if i had to explain how i felt about our trip, this would just about do it



Will publish days 7-12 as soon as I tunnel out of the laundry and get all the Christmas stuff that we put off until we got back sorted out. In other words, look for me sometime in April.


.

day 5/6

Quick post. I'm sure there's a reason, but I don't feel like figuring it out and then coming up with the words and putting them all in the right order. So instead I'll just list the things we did yesterday and today and then call it enough. Maybe I'll get ambitious enough tomorrow to post a "thing's I'm thankful for" post. Post turkey, naturally. But for now:

Visited the Art Museum. A few fun facts about visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

  1. If you think it will be okay to keep your 3 year old in the stroller and that he'll just quietly sit there because you are going to make it such a fun game by looking for all the puppies and kitties in all the pictures, just do yourself and everyone else a favor and shoot yourself in the head. It's quicker, quieter, and probably leaves less of a mess.
  2. Stroller wheels are acceptable on the old hardwood floors in the exhibit areas. Even those old hardwood floors that look like they are about a paper's width away from being a sawdust. Stroller wheels are NOT acceptable on the stone stairs leading up to the second floor. Because they might somehow damage the stone, duh.
  3. Backpacks are only to be worn on one shoulder, not snug against the back with straps over both shoulders. It would be a shame to miss out on the excitement of nearly knocking over nearby exhibits while trying to shrug a sagging backpack back up on your shoulder while trying to squeeze past the middle school group who has decided the best place to gather is just outside the women's bathroom.
Perhaps someone should have gotten a better night's sleep before venturing out on the town, hmmm?

Dinner (at Cosi) and dessert (at Naked Chocolate Cafe) was the extent of our PM revelry. Or at least that's how BG and I had it planned. LG thought it would be fun to stay up all night. He made it to 10:30, then collapsed in an exhausted heap on the pull out sofa. Persistence is one thing we will never have to work on with this child.

Today we caught the 32 bus to 33rd & Oxford and took a short hike to the Smith Memorial Playground, etc. LG did awesome despite his shortened night. The working traffic signal in the basement was no small help in that area. Anyone who has spent more than 45 seconds with LG is shaking their heads knowingly right now. The bus ride back to City Hall was uneventful with the exception of LG shushing us because he was "A tryin' a talk to Somebody." The gentleman to his right was kind enough to oblige him by listening attentively as he explained the more peculiar aspects of the "Fouw Cwocks on City Hauw" -- mainly that they are yellow when they are all lit up at night, but blue during the daytime and that the clock facing our hotel room was a "witto bit diwty, wite up at da tippy tippy top". Wherever you are, Gentleman to the Right, thank you for taking the time out of your otherwise busy day to make one little boy feel all grown up.

From the bus stop at 15th & JFK we walked through City Hall, past the nearly-decorated Christmas tree ("How come dose wites not on, Mom-mae? Dey not pwugged in? Dey need an outwet? Din dey will haf da lectatricity? And din dey will be all on?") and on to Reading Terminal to see if the train were up and running. They were. And soon we were. And pushing buttons to see "What it do, Mom-mae?" That kept us busy long enough for BG to go back to the hotel and reclaim our luggage so that we could catch the train to DE. The blessed train on which LG finally succumbed to the siren of sleep, packed though it was.

The train ride was uneventful. I'm not sure what kind of event I was expecting that made our ride seem uneventful, but I'm just calling 'em like I sees 'em. And now we're here, ready to take full advantage of the "kick off your shoes and loosen your belt" kind of comfort that only years of friendship can create. Did I mention how much I'm enjoying this trip?

PS Yeah, yeah, I know. This was supposed to be a quick post.


.

day 4 -or- then I remembered that there is a business center in the hotel that we are staying at

but not before I texted myself 19 times to put together the following post
:

  1. So the battery recharge didn't last like I had hoped. We are so looking into one of those USB-outlet connector thingies!
  2. Hopefully I'll get this posted tomorrow* (which will actually be today if it happens, or yesterday if not). Meanwhile I'm chewing thru my
  3. text msg allotment 160 characters at a time. Do you know how easy it is to use 160** characters when you're reviewing the days events?
  4. (From "text" to "events" was 157 characters for those with a mind to count). This morning was spent kicking thru the leaves in Rittenhouse Square,
  5. chasing squirrels, and playing in the empty fountain. We hit Barnes & Nobles for a quick change/book look, then grabbed a bite at Cosi.
  6. I had forgotten to pack my black shoes, so we slipped into Payless on the way back. See how high maintenance I am?
  7. After LG's nap, we strolled down Broad towards the Italian Market. BG headed back towards Rittenhouse for dinner with the boys; LG and I
  8. continued on to grab some lettuce for dinner with Lora and Amy. Val, it turns out, got stuck in rush hour traffic. Boo. Almost a
  9. Philly Mama's reunion! I remembered to take the camera, then forgot to take it out until we were packing up to head back
  10. so no picture evidence, but I'd have to edit this to add it anyways, and let's be honest, you're probably not coming back to this post to check.
  11. The food was yummy and the conversation recharging (even as peppered with "LG, stop ---" and "Let's play nicely, LG" and
  12. "LG, tables aren't for standing on" as it was). There is nothing more comfortable than standing in someone else's kitchen in your socks, chatting easily
  13. about everything and nothing and not having to explain the backstory as you go. By 7:30 LG had hit his limit (and Sam a couple of times
  14. much to my dismay. but watching the two of them hug it out after one particular interaction was the stuff that makes a mother's heart
  15. melt. Still annoyed by the violence, but damn that was cute!) so we bundled up to head out. Amy and Sam gave us a lift so we could avoid
  16. the rain. LG was asleep almost before I got him in his jammies. When he slurred out a request for butterfly kisses, I melted away a full
  17. pant size. If I could just figure out a way to stay melted... BG came in shortly after from his Man Dinner. So now, we are skinny but
  18. full, talked out but filled with new stories, cold on the outside but cozy to the core, contentment reigns supreme. This trip is
  19. turning out to be a mixed bag. It is so good to be home. It will be so hard to go back.

*Actually the "tomorrow" in #2 is really "yesterday" but not the "yesterday" in #2 as that "yesterday" is now actually "today" because the word "yesterday" in that case would have been referring to tomorrow since I would have had to wait until the day after tomorrow to get this posted if I hadn't been able to figure out how to get it posted tomorrow (which would have been "today" according to the post date) which would have made today the day before yesterday but none of that matters because I figured it all out and got it posted tonight. Ta-Da!

**PS Verizon, 160 characters? WTF?

.

day 3

Hey I think I figured this out!!!! Apparently the way to post in the actual post field (as opposed to putting up a title then using the comment field for the post since it's the only freaking way you can figure out how to pull up the little keyboard thingy on your husband's iTouch) is to switch to "edit HTML" mode rather than that other mode up there. Posting problem solved; now to figure out a more consistent charging method. Oh, and forgive the spelling/editing, please? My fingers are fatter than they appear and I still can't figure out how to scroll with this thing!

Today we did a tour of several of the parks on our former daily routes. Paulumbo was still closed and locked up when we got there so rather than wait for someone with keys to show up, we headed over to Three Bears. When I get home I'll post some pics to show just how much LG has grown since our last visit there. For now, suffice it to say he had no trouble with that rock wall thing that used to challenge and frustrate him so. From there we wandered over to Franklin Square, stopping along the way to watch the horses around Independence Mall and to shuffle through the leaves. The carousel was down for a still to be determined time, so we headed back to our hotel. We stopped at the Wawa on 10th & Arch (or is it Arch & 10th?) for a couple of Hodges and a cup pf soup. After LG's nap, we caught the R3 to Rose Valley and hung out with some of the people who are high on the list of reasons we miss this incredible city so much. The only cloud in the days events was feeling inadequate when it came to explaining to LG why someone was sleeping on sidewalk. I am so torn with emotion when it comes to the homeless people, especially here, for some reason. Maybe because I never had to think about their misfortune on a daily basis until we lived here. Now that we've moved back to the cloistered safety of suburbia the reality of my relative luxury is a bit unnerving. Say what you will about socialism, there is something inherently wrong with a society that doesn't instinctively react to help when so many of it's citizens are without the basics of food and shelter. I don't know what the answer is, but clearly the current response falls far short. Shy of carrying a pocketful of singles... the helplessness lies in the reality that my pocketful of help would fall far short of an actual solution. Sigh.

But today was glorious- walking along the familiar streets and taking in that comforting kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells reminded me why I fell in love with this city in the first place.

'nother bit o' happiness


Hope your tricks were all treats!


.

change

Someone brilliant wrote

I don't expect Obama to do everything he proposes in the next four years. I don't really want him too. That's an awful lot. But if he can pull off paving the way for change I will consider his presidency a success. I am more than willing to make little sacrifices over the next few years if it means my child won't have to suffer or struggle when he is old enough to realize what is going on outside his front door.
I didn't take LG with me to the polls yesterday as I had intended. I could barely pull my head off my pillow for most of the day. I wish I had sent him with his father, to give him the gift of being part of something so monumental. But I was thankful that I had decided to mail in my ballot last week so that I could count my vote amongst the millions of happy, hopeful people who woke this morning with the sweet aftertaste of victory on their tongues.

Change.

Even just the suggestion of change. Even if the suggestion is only enough to make people think about change. If old stereotypes and prejudices are examined, even momentarily, even if they are picked back up and hidden behind again, even then, this change will have been worthwhile. Each question will weaken the status quo, each scrutiny will uncover some hole in its armor and eventually it will crumble, leaving behind it room for new, healthy growth.

Another brilliant writer reminded me of why this feels so important, so much more than any other election I've been a part of
Like him or don’t, agree with him or don’t. Despise his politics and fight to get him out, but celebrate. Because a man born into a segregated America in which black people were systematically denied the vote in ten states today was elected president of them all.

I am so proud to have been a part of this, however small.


.

does this sound like me? yeah, pretty much.

Thanks, Lora, for the link!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

mm.marilyn_.jpg

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
  • Be direct and clear But gentle. I have a tendency to take everything personally.
  • Listen to me carefully
  • Don't judge me for my anxiety
  • Work things through with me But don't tell me what to do. I hate being told what to do.
  • Reassure me that everything is OK between us
  • Laugh and make jokes with me
  • Gently push me toward new experiences Anything new is instantly impossible or bad for at least an hour. Give me a little time, though, and I'll be the spokesperson for said new idea.
  • Try not to overreact to my overreacting
What I Like About Being a Marilyn
  • being committed and faithful to family and friends
  • being responsible and hardworking
  • being compassionate toward others
  • having intellect and wit
  • being a nonconformist Well, as long as it doesn't draw too much attention to me. I'm the girl in the corner wearing neon green ankle socks. Rebellious, but only if you look closely.
  • confronting danger bravely
  • being direct and assertive Okay, so this is totally not me. I am the poster child for passiveaggressivenotes.com. One day you'll see my work there, you mark my words.
What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
  • the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind Do not, I repeat, do not take me to dinner. You will starve.
  • procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
  • fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
  • exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger I am the Queen of the contingency plan
  • wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
  • being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations
Marilyns as Children Often
I'd argue that it doesn't stop with childhood...
  • are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn Yes, both. They may seem diametrically opposed, but that's what makes life with me so much fun!
  • are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
  • form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
  • look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
  • are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent
Marilyns as Parents
  • are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
  • are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
  • worry more than most that their children will get hurt
  • sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries


Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy



.

proud to be a girl


By my calculations, I crossed the finish line in 2:41:do the seconds really matter? The actual results haven't been posted yet. My knee is a bit swollen, but it coordinates quite nicely with the opposite ankle which hasn't yet reached the PR for circumference that it set during my pregnancy. Am seriously debating whether or not LG would enjoy the opportunity to go to Miss Nicole's house 2 days this week! Still not quite sure what I'm going to do with all the time I will now have on my hands that was allotted to running in preparation... perhaps more regular posting? C'mon, we all saw how long that lasted last time...

I'll leave you with a few more race shots. Please be kind. Remember I was running.


I might be the one in just behind the chick in the red/pink shirt on the far right side. Or that could some random dude. It's all good.


Me at mile almost 4. I'm actually waving to the camera, though if I had known I looked like that, I might have tried to cover my face better. Or my ass. But I'd need bigger hands for that.


Coming up on the turn just before mile 9.


Still just before mile 9. Don't let the smile fool you. I had just come down the hell hill at mile 7 and had forgotten that it's twin started just past the water and Luna Moons at mile 9. PS Luna Moons? Ick.


The big finish. I felt strong until I looked over and saw the Chatty Kathy's walking to my right. Biotches. But biotches for a good cause so I'll forgive them. Plus, they gave me the motivation I needed to finish strong. No way I was coming in running behind two walkers! PS Miss Portland Marathon in the front? Thanks for keeping a steady pace for the last two miles. Your blue shirt was like a pink and blue beacon of hope, girl!


I'll take 'em and make it look effortless in the process.


The End! And a couple of bagels just in case I managed to run part of my end off. Just wouldn't be right to come away from this experience with a lasting effect like being a size smaller.

.

beg your pardon?

On the ride home today:

"Whatcha thinking 'bout, baby?"
"Mmm, hmmmmm. I finkin' 'bout da moon an da sunshine."
"Wow, the moon and the sunshine? What are you thinking about the moon and the sunshine?"
"I finkin' 'bout da moon an da sunshine outside."
"Oh? Tell me some more."
"I just finkin' 'bout da moon and da sunshine up up in da air. You unnerstan, Mommy?"
"The moon and the sunshine are up in the air?"
"Sigh. You unnerstan, Mommy? You unnerstan?"
"Do I understand what, baby?"
"Sigh. Nebermind."

And here I thought I had a few more years to lose all vestiges of intelligence in his eyes.


.

two things

Go read this.

Then this.

Then think about what you've read / heard (I hope you took time to listen) as you go through the next few days. Try to see the person behind the people you interact with. Think about the shoes they have to fill day in and day out. Maybe even hold the door for them. You don't know the circumstances that got them to where they are any more than they know what got you to where you are. Perhaps a little compassion, a little patience, a little human decency is in order. That extra 30 seconds that you give out of your day to let someone in line ahead of you -- what does it really cost you? If you're running late, what's another 30 seconds? If you're on time, will anyone notice a half a minute? If you're early, give yourself the gift of spending that extra time wisely. Is there really anything more important than another human being?


.

nefarious pickling activities

I'm standing in a kitchen. Not my own, not one that I recognize, but a familiar kitchen nonetheless. My mother is at the sink. She has her back to me, but I know with certainty that she is pickling. Pickling something. A grim quietness fills the air between us as I stare, transfixed by her repetitive motions. Move this, plunge that, twist here, shake, and into the jar. Move this, plunge that, twist here, shake, and into the jar. On the floor behind us lies a painter's tarp. I am vaguely aware of a lumpy shape beneath the tarp, though from my vantage point all I can see is that the material seems to rise to some point just beyond the edge of the couch behind us. I am startled when the tarp rustles and a Barbie-esque being leaps from under it, over the couch and lands in a fighters stance. My mother stops mid-pickle, twirls, and does some Charlie's Angel move with her elbow, knocking Ninja Barbie to the floor. She swiftly crouches beside her, grabs her head in her hands and twists. There is an audible "snap", it's reverberations in the quiet room both reassuring and sickening at the same time. In my mind I compare it to the memory I have from childhood of processing chickens. It is not dissimilar, I note.

We are no longer in the kitchen. How we got in the car is unknown, unimportant, so I simply note the change. As my mother turns the key in the ignition, I glance to the backseat, verifying that LG is securely strapped into his car seat. Beside him, on the folded down seats of the Suburban is a carefully rolled up painter's tarp. I sense, rather than see my mother glance in the rear view mirror, and my eyes are drawn to a flurry of activity going on at the house at the top of the hill behind us. Mesmerized, I watch until we are well out of view. My mother drives quietly, purposefully, pausing here, slowing down there.

We are in a secluded part of the woods, engine idling. My mother pushes a button on what appears to be a garage door opener attached to the visor. The back door of the Suburban swings open. The painter's tarp shifts slowly towards the open door, picking up speed as gravity takes hold. As the bundle disappears into oblivion, the Suburban shifts, rising just a bit higher to accommodate it's now lighter load.

I am walking up the stairs. Headed to the kitchen. There should be music, I think. But there is no soundtrack, no tell-tale "da-dun, da-dun" to build up suspense. I don't need a soundtrack, I realize. I am aware, but not overly frightened. Resigned, I decide. I am resigned to whatever it is that might await me at the top of the stairs.

"Mommy?" a little voice pulls me through the layers of sleep that I lay cocooned in. Pulling him in beside me, I lay there in the dark, breathing in his calming sweetness, thankful that it was just a dream. Just as I am drifting back to sleep, I am jolted awake by the realization that I never once even considered objecting to the events. No shame, no remorse. It is sometime later that I give up trying to figure out what that says about me. I roll over in the darkness, hug my baby closer and reach the following conclusion:

There will be no more caffeine after 4pm for me.



.

under the wire

Squeaking this entry in so that I still have the potential to have posted 4 out of 5 days this week.

Quickly, now, the top 5 reasons I've had a hard time coming up with worthwhile posts this week:

  1. The roommate experiment has begun. And I'll just leave it at that.
  2. I've been scouring Craigslist and local mommy-type websites for possible fill-ins for Daycare-gate. So far I've tried our local TotDrop (meh. Nothing wrong with it, it just didn't give me that warm, cozy, this-is-it feeling that I was hoping for.) and today I did a meet-and-greet interview thingy at a in-home daycare that is pretty similar to the TotDrop concept (meaning: she takes 'em on a drop-in basis and charges by the hour). Again, meh. I was beyond excited when I talked to her on the phone to set the whole thing up, but something just didn't click today. We're going to give it a try next Tuesday on the off chance that my less than fabulous reaction had something to do with this cold that decided to kick my butt last night.
  3. I hab a cowb. Or something like that. Whatever it is, it moved into my sinuses last night and unpacked as if it means to stay. Today it took a little day trip into my throat and as I type it's making plans to explore the yet-unstuffed regions known as my ears. Colds suck. Colds when you're the concierge of entertainment for an almost three-year-old make you realize exactly what your parents were trying to tell you when they told you that one day you would regret whatever it was that you had just done. And by that I mean anything remotely leading to the possibility of having sex.
  4. I've also been scouring the WWW for snack ideas to post with my latest WeSchool theme. Call me picky, but I was kinda hoping for something a little more creative than "take a square piece of food, turn it so that two of its points are at the top and bottom, add something vaguely string-like to the bottom and loudly proclaim that it is a kite cookie / sandwich." Anyone? Anyone?
  5. We've been preparing for our 11-month walk through of the house. I know. I almost choked when she called to set up the appointment and realized that I couldn't argue with her that we hadn't actually been here for 11 months yet. We have. Shortest, yet longest year of my life to date, I think. And so there were hairline cracks in the stucco to note, sagging hinges to point out, and various and sundry other details to go over so that we can get 'em fixed while they're still under warrenty so someone else has to figure out who exactly you call to take care of something like that. Yes, we could probably take care of most of it ourselves, but that would require a trip to Home Depot, and that, my friends, is a trip I'd just rather not take.

Back tomorrow, hopefully, with a better post and maybe even some pictures for Lora. That is, if I can figure out what the crap the boy did to the camera to lock the lens in the "open, but not seeing anything" position. I'm betting on "no". Any recommendations on what to look for in a new camera?


.

at wit's end

I think I mentioned that our daycare lady angel of mercy was put on bedrest a few weeks back. Just as a precaution... her last baby was premature, so they aren't taking any chances this time around. Time-For-Mommy Tuesdays, alas, are no more. The first couple of weeks I traded child-care days with a friend whose little boy went to the same daycare; last week she had found another, more permanent solution, so it was just LG and me.

Me and LG.

All day.

Every day.

Every minute.

Do you know how many minutes there are in a week?

Let's just leave it at this: For life as we know it to continue, pleasantly, around here, some changes are going to have to be made. That being said, I'm kind of at a loss for what that means. So I'm turning to you, "you" being defined as "anyone who has ever spent more than 10,080 consecutive minutes in a caregiver capacity with a child in the 2-3 yr age range". What do you do? Might I add that you look good doing it, whatever it is?

How does your day look? Do you know from one minute to the next where you're headed and exactly how much time you'll need to get there and what supplies you'll need to have to get whatever it is that you're doing done? Or are you a go with the flow kinda person, letting the whims of nature and the spontaneity of the weather pull you along from this to that? Or maybe somewhere in the middle -- someone who makes plans with the best of intentions but isn't really all that distraught if "this" becomes "that"? When you are with your child, is your focus solely on your child? Do you schedule in time for yourself? Does that come first or last or wherever it fits in? Is that time sacred or interrupt-able? Do you practice "benign neglect" or are you more inclined towards the idea of plenty of early exposure to all the opportunities and possibility available? Do you play with your kid at the park or do you keep your distance or are you a jack-in-the-box, up-down-up-down-up-down-up?

Most importantly, what is that one thing that makes it all worth your while to get up and face it all over again the next day? What is your secret?

I know (hope?) there isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of solution -- every child, every parent / caregiver is different. I don't expect to adopt your plan in it's entirety. I do intend to steal as many ideas from you as I can, stuff them away in a little file marked "this might work", and pull them out when my brain simply won't engage anymore. Fair warning.


.

oh my

Just a little something to get your Monday off to a good start, courtesy of BG's father. :)

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!


And from the "Way Back Files" the real thing as only LG can deliver:




.

pictures! pictures! pictures!

No, not from the festivities. We went over that. Here, instead, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you

Mr. Smith Helps with the Laundry:


When I suggested that his underwear could hang on the other side of the dresser? He gave me a look of the purest disdain. In what universe could that possibly be appropriate? The greatest artist are always so misunderstood. Then he reached for the camera and took this shot

Chaussette dans le Profil :

Captivating, yet vaguely obscene.

Even better than sock portraiture, though, is the bliss of having gone from this:
to this:
Ta-Da!!! I have a backyard!

With grass!

And a firepit!

And a new walk-way up to the front door!

Where they added a new patio!


I've only ever had a crush on two blondes in my whole entire life. The first, Stacey, was a lifeguard at the city pool where we took swimming lessons summer after summer. It was so worth the 45 minute ride on the school bus with that hot green vinyl stuck to the back of your legs just to watch him shake the water droplets from his straight-to-Utah-by-way-of-California surfer do. Of course, the regularity with which he had to shake said droplets from his hair might very well be the reason that I didn't actually learn to swim until I was 25. The second? Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly K-E-L-L-Y* who's rippling biceps wielded the mallet that put all these pavers in place and created my little piece of heaven. Sorry, no pictures of that...


*If you got that reference without clicking through, then you're either older than you've been pretending to be, or you have been spending entirely too much time watching Nick-at-Night. Heh. Me, too!


.

miss me?

**newly edited to add in missing links!!!**

Yesterday was spent getting ready for this, followed by the first ever West Coast edition of the Spaghetti Club (name changed to protect those that don't wish to be affiliated with this website the innocent). It all went off without a hitch -- no blood drawn, no fires set, and as far as I know, everyone got at least one bite to eat while the sauce was still warm. No pictures, of course, but that's probably just as well since I haven't actually announced to everyone in the 'hood that I have this little (eight) blog(s) and that at any given minute their interactions with (or without) me are subject to being posted on the WWW. Pictures of other peoples kids, cute or no, bring up the question of whether or not it's necessary to get permission prior to posting (answer: probably. I don't want the responsibility of outing anyone in the Witness Protection Program, 4th of July parade pictures notwithstanding.), which invariably leads to some sort of explanation involving the words "Well, there are a fair number of my online friends who choose to not use their real names. No, no, I've never actually met her in person. Well, yes, I suppose "she" could actually live in a small cabin in the woods in Montana..."Ellipses marks the uncomfortable silence that signals the beginning of everyone gathering up their things and making excuses to leave. Never to return again.

Ahem. So no pictures, but (we?)I had a great time. Here's the deal, though. 3 hours of entertaining (split evenly between the activities and the eating) = 2 days worth of preparation. I'm hopeful that the prep time will go down now that I kind of have an idea of what to expect (more of that, less of that, that wasn't even touched...), but damn! I'm exhausted!

This is shaping up to be a 4 cup (of coffee) morning. And none of that half-caff crap, either. I'm pulling out the good beans, baby.


.

science

Exploration: Reversible Change

Inquiry: "Mommy, I no know where da salt goed."

Hypothesis: This could be bad.

Discovery:

Conclusion: Irreversible change. Grab the vacuum.


.

blah

There's a simple reason that I haven't been good about posting on a daily basis in the past: My life is not interesting enough to post about on a daily basis. Take, for example, this weekend. Two whole days with all three of us at home and it can all be summed up in less than 5 minutes.

Saturday:
BG ran (16 miles. Because his brain is made out of froot-loops).
Did some grocery shopping.
Straightened up the house / threw some stuff on the grill before some of BG's co-workers got here to watch football (USC vs Ohio State... snore...)
Pretended to watch football.
Went out for a (short) run. (2.25 miles. Because it was only 8:00 and it didn't make sense to go to bed yet, but I didn't want to do dishes, either.)
Went to bed.

Sunday:
9.5 mile run for me.
Showered, lunched, and passed out on the couch.
Woke up, did some chores.
Watched some crap TV.
Went to bed.
Yawn.

I feel like I should at least have an opinion on something or a cute quip to share.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Nope. I got nothing.

Were it not for the boy, I'd pull the covers back up over my head and wait for Tuesday. He, unfortunately, seems to think that's an invitation to play "hide-n-seek" which involves not so much the hiding nor the seeking, but lots and lots of jumping on the covered up parts and then tickling (read: gouging and poking) any parts that become exposed as a result of said jumping. Good times.

Mondays suck.


.

thru good times and bad

It's shaping up to be one of those days already.




.

faced

Back in July my friend sent me a link / invitation to join Facebook. So I set up a basic profile and left it at that. Other than the four or five people who have send friend requests based on the fact (I assume) that we have the same last name (BG's last name... and I can count on two hands the number of people I actually know with his last name), it's been quiet over there. So quiet I couldn't remember if I already had an account when my sister sent me a similar link/invitation to join. Then, yesterday, out of the clear blue I got a friend request from someone who actually knew me way back when. Which totally got me thinking about way back when and all the people I've lost contact with. And that led to thoughts about one particular set of friends and then one particular event and eventually to one particular person. Who, it turns out, also has a Facebook profile.

There's a fair amount of background surrounding that particular person and I've started no less than 17 drafts covering all the details. Maybe someday I'll have coaxed my memories into readable form and actually post it. But for this post, a summary will do: I had a mad crush on him for two years (read: an eternity in high school). Our friendship was generally an easy one, but wanting more than friendship led me to act like an idiot more than once, culminating in The Prom Incident, the aftermath of which was as close to social hell as I ever care to get. People got hurt, blame was cast, and, at least in my memory, I was the pariah of the the final two (three?) weeks of school. My family moved that summer, but he and I stayed in touch through letters and the occasional card. For how long, I'm not sure.

I came across a notebook filled with letters and notes and other high-school paraphernalia while at my parents house this summer. Amongst the back-and-forth notes, birthday cards, and badly posed pictures, I found his final letter to me; a letter filled with hurt, disappointment, anger, and confusion.

I have revisited The Prom Incident many times over the years -- it is, undoubtedly, the chapter of my life of which I am most ashamed. Usually, though, all the uncomfortable feelings can be assuaged with a carefully timed piece of chocolate (read: hormonal much?). There are those times when Uncle Hershey doesn't do the trick, though, and I carefully go over each and every detail, examining where I was wrong and where I was wronged. My own little pity party, attendance:1. A party that ends somewhere around 2am with the sweeping decision to get up the next morning, find all those people involved, make amends, and spend the rest of our days holding hands around the campfire singing Kumbaya. That determination generally stays strong through a couple of Google-ing attempts, occasionally right through lunch time. But by mid afternoon I've convinced myself that I've fallen victim to hormones/poor sleep/poor diet/the cross eyed look that the checker at the grocery store gave me yesterday morning and that what I really need to do is get over myself already and get the floors scrubbed. It was high school for crissake. Everyone is stupid in high school and everyone else has probably already moved on. And then I'm good for the next 26-27 days or so.

And then I found this letter and it all came flooding back to me again. Only this time my memories didn't end with the school year or the relief I felt when my parents announced we were moving so I wouldn't have to look at all those people after summer break and wonder how many of them were still whispering behind their hands. Narcissistic much? You betcha. Aren't most 17-year-olds? No, this time the credits didn't roll until after I had received a most heart-felt missive from him, responded, and then received this, his final letter to me.

Rereading his letter, I cringed. The real shame of that chapter of my life was not the self-serving acts of a teenage girl, but rather that I so easily dismissed a friendship over a set of values that I wasn't yet mature enough to truly claim as my own. Values that, as I aged and (hopefully) matured, I discovered weren't my own. Rereading his letter, I wept. Quietly, inwardly I mourned. The senseless loss.

Returning home, I started my quest to find him anew. Not knowing what I would say if I ever found him, but determined to do what I could to, well, I wasn't sure what. Apologize at the very least. And now, quite by coincidence, I've got a viable way to contact him. Viable, but maybe not practical. A friend request seems premature -- real or imagined in my mind only, there are still broken fences to mend before I could easily suggest that we reminisce. Does Facebook have an "I'm sorry I was such an immature, hate-spouting, judgemental, closed minded, unsupportive, uninformed, homophobic bitch back when you most needed the love and support of your friends" nudge? 'Cause that'd be a step in the right direction.


.

oh, and did i tell you

that BG got pulled over the other day? While running?

Apparently local law enforcement's got time on their hands running on the shoulder of the road is a no-no 'round here. Who knew?


.

settling

A few weeks back, Dr. R introduced me to the concept of "good enough parenting". Striving to be the "perfect" parent, he suggested, is nothing more than an exercise in futility. There is no such thing and the pursuit of which only leads to guilt, guilt, guilt, and more guilt. Topped off with an extra large scoop of stress and a little guilt cherry on top. Instead, he proposed, work to be good enough.

Sounds easy enough. Should be no problem to back off on the expectations, right? Just dial 'em down a notch. Relax a little. Take off the pressure. Good enough is good enough. Simple concept.

Except that it's not. Reconciling myself to being "good" when I could be "better"; to being "enough" when I could be "more" has become my newest obsession. Which, I'm fairly certain, is not at all what the good Dr. intended.

My childhood was filled with lessons about striving for more. Giving my all. "Anything worth doing is worth doing right." Nature or nurture, I took those admonitions to heart and somewhere along the line became a creature given to extremes. I'm "freezing" or "roasting"; never just cool or warm. I think, speak, and write in ALL CAPS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS AT THE END OF EVERY SENTENCE!!! My initial impression is either blackest black or whitest white.

This notion of settling is not settling well. I keep reminding myself that this is a journey towards balance. Towards the middle. Towards harmony. Towards peace. "Everything in moderation," my grandfather was fond of admonishing us. Of course, he always tagged on "...especially moderation." What the crap is a girl suppose to walk away from that with?


.

negotiation

"Come on, son, you need to get your shoes on."
"Um, inna minnit."
"No, let's do it now. Then you're ready to go out and play when C gets here."
"Um. No, not today. I haffa wait til mine friend comes home."
"C's already on his way. Let's get your shoes on before he gets here."
"I don't fink so. I haffa wait til mine udder friend comes a mine house. C comes a mine house, den I pway outside."
"But you need your shoes on before you play outside."
"Um. Wats dat, Mommy?"
"That's your shoe, Boog."
"Dat's mine shoe, Mommy. No mine sandal."
"Yep. We're going to wear shoes today. It's too cool for your sandals this morning. Let's get your shoes on so you're all ready to play when C gets here."
"Um. I don't want to. I haffa wait til mine friend come a our house."
"Well, C will be here in just a minute. Here we go. Shoes on now."
"Um. Lemme fink."
"Okay. While you're thinking, put your feet over here."
...(putting shoes on feet)...
"Tie mine shoes, Mommy. Tie mine shoes and den I getta jelly bean."
"Okay, Boog, I'm tying... what? Who said anything about jelly beans?"
"Sigh. I haffa wait til mine friend come a mine house. Den I getta jelly bean. Okay, Mommy?"
"Whatever. I'm giving jelly beans to a two year old before breakfast for the honor of tying his shoes."


.

for richard

...who pointed out the irony in me posting about not being around to post for a week when it's not unusual for me to go 3 weeks without a new post. And because Dr. R has become rather insistent that I give my over-worked sense of responsibility a rest and take a little time to do something I want to do on a more regular basis. It's funny (pitiful funny, not "ha-ha" funny) how easy it is to get caught up in the have-to's and lose sight of that part of life that makes all those have-to's worth doing. But that's a post for another day. For now the plan is to try to rearrange my morning routine so that it includes some me time. Or, more accurately, me talking writing about me LG the family something. Probably some meaningless drivel, but hey, that way you know it's authentic!

So here's the rundown of the weekend:

Saturday marked the kibillionth annual extravaganza that is Family Day for the Evil Empire. We got up with God and drove to Tiburon to catch a ferry over to Angel Island. At exactly too late to turn around and go back o'clock, I remembered that we didn't have the camera. Again. So no photographic proof of this adventure. But you weren't expecting pictures, were you. Anyways, LG lurved the ferry ride watching the jelly-fish looking at the sailboats watching the little flappy-things on the top of the smoke-stack thingies and asking "Mommy, what that noisy?" over and over and over and over. A good friend sent this to me shortly after LG started developing a personality.



At the time I thought it was funny. Hilarious, even. Now I realize that it was a warning.

Anyways... So we ferried over to the island, then caught a tram from one side of the island to the other. After a thorough inspection of the nuts and bolts of our seat (aka a tram ride), we joined a zillion of our closest friends for a day of face-painting, balloon art, volley-ball, soccer, hula-hooping, playing in the sand / water before the sand castle competition, and stuffing our faces. The weather was perfect, the company was awesome, and LG fell asleep almost as soon as we got him buckled into his seat for the ride home. All-in-all, a fabulous day.

Sunday was pay-for-the-sins-of-excess-from-the-day-before-day, beginning with the ultra-fabulous get up before God to go for a 9.5 mile run. Because once upon a time someone slipped a stupid pill into my drink and then suggested that I could run a half marathon. And no one around me cared enough to point out the obvious (namely: I hate running) complications with such a plan. Want to know what it looks like when the three of us hit the running trail? Imagine a strong, lithe gazelle gracefully covering the distance between watering holes out in the unspoiled African grasslands. Pushing a jogging stroller, but strong and fluid, nonetheless. Now picture something like this trying to keep up.



And that would be me following BG and LG. On a good day. Which Sunday was not. Think a lot more sweat and a fair amount of swearing. Note to self: Run day is not a good day to skip the coffee. My run time(2 hours, 7 minutes) Ess-You-See-Kay, sucked, but I got the mileage in. And I burnt off 1387 calories. So woo-hoo, go me. Show of hands: who thinks I need to investigate a different work-out activity once this race is over?

We followed up the fun of the morning by driving down to help a co-worker of BG's load all her furniture into a big truck (read: BG helped. I "watched" LG. And tried to remember how to breathe sans asthmatic wheezing sounds.). After lunch, we drove home to get hell the optional suite ready to receive said furniture. Yep, we're embarking on the roommate journey. And Dr. R has already given me the look, so any negative comments / assvice about my mental state being in no way, shape, or form ready to take on the added stress of having another woman live in my home are unnecessary, thankyouverymuch. We'll deal. It'll be good mental strength training.

Ta-da! That was our weekend. How was yours?


.

um, okay then. thanks, i think.

A late night trip to the grocery store last night (don't ask) found me virtually alone in the store and free to scan the ketchup/mustard/salad dressing aisle without fear of anything else being pulled randomly off the shelves and a) tossed into the back of the cart to be discovered upon reaching the checkout or b) dropped upon the floor, followed by the inevitable "clean up on aisle 6" over the loudspeaker. On a mission, I was, for a new basalmic vinaigrette salad dressing. "Something fruit based, but not raspberry."

When I said as much to the pubescent lad who had, undoubtedly, drawn the short straw in "who has to go ask the crazy lady shopping for salad dressing at 10:00 at night if she needs help", he politely responded, "Wow. That's strangely specific, yet not enough that I can actually help you."

To his credit, he looked sincerely apologetic as he turned on his heel and walked away.


.

here we go again...

2008 has turned into the year that I did nothing other than pack, unpack, and do laundry so that I could get packed again. I'm blaming all the time on the road for my inability to string enough coherent thoughts together to post more than two or three times in a row. It's probably more of a "not enough coherent thoughts to string together" issue rather than a "not enough time to sit down and type out coherent thought strings" issue, but that's something for discussion on another blog forum. At any rate, LG and I are taking to the friendly skies again and will be somewhat incommunicado for a week. Which isn't really that big of a deal since my communication skills over the past 9 months have been dismal at best. I just thought you might like to know...

Edited to add: Wow. I've started recycling my old posts. Maybe I'll actually follow through on posting some pictures this time. Don't hold your breath.


.

pot 'o luck

Did I mention that we live in a brand new house? Well, that brand new house just happens to be in a brand new neighborhood full of brand new people to meet and impress with all of our brand-newie-ness. New people who haven't heard us belch or fart or fight; new people who haven't see us pick our noses; new people who might very well believe we don't belch or fart or fight or pick our noses if we can only keep up the charade. In the little over 9 months that we've been here, we've managed to meet or at least wave to most of the other families on the street, but somehow our paths just haven't crossed often enough to establish ourselves as a vital part of this new community. So you can imagine how thrilled we were when received an invitation to the 1st Annual Street-Where-I-Live Block Party! Psssst... the curtains are working. They still don't know!

On Saturday we anxiously waited for high noon, then headed down the street, party goods in hand. Or, in our case, piled up on our grill since we're one of the few families on the street who a)don't have a built in barbecue grill because b)we still haven't done anything with our backyard. Per invitation instructions, we arrived at the end of the cul-de-sac with our meat for grillin' and a side-dish to share. Plus ketchup, mustard, sliced tomatoes, some slices of cheese and an extra side dish. The fine art of leaving well enough alone is lost on me.

We found a place for our baked-beans and frog-eyed salad on the tables that had already been set up and headed off to join the fun. A few turns in the bouncy house and giant ball pit (I know!) and down the 30-foot inflatable slide (I KNOW!), and we were ready to move on to the food. BG fired up the grill and before too long we were in cheeseburger heaven. I grabbed a couple of plates and scooped up a little bit of this and a touch of that to round out our meal. LG stood nearby, sipping happily from his Cars cup. And all was right in our world.

Until.

LG decided that his current mouthful of milk would add a lovely sheen to the top of the baked beans that I had just uncovered.

After I recovered from my initial urge to blow chunks, I was horrified. I sternly set LG down on the sidewalk for a timeout while I assessed the damage. After plopping a big milky spoonful down on our already full plates, I decided that my best course of action would be to get LG situated, then come back and remove the beans from the table. I stirred in the last vestiges of milk (no need to make anyone else sick, right?), took LG over to his father, then returned to the food table to retrieve our plates of food. A quick conversation with Neighbor-Down-the-Street led to another quick conversation with Neighbor-to-the-Left and an introduction to Neighbor-Down-the-Hill's beautiful new baby. At which point BG caught my attention and I remembered that I needed to get back to my starving boys.

LG's lunchtime behavior was less than pleasant, so as soon as he had nibbled enough to keep me out of the negligent parent category, I took him home for a nap. BG followed a bit later with news that our soon-to-be landscaper was on the way to go over his proposal for our backyard. 2 1/2 hours later, LG was up from his nap, STBLandscaper was drawing up the final contract and we were headed back down the street for some more neighborly fun.

The party lasted well into the evening, past LG's bedtime. We got him settled into bed, then BG headed down the street to help with the cleanup. After a tussle or seven to convince him that no, he didn't need another drink of water and yes, blankie was clean, and no, he didn't need to fix his night light and no, Savannah wasn't going to come up the stairs to get him and no, Daddy didn't need to come "look at some stuff" and yes, he did need to stay in bed, LG finally passed out. BG had just come to the door to request some help getting the grill back in the backyard, so I obliged. Then we stepped down the street again to retrieve our last few items so the owners could pack up their tables.

Someone had kindly place the lid for the salad underneath the bowl, so that was simple enough. And the lid for the beans... oh dear Mother of All That is Holy, the beans. There they sat, in all their half-eaten glory.

And now I don't know what to do. Let it go as if it never happened and run the risk of never, ever, ever, ever, EVER having any of the neighbors show up at any event in which we are bringing a dish that wasn't obviously prepared and packaged at the local grocery store because someone saw my little mix-in and determined that my intention was to feed my new neighbors milk-spittle beans when I didn't return to remove the contaminated dish? Or bring it up in conversation the next time I see a neighbor

Heh. You know those beans that we brought to the party? Oh you liked them? Well, funny story about those beans...


The idea of repacking all those boxes is starting to look really good to me.


.

this post brought to you by the letters k & y

I have an uncanny knack for reaching for the exact same item at the exact same time as a fellow shopper. Grocery store, shoe shop, you name it. If you happen to be on the same aisle as me, chances are good that I'm going to make a grab for "your" box of Easy-Mac. Usually I'll make light of the situation, quip something along the lines of "smart and good-looking" or "hey, that's my favorite, too" and then give the other person the right-of-way. Even if it means they get the very last box.

However.

There is no such thing as light-hearted small talk over a shared preference when the product in question is of an, ahem, intimate and personal nature. Thankfully, the shelves were well stocked and I correctly identified his target before our hands intersected. Making him cry in front of his wife and kid would have just been awkward for all of us.


.

dear jacq,

RE: Spidy.
Do any of these look familiar?




Love,
Susan


.

breezy beach-house retreat or city pool locker room? you decide.




We got industrious this weekend and added some personality to the downstairs bathroom. BG thinks we need to paint the upper portion to mirror the bottom (aka, more blue up top). I say no.


.

so that was a downer. this is better.

I've been in one of those "Nobody likes me, guess I'll go eat worms" funks as of late. Perhaps you noticed. But then, while catching up on my Google Reader, I discovered that the the one and only Amy, the Mistress of Cheese, had awarded me this:

and suddenly things got a lot brighter. And then (then!), Lora, Cool Girl Extrordinare, sent me a little linky love with this:




Yes, I know it's the same thing. This is my blog. I'll post what I want, so there.

Amy, Lora,
THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world told me just after I found out that I was pregnant with LG that as a mommy I would find amazing women with whom I would build friendships that would know no boundaries. That our differences would fade in the light of our similarities and that they would become my most important community. That I would turn to them with my happiness and my fears; that they would both hold me up and keep me grounded. She was right. Amy, Lora, Val -- [insert schmaltz here and know that I mean it with all of my heart!]

*sniff*

Now to fulfill my duly sworn Miss "I Got This Fabulous Button" duties. Here are my choices for blogs you should be reading if you're not already. (Technically, I'm supposed to pass the award on to ten others. Just in case you're one of those rule-follower types. In which case, I love you.

Amy over at Cheese Party, who first introduced me to the concept of the blog and was willing to meet me IRL for long walks around the park even though I was the size of a gestating hippo and she was still in that "oh, aren't you the most adorable little preggo" stage. Come to think of it, she managed to stay that way all the way to the end. You know, one of those people that you might hate if she weren't so damn incredible!

Lora, at Jakezilla, the hippest cool-girl mama. Ever. When she wrote (about me)"And I think her brain is a lot like my brain so it makes me feel better when I read her very telling posts about sanity.", I totally had a little orgasm.

Val, who listens to all my whining while navigating ridiculous traffic, and has never, ever, ever fed me a line of bull just because she knew that I wanted to hear it.

Jenn, of Breed 'em and Weep, who I've been reading since I found out about that people actually posted their innermost thoughts and dreams and tidbits of their daily lives on the Internet. The grace and style with which she handles this crazy little thing called life is nothing short of spectacular. And although I still don't get the whole obsession with Iceland, I would totally hose down my back yard and let it freeze over if she wanted me to.

Anne Nahm, whose use of the written word is beyond phenomenal. It hurts just a little to know that she isn't really Anne. Like she's afraid that if I knew her real name I'd start stalking her or something. I totally would.

Crystal over at Boobs, Injuries, & Dr. Pepper, who makes me straighten my shoulders and pull myself together whenever I start thinking that my life is just too hard. I didn't know it was possible to laugh and cry with my whole heart with someone I'd never met until I began reading her blog.

Jolene, creator of the Fails Files, whose example of what it is to be a friend and mother I want most to emulate. Plus, she's got the whole "most amazing kids in the whole wide world" thing going for her. Trust me, if you are so lucky as to spend a weekend with this crew, you're going to want to run away from home to go live with them.

The Curmudgeon over at Second Effort, who always makes me think. Sometimes because I simply don't understand his references... Sorry I've slacked off in the commenting department, Curmy. You know I'm still a faithful follower of all things SE.

Y at Joy Unexpected because she tells it like it is and doesn't hold back. And because the video she has of her daughter singing her numbers operatically is better than anything American Idol has to offer.

Mary of It's Not All Mary Poppins. I secretly want to kidnap her and make her come live at my house for a week a la Supernanny and tell me what I'm doing wrong. Except I'm a little afraid she'll file me under "earnest mommy" and then my heart would be broken.

I'd link to my sisters (this one, this one, and yes, this one, too), except they're not really into the whole "posting on a regular basis" thing. So I guess we all have that in common, too.

And then there's that mystery person at Purdue that keeps popping up on my site-meter. You have no idea how much it thrills me to think that there may be someone out there who reads what I have to say on a regular basis who doesn't even know me! Whoever you are, a great big blog hug to you. You make me feel like a real writer.

Okay. I've shown you mine. Now you show me yours.


.

bi·op·sy

n. pl. bi·op·sies
1. The removal and examination of a sample of tissue from a living body for diagnostic purposes.
2. A sample so obtained.
tr.v. bi·op·sied, bi·op·sy·ing, bi·op·sies
To remove (tissue) from a living body for diagnostic purposes.


That's how my morning started. Nothing serious -- just a quick check to make sure that the cyst that has taken up residence under my ear is, in fact, sebaceous and not harboring any malignancy before having it removed. Again. This time, though, there will be cutting involved instead of just going with the old "poke-n-squeeze" procedure. Yes, the first attempt was made by a professional. Professional pimple popper... wasn't that a Seinfeld episode? Anyhoo, the first attempt apparently didn't take, because I am now growing a second head. So this time we will be going with the cut-and-or-possibly-burn route. The procedure is deemed "surgery", so I will be under strict orders to not lift, heft, or push anything heavier than 10 pounds for a week. In other words, I am looking for a nanny/housekeeper who can handle a full week of chasing LG whilst being followed by Monk's female counterpart.

Prediction? There will be much sighing. Sighing by the poor soul who braves our chaotic realm, drawn this way as LG whizzes by creating his own spectacular gravitational pull only to be pushed that way as my brain begins the arduous task of determining which it the lesser of two evils: disobeying the "rules" laid out by the medical professional that I trust enough to let take a knife to my face or let that ball of cat hair continue to grow because apparently it is either invisible to everyone but me or no one else in the friggin' place recognizes 1) the vacuum, 2) what a vacuum is used for, or 3) that THERE IS A REALLY BIG BALL OF CAT FUR OVER THERE AND IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, IT WILL EVENTUALLY TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND THEN DON'T COME WHINING TO ME ABOUT ALL THE OVERTIME YOU HAVE TO SPEND WORKING FOR THOSE EVIL CAT-HAIRBALL OVERLORD BASTARDS. No doubt LG and BG will do their fair share of sighing too. Out of shear ecstasy for having someone to play with who is not distracted by meaningless bits of puff on the rug and for the rapidly lightening effect that the entire process will undoubtedly have on the bank account, respectively. Although either scenario is plausible in BG's case.

But first things must, naturally, happen first, and so a little piece of me was sucked out and sent off to a laboratory where it will be splayed open under microscopes and whatnot to determine it's putridity which will, in turn, determine when, how, and if the above mentioned surgery will take place. Not at all unlike going to therapy, I decided while waiting for the good doctor to prepare his needle(s) for step 1. Bit by bit, bi-week by bi-week, pieces of me are being offered up for scrutiny and then sorted based on their degree of malignancy. I'm slowly starting to form an image of the balance that I started out so desperately seeking. The thing is that the closer I get to seeing the big picture, the less I'm sure that it's really what I want. What is so appealing about normal, I ask myself, standing off to the side as my brain and my stomach resume lobbing thought grenades at each other.
B: It's not just about you. Balance will benefit everyone around you.
S: Why should I have to submit my quirks so that everyone else benefits? Why shouldn't they all submit to me? I like my quirks. They make me special, unique.
B: What kind of example are you setting for LG? Shouldn't he have the option to develop his own neuroses, rather than inheriting yours?
S: Come on, these neuroses have served generations of women in my family and served them well. No locked up loonies in loonie bins as far back as we care to remember.
B: But were they happy? Were the people around them, their children, happy?
S: Happiness, schmappieness. Normal is what you're used to. And you have to admit that my lists and graphs and charts are nothing short of spectacular!
B: What about the time spent on those lists and graphs and charts? What about the time it takes to check off all those little boxes? Time wasted! Time you could be spending building memories and experiencing life.
S: What about all the time that is wasted without those lists and boxes? All the time spent going in circles because I have no clear direction? What about the chaos and clutter that has to be sorted through then? If there's not a place for everything and everything isn't in it's place, how the hell can I find anything?
...

The battle rages, more furious and frenzied until Every Other Tuesday arrives and I pop the top off my head and dump the shrapnel on the floor. Each session is greeted with equal parts dread and anticipation. Part of me is proud of the progress that I'm making, thrilled because I'm learning to identify when I'm going overboard in one direction. But an equal part of me is, at best, ambivalent. Resigned to continuing on this journey, but not liking it one little bit. Kinda like poking at a bruise again and again and again. Wincing with every prod until, hey! It doesn't hurt anymore. And somewhere deep down you're kind of sad when the twinge goes away, desensitized into a state of normal. Frenzy replaced by balance; drama supplanted by reality. Most sessions I leave discharged and depleted. Depleted, yet somehow content with that emptiness. So I'm getting somewhere, right?

And all of that kind a makes this whole process a bit biopsy-esque, doesn't it? My bits of muck get smeared out into thin layers of posts to be scrutinized and dissected. You, you are always gentle and loving, sincere and honest with your assessment. Someday I want to be just like you.


.

reality bites

How Tuesday was supposed to go:

7:00am

Rise & Shine! Quick shower before going to (still sleeping) LG's room to get him up and ready for the day.
7:30am
Kisses and hugs all around as BG leaves for the day. Leisurely breakfast courtesy of TiVo and the latest episode of Curious George.
8:15am
Load up the car and head out the door to take LG to Mommy's Little Piece Of Heaven daycare.
8:45am
After a no-fuss drop-off, head back for a healthy emotional bullshit frightening session with Dr. R.
:55am
Deep breath, square shoulders, turn up the iPod and head out for a therapeutic run. 4 miles, at least.
>10:55am
Home again for a leisurely shower, complete with leg shaving!
11:30am
Tidy up office, update Quicken, address outgoing birthday cards, take care of misc. bills and other office work. Schedule yearly lady doctor appointment.
12:00pm
Sushi break!
1:00pm
Call girlfriend for long-overdue chat session.
2:00pm
Sit down with computer and finally finish post on the rest of the trip to HI. Work on one of the other 17 draft posts. Or paint my toenails.
>3:15pm
Head out once more to pick up LG. Who has actually napped this time and is in a simply fabulous mood!
4:00pm
Home again. Pull kiddie pool into the driveway. Sip on a tall, cool glass of lemonade while fairies fill the air with rainbows and unicorns prance on our front lawn. Or while LG plays contentedly in the pool. Either one will work.


How Tuesday has gone so far:

4:57
Wake to cries of "Mommy! Mommy! I poopy!" Fumble for glasses to go investigate. Yep. Sure enough, LG's poopy. So is the floor, the foot stool, his bed, and the door where he leaned up against it while sounding the general alarm. Use 80-90 wet wipes to clean up the godforsaken mess (we are talking undigested peas, here, people. Rolling around, mocking my attempts to corral them. Leaving little poopy pea trails all over the carpet. WTF with the lack of digestion? Isn't that more of a corn thing?) before remembering that we're trying to reduce disposable waste.
5:30 am
Tuck LG back into bed and tromp down the stairs to get rid of the foul remains. Pick up escap-peas on the way back up the stairs and spend the next 15 minutes retracing steps with yet another wet wipe, scrubbing at the befouled spots.
5:55 am
Perch body precariously on the edge of LG's toddler bedClimb into bed with LG. Imagine that this is somehow going to calm him down and lull him back to sleep. Note to self: WTF were you thinking? Feed glimmer of hope that this day can be gotten back on track.
6:20 am
Begin the trip back to reality. Kiss LG, tell him to "Go back to sleep. Mommy will get you up in a little bit." and stumble back to bed. Denial is a cozy, cozy place.
6:23am
"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy..." Um, hello. What did you think was going to happen?
6:25am
Throw on clothes. Make mental note to check for cleanness before leaving the house. Back to LG's room to get him dressed for the day. Change diaper #2. Oh, the humanity.
6:45am
Breakfast. LG won't eat; TiVo's stuck on SportsCenter. Catch a whiff of something dead or dying on the way to the coffee pot. Wheee! Scavenger hunt!
7:15am
Nose leads to the closet with the litter box where one of our fabulous furry friends has apparently come up with a new game: Turd Toss! Winning stroke hits the door! Debate whether or not this is karmic retribution for bitching about the lack of covering of previous turds.
7:20am
Realize that BG has left for the day. Scoop LG up and rush out the door to wave to him before he round the corner. Scooping reveals that it is time for round 3 in the Diaper Derby. Also that it is time to call and cancel appointments. LG regrets to inform that he will not be attending daycare today.
7:45am
Bare feet? Meet fresh steaming pile of cat puke. Vomit a little in mouth.
8:00am
Give LG a banana and turn him over to the Pixar Gods. A double feature today: Ratatouille followed by Cars with a brief intermission for a bagel.
8:45am
Identify the source of that strange bubbly-hissing sound. Scorching coffee. Debate making a second pot. Forget what the debate was all about. What is that bubbly-hissing sound? And what IS. THAT. SMELL?
9:25am
Phone rings. Loudly. Dr. R wants to discuss rescheduling. Will Thursday at 8:15am work? Contact Angel daycare provider who will consult her calendar and let you know. Diaper change #4.
10:37am
Phone rings again. Just as loudly. Where, oh where is that $*&@&%#-ing volume control? Thursday is a no go. Leave message for the good Dr. Briefly consider showering. Diaper change #5.
11:30am
Drop pasta. On the floor. Not into the waiting boiling water. Pick up pasta, blow the larger, more obvious non-pasta bits off and plop it into the pot. Set time. Realize coffee is now scorched beyond salvation. Dump remaining sludge and rinse out the pot. Notice water backing up into sink. Notice smell getting stronger. Run garbage disposal. Attempt to back-calculate when it was last run. Can't think because of that %&*^#%$&*@^^^@*^-ing beeping.
11:35am
Rinse mushy pasta.
11:36am
Remember dental appointment scheduled for 1:00pm today
11:38am
Hang up the phone just before proposing marriage to the nicest, most understanding, sweetest dental receptionist ever. Write new dental appointment date and time on napkin.
11:45am
Feed LG. Make "mmm, mmm" noises while gulping down spoonfuls of mushy pasta goo. Realize neither of you buying the act. Wipe hands and face(s) on napkin. The one with the appointment info on it. Head upstairs for naptime.
12:10pm
Realize you are sitting on the couch, staring at the opening sequence of Cars as it repeats over and over and over. Realize you don't care. And, hey! That smell is gone!
12:25pm
Find laptop. Find something not involving cars or rats or sports on TV. Begin long overdue blog post. Not the one about HI.
1:34pm
Girlfriend calls. Try not to weep with happiness over having someone to tell Stuff to. Realize that you don't have enough braincells functioning together to form a coherent sentence about all the Stuff you'd like to tell. Force her to sit through a long, disjointed, at-times awkward phone call anyways. Eventually realize that this isn't the fun you thought it would be and make plans for a redo on Friday.

2:48pm
Run final spell check and hit publish. Bitchslap glimmer of hope. Oh, and stop kidding yourself about the effing fairies and unicorns.



.