Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Perpiversary III

Dear P,
You are three years old. Three! Years! Old! THREE! I am honestly not quite sure how that happend. You are only 1. Seriously, it seems like the last time I turned around you were 1 and now you're ... well, you're not.

Your personality continues to evolve, though you are as social as you ever were. Occasionally you will fall back when someone addresses you directly, but you generally flit about the room and chat with anyone who can be lured into a conversation. Generally it's about your birthday. "I'm free in March! But now I'm two! But I'm going to be free. In March!"

For your birthday, your grammy came up and made a gluten-free red velvet cake so that Dude and I could participate in the festivities. It looked like a blood sacrifice reminded me of a crime scene was a bit alarming.

You might even call it scary.

But shocking amounts of fat an artery-clogging combination an über tasty frosting of cream cheese, mascarpone, and cream hid the abbatoir aspect quite nicely. You seemed to appreciate the effort that went into it. At least into the frosting; you never seem too interested in cake or bread if it's covered in something sweet and gooey. If I had a dollar for every peanut butter and jelly sandwich you requested, only to find a denuded piece of bread, well I'd have at least ten bucks.

We are still astonished at your eating habits. There are very few things you won't eat, though you still go through periods of living on air for days at a time. You will request food, then give it a desultory stare and only drink your juice. I should probably cut it out entirely, the juice. I limit it to a few ounces a day, heavily watered, but your father Certain People I know give it to you straight, right out of the box. We run a classy joint here and serve our juice in boxes. Buster Bluth would weep for joy.

You continue to sleep with every toy under the sun. I check on you before I go to bed and there are nights when you barely have enough room for yourself. I suppose surrounding yourself with beloved objects helps you to sleep well -- well enough that you can fall out of bed head-first and not wake up -- but I can't stop myself from clearing you a small plot to curl up in where you won't gash your head open on a sharp corner.

I recently found you with your crayon container over your face. The entire inside was coated with condensation from your sweaty forehead (what is it with your people and the sweating? Is there a toddler that doesn't sleep sweat?). It's a wonder you haven't suffocated. Dammit, I'll get that Mother of the Year certificate yet.

You continue to say the funniest things. We drove past the local carwash recently and you said, "Is that the bathhouse?" Yes. And the cars? they go there to swap fluids willy nilly. Sometimes when we're asleep, ours head over there for an anonymous quickie.

You started school in January. Three days a week you ride in with your father in the morning and I pick you up after naptime in the afternoon. You make art, hear stories, play with friends, all the things you expect preschoolers to do. Best of all, though, you go out into the world and engage it on your own terms. You also get to spend the day with your boyfriend, which pleases you very much. Every morning when you arrive, he runs over to you and you hug and kiss each other. I have offered to bring the paperwork in to cement the relationship but the dowry doesn't seem to be satisfactory. I may toss in a few chickens to try and sweeten the deal.

I regret to say that your love of television continues unabated. It seems to be a meditative experience for you; sometimes we actually have to club you in the head shake you out of your trance turn the tv off to get you to respond to a question.

It's a bit unnerving.

Mostly, though, you are very engaged with the world, and notice things on a regular basis pass unseen right before my eyes. You can never go back and view the world through a child's eyes, but you can borrow them, as it were. It's like having my own service toddler. "Look," you shriek when you see the car dealership, "banoons!!" I never would have noticed them.

The cat continues to adore you unconditionally. I find this hard to fathom given the abuse you pile on her. You sit on her. You pull her tail. You chase her around. But every night, there she is, purring away like a tiny grey Evenrude. The dog is a bit less sanguine, but still remarkably tolerant of her lot in life. I'd sure as shit be pissed if I were in her shoes. Mostly that's my fault, though. Apparently I can only mother one species at a time semi-effectively.

You have started to sing songs that we actually recognize. The current favorite is something about having no bees upon oneself. I shudder at the thought. Given your reluctance to play in the mud or get too dirty, it's kind of funny to hear.

You also love to read. Maybe a bit too much.

I swear to God that is exactly how I found you.

It's been a crazy three years. It seems like only yesterday that you were a little pink lump I could leave on the couch while I lay there unconscious and drooling napped did the dishes.

We can't imagine what life would be without you, big girl.


Saturday, March 03, 2007


Dear A,

I'm at a loss. How has it been a year already? Wait: how has it only been a year? It's hard to believe that this time last year, you were only hours old and already suspicious.

You're starting to walk, which is freaking me the hell out. Luckily for everyone involved, you prefer to crawl, and man alive, can you haul ass. As you improve your walking skills, you have become more and more clingy, which I never thought possible. There have been days when you weren't even willing to go into your father's arms, which I suspect hurts his feelers a bit.

Your sister is passionately in love with you unless you are touching her toys. She'll tickle, cajole, hug, mash, and hit you, all in the space of five minutes. I hope that soon enough you will be a bit more able to defend yourself against her advances.

Your personality blossoms by the day. Watching it is one of the best experiences of my life. You are one of the most observant people I know. Unlike your sister, you wait and watch before making a move. I was not primed for a retiring child. I had spent nearly two years with a Vaudvillian after all; being presented with someone who didn't want to go to random strangers was beyond my ken. I think we've managed to get along quite nicely, though. You seem to like me okay.

When your father comes home from work, you go into a frenzy, "Ooooh! OOOOH! Ooh!" We speculate that you are part monkey, but the only way to be sure is to wait for the climbing phase. I would just as soon not experience the climbing phase. Give me a break on this one, okay?

There isn't much you won't eat, one thing you and your sister have in common.

Bathtime is also one of your pleasures now. Seriously? It took nearly a year for you to get into it, but now you can splash with the best of them. It's a bit ironic, since you were born into the water, but who am I to question your taste? As long as you don't start bringing Barney videos home. Then we'd have to have some kind of intervention.

Nursing is still going well. You seem to be as dedicated a nurser as your sister which pleases me inordinately. I know so many women who have a terrible time with nursing, so I count myself lucky that we're still slogging on.

Another thing you have in common with your sister is extraordinarily sensitive skin. I have yet to find a commercial lotion that doesn't cause you to break out in a hideous rash. In order to keep your skin from sloughing off like a snake's, I have started slathering you in olive oil. I worry a bit that you will like it so much that you will fall into a lifestyle that requires you to oil yourself up on a daily basis. I suppose if you work in tight quarters it would be okay.

I took you and your skin to Monica and she put us an elimination diet. Once I cut out grains (especially wheat, I think), soy, eggs, dairy, fun in general, your skin improved dramatically. Your skin has improved, and I don't mean over the course of a few weeks, I mean within three days. It's really quite amazing. I think we still have an item or two we need to cut out, because four weeks into this you still have some patches of eczema. I think it's either nuts or mangoes, and cutting either out of my diet is going to make me cry. A lot. But it's worth it, and it gives me something to bitch about, so that's a plus.

When it's time for bed at the end of the day, we sit and I rock while you nurse. In the warm dark, we sway to and fro and you settle from a long day of babying. Sometimes you reach up and stroke my face as you begin to doze. And just before I put you into your crib, you rest on my shoulder and press your cheek against mine. I close my eyes and try to remember back to just a year ago, and it's a blur. I can only imagine how fast this next year will fly.

You bring such joy to our hearts, baby boy. Happy birthday.


Friday, March 02, 2007

My tunes

It's all here. I haven't held anything back, even though I probably should

A Flock of Seagulls
AC Newman
Adam Ant
Adam Richman
Aimee Mann, Michael Penn
Al Green
Alabama 3
Alexi Murdoch
Alicia Keys
Alison Krauss
and one
Andrés Segovia
Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen & His Orchestra
The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters
Andy Russell
Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco & Aimee Mann
Another Bad Creation
Antonio Vivaldi
Aphex twin
Aretha Franklin
Arrested Development
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Asha Bhonsle, Udit Narayan, Vaishali & Chorus
Asian Dub Foundation
Avril Lavigne
Backstreet Boys
Bad English
Bad Religion
Bally Sagoo
Bally Sagoo & Hans Raj Hans
The Bangles
The Be Good Tanyas
The Beastie Boys
The Beat
The Beatles
Bebel Gilberto
Becky Barksdale
Bela Fleck
Ben Folds Five
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
Bet Williams
Beth Hart
Betty Hutton
Big Country
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys
Billie Holiday
Billy Bragg
Billy Joel
Billy Miles
Bing Crosby
Black Eyed Peas
Blossom Dearie
Blue Merle
Blue Swede
Bo Didley
Bob Dorough & Others
Bob Marley
Bob Mould
Bobby Byrd
Boho Zen
Bonnie Somerville
Boomtown Rats
Bowling For Soup
Boys Don't Cry
Boyz II Men
Brad Pitt
Brad Sucks
Brain Failure
Brand New Heavies
Brian McKinight
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Bruce Springsteen
Bryan Ferry
Buck Owens
Buddy Holly & The Crickets
The Buggles
Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello
Busta Rhymes
Cab Calloway/Blues Brothers
The Caesars
Caitlin McEwan
Call and Response
Camper Van Beethoven
The Canadian Brass
Carey Brothers
Carla Bruni
The Cars
Cat Stevens
The Centurions
Chamber Orchestra Of Europe / James Galway
Charles Aznavour
Charley Pride
Charlie Barnet & Orchestra
China Crisis
Christina Aguilera
Chuck Berry
Cibo Matto
Clann Zú
Climie Fisher
Clint Black
Cock Robin
Cocteau Twins
Colin Hay
Cookie Monster
Cowboy Mouth
Crispian Steele Perkins . Fraiser/English Chamber Orchestra
Crowded House
Culture Club
Daler Mehndi
Damn Yankees
Dan Zanes
Danya River
Dave Carter And Tracy Grammer
Dave Lindley and El Ray-o X
Dave Matthews
David Allen Coe
David Bowie
David Gray
David Grisman
David Lee Roth
The Dazzband
De La Soul
Dead Eye Dick
Dead Meadow
Dean Martin
Dean Wormer
Deana Carter
The Dears
Death Cab For Cutie
Debbie Harry
Del Amitri
Dennis Edwards
Des'ree/Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Desi Funk
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Diana Ross
Dick Dale & The Del-Tones
Dick Haymes
Digital Underground
Dinah Shore
Dire Straits
Dirty on Purpose
Dixie Chicks
Dizzee Rascal
Dolly Parton & Emmy Rossum
Don Nelson
Donald Fraiser . English Chamber Orchestra
Donna Regina
The Doors
Doug Sahm & the Sir Douglas Quintet
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
The Dream Academy
Duke Ellington
Duran Duran
Dusty Springfield
Dwight Yokum
Echo & The Bunnymen
Echoes Of Nature
Eddie Kendricks
Eddy Grant
The Edgerton's Pen Conspiracy (EPC)
Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
Edith Piaf
Edvard Grieg
Edwin Starr
Electric Light Orchestra
Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Johnson
Ella Mae Morse
Elvis Costello
Emmy Rossum
Emmylou Harris
En Vogue
The Epochs
Errore Stratta . Baroque Orchestra of Europe
Eve 6
The Faces
Fat Joe
Felix Mendelssohn
Fischer Z
Five for Fighting
The Fixx
Flatt and Scruggs
Fleetwood Mac
The Flirts
The Format
Fountains of Wayne
The Four Tops
France Gall
Frank Sinatra
Frank Zappa
Frankie Laine
Fred Astaire
Freedy Johnston
Frou Frou
The Fucking Champs
The Fun Boy Three
Gabriel Faure
Gang Of Four
Ganstarr & Macy Gray
The Gap Band
Gavin DeGraw
Gene Krupa Orchestra
General Public
George Baker
George Jones
George Thorogood
The Georgia Satellites
Gillian Welch
Gladys Knight & The Pips
Glenn Miller
The Go-Go's
Go West
Graig David
Grammar Rock
Grateful Dead
Great Buildings
Green Day
Greg Kihn Band
Greg Schwartz
Guided By Voices
Haircut 100
Hall & Oates
Harry James & His Orchestra
Harry Nilsson
Harvey Danger
Haysi Fantayzee
Heather Headly
Heather Nova
Heaven 17
Helen Forest
Helen O'Connell
The Hives
The Honorary Title
Hoodoo Gurus
Hope 7
Hudson Klass & Dan Klass
Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns
Huey Lewis & The News
Human League
Human Sexual Response
Husker Du
Ian Dury & The Blockheads
The Icicle Works
The Infinity Room
Information Society
Ink Spots
Irene Cara
Iris Dement
Iron & Wine
J. Geils Band
Jack Johnson
The Jackson 5
Jackson Browne
Jake La Botz
The Jam
James Galway & Zagreb Soloists
The James Gang
James Levine . Ravinia Orchestra
Jan Hammer
Jane Birkin
Jane Child
Jason Mraz
Jay Farrar
Jay Howlett
Jean-Luc Lahaye
Jeannie C. Riley
Jeff Tweedy & Jay Farrar
Jeffrey Foucault
Jeffrey Gaines
Jermaine Jackson
Jerree Small
Jerry Garcia-David Grisman
Jessi Colter
Jessica Harper
Jesus Jones
Jethro Tull
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra featuring vocals by Bob Eberly & Helen O'Connell
Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Ruffin
Jo Stafford
Jo Stafford With Paul Weston & His Orchestra
Joe Cocker
Joe Jackson
Joe Tex
Joe Walsh
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Sebastian Bach
John Belushi
John Hoskinson
John Legend
John Mayer
John Prine
John Vanderslice
John Waite
Johnnie Ray
Johnny Gill
Johnny Hallyday
Johnny Hates Jazz
Johnny Lee Hooker & Blues Brothers
Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers
The Johnston Brothers
Jon Brion
Jonathan Coulton
Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, Mike Marshall
Joy Division
Juice Newton
Jules Shear
Julian Bream
Julien Clerc & Carla Bruni
k.d. lang
Kaiser Chiefs
Karen Jacobsen
Karl Münchinger; Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Kate Bush
Kate Ryan
Katrina & The Waves
Kay Kaiser & His Orchestra
Kay Kyser
Keely Smith & Louis Prima
Keith Burns
Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Willis & Jay Farrar
Kelly Willis & Son Volt
Killer Pussy
Kim Wilde
The Kingbees
The Kinks
Kishore Kumar-Mohd.Rafi
Klark Kent
The Knack
Kool & The Gang
Kris Delmhorst
Kris Kristofferson - Willie Nelson - Lyle Lovett
Kris Kross
Kuldip Manak and Panjabi MC
Kyle Riabko
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Larry Zarella
Lata Mangeshkar
Laurie Berkner
The Lawrence Arms
Lefty Frizzell & Shelly West
Les Brown & His Orchestra featuring vocals by Doris Day
Les Negresses Vertes
Lionel Hampton
Lionel Richie
The Lively Ones
Living In A Box
Lorenzo's Music
Loretta Lynn
Los Lonely Boys
Louie Prima w/Keely Smith
Louis Armstrong
Louis Jordan
Louis Prima
Luigi Boccherini
Lyle Lovette
Maceo & The Macks
Madeleine Peyroux
Malkit Singh
Man Bites God
Manda and the Marbles
Marc Von Em
Maria McKee
Mark Lemhouse
Mark Lizotte
Mark Mothersbaugh
Marlene Dietrich
Maroon 5
Marshall Crenshaw
Martha & The Muffins
Martha Reeves
Martha Tilton
The Marvelettes
Marvin Gaye
Mary Prankster
Mary Wells
Mason Jennings
Massive Attack
Matchbox Twenty
Mates of State
Matt Vrba
Matthew Sweet
MC Lars
MC Solaar
Melissa Etheridge
Men At Work
Merle Haggard
Michael Lord
Michael Penn
Michael Sembello
Michel Sardou & Garou
Michelle Shocked
Mike Meyers
The Mills Brothers
Miriam Makeba
Missing Persons
misty's big adventure
Modern English
Modest Mouse
Mohammed Rafi
Money Rock
The Monroes
Monsoon Wedding
The Motels
The Nails
Naked Eyes
Natacha Atlas
Naughty By Nature
Nelly Furtado
New Irish Chamber Orchestra / James Galway
New Pornographers
Nick Drake
Nick Lowe
Nikka Costa
Norah Jones
Now is Now
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Of Montreal
Old 97s
Opus De Salsa
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
The Originals
Otis Redding
Pattern Is Movement
Patty Loveless
Paul Metsa
Paul Simon
Paul Young
Pedro The Lion
Peggy Lee
Pérez Prado
Perry Como
Pete Shelley
Pete Townsend
Peter Gabriel
Peter Himmelman
Peter Mayer
Peter Schilling
PG Six
The Pied Pipers
Pinchas Zuckerman & English Chamber Orchestra
Pink Floyd
Plain White T's
The Pogues
The Polecats
The Police
Polyphonic Spree
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton
The Postal Service
The Power Station
The Pretenders
Pretty Girls Make Graves
The Psychedelic Furs
Punjabi MC
Radoslav Lorkovic
Rail Gaddi
Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Roy Lee Carters
Randy Newman & Lyle Lovett
Ray Charles
Real Life
Rebirth Brass Band
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Reeltime Travelers
Remy Zero
Reverend Horton Heat
Rhett Miller
Richard Westenburg/Musica Sacra
Rick James
Rickie Lee Jones
Ricky Nelson
Ricky Scaggs
Robert Walch
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
The Rolling Stones
The Romantics
The Roots
Rosanne Cash
The Rosewood Fall
Roy Rogers
Rubber Rodeo
Rudolf Baumgartener . Festival Strings of Lucenrne
Rufus Wainwright
Runner & The Thermodynamics
S-K (with Calvin Johnson)
Sam & Dave
Sam Cooke
Sandy Rogers
Sara Evens
Sarah McLachlan
Saves The Day
Savina Yannatou
School House Rock
Scritti Politti
Shawn Colvin
The Shins
Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Simon & Garfunkel
Single Bullet Theory
Sloan Wainwright
Slow Children
Sly Fox
Smashing Pumpkins
The Smear Campaign
The Smithereens
The Smiths
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Sneaker Pimps
Soft Cell
The Soggy Bottom Boys
Solomon Burke
Solomon Burke & Little Johnny Taylor
Son Volt
The Song Spinners
Sophie B. Hawkins
Southern Culture On The Skids
Spandau Ballet
Sparks & Jane Wiedlin
The Specials
Split Enz
Stan, Cartman and Kyle
The Statler Brothers
Steely Dan
Stereo Nation
Stevie Nicks
Stevie Wonder
Stray Cats
Stray Cats
Stuart Davis
Sugar Cubes
The Sundays
Sweet Honey In The Rock
Taking Back Sunday
Talk Talk
Tall Tales And True
Tammy Wynette & George Jones
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich
Tears For Fears
Teena Marie
The Temptations
Tex Beneke & The Modernaires
They Might Be Giants
Thievery Corporation
This Mortal Coil/Elizabeth Fraser
Thomas Dolby
The Thompson Twins
Tim Eriksen And Riley Baugus
Timbuk 3
Tom Petty
Tomaso Albinoni
Tommy Dorsey And Orchestra
Tompall Glaser
Tonio K.
Tony Bennett
Tony Martin
Toots and the Maytals
The Tornadoes
Total Coelo
Tracy Bonham
Trevor Bacon
Trip Shakespeare
Trout Fishing in America
The Tubes
Uncle Tupelo
Urge Overkill
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
The Valets
Van Halen
Van Morrison
The Vapors
Vaughn Monroe and The Norton Sisters
The Verve
The Vibro Champs
Victor Spinetti
Violent Femmes
Viva Voce
Vladimir Spiakov . Moskow Virtuosi
Wall Of Vodoo
Warren Zevon
The Waterboys
Waylon Jennings
Wendy Gelsanliter
The Wes Hollywood Show
When In Rome
The White Stripes
White Zombie
The Who
Willie Nelson
The Willowz
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Rübsam
Woody Herman & Orchestra
Yonder Mountain String Band
Young MC
Yves Montand
Zero 7

Snow day

We got a little snow overnight.

Upstairs view:

She's standing here. On her feet.
With snowshoes:

Out our hall window:


luuurves his doggie