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!

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