Monday, October 31, 2005

We're a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us.

Ready to party, but mommy's still primping.

I'm a kitty cat. Meow!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Week from Heck

An exhausting week at the Nut House.

Monday I took 4 or 5 busses across town, with Nutmeg in the backpack, to get a filling at the Indifferent Russian Dentists because I thought Epu's insurance, which is good there but not at the nice, nearby dentist, would make it cheaper than my insurance. But according to them, Epu's insurance wouldn't anything for a filling, so I ended up using mine anyway. Left Nutmeg with Jenny and David, who very kindly agreed to take her in even though they were imminently expecting movers to come pack up their whole condo and move them to Washington DC. Only after we get there do I realize that Nutmeg has the sniffles, which she has probably passed on to David and Jenny's darling son Eliot, ensuring a miserable move. Sorry, guys, I really didn't know!

When we got back I called Kay to ask if she could watch Nutmeg while I went to my new writing group. She said she could, despite the fact that she had -- extremely painfully -- sprained her knee and was confined to the couch waiting for it to become less painful so a doctor could even move it around and confirm what had happened to it. But Keith was home from work, since they were supposed to still be at Stinson Beach, which is where the horrible knee-wrenching happened.
I met up with Epu sometime after 10 at Keith and Kay's house to pick up the sleeping Nut and bring her home.

On Tuesday, Nutmeg and I went to Kay's at 1 p.m. to help out. I took the kids to the park, Nutmeg in the backpack, Eliot in the stroller. My left achilles and heel started getting really sore after two long outings with 13-pounder in backpack, two days in a row. We all ate takeout for dinner, and Keith drove us home at around 8:30. Epu got home at 1 a.m.

On Wednesday, I went to work and a grievance committee meeting and came back at 3. Keith had dropped off Kay and Eliot at 2. I wanted to take the kids with me on some errands, but wrangling them into jackets and shoes took so long that by the time I got them back, they were practically asleep in the stroller. Nutmeg went to bed at 6:30 p.m. and we let her sleep right on through, but Kay coudln't get Eliot to nap. I made dinner and Keith joined us. After they leave I straighten up the house for 2 hours so La Nanny doesn't arrive to a dump in the morning. Nutmeg woke up at 4:30 a.m., nursed, then stayed awake, demanding to eat. After suffering through this awhile, I handed her over to Epu, who put her in the high chair, but she wouldn't eat anything, so he brought her back to bed, where she thrashed and kicked us and talked, so he put her in the crib, where she cried. Around 5:30, she was finally settling down when the garbage truck came by and started the whole thing over. Somehow, we all manage to get back to sleep until 7:30 or so.

Thursday I just went to work. Ah, what bliss, especially since I was working on a fun story. I got home at 5 and Nutmeg threw a huge temper tantrum, heels kicking on floor, for no apparent reason. Maybe because she really wanted me to both read her a book and nurse and she couldn't decide which she wanted more. La Nanny departs, I take kids grocery shopping in double stroller and then make dinner for the 3 of us. Keith comes to get Eliot a little past 7:30. Putting Nutmeg to bed takes a long time. I had promised to edit and send out the notes to the last union meeting, but the Internet is not working so I can't do it. Clean up kitchen and fall into bed exhausted. Epu gets home at 2 a.m. and rings buzzer because he had lent his key to La Nanny.

Friday: Nutmeg wakes up at 7, just as my dream was getting interesting. I tell her we'll go make coffee, and she has a miniature version of last night's tantrum, because, as she says, "Daddy make coffee!" We stagger out to living room where she pesters me into nursing her and I doze while she finds a pen and scribbles on the sharecare agreement that La Nanny and we signed last night. I wake up when she tries to scribble on my face. I am so tired that making coffee takes two tries. The first time I grind the beans but forget to put all the grounds into the coffee pot. Work is fun but intense as I rush to finish fun story on time; I end up working an hour late which I feel guilty about because La Nanny's grandkids are coming to visit. But at home La Nanny has cooked and is feeding the kids dinner, and Keith collects Eliot at 6:40, and Epu is home by 7:40, much to Nutmeg's delight. She goes to bed easily, and Epu and I watch "Network," the movie where the people are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it anymore.

Keith said to me tonight, looking wrung out: "How do single parents survive?"
I was like, wait, are we married to each other? Cause I've seen you a lot more than I've seen my actual husband this week.

Bth Nutmeg and Eliot were obviously out of sorts from the differentness of this week; not enough parental playtime, and even though they love each other, maybe a little too much baby time. Thank God they're both sweet, delightful children or this week might actually have killed me.

Self-promotion time: Check out on Monday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

First Haircut

Epu cut Nutmeg's hair this morning, and I will post a photo as soon as I take one because she is no longer a baby now that she has bangs. The difference is chilling. He just chiseled out the little girl in her face with a few snips of the scissors, and I gathered up the bits of hair between my thumb and forefingers to put in her baby book. When I looked at her again, I realized there is no baby in this house now.

And she's acting the little girl, too. She turned a corner yesterday verbally. She mastered singing "Old Macdonald" pretty well and has been singing to herself all the time. She has suddenly become conversational. She looked in the refrigerator tonight and told me she wanted "Daddy's blue grownup water." Meaning club soda. She understands what's going on. I told her yesterday we were going to the store to buy onions. We get there, and I ask, "What are we buying?" "Onions," she tells me. I also asked her to find her socks yesterday, kind of facetiously, as we got ready to rush out the door. She went in the living room and came right back, one matching sock in each hand.
I just love her extra lately. I'm a verbal person, and for me, this is love. Talking with the person you love. Hearing the thoughts that come out of their head and telling them things. I can tell Nutmeg something now, and she listens, and processes it. Of course, she's far from understanding everything we say, and hey -- we're grateful. That will come soon enough.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ice princess

Television is not a big part of Nutmeg's life, and we intend to keep it that way. However, she saw something on the tube this morning that had a delightful effect on her.
Epu was looking for the Packer game, and he was so disgusted to find that ABC was showing an ice skating tournament on a Sunday morning that he stalked off, leaving the skating on. I of course got immediately engrossed in it, and when Nutmeg wandered in, I told her, "Look -- lady jumping!" She looked, and a big grin spread across her face. On the next jump, Nutmeg laughed. I pointed out the spins too. When the audience applauded at the end, Nutmeg clapped her heart out. Then she ran around the living room, her hands up in the air, and said, "Nutmeg skating." She spun. "Nutmeg spin." And then she said, "Nutmeg jump ice skating." Since she can't really jump yet, she purposely fell on her butt.
Then she gave herself a big round of applause, grinning ear to ear.
I put her in the stroller and took her down to the skate rink at Yerba Buena gardens, hoping to show her some real-life budding Olympians practicing their spins. Alas, there was a hockey game going on, but she thought that was pretty interesting too.
So when does she hit the ice? I remember hearing about some kids who start skating at 2.
At the park, she went down the slide all by herself.
Also today, she stopped saying "Yessss." She started saying "Yeah" instead. My dad thinks this is because her trip to the Midwest, with their "Ya's," finally sunk in.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Kind of Town

Nutmeg and I visited the dreamiest neighborhood in Chicago with my parents. It's called Roscoe Village and it's near the school that I determined a couple months ago would be the ideal public school for Nutmeg to attend. It reminds me of Noe Valley in San Francisco, where the Sharebear family lives: tons of moms with strollers walking up and down the shopping street, a toddler park just teeming with moms and little ones, plus a healthy dose of young adults jogging with their dogs, hip restaurants and bars, one baby clothes shop and some hip non-baby shops. Add in leafy streets without too much traffic and absolutely no problem parking, and a mix of single-family homes and apartments.

We passed a couple of real estate storefronts with pictures of houses and apartments plastered on the window. The houses were out of reach -- most of them were listed at more than $900,000, and many over a million. But there were condos listed in the $400s and even the $300s. Condos with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

It was funny, because I was walking around saying, "I'm in heaven."
And my dad said not to take this the wrong way, but "Boy. We want different things."
But even thought I can see that my parents would never want to live in a place like this, they were happy to see it. I think when they heard we wanted to move to Chicago, they pictured us living in a high rise on the loop or in the ghetto somewhere. When they pictured us instead on a tree-lined street, not far from Wrigley Field, they relaxed a bit. They got it.
Jobwise, several little things have happened. I didn't get to meet with my professional contact in Chicago, but only because he wasn't free on either of the days I was. He sent me an email saying that they weren't hiring yet anyway, "But do keep in touch!" Which I took as a good sign. As for Epu, it appears that his employer of interest in Chicago is now hiring, so he's calling the recruiter tomorrow. Also, two people have now put in a good word for him with his employer of choice in Madison, one of them to the head of the studio. So that's all good. I've decided to apply for the creative writing program in Madison for this coming fall, in case we end up moving there.
OK, that's the weather and the news. Nutmeg now cries every night when she realizes it's time to go into the bedroom for bed. And she protests when the lights are turned off. I don't like these developments at all.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

doggy style

I forgot to mention: When Nutmeg arrived at her paternal grandparents' house, and observed Indy dog drinking from his metal bowl on the floor, she plunged in and took a drink herself. Once that was taken away from her, she requested a snack, and was given a slice of pumpkin bread. She leaned over, put her face on the plate, and ate it doggy-style.

Friday, October 14, 2005

After While, Crocodile

My daughter's future careers in the entertainment industry, poet laureate field, and super genius laboratory just keep peeking out from her deceptive toddler exterior. Here are a few choice quotes from her ongoing visit with the fam:

In the hammock outside my parents cabin:
Me: Whatcha looking at.
Nutmeg: Leaves.
(we watch leaves fall from the trees together for a moment.
Nutmeg: Leaves raining.

Today, in one of her sudden nursing-break outbursts:
"How bout yellow purse?"
(I've actually not seen a yellow purse that I can remember, and neither has she. i dunno, maybe she's just wondering why.)

As she struggled to get her new toy doggy out of the fancy zip-up purse Grammy and Grampy bought her in Cambridge:
"Free the doggy!"
(actually, she was saying "Frito doggy" and pretending to feed it a Frito. but don't you like "free the doggy" better?)

While in the park with my dad, when he points out an airplane overhead:
"Airplane muffin."
Later, my dad remembered to ask me: "Did she eat a muffin on the airplane?"
You bet she did.

She had many adventures since I last posted. She visited two rural Wisconsin taverns, and did her first real dancing in one. Grampy played "See ya later, alligator" on the jukebox and she did a cute, lifting up one foot at a time dance, while singing along. Grampy was so tickled he played it again. Fortunately we were the only customers there and the owner, Dorothy Shanahan, had been waiting for us to show up all week since she heard we were coming. At the other tavern, she greeted the 80-year-old owner as coached as soon as we walked in: "Hi Larry!"

The next day we went to a rural produce stand to enjoy their free petting zoo and see the pumpkin-farm displays. Nutmeg was having a good old time until she was trying to feed corn to a deer and a turkey came along and pecked her hand. I'm actually a little worried about it since the spot where he got her is all red today. Nothing like a puncture wound when you've just been petting goats and stuff. But it was very shallow, just a little skin scratched off, so I hope there's nothing to worry about. Anyway, we took her in the free bounce house and that made her forget all about that nasty turkey. Today, if you say "jump house" to her, she'll demonstrate all the jumping and somersaulting she did in there.

Now, she's at the Milwaukee County Zoo with her paternal grandparents, looking for more bacteria to rub in her wound. Tonight, I drive her to Kenosha to play with her second cousins and the New Orleans refugees at my cousin's birthday party, then back up here for two more days with the grandparents.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Contagious Nightmares

Strange nightmares about our children seem to be going around in my corner of the mommy blogosphere; Mamazilla had one, and so did Notta Wallflower. Last night, I got mine.
I had momentarily lost track of Nutmeg. I walked over to some kids and asked if they'd seen her, and a baby said, "I'm right here." I looked. The kid was blond like Nutmeg, but I didn't think it was her. She looked older and I didn't recognize her clothes. So I walked away, and I never found her.
Later, those kids told me that the baby had been my Nutmeg, and when I didn't come back for her, she was adopted by another family. By the time I found the other family and went to their house, Nutmeg was 11 or 12 years old. She was not really interested in meeting me. I went out to dinner with the other family members, who were all very nice. For some reason at the dinner I swallowed whole a small rubber duck just like one that Nutmeg has in real life. It got stuck in my throat, and I had to fish it out by lassoing it with a thread and pulling it out my ear.
When I got home from my visit, Epu had torn down the plaster from several of the walls in our apartment to fix them. The place was a mess. I was upset and depressed, obviously, about the loss of my daughter. When I woke up to her Nutmeg snurfing and snorting with her cold in her crib, it was one of those huge relief moments. It's not true!
Tomorrow morning Nutmeg and I are going on an airplane to visit Grammy and Grampy and Grandma and Grandpa. She knows we're going on an airplane, but she seemed confused when informed that Daddy was not going on the airplane. Last time we spent time without Daddy, she didn't really miss him. I hope she doesn't miss him too much this time -- it'll be 10 days!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Spam, spam, spam, spam

Here's a special, extra-fun variety of spam that you only get if you're in the media: Crazy people spam! Usually crazy people like to pick up the phone and leave 25-minute voicemails, but some of them also know how to create and use mailing lists.
One common thread in the crazy people emails and phone calls are that the senders believe that powerful people are monitoring them or have damaged their property or threatened their families in some way. That's the part that makes me feel guilty for laughing at the crazy people messages, because it's really sad. But hey, it's not like I broke into their computers and read this stuff, even if some of them might think I did. They sent it to me. And now I'm sharing it with you, you lucky dogs.

FROM: FBI Obedience School [Bushes-AnitChrist@...]
Slawomir J. BOROWY
EMAILOctober 6, 2005 TO: Former President George H. W. BUSH, President George W. BUSH and Vice President Dick CHENEY RE: THE BUSH-CHENEY CARE FOR THE PEOPLE TO TRAIN THEM POLITICAL AND INTELLIGENCE OBEDIENCE LIKE DOGS FOR WSI-GRU UPON ACTIONS OF THEIR MOLES IN FBI UNDER REPUBLICAN DIRECTOR ROBERT S. MUELLER. A. As you may recall, with my high respect for you personally and your families, I sent email that was highlighted with question - ARE THE BUSHES ANTI-CHRIST? due to lack of any actions of yours and your officials to stop the lawlessness of your and their subordinates in the FBI like John PISTOLE, its deputy director, Gary BALD, its executives assistant director and David SZADY, its assistant director. Due to their outgoing harassments, I could not complete the information before e-mailing and delivering its pieces to selected offices of Honorable Senators and Representatives. The additions are as follows in the chronological order of paragraphs of memorandum in question: 8. For the last two decades all FBI directors have been linked with the Bush family. They have declined to direct taking my written information on leaks from the FBI to WSW/WSI-GRU, to confirm its receipt and to probe the allegations. They have promoted those in the FBI who made such breaches of its internal security. This relates mainly to Dale WATSON, then executive assistant FBI director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence. I participated with him in accomplishing its sensitive projects related to the homeland security. Later, he made the notorious pre-9/11 blunders which helped terrorist in pulling off the attack and which included also his decisions on preventing patriotic FBI agents to follow on leads which could have made possible to avoid the tragedy. As the reward, Watson was given the Republican safe heave with 6 figures salary in the BOOZ, ALLEN & HAMILTON, Co. - BAH in the consulting line of business in over 100 countries although he did not attend any college and does not know any foreign language. BAH is linked with the Bush White House, Pentagon and CIA. His above named comrades in WSI-GRU espionage ring have put in charge of FBI. 9. Since 1986 all FBI directors linked with the Bush family have not investigated that their subordinates, especially Dale WATSON, his former supervisor Charles DIXON and others involved stole all my household goods, including antique furniture valued over $65,000.00 from the Neptune storage of the United Nations and seized my jewelry business with 700 unique European style designs valued ca $550,000.00 and with the chain of 180 retail and wholesale customers re-ordering my items. For the last 19 years the same FBI directors have permitted their subordinates among others: (a) to have grabbed and kept the personal documents of mine and my wife; (b) to have blocked the issuance of our U.S. papers, including the work permits after the grant of political asylum; (c) to have tried taking us by the prolonged homelessness and hunger; (d) to have badly my health on daily basis; (e) to have made endless attempts on my life; (f) to have subjected me to various persecutions and harassments on daily basis; and (g) to have made impossible for me to get any legal representation. 10. Meanwhile, WSI/GRU murdered my Parents. Its office managed to have killed three other members in my family and induced a stroke upon another one. WSI/GRU officials stole my property valued about $1.6 million in Poland. They arranged to have ruined my inherited premises valued ca $600.000.00. Several months ago, they planted its informants to live in my apartment without paying the full rent. Thus, they denied my disable family member to have money for basic living from my rental income. In recent months, WSI/GRU moles in FBI, its assets and informants left trails and sent hints that my jewelry business was seized when the Carlyle Group was established and when its founders and secret partners needed badly the initial capital. 11. Without undermining the discovery of former Filipino employee as the spy in the office of Vice President Dick CHENEY and his predecessor Albert GORE, Jr. in the White House, the FBI and its present officials apply again its and their tactic to regroup for a success whenever the information on their crimes is provided widely. The basic facts in Filipino case are that the FBI gave him the clearance to work in the White House and that the FBI took him back to its office as an analyst after end of his work for the White House. This points to his role as the FBI informant in the White House who was planted despite his previous records of contacts with foreign intelligence services. What is relevant is that WSI-GRU are very active in the pro-communist insurgency and its infiltration of government in Philippines. The discovery of Filipino mole in the Cheney office is timely correlated with the arrival of WSI-GRU agent Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI, its outgoing “Pol-ish” p-resident for the October 12, 2005 lunch with President George W. BUSH. 12. The picture emerges that WSI/GRU have sacrificed their low level Filipino spy to protect their high level moles like David SZADY, their assistant director in charge of FBI counterintelligence. As reported by newspapers, Szady persecuted and squeezed financially the Christian wife of convicted KGB-GRU spy John WALKER because she helped the FBI in uncovering his espionage ring. The striking feature in FBI activities is that its officials responsible for national security have never caught any spy from neo-communist WSW/WSI which is under the control of GRU that is widely reported to have used its affiliates in former Soviet satellite countries for increasing its penetration of U.S. Government. Simply, your “friend” Aleksander KWASNIEWSKI spits in your faces with mockery of discovering his WSI Filipino asset in the White House, but you have to kiss his political butt with the welcome to the GOP lunch his honor. Is it the substance of Bush-Cheney Republicanism or compassionate conservatism for WSI-GRU? B. After I drafted, incorporated and sent the information with above additions, the Bush-Cheney Republicans involved in the FBI intensified their attempt to train me their obedience like a dog for WSI-GRU. To this end, they showed me off that I could get a wireless connection from hotspot for a while, could browse the internet with my paid dial-up connection at average speed of about 50 KB/s and could send email without pausing or breaking the internet connection. After short time, they cut off everything. They lowered my speed to 26, 28 and 31 Kbs. They apply the Republican racial discrimination to make impossible for me use the hotspot several yards from the place of my temporary residence when the neighbors can do so. C. Since the Bushes, Cheneyes and their Republicans involved in FBI are apparently obedient to WSI-GRU and require the same from other, they invite only responses just to the point as follows among others: (a) Are the correspondents at White House and in media trained the obedience by the Republicans in FBI not to ask troublesome question of President George W. BUSH and Vice President Dick CHENEY? and (b) Why are some correspondents fired from the job if they hint even the possibility of the Bush-Cheney coverup for pre-9/11 blunders of WSI/GRU spy Dale WATSON, then executive assistant FBI director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence and the involvement of his self-proven comrades-in-espionage who are not in charge of FBI, as indicated above? and (c) Are the people of Kennebunkport, ME, Crawford, TX and Wyoming trained like dog if they dare to say anything critical of the Bushes and the Cheney? (d) Why do you allow your Republicans in FBI to train the governmental officials and employees in local and federal legislatures, police officers and firefighters like puppies if they discovery anything wrong in the FBI? Slawomir J. Borowycc: Honorable: Attorney General Alberto GONZALEZ, FBI Director Robert S. MUELLER, Senators and Representatives, FBI and its above named officials, Military, Intelligence and Diplomatic Communities

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Can you do me a fabor and press 3?

This morning when I kissed Nutmeg goodbye and left for work, she said, "Have fun elebator."

That left me wondering during my entire 4-hour workday. She came to my office last week and rode the elevator several times, and enjoyed it. Does she know where I go when I leave? And does she think I'm just riding the elevator up and down, up and down, gleefully calling out, "dink!" the way she likes to?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Like the counting horse, except it's the counting baby

Today I gave Nutmeg a little bowl with 4 pieces of cheese in it. She said, "One two three four cheese." She's been counting lately, but this is the first time I've heard her arrive at the correct total.

Also, today in the bathroom near the ballpark, while we washed our hands, she sang almost the whole ABC song on her own. She just missed the letter K. And who needs it? C pretty much has it covered. I say, forget K! (Sorry, Kori.)

Finally, tonight Epu told her to go get a book and he would read it to her. She hung around for a minute and then wandered off to the bedroom. We were transfixed by the final minutes of the Packers on Monday Night Football. After a minute or two, we worried that she was getting into trouble in the bedroom. "Nutmeg, come back!" we yelled. She appeared momentarily -- carrying a big hardcover book she had fetched from the bedroom. When Epu said go get a book, he had assumed she'd pick one of the two dozen or so books in the living room. But apparently Nutmeg had a specific volume in mind, one that required a solo trans-apartment trek. And the baby found her book.

I must quote Nutmeg, now, and say: "Yay."
Nutmeg and I saw Dolly Parton today! She was playing for free at the Bluegrass Festival in the park. We were way far away so I could just barely see her big hair and her sparkling dress. Yes, of course I cried when she sang "Coat of Many Colors." Growing up this was a song that meant a lot to me. Dolly sings about how all the kids made fun of her for what she was wearing, but she got through it. I had a similar experience all through school. I saw Dolly on Oprah last summer, and she talked about how that song was a true story. "It hurt," when the kids teased her, she said. "But you know, Oprah, when that record went gold, that hurt left me."
I love Dolly!
As we were first approaching the open-air concert, Dolly was already on stage chatting with the audience. After singing "Jolene," she said, "I smell something, and I think it's marijuana!" And then that perky little girlish laugh, coming from a 60-year-old woman. It was so funny. She also did a couple of anti-war numbers, which I didn't expect. "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Imagine." Dolly's cooler than even I had imagined.
Nutmeg enjoyed shouting "Dolly Parton, yay!" while the crowd cheered. But while we were sitting there she started sniffling and sneezing, and now it looks like she's having a miserable night since she just called for me in her sleep. Guess we have to get out the blue snot bulb.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I don't think it was all a dream

Deep in the night at Chez Nutmeg, a cry sounds from the crib. Mama Nut stumbles to the crib, sees a pacifier lying on the sheet, and sticks it in Nutmeg's mouth. Nutmeg spits it out, says, "Fuzz." And makes that sound you make when you're trying to get a piece of fuzz of your tongue.

Mama says, "Yeah, don't you hate that?"

Saturday, October 01, 2005

She did it.

She cleaned my refrigerator. Epu has threatened to replace me with La Nanny full time.