Brother, Can You Spare a Ride?

I’m a tad stressed about Mark’s surgery and all the logistics that entails for a husband going through major eye surgery who cannot drive in a car for weeks, let alone help with the baby like he usually does. So I don’t want to say I’m not getting the desired support from certain family members when I need it. I’ll just say that someone who gave birth to someone who is not me sort of irked me today…

This person… has been saying she wants to help, so I called today and said could she please take Vivien to school since Mark has to be at the hospital at 8am. I will take Rex with me. I said we would need to leave by 7:20 at the latest.

Her: “Well, I couldn’t get there by then. I’ll come about 8:45.” Whaaaaa? She lives 1.5 miles away. Now, my stepson will be here, but he is 15 and not a natural babysitter. I explained that if there was a few minutes where only Oliver was in charge it’s ok as he could call 911 if the house was on fire, but he will not be waking Vivien up with a hug and making her breakfast and getting her dressed.

“Oh, yeah, that’s true.” She asks me again when we are leaving. Still 7:15 to 7:20. “I can’t make it by then. I will be there more like 7:45.” I don’t know what irruption in the space time continuum has occurred that one can arrive a one time and not 25 minutes earlier when there is not change in traffic flow or weather conditions between these 25 minutes, but there it is!

I thought of pressing the issue, but then why bother? If someone wants to be passive aggressive they can. And I thought, she was late to to our house the morning I gave birth to Rex.

Mark called this unnamed person and in a very nice way offered her a wake up call.

You could snap my muscles with a spoon. I don’t care what Stephanie Wilder-Taylor say, tonight I’m having some wine.

My sister-in-law Leslie is driving hundreds of miles to come down this weekend to be helpful. Bless her heart.

I also have to arrange a follow up doctors visit for him on Wednesday when I have to go to work for a short time and then take Rex to get his shots. Of course they don’t give us times beforehand because it’s so much easier to twist in the wind.

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The other day I got such a nice little gift out of nowhere. A hello from my friend Stacie. We used to work together, and she knows I had my arm acne problem from pregnancy. Pretty, oh, pretty and if the water police aren’t around, I’m a bath whore. So she sent me french lavender bubble bath and lotion from EO. It’s all organic and all that jazz, but all I know is my itchy skin doesn’t explode after I use it, which is rad. And the smell makes me feel pretty.

A play on the old ad… “EO lavender bubbles, take me away”

They also have hand sanitizers, which I will be dousing us with as we enter and exit the hospital… but avoiding the eyes.

Shout Out to My Blogger Pals

Most of my friends have a physical presence. Then there are those that are virtual friends, like many of you who come to Cool Mom or whom I follow on Twitter. Then there are a few who straddle this divide. Bloggers who are friends. Honestly, only one has been made physically manifest before me. Rebecca Woolf Girl’s Gone Child. She is a fellow Momversationer, and we found we lived VERY close to each other. She’s about a quarter of my age, but except for having tattoos where I am terrified of them, we are very sympatico as mothers and people.

I give her a lot of credit for coming to the party I had in January to celebrate the impending birth of my son. She didn’t know a soul.. .well, there was one other person she knew. But she showed up with a gift. Bless her heart. Sometimes I can’t handle going out by myself… so much energy. She didn’t know at the time I was partly throwing the party have a big party while I had a BIG house. Months later, we ran into each other with our babies, and I told her all. Crying (as I am prone to do when nursing) and talking about losing my retirement and home. She is so dear, warm, and positive. Can’t believe how young she is. Very grounded. At her age, I think I was having some kind of affair I would never want my children to know about.

It’s a funny club, mom blogging. It’s kind of like being on a low production scale reality show that you have more control over. We get to do the editing. No slow-motion burns to represent conflict. It’s sort of art. I think if moms who went berserk years ago could have had a safe place to talk about concerns and disappointments, they might not have gone mad.

Another mom blogger who lives too far to meet, but we have had a penpal friendship, is crabmommy. Sometimes I don’t know how these friendships start, but I really like her writing and she recently wrote me a very heartfelt email after I did my Madoff week. The last line of her email brought tears to my eyes. It had her sassy quality and full of heart.

“And luckily although a shitload was taken from you, there’s an awful lot they didn’t get!”

I really loved that. And of course, though I’ve seen the dark side of humanity with Madoff, et al., I have been on the end of the light side as well.  So many dear people.

Mother Inferiority Complex

Okay, now I don’t often feel in competition with moms. If I see a mom more patient than me, I give her credit for it. If I see a mom more crafty than me I say, “Gosh, I wish I did more art projects with my daughter.” But recently one mom really made me gulp. It’s my new friend Ellen who has FREAKISH AMOUNT OF MILK PRODUCTION.

This photo doesn’t do her milk supply justice. I was at her house, and she was about to move. She said, “I don’t know what we are going to do about my breast milk.” I was confused. She was moving very close by, and I thought, “Well, you throw it in a Coleman cooler with square of dry ice, and you are done.” Then she opened her freezer, and it was about 8 feet tall tower o’ milk. My eyes were saucers. Then she said:

“We have  a freezer in the garage that has the same amount.” What? She works all day 5 days a week and can pump at work. And boy does she pump. She has a lovely big and plump little 7 month old. His nanny says he takes in about 6 oz in a feeding. Woof. “I’m just finishing the December milk”

Now, I am no slacker in the breast feeding department. I nursed Viv for over two years. I have no problem getting milk for Rex, but I have maybe 4 to 12 bags of pumped in milk in the fridge AND the freezer at a given time. I suddenly felt about 2 inches tall in the mom department. I suddenly got how my friends who for one reason or another were not able to nurse their kids. Their milk didn’t come in; they had had breast reductions, whatever. I really think there is an innate confidence that comes with having milk for your baby. Like, yeah, I’m doing my job!

That night I dreamed of her milk. The next few days I practically was walking up to stranger, “You will not believe this woman’s milk supply.”  It’s a good thing she is a nice, modest person, or it could be annoying. You know, like your friend who always got A’s but didn’t brag about them?

Ellen said she was looking into donating the milk. Wonder if there is a tax deduction for that? ‘Cause for a mom who wants to get out of the house for a few hours, it’s as good as gold.

Better, Better

I took Vivien with me to the Fashion Team today. It was great. She needed some mom time since I think my hospital stay pushed her away. She modeled (will air this Sunday at 7 p.m. and then repeated Monday at 7 p.m. on the TV Guide Channel). She hung out for a couple of hours with another kid whose mom is our supervising producer. She was a gem. Mark was minding Rex.

Rex had a very hard time settling last night, but then did well. And while sleepy, he has been much more himself today, nursing normally. I’ve become a hand-washing Nazi. I’m too freaked not to.  My sister-in-law and mother-in-law were here in the evening along with Dolly, a woman who helps me in the evenings when Mark is gone and without whom I would probably become a heavy drinker. My friend Arlene came over with her two girls who play with Vivien. With this full house, I said to Arlene, “Let’s get out of here. I need a drink.” A mile away is my husband’s restaurant, and I figured we were good for an hour. We sat at the bar and drank a dry, French white wine and ate a lamb sandwich. My sister’s friend Mimi and her husband Guy walked in. I had just finished telling Arlene everything. Mimi had emailed while Rex was in the hospital. As I was talking about it, I suddenly thought, “I can’t talk about it anymore.” I recounted calling my brother-in-law from the ER to ask them to look after Vivien, and when I got the part about Kevin saying, “What can we do to help?”  I finally started to cry. I hadn’t cried during the whole thing. The wine, the sympathetic faces, the relief.

I was just looking at Rex as he slept and prayed we won’t ever have to go back there. My heart soooo goes out to parents who have sick kids. Seriously sick kids. Words fail me to express what that is like for them.

I think I’m going to be more ginger with him for quite a while.

Potluck

It suddenly occurred to me that I am really pregnant.  I think a second shower would be excessive, especially as many are feeling the economic pinch.  Also, I can’t see how I could pay for the kind of big party I would like to throw for my soon-to-be born son.

So, I took a cue from my neighbor Cara, and I am throwing a potluck.  I’m calling it an “He’s almost here!” party.  We are doing cocktails, which will also be fun for my husband, as he is soon opening an artisan-style cocktail bar (pre-prohibition; no crappy sweet and sour mix).  I asked people to bring a dish or a bottle of wine.  So far, the response has been great.

Mark felt a little funny about it, having a potluck when he is a chef, but I talked him into it.  1) Cara just did a potluck that was fun and didn’t feel like a crappy church social and 2) I explained that given our budget, the only alternative would be 6 people and a pizza. And which 6 would you choose?

Cara gave me some good pot luck tips:

1) Have extra serving tools. She says she didn’t have enough last time.

2) If you know what people are bringing beforehand, make up cards or labels. Having a sign that says, “Mary’s Veggie Lasagna” will look a bit more polished.

3) When people come in, slap a sticky on their pan. Cara said that after her last party, she spent 4 days calling people saying, “Did you leave a rectangular Pyrex pan?” I mean who hasn’t?

4) If you are planning ahead (which I am not; my guest got a crude Evite and less than two weeks notice), you can stick a note on each invite like “Bring Appetizer” or for your good-cook friends, “Bring Main”.

Now, what to wear…

On Momversation: Online Friends Vs. Real Friends

Here the blogger moms of Momversation discuss the new-world problem of real-life friends versus online friends. Do they have the same weight? Or is one more helpful than the other? How is it for you? Let me know here, or comment on the Momversation site.

Related Momversation Forums:

Cool Mom Poll: Husbands That Bug

Even the best, best husbands can set your teeth on edge sometimes – just like a roommate, but harder to evict. Most women will roll their eyes about their man once in a while. It’s always weird to me when a woman NEVER rags on her husband. Instead of thinking they have a perfect union, I think, “What is she hiding?”

It’s just human nature: our kids, our best friends, that fat guy who banged his car door into mine at Target – everyone bugs everyone at some point.

So, what is your chief beef with your partner (man or woman)? What is the one thing that bothers you a tad more than all the other annoyances?

Here are your choices… remember, you have until 5:00 pm, Thursday, October 16, 2008:

To view last week’s poll results, click here!

And The Winner Is…

…No, not the Emmy Awards. I couldn’t watch more than 20 minutes – just wanted to see the clothes.

I’m talking about the winner of the 3rd Birthday Present award. Out of all of the super cool gifts Vivien got this week, so far the one that has made her the most gaga is this Music Box. It arrived this morning from her friend Mercy (via her mom, of course).  She was absolutely mesmerized by this good, old-fashion keepsake. Vivien insisted on taking it to school where many of the kids were also enchanted. It plays “Beautiful Dreamer” and is from Enchantmints.

Music Box

She also really liked the “decorate your own crown” from her friend Charlie as well as playing with the t-ball set with dad last night. But today, the music box has been kept near.

Can’t blame her. I still have my little log cabin music box I was given at about 5 or 6. I still get a kick out of it when I open it and it plays “Edelweiss.”

High School Reunion

Actually, mine was a Junior High/High School reunion because I’m a product of an LA public, magnet, alternative school. My handwriting might be akin to a serial killer’s, but I’m a skilled critical thinker and free spirit.

My reunion was not in a ballroom at the airport Radisson, like they usually are. Instead we had a potluck at a big, pretty park, organized on Facebook. The last reunion we had was at my mom’s house (site of many great parties, since my mom was the original “Cool Mom”) ten years ago.

Vivien had fun with the other kids, but the only thing I didn’t like was how hard it was to look good at a park picnic.