Totally Random Scenes

Where: In the Library
When: Yesterday

While trying to  check out books, Luna decides to go into her " I’m a helpless 2 year old" mode. She grunts and whines while stretching her arms up.
I look at her and say "I don’t speak whine. Please use your words."
Grinning, she continues her dance of impatience, grunting and reaching.
"Words, the English language. A way to communicate among humans. I know you can do it. Use your words, please"
She gives up. Drops her arms and says clearly "mommy, will you please  pick me up? I want you to hold me"

The librarian lost it. Just lost it. She told me she expected Luna to say "Uppy" not a full sentence.
I said, "This is why I talk to her like that. I know she can talk. She just wants to be younger sometimes…"

Where: Our kitchen    
when: last week

I went to clean up the counter tops from lunch boxes. I notice apple peals…

"Um, sweetie?"


"Did you put Apples in Soleil’s lunch?"

"You put apples in her lunch. On the day they are going apple picking?"

Laughter ensued..I guess you had to be there.

Where: At a restaurant in San Francisco, Garlic Theme

When: First week of October

Boss: "I have GOT to get something here for J. He thinks he is such a stud"

Me: "Hmm, he’s not a hot sauce kind of guy?" pointing at the glass bottles of hot sauce in the shape of a rather shapely naked woman

Boss:"Oh MY G-d! Garlic Condoms! I have GOT to get this!"

Me: just laughing

Where: Work
When:1 week later

Me:" Hey J! Did you get the present that Boss got for you in San Francisco?"

J:"Yes, but it’s too small!"

J:"oh shit, I shouldn’t have said that. Are you thinking that I am sexually harassing you?"

Me:" Nah, but I would have thought that it would have been too big for you" Ducks as he tosses a stuffed animal at me!



Oh yeah, I’ve got a poster to write. Am I? No. Too busy procrastinating. Sigh.

I need to go swipe Jay’s camera phone. The view out my window is AMAZING today. I swear I have the best office view in the area.

Yesterday, a waiting parent was saying that she wanted people to remind her later when she said that all of this waiting was making her patient.

The truth is simple. It doesn’t.

Infertility, adoption, whatever, doesn’t make you more patient with your child. Sorry. Parenting is a damn tough job. You don’t get many breaks. You parent night and day. You get slobbered on. In my case, you child licks you because she can (ick). You have to wipe butts, have a sick child puke on you, have a healthy child yell at you and tell you to go away. You have a partner who is just as worn as you are. And you try to make everything work: emotionally, finanically, physically.

And it doesn’t matter if you got pregnant on the first try, if you waited years through infertility or adopted, you lose you patience.

And the key is to not beat yourself up.

Parenting is hard. And anyone who tells you differently is bullshitting you.

PS: If you are reading this on a Mac  in Brookline, Mass, please email me.  Thanks

ETA: Here’s the cell cam view out my window… AHPhoto1

What are we doing?

I normally stay away from politics on my blog. It is something I prefer to discuss with other people, not to spout off into the T1 lines. However, last night I experienced something that I didn’t know how to handle.

My mom’s night date canceled for the second week in a row. Last week she was sick. This week, it is finalizing details on their move back to their house (remodel). I understood, but still wanted to get out. After Luna fell asleep, Jay encouraged me to go out. So, I grabbed my latest Spenser novel and went to B*rnes and N*bles and had a decaf Star*bucks and read my book.

I stopped at the store to get some frozen veggies as we were out. The guy in front of me at the checkout told me I was making him guilty. He had 1) large bag of M&Ms 1) blueberry pie 1) rotisserie chicken and 1) large Nestle3 Quick. He told me that was his dinner. I laughed and said that I would eat that way if I didn’t have kids. He said he was away from home.

I asked if he was on a business trip. He said yes, he was a vet and coming to the air force base in my town to talk to the guys heading out to Iraq. He had a broken knee, broken back and still had shrapnel in his head and back. We talked the small talk for a few minutes, I thanked him for going over and then he said "I hate to hear the media say we are there for no reason. Because I don’t want to think that I went through that hell for no reason" 
My heart stuck in my throat
I simply nodded.    Then I said "I hear ya."

He went off to have his dinner and I paid for my frozen broccoli.

What I wanted to say was
"There are so many good reasons to be in Iraq and so many wrong ones.  I think we are there for the wrong reasons. And by being there for the wrong reasons, too many good people, American and Iraqi, are being hurt and killed. You weren’t there for no reason, but the wrong ones. And as a citizen, I am sorry that you had to go through that in my name."

But, I am chicken Shit and chose to stay silent

And all night I thought about this man with the deep scar on his eyelid. And how he wonders if there was a reason for him to go there.

Guilt, now painless!

Friday night, I was watching TV with the kids when Luna snuggled up to me. She looked at me, making direct eye contact. I smiled. She smiled. She said
"mommy. You’re mean"
I raised my eyebrows. This is not something I haven’t heard before.
"Oh, why am I mean?"
Then she slammed me
"Cuz you go to work"

For a short moment, just a short moment, I was shocked. I had struggled with the working/staying home mom thing with Soleil, but not Luna. Then I realized it didn’t hurt to hear her say that. I replied.

"Well, then your class at daycare has lots of mean mommies"

Luna giggled, snuggled and went back to her TV.

It really didn’t bother me. I can balance my emotions about working and being a mom. Cool.

(What really scares the hell out of me is that Luna is 28 months old. How the HELL does she know that working is a source of guilt for moms?)

Tasty, with nutty overtones*

Wow, I am swamped. I thought about taking a break from the blog, but then I figured that I wouldn’t be able to keep quiet. So here I am, posting again.  I have a scientific meeting in 2 weeks. This means I am trying to finish some data reduction and come up with a poster. I think we have run this topic into the ground, so I am planning  to start writing the paper for it soon. That scares the hell out of me.

On Sunday, we planned a nice outing. We went down to the Public Garden in Boston and played with the ducks and geese. It was great fun. A Boston officer came over on his horse and we got to pet the horse. It scared both girls to be that close to such a large animal, but they both touched him.

Luna has discovered squirrels. Yes, squirrels. They are fun to sneak up on and chase.

I’ve know this for years.

Apparently, you can also save a squirrel. Who knew? While Luna was lining up a nice juicy squirrel to chase, so was a hawk. The squirrel must have been going crazy "must stuff acorns in mouth…see predator..see small child…must stuff acorns…shit! that child is still there…ahh! the predator is still there…one more acorn…just one more…"
Then Luna AND the hawk made their move at the same time. While the squirrel ran and defecated at the same time, the hawk had not planned on Luna. The hawk was reaching out with his talons when he suddenly realized that Luna was within arm’s reach and he flew to a nearby tree. Squirrel ran to another tree where he sat on a high branch and panted for several minutes while his tail twitched frantically.

The squirrel was safe, but the hawk was now in danger as Luna turned her attentions on him. "Birdie? Mommy? Is that mail truck birdie?" "no honey, that is a hawk. the mail truck bird is an eagle" "No…that a mail truck birdie…BIRDIE!!! BIRDIE!!!"
The hawk got very nervous and flew off, almost hitting a bicyclist , leaving poor Luna waving saying "Bye Birdie!!!"

At least this is a better squirrel story than when Soleil had a squirrel steal her Central Park…

* What I suggested to Jay that the hawk would tell his friends if Luna hadn’t detracted him from his prey**

** I guess I am weird in "Not a good way"


On my last day in San Francisco, I was up early and I decided to take the Cable Cars down to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a beautiful morning, but I left my camera back at the hotel. I had packed it up the previous night since I would have to leave right from the meeting to the airport.

I really enjoyed the sights and sounds of early morning. It was a Saturday, so the streets were fairly empty. When I got down to the end of the line, I found a Starbuck’s (for my morning jolt) and found a vantage point to look at the Golden Gate Bridge.

To my utter amazement, the full moon was setting over the Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine if you will, the dawn. The sky over the ocean is still a greyish blue. The sky above is turning the morning blue and the sun is peaking over the city. The moon is not white, but a pale pink, reflecting the red rays of the sun coming through the atmosphere. It was an unbreathable moment.

I think about this missed photo. In some senses, the fact that I knew this vision was ephemeral made it more precious to me, but I wish I could have shown Soleil and Luna this.

The best I can do is show you a solar eclipse over the bridge, but it is not the same.

I regret that I left the camera at the hotel.. In a future life, I will not leave it behind.