Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This year was the first that N got really excited for Halloween. He remembered from last year, and couldn't wait to wear his Buzz costume. Fortunately, we got a couple of chances to dress up with a trick or treat night in town, as well as a mini-church party.

Halloween evening was beautiful-clear and crisp, perfect for an evening out. My parents and sister came over for dinner, since they wanted to see the kids in costume. After eating a delicious (although rushed) meal together, I set off with the kids, Cara, and a couple of other moms and their kids. E and her friends raced from house to house, having to be called back a couple of times, and reminded about Halloween etiquette-- saying "Trick or Treat!!" and "Thank-you!" I followed a little more slowly, since I was carrying the baby on my front (was my back killing at the end of the night!), and pulling the wagon. I got a chance to chat with the neighbors I knew, and introduce myself and the kids to the ones we didn't. About halfway around, N decided he had enough and climbed into the wagon. There he sat like a little prince ruling over his domain of candy, and me the horse of his carriage. He happily munched on candy and when asked if he wanted to go up to the next house, he held out his pumpkin and ruled, "No, you can get my candy for me." Ah yes. I forgot, not only was I a lowly beast of burden, but also the collecting agent, gathering the prince's dues. I did oblige him a couple of times, but then refused on the grounds of not needing any more candy. So we continued on, each of us enjoying our evening in our own way- E with her friends, N in his wagon, K hanging out, taking it all in, and me talking with a couple of other moms who were walking with us. When we got back the kids poured out their candy, counted and surveyed their loot while Ed and I surreptitiously sampled a few pieces.

Now there is candy everywhere. This is not good for my efforts to lose baby weight, especially since we are well into the dieter's Bermuda Triangle of holidays. But I can't let it go to waste, can I?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Name Game

In a recent post I wrote about going back to GCC for homecoming. After registration everyone received a nametag to wear that identified them to old classmates (which were very helpful to in remembering names to go with faces that had changed or been forgotten). My name tag said "Tango (1) 328". "Oh yeah," I thought to myself, "I went by '1' in college, I had kind of forgotten about that". You are probably wondering how I could "forget" my maiden name. Well, you see, I have had a very complicated name history. Let me try to explain the name difficulties that have kind of plagued me my entire life, or at least my life starting at school age.

I was born "mango tango 1". Since I was born in a foreign country, and at the time my mom wanted to go with the buddhist flow and name me traditionally, I was given mango as my first name, and tango as my middle name. The problem started here. My parents decided to to call me tango instead of mango, which is fine, but they would have really spared me a lot of grief if they had reversed the two names. Because, you see, we now had the difficulty of my legal first name, and my middle name that I used for a first name. I remember distinctly my mom walking me through the doors of school and asking me if I preferred to me called mango or tango. I was completely confused and thought, "Why would anyone call me mango? My name is tango! " I of course knew what my first name was, but it was long, foreign looking, and no one used it. So I went by tango 1 for the next 4 years, until my mom remarried.

When she did that, my parents (that is, my mom and stepdad) thought that in the interest of family unity, my siblings and I would all go by the same last name, "2". That was perfectly fine with me, although they hadn't changed it legally, so I now had a new problem that I didn't realize I was agreeing to take on for the next 12 years. For you that are keeping track, my legal name was mango1, but the name I wrote on all my school papers was tango2. So life went merrily along until anything official popped up, and then I would have to write mango1 on those documents.

That was fine in elementary school, when I didn't have to deal with anything official very often, but when in the last couple of years of high school I was applying for colleges and going to interviews, getting part time jobs-- all things that I would have to fill out mango1 on the form, with no place for tango. So invariably, the person interviewing me would either butcher my name trying to say it, or ask how to pronounce it before addressing me. Then I would explain that I didn't actually use my first name, that I really went by tango. They would sigh with relief before quickly covering up with a compliment on how pretty my name is, and what did it mean, and how do I pronounce it again? Gah! I longed for simplicity in my name, but it was not to be.

Once in college, I faltered in introducing myself. I would start with "My name is tango tw--, I mean one." That of course would bring strange looks as people wondered how I could forget my name. I eventually got used to it, and called myself tango1, but my close friends had heard the story, and called me tango2. This didn't help anyone who was actually looking for me in the college directory though, because there I was still mango1. (I am sure that is why I was dateless that whole first year-- interested parties just couldn't find my number and call me) I even had a friend from high school who wanted to surprise me with a visit, and couldn't find my number, so gave up and left!

So you can imagine my relief when I got married. I couldn't change my name fast enough-- now I would no longer have two last names, but one legal one. In retrospect, I should have switched my first and middle names so that my new name read tangomango328. But I didn't think of that in all the excitement of name changing.

As a result I still run into problems at the doctor's office, with credit cards, or anything that I have to sign up using my first name. Or with new friends. They wonder why I sign my name M Tango 328, and I explain. And so it goes. I guess it is something I have gotten used to, and something I will continue to deal with for the rest of my life. So if you take nothing else away from this, parents, please, please, name your child what you want him/her to be called for the first name. Do not saddle them with a lifetime of explaining their name woes with every receptionist, check out clerk, and random blog readers.

That being said, I do not blame my mom. She could not have known the implications at the time of my naming. It is a pretty name, with a pretty meaning, and it is unique, something I have grown to appreciate. I can say with confidence that I am the only mangotango328 on earth. No one else has my name combination. On a practical note, another positive is that I know right away if the person calling me is a telemarketer. A dead giveaway is when they ask, "May I speak with M-m-mian-joo 328?"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Picking

The pumpkins this year were perfect. We had a wheelbarrow full without even trying. Last year there were lots of rotten ones, but this year they were big, firm and beautiful. We ended up getting 6- 4 orange, 2 white. At the festival there were the rides you need to pay for (we did the pony ride & tot train) and then there were the freebies- cornstalk maze, sitting on the real tractor, jumping across the hay bales while listening to the live band. Although the kids had fun on the paid rides, when we asked them their favorite part of the day, it was the free stuff they listed. Maybe next year we will skip the other stuff, but probably not, since E is very into traditions and doing the same exact thing from year to year. I wonder where she got that from? ;)

N pulling his pumpkin to the wheelbarrow

Three little pun'kins

"I like this one because it has a widdle wummy (little wormy) on it!"
(giggling) "It's so cute! And tickly too!"

Hay bales

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Urine Soaked Life

What? You say you don't want to watch an angsty drama about pee in the life of a suburban mom? Come on, you can picture it now, or at least I can. The soaked sheets, the sodden pull ups that leak through to the pajamas, the refusal to admit need to pee- that turns into the pee dance and continued refusal "I'm just dancing because I like to"- to the frantic run to the bathroom resulting in snaps and zippers not being opened in time- to the inevitable changing of pants that cling to the body and have to be peeled off in layers. Not to mention the bathroom-- having a just-potty-trained 3 year old means there will be misplaced spray and pee puddles at the base of the toilet, as well as pee squirted under the toilet seat through to wet the pants and underwear on the other side!! My bathroom smells like a subway tunnel and I can't get rid of the smell, no matter how many times I scrub. And this is where the turmoil of emotions come into play. Do I let them see that I am upset by all of the "accidents", my guilt at yelling and/or behaving in a passive-aggressive way towards my children, my very real anger at them when I have to change sheets at 2 am, or do my 4th load of "pee laundry" in a week- and of course their very real fear of disappointing me. Am I going to emotionally scar my children in how I react to their accidents? But if I act like it is not a big deal, will that cause them to not "try" hard enough (of course not-- it's not like they want to pee on themselves and in their beds). So the drama continues. I am going to change some wet sheets (from nap time) and do my second load of pee laundry for the day. Tune in for the next episode when I yell," Nooooo! Watch where you are aiming! Not the wall! Aaargh!"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bowl Pictures

Can you guess?








Ok, I realize, not too much of a challenge-- it is kind of neat to see all 3 kids at the same age, in the same situation. Both of the girls were ok with it, and although I don't really remember E's specific reactions, she seemed to take it fine (from the pictures I have) and K was as happy as a lark. She didn't care that I was placing her in a bowl and snapping 1000 pictures (more to come), she was just interested in the flowers and leaves and how to get them into her mouth. She could have sat there all day if I gave her a steady supply of flowers and grass. As for N, I only got one non-crying pic (the first one- and you can actually see the tears in his eyes if you look closely) after that, he LOST it. He wouldn't sit up- he kept leaning back and tipping the bowl, so I couldn't get a porch picture. I also kept his diaper on for the same reason- he wouldn't sit in a "modest" position. Oh well, they are still cute, and I plan to get a triple frame to display them.

And here are my own pictures from around the same age (5 months, and 6 months). Who do you think looks most like me?