Sunday, October 30, 2005
This early attempt is blurry, but seemly.
Here, I am training (in vain) to get the angle right in the mirror and am looking at my own reflection rather than the camera.
And now I'm like, "Screw it!" and I'm being silly.
So, that's me. I told you that you couldn't see my boobs! That's my other web site.*
*Holy cows! I was gonna put in a fake URL for sluttymoms.com as a joke and then I checked and there totally is one and you totally DO NOT want to go there. Well maybe you do, but my mom and many of my more conservative readers do not. Really.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
We went to "Spooky Science Night" at his school and he copped a typical cool kid attitute and didn't want to wear his costume. He perked up at my idea of scary black eye makeup.
As I was applying the makeup, he squeezed his eyes shut and squirmed and whined and protested that I was TOUCHING HIS EYES! I tried to explain that you can only make "black eyes" by touching the eyes with makeup and had to fight with him to finish the second eye.
After he viewed these digital images outside his school he said, "Black eyes, yuck!" and I said, "Tough, suffer."
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
So, here he is, at the zoo, in costume. He was kind of a big hit in the sea of store-bought superheroes and princesses. People would point and giggle and say "Oooh! What a scary ghost" and he would respond "It's just me!!" with a five year old's scorn and derision. He was also stumbling around knocking into people because he wasn't keeping the eye-holes in place.
It did occur to Hubby and me that he was only lacking a pointy cap to make a much less acceptable Halloween costume which would have the potential to get us driven from the zoo and perhaps the entire state altogether.
Quin wasn't into dressing up that day either. They have four separate opportunities to dress up in their costumes, so we'll see what the rest of the week brings. They are pretty cute though, no?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
At one point Hubby was mowing the lawn and I was going to the bathroom and my neighbor came into my house carrying Quin because she was crying and BLEEDING all over my driveway. She had split her lip pretty good. This is how it looked a few hours later. It looks about the same today. Poor little pitiful chicken baby.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Here is Dr. P and Otto. He is a Red Tailed Boa. (Otto that is.)
And here is Gabe petting Otto. Proof that snakes are NOT, in fact, slimey.
And here is Quin's filthy little face expressing her glee in petting Otto, who is, in her words, "The best snake ever!"
Ya'll come back now, ya hear!
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Gabe held on to his balloon all afternoon. He left it in the car when we went grocery shopping "to keep it safe." When we got home with the groceries and he got out of the car he suddenly let out a small cry of dismay. I looked up just in time to see his balloon floating above the van, free and taking off fast.
Instantly, I started putting positive spin on the situation.
"Wow! Look where your balloon is going! It's going on an adventure up into the sky!"
His eyes began to fill with tears.
"Look honey! Your balloon is going to float up high into the sky by the airplanes! Maybe somebody on an airplane will see your balloon!"
His lips continued to quiver and his cheeks got blotchy as he protested. "But, I don't want an airplane to get my balloon! I forgot that my balloon would float away!"
I swear, his heart was totally breaking over this balloon. I tried to distract him with helping me bring in the groceries but he kept returning to the subject of the balloon. He was trying so hard to process his loss.
"I miss my balloon, Mama! Maybe my balloon will fly up by an airplane and a boy in the airplane who is sad will open his window and get it. That's a great idea I think."
And now, fifteen minutes after being being tucked in bed, Quin is fast asleep, but Gabe came out with tears streaming down his face.
"Mama, I need to say goodbye to my balloon."
After I assured him that he could draw a picture of his balloon tomorrow and many other assurances of how he will not have to spend the rest of his life balloon-less, I convinced him to stop crying and go to sleep.
Such a tender heart, that boy. And such a penchant for drama. My Good God Gertie! A balloon! A simple yellow latex balloon! What will happen when his first girlfriend breaks up with him?
Friday, October 21, 2005
Me: Yes, I need to know where I can pick up a vaccination exemption form while I am there.
IW@CHSO: I'm sorry ma'am. We don't do that.
Me: I believe you do. I need the form or card which allows me to provide an exemption from vaccinations.
IW@CHSO: Oh! We don't do exemptions, but we do provide vaccination services and forms.
Me: Yes, I know that. That is why you will also have the exemption allowance form as well.
IW@CHSO: I'm sorry ma'am, we DON'T do that here.
Me: Georgia law allows for a medical and a religious exemption. I need the form which your office should provide for the school. Just like the eye/ear/dental exam I just scheduled with you.
IW@CHSO: You'll have to ask the school about that then.
Me: And they told me to ask YOU.
IW@CHSO: But ma'am, we don't do that.
Me: I understand that you personally are not aware of such a thing, but I need you to find out because I have been referred to you as the source of the form I need. You may need to ask around your office.
IW@CHSO: (pretty pissed at this point) Ma'am, we DON"T DO THAT!
Me: Well then, can you tell me who does?
IW@CHSO: NOT US!
Me: But you are the Department of Health who administers the state-wide vaccination program?
IW@CHSO: (defiantly) Yes, Ma'am.
Me: But you don't have the state mandated vaccination exemption form or any information on where I can get that?
IW@CHSO: No, Ma'am!
Me: Fine. I'll call around some more.
IW@CHSO: (click. No "have a nice day", "sorry I couldn't help you", "good luck", nothin!)
Can you imagine if I didn't know my state rights or have lots of information backing my decision not to vaccinate? How quickly would I just give in and get the freakin' poison injected into my son just because all other avenues were closed to me and the state is united in trying to make me look like some jerk off for not following all the other sheeple? Arggghhh!
* Edited to add: I did make some more calls to people who actually HAVE sent a child to school in Georgia without vaccinating and I found out that THERE IS NO FORM. So, the IW@CHSO was somewhat right, because, true true, her office doesn't DO that. But you'd at least think she could tell me: There is no form. You just write down on a piece of paper that you are not vaccinating due to X reason. That's it. Finito.
I'm not sure this lackadaisical approach is a good thing, because you can clearly see where it can lead to further confusion over the issue. You see, most states have a designated procedure which a parent can follow, rather than just be bounced from one under-informed bureaucrat to the next until they give up, prove they know what said bureaucrat does not, or set the office on fire. Georgia appears to operate under the "Stun Them With Our Stupidity" principle.
I'll tell you how it goes when I bring my little "manifesto" to Gabe's school. Bwah-hahahaha! Can you tell I'm just itchin' for a fight?
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Today, when he got home from school and burst in the front door he saw that I had company (a girlfriend visiting). He quickly and smoothly shifted gears from his usual excited report on his school day, coolly slung his backpack on the floor and said, "Hey. What's up?"
It was like he morphed into a swaggering teenager in front of my very eyes. What will he have left to communicate his cool when he is fifteen? Will he just stroll past me and grab a beer out of the fridge while scratching his nuts?
However, an hour later he ran naked into the kitchen and demanded, in front of the same company, that I wipe his butt. Guess who's ubercool now? Mom...the buttwiper.
Wait, maybe he is the cool one. He can get chicks to wipe his poopy behind on demand! Damn, I've been played!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I have spent over five hours in the past two weeks waiting in senseless lines in Government offices trying to "be a good citizen" and comply with all the rigamarole of moving and other bullshit.
It began with a trip to the DMV. I scoped it all our beforehand on the internet so that I would arrive when they were less busy and I made sure I had all the proper documentation with me. Hubby and I needed to get Georgia licenses and register our vehicles. I gathered together the birth certificates and a bill in each of our names to prove we really live in Georgia and we left the house at 8:00 am in order to be first in line. We even dragged Dr. P out with us so he could get his Georgia license, even though he normally never gets up before 10:00.
We purposely drove to a smaller office in a small town north of us and away from the city so that it would be less busy. I guess I forgot what I learned in the three years we lived in Hicksville WI; small town government office = the land that tax dollars forgot. This office was smaller than my bedroom and was stuffed to the gills with people who had the same brilliant plan to escape "busyness" that I had. Damn!
There were a number of small problems (we needed cash to pay, they didn't DO tags there, I accidentally grabbed our marriage license instead of Hubby's birth certificate, a bunch of guys kept looking down my shirt every time I leaned over and so on) but the biggest problem was the way people who came in HOURS after we did kept getting their numbers called before ours.
I know the DMV uses some magical system to determine how they categorize and rank the speed and efficiency with which they address their myriad supplicants, but DAMMIT, I got here hours ago and I have two small children going crazy in your shoebox sized "waiting room", so call my freakin' number already!!!
Once I was finally admitted to the inner sanctum of the counter space and I was waiting to get my new photo taken I discovered that people were totally wandering in and cutting in line and were getting served first and the very fact that I was patiently following directions was my greatest detriment in getting the help I needed. Great system, folks! I'll remember next time.
Hubby's number was right after mine but he wasn't called for a full 45 minutes after me. Sigh. Oh, and Dr. P didn't have all the right stuff with him, so he got to help wrangle children (and look down my shirt occasionally) for 3 hours and didn't even walk away with the coveted license with peaches on it.
A week later I went to the local Social Security office. I needed a new social security card issued for me, but more importantly, I needed a social security number and card issued for Ribh. In Wisconsin, following my other homebirths, when I sent for the birth certificate, they automatically sent the pertinent info on to the feds and a few weeks later I got a social security card in the mail for each child. In Iowa, they sent me a notice with the birth certificate saying essentially, Get your own damn social security card because we are not going to hold your freakin' hand anymore. Ooookaaay.
Well, I know the feds want each child numbered and accounted for within the first year and I will need her number for my taxes. I am finally trying to get this matter taken care of, because they require it! And here's the problem: the paperwork asks for proof of identification for the child, but they will not accept a birth certificate (huh???). They want a medical record or a school record to prove your child is who you say they are. This makes no freakin' sense to me (I know medical records, Not hard to fake. At all. Or school records for that matter.) Plus, I don't HAVE any medical records and will not be taking my perfectly healthy child to a freakin' doctor so that the social security freakin' administration lackawits can check the appropriate box in their bullshit checklist.
So, I decided to go to the office in person to talk to an actual human being to figure out how we can remedy the matter. It seemed reasonable at the time.
I arrived in their big semi-shiny office (stuffed to the gills with people and only three of 12 windows open) and took a number. And I waited. And waited. Again with the magical system of people with certain kinds of numbers (the "A's") being called about every two minutes and the kind of number I had (an "F") being called about every 15 minutes, at best. In fact, the only window calling "F's" completely closed down and locked up for 20 minutes, presumably while the window woman went for a smoking break or some such errand. I took the opportunity to nurse Peevers in public and just waited for someone to challenge that! ( Luckily, no one did. I was so riled up by then it could have been quite the show down. With milk squirting everywhere while I raged about not losing my place in line and Peever's rights and so on.)
When it was my turn (two hours later) I explained the situation to the charming (note my dripping sarcasm now) window woman. The follow account of our conversation is not literal but is a fair and true representation of both the text and the subtext of the encounter.
She was like: You just need to show me ID for your baby, lady.
And I was like: Yes, I know. Here she is. Here is her birth certificate. Here is my ID.
And she was all: But, people can FAKE birth certificates.
And I'm like: Yes and people can fake medical records and school records too!
And she was all: How do we know you didn't get this baby from someone else!
And I was all: Would you like to see my freakin' stretch marks? Shall I nurse the child for you right now? I have already sworn to the state people that this child is mine, what the hell else do you need?
And she was all: Well, girly, just ask your doctor for the records.
And I was all: But she was born at home, like I said, and has never been to a medical doctor.
And she was all: Gasp. (Horrified shock and disgust.) Well...it's things like this that...(trailing off)...How can you NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO A DOCTOR!
And I was all: I AM a freakin' doctor! My child is healthy! Why would I bring my child to medical doctor for no earthly reason? There has to be some other option. I have done this twice before with no hassles.
And she was all: No. There are rules. I am an inflexible bureaucrat beeootch. I will not even consider your request because I personally think you are crazy and dangerous and I plan to make you suffer for it.
And I was all: Fine. I will take her to a chiropractor. Will that be record-y enough for you? What type of record are you looking for specifically?
And she was all: Oh, they'll know.
And I was all: Um, how? This is not something they normally provide for the social security administration.
And she was all: Oh, yes, they will. It is so simple if you just follow my non-sensical directions.
And I was all: Remember how I told you I am a chiropractor? This is how I know they do NOT normally provide proof of a child belonging to a mother and being born on a certain date paperwork. This is not routine. I don't want to go to all this trouble just to jump through this hoop for you and have you tell me it's not the right kind of record.
And she was all: Well, Missy, you will just have to wait in our crazyland two hour bullshit line again to find out, won't you?
And that was that. If I had more money I would consider getting an attorney involved because I know that this is complete bullshit. But, since I don't have the money to fight them, I will just jump through their freaking invisible hoops. And that's why they get away with it.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
But on the flip side, I do find portions of Tom's meanderings to be dead-on-balls-accurate, in my experience. Scary, huh?
Let me break it down:
I do think we are vastly overmedicating children (ADD/ADHD) and women with Post Partum Depression. I do agree that psychiatry is a pseudo-science (as is most of medicine, contrary to the almost universally accepted delusion that medical researchers are end-all-be-all scientific geniuses. Puh-leez.) and I think that there are alternatives that could and should be exhausted before we just slap a load of antidepressants on post partum women. I know (from actual scientific evidence) that nutrition (like DHA/EPA) and other alternative health approaches (which don't include copious experimental medications) can have a considerable positive impact on many "psychiatric" situations, like PPD.
And then I freak out that I have just agreed with bumbling, meandering, scientology lovin', aliens will take over our planet someday, Tom Freakin' Cruise!
Are you with me so far? Let me explain better.
I get it that PDD is a very serious, very debilitating condition. I have some first hand knowledge of mood disorder and how the uninitiated can say incredibly frustrating things like "just snap out of it already" and "I feel sad sometimes too, and what I think you should do is get out of your bed and get on with life now" when you are feeling as though a few months of unconsciousness would be the best solution to your inability to get dressed or even get out of bed because you are so goddamn freaked out. Been there, done that. It sucked. A lot. And I didn't have any kids yet, so I only had to try to take care of myself. Mood disorders are scary, freaky, and vastly underestimated by those who haven't ever lived through it. I do not debate that.
What I do debate is that the first thing you should do is slap a buttload of toxic chemicals into the body and see how that works. Because, you know what? The drugs don't work all the time, or for everyone, or even consistently for any one person. And furthermore, the drugs don't fix the problem, they MASK THE SYMPTOMS. Not to mention toxify the body and cause a plethora of "side effects" which would frighten any well informed individual.
But we (as a society) agree that the side effects and toxins (which frequently preclude an ongoing nursing relationship with the infant in question) are worth it if the mother is able to function again. And I gotta say, I agree wholeheartedly when it is put that way. But putting it that way leaves out all the other things that were never evaluated or considered before the big (and permanent) drug solution is leaped upon.
What about subluxation? What is the mother's history of nerve system interference? How about nutrition? DHA? EPA? Adequate amounts? How many children has she had in a row without allowing her body time to recover? What kind of fertility treatments did she undergo prior to becoming pregnant? Has anyone addressed their effects? Cranial sacral work? Emotional release technique? Other body balancing work? I mean, these approaches are every bit as scientific and proven as the psychiatric model. They actually have just as good (if not better in some cases) track record in actually addressing and resolving the problem. The actual cause of the problem. But they are not "mainstream" enough, so they are easily dismissed as kooky and "unscientific".
And then Tom Cruise rants inarticulately about them and stirs up the pot further until I feel that if I even mention this subject I will get painted with the same brush of craziness that Tom carries around every day. I mean, damn it, he knows just enough to raise questions, and then fails to answer them meaningfully and coherently, so it is easy for every blogger and media group to just sit back and laugh and laugh at his meanderings.
And now they (the bloggers) are all talking about how Scientologist don't allow women to make any noise in labor. Which, I understand, is actually a guideline or "ideal" of scientology birth rather than a hard and fast rule. And I can see this guideline making the birth setting calm and peaceful and non-screamy. Which is a nice goal. For some people. It is no nuttier than asking women to lie in a semi-reclining position with their legs pulled back while being directed when and how to push their child up hill and into the hands of a doctor with a mask and a scalpel. I personally am not big on ANY birth community who says "This is the way to do it" because I think there is no single ideal. Every woman births uniquely and births best when she is allowed to listen to her own body and her own child, rather than some expert who is hell bent on directing the show and protecting her from herself.
But we must all make fun of Tom and Katie and any choice they make because they do not match our cookie cutter cultural experience of birth and because Tom dared to challenge the mainstream idea and say that drugs should not be the first line of defense for every psychiatric diagnosis peddled about today.
I understand why women become defensive of their choices when faced with the very real and very scary issue of Post Partum Depression. Unfortunately, a challenge to the SYSTEM that perpetrates a dangerous and often times unnecessary system of drug treatment is perceived by many as a personal attack on their personal choices and their personal decisions.
I doubt that Brooke Shields, or Dooce or any other mom suffering with PDD was thinking, "I don't want to get to the bottom of this problem. I just want some sweet drugs." But because the doctor said, "this is all we can do for you", and the rest of our culture supports this notion, they go along with it. Because ultimately, they are trapped and desperate and just want to be good moms and functioning human beings. It is a pretty reasonable decision.
Which is why we need to change the system and quit making fun of Tom just because he is a toothy freak (which he is) saying unusual things and consider that underneath all his inarticulate cultish blathering is a kernel of truth that has shaken our culture to its core.
Could he be right? Does this mean that so many women didn't do the only thing they could have done? Could we have been wrong when we did what the doctor said was our only option and suffered needlessly for it?
For many, it is too horrifying to contemplate, so they lash out defensively. I just ask that you consider the challenge of drugs for PDD to not be a personal critique and that maybe, possibly, another valid options exist and should be researched (some of which has already been done) and championed, rather than taunted and scorned.
And although I will probably garner criticism and piss some readers off, I must speak up. Because failing to do so perpetuates the misconception and supports the problem. Sometimes it is important to say "I disagree," even if you must align yourself momentarily with a nut job like Tom Cruise.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
I left the house and drove to a movie theater and saw a movie of my own choosing without regard for the wishes of any other. I did not have to pause the movie to change a poopy diaper or shush a child or nurse a child or answer the phone or interrupt my movie enjoyment in any way. I even drove there and back in perfect silence. It was bliss.
Hubby stayed home with the kids. As I drove out of the driveway he was perched on the top stair to our house with our three children and every other child who lives in our cul de sac surrounding him. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
When he finally couldn't stand it anymore Hubby took our kids inside. The neighborhood children remained playing in our driveway with our kids' toys. He told them to go home. Within minutes the Peripatetic Neighbor Boy (he's four) returned and let himself into our house. Hubby told him to leave.
PNB: Uh. Mr. Hubby?
Hubby: I didn't go to Frickin' Evil Chiropractic School to be called Mister. That's Doctor Hubby to you!
PNB told him a meandering story about how he was running (with Gabe's toy which he took out of our garage and broke) and fell and hurt his arm and how he needed medicine on it. Hubby told him in no uncertain terms that we don't do medicine here. Hubby told him to go home, again.
PNB: But I don't have to go home.
Hubby: (Hair raising on the back of his neck) I told you to go home, and you will go home.
A half hour later PNB let himself in again.
Hubby: PNB, why are you here? Go home. And don't just barge into my house. It's polite to knock first.
PNB: I am looking for my shoes.
Hubby: I gave them to you when you left three times ago.
PNB: But I think they are here.
Hubby: You sit right here (indicating foyer steps) and wait while I look.
Enter Gabe with a coveted "Juice Bar" (a popsicle like snack).
Hubby: PNB, your shoes are not here.
PNB: I think you should invite me to have a juice bar now because I did just what you told me to and waited right here.
Hubby: No. Go home now.
Poor Hubby. He spent two and a half hours with the children (plus PNB) and aged four years. And the house is a mess again. Sigh.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES?
They are a creamy yellow color with an embossed rosette thingy in the center. I bought them at a grocery store for dirt cheap when I was pregnant with Gabe. They have been acceptable but they are getting pretty chipped up and dingy looking over time. I have been recently dreaming of new plates. Perhaps I'll ask Santa for new daily dishes. I have no formal china.
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?
I recently got a library card here in the boonies (of
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
I'm using a laptop these days. No mouse pad, just a touch pad. Which makes me completely nuts most of the time.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
Hmmm. I get really crazy playing most "board games" because I am too competitive and I take it personally. I recently played a card game with my family and I really enjoyed it, once I started winning. (I can’t remember what it was called.) I don't have to win the whole game, but if I am losing overall, I can't handle it. I'm pathetic.
5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE?
EW (Entertainment Weekly for the uninformed). I have subscribed to this mag for over six years, but recently had to let my subscription lapse because I am broke! I was looking up movie times today and I hadn't even heard of half the movies and I felt so out of touch with entertainment news and such, it was pitiful. EW was my guilty pleasure. Now I just read whatever trashy rag I find while waiting in the checkout line to try to get my fix.
6. FAVORITE SMELL?
Fall. Smells like leaves and dirt and wet and sweet decay. I'm a freak.
7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL?
When I was pregnant with Quin, I had this natural bug-repellant that spilled in the back of my car and it was the most repulsive thing ever!
8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
My internal dialogue: What time is it? Are the kids up? Does Gabe need to catch the bus? Is Hubby up? What was that noise? I need to make some calls. I should try to sleep some more? I hope Peevers doesn't wake up. I need to take care of X, Y, and Z this morning before Hubby goes to work. I better get started. No sleep. Oh, forget it already. I'm freakin' up now!
9. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?
My family. My friends. Not losing my mind.
10. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR?
I am not bigoted about colors. They all have their time and place.
11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?
Depends on how many children are hanging off of me.
12. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?
There will be no future children. We really really wanted to name a boy Seamus and never got a chance. Maybe a dog?
13. FAVORITE SOUND?
The wind in the trees. More lulling than the ocean for me.
14. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?
Does Peevers count? She is usually stuffed with breastmilk. She is an animal. Hubby is there too (yes, we sleep in the same bed again) but there is seldom any physical contact. He needs his space.
15. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT STORMS?
Thunderstorms: I love them at night, in the summer. I'm ambivalent about daytime storms. I think they are fun when it has been really hot and then I run around outside with the kids even during the thunder and lightening so they won't be afraid of storms either.
My dog, on the other hand, is a total storm freak. She will wake me up shivering before the storm is even audible to mere humans because she is such a spaz about thunderstorms.
Although I live in the South now, I am not in the reach of hurricanes and the like, so I'm not afraid of that stuff. I grew up in the midwest, so tornados intrigue me rather than frighten me.
16. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
When I was sixteen, I bought Camille, The Wild Blue Nova for 50 bucks. She was a character. She was a 1970 Chevy Nova with a seriously rusted exterior and non-existent floorboards in the rear seats. But she ran great and started no matter how cold the winters were. My friends and I spray-painted her just 'cuz we could one day and she was easy to find in any parking lot. In fact, people always knew if I was anywhere around town because my car was so instantly recognizable. No sneaking around for me.
I once ran off the road and hit a highway marker post, which flew into the air and down the embankment, but I couldn't even find a mark on Camille. She was the best. Sadly, within a year, I T-boned another car and she was towed on a flatbed. The towing company charged me $300 to get her back, so I just let them keep her. Sigh. Her engine was still running after the crash. She would have been fine. Poor Camille, consigned to the junkyard unfairly and prematurely.
17. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I hate this question. I can never think of somebody specific. Should I be Inspirational? (Ghandi) Hip? (Quentin Tarantino) Funny? (The Bastards who decided that Dora should scream all the time) Political? (Hilary Clinton) Esoteric? (Einstein) Philosophical? (Ayn Rand) Sentimental/Maudlin? (My dead relatives) Professional? (BJ Palmer)
About half these people would probably have a stick up their bum, so I'm gonna go with Quentin. You know you'd have fun at least. (I bet BJ Palmer would like to have cocktail and say something totally insane as well.)
18. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?
I'm 33. Like Jesus. That's enough personal info already, jeez!
19. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI?
No. I am a spoiled princess.
20. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Anything where I get to ramble on about things I am passionate about and people actually like (and pay) to listen.
21. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Red. And I do, usually. At least when my dye job is fresh.
I always wanted hair like Nicole Kidman's before she started looking like the bleached out botoxed corpse she is today.
22. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?
Um, hello! Duh. Have you met Hubby? Plus the three Rugrats my life revolves around. Gotta whole lotta love.
23. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?
Half full. I'm an eternal optimist.
24. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES?
So many. I love Stupid Funny (Dumb and Dumber, Old School), Darkly Funny (Donnie Darko), Cheesy (Dirty Dancing, Grease), Period/Historical (Room with a View, Pride and Prejudice [BBC Version]), Hip (Kill Bill, Vols 1 and 2) and more that I cannot think of right now.
25. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS?
I mostly just use my index and pointer fingers. Its pitiful, but I still type reasonably quickly.
26. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED?
Our mattress has a pillow top so we just put the mattress and box springs directly on the floor to minimize the distance Peevers will crash to the floor. As it is, Quin can barely climb up on the bed.
27. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER?
967 or 87
28. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR?
Something bad happening to my kids.
29. SAY ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU.
She is always willing to try something new, no matter how scary or painful.
30. FAVORITE CD:
Puhleez. Next you'll ask me which one of my kids is my favorite.
31. FAVORITE TV SHOWS?
Um. I'll admit it. I'm a TV whore. I especially love reality TV. The best of the best would have to be The Amazing Race.
32. HAMBURGERS OR HOTDOG?
33. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK?
Whatever Hubby is drinking. I never get a soft drink for myself.
Best? Best what? Without more description I will go with a sentimental favorite:
35. SCREEN SAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW?
A picture of Quin dancing in our old backyard in a purple dress-up costume.
36. CATS OR DOGS?
They both have thier pros and cons, but, if pressed: dogs.
38. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To mute or better yet, freeze my children. Ahhh. How cool would that be?
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
When Gabe was born I was working part time as an intern in a friend's Chiropractic office. I had to complete a certain number of hours of work before I graduated a few months later, so I brought Gabe to work with me and he slept while I worked. After I graduated and that job finished, I was home with Gabe until he was about nine months old. I wish I could remember what life with just one child was like, but I can't. It seemed very stressful at the time, with entire days where I didn't manage dinner and could barely manage to clean myself, much less do laundry and such. I also remember (very vaguely) that there were naps. Naps not just for Gabe, but for Mama too!
When Quin was born I think I took like two days off work, but the patients were clamoring for me (and to see the baby) so I went back to work (part time only) right away. By that time I had met a wonderful woman named Jean who came to my house three days a week and watched Gabe and cleaned while I took Quin to work with me. Bliss.
When Quin was about 9 months old, we moved back to Iowa. I couldn't begin practicing in Iowa right away because I needed to take this Insanely Expensive National Exam that I had already taken the Insanely Expensive Wisconsin version of, but the Iowa people wanted me to take the national one. So I had to take an Insanely Expensive Review to prepare for the Insanely Expensive Exam since I hadn't used any of the subject matter for four years since almost NONE of the subject matter is actually relevant to the practice of chiropractic.
The test and review are only administered twice a year, so that gave me time to enlist my mother (Nonny) to come down for the three weeks I was in class all night taking the review. Hubby worked in the afternoon and evening and our schedule was peculiar. I needed Nonny to get through the nightmare of evening exam review and the exam itself.
Then, to further complicate matters, while Nonny was with us, Hubby and I snuck upstairs one morning while she watched the kiddos and spent a little quality time together, and by the time I took the National Insanely Expensive Exam it was clear: I was pregnant. Again.
I had by then spent about a year in Iowa doing the stay at home thing. It was an especially difficult schedule for me because Hubby often left at noon or so and didn't get home until 8:30 pm or later. During the morning, the kids are usually at their most biddable and not so hard to manage, but by about 6:30 almost every day I was at the end of my rope and the kids were squirrelly and bored and watching far too much TV. I always had plans and delusions that we would have specific activities at certain times and we would do fun and creative projects all day and so on. But I am not Mary Poppins and my plans to create a cute little line of children who amiably followed my every command provided I just sing to them never panned out. Instead they kicked and screamed and climbed on my body like it was a jungle gym and made each other shriek and begged to watch Dora. And I was weak, so I let them. And then they wanted more Dora and Scooby Doo too. And so it went.
When I was five months pregnant (and had stopped throwing up on people daily) we opened our practice in Iowa. I was pretty excited to start working again. First of all, I really do love being a Chiropractor. Also, while working, I left the house at noon three days per week, with the kids in tow, brought them to the sitters, and didn't see them again until about 7:00 pm. By the time we got home, Hubby followed within a hour or even less if we got groceries on the way home, and my sanity was preserved. And the sitter had a degree in early childhood education and sent them home with projects involving paint and noodles and the like and I was both thrilled (that they were finally doing fun create things without watching TV all day) and chagrined (that I never pulled my shit together and did this stuff myself).
When Ribh was born I took two days off work and just brought her with me when I returned again. The hours I was spending at the practice kept creeping up as I added duties with teaching classes, training new staff, handling all the finances and so on. By the time I left Iowa last month I was easily working full time. It was too much.
And now I am back to the Full Time Mom thing. I will work again, but it's complicated. First of all, I need to get my Georgia license, which costs money. Secondly, I am NOT planning to open another Chiro office myself. And I don't want to work as a Chiro under somebody else's office and management styles and so on. I have developed very specific ideas about how I practice and when I practice and I must be able to put together both a schedule that will allow me to be home with my kids when I need to as well as manage my patients how I see fit. So, I will need to find either a VERY accommodating colleague or set up what is called an Independent Contractorship where I will just be essentially renting space in someone's Chiro office.
There is also a possibility that I could get hired at the Chiropractic School where Hubby teaches. This could be a great solution IF I can find a position where I can come home in time to meet the kids after school. But I'm not real keen on putting Peevers in child care just yet. So...maybe later.
So, for now, I am a Stay at Home Mom. A Homemaker, if you will. It's been two weeks since I resumed this post. As before, the morning goes pretty well. Gabe is at school. The girls are pretty amiable. Hubby is usually around. (He is on the evening schedule again.) We run a few errands. I clean and the girls play. By late afternoon the scene is considerably different. Gabe is home and making his sisters scream. Various neighborhood children come in and out of my house and the kids dump every container of toys my children own (which is a considerable amount). My own children come and go and I strive to keep track of them. Then they come home crying that someone hit them or pushed them or looked at them cross-eyed or whatever and I explain AGAIN that I will not be a referee and they need to work it out themselves. And I continue to try to clean (or paint!) or nurse Peevers or make dinner or whatever. And then I feed them and clean up the mess and clean up their messes and clean up their filthy little bodies and then clean up the flood in the bathroom.
Hubby comes home and reads them books and tucks them in. I slump on the sofa with a glass of wine in my hand, feeling like the world's suckiest stay at home mom, because we didn't read any books or do Gabe's homework or even sing a single song yet again. And I need to go to the grocery store. And I have no money because I am not working.
I don't know exactly why this job is so difficult for me. I consider myself to be pretty creative and competent. Perhaps it is the repetitiveness. I wipe down the same counter about 87 times per day and clean up the same pile of toys about 12 times and repeat my Mama Catchphrases so many times I catch myself mumbling them in my sleep. But my Chiropractic job is repetitive, and I don't mind it.
Perhaps it is the way my subjects disregard my work. And undo it as quickly as I do it. It feels like I should wear a uniform with Sisyphus as my company emblem as I attempt to keep this place and my children reasonably clean. Sometimes parenting is an unending exercise in futility. Especially when you are alone with them. All afternoon and evening.
Maybe it's just the way the demanding little tyrants scream for things and disregard your calm and repeated instructions. In fact, they often go and do the exact opposite of what you just asked them to do. On purpose. If your boss treated you the way mine treat me, any self respecting person (or sane person) would quit after one day. But you can't.
The Take Home Message: Hug a Stay At Home Mom Today. She probably needs it.