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, June 30, 2006


I believe you can get me through the ni-iiiiight!

I can't remember the last time I heard this song, and yet, it is in my head. Thanks Wayne's World. Thanks.

Just Another Friday

I am feeling a bit of a trainwreck today. (More on trainwrecks later...) I'm wearing a short sleeve light tan v neck sweater. Washing my hands in the bathroom, I noticed that when I lean over, I sport a slight double boob. Sh*t. Must rearrange the girls. I am also announcing to everyone that the turkey is done and I am available for glass cutting needs. I had to pop into a stall and craft some padding from toilet paper and shift around a bit. All is well!

So I meandered down the hall, only to pass the vending machine guy, whom I've struck up quite a rapport with, and he passed off a bag of Doritos to me - on the sly, underhanded like, because we don't want to announce the hand out of free Doritos. Remember: make friends with everybody!

I've been somewhat addicted to Trainwrecks, where someone basically decided to b*tch about all the stupid blogs out there. He seems to have severe issues with Dooce and Amalah, though from what I can tell, the main problem is that they share too much (about poop, in Dooce's case) and he's bitter that she's making a living off her website. Honestly, I'm a little bitter, too, because I can't do it.

But many of the links are amusing, if fearing for the future of the country because people are utterly unable to communicate in coherent form is amusing.

Last Day!

Sort of!

It's my last day working full time at my current place of employment. This place hasn't been particularly good to me, I don't feel a part of the culture or the people, though the past year has been far better than the first (during which I had to deal with the most evil consultant woman ever, until the company fired her - FAR LATER THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE).

I'm excited, nay, ecstatic about working less and being at home more. I know I'll still feel rushed, because that's what I've done to myself, but I won't be here, and here is not good for my self esteem. Were it not for the pregnancy and grad school and other such fun things, I would have found myself a new job a year ago.

Onward and upwards, though!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Those That Can't Do

Apparently not many people I know can DO. Because I know a hell of a lot of teachers. I was thinking, hm, I know three off the top of my head... no, four... five... six... and then I stopped... seven... counting. Three community college, two high school, two junior high, two elementary, two special ed (yes, the special ed overlaps, but I'm up to nine teachers I know...). At least three of them did not start off intending to be teachers and instead went back for degrees after working a bit in non-teaching roles.

Unlike the Harvard thing ("Shouldn't you be, erm, really smart?"), I think that all of the people I know, and in particular those who changed their careers to become teachers, are excellent for what they are doing. Which is interesting because they're also a tremendously varied lot.

Teaching was something I thought of doing in childhood, but not once I got to high school. Being a parent means tapping into that teacher side of your personality, and I enjoy it a great deal (except for how poorly he's learning "No hitting"). My biggest problem? I don't like talking a whole lot.

Google Search

As a way to pass time, I often google search people. The kids I went to elementary school with (no luck) and ex boyfriends (a few are lost with all too common names) and then there's that one particular girl I went to high school with. Who went to Harvard.

What I remember about this girl from my high school classes is that she never shut up. In an English class with point-based participation, I was seated in front of and behind the most verbose girls, and they NEVER. SHUT. UP. I abandoned mental ship and let the drone of their voices wash over me most class periods. (It didn't help that in general, I hate discussing books. Reading books good. Discussing books bad.)

I can clearly see her making out with her boyfriend in a strategic position that afforded everyone a view from every angle of the hallway. This is a prominent high school memory, and yet, amazingly, I didn't mind high school.

And amusingly, I remember that an essay I flipped out in 20 minutes before school beat hers in an essay contest in 8th grade, and that she congratulated me afterwards. (I won a $15 certificate to a bookstore).

She was the only student in our class to attend an Ivy League school, from what I remember, and it has always rubbed me the wrong way. Plenty of students in our class could have hacked it, but I don't know if they could have afforded it. I read a few of her articles from her Harvard days (she's a journalist, though exactly where she works now I'm not sure) and they are well written, except that they include the word 'Harvard' too many times (um, you're writing for people at Harvard - I'm guessing they know where they are? Or do we just need to print is a certain number of times per issue of The Crimson?) I've read and enjoyed her pieces after graduation.

I know what comes up when I google search my own name, and that it reflects only a portion of my life (a dorkier portion). My brother-in-law's wrestling career shows in his google search, and my husband's ticket citation for underage drinking at the University of Illinois can be found. I have to wonder if other people google me to find out where I am and see those things, and make their judgements.

Looking Thinner!

Several pople have commented in the past week or two that I look like I've lost weight. I'm assuming that the mere power of my mind thinking about weight loss is causing this, because I certainly haven't actually lost any weight. When I have lost a few pounds, I have no problem just saying "Thank you, I've been trying." when people make a comment to that effect. When I haven't my reaction is more of the "Wh-Wha? You crazy!", which is not the best way to be polite in conversation.

All of it always brings back the comment from my ex, who said, when we were dating long distance, that I always seemed thinner when we were able to see each other. Essentially, he remembered me fatter than I was. Thanks, I... guess...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Many Moms Make Light Work

The best thing about a moms group is that you can do things with your kids without feeling as if you're slowly losing your mind. Going to the park with a toddler is fun, but the shelf life on pushing a child on the swing is a lot shorter when you have only that (non-verbal) child to talk to. Many of our mom group events are simply park dates and play dates, a time for moms to chat and play while the kids “gain valuable interpersonal skills”, not to mention wear themselves out so they'll go in their car seats and cribs and other containment devices willingly.

Friendship in the mom-realm is different than the non-mom realm because now you are not merely concerned if you like the person, but also if you like the way they act with their children, and by extension, your children. At play dates you see the evidence of a mom's parenting style - how she reacts to her child doing things they should not be doing, how she plays with her child, etc. I think some moms are too strict, but so far I haven’t encountered a mom who screamed invectives or hit her child, though I have met a few who aren’t at the top of my babysitting list (not that I’ve actually had another mom watch Luke yet, because we have minimal lives).

The past two times at the park have made me question my parenting style, as in, am I too laid back? Luke is an active child who loves to climb and go, and gets himself at the top of any slide he can. I've learned that typically straight slides are bad for him, because he goes far too fast, but the spiral slides are good. I also let Luke run a good distance from me before I worry about reeling him back in.

At these park dates, moms have reeled him in for me, helped him up stairs, and guarded him from falling off play structures. I certainly don't mind moms keeping an eye on my kid, but I don't want to be 'that mom' who doesn't watch her kid close enough. So I’ve put a check on myself to make sure I’m not a ‘permissive’ mother.

Because of play dates, Luke is exposed to many more moms and he's recognizing them and is excited to see them, even if he pushes the other children out of the way in his quest up the stairs. I can only think that having more 'mom like people' in his life is good for him from an emotional and developmental level, because I do believe in the whole ‘village’ concept. Different people will add different levels to Luke’s personality as it develops.

As Luke grows through interactions, so do I, as a mother. My comfort level on being goofy with other people's children - which was always very low growing up and pre-Luke, grows each time I see and play with other people’s children. I can see myself becoming the crazy mom to Luke's friends, and I'm thrilled to see that development. At 8, he'll hate it, I'm sure. But it feels like I’m reclaiming a part of myself that was lost in being adult.

I can read a hell of a lot into an hour at the park once a week, can’t I?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Happy Ovulation Day!

Five years ago, I was running three miles a day, five days a week. I was perhaps the fittest I had ever been in my life, though it's hard to compare high school to anything, because you're young and nubile.

Esposo and I have been talking about Baby #2 for awhile, and so I've been mentally preparing myself (get sleep now) and physically preparing myself. I've been taking my vitamins every day, because the reserach shows that you should start with the folic acid a couple months before getting pregnant. That's just one more thing I didn't do with Luke, though I was trying to take my vitamins regularly.

Thinking about getting in shape and working out, particularly while pregnant, made me think back to those single, fit days. I was on a rigid schedule, I ate the same thing for lunch every day, and overall I lost 46 pounds. After marriage, pregnancy, and general laziness, I'm up 34 pounds from my lowest point. Hello, Yoyo!

Extra weight and not enough exercise affects everything. My skin isn't as blemish free as it was in the running days. And I can't tell when I ovulate.

That's right.

When I was fit, I was also not on the pill (I was very single. It was actually good for me!) and my cycle was very regular, which was different from college, when I was unfit and my cycle was random, so I know it had to do with what shape I was in (not round). Since I was anally keeping track of calories, mile run times, weight loss, hair length, toenail growth, etc, I was also keeping track of when my periods were.

And near exactly two weeks after my period, I would cramp for about 2 hours - very painfully, more painful than period cramps. And that's when I figured out that I was ovulating.

Now that I'm in worse shape, that feature has left me, which is weird. Shouldn't I be able to tell that fit or fat?? It would be extremely useful in this whole conception process, which I was COMPLETELY unaware of last time, to be able to pinpoint that day.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 view NO television. Apparently the AAP has never had an inconsolably and squirmy child that calmed right down to the sounds and sights of Baby Einstein. When Luke was immobile (which was over 10 months ago, so really, that's a distant memory) I put him in the swing a couple times with Baby Einstein on and he calmed down and fell asleep.

Later, mindful of the AAP warning, I would sit with him and we watched Baby Einstein together. I would point things out and hug him and hold him so it became a more interactive experience. Because I was worried about his interactive experiences.

This was, apparently, a bit of an error in judgement on my part, because Luke came to associate Baby Einstein time with sitting on Mommy's lap being hugged and rocked. Okay, so that in itself is not a bad thing. But when you want to be able to run around the house and change loads of laundry, put away escaped items, etc, you want Baby Einstein to suck your child into that TV trance. Luke would follow me out of the room whining when I tried to get up.

Finally, FINALLY last night we had that experience. My son, being all typical boy on me even though I am adamant about "I WILL NOT MAKE PRESUMPTIONS ON YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MALE!" has fallen in love with cars and trains and trucks. My mother got him Baby Einstein 'On the Go' last week, and we've watched it several times. He actually became so involved in this video that I was able to go into the kitchen (next to the family room) and empty the dishwasher, begin dinner preparations, and generally clean and straighten. You have no idea what you can do with 15 minutes until you have only 15 minutes.

Screw the AAP, they probably have cleaning ladies and can afford to order in every night.

Monday, June 26, 2006

In Which I Get All Sappy

In my usual internet rounds on my LAST MONDAY AT WORK, WOOT WOOT, I saw a reference to True Wife Confessions, and I thought, hey this could be funny or commiserate-y! I like Post Secret (link on the blogroll) because it is both funny and poignant.

But really, it was just depressing. I was going to send Esposo to the site and be all 'Haha!', but then I didn't want him thinking that any of those things applied to him. Because I constantly feel like I won some Husband Lottery. He cooks! He does laundry! He's the most awesome dad ever! He really really sucks at cleaning without specific direction!

Terror in the Midwest

Another trek this past weekend to the family lake house. It was a lazy weekend, with some bocce, some horseshoes, and some fire sitting. Also, belligerant Esposo, no weekend is complete without some of that. I lie, THERE IS NO NEED FOR BELLIGERANT ESPOSO! *sigh*

Luke ran around for hours, climbing on the playset, dumping sand on the swings, and riding each ride on toy in sequence. It was wonderful because we could sit and keep an eye on him without having to worry about him running into the street and being hit by a car.

At the lake house, there is a boat. The boat has a good 25 years on her, but she's in good condition in general. However, since Esposo's father died two years ago (and was sick for some time before that), there's no one to perform the maintenance that needs to be done on the boat. So the boat requires service, and we were hoping to get through this summer without having to do that. We're not going to be so lucky, it seems.

A neighbor came to check the boat out and get her started, and Luke was about 25-30 feet away when the engine kicked on. I've never seen him so terrified as he was when that engine roared, and I scooped him up and brought him to the porch (about 150 feet away from the boat).

The child who played outside for 3.5 hours and cries if we don't go outside everyday was saying 'insi!' and reaching for the screen door. Once we got inside and he calmed down a bit, he wriggled down to go shut the front door as well. He wanted NOTHING to do with that boat and that noise.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Okay, this is odd, but this is my new work hobby. You know those My Coke Rewards things? If you have codes from the caps and 24 packs and aren't using them? Could I get them? Thanks :)

One Fine Day

Luke and I spent yesterday afternoon in a park meeting up with six other moms and eight other children from our internet mom group. In classic 2006 style, it took an internet group to meet someone who lives - no lie - four houses down from me on the same side of the street.

Luke was eager to start swinging once we got to the park, and another mom popped her son in the swing next to him. The other boy grew quickly tired of this swinging nonsense, so she took him out to let him run while we continued talking, and Luke continued swinging.

Predicting what's going to happen next and spatial awareness are not skills nineteen month olds posess apparently. The other little boy went running to Luke's swing when he was on a back stroke and Luke (obviously, not through his own fault) took him down on the forward stroke.


We moved onto the shaded slide area, where every kid was drawn to the slide with the mucky puddle on the final bit of slide, and is mostly responsible for the bath Luke got last night.

Because toddlers don't play with each other, just in the vicinity of each other, Luke decided at one point to run off. I called after him 'Luke! Lucas! LOOOOO-KUH!' and he kept on trucking. Cali (California) Mommy called out 'Cheese stick!' and Luke spun on a dime. Just call 'im Mozza for short.

Primevil Forest

When the people of the world have all been wiped out because we do something tremendously stupid or just slowly asphixiate our planet, I think it's going to take about 4 years for all of our buildings and roads to be covered by plant life.

I love plants, my mom had dozens of them when I was growing up and they would grow for her passively watchful eye. Over the years I've become more proficient at keeping house plants alive and now we have a few increasing the oxygen supply and cleaning the air in our house. I like things that earn their keep.

I've recently begun turning my attention to the plant life outside my house, though, and that's where my assertation comes in that they will take over everything. Each week we are putting out three or four cans of plant material for the plant waste pickup people to pick up. I have shorn down six or seven bushes only to have them pop right back up like Weebles.

This is a good thing when it comes to Tiger Lilies and hosta, but very bad with creeping jenny and those evil spiky weeds. I spent a solid hour weeding one half of the plant beds last night and only succeeded in making it look okay. There's a lot of plant material still there.

Since our realization that our funds would be lower than expected, or that our outgo was higher than expected, as it were, I've been thinking about what home projects to turn to. It seems that gardening will provide an effective outlet for home beautification and it's cheap because we already have so many plants! I just need to move them around a bit and provide some TLC!

Because if I don't, they're going to eat us for dinner.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I Don't Hold Grudges

But I clearly remember the one time my brother, he of the ever rational and logical choices and NO that's not sarcasm, decided to pound his fist on the brand new tube of toothpaste and it broke out the sealed end and I think he scraped the toothpaste back in and sealed the end of the tube with duct tape, thus RUINING the brand new tube of toothpaste, which is one of my favorite things.

But no grudges.

Book Collectors

My mother recently moved from a four bedroom house she had been in for 17 years to three bedroom condo. While packing, she encountered books in odd corners of her house, as if they were sneaking off to secretly multiply. Many of her books were my grandfathers, and they are interesting for their viewpoints (as in the book from Concordia Lutheran arguing against Darwinism from 1918) and just their age.

We have a bookshelf in our office, and Luke loves to take the books off the shelf and try to put them back on. Off and on, until he leaves their covers strewn about and the books in hodge podge piles. I hate to see the books abandoned in harmful positions, and cleaning them up daily gets old very quick. So I began a book hunt and re-organize throughout the house, consolidating our books to our barrister bookcase and putting textbooks into hidden storage.

Both Esposo and I were avid childhood readers, and our book collections - just the sheer number of them - reflect that. I joined a Bookcrossing group to obtain free books AND pass on books that I had read. And even though I've been actively moving books out of our house, there are easily two hundred throughout. Esposo even cut an opening in a book of ee cummings poetry where he placed my engagement ring.

Before you scoff because you have many more books, reread the point where I say I've been ACTIVELY moving books OUT of our house. Books sneak in through windows and are dropped off by relatives. Serious, deep, "meaningful" books make crazy mad book love to produce fluffy chicklit. Historical fact filled books meet the chicklit and out come historical romances.

A couple friends say they are collecting libraries, they save the books they read and line them up on shelves. I have visions of the weight of these books crashing through floors or of building forts with paperbacks. But I want Luke to grow up in a house of books, I remember walking around my house on boring rainy days and finding books from my parent's collection to read. I'm collecting the children's books we've kept - Shel Silverstein and Beverly Cleary, Madeline L'Engle and Roald Dahl - and putting them together on a shelf where Luke will be able to find them. But the rest of it, the in progress books, the read and done books, they're still looking for a home, and hopefully it will be somebody else's home!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I started blogging because sometimes I like to write. It's nice to write stuff just for me and not for anyone else, except that maybe I'd like it to be understandable. And also proofread, but don't tell me about misspellings (especially the other day when I put THEIR instead of THEY'RE - thank God I fixed that before Esposo saw it for the mocking would have been painful) because I KNOW I'm not good at typing.

If you read blogs, and a lot of them, eventually you stumble on things like "BlogHer" and some other conventions I don't remember the names of. Yeah. Conventions. For blogging. For typing random little muses into a computer. Frankly, I don't get it.

I love to read blogs, but I prefer the people in the blogs to stay and People In The Blogs. I don't like when they start revealing their real names (Sundry is still Sundry to me!) where they had not previously before. I don't like the idea of meeting these people live and in person so I can say "Uh, yeah, I read about your home remodel". But then, perhaps it's because I am not so into the meeting of random people.

The reason I was thinking about this is that I blog-hopped and ended up reading someone's post about how they weren't blogrolling anymore (see the list on the right. That's a blogroll. I think.) because of the politics of it. Poli-wha? Apparently people get pissy, and you have to comment, and you have your blog-friends and I'm all wha???

Sometimes I comment on people's blogs, when I have something to say. But mostly I don't. And I don't care that I get virtually no comments here. Sometimes Isabel comments (Hi! Thanks for reading!) and that's cool. Sometimes Sara (Hi! Thanks for readng!) comments, but I know her in real life. But I just don't get the blogrolling political stuff. I link to the blogs I read ona daily basis mostly so I can find them without thinking. I don't like thinking.

I don't do political.

The Reality, She Bites

We had someone stop by our place last night to provide us with an estimate for finishing our basement. We had visions of a bathroom, an office, a storage room, and a bar. Open play spaces...

He told us that our house hadn't been built to code so they had added structural support beams, which would lower our ceiling to 6'6" in areas. At least now we know what those beams are all about. We hashed through 'Could we put this here? And a wall here? What about this?' for forty five minutes. Then he wrote up his estimate and told us.

And it was twice what we had been thinking. We looked at our budget, and realized that not only could we not afford that, we were actually living beyond our means i a lot of places. So we're cutting back, scaling down. It's not a bad thing, but it's not something we've really done. Even with Esposo in school, when we should have done it, we didn't reduce enough.

Sitting down to look at what you spend where is a scary thing. Like finding out you were spending $340 on gas for your cars each MONTH. Talk about dependence on oil. $420 in food and foodstuffs. Being aware of what we're spending is the first thing, and now we have to act on that information. Which won't be easy for either of us, though neither of us is the type to spend with reckless abandon. We've been aware of our non-essential spending, but not of our essential spending and how we might reduce those costs.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Eye Rolling and Sighing while I Type

In general, I don’t give a crap what other people want to do with their lives. My philosophy is ‘just don’t bother me’. Don’t preach to me, don’t proselytize, don’t lecture. My mother could tell you about how from a very early age I was very bad at the listening.

So when I linked over to Linda Hirshman’s article: I’m not sure what I was expecting.

“women who quit their jobs to stay home with their children were making a mistake.”

“the tasks of housekeeping and child rearing were not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings.”

Naturally, a lot of college educated women, of the mommy blogger genre, got royally pissed about this book and this article. I’m looking dead on at my own plan to go part time and then quit work to stay home and raise children. I feel guilty about this when I think of the money I could be bringing in, and then I remember that I pretty much hate my job.

I’ve struggled with the quitting thing, but then I spend time with my son and at home and realize how lucky I am to get that option. Is it going to stop my advancement to upper management? Possibly. But I’ve been working for about seven years now, and if I didn’t want to stay home for awhile, I’d be looking to make a career change. Does it mean that I will never go back to work? That my days will be filled with only butt-wiping and vacuuming? Assuredly not. I am looking into degree programs and ways to garner experience outside of my field (which I don’t like) while I “Stay At Home”.

I’d like to think that I’m more enlightened than the masses (please don’t disabuse me of this notion) in that I realize that we all end up dead. Those of us in Generation X are told that our retirement is being pushed back further and further, in order to maintain the balance we’re going to have to work until we’re 70 anyway. So really, it’s wrong to take 5-8 years “off” now? I’m old enough to know that if you don’t take chances when you can, you don’t get them again.

And the statement that got me the most:
“I'm a philosopher, and it's a philosopher's job to tell people how they should lead their lives.”

Where do I sign up for this ‘philosophy’ stuff? I got some people I want to tell how to live their lives, but it goes against my policy of ‘live and let live’, so it seems if I sign up for philosophy, I can drop that policy?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday, Baby Free

This past Saturday Esposo and I went to a wedding. My MIL babysat Luke overnight, leaving us baby-free all Sunday (Father's Day) morning.

We missed the wedding ceremony because of a crazy schedule which involved dropping Luke off and picking me up from Esposo's aunt's house and when we tried to plan out the day, we simply thought that it was stupid to stress ourselves that much. So, for the first time ever, we attended a reception without the ceremony, and it was supremely odd.

Since we are "the couple with the baby" (though, thankfully, two other couples are pregnant now), everyone asked about Luke. We said he was well and tried to tell a cute anecdote or two. And then we got into poop stories. When you have a kid you end up with a LOT of poop stories. And being the only ones WITH a kid there, no one could one-up us. We ruled the table with our poop stories!

We didn't leave our table much all night, preferring to talk rather than hit the dance floor, especially as Esposo's friends made jackasses of themselves, so those spots in the "reception characters" were already filled. Esposo drank, I drove, and I didn't have to wake up until 7 the next morning.

This was the fourth night Luke had spent away from me, the third night - in his life - away from both Esposo and I. I presumed I would wake up Sunday morning mooning about for my child, but surprisingly, and actually somewhat refreshingly, I didn't. I was happy to spend the morning watching TV and putting up crown molding (Happy Frickin' Father's Day to you, Esposo! Crown Molding!). I could go outside and work in the yard without someone screamingly upset about the noise the trimmers made. Except for our neighbors and they're whiny a-holes anyway. It's 8 oclock! Get up already! (kidding, I was not trimming at 8 AM)

We headed to Esposo's Papa's house for Father's Day dinner, and my MIL brought Luke to us. He was happy to see us, but didn't run immediately to my arms or cling to me. This Sunday served to prove that I'm not turning into some crazed over possessive creepy mother ala Loverboy and that hopefully I won't raise a Mommy's Boy.

But he's still my baby.


I like this picture because I look almost disdainful in it, like the world is just so beneath me.

In reality I was just drunk.

Lower Your Expectations

A friend was hosting a party this weekend, and she was very disappointed that a lot of people who had said they were coming backed out close to the party. I felt bad for her, and told her that it happens all the time. Everytime I plan a party, I have people who don't show or who leave me hanging until the last minute. I've learned to deal with this, though.

I've lowered my expectations.

I actually believe this is the key to life. You can plan and save and try your best, but life is really unpredictable and, in the case of parties, people can suck. If you lower your expectations and determine only that you will have a good time, it ends up not mattering who shows up and who doesn't. If you accept what you have and don't *expect* anymore, you'll be happy with anything you get.

This doesn't mean you don't try your hardest or do your best or save for a rainy day. It's about learning what you can and can not control - and you can definitely not control anyone else, so once you stop trying, you're much happier.

That said, people should still RSVP and be nice.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My Life isn't Hard

I often get stressed out about things, about money, about my weight, about how clean my house is, but I know that my life isn't hard. I know I could have a lot more problems, and I try to laugh at the things that may be stressful in my life. When I tell a story about things going awry (like locking my keys in my running car) (for two hours) (and not even knowing it until someone mentions my lights were on) I don't tell them so people can sympathize with me. I hope they'll laugh at me, because generally the stupid shit in life is funny.

The people who have most driven me crazy in life are the people who don't recognize how easy their lives are, and instead constantly try to point out how much more difficult their life is than mine. And once you have to try to prove to me that your life sucks harder, I've lost any respect for you I might have had. I don't like to help people who are forlorn and needy because no matter how much you try to help them, they're still going to be forlorn and needy. That's their constant state and it doesn't matter what they do or do not have.

Invariably, once you get to know someone, some story comes out, some aspect of their life is revealed that makes you see this person in a new light. Everyone has a story, everyone has gone through a rough time. Coming out the other side is life.

And looking at my life, as I try to hit my stride in this 'parenthood' thing, if I could change one thing about myself, I would like to laugh out loud more. I have several friends and a husband who toss out belly-busting laughs and I envy them. I may find something just as funny but only come out with smile or a chuckle - my brother is the same way or worse, so perhaps there's a genetic component to laughter style. And how do you change that without feeling forced?

Stop whining and laugh more, sound good?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Make Mine "Non-Depressing"

Highlights of today:

1. Reading the link over on Miss Zoot's blog about the people who have to kill dogs and cats in shelters everyday.
2. Reading about the permafrost thawing and unleashing 75 times the carbon in one year that all our fossil fuel burning does, so we're going to cook our planet.

I'd like to set my internet to "Non-Depressing" for a few days, please. That would be a useful filter for me.

It's not that I'm a happy go lucky, we'll all be all right in the end kind of girl. And maybe it's precisely BECAUSE I'm not that kind of girl that I need the internet set to "Non-Depressing". Because I can't take it without taking it to heart.

The Cats

We have these cats, I will call them 'Moxy' and 'Simba', as those are their names, and if you wanted to steal them, there's no way Simba is going to come if a random person calls him, and Moxy will amble over even if you call him 'Worthless lump of cat fat'. Which explains something of their personalities but not much.

Luke doesn't like Moxy now, because Moxy forcefully rubs 18 pounds of cat against every person he sees, and 18 pounds of cat on FOUR legs at about 15 inches high versus 25 pounds of toddler on TWO legs at 32 inches high, computing the center of gravity and relative stability of each being, and well, the kid gets knocked over all the time. So he whines at Moxy at lot.

Yesterday the new cat climber arrived and I put it together for the cats. It has a hammock for them to lie in, high above the sight of the toddler, and a small hidey hole, and sisal rope scratching posts. There's a soft mat for their comfort.

Naturally, they hopped in the box it came in.

I "encouraged" them to use their new toy, and by encouraged I mean plopped into the hammock and shoved into the hidey hole. So far I've only seen Simba willingly using it to scratch on the sisal rope. The problem being, of course, that Simba was declawed by his previous owner and THAT'S JUST POINTLESS.

I positioned the new tower beneath a window to allow the cats to lounge and watch the outside world, which they do so with so much passion and interest that they become convinced that they MUST go out there and MUST explore! Which is fine when they get into the backyard, but if they get out front their ears meld into their heads and they crounch within millimeters of the ground. Moxy has even gone so far at to climb the glass door when he illadvisedley went out front.

I don't know how to end this, so, CATS!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oldest Man Dies

Color me shocked.

It seems that about once a month, these 'Oldest Men' and 'Oldest Women' are kicking the bucket throughout the world. Something must be done! It's an epidemic!

What a dubious position 'Oldest' is, as you wait for someone to die in front of you so you can be crowned, only to lose the title yourself fairly quickly. And I'm sure every old person looks forward to being asked exactly how they managed to live that long.

(By not dying!)

Since Luke's birth, death has been on my mind a lot more. I'm not a big fan of this change in thought patterns, and I try to stifle the thoughts of death that creep in. I also face this year a major change in numerical definition - namely, I turn 30. In theory, the idea of turning thirty doesn't bother me, but the actuality is a different story. Mostly, though, it's disillusionment with myself and ideas I associate with 30 that are causing me problems.

For one, I still get pimples every month. This sucks major donkey ass. If we can arrange for all my pimples to magically disappear on the day I hit Three-Oh, I'd be okay with turning thirty.

Second, I haven't found a good hairstyle. Admittedly, I experiment with this less than I could to find a functional hairstyle, but that's why I'm not ready to turn thirty. I need another few years to work on this.

Third, I weigh about the same as I did when I graduated from high school. I'm supposed to be THINNER finally and lose this weight once and for all. I can't even blame it on the baby.



Luke is struggling to get past a summer cold and has coughing fits in the early morning hours. He's sleeping a little later to make up for this lost time, and this morning I actually picked him up and rocked him while he dozed in my arms. I woke him up gently and after he rubbed his eyes and looked around, he pointed at the bookshelves and said "buh" (book).

Communication with a small person isn't the easiest thing in the world, mostly because they don't have logic or a sense of sequence. He's able to communicate with us pretty effectively between signing and speaking, particularly that all important "ee" (eat), and now that he's got a few signs down pat I'm actively teaching him more. The violent rubbing of his chest for anything he wants (to say 'Please' in sign language you rub your chest in a circular motion with your right hand. Luke amps up the energy by using BOTH hands.) is now followed by signing 'Thank You' (Luke's version of this looks like he's performing a war whoop).

On a trip to Home Depot, he sat in his car seat and exclaimed for the entire 15 minute ride "Cah! Cah! Cah!" (Car). He has a new found interest in books, and will pick them up and bring them to us so we can sit and read, and when we ask him to point out the ball or the dog he does so immediately and happily.

When you don't have kids, this progression from immobile lump to involved person seems to be a given. But as a parent, everything you worry about - from genetic defects to disease to all the bumps and bruises, you know nothing is a given.

Friday, June 09, 2006

You were a Brat

This is a given. Everyone was a brat at some point and their mother wanted to tie them to the bed and tell them to JUST TAKE A NAP BECAUSE DAMMIT YOU WILL NOT BE SUCH A PILL AFTER A NAP. Or something to that effect.

Lately, Luke has been a High Priest of Pillness. When I pick him up from daycare, he grins ecstatically to see me, and commences running around in glee. He did this to my mother last night to - so happy to see her that he ran away laughing maniacally. Good social skills, kid. Run away when you see someone you love.

But upon getting him home, all hell breaks loose. The kid hates being inside. Hates it. On Wendesday, I got home and found that he just would NOT stop crying and hanging on the doorknob to the garage. It was really bothering my TV watching time. So reluctantly, VERY reluctantly, I put him in the jogging stroller and went around the block on a pathetic half run/half walk. Then I attached the stroller to the bike and we went for a forty minute bike ride. So he was outside for an hour. Still pissed when we went inside.

He's also been very clingy lately, not wanting to play alone for say, four seconds. Last night making dinner was quite a challenge, as I set up things to simmer while he grabbed and pushed my legs. In the five or seven minutes when I could played with him while things cooked, he sat ON me and was quite content, only to throw up a huge wail when I had to move to flip and stir things.

And yet, I am still looking forward to being home.


Sometimes I don't feel like writing. That's when I'm particularly whiny about people not emailing me, even if they haven't emailed me solely because they emailed last and really it's my turn. Continue to amuse me, please. Except for you, who keeps emailing "I'm bored." because I don't feel like typing. And I get all excited for an email only for the entire email to read "I'm bored."? This does nothing for MY state of boredom, so if you want me to assist on the boredom I need you to tell me about the tarantula dream you had or something.

Wait, that was me, with the dream about the tarantula in a bucket. And then later in the week I read about Dooce's encounter with real live tarantulas next to her house and my skin is getting very creepy crawly. I don't mind LITTLE spiders, but spiders where you can clearly see the spidery parts without a microscope, like, you know, the eight eyes, those suckers can go far far away. I don't even think I could kill those things with a shovel. The squish would be awful.

One of the weirdest things that the internet has done for me is the whole blogging phenomenon. Yes, I am genuinely interested in the daily mundanities of a variety of bloggers (listed to right). I don't really get this, but it does. It kinda bothers me that my friends (as I don't consider bloggers friends, I don't post there because I am passive) don't keep blogs updating their mundanities. Mundanities, while an annoying word to type, is pretty much what life consists of. Especially with a toddler and a 9:30 bedtime.

Speaking of the toddler, he got his fourth incident report in four weeks in the toddler room. Dove off a foam cube this time.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Long Week

Growing up, my weekends were lazy. We didn't do a whole lot, maybe went to the store, watched some TV, rented a movie. Then I joined the soccer team, and got a job, and my weekends became more hectic, but still nothing overwhelming. Post college, weekends were again lazy - waking up, hitting the store, drinking until 3 or 4 AM, and then trying to recover from the hangover before work on Monday.

For reasons in and out of our control, our weekends have taken on lives of their own, to the point that I frequently forget what we did on Friday night by Sunday afternoon. The longer we have weekends and weeks with that kind of activity, the more I get bored with television and books, the things that used to amuse me for hours. I can't seem to get into a book unless there's calm and quiet around me, whereas before I could read in the midst of a hurricane.

It's not that I'm tremendously social, or at times, even barely social, at all of the things that we're doing, but just being around people and at different places changes the perspective of a weekend.

At a wedding we attended Saturday, I sat at a table with other members of a group I was a member of in college. This group is national, and 104 years old, so it has a relatively large membership. I was extremely involved in college, holding four of five offices in my time there. And the four members there spoke about issues I had only heard about in passing, and I realized how far away from it I was. And I wouldn't even know how to rejoin, which is something that has crossed my mind in the past few years.

We spoke about some mutual acquaintances, those who had joined after I left college, and my instinctual response to their casual comments about people that we mutually knew, was "What the hell do you know?!? You weren't around when. You know nothing." Not that I stated anything like that, just that I felt that way, as if they should know and understand my memories and their importance. These people who are so wrapped up in parts of my life being casually tossed out in conversation by people who knew little or nothing of my relationships with them.

But on Sunday we went to see XMen3, and celebrated Esposo's 31st birthday by eating a lot of meat at a Brazilian steakhouse (git yer minds outta da gutter!) and those people who had popped into my head on Saturday occupied no space as we debated the promotional path of steakhouse carvers.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Parenting Personality

I picked up Luke from daycare yesterday afternoon and was presented with an incident report to sign. Given that this is the third incident report I’ve had to sign since Luke moved into the toddler room three weeks ago, I wasn’t overly surprised. This time, he was bit three times on his right arm. This is the second incident where he's been bit.

I called daycare today to talk about the incident, and they informed me that Luke gets bit because he sits on, takes from, grabs and hits the other children. When they reach a certain frustration level, they bite him. It turns out it’s effective to bite people when you want them to stop doing what they’re doing. I tried it in a meeting this morning, and the conversation immediately stopped.

I’m not surprised by Luke’s actions, and I wasn’t surprised when daycare said that he didn’t respond to verbal ‘No!’s. Because he won’t respond for me either. This is a child that you have to physically remove from trying to open the door, or taking a toy, or doing whatever it is that is uppermost in his mind.

We went for a walk with a friend and her four year old daughter the other day. Her daughter had just gotten a new pink bike for her birthday and was intent on riding it. She had a hard time steering and hit the grass and fell over in slow motion (she might have been going two miles per hour when she hit...). She yelled at the 'bikey' and got extremely frustrated by her mother's attempts to help her on the bike. Dang it, she was going to do it herself. My friend commented how she was trying to teach her that she didn't have to be perfect all the time.

The reason there are so many ways to parent is that children's personalities dictate what will work, what's important to them, and what their 'trouble spots' are. My son's trouble spots happen to be centered around his strong will, and parenting him is vastly different from parenting an easy going child.

I think that people sometimes lose sight of the end goal of the parenting process - an independent human being who can form good relationships and surmount life’s obstacles. When I think of successful people, I think that they are determined, courageous, and risk-takers. People who change the world are those with forceful personalities. They’re also empathetic, intelligent, observant, and interested, but you can be all those things and not be able to change the world.

I’m not saying that my son is going to grow up to be a president or a CEO, just that I think that his driven and determined personality isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a difficult thing to parent, and it’s times like this that I feel well over my head in this motherhood prospect.