Thursday, May 29, 2008
I had lunch with a woman yesterday who recounted the struggles she had with her very rebellious daughter. And today my boss and I had a conversation about mother-daughter relationships and how they inevitably seem to go sour and how we both treated our mothers terribly for a while.
I can remember those days clearly -- with shame. I have no idea why I treated my mother so poorly. Frankly, I don't see how she kept from shipping me off somewhere until I came to my senses.
I hope it won't happen with me and Punkin, but chances are it will, even if just for a brief period of time (at least I hope it's brief). I don't know if my kids will ever read this blog, but just in case they do, I'd like to tell my future teenaged daughter a few things.
I love you. I was thrilled when I found out I was having a girl. Now I had somebody to have tea parties with. Somebody to play dress up with. But also somebody to pass along my love of baseball and football too. And don't even get me started on the girl clothes!
And you and I have already had our struggles -- HELLO terrible twos! But we also have our good times. Every morning when I wake you up, I sit down beside your toddler bed and you crawl into my lap, resting your head on my shoulder while you wake up. Lately you've taken to asking me to lie down beside you. And I comply -- who could resist such a sweet request? (though I do fear for the toddler bed slats!)
Every day when I pick you up from school, you run to me yelling "MOMMY!" and I yell out "Poodle Bear" which is my other pet name for you. Or "Poodle Pants." Or "Punkin Butter." I pick you up and we give each other a big hug.
Tonight as we were getting ready for bed you said something about "My very best friend ever."
"Who's your best friend ever?" I asked.
"You are!" you said, your gorgeous smile lighting up your face as you wrapped your arms around me.
"You're my best friend ever, too!" I said. And you are.
See, you did like me once. And one day you will again.
I love you, Punkin.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I miss them almost like family. This was probably the only show that I have ever been certifiably hooked on. Obsessive about. Like freak-out-because-I'm-not-home-and-forgot-to-set-the-VCR obsessive. On the rare occasion that this happened, I always had someone I could call -- usually my mom -- who would take pity on me and record it for me.
The first minute or so of my 15 minutes of fame came from this show. Sarah Michelle Gellar was taking online questions on E! Online and she answered my question first.
But I guess I'm not truly a hardcore fan. I don't own all the seasons on DVD, though I would love to. I can't call the episodes by their names. though I do know a few. But I can tell you what happened in just about every episode.
And lord did I get invested in those characters. Has there ever been a more heartbreaking moment on television than when Buffy had to kill Angel? Or when Angel killed Jenny Calendar? Or when Oz betrayed and then left Willow? Or when Spike told Buffy how long she had been dead, down to the second.
Or when Buffy told Spike that he was beneath her? Or when Joyce died? Or when Buffy finally told her friends that they had ripped her out of heaven?
See what I mean? I still get all torn up over these story lines.
Mr. Daddy used to say that I had the hots for Buffy. He wished. Don't get me wrong. She was a kick-ass girl and I liked that about her. But really it was the peripheral characters I loved most. The Scoobies. Xander. Willow. Giles. Oh my God when I thought Willow had killed Giles I nearly lost it. Spike. (rowr! I definitely have a thing for British accents) Cordelia. Even poor Anya, who bought the farm in the end.
Yeah, I miss those guys.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
When Mr. Daddy announced that he would be doing projects around the house all day, my hopes were slightly dashed. BUT, it was a gorgeous day and I was bound and determined that we were going OUT. However, we live in the middle of nowhere and with gas prices being what they are we had to stick fairly close to home.
Fortunately, there is a gorgeous state park near my house -- $3 per car to get in the park-- and they just so happened to have opened their pool on Saturday. I announced loudly to whoever was listening that my children WOULD NOT lie around like broccoli all day in front of the television, so I suited everyone up, sunscreamed (as Punkin says) everybody and headed off to the pool at the state park near my house.
We arrived and changed Punkin into her swim diaper and bathing suit. We probably could have skipped the swim diaper, but Punkin is in that very unpredictable time during potty training where sometimes she seems to get it and sometimes it's like we just started. I mean, usually she has no problem dropping her "friends" off at the "pool," but the peeing, well, we're just not there yet. And I didn't want Punkin to drop her friends off in this pool, so we put on the swim diaper.
So, we finally headed over to the kiddie pool, a prerequisite since neither of my kids can swim and I don't know about you but I don't want to wrangle two non-swimmers in any water over a foot deep. I don't have that kind of strength or patience. I might add that the kiddie pool was alllll the way at the end of the big pool and around a little corner. And we proceeded to have a great time until Punkin decided she had to go potty. And since there was no one to watch Bubba, we all had to trek alllll the way back to the potty.
Where Punkin decided that she did not, in fact, have to go after all. However, I did make her at least get up there and try, during which time I managed to let go of her for one second and during which nanosecond she fell, sort of, into the potty. Which at the time she found very amusing.
We do the wet swimsuit pull up struggle and then we trek alllll the way back to the kiddie pool, where we play happily for, oh, about five minutes before I hear "Mommy, I need to go potty."
And here we go again. Wash, rinse, repeat, minus the falling in but add in a little amusement-turned-- terror of falling in the potty that seems to have appeared in the five minutes between bathroom visits.
Back to the kiddie pool. Rumble, rumble, rumble. Guh-reat. Thunder. Which in pool-speak is "Everybody out of the pool!" Pool rules mandated that we had to clear the deck for at least twenty minutes after the last rumble of thunder. Again, guh-reat. Fortunately, I had planned ahead and brought snacks and drinks in the car, so we headed allll the way back out to the car.
Where we waited. And waited. And waited. After a good twenty minutes I finally spotted someone coming out of the office. "Is the pool going to re-open soon?" I asked.
"Oh, we're on pool break now. It'll be another twenty minutes." WTH? Why couldn't they have done pool break during the twenty thunder minutes? The kids barely tolerated the thunder break, but add the pool break on top of that and we were done for.
That pretty much sums up the day. Well except for these minor events: an aborted trip to the playground, some sandy, pee-filled Frocs (faux Crocs) due to my rookie decision not to change Punkin back into a regular pullup, some fear of loud toilets (Bubba), a refusal to enter the ladies restroom so Mommy could do the flushing (see: Bubba above), a meltdown of titanic proportions (see: pee filled Frocs, lack of more snacks), a bleeding, scraped knee (Punkin), a toddler chase (Mommy, Punkin) and one pissed off Mommy (self-explanatory).
I can't wait to do it again next weekend.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I left my office at lunch for a little bit for fresh (and warm!) air. As I was walking I saw a girl talking and gesticulating wildly...to no one. Upon further examination I realized that she had a bluetooth headset on. But here's a little FYI to all you headset talkers -- I know the technology exists, but when I see you walking down the street talking to yourself, my first thought is "uh oh, cuh-razy!" Also, note to girl from today? The person you're talking to can't see the air quotes you just made. Just so you know.
I am such a child of the 80s. Who besides me went "SQUEEE" when they realized George Michael was going to be on American Idol last night? I know the guy has had his share of, um,
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
But the above is not actually what I started out to write about tonight. What I really wanted to write about was writers who really put it all out there. Who don't hold anything back and write honestly -- and wittily -- about what's going on in their lives. And how I wish I could do the same.
I think I'm probably one of the last people in the world to read Dooce. I know, I know. What was my problem? I'm not sure. I have this very weird aversion to things that are too popular. I could probably dig deep into my psyche to try to figure it out, but I guess it boils down to the fact that if the masses love it, it must be pablum and not worthy of my time. I really need to get over myself because I've been proven wrong a lot in my life. Grey's Anatomy? Love it (or did, anyway, once). Blogging? Hooked. Mir? Fangirl -- though in a way she doesn't count because I didn't really realize how popular she was when I started reading her. She was, after all, only the second blog I ever read. And now Dooce? I'm hooked. (I should probably give Miami Vice and ER a second look -- both popular shows of which I have never watched a single episode due to the above quirk).
Maybe it's because I discovered Heather's blog when she was "under fire" from Kathie Lee and I felt a kinship with her because I, too, am a "mommy blogger." Maybe I felt the need to circle the wagons. I am just fascinated by the way that Heather and Mir are able to open up about so much that's going on in their lives. I'm sure they don't share every detail, but I'm certain they share a lot. And I envy that a little.
In real life I'm a little bit reserved. I've always been one to hold back a little and sometimes I hate that. I think this reserve has, on occasion, kept me from making friends. Sometimes I wish I could just let go of this shell and relate more openly with people and in my writing. We've had a lot go on in our life in the past two years and sometimes it feels like a heavy weight on my shoulders, or like my finger stuffed in a crack in a dam. It would just be such a release to let it all go.
But sometimes it's easier just to keep it all in.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The truth of the matter is that I was one of the skinniest people there, but you know, skinny is a relative term. Sure, I might have been smaller than most of the women in attendance, but I am a good 20 pounds over my physician identified ideal weight, which I'm pretty sure qualifies me as overweight.
This has actually happened to me before. I joined Weight Watchers years ago when we still lived in our hometown. I joined with a friend as moral support, though I did need to lose about 15 pounds at that time. At my first meeting I ran into the father of a guy I went to high school with and he laughingly said to me "What are you doing here? You don't need to lose weight! We beat up girls like you after class." He was only kidding and we all had a good laugh, but still.
So, why do I feel like I need to give my fat "pedigree" to feel legit? Do I need to tell them that several members of my extended family are what is now termed morbidly obese? That I struggle with food all the time? I love to eat, but if I ate everything I wanted to eat, I would be huge. It's a constant battle of wanting more of whatever it is that I'm eating and then immediately feeling guilty after I eat more.
I'm doing this to get healthy. To get thinner, sure, I'm not going to lie. But mostly I'm doing this because I want to be healthy example for my daughter. How fantastic would it be if she could have a healthy relationship with food? THAT is my real goal.
And guess what, y'all? I lost four pounds. And it felt great.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Rain is gone. Sun's up.
Rays peek through the trees, as though
Heaven has opened.
Glad to be alive--
Hope springs eternal -- this is
the good life I've got.
Happy Friday, everyone!
For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups Are No Place For Children and Christina at A Mommy Story!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Patience is a virtue.
I have no patience.
Ergo, I am not virtuous.
Seriously, patience is not one of my strong suits, as they say. As a teenager, my mother regularly informed me that she "felt sorry for my children!" I don't know if it was just general teenage angst or if my impatience with everything was just my stellar character shining through.
Mir's comment in her post yesterday about how Chickie gets so frustrated when she can't get her homework correct RIGHT THIS MINUTE reminded me so much of me. I can clearly remember getting so frustrated as a child that I would wad my homework into a ball, blindly not understanding that that meant I had to start over.
When I was very small I would actually bite myself in frustration if something didn't go my way. Yeah, that's right. I BIT myself.
Patient, I am not.
But I have gotten better. I actually believe that something happens to you when you have children. Some kind of hormone is released or something. I know that there are calming hormones released when you're breast feeding and I think they stick around. How else do we moms tune out those repetitive electronic toys? How else can we simultaneously stiff arm one child hanging on your legs in an effort to keep her from burning herself while you cook dinner, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the thousandth time that day, and watch your son practice his "ninja moves", all while slicing an onion for dinner?
Of course we all have days when we snap. I mean, y'all do, don't you? Don't tell me I'm the only one. Today has been one of those days. I woke up sleepy, which is never good. I cut myself shaving. I put product in my hair before combing it out which means that it wasn't distributed evenly. I hit my knee on the drawer. I pulled out my new shirt to wear only to discover that I had a very large back zit that was highlighted by the neckline on my shirt (curse ye, back zits!). I had only 5 minutes until I had to leave the house and had to rush to iron a new shirt, plus clean off the chop sticks Bubba wanted to take to school (don't ask!), get my coffee and my lunch ready, so yeah, my patience was wearing a little thin.
But at least I didn't bite myself. Or anybody else.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Yes way, as my kids say. I know, big shock, right? I found this story particularly timely after Punkin's stomachviruspalooza the week before last followed by croup on Monday morning. Croup. In May. But what was also interesting about the article was that although a University of Arizona study found that 2-year-olds who attend daycare have twice as many colds in the first six months of life, they have a third fewer colds between the ages of 6 and 11 when they're in school and attendance matters.
Reading the article reminded me of the time we took Bubba to the emergency room at the age of four months with a fever of 104. He had started staying with a friend of mine just two days before and as I dropped him off, her 2-year-old daughter leaned over Bubba in his car seat and proceeded to sneeze right.in.his.face. Aaaaannnd he proceeded to get a cold, followed by an ear infection, which brought on the fever that necessitated the trip to the emergency room. Also, for the record, he had been sleeping through the night up until that point. After that, never again. At least not until he was over a year old.
Anyway, short story long, the doctor on call at the hospital was very circumspect about Bubba's illness. I guess as an emergency room doctor he'd seen it all. But he had wise words, which I believe should be handed out in all new parent books, especially to parents whose children will be going to daycare. He said "He has to pay off his infectious disease mortgage." In other words, they're going to get sick. It's going to happen. Either now or when they start school. So chill. Roll with the punches.
But DAY-um! With all the illness we've had in our family, we should be living in an infectious disease mansion!
Monday, May 12, 2008
1. Go here and read the post titled "The post where I finally get sued." (tried to find a permalink and couldn't). I was familiar with Skirt Magazine but only recently heard of sk-rt.com (now kirtsy.com). I met someone with the magazine once and went to their site to investigate the possibilities of doing some freelance writing. This is probably the first time I'm glad my lazy, procrastinating self didn't do something. I'm glad the web girls changed their name. We wouldn't want them to be confused with those jerks.
2. My stepsister Amy is a writer and has been involved in numerous writing projects and writing workshops. She's started a blog for writers called 3 Questions...And Answers, which I've been meaning to add to my blog roll for ages (see: lazy, procrastinating above). Anyhoo, she's having a virtual book tour next Monday with author Paul Kilduff. Go leave a question on this post by Friday, and Paul will answer your question. Kinda' cool!
3. Why am I such a scaredy cat all of a sudden? I went for a walk tonight (more on that later) and every little noise in the bushes had me thinking "rabid dog" or "skulking weirdo." How did this happen to me? The storm we had Saturday night? The one that rocked the foundations of our house (and which somehow miraculously my children slept through?)? It kept me awake. Out of fear. I used to love a good thunderstorm. And climbing a tree? I'd like to think I'd give it the old college try, but I doubt very seriously I'd go too far up. A broken arm or leg is just not in my plans these days. So how did this happen to me? Is it because I'm getting older and more aware of my mortality? Is it because I know that there are rabid dogs and skulking weirdos who do bad things to nice people? Talk amongst yourselves. Dis-cuss!
4. And finally, guess what I did today? I joined Weight Watchers. I've done it before and if you stick to the plan it works. I've tried doing it on my own, but unless I'm accountable to someone by having to step on that scale every week, I just end up letting myself cheat the weight right back on. So, in that light, I'm hereby going to be accountable to YOU GUYS, too. Today, I weighed 157 pounds, which is the heaviest I've ever been if you don't count the weight I gained while pregnant, which we certainly won't! A friend told me today that I don't look like I needed to lose weight and with clothes, I probably don't. But friends, underneath those clothes, it ain't pretty. And truthfully, it's probably never going to be "pretty" again, but let's just go for "acceptable" shall we? I have a new mantra, similar to "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" -- it's "My belly, my belly, it's not made of jelly." Not the best rhyme, but I just came up with it on my walk as I felt my belly bounce. I'll work on it, I promise. What's your mantra?
Friday, May 9, 2008
A mom of all trades.
Gestator, birther, nightly
waker, breast feeder.
A bottle scrubber,
spoon feeder, spit-up wiper,
Snot sucker -- (the bulb!)
Pee target, fever
checker (rectal!), butt wiper.
A boo boo kisser.
Broken heart mender,
Shoulder to lean on, snuggler.
Story, song master.
We give our all, n'er
asking for more than a hug.
So, go hug a mom.
Happy Mother's Day!
For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups Are No Place For Children and Christina at A Mommy Story!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
What I do know is that it only slightly touched on the best thing I've discovered since I started blogging, and which is the topic that I hear most often when I talk to other bloggers, which is the community that we've all found. When I started my blog just a scant few months ago, I had no idea that it would foster friendships. And I do consider my blog friends to be true friends. I've met some of you. Some of you I may never meet. But I know you. And I think you know me. When times are tough, we have friends we can turn to. And it's okay to share those tough times because you know these women (and a few men!) have been through the similar experiences. When someone's having a rough day, we all know about it and we try to give that person a boost. When someone celebrates an accomplishment, we celebrate too.
So, if Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't get it, that's fine. She just doesn't know what she's missing out on.
(Funny aside, I just ran spellcheck and the word "blogger" keeps getting flagged. Um, Blogspot? I think you of all people need to add that to your dictionary. Don't you think?)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Bubba's flu was followed a month later by a severe bout of rotavirus, which landed him in the hospital. Granted, he was only there for 24 hours, but in the days leading up to it, he was pitiful. He couldn't keep anything down and right before we took him to the hospital, I was literally dropping tablespoons of water into his mouth with a medicine dropper and even those precious little drops would come right back up.
This past weekend I experienced a similar situation with Punkin. She is older than Bubba was when he got so sick, but she was still very sick herself. By Saturday afternoon, when she was feverish and nauseated she lay in my arms and kept saying "Mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over again and my heart broke. I cried, trying to hide my tears from her, and trying to get a grip on myself.
I couldn't do anything for her, except what I was already doing, which was doling out tiny sips of Gatorade in hopes that they would stay down. I have experienced few things as a mother more difficult than telling my child, who is literally begging for something to drink, that she can't have anything, knowing that if I give in to her that it will only come right back up again.
As I rocked her in my arms I thought of other mothers out there. Mothers whose children are truly sick. With cancer. With malaria. Mothers whose children are dying of hunger, or thirst. And my heart ached for those mothers. I'm sure I felt just a tiny portion of the desperation they feel but that was more than enough for me.
So I count my blessings that I live in a country, where I have access to health care -- though I do realize that not all Americans are so fortunate. I count my blessings that I have access to the medicines that we need. I count my blessings that I can get in the car and drive to the doctor's office and that I don't have to carry my child for days to the nearest hospital. I count my blessings.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The other problem that I have is that when I do find a recipe we all like and I add it to the rotation, it starts to get old kind of fast.
So lately I've been on kind of recipe kick. I signed up to get a daily recipe from one of my favorite recipe sites. They've sent me a couple of promising ones that I printed out. Unfortunately, they're still sitting beside my printer at work -- not going to do me a lot of good there.
That's also why I was super excited about the new cooking blog that AndreAnna and Cass put together. It's called Chop.Stir.Mix. It's like a girlie magazine for recipes. It's gorgeous. But the good thing is that the recipes look totally do-able. That's what she said. Perhaps I'm taking my metaphor a little too far....
Anyhoo, guess what? They're having a contest. They're giving away some really cool stuff from Crate & Barrel. With cool stuff like that I could be a do-er, instead of just a looker. So go here to check them out. Leave a comment for a chance to win. Not that it will help you, since I'm totally winning this one.
While you're here, leave me one of your fast and easy recipes in the comments.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The throwing up stopped around 1:00 yesterday, in part I think to the phenergen that finally stayed, um, in. Only to be replaced by a fever of nearly 103. BUT, I think that was the virus' last stand and in the end, good won out over evil.
Thanks for all your positive thoughts. Now we're all well just in time to go back to work! YAY! (please step around the massive amounts of sarcasm dripping from that last sentence).
Saturday, May 3, 2008
This morning we went to the doctor, who said she's not dehydrated -- yet. She gave us a prescription for phenergen suppositories, which, YAY! Do you know how much a 2 year old LOVES a suppository? I told her it was medicine and would help her stop throwing up, but then she promptly pooped it out again about 10 minutes later. I didn't give her another one because she seemed to be keeping the gatorade and the popsicles down fairly well. We were at 3 hours, which is like, a record or something.
And then she threw up again. I talked to the pharmacist who said it was okay to give her another half suppository (since I'd only given her a half before), so YAY! again.
The doc said if she's still throwing up tomorrow we may need to do an IV and some blood tests, so keep us in your thoughts, please.
If you need me, I'll be trying to find something to flagellate myself with.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
And then. I get THE CALL.
"MQ, Punkin threw up at school earlier. You don't have to come get her now. She's not running a fever, but she didn't eat much at lunch and she went right to sleep at nap time. I'll call you after nap and let you know how she is."
Two hours later:
"MQ, she's not any better. She hasn't thrown up again, but now she is running a low grade fever. You don't have to pick her up, but I just wanted to let you know she's pretty unhappy."
Well, I had to go get her. Not only because she's miserable, but also because it's obvious she's sick. As a parent I try to be considerate and limit the exposure of my sick kids to the well kids.
So now we're home. All afternoon she's been lying in front of the television, occasionally grabbing her mouth and stating emphatically "I'M NOT THROWING UP!" And she didn't. Until just a few minutes ago.
So, now my shopping trip is likely off, unless a miracle occurs during the night. I'll likely spend tomorrow's lovely day cooped up inside.
But what I really want to know is WHY does this always happen? Almost every time I try to plan something fun, one of my kids gets sick. And I know I'm not the only one. Last week, Niki at Impostor Mom bemoaned the fact that she might have to miss a friend's shower due to a sick child and husband. I never did find out if she got to go to the shower or not.
Wikipedia defines Murphy's Law as "if anything can go wrong, it will." But I think we need to name it Murphy's Mother's Law -- "if Mom has made plans to do something fun, one or more of her children are sure to get sick."
Every now and then I see a list of useless studies that scientists have spent billions on. Surely there's someone out there who could study this phenomenon. Right? (Yes, there is. And don't call me Shirley. Sorry, I couldn't help myself!).
But maybe I'm weird. 'Cause see, I've always liked to be scared, a little. That little frisson of fear that you feel when you're listening to a suspenseful story -- that's the best! Those types of stories were always the most requested at my sleepover birthday parties. "The Almond Tree" was the most requested story, year after year. In this story, a young boy is secretly murdered by his stepmother and comes back to life as dove that sits in a tree and sings
My mother killed me.
My father grieved for me.
My little sister Marley,
wept under the almond tree.
His stepmother's crime is eventually discovered and she's punished and if my memory serves me the little boy comes back to life? Can't remember for sure because it's been many, many years since I heard the story.
I've already seen this love of "the scary" in my own children, particularly Bubba. A couple of months back he got very into the Spiderwick Chronicles books that were included in the General Mills cereal boxes. There was a scene in one of them with a troll rising out of the creek that, when I read it, I wondered if it was too scary for Bubba. I looked at him and his eyes were indeed as wide as saucers, but when I finished the book he asked me to go back and read that passage again! And he made me read just that passage again the next night.
So maybe we're weird. Maybe it's genetic. But it sure is fun.