Friday, May 30, 2008

Mother F@&M^#!



I learned something interesting today.

Seems there are some people out there (not saying who) who have made an important life decision upon meeting me.

Me, of all people.

They've decided against having children.


After meeting ME.

Seriously. They actually said: "No. It was after meeting her."

Jed tried to make me feel better by saying I've really done the world a public service by influencing this particular decision, but I'm still a little raw. Do I give motherhood a bad name?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What yesterday taught me

The universe is a joker. It's a little like that kid you always ran into in high school as you were running to fourth-period Earth Science. Remember him? He was the one carrying not a single book, and yet he'd always manage to step right into your path. You tried to avoid him but you'd end up sidestepping as he eased into the same collision course again.

He'd smile a satanic grin just before saying: "Shall we dance?"

Eventually you'd end up spilling the leaning tower of school books you balanced in your arms anyway. You'd hear his laughter dissappear down the hall as you picked up your things. Alone.

He is the Universe conspiring against you. You hate him.

But underneath all false starts and bad vibes, there's still no denying that jackass of a universe has a secret crush on you.

Perhaps yesterday the universe was just trying to tell me something: "The light at 8 p.m. is just so much better the light at 8 a.m. anyway."

Thanks universe. Now how about tinkering a little with that Check Engine light?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It slices, it dices, it juliennes ... but it can't turn off my Check Engine light

ginger snap, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

It's been busy, busy, busy here at the house of toyland.

We went to a party on Sunday for which we were to bring a sidedish, and for which I impulse purchased a Zyliss folding mandolin while we were buying produce at the grocery store (so, as it turns out, I could more easily make mass quantities of tasteless au gratin potatoes AND slice a little skin off my left thumb.

Good times.

Monday -- because I have this amazing device that drastically reduces prep time for thinly sliced root vegetables -- I made a cucumber salad for our family picnic outing. But since Jed has decided he only likes sweet things made of chocolate, and informed me the sugared/vinegar dressing really didn't do much for him, I suggested he hold the slices firmly on his ass ... and stop talking to me.

Good times.

After we cleaned up and dragged took the kids on a lovely hike through the woods, he dropped me off at the auto repair shop where the mechanic had finally figured out why the Check Engine light was in constant party mode on my dashboard. Last year around this time the same mechanic fixed something, turned off the light, slapped an inspected sticker on the windshield, I paid him, drove away and two hours later the damn light was back on.

Being the lazy person I am I chose to ignore it for the next twelve months.

This time the mechanic pin-pointed a rusted out valve in the gas tank, fixed it, changed the oil and slapped on a new inspection sticker.

Finally. Good to go. Whew.

So I absconded with my recently injected, inspected, detected car (using my extra set of keys) and left a note saying I'd gladly pay him Tuesday.

Tuesday was its own disaster waiting to happen.

Everyone had the holiday weekend hangover, so we were already slow on the get-up-and-go. I was further delayed because after dropping off the kids at the babysitter's house I had to go back home and return the breast milk -- that I'd taken out but forgotten to bring to the baby sitter's when I'd dropped off the kids -- to the freezer.

Since I was already late decided I might as well:

1. Pay the mechanic for fixing my car. Dropped off a check.

2. Take the dog to the vet despite Jed saying he'd do it -- but never did even though the vet is two minutes from our house and he works near home and I work 45 minutes away and take the kids to the babysitter for a lovely two and a half hour commute each day -- but I'm not bitter. The dog needs surgery to remove a tumor on her leg. Shite. Scheduled that.

So so late now, might as well stop at the apple farm and buy some donuts for the people at work who are probably already picking up my slack.

Get back into the car and see the flashing lights of police cruisers ahead on the highway. Oh man, they're checking inspections (which I just had, hello ... mechanic and $375 worth of work to be inspectable) but the registration expired and still tentatively hanging on the windshild because I haven't yet peeled it off and replaced it with the one in the envelope that is stuffed in my bag. Have to go back and get Jed's car because I am NOT paying another fine for non-affixed registration thankyouverymuch.

Take a left out of that driveway and go back home. Run up the stairs to switch car keys, grab my gear from my car and transfer it to his, turn on the ignition and head for the highway.

Get into work, only to find out the jedster can't pick up the kids. Grrrrrrrrrreat! Never thought I'd get here now I have to hurry up and leave.

Of course, there I was wishing I could scrub that day right off the face of the calendar, when THIS day rears it's ugly head. Woke up to find that I'd forgotten to put the milk I'd pumped into the refrigerator. Dumped it down the sink. No shampoo left. Annabel's deciding she's too tired to get up. Drag her out of bed. Silas is throwing food at the dog, who is taking it an burying it in the couch. And Oh-look-at-the-time. Already running late.

While Jed gets Annabel to eat her cereal, I take the boy out on the porch and take a few (ok ...more than a few) pictures of him in his cute hand-me-down yellow jacket from the baby days of Annabel.

Got milk. Got lunches. Getting going. This day is going to be better.

We get to the sitter's house with not moment to spare. I make the transfer and off they go toward preschool and the rest of their day.

I'm still sitting there in the driveway, just trying to collect my wits, when I reach for the camera. I just want to take a quick peek at the boy in his yellow jacket before I hit the road again.




Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn DAMN!

And that's when it happened, folks, I kid you not. ...

The Check Engine light, as if on cue, blinked back on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The other woman

stinky-toe massage, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

She loves her brother. Sometimes a little too much.

Sometimes we have to exile her to her room for a little while so she can do a little reflecting on pushing him with her feet (until he falls).

"I was just trying to tickle him."

Sometimes we have to break up their hugs (before she squeezes the last breath from his little body) ...

"I was just trying to kiss him."

All this loving comes with lots of admonitions:

Please don't hold him back. Please don't take ALL his toys. Please don't try and pick him up. Please don't crawl on top of him. Please stop yelling at him. Please don't pull on his clothes. Please stop grabbing at him. ...

"I was just wanting to play with him!."

I've tried explaining to her that he won't be little for long. One day he may even be taller and bigger than she is. She doesn't believe me.
She puts growing older and growing bigger in the same category. ...

"How old are you going to be on your next birthday? ... I bet when that birthday comes you won't even be able to fit in your car!"

No. She doesn't believe me that he could ever be bigger than she is since he will never be older.

She can't imagine (the way I can) that her brother may some day wrestle her to the ground and hold a droplet of spittle an inch from her nose before she screams for mercy and he sucks it back into his mouth like a strand of spaghetti.

All she knows is that when he pulls her hair or scratches her arm, instead of reminding her that he's a baby we are now telling him to be gentle.

She beams whenever he is told to be easy on his sister.

With all these little talks about how it's going to be as he gets more and more mobile -- more and more independent and interested in finding out what makes things work -- you'd think that I'd have been preparing myself for the end of his existance being so mommy-centric.

You'd think it wouldn't have come as a complete shock to me when I awoke this morning to the scratchy nails of the son clawing over my face to flop down in the arms of his sister.

I couldn't help but smile when he settled right down in and started snoring again while she shifted a little but never woke up.

There's never been any doubt in my mind that she loves her brother. Now there's no doubt he loves her right back.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Trying to play my cards right

(magic nose) gobblin, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Jed and I are tripping over ourselves trying to witness our second child's firsts.

Last weekend, my hulking husband scrambled to his feet after playing on the kitchen floor with his son and roughly three thousand plastic containers and lids.

"He took his first steps."

Without even looking past the countertop, where the boy is hidden from view, I tell him "No. He didn't. What he's doing is called 'crusing.'"

"Well, I know what I saw, and this kid took a step."

"No. He didn't."

"Yes. He did!"

"No. He didn't."

"Yes. He did!"

"No. He didn't."

"Yes. He did!"

"Ok, this is getting us nowhere. I appreciate that you think Silas has taken a step, and that you want to be the first to witness this event, but I assure you he has not, in fact, started walking."

If I remain calm and collected, say my piece and turn back to what I was doing, I win. This, in poker terms, would be what they call a bluff.

Really, it's not fair that I get to witness all the firsts. I realize that. It's not fair that milestones in my babies lives don't actually happen unless I am there to witness them.

That old conundrum, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it; does it make a sound?" Well replace that old hunk of wood, root system and leaves with a chattering, wobbly boy baby, who has whole 'nother existence while his mommy's at work, and one can unequivocally say: "Nope. Not a sound."

Daycare providers all know that firsts happen first at home (even if they don't). They know that any telling of a first happening elsewhere will result in the one of the following responses:

"You're fired."


"Oh, I forgot to mention, he started walking yesterday at 4:30 in the morning while I was trying to change his diaper and figure out that world peace thing."


A wordless response might also result, wherein good ol' delusional mom turns into a puddle of heaving, sobbing Jell-O right before the caregiver's eyes.

Most daycare providers understand that we working moms can be an irrational a fragile set, so they wait until the mom comes in the next day and announces the kid's new skill.

No matter what game you're playing, this is known as a brilliant strategy. And a strategy that should be noted as being separate and apart from the ones we, as parents, are employing to ensure we triumph in the name game race ...

ME: "Who am I? MAMA. I'm MAMA."

HIM: "Hey Buddy, can you say DADA? Go ahead, say 'dada'."

ME: "Mama?"

HIM: "Dada!"

ME: "Mama?"

HIM: "Dada!"

ME: "Mama?"

HIM: "Dada?"

ME: "Mama?"

HIM: "Dada?"




CHAMP: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!"




ITTYBIT: "I think he said 'Annabel'."

And that, dear friends, is what's called a trump.

** Yes, and for the record, the boyo took two steps last evening into his father's arms ... in my presence. He also says mama, dada and dog ... but never when we ask.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who's on first?

going to alewife, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Jacob: Have you ever been to Subway?

Annabel: I don't think so ... but I have been to a train station.

Jacob: NO! Not a train station. Subway is a place you get food.

Annabel: Well, I got a popsicle at the train station.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Because I am your MAUTHER!!!

gurlfiend, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Lately we've created a place in our house, which, if it were orbiting, lightyears away from an early Star Wars set, would best be described as fun-sucking void where no sounds of glee can be heard.

It's next to the refrigerator, between the kitchen and dinning room.

And I am the gatekeeper.

Now as gatekeeper, I have standards to uphold.

Whenever there is even the hint of an uplifted lilt in a tiny voice over the steam of peas or the froth of milk, I stand there, arms crossed, breathing with my loudest ujjayi breath, lording over the proceedings.


And the giggles just bubble over the edge of the dinner table, popping each other as they multiply.

Even Silas thinks Darth Vader is funny.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

She's not a follower

sheep, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

ITTYBIT: Papa and I went to the sheep farm today. Well, actually, we went with Elias and Mike. Mike drove. He told Elias to hold my hand but he put his hand in his pocket. I said he sometimes does that. It's ok. I don't mind.

The farm was really cool though. They had sheep and lambs and lots of things. The sheep have tags in their ears with their names on it; only they have numbers for names, which I think is pretty weird. They also get hooked up to machines and they milk them. They get a lot of milk. And then they make it into cheese and yogurt. I didn't like the yogurt though. Nobody did. The cheese was pretty good, though. I did like that. ... We had lots of snack back at school. We had grapes and honey dews, and the sheep cheese and crackers ... But it was funny. Elias didn't eat any snack ... not a bit.

MAMA: Well, what about the farm? Was there anything else?

ITTYBIT: Oh. Yeah. The farm. ... it was pretty great. Papa really had a good time. He even bought some blue cheese. He's going to leave it in our refrigerator. They showed us the cheese. It was in a thing and the blue cheese was at the top and the white cheese was at the bottom.

MAMA: Did you see any sheep getting sheared?

ITTYBIT: No. Wait. What does that mean? Sherrrrr?

MAMA: When sheep get their fur trimmed it's called shearing.

ITTYBIT: No. No. We didn't see that. But I did ask the farmer why that had a big fan in the barn.


MAMA: Well. What did he say?

ITTYBIT: 'You ask really good questions.'


MAMA: But what did he say the fan was for?

ITTYBIT: Oh, he said it just keeps the workers cool.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Dear Silas,

One month from today you will be a year old.

A. Year. Old.

Right this minute - exactly eleven months into your first year - you have two teeth (bottom), you are learning the joy of clapping and you still cry when a roomful of people (or even just one) sing 'Happy Birthday.' You make the sounds for "mama," and "dada," and "daw" (we think that's doggy). You've begun cruising around the furniture. You are standing up in the middle of the room, unassisted. You are crawling at sonic speed. You are also a thumb and forefinger (only one inch apart) from sleeping through the night.

You are getting so big.

Oh, but you are still such a sweet baby. Even if you poke me in the eyes, or claw at my mouth, or mash food into my nose.

Your sweet, crooked grin is still evidence that you have no ill intent. You are just finding out by poking around.

Some people (your amah) think you are just like me. Your appetite has been more along the lines of non-food stuffs, and you quietly go about your business without much fanfare. Visitors sometimes marvel at your calm demeanor.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "If he were my baby I'd forget all about him. It's like he's not here."

You are content to sit back and watch.

You can easily amuse yourself with rolling cars and wooden blocks.

You have found the shangrila that is your sister's room.

You can spend long periods of time putting smallish toys in plastic bottles.

You are even starting to learn that you must turn around before going down the two little steps between the diningroom and our bedrooms.

You are content. And we are content with you.

Until you splash in the dog bowl.

Or grab ceramic mugs off the table.

Or play with the toilet or in the tub or with the recycling.

Or fling food to the floor.

Or get screaming mad over not being allowed to play with sharp objects.

But even on the rare occasions when you DO get yourself into a little trouble; you're fairly low key.

Like last week when you discovered the fun little compartment in the VCR. It's perfect for sticking your fingers into. ... only when you do they don't come out. The more you pull the tighter it gets. The first time it happened you were afraid.

The kind of afraid that seemed to say: I may never get my hand back ever again. And I need these things to eat with. ... HHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPP MMMMEEEEE!!!!!!

But that was about a dozen times ago. You've learned so much since that first frightening experience.

You still put your fingers into the slot, you still get them caught, but now when it happens you just stand there and wimper a little ... until we notice and rescue you.

My guess is by the time this time next month rolls around, you'll learn even more: like how many crackers can fit behind the flap.

Love and noisy kisses,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Freedom isn't synonymous with fairness

new addition to the playground, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Jed and I disagree.


About a lot of things.

For instance: He likes chocolate-based ice cream flavors while I prefer fruit or coffee-flavored confections;

He hates fish. I love fish.

He prefers peaches in his yogurt. I like berries.

He thinks children who make hideous experiments out of food items in the pantry should be made to eat their creations. I think a little "Time Out" and a lot more supervision is a more humane and appropriate consequence.

He also thinks a woman in Missouri, who was indicted on charges in connection with a "cyber bullying" event that ended after a teenage girl committed suicide, should go to jail.

I don't.

Not that I think Lori Drew doesn't deserve to be vilified in the press, or spurned by her neighbors, or considered to be America's Most Immature Mother for the next fifteen minutes or fifteen years for that matter. She definitely earns that disrespect.

But to make Cyber Bullying (or any bullying for that matter) a crime, I think, endangers our freedom of speech.

Jed puts himself in the place of the parents. He sees a woman who victimized a teenage girl, who set her up to take a fall. Even if she didn't know the girl would hang herself in the aftermath, she is culpable and should be punished by the law. He sees an event that is deeply disturbing, and that, from all media accounts, seems to be burgeoning as more and more people avail themselves of the thin blanket of anonymity the internet provides.

I see the many of the same things, and yet I also see that such a visceral reaction has caused a rush toward making outright and low-down meanness a crime. I see the disparity of having laws that apply justice arbitrarily. Why have different laws for cyberspace? In the real world, if they had passed fake notes in the classroom would they be in the courtroom? It's not really a different world. Harassment is harassment wherever it is found, whether on the schoolyard or in the boardroom or on a web page.

We all need a lesson in dealing with jerks that doesn't end up with a phone call to the local precinct. We need our children to be strong enough to ignore; to rise above their petty peers. Not only because bullies will always exist.

But because if this keeps up, one day free speech may not.

Say your criticism of treatment by a doctor, or shoddy service at a store, or any number of things you have a right to say becomes something criminal because someone else says you made it up intentionally?

Really, this type of legislation could go anywhere and apply to anything.

What about that boy to whom you gave your virginity IN REAL LIFE? He's the one who told you he'd love you forever and who broke up with you the next day. What about him? Some of you are probably wishing he could get his comeuppance, too. Maybe if he broke your heart in an e-mail, you'd get your shot.

To Jed, and many others I imagine, it may seem as if I am defending this monstrous woman who antagonized a child in her skewed understanding of fairness and lack of any semblance of parenting skills. Everyone, it seems, wants an eye for an eye.

I want to teach my kids that jerks are jerks; and nobody -- not even a Real Boy who tells you lies or says mean things — is worth your tears. You are better than that. We should all be better than that. We can unplug. We can move on. And we should.

Let the bullies of morning news magazines take care of the public shaming. They're already on it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Food for thought

snack, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Food has never been my favorite topic. As the old saw goes: Some people eat to live and other people live to eat.

I don't really fit into either of those little niches.

I'm the person who seriously considers (and sometimes actually manages to) pack a healthy lunch but usually just eats whatever my pocket change buys from the bank of vending machines in the cafeteria.

Sadly, I approach the kids' lunches with the same wistful enthusiasm and failure to follow through.

I search flickr for lunch ideas; I buy resuable lunchboxes and have adopted some of the tricks used by bento box afficianados. I think about all the pretty things I can send for the babysitter to feed my kids while I'm at work.

I bask in the glow of the multi-colored foods Annabel has eaten since she was a tot, and wonder exactly when her palate will pale. I soldier through the fact that Silas eats hardly anything besides breastmilk and graham crackers. I know eventually he will eat the beige menu of a normal childhood.

I even dream of the loving little notes I will put in the lunch boxes once the kids can read.

On Monday mornings the sitter laughs at me as I show up with the kids and a grocery bag full of that day's lunch offerings carefully placed in containers or bagged with colorful ribbons.

Apple slices, berries, three colors of peppers, chicken nuggets, corn, snap peas, carrots, bagels, yogurt, cheerios, oatmeal, soup, corn chips and cookies.

But my ability to continue the planning and procuring of such pretty packages is shortlived.

The downhill slide starts on Tuesday as I'm lucky to have remembered to bring the kids. By Friday, if it weren't for the sitter, my kids would be eating lint from the floor and drinking water from the toilet.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She knows how to push buttons

damn hell bathroom, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

It never fails. As soon as you get to where you are going the preschool set needs to use the facilities. Doesn't matter if you've gone ten miles or ten feet, nature's call has a strong desire to see the decor and smell the handsoaps.

If the place has anything interesting at all -- an automatic hand dryer for instance -- you are destined to make multiple trips to the lav during the course of your shopping experience.

Potty training does have it's price after all. You might as well put the savings you gain from skipping the diapers aisle directly into the unnecessary things you will buy so as not to look like a schnorrer whenever your kid needs to use the washroom at a store that doesn't legally have to provide them to patrons.

"Oh, mama. Can you pick me up? I can't reach the sink. Look! The walls are purple. And they have that blowdryer thing on the wall. I want to push it again ... and again ... and again. Just one more time? Pleeeeeeeeeeeese oh Plaaaaaaaahhhhhhzzzzzz."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You can't stop progress

I would like you to move, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

But that doesn't stop me from trying.

I watch him struggle to his feet in the tub. It is with confidence and authority that I tell him to "sit down." Standing in the tub is not advisable for the less ambulatory among us. So many unnecessary accidents happen in the bathroom.

He struggles to his feet in the livingroom, gripping the sofa with both hands. I don't want him to walk. Not yet. He's still a baby; my baby.

But I can't really tell him to sit down.

Not with Jed sitting nearby with his one eyebrow raised anyway.

So I laugh, and tell him in unskilled French: "asseyez-toi, si vous plait."

It doesn't hurt any if he doesn't know what I'm saying, right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

How was your Mother's Day?

From our room at the Mirror Lake Inn I schlepped down four floors to the restaurant and (charging $9 to our tab) got two tiny boxes of cereal, a banana, a juice box and coffee so we could have breakfast in bed.

It was a good morning.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I would have said ... 'see you tomorrow' ... but I didn't want to jinx it

lookie lou

Did you miss me?

It's ok if you didn't. It's only one day. I know you all have busy lives that include crazy, mind-numbing deeply gratifying and wonderful things such as household chores and ignoring your spouse playing with your own kids.

I had an opthamology appointment: The kind in which they dilate my pupils to see the inside of my eyes.

For me it's an annual thing.

You see, I have a "freckle" located somewhere on my left eyeball, (how's that for sharing?) and the doctors like to keep a watch on it to make sure it doesn't change into something that begins with the Latin form of BAD.

I learned of the mole about five or six years ago, probably two decades after my previous opthamologic appointment.

"Has anyone ever told you that you have a mole on your eye," the doctor asked.

"Uh. no."

"It's really not that uncommon. You are a freckled person. And you can get freckles and moles anywhere on your body."

During that visit I also found out I had "convergence," a condition in which the muscles of one eye aren't as strong as the muscles of the other eye."

"Did you have a lazy eye as a child?"

"Um. No. ..."

"Well. It's really no big deal. But it will get worse if you let it go. The good news is there are simple exercises you can do that will strengthen the muscles."

"Well could it be related to the massive amount of computer work I do?"

"Um. No."

Anyway, It was quite a shock that first appointment years ago. I had scheduled it first thing in the morning and had gone to work afterward, not realizing I wouldn't be able to SEE anything like WORDS on this here COMPUTER SCREEN for nearly three hours. Even with reversal drops to counteract the dilating ones, it was a long stretch of close-up blindness.

But all of that is really beside the point.

The point being: I am neurotic.

And this mole -- this TINY, TINY FRECKLE, as the doctor describes it -- is on my EYE.


And, as a consumate worrier, that just nerves me up.

So I go in there are hold my breath until they tell me it's all beautiful and stable and see you next year.

Which they did, luckily, before I turned blue.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You know where this is going, right?

you know where this is going, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

This little pea stone is going right in the boy's mouth.

No hesitation. No awkward fumbling over fingers and thumbs.

Right in.

He doesn't eat more than a thimbleful of genuine food items in any given day.

A bit of banana here, a taste of yogurt there.

He'll gum graham crackers until they are a taupe-colored paste and he'll share most of his Oatio's with the dog. Then he squirms to get down and prowl the kitchen for leftover cracker crumbs and pieces of dog kibble.

So why am I surprised that out on the playground these little rock morsels wouldn't seem like a delicacy?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby

ice maam , originally uploaded by toyfoto.

I had to leave work early today.

I had a problem with one of my mammary glands. The left one.

Took me by complete surprise. Ten months with the little guy and nary a hint of trouble. (Not like the last time where every four days I was dealing with something that looked like an alien life form inside my nursing top.)

I self diagnosed a caked breast ... basically a bunch of clogged milk ducts that made the whole thing swollen and painful. Nothing was coming out. Not even a trickle.

I checked in with Dr. Google, who recommended the same thing that the folks I fork over increasingly larger co-pays to did four years ago: hot compresses, warm showers, rest and plenty of nursing. The baby, they say, is the most efficient declogging agent.

Baby drain-o.

But guess what?


Now I know babies are efficient little suckers. And Silas was getting something alright, but he was jumping around like a chimp trying to get it. And even then it wasn't enough.

The breast still felt like a brick.

Moist heat? Sweartogod, the four times I had this with Annabel (two of which led to the need for antibiotics to get rid of mastitis) heat never did anything.

And then I thought. What about ICE? To stop swelling most SANE people recommend ice.

Guess what?

Six minutes after four cubes of ice in a Zip-Loc back were applied to general area, Silas nursed without any acrobatics and the clog got noticeably better. In an hour it was feeling back to normal.

So please, tell all your lactating friends ... Hell has frozen over and most doctors don't know or just don't believe. ... Ice, Ice, Baby

Monday, May 05, 2008

I wouldn't stand too close to me today


I'm feeling randomy. And not in a good way.

I've been pretay angray latelay.

Like the kind of angry one feels when they feel attacked. Or misunderstood. Or slighted. Or maligned. Even if no one else really thinks those things have happened to you at all. It's the kind of angry that turns into sadness.

I hate not being able to talk about it.

... But I'm not gonna talk about it.

I'm also pretty ticked at Hillary Clinton. Her insistance that a lifting of a gas tax will do anything to help the American people (regardless of who pays for it) is nothing more than pandering in my estimation. And really? I'm over it. We need to pay the piper and get used to big price tags at the pump. We need to use less energy all around and not just make our rampant consumption affordable.

... But I'm not going to bother you with that noise.

Speaking of Hillary. I'm seething a little over this and I really don't know why.

A lot about the piece bothers me, but for some reason what stands out most is this passage:

Old-guard feminists, for their part, seem not yet aware—or prepared to believe—that the younger generation is coming around. “Young women take a lot of things for granted,” Geraldine Ferraro told me. “We sometimes joke, ‘If you don’t get it, give it all back.’ We don’t want to say, ‘Look how bad it was.’ But they don’t know their workplaces are better because of loudmouths like me who said, ‘This is not how society should be run.’ ” Linda Hirshman, author of Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World, said she thinks the feminist movement, even the third wave, may have seen its final days. For another movement to reach critical mass, she said, women in society may need to experience what she calls “an accretion of insult.” But with the inequities highlighted by Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid reminding us of the inequities we experience on a regular basis, the insults may have, well … accreted.

I huge part of me wants Hirshman, and Ferraro for that matter, to take a big giant leap off a steep, rocky cliff. I know it's been two years since I wrote this but I still feel pretty much the same way. We women need to stop beating each other to a bloody pulp and stick together, yet I don't think that means we should just toe the line.

... But I'm done with the big mouths and their causes.

Perhaps I'm also just done with the numbers. I'm done with the idea that feminists are disappointed in me. Done with people telling me what I, as a FILL IN THE BLANK, should do.

I'm done with the talking heads who pose as independent journalists sneaking in their agendas. Hell ... I'm kinda over agendas. I'm over insecurites. I'm over political correctness. I'm over the whole "you are right but you should have done it this way" arm-chair quarterbacking.

I know that lots of us just don't get along, but I'm really beginning to think that moving forward really isn't feasible because NO ONE CARES ABOUT MOVING FORWARD, we only care about moving in a direction that we've picked. We just call it forward. And that, to be quite blunt, sucks.

I suppose therein lies the lesson. My way or the highway is over.

I want to move on.

And I am moving on.

I am moving on.

I'm moving forward.

I'm moving backward.

I don't even care if I bump into to things along the way.

See, we bought some pre-owned cars over the weekend. But my conscience is in the clear. These babies are compact and cost a fraction of their original sticker price. Best of all they use no fossil (or even biofuels) to operate.

They are Plasma Cars ... and they rock the house.

And you know, I don't care if I'm just going to the other side of the house, I'm going to drive from now on. Forget walking.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Second Act

Some virtual friends of mine are having seconds.

They've bellied up to the bar of motherhood once, drank down the sweet (and sometimes sour) nectar of the gods, and asked the barkeep for another shot.

Didn't matter that the first one may have given them swollen ankles, horrible heartburn, morning sickness or any number of uncomfortable ailments forty pounds of water, blood and baby (not to mention an entire new organ we women grow to sustain this new life) can cause. Still they came back asking for more.

I remember what this time felt like: the weeks and days before we were to meet Thing 2. It was just 10 months ago. I had wanted him SO much, and yet there I was worried about the change it would mean to our family.

*Could I love him as much as I loved his sister?
*Was I short changing her?
*Was I short changing him?
*How was I going to juggle another being when I felt I was dropping so many balls with the one already here?

Those questions were never answered in a way I can explain. I suppose I have no advice.

We women are all so different. Our children are, too. I don't know the people you are bringing into this world. But I do know that you can trust yourselves to know these new people when they arrive. Easy or challenging, you will figure it out together.

A very wise woman once told me that the first child comes into your life and turns it upside down. Turns it into a circus. The second child seems to sneak in quietly during an intermission. And when the show starts again you almost forget this new being wasn't there -- a part of the family -- right from the beginning.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel

up , originally uploaded by toyfoto.

That's what Fridays bring.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What's that sound?

paintbox, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

I hear the scritch-scritching of a bristle brush against the nap of the canvas

The tinkle of metal against glass

The tap, tap, tapping of rims.

She had asked me to outline a princess that she could paint.

I took the canvas and a pen and drew something unremarkable.

After I was done she thanked me and was silent.

More tinkling of brush to glass. More scritch, scritch, scritching of paint on canvas.

Her color slowly obliterates my line.

Tinkle, tap, scritch, scritch ...

This is the sound of growing up.