Thursday, December 4, 2008
Meet my amazing baby, Cha-Cha, who doesn't need to sleep.
Which of course goes a long way in explaining why I've been so tired lately. But it turns out there's another reason...
I measured out the coffee grounds this morning, debating whether I should stick with a smaller pot (Monkey Man's currently in Japan) or go with a full one today. As I'm putting the lid back on the can, I glance down, and for some bizarre-ly random reason the word "Decaffeinated" catches my eye. WTF?! I've been drinking decaf for the last few weeks?!
My recent headaches? That I thought were related to the increase in my zoloft meds? Maybe something else entirely!
Why did I notice it now? I've made coffee a number of times since I bought the new can. And of course I bought it. And apparently I completely ignored the green markings on the can, universal symbol for unleaded.
On the upside...withdrawal not as bad as I would have imagined. And that new bag of candy cane kisses I got yesterday will comfot me nicely. OK, two bags. Who's counting?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And she lets him drink Coke. It's kiddie heaven.
So she got the Wii Fit thingie for her birthday and much fun was had laughing at the adults who were often much worse at the activities than Quake. For those of you who haven't seen it in action, when you first get started it measures your "Wii age" based on some combination of your height, weight and balance ability on a quick succession of tests. Everyone else got ages 20 and 30 years above their real age. I managed to get a 37, only 1 year, actually 6 months, more than I currently am.
Losers! I may be fat, but I'm agile, damn it!
My mother will be so proud to know that all that money she spent on dance lessons finally paid off...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Anyway, I left Quake at home. Yes, alone. He's already 4 for crying out loud. Oh right, I already mentioned the babysitter. Nevermind. But I took Cha Cha with me because Cha Cha? No so big on the whole being left with strangers thing. A category which includes his own father. To be fair, I sometimes like to pretend Monkey Man is a stranger too...
Was I in the middle of telling a story?
I'm listening to David Sedaris in the car (Books on CD from the library are my salvation. Amen.) so I'm snorting and wiping tears away when I pull up to the school. I manage to pull myself together by the time I get to Quake's classroom where I stop. Thinking. Something. Something. Something is missing...
Oh, right! The baby! Cha Cha was still snoozing peacefully when I got back to the car. And I'm officially a dumb-ass.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Have you tried Pandora? It's this great internet radio site where you create your own station by telling the system which artists and songs you like. I've discovered that my musical tastes are just as schizoid as my choice in magazines. I've had to create a number of stations because it just can't seem to figure out any underlying theme to the songs I like. (note to Pandora developers: it's the lyrics, and yes, I know I'm strange)
The best part for me, because I'm admittedly not much of a music person (no one in my household owns an MP3 player or even sees the need for one), is getting to listen to really different music. Bust has great music reviews, and I've managed to find quite a few of the artists on the site. WooHoo, broadening my horizons!
So I'm enjoying some... sex-positive lyrics from Khia, when Monkey Man mentions that I might want to change the station. I turn down the volume to ask why (gonna give him a piece of my mind for not liking my new music) and realize that Quake is singing a line from the chorus. Pretty sure that language isn't acceptable at preschool...
Well I guess everyone is getting broadened horizons today!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
My child had no. clean. underwear. Bad Mommy! Bad!
Bad news: I'm a bad mommy and my son doesn't want to tell me I'm slackin'.
Good news: My 4 year old is a creative problem solver!
Do you think when he's older I can convince him that I taught by example and not by desperate need?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Ok, maybe not.
Actually I've spent the last month singing the same refrain as my last post, barely getting through many of my days. But the family has had some milestones. Quake took his first round of swimming lessons and did...swimmingly. He also finished his first year of preschool. Cha Cha started crawling (now I have another reason to get nothing done) and eating solids. My parents drove all the way across Texas and New Mexico to visit us for 3 days, spending more days travelling than visiting but they're weird like that.
I also managed to make doctor's appointments, get the boys' vaccinations up to date (now that was fun!), and start an exercise plan. Which does not include running a marathon just in case you thought I had actually gone off the deep end completely. And I've almost finished the first layout for that scrapbook class I'm taking! Of course today is the start of week 6...
Did I mention here yet that I'm attempting to get through the summer without using my oven? Ok, I've already failed since we had frozen pizza for dinner last night. So I'm trying to get through the summer using my oven very infrequently. I asked my mom for her no-bake cookie recipe because exercise or no, I'll be damned if I'm giving up cookies just because I don't want to turn on the oven. I started to stir them up this morning (when you get up at 4:30 - damn that sweet little Cha Cha - you have all sorts of time to do weird things) but they didn't look like I remembered. Then I tasted them, and I was 7 years old again. Does your mouth have a better memory than your eyes?
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I started this class, Becoming More, over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. The first week has been all about defining my values, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's not like this is a new concept for me; my very first therapist had me read The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management. It's probably unbearably corny, but it actually helped. I bought myself a fancy planner, filled out all the worksheets, and got focused. That year I got re-involved in theater, planned a wedding long distance, and lost 30 pounds. Damn, now that I think about it, maybe I should dig that planner out of storage.
Anyway. Of course I'm realizing that how I'm behaving is not in-line with my values. Because that would make too much sense. If I was happy-warm-and-fuzzy, I probably wouldn't have been drawn to taking this class, now would I? The parenting thing is great. Yes, I need to be "present" more often, but that's a little tweak. The problem is the gaping hole in my life where all my creative pursuits should go.
I want to write, here and in other areas. I want to get some pictures scrapbooked. Oh, oh, oh, and actually, I don't know, edit and order some photos. I'm only 5 months behind. Taking photos would be great too. I also have this stack of craft projects I'd like to try just because I like trying new things. I also have a few canvases that I've been wanting to play with.
On the other hand, I haven't paid the bills (that was supposed to happen last Friday). I seriously need to get some exercise, not only because I'm turning into a cow, but because I feel like crap. And the dog is being seriously neglected. I have doctor's appointments to go to, groceries to buy, cards to send, laundry to wash...sigh. How do I take care of my family and take care of myself?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Random annoyance - I've had to look up the spelling on a bizarre numer of words the last few days. Not difficult words or strange words, just regular words that I use all the time.
Up until quite recently Arizona license plates have had the pattern 111-AAA. I have far too much fun coming up with words to fit those last two letters. One of the parents at Quake's school has "MYT". Could be "mighty" or, since it's a Toyota, it could be "my T(oyota)". See? Way too much fun. I once saw "LRG" on a...Hummer. But just last week I saw the plate I should have been issued - WTF. My current life refrain.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Why not just stay where we are? It's sort of a perfect storm scenario. I really love the theories behind Waldorf - the gentle environment, the focus on natural learning, fostering a love of learning. But frankly, Quake is bored and he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself. The school is also moving to a new, larger facility...that's much further away. Have you seen the gas prices lately? So off I go in search of another school.
Does this process get harder as the kids get older? Because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to handle it. One school was all right, nothing special, but we were a little leary of the Bible stories (neither Monkey Man or me being terribly religious). The director of the next school kept saying they really pushed academics. "We're focused on academics." "It's all about the academics." What the fuck does that mean for a four year old? Lectures? Independent research projects? I'm not claiming to be a genius, but if you can't explain your preschool program to me, maybe you should go back to school.
We both had very high hopes for the third school on the list. It's a full immersion foreign language program, and two of Quake's friends go there. Too bad their director could star in the video, "How NOT to Win Friends and Influence People." I felt the need to defend my decision to send Q to Waldorf, and he insinuated that Q would need to be in a younger class because he'd be behind kids already in the program. He all but sneered at the other schools I told him we were visiting, going so far as to claim that his was one of only three quality programs in town (the other two weren't on my list). But what really annoyed me was how my friends who already send their children there told me lots of things that were different than what he had told me. Apparently I have trust issues.
So I've signed the boy up for the last school we considered. I'd first heard of it 10 years ago when a woman I worked with sent her child there - smart woman, smart child. It was also recommended by a local 1st grade teacher I know. After meeting Quake, the pre-K teacher was confident that he would do just fine in her class even though he hasn't had any academics yet. And even while telling me they didn't believe their program was right for every child, they made Quake and I both feel welcome.
Does it make me a bad parent that I've not based this decision on his preschool being the "best" academically? Am I terrible if I don't care that Quake's not going to be doing calculus or reading in French by this time next year? Will Quake spend years in therapy weeping in rage about how I ruined his future because I didn't send him to the "right" preschool? I'm not usually a gambling sort, but I'll take that bet.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Tomorrow Monkey Man and I will be married for 6 years. He's currently packed into a high tech metal tube hurtling itself around the globe and won't even be on the ground again until tomorrow has come and gone. Next year we'll be able to aruge over whether we're married 6 or 7 years.
My mother-in-law came to town Friday evening so Monkey Man and I could get drunk on grain alcohol and eat obscene amounts of raw fish to celebrate. It's a party! I told him during dinner that I still wanted to be a writer (something I've claimed and then abandoned too many times to count). Do you think that means anything? Anything other than I'm obnoxiously long-winded when I'm drunk? As oppossed to when I'm not drunk, and I'm just almost obnoxiously long-winded. Shut up, it's my fantasy.
Cha Cha, the sweet baby, the wonderful, happy baby, decided last night that he doesn't want to take a bottle anymore. So my mother-in-law, she who can "handle any baby, had three of my own, helped raise a few more, was a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years", was completely worn out by the time we got back last night. I feel bad. But only because I feel just the tiniest bit gleeful at her trauma. Oh, my world has become small and petty, but I'm getting pleasure where I can.
It's a really good thing she's here though. Otherwise I'd be ordering pizza delivery and picking up a generic cake tomorrow morning for Quake's birthday party. And then being glad I had enough paper towels for the pizza since my dishes are all dirty.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
If this had come from someone of an older generation or from someone who didn't really know me, I would have just rolled my eyes and moved on. But this particular young woman is 10 years younger than me, and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding.
First, those of you who know me personally will know that I did not legally take the name Man, prefering to keep my own. But I don't mind all the mail I get addressed to Passing Man. I understand that some people don't get the whole idea of a woman keeping her last name (I mean really, the audacity of these women - it's a miracle they manage to find someone to marry them at all!). I've gotten used to the looks of utter confusion when I explain to someone that my legal name is different and usually just tell people I was too lazy to do the paperwork. I realize it hurts the cause, but I'm just too tired to explain it some days.
And I'm far from crazy about the title "Mrs." Yes, yes, yes, this is from family and of course they know we're married so being addressed in a marital-status-neutral way isn't important, blah, blah, blah. But don't you think, just maybe, a woman who chooses to keep her last name might prefer being addressed as "Ms"?
But of course it's not just the "Mrs" and the "Man". Rather it's the combination of those two plus not even getting the courtesy of my own damn first name. Go ahead, lump me into a category of crazy, angry feminist. Laugh and roll your eyes and dismiss my consternation as just being too uptight. Then start addressing all the men in your life as "Mr. Wife Wife-Surname". The first time, most of them will think it's sort of cute and funny. Keep doing it. Great fun for all of us angry, ugly feminists! Apparently it's only-a-little-thing-not-really-important to people who are only-a-little-thing-not-really-important.
Oh, but the story gets better. The return address label? It was her first name (with her married name). Now why the hell does she get to be Wife Married-Name while I'm Mrs. Husband Married-Name? Arg! At least if her address label had her listed as Mrs. Husband Married-Name I could grumble about her just needing to join the 21st century.
While I know this might come as a terrible shock, it turns out that this issue isn't just about me. The first woman I heard voice a desire to be addressed by her own name was my mother. A woman who came of age before second wave feminism and who was too busy raising a family to participate. A woman who cooked and cleaned and sewed and always baked birthday cakes from scratch. But also a woman who made her own money and demanded that her daughter get an education and be able to take care of herself. The only thing she asked in return was the luxury of being addressed by her own name.
So I think of her when I look at this envelope. You're right, it's just an envelope. Just one invitation. Just a few silly words dictated by tradition. No big deal.
Well it is a big deal to a woman who deserves so much more than such a little thing, and so it's a big deal to me.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I dropped Quake off at preschool and then headed east to stop off at Petsmart and Trader Joe's before my appointment at another preschool. After driving a bit, it occurs to me that I must not have been paying attention and driven past the shopping center. My inner bitch snickers at me, "Loser."
I turn around. After driving far enough west to pass Quake's school without seeing the shopping center, I realize that I've either developed a very serious case of ADD, or I'm really going crazy. I even start to wonder if I'm on the right road. I drive further west just to assure myself that the shopping center I want really is east of the school. Because at this point I'm starting to question reality in general. I turn around again.
Now hyper aware, I feel a dribble from my coffee cup. I look down to see if any of the dribble made it onto my shirt only to be greeted by a huge, wet coffee stain on my chest. My cup's been leaking for quite a while. And I didn't notice. Oh look! There's Petsmart and Trader Joe's, just 2 miles further east than I drove the first time.
There is no longer enough time to visit both stores before heading to my appointment so I pick up cat food since the cats are truly out of food, and I'm sure we can survive another day or two without yogurt. A few hours later, I get to listen to Quake cry all the way home because I didn't buy any blueberry yogurt. Sorry, Sweetheart, Mommy was busy losing her mind.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So, yeah, I suck. But while sitting in my car with nothing to do while Cha Cha napped this morning, I wrote the rough drafts for eight blog entries. One can always hope that I might actually use them. Oh, and this isn't one of them so now I have nine!
I took the above pictures on Monday while taking the boys for a walk. I had really intended to get shots of these gorgeous purple flowers that were everywhere. Turns out the spring bloom is a tiny, precious, little spot of time, and I missed them. That group of pink flowers was the only one left that we found, and even most of the orange ones were looking shabby. Would you like to know the names of these flowers-I-will-pretend-are-wildflowers-even-though-they're-probably-weeds? Yeah, me too.
I was also planning on waxing poetic about the lovely spring weather. Then it hit just shy of 90, and I decided I needed to spend some serious time figuring out how to get myself out of this godforsaken hell before another summer burns away what little sanity I have left. Today I put on shorts (I hate wearing shorts - just another satorial quirk of mine, which gives me an idea for another post...), and then saw on the weather channel that the high would be 71. WTF? Not that I'm complaining, but really, wtf?
And just because I feel I must keep rambling on to, in some lame way, make up for not posting for so long, I must point out the folly of the weather channel's city page. The first big, huge thing it shows you? The weather at this very moment. Holy cripes! I could have just walked outside to know what the weather is at this very moment. Here's an idea - make the first thing I see something useful.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Then in the afternoon I was sitting on my bed, talking to a friend on the phone, and Quake walks in with his wooden sword and his shield (which is really the lid to our dirty clothes hamper but I doubt I'll get it back until Q's in high school). He kneels at the foot of the bed and says, "Your Highness." It's about time someone noticed. Now go bring me bon-bons.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Of course it took me the better part of a week. I had to do it in 5 to 10 minute intervals. This picture was taken just over a year ago; the top of my dresser is one of my favorite places in the house. Is that strange?
I stuffed three thrash bags with clothes and jewelry to go to Goodwill and probably threw away an entire other bag. Monkey Man told me I needed to go shopping because the closet looked so empty!
Things that didn't get to stay: my high school letter jacket (cut out the letter and saved), a fleece robe I forgot I owned (because those are so useful here), a pair of pants that I wore all winter and then suddenly decided I hated, three pair of tights I haven't worn since I got pregnant with my four-year old, all the maternity clothes.
Things that got to stay: a shirt that belonged to my first husband (I'll be ready to let go of it soon, I think), a pair of black lace panties I've worn exactly once, all my dance shoes and clothes (I'm sure none of this will ever fit again), a velvet robe with ostrich feather cuffs, a pair of socks with taxis and a road that I got as a gift in junior high (yes, I still remember who gave them to me).
As someone who tends toward hoarding, I can't believe how liberating it feels to get rid of things. Things, stuff, crap. My life is overflowing with too much of it all. Is it really a surprise that I can't get anything done when I waste so much time digging through so much clutter? I've already started clearing out my craft area. Then I have my desk, bookcases, and underneath my bed to tackle. Gotta have something to do during the coming long, hot afternoons.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I've shopped at Trader Joe's in numerous states, and it's always the same. People park their carts in the middle of the tiny aisles until there are 6 people on each end sighing and rolling their eyes. Others will stop that cart right in front of what you're looking at while they look over every egg in the dairy case. And then they cut you off in line. It makes you wonder if all that healthy, organic food makes people grumpy. Wouldn't that be ironic - you live longer but everyone around you wishes you'd just die already.
I'd give up if I hadn't already committed myself to this corn syrup thing. That shit is in everything. You start reading labels, and suddenly the crazies that claim it's all a big government/agra-business conspiracy, don't sound so crazy.
And now my preschooler is taking his golf clubs into the bathroom to wash them. I think that might require my supervision...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Weirder is that I love and cherish both of those roles in my life. I don’t think I could give up either one, but I’m definitely not getting enough of the creative crowd. I was inspired by so much that I saw this weekend. I hope I can use that inspiration to propel me forward on some projects I have spinning in my head. You know, instead of just giving up and dragging down until I force myself to get away again for the weekend in a year or two.
To help me remember the journey, I bought a necklace for myself on Saturday. It’s one of those necklaces with multiple charms that often have a message with a different word written on each charm. I love those! Every time I’ve seen one, I’ve wondered what message would be perfect for me. Then I snap back into reality and tell myself that I certainly don’t need that sort of indulgence. Really, have you seen the gas prices?
The stars must be aligned because I bought the damn necklace. Mine says “Be You.” It seems like the perfect way to remind myself that I am Suburban Mom and Wannabe Arty Type, and I don’t have to choose. On the other hand, it’s a little frightening that at 36, I feel the need to be reminded, constantly, that I am who I am and who I am is ok. Or it’s pathetic. But I’m trying to be kinder. At least to myself.
And then it was like some cosmic force had been unleashed. On Monday I bought myself perfume. I rarely wear perfume. Of course that may have something to do with the fact that all the perfume I own was given to me by other people. I bought the perfume at Anthropologie. Words cannot express how much I love that store. Want to move in, and live in that store. I never buy anything there because a) I don’t have that kind of cash, b) I haven't been able to fit into their clothes since before Quake was born, and c) did I mention I don't have that kind of cash? I feel like a giggly, guilty schoolgirl. It’s so not like the Suburban Mom me, but Wannabe Artist me just got on her motorcycle for a cross-country ride with the wrong man. Metaphorically speaking.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Push preschooler on swings before bell rings. Help preschooler change shoes. Load baby back in car. Drive to chiropractor. Ahhhhh. Buy Easter candy, printer ink, and shampoo at Target. Eat Cadbury Egg in car. Ahhhhhh. Stop at lingerie shop; ask if they carry nursing bras. Get fitted for bra that is too big, but may return for it anyway. Drop off books at library. Avoid petitioners outside library. Feed baby in car. Write up this week's to-do list, include things I've already done. Contemplate stopping at bookstore. Go to Petsmart instead. Buy cat food.
Arrive at preschool early. Call hospital to make appointment for baby's hearing test, first available time is in one month. Get transferred so I can preregister. Wrong number, get transferred again. Wrong number. Preregister anyway because woman feels sorry for me getting transferred. Eat another Cadbury Egg. Read a few pages of a novel. Greet preschooler. Give him his lunch, and drive home.
Feed baby. Eat leftover pizza while rocking baby to sleep. Apologize to preschooler for eating "his" pizza, and offer him what I haven't eaten yet. Put baby in bed. Log on to library website. Reserve St Patrick's Day books (only a few left) and Easter books (beat the rush on that one) while promising preschooler to come play a game in a minute. Pick up crying baby. Sit at counter to play game with baby on lap. Realize damp spot on baby's side is most likely poop. Change baby's diaper and clothes while singing Stinky McStinky Pants. Gag (garlic and babies don't mix). Remind preschooler we were going to rearrange his toy room today. Abandon game.
Rock baby back to sleep. Pull in wagon load of toys from garage where they have been since being taken away weeks ago for poor preschooler behavior. Start going through toys. Secretly stash toys to throw away into an empty bag. Decide we need more storage space. Go back to garage. Find new homes for a few boxes. Bring in a small shelving unit. Continue to pick through toys. Got get screaming baby. Realize it's 4pm. Start dinner.
Start browning sausage and onion. Direct prescooler to put away the game. Dole out snacks. Talk to mom on phone while putting together lasagne. Allow prescooler to watch Power Rangers while I finish with toy room. Feed baby. Feed preschooler yogurt and granola bar for dinner. Start bath. Put last of baby wash in water. Talk to preschooler and play with baby until lasagne is done. Take lasagne out of oven. Remember to turn off oven. Put baby in bath. Get all mushy inside when preschooler holds baby in the bath. Get baby out of bath. Greet husband. Dry off and lotion up baby. Diaper and dress baby. Hand off baby to husband. Help preschooler out of bath. Get preschooler dressed for bed.
Show preschooler new books from library. Agree to read all 5 before bed. In middle of 3rd book, husband turns on TV. Give him dirty look. He turns off TV. Start 4th book. Trade places with husband to feed baby. Promise preschooler to come to his room as soon as baby is done eating. Give baby to husband. Sit next to preschooler's bed and sing a lullaby. Sit quietly by preschooler's bed wondering if it's possible that he's already asleep. Risk trying to leave room. Success!
Dish out some almost cold lasagne. Drink glass of wine with dinner. Have adult conversation with husband. Start watching a recorded show, realize it's a rerun. Read a few pages. Feed baby. Give sleeping baby to husband. Take back crying baby from husband. Contemplate going to bed at 8:30. Give sleeping baby back to husband. Ignore crying and get ready for bed. Take baby back from husband. Go to bed at 9pm.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I am soaking up the joy now that Monkey Man is back from Singapore. Or I'm spending my time getting annoyed that he's underfoot and constantly undermining all the work I did this week getting the boys in some sort of routine. I'm always forgeting which it is.
I'm currently reading a book about parenting, the topic of which I will go into at a later date because it seems to demand its own entry, and I'm starting to think the methodology might go a long way in husband training. It's certainly helping with Quake. I'll get back to you.
I haven't posted much about my quest to Figure Out What I Want To Do With My Life. It's not that I've forgotten - and, as this issue plays itself over and over and over in my head constantly, I'd have to cut off my head to forget it - but I haven't made much progress. Oh wait! I marked one thing off the list. Yeah, me! And I'm only writing about it now because while I was taking a shower tonight, I was beating myself up about it. That's my favorite thing to do, ever! Well you'd think it was.
I was thinking (between the "good god, you are never going to get a grip are you"s) about advice I've received from two people in my life about this issue. Both of their suggestions make me sad. Hmmm, thing that's a pretty good indication that I should mark off both of those items as well? I'm trying so hard to listen to my intuition, but all the accumulated years of thinking too much for my own good, has left me a bit tone deaf to that voice.
Note to self: a response of sadness to a suggestion might mean it's not the right path for you (baby steps).
Saturday, March 1, 2008
For those of you unfamiliar with the landscape in this part of Arizona, it is truly, amazingly beautiful. It had been rainy and cloudy all morning, and as we were climbing out of the Salt River Valley, the sun was starting to break through. It was lovely. One would wonder why I didn't just ask Monkey Man to pull over at one of the many pullouts so I could try to get a good picture. But those are people who've never had to listen to their beloved make snide remarks about how much faster we'd be there if only someone hadn't needed an extra stop for no good reason. I mean, Monkey Man's already irritated that he has to slow down to under 80 for the hairpin turns because his wife is screaming in fear. Actually stopping? Don't I realize we have places to be?
Friday, February 29, 2008
I've survived 5 days alone with the boys, and I think it's gone rather well. Only two more days to go! Here's what I managed to get done this week -
- got everyone (me included) dressed, fed, and out the door in time to be early for school;
- have kept dishes washed;
- put out the trash and brought the bins back in before the next day;
- gave the dog a desperately needed bath;
- went without TV for three days;
- got my car serviced;
- got groceries bought - Safeway and Trader Joe's;
- got everyone, including me, bathed every day;
- cut back on coffee (ummm, until this morning);
- attacked my much backlogged email;
- kept the house relatively picked up (that's a damn miracle itself);
- started a new bedtime routine that got Quake asleep without me in bed with him.
And just for a counterpoint, here's what I haven't gotten done this week -
- watching the Oscars (damn it!);
- cooking anything beyond eggs and grilled cheese (oh, we did make a chocolate cake);
Monday, February 25, 2008
Then after all the crying and whining and fussies are over, let's imagine that you're playing some made up game with your three year old involving the giant, green plastic beads from a necklace your mom gave you that she wore in the 60's. You know these games, the kind in which you have no idea what the objective is, much less the rules, but you just do what you're told and cheer when you're told and say, "Tarter Sauce!" when you're told. And then, just for a fun twist to this thought experiment, let's say the infant, watching his older brother, suddenly starts laughing in that strange, hiccup-y baby way. Then the three year old starts trying to make the baby laugh more, and he does, and suddenly through your own laughter you realize you are having the time of your life.
Does that make up for all the rest? Theoretically speaking?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I did manage to steal some time for myself yesterday to catch up on my favorite blogs. Here's what caught my eye...
If I can wrangle the remote away from Quake, I'll be watching the Oscars tonight. Not that I've actually seen any of the films, but I can't resist the clothes! Anyway, Bluelines has a post up giving cocktail recipes to go with your favorite Oscar picks. If you've seen them.
The always hilarious dooce, pointed out this bit of visual fun for parents. At least now I know what I'm doing wrong.
This makes me miss snow. Kinda.
I love this guest spot over at Shapely Prose.
Holly from decor8 pointed out this amazing photograph. I'm sure my cats would have hissed and basically thrown a fit completely ruining things.
It's back to being a single parent for the day. And for the next seven days. Oh, how I love my husband's traveling schedule...
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monkey Man's been off work the last two days. We had originally planned to spend more time playing in the snow, but all the boarders were tired and Quake was running a fever. Oh yeah, and I hadn't wanted to go in the first place. So the last two days were supposed to be like a late birthday present with Monkey Man keeping Quake busy so I could have some time to do what I wanted to do.
It only helped a little bit. See, it turns out that caring for an infant leaves precious little time for anything else. I know! Who knew? What a crazy world.
I started to do lots of things. Didn't finish any of them. Did get to take a few hours at Barnes and Noble to catch up on my magazine reading. Am I the only person who thinks the local big box bookstore is really there just so I can drink a latte and read their magazines? It was relaxing. Well, the part when Cha-Cha wasn't screaming. But once he fell asleep, it was heavenly.
Quake had an exciting day yesterday - he got to see Tiger Woods golf, live and in person! Of course since he's three and doesn't have much experience with these things, he didn't think it was terribly impressive. He sees Tiger on TV all the time, what's the big deal? I'll laugh at him when he's older.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Went grocery shopping yesterday, which is not something I would usually deem exciting enough to share with you here. This trip was different because I spent an unusual amount of time reading labels. I've been hearing for awhile now that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is evil. Of course my child started a Waldorf preschool and I started going to a chiropractor in the last year so perhaps my experience is a little different...
Anyway, I decided that I'd like to try cutting out of our diets as much HFCS as possible this year. Yesterday's trip to the store was the first time I decided to read labels and try to buy alternatives. This turned out to be not so easy.
Jelly and yogurt? I get this. These are sweet things. Although I was a bit annoyed that there were few alternatives at this particular store, meaning I'll have to make regular trips to Trader Joe's from now on (not that I don't love TJs, but it's not conveniently located). But bread? And tomato soup? And salad dressing? I picked up a salad dressing that listed HFCS as the first ingredient. I'll make my own dressing from now on.
HFCS isn't just a health issue. It's also a big agra-business and big government issue; HFCS is a product whose existence depends on tariffs and subsidies. It's also an issue of "real" food; production depends on multiple chemical modifications, some of which require genetically modified enzymes. For those of you interested, here is the Wikipedia entry on HFCS.
Other articles of interest:
HFCS linked to diabetes from Science Daily
Some insight into the business of HFCS from the Gristmill
Michael Pollan talks to the Sierra Club about HFCS
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I always claimed to be older when I was a kid. Yeah, I know, duh. Don't all kids want to be older? I skipped a grade and often was teased for being younger so I just told people I was a year or two older. My favorite thing was when people, doubtful of my age claim, would ask me what year I was born. Because apparently a 10 year old is too stupid to subtract a year or two from her birth year when protecting her lie.
Then of course I went through the phase where I told people I was younger than I was. Um, actually I never did that. Does anyone do that? In my 20s I still wanted to be older mostly because I wanted to be taken more seriously.
And now, coming full circle, or half circle - whatever - I'm tempted to start lying about my age again. If I tell people I'm 40 (I'm 36) then I can hear how great I look! That's the theory anyway. Maybe people will think I look lousy for 40, and then I'll feel really shitty.
Believe it or not I had no intention of posting about my age or how often I might or might not lie about it. I was going to post about how I was sick so I didn't get around to posting. And just when I was feeling better, we took off for the White Mountains to spend a few more days in the snow. So I wasn't here. So I didn't post. I'm back!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
The point being, I'm going to continue to tell these stories, but I will feel a tiny twinge of guilt about it. Just so you know.
I have a cleaning lady. She comes every 2 weeks. We really can't afford it, but I'm a terrible housekeeper, and it keeps Monkey Man and me from killing each other over that fact. It's probably cheaper than couple's therapy. While we were visiting at Christmas, sister-in-law#2 was complaining about her cleaning lady. The cleaning lady always moves things around so sil#2 spends all this time moving things back where she wants them. Wtf?
Seriously, I told her that she obviously has too much time on her hands and needs to get a hobby. Personally I'm so happy to have someone else scrub my toilets and vacuum my floors that I wouldn't care if she stacked all the furniture in the corners before she left. Or put it all outside. Getting upset about the cleaning lady moving tchotchkes and crap around? Life is too fucking short.
Of course I am talking about a woman who has napkins on her dining room table that can't be used (she yelled at Monkey Man when he grabbed one). Yeah. I suppose that's why her house looks like a cross between a Pier One store and a Pottery Barn catalog, and my house looks like...well, neither of those things. More time to do the things I love to do or cleaning up after the cleaning lady leaves? I know what trade I'm willing to make.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The truth is that fighting the spiral into full blown depression has really put a crimp in my schedule. Two weeks ago it occurred to me that rage might not be an appropriate response to a typically defiant three year old, and I've been having regular crying jags ever since. On the top of my to-do list at the moment is calling my physician so we can talk about upping my meds. I'm blogging instead. If you recall this incident, you may understand why I haven't gotten around to calling yet. But I'll be out of magic little pills altogether soon so I suppose it can't be avoided. Yes, yes, I should just find another doctor. Do you have any idea how much energy that will require? More than I have at the moment. I'll just lie to the jackass about breastfeeding, and I'm sure he won't even hesitate.
It's possible that I'm just finally feeling the effects of serious sleep deprivation. I asked Monkey Man on Saturday to take the first feeding of the night so I could sleep 5 or 6 hours straight. The idiot changed Cha-Cha's diaper before feeding him so the baby was screaming pissed off and then, because he didn't want to make him more angry, brought him to me. And then he didn't understand why my face was puffy Sunday morning when he got up at 7. Could have been the weeping I did from 5 until 7. And he didn't understand why I was so angry all day, or why waking me up from a nap to ask if he should make a bottle made me cry again.
All these jackasses in my life, no wonder I'm depressed.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I spent at least the first few hours of my day absorbed in that sadness. I thought about the last time I had seen her, some of the times we shared, the way that our lives had been intertwined for a period. I even spent an hour or so last year "googling" her to see if I could find out anything that had happened to her recently.
I think it's telling that I describe someone I have had no contact with for a decade as a "friend". This woman cut off most contact with me after I ended a romantic relationship, apparently agreeing with the rest of "our" friends that the only reason she was my friend is because I was dating that certain boy. The little contact we had after that was always initiated by me, and it was always disappointing and frustrating contact for me.
I can't help but wonder why I continued to consider her a friend then. And it certainly makes no sense that I would still consider her a friend now, after all these years. Of course she's not the only person I've felt this way about. I think of anyone I've ever let into my heart as a friend no matter how horribly they've gone on to treat me. In fact, I often secretly wonder what I could have done differently to salvage the relationship.
What a waste.
My life is filled with wonderful people who truly care about me, and I'm spending my precious time fretting about the jerks who used me or discarded me or just generally didn't like me. I'll be 36 next month, and I think it's time to put an end to this wasteful and painful (self inflicted pain - I love that!) bad habit. I'm a little slow, but I seem to be finally catching on.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Of course I was afraid I'd have to exchange the flickering lights for the preschooler beating the shit out of the door. He threw his whole body at the bathroom door and wailed like his puppy just died when my mother locked the door while she took a shower a few weeks ago. But he only yelled at me that the door was locked and then went away to find something else to do. Like light the kitchen on fire. But I don't care! Because I got to poop. alone. finally.
Could the "shitty threes" finally be coming to an end? More likely he's plotting something hugely evil and just being sweet to throw me off my game...
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
So picture, if you will, three women (my mother-in-law, Sister-in-law#3*, and myself) getting ready to leave my mother-in-law’s house to travel to Brother#2’s house for dinner. The brothers had been out at the sand dunes so my husband called to ask me to bring his bathing suit since Brother#2 has a hot tub. I grabbed my suit too; it was chilly and a hot tub sounded divine. SIL#3 tells me she’s not packing her suit because she can’t face wearing it at the moment.
SIL#3 who is tall, thin, leggy and gorgeous. SIL#3 who is 10 years younger than me, weighs less than me, and is a good 4 inches taller than me.
I look at her, dumbfounded, and say, “If the fat sister-in-law who just had a baby 6 weeks ago can put on a bathing suit, then I think you can manage it.” She tried to make some lame excuse about being bloated, to which I pretty much responded, “What the fuck?” Then she went and got her bathing suit, and I told everyone how I shamed her into bringing it.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I just think life is too short to being worrying about whether or not my husband’s family thinks I’m too fat to wear a bathing suit.
*I’ve taken the liberty of numbering us according to the brothers’ birth order, making me SIL#1 and Monkey Man Brother#1.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
I’ve been having problems with this little blog lately. I’d been thinking that perhaps I didn’t like writing nearly as much as I thought I might since I couldn’t seem to, you know, write anything. But Kate’s words made me realize that I’ve been deep in the fantasy of “writing for everyone” while pretending I was only “writing for myself”. I need to focus on an audience. And get over myself.
Why am I writing here at all? I tell everyone that it’s to keep all my far flung friends up to date on what’s happening in my life. And that’s true. But I also wanted a place to share what was going on in my head (frankly being alone with my thoughts is kinda scary most days). And I was hoping that the act of writing regularly, for an audience, would help me develop my own “voice”.
I’ve been censoring myself too much, trying too hard to fit my writing topics and styles into the topics and styles that I admire in other blogs. It’s time to stretch beyond what feels safe (which isn’t much most days), and discover myself by revealing myself to you.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
To tie in nicely with my previous post about figuring out what I want to do with my life, I present:
inside a black apple - the look, the art, the creativity! It's all in one fabulous package. For my birthday I may just have to buy myself something. Does anyone think I'm too old for knee socks yet?
shimelle - can I help it if it inspires me to see other women find their calling through a not-so-straight path? When I pop over I'm always impressed by her creativity. And I usually leave with burning desire to make cupcakes.
And I've found a few other sites that I love to read:
suburban bliss - Melissa never fails to make me laugh. Or to wish I could have a drink (or 5) with her so we could discuss our perfect husbands.
dooce - Heather knows the truth of living with a preschooler, and she ain't afraid to tell it. With biting wit, naturally. And it's nice to know that someone out there has a stranger dog than me.
shapely prose - Kate and her cohorts are smart, funny, and feminist. They write about fat acceptance, the evils of diets, and why thin isn't always healthy. All with more cuss words than I usually use!
Hope you enjoy!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I’ve been living much smaller than I want to, and I think it’s time to change that. Of course being bold isn’t exactly something that’s easy to measure, and we all know from reading too many self-help books (or maybe that’s just me) that goals must be specific and measurable. So I’ve actually got a whole list of goals for the year, not one of which is “lose weight”. Thank you, Shapely Prose, for reminding me that The Fantasy of Being Thin is a crock of shit. It’s time to get on with my life.
I haven’t made any resolutions in years (except for my private “lose weight” resolution that I was ashamed to voice), but I’ve been busy this past week scribbling notes at random times about what I’d like to change this year. It all started during the massage I got the day after Christmas (a gift from my two sons). As I was letting my mind drift with the soft music before the massage got started, the thought “this is the year I figure out what I want to do with my life” popped, fully formed, into my head.
I believe the whole “I Don’t Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” thing is just another version of the being thin fantasy. Not knowing what I want to do is great way to avoid doing anything. And of course I can’t figure out what I want to do with my life if the house is a mess and the kids still need me around and the bills need to be paid and I can’t even figure out what I want for dinner. Right?
So I started a list of all the jobs and careers that I fantasize about or think I might want to pursue. I’m going to do that overly analytical thing of comparing and contrasting all the pros and cons of each one in an attempt to distract my head long enough to give my gut a chance to offer an opinion. But I’d also like opinions from any of you. What do you think I should do? What do you think my talents are?