There are several kids living in and around our neighborhood who like to vist with our dogs when we’re out walking them.
So, you know how I’ve said repeatedly that we’re confident that things will go smoothly at our hearing tomorrow, and that it should just be a formality, and that we’re not worried about it and yada yada yada?
Well, I’m evidently more worried about it than I knew, because I had a dream about it last night.
It wasn’t an actual court hearing, but a meeting of probably six or eight people, each of whom was judging us in their specific area of expertise, to decide if we were worthy of both being Peeper’s legal parents.
One had even had our cars inspected and told us that we had to put antifreeze in there before we could move forward.
Evidently people who don’t put antifreeze in their cars are not responsible enough to be parents?
Our (Shrike’s) niece and nephew spent the night with us last night. He’s eleven, and she’s eight.
As you can imagine, over the course of the evening, there was much discussion of “Baby Peeper” and what she’s doing in my tummy (dancing), and what she likes (ice cream), and so on.
In the wee hours of the morning, I’d gotten up to go to the bathroom and feed the kitties (to get BoyCat out of my face) and when I returned to bed, she’d flopped across my spot and I had to rouse her a bit to move her out of the way.
As I crawled back into bed, she snuggled up to me and mumbled, “Do you think Baby Peeper knows she’s alive? Do you think she knows she’s a baby?”
There is a giant, “mile long” yardsale that’s held in Shrike’sWorkTown every year on July 4.
Well, you know we couldn’t resist that!
So, we donned the most patriotical outfits that we own (Me: RedCounty Democrats t-shirt, and Mama for Obama button; Shrike: T-shirt honoring WWII WASPs), packed some drinks and snacks, stopped at an ATM machine, and headed down there mid-morning.
We tried to be pickier about tiny, pink things – especially the teeny-tiny things, as Peeper already probably has more 0 – 3 month onsies than she can possibly wear before she outgrows them, but I did buy a few really cheap (50-cent, 10-cent) outfits for her at one place (for a total of $1.50).
We also got a bag of maternity clothes for me (three pairs of work-appropriate pants, one pair jeans, several work-appropriate shirts and a couple of casual shirts), plus a few tiny, long-sleeved, plain white onsies for Peeper (she will be born in winter, you know) at another place for a little under $60.
That’s way more than I like to hand over at one time at a yard sale (or anywhere else, for that matter) but, as Shrike pointed out, “You have to have them, and it’s not like spending $60 on the kid. You can’t register for maternity pants, you know.”
Touche’, my love.
I also got a few decorative things – a set of Christmasy (or were they snowmen?) nesting bowls for $1.50, and two watermelon-themed serving baskets, along with a ceramic watermelon-cut-into-a-basket-shape bowl, all for $2.50.
We also found Peeper a sweet little pair of tiny, pink shoes for $0.25.
And Shrike bought a skateboard (for herself) for $0.50.
She says, “This is what happens when you prohibit your kids from doing things when they are young. They wait until they are too old and fragile and do them anyway.”
I’ve suggested that she invest in a helmet and wristguards, at the very least, before she try it out.
Oh, but that’s not all the stuff we’ve gotten lately . . . .
Yesterday evening, I stopped by LiPA’s house to pick up a ton of stuff that she pulled out of her basement and attic for us!
All her cloth diapers and covers (small/medium – good through around 25 lbs), which she sold to us for $50, several, hooded towels, a potty chair and seat (more on that later), a bassinet, and a ton of books and toys.
She was telling me that her youngest, J, has been rather attached to the potty seat, even long after she was done using it, but that when she saw it sitting out, she said (of her own accord), “We should give that to Shrike and Whozat for their baby.”
“Hey, that’s a great idea!”
While I was there, J went to the bathroom, and came back carrying one of those seats that you put on top of the big potty, and told me, “This is for your baby. It’s so she doesn’t fall in the potty.”
“Well, thank you! Was that yours, but you’re big now and don’t need it anymore.”
“Yes. And I had diarrhea on this part – but my mommy cleaned it up.”
A bit more information than I needed, but on the other hand, I was already buying the diapers that she wore for the first nine months or so of her life, so I supposed the concept of “J pooped on it” wasn’t really a deal-breaker in this situation.
But, back to today – after the yardsale, we got some lunch, then went to over to a party that some friends were having. We hung out there til around 3 or so, then headed home.
Then, of course, it was nap time.
Now it’s about 8 pm, and it’s drizzling outside and we’re trying to figure out how to get word on whether the big fireworks display is a go or not.
I think we’ll drive over there in a few minutes and just see for ourselves.
Last Thursday, my student who fancies himself an reproductive endocrinologist was there, and knowing that his birthday was on Friday, I said:
Ms. Whozat: Hey, Kid, happy birthday. How old are you going to be? Forty?!? You’re going to be forty??
Kid: No! I’m going to be eight. You’re going to be forty!
Ms. Whozat: Oh yeah, that’s right.
Kid: You’re going to be getting old. You just wait, you’ll see. Pretty soon you’ll be getting old.
Ms. Whozat: Well, it’s better than getting dead.
Kid: Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. It will be a long time before you die. It’ll be, let’s see, like at least eighteen years!
At work this evening, one of our younger students was doing a math lesson on calendars.
A couple of weeks ago, unrelated to the calendar skills, I had told him when my birthday is, and how old I am.
(It involved another kid’s MLK Day homework, and the fact that I was born about a month after MLK was assassinated.)
So, tonight, after I’d asked him “What’s the most important day in May?” (my birthday, of course!) we had the following exchange, at full volume, for the entire center to hear:
Mr. Teacher: What day is your birthday, Ms. Whozat?
Ms. Whozat: The 11th.
Mr. Teacher: Ok, Kid, let’s see what day of the week Ms. Whozat’s birthday is.
Kid: Saturday! (It wasn’t a current calendar that he was looking at.)
Ms. Whozat: Right, but this year, it’s actually on a Sunday. It’s on Mother’s Day.
Kid: You’re not a mother.
Ms. Whozat: Well, no, I’m not.
Mr. Teacher: Not yet. (He is privy to our plans. Probably more than he’d like to be.)
Ms. Whozat: Yeah, not yet.
Kid: You can’t be a mother.
Ms. Whozat: Why?
Kid: You can’t be pregnant.
Ms. Whozat: Why?
(I’m really starting to wonder, at this point, what assumptions he’s made about me!)
Kid: It’s tooooo laaaaate noooow! You’re thirty-nine!
Great, so now eight year olds are dissing my fertility!
Last night, we had dinner with Shrike’s sister and her partner, and two other couples from their church, one straight, one lesbians. (It’s a Unitarian church, if you’re wondering.)
Early in the evening, we found out that the lesbian couple had used IVF to make their son (now 10 or 11?) and that the wife of the straight couple is a surrogate, who’s currently in a “two week wait.”
Technically, she’s a gestational carrier, which means is someone who carries a baby for another couple, using their egg/sperm. (In this case, they are using an anonymous donor egg, as well, since the intended mother had ovarian cancer about ten years ago, requiring a complete hysterectomy.)
A surrogate, on the other hand, uses her egg to make the baby, carries it, and then gives it to the intended parents.
They have an eight-year-old daughter of their own, she carried one baby who’s now fifteen months old, and she’s currently working on a second.
So, the vast majority of the evening was spent talking about IVF stuff, and comparing notes about the fertility clinic and its staff (she’s working with the same clinic we go to).
The kids were in and out through the evening, so this conversation, which happened as we were reading to our niece (7) and nephew (10) before bed, was rather inevitable:
Shrike (“hypothetically,” to me): You know, if we have a little boy, I want him to be just like GodzillaBoy, and if we have a little girl, I want her to be just like Niece. Hmm, she needs a blogonym, doesn’t she?)
Niece: Are you going to have a baby?
Whozat: Oh, maybe some day.
Shrike: (Something equally non-committal)
Niece: Are you trying?
What the hell? She’s seven! Well, shit. I guess there’s no point in lying about it.
Whozat: Well, actually, we are. But it might take a while.
Niece (not particularly confused, just curious): How are you going to do that?
Whozat: The same way that Cousin and Cousin-if-there-was-a-law made Baby R.
Niece: How did they do that?
Oh, darn. I was hoping that had already been covered. Oh well, I’d better get used to this.
Whozat: Well, you know about how babies are made usually, right?
Niece: Yeah, by having sex.
Oh. Right. I’d forgotten about that option.
Whozat: Okay, so you know about how women make eggs and men make sperm?
Whozat: Well, they are going to take some eggs out of Aunt Shrike, and put them in a dish together with some sperm from a very nice man, who is helping us, and they’ll get together and make embryos, which are very tiny, and might grow into babies. Then they’ll put a couple of the embryos in me, and we’ll hope that one of them grows into a baby.
Niece: Well, if you have a girl, I think you should name her (name that we like, but it rhymes with PerfectPup’s real name, so we can’t use it). Or (some other name) or (her name) II. You could call me Big Name and call her Little Name. Or (and proceeds to list the names of like every little girl that she knows).
So much for not saying anything to the kids just yet, but I think that went quite well.
Just a couple of quick stories, to follow up on our beach trip last weekend.
Babes in Arms
While at Target earlier this week, we spotted another inappropriately old girl carrying around a realistic babydoll. We realized that both she and the girl at the beach are probably doing those “what it’s like to take care of a baby” school projects!
Out of the Mouths of Babes
I don’t remember exactly what Shrike said to our 7-year-old niece, but it was something smart-ass and untrue, I’m sure, and it prompted the following conversation:
Niece: Is Aunt Shrike kidding?
Whozat: Yes, she’s kidding. She’s always kidding. Don’t believe anything she says.
Niece (stricken): So, then it’s not true when she says she loves me?
Shrike: Oh, no honey, you can take that one to the bank.
Niece (with evil grin): I knew that’d getcha!
Our niece (7) and nephew (10) (Shrike’s sister’s kiddos) are spending the night, so I’ll have to make this quick.
They’ve not been in bed long (oops – bad aunts!) and we should be getting there soon, ourselves.
We had a good evening with them, if a late one.
I picked them up on my way home from work, we came home and got Shrike and went to dinner.
We ate the newest restaurant in town, one of the “fifteen pieces of flair” genre.
On a Friday night. What the hell were we thinking?
It was packed, but actually turned out to be not so bad. The wait actually wasn’t as long as we feared it might be, and the kids were great.
A couple of bucks for the motorcycle video game (It’s a BUCK for ONE GAME! What the hell is THAT about?) occupied them for a while.
At that point, I told them other people needed a turn, and we were going to sit and wait for our table.
Luckily, they called us about then, because I wasn’t real sure how that would go over.
Dinner went well, and they even turned down our offer of ice cream afterward (what the hell?).
We were headed home, when I realized that we needed to buy a gift for her cousin’s new baby (we’re going to see them on Sunday!).
bribed offered to let the kids each pick out a small ($5) prize if we could go to Target (next door to the restaurant) and they’d be cooperative while we picked out an outfit for Baby R.
She was down with that, but of course, he thinks “baby stuff is booorrrring!”
But prizes are cool, so off we went to Target.
They were really good while we were there, and thank you, LadyKay, for the “give them a small amount of money to spend and that’s that” idea.
Shrike actually said, “I’m going to use LK’s strategy. . . . ”
When her kids were small, she gave them each a buck or two to do with as they wished at the grocery store. Any time they asked for something, the answer was, “Is that what you want to spend your money on?”
Sometimes they chose the kind of stuff you’d expect a kid to choose, other times something perfectly nutritious that just didn’t happen to be on the list that week.
(Correct me if I’m mis-remembering.)
But, I digress . . . .
They saw tons of stuff that they wanted, of course, but were content to “keep it in mind for Christmas” if it was more than a five-spot. So, that worked quite well.
He ended up with a $4.99 shark, and she got two $1.99 paddle balls.
(“One for me and one for Aunt Shrike, so we can have a paddle ball contest.”)
(We spotted them the sales tax.)
By the time we were done there, everyone was finally ready for ice cream, so we picked some up and headed home.
When we got here, there were messages on the answering machine from their mom and their dad, each calling to tell them goodnight. Oops.
I declared 9:30 to be bedtime, and I think we finally headed them that direction a bit after ten, and tucked the second one in around eleven.
We’re really going to have to work on that.
I baked the rest of the peanut butter cookies this afternoon.
You like how I said that?
All nonchalant-like, as though there were nothing out of the ordinary about the whole affair?
Yeah, not so much.
To back up just a bit because, as usual, I am about 63.5 miles ahead of myself. . . .
Our nine-year-old nephew, GodzillaBoy, spent the day with us, because he’s off school (recovering from a hernia repair on Tuesday, doing pretty well, going back to school Monday) and all his parents are working today.
He’s rather a picky eater, and we have no “kid food” in the house, so I was a bit concerned about what we’d feed him.
(Although we were pretty sure it would involved a trip to McDonald’s for McNuggets.)
Last night, I was thinking that he might enjoy some cookies (after all, who doesn’t?) so I took the leftover peanut butter cookie dough out of the freezer to thaw.
His dad dropped him off around 8:15 am, and not long after, we had the following conversation,
Aunt Whozat: “Did you have breakfast already?” (Thinking this was sort of rhetorical, because of course his father would feed him before dropping him off, right? Wrong.)
W: “Oh.” (cautiously) “Are you hungry?”
G: “Not really.”
W: (Whew!) “Well, for later, we have . . . . ” at which point I proceeded to list pretty much everything that we have in the house.
G: “No thank you. . . . No thank you. . . . No thank you. . . . No thank you. . . . No thank you. . . . No thank you.”
(He’s nothing if not polite, while rejecting my every suggestion.)
W: “Ok, well, we’ll think about it later when you get hungry.”
About thirty minutes later:
G: “Aunt Whozat, would you have some kind of treats to eat, like something sugary?”
W: (Hopefuly) “How about peanut butter cookies?”
G: “No, the only kind of cookies I like are chocolate chip.”
W: “Oh, well, we don’t have any chocolate chip cookies.”
G: “When you said you don’t have any chocolate chip cookies, do you mean that you maybe just have a little bit of chocolate chip cookies?”
(What an optimist!)
W: “No honey, I’m sorry. How about, when Aunt Shrike gets up (she was sleeping in because she works tonight) one of us can go to the store and get you something.”
G: “How about you could go now? I can handle myself.”
So, I woke Shrike up to let her know she was “on duty” even if she was still asleepish, ran to the store and got him some Pop-Tarts, while he handled himself quite nicely.
On the way home, I zipped through the McDonald’s drive-thru, only to find out that they don’t sell McNuggets at 9:30 am.
Shrike went back later for the McNuggets, of which I think he might have eaten one.
He did, however, eat 6 Pop-Tarts before he left around 3:00 pm.
After he and Shrike were gone, I thought it best that I go ahead and make the cookies.
You know, since the dough was thawed and all.
It turns out that the recipe probably makes more like 1 1/2 dozen, not 2 dozen, but I figured I didn’t need to be eating big cookies anyway, so I made up a dozen small ones, popped them in the oven, and set the timer for about five minutes (because they are very teeny).
When it went off, they were starting to look more like cookies than dough, but were still very soft, so I set it for another 2 – 3 minutes.
When the timer went off again, I walked into the kitchen and immediately saw the smoke coming up from the oven and out through the stove burners!
I think there was a tiny dot of not-burntness right in the middle of each one, but other than that?
Since I hated to throw them out, I broke them up and added them to an existing bowl of frozen homemade doggie snacks.
The last two times that I’ve made pot roast (The most recent being last night, which was, thankfully, uneventful. Also, delicious.) after trimming off that big slab of fat that you often find on one side of a roast (plus a little meat that you can’t avoid), I’ve cut it into bite-sized pieces and cooked them up for the dogs. Then I tossed them into a bowl and put them in the freezer. Frozen, meaty fat-chunks. What could be better if you’re a dog?!
So, the burnt cookies are (sort of) salvaged, but what about my needs?
My tastebuds are all set for peanut butter cookies and they will. Not. Be. Denied.
Aha – we have more peanut butter and sugar and fake-eggs.
I shall start from the beginning!
I figured 18 cookies is probably a bit more than we need to eat tonight (Because?
We I will eat them all tonight.) so I decided to make a half-recipe or so.
And, what the hell, let’s try it with the Splenda this time.
(See above note, re eating them all tonight.)
Except? We have no Splenda.
Well, we do have a Splenda / brown sugar mix, which is “twice the sweetness of regular brown sugar.”
Hmmm, so do I go with “twice as sweet” or “half as much volume of something-that’s-not-peanut-butter-to-make-them-sort-of-cookie-like?”
I think we all know the answer to that question.
I ended up using about 2/3 cup each of peanut butter and brown sugar / Splenda, as well as a couple of splashes of not-an-egg (to equal, in theory, about 2/3 of an egg).
I’m not sure how this happened, but I still only got about 10 smallish cookies out of the deal.
(Ok, it’s possible that I might have eaten a tiny bit of dough. But not half of it! Really.)
So, I put my sad little cookie-lets in the oven, set the timer for five minutes and went about my business.
I checked them when the buzzer went off, and they were still quite dough-like, so I set it for another two minutes (being very careful to go in tiny increments this time).
Two minutes later: still dough.
What the fu. . . oh.
Q: What’s the first thing one does when one discovers a smoking oven?
A: Evidently, one turns it off.
So, seven minutes in a sort-of-cooled-offish oven equals how long at 375 F?
I turned the damn thing back on, set the timer for five more minutes and crossed my fingers.
They were still soft but making progress at that point, and a couple more minutes (watching like a hawk the whole time) did the trick.
Of course, I had to test them once they were cool, to make sure that everything worked out ok.
I can’t tell the difference from the ones with real brown sugar, so that’s a good sign.
I’ve put the other nine away and hope that I can stay out of them til Shrike gets home.
If this post mysteriously disppears later this evening, you’ll know it’s because I couldn’t, and this never happened.
(Cookies? I don’t know what all those comments on my blog about cookies mean. Oh look, honey, a shiny-thing.)
Oh, and the first batch?
I gave a piece to each of the dogs.
PerfectPup spit it out.
Spit. It. Out.
It couldn’t have been too awful, though, because BigGaloot gobbled up both his and her rejected one.
On the other hand, BigGaloot eats dead things.
And the shit of dead things.