Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We've come a long way, baby

Wow. Here we are, at the end of my maternity leave. It honestly feels like I've somehow fallen through some blip in the space-time continuum, like some cheezy B-rate sci-fi movie plot. My role would probably be played by some B list celeb-- for some reason Sandra Bullock comes to mind. I could just picture it now. Her carrying around a wallet size picture of my newborn Alex, madly throwing it in peoples faces, pleading with them to help her find him, then ripping the picture into shreds as she falls dramatically to her knees, the torn peices falling over her head likes so much rain, where she pummels the earth and beseeches God "My baby!! What have you done with my Baby!!"
Good God. I should be writing movie scripts!! What am I doing wasting my time on this juvenile blog??
Anyways. Is Sandra Bullock considered B list or A list?? Or is she so off the list by now that she's neither?? I'm not sure. I don't keep up with these things. Personally, I'm not a fan.

OK. Where was I?? A blip in the Time Space Continuum. Right. Honestly, I was at the lake last week, sitting outside on the deck basking in the midmorning sun, drinking a cup of Joe and reading my latest paperback. My baby sat contentedly beside me, awestruck by his surroundings, 'oohing' and 'aahing' at the slightest thing- a breeze in the trees, a sparrow landing on a branch. And I just felt, just for one minute, like there had been no time at all intervening from the first time that I sat on that deck with him. He was three weeks old. I remember sitting out on the deck, a similar morning with a similar book, with him in his portable swing. I had to move the swing several times to find shade. I put a mosquito net over top of it to try to protect him from mosquitoes-- but then the net was dragging and the swing wasn't swinging properly. I had to adjust the net several times. He was slouched in it with his neck tilted at an awkward angle. I tried to place blankets around him to keep him in a good position. Finally, when I had everything just so, he started crying and it was time for a feeding. He was so fragile then, so vulnerable. And now. An active and joyous little boy. And I think to myself, we've come a long way, baby. It hasn't always been easy, and it hasn't always been fun (I remember the week he was sick with a cold, when he refused to sleep unless I was standing up with him-- I took the first shift, from midnight til four, and Geoff took the second shift, from four til eight.) But now, here we are.
Our baby is developing his own personality. His own likes and dislikes. His own vocabulary ("kitty", "mama", "dada", "Gage", "puppy", "hi", "go-go-go", which he yells out at ball games).
It goes so fast. It's cliche, of course, but I can't help but think that.

Anyways, onto other issues. First of all, my writing may seem sporadic these days, which OK, it is, but-- and not to deflect the blame from my self or anything-- but truly, my computer is not working well at all these days. It is very frustrating, any simple thing takes all bloody day. But I sent an error report to Microsoft, so I am sure that things will be straightened out soon. I expect that someone will contact me soon and maybe even do a house call and fix things.

Anyways. Speaking of the lake. I was there last week and happened to catch an episode of Oprah. She was talking about how to find pants that fit all body types, so I listened, thinking this could really help me out with my post partum abdominal issues (how long can I really call myself postpartum?? I wonder what the statute of limitations is on that??). The bottom line?? You could either a)spend $800 for a pair of pants that I'm pretty sure that Wal Mart doesn't carry or, if you don't want to go that route then b) hire a tailor to alter all your clothes to fit you better. I mean, of all the god damn useless advice. Really. If I had the money to spend 800 dollars on a pair of pants, or to hire a personal tailor, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place. I'd just get liposuction and be done with it. Frick. Like, really, elitist much, Oprah?? Eight hundred dollars, in my house, is a mortgage payment, not a pair of pants, I don't care how nice my ass might or might not look in it. So then they start talking about underwear and how to avoid VPL (visible panty lines, for those of you not familiar with panty line lingo) and they're like the best would be to wear a thong, although they admit that they do 'ride up a bit'. "Ride Up??" They make it seem like a pleasant little jaunt on a Shetland. Nice euphemism. If you want to call being sodomized by a piece of fabric 'riding up' then maybe you should just call being punched in the face, 'pushing in a little'. Like really. Let's just call things what they are.

Speaking of underwear, I bought some control top underwear-- absolutely hideous things, I will say-- and I must confess that I was disappointed in the result. It didn't do much to slim me down. And further, I realized only too late that every time I bent down you could see my horrible tan Lycra panties that went pretty much all the way to my armpits. So I guess I'm back to plan A- eating healthier shit, which obviously I'm not overly excited about. It sucks, but I guess there are no easy answers with these things. Unless you're Oprah.
Well, but then again... maybe not.
Enough said on that topic. I won't go there.

I still haven't heard anything from those jerks at Readers Digest. And so, in the spirit of not giving up, I'm going to submit another story. Eventually, they'll publish me just to silence me. Payton was asking me about jail for some reason, what it looked like inside. So I told her, you should ask your grandpa, he used to work in a jail. She seemed impressed by this. She asked if he still worked there, and I said no, he's retired. She wanted to know what that meant so I told her that it meant he didn't have to go to work anymore, ever. She found this concept deeply intriguing. So she goes, runs into the other room and tells Geoff, "Guess what dad? Mom said that Grampa's retarded now"
I don't know if they'll publish that-- the whole politically correct thing. I don't know.
Well, will write again tomorrow regarding the whole work thing.
Ready as I'll ever be.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Under Pressure

I have, in my fridge, as we speak, a package of hot dogs that expire on July Second, 2009-- the very day of my highly UNanticipated return to the paid workforce-- and I use the word paid there because I am currently a member of a workforce-- staying at home is a job in and of itself. Anyways. That is what my maternity leave is now reduced to. The life expectancy of a package of wieners. I am absolutely horrified at this prospect.
And speaking of hot dogs- here is a list of words that are currently taboo in our house, vis a vis an eleven year old son who will snicker and giggle inappropriately.
Hot dogs.
Hot dog buns-- the origins of this, I must admit, I am not entirely sure about
Meat balls.
Salted Nuts.
The subway slogan "Five dollar foot long"
The Burger King slogan "You're way right away"
I think the list is fairly comprehensive, although there are always other things that come up. Like 'pens' for example. He'll be like "Mom, what would pens be if it had an 'i' in it". Groan. The mind of an eleven year old boy is very one tracked, let me tell you.

Anyways, as I was saying before my little sideline into slang terms for male anatomy, my mat leave is almost over and I am feeling saddened and chagrined. I know that it will only take a few days and all will be back to normal, but still the nine to five world seems so foreign to me right now. I'll look at the clock sometimes at ten thirty, and think 'if I were at work right now I would probably be in full on professional nurse swing' but instead I am at home, playing blocks with the baby on the floor, wearing my PJ's and watching TV, laid back, sipping on gin and juice.
OK, without the gin and juice. Not at ten thirty am. Maybe eleven. But ten thirty's pushing it. At least on a weekday.

Anyways, other than that, my life is going relatively well. Payton had a soccer tournament this weekend, which went well. She received a medal, not for any amount of skill or even half hearted participation on her part, but simply because every kid gets one. She likes soccer, but unfortunately, doesn't seem particularly inclined to it. The ball will literally roll right over top of her foot and she will still stand in place, twirling her hair and looking absently at the other players. Geoff and I joked that when Payton is on the field, it's like a power play for the other team. I yell my heart out "PAYTON the BALL!! GET THE BALL!! ITS RIGHT THERE!!!" I get disheartened sometimes, the other parents look at me with sympathetic smiles, shrug their shoulders, as if to say "what can you do?" But, oh, well. It's just a game. And she is, after all, only four years old. But I've been finding that with her in soccer and Gage in ball, it's a lot of hustle and bustle, dragging the kids to soccer fields and ball diamonds alike, trying to occupy Alex who's main concern seems to be picking sunflower seed shells off the grass and eating them. I get frustrated sometimes, trying to keep uniforms clean and cleats put away-- though it seems we're always looking for something anyways-- but when I was driving home the other day with my sleepy baby boy, who'd had too much sun and his plump cheeks were a cherry red color, and my soccer clad four year old, who talked excitedly all the way home, and my too cool eleven year old, who pointedly ignored me all the way home, with his MP3 player plugged staunchly and firmly in to his ears, that even as stressful as these days are sometimes, these are the very times I will someday yearn for. A line from a song- of all songs, Miley Cyrus "The Climb"- "I may not know it, but these are the moments, I'm gonna remember most" and I was suddenly struck with a vision of myself, older- much older, my children long gone with children of their own, looking fondly back on a time when my babies were just that- babies- like how the other day when I took the kids outside to the splash park and Alex discovered that he liked the water, and ice cream. I hefted him out of his car seat when I returned home, he smelled like Baby Faces sunscreen and the faint, sweet smell of ice cream. He was sleepy and his body went limp against mine, hot and sweaty and sweet. His hair was damp and curly, I kissed the top of his head, enjoying the moment in time. Or how Payton and Alex and I sat together on a blanket and watched the sun go down while Gage played center field, Payton blowing bubbles and Alex clapping his hands together in a cute, if clumsy, fashion. It's chaos sometimes, but in the chaos is the beauty. I just need to be able to see it, not get bogged down by the stresses of it. Like so what if Alex eats a few sunflower seed shells. It's not going to kill him, right??
OK, it might. Bad example.
Anyways, that being said, I am going to go now and enjoy the day with my children.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fool proof.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. There is a reason, I believe, that they use the word 'mother' in that expression and not 'father'. My husband has virtually no problem solving skills whatsoever, especially when it comes to household matters. I mean, I've heard him say the sentence "I was going to make tacos for supper but we dont' have any green peppers" Like, hello!! Have you ever heard of tacos without green peppers??? For me, I just make do with what I have. Geoff, on the other hand, has yet to undertand this. Yesterday I had to take Payton to the doctor (molluskum contagiousum, I'm afraid-- don't let your kids play with Payton at the playground-- just kidding, it's not contagious--just kidding, actually it is but it's not very serious.) at 4:30, Gage had ball practice at 5:30 and I knew I wasn't going to be home for supper. So, planning ahead, I made up some meat sauce in the morning and threw it in the crockpot. All Geoff would have to do was throw some spaghetti is some water when he got home and dinner would be ready. Fool proof, right??

But no. You haven't met my husband. A real freaking piece of work, only he could screw up something so simple. I come home at twenty after five to find a pot of cold water on the stove. "You haven't fed Gage yet?" I asked, annoyed. He replied, annoyed as well, that there wasn't even any spaghetti. I opened the cupboard, pulled out a box of fettuccine, a box of macaroni, a box of tri colored shells. I was like "you couldn't use these??" I put the water to boil and decided to make the fettucine, but obviously it wasn't ready in time and poor Gage had to go to ball with no dinner. Sometimes I wonder if he really is that stupid, or if he's just lazy and making excuses. I mean, it doesn't have to be spaghetti, does it?? Is it just me, or is that just plain common sense??? It reminds me of a similar episode "There's more than one way to cook a chop" back in 2007. They never learn. Never.

Anyways. Yesterday I was relaxing on the couch, happened to glance out the window and what did I see?? The creepiest thing. Cats. There were four cats (that didn't belong to us) sitting on our front lawn, looking expantantly at the house. It was freaky. It reminded me of that Steven King movie, Cats or whatever it was. It seems our Zoey is quite popular on the block. We have been trying to keep her inside, but I fear it may be too late. For some reason, Geoff seems quite smitten with our cats apparent sexual prowess, perhaps living vicariously through her sex life. Pitiful, really, but unless he learns to substitute one pasta for another, I'm afraid that shall remain the case. Anyways, the cat is getting spayed on the 9th so hopefully we will make the deadline. One more week to go. Can't come fast enough.

What can come fast enough- my return to work, scheduled to happen one month from this very day. I can't believe it. A year ago, when I started my mat leave, the world was my oyster. OK, it wasn't my oyster. I don't even like oysters, not really. I don't know why people say that. But my point is that it had seemed like a whole lifetime stretched beyond me: one year; twelve months; three hundred and sixty five days. But now, most of that time has come and gone. I am beginning to prepare to go back to work. I think that I might have found a suitable daycare, I am going on Thursday to meet the woman so I guess I will know for sure then. It sounds pretty good as she had a daughter that would be in Paytons class, so that could work well. We will see how that pans out. I think once I get that lined up I will feel better about going back to work.

And now, last but not least, the burning question: Jon and Kate. Will they split?? Take my poll. I think, from what I've learned from my very reliable sources (AKA radaronline) that it's pretty much a done deal, they're Splitsville already. So sad. And what is this I've heard that Octomom is getting a show?? Frick. Give me a break. I would never, not ever, watch her show. Like really, anybody could have sixteen kids if they were dumb enough to do it, but most of us aren't, so why are they rewarding people for their own stupidity with the pseudo-fame of reality TV?? I just dont' get. Jon and Kate I liked because they were kind of an everyday couple who kind of just 'fell into' such a large family and were dealing with it day by day. But as for these other shows-- the Duggars?? Don't get me started. I think that mom had a labotomy at some point, if she hasn't she freaking needs one to deal with all her those kids Jebediah and Jedidiah and Jeremiah. So annoying.
Anyways, I must go now. Soccer. Have a good night.