Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us

Yes, it's that time of year again, when Dave and I get to celebrate becoming Mr. and Mrs. Mommy and Daddy (as we told Conor this morning). Although I suppose it's really Mrs. and Mr. Mommy and Daddy or Mr. and Mrs. Daddy and Mommy, but sometimes the flow of words trump their logical order.

It's been 5 years of blissful love in the Mother Thing household, and honestly, I can't imagine anything easier than being married to Dave. He is my true smoochie muffin.

I'm looking forward to enjoying our last bottle of Moet & Chandon saved from the wedding. This is only one of the few anniversaries where I haven't been pregnant or nursing, so I think we should enjoy it while we can.

Oh, and just so you don't think Conor is completely unmaterialistic, he spent to remainder of yesterday just like Ralphie from A Christmas Story correcting his request to Santa. Although instead of wanting a Red Rider BeeBee gun, Conor wants a "Racing Car Game". We don't really know what that is yet, but we'll find it and put it under the tree. That's one thing I can promise that Santa can deliver this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Santa

At Conor's daycare, they often will put the children's answers to different questions on the door to their room. It's a lot of fun to see what the children's responses are because they are usually quite funny.

To wit, the class read "Are you my Mother?" and the children answered the question "What is your mommy like?" Conor's response was cute "I don't know. I have to think about it" but others were hysterical "My mommy sounds like a helicopter and she's really slow" as well as "My mommy has long hair and long legs." (Vavavavoom!)

Today's posting on the door was "Dear Santa" and the children apparently responded to what they'd like to ask Santa for Christmas. Answers were mostly toy related "I don't know--a lot of toys!" and "My daddy needs some paper and Anna wants a princess."

Conor's answer was "I would ask a present for Mommy and Daddy, but I really need my own little brother."

His response was as unexpected as mine when I ran sobbing down the hall of daycare, my hand over my mouth to keep from wailing. I hid in the staff bathroom until I could gain a modicum of composure. I was still able to tackle the mother who saw my reaction as she left to let her know I was alright if somewhat mortified. It was awkward then, but can you imagine how awkward it would have been if I wasn't able to see her until tomorrow? She's seen me act like a nut; I would still be a nut.

It felt pretty raw to see Conor's wish for a little brother up on the door. All the other children asked for toys. And seeing his innocent request makes me feel empty and, publicly, called out as a failure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Random Thoughts

Dave and I were somewhat proud of our community activism yesterday. The communications director emailed back both of us (his letter was longer, I'm thinking because he did not identify as a lactivist nor the husband of one!) to tell us the woman was released from prison. She told Dave she was unhappy that the Observer broke the story. They apparently only found out about the breastfeeding woman AFTER the Observer told them about it and were upset that they couldn't solve the problem before press time.


Would they have been so aggressive to solve the problem if not for the knowledge of what the publicity would bring? Would they have so quickly reached a new policy for breastfeeding mothers if not for ALL the letters the received. (I alone know of 4 letters). [Updated to add: The editors of the Observer agree with this line of reasoning]

In any case, I think the paper did exactly what it was supposed to do, updating the web site as soon as it was announced that the woman was being released to feed her child.


On another note, one of the worst things about being me is knowing when someone else is going to miscarry. I'm on a couple of online infertilty groups and it sucks dirty monkey toes to hear someone with a low beta that doesn't quite double in 48 hours reason that her doctor thinks it's ok so she will too. I know that in about 4 weeks, she'll be back SHOCKED that she had a miscarriage. I was her once, too, you know. Or the woman whose positive HPT is light and doesn't seem to get a lot darker even after a couple of days. Or the woman whose baby's heartbeat is just under the lower end of normal.

It sucks.


And on a COMPLETELY different note, in fact, there's a chord change, another key, and a new melody starts, the new Trader Joe's opened up on Monday near the university.


I knew it was going to be good when I arrived and got to park in Princess Parking*. The store is bigger and the parking lot is better, and at 5 minutes vs. 35 minutes from my work, it's a lot more convenient. I was in a state of shopping bliss. Trader Joe's is not just a grocery store, it's a way of life. And it's one that raises the quality of my life a significant degree.

*This is the spot that is so highly desirable it feels like you're spoiled to get it.

Off to commune with my family. I have to be honest--only 2 more days to the end of NaBloPoMo, and I kind of looking forward to taking a day off.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time is of the Essence

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that a new mother who is being held for overstaying her visa is not being allowed to pump breastmilk for her infant, less than two months old. The infant is obviously having a very hard time with the formula and the mother risks a breast infection.

The issue of this woman's immigration status is irrelevant, in my humble opinion. The issue is that this child and this mother's health are at risk for practices that, in their most generous light, are ill informed. I could blog about what I think about these practices in a less generous light, but you can draw your own conclusions about sexism and poor governmental policies about breastfeeding.

Time is of the essence here.

UPDATED: The mother is being released from the prison today.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I completely erased this entry. Because it sucked. Bleah.

I have had meetings all day long. I'm tired and the effort required to be witty is beyond my mental capacity.

My main memory of the day is walking behind my students as we approached the room for our meeting. All four of them stopped in front of the close door. I walked around them and opened the door so we could walk in.

I'm getting really tired of being the only person in the group that is willing to do the "menial" work.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Worm Poop

I swear I'm not usually this obsessed with the poopage around our household. However....

I noticed that the Boston fern we brought in off the porch us looking like crap and has dead leaves falling all around it despite the fact that I'm watering it very well and it's not in the path of a heating vent.

And then, last night, I saw little brown balls on the floor around the tree. And a dead worm: a dead cankerworm. AHHHHHH!!!!

These are SPRING pests! And now they are confused about moving inside into the warmth, have hatched and defoliating my Boston fern, one of the few that has survived my lame watering schedule for a whole summer?!?!?! And dropping poop on my Grandma's chair!?!?

We are not amused. The Bacillus thuringiensis arrives tonight. Bug guts will be exploding soon after.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vacation Constipation

The trip was wonderful; we had a great time and I will carry the memories of this Thanksgiving on my hips for quite a while. (Hips don't lie!)

However, I cannot poop on when I go on vacation. Or business conferences, for that matter. I can eat all the fruit, vegetables and fiber that will fit in my mouth, but the poopage is not happening.

After petting our whining-he-was-so-happy-to-see-us-when-we-arrived dog, I RAN to the bathroom. I would just like to say that I am very, very, VERY happy to back today.

Apparently, Conor also has this trait. So I'm not alone in being a freak of this nature.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fat(ter) and Warm(er)

It's sunnier, colder (degree-wise) and yet warmer (wind-wise) here. Less wind and more sun make for a very pleasant day. Of course, it could also be my brand new layer of fat warming my innards like whale blubber that is helping, too. I'm not sure which and I'm not going to publicly admit that my fat is keeping me toasty.

The "good" news when the car comes to pick us up at 5:00 am tomorrow morning to go back to Charlotte is that we have not yet moved over from East Coast to Central time. I do understand that one hour doesn't make that much of a difference unless that hour is between 5 and 6 am and it involves a toddler who doesn't understand that "don't get up yet" means "go back to sleep."

Finally, this morning at 5:30, he exasperatedly told us that he was NOT getting up yet, merely rolling back and forth between us pinching our noses, snuggling on our necks and giving us imaginary flowers.

We gave up and looked at the sunny side that 5:00 will just feel like normal waking time on this vacation.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

Greetings from sunny yet snowy Rockford!

We had a great plane ride up on Tuesday accentuated by the utter adorableness of Conor announcing to the entire plane after we lifted off, "We're FLYING!!!" I do not exaggerate the cuteness as I saw the adults in the two runs ahead of him hunker over and laugh at his announcement. If they shot me evil eyes to keep my son quiet, I noticed it not.

The weather here started in the 40s and then was predicting snow last night. I actually packed my gear for running knowing that in Charlotte, weather in the 40s is perfect. In fact, if the temp is over 45, I wear shorts with my long sleeved shirt.

The whole family woke up way too early (6 am! on vacation!!!) so I thought I'd run later in the day. So we had breakfast and went to the park. Holy freakedy freak cow.

The WIND! The WIND!! The windidy wind wind freezing my ass off WIND!!

As you can tell, tt was a wee bit windy and that made the whole experience one of the coldest things I've ever done. I had a big wool coat, scarf and leather gloves and still 5 minutes into the park trip, we are heading back to the car. 43 degrees in Charlotte is NOTHING compared to 43 degrees in the cold, wet, wind of Rockford, IL. There is no wearing of the shorts while running at 45 degrees in the midwest. If I'm wrong, please tell me.

We did have a dusting of snow last night. We had Conor go to the window as soon as he woke up and he announced "It SNOWED!!" (He's big on announcing things lately) There really wasn't enough to make a snow man, so we made tiny snowballs and threw them at each other. There may have been some chasing about in the snow, too. It was less painful in the snow today than the wind yesterday, so we stayed out a whole 15 minutes playing.

Now we're at Grandma's and Grandpa's waiting for the turkey to cook and there may be a pre-feast nap in my future. (Dave and Conor are already asleep) I hope your turkey makes you happy today, too!

And special thanks to Jennifer for yesterday's post. I did brag about scoring the cheese curds and knowing her Wisconsin roots, I knew she'd appreciate it. Then she mentioned wearing short sleeves in her warm home in Texas and she taunted me back. Yes, there are tradeoffs everywhere.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ghost Post

Hello, this is Anita's friend, Jennifer, and I am a "ghost blogger" for Anita today! She is in Illinois over the Thanksgiving holiday, and does not have access to a computer tonight. Being the devoted blogger that she is, she did not want to break her NaBloPoMo (hope I got that right!?), so I am posting for her. When I spoke with her on the phone, she said that they are looking forward to a snowfall tonight, so I anticipate we will get to see cute pictures of Conor playing in the snow in an upcoming post! Also, in pre-Thanksgiving celebration, she and Dave have been feasting on the midwestern delicacy of cheese curds. She will be back tomorrow to tell you all about it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hit the Road, Jack.....

Ack! Ack! Ack!!

I never plan packing for my trips appropriately. It doesn't help when I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLOTHES to wear in cold weather. Either I tossed all my sweaters (!?!??!) or I put them in special place and have no idea where that is.

We're leaving for a trip to Rockford, IL. But, ummm, don't think the house is a free-for-all! The alarm is on and the vicious dog is home!

I'll check on you from frosty IL tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Towards the End of the Semester

My grad students walked into the class this morning looking particularly bleary eyed. There's the normal grad student, stressed out, overwhelmed look. And then there was this morning, with extra bags under their eyes and a glazed expression on their faces.

"Wow!!" I say "You all look like crap!!"

"Thanks!!" they cheerily replied. "So do you!!"

I love my grad students.

Now is the time that all the faculty and all the students are overwhelmed and panicked. We're not quite halfway into the school year but we're almost finished with the first semester. Every single one of us has not done everything we've wanted to do this semester. I don't care how long we've been professing, at this time of the year we're all surprised by how behind we are.

Let me restate that: we're all surprised by how big our "behind" is. And we haven't even started eating our way through the holiday parties yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Fall Garden

Now that there are actually things growing in the garden (in November!! Who woudda thunk?!), I have a lot more interest in being out there and doing things. I really don't know if the broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts are going to ever produce edible things, but they sure make the garden seem less bleak. And the Swiss chard is still doing great, even after our first real frosts and freezes last week. I think next year, I'm definitely going to plant them closer together and hopefully have chard anytime I want it.

I chopped down all the asparagus ferns this weekend too. I still don't know how much I can or should trim them during the summer because after we decide to let them "go to seed" they get huge. Like seven-foot-aparagus-fern huge. (I still want to say that if you live in a place where asparagus can grow, you should start your own bed this spring.)

I moved the artichoke a couple of weeks ago. I had planted it near the tarragon bush before I learned they were mortal enemies, sort of the Hatfield and McCoy of vegetables and herbs. Indeed, the tarrago killed one of the artichoke bushes and was destroying the closer half of the surving one. I'm still not sure this one is going to make it, but it has a better chance now than it did with it's slowly but surely march towards death.

We've also planted pansies in the backyard for the first time. I'm hoping we'll get to enjoy our own private display of color. And I hope the ground cover we planted in the front will provide some color and save us some twice-yearly time with the annuals.

This is one of the few times that I've understood just how active fall can be gardening. I hope I have something to show for it. Although, the most important thing I think that's going to come out of this is that I'm not ending up the year hating all the things I've killed over the last 7 months.

I bet that's why they encourage fall gardening. Anything green seems hopeful.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oh Good Heavens

It is Saturday. And I've been up since 5:15.

What on earth witty do I have to add to the blogosphere tonight? Even my own husband is irritated with my general self. How am I expected to woo the masses????

Well, I am wearing my cute empress waist shirt and my big booby bra.

Ok. Here's the pathetic part. It's actually an empire waist shirt. I just googled the phrase because as I blogged it, I had the same bell ring in my head as when I lecture and I'm pretty sure I'm one off in what I just said. (It makes my students' notes more interesting, for sure).

Also, I listened to my MP3 player again---the Pink song is not

"I'm coming out" (i.e., I'm arriving at the party, in my mind)


"I'm coming up" (i.e., I'm getting ready to start DJing, in Pink's mind).

Ahhhhhh. What a joy it is to try to understand me.

I'm taking the rest of the night off. Obviously I need it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Occasionally, It Still Happens

"Miss! Miss!!! Do you know where Halton Arena is?"

I look around the parking lot. I'm the only one around.

"Ummm, where?" I respond sounding like the geeky professor I am who never leaves her office. I also don't want the man (someone's father) to get much closer and realize there is no way in hell I'm a "Miss."

"They are playing volleyball there. Here are the directions," he showed me a printout basically taking them to UNCC.

"Ummmm, I think it's that big building right there. The old gym."

"Thanks!" and he walks away.

I look at what I'm wearing: an I-don't-give-a-shit outfit consiting of a stained dusty rose ribbed turtleneck, a ribbed green cardigan, faded low cut jeans and $10 bad weather boots from Target. Clearly, it is not my youthful beauty that lead him to call me "Miss." It is because the general public cannot imagine a professor being this poorly dressed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NaBloPoMo Hump

Hump that NaBloPoMo, baby!!

So, um, have you kind of noticed something? Like, I'm not Finslippy (who can blog about her dog yakking on her in the middle of the night and make you jealous it didn't happen to you because that is inherently funny). Maybe there's a reason I don't post every day. Cuz I kind of suck in the consistently witty blog posting.

I mean, yeah, this morning, I awoke to a kitten/birdie/son pinching my nose in a kitten/birdie/son kind of kiss. And yeah, I was NOT amused by this as I was allowed 30 more minutes of sleeping which I did not get to enjoy but how grumpy can you be when your darling toddler is adoring you the best way he can as a kitten/birdie/son.

While I can write about it in a way that you could imagine it might be funny, Finslippy or Dooce would write about it a way to make you snort wine out your nose. I write not consistently like them.

Indeed, I shake my old wrinkled blogging hand at their talent.

Therefore, I pull out the ace in the hole video that I've been saving here one NaBloPoMo day:

Go here and then come back and tell me how you, too, are going to save this video and watch it repeatedly because it is so damn funny.

And then come back and tell me about what liquid you laughed out of your nose.

It's a Zoo Around Here

"Wow! You ate a lot of pepperoni pizza!"

"I don't want any more pizza. I'm full."

"You're a little piglet. You're my little piglet."

"I'm not a piglet. I'm a kitten."

"You're a kitten? What happened to the birdie?"

"The birdie went on vacation."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Gorgeous Day of the Year

It's 76 degrees out right now. I just came back in from a run; I bailed on this morning's run after 30 seconds when my calf started hurting again. I promptly turned around and got back in bed with my boys for another hour of sorta sleep. This afternoon's run was ok--as you can imagine, I continue to struggle emotionally when I run, and I anticipate that to be a problem until Nov 20 passes.

I also struggle for more practical reasons: I'm fat and out of shape. I can still have those good runs, but it is glaringly obvious that I'm a bigger girl now than I was. The most pathetic reminders of my weight gain come in the week after I stop the heparin shots. That's because as I run, the fat on my belly jiggles (like other people's fat does, too) but I have the added bonus of deep bruises which make my jiggling fat hurt like a mother. (Or not, because that's about the time I know the HPTs are negative)

In any case, it's embarrassing at 5:45 am to be running down the street whimpering because the bruises in one's fat hurt. I know no one can see me save the stray owl or early squirrel. Nonetheless, it's not a source of pride for a runner. Yes, the next logical step would be to actually Lose Weight. Feel free to do so and tell me about it.

In other news, today was the Thanksgiving lunch at Conor's daycare. Last year, you may recall we had no idea it was such a big deal. Dave was able to attend at the last minute. This year, we've had it on the calendar since Nov 1 when the announcement came out and we both went.

I have to say, it was a lot of fun. We at turkey and dressing sitting on tiny toddler by our proud little boy birdie. (I felt like a giant when I finally unfolded myself to stand up after eating and yes, Conor did call me Mommy Birdie during lunch) We met lots of the other parents, including Meegan's* parents. Conor has a stunning crush on Meegan, and she doesn't give him the time of day. We ask him who his favorite classmate is and he'll reply Meegan and then launch into some story about how he wanted her to sit HERE and she said NO and sat somewhere ELSE and how HE went to sit in the chair by her anyway. We know he's not making it up because despite talking about her constantly to us, her parents have no idea who we are or that Conor thinks she's his best friend in the class. Ah, at the age of 3, Conor's already interested in the ones who play hard to get. My other evidence that attests to that is the little girl who begs Conor to play with him as he runs away from her as fast as he can. (I've seen it happen and the teacher reports it's an every day experience)

So, yes. This year we attended. And we all left the children to go back to our work as they began to melt one by one in overstimulated pre-nap happiness. The teachers didn't think getting them to nap was going to be nearly as hard as getting them to wake up later. Although they think it would be a threat, Conor would love in general to sleep from about 1 until 4:30 when I pick him up. I'm leaving to go get him now....

*Name changed to protect the adorable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trick or Treat: Part 13

To help Conor prepare for Trick or Treat, while we cuddled before bedtime for the week or so before Halloween, I told him stories about how he would go to the door of someone's house and knock on it and the homeowner would open up the door and say "Hello?" and he'd say Trick or Treat!!! and then they'd give him candy.*

And guess what happened on Halloween? He went up to houses, knocked on the door, stood there like a frightened pirate and they would call him a fine pirate and give him candy.

Every night since then, however, when I come in to cuddle and tuck him in, he runs ahead of me and shuts his bedroom door. I wait a few seconds and then I knock.

"Hello?" he says.

"Trick or Treat!" I say.

"Come on in!" he says, opening the door wider. Every time this happens, it flashes through my mind to explain to him that if that EVER really happens to him in real life to RUN! RUN! RUN! back to the street and get us!! Yet, in this world, I walk into his room and he shuts the door. (Again, I think RUN! SON, RUN!!)

"Here's some candy!" he says handing me sweet air. He gives himself some and we both eat it.

Then he turns off the light, I turn on the fan and he (literally) hops in bed.

He may eat some more pretend candy but by this time, we switch to cuddling and he calls me his mommy birdie and I call him my baby birdie. But that's a whole other story.

*That is by far the longest sentence I've ever blogged.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dining and Dressing

Sometimes I like to try new recipes like spinach pancakes, zucchini fritters, meatloaf, applecake, or cornbread.

Other times, I open a can of pasta sauce and boil some pasta. Salad is optional and the dressing is store bought.

Sometimes, I like to wear funky sweaters and low cut jeans with high heel boots. Or I pair an patterned empire waist shirt with nice black pants and kicky professional heels.

Other times, the goal is to Not Be Naked.

My friends and family notice when things are at the upper level. I explain, "I was trying to give a shit today." But no one really complains when things are at the more pedestrian pasta, not-naked state.

I don't know why lately I'm trying new recipes or trying to look less ugly. I don't know why I sometimes stop.

Sometimes, I don't want to analyze myself that completely.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm Supposed to be Having a Baby Right Now

The due date was actually November 20, but I thought it would have been earlier. Like right around now. Indeed, I'm supposed to be a almost 39 weeks pregnant.

What sucks is that except for a few weeks at the end of the summer, I've pretty much known how far along I was supposed to be each and every week since the miscarriage. And for the first time, I've had negative reactions to seeing other pregnant women. I have not been upset around my friends who are pregnant (although when I found out my closest mother friend here is pregnant, it felt like someone punched me in the gut). That, however, was a short lived negative reaction. She is a good friend and I'm thrilled for her growing family. (She is also the only mother friend of mine who gets that I may still have negative reactions. And she still cries with me over this miscarriage)

There are, however, other people that I simply cannot be around now that they are pregnant. The one woman who upsets me most is someone who had a lot of trouble getting pregnant the first time. I have no idea if she had problems getting pregnant this time, but now that she's pregnant with her second, I cannot stand to look at her or be near her.

I'm not walking around in a constant maudlin state bemoaning my circumstances and seething at the big bellies around me. However, out of the blue, I can sink into a weary, gray hole of baby-missing sadness. I ask myself and this universe "where is my baby??? Where is my healthy baby girl!? Where Is My Baby??"

I sometimes say "Where is my Healthy Baby?" but then I realize, my baby wasn't healthy. There was something wrong with her heart. Her heartbeat was really way too fast and it was a sign that something was wrong.

And then I feel guilty. I haven't told you something. I am pretty sure my baby died while I was running a 5K. I didn't plan to run fast, but I did run faster than I wanted to with another friend of mine (see dear friend above). I ran 2 half marathons with Conor. And I ran at a pretty good clip with him. So I am as honest as I can possibly be when I say I didn't think anything would go wrong.

But Conor's heartrate was not too fast. This baby's heartbeat (the baby whom I sometimes call Colleen) was. I should not have been running. If I hadn't run that race, the pregnancy probably would have lasted longer and we might have been able to do something to help her heart and she might have lived. Of course, I don't know that for sure and Dave doesn't like it when I think like this. But I believe with all my soul she would not have died that day if I hadn't run that race. And she didn't die because I ran: she died because something was wrong with her heart and I ran.

Maybe it would have been a lot worse if she hadn't have died then. We probably would have found out the problem at the level II ultrasound. Maybe they would have known then that it didn't look good and I would have had to have made some awful choices. However, I would have chosen to try every single thing that we could have to fix her heart. And maybe that would have left me so emotionally drained if it didn't work that I would not be able to try to have a baby again.

I don't know. All I do know is that I really believed I was going to have a healthy baby. And now I am not.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Relaxing Saturday

5:15 am: Hit the snooze when the alarm goes off.

6:00 am: Continue to hit snooze until decide to get up.

6:15 am: Go for a 5.5 mile run.

7:10 am: Come back from a great run and greet wonderful husband.

8:00 am: Eat yummy whole wheat waffles (husband made!) with fancy "real" maple syrup from Trader Joe's

8:45 am: Water broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprout plants in fall garden. Wonder if they will develop any vegetables before winter hits.

9:30 am: Play Spider Solitaire in home office.

9:45 am: Start planting 40 daffodil bulbs. Encourage Conor to "help" me.

10:15 am: Encourage Conor to "help" Daddy.

10:30 am: Continue to plant daffodils as Conor watches kids' TV.

11:00 am: Finish planting daffodils. Play hide and go seek in the front yard with an increasingly hide-and-go-seek-skilled pre-schooler.

11:30 am: Come inside and make chicken salad and reheat cabbage soup from earlier this week.

12:00 am: Eat lunch.

12:30 pm: Convince son that he wants to take a nap pointing out that if he REALLY didn't need one, he wouldn't be so cranky.

1:00 pm: Go to office to read meta-analysis article for class on Monday.

1:05 pm: Decide to water remaining pansies and to attend to the transplanted Osmanthus Fortuni.

1:20 pm: Decide that based on the new growth and flowers in November that Osmanthus would indeed be dancing a happy jig (if it could) because it's moved from full shade to full sun. Cut the zillion dead limbs out of the Osmanthus from being in full shade for 3 years.

2:00 pm: Go back to office to read meta-analysis paper.

2:10 pm: Resentfully play spider solitaire because I am doing school work on a Saturday afternoon.

2:20 pm: Read meta-analysis paper.

2:40 pm: Potentially admit to others that more spider solitaire was played.

3:30 pm: Finish reading interesting and relatively easy paper realizing that if one had not played spider solitaire would have finished earlier.

3:40 pm: Start cleaning nasty ass bathrooms.

4:15 pm: Fantacize about hiring housekeepers.

4:17 pm: Realistically evaluate cost of housekeepers to tolerance of bathing in nasty ass bathrooms. Decide to save money.

5:00 pm: Take shower.

5:15 pm: Crack open bottle of wine.

5:20 pm: Start dinner of zucchini fritters (yummy!), homemade refried beans (better yum this time than last) and soft chicken tacos (standard yum).

6:30 pm: Eat dinner.

7:00 pm: Blog for NaBloPoMo while son rolls around on floor following final Halloween candy binge and husband cleans kitchen.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I realized Saturday as I planted ground cover around our 250 year old ginormous willow oak tree that I really miss listening to music. The reason I realized that was that I had my MP3 player plugged in my ears and I was randomly listening to some old and new music.

At first, I just bobbed my head as my favorite songs came on. Then I started softly singing. Then I started dancing. (Did I mention that this tree is in our front yard) I didn't start singing along LOUDLY until the end of my planting, busting into the house to a shocked Dave and Conor as I sang surprisingly well considering I couldn't hear my own voice:

"I'm coming out so you better get the party started! I'm coming out, I'm coming!!!"

Or maybe I was singing so well exactly because I couldn't hear my voice, but you thought of that already, didn't you. (Meanie!)

I also decided that it was time to start listening to my CDs while I drive to work instead of getting all bummed out from the news that is NPR. (I do love it, but lately it's sad making) So I put in the first set of CDs, some that I like listening to while making dinner.

Apparently, while Norah Jones and Gillian Welsh are great for cooking, they are not the people I want to hear singing when I'm driving to and from work. They are soft and romantic and emotional. This morning I replaced those CDs with the songs I start craving as soon as the CD engaged: Garbage, Alanis Morisette, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fat Boy Slim. This music is loud. And energetic. And often angry. That is evidently the music I want to listen to as I drive to and from work. Loud, energetic, and sometimes angry. It seems like an accurate description of me during that time, too.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


So, I have to be honest. There are Things. That. Annoy. Me. And I cannot keep my pie hole shut. I have to share them.

First, it bugs me a good deal when people do not want to use the First Response Early Results pregnancy tests because they are too expensive. It's true: FRER are not cheap. At Target, they cost $13 for 3. At the dollar store, one can get their store brand version of the test for $1 each. So you could buy 3 for $3 versus 3 for $13. Agreed! Cheaper.

If you are normal and only take one per month, you pay $3.33 more than you need to. (The FRERs can detect pg earlier, but that's an annoying fact for later on in this post). If you are like ME and take all 3 tests each month, you pay $10 more per month.

Here's the illogical and annoying rub for me: if you ARE pregnant, it's going to cost a wee bt more than $10 a month to have a child. And if you can't afford that extra $10/month, you really need to think twice about getting pg. Or just take one test! Then you're only out $3!!!

There are many reasons NOT to use a FRER. It's only good for finding out if you are pg ASAP (like the day after the embryo implanted). If you wait until you're a couple of days and you are officially "late", then you can use the dollar store test. That's what normal people do.

I, of course, am entirely too neurotic to wait that long. I want to take the tests as early as possible, often to see if I can have a guilt free glass of wine (or three) for dinner. So for me, it's worth $3 to enjoy that $10 bottle of wine. (We're cheap on the wine, at least. Oh, who am I kidding. Trader Joe's is in town and we enjoy 2 Buck Chuck now) Wait a minute here, my reasoning is taking an ugly turn. I must now point that that the $10 bottle is now costing me $13 when I use the FRER. The logical meandering is starting to make my head hurt. So let's get back to the point.

If you don't want to test early, then don't. But don't use the excuse that the FRERs cost too much. It's not a valid reason and *that* annoys me.

My other annoyance: people afraid of testing because they are going to get a negative test. Welcome to my world. God bless them if they have the ability to wait until they are 2 weeks late to test. My advice: keep on going!! 5 or 6 months from now if you still don't have your period, you're probably pregnant. Or you're going through menopause.

And I guess what is annoying about those things is that I am a pathetic little person. Other people don't make the same choice as I do, so, well, DAMN! They bug me. That's sad, eh!?!?!

Well, ok, on that self-enlightened note, let's end with the recognition that it's National Sucks To Be Us Week. I'm allowed to be cranky. Go read the other (much better written) article. And then write your congressperson to support in legislation to provide medical coverage for infertility.

And then you can wait with bated breath for my post on how I'm coping with the fact that I'm not 38 1/2 weeks pregnant like I'm supposed to be.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Engagement Tree

Six years ago when Dave and I got engaged in Hawaii, we bought a 3 inch palm sprout thingy. It was like a stick with no leaves or roots. After we moved in together (4 months before we got married! Livin' in sin!), I sprouted the stick in some water. When it grew enough roots, I planted it.

This is a picture of it today.

It is nearly 7 feet tall! Both of us have to move it in and out of the house; it's just too big to move alone now.

Being that Dave is a giant, he noticed this week that it's sprouting a seed pod! At least that we think that's what it is. It could be an alien that is going to devour us in our sleep, but I think it's just a seed pod.

Pretty cool for a memento we spent $4 on when we got engaged.

May the tree's seed pod bode well as an omen for us, too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hide and Go Scare the Crap Out Of

We have recently begun to play Hide and Go Seek around here.

I hate to criticize my little snuggle bunny son, but his hide and go see skils are still developing. He's actually pretty good at finding places to hide, but then he laughs and jumps up and down and it takes all the guess work out of where he is.

Dave is quite a bit better. He is generous in his hiding in that he will pick a place that requires some effort to find, but it's still toddler accessible. His best location was hiding in Conor's bed under his blankets. That was a real hit with Conor and his toddler play date as I surmised by the hysterical laughter that ensued.

I, however, play for keeps. Although this may be a preview of the card games I will teach my son, I hide and go seek for real. I choose real hiding spots and don't "cough", snicker or move an inch to give a clue to where I am. And then, this is when I get a bit, well, some might call it sadistic.

Hint: the word "boo" is involved.

Or, as I'm sure Conor hears it.....BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I would feel bad about it if it wasn't for the fact that a half second after Conor's eyes blare in shock and awe, he doubles over laughing. In fact he begs me to hide again. And I do, in the bedroom closet, the bathtub, and best yet---the front coat closet. (I scared Dave, too, when I jumped out of that one yelling BOOO!)

How much fun can that be for Conor, though?!? (A LOT! He likes it! I swear!) There are only a few times in your life you can be surprised by particular hiding spaces, especially in this small house. And then to be scared curl-less by one of the two people you trust most in the world?? How can that not be like the most fun SAFEST high rise, quick drop roller coaster on earth?

It's certainly a hoot for me. And I'm not really sadistic. How could that much fun be so bad?

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Whole Sleep Thing

I do not understand the whole sleeping together issue. I say this as someone who never envisioned myself co-sleeping and actively mocked people who did it (before I was a parent). Then when the only way I could keep my sanity was to bring Conor to bed for the middle of the night nursings, I was a quick convert.

That was about 3 years ago. And we just haven't gone back.

Conor still goes to sleep in his own bed and stays there until sometime between 1 and 4. Or 11 and 5. Who knows, I'm still asleep. I do know that at some point there's a little snuggle bunny in the space between me and Dave most mornings when I wake up. And often there's a toe in my ear at some point, too.

Conor definitely prefers Daddy for his nighttime snuggles. As a result, I get the aforementioned toe or a leg thrown over my chest. But sometimes I also get a fat kiss on my shoulder and a "Mommy" sighed to me in the dark. When Dave gets up before dawn to go running, Conor rolls over to my side of the bed, snuggles up in the nook, and we cuddle until it's time to get up.

How lucky am I for that? Pretty damn.

So yes, even though a toe in the ear is still a toe in the ear, kisses and snuggles and family hugs with an occasional early morning Conor sandwich thrown in does not suck. I still don't see what all those people (whoever "Those People" are) fight for keeping children in the children's own bed. I just don't get it. And even more so, I think it's their loss.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This Weekend's Marathons

I have been obsessed with the tragic death of Ryan Shay, the marathoner, and this picture since yesterday.

I don't know if the man in the middle, who won the marathon, has just at this second found out that his good friend had died. But the look on his face and the man to the right nearly overwhelms me.

What has been haunting me is the hell Ryan Shay's wife is going through. It's not fair to start the day thinking that the worst thing that could happen is that your husband won't make the Olympic team, and then to have your husband die. That seems a particularly cruel twist of fate.

And I need to make a transition to a much lighter note, and I'm having a hard time doing it so that I don't dismiss the poignancy of yesterday's sad news, but to add some humor into today's post. I'm not doing a very good job. So here goes....
On a much lighter note, I find this picture of Katie Holmes at the marathon particularly irritating, but not for reasons you might expect.

What kind of crap ass bra is she running in? I wouldn't do yoga in that bra, much less run a freakin' marathon in it. Get a little support, honey!! I guarantee you that woman was screaming in her shower after the race when the water hit her chafe marks. Clearly, she did not train because one single hour long run would have taught her to get a real running bra.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Anita, The Musical

Do you sing? A lot? I don't mean, "do you sing along with the radio?" (It is well established that I do and I'm serious about it) I mean, though, do you sing every day about whatever is going on at the time? I do that. A lot.

I sing about making dinner. I sing about Conor being cranky. I sing about Conor being bugged about me singing about Conor being cranky. I sing about going outside and all the things we're doing once we are out there. I can make up a song about anything, really.

Dave calls it living in "Anita, the Musical." Conor sometimes sings back to me (when he's not cranky at my singing. I can only sing after he's had breakfast. He does not appreciate morning musicals). His singing generally involves one high note and sometimes I can't even tell he's singing or he's squeaking. Nonetheless, he appreciates the music in our house.

But, along with Michael Chertoff, am I the only one who does that?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Little House on the Prairie

We joked after Conor was born and was sleeping in his bassinet in our bedroom along with our dog and three cats that we were the modern version of Little House on the Prairie's one-room cabin where everyone slept together.

3 1/2 years later, not much has changed. Sure, Conor starts off in his own bed. But sometime between 11:41 pm and 4:23 am he ends up in bed with us. We're used to it and the snuggles are nice.

But lately, we've also turned into Little Outhouse on the Prairie. Since the beginning of this school year, the whole family (although minus the cat and dog) has spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom together getting ready for the day. On the one hand, it is efficient. On the other, it's a small bathroom. There are some opportunities for privacy, but certainly fewer than one would want at this stage in one's life. Patches, at least, now understands that certain activities are not for public display. He's one of the few young ones in the house that gets that concept.

In any case, the idea of a bigger house with a bigger bedroom and a bigger bed and a bigger bathroom is appealing. But at some point, all I think that means is that more people will be in there at any given time.

I guess we would only be so lucky.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saint's Day....and NaBloPoMo

Happy After Halloween to you. This is our little pirate heading the the neighborhood Halloween Parade.

And I can officially announce that I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, posting every day during the month of November on my blog. Should be lively, if not brillant. I can basically only say that there will be some update or another every day this month. That's it.

As for last night, Conor came home with his entire pumpkin filled with candy. He was a little afraid to say "Trick or treat" actually to the people at the doors. He would shout it as we walked up the drive and then whisper it on their sidewalks and then stand their moot as they handed out the candy.

Next year, we're going to gather our Tots and Toddies friends with us and T or T together. We saw roving gangs of families complete with the parents' liquid refreshments trailer in tow. Sounds like a good idea to us!

See you tomorrow.