Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's my name again?

I think I've been cast in a play. It's not entirely clear, though.

I received an email from a director congratulating Guy 1, Guy 2, and Morgan for being cast in his play, a short play to be included in an evening of short plays. There are only 3 roles in the play, and only one of them is a woman.

Am I Morgan? That's not my name at all...

I emailed the director "Am I receiving this in error? I’d love to do the show, but am not Guy 1, Guy 2, or Morgan… I did audition on Sunday night and would be available for a Sunday afternoon read-through."

He wrote back, "As far as I know your part of my cast. I'll try to set up something for Sunday."

So, does he think my name is Morgan? Or did he intend to cast someone names Morgan and accidentally sent me the email?

I guess I'll find out on Sunday...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Decision

Yesterday was a lousy day. Seriously rotten. It started with me waking to find one of the dogs had an accident overnight and ended with me crying myself to sleep.

Actually, aside from the poop, the morning was fine. Work was good, I had a good lunch (well, I had a root beer float for lunch and it tasted good), and getting Milo to school was all fine. Then it went downhill.

As you may have deduced, we are trying to conceive our third child. Yesterday, it was obvious that I am, again, not pregnant. Per my doctor's orders, I called her office, chatted with the nurse for a little while, then was transferred to scheduling to make an appointment. The scheduler said, Thursday, April first and I blinked. I said, "The first is on a Monday." And it is -- in February and March. But it is on a Thursday in APRIL. Two months from now. I stammered, "B-b-b-but I'm an established patient..."

I can't recall much of the rest of the conversation as my calendar started swimming before my eyes and my heart started pounding so loud that I couldn't hear. "Nine or two thirty?" Nine or two thirty for what? I answer, "Nine." My desk seems far away, like my arms are telescoping. All I can see on my Outlook calendar is April first and the nine o'clock appointment I scheduled for that day, two months from now. I am crying on the phone to a scheduler and I feel like I'm about four inches tall. When I hang up, I cry hard for about twenty minutes before dragging myself to a meeting across campus. I am actually thankful that the wind is gusting so hard because it hides from my co-workers the fact that I have been sobbing.

The meeting is a blur. I race back across campus to pick up the kids, who protest leaving. Milo, in particular, doesn't want to stop playing with his best friend. I can't blame him -- anyone was more fun than me yesterday. We get loaded into the car and start for home and I drive into a blizzard. Three times the driving snow completely obscures the road and I held the car steady, hoping that we weren't on ice. Three times we emerge from the squall still squarely on the road and I thank my instincts.

We get home and, though only about an inch of snow has fallen, there is a three-foot drift between the garage and the house. I guided my car gently into the garage and told the kids that I would be taking them, one at a time, to the house because the wind and snow were so bad. Milo was too heavy to carry, but he gripped my hand tightly as we started out toward the house. The wind was at our backs and it actually blew him a few feet on the icy driveway, which he thought was fun. We navigated through the drift and to the house. As I let him in, the door flew inside so hard that it nearly took my arm with it. I realized that the garbage cans were tipped and blown across the front yard. Thankfully, they were empty, so garbage wasn't scattered, too.

As I made my way into the wind and back to the garage for Violet, I understood instantly how early prairie settlers could wander into a storm and become lost forever. I couldn't see, the wind was blowing so hard that I could barely breathe, and the only thing guiding me across the drive was the light from the garage door opener. I unbuckled Violet, bundled her and told her to bury her head in my neck as I carried her across the driveway. After setting her safely in the house, I made my last trip back to the car for all of the incidentals -- backpacks, snow pants, purse, shoes, etc. I locked the car and made my last return trip back to the house for the night, thankful that I didn't need to be out any more.

I was greeted by chaos when I get inside -- both kids wanted their winter gear off, the dogs, who had been home alone since morning, wanted out. I was trying to figure out what time it was, concerned that Scott was driving his little yellow car because it doesn't handle well in the snow. As I opened the door to let the dogs out, I see broken glass everywhere. Our recycling bins had been tipped, emptied, and bandied about by the wind. The back yard was glinting with glass, the plastic and cardboard were long gone, swept away by the harsh wind. How ironic that the tubs we were using to keep the environment clean had vomited their contents all over that same environment. Aluminum cans rolled by like sagebrush. I knew that this clean-up would take much time and I wasn't comfortable leaving the kids alone in the house long enough to do it myself, so I apologized to the yard and told the mess it would have to wait until Scott got home.

By the time I got the dogs out and back in, both kids had gotten their winter gear off and Milo came running to tell me that the dogs had gotten into my bathroom garbage again. And they had. There were used tissues and used ovulation predictor kit strips strewn over the floor. I didn't leave this mess to Scott, who was finally pulling into the driveway safely. I'm not sure I've ever been so happy to see him! He bundled up and attempted to track down the garbage cans and as much recycling as he could gather. We had a casualty in that two of our bins were nowhere to be found, we're assuming that they have gone to live the rest of their lives in a cornfield. It took him about an hour to collect as much as he could.

I was pretty teary most of the night, but my children were extra loving and kind, so I am grateful for that. Both took time to snuggle me, both listened well and were on their best behavior. I couldn't be happier about that.

I did come to a decision about my blog, though. In between my phone call with the scheduling nurse and the meeting across campus, I received an email from an Iowa blogger to whom I had sent a few questions about taking a blog public. She responded with a few tips and suggestions, for which I am grateful. Unfortunately, one of her suggestions didn't land well with me in the emotional state that I was in after talking to my doctor's office. The suggestion was to tone down the site so that it would be more family-friendly because most advertisers wouldn't feel comfortable with mt content. In retrospect, it wasn't a bad suggestion, but at the time that I was reading it, I was so vulnerable and hurting so much already that I felt rejected with a capital R. I fixated on this comment for hours. I heard myself thinking, "If only she'd said 'I read your posts and enjoyed them, but...' before she decided I was foul..." In my mind, I worked up a scenario where the Iowa mom blog fairies were all sitting back, laughing at me because the people reading my blog were deranged, immoral criminals or something. That what I write isn't user-approved or recommended by nine out of ten dentists. That, once again, I didn't fit in. It was crushing.

I cried over that almost as much as I cried over not being about to see my doctor for two months. I cried a lot yesterday. A lot. And this morning, in the shower -- that place where all Good Ideas visit -- I decided that if I wasn't able to take a bit of free constructive criticism, I wasn't going to be able to take reader comments on my very real thoughts and feelings. So I am not going to take this blog public to anyone who doesn't already know and love me. I don't want people who don't get my humor to read this and be repulsed. I don't write for them, I write for me. I know that I am a good person, I know that I am kind to those around me and tolerant of all people. I don't need to fit in anywhere but my own life, and, at 36.5 years of age, I'm so OK with that.

So, if you're reading and love me, great! If you're reading and don't love me, great!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A piece of cake

What a fun weekend! Milo had a friend over for a sleep-over and both little boys did great, though they were so wound up it took them until 10:30 to fall asleep. Which would have been fine, but on one of their umpteen trips down the stairs, they realized that they "forgot" Violet, who was in her crib trying to sleep. At least until they charged back upstairs to get her and realized that neither of them could possibly get her out of the crib. She did fall asleep before they did, but I had to pull the "Daddy will get grumpy" trick on her.

For some reason, even though I will completely admit that I am usually more apt to be short-tempered with the kids, Violet will tell you that daddy is the only one who gets grumpy. In fact, I can be in the middle of a grumpy moment and ask her, "Is mommy grumpy?" and she'll answer, "No, Daddy's gwumpy." I don't know why she thinks that, but sometimes the only I can get her to lie down in the crib and stop asking me to nurse is to pretend that I've heard someone on the steps and tell her that daddy's on his way up. She whispers, "I lie down so daddy doesn't get gwumpy!" This even works when he's not home... poor gullible babe...

Saturday morning brought on a flurry of household activity. The boys were playing Wii and Violet was content coloring, painting, and playing with her babies, so I scrubbed the dining room floor and Scott moved our big old TV into the basement in a way that was a complete tribute to his maternal grandfather, Harry. You see, Harry was sort of an impatient fellow and was generally hell-bent on doing things on his own schedule, the rest of the world be damned. He was infamously stubborn and prone to ramming through things without thinking of all of the options -- or consequences, for that matter.

Scott had been waiting for another adult male to come over to our house so that he and the other adult male could move the huge TV down to our basement to be set up with the treadmill. Due to weather issues, no man under the age of 60 has been out to our house since before Christmas except for my little brother and he helped Scott move the treadmill to the basement. For some reason, moving the TV was going to happen this weekend, come hell or high water. Or mushy snow, in this case.

It started off innocently enough -- Scott says, "I think I figured out a way to move the TV downstairs."

Oh, really?

"Yeah. I'm going to strap it to my wheeled cart and take it out the back door."

Oh, really?

"I figure I'll get it down the steps, then I'll put it on a sled and drag it around the the basement door. I won't have any problems getting it in that door and down into the basement."

Why didn't I grab the video camera?

He got the TV out the back door, down the steps, and onto the sled. He pulled the sled half-way around the side of the house, where it hit a bump in the snow. Then the TV and the cart to which it was still strapped, tumbled sideways into a snow bank. Scott righted the TV, paused for a second, and decided to skip the sled, so he dragged the TV on the cart the remaining 15 feet to the sidewalk. True to his prediction, getting the TV back into the house and down to the basement was a piece of cake. Especially when you think that the TV was frosted with snow...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Should I bottle that?

Last night was a pretty fun night around the house! Scott seems to have caught up after the stressful last couple of weeks and the kids seemed well rested and happy, so we were all in great moods -- all of us -- at the same time! Wa-hoo!!

When we moved out into the country, we gave up our fenced-in yard, and with that, we gave up the ability to open the door and let the dogs out to run. We've been tying them up off the back porch on 50 foot tie-outs. They do just fine, but had gotten the tie outs crazy knotted and bunched up. Since they're made out of steel cable, Scott brought them into the kitchen to thaw out so that he could untangle them because the last three nights Tess, our fat dog, has gotten herself wrapped under the porch with not enough spare tie-out to get back up on the deck, resulting in me (and yes, it was really always just me) going outside in my pajamas to untangle her so she can come back inside.

As he was waiting for the tie-outs to thaw, he decided to trim the dog's nails, starting with Tess because she has anxiety about it and gets nervous hearing the trimmers. I ran upstairs to get a load of laundry to throw in before I made dinner and when I came back downstairs, he had finished with Tess and had moved on to Mocha's paws.

As I walked into the kitchen, I look over and see that poor, nervous Tess is pooping in front of the back door. We always joke that Tess gets so worked up over having her nails trimmed that it scares the poop out of her because, well, it scares the poop out of her.

I yelped, "Tessie! Stop!" She hears me and runs into the dining room mid-poop, leaving a trail, naturally. Please understand that Scott's head is only about six feet from the first pile'o'poop. Ugh... He felt instantly terrible for not noticing it and he was fully intending to put both of them out as soon as he finished clipping both of them.

Gah! The stench... He cleaned up (with bleach), thankfully, and I lit every candle in the house. And then I decided to cook fish and to make some extra garlic-y Alfredo because I just needed to cover up that odor. What did my kitchen smell like? Bleachy-cinnamon apple (the candles)-garlic-fish-poop. Blech... Should I bottle that?

Here's a Milo "Aww". A few nights ago, as I was nursing Violet at bedtime, he sat up and said as he closed his little fist, "Mom, when I do this, it means I love you because all of your love is in my hand." The next night he tells me the same, but adds as he give me a thumbs-up, "And this means that I love, you, too!" The next night, he adds as he opens his hands wide, "And this means that I love you, too!" The next night, as he does all three of these hand gestures, he says, "Whatever I do with my hands, it means I love you."

And last night, he said, "Mom, whatever I do with my whole body, it means I love you all the time." Sigh... Me, too, little buddy...

Not to be outdone, Violet chimed in, too. She pulled off my breast, looked at it, and gently said to it, "I love you." Then she looks up at me, beaming, and turns back to nursing. I really have the feeling that she was telling my breast that she loves it, not necessarily that she loves me. I guess she is like her daddy in some ways ;)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Please remind me...

Please remind me that driving in a small town during the winter can be dangerous even when the roads are pretty clear. Remind me of this when I'm on a street that normally has two lanes, but currently doesn't because of the gray mountainscape of snow plowed into the gutter. Remind me of this when, as I'm returning from dropping Milo off after preschool, an oblivious college student turns down the street in the opposite direction of the one that I'm moving and doesn't yield the right-of-way as she should to me. Why should she yield? She's the one driving on the side of the road on which parking is allowed. And there was room at the top of the hill for her to slide in just behind the last parked car until I could pass. Did she? Nope. Did I drive up a snow bank to avoid hitting her, feeling a little bit like Luke Duke? Yep. Did she notice me staring at her through my driver's side window, mouth agape as she blew past me and my crazily tilted car? I wouldn't be posting this if she had.

Please remind me that eating healthy really DOES help you lose weight. Remind me of this when I have eaten nothing but lean protein and vegetables for a week, avoiding processed sugar of any kind and skipping grains in favor of foods with higher nutritional and fiber content. Hello broccoli bed-time-snack! Remind me of this when I pass up anything resembling a dessert -- even forgoing licking my daughter's yogurt spoon before I load the dishwasher. Remind me of this when, six days later, I step on the scale and have GAINED a pound. I didn't even gain over the holidays when I was eating all of the tasty food! What gives? I just ate a Reece's PB Heart in protest...

Please remind me that it is Friday, because apparently people on campus don't realize this. I leave work for a moment to pick Milo up from preschool and take him back to the sitters. I'm only gone for about ten minutes and left campus at the same time classes were ending for the week. And when I get back, not only is the parking space I vacated filled, but the other two empty ones are, too. What faculty/staff person comes to campus at 3:15 on a Friday afternoon after classes are finished? Not only what ONE person does this, but what THREE people do this?

Please remind me that I can make it through this weekend. Scott will be in Kansas City this weekend, back on Sunday night. Last night was a disaster. He was so exhausted from opening the opera that he was practically non-existent. We managed to get the kids down, or so we thought, as Violet stirred and got whiny not once, but twice before we made it to bed. Then baby sex. Then a little sleep, which was interrupted when there was a crash downstairs at 12:30. The dogs had knocked over the baby gate. Since I was up, I let them out and Tess apparently left her brain int he snow, because she got herself all tangled to the point where she couldn't get to the house. So I put on the only shoes I can find (Scott's) and got out in the cold in my pajamas to free her. Only she doesn't take my advice, she stands there. She's so big, I can't move her (imagine pushing a cow), so I try to guide her from under the deck only to have her suddenly figure out what I'm doing, dart forward and knock me on my bum in the snow. In my pajamas at 12:30 a.m.

If you think that was the end of the night's issues... 2:30 a.m. there is a huge clunk from Violet's room and I think Milo has fallen out of bed, so I practically fly in there to discover him retrieving his water cup. The cup had fallen, not the child. However, the child had drained the cup and was sleepily asking for more. So I stumble to the bathroom and fill his cup. When I bring it back to him, he is, naturally, sound asleep. I go back to bed. 3:30 a.m. and Violet is shouting something incoherent, possibly about Perry the Platypus. I sit up in bed with my face in my hands and try to decide if I need to check on her. Silence. Thank goodness! Although, when I lie back down in bed, Scott wants to snuggle. I feel very selfish, but all I wanted was to be left alone for the 2.5 hours until my alarm goes off. Plus, my winter itchy skin has me doing a crazy dance in the bed and I'm hot and, finally after all of my squirming, he rolls over and sleeps on his other side. Yeah, I feel bad about that.

Please remind me that it is possible for adults to have skin issues, particularly women who have that whole weaving-dance-of-hormones-thing going on. Remind me of this when I develop a huge zit near the right side of my lower lip. Remind me of this when said zit doesn't become a blackhead or a whitehead, but a painful swollen lump that hurts when I open my mouth to shove in a head of lettuce and some turkey taco meat. Remind me of this when, tonight after the kids got to bed (hopefully, c'mon Violet!) and it's just me and the zit alone in the dark.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Mornings, before and after kids...

This is actually a repost from a mommy board to which I belong -- one of our witty members wanted a compare and contrast post about what our morning routine looks like now and what it looked like before kids.

OK this will look like a train wreck, but I'll post what I did this morning -- which was extra ugly because Scott's out of town...

Now

12:30 am: hear Violet over the monitor, "Mommy! I'm cold..." Stumble into her room with one eye open and pull up her covers. Pat her back for a minute, hoping she doesn't fully wake and want to nurse. Pull up the blankets on the snoring boy, too. Back to bed.

5:50 am: Hear Violet over the monitor, "Mommy! Mommy! I awake! I want to nurse in the chair..." She says this sixteen times, so I switch off the alarm and stumble into her bedroom, where a bewildered Milo looks at me. He says he has to go potty, so I tell him, "OK. Go potty, but then come back to bed because it's the middle of the night." Amazingly, he does and is sleeping again before his head hits the pillow. Nurse Violet on right side for ten minutes -- she's got a stuffed up nose, so she slurps four or five times, then breathes through her mouth. I don't hear any swallowing, so I don't think she's even getting that much milk.

6:00 am: Violet wants to switch sides. More slurp, breathe, slurp, breathe. I have to frickin' pee now and I can hear the dogs getting restless downstairs, jangling their collars and dancing at the bottom of the steps. I am concerned as I went to bed early last night and they didn't go out at 11:15 like normal, so I envision huge piles of shit on the floor...

6:20 am: unsuccessfully try to put Violet back to bed. Resentment toward Scott building as I still have to pee and can't get Violet back down. Dogs still dancing, but now one is whining, too. Decide to get up with Violet and bring her downstairs. Tell her this and she squeals, I shush her so that she doesn't wake Milo. Thank goodness that kid can sleep through a tornado.

6:22 am: Set Violet down so I can get the dogs on their tie outs. One cooperates, the other can't figure out how to walk around my ass to get to the door. Sigh.

6:23 am: Dogs finally out. Take Violet to family room and flip on Playhouse Disney. Still have to pee.

6:24 am: Violet asks for milk. I get milk and peek out at dogs. Neither of them eating shit, yay!

6:25 am: Give Violet her milk. Flip on coffeemaker -- I prepped it last night, yay me!

6:26 am: Pee, finally! Collect urine in OPK cup, dip strip. Still positive! That means baby-makin' sex tonight!

6:28 am: Get dogs back in house. Naturally, one has stepped in shit, so I scrub her stinky-ass paws. At least they weren't eating it this morning... Pour coffee

6:35 am: Snuggle Violet on the couch. Milo's still snoring away. Drink coffee.

6:48 am: Tell Violet, "I'll be right back!" and bolt for the shower. Shower faster than fast.

6:52 am: Doing final rinse on hair when Violet throws open the shower curtain and says, "My want shower, too." Sigh... Unbutton her pajama top, tell her, "OK -- take your jammies and diaper off!"

6:53 am: Ask Violet, "Are you naked yet?"

6:54 am: Ask Violet, "Are you naked yet?"

6:55 am: Ask Violet, "Are you naked yet?" Finally, she is. Pull her into shower. Hold her under the water for about 35 seconds before stopping the tub and letting it fill. I figure she'll play in there long enough for me to get my contacts in and make-up on.

6:58 am: I'm out of shower, Violet is happily splashing in the tub. Dry off, get contacts in, start make-up.

7:08 am: Done with face! Violet is still happy, so I go upstairs and wake Milo. He is in a surprisingly good mood considering that he hates being woken.

7:10 am: Snuggle Milo on couch. Don't worry, I can hear Violet singing and splashing.

7:15 am: Get Milo milk. Offer him breakfast, he refuses, politely.

7:17 am: Get Violet out of tub and dry her off. Stop in family room for diaper, she howls because she wants to go upstairs to get dressed. I carry five diapers upstairs and assure her that she can get dressed upstairs.

7:18 am: Diaper Violet.

7:19 am: Standing in her closet as she decides what to wear today. Luckily, she pick out pants and a shirt that do, indeed, coordinate. The socks, not so much.

7:20 am: Dress Violet as she dances around her room.

7:22 am: Violet really wants to go to my closet to help me pick out clothes, too, but I've already picked them out, just need to take them downstairs to get dressed. Grab clothes I laid out for Milo, leave the ones I had laid out for Violet since her opinion on fashion matters more than mine this morning.

7:25 am: Park Violet on the couch, telling her that I need to get dressed so that I may start the car. She protests. Milo still snuggles on couch under a blanket, looking very much like a mouth-breathing zombie.

7:26 am: Violet starts crying because she wants to come out and start the car, too. I manage to peel her off of my leg long enough to get dressed, but as I do this, she gets her snow boots on and brings me her mittens.

7:28 am: Mousse my hair and slide a headband on.

7:29 am: I'm putting on my shoes and Violet is insisting that I put her mittens on the wrong hand, then gets mad at me when I do. I say, "I give up!" and throw the mittens on the floor. She starts crying a sad little cry and I feel like a heel. I sit on the toilet and snuggle her.

7:31 am: Manage to get Violet back on the couch next to slug-boy and explain to them both that I was going to go start the car, then come in and get Milo dressed, then we were leaving the house. Violet agrees to sit next to the lump that is her brother while I run outside.

7:32 am: I get my coat on, gather the kids snow pants, my purse, Violet's warm mittens, and fling the fridge open to find some left-over to take to work for lunch. Taco meat it is!

7:33 am: Shove my way through the dogs to get to the side door. Open garage, walk to garage (not attached). Slide a bit in the snow because my shoes don't have a whole lot of traction. Get into car, turn it on, back it out, close garage door, unlock all car doors, and get out.

7:35 am: Go inside. Push my way back through dogs and head to family room to get Milo dressed. Surprise! The child who I thought might have been comatose is standing there proudly and fully dressed. I drop to my knees and throw my arms around him, thanking him for being so helpful He is dang proud of himself, and I kiss him a few dozen times.

7:36 am: Using the 90 seconds I gained by Milo getting himself dressed, I pick out jewelry to match my clothes and I feel better about myself instantly.

7:38 am: Get kids into coats, boots, hats and mittens.

7:41 am: Out the door. Realize that my car key has the house key on it, so I'll be running back to the house after the kids are in the car to lock up. Milo climbs into his seat quickly. Violet decides after I have carried her to the car that she wanted to walk, so she starts bawling. I set her down to help Milo get his coat off and into his seat and she walks all the way back to the house. Sigh...

7:43 am: Milo is in his seat, Violet is refusing to come to the car. I sit in the driver's seat long enough to grab my keys out of the ignition, apparently Violet thinks I'm leaving, so she yells, cries and runs for the car. I open her door and tell her to climb up while I lock the house.

7:44 am: Stick my head in the house and tell the dogs to be good. Lock door. Walk back to car and find Violet terrified because she can't climb into the car in her snowboots.

7:45 am: Get Violet's coat off, buckle her in, kiss her a few dozen times.

7:46 am: Buckle self in and reset the "Phineas and Ferb" soundtrack. Drive off down the road.

7:54 am: Arrive at sitter's house in the middle of a song. Sit in the driveway singing and dancing in the car.

7:55 am: Get kids out, coats on, gather snowpants and Violet's warm mittens.

7:57 am: In the sitter's door. Get the kids' winter things off, Violet runs in to play and Milo does his normal "climb mom like jungle gym" thing. Sitter is in a chatty mood, so I chat. She's had a busy morning already, too. Apologize for not feeding kids, but I kept asking and offering food and they refused every time.

8:08 am: Back in the car. More "Phineas and Ferb." I don't even switch it off...

8:10 am: Park car at work, walk to office

8:15 am: Log onto computer, check facebook. Decide to eat taco meat now and figure something else out for lunch.


Then:

7:20 am: Roll out of bed, open door and let dogs out into fenced yard, prop door so they can come back in house when they're done.

7:25 am: Pee, turn on shower.

7:26 am: Shower (uninterrupted)

7:35 am: Make-up, hair, get dressed (also uninterrupted)

7:55 am: Leave for work.

7:58 am: Get to work and start day! On time, even!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now's the time to

Think, think, think... (Yeah that's from Playhouse Disney's "My Friends Tigger and Pooh".)

I have been toying with going public with my blog. As in actually coming out to people I know, forwarding Soup's address, and following other people's blogs un-anonymously. Here's my pros/cons list:

Pro: Feedback. Initially, I started blogging for myself to grow as a writer, but now I'm thinking a response or two might be kinda fun.

Con: Feedback. Do I really WANT people critiquing my writing? Maybe. Do I want people critiquing my parenting and life choices? Absolutely not.

Pro: I think I am living a very common and ordinary life.

Con: I think I am living a very common and ordinary life. I'm not struggling with abject poverty, massive dysfunction, or hanging on to a sick child. I'm kinda mostly boring -- or at least as boring as one can be while working full-time and raising young children.

Pro: I'm a liberal atheist hippie in the Midwest -- sort of uncommon, I guess. Well, I'm not really a hippie as I have never done drugs. OK, I am guilty of underage drinking. Oh, does using Benadryl to fall asleep occasionally count as drug abuse? I did, however decide that becoming a functional alcoholic wasn't a good career goal, so I have shelved that for the time being.

Con: My viewpoint is different than lots of people I know -- will I be disappointing them by coming out of the closet as a liberal atheist almost-hippie?

Pro: Celebrity status! What? Oh, yeah, I'm in Iowa. There are no real celebrities and I don't post pictures of myself on my blog regularly (mostly because I can barely stand my reflection, why on earth would I expose anyone else to that?).

Con: Security. I seriously would hate to "sanitize" my blog by changing my kids names and calling my husband something extra-cute, like "McLovehandles." Yeah, if I go for it, I go whole hog.

Pro: Increased traffic and the potential to meet some really cool people!

Con: Advertising and junk like that. I'm fundamentally lazy and so not sure if I could deal with corporate sponsorship. Who am I kidding? I don't wanna play by anyone else's rules. Alright, I suppose I can display a button or something. but only for stuff I believe in, OK? Ghiradelli Chocolate, for example. I could easily display that.

Pro: More time to focus on me! Recapping and thinking and telling people, "OOh! Sorry, I've got to blog... Do you think you could do my dishes while I'm inspired?"

Con: I already have two full-time jobs -- the one I'm paid to do and the one I paid to do. I can't find time to hop on a treadmill, would I really have time to be a REAL blogger?

And I might need an editor as I nearly always blog, post, and then discover my typos and such weeks down the line. Thank you, Mozilla Firefox for the built in spel checque...

Anyway, this is some of the stuff about which I am thinking, thinking, thinking...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Erasure

The drive into work this morning was astounding. It was foggy, so all of the winter trees had grown white fur overnight -- they looked like they were wearing sweaters. This was my first drive in the fog from our new house and I felt like I was driving though an alien landscape -- the white of the snow blended with the white of the fog in such a way that the road appeared to end mid-page, as if someone had erased it from the landscape. The fog hung low enough that only the bottom half of trees were visible, the also added to the whole "erased" feeling.

I think that country snow is just whiter than city snow. For one thing, the plows don't criss-cross the roads repeatedly all night long, laying a dusting of sand. They aren't as traveled, so the city soot is non-existent. Drifts mound like powdered sugar, casting blue shadows. Yet three paces from a four-foot drift, the wind has scrubbed the landscape clean, bristly brown grass pokes through the sparse scattering of snow. Naturally, the biggest drifts on our property are between our house and garage, the sidewalk now seems like a tunnel for Violet as the snow is as deep as her ears.

Anyway... In other news I am finishing Day 2 of low-carbing. I truly can't lose weight any other way, so I finally bit the bullet and decided that if we want to conceive child #3, I've got to get my rear in gear and lose weight. Aside from a general chocolate-withdrawal grumpiness, I'm managing OK so far. I even selected a good lunch at the college's dining service this afternoon -- a huge mixed-greens salad with cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, blue cheese (hey! I'm not pregnant yet!), and garbanzo beans. I put the cheese on in lieu of salad dressing -- fewer carbs and no added sugar. Then I only got seasoned meat from the dangerous side of the dining room -- I passed by tortillas, pineapple crisp, soft-serve ice cream, risotto with three kinds of olives (I DIE for a good olive) and pork fried rice. Yay me!

Exercise is another issue entirely. I really LIKE to exercise, particularly when it's in a group setting. But finding an affordable class in our small town is impossible. I have a facebook friend that I envy -- she goes to hip-hop aerobics, turbo kick, and other butt-burning classes to which I simply don't have access. Plus, her husband works regular hours, so she can count on him to be home to watch her daughters so that she can work out for a couple of hours. So not my life... I miss that regularity, though. And I love the feeling I get after I've really pushed myself. I actually LIKE that sore muscle feeling. Not a hurt muscle, but a sore one. I like the gnawing ache because it is a very clear reminder that I've accomplished something. Maybe some day...

As soon as I post this, I'm going to put a post-it note with my weight on my bathroom mirror. I'll change it if my weight changes. Maybe this will be the equivalent of the picture of a grotesquely obese woman in a bikini that other weight-lost questing people put on their refrigerators. I don't want to scare the kids, after all. I do want to be in better shape and soon, before Violet can really remember me as anything but fit, healthy and happy.

I can remember that every January, my mom would start some new-exercise-something as a resolution. But it was forcing something on her that she really didn't enjoy, so she never followed through. Do I really want my kids to think that I can't follow through? Do I want them to be able to name off eight or nine exercise machines that got a lot of use for two weeks after the holidays, then got absorbed into the landscape of the house, serving as clothes hangers or pit stops for backpacks? No. So I need to take care of this soon, before four slips into five and memory becomes permanent.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Please remind me...

I think I am going to start a new thing in my blog -- Please Remind Me. I'm going to use it to sum up stuff that is blog-worthy, but not necessarily worthy of an entire post. Oh, and I poke a little fun at myself along the way...

Please remind me that I hate to sew. Remind me of this when I decide to take apart the custom curtains (originally made by me) and alter them from full-length lined panels into lined valences with beaded trim. Remind me of this when I tackle the project when Violet is asleep and Milo is playing a Wii game that frustrates him, because him being frustrated with a game and me being ticked off at my mother-trucking sewing machine is NOT a good combination. Please remind me that real women do not HAVE to do this crap...

Please remind me
that I don't need to pick up any more germs from my little angels. Remind me of this when I'm sitting on mt couch and start coughing and pee a bit. Remind me when I sneeze so crazy hard I actually sneeze my tampon outta my hoo-ha. Remind me of this when I cough so hard that I gag, gag so hard that I vomit, vomit so hard that I dry heave, and dry heave so hard that I spit out bloody mucous. And when I look at myself in the mirror and start crying because I have three inches of green snot dripping down to my chin, I'm red-faced, red-eyed, and sweaty. Remind me again when I look in the mirror later and discover that I've broken all of the blood vessels around my eyes, leading me to look like Stephen Tyler after a freakin' good party -- minus the freakin' good party.

Finally, please remind me to hide my garbage better lest my vandalous, obsessive-compulsive mutts get into it and drag bloody tampons all over the main level of my house when I'm asleep for the night. Apparently, putting it in the shower isn't safe enough, because they pulled down the shower curtain and ransacked the entire room. Remind me of this when I'm cleaning up all of the things they barf up that they shouldn't have eaten in the first place.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Par-ty! Par-ty! Par-ty!


Hey! It's a new year! Welcome 2010!

Ages ago, when I was in college, 2010 was the address of THE party house for the theatre department, you know, "Party at twenty-ten!". I can't even say "two thousand and ten" -- it just won't come out of my mouth. I think that there was a standing order for a party there every weekend (and many a weekday). This is, in fact the location of the first kiss I shared with my not-yet-husband many moons ago... Like 17 years ago. Is that right? Holy crap, I'm old...

2009 ended in a vastly different place than I thought it would when I look back to where we were a year ago. Here's the recap!

January: Cold, cold, cold. I had good plans to exercise daily, even going as far as blocking off time on my calendar. I actually did pretty well with this goal, at least for this month. One of my supervisors left and I moved (temporarily) into her old office so that I was closer to students in that program. As a result of the move, I got to use a faster computer. This made me more effective for everything I did, so I was happy with that. I wasn't happy that the office was routinely only 63 degrees and had a breeze...

February: Why can't I remember this month? What happened?

March: Scott celebrated his three-dozenth birthday. He traveled several times, and during one of those trips I came down with an awful, horrible tummy bug and I vomit and pass out in front of my children. That was pretty bad. I don't want to revisit that experience.

April: Busy month -- Scott did a show, I traveled to my last skating competition, and the kids kept growing. Milo continued to follow daddy's interests in Star Wars and Indiana Jones and Violet learned to dress and undress herself. She started talking more, too. We began landscaping the backyard and talk of expanding the swing set because we're "going to be in this house for a while."

May: Scott traveled again, this time to NYC. There had been some talk of me going with him for part of the trip, but it was probably a good thing I didn't as I came down with a freak case of pneumonia and ended up arguing with my physician that she couldn't hospitalize me "because I'm the only parent at home right now!" I paid a babysitter $100 to stay over night in case I was too sick to take care of the kids. After all of the traveling, we managed to get some good family time in and we enjoyed the lush Iowa spring.

June: I got a new supervisor at work! Yay! Who could ask for a better birthday present? Then we traveled to California where we spent two whole weeks with friends, mostly being lazy, but also enjoying the sun, sand, and our friends. I got very excited thinking I might be pregnant, but I wasn't. The kids loved the beach and Milo got to beat Darth Vader in a light saber duel on his fourth birthday.

July: I participated in several committee meetings on campus and feel very good about the feedback I gave and received. I enjoyed getting to know my new colleague and turning over some of her new duties to her. I also sat back and breathed a bit about life in general. We refinanced the house, took a trip to Chicago to meet my on-line mommy friends, and otherwise enjoyed a busy month. Although my family very much enjoyed the trip to Chicago, I decided that the next meet-up will be a mommy-only affair as I was envious of the window shopping and cocktailing my friends did.

August: With both supervisors back on campus, we started gearing up for the new school year. Suddenly, the stuff I have to do seemed less intimidating as I'm not trying to do it and someone else's job. I enjoyed this feeling! We prepped Milo for school and he was alternately excited and terrified. Violet returned happily to daycare and was instantly the sitter's pet. Scott started working on one of the shows he designed. The fall looked busy, fortunately not as busy as last fall, but Scott's schedule, in particular, was daunting as the holidays approached.

September: Violet turned 2! Milo broke his arm! He went on his first ever field trip! I chaperoned my first field trip! We looked at a house and placed an offer on it! It is accepted! And holy-crap-we've-got-to-sell-our-home-ASAP. ASAP.

October: Well, what do you know? Our house sold ASAP on October 3, so we (me) started packing, packing, packing. Halloween was fun, but I can't remember much more than packing, packing, packing. And Milo got his cast off, yeah, that happened in October.

November: MOVE! Got used to driving a little further to work. Got used to having enough room for all of our stuff. I like that feeling! Bought six gallons of paint with the goal of having the entire downstairs (save the kitchen and my bathroom) painted by the new year. Started with the room in which the Christmas tree will live as the gag-a-liscious mauve bird poop faux finish will NOT appear in my Christmas photos. Also had a nasty cyst removed from my leg -- that bugger needed to be packed and dressed four times...

December: Oh, this month dragged on as Scott toured with the Christmas spectacular and took his annual deer hunting trip with his brothers. I had a ton of events on campus this month and raced about on a broken toe trying to photograph everything I'm supposed to shoot. Then I spent the last half-week at work in lazy party mode. Eh... I was even bored enough that I tried starting the novel that lives in my brain and wrote the most awful tripe. Yes, I deleted it. I painted two and a half more rooms and am 1/2 a room short of my goal of having the whole main level painted by the new year. I finished the half room on New Year's Day. Close enough! I also made a guest post on a friend's blog. It was kinda fun and I liked swearing in a blog post. I don't do that often enough. Fu#k. Da&n. Sh%t.

Spent the last night of 2009 falling asleep at 11:30 with Scotty whooshing away wearing his bi-pap next to me in our new home. Pretty good ending (except that I'm still not pregnant).

What will 2010 bring? Stay tuned for further updates...