Friday, September 21, 2012

Next Time I'll Try to Make it a Video of My Baby Flopping on Her Face. But this time, it has to be sad.

I usually try & keep this a happy blog, but sometimes one of your oldest friends up and dies, and silly seems out of place. I want to call this friend by a fake name because she considered the internet dangerous territory for many, many years. But I don't think I can, so I'll compromise by not posting a picture.

I first met Christine around 1990. I had inherited my cousin's job at the First Interstate Bank when said cousin returned to college. "Does she like beer?" Chris asked my cousin. My cousin turned to me, and I nodded enthusiastically. "I'll take GOOD care of her!" Chris assured us both.

And that she did. Disinclined to return to the world of waitressing, I soaked in Chris's every instruction, such as the fact that staples should be placed neatly and horizontally on the page, not diagonally (Or worse! Willy nilly!) in the corners.

I got a new job and Chris got a new job. Chris got married and I got married. And I got pregnant and Chris got pregnant. This was around 1995, before the days of internet, so we had to resort to faxing each other our ultrasound pictures.

One day I brought my baby in from a walk and heard the phone ringing. I knew something was wrong. And then I heard Chris's husband's voice and knew for certain something was so very wrong. The words, "We lost Julie Anne" didn't make any sense. It couldn't be.

I rushed to Chris's house, wondering even as I drove, "If SIDS got her baby, did that mean it's going to get my baby too?" My head knew SIDS didn't operate that way but my heart knew nothing, not how to help. Not what to do, not what to say.

A friend of my mother's who had also lost a child to crib death perhaps saved our friendship by advising me to concentrate my futile efforts on remembering Julie Anne. There was barely an internet back then and certainly no facebook, so I dialed the phone. But answering the phone would be too hard for Chris for many more years.

"You called her every year for ten years, knowing she wouldn't pick up?" The-Guy asked me last night. "Actually, it was twice a year for ten years, on Julie Anne's birth date and on the anniversary of her death." I answered him.

I may not know how to help a friend in need, but I know how to persevere.

Chris let me know on easier days that she did appreciate the calls. And it made no difference that she didn't pick up, because it took me just as many years to figure out what to say.

By year 11 she began to answer the phone and still, what did I have to offer? That I was thinking of her, that I knew the day must be hard, most of all that I remembered Julie Anne.

In typical Christine fashion, she held true on her promise to take good care of me right up until the last time I saw her at The-Guy and my wedding in 2010. Chris let The-Guy know in no uncertain terms that she had no problem using her gun should he turn out to be anything less than faithful. She assured him that her police officer husband would also use his gun to help protect me. Not every guy is so lucky to find out that "cheating" = "actual death" right on his wedding day.

Two weeks from today, baby Julie Anne would have been 17 years old. And I remember, even though Chris isn't here to remember her to.

So that's my not silly post for the day. Chris, this life was much too short for you or perhaps it felt too long. It could even have been both at the same time. But any way you look at it, you were a great friend.

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Kid Looks Like a Giant Mushroom Just Ate her Head. But She's HAPPY Mushroom Food. And most mushroom food isn't quite this cute either.

Did you ever wonder why sometimes you see kids with bows that are bigger than their entire heads and you're all, "I wonder what's wrong with that kid's head?"

It turns out that I can answer that very pressing question for you. Nothing's wrong with the kid's head. It probably has a very gorgeous head. But it's like this: Mom's all walking around her favorite bargain store looking for notepads or whatever and spies this flower-dy hat. Since it's half price off of next to nothing, it seems kind of silly NOT to buy it.

Mom goes home and adds it to the building ranks of stuff that is coming for the still imaginary kid. You know, little band t-shirts, board books and little Levis with hide nor hair of anything practical. Like diapers or or wipes a changing table. Or a crib. The hat is the least of mom's worries, because honestly, "Who could fit her head into something so small?!?!?

And then the baby is born and mom puts the hat with a flower on the baby and suddenly it's like,

"Oh man! That thing just ate my baby's whole head!"

So then mom waits four more months and tries it again. Because now baby's head is bigger, but still looks like a mushroom just ate it. A really giant mushroom that knows how to work it's way center and front even though mom had on purpose put it off to one side.

They say you have to suffer for fashion. I wouldn't actually know if that's the truth or not. But I do know why some moms have hats and headbands that have the baby for lunch rather than the other way around.

Anyway, the kid is four months old now but is still hat chow. Maybe best to just make her another headband or two:

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I Went in for a Chicken Sandwich and Came Out with a Used Corolla

I'd apologize again about the sorry state of my blog, but I figure real life has to come first and I was in the hospital (or as one of my little preschoolers used to say it "hoss'bibble") for what seemed like forever.

What can I say except that the whole "postpartum" thing doesn't really agree with me? Well...I can say this: One time one of those personal trainer guys called me fat.

And I can say that I fell totally and completely in love with The-Guy on our first date because he didn't have a TV.

While in the hoss'bibble, I discovered Wii Dance Games. But in order to play Wii Dance Games, it turns out you need a TV.

The boy and the guy went to buy Wii Games and a TV. But instead of dance GAMES, they came home with Wii FIT.

As far as I can tell, Wii Fit is like the more ambitious and aggressive cousin of Wii Dance. Personal trainer guy is only kind of distantly related and he more or less HAS to be polite. Because who's going to sign up for membership otherwise?

But that's not the point. The point is that that The Guy and The Boy have just paid for a machine to tell me I'm fat and clumsy. You'd think I could have told them that much myself, considering how much pottery I've broken around here.

But, whatever. Flab-wise, I can still get a lot of mileage out of this little cutie:

Baby was three weeks early, so when she arrived we had not a single diaper, no wipes, no changing pad, no crib...but I already knew what she would wear to her first pledge drive:

Her "Crawl the Line" shirt, of course.

Sorry if there are any repeats picture-wise. I was in the hoss'bibble.


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