How to keep the spark in your marriage

May 19, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Posted in M'ijo, PiliPiliPili | 14 Comments

This post is for Kerri, who is off gettin’ married. A big congratulations to Kerri, Chris & the indomitable Siah Sausage. For their newlywed edification, I present the following scene from married life:

The Scene: Pili is reading aloud to me from Yet Another Stupid Parenting (YASP) Magazine Article about the keys to a happy marriage, P’ito is standing on the bench in the breakfast nook next to her.

YASP: We sneak away for dinner or for some “us time” in the bedroom

Me: “Us time in the bedroom?” Why don’t they just say UH-UH-UH-UH! (punctuated with appropriate Elvis-like pelvic motions)

P’ito: UH-UH-UH-UH! (pelvic thrusts)

Pili: I hope he doesn’t do that at daycare.

Me: (insert maniacal giggles)

Pili, sighing: You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?

Dinner, with a side of REM lyrics

July 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., PiliPiliPili | 37 Comments

We had dinner tonight with two of our closet friends here in the City That Always Sleeps.

They wanted to hang out with us one more time before Pepito* arrives home.

They’re thrilled for us – at the same time as they’re deeply ambivalent, especially one of them.   Afraid of losing our friendship, afraid that it will always be all baby all the time and they’ll be left out.

I’m scared too.  I don’t want to lose their friendship or my ability to complete a sentence that doesn’t have to do with bodily fluids.  I’m scared that we’ll be swept away on the carpet of societal expectations and norms.  And I’m scared of how much Pili seems sometimes to relish the thought of fulfilling those expectations – but of course we’ll need a minivan!  She says this half-joking, and because she knows the thought makes me wince, but I feel like there’s a morsel of truth to the idea that she wants to lose herself in playing this new role to the hilt, complete with all its trappings.

I can’t wait to be Pepito’s mom: I still want to be more than Pepito’s mom.   Can I be a hip indie mom if I haven’t really been a hip indie non-mom?  How do we find the line between it’s new he’s going to fuss and WE MUST STOP DOING THIS NOW he’s crying?

I don’t really feel fine and I don’t know if those post is really making much sense.  But I’m going to post it and see if anyone at least gets the REM reference…

*Now that he’s coming home, I felt like he needed a nickname that was exclusively his.

Decisions I wish I didn’t have to make

April 7, 2007 at 11:08 pm | Posted in PiliPiliPili | 21 Comments

We have been going back and forth about the question I am about to pose to you, to the point, where Pili said: Why don’t you ask the blogosphere?

Pili, being of the academic persuasion, is done with classes mid-may.  The rest of us are not so lucky…

However, I will receive my masters degree in advanced studies in being underpaid in late May.  As a graduation present to myself/something to look forward to since GAL STILL HASN’T MANAGED TO FIND OUT IF WE ARE ACTUALLY IN PGN(!), I proposed that we go down and visit the Boy again.  We can’t really afford it, but I’m hoping my family may chip in some graduation cash as well…

Pili suggested that since she will be done with classes and footloose and fancyfree, perhaps she could stay on a few days longer.

I wish I could just say “of course sweetie!”

It will cost more money, and that’s the practical reason not to.  In the grand scheme of things though, the amount of additional money it will cost is not that much, and it would give him more time with Pili, more one-on-one attention…

But the real reason I can’t just say yes is the way I know I’ll feel at the thought of leaving him and her, making that long ride back to Guatemala City, enduring a day on a plane and coming home to an empty house.  Sitting next to some stranger on the plane, who won’t want to spend hours mooning over the photos on the camera and remembering the smiles and stinky diaper surprises.  I feel so lonely and sad just thinking about it.  I can’t imagine living it.

But I feel so petty and juvenile denying Pili – and him – a few more days together because I can’t handle going back by myself.

So… what would you do?

This just sucks.  And it just pisses me off that Gal can send all kinds of emails about what the agency needs and how we can help… but she can’t pin the attorney down to find out when/if we were submitted to PGN.

Letter from faraway

December 28, 2006 at 4:05 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, M'ijo, PiliPiliPili | 16 Comments

Pili writes: “I am in an internet cafe here in FARAWAY PLACE and the young lady that works here comes over to my screen while I”m looking at the pictures and says, ‘Is that your child?’ Wha! Imagine my delight to say – yes!!! What an amazing thing.”

When I read this email a huge smile spread over my face. Imagining a stranger 8400 miles away from us knowing somehow – from the expression on her face perhaps? – that this chubby cheeked brown boy was connected to my fairskinned, fairhaired Pili. While I don’t like the whole “born in my heart” phenomenon (come on folks, he was born in Guatemala, from some other woman’s womb, and I don’t intend to ignore or efface that) it’s remarkable the connection I feel to this child I’ve not yet met.

hat3 My mom sent down this little Hanukkah outfit for him to wear in his holiday pictures, but they still stuck the Santa hat on him. He doesn’t look too pleased about it either. But I still want to smooch those chubby cheeks.
Eyes! This one is blurry, but I still love how deep and warm his eyes are in this picture. He looks like such a gentle soul to me.

I hope he will be our child. I am getting more and more forlorn about this whole DNA debacle. You know it’s bad when you’re jealous of people who have been stuck in PGN forever because at least they’re in PGN. Even while I know that they want to get babies to families as fast as possible, I can’t help wondering if there’s something that our agency could be doing better…

This system sets you up to constantly second guess yourself and your own ethics. You hear about some people stuck in PGN for months and others getting out in days, and I find myself wondering… is it luck of the draw? Or are palms getting greased? And if palms are getting greased, would I object to a little grease on our behalf? Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Adoption Antics

November 29, 2006 at 10:01 am | Posted in AdoptThis!, PiliPiliPili | 5 Comments

I love my Pili dearly, but it will surprise no one who knows us to hear that she’s not an attentive-to-small-details person. [Well, except when it comes to congealed toothpaste on the toothpaste tube and shoes left under the dining room table. Then she’s a nutcase.]

She just stopped into my office with her newly renotarized doctor’s note, which had to be done over because the notary’s signature was not clear enough the first time around. Of course, she had to make a doctor’s appt and pay a copay to get this done… but I digress.

She wanted me to take it over to the county clerk’s and get it certified.

After sighing heavily (in the time it took her to run into my office, she herself could have gone to the county clerk and gotten it certified) I agreed, and took the document.

As she was walking out of my office, I notice: “But sweetie, this notary is certified in County Where You Work, not County Where We Live and Where I Work.”

Off to the County Clerk goes Pili…


Photo Saturday: A is for…

October 22, 2006 at 12:01 am | Posted in Meows, Photo Friday, PiliPiliPili | 11 Comments


Sleeping kitties

Thank you for all your support and comments yesterday. I think it’s good for me, as a total non-smoker, to be reminded by others what a tough habit this is to kick. And you all are my witnesses, that Pili says she is back on the wagon as of tomorrow. Honestly, if ever a situation called for falling back on old comforts, this one did.

I am so awed by my Pili – by her steadfastness and dedication. I always knew it, but now I know it more than ever. She’s going to be an awesome mom.

A is for…

October 20, 2006 at 7:45 pm | Posted in mishpocheh, PiliPiliPili, The Other D (Better Living Through Chemistry) | 17 Comments

The Photo Friday topic this week is “A is for…”

I was all prepared, earlier in the week, to come up with something clever. I have been a Photo Friday loser the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to make a big splash to make it up to Cali, because I’m that kind of over-compensating neurotic twit.

But honestly, all I can come up with right now is A is for AWFUL. A is for ANXIETY. A is for ABSOLUTELY FUCKING UNBEARABLE.

Because, that’s what the past two days have been.

I can’t really blog about the shit that’s going on because it’s not my shit to blog about. Suffice it to say that a family member of Pili’s is going through a very tough time. And as a result is living with us. The resultant stress has both Pili and I bursting into tears at random moments, always carefully when said family member is not around.

The thing that has me up here at my computer blogging about this when I swore that I would respect Pili’s privacy and not blog about it, is that the stress of all this has driven Pili to smoke again. When I first met her she smoked. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke more than anything else in the whole wide world. Cat boxes that have not been cleaned for weeks are more appealing to me than the smell of a smoker.

I nagged Pili for years until she finally managed to quit and stay quit. Until then I would not let her get into bed without showering if she had been smoking. I can smell it on her three days after she’s had one cigarette, even if she has showered. The thought of Pili smoking again, of having to go through this awful nagging nagging nagging routine again, has me reduced to a puddle of weepy mush for about the sixth time today. I hate what this is doing to my girl. I hate that I can’t make it better for her. And I hate that she smells like a goddamn ashtray.

There we go. A is for ASHTRAY.

I am beyond tears.

A year ago today…

September 18, 2006 at 11:03 am | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me..., PiliPiliPili | 34 Comments

Pili & I were married, in the small seaside town where her family has spent many salt-drenched weekends. Our friends and family wove a chuppah for us out of beautiful colored ribbons. We said our vows in front of a rabbi and an episcopal priest. We danced to a kick-ass klezmer band as a full moon rose over the ocean.

It was the best day of my life.

My dad says that every time he sees a full moon now, he feels happy being reminded of that day.

This past year has been marked by disappointment and sadness. But through it all the joy hangs, like that full moon, almost over-stretched with light. I get to spend the rest of my life with this woman.

Happy anniversary pweet-sea. I love you.

p.s. Flickr friends go here for some pretty pictures.

In which I try not to be a stereotype and fail miserably

August 28, 2006 at 3:31 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, Blogging about Blogging, PiliPiliPili | 4 Comments

I really didn’t intend that last post to be the blog equivalent of “does this dress make my butt look fat?” (mandatory answer: no, of course not) but I am delighted to hear from so many of you and to hear about what motivates you to read this. I’ve never been able to keep a diary, it bores me to tears. Which is perilessly close to saying “I bore me to tears.” But this, this blogging thing – it’s fun. And I am tickled pink that people like to read this, or at least that your mothers raised you with the manners and good sense to tell polite untruths. So thank you. Thank you very much.

The reason I haven’t posted much about adoption related business lately is that there hasn’t been anything much to write about. We faxed our documents to the little agency that could, and they promptly looked them over, and told us that even if my boss has known Pili for 2.5 years and thinks she is of good manners, honorable character and never goes to bed without brushing her teeth (she doesn’t, it’s one of many ways in which she is far better than I), the witness statement, notarized by the gnome in accounting, must be redone to read either two or three years, and renotarized by the gnome in accounting.

Braving the gnome in accounting again is big news for me, but not terribly exciting to write about. The Big Thing for which we still wait is the homestudy from her evilness, Mrs. Vaseline Teeth. She called last week after being absent for two weeks, and told us cheerily that she’d had a great vacation and promised it would be done by Friday. It’s 4pm on monday and I have seen nary hair nor tail of said homestudy. She also didn’t answer our question about the police report which was supposedly being mailed to her.

I think MVT prefers Pili to me. This makes sense. Pili is so much catching flies with honey. I am so much, for g-d’s sake would you just do your $(#@# job already? Pili leaves discreet several day-long pauses between phone messages. I begin to pester people when they do not call me back after several days. In which pester means call them at least once a day and ask with barely veiled hatred, whether someone in their family has died? Because otherwise? There is No. Excuse. For not returning my phone call and if you are on vacation have the courtesy to say so on your out-going message.

I think in some ways, MVT responds to me and my decidely Big City South of Here ways in much the same way I respond to tail-gaters. If you and your gas guzzling substitute for viagara are riding my butt on the interstate when I am going 75, I am going to go 70. And then 65. And then 60. Until you and your Napoleon Complex that is single-handly destroying the ozone layer give up and move over a lane. And then I will be sorely tempted to follow you and return the favor in my peppy little tin can. But I will not, because I have gone to Driving School and I know that Road Rage is Bad. And also because you and your car truck named after the things it is destroying (Denali? Tundra? Yukon? Sequoia?) could smush me into so much art-sweet road jelly.

But I digress. Me nagging MVT does not work. So now I am nagging Pili to nag MVT. Because Pili drives a cute little subaru mandatory lesbian vehicle and would not run me over.

From Serious to Snarky in One Short Post

August 11, 2006 at 10:56 am | Posted in AdoptThis!, PiliPiliPili, Political Animal | 6 Comments

This morning, Pili and I went to have our fingerprints taken at our friendly local office of the Department of Homeland Insecurity, Office of Citizenship and Immigration Diservice. As we sat in the drab waiting room, Pili chatted with the security guard. This is one of the basic differences between us. Native New Yorkers are rarely chatters, I’ve found. Friendly, helpful, yes. That whole rude New Yorker thing is b.s. in my oh so humble opinion. But chatty, no.

She asked why we were not allowed to have our cell phones on. Was it a security thing or was it a respect issue? Respect, said the guard. You wouldn’t believe how fast people can talk in Spanish or Vietnamese, yabba jabba jabba. And they’re so loud. It’s really annoying.

I fully sympathize with their desire to have a cell phone free zone. But frankly, I’m more annoyed when I can understand people’s conversations. I don’t need to hear about your brother sleeping with your best friend and how BETRAYED you feel, or about the fact that your dog farted last night and your c-section incision is still kind of oozing and your husband doesn’t care.

Then, as I was having my fingerprints done, one of the workers commented that the man she had just fingerprinted, from the Sudan, was really stinky (not that I could notice, he wasn’t).

It seems to me, that if you’re going to work in an environment where you have the privilege of dealing with people who actually want to become citizens of this country, people who bring a rich gift of diversity and culture to our country, you might want to have the slightest sense of appreciation for those diffwences. And that the fact that so many North-but-not-Canada-Americans don’t appreciate other cultures is part of why so many people hate us right now.

And the fact that so many people hate us right now is why I will have to hunt down my doctor’s letter and prescription labels and check my lipstick (sigh. I will not look glamourous as I descend from the plane to claim my bags) when I fly to D.C. on Saturday for a combination of work/fun travel. The security guards at our dinky airport take their job far more seriously than any TSA official in a city where terrorism is a real possibility and I look forward to a lovely girl on girl wanding experience this weekend.

Ciao bellas!

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