Monday, March 31, 2008

stop looking at me like that

What? So I haven't blogged in a while. Get off my back. I feel guilty enough already about it. So just shut up.

There was this wee stretch a few weeks ago where I just needed a break. And then I kind of wanted to start again but it seemed so much time had passed that if I were to blog again, it was going to have to be a five-star, comeback post. And there was nothing really five-star-y going on.

Plus I've been working feverishly on a certain business thing with Stupid Daddy, which I can't talk about. I know that makes it sound super-exciting--like, Well, shit; that would be five-star-y, if only she could discuss!--but it's not. I mean, it's definitely really exciting to us, but as far as business things go, it's pretty regular. Anyway, it may or may not come to fruition, but in the meantime it's sucking most of my brain power.

Oh, yeah. There was my mini-breakdown. That kind of put a damper on things too. Now I'm taking lots and lots of giant fish oil capsules daily. I'm still an anxious mess, but I've noticed that my skin is a lot smoother when I obsessively drag my fingertips across my face to see if I've got any new zits developing to rival that one that took over my life not too long ago.

And that about explains my absence from these parts. But it does feel nice to be back.

Otherwise, life continues. This morning Levi hung a rubber bunny finger puppet on his nose and said, "Hi! I'm Funny the Face!" and I just about fell on the floor I was laughing so hard. (Maybe you had to be there?) And last week I spent three hours in the ER with Ezra, who flipped off his Plasmacar, slammed into a wall, and had to get two staples in his head.

And last night Stupid Daddy and I had dinner with Alyssa and her beau, Tex, and her friend Katie. Tex is a friend of ours from a few years ago when we lived in Nashville, but I'd never met Alyssa before, nor Katie, who lives here in Asheville. They are two of the most charming young women I've ever come across across whom I've ever come I've ever come across, even though one of them is a little uptight about the placement of people's prepositions.

I say "young women" because if last night taught me anything other than that a mojito is an excellent drink, it's that I'm old. It was Alyssa's 28th birthday, and at the end of the meal, the waiter brought out a cake that Katie had baked. A woman at another table came up to say that it was her birthday too, and Alyssa asked how old she was.

"Thirty-five," the woman said.

"What?!" Alyssa and Katie practically screamed. And then they were all, Oh, you so don't look 35! and, I never would have guessed it! and, No way!

Seriously, they were like falling all over themselves to reassure her. And the whole time, I was just sitting there thinking, My god! What the hell is wrong with looking 35?

So, yeah. Hi.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oedipal complex alive and well

Ezra: Daddy's going away again?

Me: I know, I hate it too. I love Daddy very much.

Ezra: Because you're married.

Me: Hey, but I also love you...and we're not married!

Ezra: That's because I'm not old enough.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

some news on the growth front, and I'm not talking about that zit on my chin

The last time we saw the pediatric endocrinologist for Ezra's growth delay (which I also wrote about here), she said the next step was to schedule a growth hormone stimulation test. But then she left Asheville and we had to find a doctor somewhere else and schedule a consultation, since doctors don't just pick up where someone else left off.

I bitched a lot about having to drive two hours to Winston-Salem, which is where the doctor we chose more or less randomly is located, and having to start all over again with somebody new (because as much as I dreaded the stim test, I also wanted to get the ball rolling). But holy shit, am I glad now!

First off, this new guy said that at this point, we should do nothing more than continue to monitor Ezra's growth carefully. Based on the fact that he is still trucking along in the 3rd percentile, and the fact that everyone on my side of the family is short, and the fact that my mother and I were both very late in reaching puberty, it's probable that he's just a late bloomer with the genes for being kinda short, and at some point, he'll catapult back into the 25th percentile and be as tall as my dad, who was 5'7".

(My god, that's fucking short! But it's fine, really, because my kid is all kinds of awesome. And if he were all that and six feet tall, he'd probably be an asshole.)

The doc also suggested we stop giving Ezra Synthroid for a couple of months and then re-check his thyroid levels, because he wasn't especially disturbed by the initial bloodwork and there had been no other symptoms.

The very same data that had made Doctor #1 say we were probably going to be looking at nightly growth hormone injections for the next ten years made Doctor #2 say let's wait and see (and also, by the way, the hellacious stimulation test she was recommending is no longer considered all that reliable!); the very same data that had made Doctor #1 say definitively that Ezra had an autoimmune thyroid disorder and would have to be taking a pill every morning for the rest of his life made Doctor #2 say maybe, maybe not.

Perhaps I'm inclined to believe this guy because he had better news. But I equate pessimism with realism and assume optimists* are idiots. So that's not it. I just had this gut sense that he is the more attuned, more experienced doctor.

Which is totally scary, right? We would have just continued ahead on that course prescribed by Doctor #1. She may end up having been right, but at least now we'll find out for sure.

Anyway, since the appointment was first thing Monday morning, Ezra and I drove there Sunday evening and stayed in a hotel, which had to have been the highlight of his entire year.

He ate dinner in the hotel restaurant and was oblivious to its disgustingness. He loved tearing up and down the halls, opening the door to our room, riding the elevator. He got to eat crackers in bed while watching cartoons way past his bedtime. He got to spend time alone with me. I don't think he stopped smiling.

Oh, except when he sampled a lemon at dinner.

*except Barack Obama

Monday, March 10, 2008

this was supposed to stop happening when the gray hairs arrived

How was my weekend? Thanks for asking. It was all right, I guess. I spent most of it tending to this:

What's that? You can't see it very well? Okay; maybe this will help:

This zit was so big, and so really in there, that I actually had to forgo my usual stomach-lying sleeping position because of the pain, what with the very soft pillow just jamming into it.

But I'm happy to report that after three days of totally living it up on my chin like some obnoxious, hotel room-trashing supermodel, the zit appears to be losing some of its oomph. I should be able to go out in public without my burka in no time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

a meme has come my way

The totally awesome Tina Rowley of Gallivanting Monkey has tagged me with the following meme.

1. I can’t believe I’ve never…
If my 40th birthday hadn't happened this February 1, I would have said, "I can't believe I've never had a shot." Because it was true! I had drunk myself silly on plenty of occasions, but I'd never actually done a shot of anything. Stupid Daddy fixed things that night, first ordering a shot of Patron, and then ordering me to drink it. I can't say how it went down, because I don't really remember anything after that point.

And now that that's happened, there's really nothing I can't believe I've never done. That I can think of right now. Oh. I can't believe I've never just fainted from the overwhelming love I feel for my kids when they're not being total assholes. Also, I can't believe I've never watched American Idol.

2. Every time I think about … I still cringe.
Oh, my god. Where to begin? I know! Every time I think about my Bat Mitzvah I still cringe. It was seventh grade, and I had just switched to a high-pressured, snooty, cliquey, rich kids' school, and even though the Bat Mitzvah was at the end of the school year, I still hadn't made any friends, in part because I had a stupid bookbag and didn't have pierced ears, let alone feather earrings, or Fiorucci jeans, or a Norma Kamali skirt, or those white Nikes with the red stripe and laces with tennis rackets on them. There were other reasons as well, I'm sure, but those were the ones I could identify.

And so my mom said, "Invite the kids you want to be friends with." I invited maybe 20 of the most popular girls (who, of course, blech!, I see that now), and a few of the boys who hung out with them. Amazingly, most of them actually attended. And I got a whole bunch of Lacoste shirts and Benetton sweaters as gifts, but I still had nothing to say to these kids, nor they to me, when Monday morning came.

3. I wish I’d …when I had the chance.
I wish I'd fucked all, or perhaps most of, those guys who apparently wanted to fuck me in college when my head was so far up my ass that I had no idea they were into me. It just would be nice to have lost my virginity a wee bit earlier than 22. And it would have been lots of fun.

Also, I wish I'd let my parents give me Helen Levitt print as a graduation present. I had written my senior thesis on her and they offered to buy me a print of my choosing, but like an idiot, I said, "No, no. My education was enough of a gift." Soon after, someone rediscovered her, and her prices spiked. A nicely framed Helen Levitt print sure would have looked awesome right over our sofa.

4. I’ve never felt so out of place as when I…
Actually, I feel out of place so often that I almost feel out of place when I don't feel out of place. But just off the top of my head, it happens every day I drop off Lilah and Levi at preschool. Basically, I'm really glad I've managed to brush my teeth, and there I am smiling and saying hi to a whole bunch of perfectly dressed, perfectly coiffed, perfectly made up doctor ladies and lawyer ladies on the way to their doctor and lawyer jobs.

5. … is my guiltiest pleasure.
Uh, that would be Snickers.

6. I hope … knows how grateful I am for …
I hope Joel knows how grateful I am for his friendship. I met him about 12 years ago when I was living in Cambridge. We dated for a few weeks, gave that up, and became best friends. He and I hung with each other through all kinds of shit. Okay, mostly, it was him hanging with me through my shit. But still. We talked about everything, for hours. He got married at the ripe old age of 43 last year, and his wife has not been too happy about our relationship, so we've drifted apart. I miss him.

7. In my darkest hours, I secretly blame … for my dysfunction.
I blame my mom, but not so secretly.

8. … changed my life forever.
Stupid Daddy changed my life forever. Without him, I never would have:
--gone on a vision quest;
--moved into a falling apart shithole shack in Vermont;
--learned how to use power tools;
--experienced extreme financial instability;
--enjoyed the company of someone who made me laugh so hard, and with such frequency, I had to start a notebook documenting the hilarity;
--been pushed and prodded into taking risks and figuring some basic shit out (though I'm still struggling with the rest of it)

Who do I tag? I tag you, Alyssa, again, because I love you and your boyfriend, and because you're doing lists anyway, although this isn't really a list per se, now that I think about it. (And I know you're just cringing because I didn't write, Whom do I tag?) And I tag you, Sara, because hi!, and I want to hear what you have to say. And I tag you, zen, just because.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

inching towards maturity

The other morning I was browsing the produce aisles at the local grocery store when I spied a pile of cucumbers. Ah, cucumbers, I thought. You most benign of green vegetables. Perhaps it's time to give you a try again with the kids and help them expand their repertoire beyond the occasional broccoli floret.

So I reached for a cuke, but it was the wrong cuke to reach for, because it sent part of the pile tumbling. In a total spazz-out moment, I lurched to grab the falling veggies with my right hand and at the same time inadvertently squeezed the mocha I was holding in my left hand so that there was a little frothy explosion out the lid and then a spray of hot beverage on the celery stalks below.

I found the produce guy farther down the aisle and said, "Excuse me, I'm really sorry but I somehow managed to create a little spill over by the celery and I just wanted to let you know...."

He looked at me. "It's probably not a good idea to hold your drink over the produce," he said. And then he turned back to stocking the shelves.

The old me would have said, "Excuse me?" or, "Well you're in a bad mood today, aren't you?" or, "Are you always this rude to customers?" The old me would have wanted to get into a fight.

But the new me just walked away from him--and then promptly found a manager to report him to.

Now, the ideal me would have brushed off his remark and gone on with my day. But still, this is progress. Right?

Monday, March 3, 2008

the one thing preventing me from controlling the universe

In the car on the way to school this morning:

Lilah: Sun in my EYES!!!!!

Me [exhausted, fed up with kids, just completed a weekend alone with them, husband away for five days]: Lilah, what do you want me to do about it? If it's bothering you, close your eyes or turn your head. I can't move the sun.

Levi: Yeah. Because cars can't fly.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Last night I was ready to pass out by 9:30--no, not because of alcohol; it's just been a very tiring week--but instead I stayed awake, wandering around the Internet, too exhausted to take any of it in, not really finding anything interesting anyway. (Seriously, have you ever noticed how boring the Internet is? I don't know what all the fuss is about.)

I do this a lot--stay awake for the sake of staying awake, with this vague feeling of just in case: just in case I come up with some brilliant idea, or something amazing happens--when I'd be much better off getting a head start on what will invariably be a rocky night of sleep. (Thanks, kids!)

But this time around, I really don't know what I was thinking. I mean, I had already mopped the kitchen floor. What more could I possibly have expected from my Friday night?