One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

And Then Love Smacks You Upside the Head

This morning I am working on a particularly tedious task in a spreadsheet. It requires roughly 0.2% of my brain cells and a lot of mouse/keyboard coordination. This is leaving a lot of open space in my head to fill with random thoughts. I could be using this time to try and come up with present ideas for the nine people left on my Christmas list that I have no ideas for, but that taxes 194% of my brain, and I don't have that much to spare.

Instead, I'm thinking about my plans for the coming week and month, as to what I can attend and what I have to decline. One of those events is a gathering of my college crowd on Sunday. I got an update email earlier telling me that a dozen people were attending. And of course, I got to wondering who those dozen people might be.

My "college crowd" is actually a national organization (no need to publicize it here, I'm enough of a dork without y'all knowing THAT) with groups on 50 or so campuses. My group is obviously all from U of I, but the 'post college' group that is getting together on Sunday could include people from many other branches. The Sunday gathering could include people who graduated 10 years before me and people who graduated last May.

Within the Chicago area, there are 13 people I can think of off the top of my head that I knew well.

Two are ex-boyfriends.

One I haven't spoken to (except in a drunken state, during which I called him a coward) since he emailed, oh yes, EMAILED me a 'Dear Jane' letter while I studied abroad in Germany in the summer of '99. This was an asshole move, no ifs ands or buts. I would say an email breakup is an asshole move if you're dating more than a month, and we had been dating close to two years. But then, I shouldn't have ignored the signs.

Immediately after the email (or possibly before, I was in Germany, how would I know?) he began seeing another girl from the group, whom he later married. And they live somewhat near me, and in fact, I used to pass their house all the time on the way to my mother-in-law's house. She's since moved, thank God.

Now, aside from the whole asshole move of an email break up, there are a few other issues I have with both of these people. To put it succinctly, they are jerks. In general, I don't relish the idea of seeing them, though I am perpetually curious as to what they are doing, mostly because I'm perpetually curious about everyone I've ever known (so if you know me, and read this blog, EMAIL ME! I want to know what you're up to!). I have googled just about everyone in my past, with virtually no success. Dammit.

Anyway, ex=jerk, possibly at 'reunion'.

Rolling along on my train of thought, I'm bringing Luke to the 'reunion' on Sunday. Esposo has some finals to study for and I want to show off my beautiful boy. I planned on leaving Esposo at home. Which means he would not be there for the ex, if the ex was there. Which is VERY upsetting, because I would love Esposo to meet the ex, it would give my stories so much more oomph. I really want to meet HIS ex. But again, I'm like that, insatiably curious.

Where the hell am I going with this?

Oh, right, loving the Esposo. Naturally, an Esposo-ex meeting would call for direct comparison of the two, and so I began doing this in my head. And I just fell in love with Esposo all over again this morning, as I did my mindless work on the spreadsheet. His smile, his sense of humor, the fact that he's obnoxious, but in such a good way. His willingness to try new things and go places and the way he is with Luke. His incredibly plodding, methodical home improvement.

I am incredibly lucky.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Calm the #$%!& down.

I am fairly adept at handling crisis situations. When it gets to a 'do or die' mode, my adrenaline kicks in and I fire on all cylinders, can leap tall buildings in a single bound, and generally kick Crisis Ass.

I just had a 'situation' here at work which needed to be solved - and toot sweet (how does one actually spell that in French?) - and I was running around, A) figuring out what the problem was and B) trying to finding the guy who could fix the problem. It was only about 15 minutes of crisis, and crisis was averted.

However, my body is still ready to kick Crisis Ass. I may kick your ass if you come too close. I can feel the muscles in my arms, shoulders, and back are highly tensed. I wouldn't recommend sneaking up behind me right now.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I am woefully out of it on Survivor, having not watched a few episodes in a row. I caught last week's, though, and was happy to see that I hadn't really missed much.

Stephanie annoys me, as does Lydia, but I have found the person I want to root for. And it is Rafe. Esposo and I were discussing how gay Rafe is, and trying to find a nickname for him. We were at 'Little Big Gay Man' or 'Big Little Gay Man' or something similar, I don't clearly remember, because Rafe then did us the pleasure of nameing himself.

He referred to himself as the 'little gay Mormon'.

Now there's a children's book!


Oh, somebody has a case of the Mondays! Thankfully most of the day has passed in a vague blur. Unfortunately, I have a lot to do and because of the vague blurriness of today, I am not getting anything done. Some of that may be due to the fact that people generally nod and smile at me when I say things - things that involve them DOING something - and then they flounce off and don't do anything. Jerks.

And they do SO flounce.

Last night I had several dreams, and they were bad dreams. In fact, I was trapped in a slasher movie horror film and a Saw-like horror film in two dreams that I awoke from. Thanks to, though I haven't SEEN Saw, I can still have bad dreams about it.

And nobody wants the ringtone. IT'S A BAD PRIZE.

Dining Room!!

This weekend, after we had a family day on Thursday, and a friend day on Friday, we were left with Saturday and Sunday for our own devices.

Which means home improvement! We've been in our house over a year now (13 months) and have done a bit, but yet it feels like nothing. If I list everything, it looks like a lot, but walking through our house, the drastic changes I want to see take place aren't there yet.

Part of the problem is definitely paint colors. When we moved in, more than half the house was painted in a peach or pale pink. Our trim is painted white. We have white curtains (left by the previous owners) in the living room/dining room. In short, our house felt *blah* in precisely the rooms I am decorating a lot for the holidays.

We headed to Home Depot Saturday morning to pick up a few things, including a quart of paint to 'try out' on the dining room walls. We also picked up glass doors for the fireplace so that when we finally do light a fire in there, the cat won't walk through the leftover soot in the night and leave sooty footprints all over my cream carpet. Because that? Is the last thing I need. But on a related note, I have been trying to come up with a way to put sooty Santa footprints from the fireplace to the tree for the kids to see. Ideas? That clean up?

So, we came back with Behr's Sagey in a Satin finish. And we love it! I went back on Sunday to get more Sagey and Water Sprout for an accent wall. The Water Sprout was a harder sell, but after a day I already like it a lot more. It all started with a 'country' plan for the room, and suddenly, it feels as if it is falling together!

Here's our dining room!

Now, there will be white crown molding, and the big question is, do I paint the ceiling white, water sprout (the light green) or sagey (the dark green)? Thoughts??

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Late to Work

This morning I was late to work. I didn't oversleep, in fact, I was up before my (mechanical) alarm clock with my (flesh and blood) alarm clock. This didn't even present much of a problem as he hung out in the bathroom while I took my shower. And then while he ate his morning bottle I watched 'My Name is Earl' on DVR, which I still don't think is a great show, but it doesn't suck like so many of the shows out there, so I watch it. Plus, it's already DVR'd.

Tthen I started hanging out with him and we were just chillin', and then Esposo got up, so we were all just chillin', but not as relaxed as that because I still had to get dressed and Esposo had to feed the dog and let her outside (We STILL have the dog. We are STILL trying to find her a new home.), and Luke was alternating between happy and fussy.

But it was a nice morning, and now I'm at work where things are not as nice, and kind of driving me crazy. But in a weird way.

See, I want to apply for a new job at work because I'm tired of this one, but my boss has provided me with virtually no feedback on, well, anything. And it's a weird little company where the upper management has to think as a herd rather than individuals. And there are other things going on like 'commitments' that they may want me to stay in this position to meet. So I have no idea if it would be accepted to want to apply to this other job.

Or what anyone here thinks of me and my performance. (Except for the jerk up top, he no likey me, I no likey him) Now, I received a big award at my last job, so I know I'm capable of doing well. But this environment has sucked a lot out of me.

Anyway, no feedback. No clue. But then my boss tells me she's going on vacation and I'll have signatory power while she's gone on some things. So I assume that means she trusts me to some extent.


Free Ringtone!

Yes, of the crappy prizes you can win under your soda bottle cap, I think 'free ringtone' ranks up there pretty high.

Nevertheless, I have won a free ringtone from Diet Coke. Being as I will never redeem this I will send the code to the first person that requests the free ringtone. I will not be surprised if no one requests the ringtone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Fat is a dangerous word in our society. You simply don't call people fat. You use euphemisms - heavy, overweight, or simply, 'big'. And when I want to emphasize how I'm feeling about my body, fat is the word of choice, because it's so simple, yet so powerful.

I've been struggling with weight loss my entire life. I remember the first diet and exercise program that worked, during my freshman year of high school, when I was 13. My English teacher noticed that I had lost some weight.

After that, weight crept on, and it was after my freshman year of college, at 18, that I lost 20 pounds and went back to school feeling pretty spiffy. And then the weight crept back on, plus some, and it was during my second year out of college that I lost 40 pounds (back to the same weight I got down to after my freshman year of college).

Major transitions are good for my weight loss, apparently!

Last night, I was playing with Luke in the family room, debating on what to make for dinner. I had had some chips and wasn't feeling particularly in the mood for anything. Luke had been fussy, but had finally settled down to where he was able to play more or less 'on his own', so I turned on the TV.

I don't really know what's on TV anymore, because I watch the DVR pretty exclusively, but I pretty well caught up to all my shows this weekend. And I flipped through channels and what happened to pop up was Wife Swap. And there was a very large couple and a very fit couple, swapping lives. Esposo had wandered in by this point, and as we watched the intros, I let him know that I didn't want to be that fat, and really, I wasn't hungry now.

I missed a large portion of the middle of the show putting Luke to bed (he's been sleeping GREAT lately - went to bed at 7:30 last night and wasn't up until 5:45), but caught the last 15 minutes with Esposo. Long enough to be incredibly annoyed at the fat woman, who came off, well, let's say, badly. As her husband attempted to work out as the fit wife had shown him, the fat wife commented that 'this isn't an effective use of time' during a walk.

Which, of course, got me to thinking about time limitations of working and Esposo in school, and essentially, how I've been having trouble finding time to go to the gym. And how really, if I thought this woman needed to make some time, I needed to make some time. But I still haven't figured out how to do that.

But it doesn't mean I can't get back with the diet program (which , really, I haven't strayed too far from, since I've maintained my weight for four months, I just haven't lost any).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Doing it Right

I think perhaps our society has become a bit too obsessed with 'doing it right'.

By 'it', I mean being a parent. If you're a parent, do you feel as if there is too much information out there? If you do this, you'll improve your child's intelligence, if you do that, you'll lower his self esteem. Your child's future success in life DEPENDS ON YOU!

It starts in the womb, from everything you eat, the exercise you get, the music you listen to, the feelings you experience.

My desire to expose Luke to as much as I can (without spending much money) has already triggered guilt in my mother. She has so often said to me 'I never did these things with you kids' and follows it with an abuse of her abilities as a parent. You know, a parent who was always there for me and whose love I never doubted, who raised (alone from ages 13 and 11 onward) a son who is a doctor and a daughter who is an engineer.

Meanwhile, I look back at my childhood and I see nothing lacking. And as for some of the things I wish I had done, like playing a sport from an earlier age? How could she have known to suggest that, when I didn't express that interest? I was who I was and I am who I am. My mother was not and is not responsible for my every experience.

By the same token, Luke is going to be who he is. I know he's going to be okay when I see him noticing Esposo and I hugging or kissing, and when we bring him into bed on our few lazy mornings and he crawls from one to the other of us happy just to be with us. Whether I sign him up for soccer or tee ball, or take him to the children's museums, he will grow up, he will learn, and he will have to deal with what we all must eventually learn.

Life isn't perfect and you can't do it right.

Sweet Thoughts

When you think about becoming a parent, if it's something that you want in your life, no doubt you think about the first look into a newborn's face, the smiles as they play, and teaching them as they grow. You think about baseball games and Christmas mornings, birthday parties and school plays.

Perhaps you also think about sleepless nights, because everyone warns you about those. And maybe you think about colds and the illnesses that you'll have to nurse them through.

But rarely, actually, I hope never, do you think about the stranger realities of parenthood. Like holding your infant and rubbing his back or circling his legs as he pushes out a particularly difficult poop. And you know, these are problems that you really can't do anything about (besides moving their legs in a bicycle motion as they lay on their backs), but they will turn to you and expect you to understand and somehow fix it.

But they have to poop alone when it comes down to it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Golden Girls

Esposo, he loves the Golden Girls. Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. Frequently, I come home and he's watching The Golden Girls on Lifetime.

Nothing odder than your husband sitting around watching the Golden Girls.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Settling In

Obviously, I am settling into the blogging, because I am swearing more. I was mildly concerned at first that friends and family would be reading and I didn't want them to think I was a horrible potty mouth, but then, I am. I'm just trying not to be because I don't want my son to swear.

Actually, I don't want him to swear as a child. I want him to know the value of forbidden words so that saying 'shit' is as much a rebellion for him as it was for me. Because if I can get away with being "mad" for him being 14 and swearing, rather than for setting the school on fire or tying a sibling/cousin up and dangling them from a second floor window or stealing the car and driving over the lawn?

Let me practice my "mad about swearing face".

In other news, last night Luke was a wee bit insane. After a changing battle in which I had a death grip on one of his naked little legs and was waving something noisy and shiny with the other hand, whilst wishing I had a third had to wipe the kid clean and put a new diaper on, we got to go to baby class. Where he spent the first five minutes ecstatically crawling in a big circle.

I was debating on which stories to tell him when he's older and throwing these temper tantrums:

"You used to have an older brother before I sold him to the gypsies for (insert horrible behavior here)"

Please provide other ideas! I had more, but I forgot them.

Teacher People...

Okay, teacher friends, I know you work in much more uppity schools, but you really need to write shit like this:

Teacher Kerri

Or at least tell me stories like this. Awesome.

"Child Free"

Child Free Glossary

I don't know how long this link will stay active, but the article covers "Child free lingo" from "Baby Not On Board: A Celebration of Life Without Kids"

Let me start with the understanding that having kids is a choice, and if you're ambivalent about it beforehand, you should wait. Personally, it wasn't my 'plan' to have a child as early as we did, but it was always in our 'plan' to have children. So timing just got a bit screwed up.

What really pisses me off about this article, and I suppose, would piss me off about the book, are these two phrases:

"Zombie Parents from Planet Zygote: Former friends who, since having kids, have become a major drag to be around.

Diaper Diplomacy: The fine art of ditching friends who turn into Zombie Parents from Planet Zygote"

If this is how you feel about your friends as they struggle through a vast life changing process? In which the very nature of who they are gets tossed around and suddenly, the time they used to have is nonexistent? Well, hm, let's put this gently. You suck and you are a lousy, crappy person. Hopefully when you're going through a rough time at work, with a relationship, going back to school, you know, any of those big changes that rock the foundation of your world? Your friends will abandon you, too.

And may no OPC take care of you in the nursing home.

(I'm not talking to anyone here, just the jerkstores who write this kind of thing. And those who believe it.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Inexorable March Towards Death

Does that title fully encapsulate the feelings I've been having since the birth of my son? I mean, this is how I feel a lot lately.

I was never a very age-conscious person. Yes, I wanted to hit 16 to drive and 21 to drink (legally), and as we all aged into our mid and late 20's we joked about being OOOOLD because we were less and less connected with the pop culture. But I never felt truly OOOOLD, I felt older, and yes, not as the target demographic, but I wasn't exactly 'in' the target demographic as a teenager either.

People I knew were and are going back to school, making career changes, moving, living life on the fly. Because hey, we're young! And when I think about being 29? Hey! I can do anything! I could start a business and go back to school and learn to fly. Whatever I want! I should go out and seize the day!

By myself this is how I feel.

When I look at my son, I'm 84 and on the brink of death. Perhaps I've taken it too much to heart that these days will pass too too quickly, and then I'll be dead.

You know, I think about him growing up, going to school, becoming a teenager, learning to drive, going to college, getting married, having children, and then I'll be dead.

I don't seem to be able to stop this train of thought anywhere earlier. It always ends with "and then I'll be dead". Which is, naturally, leading me to try and imagine as little of my son's future as possible, because in his future, no matter what, I'm dead.

When I think about being 29, and what I want to do with my life, it never ends with "and then I'll be dead". I can think of myself in my 50's and 60's (hopefully) retired and enjoying travel with my husband. I can think about trying out a business, having it last for ten years, and letting it go, and my demise doesn't factor in.

But there's something about an infant, *my* infant, that is a huge neon sign advertising my impending status as worm food. It's totally freaking me out.

Whining to Giggles

Luke does keep learning a new thing every day. It is very hard to keep up with, because he constantly wants to explore to learn the new things that must be out there. Which means when he crawls into the cabinet under the sink as I empty the garbage, where some abrasive soaps are stored, and I pull him backwards and shut the door, there is screaming and pounding against the injustice of it all.

I'm still reeling from the fact that no one told me that they whine so early on.

Later, after baths, which meant getting Squirmsy dressed (he does not understand that the reason his teeth are chattering is because he will not sit still for me to put clothes on him!), we played on my bed, which is a king sized playground for good jumping and bouncing and tickling. For a few minutes we lay on our sides, face to face, and I pretended to eat his hand as he reached out for my face, and all twenty pounds of babyness giggled in glee... I forgot all about the whining and the sleep loss, and I'll hold that sound and that happy face with me all day, and hopefully all my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Press on!

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."

This quote sits in a frame on my desk, to remind me of this truth daily. It does a poor job at it. It was my father's, and really it occasionally reminds me that I would like for him to be proud of me. And I would like to be proud of me. I actually truly believe in what this quote says (as I tried to say in my last post).

I once tried to explain to an acquaintance about why I thought Mensa was an annoying group. I said "I could get into Mensa!" and she interpreted this as a braggart remark. Which is not how I intended it, as I am fully and complete unimpressed with my intellectual accomplishments, so why the hell should Mensa be so impressed with them. I had had an image of Mensa (The High Intelligence Society) being just that, people who were of high intelligence. If I can get in, than it is nothing more than people overstating their importance and attempting to raise themselves above others by use of an ambiguous definition.

The people who achieve more, I believe, are those who learn to work hard for each step they take. I didn't have to work until college, and didn't learn how to work at achieving in college. There were two types of people who were high achievers in college: those who *STILL* didn't have to work (and there were a few) and those who knew how to work.

So again, I come to the point, I have no ambition. I have no doubt that people will interpret some of my ramblings here as arrogance, as the acquaintance from high school did, when they are intended as anything but. I intend to point out that the numbers are useless and unimportant (and yet we're still forcing our schools to operate to a number system...)


I have a dirty secret. It gets feminists up in arms. There's currently a debate raging about it, how college age women have these ideas about things, and they, well, they want to stay home with their families!

There's a backlash, apparently, where intelligent, capable women who were raised in the midst of the superwoman phenomenon (the 80's, power suits with shoulder pads... my new sweater had weird little shoulder pads yesterday. WHY!?!? I digress...), these college age women are --planning-- to stay home with their children and let their husbands work.

I will try to hunt down the articles, but one I read was essentially PO'd that these women had made that choice, and expected to have the means to make that choice. There is also the assertation that by making this choice, these highly educated, intelligent women are robbing the world of women CEOs and equal rights.

I've made that choice. And my secret? I have no ambition. A friend of mine, who graduated high school with me, asked me about this. Let's take a picture of us at graduation - I was salutatorian (2nd in the class). High SAT/ACT scores. Headed off to the U of Illinois to study engineering. She was the middle of the pack, headed off to college out of state to study accounting.

I, did not do so well in college. I don't know her grades, but I'm guessing her GPA was higher than mine. She has also since gone on to get a Masters. She had her first baby in January. She is engaged in her job, working longer hours, and felt like all she did on maternity leave was chores.

I am not at all engaged in my job. In fact, I don't understand what the heck people CARE so damn much about here. It's a job. It pays well, but it provides me with little satisfaction. I felt like I was in control of my life on maternity leave.

I'm not a great housekeeper, but this week I put bleach in my spray bottle and sprayed down the shower curtain liner that was starting to get grungy. I sprayed the corners of the bathtub where a decorative flower and a bath toy has stained the porcelain red and orange.

The clean shower curtain liner and white porcelain of the tub gave me great pleasure this morning. I felt like my world was a little better, and right.

It took me a few years during and after college to realize that I was not the ladder-climbing corporate type. That my grades and natural aptitude for problem solving and math, do not equate to high achievement in a corporate landscape. Out here, understanding Euclid's Theorems does nothing for you.

I keep returning to this theme in my mind. If I am not a 'high achiever', as I was defined for my childhood, where do I now fit? This, along with the "Child Representing The Inexorable March of Life Towards Death", which I will attempt to touch on later, is sending me through a life 'crisis'. I have come to accept that it's okay to be unambitious (within the context of corporate world), but that does leave me with the landscape of approximately 50 years to fill with something that will make me feel as if I am not wasting my time.

Up Up and Away

Luke is entering a phase, it seems, where everyday is a new thing. Now he climbs to the top of the stairs without a pause, and cruises behind his Christmas present (yeah, we should have put that AWAY). I think he's finally beginning to make sounds other than 'da'.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Stoopid Dog

We went up to the lake house this weekend, in addition to my mother in law, her best friend, and my sister in law. It was looow key. Very nice.

However, as is usual when we head up there, we slept in a room with Luke and the dog. Friday night Luke slept on the ride up, and transferred okay to the crib. I collapsed with him (we got there about 10:20, and I've been feeling sick).

At 2:15 Luke began fussing, and with all my developed mommy sense, I started singing the ABC song. And he Fell. Back. To. Sleep.

Oh glory and hallelujah. At 4:15, same thing. At 5:15, unfortunately, it did not work.

Saturday night Luke was exhausted, and slept soundly through the night until 4:45, when the dog woke up and shook, rattling her chain loudly in the small room. Waking Luke, who was not buying ABCDEFG as a lullaby, and besides, my throat hurt. I got up with him and fed him 8 ounces. At 5:45, he was tired enough to doze off in my arms, so I tried to put him down.

No such luck. Esposo got up with him and he dozed off in Esposo's arms about 6:15... where he stayed until 8:15, sweaty and adorable snuggled with his daddy.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Today is Veteran's Day. I can only think of two veterans that I know at this point. One is coworker, and one a friend's father. I am certain that there are more in my life, but it's not something that you can casually bring up. So, uh, you serve in a war or anything?

My family tree is rife with veterans. My father and grandfather I know for certain, and great uncles are veterans on both sides of my family tree. I don't know of anyone in my family who lost his life overseas.

I tried to talk about American wars, but I can't do it justice. I don't know enough.

So I'll leave it at this, for those who served, who put their lives on the line, thank you.


I have a crappy little purse that is generally non-descript. It's beige. It has a square type design. It is roughly 14 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 7 inches high. I only eyed it and guessed these numbers, so I could be hugely off since I am a woman and we have no eye for spatial realities. I think that's it, we're not good with that kind of thing, they've done brain studies.

In said purse, there is my wallet, my palm, my cell phone, my keys and minor assorted junk.

In this purse I lost my work ID for THREE DAYS.

I don't know how people with bigger purses do it.

Not so Professional

I have been in perpetual meetings for the past two days, which has increased in suckitude for me because for one of those days I was the notetaker.

If you knew how bad my college notes were, this would make you wonder about how they choose notetakers, and if they should really check and see if the particular notetaker they have chosen has any aptitude for notetaking at all, or if they tend to stare blankly at the walls for long stretches and then try to catch up. Also? Having a notetaker who was not slightly hearing impaired would be a good idea.

Just some thoughts.

Anyway, I'm typing up the notes to these marathon meetings, and using acronyms for each individual present at the meeting. So, when Joe Schmoe speaks I write up JS stated he would like a philly cheesesteak. This is working well in general, except one individuals initials are, well, BM.

If you didn't immediately think of bowel movement, let me put that right in your head. Because I CAN NOT write up BM throughout this document (as this particular fella, he's the crux of the meeting) without thinking that EVERY SINGLE TIME.

I am such a professional.

Baby on Speed

Luke has gone from creeping, and then crawling, and now, apparently, we're onto the next phase, 'zooming'. Last night after being picked up from daycare, we had dinner and then let Luke crawl around to his heart's content.

Which means he banged the dog bowls together, and pulled the tupperware out of the cupboard, and got angry when he couldn't open the garbage cabinet, and then was playing with the bathroom door, and when I shut that, he stood up, beat on the door with both hands, and screamed.

He was in a generally great mood, but got frustrated when he couldn't get in somewhere. Changing him was a feat I'm still not quite sure how I achieved, because he certainly wasn't interested in any toy I gave him to entice him to lay down for one minute.

Then, at 8:00, I gave him an evening bottle and he passed out. He was too tired to even fully close his eyes to sleep, and I could see the REM movement through quarter inch slits. He stirred a bit before I got him to bed, but didn't make a sound all night long.

I, too, slept like a rock, which was a gorgeous thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stupid Web Pages

I login into the computer this morning and right away it pops up with a picture and a headline of who got killed on Lost last night. F-ers! I didn't watch it yet!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bathroom Issues

Don't worry, I'm not discussing my personal issues, apart from the fact that since I've been trying to diet I've been drinking copious amounts of water and thus am visiting the bathroom minimally hourly.

Public bathroom use is something I don't particularly relish. I imagine the rest of the world feels the same. Work bathroom use is worse, because then you're not so anonymous. This was particularly bad during the early stages of my pregnancy because of the gas, the noise richoceting off the porcelain bowl throughout the room. It's not as if I stopped having the gas later in my pregnancy, but by seven months or so, you don't give a rat's ass anymore, which is preparing you for birth in which 84 people are crammed into a 12' by 12' room and everything about you is fully visible.

Anyhoo, the bathroom.

There are a few things that drive me nuts in the bathroom. One is heading to the bathroom to find that cleaning is taking place. I don't want to head in there and be the one messing the place up as she's cleaning, so I usually just make a Uturn and head back later.

Then, there are the other bathroom patrons. The danger in stalls are those gaps on either side the door. I have had people peer in at me as I sit, presumably to see if someone is using the stall. Apparently others in th facility have had the same problem, as some stalls have toilet paper draped to conceal the gap.

I proceed to washing my hands, and apparently due to our location in the building, no hot water can reach us no matter how long you leave that faucet on. They probably route the pipes outdoors to ensure we get, at best, tepid water.

Heading to dry my hands, I invariably find that the cleaning woman has stuffed the paper towel dispensers well beyond maximum capacity so that you can't get a towel out without it shredding to pieces. She services the bathrooms daily and I have never seen those towel holders less than half full! There's no need for this!!

Meanwhile, several people are washing their dishes or walking out without washing their hands.

Oh, Sweet Glorious Sleep

Those of you without children, enjoy your sleep now. That's SO cliche, isn't it? But seriously, the entire family slept through the night last night - although I'm sure Esposo got up seven times to pee because that's what he does. If he'd stop drinking the eighteen beers before bed maybe he wouldn't have this problem!??!

Anyway, yesterday was a banner day in the sleeping. Luke has not been sleeping well. After he stayed up for many hours at his cousin's first birthday party, we decided we would work at depriving him of sleep. See, before he had been waking up early, staying up for an hour, going back down for a half hour nap, then having a major nap in each the morning and afternoon.

We cut that little half hour nap from under him on Monday, and he took instead two solid naps. Monday night, though, he still woke up at 10:30, 11:30, and 4:30. Each time he wakes up, no matter who gets up with him (and more often than not, it's been Esposo, blessed man), we're both awake. We both lay there listening to him on the monitor trying to determine a) if he's going to wake fully and b) can we convince the other person to be the one to get out of bed.

So no matter what, you wake up.

Yesterday we sent him off to daycare, sans morning catnap, and after a restless night, and he went down for a nap there at 9:50. And then slept for three hours.

This child NEVER sleeps for three hours in a nap, so they were noticeably excited. Usually they have stories for me about how he resisted sleep for an hour or two.

But the three hour nap presented me with a dilemma, because he had woken at 1, and bedtime is 8, and that's seven hours. No afternoon nap for Luke.

Oh crap.

I loaded him in the car and ran a couple errands (fortunately, nothing I had to take him out of the car for), and he dozed for maybe 20 minutes. We got home and I woke him up, which was not want he wanted. He was somewhat fussy all evening, on and off. We bathed him, fed him, played with him, and at 7:15 he was done.

He went to bed with no screaming, glory glory hallelujah!!

And slept right through to 5:15 this morning.

Key learning: deprive child of sleep!

Also, his right lateral incisor popped through! He has three teeth! I hope this one grows in a bit before the central teeth pop through, because that would make him look hysterical!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

If We Had To

Today, I loosely crunched some numbers and found that with our savings and student loans, we could get by for the six months until Esposo's graduation if I were not working.

That is exciting shit right there.

I mean, that's news. That's amazing. That's "the goal" all off in the distance that we've been working towards.

And if we had to, I bet we could really stretch it out, getting rid of DVR and internet and cable, which cost a whole damn hell of a lot. Getting rid of Netflix and my organizer fees on some web groups I run.

We're truly not extravagent people. We don't eat out often, which doesn't mean we make quality home cooked meals, but we aren't spending money on wine and steaks. We grill our own steaks. Neither one of our wardrobes could be considered cutting edge, or current, or appropriate for fine evenings out. I read about people who own Coach handbags and know that I will not own one for a long time, and when I do one one? I will own one.

And shoes? Oh please. My non slip safety shoes are daily wear and each wedding I am confronted by the fact that I have no cute little black dress shoes to pop on. It doesn't help that I have wide, fat feet, and cute little black dress shoes usually cause foot pain.

I get 1-2 manicures and pedicures a YEAR and also 2-3 haircuts. At supercuts.

There is a part of me that would like to be in the salon for weekly treatments to look my spiffiest, but the rest of me loudly complains that that's a pretty stupid way to spend money and I should keep those pamperings as just that, pamperings.

If I stopped working today, I would get no pamperings and no new clothes and I'd be doing to my own hair what I did to Luke's. But you know, just knowing that if we had to, we could? Damn exciting stuff.

It is so Wrong

To be excited that my husband isn't feeling well and is going home instead of to his office hours, group meeting, and class. Because we can spend a Tuesday together!

I added an Ad

I was planning on doing some major work once I hit 1000 hits to this blog, but I haven't gotten around to that. So I added an Ad.

Cat = Baby

It just occurred to me that my cat and my son weigh roughly the same amount.

Planning for a Hiatus

It is merely six months until my husband finishes his MBA and in theory, becomes a highly desirable member of the workforce.

And the plan is that I will cease with the working once we are on sure financial footing and stay home to raise our children.

So I'm planning for a roughly 5 year break in external employment. More or less depending on situations as they arise, but 5 years sounds reasonable. Now, I don't particularly like what I do now. It's not horrible, but I don't come to work driven to achieve and mostly feel as if I am beating my head on a brick wall. Some days I am extremely vested in my projects and the goals and the company as a whole, and some days I can't help but think "Why do people CARE so much about these things?"

So, once my five year hiatus is up, I would like to be finding something else to do to bring income into our household. And selling things on ebay is not an option. Or the cosmetics sales, party hosting, etc side of things. Just no.

The past two years have been dedicated to ensuring Esposo can meet his employment dreams and goals. While I fully realize that my time at home will not be spent twiddling my thumbs and saying "Just WHAT am I going to DO today!?!" as I pop another bonbon into my mouth, I do want to ensure that I plan for my own development as I work on my children's development and my home's.

You know, a failure to plan is a plan for failure?

I do like the idea of owning a business. Something that would be mine, and thus I would be invested in all aspects of the business. It's the same thing that appeals to me about staying home - I want to run my household.

Now, I don't want to run a restaurant. I refused to work in one in high school and I refuse to operate one as an adult. (I'm thinking of the franchise operations). As I stated, I don't want an Ebay business.

So, um, how to I go about finding and running a business? Got one I could have?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Luke first, boy second

I can't help but roll my eyes when people focus on the differences between boys and girls. Girls are more vebal. Boys are more active. Girls are more obedient. Boys are more ezperimental. Girls play with dolls. Boys play with weapons.

I'm not blind to the fact that there are differences in the way that boys and girls play, that there are toys that attract boys and there are toys that attract girls. But I can't help but feel that by emphasizing their genders first, we do them more harm than good.

I will buy my son trucks and dinosaurs and robots and all things boy. But that doesn't mean he won't have a doll and a playhouse and bake cookies with me. I just want him to be himself without having to live up to what he's supposed to like.


Ny grandmother was very close to her four sisters. And while they were married to men who got along well and loved each other, it was those five sisters that connected them. If I can ever actually figure out how to do it, I will write a novel around those five sisters, their nine husbands, eleven children, four houses within walking distance (and one making up the Michigan cousins), family gatherings, birthday clubs, bunco, biscuits, brownies, and most of all, their laughter.

I don't think that I could ever do them justice, especially as I saw them through a child's eyes. I'm sure I would romanticize them and embarass them all the same.

  • A young bride loses her husband to pneumonia while she is pregnant, giving birth to a son who she doesn't initially wish to see, her grief is so great.
  • A woman nurses her mother through ovarian cancer, while the younger siblings are still at home. The mother is in such great pain one day that the woman runs to town to get more morphine, which the pharmacist dispenses without question.
  • A woman suffers through a marriage to a cheater, who contracts and dies from syphilis, leaving her alone with a son to care for. She remarries to a man who cherishes her and her family.

    Their lives were 'The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood', and true. And they were there for each other through it all. I envy them their love for each other.

    I picture myself as a link in a chain of women reaching back into time, women who lived from day to day. I wish I could do justice to them to enable them to live on in the hearts of others.

  • Carnivore

    Foods Luke likes:

    Italian Sausage
    Roast Beef

    I Want Another

    Luke has not yet celebrated his first Thanksgiving, his first Christmas, or his first birthday. He insists on using 'dadadada!' no matter how many times I say 'MAMA!' and the louder I get, the louder he gets. He thinks it's a fabulous game. And well, really? I do, too. Esposo and I are laughing hysterically after two minutes of 'MAMA!' 'dadada!' 'MAMA!' 'DADA!' and Luke's grin just gets bigger and bigger.

    We headed to Luke's cousin's first birthday party, where there were, at one point or another, 10 children ranging from 9 months (Luke) to almost 6. Luke was enthusiastically hugged by a three year old, ate Italian sausage for the first time, and crawled after 1 and 3 year olds with awe (oddly, I don't think there were any two year olds there...).

    All of this was fun to watch and be a part of, and it confirmed a feeling I've always had - that I want more children. While we aren't planning on more children until Esposo is employed, I can't help already thinking about Baby number 2 while I watch Baby number 1, already so big, explore his world.

    The interaction between siblings and cousins is amazing to watch and be a part of. Luke's arrival has drawn me closer to my inlaws, by nature of the common one to love (apart from my husband. But the love I feel for my husband is so different than the love they do, and the love we all feel for Luke is much more similar.)

    Maybe the focus of getting my body in shape to help produce another person will get me motivated :)

    Negative Thoughts

    Perhaps it is a sign of my thought process, some cynicism pushing through. Maybe I just believe that the negative presented is generally more indicative of the true nature of something that the positive presented.

    I skipped on over to to look up a novel this morning and read some reviews. I spent a few hours there last week looking for toys for Luke for Christmas and his birthday.

    In both instances, each time I pulled up an item, I went to the customer reviews and looked for the person (or people) ranting and raving about how awful the product is. In one instance, the product wasn't given less than three (out of five stars) by any reviewer. In another instance, the product didn't receive about two stars by any reviewer.

    Clearly, Product A = good and Product B = bad. This is where reviews are helpful and clear cut.

    But most of the time, there is a range from one to five stars. And I gravitate to the one star ratings to find out what was bad. Sometimes I shake my head and the expectations people have of plastic and paper. Sometimes the only understanding I get is that the reviewer is an idiot. But these glimpes into other people's heads are pretty useful in deciding whether or not to buy a product.

    But I'd rather read 10 bad reviews than one good review. They're just more interesting.

    Hood and a Hat

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Why Esposo, why??

    Some of you may be wondering why I refer to my husband as Esposo. Probably not, but I'm going to assume you said Yes! Yes I am! Tell me Elisette, please do tell me! (And why I go by Elisette, I will leave for another day, for no, that is not my name.)

    Let's see if I can drag this story out a little more, because it's really not that long or good... so, we're in Spain for our honeymoon. In Spain? They speak Spanish! I? Know little to no Spanish. Donde esta, No me toces, El Gato, Mio, these are my random bits of Spanish.

    Esposo? He took Spanish in high school. It would all come back to him in Spain! Hmph. It did not. He did not use much of his Spanish. What he did use, was shaking his fist at me in 'anger' and saying menacingly ESPOSA! (Honeymoon, see? We were MARRIED!)

    And thus I learned to come back with ESPOSO!! fairly quickly.

    That and "six feet to the left, six feet to the right, bullseye" is one of our inside 'jokes'. If you're free and liberal with your definition of joke.


    I've liked the Dilbert cartoon for a long time, but it's gotten repetitive to me. Corporate! Dumb! Okay, moving on...

    So I sporadically read the cartoon (FYI, I regularly read Clear Blue Water and For Better or Worse, that's it. Everything else is sporadic.). And then Lynne (see link on right, this is someone I actually know in real life, inasmuch as freshman year of college was real life) provided a link to the Dilbert blog, and I could leave Esposo for Scott Adams, potentially.

    Mainly because Scott Adams is employed and makes money, because Esposo makes me laugh pretty damn hard too.

    The Internet

    I am a woman of the internet. Oh, internet, how I doth love thee, let me count the ways.

    The way in which you enlighten me about the goings on in the world, the weather, and the events in far away lands. Oh, forsooth, thou art mine news source.

    The way in which you teach me of pregnancy symptoms, baby growth stages, home improvement projects, and definitions. Thou art mine research library.

    The way in which you tell me of events and parties and national holidays. Thou art mine life planner.

    The way in which I did internet date, which did result in the meeting and marrying of Esposo, which did produce Luke. Luke is then, literally, a child or the internet. (Yes, Esposo, lit-er-ally).

    The way in which I now meet other mommies with whom to explore and commiserate on the joys and travails of mommyhood. Thou hath buoyed up mine sanity, internet.

    Internet, without thee, I could not begin to think where I might be.

    So Tired!

    Lucas is not a good sleeper. We've been letting him cry it out for about two months now, and this has been working for us, as he doesn't cry long, but he always cries.

    My mom claimed that she could rock him to sleep, so I decided to try this more often.

    And it works. Sort of.

    I closed his bedroom door last night and walked back and forth with him, bouncing and singing. He screamed. He pushed his whole body away from me, writhing and trying to get away from the sleeping.

    And slowly, slowly, he gave in, and became heavier and heavier in my arms. He rested his head on my shoulder, only occasionally lifting it to turn and give a half hearted cry. And he dozed and quieted. Success! And it only took about 15 minutes. And I loved the feeling of his solid baby self relaxing into my arms.

    And yet, I still had to put him down at some point. Which is where it started again, because once I placed him in his crib, he screamed indignantly.

    I think he cried for a shorter time, though, and I'll continue to rock and sing him to sleep while I can. Because I know someday he won't let me, he won't fit in my arms, and he won't even clearly remember the feeling of being wholly held. But I will.


    As I've said, we live in the suburbs of Chicago. Good schools, family oriented, that 1950's American Dream image. We certainly don't buy into that, though, and I sometimes wonder what it would be like to raise children in the city. How would their perspectives change? How would mine?

    But I think that family focus would not be as prevalent in the city.

    The other day as I drove home on a four lane divided road, headed north, a school bus stopped as it headed south. There were a number of cars on my side of the road, and we stopped, eyeing that school bus. I looked around at my fellow drivers as we sat there, and I noticed a young kid, likely 16 or 17, getting mouthy in the car next to me.

    Reading his lips, I could tell that he was ranting because we were on a divided road, we didn't have to stop for this school bus! He may have honked.

    I looked at the other drivers, the four that I could see, and we were all looking patiently and expectantly at that school bus, waiting for the children to finish hopping out. I don't know that all of those adults were parents, but being older than 16 or 17, they were unconcerned with waiting for children to get off the bus, and we all wanted to be certain that no child was doing something unpredictable. Because children do things, like suddenly run, or turn around, or bend over to pick something up, because they're children.

    And this teenager ranted beside me, no doubt right in that we didn't HAVE to stop for this bus. I'm sure he took his driving test far more recently than the other five of us waiting. But he didn't have the perspective that we all have gained over the years or through parenthood. That we'd rather wait and keep an eye on those kids than get to the store or home a minute earlier.

    I lived in the city for a year, and I drive in the city. I love Chicago, but when it comes to driving? People in the city drive like lunatics. Not that they don't ever drive like lunatics in the suburbs, but the ratios are a little better.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Combining names is BAD

    So stop it now. Where did this start? Was it Bennifer? I mean, I can see that, find, Ben and Jen, hey, they only differ by a letter.

    But TomKat? Yeah, I get it. TomKat. Tomcat. Uh huh. Quit it.

    And some jackass at the Trib (the Chicago Tribune) put "Vinciffer" in a headline. I won't read that article on principle, because that is Stoopid. Capital S and two o's kind of Stoopid.

    Quit. Combining. Names.

    Call. Back.

    I was unmotivated after lunch today. Blah, I thought, I don't want to go back on the floor today! So i looked at my list of things to do and noted that I had a number of people to call. I don't particularly like doing that either. Mostly because of what I am experiencing now.

    I called seven people, spoke with one of them in person, and left six messages (two being second time calls). One of those messages was a 'Never mind, I got what I needed from Brian.' Hey hey Brian! Ew. The person I talked to? Was Brian, and we cleared up my issue in a five minute convo. (say con-VO with an affected accent... from where? um, I dunno, try German)

    So now I sit, waiting for five people to call me back or contact me in some manner. And when they call me? I will not be able to immediately pull up what I wanted to talk to them about because I will be in the middle of something else.

    I hate the phone.

    My Neighborhood is Old

    We bought our home with the intent that it would be a home that we could stay in for many many years to come. It's not a perfect house, but it's a good home. A two car garage, four bedrooms, and an unfinished basement which Esposo has great and wondrous plans for. And the kitchen, well, I'm planning a major decorator overhaul in a few years and that will be lovely to behold, as painful as it is to wait for.

    Our neighborhood is huge. I'm guessing we are in the midst of... 700? homes. It's very hard to guess how many homes are around us, but 700 seems reasonable. All three schools (elementary, junior high, and high school) are within walking distance. The community center is half a mile away, and we've already taken two classes there.

    But my neighborhood is old. The first houses were built in the late 1960's. Ours went up in 1967. That's not the part I meant by old, though.

    It's the people. Most of the people in my neighborhood are pushing 50 and sometimes 70. Their children are in high school at the young end, and bringing the grandkids over on the older end. I had visions that I would get to know my neighbors, talk with them, hang out with them. But they're going with lives set up, not like us, just getting into the whole parent thing. So far I've met one woman with a son Luke's age to set up play dates with.

    We're going to have to wait some years for the older people to move out and people closer to our age to move in. I suppose it gives me something to look forward to!

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Personal Training

    For the past few years I've been thinking about getting a personal trainer. Right now, I am seriously thinking about it.

    I have lost a lot of the pregnancy weight, but I've also stalled out pretty significantly right now. The idea of paying someone to tell me stuff that I could do on my own really galls me, though. Our income and outgo are not balanced right now, and they're not balanced in the WRONG direction.

    But I am neither happy with where my body is right now, nor motivated to get it in gear and lose the 35 pounds that I want to lose. A personal trainer could give me that, as well as helping me regain a stomach that doesn't slide from side to side. I miss my stomach. Pregnancy? Screws up your stomach muscles! Who'da thunk?

    My gym is offering an hour of free training, so I'm taking it next week. I may do more, depending on cost, and input from Esposo. But what's going on right now is not working. And I don't feel good about it.


    If someone sends me a picture of my nephews, Luke, and their second cousin all dressed up for Halloween and lined up on the couch, I'll have to post it. They all sat fairly well, considering they are 8 months, 12 months, 20 months, and 3.5 years old. A dinosaur, fireman, spider, and Spiderman, respectively. It was too too cute.

    Obviously, we spent last night at my brother and sister in laws house. Luke again got to play with his older cousins, which he just adores. The three year old was in Luke's face all through dinner - during which my picky, no table food eating baby chowed down on chicken. Which he has out and out refused before.

    The 1 year old, obviously the closest to Luke in age (Really! Let me explain it to you... ), was pretty wary about this younger baby hanging around. He's used to playing with older kids, and just looked as though he didn't trust Luke for a second. No doubt because Luke was checking out all his toys.

    They crawled and toddled and cried and played and ate. Luke passed out on the way home and went right to bed with minimal fuss.

    But he still woke up at 4 AM. I hate the Daylight Savings Time.