Thursday, December 31, 2009

These Apples....

That Canadian Boy I Married and I have been together for 10 years tonight. Ten years ago, it was holding hands and kissing and hanging on each others every word. Now it's kids and rent and jobs and chaos.

But it's also what seems to me, at least, to be a serious lack of anything in common with each other. Tonight, he's at a house party. I have no desire to sit around with his hockey buddies as they play beer pong and watch sports incessantly. His friends are fine, decent enough people, but I'm not into sports (The Red Sox excepted) and I'm definitely not into beer pong. So we never go out together.

I go out on Friday nights, usually, to my friend C's house. I hang out with my sister and a bunch of other people and we laugh and talk politics or current events or get all wanky over word usage and proper grammar (I know - me, who'd have thunk, right?) and I have a great time. When TCBIM has tagged along, he looks out of his element and gets bored. It's how I feel when I hang out with his friends.

I'm just not sure how to fix this. I don't even know if it is fixable. We're so different. I geek out over books and historical programs on the television; He's excited over the Winter Classic. I long for a complete, 27 volume set of the OED; TCBIM doesn't even know what that is. He told me the other day that he needs a new hybrid driver. Cue one blank look and crickets. (Apparently, it's a type of golf club.)

I don't feel like he should have to change who he is for me, though, because I don't think I should change who I am for him. I don't want him faking an interest in art or books any more than I want to fake an interest in hockey or, god help me, football.

It's funny; when I do drag him to a museum or an artists gallery, he enjoys himself. But I have to beg and plead and bug the shit out of him prior to getting him to go. Once he's there, he's into it. We went to Snow Farm in Williamsburg MA a few weeks ago and he loved the things he saw there. We watched a blacksmith work and he was asking the man a ton of questions. I know he has the curiosity and interest in these types of activities but he never seeks them out. He's content to go along on the surface of life, watching television, playing sports and farting around on the computer.

I want more, though. I want to go to New York City to see the Tim Burton exhibit. I want to find more cool places like Snow Farm. I want to go to Vermont, to see the Lake Champlain chocolate company and go to the Vermont General Store. I want to go on an antebellum house tour down south. I want to see Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings in Chicago, I want to go to Powell's book store in Portland. And I'd love it if I didn't have to beg and plead for him to want to come with me.

Most of all, I want to go back to school. I want to get my bachelor's degree and I want to do it at a good school. Smith College and Mt Holyoke College both have programs for women returning to school and I have sent for information on both of them. I really want to do this so I can learn to write properly, so I can get a good job that will challenge my brain rather than just provide a paycheck. I mainly want to go because I love school. I love learning new things, I love the challenge of it and I love the environment. I want to do this. Hell, I need to do this, for me, so I can be happier with who I am.

But I worry that having that will drive us even further apart and that scares me. I need to do it, though. I need to put myself first this time.



Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh, Canada

So we've spent a week in northern Alberta, freezing our asses off and visiting the in-laws. For the most part it was nice. A little dull, but when you're 300 miles north of Edmonton, there's not a lot to do, really. The girls had a good time, though, and That Canadian Boy I Married's parents were thrilled to bits to see us.

I do have a beef to pick with Canada as a country.

I saw a lot of cool things on the endless drive back to Edmonton.


A wolf. Running along the side of the road. Very cool. I wish The Bug hadn't puked all over my camera - I would have loved to have a picture of it.



And a guy running a dogsled. Also on the side of the highway. Very cool, in a good-god-I-wouldn't-do-that-in-a-million-years sort of way.

I've also seen a baby black bear.

I saw horses and magpies and oil rigs and lots and lots of snow.

But in all my trips to the Great White North, I have yet to see this:


And believe me, I've looked.

What the hell, Canada? I think you're lying about the moose. You don't really have any, you just say you do so Yanks like me will keep coming up there, hoping for their own Northern Exposure experience.



Frozen

I haven't posted here in ages because we were going to visit That Canadian Boy I Married's parents and I don't know if they read this and I didn't want to give the game away but now we're here so now I can post. We surprised his parents with a visit for Christmas.

Oh my holy fucking HELL it's cold up here. And it gets dark at, like 3:30 in the afternoon and the sun doesn't come up until almost 9:30 in the fucking morning and it's insane. In. Sane. I could not live here. I would kill myself. Seriously.

But his parents were so happy to see us and it's been a pretty nice visit, all things considered. The girls were fine with flying - in fact, TCBIM is far worse of a traveler than they are. The girls got snow suits from their grandparents and have been having a blast playing outside in the snotsicle-inducing cold and I haven't had to keep an eye on them at all because hello? Doting grandparents. Fab. U. Lous.

In other news, my son and his wife had their baby on the day we flew to Canada. Which officially makes me a grandmother. If I could figure out how to move photos from my phone to my computer, I'd post them, but suffice it to say, she's adorable (of course) and I can't wait to hold a little, smooshy baby again. I'm looking forward to hitting the Roots store in Edmonton tomorrow so I can get her some cute Canadian gear. (Holy SHIT, I'm a grandmother. Holy shit.)

I'd show pictures of all that's been going on up here but The Bug puked all over my camera on the drive up. I am definitely going to need a new camera soon. It was already in rough shape - now, it's totally screwed up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

*Head, Wall, Bang* Lather, Rinse, Repeat

This is a sweary, stabby kind of post. You have been warned.

Sweet suffering FUCK, people.

I want to write. Really, I do. I have things I want to say, ideas that are floating around in my head, but I can't write them down. Not because I don't want anyone else to see them but because my girls have gone absolutely BATSHIT CRAZY.

They run. All the time. Everywhere. They jump. They scream, at each other, at the clouds, at the dog, at motes of dust. They make massive messes and scream when I ask them to pick them up. They hit each other, they hug each other, they poke each other in the eyes. They're starving, all the time, even immediately after eating.

It is driving me INFUCKINGSANE..

I spend most of my days repeating myself endlessly. "Stop hitting. Stop jumping. Stop dragging the cat around by his neck. Put your shoes on. Put your pants on. Stop chopping off your hair. Stop sticking beads up your nose. For the love of god and all that is holy, STOP SCREAMING!"

I am losing the will to live.

And in a few days, we have to go on a very, very long trip with them.

Please. Send vodka. Or tranquilizers. Or both.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Old (ish) (Wo)Man Yells At Cloud

My email was hacked tonight while I was at work. Some sort of "Hey, get a free computer" thing went out to my entire address book. Lovely.

And what did the majority of people write back to me about it? Not "Hey, what the hell, dood?" No. They all said "You would never write something so grammatically incorrect - this has to be spam."

It's official.

I have become my mother.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Portrait Of A Woman, Slowly Being Driven Insane

My day started awfully early. I have no idea what time she woke up, but The Bug pattered into my room at what-the-fuck o'clock to crawl into bed with me. This is something that happens three or four nights a week and I am sick of it. I bought some melatonin to give to each girl before bed, but so far, it doesn't seem to be keeping them asleep.

Boo woke up just before 7 a.m. and before I could stumble into her room, had peed all over the floor. I don't know what this is - she's going to be five in a couple of days and has been potty trained for two years now. But the last couple of months, she wets the bed a couple of times a week and has peed on the floor several times, too. It's not diabetes - I've had her tested.

After breakfast, The Bug had to pee, too, and went into the bathroom. She peed on the floor rather than on the toilet. So I've cleaned up pee twice today, all before 8 a.m..

That Canadian Boy I Married and I had a spat this morning, too, which didn't do anything to help my mood.

Finally, I was walking into the kitchen with some dishes that had been left in the living room and slipped. The Bug had put a glass of orange juice on the floor, which I kicked over - because, really, I didn't expect there to be a glass there, plus I had my hands full. I went ass over teakettle, dropping the dishes and sliding into a dining room chair, which fell on top of me. I was covered in orange juice and whatever was in the glass I was carrying.

Needless to say, after cleaning all the crap off the floor, I went upstairs and took a shower and had a bit of a woe-is-me sniffle under the water.

I desperately need to get a full time job. This stay-at-home shit is going to be the death of me.


(And if anyone could tell me what to do to fix the template on this thing, I'd be eternally grateful. It's a mess.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Better

Things are a lot better between me and That Canadian Boy I Married. We've talked a lot and he hasn't been talking to the other girl and it all seems better. I have restrained myself from checking his email to see if anything is going on because, frankly, it was fucking with my head and not doing me any good whatsoever.

I don't have much more to add, other than I'm cautiously (very cautiously) optimistic that things may work out. That's my hope. I think.

Could I be any more confused? No. I didn't think so. Stay tuned. Things may change at the drop of a hat, as they tend to do around here.



In other news, New England Mamas blog is starting up again and I'm going to do food blogging there so if you have any recipes you want me to test and post about, feel free to email them to me. I think my email is in the side thingummy over there but if not, leave a comment and I'll get in touch.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still....

He's still talking to the woman in Bulgaria.

He's changed the passwords to his email and Facebook accounts.

I will have one more conversation about this and then I think I'm going to be done. He seems to be incapable of stopping and he seems to be going to some lengths to hide this from me, which does not bode well nor does it make me want to trust him even a little bit.

I really thought we'd had a good conversation about this last week, that I'd made my point and gotten it thru to him but apparently not. I'm not going to try to keep something alive if he's not going to reciprocate.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Talk

We had a long talk the other night about this whole mess. He's still claiming he doesn't remember taking or sending those pictures. He also doesn't think there's anything wrong with the conversations he's been having with this woman in Bulgaria. I am finding myself very suspicious of them because they all contain lots of hugs and love you's and comments about how beautiful she is. To me, that's a bit more than friendship.

He claims that because he writes it as "luv you" it doesn't mean anything. Seriously. I laughed when he said that. Does he think this girl is going to differentiate? Especially when he calls her sugar, honey and love elsewhere in the messages? I know I wouldn't if it were me getting those messages.

It bugs the shit out of me that he calls her sugar. That's what he calls me.

I can't figure out if he's being sly as a fox or stupid as a box of rocks. He looks me right in the eye and tells me nothing's going on, that it's in Bulgaria, for god's sake, and that I'm an idiot if he thinks he moved all the way down here just to throw it away for some girl he's never met and I want to believe him but I can't.

I don't know if this is me and my issues or if I'm right in not believing what he's saying. I just have a hard time thinking that the tone of these messages is nothing. If it were me getting messages like that, I'd think that this guy was really into me. I don't get how he doesn't see that. Or if he's just trying to blow smoke up my ass and make me question my own already-shaky sanity.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Fine Mess

I kind of don't know what to say about all of this. It's a little embarrassing to talk about but since I was all over Twitter about it last weekend, I guess I should blog about it so I can use more than 140 characters.

I was using my husband's computer last Friday night and found some lengthy correspondence between him and another woman. It wasn't raunchy but the tone was very tender and caring and intimate in a non-physical way. So I started poking around. Caveat - for the last five years, he's always told me to go thru his email and phone if I ever had doubts about him. He did this once before, you see, when I was pregnant with Boo. This is why I was poking around. He's been spending an inordinate amount of time on the computer, on Facebook and MSN chat and I was starting to wonder what was going on.

I found pictures he'd sent of himself to a different woman. Naked pictures and she'd sent some back to him. I confronted him about it and he claims he has no memory of taking or sending them.

Uh huh.

I don't even know where to go with this. How can he have no memory of it? He said maybe he was drunk when he did it and if that is the case (which I seriously doubt), then we have a whole other issue to deal with. Had he had that much to drink, he would have been sick the next day and he was fine.

I haven't had much time to discuss this with him because our schedules never overlap and it's not really something I want to discuss while he's at work or in front of the kids. I'm going to have to schedule a meeting with him.

It's all so ridiculous and pathetic and I'm so sick of being disappointed.

There's a part of me that just wants to give up, to get my own apartment and be alone, with my kids, for a long, long time. It would be peaceful. It would be a lot less work that this shit. I wouldn't have my heart out there, getting stomped on time and time again. I think I'd like that.

Monday, October 05, 2009

You Are Missed

No. Nothing dramatic or even note-worthy. Just stuff I miss. A lot. In fact, it may be that I am a bit obsessed.

The best political drama show ever. EVER.






My favourite way to ward off bad juju.



I mean, come on, who puts Gilbert & Sullivan on a political show? Aaron Sorkin, that's who.





*sigh* Oh, Cicely, Alaska, how I wish you were real.






The first episode of Northern Exposure I ever watched. It was so fucked up and weird that I had to keep watching.


And finally, even though I mocked those who watched it when it was on television, I have now become a convert. How I wish there were more.



I loathed this episode when I first saw it, but it's really grown on me....



This is my favourite episode. It's scary as hell and full of awesome.



The theme. The band is called Nerf Herder, which makes my inner geek grin.

(Also, Fox kind of sucks balls for taking down clips from the show - I couldn't find 90% of what I was looking for.)


Friday, October 02, 2009

Wrath

Oh hi. I didn't realize it had been 30 days since I last posted. Blame this guy. He keeps egging me on.

Anyway, an update: the drinking thing has tapered off. I don't do it every night, like I was doing. When I do drink, I keep track of how much I've had and I stop when I get that buzzy, fuzzy feeling and I go to bed or switch to water. I feel much more in control. I'm not going to over analyze that right now - I have a lot going on and I don't feel so overwhelmed by the need for a drink, so at the moment, I think I'm good. That may change. It may not. We shall see.

But the wrath thing. This is one of the seven deadly sins, no? Not that I believe in religion but I've been listening to my friends' podcast and they've been covering those sins on there. Their most recent one covers wrath.

And oh mah holy hell, do I feel some wrath lately.

Some of it is at my husband. I've covered this before, the not doing what he says he's going to do, the staying out until all hours of the night a couple of nights a week, the complete and utter lack of help around the house. I'm sort of done with bitching about that. I'm still pissed as hell, but I feel like it's been well and truly covered here.

No, my most recent wrath is directed at our politicians. I am totally pissed off about the lack of the public option in the latest health care bill. I watched Keith Olbermann last night (10-1) and was sputtering with rage when I heard about the Baucus amendment to the bill, allowing fines and/or jail time for anyone who doesn't get health insurance. Does he have any idea what it costs to get health insurance on your own? We pay over $1000 a month out of my husband's paycheck to have health insurance. Buying it on our own would cost exponentially more - $18,000 a year was the last figure I got. We can no longer see O's endocrinologist in Boston because they won't cover her. I pay $100 a month for her insulin and $70 a month for my medications. My therapist isn't covered at all, so I pay that completely out of pocket and my therapist, whom I love, has tried time and time again to get on my insurance. I'm not going to switch therapists.

And now they want to fine people???? What the fucking fuck? Really? Do they think this is going to help anyone?

What is so bad about a public option? What's so horrible about Medicaid? I fill a ton of prescriptions at the pharmacy for people on Medicaid. They are getting top of the line drugs for nothing or for a $4 co-pay. These aren't generic drugs, either. They are brand name drugs sometimes.

Why can't this be available to everyone? Why must this continue this way? Why are our elected officials more beholden to the insurance industry than they are to their constituents? We elect them. Shouldn't they be listening to us?

Senator Boehner says he's never heard of one person who wants the public option. I need his address so I can give him a piece of my wrath-filled mind.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Lush Life











I really think it's time I stopped drinking. I'm not sure how to do this, but I need to, before I turn into a raging alcoholic rather than the functioning one I seem to have become.

I'm not sure how I'm going to do this, I just know I need to and it's scaring the shit out of me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Vomiting

I hate my life. I hate being home with the kids all day. I hate that I'm the one responsible for the majority of the housework even though I also work 30 hours a week outside the house. I hate that my kids don't listen to me. I hate that my husband doesn't listen to me, turning every issue I have back on to me and blaming me for whatever problems I have with him. I hate that he never, ever, EVER apologizes to me when he's done something wrong. I hate that he can't even admit that he HAS done something wrong.

People think I'm kidding when I say I want to run away, but I honestly do. I can't stand my life right now and at the moment, it doesn't seem like it's going to get any better any time soon and I'm not sure how much more of this shit I can take before I go completely batshit insane. I'm so stressed out. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to see anyone, I just want to be left the fuck alone. I'm taking everything very personally, unless people are talking to me in the gentlest of tones, using non-accusatory words and I know it's because I'm stretched as taut as I can be. The lightest of touches is going to make me snap in two.

I can't seem to make my husband realize how stressed I am by all of this. When I do talk to him about it, he suggests that I get a full-time, week-day job, which would be great except that I can't find anything that would pay enough to have both kids in day care. Working at night and all weekend long (seriously - 19 hours on Saturday and Sunday alone this week) is burning me out. I never have any time to myself except for Friday nights and by then, I'm so fucking strung out that I wind up having a few drinks and being completely overwhelmed and going home before I take all my frustrations out the people I'm hanging out with.

Things need to change soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tales From The Big Box Store

I've been working in the pharmacy at The Big Box Store lately. It's good, mostly, except for days like today, when I worked with the least talkative man ever. The man doesn't make any chit chat - no "how was your weekend?" no "So, do you have kids?" Nothing. Just eight hours of silence. You'd think that would be relaxing but really? Not so much. It kind of creeps me out. The man doesn't say anything. Regardless. It's a nice change of pace from cashiering; it's busy and there's a lot to learn, which means my shifts go by quickly.

But man, there are some people out there on some serious-ass drugs. I fill a ton of prescriptions for Metformin and various statins. Lots of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics and anti-anxiety drugs, too. But mostly what gets filled, and not by me, since it's a controlled substance, is oxycodone. That shit flies out of the store. And some of the people taking it have been taking it for years. The pharmacist told me that there are some doctors in the area that just keep prescribing it for people, who don't care or don't realize that their patients have been on this stuff for ages. It's ridiculous.

I also get a lot of men of a certain age coming in for Viagra. Damn, that shit's expensive. Fifteen pills? $225.25. That's $15.01 per hard on.

I always feel a little odd when I ring them up and tell them to have a good night. Frankly, I just don't want to know what kind of night they're going to have, thank you very much.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dream Space

I've never been particularly ambitious to run my own company, start up something in the garage (or shed, since I have no garage) or invent something that will save the world.

But I have always wanted to own my own book store.

I know just what it will look like, too.

It will be in an old building, maybe a small workshop type of space, something with wooden floors and nooks and crannies. Bookshelves will be nicely spaced, so there's room for people to browse back to back without doing bumping butts with each other (unless you like that sort of thing, of course, but maybe that behaviour isn't really suited for a book shop). The lighting will be good but not glaring and the shelves will be well-organized but not sterile.






There will be lovely leather armchairs placed under windows and in alcoves so you can drop into them and peruse your selection for a minute or an hour. There will be tables for those who prefer to read that way, with good lamps on them.














There will be tufted ottomans and squishy green velvet love seats. And there will be a cat. A big, fluffy, friendly cat who sleeps on the chairs and keeps the mice at bay.







But mostly there will be the books. New books, used books, old books, books of all types. Books on shelves that reach to the ceiling, complete with ladders for easy access.


It will be cozy and quiet and welcoming and it will feel just like home.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sweet Child o' Mine



I've hesitated in writing about this because the subject makes me feel horrible, but it's been hanging over me for months now and I have to get it all down.

I'm taking Boo in to have her evaluated. Her behaviour is out of control much of the time. She cannot tolerate any frustration at all - the slightest thing sends her into paroxysms of rage, shrieking and crying over tiny impediments. She does not listen to anything she's told; if I tell her to stop running in the house, she will stop but within half a second, is tearing around the house again. When the Bug is colouring, Boo will rip the crayons out of her hand because she wants to use it. Mind you, she'd been happily been using another colour moments before, but because the Bug has it, Boo wants it. Even though I generally buy them their own toys (2 sets of crayons, 2 of the same doll, within reason, of course) Boo always takes the Bug's things.

Lately she's been biting the Bug. The other day, she bit her so hard that the Bug has a mark on her back, five days later. She hits her a lot, although the Bug gives back almost as good as she gets, minus the biting. Lately, the hitting and biting has really been escalating. Whenever Boo gets frustrated with the Bug, instead of screaming at her/about her, she now hits or bites.



The not listening to me thing took on terrifying proportions the other day. I decided to take the girls to the beach - they'd never been to the ocean before and it's been ages since I'd been. We drove down to East Lyme, CT and for a little while, we had a great time. We'd been there about two hours when Boo decided to go get a bucket of water. I got up to follow her. The beach was packed, so I had to look down to avoid stepping on people and when I looked up, she was gone. I walked down the beach for a minute to see if I could find her but when I couldn't, I went to the lifeguard. He radioed it in and a bunch of lifeguards and park rangers immediately fanned out and began looking for her. I think it was the longest 20 minutes of my life until they found her, four life guard chairs down the beach, still dragging her little green bucket. I hugged her and hugged her and cried.

What was so infuriating about this incident is that not half an hour earlier, she'd done the same thing. I found her in a minute that time and impressed upon her that she had to stay with me because of all the people and all the water around. She's constantly taking off, running out the front door, dashing away from me in parking lots and the market and nothing I say will make her stay with me. I know this is pretty typical behaviour for someone her age (4.5) but combined with all the other things she does, it's just one more in a list.

She's defiant and destructive a lot of the time. Her favourite word is no and her favourite thing to so is run away from me, hiding whatever it is she's not supposed to be doing. She rips up books, she's torn the legs off two plastic baby dolls, she's destroyed just about every toy I've bought her. She's snuck crayons into her room and drawn murals on the wall. The most disgusting thing is the poop. When she's mad at me or frustrated or just generally pissed off, she goes upstairs and poops in her closet. A few times she's smeared the poop on the walls and on the window screens. It's disgusting. And yes, I've bought locks for the closet.

It's not like she's not getting attention from me: she is. I take them to the library and the park and we play outside. I read to her and play with her when the Bug naps, so she gets some one-on-one time with me. But I do have to occasionally do things like laundry and dishes and make meals and pee. And when I do those things, she gets in trouble.

I'm at the end of my wits here. I hope the woman I'm seeing on Thursday can help. I don't want her medicated, I just want some help. I hate the way I feel when Boo is acting like this. I hate how enraged I get by her continuous bad behaviour. I hate that I can't take her anywhere without worrying about whether she'll melt down or run away. Most of all, I hate the guilt that's eating me up over all of this.

Of course, as I sit here typing this, she and her sister are having a very elaborate tea party at my feet and have been doing so for a good 20 minutes now with only a few minor whinges....

Monday, August 03, 2009

Pictures Of You

While I was at BlogHer, I took some time out with Kerri and Rachel to go to Millenium Park. It was hot. It was shiny. And I forgot my sunglasses. But while we were trying to take pictures, we stumbled upon this guy who had an amazing camera. A.maz.ing. And he took this shot of the three of us. And I don't think I look like the side of a barn in this shot. So I'm posting it on here. I'm the one in the middle.

Please. No mocking.





Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Life Gives You An Open Fire Hydrant....

I was in a lousy mood today because I had to pay $200 to the electric company to keep from getting our lights shut off. How much money did I have in my bank account? $202. Yeah. Fun times around here at Chez Bedhead.

But on my way to the electric company, I noticed that the fire hydrant across the street had been popped open.







I'm assuming the city did it, since there was an orange cone on top of it, but whatever. The girls and I decided to take advantage of this on what has been a miserably hot and humid day.










We spent a good hour splashing around in the street, having a blast, getting totally soaked and laughing like hyenas. I've told them that if the hydrant is still open after naps, we'll go out and do it again.

It turned what started out as a crappy day into one full of fun.

Forgot to embed this....







Saturday, July 25, 2009

Big Giant Beans, Big Giant People, Big Giant Bloggers

(Edited because I couldn't upload pictures from the conference and without them, the title of this post makes even less sense.)

So I'm here in Chicago. It's exhaustingly fun. So far, I've met Mr. Lady, Suebob, Rachel, ChickyChickyBaby, Fairly Odd Mother, Suzanne from CUSS and Kerri. Well, I've met Kerri several times before, so I don't know if she counts, but whatever. We've hung out.

Big Giant Bean

We went to see the big chrome bean in the park, which was super shiny and very cool and very shiny and slightly nausea-inducing to look at. Also? Shiny. Did I mention shiny? Did I mention I forgot my sunglasses? Yeah. Shiny. Ouch.



Big, giant people.

I've spied, from a distance, Bossy and Sweetney and Her Bad Mother but I was too chicken to go up to them and say hello. I'm lame like that. And I fear rejection. (And those would be the Big Giant Bloggers....)

I can't seem to get pictures to upload. A zillion women accessing twitter and blogs and facebook makes for a mightly slow connection, but I will try to do it when I get home. Or maybe on my layover in MPLS. Mission accomplished.

I'm having a great time. I'm also so hungry I could eat my left foot. One cannot exist on appetizers for three days, no matter how tasty they are. I believe Rachel and I are going to hunt down some real food tonight before the CheeseburgHer party. Poor Rachel kept waking up all night because she was so hungry.

Now I'm off to meet The Hotfessional (squeee!!)....

It's been inspiring, this conference. I have a slew of cards from women whose blogs I've never heard of and I'm looking forward to checking them out. It is just so cool to meet all these great women I've been reading for years and finding new people to connect with. So fucking cool.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's My Blog And I'll Bitch If I Want To

I seem to spend all my time working or taking care of kids or trying to have a bit of a social life these days. I spend no time writing here or reading other blogs and my blog reader mocks me every time I open it. "You have 1,848 unread posts." No, I'm not kidding. And no, I'll never get them all read.

Like everyone else, I'm kind of freaking out over BlogHer. I've lost 35 lbs over the last few months so all the nice clothes I have in my closet fit me again. This is a good thing because we definitely don't have the money for me to be buying anything new. Broke doesn't begin to describe it. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do about the money situation. I called the cable company today to have cable shut off. We'll still have internet but no more television. I'll have to start taking the kids to the library to get some dvds for them to watch. They were the only ones who watched it anyway. That Canadian Boy I Married and I mainly watch movies or stuff online. So no more television. It's going to be odd....

I'm going to have to buy an outdoor clothes line, too, to save on electricity. I've got to figure out how else I can save because TCBIM has pretty much told me to stop complaining to him about how broke we are, to just suck it up and get over it; that this is how it's going to be for the next couple of years and he doesn't want to hear anything more about it. Which, y'know, yeah, thanks for the support, but whatever. I'll figure it out on my own and do what I can to cut more corners. I just wish I didn't feel alone in this. It's not that he's not worried - he is - but he doesn't ever want to talk about it, doesn't want to talk about anything bad or depressing or upsetting and it makes me feel very lonely. I tried explaining that to him but he doesn't seem to get it.

Honestly, I have days when I wonder why I got married. I love him but it's like living with an alien. He and I just do not see things the same way a lot of the time and when I try to explain myself, he doesn't understand me. Is it always like this? My first marriage was such a fucked up mess that I don't have anything to compare it to, really. I feel like we just go around and around and around and nothing ever gets sorted out. He throws the cost of my medicines and therapy in my face all the time, to the point that I want to just stop both of them. But he can't stand it when I'm depressed, so I don't know what to do. I know I'm tired of being stuck in this rut with him because it feels like I'll never get out of it.

Sometimes I just want to run away from it all. I'm so tired of feeling like Prometheus.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Wedding

My oldest got married last Saturday. I was in a dither about it because it seemed like it was going to be a bit of a disaster, but it turned out beautifully.

Alex, having a minor freak out just before the ceremony.

Alex and Kristin (and yes, I know, he looks like a gangster in that suit.)

Awwww....

Alex danced with O and it was the only time I got teary.
They danced to this:



*sniffle*




And this is O. I'm so screwed.

The food was fabulous. If anyone needs a caterer in the New England area, Blue Ribbon BBQ, in West Newton, MA, is awesome. Best wedding food I've ever had and the prices are more than reasonable. The day was lovely, warm and sunny, everyone was relaxed and Alex and Kristin looked deliriously happy, which is all that matters.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Overinvolved

A few years ago, O freaked herself out on MySpace by talking to some random guy, giving him her address and phone number before realizing that she was in over her head. We talked about it and I told her that I was going to be checking out what she was doing when she was online. Mostly she chats with friends on Meebo and listens to the Jonas Brothers (incessantly) on YouTube, but she also set up a Facebook account. I helped her, made her profile private and told her not to put any pertinent information on there. She doesn't use her real last name on there, so I feel pretty comfortable that she's safer there than she was on MySpace.

Just about every day I check her page. I log in under her name to see what she's doing on there. It's mainly quizzes - and holy Hannah, Facebook has an assload of quizzes - but she also talks to a few friends. She also has some of her friends' mothers on her friend list, which is fine, for the most part.

Something recently caught my eye, though. O had been dating this boy, Jay, for a few months but they recently broke up. I'd met the boy, he was very nice, polite and pretty talkative with me, which is unusual for any 14 year old, never mind a 14 year old boy. The two didn't get to see each other that often because he lives a few towns over, but they talked on the phone and would get together for the movies or to go to the mall, usually with a bunch of friends. I liked it that way because I think dating when you're in the 8th grade shouldn't be this big, serious thing.

Since the breakup, O's friends have pretty much all dumped her, too. Last night, while looking thru O's Facebook page, I noticed that Jay's mother had updated her status to announce that her son has a new girlfriend. Said new girlfriend is O's former best friend. In the comment, she said she was "so excited for her son and his new girlfriend" and that she was "the one."

I find this all to be really weird. I like to be informed of who O is dating, what's going on with her friends and all that, but I have no desire to broadcast every argument, event or change in her dating status to the world via Facebook. I think that 14 years old is far too young to say that someone is "the one" for someone else and I don't get being excited about this. I also find it a bit cruel that she posted this to Facebook, knowing that O would be able to see it.

A lot of O's friends' mothers seem to get super involved in all these teenage dramas, to the point that they're IMing her, castigating her when there's a falling out or just gossiping with her. I have stepped in when O's been bullied in school but I would never chat with one of O's friends about anything like that and I certainly wouldn't castigate one of them because of boyfriend issues or an argument. I don't want or need to meddle that much in her life.

Am I nuts? Is this weird or do those of you with teenagers do this routinely? Or does my daughter just know some really immature women? Because to me, this seems very immature.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Some Randomness....

...because I just realized how long it's been since I posted. Jeez.

  • See that sparkly badge over there in my sidebar? I just signed up for my first ever BlogHer party. Let the freaking out commence. The closer I get to actually getting on the plane and going to this thing, the more I feel like throwing up. The sane part of my brain knows that it will all mostly be fine, but the majority of my brain is not sane and it's running like a hamster on speed right now, worrying. Gah. I may need to get some Xanax or something so I don't hurl all over the first person I meet. Or maybe I'll just do like The Bloggess and spend most of my time in the bathrooms.
  • After many long conversations with my son, where I breathed deeply and chose my words carefully, he has agreed to have this wedding catered. It's just too tacky for words to invite 70 people to your wedding and then expect them to bring their own food. Now if I can just convince his dad that pee buckets are a really bad idea, it'll be all good. Pee buckets. Christ on a cracker. I swear to god, I did not raise this child this way.
  • I have somehow managed to screw up my knee. A couple of weeks ago, I missed the bottom step when I was coming down the stairs in the morning (I really need to move the coffee maker upstairs) and fell hard. I bruised both knees and my toenail on one foot is almost completely black but the knee just started hurting last night. Very odd and very painful. Have I mentioned that this getting older thing is bullshit? Complete and utter bullshit. Especially when my much younger husband said "Well, you don't heal like you used to, you know." Thanks, darling. So sweet.
  • I've started taking a vitamin B complex supplement and it really seems to be helping with my energy levels. The first couple of days I felt like I was on speed, I got so much done. That's tapered off somewhat, but I still have much more energy than I used to. Until this knee thing sidelined me, I was going like gangbusters most days. It's nice. Although it hasn't improved my blogging abilities, apparently.
  • And finally, I've had this song stuck in my head for days, so I thought I'd try to purge it by sharing it with you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Don't Need To Walk Around In Circles

Another fucking argument with That Canadian Boy I Married about depression and what I can do to fix it. The $65 co-pay for Cymbalta will throw a massive wrench into our already-precarious finances but the depression is taking an even bigger toll.

His answer, after telling me he didn't think he needed to feel any sympathy or understanding for me, was that I should re-try all the anti-depressants I've already tried and already had documented reactions to - for some reason, he seems to think that my body chemistry will have changed and I won't have the same reactions to those drugs now. Mr. fucking physician, I guess.

These arguments leave me so drained. He doesn't get it, doesn't see the need to get it and honestly thinks I should just be able to say "Hey, self, stop feeling that way" and I will be fine. If only it were that easy. I try to explain it to him, try to talk to him about it and he just placates me by telling me that he understands. But then we have another one of these arguments and his true feelings show. He doesn't want to discuss it with a professional; he doesn't see the point.

I don't tell him a lot of what I'm feeling because of this. Of the times I flirt with taking the whole bottle of over-the-counter sleeping pills, of the wish that I could just go bat-shit crazy and be done with it. I know that he'd leave if I did go nuts. And while I'd survive that, I wouldn't survive him probably trying to take the kids away, which I'm sure he'd want to do - and it would be kind of understandable.

So I told him I'd make the damned phone call to the damned doctor and talk to her about it. I'm 99.9% sure that there's nothing new out there, that I've tried them all, but whatever. If it will shut him up and get him off my back, I'll do it. If that's the only way I can justify the $65 a month, so be it.

It pisses me off, though, this constant need of his to piss and moan about the cost of prescriptions for something he doesn't deem real. These are the times that I wish I could just swap bodies with him for a day, so he could live inside my head and see what a muddled mess it is in there, so he could see how I really feel most days, how difficult this is to handle without medication. Maybe then he might muster some of his nearly non-existent sympathy for what I'm going through.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm Not Becoming A Food Blogger, I Swear

Shepherd's Pie (for Wendy)

2 lbs ground beef
1 large or 2 small onions
Mushrooms, if you have them, sliced
Salt & pepper
Worcestershire sauce
A1 sauce
2 1 lb bags of frozen corn (or fresh, if it's in season)
4 or so lbs of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 1" pieces
1 head of garlic, if you want roasted garlic mashed potatoes on top
1 stick of butter
Milk

If you want roasted garlic in your mashed, start the garlic first. Preheat oven to 350. Peel as much paper off the bulb as possible and slice off the top. Put in a small oven proof dish and pour in enough olive oil to reach halfway up the bulb. I use a small Pyrex bowl for this. Bake for 45 minutes, until garlic is soft. Allow to cool before removing cloves with a paring knife. Restrain yourself from smearing it all over the nearest slice of Italian bread and wolfing it down....

Chop onions into small pieces and saute with sliced mushrooms in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter, until caramelized - do not burn them, or it will get ugly. Remove from pan.

Brown ground beef with salt and pepper. I usually add a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and a couple of tablespoons of A1 sauce to the meat - taste it as you go and adjust according to your taste. If the beef gives off a lot of grease, spoon most of it off. Don't dump it down your sink or you will have a big mess.

Stir onions and mushrooms into the beef and then transfer to a 13 x 9" Pyrex dish.

Top with 2 small bags of frozen corn.

Boil potatoes until they can be split by a fork. Drain and return to pot. Add about a stick of butter (did I mention this is not a low-fat, low calorie recipe?), salt to taste (potatoes need a lot of salt), a splash of milk and the roasted garlic (mash it up with a fork first). Whip with a hand mixer until there are no lumps. Try not to eat too many of the potatoes before topping the pie.

Spoon on to top of the corn and bake in a 400 oven until the potatoes are golden brown and delicious. Eat.

Not Entirely Unexpected

My son A is 20 and I don't discuss him often on here because, most of the time, there isn't much to talk about. He works full time, he lives with his girlfriend, he doesn't drink, his major vice is buying toys - a flip video camera, a Wii, an X-Box, a Garmin - typical young man stuff to buy.

About six or seven weeks ago, however, he told everyone that he and his girlfriend were going to get married. In June. And everyone asked "Is she pregnant?" but we were all assured that no, she wasn't.

No surprises, but yeah, she is.

I can barely wrap my head around it, let alone talk about it. Financially, they aren't all that secure. She works for a fast food restaurant and he works in a warehouse - their jobs are steady, but they don't pay well at all. She makes less per hour than I did when I had A 20 years ago.

I have so many concerns about this situation. I do not think they'll be bad parents, far from it. But I do worry about how financially stable they're going to be. It's nerve-wracking not having enough money; we're still having trouble catching up some months. I don't want A going thru that same thing, I want better for him.

And selfishly, I am not ready to be a grandmother. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was worried that I might be pregnant (which, given that That Canadian Boy I Married has been snipped, is highly unlikely, but 10 days late is 10 days late). And now my son's going to have a baby. It's fucking with my head. And yeah, yeah, I know, I'm being self-centered. This is pretty much the only place I can be like that, though. Here and the therapist's couch and boy, did she get an earful last week.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Hip Mamas

There are these women whose children go to the same preschool as Boo. They intimidate the hell out of me. They're very nice and very cool, in that casual, crunchy way that is so prevalent out here. They wear cool skirts and have funky haircuts and seem to have it all together. I realize this is probably an illusion, but still. I don't know them well enough to hear their tales of woe, so, to me, they're scary-together.

I see them hanging out after pick up, talking, arranging play dates and what have you and I know if I made a little bit of effort, I'd at least be included in the conversation. But I never do. I smile, I say hello, exchange a couple of sentences and then I scuttle to my car with the girls, mentally berating myself for not being more outgoing, for not trying harder. For being an idiot. Because the other part of my brain, the one that tells me what a dork I am, how much of a loser I am, always takes over at that point. Why would anyone want to include me? What if they didn't, what if they just clammed up when I tried to join in? What if they were just waiting for me to leave so they could make their plans? What if they don't really like me?

That's the crux of it right there. I'm pretty convinced that most people I know casually don't really like me. Sometimes, even people I do know well give me that feeling. I let every rejection eat away at me, dragging up crap that happened in high school, in college, and picking at it until it hurts again, convinced that all those people were right, that basically, I'm unlikeable. I hate that my mind goes down those paths. I wish I knew how to get it out of them.

So I'm wary. I'm afraid to make friends with people I meet, afraid that they'll turn out like everyone else, that they'll leave too. I wall myself off behind snark and sarcasm and a pose that I'm above it all, when really, I just want to be included. More than included. Valued. Appreciated for who I am and what I can offer as a friend. And yet, I'm too afraid to try.

Yes, I'm in therapy. Yes, I'm trying to work on this, but I feel so stuck on this one thing. How do you just get self-confidence? How do you not second- and third-guess every action you take? I'm not sure if it's even possible, but I need to try, before I really go bat-shit crazy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doin' The iPod Shuffle

Swiped from George, because, hey, if you can't steal from your friends, who can you steal from?

Put your iPod (or music player of choice - I did mine thru iTunes) on shuffle and list the first 20 songs that come up.

1. Stay (Far Away, So Close) - U2 (I'd forgotten about this song. Lovely lyrics - Red light, grey morning, you stumble out of a hole in the ground)

2. Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen (Bruuuuuuuuuuuce!)

3. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion (lost it a long time ago....)

4. Ocean Breathes Salty - Modest Mouse

5. That's Just The Way We Roll - Jonas Brothers (good god, this band is the bane of my existence)

6. Stir It Up - Bob Marley

7. Rock Star Poser - N.E.R.D. (I have no clue how this wound up in my iTunes library)

8. Boys From The County Hell - The Pogues (I love this band. Love. Them.)

9. One Piece At A Time - Johnny Cash (Ironic, considering the state of the auto industry today)

10. Bent - Matchbox 20 (This could be my theme song. Also, Rob Thomas. *drool*)

11. Right As Rain - Adele (Fantastic album of torch songs.)

12. Uncle John's Band - Jimmy Buffett (Love this song. Haaaaate this cover of it.)

13. Man In A Suitcase - The Police

14. Aeroplane - Red Hot Chili Peppers

15. Space Intro - Steve Miller Band

16. De ja Vu - Crosby, Still, Nash & Young

17. Hey Tonight - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Jeez, after these last three, I feel like we should all be sitting around getting baked, eating brownies and pop rocks. What? Isn't that what college was for? No?)

18. It's A Shame About Ray - The Lemonheads

19. Street Fighting Man - Rage Against The Machine

20. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley (Great. So I can cry at the end of this meme.)

Second Verse, Same As The First

Hey, look! A blog post.

Wake up around 6:30.

Stumble downstairs and make a pot of industrial strength coffee.

Dress the Shriek Sisters.

Move dry clothes to a basket, move wet clothes to the dryer, put in another load of laundry.

Mediate fight #1 between the Shriek Sisters.

Fold the dry clothes.

Think about taking a shower.

Brush teeth.

Try to unclog the bathroom sink that I've been after the husband to fix for the last couple of weeks.

Mediate fight #2 between the Shriek Sisters.

Take the trash to the curb that the husband forgot to take when he left at 7 a.m..

Take the recycling to the curb that the husband forgot to take when he left at 7 a.m..

Mediate fight #3 between the Shriek Sisters.

Find the socks that the Shriek Sisters lost in one of their fights.

Find shoes for the Shriek Sisters.

Sign permission slip for O's trip next week.

Find money for O's trip next week.

Find jackets for the Shriek Sisters.

Pour industrial strength coffee into the only travel mug the husband hasn't swiped. He hasn't swiped it because it's hot pink. It was my only defense.

Load the Shriek Sisters into their car seats.

Drive O to school. Drink industrial strength coffee. Curse stoplights. Answer 8.7 million questions from the Shriek Sisters.

Come back home.

Feed the Shriek Sisters breakfast.

Feed the dog and cat.

Move dry clothes to basket, move wet clothes to dryer, put in another load of laundry.

Wash a few dishes.

Mediate fight #4 between the Shriek Sisters.

Vacuum up the Cheerios that the Shriek Sisters flung at each other during fight #4.


And it's only 8:15 a.m..


My days continue like this, with small variations, every single day. It's mind numbing in its tedium and I feel like it's sucking what little brain power I have left. And I wonder why I can't find anything to blog about any more. This is it, this is what I have going on right now. I'm busy, busy, busy but I have nothing going on. Nothing of interest, anyway.

I'm getting to the point of fantasizing about quiet places, places where no one asks me anything, where no one needs me for anything, where I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Not for forever, just for a couple of days. I told my husband the other night that my ideal vacation right now would involve a hotel room with a big bath tub, a comfortable bed and a stack of books. I would sleep and read and make the occasional foray out for food and a bit of a walk around and that would be it.

I really need a break. Or something. I'm spending too much time wishing too many things away, wishing that the girls were in school full time, wishing that I could get a full-time job during the day so that I wasn't sitting here, feeling guilty about the state of things here, the chaos and the mess and the boredom. I know that things will be different in a couple of years and then I'll probably miss some of this time that I have at home with them, but right now, while I'm in it, I'm having trouble seeing the end of it. It's disheartening, to say the least.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mojo Mom


I'm not usually one for self-help books, but Mojo Mom, by Amy Tiemann, is so much more than that. It's a book that allows a woman to realize that, yes, this mothering gig really is as hard as we think it is, that we aren't nuts for feeling the way we do and then laying out some concrete, reasonable steps for ways to reclaim some of ourselves as we also raise our families. I've never seen another parenting book like it - it's the only one that addresses what the mother (and, to a certain extent, the father) feels during the long years of parenting.

Each chapter has a theme, some featuring activities you can do at home. The author cites her resources at the end of every chapter, something I found very helpful, as she also gives a one- or two-line blurb about each book, stating why she liked it or what she found helpful about it. I can see this becoming a list I take with me to the library or bookshop in the future. Some of her sources sound like must-reads. She also lists websites and blogs to check out, something moms who are immersed in the online world (*ahem* me *ahem*) will find useful.

The chapter on financial security was interesting and pertinent now, considering the financial mess we're in. Even if you don't have much in the way of spare cash (like me), there is a lot of useful advice packed in there. I also found the chapter on the mommy wars to be timely.

One of the major messages in this book is that the media and society in general have built up this myth of the perfect mom and that we are being sold a bill of goods in trying to live up to that image. It's unrealistic and self-defeating and we do ourselves no favours in trying to become an ideal. This is something that most moms know, but often allow themselves to forget as the relentless barrage of messages hits us every day. This books posits that we will be better mothers if we let some of the stuff slide and focus more on rejuvenating ourselves, that by allowing ourselves time to reclaim some of our pre-mom self, we will become better mothers. This is something I've come to realize over the years, although I've often found it very hard to accomplish.

Mojo Mom is a quick read, but one that deserves a place on the bedside table. It's something I can see myself dipping into as needed and it's definitely one that I would give to an expecting or new mom.


This is a MotherTalk book review. To read more reviews on this and other titles, please visit MotherTalk.

In Which I Brag, Then Beg

On Friday morning, after doing a few things around the house, I took the Shriek Sisters down to Home Depot to pick up some potting soil and seeds. They've been wanting to do some planting for a while now and it's finally warming up enough that we can.

$26 later and we had a 30 lb bag of potting soil, three types of tomato seeds, some flower seeds and some peat pots. I found some kid-sized shovels in the shed and we got started. For an hour, we filled pots and put seeds in and it was fantastic. There was no fighting, no hitting, no shrieking, just fun. And now we have tomatoes and herbs going. When it warms up enough to sow them directly into the ground, we'll plant some morning glories around the light pole. I also want to put in some lily of the valley in the front, where it's shady, and get try to do some peppers, squash and cucumbers in pots. I'm not sure how well they'll do planted that way but between the dog and two small children, putting in a bed in the back yard doesn't seem feasible. Besides, I don't want to dig. I'm a very lazy gardener - If I can manage to avoid digging and weeding, I'm all over planting things. Some day, when I have money, I'm going to do raised beds, but right now, container gardening is it.

Saturday I took the girls up to Yankee Candle. I'm not really fond of the stinky candles, but the flagship store has a huge Christmas section and I figured the girls would love it. They ran from one room to another, admiring the displays and being awed by the koi pond and snow room. In the toy room, they lost their little minds when they saw Santa there, putting stuffing into the stuffed animals. They played with the display toys and listened to me and were altogether wonderful to hang out with. I told them they could get a treat in the general store section, figuring they'd want a small toy or something, but no. They wanted candy canes. Whee! I managed to get out of there for under $6 - 2 candy canes and three wax tarts for me.

All-in-all, it was a great weekend. I had to work, of course, but the time I was able to spend with the girls was really pleasant. It's such a nice change from the whine-fest that usually happens around here. I am somewhat hopeful that Boo may be leaving that stage behind, although The Bug seems to be entering it. Still. Having one kid whining is much better than both of them going at it at once. I'm sure this is going to be an off and on thing, but really, the last couple of days have been such a relief, we've gotten along so well that I feel like I have a couple of new children.





And now for my plea. I'm a huge fan of Joss Whedon (Buffy, how I love thee!) and I've been watching Dollhouse and loving it, but of course, Fox is wishy-washy about renewing it. I don't know what their problem is - they did this with Firefly, too, which was an excellent show. I am going to be pissed off if they cancel it. Another blogger I read is also angry about it and has written an excellent post on the topic, complete with suggestions on how to boost the ratings and prevent the show from being canceled. If you're a fan, I urge you to go over there and check out his post (and the rest of his blog - it's a good one, although I'm not sure why he's got an explicit rating on it.) Anyway. Joss Whedon. Dollhouse. Save it.

*edited to add: Here's Joss Whedon himself, weighing in on the subject.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not Your Typical Toddler Music

Every night, before they go to bed, the girls and I sit on the couch and watch a couple of music videos on the computer. They have a few they request all the time (hello, Killers, please to be making some new music soon before I lose my fucking mind, kthnxbai) but tonight they were grooving to these tunes:



They dig the robots.



A little bit of mad Canadian on the fiddle.



Newfies. Always fun.



And, of course, these guys. At least it wasn't Soul Butter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For Madeline


Madeline Spohr will be laid to rest today at 2:30 PST. My thoughts are with her family and her friends. I can't even wrap my brain around how difficult this must me - it leaves me gasping for breath to think about it.

If you haven't donated yet, please consider doing so. The March of Dimes page is here and the PayPal site, to help with hospital and funeral expenses, is here.


But Maddie isn't the only baby lost. Thalon Bruce Meyers died on April 12th. He wasn't quite four months old and once again, my heart breaks. A donation page has been set up for his family as well.

I don't know these families, but my heart hurts for them and my brain rages at the unfairness of it all.

But, on the other side of the coin is this tremendous outpouring of love, time and money for both families. Maddie's March of Dimes walk has raised nearly $30,000, just since last week. Thalon's PayPal account has received $3700 in donations since Monday. People are posting links and pictures and tributes to both children that are touching and heartfelt and raw. People are flying in for funerals and organizing walk-a-thon teams and aggregating links and photos and it's incredible. Simply incredible. Most of this was done via Twitter - you can check out the hash tags for #maddie and #thalon at Twitter.com - and done with a speed bordering on lightning. My mother dismisses things like Twitter and Facebook as a complete waste of time and they can be, but when tragedy strikes, it can also be an incredible place of comfort and friendship and solace. This is what the internet community looks like at its best. It's beautiful.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Little Girl Lost

I didn't know Maddie Spohr. I wasn't a regular reader of her mother's blog, but I'd see her name mentioned or read a comment left somewhere by Heather Spohr and I'd click over to her blog and there would be this little girl, grinning for all she was worth, on her page and it never failed to make me grin in return. She was just so damned adorable.





And now she's gone.

Twitter lit up last night and today as word of Maddie's death flew around the internet. People who knew her, knew her parents, were devastated, their comments and Tweets almost unbearable to read. In amongst all that was a searing anger at the company (Bluehost) that hosted the Spohr's blog - they shut it down because of the influx of comments and have refused, point blank, to reinstate it. Even knowing why the blog was getting so many hits, they refused. Talk about cold-hearted assholes.

I hesitated to post anything about this little girl, feeling that I wasn't a part of the circle of people who knew her, either in real life or virtually, but her little smile, her stories, touched me, more lightly than many of you, I know, but I had to.

Money is tight for everyone these days, but if you can spare even a few dollars, please consider donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie's name. I plan to on Friday, after my husband gets paid.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Who Am I?

Lately, this motherhood thing is really getting to me. My kids can be funny and engaging and a lot of fun to be with at times. Their comments and observations on their little world make me laugh quite often. But they're also incredibly needy, as toddlers and preschoolers are wont to be. As well, I seem to be the be all and end all of their lives for everything. Even if That Canadian Boy I Married is home, they come to me for water, for food, for hugs. I'm it and it's wearing me out. The constant "Mama, mama, mama," thing, the inability to even pee without someone banging on the door, demanding something, is making me a little nutty and feel more than a little lost.

I don't know who I am any more outside of a mother. I have interests and friends but I have no time to pursue either of them. I work every single weekend, generally from 2 - 10 p.m., which doesn't give me any time to socialize with anyone and I miss it. I'm not a social butterfly, but I need to interact with people more than just at work. Asking for too much time off, however, will get me fired, so I only do it if I have specific plans and since the time off needs to be booked three weeks in advance, I don't ask often. My friends don't generally plan things that far in advance.

I'm really feeling in a rut lately. I just work and take care of the kids; it's no fun and it doesn't seem like things are going to change any time soon. Even if I could find a full time job in this economy, I wouldn't make enough to pay for both of them to be in daycare. I've been thinking about taking classes in the fall, when both girls are in preschool, but I'm not sure I can swing the cost of it. I'm going to talk it over with TCBIM, though, because if I don't do something for myself, I'm going to lose my mind.

Because I never have time to myself during the day, I find myself staying up way too late at night, reading blogs, on Twitter, watching stuff online, catching up on the mound of books I've yet to finish (or start, in most cases) in an effort to have a little bit of space that's just mine. Needless to say, this lack of sleep isn't doing me any favours. I'm always tired. And my husband gets annoyed with me sometimes for not going to bed when he does. It's the only time I have, though, and while I've explained that to him, he doesn't quite get it. He doesn't understand the craving I have for time alone, with no one needing anything, where I can do whatever I want.

How do you do it? If you work on weekends and have small children, when do you find time for yourself? How do you recapture a little of the woman that you used to be before having children?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interview With A Boo

Swiped from Barren Albion.


1. What is something mom always says to you? "Get back in the living room."

2. What makes mom happy? "When I stay in the living room."

3. What makes mom sad? "When I get out of the living room."

4. How does your mom make you laugh? "When you tickle me."

5. What was your mom like as a child? *bites lips, looks confused*

6. How old is your mom? "10"

7. How tall is your mom? "Let me go get the measuring stick to tell."

8. What is her favorite thing to do? "Drive." (uh, no, it's just what I do a lot of.)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? "Sleep on the couch with The Bug." (not every day, kid.)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? "When you get married."

11. What is your mom really good at? "Driving." (heh)

12. What is your mom not very good at? "If you're not doing anything you get sad."

13. What does your mom do for her job? "You do your computer." (Too bad I can't get paid for having a close, personal relationship with my laptop.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food? "Salad." (Dood, what house do you live in? Salad??)

15. What makes you proud of your mom? "When you drive, it makes me proud."

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? "You can be anything you want to be."

17. What do you and your mom do together? "We make something special for grammy."

18. How are you and your mom the same? "We both drive." (huh. Must check that odometer.)

19. How are you and your mom different? "We can be silly."

20. How do you know your mom loves you? "If you love me, if it's not Valentine's day, we cheer up." (oooookaaaay.)

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? "Work." (Such a comedian.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Post Won't Win Me Any Fans

I finally got around to watching Twilight today and frankly, I was disappointed. Maybe it's because I didn't get to have the whole Twilight experience of going to the theatre and watching it with a room full of adolescent (and wanna-be-adolescent) girls, but I thought it was flat and kind of dull and couldn't understand what the hell the attraction was between Bella and Edward. They both seemed a bit wooden and emotionless, which was not the feeling I got from the books at all. The book portrays this simmering lust that can't be satisfied, this longing for each other and this all-consuming passion. I got none of that from the movie. I didn't see any chemistry between the two actors, at least not that they were showing on camera. There was a lot of gazing into eyes, but it didn't communicate much, at least not to me. Am I the only one who felt this way? I'm kind of feeling like it because all I've heard, from friends and strangers alike, is this breathless awe at the film. I felt there was far more chemistry between Buffy and Angel than between Bella and Edward.

I'm kind of bummed because the part of my brain that is still an adolescent girl loved those books with a squeeing joy, even as the rational, adult woman part of my brain was saying "Whoa, hey, um, stalker much?" among other, less kind things.

Maybe I need to watch the movie again with O. She is just panting to see it and maybe some of her emotion will rub off on me. But for now, all I can say is roll on, Harry Potter.