Getting Crafty

10 12 2009

I’ve been recording the Martha Stewart show and watching it every night, and she is making me insane with the beautiful crafts. Not only do I want to glitter everything I own, but I’m getting the urge to cut paper, string beads, sew felt and do all sorts of crafty things. This weekend I’ve decided to give in to my urges. Some things I’m pretty sure I’ll be making in the very near future (some designed by Martha and others inspired by her genius):

  • Glitter ball garland
  • Bib necklace
  • Bejeweled mini tote bag
  • Bowties
  • Glittered pinecones

I’m also pretty sure Roger will wake up one of these days and find that his entire closet has been bedazzled. I always heart Martha, but there’s something about Martha during the holidays that makes my heart grow three sizes larger.


Urban-Suburban Nativity

9 12 2009

The birth of Jesus, Arlington-style

I lived in Baltimore for a few years, so I am familiar with and appreciate eccentricity in a locale. Arlington is not quite the stuff of a John Waters movie, but it has its share of quirkiness. The above scene greeted us as we entered the parking garage that houses the Arlington Civitans community garage sale for the last sale of 2009. Can you see why I heart Arlington?

Please Don’t Take My Baby

8 12 2009

Azita is wobbling through life these days. And climbing. Every time I turn around she’s either doing the zombie walk — you know the one where she puts her arms out in front of her and takes very wobbly and jerky steps, as if her legs feel dead — or she’s climbing something. So this is why all that childproofing stuff is necessary. I’m finally getting it. The thing is, no matter how fast I act, she somehow manages to pull things on top of her, run into things, and fall — she’s a master of the faceplant.

Now I know all of you seasoned mothers out there are laughing at me. I know you told me so. I just couldn’t fathom what you meant at the time. Plus, don’t we all think “that” happens to other people, not us? So, here I am, mother to a daughter that is part adorable baby girl and part psycho mountain goat. It’s actually fun. Yes, it is tiring, especially after a very long day in the office, but I love playing with her much more now that she interacts with me in more interesting and active ways.

The problem is that, as I said, this girl is accident-prone. Just like her mom and her aunt. And just like the both of us, she is also always covered in bruises. They are all over her body. She looks like a Dalmatian. Or a victim of abuse. Here’s where the irrational fear kicks in. At least, Roger says it’s irrational, but I am not so sure. What if her daycare providers think she is an abuse victim? Or her pediatrician? Or anyone else who might see her without her clothes on? I can’t say that I wouldn’t think so if I didn’t actually see all the accidents. My sister knows what I’m going through. Her middle son inherited our clumsy ways, and he is a regular at the ER and urgent care. She’s also always afraid that Child Protective Services will come knocking on her door any minute now.

It can’t be an irrational fear if we both think it, right? The thing is that this fear, irrational or not, is leading me to bring up my daughter’s clumsiness in just about every conversation I have. You know, just in case someone notices the plethora of bruises and decides to report me. Maybe I should just make a sign to wear around my neck: “Please Don’t Take My Baby. She did this all herself. I swear.”

Minding One’s Own Pounds

7 12 2009

When I was a kid I was a lard ass, and this abundance of fat stuck around into adulthood. When I was really little, I guess it was cute. I was one of those kids whose cheeks were always getting pinched. I remember the day when it turned from cute to embarrassing. It was the day I had my first ice skating competition. I won a gold medal. There were only two of us competing at that level, but still I was beyond proud. I was so proud that when they took a picture of the two of us standing there on the platform with our medals, my entire torso was puffed out in all its glory. I was proud. My mother was mortified at the size of my stomach. Thus began my first diet and a lifetime of yo-yoing weight.

When I look at the offending picture as an adult I wasn’t really fat, but this started me on the path to fatness. Dieting taught me what it felt like to be so hungry that when you finally ate you had no sense of when you were full. It was dieting that made me fat. And as I got fat, people got interested. Instead of “hello” and a hug, I got “hello” and a pinch of my waistline to see how much it had grown since the last time someone saw me. People recommended different exercise programs and sports that were sure to solve my issue. Everyone had ideas about what I should or shouldn’t eat. Suddenly it seemed as if my body was everybody else”s business.

When I became pregnant, this whole childhood ordeal came rushing back to me. I was acutely aware that people were staring at me and thinking things about how much I’d gained. And, just when I convinced myself that I was being paranoid, my aunt would tell me I had gotten so fat or a perfect stranger would ask me if I was having twins as I walked by her on the way to work. It was embarrassing and humiliating, especially in the context of my life at the moment which consisted of getting weighed and having my belly measured every two weeks. Luckily I soon had a darling little newborn to distract me from these troubles.

Now over a year later, the weight has mostly come off, but it’s been replaced with a little anger. What makes someone think it is acceptable to make fun of a coworker’s weight in front of the rest of the company? Why would a person feel entitled to ask someone if they “really should be eating ‘that'”? When did one’s weight become anyone’s business but one’s own?

Last night I was recounting to my cousins how one of my aunts used to feel my belly every time she saw me to gauge whether I had gained or lost since the last time she saw me. After more than a decade of this, I finally lost it and told her to mind her own business and keep her hands off me. That offended her enough so that she didn’t talk to me for a very long time. The question I still have is how did I offend her? She started it, right?

Right? Well, maybe, but my behavior was wrong. When all else fails, I turn to one of my heroes, Miss Manners. “When one is treated badly, behave courteously.”  After all, I am only the master of my own behavior. I cannot make other people mind their own waistline instead of mine, but I can watch that I am not guilty of judging others for their size. And I can, as Miss Manners suggests, dismiss such inferior behavior as coming from inferior people. I may be fat, but damn it, I’m not rude. And that makes me a better person.

Sunday Night Dinner

6 12 2009

Since it’s NaBloPoMo and I did commit to posting every day in December, here goes. This will,however, be a short one since it’s been a long, but lovely, day. I’m winding down from a dinner with some of my favorite family, and I’m realizing why so many families have a Sunday night dinner tradition. It’s such a great way to end the week and to start a new one. The love and laughter, the good food, the conversation. I can’t think of anything nicer. Anything that makes you feel connected to other people so completely. It’s something I’d like Azita to know and experience, and I suspect that Sunday night dinner may become a regular thing in the Hughlett-Safavian household.


5 12 2009

The first snowfall has hit our nation’s capital, and it really is lovely. The flakes are large and fluffy, and they are floating softly to the ground. I love it. I’ve always loved snow, but it makes me feel warm and nostalgic even more now that we have Azita.

I am reminded of the day we brought her home from the hospital. She had lost too much weight, and they wanted her to gain an ounce or two before they let us go home. It looked like we would be spending another night in our hospital room, and I thought I would go crazy. Azita slept on my chest as I watched old episodes of Law & Order and contemplated just how good a hot shower would feel, when the nurse walked in. And she wasn’t there to take my temperature and blood pressure yet again. “You’re cleared to go home,” she said. As I jumped up about as fast as someone who had a c-section 3 days earlier could jump and reached into my bags for her going-home outfit, the sky opened up and snowflakes and little pellets of ice began their descent to the ground.

Winter had finally arrived in D.C.  I can’t say I wasn’t a little freaked out by the prospect of taking my 3-day old daughter out into the elements. Actually, I was petrified. But when we finally figured out how to get her into her carseat and were buckled up in our warm car, I looked down at my daughter as the snow blanketed our little world. All was quiet and white, and here we were. A family. I’ve never felt so cozy and content.

And now as it is snowing again, the first time this season, I hold a sleeping Azita a little closer and nuzzle my face into her neck. I am filled with that same warm feeling I felt 11 months ago, and all is right in my world.

The Fourth Stooge

4 12 2009

I’m trying to remember why I decided to sign up for NaBloPoMo in December of all months. Not only are there a ton of holiday related activities and a trip to North Carolina to visit my sister, but there’s also our yearly appointment with our friend the common cold. It’s a standing appointment for sometime in the month of December, preferably as close as possible to Christmas so as to put a nice, heavy damper on the holiday cheer. This year is particularly special, because not only do Roger and I get to be ill together, but Azita gets to join us. This means for those of you who don’t know, i.e., aren’t married or living in some capacity with a man, that I get to take care of two babies while I’m also feeling like mess. Yup, that’s December for you.

When am I going to find time to write something every single day? I suspect there is going to be a whole lotta cop out posts where I find the cutest, most recent picture I can find of Azita and post it with a short caption in the hopes that no one notices that the busy has chased all the post ideas out of my head.

For example, I could post a picture like this one of Azita with my two favorite men.

Look at how they are both gazing at her like the little goddess she is. If she has this much power at 11 months, I can’t even imagine how many men will be twisted around her pretty little fingers when she’s older. Sheesh. You’d think she was doing something truly spectacular, like demonstrating her new favorite trick…

poking people in the eye. She’s a regular Stooge this one. If she’s not pulling your hair or head-butting your nose, she’s now poking you in the eye. I know she’s a wee little thing, but she can really do some damage. And when I try to admonish her she laughs. At me. To my face. I swear, I’m not kidding anyone. I have no power in this relationship of ours. But power is overrated anyways.