- Am I doomed to get a hair cut twice a year (and by my MIL at that)?
- I wonder if I'll get to see a matinee "For Your Consideration" as a New Year's outing.
- I need to find a new eye doctor - I can't keep patronizing the one back home anymore - too far and few between.
- Am I a bad mother for secretly taking a bit of delight when tough guy ZP, in a rare show of need/cuddling, actually tightened his arms around me when the vacuum cleaner was running (which he immediately followed with a loosening of his arms and a few angry words in the direction of said cleaner)?
- I don't wanna exercise.
- My Dwight Schrute Bobblehead is busted and I'm not sure that superglue and/or a neck brace fashioned out of paperclips will repair it. Maybe duct tape?
- MAN, I hate winter
- Despite his alternately arrogant and self-deprecating way about him, I am really digging Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain.
- I am nervous about sending ZP off to his new nanny starting January 8th; all du'as and well-wishes are much appreciated.
- Where did this year go?
1. 12 Monkeys
2. Donnie Darko
4. Time Bandits
5. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
6. Ghost World
or six weird recent books that I liked:
1. "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" by Italo Calvino's
2. "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
4. The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters by Chip Kidd
5. The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
6. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
or six weird foods I've eaten:
1. Frosted Miniwheats with all of the wheat rubbed off and a mere curve of solid sugar left behind.
Tag, yer it.
- Three things that scare me: Any harm coming to ZP, any slight inflicted onto ZP, any sadness suffered by ZP.
- Three people who make me laugh: TP, LB, Gojira.
- Three things I love: 25th Anniversary Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, ZP's laughter, traveling.
- Three things I hate: capers, selfish people on public transporation, vomiting.
- Three things I don't understand: accounting, urdu poetry, intolerance.
- Three things on my desk: a phone, speakers, and soon my head.
- Three things I'm doing right now: Thinking about dessert, listening to ZP babbling to Nanaji downstairs, smelling post-shower squeaky fresh and clean.
- Three things I want to do before I die: write a book, see ZP grow up to be a good man, give TP one more smootch.
- Three things I can do: pass for native in many countries, recite arcane trivia and tv/movie lines, spell out the alphabet in sign language.
- Three things I can't do: easily let go of grudges (but I'm working on it), enjoy running, swallow pills without water.
- Three things you should listen to: NPR, something by Matador records, and yo' mama.
- Three things you should never listen to: Crappy commercial radio, naysayers (except for Debbie Downer), evil-doers.
- Three things I'd like to learn: how to knit, another language, some easy hi-yah moves.
- Three favorite foods: Desi, Italian, Mediterranean.
- Three beverages I drink regularly: Chocolate Silk Soy Milk, water, Limonata (although the Pomegranate Blueberry Juice from Whole Foods is AMAZING and I just wish the cost weren't so prohibitive because at $3 a pop, it's not worth it 'regularly' otherwise, that'd be #3).
- Three TV shows I watched as a kid: Thundercats, The Muppet Show, The Greatest American Hero.
Five months ago, you were still working on growing out your angry eyebrows and filling out your chubby cheeks. It was a blazing hot summer and though you adored going outside, the over-100-degrees days kept you inside with me where we walked back and forth between the family room, the dining room, the kitchen and back. Over and over and over again. Then up the stairs. Then down the stairs. Then up and down and up until TP came home and I got a chance to drag my unshowered, underfed carcass upstairs and collapse in bed for an hour or so. Just when I started feeling like an unappreciated slave to a non-responsive master, you started to smile. A genuine smile, not one of those "I have a huge surprise for you in my diapers" kind of smile. Made everything totally worth it.
Four months ago, you were sturdier, more alert, and already an accomplished host as we welcomed (with pleasure and also a bit of selfishness) family and friends to come and stay with us. Along with our evening strolls to get some fresh air and relief from the house, we started taking out to exotic locales like Whole Foods, birthday parties, and concerts. You enjoyed going to restaurants and favored the loud, brightly lit ones (Udupi and Jaleo). You had an unfortunate episode of thrush and a needle-heavy visit to the doctor's office, but for the most part, you remained happy and healthy and heavy.
Three months ago, you demonstrated your appreciation for humor by gracing us with the most insane cackle and giggle combo ever. Your laughter was ear-piercing, random, and heart-stealing. We would go to great lengths to get you to laugh with such gusto, including, but not limited to, singing songs, using scary voices, and pinching your brontosaurus thighs.
Two months ago, I cut my own heart out and returned to work. It was so hard to do and the only thing that made it bearable was that I knew you were in good hands and that (Insha'Allah) this was only temporary until the day I could start working from home. I thought of you every moment and could not get home fast enough to sweep you in my arms and try to snuggle with you even though you were already too macho for such sappy expressions of love. As a DC resident, we introduced you to the local flavors of the Eastern Market, the voting booth, and the Smithsonian. Although you inherited your eyebrows, your cleft, and your skin tone from your father, you did manage to inherit the ability to travel well from me as was proven by our calm and quiet trip to Florida. I can't wait to get your passport picture taken and start help you start racking up the air miles!
One month ago, you started sleeping a little more, going out to the park to observe the big kids, and eating actual foods. When we introduced you to honeydew and cantaloupe, you exhibited great pleasure followed immediately by great frustration that we weren't fast enough in giving you more. You celebrated your first Eid with a stylish shalvar kameez, a lunch at Lauriol Plaza, and lots of quality time with the grandparents. Our little milk-fed veal, you are already busting out of the 6-9 month old clothing and although you are getting taller each month (some of those outfits make you look like you are wearing capris or flood pants), you seem to remain a skinny mini. Lavender-scented bath time is enjoyed by all but you certainly keep us on our toes while you explore your own and try to fit all ten toes into your mouth while simultaneously throwing gang signs and grabbing your privates. Now that you can sit up, you prefer that immensely to lying on your back. You still take great delight in your multi-colored bees and fireflies but now have also discovered that books taste pretty darn good and my chin is fun to gnaw on. And now that you have your own laptop computer attached to your highchair, one which allows you to play DJ and chew on a sunflower, you are pretty content to sit on your own and look very busy at work: holding all calls, canceling meetings, and banging on your desk.
Today, you are half a year old. Alas, we celebrated with yet another doctor's visit in which you were jabbed no less than four times (regular shots plus an extra bonus flu shot). But the day is bright and sunny and despite being mid-November is actually warm enough to enjoy some time at the park where you can sit in your bucket seat, throw your arm nonchalantly across the back, and swing, swing, swing. I love you, Zainy Zoo!
Top Five Things I Love About TP - Weekend Edition
- Willingly volunteering to babysit ZP while I got to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan with LB, KG, and Noozles even though he was already watching him all week long and the weekend is his only break.
- Unselfconciously kneeling down and giving loud smacking kisses to ZP while waiting in line at Safeway just to make him smile.
- Preparing coffee for me this morning just the way I like it.
- Letting me take two, TWO, naps today.
- Making me a manchego cheese and avacado sandwich for lunch.
Top Five Things I Love About ZP - Weekend Edition
- Giving me a huge belly laugh when I sang the diapo-changing song to him over and over again, even way past diapo-changing time.
- Eating half a banana with most of it going into his mouth instead of on his hands/hair/bib/me.
- Sleeping from 10pm to 4am last night.
- Learning how to roll over from your back to your tummy and returning to your back without screaming in indignation or expressing your fury at the highest possible decibles.
- Just being so unbelievably adorable.
Top Five Things I Love About LB and KG - Weekend Edition
- Inviting me for a night out with their pals and feeding me chocolate orange pound cake.
- Despite her congestion and aches and pains, LB darting off like an Olympic athelete when she heard ZP wake up and call out from upstairs.
- KG attending an estate sale and thinking of and picking out a gift for ZP.
- LB's arguing with me about the tiniest things and escalating it until our friend got uncomfortable - just like old times.
- Sharing my love of all things Joss.
LB won a free iPod Shuffle whilst shopping at Safeway the other day. First, she couldn't believe that there wasn't a catch to it and almost offered it to the cashier. When she discovered that Safeway was having a promotion and all they wanted was her Safeway card (which she had), she accepted the freebie. Then, because she has a fancy pants iPod Nano already and KG has a hard-core iPod, she took pity on my dated, rubber-rimmed Rio-toting self and gave it to me. I actually quite liked my Rio but I haven't uploaded any new songs in ages and am not quite sure where the charger is and I love free stuff (who doesn't?). So today, I joined the ranks of the ubiquitous iPod-people and slipped the razor thin mp3 player into my back pocket and listened to my favorite tunes while blocking out all sounds of my fellow Metro-riders various wheezings, conversations, and coughing. Hmmm, I could get used to this. Anyway, YAY FOR LITTLE SISTERS! HOORAY! When Diapoman gets old enough, it's his.
LB should be thankful I never snuck up on her and secretly videotaped her doing one of her song-and-dance routines. See poor fat kid demonstrating his mad Gnarls Barley skillz here.
And if you wanna go a bit more old school, check out these guys, the "Chinese Back Dorm Boys," lip synching to Backstreet Boys.
Been a while, no? Pandi just got back from a trip to Venice, Florida and has the following 'pinions to report:
- On ZP: Even though he looks nothing like his Mommy, he travels remarkably well. His slumber during the majority of the flights, lack of explosive diapers, and simple happiness in people-watching, hanging out, and even being carried around by flight attendants made the trip much more pleasant than anyone anticipated. A+.
- On the beach: Nothing to report thanks to the stupid Red Tide warnings. F-.
- On the shopping for housewares: Target has become surprisingly expensive from what we remember it to be. Luckily, there was a Walmart right across the street. And a Home Depot. And a Pier One. None of which are conveniently located in Washington, D.C. and so seemed almost foreign to us. Also amazing: the amount of space given in the parking lots. Equally exotic: the superfriendly cashiers. The sales clerk in Target gave us a TV for $95, knocking 20% off of the sales price because there was no remote control, warranty, box, or owner's manual. B.
- On the Country Club: So snooty that they wouldn't allow us, fresh off the plane, to dine for lunch - even outside!- because we were wearing jeans and t-shirts. When we returned for dinner in the evening wearing "nice clothes," we were almost turned away again because the kitchen closes at 8 p.m. But remembering us from the afternoon and feeling guilty when it was obvious we were well-mannered, nice folks, the concierge seated us after all. C average.
- On the weather: Freakin' hot. B-.
- On southern bugs: Freakin' HUGE. F.
- On the birds: Fearless, fascinating, and fun to point out. B.
- On the sunset: Like nothing we get in the northeast - watching a big, red ball of fire sink in the sky sure is hypnotic. A.
"It doesn't look like your name is here, sweetie. Did you recently move?"
"Why, yes. Yes, I did."
"Oh, then let's check this other list."
She pulled out another stack of papers but to no avail. Self-righteous thoughts of disenfranchisement and Republican conspiracies flitted through my head.
"Hmm, not here either. That's alright, you can vote on the special ballot. Are you a Democrat?" she asked as she naturally reached for a blue Democrat card. More than 285,000 Democrats are registered in DC versus 30,560 Republicans.
"Um, no," I responded, "I'm independent."
(pause) "Ohhh, you can't vote in the Primaries!"
(mental slapping of forehead) "Oh yeah. I forgot."
Ah well, at least one of us voted. . .
After the museum, we treated a friend of mine to some birthday ice cream at Haagen Dazs where I tried the new flavor, Mayan Chocolate: dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. I'll give it an B+ because although I liked it very much, (a) it was no gelato and (b) I could only have a small amount before my tongue felt completely coated in thick sugar. Still, it was inifinitely better than that Naga - Sweet Indian Curry and Fresh Young Coconut in a creamy custard ice cream I got from Vosges in NYC. Blech.
Now that I'm commuting again and need new reading material, I'm open to suggestions. The last few books that really wowwed me were Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler , The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I tried this program to figure out What I Should Read Next (which I discovered via Bookblog's site), but didn't really find anything that attracted me. What are you reading these days?
When I arrived, I was told that my office move was planned between 9am and 5pm. It appears that the government is taking its cue from the cable company when it comes to scheduling. Nice. Still, hard to complain when the move takes me away from my windowless icebox to a window office with a view of the Potomac River, the Beltway, and possibly a federal prison (the last is up for debate). While the computer guy did his thing, I lollygagged around, showing pix of ZP and catching up on everyone's summer.
Before I knew it, it was lunch time. I hardly knew what to do with myself. It has been so long since I've gone out for lunch without a stroller, diaper bag, and 15 lbs. of curiousity. I treated myself to a pizza and the least healthy drink with which to wash it down - Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Milkshake.
I returned to my office to organize a few things, managed to get a few hours of work done, and then kept looking at the clock until it was time for me to run home, back through the driving rain (where I counted no less than five busticated umbrellas left for dead on the sidewalks), to my two favorite guys. They were both alive and smiling when I came home so I guess Daddy and Baby's first full day together was a success. And now? Four day weekend, aw yeah! Udupi, Eastern Market, a BBQ, and possibly a movie! Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name)
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy)
3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name)
T. Sha. (I don't actually have a middle name, so I'm stealing my son's)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Shariff Merthyr Tydfil
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name.)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (your favorite color, favorite soda)
Last home-cooked meal courtesy of someone else for a while.
Lavish all-expenses-paid lunch at Jaleo.
Gigantic hole in the ceiling with insulation and brick showing.
Free babysitter while LB and KG and I check out the tax-free weekend in Maryland only to return home empty-handed.
Pancakes and/or aloo paratha for breakfast.
Alterations of old kameezes (is that a word?) to make new ones to wear with jeans.
Quality time for ZP to spend with his Naniji (who enjoys playing with him, contributing to his college education, and bathing him with his socks on) and Nanaji (who ravages his vocal cords by making silly-talk and raspy sounds to make ZP laugh insanely and then who walks the hyper beast back and forth to get him to calm down and sleep).
New driver's license reflecting new address - check. Granted, I hadn't showered or cleaned up much for the new picture since I thought they were just going to use my old picture that they had stored digitally, but the DMV loves to throw ya for a loop, no? Thank goodness it was in the pleasant, air-conditioned Georgetown location instead of the crummy, hot, cranky-staffed Judiciary Square one.
Shopping for new clothes - check. Got some dressy shirts and cozy cords to wear back to work which should last all of about a week or so before I revert to my jeans and t-shirts because if I can get away with it, why not?! (interro-slacker!)
Haircut - check. I haven't had my haircut since the winter months and since I wasn't willing to shell out $50 for a simple straight cut and don't like making appointments, I had my MIL cut my hair. The only thing was that getting my locks cut in the garden outside resulted in multiple mosquito bites which I could have done without.
Organize ZP's room which has, from the day we moved in, doubled as a large storage closet - work in progress. Maybe tomorrow I'll sort through everything. Maybe not.
Take daily pix of ZP to send to Cybermom and dad - check. Here is the latest of my wee monster post-bath looking a bit Arabic according to some:
and this one is fresh off the press:
Go to a few concerts - check. Only two more free summer ones left!
Watch as much Colbert Report, Good Eats, and Reno 911 as I can - check. But I swear, if I see another one of those male enhancement ads, I'll put my foot through the tv. The music alone is enough to make me change the channel.
Take naps - check. Although, I think another one is scheduled for right about now. Ciao!
For Yaz - The history of "Chappals"
So, in 2000, our good buddy KK (the original KK, not to be confused with the new KK whom we admire equally but have never laid eyes on) was graduating from med school on Saba Island. Always looking for an excuse to travel some place new, we accepted the invitation to his graduation and flew to St. Martin/St. Maarten. One day, my dad, KK, LB, and I went for a quick hike while we waited for the teeny tiny charter plane to take us from Saba to St. Martin.
We headed over to the lava rocks to get a closer view of the water. The volcanic rocks were crazy jagged and sharp so while the rest of us were clamboring over them confidently in our comfortable sneakers, LB was gingerly picking her way along because (fashion plate that she is) she was wearing these stylish platform flip flops.
After a while, it became apparent that she was lagging wayyy behind and in order to hurry her along, KK called out: "Come on, Chappals, let's go!" Hence her nickname, one of many. So when I learned about Neighborhoodies from KG a few years ago, I made the moniker official by getting it printed on a t-shirt for her. The end.
*Superhero cape/bib courtesy of LB and KG*
- Still in the process of unpacking and arranging the house, but managed to get some artwork on the walls, the books semi-organized, and found 100 euros in a French phrase book!
- Managed to go to a birthday party with ZP and had a good time, good food, and hand-me-downs galore.
- Speaking of "galore," am reading "The Princess Bride" to ZP and am enjoying it as much as he seems to be.
- Haven't gotten my hair cut since the winter months but once Cybermom returns, plan to do so, along with some clothes shopping, some lunching, and some napping.
- In response to my varied propositions for things to do, TP's latest favest phrase in response is "Insha'Zain."
- Was so pleased this weekend when TP was home and I got to have coffee (decaf, but still), make pancakes, and shower in the morning.
- ZP slept for an unbelieveable 5 hours last night and we are still reeling from shock. I pray there is a repeat performance tonight.
- Too bloody hot outside these days to take our evening strolls but hope to do so again soon. ZP loves going out for rides in his diapomobile.
It's your daddy's birthday! And guess what else!
It's your Uncle Najm's birthday too!
Not to mention: Bastille Day! Celebrate! Party! Cannolis!
Awww, tuckered out little beast. Happy birthday, boys!
Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room. Of the quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room. Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein. Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink.
But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.
Laws When at Table
And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke. Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away. When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck; for you will be sent away.
When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you. Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is. And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why. And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why. Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.
Laws Pertaining to Dessert
For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert. But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert. But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof. And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.
Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault. Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you, and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even now I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat of it myself, yet do not die.
Concerning Face and Hands
Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice thereon. And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.
Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances
Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.
Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not that humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.
Complaints and Lamentations
O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick. Yes, and even sometimes do you spit, and shout "stupid-head" and other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner. And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger. But upon being sent to the corner you ask straightaway, "Can I come out?" and I reply, "No, you may not come out." And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out.
Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they mount higher than before. For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you cannot know.
For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and moan. And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and unfairness of it, and mourn with wine and ashtrays, and rend my receipts. And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath, O children of me.
The Atlantic Monthly; February 1997; Volume 279, No. 2; pages 89-90
Next, it was garbage disposal which somehow got a tiny hole in the plastic housing and was leaking water into the cabinet below. After several phone calls to the warranty people and convincing them that we are covered, they finally sent a technician to repair it. Upon further examination, the tech decided it was more trouble that it was worth to fix it and insead just installed a new one.
Then, stupid Verizon, whose service we use for the phone and whose DSL service our neighbors - whose house is attached to ours - uses, insisted that WE could not receive DSL service. For some reason, our house had two lines running through it. After a month of mixed messages, repair guys appearing and tinkering around but not fixing anything, and a final "no," we just got Comcast cable modem yesterday - which is pretty pricey if you don't also subscribe to their cable tv service - which we can't because we already signed an 18 month contract with Dish Network - which goes bonkers any time it is rainy outside. Speaking of rain . . .
Latest: The deluge of stormy weather that has hit DC has caused buckets o' water to collect on our roof and now it is starting to seep through the ceiling. I woke up the other day to get a snacky snack at 2am and found a puddle of water on the landing at the top of the stairs. With near-constant rain coming down, the wet spot on the ceiling is getting wider and worse. We need to get that repaired beofre the roof caves in on us.
So, what's up next?! (interrodread!)
ALERT! ALERT! FURIOUS BEAST AWAKENS! SLASHING CLAWS (seriously, baby nails are fiercely sharp), GNASHING GUMS (hints of teeth threatening beneath), AND ANGRY EYEBROWS (inherited from his daddy)!
- When I was younger, I could lace my fingers together and jump through my arms as though they were a jump rope. Not so sure I could still do that these days.
- With sugared cereals forboden in our household, I used to sneak a scoop or more of sugar straight out of the sugar jar to get my sweet fix.
- The hardest part of Ramadan for me is the waking up and forcing myself to eat something for Sehri - I used to fall asleep while chewing a banana and when woken up to finish it, I would just shift it from one cheek to the other and snooze.
- I've seen the Princess Bride so many times that I could (and probably still can) recite almost every single line.
- I was so addicted to Atari that I managed to get calluses on my fingers from playing so much. Pacman fever, indeed!
- Although I try not to be, I'm a very vengeful person - during the first month of starting at a new school in the 7th grade, the 'cool girls' decided to pick on me and wrote mean notes to me and put a tack on my chair; in response, I determined who the 'leader' was and kicked her into her locker as the end of school bell rang and walked away. They didn't bother me after that.
- I can fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes a mere three weeks after delivering my baby.
- One night whilst asleep on my pallet in Pakistan, I woke up when I felt something tickling my cheek - it was a monster cockroach. With wings. Still freaks me out.
- For some bizarre reason, after a shower with still-wet hair, I would sometimes suck the water out of my long hair on my way to school. Since I never used a hair-dryer, sometimes my hair would be a mass of frozen strands.
- My name means 'the fountain in heaven where those closest to God drink.'
To spare what few readers I have left, I won't tag anyone. But whomsoever wishes to be tagged may consider themselves so tagged - just let me know and I'll come visit!
Breast-feeding: Taste the Pain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Wriggly diaper change, belly button cleaning, and change of clothes as fast as possible: Jerry Was a Racecar Driver by Primus
Busting out the clippers and letting Dad 'shave' ZP's hair: Cut Your Hair by Pavement
ZP's angry eyebrows and ferocious anger when I'm not fast enough to understand what he is trying to communicate to me: Any song really, by Rage Against the Machine
Looking at the multiple laundry baskets that Mom has graciously been attending to: I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement by the Ramones
In other non-baby related news, I'm glad they are showing the second season of Lost these days because although I caught one episode in the middle and the finale, I'm not certain what the shaq is going on. Also, I cannae believe I finally have cable again after a drought of about two years. So long, Netflix. Hello, Good Eats, Adult Swim, IFC, and Comedy Central (oh, how I've missed Colbert).
Zain is fast approaching his two week birthday. I'm still astounded by everything he does and am fascinated by the little changes. By mid-June, he'll be a month old which is just about time for him to go to his first concert, don't you think? Fort Reno, here we come!
Except for two rather rough nights where we were stupid and didn't understand what he was crying about [note to self, "wah! wah! wah!" means "change my diaper, you jerks!" and "ah ah AHHEEEEEE" means "feed me already, cruel things!"], Zain has been incredibly good. He was holding his head up by himself within the first few hours of life and soon will be brandishing a sword and buckling his swash all by himself. The master and commander of my life is demanding my attention now and so I must away.
"Squeak. Sniffle. Ahem. wah. wah. WAHHH!"
"AYE AYE, SIR!"
Meanwhile, enjoy this advice from my cousin's husband's sister in response to my piratey email notifying me hearties of the move to a new port:
A few things to do with your sword, which spring immediately to mind:
1. Clean baby poop from under your fingernails
2. Chop veggies for the Lord and Master's dining pleasure (I mean the baby; TP's completely out of the picture as of now - poor soul - except as inspiration for sword use no. 4 below).
3. Hold poop-soiled diaper at the end of; prior to chucking in the bin; with a view to maximizing distance between nose (yours) and said diaper.
4. After a night of alternately breast feeding and changing diapers every 30 minutes, playfully brandish at TP (but with a thoughtful look in the eye) when he lovingly asks in the morning, "did you sleep well, hon?"
5. Give yourself quick haircuts with, since you won't have time for that kind of frivolous, carefree thing anymore - oh goddness me - no.
6. And hold on to it (the sword) because when your little baby boy turns 13, and wants to pierce his ear - and gosh, I hope you raise him right so that he will want to - think how handy it'll be then - no, silly, not to teach him a lesson and chop off his ear with, but to be totally supportive and pierce it for him.
Muslim-American lawyer interview
A Muslim-American lawyer working at the Department of Homeland Security was investigated for alleged ties to a man charged with financing terrorist groups. The Muslim-American lawyer was cleared...but rumors continue to swirl on-line. The World's Athena Desai has the story.
(thx for the heads up, mothman).
So it surprised me when my co-worker called me to ask when a good day for the shower would be. I've helped her and several others cope with work and played the therapist when she has come weeping on more than one occassion. (*flashback to the days when I was working in the law firm and had a long, low black couch in my office that my Palestinian/Tunisian friend used to frequent by lying down and spilling her woes to me*). Somehow, my office has become the equivalent of the student lounge where, anytime people get bored or feel like socializing, they congregate in my office to eat snacks, chat about work or gossip, and kick back. So it's not that I don't think people don't like me (how can they resist?), it's just that I didn't think anyone would want to make an effort like this. Part of my reluctance is that because the party is for me, I'll be the center and therefore must speak to everyone, including people I don't care to make an effort to get to know better. Part of my reluctance is that because I'll be the center, so will my belly and everyone will stare at it and perhaps try to sneak a rub in (no joke, the cashier at the bagel place I sometimes stop by in the mornings saw me, greeted me, and then rubbed my belly and walked on). I don't know what it is, but perhaps with the little sleep, the lot of aches, and the anxiety of moving/selling with the unknown baby stuff looming ahead, I'm not in the mood to put on a party hat and play silly games. Ah well. At least there will be cake.
"Have you picked out a theme for the nursery?"
While LB and Gunnar are cruising down the canals of Venice in a gondola, TP and I are making do with one car (not too bad, actually), trying to sell our old house (in the second stage of counter-offering with one dude right now), planting fig trees at the new house (already saw one little baby fig emerging!), and working down to the wire. In the few free moments I have when I am not packing or visiting with friends (it's not even May and visiting season has begun), I'm finally watching Lost on dee-wee-dee. It's 6:30 a.m. right now and I've been up for over an hour because it has become increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. I hear last night's pizza calling me now and so away I go.
Top Five Typical Pakistani Inappropriate Comments Made
- "The government doesn't pay their employees very much, do they? How much do you make?"
- "How much weight have you gained?"
- "You should wax your arms; it's your wedding day!" (response: "no, I don't think so.") "Yes, you should wax your arms."
- "Every time I see you, you are eating."
- "I didn't get a wedding invitation. Where and when is it?"
Top Five Ailments
- Achy-breaky back
- Ribs crushed in the attempt to wear pre-pregnancy lengha above 8 month pregnant belly
- No rest for the wicked because in order to spend time with the grandfathers, you have to be up at 6 a.m. and in order to hang with the cousins, you have to be up until 2 a.m.
- Diabetic coma after eating all the food and sweets and the snacks that Cybermom is notorious for scattering throughout the house
- Marshmallow toes from flying and standing so much
Top Five Lessons Learned
- Don't get nails done with LB because you will inevitably get the bad guy
- Don't let Aunty Yaz sit in a rickety chair
- Don't tell Nanaji you will bring 4 of the Harry Potter books to him unless you actually have them in hand
- Don't park your van in the soggy grass the evening after a tornado warning and hard rain
- Don't get a sari blouse that closes with tiny hooks that are supposed to hang onto teeny bits of thread but don't
Top Five Foods Had
- Dehi Vada
- Wedding cake
- Big, juicy dates that you can eat with a knife and fork
- Goat meat
Top Five Moments of the Wedding Weekend
- The Qs and O Bro's comedy routine
- Noozle's singing "Summertime" just for LB
- All of LB's friends in one place laughing, eating, and enjoying themselves
- The dancing at the mehndi and when the music kept stopping and starting, hearing Aunty Yaz's exclaim during one of the moments of silence in her piercing voice "SOMETHING'S WRONG!"
- Gunnar's maiyoun dancing and wedding speech
"Well, do you want the pat and generic 'I'm fine, thanks, and you?' answer or do you want the long, drawn-out melodrama?"
"Oooh! Melodrama, please!"
"So be it."
- LB and I spent a nice sister's morning as we haven't done in a long time complete with perfect eyebrows, fresh "masala bagels," and Smallville.
- Our house went up for sale and even though the open house isn't until next week, we already got four interested buyers.
- Got to see Literaunty, Literuncle, and Dadaji for brunch.
The bad news:
- We didn't realize buyers were coming to the house already so we had to do a whirlwind cleaning job on the house before they did.
- That evening, TP's car got totalled by an unlicensed, uninsured driver who sped through an intersection, clipped one old lady's car and careened into TP's parked car - crushing the sides and forcing it up onto the sidewalk before it came to a stop thanks to the stone wall and the Jeep in front of it.
- We spent four hours filing the police report on the hit-and-run-and-return (the driver fled because he was scared but shame-facedly returned with his brother, the true owner of the car), and waiting for the tow truck to drag the car's carcass from off of the sidewalk and back onto the street.
Gotta end on a good note:
- We weren't in the car when the accident happened.
- We met a lot of our neighbors.
- When we turned away from the flashing lights of the cop cars, we could see the Cherry Blossom Festival's fireworks downtown.
- More realtors and buyers wanted to see the house so we made ourselves scarce by going to the Admo house to water the daffodils, put some books on the shelves, and walk over to our new 'hood for some coffee and fries - breakfast of champs!
- Saw "V for Vendetta" at the Uptown (a lovely old theater which I have not visited in ages) and was pleased by it.
- I got to have a cheese-and-avacado sammich for dinner followed by pretty much a whole pint of Haagen-Dazs Raspberry Sorbet
The bad news:
- I also ate some other leftover foods for dinner which I did not nuke long enough and which returned with a vendetta at midnight in the form of a bout of food poisoning puking.
- The insurance company of the driver's brother refused to tow the car to a lot before they sent out a claims adjuster out . . . some day.
- In reading "Broken Verses," I came across an unforgivable passage where the protaganist "pushed open the door that led out to the balcony and breathed deep the carbon dioxide expelled by the plants around me."
- Our new house only has one parking spot in the back so maybe it's just as well we have only one car now.
- One of the potential buyers for the house from the day before returned with her husband and baby for a second look.
- TP impressed me and won a little bit more of my undying love by washing out the garbage can (into which I expelled the contents of my stomach - careful careful! ulti hai!) with not mere soap, but peppermint-scented soap so that the second time around, at least I had a fresh scent to greet me.
- Lil' Baji and Gunnar got married (just the civil ceremony, folks; the big one is this weekend)!
- I got to talk to KK about books and movies and books.
- I found some inexpensive but cute pregnancy clothing to wear this weekend that has the potential for being post-pregnancy clothing too.
- The tow truck that was supposed to come at noon came at 11:30 instead so TP had to wait another two hours for another truck to come and scrape his car off of our road only to find out that the body shop where the car was to be deposited was run by a freak who, upon seeing the damage to the car, refused to accept it.
- Still no comfy but glittery shoes for the wedding.
- I've gone from an interesting pirate's lurch to a full-on waddle.
Gotta end on a good note:
- With perfect timing, we entered the restaurant where we semi-feted the happy new couple just as the sky turned black and the hail fell down and we left just as it stopped.
- I got my doctor's blessing to attending the wedding after all.
- In a few days, I'll be watching my baby sister get married. Yay!
- Finish packing up the rest of the clutter in the old house and move (and by "move," I mean point to and order around others to move) it to the new house.
- Get the old house in viewing condition and plant flowers in the front to fool people into thinking that this ghetto fabulous house is more faulous than ghetto.
- Attend a two-day, all-day child-birthing class this weekend at the hospital in order to get acquainted with the digs, to run through the procedure, and, as TP put it, to learn which way of the baby is up.
- Cram in as many overtime hours at work this week to tack onto my maternity leave in May.
- Finish watching The Constant Gardener and The Squid and the Whale before potentially cancelling Netflix since they have me on "the throttle list" but may reconsider when we move and fool them into thinking that we are new customers.
- Go with LB to the salon to get our brows in wedding-day-condition and hope that they don't get jacked up.
- Watch season one of Lost on dee-wee-dee.
- Pay taxes, bills, real estate agent, and movers.
- Participate in LB's civil wedding in town to be followed by LB's religious wedding back home.
- Turn in some schedule at work detailing my time off: vacation, sick, compensatory, maternity (without pay - stupid government), and possibly FMLA (also without pay - stupid government).
- Contacting everyone and everything to alert them to our change of address.
- Set up some sort of internet and/or cable connection at the new house.
- Try to jam a queen-sized bed into a full-sized room for when Mom and Dad come to stay with us.
- Organize the baby's stuff which, as of now, takes up most of the upper level of the new house.
- Oh yeah, and that other stuff: laundry, groceries, eat, sleep, work, play . . .
Avast! With all the goings-on above, I didn't find out about this until too late. Shiver me timbers!
- To Sensai Sanchez on the birth of her adorable baby boy - may they both be happy, healthy, and hankerin' for ice cream
- To Najm on his engagement to a wonderful, wacky woman - may they both live close to me so they can babysit and have savage night at a moment's notice
- To LB and Gunnar on their upcoming nuptials - may they both live close to me (see above) and bring me back something rockin' from Italy
- To TP on his new house - may it be filled with happiness and harmony
- To the wee one for turning around and facing the right direction - may you come into a world of light and laughter
- NEW ADDITION: To Sufisticate for tricking some sucker into marrying him - may you find a good job in DC (note, VA does not = DC) and (see above).
I'm too sleepy, back-achey, and stuffed up to write any pseudo-poetry this time, but rest assured, packing days have begun again and it has its joys (finally get to throw away some stuff) and its pains (trying not to lift any heavy boxes and let my crew do the heavy work, but it's in the way!). With the warm weather and sunshine comes the nefarious pollen to join forces with the evil dust to destroy me. That's one less tissue box we have to move because I've run right through it.
Still, it's such a relief knowing that our days in CoHi (where we are bookended by liquor stores) are numbered and we are moving back to AdMo (where we might be around the corner from a coming-soon Harris Teeters). It's also immensely satisfying to clutter up the new house with all of the luggage (filled with summer clothes), the books (to be arranged on the bookcases when they arrive), and the baby shower gear (which can take up an entire room by itself). We are leaving the heavy items - beds, dressers, couches - for the movers (and maybe Najm) for when we sell our OTHER house (look at me, Miss Moneybags with TWO houses in DC). Thanks for all of your help, LB and Gunnar. Two Amys tonight on me. Oops, closed because of a water main break.
Make that Cactus Cantina. Twenty minute wait just to get a beeper?
Nope, how about Cafe Deluxe? Closed.
Try Again. Angelico's? Closed.
Head back to Cleveland Park then. Indique? 30 minute wait. On a rainy Sunday night.
Sixth time's a charm. Alero's it is.