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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Excuses, Excuses!

Dear Daughter is a picky eater. She's pretty much always been that way, at least off and on. It's "on" right now, and getting worse daily. She will, however, eat copious amount of "greasy beans," which are green beans swimming in butter. Go figure. She wouldn't touch the things with a 20 foot pole during the first two years and seven months of her life. Dear Son, on the other hand, will eat anything you put in front of him whether it is intended to be edible or not. He especially likes black olives and his bath water right now.

Anyone who is a mom to young children knows that entire days get consumed with preparing and cleaning up meals. Since young children need to eat frequently and are so messy, the mess from one meal takes a good hour to clean up and then less than two hours later you are back in the kitchen preparing the next meal.

Daughter is in a phase where she doesn't like to eat ANYTHING unless it's ice cream, plain noodles (no sauce), or chocolate. Oh yeah, and "greasy beans." I've gotten tired of working my butt off (which never quite comes completely "off," by the way) to prepare healthy meals multiple times every day that daughter won't eat. Today I gave her some choices to pick from before I prepared her lunch. She insisted that she wanted tortellini. The same tortellini that she didn't eat a week and a half ago when I made it for her, mind you. She insisted that she DOES like it and that she WILL eat it THIS time! Thinking that she is so fickle these days that exactly who knows if she will or will not eat the requested food, I went ahead and prepared the tortellini (sans sauce, because even if it is plain ol' smooth Traditional Rague sauce, there just MIGHT be a mysterious onion in there somewhere). The outcome? She wouldn't eat it.

I surveyed the mess in the kitchen, the mess covering Dear Son (who enjoyed the tortellini, of course), and the floor around his highchair, and considered all the work I had in front of me to clean up as soon as I got Son down for his nap. I considered how I made what Daughter REQUESTED this time, and how it sat, barely touched, on her plate. Since it was the fifth time this week that she has done this, I knew I was going to lose it again if I didn't send her to her room so I could cool down. We have already developed the rule that if Daughter asks for something and doesn't eat it, it gets saved for later and reheated for her to eat before she gets to have something else. This strategy still doesn't seem to prevent repeat episodes like I've described.

So Daughter trudged upstairs to her bedroom, sobbing all the way, leaving me feeling like the horrible Ogre Mommy. I really don't like to make big issues over food. I've had my own dysfunctional relationships with food over the years, including refusing to eat any. I don't want to pass that curse on to my daughter. I DO want her to know that it's not okay to be wasteful, and it's not okay to be inconsiderate of my time and effort to prepare and clean up after the foods she requests and doesn't eat. I don't want to scream and yell at her and pound my fists on the counter in protest again like I did a couple mornings ago when Daughter said she wanted eggs for breakfast and then didn't eat them in spite of sitting at the table for over an hour picking at them and requesting Rice Crispies instead. I told her she could have Rice Crispies if she still wanted them AFTER she ate the eggs she wanted. An hour and ten minutes later I had to pack up the kids and head out the door to keep from being late for work, and there she still sat picking and dawdling. Whew! I really lost it that time, and I pretty much agreed, after that, that I WAS the horrible Ogre Mommy. I did request her forgiveness later for losing my temper so badly in spite of it not being okay that she continues her own abhorrent behavior.

And so, as I felt my frustration broiling today over the current theme, I felt an "Ogre episode" coming on. I managed to simply send Daughter to her room so that I could have a time out while I hosed down Dear Son with the kitchen sink sprayer and considered just dropping a lighted match in the kitchen so that I never had to look at the never ending mess again.

I was calm by the time I met with Daughter in her room. I tried to talk logically with her, questioning why exactly did she not want to eat the tortellini that she requested me to make for her. She didn't answer, and I asked again. She said, "I don't know." I told her that wasn't true, she does know, and I wanted her to tell me. I knew that she was probably afraid of being unable to come up with the right thing to say that would calm my ire over the ordeal. Sure enough, what she finally said was, "Well...let me tell you something! I just have so many things in my imagination that I just don't know what the right excuse is!"

Of course I busted up laughing and had to squeeze her and kiss her before I finished the "talk" with a reminder that the tortellini would be waiting for her when she got hungry and to remember next time not to ask for things to eat and then not eat them.

God help me, just about every post I make these days is tagged with the "Parenting Stress" label!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Car Seat Tutorial

Here's what you do when your three-year-old pukes in the car. Or at least, this is what we did.

1. Hold your breath while you hose down the kid
2. Unbuckle the car seat from the car while being very careful not to spill puke everywhere
3. Be very thankful that you used a seat protector with raised edges before installing car seat. This way you can dump most of the puke out of it and escape having to clean the car's upholstery
3. Gag and wretch and try not to puke all over the car seat that is already covered in puke
4. Remind yourself to hold your breath
5. Size up the situation and realize you have absolutely no clue how to disassemble a puke covered car seat
6. Search for the instruction manual
7. Read the directions for dissembling seat for cleaning while mumbling "Duh?" and "Huh?" intermittently
8. Consider just throwing the whole puke covered mess away and going shopping instead
9. Read the directions three more times while scratching your head and mumbling expletives
10. Get up the nerve to attempt step one
11. Realize that five more readings of the instructions does not make any clearer where the heck "Button A" and "Slot B" are and that even standing on your head and blinking your eyes rapidly at the diagrams does not make them look like anything recognizable
12. Curse your master's degree for not teaching you important things like this
13. Consider reading the directions in French in case they make more sense
14. Continue gagging and cussing while fumbling through an amazing mess of straps and buckles and cushions while trying desperately not to get any offensive smelling matter on your hands
15. After an hour passes, give up on trying to keep your hands free of puke because you realize it's already up to your elbows and how in the heck did it get behind your left ear, anyway?

Fortunately, Daughter wasn't really "sick." She apparently got car sick riding with Husband home from Grandpa and Grandma's house. As much as the aftermath of the puke event elicited from me horror and disdain and a strange tic that looked a lot like uncontrollable gagging motions, I couldn't blame her. I get car sick riding with Husband as well.

This morning all the parts appeared dry after their trip through the washing machine, and they all passed the sniff test (I have a nose that is at least one thousand times more sensitive than a blood hound's). I parked the kids in front of Sesame Street and took on the daunting task of putting the car seat back together. As expected, I had no clue where to start, but I eventually managed to figure it out. Sort of. For those of you who would like some tips, here is how I did it:

1. Pick up a strap and study it intently while glancing back and forth from strap to seat
2. Scratch your head (this always seems to help)
3. Attempt to stick one end of a strap in a random slot (who the heck cares if it's "Slot A" or "Slot B") ...maybe you'll get lucky
4. Realize that you are not only apparently stupid, but also not lucky
5. Consider reading the French directions again
6. Call your husband at work. Maybe he has some sort of knowledge that surpasses your own. Surely those higher testosterone levels are good for SOMETHING
7. Interrogate your husband about where he hid the parts that appear to be missing from the whole mess
8. Don't believe your husband when he assures you no parts are missing
9. Accept his advice to examine the duplicate seat in the other vehicle
10. Wander out to the family mobile and back in the house multiple times to "examine" the problem
11. Consider taking the duplicate car seat out of the family mobile so that you can compare it to the disassembled version
12. Remind yourself of the hellish experience of simply buckling said car seat snugly back into the family mobile once it has been removed
13. Decide you don't need any more headaches.
14. Try reading the Spanish version of the directions. After all, you know a few Spanish words, like "gato" and "muy bien"
15. Realize that telling your cat that he is doing a good job isn't going to help...especially when your cat is dead
16. An hour later, when Sesame Street is just ending, realize that you've done the best you can, and assure yourself that the finished product at least resembles its original appearance, and therefore will just have to work.

I hope this little tutorial was helpful for someone, because God knows I could have used one last night and this morning!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That Was Fun

We don't get out much. This is partly because we don't have many babysitters to leave the kids with and partly because going out with a three year old and a 17 month old is not for the faint at heart, though I do feel like a wimp in this regard whenever I see our neighbors pack up their SUV with their five children ages 11, 9, 7, almost 5 and 2 and head out. They do this frequently, and if you've read any of my previous posts about the neighbors, you will be quick to recognize that this is a very good thing. We like it when they leave.

In a courageous moment, we decided to take the whole family out on Memorial Day. We then made it 3.5 miles down the road after picking up Grandpa and Grandma before Son started saying, "Done" and trying to get his safety belt off. He fussed the rest of the way to Wonders of Wildlife (Daughter's "favorite place to go in the whole world") until we freed him from his restraints. The next hour and a half went fairly smooth, but that all fell apart when we crossed the parking lot to get back into the family mobile and leave. That's when Son started running the other direction and screaming and arching his back when I tried to grab him. He then flailed like a fish out of water and screamed at the top of his lungs and continued to arch his back while three adults tried to stuff him into his car seat. We all tried real hard to go to our own respective happy places while Son continued his tirade all the way to the unlucky restaurant we chose. Son got over himself enough to sit in a highchair at the table for 30 seconds before he insisted on getting down and running around and trying to trip to wait staff with their big trays of food. Anything that didn't go exactly as he wanted it to was met with another outburst of screaming and head shaking and hand waving. I was sure he was just really hungry and that the crisis would pass when he got some food. I was trying to be optimistic, which is something I don't do well or often.

When the food arrived, Son was under the table refusing to come out. I was sure we could bribe him with the food, but he wasn't interested. He screamed when Husband drug him out from under the table and tried to hold him. He screamed when I tried to hold him. He screamed when Grandpa tried to hold him. I was getting tired of being the customers from Hell that were getting all the stares and annoying looks, so we let him do whatever he wanted just so he would shut up. He proceeded to go back under the table and try to climb out the other side where his big sis was perched in her booster chair. He was not gonna give up until he got his way. By the way, I am fully aware that having a strong-willed child is my own personal penance, so don't rub it in.

Fortunately, Grandma was with us and rescued him (or should I say, rescued us). With all four adults working at the task, we managed to move the table out far enough for Grandma (who was sitting next to Daughter) to pull Son up from under the table and hold him in her lap. He was finally happy, because he apparently wanted to go fishing in Grandma's salad. So Grandma continued to hold him while his chubby little fingers disappeared over and over again into the center of her salad and came out with a black bean. He wasn't interested in anything that was on his own plate. Just black beans from the middle of Grandma's salad. And Grandma let him do as he pleased, because, well...because she's Grandma.

Now that Son was pleased with his new quiet preoccupation, we could finally stop dancing around the table playing "pass the baby." We stopped getting stares and annoying looks from the other customers, and we all managed to eat our meals. Except Grandma, who wasn't very hungry after all. Who could blame her?

We dropped Grandma and Grandpa off with an open invitation to join us again whenever they need a little extra stress in their lives, and as we headed home, we felt freshly reminded of why we don't do this very often.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Self-Esteem Boosters

I'm wondering how many points I have left to get me through the next 14 years. The way things are going, I'm afraid I've already spent them all!

I took two trips down and back up the stairs tonight in the process of trying to get Daughter to bed. I already forgot what the first trip was for (see what I mean), and on the second trip I took an item back up the stairs with me that I had just brought down the stairs on the same trip, and it wasn't because I couldn't decide if it belonged upstairs or downstairs. I was irritated with myself and grumbled about it under my breath. Daughter inquired about my grumbling, and I replied that I had just done something dumb. Daughter replied with, "Oh. Well, that's no surprise!"

Good thing my self-esteem doesn't rely heavily on my daughter's opinions since from her perspective I am both fat and stupid.

Warm Weather Fun

Here's what the wee little trouble makers have been up to recently.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ever Feel Like You're Going Bananas?

I do!

Especially the other day when both the little monkeys were trying my patience all morning long. I think it was the same morning that I snapped these pics at breakfast. Little did I know how the rest of the day would unfold!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ten Great and Wonderful Things for Which I'm Grateful

I've been tagged (again!). Sheesh...if this continues I may even get voted for Prom Queen one of these days (I'm not holding my breath). This time Dana at Life Turned Upside Down tagged me to tell about 10 things that I am grateful for or that make my life wonderful.

1. Grace and forgiveness, because I need both every single day

2. I'm grateful for my life. Pretty much all of it. There's precious little that I would change, and what I would change would be totally impossible things like having the weather where I live never get hotter than 72 degrees and wearing a size 4 no matter what I eat or if I gave birth to two babies in the past 3 1/2 years.

3. I'm grateful that I eventually met a man that can tolerate me enough to marry me, have two babies with me, and survive 10 married years with me. While I have to say that I do think I am a pretty darn good wife, I'm also not always easy to live with. I even annoy myself on a frequent basis.

4. I'm grateful that Husband and I planned our family and waited to have babies until after college degrees were obtained (including the master's degree I obtained out of boredom while I was waiting for Husband to finish his computer geek degree). AND that we enjoyed 6 1/2 childless married years before all the chaos and nonsense started.

5. My two beautiful wee ones make my life more wonderful than I could have ever dreamed. While I enjoyed those 6 1/2 childless years, I also would never give up what I've got--chaos and nonsense included! My children make me a better person and teach me amazing things everyday. The world is much more fascinating through the eyes of a 3 1/2 year old and a 17 month old.

6. I am grateful to have been somewhat financially established before the wee ones arrived. People say that if you wait until you are financially secure, you will never have children. I disagree with that, although I accept that what was right for us is not necessarily right for everyone. For us, however, it has been wonderful. We were completely debt free (sans mortgage) when our first baby arrived, and we have remained debt free ever since. That has allowed me the freedom to choose if I wanted to maintain a career and how much I wanted to work. It makes the difference between me loving my work or resenting my work.

7. I am grateful for the odd and seemingly random path my life took post-bachelor's degree. Some of the stages were painful, but they ultimately led me down the path of stumbling onto graduate school to become a mental health clinician. I know I would have never found that path without the oddness and randomness of the years that led up to it.

8. I am grateful for the control I have being self-employed. I can work when I want, where I want, and how much I want. And I can quit any time. But I don't want to, because I love what I do. But I love being a mommy to my wee ones even more, so I choose to work around 12 hours per week and be a mommy the rest of the time. I am grateful to be able to arrange it this way, and the combination of the two make my life wonderful.

9. This one may sound strange to some, but I believe my life is wonderful because I've answered the call of God. I suppose there are multiple meanings that can take, but what I originally intended to reference with that statement is my career. I believe everyone has a calling on their life, and to answer it brings huge rewards. My work as a mental health therapist is part of my calling, and it is completely satisfying in a big picture way. Sure it's a real pain in the butt sometimes to work with emotionally troubled people, but when I focus on the bigger picture, I get to come into contact with people's souls, so to speak, on a regular basis. That is a huge (and hugely rewarding) experience! A person is only truly "well" if they are emotionally well. People who are emotionally "well" can be fine if they lose a limb, become blind, or even if they are dying from cancer. But people cannot be fine under any circumstance if they are emotionally sick. In fact, a person who is emotionally "well" has a profound edge in their physical health over those who are not emotionally "well," making emotionally "well" people less likely to be physically ill at all. I know of people who believe there is no value to mental health therapy, but I disagree. I feel what I do is of great value, and I am grateful to have been given the ability to do it.

10. Chocolate. 'Nuff said.

I'm gonna go the simple route and tag whomever would like to post their own list of 10 grateful things or things that make their life wonderful.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Wish This Stage Would Hurry Up and Never End

Someday I will look back on this stage of Dear Son's life with both relief and melancholia. It's a stage I remember developing a love-hate relationship with when Daughter was there a couple years ago. Except with Daughter, I was her sun, moon, and stars and her daddy was pretty much just far away Pluto. He was often incidental and, not unlike the controversial Pluto, maybe not even a planet at all in Daughter's little solar system. The tables are turned this time. As I've previously posted, Son has an infatuation with Husband. Me? Not so much (not that I don't have an infatuation with Husband, but that Son doesn't have the same infatuation with me). Nonetheless, it seems Husband and I are both feeling that love-hate rub.

One of the fringe benefits Husband enjoys along with being The Chosen One, is that Husband is the only one who seems to be able to calm Son down if he wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. Unfortunately there's been a few of those nights this week. During one of these episodes, Husband later described to me that Son insisted on leaving his bedroom and wanted to go downstairs to play (at 2 am, mind you) but eventually settled for playing on the floor of his bedroom in the glare of his night light. Husband described lying down on the floor to doze while he indulged the wee one. In spite of Husband's irritation with this situation, he naturally melted when Son approached him and bent down to plant a kiss on his forehead in the midst of it.

And there's the rub--that whole twisted up mixed up ball of conflicted emotion that sits like a rock in your gut. It's that feeling of, "For the love of all that is good and holy, I can't wait until this stage is over so I can sleep through the night every night again!" which strangely occurs simultaneous to the feeling of, "Oh Dear God, please don't let these precious moments with my child EVER end!"

Early this morning Son did his thing again. At 2 am the screaming started. This time he refused to go back to his crib, and when he was placed there he screamed and screamed and screamed. Son has this personality quirk that when he has his mind set on something, he doesn't quit until that something meets his expectations. I dunno where he gets that. A considerable amount of time passed while I lay in my own bed trying to will away the circumstances that were transpiring, and that's when the voices in my head began to argue again:

Voice 1: "You can't just let him keep screaming like that!"
Voice 2: "You know if you go in there he will just get worked up even more until he gets his way."
Voice 1: "But listen to him! He's gonna give himself a heart attack if he keeps going like that! Heck, he's gonna give ME a heart attack if he keeps going like that!"
Voice 2: "He'll give up in a minute"
(at least three more minutes pass)
Voice 1: "He's not giving up!"

Voice 1 finally won round one and in I went to try to comfort Son. Of course, when I picked him up he started flailing even more and pointing at the door. Nothing could get him to stop. That's when Voice 2 piped up proudly with "I told you so!"

Fully aware that this situation was not going to resolve quickly or painlessly, I considered taking Son back to bed with me. This started up the squabble again between the voices in my head:

Voice 2: "Yeah, right! Like that ever works!"
Voice 1: "But I'm sooooo tired!"
Voice 2: "Not gonna work!"

Voice 1 one won round two (at least temporarily). When Son finally quit screaming he settled down in the bed against Husband, and I thought he was going to go to sleep. He looked all precious and everything, what with his little 17 month old thumb stuck in his mouth, all curled up and innocent looking and seeming to be asleep. The emotional conflict was broiling as I planted a kiss on one of his chubby little cheeks. That's when he decided he needed to lay sideways across our pillows. Of course, I got the feet end while The Chosen One got the head end. Son is very tall, mind you. He was 23 inches long at birth and maintains 95% in height. And don't forget that 17 month old babies are very wiggly. In spite of our king size bed, I got kicked in the head a few too many times. When Son realized we were done playing that game, he decided to sit up and talk for awhile. I'm thinking that it's FREAKIN' THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING and we've been at this for a good hour now, for cryin' out loud! Somehow another hour went by after that. Every time I was about to fall back into blissful slumber I either got kicked in the head or was jolted awake by baby babble talk. After ten more minutes of trying to convince Son that he was not going to nose dive off the side of the bed I finally huffed to Husband that he was going to HAVE to get Son to go back to sleep in his crib. After all, said responsibility goes along with the territory of being The Chosen One. By now it was FIVE O'CLOCK in the morning, and I was getting really really tired of Voice 2 telling me "I told ya so!" but not coming up with any better solutions.

When I was awakened two hours later by Dear Daughter bee bopping to my bedside to announce that she was ready to start the day, I was feeling the pain--along with the hate part of the love-hate relationship of this stage of Son's life. That lasted approximately an hour and twelve minutes until I met Son at the side of his crib and he looked at me with those just-woke-up puffy eyes, grinned like the Cheshire Cat, and reached for me to pick him up. As he snuggled onto my shoulder I had that funny all-is-well-with-the-world feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I found myself melting into the "Dear God, don't let these precious moments EVER end!" emotions. That's when Son patted my shoulder with his pudgy little hands and stated, "Da Da!" and I realized that he was quickly done with me and was looking for The Chosen One.

If I wasn't so tired from plain ol' lack of sleep, I'd be exhausted by the emotional roller coaster of it all.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

There Goes the Neighborhood

Twelve. That's how many peaceful days we had when the new neighbors took their whole clan for a road trip. Except for the pregnant dog and the pregnant cat. I know all this because they told me. Nine-Year-Old was waiting in our driveway the morning they were headed out. I was busy strapping the wee ones in their car seats on our way to the food mart. Nine-Year-Old wanted to let us know how much she would miss us while they were gone. Gone? I tried not to look too pleased about this news as I inquired just how long they were going to be GONE? (I tried really hard, but I couldn't help stressing the word "GONE?")

She told me ten days and that they were visiting their home state a few hundred miles away, and at this point it was impossible for me to mask my pleasure. I asked about the dog, and she told me they had put him in a kennel. I asked about the cat, and she told me the cat was staying in the garage (except that when they got home they found her in one of the upstairs bedrooms where she had given birth to her two new kittens). I only asked because I was morbidly curious as I envisioned a van packed with two adults, five kids, a pregnant dog (who is the size of a horse), and a pregnant cat for several hundred miles each direction.

Satisfied with the answer, I hopped in the family-mobile and watched Nine-Year-Old's face disappear as the auto slider doors closed. I must've giggled a little, despite myself, as Dear Daughter inquired what I was laughing at. I got a grip as I was pulling out of the driveway and spotted Neighbor Dad cramming their own family mobile with so much stuff that I couldn't imagine where two parents and the 11, 9, 7, almost 5, and 2 yr olds were going to fit. I decided to kill them with kindness, despite our annoyance with them for the way they let their kids run wild and unsupervised around our property (and everyone else's), don't clean up the massive poop piles their dog leaves on our property, and let their yard and every living plant in it grow over. I rolled down the window and offered to collect their mail for them while they were gone. I also inquired again how long they would be gone. This time the answer I got was 11 days. I was beside myself with relief and even had to call Dear Husband immediately on his cell phone because I couldn't wait to announce the good news.

Gleefully, 11 days turned into 12. But all good things must come to an end. Almost-Five-Year-Old is back to stalking us in our driveway and helping himself to Daughter's toys the second the garage door opens. I'm teaching him to have manners and ask first and put stuff away when he's done. Two-Year-Old is running aimlessly about the cul-de-sac exploring all the neighbors' yards unsupervised. Next time she comes into ours unsupervised I will have to pay a visit to the parents and request that they not allow her in our garage or yard unsupervised as we do not want her to get hurt on our property. Eleven-Year-Old and Nine-Year-Old are busy climbing the smallish maple tree in the front yard and breaking every tender branch in the process. When they are done it looks worse than any of the trees in the area that survived the ice storm four months ago.

We spent our Mother's Day bar-b-cue sitting on our deck yelling across the picnic table to hear each other above the roar of the garden tiller Neighbor Dad had attached to his weed eater. For cryin' out loud, he was only at it for about six solid hours. And that was AFTER he spent two days trying to mow down his overgrown lawn that badly needed a mow job BEFORE they even left for their 12 day road trip. It was rainy in between all the sun the entire time they were gone, so that ensured that the grass grew at record fast speed and had gone to seed before they returned home to tend to it. We had two solid days of loud obnoxious "wrrrrrr-chug chug chug....grnnnnnnnnnnn sputter sputter" sounds that came from the lawn mower since he didn't use the hay bailer he really needed. At least he was making an effort to clean the place up. I have always hated the fact that our home association doesn't back up their own covenant, which states that if lawns are not kept neatly trimmed they will bring in a lawn service to do it and bill you accordingly.

The other day I saw the clan at the food mart. They were steering their train of shopping carts to the checkout, and I was ducking behind a row of maxi-pads, praying that Daughter didn't spy them and that she wouldn't yell out, "Look, Mommy! There's our neighbors!" Fortunately she didn't, and I thought the coast was clear. However, when we got home, the brood was still in their driveway hauling food into their house (except for Almost-Five-Year-Old, who was stalking our driveway), and Seven-Year-Old hollered over to me, "We saw you at the store!" Great. I'm being stalked everywhere I go!

I keep having visions of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when the uninvited cousin shows up to the party in his beat up old Winnebago. You know the scene where he is standing there in his undershorts and work boots and fleece lined hat with the ear flaps and the chin strap dangling while he smokes his cigar and belches and dumps the portable crapper down the storm drain. That's what we're dealing with here, folks.

On the bright side, Woolly Mammoth Dog has not dropped any king-sized crap piles in our grass since their return, so there's that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Frick and Frack

...because every day of being a mom has its own "Mother's Day" moments.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Will This Bring Me Good Luck?

Alrighty then, my new blogging buddy at For the Love of Peas and Monkeys has apparently "tagged" me. I have never been tagged before, but in keeping with the game I am apparently supposed to share seven random facts about myself and then choose seven people to "tag" and leave a comment on their blog about being tagged.

My question is whether or not I will receive seven years of bad luck if I break the chain--or something like that? Um...or is that related to breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, or neglecting to forward a chain letter? Thing is, I never participate in chain letters. Maybe that's why I seem to be having so much bad luck lately. Perhaps I can reverse the bad luck by breaking a mirror or something. For now, I guess I will respond to my "tagging" and then see if I can think of seven other blogs to tag.

Okay...*deep breath*

1. I HATE HATE HATE hot weather

2. I have extremely creative dreams, and I always dream in color

3. I once had a pet newt...for nine years before I had to give it away so I could move cross country

4. I moved the same newt cross country four years earlier (who knew those things lived so long?)

5. I have naturally curly hair with a mind of its own

6. I have a mind of my own as well, and tend to think independently and outside the box (just like my hair...too bad me and my hair are never in agreement!)

7. I love white water rafting

Now for my tag-ees (sorry, guys! I didn't start this...I'm just trying to be a good sport!):

Our Seven Qtpies
Mississippi Songbird
It Coulda' Been Worse
My Tiny Kingdom
In Search of Walden
Mrs. Flinger
4 Boys to Love

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Backwards Compliment?

Dear Daughter: "Mommy, I think you are looking thinner!"

Me: (Trying not to get too excited. Daughter is only three years old, after all)

"Really?! You think so?! Why do you think that?" (I had to poke further to see if she really knew what she was talking about.)

Dear Daughter: "Well, because your belly is not sticking out so much as it used to!"

Me: (Unsure of whether that made me feel better or worse than before I decided to probe the issue)


Dear Daughter: (Apparently feeling that she needed to add more since my response was rather flat and unemotional)

"Yeah! And that is really UNUSUAL!" (she put a lot of emphasis on "UNUSUAL!")

Me: (probing some more out of desperate hope that she wasn't correctly using the word "UNUSUAL!")

"What do you mean that's UNUSUAL?"

Dear Daughter: "Well, it is UNUSUAL that your belly is not sticking out!"

And thereyago.

On the other hand, my ego has also been boosted this weekend. You will see on my sidebar that I'm PROUDLY showing my recent nomination badges. Okay, so I only have one vote so far. But since I never get voted for, and I never win anything, this may be as close as I get to a moment of fame. Thus the proud display of my nomination badges. Like I said before, I'll never be Prom Queen. And I didn't start this blog with the intention of being popular or competing for anything. But hey, at least ONE person (who's not a relative) likes me enough to nominate me! And she's someone I feel honored to be nominated by. Her blog is great, and she has a much bigger ring of groupies than I do. If you haven't already done so, you really should go visit her. Or better yet, vote for her.

Thanks, Mrs. Flinger, in spite of my belly sticking out, you made my day! (I know your belly sticks out too, by the way...but at least it's SUPPOSED to!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chopped Liver

My ego is bruised. Rather than moping around and eating worms, I really should be feeling a sense of relief and freedom. After all, this recent development means there are less demands on me and me alone. It means that I don't have to panic if I work late and miss the kids' bedtimes. Best of all, it means I can pee without a shadow.

Nevertheless, I do feel bad. I feel second fiddle. I feel like screaming that I was the one who carried him in my own body for 39 LOOOOONG weeks during which I gained 50 pounds, suffered from hormonal hell, couldn't stay awake in the day and couldn't sleep through the night, and couldn't stop sweating and peeing. I was the one who suffered through a full weekend of labor pains, including 14 hours of horrendous back labor and ultimately a second round of slicing up my already scarred abdomen while I lay alert behind the sheet freaking out that I couldn't feel a thing below my neck for 40 loooooong minutes while the muscles of my belly were stretched apart and a screaming human being was dug from the depths. I was the one who woke up every couple hours to feed him around the clock immediately after the slice and dice experience while hooked up to tubes and wires with my belly stapled shut. I was the one who stuck it out through scabby nipples and clogged milk ducts while trying to nurse this child. I was the one who ended up with hypothyroidism when it was all said and done.


And who does the child prefer?


He wants Daddy to put him to bed. He wants Daddy to hold him. He wants Daddy to sit up with him all night when he doesn't feel well or his teeth hurt. Well, okay, that part I can totally deal with.

I really should just enjoy this. I really should. Daughter had a total Mommy preference, and I had to be the one to put her to bed every night, complete with holding her until she fell sound asleep. I was the one who had to settle her when she woke up at night. I was the one who had to be her Velcro twin for two and half loooooooooooong years. It was, if I had to choose a single word, exhausting.

But it's still painful to be chopped liver!