Thursday, January 31, 2008

What day is it?

Ok, so a couple of days have now gone by. I think. I don't know. I've been too traumatized and worried over Lucian sleeping in his own room.

Wait, did I say sleeping. Oh, I meant falling asleep long enough for me to leave the room and get comfortable and then have to listen to him have a meltdown when he realizes he's in his own room. I didn't really mean sleeping. I don't really know what sleeping really is anymore. I give up. I know what becoming unconscious for a couple of hours is. Like this morning, we survived another night of the ... he's crying .... wait, lets see if he'll stop and fall back to sleep ... ok, I think he fell asleep. Crap. No. He's having a conniption. I'll go rescue him. In a couple of minutes. Ok, YOU go rescue him and bring him to bed with us.

Well, at least there is one little difference though. He isn't demanding to use me as a human pacifier for the last 2 nights and I've resisted the urge to plug him on to make him quiet. He has been satisfied with just being free from the cage, or um, crib and happy to just snuggle up with us. So that, has been one small improvement. I get to be unconscious for a little longer at one time. Yay for me. And Dadda can almost get a whole nights worth of sleep in too, except for his own stress induced nightmares.

So, I have a little confession to make. I secretly like it when I get to go into his room to rescue him because he is extra cuddly to me now. He actually wants me to hold him and snuggle him and pick him up. Why is it that when he has a major meltdown, the kind with the runny nose and shakes, that I have to pee all of the sudden and I try taking him into the bathroom with me and set him down on the floor but that's not good enough. So then I have to try and hold him while I go, you know....sorry TMI, I know...too bad....parents will empathize. So, I have to ask for forgiveness because I have to put him down because if I don't go pee before, then I'll be stuck rocking him and consoling him with a full bladder and dreading every moment.

Sigh. And, if you must know, it is approaching 3 am and I can't sleep because he keeps waking every other hour crying. I know he isn't feeling well and has a runny nose so that might be part of the problem. So, I can't be totally mean and let him cry it out when he's sick. I just don't feel right about it. It makes me so sad when he cries so hard that he gets all worked up and shivers. Then I feel rotten.

So, I thought perhaps the crib was the problem. Maybe he just doesn't want to sleep in his crib. He knows how to climb in and out of the queen sized bed that is also in his room so I was thinking maybe I'd let him sleep in the big boy bed with his nursing pillow and maybe that would help. He seems to like it so far for the past few hours. I left the door open and walked around and made some noise to see if he would climb out of bed and come out after me, but he didn't. I tried different settings on the noise machine too. I like the crickets chirping. I can hear them on the baby monitor in our room so it's like having 2 sound machines for the price of one — which was free thanks to the King of the Garage Sale, a.k.a. Opa D.

Now, I'm sitting here debating on what to do. I put a bigger pillow on the side of him while he's sleeping and I have him laying closer to the wall because I'm not sure how much he'll roll around and if he'll fall off the bed and onto the floor or not. The bed is not super high off the ground but I just don't know, so I tried to put up some type of barrier. But, I'm not sure what to do now because I don't want to close his door for fear he will wake in the middle of the night or a few hours from now and tear his room up out off frustration. I don't have his room baby proofed enough to the point that he should be in there completely alone and unsupervised. He could take his diaper changing table apart and have diapers and baby wipes everywhere if I did leave him in there unsupervised. Not harmful, but not a fun clean up either. So, now I'm paranoid. Do I go in there and try moving him to his crib where I know he'll be safer or do I just throw in the towel, go sleep in there on the bed with him or bring him back to our room.

Ah decisions decisions. I think he may be asleep for sure but I just don't know how long it will last.

Well, I better go peek in on him and see and try to get some shuteye myself whatever it takes. We got some runnin around to do in a few hours.

Joy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The First Favorite Song

A little while ago I posted on my feelings about how Lucian started saying the word 'no.' It's now something cute we revel in.

Well, I now have KT Tunstall to thank for that! Lucian has loved her song, "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" since he was six months old and now, at 18 months old, he loves to dance and sing to it. I caught him on video – almost – singing to it. It just amazes me how much of an appreciation for music he's got at such a young age. I hope it will stay with him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Day 1, Week 2

Something Is Different
There is a big empty space in our bedroom where Lucian's crib used to be. Yep, the big boy is now sleeping in his own room. I say he is sleeping 'now' but I know darn well I'm going to jinx myself by saying anything and it will be a miracle if I can finish this post before he wakes up screaming.

It's a strange feeling. I have a bit of anxiety over it. I have mixed feelings. I look around our bedroom now and there isn't really anything of his in here anymore. There is a photo frame of him on my nightstand, but that's about it. I bet if I dug around a little, I could probably find a sock of his hiding under our covers. If there isn't one there now, there will most likely be one there before the night is through because I've already made a deal with myself and him that if he wakes up in a panic attack in the middle of the night and can't get back to seep on his own, I'll bring him to bed with us.

I know I shouldn't but we'll see how it goes. Baby steps for both of us.

Man, I feel so guilty for sticking him all the way over there all alone but it's been long overdue. It just had to happen. I'm a little on edge my ears perking up at all the little noises, but nothing is coming out of the baby monitor, so far so good.

I even set up a little touch lamp on a table next to his crib and showed him how to use it to turn on the light if he needs to. He he he he, so funny...most parents give their kids a lovey — some kind of stuffed animal to comfort them. Nope, not my kid. He would sleep with that lamp IN his crib if I'd let him. MY kid wants to cuddle up to something electronic for comfort.

Health Journal - Week 2
Well, on Friday I got hit like a ton of bricks with some flu bug thing. It started out as a head cold and then I got achy. Nate was just getting over the same thing and Lucian has had a runny nose for the past couple of days. Luckily we've all gotten our flu shots so I'm hoping the worst of it has passed. I started feeling much better today, but I know I'm not out of the woods yet. I fear it's one of those colds where you start to feel better and back to yourself and then you go back to doing everything full throttle instead of taking it easy and then you end up even more sick. Soooo, I am going to try to take it easy for the next couple of days. I'm going to try and give myself permission to be a little lazy whenever I can.

It won't be easy since I begin teaching my weekly adult night courses this Tuesday and Lucian has some appointments on Thursday and Friday.

Normally, each Sunday, my goal is to post about my progress with my adventures in weight loss. Well, since I got sick, I haven't had the energy to work out. And, get this....I broke my freekin scale!! ha ha ha Actually, it's a digital and I've had it for several years now and the thing finally started reporting a Lo light on it indicating that the battery was low. Well, now it's dead. The reason it's dead is because it takes a fergin 9 volt battery. This is not a popular battery that lives in the junk drawers in our house. I know there is one somewhere but I have yet to find it. Oh, who the hell am I kidding, I have yet to LOOK for one either.

So, I can't weigh myself and I was too lazy to go dig out the measuring tape. I'm sick, remember? I'm just happy right at this moment because I can breathe out of both nostrils at the same time and I've been able to type this whole thing so far without sneezing or blowing my nose.

Butt — ha, get it, butt — I did post about my progress in which there has been none so does that count for anything? It is part of the program right? I'm still holding myself accountable for the plan, right? This past week, I didn't pig out on any junk food and I did, up until Friday, work out every other day. I also tried to up my water intake and I was good at taking my vitamins each day. I think I may have forgotten yesterday though.

So that's that. I came, I blogged, so there.

Sleepless in Tucson
Oh, and another thing I'm going to try to work on is my sleeping problem. I don't normally buy into all this celebrity hype, but I have to admit, the death of Heath Ledger (RIP) has brought out an awareness to something I'm dealing with right now which is sleeping problems. I also have an undesirable relationship, in my eyes at least, with sleep aids. Every couple of days I need to take a Tylenol PM. If I don't, I don't get sleep. I could stay up for days unless I forced myself to sleep. Or at least I could go for days on a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there. That's another part of my weight problem I realize too. Not getting the sleep I need will not help me lose weight, so I know it's something I need to work on. And, I need to be able to sleep without any mother's little helpers either.

I know putting Lucian in his own room will not be some miracle cure because he has not yet weaned. I know the middle of the night feedings are part of the package, but I need to also learn along with Lucian, how to get back to sleep once I've woken up in the middle of the night. I suppose it will be a process for us both.

So, speaking of which, I soon need to close the lid and turn into a pumpkin. Sweet dreams to us all!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em ?

My son is only 18 months old. In a few days he'll be 19 months old. Yep, I just checked the calendar. It's true. As much as I try to cherish every moment, each day, he gets more and more independent and I feel like the time I have with him is just slipping away like sand through an hour glass.

I am loving being a SAHM, but I like a break from him once in a while, I'm only human. Like now, while I'm blogging. I am truly enjoying MY time just to myself to surf the web and research topics that interest me, read other blogs, comment on others' ideas, gather my own ideas and document things that are of interest to me.

Even as I type this though, I'm wondering how much of this time is really for me and how much of this time is for him. I won't lie, I really do lose sleep over it at times. I can become so immersed in it all that I feel overwhelmed. I spend so much time researching how technology affects kids and families and how I want it to affect our family. I just came across something that has validated these concerns.

Reality Check
I was just surfing some blogs and websites when I came across a PBS presentation site where you can watch a video documentary called "Growing Up Online." The date on it is January 22, 2008, so it's very timely, just a couple of days ago. I've now watched 2 segments. I had to stop after the 2nd and start blogging about my reaction to it before I forget the thoughts I have at the moment. I feel a little sick to my stomach. I feel scared. I feel really overwhelmed. But I also feel justified that now I have more reason to keep doing what it is that I do in technology education and consulting. Already I feel so immersed and overwhelmed with all that is out there, but I feel even more pressed to forge on. I wish I could put my finger on it all, but it's impossible to keep up. At least I can say I'm trying and doing the best I can.

After viewing this documentary so far, my parenting philosophy is 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' Lucian is going to use technology and there is no way around it. Not in this house. Not with a science teacher for a Dad and Mom who does IT consulting and technology education for a living even part time. He's not even 2 years old and I've already set up an iMac for him in his bedroom. His crib isn't even in there yet, but the computer is. He already plays with it. He has known how to use a keyboard and mouse since he was six months old.

So, am I feeding him straight into the Lion's mouth by showing him how to use a computer at this age? Am I pushing him into something undesirable? Am I growing a hacker? Is that bad?

I have just accepted the fact that this is the reality and I've reaffirmed my commitment to do the best I can to prepare myself, my husband and family to join him and become a part of this process. It's the evolution of technology and we're all caught up in it. It's a part of our lives.

Does Technology Make the World a Smaller Place?
Socialization for me used to mean I would talk to my friends or family on the phone or hang out at a favorite place or in a home. We would share ideas on the fly. Unscripted. Real time. It used to be that my friends and family were within driving distance. It used to be that my friends and family were a phone call away.

Then I met my husband online. He lived on the other side of the country. Even though he was willing to make the move to my side of the world, I decided to spread my wings and try a new place to live and have since grown to like it. It's very different being long distance from my family and friends, but this is life and now I have to find a way to cope with these changes. I still wonder though, how in the future am I going to explain to Lucian how his Dad and I met. That's a whole other topic!

One saving grace has been the webcam. So far though, my Mom and Dad are the only ones I ever talk to on it. Even trying to get them to go online to use the webcam sometimes is like pulling teeth though. They're too busy or I'm too busy. Plus the technology is only so great. Sometimes there is a lot of time lag in the conversation so we end up talking over each other. But, it's way better than nothing. Seriously, I wouldn't be able to live on the other side of the country if I didn't have technology.

Having a baby has made it more difficult to find the time to communicate. Once in a while, I get on the horn and talk but that can only happen when Lucian is either napping, sleeping, or really really occupied. With a 2 and 3 hour time difference back 'home' it can be pretty close to impossible to find and make time to blab on the phone and give someone my full attention. So, if I really want to be able to express myself, I have to do it late at night when everyone is sleeping. It can be kind of lonely at times despite all that is available on the WWW.

Does the Internet Open Up to the Edge of the Universe?
This laptop is my portal to the world right now. Sometimes I don't know what I would do if I didn't have it. Is it an addiction? Is it a crutch? Is it a replacement for the real thing? I've asked myself these questions a million times over. I still don't have a definitive answer. All I know is, if I want to reach out to another human being, I open the lid and send an email or post a blog. Communication all happens with the keyboard and trackpad. I can edit, delete, save, copy and paste. I can be confident because I can polish my experience and make it feel the way I want it to.

It's really amazing how much is out there though when you journey into the realm of social networking. It can be downright scary. Just when I get to thinking that technology can bridge the gaps between space and time, I realize how many off ramps are on this new bridge. It's not just a straight line.

Will I Still Feel the Same Later?
Another reason, a very important reason, for why I blog is self preservation. I love to help others by posting reviews or tips or references, but most of the time, I do it because I'm hoping one day I can reflect back on this. I'm not yet sure why that is important to me now. Maybe because like I mentioned in the beginning, I feel like life is slipping me by, quickly and I want to hold on to it just a little while longer. It's my way of savoring it. Preserving it. Keeping time.

One of the things I want to look back on in the future is how I feel right now about raising Lucian to be a responsible human being. I have a lot of opinions about how I would like for him to turn out. I'm really nervous about what kind of teenager he'll be. Will he still respect me when he becomes a teenager?

Even at the toddler stage, he's already starting to push me away. It's scary. This is only the beginning and already I'm a basket case thinking about it. I'm just hoping that by being active and trying to learn whatever I can about new technology, it will keep me in touch with him. I'm looking for a way to accept the distance that will come between us. What will be enough to live with? How will my life adjust to his as we both grow up?

I'm going to go and watch the rest of the video documentary now. It is definitely a reality check so far. I hope you'll watch it and share your thoughts with me.

Words We Can No Longer Sing

Money for Nothing by Dire Straits came on the music channel today while I was cleaning the house. This is one of my favorite songs and I LOVE to crank it up especially in the beginning during the famous guitar riff. You know the one. I cranked the song so loud that I could hear it over the vacuum cleaner because I didn't want to miss it. I love it when Sting sings the backup vocals. It's fun to replace his line with "Don't stand so close to me" because, you know, it's the same notes.

Anywho, I proceeded to jam while I vacuumed, playing the proverbial 'air guitar' except it was my version of the 'vacuum guitar.' Lucian would wander around gittin jiggy with it (na na na na na na na nah) every so often too.

So, I am just singing along, and Lucian is looking at me like I'm a retard (oops, maybe I shouldn't say that word either) and all of the sudden, I noticed that they fudged one of the lyrics. What the!? I was being so goofy I didn't exactly pay attention to what word at first, but I knew something wasn't right. My ears were now perked. I heard it again.

The word they muffled was 'fagot' — as in "a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel." Oooooh, wait, I get it, they mean the OTHER 'f-word that rhymes with maggot' in this song. When I heard the "modification" they made to the song, it made me stop playing my 'air vacuum guitar' and stand there in my living room with a perplexed look in my face. Lucian just kept on doing his little baby dance.

keyword here: oblivious

In all of the years they have been playing that song on the radio, I have NEVER heard that word changed or removed or fudged over. I mean, it wasn't until the Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner" lyric "...funky shit goin' down in the city..." was made PC by using the word "kicks" that I even realized that they were singing the word shit!

I wonder how it is then that "Money for Nothing" went as the original for so much longer?

It really made me stop and think about how different life was back in the 80s. As tweens, my friends and I thought nothing of it to dress up like a hooker, I mean, Madonna, and sing songs about virgins ("Like a Virgin") and prostitution ("Call Me"), sex (just about every disco song that ever existed), masturbation ("She Bop") and various other topics that are taboo. And, we were just a bunch of gay, I mean, happy, kids having fun. No one was complaining about he said this word and she wore this outfit. Okay, well, they were but we were oblivious to it.

And I only learned about a year ago that "She Bop" is about, um, flicking the old coffee bean.

Times are really different now. The "N-Word" ranks right up there with the "F-Word" which is now the "F-Bomb" but still different than the "F-Word that rhymes with maggot" that offends boys who like boys. Nowadays, you can even get fired for using the "N-word." I am NOT proud of my upbringing when it comes to this, but I don't fault my family because it's how they were raised, but it took me a long time to train myself to not use phrases like "N*gg*r-rigged" or "see if you can 'Jew' him down on the price" because it was just common speak and we weren't even from the south! That alone proves that kids absorb what they learn around them, just like I did growing up. At least I recognize how wrong it is now, but some people just don't and that's how examples get made.

I just think it's interesting that I'm repulsed by the N-word and the C-word that rhymes with bunt cake, but before today, I had NO problems jamming loudly to a song that talks about 'boys who like boys' and monkeys who bang on bongos.

All I can think about now is how differently I see things now that there is so much controversy in the media over words that are used. It's even more magnified now that I have a child. I can almost imagine Lucian stopping me sometime and saying, "Mommy, what's a fagot?" (I'll tell him it's a pile of sticks.)

But then again, maybe I won't have to field these questions, because by the time he's old enough to ask, gangsta rappers will 'represent' and stop using the N-word and all the other bad words will be muted or changed on all of our favorite songs.

Right?

I'll just have to remember this while I'm singing along so I too skip over the no-no words and don't blurt out what the artist intended to be in that spot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Review of the Touch Free Diaper Pail by Graco

We have the Diaper Champ from Baby Trend and the Touch Free Diaper Pail by Graco. The Diaper Champ was a baby shower gift and of course, as shown below, I won the Touch Free from DadLabs.

Thanks, DadLabs! You rock!

Here is my honest opinion. Overall, these are both very good diaper pails. If I were going to purchase one of them myself, knowing what I know now and even being the geek that I am, I would spend my money on the Diaper Champ. The Diaper Champ contains the smell better, holds a little more diapers in it at full capacity, is slightly easier to change bags, and doesn't use any consumables like specially-made bags. You buy it, you use it, end of story.

Or, as in our house, you get it as a gift, you use it, you train your toddler to use it and hope they will continue to use it if a sibling comes along. Remember, teach your tots that throwing away dirty diapers is cool! Car keys — NOT COOL!

The Scoop (rhymes with poop)
There is about a $20.00 difference between the two depending on where you shop. The charcoal filters for the Touch Free are hard to find for a good price. Last time I checked, you could only get them through Graco directly or Sears. I have a hack for this though. Keep reading.

The Touch Free on the other hand, looks cooler, functions cooler and our curious toddler has a lot of fun making the lid pop open with the remote sensor. Sometimes we have to trick him by switching the remote sensor off and putting it into manual mode. Then we lay a guilt trip on him and tell him that be broke it.

Just like guilt trips my parents used on me, it didn't work on him either. He still messes with it.

There were some comments and suggestions made that perhaps a remote control could be used to operate the Touch Free. I am a dork so I honestly tried to use the remote that came with my Mac just to rule out for you all that it in fact DOES NOT operate the diaper pail. Besides, the remote sensor is flat on the top of the surface so unless you rig a mirror or something, I'm not sure that a remote would ever work at this angle, but I'd still like to see someone try.

I really like how clean the Touch Free stays. It looks nicer in our son's room and it's a neutral beige that blends in. (They also make it in a pretty lilac color as well. Look at me, I'm a pretty diaper pail. I make poop look pretty.) The Diaper Champ is white with blue trim and sometimes it has a tendency to get a little bit of poop on it if you don't wrap up the diaper tightly enough into a swan shaped origami figure before plopping it in. (ok, trying to chuck it in from a few feet away) (Sorry Dad, I didn't inherit your basketball grace.)

As for the smell, let's face it, sometimes I think our son harbors WOMD in his diaper. (Weapons of Mass Destruction, shhh! Don't tell anyone.) So, even Fort Knox couldn't keep that smell locked in. Although, perhaps a proton pack might do the trick? I think the Diaper Champ holds the smell in best but it's hard to tell because I think it might be that you have to change the Touch Free a little more frequently so maybe not as much stink accumulates.

Diaper Pail Hack
They both use standard kitchen trash bags so you don't have to waste money on those special sausage casing-type bags. The Touch Free does cost you extra in that you have to replace the batteries for the remote sensor AND you have to replace a charcoal filter once a month. That's the price you pay for coolness though. Unless you're cheap like me. When these batteries run out, we'll probably replace them with rechargeables to save a little on that cost. I skip the $3.49 charcoal filters and instead use a .99¢ 'stickup' air freshener in the lid. I just remove the little clippy thing-a-ma-do that holds the charcoal filter and adhere one of those stickups there instead. When the lid opens, the 'aroma' is that of Spring Fresh Poopy Diaper instead of just Fresh Poopy Diaper.


DadLabs mention
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

View the full demo from DadLabs here. There isn't anything these Dads won't do to bring you the "the scoop" — pun intended. For more great comparisons on diaper pales, check out this from their site.

Check out www.dadlabs.com and have a laugh. Drink some beer. Watch parents drink beer. Watch parents drink beer and give really good parenting advice.
Seriously!

How many times did I use the word poop?

There are only 2 times in your life when you get to use the word poop a lot without taking a lot of crap for it: When your ARE a preschooler and when you HAVE a preschooler.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Want My House Back too!

Yay! We just got back from visiting Oma and Opa at their NEW house! I am pretty much overjoyed at the moment. Opa was living with us for a couple of months and, no fault of his, but it has not been a picnic because it delayed the process of moving Lucian into his own bedroom. We were going to do it months ago, but then Dad had to come live with us until he and Mom found a place. It all worked out nicely since they were able to sell the home in Flagstaff and found a truly wonderful home here in Tucson. I really love their new place and they are really happy too.

So now a new chapter begins in our quest to reclaim our marriage bed - room - er, um, you know what I mean. I am really looking forward to setting up Lucian's new room. I keep daydreaming about how to set it up and decorate it and all that. I wonder if he'll like having his own room. I'm nervous about the transition. He is slowly, slowly weaning which is ok with me. I'm not in any hurry but I don't really want to be breastfeeding him while he's packing for college either. Something tells me his girlfriend would not appreciate that too much. (Although I suppose his frat buddies might think it's cool.) But I digress.

I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to not have him sleeping 2 feet away from my head each night. I wonder how long it will take till he starts sleeping through the night. I wonder what it's going to be like to sleep for more than 3 hours solid. I wonder how I'm going to feel with him being 'so far away' on the other side of the house. (our house is very small, so I'm being sarcastic.)

There is going to be this huge space where his crib and changing table is now. I can't decide what I want to really put there. I wonder if we'll be able to have our bedroom be a baby free zone where we can leave sharp knives and bottles of toxic chemicals laying out in the open on our night stands. You know, because we did that before we had a baby. ha ha ha

Man, I sound like the mom who is sending their kid off to college and can't wait to turn the kid's room into an Elvis Presley shrine or something. Am I an awful person or what?

Well, this will be an exciting adventure. If only hubby wasn't sick right now. I know it's going to take time and patience. Bleh. I don't have a whole lot of patience, but we'll see.

I Want My Body Back!

I want my Mtv too and while I'm at it, maybe I'll bring sexy back. In my dreams.

This is going to be an experiment for me. I'm nervous about it, but I've decided that I'm going to blog about my journey into weight loss. I'm thinking that maybe if I blog about it, I'll have to be held accountable for it somehow. Have you ever joined Weight Watchers? You know how you have to report every week and get weighed and keep a journal and all that stuff? Well, I was thinking maybe I could do that sort of thing here on my blog, for free, for myself.

So, this might be the post topic you might want to skip reading. In fact, I think I'm going to pretend that no one reads my blog (which is almost true) so that I don't feel so self conscious about it. But on the other hand, if you do read my blog and you are in the same boat as me, I think adding a comment to my posts may help me to stay motivated.

Anyone want to join me in a weight loss/fitness blog?

I haven't checked it out yet and maybe something like this already exists so if anyone knows anything about it, let me know.

Here We Go

So, I started working out this past week and I'm very proud of myself for being pretty consistent about it. I worked out several days this week (every other day) and I've been very diligent about taking my vitamin each day, eating breakfast, eating less junk food and most importantly, drinking more water. I have to go pee now just thinking about it.

I'm starting out very slowly. If I overdo it, I know I'll get discouraged and quit, so I'm keeping my expectations pretty low right now.

Stats
Ugh. I really don't want to write this part, but I'm gonna. Take a deep breath.
  • Current weight: 195 lbs. (the highest weight I've ever been while not pregnant!!)
  • Current measurements: (crap, where did I put my tape measure?)
  • Bust: 46 (not too worried about this part since I'm still a milk factory)
  • Waist: 38
  • Hips: 44
  • Distraction of the moment: OMG! Did you know that Blondie is 60! "Call Me" is only number 78 on the list of the Top 100 Songs of the 80s according to Vh1. That's a bummer, it should be in the top 20 at least.
    oh, wait, that's not part of the plan, is it? Oh, but it is.
Current Program
When I say workout, what I really mean is that I dance around in my living room like an idiot for 20-30 minutes. Right now, it's very simple. I find a dance or techno music channel on the cable box and crank it up. Lucian loves to dance now so it makes working out in the living room pretty easy. He is usually content to hang out with me close by and dance to the music. He thinks it's a game.

I start out with 10 straight minutes of heart-pumping aerobics. Well, my version at least. I'm probably doing this all wrong but for the time being, it is what it is. My goal is to get my heart rate up and to warm up my muscles. Then I do some stretches and lower impact moves. Then I do slower moving stretches to calm down. Then I drink some more water. I try to do this every other day and for at least 20 minutes. The last two times I made it to a half hour.

Diet
I believe that 'diet' is just 'die' with a 't' on the end of it. I don't count calories. I'm still breastfeeding a couple of times each day, so I don't think I should cut down on food intake too much. I actually think part of my problem is that I don't eat enough to begin with. So, I just try to eat healthy foods as much as possible and keep junk food out of the house. I do allow myself to eat dark chocolate once a day.

Eating healthy is a challenge because my husband is such a good cook and he loves to spoil me. How can I resist?

Well, I'm really distracted right now and I can't think of anything else to add, but I think I'm going to try and blog about this each Sunday.

Till next time.
My bathroom scale is going to hate me and I'll try to resist the urge to burn it in the back yard.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Virtually Social

I'm finally starting to do some really FUN things with my computer and it's so exciting. To me anyhow. I'm finally making movie clips and blogging and sharing photos — more regularly. I'm amazed at all of the free services there are and how easy it is to get yourself out there so you can connect with friends and family. The frustrating part is trying to fit in the time to do more of it. Sometimes I would rather play on my computer than sleep. It's like an obsession. But, then again, I'm also obsessed with trying to come to terms with my lack of doing something fun for just me instead of my son, my husband, my family, my clients, my students. So, if I have to sacrifice some sleep in the name of fun, so be it! (I'll probably regret that come play time later this morning.)

I have a funny story I just have to share. This will also be a test to see if a certain friend ever reads this blog. Just to illustrate what a dork I am, this was one of the best emails I've gotten in a long while. It shows just how a simple message can mean so much when it seems like so little to everyone else. People really discount emailing and using the computer to communicate, but it's so much more to me. It really is an outlet to me. A window. A portal.

Yeah, yeah, so is actually going outside of the house and taking a walk. Or picking up the phone and calling someone. Or going to the mall or a bar and having a drink.

I'm working on getting to doing those things, I really am, but it's just not that easy with a toddler. It's a huge task just to go out back and play outside let alone packing up, picking up, getting dressed and getting out of the house. I can't even go to the bathroom by myself anymore! A little person follows me around everywhere and if he's not following me, it means he is getting into trouble somewhere else. I'm just not adjusted to this yet. But I am working on it. I might even actually meet a real live person soon and make a new friend! I might actually go on one of those play date things soon. We'll see how it goes.

So, emailing and reading blogs and making movies and taking pictures...that...for now...is my outlet when I make time to squeeze it in. It IS how I choose to socialize right now. No one else is awake when I'm up late for feedings and doing the stuff I can't do any other time of the day. It's a lonely life at times and this is what keeps me company and sane and from feeling like I can only talk about making cows go moo and dogs go woof and what color is this and what color is that and how many is this.

Anyhow, on with the anecdote:

Just recently, my college roommate emailed me and I have to admit, it was the highlight of my day. Her subject line read: "I need your opinion asap." I don't get many emails from said roommate, but we've been keeping in touch all these years (been BFF since the late 90s). We're both so busy with our lives, you know how it goes. She is super corporate woman and I'm super procrastinator mom with a blog, yippee. I rarely shave my legs any more. I haven't painted my toe nails in over a year, just for the record. (Well, actually, I haven't asked NATE to paint my toenails in over a year.)

So, she sends me this email and attached are two digital photos of her in two different dresses. She wants to know MY opinion on which one she should wear to a company party she's going to soon. Obviously, she remembers me at a time when I DID paint my toe nails and DID shave my legs. I promptly wrote her back and stated my reasons for why she should go with the black and white over the blue and black. I told her that her shoes were sexy, the black and white was much more figure flattering and that it made her boobs look great!

I also started working out again these past two days because the weight I've gained is driving me nuts. Not to mention, she looked really great in those dresses and my right arm wouldn't look half as good. My right arm alone would probably wiggle a lot more than her whole body in that dress too.

You know how musicians write sappy love songs? Well, this is my version of a sappy blog to my good friend.

Thank you for making me feel like we're closer than we are.
Seems like just yesterday we were painting our eyelashes together in the dorm room mirror and getting ready to go out to the bars.
Seems like just yesterday we stumbled back to our dorm together and fell asleep as the room was spinning. Was it going in the same direction for you? I wonder.
Seems like just yesterday when our vacuum cleaner broke and together we crawled on the floor picking up all of the fuzzies and dirt we could find to make the carpet clean. We didn't care if it was toe jam!
Seems like just yesterday when we struggled to adjust the rabbit ears on your old tv set so we could watch the X Files together.
And now today we live one either sides of the country with our husbands, our homes and our new found friends. You with your black lab and me with my busy toddler. Our lives prevent us from gabbing on the phone so much.
But you took the time to ask ME my opinion on what to wear while you were getting ready and that means a lot to me. Just like the good old days. It's been so long since I've given anyone fashion advice besides rolling up the pant legs on my child's sweatpants because they are a size too big yet.
Sometimes I think of you when I'm crawling around on my living room floor picking up cheerios and dried up playdoh.

So, thank you friend for reminding me that I'm also someone's friend who has opinions and ideas and who cares about how your boobs look in a dress. Mine look just as good in a nursing bra, but some day I'll dress them up and when I do, I'll take a picture and email it to you and ask you which outfit is the best.

I raise my sippee cup to you, to friends, to broadband, pixels, and the qwerty keyboard — may our cups always runneth over with wine (or apple juice) and cleavage for everyone to share!

Salut!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Word.

Bet you thought I was going to blog about MS Office Word, huh?
Not on your life!

It's amazing to me how much impact certain words have especially when spoken by your offspring.

Specifically, this word is 'no.'

Let's take a moment to celebrate the meltdown, shall we?

BEFORE



That would be a picture of my son covered in spaghetti sauce. Just so you know, no clothing was harmed in the making if this photo. Yes, I've learned my lesson for the most part when it comes to messy food is to make sure he isn't wearing any clothing at the time of consumption and that the food time is stacked closer to bath time so we can hose him down.

I'm not sure what this meltdown was all about, but it looks so funny I had to share it along with the AFTER photo too.



Lucian has learned a new word, much to my disappointment. He has learned to say 'no' to just about everything now. I don't know why, but for some reason, I have adopted this snotty parent perspective that I would really be proud of myself if my kid wasn't one of those kids who just says no to everything. I try so hard to refrain from using the word no all the time. I say instead things like, "please don't" or "stop" or I just redirect him from the annoying thing he's doing. I really just don't want him to say no no no no no all the time because whenever I've seen other kids do that in public I just can't help but think to myself, that kid is a spoiled little brat and he's maladjusted because his mother keeps yelling no at him instead of feeding him some more positive energy.

Ok, and just who in the hell am I kidding here?
Lately, it's been a bit of a struggle as he is gaining more independence over me.

I know other seasoned parents are laughing at me and I know it only gets better when instead of dreading him saying no all the time, I'll be looking for places to hide when he starts cussing like a sailor. Lord knows I don't have the cleanest mouth, but I am a hell of a lot more aware of it now. Damn skippy!

Thanks to the First Amendment and blogger, I can relax sometimes from feeling like a friggin Sunday School teacher all the time. Not that there is anything wrong with Sunday School Teachers.

I'm really trying hard to not take it personally. When I ask him "Do you love me" he says "No." It hurts my feelings just a tiny bit, but I know he doesn't mean it. Just to make sure, I play the game of trying to trick him into saying "yes" to something.

So I ask him something I know he'll likely say yes to:

Me: "Lucian, do you want to go outside and play?"
Lucian: He shakes his head and says "Nooo."

Me: "Do you want me to hang you upside down by your toenails?"
Lucian: "Nooo."

Me: "Do you like to eat cheese?"
Lucian: "Nooo."

Me: "Do you love me?"
Lucian: "Nooo."

Me: "Do you love Daddy?"

Lucian: nods his head up and down and smiles

Me: "ok, just checking."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

flickr vs Picasa Review


hi there
Originally uploaded by TheMacMommy
Goodbye Egg Nog, hello 2008 Blog!
Well, I've just spent the past hour (or more although I've lost track of time) geeking out with two free photo sharing services: flickr and Picasa Web Albums. I've been using Picasa for some time now and I have to say that for me, it's the benchmark for all other online photo service products that I try. In addition to those two services, I've also tried: Yahoo!, Snapfish, WalMart, SamsClub, and Flock with Photobucket, just to name a few.

Yahoo! Google is cooler
First, I started out with Yahoo! Photos. I used to be an avid Yahoo! fan and used many of the bundled services like the home page, email, photo albums, social network (360), groups, calendar, address book, etc. I really loved the fact that Yahoo! provided a one-stop shop for just about all of my web needs. I liked that it was easy to use and the interface was consistent for the most part. One of my most favorite features is the ability to customize just about everything within your user account from colors and layout to content and services.

Then, sometime last year, Yahoo! announced they were closing down their free online photos hosting service. Tsk, tsk, Yahoo! Bad Yahoo! That was a bad move on their part IMO. I am a very loyal Capricorn and when I find something I really like, I am as loyal as they come. I used to sing the praises of Yahoo! and I've sold several friends and family members on why they should have a Yahoo! account. When they closed down the photos section, that left a bad taste in my mouth and it sent me packing and on a quest to find a better deal somewhere else, especially for my photo sharing needs. I've since moved on up to Google with a dee-luxe apartment in the sky where the beans don't burn in the kitchen. (More about that later.)

One nice thing Yahoo! did was allow you to choose where you would like to port your existing photos to. Nice of them to not leave you high and dry. At the time, I chose Snapfish. I thought fish food seemed cute. A couple of my other friends used it and they seemed to like it. I thought it was cool that you could share your library with other Snapfish users much like Yahoo! did. So, I scooted over my pics to them and kept them there for a while.

Snapfish Bites
Here is what I don't like about Snapish. They bombard you with marketing offers to purchase prints from them. They even send little packets and stuff out to your house in case you want to put a roll of film in a baggie and send it out to them for processing.

Ok, I have some keyword tags for ya: Toddler and Working Mom. Even though I work from home, I just don't want to and don't have the attention span needed to mess with that stuff. I use a digital camera for a reason: I'm a first-time parent who is blindsided by the fact that this being I grew inside of my body at one time is now a growing and changing little person of his own and it's happening faster than I can keep up with and the only way I can cope with this is to freeze moments in time so I can visually savor them and look back at them in my iPhoto Library and think remember when — 3 months ago, sniff, sniff.

I am very much addicted to taking snapshots of my kid and then forcing other people to look at him. I live so far away from my family and friends back in PA that this is one of the few ways I can feel close to them. I need to be able to take boatloads of pics of him in all his cute outfits (when I actually do put clothing on him) and film and SLRs just don't address my needs for that. Now, I am not opposed to using traditional film and when I want something really special, I'll dust off my old Minolta and lenses and do it right, but truth be told, the digital is just more handy right now.

Anyway, back to the Snapfish gripe. Here's the rub: if you don't purchase anything from them in a certain amount of time, they delete your photos. Crap! That's lame, but I guess they have to pay their bills somehow. Buh bye Snapfish, thanks for the ride. I suppose my sign in account will still be valid for when I want to view other friends' photos. I hope?

Oh, that's the other thing I don't like about Yahoo! or Snapfish...I hate it when they make you create a login or account that you have to sign in to view the photos. This is annoying. This is NNF!!! "Not Nana Friendly." If my Nana can't do it easily enough without a lot of fuss, then it is not TheMacMommy Approved!

I'm all for having the need for privacy and I can see why people would feel weird about sharing photos of their kids for all of the world to see with all the pervs and weirdos out there. So, any public photo service should allow you to lock down your albums if you like. Picasa does allow you to mark your albums as private and you can choose who can view the albums. There is still that extra step of issuing some special instructions to participate in that, but I think it's worth the tiny bit of extra effort to protect your privacy. I usually don't have this need, but I like the fact that it is available.

I liked Photobucket for a little while, but then something I had set up expired and I forget the other reasons why I didn't go back to them. I got turned off and that's all that matters. I'm ruthless! I'm brutal, I tell ya!

Big Box for Bucks
Ok, so then I tried some other online photo hosting services that big box stores like Wal-Mart and Sams Club offer. Or course, you have to be a member of Sam's Club in order to use their services, but that is true of many bulk stores out there. WalMart just plain sucks because they have absolutely no drag and drop interface. Even if I didn't keep my photos organized in iPhoto, I'll be damned if I'm going to hunt around navigating through folder levels on my hard drive to try and locate all the photos I want to upload. Screw that noise! Give me the GUI baby! I want to be able to drag my pics from my iPhoto browser and plunk em into something and see the progress. I multi-task in just about everything I do and I want something that will allow me to do 3 other things with my computer while that task is cookin.

Now, I will say that Sam's Photo Club (if you are so inclined to be a member) online photo service is something I DO use when it comes to getting actual prints made. I will also say that I have a beef with this service as well, however, I will grumble and do the work around only because the instant gratification I get from being able to pick up my prints the same day outweighs the couple of extra clicks I have to make to beat it into submission. Plus, the photos are a little cheaper than Wal-Mart's prints and Sam's Club does have the best gas prices right now in my area. Plus, it's also where we buy diapers and other bulk items, sooo, if we're going to plan a trip to the ultra big box store, I try to also plan to be able to pick up my prints in an hour. ANOTHER nice feature about Sam's Club online photos is that I am able to do one of 2 things when it comes to sharing prints with family: (1) I can save money on postage by having the prints made all the waaaay over in PA and then a family member can pick them up. (They can also pay for them if they want to!) (B) I can also create gifts or pick out different sized photos and ship them directly to family members. This comes in really handy for getting photos out to my Grandmom and Nana who prefer something they can hold in their hands, not look at on a computer screen.

The Sams Club online photo service will also allow you to make edits online like red eye reductions and cropping and rotation. It will also allow you to do a little bit of social networking in that you can share the albums with other friends and family members via email, but they probably have to log in to something or have an account to be able to see them. I have yet to test this out really thoroughly because I don't have much of a need for it with this service.

Also, they DO have a drag and drop interface that IS compatible with iPhoto, however, only if you use Safari, NOT Firefox AND it isn't working right now like it did a couple of months ago when I used it. Boo hoo. Right now I don't have a choice but to actually export my selected photos from iPhoto into a folder (to be deleted later) and then use the bait and tackle method of navigating to the folder and selecting each photo one by one and then clicking each upload button. I'll do it, but not happily and only because I'm too impatient to wait for prints to come in the mail, otherwise I would probably try to order them off of flickr or Picasa. One of these days I might try it.

Wal-Mart/Sam's Club web management seems to be notorious for being unfriendly when it comes to providing web content that the rest of us can use. They cater to the IE crowd and not much else. There are certain sites within Wal-Mart's web-based system that can ONLY be accessed if you're using IE. Firefox will not work. (My FIL works for WallyWorld and he can't access his benefits site unless he's in IE.) So, it comes as no surprise that you can NOT use the Java drag and drop feature on the Sam's Club photo upload page if you're logged in using Firefox – which happens to be my browser of choice, not Safari. This is one of those really weird cases where something actually works (or did work at one time) only in Safari and not Firefox. Usually, it's the other way around. Anyhow, when the Java drag and drop feature IS working, the work around is that I have to launch Safari, click on my Sams Club bookmark located conveniently in my bookmark bar, sign in, launch iPhoto and then I can drag and drop my photos and upload them batch style.

Ok, so now back to reviewing flickr against Picasa. I'm not so sure why I went on this anti-WalMart tirade, but hey, they need to get their act together!

Popularity vs. Practicality
So between flickr and Picasa, It's a close match and I like them both, but I learn more towards Picasa though and it's still my favorite. If they took the blogging capabilities of flickr and added them to Picasa, you'd have a hands-down winner in my opinion.

In addition to uploading photos online, you can also edit them online too with a service like picnik. Developers, like BIG HUGE Labs are also making 3rd part apps that you can use with flickr to edit your photos. You can make custom edges or decorative borders kind of like scrapbooking.

When it comes to special features in photo sharing services, flickr comes out ahead for blogging capabilities because you can upload your photos while posting a blog at the same time. So far, I have composed this entire blog post inside of the text box that is provided with the flickr photo upload, but I have to say, it's probably not the best method for if you write war and peace novels like I do. Too many times during writing this I kept wishing I was inside of the blogger text publisher because I would have liked to have created several hyperlinks by now to reference some of the services I've been ranting about.

[I had to come back days later (when I got the motivation) to edit this post in blogger so that I could format the text and add hyperlinks where I wanted to.]

Overall, this is probably the most useful thing I can see about flickr. It's a cute and handy tool for if you just want to select a photo from your photo stream, write a little blurb that relates to the photo, maybe make some photo edits, maybe put a cool border on it using the 3rd party flickr toys and then plunk it into your blog. I also like that you can include a cool little photo widget on your blogger blog, but then again, Picasa allows you to embed a slideshow that streams from your web albums and I think they are both pretty cool features.

When it comes to flickr, I personally can't really see anything extra or great, aside from the built in blogging features, that I can't do with Picasa in some form or fashion. In fact, when it comes to speed, flickr doesn't cut it for me. I uploaded the same set of photos using flickr and the iPhoto Picasa plugin and even while I gave flickr a head start, Picasa STILL finished first. Also, I like the little diddy that Picasa plays when it's finished uploading the photos. It makes a cool little sound that some day I'll hack and make it play some Van Halen guitar riff instead. Just that fact that I could even do that if I wanted to is cool enough to rock my geeky world.

Another downside to flickr is that there is no free iPhoto plugin so you have to go and open an additional app and have another window open and positioned just right on your screen so that you can drag the photos from iPhoto into the flickr photo bay. AND, flickr does not retain the comments from iPhoto like Picasa does. The only real upside to flickr is that, for now, it seems to be the more popular kid in the class. If flickr makes a free plug that work with iPhoto '08, I would maybe have a harder time deciding between the two.

The fact that you can add other Picasa web albums using iGoogle's gadgets is just very appealing to me because I use Google's iGoogle as my home page when my browser launches. Just recently, I was able to get several family members to join the iGoogle/gmail machine and now I have one whole tab/page that is devoted to everyone's photos including my own. I use several different gadgets depending on how I like to view photos. I like to view album listings as well as slide shows.

Both flickr and Google make you join a certain camp in order to be able to socially network within one another. Google still has an advantage over flickr for me because you can also add a flickr gadget onto one of your iGoogle pages and you'll also see photo streams there from friends and family who choose to use flickr. So, even though flickr may be more popular than Picasa, it's not like you have to leave the confines of your iGoogle account to be able to photostream images from flickr and social network that way. (sticking my tongue out and saying nanny nanny boo boo)

So, Picasa still wins from this vantage point. So far nothing else out there has impressed me as much as being able to use all of the built in free features of the marketing giant such is Google. I suppose it means selling your soul when it comes to giving out precious pearls of personal marketing data, but they're going to get it some how anyway. That's how I look at it. Big Brother is always watching and I'm sure its Red-Headed Stepchild isn't too much farther behind (whatever it is) when it comes to all of this social internet schtuff. We choose to expose ourselves if we want to be able to share, so what's a little more internet codependency here and there? So what if they target market me in the end. I'd rather have diaper and teething gel ads thrown in my face instead of ads for "male enhancement" drugs for which I don't even possess the proper equipment for the product anyhow.

Well, I hope this in-depth review of online photo services is helpful to someone. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! Whew! So much for my first post of the new year being about resolutions and stuff, although I am working on another post that's been in draft form for some time now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Confessions of Mom Zombie

So I've been meaning to post a welcome 2008 style blog for over a week now and I've been chipping away at this post for a couple of days now. What? You think I write all my posts in one sitting? Ha ha ha. That's a good one. So, anyway, let's see if I can get this rolling. If you don't like reading verbose posts, you might want to skip this one. This is a get this off my chest kind of post.

Well, folks, there ya have it. Another year, 2007 is in the bag as they say. Surprisingly it didn't suck all that bad. I have a thing about odd-numbered years for some reason. I have an irrational dread for them. Despite leaving my full-time job and making the difficult decision to become a SAHM and having to continue on with life-altering changes and constant tough decisions, I think 2007 was an ok year for me. After what I've personally been through in the past 5 years or so, I'm now accustomed to having to adjust to completely life changing events by now. (It's when nothing major happens that I begin to wonder if that's normal.) Maybe it's because 7 is a lucky number. Or maybe it's just because I consider myself to be pretty good at seeing the silver lining in most situations.

I've had all these great things I've been wanting to blog about for so many days now, but do you think I can remember them all now that I've finally taken the opportunity to sit down and write? Hell no. I've been very distracted lately. Plus I've really been wrestling lately about what and when I should blog. It's become this guilty pleasure lately. I try to do it during nap time or late at night when I can't sleep - which is all the time lately. Now that more people may read it from time to time, I feel like I have to self-censor more and more. This started out as being a personal diary type of thing that I could use later to reflect back on certain parts of my life or remember things about Lucian as he grows. I also wanted to use it as an extension of my website so I could post technical reviews that might help other parents.

It would be really nice if my blog and website became really popular and I could make money from ads or something like that. I'm just not sure yet how I feel about it. On one hand, I'm attracted to writing for a public audience but on the other hand, sometimes I just would like to think that everyone who reads my blog are all complete strangers and that no one would get offended by what I write. There are times when I'm tempted to write comments about friends or family members. I want to gripe about things that piss me off and the people who create the chaos. But, I try my best — and sometimes it's harder than others — to operate on the principle that if you don't have something nice to say about someone then don't say anything at all. And, in the end, it's really me who is creating the chaos by letting myself get pissed off in the first place.

Hello, My name is Mother Theresa. Nice to meet you.

I'm sure it's the insomnia playing tricks with my mind. Or maybe it's the fact that my FIL has been living with us for the past couple of months and I'm anxious about Lucian not having his own room. Or maybe it's because the stress of this whole living situation has been causing a lot of strife between Nate and I and it's driving me crazy. Luckily, I think things will improve in the next few weeks when Opa D. moves to the new house and when Lucian can have his own room. I hope. It was cute and all in the beginning when we set up HIS part of OUR bedroom with his crib, changing table and book/nursing nook, but now, well, it's getting old.

The fact that it's Nate's father who happens to be living with us is immaterial. We could have a monk living with us and the same stress would be there. The same problems would be there. Like not being able to set up the baby room I've secretly been wanting to have for so long complete with the rocking chair and teddy bears and blue boy stuff all over. I was so excited to get to decorating it and making it a special place but then Nate's Dad had to move in with us almost in an emergency like situation because he couldn't live on the mountain any longer. In my family, like Nate's family, we just take care of our own. There was no questioning taking him in for a temporary amount of time. I just had no idea how much it would impact us.

I didn't think it would be such a big deal for Lucian to sleep in our room and I've wrestled with the idea of not having him close by to nurse in the middle of the night. But I have to admit, it is really really wearing on me. 18 months of no solid sleep probably isn't very good for a person. There are not many people I can talk to about it because all I get when I do is the accusing comments to the effect of 'well, if I would not still be breastfeeding him, he would probably be sleeping straight through the night.' or 'well, with breastfeeding, it just comes with the territory' so I suppose I have no right to complain. He is slowly weaning but I know the night nursings are the last to go. I am thinking though that if he had his own room, he would eventually learn to go without and learn to get himself back to sleep. The fact that he knows I'm in the room and I will nurse him back to sleep does not help the situation. I have tried to let him cry it out and there have been times when he will go back to sleep, but it's not fair to Nate who needs to get solid sleep so he can go to work in the morning and deal with bratty teenagers all day long. So, I just get him right away and nurse him and it minimizes the amount of time we're all interrupted, but none the less, there is still the interruption and then it's a major struggle for me to go back to sleep if I even managed to fall asleep in the first place.

So, as much as I think I am ready for Lucian to have his own room and feel a little bitter that he can't right now, I still have a hard time comprehending what it will be like to have him sleeping in another room. I guess it's some type of separation anxiety I'm experiencing and I wonder if I'll feel differently with the next child.

Something tells me though that I won't miss sneaking and hiding so we can have sex! It's not as much of a turn on as it used to be when we were young. Ahem. Something about trying not to wake a finally-got-to-sleep toddler is just not much of a turn on. Why am I blogging about my sex life or lack there of? This is the kind of thing I struggle with and feel defensive about.

Well, I blog about it because I can and because I feel like it, so there. My journal, my rules



Lucian got pretty spoiled with all of the family being here catering to his every whim so his schedule is really off kilter and he's displaying behavioral changes that I'm not too crazy about lately. He's been fighting the afternoon nap more and more and it feels like he doesn't want to be my friend any more. I know it's all normal, but no one says I have to like it. I loved having Oma D. here but when she is here, I am chopped liver. It breaks my heart when he runs to everyone else but me to be picked up. I know he loves me and I know it's normal behavior, but I miss the cuddly little baby and when he does show any kind of affection, I'm usually the last one to get it. Like I said, I know it's normal, but I don't have to be happy about it. I can't see how anyone would choose to be happy about no affection from their toddler either but I do my best not to take it personally and just cherish the moments I do get here and there.

I also realize that it's a trick to get you to have another baby and now I understand how the human species perpetuates!

I haven't been sleeping solid. I think I may have already said that. I get a couple of hours here and there in chunks it seems and my timing has been so out of sync with Nate. I feel like he's sleeping when I'm awake and I'm sleeping when he's awake. I feel disconnected from a lot of other things too besides just my new life and identity as a mother.

The house is slowly coming back together to its normal sense of quiet, settling and order. I am slowly becoming more optimistic about actually getting the house a little more organized since the tornado, oops, I mean, the baby came into our house. Paperwork might soon actually get put into the filing cabinet where it belongs instead of a cardboard box — which is an improvement to the loose pile it used to be in on the floor.

It was so great to celebrate our first Christmas in our home since we've been here. And what better way than to fill it up with family. Normally, Nate, Lucian and I are the ones who do all the traveling and it's not a matter of loading up the car and driving 20 minutes to Grandma's house over the hills and through the woods. No, it's been loading up the car and driving for 5 hours up to Flagstaff at 7,000 feet. Or it's been packing up suitcases and fighting the holiday travel crowd to fly all the way out to Pennsylvania. We've traveled with a sick 6-month old now, we can do just about anything right? I don't mind the traveling. I actually like it in a way but it really wipes you out when you add a kid into the mix. Lucian is such a great kid but even the best of kids hate being strapped into a car seat for many hours at a time. I don't blame him one bit for being grumpy but it doesn't make things any easier when we can do nothing to console him while driving.

This year it was a real treat to have everyone come to us. It was also stressful though and I'm sure I don't need to go into details about when you have a large number of people sharing a small space together how it can work on everyone's nerves after a while.

I learned some things about myself though that I kind of knew but wish I had more control over. I guess you could say perhaps it's my way of making note of some things I need to work on for the coming year. I personally think New Year's Resolutions are a load of crap. If you can't get your act together during the rest of the year, what makes you think the beginning of a new year is going to change anything for you? But, because there is so much hype, we sometimes can't help ourselves for buying into at least the notion of a clean slate come January 1st — present company included.

Since I've been a SAHM, I'm noticing that I've become really picky about the house, more than normal. I used to be really laid back and relaxed about it. Although, it wasn't really by choice since when you have a baby, your whole world gets turned upside down and inside out. You adopt a new sense of what you now consider "clean." Dishes in the dishwasher that are clean but not put away; that is now considered "clean." Same thing goes for laundry that never makes it out of the basket and into the appropriate drawers. Hell, if I can even remember to switch the wet laundry from the washing machine to the dryer, I'm having a good day. If the clothes make it out of the dryer and into a basket, even better. If the clothes then make their way into drawers, it doesn't even have to be the correct drawers, I feel a sense of achievement and am more motivated to relax a little. If the clothing somehow gets organized AND put into the correct drawers, I allow myself to take a long bubble bath!

Actually, before I moved out here and started this new life with my husband, I was a lot more uptight about how I kept my house. When it was just me in my own space, everything had a certain order and decor and things were fairly consistent. A place for everything and everything in its place. Pillow cases matched sheet sets and home decor had a certain theme. I even used to organize my drawers and closet so that clothing was sorted by plain colors versus patterns, stripes with stripes, solids with solids and everything by season. I think it was just the way I was raised. My parents are fairly tidy (nicer word for picky) as is the rest of my family. Some of them are way over the top, but no one complains about a house being too clean.

Now, the space I live in is no longer just my own, it's now ours. And I don't have one of those marriages where one spouse rules the other exclusively. (Hopefully Mr. Davis won't disagree and if he does, I'll make him see it my way. Ooops. Just kidding Sweetie.) So, when it comes to keeping house, there is a lot of collaboration than needs to happen. I'm not saying it happens all the time, but we do recognize it. There is nothing wrong with the way Nate keeps a space, it's just different than mine and that's ok. Together, we now have a more eclectic style and it is starting to grow on me. It's hard to believe that there used to be a time when I had to see flowers or a floral pattern in every damn corner of my house. The fact that we both come from almost opposite sides of the country also has a lot to do with what seems to feel like a clash in tastes. Had we both lived our prior lives in similar parts of the states, things might be different.

Same goes for the clash when it comes to extended family. It's one thing to grow and adjust your life and patterns with a spouse, but then add several other people and things can get, well, um — interesting. Now combine all of this with the fact that the house, since staying home full time, has become my own little universe and so much change and interruption now creates chaos and turmoil in my disoriented, sleep deprived, emotionally unstable mind.

Since the time I got pregnant with Lucian, I've felt like I've lost a lot of control over aspects of my life and it's been a seriously difficult adjustment for me. I'm practically a type A personality so losing control is just not something I take lightly. It's not like I didn't expect some of it, but there are a lot of things I didn't take into consideration either. Lucian was a very planned baby, that's for sure. (Type A, remember) The fact that we consciously made an effort to conceive him is a daunting concept. As much as I wanted to have a child, I was scared shitless about it all and I knew a lot of these issues I'm dealing with now were going to happen. I waited long enough to know I wasn't quite as naive about it as I would have been had I made these decisions earlier in my life. (Because I was so naive back then! Whoa!)

Overall, having a baby has changed my life for the better. I feel it has made me a better person. There is lots to gain, besides all of the weight. But there is a lot to lose as well, like your identity, your waistline, your mind, your .... um ... uh ... um ... what was it? oh - memory, that's it. I am amazed sometimes at some of the things I can accomplish while running on fumes when it comes to raising a child and working part time. Of course, I wouldn't be able to do half of it without my husband.

When it comes to losing control, I have noticed that I try to compensate by assuming control or regaining control of something else so that the things I have lost control over don't seem as problematic to me. Does that even make any sense? So I've begun to obsess a little at undetermined times about things in the house and lament the fact that I can't waive a magic wand and make it all purty the way I want it when I want it. Then what happens is I have a hard time justifying getting out of the house to have any fun. And you know what they say about all work and no play. It makes me bitchy is what it does.

So, I guess, if there is anything to be said for New Year Resolutions or goals or whatever works for ya, I would have to say that I would like to try to work on relaxing a little bit more and getting out more.

I thought I had so much more to say about all of this but I don't and I need to move on and look for something more positive. Hopefully I won't have too many more posts as down as this.

Happy happy joy joy Happy happy joy joy
bleh

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

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Ning Networks to which I belong:


Join me on Moms Gone Geek


View my page on Strong Women In Tech


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Blogroll

This is an extremely incomplete list at this time. I'm working on updating it. I'm just posting a few links here to make it live.

My Mac Community

I am proud to call these people my friends. I've even met a few of them! I follow, bookmark, subscribe to each of their public feeds and interact with them through social media tools whenever I have the opportunity. Most, if not all, follow me on Twitter. This is not a complete list! I know I've missed some names and if I have, PLEASE let me know via comment with name and URL and I will add you to this list so we can keep in touch and network with others.

I will keep updating this list as I think of new people to add. (blame it all on the mommybrain!)


This is one of the best reasons to be a Mac user: The Community!


Adam Christianson

http://www.maccast.com
http://twitter.com/maccast

Allison Sheridan
http://www.podfeet.com/wordpress
http://twitter.com/podfeet

Bart Busschots
www.bartbusschots.ie/blog
http://twitter.com/bbusschots

Dave Caolo
http://davecaolo.com
http://kaylowmedia.com
http://www.tuaw.com
http://twitter.com/panache

David Sparks
http://www.macsparky.com
http://twitter.com/MacSparky

Dan Crane
http://www.MacVeritas.com
http://twitter.com/dcrane2
http://twitter.com/MacVeritas

Don McAllister
http://www.screencastsonline.com
http://twitter.com/DonMcAllister

Elsie Escobar
http://www.elsiesyogakula.com
http://twitter.com/YoGeek

George Starcher
https://www.georgestarcher.com/
http://twitter.com/georgestarcher

Jason Whitener
http://macbookpodcast.com
http://twitter.com/MacbookPodcast

Joshua Schnell
http://www.macgasm.net
http://twitter.com/macgasm

Ken Ray
http://macosken.com
http://twitter.com/macosken

Leslie Poston
http://www.applegrrl.com
http://www.uptownuncorked.com
http://twitter.com/geechee_girl

Liana Lehua
http://www.lianalehua.com
http://twitter.com/fittorrent

Meleah Rebeccah
http://mommamiameaculpa.com
http://twitter.com/meleahrebeccah

Naomi The GeekyCyberMom
http://www.geekycybermom.com
http://twitter.com/geekycybermom

Mike T. Rose
http://www.tuaw.com
http://geekparent.com
http://twitter.com/miketrose
&
"Mrs. Mike Rose"
http://twitter.com/heidihoover

Pat Fauquet
http://www.macmousecalls.com
http://twitter.com/patfauquet

Rick Yaeger
http://www.macmerc.com
http://twitter.com/RickMacMerc

Steve Stanger
http://themacattack.us
http://twitter.com/tmasteve

Tim Verpoorten
http://www.Surfbits.com
http://twitter.com/Surfbits

Tony Walla
http://www.tonywalla.com/iWeb/Blog/Blog.html
http://twitter.com/tonywalla

Victor Cajiao
http://typicalmacuser.com/wordpress
http://twitter.com/typicalmacuser
&
Mary Cajiao
http://twitter.com/typicalgeekwife


Please let me know if any of the links are broken. Post info in a comment and it will be emailed to me. Thanks!

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