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...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursdays with Lucas

Last night I woke at 2 AM and Esposo wasn't home. I lay in bed for a little while, then got up to check if he had come home and fallen asleep on the couch as he sometimes does. Nope. I checked the driveway and his truck wasn't there. At this point, I was starting to worry, so I called his cell phone. Naturally, he didn't pick up. Now I'm convinced he's dead on the road somewhere and why hadn't we gotten around to getting that insurance? I'm never going to be able to stay home now, I'll just have to pay off his school debt and work forever and it'll just be me and Lucas going through life because how would I ever meet anyone with an infant in tow? And how will I be able to deal with my grief and Lucas will be calling Da! Da! at the funeral and we'll all break into sobs at the heartwrenchingness of it.

Seriously, this is what goes through my head, so could you call?

Life with a one year old is completely different than I thought it would be. I don't think I expected a one year old to have as much personality as Luke does, and everyday more of his personality comes out. Granted, it scares the ever-loving crap out of me, but still, his personality.

First of all, the kid's a bit anal. He really enjoys placing books on the shelf and taking them off. Put them on, take them off. Good times. He always places them the *right* way, with the spine facing out. And he only likes hardcover books. If you put a soft cover book on the shelf? He will scream at it and rip it off the shelf.

Megablocks may only be stacked like-on-like. If it's a square four 'prong' piece, another square piece goes on top of it. Do not even attempt to fool him with four one prong pieces, for those will be ripped off and chucked far away.

In general, Luke is learning how to do many more things, but he's always wanting to do things that he can't. And he gets very frustrated, like when the books won't stay upright on the shelves. He will actually break into tears about this.

As for other children, let's just say the kid needs work. There's a little girl almost exactly the same age as Luke at daycare. She's not quite walking yet. Luke likes to go up to her and sit on her. He also picked up a stuffed animal that she's afraid of, and when she cried and crawled away, he followed her with it, laughing all the way.

His routine? He's learning too much about the given routine! Yesterday was a beautiful spring day and we spent an hour outside. We walked, we ran, we sat on the bench and watched the cars go by. Then we went in for dinner. Luke had some fruit and then refused any other food. I took him out of his high chair and let him go off on his own. He ran into the family room, got on the couch, and got out the remote. See why I had to preface this with WE PLAYED OUTSIDE FOR AN HOUR? Because I am such a rotten mother that the kid knows the after dinner routine is to go watch TV. Gah.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dang it

You know, I encouraged Esposo to have a blog because he likes to write. Far better than I (me? I?) because I get bored two paragraphs in and cut off, and rarely edit. So, if you're not reading his blog, do it. It's actually amusing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You're Still Here

Darn Tootin - Tiny Ghosts

I read this entry this morning. I'm a little weird. I like cemeteries. Not at night in the dark or when I'm at a funeral, but visiting my relative's graves is a soothing activity to me. It helps that in one small cemetery in a southwest suburb holds 15 or 20 relatives of mine. I know exactly where my great-grandparents are buried.

My grandmother used to live two blocks from the cemetery, and when she was able and walking, she would head over and tend to her husband's, parent's, and brother's graves. We would go with her, and as we walked she would point out people that she knew. There was the girl who died at thirteen - her parents wanted my grandmother to be a companion for her. And the baby born with water on the brain.

Her sisters tend to sons and husbands and parents and siblings to this day. It may sound a bit odd, but I like that place. I like walking through those rows and knowing where everyone is. And I know that I remember them, and am linked to them.

I looked up my father's parents graves in a large cemetery in the city. It's not the same, because the love isn't there. You don't see people tending to the graves there, looking after the past. And the German cemetery in the same small town as my grandmother's cemetery is off a side road and down aways. Set apart and neglected, but I found the grave of my first American anscestor there.

I didn't know until I was an adult that all people don't have family cemeteries, that they don't see these places as places to visit and wander through.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Socially Speaking

I have been reading The Kept Woman's accounts of her lousy mom's group for awhile. And since my mom's group is now taking up a huge portion of my day, I thought I'd say a little something about it.

I am an organizer at heart. I like to schedule events and get everyone together. As a matter of fact, I tend to introduce my friends in hopes of them getting along - often times this has led to me fading into the background by my own fault because I like when people are all getting along.

Back in July I joined in an attempt to find mom friends. You have no idea how truly isolating motherhood can be until you experience it, and I was in shock from the loneliness. I went to parks, the mall, wherever we could find a couple people to go, we went.

It was slow going at first. We met five or six moms and kids. Great women, but scheduling was still difficult. I took over organizing groups, I posted on the message board, I became the incredibly perky recruiter that got 22 of the most active members into my college society.

It turns out I'm good at getting people who don't know each other talking and involved, committed to a group.

My little moms group has a cap on it's size at 75 now. And I have people contacting me weekly because they've HEARD about our group, not just randomly through the internet the way most of us found the group. These are great women. These are fun women. They're finding their niches, they're suggesting events and things to do and ways to bond that I wouldn't have thought of or couldn't pull off. We have Mom's Night, Couples Night, Poker Night, Scrapbooking, Book Club, and Playgroups within our one mom's group. My calendar is full, and it's full of fun things.

It's not like it was easy to find them, and it's work to maintain the site, but I don't know what I'd do without it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Day Trading

Remember those heady heady days when people quit their jobs to sit at home on the internet and play with stocks themselves? Yeah? I don't do that.

What I AM doing, however, is obsessively watching the three stocks I own. Most of my investments are in mutual funds because I am wussy and I don't like to pay attention. I understand the concept of looooong term investing very well, and I don't look at my investments or retirement account very much.

However, last week, my company, in which I own stock, set me a notice about the stock options I had. They gave these to us last year and I completely forgot them until this email. I skipped over to the internet and looked at these options, which provided me the option to buy at about 42.

The problem being that our stock had dropped preciptously in the past year and was at 28. I had the option to pay $14 more per share than our stock is worth! Whatta option! The Company is doing better now, and our stock is creeping up. So everyday I am heading over to see if I will get the chance to exercise my options beofre I quit.

I also have a piddly stock I bought a few years back:
I don't know why I bought it, but I did, and I own 50 shares. The problem is I don't know what I paid for them. $250? $300? I'd like to sell and take my $0.43 profit and run, but I don't want to take a loss. So I'm hoping the stock will hit 8 or so and then I'll know I made a profit.

This is why I don't trade.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Um, The Kid Knows

So today, we asked Luke where his feet were.

And he knew.

And then we asked where his ears were.

And he knew.

And THEN we asked where his mouth was.


We did not teach him this. Daycare rocks.

Learn to Talk Already

Luke is starting to amaze us with the sheer volume of language that he understands. He responds to asked questions - last night Do you want to go to bed? was met with outstretched arms - and commands such as Go get your shoes and Go get your coat. He'll sit in our laps for shoe placement and put out his arms to put them into his coat.

As I placed him in his crib last night I said Lay down and I'll tuck you in and he immediately hit the mattress and snuggled with his afghan. He knows when I tell him it's time to get in the car and he trots his very short self over to the car door. Unless the car is parked close to the edge of the driveway, then he creeps along sideways on the pavement because EW! It's GRASS! I don't want to walk on GRASS!

With all this understanding going on in his little head, he's still not putting together words. I understand that when children start talking is hugely variable, much like walking, but he gets language completely! Use it! Communication would greatly improve the needs being met, kid.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Original Owners

We moved into our house a year and a half ago and have been renovating and decorating our proverbial butts off. Our actual butts are still present and accounted for. And possibly slightly larger.

I'm curious about real estate. I want to flip houses, I want to gut and rebuild houses and transform them. Esposo is curious about what we can do to our current house in the way of massive renovation and expansion, apparently for the 14 children we're going to have because we're in a FOUR bedroom house with one baby. We haven't finished the basement for extra space yet, but we're thinking about building out over the garage or moving the garage forward.

So a house in our 'hood that was our model but had the garage bumped forward had an open house on Sunday and we trooped ourselves over there posing as Joe and Suzy Homebuyer. It's Buy Owner deal, so John and Mary Homeseller where there to talk up their home (which was slightly awkward).

First they told us that houses in this 'hood don't have basements, which we had heard but not confirmed since we have a basement. Then they told us that they were the original owners - 38 years! And I noticed the paneling the family room - we had the same stuff and painted over it in quick-like fashion. The kitchen had the same basic cabinets as we do.

John and Mary Homeseller were not too keen on the updating of the house.

We live across the street from another set of original owners, Jim and Diane. Jim and Diane have updated EVERYTHING. They added a sun room, professionally landscaped, and just had a lovely brick patio put in. They're the kind of original owners you want to buy from, they improved on everything. John and Mary Homeseller, not so much.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Madame CEO

Hey, 300th post here! Whee!

Since Esposo has been going to "B-school", as the kids are calling it, I think, our house has had some books and magazines work their way in through the cracks. When Jack Welch came to visit, Esposo got his book Winning autographed and briefly met him. Now Winning is sitting on our kitchen table as the only available reading material.

I'm an obsessive reader, which explains how I got into this whole blog thing. I read cereal boxes as a kid, or my mom's magazines, or the newspaper, or most preferably, crappy books I got from the library. Probably due to the immense quantity of crappy books I read as a child, my tolerance for crappy books has decreased with age. So I look for new types of reading that generally will leave me a little more knowledgable than I was before. This has led to reading a lot of parenting magazines, because I need that info.

This has also led to reading business books and Fortune magazine.

My father was a businessman. Wall Street Journal and a load of business magazines were delivered to our house. Being trapped with nothing to read but Wall Street Journal was an upper circle of hell to me. When I worked the front desk at a remote bank with nothing but the Wall Street Journal for entertainment, I went through it cover to cover, but retained nothing.

Now, I'm reading Fortune every month, and finding it interesting. Jack Welch is telling me how to win as I feed Luke French Toast sticks and fruit. And I don't want to be in the business world, because as I read the articles and books I find that the passion these people have for their life's work is something I would never experience in the business world.

Ain't that a smack upside the head.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Luke and I skipped work and daycare and hit the children's museum this afternoon. We started off in the "car" room, where there are "cars", and a "car wash". Luke watched the Lego cars go flying down the ramps, and it was kind of funny watching his delayed reaction to try and catch the cars after they had already zipped by. Even funnier was Luke trying to get in the car where the "big kids" (um, three year olds) were playing. He stepped up on the sideboard and started grabbing shirts so as not to topple backwards. Once up there, he turned around and pushed kids away with his butt. Good thinking!

We trooped on over to the mini grocery store, where I saw not one, not two, but THREE of the mini grocery carts topple over while we were in there. For maybe twenty minutes. Luke meanwhile walked around and put groceries in all the other children's carts, and much like when we do this at the real grocery store, people didn't like that.

I have a very hands off approach to parenting. I copped a squat in each of the play areas while Luke explored. If he found a door and took off for the hills, I got up. If he instigated an altercation with some other child, usually by taking their stuff or knocking something down, I went to get him and apologize to the other kid.

Other parents do not share this 'let the kids play' attitude, and hover directly behind as they let their imaginations run. It's gotta be hard to let your imagination run with mom or grandma hovering over your every move. The Hoverents were generally displeased with the appearance of Luke without a Hoverent. I assume they thought he was a delinquent and ditched school to come to the museum to sell cigrettes and drugs to the other one year olds. Luke was pried off a table or toy by Hoverents once or twice, at which point I arrived to assure them that, no, he wasn't here alone.

Parenting is a weird and crazy journey made so much weirder and crazier by the other people doing it, and doing it stupidly. Nanny 911 had a new episode last week, with an 18 month old girl and a 3.5 year old girl. The children in this episode were doing things like playing in the toilet water, drinking out of the cat bowls, and eating the pet pig's food. And I was astonished that the parents in this case did NOTHING to prevent these things. Luke has played in the toilet water, and you know what we do? We CLOSE THE BATHROOM DOOR. They also have toilet locks. Drinking from the cat bowls? Relocate the bowls, people. And eating the pig food? RELOCATE IT. I can't believe people are that dumb. Children will try anything! What parents are responsible for is giving them safe and healthy things to try and preventing them from trying the gross and dangerous things! Not so hard!

I don't think I'm the best parent in the world, or the most experienced. But I'm going to pat myself on the back for not being a flaming idiot.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pipe Dream Home

I have been actively working on the house for the past two days, as has Esposo. This is bringing us closer and closer to the completion of the bathroom project, after which we are just going to do small things and complete projects, rather than diving into anything else big.

Which means, of course, that I can not stop thinking about massive scale projects. You know, regrading the backyard, putting in a catch basin and drainage/irrigation lines that will insure a green lawn all summer long, a new fence, a brick patio, and all new landscaping!

I keep having to dial myself back from changing the stair layout into our basement, installing a full bathroom, a wet bar, and built-in bookshelves all along the wall. Where's the pool table going again?

And the latest project that has gone into overdrive in my head is the kitchen remodel, which currently involved demo-ing all the cabinets and window and sliding glass door - I haven't gotten to the overdrive portion yet - and knocking down the wall between the kitchen and family room and then re-drywalling the entire family room, installing bookcases over the fireplace mantel, replacing the basement door, and possibly widening the doorway between the dining room and family room.

Don't give me a hammer.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I use email every single day. I communicate with people far away and I communicate with people I see every single day. Need to remember something? Email. Bored? Email. Random question? Email. Planning something? Email.

And I have rules about email.

1. Thou shalt type well. I understand on the fly emails with typos, but those stupid abbreviations that these kids today are using on the text messaging? Are hell to read in an email. u r a q-t! What language is that? This is entirely unacceptable and it gives me a headache to translate from text slang to English words.

2. Thou shalt have thy own email address. There are dozens of free email providers and millions of combinations of letters and numbers. There is no reason for you to share an email address with you significant other or spouse. If I wanted to email them, I would email them, not you. It's just creepy and weird.

3. Thou shalt read email. Again, I use email to communicate. My schedule conicides with no ones. If you don't read my emails, it is akin to ignoring me as I talk. Log in.

That's it. Just three rules.


Subtly cruel or malicious; spiteful

Women are catty. This is a given. It truly is part of being a woman, of being a person. It's okay for men to be catty, too. Cattiness serves a lot of functions, and along with gossip, it's gotten a bum rap.

I have known people who are never ever catty or gossipy. And I've found that in general, it's not because they're so saintly and nice, it's because they don't care about other people. When you're being catty you generally know a bit about the people you're talking about. And gossip is PURELY about knowing people. It may be none of my business, but if I make it my business to know, it means I care on some level. It's curiousity, and it's how you feel connected to the world.

So Long Live Catty Women and Gossip Queens! And sit next to me at lunch.

Home Improvement

We constantly have projects in process at our home. There are a million and one things to do in any home, and when you buy a slightly older home that hasn't been updated, add another million. We both have the tendency to start projects and not fully complete them, though the incomplete projects will gnaw away at my soul while Esposo sends them out of his head with a happy little completed check mark next to them. They are NOT complete.

Case in point, the crown moulding we put up in our dining room. We had physically attached the crown moulding to the ceiling and walls, but there remained gaps to be filled and the moulding needed to be painted. This is what I spent yesterday doing, and I am extremely pleased with the final project even though I am walking robot-like and wincing when I have to lift my arms to drink.

Foolishly, I also chose to finish the replacement of our living and dining room curtain rods, which was also over my head. Even stupider, I choose to do these types of things while standing on the arms of couches our chairs. I lost my balance on the arm of a couch, and faced a myriad of options of what to fall into. The standing picture frame which I would surely destroy? Luke's IncrediBlock with solid plastic edges which would destroy me? The wooden rocking airplane? I aimed for the floor as best I could, while trying to miss (this is how you fly - aim for the ground and miss. What book is that from?) and ended up scraping the side of my hand along the window pane and sill and bruising it rather well. Nothing else seems to have been injured, though I landed on the other sofa arm angled over the wooden airplane.

Esposo worked on the bathroom, and I hope to order the tile today.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Uhuhoh, Losin' It

Last night, Esposo was inspired to continue some work on the never-ending bathroom project that he had started two or three or maybe nine months ago. Who knows. We have a two bathroom house, maybe I should just convert ours to a closet??

Naturally, he had to make a trip to "Home Depot". EVERY time Esposo works on the bathroom he has to make a trip to the "Home Depot". I imagine down at the local bar they see him coming and say 'Hey! Working on the bathroom?' as they slide a beer across the counter to his waiting hand.

While he was gone, I put the baby to bed and talked to my mom on the phone. I was laying in the warm coziness of our bed when Esposo came home and we chatted a bit. Then we called the dog. The dog is incredibly needy and loves to go to bed (she gets upset if we stay up too late). The dog SHOULD have been right on her dog bed drifting into dog slumberland. The dog was NOT there.

Which led to shouting for the dog throughout the house, panic that we had left the dog outside, because she's a spaz who likes to eat other dogs and has once gotten out of the yard to eat another dog, and though we've since put measures in place to prevent the getting out, who knows what could have happened.


And the dog was locked into the baby's room, where she had wandered when I put him to bed. I've about had it with these animals getting locked in places. Earlier this week the cat got locked in the guest room for a day. Grow OPPOSABLE THUMBS already and get yourselves out! Or try NOT having to rush into any room I open the door to! GOSH!

This morning Luke woke up at 5:30 and we headed down for breakfast together. The Incredible Eating Machine devoured four French toast sticks and cheerios, and then demanded that he be allowed to explore the house and verify that no one had stolen any of his toys, or even better, check to see if anyone had left the bathroom door open so he could play in the pool.

I started getting the other needy, and far more furry, beings their breakfasts and found the washing machine, upon which the cat water and food bowls are placed, covered with mud in the shape of little cat feet. Not know what the cats had gotten into, and grossed out by the thought of what it might be, I quickly cleaned it up and wiped off little cat feet.

Esposo came down from his shower and told me that last night the cats had escaped, and he only found out when one came wandering back IN all full of mud. He went search for the other one, shaking the treat can, and then found him waiting on the back step, all Um, it's raining and wet, can I come back in?.

And they let us have a BABY?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bah! Humbug! Bah!

I've tried to write about four or five entries in here this week, and I get interupted by outside sources or my brain simply shuts off mid sentence and I am unable to continue. So I delete and go look at something shiny. So I'm making a promise now that I'll publish this even if it makes absolutely no sense.

The weight loss is coming along, whether or not the evil scale we're using for the contest agrees with me that I am finally getting past the plateau. Today I started wondering about how far I want to take this weight loss, though. I'm eight pounds from the weight I was at the end of my freshman year of college, which is probably a good fifteen above my high school weight (so about 23 pounds from here). The weight where I was actually pretty darn happy with my body is 28 pounds and a whole lot of muscle tone away.

Of course it would be fabulous to get back to that happy happy joy joy weight, but we want another child. So, I'm expecting to get pregnant later this year. When is kind of up in the air because it depends on jobs (57 days until graduation!), but still, how much effort do I want to put forth when I'm just going to get fat again?

But I don't want to get as fat, that's for certain. And I'm moving along pretty well right now so I'll just keep going. With how my life pans out I'm guessing outside forces will make the decision to stop dieting for me.

I'm really looking forward to some bike rides with baby-in-tow, though!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

4 Meetings and an Interview

That's what I've had today, and it's been a hella long day. And because I was in a meeting? I missed a meeting. That's too dang many meetings. The good thing about the meetings is that no one emailed me because they were all staring at me as they figured out what part I played in the project and what they could foist on me. Wheee!

I have ten minutes left today and I plan to use it unproductively. Yay.

I also, for the first time in the weight loss contest, am supposed to pay $5. My weight went down but my body fat percentage went up. Apparently body fat percentage, as taken by the cheapoid scales you buy in the store, is very responsive to changes in hydration levels.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Do you want a cookie, or $280?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Stop Swearing

When I picked up Luke from daycare earlier this week, the daycare ladies (what are they called? Infant Care Specialists?) told me how smart Luke is. They were telling him to go pick up a ball and off he would trot to bring it back. Same thing for his shoes. Last night as I fed the dog, Luke got down on his hands and knees and started putting his hands in the food bowl and taking out handfuls. (Yes, our dog will eat other dogs, but allow the infant to steal her food. A lesson in inconsistency, she is.) I told Luke not to do that and to give the food back to Mocha, which is promptly did and then stood next to her patting and hugging as she ate.

So the baby is understanding a LOT of words. Which means that the attempt to quash swear words from my vocabulary needs to step it up. I've sworn since about age 10. Swearing in itself doesn't bother me, as long as it's used with proper emphasis. I like having swear words in my lexicon - sometimes I need to pull out a 'bad' word for emphasis. I want my children to similarly respect the power of certain words, which means they have to understand off-limits words.

Which means I have to present the words as being off limits and cut swearing out of my vocbulary where it has snuck in. Dammit.

Mama Said

There'd be days like these, mama said.

Work has suddenly exploded into a mass of chaos, of things that need to be done in 4.3 hours, and who is going to do them, our lone consultant man asks as he walks off and goes on a fishing trip for a week. Grumble, grumble, I suppose that leaves it to us (our three person team), and man am I peeved.

The arrogant man who runs this place I call my place of employment pushed and shoved his ideas and plan down another engineer's throat with a whole two days of warning, and though I'm not EngineerBoy's biggest fan, I felt bad for him as I watched the meeting continue. Any plans and control he had were gone. And that is why I have such a problem with ArrogantMan.

I have a cold again, too.

And by the way, it's 63 days until Esposo graduates.