Keeping Menopause Classy

I gotta tell you I'm not digging this menopause thing.  It's painful, lumpy, awkward, and odd.  There are also smells.  Years ago, I put together a whole list of the Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze, all the silly, gross, funny details and shared experiences of pregnancy.  I'm half-tempted to start a new list for menopause.  Except I'm really hoping it'll be over before I have enough for a list.  Really, really hoping.  Who I am kidding?  I've already got enough; I just don't want to relive them. 

The symptom I'm currently enduring is my boobs growing.  Because, apparently, one out of five women's breasts get bigger during menopause!  Who the hell knew that?!  It never even occurred to me that could happen.  I believed that once you were done growing, except by pregnancy or purchase, your boob size was set.  But no!  At first I thought my girls were just bloating, like maybe I ate too much salt.  Then I thought my bras were worn out, that's why everything felt weird.  Then I got mad at the manufacturers for changing the design of my favorite bra because it used to fit!  Damn you bra manufacturers!  Just stick with the design already.  My ta-tas were sore and sensitive, too.  That's when I realized it was hormonal and I thought, "oh, well, the swelling will go down soon".  But it hasn't gone down.  I bought bigger bra sizes and they still didn't feel great.  In fact, some days I don't want to wear anything at all, except now I've got flotation devices bobbing all of the place.  Then I went and got professionally fitted.  It was the fitter who casually mentioned breast growth during menopause.  I still didn't think that was happening.  But my hooters kept swelling, everything kept hurting, it all just seemed out of place.  Finally, digging through the internet, I read up on it.  

One out of five.

The worse thing is how blind-sided I felt. It's not like they went over this in that puberty class in 5th grade. "As your body goes through hormonal changes you may experience sore breasts, mood swings, acne, possible weight gain, and painful cramping. Oh, and by the way, you'll go through all of that again when you have kids. AND when you go through menopause. Enjoy!"  That would have been helpful.  Or any class on menopause would be helpful!  How about just an informational luncheon? Older ladies coming together to share a new chapter of The Talk.  "Well, dear, things may start falling out of your twat now. Or it'll dry up. It's hard to tell. "  It's the stage that no one covers.  You'd think there would at least be a pamphlet on menopausal breast growth because one out of five is, you know, kind of significant.

And that's just the tip of the tender iceberg.  Everyone hears about hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings, but there's a whole slew of other symptoms that I, at least, had never heard about.  Enough wacko symptoms to make you think you're going crazy.                

So if you've got a menopause story, feel free to share it. I'd love to be crazy with company.

            - wg

BlogHer ’08 and the Twitter Pushers

Here I am cruising confidently into the BlogHer conference thinking, “I was a BlogHer freshman last year, but I’m an old pro at this now.  I know what it’s ALL about!”  Pat pat knowing smirk pat.  (Check for lipstick on the teeth, smooth hair.)

Well, it turns out I didn’t know what it was all about, little naïve me, because everywhere I turned I encountered…

“Do you twitter?  Are you tweeting?  You better twitter that.”

My steps faltered.  “Um… no, I’m not… uh.”

And then, “WHY aren’t you on twitter?!”

I admit, it caught me completely off guard.  Sort of like I had walked into a church youth group meeting to find everyone smoking out.  Sure twitter was the new thing… mysterious, popular, a little edgy… but also a bit decadent.  Maybe even illicit… in a will-be-eventually-banned sort of way.  (And let’s face it, the term “tweets” just sounds dirty.)  Here I was at BlogHer, wandering the halls in search of a fresh cup of tea between sessions on open source and mommy blogging, being pushed into iniquitous web 2.0 services.

“You NEED to get on twitter!  Trust me, you’ll try it and love it.” 

I heard it so many times I started mumbling, “No thanks, I don’t use,” as I nervously scanned the rooms for the sudden appearance of someone’s dad, come to break up the party. 

And then I heard, somewhere along the way, “You can just use the weirdgirl. Well, you know, if your name isn’t already taken…”

Wait, was my name already taken?  I had to go look.  Just a quick look.  Whenever I ran across anyone else using “weirdgirl” on the web, it was usually a preteen in another country or a “naughty” site.  I just wanted to check.  You know, for my reputation.  It’s only one time.

And next thing I know I’m on twitter.   (BlogHer is such a bad influence.  I hear there’s an afterschool special coming out about them soon.)

So… do you twitter?          - wg

The Epiphany

Today I showed Chance how to do a somersault.  He was balancing on his head, see, with his butt up in the air, watching TV upside down and all he needed was to push off a little for a somersault.  I'm actually trying to encourage him to do more fun, physical activities (other than jumping up and down on me and his father) as a great way to burn off and focus his energy.  So when I saw him balancing like that I thought, "Great!" and I proceeded to get on the floor and show him how it's done.

(I used to be all about the somersaults and the flips and running along the tops of fences, and even the oh-so-groovy jump, turn, and land on one foot while rolling on my roller skates, you know.)

I did two somersaults for him.  One.  Two.

Three hours later as I'm sitting with the heating pad across my back it sinks in...

Somersaults are for the young.

              - the weirdgirl

The Learning Goes On

Holy crapmonkeys, I have not sat down at the computer since my last post Sunday night! Seriously. I haven’t gotten any work done, I haven’t read anything, I haven’t even checked email. The porn spam really piled up, let me tell you.  Usually when there’s a break like this I’m still online but my brain has just short-circuited and I can’t think of anything to write.  There’s, literally, a three-day-old IM from my brother I just answered.

And why did this occur, you ask?  Because we are idiots, Keen and I. 

Chance turned three-years-old on Monday*.  (Happy Birthday kiddo!) Somehow, somewhere (most likely in opposite universe), we thought it would be easier to break up all the festivities this year.  I.e. one party for the family and a separate party for the kids. 

It was not easier. It was not easier at all. 

The reason we succumbed to this opiate-like delusion is that we have a lot of family living near us.  You start factoring in friends of ours, everyone’s kids (I can’t believe we’ve all had kids!), friends of Chance, and family and parties can get a little crazy.  At least, for a three-year-old. First bar-b-que kicking off summer… fine, blowout time.  Supposedly laid back toddler birthday party, especially in the middle of tax season (Keen’s busy period)?  Not such a great period.  And last year when we just had the kid party – which we thought was appropriate - all the uninvited family were upset.  Oy. OK then, we’ll split them. 

After analyzing the situation thoroughly, I’ve realized it was not so much an error in execution as it was in duration. Figure, we started roughly last Friday prepping the house, cleaning and whatnot.  (I mean, it all started earlier than that, but you know what I mean.)  Saturday we had the first party at our place.  Parties with family never seem to end at small, casual, cake and ice cream get togethers; I don’t know what it is.  You think a couple of hours tops, and four hours later people are still making their way out.  And even though almost everyone there were adults, Chance still seemed to get riled up like those self-same adults were zapping him with cattle prods. I distinctly remember Chance zipping by me at one point, saying, “Mom!  Need!  Banana!” and then he was already off in another room. (Because of course he wouldn’t stop to eat dinner, or drink, or even pee.)

Sunday, a day of rest.  At least the plan was to take a lot of naps and recover from the time change/birthday night. Except for that family trip to Target to get goodie bag supplies for Chance’s preschool class birthday party. (Which ended up being the third party I had to prep for, ‘cause I hadn’t factored that in when we decided to split the other parties.)  The trip to Target with a still wired, yet tired (SWYT) toddler. The same toddler who refused to take a nap when we got back. 

Note to self – when child refuses to nap, NONE of us get naps.  Buy duct tape.  

On Monday, (even though I did great with the time change on Sunday,) somehow I ended up an hour off ALL DAY LONG! Like, the only two clocks that hadn’t been reset, those are the ones I was looking at – the end result being that I was too late to put Chance down for a fricking nap!  (Just shoot dork girl in the head right now.) And it being my only son’s birthday, I had planned special activity time for him and mommy so the day ended up being way more packed then I expected (before I fucked up an hour).  I finally figured it out when Keen came home earlier than I expected. Anyway, Monday was the kid party at a Pump It Up in the early evening. Downside – chaos like insane midget clowns have finally escaped from a too-tight car. Upside – total enclosure of said chaos and it’s over in two hours.  

But wait! I still have to go home and bake the cupcakes and make goodie bags for preschool! 

OK, that didn’t happen Monday night at all, but it was on my schedule.  (I swear to god, I'm not trying to be one of those super moms!  (They never wear nice shoes.))  I think I fell asleep at, like, 9:00.

Tuesday, get up, skip shower to doze 20 extra minutes while Chance jumped up and down on in me in bed, get him ready and to school.  Theoretically planned on taking shower when I got back home before baking cupcakes; instead, followed strange compulsion to once again visit Target.  (The red bulls-eye calls to me!)  Thank goodness, my dear mom dropped by to visit and helped me make cupcakes and goodie bags and helped me load everything into the car before she galloped off into the sunset.  Got to school, watch 20+ kids scarf cupcakes, start to glimpse the sugar high setting in, and narrowly escaped with Chance in tow. I don’t think anything else happened the rest of Tuesday but the remainder of the day was a blur.   

Today (it’s Wednesday, right?), Chance woke up a little high-strung and whimpery (because SWYT), and we had his yearly pediatrician appointment where we got to discuss the red-flagging, then I rushed home to clean up the disaster of birthday and Easter supplies (courtesy of Target ) flung everywhere before the real cleaners come (yes, I pay people to clean my toilet.  Deal. I’m still fricking busy). Chance again refused to take a nap! Ergo, no nap for mom. (I am just really feeling the need for naps lately.)

So the moral of this story is if you’re an idiot and decide to have multiple celebrations your kid will be feeling it (and making you pay) for days.  You (meaning me) will also be feeling it because you are old.  You’ll also be coming out of your ears in cake. 

Next year, blowout bash. I can’t handle all this fucking merry making.  

 - the weirdgirl

*(And yeah, I had totally meant to do a post about Chance. To commemorate his coming into our lives, how big he’s grown, etc, because I do love my baby. Maybe tomorrow. After nap.) 

Got My Cherry Popped

Tonight the wg household had its first load of laundry with a crayon in it. A purple crayon. DARK purple. (Like maybe Royal Purple or Eggplant.) And no small chunk either. I don’t know which pocket this thing was hidden in, or how big it was but the damage was pretty severe. Voila.


I remember this happening once when I was kid… a green crayon got in a load of my clothes, but it was a small piece of crayon, with only little tiny spots of green scattered throughout the clothes. And I was just nerdy enough to not care and wear them anyway. Along with my Kmart track shoes. (I was like a little 90s hipster in the late 70s/early 80s, with some clueless geek thrown in to boot. (SO ahead of my time!)  Yes, the other kids made fun of me.)

As well as the above (representative of most of the clothes) there was also a grey sweatshirt of Chance’s that came out… well… lavender. Things I’ve learned:

1. Fleece blanket sleepers (you know, the one item you don’t care whether it looks funky or not) seem to repel melted crayon. Good to know.

2. Expensive pairs of jeans (such as the ones I washed with Chance’s jeans (what? Dreft is great for maintaining fabric!) also seem to repel a certain amount of crayon. Very, very good to know. Though now I kind of wonder if they were sprayed with something potentially toxic. Like, say, from China or something.

3. No matter how much you scrub a dryer tub – way deep inside a dryer tub, breathing in what must be lovely fumes of Goo Gone and heated baby wipes – sometimes that crayon is just baked on. Our dryer is now purple.

4. If you follow the instructions (or very close) that you find on the Internet you actually will get the crayon off your clothes! Thank you, Internet, I love you! (Though… it was a load of darks, see, and you had to wash them on hot to get out the crayon – I never wash my clothes in hot – and some of the shirts that had white trim, such as sleeves, now… are all light blue.  But at least it’s not purple splotches!)

I guess this means I now check all of Chance’s pockets. And I thought that stage didn’t start quite yet. Damn it, I’m naïve.

     - the weirdgirl