Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's kind of like Yahtzee, but the dice aren't white.

Once again at the firm's holiday party this year, we were encouraged to select festive "Christmas names" for the silent auction. I didn't participate, as usual, but I was all about stirring up some trouble because I'm pretty sure not everyone celebrates Christmas. It's not merely politically correct to use the term holiday rather than Christmas; it's accurate. I helped one co-worker brainstorm her submission--Dreidel--and I suggested Kwanzaa to another co-worker. She smiled, put pen to paper and asked me how to spell it.
"K..W..A... Wait a minute, you do know what Kwanzaa is, don't you?"
"Yeah. Is it a game?"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Guidville, USA

I got an irate call from my husband this morning. He had called Dish Network because there was something wrong with our system, and he didn't want to miss our college football team's playoff game tomorrow morning. Go, Bearcats! That's all the spirit I've got, unfortunately. When pressed, I got the school colors wrong, and I got a four-year degree there. Incidentally, AC Milan is in the World Club Cup Championship game. Now that's exciting. Woo-hoo! Anyone?

We've had problems dealing with Dish Network in the past because it's about the only bill in my name, and Sam is usually the one who calls. I kept my name when I married Sam because my last name is Italian and Sam's is German or maybe Dutch, we're not sure. I don't get bent out of shape if a telemarketer asks for Jennifer Hislastname, but Sam, for whatever backwards reason, comes unglued when he is mistakenly referred to as Sam Mylastname. So, the poor Customer Service Rep was unsuccessfully trying to locate our account on their system, and Sam finally suggested she look it up under "Sam Mylastname." The CSR found it, and they were happily progressing through the diagnostics when the CSR said something about our address in Rockaway Beach, New York. She had pulled up some other Sam Mylastname's account.

At this point in the story, Sam's voice went up an octave. "Do you know where that is?" he demanded. "It's in the heart of Guidville! There are probably a dozen Sam Mylastnames in Rockaway Beach, New York." I tried to interrupt him with threats of marital sanctions for his ethnic slur, but he was unstoppable. Apparently, I am supposed to call Dish Network and explain to them that Sam has his own last name, and we in no way live in Rockaway Beach, New York aka Guidville or Dagotown. And once again - you cannot imagine how often this topic is revisited - Sam declared that our lives would be so much easier if I would just take his name. Sam, I'm not going to change my name and erase my heritage so that you can make a phone call to Dish Network. But thanks for asking.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Double Bagged

The baby, and therefore I, have been sleeping really well lately. So what gives this morning with my reflection in the bathroom mirror? The bags under my eyes have bags. Both eyes! Am I that tired and don't even know it? It looks like the usual puffy, purple bags gave birth to little baby bags and are carrying them around on their hip. Well, congratulations on your little ones, undereye bags. Kiss sleeping goodbye. And the strangest part? I wasn't even disgusted, just...intrigued.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm not going to let you ruin Christmas

There has been fierce action in our Competitive Parenting of late. It usually ramps up around the holidays because there are so many opportunities to snatch greatness. Like printing out ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas schedule so we don't miss any of the classic shows (that was me), making hot chocolate from scratch (Sam), or finding a Super Mario stocking (me again!).

Friday we got our Christmas tree. We usually get a Charlie Brown Christmas tree that's about four feet tall, but the boys came home with one that's a hair taller than me. It only has four branches, though, so it still qualifies. You can really see the ornaments without all that pesky greenery. Paolo and I were decorating it when Gianluca woke up. I told Sam to take over for me while I fed the baby. He kept flailing his limbs and clawing me with his little razor-nails rather than eating, so I got annoyed and started sniping at everyone. Sam hung exactly two ornaments before huffing over to the couch to read a book. Lacking direction, Paolo began jumping over the pile of ornaments until he landed on one and broke it. Sam promptly shut down Christmas for the night, and we all sulked. Fa la la la laaaa. Later, Sam began speaking to me again in order to tell me he had decided not to let me ruin Christmas. That is our new holiday motto. For example, "You drank the last of the egg nog? I'll pick some up at the store, because I'm not going to let you ruin Christmas."

Saturday, Paolo and I made an Advent Calendar out of a cereal box and old Christmas cards. So now he can count down the days until Christmas by opening little doors to reveal pictures that he cut out himself. I thought I'd racked up monster parenting points...until Sam got Paolo to eat spinach sauteed with garlic and red wine vinegar at dinner. I don't know many adults who would eat that, and the kid snarfed it up. That pretty much blew my Advent Calendar out of the water.

I was still mourning the loss of my parenting crown yesterday morning when Sam called me to report that Paolo had upchucked his breakfast. He was convinced it was because he had been giving Paolo too much sugar lately, and the chocolate-covered donut had pushed his little body past its limit. As Sam described the crushing guilt he felt when the sprinkles came out of Paolo's nose, I murmured my sympathy. But really, inside I was shouting, I'M BACK ON TOP! Well, it wasn't the donut after all. Paolo threw up a half-dozen more times throughout the day before I got home from work, but had absolutely no other symptoms of illness. By pure coincidence - I mean, superior parenting - once I took over rationing the food and drink, Paolo kept everything down. He made it through the night okay and is doing fine today, which is as it shoud be, because we're not going to let him ruin Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Reaching milestones at 2:00 A.M.

Okay, little buddy, you lie right there, and I'll lie next to you. No, no, don't turn over, you can't sleep on your stomach. You have to sleep on your back, it's a baby rule. There you go, I'll just ease you back over. Child, stop rolling over here. Where am I going to sleep? Well, maybe it would be okay if you slept on your stomach. I'm right here; I'd know if you were in distress. Hmm, that's a bad idea. I'm flipping you back... HEY! HE CAN ROLL OVER!