Here is Isaac at the age of 3 "reading" the book to me:
Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos
Back in November, I received a very interesting comment:
Turns out that the woman was much more interesting, as well as faithful, intelligent, and with a flair for wicked insight. Every day I look forward to hearing from her, what other interesting and controversial thing she has to say, what other work of art she has discovered.
Although she does have terminal Inflammatory Breast Cancer, her identity is not one of a cancer victim, but of a victor. She is not a sick person; she is a teacher passing on wisdom, lessons of grace, humor, love, and above all, humanity.
So I finally had surgery on my hand on Tuesday! I reported at the surgery ward at 5 freaking 30 in the morning, since I was the first one scheduled for the day. They set up an IV drip, and into it went some delicious Versed (for my NERVES, Loca) and Zofran for nausea. They wheeled me into the OR, squirted some Fentanyl into my drip, and the next thing I know I'm back to my little curtained corner, putting my clothes back on with one hand (my right hand was totally numb) and asking the recovery nurse if my granuloma bled all over the place. "Uh, I wasn't in the room, hon, but I don't think so." "But but but I thought it would bleed." I told myself to shut up before I started scaring people. Fifteen minutes later, Tim picked me up and we headed home.
How First World in the 21st Century was that experience????? No pain, seamless transitions, hardly any waiting. Oy vey, thinking about how I had to suffer through 18th-century silver nitrate sessions in order to get there, my brain gets stuck between indignation and relief. But I'll just stick to relief for now. One bad thing, though, is that I have no idea what they did to my finger or what it even looks like. I think they might have shown me while I was under anesthesia. Hopefully it's happy in its packaging, which will be removed in 10 days.
Oh wait, there's one other bad thing:
They bandaged my finger to look like a small penis.
(If you're wondering about the significance of AL, those are my surgeon's initials. He marked the finger to be operated on, as if the parasite-ridden pustule wasn't enough indication.)
People have written to me asking to see what my finger looked like. So, here you go! Middle finger with pyogenic granuloma on right, my other unaffected middle finger on left for comparison. Ouch!
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, honoring the woman who was the first software designer.
Who was Ada?
(from Finding Ada)
I pledged to commemorate the event by blogging about a present-day female technological pioneer, and my work was pretty much done for me by this announcement a couple weeks ago that the 2009 winner of the Turing Prize is Barbara Liskov, chair of the Programming Methodology Group at MIT, pioneer of distributed programming AND what later became object-oriented programming. What a rockstar. She's also a fellow Stanford Computer Science alumna, which gives me an extra tickle.
This press release by MIT sums up her accomplishments nicely.
So, in honor of Lady Lovelace and Barbara Liskov, give the female techie closest to you a big hug and a big bar of chocolate. There's not that many of us!
1. What is something mom always says to you?
i love you
2. What makes your mom happy?
doing good things
3. What makes your mom sad?
when i (Isaac) get mad at you
4. How does your mom make you laugh?
when i ask a silly question
5. What was your mom like as a child?
she was like me!
6. How old is your mom?
***editor's note: lies!
7. How tall is your mom?
3 tall on the top
8.What is her favorite thing to do?
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
i don't know!
11. What is your mom really good at?
12. What is your mom not very good at?
you can't draw birds
13. What does your mom do for her job?
14. What's your mom's favorite food?
15. What makes you proud of your mom?
when i give you a present
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
***editor's note: very literal, this kid
17. What do you and your mom do together?
have fun playing ball together
18. How are you and your mom the same?
we're both grown up
19. How are you and your mom different?
you're big and i'm short
20. How do you know your mom loves you?
because i love me
21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Despite Little Miss Emimoo desperately trying to ruin my nights and dampen my good spirits through flying food and supersonic screechiness, a blood-filled tumor causing my middle finger to swell up and blush in various shades of purple, and a slew of other responsibilities competing for control of my sanity, I shall now share with you a few reasons why I am still relatively happy and giddy.
1. March Madness and the WBC
A little unknown fact about me: I love college basketball. I especially love The Big Dance every March, and I participate in an NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket pool every year. And every year I lose really badly. But this year will be different! I really feel like I have it in the bag this time. Click through to see it full-size and please ignore all the red already:
|From Bracket 2009|
If your bracket does not look like mine, then you are going to lose. To ME.
And to put the icing on the professional sports spectator cake, part of this year's World Baseball Classic is being held in southern California! Last night I got to watch Korea vs. Japan at my parents' house. Let's just say that I was screaming and throwing dried squid at a Sony television when a Japanese pitcher hurled a fastball into the brain stem of one of our players. Then I got mad at my parents for buying a Sony instead of a Samsung. I get really, really, REALLY jingoistic when it comes to Korea vs. Japan on anything, and to a lesser extent, Korea vs. USA. I trash-talk and spew racist epithets like the Occupation and the Korean War are simultaneously still happening. Take it from my poor husband, who unfortunately is both Japanese and American, whose face gets all scratched up during World Cup, WBC, and Olympic years.
DAE HAN MIN GUK MAN SAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Fruit Punch
I have recently rediscovered this magical elixir. Now they have all-juice varieties which aren't nearly as sketchy as the powdered Red Drink of my youth. But let's face it, all-natural crack is still crack. Lots of last-minute shit on your plate and you feel like you're going to cry, explode, or beat a bitch? Go to the fridge and take a hit. Instant sunshine and happiness. Don't give it to your kids, though, I think the shit causes cancer.
3. Unbelievably cute baby shoes, I HAZ DEM
If Emily is going to be a bratty 2-year-old, might as well have the shoes to match, right?
4. Spring Blossoms
All around the city, stone fruit trees are beginning to blossom. From the bright magenta of the peach trees to the whisper pink of the almond trees, petals are bursting from lifeless branches. Mother Nature absolutely pwns any human technology every spring. I can barely suppress my urges to burst out in song, like "SAKURA! SAKURA! YAYOI NO SORA WAAAAAAA!" but then I remember that I hate Japan right now.
5. Vicodin in Bed
Mommy's Little Helpers. The best thing about having a pyogenic granuloma on your finger is that it hurts so bad, doctors give you Vicodin. I don't go to sleep anymore without popping one. And it makes the nighttime Emily care so much more manageable. She wakes up about 4 times a night complaining about too much blanket, not enough blanket, too much snuggling, not enough snuggling, too much fluff in the pillow, you get the picture. I used to get mad, now I smile like the Virgen de Guadalupe and can honestly tell her she's such a good, beautiful, flower of a girl and Mama loves her, even as she kicks me in the face. Ah, the precious little moments of motherhood!
Argh! My little Emily is so, well, so TWO!!!
Insubordinate! Capricious! So goddamn bullheaded red-in-the-face stubborn!
When she drinks from a juice box, she insists on taking out the straw and squeezing the drink into her mouth, and screams when it gets all over her clothes.
When we try to put her to bed, her screams of "Noooooooo Mama!" echo all around the neighborhood. Mind you, I am RIGHT THERE next to her, it's not like we're trying to get her to sleep by herself (heaven forbid that concept come near this girl!). Frankly, I am surprised we haven't been visited by a riot squad and Sally Struthers in our front yard crying "Will somebody Save the Chiiiiiildreeeen!"
Last week, we went up to the Bay Area on a mutual business trip. We hooked it up with our old daycare provider so the kids could visit their old friends, and in the evenings we could all eat at our favorite little restaurants we miss so much. Ideal, no? It would have been, if we didn't have a 2-year-old Diva Curmudgeon in our midsts. She was INDIGNANT that we were sleeping in a hotel. She wailed and gnashed her teeth for an hour before I Hail Mary-ed her into Tim's arms and he drop-kicked her into the car and she wailed in there until she fell asleep. We had to do this for two nights. Apparently he had time to drive by a few of our old houses in the East Bay. That must have been swell. It would all make a really profound circle-of-life sequel to "Driving Miss Daisy;" maybe we could call it "Driving Me Crazy."
Sigh. That was a terrible joke, sorry about that. As I write, she is giggling and batting her eyelashes at Kai-Lan on TV. If she does this to you, don't fall for it! It's just to get your guard down so she can later gobble up your soul with her cereal (Regular Cheerios, not Honey Nut by God, milk on the side or ELSE).
A couple nights ago, Isaac and I were reading a book on mythical creatures before bedtime. I asked him what his favorite was, and he couldn't think of one. I thought I'd start so I said my favorite creature was Ganesh because he's a big elephant and his chariot is a little mouse and I thought that was so cool. He thought hard, and started listing off...
"Uuuuum, I like pizza, I like hot dogs, I like Hong Kong, I like whales..."
He paused just long enough for me to grab a pen and paper. He kept rattling off in the same rhythm, "I like this, I like this, I like this..." for almost an hour, with hardly any pause.
Two hundred fifty items later (with very little repeats), he said he was done. The resultant list is both random and logical, and I bet if you asked any 5-year-old boy what his favorite things were, you'd get the exact same list. No wonder little kids are so happy: they can sit there and fill the time thinking about things they like and why they like them. So amazing.
And thus this website was born:
It shows one randomized thing on his list at a time, and if you click anywhere on the screen or refresh your browser, it will take you to the next randomized thing. My personal favorites are "the Arctic tundra" and "myself."
One of my main resolutions this year was to cook dinner at home at least 5 nights a week. I'm really proud to say that so far I've stuck to it, but not so proud to discover that my family does not really appreciate my cooking. Sure, Tim is old enough to swallow down whatever I plop down on the table. But the kids usually will have a couple nibbles and beg off.
At first we figured the kids weren't that hungry. Maybe they fill up at school, or they aren't in the middle of any growth spurts. Sure, not every kid goes gaga over artichoke and mushroom fettucine, but if we keep offering them vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, they're bound to appreciate the from-scratch, mostly-organic meals I spend 1-2 hours cooking one day, right? Still, two months passed with poor results. Emily sometimes woke up at the wee hours of dawn, crying from hunger.
The last straw came over the weekend. I made a delicious arroz con pollo, but instead of rice, I used barley. I thought it was awesome. Tim smiled politely and chewed on. Isaac gobbled down his chicken but eschewed the "weird rice." Emily, who normally is a rice fanatic, threw her bowl to the floor, screeching in indignation. That's when it hit me: who am I cooking these crazy meals for? Sure, I want my family to eat healthier, but is it really my right to make every dinner an experiment? Is it tough love or just pigheaded to force my kids to expand their palates, or else starve?
As I cleared the table that night, I resolved to take things down a notch. Out of the 5 nights I cook, I'll make 2 of them kid-friendly. And no, whole wheat macaroni with aged gouda and goat cheese does not count.
So tonight was hot dog night. Well, I grilled up some leftover Italian sausages as well, and the buns were whole wheat (I know I know, I'm a stubborn bitch). But get this: Emily, who normally doesn't eat meat at all, ate THREE weiners (no buns). Isaac had 3 whole hot dogs with ketchup and mustard slathered all over them. Tim and I barely had enough to eat ourselves! Throughout the meal, Isaac and Emily exclaimed "Yummmm!!! Thank you Mama!!! Thank you for this yummy dinner!" and we had great dinner conversation, instead of the normal squeezing-out-of-information. Emily even clapped and sang for her supper. And I am sure she'll sleep well tonight.
Of course, this was a big blow to my culinary ego, but this evening was what I was searching for when I first made my resolution. Fine, I won't be able to try out the vegetarian quinoa tabbouleh I had my eye on for a while, but at least I'll have an excuse for the corn dogs in my shopping cart.