Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How you know you're going to have a big baby

He simultaneously reaches for your hipbone and kicks you in the esophagus.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dear Second Son, I'm Apologizing Already

We've finally named the kid. It was a lot like naming Paolo. We knew we were possibly doing a great disservice to our offspring, but we couldn't help ourselves. We're doing it again. Brace yourselves.

We are waiting for you, Gianluca.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

OverHeard at Home

Your orange juice intake this pregnancy has been abominable. Our kid's probably going to have some horrible disease that you could have prevented, like citric fibrosis.

Okay, okay, let's play Simon Says again, Mama. This time you be Simon...and I'll be Says.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Alone but not lonely.

Last night was a big night for our boy. Apart from the toy box, which awaits a second coat of paint, Paolo's room is officially ready to be occupied. We'd been telling Paolo he was getting his own room, and he was cool with it, as long as we didn't move his bed. He was very firm on that; he was scared to sleep alone. I assumed he'd flip yesterday after school when he saw his bed in his new room, but he didn't. In fact, it was eerily easy putting him to bed last night. With next to no fuss, he fell asleep as I sat beside him.

At about 2:00 in the morning, I awoke to a wild party being thrown by Paolo's flamenco-dancing, hiccuping little brother and, since I was up, I tiptoed to Paolo's room to check on him. I soundlessly opened the door and peered into the darkness. In the glow of the nightlight, I saw Paolo sleeping peacefully in his bed and Sam sacked out with a pillow and blanket on the floor next to him. You know, just in case. In case his little boy should wake up on that first night, disoriented and afraid, he wouldn't have to take a single step to find comfort.

That's what I love about my family, and what I think "family" is supposed to mean: never feeling alone.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Great concerts

Billy Bragg at the Filmore in San Francisco, Freedy Johnston opening (2000). Excellent venue, of course. Very purple. I'm a Freedy fan, too, so attending this concert was a no-brainer. Billy Bragg was tremendous, peppering the performance with socialist commentary and admiration for the World-Cup winning U.S. women's soccer team.

Lush in Dublin (1996). This was an unexpected delight. I was in Dublin on one of those university study abroad two-week courses. A friend that I met on the trip was also heavily into Britpop, so when we saw the flyer for the concert, we got tickets and blew off our night class. Shortly thereafter, the drummer committed suicide and the band split up. So, lucky me.

Morrissey in Lawrence, Kansas (1998). Damn, that man puts on a show, whipping the microphone cord around like a lion tamer. Highlight was the lookalike worshipper who threw flowers, and later himself, on stage.

Oasis in Minneapolis (1995). So cool because we drove eight hours in winter for the concert, which was in the university campus concert hall - such a small venue for the likes of the Second Coming.

Cranberries in Kansas City (1995). The concert was fine, but the truly memorable part was the drive home during which Sam and I were pulled over for speeding. The police searched my car, which was laughable because there was nothing contraband in it except that RIFLE that Sam forgot he had in the trunk. I'll never forget shivering on the side of the road with my hands on the hood of my car, wondering exactly how much trouble I was in, warmed only by the guilt rolling off of Sam in waves.

L&D Books dying to be written

Since I'm a veteran, I'm not planning to attend childbirth classes or watch Babies: Special Delivery marathons on TLC this time around. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to check out a labor & delivery book just to refresh my memory about stages of labor and whatnot. I'd prefer to skip the blessings and miracles and promises of painlessness, but there don't seem to be any books out there that fit the bill. Where are these titles?:

  • Preparing a Birth Plan, and Other Wastes of Time
  • It's Supposed to Hurt
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Take That Down
  • Exactly How Much is This Going to Suck?
  • Negotiating the Pitfalls of Labor/Management Relations: How to Tell Your Doctor What He/She Can Do with Those Forceps Without Sounding Rude
  • What Goes Up Must Come Down
  • Not All Babies Are Cute: How to Love a Conehead

Friday, August 10, 2007

Round update: Week 35

It turns out every other kid in Paolo's class knows what a woman walking around toting an enormous belly means. Each time I enter the classroom, another ankle-biter runs up and asks if I have a baby in my belly, if I'm going to have a baby, or why my belly is so fat. I should really work on an answer to that last puzzler that's better than, "Because it is" or "Well, your belly isn't so small," both of which are things I have actually said. If I could be sure that Paolo knew the current location of his brother, I'd respond like I had two brain cells to rub together, but I don't think he knows. As I've mentioned before, we decided not to bring it up unless he asks.

This morning I was fending off another probing question when Paolo hooked one arm around my leg and put his other hand protectively on my stomach and steered me away from the interrogation. It reminded me of the phase he went through at three when, if another child approached me, he would jump between us, arms out to ward off the interloper, and shout, "MY Mama," as if I were his greatest possession. On the other hand, he may have just felt bad for me because his friends keep calling me fat. Whether or not he has a clue what's inside, Paolo loves my belly. He likes to pat it, lay his head on it, or - my favorite - grab me around the legs and look up at me from beneath so only his eyes and the top of his head are visible. Cracks me up every time.

Paolo has picked up on the whole pampered pregnant thing, too. Last night he asked me if I wanted a glass of milk, and I said I did. (I drink about a cow and a half a week.) He instantly called out, "Daddy, you gotta get Mama some milk." That's how it works these days: I have two boys attentive to my comfort and every need. It's overwhelming, slightly embarrassing, and lovely. It's also temporary, so SOMEBODY FETCH ME SOME LEMONADE AND RUB MY FEET.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Northwest Arkansas Crime Report 8/2/07

2:53 p.m. A woman at 20089 Center Road, Winslow, reported her neighbor shot some of her goats.
6:46 p.m. A woman at 160 Roundtop Road, Sulphur Springs, reported her boyfriend threatened to shoot her cattle because he believed she shot his dog.
Guns don’t kill animals. Wal-Mart's everyday low prices on ammunition kill animals.

10:02 p.m. A woman at 1217 W. Walnut St. reported a man stole her phone and then told her to pick it up at Waffle Hut but he didn’t leave it there.
You’d think a thief would be more honest.

5:10 p.m. A woman on Bonnabel Lane, Rogers, reported a child accused her of stealing his mother’s cigarettes.
But if you hand over your lighter, he’ll pretend he never saw a thing.

10:55 p.m. A man on Sunnydale Drive reported his ex-girlfriend would not leave.
10:56 p.m. A woman on Sunnydale Drive reported her ex-boyfriend beat her up.
When your psycho ex-boyfriend with violent tendencies tells you to leave, it may not be worth sticking around to finish the argument. I’m just saying.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Baby name suggestions, by Paolo

1. Carlo (also the name of Paolo's imaginary dog that he's had for two years)
2. His father will come and tell us what his name is
3. I don't think we should call him ANYTHING
4. Luke, like Luke Skywalker
5. Bruno
6. John Cheffer (We were watching Top Chef at the time, or it may have been Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares, unless it was Hell's Kitchen, although definitely not Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations because that comes on past my bedtime. Two hundred channels, and all we watch are cooking shows.)