Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weeding

I spend too much time online. I was going thru my blog roll today and realized that I rarely, if ever, catch up with everyone's posts (no shit, Julia, this is what happens when you keep adding people to your blog roll). That I'm going to have to cut back somewhere. The diabetes blogs have to stay - I need them - but I have to pare back the fun blogs and that makes me a little sad.

But I can't keep staying up until midnight, cramming in one more blog, clicking on one more link, adding one more hysterical/touching/thought-provoking blog to my blog roll. This sucks. I don't like unsubscribing from a blog. It makes me feel like I did when I was little and my mother would only let me sleep with one stuffed animal. I felt so guilty about the others, the ones that had to spend the night on the window seat, that I finally set up a rota. I couldn't stand to see the guilt coming from those little button eyes.

Now I'm going to feel that same guilt when I start pruning back. I have to be ruthless, though. I need to spend more time outside, enjoying the summer, playing with the kids, having fun. I'll still read some, but this obsessive, gotta-read-every-post thing is going to end. It's sucking away what little creativity I have, too, (shut up, I do not have Mommy brai...what were we talking about?) and since I'm ostensibly a writer, that's not a good thing.

So, if you pay attention to other people's blog rolls and you notice you've disappeared from mine, I apologize. I'll find you again - in fact, I may just set up a separate folder (how anal) - when I have more time, when the New England winters have me shivering inside instead of out there skiing/snowboarding/skating with all the crazies. TCBIM can take the girls outside to enjoy that shit. I'll be inside, catching up on everything I missed.

Could everyone just have a nice, uneventful summer so I don't miss anything? I mean, it is all about me, after all, right? Right?? Shit, this means my mother was right. Again. I hate it when that happens.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yoooouuuuuuuk!


Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox first baseman, has his own blog now, for anyone who's interested. He joins the prolific Curt Schilling. This trend of players blogging is pretty cool - I love reading what they have to say.

Green

I have a post up at New England Mamas, if you want to go read me wax poetic about the Red Sox. And if you don't, well, ppppptttttppppp.

My TV died the other week. I was watching the game and the screen went all blue and green and then it went "pop" and shut itself off. When I tried to turn it back on - because, that's what you do, you mash buttons. Don't say you don't, we all do it. Power goes out? Flip the light switches. Elevator not coming quickly enough? Smash that button again and again and again. It makes it work better. Or something. Anyway, I tried to turn it back on and it went "clickclickclickclickclickpop" and shut itself off again. I retrieved my trusty little transistor radio and listened to the rest of the game on the WRKO radio network.

The next day, I called Sony, the maker of said TV. They were less than helpful and after talking with Jason, who sounds like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, determined that I had to call a local repair shop because they couldn't tell me what was wrong with the TV. The local repair shop wanted $75 just to come look at it. Since the TV cost us about $300 total, I'm guessing getting a new one would be cheaper.

Well, it would be cheaper if we had money to spare. But we don't. Freecycle to the rescue. Monday night, someone posted that they had a 27" TV to give away. Yay! I trotted out there to pick it up yesterday and TCBIM hooked it up today.

Alas, everything appears as though you're seeing it thru night vision goggles. Very, very, very green.

Looks like it's back to the dinky little 17" we'd retired to the attic.

Boy, I really need to win the lottery....

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Where the hell ya been?

Oh, around. Reading a lot, commenting some. Putting up a post on the New England Mamas blog. You want in? Swing on by, email Mrs. Chicky. She'll hook you up.

Every evening, I sit down at the computer, fingers hovering over the keyboard and I have the mental equivalent of the yips. I write but it sounds stupid. Or I can't think of anything to say. So I haven't said anything. How fucking exciting, huh?

I'm trying to wrap my head around what the fuck Congress is doing. Why did we elect Democrats if they're just going to cave in to the Republican agenda? I'm trying to be pissed off, but I can't even summon the energy for that. I think I've reached the apex of cynicism, finally, when it comes to politics.

And the damned *spit* Yankees took two games out of three. Curt Schilling looked like shit last night - it was ridiculous. Why he wasn't pulled earlier is a mystery. I guess Terry Francona couldn't hear me screaming at him. Next time, I'll use a megaphone. Asshat.

I'm trying to formulate a post about going back to work, but it's been done before and probably done better than I could do, so again, I wonder why I should bother.

If June is the major mood suckage that May has been, I'm going to crawl into a hole and sleep the month away. Fuck this for a game of soldiers. This blows.

If anyone finds what little bit of creativity I had, could you send it back to me? Thanks....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cat Shit and Text Messages

This is Oscar:


Pretty cat, no? He's a Persian that I got from a shelter and he bears a strong resemblance to Oscar The Grouch, thus, the name. He's snuggly and friendly and thinks he's a dog. He follows me around. He actually likes to be petted. He seeks out affection. He sleeps on his back and sometimes he drinks from the toilet. I love this cat. Right now, however, he is pissing me off. He has shit on the floor four times in the last three days. His litter box is clean. He has food and water. Sometimes he just shits on the floor.

So I thought I'd share this picture. Because if he's gonna piss me off, then I'm going to give it right back.

Doesn't he bear a strong resemblance to Nathan Lane in The Birdcage?



See the resemblance?

My cat, the drag queen.



Today I got a text message, from someone named Jay. Here's how it went:

Jay: Hey, how u doin?
Me: Who is this?
Jay: Jay, from Ultra 88.
Me: I think you have the wrong phone number (yes, I spelled out number. Because I'm a geek.)
Jay: Dana?
Me: No, Julia.
Jay: Ok did I meet you at Ultra 88.
Me: I don't even know what that is.
Jay: The nightclub at Mohegan sun.
Me: Nope, not me.
Jay: We danced all night long, it was great.
Me: Not with me - My lawyer advised me not to dance after the last "incident."
Jay: LOL So how old r u? (Fantastic. Txt spk)
Me: 40. And very married. With four children.
Jay: Whoa. OK. Well, enjoy your new phone.



These two things? The most excitement I've had all week.

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

But first, let's talk about me.

So, anyone who's been reading this blog for any amount of time knows that I hate the way I look and that I want, and let's not kid ourselves here, NEED to lose weight. Andrea, over at Little Bald Doctors, has been raving about Eat To Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I finally picked up a copy and have been reading it with much interest. It honestly sounds like something I can live with. It's a predominately vegetarian diet, with the goal being to get only 10% of your calories per day from animal products. I know there's a lot of disdain among foodies *coughJokecough* for vegetarians, but there's some heart disease in my family and I figure it can't hurt to cut way back on meats. Cheeses are going to be difficult but I'll manage.

Yes, yes, this is all leading up to talking about sex, keep your knickers on.

Therefore, starting Sunday, I'll be keeping a running tally of my weight and pounds, if any, that I've lost. I don't want this to turn into a weight loss blog, thus just the tally at the bottom. I promise not to witter on (too much) about food and dieting.

Now, to the sex bit. I apologize in advance, it's not all that exciting. Just more of me and my fucked up brain.

TCBIM was home for a couple of hours yesterday, in between sales calls. The babies were both sleeping and O was at school, so naturally, he says the first thing that pops into his mind, which is, "Do you want to go have afternoon sex?" This said with a leer and a gleam in his eye. I said no. This evolved into one of those "We'd better not become one of those couples that only has sex twice a year," conversations that happen whenever it's been more than a week. This is where the age difference comes in to play. He would like to have sex approximately every 8 minutes and I'm good with once or twice a week. It's typically never longer than a week, sometimes 10 days, if it's been a particularly bad week with sick babies and/or sick husbands and/or general exhaustion on both our parts.

I am generally tired all the time. It's a combination of being too heavy, having a baby who still nurses at least twice during the night and me staying up too late so that I can have some time to myself. But the biggest obstacle to my inhibitions about sex is my weight. I am embarrassed by how I look and how much I weigh and no matter how often TCBIM says that he doesn't see it (ha, right), that he loves me for who I am, not how I look, it still makes me cringe to be undressed in front of him.

So yesterday (instead of having sex), we talked about this. About how my weight makes me embarrassed and how I'm really hoping this new way of eating will result in some significant weight loss for me. He said that he'd be happy to go along with whatever will make me feel better about myself, that he'd eat whatever I put in front of him. I brought up the fact that he sometimes sabotages my efforts - the last couple of times I've tried Weight Watchers, he's come home with bags of chips or candy bars or ordered pizza and wings for dinner. He's not doing it maliciously, he's just forgetful. This time, though, he really seems to be supportive. He actually listened when I talked about how I feel when I weigh too much. How he's like most men - he doesn't care that he's carrying around some extra weight because he knows that if he eats salads for two weeks, he'll drop 20 pounds (the bastid) and how that's going to piss me right off. Ah well, he could stand to drop some weight, too.

Besides, it's a win-win for him if he is - I lose weight, I'm happier, he gets more nooky. Prizes for everyone!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Random cuteness and two dilemmas

On changing a particularly stinky diaper: "Peee-ewww, Mama. My butt went up my nose."

On driving by Dunkin Donuts: "Mama, I need a coffee. I hab a large banilla, black. Ana munchkin."

On hearing the rustle of a candy wrapper: "Mama, I wanna cock lick." No matter how hard I try, I can't get her to properly pronounce chocolate. Let's just hope she doesn't ever ask me for any cock lick while we're at the market or anything....

________________________________________

Dilemma #1:

When O was Boo's age, she was sick. It took months to get a diabetes diagnosis and during that time, she was, understandably, not feeling the best. She would sit on the floor and play with her toys. She spent a lot of time snuggled next to me. We read a lot of books together. We also spent a lot of time at the doctor's office, trying to get someone to listen to me that this child just wasn't right. I was told that I should stop worrying and be thankful I had a quiet two year-old. Ten years later, that statement still makes my blood boil.

Anyway. This post isn't about O, it's about Boo. She is so. fucking. stubborn. Every day is a battle of wills. Every day finds her stomping her feet and screaming "NO!" in my face. Every day, there are torrents of tears, complete with ear drum rupturing shrieking. I'm just waiting for the head-spinning, green vomit scene. (I was going to post a picture here, but, ew, I just did a GIS and, um, no. I'd successfully blocked that scene and now it's back. Fanfuckingtastic.)

She spends a lot of time in time out. I spend a lot of time berating myself because I often lose it when she gets like this. I'm usually successful at redirecting her because most of the time, the tantrum isn't over anything huge. But there are days (like today) when nothing works, when she's binging off the walls like a monkey on speed, when she spends more time crying than playing. I hate days like today.

I just don't know what else to do with her. Time outs, redirecting, talking to her (as much as you can talk to a two year-old) about how she's acting - none of it seems to work when she's really in a tizzy. Right now, she's in her bedroom, in her crib, because I'd had enough. I had to walk away before I totally lost it. I'm hoping she calms down, maybe takes a little nap, or just sits in there and chills out.

Most of the time, I like staying home with the kids. I like spending time with them without it just being a mad rush at the end of the day to get them fed, bathed and put to bed. I like having the weekdays to run errands and do chores so that our weekends are pretty much free. But days like today, man, I want to go back to work in the worst way.

_________________________________________________

Dilemma #2:

Speaking of going back to work: TCBIM's company is looking for an office manager. TCBIM gave my name and resume to the boss, who seems interested. This could either be a good thing or a very bad thing. TCBIM is in sales and is rarely in the office - maybe once a week, he has to go in for something, but it's a quick in and out. If I were to get the job, I'd be on the phone with him a lot - the current office manager talks to him 10 or 15 times a day. So, I'd be working with him, but not with him, with him.

I thought I'd put it to my imaginary internet weirdo friends. What would you do? With either of these dilemmas? Answers on the back of a $20 bill, please. Send to: Major Bedhead, Westa Wistah, MA.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The last straw

I hate Mother's Day.

O gave me a very cute mug that she'd made in school. It's blue and it has a fish on it and it's just the thing that you want to get from your kid. I love stuff like that. But from TCBIM? Nada, zip, zilch, zero. Not even a card. Yesterday he decided that he was going to go visit his friend Mark, an hour east of here, so that they could go to hockey this morning. So he left around 6 p.m., leaving me to feed, bathe and put to bed two very cranky children who had been traipsing around Boston all day.

So today was pretty much like every other day. I got woken up at 5 a.m. by the Bug. I did manage to get her to doze until 6:15, but then she was done, no more cuddling, mum! Up! Out! Breakfast! Boo heard her and woke up. I brewed a big pot of coffee. I did laundry. I cleaned up the kitchen. I did laundry. I made a fruit salad. I did laundry. TCBIM? Played hockey AND golf.

I don't want gifts. I just want a card and a thank you. Maybe a cup of coffee brought to me after I've slept in a bit. That's all. It's not much.

So I've decided that next year, I'm leaving early on Saturday morning, the day before Mother's Day, and I'm going to Boston. I'm getting a hotel room at a nice hotel, someplace with big bathrooms and comfy beds. I'll bring a couple of books and a couple of bottles of wine with me. I'll go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and sit and soak up the art. I'll have tea at the Ritz. I'll go up to my room and drink some wine, look out over the city, read my book, have a soak in the tub and sleep. And sleep and sleep and sleep.

The next day, I'll sleep in. I'll order room service breakfast and eat it while reading The Globe. I'll head out around noon and wander thru the North End. I'll get a cannoli at Mike's and find a good place to eat lunch. I'll probably find a bookshop at some point and I'll buy whatever strikes my fancy. I'll head home around 7 p.m., after everyone has gone to bed.

I won't answer my cell phone. I won't think about kids or husbands or anything except me, me, me. I'm going to do what I want, when I want to do it.

I'm probably going to institute this plan for my birthday as well. If TCBIM isn't going to make any effort for me, then I'll make it for myself and he can stay home and deal with everyone else.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Because Suebob doesn't need this shit right now

Because she asked so nicely, I'm linking to Suebob's post about Dollar Rent a Car.

My only travel tales of woe involve being stuck, overnight, at O'Hare, no hotels available and 20 weeks pregnant with Boo. It was the one and only time I was ever thankful for Starbucks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Maybe I'm not so bad

Girl's Gone Child has thrown down the gauntlet, bidding people to discuss how they are good mothers (and good fathers, too, I'm assuming). If you haven't read her post, go read it, and if you're so inclined, tell how you're a good mother.

This is a tough one for me. I am full of self-doubt. I question my sanity, my abilities, my competence on a daily basis. I constantly worry that I'm screwing up my kids somehow. That because I can be such a mess, mentally, at times, that I'm dooming my children to a bad childhood and an adulthood full of therapy.



But if I think rationally, I know that, for the most part, I am a good mother. I cook, fairly well, too. The cleaning...well, we won't go there. But the cooking bit, I love and I love to show my kids how to cook. O enjoys helping out in the kitchen and I love showing her how to make things that are more challenging that PB&J or Kraft dinner. We've made pancakes and cookies and about 87 loaves of banana bread and she's eager and willing to spend time with me. I've yet to let her slice an onion or dice a carrot but that's because I love my knife almost as much as I love my daughter and I don't want her to dull the thing hurt herself. Boo loves to cook with me but only if she gets to lick the spoon. And really, it doesn't get much better than licking the spoon, now, does it?



I dunno, mum, there's alway smearing
peanut butter all over yourself.
That's pretty fun, too.


I kick ass at taking care of a child with a chronic disease. I've done it for 9 1/2 years and I've done a great job. I log, I stay on top of site changes, I keep on top of trends and variations and I change things as needed. I take her to the endocrinologist and the ophthalmologist and the pediatrician. I print out reams of information for caregivers. Most importantly, I know who to go to when I'm stumped, where to get an answer to a problem that invariably crops up at 2 a.m. on the Saturday of a long weekend. I'm not afraid to ask for help, to admit when something has me stumped. And I'm not afraid to listen to, and implement, answers I might not want to hear.

I go to parent-teacher conferences and IEP meetings and talk to the nurse on a regular basis, making sure that O has a medically, at least, as stress-free a school experience as possible. I'm good at it. I know how to go in prepared for battle, but with a smile on my face. I never give an inch - I want what's best for her and I am prepared to fight tooth and nail for her to get it. I've found that going in with a smile works better for everyone - the staff, me and especially O.

I've helped her deal with the boatload of shit that her father has heaped on her. We've talked about it and decided, together, what to do about it. It's been difficult and there have been a lot of tears, but we're dealing with it together and each time it happens, I come away from it feeling like I really helped her. I'm really proud of the way I handle this mess - and it is a mess. I hug her while she cries and rants and raves. I let her vent, but then I bring it back to the dilemma and we talk about it. Talk about what to do, how to handle things and just generally sort it out. Sometimes I'll type out what she wants to say to her dad, so that she can have her thoughts sorted out for the next time he calls (because there's always a next time with him).
And we can actually talk. I listen to her blather on about this friend and that friend, who said what to whom and while I sometimes have to stifle my giggles (god, was I this intense at 12?), I do listen. And I tease. Just a little.

I falter more with the babies. Perhaps it's because I'm older, more self-aware, something, I don't know, but I have far more doubts with them.

Boo, though, is smart and as happy as a two and a half year-old can be. She knows almost all of her letters, she can count to 13, she can sing a bunch of songs and talks a blue streak. I can reduce her to a puddle of giggles just by tickling her under her chin. She loves to be read to and I love watching the delight on her face when we read Green Eggs & Ham, easily her favourite book. She loves to sit on the couch with me so we can watch Blue's Clues together (Steve only. The only Joe at my house is in the coffee maker.) We sing the songs and follow the clues and she loves it. She loves when we go outside to play. She loves that I let her sit in the dirt and pour it all over herself. It's only dirt. She's washable.

The Bug is a happy little thing, until bed time, but I don't think I had a hand in that problem. She's just stubborn. She grins at me and says "mamamamamama" and when I go out without her, she wriggles all over and smiles with glee when I come back thru the door. She's not very verbal yet, but going by the body language, I think I'm doing ok with her, too.

As long as you keep giving me Kix, mum, we'll be just fine.

So while I'm sure that I'll still rant and vent and complain and worry and fret and obsess over just how badly I'm fucking up these children, I think, deep down, I know I'm doing ok. At least, I hope so. Because I can't afford therapy and college tuition.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hey, they're giving away stuff over there!

I'm not sure what I'd like more, the Nano or the chocolate. The Nano is pink, so I'd be assured that TCBIM wouldn't swipe it from me. Always a bonus.

mothers-day-button-180-pixe.jpg


Five Minutes For Mom is also running a contest to win a Mei Tei carrier. I've been wanting one of those for forever. It would be great to carry the Bug in that while pushing Boo in the stroller.

Stop on by Five Minutes For Mom to enter either, or both, of these contests.

Runnin' On Empty

I've always been a night owl. Even as a child, I'd hide a flashlight under my pillow and read long into the night, well after my parents had gone to bed. I love the quiet solitude of the middle of the night.

I think that, at the whopping age of 9 months, the Bug has inherited my tendencies. Night times are a horror show around here. The Bug will go to bed at 7 p.m. without a fuss. She's nothing like Boo was - Boo flat out refused to sleep on her own. I always had to take her in to bed with me or rock her until she was completely asleep before lying her down in our bed. She never once slept in her crib. She'd scream and cry until she puked. Until she was 15 months old and we moved into a new house, she slept with us. Every night, from birth.

The Bug was quite happy to go to bed in her little bassinet. I could put her down drowsy but awake and she'd just go to sleep. What a novelty! She was waking every couple of hours to nurse and I'd generally put her back in her bed, until the 2 a.m. feeding. Then she'd just stay put with us until morning. It was fine. She slept, I slept, it was all good.

But now. Good lord. She still goes to bed like a charm, around 7 or 8 p.m.. She usually wakes again around 12 or 1 a.m. to nurse. That's when all hell breaks loose.

She doesn't want to sleep with us at that point. She twists and squirms and pulls at me and screams bloody murder the entire time. So, fine, back into the crib she goes. And she's fine for a few minutes, just long enough for me to get under the covers, get comfortable and start to drift off. Then, wham! She starts screaming again. Stands up in the crib and shakes it. Then we begin this hours-long dance of me laying her back down, covering her up and rubbing her back for a minute, until she's quiet. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's making me nuts. Because I don't to to bed until midnight or so and I'm spending half an hour nursing and then another hour or so trying to get her back to sleep, I'm averaging 3 - 4 hours of sleep a night. I've resorted to taking a nap in the afternoon, when both girls are napping. This means that my house is even more messy than it normally is, because that's usually when I get the bigger cleaning tasks done.

It's also making me very, very crabby. I've never really needed 8 hours of sleep, but I do need 5 or 6. My body feels like it's been run thru a clothes mangler. I've had a cold for weeks and I'm sure I can't shake it because I'm getting so little sleep. It's also making me very short-tempered with Boo, who is at peak two-ness. There are a lot of tears of frustration around here lately and they're not all the toddler's.

I'm at my wits end over this. The screaming means that I can't move her into Boo's room yet - that's all I need, two babies up in the middle of the night. I hope this is just a phase that the Bug is going thru because I honestly don't know how much more of this I can take.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I got nothing. Again

My brain is like a vast, featureless wasteland. No ideas wandering around, no verdant pools of thought, just waiting to be parsed. Nothing. Nada. Bubkes. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't seem to come up with anything to write about, here or for Exist. The last couple of articles I turned in, I absolutely hated. I just can't seem to get my brain to fire like it used to. Is this a side effect of the antidepressant I'm on? If so, this really, really sucks, since I kind of NEED to write, especially if I want to start getting paid for it. Right now, I'd probably get paid to NOT write.

This explains the radio silence recently. That and I have, like, 8 gazillion blogs to catch up on and a snowball's chance in hell of actually reading all the blogs I want to read. There are so many good bloggers out there and I want to read them all, but I find myself skimming or skipping some entirely. And forget commenting.

I'm such a slug.


So, here. A video for your enjoyment. An excellent song, an excellent band and a fantastic movie. Much better than looking at the train wreck that is Shane McGowan.