Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Love is...

when you get up at four a.m. to walk the floor with someone who can't stop coughing (and never make it back to bed before the alarm goes off)...

when you can laugh at your husband for taking an empty baby wipe bag full of old dirty diapers to daycare, instead of a new bag of baby wipes...

when the extravagant kindness of family is showered on you for no good reason other than that they love you, too...

when you start to cry while singing the song from 'Dumbo' to your child (you know, the song they play when Dumbo goes to visit his mommy in jail and she holds him with her trunk from between the bars... always a favorite lullaby) because she just breaks your heart...

when it's very cold outside, and your husband comes home from work and climbs into bed and snuggles up against your back to get warm, and then puts a hand on the baby to feel it kicking...

I suppose I have lots to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2005

When the going gets tough...

the tough get bitchy. I have been walking around for the last two weeks feeling as though I'm on the shortest string ever. There's just so much crap, and while I know that I have lots to be thankful for (blah, blah, blah), all I really want to do at this point is lay around in bed and let people feel sorry for me.

I will now proceed to rant. Please, feel free to ignore.

Gripe the first - why is the Bear so damn sick? She has that delightful hacking cough that children get - you know, the one where they cough and cough and cough in spasms until they turn blue and choke and then projectile vomit? Yes, that cough. I'm assuming all of your children have it as well. At any rate, she's been coughing like that nonstop since October 1st. Count them: 45 days. Three trips to the doctor, two rounds of antibiotics, two types of cough syrup, a nebulizer for breathing treatments (I miss my asthma), and 45 nights of no sleep. And the doctor(s) can't seem to find anything wrong with her. What could this be? Any thoughts?

Gripe the second - why is it that medical procedures that are supposed to improve your condition leave you feeling worse? I had a big rubber hose shoved in my kidney to keep it functioning until the baby comes and they can take out the small boulder growing in there. This "procedure" was supposed to relieve the constant back pain or "renal colic" that I've been living with since June. Of course, now the damn thing is causing more pain than I had to start with - figures. And, the best part? The other end pushes on the top of my bladder, so even when I don't have a thing in there, I feel the constant immediate burning need to pee. Even more than I already did. Isn't that fun? There are literally some days when I can't stand up. And that's annoying to me - and to the Bear, who has no idea why she can't climb all over me.

Gripe the third - Braxton-Hicks. Really strong and frequent Braxton-Hicks. Like every time I stand up, bend over, cough, sneeze, change positions in bed, etc. Have been having them since 15 weeks (although they just keep getting stronger and more frequent). They're not painful, but man, is it hard to pick up a toddler when your stomach is like a rock.

Gripe the fourth - Husband is driving me crazy. He claims I can't do any housework (and rightly so - see above), and that he will "take care of things" himself. Yeah, well, his idea of taking care of things is driving me up the damn wall. Dishes never done when they should be, no laundry done at all, no cleaning accomplished whatsoever, trash and junk everywhere... All he's managed to do is overspend our monthly budget. I could have done that myself! Thanks for the "help," jackass!

Gripe the fifth - This whole flu / bird flu thing. It creeps me out how much everyone keeps fixating on it. If we're all going to die, then we're all going to die, but do they have to make everyone paranoid on top of it? Bear has had her shot, which is good, because with lungs like hers, I feel fairly confident that a bout of flu could land her in the hospital for an extended time. Grrr. Why can't we all stay healthy for five freaking minutes?!

Gripe the sixth - It's a full moon. Children are weird when there's a full moon. I may have to stay home from work until it starts to wane... it's that or beating them about the head and face with a sack full of doorknobs.

So, house a mess, Bear sick, Husband sick, me in constant pain, new baby (it's a girl) the only healthy normal one around, no time, no money, and in-laws coming for turkey day. Please, if I tell you where I live, won't you come over and shoot me now?

::end rant::

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Man, do I suck at this game

So, after promising no more long hiatii (also promising to find out what exactly the plural of hiatus is), I took another long one. If anyone had ever explained to me just exactly how tired you can get if you work 10 hours a day and have a toddler and are 21 weeks pregnant, I never would have believed them. I also would have quit my job and never had sex again.

Needless to say, nobody ever explained it to me, and here I am, as you see me now, hauling my ever-increasing ass around behind me in a sling. Yes, Internet, I am dumb. Trust me when I say that I will never, ever do this again. Husband is going to take up residence on the couch until I hit menopause. And he better take one of the babies with him.

So much has happened - blah blah blah school, blah blah blah work, blah blah blah grading, blah blah blah going to the hospital to have a drinking straw shoved into my kidney in a feeble attempt to keep the softball that lives there from plugging it up and killing me. Those are the small things.

Then there are the *big* things. Super big. Huge! The Bear now walks. On two feet. Like a human! (And it only took her 15 months, for those of you who are counting and secretly gloating that your child is more developmentally advanced than mine. And to you, I say, "Bite me.") She also has a vocabulary of more than 20 words and several signs. Her latest words include "rocker" (she got a Bear-sized rocking chair recently) and "oh, no!" which she uses whenever something doesn't quite suit her (can't find daddy, all out of bananas, dropped the toy, etc.) It's pretty cute - she sounds very distressed when she says it. She stacks blocks (and various other things - sliced carrots, for example) and then knocks them down. She is obsessed with keys and locks. If the lock is big enough, she will stick the key into it. If not, she will still try diligently for ages to make it work. She also likes tools. A lot. And books, and playing the piano. She actually pokes one note at a time with her pointer finger, rather than banging her fists on it, which is nice. Husband plays, and sometimes they play little duets. Very charming, if I do say so myself.

So, here's a little story which pretty much illustrates what life is like at my house. Husband dresses the Bear and takes her to daycare in the mornings. He's on a late shift, so they play for a few hours and have breakfast when she gets up, which is very cool for them. Then he goes to work, and I pick her up when I get off. Being a man, his taste in little girl clothes is not always what it should be. The other day I went to pick her up only to find her dressed in a plaid flannel shirt. The daycare ladies were singing the lumberjack song and she was dancing to it. (Since she is still bald, she totally looked like a boy. Rar.) Then, when it got cold, I left a note reminding Husband to put a coat on her. When I picked her up, she had a coat in a 6 month size, which covered hardly any of her belly - and a hood that only covered the back of her head. THEN I picked her up just yesterday and saw that her shirt was on *backwards*, with buttons up the front and a little tag sticking out under her chin. I wrote a very snotty note to Husband about how he should take the same care in dressing her that he does in dressing himself - make sure it fits, put it on the right way. I was a little superior-sounding, in that whole I'm-the-mommy-and-only-I-can-do-it-the-right-way tone that we mothers can get. Then, after watching the last game of the Series (yay, Sox!) I went upstairs to bed. As I fumbled around for my jammies, I took off my maternity pants only to realize that I HAD BEEN WEARING THEM BACKWARD. ALL. DAY. LONG. Big fat maternity elastic? In the back... I had to erase my note because I didn't want to be a hypocrite. No more getting dressed in the dark for me! Also? I need more sleep!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A series of unfortunate... well, you know.

My family is in the clutches of a man named Murphy... you know, the guy with the law. This weekend was supposed to be a time of family togetherness, a chance to get away, a mini vacation. Alas, that's not quite the way it turned out.

We (Husband, Bear, and I) were supposed to go to my cousin's wedding. It was in another state, and so we were going to make a weekend of it. We both took off on Friday so that we could drive down, and we planned to come back on Sunday. This was a fairly big deal to us, since we don't get out that often. We bought a new dress for the Bear to wear, since she only ever wears jeans and t-shirts. With the dress we had to buy tights and shoes, since she had neither. Husband had to get a new suit, since he's, um, grown a bit since our marriage. I had to get a dress, since all my dresses are for skinny people, and I definitely don't qualify for that right now (18 weeks today - the belly is definitely making its presence known). Then we had to get a gift, a card, fill the car with gas, buy snacks for the road, etc. Let's just say that we had invested some serious resources into this trip.

Well, Wednesday at about 3:30 the Bear's daycare calls me at work to tell me that her temperature is over 101 and we need to come pick her up. We give her Tylenol, let her run around naked, push lots of water, and put her to bed at about 5:30. She wakes up intermittently during the night, and her fever fluctuates between 102 and 103.6. She still eats and seems happy, so we're not extremely worried. Thursday morning her fever is down enough that we can legally take her to daycare. I bundle her up, give her more Tylenol, and hope she'll make it for at least an hour, long enough for me to whip up some sub plans. Husband ends up having to go get her around 10 because her fever is up, and she spends the rest of the day sleeping and running a pretty high fever. When I come home after school, we call the doctor and make an appointment for Friday morning. I've pretty much decided by this time that we aren't going to make it to the wedding, because who wants to spend 7 hours in a car with a sick baby, and what if she got sicker, it's really not fair to her, etc. etc. etc. I'm already off on Friday anyway, so I can just stay home with her.

Thursday night around 1 a.m., she wakes up and her fever has spiked to 103.8. We're very worried, but we give her more water and medicine, and put her back to sleep. She's up again at 5, and as soon as I walk in the room I can smell her. She has had the most explosive poo I think I've ever seen her have. It was like something died in there - way worse than normal poo smell. Anyway, we end up changing her, her clothes, her sheets, her blankets, you name it. We had to throw her onesie away... up her back, up her tummy, in her belly button... It took us half an hour together to clean her and get her back in bed. Then, when she woke up at 8, her temperature was back down to 98. She was happy, normal, she ate a good breakfast. We thought we were out of the woods, so I called the doctor, cancelled her appointment, and we started packing up to leave. It took us all morning to pack and get the three of us ready for the road. By the time we finally got going, it was after noon. We drove and drove and drove, and stopped for gas in The Middle Of Nowhere. And I mean Nowhere.* When we stopped, I changed the Bear and checked her temperature again. And lo and behold, it was back up to 102.

So, we turned around and drove *back*. Four hours and half a tank of gas later, we ended up in the exact same place we started from. We put the Bear down to nap at 4:30, and she slept for 16 hours straight. (Well, we woke her up once to make her drink something and give her more medicine.) Since then, the Bear has followed a pretty predictable routine. Her temperature breaks in the early morning, she's ok until after lunch, and then by 2 it spikes back up again, and stays high for the rest of the day/night.

At any rate, I'm pretty bitter by this point. I know it's not the Bear's fault that she's sick, but I had really wanted to go to this wedding, plus now we're out several hundred bucks for nothing. Grrr. So, most of my weekend was spent growling at people.

Then, Saturday night, as I'm sitting on the couch in my jammies, grading papers, my dad calls. My 86 year old grandmother fell down on the dance floor at the wedding and broke her hip. So now she's in the hospital and has to have a hip replacement, since they apparently can't just patch it up. And that worries me, because she's old and fragile, and we're very close. It worries me a lot.

So, instead of dancing, eating cake, and hanging out with my family, my weekend has been spent wrangling a grouchy sick Bear, eating junk food, and sitting on the couch in my jammies, feeling sorry for us. Yeargh.

Well, I had more to say, but the overall tone of this is so negative and making me feel sorry for myself all over again, that I'll have to save it for another day. Although I do feel slightly better for having vented.

Next time: my thoughts on the new Cub - boy or girl?

*Oh, and in my wanderings, we stopped at the only McDonald's in North America without a changing station in the ladies' room. I was so incensed by this that I went out to the front, berated the manager, and threatened to change the Bear on the front counter, right between the cash registers. Ok, their food is bad for you anyway, and they're poisoning America's children, but this was the last straw. I refuse to ever patronize one of their establishments again. And, if you have children (or know someone who does), I encourage you to do the same. These morons should know that most of their business comes from moms with small kids anyway, what with the Happy Meals, what with the PlayPlace. What self-respecting business wants to alienate its core demographic by forcing them to change sick babies in the backseats of cars in the middle of their parking lots in the hot sun? Not to mention the oh-so-bad-for-you food. McDonald's = pure evil.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Back from the dead...

Wow... we were without Internet for quite a while there! We're still without air conditioning, but that I can live with. We're also without organization, which is going to kill me very soon here!

So, a brief rundown for the 82 of you who check this on a regular basis:

We moved. We own a house now, and nobody ever told us how much work that involved! Every spare minute is filled with one project or another. Some are functional, some are cosmetic... It will be a nice house when we do a little fixing, I think. Nobody has loved this place in a very long time. So sad. But we love it and we are willing to do the work to restore it to what it should be (it's very, very old).

Work is work. I had a marathon grading session last weekend that lasted, I sh*t you not, 18 hours. It was awful. Husband is threatening to take the Bear and leave me if I ever do that again! (Maybe now he'll appreciate just how much I do around here. Hmmm.) Anyway, still liking the new job, although it was a full moon last week and that makes children a little nutty. Yeargh.

Finally, an answer to the nagging intense pain! I have a 2 cm kidney stone in my right kidney! It's centimeters, not millimeters. Go ahead, get a ruler. I did. That's really. freaking. big. So, am a little worried about this. No way is that coming out the old-fashioned way. No sir. Not happening. But, they can't break it up with the sound wave thingies that they use because I'm pregnant. So, my OB sent me to a urologist, and we'll see what happens after that visit.

The Bear is still not walking. I'm a little concerned about that, since she's almost 14 months now. Shouldn't she be walking? She'll take a few steps here and there, usually not more than four, but that's still decent progress, I suppose. Then, too, she's saying more and more words. She will poke my tummy and say "baby," she says "dark," "down," "bye," and "eye." Also "mom" and "da." She waves hi and bye, and will blow kisses and high-five on request. Also, when you ask her if she wants more food, she makes the sign for "more" and says "yeah!" She's been a lot of fun lately, and she's adjusting nicely to the new BearCave.

I'll be 17 weeks on Sunday. Feeling little pokes and flutters, but nothing too crazy. I felt the Bear at 15 weeks, and I swear about 13 weeks this time I could feel the bubbles. I'm only up about 5 pounds, which is great compared to last time (20 pounds by now). If it wasn't for the kidney, I'd be feeling great. That and the fact that I pass out on the couch every night about 8 p.m. I have some pretty strong boy vibes this time, which is interesting. We'll have to wait and see what comes out. I'm still waiting for the dream. Last time, I had the dream by about 20 weeks, and I knew the Bear was a girl. Hopefully I'll have a similar dream this time - it was really cool! There's a lot to be said for intuition. We have a nice boy name picked out, so I really am leaning that way. We'll just have to see!

Well, those are all the recent developments, I think. I'm back for good now, so no more 20+ day hiatuses (hiatii?) for me. Off to do more grading - bleargh.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Stir crazy

Ok, people. I'm going crazy here. I can't stand feeling like I'm sitting on my hands, doing nothing, just watching as so many people are suffering and dying. I feel like I have to do something. Now. Husband and I are by no means rich, but we are certainly blessed in that we have each other, our health, good jobs, and a healthy child. I can't help feeling guilty that I have so much when so many others have literally nothing, not even food and water.

Here's the deal. Husband and I just bought a house*. We're homeowners now. And it's big. We have extra rooms. Plural. I am a public school teacher in an excellent district, full of kind-hearted and concerned people. We live just a few states north of Mississippi and Louisiana (several hundred miles). We want to take in a family of Katrina refugees, provide them with food and clothes, let their children go to school, and help them to find jobs.

Problem is, there is so much conflicting information out there, and so many avenues of communication are still closed, that I can't find a good way to get this out there so we can let people know our doors are open. Does anyone out there know who I can contact to get the ball rolling on this? Any information you have would be so appreciated. Husband and I agree - we can't just sit here and not at least try to help someone less fortunate than ourselves.

If you have any advice, suggestions, or contact info, please leave it in a comment, or email me at:

visitjane (at) hotmail (dot) com

Or, if you have no idea what to do either, feel free to comment about what you're doing, thinking, feeling etc. I know we're all feeling helpless and scared at the moment.

*More about the house later. I don't feel like bragging today. But yay!

**Updated to add this tag for hurricane housing***

Subject: Emergency housing drive at

I'm sure you've seen the horrifying images on TV of destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, and the many, many people left with nowhere to go.
You can help. just launched a website,, to connect your empty beds with hurricane victims who desperately need a place to wait out the storm.

You can post your offer of housing (a spare room, extra bed, even a decent couch) on or search there for housing if you need it.

MoveOn will pass requests from hurricane victims or relief agencies on to volunteer hosts, who can decide whether or not to respond to a particular request. The host remains anonymous until they reply to someone looking for housing.

I just posted my own offer. I hope you will too, or pass this on to people you know in the Southeast:

Housing is most urgently needed within reasonable driving distance (about 300 miles) of the affected areas, especially New Orleans.


***end update***

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I've noticed an interesting pattern among friends and acquaintances who are having babies these days. It seems like almost everyone says "yes" to the epidural as soon as the second pink line shows up on the test. Which in itself is perfectly fine - I'm not going to criticize women who choose a medicated birth. It's their body and their choice to make. Everyone needs to do what she feels most comfortable with.

My issue comes in here - almost everyone (at least among those I know) who opts for the epidural ends up with a c-section. Earlier this month two friends of mine each had their first baby within a week of each other. Each opted for an epidural to help her with the pain. Each pushed for an extended length of time, but was unable to push the baby out, and each had to have a c-section in the end.

My (oh-so-scientific) theory goes like this: if you can't feel what or where you are pushing, can the pushing really be as effective as it might otherwise be? You know, when the midwife pokes you in the perineum and says "Push here," how do you know where to push if you can't feel your ass? It seems to me like the ability to sense the baby moving down, and to feel the progress being made with each push can be very helpful for a successful vaginal delivery. Maybe the pain is really there to help you and guide you...

Now, before anyone thinks I'm some sort of saint or martyr, let me just say that I may well be the biggest wimp I've ever met. I cursed, shouted, and pleaded my way through 18 hours of unmedicated labor, and it wasn't even by choice. I was ineligible for an epidural due to a nonexistent platelet count*. So I sucked it up because I had no choice. It wasn't fun, or pretty. But, in the end, I had a successful "normal" delivery. And I'm so grateful that, for whatever reason, I didn't need a c-section.

Maybe these friends of mine didn't mind having surgery. I, myself, however, have a mortal fear of knives and needles, and would have totally panicked if I had to have surgery. It hurts when they cut you open! And you have scars!

The upshot of all this is that, even if I am "allowed" to get an epidural this time, I'm not going to take it. Looking back on it, I actually kind of enjoyed my birth experience. I don't want to risk having a c-section if I don't have to**. Besides, there's something sort of empowering about knowing that you can endure some of the worst pain life can throw at you without cracking. I like knowing that my body, while not manifestly beautiful, is capable of producing miracles.

*Did you know that if you have no platelets, and they stick a needle into your spine, you can bleed out into your spinal column and become paralyzed?

**And who knows... maybe there's no connection whatsoever, and it was just a coincidence. Or I have very unlucky friends.

***This may well be the most poorly organized and written posts I've put up in a while. Sorry - very distracted here. Please ignore.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Holy bubbles, Batman!

12 weeks, 1 day.

The baby is kicking me. I swear to Pete. I can totally feel it.

Husband is still convinced that there are Dueling Banjos in there. He's nuts (I hope).

But still. Moving! Yay!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Back to school...

::"back to school" song from Billy Madison playing in my head::

So, Monday I went back to work, and the Bear went back to daycare. I'm happy all day. She's happy all day. We come home together at night, prepared for a joyous reunion after being apart for 8 hours, and guess what happens?

We're not happy.

I, for one, am pregnant. And grouchy. I would like to be loved and petted and told that I'm special. And pretty. Not gonna happen.

The Bear, for her part, has only taken one nap, not her accustomed two, because all the big babies in the toddler room only take one nap; and so, not to be outdone, she skips her second nap. So, by dinnertime, she's completely exhausted. This makes her grouchy. So, while Husband cooks dinner, I get down on the carpet and attempt to interact with my child. Because that's what you do. And what does she do? She crawls over to Husband and tries to climb him. I call to her. I get books. I get toys. I make animal sounds. Only with a snack can I entice her over to me.

So, in two days my child has learned to hate and loathe me as the horrible woman who abandons her all the livelong effing day. Husband, on the other hand, who takes her to daycare and picks her up, is some sort of National Hero.

I know it's probably just the hormones and the bone-crushing fatigue, but I spent most of the evening considering how much it would cost me to get out of my contract right now, since I should obviously be at home with my child. Of course, I can just wait til I tell them I'm pregnant and see if they'll fire me. The new Cub chose yesterday, the first day of the new school year, when nobody knows I'm pregnant, to start showing. I'm making due with the rubber band trick for now, but pretty soon I'm going to have to break out the fat pants. I'm waiting until I hit 12 weeks (this Sunday) to tell my boss. Hopefully all will go well with that...

If I can't even get one child to like me, what business do I have having another one? Oh, good. More people to hate me. Perhaps they'll start a club. I can make them matching t-shirts. Where can I find a onesie that says "MY MOTHER IS A SELF-ABSORBED BITCH"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Dickens

In an attempt to savor the last few days of my summer vacation (I go back to work on Monday), I've been reading Dickens. Great Expectations, to be exact. I know that I'm a huge dork, but I really do love Dickens*. The way he paints his characters is so interesting to me, and his insight into Victorian society is piercing. Plus, he's just funny. Laugh out loud, rolling on the floor funny. When I was in college, my roommates would come home to find me laughing aloud at a novel, and without fail it was always Dickens. They thought I was nuts. But when there are books like those in the world, I remember why it is that I *have* to teach. It's so important that people read. Not necessarily Dickens - anything will do. Reading has gotten me through many of the toughest times in my life - it's a joy and a solace. Kids today are so wrapped up in video games and computers, they don't always take time to read. It's just so important - someone has to show them the pleasure and the benefits to be derived from a good book. Yay for having a calling in life!

I am getting a bit sad about leaving the Bear again, though. She and I have gotten very attached to one another this summer. I haven't been anywhere without her, and when I went up to school to do some work yesterday, leaving her home with her daddy, I really missed her. I was so excited to see her when I came home. Still, I get antsy when cooped up inside the house without socialization for too long, and she really enjoys being around people her own age and size. I know she enjoys daycare - and I enjoy my work. It's just hard to be apart. There are never enough hours in the day, it seems.

I'm 10 weeks 3 days pregnant today - definitely a little more... voluptuous than five weeks ago. I can still button my jeans, but there's a definite muffin top, or mushroom cap, or whatever you like to call that sexy little roll of fat that hangs over the top. Still, at 10 weeks last time around, I couldn't button my pants, so this is an improvement. I'm trying to control the eating this time - I just get so. damn. hungry. I can't help myself! Plus, I have to eat every three hours, max, or else my blood sugar drops and it's not pretty... so, what with the natural hunger and the enforced snacking - I'm guessing I've added at least five pounds already. We'll see what the scale at the midwife's says later today.

*Incidentally, why is it that there is always a rag and bone shop in every Dickens novel? What is the precise purpose of that illustrious British institution?

Friday, August 05, 2005


Overheard on my baby monitor today: the Bear, refusing her afternoon nap for the third time.

It sounded like this:

"Gar. Gargargar"






(pause, then very distinctly)


Also new to the vocab: "allgone," "down," "up," and my personal favorite, only used when talking to my MIL - "Don't!"

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Anxious days

Well, in an attempt not to jinx myself, I don't want to mention too much about this until it's final, but...

We're Buying A House!

Finally... Although we will be among the first in our set of friends to do so, it just seems like time to quit throwing our money away on rent and start throwing it toward an investment. I know, I know, this will stretch our already tight finances even further. But, you know, what's life without a little risk involved? I rather enjoy living on the edge like this...

I'll share more if/when the deal works out. In the meantime...

Last night, Husband was deep in conversation with my belly, attempting to ascertain if there are one or two Cubs in there. Although I share the midwife's opinion that my week of bleeding was probably the loss of an empty sac, Husband is still sceptical and thinks there might be two. So he's talking to it/them, trying to convince them to communicate, and he says, "Knock once for one baby, twice for two." Then he put his ear on my belly, and swears up and down to me that he heard two distinct taps. (Keep in mind that I had fajitas for dinner last night...) So now, he's convinced we're still going to have twins. Nothing I say will dissuade him.

Oddly enough, I've thought once or twice that I've felt a little flutter, even though I *know* that it's too early. I felt early movement with the Bear at 15 weeks to the day, and we're only approaching 10 weeks here. Still, it was almost unmistakable. I wonder - they say you can feel movement earlier the second time around. But how early is too early?

Points to ponder for next time: what is the origin of the word "escrow"?

Monday, August 01, 2005


Well, we survived the Advent Of The Inlaws. My poor couch cushions will never be the same. I fluffed them lovingly the second I closed the door behind them, but I think their spirit is broken, as is their extra-firm foam. These are not small people, and they don't feel the love that I do for my sassy new couch.

I was really rather relieved to see the tail lights on their car this morning. While I love my extended family and think that they are all wonderful people, they can stress me out to the MAX. I was reading last night, and I came across a wonderful passage about the ways of our mothers. And you know, it's true. We tend to follow the ways our mothers followed - I don't necessarily mean career paths, etc. I'm talking about how we wash our clothes, how we cook, how we load the dishwasher, how we talk to our daughters, how we talk to our husbands. I will admit to this - much as my mother can irritate me, we are very similar. I follow her ways. And having someonoe else's mother in my house for five days really reinforced to me the dissimilarities of my mother (and by extension, me) and my mother-in-law. I don't want to get into horrible detail (well, I do, but I'm feeling polite at the moment), but here's a shining example of how my weekend went:

We (self, Husband, Bear, Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie) are sitting at a table in a restaurant. I am sitting by the Bear, and Grandpa is on the other side. I am feeding the Bear her lunch. As she stuffs an entire cracker into her mouth (typical Bear behaviour - nothing to stress about), Grandma gasps from across the table and shrieks, "Grandpa! Keep an eye on her! Don't let her choke!" To which I coolly replied, "Well, you know, I CAN KEEP AN EYE ON HER TOO..." Since I'm, you know, her mother and all. Me, the one who feeds her five times a day and is used to her less-than-dainty eating habits. It's my responsibilty, or so I thought. How silly of me.

Also, she kept resetting my thermostat. Um, hello? MY THERMOSTAT. *I* pay the electric bill. If I want to keep my house at a reasonable temperature, that's my prerogative. Just because you sweat like a pig* when it gets over fifty does not give you the right to adjust someone else's thermostat without their permission.

On a more positive, less complaining note, the Bear has passed her first birthday. She is officially a Very Big Girl. Actually, she's not - she's only in the 25th percentile for weight, and the 50th for height. But she's big in spirit! She can dance to music (still with one hand on the table for support), and play chase and hide and seek around the house. She's not afraid of the dark, she devours her veggies with wild abandon (much to my MIL's shock - "why don't you feed her sweets?"), she will give you a high-five upon request, and laughs at her own jokes quite frequently. She's very much fun.

We had cake and presents and candles and singing, and the Bear did her slice great justice. She was very neat about it, and hardly made any mess at all. It was really a lot of fun. We took lots of pictures, and even though I know she won't remember it, I think she had a good time. I spent most of the day (and the day before) reminiscing about her birth, and I thought about writing her birth story down here, because I don't have it anywhere but in my head, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't find the words, and when I tried, they sounded stupid to me. I was induced early and so I never got to go into labor on my own. It was long (18 hours) and difficult (well, not so much difficult as painful), but it was one of the great experiences of my life. I felt so empowered in the time after her birth, and still do every time I think about it. But as for a birth story, I don't think I have it in me to write it down. Maybe next time.

Speaking of which, I am feeling much better. I am healthy again, and feeling much more optimistic about this pregnancy. It may actually work! Who knows...

Next time... More Big News!!

*Incidentally, an odd turn of phrase. Pigs have no sweat glands. That's why they roll in the mud when it's hot. Otherwise, they can overheat and die.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Can you see me now?

Ok. After Amy's comment on the last post, I checked and the Blob's picture will only display on certain browsers and not on others. I have two on my system, and it works fine with one and not at all with the other.

If you can (or can't) see this picture, please drop a note as to a) *if* it displays, and b) what browser you use. (You, too, lurkers. This is a highly scientific survey.) Any and all input would be appreciated - I want the entire Internet to be able to enjoy the wonder that is my uterus.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Cautiously optimistic

Well, I passed a kidney stone on Saturday. I feel better now. If you've never done this, I don't advise it. Highly painful, and disconcerting when you start peeing blood.

After spotting Tuesday and Wednesday, my midwife ordered 48 hour serial hcg tests to see what was happening there. My levels are high, within the range they should be at eight weeks, although they seem to be increasing somewhat sluggishly. I could have hoped for skyrocketing hormones, but I'll content myself with "significant increases" between samples. She took a peek at the new Cub today, for reassurance, and lo and behold, we only encountered one sac. So, the theory goes, the empty one could have broken up and slipped on out, leaving the viable one in place. Just a theory. We'll see if it holds up over time. At any rate, the spotting seems to be tapering off, finally, and we have a Blob! With a teeny tiny heartbeat! And I saw it! Look! See how pretty?!

I'm one of those people who never post pictures of my children on the Internet, not only from Fear of Perverts, but also out of fear that my mother might one day discover a picture of her little grand-angel and recognize this as mine. Ah, paranoia. However, I feel confident that the Blob in no way resembles, well, anything at the moment, and therefore is of no interest to anyone but me, and it's a pretty safe bet to show it off here.

At any rate, I am feeling about 2394875278 per cent better than I have for the last two weeks. Yay. The Bear has a birthday this week, and plans are underway for the Advent Of The Inlaws, who have not seen her since December. Fortunately, I'm not going to have to lie on the couch and make them cook for me. They're not coming to see me, anyway. I'm just the keeper of the baby.

I had several interesting, non-uterus-related things I wanted to post about, but I can't remember what they were, because I have pregnancy brain, and am therefore stupid. Alas, alack.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Bleeding is much worse. We're off to the hospital to check hcg levels, but I'm not expecting much.

We're just sitting around, waiting for the axe to fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Warm fuzzies

Went in today to see the midwife who may end up being *my* midwife. She's divine. So warm, and personable, and competent, and concerned, and understanding. I had to hug her. She had heard the story of me chasing yesterday's doctor with flaming pitchforks, and said she didn't blame me a bit. I have the right to a practitioner who will actually listen to me.

She, too, suspects a kidney issue. She thinks, perhaps, a stone. We'll see what the renal ultrasound says.

I am spotting today. 7 weeks 2 days, which is, coincidentally, exactly how long my last pregnancy lasted. So, I am hideously paranoid about this, mostly due to the freaky timing and the fact that this is how it started last time. However, the goddess who is my midwife took a peek and says that the blood appears to be coming from the *outside* of the cervix, which is raw like a skinned knee, and not from the inside, which still appears tightly closed, which is how we like it. So, too much information about my cervix, I know, but intriguing none the less. This is turning into "All About My Uterus," which was not my intention. Still, I'm a bit preoccupied with the thing at the moment. *This* baby needs to stay put!

So, in summary:

Day Two of the Taco Bell watch. Still no sign of nacho-y goodness. I am sad. But,

I Heart My Midwife.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Oh, to be pregnant and hormonal. Remember how I said I don't like male doctors? Well, my doctor advised me to get in to see the OB as soon as I could in light of the uncool abdominal pain and twin-looking ultrasound. You know, just to figure out exactly what's going on here. And remember how I said that my delightful female OB was leaving? Well, in a fit of desperation, I made an appointment with one of the male OBs at my practice. Husband said "just give it a try" and "maybe it won't be so bad." Of course, I made an appointment with The One Who Speaks No English. Normally, this isn't a problem for me, and if I liked him, I'd make an effort to interpret. But, since I loathe him and all he stands for, I can cheerfully deride him for not being able to form an intelligible sentence.

So, that appointment was today. And wow, was it a doozy. So, the nurse asks me a million questions, which is fine. She's nice, if a bit disorganized (it's Monday, after all). Then, she sends in the doctor. I'm tense, but willing to give him a shot. First thing he says (upon seeing the Bear sitting in the corner eating a magazine) is, "Oh, so this is your second pregnancy." No, actually, it's not. The first page of my chart says that it's my third. I had one live birth and one miscarriage. But did he read the damn chart? Of course not. Was it from sheer laziness, or was his interpreter sick for the day? Who knows? So, that pissed me off and let me know he didn't care enough to take the time to read my chart. Happy day.

Then, he mentions that he's seen my ultrasound report. I ask what he thinks about the two sacs (as noted by the Professional Radiologist, not just by me), and he says dismissively, "Oh, too early. We wait and see." Wait and see? When will we "see"? In the damn birthing room? I'd like to be a little more prepared than that, if it's all the same to you! And how, if we've already seen two sacs, can it be "too early"? Wouldn't they just be two *bigger* sacs now, with more to see on the inside? So, something tells me he's just putting me off here. Oh, the anger is building. I'm breathing deeply, trying to control my Inner Bitch, albeit without much success.

Then, we get around to my real concern, namely the Intense Pain. Now, I've already explained to the nurse that my regular doctor has determined that I have an "infection" that has apparently taken over my entire abdomen, for all intents and purposes. I told her what antibiotic I'm on for this, and she marked it on my chart. I also reminded her of my history of kidney trouble during pregnancy (as in they don't like to function when I'm pregnant, with highly disastrous results). She circled that on my chart. Now, since said pain is localized in the area of the right kidney, which is the one that shut down when I was pregnant with the Bear, I said, "Hmmm, perhaps, connection, similarity, yes? Or just a freakish coincidence?" And without even looking at me, this quack says, "Oh, the uterus stretches during pregnancy. You feel some pains from that." To which I indignantly replied that I had been pregnant before, enough to realize that my uterus is probably not growing ON MY BACK, and it had never before caused "growing pains" so severe that I couldn't stand up straight. Then, (cutting me off mid-sentence) he says, "Oh, that a muscle spasm." That was *it* for me. I have had back spasms before. I can tell when a muscle is spasming. This is not that. I'm not a complete moron. I pay attention to my body. This is not a back spasm!

This is the point where things start to get fuzzy. I remember hyperventilating and bursting into tears and loud, unladylike sobs. I believe I demanded my old OB. I know I told him I hate male doctors, especially him. I got up and prepared to storm out before he even finished his mockery of an exam, wailing that I'd never let him near me again.

Husband swears that he looked scared out of his wits, and apologized profusely, and practically ran out of the room. I remember none of this, as I was weeping into my hands and crying "Just go! Go away!"

Anyway, a nurse came in and comforted me (they do have some lovely nurses) and recommended a very nice (female) Family Practitioner who delivers babies. Several other people have recommended this doctor to me, so I think I'm going to call her. Meanwhile, the nurse told me that until this pregnancy was officially classified as "high-risk," I could see one of the midwives, and they would just keep a very close eye on my charts for if (when) things start to go wrong. And I love the midwives at this practice. They're just delightful people, so caring and personal. So, I have to go back tomorrow to redo my initial appointment with the midwife, which I'm totally cool with. We didn't get any further than my blood pressure today.

So, I'm really torn. Do I continue at this practice with the midwives, knowing full well that there's a very likely chance I'll get labeled "high-risk" and have to see one of the (male) doctors? Or do I go out right now and find a nice female doctor right off the bat, and let the choice be mine? I'm feeling very conflicted over this. The midwives' practice is affiliated with the hospital, which is nice. They specialize in pregnancy and childbirth. But, they're not legally allowed to attend to "high-risk" pregnancies, which includes both the complications of my previous pregnancy and the possibility of multiples, if anyone could ever just pull their head out of their ass long enough to take a look in there. But, a family practitioner could be my (our) family doctor after the birth as well, which is appealing. Oh, the indecision. Any thoughts, anyone?

Meanwhile, Dr. Moron did recommend that I have an ultrasound done on my stupid kidney to see if it is, in fact, working at all, which was nice of him. No chance that he'll be looking at the results of that one, though! Idiot. He was rude, condescending, he didn't read my chart, he wouldn't make eye contact with me, he speaks no English, and he was dismissive of my concerns. Not to mention that he interrupted me! While I was asking a question! Fool. I hope his mother knows what a Disappointment he is.

And, the worst thing that happened today? Worse even than the disastrous doctor appointment in which I sent the doctor running in the opposite direction? Our Taco Bell is closed! And will be until October! I can't be pregnant without a Taco Bell! What will I do? I made Husband take me there after our catastrophic appointment, to drown my sorrows in a chalupa (or three), and it was closed. And I think I may have cried some more. Oh, the indignity of hormones. I've been reduced to a blathering idiot.

And? I'm queasy. All the time. I'm one of those people who never ever hurl, not even with great provocation (I have no gag reflex), but I can get nauseated with the best of them, and I am currently subsisting on a diet of saltines and ginger ale. This is so gross. I'm bloated (we're taking belly shots this time, and I may be brave enough to post them here if we make it past 12 weeks) and queasy and hurting and very very very hormonal.

Ok, I think I'm officially done ranting now. I feel much better to have gotten all that off my chest. It was cathartic. Yay, catharsis. Now for chocolate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Observed today in my doctor's office:

Myself, lying on narrow bed lined with paper, wearing a big sheet and no pants, waiting for the doctor to come back in.

Husband, standing next to my face, not looking at the sheet, trying to be cool.

Husband: "You know, scientists believe that there's a colossal squid that lives at the bottom of the ocean! They say it may grow to be as long as a football field! It attacks the whales and eats them. And you know what's crazy?! They have no idea how it reproduces!"

Me: "That's fascinating, dear. Where did you get this information?"

Husband: "On the Internet!"

Me (wiggling on scratchy paper): "You know, dear, not everything on the Internet is fact. Have they ever found one of these colossal squid?"

Husband: "No, but you know why? Because when they die, they rise up to the surface so fast that they explode! And the squid guts go everywhere! (pause) Isn't that awesome?!"

Me: "I'm so glad that you're the father of my children."

Also observed: (BEWARE - GROSSOUT FACTOR! do not read unless you want a very strange mental image.)

Stern Doctor (not my usual doctor) pokes me with a rubber-gloved finger, pulls it out and SNIFFS IT! As though it were some sort of scientific test that would enable her to prescribe me the appropriate antibiotic!

I was so freaked out and disturbed by this. I just stared at Husband, who was even more disturbed than I was. Since when is there a scientific sniff test? I was trying so hard not to laugh, I almost choked. Of all the things I've ever seen in a doctor's office, that may have been the weirdest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm a sexist.

I think that one of the greatest travesties humanity has ever created is the male obstetrician/gynecologist. I'm sorry, but whose brilliant idea was it to let a man muck around with something that he knows absolutely nothing about? Would you want a blind optometrist? Would you go to a hairstylist who had a bad hairstyle? If you're anything like me, of course you wouldn't. You need a person who is specially trained in something that they have knowledge of and can understand. A blind optometrist would never understand blurry vision - they have no vision! So, how can a man claim to be an expert on the female reproductive system? I don't care how long he studied in school - he doesn't know what's really going on in there.

I should qualify this by saying that I really hate *all* male doctors. They creep me out. They're patronizing, condescending, they have horrid "bedside manner," they don't know how to interact with patients, they never answer your questions, they make you feel like an idiot just for noticing what's going on with your body, they never make eye contact with you, and they always wear smelly cologne! If I could make it through the rest of my life without seeing another male doctor, you bet your ass I would do it in a heartbeat.

This rant is brought to you courtesy of the fact that my oh-so-competent-and-delightful obstetrician (female, naturally) is LEAVING. She is moving away and now all that are left are the nasty male doctors. She was the only female obstetrician in a sixty-mile radius, and now she's gone. I can't see any of the lovely (also female) midwives at their practice because I have a history of "high-risk" pregnancy, and now I'm carrying multiples. They flat out told me that I have to see a doctor. Ugh. So, I'm panicked. No man with his smelly breath and hairy fingers is going to deliver *my* babies, that's for damn sure. I'll just have to go hunting for another female doctor to see. ::steels self for unpleasant reality::

So, yeah. I'm a big fat sexist. I won't see male doctors. I have yet to meet one who actually cares about his patients, rather than his paycheck. If I find such a one, maybe I'll recant. Until then, they can all just go... well, you know. I am just disgusted by the fact that our society still sees certain jobs as "men's work" and certain jobs as "women's work." In some circumstances, I may be able to understand the distinctions. Men, for example, have bigger muscles and frames, and can therefore lift and carry heavy things. I, on the other hand, am short and scrawny, and could no more do a job requiring manual labor than I could fly. So, more men do manual labor. I'll buy that. And sure, women tend to be more caring and empathetic (I realize I'm generalizing here. I know many women who don't fit this, and many men who do, but whatever. I'm a sexist, remember?), and are better at helping others. Is that because we're biologically built to care and nurture? Or because society has trained us to think of everyone else's needs before our own? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. I just get irritated by the fact that our society has convenient categories to stick people in, and they keep getting stuck there, and career paths and SALARIES are determined by gender, not by innate ability. ::grumbles:: If more women were allowed to follow their inclination, rather than what was "recommended" as the best choice, I probably wouldn't have any trouble finding myself a female obstetrician.

Notice how all this ranting about equality is brought about by my selfish desire to get what I want?

Friday, July 08, 2005


So, today's ultrasound was inconclusive. My ovaries looked fine (according to the tech - I couldn't tell the ovaries from the rest of it), with no cysts to be found. And the fallopian tubes were clear - no ectopic pregnancy for us. All of which is good news. Still doesn't explain the abdominal pain... but they're going to keep looking into that.

Speaking of looking into things, the ultrasound tech decided to take a look at the uterus to check out the new Bear Cub. She could see a gestational sac, but nothing inside yet. I was extremely freaked about that, but she said that sometimes before six weeks you can't always see the fetal pole, etc. She wasn't concerned at all, so I tried not to be, either. Then, she moved the transducer to the side, and another sac popped into view. There, hanging out in my very own uterus, were *two* gestational sacs, side by side.

What the hell?!

Now, to be fair, the tech said that it could be a single sac, and we were just looking at it wrong. But, there's also the very real possibility that I'm carrying twins.

I'm going to go vomit now. I am so freaked out.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"What I did on my summer vacation," by Jane

First off, thank you to Julie for making my day! Ha ha - country music! What a freak! (Now I don't feel so bad about myself - see how that works!) Everybody else must not be as weird as we are... or not willing to share it!

So, the Bear and I have emerged relatively unscathed from a week spent with Grandma and Grandpa. Wow, do those people like babies. Totally normal people seem to be incapable of speaking English when my child is around. It would be funny if it wasn’t so weird. They were literally unable to function normally – it was baby this and baby that, 24/7. I miss being able to carry on a conversation with them. Still, I’m glad the Bear has two sets of grandparents who completely adore her. She’s luckier than many babies who have no grandparents at all. But oh, the spoiling…

Our first night was a little rough, since the Bear was in an unfamiliar cave, and we ended up just letting her cry herself to sleep. It was the only way she was going to go – and after that, she slept like a dream the whole time.

We made jam. Lots of jam. It’s yummy!

We celebrated the fourth of July in traditional small-town fashion. We grilled out, we made homemade ice cream, we drank beer, we cursed the neighbors for setting off fireworks at ungodly hours of the day and night. We went downtown to listen to the band play “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” It was not bad at all.

I finished my massive course of antibiotics, but my stomach pain didn’t go away. It’s concentrated on the lower right-hand side, and I was a little worried that it might be my appendix or something strange like that. My doctor thought that I might have a cyst on my ovary, so he arranged for a pelvic ultrasound this Friday (tomorrow). How delightful those always are. ::grimace:: I was a bit worried that I would have to reschedule the ultrasound, because my period was due last Sunday. I did *not* want to put off fixing this problem for one moment longer than I had to. At any rate, when my period still didn’t show by Tuesday, I went out and bought a home pregnancy test, and lo and behold…

I’m pregnant.

All together now – WTF?! This is so Not The Right Time for me to be pregnant. We were planning to start trying again in the fall, ideally conceiving in August so that a new baby would be due in May, the end of the school year. This baby is due in March.* March! It’s cold in March, and slushy, and I have approximately two hundred adolescents depending on me for knowledge and enlightenment! I can’t have a baby in March! What if the sub ruins my students and the principal blames me?!

That being said, Husband and I are completely floored, but very happy. We were actually trying *not* to get pregnant at the moment, but apparently natural methods of contraception are only effective for women who have the willpower to say no when the “window of opportunity” is still open. Husband, alas, is very persuasive, and while I am stubborn about many things, this isn’t always one of them.** ::to the tune of “I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No,” from Oklahoma!:: Really, though, we were at the very end of my window, and I thought that it was highly unlikely that anything would happen. That, or I totally suck at math. I know nothing. Nothing, I tell you!

I’m still a little worried, since I have been having this abdominal pain. I’ve imagined all the horrible things it could be, and so I’m only allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic at the moment. I would like to jump with joy, but after last February, I just can’t let myself. I’m too scared. I will jump with joy in another 6 weeks or so, if I make it past the 12 week mark. I really want this pregnancy to work – I want this baby. I realize how lucky we are, to get pregnant when we’re not even trying (twice), but I’m still very scared.

Anyway, back to the summer vacation – I came home to find that Husband had done approximately none of the things I had asked him to do while I was gone. Apparently, he sat around eating hotdogs and watching the History Channel all week. I’m only moderately irritated with him, however. I missed him while I was gone. It’s odd: you never realize how much you like your husband until he’s not around every day. I need to stop taking him for granted. He’s actually not such a bad guy. Thank goodness he doesn’t read this, or we’d have to get an extra bed for his ego!

So, I go in for my ultrasound tomorrow. Hopefully nothing too serious will be wrong – maybe we’ll even get to see a glimpse of the new Bear Cub, hibernating away. ::crosses fingers::

*March 5, 2006.
**Note to self: schedule vasectomy for Husband.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Over the river and through the woods...

To grandmother's house we go! (la la la)

I'm off to my parents' with the Bear for the next week or so. Yay fun. Husband was *supposed* to come but decided not to this morning because he's a gigantic Tool. Oh well. I'm sure we'll have a lovely time anyway. ::shakes head doubtfully::

I'll be gone for a while (til the 7th), so I want you all to do me a favor. (Yes, you. I know you read this and don't stop to say hi. Well, say hi, dammit!) Leave me a note and tell me something interesting about yourself - something that not many people may know about you. (Not something obvious - something that you don't mention often.) Stay anonymous if you feel the need.

I'll start:

I have a unibrow. (I pluck frequently, but if they outlawed tweezers...)
I have a photographic memory. (My students hate that. They can't sneak anything past.)
I like to eat croutons with salad dressing - no salad.

Now it's your turn! (Come on, indulge me. I'm spending a week with my mother... Take pity on me!)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Yay Fun

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I hate nature.

I know that sounds like a horrible thing to say, but really, I am not a huge fan of the Great Outdoors. Sure, there are times when it's pretty. I like to look at clouds and trees just as much as the next person. I enjoy a good dip in the ocean, and I like to look at pretty flowers. I even grow a tiny herb garden (in a big pot). I think what I really hate is the bugs.

Oh, do I hate bugs. They're small and dirty and crawly and freakishly speedy when you try to kill them, and some of them are dangerous. And they have *way* too many legs. Seriously, they gross me out. I get a twisted pleasure from smashing them, knowing that that particular bug will never assault my carpet again.

Carpet, did you say?

I should clarify. Bugs are perfectly fine in their own home, the Great Outdoors. They belong there. That's their territory. I respect that. If I don't like them, I can just stay out of their territory. Problem solved.

However, here in our new abode, the bugs are invading *my* territory. This house, this is mine. Bugs not wanted or welcome. I have tried explaining this to them, but they persist in coming here anyway, which means I have to break out the Dreaded Flip-Flop Of Doom.

Things I have killed in my house so far today (as of 10:00 CDT):

12 roly-polies
3 silverfish
2 spiders
1 rather largish grasshopper

It's actually the silverfish that freak me out the most. They're so... fast. And the legs are creepy. I don't know, but something about them makes me leap up on chairs, shrieking like a 50s housewife. Ugh. ::shivers uncontrollably::

Any ideas on how rid my house of crazy insects without poison? I caught the Bear snacking on a roly-poly yesterday. Blech.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Oh, I am sad in my heart. It's almost my birthday, and this year it's a big one. This is the birthday I do not want to have, for some very odd reason. I've spoken with several of my friends who are also hitting ths milestone this year, and they all say the same thing - this one is totally flipping us out. I can't quite figure out why it is that this particular birthday is throwing me for such a loop, but I think that it might just be the one that has the number that makes you sound like a grownup. Because it's not the husband, kid, couple of degrees, or career that makes you a grownup - it's the *number* that makes you the grownup. I have the strangest hangups.

So, this year I don't really feel like cake or candles or presents or singing. Which is great, because the only people who cared enough to make the journey all the way out here to Middle America are my *parents*. That's right, on this particular big milestone birthday, I will be celebrating with my parents. (Husband and I don't exactly have a boatload of friends out here in the middle of nowhere. We left them all behind with the decent restaurants and readable newspapers.) I really am feeling fairly sorry for myself in anticipation of this sure-to-depress birthday. I was sitting in my car today, listening to Wilco and trying to recapture my youth, and I couldn't remember what I used to do for fun when I was young and single. I am old, ladies and gents. Break out the dentures - I'm going geriatric on this one. And I'll *still* be the youngest one at the party.

To counterbalance the impending suckiness, last night was great. I have a friend who plays in our community band, and they gave their first concert of the season last night, along with the band from the school I will be teaching at in the fall. So, I took the Bear down to the concert to get some culture, and it totally rocked (as much as band of random retirees and bank tellers can rock). The concert was in the park at the end of our street, so I just walked the Bear on down there in her stroller and we parked ourselves on the grass. The bugs were not bad at all, even though the heat index was over a hundred at the time (6:00 p.m.). The Bear thoroughly enjoyed the music, and the concertgoers thoroughly enjoyed the Bear. She's such a people person - she charmed everyone there, and I spent a good half hour after the concert letting perfect strangers hold her and pet her and threaten to steal her. And the tree tops were rustling in the breeze (when there was one), and the sun was sinking behind them, and there were happy children on the merry-go-round, and the band was really quite good, and it was just a lovely little slice of life. I really detest living in a small town, but I have to admit that it was pretty cool. Yay for music - the Bear stood and bounced in place for the entirety of The Stars and Stripes Forever. It was cute. I have a great kid.

As a side bonus, she also discovered the Joys of Dirt. I let her crawl to the edge of the blanket, and she just pulled up fistfuls of dirt and weeds and leaves and grass and threw them in the air. This may sound odd, but she's never played in the dirt before*, and she absolutely loved it. She looked at me like, "Lady, what is this great stuff and why have you been holding out on me? Watch me now as I eat a worm, just to spite you. Ha!" Or something like that. It was pretty funny.

Warning - TMI (skip ahead as necessary)

So, ever since the miscarriage I had in February, I've had this chronic abdominal pain. It feels like strong menstrual cramps, but all the time. Day in, day out. Activity makes it worse, lying down makes it better. It goes all the way around to my lower back, and makes this lovely little Girdle of Pain. I've been ignoring it and drugging myself with prescription ibuprofen, and that's been working for a while. Anyway, yesterday I finally called the doctor because it was really cramping my style (get it? *cramping* my style?) and so today I went in. Let's just say that in over ten years, I have never had a doctor do an internal exam that left me in tears. Literally, I was crying on the table in the little paper gown, and I think the doctor almost cried too, either from sympathy for my searing pain, or from guilt for causing me the searing pain. Anyway, long story short, I have a raging infection all through my womanly parts. You know, if you leave these things untreated long enough, they'll spread. Lucky me! So, that explains the pain in my middle, but not how it got there. If I had had a d&c, it might explain things, but I didn't. I wonder if perhaps something was left in there, and nobody noticed it? Or, god forbid, an unsterile instrument of some sort?

At any rate, me=loaded with antibiotics, going for an ultrasound, freaked out that this is going to create scar tissue on my ovaries or tubes and that we won't be able to have another child... what if this infection was already present, and was somehow responsible for the miscarriage? I hate being sick - I usually don't go to the doctor until I'm at death's door, and then I worry that I really AM at death's door, and get all paranoid. More hangups.

The very worst part of all this? The big yellow label on my antibiotics that says "Do Not Drink Alcohol While On This Medication." Cause I didn't want to drown my sorrows on my birthday or anything.

The Universe is plotting against me.

*Remember, we rent - no lawn.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Ok. I've had just about enough of this crap. How in the name of all that's good and holy am I supposed to get my kid to stop doing the things that she shouldn't do? Like eating staples! And slamming the doors on my antique radio cabinet! And yanking the knives out of the dishwasher! And chewing on my disgusting rubber flip-flops! How how how do I make her stop doing this?

We're childproofing just about everything that can be childproofed, but I have quite a few very valuable old antiques that I refuse to deface, so she's just going to have to learn to stop breaking them. We've cleared everything off all the tables, but she gets into it anyway. There is nothing on the floor of our house anymore (except for those damn flip-flops). And yet she gets into Everything! Constantly!

I'm tired of gently telling her "no" and then explaining why she can't do what she's doing. I'm tired of distracting her with other, Bear-friendly toys. I'm tired of taking things away from her and pulling her off of things.

I don't want to become one of those moms who smacks their kid's hand away from everything - I know that's not the best way to teach them not to do things. But so help me, if I have to spend many more days following her around the house and keeping her out of things she shouldn't be in, I'm going to turn into Judy Garland or Joan Crawford or something.

How do the stay-at-home-moms do this every day? Those ladies have my eternal admiration. I would go round the twist if I had to do this for much longer.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Seek and ye shall find...

Oh, who's an idiot?

That would be me, thank you very much.

So, in the process of moving, we rid ourselves of our guest bed and bought a couch with a hide-a-bed of the same size, coincidentally the same size as our own conjugal bed. I was sorting and sifting and finally located my mattress pad, after going without for nearly a week. I hate beds without mattress pads. Anyway, found it and thought it could do with a bit of a wash, what with the moving and the bugs and the fact that Husband used it as packing material. Washed it, dryed it, and discovered, much to my chagrin, that the material had, well, melted. Cheap, I know. More poly than cotton. I swore for a while and then I went out to buy a new one.

After much inspection and debate, I settled on a decent (so I thought) mattress pad. It wasn't as nice as the one I wanted to get, but I'm a girl on a budget here. Anyway, I bought it and brought it home and discovered (again, to even more chagrin) that it was the Wrong Kind. ::more swearing::

After much arguing, Husband and I decide to keep it anyway (fits our bed, fits the couch, will fit the Bear's bed when she's old enough to fit it herself). Last night we put it on our bed (for the time being), and it wasn't as awful as I imagined it would be.

Then, today, as I was doing laundry (oh, the neverending piles of laundry) during the Bear's nap, what did I discover?

My mattress pad! The Good One! It didn't melt after all!

Turns out, I had melted the way crappy mattress pad from the old guest bed, not my oh-so-nice and cushy one from our bed as I had previously believed! It was there, at the bottom of the laundry, the whole time!

I would me *more* thrilled if I felt *less* stupid. ::sighs::

So, I threw out the melted old mattress pad from the guest bed, am currently washing my beloved fluffy one for our bed, and will keep the Wrong One on hand to put on the sleeper sofa. All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


So, the Great Migration of 2005 is officially over. We are settling into our new (to us) small apartment fairly well. My parents were here for over a week to help with the project, and for the most part they really were very helpful. My father in particular was very helpful - he likes to clean, is big enough to move heavy things, and doesn't comment on things unless asked. My mother, on the other hand, is slightly odd, and can be difficult to get along with at times. (Edited to omit mean things said about my mother - after all, she just did me a huge favor.)

Our new house has bugs - lots of them. Fortunately, they are mostly harmless, and I'm thinking that they will disappear at the end of the summer. The Bear has been eating them, but I'm not too worried. I suppose if she were going to get sick from them, she would have done it already. A little dirt builds immunity, right?

We also have upstairs neighbors who stomp. Loudly. Husband swears that they're just walking normally, but I think they're playing hopscotch in wooden clogs. Suffice it to say I am not enjoying living underneath someone, but it's cheap and hey, we all have to make sacrifices. Like bugs. And loud noises. And no garage. But I digress.

The Bear is adjusting well to life in her new surroundings. She was highly confused and consternated for the first few days, as she tried to navigate around the boxes and figure out what she could actually play with (nothing.) and how to best escape Grandma's clutches and eat paperclips. Then, we moved all her furniture and put it in a new room, which irritated her to no end. Now, she seems to have accepted the new surroundings with moderately good grace. She knows where her room is, and she can trot back there to play whenever she wants, which she seems to enjoy. We've even upgraded her bath from the kitchen sink to the actual tub, and the kid is in Hog Heaven. She has this little sponge, and she constantly fills it with water and then sucks it out, or holds it up to watch the water run out... lather, rinse, repeat.

She started pulling up on the furniture two or three weeks ago, and now she can cruise from couch to table to chair and back again. Also, she's learned to climb onto low surfaces (the footboard of the computer desk, for example) and this excites her greatly. Me, not so much. She has also adjusted her schedule - of her own volition - and now goes to bed one hour later at night, and sleeps one hour later in the morning. This kid, she thrives on routine. She loves her schedule.

I am not adjusting to the new surroundings quite as well as the Bear. Husband and I have been fighting pretty much since the first box appeared, and things show no sign of improvement. I am one of those people who hate Change, in any form. So, naturally, all of life's big moments - getting married, getting pregnant, having a baby, moving, starting a new job, you name it - turn me into a Raving Basketcase. I recognize this. I accept this. To date, I have found no reliable way to circumvent this unpleasant fact of my life. Husband, however, can't figure out why I get so freaked out, so consequently has no patience with me, so consequently loses his temper with me, and so we fight. Almost constantly. About absolutely nothing. Where to put this chair? Let's go fifteen rounds of name-calling! What to do with miscellaneous crap that I can't bear to part with because my great-great-auntie left it to me in her will? Let's lock someone out of the bedroom! You threw it away?! Why?! Let's cry about it for an hour! (When asked, he denied that we fight "all the time." That's crap - if I say we're fighting all the time, then we must be fighting all the time.)

Needless to say, life in our (new) house has not been all sunshine and puppies lately. There are several other factors playing into this, not just the big move, but it's certainly brought many of our worst qualities out into the daylight. I just get so frustrated with him, and I can't quite figure out how to get him to stop being so damn irritating all the time. Yeargh.

Of course, then there are the times when he redeems himself, and I remember why I love him in the first place. Last night, for example, he went out to rent a video and came home with the entire first season of "Gilmore Girls" on DVD. I enjoy my bit of fluff on Tuesday nights, and he started watching with me last season. After I went to bed, he stayed up for another three hours and watched two whole discs (like 6 or 8 episodes) by himself. Because he likes it. How cute is that?! ::collective awwwww::

Friday, June 17, 2005

Checking in

Oh, for a cable modem! The move is officially over, but the boxes will be around for days to come, I imagine. The computer was just set up today, and several other important things are still unaccounted for... more on the move and the new place soon.

I hate moving!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Always in the springtime and early summer I get a little nostalgic for my college days. It's probably because everyone is graduating and I see all the commercials on the TV, but there's this certain smell in the air, when you know it's really almost summer, and school is out... something to do with freshly cut grass and the wind. I can't really describe it - I just know when I smell it that summer has come and school is out until next year.*

It makes me think of my college days most frequently, although there are times when I smell that smell and remember summers in high school, taking trips to the lake, driving down the highway with the windows down because our cars had no a/c, lying out in the grass and holding very still to see if we could feel the earth move. In college my dorm (one of) had one of those trees with the pinky-white blossoms (is it a cherry tree? not sure) out front, and it was the happiest sight for me. I loved that tree. When I see or smell things like these, I wish I was back in college.

Things were so much better then! There was the total freedom to go where you wanted, do what you wanted, when you wanted, with whom you wanted, and nobody to answer to but yourself. Added to that the complete absence of responsibility and it's a heady feeling. Sure, we had the responsibility to do our work, get good grades, maintain scholarships, make our families proud, but no career, no family of our own, no life insurance/mortgage/lawnmower... the freedom I felt back then was amazing. Plus, I was hot! Before the baby, before the deflated breasts, before the stomach skin that won't ever regain its elasticity, no matter how many crunches I do, before the pregnancy acne that left scars on my previously flawless skin, I was one good-looking college chick. I had a car - two doors, no carseats. It was black and sporty. I went to parties. I talked about politics with the president of the College Republicans, for pete's sake! (He was my sparring partner - we loved to argue. What an arrogant jackass he was!) I stayed up late, and slept in late. I ate junk food and fast food. I watched sitcoms and bad movies. I had friends to go places with and do things with. And always, there was that tantalizing freedom... such a sense of possibility.

Now, I work (a lot) in a career I love, but it can be very draining. I'm always tired at the end of the day, but I wouldn't give it up for anything. I like taking care of people and helping them - that's a lot of what teachers do, I think. I have a Husband who can be irritating in the extreme, but also a Prince Among Men when he wants to be. He and I have both changed since our young single days, and I think sometimes we're both a little disappointed that marriage is not as glamourous as we once thought it would be. We have a Bear, and she takes up all of our time these days. Anything remotely fun or exciting we might want to do is put off indefinitely because of her. We've now reached the point when I invite Husband to go grocery shopping with us, just so the three of us can spend some "family time" together. There are too many bills and not enough money. There are dreams we had when we were younger that seem so distant now, it feels like we'll never be able to achieve them. And we're tired - so tired.

Don't get me wrong... I love Husband and Bear, and I wouldn't get rid of them even if I could. We're a family, and that's such a nice comforting thing to have. It's just that sometimes, when the weather is just right, I don't want to be a grown-up anymore. I want to do a little "Quantum Leap" thing back to my old apartment and my old roommates, and I want to open up the kitchen windows on a steamy summer evening and drink a cheap beer and not worry about anything for ten whole minutes.

*That's why I became a teacher - for the joy of the first day of school/last day of school. I love the cycle! (Just kidding. That would be a dumb foundation for a career, although I *will* admit to a well-fed fetish for school supplies.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

New blog...

As though moving my entire house wasn't enough, I decided to move my blog. For reaons best left unspecified, I might add. Suffice it to say that I was irritated with the "redesign" at my old site and their newer, better, easier, higher, faster, stronger, whatever update majorly Sucked. So, I packed my baggage and moved over here. ::lays out own Welcome Mat::

I figured it would be easier to move previous posts and just post them over here, rather than linking to them. However, none of the comments came along with them, so now I look like the hideously unpopular geek that I am. I promise, they were there, really! Now they are Lost Forever to the great black hole in the sky, where all the good comments go when they die.

On the Bear front, I discovered a new tooth coming in after this afternoon's nap. That makes three, if you're counting along with me. No wonder she's so, um, temperamental lately.

Conversation overheard in my kitchen this morning:

Me: Hi there, Bear! Do you want some cereal for breakfast?

Bear: [quite distinctly] No.

Me: [incredulously] Well, then, would you prefer a banana?

Bear: No.

So, people, my child's vocabulary has expanded to include "no." Just when you thought it was safe... I'm assuming that she picked this up from me, since I always seem to be telling her no. "No, Bear, you can't eat the cardboard." "No-no, that's not for Bears!" "No, Bear, that hurts Mommy." I say thousands of words to her every day, and the one she picked up was "no?"

I have such bad karma.

Monday, June 06, 2005


So, the Move is on... much like the heat. The Garage Sale is also on, which is stressing me out to no end. I would love to wave my magic wand (teak, eleven inches, nice and whippy) and have all of my worldly goods transported to the New Place. And arranged. And cleaned, too. Alas, I have to do all this shit myself, and I'm not so much enjoying it.

The Bear has developed several new quirks, some of which are decidedly cute, some of which need to get kicked to the curb, and I mean ASAP. She is pulling up and standing now, which is nice. I have twenty bucks that says she walks by her birthday in July. It's really quite cute, the standing. She makes the "I'm so proud of me" face. So. Cute.

She has also, however, decided that bedtime is for losers. Last night, she went down (as per her usual) at 7:00 on the nose. 8:00 comes, and she's wailing in the bed. I go, get her, fix her, pet her, and put her back. 8:30, she's up again. Down again. Up again at 9:00, at which point we decided to just let her have it out. You can lead a horse to water... no sleep for this kid. She was *wired*! I thought it was the teeth, so we dosed her with ibuprofen. Then I thought she might be hungry, so we had a snack. Then, we thought she might be bored, so we played and sang and romped. Eventually, at 11:30, I went to bed and left her with Husband. I have to idea how he got her to sleep (although the Benadryl bottle was out this morning...), but she was up at the usual time this morning, and didn't take any extra naps. What an odd aberration, I said to myself...

So tonight, 7:00 comes and the Bear is laid in her cave to hibernate for the evening. She dozes, then, at 7:30 - voila! like magic! - she's up again. I pulled no punches tonight. We went on a walk, and then we went to play outside where it's really effing hot and muggy. Then, when we came in to the blissful coolness of our recirculated air, she had more milk and went docilely off to the Land of Nod like a good Bear. She had better stay there, too, if she knows what's good for her. I'm so not a night person - I can handle all the crying babies in the Universe until about 9 or 10, at which point I turn into a pumpkin and am not pleasant when my sleep has been interrupted. I need like 10 hours a night just to function and be civil.

Speaking of teeth, these two new ones are very odd. The first four all broke through in like an hour. First there was nothing, and then, poof, the whole top of the tooth was through. The two she's cutting right now are only corners. The corners have been through for days now, but the rest of the tooth doesn't seem to be forthcoming. It seems to be causing her a great deal of irritation, judging from all the biting. Also, I think they're pushing her top two teeth together (she has the Gap between them) and that may also be hurting her. I don't know, but neither of us are really enjoying this dental adventure. I've been sorely tempted to heed my grandmother's advice - just a drop of whiskey on the gums... I would never give my child alcohol, but ye gods is it tempting some days!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Another survey

I would love to take an informal survey, just to see how most people respond to the type of situation I described in my previous ranting.

All ye who stop by and don't comment, feel free to chime in. All opinions welcome. Here goes:

When in the type of dire financial crisis that would necessitate moving to a smaller, less lovely apartment, do you:

A) review your monthly finances to see where you can make cuts;

B) indulge in pints of ice cream to soothe your troubled mind;


C) purchase a *divine* new couch with a sleeper bed inside to replace your hideous tacky old sofa, justifying the purchase because you have to get rid of the guest bed at the garage sale?

What Would You Do?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Grumblings from the home front

Yargh. So what I thought was going to be the Summer of Laziness is quickly shaping up to be the Summer of Suck. My plans to loll about in a little blue pool are quickly being replaced by plans to write curriculum and to move...

That's right. Move. (Beware - ranting to follow. Disregard as needed.)

Why move, you might ask? Why might a family of three find it necessary to forsake their comfortable, if not ideal, amply-bedroomed and bathroomed house-like dwelling (not really a house, but sort of like) in favor of a smaller, less-amply-bedroomed non-house-like dwelling (read: two-bedroom apartment) less than two miles away? Why might these people find it necessary to downsize their domicile at a time when their family is expanding?

Because we are Poor, people. Dirt Effing Poor.

Oh, how I hate to admit that. All my life, I have lived in comfortable surroundings. Not the Lap of Luxury or anything remotely resembling it, but I never had to go without when I was growing up. Sure, we budgeted wisely and definitely didn't live extravagantly, but we were nicely middle-class. I made it through college with no student loans to repay (thanks to my enormous brains, not to my parents' finances). I was thrifty with my money. I had a savings account. I paid my credit card balance in full each month (when I had a balance at all). I didn't spend unwisely.* I had to take out some student loans to finance my grad school, but so did everyone else, and I locked in a very low interest rate. I was living the lower-middle-class High Life.

Considering the massive amounts of debt and poverty that are rampant in America right now, I was pretty lucky. I recognize this, and I'm grateful for everything I had growing up, and for the frugal genes I inherited. This phase of blissful and economical living, saving, getting by, etc. lasted right up until I got married.

Somehow - I'm not really even sure how this happened - we are in Debt. You know the commercial on TV, with the man who has all the nice, pretty things, and says, "How can I afford all this? I'm in debt up to my eyeballs!" with this desperate look on his face? That's us.

First there was the move. 500 miles, and who knew I had so much stuff? It would never fit into my hatchback. Someone would have to help... and help they did, to the tune of $lotsofmoney$.

Then there was the housekeeping. No more laundromat - we need to buy a washer! and a dryer!

Then there was the extended unemployment. What do you mean, I can't get a teaching job in January? School already started? Where was I for that memo?

Then there was the unplanned pregnancy.

With that came the baby-related improvements. Your car isn't safe enough. Really? That's ok, we can buy another one! We can't fit two carseats in the back of a two-door hatchback! Really?? That's ok, we can buy *another* one! None of my clothes fit! Really? That's ok, we can buy you more!

Add to that two jobs that pay HORRIBLY and the skyrocketing price of gas (I was commuting almost 400 miles a week) and the outrageous cost of daycare, which we had to pay because we needed my salary, and the bills and the loans and the immoderately high rent on our too-nice-for-poor-people place, and you have our current situation.

Did I mention that my husband, as his contribution to "all his worldly goods," brought to our marriage a hideous amount of debt?**

So here we are, dirt poor, unable to make ends meet. All of which necessitates our moving into a smaller, cheaper place to save on the rent and having a garage sale to get rid of superfluous furniture and various household goods.

Oh, how I hate change. I have spent the last week in a twisted nightmare of nausea and sleeplessness. Change does things to my digestive system that no one can explain. I hate change, it freaks me out. Why can't I just win the lottery?*** I don't want to move... ::commences whining and self-pity::

*I'm really cheap. Such a tightwad am I. Frugal, I like to think.

**Not entirely his fault. Nobody ever taught him to budget or save or plan. Foreign concepts. Thank you, in-laws, for fostering the notion that living beyond your means is somehow ok, and that saving is silly. I'm forever indebted to you. (Get it? InDEBTed?)

***Way too cheap to buy the ticket. Such a catch-22.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Things I have done in the last 24 hours that I am not proud of:

1. Threatened to sell my daughter to the gypsies

2. Answered someone truthfully when they asked "How are you?" (I said, "Horrible, how 'bout you?")

3. Denied my husband both good food and sex - on his birthday, no less

4. Stuffed an entire egg roll into my mouth in a fit of desperation (I'm an emotional eater)

5. Been frightfully rude to the neighbors (I was just being honest, really)

I have no excuse for doing these things other than hormones. Something tells me that most women can control their mood swings better than this. Am I wrong? Are you all hiding your inner banshee? Or am I really the only person who needs to be sedated before her period to avoid killing people for sport?

There are days I don't like myself very much. The fact that I have days when I don't like myself makes me like myself even less.

Premenstrual self-loathing, brought to you today by the letters P, M, and S, and by the number 5. I have yet to meet someone who copes with this in a worse manner than I do. If you're out there, sister - this Advil's for you.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Wicked Tooth Fairy

We all remember the Tooth Fairy from when we were growing up. She was a magical creature who took our teeth away to heaven when they fell out, and left shiny quarters in their place. I had a special pillow with a tiny pocket to put the tooth in, and I looked forward ever so much to losing teeth so that the Tooth Fairy would come and visit me.

Now, more than twenty years later, I've met her Evil Twin - the Wicked Tooth Fairy.

The Wicked Tooth Fairy is the one who brings you the teeth in the first place. She comes when you are just a baby and gives you teeth one at a time. She is the wicked one who arrives one day and turns my sweet bundle of joy into a howling, shrieking, biting, writhing bundle of anger overnight. She is the foul creature who brings fever, fussiness, clinginess, and sleeplessness in her wake. And she's here, in my house, and I can't get rid of her.

The Bear is teething again. At ten months she has four teeth and is working on cutting about six more. Her gums are swollen and puffy and lumpy and white, and these bad boys look like they're ready to come through at any minute. One of them is already through just a bit, and the poor kid is just miserable. Normally, the Bear is the most charming of little animals. For the last few days, she's been alternating bouts of cheerfulness with bouts of inconsolable wailing and finger-biting. Every so often she will fling herself down on the floor and sob, then get back up and keep on going. She's developed what I like to call the "crawl and cry" where she does just that. It's so sad to watch! I've told her stories about all the wonderful foods that await her once she has more teeth, but she says she doesn't think it sounds worth it. Poor kid.

I feel almost as bad for myself as I do for her - my boundless patience and compassion are running low. I wish I could just cut the teeth for her and save her the pain. I'd gladly do it, but I just can't. So instead, I'm off to shoot the Wicked Tooth Fairy with a harpoon and mount her stuffed head on my living room wall. Call me Ishmael.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The doorknobs worked!

My failsafe method of dealing with people who anger me has once again saved me from doing things I don't want to do. Break out the sack full of doorknobs and use them as a... negotiating tool. Works every time!

Suffice it to say, I no longer have to teach summer school. Crisis averted. I rock. ::does Happy Dance::

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The righteous anger...

So, remember back a while ago when I said I absolutely refuse to teach summer school this summer because I want to spend time with the Bear? Well, I just got a phone call informing me today that I will be teaching TWO summer school classes. And they start - wait for it... next week!

I have nothing prepared - and I mean NOTHING.

I have no daycare for the Bear. I told our provider that she would be back in the fall - there's no room at the inn for her to go there this summer.

This is an age group of students that I have never taught. No experience whatsoever. Fortunately, due to the, um, relaxed standards in this podunk state, that doesn't matter. What was a 6-12 certificate in Civilization is now a K-12 certificate. That's ok - first graders and freshmen are almost exactly alike (or so I've been told).

I have to start teaching these classes for which I have no material to students with whom I am unqualified to deal in Less Than A Week.

I am going to beat someone about the head and face with a sack full of doorknobs. And then I'm going to set that someone on fire.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The chaos...

Well, my first official day as a stay-at-home-mom (yesterday) went wonderfully. The Bear slept in until 6:15, prompting me to thank my lucky stars. We got up, had breakfast, went for a walk, came home, she had a snack and a nap, I had a shower, we went to the grocery store (where I managed to spend *way* too much money), came home, had lunch, she took a nap, I did laundry and dishes, went to the post office, came home, dinner, bed! We had fun, we laughed, we played... and all that time she was just lulling me into a false sense of security.

I should have known it was too good to be true.

Today (day #2), she awoke at 5:45! In the morning! Wide Awake! So I brought her into bed with us to hang out for a few minutes and wait for the sun to come up. She's rolling between us, poking us alternately and shouting "dada!' when I suddenly get a big whiff of urine, wafted my way on the gentle breeze of the ceiling fan. The guilt in me makes me pick her up to go change her diaper, only to realize that no! It's already full! And it has overflowed onto my bed! Pee on my bed! ::wrinkles nose in disgust::

And then she discovered that if you bang hard enough on the high chair tray, all the Cheerios will land on the carpet, which is exactly where you want them when Mom is vacuuming. Her morning nap was curtailed by a particularly nasty poo, so she only slept for an hour. She ate a coaster (cork - nice and crumbly) and then bit me when I had the audacity to try to fish it out before she swallowed it all. The Nerve!

And it's only noon...

Really, though, we're still having a pretty good time of it. She seems happy, I'm fairly happy, the sheets are washed, the Cheerios vacuumed up, nap #2 is in full swing - it could be worse. It's just going to take me some time to get used to this way of doing things. For example:

How do you get ten bags of groceries and a crawling baby into the house simultaneously? Instinct tells me I shouldn't leave her in the car, but I can't exactly leave her in one spot indoors and expect her to stay there, either. I compromised by taking in the first bag and setting her up with big cans of tomatoes to bang on the floor, and that occupied her long enough for me to unload the car. But still, it was an endeavor that required some finagling.

I can tell I'm going to have to come up with some fun activities soon, lest we both strangle each other from boredom. Hmmm...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Summer Vacation!

Yay! School is over, and summer is officially in session!

This last week has been an absolute nightmare (as the last week of school so frequently is for teachers), and I've been busy beyond belief. I had to clean out my room since I'm not returning next year, finish grades, give finals, etc. There was a graduation fiasco that involved a shrieking Bear... but now, for the next 13 weeks, I have blessed, blessed freedom.

I have formulated a plan for the summer, and I'm very excited about it. During the school year, I have zero time for cooking dinner, and more often than not, we end up eating in a Less Than Ideal fashion. Also, there is lots of soda and other bad things. Add to that absolutely no exercise whatsoever, and you get slightly pudgy, very tired me. So, this summer, my goal is to eat right (always easier in the summer anyway), cut out soda, and take the Bear on long walks in the stroller for exercise. I just feel so much better when I take care of myself a little bit - I'm pretty run down at the moment. But I don't want to get too crazy right away, so this Great Plan of mine goes into effect on Monday. I'd like to get myself into a healthy state by fall, because I think that this autumn we're going to start trying again for Bear Number Two.

I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we would really like to have more than one child, and this is as good a time as any for us, financially speaking. They would be close in age, which is important to us (my husband and his sister are eleven years apart). Plus, this one is so sweet, every time we look at her we want to have another. I really, really want to have another baby.*

On the other hand, I am completely terrified of losing another baby. I'm still feeling a lot of grief and sadness from the last one, and I don't know if I really want to expose myself to the possibility of more pain. The first time I was pregnant, I didn't worry about any of this because it was unplanned and I was so depressed that I didn't really care if anything bad happened. The second time, the baby was very much wanted, and I let myself get very excited, and then I was just devastated when I miscarried. If I get pregnant again, I'm afraid that I'll spend the entire time worrying and won't be able to enjoy my pregnancy.

I'm not particularly worried about *getting* pregnant, since we don't seem to have much trouble in that department. ::knocks on wood:: Every time my huband looks at me cross-eyed... well, you get the picture. (We're hideously fertile. We have no decency.) No, it's the *staying* pregnant that I'm worried about. I don't think that I could handle losing another baby right now.

Anyway, enough of that. I also have plans this summer to read several very important books (the new Harry Potter being one of them), and teach the Bear to sleep past six a.m. Every morning, come wind, rain, hell, or high water, that kid is Wide Awake by six. Sometimes it's sooner. I love my child more than life itself, but I am not a morning person, and this has got to stop. So, I'm planning to entice her to sleep later. Not sure how to do that, though. I thought about gradually scooting back the bedtime, but that seems cruel and unusual - plus I like having some time to spend with my husband in the evenings. And I can't really cut back on her naps, because God Forbid she doesn't get her nap when she wants her nap - there's just no living with her. She's on a fairly straight 10-11 hours per night, two two-hours naps during the day schedule. I think she's doing pretty well; I would just enjoy waking up *after* sunrise instead of before it. This is all my fault, however, since I had to get her up every day at six for her whole life, pretty much. I brought this on myself by going back to work, I know it. Bad Mommy, bad!

Also on the Bear front - she says "uh-oh" with great regularity now, although not usually in connection with anything. Today, though, she said it after she dropped the remote on the floor, which was cute and also meaningful. So smart! Also popular are "dad" and "dada," which she uses interchangeably. Very very rarely will she ever say "mama," so I think I'm going to accept that I am uncool and move on. Such is life - maybe after our summer together I will regain my *cool* status. Highly unlikely, though.

*I think... Many people have told me that the second one is always the oppsite of the first, and I wonder if they aren't right. The first one is so laid back, so easygoing, and has such a sunny disposition, it's hard to imagine having a high-maintenance baby. I think I would freak out, quite literally. (I'm totally discounting the first three months here. We do not speak of them.)