Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Things are highly hectic in my world going down the home stretch of moving and business issues and what not. I'm sorry I am not blogging daily and keeping you rapt with posts of a crazed Chiro/Mom, but I am so frankly truly crazed that blogging is not even an option. In fact, sleep would also be a nice option, but one that I am ever so frequently declining. Besides, if I put my head down on a pillow, I think my brains will leak out or else the sudden change in pressure would cause my eyeballs to implode. So, please, kind internet readers, cut me a break here. And while you're at it, send me some warm loving vibes or pray for me or do whatever cool spiritual thing you do and send some my way, 'cuz I really need it. (*Sob.)
I'll let you all in on the details when I am a bit more stable and have time to rub two words together.
I leave for The Land of Plenty tomorrow morning at 5:45 am with all three kids in tow and won't return until next week, so don't go thinking my head exploded (after all my threats) when there is no new post for ages.
Did I mention the part about the STRESS?
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I have been trying to not just chatter here, and take the time to post meaningful, thoughtful or highly witty epistles that will keep you coming back time and time again. I am trying to write, not chat.
But, although I do not have time right now to impart some deeply meaningful award winning hooha, I do have something to say:
Get thee to the health food store right now and get some Omega 3 Fatty Acids, NOW!
I have been very highly stressed over the past few weeks and was approaching full on melt down on Thursday and Friday. I have had episodes of Anxiety Disorder in my not so distant past (college years) and was feeling back on that path to chemical instability, to my great vexation.
So I got adjusted (I have been sorely lacking consistent Chiropractic care while Hubby is so far away) and took my fish oil twice a day all weekend. And now, while my stress levels are still much higher than the average bear's, I am feeling all right again. No quivering stomach. No diarrhea. No sleeplessness (except the child induced kind). I am reduced to stressed but stable, Thank God!
And so, your public service announcement for today: Every mom needs her Omega 3s, so don't skimp! And get your spine evaluated to see if you have subluxation too, 'cuz that shit will mess you up but good! Too many people are counting on you! And the rest of you ought'ta too, but you're just not as cool . (I may actually be feeling a bit sassy again!)
Friday, August 26, 2005
He has been obsessively counting the days until this hallowed day has finally arrived.
Here he is recounting to me the myriad exciting events he is expecting today which should include but not be limited to: A trip to the gym! Sitting at his special spot at the little tables! Putting his backpack in his locker! And most importantly, a trip to the cafeteria! *Slurp! (*A slurping noise must always follow the pronouncement of the word "cafeteria" because, you know, that's what Shaggy does.)
Gabe's teacher, Mrs. G, smilingly greets us at the classroom door and graciously agrees to pose for a photo. Gabe chooses this location for the photo because it marks the locale of his very own cubby hole with his name on it!!!
I was very grateful to Mrs. G for the way she greets Gabe and takes charge of the occasion because it distracts considerably from the fact that I am welling up with tears to the point where I can no longer see straight while trying to hide my maternal stress and emotion from Gabe. I've seen this classroom twice now, and on both occasions I have begun an instantaneous emotional breakdown which is likely Pavlovian in all mothers sending their firstborn off to kindergarten.
Mrs. G is a pro. She stops my maudlin ass in its tracks. Thank God for Mrs. G and her ilk.
Gabe agrees to pose for another photo outside the school, but barely. He is literally prancing with excitement to join the other kids who were now arriving with their mothers and fathers in tow. Little girls are dressed in their best play dresses and accompanied by parents with cameras, like me.
A few small families are coming in all together with a baby in a stroller and mom and dad both holding the hand of their excited school aged child. I think of Hubby, so far away in Georgia, wishing desperately that he could be here.
I begin to gulp back the hot tears which are flooding the back of my throat once again. I distract myself by giving Gabe my most brilliant smile and hugging him goodbye as his joins the other kids entering the classroom.
And then I bolt for my minivan where I can finally sob in earnest.
I think of my sweet boy as a tiny nursling, with his tiny pink fist grasping my gigantic finger, holding on with all his might. He has always been a snuggler, craving frequent physical contact and long hugs for reassurance and connection. But today he has let go of my hand without a backward glance.
We have experienced so many first together, Gabe and I. My journey into the joys and trials of parenthood has made up the tapestry of his self exploration filled with triumphs and defeats as he has discovered who he is and how he fits into the world.
And today my boy and I share another First. This is the first time he will embark on a journey of discovery without my constant presence at his side.
He is ready. He is confident. He is gregarious. He is charming and silly and eager. He is so wonderful and I am so proud of him.
And so I cry and cry as I drive home, not because I am worried about him, but because I know he will be great.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Then check out my friend Kris. She had her baby yesterday. He was born at home into her husband's loving hands after a mere 55 hours of labor, which culminated in a paltry five hours of pushing!
She stuck it out, at home, relying on her deep faith and knowledge that her body was perfectly designed to birth this baby.
55 hours of active intense labor! The kind of labor that will not allow you to take a nap or knit or watch TV or otherwise distract yourself. She had real labor that whole time. Labor that is best met head on and accepted and embraced. And boy, did she embrace it!
The details of her birth story ultimately belong to her. I'm sure she'll blog about it (given a little time) but I am just overflowing with pride and joy for her and her new tiny family! This is what the human body and spirit are capable of when birth is embraced as a powerful and natural act that we were designed to deliver.
If she had been in a hospital they would have undoubtedly delivered this child by cesarean days ago and Kris would still be flat on her back recovering.
Kris told me that she told the midwives yesterday, that she would have continued to labor for another two days before submitting to a trip to the hospital because she knew the baby was okay and she didn't want then to cut her open. Wow!
Hugs to Kris and her hubby and her sweet sweet little man. She is walking testament to the power of birth! I'm so proud of you Warrior Mama! And so happy for you!
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
To reward them for all their help (Uncle J even mowed my lawn!) I took them all to the Y, ostensibly to have fun, but really so I could do something fun with my kids that doesn't involve bringing three children through changing rooms, swim diaper meltdowns, and multiple strangleholds around my neck and so on entirely alone. Because the fun becomes entirely cancelled out by the weeping (mine), shrieking (Quin), and begging (Gabe).
And we had a blast. We also let the children run amuck (as I am wont to do) and play with more than two noodles at once (gasp!) and both Banana and I nursed our babes in public! Hey, I'll only be here for another month. What the heck.
For photographic evidence of the fun and chaos, check it out.
Can we come to your pool next week?
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
She discovered the joys of pulling herself up all by herself!. She also learned (just seconds after this photo was taken) the agony of defeat when she fell, smacking her head on the cabinet behind her. (Damn! Bad Mama, taking photo and missing falling babe!)
She was discovering the joys of her first 100% organic wheat free teething biscuit. Then that bad Mama left the room and returned to find that her siblings felt that she would much better enjoy discovering what Kix and Sugar Smacks can do to her virgin digestive system. She seemed to think that Quin's contribution to her breakfast nosh was far superior to Mama's insistance that organic wheat free teething biscuits were where it's at.
She seems to enjoy just moving around the house now that she has discovered that she has an upper body and perfected the art of the army crawl. It is also very tiring. She passed out cold on the hardwood floor for a well deserved nap. (Bad Mama missing in action again!)
Oh ho ho! Dog food is almost as tasty as Sugar Smacks and Kix! Esste likes to share! Bad Mama takes photos! (Please people, if this is the grossest thing she ever ingests, I'm more immaculate that Martha Stewart. And I'm not. And neither are you, so shut it.)
She spent some quality time with her peeps, Gabe and Quin, watching Dora. (Yes! Damn it, I did let her fry her sensitive little brain while watching the Boob Tube. She was bonding with the big kids! Cut me a break. I can't be Super Granola Mom all the time. Or apparently for more than three minutes at a time this past weekend.)
Did you hear about the part where she called me "Mama"? Twice.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Tonight I was forwarded to someone's blog who actually listed Dirty Dancing in their profile under favorite movies.
And then curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on the word Dirty Dancing which brought me to this terrifying list of all the people at Blogger who have also listed Dirty Dancing amongst their favorite movies! This list is four pages long people! This list is filled with people named "sparkle fairy" and "fruit" and on the last page there is someone who lists her interests as: GOD, SINGING, DANCING, HUMAN VIDEO. Ummmmm...Human VIDEO?
Oh MY GOODNESS! This is at least twice as humiliating as when I discovered that they sell nose rings at Walmart and ten times as appalling as the fact that I now drive a minivan. Am I that woman? That woman who names her new blog Princess Buttercup and dresses her kids in matching outfits and reads People magazine every week?! (Holy shit, I do those things too! have you seen my new new blog, Princess Buttercup, by the way?)
My only defense is that I didn't actually list The Movie Which Can No Longer Be Named For Fear That Sparkle Fruit Shall Haunt Me Forever in a list of my favorite movies. In fact, if you were to actually peruse my profile you shall see that I was decidedly too cool to list any favorite movies or music. I don't want you to think you really "know" me or can somehow define me by my favorite choices.
Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I am doing with all the undoubtedly charming and intelligent people who appear on that dratted list. But seriously people, what the hell is HUMAN VIDEO?
Four more weeks, baby! You can enjoy the link until we are reunited.
Thanks to Laid Off Dad for the excellent link.
Friday, August 19, 2005
The cousins were reunited last weekend at Nonny's house. Peevers was so excited to see Honey Babe that she crawled down an entire hallway triple speed, which was practically faster than I could walk it.
Banana Girl and Honey Babe will be here on Sunday for another week of Banana Girl bailing my ass out of a tight spot childcare-wise and me wallowing in the sweet blessing that is adult company on a daily basis.
I was alone, at home, with the kids all day today. There were some sweet and tender moments, but there was also some screaming and muttered curses. It's not that any given moment is so bad, it's just that there is no cavalry coming to rescue me all day. The endless stretch of inane dialogue, the need to color pictures for Gabe repetitively and to help Quin find her ponies and babies, again, and then stop everything for another nursing session when the kids wake up Peeves and then clean up the next mess, as so on, and so on, gets to be pretty daunting by mid-afternoon.
But those two girly baby cousins are awfully cute aren't they?
(T minus two days until Banana Girl gets here)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Here's some examples:
Star Wars III:
Padme is certain that the birth would be fine but Anakin has "dreams" that she will die in childbirth. His fear actually propels his entire plot arc of falling to the dark side of the force in order to protect her from death in childbirth.
This is actually confusing to me. If their culture is soo freakin' advanced that they can make robot limbs and the like, wouldn't this fantasy also include bypassing danger from childbirth? I think the whole "medical science and knowledge will save the world" futuristic mythology is complete and utter crap anyway, but if you are going to postulate such bullshit, be consistent already George Lucas!
So, skipping forward, after Anakin goes postal and tries to choke Padme to death and she has now apparently lost all her gumption (former leader of an entire planet felled by one bad boyfriend...whatever!) and will to live, she is finally giving birth. It is not clear what the mechanics of said birth are, but it is unsurprisingly aseptic and involves a robot doing the delivery.
With a scoopy scoop hand.
Let me just say, this is totally dumb. Scoopy hands do not make robots good baby catchers. No woman in her right mind is gonna be like: "My new OB is so great! He has a scoopy hand which makes it so much easier scoop out my womb, like a quart of ice cream!" I think a robot OB delivery guy would be twice as likely to get kicked across the room unless they are heavily sedating laboring women in Lucas's scoopy OB world.
And either Padme is heavily sedated or she is just the worst mother on the planet because they specifically state that "nothing is wrong with her" but she has "lost her will to live" even as she pants and pitifully names her children: "Luke. Sigh." And then "Leia. Ssssiiigh." I mean, COME ON! Didn't we spend the last three entire episodes having Padme's kick ass determination shoved down our throat and then she takes one look at her children, names them Luke and Leia (in a world of Anakins and Padmes) after her favorite soap opera characters, and then drifts off to her death because she has no will to live? That's it???? Really?
Okay, so that birth scene disturbed me on several levels. But I am really really tired of the futuristic, science will save us all (with scoopy-handed robots) crappola! Unless you have no will to live. They can't save you from being a twit apparently.
Let's look at less futuristic but equally twit infested model from "reality TV":
Discovery's Birth Day:
I'll admit I have only seen this show about ten times because I become so disturbed and worked up that it makes me an unfit mother due to blind rage. I mean, TLC's A Baby Story shows and supports highly medicalized birth more often than it shows variations of natural birth, but look where they are filming: LA. It is probably statistically showing about the normal breakdown of what Americans look for in birth. And furthermore, the show's only agenda is to show different births. And it does. (But I can barely watch this show either.)
Back to Birth Day. I don't know what OB from hell is sleeping with the producers of this show but they have a clear agenda: To show how terrifying and dangerous birth is (all the time, mind you) and how the medical people save the day (every time, because they are Gods)! They take a low income or under-educated population and then they just run rampant over them. They either choose to show the rare complications (preeclampsia, true placenta previa) as everyday occurrences OR they iatrogenically (that means their own medicalized management created it) introduce complications which actually endanger the child and or mother and then perform a cesarean delivery to cover up their own error and blame it on the mom. "Oh dear, your pelvis was too small for this humongous eight pound baby. Blah dee blah." I have to stop talking about this now or I will be worthless for the rest of the day.
Anyway, this is what our population is being taught about birth everyday. We NEED the OB, and the scoopy robot guy to deliver our babies. I had a labor and delivery nurse ask me recently, knowing that I had my children at home without a midwife, how my husband managed to pull the baby out without proper training. She was amazed as I explained to her how the body has its own mechanism for doing that more safely and efficiently than a "helper" can. But what about shoulder dystocia, she wanted to know. Again with the amazement as I explained how rare true shoulder dytocia is when the mother is not lying prone or how easily it can be released by the mother squatting or a simple bit of suprapubic pressure. This was a labor and deliver nurse people! WTF!
There are lots more examples of crappy and misguided media portrayals of birth discussed *here if you would like to think about this some more. I've gotta stop before my head blows up.
Have a great day.
And just because this entry has me thinking: Shout out to my friend Kris. Send some happy labor vibes her way folks cuz' she is cooked! If your name is Kris, you can have that baby whenever you want now. Hugs!
*If the link isn't letting you in, you need to register as a user, which is quick and painless to read more. It's totally worth your time if you find this interesting and you haven't spent time at mothering.com already. Check it out. Be sure to check out the pregnancy boards and the cool chicks at the Unassisted Birth subforum.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Me: (Laughing) Oh, Quin! You are such a silly chicken.*
Gabe: Yeah Quin, you're a silly chicken. Ha ha. (Think Simpson's sing song voice here.)
Quin: (Placidly) I's not a chicken. I's Quinny.
*Silly chicken is our traditional family moniker when playfully teasing. In fact, "chicken" has become the family default term of endearment in phrases such as "hungry chicken", "sleepy chicken", "dirty chicken" and the like. This was all begat by my friend Julie from Buffalo who commonly called her husband and any friend who came into her orbit some kind of a chicken. I imagine that now her children are all "chicken-ified" as well. It's nice, is it not? You are all my little "Internet Chickens". Awwww.
And now I am trying to figure out how this will actually work.
I will check Ribh's car seat, since she will be attached to me. I will check one big bag with all of our stuff for six days. The kids can each carry a back pack that holds their personal gear. I will have my diaper bag, my purse, the camera bag, and the baby.
Quin will need to travel in her toddler car seat, so she will have to be seated by the window (FAA regulation). Quin will need to be occupied with a plethora of small babies, her Dora doll, a sippy cup, and several small bags of snacks. A noise-making book would help keep her busy, but won't enthuse others, so I think I'll skip it.
Gabe is big enough to travel without his booster, so I can separate him from his sister and let him sit on the aisle but then he will be prone to getting out of his seat and wanting to wonder about the aircraft. Ever since some misguided soul let him sit in the cockpit on a flight over a year ago, he thinks he is now fully qualified to operate a 747. A book will not occupy him enough and just give him a pointy missile with which he can torment those near to him. I wish we had a Game Boy right about now.
I will sit in the middle, trying to nurse Peevers back to sleep after the wretched flight staff force me to extract her inevitably sleeping form from the sling. They do this at the beginning of every flight because the FAA in their infinite wisdom has decreed that a baby is at greater risk in case of an emergency if strapped to her mother (who may double over and squish said child) than as a projectile bouncing around the aircraft! Let's think this through for the FAA blowhards: If there were an emergency or crash, I would much rather my child got squished a bit and then was neatly attached to me so if I was conscious I could just exit the aircraft with two free hands rather than search the burning craft for my projectile baby. I could maybe use those two free hands to locate and direct my other two children who had been kept perfectly safe by their tiny canvas seatbelt strap across the waist. (Insert sarcasm.) Thanks FAA! You are so wise. You have thought of everything, once again.
So, Peevers, as usual, will be awakened abruptly right before the flight takes off as I remove her from her cozy slumber against my body. So I will then get to settle/nurse her back down (here's the part about that idiot, Barbara Walters!) while keeping the other two happy and hopefully quiet as well. Oh dear GOD!
I just thought of something else: How am I gonna get all my stuff INTO the airport? Can I train Gabe as a sherpa in the next two weeks?
Seriously people, you might want to avoid all flight in and out of the Atlanta airport over Labor Day weekend, because God help me, I am going to make this happen somehow. Beware!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
That's right folks...You heard it here first; I am moving to Georgia! (To this house.)
Okay, I guess that's not news to most of you, but the actually newsworthy part is that there is finally an end in sight. A light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.
And the answer to all my angst, my turmoil of single parenting and running a practice situated a mere 900 miles from Hubby: We have hired an associate.
Her name is Dr. Susan and she will begin training in the office this week. I am planning to kick things back into high gear at the practice for the next five weeks while I teach Dr. Susan all that five plus years of practice and three practice start-ups have taught me, as well as perform a daily brain dump of as much of my "Wild and Weirdly Wonderful World of Dr. Mary" as any human can withstand. She will take my pregnancy and childbirth class this weekend. I also gave her a stack of WLP materials and CDs.
Did I mention the part where she also has to/gets to train with Dr. Casey two morning per week? Seriously people, her face might just melt off. Dr. Casey is my partner and he is TWICE as intense as I am. And he is from Arkansas.
This woman is gonna learn more than any new associate has ever learned in five weeks or her head might just explode. She seems pretty competent though. I think it's gonna be okay. She really is gonna be okay. I swear.
The plan is as follows: I am going to give my all to the practice and put my energy where my mouth is for once. I predict we will have the best month ever at the practice. I am going to keep my house immaculate and continue to show it until I get a nice juicy offer (How about a bidding war? Anyone?) and then I will packity pack pack (while the children are tied up with packing tape and hanging neatly in the closet) all my possessions for the big move.
Then I will take my children and my hound dog and my insane amount of boxed crafting materials and stuffed animals and broken toys and I am moving to the Southland. And I am going to sleep next to my hubby at night (or within two to three children's bodies reach).
So don't cry for me, Loyal Internet Readers, because I am going to The Land of Plenty. Soon.
Monday, August 15, 2005
A mother's body remembers her babies...the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul.
It's the last one though that overtakes you. I can't dare say I loved the others less; together they were my first issue. I took one deep breath for every step they took away from me. That's how it is with the firstborn, no matter what kind of mother you are...rich, poor, frazzled half to death or sweetly content. A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.
But the last one; the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after...oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent of moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down.
My baby, my blood, my honest truth; entreat me not to leave thee; for whither thou goest I will go. Where I lodge, we lodge together. Where I die, you will be buried at last.
--The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I went home this weekend to visit my family one last time and to see my youngest sister's firstborn. She told me with awe how she didn't want to be separated from her son for even a few moments. Her husband offered to hold the baby, who was fast asleep, while she went to take a much needed nap. But she protested that she wouldn't be able to sleep without her baby beside her.
How proud and glad I was that she was able to hear her maternal instinct. Her mommy instinct was telling her loud and clear that to be without her baby would be like being without her arm. "It is like, I would trust my family to watch my arm and that nothing bad would happen to it, but I would just prefer to have my arm with me."
I was feeling somewhat guilty over the course of my week as I spent little to no time worrying about the big kids or really even thinking about them. I had such a busy week with myriad projects and responsibilities to finally take care of. I knew the kids were safe and happy and I simply put them out of my mind and enjoyed the extra time I garnered in their absence. And I was feeling a bit like a bad Mama for my ability to let them go so blithely.
Last night I tucked them into bed with care, lavishing multiple kisses and hugs upon them and stroking their long limbed "big kid"-ness. They seem so huge and grown up after a week with just my nursling baby.
During the night Gabe woke me asking me to take him downstairs to pee. "I need you to carry me" he demanded plaintively as he stumbled about in the dark. I carried my big boy downstairs and leaned against the bathroom wall while he peed. He is my firstborn and he will be going to kindergarten this year. I will send him off with his backpack and school supplies and spend entire days without seeing his face and hearing his sweet little voice.
As I picked him up to bring him back up to his bed, he wrapped his arms around my neck, sighing into my hair with pleasure and wrapped his legs around my waist, loose limbed in complete trust that his mama would put him back into his cozy bed. He was already asleep as I climbed the stairs.
I was struck with the realization that no matter how big he becomes he is still as much a part of me as my arm and as precious to me as any limb. No matter how big and independent he becomes, I will always feel right with him nestled (overflowing) in my arms. Even when he doesn't need me, he still feels most right and content when he is reunited with my flesh, just as I am with his. He and Quin and his nursling baby sister are all a part of me.
And now that all my limbs are reunited and my life is three times as crazy, I am somehow, finally at peace once again.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I am probably the ideal demographic for this program. I am a child of the 80s, who loved INXS and drooled over the persona that was Michael Hutchence. Granted, I had some squeaky clean cutesy perception of him at the time instead of understanding the drug-addled, thrill-seeking, crazy he was becoming. But, damn the man could sing and look damn fine doing it! So, I'll just continue to refuse to confront the asphyxiation sexual deviant issues. I mean, what makes hanging yourself while achieving orgasm deviant? But I digress.
I loved INXS and Hutchence. So, naturally I was appalled when I heard the premise of this show. How lame. Publicly auditioning a new lead singer for INXS? Pul-leeze. I'd sooner pour gasoline in my ears than hear the travesty of fame-whores doing INXS covers on national TV.
But it's summer. And there is nothing interesting on TV. (Except HBO! Holy Cows! Did you seen Six Feet Under this week? I cried my eyes out! Damn You Alan Ball!) So, I watched INXS: Rockstar for a lark the first time three weeks ago. And while there are a few singers who are clearly not going to win the competition and it is simply a matter of time until they are voted off by the band, there are three of four contestants who really rock. These are not American Idol chicky babe wannabees. These are genuine professional singers who know how to command a stage. And they are singing real rock and roll classics, not second string, cheap-to-buy-the-rights-to one hit wonders.
I have a few favorites. My money is on Mig, Marty, or Jordis. They show the greatest depth of talent, flair, passion, control, artistry, and charisma. That being said, JD has a shot at it, but damn, he bugs! I know they control the editing and all, but he has to have pissed off somebody to get edited that way.
The performances on this show are so good sometimes, that I actually have to go look for them online, so I can hear them again. Last week, Jordis sang The Man Who Sold The World (Bowie) and raised all the hair on my arms and the back of my neck. It was That Good. Go to Limewire and look for it. Search for Jordis. (Her rendition of Ain't No Sunshine is worth a listen as well.) But her rendition of The Man Who Sold The World has been stuck in my head all week. In a good way.
But you know what has really been stuck in my head all week? This commercial jingle. I seriously about fall over laughing every time this commercial comes on the TV. I especially love the shot that swoops by the clothesline to reveal the fruit posing all angsty and forlornly. And of course, the final shot of "Apple" singing earnestly while looking at the camera all "I'm in frank pain over the depth of my love for this crazy tag free underwear!" Either that or he is thinking "GodDAMN I hope my Mama never sees this travesty I've made of my career!" He is so ashamed that he must look away from the unwavering eye of the camera which is clearly searing him to the depths of his Fruit of the Loom soul. I seriously love this ad campaign so much, I might have to go out and buy me some Fruit of the Loom underwear.
So, take my advice and watch yourself some INXS: Rockstar on Tuesday and Wednesday night. And please, for the love of god, go out and buy some tag free Fruit of the Loom underwear! Apple needs you!
I went downstairs last night with a heaping armload of bedding to wash when I was startled by the terrifying swoop of shadows across the top of the basement stairs. Perhaps there was just one little bitty bat flying around my basement, but the swooping shadows across the stairwell and walls told my inner spook-o-meter that there were at least two or three and that they each had a wing span of about six feet and were likely rabid and very hungry.
I squealed (girlishly) and heaved the unwashed laundry into their flight pattern, further disrupting and I realized likely enraging them. Then I turned off the basement light and ran into the kitchen, slamming the door.
I know I was totally over-reacting. I knew it at the time.
First of all, I am not a girl who has never seen a bat before. I grew up in a series of decrepit old farmhouses. My father has a motto when searching for housing for his family: if the dwelling is not about to collapse, falling down or abandoned, it probably won't sustain the joys that come with undertaking extensive remodeling while small children eat rusty nails and plaster for months on end. The only house we lived in as kids that didn't need extensive remodeling to make it habitable was a trailer home we lived in for about a year in the late 70s. And I will admit that it was at least twice as hideous as any delapidated house we ever lived in.
The point is: I have seen many many a bat inside the house in my day. And yet, that doesn't make me any happier about it.
Secondly, truth be told, I have seen these very bats in my current house before. In the almost two years I have lived here, I have seen them (it's likely actually two or three total) in my basement on at least three or four other (equally creepy) occasions. And twice now, they have made they way all the way into the upstairs.
The first time one dared to show its furry little face in the upstairs, I quickly got Hubby to somehow get rid of it. I could not tell you what he did because I hid in the bedroom until it was done.
Last weekend, I was in our home office talking to Hubby (who was visiting, remember) when I glanced into the hallway and noticed a small upsidedown star-shaped lump hanging from my hallway ceiling. I suddenly remembered how Banana Girl had told me that she had seen a bat in the basement earlier in the week. (She had told me how she just had to finish changing her laundry, so she just stood there, loading and unloading clothes and diapers while reminding herself that bats have radar and would not bump into her. She is crazier and braver than Christian Bale in Batman Begins people!)
I'll admit, when I saw that bat in my hall, I think a little pee trickled down my leg. I really wasn't happy. I hissed: "Honey, I think I see a bat" and then promptly scurried into the bathroom and peered into the hallway through a slit in the door. Hubby wasn't perturbed in the least (my hero) and got a plastic bin that is supposed to hold kid's toys but wasn't (because said toys were spread across three rooms of the house as usual) and calmly slid the bin underneath the sleeping bat (yeah right, it was sleeping. I think it was pretending to sleep in order to lull someone close enough to it in order to swoop down and chew through the nearest jugular) dislodging it and trapping it with the sealable cover to the bin.
And then it was show and tell time.
While I wiped the trickle of urine off my leg, Hubby called the kids from their oblivious play to "see the neat bat that Papa caught." As a parent, I feel it is one of my duties to try to not pass on my admittedly unreasonable fear of things which society has already taught me to fear, like spiders and bugs and reptiles and bats and the like. So, I gamely joined in: "Gabe, look at this cool little bat. He got stuck in our house, but we are going to help him go back outside." All the while my skin is crawling and I am keeping three feet back of the bat box. Both Gabe and Quin thought the bat was the coolest thing ever, especially after he woke up and started scuttling all over the transparent plastic box in a vain effort to find a new cool dark place to wait for an unsuspecting jugular upon which to gnaw.
In retrospect, dear internet reader, I wish I had taken a few photos to share with you so you could appreciate the situation, but in all honesty, I was far too engaged in showing the kids the bat quickly and then getting it the hell out of my house before I pissed myself for real.
We finally brought the increasingly disturbed (and hungry for sweet jugular goodness) bat out to the front lawn and opened the box and watched it fly across the street and into a tree. The kids wanted to know where it was going and we said it would find a new and better home, but I know it has likely come back into my basement where it is used to nesting and is waiting until a day when Hubby is not here to exact its revenge upon me for daring to upset his lair. He will likely have Mrs. Bat with him and they can plan their attack and go for both jugulars simultaneously and drop me like a bag of bricks.
So, next time there is no new post for a few days, please send someone to my house to see if I am bleeding and unconscious on my basement floor. But watch out, I may be rabid. And hungry for sweet jugular goodness.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
(Seriously, I want to know!)
What do you like best about this blog?
Do you read other blogs?
What other blogs does mine remind you of...or is it entirely original?
I know my grammar usage isn't perfect (Kris!) but more importantly (to me), are my ideas clear? How is the narrative flow? (I am way more about composition/narrative voice than grammar. Sorry if this offends you die hard grammarians.)
What bugs you about this blog or other blogs?
How'd you find me?
I truly am interested in who my audience is and why.
Please, please, please, comment and I will either sing for you, give you a great adjustment sometime, or promise to never ever bring my children to your house, your pick.
As you may recall, the big kids are with Grampa and Gramma this week in the "Big Vacation of Grandchild Spoilery" in Northern Wisconsin. This vacation is likely comprised of 18 straight hours of Cartoon Network, riding Grampa's tractor, and having a first rate short order cook who makes whatever you request including marshmallows and bacon for breakfast. There were also reportedly new toys waiting for them upon their arrival. So, at less than 24 hours separation from their mother, while I am already beginning to miss them acutely, they no doubt can barely recall that there is a woman who birthed them and whose name they typically utter (or shriek) about 2697 times per day. At the very least.
I have a lengthy to do list that calls me. But the siren lure of the computer is winning so far. At some point today (my only "work" free day this week) I need to do all our household finances that I have put off for the past 6 weeks, including reconciling the bank accounts from the past three months, sort out this filthy desktop (getting ready to move) and clean out the fridge. I am also washing all the bedding, including the kiddo's blankets, which become a bit nasty from food in bed and Quin's occasional diaper seepage. (Listen people, diapers seep sometimes. Blankets don't get washed all the time. This is the way it is when you have three small children and are trying to run your own business!) I also need to touch up some paint spots in the bathroom, living room and paint the ceiling in the kid's room. I have been delaying this task until the kids are gone to avoid the inevitable discovery of the wonders of paint by the children which would culminate in their tracking paint about the house and then marveling in the permanency of the "footprints." Gabe would doubtlessly say: "Look Mama! Like, a clue!" Scooby Doo style, because he now models his speech patterns on Shaggy and Scooby. (Typical dialogue: "Zoinks Mama! Like, I am totally hungry! Ruh Row! I need a Scooby Snack like, right now!")
In the absence of such distractions, there is this primal part of me which is screaming "Hoooray! No kids to wrangle or cook for or clean up after! Rejoice! Watch TV! Eat Bon Bons!" I am striving to strike a balance. I put in over ten hours at the office yesterday. Perhaps today I can slag off on the computer a bit and maybe even take a nap! Then I will tackle the To Do List From Hell.
I was thinking, as I locked up the house last night, how lonely I will be when my kids are grown and it is just me and Hubby all the time. So, yes, silly me, I am battling "Empty Nest Syndrome" while my kids are away on the World's Greatest Sugar Ingesting Challenge. Sigh.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Poor Hubby. It was such a quick weekend and half of it spent in the car. Our lives are so unpredictable right now and yet chock full of responsibilities and commitments that cannot be laid aside. Hubby was reduced to tears as he kissed and hugged the kids goodbye. It will likely be four or five weeks before he sees us again.
The kids are always so terribly thrilled to see him. When we picked him up at the airport on Friday afternoon, Quinlan was so excited that she burst into tears at the sight of him. He works so hard to fill the tight weekends with quality time bonding with his kids. He snuggles Quin down for every nap (and then takes one himself) and spends time doing whatever Gabe wants including helping him solve his Scooby Doo computer games, which takes hours. Boring hours. Overall, he is seldom seen without one or both children draped across his body while smearing food and kisses on his clothes and face. It really is the sweetest thing.
The irony is that when I met Hubby, he told me point blank that he wasn't really interested in having children. Our first date didn't go well. We had gone out to eat at Perkins (cheap diner) and when we sat down, Hubby grabbed a newspaper and proceeded to read it while we waited for our food. I was stung by this rudeness but drew him into conversation anyway (because I can, frankly, converse with a post if needed). Within this conversation he told me that kids made him somewhat uncomfortable and he doubted he would ever have any of his own. Needless to say, I was not impressed with him as date material, much less relationship material at that moment.
Now, in his defense, we were in our early twenties. We were just beginning to really enjoy our independence from our families and find our true path in the world. I should also confess that I have also been known (in my teens) to make rash statement about how I would never have kids. In fact I think I could be quoted as stating: "I'm never going to have kids. I think I will have my tubes tied when I turn 18!" (Ummm. Dumbass, meet your three children.)
I'm really not sure what Hubby did to convince me to continue to go out with him because when he made his no kids for me statement. I remember thinking quite clearly, well then obviously this won't be a long term relationship, because I had figured out by this time that I did want to have a family eventually. But I agreed to date him, warning him that it was only a summer fling for me, and that when I returned to Madison in the fall, the relationship would be over. We worked in a restaurant together and we spent pretty much every single day together either working or just hanging out for the rest of the summer. And we just had such a great time together. He not only got me but seemed to think I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He wore my resistance down with his humor and appreciation of my wackiness, and his unswerving devotion to me. I do however remember the exact moment I figured out what a great dad he would be, even if he didn't know it himself.
I also worked in a Laundromat that summer. Hubby liked to do his laundry during my shift so we could hang out. As Hubby was exiting the building with a heaped basket of clean, folded laundry, he opened the door into two small children who could not be seen below the sightline of the small window in the door. The kids were not hurt, but were knocked down and one began to cry. He quickly and instinctively dropped his carefully folded laundry and began comforting the kids. He even picked up the littlest one and brushed her off and soothed her without any awkwardness or fanfare. He wasn't looking around for me or even the children's parent to intervene, but just taking care of the situation with perfect "daddy-ease".
I watched all this take place through a picture window which opened onto the parking lot near my desk. He didn't know I could see and didn't even think to tell me about the incident until later. But my heart grew about a foot that day (picture the Grinch here) as I realized that this guy, who was so perfect in every way except his self proclaimed awkwardness with children, was just a Daddy waiting to happen. His ability to nurture others was evident in so many aspects of his personality, but this incident brought it out into the open in front of me.
Before we got engaged, a little over one month after the laundry incident, we had several discussions about children. He confessed that kids intimidated him and that he couldn't imagine wanting to have kids with anyone before he met me. (All together now, awwwww! We were already sleeping together so he didn't even say it to get lucky.) We agreed that we weren't going to be ready to be parents for quite a while but we both sheltered a clear image of how important parenting and family were to our future.
Our Gabriel was born seven years later. Hubby was ready and took to fatherhood like an old pro and has never looked back. And I will never forget the day he caused me to fall in love with him, all because he ran over some children with his laundry basket.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
I didn't go. I've already been to five "conferences" this year and my quota for plane tickets and expensive hotel rooms is nigh full. Not to mention the difficulty of securing weekend childcare and the likelihood that me having a 6 month old nursling strapped to my chest would be frowned upon. And I have a pretty strict personal policy about nurslings: they stay with the Mama until they are night weaned. I figured it would be pretty difficult to glean info and bond while a squeaky, squirmy Peevers peered out of a sling or flashed my boob repeatedly at the tri-state area (although boobs appeared to be a popular topic of conversation amongst the Mommyblogger set). It wasn't like I was being asked to speak on a panel or meet with my blogging friends. And ultimately, I feel like a second or third class citizen in the blog world since I've only had a blog for three months. I'm just one of the great unwashed masses who has only just managed to add a photo to my quintessentially unsophisticated blogger format. I'm not just a blogging near virgin, I am a geeky, wallflower, dorky, blogging near virgin. So, as I said, I didn't go.
Nevertheless, this week my blog reading has been full to the brim with BlogHer debriefings (here, here, here, and here, to name a few) and Flickr photos (here) from some of my blogging muses. And since I am a "Mommy Blogger" (apparently a highly derogatory blogging title), I have been very interested in the conversations about moms who blog and whether or not we, as a species, have any merit. One of the posts that got me the most riled up was this one over in Mrs. Kennedy's world.
And now, for my fellow newbies and other BlogHer Non-Attendees of the MommyBlog persuation, I interupt this post for a public service tutorial:
A Primer of MommyBlogdom
I am a newbie to the blog celebrity world, but the pecking order of who's who in bloggery has been drilled into me this week. So I am qualified to elucidate you. (Sez me.)
Mrs. Kennedy/Fussy is the Katherine Hepburn (stately, smart, introspective, elegant) of Mommy Blogs.
Heather/Dooce is the Julia Roberts (beloved, witty, goofily gorgeous) of Mommy Blogs.
Melissa/Suburban Bliss is the Sandra Bullock (the girl next door, wacky, offbeat, emotionally available) of Mommy Blogs.
Alice/Finslippy is the Uma Thurman (Lovely, ethereal, subversive, ass-kicking) of Mommy Blogs.
Tracey/Sweetney is the ReeseWitherspoon (cute, bubbly, smart-as-a-whip, up to something dangerously seductive) of MommyBlogs.
I know there are other key players, and I really don't mean to leave any superstars out of my off-the-cuff list. But I am NEW (new, I tell you, new) and I have only formed these impression based on their blogs and descriptions of each other in their BlogHer reports.
These women are impressive writers who have blogs so wildly popular that they get interviewed for national articles, have to permanently disable comments because of all the flaming and spam, and have crazy high hit counts at which I could only guess. In comparison, I beg (please, please, please) for comments, get like 50 hits on a good day, and am asked by my hubby to please post something new because he is sick of looking at the same shit when he checks in and I haven't posted something new for a day or two running. (This does not qualify as a fan club.) I know of three people who link to me. The links to these women appear on EVERY SINGLE BLOG ROLL on every freakin' blog I come across. They are the elite.
So, if you want to know why Mommy Bloggers are not just bored housewives serializing their pedestrian existence as it relates to their children, check out these blogs. I also really enjoy ThreeKidCircus, I'm Abloggin', and Very Mom. Because, ultimately, if you are blogging, whether you are a mom, dad, singleton, childless by choice, not quite ready for parenthood, or anteater, you are engaging in an act which has the potential to shape the collective communication and consciousness of this nation (okay, maybe Canada too). And whether you talk about your day or bare the naked depths of your soul, you have the ability to influence others and over time, change the world. (Here she goes again with her 'save the world' crap. I know. Sigh. I'm just bubbling with optimism again.)
So, thanks to all the other "mommy bloggers" out there who have paved the way (with humor and pathos) for my little tiny speck of a blog. At the very least, I enjoy it, and it's good therapy for me and my kids.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Great. Gabe is F-ing around with the DVDs again. Oh look, he has piled two DVDs into the Playstation. Playstation no likey. Playstation is trying desperately to make them both spin or else kick them out again, but Playstation is no match for my boy.
Who the heck decided it was a great idea to put children's entertainment on DVDs? I think those bastards purposely made kids DVDs twice as fragile as the regular kind, so that if a child, even a well mannered non-destructive child (not mine) were to touch, nay, even breathe on a DVD, it will quickly develop fatal flaws in its magic "coding" and fail to ever play properly again.
And even in their demise the dreaded DVDs torment and thwart you. Do they simply fail to load and play? Why no. They pretend to have the ability to play but stutter and freeze causing your child to come running from the other room to announce in a voice that carries through every phone line open in the tri-state area: "Dora is totally freaking out again" (as though Dora is having a seizure and you are needed to quickly stuff a wooden spoon in her mouth to keep Swiper the Fox from stealing her tongue). Thus begins the cycle of three attempts to clean the fatally wounded disc with various cleaning fluids and soft rags beginning with your shirt and the cleansing power of Mama Spit and ending with expensive resurfacing liquid and a special shammy.
After your 15 minutes intervention of Dora CPR fails to revive the afflicted DVD, the children involved in its demise either throw themselves on the floor in a dramatic display of solidarity with Dora and all her friends on the Goddamn Pirate Adventure (retitled here for emphasis) or say, "It's okay, Mama. That movie was from Blockbuster. Let's go get another one."
And if you were to just buy said movie, to save muliple trips and late fees at Blockbuster, the DVD will cost a least twice as much as the exact same movie on VHS. But, does the entertainment system in my minivan play VHS? Uh, no. So we must buy and rent DVDs.
And while I'm at it, why the hell does Dora have to repeat every single thing three to seven times? Seriously, she must ask "Where Are We Going?" about 27 times per episode. She then encourages them to participate. "Say It With Me!" And since my kids are so obedient and they love to "Play Dora" now, I get to hear that line, as well as "Swiper, No Swiping" and "We Did It!" and "What's Your Favorite Part? Mine Is......" another 47 times over the course of a single car ride. And, to add insult to injury, Dora and her friends deliver every line in a near full pitched scream. Therefore, the reenactment of each line must also be delivered in a full scream.
Imagine if you will: The map doesn't simply tell you he's the map. He screams out his single line nine times. Every episode. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP. I'M THE MAP!! Now imagine that reenacted for you another 16 times over the course of a day. Tedious, no? Are you half way to insanity yet? Are the childless among you lining up birth control as we speak?
So, curses on Dora and her unique brand of torment and invaluable toddler crack cocaine effect. Although, in her defense, the children have learned to count to five as well as how to say "jump" and "open" in Spanish. Unfortunately, the next Spanish phrase they are likely to learn is "Tell Dora and her goddamn Map to shut the hell up."
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
The deal I have been painstakingly negotiating for the (discount) sale of my practice appears to be falling through. I have been working on closing this deal at substantial loss of expected revenue, just so that I can cut my losses and move on to Atlanta to be reunited with Hubby already. And after weeks of phone tag and trying to reach this potential buyer, today we had a conversation which completely disheartened me. So, most likely, I am back to square one.
I feel so deeply and completely stressed. The practice is suffering. All my patients know we are leaving and they are not referring or maintaining long term schedules. I haven't been investing time and money into marketing since I figured I would be long gone before the campaign bore fruit. I have been so distracted (plus I have all new staff) that I haven't been giving the practice the full energy it deserves. So we are short on cash flow and patient flow and positive energy, which doesn't make going to work easy.
I miss my husband. I am trying to suck up my stress and my short-tempered likelihood to go berserk at moments notice and I am struggling to be a good Mama and have meaningful interchanges with my children. Sadly, I fear I am over relying on Dora and her ilk to "keep 'em busy" while I do other important things like laundry and meals and keeping the house ready to show and the finances and sneaking time on the computer for fun (and sanity). My fuse is getting shorter and shorter every day.
I am a person of deep spirituality. I believe the Universe will always tell us the right thing to do. I have committed to this leap of faith in dropping everything and moving to Georgia because Brian is so deeply needed there and we are committed to what he is helping the chiropractor profession achieve. But as I wait day after day after day for the "rest of the Universe's plan" to be revealed I am losing faith. I don't feel like I can do this for another 4 months or 6 months or year or whatever the process ends up becoming.
So, now I need to remind myself of the brass tacks: What Really Matters.
1. My family is all healthy and well. I have three beautiful children who are good and loving kids.
2. My husband is only gone temporarily. I am not really a single mom.
3. I have work that I am intensely passionate about both in my daily practice and in my long term birth and educational projects.
4. I have extended friends and family who pitch in whenever possible to ease my burden.
5. Although finances are very tight right now, I have a comfortable home and healthy food available at all times.
6. I have more strength and more stamina than I know. And I am growing stronger and more determined to stand up for what I know to be true from this experience.
7. I am loved.
Life goes on, even as I feel all my hope for a reunion of my family in the near future dwindling. Gabe turned FIVE today. We are having a good day (more so than not) because that is what being a parent is all about. I will not let my stress and doubts keep my children from having a happy childhood. Even for one summer.
Then I iced them liberally with chocolate frosting and set the table with the special Birthday Table Cloth from my friend Tracy. Look how excited Gabe is to get his cake! He is finally old enough to fully understand and anticipate the concept of his birthday and all the accoutrements.
Here he is, clapping his hands in unfettered glee!
Quin helped him blow out the candles and he didn't mind a bit.
Then we all chowed down on the spoils of Birthday-tude. Except Peevers, who is puzzled.
But how fetching is Peeves in her custom made Party Hat? She's total like: What the Hell. You all are eating cake and I gotta wear this cockamamie hat and eat tiny pieces of peach? What gives? This is baby-ism at its worst!
And here are the aforementioned custom party hats in all their shining (and in Peever's case highly crumpled and partially eaten) glory.
Gabe's says: Birthday Boy Gabe
Honey Babe's says: Mielle
Quin's says: Q Girl
Ribh's says: Peeves
Hooray for all the scrapbooking supplies I have collected and not touched since having more than one child! I'm crazy, but not crazy enough to try to scrapbook with three children literally eating the scraps before my eyes. I still takes lots of photos, but my scrapping days are long gone. Besides, what kid really wants their photos surrounded by giraffes and shit anyway? Much better on party hats they got to help make.
It was a good kid day. We baked. We frosted. We crafted (hats). We sang. We swam in the pool in the yard. We danced to Dirty Dancing and INXS: Rockstar. And a good time was had by all.
Monday, August 01, 2005
The babies have been enjoying each other's company. Peevers all but turns herself inside out in excitement when she is near Honey Babe. Honey Babe in turn shows her excessive love for "little" Peevers (whose thighs are three times larger than her 6 months older cousin) by smooshing her face and slapping/patting her head. Occasionally a wet drooly kiss is exchanged.
Peevers is picking up lots of tricks from her big cousin and will likely be crawling before the week is out. Honey Babe is picking up tricks from her older cousins and will likely be climbing stairs and asking for Dora before the week is out. They both have mad skilz when it comes to destroying magazines and catalogs.
The girl babies are modeling for you today a lovely series of tie dyed onesies. Hubby hates it when kid's clothes matches, but maybe he would be okay with this one. You can see many more of the lovely tie dyed children's garments Banana Girl has made at her blog. She's picked up a few blogging/computer addicted tricks from her big sis while here as well.
Viva la Familia!