Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, that's new

Maybe God has been poking at me lately for my admittedly skewed view of myself. I've really been struggling on the whole self-esteem thing lately, and have been in dire need of a sense of humor. However, the following two interactions that I have had with complete strangers this week have left me scratching my head about how I present myself. I just don't know what it all means....

Date: Tuesday
Site: Hospitality Private Preview of new museum exhibit
Scene: making small talk with Director of Sales (DS) of local hotel at the reception, while Husband stepped away.

DS: [after discussing kids, etc. DS is a grandmother] "So, are you a stay-at-home mom?"
Me: [thinking that I really should have changed out of the jeans and knit pullover] "No, I'm a patent attorney at X Technology in far-flung suburb."
DS: "Oh." [silence]

I'm not disparaging SAHMs here, but I was a little unsettled by the automatic assumption that all lawyers need to look like they just stepped out of Law and Order. At this point, I don't even own what could be considered a real suit. Don't need one. Actually, we quietly mock those outside counsel of ours that come down for their obligatory face time with us and show up in suits. However, maybe the image could use an overhaul. Anyone want to sign me up for "What not to wear?" (I do have a bit of a crush on Clinton, for reasons I don't understand.)

Date: Thursday morning
Site: Convenience store across from work
Scene: After a horrid morning, stocking up on the big bottle of Diet Pepsi, and some sugar in the form of glazed blueberry cake donuts. (Ignore this bit when I post my uber-whiny weight post). Checking out with normal-looking, non-grungy 20ish male clerk (BC). Me making small talk:

Me: "After the morning I've had, I need my sugar and caffeine."
BC: [smiling] "Are you sure that's enough?"
Me: "Well, maybe not, but they tend to frown on what I really need." [kidding, totally!]
BC: [weird interested look on face] "Are you a seller too?"
Me: "Um, no." [Beats hasty exit out nearest door]

What the...? Was I just solicited for drugs? While in my sensible blue shoes, 50's-inspired cardigan, and my work badge prominently displayed? I still can't make heads or tails of it. If anything, I don't think that I'll be headed back there anytime soon. I've been assumed to be a lot of things, but never a drug dealer. Not even when I was picking up fertility drugs and syringes in a plain brown paper bag in a neighborhood where I very likely could have been a dealer, regardless of getup.

See? God is poking at me, but I have no clue what the message is. Must mull it further....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nine months

BabyA turned nine months last week. As I've worried before, my baby is disappearing.

However, due to some scheduling difficulties, she had her nine month appointment yesterday. Of all the things in my life, I tend to be the most punctual about my children's respective well baby/child appointments. Well, at least the scheduling part. Getting there at the appointed time, or, as I've heard that some people do, getting there prior to the appointed time, is a different story.

Regardless, we made it there in one piece, and she was fairly happy. She's been sleeping pretty rotten during the day lately, and I was a little worried that my choice of a 3:30 appointment wasn't all that wise. For once she cut me some slack (she really is a little taskmaster), and was happy and charming, except for the nurse who did the blood draw for her lead screen and hemoglobin. Big bottom lip, one dainty and dramatic tear down the cheek, looking piteously up at Daddy. Such a princess.

Everything seems to be clipping along with her. She's a bit over 18 lbs (49th) and 28ish inches (88th). Her ears are still OK, and all of the other important parts seemed ok. I did raise my concerns about the near constant runny nose, now approaching three months worth, and the rash that she seemed to have developed overnight. I appreciate that babies have sensitive skin, but I seem to have a sensitive sensitive baby. She's also been running a low-grade fever off and on for quite a while, which has been worrying me about a compromised immune system, or some infection that we were missing. The pediatrician's verdict? Teething. I have a hard time with that, since the next set are nowhere on the horizon/gumline. However, she has been a drool machine lately, so that may be it. I'm just worried about her. I'm going through Motrin like it's going out of style. She always seems to feel so much better with it, it just seems to me like there may be something else in the background. I'll give her another month or so, so we'll see.

Other than her medical status, she's a pretty happy little girl. She has become more brave in her adventures in the crawling arena, and has started to track me down when I plunk her down with her toys and disappear to do something extravagant like go to the bathroom or get ready for work. Very rarely does she complain, she just sets out, little fuzzy head down, and grins up at me with I'm found. She adores her brother, plain and simple. She pulls up on anything remotely vertical, and has only had a couple of good bumps. Funny thing is, most of them have been her toppling over while sitting and managing to miss the rug and hit the hardwood. I hate that little thump noise. She's also bound and determined to be walking before she's a year. Right now she is cruising up and down the couch or ottoman, and will hold on with just one hand, more for stability than anything, sort of like a dancer at the bar. She can stand on her own for a couple of seconds, but that is about it.

She has a ready smile, with or without the binky. She likes her Daddy an awful lot, but just likes to play with him across the room. If I am around, she likes for me to be close, which means that she wants me to hold her while she is flirting with someone else. She loves Cybl the cat, and thinks that Dracie is pretty darn cool too. Whenever she hears Cybl, she looks all over excitedly to try to find her. While Cybl complains a lot, she won't leave when BabyA yanks on fur or gets hold of a tail. We're working on "gentle," but overall she's pretty good with her.

She is terrified of the dogs, which I can't understand. She was subjected to a small bath from Yellow Dog once while she was in the carrier, which didn't seem to bother her too much at the time. However, Yellow Dog did startle her not too long ago and she has been scared ever since. Its not a matter of just giving the poor creature dirty looks from my arms, its clinging to me and being near tears. It makes me upset that its this way, since I had always imagined that the dogs would be integrated into our lives more than they are right now. It really is a case of too small of an interior space for two adults, two small children, and two bigger dogs. Outside is a different story, since the dogs can then reach speed and run over the small children. They aren't being mean or aggressive, just being big dogs. Sigh.

All in all, she's still my little light, even though she still occasionally requires me to burn the midnight oil. I can't imagine our world without her.

Monday, June 16, 2008


As usual, I have some wonderful, deep, soul searching posts that I need to write. Also as usual, I have even less time than normal to write said deep posts, so I will have to do what I have fallen into the bad habit of doing...a laundry list of junk.

I hate weekends. Really. I always end up crabby and frustrated. I never get all of the laundry done, I seem to always end up with at least one irrationally screaming child, and also have a husband that thinks that Sunday afternoons are made for nooky time during that small window of time when kids are both napping. Does he not see the piles of laundry still mocking me from the hall? Smell the litter boxes that need to be cleaned? See the weeds that need to be pulled and the new mulch put down where you can see the landscape cloth? I turn into this grumpy, scowling shrew who ends up missing that time that I really need to just be with my kids and husband, but life just keeps screwing it up. So, I end up back at work today even more tired than I was before, even after the diet cola with the zippy caffeine and ginseng, and just wanting to cry. Blech.

We did manage to get out and attempt to test drive a different car to replace the caddie. When I say attempt, I say so in every nuance of the word. We tried to get a sitter for Saturday morning, but no luck. So, being reasonable parents, we decided that we could bring children with, since the test-driven car needed to be able to accommodate two car seats for the foreseeable future.

We managed to get one, yes, one, drive in. It took almost 15 minutes for Husband to move and install both carseats, and then deal with a screaming Son who was afraid that we were abandoning the Jeep FOREVER. "I don't yike dis car. I like Mommy's truck. Whiiiiiiine." Eventually he ran out of steam and calmed down. Despite the trauma (and a very understanding salesperson a local Toyota), off we went. And for once, we really liked what we tried. If our finances had been in order, we probably would have ordered one on the spot. However, we exercised great discretion and restraint, and drove away, albeit with longing stares. To paraphrase Wayne, it will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine. Just not real sure when.

BabyA has shown us that she has issues with strawberries. Damn. I gave her some of those apple/strawberry baby puffs over the weekend, and by Sunday she was one broken out mess. It doesn't seem to bother her too much other than for the skin, and it doesn't affect her digestively, but she looks like she is entering puberty. Poor thing. We have her nine month well baby appointment tomorrow, so I may be able to wrangle some hydrocortisone for her. Looks like they are off my menu too, which stinks because I just got a 1/2 gallon of strawberry sorbet that is really, really, yummy. Sigh.

I'm thinking about calling my primary doc to see if I can get my happy pill dosage increased. I have been pretty horrible for the past week or so, and no one at home is liking me too much. Intellectually, I know that Son is an almost three year old that is picky, stubborn, and developing an independence that can be exasperating to watch, let alone deal with. However, I have been snapping at him way more than I should, and I know that it's getting bad when Husband has to tell me to back off. That's not the mom that I want to be. I've even been getting short with BabyA, who is asserting her mobility at the worst times lately (cue wiggling and trying to roll over and stand up during a particularly goopy diaper change, all the while fussing and complaining). Husband has been pushing buttons that I used to be able to ignore. What scares me a little is that Son was about the same age as BabyA is now when I hit a really rough patch the last time. Since I'm already on medication, I can't even manage to cry the tears that I know are there so I can't get any release there. I can't relax enough to even think about sex, let alone even want to have it. Husband's patience can only go so far. It just feels like one more burden. I just feel as though I am spinning a bit out of control. There are days where it feels like everyone would be better off without me. It isn't all doom and gloom, but seems to be outweighing the good stuff lately.

Despite being the newest incarnation of the shrew, Husband and I are supposed to have a date night tonight. My SIL has volunteered to try to take on the two darlings. Husband made it a little over two hours at work this morning before going home sick. He keeps maintaining that we will still be able to go tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up on that one. Damn.

Yep, I'm all goodness and light lately. Makes me think that I really need to follow up on my observation to work husband (ever after referred to as WH) that I really need some time off just to get my head re-organized and to purge all of the crap that I've been hauling around. I've tentatively set the week after the 4th. We'll see how it works, but I'm thinking that I probably could use it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

not yet

Today was a momentous day for BabyA, although I don't' think that she appreciated it.

Today was the first day that she was not schlepped to daycare in her carrier. As in, she's outgrown her infant carseat and is now officially ensconced in her brother's former digs-a lovely Britax Roundabout. She was not happy. Not.One.Bit. For eleven miles, all screaming and hiccuping and huge tears. It was at the point where I was almost there with her.

Tomorrow she will be nine months old. NINE months. She's almost ready to stand on her own, and has taken to initiating some tentative cruising activities up and down the couch. Last night she was in the bathroom while Husband gave Son his bath. Son was playing in the tub, and BabyA had pulled herself up and was doing her best Kilroy over the edge. Husband was sitting on top of the toilet, held his hand out to her, and she grabbed it and just walked to him. Easy as pie. My infant is rapidly disappearing, and I have no way to even go and look for her, since she doesn't exist.

She's been subject to the downside of being the second child-there really aren't a whole lot of pictures. To be fair, Son hasn't been the subject matter of very many either. We've just had our hands full trying to keep them in one piece. I just feel so sad at the thought that I will have so very few images of her at this age. This soft and warm age where everything that she sees may be for the first time. She's already asserting her independence, and I fear that she may be giving me signs that she will be ready to wean by the time she is a year. In three short months. Despite the fact that I've been her favorite teething ring lately (who knew that so much pain could be inflicted with just two little teeth?), I don't want to lose those 20 minutes before bed when she is all mine. Relatively no wiggling, just quiet, just us.

I don't want her to leave this place just yet-I don't. I won't get to do this again, and it makes me so sad. Sad that one day they won't need me anymore, that I will be an obligation to them, and not the first person that they want when they hurt or are sad or scared. I know that our goal as parents is to raise little people that grow up into adults that will take care of this world and each other. I just wish that I didn't have to let go of them to do it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The demise of the great V8

Husband had an epiphany today, after paying almost $80 for gas. The caddie may need to go by the wayside. All of those glorious northstar eight cylinders may need to be used on a much more sporadic basis. Husband drives over 60 miles a day roundtrip, plus all sorts of in town running. The beast is actually getting way better mileage than my Jeep (22 vs. 15), but still. Prior to things getting all wacky with gas prices, we had decided that 22 wasn't that bad, the thing was paid for, and we could suck it up for another year or so until we really had to get some major things done to it, which have been pretty minimal considering that it has 122k miles on it.

However. For the long haul, is 22 really good enough? Or, on the flip side, is the 22 bad enough to justify picking up a car payment? I have to admit, it's been nice to not have one of those for almost two years now. If we had been smart, we would have been saving at least one of the payments for just this type of event. We aren't that bright sometimes, and we decided to have another baby instead. I still think we came out on the positive side of that one.

Regardless, we get to have that fun conversation tonight. I hate money, I really do. I've become pretty good at squeezing more and more out of every single dollar, but I'm afraid that we are approaching that point where there is simply no more to squeeze. We are saving for our retirement, but we haven't really started anything for either one of the kids. Unless they get a full ride somewhere either for academics or otherwise, we are going to have to pick up the tab. For some reason, sixteen years doesn't seem anywhere close to long enough to have to get all of that together. Then there is the guilt and panic incited in me when I screw up and something doesn't get paid, or when we have to put off something that we need. Gah. I hate it.

OK. Time to be a grown up and face this one. Right?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What's the name of that Goddess?

You know the one, the one with all of the arms and hands, with the calm and serene look on her face? That one? I can't remember the name, but I could have used her this morning.

BabyA threw a massive wrench into my routine this morning, and I really needed another adult around. Son does a more than admirable job of trying to keep her busy (there may be an Emily train in this for him), but when she is grumpy, and goopy, and just being a baby there is not much you can do. Plus, it's not fair to ask an almost three year old to run interference.

You see, normally, BabyA sleeps up until we are almost ready to leave, prior to the toy negotiations with Son. That means I am showered, prepared, and dressed prior to retrieving the little princess. Not so today. Up at 7:15, right after I got out of the shower. For those of you who have tried, putting on makeup with a grabby nine month old on one hip is not fun. I tried to put her down, but since she wouldn't let me be out of eyesight, and the tile and the tub and the toilet and the pedestal sink are not horribly forgiving, I had to hold her or listen to her scream.

She grumped through a bottle, she grumped through two, yes TWO, poopy diapers, and then promptly snored on the drive into work. You know, over 45 minutes later than normal. Sigh. You'd think that since I have almost half a year into this juggling act that I would get better at it somehow. But, to the contrary, it just gets worse.

Thus far I have restrained all of my urges to thoroughly throttle Husband for so happily tripping off to work, with his only responsibility being taking care of himself and taking out and feeding one of the dogs (yes, I get the other one). He's at work early, with his only worry being that the starch may not have worked so well while he was ironing his shirt. Meanwhile, I look like I am taking a leisurely stroll every morning, despite feeling wiped out before I even get here. Not a promotional bellringer I tell you.

Sigh. I need a vacation.