Friday, June 27, 2008


I went to bed pretty early last night, early for me anyways- ten thirty. But then I stayed up until eleven thirty watching TV because I couldn't unwind, and felt hot and thrashy (only term I can think of for the itchy feeling of wanting to throw all the covers off and exchange them for completely different feeling bedding, and perhaps a new bed while you're at it, kthanx.) I'm pretty sure I had way, way too much caffeine yesterday.

I finally fell asleep close to midnight, and slept very soundly until four thirty, when Eli woke up. Getting nearly five hours of sleep in a row is pretty refreshing for me, as I'm still used to getting up for two feedings per night. So after I nursed him back to sleep, I found myself feeling WIIIDE awake.

I laid in bed for a little while, trying to talk myself into being sleepy, but a million things raced through my mind: thoughts about the remodel going on, and how excited I am, but how I just want it to be DONE ALREADY because I have the patience of a toddler sometimes. I thought about our waterbed, and how sometimes, mostly in the winter or while pregnant, I love it more than anything else in this house, and it is warm and enveloping and molds perfectly around my body's curves. But there are other times, like when I'm having trouble sleeping, for instance, or when I'm trying to nurse in bed, or trying to hoist my pregnant self OUT of bed, that it is WAY too low and soft and has no support and is all sorts of uncomfortable. We need a new bed. We really do, I told myself.

This line of thought did bring up pregnancy, which soon got me off the bed subject. Hmm. Is it the right time yet? I wondered. Eli will be ten months old in two days. When Addy was this age I was very ready for another baby, or at least, ready to start trying for one. I am feeling MORE ready now than I did three months ago, for sure, especially since he is more often than not, the last few weeks, managing to get through the night with just one feeding. But I'm still not one hundred percent convinced that the timing is right. He's such a needy baby, and would I be short changing him by adding another baby and dethroning him so soon? Or would he be happy to have another playmate- he loves Addy SO much.

What about ME? Jim and I both want four or five kids, and want them to be fairly close together. But I feel LESS of a need to have them close together, I guess. I realize Jim is older than me and is hearing the biological clock ticking and the need to hurry our family planning along, and I understand his feelings. The whole "if I have a kid at forty I'll be nearly sixty when they graduate." But if we keep having kids every two years, the fact is that if I'm pregnant for nine months and breastfeed for an average of six months, that's at least- at least!- SIXTY months of my twenties that are going to be physically devoted to feeding, sustaining, and toting around another human being. A human being I love dearly, yes, but it's a lot of unselfishness packed into a fairly short time frame. Am I up for that? Because I don't want to commit to it and then resent it: I really feel that is FAR more selfish than waiting until I do feel ready.

I got up and moved to the couch, got a bowl of cereal, and put in season two of Friends. There are only so many times you can rehash the logic of this decision while staring at the ceiling of your bedroom and trying not to toss and turn too much.

But my brain would not turn off. What if we got pregnant now? You'd be due in late March. You've always wanted an early spring baby, so you wouldn't have to be big and pregnant in the heat. If you wait until Eli's a year old to start trying, chances are it'll take you a few months, you'll get pregnant in November or December, and wind up with another summer pregnancy. Might as well start trying now- if it takes a few months, you'd still be due in May or June, which would avoid the hottest months of summer.

I rolled over on the couch, trying to close my eyes and just listen to the TV. Stop thinking about stuff! Just sleep! It was already five thirty. I could hear BIRDS CHIRPING. I briefly considered going outside for a walk in the faint, faint light, but felt too weirded out by the idea of being up for the day already.

Or you could wait until NEXT summer to try, and then you'd have more of a break between the two, and still have a spring baby. Oh, but then Addy would be almost five, and you've always hoped she'd have a sister fairly close in age to be friends with, like you had.

Of course, there's no way to guarantee this next baby would be a girl. Adelay might still have to wait until she's six or so before she got a sister, even if we DO have another one now. But then at least Eli would have a brother close to his age to be friends with, and that'd be cool too...

I finally fell asleep. I dreamed I was drowning, and woke up physically gasping for air.

Six hours later I have a pounding headache, am utterly exhausted, and am no closer to answers than I was. I guess there are some things you can't really figure out. You just have to feel it out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Impending Doom or Major Overreaction?

So, my five year high school reunion is in two weeks. (Cue eye rolling and jokes about how you can't even REMEMBER your five year reunion and am I sure I'm not a child bride living on a polygamist compound somewhere?) (Marginally Related Aside: Has anyone read Stolen Innocence yet? AM DYING to read that book!)

AnyWAY! I am not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I went to a very small, private (religious) high school, so this reunion will consist of only twenty to twenty five people, plus our spouses/significant others/children. (Yes, there are others who have kids too! We are a bunch of early marriers, what can I say?) So there is not much chance of NOT running into/greeting everyone who attends. It won't be a crowd into which you can blend or get lost. I was initially very excited about seeing everyone, and about showing off my little fam, but as the date approaches I am getting a major case of the N.T. (Tessie: Is abbreviation of this term permissible?) (Holy freaking parenthesis, Batman!)

This discomfort about the idea of facing my past stems largely from the idea of facing a certain PERSON from my past, a person I have not laid eyes on since the day I finally, officially broke up with him after almost a year of drama. I began dating Jim THE FOLLOWING DAY. And then got engaged SIX WEEKS later. It's not Mayberry, but this is not a BIG town, either, and I have no doubt that word got back to him about all this. Also, the nature of the breakup, while somewhat mutual, was not just a "this isn't working" kind of thing. More of an "I can't take your family's craziness nor your spinelessness one more second" kind of thing, a point which he reluctantly conceded. But a point which I remained bitter about for a long time, and which I explained, with some venom, to anyone who questioned me about the breakup. To be frank, I talked shit, you guys. I was Very Angry. See also, Wounded Pride.

Now, having some distance from the situation, I REALLY wish I had remained silent about the particulars of our breakup. I am sure I only succeeded in hurting him further, and in solidifying in his parents' minds that I was indeed who they thought I was. So much of what happened wasn't his fault, and, while I couldn't see it then, was even (wince) MY fault. So much of it was just immaturity.

I never see him, though I did run into his parents once (while wearing sweatpants and a ponytail, naturally.) He apparently moved to Florida and now works for DISNEY WORLD, for cripes' sake. So, there's a good chance he won't be there at all. (PLEASE GOD.) But his family still lives in town, and the reunion will be around the Fourth of July, so it's possible he'll decide to make a trip of it for the holiday and attend the reunion...

I just have no idea what I would say to him. Where to even begin. "So, um, sorry about being able to get over you so quickly. And telling everyone how awful you and your family were. And sorry for being married and happy and all, even though I imagine you were expecting that my marriage was a shotgun wedding destined to fail in six months. And speaking of which, have you met my dear husband, Jim?"

But you guys... Am I blowing this way out of proportion due to guilt/embarrassment? Is it possible he's totally moved on and holds no bitterness towards me? Or is this going to be one Truly Awkward social situation for everyone involved?

Is it possible a really cute haircut and outfit will carry me through with some dignity intact?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Breaking News!

Well, our house officially went off the market on Friday. And as of Saturday morning, it became an official disaster zone. Jim wasted no time implementing our "fix it up to our liking if we're not going to sell it" plan by tearing down the painted paneling and ceiling tiles in our den, which used to be a sun room and was converted very cheaply into a family room without the use of any actual drywall. Originally the plan was just to hang drywall, but he then, at my request, also knocked out the wall separating the den and the kitchen, so that they are now one big living space- you just step down into the den, but there's no actual doorway. Eventually, when we continue our fixing up, we will convert the den into a dining room area and add on an extra bedroom and bath, with a basement family room to be dug underneath. This will probably not happen SOON, but that is the Long Term Plan. In the meantime, the "new," drywalled, more open den area will be some sort of office/playroom/eating area combo, depending on what actually works and looks okay once the mess gets cleaned up and we see what we have to work with.

I'm sure this would all be a lot easier to visualize if I could post pictures of the destruction to illustrate my explanations, but I misplaced the cord to download pictures from my camera somewhere in all this jumble of stuff. I HAVE pictures, though, pictures of my kitchen completely covered in dust, all the counters piled with crap moved out of the den. There are pictures of walls and ceilings covered only in exposed insulation and decorated in dangling electric cords, pictures of my wonderfully open living space where once there was a stupid wall and a narrow, cave-like doorway. There is dust all over everything and extra furniture and toys stashed in every room of the house (example: FOUR sofas are wedged into our front living room, along with a rocking chair, the play yard, a coffee table, two end tables, a curio cabinet, a bookcase, a secretary desk, and an entertainment center. Now, it's fairly large as living rooms go, but TWELVE pieces of furniture is pushing it.)

I am very excited about the change, excited about choosing a paint color to match the blue of the kitchen and about rearranging the furniture and possibly choosing a new computer desk (I pretty much destroyed the one we're currently using; all the casters are broken off, and it falls apart when moved if you don't hold it JUST SO.) I am less thrilled about the chaos of the house, and the likelihood of it remaining chaotic for another week or so at least. But on the other hand, it's a wonderful excuse not to do any real cleaning- why bother, when everything immediately gets re-covered in dust the next day? Sure, everything will need deep cleaned when this is all over, but for now, my duties consist largely of maneuvering around piles of junk and keeping the kids out of the construction zone.

So, if I'm quiet for the next week or so, you'll understand, right? Busy sneezing every five minutes and keeping the kids from stepping on nails.

And also, because she doesn't have a blog of her own in which to announce it, I have to tell you all that my wonderful friend Jess (you know her from the comments section and also from pictures of her son, Gabriel, who was born the day before Eli) is PREGNANT! About two months along now, and feeling pretty sick, but very excited. And so am I. A new little baby to hold, a pregnancy to obsess over, and I don't have to do any of the actual vomiting or gaining weight or pushing out of heads! This is PURE FUN for me! I love you, Jess! Congratulations!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Fun With Pee Sticks!

So you know what's super fun about ovulation prediction tests? (Besides explaining them to cashiers, obviously.) Leaving the stick, which looks truly identical to a pregnancy test, lying around on the counter to shock people with its TWO pink lines.

Har har. I am twelve, and also kind of mean, but I don't care. Let the good times roll.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apparently, I Am A Sex Ed Teacher

So today, I'm checking out at my friendly neighborhood Rite Aid, buying diapers, chocolate ice cream, chocolate Cask and Cream liqueur, and (gasp!) an ovulation predictor kit. The saleswoman, whom I would guess to be early sixties, gave my pile the once over and then, smirking conspiratorially at the liqueur, asked, "So are we celebrating with THAT if the results are positive?"

Ahem. And I was all, "No, dipshit, this is NOT a pregnancy test, it is an ovulation kit. Which for all you know I could be using to AVOID pregnancy. If it WERE a pregnancy test, I would hardly be celebrating a positive with alcohol. EITHER WAY, why are you commenting on my purchases?"

No, I jest. I just blushed and stammered, "Um, it's not a pregnancy test, it's an ovulation predictor?" This was met with furrowed brows. I continued on, to borrow a phrase from Jack Burns, like an unstoppable rebel force. "So that I can, um, know when... Well, when that could happen? Getting... Pregnant, I mean. And it can help you either GET pregnant or, you know, NOT get... Pregnant." She stared at me as though I were trying to pull a fast one on her, then nodded skeptically. "Ok, hon."

Gahhh. Maybe I should just go back on the Pill. At least that doesn't require awkward mini-seminars given to random strangers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wanted: Two Cents

Specifically, yours. Here's the dealio: our car is blowing gaskets and whatnot left and right, and now has a broken window and missing stereo TO BOOT. So we're thinking... Maybe now's a good time to spring for a new mode of transportation, since once we hit child number three we're going to need a more spacious vehicle anyways. So if you are currently driving a minivan, an SUV, or some other form of seven-passenger vehicle, what do you think of it? Are you in love with it and want to marry it, do you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns, or are you somewhere in between? Be sure to give SPECIFICS, here- make and model, obviously, year of the vehicle, and what exactly about it has won you over or turned you off.

AND ALSO: Has anyone ever had experience with having AC installed in their (old) home for the first time? We're talking, having the ductwork run and everything, not just buying a unit and hooking it up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the Thirteenth- IT'S NO JOKE!

A series of unfortunate events, in chronological order, without much commentary from myself lest my head EXPLODE WITH RAGE.

-As of two days ago, BOTH of our vehicles are in separate garages being worked on for what may or may not be expensive problems. One of said vehicles was just repaired for an unrelated problem about three weeks ago. Goodyear is considering putting in a changing table and a toy corner just for me, I think.

-Regarding above item, one of the cars was parked overnight at Jim's office awaiting a tow truck to take it to a town about a half hour from here because, according to Goodyear, where the car was taken initially, "it's not a good idea to have anyone but an authorized Ford dealer work on Fords." Well, apparently leaving your car sit in a parking lot downtown for several consecutive nights isn't a good idea either, because this morning we got a call that our windows were smashed in and our stereo is gone.

-The house we wanted was officially closed on today. By people named NOT US.

-It rained this morning, and we abruptly lost power right in the middle of Eli's nap and Adelay's morning movie-while-Mommy-cleans time. Now, I was >mildly put out that I had to stop mid-vacuum, but Adelay was positively BESIDE HERSELF that her Princess and The Pauper DVD had disappeared from the screen. She raged and tantrumed and sobbed hot salty tears into the carpet for about ten minutes to make sure I was absolutely clear on her feelings regarding the situation.

When I finally explained that the TV was "broken" (what, any port in a storm, that's what I say, even if that port is called lying) she moved on to pitching a fit about the semi-darkness of the living room. "No lights off! I no like it!" she wept, flinging herself into various corners of the sofa and shrugging me violently off anytime I attempted to console her. Finally I just kind of backed off, mentioning, "Sweetie, I'm kind of done talking about the lights. They're broken too, and I'm sorry, but it's not my fault. We just have to wait." Meanwhile, the AC was off too, of course, and the room was turning into a sauna as the steamy air of the storm seeped in. It was dark and hot, and the dog was panting his wet, garbage-breath terror, and Addy was wiping snot trails on the back of her arm and... Well, I can think of more fun ways and more fun company in which to spend a power outage.

-The dog, once the storm was finally over, had to pee like a racehorse, so I let him out, and no sooner had I opened the door than he raced across the lawn and disappeared. Apparently he comforted himself during the storm by plotting his escape.

-Lunch left both the kids a little too gross for just a wet washcloth, so I popped Eli into the bath and talked to Addy while he played. Suddenly a horrified look crossed her face, and I glanced over to see that my freshly washed baby had just had some sort of BOWEL EXPLOSION in the bath water, and was now SPLASHING MERRILY in it. I have made it almost three years into parenthood without once encountering this level of feces-to-water ratio, and I don't even want to say anything more about that whole situation except this: If asked, I would have guessed that I am sort of person who would deal with a bath time poop by saying, "Oh well, the tub needed a good scrubbing anyways." Turns out... NOT SO MUCH.

-The dog finally reappeared, after hiding out in the mud under the deck during the second storm of the day. My hands were actually shaking with rage as I scrubbed him down in the garage. SHAKING, I tell you.

-My computer has been a spaz all day, and while attempting to work on an online newsletter I do on a (semi) regular basis for my family's restaurant, it kept refusing to publish and randomly shutting down the Internet. I now have two hand me down computers which both possess the delightful personality quirk of RANDOMLY ABORTING PROJECTS and refusing to just DO AS TOLD.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


All right, you holdouts, since the sentimental post isn't exactly raking the comments in, I'll throw you a bone.

[Edit: If you click to enlarge the pictures, as one of my commenters pointed out, you are much better able to see the GLEAM of glitter on my cheeks. Also, the detailing of the bridesmaids' dresses.]

Ah, four years and about forty (combined) pounds ago...

The blushing bride. I am frustrated at how these pictures fail to FULLY CAPTURE the amount of glitter that was on my face and shoulders. I guess I will have to trust that you can imagine it. Also, apparently I was not AS blond as I am remembering. I had a lot of blond highlights at that point, grown out and rehighlighted so often that the bottom half of my hair was pretty much all blond, but I think the updo somewhat conceals the effect. Again- you'll have to take my word for it.

My pretty pretty bridesmaids' dresses. You maybe can't see it in the picture, but the bodices are corset style and had lots of beading and detailing. LOVE! (Um, I love the bridesmaids, too. OBVIOUSLY.) Back row, l to r: sisters Laura and Rachel, and friend Linzi. Front row, l to r: my friends, sisters Kelly and Renee.

The redhaired flower girl, as mentioned previously, is Jim's niece. The blond flower girl was my cousin's daughter. And the boys were... A bunch of guys in identical suits, blah blah blah, no pretty hair or dresses, blah blah blah.

The end.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To Addy- Just Because

Dear Adelay,

You are my wild child and my sweetheart, often in the span of ten seconds. Sometimes you seem so grown up, amazing me with your ability to reason through the concept of waiting, or to name some obscure shape. Other times, when you fall apart because of a dropped Goldfish cracker, or when you cling to my neck and bury your face in my shoulder for twenty minutes at a crowded party, I remember that you're still my baby girl and you still need your mama.

I love your very individual sense of fashion- the way you've become obsessed, for instance, with your thick, plaid, pleated skirt and beg for it every day, despite the ninety degree heat. I love the way you sometimes yank all the barrettes and elastics out of your hair and shake it loose, looking exactly like an angry little lioness as your hair sproings out like wild dandelion fluff.
It goes without saying that I love these:

I still remember so vividly the day you were born, and the surreal feeling I had as I held you in my arms and tried to wrap my mind around the concept of a daughter. MY daughter. I'd had a vague and cherub-like concept of a baby in my mind, but suddenly here you were, in the flesh, an impossibly beautiful, impossibly tiny little GIRL for me to raise. Someone for whom I would be a ROLE MODEL. I held you for a very long time, staring into those eyes and silently promising us both to do my best with that commission. (Also, promising to lose the puffy pregnant face ASAP.)

You were such an easy baby, a ridiculously easy child who unfairly romanticized the newborn stage for us and ruined us for all following children. Not that I'm complaining. It was winter when you were small, and when we were out, you just slept and sucked down bottles. Sometimes it seemed you were just a small, cheerful accessory, perpetually cooing in your carseat carrier.

But spring came, and with it your budding personality. Your beautiful blue eyes could just light up a room, and your radiant smiles became as warm and as constant as the sunshine. I still remember this day, giving you your first taste of summer fun.

You've grown so much in two summers, become such a charming, hilarious, independent soul- a modern woman who wants to do it all and have it all. Preferably while wearing this:

Lastly, I have loved, more than words can say, watching you as a big sister. I couldn't have dared to hope that you would embrace Eli into our family and into your heart as quickly and generously as you did. I was so worried about this transition, but you accepted, with grace and cheerfulness, the exchange of your babyhood for the (sometimes dubious) companionship of a sibling. I may fear tight finances and cramped cars and lines for the bathroom, but I no longer fear the idea of introducing a new baby to an older sibling, for the joy of watching you with your little brother will be etched into my heart as long as I live.

I love you, princess. You're the one who turned me into a mommy, and no one could have done it better.



A Preview

So, I got a bunch of negatives of our wedding pictures, but I still need to get them put on a disc. However, I did scrounge up a disc of pictures Jim's aunt sent us that I had buried in the desk and just now finally unearthed. These are just from the reception, and there aren't any of the bridesmaid dresses, but here are a few shots of dancing that I thought were cute.

My grip on Jim's arm appears unnecessarily firm for dancing purposes.

Observe the glittery sheen across my shoulder blades. Also, the appreciative tilt of my head at Jim's no doubt inappropriate whispering.

Dancing with his mama.

My attempt to coyly lift my chin got a little overzealous.

Behold the dress. Also, the tiara, a classic choice of the underage bride.

This is my husband's niece, at age five. She was so adorably serious about her flower girl duties. (The bridesmaids' dresses were the color of her sash.)

Hopefully I'll get my act together and there will be more pictures to come, which will highlight better my pretty bridesmaids and my liberal glitter application. I think the fake tan has already been pretty decently displayed here.
Also, still have not changed my profile picture, obv. I have two computers currently at my disposal, and couldn't get the camera hooked up to either one of them to download pictures. Why can't ALL cables and cords be compatable with ALL outlets?

Monday, June 09, 2008

So Random

-Re: tomorrow's Oprah show about so-called "people who are facing death." Shouldn't the adjective "imminent" be in front of the word death? I mean, who among us isn't facing death?

-Dear period: How cute of you to come casually waltzing back into my life, all, "Oh, HAI, were you expecting me a week ago? Sorry, got tied up there for a bit." For the future, please keep in mind that in these situations, fashionably late is three days tops. Anything beyond is just plain rude.

-A regular brownie mix, jazzed up with shredded coconut and chocolate chips, has amazing and reliable soothing properties. (I'm beginning to think it would be more appropriate to keep chocolate in my first aid kit instead of the pantry.)

-Ughh... The "terrible two's" are so cliche. But SO aptly named. "My do it! Is MINE! No, no potty- I PWAYING! Mommy, no DO that! Give me dat! Did I mention IS MINE!"

-Eli is crawling. And gnawing on electrical cords which he clearly has had earmarked for his snacking pleasure since the day he laid eyes on them. He hadn't been crawling twenty minutes before he motored on over like a trained missile in pursuit of its target. This new found mobility has also led to a dramatic hike in toy disputes and therefore on the decibel level of the Whine Meter in our house.

-I so love this area of the country, where fall lasts about a month and spring about two hours. Everything in between is bitterly cold or soul-suckingly hot. I just want to lie around on a chaise in flowing dresses, like a tragic, wilting flower, and suck down drinks. (Perhaps I am channeling Blanche DuBois?)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Think They Call It A Conscience

Sometimes, in my daily parenting routines of feeding and wiping and cajoling and tickling, I get this weird feeling of being kind of... Above myself, or outside of myself. I am changing the fifth dirty diaper of the day, trying to hold Eli still with a combination of brute force, distracting singing, and random objects offered as chew toys (his current favorite is a baby hairbrush,) and I can almost feel my will power, hovering above me and coaching me through my desire to shout, "Just hold STILL for the love of God!" "Okay, the more frustrated you get, the more agitated HE will get," my mind offers in a reassuring, back patting kind of tone. "You will get through this moment, you really will, so just calm down and try something else." And so I do.

Or perhaps I am in line at the grocery store, and both kids seem to be singing, feeding off of one another in a strange, screamy sort of round, a little tune called "Icepick To The Eardrums." I can feel my face flushing and my pulse quickening as I try to quiet them, but then I will also hear the Inner Voice: "You're the grown up here, so no need to join in the hysterics. It doesn't matter if these strangers think your kids are annoying, or that they're brats, or that you probably don't DISCIPLINE them. YOU know that they're out past their naps, that their diapers are wet, and that they just need to get home, so try to be patient. Gentle tone of voice, now!"

There are days when it would be SUCH relief to just lose it a little bit, to feel free and justified in snapping and slamming and stomping around. I want to let loose with the list of the tedium/insanity I have already patiently put up with today and how I don't need this crap, I'd get more job satisfaction flipping burgers, and hey, YOU KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY! But I almost never do, thanks to my goody-goody inner coach. I am always relieved, once the moment passes, to have heeded her admonishment. But sometimes I just wish she would shut up and let me have my temper tantrum.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Reality Bites

I actually got to see Sex and The City last night, with a girlfriend, as my sister kindly agreed to babysit at the last minute. I haven't watched the show for awhile, so it was really fun to get all re-caught up in those crazy Manhattanites' lives. And there were some really wonderful moments, my favorite obviously being the scene in which Carrie runs into Charlotte's arms as Big pursues her, and Charlotte screams over Carrie's shoulder at him, "NO!" I mean, her eyes were SCARY angry. Gotta love that girl power.

On the other hand, there is a bit of a letdown, isn't there, when you return from the visual smorgasbord of penthouses and furs and sex-on-a-stick men to a house STILL infested with ants and a closet filled with clothes designed to disguise your muffin top and a night filled with fussing baby and a morning filled with whining for "More Nemo! More Nemo!" I mean, I felt for Miranda's pain at being betrayed, and my chest actually ached for Carrie when Big once again couldn't come through for her and all, but... I imagine the knife-like pain of those emotional wounds would be significantly dulled if one actually did have a live-in nanny or a personal assistant, or the expendable income to go on a frigging SHOPPING SPREE AT GUCCI in order to resist sleeping with the Mediterranean stallion next door. Just saying.

It also doesn't help my mood any that the period still will not come, nor that the heat and humidity have been steadily climbing all week. My ring won't come off my fat, water-retaining finger, and I am so bloated my belly looks as though I am about three months along. I can physically FEEL my hormones surging through my bloodstream with confused, pent-up aggression. This morning I had a near break down, trying to make pancakes and kill twenty-five bazillion ants and keep Eli from spitting banana chunks at Adelay, who was primly demanding more grapefruit juice, and then farting like a frat boy.

Also, one of my lampshades fricking FELL APART IN MY HAND this morning as I attempted to straighten it. Lord, beer me strength.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Adventures in Narcissism

I've been thinking that I want to have a different picture as my avatar, since it features Adelay with me and that sort of seems like favoritism (or perhaps as though I am using her as a distracting prop.) I decided I either need both of the kids with me or neither. I opted for neither, because the odds of ALL of us looking cute in one shot, particularly one I was attempting to take myself, were not encouraging. I have it narrowed down to three pictures, now, after taking probably eighty. I am not even kidding. It is both horrifying and addicting, doing self portraits. I've never actually tried it before.

I literally spent TWO HOURS, with minor childcare interruptions, trying from all angles to get a shot that downplayed my too-shiny (read: slightly greasy) hair, minimized my nose, emphasized my eyes, and didn't look like I was being forced to smile at gunpoint. I also discovered after several unfortunate shots that I most definitely have a good side and a bad side. Left side- strong side! Left side- strong side! (Big imaginary bonus points to whoever gets THAT reference.)

Also, peed on another eighty-cent stick this morning, because I just can't help myself, apparently. I'm like a moth to a flame. "Can't- stop- unwrapping- shiny- package. Must- watch- reassuring- single- line- appear- one- more- time..." In my defense though, it's a hell of a thing when reading a Mr. Roger's parenting book makes you literally choke back a sob because Oh! He was such a good, sweet man! If only every child in the world had someone so kind and understanding to look after them! It's enough to make you worry about the state of your hormones.

We're on day three here without Daddy. Adelay's been asking for him, but hasn't cried over it yet or anything major, so I'm hoping we're ok. My mom watched them for me on Monday night so I could get the lawn mowed (FIL came over to help me finish, as we have almost an acre to PUSH MOW,) then yesterday I hung out with my sister most of the afternoon and had dinner at my parents'. Tonight my friend is meeting me for dinner and then plans to spend the night with me, so I'm not too lonely or anything. And it's nice not to have to cook as much. But bedtime has been a little rough.

Also? I know that conferences can be boring and that the Orlando weather can be hot and unforgiving and that layovers are a be-otch and all, BUT: I don't think too much can trump the fact that in ONE DAY, I changed EIGHT poopy diapers, collected bits of torn up dirty diapers left on my bedroom floor by the DEMON EFFING DOG, and mopped up PEE out of the hallway where our daughter decided to just kind of pop a squat on her way from the bathtub to her bedroom. I WIN the worst day award.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Helpful Hints From The Housewife

In no particular order:

-If you have a child old enough to sit up unassisted in the tub (and be trusted not to start performing acrobatics and/or climbing out of the tub the second you turn your back,) take a few minutes of their playtime as a chance to clean the toilet, wipe down the sink, straighten the towel closet, etc. A few days of this and you'll have a clean bathroom! Every fixture won't be perfectly clean at the same time, of course, but things will stay decent. A really ambitious mother may even attach sponges to a squirmy child's limbs and turn their splash time into a good bathtub scrubbing. But that would be pushing it.

-Even if you can't get to anything else, try to at least clean up the kitchen (or make sure SOMEONE does) before going to bed. There is nothing like facing a sink full of dishes and a counter top splattered with crusted marinara to kill what little morale you may have after changing two nighttime diapers.

-Every house needs a clutter spot, of course, a dumping ground for random junk that you technically NEED but that doesn't exactly fit into your decor or your organizational categories. But try not to make this place your bedroom. When you have little kids, Desperate Housewife thinks that the adult bedroom should be a sanctuary for naps, sex, and sleep (though not a good night's sleep, on most days, and not because of all the wild sex, either.) Your room won't feel much like a sanctuary if it is cluttered with stacks of photos to be sorted and piles of unfolded laundry and random papers and overdue library books. Try a dining room, the laundry room, or even the front hallway, but save your room for yourself.

-Don't stress much about floors, or you'll make yourself nuts. This is particularly true if you and your offspring are home all day. When you're spending that much time in the house, the floors are going to be smudged or crumbed or otherwise have their freshly mopped/vacuumed glory bespotted within about five minutes. So aim to clean them with some regularity, but don't make gleaming floors the hallmark of your tidy home, or you will feel like a failure. And remember: a little Windex and a paper towel can take care of most "mopping" needs. Ditto for a Dust Buster in lieu of a thorough vacuuming.

-There are a few things that can really up the clean level of a room with minimal effort. One of them is making beds. I don't do this EVERY day, but when I do, I notice I feel markedly better when I walk into the room. (I also notice less dog hair on my sheets.) Another trick is dusting or wiping just the main surfaces of a room. If the counters are a mess, so be it, but if you have a kitchen table, at least try to keep it wiped down, and it will be a clean haven for your eyes to rest on when everything else looks chaotic. Same goes for coffee tables. If you can get them wiped down every other day or so, and maybe the end tables too, if you have time, it will help a lot with providing a clean "feel" even if everything in the living room/den area hasn't been freshly dusted.

-This was Swistle's hint first, but I have been doing it ever since Addy was little, so I'm going to claim it, too! Keep the value sized diaper boxes in your kid's closet, and use them to store too small/too big clothing. Much faster and cheaper than more elaborate systems, while not necessarily as decorative. Try to keep the boxes marked, though, or you may get confused and start cursing yourself for your box system. Not that I would know.

-Have a chocolate stash at all times. A SECRET chocolate stash.

-INVEST IN A PLAY YARD!! I cannot emphasize this strongly enough. You will not be sorry. It will look like a mini prison right there in your living room, assaulting your eyes with its ugliness, but you STILL will not be sorry, because that mini prison will be the thin, gray plastic line between you and a drinking problem. (Little joke there, now, don't fret.) (But still.)

Oh yeah. Still no reassuring visitor. But this morning's test says I'm in the clear, so I'm just blaming breastfeeding for whacked out hormones. Yes? Or should I be concerned about the trustworthiness of tests purchased from unknown online company?

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Badly Timed Panic

At four thirty this morning, coinciding with Eli's THIRD waking of the night, Jim departed for Orlando for a work conference. Yes, for those of you good at retaining details, this is the trip we were ALL supposed to go on. But alas, hotel plans and flight plans changed and we weren't going to be able to bring my little sister along to keep me company without booking a separate room. In the end it seemed like a bad idea, perhaps, anyways, for me and two kids and my nineteen year old sister to have to sit around the hotel for five days until the conference was over just to spend a day or two at Disney, especially when the kids are really too young to appreciate it anyways. But STILL. Pout.

I stocked up last night on groceries and baby food and yummy smelling hair products to comfort me until Jim returns. Also to ensure I don't have to leave the house for supplies while he's gone. I mean, I occasionally DO venture to the store with both of the kids, if they're both in good moods and fed and well rested and the stars all seem aligned, but I certainly don't want to risk running out of sweet potato puffs and milk when they are both cranky and petulant.

Guess what else I'm all stocked up on? These. Thanks to Swistle's recommend, I ordered up twenty of these bad boys several months ago, just because when I'm breastfeeding and have no periods, I like to make ABSOLUTELY sure I'm good to go before I indulge in a glass of wine or anything. (Anything meaning SEVERAL glasses of wine or possibly a White Russian, not, like, STREET DRUGS.) Of course, now that I have a period again, I shouldn't need to worry, right?

Except that I should say, I HAD a period. Now I am drumming my fingertips on the table, counting and recounting the days, and yes, friendly, reassuring, predictable as clockwork period, you should have been here YESTERDAY!

This is not the right time for Mother Nature, hormones, or stress to be screwing with my head.