Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On resentment

My dad and stepmother are here for the Great Turkey Slaughter of 2006. SM and I spent several hours today looking for a decent interim dollhouse for Perp and a tea kettle for me. We found the kettle ("This is a righteous kettle!") but not the dollhouse. Alas. It's too bad because Perp only has enough toys to last her until she's 4.

As we drove hither and yon, SM accosted me about the idea of having another baby. Maybe. Some day. I don't know. It's not like I have to decide right now; I've got all these eggs laid by. Heh. Mostly her concern was that I would grow to resent the kids, perhaps the last one the most, and not fully realize my potential, whatever that means.

I pointed out that I already resent my kids from time to time, and adding another to the mix probably wouldn't make things a whole lot worse.

It makes me crazy in the head when I hear women say that motherhood is the best job they've ever had, that it's the most fulfilling experience they can imagine, and nothing can compare to the joys of being a mom.

Bullshit, I say. Bullshit! Yes, it's got moments of incredible joy and wonder, and I do enjoy myself immensely a lot of the time. Probably most of the time, in fact. But I wipe up shit. I catch puke in my hands. I listen to screaming, whining, and the same question six or seven times in a row all day. Every day. I don't think I complain about it much, the shit and puke part, at least. It's part of the job, after all. It's even in the job description.

But spending the day with a 2 year old and an infant (or just the toddler, actually) is tiring. And frustrating. And funny. And it is fulfilling, though not endlessly or totally. To suggest (by omission if not by actively saying so) that it's a lie of eternal bliss is to deny the real and deep feelings of, yes, resentment and despair that motherhood can bring.

If a mother tells you that she never resents her children, she's either lying or living in complete denial. I truly believe that. It's impossible to go from living your life as an independent adult who can engage in intelligent conversation and operate a lawnmower to a flabby-brained nutjob who can't remember to eat and who speaks in third person (you know you do it) without missing your former self and resenting her loss just a little bit. It's perfectly natural. It saddens me that more women won't admit their feelings and acknowledge the loss. I think overall it's a fair trade, but that doesn't mean I don't have moments of buyer's remorse.

When I talk with my other mom friends and hear them making frustrated noises, I make it a point to 'fess up to my feelings of inadequacy as a mother and of occasional resentment and anger toward my children. It does not mean I don't love them, or that I am somehow not a good mother. It means I am human and fallible and not afraid to admit it. Nothing wrong with that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My new love

"Lindt Excellence Intense Pear chocolate. Fine dark chocolate with pieces of pear and almond slivers."

On the back of the package: May contain traces of peanuts/tree nuts.

No! Really?!

But if nuts won't kill you, you NEED to try this. Then try (in order) Hachez Cocoa D'Arriba orange; Hachez Cocoa D'Arriba strawberry & pepper. You can forswear sex for a while.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I have a lot of stops to make today and each one is at the ass-end oposite side of town.

Watch me unspool.

... still relatively wound, and with new goodies like two kinds of apricot preserves, sour cherry preserves, loads of lucious darkdarkdark chocolate with various fruit essences, some Trader Joe's stuff (which I belatedly realized is simply other brands marketed under the TJ label but oh well), a gut full of FABULOUS dim sum at Mandarin Kitchen, and tasty pastries. All in all, a good day.

Now if I could just get Dude to pretend to sleep for a few hours.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

On the road again

A) It is very odd to use a keyboard which has no visible a, s c, d, e or n keys. I mean, yeah, clearly they exist, but they're blank. Weird the things you get used to.

B) Dude and I are on the road to get my dad and stepmother at the airport tomorrow. We drove down to the teeming metropolis(es)(i?) of Minneapolis/St. Paul to stay overnight with my mom. Tomorrow we're going to gorge endlessly on what is widely reputed to be superlative dim sum in Richfield, of all places.

For those of you who have only managed to fly over this here fly-over country, Richfield is one of the first-ring suburbs of Minneapolis, a post-war subdivision probably like any other that sprang up to accommodate the returning GIs and their families. In other words: shithole.

BUT! Anyplace that has dim sum available all week long is just this side of heaven in my book. Husband doesn't yet know that we're packing up and moving immediately.

Friday, November 17, 2006

To sleep, perchance to, you know, uh...

Okay so yesterday I was going on about sleep and how Dude's not so much into it and then he had a pretty good night. I went and blew it by missing his cues this morning. He had about half an hour's nap, late. Then it was ridiculously difficult to get him down for his nap, but I managed to sneak him, asleep and snoring ever so cutely, into his cribby. I can only imagine his outrage when he wakes up. "This is NOT where I fell asleep!"

I have done just about a complete 180 on the sleep tip. When Perp was born, I was all, "Crying it out? Barbaric!" And actually, if you're talking literal cry-it-out, pop-em-in-and-go, I am still against it. And it's still barbaric. But if you're talking fading techniques, going in at regular but longer intervals to soothe and comfort, well hell, I'm a convert.

Part of it is just that I have a lot more on my plate, and taking naps every day with him, sleeping in late with him, having him next to/on me close to 24 hours a day just isn't really feasible. Perp lucked out on that, no doubt. I worry sometimes, since I can already see that Dude is not nearly as elastic as she was. Don't get me wrong, he's able to bounce back from most insults fairly easily, but it takes longer and he's just more ... I don't know, closed than she was or is. The other day we stopped by a friend's house to say hi, and her dogs came rushing at us, barking, wagging, slobbering. You know, doggie style. He
f r e a k e d out. Lost it. Cried. Screamed. Tried to climb up my arm onto the top of my head. Perp just never got scared by anything. She had her first stranger danger moment when she was about 18 months old, for God's sake.

It's hard to know what to think. Is he like this because he doesn't get the time she did? Is it innate and it wouldn't matter what the birth order? Both? Whatever it is, I'm at a loss. I don't know how to deal with it. He is clingier, whinier, harder to please, tougher to cheer, generally the opposite of his sister. Hell, even I have to work to get him to smile or laugh. He goes about his day with a suspicous look on his face. "Are you allowed to do this? Are you certified? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, LADY??" It's a bit insulting, frankly.

I suspect he needs more of a routine to his day than P did. I'm not sure how to make that happen and still get her out of the house for activities and playgroups. I'm starting to think a regular babysitter who stays with him while she and I go out is the way to go. And oh, how they laughed. As if. The only sitters around here are in high school. You know, during the day. When we need to go out.

Anyway. So I've been letting Dude work it out a bit in his room at nap- and bedtime. There have been a couple of days when I had to go in multiple times to comfort him before he falls asleep. But yesterday at naptime, I wasn't out of his room more than five minutes before he crashed. Go Dude! Progress, perhaps.

In other news, I'm cleaning like a mad thing, including scrubbing the bathroom floors which hasn't happened since the cleaning lady started. Remind me why I pay for a service that I'm not getting?

Crazy: NPR is doing a Science Friday on fatal insomnia. Eerie.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Down the rabbit hole

What with the grand day of turkeys coming up, and famdamily coming to visit, my NaBlo posts are going to be - can you believe it? - even shorter. And with even less interesting content!

But I'm sticking it out since I'm so miserably far behind with my NaNo. I'm immensely proud of myself for cranking out as much content as I have, though. Eighteen-thousand-plus words. Not bad.

I'll bring the laptop with me when I go to pick up my dad & stepmother; I figure if nothing else I can try to write when/if Dude is napping. Oh, and that's a whole new post. Sleep training. I hate the term, it's not like babies don't know how to sleep. They just don't know how to comfort themselves. Maybe it should be called comfort training. Whatever, Dude's experiencing it and I'm actually kind of surprised by how sunny he's been today, given the miserable night we all had last night.

I went out and bought the bird today: 21+ lb of organic goodness. I hope it's enough.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Healthy Sleep Habits, Traumatized Child

Okay so maybe I'm reading this wrong, or maybe there's a page missing from the copy I have, but does Weissbluth actually say to leave a baby in its crib for AN HOUR before going in to comfort? 'Cause that shit is just plain fucked up.

PS, that's only at naptime. At bedtime, you don't go in at all. I can't believe people do this.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I would so do this

Thirteen thousand

and change, that's my current word count on the NaNoWriMo tip. It's impressive to me because it's a lot of writing (for me). It's unimpressive ('zat a word?) because it's complete shit but that's partly the point of the whole project. So I'm going to keep plugging at it until the last minute and figure that even if I don't hit 50K (oh, how I'd love to hit 50K), I'm already ahead of where I was on Halloween.

So yay me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stand-up guy

Dude. Seriously. Enough.

He's started standing on his own. Granted, it's only for two or three seconds at a time, and he wobbles like jello, but he's doing it. And he's way too pleased with himself for my taste. Don't get cocky, young man. I've still got those lead shoes around here somewhere.

ETA that he needs to start sleeping for longer than two minutes at a stretch. I'm not sure what I have around here to insure that he does but I'm looking hard. Would it be wrong of me to slip him a hot toddy?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Note to self

When you're boiling the Dude's nuks to kill the yeast, don't forget that they're on the stove.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Save Big Money at The Nards!

We're (still) fixing up our house. We've been here four years now and the finish line is in sight. And yet, it doesn't feel done, if that makes sense. I'm already thinking about what color to (re)paint the living room, how I'd love to rearrange the furniture if we didn't have such a ridiculously laid-out floorplan, and what I'd build in its place if the current house were to, say, blow away or take off for the winter without us.

Husband is busy-beavering upstairs to finish the guest room before my dad and stepmom come for the day of turkeys. I ran errands with the Dude today and brought home what we hope are the last few touches for the room. Then we finish our bathroom and we're done. Done. Finished. Amazing.

This place was the Museum of Bad '70s Carpet when we bought it. Because the average buyer doesn't seem to have the imagination or congenital insanity required to give a house a complete makeover, we were able to buy it for a song, really. A poorly sung, but heartfelt song we were required to make up on the spot. Good thing I took those improv classes years ago.

Most of what we did was strictly cosmetic. Well, depending on what you consider cosmetic. We turned a spare bedroom into our master bath so now we have a master suite. Sweet! Other than that, and adding one wall, it's all pretty much just prettying up the place. We know that the former owners, who drop by from time to time when they're in town, don't think much of what we've done. They did like that we took out a massive length of cabinets and countertop and put in a pantry, which seemed like a no-brainer once I thought of it. It's wonderful to be able to stash all our crap behind some pretty white doors, I tell you what.

I wish I could show you what it looked like before and what it looks like now. It's a completely different place. And that's a fine thing, since we are completely different people. You have to make your mark where you can.

Friday, November 10, 2006

On freaking myself out

I'm starting to wig out. I am becoming this organized person, sort of, anyway. So I decided that in order to save myself from having to go to the store every day (or making Husband run an errand on the way home from work), I'd sort out the meals we generally eat and I'd make a list of ingredients we need to have on hand for said meals.

I'm about to make a spreadsheet.

Somebody stop me. I need help.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Can I just say how much I love myself for getting my posts in first thing in the morning so I don't have to think about it or freak out when I see the clock coming up on midnight and thinking to myself, "Self, you dropped the damn ball. Get up and post something so that you don't fail this challenge, at least." Then I kick myself in the head and trudge downstairs to write something stupid.

But today! Today I posted in the morning and now I can just ramble and avoid my NaNo. Like I'm doing now. But today, I'll share a little bit because I find it oddly amusing, especially considering how far it's gone from what I originally intended.

I will warn you ahead of time that the NaNo is all about quantity, not quality, so ... well. Read for yourself.

The fishwife looked at Lila, stunned. “You mean to tell me you have never had beer before? Where on earth do you come from and what do you drink there?”

Lila looked at her loopily. She paused for a moment and offered, “I am from Massachusetts and we drink milk. And coke. And coffee. And tea. And Ovaltine (that goes into the milk and it is chocolate - you do not know what that is yet, it will be several hundred years before it arrives here, I think,” her audience looked shocked and glanced around at each other uncomfortably. This was witchy talk. “ - and it has malt in it - I think that goes into beer, too, does it not? - and it is delicious hot or cold). And we drink wine -I do not, I do not drink at all, I am not old enough and it smells bad -. French wine. And California wine (California does not exist yet. Well, it is there but it is not Calif.. oh, never mind).”

A small cloaked man in the corner - who was originally intended to be a critical character but since fell into disfavor when he offered nothing interesting in the way of dialog or character development - cried out, “She is drunk as a lord!” And so his useful lifespan was essentially over. He went back to his drink glumly. Leave it to a sleep-deprived writer to underestimate his importance. He’d be back! If she thought he was just going to sit idly by while she wasted his dramatic potential, well, she had - A section of roofing beam suddenly let loose from its neighbors and silenced the drunk’s interior monologue. And good riddance to him, too.

“Thass right, I am! I am hammered. Wasted. Blotto. Drunk as a skunk. Four sheets to the wind. Inebriated. Intoxicated. Under the influence. Smashed. Pie-eyed. Poleaxed. Pissed. Plastered. Tanked. Trashed. Wrecked. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” She slumped gracelessly to the floor. The brewer's wife came around the bar and hefted her to her feet.

“You’ll need a long night of rest after that bout, my girl,” the woman hissed. “But if you think you will be sleeping in and escaping your duties you have another think coming.”

Lila flapped her hands inches away from the woman’s face. “Back off. I am busy. I have important things to do, you know. I must piss now.” She organized her legs under herself and wobbled out the door to the barn.

It was a relatively pleasant place to sleep, actually. It was warm in the hay and the comforting sounds of the animals sleeping made her feel safe and secure. She only wished the donkey did not have such horrible gas.

Hours later, as she dozed fitfully beneath her blanket, a stranger came into the land. He was tall and dark and unusually handsome, as tall, dark strangers generally are, but he was not the marrying kind. At least if you wanted to stay alive. He was Jeff, the God of Biscuits and he was there to kill Lila, or at least maim her terribly if he could not quite pull off the killing, which was entirely possible as he was a god of baking for gods’ sake, and he would probably have to beat her to death with a rolling pin (which had not been invented yet, much like Massachusetts, California, and irony)or perhaps, if things went his way, pierce her fatally with his pastry forks.

Lila slept on, unaware of the danger she was in. And it is a good thing, too, because that very day the hapless donkey had eaten several cabbages.

Oh. Oh my. It is wretched, isn't it? This is so much FUN!

House of ill repute

Perp has never been sick like this before, so I have no experience with babies what are sick like. And the Dude, he be illin'. He can't really nurse because he's so congested; he is not comforted as quickly and easily by anything else, so there's a big gaping hole of suck in our lives right now. Perp seems to be taking it in stride now that the worst is over. Oh, and now that she's passed the worst on to me. How sweet. She's learning to share.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beyond words

"MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on Tuesday, squelching the hopes of gay-rights activists who hoped for their first-ever victory over such a measure in a state vote."

I just don't know what to say. I'm saddened and angered beyond words.

Oh, TiV0, where art thou?

We're having a crisis Chez Smacky. One of our Tiv0s has died on us. Yes, we're philistines and have two of them, get off my back. We got it at the hideous blue store and bought the extended warrantee (woohoo for Husband!). So I took it back yesterday and they gave me a gift card with the full purchase price on it. We can't buy a new replacement model because they're no longer made. So we're looking on the auction site and found two that have new, massive hard drives which ups the recording time by a factor muchness. But then I went to the TiV0 site and it says that we can only transfer our lifetime service to a unit replaced through the retailer or the manufacturer. Help me out here: since blue store gave us a gift card, this will appear as a new purchase, not an exchange, right? They don't open up for live calls until 7 am PST and that's a looong time from now, if you're antsy little me. Fudge knockers. I hate waiting.

I'm so far behind on my NaNo that I fear I will never catch up. And? I still have no idea where this damn story is going so I'm just writing little snippets of it as they come to me. Mostly it's descriptive, outlining the characters, where they live, etc. But the plot? She escapes me. Good thing I can do the NaBlo at least. Nothing too substantive, mind you, but something.

Dude is officially sick; he is a thourough and efficient snot machine, producing his weight in mucus every day. I'm sure that's not hyperbole but just in case it is, let me say that he's got A LOT OF SNOT IN THERE. It drips onto his clothes. And my hair. And my pillow and thence into my hair some more. And on my face. If you see me today, that's why I have weird little crusty white patches on my face. It's totally not leprosy. Sorry, Hansen disease.

So I got up at 4:30 to snorkle a certain little snout and when he fell asleep nursing (because he could BREATHE), I sat down to work on my NaNo, which I haven't managed to do in two days. I could cry. I really feel like I have the kernel of a fun story in there but I don't know how to dig it out, kwim? Like, I've never really been able to finish a story because I don't really get how to build up to the climax. I don't even know what it will be at this point, though my mother points out that that doesn't matter, you write enough and it will come. As it were. Ahem.

I originally thought I'd write on storyline, based on a story that I'm afraid I might have read as a kid, but no one I know recognized the plot so I think I may be safe. Either way, it's not like I'm doing this for publication; it's all about the torture.

Then I thought I'd expand on the story I worked on for my senior paper; it's got potential too. I quickly realized that I didn't have the chops to expand that to 50,000 words, and I hit upon a way to tie the two together. Thus far: 5570. That's like halfway to where I should be. Today.

But I'm going to soldier on. Of course, anything I might write while the kids nap today is going to be done while I'm half dead from exhaustion. It ought to be good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lord love a duck

now they both have it. At least Perp's capable of coughing her lung chunks up; Dude doesn't have the skillz. It's going to be a long night.

...and you thought I was going to miss a day. Fie!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Best Buy rant, the sequel

I. fucking hate. fucking Best Buy. I'm sure there's some reason for their policies on warrantee exchanges, but said policy means that on top of the several weeks they had our TiVo sitting on a counter in the back room, we have to wait for a new one to ship from wherever the hell it is that they keep them, because God forbid they actually STOCK their merchandise in a STORE.

AND! We have to return the old one! before they'll order the new one! So they let me bring the old one home, 'cause we figured we could at least watch tv through it and not have to suffer through the hideous ads (my God, watching regular tv is like going through an auto de fe after getting used to zipping through the ads). But no, they didn't tell us that they have to HAVE the old machine before they'll order the new one. So that's like another week down. AND? We can't replace it with the same unit because they don't make it anymore so we have to upgrade which is nice and all, but that means no more DVD burner. The suck!

Perp looked about ready to keel over this morning, then she got up from her nap and played with her balloon for an hour. Amazing. She has wicked snot voice but judging by her activity level since 2, she's on the upswing in a big way. I wish I could rebound like that, man.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If I were this resiliant

I'd be made of rubber. Perp was up to 103.3 last night and still wanted to play with blocks, sing songs, have a bath (necessary because of the monumental blowout but even so). I would be incapacitated. Period. Sometimes I wish I had hung on to some of these skills.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Do NOT mess with me

Probability of killing, 53%

You have probably seen death. You watch too many horror flicks, play too much violent videogames, or probably exposed to death by where you live. or maybe you have lots of problems with enemies or have little self-esteem. The factors add up that you need to avoid situations or people that could push you to that point.

Are you capable of killing


I spent a couple of hours with some friends at a (soon-to-be) weekly stitch & bitch. I scheduled it at the local yarn store because they have nice spots to sit and work, and it's upstairs from a coffee shop. Score.

I'm working on a crossstitch piece for a friend (hey, Z!) and one of these days I'll actually finish it. I think booking time each week to do it is the way to go; otherwise who knows when I'll actually get to it.

We were talking about taking time alone and commenting that we often felt guilty leaving the kids with our husbands. Like we were asking a lot of them to give us a few hours to do something for ourselves. What the hell is that all about? Yes, some of us have husbands who work full time. But, um, raising kids isn't exactly a part-time job. So why do we feel bad asking for some time off? We do this 24/7 and office jobs can be left behind. What is it with the guilt? I shouldn't feel bad about it for a single second, but I do. Husband has no problem going out for happy hour with coworkers once in a while, and this is pretty much the equivalent, though it's in the morning and sans alcohol ... that isn't the equivalent at all, is it? Whatever, I still should be able to just leave the house without a backward glance and go do my thing for a few hours, but it's terribly hard. And I'm not a guilt person by nature. WTF?

You know you have the same problem. Why is that?

Friday, November 03, 2006

One more for good measure

since I wrote fuck all for WriMo today: a NaBloPoMorandomizer for your perusing pleasure. I fear I will add many more blogs to my roll. Who has the time to read all this?!

Hot child in the city

I generally go into Perp's room right before I go to bed, so I can fall asleep giggling. She'll be clutching a toy, or more often, a book, folded up into the corner of her bed. Last night she was fairly warm but I figured it was because Husband put her in her heavy sleeper jammies with a shirt on underneath. We have very different ideas of how to dress children for bed. So far I think he's winning. Damn it all.

This morning, Perp woke up with a decent fever. It was high enough to color her cheeks a merry febrile pink, and to leave her in a persistent whiny state which is just loads of fun for me. Here's to hoping that phase passes soon.

I'm debating calling the doc. I think I'll wait and see if the Tylen0l kicks in or not. She hit 100.4 in the axilla; I'm trying to find out how that rates on the great fever scale.

Don't imagine I'll get much writing done today.

102.3 at 5:30 Saturday night. Yowza. Axillary. That, then, translates to 103.3. Guess we're off to urgent care. Fie.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Here's the interesting thing (to me, you may well find my "interesting" coma inducing, in which case I ask: what the fuck are you doing here, anyway?): when I get a groove on, writing-wise, and feel like I'm in the zone, I get up and distract myself with something else. Or I post. Or I surf. Whatever, anything but writing. Why?! I'm in the ZONE, man! Stick with it, bich. This is no time to slack. Into the breach, my lass! etc., etc., etc. No follow-through, that's me!

Toddler gourmet

We go to lunch at the same place every Thursday. We see our friends, eat great food, and then go home for nap. Thursday mornings we go to the grocery store. It's like our Thursday deal.

We were leaving the store and I was waxing rhapsodic about lunch. Normally we know ahead of time what the meal will be, but this week we were in the dietary dark. I chirped, "What do you think we're having for lunch today, honey?"

"Yeah. Lunch."

"Yep, we're having lunch. What are we going to have for lunch?"


"Yeah, we'll probably have dessert. What do we have before we have dessert?"


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNo NaNo

hyuck hyuck. Sure, I'm dating myself, but whatever. It's a post and it's day one of NaNoPoMo/NaNoWriMo and I can't say that you should expect literature out of me for the next month. But you'll get something. Or other.