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February 2006
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Spelunking for Lurkers

I’m having one of those brain-deficient days. I’ve got a couple different posts started but I haven’t finished anything.  As well as a whole other list of things to get through. Maybe it’s more a time-deficient day, but… I don’t know, lack of brain plus lack of time equals a whole lotta nothin’. *cough*

Instead I’d like to invite any lurkers to come out and say hi. (I love the interaction aspect of a blog).  Also, it’s about time to update the Things They Don’t Tell You in Lamaze list (see link directly left) and I’ve only got ONE addition!  So if any of you would like to take a gander and leave any suggestions I’d love to hear from you!

Until my brain returns, take care.     – the weirdgirl


And just how sick I had become…

You know, being a SAHM has been an adjustment - as anyone who’s done it can tell you.  No matter what preparation you do or what you might have been doing before, it’s still a bit of a shock to the system. There have been ups and there have been downs, but all in all I’d gotten pretty comfortable with the SAH gig.  However, now that I’m moving into the 13th month (pause for creepy foreshadowing) I find I’m grappling with… unexpected jealousy.  Despite that I’m very happy being at home, I admit… I’m a little jealous of those who go to a job every day. 

I’m not jealous of the hours, the commute, or the endless meetings.  I’m not jealous of the consistent adult conversation or having some place to go every day in clean, grown-up clothes.  And I’m certainly not jealous of (horror) the office politics.  No. 

I’m jealous of the blog time.   

See, I’ve been working from home part time for the last few months. And it’s been tough, I gotta tell you.  The nature of being at home with a baby/toddler, whether you are working, hobbying, domestically engineering or otherwise, is the definition of interruption.  Every moment is mutable; chaos is like that annoying playmate who just won’t leave.  The parenting doesn’t change – the time, the attention – those are fixed.  So the few bloody hours (usually in 15 minute increments) I squeeze from the stone of parenthood are divvied up between whatever personal pursuits I got going.  And in my house, this has developed as a direct inverse proportion between work and blogging.  (Luckily, eating, bathing, sleeping, and TV are necessities so those are also fixed occurrences.  Sex… ain’t so lucky lately.)  If I’m working on a project, blog time goes down.  If work is light, blog time goes up.  Sure I’m getting money, but I still lose time reading my people, damnit!

The way I figure it, working in an office not only gives you unlimited access to the internet, it also gives you a certain amount of quiet time (meetings are always good for tuning people out); time for thoughtful reflection on a post, time to find your words… i.e. no little person hanging on your leg just as you’re scrambling to leave a blog comment!  And let’s face it, when I worked in an office, probably about ten minutes of every hour was spent in the bathroom, getting coffee, chatting over the cube wall, or other “break-like” activities… and that could be ten minutes of blogging, my friends!  (And those of you blogging at work, don’t pretend you’re not doing it.  I see the comments popping up 9-5.)

So yes, I’m a little jealous.  I miss my blog buddies.  I hate the guilt that accumulates when I’ve neglected my reading.  I hate missing out on visiting all the great new blogs ‘cause of time constraints.  Oh and, you know how there’s always that one person who pops up in your stat counter and apparently stayed on your blog for, like, FIVE HOURS before making a comment, throwing your stats all off?  Yeah, that’s probably me.  (sorry)

There you have it.  That’s when I knew how addicted I had become, the moment I considered* going back to an (shudder) office… for the blogging.      

               – the weirdgirl

(*It ain’t happening.)


Have any of you tried doing a zaba search?  It’s pretty crazy.  My name came up 48 times in the US and only some of them were me; a small sum, I might add (pun intended).  Keen’s name came up only five times and all of them were him.  Obviously, he has a rather unique name.  I won’t tell you what it is, but I can tell you it rhymes with an appendage. 

You all should try a search, it’s rather educational.  Or try sticking in made-up names.  I tried “Moonbeam”. I now know that there is a Countess Moonbean living in the United States.  See?  You learn stuff everyday!  Who says I’m not growing?  

Plus, it’s just cool to say “zaba”.  Yaba zaba doo!         - wg


In Which An Intellectual Conversation Dissolves

ME:  What’s with American media and ducks?

KEEN:  What?

ME:  They all have speech impediments.   

KEEN:   Um…

ME:  Donald has a speech impediment.  Daffy has a speech impediment.  Do you think there’s  a reason our culture has a deep-seated hatred of fowl?

KEEN:  I think you’re reading a little too much into cartoons again.

ME:  Hey, you never know, maybe some early president was attacked by a bird or something.  Maybe there’s an unconscious prejudice coloring the entertainment industry.

KEEN:  So… what brought this up?Wonder_pets

ME:  Oh, there’s a new kid show on called Wonder Pets. You know, the one I had on the other day?

KEEN:  Oh, yeah, yeah.  With the celery.

ME:  Um… O-Kay.  Anyway, the little baby duck ALSO has a speech impediment.  Ming Ming can’t say his Rs.  At least, I think he’s a boy.  Anyway, he always says, ‘This is sewious!’… [pause] …It’s really frickin’ cute, actually.

KEEN:   Uh-huh.

ME:  So, do we just automatically make all ducks sound funny?

KEEN:  I don’t know, babe.

ME:  Can you think of any other ducks with speech problems?

KEEN:  Hmmm

ME:  There’s Howard the Duck. You know that movie?  He was just scary.

KEEN:  There’s the Aflac duck.

ME:  Oh, good one!  Yeah, I think he definitely has Tourettes.  Who else?

KEEN:  There’s… Disco Duck!Daffy_duck

ME:  Who’s that?

KEEN:  It’s not a who, it’s a song.  A disco song.  You know, Disco Duck.

ME:  It is?  I’ve… never heard of Disco Duck.

KEEN:  You’ve never heard the song Disco Duck?!

ME:  Um…

KEEN:  How could you not have heard Disco Duck?

ME:  Well, you know, because of my mom… disco was banned from our house.

KEEN:  Really?!  But you’re mom’s a musician…

ME:  So?  She still hates disco.  Why do you think I didn’t know any of the songs when disco came back?

At this point the conversation went downhill until we started singing Macho Man.  So help a girl out… any other speech impeded ducks out there?       

                - the weirdgirl


What the Internet Has Told Me Lately

Hi…my name is the weirdgirl and I’m thin.  I’m not allowed to have an opinion, and I don’t have much intelligence, or understanding of other people and their problems, or of life in general.  If I do express an opinion, I am justifiably punished.  Because I am thin I, under no circumstances, am allowed to begin or participate in an intellectual discussion about differing societal views.  I only have superficial relationships and have never experienced real love.  Besides what the Internet tells me, I’ve also been told that I’m not capable or efficient, that my apparent work ethic is all a scam, and in fact I’ve only ever been hired because I must be sleeping with the boss.  The upside to being thin is that it blocks pain or getting my feelings hurt… and even, I’ve been told, if I did feel pain it would only be “just desserts”. 


Poetry… or lack thereof

Inspired by and following the tradition of the following lovely ladies:

Reluctant Housewife

Mrs. Fortune

Motherhood Uncensored

Girls Gone Child

Mom 101

I am also carting out a childhood poem for your awe and amusement.  I’m sure you’ll all agree I was quite the child prodigy… yeah, RIGHT!  Try not to snicker too hard.  If I could get to the teenage angst poetry I would have posted that as well, but unfortunately they are buried in a trunk… somewhere.  But courtesy to my mom I have some childhood poems on hand.  Enjoy (or groan, it’s up to you).       

The nest!

The nest was full of glory,

The nest was full of eggs,

The nest was full of baby birds who twitter away,

The baby birds were waiting for their mother to come,

To feed her little babys on a sunny day like this one.

Love is…

Love is people picking flowers,

And washing clothes through the hour,

If you wish to wash the dishes,

Go and eat all those fishes,

And if you like something here is love from me.

Me, age 9.  I think we must have started learning about poetry that year.  And I think, horror of horrors, I was writing poems and mailing them to relatives!  Worse even than re-reading an old poem is learning that your grandmother saved it for you. That last poem conveniently ended when I ran out of room on the page to write, LOL.  Funny, the domestic themes running through these; obviously I was much more traditional then than I am now!       - wg 


Holy crapmonkeys!

The kid escaped from his exersaucer!  I don’t even know how he did it.  This is one of my mini “safe zones”, you know places I can lock up secure my son so I can get other things done around the house.  I knew he wasn’t happy about it but… One minute I could hear him rattling around in the thing and the next I heard what sounded like a car being pushed around on the floor.  I walk back in… and he’s pushing a car around on the floor!   With a big ass smile on his mug, I might add.   

To tell you the truth, I’m a little shaken.  And even though I am very very VERY glad he did not hurt himself or do a faceplant on the floor maneuvering his Houdini routine, another part of me realizes… this does not bode well for my “safe zones”.

This does not bode well at all.          - wg


My Picks

For American Idol’s top three: Paris, Katharine, Chris.  Not that there isn’t an overload of vocal talent this season, but those three just have fire.  I think one of my favorite things about American Idol is that, even though there can only be one winner and the winner will probably end up singing a genre of pop that I don’t listen to (unless it’s Chris – rock on, dude), it’s such a great venue for new vocalists to be seen.  I love seeing new talent get a jump start.  I have yet to buy an album from anyone who has ever been on the show (or to vote), but I have no doubt many of this season’s contestants will go on to have lucrative careers.  (And I hope Taylor Hicks hooks up with a band because he would be a great front man.)

I’d also like to share a bit of Keen wisdom, who turned to me in the middle of Kevin Covais’ performance tonight and said, “I finally figured out who he reminds me of… Sherman.”  As in Mr. Peabody’s Sherman.  I know everyone is calling him Chicken Little, but seriously take a look…

Kevin_covais

Sherman_mrpeabody_1

Hush you!  (snicker)

In other TV scenes, is it just me or has Jack’s character become awfully two-dimensional?  “You have my word.”  Psshh!            - the weirdgirl

 


A Different Kind of Scared

Today I went on my third playgroup outing.  Anyone keeping track?  In roughly two + months I’ve made it to three group walks.  Ironically, I felt tremendous pressure to make it to as many events as possible (not that I managed that) while I was doing the free “trial” period.  You know, meet people, learn the ropes, decide if this is the “right” playgroup for me (kind of like college campus visits… OK, not really).  But I started feeling increasing pressure and guilt as my trial month stretched into two (not that anybody was hunting me down for the money or anything – even though I was supposed to be contacted at some point – but still) so I finally just shelled out my group fee (which resulted in a shower of spam playgroup-related emails).  And I have to say now that I’ve kicked down my $50 bucks I’m a lot more relaxed.  I feel free to slack if I want to.  (This is the great thing about America, here you can pay for the privilege to not do anything at all.  And it sure beats the prices of Gymboree; is that a racket or what?!)  However, my tentative plan is to try to make it to a least one event a week, most likely the walks. 

Ahem. I WAS invited to Bunko Night this week, which I declined for the time being.  I think I need to get to know these ladies a little better before I show up with a bottle of wine or other alcoholic beverage and try to make it into a drinking game.  I assume Bunko can be made into a drinking game, right?  Still have no idea how it’s played… but I’m sure drinks can be worked in there.  Otherwise, I’m leaving my child at home for the evening for what?

One thing I’ve noted over the last couple of playgroup walks… wait, you need background first.  We’ve all been meeting at a local mall instead of an outside trail because it’s been raining.  At the end of our “walks”, i.e. several circuits around the mall, punctuated with exercises that are only partly hidden by the escalator shadows (and of said exercises, I usually slink towards the back of the group and perform them half-heartedly – just like in highschool gym! oh, the horrible flashbacks), after our circuits we stop and let the kids go to town in this play yard the mall has set up.  I haven’t had much opportunity to see my son with kids his own age.  All the kids he’s been with have been older, so of course, he looks slow next to them.  Here’s what I notice when I see him next to other one-year-olds… most children that age play but kind of stick close to their parents.  They’re toddling or crawling around, maybe a little uncertainly, they’re having fun but they don’t roam too far away.  My kid, on the other hand, is tearing around the play yard like a madman.  He’s off like a shot and he’ll go quite a distance.  He also enthusiastically goes after other peoples’ strollers (he loves the wheels).  He climbs up other peoples’ legs (I’m not sure what he’s trying to accomplish here).  And he’s almost as fast as the three year olds... and he’s still crawling!  Chance will turn around quite often and look for me, but he’s even gone so far a couple of times that he couldn’t find me immediately – I could see him but he couldn’t see me.  More often, I’m just running after him to keep him out of trouble (or getting trampled).  Now I knew Chance crawled fast, he can keep up with Keen’s normal walking pace and he just hops along beside him like a little puppy (which we’ve laughed about quite a bit) but it wasn’t until I saw him next to other kids that I really started to appreciate his… um… energy. 

Oy… I’m not laughing so much now.  I think I’m in for a handful.  Maybe if he walks soon he’ll slow down (temporarily)?  I can hope, right?            - the weirdgirl


I Didn’t Realize It Was Such an Issue…

I have guests over.  Chance is playing one of his favorite games, pulling all the DVD movies down from a shelf under our TV in the front room.  He studies each of the DVD covers intently; some he smiles at (he particularly likes Dave Chappelle), some he just joyfully flings to the floor.  Once he has a good pile going he slides them around on the rug like cars, scattering them everywhere.  He plays this game at least once a day. 

My guests are looking at me with that look.  Finally one of them ventures, “Do you really want him to do that?”   

“Yeah,” I say, “he’s having fun and there’s nothing that’s gonna hurt him.” 

“Buuuuuut,” they say back with incredulous googly eyes, “he’s making a mess.”  Capital M on mess implied.  Doesn’t that drive you crazy, their looks seem to say, it’s messy and how will you ever keep up?  What kind of unclean mother are you?

I consider explaining that I left the shelf that way on purpose when I babyproofed.  I think about mentioning the stage of development he’s at; you know, exploring, pulling objects off shelves and out of boxes. Getting into things.  Healthy stuff.

Finally, I shrug, “I don’t mind.”  I watch quietly as their brains explode.  Googly eyes roll along the carpet. 

Seriously.  I may be a little anal but if I was going to stress every time I had to pick up something I might as well go catatonic now, because the way I figure it, life is about 1/3rd cleaning up stuff.  Or, at least, it seems that way lately. 

I’ll sweep up the brain bits and eyeballs later, when I get around to the DVDs.    

                  – the weirdgirl

"The silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload..."


You know you’re busy, and you’re a mom, when all you Big_bird_plate_1

manage to cobble together for dinner are three leftover stuffed mushrooms and a pile of Pirate Booty on the side; all arranged exquisitely on a Big Bird paper plate.  Bon appetit!        - wg


Another Dream of Boredom

I woke up very tired and slow this morning.  My own fault because I felt compelled to stay up finishing a new Patricia Briggs novel.  It’s always so hard to put a book down when you only have 30 or 40 pages (or 50 or 60) more to go.  Plus, the werewolves were about to attack… I mean, come on, I can’t go to sleep in the middle of that.  So late night, but this morning is getting better.  I’m starting to wake up, and it only took two and half hours.  Oh, lovely caffeine.  I love me some hot tea in the morning. (so soothing)

OK, so now that I’ve managed to find my brain, here’s my list of upcoming to-dos*.  This is a rolling and constantly updated list.  sigh

Organize Chance’s baptism – Easter is just around the corner and I haven’t even started.  Hopefully my mom’s numerous church contacts can help me out.

Re-do website / get a logo – I’ve been wanting to get a new banner up for a while.  And I’ve actually got a new template pretty close to done, but the combination of working in marketing and being anal won’t let me roll out elements until I’ve got the whole thing together.  I’m also MUCH to used to working with graphic designers and so, I’m picky. It’s a curse.  But look for exciting changes in the future! 

Contact school advisor / reapply to MA program – don’t get me started on this whole fiasco.

Shop for another round of birthday gifts – I swear I just got the March kids done and now I have to work on April/May.  Is it just me or does everyone get born in spring?   Eh.  I’m just bitchin’ because I have to ship things with this round.  Blech

Organize Ladies Tea Party – Yay!  I hold a tea party for all my gal friends every two years.  I know it sounds impossibly girly** but that’s part of the fun.  Plus, it’s a no guy event so we all sit around, and eat too much, and talk about inappropriate things – it’s very Steinbeckian dress shop in that sense. AND I really really like getting to play with paper goods, i.e. invitations!  hee hee  (Keen says I have an office supply fetish.)

OK, that’s it for now. Sorry to bore you all to tears with the “list disguised as a post” but that’s all my brain is up to today.  (need more caffeine)  Sadly, this is only the medium project list.  If you saw the everyday minutiae list and the big project list, well… let’s not go there.              – the weirdgirl

*You know how some moms dream of an entirely clean and empty house, or a tropical vacation?  Yeah, I dream of boredom.  A whole week with no to-dos on my list.  Nothing to do but read and/or catch up on Tivo (my backlog right now is HUGE).  A week of boredom can recharge me for new projects like nobody’s business.  Right now, man, I’m tired!  Where’s my teacup?

**I probably sound very girly on my blog in general, but I actually think I’m about ½ guy, ½ girl (and not in a hermaphrodite kind of way… jeez, you people).  For example, I like hockey games, classic car shows, and fixing things with my hands.  All of these things I can enjoy and discuss with Keen.  However, I really only have a couple of girlfriends who I can talk to about shoes.  So all of that pent up girly talk spills out here, unfortunately for all of you.    


Psychological Fashion Crisis

Lately I’ve been feeling rebellion stirring deep in my soul.  It rears its ugly head at strange times, prodding me towards revolution.  It’s so ridiculous because it’s not as if I’m rebelling against some imposed new order.  I’ve actually been doing something similar to what I’m rebelling against all along (did that make sense?).  I even know I’m being a hypocrite about the whole thing.  But I still can’t quell the rebellion.  I’m talking about “mom clothes”. 

Previous to being a mom, I did not feel that some of the items in my closet were “mom clothes” but now… now they kind of feel that way (to me the fashion judas).  My day-to-day pre-baby clothing tended to be variations of wash and wear knit tops and jeans.  (OK, I do wear more heels than some.)  I was very comfortable in this attire, they felt good and they looked good.  Now I get hit with these strange rebellious streaks… some days I feel a strong urge to wear a satin bustier top for no particular reason.  Other days I feel a compelling drive to buy white sailor pants.  (Crazy woman!)  Suddenly my clothes, the clothes that I’ve HAD and loved, seem boring and practical.       

It started when I needed to go out and buy athletic shoes.  It hurt (a little), but I bought the shoes.  I also bought a pair of round-toed, lace-up, stacked pumps at the same time (oh, so CUTE!).  Then I noticed that the other moms were wearing track pants and hoodies, whereas I’ve been in jeans and sweaters.  Their choice of outfits made sense to me because we would all get hot on our walks (the whole two I’ve gone on) and you could strip off layers.  I started eyeing hoodies… but only the ones with skulls on them.  (Which, by the way, are not found in the usual places that you buy athletic clothing.  However, I blame the skull obsession fully on all the nouveau mod kids who are wearing stuff that looks just like the stuff I used to wear in high school and makes me wander into the rock clothing stores.  I can’t help I get nostalgic.)  The track pants… OK, I don’t think I’ll be able to wear those.  But see?  I’ve been making some mutinous purchasing decisions, because no matter how cute either of them are, I just don’t think the pink round-toed pumps and the black skull hoodie are going to go together.  (Because even with a studded belt to tie it in, black and pink are SO done.)

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  Suddenly I’m too good for my own clothes?   I’m still wearing them, I still like them even, but in my heart of hearts I’ve been feeling fickle.  I’ve been sneaking peaks at the other garments out there, the “non-mom” garments (whatever those are).  I know this is purely psychological.  (And it’s not like I’m judging what the other moms are wearing, because some of them look damn cute.)  I think I’m at the point where I’m having a conflict between my “mom” role and my previous self-identity.  Only it’s a little late… and it involves clothing.  (I never said I was normal.)  Maybe this is coming up because on the few occasions I get to leave the house I like to look nice?  Maybe it’s because I just can’t wear suede without getting baby glop on it.  Maybe I’m just sick of winter.  I don’t know.  I just know I’m feeling antsy and disobedient and I don’t want to wear my mom clothes (previous sweat comment aside).

So how do I get through this period without wiping out my bank account?  And it will pass, won’t it?           - the weirdgirl


Not Sure He Meant It as Bad as It Sounded

Scene - our heroine, still in her pajamas, standing at the kitchen counter fixing breakfast

Keen:  Babe, you’ve got to get rid of those sweats.

Me:  hmm?

Keen:  They look awful.

Me:  Yeah, I know. I wore these while I was pregnant and…

Keen:  They remind me of how big your ass was.

stiff pause

Me [turning]:  Well, rest assured honey, you’re well on your way to lots and lots of sex with comments like those. 

Definitely time to buy some new sweats.      - the weirdgirl


Mind… So… Lazy…

Long weekend, lots of people over the course of two days.  Dsc01058_rotated It was fun (see picture – like the “devil eyes”? That’s a quotient of fun) but we’ve been trying to recover all day.  And it’s frickin’ cold out!!  I don’t know what it is about a cold day but I have a hard time not eating.  Munch munch, all day long.  And sitting around doing nothing.  I’m supposed to be working, RIGHT NOW.  But I’m not.  I promise, I’ll get to it right after I’m done here.  Yep, been saying that all day too.

I know last week was probably a bit more Mommy-centric than I usually am, but what can I say?  I was excited about the birthday thing.  Back to the regularly scheduled schizophrenia tomorrow.  I also know that last post was pretty darn long, but don’t worry, I don’t think I have another one like that in me for a while.  (Unless something really pisses me off and I have to indulge in another long rant.  They really are indulgences for me, you know.)  But the long post does bring me to my next subject.   

I’ve been thinking about changing the look of my blog again.  I toyed with this once before, early in my blog days.  I like the black, but there’s nothing like a long, lazy, cold day where you can’t stop eating and you have no energy to remind oneself that you’re getting old.  And not only old but lacking in good eyesight, too.  (Gasp!)  Trying to read my own dark posts after a long weekend and feeling my eyes straining themselves (besides the metaphysical symbolism), well it tells me something.  I mean, besides being old.  It tells me I may have to rethink the look of my blog.   

So what I’d like to ask all of you out there is, what do you think?  Is the black killing your eyes too?   

Excuse me while I go get another cookie.           – the weird “so easily pleased” girl


Chance’s Birth

Today is Chance’s first birthday.  I can’t believe it’s been a year.  The clarity of this year, especially, will stay with me forever.  Spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  For so much of my pregnancy and, of course, the birth of Chance, my mind felt cloudy.  All the time.  It was hard to think, it was hard to form and hold onto memories.  Getting my brain back after the pregnancy was like the sun breaking through the clouds, clichéd as that sounds.  Most importantly, I could make and recall memories again, like a switch turning back on in my mind.  And that was perfect timing, because I would not give up one moment, one memory, good or bad, of this past year with my son.  Not one. 

Following the fine tradition of other bloggers out there, I’ve decided to share the story of Chance’s birth to commemorate his birthday.  Maybe one day he’ll read this account, squirm in embarrassment, and sulk off to his room – grossed out, disgusted, and believing that parents are another species… at least until he has kids of his own. 

This account will be a little fuzzy in places because… well because I was drugged and in some pain and those pregnancy hormones were wreaking havoc with my memory.  If I get anything wrong Keen is supposed to pop up on comments (finally!) and correct me.  Though there are some things he doesn’t remember too well, either.  Exhaustion will do that.  And before I start I have to say thanks to the very important people who stayed at the hospital the entire time, much to my ever-grateful surprise, because it was a loooong haul.  I figured they would at least sneak in and out from home, getting in some naps, but nope, they stuck with me.  Even when I told them they should go get some sleep.  So here’s to you guys, my best friends Jeanne, Monica, and Christy, my mom and dad, and of course, Keen Dad, who never got that cot they promised.  You know I can never thank you all enough.   

So a little back story, my estimated due date was March 7th.  I had been cramping almost the entire pregnancy, and I was probably having Braxton-Hicks contractions from about 7 ½ - 8 months on, but I didn’t realize at the time that was what they were.  About two and a half weeks before my due date I started getting this weird feeling that labor was going to start, and then, instead, all of the cramping I had been having stopped.  However, all the stress tests were good, I was still having Braxton-Hicks (couldn’t feel a thing though), and I was still two weeks away from my due date so my OB didn’t worry about it.  We did all the usual checks for the next couple of weeks, watching for dilation, thinning, etc.  On my due date I went in for an appointment, with the strong possibility that he might check me in to the hospital that night.  I could tell my OB was trying to decide whether it would be worth it to wait a couple more days to see if I would start labor or whether he should induce.  Instead, after talking again about the cramping that had suddenly stopped two weeks before, he decided to have me check in the next day to induce at 5:00pm. 

Tuesday   

I check into the hospital at 3:00pm on Tuesday, March 8th, fill out all the usual paperwork, get my plastic baggie of necessary items (I still don’t know what some of them were for) from the hospital staff, and got myself into an oh-so-lovely gown (or what I call, “the perfect weight of cloth to absorb liquid and cling to you uncomfortably”).

5:00pm Right on schedule, they start my induction.  Now the way it works, as with all drugs, is they start you on the lowest dosage possible of pitocin and increase it with time until they hit the dosage that works.  There are 200 levels of dosages for pitocin.  You’ll need to know this for later in the story.

5:00 – 7:00pm  They’ve started me on pitocin but it isn’t doing a whole lot.  At this point, even though they were upping the dose periodically I was feeling nothing.  (You know that whole thing about inducing labor will make the contractions stronger?  Yeah, didn’t happen with me.)  Now I’m a little fuzzy on the exact time, but at some point my OB came in, examined me and was dithering about when he should break my water, if that needed to be done.  It turns out he was on call for that night, but not the next night; he was trying to plan it so if he broke my water he’d actually be on shift to deliver my baby.  (That’s why he had me come in at 5:00pm. He thought if I naturally progressed I should be ready to deliver by the next morning.)  He’s figuring that it would be, with the pitocin, about eight hours after he breaks my water to go into active labor.  He decides not to break my water Tuesday night, but will wait for the next morning. 

7:00pm – 9:00 am next morning   They continue to steadily increase the doses of pitocin. This is what happens almost every time:  drip drip, goes the IV… one (as in a single) contraction… nothing… wait wait wait… watch the monitors… more nothing… move up to the next dosage.  This went on for hours.  People always gasp when I say my labor was 36 hours, but I’m always quick to tell them that I was NOT having contractions that whole time.  I figure a good 16 hours of it was merely cramps, when I felt anything at all.

Wednesday

9:00am  My OB comes in and finally breaks my water.  This is the defining moment because if you don’t deliver within 24 hours of your water breaking, they automatically perform a cesarean.  I’m still not dilated much but (I think) there was some progress… like a centimeter.  Man, I suck at this labor thing.

2:00pm  I start (finally!) feeling significant labor pains.  They had been increasing slowly since my water was broken, but they started revving up consistently sometime after 12:00. My labor nurse goes over the medications available.  She basically tells me that I have to go through the first two types of medication before I can have an epidural; that was standard procedure.  I had early on made a decision that I would take medication if I needed it.  If I could handle the pain, great.  If it got to be too much, give me some drugs.  I had no ego invested in whatever way I went.  Plus, they were free drugs. 

3:00 – 3:30ish  The contractions have increased dramatically, enough so that I find I’m not thinking very clearly.  My labor nurse gives me the first standard drug.

This is when everything goes really loopy.  The first drug kicks in and the walls of my room turn into a jungle, complete with monkeys hanging off vines.  That’s right… MONKEYS!  I was hallucinating.  However, I was lucid ENOUGH to know I was hallucinating.  I decided not to mention the monkeys to anyone.      

Now the problem with being in any kind of distorted mental state is that it makes other things, such as pain, harder to deal with.  Mental wires seem to cross, you can’t tell where anything is coming from.  I’m not sure if the pain killer simply didn’t work to dull my contractions, or if I was just so looped out and emotional at that point that I couldn’t deal with any pain at all.  All I know is that I hurt, my mind was fucked up, and I was getting really emotional.  Frankly, I was starting to freak out. However, there was also that part of me that was still just lucid enough to sort of watch what was going on.  As in, “whoa, those monkeys are all over the place, shit this hurts, I don’t think this drug is working, fuck, my hair is bugging me”.   It was that part of me that made the decision to move on and I managed to focus enough to request the epidural. 

Now I know Keen could tell I was loopy without me saying anything, and my mom knew something was up, but I’m pretty sure my nurse damn well knew I was hallucinating too, because standard procedure or not, she skipped the next drug and let me go right to the epidural.  Cut off the first drug I was on immediately.

4:00ish maybe, I don’t know.  Epidurals are a beautiful beautiful thing.  No monkeys are pretty good, too.  Somewhere after the epidural my dilation finally starts progressing.  I have now been up for 24 hours.  I, and everyone who stayed with me, are getting very tired.  Things get vague for a while just because it’s all the same.  My blood pressure kept skyrocketing so I was confined to the bed almost the whole time I was in the hospital.  I know my OB came in at one point and we had a conversation about where (and when) he went to school.  Turns out he was like an Asian Doogie Hauser.  He started college at 16, but he was, in his words, “much less obnoxious” than the 14-year-old who started at the same time.

7:00, 8:00, 9:00pm  I am becoming more and more exhausted.  Anyone who says, “sleep while you’re in the hospital” is full of it.  I keep hearing that the doctor (not mine, but whoever was on shift by then) will be in soon to “make a decision”.  I am progressing but it’s still slow.  The pitocin really didn’t speed anything along much.  By the time everything is over and done with, I am only seven doses away from the maximum amount of pitocin they can give you.

10:00pm  I’m suddenly at ten centimeters.  At least I’m pretty sure it was right around then time-wise.  Shortly before this I remember asking the nurse if the doctor(s) were ever coming to “make a decision”.  I hadn’t seen a doctor now since Doogie Hauser earlier that day.  I thought it was kind of strange how far you could go through the birthing process without any doctors visiting. My labor nurse, god bless her, was awesome and never left my side. 

Wednesday / Thursday

10:00pm – 1:30am  I start pushing sometime in this period.  I know that I pushed for an hour and a half, but I’m not sure when I started and stopped exactly.  The baby was just not moving.  He was in place, ready to go, but for all the pushing I was doing, I didn’t feel anything moving inside.  No exodus to the outside.  (I did feel fucking 10-times-worse-than-labor back spasms, triggered by the now nicely-regular contractions.  I can’t remember exactly how the contractions felt, but I think I’ll remember those back spasms for the rest of my life.  For you guys, think charley horse in your lower back.)  I know by 1:30 we had stopped pushing for good, and by 2:00 the vague unseen doctor had “reached a decision” to do the c-section.  Duh. 

2:00am – 2:30ish  A doctor finally comes in and talks with me.  I get prepped for surgery, wheeled around, drugged some more, and get my arms strapped down like I’m being crucified.  Of all the things I had imagined with a c-section, getting my arms strapped down was not one of them.  There was also a radio on in the surgery room that played rock music the entire time.   

5:03am  Chance is delivered via c-section, while Hotel California plays rather loudly in the background. 

The umbilical cord had been wrapped several times around his legs and the doctor surmised this is why Chance wouldn’t move down any more when I was pushing.  I couldn’t see anything during the procedure, but I remember getting incredibly sleepy at a specific point, even through the regular exhaustion.  I think it was from blood loss or shock, I don’t know.  I managed to stay awake long enough to see my son, kiss his head (so small!), and talk with my sweet, exhausted Keen. 

Thirty-six hours from start to finish and one year ago today.  All in all, it was one of the most surreal and real experiences of my life. 

Happy Birthday Chance!  We love you.      – the weirdgirl and Keen Dad 


Crazy… for you…

I know I’ve been a little light on the writing lately, but I’m building up.  (That and I only seem to get free time at night and I’ve been getting these headaches lately.  I really don’t know what to make of them.  I’m used to getting headaches but I’ve always been able to either take aspirin or ignore them.  Not these ones though.  They’re the kind that have pinpoints of pain right behind your eyes.  Oy.  And I’m NOT going to read on the Internet about them, because EVERYTHING medical on the Internet says cancer.  Headaches - must be cancer.  Stomach ache, heat rash, sore throat – cancer.  Foot calluses – get checked for cancer.  I kid you not, I looked up callus remedies and the Internet said to check for cancer.  Jeez.  And here I was thinking I just needed to wear different socks.) 

OK, that was beside the point.  Anyway, I’m working on a few posts, I’m cramming through some work projects, I’m avoiding cancer topics on the web.  All the usual stuff.  I’ve actually felt very productive this week, even though I’m still behind.  I’m always behind nowadays.  I’ve gotten very zen about it.  (Well, you know except for repressing stress until it comes out psychosomatically as headaches.)

Anyway (focus WG, focus), we’re very quickly coming up on the one year mark of surviving parenthood.  I can’t believe how far we’ve all come, but most of all is this amazing transformation.

Chance, the first day.       Dsc00185

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Dsc00998 

Chance, today.  Crazy, isn’t it?       

     - the weirdgirl


New Village Needed

I’ve been reading lately about the Mommy Wars and the debates out there in the news and blogosphere.  You know, it’s the same old contest of who’s being a better parent and what you exactly have to do to be the best parent.  I think it’s such a load of crap.  I’m not saying that I think the Mommy Wars don’t exist, because I know they do.  I just think it’s a bunch of bull that we’re still subjecting ourselves to this kind of competitive classism (for lack of a better word; is there a word for the phenomenon of catty cliquishness in regards to parenting?  OK, let’s make one up.  I’m calling it mombullyism, or maybe parentalshitism.)  I think it’s bull that feminism gets called into it, and it’s suddenly made all political (as if politics justify being competitive and nasty).  And I think it’s extra special bull that people can come up with myriad, tiny ways to be mombullyists (from who breastfeeds to who’s got the most hits on their blog - are you kidding me?!)  And it’s not limited to the moms, though that mombullyism is the most highlighted, dads and parents in general get subjected to this.

In my mind, there is no way to ever win the war.  Every side does have a point and some value… for the individuals concerned.  As parents, we make choices every day.  We are individuals, our children our individuals, and we have to make choices, within the circumstances that we live in, that are best for us and our children personally.  This means some moms work, some dads work, some stay home, some don’t.  If that means working because you have bills to pay, then that’s what you have to do.  If staying at home works the best for your children and is the most fulfilling for the caregiver, then so be it.  Equally, if you personally find that having a break (whatever that is: work, hobbies, blogging, etc.) may give you a better relationship with your kids, i.e. more patience, communication, etc. then that is what’s best for you.  It all comes down to your own family dynamics and personalities, financial situations, and life balance.  What’s best for you and your kid may not be the best for someone else’s family.

I’ve made my choices the same as any other parent.  I made the choice to hire a cleaning service.  I also made the choice to work part time from home.  I’ve seen the rolled eyes and the sneers.  I’ve heard how EASY I have it – from people who have never walked in my shoes (and from both sides of the “war”, mind you).  And you know what?  I don’t give a damn.  It kind of seems to me that you’re going to get some sneers no matter what you do.  The choices I have made leave me more time with my son and they also give me space for sanity.  I fully admit that I can’t do everything, and I’m not going to try to keep up to someone else’s idea of parenting.  This is what works for our family.

Parenthood automatically equals a certain amount of guilt.  Regardless of what choices we make, even when we think we’re doing a pretty good job, in our parental mind there is always doubt that we’re doing enough.  I think what pisses me off the most about the Mommy Wars is that it feeds off that guilt, exploits it, manipulates its presence.  Though some people might wish you to think otherwise, I have yet to meet a caring parent who does not worry deep down that they are doing enough for their kids.  I think those certain individuals who are the most adamant that their way is correct (and everyone else’s is wrong) are really just trying to bury their own lingering doubt.  The ones who seem to gleefully enjoy ridiculing another parent’s choices are even worse (I have to assume there are self-esteem issues involved). 

Of course, we all have our opinions and we are entitled to them.  We also all have seen examples of truly “bad” parenting – heartbreaking cases where kids were hurt or neglected; where the parents just didn’t care.  But the Mommy Wars aren’t about stopping these cases from happening.  A lot of the mombullyism doesn’t touch the real issues; they just elevate personal choices and trivial points of disagreement to a level that makes regular, everyday, good people feel like bad parents.  (And frankly, with all the crap in the world today, I think the good people should be the last ones made to feel as if they’re doing something wrong because they have made personal choices within their family.) 

So I’d like to put forth a radical idea: consider the notion that “it takes a village” – if we all practiced a little more “live and let live” on the personal choices and instead tried tackling some of the big issues we might just have a more cohesive village to raise our kids in.       

             – the weirdgirl


The Secret is the Pants

I start off the day in a rumpled shirt of one kind or another and my schlumpy sweats.  My sweats didn’t used to be so schlumpy, I think at one point they actually started off life as “activewear” (or maybe “loungewear” I have trouble telling the two apart) and they were pretty spiffy, comfy and yet somehow slightly tailored-looking.  I loved ‘em.  I still love them, even though I loved them so much I wore them throughout my pregnancy and now the butt is all stretched out and they’re not so tailored-looking anymore.  Still comfy though, but definitely schlumpy. 

Anyhoo, I start off the day in my sweats and t-shirts and feeling a bit of the baby grime built up from the day before and for the first couple of hours of the day (or minutes, depending if I manage to wake my butt up before the baby and can therefore snag an early shower) I’m hating the schlumpy feeling.  I feel slobby, I feel gamey, I mayhap feel crusty spots on my sweats I didn’t notice getting deposited the night before.  I feel like appendages or hair or boobs that were behaving nicely previously are now sticking out every which way in a display (but you know it’s not really their fault as it’s the sticky grime making everything stand on end so there’s no point in haranguing the misbehaving appendages or anything).  Simply put, I can’t wait to get in the shower.

And then I DO get a shower and I put on my nice clean clothes and I do my skin regimen and I put on a bit of lipstick and powder and I put on cute shoes and THEN… then I feel great.  Put together.  Capable.  Non-sticky.

But by the end of the day a strange thing happens… somewhere along the way, somewhen usually beginning about, oh, 8:00ish, regardless of the fact that I felt great all day long, I suddenly CANNOT WAIT to get back in my sweats. 

So I did a little calculation. On a good day, if I get up and in the shower by 7:30am and I claw my way out of my clothes by 8:00pm, that is roughly 12 hours that I spend dressed nicely.  On a really bad day I may not get in the shower until noon (baby’s naptime – though usually I can slip into the shower earlier if he’s watching Sesame Street), so that’s about eight hours dressed.  All in all, that means I spend one half to two thirds of my life in my schlumpy state.  An ever-cycling existence revolving around a pair of crusty sweatpants with a stretched-out butt.  The day begins, the day ends.  The sun rises and sets.  I wear my sweats.  (ooh, haiku!)

I think this is a metaphor of some kind, but I just find it a little disheartening.  Though comfy.  Very comfy.  Funny how existentialism gets ya that way.    

And people wonder why I shop.  (Rage, rage against the coming of the night…or the schlumpy sweatpants… whatever.) 

This deep, philosophical discourse was brought to you by the weirdgirl.