Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When Macoun met Honey Gold

It was magic. I'm spoiled for life. I don't want any other apple. I just want to be left alone with a crate of these babies. Oh good hell, it's like eating cider except that it is "explosively crisp." The Honey Crisp are back in the local groceries and life is good. Buy some now. They won't be back until next fall and you should not live another day without crunching up one of these gems. I often, more like constantly without ceasing, fantasize about finding my life's work: the job that would fulfill my destiny and my best purpose in life. If I could stand by the apple display at Albertson's and hand out samples of Honey Crisp apples all day long, I think my prayers would be answered: a shill for the apple industry, heaven. I could be pushing Honey Crack, um, Crisp apples on the uninitiated. I can see it in my mind's eye: sad sad shoppers would taste these amazing apples and throw their arms around me and thank me for showing them the light and the way and for filling their small desperate little lives with hope again. I'm just saying, these apples are fine and could possibly be life changing. Buy some now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

the tooth fairy is bleeding me dry

But that will be nothing compared to what the orthodontist is going to do to me. Back when I was dentally naive, I thought Ellie's teeth were going to be trouble. The two top incisors look like they're trying to escape each other and are running for the hills in opposite directions. I took her for the orthodontist consult and was told to come back when she lost the rest of her baby teeth and four years later, I still have no reason to schedule the next appointment. And even after the little pearls finally give up the ghost and drop out of her mouth, the permanent teeth take their own sweet time to make their appearance on the gum scene. And I mean drop out; there is NO way this child would ever assist a tooth by the normal methods, e.g., wiggling and worrying it until it's ripe for the pulling or just wrapping string around it and a door knob and letting your older brother help nature take its course. No, no, no, Ellie's teeth, loathe to come out in the first place, get no encouragement from the management. So, yeah, she'll need spacers and braces, but no biggie really, no major renovations.

But then the three littles came along and my orthodontic innocence evaporated. All three of them, oh good hell, it's like total tooth soup above the gum line. The x-rays make you shiver. The toothy confusion is truly truly frightening for a parent to see. And on top of the scraggle tooth thing Nora and YuYu have going on, Mimi's tiny pretty head isn't big enough to house more than 10, maybe 12 teeth tops. I just live in dread of the money that I'm going to have to pour into their mouths by way of the orthodontist's boat loan. Boat, nah, with their teeth? we're probably talking Ferrari payments more like it since they'll all three be in braces at the same time . . . and college at the same time . . . and driving at the same time. What was I thinking, I would really like to know, I'm a crazy woman, but that's not news, more about the teeth.

So Nora's bottom center incisors popped up behind her firm and secure baby teeth about two weeks ago and I was wisely counseled to be patient, to wait and see if nature would give an assist to the desiduosity (word?) process, and it did. She pulled out her first tooth yesterday and today, she just wiggled, worried and finally offered up the second tooth to be yanked by me because it was bugging her so badly. She is the only child of mine that doesn't winge and whine and clamp her lips shut so tightly that they disappear from her face when all I want to do is just want to take a look. And I even remembered, without prodding, to leave the money under her pillow last night. I hope I do as well tonight, but you never know, the fairy has proved to be fairly unreliable in the past.

The tooth that came out of Nora's head this morning was stained on the back side. I tried to use the stains as motivation for her continued efforts at good dental hygiene. "See," I said, "why you need to keep brushing your teeth bud? That's from when you were in the orphanage." "Yeah, that's why they shoulda boughted me a tootha brush." Even in an event as universal to child rearing as losing teeth, the adoptive parent is handed another poignant reminder that your child spent the first 4.5 years of her life without so much as her own toothbrush not to mention comfort and affection. Poor little sprite.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cool Hand Luke

Dell Technical Support person: Now that it is in safe mode, does it still have the same problems?
Me: Yes, no keyboard and the touchpad mouse just froze up. I've turned it into a brick.
Dell Technical Support person: You have a brick on the screen?
Me: No, there is no brick on the screen. Metaphorically speaking I have turned the laptop into a brick.
Dell Techncial Support person: What does the brick look like?

What we have here is a failure to communicate . . . and a brick. Crap.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Don't Cha

Okay, probably not the most appropriate pop music reference I could find to illustrate why I think my pre-teen is the best kid in the universe, that song kind of sexualizes everything it comes into contact with, but don't cha wish your kid was just like mine? What kid does this? how did I ever deserve such a great kid?

I did not direct her or ask her to do this. I did some ominous glowering and deeply frustrated sighing and she just read between the lines. My ten year old Ellie, sensing an imminent parental unit melt down last weekend over the dvd cases strewn amongst the kid clutter and food wrappers her heedless little sisters had left all over the sixties home handy man basement TV room that nearly makes me cry every time I walk down the stairs even when the room is tidy, took it upon herself to organize and label the dvd's by genre: ogre, talking animals, real people, not real people, Barbie, princess, Lindsay Lohan, etc. It might just be me, but I think that's hot.

And yeah, there are a lot of dvds, but we don't do cable. And we don't don't have cable not because I want to protect my impressionable kids from being exposed to the wrong kind of stuff (although that is a fortunate side benefit). We don't have cable because I learned, way back in the day, that I will stay up to watch absolute crap into the wee hours of the morning just because it's there. I can't imagine what a coma lady I would turn into now if I could watch people cooking things with butter and cheese 24 hours a day. I would. never. stop. watching. mmmmmm, cheese.

Oh yeah, and I just noticed that there's dust all up in that air intake vent, but cut me some slack. I'm not much of a housekeeper, but hot damn, the dvd's look great, don't they? Focus on Ellie's dvd racks and it will be easier to look past the filth and I've already uploaded the pictures and starting over after I take the time to clean would really kill the moment.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day labors

I had hoped to get energetic enough to get us on the road this weekend, but, instead, I buggered up the 50-year-old timer on the pool pump, you should see this thing, it's ancient and ugly and it only took me two years to make it useless after many lifetimes of service. And why would a buggered up timer keep us in lock down? because the (cess)pool can't sit there and stew in its own juices for three days, so here we are, manually turning the pump on and off every day. Okay, I'm back, forgot it was getting late and I just slipped out to flip the switch. Help, I'm being held hostage by my pool, hmm, that feels like deja vu all over again, better go check for scum.

So, since I'm shackled to the old homestead this long weekend, I thought I would be productive and sort through mountains of kids' clothes to see what fits, or not, maybe plant some perennials that are in danger of over-wintering in the same pots that they came in, clean my room, mop the kitchen floor, that sort of thing. But no, I have not achieved these lofty goals because I was a computer drone and followed a link to a slideshow software vendor's site and spluck, I got stuck. These good people, in a cooperative venture with Satan, produce a little product that lets you turn your sloppy My Pictures folder into a full blown video presentation, with music! So I clicked, and clicked and clicked some more and too many hours later, I gave up on my real purpose of making a video for Nora about her adoption trip, and just created something for me. I found I just needed to reinforce the concept that this deal is FOREVER so keep those sleeves rolled up, there's no turning back, pitch in, do the hard work and reap the big rewards. If this kid isn't shaving my corns when I'm 85, so help me, there will be hell to pay.

I sent all of the trip flotsam and jetsam, tapes, snaps, picture disks (pre-digital, it was barbaric) from the first three China excursions to another adoptive parent at Pergamon Productions. In exchange for my $$, Ann made three truly wonderful keepsakes for Ellie, Mimi and YuYu. Very stylish, with video and stills woven to make a real story. For example, she wove Ellie's data together to make it build from shy, stunned baby, to laughing happy love bug during the time it takes to listen to two pop songs. In my memory of events, however, I have the idea that Ellie was a bug of love from day two, but for dramatic effect, I like the way the video builds to the belly laughs.

I have just not pulled my act together to get all of Nora's trip data in one spot and mailed to Pergamon, but I really meant to, difficulty bonding or no, Nora deserves her own trip video. But, what the heck, I followed the link and thought, oh give it a try, it doesn't cost very many $$ and it might be fun too. Well, I did it, but it wasn't that much fun. I forgot that I'm not creative and, therefore, do not need a creative outlet, it was more like work, but I did one too. Warning, even though it may not seem like I tried, I could just barely keep it under 7 minutes, so don't click if you're reading at work. No way someone in a position to disapprove is not going to walk by during this epic.

This WILL NOT be Nora's final video, I was too eager to get going and none of the video footage is in the computer, and it will be so much better when that is included. This turned into a story writing exercise for me, to remind me that she started out prickly for damn good reasons and if the prickles haven't yet worn off, and may never, she comes by them honestly. It reminds me to love her the way she came, to accept her for who she is and help her smooth out the rough edges that make her sad and angry and feeling excluded. Tacking these pictures together had the double bonus of reminding me of how incredibly beautiful my little soldier is all the time. I swear, she hardly ever takes a bad picture, me, on the other hand, well, I was having a very bad hair year.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

because I changed the screen saver

to shuffle through the "My Pictures" folder, I just walked into the room that is laughingly called a home office, home armpit is more accurate, and I saw this . . .

then this . . .

then this . . .

The anniversary of Mimi's sixth adoption day was last week. Thanks to Uncle Stewart who brought over everthing we needed for a hamburger cookout picnic, we had a better way than our usual Panda Express dinner to celebrate the occasion (it is the siren call of deep fried chicken bits in orange glaze that gets them every time, every damn time). Uncle Stewart is my long time friend and a brave good man who traveled to China with me for both Mimi and YuYu's adoption trips. He is not an uncle by blood, but an Uncle, capital U uncle, by love, just like my daughters are daughters by love, so it all works out, it all works out pretty damn good.

I didn't see this one on the screen saver, but found it as I was searching for the others in the junk pile that is the "My Pictures" folder and if I can't get the physical plant in order, do you wonder why the data storage is in shambles too? don't wonder, I'm a data storage loser. But I thought I would throw it in for a bit of a damn cute baby bonus. I tried to tell her that she is a natural beauty, that she just doesn't need all those cosmetics, but she just wouldn't listen.