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...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Let Me Hold the Bags

When I thought about having children, before having Luke, I thought, 'I want to be the mom who goes on all the rides at the amusement park with them! I want to be in there DOING things WITH them, not watching!'. My mom always manned the bags, the strollers, while my friends or my father or my brother and I went on the rides. I thought that seemed so sad, to be relegated to the holder of things.

Until I had Luke, and found that watching him have fun is far more satisfying than doing anything myself. He had his first experience in a Bounce House yesterday, and while he can't jump, he ran and stomped and fell and laughed and I think I enjoyed it just as much as he did. His smile was huge the whole time, and he looked out the sides to make sure I was watching.

And I was, the whole time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Beelzebub the Monkey

Yesterday when I picked Luke up from daycare, I joked "And how did little Beelzebub do today?"

Luke is not quite the child I envisioned that I would have. We spent an hour at the park and I stopped him from running in the street no less than five times. He went down a slide that was obviously not designed for a 17 month old - it was a tube slide, and we could hear him clunking from side to side and head over heels from top to bottom. He emerged each time with a grin. Even when a three year old slid down right on top of him, his happiness didn't waver.

I watched the other children near his age - the 16 month olds toddling around with mommies holding both hands. Luke, meanwhile, headed up the netting and the complex climbing gyms. It's not surprising to me when daycare tells me that they have a problem with him climbing on the furniture. My son is part monkey.

I feel like we missed out on a developmental stage - you know, the one where they tentatively try out new things and look to mom for reassurance? Because this kid needs no reassurance from me, only an occasional boost where his height fails him on the playground equipment.

This morning he demonstrated his monkey climb down from our bed. As I've stated, our bed is unusually high off the ground - three and a half feet, I'm guessing. Next to it, spaced about 18 inches away, we have a chair that now serves to hold Esposo's clothes. Last week, Luke demonstrated that he could climb onto the bed by standing on the arm of the chair and leaning towards the bed.

Now he crawls down from the bed by leaning over and grabbing the arm of the chair. He crawls down head first.

Just like a determined personality, agility is a good thing. Which doesn't mean I don't want to duct tape lead weights to his feet.

Not Enough Time in the Day

Now that I only work three days a week, we have so much more time! It's like living on an island, with a maid! And landscapers!

I'm not surprised that with two extra days off I have only filled them with so much activity as to be overscheduled each and every Monday and Friday. When people wonder what they would DO if they didn't work, I'm confused - how are there not a million things clamoring to be done for you every single day? It's not as if I have ambitious projects (okay, maybe the bathroom remodel is a bit ambitious), and doing things with a toddler does take at least twice as long and involves a lot more planning (one does not just 'go to the store' with a toddler. One assesses mood, brings toys and food, and limits the store visit), but I am busy beyond belief.

This Friday I'm hoping to go to the gym, hit some garage sales, see my mother in law, and go to a park concert. And yeah, clean the house, paint a room, trim the bathroom... you know, small things.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The what?

I was driving along to work today, encountering what seems to be the usual traffic obstacles lately - this time a fire at a building along my route and construction, of course - and I heard something very strange on the radio.

"The Cubs beat the first place New York Mets..."

Who did what in the where now? There are so many things wrong with that sentence. First of all, and most obviously, the Cubs beat another team. This doesn't happen. They're the Cubs. And then? The first place Mets? Eh? Back in the day, in, oh, 1986, I was a Mets fan. This makes sense, it really does, because I lived in the northern part of New Jersey. And they won the World Series. And I had an older brother. Lets Go Mets!

I hung onto that fandom for years and years, through college even. When I moved into the city (that city being Chicago, of course) and then later, dated Esposo, I began leaning towards the Cubs. I don't count myself as a Cubs fan now, but I also don't count myself as a Mets fan. Which is good, because I think they're polar opposites. I kind of vaguely root for both teams when I realize that there is still baseball being played in this country. I'm a little preoccupied most of the time, though.

Sports are a pain in the ass to pay attention to. Particularly baseball and basketball, because they play it so often. Football is my style - once a week, same day every week. College football on Saturday, NFL on Sunday (and Monday, I think. Did they stop that?) So easy.

So, apparently the Mets are in first place. I may have to find the bandwagon and jump on or something. But that involves finding the bandwagon. A lot of effort, if you ask me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Four Days In A Row

This part time thing takes some getting used to - these four day weekends are absurd. We began Friday by visiting the Chicago Botanic Gardens where there is a model train exhibit. Set on the ground, and incredibly detailed, there are 15 American landscape scenes. Not that I went to see the 15 landscape scenes. I went because when Luke saw the trains going by he yelled "CHOO CHOO!" in glee and chased after them. For an hour he ran and stared and yelled "CHOO CHOO!", and it was amazingly fun to watch.

We followed that up with a visit from the Orkin man, and a visit to my nephew's house, where his cousins screamed in his face (literally, screamed) because Luke laughed when they did it, and then Luke commenced running in circles around the house with the two other boys tailing him.

Saturday we tiled our bathroom floor, and today I have to grout it, and went to a couple summer parties, including our block party. Of course it rained. We found out that our block has a number of people from Israel. I asked one woman who I was supposed to pay, and she began talking to another woman, in Hebrew. Roughly 2 feet from me. And they didn't include me in the conversation. I wandered away and ended up not paying because no one sought me out to ask for money...

By Sunday, I was tired, but we made it to church, where Luke spent his first time in the nursery. He's simply to active to bring to services.

Now it's Monday and the weekend still isn't over. It's insane. We have a playgroup and I'll probably grout the bathroom floor. Don't be jealous!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


There is a "community" thing called freecycle. Along with Craigslist and Ebay, this is how I get rid of things that I don't need in my house anymore. But as with Craigslist and Ebay, people are ridiculous. Basically, everyone wants to screw you over and get as much as they can for as little money as possible or for free. I understand the premise, but they're so damn presumptuous and self righteous.

Sadly, this is extending to my moms board. I love that we can help each other out as moms, because raising kids is freaking expensive. And most people work in that premise, that we can help each other out. Now, we're getting some of the 'gimmee gimmee gimmee' folks. And I hate their attitude. Do you think parenthood is expensive ONLY for you? Isn't it more fair to offer a fair price for baby items to help another mother defray the parenting expenses?

Simple Things

There are certain things in life that should be really simple - like drinking enough water. Eight glasses of water, how hard is that? Especially since they're talking about eight EIGHT OUNCE glasses of water, not the twenty ounce bottle of water I refill at my desk. I only have to drink three of those.

But with a small child, even mundane simple things become more challenging. Luke loves to drink from water bottles and splash his hands in glasses of water. In order to drink eight glasses of water around him, I have to be sneaky. I have to hide the container and bide my time until he's facing another direction.

In other news, Luke has resumed his holy terror status at daycare, and was cited yesterday for pushing a girl into a desk repeatedly and then shoving kids out of the way to get out the door for play time. Apparently another mother was there and was very upset. Upset at Luke or upset that the daycare lady (who was changing a diaper at the time) didn't break it up fast enough, I don't know. I certainly hope she wasn't upset at Luke, because he's 17 months old and simply doesn't understand that pushing hurts people. I've seen him do this to kids, (and break it up immediately) and he does it with a smile. He thinks he's playing.

I have a friend with a three year old daughter who's been down this road, and my nephew was kicked out of preschool for similar behavior, so I know it's not unusual. But the idea of another mother not liking Luke or holding something against him makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When Throwing Stones, Duck

I'm not a confrontational person. I don't like fighting or yelling or arguments. This is probably part of why I tend not to get too close to people, because the closer you are, the more likely you are to get into arguments and petty bickering. And that stresses me out. I am convinced it will all explode into massive disgust and general unhappiness. And THAT'S probably because the people I do end up having confrontations with are so all-fired IN-FREAKING-SANE that the confrontation isn't going to be normal. Maybe I should start confronting people that aren't insane about littler things.

My moms group now has 91 people. Basically, you are never ever going to find 91 people who love each other, and thinks that every one of the other 90 people are swell-peachy-keen. Unless, of course, you're all on mood altering drugs, and at that point you think your best friend is Mr. Couch and Mr. Floor is so sweet, too.

The group has been around for almost a year now, and very active for the last six months or so. Basically, the honeymoon period is wearing off. We're all now at the point where we've met people we like and people we really don't.

Because I organize a lot of events for the group, as I am, you know, an organizer, my particular pet peeve are the complainers. They come to events and then throw in little comments in the reviews "I wanted this, I wanted that, I thought it was free." (dude, nothing's free in this world). And yet, they plan nothing. It makes me crazy, and thankfully I am at least to the point in my life where I do realize that these people will never actually be happy. Complaining is in their makeup.

I also get to hear complaints about other people, what they have and have not done, etc. And not that I'm a particularly Bible-y sort of person, but there seems to be this particularly appropriate story about a group of people stoning some woman, and Jesus saying "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." A few stones are starting to be thrown here and there, and I think my best plan is to duck and deflect as much as possible, because I have certainly given people enough to complain about with my actions in the past. Not intentionally, but who intentionally does things to peeve other people off?

Nonetheless, it should be interesting. And what's life without interesting interludes?

Kicking Ass Thus Far

I planned on going to the gym this morning to try and get myself into slightly better physical shape. But I'm fighting a summer cold (thanks Luke) and my throat was sore and raspy and bed was too comfy.

So the morning was normal until I dropped Luke off and headed into work. The first things I encountered was the gates being down at a railroad crossing, no train in sight. Traffic was back up quite a ways, and people took it into their own minds to circumvent the gates. For each second I DIDN'T see a train, I figured we were coming that much closer to so wicked bad train-car accident. Cars lose that fight. I called the local police department and they said an officer was on the way. Once he got there, he held up the gate so we could cross under... still didn't seem too safe to me.

Then I encountered construction and lanes merging. Oh happy day. We sat for 10-15 minutes through that.

To top it off a semi delivering to the local grocery store blocked traffic for a minute or two while he backed in. All of this! In one morning!

And, as a final cherry on the sundae that is my life, my boss did NOT include me in a general announcement email... um, I know I'm part time, but I DO still work here. Reluctantly.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I found out recently that at Luke's 18 month appointment, they'll want to know where he his verbally - what words does he say and how clearly. And I felt like a bad mother because I haven't catalogued these things and I can't even tell you what his first word was. I just know that now he's speaking pretty clearly, and he says the following:

Choo Choo

I'm sure I'll edit this as I remember the rest. I believe he is starting to use sentences like 'I want truck', but it's hard to tell. It's like the whole first word thing. Once I figure out what he's saying he's surely been saying it for weeks. This should help with his confidence, no doubt!

One thing that I've read people going off on in the internet land is the use of baby talk with small children. I can honestly say that no one Luke knows uses baby talk with him, because he's a small person, and baby talk would not go over well. I am constantly prompting Luke to communicate because this whole randomly whining thing really grates on my nerves. I just can't handle the 'eeeeeheeehhhhheeeehhhh' for no particular reason.

Fours Days Off

I've had the past four days off with my part time schedule and am set to go back to work this morning. I have a project that I need to work on, which is why I am up this early, but it's not going particularly well. I've never deluded myself that 'working from home' would be a good fit for me, because home is not a place where I work. Home is where I watch TV and paint the crown molding.

I also don't have a lot of motivation for work, because I'm really just hoping it ends soon. It's not that each paycheck I get on part time isn't great and potentially allowing for things like new windows, or clothes, or even heat this winter, but I had a mental end date of June 30th and really, this working past the mental end date sucks.

The past four days haven't been amazingly productive, mostly because it was god-awful hot and I melted into a puddle and whimpered a lot - even Luke was willing to come inside after fifteen or so minutes outside, it was THAT hot. But we did see my brother, go to a playgroup, clean out my sock drawer, paint the crown molding, and remove almost all the remaining wall paper from the guest room.

Whereas now I am going to go to work. And uh... I don't know what.

Yesterday my car read an outside temperature of 101 F - and the construction crew was outside repaving the street in front of my house. I heard them this morning at about 3 AM as they picked up where they left off, and though I was sad to be awakened (this insomnia shit has got to stop) I didn't begrudge them working on the street in the middle of the night when it's only, say, 80 degrees out. Luke has enjoyed watching the trucks, and the guys are usually friendly enough to wave.

Even as I head to work this morning, I'm thinking about what will be going on during my four days off - the Orkin man is coming, a couple parties on Saturday, and maybe I can get a haircut? Even better, perhaps we can start tiling the bathroom...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Esposo has left for the weekend - I'm here alone with Luke. Luke's not even awake yet this morning, though, and I'm up because I can no longer sleep. I was never a huge sleeper. Even as a teenager I wasn't able to sleep until 2 in the afternoon like my brother, getting up usually between 10 and 11.

When I was living with Psycho roommate, I slept a lot to avoid her. And then I moved into my own place and started working out near daily and needed a good solid 7-8 hours of sleep.

As I'm getting older, though, I'm finding I just can't sleep. I was busy - moving around a lot - all last evening, and went to bed at 10. I was up at 4:20 this morning. If I felt supremely rested, I suppose this would be a fabulous thing - look, 6 hours of sleep! I can get so much more DONE! But I don't. I still feel tired and I want to fall back into bed until, oh, I don't know, 6 maybe? Do I ask too much?

Today we're schlepping a carload of stuff to a friend's garage sale. This has done a lot to empty out my garage and I'm pretty excited about seeing it go - and hopefully getting $100 - $200 cash for it! I like cash.

I'm not sure what to do with myself now, though. There's something sick and wrong about cleaning at 5:22 in the morning.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's 7:34 and I Need a Nap

Luke woke up this morning about 4:30. When Luke wakes up, we all wake up. Esposo went to his room and calmed him back to sleep, but I couldn't do the same. So at about 4:45 AM I got up, showered, and decided to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood (this is part of why just going to the gym in the morning doesn't work great for me - I get up, I shower. I hate to not shower immediately.).

I got home at about 5:40, ate breakfast and got dressed. At 6:15, I was waking Luke up so that we could get to daycare on time.

I've only been taking Luke to daycare for two weeks now, it used to be Esposo's job. I don't like leaving Luke, so I don't like this new job. And worse, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it seems Miss Myrtle mans the toddler room in the AM. Miss Myrtle is an older woman, and she's weird. Luke generally loves going to daycare - he loves all his other teachers. This morning he ran, laughing, to the toddler room, but when I opened the door and he saw Miss Myrtle, he ran, crying, towards the front door.

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have a lot of problems with that.

On Wednesday, Miss Cathy mans the toddler room in the AM. Miss Cathy is weird, but weird in the way that kids adore. Children flock to her. When I dropped Luke off, she squatted down and asked him how he was doing and he babble-answered, and he was ready for his day to start. I left without him even noticing.

This morning, after I collected Luke and brought him back to the toddler room, Miss Myrtle was showing him toy cars. This was a good move, but he was still clinging to me. So I went to a table and started playing with the cars and getting him to smile.

Which is when Miss Myrtle started saying 'Let's go to the window and wave byebye to Mommy!' ARGH! I will say goodbye to him while he's busy with cars, let's not distract him from the toys he loves!

On my way into work, a large van tried to change lanes into me, and my heart leapt into my nose, we were so close to a massive sideswiping accident.

It's 7:44 now, and I still need a nap.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006



Everyday Luke turns more into a little boy, with commentary that I still don't understand, but plenty of it. Everyday I sit on the couch at some point, and Luke hauls himself up, walks over to me and puts his face nose to nose with me, smiles and says "HIEEEE!"

Just as we teased his cousins, we tease him now by handing him train after train after train until his arms can't hold anymore and he's steadying trains with his chin.

Each morning and evening, Luke gets his naked time, and I can't help but notice that his back is already in the shape of a 'V', broad at the shoulders and narrow into the hips.

He spent 5 minutes this morning walking around with his blanket over his head as if he were a green ghost for Halloween, and giggled insanely when I asked 'Where's Lucas?'. His sense of humor and laughter develop more each day, and there is no better sound in this world than him losing himself in giggles.

Part Time

Last week was my first official week working part time. Since the plant was closed on Monday and Tuesday, I essentially had Friday off. It didn't *really* feel part time.

But this week I'm *really* part time, because I didn't work on Monday, and I won't be working Friday. I'm still unsure about all this, about money, about career, about choices in life. We got our first bill for Esposo's school loans, and that hit like a ton of bricks. He's calm about it, which I don't understand. Unfortunately, when he acts non-chalant, I see it as not really being on top of what bills need to be paid and exactly what our budget is doing.

Articles and newsreports seem tossed at me, as if they know I'm reading. Women give up their careers and they don't 'get' as far. Women sacrifice for their families. We're not achieving equality, the workplace is still set against working mothers.

In the roundabout way it works, my mind thought of my grandmother, and again I thought how much she would have enjoyed Esposo, and of course, Luke. My grandmother's personality and happiness with her life is a reminder of how I want to live.

I don't know if my grandmother ever held a paying job. Which again drove home the point, that life is about people for me, not achieving a corner office. I have never been able to muster the desire to impress people I didn't personally like, and work has always been just work to me.

I had a fabulous day with Luke on Monday. We hosted a playgroup, and all the kids played beautifully. I weeded and laid sod. We took a long walk to the park. Luke seems to enjoy the time we get to spend together, he didn't throw a tantrum on Monday at all.

But I don't know if we can take a weekend vacation to Boston yet.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What does the cow say?

Luke is learning left and right and I can't seem to keep up with him. I found out this past weekend that if you ask him, "What does the cow say?" he answers with a "moo", and likewise, he answers "What does the sheep say?" with "ba!"

I didn't know he knew "Mine!" until I saw him clutching a book to his chest because his four year old cousin came within a few feet of him. I doubt she wanted the book, but he was certainly telling her that she couldn't have it. He became upset with her when she sat by his Nana or Esposo or I, and hit her. I was impressed with her lack of response to the hitting.

Luke has been in daycare since he was 10 weeks old. He has been around a group of similarly aged children at least three days a week almost his entire life. But sharing doesn't come naturally, it's a skill that's hard to learn.

Meanwhile, his vocabulary jumps each week, his physical skills are phenomenal for so small a child, and he understands his routines of life clearly.

What does the boy say?