Friday, June 30, 2006

U-G-L-Y/I ain't got no alibi

I got my new driver's license yesterday. I swear I'm not that ugly in real life.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A crumby day

Why, WHY did I serve blueberry muffins for breakfast and then make friggin' cupcakes for my 3-year old's birthday party? I should have my head examined. I know damned well that muffins and cupcakes are two of the messiest foods around; the crumbs are driving me insane. Also, there's frosting in my hair. Also, I had all 5 kids this morning. Also, the 3-year old freaked out when I wouldn't allow him to have a birthday cupcake at 8:05am. Mean AJWP--"I don't like you," he told me, all teary and angry. I'm finding it hard to have much sympathy.

But oh! the love. I feel it deeply for my Clary B., who set to work cleaning up crumbs like it was her job. This time last year, she was more work than 3 kids put together. This year, she's my right-hand gal. I never was a dog person before Clara, but now we're a team.

Clara deserves a rest after all that cleaning.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Strawberry jam

Petunia and I put up strawberry jam last night. Check out our haul! It jelled nicely and the lids snapped into place without difficulty. I always say that homemade preserves are like money in the bank.

Fun with Cellulitis, Part Two

See, here's the thing: Child care providers? We're always sick. We wash our hands until our knuckles crack and bleed, but we still pick up crazy viruses from our kids. It's the worst part of the job. It sucks bigtime.

Last fall I had a spectacular run of illness, a virtual symphony of symptoms. It began in Allegro with a cold in mid-October, slowly turned Adagio with a growing sinus infection toward the end of the month, morphed into a Minuet of cellulitis in my nose in mid-November, and crescendoed into an roaring ear drum rupture on November 30 for the Presto finale. At least I got Vicodin for the rupture. It was meager compensation, though.

And after all that, guess what? The cellulitis--it's back. I called Dr. Dad this morning to ask if lightning ever strikes the same place twice, and he said, "Yep." So that's just lovely, isn't it? Another trip to Urgent Care tonight, another round of Clindamycin. Maybe a CT scan for good measure. My own nose is rebelling against me, swelling and turning v. tender by the hour. Last time around, it looked like I'd broken it; the left side of my poor schnoz swelled up and turned angry red. So far, the swelling isn't too bad this time around. Knock wood, y'all.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Big Cs: Home Edition

Petunia and I are participating in SWNIC's Home Renovation & Beautification Program, and today we got the work estimate. A rehab specialist came out to inspect our house a few weeks ago, took notes about the work we need to have done, and wrote up an estimate for the repairs. Altogether, they come to an estimated $12,000. Not bad, eh? This is where it pays to have a teeny tiny dollhouse of a home! Included in that list are 13 items, some small (new storm door) and some large (a bathroom renovation; a new roof). I'm REALLY excited about the prospect of getting some of this work done FOR FREE, but we don't yet know if our grant will be $3,000 or $10,000. We know the grant won't cover all of the work, but we'd appreciate even a couple hundred bucks. Know what I mean, Jellybean?

Contest results

Sorry, friends--the correct answer was TEN goldfish! One went belly-up yesterday, but 5 went home with folks in the neighborhood. We're keeping 2 fish, but we have to find homes for 2 more. If you live in Worcester and you want a pair of goldfish, please let me know!

As for the barfing, it was just once. I'm not sure what happened; once we left the wedding I was all, "I feel carsick." The nausea increased as we drove, and by the time we hit Framingham I needed Petunia to pull over. GRODY.

And as for J., he busted out The Worm plus some breakdance moves during Michael Jackson's PYT. I nearly peed, I was laughing so much. (Also, for the funniest Worm story ever, take a look at Yvonne's moves over at Joy Unexpected. I love her!)

So that's the wedding recap. Thanks for playing along at home!

Blogroll alert

My friend S. is going all Wordsworth on us in her new blog. Check it out and let her know what you think! I'm psyched that she's writing again.

Paper anniversary

One year ago today, we applied to DSS to become adoptive parents.

That's all.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hazy and humid, if not terribly hot

It's only 80 degrees today, but it's crazy humid.

Josie perches on the desk and stares at me balefully.

Reuben seeks shelter from the ickiness by hiding out in his cat house.

I amuse myself by styling the kids' sweaty hair into horns.

Something smells fishy

The fish wranglers are back in town!

We had a lovely time at J&M's wedding, and we are pleased to report that not a single fish died during the reception. I did not spill fish water on my pretty pretty dress, and Petunia didn't have to dig any graves. I think we can call that "Success," don't you?

A big gold star goes to the first person to guess correctly the number of fish we brought home last night. Bonus: If you can also guess correctly the number of times I threw up last night on the MassPike, I'll send you a handmade Subversive Cross Stitch bookmark. Extra super-dee-duper bonus: If you can guess the song that was playing while J. did The Worm at his own wedding, I'll send you the bookmark and a jar of homemade strawberry jam. Good luck!

Friday, June 23, 2006

My cups runneth over

As I was putting the kids down for their naps earlier this afternoon, an underwire poked through my bra. I pulled it out, threw it away, and forgot all about it until 15 minutes ago when I went into the bathroom and saw my lopsided chest in the mirror. I whipped out the scissors and got busy with the other cup, trying to free the underwire without stabbing myself in the chest (a delicate operation, no?). As I was doing so, I heard a knock at the door. It was one of the kids' dads, here for an early pickup.


Why does this kind of thing always happen to me?

At least he didn't see me in my bra, though I'm sure he wondered why it took me so long to come to the door.

Reality check

I was talking with my dad last night when it hit me: I'm going to be a mama. And soonish, too! This wait to reapply has been going on for so long that it's hard to imagine it's almost over. By the end of September, Petunia and I will be waiting for Hester Willa. And after that, s/he could make an appearance at any time. Holy smokes!

I'm getting really excited about all of the things to do once we're in the waiting pool. We'll have to find a pediatrician, decide about diapers, find a family lawyer, buy a crib, stroller, and other kid equipment, plan announcements, and finish Hester's room, among other things. We could take care of some of that stuff now, but I think it'll be good to have things to fill the time while we wait. We've heard that it could be a couple of years before we have a match, but we've also heard that it could be just a few months. Eek! It's all so exciting.

We also have to decide what to call ourselves, which seems simple but is proving to be more difficult than we'd imagined. All you LGBT parents and soon-to-be parents out there, how did you decide/how are you deciding? Was gender an issue for you? Petunia's leaning toward some of the names traditionally reserved for male parents, while I've laid claim to "Mama." Both of us feel strongly that we don't want to use made-up names for ourselves, and I'm not comfortable with the whole "let the baby choose your name" thing, either. It's a modern day dilemma, that's for sure.

Only 18 days till our MAPP class begins!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not Showing

Remember this post? I was sad that Not Showing didn't have regular sizes for their adoption t-shirts, so I harassed the owner about it a couple of times. I have good news to report: she just placed an order for plus-size t-shirts. Yay!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Like a party line, but sketchier

Question: If your neighbor tells you that she overheard your cordless phone conversation on her own cordless phone, what should you do? I'm really freaked out. This is the second time one of my neighbors told me that my phone calls aren't private.

Update as of 6/29: We replaced one cordless phone with a landline. We also upgraded our remaining cordless, following JPP's recommendation. I called the phone company, too--they were useless re: cordless interference, but I managed to save us $20/month on our phone bill! Yay, Big C.

Under the Sea: A Wedding to Remember

By now y'all know that I love weddings. You also know that I'm v. happy to help the brides and/or grooms in order to further my dream of becoming J.Lo in The Wedding Planner. To this end, Petunia and I have tied ribbons, arranged flowers, taken photographs, read poems, cut tulle, and given toasts, among other wedding-related duties. We're pretty flexible and patient (not to mention crafty!), so folks generally take us up on our offer of help. However, when M. got back to us yesterday regarding her wedding this Sunday, we were startled to read the following:

"Our centerpieces are big bubble bowls with sea glass in the bottom, a gerber daisy floating in the top, and two goldfish swimming in the bowl! I am so happy about them. However, I am pertrified of a fish dying during the reception! Could you guys be the fish watchers??? You do not have to walk in circles to all the tables continuously checking to see if all the fish are alive, but if you could periodically just take a peek, I would be so relieved to know that there are no belly-up floaters at the tables. We will have a backup supply of fish, and the coordinator at the Inn will help out, too. So if one fish kicks the bucket, you could remove the bowl, take it into the lobby, bury the dead one, and bring the bowl back in with a live one. We'll have a fish net and everything all there. So what do you think??? Sound like the most bizarre thing someone has ever asked you to do????"

Um, YES. Seriously, how grody is this wedding request? But also, could it be any funnier? When Petunia forwarded it to me, I was like, "Is this a joke? Am I drunk right now?" Can't y'all just see me in my pretty pretty dress crying over a dead fish? I wonder what J.Lo would do.

And also: How does one accessorize a fish net?

And HALSO: You know which suckers are going to end up taking home all of the centerpieces. Place your bets now: How many fish do you think will be in our home on Sunday night?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

End of an era

Farewell, Clover!
Happy trails.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Birthday Season

So here's the deal: I have 6 children enrolled in my program. Five of the six kids have summer birthdays, and the first child's birthday is this Wednesday. His birthday marks the official start of Birthday Season, a time filled with buttercream frosting, hooty horns, and Petunia's and my eligibility to reapply to DSS for adoption! We have 49 days to go until we're able to reapply on August 7. Our MAPP class begins 3 weeks from tomorrow.

There's much to celebrate!

Portland Pride and the $1,000 Roses

Petunia and I took the Grey Ghost for her first road trip to Portland Pride on Saturday. It was a great celebration, and I was impressed by the size and visibility of Portland's genderqueer community. Sadly, we did not meet up with J., but we had a great time people watching as we looked for her!

On our way back to the car, we happened across Portland's beautiful rose garden. The flowers were gorgeous, but as I bent down to smell a huge bright red flower, a passerby said, "Don't do it! There's a $1,000 fine if you pick the flowers!"

Sure enough, a guard came over to supervise my rose experience. Fortunately, he said that smelling the flowers was perfectly legal, so I sniffed a few roses, made Clary B. pose by some lovely pink blooms, then hightailed it out of there. But as Petunia, Clara, and I made our way out of the garden, another passerby cautioned us, "You want to be careful in there--there's a $1,000 fine for picking the flowers!"

I guess we looked like rose-thieving tourists. Good times.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thinking good thoughts

You know how sometimes you hear about a person and you think, "Jesus God, how much more can that person endure? Enough already. Give her a fucking break." I have an auntie like this. She's in her 60s now and she's seen so much suffering, heartache, and grief--and the hits just keep on comin'. This time, she has a frightening medical problem that seems very grave. Her test results will be back soon, and I'm hoping with all my might that this particular pain will pass her by.


We've stepped into summer here at Chez AJWP: swimsuits, sunscreen, and water play for the kids; iced beverages and flip flops for me. My favorite part is when they're all engrossed in play and I can sit down for a minute (maybe), sip my coffee, and enjoy the canopy of maple leaves over the back yard. We might not have grass, but we've got hella shade!

Best things about summer:
--Being outside
--The kids LOVE the water table, sprinkler, kiddie pool, and sandbox
--Iced coffee and sweet tea, obviously
--Putting my feet in the kiddie pool to cool off
--Not worrying about the kids' clothes getting dirty since they're in swimsuits
--Spraying Clary B. with the water hose

Worst things about summer:
--School's out and neighborhood kids scream during my kids' naptime, which wakes them up early
--Humidity and heat
--Applying sunscreen to squirmy kids
--Watching kids rub sunscreen directly into their eyes
--Hearing kids scream about the sunscreen in their eyes (I buy the "ouchless" kind, too--it's crap)
--All the construction in my neighborhood--again with the wakey wakey

Sometimes I forget that other people don't spend their workdays with sunscreen, tiny sandy shoes, and water tables. Do y'all have different work routines in the summer?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Random thoughts

--Today is 2nd quarter tax day for self-employed folks, which means I had to send a huge check to the IRS and a smaller one to the MA Department of Revenue. YUCK. But at least I won't be shitting myself in anxiety on April 15 like I did last year.

--I love these shirts, but how bummed am I that they don't come in regular sizes? Size 8-10 doesn't cut it, folks. Wendy says she'll be adding larger sizes soon, but I want to get one when we start our MAPP class in July. I think I'll have to make my own.

--I looked out the window a little bit ago, saw the grey car in the driveway and thought, "Hey, who's here? Where'd my car go?"

--Pregnant Neighbor had her baby shower last weekend when we were at Pride. She invited us, so last Friday I gave her a gift box containing 3 onesies, 2 tank tops, a pair of infant pants, a blanket, a hat, booties (those 7 things were in a set), tiny cotton infant shoes, a white bonnet like she wanted (I got that at Target during their post-Easter sales for $.25!), and a handmade bib with her baby's name embroidered on it. Everything was pale pink like she wanted. It wasn't the most expensive gift in the world, but it was practical and (I thought) thoughtful. So why did she complain to me yesterday that all she got for her shower was onesies? I was pissed, and I'm still seething today.

--Guess who read her new car owner manual cover-to-cover? NERD.

That's all.


UPDATE AS OF 6PM: Apparently, I've been walking around all day with a big green baby booger on my shoulder. Classy!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

As promised...

See? That was quick, right?

I have new blog fodder in the form of an announcement from my former college professor/mentor, the man who got me interested in applied child development. The big news: he and his wife had baby #3 on Friday.

I'm happy for them and all, but it's hard to see through the green mist. Why are they so fertile? Why am I so envious?


Driving you crazy

I know, I know--these car posts are getting boring. Please bear with me! I've been thinking a lot about why I'm so excited to have a new car, and it boils down to these two things:

1. The new car will be safer and more reliable than our current car. That's good for us, but it'll be especially good for Hester Willa. Oh Hester, the Grey Ghost will be your first chariot! I hope you'll like it--your mamas were thinking of you when we picked it out.

2. I never thought I'd be able to afford a new car. I just assumed that I'd always drive secondhand cars. But when we did the math, we realized we could actually afford the new Corolla. Amazing!

So that's that. We're driving out to the dealership to pick up the Grey Ghost this evening, and I promise I'll write about something other than cars soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Tonight we have to drive out to Milford to sign the title and registration paperwork for our new car. We'll get to meet the Grey Ghost, but we won't be able to bring her home until tomorrow when she gets her new plates.

I'm trying to be patient. Really, I am.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Dear Blogger,

Please put my links back where they belong.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Grey ghost

After spending a rainy Pride with the folks from GLAD, Petunia and I headed out to the Toyota dealership yesterday to buy our new car. Um, yes--NEW! With new car smell! Neither of us has ever had a new car, so we're very excited to be the first owners of this 2006 Corolla CE (color: Phantom Gray). I'm proud of my negotiation job, too--many thanks to my dad, who told me to play dealers off each other until I got a price I liked ("You have to play the player"), and to my mom, who's the Biggest C. Ever of Car Negotiations. Her advice got us a free cargo net for the trunk and gave us confidence to walk away from good, but not great, deals. Thanks again, Mom and Dad--now your grandchild will have a reliable ride and her/his mamas won't be shitting themselves over repair costs. Sweet!

Friday, June 09, 2006

They must be jelly, cuz jam don't shake like that

Look what's making a comeback, at least according to the trendy folks at Urban Outfitters! Thanks for the heads-up, JPP. My feet didn't sweat enough the first time around, so I'm glad to see they have the white pair I favored back in '83. They went with everything, doncha know.

Anticipating Pride

Tomorrow is Boston Pride! For once, I'm looking forward to Pride; now that I'm no longer gay for pay, I can kick back and relax without worrying about work. Petunia and I will be marching with GLAD, and we're hoping to meet up with friends who are marching with the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project and MassEquality. I'm looking forward to the festivities and to spending time with our friends.

But you know what's crazy? I can't help but think that this time next year, we might be preparing for Hester Willa's first Pride! I know I shouldn't get ahead of myself, but how exciting would that be? Baby's First there's a scrapbook page to remember.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

3 pieces of news

News from our mechanic: We narrowly escaped going up in flames, so that's good, right? Now Clover has a new, non-leaking fuel injector and 2 new front tires as well. If you know someone who wants a decent back-and-forth-to-work car, let me know, 'kay? We're ready to sell now that we know that Clover's not a fireball in disguise.

News from the Toyota dealership: We have to come in tonight to "run some numbers." Aren't those the scariest words ever? We got preapproved yesterday for an auto loan, so at least we'll be meeting them from a position of strength. Except I don't think we'll be able to negotiate much since there's such demand for the Yaris. Yikes. For real, if y'all have any tips, please let me know.

News from the HUD Home Improvement & Beautification grant program: We have a home inspector coming over tonight to take a look at the house and recommend possibilities for improvement. I could give him a 3-page list, but whatever. It's times like these that I'm glad we live in a low-income neighborhood. You know the rich folks don't get HUD grants to fix up their homes and yards!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Clover's long, slow breakdown

We're getting ready to say goodbye to our car, Clover the Atrocious Beast. I bought her in 1999 right out of graduate school, and these days she's feeling her age. She's 10 years old now with 170,000 miles, and her repairs are getting out of control. Last weekend she spent 22 hours in the shop, and now she's got a strong gasoline smell, bad alignment, and creaky/squeaky sounds coming from both hood and muffler. Also, she runs hot even after last weekend's marathon radiator flush. Poor Clover!

We've been anticipating her breakdown for a while now, and we've had our eyes on the Corolla and Yaris from Toyota. We test drove a Yaris last weekend, and we planned to buy one at the end of this month. It looks like we might be moving up our date of purchase, depending on what the mechanic says tomorrow about the gas smell. (We're renting a car today, so don't worry about us going up in flames!) After hearing the mechanic's verdict, we'll also decide whether to sell Clover privately or to try to sell her to a junkyard. Her blue book trade-in value is a whopping $250, so we're not even going to mess with that unless the dealership wants to give us a great deal.

I've been spending all my free time researching car buying and getting us preapproved for a low-interest loan. If y'all have any tips for us, please share them! We need all the help we can get.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today's recap: Major tantrum at 8am, home repair issues, impending car repair and/or new car purchase woes, HUD grant application stress, lots of worrying about money, getting snappish with Petunia, forgetting to call my uncle after his pacemaker surgery, no good books at the library, a "to do" list a mile long, being up too late and knowing I have to get up at 4:30am to install a new light switch in the kitchen.

It's time for bed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Summer Vacation

We had a wonderful vacation and I'm glad to be home. Here are the best parts of our vacation, in chronological order:

1. Timbits in Connecticut. Why don't we have a Tim Horton's near us?
2. The en suite pool in the Poconos. Fantastic!
3. The crazy 7-ft. tall champagne hot tub--we had movie star bubbles in that thing.
4. Playing camp games with Petunia--shuffleboard, mini-golf, paddleboating (check out the photo--we chose a swan paddleboat in honor of Romeo & Juliet, the lesbian swans in the Boston Public Garden), and archery (my first time--turns out I have a way with a bow and arrow).
5. Reading a whole book while lying in front of the fireplace. It doesn't get more decadent than that.
6. The crazy-tacky faux constellation ceiling in the Poconos bedroom--they're real lights on a dimmer.
7. Going to Chick-Fil-A twice.
8. Sweet tea! How I've missed you, sweet tea.
9. Hearing all those beautiful Virginia accents. Sigh.
10. Seeing my dear friend K. after 11 years (!) and meeting her warm, welcoming sister C.
11. Touring Smithfield Plantation, where K&K had their wedding. Their little English garden was so sweet.
12. Attending K&K's wedding. Lovely!
13. Listening to 5 books on tape by David Sedaris. They got us through the whole trip.
14. Clary B.'s welcome home, quickly followed by Bubby's and Josie's welcomes. They Lennied me as much as I Lennied them.
15. Spending so much QT with my beloved Petunia. It was our first real vacation since our honeymoon in 2001, and it was wonderful. Happy 5th anniversary year to my partner in crime!

Virginia wedding

Lush foliage, southern hospitality, bluegrass music, and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the couldn't have been a more beautiful wedding. Congratulations to K&K--may your happiness last a lifetime!