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, May 31, 2006


Luke has become rather male in rather stereotypical ways in the past month or two. One is the discovery of the toy he carries with him at all times. This doesn't bother me in the least, except for the fact that he enjoys running around nekkid so he can stop frequently to touch and point at the Always Available Toy, and frequently lets a small stream of pee out onto the carpet.

Which reminds me of the assertation that one should let children run around nekkid during potty training because they won't like the feel of pee on their legs. Luke has already exposed the major flaws with that idea - 1) he's peeing on my carpet, which had occurred to me, 2) Um, there's a toy down there, and while I don't want him to grow up repressed, free reign access isn't the best plan either, and 3) he hasn't peed ON HIMSELF once.

I had expected this childhood rite of passage, and I am staring down the road 6 or 7 years when he finally becomes embarrassed by me seeing his body and him playing with it, so I'm relatively unfazed. Years of "You only do that in private" await me.

The phase I hadn't expected to crop up quite so soon is Luke's fascination with my boobs. Recently, due to the change in our morning schedules as Esposo went to work, Luke has watched me dress in the morning. And two things, which happen to be right next to each other, catch his eye. I can ignore this mostly, though I'm starting to encourage him to play alone while I dress (which doesn't work, because THEY KNOW when you want them to play alone that something interesting must be happening).

What I can't ignore, mostly because it hurts, is they casual playing with the twins that Luke has been doing while I carry him. He grabs, he twists, he pinches. I suppose it's never too early for him to learn that they're SENSITIVE and he should use his NICE TOUCH there...

My Home

My dreams for home ownership were always that I would be diligently working on completing each room to my exacting vision. Esposo and I would put in hours of sweat and effort and create a home environment to raise our children in that was warm and cozy and reflected our family.

Of course, while I love HGTV to death, and watching the renovation stories always makes me happy, I don't have that kind of time. And there are certain things you can't do while watching the child, like using toxic chemicals and a lot of sharp things. My planning has to take on the form of nap time activities and waking activities, and then I only have a few hours each day to do EVERYTHING, like feeding and bathing the child. Already, his bathing is lacking and he's getting smelly faster in the hot weather. Time to set up the pool!

We've also found that we don't want to give up a lot. I'm more willing to give up weekend events than Esposo, but still we plan playdates and go up north and go out. We're not the type of people who want to stop our lives to work on a house, apparently. Which doesn't mean I don't want the house finished.

I'm now at 30 days until I go part time, and I can't wait for the extra time. Time to do laundry and wash the floor and organize. To post things to craigslist and finish the 75% refinished dresser. Time that means that hopefully Luke won't be so angry to be home in the afternoons, because we'll have had time together throughout the day.

Readjusting the vision from "QUITTING!" to "Parttime" has been a bit depressing, as I thought I would have much more time. But when my basement seeped this weekend and we had to buy a sump pump and the basement guy gave us a $900 crack repair estimate - for cracks that aren't leaking right now, by the way - I'm glad I'm going to be working awhile longer to help us accumulate a better safety net and do some of the things we want.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Lake

We had a beautiful weekend at the lake, in which we put in the pier, cleaned up the shoreline a bit, cleaned out the garage, and tried to go to the dump (it was closed). We also roasted marshmallows by enormous fires, took walks (or in Esposo's case, a run) with Luke, built sand castles, and ate copious quantities. Excitingly, for me, I only gained 0.2 pounds.

Growing up, I always wanted a lake house, and to go camping, and all sorts of outdoorsy type things. I never got a tent (and no one would have taken me anyway) and the one time we went to a lake house with some friends, my brother got leeched. Not that I particularly enjoyed the lakes in the part of NJ we were in - they had muddy bottoms, EW.

Though Esposo's family lake house is only a short drive - 2.5 hours - we don't go up there that often. We do manage at least once a month in the summer and started going up for NYE last year. We plan to repeat that as it's just a beautiful place to spend holed up with fireplace roaring.

The family has added a swingset (from The Vet) and a sandbox (built by The Vet and filled by us) which added a great dimension of play for Luke. There are trucks and toys to amuse him for hours, and if we can add some friends and cousins into the mix it will be a place of fun and exploring for Luke. For me, it becomes more and more of a home away from home, and I look forward to finishing the basement to add more rooms to play and have a bigger houseful of people.

I used to joke that I married Esposo for his lake house, and he married me for my house. But mostly I'm just happy that we both enjoy it together, even if right now it's a lot of work.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The Arrogant Prick who runs this place ran a training session yesterday that I was required to attend (everyone who works here was required to attend, so it's not like I was singled out). He said some things that stuck with me, and I don't think they were the things that he set forth to have us all remember. To paraphrase, when he was talking about the people they looked to recruit, he said he didn't want people who could achieve goals by saying to people "Come on, let's work harder!", but rather those who made lasting changes to processes and equipment.

And perhaps it wasn't quite how he meant it, but what I heard was that leadership skills weren't as important as changing things up. And what do I think this Arrogant Prick lacks? Leadership skills.

So what he lacks is unimportant.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I constantly think of this when i am faced with lousy leadership. My sophomore year soccer coach got me to improve more and work harder than any other teacher, coach, or boss I can think of. And the way he did it? He simply believed I could do what was set forth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Outta Da Bed

There is some hubbub in Internet Mommy Land, because apparently Dr. Ferber, of Ferberization, has recanted and said co-sleeping is okay. But the American Academy of Pediatrics still doesn't recommend co-sleeping.

Now, I think co-sleeping is crazy, but my general philosophy of life is you do your thing and leave me alone, so I would never preach to someone that co-sleeping was crazy because they're doing their thing, not co-sleeping with ME. That said, I was also shocked when a friend popped her newborn in his crib down the hall the second day she brought him home. Luke slept in a bassinet directly next to our bed for the first six weeks, where I could frequently reach over and touch him (our bed is EXTREMELY high off the ground and the top edge of the bassinet is in line with the mattress). If he fussed I responded near immediately.

That said, at six weeks, we moved him to his crib and found out that he was capabel of sleeping in longer stretches than we thought, because he'd move, I'd touch him, he'd wake up... alone in his crib he was freer to go through the natural sleep cycles without me waking him up fully.

He's slept with us ONCE in the bed for a few hours when we were on vacation, and during that time I think he had each of his ten toes up my nose at various points. It was NOT a pleasant experience, and when I think about snuggling with him in a peaceful slumber, that fitful morning comes back to me and into the crib he goes.

I read a lot on Internet Mommy Land, and mostly, there are Crazy Internet Mommies. People like to judge judge judge without knowing other people's children. Co-sleeping is a hot Internet Mommy Topic, and it should be interesting to read the fall out that comes from Ferber's retraction.

Monday, May 22, 2006

This is why I may be hard to Shop for.

Since my birthday falls at the end of the year, and Christmas usually falls then, too, my mother has always harassed me as to "what I want". While this was somewhat easier as a child, now it's conversation that I dread. Dreeeeaaaad. Because I have no clue what I want. Other than some clothes, because dude, I have NO clothes. My mother moved into her place and promptly filled two (2) walk in closets with clothes. And she has a dresser of clothes. And I think some are in storage. And then she tells me she has no clothes, and I look in my one (1) walk in closet and no dresser and since Esposo moved all his clothes out this weekend? It's stark and empty.

I would bet that about 30-40% of my current wadrobe was not purchased by me. And a lot of it is stuff that I would not have purchased for myself. Which leaves me walking around in, essentially, someone else's clothes. You tend to identify yourself a lot by your clothes, and when you're wearing someone else's? Very weird.

So, I was thinking, that I might be difficult to shop for because I don't even generally know what I want. And I was also thinking about tiling the bathroom because I am eager to finish that project. And I thought I so need one of those string chalk line things to find the middle of the floor! I should put that on my Amazon wish list!

And really, who the hell is going to come up with something like that for a Christmas or birthday gift and know that I would be super ecstatic and chalk-lining Esposo in his sleep?

Oh yeah, Luke peed on out bed this morning.

Slight Change of Plans

I went in to visit my boss this morning, and I ever so smoothly broke the news to her... I said (almost verbatim here) I've only done this once before in my life... I'm quitting. Ah, silver tongued am I.

She was shocked, but broached me with a part time option. And I said I'd think about it. And I've thought about it all day and emailed Esposo profusely and we're pretty much at the point where I'm going to try it. Because it would let us finish the basement this winter without taking out new loans. And by that I mean we could HIRE someone to do the work FOR us, because we have thus far learned that major projects do not quickly move in our house. Having the basement finished would make me SO excited to be living in our house - not that I'm not excited now, but it would make me feel very very special.

Nap? Sleep?

I shouldn't be so tired. I went to bed early enough. I slept in late Sunday morning because I was out late and took a nap Saturday afternoon. But I just. couldn't. sleep. last night. And now I'm tired.

Luke had two playdates this weekend. Playdates are the most wonderful thing in the world because I sit there while the children amuse each other! Except, of course, when I'm prying my kid's hands off another kid's shirt, or removing him from the toy he just shoved another kid off, or trying to get him to communicate in a way other than hitting. My kid is handsy.

The hitting thing is weird, though. Luke does hit me when he's angry, he'll bring his whole arm back, swiveling to the side to try and land a good punch. But he also slaps my face when he's happy. Which is what he was doing to the other children - Slap! Slap! Slap! with a big ol' smile on his face. But the other kids, naturally, did not enjoy the slapping.

And today, if I can find the time, is the day I "tell my boss" I'm quitting.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I tend to walk around in my own world quite a bit. And when I get involved in something, even my own thought world, my hearing tends to shut off. This infuriated my mother when I was a child and I would read and completely miss her yelling for/at me. She claims it was all 'selective hearing', but it wasn't conscious because I truly didn't hear her.

At work, this has translated into being easily surprised. It started back in college when I worked in a pilot plant. The plant had electric forklifts that were stealth like hunting cats (well, to me, anyway) and the guys soon figured out that they could sneak up behind me in the stealth forklift cats and honk the horn, causing me to jump out of my skin. "Hahahah! Jumpy!!"... and thus I became known as Jumpy. Thanks fellas.

In my previous job I would actually be involved in my work (shocking, I know) and I would lean in closer and closer to my computer screen. One day my boss decided to present a photo from the latest golf outing by coming up behind me and putting it between my face and the screen. Not having heard him come up, it scared the crap out of me and I screamed and flailed. I'm still occaisionally surprised at my desk, but nothing of that magnitude has happened since.

Walking around in a dazed little world is somewhat dangerous in a plant. Our plant manager frequently overtakes me as I walk (not that I walk slow, but he's roughly 6-4 or so and my legs don't move THAT fast) and says hello from behind. I startle. On a side note, one more note that we were too dissimilar to work together is the fact that he didn't find my startle reaction humorous and begin to use it against me, as I would for someone who startled easily. You have to find the weak ones and pick 'em out of the herd! Or something like that...

Since we moved down closer to the manufacturing operations, I am again close to many fork lift operators. Only these operators don't move as slow and are driving in much more limited space than my pilot plant job. They scare me, and they scare most other people here, too. Our office area door opens directly into a fork lift path and we are all gunshy of just stepping out that door. These drivers don't slow down when they see you, they just honk and expect that you'll move. We constantly hear beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep from the floor, and we know someone has a forklift bearing down on them.

At any point there are 5-6 forklifts heading to and from the floor, honking all the way. They've finally gotten me out of my daze, though. I'm just constantly jumpy from the beeping now.


One thing I didn't expect at this stage for Luke is the number of times he would be getting hurt. Somehow I thought that when he was LEARNING to walk would be the time that he would be bumping, tripping, falling, and crying. That wasn't the case for us. Sure, he fell down when learning to walk, but really that was more just a plop on the bottom.

Now, five months later, he falls all the time. He tries to do more stepping over things and bypassing barriers. He's pushing his toys faster and ending up with a face full of Handle Hauler (a toy truck). He backs up into cabinets and wall and hits his head. Then he goes forward and does the EXACT SAME THING on purpose.

He pitched forward onto concrete curbs in California because he was convinced he could run down a steep hill, and fell off the curbs at the park as he tried to imitate an older boy walking and balancing.

He reached for his blanket while sitting (unstrapped, way to go Mom!) in his chair, and while I caught him his head hit the table leg.

Daycare reports that they're trying to teach him not to run in the classroom, because he likes to run fill tilt into the door.

We're fortunate that he's a tough kid and most of these events don't phase him, and even more fortunate that he doesn't bruise easily so we're not assumed to be beating him. He's an active active child, and I love it, because he gets me moving.

Daycare also commented that he makes a lot of noise for a small person, and that got me to thinking about what we do at home. We do a lot of chase-downs and tickles and playing together on the floor as a family. There is a lot of screaming and I don't tell him to be quiet. One of my favorite little games with him is foot stomping - I stomp in some ludicrous imitation of tap dancing and his stomps right along with me. We flip him upside down and hang him there, and I exagerratingly bounce as we walk down the stairs. When he yells in babble, I often yell right back to get a happy baby grin.

How much of Luke being active, loud, and physical is from the way we play with him?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pissing Match

I used to work in a quiet part of the building with all the finance people. We had this large open space that inspired everyone to act like it was a library and talk in hushed tones. I parked by the front door (I think it's actually the 'West Door'). It didn't matter when I arrived to work because there weren't that many people parking up there.

Then they moved us to be close to the manufacturing floor. It's much louder here because people are planning things, equipment is running, forklifts are driving by, beeping their horns. Working at this desk, I come in the South Door. Which is where everyone who works on the manufacturing floor comes in. And many of our manufacturing employees are temporary from "The Agency" and they arrive on a bus together in the morning. Which means if I get here at the wrong time I have to face 60-80 people checking in before the shift starts.

The ideal time to get here is slightly after the shift starts, when everyone from the previous shift has left and more parking spots are open.

This morning I got here as many people were arriving, which means I couldn't pop in immediately and get my Diet Coke. In the 20 ounce bottle, with the mycokerewards codes in them. Which I'm collecting, so I can get a beach towel or some equally useless prize. But it diverts me from the work at hand.

Anyhoo, I waited until 7:20 to head over and get my Diet Coke, passing by a management dude as he walked in. He typically arrives at the slightly past shift time and parks right up front. I am still wearing my coat because our office is cold, and as I passed him and did the nod-smile-hello, I thought Maybe he thinks I'm just getting here?

Which made me think about the heady days of my youth and premarriage, prebaby, when work involved odd and sometimes long hours. And the engineers would all get in pissing matches as to who had worked longer and weirder hours. I never won.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Crunching Numbers

At times, it would be easier if I made less money. Okay, it would really only be easier for my logic needs. Because LOGICALLY from a numbers perspective, the thing to do would be for me to keep working. We could save money hand over fist and get the THINGS that we want sooner - the finished basement, the sparkly new kitchen, the jet skis and big screen TV.

I don't make that much money, but with both of us working, well, yeah, it'd kind of be awesome.

But the fact that I don't like my job, no not one little bit, makes the choice to stay home and worry about the quality of our lives a lot easier. I actually look forward to taking care of my husband, child and home so that we can spend more time together as a family doing fun things - even as simple as going to the park and going up north.

But still, apparently the bank won't let us live in our house without paying the mortgage, and there's food to eat and electricity to buy, because you know Esposo has to light the whole world.

So we're crunching through Esposo's paycheck to figure out what it'll be. His benefits are far far cheaper than my current benefits, to the tune of 25% cheaper. Such a deal! And honestly I haven't crunched numbers too hard over the past couple years with Esposo in school because the few times I'd start I'd panic about how we were going to be living in cardboard boxes.

Which, of course, wouldn't happen, we'd just end up moving in with one of our mothers. Or possibly into the family lake house, replacing Grandpa, who finally went to a home last year. We promise we wouldn't call people pigs when they came up to the lake, though, and might even act happy to see them.

So with the number crunching, it turns out that Esposo is going to be makin pretty much the amount we need to live on and be paying off all our bills. This is my notice to everyone - don't expect good presents. Not that you've expected that of us anyway, we both kind of suck at the present thing.

TiVO my life

You know, I don't even have TiVO, I have DVR, but I think TiVO is like Kleenex, a brand name appropriated.

So, I need to TiVO my life right now and fast forward through work. Because this sucks.

Still, the stuff

There are four main avenues for getting rid of stuff, as far as I can see. Five, if you count the garbage, but I like to think I'm a little more enlightened than that to throw useful things into landfills. At least use them until they're USED up, is my theory.

Right now, I'm freecycling. I'm not generous enough to put big ticket items on freecycle. I saw a refrigerator on there the other day - people actually have spare refrigerators to give away!?! I could use the $100 or $200 for it, you know! But small things - like litter boxes, bird seed, and hangers. Also many many shovels and such. Freecycle has been working very well this week, but people have not showed up before. That's annoying. Plus, the creep factor is there.

There's also donating, which is easy enough with the veteran groups calling us every so often. They're coming next Tuesday, and we have a bag of clothes to make their way out the door. And possibly anything else I gather together.

Ebay works for a few items, but it's a pain. There's mailing stuff, photographing it, listing it... and too many people are using it now! My stuff has competition.

The most annoying method right now is Craigslist. People on there suck. First, they always want to bargain. Second, they've stood me up. Third, they don't seem to understand that their email is the only thing I have to judge them on. They're not doing well with the judgement.

The scary thing about the stuff? Is that I haven't been shopping. I'm scared to shop for anything because we already have so much stuff. It even takes away from the niceity of receiving presents, the stuff is so persistent. I just wonder where I'm going to put it.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Remember when you were a kid and some major event was coming up, and you wouldn't be able to sleep with the anticipation of it all? Before trips I'd be up until midnight or one just getting things ready, even though I started to pack weeks in advance.

I'm actually fairly glad that I don't experience anticipation like that anymore, because it means I'm better able to be HERE than I am waiting for the next thing. With our trip to California, it wasn't until we were packing the night before that I began to get excited, and then I spent the first day there smiling like a nincompoop because I was just so dang thrilled to be there.

But I still have countdowns, obviously. Where I had all sorts of different countdowns before, I'm down to one. Forty six days until I quit.

Of course, in the intervening 46 days we have two weddings, are going to the lake house (twice), have a million and one projects to do on the house, Esposo's birthday, Father's Day, and then there's just getting together with friends. So in some ways looking out 46 days is impossible, I still have to work on Thursday.

The final countdown, while I am anticipating the end, scares me a bit. Because after that what will I be counting towards? And the idea of endless row upon row of days in front of me is somewhat terrifying.


I have been on a quest for black socks for awhile. Awhile being a couple years. I had this perfect pair of black socks - lightweight, they came about 4 inches above the ankle, dressy enough for nice pants without being trouser socks which never ever stay in place.

Now, if you know me well, you know I wear white socks without qualms. Black pants, black shoes? White socks. What the hell, right? Of course, some of this was because I only owned that one great pair of black socks. And I'd look for black socks and I couldn't find any. And then tragedy struck. My perfect black socks got a HOLE in the toe!

I gave up and bought the closest thing I could find. And they sucked. Ankle height, so when I crossed my legs you could see my legs, and I don't shave regularly enough for that to be happening, in addition to the fact that it looked moronic.

Last week I was in The Gap, which was an odd enough occurance in itself, when the light shown down from above and illuminated the black socks I had been searching for. I bought three pairs. Now, I am slightly less slopped together. Maybe by the time I'm fifty I'll look put together... but don't hold your breath.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday I went to a baby shower for Esposo's cousin's wife, and I was talking to my sister-in-law about next children. She has two and is debating on a third, while we are looking forward to the second sometime soon. Without thinking, I commented how trying to have a child would be weird, as Luke was a surprise. My sister in law went through a long period of infertility before adopting.

I read Postsecret this week, with postcards from people who hate and love their mothers with equal ferocity.

And a blogger I had never read, but MissZoot linked to on Saturday, died from cancer, never becoming the mother she wanted to be.

After we had dinner this evening with my mother, I was standing in the kitchen washing dished while Luke and Esposo played on the piano, just banging away. It was one of those moments that you want to freeze, the sun had come out, the meal had been good, the day had been good.

Fairly frequently, I realize just how damn lucky I am.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It Angers Me

So, I spend a lot of time on the internet - or as I prefer to call it, The Sweet Sweet Internet of Love. I use Yahoo! for all my email purposes. I know there is such a thing as gmail and people profess their love loud and long for the gmail, but it annoys me when people change their email addresses all flippantly, and I will not leave my email addresses. I've had them for over five years and they get email from all kinds of people at all different points in my life. I like that consistency. My address, my phone numbers, my place of employment, people can't keep up with those. It's sad, really, I've been working here over two and a half years and people are still asking me where I work. And a few months ago a friend figured out that I moved a year and a half ago. People REALLY can't keep up.

But Yahoo! insists on pissing me off, by doing things like updating their home page layout, which just confuses the crap out of me for WEEKS and dude JUST LEAVE IT ALONE. When it comes to the SSIL (Sweet Sweet Internet of Love, incase acronyms are not your thing) I like my Yahoo! Homepage to be my bedrock in a tumultuous world.

Also, Yahoo! likes to tell me that I have New Mail (1) when in fact I have already READ that new mail and it is in fact old mail. Yahoo! screws with me. It gets my hopes up for new mail when in fact there is none.

Yahoo! is a tease.

Who did what in the where now?

Much fun was had in Sacramento! Seriously, it was great to be out of Chicago, because while I love this city, this place, my house, my family, every now and then I need to LEAVE to remember that this is not all there is in the great wide world. There are places with mountains! And suspension bridges! And 27 thousand lane highways! Seriously, California, what is UP with that?

We drugged our kid and he survived the plane ride well. We drugged him! With the Benedryl! It rocked. Except he was still 23 pounds of sweaty sleeping baby. Man, that kid sweats like ... like ... a really sweaty person on a hot day. (My similes are lacking. I should look me up some Blanche Devereux quotes...)

We toured the Jelly Belly factory and Luke loves the jelly beans now. I just can't figure that out - a kid? Loving sugar? Crazy ass shit, man.

Now it is FOUR days until Esposo starts his job and FIFTY until I quit. And like eleven until I tell my boss that I am quitting. I need more countdowns, you know.

And now, commentary from Luke:

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yes, this is about that damn transition again. Now that we're coming to the end of this stage of our lives, you know, the money-sucking school stage, our marriage seems calmer. We seem to be happier to be around each other and reverting more to our old annoying (to others) ways. Relationships are, shall we say, "difficult", which is why there are thousands upon thousands of people who make money from the management of relationships - from the dating sites to the divorce lawyers. I think the strongest relationships are the ones where people admit that things are never going to be perfect, but they're in this damn relationship for a reason and they'll remember it later, just put the goddamn lid down! (Guess what! In our house, it's ME that doesn't put the lid down so the cats can't drink from the toilet!)

Esposo and I had an argument last night. I don't think I can do justice to the stupidity of the argument, but I was ready to push him out the car door. Essentially, he claims I use too many pronouns in telling a story. And then he just -wouldn't- -let- -it- -die-. At one point we made an agreement on if I didn't use pronouns and he didn't do something else which I already forgot...

This morning I took the garbage out, which was like a head on clash of annoyances. It annoys me that when he puts the garbage out each week, he doesn't go through the house and collect garbage from all the garbage cans. I expect that on Fridays, when trash is at the curb, ALL the garbage will be in the trash can. Then I can start the next week trash free!

And when I take out the trash, which, as I said, I did this morning because I have found that he won't, I use the kitchen trash bag to collect all the garbage. 85-90% of the time I don't replace the bag after taking out the house trash (because I'm taking out the trash from the WHOLE HOUSE, and invariably I get distracted before putting the next bag in), and when Esposo found this out after cracking his eggs for breakfast, his rolled eyes and pained expression said it all.

It's like a game, trumping annoyance with annoyance.

Me: Taking off my socks in bed
Him: Leaving 2-3 empty glasses by the computer
Me: Freaking out about the house needing to be cleaned NOW RIGHT NOW DEAR GOD NOW
Him: Turning on every light in the house and leaving them on even when he's not only not in that room, he's nowhere near that part of the house!
Me: Talking to him during The Simpsons and Howard Stern (which he listens to on his computer and usually I can't even tell it's on.
Him: Playing Grand Theft Auto EVERY DAMN DAY

Big Boy

Next week Luke moves up to the toddler room "officially". He'll be there full time and the kid is beyond ready for this! He's been transitioning for a couple months, and even resists heading into the infant room because, well, he's bored there. One teacher told me that early this week he spent part of the day wandering in a circle, not playing with anything. But the state mandates that children in day care centers be in a ratio of four babies to one adult until 15 months of age, so even though I'd sign a waiver to get him into a lower teacher/child ratio, that's not allowed. He could only go to the toddler room when there were less children.

I'm excited about this move for a couple reasons, and honestly, one of them is financial! The toddler room costs a decent dinner out less than the infant room each week. EACH week. Not that we'll be eating out each week - we're really not big on eating out - but it will slip into our pockets and head towards to student loan bill we now have to pay off.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Next Marriage Adventure

Crossing lines follows... siblings and mothers should not read.

Okay, it was discussed at some point that in "May" Esposo and I would start 'trying'. Which has been rolling around in my head for quite awhile, 'trying'. It's such a stupid term, but so ubiquitous, that there's no getting away from it, 'trying'.

I think I prefer Intentional Sex. IS, for short. We's gonna get us some IS! Word! Could anything make you feel less like jumping in the sack, the idea that you're doing this for some sort of purpose rather than merely because "Hey! Sex!"

But, honestly, the first little rugrat, who was conceived accidentally during the seventh month of our marriage when sex was something we did during commercial breaks, between meal courses, and upon stumbling in the door drunk, has put a cease to the party antics of the wee heady days of our marriage. Most of the time we're just 'trying' to catch up on sleep now.

I know, we're a lucky couple to have each other!

And the point is? Holy Crap, it's May NOW.

US Mothers Deserve $134,121 in Salary

I'm assuming these studies are done and articles are written to continually prove how very important motherhood is. Perhaps I'm a bit cranky today, but it all pretty well reeks of BS to me. And I WANT to stay home. The choice to stay home, if you have that choice, has so many variables that it's just ridiculous to put some sort of monetary value on what you do at home. What are you going to do? Bill the kids?

Is everything we do tied to some sort of monetary value so that we can compete with each other? Well, you may earn $100K in your job, but I SHOULD be paid this much! gah! The biggest challenge for me staying home will be knowing what financial value I could contribute to the family and am no longer contributing, not because we're in dire need of that money, but that money could let us do things like remodel the kitchen and finish the basement.

Whatever my "earnings" would be if I were paid for everything I do at home (refinishhing furniture at $30 an hour), I'm not keeping a timecard. Esposo and I have discussed the reason WE want me to stay home and it's to make both our lives better. I will have the time with Luke I so crave and Esposo will be able to do more on weekends that isn't laundry and lawn mowing and the constant dog paddle to keep everything in place. It isn't about the money, it's about life.


Among the suburban-raised folk, there is a backlash of people who don't want to deign to live in the suburbs ever again. I mean, GOD, it's the SUBURBS. I'm fortunate to not have to listen to people like that, but if you pay attention and read a lot of personal blogs, as I do, you hear their not-so-subtle undercurrent.

The suburbs are for LOSERS. I want my kids to be EXPOSED to the world and the city, and not be so NARROW-MINDED like we were growing up in the suburbs.

I can only imagine that their kids will gleefully settle with their families in the suburbs, reveling in the various aspects of suburbia that make it so appealing to the family life. It's a circle, see, a circle of life. City Snobs? Your kids will rebel by living in the suburbs. It makes me giggle! (Edited to add: I'm not talking about people who choose to live in the city, I'm talking about people who choose to live in the city and think living anywhere else is dumb and hick and GOD you're so unWORLDly.)

I was raised in suburbia, but I was raised in five different homes from ages 0-12, and then we settled in suburbia I felt least comfortable in, most likely because I was 12 and no one feels truly comfortable at 12. Then I lived and went out in the city for years, and I'm comfortable in the city. But the hassles of city living far outweighed the benefits for me, and I bought a townhouse in the 'burbs.

When we went looking for a "Family House", in which we planned to stay for the next thirty years, because dear GOD I am not moving all my crap again, we looked in the suburbs. But not too far out, where they're building shiny new houses and are actually suburbs of Rockford rather than Chicago, we wanted to be able to USE the city's offerings, because we don't want our kids to grow up in bubbles.

We ended up finding a home in a forty year old neighborhood. And a forty year old home. Now, there are lots of problems with 40 year old homes. Like when you have cedar shingles and you find out that wasps like to build nests in your house because it's SO COZY! That is a persnickety problem!

But when it comes to the neighborhood, I couldn't be happier. The neighbors are nice, even the ones that remind us of Cliff Claven and his mother. And last night, on a gorgeous spring evening, we took a walk to the community center down the street and watched some seven year old little league while Luke pushed his Jeep around. It was a complete Norman Rockwell night. That's what I'm trading in Chinese food at 3 AM for.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Transition! Transition!

Did I mention that we're in transition here? Like, once or twice? That is pretty much the only thing on my mind. Yes, Esposo has to speak at graduation on Saturday and I don't know how Luke and I are getting there yet (since Esposo is driving in early, we don't want to take two cars...). Yes, Luke is saying new words, like 'eggs', and becoming precociously cute with a little girl from my mom's group, giving her hugs when he sees her. Yes, we're travelling ON A PLANE with a child who has just entered Tantrum-a-Thon Aught Six for FOUR HOURS. We may be shot.

BUT WE'RE IN TRANSITION! This is the only thing on my mind. Approximately every five seconds I think 'OHMIGOD! Esposo is DONE with grad school! And will have a JOB!' and in between those thoughts I have thoughts that are like 'Don't I have a lot to do? What do I need to do? Right, change reservations, talk to cousins, get driver's license, strip furniture, test Benedryl on the kid for drowse inducement, figure out if we can do any of the other things going on this weekend, RSVP for the baby shower...' and then I do none of that because I'm right back at 'OHMIGOD! Esposo is DONE with grad school! And will have a JOB!'

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What People Think of Me

Possibly one of the odder moments in my career was the day I was happily surfing the internet at my previous place of employment and my bosses (the guy directly above me and then the guy above him) called me for some information.

They wanted to know the definition of a word, not anything work related, just an average word (I really wish I could remember the word - see! I should have kept a blog then!). This was a job I chose to leave because the WORK, see, the WORK sucked. But the people were good and they thought highly of me, high enough that they expected I would just know word definitions.

For the record, I just looked it up on and read the definition from there. Also, I told them that's what I did, because Jaysus Christ don't go interrupting my random web surfing with DEFINITIONS, look them up yourself.

So, my words of wisdom are, if you like the people and they like you, suck it up, it'll get better. I was dumb and left for this craphole of a job, where not only do I not like the management people, I don't like the work. I was 1/2 and moved to 0/2. Brilliant!

When I think about what I want to beeeeeee when I grow uuuuup, you know, post staying home or during staying home or who the hell knows because life is not consistent enough to be able to pinpoint that "I will stay home for five years at which point Esposo will be making seventygerbillion dollars a year in a job he finds personally and professionally rewarding and then I will (insert idea for personally, professionally, and socially rewarding career here. Also, world changing. And possibly involving a tiara.)"

Uh, yeah, my old bosses thought I was, you know, like, sorta GOOD with language skillz. Um.

The problem overall is that I think I am a bit of a misanthrope (which defines as "someone who dislikes people in general") in that I don't like to do what other people want. Like this whole fitting in a corporate structure thing. I never cared what people thought, as long as they didn't get in my face about it. I don't want to have any confrontations about what you think vs what I think, because in particular I don't want to try to convince you to my way of thinking. That's annoying. Let me do what I want.

So, I have been thinking that I might just be suited to owning some sort of business which I could run all aspects of. I would be totally bought into it because it would be MY business. The problem is, I 1) don't want to do anything with food, 2) don't want to sell anything in a non-store way, and 3) have few ideas.

The only thing I've come up with is that I might like home inspection. Except if they make me crawl under a bug infested home or there are nasty bugs in the attics or something. Ew.


Possibly one of the most annoying things about the modern world, besides the craptacular new HP printer radio spots where people sound out slurred words because their printer sucks! And also, they're ...MORONS...!! Nothing makes me change the radio station faster than having to listen to one of those commercials. Except maybe the commercials for Dr. Leon Forester Chupchim who can take care of all your tummy needs. Seriously, tummy needs. There's one more radio commercial that makes me want to finish off my hearing...

Maybe there is a need for Satellite radio after all! Or, I could just put some damn CDs in my car, that might be a solution.

Anyway, modern world, annoying. These are passwords. Every website, every program, all these things require passwords. Some are okay with six letters. Some want numbers in there. Some want eight characters! All of it screws me up. And the work programs require that you change your password on some set schedule, which I try to avoid by never turning off my computer. Once you reboot they MAKE you change that password.

The last time I was forced to change my password, to something I haven't used or thought of on any other program in any world and it better not be an actual WORD! GOD! Don't you know it's supposed to be random! erg... This was 53 days ago, and I know this because I ended up using 57days as my password. (Now you can all get into my work computer! After you get in the building! And figure out where I sit!) 57 days was the number of days until Esposo graduated from grad school.

Now it is FOUR and I am 59 days from quitting!

Still can't remember what commercial it is that I so hate, but I'm sure I'll hear it on the way home.


So now that Luke is completely over his illness, he has turned into Demon Toddler. He spewed forth pea soup last night after shooting flames from his eyeballs. DO NOT DENY THE DEMON THE CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH. Of all my parenting mistakes, and I'm sure there are many and they are varied, but fortunately Mommy Brain means I don't remember most of them, I think topping the list right now is exposing my almost-15-month-old child to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Esposo is totally responsible for the purchasing of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Crunch Berries that are now in our house. We have nothing that is not sugar coated or sugar laden in the way of breakfast cereal. It's not that I don't partake of the Chocolate Coated Sugar Bombs when they show up in my house, I just wouldn't buy them because I HAVE NO WILLPOWER. I have actually encouraged Esposo to hide the cookies so I won't eat them.

After Luke had been sick all week and hadn't been eating or drinking much, we offered him the Crunch Berries and the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Being a child after my own heart he actually ate the "Cap'N Crunch" yellow square part of the Crunch Berries and wouldn't even try the berries! SUCKA! Everyone knows the berries are the best part.

But the Cinnamon Toast Crunch - rolled in sugary, cinnamonny goodness - those were his favorite. As with most people, when he found something good he figured out from whence it came and was reaching for that container with every stretchy muscle in his short stubby arms. And when I put the container away, he watched where it went and now flails at the pantry door when it's closed. When we pick him up he extends his arm in his "I wish to go that way, servant" communication style, always always towards the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

How long will it be until he forgets?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Stuff stuffy stuff stuff

We had only first annual Arbor Day party this past weekend, and we were hoping for good weather and did not get it. But in anticipation of the events of our last big party for Esposo's three-oh, we cleaned out the garage and got the ping pong table ready for flip cup and Beirut. We also happened to have a table in our garage which served well for card games.

With our mothers both downsizing within a year of each other, our home has become a sort of collection point. Which means a lot of stuff is here and I don't know what it is. We had also acquired a piano which was moved in from the garage on Saturday and that totally rocks my world. I'm thinking about looking into piano lessons.

As we were clearing up space for standing and talking in the garage, I peeked into several containers my mother had brought over. Two large rubbermaid containers were chock full of stuffed animals. And there was another box of my old dolls, too. I quickly slammed the lids on those, knowing full well that I'm going to have to deal with them soon.

Part of the stuff accumulation is now sorting through it all. What do we need, what can we sell, and what can we donate? Furniture has been listed on Craigslist, and a few items have hit Ebay, but the process is just beginning. Clean Sweep is one of my favorite shows, so this process is somewhat fun for me, but when it moves too slow I panic and yell about the MESS DEAR GOD THE MESS! Sorry about that, Esposo.