Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day of Sharing

Today’s post could have been labeled a couple different ways. Neverending Boogers. Love in the Time of Boogers. Lord of the Boogers. You get the idea.

My babies have colds (Thank you sister-in-law for knowingly bringing your sick child to play. I think of you fondly at 2:30, 4:00, and 5:15 in the morning when I’m up with my screaming miserable congested coughing children.) And it’s FUN. I’m not sure who’s the most miserable. Claire with her drippy EH! Lily with her coughing and inability to sleep. Husband with the tearful phone calls. Or mom. Poor poor mom. Who yesterday got halfway to the grocery store before realizing that she WASN’T WEARING SHOES. And who today poured apple juice on her turkey sandwich instead of in the empty glass RIGHT NEXT TO IT. Nice.

The upside to the madness is that Claire seems to understand that I need a little extra TLC these days. She was ALL about sharing her binkie (can you say congestion yumminess!) and her sippy (same applies here) and her blankie today. When she’s tired or not feeling well or sad she’ll take the corner of her blanket and sniff it or rub it against her nose. For long periods. It’s not as weird as it sounds. And today while I was rocking her she held up the corner and pushed it into my nose. Again, not as weird as it sounds. But rather, sweet. Very sweet. Love in the Time of Boogers it is.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Breakfast Prayer

Dear God,

Please bless this food that it will provide me with strength. I'm grateful for it. And please bless that I might make it through this day with a semblance of my sanity intact. For it is only 9 in the morning and already I'm laughing at things that aren't funny.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Month 17--Claire

(Totally stole the idea from Dooce and am not even a little sorry.)

Dear Claire,

Sweetheart on October 31st you turned 17 months old. I cannot believe how fast it's gone. Really. You're such a little girl now. I look at you and wonder when you stopped being my little baby. Who are we kidding, you'll always be my baby. You're just getting so big.

This month you discovered your belly button. And mine. And dad's. And Lily's. You go for the button whenever possible. On whoever. You get so frustrated when you're wearing a onesie (It's cold. And it keeps you from exposing your navel. You may still be wearing them in high school. We'll talk about it later.) because it keeps you from sticking your finger in your favorite place. Sometimes you'll point to your ears when I ask you where they are and every once in a blue moon your toes. But your belly button? Gold every time.

You're still a little slow on the speech development which concerns your dad a bit but I know you'll start talking when you're ready. That's always how you've been. No prodding, cajoling, or bribing gets you any closer to doing things you're not ready to do. It's just how you are. Stubborn. In a way that only your father can understand. You remind me of him so much. You're so sweet natured, and for the most part even tempered (you're a toddler, let's keep it real), but when you set your mind to something. It's over. Until you say otherwise.

You have developed a somewhat questionable obsession with balls. You love them. Beyond all reason love them. And Elmo. When we go to the gym in the mornings you head straight for the ball section and stay there until I come to pick you up an hour later. We have about 900 in our house right now. You love to kick them and throw them and bounce on them and put them in buckets/tupperware/baskets/cupboards. You used to frustrate yourself beyond reason trying to pick up more tennis balls than your little arms could carry. We got you a ball bucket and now you can walk around with at least ten. This appeases you. You'll share all of your toys with any friend who comes over to play, except your balls. Let's not get stupid.

You have a little crush on Elmo and as such we hear him singing on our tv for at least an hour every day. You like to sit in your Elmo chair holding your Elmo balls and your blankie while we watch him on the screen. He loves you. And you love him.

You also so incredibly sweet with your baby sister. You really love her. When she first arrived you weren't quite sure what to think and I'm pretty sure it was a little hard to start sharing the attention, but you're over that now and so gentle with baby sis. You give her loves all the time. Gently you'll lower your head to hers for cuddles and often I find you looking at her when you play to see if she's watching. You give her kisses whenever she's on your level. You also like to steal her binkie as we are trying to wean you off of yours. Smart girl.

You blow kisses to whoever stays downstairs with Lily as you are being carried off to bed. You giggle non-stop and have the cheesiest grin I've ever seen. Your curls flip over your ears and you love to wear your crown. Dr. Seuss is your favorite, especially the ABC and One Fish, Two Fish books. You love to bounce. Your adore your father. You want your mom when you're hurt. You still think peek-a-boo's the greatest game ever and if given the chance you'd adopt the dog next door in an instant.

We love you so much. Everyone loves you so much. You are everything that is good in this world and your dad and I constantly marvel at how incredibly lucky we are to have you in our lives. You are joy to us.




Hmmmm... how to crawl out of my hole. I've been in isolation/seclusion mode for the past month or so because I've been sad. Not the wisest approach I know. Life has become quite overwhelming and I'm looking to switch medications and seek out counseling in hopes to find my smile. My real one, not just the one I plaster on my face while in public (who are we kidding here, Target).

I'll talk more about it later. It's easier to joke about or discuss horrible times with a little distance.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Love and crowns

It's all about finding things in life that you love. That inspire you. My daughter received this crown as a present the other day and hasn't taken it off since. She loves it. Everything about it. It's the first thing she goes for in the morning and won't take it off until she needs to go to bed. And even then I find I'm the one prying if from her head. Like the crown stealer that I am.

And it's got me thinking, what things do I love? Back in the day (before the babes in arms) I could have answered this question easily, but now I find that my days are so full of the necessary I don't have much time for "crowns" anymore. And so I'm setting a goal for myself, to find things that I love to do, to enjoy, every day.

Today I am taking a bath. ALONE. With m&m's. And Diet Coke. And salts. ALONE. What do you love?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Changing my title

For the love of all that's holy I am so freaking tired. Pflaahh! I mean seriously. I get a little sick of people referring to what I do as "Stay at Home Mom" (Yes, I know that I even have it listed on my profile. Enough! I'm changing it.). A dog stays at home. Cats, stay at home. Women at home who are taking care of a child/children do not simply stay at home. They work their effing asses off. That's my new title. Mom working her ass off in the vicinity of where she also happens to sometimes sleep. MWHAOITVOWSAHTSS for short.

I got two and half hours of sleep last night and picked up poop off the floor today with my BARE HANDS! (Too much information? Too bad! If I have to do it, you have to read it.) I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other day (really she's just an acquaintance, but friend sounds so much nicer) and she told me about how her husband wouldn't take night shifts with their colicky baby because he didn't want to be "mentally exhausted for WORK the next day." What the hell.

I feel that we live in a time where motherhood isn't valued as highly as it ought. What I do, is work. It's exhausting, mind-numbing, stressful, all-consuming, never-ending, thankless work. It's also exhilarating, joyful, endlessly rewarding, and unbelievably fulfilling. Usually all at the same time. Which is part of what makes it so damn difficult. The highs, the lows, the flatlining, you really never know what you're going to get. It's not rational. There is no "schedule". I'm unappreciated and loved beyond my own comprehension by the same people at the same time. At the end of the day I have nothing left. And yet, there really isn't an end of the day.

I cook. I clean. I pick up poop. I nurture. I teach. I comfort. I love. I read. I play. I don't pee alone.

So don't tell me I'm a stay at home mom. I work. And I want a raise.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And sigh.

Claire's 15 month check-up (I know a month late. We're working on it.) Check.

Lily's 2 month check-up (also almost a month late. freakinfrackin.) Check.

I hate the pediatrician's office. I mean really. I used to live in Arlington, VA which is really just an extention of DC if you ask me and while there were very few perks of living in such a metropolitan area (if there are more than a gajillion people living in a single block radius for the majority of a city it's metropolitan. moving on.) check-ups at the peds were one of them. First of all there were like 900 doctors in the office at any given time so our wait time was pretty much non-existent and for the most part they knew what they were talking about (Mr. Doctor man who insisted on calling my sweet little girl "him" the entire time, I am not referring to you here.)

I now live in the sticks. Which I love. Subject for another day. And our peds visits aren't run with quite the same clock-work expediency as before. The registration nurse calls me hun (which is kind of sweet) but cannot for the life of her figure out how to make a copy. Every. Time. I just need it for Flex. I'm sure I'm not the only one who asks. It's really not that difficult.

And every time I take my daughters there it's a two hour event. I say event because really, there just aren't words. Claire hates the doctor. With the passion from the fire of a thousand suns. Hates. Which leads to the inevitable meltdown at about minute 13 of our time in baby doctor hell. Lily usually lasts about 3.5 seconds longer than sis before her taking cue and coming completely unglued as well. There are cameras in those rooms (okay, not really). For I cannot think of any other reason as to why they would make us sit there for 45 minutes before gracing us with the presence of someone who has somehow managed to obtain a medical degree. It's like Big Brother. Only I'm the one who keeps trying to vote myself out of the house.

Only when I'm at complete wits end with two screaming babies will they send someone in and by this point there are almost always tears in my eyes and I am DRIPPING with perspiration. Without fail I get the "this is what you get for having your children this close together" look. And sigh.

Then the questions. And the answers. It's worse than taking the SAT. My kingdom to simply be comparing vocabulary terms again. Does my child do the crazy walk? Yes. Does she point and look at me then point again? Yes. Can she impersonate Leonard Bernstein and haw like a burro? Uhhh... At the end of our discussion she briefly noted that my child might be autistic and then moved on to Lily. Uh. Hello. Could we go back a space please.

Claire won't talk. She has a vocabulary of five words and seems reasonably contented to stay at this level for the rest of forever. She's happy, healthy, social, responsive, and delightful in every way (except in doctor hell) and because she can't write in chiasmus there is a chance she is autistic. My doctor is a moron.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My reasons are twofold, er three, okay six.

I've struggled with severe anxiety/depression for a long long time. It's manageable as long as I take care of myself. Exercise is NOT an option. It's not something I do just to stay fit (tiny lie) or because I enjoy cramming my patonky-tonk butt into lycra (not even a little lie). I do it because IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO OUR VERY HAPPINESS as a unit. Because if mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Nobody been happy in my house the last two weeks. We are still sick. This is day 11. Though we're definitely on the upswing my will to live has been dramatically depleted. I'm hoping to recover it someday.

Because of the aforementioned struggle my immune system does not rebound quickly. In college I was on a first name basis with most of the attending physicians in the ER. They offered me a punch pass card where I could earn free scrubs after x number of visits. They later recanted on this offer. I'm still a little bitter.

Long and boring story short, I went on Zoloft when Claire was born to help with the post-partum and still breastfeed. I went off it when Lily was born because I am insane. Right. So no exercise, no sleep, no Zoloft. We've hit DEFCOM FIVE people. Hold onto your butts and RUN.

I went off this craptastic little pill because it sucks the life right on out of life. I mean I feel NOTHING. Which is good in that I don't sit in a corner and cry for hours but am rather, a robot. Intimacy? Really? Really? No. Chocolate ball? Yes. (Unfortunately chocolate balls do not satisfy my husband quite as well as they do me. Cruel.) It's like Botox without the Botox. No good. So my options here are Zyborg or Hiroshima. Cruel again.

My husband wants me to see my OB, whom I LOVE (seriously. not even just a little love. big big love.), but every time I mention depression to her she gets all excited and starts talking about how good it will be for me to spend a little time in the institution. That's right. The institution. Like it's DISNEYLAND. I've never been to the institution but can't imagine that it's all that she thinks it is. Unless then have chocolate balls there. In which case, I'll consider it. So I can't call her.

I'm thinking that I'll just suck it up for a few months and go Zyborg. It bites, but it's better than the alternative I think.

(Just finished this post when I popped on over to Swistle's. I love this woman.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Taking my chances with the third eye

Still sick. And getting worse. Do you know what I love? That little disclaimer on all of the medication websites about how this medicine is considered "safe" for breastfeeding/pregnant women but that you should weigh the risks first. What the hell? Who writes this crap? Men. Men who have thought of the perfect way to get back at all those girls who burned them in high School.

With guilt. I mean, I know that if a woman is reading this little "disclaimer" in the middle of the night chances are she can't breath and has been hacking for days and days and days... So how about a zinger? Let's make her question just how much she really loves her child. I mean, is a little comfort worth the third eye? I don't know. Only you can answer that question mamma.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Worst Day Ever

There really just aren't enough words . . . You know how I was all "the gym is the best thing ever?!!" (Insert peppy cheerleader head bob here.) Right. I retract that statement. Instead of "for $30 a month they'll watch my children for one hour every day!" It should read, "for only $30 a month I can bring home any and every kind of plague imaginable!" Bubonic? Ebola? Sure! This gym's playland has it all! We made it to the land where germs flow a plenty three freaking times before we three ladies came down with the hanta virus (okay not really, but surely it couldn't be much worse than this). Everyday this week I've gone to bed thinking, "surely the worst is over, surely we'll be on the upswing tomorrow. Surely I'll find my will to live after a good night's sleep." I'm a jackass for even setting myself up for such supreme disappointment.

Surely the worst is not over. Surely Lily (my 2 1/2 month old) will fuss from 10pm to 2pm non-freaking stop so that our misery might be compounded even more. Surely Claire's (15 months) nose will run like a faucet 24/7. Forcing her to choose between her pacifier or breathing (binky by a landslide). It's not pretty. Surely I will wish for death more times today than I can count. And cry.

And so I'm going to rethink the gym thing. Though when at the grocery store picking up my cake the other day (Oh yeah, and it's my birthday) the man at the checkout counter asked me WHEN I WAS DUE. Bitchin. So maybe not.

Little tip. When tempted to ask a woman when she's due, ask yourself this simple question. Is the answer to this going to be tomorrow? If not, don't ask. Ever.

I lied to him. He was very nice and his wife was pregnant and he simply wanted to bond in his blissful having a baby state. I told him I was five months along. "WOW! You look great!!" Don't I though . . .

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bringing about my own demise

We had a big day planned for yesterday. First we were going to the gym (For only $30 a month they will watch BOTH of my children for an hour every day. Right?! It’s my happiest discovery since Lindt Dark Chocolate Balls.), then to the playground, and after naps and lunch, to the babysitter’s house for two hours. Fun, fun, fun. Out of the house, out of the house, out of the house.


We supposedly own a smart car. Smart in the sense that it knows that the keys have been absentmindedly left behind and like a guardian angel won’t allow the auto-lock feature to engage while they are still inside. It’s like it can sense that I am a numbnut who will lock myself out of my vehicle every damn day if provided the opportunity. It’s saved us many a times. Yesterday, I got the best of smart car. (Who’s the smart one now?!) Thankfully none of my children were inside. My wallet and positive outlook were not so fortunate.

I must say that getting out of the house drastically improves my mood and my feelings towards the whole stay at home mom thing. When they say “stay at home” they can’t possibly mean it or there would be no progeny. We’d all be raising llamas in Montana instead. Because they let you out to do that.

And so I stood in the garage staring at my keys somewhat wild-eyed willing the doors to open. Spare you ask? With my husband at work. An hour and a half away. Handy. I grew up with a poodle who would freak right on out when left inside the car for ten seconds without us. She’d sit in the back window of the vehicle, face pressed against the glass, howling and panting until we returned. I used to think it was a little funny. I don’t anymore.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'd like to change my vote

Sometimes when my daughter doesn’t want to take a nap she’ll run back and forth in her crib yelling WHEEEE at the top of her lungs. I feel like giving it a try tonight, not because I don’t want to sleep (Oh God do I want to sleep) but because I feel like that’s the sound that one should make as the last bits of sanity slip away.


I was talking to a friend of mine over the weekend and when the conversation turned to babies she mentioned that she’s ready to have another. Number four. In my mind I was screaming for the love of all that’s holy don’t do it!! But, “that’s great, babies are so much fun!” came out instead. I am a liar. And I am going to hell. I wonder if they’ll let me sleep there.

My husband comes from a large family (eight boys—I know) and I from a family of four (three brothers). Before we married we discussed how many kids we’d like to have, just to make sure we were on the same page and that he in no way shape or form thought I was kicking out more than a basketball team. String quartet, maybe.

Now the very thought gives me a tick. Just thinking about the two that I have gives me a tick. I absolutely cannot even fathom wanting to do this again. And like everyone else, I love my daughters. I just love them a little more when they’re sleeping. Is that so terrible?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Permission Granted

So here we go. The maiden voyage of Sensible Absurdity. I've been pondering the subject of my first post for days (okay weeks) and well, have decided on potatoes. Potatoes. You see, my life is something of a mess, but a planned mess. I'm the mother of two brilliantly beautiful girls, ages 15 months and 2 months. Fifteen months. Two months. Say it out loud. Think about the implications. I spend all day trying not to. And so, everyday provides itself with an abundance of topics to be discussed, dissected, and blogged. But the first post, that's something. It should be special. And so it is.

This evening while preparing dinner (and by preparing I mean throwing chicken in the oven and cutting open a bag of Simply Potatoes to throw in a skillet--what can I say, I'm a culinary sage) I found directions that appealed to me, and would that I could contact the person who wrote them and have them direct my life. They read as follows:

Lightly Cover . . .
Heat . . .
Add . . .
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown turning potatoes every 3 to 4 minutes. Skillet should remain covered while cooking (except while turning potatoes).

Right. Thanks for that. Lest I stand at the stove with my covered skillet of diced potatoes with onion pondering the conundrum of how in the hell I was going to cook the other side of my Atkins nightmare without explicit permission. Should I beat the lid with my spatula or shake the whole thing with pot holders? Ah but, permission granted.

I want more. Permission's granted that is. You see I am starting this blog in a desperate attempt to preserve/maintain/retrieve some semblance of sanity. For it feels that I am indeed losing my mind. Quite literally. I spend 13 hours a day alone with two individuals who don't talk and who require my absolute undivided attention. All of the time. They tag team. One wakes up, eats, poops, gets rocked back to sleep and then the other awakens. And repeat. Oh, sometimes they are awake simultaneously, but alas that is a post for another day. I love my curmudgeons with my whole person. But sometimes, I simply need a permission granted. I need some of myself back. And so I'm going to write. Maybe people will read, and maybe they won't. It really isn't about that. It's about me. Me, me, me. As the rest of my life really isn't.

I'm not telling anyone that I know about this, because I'm really just not looking for judgment right now. And so it begins, permission granted to lift the lid off the pot to flip my potatoes. Should be interesting.