Thursday, August 31, 2006

The day only half over...

I just called Husband for an update. He was not fired this morning, and neither was anyone else. But he's considering quitting this afternoon when he meets with the new boss one-on-one. Depends on the boss' attitude, I think. Or on what kind of mood Husband is in when the boss asks if Husband will be able to work with him and for him. I'm not quite sure what to hope for now. Maybe something along these lines:
He'll quit this afternoon, but it won't be this big, inflammed scene that will leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth and inspire nasty comments about his work there when other potential employers call for a reference in the future. He'll figure out in the next month exactly what sort of business he'd like to start for himself, he'll find a few others he gets along with brilliantly who think it's a fabulous idea, they'll all decide to work together and feel inspired to go to work every single day, and they'll all make tons of money doing it.
Yeah. Something like that would be nice.

In other news, the recycling contained a stack of newspapers, a crushed gallon container of organic low-fat milk, one empty fifth of Scotch, and one empty gallon of gin this morning. And me with my car in the shop today, unable to run to the liquor store. Meh. Even worse is that the mechanic estimated the repairs at somewhere between $470 and $600. But he'd call me if it was going to be more than $600. Wonder if he'd run to the liquor store for me for an extra $50.

Clearly, this day is a loss. Think I'll go watch some recorded episodes of "The Colbert Report" and work on Sister's quilt now. Nudge me when it's 2:15 and I need to wake the baby and get Sister from school.

Potential bad news this morning

Husband left the house at 6:45 a.m. this morning. He was going to un-decorate his cube at work, probably save things to disk from his work computer, sort through files and papers and all the stuff on his desk. Husband thinks it's very likely that he and his entire department are all going to be fired this morning by their new boss. This because the new boss flew in from Canada yesterday for his first day of work and refused to make eye contact with Husband or any of his employees. Refused to meet them or talk to them at all, in fact. And at the end of the day, another manager came into their work area and said that they all needed to be at work at 9:00 a.m. this morning to meet with him. Things don't look good.

I'm trying not to be too stressed about it. Husband has been talking about making a change for well over a year now. He doesn't like this new guy and the direction the company is going. He'd like to work for himself, he thinks, and not have to deal with sucky office politics. Financially, we'll be o.k. for awhile, so if it had to happen I'm glad it's now and not last year some time. (If it had happened then, the situation would quickly have become desperate with me newly out of work.) But still. Husband's worked there for the last four years and I'm pissed off for him that some new guy, younger than him and so very new to the company, could just walk in and fire him.

I'm waiting to hear from Husband now. He should be getting out of his meeting soon and will call me to give me the news.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Out of sorts

It's only day 4 of Sister's being back at school, but I'm feeling a bit out of sorts. Maybe it's because this house is still so new? Maybe it's that I have no garden yet in which to putter? Maybe it's because my usual choice of activity with Bean for a few weeks now has been to go shop for one house-related thing or another? Don't know. I just feel like the day yawns like a bottomless pit most mornings and afternoons. It's hard to figure out just what exactly to do with my time. It's not free time, mind you, but time that needs to be spent entertaining a baby and keeping a household running.

To that end, I told myself this morning that it was high time I start getting back to the gym again. Bean is 16 months old now and should be able to handle being away from me a few times a week for an hour or so, right? Right. So I tried introducing her to the gym daycare this morning, thinking I'd take it slow and leave her there for 20 minutes while I went to pee and maybe read a magazine out of sight in the hallway nearby. No dice. I set her up with some toys, told her bye while she still seemed happily occupied, and went to the bathroom. When I came back exactly five minutes later I could hear her wailing from down the hall. Thought I'd let the sweet, capable college girls do their job and give it a few more minutes, but...nope. Bean lasted exactly 10 whole minutes in the gym daycare before I had to rescue her. We played together there for the next 15 minutes and I took her home while she still wanted to stay and play, so maybe she'll be pleased to go back soon. But maybe I should've thought of doing this long before 16 months old. There were 8-month olds there, all nonchalant at the prospect of hanging out with a roomful of toys and other kids to play with without their moms around. Not my baby, though.

I have GOT to start doing something for myself. I hate to keep beating the dead horse that I've been beating for the last several months, but don't all you SAHM's out there feel like your days are spent cooking, cleaning up, running some errand, cooking, cleaning up, squeezing some stupid chore in during naptime, making snacks, cleaning up, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning up, and going to bed for not enough sleep every damn day?

And yeah, we're thinking of having a third child soon. I suppose there's something to be said for getting it out of the way and having all the hard, early years be concentrated together. Isn't there?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The afterschool grind resumes

So Sister's in third grade now, as of last week, and we're settling into our afternoon routine all over again. We walk home from school, have a snack, dismantle the backpack contents, start on homework. I'm beginning to get alarm bells about the homework all of a sudden, though. I've never thought of myself as bad at math--except for maybe high school calculus which I nearly flunked--but just what the hell are "fact families" and "addends?" THAT"S third grade math?! I had to look it up on-line so as not to embarass myself calling her teacher. I honestly had no clue at all.

Maybe I should be reading ahead or something. Sheesh.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Day 3, going, going...

This is the next installment of a little program I like to call, "It Really Sucks That My Husband Has to Travel for Work." Last night, I had to get up with a non-sleeping, screaming Bean at least 7 times. I think it was even more than just 7 times, but I was so deliriously tired, not to mention absolutely livid at the injustice of it, that I lost count by around 7. By 3:00 a.m. I made the executive decision to stop getting out of bed to comfort her. I turned off her monitor, told her to please be sleepy, closed her door, and closed my door. She cried awhile longer, but I could only barely hear her, so I was able to go back to sleep a few more hours. She was still alive this morning so it appears that this was an o.k. thing to do.

Then while I was out getting some groceries a little while ago and returned lugging my 27# baby plus heavy bags of milk gallons and canned beans and tomatoes and the like, I discovered that our new outdoor sofa had been delivered. The UPS guy had very helpfully deposited it on our front stoop, blocking the front door. Probably thought he was doing me a favor getting up the steps or something.

Have I said how much it sucks that my Husband is out of town just now? Wish me luck as I try to make it through the rest of this particularly damnable day...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Day 2 done

No real time to blog just now, but I'm procrastinating a bit while I finish a cocktail, so why not?

It's been a hectic evening after a lovely day in which a good friend came over with her daughter. We ate a lunch that included many tater tots, followed up by chocolate cake. We talked a lot, and I REALLY needed to have someone to talk to today that wasn't asking me for popsicles and ideas for fun things to do and cartoons to be turned on and a cup of juice, etc. This fabulous friend of mine even watched both the girls while I ran out to pick up a bookshelf for Sister's room I'd bought yesterday and then helped me haul it up the stairs when I returned. She rocks!

But after she left, the day kind of crashed. Or I kind of crashed. There was a meet-the-teacher ice cream social to attend, the dog to walk, dinner to make, the screaming baby to appease, neighbors to reconnect with since we'll all be walking to school together tomorrow, children to bathe, dishes to wash, etc. I remained in a foul mood for most of the evening, struggling valiantly not to yell at the girls. Okay, actually struggling valiantly to stop yelling at the girls, counting down the minutes til it would be seemly to pour myself a drink for chrissakes! Sigh.

But they're both peacefully asleep now, and my own curling up in cozy bed is within reach. All I need to do first is fold the laundry, pack a lunch, empty the dishwasher, take a shower...

I'll be so glad when Husband gets home. Just 3 more days.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Slightly drunkish ponderings

Alone with the kids both gone to bed and slightly drunkish--is there any more wonderful state of mind than that? I don't think so. Not on this earth anyway.

Sister and I just finished up a late showing of "The Man From Snowy River." Did anybody else besides me totally go nuts over this movie as a girl? Probably not. I must've seen it a dozen times, and I can't say that about ANY other movie, even 35 years old as I am and obviously well advanced into the era of VCR's and DVD's and HBO. Even now, the scenes of the hero, Jim, riding his horse over a cliff in Australia--or is it just a real steep hill? Do they have cliffs in Australia?--to go round up both his own escaped horse and the rich boss' expensive colt gave me goosebumps. Goosebumps! I mean, through the gin here, y'all! But I was one of those horse-loving girls who had no good reason to love horses, having spent my formative years in Miami.

Is there anyone of a Freudian bent out there who knows why there are some girls who go horse-y, but no boys doing this generally? Aw, I'm probly obsolete as hell in the era of video games anyway...

Single mama

The secret cave is rather subdued today. Husband left town this morning for 5 days in Canada, on a work trip with about a dozen other co-workers. Even if it has been difficult for me to talk to him a lot recently, I miss him already. He's been gone exactly...hmmm, looks like a whopping 5-1/2 hours so far. I'm sure I'll be missing him even more this evening when I've got to cook dinner while Bean clings to my legs and Sister sighs around the kitchen, complaining about him being gone. 5 days with no back-up! 5 days without mi esposo! I suspect cocktail hour will come a little earlier than usual, and perhaps last a little longer while he's gone.

But fortunately, a woman from Bean's birth class came over with her little boy a little while ago. She and her husband are the only people we've kept in touch with from that class, and we like them very much indeed. Not only do we have kids the same age, but this fabulous woman brought fresh pastries! Plus, she made me a present of a beautiful, pink glass, antique rolling pin that she thought I would like. So that helped me out of my self-pitying mood quite a bit this morning. Grown-up company, happy children, AND presents--how could I remain in a funk?

The trick is for me to stay busy, I think. Maybe I'll get around to working on Sister's long-neglected bed quilt while my evenings are yawning this empty and spouse-less...

Monday, August 21, 2006


Announcement: Husband and I are in zero danger of getting a divorce! Just so everyone knows. From a few comments I got on yesterday's pity party of a post, I believe I left it ambiguous about whether I wanted to stay married to my dear spouse. I do, really! It's just that some days are harder than others. Some days are so hard, in fact. And a weekend where I still have to mind Bean for most of her waking hours because Husband needs to get his whole to-do list done before he leaves town for 5 days is even harder than usual. I don't plan on getting divorced a second time, but thanks to everyone who was concerned that I would.

Now on to other marriage-related ponderings. Tonight I was thinking about all the trade-offs I put together mentally in every day. Things like, "If I go get a haircut and Husband stays with the girls, I could get an hour to myself, but then the house will be trashed. Is it worth it?" (The answer to that one is always yes.) Or, "If Husband and I have really great sex tonight, will he let me sleep in tomorrow? Should I risk losing the sleep now 'cause he might refuse to budge when the baby cries?" (Often I risk the sleep and of course feel pleased that I did, whoever gets up with the baby.) Or, "If I take Bean to the damn park while it's 95 degrees outside, she'll probably run around enough to take an extra-long nap and let me get x, y, or z done. But it's SO hot. Is it worth it?" (Usually not.)

Today, there were a series of them to consider back to back. And they're so complicated sometimes!

"My friend is in town from Mexico and wants to come over for lunch and an interview for a book she's working on. If I say yes and schedule while Bean is sleeping, Bean is bound to miss out on her afternoon run-around 'cause we'll still be too busy catching up when she wakes. Will Bean be entertained and peaceful by the mere presence of my seldom-seen friend and not scream her head off? Does the adult conversation make it worth it even if she's freaking out?" (Ohmigod, YES!)

"Does going to the book store--which is out of the way but which has an enormous basket of stuffed animals and many throwable, stompable board books--before going to the grocery store mean that Bean will spend a little energy there and not throw fits during grocery shopping when she can't have cookie after free cookie or balloon after free balloon?" (Apparently not.)

"If I let Husband take over with the pajama donning and hair brushing while I get on my own p.j.'s and pour myself a drink, can anything terribly messy possibly happen in those few minutes?" (Oh yes! Husband can give Bean a whole apple of her own to augment her paltry, thrown-about dinner and Bean can spit each and every chewed up bite onto the porch floor for the roaches and ants to come find later if it's left uncleaned. I find this dismaying in the extreme when I happen upon it. Husband watches this with glee, though, both because his baby girl is cutely proud that she has her very own apple to eat, and because he just bought a new shop-vac that he's desperate to try out. I swear, I wasn't gone longer than 10 minutes!)

This is one of those mental skills I find I've become proficient in since I became a mom. The calculations take only a few seconds, though I may not always be able to predict the outcome.

Today, though, I mostly feel like I came out ahead. Funny what a little grown-up company can do for a mama's state of mind.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Time out question explained, plus much emotional hand-wringing that you can skip because it's not the least bit amusing

So the other day I solicited some advice from you helpful mamas out there and said I'd tell you why I asked later. It seemed like a big damn deal at the time, but not so much now. The issue that particular night was that Husband tried to put Bean in a time out in the corner of the family room for throwing food from her high chair. It's something we're trying with mixed success to make her understand is a no-no lately. Husband warned her that she would go in time out if she did it again, she did, and he pulled her up screaming from her high chair to go enforce it. She's 16-months old so naturally she wouldn't stay put and I don't feel like it's quite time for this particular tactic to work with her. I'm willing to go along with it if Husband wants to give it a shot though. After all, it will eventually start to work.

Anyways. On this particular night, what also happened is that Husband got extremely pissed off at me for trying to fix Bean's sliding off diaper while she was supposed to be in time out. Having actually had her poop on the floor while her diaper was off for a mere 20 seconds once, I do tend to hustle if I see diaper slippage. I in no way meant it as undermining Husband's authority, which is how he took it that night. So I received a ridiculous lecture in which it was hard for me not to respond with, "What the fuck are you talking about?" But I let myself be lectured and just tried to cool off on my own when he took the girls up for a bath shortly afterwards.

Husband and I are having a hard time communicating lately, though, and to me that is a big deal. He has this way of talking to me that makes me feel like either a complete moron or like an out-of-control emotional freak. I am neither of those things. I've tried explaining that he makes me feel stupid when he's talking to me in a particular way, but he brushes it off completely, just denying that that could possibly be true. Fine. But I suspect that I'll continue to feel this way until I go back to work at some point and don't feel quite like the unappreciated domestic drudge I currently do a lot of the time. Nothing like a "reminder" about how to wash his running clothes made of "special moisture-wicking" fabric from Husband to make me wonder why I ever signed on for this SAHM gig. I swear, I hear shit like this far more than I ever did when I was working a paid job.

The other mode is harder. I do tend to get emotional when I'm angry or upset. 'Cause those know, emotions, right? I have a quick temper and was raised in a household where it was normal to express your emotions if you were feeling them. Having an angry expression on your face means you must be mad. Talking more loudly than usual means you're feeling strongly about something or you're trying to be heard because someone's talking over you. These things don't mean you're about to throw something or lash out physically in some way. In short, arguments are o.k. and are a sometimes necessary means of clearing the air. They don't mean that a divorce is imminent or that someone's about to be punched.

I dunno. Sometimes I wonder how long I'll be able to stand feeling this demoralized. Sometimes I feel like all I need to do is get a few nights in a row of good sleep. Sometimes I think counselling would help. Sometimes I'm just dying to be totally alone for a day or so. Some days it seems like I'll rip my hair out and go screaming down the street if someone says one more rude, ungrateful thing to me. Some days I think my life couldn't possibly be any sweeter. Lately I wonder if it's really such a good idea to have one more baby and put off being in the emotional clear for that many more years. But I also long to be pregnant and nursing just once more and to give Bean a sibling that doesn't leave for half the week.

I got divorced once and was raised by a woman who was married 3 times before she finally got it right, so I'm no expert when it comes to knowing what's normal in marriage. I do want to stay married this time, though. I know that much.

Friday, August 18, 2006

That word we don't say

Is it possible that I loathe my ex-mother-in-law now even MORE than I did when I was married to her son? Very, very possible.

She called me earlier today to ask for a slight change in Sister's schedule. They're taking Sister rafting over the weekend, she said, and wondered if it would be o.k. to bring her back to my house 3 or 4 hours later than usual. Once you get past the wondering why the hell my ex-MIL could possibly feel it was her place to request changes to my custody agreement with her son, this wouldn't be a big deal at all. What's a few hours, right? Except that her son and I got into a huge fight last week over this very same issue. Just a few short days ago, he wouldn't agree that it was o.k. for me to bring Sister back a few hours later than usual from a trip unless I agreed that he would get an extra overnight stay with her.

I pointed this out to his mother, just to make sure she knew about it, but followed up saying that really a few hours wasn't a big deal, was it? She tried to launch into an explanation of why it was different for them than it was for me, but I stopped her, saying cheerfully, "I don't feel like discussing this all over again. I just want you to know that I don't think a few hours makes that much of a difference. It's really no problem at all. Bye!" And I got off the phone shaking with rage, but pleased that I hadn't gotten into it on the phone with her and had sounded like a reasonable, sane, even magnanimous person.

Because when it comes to that woman, I certainly don't feel like a reasonable, sane, or remotely magnanimous person. Furthermore, I know that this will never go away. I will be living with this intense jealousy, this fiercely frustrating sense that I have no control over the situation, and an instantaneous flare up of bitterness whenever I think of this woman competing with me over influence with Sister for at least the next 10 years, if not longer. Because that's what this is, y'all. My ex-MIL is competing with me over my own daughter.

Lest you chalk this up to the paranoid delusions of the control freak I'll admit that I am, let me explain a couple things I know about her. She has 3 children, 2 sons of her own and one adopted daughter. When I was newly married to her son, she gushingly told me one day that she had always longed for a daughter, and that I was going to be that daughter. (Never mind that I had a mother I was perfectly happy with.) Her adopted daughter had never been close to her, and wasn't quite what she had in mind, really, when she and her husband had first thought to adopt a girl child. She said this to me. In those words. I am not kidding.

She also told an entire room full of well wishers at my bridal shower that she was glad that I was so "competent" because her son really wasn't. He really needed someone to take care of things in his life, because he just wasn't up to the task. She was glad I was taking over this for her. (Can I get a witness, Mommygoth?) Again, those were her words. She wasn't even joking about it.

So basically, what I extrapolate from this is that since I didn't stick around to be the longed-for daughter, and since her son can't really deal with such practical details of Sister's care as cooking meals, shopping for clothes, being employed in order to pay for a roof over her head, this woman has taken over when Sister is supposedly in my Ex's care. I am Sister's mother, of course, but what is Sister's grandmother when she's acting in the capacity of a parent almost 50% of the time?

It is NOT a situation in which I can act with the least modicum of personal grace. My own mother raised me to "rise above it" and "be better than they are" when I found myself in a shitty situation. This is still excellent advice all these years later, but I can't seem to follow it now. When it comes to my own child, I am filled with real, teeth-baring, blinding hate for anyone who threatens her attatchment to me.

Therapy as an antidote is just laughable.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quick question

Okay, I need some input from all you experienced mamas out there. I'm posing a question without telling you which side of it I fall on, hoping to get some unbiased opinions here.

True or false? A 16-month old child is not too young to be disciplined using time-outs for infractions like hitting or throwing food on the floor.

Please discuss. I'll let you know what brought it up in a day or 2.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Summer cometh before the fall

Autumn is on its way. Know how I know that? Not because we've been having nighttime temperatures in the low 70's and 60's lately here in sweltering NC. Not because the tulip poplars and dogwood trees have begun subtly changing their leaf colors. Not even 'cause I have a calendar and can do the math myself. No, the reason I know fall is coming is because this morning found me toting 2-9 X 13 sausage and mushrom breakfast stratas and 24 oatmeal and dried cherry muffins to Sister's school for the teacher appreciation breakfast. At 7:20.

And school doesn't even start til next Friday.

Just my way of kicking off a very busy school year, y'all! Let me bend your ear here with my idiocy. I've signed up for no less than 3 PTA committees, roped in by 2 new and friendly PTA co-presidents who use free wine to make parents do things they would not otherwise EVER consider in their right and sober minds. I decided to be one of the co-leaders of Sister's Brownie troop, in the wild and probably wildly stupid hope that it would be easier and less-stressful than being the cookie mom. I have also repented my former position of not signing Sister up for "too many" activities because kids should have proper childhoods, dammit, and have plenty of free time to lie around and read and imagine stuff and not be pushed into being super-achievers too early. I have repented because this has meant that I signed Sister up for exactly NOTHING last year (except twice a month Brownies), and I get the feeling she's bored and making trouble with me to spice things up for herself. I have, therefore, signed her up for twice a week swim class, and am waiting to hear if this local farm camp place can also fit her in for horse-back riding one day a week.

I'm in for it. Joining the ranks of the freak-out busy moms--I mean the REALLY freak-out busy moms--who forget they have hobbies and interests and sex and sleep to fit in, too.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Garden, take 2

I just returned from a late walk with the dog, doing the usual circuit around the block to get him settled in for the evening. As I approached our old house in the dusk, our former next-door neighbor approached from the opposite direction, smiling at me in the semi-dark. The first thing she said to me was, "Boy, I bet you're sad to see so many of your plants dying there. I don't think they've watered them at all!"

My poor garden! There are several things crisp beyond hope now: a variegated hydrangea that brightened up a dark corner of the yard under an old crepe myrtle, my huge, purple-flowered butterfly bush, a large (and expensive) angel's trumpet that I put in just this year, a stand of lavender-flowered phlox, a perennial geranium...and the list goes on.

Husband ran into the new owners on the street last week and actually volunteered to loan them a sprinkler. They declined, saying they had one, but were just so overwhelmed with the move that they hadn't gotten to it, felt terribly guilty about it, planned to water everything at their first opportunity, blah blah blah. It's been 2 weeks now and my beautiful garden is probably at least half-dead. If I'd know they were going to totally neglect it I would have dug some stuff up and taken my chances with replanting in the summer heat at the new place. At least I would've watered them! This is very sad to me.

Today I went into the way-back of our yard for the first time ever. For some mysterious reason, the previous owners of this house fenced in only part of the full back yard, excluding a good third of the space back there--very puzzling. Anyways, it's a small jungle behind the fence, as I verified this morning. The to-do list we'll have to get started on to even make the space for a new backyard garden is too overwhelming to even think about for very long. It goes something like this:

  1. Pull up poison ivy while it still has leaves and can be identified easily.
  2. Bushwhack all the seriously self-seeding poke weed NOW before the seeds ripen and drop and we have to do it all over again next year.
  3. Bushwhack horrible, prickly blackberry brambles.
  4. Somehow kill all the other noxious weeds carpeting various large areas along the fence. Husband wants to use herbicide, but I hate to do it with the kids so close by. On the other hand, there's a LOT to have to weed by hand, and I don't usually mind weeding.
  5. Hire someone to take out lots of youngish pines.
  6. Rip out all the chain link fence and have a nicer fence built that includes the whole backyard.
  7. Have a dumptruck load of topsoil--or maybe two--delivered so that we can level the yard some and route drainage around the house rather than directly to the foundation.
  8. Build a retaining wall to hold said topsoil back and border a path around the back porch.
And maybe then we can plant something.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


It hit me a couple of days ago, that I was beginning to feel settled in this house now. I explained to a friend that for the first time I had walked into our bathroom upstairs and turned left instead of right to click on the light switch. Then that evening, after turning off the downstairs lights to ascend the stairs to bed, I navigated across the dark kitchen and didn't bump into anything. I'm developing a physical sense of comfort here in this house. I'm aquiring a physical blueprint of the space that will become part of me. As someone who's been used to working very physical jobs in the past--kitchen work is nothing if not intensely physical--I feel best when I am physically at home, when my body fits into places, when my arms and legs and hands know exactly where to go and what to do.

That's all true. But today I felt even more satisfied that this is home now. A set of neighbors that we already kinda know dropped by with a bottle of wine to welcome us to the street. As they were leaving, another neighbor dropped by with her son to invite Sister to a birthday party next weekend. About an hour later, a woman I used to work with who is fast becoming a good friend came for a visit with her baby son, just a little younger than Bean. And while she was still here, yet another neighbor arrived with our previously broken tiller he'd worked on, agreeing to replace the motor in return for 50% ownership. He's a 2-minute walk from us now so this should work out fine.

Now, I'm not trying to get all Prairie Home Companion on everyone here, but I always used to imagine that I'd live in a house with lots of friends and family around livening things up. I'd cook and bake for them, make yummy drinks and sit on the porch with them, have our kids all play together and not mind that the house was getting trashed. That seemed like such a good life to me, and still does. Maybe it's beginning now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A hot, steamy cup of bile

Another day yesterday of wonky cable service and spotty internet, hence no post. Attention, damn Time Warner Cable! It is very hard for a mama to have a blog when she has no internet connection! Fer chrissake!

Forgive all the exclamation points, but my adrenalin is pumping just now due to yet another stupid exchange with my Ex, Sister's father. A simple matter of swapping weekends with Sister in September has become a squabble over mere HOURS. The Ex wants the few extra hours we need to make a drive back from the mountains on one of "his" days to translate to a whole extra day and overnight stay with him on one of "my" days. Christ. This guy drives me friggin' nuts. If only the man had a job and therefore some other way to occupy his mental time besides thinking of ways to get me to agree to hand over time with Sister. And let me just say here that HE WAS THE ONE WHO HIRED A LAWYER FIRST IN ORDER TO CREATE A JOINT CUSTODY AGREEMENT! He doesn't like it now? Well, I never liked it, so tough titties, Mister Unemployed Slack-Ass Clueless Pretend Artist. Go start acting like the almost 40-year old man you are, get a job, stop living off your parents, and stop trying to get everyone to just give you everything.

Alright, enough of this biliousness. Didn't I once declare that I was going to seek counselling to help me through all this bitterness towards my Ex (and his passive-agressive demon witch mother)? Yeah, I did say that. No, I haven't done it. Can you tell?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Domestic Pet Peeve of the Day: Sticky little sesame seeds left positively everywhere in what was apparently a kitchen explosion that occurred while I took Sister to ceramics camp this morning. I thought a sink full of coffee dregs was bad yesterday? Ha! Clearly, I am the only with the ability anymore to even see kitchen messes, much less tidy them up.

And that was just part of a crappily started morning. Sister is being so horrible lately. I don't know what the hell is wrong with this 8-year old child of mine. I am seriously contemplating calling up her dad and asking him to take her from me early this weekend rather than deal with her crappy attitude til Sunday night. From the time that she descended the stairs in a fancy skirt and blouse this morning, bound for clay class and staring at me challengingly, daring me to send her back to change, til the time that I picked her up this afternoon and witnessed her slam the door practically on her baby sister's nose (causing much screaming) and then refuse to look me in the eye while I very calmly asked her to correct her various ill behaviours, she's been an absolute pill. To quote a friend talking about her own pre-teen daughter at a party several years ago, "I just don't like her very much right now." I really don't. And isn't this stuff supposed to happen when they're, like, 12 or something? Not 8?

What are you supposed to do in this case anyway? I mean, she's my kid so I can't REALLY send her off anywhere. If she rolls out of bed doing petty, rude shit from minute one, what the hell do I do? Ignore it? Give her time outs, which I really think she's outgrown? Deny her privileges? Is it time to start GROUNDING her? And how am I supposed to ground her when she has no social life to speak of, goes to her dad's house almost every weekend, and doesn't even watch that much t.v. that I could take away from her?

I am at a loss here. I'm just grateful to have the nice daughter of a good friend here for the next few afternoons to keep Sister out of my hair. The other girl is safe. Sister saves her snakiness for mama.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

While I was away

Domestic Pet Peeve of the Day: Husband's coffee sludge from yesterday's coffee dumped into the sink and all over a dish cloth with no rinsing.

Just by way of catching everyone (who's interested) up on my life while I've been away from the blogosphere these past few weeks, here are some highlights:
  • I turned 35 and Sister turned 8. Both of us are feeling a little iffy about the whole growing up thing.
  • As I've already mentioned, we are officially moved into our new house one street over from our old house. This was easier in terms of my emotional state than I expected. Only once did I almost cry about leaving my garden, and that's as bad as it got. As my friends know, I'm a bridge-burning kind of girl. I don't look back.
  • However, this doesn't mean I don't feel my fair share of freak-out about this move. Mostly, I'm still feeling unsure that I belong in this house. It's a big damn house! It has 2 stories which I find intimidating. I never imagined myself living in a big house before and, let's face it, being surrounded by the trappings of a prosperous life. I mean, we're by no means filthy rich. This house is 40 years old and no McMansion, I assure you. But I've been so used to a financial struggle all my life, whether it was my single mom being unable to pay the power bill from time to time or being on my own in college and subsisting on egg salad, Saltines, and baked potatoes for weeks on end. I feel nervous not worrying about groceries or utility bills. I feel really, really guilty actually.
  • Husband and I had a couple of tense weeks leading up to our move which seem to have died down now. We actually had a big fight the very first night we spent at the beach with my family, all about how much of a bitchy tone I have in general, like, throughout every day. This was sucky news from my very beloved spouse, but not too surprising. I've always considered myself somewhat of a bitch, to the point where I don't even flinch when someone slings that particular barb my way. But I'll never win if my comparison is Husband's saintly and soft-spoken mother. What's a sometimes bitchy and lately-stressed mama to do? Especially one who grew up with a similarly bitchy and stressed mama as an example?
  • On a lighter note, I spent some time poring over my new homeowner's insurance policy recently. It was hysterical! Have y'all ever read the fine print of yours? For example, the policy does not include coverage of events related to "nuclear hazard," but WILL reimburse for damages sustained during volcanic eruptions. Phew! Thank God for that! (Fine print: "One or more volcanic eruptions sustained during a 72-hour period will be considered as one volcanic eruption." Subtext: don't try anything sneaky, you litigious Southern bastards! We'll bust out the Richter scale on your asses. Or Geiger counter. Or whatever the hell.) I was literally laughing out loud, though that might've been the gin.
  • Finding both a plastic grocery bag of nasty deer bones and a baggie containing a large shed snake skin stashed in Sister's closet. The girl is into natural science, but give a mother a break, will you, child?
That's all for now. Dry laundry and a hot doggie left outside are calling.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Return of the Sugar Mama

Ah, gin! That sharp, cold elixir that makes the dull but stressful life of a stay-at-home mom far more bearable, even glamorous! All my angst lately when I look around at this new, bigger house and feel like I don't belong in it? Poof--gone after the first few swigs of my gin gimlet! My inner bitch fest caused by Husband's complaints over how I do his laundry now that we have a dryer? Who cares? Pass the gin and I'll dry anything I damn well please if I don't have time to read labels 'cause the baby's screaming at me! I love gin.

So I'm back in the blogging saddle again after a week's residence in this new place and a much-needed break from my bloggable inner monologue for the couple of weeks prior to that. I would've been back sooner, too, except that this new house is serviced by the most customer-jerk-around cable company EVER--this being Time-Warner, of course--and we haven't had internet access or a functional home phone for the entire week. Woe is me, right? The terrible plight of the suburban woman! I DO know that I suck here, believe me.

But no, really, I'm back! I hope I've still got some interested readers out there, too, because I haven't been keeping up with ANYONE in my absence. No, not even you, Mommygoth. But I've changed. Posts everyday, no matter how short or inane! Doesn't that sound appealing? Okay, how about comments out the ying-yang for all comers?

I'm back! Hello?