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,

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!]


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.



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:


Rise & Shine! Quick shower before going to (still sleeping) LG's room to get him up and ready for the day.
Kisses and hugs all around as BG leaves for the day. Leisurely breakfast courtesy of TiVo and the latest episode of Curious George.
Load up the car and head out the door to take LG to Mommy's Little Piece Of Heaven daycare.
After a no-fuss drop-off, head back for a healthy emotional bullshit frightening session with Dr. R.
Deep breath, square shoulders, turn up the iPod and head out for a therapeutic run. 4 miles, at least.
Home again for a leisurely shower, complete with leg shaving!
Tidy up office, update Quicken, address outgoing birthday cards, take care of misc. bills and other office work. Schedule yearly lady doctor appointment.
Sushi break!
Call girlfriend for long-overdue chat session.
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.
Head out once more to pick up LG. Who has actually napped this time and is in a simply fabulous mood!
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:

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.
"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy..." Um, hello. What did you think was going to happen?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Bare feet? Meet fresh steaming pile of cat puke. Vomit a little in mouth.
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.
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?
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.
Phone rings again. Just as loudly. Where, oh where is that $*&@&%#-ing volume control? Thursday is a no go. Leave message for the good Dr. Briefly consider showering. Diaper change #5.
Drop pasta. On the floor. Not into the waiting boiling water. Pick up pasta, blow the larger, more obvious non-pasta bits off and plop it into the pot. Set time. Realize coffee is now scorched beyond salvation. Dump remaining sludge and rinse out the pot. Notice water backing up into sink. Notice smell getting stronger. Run garbage disposal. Attempt to back-calculate when it was last run. Can't think because of that %&*^#%$&*@^^^@*^-ing beeping.
Rinse mushy pasta.
Remember dental appointment scheduled for 1:00pm today
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.
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.
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!
Find laptop. Find something not involving cars or rats or sports on TV. Begin long overdue blog post. Not the one about HI.
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.

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