Sunday, March 30, 2008

Naughty, Naughty

So I’ve been reading about “Naughty Spots” and “Naughty Stools” and it all sounds…a little…wrong to me. My mind is incessantly in the gutter, and the word “naughty” just reminds me of a HORRIBLE John Parr song from the eighties. My problem with the whole concept of the time-out place is that our house is small, and filled with miscellaneous junk in every corner. There is no area away from toys, or potential toys (Mommy’s old history reports from Jr. High, anyone? She likes the sound of pages ripping). I don’t know whether I will buy an actual time-out-type mat or not. But I am determined to design a place that is bereft of any kind of FUN. The twisted wheels in my head are turning, and lubricated (another naughty word) by vanilla vodka. Insert maniacal laugh here…

A Pox in my House—Part Deux

My husband was told at his check-up the other day that his smallpox vaccination was no longer contagious. Yet, as fate would have it, I have developed several strange bumps on my back. When I felt the first bump, I simply thought I had a pimple in an odd place. Now, there are several of them, and they are red and itchy to the point of distraction. I’ve washed our sheets in very hot water (yet again), and now I am separating MY clothes from my daughter’s, just in case. I’m really hoping that I had a localized allergic reaction to something else. It’s a distinct possibility, given my many odd allergies. But hives would probably be more widespread, and the persistence, pain, and itchiness of these bumps makes me suspect that I may have been inadvertently inoculated. I know I was only five when I had chickenpox, but if I remember correctly, it was a similar (and exceedingly annoying) sensation. Guess I’ll be making a call to the ever-faithful treatment facility tomorrow, to see if there is anything I can do to relieve my symptoms (other than gnash my teeth), or prevent further contagion to my daughter. Ah, the JOYS of military life…

More…coffee…NOW

My husband took a six o’clock flight to California this morning. We were due to pick our neighbor-friends up at 4:30, since Jerry’s co-worker lives about eight doors down and he was also assigned the same flight. Jerry and I woke up at four, and he took a shower while I washed my face and got dressed. While I went upstairs to assemble a sippy cup, Jerry woke the baby and got her dressed. It was not until I got her home from the airport that I realized he’d put her left shoe on her right foot, and her right shoe on her left foot. And we let him drive to the airport, Brittany!!! Glad I’m not the only one whose brain function is compromised by waking up before 5 AM…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Golden Moments

No matter how bad your day seems, when your child decides to put on her snow boots and pee in a laundry basket, it’s time to laugh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Procrastination

Procrastination is a wonderful word. My brain sings it to the tune of Rod Stewart’s “Infatuation.” This simple mental exercise, in my opinion, makes the word roughly ten times better. Violet is watching Toy Story and playing with the Sesame Street Easter pals that her aunt brought her yesterday. The cats are meandering about, and thankfully, Nermal is not repeating yesterday’s performance of yacking on the stairs. There is a mess in my kitchen, and I’m trying my best to ignore it. There will be time to catch up later, and hopefully, a little time for me to sleep. I was awake from three to five this morning, largely due to the large amounts of orange juice and vanilla vodka I consumed over a period of about six hours yesterday. I’m quite surprised that I’m not severely hung over this morning, though I seem to have misplaced a few trillion brain cells. Oh well. It appears my daughter has been rolling around on the couch: her hair resembles the inside of a plasma lamp at the moment. It’s supposed to be a lovely day today, so as soon as it warms up a bit, she and I are going to the playground. Right now, I will sit a bit longer and stare aimlessly at the wall, lamenting the fact that my husband didn’t leave me enough coffee this morning. If I had a little more motivation, and a few of those brain cells back, maybe I’d just get off my ass and make some more…

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Head, Shoulders, Ernies, and Toes

I keep trying to teach my daughter where her elbows are. But she insists on calling them Elmos, and then she just gets confused…

Monday, March 17, 2008

You Learn Something New, Every Day

Apparently, green and blue crayons taste better than the red and purple variety. Hmph. Must keep this information in mind when I make my next casserole…

Friday, March 14, 2008

Completion

Pardon my parental gushing, but my daughter gets smarter and more adorable every day. A few nights ago, she was running around playing with Daddy shortly before bed. She ran to the stairs, and accidentally bumped her nose on one of them. A loud cry and many tears ensued. My husband hugged her for a while, and then handed her to me. I sat her on my knees and looked at her. I then inquired, “Violet, are you okay?” “Yes,” she replied, and then she paused, with tears still falling from her little eyes. “I’m fine.” It was soooooooo ridiculously stinking cute. Yesterday, after I unplugged her video game, she repeated the question, “Why did you do that?” for about five minutes. I love that she’s starting to speak in complete sentences, but I’m always taken aback by it. The transition from senseless babble to perfectly articulated thoughts makes me realize how fast she’s growing. If we can only get her potty trained, she will be ready for college.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back to Black (More Bang for Your Buck )

In anticipation of my 30th birthday, I attempted to give myself a Bettie-Page makeover. Getting my hair chopped off and dyed was simply the least destructive mid-life crisis I could concoct. I couldn’t quite pull of Bettie’s haircut, so I opted instead for an A-line bob. I like the bangs, and I like reverting to black hair, but I think I might need to grow the rest of the ‘do out to shoulder length. The bob is fine when it’s wet and flat to my head, but as my hair dries, I start to resemble a goth Raggedy Ann doll. Hmmmmmm. It must be karmic backlash for my recent criticism of emo kids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fast Eddie: Gone in a Blink

It’s been six very strange years since my father passed away. Here is a top-ten list of things that remind me of him…

10. Watching Superman with Violet.

9. Vanilla Ice Cream/Nilla Wafers/Andes Mints. I can’t go to the grocery store without being reminded of some of my father’s favorite foods. Every year, we bought him handkerchiefs and Andes Mints for Christmas. Incidentally, my daughter adores Nilla Wafers…

8. Hollywood Gossip. My father had subscriptions to many celebrity gossip magazines, including “US Weekly.” He always knew who was dating who in Hollywood. When we were watching movies, I admired how adept he was at identifying actors. He would have enjoyed scrolling through TMZ.com, I’m sure!

7. Puns. My father made us laugh with his placement of puns. He also enjoyed the old novel/author puns, such as “Under the Bleachers by Seymour Butts.” If you ever cringe at any particularly bad puns in my blogs, please forgive me—I’m simply trying to carry on the tradition.

6. Movie previews. My father rarely got agitated. But if we arrived late to the movie theatre, and we missed the previews, he would get upset. Every preview I see, I reflect on whether my Dad would have wanted to watch that particular movie.

5. Video Cameras. My mother and father were always there to support their daughters for extra-curricular activities. At every performance where it was allowable, my father brought his camcorder with him. Even through college, I would see a little red light in the audience, and I knew my parents were there. Now, every time I record my own daughter, I remember how my father faithfully catalogued our memorable moments and milestones.

4. Mail Trucks. My father served his county in the Air Force for four years, but he served the U.S. Postal Service for nearly thirty-five. My dad was the happiest, most well-adjusted Postal worker I have ever encountered. He had a wonderful relationship with his customers. His nickname was “Cliff Clavin,” but not because he was inept—“Clavin” simply rhymed with “Slavin.” He survived many dog attacks, including one instance where a smaller dog jumped through a plate-glass window at him. Despite the inevitable stressors, he always maintained a sense of humor about his job. One memorable anecdote he told me involved an elderly customer who complained that the self-adhesive stamps “tasted terrible.”

3. The Yankees and Softball. I was only able to attend a few Yankee games with my father. The last game we were able to see, two of my father’s brothers were also in attendance. Other fans sat in awe at the amount of Yankee trivia my father and uncles knew. The ultimate Yankee fan, my father collected many shirts and memorabilia throughout the years. He also attempted to practice what he preached: on any given year, he was on one to three softball teams. He was buried with his glove, and the Yankee symbol is etched on the back of his gravestone.

2. Music. My father was a fan of many genres of music. He was even more aware of the popular music of the day than I was: he would often ask questions such as “Have you heard that new Britney Spears song?” Shortly before his passing, he became a fan of Mary J. Blige. When I was younger, he took us to a number of concerts, from U2 to Alanis Morisette. He even endured New Kids on the Block, because it made his daughters happy. One of my last memories of my Dad was watching the 2002 Grammy Awards. After watching Alicia Keys accept an award, my father commented that she was an excellent singer, but “not a very good talker.” There is another musical incident that stands out in my memory, though. After an almost-rained out game at Yankee Stadium, my sisters, father, and I were sitting in a booth at a 50’s-style diner. My father selected one of his favorites, Elton John’s “Your Song,” from the tabletop jukebox. Years later, when I saw Elton John and Billy Joel in concert, “Your Song” was the first song Elton performed. I couldn’t stop crying.

1. My daughter. Since she was a baby, my daughter’s face has reminded me of my father. She has certain expressions that mimic him perfectly. I know she would have adored her Grandpa Slavin.

Thank you, Dad. I have far too many good memories I could enumerate here, because you were such a wonderful parent and mentor. Your ladies miss you, very much, every day…

Monday, March 3, 2008

Venting

Our house was not built well. Scratch that. Our house was not even built up to code: these housing units were initially condemned. So imagine my husband’s chagrin when he found a vent in the laundry room that was not connected to the ventilation system. The little vent, which cannot be closed, simply leads to the area ender the porch. After making this fun discovery, my husband blocked the vent off. The entire downstairs area is already considerably warmer. I always wondered why I could hear the wind whipping around when I was in the laundry room. Now at least I know I wasn’t hearing things again...