Monday, April 28, 2008


still traveling
still working
still tired
still drinking too much caffeine and all jittery
still behind on that paperwork due in two days
still miss that baby B. so hard (repeat)
still staying up too late
still mad about that book- (after all that suffering THE KIDS DIE. Yeah. These things should come with a warning label).

But tomorrow's the last day - and it will actually be fun. No more suits.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Traveling for work. Nice people, nice dinner, and nice bed but oh oh oh
B. cried all day today after I left. This hurts my heart.
G. sounded destroyed.
I picked badly when choosing my stupid travel read - it's about a woman who abandons her family and children to have an affair - granted, it's with frank lloyd wright, who is obviously pretty cool, but it's just painful for me to read. And I though leaving B. wouldn't bother me so much this time. That was idiotic. I can barely read the parts about the affair with wright, i just keep on thinking about her two little children.
And teeth. I really need to brush my fucking teeth.
One more thing - the rumors of my phone's resurrection were much exaggerated. Apparently pouring rain fries the circuits - who knew?

who leaves something like THAT?

Friday, April 25, 2008

more songs

more songs I associate with particular moments and situations, and descriptions thereof (and you didn't think I could write like a lawyer!)

On My Mind (Kalai)- in the weirdness that is the post-radio world (and post-me knowing about music), I have no idea if Kalai is famous. All I know is my friend Amy gave me a CD with his songs and they are lovely. And she found him on MySpace. This one is me in my cube, waking up, all pregnant, and thinking about the baby rumbling around inside me, especially when the chorus came around - I've been known to take my time/ And I've been told that I'm all right/ But I don't know if I'm your kind/ All I know is that you are on my mind.

For You (Bruce Springsteen): On the honeymoon, walking back to the hotel (well, stumbling)through the hot streets of (you'll never guess) Ottawa, singing this to each other, slaughtering the lyrics. BROKEN ALL YOUR WINDOWS RAMMED THROUGH YOUR ALL YOUR DOOR... FOR YERRRR FOR YERRRR (oh we are TALENTED). A ten minute walk that took about an hour with many, many (very happy) detours.

If you listen to the lyrics, it's a pretty fucked up song (about craziness and suicide) for a honeymoon. Good thing we didn't pay too close attention. Though how cool is the line "Didn't you think I knew that you were born with the power of a locomotive/ able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?"

Maybe I am born with the power of a locomotive. That would be awfully convenient come this moving weekend.

it lives!!!

After five days outside, two of which it poured rain, my cellphone still lives!!!

Of course this means I can more effectively embroil myself into my brother's family's sad divorce drama, but since yesterday involved family members sobbing on the phone as I answered questions about bluebooking from coworkers, it will probably be better than using my office phone.

I've flipped B's carseat around- he didn't have enough room for his feet the other way. It's awfully nice, getting to see him, but I'm a little dissapointed he's not more excited about it. Look I say, you get to see MOMMY! and the ROAD! and he's like THERE ARE NO STAIRS TO CLIMB HERE DAMN THESE CHAINS. And then there is crying and then there are cookies. Mmm... cookies...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Some questions

Randomly generated, of course. Nothing to do with me.

ONE- Can you do anything for a family that's divorcing? ANYTHING? Can you tell their kids anything except yes this sucks?

TWO- When will I stop getting so easily aggravated, particularly at G? When does this pregnancy/baby tension train let me off?

THREE- Is my perception that my family is slighting me, and my annoyance at such perceived slighting, some sort of weird defence mechanism because I'm so sad about leaving them?

FOUR- Will all this bar/loan/house/job/medical paperwork really get done by May 1? Can I get over my extreme suckage at such paperwork?

FIVE- Is it completely idiotic to move away from all family and friends when you have a 1-year old?

SIX- Why was the Darjeeling Limited not a bigger hit? It rocked the house let me tell you. Can we agree to that?

Friday, April 18, 2008

daycare at one

Given how much I think about daycare, and rant about it to my husband, it's kind of surprising I don't write about it more. It's just kind of . . . complicated I guess. I love them, they drive me crazy, they make me feel incompetent, THEY are incompetent, I love them, etc. All in all, it's a good place for him. And it's a really good place for me. I am so glad I've gotten to have these lunches with B. for the last year. Taking the elevator to see him in the afternoon may be the most consistently blissful moment of my day - I am going to see my baby.

He's got two teachers. One is great - warm and round with these big boobs the kids are always cozying up to. She laughs a lot and sings songs with them but is also a good disciplinarian. She could totally kick my ass and occiasionally gives me funny looks and asks THAT'S what he's having for BREAKFAST? (If she could only see what I feed him at home... he really has eaten squid). But that's all cool. The other lady drives me a little crazy. She's all office politics, always fighting with the (6?) other teachers in the segmented baby room. And she just doesn't seem to like kids, I have no idea why she does this job, considering the better-paying options in this area. She is not enjoying herself. And then there is this- I saw her (or thought I saw her) handle a 6 month old baby fairly roughly- basically shoving the baby in a chair by holding one arm and one leg. But it happened so fast, I'm not quite sure what I saw now- and when I called her on it, she denied it completely. So she kind of freaks me out. There are other fill-in teachers, and most of these I like a lot. Basically, if someone is fairly happy and talk to my son, I will like her.

There have been times over the year that have been bad - when I felt trapped at this daycare and tremendous dislike for it. But they are co-mingled with my own sensitivity to criticism, particularly around my parenting, and now when I look back at them I can see I was reacting more to implicit criticisms of me rather than anything particularly bad about the care. For instance, they were really pushing me to supplement for a while, saying he didn't have enough milk and was hungry. Which is an awful, awful thing to hear - and really pissed me off, because it wasn't neccesarily true. But well, it was some days. And that still makes me feel terrible. Also, I haven't been the best daycare parent either, particularly my forgetfulness of bottles, diapers, wipes.

All in all, I'm so glad we got in and, all things being equal, that I've worked for this year. Not that quitting was ever, ever, an option (thankyoumayIhaveanotherAccessGroupLoans?). But I'm glad he's getting out of there pretty soon. He's ready for bigger rooms, bigger stuff, bigger adventures - like hanging out with his dad and exploring Denver. And then hopefully we'll get him in somewhere a little less institutional.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

the pump slows

After a year of asking myself every day if I made enough milk, figuring out the logistics of the extra pump session, I am consciously slowing down my pumping. Instead of three pump sessions a day, I've been doing two or even one, plus a midday nurse. Why? Because I don't want to pump at my new job - and that's next month. So I'm trying to slow down the factory, but it's hard - I am really used to doing this and so is my body. Skipping sessions just feels ... wrong. Change is not my strong suit, to put it mildly.

Realistically, unless I can dash home in the middle of the day, I may have to pump at lunch - I can't see in a month being able to go 9 hours without my boobs exploding. Lunch wouldn't be so bad - it's just that this new job is probably going to kick my ass even if i'm not taking 20 minute pump breaks out of the day. So I'd like to have one less thing to think about if I could.

Of course all this brings up the question raised hourly by family members (what a great question! i'd never thought about it!) - so when will I stop nursing altogether? I never thought I'd nurse past a year - mostly because, with working, that seemed impossible. But here I am. And nursing has gotten a little strange. He stands and nurses, squirms and nurses, nurses upsides-down, goes in for the boob like it's a fighter plane target - it's definately different from nursing a baby. My current plan is kill the during-the-day nursing over the next two months, keep the night and morning for another 4 or so. But, besides not wanting to pump anymore, I really have no idea. But there will be some nasty why-mommy-why involved. Because this boy is not the self-weaning type. The boob is my shortcut- Got a cut? Feel sad? Can't Sleep? Hey, here's a boob!- because he loves it so very, very much. And of course that will become a problem fairly soon.

Nursing is also a shortcut for me, and I'm a little anxious about how I will adjust to life without it. I definately get the happy-chemical-high from nursing- it totally mellows me out. And I'm below my pre-pregnancy weight without giving up Suzy-Qs! (honestly, don't eat these. I got one last week - and I am not picky - and man it was nasty. The frosting was straight Crisco - without enough sugar.) So I'm kind of worried I'm going to become an anxiety-ridden mess and gain back, say, 20 lbs, when this gig stops.

A plan. There will be a plan. Coming Soon, of course.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the sounds of fluorescence

I've been trying to keep a running list of songs that I associate with particularly important moments in my life. But, being fairly empty-headed these days unless it involves law, a B., or, um, celebrities, I keep on losing track, so here is the first draft.

17 Again (Eurythmics). 1999, Me in KY trying to decide to stay or go, parked in the driveway of some random little apartment building, staring at it intently, hoping the answer was there if I just looked at that second-floor door long enough. (It didn't work). And then, every change afterwards. Because, sad but true, I feel like I'm 17 again pretty much everytime change comes rolling my way. It's always SHIT! WHAT?

Over My Head (The Fray). 2006-07, The official theme song of my pregnancy. Enough said.

Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams). 2004, Friday afternoon in my decrepid office with the window open and I am so ready for the weekend to start and my grueling life of work and school to pause. And I am so happy.

Dancing at the Zombie Zoo (and every other song on this album) (Tom Petty). 2000-2003, Running on our KY town's sad excuse for a running path, basically an asphalt strip alongside the highway, flipping my walkman's tape halfway, feeling so strong and optimistic and then weak and incredibly depressed and then strong and then - let's just say I worked a lot of shit out on those runs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Work is winding down. Instead of Typing Long Stuff or Correcting Glaring Errors on Other People's Long Typed Stuff, my main job these days is Looking Busy. Which is sweet. But the thing is, I should be doing so much other crap. There are a lot of forms in my life between now and the big move West. But which to do first? Dumb, but it's causing a bit of - paralysis. Add a bum knee, a sore tooth, and a familywide stomach virus and we limp along these days. I just look at the screen, rewinding to "where should I start?" over and over.

Man I am tired of not seeing the sun for 9+ hours a day.

Yesterday after dinner, B. and I were out on our walk under a brilliant blue sky. He's exploring the yard of the street's new and very fancy (and for sale) unoccupied McMansion; we had a grand time, climbing the steps up and down (he's finally getting good at going down), looking for birds, picking up mulch, putting down mulch. But then he gets cranky all of a sudden so I pick him up and he is coughing and, oh no, I know that cough. And then right on the (new) driveway, there is the puke. It brought back lots of memories of the North Trail and, oh, who I am kidding, the THOUSANDS of places I have puked...

There should be some witty line wrapping it all up here but that is the end of the story. We went inside. And he went to bed. See what I mean about these damn doldrums?

Monday, April 14, 2008

why this is an anonymous blog

I am constantly amazed at how often one needs to shower. I'll be going along, doing my thing, and remember that I need to go Do That Again. And I'm all like Really? But I just showered (#) days ago! Sadly, it actually kind of gets me down.

Also, I may now know that it's totally possible to pub crawl with a baby. Just make sure your compatriots like the wee ones, you've got a stroller, and you take nap-inducing walks (for the baby, not you) between bars. Just say'in.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I slept with the window in the bedroom open last night for the first time. It was great. The slight breeze, the smell of trees and grass and flowers.
Maybe, just maybe, spring is here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I love how i sound so sure about everything in the last post. Saving the world, having one kid, etc. Just in time: I went to a party with old compatriots last night and it left me a crying blob of directionlessness on the floor of a hallway basement in the Rayburn house office building (with my boob stuck out nursing, of course. There is always a boob stuck out in such moments.). From here in bureacracy land, I had been thinking about our move and my new job as an affirmation of my committment to certain causes. But they are down in the trenches. And to them it is abandonment and a sell-out. These people I respect and adore were really angry - and dissapointed.

I've been working it out, and I feel better, and I have come back to thinking that our move is a good idea- I know I need to learn how to do this stuff before I can really help anyone. And in this new job i will learn from the best and, as G. says, up my bad-ass quotient.

But still. I just wanted to die, right then on that stupid floor.

How do we ever know we are doing the right thing? Who are these people that do?

Off to pop another painkiller. $%&* tooth.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

my case for sticking with one

For years I was pretty nonchalant with those tiny pills in their foil, pop-out packaging. Miss a day? Two? Three? Oh well, I’d think- what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll get pregnant.

Once bouncing boy later, I take them Every. Damn. Day.

How many kids do you want? My family and friends ask. One I say. We’re stopping. They shake their heads. You’re just saying that. Give it time. Everybody wants more!

They could be right – neither I nor anyone else has any idea how I’ll be feeling about this subject in say, five years, when I may or may not still be within The Baby Makin’ Window.

But all in all, I am as sure as I can be that this is it.

I don’t have a very socially acceptable reason for acting as if my own son has scarred me for life. There’s been nothing traumatic. During pregnancy, I did not vomit or have to go on bedrest; I just lumbered around with an extra fifty pounds. I even enjoyed never being cold (I was pregnant in the winter). And though the birth was no picnic (lots of labor, then an unplanned C-Section), my recovery from the C-Section was quick and the dreaded PPD never came. And my son himself? Took to nursing like a champ, never had colic, is consistently good-natured. We even took him out for movies at night until he was 7 months or so. I’ve had tremendous family and on-the-job support; while I’m working, my son is in my building at daycare and I see him all the time.

So basically, I have nothing to complain about. I know this, and truth be told, I like being a mom a lot. My son is (of course) the funniest, most touching, loveliest creature I’ve ever known.

But he’s not getting a sibling.

I come from a huge family by today’s standards- three brothers and one sister. I loved it, and I still do. As a child they were my respite, my retreat: no matter what went wrong at school or who wouldn’t play with me, there was always my family to play and talk with. Our fights weren’t much and even the nastiest only lasted a few hours – then you’d get bored and need someone to play Legos with. Nowadays, I live down the street from one brother and twenty minutes from two other siblings. I see them all the time. I bake with my nieces and nephews; they’ve taught my son some of his first words. Watching my sister with my son is incredibly life-affirming. My older brother even put me (and my husband and baby) up for a while. Almost every day, I enjoy the fruits of my parents’ decision to keep on breeding. They’ve enjoyed it too. I watched my father’s face at the last giant gathering: I can’t imagine anyone ever looking happier, Publishers Clearing House winners included. We have given my mom the unconditional love and acceptance that she’s craved her whole life.

But (sorry) my parents are also the reason I’m stopping. Having five kids made my mother pretty close to crazy. Twenty years in, she looked at me and said I’m done. I am tired of being a parent. You and your brothers and sister have taken up all of me and I have nothing left. But the thing was, she wasn’t. I was twelve, my brother and sister were ten, and the worst of parenting us was yet to come. I wish I could say my mom was just being dramatic. But I know it was true, and not just because she repeated it often. We came to overwhelm her and the effort involved in us left her – at some critical times – tired and frantic and very, very angry. And then my dad was left to care for not only his crazy children but his wife. Three years ago she bought a house across the country to winter at by herself, leaving us all (including our dad) behind. Strange but, these winters have been good for her – I think they've let her finally be her own person after so many years of being our mom.

Of course, in order to operate through this world I must, like all women, pretend I am Not In Any Way Like My Mother. But even if I didn’t drown out my father’s refrains of “you are SO much like your mother,” I’ve got my own, selfish reasons for depriving my son of the siblings that I enjoyed so much.

One – man, baby you take a lot of me. I knew it would be hard. Who doesn’t? They practically have billboards across the country that say MOTHERHOOD IS HARD and MOMS NEVER SLEEP. But the relentlessness of it is a surprise.

Two – and this is tricky – I need to do some serious, way-more-than-40-hours career stuff. I’m going to try and save the world in four easy steps, after all. And while some people could certainly do that with more than one child, I’m not even sure I can do it just with our boy.

Three – my husband. He is a wonderful guy. Smart, inspiring, creative, hilarious, loving, sweet. But he is also one of the least household-oriented people I’ve ever known. That stuff is misery to him. I don’t (usually) have a problem with this – he does a lot of other stuff, like work like a dog, do our bills, make me laugh till I snort stuff out of my nose. With one kid (or without kids), I am able to pick up the slack, and do the vast majority of the cooking/cleaning/grocery shopping kind of stuff. Two or more, it’s either me going crazy or us both going crazy from me nagging him all the time. Or our house falling down from the mountains of garbage piled up along the walls.

Four -- Because I’d like to keep on pretending I don’t have kids. While my life has changed considerably since having B., it seems to me like you have to make a lot more adjustments for #2. That’s when apartment living, small cars, public transportation, city outings, restaurants, etc. get a lot harder, if not impossible. Yes, I know I cannot continue to live my student-urban life. But at least with only one kiddy I can make a stab at attempting it a few times a month.

Will these always be enough? It’s a fairly compelling list to me. Maybe I should post it as a reminder to take those pills...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Back to the classics

What's worse than posting about your boobs all day long? Yup, posting about the dentist. No, actually POEMS about the dentist are worse. So in an effort to not cringe every time I return to this site, here is something else:

A Sarasota sunset. Don't you feel better?

So the whole CIO/modified-CIO/sleep-lady-dance-shuffle-CIO, etc. thing is going pretty well. Well, my goal was to present my husband on his return sunday with a Baby Who Slept Through the Night, proof positive that I Am An Excellent Mother (or, as my friend said, "be kind of braggy." Oh yeah.). Sadly, I did not get to discover how obnoxious such bragging would have been, because the first night G. was home, the baby woke at 4:30- and the next night too. Our conversations:

g: Are you SURE this WORKS?

me: You don't question the method in the middle! You don't question the method in the middle!

(Some people say I'm a little dogmatic. But who knows?)

But then B. slept till 6 am for two nights.

And then last night he slept till 6:00 again! I brought him into bed, snuggled him up to enjoy a little nursing and NPR and enjoy this feeling of well-restedness.

He puked all over the sheets.

Ah, the sweet smell of victory puke.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

$%*# the dentist

Walking back to work from the dentist
So sad about the nasty, expensive things I need done.
A new, and entirely unwelcome variety of sadness.
No romance, no broken heart, no pregnancy, no drama.
This is just living, and, dammit, this is just getting old.
The problems hurt as much, but they are grey
Are not very interesting --
Even as I am consumed by them, they bore me.
I imagine myself droning on about it at a party,
telling the youngsters how I grasped the chair's arms and almost screamed at the pain,
everyone around me plotting their escape.
I remember my parents going to the dentist for such things,
mentioned as an afterthought at a dinner they could barely chew,
or my father throwing his back out, my mother's early struggles with arthritis.
From my teendom, such things appeared remote, far away --
the dentist? really? Hmmm...
I kick a rock in front of me -- hard. There's no choice -- it's happening.
I will age gracelessly, but it won't kill me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a butterfly flapped its wings in the amazon...

and I screw up my day.
My days go pretty well in general. But they are predicated upon me remembering lots of things and doing them in order in a certain way. This does not exactly, shall we say, come naturally to me. I try really hard these days, though, because if one thing gets lost then the whole thing is fucked.
Take today.
Last night, had a late dinner, tired, so I don't do the dishes and wash the bottles. I actually woke up early and loaded the dishwasher but neglected to take them OUT of the dishwasher. So now,
Daycare heated up his milk and spent 10 minutes looking for his bottles;
B. has no bottles so I am going downstairs to feed him instead of crunching out this work;
I have to take the train to meet G. to get the bottles so that B. can have a bottle for when I go to the dentist;
My hope of any freezer bags for this week is dashed.
One little screw-up- at least 1.5 hours of extra work and hassle for me, as well as all of the trouble I have caused G. and daycare.
I miss the days when I could just screw up and suck it up myself.
The only good side is, as glaring as this error is, I really do forget stuff, etc. far less than I used to. Of course if I kept it up at THAT level B. would be wearing newspaper diapers.

Newspaper diaper wearing baby having a not-so-fun day in Shoot 'Em Up (though getting some close contact with Clive Owens can't be all bad).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

what i've been thinking about

oh yes, it's a glamourous life I live. Damnit.