Friday, July 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes

1. First up...a little linkage. You should go read Dana Stevens' screed against urban flip flops. I don't have any feelings one way or the other about people wearing flip flops but I do enjoy reading about someone else's impassioned, slightly bizarre cause du jour. You will, too.

2. I have explained many times to people asking about cochlear implant technology that cochlear implants do not create sound the way hearing people hear it. Despite Gianna's 4 year surgery anniversary coming up and all the research and therapy we have done (times 2)...I'd never listened to any of the simulations of what cochlear implant users actually hear. And it blew my mind.

3. Listening to that video made me realize just how hard Gianna works to listen and understand, especially in noisy environments like the swimming pool or restaurants. And she does it all cheerfully. I feel awkward bragging about my kids but she has a strength and positivity that few adults ever achieve.

4. Gianna heard me playing the video and asked what I was listening to. When I told her it was supposed to show me what things sound like to her, she was adamant that her "ears don't sound that way, that sounds scary and my ears are not scary!" Adventure is still the best word I can come up with to describe life with the girlies and their "ears."

5.School starts in a few weeks and I am so not ready. Not ready for summer to be over, and also not ready for Gianna to start mainstreamed schooling. She is excited for her uniform and to be at school with her friends while I am nervous for her. Will she get made fun of? Will she feel lonely because she is the only one who is Deaf? Will she be able to hear in the classroom, and learn, and excel?

6. Our garden has really taken off. We've scored lots of lettuce and snap peas and Purple Queen green beans and and some banana peppers and the tomatoes are starting to turn....Though the cucumbers are looking really sad and I don't know why. I guess I could investigate but I really just want things to grow and not be super needy. I have enough neediness around here already.

7. You people who blog every day. Wow.

Join Jen for more Seven Quick Takes and Happy Weekending!

The Calendar

I forgot I was daily posting and now there are only 18 minutes left in the day.

Question: when will I begin to go to bed at a more responsible hour? It is idiotic to stay up this late. It is a fact that Dom will come strolling into my room no later than 7 am pronouncing for all who can hear him that, "I'm huuuungry! Neeeeed go potty! No one is making my breakfast! No one is helping me!" And I'm just cursing my inability to be an adult and actually go to bed a decent hour. I make sweeping promises to myself, that, no more! Tonight, I'll go to bed at 10pm!

Rarely happens. Anyways, I'll stop boring you with that. We're all adults here, whether we act like it or not, and we're all tired.

Question: Do you struggle with organization? Let me help you feel better about whatever non-system you think you've got going. Check this out:
Looks good, right? Except that its the week of July 16-22....of LAST YEAR. 
And there's the menu from Christmas Eve still tacked up there and someone (cough Brad cough) wrote "poop" at random intervals. 

At first it didn't get updated because I was fresh off giving birth and it is my personal gospel to do nothing but snuggle my baby and rest for as long as help is available to me. Then I forgot about it, then it became a running joke, then it became a long can I NOT update this calendar...then it was so close to the year mark I had to hold out. And here we are. 

The thing is that, I secretly didn't want to change the calendar because that's the week the PiaBaby arrived. We didn't go to the library at 10:30 Wednesday morning, we had a new baby in the house. I look at this calendar and a flood of memories come back...the feeling that something special was happening soon, the intense heat of summer, the rows of tiny newborn pajamas lined up in a drawer. 

This calendar takes me back to how we deliberated over Pia's name and my mom made a birthday cake with the big kids and my IL's arrived with gifts and hugs for everyone.

This calendar reminds me of the part of motherhood that can't be scheduled...the parts that are mysterious and fleeting and exhausting and pure joy. Sometimes, we should put those things above the organizing. If you, too, are a little bit more disorganized than you'd like, if things are a little crazier than you's ok. It's probably because you are busy with the stuff that is more important anyways. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Five Favorites

 linking up with Camp Patton for Five Favorites

1. I am almost done reading Michael Pollan's new book, Cooked. I really, really like Michael Pollan's. He is my favorite food writer because, despite his clear love for slow food/clean living/eating local/etc/etc he is incredibly non-judgemental. I feel that Michael Pollan would eat, and enjoy, an Oreo with me, but Sally Fallon would just wrinkle her nose in disgust and then judge me. Plus, he's kinda funny and I like funny people.

2. Bubble. Water. Mostly from Trader Joe's, the naturally flavored stuff. Two reasons: 1. it feels fancy and 2. the kids don't like it and I can keep it all to my selfish self. (caveat....I fear...recently, I've been enjoying it too much in front of them, and now...they are starting to like it, too. Mom lesson: never, ever look like you are having too much fun or relaxation...the children will smell it on you and be all up in your face, wanting whatever it is you have.)

3. Watching my children sleep. You might think you love your kids, but you don't know to what heights your love can soar if you peek at them while they are passed out.

4. Mother's helpers. I was able to type most of this post and enjoy a hot cup of coffee while my friend's 11 year old daughter is playing in the basement with my big kids and the PiaBaby takes a little siesta. May my friend be eternally blessed for donating her firstborn to me for a couple of hours.

5. My sister is visiting and brought me a late birthday present. 
I know we're not supposed to be attached to material things buuuuuuut....I just really like it a lot. Our old one was black and boring and falling apart....this one is shiny and chubby and my favorite color of the moment. 

Posting everyday is hard. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Not A Part of Your System

I don't have a cell phone. I believe I have mentioned this fact here and there, but today you get The Whole Story.

When we first got married Brad was frequently perturbed by my cell phone bill. This was back in the day before unlimited minutes. I sort of...went over my minutes a lot. Brad brought up our little struggle with my mother and her exact words were, "Yeah....I tried everything to get her to stop going over on her minutes...didn't work. She's your problem now." I forfeited the phone.

Six years of cell phone freedom and I like it the vast majortity of the time.

In a perverse way, I love shocking people by casually mentioning that I don't own a cell phone.

I am cultivating and preserving the dying art form known as the The Pop-In.

I frequently talk on my house phone (cordless! so advanced!) while buckling my kids in the car but I don't stop there. I'll keep talking as I pull out the drive way, and I know just the spot down the street where the phone won't work anymore.

If you don't have a cell phone, people can't expect to reach you all the time. Sometimes, you're just unavailable.

It's not crazy to drive a couple of hours in a 1998 Camry, a gazillion weeks pregnant with two children in the backseat. It's fun! It's almost as thrilling as driving three kids around in a car with 265,000 miles on it. As you drive, you make contingency plans like, "If something goes wrong, I have the double stroller and an Ergo....we'll be fiiiiiiiine!" See how exciting your life could be?

I know, cell phone plans have un-limited minutes now, or I could get a pre-paid phone to keep in my car for emergencies, but I kinda like living on this teeny, tiny edge of silly rebellion.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ice Cold

You have decided to gift your children with a day at the zoo, like a Good Mother. Pack lunches, snacks, water bottles, sunglasses, sunblock, a book. That book is like a little beacon of hope; the children will play in the play area and the baby will nap and you'll read this book, glancing up now and then for a head count. It's never really happened before but hope springs eternal.

Snapping from your reverie you discover you are late for speech therapy and there's no time to make coffee. Surely the husband won't begrudge just one little swipey swipe of the card, it's understandable to want coffee for Zoo Day. Decision made, hurry hurry guys, we're late! 

You barely stop the car to let the oldest child out for speech and zoom off to grab your coffee. The radio reports a heat index of a million, the 3 year old is complaining of a tummy ache, and you realize the light-headedness you feel is because you forgot breakfast. Zoo Day develops a slight tarnish but lo, the drive-thru window is open with no line. 

A smiling, blonde-haired girl comes to the window and chirps, "Good morning! What can I get for you?"

"May I please have a medium mudslide lat--"

Retching and barfing and crying from the back seat. Blonde is understandably horrified. Asks if he is ok, what will you do, do you need help?

The sun is beating down on the hood of the car and Zoo Day is over before it begins. You wonder, as you fish wipes out of the diaper bag and mop up some of the mess, what is the right move here? What does a Good Mother do?

"Actually, lets make that a LARGE mudslide latte...whole milk. Whipped cream. On ice. And can I get a Swiss chip scone as well? little guy, um yeah I'm sure he'll be fine....maybe a cup of water?"

Probably the barista thinks you are a cold-hearted mother. Whatever. A Good Mother knows not to go into Barf Day with zero reinforcements. 

Aaaaaaaaaand I can't help it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Not What I Wore Sunday

There's a link up on Sundays called What I Wore Sunday and I've never done it but I thought about it a few times. Then today I had the perfect outfit. Check. It. Out.
You're going to love the way you look. We guarantee it.
Sequined Dress: Tiffany Designs via Goodwill
Purple and silver corset top: Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax; Millenium 2000 what?!
Black strapless number: Zum Zum by Niki Livas circa two thousand and one
Tan shoes: Talbots via my mom via Goodwill
Pink and silver scarf: Gianna's personal stash
Yeah. That's a crazy sparkly formal dress, a Winter Ball dress (corset top only), and a prom dress plus some old lady shoes all in the same outfit. My kids had some buddies over to play and the girls dressed me for a ball. And I thought, "yessssss now I can join Fine Linen and Purple for the WIWS posts without feeling like big dork for trying to take style pics plus, so ironical!" 

Alas. The rules say that you are supposed to post only your church outfit. So. This is what I wore Sunday but not to Mass. After being swathed in old formal dresses we had a dance party where the kids pretended to hide in their fort and I had to come home and say, "Oh no, where are all of my children?" So they could jump out and scare me. Weird but I went with it. 

Lemme just say this: if you haven't played dress up lately, you should. There's something a little bit awesome about wearing lots of pretty things all at one time.

While I was pining the loss of linking up, I see that Jen at Conversion Diary is hosting a 7 posts in 7 days challenge and since it's 10:31 Sunday night and all my kids are asleep at the same time I'm thinking....I'm in. I hope you're ready for this. I hope I'm ready for this.  I haven't posted everyday since..never.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Sounds Good

Today (today!) the PiaBaby celebrates her one year birthday and I am struck again by the paradox of parenting: it went by SOFAST and imagine life without her seems like it was a distant planet, where it was a little colder and darker and what did we DO without the PiaBaby in our life?

We had a pretty big shindig here over the weekend and celebrated a small child birthday in the way we have become accustomed: lots of bacon, beer, and cake while the older kids run amok. I think at the peak we tallied close to 30 kids and far fewer adults. It helped that one of my dear friends was also celebrating the one year birthday of her littlest babe, born the day before Pia. In fact, we walked the mall together, urging on the contractions and trying to get some birthing done.

As I type this, my water had not yet broken, I didn't even know if we were having a girl or a boy. I didn't know this baby would be Deaf, I didn't know so many things. But I am so glad it was the PiaBaby, so glad to be on this adventure with her. So glad we are a little over a month past her cochlear implant surgery and so, so glad that she could hear us sing "Happy Birthday!" to her.

The full, in-cut version of Pia listening to "happy birthday" and enjoying her cake. You're welcome.