Photos: August 2006 Archives

List: because I can

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You get a list today! Thank me later.

Things I've done in the past 24 hours:

- Began typing this list one handed last night because I had a glass of wine in the other.
- Purchased sand paper (I know, ??) to begin a project this weekend, a project which has occupied Chris's parking space in the garage for three months. This will be interesting as I am not a woodworker craft person and will most likely sand my hand off.
- Was called a dirty word by my mother because I totally made fun of her for saying OCDC instead of OCD. She babysat the boys while I worked. She sounds exactly like Squidward when she laughs.
- Met my deadline for the paper.
- Tried reasoning with Liam, who is boycotting the act of pooping, to go potty. REASONING WITH KIDS IS STUPID. AND SUCKS.
- Wrote on my calendar "Yep. Still a witch" to track my PMS symptoms for my OB.
- Listened to Beastie Boys' "Pass the Mic" and the entire Elastica self-titled. Also listened to Penelope's "Miss Me with That Foolishness" today. I am cool because I know Penelope. And she knows Mya. Who knows Pink. I am two degrees from Pink. And one degree from Quentin. DUDE.
- Finally finished a book a reader sent to me called The Secret of Castle Cant. I've only had the book for fourteen million years. More on this later.
- Realized that having a St. Louis Bread Company/Panera so close to my house is dangerous.
- Totally freaked out in a good way over something unimaginably cool which I cannot go into yet because I promised and nothing is final, so vague! Cryptic! AM WITCH, SORRY. Will share when able.
- Regretted my decision to add THAT much flaxseed to yesterday morning's blueberry pancakes.



After picking on Liam all day, Ewan's fortunes turned.

My favorite thing in bottle form

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This is one of the seven bottles of Missouri wine we lugged around St. Genevieve during Jour de Fete like two very discerning alcoholics.
This is the best red dessert wine I've ever tasted. I loveitloveitlurrrrveit. Chris and I split the bottle after the boys went to sleep. We didn't mean to drink the whole thing but our wine corker saver thing broke and we were too lazy to open the drawer and get the other one out.

Dear asthma: you suck

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I want to wrap my hands around your figurative throat, asthma, just as you do my son's, and wring the life from your neck like water from a dishrag.

Last Thursday night Liam had an asthma attack. Unlike the ones in the past, this attack came on slowly because it knew that if I caught it I would drag it out by the hair into my driveway where I would beat it to death.
I took the boys to lunch and to the park that afternoon; Liam woke up with a cough and sat listlessly in the van on the way to Panera. He didn't eat much of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich, nor his yogurt. He ran around the playground at the park only to return and nestle into my arm a few minutes later before saying "I need to take a little break."
I cut our trip short, loaded the boys into the van and headed for home.

That night Liam's voice grew raspy and he coughed about eighteen times a minute.
I broke out the nebulizer, which we haven't had to use in a year, hooked up Liam's fish mask and sat him down for a twenty minute round of inhaled Xoponex. It's a bit more potent than regular albuterol but with less side effects, such as only the moderate need to tether the child to something substantive (and bolted to concrete). Afterwards I gave Liam two quick puffs of Flovent, a canister inhaled steroid like Pulmicort, but instead of Liam sitting for another fifteen minutes to inhale nebulized Pulmicort, he now takes twelve breaths of Flovent. Then he rinsed his mouth (Flovent can cause mouth sores, YEAY), took a Zyrtec and went to bed. We have all the drugs. All!

(A sidenote: I spent $130 on two boxes, or thirty days' supply of, meds. Because owning your own small business and working as a blogger from home means that you don't qualify as a group therefore don't get the cliquey little discount that the group plans receive. GARGH!)

When the allergy count shows high pollen, mold, or ragweed, Liam mostly has to stay inside behind the fortified walls of our sterile, allergen-free house. Still, he's better than he was a year ago, when even a trip to the mailbox during a high-allergen day would provoke an asthma attack that reduced him to listlessness and oral steroids for a week after. As a result he has developed genius-level game skillz. He beat Stars Wars for PSP2 in one week. AND HE'S FIVE.

He's doing better now, but still coughing, still with the meds, and his appetite still isn't the greatest, an effect of an attack. Hopefully the allergy shots he's been getting every week for the past year-and-a-half will help him kick this by the time he's seven. If I could give him my airwaves, I would.

The human sprinkler

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This week's column is an elaboration of the short post I made on Liam's annual checkup. I still have the bruise, FYI.

I also want to make a point about my kids; after one of my last columns, several people obviously unfamiliar with my kids and my website wrote and stated that not only were my kids brats, but that my family shouldn't be allowed within a ten mile radius of a commercial entity. I know that these people don't have children, because people with children usually exhibit better manners out of practice as little eyes are always watching them; and because they missed the fact that Liam had just received an allergy shot and we waited over an hour in a cramped pediatric waiting room which would make anyone batcrap insane. Next time I will bring them to YOUR HOUSE.
I love my boys and they're some of the best behaved and most compassionate children I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Thanks to everyone who wrote or commented to share their own grocery stories. A few of them made the egg fiasco seem EASY. You're totally welcome to borrow Liam's helmet.

Also! The yard! Mowed:

It's now thicker than the yards of our neighbors and Chris says this because he lets it grow to seed which I think is a crock of BS.

*EDITED to add: We did not pay a neighbor kid, much to Chris's chagrin. He actually went out into the yard by himself and mowed it. He also loudly protested the whole putting up the photos of the yard on the internet thing and offers his sincerest thanks to all of the men who wrote to back him up on the idea of paying a neighbor kid to do it from now on because that is "totally the way to go, Dana."

When the yard attacks

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Christopher. Yesterday, for the third time the THIRD TIME THIS WEEK some good Samaritan stopped by and offered to cut our grass because they apparently think that you're dead or something. Of course they stop by in the morning, when I haven't yet showered and my head looks like a giant frizzy pouf ball, and ask this and I have to say from the crack in the door "Oh! No, no thanks. I LIKE MY YARD TO LOOK REDNECK."

I would do it myself but the boys would be drawn to the propeller like flies to a turd and it would end up a very gory mess and the yard still wouldn't be mowed. Plus I have never once mowed grass in my life. Ever. I'm sure that all of the Totally Empowered Grrrl Power women out there are rolling their eyes at this and if they are they can get over here and HELP ME MOW MY LAWN THEN.

The yard? It's gone to seed. To seed! Daryl Hannah has climbed one of the saplings in back in protest to our preeminent mowing. It's so bad that Ewan gets lost in it. Literally, he'll sit down and I've totally lost him. He thinks it's hysterical but IT IS NOT HYSTERICAL. He can barely walk in the backyard as it is anyway because of the giant sloping hill that the developer thought would make such an awesome backyard for kids to play in; now he literally rolls down the hill.

Our neighbors, including The Blonde next door, The Blonde who mows her nice level yard umpteen frillion times in one week just to make ours look especially scraggly, has now mowed her yard 1,247 times in the span of when you last mowed until now. And our neighbor across the street? The one who has approximately two square feet of lawn but insists on riding their super shiny riding lawnmower to mow it has mowed their lawn three times this week. You have reduced us to the role of That House on the street. Granted, we're not like the people on the street over who have over one thousand Virgin Marys in their yard (I am so not joking) or the lady at the other end of the neighborhood who uses her driveway for storage, or even the Handy Man Dude who stores all of his work stuff in front of his house and on his porch like a freaking redneck, no; we are the people whose own yard looks like it's reaching up to grab the roof of the house and drag it underground.

So please. Mow the grass. Don't make me chase greedy kids off my porch while wearing my pajama pants and a wife beater because they want $30 dollars to mow, the greedy little gold diggers. And don't say "Why didn't you pay them" and then act like I overreacted when I'm all "THAT IS THE STUPIDEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER."

I love you to death, you are the wind beneath my wings, I know you work hard (seriously internet, you have NO IDEA how hard this man works, so he deserves a little slack) which makes it difficult sometimes to cut the aforementioned grass, you're a wonderful father, blah, blah, but darling. CUT. THE. GRASS.

xoxo,
Dana

P.P.S. We really are not redneck. Seriously.

St. Gen

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Last Sunday we schlepped the kids over to Chris's parents so we could go to the Jour de Fete. Our favorite Missouri wine (yeah, we have wineries here. We ain't all beer and brats, you know), Adam's Choice, is only sold at three locations and they sell in bulk at Jour de Fete. So we went and bought a bunch of bottles and dragged them around the streets of St. Genevieve all day like a couple of winos.

We also visited this shop, which I love, especially for how their walls look:

Chris hates crafts that look like "sticks and twigs" - coincidentally, the shop is called Ivy and Twigs or something - and says that any drunk hoosier can stumble out to their wooded backyard, grab a dried vine branch, nail it to their wall, and call it "crafts." He also said the shop "smelled like a whore house" because they had several candles burning. I asked him how he knew what a whore house smelled like anyway and he unintentionally said "It's a figure of speech. GOSH." just like Napoleon Dynamite.

On the way back I took pictures of a road,

a barn,

a roadside lookout,

and us, because I'm so vain like that hag said on that remedial femi-nazi board (I do TRY, love):

We had to hurry up with these because a couple of rednecks stopped off at the same time we did and they kept casting us exasperated glances because we think they wanted us to hurry up and leave so they could smoke pot:



The reunion

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Here is video of me and Chris at my high school reunion. Guess which one is Chris.
Chris: "I wish I had his moves! He's awesome!"
Dana: "I'm glad you don't! I never would've slept with you!"

Alternative titles: Watching this is what drunk feels like.

So I purchased new bling for the reunion, namely another gaudy necklace. How I love gaudy.

Here's a photo of me and my high school best friend Shelley:

We were both jocks; she played soccer and softball and I ran track and cross country. We lost touch sometime during our early years in college. She went to school in another state and I stayed behind to attend a prestigiously snooty fine arts university. I literally stumbled upon her at the reunion after we abandoned our first table when we discovered that it was already claimed by a small, feral group of drunk stoners who were the same drunk stoners from ten years ago, just now with less hair. Some things hadn't changed.

When we saw each other we engaged in the human female custom of Girl Screaming with All the Hugging and stuck to each other for the rest of the night. Shelley and I never really belonged to any proverbial "cliques;" we each bounced between groups of friends. It seemed more fun that way.

Really, I had a great time. I didn't think I would say that because I honestly wondered if ten years was sufficient enough of a buffer between now and then. I think the same groups existed, if only because everyone tended to drift towards the ties they maintained while in school as a safety net. When we first arrived, the surrealism of the event hung like mist in the air. We didn't talk to anyone for the first five minutes; we stood there and stared at everyone. When I finally did start working the room, I noticed that many had memorized minute-long speeches compromising their ten-year journey, current profession, romantic and family life. It was hysterical and I was totally sober. I did not have a speech memorized, thus was ill prepared to briefly explain just what on earth a "professional blogger" is so I stuck with recognizable keywords like "writer," "columnist," and "Post-Dispatch." A lot of them already read the column.

In many ways it felt like being transported back to high school times, except now we were married and had kids. What really shocked me was how the majority of my high school class had married each other. When we all grouped together for this painful shot below:

I noticed that the number of husband/wife stragglers left in the back were surprisingly small. Literally - the homecoming king and queen married each other, the class president and secretary married each other; plus a frillion other people in my 500+ person class married each other. Isn't that like, an affront to nature when that many in the same class marry one another? I've never heard of such a thing. It felt kind of like Pleasantville.

The people who I was most curious about were no-shows. I wondered about a friend of mine who told me when I last saw him several years ago that he wanted to become a chef; which Shelley told me he achieved. I wondered about the peroxide-psycho who lost her junk when she projected that I signed my name too close to that of her boyfriend's on our senior class t-shirt which spawned a semester-long JELUS-fest that I wasn't aware of until the end of the year. (Notch that as another reason to NOT have a daughter: my word THE DRAMA.) I wondered about the small group of friends that I hung out with during high school summers and partway through college. We met to play pool nearly every night, or swim at another's house. We took road trips together, spent holidays together, consoled each other, visited each other at out-of-town universities, and were there to steady those first feeble steps into total independence - moving out - for a few. They gave me some of the best memories of my youth. I wondered about another best friend that left to join the navy in special ops and disappeared. Our calls became infrequent and we met less and less until all contact dried up like a puddle on a sunny day. I think about her now and then and hope her life turned out like she wanted. I noticed in our new class directory that she had a new last name but they never found an address for her.

In the end, I'm glad I went. I think some of us feel that high school was a lot worse than it really was. Just like the fish in the fisherman's story gets bigger with every telling, so do our years in school get magnified by the years. I was glad to reconnect with people, one of whom I felt was always a kindred spirit-of-sorts, an intimacy yet unmatched with my adult friendships. I'm glad Chris was my booty-candy. He talks to people so easily, it's a wonder he wasn't kidnapped as a child. Plus, he KNOWS EVERYONE. He used to hang out with the homecoming king's older sister. It's further proof that I cannot take my husband anywhere without him knowing someone. For instance, I have to tack on an extra thirty minutes when we take him to the grocery store because he'll run into at least three people that he knows/went to school with/ blah blah. I balk, but it's a great ice breaker.

We would've taken more photos, but that meant that I would've actually had to set my drink down. So enjoy looking at me and Shelley (center, just look for the black-and-white Where's Waldo stripes) yapping while the class picture was organized:

You can also clicky here and check out proofs from the photog who snapped shots at the reunion (*UPDATE: enter 26162765 if prompted for a pass). Chris and I make an accosted-looking appearance on the third page, second row. Shelley and I show up at the end of the third row on the fourth page; on the seventh page I'm doing a sassy can-you-tell-I've-had-vodka pose with Chris and the homecoming queen; Shelley and her husband, also-named-Chris, join us and the high school royalty; and Shelley and I are there again on the ninth page. I am fully aware that my hair has a mental problem. I love this about it.

*ADDENDUM: I forgot to say thanks to everyone who commented, e-mailed and otherwise shared their stories/2c. IF ONLY I could ask the internet what I should do for every occasion. Thanks.

It's been a long week

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Yeay! Photo essays for all!
Tonight concludes our church's weeklong VBS and fundamentalist animal sacrifices.

But first, possibly the sweetest thing ever beheld:




If that's not the most preshus thing ever, then you CAN'T FEEL.



Look, a photo of Liam not sharing!

Last night we kicked off our week-long VBS. My job as the song leader is to exhibit an enthusiasm not unlike that of a cheerleader, which is completely unnatural for me, typically. I was the girl who was briefly scolded by my cheerleading coach for not being "perky" enough and for looking forlorn on the floor. I became a basketball cheerleader simply to get a tri-sport patch on my letter jacket. I was punished for this action by way of long bus rides to games in other towns with a group of giddy girls who loved to karaoke to country songs - including one about some little boy and girl and how the girl dies or something and the guy is all "don't take the girl" or something my gawd I WANTED TO DIE TOO. I always wore headphones and cranked up the Guns-n-Roses. It was a dark time in my personal history.

It's a lot more fun to cheer on a group of kids than it is a bunch of sweaty basketball pimpletons. I'm able to get into it more and the kids had a blast last night. Instead of like regular vacation Bible schools where parents drop the kids off, the program we're using involves the entire family. \

The downside to VBS is that my schedule is sort of tight this week. I've got deadlines, new math curricula to decide on for Liam, and I've got to figure out a way to stop Ewan from plugging himself up with plastic outlet covers, which is what he does now that we're trying to take the binky away:


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