Friday, June 29, 2007

Hurry! Before the sky falls!

It was sunny this morning. I'm assuming we'll be getting more rain later since there's some sort of tropical depression camped out over the DFW Metroplex. So Adrien and I took advantage of the sun and headed out of the house to the park.

It's been a while since we've been to the park...being as it's been raining for a month of Sundays (I'm sorry, is that a southern saying?). Anyway, not much has changed except the ducks. Within the past month or two there have been two sets of ducklings born. They get bigger and bigger every time I see them. The oldest set must have truly gotten much larger because I think they now blend in with the full grown ducks. There was a new set too. A mother duck was waddling around with about 15 or so teeny tiny chicks. Some were solid yellow. Some were yellow with brown spots. They were all absolutely adorable! It was so cute to see them all follow each other around. Ducklings have that haphazard way of spreading out their little wing nubs for balance as they teeter over the rocks with their tiny webbed feet. So adorable.

I also saw, upon immediate arrival at the park, an obese pigeon. I wish I could have taken a picture to show you, but I found that my camera was out of batteries before we left to go the park this morning. Since I have no picture, I will borrow some from somewhere and leave it up to your imagination. I'm sure you've seen an obese pigeon before...haven't you? It looked a lot like a cross of an elephant seal and a pigeon. Like this:


Imagine the neck of the seal on the pigeon.

While at the park, I also saw a very large man that was perched atop a teeny tiny chair while fishing -- he was listening to smooth jazz. Adrien thought the man was amusing and so he smiled and waved at him. The man seemed delighted. I'm glad we made his day.

It was also molting season for the ducks. There were little ducky feathers everywhere and all the ducks (most of them) looked very disheveled...most of them looked like they had mohawks. Also, I would like to add, that there may well be a new group of ducklings hatching within the next few months...I'm not quite sure what the gestational period for ducks is, but there were definitely two ducks goin' at it in the middle of the park today. There was a grandfather and grandson fishing nearby and the grandfather looked very distraught that there were two ducks mating in front of his grandson's eyes. I think he was more afraid his grandson may ask what the ducks were doing...

"The ducks are wrestling..."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I don't really know what to post. Other than this.

I had an appointment with the doctor (OB) yesterday. It was the second half of an appointment I'd gone in for a few weeks ago. I was getting a ultrasound so he could check for any cysts, etc. He didn't find any of that, but he did find a baby. Yes, I'm pregnant. Probably about three or four weeks or so. It was a little sphere. I've never seen a ultrasound that looked like that. With Adrien, by the time I got my first ultrasound, I was already 12 weeks along or so and by that point, they sort of resemble babies. Good thing I didn't partake in any drinking at the party the other night ha, ha!

We had been trying...a little. I really haven't been on birth control for about the last 10 months or so. We (my husband and I) had about decided it was time for another little one so that our kids wouldn't be spaced too far apart.

Here's the kink in the line: My husband has decided he wants me to go back to work. Apparently I was not aware of just how much financial problems we were having until a few weeks ago...which is when I got pregnant apparently. I definitely do not wish to return to work because I'd like to stay here with Adrien. I love spending the days with him, even when he is more than a handful. I also don't want to have to go back to that life of only seeing him for a few hours before bedtime. Then I'd go to sleep at night and get up and do it all over again. I hated that. I think it must have been extremely naive of my husband to agree with me to have another child when he knew the depth of our financial problems and I did not. I knew we weren't swimming in money, but I thought we were at least making it.

Now he wants me to go back to work. Now. I came home all happy from the doctor yesterday to tell him the news and he smiled, paused, and then frowned a little. He said, "You know, there's a bad side to that. You've got to go back to work now."

I don't see the point. We're not going to be much better off whether I do or not. $600 per month will be spent on day care for Adrien. And then I'm wasting all that precious time left with Adrien for it to just be me and him. I think my husband should find a different solution to our problem. I'm fine without TV. I'm fine without a home phone. He's not. I can do without a lot of things. He can not. "Besides," he says, "we have a contract with the satellite provider." I just can't believe that he wants me to go back to work while I'm pregnant. What an ass. He really doesn't see things my way. To him it's more money, but to me it's a mountain of stress and guilt over leaving Adrien in day care. Add to that the fact that Adrien's days with me all to himself are severely numbered now...that's enough guilt right there. I don't care if we're broke and our credit is shite. I really do not. We already own a house. We won't need to qualify for a mortgage or anything for a long time coming.

Well blah. I would like to say Piss off. Why is it my job to fix everything? I have to sacrifice to go back to work. He doesn't have to sacrifice anything for me to go back to work. He thinks it's so easy. I don't have enough experience to qualify for a job that pays enough in the field I have my degree in. I have administrative experience (not what I have a degree in), but not enough to qualify me for a job that would pay me what I need to make ends meet after paying for day care month after month. Plus I'm going to start showing in a few months, and I'm sure my employer would love that. I could work in retail, but the pay sucks and I'd be on my feet all day. Not to mention the ridiculous hours retailers want you to work.

On top of it, I'm already a mother. That in itself is, unfortunately, a liability to every single person who might consider me for a position with their company. I was fired from my last job because (although they didn't say this, per say) I let my son "get in the way" of the job at hand. Their idea of "getting in the way" was because I'd taken off a day and a half when he was 2 1/2 months old or so with a 103 degree fever and runny nose. I would have had to take off all week if it weren't for my Mom being able to come help out and watch him while I returned to work. OH, and I left a grand total of 30 minutes early one Friday to pick Adrien up from day care on time because my husband was working a little late. I was called into one of my supervisor's office where she gave me a lecture on letting your kids come between you and your job.

Piss off. Aren't you the breadwinner? Win some freakin' bread already.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Death to the Grocery Store

In case you haven't seen or heard, it's a' floodin' down here in Texas.

I would be surprised if I could fill one hand counting the number of days it hasn't rained a drop within the last two weeks. It's supposed to rain all week. So what's a girl to do when she needs to drag her kid out and about in the torrential downpours for groceries? Nothing. I just saddled him on up and took him into the grocery store like a champ. I did, however, wait for a slight break in the pouring.

Upon arrival, it took a small feat to find a cart that wasn't wet for him to sit in. When I'd finally dragged one out from the middle of all the carts, it has no seat belt. I made an effort at first to find another dry cart with working belt, but then just gave up and sat him down unstrapped.

First of all, the produce selection was hideous. All the bell peppers were wrinkly. The peaches were over ripe and bruised. The bananas were all either too green or too yellow (I prefer a nice half-n-half of colors on bananas). The stockers had their large carts in the middle of every single aisle ever, and I was afraid Adrien would reach over and touch one of their carts which would, in turn, send the whole mountain of cardboard boxes careening down on his little (big) head. I could hardly pry our Ball Park All Beef Franks out of the refrigerated shelving because the meat stocker thought it a good idea to cram as many vacuu-packs of franks in the case as possible. They were literally wedged. Like little wiener sardines packed into a little wiener case sardine can.

We managed through the obstacle course to the diary section only to find that the milk I generally buy went from two gallons for $6 to two gallons for $7. Sheesh.

Then I got to the checkout -- finally. I was made to hold Adrien while trying to tell the sacker how to do his job. He plopped all of my fruits and vegetables down in the bottom of the cart while loading all of my canned goods ON TOP OF them. I begged him to please not squish the fruit. I mean, that stuff costs a fortune and it was slim-pickens in produce anyway just to find stuff that wasn't bruised or smashed to begin with. I finally put Adrien back into the strapless seat so that I could better arrange my groceries in the buggy, only to have the stupid high school sacker keep piling things into the cart at such a rate that I couldn't get things arranged. He kept putting things up front in the seat with Adrien. "Please do not put plastic bags by my baby. He will eat it or suffocate on it. Thank you." Then the stupid sacker did it again. He put the bread by the baby. Ugh. I gave up and payed my $115 bill to the cashier. I was not offered help to my car. It was still raining a good deal outside.

I stepped outside of the doors to the mart with my buggy and waited for the rain to let up. It didn't. I trudged to the car, threw Adrien in his car seat, and began to pack all of my soggy groceries into my trunk. It's hard to fit $115 worth of groceries into a trunk with a huge stroller. Meanwhile, I see the no grocery-bagging high school aged punk who ruined all my produce help the lady that was behind me in line to her huge SUV. She had what looked like about $30 worth of groceries. She had no baby. She had an umbrella. I had none of that. The stupid punk had this huge smile on his face the whole time. I'm sure I was a bit bitchy to him, but I wanted my bananas to resemble bananas at home and not banana pudding.

On top of it, I counted how many plastic bags he used when I got home. He used 23 bags. That's a horrid amount! Doesn't he know that those things do not biodegrade?

I really could have used some help to the car. Didn't that used to come mandatory?

That's a lot of groceries. I think it warranted assistance.

23 bags. A mountain of non biodegradable plastic.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't make me do it!

Seriously. Why does it cost a small fortune for a good hair cut?

How's this for thrift? I could get that old school punk thing going like I used to.

I will post my decision along with pics if I'm brave enough to endeavor.

The weekend rundown

So, this is what transpired in the Newland household this weekend.

Friday I went for a mini-playdate at a girlfriend's house. It was tons of fun, and unlike usual, I didn't have to spend the entire time chasing Adrien friend finally got around to installing a baby gate upstairs in the game room portion of her ample home and Adrien was contained. (Adrien is the oldest and most -- only -- mobile baby at these mini-playdates) So it was just me, Ashley, and Erin chilling out with our babies. I picked up lunch from Sonic on the way over and when we got to Erin's house for the playdate, Adrien ended up eating quite a bit of my burger. (Shame on me, really).

Then Friday night came. We were invited to attend the birthday party of a guy who we used to attend Sunday School with. These people had moved to the complete other side of town and as a result, this party was going to be a gathering together of friends who hadn't seen each other in quite a while. We caught a ride with another young couple from Sunday School and another friend was with us. Her husband was unable to attend because he was at work. I would just like to start out by saying that the party was to start at 7. We arrived at 9. We got back home at 3am. There was hefty partying to be had by all. We had to stop a few times on the way home to let our friend whose husband was unable to attend puke...on the side of the interstate. We made a late night burger stop for the other guy with us on the way home. Technically I think it was a chicken strip stop. He needed to potty, and just as any 4 year old would do, he peed behind the Whataburger when he discovered the dining room wasn't open at 2am and therefore he couldn't use the facilities. (Said guy is not actually 4 years old) I didn't drink anything. I did, however, have TWO Dr. Peppers. I was really living on the wild side. I had planned on having a few drinks, but when I found out the female part of the couple who was taking us was bummed that she wouldn't be able to drink due to eminent pregnancy, I decided to make her feel better and be sober as well. All was good, and my mother-in-law did quite well with Adrien. Somehow she got him to fall asleep watching TV. I can never do that.

Saturday we had to head out to the in-law's which is a good 2 hour drive. We drove all that way to attend a church service and tiniest Methodist church EVER so that the church's new steeple could be dedicated to my husband's Grandad. He passed away a few months ago, and had apparently been working very hard to get a steeple for the church. The service was nice -- what I saw of it. I spent most of the time outside with Adrien because he was restless and in need of a nap. The sanctuary was so small that Adrien's hefty screaming voice definitely outweighed that of the country Methodist preacher's. This church was very quaint. It was nestled in the middle of a trailer park. Meager Methodists, I suppose. The whole ordeal wasn't as much of a freak show as I'd envisioned it to be. That was a bit disappointing.

The most exciting thing that happened on our excursion to the in-laws was on the way back. In some teeny tiny town, we passed a row of older-than-Methuselah homes. Out in front of one of these was one of those marquis that you can put the letters on. This was the type of Marquis one typically sees in front of an old restaurant or feed store -- you know; the ones with the arrow on top that's pointing at whatever edifice it belongs to. Anyway, on the marquis was this happy little announcement:


How's that for neighborly love? I wonder if these country bumpkins know what slander or libel is. Which one would it be considered? I mean, it is written, although not published.

The whole trip made my husband and I wish (in a way, and only for money's sake) that we lived in the country. We could live like kings if weren't paying the cost of the living in the huge metroplex we reside. I remember being astonished when I first moved here (from Smalltown, USA) to go to college. I thought $2.50 for a loaf of bread was ridiculous...that was way before I was having to buy multiple gallons of milk per week for a ravenous toddler.

At least if we lived in the country, we might be able to have our own milk cow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Magazines? Psshht.

Insults. No one wants them. No one wants them to come from a magazine.

What is it with women's magazines? Am I the only one who feels slightly jilted when I open one and turn to the table of contents, only to see that nearly every story in there is From Flabby to Fabulous: Tone your Tush or Are you Poisoning your Family? First of all, I didn't realize my tush was all that flabby...and second, now I'm going to hyperventilate because OHMIGOD, I'm going to kill my family! I turn quickly to page 52 so that I can stop poisoning them.

Oh, what relief. Thank God this article is here to tell me how I can buy all the right foods for my family. There'll be no poisoning here today, thank you very much. I am now trying my hardest not to kill my family with sugar...or -- gasp! -- hydrogenated oils. And as for the tush toning? I flip right past that like I do every month when I see the fitness section. Who needs all that guilt anyway? These women pictured in the article don't really get to exercise. They're just models posing for the magazine. The woman who wrote the article? Well she's probably just idealizing what she could do with her tush four children ago.

So flipping through the magazine I find even more insults. Meet Alice. Alice is pictured on page 61 and the "contents" of her "purse" are spread among the page. Everything labeled according to price and what website it can bought off of. This section is entitled "What's in her bag?" and shows every single reader what you should have in your purse and why. Are any of those items really things that Alice carries in her bag? I can see it now: The bag of B. Contents list as follows: Too old Hello Kitty wallet from college, a few crumpled up Huggies, a ziplock of wet wipes, a sticky bottle of bubbles, a binky, and a bottle of teething tablets. The contents of my purse are not as glamorous as Alice's. She has perfume. She has a compact for on the go make up touch ups. She has a teeny tiny cosmetics store in her teeny tiny cost-a-million dollar purse.

Alice doesn't really carry that bag, and those are NOT her belongings. Who the hell is Alice, anyway?

Then it's on to the travel section. Did you know people actually vacation every year? Now I feel horrible because I don't remember the last time I went on vacation. I must be depriving my family.

And there's always the financial advice columns. These are my favorites. This month's issue features a story about a couple who are "drowning" in financial debt. Oh dear, it seems they're barely affording their $495,000 mortgage. It's a real sob story, actually...the Rolex watch they so treasured has to be auctioned off on ebay to make ends meet. When their pay was cut in half unexpectedly, it seems that their $16,000 savings cushion wasn't cushy enough. Not cushy enough? If $16,000 isn't cushy enough, then I guess our $.16 isn't cushy enough either.

I closed the magazine. I set it on the coffee table.

All I got out of that experience was that my ass is too fat, my family is eating too much "hidden" sugar because apparently I stock up on junk at the store, the contents of my purse/diaper bag pale in comparison to Alice's glamorous beauty-store-in-a-bag and I'm missing out on valuable family time because our sixteen cent cushion won't send us on vacation every year.

I hate magazines.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So what.

So why is it that random people turn on you for absolutely no apparent reason?

It's not like it should matter, but really, it does. How quickly someone on line can piss you off, I mean.

There is a girl who I met a few years ago online. I don't exactly remember how we met, other than she's now a MySpace friend of mine. I think we met in an online eating disorder support group. Yes, that's right -- eating disorder support group. Eat your heart pun intended. (Just don't throw it back up afterward).

Anywho, I'm perusing MySpace today and I see a bulleting from said starving girl. It was entitled "Perhaps." She generally has a cutsie angst-ridden outlook on things, so I opened the bulletin to see what she was mulling over today. It was a cartoon she'd drawn. It was a stick figure girl laying in a red and black swirling thingy with tears coming from her eyes.

I hit reply.


She hit reply back, and I got this:

"why do you still care? internet friends arent real, they're more like ghosts. they dont really mean anything. "

So I hit reply back, of course.

"um...well. let's see. i'm a stay at home mom who never gets out of the house. the people i know in real life don't get much more interesting than talking about their baby's poop habits.

it's not very nice to insult people who really do give a flip.

i'm sorry you're not feeling well...but do you have to take it out on someone who's trying to be nice?

so does that mean i don't mean anything. i completely understand if that's the case...but really -- what'd i do to you?"

I mean, seriously. There was a time when said girl and I talked on the phone. We were each other's support system. We kept each other from going into anorexic-induced week long sugar free hard candy eatin' only binges. She was really there for me when I ate two bites of cantaloupe and wanted to barf it back up because I felt guilty.

Said girl moved away from mommy a year or so ago and has since "found herself." She's a eco-geek that has all the aspiration to save the world while morning each individual tree in Borneo that's being harvested for paper or tract housing lumber.

I admire your depression, said girl...I truly do. But only from a distance. Don't throw it back at me because, in my boredom, I was trying to be nice.

I really do not understand why it hurt my feelings so much. It just did. I'll blame it on hormones (or lack thereof).

Also, from the depths of MySpace scourges near you, I have come to dislike my sister in-law even less. Really -- if that is possible. She has a child who is four. She is a SIZE 2 and is oh...5'9'' or so. [Previously stated eating disorders probably lend to why I'm a bit snooty towards her. While I let go of my selfish starving habit, hers seems to be in full force. ] Did I mention she's an aerobics instructor. My mother in-law and I agree -- she IS Aerobics Barbie.

Once again, in the bulletin portion of this stupid site, I see one from my sister in law. I was very bored. I opened it. It was an invitation to her aerobics class. Apparently she's branched off from the one she was teaching at a country club (or some gym, who knows) and is now running her own.

I couldn't resist hitting the reply button to send some fake interest her way.

"aww! good luck! i'd love to, but ya know...a two hour drive for a one hour class isn't practical lol. are you doing these yourself or at the gym where you were teaching?

good luck!

we'll be down this weekend. maybe we'll see ya!"

That was a lot of effort to fake all that interest I was showing. And this is all I got in return:

"I'm doing them myself. Be safe driving to [insert name of city she lives in here]."

I refuse to fake interest for her sake again. Who wants Aerobics Barbie as a friend, anyway?

I guess initial said girl is right. Internet friends are ghosts. But sometimes the company of ghosts is just fine in my book. As long as they're not uber-skinny Barbie ones.

Corn Syrup = Poison

I've noticed that in this new age and time, there seems to be a competition (yes another one) brewing among mothers. It's the my family is more nutritionally wholesome than your family war. I've noticed this most among my playgroup.

On one side you have the moms who do not care what their child is eating, as long as it's not paint chips and as long as they are, in fact, eating. At the other end of the spectrum are the moms who won't let a drop of non-organic milk touch their child's lips. No chicken nuggets for these kids. And soda? Well, that's just unheard of. If it has the word hydrogenated or high fructose in it, it's considered tainted.

Well I agree with the latter -- to a certain extent. But at what point do we let other mothers' over protectiveness spill over into our own lives and in turn, bring on the guilt? There was a time that I felt guilty for letting my son have any baby food that wasn't organic. That canned organic food was good enough for me. Then I met a mom who wouldn't let her daughter have anything that wasn't non organic AND homemade. BRING ON THE GUILT! I must be the laziest mom ever, because I'm not at home with my blender making purees. Not true. I got over that guilt trip pretty quickly. In fact, I am too lazy to make my son's baby food...but I really don't care that I am.

So yesterday, I was faced with another bit of guilt. I was discussing corn syrup with another mom at the mall during our play date. We were on our way to eat lunch. The conversation started out to be harmless enough. We were discussing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Before we could even get into the elevator to head up to the food court for lunch, I was contemplating how to hide the soda I'd brought to drink with my lunch that day.

Knowing full well that the woman I was speaking with was a wholesome living guru, I asked what sort of PB she used. She informed me she used ONLY organic and ONLY natural. There would be NO hydrogenated oils entering her children's bodies. Then she returned the question with the same. I use store brand "less sugar, less sodium"....for my son anyway. I, personally, like the taste of all the hydrogenated sugared up peanut crap. But don't I at least get an E for effort since I do buy the reduced crap version for my son? In my defense, I explained that my husband doesn't let me buy the natural because it's separated and it grosses him out.

"There's a brand that makes no-stir natural PB, ya know," she informed me.

Then the subject of jelly.

"I only buy the natural jelly that is sweetened with fruit juices. No sugar," she said.

Well don't you get the Whole Foods shopper of the year award? Step off the Smucker's, biotch! I grew up eating it and I'm not morbidly obese.

So, showing that I was just as interested in protecting my son from the harms of hydrogenated, I pulled the corn syrup card.

"You know, I bought Sara Lee bread the other day because it was on sale. I'm soooo ticked! I got home with it and found out like the fifth ingredient is corn syrup!"

She just gave this "you're surprised why..." look and nodded vigorously as she explained to me that nearly all bread was like this. That's why she buys Nature's Own brand. I'm not really that upset about the corn syrup, but for the sake of saving face I sure was. My attempt to save face was quickly being lost...she went into a lecture about corn syrup in wheat bread. I felt very dumb. How could I be so unknowing in this area? I must be less of a mom.

In a quick rebuttal, I shot back with what brand of bread I like to buy (but don't generally because it's expensive). I touted that it comes in whole grain varieties with added vitamins.

"You know, when they enrich the bread, they strip it of all of it's nutrients first and then just add the others back in...You're better off just getting the bread with corn syrup."

I couldn't win with this woman. No one can. Can any of us really win with any of us? I don't think so. We all have a point to get across, and of course all of us are correct. We're moms, and we don't want our style to be threatened.

Then we proceeded to get in the elevator and go up to the food court. I unpacked my sack lunch and proudly plunked my can of Coke down beside my sugared up, fully hydrogenated PB&J.

I drank my Coke like it was a badge of honor to less than perfect moms everywhere.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Vacation, what?

As I've said -- I give myself to others. One thing I've given myself to lately is a commitment to help our church out with Vacation Bible School.

When asked if I'd help, I said "SURE!!!" The woman who asked me said "Great! You'll be leading the three and four year olds!" My enthusiasm quickly turned to dread. Three and four year olds? Could I really handle these munchkins? I guess we were about to find out.

The evening started out great! A Church night dinner kicked things off. Then we broke up into groups. I was introduced to the lady who would be co-leading this great group of kiddos with me. Just before we had broken up, a girl came up to me and asked if I would be the leader of this said age group. When I told her yes, she proceeded to tell me that her son has a speach delay and if he wasn't paying attention to me it wasn't because he was was because he doesn't talk. Okay. That was all I could say...okay. She seemed totally casual about it. But I know full well that in this age group, a delay like this could be very hindering. So I just smiled. Once again, my big mommy smile. I nodded...a lot. I went on about my business.

Then I met the child. When we walked our groups to their first class in a single file line, a woman was walking with him holding his hand. Then she passed his hand to me and said a quick "maybe he won't notice" and quickly darted away. He DID notice. He's not STUPID! He's just got a delay. He quickly pulled his hand away from mine and ran after the lady. I made her come back and lead him to his next class. In the class, I got acquainted with him. He became quite attached to me. I found out he can talk. He told me he got a hair cut that day and that his daddy was at work. He also likes to hula hoop and color. An hour and a half into the 2 hour session of VBS, another teacher comes to the room we were in to let us know that this boy does not ask to go to the potty. You have to ask him. It was also urgent he be taken, because apparently he had on underpants and not a pull up. So we took him. He took care of his business like a champ. 10 minutes later, when we were back in the classroom, he said to me "Have to pee pee. Have to pee pee." We went. He did more business. It really irks me that the mom informed me he doesn't talk at all -- he does. It also irked me that I was informed he doesn't ask to potty...and he does.

He does communicate. Is she not listening? Does she doubt his abilities that he does posses?

I wonder if his mom really thinks he's not capable of expressing his feelings. It makes me sad. He's such a sweet little boy.

I wonder if parents do that to their children in general. Or is it that we either under estimate or over estimate our children's abilities. I hope I'm a happy medium.


Yesterday in Sunday school, we began a lesson on saints. It's actually a book about saints that we're exploring as a class.

One half of the couple teaching summed together what he gathered as the definition of "saint" to be. He said that to him, a saint is someone that gives their self to the service of others.

I was astonished at this. I'd never really thought about it that way. Actually -- being that I'm not a Catholic -- I never give much thought to saints at all. But, when he spoke that definition, it dawned on me; by [his] definition, [most] mothers are saints. I use his and most because he isn't Miriam Webster and not all mothers give their self to the service of anyone other than their own self. But I tend to think that I am guilty of this habit. I give myself to the service of others. It's certainly true in the instance of my son. I do not want to get up at 7:30am and I do not want to take him immediately to his high chair, plunk him down, and go about fixing him breakfast. But I do it anyway. I do it because I do not want him to go hungry. I do it because I love him. I would rather, however, lay in bed until I felt compelled enough to get up...then fix a pot of coffee and drink it -- leisurely -- while I watched whatever morning news show I felt like.

This sainthood is also present in the instance of my relationship with my husband (although he may see otherwise). I give myself to him daily. And no, not THAT way. Although I'm quite sure he'd like it if it were that way. I mean, I cook dinner for him. No matter how tired I am, I muster up the energy to be excited when he gets home. I pull together all the strength I have left so that I can stay up as late as he likes just so I can be with him. I give my whole day to him in a way; waiting for 6:30pm to come as soon as he walks out that door in the morning. I even find it in myself to make him a smoothie so he can have liquid breakfast on his way to the office. He hinted at me making him a milk shake last night, and when I hesitated, he wondered why. I told him I just didn't feel like messing with the blender because I was going to have to do it all over again in the morning for his smoothie, and that was enough work, thank you. He seemed surprised. He immediately asked me if I didn't like making his smoothies. No, I do not like to make them. But I do like to make them for him. I like doing things for him.

So, in reality I am no saint. But for a moment, I was defined as one. All of us moms were.

It was grand. Very novel idea.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Let's talk about Sex.

Sexuality. Sexy. Sex.

Main Entry: sex·u·al·i·ty
Pronunciation: "sek-sh&-'wa-l&-tE
Function: noun
: the quality or state of being sexual : a : the condition of having sex b : sexual activity c : expression of sexual receptivity or interest especially when excessive.

expression of sexual receptivity or interest especially when excessive.
I really like that line. Excessive.

I am beginning to wonder if you trade in your sexuality card to the nurse at the hospital when she hands you the baby. It's like this:

Nurse: It's a boy!
New Mom: Alright, here's my sexuality. Take real good care of it.

I mean, really. I used to have that excessiveness that they are talking about. I had that. I'd get all dolled up to go to a concert. I'd get all dolled up for someone. In the end, I got all dolled up for my husband...or rather, my soon-to-be-husband (then). We would go at it like rabbits. In between classes, in between meals, in between breaths; in between the sheets. Multiple times in a day most of the time. Multiple times.

And then, I got pregnant.

Oddly enough, I didn't get pregnant during our multiple phase. I got pregnant when we were supposed to be abstaining from sex for the 90 days leading up to our wedding. The one day we did it made all the difference in the world. What it made was a child. A pooping, crying, vomiting, cutie pie. And there you have it, the exchange with the sexuality for my child.

Suddenly, it doesn't feel sexy down there anymore. Breasts are not for fondling, they're for feeding. They ache for Christ's sake. And my vagina? Well, dear husband, forget about it because I just had a writhing 7 pound human emerge from down below.

7 pound human out; no penis in. No safe passage here. There were stitches for cryin' out loud!

That was over a year ago now. Over.

So how do I get this back? How did I get this back? I'm still not sure I have. It goes in spurts, really. I get in the mood long enough to have it pass right before we get down to business. I'm in the mood off and on all day, honey. You're just at work. On the weekends? Forget about it. Those are my off days too! It's sad when feeling sexy becomes work. At the end of the day, the thought of my pillow turns me on more than the thought of hot sex does. I mean, honestly -- hot sex is work.

I so wish I could get those days back. The "dolled up" days. Tight pants. Black belt. Sexy shoes. Tight little shirt. Hair just right...eyeliner thick. My eyelashes batting. Even getting dressed in all this was a turn on. I knew I was hot. Now I just know I'm Mom. And Mom goes a little more like this: Pants that are 3 sizes too big...No belt. Old comfy shoes to chase the toddler in. Shirt that doesn't show too much of my 2 cup sizes bigger cleavage. Hair however...eyeliner - none. Sexy, right? If I could find a way to work my diaper bag like I used to work my fishnets, I'd be golden. I'd really give anything to be that girl again.

By the definition, I do not have any sexuality at all. I suppose that's not true. I am receptive.

I want to go from dirty diapers to dirty talkin'. Take me there. Isn't it in the contract?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Attack of the UberMom

Yesterday was pot luck day for our play group. A mom opened up her abode for us to temporarily come in, take over, mess up the place, and then leave. Generally these are great fun, but this one was just flat out uncomfortable.

First off, I'd like to say, that having "healthy living" as the theme of the pot luck luncheon is insane. It's hard enough to think of a kid friendly recipe that everyone else will enjoy, let alone think of a super healthy one that will get the kids fed and keep the moms happy.

I was very say the least.

Upon arrival I had to wrangle my 13 month old into the house along with my platter of fruit salad, side of yogurt dipping sauce, my diaper bag, my itsy-bitsy Marilyn Monroe purse that holds all of two cards (my debit and my ID), and a bubble gun that my son thinks he HAS TO HAVE. I get all of that into the house to be greeted by the hostess who does not remember my name. I'M AN ORGANIZER FOR FUCKS SAKE! If you'd come to a play date every once in a while, you'd definitely know my name. I set my son down to have him be scooped up by another mom who starts playing with him, all the while his beloved bubble gun is getting snatched away by the hostess' bratty little boy. I could do nothing because I still had a diaper bag draped across my torso and a very breakable platter of fruit salad in my hands.

By this time, the bubble gun was long son sitting there all bleary eyed while the other mom who was holding him was thinking he was genuinely entertained by her antics.

I set the fruit salad down, got my diaper bag organized...and here comes the hostess.

"Hi," she says in her pot smoker tone of voice. "You're.....What's your name?" I smiled and told her. Anyway, this goes on over and over until finally all of the moms have arrived. The hostess doesn't know anyone. No one knows the hostess. It was all very blind play date-ish.

The pot luck began at 10am, and with me being the third to arrive at around 10:20am, it was about 10:45am by the time everyone was there and accounted for. The children ran around and played (mostly with my son's bubble gun) and then the uber mom who had decided earlier that she was so great at entertaining my son, decided it was story time. You can not, after all, eat lunch at 10:45am.

So she sat down with some books in front of all the children -- who could care less what book was being read -- and proceeded to read a book from the line "Virtue Valley" in her Stepford-like sing-song voice. I wanted to vomit. As if all the unfamiliarity hadn't been uncomfortable enough, my heart skipped a few beats about a page into the story when I heard the word BIBLE.

Separation of Church and play group ought to be a new amendment to the Constitution.

I felt as though the air in the room had turned to something thick and noxious as I worried the atheist mom next to me may have just lost her jaw as it dropped to the floor. I decided to let my son scurry off so I'd have to chase him. I had to leave that situation.

Finally we got on to the eating. I may be biased, but I'm pretty sure my dish was the best. Someone attempted a ratatouille...complete with noodles. It tasted like nursing home food. "Make sure you put the ratatouille WITH the noodles," she touted proudly. (And she wonder why her son won't eat vegetables) There were some tostadas that had once been very tasty (and crispy) but had been reduced to soggy tortilla chips with stale cheese on top. Something with tuna was on the table, but I refused to try it. Someone had thought it would be cutsie to make kid-friendly sushi. It sounds much more exciting than it actually was. It was really just bread with peanut butter and apple bits rolled up...quite the let down from what I envisioned when I'd read her RSVP. There was a pot of black beans. The hostess had made "ham puffs" -- whatever those things are. Someone had brought a bag of Kraft cubed cheese (my son's favorite dish there). And then there was mine -- a small culinary feat featuring what I'd had in my kitchen that morning.

"Did you try the yogurt sauce," I asked the tostada mom.

"Do I HAVE to," she asked while looking a bit annoyed with me.

I don't suppose you have to try it. It would be nice. It GOES together. I reminded myself of the ratatouille mom....("THEY GO TOGETHER.....")

When the eating was done (and I was still hungry), the hostess wanted everyone to pick the favorite dish for a prize. No one did. They all sucked...except for mine of course. No prize was handed out.

Meanwhile, the hostess' male spawn brat was still running around with MY son's bubble gun. I pulled a chewie out of his diaper bag to replace the long lost bubble gun only to have the hostess' female spawn brat take that away from him.

My poor baby. No bubble gun. No chewie.

I got my son and got out of that healthy living hell hole...and all of my fruit salad was gone. Everyone else had to pack up the rest of their uneaten food and take it home.

Next time I ask you to try the yogurt sauce -- trust me.

Monday, June 4, 2007


I want the simple life. And NO I do not mean Paris Hilton's Simple Life.

Would it be weird to want to live somewhere that I didn't have to worry about the hustle of city life? I live in a suburb -- a really old suburb. But it's close enough to the city that I still feel pulled in every direction to consume. I loathe consumerism. My husband's corporate job makes him feel compelled to have what his coworkers have. We had a "tiny" conversation about it the other day. It went a little like this:

"I don't want you to get mad, but I think you should go back to work."

"I know."

"My coworkers make almost half as much as me and they have so much more. They don't seem like they have to struggle."

"Your coworkers do not have houses or children and most of them are single."

Shouldn't that have been enough said? Well now I feel amazingly like I do nothing to contribute. I feel like I'm making my husband suffer because I stay at home. I stay at home to be with our son. Yes, I get bored. Yes, I complain. But I really do not want to go back to work. I'd be away from my little cutie entirely too much. Who am I to have a child and then leave him under someone else's care? The thought of going back to work is very scary. It's also a little thrilling. Part of me would like it...for an hour. I would love to have that extra $600 a month for bills. But it's only $600. Would it be worth it? I think not.

So the thought of a simple life is much better. Why do we have to have our mortgage? Why do we live in a city that makes us feel as though we have to have everything that everyone else has? But could I be happy in the country with mediocrity? Would I really be happy as a non-consumer?

I really don't think so. I would be bored and bitter.

There really must be a happy medium. There really must be a simple suburbia.

Something like Laura Ingles meets Real Moms of the O.C.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


We will call her "Sheila."

I was out and about at Target the other day, wasting time before an afternoon play date at the park. I happened to see, in passing, a woman who looked familiar. I thought it was Sheila. It was Sheila. I initially noticed her in the parking lot as I was walking into the store and she was driving around in her huge white gas-guzzling SUV. I thought she was leaving. She was just finding a parking spot.

Sheila is thin. Very thin. She is blond. Her eyes are sort of sunken in, and she honestly looks like she hasn't had sleep in days. But maybe she just hasn't eaten in days. I first met her when I joined my very first playgroup. She has two children -- one boy, one girl. My first impression of her was her weight: very thin, very blond; very I've-been-on-heroine-for-a-month-straight. She seemed like a bitch. An "I'm better than you are" sort of Mom.

I met her during my first play date which was held at a local mall. When I arrived at the mall that day, I was graciously greeted by Jessica, and dubiously snubbed by Sheila...or so I thought. Jessica was great. She has a son that is about my son's age. We had a lot in common...we both disliked Sheila. Keep in mind, this is my first time to actually meet Sheila. Over time -- about a whole month -- Jessica told me that she seemed to think she had the wrong impression of Sheila. She had come to think she was quite wrong, indeed; Sheila was friendly. I wouldn't know. I never saw her again. I was kicked out of my new found play group about a month after joining. There were two play dates I couldn't attend for two very legitimate reasons, and so I got an email saying I was being removed from the member list due to inactivity. Give me a break! Really, my absence had spanned a total of a week and a half. So my five month old and I retreated to our isolation.

Jessica quit emailing me. I never saw Sheila again. Until about a month or two ago...I saw her at a local jump house play place. She was there, her two hyper active children in-tow. I saw her; avoided her. I hoped she wouldn't remember me. It had, after all, been a good 6 months since I was kicked out of the other playgroup. Since then, I'd joined a new one, and that's what brought me to the bounce houses. I saw Sheila, and in horror, frantically looked for the other uber-mommies that had decided I was not devoted enough to be part of their little play date clique. I failed at the avoiding, and before I could duck away, she said hi to me. She even called me by name. I faked a smile and said hello. Then I asked where the other moms were. She was very quick to inform me that she and Jessica had left the other uber-mom clique and started their own. That was what brought them there. We had a nice little chat actually. Jessica was right. We were wrong about Sheila. Sheila is quite nice, indeed.

Our meeting that day was short. I told her to tell Jessica hi for me.

Now fast forward to a few days ago at Target. I saw her again. In passing, I noticed her in the children's clothing department and said "HELLO" with my big Mommy grin. We struck up QUITE the conversation while her children bounced around my cart entertaining my 13 month old.

Sheila looked the same. She still looked as though she hadn't had sleep or food in quite a while. But really, maybe she was just in need of some good concealer. I really should stop judging. After all, maybe people think the same about me. I'm not that thin though...unfortunately. Anyway, Sheila informed me of some very scary news about the other playgroup. She asked if I remembered the organizer. I did -- after all, she was the one who ended my beloved membership with the play date clique. Sheila then went on to inform me that apparently the husband of this woman was a registered sex offender. The other group had frequently held play dates at this woman's home. Sheila said this man was all over the news. What worse? The organizer's best friend (also a member of the group), knew about this man's status...and told no one. Sheila says this woman claims it was a "set up." Don't they all claim that?

Sheila and I really had quite the little gossip session. I'm so glad God allowed me to be removed from that group. Can you imagine if I'd unknowingly gone to that house? What if I'd put my son in harm's way? My mind is still swirling with the awful possibilities.

Sheila really is quite nice, and I've learned something: Mommy groups are a lot like high school. They're full of cliques and stereotypes. I am now an organizer of yet another playgroup. I invited Sheila's group to join in on a Father's Day party we are holding. Sheila invited me to join her group.

I feel very cool.