Monday, December 24, 2007

8 Maids A-Milking



This was the first year we went to see the annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights here in Tucson, AZ. It was a great time spent with some dear friends of ours. I had to take the above photo and share it. This is a photo of one of the home displays which featured The Twelve Days of Christmas. "On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, Eight Maids a Milking..."

www.freerice.com

Gather your friends and family around and play this addictive game! We did and look how much rice we donated. 10,000 grains! It took 3 of us gathered around the laptop this evening and we had lots of fun!

Thanks to Jumping Monkeys for recommending this site!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

uh oh

Lucian has a new word. Well, I guess it's 2 words. "Uh oh" He's been saying it for a couple of days now. One of the hardest things about parenting it seems is trying not to laugh and encourage certain behaviors. He gets a kick out of dropping his sippy cup on the floor so he can say uh oh and we'll pick it up and then the process repeats. It's so darn cute the way he says it too and we just can't help ourselves and inadvertently encourage him to say it again over and over. He doesn't just say uh oh. He's very particular about how he says it. He says "uh" and then waits and elongates the "oh" part.



So now that he understands the association between saying uh oh when he drops something or something undesirable happens, I know it's only a matter of time before I'll be dreading this cute little phrase. I think this is one of those things that falls into the "You know you're screwed when..." category for new parents.

• You know you're screwed when your baby starts crawling because it's only a matter of time till they start walking.

• You know you're screwed when your toddler starts walking because it's only a matter of time till they start running...into you, into furniture, into the bathroom, into parking lots, into the ER.

• You know you're screwed when your child starts saying "Uh oh." It's cute in the beginning but sooner or later, cute turns into "what's that burning smell?" or "where are Mommy's keys?" and "why is the toilette tank filling with water?" Where did I put my keys?

It's amazing how I feel so "in tune" with certain sounds and behaviors of my child. I now know the difference between his cries of frustration, pain and anger. (I figured that out one time when I locked him in a pretzel hold to trim his nails and discovered he'd been playing me for months with one of his cries!!) I can tell the difference in grunting noises when he's concentrating on playing with something or trying to climb on something or when he's making me a "gift" of the smelly variety.

So, I'm certain it will just be a matter of time when I'll be distracted somewhere in the house and hear a faint little "uh oooooh" from somewhere and the sound will no longer be amusing and instead it will sound like breaking glass to me and I'll wonder for a split second if I really want to know.

I'm trying to decide now if I should encourage him to reserve "uh oh" for these um, "special" times so that I know there is a keyword in place for when bad things happen or should I keep laughing it off and desensitize the phrase so that it doesn't have a meaning. Is that even possible? I suppose "uh oh" is a whole lot better than "sunofabeesitchmothereffer." Oh how I can't wait to see the things this child picks up from us better than the lint trap in my dryer.

I guess it doesn't matter what we do, there has to be some way to communicate problems so we mind as well leave things as they are.

"This is a test of the toddler emergency broadcasting system. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency, the "uh oh" you have just heard would have been much lighter in pitch, almost as if to conceal its utterance. Sounds, smells and sights would follow indicating a need to react. This completes our test. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming of changing diapers, picking up toys and late night feedings."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

this makes me feel hot

and I don't mean the thermostat is off kilter...I mean I need to go shave my legs now. ---- Yeah, in my dreams. I'm lucky I can spare a teeny break from the toddler when Dadda comes home to come in here and goof around with this stuff. Shaving my legs would take way too long, besides this is way more fun! Oh Sarah, the little toys on your myspace are too much fun! I have to copy you every time now. You crack me up!

%1

Monday, December 17, 2007

the red velvet lap of doom



Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, I have just one for this Polaroid. Suck. As in, how much does it suck that my baby cried the first time he saw Santa? Or as in, how much does it suck that I am so bummed out about it? I tried so hard not to get my expectations up. I knew it would happen. So why did I subject my kid to this torture? I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't wait to put him in his cute little overalls and take him out to see the light festival at our local zoo. I reek of first time parent, don't I? Guilty as charged.

Last year was really his first Christmas, but you know, he was 6 months old and even more oblivious. Plus we went out east so there just wasn't time for a Santa visit. Last year we were all so darn sick, Lucian had RSV - it was not a really good holiday anyhow. I guess I'm trying to make this one better so I'm trying to get into the spirit early and often.

Over all, I have to say that the trip to this holiday event was ok. It was time well spent with family since we went with Oma and Opa D. So, I don't want to sound ungrateful for the experience. I'm just perplexed by the whole thing really. My son is normally a happy, cheerful, playful, loving and friendly kiddo. He usually never has a problem with strangers and rarely does he ever become shy. (that's enough to worry me right there for other reasons) So, I was secretly really hoping we might be able to pull the Santa thing off.

Before we left the line area, I made a point to calm him down and then take him back over to watch other kids sitting on Santa's lap so he knew it wasn't all horrible and that I wasn't sadistic for putting him on some stranger's lap. He almost acted like he wanted to go make another try at it but I know he really wanted to dig around the area where Santa was handing out little treats so I redirected him.

I was fully expecting the possibility of him crying and was mentally preparing myself for being ok with it. But now I feel like taking him to see Santa was no different than taking him to get his shots. I mean, what is the difference? You have to wait in a long line and deal with other people's rug rats running around with snotty noses and coughing and being impolite and hoping and praying that your kid isn't going to copy some awful thing the other negligent parent's kid is doing. Then you finally get called up to go do the thang with the kid and then the thang makes him scream and cry and as soon as it's over it's like it never happened in the first place and the kid is back to his normal cheery self.

Ugh! It's experiences like these that make me stay in more and more. I have to echo some of the recent sentiments that so many others are blogging about right now: Tis the Season of I Hate other People's Kids!! What is it about the holidays that brings out the ick in people? I don't hate all other people's kids, just most of them. And I hate to say that because I am an educator, but at least in school, there is some decorum. I enjoy being around other people's kids in school, but the mall or stores, fuh-geh-ti-bout-it! And, the irony about that is that's when the parents are usually with the kids when they are in the malls and other public places and that's when they are at their worst! What gives?

Maybe I need to re-think this. Maybe it's not the kids that are the problem, maybe it's the parents that drive me nuts. And here I am creating and promoting parent resources! Well, I guess that's why I do it. I feel like I see so many parents out there who don't have a clue about their child's development and don't really care. It makes me so sad. I get to hear about it in the upper echelon of the education food chain day in and day out because I'm married to a h.s. teacher which makes me married to the cause for education as well. So, if I think it's bad at this level, it only gets worse as they get older. Is there any hope?

Taking Lucian to see Santa was exhausting because we all had to watch him like a hawk. Not that I don't normally supervise my kid, but there were so many people there and I'm so paranoid about someone snatching him or him wandering off and me ending up in the news. (I watch too much news is my problem. Nancy Grace gives me nightmares, but then I again, I think it's her makeup job that does it to me.) The poor kid just wanted to toddle around and explore everything like he's wired to do. I wanted so badly to just let him run wild and explore like we do at home with supervision but all the other kids misbehaving was just making me nuts. I had to whip out the teacher voice a couple of times to ask some kid to please stop attacking the poor Frosty the Snowman fixture. Lucian saw it and wanted to copy the behavior and that's where I draw the line. One of these days I know some other mom is going to deck me for reprimanding their kid, I just know it.

That's why I seldom go out. That's why I want to put my precious little one in a bubble and just roll him around in it. Why can't they make giant hamster balls for kids?

Ok, I know this is not a realistic way of thinking and I am a naive first time parent and maybe the next one I'll let loose like a wild dog. I know I need to get over it. But, day-am...when other people don't parent their kids, it makes our jobs so much harder, doesn't it?

ok, enough griping. Give me some credit. I let him eat dirt today. Minus the rocks. Because he has enough fiber in his diet.

So, what is the skinny if there are any other second or more-time parents out there reading this? Is it like the lottery when it comes to kids crying on Santa? Is it something about the color red that sets them off? I feel so bad for Santa, really. The Santa we took him to see seemed like the perfect Santa I would want for my kid to meet for the first time. He had a great Santa voice with a polite and gentle demeanor. And then I put my precious child on his lap and he whales. I apologized up and down to the dude but he just gave me that knowing look, cuz, you know, he's Santa and all.

I feel bad that he cried, but I have to admit it is kinda cute in a way. Something about the way his nose wrinkled up. My MIL convinced me to get the Polaroid picture they were selling. I wasn't going to, but I'm glad I did. She's right. It's still a special moment to cherish even if it wasn't the most desirable outcome. I've learned that the moments he cries are just as special as the moments he's smiling because it means he is feeling and learning and that's a lot to be thankful for. At least I got the joy in rescuing him and making him feel all better, cuz, you know, I'm Mom and all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

kreative kid stuff



I am bursting at the seams to blog about some kid and craft related topics but it's already getting so late so I'm just going to put up a quick post to remind me later about all the stuff I want to blog about.

First off, I am excited about Lucian's new interest in crayons and paints. He is only 17 months old, but already he is showing signs of being ready to get into crafts and I couldn't be more excited.

We went out grocery shopping this evening and I had to stop off in the office supplies section and look for crayons and finger paints. I bought a box of crayons because they were under a buck and truth be told, I bought them for MYSELF! I Looooooove the smell of Crayola crayons. It is one of the best smells on Earth to me. I'm going to tuck these crayons away for the time being because I think they are too small for him yet. I got an 8-pack of the big fat crayons for him instead.

I also go him one of these toddler type scribble markers. I'll go look at the package later and add in the details. I plan on editing this post to include links and other resources. Anyhow, it's called "Bob the Barking Bulldog" and it barks when you put the cap back on! So cool.

Ok, so here is a topic that is burning on my brain right now. Kid software. I have heard TuxPaint mentioned now several times on the Jumping Monkeys and TWIT podcasts and it makes me giddy listening to them talk about it. If only they knew the intimate experiences I've had with this software! Oh, I so badly want to share and talk about how much I love this little application and how it's better than KidPix and possibly better than Beautiful Dorina.

I just read the history of KidPix and I was thoroughly impressed. I'm still a bit confused as to why the OS X version of KidPix was not as well adopted. I wonder if it's because Broderbund took it over?

I also want to elaborate more on a cute story about a time when I was upgrading the school from OS 9 to OS X and how I had to practically pry KidPix away from a lot of really addicted kids.

Have you ever sat in one of those tiny little kid sized chairs? Your knees end up close to your chest. Ok, now try doing that while 8 months pregnant.

Yeah, those were fun times.

Have you ever had a face off in software with a determined first grader? I have. I once went to toe to toe with a first grader who was trying to convince me to keep KidPix in the lab while I was trying to convince him that TuxPaint was just as cool if not cooler.

Bill, if you ever read this...all you need to do is add in sound recording capability and it will be golden!

What I really want to do is write in to Jumping Monkeys and give them a full review of TuxPaint and what it's like to manage it in a lab with 30 computers and kids from ages 5 to 10 using it - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I want to talk about all the details of what teachers need to know in order to be prepared to use this successfully in a class environment.

Last year, I helped a kindergarten teacher use TuxPaint in a morning and afternoon class where they used it to make self portraits. We then printed out the pictures on the color printer and I made a huge mural with them that covered the walls in the bland computer lab. Let me just say that trying to organize 20 five year olds is no easy task and I think the teacher may have bit off more than she could chew when embarking on this journey. I have seen so many frustrated teachers over the past several years and it's really sad because they just don't have the tools, resources and training needed to be able to teach kids how to use technology. Even if they did, where would they have the time?

I would love to be the equivalent of the art teacher or the music teacher or the gym teacher – a specialist – except I would want to be the technology teacher. It's such a shame that technology is not a specialized area given the same amount of weight as the other subjects. Instead, teachers are forced to take on the role and it adds so much more frustration to their already full plates.

Anyhow, I can't wait to start discussing more in depth on the software I like to use with little ones. My focus in the next coming blogs will be on: TuxPaint, AlphaBaby, Beautiful Dorina and KidPix. I already know how to tweak and "hack" TuxPaint and AlphaBaby and configure them to be really educational for really little kids and I can't wait to share this information.

For example, now is the perfect time of year to show kids how to use TuxPaint to create a holiday card. This has worked well in a lab full of mixed faiths because the stamps in the stamp selection include Christmas icons as well as Jewish icons like the Menorah. One of the things kids LOVE to do is pick out cool fonts. Unfortunately, TuxPaint only comes with standard set of fonts. I found a really neat font called "Brrrrr" that looks like letters with snow on them. You can alter the package contents of the application and install additional fonts, but it's just a little tricky in that they have to be TTF files and you can't install too many or your system may crash.

Kids also LOVE cursive. This is true for girls AND boys which surprised me that boys like to type in cursive as well. 1st and 2nd graders absolutely love it when you show them a cursive font.

I also learned that kissing kangaroos are cool and cause squeals of delight when shown to kindergarteners. But, show this same exercise in stamping to 1st graders and you'll get booed and hear "ewww gross!" Fascinating how so much changes in the course of one school year.

Well, that's all for now. I need to gather my thoughts and go document some ideas with screen shots and then maybe I'll shoot off the email to Jumping Monkeys and see if they are interested in my review.

Monday, December 10, 2007

widgets are little pleasures in life

A snapshot of my desktop dashboard with widgets. I love my Christmas lights and my Twitter widgets. Those are my favorites right now.

website is up

http://www.themacmommy.com

Yay! Finally, my website is live and at least it's something to look at other than a 404 error. I think I like the logo I've designed. I think it's grown on me now. I'm not crazy about the whole red and green color scheme though. I like it in the logo but I'm not liking it on the blog. I need to play around with the color scheme some more and try to find some better eye-friendly colors. I figured out how to change the font to Comic Sans but I don't want everything in that font so I have to go back and see where to fix it where I messed up.

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about what to put on my site in the contact area.

I've discovered it's really hard to write a simple bio with less than 1200 characters. I'm tring to decide where to put the more detailed bio. It's not like I'm that much of an interesting person, but I like to spell everything out for my own personal reflection later.

well, I did twitter that I was going to bed, but I wanted to at least put a website update out here in case anyone decides to check it out.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

website domain and hosting blues

ugh, so frustrating! I just hung up with customer support from godaddy...again. Luckily they are nice to talk to and available 24/7 which really works out with my crazy schedule. Who else can you call at 1 am in the morning? (when the kid is asleep and my cell long distance minutes are free.)

Well, as you'll see – if my wesbite ever gets posted under the domain name I registered – I take a quilting approach to website design. And, believe me, I don't know how to quilt either. I'm making this stuff up as I go. What I mean is that I just use whatever I have availble and feel like tinkering around with. Right now, I'm trying to learn how to use iWeb for the design but I want to avoid using dot mac. Of course, I'm an Apple cheerleader, but dot mac is just too expensive for me.

TheMacMommy philosophy is that whatever I do with technology (or show YOU how to do) should be free, cheap and easy and all three whenever possible.

So, right now, if you go to www.themacmommy.com, you get a 404 error. The reason is because I have my domain name forwarded to my free ISP hosted space which I pay for even though they call it "free" space. Here is where the quilting comes in. They only give you 10MB of web space which really isn't all that much when it comes down to it. So what I'll be doing is "stitching" my pages and sites together using hyperlinks that redirect to my other ISP hosted mailboxes.

I have Cox and they give you 7 email boxes. Each of those boxes contain 10MB. So basically, I'll string all 7 of those 10MB chunks together. I did it this way before with our DavisPlace website which is still up but it's so old and broken and in need of repair so I won't even post the link to it. Plus, I'm not sure how I feel about broadcasting to the blogger world where I live yet. It's kind of inevitable since I'm trying to get a home grown business going and I suppose I'll have to put my mailing address out there. Anyhow, it's one of the parts of my old website that I should probably revise.

I registered this domain name through google and apparently, the tech from godaddy told me it has something to do with that and when they (apparantly the buck has been passed to google) did whatever magic it is that they do with DNS, they don't put the "www" in front of the site name. If you try it right now and just type in 'themacmommy.com' into your browser URL, bam, it takes you right to the site. If you go the long way and type in 'members.cox.net/themacmommy/themacmommy/Introduction.html' it also takes you to the site. The problem seems to be the 'www' part.

I explained to the tech on the phone that I need for my site to display with www because many of my clients are senior citizens. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who use pencils with erasers and they also still type in the 'http://' part. Not everyone and their uncle knows that you don't even need to use www most of the time.

So, he did some magic and told me to check it again in a few hours. Man! (whine) This has been about 3 days now of waiting. I'm not a very patient person by nature.

Well, anyhow, my site will eventually be more easily accessible once this whole forwarding and masking and server nesting thing is resolved.

I have a plan for my site to tie it into my blog here so I can maximize the free hosting and space. My plan is to start posting more technology based blogs instead of always ranting about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Nothing at all against other bloggers who do that and I enjoy reading it, it's just that I would like to focus more on my experiences of being a mom in the technology age and how it relates to my parenting and how I can help others. I still like to post rants and raves about being a mother in general but I will most likely flavor it with some form of geekdom.

Well, I hear pots and pans banging and smell wonderful aromas so that means that Hubby is cooking and having to deal with the boy dismantling the kitchen while he does it. Now I just heard a grunt and I think that sound means that Hubby has probably redirected the boy for the umpteenth time so he can get something accomplished. And now I feel guilty for blogging when all I meant to do was come in here while they were snoozing and check my page and make a few updates.

Ah, ADHD strikes again!

and the screeching continues!

Friday, December 7, 2007

play-DOH in my wedding ring

Blue play-doh to be precise. blink blink blink goes my cursor on my screen. My mind is racing. There are so many things I want to blog about it makes me tired just thinking about thinking. Does that ever happen to you?

I can hear my son squealing (sp? hmm, this blogger widget on my dashboard doesn't have a built in spell checker and that's a bummer. I've now gotten into the habit of tap-tapping (I'm pushin a track pad so that's the same as a right click) on the word with the squiggly under it and clicking on the suggested corrected spelling in the contextual menu. Hmmm. Does that make me a bad person becaue I'm lazy? I know how to spell and I know how to touch-type but it seems I'm not always the best at doing both at the same time. Oh gawd. Yawn. This post is boring even me now. I don't even know if I have a point. Yes I do. I do somewhere in this brain and probably a million of them but they're all tied up in one huge clusterfu*!k right now. Like the fact that I'm not really all that comfortable with swearing on my blog. It's MY blog dammit! Who the hell cares?!

That's another topic within another topic for another time which I'm sure will come and go and then I'll forget all about it and never post about it. – or WILL I? perhaps if I just type like this stream of consciousness style maybe the brain constipation will yield the brain fart I so desperately (damn, miss spell check) need right now so I can unclog my mind.

Perhaps blogging is some form of mental Metamusil? Oh wait, is that the stuff that loosens you up or blocks you up? I can't remember. It's kind of like lefty loosey righty tighty. Wait. Bad example, that rhymes so that has to be right. doh I mean correct. Ok, it's like liquor before beer never sicker beer before wine always fine. I know that ryhmes but that doesn't mean I remembered the damn phrase correctly in the first place so it doesn't really help me so that's probably why I don't drink! (much)

Oh damn, running out of space on my widget so I guess I'll have to switch over to the web app. Perhaps I might look into the email version of doing this. crap.

Ok, so where was I? Oh yeah, so my son was squealing (oh, thank God, spell check is back) outside in the living room where his father is letting him run around wild. Yeah, he started doing the screeching thing about a month ago. I think. What's time to anyone. I'm lucky if I remembered to put the milk back in the fridge and the cereal back in the cupboard and not the other way around. Of course, the reason I try so hard to remember to do that correctly is because the first and last time I did that, I ended up taking a pregnancy test that was positive. Sometimes I'm tempted to do it just to freak out Hubby. Teee hee hee hee.

So why was I writing about my son squealing? I guess it has something to do with the fact that I'm hiding out in our little home office again trying to get my geek on and have some me time. I can't stand the new noise he has discovered how to make. It should be only a sound that dogs hear but I can hear it and it hurts my ears.

We've been spending a lot of time cleaning up the house and organizing stuff that got unorganized – or never organized in the first place – and getting ready for Christmas. Lately I have been so wanting to purge so many things. I can't believe some of the crap we save. WHY? Why are we such packrats? Luckily both Nate and I are pretty united on trying to not be like our packrat parents who are children of parents who survived the Depression. Let's try not to make this Depression like the last one, shall we?

Oh, and BTW, when I say 'we' I really mean mostly me. (wait, that's not really all that fair, Hubby has busted some butt moving stuff for me and helping out but it's the look he gives me or the heavy sigh I hear whenever I ask to pull out his teeth, oops, I mean whenever I ask him for help with a "project" that makes it feeeeeeeel like I'm the one doing all the work because thinking about making the house look nice is a lot of hard work!! dammit) –

What is there to get ready might you ask? Well, for starters, we haven't been keeping up with the house as much this past year and a half because we had a b-b-b-baby who is now a ta-ta-ta-toddler. So as you can imagine (I hope other people are slobs like us) our schtuff has just been schtuck here and there and everywhere. Yeah, sometimes I do think we live in a house that could come out of a Dr. Seuss book.

In lieu of recent events, i.e. my in-laws selling their home and trying to find a place here in Tucson because my FIL had to move off the mountain (health reasons due to high altitude) and in with us (not going to go there) (although I so baaadly want to but I just shouldn't) we have (the whole immediate family) decided to have Christmas here at our little place.

We live in a very small rancher with 3 bedrooms, 2 of which are small. Thank God we have 2 bathrooms though. There will be 8 people here (including us) for about a week that have to do the 4 Ses. (SSSS) (shit, shave, shower and sleep) I think we can pretty much forget about the 5th S. (sex)

Needless to say, it's going to be - how they say - cozy.

Now, my husband's family are the type of people who are so easy going and accommodating it makes me crazy because I'm just not used to it. Truth be told, I could just leave the house exactly the way it is and they wouldn't care and they would sleep on the roof if we asked them to. But, that's not how I was raised. I was brought up to go insane when people are coming to visit or stay in your home. The house has to be clean and accommodating like with nice guest towels out and clean sheets and pillows and the floor vacuumed and stuff put away. No lube laying out in plain view.

Hah! just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Oh, there is so much I could say about that but I just shouldn't.

It's like I'm writing this blog with my legs crossed. I'm just not sure how far I want to go with this, but that's another topic for another time that will probably come and go and by the time it does I'll be over it. And if I'm not, then maybe just maybe I'll blog about it. Or maybe someone else already has blogged about it and I'll just post to them and tell them, yeah, ditto, me too, thanks for putting that out there. (I'm so sure.)

There are people who say out loud or in text what other people think. I think I just think what other people think and then regurgitate it in my ADHD-flavored sort of way. It's all just packaged a little differently, ya know. You may say it with green and then I see how it looks in purple with yellow stripes.

So anyhow, I've been spending much of my time in between playing with the screecher, trying to get the house a little more re-organized. I got some stuff accomplished today but never as much as I want and I guess that's just the reality of it.

So, I sat down on the floor and played with my son and tried to show him how play-doh works. I made a really cool color by mixing the bright fluorescent red with the purplish red. It was cool. Lucian hasn't quite gotten that it's fun to moosh the stuff together. He's more interested in playing with the canisters. I was having fun. I was sooooo tempted to mix all the colors together but I refrained because I want to do that with him when he's a little more focused on the actual play-doh instead of the containers. I'm trying to teach him about colors.

In the process of all of this, I noticed that I had gotten some blue play-doh caked into my wedding ring. At first, I was like, oh crap, how am I going to get that out? Thank God it didn't get in between the diamonds. I think this is one of the reasons why I don't wear an engagement ring and didn't even want one.

Well, ok, let's be honest, I would love to have an engagement ring but only because it looks pretty and it's what everyone else wears. For me personally though, it's just not practical. I would probably injure someone with it or lose it or break it. I have a whole other deep philosophy about engagement rings but you know, another time that will come and go...another fleeting thought.

I think that's one of the biggest reasons why I blog - to help me remember stuff. I plan on using this as a diary of some sort to go back and reflect on later and hopefully be able to go back in and elaborate on all of these thoughts that I had bigger plans for.

So, back to the wedding ring with the play-doh in it. As I examined my wedding ring with blue play-doh stuck in it, it made me smile and a little weepy too. Whenever I look at my ring, I think about how much I love my husband and I'll never forget the first (or the second) time he placed it on my finger. Actually, he jammed it onto my finger because we were on a boat at the time and he was terrified he was going to slip and drop it overboard. It signified to me that life is pretty good if I am able to sit on the floor with my young son and play with play-doh and get messy. There was a time in my life not so long ago that I thought I would never have this opportunity. I thought that motherhood or being a wife was just going to pass me by much like the thoughts I have that never make it to my blog.

I'm happy that life is more like a box of chocolates than a blog. You can try to format it and edit it but in the end, you just don't know what you're going to get or which color play-doh will end up in your wedding ring.

404 bore


darn it! I'm trying to get my website up and going but the DNS servers are still not posting it. grrrrrrr
I'm just being impatient. I know. We live in such an instantly-gratifying world though. I'm spoiled. I don't even have my site designed yet, but I just wanted to play around with iWeb and Cyberduck and take it for a test drive. I actually managed to get into a zone and stay focused on ONE project – my website – and now I'm bummed. I keep clicking the refresh button. Nadda.

Well, I did find a cool new widget. It's a twitter widget. It's almost as cool as the blogger widget except that the blogger widget is small and I like to write a little more than the window will comfortably hold. I also wish it had a place to plunk in an image file. I have to use the web interface in order to do that. Oh well.

Well, I suppose I should attempt to try and fall asleep. I'll have a good reason to get up in a few hours to check and see if the page is loaded.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

shhh, be vewry vewry quiet...

Do you ever hide from your kids? I'm hiding from mine right now. He's banging on the office door with one of his toys and all I can think right now is "Redrum, redrum, redrum....HEEEEERE's JOHNNY!!"
My son is such a sweet little child, he really is but sometimes I just need to get away and gather myself.

I'm waiting for a phone call from my client and I know as soon as I go out of the room, the phone will ring and Lucian will want to talk on it. This is why I never call anyone anymore! I have to go to great lengths to be able to use the telephone and most forms of technology these days but the phone by far is the worst. It's like baby heroin. He HAAAAAaaaaaAAAAs to have it or else there is a major melt down.

The laptop isn't so bad because he just comes up to me and closes the lid on me and says "buh bye" and then I just have to put it away and go play with him. I have mastered the art of nursing while either typing one-handed or I wait until he doses off and I can put the laptop on the pillow he's laying on and type. Pretty cool trick, huh?

It's kind of like that scene in Flashdance where she takes her bra off underneather her sweatshirt. We chics just know how to do cool things with our boobs, what can I say? Now, if only I could get mine to type, wow, then I would be even more impressed! I guess I'll have to wait until he weans....which is a whole other loooooong story I'll tell you about some day. year. millenia.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

digging in the dirt

can't sleep, need to though
been wanting to blog, get things out of my head, feelings, thoughts
pretend I'm actually engaged in adult conversation even though it's only one-sided and that side is mine

this is the thing I like about blogging
whatever - as the apathetic teenagers say these days
freedom of expression is what I'm after

So many times I'm told I talk too much or write too much. The great thing about blogs is that I don't have to care. If you don't want to read it, uh, just don't. If you're going to scroll down and roll your eyes at the length of what I've written, so be it. Click the next button. People read blogs because they want to. And if you're wondering how I have the time to write so much? I don't have time, I make time, borrow time, trade time, whatever it takes to get some me time, that's what I do. I have insomnia a lot of the time and since there is only crap on TV most of the time, this is what I choose to do to wind down after I've been wound tightly all damn day long.

ok, had to get that off my chest.

I was just thinking that I can type so much better on my MBP keyboard now that I'm used to it. Turning off the caps lock key has really helped. Maybe I'll be able to turn it back on someday.

I never thought it could be so draining playing with a toddler all freekin day long. How can I complain. It's the best job on Earth, right? Maybe if I didn't feel so guilty about it it would be ok. I should be working is what society tells me, not playing with my son, not having fun, not being a goofball all day long.

Well, I worked on freelance while he napped and then in between his snacks in the high chair and times he was intently playing with his toys. I was busy pretty most every moment today and it seems like I haven't stopped. There was another project I wanted to work on for my client today, but I got sidetracked doing other things like converting a text document into a spreadsheet so I could then convert it into a CSV file all so I could save my PR director from having to enter everything manually. (she's a neato chic so I couldn't let her do it the hard way)

I am such a stubborn goat at times. I just can't leave well enough alone.

I got a really neato gadget in the mail today. It's an IDE to USB converter. Thrilling. yeah. well, it was 20 bucks well spent even if I only use it once or twice. Here's what happened. I have a beloved Mac, my Quicksilver 800 and I've had it for about 7 years now and it's been such a champ and it's been through some pretty tough times and I've cranked out a lot of design and freelance work on it over the years. It's now Nate's computer and Lucian got parts from his old iMac. Well, right before we had Lucian, I noticed it wasn't acting right. CDs wouldn't burn right and other weird stuff. I'm pretty good about backing up usually, but while I was preggers I was tired and overworking myself with my prior FT job so I was starting to slack off on the home tech stuff. Paranoid that something would happen to my HD, I started archiving everything. 30GB worth of schtuff and all I had was an unreliable CD burner. Crap. So I started with the most important stuff like my Documents folder and artwork and photos and started burning stuff off. Well, before I could get everything off, I got the black screen of death. No macboot prompt would work. crap. Well, I knew it was going to happen so it wasn't a total shock and I was braced for losing some data.

Luckily, my good friend who is also a tech and was living near by at the time was able to swap out my HD and plunk in a slightly smaller one for me and I was back up and running the next day after doing a clean install of Tiger and importing what data I had managed to salvage. I knew that there was a possibility that I might some day be able to get the data off of the dead HD and back it up but I knew it might be tricky and possibly cost some major bucks if I were to have to take it to the "shop."

Well, good things come to those who wait because, now a year later, and I was able to get the drive to mount with the IDE converter. I was able to get 10GB of music files back and a bunch of little movie clips that I feared would be lost like some clips I took of my BFF triplets when they were 6 months old. I can't wait to make her a DVD of the movies. Her trips are a little over 2 yrs old now and it's amazing how much they've grown. She is going to melt when she sees these!

So, anyhow, I was able to get probably about 20GB of old stuff off of that drive today and I backed it all up to my laptop as well as my external Seagate drive and played with Lucian in between copy progress bars. It's been a very productive day.

After I got the HD backed up, I opened up the door and it was so nice outside. Almost felt like Spring so I decided that Lucian and I should try to get out of the house and get some fresh air.

I don't know what my problem is. Some type of agoraphobia perhaps. It's not easy for me to leave the house. I am very paranoid about things. I try not to watch the news but I can't help it. I have no problem leaving the house to go on a gig to make money or for a doctor's appointment or to travel to be with family. I basically don't leave the house unless it's absolutely necessary for the most part. (BTW a gig is synonymous with a house call or for technology consulting & training just in case that sounded like I'm a prostitute or something weird)

So I don't know why but I have these strange fears in the back of my mind. Like I said, I watch the news too much. Every time you turn it on it's about some woman being abducted or some little child washing up in a barrel. It makes me so sick and scared. What kind of a world do we live in. What the hell is wrong with people? Is it the preservatives in our food and water? Is it the greenhouse gasses? Why are people such assholes? These are the things that make me want to just hide in my house and become a hermit inside my computer. But, I have a little boy who needs to develop and grow and be nurtured. I can't keep him in a bubble much like I would like to do for myself.

So, I said, to hell with it today. I worked and made some progress so I deserve some sunshine. And, as a bonus, today, I said, we're going to play in the dirt! Just Lucian, me, some dirt and a stick.

We went for a walk. Well, tried to at least. It turns out that Lucian isn't quite ready to do the walking holding hands thing. He just wants to wiggle his hand out of mine and go explore in his own direction. We live on a fairly calm street but I didn't like the idea that he just started learning how to run and could get away from me and get hit by a car. We only got 2 houses away before I decided that the stroller would be more efficient and safe. So we trodded back to the car port and I quickly tried to get the stroller out out of my trunk and get him into it before he decided to toddle off towards the street.

We took a nice walk around the block in the trailer park area. We live in a brick and mortar type of house but most of the rest of the immediate area is trailer park area and most of it retired snow birds who only live here for half the year. So, needless to say, the neighborhood is pretty quiet and boring.

When we got back from the walk, I put Lucian in our front yard and put the stroller away. Luckily we have a completely fenced in yard so I don't worry as much about him straying while my attention is diverted for a moment. It's really surreal to let him roam around in the yard now. I can't believe there is this little kid toddling around in our yard and he belongs to us. Even more bizarre is that I'm having a harder and harder time comprehending the fact that I actually grew this little person in my body.

It's kinda like having a chia pet.
Not really.

So, Lucian is walking around in the yard and we have very sandy soil. He likes to try to pick up the dirt and let it run through his fingers. So I got down on the ground with him and tried to show him how to draw shapes in the sand with a stick. He liked that for about 30 seconds and then discovered he liked to dig the little stones out of the dirt..........
and eat them! yuk! Ok, I'm ok with him eating the dirt, but I drew the line with him putting the stones in his mouth. I can't believe how quick kids get them in their mouths! I had to pry 2 rocks out of his mouth in 3 minutes!

Well, the front yard got boring after a while, so we went out to the back yard when it's pretty icky since we've had some gusty winds lately and there is a lot of sandy dust on everything since we don't go outside much anymore. I picked up a broom and started to sweep but then discovered how much Lucian loved to do it so, needless to say, didn't get the patio swept off.

Well, I know I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to ramble about but now it's past my usual insomnia cutoff so I'll have to try and rant some other time.

It was just so much fun playing with Lucian today but all day long can really work on your nerves and sometimes you just want a break to do something remotely adult like blog on the computer!

I miss my hubby at times. Even though he's here and home every evening, it's like we just don't get much time to spend with one another especially on days he comes home late from some after school activity he's had to attend to. Or there are times when it's the great switch off. He comes home and I go out to work. He makes dinner while I run around the house trying to pick up after Lucian and it seems like an uphill battle. We eat dinner and then it's time for bath, books and bed while I go do some more freelance work. Then he goes to bed and the house is all quiet. I go into hyper mode because I finally have some me time to geek out and before you know it, it's after 2 am again! Darn it!

Maybe we'll play in the dirt again tomorrow. Someday maybe we'll make mud pies together. All I know is that now I have an earworm stuck in my head. It's a song by Peter Gabriel. Here are the lyrics. Now maybe it will get stuck in your head too!

nite nite

PETER GABRIEL
"Digging In The Dirt"

Something in me, dark and sticky
All the time it's getting strong
No way of dealing with this feeling
Can't go on like this too long

[Chorus:]
This time you've gone too far [x3]
I told you [x4]
This time you've gone too far [x3]
I told you [x4]

Don't talk back
Just drive the car
Shut your mouth
I know what you are
Don't say nothing
Keep your hands on the wheel
Don't turn around
This is for real
Digging in the dirt
Stay with me, I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
Open up the places I got hurt

The more I look, the more I find
As I close on in, I get so blind
I feel it in my head, I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my sex, that's the place it goes

[Chorus]

I'm digging in the dirt
Stay with me I need support
I'm digging in the dirt
To find the places I got hurt
To open up the places I got hurt

Digging in the dirt
To find the places we got hurt
[x7]

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What is Halloween to my Toddler? Me?



Today is November 1st and would you believe I have already heard 3 Christmas Carols on the seasonal cable music station? That's just ridiculous! Next year, maybe I'll dress Lucian up in a Santa suit and take him out door to door trick or treating on Columbus Day. We'll have Turkey for dinner and be done with it all! Jeeemuhneeze! I hope you and yours had a nice Halloween. We had fun and it was low-key. We took Lucian out to the local Mall where it was air conditioned and lots of other kids where there. We wanted to show Lucian that other kids' parents do this too and that we're not nuts and he doesn't need therapy...yet. Technically, it's his second Halloween but it's the first one where he could walk around in a costume. Opa Davis got him an adorable dinosaur outfit. We called it the Lochness Monster though in honor of Oma Davis' trip to Scotland where she "spotted Nessie." Nate and I put on the quickest costumes in the history of costume wearing — at least for us that is. Nate donned a pair of horns he got from a Renaissance Fair and went as "Mephistopheles Incognito" and I put on some heavy black eyeliner and red lipstick threw on some black clothes and put some white hairspray in my hair. I knew there was a reason I've been growing may hair so long and the left over spray from 2 years ago came in handy. Someone even asked if it was a wig. That comment alone made it worth the effort. So I'm not sure exactly what I was supposed to be but I'll just say for now, "One of Nate's Goth High School Students."

A friend of ours responded to the email I sent out, (above) and I thought it was an interesting comment that provoked me to write the following thoughts about Halloween.

Here is her comment (edited)

"...I am really glad you guys chose to take him to the mall to hang out with the other kids. I know it's not my place (especially as a non-parent) to rant about Halloween, but I am always shocked at the number of parents who bring their toddlers to my doorstep, usually in a stroller, and collect candy. If the kid is eating it all, that's bad news. If the parents are collecting it so they can eat it, that's just wrong. It drives me crazy. It's nice to see that SOME of my friends with children under the age of 2 are sane, level-headed people. :) ..."

And this was my response (edited):

Right on! I couldn't agree with you more.

We did in fact have some Halloweeners (as my Grandmother calls them) come to our door just before we left for the mall and it was young mother, her sister (?) and 4 kids and one was in a stroller and of course, she wheeled him right up to the door and held out his bag for him. I thought that was really strange. What is he going to do with it, he can't even walk yet? You'd also be interested to know then the exchange in conversation as we brought Lucian to the door and tried to teach him to hand out the candy to the other children. The mother comments on how cute Lucian is and I mention that we are getting ready to go out but that we weren't exactly sure yet which was a good place to take him and that we were most likely going to go check out the mall. (Please make note that this exchange happened around 6 pm while we were still eating dinner so that means that they get their kids out to hit the streets early! I'm guessing that candy takes the place of dinner on this particular night? Hmmm. I'm hoping that isn't the case!) Anyhow, so this mother proceeds to tell me in a "helpful advice sort of way" that "...oh, the mall is lame, they only give you 2 pieces of candy at each store and they usually close up early. You're better off to go to the stadium where it's all totally free and they hand out lots of candy and it's open till about 10 pm." I thanked her kindly for the advice but mentioned that it was our son's first time in costume and he wasn't yet 2 years old so he really didn't need the candy. Then it dawned on her, oh, yeah, maybe the mall would be a better place for a toddler like ours. (as the woman with her wheeled away with the stroller)

Duh! Hello!?? And then they wonder why their kids are obese, do poorly in school and have dental problems. Hmmm. I wonder what could be the connection?

I am very sad that Halloween just isn't what it used to be when we were growing up, but I'm really trying to make the best of it and find a new way to enjoy the quality (if there is anything left) of the holiday. I've really been trying to think of what is the true meaning of Halloween simply because I'm trying to prepare myself for when Lucian asks me one day, Mommy, why do we do this? I don't want Lucian to think it's all about the candy and cheap store-bought costumes. I don't yet have the perfect answer and I doubt I ever will, but I can at least tell him that Halloween is about being creative and indulging in a little fantasy and imagination. It's about being silly, having fun with friends, good story-telling, social skills and manners. Halloween is also about making good decisions when there is a lot of controversy out there on what to wear and how to act. The candy is just a perk.

I wonder how many kids today really know the true meaning of trick or treat? My mother explained to me when we were growing up that even when she and her siblings were kids, in the 50s and 60s, they were expected to tell a joke or sing a song or recite a poem. When my sister and I were young and trick-or-treated we weren't asked to perform a trick but we did go inside many of the people's houses to visit and "entertain" and pose for polaroids and we always said thank you most graciously. It was probably one of the best opportunities to show off the manners we had been taught. The costumes we wore were always hand-made or "dreamed up" and put together in some creative way. We spent lots of time getting makeup applied just right and costumes were well thought out. My mother would stay up late curling or styling a wig or ironing out wrinkles in outfits if necessary so that everything looked nice. I only recall a couple of times where we actually wore those sweaty plastic masks with the elastic string.

I can't tell you how tempted I am to request that trick-or-treaters who come to my door actually perform in order to get candy. I would love to ask for a cartwheel or a handstand or a song or something before letting go of a wad of candy into an outstretched bag that is already splitting at the seams. I would just love to see the look on their faces. Sadly, I don't want to anger a parent or risk getting my home destroyed because I made some kid mad, so I just give them their candy and they're on their merry way to forget I ever existed. Perhaps that is the trick — that we survive the holiday with our home untouched by vandals for giving them treats. It's like the pint-sized Mafia, is it not?

I was really sad that we didn't make his first costume but we just didn't have the time this year. At least his costume was hand-picked out by his father and grandfather (with my help over the phone) and it was a very nicely constructed outfit and didn't appear to be cheaply-made. It fit him well and it was relatively safe. The head obstructed his view a little but we were walking with him the whole time and we took the hood down several times when it appeared he was uncomfortable and needed more room to move. Plus it wasn't something disgusting or gory or stupid or thank God he's not a girl and we'd have to worry about all the sexy stuff out there. A Dinosaur seemed just right for his little toddler self.

Well, I have lots of opinions about how children should act and dress and what kinds of mixed messages can be sent at this time of year and sometimes it's hard to know if you're doing the right thing or not. I just have to hope that we make good choices for him now and maybe when the time comes, he will make good choices on his own. It's a combination of how we were raised and how we survived with what we see others doing that we do or do not agree with and what we think could be better. We can only hope for a good combination based on trying the best we can with what we have that will result in a well-rounded person who makes wise decisions.

So, that is my rant on Halloween. Now, what to do with all of this left-over candy?! I hope it freezes well and will last us till next year so we don't have to buy it again!

Monday, May 14, 2007

if only our Foreign Policy was more like a software installation

Amen to this!
Have you ever read the terms of service when signing up for a service online, or anything else for that matter? I mean, REALLY read the fine print?
Well, I recently created a free email account for myself through Gmail. So many of my other friends and family members have been using Gmail lately, so I decided to check it out to see what all of the buzz was about and I have to say, it looks pretty cool. It looks like it will give me the benefits I'm looking for in a free email/web account service. Not only a free email account but also the ability to upload photos from my iPhoto application on my Mac, which until now, was only something that Yahoo! let me do.

So, before I sign up for anything like this, I usually read all of the fine print pretty carefully. (I used to work in advertising and I used to be the one who set that all too important information so I've seen many variations on the same theme.) I'm concerned about how this particular search-engine giant will handle my information. Most people just skip over all of that mumbo jumbo so they can get on with life. If you've read one terms of service contract, you've read them all, right? Well, I usually take that attitude myself...yeah, yeah, yeah, blah blah blah, enter at your own risk, just get on with the show.

Well this time in particular, I took my time and read through (as opposed to skimmed through) all of the provisions outlined in the terms of service agreement Google laid out for this free web photo album service. I was impressed with the way it was written. They must have some pretty smart lawyers who have backgrounds in copy writing because it was pretty easy to understand.

Then I got to thinking. Perhaps it's all of the politics so thick in the air lately. Perhaps it's because I'm married to a victim of NCLB, oops, sorry, I mean a teacher. Or perhaps it's because I live so close to one of our borders, but I just had to share this one part with you. It just made me think about how so many people complain about illegal immigration and the problems caused by the foreign people who come into this country looking for the "land of opportunity" and then expect to change things to suit their own needs once they get here.

Just read this one excerpt I copied and pasted directly from the Terms of Service Agreement. Notice that you have to click an accept button before you can continue with the service.

If there is any contradiction between what the English language version of the Terms of Service say and what the translations say, then the ENGLISH language version shall take precedence.

Man! Could you imagine if the United States had a foreign policy like this?!!

If you come to this country from somewhere else and you want to live here permanently, fine, we invite you! I have plenty of family members and friends who have done so proudly and have "agreed to the terms of the service." They worked their asses off to live here and make this a better place for others, not just themselves and they deserve it. No problem. Select "I accept" and they're in and we welcome them with open arms.

It's the people who do NOT read the terms and just come here without an understanding of what it means to be an American that I have a problem with. It's the people who look at America and say yeah, that looks great, just click ok without reading our Constitution and our Bill of Rights and learning about our heritage and how things work here and then come in and try to complain about it or change it that I have a problem with. It's the people who slide across our borders and slip in and take advantage of our "free" healthcare system so their babies can be "born on American soil" when they've never shed a drop of sweat to work here and then strain the health care resources and limit the availability to the people who ARE legitimately born here.

I'm so tired of foreigners complaining about us not speaking their language or catering to their religious beliefs. No, we don't believe in beating our women here so I wish they would just go back from where they came from if we're not good enough for them. Leave their women here if they don't want them. We'll educate them and they can become productive members of society, not just reproductive members. If they want to beat something, then get a friggin job in construction, pick up a jackhammer and help the rest of the Americans to do what we do best which is to build a stronger nation. Maybe if they'd work harder, they wouldn't have the energy to beat their wives.

That's my polite way of saying "go screw yourself."

Just imagine if America's foreign policy was enforced like software installation? Wouldn't that be interesting?

Before entering the United States you would be faced with a blockade like:
Please read and agree to our Terms and Conditions below.
By clicking on "I accept" below you're agreeing to the Terms of Service and both the Program Policy and Privacy Policy.

If you do not accept, you simply can not proceed. It's as simple as that.

Anyhow, that's my rant for this morning.
Had to get that off my chest.

I'm trying out my new email address: TheMacMommy@gmail.com if you want to drop me a line and say hi.

peace

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hug Your Kids


Yesterday was such a sad reminder that we live in a very cruel world where nothing is certain anymore. I'm not saying that there ever was a more innocent time but it's just getting ridiculous. Kids can't even get an education without being in danger.

You just never know when someone is going to snap and take numbers.

I respect my elders, I really do, but I keep hearing variations of the phrase that basically amounts to: "well, we did *it* and we survived." and it just frustrates me every time I hear it because all I can think to myself is "yeah, then you were just lucky." Some would argue that the danger we live with today is no more than what other generations have faced. I believe that we live in much more different times, much more scary times.

it must have been terrible to live under the threat of the A-bomb and war time and military draft. Infant mortality rates were high. Lots of husbands, brothers, and fathers went off to war. Many people died. Families were much larger and lived on what would seem much less.

I remember my parents telling me stories about how when they were young children, they had to have drills where they would hide under their desks in the event of a bomb.

I even attended an elementary school where there still existed a fallout shelter. Who knows what those are anymore these days?

Grandmom and Grandpop lived in scary times. Mom and Dad lived in scary times. They lived through war time. They experienced loss of life. They lived with an unjust government much as we do live with today. Ok, so you can really draw some parallels between the generations.

What I want to know is when did those generations have to deal with the fear of the common man's instability and inability to function in society? They dealt with it a lot but it seems like it's become even more commonplace today. It gives new meaning to the phrase "does not play well with others." When did they have to worry about sending their kids off to school (any kind of school mind you) and have to wonder if one or more of their fellow classmates was going to whip out a gun and kill a bunch of their kids before whacking himself?

It's normal to worry when you send your loved one off to war. You know there is a chance that they won't return but it is the sacrifice they make to make this a better place to live in.

It is NOT normal to worry when you send your loved one off to get an education to better themselves and wonder if they will not return. It's just not part of the deal when we go to places to educate ourselves.

We live in different times. I used to wonder about that premise. I used to think, well, is it really that different than what our parents and other generations have experienced? I mean, they lived with the constant threat of war and crime and violence.

After yesterday's events at VA Tech, I don't wonder about it anymore. We do live in different times and I've decided that it's much worse.

You'll always hear from elders "we lived with it and we turned out ok." I even catch myself saying it now too. 30 years ago, we didn't wear seatbelts in cars and we turned out fine. We ate foods laced with pesticides and we were just fine.

We walked to the school bus alone or in small groups and we got to school each day without being picked up by some creepy child molester or worse, being murdered by one.

WE EVEN WENT TO COLLEGE, GRADUATED AND GOT A DEGREE AND NO ONE GOT SHOT IN THE PROCESS!!

We are constantly struggling to make it a safer world for our children and it feels like a losing battle. I look at my son who is not even one year old and I wonder about his future. Actually, I spend less time now wondering about his future, I spend more time worrying about it. All of the sudden home schooling is looking more and more attractive, but at the same time I realize that I can't keep him in a bubble all his life.

We can't predict what will happen in the future and we can't go back to a more innocent time. All we CAN do is live and not take life for granted.

Hug your kids. Love them. Cherish them. Stay close to them in with any means possible even when you're far away in physical distance. You never know what tomorrow brings...or takes away.

peace

Thursday, March 22, 2007

overwhelmed

I just feel like blogging before I turn in. I've become a bit of an insomniac at times. I know I could go to bed right now, but for some reason I just don't want to. I should have turned in an hour ago when I had the nods but I thought of a topic I wanted to google and now here I am.

stream of consciousness....no particular order or topic relation

Lucian has 4 teeth now. I can't believe it. He loves to ride in the front of the shopping cart. He likes it when I go "vrooom!! vrooom!!" and push him really fast. It's like he's not a baby anymore but a little kid. Oma (Nate's Mom) has been visiting all week. It's been great. We get along so well. Not many women can say they like spending time with their mother in law. I think she's great. Lucian had so much fun with her and I think he is going to miss her for the first time. We'll be visiting up there in Flag in a week or so when Nate has Spring Break. I think Lucian will be happy to see her again.

Last week he had his routine checkup and had to give blood for a routing test. It was awful to have to hold on to him so tightly while they inserted the needle. Luckily he wasn't ticked off for too long and didn't seem to hold a grudge.

The sound of his giggle is the best sound in the entire world.

I've discovered podcasts and now I'm hooked. I listen to the MacCast and love it. I am such a nerd...I actually bring Lucian's high chair into the office and feed him in here so I can listen to podcasts! I need to get a laptop before he has the ability to fling carrots at my computer!

We still haven't done our taxes and it's driving me nutz. I want to get it over with.

There are just not enough hours in the day. There is so much I want to do.

I had my first house call today and it was great. I'm looking forward to more of them.

ok, I guess I'd better get to bed.
nite nite

Monday, March 5, 2007

stream of consciousness from a mother at 3 am

I was reading someone else's blog tonight and came across this entry. She copied it from someone else's blog so unfortunately I don't know the source, sorry. But, I had to copy it as well because it really rings true for me. See the section "Before I Was a Mom" pasted below.

Anyhow, it's going on 3 am and I'm up again messing around on the computer, playing with my myspace page filling in the lonely void I experience when the boys go to bed. Someday I'll get some real friends to hang out with outside of the house I guess. I checked into some mommy n me groups on the net this weekend. One looks promising but there is a registration fee and that's not too cool right now. I'm starting to feel the financial pinch when I look at my iCal and see all the bills that are coming due and not knowing how we're going to pay them.

Many things weigh on my mind right now. Health insurance is one of them. My student loan is another. I have to call the company and defer it AGAIN. Not looking forward to that. It always makes me feel like such a loser and makes me regret getting my bachelor's degree. It makes me dislike Bush even more than I already do and I can't wait till a new President comes in office and hopefully someone who will make things better for struggling families.

I guess I'm kinda depressed and bitter thinking about money. So, I guess I'm getting it off my chest here. It's hard to talk to Nate about it. He's worried enough about it so I don't need to add my worries to his. I'm always the positive one when it comes to money and always his cheerleader but really inside, sometimes I keep looking for things to sacrifice so we'd have more money to pay bills.

Sometimes, I'm afraid to get out of the house and go drive anywhere because I fear getting into an accident without any health insurance to pay for hospital costs. I will be looking into some options this week. That's my goal. A friend of mine gave me a good tip about just getting comprehensive so I'll look into that. Last I checked, the COBRA plan is close to 400 bucks and I just don't see how we'd afford that. It's just not possible right now. Even if I got rid of the internet service and hocked my beloved computer (which is the only thing that keeps me sane) we still couldn't afford to pay all the bills.

I'm really looking into getting some part time work to bring in some more money. I have a couple of positive leads so far, but I'm taking the advice of older wiser ones and I'm not rushing into anything heavy just yet.

It just sucks no matter how you slice it. All I can say is, I guess they can come and take away my things, but they can't come and take away the joy I find when I watch my son play with a carrot.

Lucian is so fascinating. Every single day...I mean, really, not a day goes by that I don't look at him and say "I can't believe we made that! or "I can't believe I grew him inside my body!"

I hope I never stop feeling this sense of overwhelming wonder. I do wonder sometimes when parents of older children look at them...do they still think the same thing later in life?

Today, the same as many days, I was tickling him and kissing his belly and mostly kissing his belly button. I say to him that that's the place where we used to be connected. I wonder what I'll say to him when he's old enough to question what that means.

I wonder what will happen when he is 16 and running around in his swimming trunks at the pool. Will I still look at that belly button and think to myself...that's where we used to be connected? That's where we used to breathe the same air and eat the same food.

There must be something to it later in life. I guess that's why my mother and my mother in law stare at their grandson every chance they get. I wonder what goes through their minds at times. It must be wild to be at the top of the chain looking down and thinking to themselves "I made the person that made this little person."

Having a C-section was rough for me because I didn't get to hold him and touch him right away. I don't think I had control over my muscles for quite some time after his birth and I remember I was very nauseous from the anesthesia, but by the time I got to see him and kiss his face for the 1st time, everyone else had already gotten a chance to hold him and bond with him and the cord was already cut and knotted.

When they first pulled him out of me and gave him to Nate, he was so bundled up that all I remember seeing was his little nose peeking out of that blanket. It didn't really feel real or sink in because I felt so helpless while I was stretched out on the OR table with my guts hanging out. I couldn't move and barely react to what happened. It was all so surreal. Nate was in scrubs from head to toe so he didn't look like himself. I felt so alone and abandoned.

By the time I got to see the baby again, Nate had to hold him up to me again all bundled up and I still couldn't move much and all I could do was reach out with my neck as much as possible and kiss his cheeks and let him know I was there.

I think it was several days...perhaps even weeks before I even got to see his entire body naked for the first time. So, I never really got to see the umbilical cord except for in pictures. It makes me sad because I really would have liked to have seen what it looked like.

There were so many things I wanted to do and see and experience while I was carrying Lucian. The C-section just robbed me of so many experiences. I didn't even get to hold him and change his diaper right away. I remember thinking while I was still pregnant that I couldn't wait to give birth to him and inspect every last inch of him. I wanted to kiss each and every toe and finger. I wanted to look real close at him and try to make out his tiny little fingerprints. I really didn't think that those desires were unrealistic expectations to have. You see it on tv all the time. I guess that's my fault for watching those shows.

It just didn't happen like that and yes, I don't care what anyone says, I am bitter and I will be for a long time.

HOWEVER

I think that those feelings and having missed out on so much that others take for granted is the reason why I enjoy my son so much more these days than perhaps some people might. It's not to say that other mothers don't enjoy their children, but when you work full time, as I have experienced, you just don't have time to pay attention to minute details. When I was working, it was a struggle just to get the basics taken care of before having to get ready to do it all over again. Before, all I wanted to do was get him bathed and put to bed so I could get to bed to get enough sleep so I wouldn't wreck us in the car on the way to work. NOW, I can make time to take a bath WITH him and teach him how to splash water and watch the suds dissolve on his skin. I have time to watch him play with his belly button and wonder what it is.

I love to get on the floor with him, down at his level, and play with him..stacking his blocks only to watch him knock them all over. I love to stare into his eyes when he's nursing and wonder what he's thinking.

I love to watch him pick up a carrot and investigate it. Watching him reminds me of all the things I have to be grateful for that I take for granted like the ability to pick up a carrot and put it into the other hand. There are people, many, who either do not have the hands or the ability to do that. There are many people who may have the ability to pick up a carrot, but who don't even have food let alone carrots to play with before eating it. Then, there are also so many children who may have the carrots and the ability, but they don't have the parent who will sit there and watch them amazed at their simple accomplishments.

I am sad about some things, but I am happy more than I am sad so that's a good thing.

Here is the blog I copied that prompted my stream of consciousness this evening:

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations. Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night. Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep. Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom. Before I was a Mom - I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy. Before I was a Mom - I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom

-- source unknown at the time of this posting

In the same blog was a book that was recommended:
"Let Me Hold You Longer" by Karen Kingsbury
The blogger posted an excerpt and, I agree with her, I'm not sure if I could handle the whole book either.


"........Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts; First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst. But one day you will move away and leave to me your past, And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts ...
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips, The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying, needing to be walked. When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold. The last time that you said you'd marry me when you grew old. Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from your past- Would I have held on longer if I'd known they were your last?

One last adventure to the park, your final midday nap, The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
I never said good-bye to all your yesterdays long passed. So what about tomorrow- will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams. The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.

I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as the pass. If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold on to your lasts.
.
For come some bright fall morning, you'll be going far away. College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way. One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss. One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed. I'll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed. ........"

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The SAHM Adventure begins!

Well, today is day day 2 of my "stay at home mom" adventure. I have to admit, I am really really happy about it. I am truthfully scared sh**less about the financial hit we're going to take but I'm trying really hard to see all the positive above that really really big negative factor of the decision.

Nate, Lucian and I went for a walk in the park today...for real...not a figure of speech...we literally just put on our sneaks, put the baby in the stroller and all we took was the camera. We left our cell phones at home-on purpose! We didn't even take the diaper bag with us!!! Which, I regretted because even though it was in the upper 70s, after walking for what seemed like a mile to get to the park, my nose was running and so was Lucian's and I wished that I had the kleenex from the diaper bag handy. But, ya know what...who cares...a little bit of boogers never hurt nobody. LOL

I can't believe I just wrote that for everyone to see. Have I lost my freekin mind already? It's 11:04 pm and I am writing a blog on my myspace page....why?
BECAUSE I CAN.....darn it! and it feels good. Lucian is sleeping peacefully and so is hubby and we've all had a wonderful day. I got some housework done...I actually felt like a wife and mom today so I'm rewarding myself with some "me" time for once.

Since before I gave birth to Lucian and I have wanted to get myself to write some type of a diary and I kept putting it off. Now there are memories and thoughts I would have loved to have shared with Lucian later in life that have slipped me by.

It's really a toss up. Life is short and that's the bottom line. One day we're here and the next we could be gone and what will become of our legacy? Life is too short to write blogs. I should be spending the time I would spend writing a blog living it...not writing about what and how I would like to live. Life is too short to NOT write blogs. If you don't take the time to stop and reflect once in a while....where does that get you in the long run?

I've been thinking about the word "disposable" for a long time now. How do I make myself feel less "disposable" has been a goal of mine. I've been in and out of jobs and I've been uprooted so many times over the past decade it seems that it feels like so much in life is never permanent or meant to last anymore. So much of my life and parts of me have been "disposed of" and it makes me sad. Perhaps it's an after effect of giving birth. You gain so much in the process and so much of it is literally thrown away in a garbage bag or flushed down a toilet or drain. I was really disappointed when I couldn't find a place in time to donate my placenta. We could never afford to bank the cord blood like I would have liked to but I would have really liked to have had the peace of mind knowing that such a vital part of my body that would normally be thrown away, could have been donated and put to good use. In all the difficulties of my pregnancy, I ended up waiting too close to delivery to find a place to donate and so it was too late when the time came. I feel ill thinking that my placenta was just thrown in the trash when it could have been used for something good instead.

That is just one example of a part of me that I feel sad that was disposed of. Another part of me that I feel has been disposed of is my skills and talents. Long story and probably best saved for another blog but this last job I had showed me just how insensitive people can be and how bad decisions affect people in such a negative way.

Well, I have to limit myself as to how long I'm going to spend on blogging for now so I will have to continue this thought at some other time.

peace

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