Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions!

  1. Get pregnant again, but not until after August.
  2. Lose some of this baby weight, hopefully before August.
  3. Get Tommy into his own bedroom.
  4. Decorate said bedroom in one cohesive theme.
  5. Paint the basement with drylock and turn the new half into a playroom.
  6. Get Ryan to turn in her homework on time every day, without yelling.
more to come......

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas recap

Hmmm, how was my Christmas? Well, Tommy and Ryan got spoiled, as was to be expected. Gluttonous American commercialism at it's best. On Christmas morning Tommy got an exersaucer from Santa, which he LOVES, and sticking out of his stocking (on top of tons of other stuff) was his now-favorite: a Wubbzy! His first ever TV show (aside from football which is really more of a bonding with Dad thing than entertainment) and Santa got him a Wubbzy to hug and talk to and chew on. Ryan got the Sims for the laptop she uses along with just about every expansion pack they make, and her stocking held tons of candy and other little treats. This was her year of the goth so she got plenty of stuff with skulls and lots of black clothes. Tommy got lots of toys and clothes and didn't really know what to make of any of it. Tom got a new coat and some really warm gloves and a bluetooth and I got the book I'd been wanting and some kitchen toys, and a robotic vacuum that cleans by itself. I named it Rosie, because it's red and because of the cleaning robot on the Jetsons. On Christmas morning, after the presents, I made latkes in honor of the holidays and then we got ready to go up to the in-laws', which was pleasantly uneventful. And then today, Tommy and I woke up with colds. So, lots of fluids for me and lots of breast feeding for him so he'll get my antibodies.

I love Christmas. But next year, not so many gifts for the kids. Tom and I need to quit shopping without each other. We each end up doing all the shopping, which results in twice as many gifts. We need to communicate better, I think.

Well, I hope everyone had as good a holiday as I did, and Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Aging gracefully?

I have a dilemma. For years I've dyed my hair. I'd gone exclusively red until Tom mentioned that his first wife had been a redhead, and a drug-addles bitch, so I started bouncing around between shades of red and blond. Then I got pregnant and decided not to dye my hair due to health concerns and was shocked by how much gray came in. A couple months ago I decided to try brunette for a change and now it's faded to match the non-gray portion of my natural color. It's past time to touch up my roots, and I have the dye in the bathroom waiting, but I'm hesitant. I'm considering just going natural.

I 've been teased about my gray roots before and am not looking forward to it again, but I don't have anything agianst gray hair. Tom is gray and it's sexy as hell. And if I were to go completely uniformly gray I wouldn't blink twice about it. But part of me suspects that this may be the wrong time to go gray. I'm still carrying about 20 pounds more than I can stand, 30 more than I want, and I'm afraid that gray roots will be the final straw in "letting myself go". I want to age naturally and gracefully. I'm just afraid that my natural aging process may be less than graceful.

So, what do you think? Should I go natural or pour on the color?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And what would you like for Christmas little girl, a mass spectrometer? Part II

Why the Hell didn't I find this before I'd finished my Christmas shopping?!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I have the best baby in the world

Tonight, for like the fifth night in a row, I put Tommy to bed without incident. It was around 9:00, he'd just finished eating and was now rubbing his eyes and fussing, so I changed his diaper, kissed him goodnight, and then laid him down in the pack n play. While I was still arranging the blanket over him he started chewing on his thumb and rolled over onto his side. I turned off the light and never heard a peep out of him after that. Ryan never did that. Then again, I went to bed at 8:00 with Ryan because she broke into spontaneous hour-long screaming fits in the middle of the night. But I have to say, even knowing that I don't know much about other babies out there, I have the best baby in the world.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Score One For The Hunted

I love stories like this. Hunting has never made any sense to me, and no one's really been able to explain it to me either. People say that we need to hunt to prevent overpopulation, yada yada yada. It's true, but it's not why hunters hunt. They don't do it out of some altruistic concern for crops or vehicles or anything like that. It's not the dirty job for the Department of Conservation rookies, to go out and kill hundreds of deer. and you hear a lot of hunters say they eat what they kill, as though somehow that makes it less violent. And food isn't why they hunt. Theses people could feed their families with meat from the grocery store for less money than they spend on hunting. The license, the orange and camo clothes, the non-scented soaps and shampoos and detergents, the spray bottles of dear urine, the weaponry itself, it costs more than pork chops from Safeway.

No, hunters hunt for fun. It's some sort of bloodlust thing that I can't fathom, wanting to kill something just for the thrill of killing it. I'll kill bugs, and mice, but not for pleasure. I'll kill them because they revolt me and I feel, however irrationally, that they somehow present a threat. I can't let spiders live in my house because they might crawl on my face while I sleep or bite my children, and the same goes for mice who might also eat my food and poop in my silverware drawer. Very few hunters, I believe, fear that a deer is going to poop in their silverware drawer.

It's probably best that I don't understand the thrill-killer mentality, that in fact I believe it to be horrifying and worthy of psychological treatment. If I thought that watching something twitch and writhe in pain was fun, if I thought that cutting into still-warm flesh and gutting it would bring me joy, I'd probably be a serial killer. No, I need, absolutely need, to believe that my meat originates in the grocery aisle, that before the burger was on my plate it came from a styrofoam tray and nowhere else. I can't eat anything that was hunted, only what was purchased. No deer jerky or venison steak, no rabbit meat. Tom eats it, and Ryan has at times. I don't begrudge anyone else their "game", but I can't eat it. And I get a thrill whenever I read or hear of a hunter being attacked by his prey. As long as they're going to continue to call hunting a sport, the other team should occasionally score a point too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Similac . . . From Hell!

They've found melamine in baby formula. Here, not in China this time. Yes it's trace amounts, but who knows how ingesting trace amounts of an industrial cleaner for a year will affect a child down the line? Just another reason to breast feed.

I know not everyone can breast feed. Some women have to work in service or retail jobs where pumping isn't a viable option. Some women are post-mastectomy breast cancer survivors. Some women are, knowingly or unknowingly, given medications that compromise or decrease their milk supplies. But then there are the women who just don't feel like it, and those are the ones who tend to piss me off.

Yeah, I know. Mothers have the right to parent however they see fit, and even more they have the right to use their breasts however they see fit. But for now let's assume I have the right to get pissed whenever I see fit. Okay?

Women who look down at their infant babies and say to themselves, "It's only second best for my baby," bother me with their sheer incomprehensibleness. But even worse, infinitely worse, are the ones who make us pay for it. The ones who go to WIC or who use food stamps to buy the formula. It's like (exactly like) if I went to your employer and said, "I have a baby and I want to buy that baby bottled water, and I want you to take money from your employees' paychecks in order for me to do it. Now, I have superior water at home in my tap. It is nutritionally superior to the water I want to buy. It has over 100 nutritional compounds not included in the water I want your workers to pay for. But I don't feel like using it, so hand over the money."

Yes, yes, people have choice and they can feed their kids whatever they damn well feel like. But I can hold it against them if they let their kids eat chocolate all day long, and in the same vein I can pass judgement on those who electively formula feed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And what would you like for Christmas little girl, a mass spectrometer?

When I was a kid, my mom would ask me to start my Christmas Wish List sometime around the first of November, and I would hand her a list 3 feet long in about a week, and continue adding to it right up until Christmas Eve. As I got older, my list went from Barbies and teddy bears to cassettes and clothes, but I always had my list, and plenty of catalog pages with the corners turned down too.

I asked my ten year old what she wanted for Christmas and this is what she said, "I don't know. Science stuff." She can't, or won't, elaborate, and the only addition she's made to the list of one is "Habbo cards". Spending real money on toy money, it seems dumb to me. SO what do I get her? She's not the average ten year old. She'd hate me if I gave her anything Hannah Montana, and she's never even seen a high school musical before. So . . . what? I can't give her a box full of gift cards, and I can't afford to get her the kind of science stuff she wants (think the Mythbusters store room plus a full forensics lab), and she's already told me in no uncertain terms how much she detests girly things like jewelry and make-up.

Ugh, Christmas was so much easier before she outgrew Barbies and teddy bears.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes, he did!

We won! Okay, not me per se. But Obama won. Tommy will grow up having absolutely no memory of a time when people wondered if this country could vote in a black president. Tom was about his age when Martin Luther King was killed for daring to dream that this could happen, and now Obama's been elected. Cool.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Probably I've lost it.

Tommy's only 3 months old, and he's getting bigger and cuter and smarter every day. But I'm starting to get that feeling whenever I see a pregnant woman, or a cute maternity top, or watch A Baby Story on TLC. I want another one.

Yes, I'm enjoying Tommy. And yes, I realize that 2 babies will be a huge undertaking. And yes, I know that I will have a lot fewer memories of Tommy's childhood than of Ryan's, in part due to lack of sleep and also due to jumbling his childhood up with the next baby's. But I still amd starting to look forward to my next baby.

Is this natural, do you think? Or have I just completely lost it now?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Merlot and Email, part 2

Hah! And now blogger is in an Asian language too. Will it never stop?

I'm a fat person. I never wanted to be a fat person, and last summer I was dieting to avoid it. But then came pregnancy, and now I'm nursing, and soon the holidays anyway, and I won't be able to diet again until next summer which is actually when we're going to try to get pregnant agin. If he can stand to touch me, that is, considering that I'm a fat person.

My ex was an asshole. A drunk and a world class asshole. But his ex was bigger. Incredibly hot, don't get me wrong, but bigger nonetheless. I wish Tom's ex was bigger, any ex. But no, he's a superficial old goat who values a low body fat percentage and so I feel bad about being a fat person. If I were still with the asshole, I wouldn't worry about turning him off. Mostly because it would be a good thing, but also because size never mattered to him. It matters to Tom, I think.

I don't want to be a fat person, although the laws of karma say I should be. I was always the skinny girl, my whole life. I hated wearing a bathing suit because I looked too bony. No matter what I ate, I stayed skinny. Hate me? Yeah, so did everybody else. But now, every potato chip, every Little Debbie Swiss Roll, goes straight to my burgeoning fat layer. And here I sit, eating said potato chips and Swiss Rolls because really, in a land of giant thighs and horrifically jiggly midsections, what's another thousand or so calories?
I'm a fat person who's given up for the time being. What's more pathetic than that?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My family

I have it all now.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Elmer Fudd, and babies!

I'm having a problem with my google toolbar. Every time I do a search from it, google comes up in random new languages. And since I can't read Arabic or whatever Asian or African dialect I might get, I have to randomly change the language until I get something Latin-based so maybe I can find the word "English" in the list. Last time I had to go to Elmer Fudd (an actual language choice). Then I had to click "Engwish" and "Save Pwefwences". This is a ridiculous glitch!

I met my nephew! My brother's girlfriend was in town and she brought the baby over. Adorable, as I of course knew already. But the surprising thing is that Tommy outweighs him by at least a pound. Tommy weighed 6-11 at birth, Collin weighed 8-14. Sure Tommy's 3 weeks older, but the day Collin was born he weighed more than Tommy did. Apparently, I make fattening milk. I hope so. And I hope that I lose every one of the calories Tommy gets, because it's the only weight-loss plan I'm using.

Someone please tell me how to fix the google toolbar thing. It's weally fwustwating!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The best baby sitter ever

She actually asks to change wet diapers and burp him. And he behaves better for her than for me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Don't blog drunk!

Tommy took a bottle! Today was my hometown's annual marathon (complete with mini-races for the kids) and Paint The Town, where they block off Main Street and fill it with 3X3 squares you can paint for $10 a piece. Ryan is in fifth grade this year which means she got to choose between a half mile run or a full mile, and she chose the full mile. And she came in dead last. Like WAAAYYY last. She crossed the finish line after the people who tell you what number you are in the race left. So after the race she came home with Tom, Tommy, and I and about ten minutes later a friend of hers who had seen her finish came to the door. Ryan won the first place medal for fifth grade girls. It turns out that no other girl in her grade had had the nerve to run a full mile. So she finished last, but first, and who knows how she would have done if she had been competing against kids her own age. After that, she decided to paint her medal in her square, so now on Main Street (in front of Happy Joe's Pizza) is a 3X3 rendition of a solid brass first place medal. I will upload a photo soon.

So she and I were wandering the street, looking at the paintings, when Tom got tired and took Tommy home. He called a while later when Tommy was hungry, but we had milk in the freezer so I told him to feed him. And he took the bottle!

So tonight, I am drinking! I am on my second (and last) beer, and I have already emailed buzzed which is a no-no. And now I am blogging buzzed too, so apparently I will never learn.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Why is every word that blogger doesn't recognize in bright red bold print?! And how do I fix it?! Blogger pisses me off so bad sometimes. And all my contractions are underlined in red now, to alert me to their inherent evil, I suppose.

Wastes of money

Okay so I posted my favorite can't-live-withouts, so here's my list of things you don't need to waste your money on.
  1. diaper bag. Not because they're not incredibly useful, but because the hospital gave me one for free, from Similac. I don't use formula, but it's a nice bag. And, it came with a cooler for breast milk and 3 freezer storage bottles.
  2. Lansinoh cream. Ugh, where do I start? It's a goopy mess, and it doesn't work, or at least it didn't do anything for me.
  3. burp cloths. I don't see the point in spending good money on something cute to be puked on. To wipe up spit-up I use wash cloths, and to put over my shoulder I use flannel receiving blankets because I've been given at least a dozen of them as gifts. And they're multitaskers; I've never swaddled a baby with a designer burp cloth.
  4. jogging stroller. I wanted one, oh how I wanted one. They're sleek, they're triangular, they have wheels big enough to not get stuck in the train tracks that bisect this little town. But they cost almost $200, and unless you pay even more for a deluxe model the front wheel won't turn so you can only go straight, and an infant can't ride in one until he's old enough to sit up and hold his head straight on his own.
  5. baby mittens. Just use a pair of baby socks, or buy shirts with long sleeves that have fold-over pockets on the end.
  6. gym play mats. The whole point of the play mat is to give back-sleeping babies tummy time. So why put a big Saint Louis arch of toys over them? It seems like an over-designed rip-off. Buy one of the tummy-oriented ones instead and stick hanging toys on the car-seat handle instead.
  7. baby food. Yep, that's right. I see baby food as a waste of money. Well, except for the meat, because there's just no way to turn meat into a smooth paste yourself, or at least I've never found it. I buy canned vegetables and fruit, rinse it, and pop it into the food processor. Fifty cents for a can of sweet potatoes that makes 2 jars of baby food, or a dollar fifty a jar for prepared stuff? That said, I always have a couple jars of the store-bought stuff on hand because it doesn't have to be refrigerated and so it goes well in the diaper bag.
Again, I will add to this as it occurs to me. Or, more likely, I'll forget and this post will never be touched again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The last time I had a baby was a decade ago, so there are tons of products out now that weren't out then. These are some of my favorite things, some old but mostly new discoveries.

  1. Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blankets.
  2. playpen/bassinet/changing table combo. Last time I had the plain old square playpen and I love the new combo thing, especially since we don't have room for a crib yet.
  3. Travel systems with car seat bases. Ten years ago I had a car seat with no handle, and a completely separate stroller. And I had to tighten the seat belt every time I drove anywhere because it had to go over/through the car seat. These things are so easy and so great.
  4. Diapers by the case. I love buying diapers by the case because it's cheaper and I don't find myself running out every couple days.
  5. Diaper Genie II. Last time there was only the diaper genie, which took very expensive bags and had an easily worn-out twisting mechanism to give you mile-long sausage ropes of diapers. This new version, however, is much easier and simpler and keeps the stink well-contained. I mean, it sits literally 2 feet from the head of my bed and I smell nothing.
  6. Sleeping gowns. They were around before and I loved them then too. SO much easier to change a diaper without waking the baby too much without threading the legs through some sort of pants.
  7. Simethicone colic drops. I use generic but these things are great! The baby hurts from a bubble, you give the baby drops, the baby burps and sleeps. Voila!
  8. Gerber Breast Therapy balm. WAY better than Lansinoh. Hard to find in stores but well worth the gas to get to one or the shipping. Buy it before you give birth.
It's late so that's all for now, but I'm sure I'll add more later.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Quick updates

Tommy's doing great. He has my cleft chin but other than that I can't tell whose features, what with smooshed baby nose and nursing blisters on his lips. I hope his eyes go hazel like his dad's. He had colic for a few days but I ditched dairy and it seems to have cleared up in the last couple of days. No more cappuccinos or ice cream for me but my waist didn't need them anyway.

Tom's sister and brother in law came into town for labor day weekend. She's a photographer and she took some pics of us. I haven't seen them yet but I hope they're good.

My brother's baby was born last week. I haven't heard much from them but I did see some pictures and he's a cutie, but what baby isn't. He was big so my sympathies go to his mother. Vacuum extraction, ouch.

I let Tom win the circumcision fight and then the idiot geriatric OB nurse over-simplified the after-care instructions and the skin got stuck back over and now the pediatrician had to pry it loose. I am SO anti-circumcision now it's not even funny. Not only did we hack a perfectly good piece of baby off, but we screwed it up and now it may need to be done again. What's worse than being circumcised without giving your consent? Being circumcised TWICE without your consent! Poor baby.

Here's a treat for ICC. I hope to see her soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Thomas Ray Jr
August 4, 2008
6 pounds 11 ounces
20 inches long
born in a 15 minute delivery during a tornado after 26 1/2 hours of labor

Friday, August 01, 2008

Get It OUT!!!

It's August, the month I am supposed to give birth. Hear that, little one? You can come out any time now. really. Any time you feel like it, even if it's NOW!!!

I've tried everything. Working in Ryan's garden, Evening Primrose Oil, spicy food, I've even done squats a couple times to try and bounce the baby down! So far the only things I haven't tried are red raspberry leaf tea, which apparently isn't sold anywhere near here, and jumping on Ryan's trampoline, but only because she won't let me and I don't think I could get myself up on it anyway. I want the baby out. Some days I'm fine but some days, like yesterday, I'm a sore, uncomfortable, crying hormonal mess. I want to see Ryan hold the baby she's waited a decade for me to have. I want to see Tom hold his flesh and blood. I want to see if the baby really does have Tom's chin, or his ears, or if this one will have any hair or not. I want to hold my baby and feel warmth, not bony feet in my ribs. And yes, selfishly and unrepentantly, I want to eat real food again.

Frozen coffee drinks. Pasta and rice and potatoes. Brownies. More than one sandwich in a restaurant at a time. I want to eat waffles again! Every morning I get to decide what I want for breakfast, a breakfast I'm more often than not, not even hungry for. I can have one cup of yogurt, or one granola bar, or if I really feel like putting in the effort I can make myself 2 slices of french toast on special whole wheat bread, but I usually save the toast for lunch when I can have four slices and actually get full. This baby is full term, and has been for almost a week now. It weighs more than I did when I was born. It hardly ever gets the hiccups any more and it lets me know with increasing frequency just how much it wants to stretch out. So how can I get this baby to finally come out?! I'm dilated to 2 cm and I'm 50% effaced as of last Monday afternoon. I just really want to meet this nameless, faceless, sexless baby. And I'd like to meet it preferably during standard business hours, so that I can send out for food soon after.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Only The Most Awesome Shower Ever

Diaper Cake by Ryan

Diaper Cake by Tom

My ducky cake that Ryan decorated, complete with ditch lillies!

I know I'm all bloated and splotchy, and my mother looks panicky, but look! I got my diaper genie! And doesn't my crown look lovely?

More pictures to come once ICC* sends me the ones from her camera.

*Iconic Cousin Chandos

Friday, July 25, 2008

Abba I aint

You can walk, You can pump, Desperate to push out a life
See that girl, watch her pain
She's the contraction queen

L&D and the lights are low
Doctor says it's too soon to go
"Need to dilate a few more,
You should go walk the halls"
Just get this out of me!

Any doctor could be that guy
With an epidural he'd save my life
With an IV of Stadol, everything is fine
I'm in the mood to push
And as long as I don't poop . . .

I'll be the contraction queen, Young and strong, Breathing hoo-hoo-heeee!
Contraction queen, "Count it out and just push for meeee!"
I can breathe, I can writhe, finally pushing out life
Ohhhh, see that girl, watch her cry
She's the contraction queen, oh yeah!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's starting to get old.

Tom has started saying goodbye by telling me when I can or cannot go into labor. "You can't have the baby Tuesday night because I'll be in East Michigan. Have it on Thursday when I'm in Sperry and can be home in 2 hours." My birth plan is courtesy of mapquest now. The excitement is wearing off even for the eager first-ish time daddy. He stole my cell phone the other day and put it in my calendar for August 18, labor from 1:30 to 8:51 pm.

Two days until my shower. Yesterday we picked up and made the mints, and Ryan worked a couple hours in the garden and then selling Kool-Aid to the builders adding on to the house next door. Today we have to finish picking up/hiding the clutter in the house, and then dust and windex the house. Tomorrow we vacuum and mop, and Saturday we rearrange chairs and such and decorate, and then Tom will leave at ten o'clock to drive halfway across Iowa to pick up a car from his brother to replace the car that went boom. Oh, and someone will have to run up to the grocery store to buy some helium balloons. It doesn't seem like much, but when you consider that I'm now on the verge of being 37 weeks pregnant and that picking up/hiding clutter includes at least 3 loads of laundry, it becomes almost overwhelming to think about. And of course I help nothing by sitting here on the computer doing nothing to shorten the list except listening to the dishwasher and washing machine run simultaneously.

I'm tired of ignoring housework because of my belly. I'm ready to ignore housework because of my baby.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Face Decoder

For those of you who sucked at those mall pictures, and for Tom who is on the road and can't decipher the picture I sent to his phone, here's the baby's face, decoded. Now just look at the original picture and look for the features without the blue walmart smiley-face. I think it looks like Tom. I see his chin. Also, I think that my uterus behind the baby looks like a skateboard half-pipe, which would explain some of the action in there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just a routine appointment until . . . .

Monday afternoon I drove to my 35 week OB appointment and Dr Rickerl checked me and told me I was dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced. Yay!!! Then he told me that's nothing really for someone who's had a baby already. Boo!!! Mondays are his on-call days and he was yawning in the office so I told him to go home to sleep and I left. I couldn't make an appointment for next week though, because it was after five and the office staff was gone already. After I left the office I called Tom on the cell phone to tell him that I'm dilated and effaced but don't freak out, and of course I had to explain what effaced means.

My clinic is in Clinton, Iowa (about 20 minutes or 15 miles away), so there's always time to fill Tom in on the way home. So there I was driving home, on the bluetooth explaining my cervix to my husband, when my tire blows out and shoots the car across the highway and I hit a cement overpass wall at 60 mph. The bluetooth flew off my ear, the phone flew off the seat, and I started screaming for Tom to "Call 911, I had a wreck!" Finally I saw the bluetooth on the dash so I undid the seat belt and grabbed it. Tom was all "Are you okay?" and I just said "Call 911, I'm on Rt 30 under the train overpass, I wrecked your car." Meanwhile, the pickup that was behind me had pulled over and a farmer guy in overalls was running across the highway talking into his cellphone while I was calling 911 myself. The guy came to the car and asked if I was okay, he was talking to the hospital. I opened my door and told him I'm 35 weeks pregnant, so of course he went completely panicky then.

More strangers stopped and 2 guys helped me get out the passenger door (driver's door was only about 6 inches from the wall and I was having trouble getting my legs over the shifter in the console so they kind of had to pull me out) and into someone's car on the shoulder so I would be clear if someone came and hit my car, since it was in the wrong lane and all that. I kept concentrating on my belly and really everything felt okay. No pains or anything, but I couldn't feel the baby move so I was freaking out about that. Plus, I was bawling anyway because I had just slammed into a wall really fast, which apparently makes me just completely lose it. Soon I had cops from 2 different towns plus the county there, along with a fire truck and an ambulance, and they closed off the highway to get me in the ambulance. They strapped me to a backboard and put a neckbrace on me, despite me telling them not to lie me flat on my back because pregnant women are not supposed to lie flat on their backs. I did manage to get a picture of the car before they carted me off, though. What can I say, I'm married to a truck driver and it's been pounded into my head to document the scene.

I got to the hospital and they checked me for dilation, no difference there. They tested me for amniotic fluid and I hadn't leaked any. They cathetered me for urine to check it for blood (hurt worse than the wreck, I don't recommend it) and got none so they gave me a bedpan. And then they called Tom and my mother because they were both listed as ICE (In Case of Emergency) in my cell phone and sent me off to x-ray and ultrasound. Nothing was broken and the ultrasound tech was so nice she gave me a 3d of baby's face and never even went near the crotch so our surprise is still safe. Finally I got sent up to L&D for the night and got put on the contraction and heartbeat monitors. I never did use the bedpan, although I had such bad foot and rib pain (the car folded on my left foot and the seat belt just killed my ribs) that I crawled to and from the bathroom all night. I just don't get bedpans and I'm too shy to ask someone to help me with it or risk having to tell them I overshot and peed the bed or whatever. My main nurse was SO great. She said they only had diet coke products but she dug me up a bottle of diet dew somewhere and then put another one in the fridge for the morning, with a sticker matching my ID bracelet on it so no one else would drink it. I really hope she's my nurse when I have the baby! She also asked the Dr if I could have anything stronger than Tylenol when the other nurse wouldn't even let me take my own Extra Strength Tylenol from my purse because the Dr had only okayed me for "2 Tylenol." I hope that lady slips in afterbirth. As for Nurse Vicodin, I hope she gets a raise.

I made it through the night and Dr Rickerl came today to release me. He gave me a prescription for Vicodin with 2 refills and checked my cervix again. Still 1 and 50% so apparently nothing will get this baby out, not even major trauma. I had had some minor contractions early in the night but they stopped while I slept. I didn't get my blood sugar monitored and the kitchen kept sending me food I couldn't eat (???) so the Dr told me not to worry about it until I got home. I specifically told Nurse Vicodin my carb limits and watched her put them in the computer, and then I got cereal, milk, and toast for breakfast, and a lunch that said "No Concentrated Sugars"and was almost entirely pasta! Probably not eating is why after I left the hospital I threw up my vicodin and my contraband diet dew.

My ribs feel better today (at least I can breath deep again) and they gave me this giant foam and velcro boot to wear so I can walk, and my neck is really sore so I assume I have whiplash. I am sitting here now at 11:30 pm dreading, yet needing, my vicodin pills. I don't want to puke anymore, but the weight of the sheets hurts my foot and I can't roll over with my ribs the way they are now. I recommend, if given the chance to decide, that you drive between the walls of the overpass, not into them. It tends to work out better that way. Well, here's pics of the car and of little Tommy/Ivy:
See how the front tire by the wall is facing you, and the front tire by the road isn't? Apparently that crooked one is what caused the problem because at the junkyard I have 3 full tires and only the one flat one.

Step back and look and you'll see the face. It's kind of like one of those hidden 3d pictures at the mall that looks like little squares but turns into a sailboat if you stare long enough.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My diaper cake. . . .I think

Ryan and Tom made a diaper cake for the shower (I know because I helped roll the diapers), and it's in the kitchen under a black garbage bag so I can't see it, and it's kind of driving me insane. I really want to know what they put on it. Also, Tom let slip something about ducky candies for the cake (I assume an actual edible cake this time) but told me "never mind" when I looked confused. Those two spent forty five minutes in Hobby Lobby yesterday looking at shower stuff and I'm completely in the dark. I like it that way, since I don't want it to seem like I planned my own baby shower and I want to be able to look back at it all later and not have to try to remember what was Ryan's idea and what might have been mine (or Tom's, but who can shut him up?), but it's like knowing where your Christmas presents are hidden! I'm fine with not knowing the baby's sex. I'm fine with waiting to learn what my gifts are. But this is sitting on my kitchen table! I am going to be eating mere inches away from this trash-bag encased surprise and it's partly up to me to keep the surprise! This is too much.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

OMG it's getting close

Went to the doctor today for the routine tape measure and heartbeat check. Everything was fine and the baby doesn't look huge or anything. I go back next week.

I'm up to weekly appointments now; that means I'm getting close to the end. I'm not ready to be close to the end yet. I have a shower to go to on the 20th, and one here on the 26th. Tom's still in on-the-road training for another week and a half. I have school supply and school clothes shopping to do! I'm not even registered at the hospital yet! A baby right now would be really inconvenient.
I'll need to pencil it in for sometime next month.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Grow Up!

Men who refuse to buy feminine hygiene products for their wives/girlfriends need to grow the fuck up! No one in the store is going to think they're for you, and you're not important enough for the clerk to care what you buy anyway, so grow the fuck up.

Women who freak out about stretch marks need to grow the fuck up! You're having a baby and your entire life is about to radically change in just about every way imaginable and you're concerned about next year's bikini season? Get over yourself and grow the fuck up.

Stepparents or live-ins who think that by virtue of being older they somehow have instant parental authority over the kids need to grow the fuck up. Fine, you're an adult and it's your home so you can set some rules, and when you're alone with the kids you get the babysitter power, but otherwise you're just Mom or Dad's spouse/live-in, not an actual parent. Your job is to back up the real parent, not to step in and pretend you have the authority that comes with having been there from the start. It doesn't matter how much you want your friends to respect you for taking on someone else's kid or how much you want the former single parent to see you as their savior, the kid's not going to fall for it and the hero worship you expect ain't coming anytime soon either, so grow the fuck up!

Parents who want to be "cool" need to grow the fuck up. When I was 16 I swore I'd never be as strict as my mom was but I know what I got away with and now I swear I'll be twice the bitch she was to me. Buying beer for the neighborhood kids or letting your kids have sex in your house doesn't make you cool. At best it makes you a joke to the people your age who've actually matured in their lives and at worst it makes you a flat-out bad parent. Maybe they'd do it anyway and you'd just rather they did it at home, whatever "it" is, but the fact is that they'd do it a lot less if they had to go to some trouble to get away with it. Put your daughter on the pill and give your son condoms, but don't sit at home with the TV volume turned up so you can hear it over the party in the next room! No teenager is going to name their neglectful parent as their best friend anyway and any authority you might otherwise have had will be washed away with your horrible displays of judgment, so just grow the fuck up!

Adults with kids who can't prioritize need to grow the fuck up. If you've got 2 kids who can't afford school clothes in the fall but you've got a new tattoo and a Harley, you need to grow the fuck up. I don't care how nice your hair looks with 3 shades of highlights or how sexy your man looks in his leathers if your kids are living off of mac and cheese and state-funded school lunches. It's a lot easier to respect someone who sacrifices it all for their kids than one who works overtime to go out drinking with friends while the kids sit home in a trailer with a bad roof, so grow the fuck up!

People who think they're better because they have a "clean" job and you have a "dirty" one need to grow up. If you have a drug conviction and 2 DUIs, I don't care how white your collar is compared to my truck-driving husband's. The label on your jeans or the price of your haircut don't mean shit to some people and believe it or not there are people in the world who don't keep score. If you really want to know who "wins", see who's happiest. It might be the guy with grease under his nails and not the one with the corner office. If you think status is everything, you really need to go grow the fuck up!

People who try too hard to be different need to grow the fuck up. I was one of them back in the day but guess what, I needed to grow up! If you have to spell your baby's name Mickaeylah and over-complicate things just so people will know you're "edgy" and "unique" then you're not. If you have to have 3 different colors in your hair (black, blond, and pink?) just to stand out then you don't. Want to really be unique and different? Take up quilting, or learn to square dance. THAT'S the stuff you don't see every day. But trying to stand out by doing what everyone else is doing just shows you need to grow the fuck up!

Friday, July 04, 2008

I'm sleepy and forgotten.

All night I dreamed. In between nearly hourly trips to the bathroom and waking to hip pain and rolling my cumbersome ass over, I dreamed of the most mundane and uneventful daily happenings possible. I weeded Ryan's garden, tried to decide what of my limited food options I was the least sick of so I could eat at the appointed times, and searched baby shower websites for rubber ducky decorating ideas per Ryan's instructions. I woke up at noon to find Tom and Ryan watching TV and myself still utterly exhausted. I don't feel like I slept at all. I feel like I was up all night in the garden and in the fridge and on the computer. So what have I done today? I weeded a little in Ryan's garden, I searched for food ideas every 2 hours, and I looked up ducky themed baby showers online. Oh, and I answered an email regarding my June 26 baby shower. I wonder how many of the invitations went out with that mistake on them. In case anyone who reads this got the wrong info, it's July 26.

My birthday is on Tuesday. Last year Tom gave me cash, which I HATE because it's the same lazy thing my dad always did (the gift that says, "You're not worth a trip to the store,") and although I've dropped hints about him and Ryan going grocery shopping, he doesn't seem to be interested. He says we can buy groceries tomorrow if there's something we're out of. I only really want 2 things this year: a tape deck attachment for my mp3 player so I can play it in the van, and the new Prey book by John Sandford. I'm guessing Tom doesn't remember me mentioning either of these things. In fact, if my due date wasn't his father's birthday he'd probably forget how far along I am. Then again, I haven't asked him lately so maybe he has.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's Official

I am having a baby shower. Ryan's been saying since the beginning that she wanted to throw me one, but she's only ten and that's a little young. But then Tom and my mother both said they'd take her to the stores she'd have to go to, and my friend Christina (the shower QUEEN) is in email communication with her regarding planning, so it looks like I will be possibly the first person I've ever heard of to have a baby shower hosted by a ten year old.
She's already designed, printed, and mailed the invitations. She found the background online, modified it and added text in MSPaint, and then filled each one out individually. She's got a notebook full of ideas for games and decorations, and already bought ducky candy molds for the cream cheese mints, which she's going to make with Splenda so I can have some.

Yeah, I got the perfect kid. And I'll have the perfect baby shower too. I'm so damn hormonal right now I cry whenever I think about it. Now I just have to keep the baby in until after the 26th.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I'm sorry, the cervix you have dialed is out of service . . .

How can you be 8 months pregnant, let alone be on your second or third kid, or have grandkids, and still spell it "dialated"? It's a word that's spelled out quite clearly in every single pregnancy book, pamphlet, magazine article, and website out there. You dilate to ten centimeters, the doctor begins checking you for dilation around 35 weeks, drugs may be given to speed dilation if it doesn't occur on its own. Hell, in grade school science class they taught us about how pupils dilate in the dark. I don't know what these women think is going on down there but no calls are being made, no one is dialing anything. Some people even pronounce it "dialate", as in "She was dial-ated to seven."

Add this to the list of idiotic things some women say that makes them sound too stupid to bear children, like that they're prego or that they're having comtractions. I feel bad for their kids.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Prison Diet

I have, as my readers know, a horrible case of gestational diabetes. I am allowed only nine servings of carboydrates a day. For those who don't know, one serving is between twelve and nineteen grams of carbs, ideally fifteen. So I basically can't eat shit all day, although I have to eat somethng every two hours. It breaks down like this:
Breakfast - 1 serving
Snack - 1 serving
Lunch - 2 servings
Snack - 1 serving
Dinner - 2 servings
Snack - 1 serving
Bedtime Snack - 1 serving

Now, this is a hard diet to live with since almost nothing has fifteen grams of carbs. For instance, one slice of bread is one serving, so I can't have a sandwich unless it's meal time. And although my obstetrician did send me to a dietitian, the problem was that she was a dietitian. She kept talking about protein and low-fat and organic food, things that had nothing to do with GD! I listened to her advice at first; I even spent the big bucks on the all natural organic peanut butter. Have you ever had all natural organic peanut butter? Same carbs as regular, but it's gritty and oily and tastes awful! So I quickly learned that I was on my own. However, in the last month I have managed to find some snacks that aren't half bad, and some that actually kick ass, that fit with my diet. I figured I would post them hear in case anyone else who reads this get put on a similar diet as I am. And keep in mind that if you're allowed more than one serving at a time, you can double up o the snacks. Yum!

  • Sunbelt Golden Almond chewy granola bars. One bar (and not the tiny little ones either like those hard ones you get from your grandma)= 17 g carbs
  • Blue Bunny Light No Sugar Added key lime pie yogurt cup. 1 cup = 11 g carbs
  • The Skinny Cow Minis Frozen Fudge Bars. One bar (the same size as half of a twin pop popsicle)=10 g carbs!
  • Edy's Fruit Bars No Sugar Added. One bar = 8 g carbs (I recommend having one fudge bar and one fruit bar, but then I'm pregnant in the summer too.)
  • Quaker Granola Bites Chocolate Flavor 90 calorie packs. One pack (not too small but not huge)= 14 g carbs
  • Hunt's Snack Pack Sugar Free chocolate pudding cups. One cup = 15 g carbs
  • Breyers All Natural Pure Premium coffee ice cream. 1/2 cup = 15 g carbs
  • Medallion Bite Size white corn tortilla chips. 24 chips = 15 g carbs (and salsa has no carbs so you can load up the chips!)
  • Sara Lee 45 Calorie & Delightful Bread, 100% Whole Wheat With Honey. TWO slices = 18 g carbs. (Peanut butter and sugar free jelly make it a pretty filling snack. And an egg and some vanilla make for a great French toast breakfast.)
If you learn to bulk up your snacks with peanut butter, dips, and sugar-free jelly, you can stay reasonably full throughout the day and still keep your blood glucose numbers low. As for meal ides, that's been harder for me to come up with. But Tom's cooking tomorrow night so I'm thinking baked tilapia with lemon butter and Parmesan and some rice on the side. Yum. But damn, do I miss mac and cheese!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why motherhood is more lonely now.

I remember when we'd been married maybe a year and Tom was still on the road all the time, he told me about a show he'd seen (Dateline or 20/20 or something like that) about how girl bullies in junior high. He was shocked! With boys a bully will hit you or pants you in the hall or something, he said, but these girls were ruthless. One case was a non-stop campaign of about ten girls to make one girl feel fat and ugly and worthless! I just nodded and thought, "how cute, my husband's naive." Any girl who survives public school knows how catty the female of the species can be. It's why it's not really a big deal if your best friend tells you that you look great when your skirt is tucked up in the back of your underwear. It's a natural instinct; she has to thin the competition.

All of this was brought back to mind today as I waited for an hour an fifteen minutes to see my obstetrician. (Why does he take appointments on his on-call days?) The waiting room had the usual line-up: menopausal woman fanning herself with a magazine, teenage girl casting desperate looks at her mother and wondering why she has to see THAT KIND of doctor anyway, twenty-something young mother telling her five year old to "Just sit down and shut up, God I hate how you act when you come back from your father's!" (the mother of the teen was of course trying to discretely point out that THIS is why she has to see THAT KIND of doctor), and the two requisite pregnant women. I would have loved to strike up a conversation with the other pregnant lady, but of course I didn't. And why? Because women are catty!

At some point during the last few years, pregnancy and childbirth became even more of a contest of strength than it had been. Hospitals started letting mothers make more decisions and more options opened up. In addition, birthing centers popped up, midwives stopped being quaint village characters from old Europe, and the word doula stopped sounding strange. Women decided to give birth at home in kiddie pools, modern pain management went from blessing to option, and it became perfectly acceptable to post photos of yourself online giving birth in a sports bra and crystals, bouncing on a giant kickball. Now, while I'm grateful that I'm not going to be strapped to the table like my mother was, that hospital staff is actually supportive of breastfeeding now, and that the whole "shave and enema" thing has gone out the window, I'm not too sure how I feel about being put in a position to make so many decisions while in constant hormonal flux. Everyone, from Ricki Lake to the ghost of Dr Spock seems to have an opinion and to present it as being the only viable choice if you care at all about your child. Somehow the thought of an epidural has become, to some, the equivalent of thalidomide. Women who smoke throughout their entire pregnancy will tell you how bad epidurals are and how if you really wanted what was best for your baby, you'd do it "naturally".

Come on! No, an epidural or an IV of Stadol isn't exactly the natural way of doing things, but neither are weekly urine tests, group B strep testing, gestational diabetes management, gender ultrasounds, or even the giant kickball to bounce your mid-labor ass on. I'm not saying it should be all or nothing. I'm just saying that these people shouldn't be acting like they do it all while we do nothing. If you want your polyvinyl ball then let me have my modern conveniences too, and don't judge me for them!

Back in the days of mandatory enemas, strapped down mothers, and nurses who doled out bottles of formula without any questions, mothers were part of an exclusive club. They could compare notes and reassure each other and form a real support system. I guess I kind of wish we still had that kind of camaraderie. Now it's either you didn't nurse long enough or you nursed too long or you're raping the Earth with disposable diapers or your epidural makes you less of a woman or you're the hippy-freak who gave birth in a fisher-price baby pool. I don't want to go back to enemas and bed straps, but I wish the progress toward options didn't have to mean a march toward superiority either.

Monday, June 09, 2008

On doctors and diamonds. . .

I had my thirty week appointment today, the first one since I've been tracking my blood sugar. I was sure the doctor would send me straight to the diabetes expert for insulin shots but he said my numbers looked okay. I guess I'm doing pretty well on the yogurt and granola bar diet, despite what my colon may think of it. The doctor also gave me the go-ahead to leave on vacation with my mom on Thursday.

I have been alternately dreading and looking forward to this vacation since Mom thought it up last fall. It sounds like a fun trip, but then again it also sounds like the worst vacation possible for a woman deep into her 7th month of pregnancy. Plus, there's the guilt of having my mommy pay for me to go on vacation with her, but since it was her idea I try not to feel too bad about it. She and Ryan (I'm just tagging along to watch Mom's dog from what it sounds like so far) are going to dig for diamonds in Arkansas. I dread the long car ride and the heat, but it sounds fun and I think Ryan will get a kick out of it. I might even wield a shovel for a couple hours in the mornings too. Maybe I can find a rock big enough to put Ryan through college. Oh well. My main concern is the bathroom facilities. Our cabin is supposed to have a toilet installed before we get there, and I'm hoping there's some drink stand with bathrooms near the dig site. The last thing I need is to be doctor-hunting with a bladder infection in Arkansas from holding it for too long. Also, infections aren't good for us diabetics, or so I hear. I really hope Mom means it when she says she expects to make a lot of bathroom stops during the drive. Just going to Omaha and back last month with Tom was bad. I would try to wait at least 2 hours between breaks but sometimes it wasn't in the cards. This baby thinks my bladder is a trampoline.

Not sure how the wi-fi will be at a cabin in Arkansas, so I'm not sure I'll be able to post anything until we get back. So until then, wish me luck. And wish me big old honking diamonds, too.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ryan joins in the fun.

Not one to be left out of anything artistic, Ryan took her turn at painting my belly tonight. If I felt worldly yesterday, I feel absolutely stellar tonight!

And of course, I didn't want to be the only one not painting people, so here's my handiwork:

All "pregnant" fathers should have to see this.

I recently found a website that shows, un-airbrushed, un-photoshopped, completely honest pictures of women after childbirth. The saggy tummies, the deflated balloon look of stretch marks without the stretch, the pointing down boobs trying to hide in armpits, all of it. For all the men out there who think pregnancy changes only the size, and who then get disgusted by the texture and shape, this website is for you! And for all the women who think that Demi Moore magazine cover was real, and who think that every woman can birth twins and then wear an evening gown to the Oscars a week later in her pre-pregnancy size, this site is for you!

But most of all, for those of us who pray against all hope that this time we'll bounce back like Angelina or Katie Holmes, this site is for us.

*EDIT: also, add to the list of people who should be strapped to a desk chair with their eyelids glued open and these photos on the screen in front of them, sixteen year olds who want to have babies. Imagine stuffing that belly into a prom dress you fetal-minded imbeciles!

Monday, June 02, 2008

One half cup of YUM!

One serving of carbohydrates is 15 grams. I am allowed 2 servings per snack. I just looked and discovered, much to my surprise, that half a cup of coffee ice cream has exactly 15 grams of carbs. I am now eating ice cream out of a measuring cup. Yum! I thought I had to forsake ice cream, but now I don't have to. Happy time!

My husband, the artist

I feel so worldly now.

The Cure's As Bad As The Disease!

I'm starting to think I've had diabetes for a while. The main symptoms are frequent urination and excessive thirst, which I've known. But I've always been a drinker. It was Mountain Dew all day up until a couple years ago, then water, then OJ early in the pregnancy, and now iced tea. And I've been peeing too much for just as long, but I never felt any different so I didn't worry about it, other than to wonder occasionally if my kidneys were malfunctioning. See, I've always had periods of low blood sugar, and I've voluntarily taken the yucky-orange-soda-test multiple times as well, all with negative results. But now, after a couple days on my carb-counting diet, I'm drinking less. I noticed this the other day and took it to be a good sign, proof that the diet was working. But when I awoke this morning with my calf muscle locked up in a horrible spasm of pain, it occurred to me through my screams that an absolute lack of thirst might have its downside. Dehydration causes leg cramps in pregnant women,. Ugh, now I not only have to force feed myself every 2 hours, but I also have to remember to drink water when I'm not thirsty.
I swear, it would be so much easier to just hook up an IV and surrender control.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Of Glucose and Old Friends

Ugh. I have diabetes. Well, gestational diabetes at least. All I know is that after 36 hours of crying, I have learned finally that I can actually eat enough to fill me up, and that my baby is not already all fucked up. This one, like the last, will have to be all fucked up slowly, through my parenting skills and not my incubating skills.

How did I get diabetes? It doesn't run in my family that I know of, except that apparently my father's grandfather got Type 2 in his 60s or something. But I mean, I'm relatively thin (always had a good BMI), and I don't live off junk food. I like to snack, sure, but I've never had a real big sweet tooth. So, why am I one of the 5% of pregnant women to get gestational diabetes? I always figured people got it because they ate lots of sugar. Now I can't have spaghetti or anything like that, and I LOVE spaghetti. I have charts stuck to the fridge and cabinet doors telling me what I can eat, when I can eat it, and how much I can have. And I slept in today which screwed me all up. I missed breakfast and my morning snack so I kind of had to put it with my lunch and then I'll have 2 afternoon snacks or something. It's confusing. And whoever decided that one slice of bread was a serving?! Who eats one slice of bread? Have the diabetes people never seen a sandwich?!

In other, more cheerful, news: Ryan is ten. Her party was on Saturday but her actual birthday was yesterday. An old friend, someone I hadn't seen since my "gay days", stopped by while in town last night. Maggie used to babysit when Ryan was a toddler and hung out here because it was a more gay-friendly environment than her parents' houses, but I hadn't seen her in at least 4 years. She grew up and found her own life, and I ended up fated to be monogamously hetero, at least till death do us part. (Who knows what'll happen in my next life?) Anyway, it was nice to see her again, and she stuck around to visit for at least an hour. I, of course, had to brag up Ryan, mainly because it's what Mom does. But when I mentioned the Wii savings plan Ryan is working toward, Maggie ran out the door, only to return with two twenties! She said she wanted to see Ryan color the thermometer up to $100, which it is now past, by $1.20. For a kid who's only been saving for a couple weeks, Ryan's done pretty well for herself. But I still feel like maybe Maggie thought I was dropping a hint or something, even though I said more than once that I had NOT meant anything by mentioning the Kool-Aid stand, which is how the bragging started.

Whoops. Two o'clock. Time for my snack. I think I will have crackers today, and save the granola bar and yogurt for bedtime. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll lose those fat pockets my ass has developed. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm a rhinopotomus! And somehow, my ass is getting square too.
Wish me luck; I get my RhoGam shot and take my glucose test tomorrow. Yay. A stab in the butt and an hour long urge to vomit, all in one day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reasons Not To Nominate Hillary

Or, how she's made herself look bad during the primary races.

  1. She played the gender card, way back when there were more candidates. I don't care if they did ask you all the hard questions first or scrutinize your answers more, you don't claim sexism. You are trying to get the hardest most-scrutinized job in the country and all you've done is prove that you will blame the boys for everything. Maybe what you said was true, but you need to present yourself as a woman capable of working with that reality, not just cry out against it. My nine year old knows not to cry out that "It's not fair," because I'll just point out that life isn't fair.
  2. She let Bill go out and run his mouth and didn't shut him up in time. The first time he said something stupid and controversial, she should have disclaimed it in front of a bank of reporters, with him looking thoroughly chastened behind her. People worried about having Bill back in the White House and she needed to show that electing her would be letting HER run the show, not Bill. Being unable, or unwilling, to stop him as he roamed the country doing damage and garnering attention only proved that she can't run the show, that he will take over no matter what she tries to do. There's a reason potential first ladies stand behind and slightly off to the side of their husbands, smiling and clapping quietly; it's because people want to know who would be running things if the candidate were elected.
  3. She tried to claim her years as first lady as personally presidential experience, and then refused to claim Bill's mistakes along with his credits. It's hard enough to run as an incumbent for a VP (remember Gore?) but to do it when your title was one you literally slept your way into, and which the American people still feel is a mainly decorative one that Jackie O did better, is almost impossible. If you're going to take credit for Bill's great legacy, then you have to accept NAFTA too. Call it a mistake, apologize for it, and then claim to have learned from it and use that education to illustrate why experience is necessary, and that Obama doesn't have it. Also, after letting Bill shoot his mouth off and grandstand like he has, she needs to downplay the role of the president's spouse, not make it out to be an elected position with real responsibilities. People don't want Bill to have real responsibilities, and they don't want him elected to the White House again.
  4. She reacted to the "pimping Chelsea out" comment and swore not to appear in any MSNBC debates after it. During what is basically a months long job interview, she showed that she has a very glaring weak spot. We don't need a president with that kind of gut-level reaction to anything. We are in a war with people who play dirty and she is running on the premise that she will end that war. When she called herself a "mother first", she created real concern that if a bin Laden tape surfaced insulting her daughter, that she would be unable to think straight, and presidents need to be able to always think straight. She should have expressed her disgust with the comment, called it a low blow, and then refused to acknowledge it further.
  5. She ran the 3:00 a.m. phone call commercial. Again, she's supposed to be running as the peaceful candidate, so let McCain's team use the scare tactics. Her target audience, democrats, are sick of the GOP trying to constantly convince the American people that an attack is just around the corner and that we need a war monger to prevent it. She shouldn't have run a republican sounding ad, especially not when people are so sick of republicans.
  6. She brought up race, at all. People have repeatedly shown that they don't like the mere mention of race in this election. The Muslim rumors, the race issues, Obama has successfully brushed them off for months as being unworthy of replies or even contempt, and when the Wright scandal came up he gave a speech addressing racial tension that earned him new fans. So pointing out that she polls better with whites was a bad move, not to mention how she phrased it.
  7. She doesn't know when to back away. She could have run in 2012 or 2016, if she'd been graceful with her defeat this time. But now she's a sore loser. She's the runner-up standing behind the beauty queen who, instead of clapping and congratulating the inner like the other girls do, folds her arms over her chest and glares. She's coming off as increasingly desperate and pathetic. Ever see the Friends episode where Rachel is so intent on impressing a man that she comes to a party in her high school cheerleading uniform, because it had never failed her yet? Yeah, that's Hillary and her yellow suit.
  8. She pointed out that pledged delegates aren't contractually obligated to vote for the elected candidate. Sure it's true, and the rule exists for a reason, but you don't point it out and imply that delegate stealing is an option you're willing to explore. The rule is there fro recounts, in case of a tie so that the delegates can be swayed rather than having the entire country engaged in another year of voting, not so that you can play dirty to win.
  9. She ran in Michigan, campaigned in Florida, and is now trying to get the delegates seated for her. Michigan and Florida were warned and knew the consequences of going against the DNC. They broke the rules and now they are paying the price. Arguing that rule-breaking shouldn't have consequences is not a wise action for the wife of the guy impeached for immorality. As for the delegates, Clinton's name was the only one on the ballot in Michigan so there's no logical way those delegates should be seated in her favor, and Obama didn't campaign in Florida at all, which proved not that he didn't care about the voters but that he was willing to play by the rules. She claims that voters in those 2 states will be disenfranchised if their votes don't count, while at the same time she makes it known that delegates don't have to go where the votes tell them to anyway!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Begging For Ideas

When Tom and I registered at Toys R Us last month we found the PERFECT stroller/car seat combo. It was ROAD CONE ORANGE! It was also $160, and no one I know was going to spend that kind of money on me.

So this weekend when Tom found out it was the big city-wide garage sale, he went nuts. He was out of the house and up the street by 8:30 am. He didn't even stick around long enough to help Ryan set up the Kool-Aid stand she had planned. (She made almost $50 selling kool-aid and cupcakes, and decided to put it toward the Wii I won't get her.) He called a couple hours later and asked if he should get an Eddie Bauer stroller/car seat combo for $50, and I had to say yes.

It's black and gray, very adult and sophisticated, and boring. I like it, but it must be improved. So I am making an open call for help. Any ideas are welcome. How do I customize the stroller? I want to put one of those bicycle bells on it ( Cha-Ching) and maybe handlebar streamers, but other than that I have no idea. So I'm begging; help me pimp the stroller.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Baby's Playlist

Songs that make the baby dance:

  • Rufus Wainwright: Across The Universe
  • The Ramones: We're A Happy Family
  • Iggy Pop: Lust For Life
  • Elvis Presley: A Little Less Conversation
  • Fleetwood Mac: Second Hand News
Songs that make the baby sucker punch me in the bladder:

  • Digital Underground: The Humpty Dance
  • Sarah Brightman: Ave Maria
  • Oingo Boingo: Weird Science
  • Robin Sparkles: Sandcastles In The Sand
Songs that make the baby play dead:

  • The Ramones: Teenage Lobotomy
  • P.W.E.I.: Defcon 1
  • Faith No More: We Care A Lot
  • Lit: My Own Worst Enemy
  • Weezer: Buddy Holly

My baby has strange taste in music. I can only assume that the more subtle notes are lost somewhere in the abdominal wall.

Could I Even Produce A Normal Baby Anyway?

My Iconic Cousin recently alerted me to the possibility that we may be missing some universal brain enzyme, some protein that makes people value fitting in and being "normal". This had never occurred to me, honestly. I mean, I don't really like to be thought completely socially unacceptable; I do shave my legs even though I hate to and see no reason for it except to avoid harsh comments and ridicule, and for the last year or so I've consistently worn a bra into public despite finding them to be very uncomfortable. I think perhaps I have, at most, a slight case of Asperger's. Like maybe I have Asperger's from before it was called Asperger's, back when it was just considered socially retarded rather than actually suffering from a syndrome. But whatever it is, syndrome or chemical deficiency, it has apparently affected my maternal instincts.

The pregnancy boards are full of posts from worried mothers looking to have their minds put at ease. Many of these women have had bad news thrown at them: holes in miniature hearts, hydrocephalic babies, severe clefts in fetal palates, and I feel so bad for them and understand their concerns. But then there are the ones I don't understand, like the lady freaking out because her ultrasound showed a possible extra finger. First off, have you ever seen an ultrasound? Half the time they can't tell a penis from an umbilical chord and they're doing finger-counts on a woman who is only 5 months pregnant? Second, it's just a finger! It's not like the kid will be born predestined to be run through by Inigo Montoya! Sure, it'll be hard to buy gloves, but how hard can it be to make a freaking glove? Trace the hand on fabric and sew the outline shut. And in some cultures people with extra fingers are worshipped. I think it would be cool to have a baby with an extra finger(s) or toe(s). Maybe not one with an extra boob or eye or something, but how many people do you meet where you would even notice anyway? I don't count people's fingers or toes so unless it was an extra thumb or if they had their flip-flop strap moved over and I happened to glance down, I wouldn't even spot it. But if it were my baby and it were a functioning digit, not just a floppy piece of meat to get caught in the play-pen netting, I wouldn't have it removed.

I don't really like the idea of performing unnecessary surgeries on babies, especially not cosmetic ones. For one thing, there are risks to putting a baby under anesthesia. How many times have you read or heard about parents who had their conjoined twins separated just so they could have a "normal" life, even if it meant they would be on dialysis or in wheelchairs forever, only to have one die from the surgery? And I have seen enough documentaries to know that if a baby is born with genitals that look to be neither here nor there, that most of the time doctors recommend rebuilding them into whatever's easiest to make with the tissue they have, regardless of chromosomes or reproductive organs. Micro-penis and undescended testicles, or enlarged clitoris and fused labia? The diagnosis often depends on what would be easiest to sculpt, with a warning from the doctor that "these babies have a 50% higher chance of being gay later on", which is code for the fact that doctors have a 50% chance of being wrong right now. I say let the kid grow up and tell you what they are and then go from there.

Yes, fix a cleft palate. Fix bowel obstructions and cleft palates and heart defects, sure. Install shunts for hydrocephalus and feeding tubes if needed and remove parasitic twins, of course. But when it's just to make a kid "normal", just to try to ensure that your baby meets your standards and expectations of what a baby "should" be, then I think you need therapy more than your kid needs surgery because you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and your kid for the pain of never living up to what you want. Because NO child will ever live up to all your dreams and wants for it. They might have a learning disorder that keeps them from getting into the college you picked for them, they might be uncoordinated and unable to fulfill your dreams of athletic achievement, they might be gay and challenge your visions of the perfect wedding and grandchildren. But certainly, at the very least, they are going to one day look at you in all seriousness, with venom in their gaze, and tell you they hate you. And if this child's purpose, surgically reinforced in infancy, is to reflect well upon you and live up to your goals rather than their own, then your world will shatter at that moment.

Really, though. Removing extra fingers? Lasering birthmarks away? What's next, nose jobs and hair plugs for babies too?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We live in a world (or at least a culture) of abbreviations. Some are universal but certain subcultures have their own too. My MIL died so DH and I left DD with his MIL and went to stay at my SIL's for a couple days. (mother in law, dear husband, dear daughter, sister in law) I happen to have learned in my lifetime certain abbreviations that perhaps aren't so incredibly mainstream, like glbt (gay lesbian bisexual transgendered), ftm (female to male transgendered), mtf (male to female transgendered), msm (men who have sex with men, even if they claim to be straight), wsw (women who have sex with women, even if they're straight too), you get the idea. Also there are certain abbreviations that most people can readily identify, like VD (old school), STD (current), STI (European, the I stands for infection), AIDS, HIV, HPV (thank you Gardisil for making that one common knowledge), etc etc etc. And of course, once you know what an abbreviation means, that's a word as far as you're concerned. I'm a SAHM (stay at home mom) and I would never read that to mean anything else, would never think perhaps that someone was claiming to be stuck alone hunting moose. Tom was OTR (an over the road truck driver) and he never once worried that people would think he was an overtime rancher. So this brings me to my latest claim to idiotic fame.

I'm pregnant, and even though it seems like everyone I know capable of being pregnant is as well I still feel the need to occasionally visit pregnancy websites. I can't help it. I want to know what is forming or developing this week and how other women due around the same time are doing. So I go to these sites and sometimes I post or sometimes I just lurk, whatever, and I've gotten pretty good with the lingo. GD is gestational diabetes, LMP is last menstrual period, BF is breast feed and FF is formula feed. But for the longest time, I thought I was on the most progressive pregnancy board available, due to the relatively impressive number of FTMs posting. There was even a thread devoted to pregnant FTMs, which I never read because I don't plan to change my sex. At first I thought this guy was online, until I realized that there was more than one person using the term. Fine, I'm an idiot. And as you've no doubt guessed long before I did, FTM means first time mother. And this isn't the first time I've gotten caught being an idiot with this pregnant lady shorthand. It took me a week and a half to figure out why one lady wanted her boss to give her STD*.
*short term disability pay, for being put on bed rest.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm a symptom

So Tom tells me today that he isn't as superficial as he used to be, because he can see all the weight he's gained and he thinks he doesn't have any room to talk. He tells me this to make me feel better about the fact that my ass cheeks have grown their own ass cheeks. I laughed. I said, "So you're telling me that your attraction to me is directly related to your repulsion for yourself, that your love for me is a symptom of low self esteem?" He laughed too and complimented me on my ability to twist anything to make him sound bad. Well, I try.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Funerals and Missing Dogs

Tom's (estranged) mother died last week so we drove out to Omaha Thursday evening and came back Saturday evening. I'm not sure who the drive was harder on, me with a sore back or him having to pull over for my bladder every hundred miles. But we made it and we saw people we don't often get to see and there were no huge fights despite having six sibling, their significant others, and their children all in the same room. It was all very "Big Chill" and it wasn't until we crossed the Nebraska/Iowa state line on the way home that I realized I hadn't even gotten a Runza.

We came into town, picked Ryan up at my mother's, and came home to find two very lonely dogs happy to see us. We don't know where Cheyenne went or how she got out or how long she was gone before we got here, but she's missing. I've called the police and Animal Control and tomorrow I'll put ads in the local papers, but if she got in a fight or ran into traffic, I've just lost my puppy.

Tom had to go to Minnesota for a job and I'm not dealing well with the separation. I had really gotten used to the idea of him being home at night. Maybe it's hormones but I'm feeling really mushy and clingy lately. Yeah, I'll blame it on hormones.

Went to the greenhouse today for the first time this year. Ryan and I bought some seeds for her garden and she's pretty impatient to plant them, but we have to wait for Tom to come back and rent a roto-tiller first. Also I bought some strawberry plants for the barrel planter and a little spruce tree for the front yard. it'll be fine in a container until we find a permanent house someday; it's small and grows slow. Ryan named it Grasshopper Spruce. I wonder why she names the plants when half the time I kill them. Poor Warden Shmuley. Well, it's time for me to get to bed now. It's a school night and my back is screaming anyway. If any of y9ou see Cheyenne, let me know. I bitch about the dogs but I don't want to lose them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Birthed A Lab Rat

My daughter is an experiment. Scratch that. My daughter is my Grand Experiment. Maybe that sounds cold, but I think it's just honest. Every firstborn child is an experiment; you have a child and decide to test out all of your theories on how to raise a kid, with this particular kid's mental health at stake. If you're really on the ball, you realize and accept that you're not even in the business of raising a child. You're in the business of raising an adult. Children are corralled and herded, by parents and sitters and school systems. Adults are the results of the experiments and they have to be shown, somehow and by parents barely capable of it themselves, how to stick with the herd while thinking independently. It's a rough job, and you can't just scrap the experiment when it's over either.

When my daughter misbehaves, I don't spank her. If she commits a rule offense, such as being late or getting a bad grade or not cleaning her room, she gets grounded, and if it's bad enough she gets grounded to her bedroom. But if she commits an ethical offense, such as lying or cheating or gods-forbid bullying, she gets assigned a paper. So far she's only had to write 3 papers, and none really up to par seeing as how she's just a kid with little in the way of formal paper-writing training. This theory, that you can raise a better adult by assigning them anecdotal examples of their own offenses rather than using brute force or arbitrary punishments, came right out of my own head. I'm probably not the first mother to ever think of it, but I did think it up on my own nonetheless. For all I know I'm fostering a horrible distaste in schoolwork, but I honestly don't think I could do that any better than the public school system anyway. It is just part of my Grand Experiment. Also, my kid has a summer reading list, including To Kill A Mockingbird and The Picture Of Dorian Gray. And this is in addition to the vegetable garden she keeps in order to sell her wares and earn money for the county fair. I don't think every child should read Oscar Wild at age ten, but I do think more of them should. And I think that having her own little vegetable stand teaches her valuable lessons about money. Of course, last year she ended up making over a hundred dollars, so the financial burden it takes off of me during fair week is a contributing factor as well, but not the whole story. As for the books, she can read them between customers.

What makes me sad, is that the child I carry now won't be my Grand Experiment. I will have to collaborate with a fellow scientist: my husband. And he's a different sort of scientist. He feels that children should be raised with a more militaristic approach than I do, and he doesn't fell it's at all important that they learn that Napoleon was short or that Eisenhower's real first name was David or that Persephone ate half a pomegranate. I will have to share this child, and that scares the living hell out of me. In fact, it scares the living hell out of me that I am going to have to let him hold the baby, the same man who can't sit on the couch watching TV without dropping the remote.