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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