In Over My Head

I totally freaked on my husband yesterday morning.

After three evenings spent at my MIL’s, three evenings in which I was getting nothing done at my own house, I came to Saturday morning with a kitchen to clean, a week’s worth of mail and bills to sort, file, and/or shred, and more than a week’s worth of laundry. Dan informed me — as he was walking out the door to go to work this morning — that he was on his third day of going commando. Although I had managed to keep my children in pajamas (so to speak) they were out of socks. I, myself, am having a hard time with clothes between not having clean ones and not having much that fits well at this point.

I was at my ILs because we were invited. I was at my ILs because my MIL was trying to help me — she DID help me, as she fed us all, and my daughters had two sleepovers along with Niece, and I came home to collapse in bed at the early hour of 9 p.m. And I was not wakened by pee-drenched or nightmare-scared children.

But I wasn’t getting home until 9 p.m. Which meant my chores weren’t getting done.

And with every intention of getting right down to it this morning being thwarted (unwittingly, I suppose) by my children every five minutes, I pretty much had a breakdown on the phone with my dear husband.

Who was perfectly understanding.

The upshot was that I sent him to the party we had both planned to attend; the babysitter came over; I continued to clean, and then went shopping (at Costco); the babysitter bathed my children; and I put them to bed.

I know it wasn’t ideal, but nothing is right now. (If ever.) I am glad I still have two more days in this weekend because I only got about half of what I needed to done, and we are hosting dinner tomorrow. I gotta decide what jobs I am handing over to Dan (mopping the floor is probably high on that list) and chip away at everything else.

The part that is toughest is that with all the time my children have spent in the care of others (my mom & dad were down last weekend so that Dan & I could clean — nay, purge — our office) lately, I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with them myself.

And I miss the little buggers, for as crazy as some stuff is driving me (more on that later).

But I scared myself (and my husband) with my stress and my tears yesterday morning. And sometimes I wonder what we have gotten into.

And then I take a deep breath, send a prayer up to God, and pretty much (try to) get on with it.

Because, you know, this:

Oh, The Humanity

Yesterday, in the car on the way to Flora’s last soccer game of the season, Kate declared, “I just hate myself.”

I freaked out a little bit.

“What? Kate, that’s a terrible thing to say!”

“I know, but I just hate myself.”

I got mad. “Stop saying that!”

“It’s true. I just hate myself.”

I tried to be reasonable. “You don’t even know what that means.”

Things went on in this vein for a little bit.

“Wait a minute, where did you even hear that? Not from me. I don’t hate myself. Does Flora say she hates herself?”


“Did you hear that at daycare?” And from whom for goodness sake?


Finally, Flora piped up. “It was on TV.”

Wait, what? My girls do not watch tween shows (which I would think would be the culprit here — although as we don’t watch them, i don’t know that to be the case.).

“What TV show?”

“Phineas and Ferb.”

I had to think a little bit. Phineas and Ferb is one of our favorite shows — very adventurous, funny, and entertaining. I (gently) critique the female characters occasionally (Candace is obsessed with busting her little brothers, Isabella wears pink and is a little girlie) but as they get their moments to kick ass and take names, I roll with it. I have never heard either of these female characters utter a line like, “I just hate myself.” Isabella is quite confident of herself (and of how adorable she is) and Candace… well, she’s a bit a control freak, but otherwise okay.

Notice how I assume it’s a female character.

Turns out that the person on the show who uttered the line is Perry the platypus’ boss, Major Monogram. He says it when he told he was too hard on Agent P (really, you have to see the show) and thinks Agent P has quit. (He’s hasn’t; he’s just stuck in the hose. Again, watch the show.)

“Well,” I said, absorbing this information. “First, Kate, you shouldn’t even say you hate yourself. It’s a terrible, ugly thing to say, and you should love yourself. You’re a wonderful little girl.

“Second, I’m going to have to think about us watching that show. We might have to talk about that later.”

Finally, though, how do I know if Kate does feel that way? Can a 3-year-old hate herself, or is she just mouthing dialogue (and seeing my reaction to it; “hate” is not a word we’re allowed to use in our house)? Should I ban a show that we all enjoy because of this one-off situation? (I know, probably not.)

Where do we go from here?

Lost: Mysteries

Still plenty swirling around out there about the LOST finale. And a ton of disappointed people. (Also, two great comments on my post from yesterday, one from a casual watcher — a rare animal, indeed — and one from a fan like myself. I’ll get around to replying to those shortly…)

The first biggest whinge: “They were dead the whole time?” REALLY? People really think this? It seems they drew this conclusion from the final credit shots of the wreckage on the beach.

Totally missed the point. Or the boat. Or whatever. In short, no, they weren’t. She says it much nicer over here.

And, no, Jack wasn’t dead the whole time either, making shite up in his head. Pay attention!


Although, in the Sideways story he did create a son for himself. I think that was part of this redemption path, finding a way to father himself by revisiting issues he had with Christian with his own son, David. (Which means ‘beloved’.) Someone at Slate argues that it is purely narcissistic of Jack, but I think they’re wrong. It was part of Jack’s journey to the Great Beyond.

I think throughout this last season certain things were explained — maybe not spelled out per se, but explained.

For example, what is the Island? The Island, like Jacob mentioned in “Ab Aeterno” is, literally, a cork. I mean, it’s real, not a metaphysical place between chaos and the rest of the world. It’s in this world, and happens to be a… doorway, say. Or tunnel. Why does it have the properties it does? Probably because it is such a doorway. I wish we knew why the Island traveled (how exactly did MiB figure out the donkey wheel and how it would work?), but that, alas, remains a mystery.

Another thing people are up in arms about not knowing: Why were there fertility issues on the Island? Don’t you think, with a primary scene like Mother bashing in Claudia’s skull right after she gave birth, the Island (if you grant it entity status) or Jacob (who made up the rules) would find the idea of babies on the Island problematic? Because that’s what I think.

The only glaring thing for me was in the “Across the Sea” episode how MiB was not called by his name. That still bugs me. Cyber-rumors have it that his name was Samuel, but they decided not to use it in the end. It was just so… awkward in that episode! I can understand him not being named the rest of the time — after all, he was Smokey, and not Jacob’s brother (or Locke) ultimately.

[Aside: Samuel means “God heard” in Hebrew. Jacob means “he who supplants”. That’s not ironic AT ALL. /sarcasm]

One of the Losties with whom I email in fan post-mortems had this to say about getting answers to the Island:

“At one point, it was believed that Dharma held all the answers to what was going on — but they ended up being just as clueless as us in trying to figure out the island. Then we thought it was the Others, but they were really just people that ended up there ‘accidentally’ like the Oceanic 815 crew. We thought for sure we were going to get the answers from Jacob or MiB or Alpert, but they all were as clueless as everyone, and were really just normal guys, like the Oceanic 815 people. Every source of mystery on the Island and every landmark there (the hatch, the wells, black rock, egyptian foot, etc.) ended up just being a group of people, with some unique story from when they were brought to the Island. That’s what I think the showing of the wreckage during the credits meant—it was now part of the Island’s history, and the Oceanic 815 survivors would be another mystery that someone would eventually think held the answers.”

Mystery: 1. One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma:
2. One whose identity is unknown and who arouses curiosity.

Don’t those two definitions sum up LOST and the story of the Island? Did we really want to know everything about everything? Even if I thought I did before Season 6 started, by the time it ended on Sunday at 11:30 p.m., I didn’t. I enjoyed the ride that was LOST — all its frustrations and mysteries, all its flashes — backwards, forwards, in time, sideways. I was captivated by the characters, by the journey of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, and their redemptions and salvations. And I think in The End, that’s why the finale paid off for me. Especially in this last season, watching Jack completely change from a character desperate for approval, desperate to fix and save everyone, to someone possessed of a simple, deep abiding faith — who ends up saving everyone anyway.

Final note: If Terry O’Quinn doesn’t get an Emmy, it’ll be a crime. In a series full of excellent acting, he was the very, very best in the last two seasons. I think they were all great (well, not so much Evangeline Lilly as Kate, but her character bugged me so much for three seasons, I may be letting that color my opinion.)

Lost: The End


First: I loved it. I was satisfied; I didn’t feel cheated or let down. (I teared up at the very start of the show because it really hit home that this was it.)

Was the episode perfect? No, not by any stretch. There was some seriously clunky dialogue; there were little predictable bits; some things were left hanging.

And I’m okay with all of that.

My two biggest pet peeves: One, those stupid Target commercials. I just am not ready for Lost to become a major marketing angle of the “get it?” variety. Two, Claire’s birth scene — er, Aaron’s birth scene, rather. Bar none, in the history of television and movies, that was the least realistic birthing scene ever. EVER. (I might make an exception for Rosemary’s Baby.)

The labor and birth scene kind of ruined Claire and Charlie’s reunion for me; plus I thought Charlie was already enlightened. Isn’t he the one who got Desmond on board with the whole idea of Island Enlightenment?

See, already, I’m picking. And I don’t mean to.

I can’t wait to see who loved and hated the episode (and/or the show) based on the finale. I know that we Losties are a unique breed, and we can really get on people’s nerves.

And I’m okay with that.

I cried the most during Juliet (Juliet! FINALLY) and Sawyer’s reunion; and then again at the end of the show. Wherein, pretty much, Jack made his way back to where he started, to end. It was a nice full circle, for the show as well as for our tortured (and at times torturing) character.

I liked how they held Juliet in reserve until the finale. I don’t think anyone was surprised to see her, find out she was Jack’s ex-wife, and mother to their son (in theory). That was well played — not surprising, but well played.

The only real surprise of last night was the unlikely survival of (say it with me) Frank the Penis. Not that I should have been that surprised — Lost has been full of unlikely survival stories. But it gladdened me to see good old Jeff Fahey get his moment in the sun. He threw the damn walkie talkie too much though.

Little moments that I found touching included Eloise Hawking (Widmore) asking Desmond if he was going to take her son; and Kate saying to Jack, “I’ve missed you so much.” In a show with a lot of big, emotional moments and reunions, these little exchanges were gold.

I don’t know if any of the griping out there is about the whole idea of the redeeming power of love, which is pretty much what I took away from last night’s finale. I wonder if people are scoffing at the thought.

But as an avowed Roman Catholic, I completely buy into the idea. Not that I’m going to turn Lost into a religious allegory, but let’s face the fact that is was a show chock full of mythological and religious symbolism. The writers and producers were very clear to steer clear of terms like Heaven, Hell, god or goddess, etc. It was, ultimately, a show about mortal characters and about the idea of an afterlife.

What was brought home to me was the idea that we are put here to love one another — Jack’s message from Season 1: To live together or die alone. I liked the thought that due to what the survivors had gone through on the Island — a kind of cork between the darkness of chaos (if not Hell with a capital H) and the rest of the world — united them to such a point that they needed to find each other again to move onto the next level. That felt, within the context of the show, like karmic destiny of the best kind.

I may come back to this post once I get out and read what else other people are saying. I just know that I was happy with the conclusion.

Dan and I watched the first two seasons on DVD, and then from Season 3 forward watched the show in “real time”. We’ve been with these characters for four plus years.

I’m going to miss them.

I need to find a new way to spend my Tuesday nights.


Subtitle: I don’t understand why more schools don’t use social media.

Mornings have never been my favorite time of day. As of late, of course, they have become more problematic.

But I thought — I thought — I was doing okay this morning.

Granted, I didn’t wake up until 7 a.m., but I’m making up hours as I go along at work anyway. So I figured I’d just suck it up, and even drop the kids off at their respective schools.

It is Flora’s last day of preschool at St. J’s. I actually managed to put a barrette in her hair to keep it out of her face, so I felt on top of things.

Not so much.

Now I am not the most attentive of mothers, and by that I don’t mean I ignore my children. I just… I don’t have baby books; I don’t have scrapbooks (although I have lots of scrap); I don’t save every single piece of art and school work that they have ever done (probably one out of every, oh, 15-20?). I try to be good about taking lots of pictures and video, but mileage varies.

But when it comes to school stuff? I downright suck.

On the plus side, I seldom (never say never) forget to send my children to school without food. I pack pretty healthy lunches of stuff they like; Flora gets a snack and a drink box for preschool three days a week. When it’s their birthdays, I send in cookies (usually of the Eat’n Park variety; a baker I am not).

I am pretty good about permission slips for field trips Flora’s class goes on. I even usually take a day off to accompany her to the pumpkin patch around Halloween. (A field trip I will be going on for two more years, as Kate moves through St. J’s pre-k program.)

However, I am terrible about things like show and tell. Out of 10 months, I may remember to send something with Flora half of those. (Thank goodness they only have it once a month.) I completely spaced on school pictures this year (Dan saved our bacon there). And when stuff like baby photos are requested for the end-of-the-year DVD, you can bet I’ll forget about it.

To top things off, I dropped Flora off this morning at 8:10 a.m.

She didn’t have to be a school until 9.

I did not have a clue.

And do you know why?

Because I do not read paper.

I just don’t.

Flora comes home three times a week with her backpack filled with paper. Drawings she’s made, letter papers, school “work”, and, yes, class newsletters, calendars, permission slips, and so on.

I glance at most of this, tack the monthly calendar on the bulletin board, decide if I’m going to hang anything on the ‘fridge, and throw out everything else.

I am an connected mommy, a social media mommy. I read emails; I read tweets; I have a blog.

Schools would serve parents like me much, much better if they had active blogs, Twitter and/or whatever-is-replacing-Ning accounts (Facebook is too big for private K-8 schools, I think), and used emails.

Am I alone? Am I alone in having schools that don’t do this?

I understand that resources is an issue — probably THE issue. I’d be running my daughter’s school’s social media program… if they could pay me. Alas, they cannot (they almost closed this year, as a matter of fact), and I’m simply not in a position to quit my job and volunteer to do it.

I consulted (for free) with the volunteer who does run their marketing “department”. We actually — she, rather — did set up a Ning account for the school looking toward boosting enrollment and fundraising activities. We also talked about changes to the schools’ Web site to make it more interactive, and even about blog possibilities the school should explore (providing they stay open).

She was told to pull the Ning site down — which is a whole ‘nother post.

My point is: I don’t read paper, but I would read emails or Tweets. Given the proper time and incentive, I would even pursue that more with the school, because I am sure I am not the only one. (Well, I was the only parent there before 9 a.m. this morning, and that may have as much to do with the fact that I don’t usually do the morning drop-off, so it’s something my husband may have been told, and failed to pass the info along.)

What do you think? Should even small schools actively pursue engaging parents through social media? (I say, resoundingly, yes.) If cost is an issue, how should schools address that? Should I talk more to schools in my area about budgeting for it and/or how to use their current resources (i.e. office administrators, teachers to blog, etc.)?

Or should I start reading paper?


At 3-3:30 a.m., I come awake. Often because already this baby is right on top of my bladder. But sometimes because a scared Kate has come to me for comfort. Or a thunderstorm is passing through.

I am awake for an hour, trying to calm my mind enough to sleep.

I’m so tired.

This morning, my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m., and I couldn’t get up. I hit snooze for nearly an hour.

I finally struggled out of bed and downstairs. I have to eat something first thing lately, or the nausea is worse than usual. Well, today, it was worse than usual anyway.

I’m sure glad I happened to clean that toilet before I puked in it.

And then Kate woke up and she had wet the bed. So I tended to her, showered but only half-dressed. Flora didn’t have night-time accidents once she was potty-trained, but Kate seems to have suffered a major setback yesterday.

All-in-all, Kate and I had difficult evening yesterday. She wouldn’t listen to me at Flora’s soccer practice, and she pooped her pants three times! And I didn’t have a change of clothes for her because I thought we were well past that. So, I threw out a pair of underpants (again) and she went commando for awhile, then she wore Flora’s pants (Flora had changed for soccer into shorts), and then the last 15 minutes of so of practice, she walked around with a poop stain on her butt.

Mother of the year, right here.

Lately it seems with Kate that everything requires negotiation — or, more to the point, bribes and/or threats. “If you do XX, you can have chocolate.” “If you do not listen to me, you cannot watch a TV show tonight.” EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION with her. Well, not dinner time often. That girl eats her weight in food every day lately.

Last night was a loss-of-privileges night. The not listening coupled with the poopy pants (and, yeah, that port-o-potty didn’t go anywhere) meant she didn’t get a TV show. (Flora did while I was bathing Kate.) I just had to ride out that storm.

It was nearly 10 p.m. before I went to bed, and I was dragging way before then.

Anyhoo, this post is nearly incoherent. But let me just add that I have buckets of laundry to fold (and, you know, actually launder), stairs to vacuum, and my parents visiting this weekend.

When’s my nap?

As an aside, I have a funny relationship with the word that is the title of this post.

Lost: What They Died For

Subtitle (by me): The Lost writers dust off their hands and get down to business.


Well, that was a nice, brisk episode, wasn’t it? It answered a bunch of questions, officially christened Dr. Jack as the new Jacob, and pretty much set up the story for the next episode, our finale on Sunday.

A few mysteries: Why the heck did Ben revert to Big Bad Ben? Granted, he didn’t do much lying (I’m pretty sure Smokey would have conned to that) — unless of course he simply is trying to get Not Locke’s trust so that he can have a hand in bringing him down. Does Ben really just want to have the Island wholly to himself? (A theory floated at Slate: Ben becomes the new Smokey to Jack’s Jacob. I like it!)

Is Richard dead? I vote for yes only because Lost is weeding out characters it doesn’t really need. And it doesn’t really need Richard; he’s done his job. On that note, did Not Locke really need to slit Zoe’s throat? That seemed needlessly cruel.

Who the heck let Desmond out of the well? Did our candidates do that before their big conversation with Jacob? If so, why didn’t Desmond tag along? Widmore (RIP, BTW)? Sayid? Why would he have told Jack that Desmond was in the well, then?

Why the weird English lady voiceover previewing the finale? Was that Ms. Hawking/Widmore?

Once more, despite all the moments that were Jack-, Locke-, and Ben-centric, I think Henry Ian Cusick as the Zenned-out Desmond Hume stole the show. He all but rubbed his hands together when Sawyer escorted him into that jail cell. And his little aside to Hurley about Ana Lucia: “She’s not ready yet”, was a nice little laugh. I sorely want Desmond to be the hero of the whole shebang because he’s become my all-time favorite TV character, starting back at “Flashes Before Your Eyes”.

I think the rest of the now-former candidates are toast. I wonder when they are going to figure that out.

I also think that Not Locke is going to try to throw Desmond down that well in order to destroy the Island. Notice how since he learned of Desmond’s role as a fail-safe, leaving the Island isn’t going to do anymore — he’s going to destroy it.

Five days until the finale. I cannot wait.


We didn’t hear Bud’s heartbeat today. Which, while supremely disappointing, is no cause for worry.

No, really.

The midwife visit went great. The midwife (KP) was very direct in addressing our understandable anxieties for this pregnancy given my wonderful history. She could see that not hearing the heartbeat was a real letdown.

However, everything else is well. (TMI alert:) My uterus is measuring 10 weeks; there’s no cramping or bleeding. And, again, all signs point to normal singleton pregnancy. My 40 week due date is Dec. 10 — which we all know I won’t go that long. Think: Thanksgiving baby!

Plus, we are going to consult with the perinatologist that we have seen with my other pregnancies, and have a dating ultrasound (which probably sounds more romantic than it is) next week.

Both KP and Dan checked in with me at the end of the appointment to see that I was okay. (I hope Dan is okay, too. Babe?) And I just have to take deep breaths, and pray, and know what I know.

When I got back into my car, my iPod was cued up to “Either Way” by Wilco. And if that’s not a direct message of “chill out,” I don’t know what is.

Maybe the sun will shine today.
The clouds will blow away.
Maybe I won’t feel so afraid.
I will try to understand
Either way.


Pregnancy is full of little limbos.

For example, although the messages from my body are overwhelmingly full of “you are pregnant” information, and I peed on those two sticks that both said, “Yup. You’re knocked up” the reality of this pregnancy is still… elusive.

And that’s why I am looking forward to my first midwife appointment tomorrow. It’s the last thing they do, but it’s all I’ve been thinking about.

The heartbeat. Bud’s heartbeat.

I need to hear it; need to know that what I have been saying (based on the information I have to hand, including the fact that most of my pants don’t fit) is true. Is real. Tiny and growing.

This pregnancy is worrying to me for a lot of reasons, and I’ll get to those later. I’ve been hesitating over writing about them, primarily because my dad reads my blog, and if he knows I am worried, I worry that he will worry.

But hearing Bud’s heartbeat will comfort me. Maybe for an hour, or a day, or until my next appointment. Will take those worries and put them in perspective. This ride isn’t, after all, in my control for the most part. And the sound of Bud’s heart will remind of that but also tell me that it’s okay. That things will continue. That care of myself and faith will carry me, carry all of us.

Isn’t that something? That a small sound can do so much?

Lost: Across the Sea


Thanks to day-long, pregnancy-induced nausea, this is a day late.

But I’ll be totally upfront: it was pretty anticlimactic.

I was not at all surprised that Jacob and… can we call him MiB? Because, technically speaking, the MiB we saw most of this episode was NOT THE MiB! He was Jacob’s nameless brother. Oh, he had characteristics of Smokey/MiB that we all know and love: he was world-weary and cynical; didn’t think too much of his fellow humans; and had a burning (and ill-defined) drive to get off the Island.

I’m going to bitch first:

I couldn’t get over Allison Janney as Crazy Mother. I couldn’t get into the character. I just saw Allison Janney with a bad dye job and looking muy exausted. And I love Allison Janney; C.J. from the West Wing is one of my favorite TV characters ever, but I just kept thinking: “Allison Janney”. Not “Crazy Mother”.

After all, while a bit obsessed with the staying on the Island and protecting this pretty golden light coming out of the ground, she didn’t really seem all that nuts. And she certainly didn’t take the time to actually explain anything, did she? Thanks, Mom.

I’m going to yell here: WHY IN THE HELL DOESN’T JACOB’S BROTHER HAVE A NAME? Does it not matter? I find that hard to believe. Does Crazy Mother not remember any names from… well, I was going to say from wherever she is from, but maybe she doesn’t know any names period. Maybe she’s been alone and crazy FOREVER on the Island, and so she’s got Jacob and That Other Kid. I mean, really.

What did Jacob’s brother tell the people when he wandered into their camp? Call me the Dude? I’m The Stranger? It doesn’t really matter because my brother’s going to kill me and the Smoke Monster’s going to assume my likeness, but my brother will know it’s not actually me so he wouldn’t use my name anyway? COME ON, PEOPLE.

Jacob was a whiny sissy boy, and not exactly the Zen-like figure we’ve come to know. “How come you make the rules?” “You love him better.” “It was supposed to be him.” Wah, wah, wah, kid, cry me a river. And not exactly shy with his fists, either, when things weren’t going his way.

Which, of course, means Jack is the perfect one to replace him.

The last 10 or 15 minutes at least made it worth it. We know Jacob’s brother was responsible for the donkey wheel (if not actually completing it, at least conceiving of the idea). We know who the Adam and Eve skeletons in the cave are now. (I found that part very poignant.)

An interesting (to me) side note: Jacob’s brother killed Crazy Mother with that large ceremonial knife without them exchanging a word before he did it. (Pretty chicken shit, Jacob’s brother.) However, when Ben killed Jacob they had an extended conversation (and I don’t think Ben killed him with that knife — as Dogen later gave it to Sayid to kill Not Locke). I guess maybe it doesn’t matter; Jacob, while long-lived, isn’t a smoke monster himself. It just seemed significant at the time I was watching.

Do we think that golden light was actually the Smoke Monster all along? (Me: Yes.) And Jacob released it by tossing his (nearly dead?) brother down there? And Jacob felt pretty bad about that, and his guilt kept him tied to the Island and to Smokey all these long years? With occasional forays “across the sea” to recruit candidates, of course.

I’m off to do my Lost homework and see what the pros think. I don’t know how they’re going to finish explaining this shit in three and a half hours. But I sure am looking forward to watching them try.