The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The knives were dirty

Fear not, I found another way to let the girls flirt with danger while bringing me shameless-home-with-my-girls-and-misbehaving-delight. This pet lobster lived at my office for three years, during which time there was never an occasion when I ever got the suction cup to, um, you know, suck on to any surface. Ever! And no, Avery does not say "shit"in the middle of this, when she says "shit" you totally know it, we made sure of that.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Latte Elitist

Me: I'll take a grande coffee light frappaccino.

Him: Uhhhh...(long silence while his fingers draw big air circles over the register in search of the right button). What flavor?

Me: Coffee.

Him: (More air signaling and searching) What size?

Me: Grande.

Him: (Pained look followed by what was almost drooling, then a grunt and then this:) Kind?

Me: Excuse me?

Him: Kind? (Louder than the first time)

Me: Frappaccino?

Him: $3.67.

Then the other barrista came over and said, "What is gonna be for huh?"

Him: The light base.

Her hand made wide, looping circles over the cups and then she glared at him.

Her: Kind?

Him: The coffee one.

She glared at him.

Her: Kind, not flavor.

Him: Uhhhhh....frappaccino.

Her: Kind?

Him: Huh?

Her: Flavor?

Him: Coffee.

Silence followed. Ten minutes later they handed me a frozen drink that looked for all the world to be ejaculating whip cream.

Sean walked over, "Whip cream?"

Me: Don't get me started.
I searched for a napkin as whip cream continued to spill out of the cup and cover my hands.
Tell me they don't look like Starbucks workers.

He looked at them, taking in the sloppy aprons over mismatched wrinkled shirts and the continued confusion of the guy at the register. Sean smiled, amused at how my treat had gone so predictably wrong and how uncharacteristically disdainful I was being.

Me: Imagine if I were really a bitch!
(Flicking copious amounts of whip cream down the tiny waste hole in the counter, I spat in the haughtiest most shameful voice:)
Those two! Those two were like airport Starbucks employees.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

The girls and I stayed home yesterday, the three of us were a sniffling, watery-eyed, please-hold-me mess. I could write about some of the rosey times-- the fireside cuddles, the eskimo kisses and sweet orange-juicy toddler breath, or I could let down my guard.

I could tell you, in hushed tones, how very hard it was. I could reveal that I wanted to curl up and sleep, have Sean stroking my brow and that I didn't want to help anyone go to the bathroom. I might even be able to admit that when Briar woke up from her nap after 20 minutes I wanted to weep and rage, instead I brought her in bed with me and pretended to listen as she read to me, chastising me every few pages for not paying enough attention.

Later I made them the soup they asked for and when they didn't eat it I felt stung. When they abandoned the third project I scraped together and began high sticking with Swiffers in the kitchen and I saw that the clock read 11:17am I feared I wouldn't make it. My head throbbed, I felt as if the ligaments between my legs and pelvis were shearing, my sciatic nerve was piercing me to my core and the idea of 10 more hours as a single, sick parent made my stomach turn. If I were really brave and you swore not to tell I could admit, while choking back tears and bile, that when they wouldn't nap in the afternoon and when it felt like we had been caged inside for 72 hours, I yelled.

I felt like a colossal failure and bit the insides of my mouth with fury. The fury was at myself, not the girls and when after 40 minutes I gave up and called the victor of the nap battle to unanimously be the girls, there was relief. Should I have caved? Maybe not. Do I think if I were given a do-over I could change how it played out? No.

It just isn't going to be perfect, the best I can hope for is not to hurt them. Never, ever to hurt them. There are things you don't say, actions you don't indulge, no matter how badly the circumstances or your own weakness might demand. And so, we made it. We woke today with smiles and cuddles...still sniffling, still needy, but slightly less desperate, and, most importantly, not wounded.

Today I am grateful to feel like I can say these things to you and even more grateful to say, "Thank God Dad is home."


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jell-O Shot Anyone?*

So awful, laughing my congested ass off at the idea of someone trying to do a Jell-O shot of this belly.

Or maybe it's the fact that not only did I not have an unopened box of Jell-O for this impromptu photo shoot, I didn't have anything but Butterscotch pudding, which, while 'Calci-yum!' as the box promises, is not the best selection for a shot done off a belly, taut or, ahem, otherwise.

The out-takes are pretty hysterical too. Again, this may all be because I am home sick, bored, punchy and alone.

*This post is dedicated to the decidedly not-fat Mrs. Chicken who is having one of the inevitable "Do-I-look-like-the-fat-chick-at-the-bar-with-the-too-tight-clothing-or-do-people-understand-that-I-am-pregnant?" periods of pregnancy.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Her Royal Highness and the Spud

You can do everything to treat your kids the same:
mete out identical portions of treats;
match toy and game acquisition with unerring accuracy;
balance the rotation of who goes first and who gets what;

and on and on, the reality is, despite your best intentions, history may paint a different story.

There they are, note the matching care seats, the pigtails (Briar's braided and Avery's loose as per their preferences). Briar is playing with a spangly princess necklace and Avery has got her potato. Her super fun, can't-live-without-it-must-take-it-with-me-from-Deb's-potato.

You think I'm kidding, but look at the grip she's got on that thing.

And this? Here she is telling me in no uncertain terms that, no, she does not want to eat her potato for dinner, nor does she want me to intrude on her spud cuddle.

Later at Target, as Briar fawned over-the-top Snow White dress and ring she'd picked as her reward, I put my foot down. Avery was clutching a Swiffer Sweeper refill pack to her face saying, "My present. My present!"

"Oh, honey, you are my present. That's not your present, you are getting a toy!"

And so it is that tonight she'll sleep betwixt Pooh and the potato.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So a pregnant chick sits down at a table with 3 engineers...

What happens you ask?

Absolutely nothing.

No offense to any engineer readers I might have, as soon as my belly and I sat down it was like the air over the table froze. Small talk sputtered at best.

"Butter?" I offered.

"No thanks, don't use it," answered engineer number 1, who was a dead ringer for Scotty from Star Trek

"You don't use butter, really?" queried engineer number 2.

"No," answered Scotty, never looking up from his dry roll.

Quiet chewing of dry dinner roll ensued.

"I'm from Canada," offered engineer number 2 completely out of the blue.

"You don't say," the third engineer lobbed back completely by reflex.

Sipping and chewing.

"I'm from Vermont," said Scotty proudly."A lot to do there."


"There is a lot to do in Vegas, too," randomly threw out the 3rd engineer.

Seizing an opportunity to sustain a conversation volley I said, "Oh, are you from Vegas?"


More chewing.

They looked at me and, based on their complete inability to address me or even look at me I figured they saw this:


or this:

I did what anyone would do in the situation, I lost myself in my ice water

and gave a solemn vow

to never do another malicious thing if someone could just put us out of our misery. The end.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hurry or mama's gonna pee

Picking the girls up from the sitter's house today:

Me: Ok girls, let's go.

They stood in the car (yes, we did buy a mini-van, and no, I am not ready to give up calling my vehicle a car, despite its irrefutable vanness) staring at me.

Me: Come on girls. Hurry up, get in your seats or I am going to pee.

Briar: Are you going to pee in the car, mommy?

Me: No, honey, but I really have to go, so let's hurry.

A: Mommy peein'.

Me: No, not quite yet, but hopefully soon.

Briar: Mama, did you drink something that makes you pee?

Me: I guess I must have.

A: Mama peein'.

Briar: Here let me check.

I was buckling Avery in when I felt two very cold hands slip into the waistband of my pants.

Briar: I'm checking you mom. Yup, you stink, you have to pee.

Me: Briar! I do not stink. You stink when you have to poop. I have to pee.

Briar: Yes, you are, you are going to poop.

Avery: Mama poopin'. Mama stink.

And it was at that precise moment that the mailman walked by, unlike every other day in the history of seeing him as I pick up the girls he was NOT wearing his iPod. Swell, my kid thinks I stink and the mailman thinks I'm shitting myself.

How's your day going?

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Deep Fried Amnesia

The only thing I can figure is at some point I slipped into a fugue state of sorts. There's just no explanation for this misery, this insufferable, debilitating discomfort other than a marathon session at the buffet-o-deep-fried-foods.
Chimichangas for seven?
Brawts, horseradish and beer?
Jalapeno poppers and a blooming onion?
Raw onions and tabasco?

I swear I've never had any of these things, but the pain that radiates from pelvis to esophagus suggests otherwise. We're going on day three of me walking around clutching my belly and moaning, that is when I'm not belching, wincing or hiccuping. I suppose the good thing is I am simply to exhausted and consumed by my gastro-intestinal distress to bemoan my size or sallow skin.

Excuse me, it's too hard to blog while keep a hand on my brow in a gesture of suffering.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How to get to Sesame Street

Yesterday was a bleak day in the Adirondacks - grey skies, a persistent, oppressive icy mist hung in the air, and dense slush covered the ground making it nearly impassable to pedestrians and vehicles alike. I had to dash over to Trampoline mid-morning, so I bundled up and made for the coffee shop for fortification. I was in and out in seconds, I clutched the warms cups of coffee and cautiously traversed the moat-like roundabout.

I felt my shoulders slumping from the cold, the muted daylight and gripping cold beginning to manifest in a foul mood, icy water lapped at my feet, cresting and sending splinters of icy wetness into my thin trouser socks. At one point my foot began to slide from underneath me and I panicked - What do I do with three near-boiling grande americanos as I go ass over tea cups? Shit. Completely by accident my foot caught on the corner of a fountain milliseconds before it would have come out from under me. Righting myself I tried to quell my trembling and soothe my rattled nerves.

"Not a very nice day for a walk, is it?" Asked the proprietor of the antique shop as he leaned against the shovel he'd been using to clear the walk.

"No, it really isn't," I said, wondering if my incredible windmilling to stay upright had been comical to witness.

"Well, you have a safe walk and a nice day," he said with the clearest brightest smile I've ever seen on an adult.

"I will, you too," and I gingerly made my way across more slush and then over the smooth expanse of cleared pavement in front of his shop. I smiled as I crossed the street, grateful for the human interaction. Walking toward Sean's office another store owner stood beneath the portico of his shop, a fancifully decorated toy store. He turned my way and smiled. Using his arms to make an exaggerated gesture of a pregnant belly he called, "How are you feeling these days?"

I beamed, because despite the day, the warmth from the pinwheeling activity in my belly had been making me giggle in spite of myself all morning.

"Great, thanks!"

"Aw, that's just wonderful," he called back genuinely.

We bantered back and forth about a bed Sean and I had bought for Briar in his shop and then we bid farewell. I nearly skipped up the stairs to Sean's office, buoyed again by the energy drawn from an unexpected and light hearted exchange. I felt a sense of belonging and gratitude; happier for having braved the elements and experiencing what I did and for living in a place where people know me, and even those who don't will still stop to say hello. I thought of the months ahead when the farmers market will come back to town, of trips we'll take to the library and of other hellos that will be called my way.

I breezed into the office on a swell of good cheer, passing out the still piping hot americanos and grinning. Everyone grinned back and tittered aloud as my already good mood was ratcheted up further by the "Just because everyone needs a little color in their day" flowers Sean's partner Derek had bought for each of us.

Yesterday, a day that started out so bleak, turned into a magnificent day. It's truly remarkable the power of a kind word, a smile, and, yes, flowers. We should remember that more often.


Friday, February 1, 2008

You've been outbid (again)

A while back I posted about Macy's carrying "Junior's Maternity." I had been trying to find maternity clothes and was coming up empty. Many of you suggested Old Navy and Ebay. I've got some swell Old Navy stuff and am currently getting a whooping on Ebay with those devilish last minute bidders. I'm not sure I'm cut out for searching, falling in love, bidding and then losing. Again and again and again. So this afternoon I popped on a few sites to check out some sure things.


"Under belly, mid-thigh" WTF? Am I a prude or is that unacceptable?

And this?

Call it "Tall Girl Complex" but I cannot wear pants like this unless Sean and I are walking hand in hand on the beach and I have flawless highlights and baby-skin soft feet (read: never).

Oh, and then there is this...

'Cause, ah, I can't find enough crap in my closet that barely grazes my exploding navel.

And if my belly isn't making me self-conscious enough...

There are "balloon sleeves" to even out my proportions, along with the cursed empire cut which always cuts my boobs in half, except this isn't even that it's more of a "Let's put a seam across the top of the boobs so if they aren't already drooping from 2.5 years of breastfeeding, we can ensure they look like salami hanging behind gauze in a butcher shop."

Luckily, the degradation doesn't stop at the physical realm...

We have this lovely wrap top that would surely undo me with it's calculus level wrapping mastery prerequisite.

I did find some jeans I liked...

What's great is that they cost $211 and come in sizes "0" and "-4."

Can someone pass me a queen size flat sheet and some friggin' elastic?

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