One More Mommy

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad Ornaments

Staying home has had a definite affect on my holiday spirit thus far (I know, it's not December yet, I'm sure I'll get grumpy). Because I actually can slot some time to decorate this week, I've really enjoyed the process. I'm making theme areas - my mantle is the holiday music boxes and santas, the dining room is full of snowmen, and the living room has the tree.

Today I decorated the tree. I was going to wait for Esposo to be home to do this, but he's not much help anyway. Neither is Luke, as it turns out - completely uninterested in the tree and decorations. This is good from a non-destructive point of view, but bad from a joy-and-wonder-of-Christmas-as-seen-through-the-eyes-of-a-child point of view. He's ruining it!!

Anyway, I love ornaments. Not all ornaments indiscriminately, but MY ornaments. The ornaments that I/we have gotten over the years. I'm happy to have Esposo's crappy boy scout ornaments with his picture glued on to go with the white ornaments the Swedish church made each year. I love to pull the ornaments out and remember my grandmother, my dog, my mom, and now even Luke's first Christmas. But the placement of the ornaments on the tree traumatizes me. I don't want anyone to feel bad, or think that because the ornament isn't front and center that I don't like it. But then, there are some ornaments that I truly don't like as much (Esposo's wrestler guy and my confirmation prayer friend's cross stitch) and those always get relegated to the bottom and rear of the tree. Maybe if I didn't consciously do that to SOME ornaments, I wouldn't be convinced that people will think I'm judging their ornaments by placing them in bad spots...

Homicidal Peach

I've returned to a painting kick because our house still has peach. When we moved in, 6 of 11 rooms (counting bathrooms as rooms here) were painted peach or pink. Plus the hallways were peach. I can just see the previous owners saying 'Look! Peach paint was $0.42 a gallon! What a steal!'

Over the past two years we've been eradicating the peach, but when you have no design plan for a room - like our outdated, ancient kitchen that needs a complete overhaul - painting can seem futile. But it was still getting to me, that our guest bath was peach, that our hallway was peach, that our kitchen was peach. So I'm on a kick to kill it all. To make the peach even worse is that it was DIRTY and scuffed.

Living in a pastel house could make me a homicidal maniac, but I haven't chosen crazy colors for the hallway or bathroom. Esposo can't even tell that I painted the guest bath, and I'm sure when he sees the hallway, he'll say the same thing 'uh, looks the same to me...' and then I will kill him. Because the peach made me homicidal, see?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


When I was pregnant with Luke, I looked forward to all the usual things of becoming a parent. I expected the overwhelming love I would feel for him. Tender moments and intense little hugs. Tantrums and screaming, explosive diapers and sleepless nights. I expected some things would be hard and some things would be easy.

I definitely did not expect that I would be put in harm's way after the ordeal of childbirth. I thought that would be it for pain. I didn't count on sudden jumps up to clock my chin with a very solid toddler head, or that same head being thrown back into my face to connect with my nose or ram my glasses into my eye. Being a toddler's jungle gym means that parts of my body are pinched, grabbed, stepped on, and otherwise abused. No one EVER warned me about this.

I also never expected that I would be holding my child while he struggled with constipation, crying out in pain I could do nothing for (at that moment). That food issues go beyond just nutrition, and are affecting his happiness. It sounds like it should almost be funny, hearing a toddler whine and say 'Pooping!'. It sucks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This year, I am not hosting Thanksgiving. I think the only time I actually hosted Thanksgiving, though, it was just me and my mom. Just us two. Then I married into this Italian family with all these kids and everyone living in the area - I think one year there were 25 or so people at Thanksgiving. Gah.

This year, a family split has occurred - nothing to do with fighting, just split to reduce the magnitude of people at one event. It's only Esposo's immediate family - which amounts to eight adults and six children. Who will seem like 143 children. Estimated. My sister in law was volunteered to host, and I ended up volunteering to make the foods I like - pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, and sweet potatoe casserole. Sweet ass!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Unplanned Days

Most days of the week, Luke and I have at least one thing going on. A playgroup, a shopping trip, meeting up with relatives. We go to parks (weather permitting), museums, libraries, and indoor play areas. Luke knows other kids and the lure of seeing Dylan or Isis or Nic can get him into his coat and in the car without a problem.

And then there are days like today. We actually had something planned - just storytime at the library - but Luke didn't want to go. I asked him if he wanted to play with his friends, and he said 'No'. I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride in the car, and he said 'No'. So I gave up, why force the kid to go somewhere we he clearly doesn't want to? Besides, this weekend is going to be extremely busy, and I'd rather he be bored heading into it.

But that left me with an entire morning to fill. From 6:30 AM to 1 PM, when he went down for a nap. Six and a half hours.

First, we had breakfast - eggs, his current obsession. Then he watched a little 'Choo Choo Street' (Sesame Street) while I showered. Then we watched a little 'Singing'. I felt guilty for the amount of TV time, so we moved onto reading some books. There was some fingerpainting with the sad fingerpaints I have for him. Then we colored and did puzzles while I tried to get laundry started and dishes cleaned and generally straighten the house a little. Here's a clue - the house is still a disaster.

Throw in a walk to the park - which takes a LONG TIME when you have a toddler getting in and out of the stroller - three pushes on the swing, four slides down the slide, and he was done. Home again home again for lunch and he heads down for a nap.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Eye Cue

I just got my new issue of Parents magazine last night, and I went to bed and read a few articles before turning off the light. I love parenting magazines in general - they talk about a variety of childhood issues, which hopefully are being stored somewhere in my head for when Luke hits those stages, and obsess on that all important 'thing' in my life, my kid.

But there's also a lot of crap in parenting magazines. I don't really scour the internet, newspaper, and magazines for all the latest info on child-rearing, but I do stumble across it a lot. And I dismiss most research out of hand, because it doesn't provide me with a lot of hard evidence, and if you wait? They'll do another study and reverse their findings. I've got a science background, in chemistry, and having a 'hard' science background (as opposed to 'soft' sciences like psychiatry) means that I like 'hard' results. I want numbers and irrefutable proof.

When you're doing studies on people? Irrefutable proof is hard to come by. You have to isolate things and change ONE aspect of an experiment to really really prove that caused the difference. How do you do that with people?

The reason I'm going off on this is that Parents wrote an article which stated that children who were taught and used sign language as infants had an IQ of an average TWELVE POINTS higher than those who didn't. 12 points is a HELLUVA lot in IQ. That alone makes me doubt the results.

Years ago, (I should really cite articles, but I'm lazy, and I always hated citing) articles came out saying that breast fed babies are smarter. Breast is best! Your child will never be all they can be if you don't breast feed! Except they recently published ANOTHER article saying no, not so much. Turns out that the people in the study who breast fed also were spending more time with their children and doing more enriching activities. In other words, the study didn't isolate the variable of breast feeding.

I think breast feeding is great. I think baby signs are great. Do I think that a child who is breast fed and taught baby signs has a better chance of curing cancer? No. Do I think that the child of parents who are involved enough in their child's life that they try new things (baby signs) or sit with their child and devote unlimited attention to them (nursing) are going to have smarter children? Yes. And more importantly, they'll probably have more secure, confidant children who can navigate a social world.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bathroom! Bathroom!

Today we did some small things in the master bath - put up the trim around the window and a threshhold on the doorway. Then I cleaned up all the assorted construction clutter from the room, and out bedroom.

Our bedroom has no giant plastic containers of mud. No leftover tiles. No screwdrivers, hammers, or tile spacers. In short, our bedroom is FREE OF ALL CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS!!! I even cleared out most of the bathroom, leaving only a few things for the projects we have to finish up, which are:

1. Fix outlet (15 minutes job)
2. Grout corners of shower
3. Caulk tile/ceiling meeting
4. Install shower door (ordered, to arrive in 3-4 weeks)
5. Do final sanding and touch up on walls
6. Paint final coat of paint on walls
7. Paint trim
8. Install toilet paper holder

That's it. --8-- things. And do you see how little they are? A few are hard, but this is DETAILS folks. DETAILS. In a month we could be done. Only 21 months after we began. And so...

I headed to the basement and started trying to plan that out. Because finishing the basement is our next big project. Wow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I'm not even sure what to say about most of these. When I hit number five (I started from 10 and worked down to 1), I actually said "There are WORSE ones???"

Top Ten Racist Ads


I'm not a fan of potty humor. I don't find pooping and all things related to be humorous. This is one of those things that separates me from half the human race - you know, the male half. I don't get it. And if I, uh, pardon the candor here, fart in a public restroom while there are other people in the room? I will wait in the stall until everyone who could have heard leaves.

I do have an exception to that rule, though - when I'm noticably pregnant.

Pregnancy does crazy things to your body. It slows down your whole digestive system, so lots of pregnant women get constipated. Creating life makes it hard to poop, if you can see the correlation. While that hasn't been my problem in either pregnancy, gas has. Oh, the farts I fart while pregnant! Louder, longer, and worst of all (for the world), emitted with no embarassment or attempt to hide.

Hey, I'm PREGNANT. *pffft*

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Family That Stays Together

Esposo and I were, dare I say, made for each other. He balances me out on the neurotic shit, but more importantly, he not only tolerates my inner idiot, he is a direct encourager of the inner idiot, thus making it a much more outer idiot. Esposo is probably one of three of four people -in-the-world- who can make me actually not think about what anyone else is thinking of me at that moment and I just do whatever the hell I feel like.

One of the other people is Luke. This bodes poorly for the world, because I have a feeling we're going to be one of 'those' families.

Tonight, we gave Luke a bath. He has a set of musical dolphins that are supposed to float in little rings, and when you tap them on the head, they create a musical note. Of course, if you blow up their butts, they make a continuous note.

Esposo began the dolphin-butt-blowing, and when it seemed to amuse Luke, I joined in on a second dolphin-butt. Luke laughed hysterically. And then joined in on a third dolphin. We're planning a career as the Dolphin-Butt-Blowers.

Hello Cousin

I'm an amateur geneologist - I love to chart my family tree and write down the names and birthdates of people that I'm related to. The further back I go, the more satisfaction I get from the names, though unfortunately I have only gotten about 150 years back.

Because I like to chart people, I know how they're all related. Specifically, I know the cousin rules. I know what first, second, and third cousins are. I know how once and twice removed works. When you think about relative names you've basically got parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins when you come into the world. They can be grand or great, but that's it. Later you get children, nieces, nephews, and from your cousins - more cousins.

I married into this Italian family that refers to everyone older than themselves as aunt and uncle - when they may not even be related to them! Being anal, as I am, this drives me crazy, especially since most of them are now confused on what their actual relationship is with people. It also drives me crazy when people refer to "my mother's cousin" because your mother's cousin? Is YOUR cousin, too. Most of my relatives, they're cousins. I call them 'Steve'. Or 'Gunnar'. Or 'Lars'. (Here's a quiz - guess which one of those names is NOT in my family tree!). You know, by their NAMES.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Opining Opinions

I was randomly clicking on a few websites yesterday and I happened to click into some pop culture commentary blog. And the top 'article' was commenting on Kirstie Alley appearing on Oprah in a bikini and the writer's opinion that she was far too big to be wearing a BIKINI, GAH!

I went to take a look at the footage, and Kirstie Alley is looking pretty dang good, especially comparatively. I was so annoyed. And I don't particularly like Kirstie Alley, as a spokesperson or an actress. Her voice grates on my ears. But she's still looking dang good.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Slow Days

Possibly the most challenging thing about being mommy 24-7 is the whole no down time thing. And I don't mean about when you want to watch TV and he yells about something being down, and when you finally figure out that it's YOU that he wants to LAY DOWN, you displease him in the manner in which you lay down, as in, you don't lay down on your stomach, because you can't really do that since you're almost six months pregnant, but he refuses to listen to reason on this point. Yes, that sucks, but you know what sucks worse? Doing that while feeling like you are going to vomit sometime soon. Today I just felt generally crappy, and still there was this needy almost two year old demanding things of me, and apparently coloring on our dining room chairs. I haven't looked at that yet. Washable markers will still be washable even after they've had time to set, right?

Taking Direction

I'm trying to pick up a little 5-10 hour a week job from home. Basically, it's telemarketing - but to business people, so don't worry, I won't be calling you. I'm not really sure how this job is going to work out since 1) I don't really like making phone calls, and 2) the woman who owns this business is driving me crazy.

When I spoke with her on the phone the first time, which is all I've ever done, never met her in person, I was suddenly hired for the next week, which happened to be an insanely busy week for me. (This was last week) I was able to get in two and a half hours of cold calling people. This list I was working with had errors that generated comments such as 'He hasn't worked her in five years!' so it wasn't easy connecting with the right people to make the pitch to.

Then our computer mouse got screwed and I was unable to access the call list on Friday at all. When I told her this, and sent her the excel file with all my notes from the calls, she began annoying me. A lot. Because she wants to direct exactly HOW I am making these phone calls and taking notes. According to her, I should print out the list, sit at a table, and make notes on paper.

Anyone who ever tried to copy my notes in college would know that I AM THE WORST NOTE TAKER EVER. I doodle. I end up writing up the sides of the paper in a maze of words. I write in the wrong spots. Not to mention that pieces of paper get lost. Taking notes on the computer works much better for me. I don't feel like I should have to tell this to her, because I don't feel she should be trying to dictate how I work. When I spoke with her on Friday, I didn't say anything like that, but since then she's sent several emails stating how I should be working.

It's pissing me off.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hell If I Know

Every night when I lay in bed, I write entries for this blog in my head. Things happen during the day and I think how I could tell that story, and by the next morning all those thoughts are gone gone gone. I don't have any of the stories now, either.

We spent the weekend at the family lakehouse, the Ponderosa, if you will, and let the dog run like crazy off-leash. She'd sprint out ahead of me, and return when I called, but after 20 minutes or so, she'd be at the front door of the house wanting to head back in and curl up on her dog bed. Miz Explorer she is not.

As we do everytime we head up to the Ponderosa, we all slept in the same room. Usually Luke sleeps in some 1970's swaying crib of death (which I would never put him in if he were under 8 months or so, but he can kick that crib's ass now), but since he's moved up to the bed, we put him in the toddler bed.

At home, he has his race car bed, which is twin sized and has an edge all around it. The toddler bed up north only has railings on the top and half the sides. In the middle of the night on Saturday Luke got his head stuck between our bed and his bed. I repositioned him and within five minutes he had fallen between the beds completely, at which point I reached down, grabbed one leg and one arm and plopped him between us.

It would be nice if he slept uneventfully through the rest of the night, but Esposo moved him back to the toddler bed at some point, which the dog had to be shooed off, and when he fell out AGAIN later and I moved him into the bed, Esposo went to find a space to sleep that gave him, oh, space. Luke then kneaded my back with his feet until he fell asleep.

Tonight, I'm exhausted.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Crazy Gym Lady Does Not Disappoint

I made it into the gym this morning, which should somehow make up for the entire tube of Ritz crackers I dipped in chocolate flavored almond bark as an afternoon snack. At least I didn't break out the peanut butter, but honestly, that was mostly because wielding the jar, knife, crackers, AND cup of melted chocolate would have been difficult.

Luke seems to be getting used to the CGL, and dropping him off was remarkably uneventful. It seemed that CGL took her medication, or finally figured out who we were, or suffered massive head trauma that altered her personality slightly. She even asked what HE wanted to watch, and there were no tears on his part when I left. When I returned, CGL commented that if they were as all as good as Luke today, she would have an easy day.

And then she decided to drop a little Crazy on me. I'm not sure what inspired it, but she was careful to ask me if I worked beforehand. Before, that is, she went off on people who BOTH work AND have children! Why even have children? she asked, incredulous.

Oh, this was not a conversation I wanted to have, Old Crazy Judgey Gym Lady. This is the conversation right next to "Breast or Bottle" for me, and I feel the same way about both "issues". Gag, they're not even issues to me. Because everyone else should do what they want, and I will do what I want, and you will all leave me the hell alone, and I will leave you alone.

Maybe next time she'll tell me how we should just ship all those immigrants home and gosh dang it, they should LEARN ENGLISH and not settle in one area together, making little 'Mexican' enclaves. Oh no, wait, that was the conversation between the people next to me on the elliptical. I didn't manage to hit my head on the machine loud enough to drown it out.