Monday, March 20, 2006

The year's at the spring And day's at the morn... - Robert Browning

H’s Cousin S is getting married in June. She’s an adorable, smart, funny, and nice woman, although I think the family had resigned themselves to her being unmarried – because, you know, at 37, she’s clearly ancient and well over the hill! But she started dating this guy like, oh, yesterday, and then they got engaged, and lo and behold they will be married very soon. All in whirlwind fashion. Her bridal shower was Sunday, and I actually looked forward to attending as this is the OTHER side of H’s family, with whom I enjoy being, because most of them are as smart-ass and witty as I am, which is no mean feat, I assure you. In case you were wondering.
There were family intrigues and scandals galore to discuss. Cousin D was NOT invited to H’s mom’s birthday party. (We’ll just call her Mom P.) Neither was Mom P’s SISTER. Because the official hosts – my Perfect sister-in-law and H’s brother – picked and chose the guests. And sometime in the past Cousin D offended them somehow – maybe because D had a boob job about the same time Perfect SIL did? And Mom P’s sister is a bona fide freak, with a strange husband and an even stranger son. But still… she’s her sister….. And Aunt B’s son and his wife are having a baby in June. Wow! Everyone thought Aunt B’s son was gay until last year when he sprung his engagement on us. And Aunt B’s other son is on his second broken engagement and has a new girlfriend – at least as of today, as Aunt B told us. And did Cousin J have a boob job too? [Good Lord, people, am I the only person in the universe – or at least this family – that has NOT had cosmetic surgery?] And what color will Cousin S’s hair be this time? At any rate, all was delicious gossip and whispering and laughing. Great fun. Nobody on this side of the family takes themselves all that seriously, which is VERY refreshing. Also, I am *not* constantly reminded that I married in and therefore must keep my mouth shut. I am a real, included part of this side of the family. Which is why I love them so and wish we saw more of them.
Cousin D, who lives in Florida, and her sister and her mom came home with me after the shower, so they could see H and the boys, and our house which is still “the new house,” and they stayed for dinner. We went through several bottles of wine and had a really good catch-up. Plus, they all raved about the house, so maybe it’ll help H a little to know that our house is not QUITE the disaster area he thinks it is. I look forward to the wedding in June. I’m pretty sure we will get an overnight sitter and stay after the wedding. Should be a great time.


I never ever know what to get H for his birthday. He couldn’t care less about clothes, he already has a ton of books and unlike me is not obsessed with having more, and I don’t know enough about guitars to pick out an appropriate guitar-related gift. This year I signed him up for pottery classes at the Union Project. They were this past weekend, Saturday and Sunday mornings. They taught him to prepare the clay, balance/center it on the wheel, and throw a pot. He LOVED it. Turns out the UP offers studio and kiln time - good thing, as I am certain H is interested in doing this regularly, and found it relaxing. I was so happy to have given him something he really loved. Even if I do keep envisioning that scene in "Ghost"...


I am in an irrationally good mood this morning, following a week of every. Little. Thing. Pissing me off. By last Friday even my clothes were driving me nuts: I couldn’t stand the feel of the fabric on my skin. Grrrr. But as so often happens, this morning I woke up cheerful, happy, and irrationally sunny. (It should last about a week.)
Segundo, Terzo, and I walked up to the coffee shop this morning. I needed serious caffeine. It is still cold here, but spring is most definitely in the air, and the sun was out. The crocuses and daffodils are coming up, my lilac and magnolia are budding, there are robins about – it just needs to get warm. And soon. On the other hand, as long as it is cold, I can disguise my fat and flab under sweaters and baggy pants. Shorts and bathing suits are unforgiving. Oh who cares? Bring on the spring!


I read Jennifer Chiaverini’s The Sugar Camp Quilt over the weekend. I always *think* they are fluff, until I read another one and get caught up in the fun quilting details, and the abolitionist history she weaves throughout her books, and I totally dig the fact that her heroines all talk like Jane Austen characters. This one was all about the Underground Railroad, and featured characters who had been minor characters in previous books. A good weekend read.

Per Badger’s instructions, I began Elizabeth Moon’s Speed of Dark this weekend. I can already tell it’s going to be another Wow! kind of book. Again, incredibly compelling and empathic characters; a little sci fi; a little romance: perfect, so far. You certainly can pick ‘em, Badge.
I got into a conversation with another regular at the coffee shop about Motherless Brooklyn -- she had just read it, along with Curious Incident. So I told her about Speed of Dark and she seemed very interested. Turns out her thirteen-year-old son has Tourette’s, which falls on the autism scale, and she has read everything she can get her hands on about the autism/PDD spectrum. She especially likes Motherless Brooklyn because it gets inside the head of the Tourette’s sufferer and can help a “normal” person – like her son’s teachers - understand better what the affliction really is. I had a fascinating discussion with her regarding what we knew about the experience of the author, and how he explored the mental processes of the Touretter. (I don’t know what the proper phrase is…?) Her son is just a little too young to read the book yet, but she plans to give it to him when he’s older. She did, however, read parts of it to him, and she said it was amazing to her to watch as her son *got* that other people have this thing too. He’s not alone, he’s not "just a freak."

Books are wonderful things.


Segundo keeps slamming the guest room door and getting stuck inside because he can’t wrench open the old, warped door. He’s making me nuts. I don’t WANT to spend my days running up and down the steps to release him. Yet he freaks out once he realizes he CAN’T open the door. Sigh. Kids – can’t live with ‘em, can’t give ‘em to the gypsies.

And Primo has taken to using “Boomie!” as a curse word. It’s what his grandmother says when one of the boys falls down – even if one of the boys is her thirteen-year-old grandson. It makes me (admittedly irrationally) nuts. And so, great, now Primo says it too.

Cold Kraft macaroni-and-cheese tastes just like the cardboard box in which it comes.

H spilled AN ENTIRE BOTTLE of breast milk yesterday afternoon. Our microwave now has fabulous immunities. And I thought I was going to have to kill someone.

And Terzo has a tooth coming in. Whiskey all around, please!


andrea said...

okay, i will read motherless brooklyn finally. strangely enough, it keeps coming up in conversations with numerous friends so i guess that is a sign if there ever was one.

i'd say congrats to terzo if i wasn't so keenly aware of the awful part of teething no one seems to warn new parents about. so instead i'll agree to the whiskey idea - for you, anyway. and i wish for t to have his new tooth as soon as possible.

Gina said...

Terzo is coming up on six months, right? That's about normal for teeth, isn't it? My nephew got his first at four months; he turned five shortly after Primo, and has already lost two teeth! Teddy, on the other hand, didn't get any teeth until after his first birthday, and *still* has one baby tooth left to lose.

Badger said...

OMG! You do NOT spill the breastmilk, dude. That shit is liquid gold.

Tourette's doesn't fall on the autism spectrum exactly, but it's a frequently occurring co-morbid condition with autism. That's probably what she meant.

And yes, I AM a big smartypants know-it-all!

BabelBabe said...

That was my bad - she DID use the term "co-morbid condition" and it slipped my mind. We were also speaking of other things that did fall on the autism spectrum, and my brain is a sieve.

And I believe liquid gold is exactly the phrase I used when I yelled at him. I believe i also threatened to make him use the pump on his private parts if he ever did THAT again. I am not a nice wife.

Sarah Louise said...

ah, the lovely co-morbids.

glad H. is enjoying the clay at the UP.

Carolyn said...

You can't give 'em to the gypsies, but I think they let you post them on ebay now!

Have you ever used Hyland's teething tablets or teething gel? The tablets worked on child two, the gel on child three. Good stuff!

Lazy cow said...

Love the pottery idea, and the fact your husband went for it. I have no clue what to get my husband for our 10 year wedding anniversary. He doesn't want anything. Sigh.
Families - especially in-laws - are a funny thing. I'm just glad I see mine only a couple of times a year. I'm sure they think I'm weird. Much prefer my own.
Good luck with the teething.

BabelBabe said...

Carolyn - they have belladonna in them, yes? Gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Carolyn said...

Oh, no wonder they worked so well. hee hee

Kim said...

1. Your family is obviously related to mine.
2. The shutting of door and then calling to be let out. Time for selective deafness.
3. A WHOLE bottle of breastmilk. Dear GOD someone would have been hurt in this house if that ever happened. What's your breastmilk doing in the nuker anyway? I thought nuking it killed its antibodies and you had to heat it by standing it in a bowl of boiling water? And I know you're laughing at me now because AS IF Jasper's daycare is not nuking the bejesus out of it to warm it and warm it fast.
4. I reckon Jasper's got teeth on the way too - he's gone from mouthy to positively voracious - gnawing on stuff. maybe he's just hungry for solids. He seems to be trying to eat his tongue now, which reminds me of some old retiree on the Gold Coast walking around in some hideously lurid shirt and high-waisted pleated polyester shorts, long socks and sandals, and while obviously cracking me up, unnerves me slightly as well.