wouldn't live in fear of diaper changes. Did I sign up for this? I don't remember signing up for this.


On another note, for I don't want to leave you with that image clouding your day....She has learned the signs for 'clean-up' and 'airplane'. She is still doing that bonking of fists and looking at me like I'm some sort of moron and we're still trying to figure out what it means...but anyway. She loves airplanes. Every time she hears one, she stops and goes to a window to look up. So Bear was watching the most tedious pilot instruction video ever and he taught her the sign. Now when she sees or hears a plane, she throws the airplane sign and smiles. What fun!

Just think what fun the naysayers will have in about 2 years when it's time for her to go to school and she ends up at the school FOR KIDS WHO CAN'T/WON'T TALK!


Seriously. My mind is all over the place. I think I have ADD. The only time I was ever task oriented was in the 80's when I may or may not have been under the influence of what could have been known as a speed-like substance. Man, I can never run for political office thanks to 'cache'ing....

Where was I? Oh! No focus. But I'm working on it. Developing my own little strategies, as it were....

*moving day
I talked to Mark, who continues to rue the day....and the new and improved site should be available for viewing within the week.

*all things doctor related
I put everyone's appointments on the calendar. We all know when and where we're supposed to be getting poked and prodded. I feel like a medical secretary. And we all know how I feel about being a secretary...

I finally did a bloglines thing. I read over 50 blogs. No wonder my eyes hurt and my house is a disaster and my roots need doing and my nail are unpainted and speaking of unpainted, hey, how about the fucking teddybear trim in our guest room.....


I tried to email a zipped folder so Mark could trickify the pictures for my ROLLING FLASH BANNER *swoons with excitement* and I couldn't email it so I had to attache 5 photos to 6 emails and I'm pretty sure Mark is rueing and taking down all virtual presence links so I can't reach him.....

I had to cancel on my pals visiting Boston because I'm exhausted. The thought of packing up Miss Rio and heading to Boston for breakfast and then coming home in time for her one measely nap and getting the housework done and shopping and figuring out the logistics of the trip to Connecticut tomorrow...ugh! So I called and she is a very good friend who didn't make me feel lame for one second. A feat these days...so we're going to Connecticut to see some grandparents tomorrow. Luckily, Bear and I love to travel in the car together cuz we have actual talk time uninterrupted. I miss that guy these days...

*messy messy messy
There are a few rooms in the house that are disasterous. I need bookshelves and elves to put the books away. I need fun containers and things that stack but are safe for babies to hang off and a way to cut the nails of dogs who insist they don't need nails cut and ways to sort the copious amount of paper laying around and time to put the plastic sheets containing recipes I cut out all the time into some sort of order and a way to massage my wrists while typing cuz they're getting sore and maybe a source for oxygen masks CUZ I KEEP FORGETTING TO BREATHE!!!! I'm kind of a mess. Not sure why. Just sure that I'm kind of a mess these days. I suspect I know the real reason but avoidance is in my genes....

*Brad Pitt sucks
I used to enjoy his stupid movies. I used to be able to lose myself in the heist, giggle at his twitching insanity, marvel at the smart roles he chose....not so much anymore. I've been dying to see this but the whole time I had some stupid National Inquirererer discussion running through my head.

"Intense look there. I wonder if they were fucking yet."
"Hot scene. I wonder if they were fucking yet."
"Looks rough. I wonder if they were fucking yet."
"Her back is 'hangy' in that shot. Hahahaha! I wonder if they were fucking yet."
"Vince Vaugh might be as hott as Brad. I wonder if they were fucking yet.Brad and Angelina, not Brad and Vince...."

Honestly. The soundtrack in my head has an audible buzz......

top 5 reasons I am the world's worst secretary

1) I throw things
I just threw everything off my desk in a fit of pique. I'm working with the Benny Card people, who I hate, and I have to justify our purchases at fucking CVS cuz, you know, we're buying cars and furs there with our cafeteria spending plan....yeah, so, I couldn't find tape on my messy desk so I cleared it by throwing everything on the floor. Now I have tape to tape the receipts for the things OUR INSURANCE COMPANY WOULDN'T PAY FOR SO THAT'S WHY THE AMOUNT IS WEIRD...I now can tape the receipts and fax them.

2) I swear a lot
I was trying to fax the taped receipts and they are too fat for the fax machine so it rejected them twice and quit the transmission and printed me a NICE FUCKING COCKSUCKING SHEET THAT EXPLAINS THE SON OF A BITCH PAPER GOT JAMMED. Twice. I said the capitalized words out loud.

3) I could never have an office affair
I hate having to take care of this shit so much, and I swear about it so loud, that no matter what I wear or how provocative I may be, I'd never be approached for the old 'on the desk' action, because I am seething with fury which makes me furrow my brow, negating any provocativity...

4) I suck at this job
I got this memo from the big man (Bear) the first week in November. They will be turning our card off again on December 5th if they don't receive the substantiation. I'm just getting around to it now and I totally have an attitude about it.

5) I have high expectations
If my boss gave me some lame holiday flowers, I'd have even more attitude. I would much prefer something like this from Dotflowers because I like the message about the affection and respect. And it costs over $200 bucks. So, if my boss gave me his credit card in that ultimately condescending manner of 'buy yourself something pretty' I would most certainly get a $200 casket piece AND the Godiva goodie bucket because nothing says "I am defining my own holiday bonus" like beautiful (and expensive and casket) flowers and a bucket of chocolately goodness.

*If you're a secretary, seething at your desk and fighting with office equipment and your boss tosses you a card with a 'take care of this for me' on the way to his 3 martini lunch, get yourself some of theeeeese! Can anyone tell what I'm supposed to be doing while I'm blogging?!

evaluation update

First of all, thanks for the kind words. You guys are the best!

There were no real surprised in the evaluation. She's at about 13 months for gross motor and for expressive ability. I know those 2 are tied together, and she is babbling more as she walks more.

Considering they average in her lack of verbal speech and have no math for her extensive sign language (!), she came out at 20 months cognitive. That's great. I know she's worlds ahead of the curve on those sorts of things so I don't worry much. I really just want to know that the physical toll on her little body from the torticollis and plagiocephaly is being resolved. I don't want her to walk in flat-footed circles and have some specialist say, "We totally coulda fixed that a year earlier....", so we evaluate and therapize and worry.

Fun things from her eval:

*They try to get her to use a ruler to fish something out from under the couch and thank GOD I vacuumed this morning! So, the woman shoves the toy under and hands Rio the ruler. Rio hands it back and signs 'help'. The woman does nothing so Rio signs 'help' with great vigor and raised eyebrows. The woman still waits passively. Rio chucks the ruler in her lap and walks off. So much for that test!

*They want to know about drinking from a cup. How much spilling? How adept is she? At this time when they said 'drink' she signed it and handed one woman a water bottle. The woman said 'no' so Rio took the top off and drank it herself. With no spills. From the bottle. She passed that one!

*They give her little blocks to stack. She should be able to stack 3. She stacked 7. Twice.

Loads of other cute little Rio things. Then she tired of the women and signed for 'sleep'. I said, 'Can you wait a minute?' and she shook her head 'no' and signed 'sleep' again. So, she went down for her nap.


Same as last time. I know her so well. I know she understands and I know she's the kind of person who wants to be able to do something well before she tries it. She is very much an observer and you can see the wheels grinding in her head. I know if she had to, she could probably talk quite well. But she signs very well and that's good for her for now. I hope we don't have to beef about this in the future, but I don't want to worry about things that haven't happened yet so I'm taking a pass on this issue for now. If she couldn't sign, she'd be frustrated, and probably hungry! She would NOT have such shiny teeth and I would be seeing her sad face much more often so....

She is walking. She's made 6 months of progress in 6 months so the therapy people are pleased. I love her more and more every minute and I now understand the concept of infinity.

It's just, it's just, having professionals check out your child and check boxes and make decisions and judge her....

I wonder if we have any gin around here....

elephants in the living room

I don't have the time or energy to get into the big stuff so I'll just hint about it and then get back to it later this week.

*Alex. Whew, twelve years gone now. I was okaaaay this year. Rio helps.

*Bear was sick for 4 days. Didn't move sick. Slept all day and night sick. I thought just a little bit about when we're old, you know, in the next 5 years, and I thought again about how I always wanted to be just me. Not care so much about another person.

*Jack got shut in the laundry room by mistake while we were gone. He clawed almost all the way through the sill around the door. Was inconsolable when we got home from vacation even though the sitter really is nice, if not hyper-vigilant.... I've carried him more than Rio this week. He likes it.

*I couldn't tell you where in the HELL my baby brother has been for the last 2 months.

*Mom gave me and Rio a bunch of jewelry. She says it's so no one else gets it when she dies. I know she's never going to die.

*My friend Suzy's ex-husband, who is also my college roommate's brother, who is also the son of one of my favorite person's best friends, who always served me when I was 16, who also painted really cool fish sculpture thingies...died last week. Lymphoma. I can't tell Suzy.

*My first love is getting married, again, and we're going, for the first time, and I don't know WHAT to wear. Damned skippy my tiara will be involved in the final outfit...

*And I guess the big thing that I really don't want to talk about (and not just a little cuz I now think of the lurkers enjoying my discomfort so I don't want to really talk about it til I move, which is taking a while cuz Mark was sick and now is busy and I was busy and now, well, still busy....) where the hell was I??!! Oh! I don't want to talk about the fact that Rio has her 6 month evaluation with the Early Intervention people tomorrow. She's walking around like it's no big thing, she's talking more, she points at planes and makes monkey, dog and cat noises....SO I DON'T WANT TO HAVE A BUNCH OF PROFESSIONALS IN MY HOUSE TELLING ME WHAT'S FUCKING WRONG.

Yeah, so, I feel like I'm in the middle of a suck-fest but I'm sure it'll pass. Soon. Fuck.

uh oh

I have a long post re: Thanksgiving percolating in my head and I'll get to it soon.


We have trouble in Paradise. You all know about Rio's signing. Yeah. She now knows:

all done

and she's working on duck

but there is a new development. She's been doing this weird sign that is all new. A grabby type of things with upturned fists and then she balls the fists and hits them together.

She's patiently learned the signs we have been using. Now she's making up her own and we've got to figure it out.

That kid should have come with a valium patch for mommy.....

gobble gobble

The original landgrab is celebrated the last Thursday of November. Weehaw. The second wave of colonists was about to go the way of the Jamestown bunch that sort of just, uh, disappeared. So, the Native Americans helped a brother out. Showed them what to grow and how. Helped them survive the harsh climate. And we now live in what's referred to as "New England".


I have a long history of hating Thanksgiving. BUT! Bear has a couple of days off and we're going to be spending the offending holiday with excellent friends and we have a house in Stowe all to ourselves so.....I'm thankful. For my life. All of it. And the people in it. All of them. But I gotta say, this is a time of year when my Mexican Native American parts argue with my White Anglo Saxon parts. A lot.

Enjoy. Chew 12 times - vital digestive stuff happens in your mouth. Bear. See you all in a few days.

do a little dance....


:: warning! warning! ::

If you teach your daughter sign language, she may wake you up at 3am and wildly insist that she wants to brush her teeth.

Thought you'd want to know.

:: questions answered ::
the move
I'm moving soon. Most of the archives have been sifted and reorganized. Mark is sick so the fancy-shmancy part has to wait until after TurkeyDay. I'm hoping to unveil soon :)

sign language
Short version - Rio was diagnosed with torticollis at 2 months. We've been in physical therapy ever since (14 months and counting) for all the things that go along with that particular affliction. Due to her hobbled start, she has a gross motor development delay of 2 - 3 months. That is why she is doing the physical stuff 'late'. She is just getting up and around walking, she didn't sit up unassisted until 8 months, crawling took a while....all those things. I'm eternally grateful that if something has to be 'wrong', that this is it. Part of a gross motor development delay is a delay in speech. No one knows why, but most kids don't really start talking until they are pretty good with the walking. Something to do with the processes of the brain....so, we decided to sign with her. I've been doing certain signs since she was 6 months old. I'd have to track back to see her progression, but she has quite a stable of 'words' to choose from. She rarely cries from frustration because she's pretty able to clearly 'say' what she wants!

Once in a while she'll spit out a sentence. For example, Boobah took a truck that Rio was playing with and Rio looked at me all shocked and said clear as a bell, "My truck!". Haven't heard it again since. I have the feeling that she'll just open her mouth one day and start quoting Shakespeare or rapping, yo, but for now, she's pretty quiet.

So, we sign. And it works for us. "Studies show" that there are no negatives associated with the signing. When kids are ready, they simply drop the signs for the words. Even if Rio was as advanced in her speech as she is in her comedic timing, she probably wouldn't be able to articulate, "I'd like to get up, have a drink and brush my teeth" yet. Especially at 3am. :)

recap: yore and lore

Ok. Last weekend was supposed to be 'Nita time'. Not as much nudity or booze as 'Nita time' of yore, but 'Nita time' nevertheless. So, toward the end of last week Bear told me he had some things that must be accomplished and here's that list:

* install door so I don't have to shovel out the bulkhead this winter to let the dogs out

* clean the floors with his super duper floor cleaner that cost as much as a really nice pair of diamond studs would have....

* switch one baby gate so it doesn't open into a corner and fix the other baby gate that is hanging by some sheetrock threads

* bill mad consulting hours

To that end, he felt strongly that he wouldn't be able to get it all done with a baby. Smart one, that Bear. So... Miss Rio accompanied me on my 'Nita time' weekend. I keep writing 'Nita time' because I really only get to look at it, I don't actually get to haaaave it.

Would anyone like to guess how many items of Bear's must be accomplished list were accomplished? Well, anyone having the audacity to say 'zero', would be a winner!! In his defense, when I called him and told him I was an hour out, he madly threw all his crap onto his side of the garage and made room for my car. Oh, and he did leave me one of each flavor of popsicles; he ate all that remained in the four boxes. Sexy. Oh! And he left me a phone message while he was having a brain freeze.

Half the gene pool, people, half the gene pool...


So, last weekend was 'Nita time' plus Rio, and the weekend before was this and so I was thinking perhaps this weekend, maybe a little bit of 'Nita time'.

bear: Did Tommy call me?

me: No, who's 'Tommy'?

bear: The guy from the tattoo studio on Long Island. I told you I'm going tomorrow, right?

me: ...

bear: ... Um, did you say he called?

me: Why is he calling you instead of your guy?

bear: Oh, my guy is on the west coast so I just want to make sure he's going to be there tomorrow....

It bears, haha, telling that Bear has shown up for appointments and his 'artist' has been MIA. Tommy calls to say he can't reach 'the artist' and doesn't really know if he'll be there tomorrow but he sure hopes so.

So, yeah, Bear is going to Long Island tomorrow. To see if his tat guy is going to show. After flying in from Cali today. And not returning any calls. And me and Rio will be sharing all our waking moments right intoooo the weeeekennnnnd.

Oh, and, and, I'm getting to bed so late because I've been pretty busy these last couple weeks and I finally had a chance to watch my TIVO'd shows tonight. And it took forever to watch 2 episodes of Prison Break BECAUSE BEAR KEPT MAKING ME PAUSE TO EXPLAIN TO HIM WHAT WAS GOING ON AND HE DOESN'T WATCH THIS SHOW!!

Honestly. Where are the cameras? There must be cameras following me around to catch that moment that my head actually explodes. Then I'll become the stuff of lore, like those monks that spontaneously combust. Honestly.


I told him last night to double check if the studio had heard from the artist. Bear declined. A Long Island number came up on caller ID with one ring; I suggested he call to see if the artist was having travel difficulties. Bear declined.

This morning, as Bear was leaving he asked "Is it okay for me to wake Rio up to say goodbye?" Um, I declined.

*ring, ring*

The artist, due to many 'random searches' and 'missed connections', is stuck at an airport.

I catch Bear only 15 minutes onto the highway. He says, and I quote, "Well, Atlanta isn't that far away. Maybe an hour flight so he could be to the studio this afternoon....Should I just go and meet him there?"



Yeah, so, he stopped for french toast bagels with vanilla cream cheese on the way back to the house. Then I beefed with him some more, and it was looking like a day lost to crabbiness, deserved or otherwise.

Then my aunt called. To tell me more about her brain surgery. And how her husband was being so great and how she wrote a letter to my other aunt that *she* beefs with. Not in case she died, she said, but just to let her know that she loves her and hopes to get back to sisterly love again soon. My other auntie brought over pizza and they talked. About the important things.

So, Bear is at Lowes, getting a door. Me and Rio were coloring and now she's zonked - the flu shot took it out of her. Before he left to get the door, I made him give me a kiss. Then another. Then another really good one. It's all about the important things, I guess.

mental note

Don't slather the baby with soothing lavendar lotion and then try that 'both ankles with one hand' maneuver to get the diaper under her. Very slippery, much as I'd image a greased piglet would be....

weekend update

:: Miss Rio ::
Miss Rio is used to her own bed. That makes me tempted to never leave home but, alas, social engagements beckon.

We headed up on Friday and I won't bore you with the sleeping minutiae, but it kinda sucked. Good thing about her is that when you pick her up after all the screaming, she is happy as can be. She stayed up eating Quackers and drinking juice and signing and singing and my hosts didn't really care if she *ever* went to bed! When we did, she kept screaming so I grabbed her up and lay down on my bed....and she fell asleep. Right there with me. Usually, okay, she never does that. Even when she needs a midnight snug or a drink, she wants to go back to her bed. Truly, her mother's daughter. So, yay us! Snugging! Sleeping! And I'm sure all the bruises and tender spots from being kicked and punched and flailed upon all night will fade soon...

:: The ParTay ::
So much fun. A friend's surprise 60th (my friends range in age from 12 to 112) and it was great to see so many Stowe peeps. I got a job offer or two, lots of reconnecting and catching up, and I had a really great time. So glad I went!

:: Bloggy Love ::
Whilst at the above mentioned party, I thought "Too bad Rock Grrl and her man weren't in Stowe *this* weekend cuz I would have brought them here and they would have had much fun!" And I'm pretty sure I have a hot lead for Mark that I need to follow up on.

And then, with all the driving time I called my pals and caught up and then had time to think of Jen and how hard it has been with her aunt dying and this poor woman and how much mean people suck, and I was wondering if the former Bond Girl was back and if she brought me a present....

And then, when I was driving up to Vermont, I saw a vanity plate that said "REMPDG" and I decided that it meant "rapid eye movement pretty darn good" and that made me think of Will and his gay sleep disorder and that's not even the weird thing. The weird thing is I passed the same guy with the REMPDG plate again on the way home!! Honestly, I'm having a very strange little life here....

and, she's up!

She's walking. Some 14 months of physical therapy at least once a week has paid off!!

She does look a little like a drunk on a bed of hot coals....but she's walking! Oh, and she smirks when she does this, too. Looks at you, smirks, and starts the zombie swagger.

I totally love this kid! And now, we're off to Stowe for a party ... See you Sunday!

some things can still make me cry

The Blogslog of '05 has me sifting through many many old posts. This one really hauled me back to the terror of the early days.

We are so comfortable with each other now. I know her so well and she works me like a job! It's a really beautiful place we're at, with each other. This motherhood thing is so working for us. I'm constantly amazed.

Yeah, so.

I'm more than halfway through sorting and posting to the new place. I don't want to send y'all over there before it's ready, but it'll be soon. I'm so excited about so many new things. Can't wait!

Thanks for stopping in and being such a wonderful person. You're the best!

the new place is looking great!

I am getting closer to the big move. I just spent 3 hours importing stories from the years at AMA. I'm up to June of 2004. It is fun and strange and oddly exciting to read the stories and know that Rio is just around the corner!

I wish I could go back and tell me to quit worrying. Everything is going to be perfect :)

sweaty handed standoff

Rio crawled underneath my computer desk, over the rails and through the wires to come out the other side. On the other side is a chaise lounge. She is trying to pull things off my desk from the backside.

Glass globes? 'Sorry pal, not for you.' and I put a pile of post-it notes, markers with TIGHT CAPS, and some index cards that she could reach and play with.

So, she's standing on the chaise, I can see her from her armpits up, and she's barking orders at the things in her pile.

Except... That has become boring. So now she's faced away, with one foot up on the arm of the chaise and her hand on the window sill. She keeps looking back at me. I said, "Be carefullllll..." and she keeps smirking. Then popping up on the arm and back down. More looking and smirking.

Today may be gravity day.

I wonder

We went here on Sunday to an Open House. It was very well attended and organized. We had a tour by a mom alumna and her daughter. The classrooms were really alive with colors and projects and the lower school art center had just about everything a kid could want to glue, mold, shape, color or texturize!

They had a really fun net playground and a working water pump. The building is old, the windows are huge, everything is really beautiful.

They have a million sports and all the girls I talked with played at least 4 so that's great.

I wonder if they have cheerleaders...?

big and exciting changes!

The one and only, fabulous Mark is helping me with my new digs.

He did a bunch of magic today and this is what I gleaned from the conversation:

*I'm now toasted
*I can keep out the riffraff because I have their lurkylurk IP addresses!
*Something about a backend
*Something about more toasting
*I'm going to learn CMS using PHP and then I'll be down with OPP
*(fell asleep for a few minutes here)
*something about sheets (Oo! hope they're at LEAST 400TC)
*(looked at ebay and missed whatever he said here)
*asked if he realized that I wasn't really listening and if I need anything I'm just gonna call him anyway at which point he said 'Yup' and now I have some sort of megalopocybersis parked somewhere; location to be announced.

I have about a week's worth of organizing and rearranging and sourcing and kvetching and and and...I will provide more details when I, myself, understand what the hell they are.

So! In the meanwhile I'll keep posting here. As far as I can tell, I may still be posting here, but it will be showing up there, and here will only exist in the Matrix....

:: One quick thing ::

Well, two. Remind me to tell you about Lou. He's a kid we team mentor from DC and he's amazing. I'll fill you in once I clear it with him.

So, the one thing. Bear and I have Miss Rio pre-bath gymnastic camp on our bed. We throw her and she jumps and squeals and we do 'upside down baby' and everyone laughs really hard. So, Bear sticks his head under the edge of the comforter and Rio slowly crawls over and slowwwwly pulls it back and WHAM! Daddy says 'boo!' and Rio squeals and falls backwards. You know where this is going, right?

So, hide, pull, boo!, squeal, faint backwards, repeat, repeat, repeat. Scoot closer to the other side with each repeat until finally, finally, Bear and I are on one side of the king bed and Rio is all the way on the other side, making her funny eyes toward the ceiling I'm about to fly backwards face and, well, it would seem that being parents comes with SuperPowers. Bear flew into the air and I shapeshifted and melted around the bed so we simultaneously grabbed her foot and cradled her head and she was none the wiser as far as the near melon mangling went....

I'd be willing to bet that at some point we are going to have to actually prove to her that gravity exists.

happily ever after = total moron

Honest to Pete. I know he's spoiled because of his mother and then he got me and we both spoil him rotten to this day. I have no one to blame but myself but I sure wish that wasn't the case. I can't even stay pissed at him. At this rate, I'll be married to Bear the Bonehead for the rest of my life. *sigh*


me: Bear, Rio's up.
bear: I think my back is broken. Can you go get her?
me: I'll get her, but I want you to get up so we can hit that yardsale to see if they have bookcases.
bear: I'm getting up in 4 minutes...

me: Bear, here's your coffee. I want you to be at your banker's by 10 so you can get back early enough for us to do something and I want to go to the yardsale together.
bear: I'm hungry.

me: yelling upstairs Bear, your french toast is getting cold. Get.Up!
bear: I know, I'm coming...

me: You really need to get going. You should be walking out the door.
bear: I'm just gonna let the dogs out and print off directions.

bear: Whaaaaat?

me: Bye. We are leaving. She needs a nap soon and I need bookcases so we'll see you whenever.
bear: Where are you going?
me: Seriously?

me: calling from the yardsale They have a great workbench thingie here that would get all your stuff organized in the garage so perhaps I could park in there.
bear: Where are you? Oh! I know this! I'll be right there.

So, he gets there, nixes the perfect bench, informs me that he has a 'plan' for his 8 tons of shit on BOTH SIDES of our 2 car garage. Then he grabs Rio and starts dancing around with some orange safety gear hat that looks like this on his head and he and Rio are laughing their heads off.

It is tough to stay mad at a moron. Especially a funny moron. Especially a funny moron who actually bought the hat and who is probably wearing it at the bank right now....

PT and the sitting baby

Luckily, our physical therapist from Early Intervention is lovely and perseverant. I, as you all know, am neither.

Our appointments are kind of helter skelter because Rio sleeps all the time. We used to be at noon, but then she went to one nap from 11-1 ish. Then we got moved to 8am. Unfortunately, at least 50% of the time when Diana arrived, the entire household was asleep. Soundly. So now, we fit in here and there.

Tuesday at 3:30 Rio looked positively shocked to see Diana. We invited her in and Diana started to set up the living room so that Rio might transfer and then she stacked toys all over the place so that Rio might get up, but she was happy sitting on my crossed legs.

Long story short - we always get to stop when both Rio and I are crying. Diana holds Rio about 3 baby paces from me and I try not to grab her when she dives and Diana tries to get her to stay standing and it's all pretty terrible in the name of walking. Finally, I sniff and say, "I think that's enough for today," and Diana agrees. Rio has taken a couple little steps so that can be written in her log and we can all feel good about the fact she may eventually have a need for all the shoes I've already bought her....

So, Rio is playing with this. She's standing at a low table, kind of grumbling and complaining about the mean giants and then she takes the cucumber and stands it on it's end - so it is standing up like a flagpole. Diana just looks at her and smiles and shakes her head.

me: What? That's okay, right? She loves to stack and balance things. Really, a velcro-ed together cuke is a natural extension of that. Right? Right?

di: It's just that I have never seen another child do that with this toy. Ever. Her fine motor skills are really off the chart!

me: Yeah, maybe that will translate into walking?

di: Yeah, maybe.

She continues to mystify and enchant and just tickle me to pieces. I used to wait for the other shoe to drop. Wait for all the hysteria and the headless chicken running and the exhaustion that is to be brought on by babyhood. So far, I'm good. Maybe I'm stupider than everyone else, highly possible, but I'm just having the best time with her. She cracks me right the hell up.

We're 'not allowed' to buy the same toys the PT has. The PT needs to be able to engage and blahblahblah so I hope she's not pissed next week to see I broke the rule. Maybe Rio will be juggling them by then. :)


Okay, here it is: the Halloween picture post.

First, my friend Erudite. She looks like Darryl Hannah, but only on Darryl's really good days. Not those days when she seems to have rolled out from under a bus...

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Now, Parkie the Giraffe. She is the master of all things at a very well-known design firm. I hope she rigged giraffe snot to drip out of her nose!

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Rio had 2 costumes. One was Tigger...

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And her best friend, Boobah, was a lady bug. Here she is getting ready to give Rio a big kiss and Rio was busy trying to count her teeth.

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This is what I image a post sugar buzz would look like, if we gave the kids any candy WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY DON'T NEED!

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So, after a costume change we went outside for a little wagon time. Here she wonders, "Did I remember to bring my juice? Why do I have to keep changing clothes? Would Thing 2 like to ride?"

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And then her dad arrived home, to rescue her from all the costume changes and giggly mom kisses.

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don't get mad, but....

Timing is everything...

:: rough night ::

But a great day! I worked and worked feverishly (just in case my slave driving boss from the aforementioned yob is checking in!) and then headed to Boston at 1:15 to take my godson and his roommate to an MRI appointment. Traffic was insane and I didn't get home til almost 7. Due to daylight savings time, I missed Rio's bath and bedtime. I know it's good for her to have other people around and for us to "do our own things" once in a while and yada yada yada...but I really missed her.

Bear said she started signing for 'bedtime' around 6. Kept it up. So, he bathed her and put her to bed and she went right down. So, in no rush, I picked up beer and sushi and we had a nice dinner....but I missed her. A lot.

I'm such a sap.

:: hott to trot ::

In other silly news, I cut Bear's hair this morning and he looks super DUPER hott. That reminds me... I'm seeing Dr. Interrrrrrcourse tomorrow. How can I best and most delicately explain to him that it is time to throw some boots up in the air? Suggestions? Anyone?!

:: big changes ::

So, you know how you 'want' things to look? On your blog? Well, I have decided to make it happen. It's gonna be new and improved and soon. Lots of links, RSS feed, all the junk I have no idea what it is but NEED...soon. After I finish this big project that I ignored while I was sick all frigging month.

:: fear factor ::

I think I'm addicted to cough syrup. It's not funny. It's rotting my teeth and drying my sinuses and I'm afraid to try to sleep without it. But on the upside, lalala, I sleep like I've been shot with a tranquilizer dart. For like 9 hours. Straight. Wake up with dog hair stuck all over me cuz the wretches are all sucked up on me like I'm some sort of heat source. And I don't care! Cuz I wake up buzzed!

How pathetic. Can you see it now?

me: Hi, I'm Nita and I'm addicted to Nyquil.
all: Hiiiii, Niiiiitaaaaaa.

So sad. So sad.

Christ on a Crutch...

...as my darling grandmother used to say.

Listen, avoid reading the last few comments in my 'thank you' post below. I'm actually busy with a busy life and busy plans and a busy baby and, well, you get the idea. I'm getting flamed from that Clare bit. Now I have to learn how to delete unwelcomed and rude comments. Maybe later.

Loads happening. Some I can talk about, some I can't right now. But, loads happening. I've found in my life that really wretched things need to be turned around or they sit around like little black flecks on your soul AND THEY BUG THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF YOU. So, to avoid that, I've been scrambling and some great stuff is in the pike. Believe me, you'll be the first to know. *wink wink*

So, I am sifting through AMA and only saving the really fun or really relevant posts from the past 3 years. It's like a sage smudge for my space here. I'm going to ignore the flamers from here on in, smudge like a maniac, and proceed.

The greatest thing that came out of this heartache is the support I got from you guys. I knew a lot of my non-blog savvy friends keep up with All-Things-Rio here. I've gotten a bunch of really nice emails and the things you guys said....really wonderful. So, AMA will continue. In some form. I'm still ducking a ridiculous shitstorm so I'm working more than blog checking, but that'll calm down. The hateful detest the happy so I'm sure I'll go back to boring those people soon enough.

Really though.... I totally love you guys. *sniffffffffffffffffff* On that note, moving right along....

:: weekend update ::

I got a job. A guy I 'know' from Blogsylvania set out on his own about a year ago. Talented, charming, hard-working... we all wished him well. Then I parked a business idea with him, for later consideration. Then a couple of months after that, he got jammed up and voila! I have a job. That I love. That I reallllly have to get back to. But, yay me and the readers of Advanced Maternal Age who have faith that I can write copy without profanities. Tough, but I'm fucking-a slugging through....

Continues to be the perfect husband. Continues to say quite loudly, "Get me a beer bitch, and hurry the hell up!" every time I'm speaking to my mother. Continues to host my friends for weeklong visits with a genuine smile. Continues to hand over cold, hard cash to support my 'causes'. Continues to tell me I'm great and Rio is lucky to have me as a mom and I have great friends so quit worrying about stupid shit. Continues to make me happy that I said, 'Uh, sure, I guess...' when he asked me to marry him.

What it's all about, non?! She is signing like crazy. I think I'm 'Bobby', although she can say 'mmmm', she elects not to. Sleep? All over the map but luckily, I'm home with her so we're riding this transition together. She's found her scream, which makes everyone laugh. She and Hobbes are doing really well. He's a happy member of the Prozac Nation and Dr Dodman is the best 4 hundred smackers we've ever spent.

I still call her 'Monkey' so much that she answers to it. I tried 'Princess' for a day, but only Hobbes responded....

my new life
Mostly, I'm glad to have made a couple of really nice mom friends. Nice children, we all parent alike, we were all remarkably similar 'pre-babe' and I'm enjoying my outpost a bit more. Winnie is my soul sister who is finally coming to terms with the fact that she really is knocked up to the tune of 5 months despite being on the Pill AND breastfeeding!!! and I'm thankful every day to have another amazing friend in my crazy huge group of amazing friends.

my confession
Part of the research I'm doing is on Georgia. I am so in love with it right now that I totally want to move there. Hell, it's snowing here people. In friggin OCTOBER. I spent my childhood in Vermont being froZEN from September 1st until June 15th. With Bear and his sick, sick addiction to air conditioning, I need to live where I can get some heat! Holla if you hear me ;)

really though...
Sorry for the drama. I promise you and me (and especially the wonderful Bear) to ignore anything that happens as a result of people I don't give a fat rat's ass about. We good?


I have no idea who 'Bobby' is, but she's been saying his/her name constantly for the last 2 hours.

life is good

I rarely have bad days. Most days I'm grateful to be on the planet, grateful for my unbelievably great friends, grateful for my happy family life, just grateful. That's what makes bad days bad for me. The way they hit me in the solar plexus and steal my smile. So, today I'm back in the saddle. It was one of those days; those kind of days I usually have.

Today I

...read a great story by Jack who doesn't want links cuz he's way too popular already

...talked to crazy mom who forgot all about me hanging up on her yesterday

...visited with one of my favorite people who is living in a gorgeous mansion in Milton and we're going swimming there as soon as the heater in her pool is fixed

...drove just under the speed limit all the way back from Boston so I could steal a million glances at Rio while she was sleeping in her carseat. her face flushed, her eyes fluttering, her lips pursed - heaven

...loved the dogs all up

...watched a little television (I watch too much when I'm sad)

...looked at Bear and thought, "Ai, chihuahua he's caliente!"

...enjoyed how a beautiful day looks even more beautiful through my rose glasses (I really do have rose colored glasses. I'll take a picture!)

...made a date with my new mom friend who rocks the planet. she'll get her own post soon :)

...shaped my toenails

...painted the hallway 'hazy lilac'

...found my mofo mojo

Here's the thing...

When I was in 7th grade I was madly in love with Alex. He gave me my first hickey and my first real introduction into how much a young heart can swell at the sight of another person. It ended, as those things do, but it ended well. We stayed very close all through high school. He went to college in Michigan and a couple of years I flew out there to make the drive home with him. We'd go through Canada and make an adventure of it. One year I was living in Florida and he and his frat brothers drove a Winnebago down to Fort Lauderdale and I drove up from Palm Beach to see him. There were drunk boys passed out all over that thing. It was one of the funnest weekends ever.

The Thursday before he died in a silly little car crash, he asked me if I thought I was reaching my potential doing hair. I told him 'Probably not but I'm making a boatload of cash' and we kinda laughed at that. But then he told me how much he respected my brain. Nice way to end things, I guess.

I think he was supposed to rule the world at some point. Awesome guy. The kind of guy that stays with you, twelve years after he left. That kind of guy.

I really do think of him often. I honestly believe that he visits me in my dreams. We've gone skiing, gone out to eat and last night I helped him brainstorm on an environmental situation. Evidently he's an environmental attorney in heaven. Really nice penthouse apartment in a highrise, too. White dog. But anyway.

Here's the thing. I've often thought of writing to his mother. Just to tell her that he's still alive in me. I wouldn't tell her about our visits, just that I continue to have a place in my heart for him.

Should I?

tough stuff

So, yesterday we got back from the license debacle and had lunch with Bear. Rio napped from 11:00 til 12:15. We all threw down some food and by 1:00 Rio and I were headed to Whole Foods Market, the grocery store that makes me giddy with glee.


me: Hello, how can I help you?

one of 3 women: I'm (BARKBARKBARK) with (BARKBARKBARK).

me: (thinking 'odd time of day for Jehovah's Witnesses') I'm sorry, you're who?

1 of 3: We're (BARKBARKBARK) from the (BARKBARKBARK) Agency.

me: Agency?

1 of 3: Ye(BARKBARKBARK)s, the Early Intervention program? We have an appointment to see Rio today?

Well fuck. I completely forgot about that appointment and I hadn't looked at my book in days because for days I HAD BEEN TRYING TO GET TO THE FUCKING GROCERY STORE! So, I invited them in. With lunch dishes on the counter. And the rowing machine in the middle of the family room. And Mo and Ron trying to lick their faces.


They test a child on 6 different competencies. I can't remember them because the seriousness of having 2 nurses and a social worker finally hit me.

Something is wrong with Rio.

She is advanced in her fine motor skills. I'd love to bore you to death with how she poked her little finger into the scoop of the woman's hand where she had tried to surreptitiously palm a peg, but you'd soon grow weary. Her fine motor skills, reasoning skills and communication skills are advanced for her age.

She is on target with mimicking.

Her gross motor skills are 2 months behind. She's where an average 7 month old is. She'll be 10 months on the second.

I knew that would be the case. I'm not stupid. I see all the other babies in yoga crawling and rocking and side sitting and some of the little fuckers are standing up. They are all a lot younger. Rio sits happily, enjoying the goings on without feeling compelled to jump up and run around.

It was just hard to hear it.

Then last night I started to read more about the program. I called them initially because our new pediatrician recommended them; said Rio's torticollis would qualify her. I wonder if he had something else on his mind. Fucker.


I am anxious in the clinical sense. I have spikes of sweaty palms. My face flushes when a wave of anxiety breaks over my consciousness. I feel like crying and screaming and I don't know how to cope with the helpless feeling I have. All this since yesterday when I got the news.

Sub-normal gross motor skills.

I know many people out there have much bigger problems. I know we're so fortunate that her early and tough start is having so little effect on her growth. I know I know I know. But I still feel like crying. And screaming. My face is still hot and I still worry I might just fly off the earth because of the molecules of terror flinging themselves against my skin from the inside.

rip van baby

It has been a tough weekend/beginning of the week. Much running about, much oddness of schedules, much much. So, last night we were all exhausted. Quick bath, fast bottle, short book and Miss Rio is sound asleep by 8 o'clock. Bear and I head for bed just after 10 and are asleep by just after 11. Early for us.

This morning I woke up first, looked at the clock and was shocked to see 7:59. I woke Bear up and went in to see Rio. Sound asleep. Usually her little noises wake me up in the morning so I never set the alarm. Not today.

We went downstairs and had coffee together. Little wakeup noises coming from the monitor at 8:20. I gave her 10 minutes and then went to get her. Change, bottle, bananas and dressed. Today, I think, we're getting out of here early.

So, I get a phonecall from another mother with a baby with torticollis and plagiocephaly. We talk for 35 minutes. It's hard to go back there, but I'm happy to help. While talking to her I get dressed so we can get to Whole Foods Market and back before Bear comes home for lunch. Rio is playing and starts squeaking at 10:45. I say "No way kiddo. We're going to the grocery store. You just woke up!" and she plays for a few minutes. Then she looks at me and gives me the squeak again.

I know this squeak. This is how she says, "Naptime for me!". One more squeak and I'm putting her down at 11:05. She's asleep already.

Rip Van Baby.

I'm not complaining, really. I don't want to consider the alternate reality of a child that doesn't sleep. It's just hard to leave the house between all the sleeping and eating and sleeping again. Oh well, I guess I'll change the beds and try again this afternoon.

And, IA's right - misery does make for better blogging. I'm boring myself today.

ummm... ahhh, uhhhh...

So I'm supposed to guest blog. I need to gather my thoughts first - there's so much to write about. I'll figure something out and write tomorrow.

Right now I'm doing some patent research for the company I used to work for. It's a good gig but it gets pretty dry. I entertain myself by hiding secret messages in the applications I write and playing around with my invoice template to make my invoices just right. It's really all about sending them the pretty, symmetrical invoices every month. I giggle every time I email one to the accounts payable woman. She's cool: we make fun of the CEO, we make fun of the company in general, we wonder when he's going to bail out and pull the ripcord, unfurling his platinum parachute. She always gets my check cut in the very next check run. She's the best.

This month's check will get us a fenced-in back yard, something to corral Mo and Ron. I can't imagine what they'd kill and drag out of the swamp if they got loose. Something really stinky I'm sure.

I miss Nita and I miss Rio. They smell good...

a moment

Bear came home tonight and we 5 (Bear, me, Rio, Jack and HObbes) all laid down on the floor in the family room. Rio was taking things out and putting things in a cookie jar toy, having great fun. I fell asleep for a minute and Bear offered to give her a bath. I went upstairs to prep for her arrival: jammies, warm bottle, book, bed turned down, Pooh in place. They came upstairs and we dressed her. Bear played 'where's daddy?' with the towel over his head. She was cracking up as I dressed her for sleep.

It was when she was having her bottle, that moment I'm talking about. She was laying back in my arms, leaning into me, as I held her bottle for her. My pinkys stick out, some sort of genetic quirk. She has it, too. My pinky was out and she started playing with it. Used her index finger to trace around the tip a few times. Slid all of her fingers over it and squeezed. Then just rubbed her hand over mine and settled it there, so softly. We looked into each other's eyes as she finished the bottle. Her look said, 'No book tonight, k?' and I put her to bed.

It is those moments; the soft caresses we share, the gazes that seem packed with psychic messages, the nonsense language that will bring a smile that tells of a secret joke...it is these moments that define motherhood for me. That connection that feels as huge as the universe and as comfortable as my own skin.