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August 2005
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October 2005

The Desperate Search for Money

"Adults are just children who earn money."  -- Kenneth Branaugh

This pretty much sums up two preoccupations on my mind recently.  First, I secretly (OK, probably not much of a secret) feel like a kid most of the time.  Which is fine with me ‘cause I really don’t want to grow up anyway.  After a long day I invariably end up watching cartoons and eating “kid food,” ie. Mac and cheese, PB&J, cereal, etc.  Previous co-workers use to laugh at the types of food I brought in as my emergency stash… until they came around mid-afternoon trying to score Pop Tarts and Lunchables.  See, it’s just too much fun being a kid… even if the other adults think you’re a little off.

The second and more pressing preoccupation… I have been desperately casting about for work.  It’s not like I have any outstanding bills or anything… but Christmas is coming!  I need cash, damnit, and my reserves are tapped.  Here’s the background:  I have a BA in English and have been working as a freelancer in high tech marketing for the last three years.  So although I live in Silicon Valley and the job market here has sucked, project work for me was pretty steady until I got preggers.  Then I had a sudden hiatus. 

(I was also working on a MA in Literature until I got knocked-up (not that it wasn’t planned, I just didn’t expect to get pregnant so quickly).  That’s another whole dynamic, because a lot of English academics think marketing and advertising are four letter words.  Many directly attribute the decline in US literacy to diet food marketing campaigns.   However, usually you have to WORK to pay for SCHOOL!  Long story short, I learned to be quiet about what I did for a living.)   

Naïve me, I really didn’t think it would be that hard to pick up work again, BUT IT HAS!  I pinged all my contacts, been scouring good old craigslist, but nothing came through.  Shit.  I was starting to think about getting a job at Nordstrom’s for the holiday season.  Or selling t-shirts on cafepress (yes, I know everyone’s doing it).  I even saw the “hiring” sign at Toys R US, but I’m not THAT crazy.  I needed something!

Until now.  YES, I finally got a project!  I am inordinately pleased.  I’ve been celebrating by eating Baby Ruths and staring at my computer for way too long.  I feel like a kid in a candy store… making money… by dealing chocolate.

Or, as my fellow students in the English program would say, “Whoring your soul to the corporate machine, eh?”

Yes. Yes I am.            – the weirdgirl


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 9 

So me and the little one ventured out today after having the flu.  I could have waited a couple more days but I had seen some of the other mommies slow to a crawl in front of our house on their daily walks.  I admit, I got excited.  Could the mommies actually be missing my company?  Would they finally let me stroll around the block with them?  Ooh!  Maybe one of them would like to go shoe shopping!

I trotted to the corner full of cheer.  The mommies seemed full of concern.  They asked how the baby had been.  I explained how we had both picked up a flu bug but were feeling better.

The Mommies:

“Mm-hmm. Well dear, don’t feel too badly.”

“Though, you know this never would have happened if you had kept breastfeeding.”

“My little girl hasn’t gotten sick once and she’s almost one.”

“Breastfeeding is SO much healthier.”

“Well,” I said tentatively, “actually, this isn’t his first cold. The first time he got sick I WAS still breastfeeding.”

I was met with a stony silence.  The mommies turned to regard each other.

Mommies:

“Of course, avoiding exposure to germs is a must.  Clean environments are key.”

“Absolutely. I disinfect every day.”

“I do too.  I also personally prescribe to the harness method.”

“The what?” I stammered.  I could feel the cold freeze starting all over again.

Mommies:

“The harness method.  It’s this wonderful system for baby-proofing the house!  Don’t you have one?”

“It’s a system of harnesses and straps, you hang them from the ceiling, and it lets you keep the baby entirely off the floor!”

“It’s ideal when you need to clean.  Keeps the baby out of reach of all those germs.”

“I use it to clean even when you can’t see any mess. You can never be too careful.”

“I CAN’T believe you don’t have one!”

“Umm…” They must be pulling my leg, I thought.

Mommies:

“Well, remember girls, there’s also the Velcro method.”

“Yes, I suppose if you want to go the cheap route you could do Velcro.”

“But then the child has to touch surfaces and who knows what germs are there?”

“I pity those poor children who grow up in, how shall I say it?  Less than clean environments.”

“I know.  It’s SO sad!”

“I suppose the Velcro method is wear you put the baby in a Velcro suit and stick him to a wall?” I said brightly.   

The mommies finally faced me again.  “Oh, so you do use the Velcro method!  Well, it’s not that bad.  I mean, it’ll do in a pinch.  But no wonder he got sick.”

How will I explain the straps to my husband?


Wicked Huge

For a really good laugh you all need to jump over to MetroDad’s site and read, “From the mouths of babes”.  Be sure to read ALL the comments as well.  Seriously funny; I had to stifle laughter because the hubby was trying to get the baby to sleep and if Chance hears me his little head keeps popping up.  (I basically hide around the corner and surreptitiously type or surf the web.  What has my life become?)  I’ll have to work the beaver comment in at some point.  God BEAVER it!  See, it works.

So the hubby finally visited my site today.  Which is a good thing ‘cause I was getting kind of sick of referring to him as “the hubby” and this gave me the chance to ask if he had any preferences.  Which he did (or rather, he had better ideas than the ones I came up with).  So here it is… from now on the hubby shall be known as “Keen Dad”, or simply Keen. (Wow, I feel like I should be dressed as a high priestess and waving a ceremonial staff or something.  Wait… don’t I already do that?  Oh yeah, I’m thinking of the stick I wave when I have to kick Keen Dad’s ass!!  Just kidding.  Love you, honey.)            - the weirdgirl


Oh, Lovely Little Baskets

I’m on to the adventure of baby-proofing!  Now that the little guy is getting more mobile I know it’s time.  He can basically get into every place that the cats can get into (sans jumping) but with a lot less grace.  And that tendency babies have of pulling things down on themselves gives me horrid, horrid visions of rushing to the hospital because I forgot to move something heavy.   

So on with the baby-proofing!  I know most people dread the baby-proofing process, the minutiae, the due-diligence, but I’m kind of enjoying it.  It lets me live out some of my anal decorating fantasies.  (Or maybe my anal and my decorating fantasies.  Something like that.)  Because, not only do you get to attach all the various safety paraphernalia therefore putting a “completed” checkmark next to that item on the to do list and feeling a bit of smug satisfaction for a job well done, BUT… you get to coordinate too!!  Yes, yes, I’ve been busy looking up various organizing baskets online and sorting through my collection of cool decorative stuff that I had to buy because it was on sale and looked really nice even though I didn’t know quite what to do with it… yet. 

Do you ever have those moments where you know your whole life has been leading up to something big and it finally culminates?  Well… thank you shopping life!  You’ve served me well.

There is now a lovely, antique-looking, hand-painted hinged box (that I had in the corner for ages) hiding all of the wires for my husband’s playstation.  And it can sit right next to the TV looking all sharp and decorative-y.  Hee hee!  Big Lots is my friend.  I’m off to the garage next to see what I’ve got stashed there.  I’m hoping to score a woven basket or two.  If not… well, damnit I guess I’ll just have to go shopping.  Twist my arm, why don’t you?              - the weirdgirl

And for everyone who asked… thanks!  I am feeling better.  I think me and the little one were just fighting off the same flu bug.      


Ha HA! It IS only a stomach virus! And I’m already feeling much better.

Please forgive my earlier panic attack. It’s just when I suddenly feel nauseas, gassy, have a runny nose and extreme fatigue, I am reminded of pregnancy. You know the pregnancy books that list “some of the common complaints” of being pregnant? I managed to have almost all of the assorted symptoms. It was so ridiculous I could have been the subject of a Voltaire novel. (I did skip getting hemorrhoids or varicose veins, for which I am eternally grateful.) Though I love my son dearly and yes, it’s worth it, pregnancy is just not an experience I feel like repeating any time soon.

Plus, I’ve only had my son for 6 months now and I’d really like to enjoy some more time just with him. Selfish mommy.

So with that I’d like to share the first video of my boy scooching along the floor. Hope you enjoy.   Download MOV00579.MPG             - wg


Maisy Maisy Maisy

I don’t know if I mentioned this before but my son loves the show Maisy Mouse.  I can’t blame him, it’s rather perfect for an infant his age.  Lots of bright primary colors, catchy music, the animation is slow enough for him to follow, and no annoying plot-lines to confuse things.  For him it’s probably akin to watching videos of children playing, albeit animated.  Maisy_farts

But the more I watch it the more I find certain elements disturbing.  (Look, when you don’t feel good and you’re at home with a baby there ain’t much to do but watch preschool shows.)  First of all, there is this abnormal, human-size mouse and her friends (also abnormally large) who wear clothes and live in houses and have some sort of rudimentary speech.  (But not complete speech or any recognizable words, which is at times disturbing in and of itself.)  Now many children’s programs have walking, talking, dressing animals.  That part is fine.  What’s weird is that all the other animals on the show seem to be of proportionately normal size and capacity… except for Maisy and her friends.  Maisy, on occasion, feeds normal birds bread crumbs and sees regular old rabbits in her garden.  OK.  So it’s really obvious that she is not a normal mouse.  I mean she’s almost the same size as the show’s walking, talking crocodile.  Secondly, and coincidentally, all of the animators for this show have Russian-sounding* names. 

All I can think is Chernobyl.   

I have to assume that Maisy isn’t actually a mouse.  She may very well be some sort of accidental hybrid of mouse and human, mutated from exposure to radiation.  Her and all her little mutated friends – Tallulah the bird, Cyril the Squirrel, and of course, Charlie (I’m not touching Charlie) are all a by-product of the post-industrialist age.  Is it any coincidence that they ALL live in the same town?  This is what happens when scientists play god, folks.  Mutant animals get their own TV show.  Maisy, rather like Godzilla, is an indictment of the nuclear era; silently conditioning our pre-schoolers to prefer eco-friendly solutions. 

It’s ALL an elaborate plot!

Well… at least they have a community and a livelihood.  Poor mutant Russians.

            - the weirdgirl

*Third disturbing element - I’ve seen Eastern Bloc cartoons before at animation festivals (yes, I’m that much of a geek).  The ones I’ve seen seem to feature a lot of mice and/or rats.  These cartoons always exhibit a film noir-esque animation style and these rats/mice also don’t talk.  I don’t know what they represent, but I know it means something.


Anger Anyone?

I think I’m getting sick.  The baby seems to be doing much better than I, even though he is both teething and just had another set of shots.  Though he did throw up all over me a couple of times yesterday.  And wouldn’t go to sleep till past 11:00 last night.  argh!  But now, he has no fever, he seems cheerful, just a little tired.

I, however, am cranky.  I am either getting sick or I’m pregnant.  (Though I don't know when THAT could have happened!) I think I’ll have to kill someone if I’m pregnant again so soon.  I still have vivid recollection of the misery that is pregnancy.  Please note: if I am pregnant and I continue this blog, entries will increasingly become more and more muddled because I HAVE NO BRAIN WHEN I’M PREGNANT!!  And it’s like having 40 weeks of the flu.  With lots of bloodwork.  argh

OK, enough of this.  It’s only a virus.  Repeat mantra.          – the weirdgirl


Nipples Revisited

Well, the Nipple Poll was a dismal failure.  sigh.  We fell far from the mark of 18 participants, but I feel I should still post the responses.  Because... you know... it’s about nipples.

On the question of having extra nipples, I received the following:

Yes! I have an extra nipple = 1 (that would be me… I think, still haven’t confirmed it)

No = 2

Friend of a friend = 1 (and she had it removed)

Commented but did not answer question = 1 (hmmm)

Possible yes = 1 (It’s the hubby; he won’t let me look for extra nipples, just mutters “weirdo” and stalks off.  Obviously a sign of deep denial.  Plus, this is the only week all summer that he hasn’t walked around without a shirt on… I think he’s hiding something.)

I’m going to count this as 6 responses (hubby is included by default).  Sadly, I think most people are just too ashamed to admit they might have a triple nipple.  You can infer your own conclusions.

Damnit, another video idea down the drain!                 - the weirdgirl


Really this time, Bad Mom

My son has fallen off of something THREE times now!  Twice he has fallen off the couch and once from the bed.   I know, I know, it happens to all parents and is going to happen many more times.  Still I feel like the WORST MOTHER EVER.  Now the first two times he really only scared the crap out of himself (and me!!). The third time he also clunked his head against the floor… should I just kill myself now?

                        

The trouble is the baby is almost crawling.  It’s really more of an army man scooch right now.  And I haven’t managed to clock how fast he really is.  It seems like every time I watch him his scooching is an ineffective wiggle that goes nowhere.  But as soon as I turn away, ever for a second, when I look back he’s moved like five feet!  It is seriously freaky.  Like he has vampire reflexes or the way that chick from The Ring moved.  If the baby was trailing water behind him I would be shitting my pants. 

I’ve been told that babies have an instinctive fear of heights.  I have seen no evidence to support this theory.  All I know is that the baby senses his mobility and finds the need to test it everywhere… gleefully, even… until he hits his head.

No lump though, thank god.  (It was more a fast slide down the comforter, than a true fall.  Not that it stopped my heart attack.)  That would be more accusation than I need.  I’ve already got hubby crooning to the baby, “Did the mom let you fall? Yeah, she let you fall, didn’t she?”   

Statistically, I think the hubby needs more alone time with the baby.  I’d really like to even the parent-to-mishap ratio here.           -  the weirdgirl


P.S.

A shout out to Winnie and Steven for throwing a fabulous post-wedding, post-wedding party.  Let’s hear it for a couple who gave out temporary tattoos as their wedding favors, and who renewed their vows at the drive-through chapel in Vegas wearing the following trucker caps!                  - wg

Ws_at_chapel

Ws_hat


Random Blues

Ah, it’s been a long week and I’m not even sure why.  I hope this doesn’t turn into an unending sequence of long weeks.  It’s funny how it’s the long days that really make your mind wander.  All thoughts become short sequences and random fragments.  You’d think you would just go numb by the end of the day but it’s seems closer to schizophrenia (well, except for the voices inciting you to violence. OK, some days those are there too, but not today).

A few of the sequences…

If the Baby Einstein people are so smart why don’t they print the image on the bib upside down so the child can see it the way it is meant to be seen?  (I’m sure someone will explain to me that it is intentional and stimulates something or other development in the baby’s brain, blah blah, blah, but I still think it was probably the error of a low-level product marketing person not QAing the product properly by putting it on and looking at it.)

I just learned a new term from my techie brother.  It’s called “honeypotting”.  Imagine my disappointment when it turned out not to be dirty. 

A Diary of Poop – yes, in my dark moments (usually when I’m trying to spackle food into my son’s mouth) I’ve considered starting a diary of poop. It just seems like their should be more to capture the momentous changes that occur with introducing baby food than a single snapshot of the baby with a spoon hovering near his mouth.  I mean, really, that just doesn’t encapsulate it at all.  You parents know what I’m talking about.  (Bananas, ew.)

Cowboy Beebop just rocks.  I can’t stress this enough.  So satisfying. – Background: I am an adult female who really likes cartoons (aka anime if we want to legitimize the genre).  My husband still gives me shit about it.

Microsoft Spell Check needs to go back to college and finish its degree.  The prerequisite writing course was obviously not completed.

OK, now I’m off to bed before I really start to ramble.               – the weirdgirl


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 8

The baby went in for a check-up recently.  I mentioned it casually at the Mommy corner while the other mommies were trying to give me the brush off.  One of them had made a comment about his red cheeks and asked if he was getting sick because “I certainly didn’t want to get the other children sick, did I?”  Oh no, I replied, he just saw the doctor and he’s fine.  A little baby eczema is all.  Well, that was a big mistake.  The other mommies were all over me like Juicy Couture on a Hilton.

The Mommies:

“How are his percentiles?  Is he keeping up?  I haven’t noticed any growth spurts lately.”

“My daughter is in the 85th percentile for growth.  The doctor is amazed.”

“Well, mine had a 30% jump between his second and third visits.  My sister said that when they have jumps in growth they also have jumps in development.  It’s probably a sign of an advanced IQ, you know.”

“And of course, breastfeeding makes them smarter.  Too bad, you stopped.”

“So were his numbers a little low?  I’m sure he’ll catch up… sometime.”

I was flabbergasted.  Was I supposed to be writing those stats down?  The pediatrician keeps it all on file and everything has been normal so it never occurred to me that I should be keeping a chart at home, too.  His first two teeth had just broke through; and honestly, I was less interested in his growth percentile than helping with the pain.      

I stammered, “Well, mainly we talked about teething. He’s started a little early and…”

The mommies gave a collective gasp.  Next thing I know they were stalking off.  I suppose next time I should bring his chart?  Or did they think teething at 5 months is catching? 

They are so confusing, sometimes.


Too Much Information

My baby boy has been a having a difficult couple of days.  Very drama-king.  Everything upsets him.  He’s usually so sweet, the change is quite trying.  He’s also decided that he’s terrified of the vacuum cleaner (?!).  I don’t know why, he’s seen me vacuum plenty of times before, and now that he’s getting more mobile I’d really like to keep the floor free of potentially edible items.  His fear, of course, only makes things more difficult for me.  (Yes, I know, bad, selfish mom.)  I’m not going to force him to “face his fear” at his tender age.  Therefore, yet another “mommy-window” has been established.  You know, those moments where you have to do particular things in a window of time or forever give up achieving them?  Such as, eating (after or before the baby needs to eat), showering (baby morning nap-time), running errands (baby afternoon nap-time), making phone calls (still haven’t found a predictable time for this), sex (yeah, I wish), etc. 

My husband wonders why I stay up so late at night and then I’m tired in the morning.  Well, because.  Because you and the cats and the baby are all asleep.  That’s why.

There was an instance today when the full dimension of motherhood hit me.  I’m not talking the usual stuff, watching your children sleep, cuddling, the worry, the love, all the gooey stuff.  I’m talking caught between two narrow mommy-windows.  An ugly, potentially day-to-day event that no one ever tells you about, because it’s, frankly, probably too much information.  This is the dark underbelly of the mommy world.  Let me break it down for you.  Have you ever had one of those unfortunate lunches that bite back later?  OK, so I’m quickly vacuuming every possible floor in the house while hubby has the baby out of sight and out of hearing of the vacuum cleaner when suddenly, gut-bomb lunch makes it’s presence known.  Shit!  (no pun-intended, that’s what I really thought)  I find myself excruciatingly aware of the windows of time required for each of these things; vacuuming or bathroom time.  And the mommy window to make a decision is also shrinking.  So what do I do? 

With an immense effort of will, I hold back the gut-bomb and finish vacuuming. 

This is mommyhood.               – the weirdgirl


A Brief Moment of Escapism

Have you ever watched a breakup on TV or the movies?  They’re very surreal.  I’m watching this show and the engaged couple break up… not just break off the engagement but end the whole relationship.  And this is how it goes…

Scene: outdoor café/restaurant type place with a great view and available seating (there’s a lot of these on TV)

Chick: “I’m sorry… I… I’ve had a lot of things on my mind.”

Dude: “Do you want to get married or not?”

Chick: “I just can’t do this right now… with everything going on… it’s too much. Why don’t we postpone it…?”

Teary eyes all around, but calm.

Dude: “If we talk postponing it, then I’m canceling it completely.”

Chick: long pause (but not really all that long)  “I’m… I’m sorry…”

Dude: another pause, grunts “Take care of yourself.”  And leaves.

 

He leaves.  Quietly, he leaves.  When does this ever happen?! They’re BREAKING UP!  And a marriage engagement, no less!  I’ve had bigger shouting matches over someone snatching away the newspaper before I was done with it.  TV tends to assume that if you’re in public you’ll act with restraint and decorum.  I’ve seen public breakups and they can be just as ugly as the ones behind closed doors.  I don’t even know that many people who act with restraint and decorum under the best of circumstances.  Especially guys (no offense).  But when you see guys get really worked up over some stranger’s parking job (even when the car isn’t near theirs) it’s hard to imagine a guy breaking up this quietly.  And girls too, we can get pretty pitchy (you know what I mean).  This particular chick looks briefly downtrodden, and then goes on with her life. 

I just don’t buy it.  I’m sorry, the suspension of disbelief that is necessary to view most TV and films just doesn’t extend to Hollywood’s vision of breakups.  It’s always the little things that get me.  I can buy that Jack Bauer will think it’s a good idea to hold up a gas station to ultimately stop terrorists (actually I couldn’t buy that one either… for a good guy Jack makes some awfully bad decisions, like why didn’t he just let the air out of the guy’s tires?), but I can’t buy the quiet breakup.  (However, I can watch most anime cartoons and believe them utterly.)

On another note, I’m ridiculously, disproportionately happy about the new TV season starting.  It’s just sad.  I’m usually not like this, really.  It’s probably too much Noggin.    

                - the weirdgirl


Nipples Anyone?

Recently, on The Phoenix’s blog he wrote about scientists discovering the gene that grows boobies and the possibility of lab-grown cleavage.  He also mentions the phenomena of third nipples.  Quoting from the science article, he said that the occurrence of extra nipples happens in 1 out of 18 people!  OK, well now.  I did some digging too and found articles that actually put the percentage of extra nipple-age at 1 out of 10!!

I thought, wow, that’s a lot of nipples.  We should take a poll.  Let’s find out how many people really have got the triple nipple.  So, if you or someone you know has an extra nipple I want to hear about it.  (I don’t know if I have 18 readers, but we’ll make do.) Or if you’re pretty sure you don’t have an extra nip, let me know that too. You can read descriptions of triple nipples here (with pictures!), or do a search under supernumerary nipples.  I’ll tally up responses at the end of the week.

And, get this, I think I might have a triple nipple!  I just thought it was a protuberant mole (but it does look like a mini nipple – no areola though.  And it was suspiciously tender while I was breast feeding, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time).  I’m trying to figure out how to discretely ask one of my doctors to confirm my extra nipple.  (Maybe I can tell them I’m worried about cancer?  They’ll probably all think I’m nuts.)  But this is so cool!  I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m gonna brag about it!  I may not have gotten the big hooters, but I got an extra nipple!  Yep, I’ll be showing off the superfluous goodies, thank you.  I can flash it at people without getting arrested, or them even knowing they just got flashed.  I think we should get a group of us.  It could be like, “Girls Gone Wild – Triple Nipple Addition”! 

Who’s with me?                       - the weirdgirl