Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stupidest Comment Ever?

I was at Burger King today, waiting for my lunch, when some guy said the stupidest thing ever.

A bunch of us customers are milling around the counter, waiting for our food. One guy's order number is called, and when he realizes they forgot his drink he tells them. While the girl behind the counter is making his shake, he comments on how they should be giving him napkins, straws, ketchup, etc. So I say "There's so little courtesy anymore."

He starts ranting about common sense. And then he drops this little gem:
"People don't have common sense no more. Common sense, that's real important. That's why I'm voting for Sarah Palin."

Where's the Darwin Awards committee when you need them?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Note to Self:

You have a backbone. Use it.

Phrases to try out:
  • Thanks so much for coming to visit. I hate to be abrupt, but I need to put T down for a nap and take one myself, so I'm going to have to see you to the door. Thanks again!
  • (part B to the above) Thanks for offering to stay, but no thanks. We're good.
  • If I don't get a nap in, it affects me for the rest of the day, so I'm going to say goodbye now. Thanks for coming to see the boys!

I'm sure most of you can figure out the backstory here. I need to man up and stop trying to drop hints, because certain people are either incapable of picking them up or flat out choose to ignore them. I can do this. My health and sanity are worth some discomfort.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Now what?

I feel horrible. Again. I had another psycho meltdown during bedtime tonight. I ended up screaming so loudly at J that my throat still hurts, and I thought I might pull a muscle in my belly.

I don't understand why I have such a bad hair-trigger temper this time around. I realize that pregnancy hormones make you crazy, but I'm just a rageaholic that now I worry that I'm setting a horrible example for J. No wonder he's acting all crazy lately.

Recent things that annoy me:
  1. That hubby departs for work just as I'm starting to get out of bed, thus leaving me with sole responsibility for getting three people washed, dressed, fed, and ready for the day.
  2. That hubby returns from work usually right around bedtime, thereby leaving me responsible for all parenting activities during waking hours.
  3. That hubby will not support me in getting the boys to bed at a reasonable hour even though more sleep has resulted in improved behavior throughout the day for everyone involved.
  4. That mother in law is stewing about something that she will not come out and say but rather make sideways comments about it.
  5. That I haven't had a night out to dinner with the girls since Thanksgiving Eve, 2006.
  6. The state of our country. I know this might sound cheesy, but I am so annoyed with (a) the economy and that unchecked greed has led to its near collapse, and (b) the fact that supporting a presidential candidate pretty much means alienating anyone who disagrees with your point of view.

I don't know, maybe I need to get back into therapy. I go to yoga once a week, yet I feel so much rage bubbling just below the surface. I guess it's a good thing that I only have thirteen weeks to go until I'm due? Oh, and that's another thing - I feel guilty that I haven't had the time to cherish this pregnancy the way I was able to with my others. Sometimes I forget that I even am pregnant, I'm so busy running after the guys.

Ugh, I just want to curl up and cry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Where Did I Go Wrong?

I know, it sounds so melodramatic. What can I say, I'm 25 weeks pregnant, everything is melodramatic.

I am at a loss as to how to discipline J. He just does not want to listen to me. Time outs don't stop the behavior, and neither does taking things away (TV time, "special" trips). Three days ago I went back to a reward chart and within two days it was failing miserably. I just don't know what to do to motivate this kid. And then, today, he drew a letter E on my car with a rock. I am so upset. Yeah I'm pissed that he scratched up my not even two-month-old car, but what really stings is that he did something so disrespectful, and so blatantly wrong. It really hurts, and I wonder where I fell short.

Does he just not care enough about the things I take away? (it's possible) Am I not consistent enough? (probably not, if it's not working) Do I not spend enough one-on-one time with him? (most likely not, as I'm still exhausted and need to nap when T does on most days) It's like a looped tape recorder that's been running through my head all day and I just can't make it stop.

I love J more than he can comprehend, and I feel like I'm the one who screwed up here. I just don't know what to do next. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? What if I'm not? Then what?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I forgot what I was going to write about

As you can see, my intention to write regularly is just not working. Maybe I need more quiet time. When I'm lying in bed at night, I remember all these quirky things that happened to me that I want to write about but when I'm sitting in front of my computer (like right now), I can't remember a blessed thing. It's the curse of the Blank Page.

Maybe tonight it will occur to me to write down these quirky things in a notebook.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mommy Guilt

I feel absolutely horrible. It was a complete accident, and T seems completely fine, yet I feel like the crud on the bottom of my shoe.

Hubster wanted to give T a haircut, so I showed him how to use the clippers. He planned to use the longest attachment all over, but when we tried that with J, he ended up with a buzz cut, and I didn't want that as it's starting to get cooler out. So I suggested using scissors. I was going to start, but Hub chided me about hesitating, so I handed the scissors to him. At which point he was about to cut T's hair, but then *he* hesitated. So I reclaimed the scissors and got started. And didn't do too bad a job, if I do say so myself. I shortened the back and trimmed around his ears.

Then T went into the TV room, where J was watching The Electric Company on DVD. T was mesmerized. Hub noticed and commented, "so that's the trick!" Of course, that got me thinking, hmm... maybe I should seize this opportunity and finish trimming the longer side while T's captivated by The Short Circus. I run into the kitchen and grab the scissors and a newspaper to collect the trimmings. And no sooner do I make my first pass over T's ear that he starts screaming. Because I cut his ear. Oh God, do I still feel horrible about it. It was kind of like a when you gash your leg shaving - it bleeds forever.

Just retelling this story is making me sick to my stomach again. I am so sorry, baby T. I feel absolutely retched for having done that to you, and I wish I could take it back.

I need to go now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Please Stop Pandering

Yesterday I mistakenly received yet another email from someone who thinks my email address belongs to a fellow Republican friend of his. I know this because the email used quotes from Barack Obama's books to "prove" his inability to lead America. And today I was asked about my feelings towards Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. So now I present to you my mini political rant.

What do I think of Sarah Palin? I think her nomination was a blatant, deliberate political ploy by John McCain to gain votes from (a) disillusioned Hillary Clinton supporters, and (b) any other woman stupid enough to vote for McCain/Palin simply because he named a woman as his VP. I realize that stupid is a harsh word, but I really do believe it applies here.

I am offended that McCain's advisors think that I will vote for him and Palin simply because she is a woman. Didn't the Fox News pundits blast the women who supported Hillary for that very same reason? I don't watch Fox News, but I would suspect that suddenly they're chastising me for being a woman AND anti-Palin. Now I'm a misogynist. Yeah, right.

Look, if you believe in what Palin has supported as governor of Alaska, and agree with McCain's views on the important issues, then by all means vote for them. But I don't. I do not support overturning Roe v. Wade. I also find it hypocritical that while Palin supports her daughter's "choice" to bear a child at 17, she would prohibit other 17-year-olds from even having a choice to make. I find it reprehensible that she supported $300 per person in earmarks, yet derided the bridge to nowhere when it became a national issue (and still kept the money - nice touch!).

(On a side rant, I also find it hypocritical for Bill O'Reilly to blast Jamie Lynn Spears and her parents regarding her pregnancy, yet claim that Sarah Palin is "just like us" when she discloses that her daughter, who is also 17, is pregnant.)

The other thing that offends my sensibilities are the arguments that have been made against Obama - that he is too inexperienced to lead this country, doesn't have foreign policy experience, was a (gasp!) community organizer. Take every single argument, tweak it slightly, and it applies equally to Sarah Palin. You'll hear the Republican talking heads rail against Obama, yet you won't hear them apply the exact same logic to Palin. Partisan? I'll say.

Well, that's enough of me getting my dander up. Feel free to disagree with me on my views. It's your right as an American. But personally I'm more than a little bit tired of the political pandering. From both sides. It makes it harder for people like me, who want to know where the candidates really stand on issues like healthcare, the economy, education, foreign policy (by which I mean relationships, not against whom we'll next wage war). I'm sure most people feel the same way.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

She's baaaaaack...

The green-eyed monster, jealousy. Not me. But she's not as raging as she once was, which is good. I think. It could be the calm before a storm. I'm not sure.

I had my anatomical scan almost three weeks ago. So that means I had the opportunity to find out if I'm having my third boy or if I'm having a girl. Well, I kind of asked - I finally summoned the courage at one point to come out and say, "I'm having another boy, aren't I?" to which the tech (who I love) replied, "Do you want me to find out right now?" I told her no, but we can check when she gets to that part (she told me earlier that that's usually at the very end of her scan). So I didn't really press, but I didn't look away or tell her that in no uncertain terms I want to be surprised. Long story short, I have no idea what I'm having. At various points during the scan I thought I saw testicles, labia, and couldn't tell if I was looking at an umbilical cord or a penis. So I'll find out in about another eighteen weeks. I think I'm okay with that.

So why was Mrs. Jealousy back? I found out today that two people I know who are also pregnant are having girls. One is my cousin Jennifer. We used to be pretty close when we were in junior high, but that kind of ended when she realized that she could get lots of attention by being Drama Queen. I'd give examples but it's too ridiculous. Let's just say that I absolutely cannot picture her raising a boy. And I wouldn't be surprised if she names the baby something like Sophia, Ava, Whitney, or something equally uber-trendy and soap opera-ish. The immature part of me is kind of pissy that she (Jennifer) is getting what she wants (I can't imagine she is disappointed that she's having a girl). The other is my friend Kim. I know her because our boys (we both have two sons and are pregnant, due a week apart) have taken music classes together for about three years straight. Unlike with my cousin, I am thrilled for Kim that she's expecting a girl! She's so down to earth, no sense of entitlement or anything like that. She told me that even though the technician and doctor both told her that the baby looks like a girl - but nothing is guaranteed - she's still a teeny bit skeptical. As in, she'll paint the baby's room in a girly color but ordered gender-neutral gear just in case (she wasn't planning on a third, so she gave away just about EVERYTHING baby-related she had).

So yes, I did have pangs of jealousy for a short while today. And yes, I would still like the experience of raising a daughter as well as raising sons. And I will probably be upset to hear "It's ANOTHER boy!" at the delivery. I will likely suffer postpartum depression again and go to therapy again. What can I say? I'm human. But I know that despite those things, if I am having my third boy, I will love him as much as I love my first two (I love them and the hubster more than anything on this Earth). I know that I am given the children I am supposed to raise, and that they were given to me for a reason.

I'll get over it. Eventually.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wading through

About five weeks ago I had my first trimester scan, and the sonographer (I think) slipped and told me what I'm having. I'm more annoyed with her because she barely said two words to me during the whole thing, and when she does, she tells me the baby's gender WITHOUT having asked me if I wanted to know. What if I was dead set on being surprised?

So, without saying too much (you can figure it out by reading through old posts), I'm attempting to make peace with having to say goodbye to something I've wanted for as long as I wanted children of my own. And it's very painful. I spent at least two nights sobbing into my pillow and then felt guilty that I'm so upset by this. I realize that this is not the worst thing in the world to have to face, especially since I've been able to get pregnant so blessedly easily, but this is still painful.

How do you gracefully say goodbye to something you want for yourself so badly while you watch others, even some for whom this would be the "worst case scenario," get it handed to them? I can only imagine that this is how women with fertility problems feel. God give me strength...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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It's almost 11pm, so why am I still awake? Jack has camp tomorrow at 9am. I really need to get some sleep.

Nothing new or exciting to post today. My friend S, who's due around the same time I am, had her amnio today. Although her 13-week scan looked fine, her bloodwork came back questionable so she opted for amniocentesis to rule out a chromosomal problem. Prayers to her and the munchkin that all is well.

Until next time, keep on surfin.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My weekly race against time

I probably haven't written about the CSA I belong to because I didn't think it was particularly newsworthy, but writing about it will make two days in a row that I will have posted, so here goes.

This year, I decided to join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and what a CSA consists of is a farmer who grows crops and a group of shareholders who prepay a certain dollar amount to fund the farmer who then uses the money to purchase supplies and grow the crops. The shareholders then receive an equal share of the crops as they're ready. Ours started in May and continues until some time in the fall, depending on what's still growing, etc.

The CSA has been a terrific experience, so far. We've enjoyed some vegetables we've never eaten before, like bok choy, kale, and garlic scapes (they make a delicious pesto, by the way), along with some old favorites like snap peas, green and yellow beans, all different kinds of lettuce, and zucchini. The major drawback is that we get so much produce each week that it's a race against time to finish it before it goes bad. Unfortunately I've had to pitch some foods that I didn't get around to cooking, like cauliflower and cabbage (not favorites, can you tell?). I hate throwing food away, so this part is stressful for me.

Will I join again next year? I don't know. I really enjoy knowing that I'm getting fresh, locally grown produce every week, but I would prefer to have more control over what I get so little if any goes to waste. If I could pay less but get nothing but salad mix, green beans, snap peas, broccoli, scapes, zucchini and tomatoes, I'd be a very happy shareholder. But that's not how it works. Maybe the solution is just to hit the farmers' markets; that way I know I'm getting what will be eaten. Fortunately I have plenty of time to figure that out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So Much to Say... except not

I know, I know, I've been really horrible about keeping my blog up to date. And to think that I started one so that I would have a reason to write regularly. Nope, not working. Neither is that gym membership I purchased - hasn't gotten me to the gym once.

But anyway, as usual, I digress.

The most exciting thing that's happened lately is that my parents have moved to town. They've been trying to move up here for almost two years, except that their house hadn't sold until just recently. At first I was excited, then nervous. You know the kind of nervousness you get when you realize you're about to get what you've been wanting for a couple of years? That's how I felt. But so far it's been really great. I've seen them just about every day over the past two weeks since they moved, but it strangely doesn't seem like too much. I just have to make sure I don't take advantage of the situation and burn my parents out on helping me with the kids.

In related news, I feel that I need to brag a little bit. I am blessed with amazing parents. Really. I love them dearly, and I think we have a great relationship. And they get along well with the hubster, too. I couldn't really ask for more.

In unrelated news, I decided to download the Cockroaches' album from itunes. If you don't have small children, you probably have no idea who the Cockroaches are. But you might have heard of the Wiggles. Well, two of the Wiggles, along with their manager, were members of the Cockroaches. And a bunch of Wiggles songs are adaptations of Cockroaches songs. So I figured, what the heck. I've already started down that slippery slope by downloading Greg Page's album, why not the Cockroaches? I'm listening to it right now, and I'm really enjoying it. It's great 80s pop, which is right up my alley.

That's it for now... Ciao amici.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Either Really Slow, or Really Optimistic

That's a good way to describe me and my current predicament. Well, not actually a predicament, but...

I'm pregnant. Again. Yes, faithful reader, you read right. Bambino numero tres is on its way. And lately, the boys' energy level has me wondering what the hell I was thinking, having unprotected sex the day I thought I was ovulating (turns out I was off by two days, but that's entirely beside the point).

I won't give an exact due date since my children and my body choose to ignore them. What can I say, except that I'm a slow cooker. Jack was thirteen days late, and Ted showed up eight days late. I'm anticipating that this one will be Baby New Year 2009 at St. V's hospital.

Maybe it's my age, but this pregnancy has been much rougher than my first two, and on par with the previous one. From week five on, morning sickness reared its ugly head and only last week very slowly began to loosen its grip. Oh, it's still holding on, but it's no longer constant. Small consolation, but I'll take it.

So that's why I've been Miss Crankypants for the past two months. And I've only just started telling people. I feel more guarded this time around, mostly because of the miscarriage. I just didn't need anyone (read: my mother-in-law) all in my face about how things are progressing if the results weren't going to be good. Not after last time.

Yeah, so hope springs eternal. Like: Maybe it's a girl (but probably not). Maybe it'll be calm (but, again, probably not). Maybe I'll go into labor on my own this time (yeah, don't count on that). Honestly, I'm just praying that the baby is healthy. That's really most important.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just wondering...

Is it me, or is this really weird?

This past weekend we had some family over to celebrate someone's 65th birthday. It was very nice; we barbecued for dinner and then had a really amazingly rich flourless chocolate cake for dessert. But what happened afterward struck me as just, well, weird.

The person of honor opened his/her birthday cards and, rather than read them quietly to him/herself, s/he read them aloud. Including the personalized messages. Maybe it's just me, and maybe my family of origin is the bunch of weirdos, but I found this really strange. I mean, who does this? And what struck me as equally strange was how friggin' HILARIOUS some other attendees found this. As in repeating the messages while cackling. Um, yeah, I not only heard it the first time, but I read the message because the writer asked me to check the card before sealing the envelope to make sure I didn't want to add a message of my own (thank goodness I passed on that... yeesh).

Whatever. I'm just extra cranky these days. Shocker...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Well, not any more. My birthday was Friday. April 11th for those of you playing along at home. I had a great birthday.

Friday night my mother in law invited me and my mother to see Martha Beck speak about her newest book, Steering by Starlight. She's an amazing author and incredible speaker. I didn't plan on it, but I bought a copy of the book to have signed. I can't wait to read it. I told her that Expecting Adam, her memoir of her pregnancy with her son, was a tremendous help to me when I had my miscarriage. I told her that it (the miscarriage) was "a very peaceful experience for me, and normally I'm a stress puppy." She said that I should be a good student of the new book. I am flattered.

Saturday night John and I went to dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant in Westport. We got our usuals, Chicken Tikka Masala for me and Something Rhogen Josh for John. Although the restaurant was crowded and service wasn't as exceptional as it usually is (mostly because of the family behind us who found fault in anything and everything that touched their table... ), the food was wonderful as always. We even got dessert, something we don't usually do there, and it too was very good. I have to be honest here; I can't say it was amazing because the dessert was three balls of fried dough (which were very yummy) soaked in sweet syrup, and I know how you all know I have issues with wet bread. That said, the dessert was still really good. Afterwards we went to Barnes and Noble where John found two books and I got completely frustrated looking at kitchen and remodeling magazines.

Today we hung out with my parents (who came up Friday to help out IMMENSELY by watching the boys while we went out). We tried to take them to lunch to thank them for babysitting, but my dad got all sneaky and managed to treat us instead. Afterwards, while I went grocery shopping, Mom and Dad bought a baby ice cream cake that we all had when I got home.

All in all, a great birthday. Thanks, everybody. I loved it!

Thank You, Martha Beck

I saw you speak at the Madison, CT Library on April 11th (my birthday - yay!) and while you were signing my copy of Expecting Adam I mentioned that that book was incredibly helpful to me during my recent miscarriage. I'd like to explain...

One morning I thought I was getting my first period since weaning my second son (he's now 16 months old). When it didn't last longer than a few hours, I called my doctor to see if this was normal. She wanted me to come in and see her colleague that afternoon (her schedule was booked), because while it was possible that what I experienced was my period, but they wanted to see me to be sure.

Well, it turns out that I had a positive pregnancy test and an ultrasound showed a gestational sac. Since my last period was in March of 2006, and the sac was so small, the doctor had no way of dating the pregnancy. She sent me for bloodwork to get a better idea of how far along I was. So that afternoon and the following Saturday I had my blood drawn to measure my progesterone and HCG levels to determine (a) how far along I was, and (b) whether the pregnancy was viable.

My next appointment was Monday. I return to the doctor's office and she tells me that not only do my progesterone levels look great and my HCG levels are increasing appropriately, but their high level are indicative of twins. Mind you, nobody in my family has had twins. Well, one second cousin once or twice removed, but that was because her sister donated two eggs that were fertilized, implanted, and took, so that doesn't count. No twins by blood on my side, and none on hubby's side, either.

My head was spinning just a little bit. I went into this whole thing thinking I had passed a chemical pregnancy and here I sat, being told that I might be having twins. TWINS. I already have two sons, and now I'm going to go from two kids to FOUR KINDS in NINE MONTHS. Holy you-know-what. I think hubby's reaction sums it up perfectly: "Oh my God."

I had another ultrasound on Monday and the sac looked larger, a good sign, but we still couldn't see a heartbeat or signs of a baby. The doctor wasn't too worried because the office's ultrasound machine was circa 1973, and it was still early in my pregnancy (I figured I must have ovulated somewhere between Christmas and New Year's Eve, making me about five weeks along at this point). She wanted to see me in another week.

Another week, another ultrasound, still no conclusive evidence either way. Lather, rinse, repeat. Did this again for a second week, and the doctor decided I needed to go to the hospital to get an ultrasound done by the Seriously High Resolution Machine. Then we could get to the bottom of this mystery. My appointment was set for Friday morning.

During this whole time, I felt very "zen." Sure I was a little freaked about the prospect of twins, but if God thought I could handle it, then how bad could it be? It might be fun - and I just knew it was boy/girl twins. My cravings were completely different from when I was pregnant with the boys. Instead of pasta, bagels, and chocolate milk, all I wanted was McDonald's cheeseburgers and lemonade. I felt horrible all day long. I was breaking out. Hey, as long as there was at least one girl in there, it was all good.

As if I wasn't feeling "zen" enough, I happened to pick up a copy of Expecting Adam from my local library that Wednesday. I started reading it before bed and, as I am wont to do, started to devour it. I understood that feeling of being connected with the Divine, because during these two weeks, I felt it. I knew with every cell of my body that there was nothing I could do to change the outcome - pregnancy, miscarriage, boy, girl, twins, whatever - because it was all written by someone other than me. And no matter how much I want to believe I do (believe me, I did lots and lots of online research about how to "sway" your pregnancy attempts to favor conceiving a girl - diet, douche, sperm bath, supplements, you name it, I probably read about it), I have absolutely no control over any of it.

And then came the day before the Big Ultrasound. I didn't start freaking out until about 4pm, and then full-on panic mode set in. In hindsight, I think it was because I knew what was going to happen the next day, and my primitive reptile brain just didn't know how to let go.

Friday, the babysitter comes and I head to the hospital. I try to stay calm and positive while I waited my turn, smiling at the very pregnant women whose appointments were before mine. I found the sounds of fetal dopplers soothing, and hoped that I'd be back soon to deliver my bundles of joy. Yeah right, come on. I knew what was going on, but I thought I'd spend just a few more minutes in Denial. Besides, I didn't want to freak out any pregnant women by having a meltdown in the waiting area.

The maternal fetal specialist and the sonographer both remembered me from when I was in to deliver my second son, which was very flattering. They're wonderful, compassionate people and I was glad to see them again. Even when M and Dr. C could clearly see that the gestational sac was empty, I was glad it was they who broke the news. Dr. C simply said, "Well, that just sucks!" And M told me she was going to get me some water. Even though on some level I knew what I was going to see, it still was a punch in the gut. I still collapsed into tears. I cried for a few minutes and then, when I felt I had sufficiently composed myself, headed for the elevator.

On my way to the elevator, I ran into the doctor I spoke to originally, who asked how everything was going. I guess I hadn't fully composed myself because I just burst into tears. Dr. D gave me a hug and sat me down to talk for a few minutes. Like M and Dr. C, she was wonderful. She lost a son at eight weeks, so I know she spoke from a place of knowledge. She reminded me that a miscarriage - even one with no fetal matter - is still a loss, and needs to be mourned like any other loss. And she also reminded me that I am fortunate that already I know I can get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby, unlike so many women with fertility issues. Some people might be offended that she would say that, but she's absolutely right.

I had a D&C the following Tuesday, and it was blessedly uneventful. Well, except that I almost fainted when they inserted my IV. You know those medical types, you have to keep them on their toes!

It's funny. When I mention that I had a miscarriage, the first reaction from most people is an apology, and sometimes pity. I don't want to seem unappreciative or ungrateful for people's concern, but I really feel that I understand why this happened. Thankfully this was not the worst thing that has ever befallen me. We weren't trying to get pregnant, and I didn't see a heartbeat before I found out that I had miscarried. And, most important, I was delivered an important lesson from the Divine that has reaffirmed my faith.

Thank you, Martha Beck. You helped me integrate that Divine lesson into my being. I can't wait to see what you help me and my Stargazer find!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Always a Catch

About a month ago I rambled on about joining a gym, but wasn't sure which one to join. Well, after much debating and gnashing of teeth, I finally decided to join the local non-YMCA gym. It was only $30/month, I could cancel at any time with only thirty days' notice, and they offered child care at no additional charge.

I should have known better than to sign a contract that began on April Fool's Day.

Three days after joining, on my second visit, my friend M came out of a spinning class to tell me that the owners had announced to the class that another local gym franchise was taking over the gym THE NEXT DAY and that the new owners would not offer child care. Coincidentally, the day they announced this was also the day AFTER members' EFT accounts were hit for April's fees. Nice, huh?

So M and I went back to the drawing board. Actually, M did - she did an amazing job calling every gym in the area to get rates and details.

So here's my latest dilemma. A large franchise is opening another location very close to the gym to which I briefly belonged, but they're not scheduled to open until August at the earliest. The closest open site is 15 minutes away, which isn't bad. However, while they offer $20/month memberships, child care is an extra $30/month. Since I don't have a babysitter anymore (that should really be the topic of a post for another time), I need to pay that extra fee if I want to work out. The other catch is that it's a twelve month committment. I can live with that, but hubster and I are planning on getting pregnant within the next twelve months. Insert monkey wrench here...

Gah! More debating and gnashing of teeth...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Was I Out Sick That Day?

Am I the only one who feels that I learned some major, important life lessons about twenty five years after I should have?

I just finished reading Odd Girl Out, a book about how girls bully through hidden aggression rather than the overt, physical manner in which boys bully one another. I know, I don't have daughters, so why was I reading it? 1. It looked interesting. 2. That girls begin to lose interest in appearing smart right around puberty, and how this affects them in other aspects of their lives, interests me. 3. The title describes how I have felt many times during my teen years. 4. I've always meant to read Reviving Ophelia but haven't gotten around to it yet, so this seemed like a title in a similar vein.

The author interviewed hundreds of young girls and women, asking them about their experiences with bullying. Everyone had a story to tell, whether the aggressor or the victim of shunning, building alliances, spreading rumors, and so on. What I found most interesting is that most of the girls and women who were victims of bullying learned how to deal with being on the receiving end pretty much before they graduated high school.

I was the victim of bullying several times, starting in elementary school and continuing pretty much until my family moved from New Jersey to Ohio at the end of my freshman year of high school. I never told my parents; I was too embarrassed to let them know how some girls who I thought were friends (and a few who I knew weren't) were treating me. I felt like I had done something wrong (a common thread in the book), and that I somehow deserved to be treated like this (another common belief).

Yet it wasn't until I was in my mid- to late-twenties that I realized that I like who I am, and if other people don't, that's their problem. Now that I'm a mother, I don't have time for this kind of behavior. I've met many other mothers and if they don't like me, oh well. If they don't call me, I don't worry that they're secretly getting together to mock me behind my back. I know how busy we are raising our children. Maybe our schedules, children, or our own personalities don't mesh. That's just how things go.

I wish I was brave enough to have reached out to someone when I was younger. I wish there was a teacher I trusted, instead of those who dismissed me as a "goody goody" who didn't know when to stop being a pest. I wish schools had psychologists back in the 80s, so someone could have given me the opportunity to role play and practice better ways to handle situations when I was bullied.

I know I can't change the past, but I would be curious to know who I'd be today if I gained those tools, that knowledge, when I was in my teens instead of when I was almost thirty.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random Ramblings...

Yeah, I feel like I should get myself into the habit of writing more frequent posts so as to hone my writing chops, but the Blog Topic Muse seems to have taken the evening off.

I want to join a gym, but I'm wavering between joining an independent gym or the YMCA. The gym is way cheaper, but they only offer one class that works with my schedule, spinning at 9:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They have free childcare, which is perfect, but I can only make the Tuesday class. The Y has more classes, but not during preschool. M is going to see if the gym is planning to run classes throughout the summer, and if they're going to change the days next year when the boys are in school MWF. That might help me decide.

I've been totally sucked into the WMB. What can I say, I'm a total geek. I have embraced my inner dork, and I love her.

Hubby and I had a great chat Saturday night about building on to our house. We'd put on a garage with a second story playroom, a mudroom, and expand the kitchen. I got such a charge from the conversation; I'm excited that this might actually happen!

As much as I look forward to Easter this Sunday, I really need to be more disciplined about cutting out sugar. All of that chocolate is not going to help that effort. I was doing so well after the holidays, right up until I found out I was pregnant. I told myself I could go crazy for a week after the D&C, and while I have cut back, I find myself picking on the candy the boys got at the egg hunts this past weekend. It's not good. I need to get back on track because (a) it helped me drop those last stubborn pounds, and (b) I felt so much better.

Well, that's it for now. Let's hope I find something better to type about tomorrow, or soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate-fed Angst

I had a great weekend, aside from one near-panic attack.

Saturday was our lake association's brunch with the Easter Bunny. All of the neighborhood kids had a blast. Unfortunately, we had to leave after about forty-five minutes because Ted was just incredibly cranky and nothing seemed to help. So we gave him lunch and put him down for a nap.

(warning: the next section is kinda nasty, so consider yourself warned)

When he woke from his nap, it soon became crystal clear why Ted was screaming so much at the clubhouse. The poop of the century did not want to leave the kid's behind. I tried to scoop some out with a wipe, but that didn't work. I brought him into the bathroom and slathered his butt with vaseline, but that didn't work either. One frantic phone call to the pediatrician's office and one return call later, I was on my way to get some glycerine suppositories.

The good news is that it did the trick. Not five minutes later, the first golf ball is out. Ten minutes after that, Ted is a new child. He's happy, he's singing, he's smiling. Hurray! The bad news is that we have now missed the guitar jam to which I was going to take Jack. Sorry Julie!

(okay, moving on...)

Today we had a very busy day. Our neighbors had their fourth annual egg hunt at their house. We all went and had a great time chatting with our neighbors, following the boys as they searched for eggs, and munched coffeecake and chatted some more.

After lunch and Ted's nap we went to Rylan's birthday party. It was at the Starkweather House, which is next to our favorite playground in town. What a great place for a kid's birthday party! And what a fun party! Robert the Guitar Guy came and played for the kids, they did some crafts, had cupcakes, then got to pull ribbons on a pinata. The pinata was funny - each kid got to pull a ribbon to see if theirs would open the door to let out the candy. Jack was wandering around the room while everyone else went, until one of the parents asked if everyone had had a turn. A few of us yelled "Jack hasn't gone yet!" so after some prodding from me (hello, pay attention, boy!) he goes up to pull a ribbon. And wouldn't you know, that's the one that releases all the candy.

And I have indulged in so much chocolate that I have hives on my arms and back. At least my throat isn't scratchy anymore. One of these days I'll learn and not go nuts on sugar.

Yeah, right...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guy in the Yellow Skivvy

(for those of you who aren't in the know, the skivvy in this instance does not refer to underwear but to a shirt)

Yeah, I'm thirteen again. I should have expected this.

Jack's been completely obsessed with the Wiggles lately and, truth be told, I'm kinda enabling him. I've been bitten by a cute, little, wiggly bug, and now I'm infected. Yes, I will admit to everyone here (cue the crickets chirping) that I am enjoying watching and listening to the Wiggles as much as my kids are. Maybe a little bit more so. I'm the one constantly checking the website to see if they've posted dates for a show in CT (they have). I'm the one who drove to Big Lots to buy five DVDs at $4 apiece. Did you know they have a message board? And it's mostly parents (the moms, I presume) who post. The WMB (Wiggly Message Board... ugh, I sound like a crazed Durannie again) told me about the DVDs at Big Lots. They also told me that Greg Page (the former yellow Wiggle who left the band due to an illness that sometimes causes him to pass out an inopportune times, such as during a performance) has had a solo career for about ten years. Would you believe his music is actually kinda listenable? (draging toes across the dirt...) Um, I know this because I went to his webpage and listened to the clips. I thought constantly playing "Taba Naba" might get old (a little, but what a gorgeous voice, even if it is kiddie music).

Yeah, I need a grownup hobby.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In a nutshell...

If it's okay with you, I don't really want to go over all of the gory details thing here. It's just completely unnecessary. So I'll give you the quick version, with a few necessary flourishes.

About three weeks ago, I had a D&C for an incomplete miscarriage. That I was pregnant was a total surprise as (a) my period hadn't come back after weaning, and (b) we weren't even trying, although we do want to have a third child. I woke up during the night (thanks, Jack!) to find that I was bleeding and thought it was my period, but it only lasted about five hours. So I called my doctor, who wanted to see me, and lo and behold, the urine test was positive. I went to get my progesterone and HCG tested, and the results led the doctor to think I was having twins. Yes, twins. Holy 3#$%. After several inconclusive ultrasounds in the doctor's office, I went to the hospital to get a high resolution scan, which is where it was discovered that while I had a gestational sac, it was empty. The yolk sac, fetal pole, anything that would indicate a viable pregnancy was missing. They never developed.

Amazingly, I was really only upset for a couple of hours the day I went to the hospital for the ultrasound. Otherwise, during this whole rollercoaster of a time, I felt very at peace. I just knew that whatever happened was meant to be, and I fully accepted that. I honestly believe that this was a conversation God wanted to have with me, and that this was the only way I would listen.

Notes to myself from the journey:
  • I am not in charge. Period. (I know, har har... except not)
  • Whether I have a son or daughter is not up to me. It is not decided by me. I cannot do anything to sway the odds one way or the other. I will be given the child I am supposed to have, whether boy or girl.
  • Whatever the makeup of my family, I will be fine. I will love them dearly, and enjoy them completely.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


So much has happened over the past few weeks, but I just don't feel like posting it here. It's nothing to be ashamed of or to keep from anyone, but I'm not ready to share just yet. I might not ever be. Let's just say that something happened that reaffirmed my faith in God and right now I want to keep it close to me. So that's all for now...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We're waiting...

I think I told you that we bought an HDTV on Sunday night. Since nobody had the TV we wanted in stock (because we, like everybody else in the New York/New England geographical area, decided to buy a new HDTV the weekend before the Giants play the Pats in the SuperBowl... duh), we ordered it online from Sears to pick it up at the store. The order confirmation gave yesterday as the estimated arrival date, but no TV yet. I called customer service tonight and was told that I have to call the pick up store directly to find out when they expect to have it ready for us.

I hope it gets here before the cable guys do (between 3 and 5pm on Saturday).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Brain Hurts

Since we visited my parents over the holidays, John has been bugging me to get an HDTV.

My parents' TV was so old (twenty years old, I think) that the bottom six inches of the picture just disappeared. Dad kept putting off buying a new TV (had to be HD, of course) because he wanted to wait until they sold the house and he could get a bigass one for their new living room. As we all know, the real estate market tanked, so nobody's coming through to look at their house (if you're looking to relocate to Bucks County, PA, email me. my parents have a beautiful home for sale). My brother Ronnie finally shamed my dad into buying a new TV, along with upgrading to HD Cable. After a couple of hours of watching sports in HD, John was convinced.

So back to John and his latest quest. In order to keep him from walking into a random electronics superstore and throwing money down on some TV that we know nothing about, I must do research.

So I've been spending lots of time on cnet and reading Home Theater magazine in a futile effort to absorb everything I need to know about HDTV. In a nutshell: it's going to come down to whose remote and user controls are prettiest.

And then I've been doing all of this comparing between Charter Cable's and at&t Dish's offerings. Because we can't have a high-def TV without high-def cable, obviously. Ugh. I can't even stand to read this post anymore.

Lemon out...

Friday, January 18, 2008

There Goes the Neighborhood

I read some rather shocking and disturbing news on page two in the local paper last week. One of my neighbors was arrested for and pled guilty to possession of child pornography. He was caught when he tried to buy a videotape online that was actually a sting operation. Trial is set for March, but until then he's free on bond. He was arrested in 2006, so why are we just learning this now? What if, God forbid, one of our kids was molested by this guy?

Now, here's something I don't understand. One of the conditions of his bond is that he can't work with or be around children under 18 years of age. So how is he still living at home? I don't know this for certain, but another neighbor told me that the wife is standing by him and strongly suspects that he's still living in the house. The couple has three children under four years old.

And here's something else I don't understand. If buying child porn is what he got busted for, and for what proof exists, what else has this guy done that the authorities can't prove? Disgusting. I hate to wish harm against people, but if he's done worse than view child pornography, he deserves to be put in jail for a nice, long while. I feel bad for the kids.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No More Martyr Mama

I never understood why stay-at-home moms hired babysitters. To me, it seemed like they were cheating: if you're not working outside the home, why on earth do you need to hire someone to watch your kids?

Of course, at the time, it all made perfect sense to me. I had only one child, and he took a two-hour nap each day. I had a nice, long stretch of time every afternoon to spend however I wished. I could watch Dr. Phil, surf the internet, or - gasp! - do housework. Oh sure, I was drained by the end of the day, but I never felt like I couldn't catch a break until he went to bed.

And then my world changed. We had a second child, our first's naps became more sporadic (and rarely did they coincide with the baby's naptimes). I finally got fed up with wondering whether the oldest would nap and forced him to drop them altogether. That long break I used to have was gone - and was replaced by nighttime feedings, prying a toddler off a crawling baby, and believing that watching only one child was my break.

One year later, I have now come to decide that those moms are geniuses, and I have been a naive, stupid martyr. Tomorrow I am going to make my first phone call to an outside babysitter.

Now please don't think I'm going to start going out to lunch and getting manicures every week (I'm Catholic, I could never hire a babysitter to watch the kids while I do that - the guilt!). I just want someone to come for two or three hours every other week so I can leave the house by myself and come back feeling refreshed and ready to be with my kids again.