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June 2007

The Differences between Parents and Grandparents – An Observational Report

After having spent the long weekend packed with extra UOR visits and extended-family events (is it just me or do these long weekends get packed up with just as much crap as the regular workweeks?) I’ve realized that those little idiosyncrasies between parental and grandparental childrearing techniques don’t just quietly end after the newborn period is over. Nope. Those idiosyncrasies, like bad habits, just keep evolving. Cases in point…
 

Diapers
Parents: “How does it look?”
             “Not bad. It’s not full yet. He can go another half hour before changing.”

 Grandparent(s): “Oh, did my baby tinkle? I think my baby tinkled! I saw your ‘pee-pee’ face. Let’s just change you right away so you don’t get diaper rash! …Yes, he did pee! Look, right here, there’s some dampness! No, it’s not sweat, he peed. What do you mean diapers are expensive? Well, then potty train him!”
 

Talking
Child: “Baaa….Ll!”
Parents: “That’s right, ball! Here’s your ball!”
Grandparents: “Oh my god, did you hear that?”
Parents: “Yes, he just said ‘ball’.”
Grandparents: “No! He said ‘ballistic’!”
Parents: “What?”
Grandparents: “He said ‘ballistic’! We were watching the History Channel about World War II firearms and now he’s trying to say, ‘ballistic’.”
Parents: “He just said ‘ball’.”
Grandparents: “No, he clearly said ‘ballistic’. I heard him. This boy is so smart, he hears something once (*snaps fingers*) and he’s got it!”
 

Toys
Parents: “Oh, let’s see what grandma and grandpa got you for your birthday! Come here and open your gift… it’s… it’s a BB gun.”
Grandparents: “Oh, we knew he’d love it! Ever since we’ve been watching the History Channel with him he’s been all about the guns!”
Parents: “It’s a BB GUN! And it’s for 10 years and up!”
Grandparents: “Oh, he’s so advanced we knew he’d get bored with those other toys.”
 

Food & Drink
Parents: “Did you water down his juice?”
              “Sure did. He doesn’t need any more sugar before dinner.”

Grandparents: “Are you thirsty, baby? Here have some Coke. Oh, a sip won’t hurt him! Want a cookie, lovey?”
Ten sips (behind our backs) and three cookies later...
Grandparents: “This kid has the stamina of a born athlete! I tell you, with energy like that he’ll be on any all-star team he plays! He just keeps… why is he crying?”
 
Kids hopped up on Too Much Attention (TMA)… it’s not a pretty thing.

- the weirdgirl


Role Model He Ain’t

So I’m watching Go, Diego, Go with Chance. I mean, I’ve watched it before but I haven’t really watched it, you know? I think that poor kid has a drug dependency. (Diego, not Chance.) It’s really obvious he’s strung out… the wide eyes and over-enthusiasm. (I’m familiar with the symptoms because my parents were hippies. They had some… um… interesting friends.)  The only people I know who can “talk” to animals are on psychotropic drugs. (Oh, like you don’t know any!)  In fact the whole experience watching the show is a bit Hunter S. Thompson (maybe he’s one of the writers?) but with that modern drug twist. There’s that x-game reject “rescue” pack flying through the air turning into shit, talking rainbows and trees, all the touchy-feely crap. And other stuff happening that would have sent me screaming. And all these animals that just happen to need rescuing all the time… what are the odds of that? I think Diego is starring as the hero in his own little delusional fantasy-land. That’s a clear cry for help. And I swear some of those animals aren’t even real, he just made them up. 

But you know what the real clincher was for me? Those damn monkeys. How many E/acid/speed cocktails do you have to take before you’re permanently persecuted by monkeys?

I’m thinking a lot.

The rave lifestyle is such the social faux pas now, Diego. Time for rehab. 

  - wg

Diego_doll
 I feel fine, man. Get off my back!


My Idol... Tivo

This is the progress of the evening. 

5:00pm  First (of course) double check that Tivo is all set up to record American Idol and Lost. 

5:00 - 7:00  Do laundry, have dinner, give Chance bath.

7:10pm  Keen checks American Idol winner via Internet.  (Because we can!)

7:30 - 9:15  Put Chance to bed.  More laundry.  A little computer work.

9:20pm  Start watching Lost... am fully absorbed (but still feel smug about fast-forwarding through commercials).

11:05pm  Switch over to the recorded American Idol.  (I still want to see the contestant reactions, you know?)  Fast-forward through all musical numbers except Green Day.  Watch Green Day.  Fast forward to end.  Careful now... don't overshoot... shit!  Start from beginning.  Get to the end again... slowly slowly... everyone's standing around looking excited... Ryan starts fondling the envelope... aaaand...

Damn Tivo recording ends. 

Oh well.  I would have been really pissed if Lost had gotten cut off.            
             - the weirdgirl


Goofy... on so many levels

I've done it... I'm officially registered for Blogher.  I feel both really excited and nervous.  I also still feel like a dork for completely missing last year's Blogher simply because I was not paying attention.  It was even in my frickin' home town! 

So... who else is going?  Wanna hang?  Any recommendations for Chicago?  What are you wearing to the cocktail party?

(And when, oh when, are they gonna have a Blogher/him/parents/non-gender specific Bloggers-Who-Are-Cool convention so we can all just hang out?  How do we get corporate sponsorship for that?  Promise to do ten million marketing surveys, maybe?  I will miss all of you who will not be attending.)

I feel like I should write something else for a more substantial post but I'm feeling lazy.  How about some random thoughts instead? 

Things I have learned.
Composing blog posts in my head while I'm driving... dramatically reduces my competency as a driver. (At least I'm big enough to admit it!)

Thank god for Sesame Street.
Right in those moments where I'm beginning to question my sanity I'll catch myself watching a hippo in a pink Richard Simmons-esque tank top shimmying around with Big Bird.  Or something equally absurd.  This reassures me that the world will always be crazier than I'll ever be. 

I am 12!
"Blogher", to me, sounds like it should be a dirty euphemism.  Equally, Goofy singing  "shake shake shake your peanut" makes me laugh every time!

Living La Vida Nerd
So of course I tried to find a video clip of Goofy singing "shake shake shake your peanut" and instead just spent 20 minutes on Youtube watching anime clips cut to songs from A Goofy Movie.  I recognized all the anime.   That's why I watched.

And just so you all (who are going to Blogher and otherwise) know what I look like here's a picture of me. 

Dsc01950

Took me long enough, huh?        - wg


The Friction of Flesh and Will

A couple of nights ago, while eating M&Ms, working on my laptop, and watching The Office I was suddenly overcome with an urge to sneeze. Without a tissue in sight I knew I had to prevent spitting out chewed bits of M&Ms all over said laptop. I’m happy to report that I managed NOT to spew out M&Ms.

But I did pee my pants. (Only a little.)

Apparently after childbirth I can only hold together one muscle mass at a time. 

My postings have been erratic of late. Truth to be told, I haven’t been feeling all that well. I am not sick, per se, but I think I ran myself down pretty good during the pre-, post-, and actual house move. That type of thing where when you’re really busy, when it’s the worst possible time to get sick, you don’t actually get sick – all due to living by pure will-power – but then when everything slows down enough for you to catch your breath and maybe get caught up on things neglected during the busy period, that’s when your body gives you the old F.U. 

My body has been telling me to piss off for the last couple of weeks. Between this and peeing my pants I feel like I’m falling apart all over. Oy.

In general, I’ve enjoyed getting older because I like seeing my knowledge grow every day, my emotional maturity…um… mature, and the wisdom that comes with experience, knowledge, and maturity. Added cash is a plus, too. Nothing like the financial security of the old! Ha ha. (OK, I’m not that mature.) But the thing I’m really struggling with as I get older is the friction between my will and my flesh. Simply put, I want to accomplish more than it seems I have energy for… and it drives me nuts. Especially with writing. I start off the beginning of the week strong and then poop out halfway through, only to recharge (sometimes) on the weekend and start all over again.  I’m also trying to work on a novel and it’s been even more erratic than the blog posting. 

What’s worse is that I’ve been having a creative spurt. I’ve got a backlog in my head of stuff to write down (poetry, stories, posts) but by the end of the day, after the parenting is done, and the chores, and the actual get-paid-to-do work, I’m zoning out in front of the TV. Oy to the second power. 

Inside I still feel 22. I feel like there is no reason why I can’t accomplish everything I want to accomplish. I have always been able to get a lot done.  More than the average joe (at least in work settings) and it has always been due to my supreme will. (Efficiency and a willingness to learn has helped, too. Boy, am I sounding cocky here.) My point being… I know I am a Type A personality. I don’t think I’m overly a control-freak, but I’m comfortable with the control issues I do have. (Just like I’m comfortable with my caffeine, chocolate, and allergy medicine addictions.) I used to be one of those chicks in a mini-skirted business suit. I was used to being the go-to person who could get things done. Now… I am finally at a place where I can get some personal goals accomplished, and a lot of the time I’m just really tired.

Type As should never get old.

I think I need a vacation. (Are all the parents laughing with me?)

On a completely different note, I’m finding that now I’m two plus years past Lamaze class I’ve forgotten enough that I haven’t added anything to The Things They Don’t Tell You in Lamaze list for ages. So, new moms out there, I need your help. Check out the list and send me your additions. Otherwise, I’ll have to get knocked up again. And I don’t think having a baby just for blog material is probably a good idea.  Ya know?

 - wg


Something Smells Like a Piece of Crap

I’m getting awfully close to potty training but we’re not there quite yet. I was waiting for 1) the move to be over and 2) for Chance’s communication skills to improve just a tiny bit more so it was a little easier. Oh, and I’ve been getting him addicted to M&Ms. That part is going well. But I’ve had a slight glitch in my plans. Our old diaper pail brand was discontinued along with the bag refills. Oh, you can still find the refills… they’re just outrageously expensive. So we thought, in the meantime, to go with a tried and true brand.

I just bought the Diaper Genie II. I HATE this thing with the passion of a thousand burning suns! I never use the term “hate” lightly, inanimate objects or not. It, frankly, smells. And not just smells a little or when the bag is almost full. No, it smells A LOT… ALL THE FUCKING TIME! (Seriously, I’m trying to cut down on the swearing now that Chance is talking more but there are moments where it is absolutely appropriate! And therapeutic.) It also has the most ridiculously small canister for diapers I’ve ever seen. Like, I need to empty this piece of shit every other day. Our old diaper pail? I changed it every 4-5 days and WE NEVER SMELLED IT!!

I’ve been feeling a little fuzzy lately. I figure it’s due to getting settled into a routine in a new place. But there have been certain things, certain times, that come into sharp focus. Walking into my son’s room and smelling that blasted diaper pail has been so sharp I think I’m about to be impaled. 

My poor son has to sleep in there. I think it’s time to shop for another one, potty training or not. Any suggestions?

 - the weirdgirl


Hey there, Moms

So as I was perusing through ecards, and graphics, and other post-able items appropriate to Mother’s Day (last minute, of course, because I didn’t prep effectively (this last week sort of got away from me)) it occurred to me that what most moms really need are some cards for the rest of the year, with themes a little closer to what we’re going through everyday. Something that could give us moms a little pick-me-up in the down moments. Here are a few suggestions for the retail card industry…
 

For the new mom:

Mom_card_sore_nipples_2

For those moms going through the “terrible twos” (or “fours”, or “sixteens”, whatever):

Mom_card_run_away

 
Comes with an optional gift card:

Mom_card_tantrums_for_spa

 And let’s not forget the dads:

Dad_card_csection_congrats

And just because I really like this song, I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! - wg


Potty Break, Paris Break… In Any Case, I Should Be Working

OK, I could not resist this one. Paris Hilton was arrested for drunk driving back in September. She recently was sentenced jail time… not for the drunk driving but for violating her probation terms, including driving while her license was suspended (she was stopped twice) and not signing up for the court-ordered alcohol education class. Her defense was that she “wasn’t paying attention”, which is pretty ridiculous. But what is even more ridiculous? What is laughably absurd in a way that hurts my stomach and makes me fear for the state of our nation (or some of its citizens)?  It is THIS petition circulating to pardon Paris Hilton.

Notable features are in bold. My comments (and some grammatical corrections) are in red.

 

Petition Available Through Hilton's MySpace Page

To:
The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Paris Whitney Hilton is an American celebrity and socialite. She is an heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, as well as to the real estate fortune of her father Richard Hilton. (Like Schwarzenegger wouldn’t know who she is; hell, he probably fondled woman at Hilton parties in the 70s.)  She provides hope (what?) for young people (damn, I guess I missed my window to make a sex tape) all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives. (The American public does love women who look like birds.) 

Hilton is notable for her leading roles on the FOX reality series The Simple Life and in the remake of the Vincent Price horror classic "House of Wax". In addition to her work as an actress (oh my God!), she has achieved some recognition as a model, celebrity spokesperson, singer, and writer. (I can’t even discuss this paragraph.)

As most of America now knows (really? I just heard about it. Oh wait, I just didn’t care!), Ms. Hilton was just (uh, no) charged in a Los Angeles court with a DUI and sentenced to 45 days in Century Regional Detention Facility in California beginning on or before June 5, 2007.

We, the American public who support Paris (we the god-fearing citizens of Rock Ridge), are shocked, dismayed and appalled (yeah, I got a lot of shock, dismay, and appalling going on, too) by how Paris has been the person to be used as an example that Drunk Driving is wrong. (Uh, no again. And do I detect sarcasm here?) We do not support drunk driving or DUI charges. Paris should have been sober. But she shouldn't go to jail, either.  (At least, not without several video cameras. Prison chick flicks could make a comeback! Is Tarantino available?)

As depicted on Friday night's episode "Nancy Grace" (why is her name in quotes?) on Headline News (May 4, 2007), countless celebrities have been "slapped on the wrist" for similar incidents recently (they’re taking some liberties here). Nick Nolte, Mel Gibson, Tracy Morgan, Wynonna Judd, to name a few, were arrested and never did a day in jail after their initial arrests for drunk driving /DUI /DWI charges (maybe because they followed their probation terms?). Rappers Busta Rhymes and Eve still walk free after both being arrested for the same charges as Ms. Hilton just this past week (rappers getting away with what a white chick can’t? Oh my god!). Brandy's California Highway accident, although no proof of DUI (hello? key difference there) was evidenced in her accident, resulting (resulted) in the death of a young wife and mother in California, yet Brandy walks free as of today (damn you Brandy, damn you!), never doing any time and A WOMAN HAS BEEN KILLED (CAPS = IMPORTANT) most likely due to her reckless driving!  (Good to know they did their research.)

Yet, Paris Hilton did not hurt, injure, or kill anyone or anything, and yet she must do jail time.  (It must be a compelling argument because they started the sentence with “yet”, and followed with another “yet”. Very educated.)

This petition is to ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pardon Paris Hilton for her mistake(s – I count four). Please allow her to her return to her career and life. Everyone makes mistakes. She didn't hurt or kill anyone, and she has learned her lesson. She is sincere, apologetic, and full of regret for her actions as she explained tearfully to the Judge handling her case in court yesterday. She is distraught and understandably afraid. (Dear Govinator, please don’t spay my cat. My cat is so cute. Her fur is fluffy. She eats fish and purrs when I pet her.)

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to save our Paris from ending up at the Century Regional Detention Facility! Please sign to tell The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of the State of California, to think about the welfare of this young woman who has made a mortal (I think they mean, “moral”) error and deserves a second chance like so many others in our great nation (of drunk-driving endorsing, celebrity-worshippers) have been served with (chances are served? Chilled or flambéed?) after a mistake they have made. If the late Former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late Former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s) (um… OooooKAY), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest (idiotic) mistake (of getting caught) as well, and we hope and expect The Governor will understand and grant this unusual but important request in good faith to (of) Ms. Paris Whitney Hilton (periods, apparently, are optional)

 

Sometimes they just make it so easy.  I’m wondering if I should ban celebrity news from the house? I’d hate for Chance to grow up to write any petitions.

   – the weirdgirl


My Mirror, My Boobs

I have a deep, dark confession to make… I… did not… breastfeed.

*Collective gasp, breaking glass, a horrified scream*

Yes, it’s true. No boob for the baby. (Poor kid, so deprived.) I did TRY the breastfeeding. I worked with the lactation consultant in the hospital. I offered Chance ample opportunities to gnaw on my hooters. However, due to my being very ill right after his birth and therefore getting a late start overall offering boobage, and except for that one time where he latched on, Chance just didn’t want them. Spit ‘em out and gave me the bird.

But don’t worry, he still got the mommy goodness. I pumped. Turns out that was for the best too, because no matter how often I pumped, no matter how much water I drank or how much food I ate, or how frequently I utilized any of the techniques to maximize the breastmilk… I never produced more than 12oz in a day. NEVER. (Don’t buy all the hype from the La Leche League… there really are women who produce little or no breastmilk. I was one of them.) From the get go Chance was slurping down 18oz a day.

So he got both, mainly breastmilk with a supplement of formula. He was thriving. I was… well I wasn’t thriving because pumping can suck, but I was fine with it.  All good.

Why am I telling you all this? OK, you know that phase most babies go through where they love the boob so much they have to share their love with the world? You know, fondling, groping, yanking mom’s shirt down in the middle of crowded places (the bigger the crowd the better) as if to say, “See MY boobies?! Look at these boobs! I love these things…they ROCK!”

Chance never went through that stage. Until now.

Suddenly, at two-years-old – long after most babies abandon such activities – whenever I pick Chance up to carry him somewhere he’s thrusting his hand down my cleavage (or the valley, as I call it; I don’t have quite enough for cleavage).  And he keeps it there, unless I forcibly remove his hand.  I don’t know if it’s just convenient for him or what. AND he’s sometimes moving that hand around, roughly, then grabbing the material and yanking it to the side. In public. A lot!

Now, right after he was born, I wasn’t so concerned with the modesty. I mean, I had just had a roomful of strangers staring me full moon in the hoo-hoo. You know? What’s a little titty flashing after that? But that was two years ago! Since then a sense of decorum has managed to work its claws back into my hoo-hoo showing heart.

Maybe I am making it a little convenient. My blouses do tend to be a little low-cut. Not hoochie-mama low-cut or anything (not that there’s anything wrong with that; like I wouldn’t occasionally sport the hoochie-mama look for special occasions if I had the cleavage – which I don’t; damn it), but definitely lower than a t-shirt crew neck low-cut. Along with stretch marks and a shrunken bladder, I inherited a thyroid condition from pregnancy. Anything on my neck in a certain area… drives me up the wall! 

Anyway, Chance has definitely been taking advantage of the lowish-cut tops. There he goes, hanging out in my boobs, exposing me to the world, all very cavalier. I just don’t get it. Why would this start now? I understand younger babies and their boobie love affair – they’ve established a relationship, they’re commited. But Chance was much more used to being cuddled at my neck than he was several inches lower. I know boys like boobs as playthings but does it really start this early? (He had smacked the girls a few times, too – same move he pulls on Keen’s belly – I’m assuming to watch the jiggle (don’t worry, I nipped that one in the… um… nip.) And then on top of the grappling and my correlating soreness, I’ve also been finding OBJECTS in my bra! Whatever’s in his grip when he goes for the valley, Chance has been dropping into my bra. I usually wouldn’t even notice there was anything in there until the end of the day. (Sue me, it happens.)

And that’s why I think I’ve finally figured out what he’s really doing. He’s using my cleavage, my little happy valley, as a garbage receptacle! “Oh, hey Mom.  We’re going for a ride? OK, let me just get rid of this wadded paper in my hand.” Or leaves. Or gummy food bits. Small rocks. Whatever.

I am the trash can. Coo coo ca choo.

(Maybe if I had managed to breastfeed he would treat the ta-tas with a little more respect.)

        - the weirdgirl


The New House

I finally got around to taking pictures, loading pictures, finding charger for camera, and all that other picture jazz.  Actually I've been taking pictures the whole time - it's that loading onto the computer thing that gets me.  (Just wait until you see my photo essays on teacups and my old garden. Scared yet?)  Here are some of the new digs.  Please forgive the lack of furnishings... as cramped as our old house was getting we still only had enough furniture to fill up half the rooms in the new house.  Though the current state is about perfect for a keg party!  (Ha ha!  Energy for keggers?  Man, I crack me up.) 

OK, I'll stop babbling.  Here's the house...

Dsc02155

Our living room, completely unfurnished.  This photo is kind of dark, even with the "brighten" function.  There are a ton of windows in this house but my digital camera still needs the equivalent illumination of a miniature sun IN the room to get a nice bright picture.  Sorry.

Dsc02145_brightened














Our master bedroom.  Yes, that is a tree in the room.  The previous owners "couldn't get it out" (which is code for "we didn't want to move it").  Score! 

Dsc02142

The sun room.   Don't worry ladies, it's going to get much more girlyfied.

Dsc02148

More of the sun room (I really like the sun room) and a taste of the girlification. 

Dsc02149_rotated

There you have it.  If any bloggers come into town, call me.  We can sit around drinking International Coffees and comparing Calgon baths.  Or something.

This house is so nice it makes me feel like a grownup.  (Obviously, I totally don't know what to do with that.)             - the weirdgirl