Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Angry M.O.M.S.

Never before having children did I feel the dire need to martyr myself like I do today as a mother. It comes in gushing spasms at the most chaotic moments, when I feel the only way to relieve my suffering would be to scream at my husband, best friend or next door neighbor because they could not possibly imagine in their wildest nightmares how hard I've got it. 

I've termed this phenomenon M.O.M.S. ~ Motherhood Onset Martyrdom Syndrome. It hits me at those circuit blowing moments when I cannot believe I am not only supposed to survive, but actually handle what my children are doling out to me.

Thank goodness I keep all my sinister thoughts to myself at these boiling points, because they'd acidicly melt through the skin of some non-mother's woe-is-me-I-can't-decide-whether-to-schedule-my-manicure-or-haircut-or-yoga training-or-hiking retreat-or exotic Indonesian vacation-this-week song and dance.

Not that my own self-righteous M.O.M.S.-driven rant would be worthy of anyone's ear. Hey, I chose this. I did it to myself. Fuck, if god had listened to me the first time around begging for twins just to get the whole procreation thing overwith, I'd have been a goner, an absolute goner.

But just when I'm really basking in my martyrdom - lying on my life raft of crucifixion, floating in my sea of suffering, soaking in my sun of agony, sipping my tall umbrella'd drink of self-sacrifice - a Reality Check comes smacking me upside the head. It is of such massive proportions that it takes the wind out of my billowing sails of complaint and steals my whining thunder right out from underneath me. 

Why does there always, always have to be someone who has it so much worse than me, dammit? 

Some starving, war-ravaged, orphaned, widowed mother of 8 dying children in a leaking grass roofed hut somewhere that disallows me to remain wallowing in my cesspool of martyrdom and makes me glad to be me again. So glad in fact that I spontaneously begin reciting how much I love my life and every single thing about it.

And then *poof*, for at least this quadrant of the day I so don't mind my affliction of motherhood that I'll gladly haul G's motorcycle up the hill because he's tired of riding it and breezily take the 19th clump of dirt and mulch out of N's mouth. But when this bubble of gladness wears off again, look out boys, mama's  M.O.M.S. will rage again!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday is the new Sunday

Before reading this post I want to make sure every single one of you out there is part of a good mommy group, because if you aren't, you really, really do not know what you are missing. It is imperative that we not do this alone, that we bond through our shared weakness of being clueless mommies, and that we share a cocktail (even if you don't drink) every once in awhile! If you are not currently in a mommy group and aspire to good mommydom and extended marriage, by the time you finish reading this post I hope you will be convinced that it is your birthright to be in one or start your own up.
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Although the weekend is my husband's time to play dead in bed and on the couch, it has become my doubled up chore time. Because his presence is at least here -no matter how inert -  I feel it necessary to take advantage of his semi-able-bodied babysitting skills (read: letting the kids crawl all over him in bed or on the couch) by tackling the overflowing laundry basket and at least taking a stab at some of the unmentionables like toilet bowl scrubbing and kitchen floor mopping. I oftentimes find myself working even harder on the weekends than on the weekdays. 

That is why today, Monday afternoon at approximately 1:02 pm, I drank a margarita on the rocks with salt. I don't even drink really. But damn does a two-sip buzz do a mama good. Especially on Monday afternoon with the girls. 

Let me set the scene: We were 15 all together in a reserved room far away from the main dining room of a local cheap n' cheerful Mexican restaurant. Half mommies, half toddlers who had all just spent the last hour jumping and running in an open gym. Needless to say, our wing was insane. We had the wait staff shell shocked, working off their last lard-laden lunch by hauling the essentials they would have known to bring in the first place had they ever fallen prey to such a demanding ticket: high chairs, napkins, plastic spoons, little plates, another high chair, more napkins, waters, straws,  sides of beans, sides of rice, sides of guacamole, extra tortillas, and more napkins. 

It was total chaos, but do-able chaos. Worthwhile chaos. All the invaluable woman-bonding stuff transpired amidst the cacophony of whining, misbehaving children: 

Constant Commiserating  ~ "I can't get my kid to eat either"
Intuitive Helping ~ "Here, can I take your baby off your hands so you can eat in peace?"
Necessary Networking  ~ "I'm doing a mommy spa nite girls, wanna come?" 
Important Informing  ~ "Yes, Confessions of a Shopaholic was stupid but cute"
Mindless Gossiping  ~ "Did you see Kate Winslet's look at the Oscars last night?"
Shopping Secret Sharing ~ "Check out the bargain room in the back of Anthropologie, cool clothes you can almost afford" 
And the priceless and unspoken most important thing: 
Being together in the company and comfort of our fellow mommies on the journey, traveling the tricky path of motherhood in tandem. 

It really helps to burn off the burnout.

Just as I was sucking that tiny cocktail straw for the last bit of savored abandon, I heard one of us proclaim from down the table, "I wanna do this every Monday!" Me too man! We're so worth it. Laughing mommies are happy mommies, and happy mommies have happy kiddies and even happier husbands. And happy kiddies might, just might,  cooperate with their mommy's well-deserved-Sunday-come-Monday belated breather with the ladies.

Un-pc ugly baby inquiry

I'm being very careful here trying to word this as gently as possible so as not to offend but rather amuse. This could be a touchy subject, or more likely just rude and shallow. But out with it already:

If someone's baby is ugly, do they know it?

Do mommies of undeniably ugly babies think they're cute? Naturally they love them to death because thank goodness we have our selfish heads extracted out of our asses by the gift of altruistic love so fierce you'd give up sleep and decent sex for a year. But did god make it so that no matter what your child physically looks like, you will think he/she is gorgeous? 

My disclaimers: First, I feel extremely blessed that I was not only able to get pregnant so easily twice, have two trouble-free pregnancies, birth vaginally twice, breast feed twice relatively drama-free and come out with two totally healthy, perfectly developed children: but they are both also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I truly enjoy looking at both of them at times simply for their beauty. Secondly, yes of course I know this is a rhetorical, stupid, small-minded inquiry, but is it true? If  your baby is ugly, do you know it's ugly or do you think it's beautiful? 

Undoubtedly, love is blind. And hopefully most people don't see only through societal norms of beauty.  And obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And clearly, my definition of good-looking is totally different than yours or anyone else's, blah, blah, blah. 

But do mamas of ugly babies know they're ugly? 

Just curious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dare I admit my ignorance

Dare I admit my ignorance...

... to anything and everything outside the realm of immediate motherhood survival. (Okay, I do know Obama's our president) But ask me what the hell the stimulus package is and I'm staring at you blankly. (I guess I do know two things: It's controversial and it's pissing lots of people off)  Night after night my husband comes home and tells me about another 20-30,000 people laid off  in our country and I give him that same stupid stare as I'm desperately swatting G from standing precariously on top of the dining room table while trying in vain to scrape the day old dried up fish off the floor before N eats it. I just can't bring myself to care anymore about even my gossip staples of the past: Madonna, Winona  Ryder and Angelina Jolie. You know Mommy's blitzed when she doesn't give a rat's fat ass about how Shilo is adjusting to Knox & Vivienne. Of course I haven't seen a single Oscar nominated film ~ so this Sunday's Oscars meen squat to me. If it ain't on Netflix, I ain't seen it.

I don't know anything about all the UFO's my husband insists are about to abduct us, the whole Middle East thing was so the 80's for me, and damn if I have the time to understand the bailout, the economic downturn, or the whole financial crisis thing. If it ain't helping me potty train a defiant  toddler or extract snot from my teething baby's pouring nose, I don't know about it. 

I have, however, accumulated some very useful wisdom in my 2 1/2 plus years spent with my head up my ass : Charlie & Lola books by Lauren Child not only entertain my toddler but also actually satisfy mommy's sweet tooth for quirky artistic beauty.  Living amongst all Asians might not be conducive to the most interesting social life, but their perfectly quiet demeanor is perfect for keeping a quiet household when sleeping babies are your priority.  Getting the dreaded dinner dishes done directly after eating, even with baby dragging on leg and toddler pulling Ziplocks out of the box, is far better than having those scuzzy dishes looming over me in the morning when I must nurse, feed, change, clean, wipe, read, referee, shush, shower and blog.

And finally that knowing diddily squat about The Financial Crisis, The Middle East and Angelina's current and supposed babies  helps free up a few more brain cells, ensuring I successfully accomplish my days tasks as G & N's mommy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



This is the sound of my 10-month-old crawling furiously towards me to be picked up. It translates to ...... mom. (his first word!) Finally, finally, I get the credit I deserve. Finally I get payback for the sleepless nights and overworked boobs. Finally I am recognized for what I am: The Queen Bee, The One and Only, your dearest Mommy Dearest. 

My firstborn's first word was "daddy," which was totally fine with me. I knew he loved the shit out of me and couldn't live a day without stalking me. More pertinently however, I knew that the "d" sound comes developmentally way sooner than the "m" sound.  I never told my gloating husband that. Sorry daddy.

I do have to say however, that N's first word being "mom"  not only obviously tickles my ego, but fuck yeah it better have been his first word! The amount of hard labor this mummummummumm has clocked in these first ten months of baby bunching demands to be memorialized as his first word, dammit! I didn't earn all these gray hairs from prancing around the Prada store. Being his mummmummmummmummm nearly drop kicked my ass into an asylum. 

I feel entitled to be his first word. Mummmummummm is an homage to me, the woman who's bottomed out and begged for antidepressants again. The mommy whose hiking shoes have grown smooshed and moldy at the bottom of the closet. The mother whose nipples have been pulled permanently pointing outward like windblown trees grown crooked.

All this to say... I'm ecstatic! My baby not only knows his mama, he calls me when he needs me. Love is a many splendored thing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

weather.com and a mom

Weather.com has become my cyber BFF. As a mother needing to fill lots of time, I need to know the atmospheric 411 so that we properly exploit whichever free entertainment fits the bill. Oprah recently did a show following The "Coupon Queen" as she feverishly searched Sunday papers and online sources for hidden discounts.  When our weather becomes questionable, I often find myself fervently hitting weather.com like that crazed bargain bitch, trying to get a one up on the forecast and hence ahead of the curve on my daily and weekly mommying entertainment picks.  

You'd think living in San Diego would make this a mute point, since 9 out of 10 days are seemingly 72º and sunny. But not so in the winter. There's a very fine line between a day that can or cannot be spent at the playground for $0 and zero clean up  (my favorite) when weird things like the Santa Ana winds or even weirder things like rain or clouds visit our idyllic Pleasantville. 

But ironically and pathetically enough, I have to disclose that one of my favorite things about convening with weather.com is seeing how many times it changes its mind about what the sky is going to bring. I'll go there on Sunday night and click on the 10 day forecast to get my Type A planning and scheduling jollies off. It'll say Monday sunny & 70º, Tuesday sunny & 70º, Wednesday sunny & 71º, Thursday sunny & 72º, Friday sunny & 70º, Saturday rainy & 63º, Sunday rainy & 64º, Monday sunny & 69º, Tuesday sunny & 71º, Wednesday sunny & 72º, and I'll think pointlessly to myself, "Cool, I've got a handle on the weather situation." Then I'll compulsively check it again on Monday morning to find everything has shifted so that the rainy days now fall a couple of days later, pushing out of the weekend when I could have counted on my husband to help me with the indoor time and back into my weekday territory. Then I'll obsessively continue checking all throughout the week to see how many times they change their minds about when the hell that weather is actually going to come. You see, here in San Diego, we all say the same thing when a cloud comes strolling by or it actually rains a drop or two: "Oh my god, we're actually getting weather."

The most ridiculous thing about all of this is that even our "worst" weather is a cake walk compared to most other parts of the country. Especially where I hale from: Ohio. I'll be chatting it up with my dad on a Sunday afternoon in January sitting on my porch in a tank top while he's trying to free his door from the hanging stalactites of ice threatening to pull down his gutter. But it is exactly this man, my beloved father, who planted the seeds of weather.com addiction within me. He is consumed with the intricacies of weather features and geological functions and could fill up an entire 10 minute father-daughter check in with talk of pressure fronts, temperature averages, weather trends, water tables and humidity indexes. 

For now thank god my rapport with weather.com is sweet and to the point. Tell me my crystal ball, is it gonna be the playground or the library tomorrow?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A shout out to my sistahs

The kindness of my womenfolk cannot be underestimated. It's funny because I was one of those twits who spent her whole life pining for "the man." For the entirety of my singledom,  my female friendships were only with other single woman and we spent 100% of our time yearning for men. (((sigh))))  Today, even married to the right man, my girlfriends are so much more fun than my relationship with with my husband, and in fact save me from imploding my marriage.

Women need women... bad. It was necessary that we all shared our desperate achings for men back then. And now that I'm a mother, all my friendships are only with other mothers and all we talk about is how to survive mommyhood. (OH, and how hard marriage is with children.)

Women have this cool knack of magnetizing to one another to get exactly what we need. The universe conspires to our advantage if we all just admit to one another that this motherhood thing is kicking our asses: that days can be really, really long, and that we need help! Help me! Help me! Help me! Where do I find size 7 diapers? What should I do with my teething infant? Where'd you get that perfect sippy cup that doesn't leak or mold? How do you get your child to keep his sun hat on? Are there any shoes that actually stay on your baby's feet? The list of urgently needed answers goes on ad nauseum.  

This post was spurred by an ordinary chain of events that culminated in a mundane miracle in the life of a mommy. The miracle was that on a rainy day when we desperately needed something, anything inside and stimulating to do: we found a $5 open gym day just minutes away from home. It was marvelous. It was magical. Tons of super happy kids frolicking in a ginormous padded room. G didn't stop running and jumping for the entire hour. N was blissed out just watching the whole thing go down from his vantage point down on the mats.

The ordinary chain of events went something like this: While sitting at the fountain feeding N applesauce and trying to keep G from jumping in headfirst, I bumped into a fellow mommy of two. Due to the minute period of time either of us would have for conversation while watching our charges, she immediately began reciting a litany of new cheap entertainment finds she'd encountered, one being this open gym. Note to self: remember this one. Three days later I was checking my email and found that a mommy group I peripherally participate in was meeting at that same gym on said rainy day. Voila. Done dealio. Through the non-stop networking of mommies, we had a date.

Aren't women the best? By getting a cute new cut and wearing it out to playgroup, we stealthily spread the word about a great new stylist at Supercuts : 15 minutes and 18 bucks later you too can be out the door with a clean new 'do, after 10 months of overgrowth due to new baby lockdown. By wearing a killer new hat on a bad hair day to the playground, we graciously tip our fellow mommies off to the ultimate multitasking feat: combining a trip to the zoo for the kiddies with shopping (!) at that hidden gem of a gift shop that actually has good fashion. And finally, when I've lost all sense of humor and just become one big furrowed brow, one of my homies (sp?) alerts me to the damn funniest mommy blog ever, and I'm practically in tears of joy knowing other mothers are out there making their baby-misadventure lemons into hilarious posts of pink bubbly lemonade. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Making love to myself this Valentine's Day

It's not what  you think. Not at all. 

My inbox's spiritual gem this morning directed me to show some love ~ to myself this Valentine's Day. And the way I do that these days is to blog. Writing is by far the most self-fulfilling, self-esteemable, self-a-licious thing I do right now. So if I may, I will proceed to indulge myself in a Little Love Story in 3 Parts: I'll start with a reflection backwards, then get current with today, then end with a wish for Valentine's Days to come. 

Just 4 years ago today I shared with you already that I was driving through the soaking rain to a cheesy single's mixer in a cheesy hotel lobby in the cheesy city of L.A. I never finished the story: I met a man that night. A really cool man. A distinguished man. A handsome man. He was so taken by my that he invited me away from the mixer to have drinks and dinner with him alone in the hotel restaurant. Our conversation flowed easily, our smiles gleamed readily and his compliments sprinkled me in wishfulness. He got my number and waited the obligatory 3 1/2 -4 days to call, we played phone tag a couple of rounds, had two very promising phone conversations, then nothing. I don't know why. He just disappeared. And that pretty much ties up in a ribbon and bow my 8 year odyssey of dating in L.A. Nonsensical, nonsequeter, nonstop.

Today my two early bird Valentine boys woke me up at 5:05am and 6:15am, we had morning story time, then dressed warm and went out on a puddle walk to Vons, got Daddy some croissants, played in the fountains and got back just in time for my husband to walk out of the bedroom at 9am to tell me "Happy Valentine's Day" with a kiss and hug. Not just any hug. But a good, long meaningful hug. That's all it took to erase my residual rage at G for noncompliance walking back up the hill home. I felt my husband's love for me and flashed back to all those days upon nights upon years I was waiting impatiently for him to come into my life. And he is here now and I love him so. He is my real life Valentine.

And so for the future my wish is that we continue deepening in our love, compassion and support for one another. That each successive Valentine's Day demarcate another year of life lived side by side, for the awesome better or the dreaded worse. Lord knows we dialed up a doosy having two babies within 3 years of meeting one another at that bar that fateful night. We've weathered some incredibly raw moments. May next Valentine's Day reflect a year just a bit more top heavy with fun than bottom heavy with toil. 

mmmmmmmm, that felt good.

PS. In case you've been reading along with me, I did finally make it to Victoria's Secret yesterday with a boy in each arm, tethering their wildly reaching hands as the sales assistant helped me pick out my 5 for $25 cotton low riders. I'm of course wearing the ones polka-dotted with little red hearts today. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just what exactly is my job description?

Could it possibly be all of the following simultaneously in no particular orderMartyr, Masochist, Dishwasher, Waitress, Disciplinarian, Laundress, Nurse, Maid, Babysitter, Entertainer, Potty Trainer, Pacifier - to name a few. All with practically no prior experience and only on-the-job training. 

When I signed up, was there small print somewhere I missed that disclosed: no sick days, no vacation days, no weekends off. I must have totally overlooked the even smaller print underneath that small print that said: in fact, you have NO  days off whatsoever. sorry.  

PS. On the posting layout page this looked really cool, but not so much here.
PSS. I don't have even an ounce more of brainpower to fix it or squeeze out any more tongue-in-cheek anything due to two consecutive nights of fucked up, I mean supercalafragilisticexpyaladocious fucked up sleep due to more teething and more illness in the crib. !@#$#$%^&*!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jewish mother/Italian grandmother syndrome

I never, ever thought in a million, trillion years it could happen to me: that I'd become that woman. That "Mangia! Mangia! Eat, eat!" motherling. Why am I trying to force feed my unwilling toddler when I wanted to kill my grandmother for doing it to me in my faux-anorexia/pre-compulsive eating days??

G is just as fine skipping all normal meals today as I was back then skipping my grandmother's brisket, kugel and potatoes. I escaped her centripetal feeding force when she passed away only to auspiciously land next door to Pina, Chianti's finest grandmother-cum-eating-disorder-interventionist. I'd moved into the farmer's quarters of an Italian villa in the outskirts of Firenze, where I was studying Art History for my junior year of college. I was smack at the height of my body-hysteria days and I became prey to Pina, the wonderfully round, pear-shaped maid of the rich folks in the Villa who regularly cooked up a mean 4-course dinner and insisted I come over to eat with her family. I'd bring my American health-food-obsessed, skin-n-bones-chic self to her warm hearth of a kitchen with fireplace ablaze and aromatic sauces bubbling, and push away plate after plate of meat, pasta and cheese. It drove her crazy.

Ain't karma a bitch? Now here I am doing the same thing with my son. Running down the verbal list of all the foods I've got tucked away in my diaper bag or stuffed in the fridge just in case he'll maybe, just maybe say "yes" to one of them. As I'm reciting the litany of menu options - and he's saying "no, no, no, no and no" -  I can literally see myself depicted along an historic timeline of mothers back through the ages all trying in vein to do the same thing: feed their child food he or she doesn't want. And then I occasionally stoop to that pathetically stupid tactic of  bringing the food-loaded fork up to his clenched lips, praying he'll get a delicious whiff and open up. Obviously everyone reading this blog knows that never, ever works. 

G has better things to do than eat these days. He's informed me point blank, "I'm too busy to eat." His cement mixer, legos and doggie are just as captivating to him today as fitting into a smaller size was back then to me. I feel you, G. I really do. When you decide you've got a minute to eat, jus' holla. I'll be here. But until then, enjoy your busyness without me hovering with a fork of cheese ravioli. I'll keep myself occupied with other more pressing issues, like: Am I feeding N enough??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Church of Costco

Let's face it. Costco is the new church. At least for us and a bazillion other church-dressed families on Sunday morning. Puh-lease, all  you dressed-up-to-look-like-after-church-shoppers don't fool me. You're all doing this instead of church, just like us. Costco is your church, just like it has become ours. And why shouldn't it be? 

We enter your cavernous cathedral, oh Costco,  flanked with aisles buttressed in boxes exploding with every gadget we never needed. My husband can oft be found staring in awe at your inversion machine, gravity boots up high like an alter to proper spinal alignment. We stand in your nave awaiting our communion wafers so deliciously disguised as beef chili, cheese ravioli & chicken nugget samples. We walk through your priorly Romanesque transepts, so brilliantly updated to warehouse chic... and we spend. Yes we spend and we spend and we spend our money. All in the name of stocking and stuffing our homes and hearts full of you, oh dear Costco. We love you.

Before I had a family of my own, I shunned you from my life. Now that I am a mother of two, I am your newest devotee. To run out of diapers or wipes with two un-potty-trained butts would be a natural disaster for our household. Your generously proportioned stockpiles enhance our home's welfare. To run out of goldfish, Cheerios, applesauce cups or string cheese sticks could be devastating to our playground snacking. Puh-lease, if it weren't for your monstrously ginormous bags of tortilla chips, we'd be freeloaders at all our potlucks. And to come up empty when reaching for a low fat organic chocolate milk box in the morning for G would be ruinous. 

Costco, we have looked far and wide for a church to suit all of our needs as succinctly as you have. But nowhere, not the United Unitarians, nor the Self-Realizers, nor the Jews, nor the Catholics could come close to embracing our mixed-faith marriage as wholly as you do. And to sit down for fellowship with your congregation, all enjoying greasy slices of pizza together after our exhilarating experience inside your walls, just encapsulates our adoration.  

You have saaaaayved us, dear Costco. We are forever indebted to your generous abundance (except rice milk - why don't you carry rice milk, dammit?) and forgiving nature (you don't even reprimand our kids for spilling their third sample of oatmeal or yogurt all over your polished concrete floors.) Where would we be without you Church of Costco? 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Continued crock pot adventures/Valentine's lament

Since adding the second boy to our clan, I've been the lame-o bringing Costco chips and hummus to every single potluck playdate we attend. It's all I can possibly manage, and it almost throws me over the edge to even get that together. My humble offering always pales in comparison to the beautiful and creative homemade treats filling the smorgasbord table. 

But not today. For our Valentine's themed playdate I got to proudly use my new "Little Dipper" mini-crock pot warmer that came with the big kahuna I purchased at Costco last week. Damn have I turned into a cheeseball. But I was so excited to use it. Consulting the handy dandy user's guide and cookbook, I threw together a mean little bean dip that could stand proudly next to the homemade quiches, biscuits and banana cakes. 

After grazing and gabbing, I got to make Valentines for my mother and my husband. One of our fantastic mommies brought all of her sumptuous card-making/scrapbooking supplies for us to use. I quickly crafted a valentine for my mother, then hesitated on one for my husband, flashing back to his underwhelmed response to last year's handmade card. I stalled staring at the gorgeous glittery papers wondering if I should even bother making him a card again this year...

(((sigh))) How sad am I? ... being in a new-baby-challenged marriage with Valentine's Day approaching - trying to pretend I don't care Valentine's Day is coming? Trying to talk myself out of caring whether husbandman does anything for me. And if he does it will probably just be a hasty, duty-driven stop at Vons for a token mylar balloon that's been looming overhead for weeks anyway. And I can't eat sugar so you don't have to bother with a last minute box of chocolates. And I know you don't really want to have to do anything anyway, so really don't bother and let's just pretend this whole damn holiday isn't approaching.

At this point, poor husbandman can't win for losing. 

But of course I really do want Valentine's day to come. And I of course want him to be premeditating some incredible escape for two in which he whisks me off to a beautiful place where we sip Pinot Grigio and nibble smoked gouda while holding hands lazing on big cushioned outdoor couches under the stars next to a fireplace while listening to a live flamenco quartet. (The place is called La Estancia, and it is to die for in my opinion.) Oh to feel his big strong hand want to hold mine would be heaven. And for a long time. Not just the half-minute before the next baby duty demanded two-handed handling. But to intentionally be holding my hand without anything else to do but hold  my hand in his... this simple pleasure would be a Valentine treat beyond balloons, chocolates and flowers.

A friend (you know who you are) relayed to me that none of this matters to a man - all the "romance" is for women only. I believe that. I really do. But this is not me as a single woman fantasizing about how to lead into the perfect fantasy sex with the perfect fantasy man. Rather this is me as a whole woman, a whole wife, a whole mother needing to feel beauty between us. Needing a small magical moment of re-bonding, a re-affirmation of our commitment to one another outside of our all-consuming parental duties. And I don't need this to happen on a regular bi-weekly date night just yet. (I can just hear our marriage counselor reiterating this marriage-saving must.) Just one sweet Valentine date could get a lot of mileage for now. And of course I know that Vday is a totally commercially driven fabrication - but it is my culture and it is real... 

So I made him the card. And I packed up the boys and the almost-empty Little Dipper and drove home through the wind and rain remembering a mere 4 Valentine's Days ago when I was lonely as hell driving through the pouring rain in LA to attend a singles mixer in a cheesy hotel ballroom. Then I snapped back to my husbands' words this morning, "Drive carefully Mommy. It's dangerous out there." And I felt his love for me fill me all the way up again. At least for today. 

But come Saturday... 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

anxiety dreams

Last night I dreamt I lost my diaper bag and wallet and was searching desperately for them when I realized it'd been hours since I'd left G home alone in front of a dreaded DVD, and left N alone with Daddy at work without any food or bottle and I'd missed his last nursing and he missed his last nap while sitting on Daddy's lap in a dire re-org meeting. And to top it all off, when I finally found my wallet: a) N was falling asleep lying on the shore of a beach with waves dangerously lapping up around his head, b) I realized it was G's 3rd birthday and we'd entirely forgotten it, and c) Husbandman was pissed as hell thumbing away at his crackberry telling me he needed to go out of town. Immediately. Gee, could you pile some more anxiety on top of that anxiety? Fuck, man. All this over my perturbation about N not napping yesterday afternoon.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaack. When will I ever be normal again? Actually, upon closer inspection, I think this is actually relatively normal for me. I've always been a type A stress monger. It's just that the things I stress about have changed drastically. Within 3 years they went from how the hell to make a living and pay rent in L.A. to how the hell to be a mother and survive so many diaper changes in S.D.

A friend once asked me to post more pictures with my blogs. The problem is that a cute snapshot of the boys would be entirely irrelevant to most of what I've got to say. Only varied depictions of my tormentia would do for most posts. And I think I tried to capture that in the title picture of me screaming in a halo of diapers. But I do fantasize about various post-able photos of me pulling my hair out watching G & N smear food all over their faces and clothes, me holding my hand over my heart while N screams and refuses to nap, me gasping in disgust while pulling N's hand out of G's poop-exploding diaper, and me reeling in horror as G sticks his finger into his anus telling me it's itchy.

Okay guys, take this all with a grain of salt. I love my life and I love my family. I really, really do. It's just that I'm also a drama queen at heart, and live for disgusting and alarmingly true stories to tell. So if nothing's really all that horrible in reality, I'll dream it and then write about it. How's that for dysfunction? Hey, at least I'm writing. And guess when I'm writing this? You got it: from 5:25am-6:03am, that wonderful slot of alone time N has so generously carved out for me by waking at 5:02am screaming. 

everything happens for a reason.... it is what it is.... all of this is for my spiritual growth.... I am becoming a better person.... how can I go with the flow.... make lemonade out of lemons.... acceptance is the answer to all of my problems.... accept all people, places, things and situations.... it's all good.... just rel...a....x..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Now imagine this post topped off with a photo of me smirking, and you've got the entire picture.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why did God make it this way?/ Semi-spiritual blog

Why did God make babies be born so unready to be people yet? 

I'm serious. I want to know.

Why does a baby come out so unable to just be okay for a goddamn minute? Why don't they just go to sleep if they're tired? Why can't they just eat without puking? Why can't they just spit out the words if they want us to know something so bad? 

I'm so incredibly irked right now. N is throwing a cataclysmic fit about taking a nap that he knows he wants. He is so tired he just can't seem to get himself to sleep. How does that make any sense God? I'm serious. I want to know.  He's so tired that after being rocked and sung to and put in his crib the same way he has complacently submitted to for the last 6 months now - he just can't bring himself to go to sleep. Instead he must scream bloody murder and ruin any chance I have at a decent blogging break.  (((sigh)))

Come on N. I nursed you, I loved on you, I fed you blueberries and cheese and goldfish, I took you to play at Kidsville, I held you, I shushed you. It's your turn to pitch in. Just go to sleep, dammit! (((sigh))) 


Okay, it's tomorrow ~ Well really today. But yesterday is when I wrote the above beginning to this complaint. After 30 minutes of screaming, N did eventually go down for his nap, only to wake screaming 30 minutes later. I nursed him and he fell asleep for another 40 minutes. If he was so damn tired, why couldn't he have just kept sleeping? I'm serious. I want to know. Wouldn't putting the 30 + 40 minutes together have made for such a much more satisfying and restorative sleep for his little brain cells? So why wake screaming in the middle? I don't understand. 

Speaking of not understanding... He woke up screaming this morning at 5:45, I nursed him and now he's back down again. Why couldn't he just stay asleep, dammit? He's done it many times before. I know he's not hungry. I'm serious. I want to know.

But just in time to save me from myself comes this message in my inbox from my bestest daily spiritual source: "Nothing is what it seems. Everything is always happening to assist us in our spiritual growth. How can you enjoy the ride today?"

Fine, just fine. Make me look on the bright side. Make me realize that this time between N's pre-morning and real-morning wakings is exactly when I've constructed the vast amount of my blogs. Make me practice my unused wisdom preened from my toppling piles of spiritual self-help books by simply accepting what is. 

Yes, it is what it is. N's wakings are what they are. His nonsensical change-ups simply exist, like my couch does, or a potato does. I don't wring my hands wondering why one of the potatoes in the bag went rotten while the others didn't. It just did. So move on sister and pick out another one. I don't question the couch pillow's decision to flatten on one corner due to uneven user use - it just did, so sit on the other end sister.

So N just does what he does because he does what he does. And I'm just going along for his ride. Okay, fine, that'll work for now. But why does it work this way? I'm serious. I want to know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's a crock pot life / Carrie Bradshaw detour

Lately I've been far more obsessed with my new crock pot than inspired by this empty posting screen. Meat. Falling apart, tender and juicy. Better than new-parents-of-two sex . Speaking of sex... really what stole me away from my blogging for the past two afternoons is the Sex in the City Movie DVD that arrived 2 days ago from Netflix. What glorious diversion. Such complete abandon: two consecutive afternoon naptimes spent in Carrie Bradshaw's chick-flick-to-the-hilt world. This is the best excuse on record for being M.I.A. Their ridiculous opulence & mandatory midlife drama were the perfect escape for a thank-god-no-longer-single newly married and mommied 40-year-old. Needless to say, I've been intoxicated by their travails.

And also needless to say, I'm once again jealous of Carrie Bradshaw. Not her extreme wardrobe and  not her retarded drama with "Big." Just jealous as hell that she has such a cool writing gig and I don't. My first jealousy of her occurred in the SITC episode detailing her book release gala. It was grand. It was artsy. It was chic. The day my book released, I sat at home alone staring quietly at my blank computer screen thinking, "Is this it?" (((sigh)))

But me and Carrie Bradshaw have a LOT in common. My wardrobe was always eccentric, although not label heavy. And my pursuit of love life in LA was retarded enough to warrant my own manuscript bi-lined: A comic travelogue of breeding misadventures in LA ~ which unfortunately was rejected by 10 quarried literary agents. (((sigh))) And I also ultimately got married to the love of my life at City Hall for 100 bucks.

On a brighter note, the Caribbean Pork Chops over beets, sweet potatoes and carrots I crock potted yesterday were super tasty. And the lime-roasted chicken I've got on deck this morning promises to be just as delicious. And I do have to admit that the pork chops made the man happy last night ~ happy enough to do the you-know-what in the 30-minute window of opportunity between G down and mommy down. 

So Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out. At least I don't have to don 4 inch stiletto heels and faux furs to grab a decent bite to eat in NYC. I can simply pad into the kitchen of my suburban San Diegan apartment in my husband's Costco mid-calf white plush socks, nursing bra strap hanging out of my long underwear top, and scoop me out a scrumpdillyiscious plate of meat n' potatoes from my crock pot.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

nagging uninspiration

I'm feeling uninspired to write anything post-worthy. I've started a couple of cute, lackluster titles like "Okay, fine, I'm starting to have fun," and "What took me so long to get a crock pot?" But they've just kinda sat there in draft limbo land, unstimulating enough to warrant any further fleshing out. But wait a minute ...  there was something funny that flew through my brain this morning to write about. It's gone now... maybe it'll come back. Oh wait, here comes something... i'm picking up a faint signal of this morning's inspiration... could it be...? maybe it was...? I'm thinking I remember something interesting about...? ... the therapeutic value of vacuuming? Yes, that's it! 

Yesterday morning I was Evilena embodied. I don't know exactly why. Maybe I was in a funk because my husband is imprisoned to his work during tax season. Or maybe I was warped because I had bad dreams last night. Or maybe I was pissy because N woke up too early. Or maybe I was the Wicked Witch because G dropped another disgusting bomb in his diaper instead of into the toilet where we sat reading potty books for 20 minutes. Who knows. But anyway, I thought to myself, "Something's gotta snap me out of this cesspool, and fast." That's when the brilliant inspiration happened. The skies opened up from above, a pulse of pure white light came beaming down on my snarling head and a heavenly voice said, "Vacuum." What more convincing did I need? It suddenly clicked. That's exactly what I need. I need to vacuum.  There is nothing like that satisfying sound of dirt sucking up the vacuum hose to soothe a woman's nerves, calm her mind and boost her mood. It's euphoric, isn't it? 

Because of our nap trap - the frustrating bermuda triangle of nap times demanding constant quietude - vacuuming has become challenging and infrequent. Plus G, who used to adore the vacuum, has decided to become petrified of it. He hides under his couch like a terrified cat and screams bloody murder the entire time, while N gets curious enough to come close and then starts dragging on my leg screaming. Needless to say, there are probably microscopic germ galaxies fermenting and multiplying within the thick pile hideaway of our carpeting. So to ensure our entire family doesn't get eaten alive by carpet varments, I pushed though the boyz noize and vacuumed that sucker up and down and all around... and felt much, much better... yesterday that is.

Now it's today and I'm still waiting for inspiration to hit me. But alas, the dryer has just turned itself off and a voice from above has benevolently whispered, "laundry."....