Heavy discussion

Because I was obviously drunk, I decided to broach the subject of a second child to Rob, just to see what he'd say. If you ever think that "just to see what he'd say" is a good reason to bring up something like this, call me first, and I will smack you around a little and then tell you that IT IS SO NOT. Rob hyperventilated for a few minutes, and did a little pacing (read: like a caged, angry, and underfed tiger) around the living room, and then stopped in front of me and very clearly said, "Like, another baby, you mean?

We're not really pondering the idea seriously yet, but I wouldn't be against it. My friend has a five-month-old who has the worst (or possibly best) case of babyhead smell of any baby on the planet, including all those in the baby washing products commercials. Bella smells like angel wings, like good dreams on clean sheets, like every baby everywhere should smell... and it makes me bonkers with babylust. We shall see, I suppose.

Norah, on the other hand, smells like crayons. She's figured out the whole coloring thing, and after she gets tired of chewing on her Crayolas or perhaps inserting them into various orifices of our incredibly tolerant dog, she wraps her fat little fingers around one and scribbles like a spastic monkey. "Tell Mama about this one," I said today, and she smiled her wicked smile and cried, "Puddle!" It was pink and swirly, but that's cool. My baby says it's a puddle, it's a puddle.

On the news front, were you so NOT surprised when it turned out that Karr guy didn't kill JonBenet?


What I Did On My Weekend Vacation, by Annie. I wish it were fun, kids, but it was just plain hard: I launched my dad and my uncle, in a canoe, into the middle of a lake in western NC. And when they got to the middle of the lake, where it was so deep and dark that you couldn't see the bottom, they lowered my grandfather's urn into it and watched him disappear.

The urn itself was a magical, biodegradable creation specifically designed for burials at sea. (It came in a box labeled "for burials at sea," so that's how you know I'm not making it up.) Choosing one was rough, as there are a number of options in the biodegradable urn market, ranging in attractiveness from "faux marble stereotypical urn shape" to "bulldog's ass." I'm serious, if you're ever looking into this sort of thing - and I so hope you don't have to anytime soon - you'll just hurl. Neon orange seashell shapes! Glitter and glitz! You can go completely nuts, har har har! Apparently, funeral supply companies have a wicked sense of humor... or death of a loved one makes some people completely blind. (By the way, you'll be sorry to hear that we went with the lame-o plain white one, instead of the one with embossed grapevines... for the wino in your life!)

We decided we would have breakfast at the lake, which in my family does not mean a box of Entenmann's and a gallon of OJ. Six AM, we were making quiches and baking bread. Eight AM, breakfast was loaded into the car and we went. Eight-thirty AM, mid-unloading, my sister and I discover the box - which we had never seen - behind the mushroom and spinach. Eight-forty-five, we're still staring at "for burials at sea," which is printed in an outlandishly cartoonish font (because that makes it more fun!), and my mom has to come get it because we can't seem to move.

The dropping (lowering? what word does one use when describing this?) of the urn was surprisingly peaceful; it went below the surface and started to dissolve almost right away. For a horrible, chilling moment, I thought, "Hey, just like an Alka-Seltzer!" which made me cry. I was so tired, and so emotionally shot, and there I was cracking wise in my head about my grandfather's urn. It's obviously my defense mechanism, but oh, the guilt.

So we did the right thing, and it's over and done. Off you go, Bestefar.* Bon voyage.

* Norwegian for grandfather. Like you didn't know.

Moving on... I'm down to two kids, one of whom is my own and therefore way WAY more fun than the other. I've got the preschooler for a few hours a day, three days a week, but it doesn't really count since it's during naptime and they're all sleeping. Can you imagine? At least an hour wherein I get to diddle around on the internet, or read a book that doesn't involve singing what a sheep says, or just sit and stare at the wall imagining that it's actually a Tahitian sunset! "Stoked" does not do this justice.

And behold, the other wonder of my world: new, beautiful hardwood floors in my messy, cluttered kitchen. Thanks to a friend of a friend, we got free (!!!) wood and an extensive installation lesson. The miracle Rob hath wrought! Life, she's good after all.

(And if you look really closely, you can see Norah's hot hot HOT pink life jacket, which she wore when we went tubing down the Davidson River, on the steps. The river was about three inches deep, so don't panic - I think I can spit faster than it flowed. She thought it was some kind of wild ride, though, so it was super good all around.)

Yet another affirmation that I am not Catholic

FIVE. That, my loves, is the exact number of kids I have been raising for the last two weeks, hence the blogdrought up in here. If I wasn't actively chasing a child, I was either elevating my swollen feet or rubbing my temples while crouched in a corner with my skirt over my head. Five kids, man. I'm beat.

Tomorrow is actually my last day with all five - the big three start school, so I'll be down to Norah and Jack, who's two. Jack is slightly developmentally delayed, as he was incredibly premature and is just now catching up, so it's more like having a set of twins than two babies a year apart. The two of them aren't that tough, really, so hopefully I'll be able to update more often, and you know, have coherent speech and not drink myself into a stupor every night.

Right now, though, I am going to bed. Newsy news coming soon.

Well, hello, strangers

Norah has a copy of the Jerry Garcia/David Grisman Not for Kids Only CD, and I can't get that darn "Arkansas Traveler" song out of my head. To all my pregnant friends out there: it's a cute CD, but be ready for obsession on a level with "It's a Small World" and "Tubthumping." Or maybe that last one's just me.

ANYWAY. Hello! Indiana was rosy, as only Indiana can be - I picked up a pile of my old kid stuff and was pleasantly transported down memory lane. Several old yearbooks and prom photos rose to the top of the flotsam, making me wonder how my hair stayed like that (god save our noble Aqua Net) and how I ever managed to find a date in high school. You should see the dating pool - shallow is just not the word. Yikes.

We're back, at least for the moment, until Norah runs (!!!yes runs my lord how that child can run!!!) off somewhere else. We'll actually be here for the next couple of weeks, until vacay in western NC, which will end with the spreading of my grandfather's ashes. The original plan was to take him to an island somewhere, but my grandma got a little skeeved about how much that would cost (understandably - it would have been like buying a new car to take us all down there) and so we're headed to their mountain house. He's going into the lake behind it, where we used to fish out golf balls and sell them to him for a nickel apiece. I still have one - I can't decide if I should keep it or send it with him, sort of an Egyptian pack-for-the-afterlife kind of thing.

Congratulations to a certain friend of mine who has found herself In the Family Way - welcome to the club, and prepare yourself... Norah ate 4000 grapes and a turkey sandwich today before screaming "Crickets! CREEEE-KITS!" (what that meant I have no idea, because there were no crickets to be found and as far as I know she's never been within 15 feet of one, but did we scream it oh yes we did!) and running off into the other room. She's also learned how to turn on the hose, activate the trash compactor, and take her clothes off, which she does with reckless abandon and no thought about where she is or what law enforcement officials might be nearby to remove this naked child from my possession. She's a lunatic, Anne, and you are destined to have your own little lunatic, because you lived with me and my lunatic child-vibe has almost certainly rubbed off onto you at some point.

And how you will love it! Enjoy, sunshine.