we rock and we roll with so much soul ...

We can dance, if we want to:

We can beat our friends' behinds:

I swear, she can spell her name AND write it! She starts with the 'I', then the 'O', then an 'R' right where it belongs. She can NOT be convinced to write it any other way. Three is so magical I could shove her sometimes.


Still swirling. Still trying to breathe. My sister is coming soon and we all know she makes for great material.


yea, save it for the in-laws

First thing this morning I woke up with burning eyeballs. Fever much? Of course my favorite in-laws, Mama Bear and Big Ed, were coming today.

Rio and I just chilled around the house today. I've been working on bribes/treats/negotiations for pooping on the potty. We are 100 mothereffing percent on tinkles. Every time she tinkles it's like a parade, which I think helps. She'll jump up and say 'Mommy! Mommy! I have to tinkle on the potty! C'mon! Grab everybody!' and takes off. I grab a Guy and whatever else we're playing with and race after her to the WC. Then she stands there and waits for me to take down her pants and hold her hand while she steps onto the stool in a manner I can only imagine is well at home at Buckingham Palace, and perches. Then she tinkles, I clean her up, we wash hands and she says, 'Now I'll have one brown sugary tinkle treat, please!' and I serve her a Junior Mint. What a life!

But today I let her look at the poop-on-the-potty enticement box. All her favorite things: trains, games, PopRocks, etc ... and she grabbed a train and wouldn't let go. Major negotiations going on. I won't bore you. Mostly cuz you'll want to pull your hair out. I did. Barely out of bed, not feeling hot and I gotta chase a bare assed monkey around and grab a train from her.

I'm not exaggerating when I say HOURS of talking about pooping and special treats and all that crap.

Cut to the in-law visit.

Fun, fun, fun. Fun dinner. Fun dessert. Rio excuses herself from the table and goes over to her train table and stands on one foot. That, my friends, is her poop move. One heel and a pained expression. And then, "Hey Nana Peachy, I'm pooping!".

Like the stench didn't give her away ....

ground glass slurpee

We had an incident this weekend in Vermont - me and Rio. She got hurt and I got scared. I don't wish to discuss the particulars for many reasons so please, don't ask. She woke a sleeping dog who bit her. The dog totally pulled back in the nick of time. The bite was a bite, but it was a 1 on the 1 - 10 scale. She's fine. It's me. I'm not okay. I got so scared that I can't stop being scared now. And that scares me.

I had a cloud of black descend. It was tangible and cold and not so much cloud-like as steel-blade-like. I realized that my flight/fight instinct is still in conflict.


I grew up in a house where I had to stay. I should have left. I wanted to. I planned it and thought about it - where I'd go, how I'd get there, how I'd live. But I stayed for my brother. We never talk about it but I think we were both there for each other and I think we both would have been better off making a break for it.

So, when it gets bad now, I run. I run a lot. I'm comfortable walking, jogging, running away, disappearing. That is a choice for me now. I like that.


She got hurt. Not bad enough for the ER, but bad enough for me to literally gag on the guilt rushing down my throat with every breath. So I ran. When I called Bear from the car he said, "Don't be ridiculous. You can't drive all night - you won't get here until daybreak. It's dangerous. She's fine. You're fine. Stay."

Of course he was right. Everything was fine but my instinct had been jump-started and I'm still trying to find the 'off' switch.


All this leaves me hurting for my motherhood. I forge my own way every day. I make all the decisions and I know they're good because I have to believe that. We've had tough and scary times, but mostly we have happy and delightful times. Days on end with no harsh words even. The Universe has seen fit to give me a child of even disposition who is absolutely a joy in every way. She's filled with laughter and light. She's safe and sound and happy and healthy.

And I'm a ground glass slurpee. The inner doubts grinding against each other. The sharp pangs of doubt have been replaced with a general sense of discomfort; bearable and ever-present. I battle daily to enjoy motherhood. My fears bite at me constantly. I don't know how I could go on if anything ever happened. I think I would literally *poof* out of existence.


This will pass. I'm working on some things, ways to be better. Of healthier mind and body. Working to banish the fear and doubt. Working to see the reality and feel the wonder and happiness we have in our little family. I get furious when the rough seas of the past wash up evil debris and I wonder when I'll be able to just sit. Stay. Breathe.

amended to add:
This has been stuck in me. I held back, posted it, pulled it ... still feeling a bit irrational. But I do feel better. We went for the one week check-up today. The only thing that was remarkable about the visit is that Rio asked Dr. Chris, "Where's your Mickey Mouse shirt?". It's what he was wearing when he saw her three weeks ago .... !!! Then she told him, "Take care Dopter Chris! We'll see you soon buddyboy!".

that kid ...

prepare for the jealousy wave

It pays to have talented friends. All my friends have special talents, that way I never have to get off the couch and miss my soap operas.


Seriously though. Follow this to Paper Canteen* to see the Thank You notes that Mere made for Rio. I could die twice, get up AGAIN and die right!**

I cried a little when I saw them.

* She takes orders. Support a SAHM, wouldya? And you should know she totally is that pretty. I think that translates to her cards! Heeheehee.
** I hung out with a boatload of drag queens in the 80s in florida. Some bits of lingo still hang out in my brain :)

honorable mention!!!!

There was an awesome contest and I made it to the finals! My potty-mouth finally paid off ...

Here's the whole, ugly story ...

My mom had me when she was barely 18, and my brother when she was barely 19. We all kind of grew up together but it was mostly me leading the parade. The first block of child-rearing was pretty loose and easy. She kept us out of school until the truant officer paid a visit. We were a little too smart and way too sarcastic to be at one with our peers, but it was a fun social experiment.

By the time I was wrangled into formal education, I could do math at a grade 5 level and read at a post college level. Lots of discussion about 'what to do' with me. Mom said, "First grade, assholes. You're not going to just throw her into fifth grade, you stupid motherfuckers!"

My mother gave us one amazing gift - reading. My brother and I love it to this day. We learned early and well. Mom always was very lax on reading material rules. If it was in a book, it was fair game. I remember early library fights, my mother screaming at the librarian that she'd never heard of such "mother-fucking, cock-sucking, asinine rules governing READING MATERIAL!!!!". She has always loved profanity.

First Grade

I clearly remember the first day I went to class, halfway through the year. The class was reading 'Sally, Dick, and Jane'. I thought it was a joke. It was the first time I was aware of a surreal experience. All eyes on me as I walked to the teacher's desk for my copy of the book. The formal order of reading aloud. The torturous sounding out process. The snickering at the kids who were slow. The look of disbelief when I read as clearly and quickly as the teacher... first time I recall feeling really different ...

Anyway, our desks were in a big arc. The teacher walked around - pacing really, like an over-medicated jungle animal in the zoo, eyes all vacant and subtly angry - singing her way through each day. I found the sing-song both annoying and wondrous. We were always spoken to as small adults. No babytalk. No 'lalala'.

We'd been given hand-outs to color. Find the 'dog' and color it 'blue'. Pretty easy stuff. Papers were passed along the arc; take one and pass the pile. So far I'm following these strange customs and blending in. Then the teacher walked the arc handing out bundles of crayons.

me: Pardon me, Ms. Smith. I would like sharp crayons, please.

ms. smith: Well, lalala, we use what we have, lalala!!

me: But I really prefer sharp crayons. I will take a sharpener, a butter knife, or new crayons.

ms. smith (staring to get 'the face'): Well, [consults my desk nameplate] Niiiiita, I think those crayons are fine.

me: Are you fucking kidding me? No, they're not 'fine'. [teacher gasps, mouth frozen in a tall 'O'] I turn to the kid next to me, point at her, and say All I asked for is sharp crayons, for fuck's sake. Who's running this banana stand?

On day one of first grade I learned the route to the principal's office. I would wear a tiny but defiant path in the linoleum over my years in that school.

mysteries solved

My darling sister is 20 years younger than I - a point she takes great joy in pointing out as often as possible.

I was talking to her this morning. She totally cracks me up. She has a very interesting way of conducting her business. She takes most of my advice and, as near as I can figure, makes origami cranes and frogs from it. Occasional gems are put to use with astonishing success, and yet she rarely avails herself of MY TWENTY ADDITIONAL YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!!!!... well, she really does have her very own, very 'special' take on things.

me: P's totally out, huh?

v: Yeah. I don't know what his problem is. I think guys are obsessed with their penises though.

me: That's a fact. What happened?

v: Oh, well, we were kinda getting ready to fool around so I asked him if he had a condom and he pulled out a Magnum. I started laughing and asked him who he stole *that* from! Hahahaha!

me: And you don't know why things got bad, huh?

same conversation a bit later ....

You ever lose shoes drinking?

me: I've lost one shoe a few times. Long time ago. But I don't think I ever lost both of them. Did you lose your shoes?

v: Yeah. Both of them. And my pants. I think I gotta quit drinking.

me: *THINK* you gotta quit?!!

v: Or at least cut way down ...

same conversation a bit later ....

v: Yeah, so, [our young cousin's young wife] is having surgery next month! Did you know that?

me: No, you know no one tells me anything. What's up? Is she okay?

v: Yeah, no, well, I don't know. I guess it's her brain.

me: Brain surgery? Does she have an aneurysm, too?! ( v's mom had one, so did her grandmother, and our cousin's mom, too ... this girl married in so I was thinking that someone should do a study proving that living in the midwest is what causes them ...)

v: Could be that. No, wait, it's, uh, I don't remember the term. Something like, something with a medical name. Some sort of fluid on her brain or in her brain or on her spinal cord? Something. There's too much fluid in there. Or something is not letting enough fluid through and maybe blocking something ... whatever, maybe it's why she's quirky.

Seriously? I could not love her more!

lottery wins

I commit a stupid amount of brain space completely convinced that I'm going to win MegaMillions one day. Seriously, I play sporadically, I always get quick picks and one scratch-off*, and I'm about 92% positive that I shall one day have my picture taken in bad light holding a giant check.

Lots of things are wrong with me. This is but one.

Really, though, it's probably a good thing if I don't win. Due to the irrational belief that boatloads of cash are imminent, I'm always planning my list of things to buy.

Here is the latest addition to the insane shit I'd buy with lottery money.

*I win on the scratch-offs a LOT! Never big money, but pretty consistent cover-the three-bucks-I-just-threw-away money. Even that messes with the lottery portion of my brain. The guy says, 'Ooo, lucky again!' and I think 'Fuck, I hope this doesn't mean I won't win the millions'. At this point even I am starting to wonder which blow to the head or pill off the floor has so damaged my melon ....

and i'm handy, too!

I am not going to lie to you, good folks of Blogsylvania. I can't work many of Rio's toys. Perhaps that's why I'm fostering the current train obsession - round and round with occasional 'toot!toot!' is all that's required of me. Me likey Thomas the Train. I wasn't even too pissed about the lead paint, cuz, hell - I can play trains!


Our darling friend gave her this for her birthday. Rio loves it like it's covered with baby crack. Only glitch? I can NOT work it. That's a problem because it has to be worked. One must load an outfit and while Polly is driving, something starts whirring and she's magically sucked into the body of the limo where she pops out the back in a different outfit and the doors all start turning into mirrors and closets and stairways .... exhausting but I totally would buy it if it existed. And if the car could really drive itself while I was sucked into the back. And if it was a hybrid ...

But, I digress.

If one (me) is too stupid to load the outfit and get all the parts lined up and get everyone in their fricken seatbelts and, and, and, if it isn't all lined up just so - the car gets stuck. Just rolling it around singing gangsta rap isn't an option because the wheels lock up while things inside are ready to get this party started riiiiiiight. Without the requisite NASA setup operation the car pops things open randomly and the doors fall away and Polly is sucking back and forth and her friend is all looking at her like 'What are you? Paris on vicodin AND xanax????!!!!" while the passenger seat does some other weird thing, too. I know it, right? Ex.haus.ting!

Peering into the guts I realized there was a spinny thing attached to the axle which runs the whole thing.

Darling girlfriend who bestowed this awesome gift, please don't get pissed, okay? I totally McGuivered it.

Using only a large screwdriver for pounding and torquing, and a small screwdriver for the myriad of microscopic screws on the bottom of the car holding god knows what to god knows what, and poultry shears for the thicker pieces of plastic -- using just those 3 tools I totally pimped that ride. Took the bottom off, broke off /hacked off/ pounded off/ twisted off/ chicken neck snapped off most of the inside and underside of the quick change major traffic hazard limo.

Now it looks like a pimped out El Camino and we both really like it.

If only I can install a system for hydrolics and bangin' bass .....

i remember when i had time to be funny

I am shocked at the amount of things I need to do. Moving from in front of my computer is high on the list right now, but a delightful surprise affords me seven minutes with you!

My baby brother was asleep on the couch when we woke up this morning. Yes, our security is tight around here but he has all the codes so voila! baby brother surprise! He's playing squirtbottle with Rio and gathering points toward sainthood ...

The quick update:

* I got a gig doing some proofreading and copy editing in Vermont. I had the best time training. The.Best.Time. I met a new friend that loves grammar jokes as much as I :) And we bemoaned the coming colloquial extinction of 'whomever'. Evidently the generation that can NOT differentiate between 'your' and 'you're' finds 'whomever' too stuffy. My new friend and I are upSET! *sigh* I heart him so much!

* Bear is working on my patent. I told him he better hurry before someone else steals my brilliant idea. He informed me there's such a thing as 'inventor's paranoia'. Oh goody, because I was just thinking I needed one more irrational fear ....

* Styro, may her blog RIP, turned me on to Etsy. Now I spend way too much time looking at pretty, shiny things. I may be more closely related to our ape ancestors than most ...

* While I was out yesterday, Rio took a nap for our sitter. With no issues. No complaints. No neck grabbing and gut wrenching protestation of neeeeeeds. It made me want to pinch her. Rio, not the sitter. That pinch sentence had subject issues. :I'M ON GRAMMAR FIRE!

* Bear gave me his birthday BN gift card to pick up a book for him. I'm going to pick up a book for me, too, after I touch a bunch and randomly pick one. I'm very excited about this.

* I need to mail:
~ will and nina's presents
~ pictures to eleventy people
~ special matte nail nourishment polish to my uncle
~ thank you notes I haven't written

* I took a zumba class and loved it. You should totally try it. I'm ordering the tapes* so I can do it when I'm home, too. That, my friends, is aerobic love. LOVE!

It bears noting that this post was brought to you without paid endorsements. It only seems like I might be getting paid because, lately, I'm link-crazed.

* lesigh. Well, you know I don't edit here. Pure freestyle, stream of unconsciousness, head over-load goodness here. I do, on occasion, preview to make sure egregious typos are caught. I realized I said 'tapes'. No wonder the new guard is happily pushing their grammar change agenda - it turns out I'm one 242 years old in tech-years! Uuuuuuuugh!

all the news that's fit to wrap greasy fish

I'm catching up on news reading since our Vermont break. Only tiny bits of the outside world squeak through when I'm there, which is mostly why I go. Here's what I learned:

Al Gore III
* there are a ton of asshats who don't own a style manual. it's fun to watch them try to use 'Gore III' correctly in the body of an article.
* I had no idea a Prius could go 100 mph. now I REALLY want one!
* this kid is only 24? not a typo? he's not 42? I'm 42 and look way better .... waaaay better.

A Girl Who Could Really Use A Cork In Her Mouth or A Competent Editor
* Brittney - please shut the fuck up!

I'd Like To Know What They Have Planned For Their Print Campaign
* but, hey, tell a friend!

Bad Week For Pedicurists
* um, ouch! and ouch!

I'm Not Going Crazy, I KNEW I'd Heard That Song!
* naughty avril! your fans have parents, you know!

Why Background Checks On Babysitters Are Totally Sensible
* what lovely children, and she is so advanced for her age!

The Most Disgusting Piece of News I've Read Since Paris Getting Out Of Jail Because She Was Claustrophic ... And On A Complete Mental Par ...

By The Associated Press Tue Jul 3, 3:08 AM ET

The text of the clemency order Monday by which President Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, as released by the White House:

Grant of Executive Clemency

A Proclamation

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, pursuant to my powers under Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, do hereby commute the prison terms imposed by the sentence upon the said Lewis Libby to expire immediately, leaving intact and in effect the two-year term of supervised release, with all its conditions, and all other components of the sentence.


* anyone care to bet how long it takes him to complete reverse himself on 'leaving intact and in effect'? smart money says he commutes the entire sentence and when asked why, says,

"Cuz I funna felt like it. If y'all could get a look at my super secret Rules For Guvrnin Handball, Handbible, Handbook! then y'all'd know I wunna dunna anyone elses."

I"m going to play with trains now.

turns out - i DONT want you to want me

She's got a new thing she's doing. After I settle her in and tell her a 'once upon a time there was a girl named Rio' story, she breaks my heart to thank me for the excellent mothering. She slides those fingers -- fingers that are losing the pudge of babyhood; fingers I can imagine full grown on a piano or standing bass; fingers have the superhuman ability to penetrate my flesh -- into my hair and pulls my face closer still to hers and says:

"I want you Mommy. I'm holding you so you don't leave me."

Kill me now.


I have a 3 pronged attack plan for parenting:

*read a shit ton. consume books like I need more fiber. disregard anything that feels 'wrong' and gather enough tomes surrounding what feels 'right' to start a library. a college library. a med school college library ...

* take everything my parents said or did and never, ever do anything that way

* trust my instincts

So, I hold her fingers and count them and kiss them. I kiss her tears and tell her I'm sad to leave her, too, but we all need rest. I tell her I love her and I'll check on her in 10 minutes and leave a room where *my baby* has just said, " I want you, Mommy,".

I know it's the right thing to do. I joke a tiny bit, telling her 'I want you tooooo!' but not enough to invalidate her sadness. I gently pull away with the promise of a check-up return. I tell her I love her and try to convey that I support her emotions. I'm pretty sure this is *just* how to handle this.

So, why is it that when walking down the hall I keep stepping on my heart; bloody and fresh from the kill?