Friday, January 27, 2006
Until later, y'all!
Monday, January 23, 2006
It all started with my trying to come up with ways to make a little cash from home. As some of you will recall, I was soliciting ideas from the blogging world (some of which were quite interesting, by the way). My regular, helpful readers who no doubt had only my best interests and wallet in mind, seemed mostly to recommend that I steer well clear of any idea that included anything crafty I might want to sell. I thought to myself, "This is probably good advice. Everybody and their sister is doing something crafty these days and thinking they can make a buck off it. Best not to go there." But what's been keeping me up nights and naptimes, whirling around so busily in my head? Ideas for lucrative crafts, of course!
But wait, just listen to this! Okay, are you ready? Hand-made rag rugs in bright, interesting, mod colors! C'mon, wouldn't you like one of these hand-made rag rugs if you saw one and it wasn't too expensive? It would be washable! It would be in a color palette that would work well in your kids' rooms! No? Oh, all right...
Well, then how about funny little misshapen creatures made out of retro-looking calico prints?! They'd have funny little legs and arms and knotted fabric hair, plus child-proof button eyes, and smiles and butt cracks sewed on with embroidery floss! Wouldn't that be cute, but still fun and you'd be buying them for your kids but really you'd kinda want to keep them for yourself?! Huh? Huh?! No? Jeez, alright already. No crafts.
But RGLHM suggested a business where I advertise my baking services to the parents at Sister's school for things like potlucks and class snacks, birthday parties and the like. Since I've decided the local catering job isn't for me, this is probably the most doable idea I received and I may give it some more thought. It is a field I know well, after all.
But it still isn't as much fun as crafts, dammit!
But THIS baby! THIS BABY! It's been an hour.and.a.half now of screaming and falling asleep, waking, me checking on her, screaming, then falling asleep. Is this the first night of this you ask? Oh, no. This is going on a week now, folks.
Screw you, Ferber.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Last night at the Secret Ranch, we were all lying on our kitchen floor after dinner, having our customary evening romp and love-fest. Husband was holding Sister as if she were a baby and tickling her, making her shriek. I was lounging on the linoleum, helping Bean do her latest favorite thing, which is to stand up, let go of me, and stand unsupported for some seconds before plopping back on her butt, only to repeat the sequence again and again. I could hardly tear my eyes from little Bean and her sweet, fat, pink cheeks. She could hardly tear her eyes from me either, despite the fascination of a shrieking Sister next to her on the floor. I would periodically shift my gaze to Sister when I felt her looking at me, but my natural inclination was just to stare at my second baby, and it was mutual.
I have completely fallen for Bean.
I now worry about Sister, that I'm not loving her enough, or that she feels that much worse when she's being reprimanded or reminded of the house rules when I then turn around and continue chatting sweetly at the baby. I worry especially because Sister spends a fair amount of time with her dad and his parents at their house. She's always the center of attention there because there are no other children, and in fact only one other grandchild who isn't there nearly as frequently. It's nice that she has this but I feel like when she returns here she's missed a lot with us and, what's more, that she is most decidedly NOT the center of things anymore. The fact that her life is so divided I think is even more obvious to her now that there's another child who DOESN'T leave here most weekends like she does. I try to make the transition as smooth as I can for her, but it's hard to manage sometimes.
I suppose there's no real fix to this since Sister's schedule isn't changing in the near future. I still need to lavish the young Bean with as much love and attention as I can manage. I can't show favoritism to either of them. Bean will likely be fine, though she'll go through a period of wondering why Sister has to leave, will be sad about it sometimes, will wonder why she can't go, too. I'm afraid that Sister won't have it so easy.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
No, folks, I had something more like hand-made baby blankets in mind. A friend and I are tossing around the idea of actually starting up a little cottage company to do this as a matter of fact. I'm considering putting my precious collection of 1940's era vintage dresses up for auction, though some part of me thinks I just might still wear them again one day. When I'm not nursing. And when I can afford dry-cleaning on a regular basis. And when lolling around on the floor with a baby or young child isn't on the day's agenda. And when glitter glue is a thing of the past. Maybe then...
Any suggestions, oh resourceful ones?
Monday, January 16, 2006
What's that you say? But I'm not a kid, I'm the grown-up mama? Yes, yes, I know that. Which is why I'm coming to all of you parents out there for help. I want to have a nicer, more...I don't know, motherly relationship with Sister. I don't want her to feel downtrodden and persecuted, which is how she looks sometimes after one of our bad days. I do know that you're supposed to "choose your battles," and "act like the grown-up." These are things I tell myself all the time. But can someone out there tell me how you're actually supposed to DO that? Do I just need to count to 10 each time Sister says something that's designed to jerk my chain, or that's just for the sake of argument? Please, lay some advice on me, blogging parenting experts! And hopefully something other than saying, "Because I said so! Now will you just.stop.arguing?" (I've tried that. It doesn't work.)
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Which reminds me of my post yesterday, when I was in the most wretchedly bitchy mood and happened to mention birthday sex for Husband's birthday. This seemed to strike a chord, I think, since some of you ladies out there began commiserating immediately about obligatory birthday sex. I ended up feeling kinda bad about it and now want to clarify: I actually like sex with Husband. Now, I must admit that since Bean was born 9 months ago things have sort of fallen off in that area. This is, of course, just because of the double whammy of sleep-deprivation and nursing hormones riding herd on my sex drive--I'll bet all you mamas out there know how that works. My assumption is that once I quit nursing and Bean is regularly sleeping through the night I'll be back to my sassy self in that department, too. I'm looking forward to it because it does bother me that most of the time I just couldn't care less about sex. I mean we do it, but if given a choice that wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings I'd probably try to catch up on my sleep.
But enough qualifying, I think. I just wanted to make clear that I'm not that old yet and wanted to go on record as saying that I am in fact quite fond of Husband. Amazed at my good luck in finding him (again) even. There.
Hopefully that wasn't too much to spill out here on the blogosphere. If it was just you ladies that I already know about that'd be o.k., but I'm pretty sure that a couple of Husband's friends like to read my blog and tease him about its content sometimes. Oh well. I'll leave it. Maybe they'll be secretly jealous and keep their damn mouths shut for once.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Sister: Mama, the beginning of this Animorphs book is really good! It's a little bit scary and a little bit good. It's about these aliens called Yeerks that are really grey slugs.
Me: Oh, yeah? What do they do?
Sister: They crawl in through your ear canal and get into your brain and then they can control you and you can't do anything. You can feel they're there, but you can only move if they let you, and they make you talk. And they can look at all your secrets!
Me: Gross! Grey slugs that look at your secrets? That sounds horrible!
Sister: (long pause) What if someone you loved was really controlled by a Yeerk...? (uneasy silence) But I know that Yeerks aren't really real. (another long pause) I know YOU'RE not a Yeerk.
Me: (smiling benevolently) Of course not, honey.
But damn if I don't feel like a Yeerk IS controlling me sometimes. I mean, the stuff that comes out of my mouth when I've somehow gotten up on the wrong side of the bed like I did this morning...! I feel like a SUCH a bitch mama today. And it's Husband's birthday, too, so I need to get my birthday game face on before he returns from his long Saturday run in another hour or so. On the agenda today? A breakfast of waffles and bacon, followed by present opening. (Hopefully I'll get a shower in here somewhere. It hasn't happened yet.) Then off to the bowling alley for some birthday bowling. I also need to whip up a birthday chess pie at some point, grocery shop for the requested dinner of polenta with sausages and peppers, make said dinner, take Sister to the Ex's house, and top it all off with birthday sex. Hopefully I'll be cheerful enough by then to be inspired and at least a little creative at it, no mean feat with these lactation hormones squelching my general interest in sex these days into near-oblivion. I've gotta snap out of this...
Friday, January 13, 2006
And by the way, I'm going to leave this post at the top of my blog all week to prompt you. Scroll down for more of-the-minute posts as the week progresses.
- World peace
- Calvin and Hobbes
- Bottle caps
- Hot dogs
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Which is why I'm happy to say that as of next week I'll be enrolled in the Master Gardener program! For those of you who don't know, this is a national program administered through county extension offices, and in our particular county the program is 13 weeks of classes on botany, landscape plants, plant diseases, all that sort of stuff. To me the syllabus looks pretty challenging, and you do have to apply to particpate, so I don't think they accept just any ol' schmuck. I'm feeling both flattered that I've been accepted and excited that I'll be able to leave the house a few hours a week BABY-FREE, plus be learning more about one of my interests on top of that! It's not starting a moment to soon either, let me tell ya. Wish me luck, y'all!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
A friend of ours gave us a great mix CD for Christmas that included many local bands on it and we loved it. I thought I'd try branching out with some new hometown CD's and maybe get a little something for Husband's birthday while I was at it. This meant braving the local, uber-cool record store yesterday (warning to those of you at work: that link is noisy), something I haven't done in years. So I go in with Bean in arms, my friend's CD playlist safely tucked in my purse in case I forget the bands I liked best. I peruse very self-consciously, chatting to Bean, who is very interested in this new venue, as I scan the racks. I find the CD's I'm looking for and bring them to the counter where stands a woman my age, MUCH cooler than me. But you know, folks, she's actually friendly! And the best thing of all? As she's ringing up my purchases, she looks at Bean and coos, "Is this your Flaming Lips CD? Huh? Huh? Little cutie..." Bean grins at her.
I might go there again next week.
Monday, January 09, 2006
So I'm finally going to break down and make some other New Year's resolutions. Things I really should do just keep nipping at my brain like little goldfish, so I should just write them down and make myself do them. These nagging little things are:
- Stop biting my nails again! I managed to stop for a year, but have started again for some reason. I feel like some neurotic little rodent, eating its own paws.
- Start exercising again! I've officially lost even the last few pounds of my pregnancy weight, but I have no muscle tone whatsoever and still look oddly lumpy in my clothes. The whole fat weighs less than muscle and therefore takes up more space phenomenon is at work on my ass and thighs at the moment.
- Go ahead and volunteer to lead Sister's Brownie troop next year. She'll be thrilled, and I could really probably use a new perspective on Sister--one where she can make decisions on her own, be responsible for herself, get along well with others, that sort of thing.
- Quit whining and just clean the bathrooms once in awhile already! I loathe cleaning the house, and the bathrooms in particular. But I need to just buck up and accept that being a stay-at-home mom means that the housework logically falls most heavily on me. I DO have the time. Here I sit, after all, with plenty of time for blogging.
- Keep my old-fashioned paper-and-pen journal in addition to blogging. The 2 are not the same, though I initially thought they would be.
- Get more sleep. Go to bed closer to 10:00 rather than 11:00 or 12:00. That way, I might have more energy for sex and conversations with my all-suffering spouse, and I would certainly be less grumpy and less prone to getting sick.
Now, off to do some abdominal crunches or something.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
But today was pleasant, despite my being a little weary. I went to another friend's house for lunch and some more much-needed grown-up female conversation. She's a mother of 2 very cute, bilingual kids that Bean enjoyed sharing toys with, plus she made me a rockin' tuna noodle casserole that was apparently just what I was craving. That was very nice indeed.
Watching this friend interact with her children brought to mind the whole topic of teaching manners to kids in these modern times, somthing I've been meaning to post about for some time. This friend of mine is quite adamant that her kids treat grown-ups with respect--acknowledging when they arrive at the house, calling them Mr. or Mrs. What-have-you, saying yes please and no thank you and the like. This makes them quite charming and pleasant to be around and, lest you suspect otherwise, they aren't the least bit parrot-like, or creepy little robot kids. They're just good, nice kids. This is the kind of thing I've learned not to take for granted in the hyper-liberal little college town where we live. I've run into more than a few kids around here whose behaviour has practically made my jaw drop. I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say what I think about certain incidents I've witnessed: saying loudly that food someone puts on your plate at a friend's house is "icky" is not okay. Bursting into the middle of someone else's conversation on the phone is rude and annoying. Ignoring someone speaking directly to you in a social setting is not acceptable unless MAYBE you're under 2 and extremely shy. (I know THAT'LL piss someone off, so just shoot me now.) Allowing your child to sing rude songs at the top of her lungs about how boring the new soccer coach is at soccer practice? Just atrocious. A child who shoves past other people while going through a doorway? God-awful. These are all behaviours I've seen in our little town where I've come to understand that manners are somehow regarded as oppressively right-wing. Or maybe it's that working parents have such little time with their kids that they don't want to spend it playing the heavy, I don't know. But I frankly find it appalling.
Now, I'm as liberal as most of the next folks in this town. I also know that mannerly behaviour is basically false in that it's intended to curb natural inclinations and instincts so as to put others at ease. But, folks, I guess I just don't understand why one child's natural-ness has to take precedence over someone else's feelings or even personal safety in some cases. And the issue of respect for others older than you--why is it no longer common to teach our kids to call adults Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so anymore? Does it make adults seem less friendly in some way? And if so, is that a bad thing? I mean, I'm not advocating hostility or even extreme formality with kids, but on the other hand it seems like grown-ups are much more likely to be treated respectfully if there's a little distance put between them and kids. This is maybe a stretch, but would there maybe be less violence in schools and even on the streets if people had manners drilled into them from an early age? All etiquette is fundamentally, is just acknowledging another's humanity--and I'm not talking about the which-fork-to-use branch here. I guess what it seems to boil down to is that so many adults now seem to want to be a friend to their children, rather than a parent to their children. Someday I'd like to be a friend to my children and a friend to their friends, too. But right now I want to be the grown-up in our relationship, and I want other grown-ups to do the same around my kids. I want my daughers to say, "It's nice to meet you," and "Excuse me," and "No, thank you," and to call you Mrs. Your Name Here until you know them well enough to invite them to call you by your first name somewhere down the road. I feel like I'm doing my children a big favor by teaching them how to treat others respectfully. I'm not crushing their personalities or individuality in the least. Being well-mannered and polite will only help them in the long run when they get to be grown-ups themselves, but the time to learn is right now.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
With all the extra time not taken up by the lure of blogs, both mine and others, I have done many old-fashioned things lately. These include:
- becoming semi-addicted once again to lattes made by baristas at friendly, neighborhood coffeeshops. I'm usually a 2-cups-of-tea kind of girl, but not lately.
- reading most of "The Endurance," a book of Ernest Shackleton's harrowing Antarctic expedition in 1914-1916. It's been truly riveting, especially because the photos from the trip were published in this book, too, and there are many portraits of capable, fit men with sardonic eyes. Ooh la la!
- eating my way through most of a 2-pound box of See's chocolates, one of Husband's traditional Christmas gifts to me. Hey, I'm nursing so I NEED those calories! Also, the whole stomach virus thing deprived me of my usual 5 extra holiday pounds, so I'm trying again.
- doing many crafts with Sister after school. We've glued small backgrounds and tiny, sparkly objects into bottlecaps, put together melty bead creatures, and finally gotten around to that Make-Your-Own-Egyptian-Mummy Kit she's had since last Christmas (complete with jars of plastic viscera topped with unpronouncably-named gods' heads!)
- cleaned out our large hall closet secretly and gotten rid of such priceless objects as an old corded phone, 2 Easter baskets plus many plastic Easter eggs, an un-stylish battery-operated clock, and a princess movie projector book thing-y. Needless to say, I didn't consult either Sister or Husband before removing these objects to their new thrift shop home. Those 2 are the biggest pack rats ever, I swear.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
On the bright side, Husband has agreed that we need to bring in the professionals. I've scheduled a cleaning service to come in on Friday and give this place a thorough, bleach-y cleaning. In the meantime, we'll just not allow anyone to cross the threshold until our house is cleansed of barfing germs. What a way to celebrate...
But I must put the brakes on HARD now 'cause you know what I just remembered? I'm the troop cookie manager for Sister's Brownie troop and the cookie sale training meeting for our troop is TOMORROW! Of course, a presentation given to a group of 7-year olds doesn't have to be that impressive, but it would help if I knew my shit. Like that cookies are $3.50 per box this year instead of $3.00. Like figuring out how to get such young girls to set a sales goal for the troop. Like making sure their frickin' parents know to GET ME THE MONEY ON TIME! NO, I WILL NOT LOAN YOU YOUR BALANCE TIL NEXT WEEK! The Girl Scouts are going to be after your ass if you don't write me that check now, lady. I ain't jokin'.
So off I go to cram for the Girl Scout cookie cause. No doubt you'll hear more about this as events unfold. But I'll say this now, for the second time on this blog--NEVER volunteer to run your daughter's troop cookie sale unless you enjoy playing the heavy to a bunch of grown-ups who should know better.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Here is the mood I WISH my baby was in. Bean is miserable today. Perhaps this is because she spent 2 hours awake and screaming last night after I stupidly gave her a decongestant at 11:00 p.m.? Yes, perhaps. I also am miserable for much the same reason, though I have so far managed to avoid screaming myself (narrowly). Husband is off at work and oh, how I envy him today. Being off in the grown-up world doing something--anything!--sounds like bliss.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Unlike a lot of bloggers out there, I don't have a huge list of resolutions to post about. I gave up some time ago on using this time of year as an excuse for any sort of real effort at changing my life. And actually, as I mentioned in my post last night, I don't currently WANT to change much about my life. The single thing I'm resolving to do this year is to once and for all find a therapist to help me work through all the rancor I still feel towards my Ex and his mother. I feel like I have no perspective on whether the degree of bitterness I feel towards them is normal, but even if it WERE normal I just don't like having it sort of festering there in me, coloring my interactions with Sister sometimes, and keeping me from sleeping during weeks when the Ex is really jerking my chain. I'd really like to get rid of this, and since it's been 6-1/2 years since the Ex and I were even together it's pretty clear to me that it's not going to go away on its own. On the one hand, I love Sister fiercely, more than anyone on the planet except her little sister, and some part of me reasons that it's natural to be so jealous of someone I love that much. But on the other hand, I don't think anyone quite knows the dark extent that these emotions run to. I sometimes envision it as a big, nasty, glob of black gunk clogging me up. I can't take it anymore, y'all! Must....eliminate...nasty black...emotional gunk! (Wish me luck!)