Off The Hook

I was sitting at work today, and I realized something.

I was pretty happy.

Since starting this job, I have discovered I am less anxious, less stressed, more relaxed. I feel more like myself than I have since I had Bun.

I like going to work. I like getting up and out the door in the morning, in the quiet, before anyone else is stirring.

Is it crazy that I am happier getting up at 6 a.m. and going to a full-time job, than I was staying at home with my children? If it is, I don’t really want to know.

My house is actually in better order now. I feel more on top of things, not less. True, I am much more tired in the evenings (can’t keep my eyes open past 10 p.m.), but aside from that, physically I am feeling better than I have in some time. I’m sure the hallway walks (about four or five women take a 15 minute walking break around 3 p.m.) and the early a.m. “workouts” are helping.

When I was with my children all day, I felt so much pressure. I had so many decisions to make: what to do, how to keep them occupied, what to feed them, when to change them, how to get them in for rests, what to do for dinner, bath, bed. And then, how was I supposed to do the other stuff: laundry, cleaning, blogging (ha!), reading?

I was driving myself crazy.

Now, I am going to add this next paragraph, even though, if you know me at all, it’s not necessary. Yes, I miss my girls. Yes, I love my children. To be honest, I’m not crazy about Day Care Lady (too much TV, not enough other activities — she’s no MaryP!), but at this point she is in our price range. I plan to look for other, more structured care when we can afford it. And in any case, Monkey will probably start pre-school in the fall.

Yes, Bun is having some adjustment issues. She is very clingy until after dinner. It worries me a little, but it’s not been 10 days yet. If she’s still clingy and whiny in three months, I’ll reassess the situation. Monkey had some potty issues, but they are resolved.

I am not going to beat myself up for being relieved to once more be working. I’m not going to give myself a guilt trip for being happy going to work. I’m not going to label myself a bad mommy, even in jest.

Plus, the money rocks.

I’m letting myself off the hook. And if anyone tries a guilt trip on me? They are goin’ down. Because they don’t know me; they don’t know what’s best for my children. I do.

On a related note: DearDR has stepped it up. I expected a little balking, a little whining, I admit it. But he has taken on child-care duties with nary a peep. (Oh, well, I did have to start setting out daily outfits for the girls.) And he has gone above and beyond. He lobbied for family-time on Sunday (we went up to the mall). He changed the brakes on his car. Today, he didn’t have anyone scheduled until 2 p.m. — so he went grocery shopping, people. I didn’t even ask him; he offered last night.

Is it any wonder he’s getting laid (at home — come on, we’re Catholic) more often?

Random News and Notes: For the Record

For the record: Until today at approximately 1:30 p.m., I hadn’t changed a poopy diaper in 5 days.

For the record: I may be skinny, but I am out of shape. As my 20-minute workouts (twice this week), 15-minute hallway walks, and today’s snow shoveling prove.

For the record: Hot Pockets, the broccoli cheese ones with Whole Grain Crust!, are perhaps the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth.

DearDR, if meat-filled Hot Pockets are half as disgusting as the one I took one bite of yesterday, I apologize. I will never, ever buy them again. Please forgive my lapse of judgement.

I wish I had seen this first:

I’m Not Saying Anything, I’m Just Saying

At the last full-time job I had, there was a woman who knew how to dress. She was about eight years younger than I, and she just was stylin’. She didn’t wear “trendy” clothes yet she was fashionable; although her clothes seemed of good quality, they didn’t seem expensive.

One day, I complimented her on her style, especially on the way she wore color. She told me about this book she had read. I decided to read it too.

It would take a lot of time to implement every trick in this book, I think. But, I have kept a lot of little tips in mind since I read it. One of the biggest things was this: Black doesn’t go with everything. Black goes with black, or white.

On Monday, when I finally set out to buy some work clothes, I vowed to shop for colors. I wasn’t going to go for loud colors, or young colors, and I was not going to buy something if it had black in it.

Blouse 1

As I alluded to in my last post, I was pretty appalled by my selection. First off, for the first time in quite some time, I am NOT pregnant. So why would I buy clothes that would make me look pregnant? (Also, what’s up with those sleeves?) The tunic top, while I am sure it is flattering for many figures, doesn’t do a damn thing for mine. It’d be like hanging a sail on a toothpick.

Blouse 2

Secondly, a big combo this spring is going to be yellow and gray. Yellow doesn’t do a thing for me. Except make me look yellow.

Blouse 3

Also in stores right now? A lot of prints.

Blouse 4

Very, very bold prints. With black.

On the plus side:

1. The prices at the department store I did shop were incredibly good. Like the prices I usually pay at Target for clothes. And, while I do love me some Target, these clothes are probably higher quality.

2. As I mentioned, I did find cute shoes, marked down from $45, to $26.99. Thank goodness they are flats, because after two days in my high-heeled boots, my dogs are barking. All the way up to my ass, frankly.

It’s more than I haven’t worn high heeled boots for two days in a row. Many a day has gone by with no shoes worn in this house. Those days are over.

3. Bra that fits. This truly cannot be overstated.

I hadn’t shopped for a bra in years. I had to be measured — I had no idea what size I was (I’m a 32/33 A. Well, almost an A.) (Quit laughing.)

While I find it ridiculous that I have to wear a bra at all, it’s a bare fact:

If I don’t wear a bra, my unusually long nipples can take out an eye. DearDR once quipped, “If you breastfeed, our children are going to drink out straws for the rest of their lives.”

But I have found perhaps the most comfortable bra I have ever worn, ever. I am going back for more.

And, just to make it exciting, I even bought some matching panties.

I’m living on the edge people.

It Just Keeps Getting Better

The girls’ ear infections have not gone away. Round Two of antibiotics will start after dinner tonight.

DearDR “thinks” he blew a brake line in the only running car (the only previously running car) we own.

We don’t have the money at hand to put two new tires on the other car, after which it would presumably run, but as it has been sitting in our driveway for a couple of months, even that is questionable. And it’s not inspected.

Women’s clothing is ugly, ya’ll. I don’t know if you’ve gone shopping recently, but it is a challenge to find decent (i.e. not ugly) work clothes.

On the up side, I did get a pair of cute shoes. And a two bras that FIT!

I haven’t had time to write or read or comment anywhere in the blog-o-sphere. And I have a lot to say, darn it.

And my butt hurts (again), but you don’t need to know anymore about that…

The Great Interview Experiment: Uncouth Heathen

I stumbled onto the Great Interview Experiment from Andrea over at Fretting the Small Stuff. Neil at Citizen of the Month has the crazy idea that everyone is a celebrity and deserves to be interviewed. (I’m paraphrasing.) Although I did add myself to the list, I also jumped in to help an abandoned “inteviewee”.

Let me introduce you to Linsey at Uncouth Heathen. Linsey is very, very funny, and I am glad to have discovered her blog. Please read her, and send her love (it is Valentine’s Day, after all). Here is the interview:

RPM: I notice that your blog is less than a year old. Why did you decide to start Uncouth Heathen? What do you want your blog to be or to mean?

UH: I used to write a column for a site called Backwash titled “Common Sense for the Masses”. I wrote about some of the same things I do on my site now (and some older posts at UH grew from my writing over there) as well as some more social issues. Over time, the site went into disrepair and a lot of the people there moved on or put a lot less energy into writing for a dying site. I’d long thought about having a site of my own, and a good friend of mine suggested it several times, so after having a few talks with her, I decided to give it a try. I’d had some little sites dating back to the late 90s (using Geocities) where I learned some basic HTML and design and eventually started a blog using Blogger that didn’t last long. When I learned about WordPress from my friend and how easy it would be to get something up and running, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to get back to doing something I love: writing.

RPM: Your writing seems very naturally funny – you don’t seem to be reaching for the laugh. Is it as easy as you make it look? To what do you attribute your skill?

UH: I should probably attribute it to a lot of years trying to make my family and friends laugh. It’s my best defense mechanism and it’s the only way I feel like I can control a situation. I figure that if I can make people laugh, they’ll be nice to me, nice to one another. Also, if I can find humor in a bad situation, then it just makes it easier to get through. Some days it’s easier to write than others — but I have found that the entries I find the funniest are the ones I didn’t really think too much about, it just came out.

RPM: Do you consider yourself part of the blogging community? If you were stranded on a desert island (does it have to be a desert island?), what five blogs are you taking with you? Why?

UH: I don’t know that I consider myself part of the blogging community yet. I don’t know if that’s because I’m insecure about fitting in, or if there is some bar I’ve set for myself before I can say, yeah, okay, I’m a blogger. Or maybe it’s not that important to me, to be a part of that infamous blogging clique, which is a total lie because I need to fit in so desperately. PLEASE LET ME IN!

I’d take Dooce with me to a desert island. I think she’s incredibly funny and endearing and honest. People write a lot of shit about her making money from her site or always writing about her daughter and her dog, etc. She takes a lot of crap but she is who she is, she writes what is true to her and isn’t that what a blogger does?

I’d also take Bake and Shake because she’s hilarious and she can bake like a motherfucker. I bet I could get a recipe from her for desert island snack-treats using coconut, tree bark and sand and it would taste like a million bucks.

Itty Bitty Kitty Committee is another I’d have to take along with me. They get litters of tiny kittens and raise them until they can be adopted out. If you don’t love those cats, you’re dead inside.

I can’t help but read Pink Is The New Blog. Just saying that makes me feel dirty, because at the same time I hate what celebrity has become. I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the headlines, though. I’m pulling so hard for Britney Spears.

Last is probably going to be Finslippy. She has what I think is the best sense of humor on the Internet with the least amount of hubris.

I’d add Janie’s blog in there to keep up on her life while I’m stranded without her, but she doesn’t update and I can’t spend my solitude with nothing to read.

RPM: Your blog is pretty open. Is there any subject or person totally off limits?

UH: I don’t really write about my family, other than Janie. Not because I don’t want to or have some shit to say. DO I EVER. Really, though, we share a last name that is not at all common. They’re all professionals and it would be awful to have their coworkers, bosses or potential employers question them about what I’m posting on my blog about them. Also, I wouldn’t want to hurt any of them by posting our personal issues on a blog where they don’t have any way to set the record straight or share their side of the story. Maybe I put up little things here or there, but nothing of consequence, nothing that could damage their reputations as upstanding citizens, except maybe that part about my brother calling me a dumb cunt, but that was a restrained accounting of a very large, looming personal conflict. Other than that, I probably wouldn’t write about my job or intimate issues. My job because I’d like to keep it and because I don’t want my views or life to reflect upon the people I work with and the good work we do for the community. Intimacy because I was just brought up with a certain sense of what is and is not okay to discuss. I don’t want to hear about the sex lives of my
friends or family and I certainly don’t want them to read about mine. By intimacy, I also mean things outside of the bedroom — issues that are really emotional or difficult that maybe Janie and I work through as a couple or individuals. Something that’s going to make her cry or make her feel bad or embarrassed if I put it online would be off limits.

RPM: How close to the “real” you is the “blogger” you?

UH: I think it’s very close, in that it’s a snapshot of who I am. I think it’s missing a lot of things about me as a person, it doesn’t necessarily reflect all of my values and beliefs, but it never could. I think that’s where readers often get caught up, assuming that a blog is the person when it’s likely that it’s only a piece of that person. For example, no one would ever guess from my blog that Janie is not permanently attached to my right side.

RPM: How would someone meeting you for the first time describe you (in 15 words or less)?

UH: Quiet, maybe a little shy, thoughtful and incredibly self-conscious. Maybe an asshole, but probably not.

RPM: Janie sounds like a pistol! What first attracted you about her?

UH: What first attracted me was that she is absolutely gorgeous. After years of only seeing one another off and on at parties and a very drunken one night stand several years before we started dating, I got to spend a time with her after helping friends move and we stayed up all night talking. I discovered that, in addition to being beautiful, she is kind, intelligent, incredibly funny, sassy and totally weird. Also, it is impossible to make her cry — she’s as dry as a rock, and believe me, I’ve tried.

RPM: What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?

UH: My greatest strength is probably my ability to see beyond a situation or a moment and realize there is good somewhere out there. My greatest weakness is donuts, hands down.

RPM: When you and Janie decide to become mothers, have you chosen one of you to be pregnant, or will you adopt? (I loved the post on the people who asked if you would “do it naturally”. HA!)

UH: We talk a lot about this, but in reality it will likely be Janie that would be the birth mother because my ovaries are rotting off as we speak. I definitely have the desire to carry a baby, but it’s a matter of biology and the fact that my body doesn’t seem to care much about what I want. We’ve broached the subject of adoption, but in the end we really wanted to try having one. I suggested we implant one of my eggs and that way the baby would be part of us each in some way, but in vitro is incredibly expensive and I just spent all our fertility money at Target.

RPM: I love that one of your cats is named Ducati. What are the other names? Any desire to own a real Ducati?

UH: We have three cats of which Ducati is the oldest and the least likely to pee on your things or steal your stuffed yarn animals. He was the cat that I brought into the relationship. An old roommate and I got him from the animal shelter when he was about 6 months old. The roommate originally insisted we name him Smeat to which I replied that if he were going to call him Smeat then I was going to call him Mary. This went on for a few weeks, until we settled on Ducati because my roommate wanted one very badly. Later we got another cat that we named Harley. There was talk of getting a third cat to name Vespa, but we had a falling out before that happened and we moved apart. I took Ducati because he’s the best God damn cat ever. The others were Janie’s cats — they are sisters named Carson and Harlow, and they hate Ducati with a passion. We’ve lived together for nearly five years now and not a day goes by without some ugly hissing/scratching/chasing ordeal. It’s a nightmare. I wouldn’t mind owning a Ducati, but it’s probably best that I didn’t. Maybe I’ll settle for a Vespa, but not another cat.

RPM: Do you have any tattoos? Where are they and what are they? (For the record, I have one, on my left arm, of the four elements: earth, air, water and fire.) (Also for the record, I am asking this out of pure curiosity, not out of a preconceived notion that you will have a tattoo or two.)

UH: I do have some tattoos, including a very gay one that I regret absolutely. The first was a sunflower on the back of my left shoulder and it remains my favorite. Then I got a moon with “Tep” (nickname) written underneath it on my upper right arm. After that, I got a blue star on the outside of each ankle. The last was the totally gay one on my lower back that I’m hoping to one day hide with something else.

RPM: What is your favorite thing about Seattle? Do tourists drive you batty, or can you peacefully co-exist with them? (If I did not live in Pittsburgh — er, outside of Pittsburgh, rather – I would live in Seattle.)

UH: Janie and I were just talking about how great it is to leave Seattle for an extended period of time and come back, because it’s really only then that it can truly be appreciated. Last summer I did the Breast Cancer 3-Day and my friend and I did miles upon miles of training walks. We walked all over this city and I grew to love it in a new way — it’s really a beautiful place to be.

Tourists don’t bother me at all. I just don’t get them — I don’t understand why Seattle is a place they’d want to vacation. I think of all the other places they could be instead — California! New York! Hawaii! I’d be happy to help tourists find their way to the Space Needle, but I’m gonna need to know why they think that’s going to be fun, first.

RPM: Who is your next open letter to?

UH: It is going to be to the assistant at my allergist’s office.

RPM: What the most recent book you finished?

UH: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. We also saw the movie — both are excellent and come with my highest recommendation. I know that doesn’t mean anything to anybody, but I’m saying it anyway.

RPM: What is the most recent music you’ve purchased? CD or download?

UH: I bought the song “Escape” by Enrique Iglesias over the weekend via iTunes. Before that I got Paula Abdul’s Greatest Hits on CD. I feel nothing but shame after telling you that.
[RPM edit: We all have musical weaknesses. Don’t sweat it. I’ll reveal mine in my interview.]

RPM: Is there anything you want someone reading this interview to know about you that hasn’t been covered here or at your blog?

UH: Despite what my brother might tell you, I did not call him an asshole.

Ta-da!

Go on over to Citizen of the Month and you too can play along. The next person who signs up gets to inteview me (I guess).

If no one signs up, I’m interviewing myself, based on the questions I asked Linsey.

You’ve been warned.

Bun in Public

As a condition of my new job (starting in one week!) I had to pass a drug test.

I know, I know. I laughed, too, when the interviewer told me. I haven’t done heroin in weeks, and I’ve cut out my morning beer since I re-discovered caffiene.

Because sickness is reigning supreme next door, I figured I would just take the girls with me. Besides, I figured it may help if they know the drill in case they ever have to pass a drug test. (And they better pass it, too. I’m not hanging around here being a good example for them to fail drug tests in the future.)

The girls were very good at the center for drug testing. They ate a bunch of graham crackers, “read” books and colored in other books. They charmed everyone there, of course. We also traversed the hallways a few times. There was no running and screaming (not by my children at any rate).

Considering how full my bladder was (“Just come prepared to give a urine sample,” the woman on the phone said blandly when I called to see about making an appointment. I was prepared to the eyeballs), the wait went well.

However, there were a couple notable moments.

The first was when one of the staff told me I would not be able to take my children in the room with me when I gave my urine sample. I guess they were afraid of me trying to squeeze the pee out of Bun’s diaper, or making Monkey pee in a cup.

I would have assured them on the latter point. I did just get her peeing in the potty. I wasn’t about to make her think the stakes were going up.

Another moment happened as we walking around the waiting room. The door from the outside was flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows — plain glass windows. Bun approached one of them, I thought, to put her hands and face against it and look out. No, Bun’s plan was to WALK outside.

She thunked her forehead right against that glass. Then took a sudden step backward. I rushed forward to rub her head and console her, if only I could stop laughing. Bun didn’t even cry, just got this, “What the hell?” expression on her sweet little face.

Nominate me for Mother of the Year.

Then, after the test, one of the people with whom I had been in the waiting room said, of Bun, “He’s a cute one, all right.”

This happens all the time. People almost always think Bun is a boy.

I do not dress her in blue. Her sneakers are pink and white. Her clothes, most of the time, clearly are girls’ clothes. We wear a lot of jeans, but that’s ’cause it’s cold.

Here are my theories:

1. Bun has short hair. Despite being 13-months old, she has yet to need a haircut. (She’s had hair cut, but not an official haircut.)
2. Additionally, Bun is a bruiser, not to put to fine a point on it. She is big for her age, in the upper percentiles in height and weight. She’s not HUGE or anything, but she ain’t a petite little chickie.
3. On top of her size, she is a mover. Bun does not sit still unless there is food involved.
4. (This is the weirdest one) Flora is clearly a girl — long hair, pretty face, girl clothes (not girlie; neither of my girls to this point are girlie girls). And given that, I think people just assume that Bun is a boy. Because that’s what people have, right? One boy, one girl. Then you call it quits.

That last one is a weird theory, to be sure. I know as many couples with one of each as with multiple children of one gender. Hell, my sister-in-law (bro’s wife) has three boys, God bless her. But I have heard many more people with one boy and one girl declare they are done having kids because “we have one of each”.

Maybe that’s the weird thing. The attitude seems to be, “Well, I’m just going to get another one of these two choices, so why try again?”

I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m just making an observation here.

And trying to figure out how to keep Bun from being mistaken for a boy.

How Bad Is This, Really?

So we spent the morning and early afternoon at the Children’s Museum. And we had a total blast. It was Bun’s first time as a toddler, and she literally had no idea what to do with herself. She recovered in short order, but that first 15 minutes Bun had to be coaxed to move. My little perpetual motion machine was agog at the lights! sound! children running! ah!

Monkey had no such hesitations.

Anyway, when we finally arrived at the museum (after driving around in circles on the North Side a few times — my thoughts running something like, “Wait a minute, it was right in front of me. Where did it go? Where am I? Oh, look, there’s the hospital where Bun and Monkey were born. Maybe if I take this left…. Argh! Wasn’t it right in front of me??”) I got Bun stashed in her stroller for the walk in, and gave her a couple of graham crackers because I knew she was peckish.

Bun dropped her binky in her excitement to eat. Out of the stroller. I did not notice this fact until we were in the museum.

Bun is a binky baby. I have her mostly weaned from it during waking hours. She gets it at naptime, bedtime and car-time. The peditrician says this is okay for a while yet.

So I am already thinking the ride home is going to be a shriek-fest. Bun cries; Monkey screams. Oh, joy.

But in the meantime, we do have a fun, fun time.

We are getting ready to go, and Bun starts crying. It was 1:45 p.m.; she was tired. I think, “Well, maybe she dropped the binky right outside of the car.”

And then I think, “Yeah, right.” It’s probably in the middle of the parking lot squished like a bug.

Well, it was, actually, close to the car. It clearly had been run over. But I know that Bun is ready, and all she needs is a binky to pass out, and the car ride will be very, very quiet.

I pick up the binky.

I wash it off very thoroughly with my bottled water, then wipe it with a wipey.

I inspect it. No cracked plastic. The nipple is undamaged.

I pop it in Bun’s mouth. She stops crying and trying to throw herself out of her stroller.

She is asleep before we drive two blocks.

What would you have done?

Random News and Notes: Because You Asked

I have been reading through my comments and emails, and since I don’t have much today (except the urge to post), I will tell some stories/answer questions.

1. Bun gets kicked out of daycare. I don’t really take the girls to “daycare”. It’s just a woman (certified in CPR, etc.) who watches some kids in her home. When Bun was about 4 months old, I thought it would be nice if she started going a couple of days a week with Monkey. I was freelancing at the time, too, and doing that work at home, so it was for the best.

Unfortunately, while Bun wasn’t by any means a “high-needs” child, she definitely was demanding. And Day Care Lady couldn’t hold her all the time with a bunch of other, more mobile children needing her attention. Bun’s response to this was to cry. A lot. So Day Care Lady and I came to the agreement that I would keep Bun home for a while longer; for financial reasons, I decided to keep Monkey home, too. Suddenly, I was a stay-at-home mom. It was a shocker.

2. I have, indeed, given something up for Lent. I have given up reading novels. Now, if you don’t know me, that may not sound like a big deal. But I read a lot, and most of what I read is fiction. My kids are pretty independent, so I do, actually, have more time to read than you may think. Or, at least, I rationalize reading as much as I do that way. (Hey, we may have inadvertant haircuts, but nobody has drawn blood. Knock wood.)

And Stephen King just put out a new one that is getting great reviews. And I got a gift card to Joseph Beth Bookseller’s for my birthday (thank you J & P). Talk about temptation.

So instead, I am spending more time interacting with my children, doing crossword puzzles and reading the Bible daily. I am exploring the world of non-fiction. I am currently mired in Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, which while fascinating is not a fast mover.

If you have good non-fiction suggestions, I am open.

3. Getting diapers (or anything, I suppose) out of the heating duct in your child’s room: You need a really long pole. (That sounds much dirtier than I intended.) DearDR was a house painter in another life (i.e. when he was still an undergrad), and he has an adjustable, uh, thingie for painting high walls and ceilings. You can attach a paint roller to it. It adjusts up to (I’m guessing here) 12-15 feet. We taped a paperclip, formed into a hook, onto the end of it; I held the light, DearDR did the fishing.

You can borrow DearDR’s pole, if you want. (That, too, just sounds much dirtier than it actually is. Sorry.)

4. “Fire drills” before the big day, i.e. my first day at the new job: DearDR and I have decided that next Thursday and Friday, I am going to disappear in the early, early morning. Then, he will be responsible for getting Bun and Monkey to daycare, and himself to work.

If I show up at 10 a.m., and Bun and Monkey are home alone, well, then we’ll know how that experiment went, won’t we?

I, in the meantime, am setting my alarm earlier and earlier in an attempt to re-train my body to get up at 6 a.m. again (possibly even 5:30 a.m.). My natural inclination is to be a night owl, but that is not going to work if I intend to exercise before work and still get to the job on time.

My other natural inclination is to work out after work, or at lunchtime. Unfortunately, children preclude the first option, and a half-hour lunch precludes the second. So we’ll see how I do in the early morn. I really need to get some exercise.

5. Lastly: No-Photo Fridays. We have hit another technical glitch. Namely, the PC with the digital camera attached and all my photos on the hard drive, died. We think the hard drive is actually fine, we just have to transplant it into the new computer that DearDR is bringing home from his office.

It’s a bummer, because I have some awesome photos on my camera!

Edited to add: 6. Lost. This is by far one of the most stellar non-cable shows out there. I have never been a big TV watcher. A few of my favs over the years include NCIS, ER (the earlier years; I haven’t watched it since Noah Wylie left) and the X-Files (still best ever). These days I watch Heroes, House (ocassionally) and Lost. I used to watch the original CSI:, but they have pitted Lost against it, and Lost has won. The season 3 finale was one of the best, most surprising things I have seen. And so far this season, I am as turned on as I was the first season.

On that note: Naveen Andrews is steaming hot, people. Smoking. I may change my marriage clause to him, away from Hugh Jackman.

Edited even later to add: I think the Oceanic 6 are: Jack, Kate, Hurley (duh), Sawyer, Claire and Sayeed. I also think Desmond, Juliet and Ben, Aaron (Claire’s son) get off the island (or are taken off). I think the funeral that Jack attends in the season 3 finale is Ben’s.

Just my two cents.

I Feel Your Pain

I meant to post yesterday, but I was woozy from the cold medicine and, since it was Ash Wednesday, the fasting.

Yeah, I fast on Ash Wednesday. I’m Catholic; it’s Lent. Get over it.

Anyway, I was reading around yesterday, and I have stumbled onto several posts that could have been written by me. Which makes me glad to all be in the same basket as you:

First, over at the weirdgirl, she makes a potty training break-through (well, her son does)… shhh, don’t jinx it. And she wonders who out here yells. (Psst, I do. Sometimes I just blow my top.)

Monkey, too, has turned the corner on the potty training. As a matter of fact, I think I can safely say that she is no longer in training. She is a Big Girl who goes poop and pee on the potty. (Having said that, I am sure we will regress when mommy goes back to work in 10 days.) The problem now? When we are at home, she doesn’t actually tell me when she is going to the bathroom. The problems with that? Well, there is the too-much-toilet-paper-in-the-toilet problem, which is closely related to the what-do-you-actually-do-with-all-that-toilet-paper problem?

I have explained to her that she needs to tell me when she is going to the bathroom so I can help her wipe up and put her pants back on. The last conversation went like this:

Me: You are only 3. You can’t go to bathroom by yourself.
Monkey: No, you can’t go to bathroom by yourself.
Me: I am 37. I do go to bathroom by myself.
Monkey: I am 37, and I go to the bathroom by myself.
Me (silently wondering when Monkey because a parrot, and kind of a sarcastic one at that): No, you are only 3. And if you keep going to bathroom by yourself, you won’t get any more m&m’s.
Monkey: (silence)

Okay she may have gotten the message. Although now I wonder when I stop giving her m&m’s for pooping and peeing in the potty. When she turns 4?

On the potty training note, I want to thank MaryP for the advice she has graciously given. I love this story and her attitude about it. That’s what I wanted my attitude to be. I’m not sure how successful I was, but, ultimately: Monkey is a Big Girl now.

On another note, Chag writes about a tragic haircut. As I was recently reassured by my stylist (who makes house calls, God bless him) all kids cut their own hair at some point.

I am cool with that. What I lose my s&*t over a little bit is Monkey cutting Bun’s hair.

It happened when Monkey was busily doing arts & crafts on her own at the kitchen table, i.e. cutting up a lot of paper and gluing it together. Bun and I were going back and forth between the family room to play and the kitchen to check on Monkey. At one point, I was still in the family room and Bun was checking on Monkey.

Monkey came running into the family room brandishing her safety scissors and a lock of fine hair. Bun followed looking faintly puzzled, one hand to her head.

Me: Is that your hair? (silently, That better be your hair.)
Monkey (proudly): NO!
Me (voice breaking): Did you cut Bun’s hair?
Monkey: Are you crying?

Monkey got a five-minute time out, and lost her scissors priviledge for a week.

Bun will get an envelope with her lock of hair. On the outside of the envelope it says, “Bun’s first haircut, courtesy of Monkey” with the date.

I can tell where the hair is cut. You have to look for it if you’re not me.

And then, there is someone NOT feeling my pain. While I am quite jealous of all the healthiness, I still heart her because she gave me one of these:

Valentine Blog Love

So I forgive her.

That Karma, She is a B*&%h

Yesterday’s schedule:

8:15 a.m.: Call from Bella, interrupting, um, special time with DearDR to inform me that green goo is coming out of Bun’s nose, and I need to call the doctor.

9:00 a.m.: Head next door to pick up the children and assess Bun for myself. Bun looks utterly exhausted, yet is in good spirits. Goo from nose is indeed a funny color, kind of yellowish. Bella informs me Bun has not slept for more than two hours at a stretch all weekend, which is weird because she sleeps through the night at home. Bun is not running a fever, but I call the doctor anyway. They have an opening at 12:45 p.m. I take it, thinking I can just cancel it later.

10:30 a.m.: Head across the yard with the kids. Bun is fussing a bit; Monkey seems fine, even happy, to be going home. We show Monkey her newly decorated room, and she oohs and aahs in appreciation.

11 a.m.: Try to put a very fussy and obviously tired Bun in for a bit of a nap.

11:05 a.m.: Try again.

11:15 a.m.: Give up on Bun, and make the girls some lunch instead. Neither one of them seems very interested in eating. In face of fussiness, Bun gets the binky. Goo from nose is now clear, and I think about canceling doctor’s appointment. When I tell this to Bella, she insists I take Bun.

12:30 p.m.: Head to doctor’s office. Bun, naturally, falls asleep on the ten-minute drive.

12:45 p.m.: Sign in at doctor’s office. Am informed that my insurance company is refusing to pay my bills because I have failed to fill out a questionnaire regarding other coverage. Get insurance company on phone, clear up misunderstanding about coverage; pay my copay. (I pay out the arse for COBRA benefits, which is the only reason I have decided to actually take Bun to the doctor. Can’t wait until I start my new job and new benefits kick in.)

1:05 p.m.: Doctor informs me that Bun does indeed have an ear infection. He seems just as surprised as I am; Bun has been smiling at him since he came in (hell, if I were younger and single, I’d be smiling at him too!), and playing peek-a-boo from between my legs.

1:13 p.m.: Get back in car to take Bun home for nap. Bella will come sit with her while Monkey and I run to the store to fill prescription.

1:44 p.m.: Get in car to go fill prescription.

3:15 p.m.: Finally get home with prescription. Bun has been up for 20 minutes. Give Bun medication.

4:15 p.m.: Monkey starts fussing at left ear. Informs me, “My ear hurts.” I wonder if this is a plea for attention and/or medicine (you know, medicine should taste like crap, the way it did when I was a kid; my children think medicine is a treat).

4:20 p.m.: Monkey covers her whole ear with her hand, and cries out, “Mommy, my ear really really hurts.” Starts wailing.

4:21 p.m.: I get doctor’s office on phone. I give Monkey some ibuprophen. Doctor’s office sez, “Come on down.” Monkey falls asleep on the ten-minute drive, thereby confirming that she does indeed feel like crap.

4:55 p.m.: Monkey informs everyone in waiting room that her ear hurts. From the looks of the waiting room, it seems she is not the only one.

5:05 p.m.: Doctor (different one from earlier) informs me that Monkey, too, has an ear infection.

5:30 p.m.: Get kids home and eating some dinner. They don’t have much of an appetite. Shocking.

6:30 p.m.: Get kids upstairs for baths. They haven’t had one since Friday. The in-laws can entertain and feed my children, but due to very bad backs, they are unable to bathe them.

7:06 p.m.: Everyone is bathed and dressed in jammies. We do clean up of front room and I vacuum.

7:30 p.m.: Bella comes over bearing Ratatouille, a kissy-lip cookie, and wine (for herself, I assume).

7:35 p.m.: Tuck very unconscious Bun into bed.

7:45 p.m.: Head to store to fill Monkey’s prescription.

8:30 p.m.: Head home with prescription.

8:40 p.m.: Give Monkey medicine. Say goodnight to Bella, and promise not to bother her for two days (at least). Read Monkey one book, help her brush her teeth, and sing to lullabies to her.

9 p.m.: Clean kitchen. I am not feeling so hot myself.

9:30 p.m.: Make myself hot toddy, hoping that will soothe my throat. Wonder if I need antibiotics, where I am going to go to get prescription. I don’t really have a doctor in the area.

10:30 p.m.: Call DearDR to inform him I am going to bed. He tells me his throat hurts, too. I briefly consider never leaving girls next door for two days again, then I get a grip. If it’s offered, I know I will take it. Thank God that I haven’t yet started new job, and can stay home with sick children the next day. Probably being sick myself, too.

10:31 p.m.: Pass out.

Today, we are all sick, with varying degrees of pain, achiness and energy. But seeing as we all slept until 9 a.m., I think with plenty of rest, fluids, and antibiotics for the girls, we will all recover. DearDR did go to work. Thank goodness, because I can’t see taking care of him today, too.

Ciao.