Monday, March 29, 2010

A family tradition

When I was a kid, my family would take walks together through the neighborhood.  My mom would always throw up her hand to wave as a neighbor drove by.  When my dad developed ulcerative colitis and wasn't able to make it far without a toilet nearby and my brother was working, my mom and I would take walks together, talking, debating.  Sometimes we would get pretty worked up, and we always said they neighbors could hear us going at each other, two hens pecking at each other.  

I have fond, fond memories of family walks.

Now, it is one of our family traditions.  I love our family walks.  It is funny how my kids throw their hands up as cars pass by, after seeing me do it so many times.  It gives me and D a chance to talk since N and G run ahead, chasing each other.  It gives us a chance to spend time together outside.  

I hope my children have fond memories of this time when they become adults too.  

The floor BEFORE

We are having the carpet and linoleum pulled up in our dining room, kitchen and family room and hardwood put down (which matches the hardwood that was already in our foyer).

When we first bought our house almost 9 years ago, the choppiness of the flooring--wood butting up to carpet, butting up to linoleum, butting back up to carpet--didn't bother me.  But now, perhaps because our space seems so much smaller due to all the toys and baby whatmenots, I need the rooms to flow, feel seamless, feel larger.

Mostly, I need to not have to clean up cat vomit, marker, juice, cheesy poof residue out of cream (or what used to be cream in a former child-free life) carpet.

And the linoleum?  Well all it takes is 1 dropped fork to put a puncture in it.

So here is how it looked prior to the demolition.

The dining room
The kitchen eating nook
The kitchen proper
The family room

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Those bad fat people

All they do is eat.

And eat.

And eat.

They just lay around, never exercising.  

They are fat all over.

Good thing they won't be denied health care for it.

(Note:  I firmly believe in personal responsibility---eating well-balanced meals, getting exercise, seeing doctors for well visits, being pro-active for your health.  But I also know that insurance companies do some highly unethical things that have nothing whatsoever to do with how well people take care of themselves).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Love to witness learning

I have to say I am so enjoying seeing N learn how to read and write.  I know I am a total nerd, but it is so fun and cool and downright thrilling to have her read to me at bedtime.  And I adore the sentences she comes up with.

Here are the ones she wrote this week:

1. Soon the evening wil be here.
2. They were runing wene they wernt sapost too.
3. Wene they were cralling under the phenc they trept.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My conscience and plain ole crazy talk

D and I have, so far, made a good life for ourselves.  We both came from stable families.  We both have master's degrees.  Neither of us got messed up on drugs or alcohol.  When I'm feeling smug, I like to pat myself on the back because I have made good choices.  But then I have to be really honest and note that I did do some pretty stupid things in my earlier years, and I was just really lucky.

I am one generation removed from poverty.  Had my parents been raised in 2010 instead of the 1940s they would be like so many students I taught in the inner city:
* they had parents who would be considered unskilled or marginally skilled laborers (and therefore not well paid).
* they would qualify for free/reduced lunch (or as some people like to call it...a handout).
* they were witnesses to, if not victims of, domestic violence.
* they were raised by a single parent for all or much of the time.
* they were not well supervised because their parents were working, giving them opportunity to get into trouble (had trouble come knocking, which, in their case, it didn't).

Perhaps it is this history that makes me like the phrase, "There but for the grace of god go I."  In my parents' case, they rose above their childhood circumstances.  But many people do not, and I certainly don't believe it is because they are all a giant sack of lazy.  It takes great perseverance, support and sheer luck to break free of poverty, abuse, addiction and/or ignorance.

For all of my misanthropy and curmudgeonly charm, I believe most people are good.  Most people want to do better for themselves, and many simply don't know how because all they have seen their lives are series upon series of bad choices.

My conscience simply won't allow me (for very long) to set myself up on a porcelain pedestal as better than others.

In those moments, though, when I am on my pedestal, I do have some crazy thoughts.  Some really nasty, wouldn't say-it-publicly thoughts.  But I will say it here as a reminder of just how shitty I can be sometimes.

Like those times when I read about people abusing their children and wish that those parents had opted for abortion instead.
Like those times when I read about young girls getting pregnant and think it should be a law that anyone under 21 who becomes pregnant must give their baby up for adoption.
Like those times I think people who have multiple children by multiple partners should be forcibly sterilized.
Like those times when I hear politicians yell out inappropriate things and think they should be strung up by their johnsons in a public square.
Like those times when I read about children being killed by handguns, and I think said guns should be permanently lodged in whomever purchased said gun's asshole.
Like those times I hear people remark that they are good Christians and then proceed to denigrate blacks and Muslims, and I want to smack their holier than thou faces.

Usually at this point, I have lost my balance and come tumbling off the pedestal, back to earth, back to knowing that I operate better when I try to be honest and kind and non-judgmental.  And letting other people do the crazy talk.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So the health care bill passed, and everyone's panties are in a twist.  I need a brain dump of all my thoughts, stupid and otherwise, regarding people's comments on the legislation.  While cooking dinner tonight my brain was churning so furiously I had to jot thoughts down in my day planner just so I could get about the business of preparing food.

I have no idea how to organize these thoughts, and I'm too tired to try, so I'm just gonna throw 'em out there because I'd like to be able to sleep without all these ideas running around my head.

1. Many people are concerned about the costs of this legislation, but according to the Congressional Budget Office, it will eventually lead to $138 billion deficit in ten years.  Of course, that's over a long period of time and things could change.  I guess what burns my ass is why weren't these same folks as concerned when the tax cuts for the wealthy were passed or when we invaded Iraq?  A conservative estimate is that the Iraq War will cost $3 TRILLION.  

2. People who are currently on Medicare should have no horse in this race.  When you are the recipient of a government-sponsored health plan and you bitch that you don't want government-run health care for others, you are being a complete idiot.  It's fine for YOU to have it, but not anyone else.  Please just shut-up.

3. Yes, people will have to purchase health insurance, just like they have to purchase homeowners' insurance and car insurance.  If you want to say they are being forced to buy it, ok.  Use that terminology.  But note that there are lots of things we are forced to do for the safety, health and benefit of all people.  Stopping at stop signs comes to mind.  I might want to go through the intersection because I'm late for work, but I am forced to stop.  That infringes on my freedom to drive however I want.  Here are some other things we do or don't do because it is for the good of society:
* No smoking allowed in public places (infringes on the right to smoke)
* Drunk driving is not allowed (infringes on the right to drink as much as I want and drive my ass home)
* Yelling fire in a movie theater (infringes on my right to have a good hee-haw laugh)

Ok, now here are just some extraneous things that got stuck in the mind sludge:

*Regarding complaints about the inefficiency of government---
I have heard people mention the USPO, how it is in the red, inefficient, and do we really want our health care to be like that?  My question is if the USPO is so darn inefficient, why do all these folks who use this as their argument not send their mail, all of it, via UPS or Fedex?  Because they don't want to shell out the money.  They are perfectly content with only paying 42 cents to mail a note to Aunt Mildred.

*Regarding government having too much control over the people---
I think it is interesting that often the same people who complain that the government is too big, is too much "up in our business" are the same people who want the government to put restrictions on abortion---a woman must have an ultrasound, get counseling 24 hours in advance.  They don't want the government in their grill, but they totally want the government as big brother over every uterus.

And I can't help thinking, when I read people's comments in the paper or on FB, what would Jesus do?  Historical Jesus was a rebel, as I understand him.  Thumbing his nose at Jewish authority.  So maybe he wouldn't want the government messing around with health care.  But Jesus was also all about the poor, the downtrodden, the underserved, the have-nots in his society.  And so I can't help but think Jesus would want to help people.

And that's what I keep coming back to.  The need, the dire need, to help people.  There is always a cost to do this, and Americans don't like to sacrifice.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Signs of a good marriage

Sign 1:
Yesterday D bought a new lawnmower.  As with any purchase over $2.50, he researched it extensively.  He then went to Home Depot and brought home the wrong one.  I was outside cutting back the ornamental grasses with N and M (while G napped inside) and got to see the look of disgust on D's face when he realized the mower wasn't the one he wanted.  He boxed it all back up, and then asked me, "Why am I such an idiot?"

To which I responded:  "You are only an idiot when it comes to tools and anything involving outdoor equipment.  In most other ways, you are extremely intelligent."

Back to Home Depot he went to exchange it for the correct mower.  And now he is stoked to try it out once the grass is high enough.

Lesson:  It is a good marriage when the husband can ask a loaded question and the wife can be honest.  And nobody starts fighting.

Sign 2:
This morning we went for breakfast at Mamaw's house.  Since M is going to bed between 6:00 and 6:30 in the evening, we have decided to share a morning meal once a week with my MIL.  Mamaw is a good cook---much better than I am.  She said something about her eggs being overcooked.  Knowing how much D prefers his mom's eggs to mine, I said, "They are still better than mine, right D?"

To which he replied:  "Overcooked is better than burnt" (or something along those lines).

And he and I happily ate the good eggs, biscuits and gravy.

Lesson:  It is a good marriage when the wife knows her MIL is a better cook and doesn't get bent out of shape because her hubby prefers his mom's eggs.

Class dismissed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mommy/daughter baggage

In my last post about educational choices, I noted that I was deliriously happy to send my daughter to kindergarten this past fall.  Partly I just needed a reprieve.  My summer of 2009 was spent trying to keep N and G occupied, take a graduate course through the U of Wisconsin, and suffer through the last trimester of my 3rd pregnancy.

But I also carry some baggage in my relationship with N that played into my feelings at the time.

For those who need a quick review, when N was between 7-8 months old, I had a nervous breakdown.  I fell apart completely.  Crying jags, insomnia, waking from what sleep I could get in full-blown panic attacks, weight loss, feelings of hopelessness and guilt.  Awful, awful stuff.

I was put on an antidepressant and began therapy but the medication dosage was waaaaayyy too low.  So for another 10 months I continued with low-grade suffering.  Not wound up in a ball of nerves, but definitely depressed.  When she was about 18 months I was diagnosed with OCD and GAD and put on a sufficient dose of medication to manage my conditions.

But my baggage dates back to N's beginning.  From the moment she was born, I had some pretty unrealistic ideas about how I should be as a mom.  I was totally overwhelmed with love for her, and I wasn't expecting the frustration and resentment that also come with having a child.  I didn't know what to do with my negative feelings, and so I chalked it up to being a bad mom, rather than just being a human being.  

I felt like I had to be everything to my daughter and do everything for her myself.  I kept myself isolated, not realizing how much both of us needed to be around other people, other moms and kids in social settings.  Just being with N caused me anxiety because I constantly worried whether I was stimulating her enough, helping her develop her baby intelligence.  I felt like everything N would do and become depended at least 98% on what I, as her mother, did to her and for her.

Also, as a stay-at-home mom, I didn't realize how boring it can be to be around a baby all the time.  And when I felt bored, I thought this too meant I wasn't a good mom.

This "baggage" has never really left me, despite my meds and therapy and knowing full well that I am a good mom to her.  She is 6 years old, and I still find myself struggling with excessive feelings of guilt and worry about how I measure up as a mom to her.  Is she bored?  Does she feel like I love her?  Am I giving her the attention she needs?

I don't have this anxiety with my boys.  I don't spend countless hours worrying whether I am meeting their needs, or feeling guilty when I can't play with them because I am tending to some other duty I have to do.  I don't feel guilty taking them out just because I am sick of being at home.  I don't obsess about whether I am stimulating them enough.  I just roll with life.  And I know that my more even-keel nature with them is due to being on medication throughout my pregnancies and their early years.

I don't know whether N picks up on any of this.....baggage.  I have told her that mommy's brain sometimes feels a little sick and that I take "brain medicine."  And I've tried to convey to her in simple ways some of the problems my brain gives me.  Like when she comes home from school,  my anxiety is in high gear until she washes her hands.  I find myself nagging her to wash her hands while she putzes around saying hi to her brothers, or looking for a snack, or whatever random things she does when she walks in the door.  I finally explained that my brain simply freaks out like "AAAAAGGGHHHH!" until she washes her hands, and then it settles down.  So now I just say, "N, my brain is freaking out," and she is much more apt to quickly wash her hands.

I want N to understand, through reading my blogs about mothering her or in our conversations when she is older, how all of my anxiety about mothering her was rooted in deep love.  I knew being a mom was the most important, most special job I could ever have, and I simply wanted to be so good at it.

I've always been the type of person to give 110% of myself.  But being a mom is endless, and it is simply impossible to give that much all the time.

Even though I'd give just about anything to be able to.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Educational choices and inferiority complexes

You know, I like to come off all cocky, like I am so self-assured, but it doesn't take much for me to feel inadequate about virtually everything I do as a mom.  Let me explain.

My friend K will begin homeschooling her daughter next year and recently blogged about her decision to homeschool (with more installments coming).  It was really interesting to read about her reasons for making the homeschool choice.  One thing she mentioned is that by homeschooling, she will not lose time with her children by having them away at school for 35+ hours a week.

And, of course, I wondered what kind of terrible mother I am since I was deliriously happy for N to start kindergarten this past fall.  And will be deliriously happy for her to return as a first grader in August.

But then I reminded myself that in the years before D and I had our kids, I felt like killing him after about 2 days of togetherness when we vacationed.  Seriously, 2 days is all it took for me to become entirely sick of being around him.  It's like I have ADD but only involving people.

And the funny thing is I am totally a people person.  I'm just not a person who likes to be with the same people day-in and day-out.

My friend's blog has been a springboard for me to think about why I couldn't (and probably shouldn't) homeschool and my thoughts about sending my kids to public school.....with some qualifications depending on how the future plays out.

Ok, so, besides genuinely needing to be away from my kids for my own sanity, there's my complete inability to have a routine as a stay-at-home mom.  I mean I have a routine, but it is so general as to be useless, like every day we have breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Oh, and G takes an afternoon nap.  That is the extent of my ability to have set things we do.  For years my mom has suggested I set a housecleaning routine whereby I would wash windows on Mondays, change sheets on Tuesdays, etc.  But I can't do it because 1. I don't clean clean (if I cleaned it last week and it's still clean, I ain't cleaning it again), and 2. if I don't get that thing accomplished for whatever reason it's going to cause me anxiety.  It is one thing to not get the lint holder cleaned out;  it is another thing entirely to not get to my daughter's lessons because the littles require 98% of my attention.

And then there's the personality issue with my children, which I blame on my husband.  There have been numerous occasions when I have told him something, but he didn't believe it until a co-worker said the same thing.  My daughter shares this trait.  I can "instruct" her on the correct way to do something, but I am dead wrong.  Her teacher can instruct her the exact same way, and N tolerates it much better.

Public School Decision

My parents sent me to Catholic schools my entire life:  elementary, high and college.  And for most of that time I really expected that if I had kids I would send them to Catholic schools.  It had kinda been drilled in my head that Catholic schools are best.  (The idea that Catholic boys were best also got lodged in my noggin for awhile).

But then when I was getting my MAT, I observed for a couple months at my elementary/middle school, and I was stunned by how lacking it was in terms of technology, foreign language, access to special needs programs, etc.  I had long considered public schools to be inferior, but seeing my alma mater as an adult and as a teacher in training, opened my eyes a bit.

A number of family members are teachers who had long taught at Catholic schools.  Due to low pay, they decided to try the public system and hated it.  I wasn't privy to their reasoning, but through the grapevine I kind of picked up on the fact that they got used to one kind of clientele at Catholic schools and had a much different clientele at public schools.  I decided that I would teach at public schools first to build up my stamina and backbone.  Then if I decided to switch at some point to private schools, it would seem like a picnic.

When I finally began teaching in the public system, I realized how much I had missed out on by attending Catholic schools.  My school didn't offer orchestra or band, so I never had the opportunity to learn an instrument.  My school didn't have Quick Recall or Beta Club or Science Olympiad.  My school didn't have a speech therapist, various counselors, and ECE support personnel.

Another "problem" with the private school setting that I didn't pick up on until I was an adult is how downright weird it is to only be around people like yourself.  When I went to high school downtown, I had never been to school with a black person.  On the first day, I remember wondering to myself, "How will I ever tell them (the black girls) apart?"  To me, they all looked the same.  It is embarrassing to me to tell this, but there were no black kids who attended my school and none who lived in my neighborhood. I think the only black people I'd seen were on Fat Albert.

Plus, I looked at my husband, who attended public schools and managed to turn out a very smart and decent person.

My choice to be a stay-at-home mom plays into the decision too.  I don't honestly know that we could afford to send our kids to private or church-based schools.  I know how big a chunk of change preschool was per month, and N's preschool was downright cheap compared to some of the other preschool programs I looked at.

But things may happen

For all of the things I saw lacking in the Catholic schools I attended, there were some pluses.  As a certifiably boy-crazy individual, attending an all-girls high school was probably the best thing my parents ever forced me to do.  I was able to focus on developing me for me.....not for someone else who would date me.  The leadership skills I so value today came from my high school experience.  D and I have already discussed that if N is anything like her mother, she might be foregoing the public co-ed high school route.

And with having 2 sons, I wonder how public school will suit them.  I have my concerns about whether public education really meets the needs of its male students.  And so, it is entirely possible that if public education isn't meeting their needs and if my sons' personalities are such that we don't butt heads on a every-38-second-basis (as my daughter and I do), I might consider homeschooling them, or sending them to a private school.

At this juncture, I'm good with my choice of public education for my family.  And that is the whole point of having choices---doing what you believe is best for you and your family.

Friday, March 12, 2010


It if funny that 12 years ago I didn't know if I even wanted any children.   And now I have three.

At the time, one of the main reasons I had for not wanting children was the permanence of it.  I knew that the commitment of having a child is forever.  Having a child would also bind me forever with D....even if we split up.  We would always share a child.  

And if there is one theme that I find runs through my life it is choice.  It is part of the reason I am such a saver---I want the freedom/choices that come with financial stability.  It is part of the reason I double-majored---to give me more options.  It is why I renewed my teaching certificate this year---so I have options (to go back to work should I ever need to or want to).  It is partly why I opted not to have my tubes tied.

I like to keep my options open.  Even when I know I don't want any of the options being offered.

Yesterday, D met the urologist and gave consent for a vasectomy (to be scheduled within a month or so).  He said he got light-headed and panicky while watching the video they showed him of the procedure.  I felt the same way when reading through his consent paperwork due to the permanence of the surgery.

And it's not that I want more children.  I am done having babies.  I feel like I will be ready to move onto the next stages of my children's lives.  The Duggars can stay in Babyland forever if they like, but I believe I need to see other attractions.

But somehow when an option is taken away, it makes me uneasy.  Though not uneasy enough not to move forward.

I stand (sorta) corrected

I heard from a couple readers who said they ovulated and began their periods very shortly after birth even while breastfeeding.  Let me say, "I'm sorry."  Not about what I said, but that you got your periods shortly after delivery.  That sucks.

However, I still stand by my mostly uneducated assumption that most women who get pregnant soon after childbirth formula feed.

My reasoning?  If you look at the statistics, a huge majority of women do not breastfeed past 3 months or breastfeed while supplementing with formula.   In my pathetic little state, only 9.4% of women breastfeed exclusively at 6 months postpartum.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My babes' mouths

Time is certainly flying, and evidence is that is the things my kids say.

N has been writing a paper game called "Push," which I am certain she learned from the older girls on the school bus.  It involves picking either "Hug, Love, Kiss or Marry," and then selecting a number.  The numbers correspond to her classmates' names, and therefore whomever plays the "game" ends up either hugging, loving, kissing or marrying a kindergartner.  She thinks this is great fun.  (I remember doing these type games but I would swear I was older than 6 when I did them.)

Anyway, she tried this game on me and D, and when we refused to play anymore (we figured out her "number" was 2, so we kept saying it), she moved onto G.  With her instruction, he was able to pick one of the four verbs, but when it came time to pick a number, N told him to "say any number," to which he, in all his 2-year-old brilliance, replied, "Any number."  So N tried again by saying, "No, G, say a number."  To which he replied, "A number."  I think she gave up after that.

And then last night we talked briefly about the time change coming this weekend.  When we told her we would move forward an hour and it would be light when she went to bed, she said, "That is impossible and weird at the same time."

And, finally, on Monday she must have replied, "Saweet" to everything comment I made at the dinner table.

G is talking more and more and becoming a music connoiseur.  In the car he first requests "McQueen," which is Sheryl Crow's Real Gone.  Then he wants to hear "Move It," which is's I Like to Move It.  G really gets into this one, repeating after "bayup, bayup, bayup" (back it up, back it up, back it up).  Finally, he specifies The Chippette's "Ah Single Lays," the rodent version of Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).

Monday, March 8, 2010

A fun spring day with my boys

What a good day I've had with my littles.  A busy day, to be sure, but lots of fun.  It is amazing how much getting outside in the sunshine improves one's mood and energy level.

We began the day with our MOMS Club meeting, which featured G's first egg hunt.  I remember taking N to her first egg hunt at the MOMS Club in 2005.  She was dressed all cute and coordinated.  G was lucky to have a clean diaper.  It's funny how 5 years and 2 more kids later, a mom doesn't give a rats damn about fashion.

When we returned home we ate lunch and decided to walk over to where they are doing construction beside our neighborhood.  None of the diggers were out.  I told him they had to go home to eat lunch.

Then we headed over to see Jack and Dianne, some friendly donkeys that live nearby.  The boys really enjoyed watching them......
have donkey sex.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The consignment game also known as WE OWN TOO MUCH SHIT

This weekend I sold some stuff in a local community consignment sale.  Everybody prices their stuff, tags it, and drags it to a local sports complex.  For three (or more) days, people pick through your stuff and decide whether your price matches their budget.  Whether your taste matches their taste.  Whether your junk is their treasure.  

My take was 70% minus a $10 publicity fee, which means I came home with $127.  When I had my in-home pre-consignment sale, I made about $66.  So almost $200 total.  My goal is to make enough consigning to buy the kids' clothes and shoes for the next season.  

When I consign I price my stuff really cheap.  I have two reasons for doing this.  One, as a shopper, I will not spend more than $2.50 or so on a consigned single clothing item.  Two, as a seller, I just want the shit outta my house so I am willing to get a couple bucks out of it than have it linger in my closets.  

Given than this is my modus operandi, my panties get in a twist when I see clothing items, like a single shirt, with a tag for $10 and NO DISCOUNT.  I rarely spend $10 on a brand spanking new clothing item for my kids.  Why would I spend that much on a used item?  

Tonight when I went to pick up my check, there were tons of people carrying out giant bins of unsold clothing, and I thought, "These are the folks who overprice and don't discount."  They have their own reasons for pricing as they do, but it was a pain in the ass lugging my crap up there.  I sure as shit don't want to lug it all home.  

It is kinda sad, but I am already looking forward to the August consignment sales since I will be getting rid of a lot of the big baby items--the bumbo seat, the swing, the bouncy seat, the floor playmat, the baby bathtub, one of our 3 strollers.  

I sold 93 items this weekend.  So 93 fewer things in my house.  But there is still entirely too much crap in my house.  

Going through all this clutter has made me think a lot about death and what happens to a person's stuff when he/she dies.  Whenever I'm pricing my stuff, I try to think about its uselessness to me in the big scheme of things.  A part of me might think it "should" be worth $10, but the truth is that it is worth far, far less than that.  My mother always says she never had any luck selling stuff in yard sales, but I think it's because she has a heightened sense of value, as in she thinks her stuff is more valuable than it is.  

Whodathunk consigning would be an exercise in existentialism?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Let's see. Where did I put that patience???

I admit that 3 kids has totally thrown me over the edge.  Made me Little Miss Crabby Pants.  None of them has a lick of patience, which means when I am needed by one, I am needed by all.  And my patience can't handle it.  

Since the kids have zapped up all of my reserves, and I never get an extended period of time away from them or any kind of good sleep with which to restore my depleted reserves, the rest of the world has to deal with the grouch.  

And by the rest of the world, I primarily mean my husband, but also my mother.  

This morning, D got breakfast for N and G.  At one point, he said to me something on the order of....

"I get G his food, and then I get N some more to drink, and then I get G a little bit more food.  And then I sit down to eat my food, but by the time I sit down G needs more to drink.  And so while I'm up getting that, N asks for something else."

I think my reply was something along these lines...

"Well that NEVER happens to me (see that sarcasm dripping down the walls?).  Why the hell do you think I am so frustrated within 3 minutes of crawling out of bed?"

Rather than commiserate at our shared frustrations, I just get grumpy.  

Last week, we had the grandparents over for dinner to celebrate N's birthday.  I ordered Buca Di Bepo---apple/gorgonzola salad, quatro al forno and lasagna.  My mother must have asked me 18 times what the pasta dishes were in the quatro al forno.  Ok, maybe just twice, but at the end of the day (and that day was busy after 2 trips to the dentist and taking snacks to N's school) I don't have the patience for questions.  I didn't make it so I didn't know.  Nor did I care.  I just wanted to get some food in my gut and get a nice little buzz off the wine as quickly as possible.  

I certainly don't like being Grumpy Betty, but between the needs of 3 little people, breastfeeding 8 times a day, and interrupted sleep, plus keeping up with the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the bill-paying, I really don't have the energy to withhold my tongue from some sharp retorts.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An attempt to be healthier

In general I think I'm fairly healthy.  Sure, I have allergies and take shots.  Sure I take my Lexapro and see a shrink every 4 months.  Sure I had gestational diabetes while preggo with my daughter.  But otherwise, thankfully, my health has been alright.

For the last few years, D's company has had a wellness program for employees whereby the employees who sign up take a health assessment (blood work, questionnaire) and get cheaper premiums.  This year, they opened it up to employee's spouses.

So yesterday morning, I trekked to D's work to have my blood pressure taken, blood drawn and my girth measured.

My blood pressure was 103/73.
My Body Mass Index is 21.4.
My waist circumference is 30.

Considering I'm not quite 5 months postpartum, I think that is pretty good.
But I know I can do better, if for no other reason than to encourage my kids to live healthier.

Now I'm not gonna give up ice cream or chocolate or pizza or wine or my once-a-year steak.   I'm just going to try better to eat more fruits and veggies, whole grains.  The same stuff I do now, just moreso.  Be more conscientious of what I'm eating.  Prior to having M, I was doing a much better job of fixing healthier food, but having a new baby in the house necessitated faster food options (not fast food, but not made from scratch food either).

I am looking forward to warmer weather so we can reinstitute our family walks, which is one of my favorite family traditions.  Most every evening we go for a walk in our neighborhood as a family, and it is so nice.  D and I actually get a chance to talk, since N and G run ahead chasing each other.  And we see neighbors or things about our neighborhood that we don't always notice when we're driving through.

My next-door neighbor and I are going halfsies in a community garden program, whereby we receive a weekly produce delivery.  I am so excited about this.  It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  Both my dad and D's papaw have gardens but this program offers a wider array of produce than what they grow every year.  It will be nice, fun and a challenge to use up Swiss chard, beets, lemon balm, heirloom tomatoes and more.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How can these people possibly be having sex?

Today, while waiting in line at the Disney Store, I began a conversation with an obviously pregnant woman who said she is due in May.  She also said she had 2 other kids at home---ages 3 and 14 months.  I generally feel like Superwoman until I meet someone like her, who's 3 children are much, much closer in age than mine.

Whenever I meet women with numerous very, very closely spaced kids. I always, always want to ask the following question which is:  How in the holy hell did you have the desire and/or energy to have sex when your babies were under a year old????

Because I am perfectly content to be in a celibate marriage at the moment.  Hubby is not into it because he is scared that I'll get pregnant again.  I am not into it because....drumroll, please....

1. My breasts are getting plenty of action all day long.

2. My breasts are getting plenty of action all night long too.

3. Said nighttime action interrupts sleep, which makes me have no energy to have sex.

4. Did you know nursing hormones dampen a woman's sex drive?

5. Did you know that caring for 2 little boys all day long, and a 6-year-old from late afternoon on, also plays a role in low sex drive?  As in, I feel too exhausted, smelly and frumpy to want to have sex?

So in addition to preventing ovulation, breastfeeding zaps my energy, meets all my needs for physical comfort, and produces hormones that make arousal darn near impossible.  

Which makes me think that the women I meet who get pregnant with Irish twins or with babies only slightly more than 1 year apart, do not breastfeed.  Because not breastfeeding makes one menstruate really soon after birth, like even six weeks after delivery.  I didn't menstruate with N until she was 11 months old, and with G it was 13 months until Aunt Flo visited.  Who knows how long I'll go with M?

Of course, these women could just be anomalies who genuinely do like sex OR they are nice to their husbands and do it just because their dudes want to.  Thankfully, I am not in those categories.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The things that boy says

Ok, so I really love the developmental stage between 16-36 months.  Kids this age are just so cute.  Everything is new and exciting, and they truly say the funniest things.  Here's some of what G has been saying:

1. G cannot say the "Gr" sound.  So when he says his name it sounds like he's saying a drawn-out, Southern version of "damn," as in "Day-yum."  At N's birthday party on Sunday, when Mr. Bill asked around the circle for kids to say their names, G pointed to his chest and yelled loudly, "I Day-yum."

2. I guess due to the excitement of N's party on Sunday (and a newly runny nose), G fought taking a nap.  So on Monday, I thought I'd have him lay with me on my bed.  He was all squirrelly, flopping around like a fish.  I told him to stop talking so we could go to sleep.  He was quiet and still for all of 37 seconds before he said, "Mommy, I not talkin'."  Way to keep it shut, buddy!

3. Whenever we pass the Golden Arches, he says, "There's Old McDonald."