Friday, December 30, 2005

Be it resolved...

I don't think that anyone in my office is actually doing any work today. On top of that, we're all waiting for our supervisor to send out his usual pre-holiday last- minute- excuse- for- why- I -have- to- leave- for- the- day email. Like he's really fooling anyone. How coincindental that these things always come up either on days when we're getting bad weather and the roads are awful, or the day before a holiday. But whatever.

The problem with the timing of W.T.'s birth is that I went out on maternity leave a week before Christmas in 2003, and was off until mid-February 2004. I was off work during the entire holiday season that year and LOVED it. It spoiled me. Not being able to take extra time off at the holidays (because let's face it, my vacation days are LONG gone by the end of the year!) has added to my normal holiday grumpiness these last 2 years. Thus my inability to concentrate on my work today. Boredom with my job is contributing to this, also, but that's another post.

So I am sitting here today, trying to look busy but really contemplating the upcoming new year, and of course along with that comes the new year's resolutions. I've never been too hip on the resolutions. I, like everyone else, has made the commitment to lose weight, exercise, etc at the beginning of the year and have never followed through, which inevitably leads to guilt over the fact that I have once again failed, blah, blah, blah. You get my drift. This year, I'm setting my sights on what hopefully are some more realistic things...

1) I will do my best to be more thankful for what I have, rather than being upset about what I want but don't have. I will choose to have a more positive attitude about and outlook on things.

2) I will take care of myself, because I'm worth taking care of. I will (most of the time) be more careful about what I eat. I will make time for myself because I'm worth making time for.

3) I will stop blaming my husband for the things in my life that I'm not satisfied with.

4) I will look up recipes for the wonderful dishes I see being made on the Food Network and try one new dish each month. I will plant herbs in pots and put them on my kitchen windowsill so that I have fresh herbs for these spectacular dishes.

5) I will make time to read again. Before W.T. came along, I read voraciously. I consumed books from the library, and our shelves at home were stuffed to overflowing with fiction and non-fiction alike. Since W.T. came along, there just hasn't been the time... or the inclination. By the end of the day, I am so tired both mentally and physically that opening a book is the last thing I want to do. At the same time, though, I miss it desperately and often long to have a free hour, or even 1/2 hour, to just sit and lose myself in a book.

6) I will turn on the television less, and turn on the radio more, and dance with W.T. in the living room, and enjoy my son before he gets to an age where he doesn't want to be around mommy any longer.

7) I will, in a nutshell, do my best to enjoy my life more, because really it's not a bad life when you really look at it.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another Christmas come and gone. And I've decided that I truly am the most ungrateful person walking on the Earth right now. But, in my defense...

Each year for K's side of the family, we are required to create and exchange Christmas 'wish lists' of things we'd like to receive as gifts. EVERYONE must make a list. And if you buy something from someone's list that they would only want ONE of, you must notify everyone else IMMEDIATELY so that there's no duplication of gifts. You'd think we were coordinating a NASA lift-off each December.

So K and I agonize over our lists, and W's, because we have to turn in one for him also. Not too much, not too little. Not too expensive, not too cheap. Easily accessible. We've done this since the first Christmas that K and I were together. Almost 10 years.

And I kid you not, we have YET to get ANYTHING that we've EVER put on a list. Some years, the gifts have come close (take, for instance, Christmas 2004 when I asked for 'Finding Nemo' on DVD but got 'Shrek 2'... both animated DVD's, so at least we were in the ballpark...), but it's never been exact.

I have to say, I think this year was the worst, though. And this is what makes me feel ungrateful. Because I will be honest... the St Vincent DePaul society will be at our house early Friday morning to collect items we want to donate, and more than one of these things we got Sunday will be in the box we set out for them...

So, on my list this year I asked for...

*the Dave Matthews Band 'Weekend on the Rocks' 2cd/1dvd box set (at Walmart for $18.99)
*Patricia Cornwell's latest in the Kay Scarpetta series, Predator. Or a gift certificate to a bookstore (let me digress for a moment, because I feel it's important to point out that MY BROTHER-IN-LAW WORKS FOR BARNES & NOBLE)
*a gift certificate for Bath & Body Works (because you an never have too much smelly stuff for the shower)
*a coffee grinder (to use to grind spices, as I am not a coffee drinker)
*a subscription to either 'Southern Living' or 'Martha Stewart Living' magazine (I love the recipes)

... and I got

*a watch - I've already got 3 that I don't wear, and as I was opening it I saw my sister-in-law pull the Patricia Cornwell from a gift bag
*slippers that vibrate (yes, vibrate), that don't fit
*a tub of 'body butter' that smells like the air freshener in a gas station restroom

Obviously, I set my expectations too high. Next year I'm going to ask for 'Dorf on Fishing' and see what it gets me...

Friday, December 23, 2005

From our house to yours...

Peace and joy to you and your family during the holiday season and into the new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Found this on a site that a fellow blogger/friend mentioned in one of her recent posts. Has this man been peeping through my bedroom window for the last few years???

If it weren’t so maddening it would be laughable. It is in fact absolutely, ridiculously ironic that so many people thnk you are at the strongest most powerful point of your whole life, and that you have it all totally together, when they have no idea how close to the edge you have been over the last few years. Personal, financial, even physical issues have worn you down nearly to a nub and have all but extinguished the life you were living ten years ago. So, if you are slightly unavailable these days, and if you seem now and then to be exploding a few kiltons of primitive rage, well, pardon your Pluto, but until someone experiences a transit of Pluto through their sign, they have no idea of what it’s like. It’s odd, too, the more you withdraw and withhold, the more appealing you are, and that’s got to speak volumes about what people find attractive in others. Now, with Mars going forward in your solar sixth house, working to stay healthy and working to earn money are the major tasks to renew your energy. Projects you may have begun last summer may start to percolate again Will, in fact, begin to cook big time and it is this sort of disciplined energy that will ignite you mentally and emotionally. You will be dealing with a very gung-ho guy at the job site who will light a fire under you and get you to produce.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I have not posted in a while, quite frankly, because I have nothing good to say. My mood has been black and foul, and there aren't prospects that it will get better any time soon.

I have ZERO Christmas spirit this year. None at all. Zilch. Zip. Nada. It could possibly even be a negative number if there was a scoring chart for something like this. I just don't have the energy for it this year. We have no decorations up. No tree, no wreath on the door, no stockings hung with care. I've thrown away most of the cards we've gotten after looking at them, and haven't sent out a single one. I think K is very disappointed by all this. I know he wanted a tree up for W.T. (although at 2 W.T. is not going to remember it, so what's the big deal?), but I don't see him taking the initiative to get the boxes down from above the cabinets in the garage and re-arranging things in the living room to accomplish all this. I almost said this to him the other day when all this came up, but kept my mouth shut instead. Choose your battles.

I am spiteful and bitter this year. Christmas is about family, but I have none... at least that's the way it feels. Both of my parents are gone now, and my brother might as well be. I've had two 10-minute conversations with him since my dad died back in May. He didn't come up while my dad was in the hospital. He didn't help plan the memorial service (but made himself look very good by giving a little speech during it about what all he'd learned from my dad... yeah, right). He didn't come up in August when we buried my dad's ashes on a very rainy Saturday morning. It was just me and K and the man from cemetery office, holding umbrellas and watching the groundsman do their job. He didn't call on my birthday last month, either, or send a card. And of course I can't help but wonder if it's something that I've done that has made him this way; made him shut me out. And yes, I've asked, and practically pleaded in emails, and apologized when there's nothing to apologize for... and he's acknowledged none of it.

I've done the Christmas shopping and gotten the presents for my in-laws, not because I have the desire to give them presents but because this is what's expected. And I'll go to my father-in-laws house on Christmas day and eat and open presents and put on a good show, when I'd really rather be at home watching QVC. But I really just don't see the point of it all, at least not this year, because the holidays are about spending time with your family, but if you don't really have any family then why bother? Now I know, I know... I have my son and my husband, and my in-laws (God help me), and close friends that are very much like family... but it's just not the same. It's not the same as the family that you grew up with... the family that all of your history comes from. Or at least it doesn't feel the same. It feels lonely and isolated. I feel like I've been slapped in the face one too many times. I feel like I'm the last man standing.

Right now this feels like a hurt that I'll never get over, and I don't like that. I don't like feeling so bitter and beaten-down by life at such a young age. But what do you do? When does the sting go away? Maybe someone could take a look in their Magic 8 ball for me and let me know...

Friday, December 09, 2005

You'll only feel a little prick...

Well smack my ass and call me Judy...

Having the type II (non-insulin dependent) Diabetes requires that I see my doctor every three months to have blood drawn. They check the fasting blood sugar (reading first thing in the morning before you've eaten anything) and the hA1C (a kind-of 3 month average of what your blood sugar level has been) among other things like cholesterol and all that. I hate this. I hate waiting to talk to the doctor so he can write up a slip to give to the lab tech so I can a little longer for her to draw my blood. I hate that they always have to draw the blood from the back of my hand instead of my arm, because the veins in my arms always roll when they try to get the needle in. And I hate the inevitable phone call from the doctor's office to schedule an appointment for me to discuss the results with the doctor. I've done this for 3 years now. I should be used to it. But it still irritates me.

I found out I was diabetic about 9 months or so before I got pregnant. When you're diabetic and you're pregnant, you're high risk right out of the gate. For me, this meant 2-3 times the number of normal doctor's appointments, checking my blood sugar 4-times everyday, giving myself an insulin injection ever evening, watching zealously everything that I ate, calling my doctor's office twice each week to report my blood sugar readings, and on and on and on. By the last 5 weeks or so of my pregnancy, I was going to the doctor - no joke - twice a week. It was EXHAUSTING.

Once he was born, I couldn't help but thing 'Oh heavenly day!! I can eat without worrying about what it's doing to the little creature growing inside me!!' and I went a little nuts (I'm even craving a Kit-Kat as I sit writing this...). I thought I'd give myself a month or two of a little freedom, because I'd earned it, hadn't I? K would get on me about being too hard on myself and worrying too much about what my readings were. I love him with all my heart, but he'll never understand the feeling of being completely, utterly responsible for a living being that's growing inside of you. And knowing that if this baby is born with problems because you didn't keep yourself in check, that it's your fault. I have enough guilt... I should be Catholic I have so much guilt... I don't need anymore. Of course, then, a month or two turned into 6, which turned into 12, and now here we are almost 2 years later. And the end result of my month or two of freedom is that the results of last week's bloodwork were SO bad that the doctor has put me back on a daily insulin shot until it's under control.

I was livid when I left the doctor's office.

I don't care what anyone says, it fucking hurts to stick YOURSELF with a needle, no matter how big or small it is.

At least I got a cool, new, state-of-the-art injection 'pen' to use instead of having to measure the insulin into syringes and tap out the air-bubbles like I did while pregnant. But I won't even go into what I had to go through to get the prescription filled (trips to 3 different pharmacies plus a return phone call AND visit to the doctor's office).

Of course, K says it will all be okay... as he cringes while watching me give myself the injection in my stomach.

I have no one but myself to blame for all this... and that only makes it worse. But K says he's going to 'get healthy' with me this time. We'll see. Back to scouring the cookbooks for healthy recipes that don't take too much effort and that he'll eat. Back to the treadmill in the corner of the living room, unless I want to dance along to the Wiggles with W.T.

Serenity now... serenity now... serenity now...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well, the inevitable has come to pass. The manufacturing plant my husband works at announced officially today that they'll be closing the plant on February 3 of next year. We knew this was coming, and we've talked about and planned for it quite a bit... but it still gives me a little bit of a sick feeling to know that for the next two years, until he's out of school, we'll essentially be down to one income. It scares me because, when things happen to us, they happen in a big way. It's never a $50 or $75 car repair, it's always a $500 or more car repair. Or replacing the furnace because a piece came loose and almost set the duct work in the house on fire. Or whatever. I feel like I haven't had a decent night's sleep since my son was born almost 2 years ago, and this certainly isn't helping.

And then comes the never-ending mantra from my husband of 'Everything's going to be okay. We'll get through this.' For God's sake, just hit the 'play' button on the tape recorder and save yourself the energy of having to repeat this again. This is the best you've got for me? You can't come up with anything new to say?

When I was just out of college and working my first real job, tax return time would roll around and I'd dream about just cashing that big ($500 to a 22 year old is big, anyways) check, getting in my car and just driving away. Now it would be clearing out the checking account and taking a big cash advance on the credit card, but the dream is essentially the same. Why? Because I'm tired of okay. I'm tired of getting through. All we've done since we got married is get through. We've had almost 8 years of the 'worse'. I am MORE than ready for some of the 'better'. And I know all of this isn't his fault... but it's very easy to lay the blame on him because all of these things started happening after we met. Things were, or at least seemed, fine before that. Maybe not great, maybe not spectacular, but things certainly didn't seem crappy like they do now.

And here I thought a few days ago that I was content with all of this... silly me.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Yesterday, overall, was a good day. I've been battling some sort of digestive tract bug, so K. let me laze around the house until we went to his dad's for the family dinner at 3pm. I think K. was a little disappointed, because his dad made pork roast instead of turkey, but I've got a turkey breast I'm going to throw in the crockpot tomorrow so all should be fine.
My mother-in-law threw me for a loop yesterday. We were sitting on the couch, and she asked me what I'd like for Christmas. Why would this throw me, you ask? Well, K's dad had already said he'd give us cash to pay for 1/2 a year of the Dish Network, something that K has been drooling for for about a year now. That was fine with me, since most years they ask what we'd like and we tell them and we still end up getting something completely off the wall. At least the Dish Network with the DVR that records up to 100 hours of programming (no more missing House or Lost because I'm too lazy to set the VCR or can't find the remote!) is something I know we'll use. But she said this gift was from her, not her and my father-in-law, and she wanted it to be something for me.
I was absolutely at a loss. I thought and thought... we could use some new towels, some new skillets, a new standing lamp for the living room. No, it had to be something for me, not for the house. Not something practical. Just something I'd been wanting but hadn't gotten. I finally managed to come up with the new Patricia Cornwell novel, and agreed to a few other suggestions she threw out. I have to say, it was a little embarrassing and I think she was getting somewhat annoyed with me at one point.
I was telling K about it on the way home later, when the thought struck me... am I content, finally, with what I have (gasp!)? Has a sense of satisfaction about my life snuck up and overtaken me without my knowledge? How could that be? How could that happen without me realizing what was happening? I glanced back at W.T. sleeping in the back seat, his head slumped forward, totally relaxed. K. reached in the dark and put his hand on my leg... I reached down and curled my fingers into his and wondered how it was ever possible not to feel contented with all this.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Another birthday has come and gone, and the holiday season has now officially begun. 36 sounds like such an awful number. My birthday is never a happy time for me - too much reflection and introspection and contemplation and all that. And I found a gray hair last week. The first one, or at least the first one I've found. So that doesn't make things any better.

When I got to work yesterday, my desk was, as expected, festooned with streamers and balloons and letters on a string spelling out 'Happy Birthday'. After the fourth or fifth person that walked by and said 'Oh, is today your birthday?' Instead of responding as I wanted to by saying 'No shit', I took the decorations down.

I always look at where I am, and where I'm going. This year, of course, I'm thinking about my dad, and my mom, and the fact that this will be the first holiday season without both of them, which leaves me with a very lonely feeling. And I think about my birth mother (yes, I was adopted at 2 months old) and wonder if she's thinking about me and wondering whatever happened to the baby girl she gave up. Yet another question I'll probably never have an answer to. I've half-heartedly tried a few times to track her down, but it's just never seemed worth the effort.

But for all that, I do have quite a bit to be thankful for today. My son and husband, of course. Close friends that have become my family. In-laws that, however frustrating, are loving and helpful in their own way. A house, a job, and food on the table.
So happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I truly hope you all are as blessed as I am!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

People Magazine's 2005 Sexiest Man Alive


Clash of the Titans

As strange as it might sound... this weekend over any other might have more meaning for me when it comes to remembering my father. Not a particular date each year, but rather the weekend that the OSU Buckeyes play the Michigan Wolverines in football. Forgive me when I say this is and Ohio thing. Or a Michigan thing, if you live up north. This is the very definition of a sports rivalry. I don't know about the Michigan folks, but I do know that Ohio fans would rather see our Buckeyes lose every other game of the season, but beat Michigan, than have it the other way around.

My father was an OSU fan to the core. I was raised on Buckeye football in the glory days of Woody Hayes and Art Schleister. We usually went to at least one game each season while I was growing up, and were glued to the radio and then the television for the remainder of them. It was an institution in our household that was not to be dishonered. When my brother was to rebel as a young teen, he proclaimed himself a Michigan fan and started wearing a blue and gold football jersey around the house, because he knew how this would get to our dad. After my mother died 7 years ago, I'd visit my dad on Saturdays in the fall, and we'd watch the games together. It was our tradition that continued when he came to live with us after his stroke and after we eventually had to move him to a nursing home. It was something that connected us like nothing else could.

This is my first OSU football season without my father. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch any of the other games. But today I managed to get W.T. down for a nap just after the game started, so I sat down with the memories of my father all around me, and watched the Buckeyes pull out a W in the final seconds of the game. And I cried and cried, and then cried some more.

It's been just over 6 months since my dad passed away. I miss him terribly. Quite honestly, I miss him more than I ever thought I would. He was not the perfect father; who is? And I don't know that he really, truly wanted to be a father. But he loved my mother enough to agree to adopting two children. He worked hard, and we while we didn't always have what we wanted, we always had what we needed. It's unfortunate that we don't learn the difference between those until we're grown. We grew closer after my mother died, and I was able to let go of the disappointment I often felt when remembering my childhood. We grew closer still after he had a stroke in 2001 and came to live with us. His death was somewhat sudden, so I will always have the typical 'I wish I would've had the chance to tell him this...' feelings. I can't talk to him now, but I like to think that he can hear what's in my heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Storm of the century?

I've been remiss in my blogging duties. I've decided that I need either 4 more hours in the day or to learn to function on less sleep. I'm not holding my breath for either of those.

I am happy to say that my father-in-law did not come to our house several days ago to stay with the little one. Possible crisis averted, but not in the way I'd hoped.

Did you see the stunning 2-part tv-movie 'Category 7'? My life mimics this right now; a serious of weather systems all converging on the same spot to create the be-all, end-all storm.

My father-in-law ended up not staying with the boy a few days ago, because my husband's car wouldn't start. Once again, we had it towed to the shop. Now we're looking at a $1600 car repair bill to fix a leaking head gasket and replace a short-circuited timing module. I am trying to remember that we did not pay for this car, rather it was given to us by my father when he came to live with us a few years before his death. But we're certainly paying for it now. What I would give to be able to afford a second car payment...

That was Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the babysitter came, and told me before I left for work that she'd found a full-time job, and would be starting it the week after Thanksgiving.

That same morning, my husband called at my work from his work, to let me know that the management had officially announced that they're shutting down the plant he works at. So in approximately 30 days he will be without a job.

Now I know that life isn't easy. And I certainly do my best not to complain too much about things, because it generally doesn't do any good and can sometimes annoy the people around me. But for the love of God... how much is one person, or one family, expected to put up with?

I believe it was Mother Teresa that said 'I know God won't give me more than I can handle, I just wish he wouldn't trust me so much.' I think I'm going to cross-stitch this on a sampler for the living room wall.

Smack the Penguin

Stress relief for a boring Thursday afternoon at work...

Click to make the penguin jump and then click again in - time to make the polar bear swing the bat to hit the penguin across the ice!

My high score is 322.9 and counting... what's yours?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

There's no nice way to say this. There's no politically correct way to get my feelings across. There's no way to sugar-coat this bit of information. So here it is...

I can't stand my in-laws. I tolerate them, but I have no real fondness for them. And I have moments when I think to myself that, if we didn't have a child, I might seriously consider divorcing my husband just to get away from them. My father-in-law is overbearing, obnoxious, and every other synonym for those traits that you can think of. My mother-in-law (or more accurately, my step-mother-in-law) is a twit. My brother-in-law is an irritating carbon-copy of my father-in-law. I won't even discuss my brother-in-law's wife.

Now to be fair, my father-in-law has done quite a bit for us since we got married. He's set up IRA accounts for both of us, and an educational savings IRA for W.T. He gave us the money for the downpayment on our house (after choosing a realtor and making appointments to look at houses he thought we should consider). He's helping pay for tuition and books for the classes that K is taking right now. We have not asked for any of this. And, of course, we can't tell his wife about any of it, because then he'd expect him to do the same for her daughters, and he doesn't think he should have to because they're not his children. These things are grudgingly appreciated, but there always feels as if there are strings attached. I can only assume that it's because he does these things that he thinks it's acceptable for him to talk to K and I as if we're still in junior high school. I can only assume that it's because of these things that he thinks it was acceptable to tell us that, with what our combined yearly income is (did I mention that he also does our taxes?), he thinks we should be able to spend around $50-$75 per person at Christmas. Or that he thought it was appropriate for him to tell me that I needed to get my bathrooms cleaned when he'd made arrangements for his plumber to install new toilets for us when we did some bathroom remodeling last year.

In the interest of keeping peace in the family, I have kept my mouth shut. I kept my mouth shut when he came into our house while we were gone (how, I have yet to figure out because to my knowledge he doesn't have a key) and left things sitting on our dining room table. I kept my mouth shut when he told me I was foolish to worry about withholding taxes from what we pay our private babysitter. I kept my mouth shut when he (yes, he himself, not someone he took W.T. too) CUT MY SON'S HAIR without my knowledge or permission. But we may have reached a breaking point.

He is coming to our house tomorrow (a thought that makes me cringe) to sit with W.T. while K runs errands. Usually, we take W.T. to the inlaw's house, but for some reason he's insistent on coming here in the morning. K is actually worried that his father will go through our personal papers and records. That he'll open desk drawers and look at the bills we have due. I have warned K that if I find out this has happened, I will keep my mouth shut NO LONGER. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

10 things I'd like to see while I'm here on Earth (in no particular order)

1) the Eiffel Tower

2) the Aurora Borealis

3) the Great Wall of China

4) the tower of London

5) the lavender fields of Provence

6) Angel Falls in Venezuela

7) the palace of Versailles

8) the pyramids at Giza

9) the ruins of Corinth

10) the Taj Mahal

My mother was the quintessential armchair traveler. My father never brought home the kind of income that allowed for wonderful trips, either in this country or abroad, but the bookshelves in our house were filled with large volumes that showed pictures and told stories of far off lands. I've always thought that this, at least in part, is where my restless nature comes from. I never got the sense from my mother that she was satisfied where she was, or with her life in general, but unfortunately there wasn't much she could do to quell the disappointment she felt about the fate that life had handed her. Although our bloodline was not the same, she managed to find a way to pass this disquieted spirit on to me.

I think from all of this, though, that I'm learning that it's not the destination but the journey that you should hold on to. I'm learning to be more content with where I am and what I have. I'm learning to count the blessing around me. Could this be the real lesson my mother was trying to pass on to me? Is she telling me in her (not so) subtle way not to squander the time I have here on Earth wishing for more, but to be thankful for what I've already been given?

For now, all I can do speculate. But I definitely plan on asking her when I see her again.

Motherhood = multiple personalities

I am really starting to believe this is true. I have never felt quite so manic as I have since I found out I was pregnant in May of 2003. Now I don't mean to go on about all of this. But it is, after all, the focal point of things right now in our household. Or it is for me, at least. It just amazes me. And it makes me wonder daily why I'm so affected by all of this, and why K does not seem to be. I know he loves W.T. and me, and he's turning out to be a wonderful father. But I don't see the stress of all of it affecting him. At least not as much as it seems to affect me. He gets tense, say, when the little angel is throwing a fit, but other than that it's as if we've just added a live-in playmate for him. Are all fathers like that? And if so, why? I'm sure this is a question I'll never have an answer to.

I will admit my son's reaction to me lately (see prior post) is affecting me greatly right now, but was heartened to read the comments left by a fellow blogger. As I said in my reply to her comments, I remember now the subject of when babies recognize themselves coming up at a pediatrician's appointment when W.T. was about 6 or 8 months old. The doctor told us that, from what he knew, it hadn't been determined yet exactly when that self-awareness develops, and that for the first few stages of life, the child actually thinks that they and their mother are the same person. It makes some sense, then, that they would have this rejection-reaction as their sense of self and sense of independence develops.

Forgive me if I sound bitchy, but why is it that daddy gets to have all the fun? Who carried the boy for 9 months? Shot herself up with insulin daily to keep the blood sugar under control? Watched like the Nazi SS what she ate so that she didn't gain to much weight? Pushed for over an hour (AFTER the epidural wore off) because the boy's head was stuck on her pelvic bone? Aren't the hormones and the post-partum depression punishment enough? Do we have to get slapped with the rejection also? Why is it that mothers seem to get the big, cosmic F- You? I think I'm starting to understand why my mother seemed to be in such a bad mood so much of the time.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday, Monday...

Happy, happy, joy, joy... another Monday at work is winding to a close. My boss is back from his business trip that took him out of the office last week. I wish I could say this was a good thing. Picture, if you will, Rico Sua-ve walking briskly through the aisles of cubicles with a cordless phone headset attached to his ear, chattering constantly. We're all waiting for him to walk into the men's room someday while he's talking. It's not pretty.

As I sit on a conference call, pretending to pay attention to things that have nothing to do with me, I'm reflecting on this past weekend. Parenthood, in a word, can be a bitch. W.T. was in rare form this past weekend. His strong personality is shining through more and more each day. The frequency of temper tantrums is increasing rapidly. On a positive note, time-out seems to be working since we now have a designated spot for it in the dining room that is out of sight from the television. For whatever reason, he's not too hip on mommy right now, depending on his mood of course. Several times now he's refused to let me get him out of his crib, and I'm usually the one that gets slapped when he's upset about something. We always hurt the ones we love, right? I'm a smart girl. I know he knows I'm his Mama. And I know he loves me. And I know he's just feeling his way as he discovers his independence as a little person of his own. But I just can't help feeling like I've been pricked by a little knife each time he reaches for daddy instead of me when he's ready to get out of his crib. Or needs his diaper changed. Or whatever. I'm trying my best not to take it to heart. I'm trying my best not to get pouty when he scowls when I walk through the door, yet chortles with joy when Daddy comes home. It's just part of having an almost two-year old in the house. God give me strength.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Word of the day

From 100 Words Every Word Lover Should Know:

INVEIGLE: 1) To win over by coaxing, flattery, or artful talk 2) To obtain by cajolery

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

10 reasons why I'd like to smack the person that sits in the cubicle behind me, if I wouldn't get fired for it (all true and in no particular order)

1) She sings out loud while listening to Britney Spears on her headphones

2) When not singing along with Britney, she listens to conservative talk radio and comments out loud on Rush Limbaugh's topic du jour

3) When she sends a 'FWD: FWD: FWD' email to everyone, she shouts out 'incoming'

4) She has microwave popcorn for breakfast every morning, yet burns it 2-3 times each week

5) When not singing along with Britney or debating with Rush, she gives us regular news and/or weather updates... but hey, at least we're all current, right?

6) She doesn't pay attention at unit meetings, or read emails, then asks stupid questions about what we're supposed to be doing

7) She calls everyone 'boss'

8) If I have my headphones on (in an effort to drown out her singing) and she wants to get my attention, she throws a wadded up Post-it note over the cubicle wall

9) She has purple Christmas lights lining her cubicle, because purple is her favorite color

10) She insists on decorating your cubicle with streamers if it's your birthday

Monday, October 31, 2005

Later that same day...

But for all of the tantrums that W.T. threw over the weekend, when I walked in the door today, and he looked at me with his big darks eyes, smiled, pointed and said 'Ma-ma', I melted. Of course I did - how could you not. I crave a big, close-knit family, but when I really stop and think about it, I have to agree with K. I have him and I have W.T. I have a few close friends. Life is good. It's time for me to stop feeling somehow cheated because things didn't turn out how I thought they would. It's time for me to stop looking around longingly at what other people have, and appreciate what's right here in front of me. Yes, the grass may always be greener on the other side of the fence, but the roses in my garden will always smell better.

Ugh. My driveway car-seat tantrum of yesterday morning has resulted in a pulled muscle in my lower back. K, thankfully, was off work today, so he was home to rub me down with Icy-Hot before I left for work this morning. I'm sure the people that sit close to me are appreciative of the menthol cloud hovering over me today.

Today is one of those days I have occasionally when I feel acutely how meaningless what I do is. Shuffling papers from one file to another. No satisfaction. No feeling that I'm contributing anything of value to society. How in the world did I go from earning a degree in music to this? It is a mystery. Is it awful that at my age, I'm still trying to figure out what I'd like to do when I grow up? Someday it will come to me.

And I am pensive today. K and I were talking a lot about family this weekend, with the holidays coming up and all. For all purposes, my family is gone. My mother died 7 years ago, and my father about 6 months ago. I have an older brother, but he chooses not to be involved for reasons that will never be clear to me. It makes me feel very alone... and although at times I can only tolerate my in-laws, I was wondering out loud if we should have them to our house for Thanksgiving? Of course, K looked at me as if to say are you sure you want to do that? I crave being part of a close-knit family, but I don't think that's going to happen at this stage of the game. But at least going through the motions of getting the house ready for company and making the big meal will give me the illusion, at least for a day, of what I dream of. While we were having this discussion, and I was saying that we need to find some 'couple' friends that also have children but how do you really make new friends at our ages, K looked at me and said 'Well, I have you, and I have W.T. What more do I need?'

And I cried.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

As we rush head-long into the terrible two's, there are days when I'm convinced that my son is the spawn of something evil. Today, for example. Since getting up at 7am, he has thrown 2 large tantrums. The first at McDonald's where we went as a treat for breakfast, the second at the grocery, not to mention my tantrum in the drive-way as I was trying to adjust the $#%*!@ car seat. I think the neighbors are now circulating a petition to have me heavily medicated. As he is mid-tantrum at the grocery, I wonder to myself if anyone around me would say anything if I just walked away and pretended he wasn't mine? Hmmm. Right now he is on his 3rd watching of his Wiggles video, because that is the only thing that seems to keep him calm today. We do try our best to limit the tv watching, but there are days. And I can handle the Wiggles much better than the Teletubbies, but the blue wiggle gives me the creeps.

These are the days that I can barely get through. These are the days when I really feel like motherhood was thrust upon me without my consent, because after all, we were preventing such a thing when we found out little W.T. was coming along (SURPRISE!!). We were in no way in a place for a baby at the time. My father was still living with us. I was still trying to get my health on track. Instead of enjoying my pregnancy (as much as you can enjoy something like that), K. spent time arranging to move my dad to a nursing home, and I focused obsessively on eating the right things so that my blood sugar would stay under control, so that my readings would be good when I called them in to the doctor's office twice weekly, so that they wouldn't increase my insulin dosage or tell me I had to take more than one shot a day. Then suddenly he was here and I'd never had a chance to get mentally into that 'I'm going to be a mother place.' I'm sure this isn't any worse than what any other new mother goes through. But am I still a 'new' mother since he's almost two, or am I just not adjusting correctly?

Ut-oh... I hear the tape ending. Must go rewind.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

You've been invited to a fancy ball but the only thing you have to wear is an orange wooly jumper. What shoes do you wear?

Black strappy sandles... you can never go wrong with black strappy sandles.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A perfect Friday morning

K gets up at the hideous hour of 4am, to leave for his equally hideous manufacturing job (read: euphemism for working in a factory) by 5am. I will not miss this once he's laid off and back to school full-time.

But, since this is the way our life goes, his car wouldn't start this morning. It's 4:45am (trying to start the car a few minutes early so it can warm up, because it was 33 outside this morning) and we're in our drive-way, flickering flashlight at the ready, me with the owner's manual for my car and K holding the jumper cables in the air so they don't touch and spark, since the positive was already connected to my battery. And keep in mind that my husband and I are BOTH mechanically inept, to put it lightly. We did not, I am sad to say, get his car started. My battery has no negative post to attach the second 'jumper' to. It was dark and cold and confusing, and it just seemed easier for me to take him into work... even though that meant getting the little pumpkin up at such an awful hour.

As I was headed to work 2 hours later, I noticed on a billboard that our mega-million lottery is up to $147 mil. Maybe I'll buy that ticket on the way home tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tom Cruise can kiss my a**

I grew up watching Tom Cruise on the big screen and dreaming of the day he'd come rescue me from my mundane life as a teenager in Ohio. Only a die-hard Tom fan would remember his 1983 (not) hit Losin' It (high school boys travel to Tijuana to lose their virginity, and hilarity ensues). And of course I'll never forget sitting in the tiny, darkened movie theater in my home-town watching the (in)famous love scene in Top Gun and melting into my seat. And even recently (recently as in the last 2 years) I was ultra-impressed with the interview he gave James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio just before the release of The Last Samurai. But I have to say... this 'new' Tom that has emerged this year, since firing his publicist and hiring his sister (also a Scientologist) to do the job has really, well, turned my stomach. The Matt Lauer interview for me was the last straw.

Just for fun, I went to the official Scientology website and took the personality test that they offer. Some of the questions intrigued me:

Do you consider the modern 'prisons without bars' system doomed to fail?

Do you consider more money should be spent on Social Security?

Do you sometimes give away articles that, strictly speaking, do not belong to you?

Do children irritate you?

Are you ever ill at ease in the company of children? (I certainly hope Tom and Katie answered no to these last two!)

Now I'm sure there's some deeper meaning to all these questions that I'm missing. And I'm almost curious enough about it to go to my closest Scientology center and meet with someone to discuss the results of my personality test (which, by the way, confirmed how mentally flakey I've been thinking I am). If I could pull this off under an assumed identity, so I wouldn't have to worry about them knocking at my door next summer along with the Jehovah's Witnesses in the neighborhood, I'd do it. But, alas, I don't have that much chutzpah.

My guess is that the Tomkats will never read this, but I just have to get this off my chest. Depression is a very real and at times a very serious thing. My son is almost 2, and I'm just now starting to feel the fog of the postpartum depression lift. I'm sure I should've gotten help for this long ago, but I'm just too stubborn for that. But I have great respect for anyone who is willing to stand up and say (in a sense) that they just can't deal sometimes, and seek out the help that's available.

And did I miss Tom getting a uterus somewhere along the line? Because if he hasn't, then he can never truly understand what the woman goes through when she carries and gives birth to a child. My God... the CIA should find some way to replicate those pregnancy hormone surges and mood swings to use on people they're interrogating.

I hope for their sake that dear Katie doesn't go through this when their child comes along... but actually, in some small way, I hope she does (is that evil?). Maybe then he'll see the light.

My angel

My angel W.T. ... taking the plunge into the corporate world at the tender age of 21 months...

Wow... being a parent is just plain hard. And this is one of those evenings when I'm just not convinced that I'm cut out for it. K is at school - Algebra on Monday and Wednesday evenings until the quarter ends the third week of November. So it's me and W.T. tonight. He's at a very high-maintenance age (which I'm sure will continue until he's grown and out of the house or I'm dead, whichever happens to come first), and he's got a bit of a cold, so he's at the high-end of the fussy scale right now and it's setting my teeth on edge.

It all came as a surprise, you know... this parenting thing. Oh, we know where babies come from and all that (something about a big white bird with a long neck), but what we didn't know 2 1/2 years ago was that the medicine my doctor put me on to help me get my blood sugar under control can make you ultra-fertile. So eight months after 1) a miscarriage and 2) finding out about the type II diabetes and 3) working my a** off (literally) to lose some weight, I was back in the doctor's office saying, "Um, well, I've taken 4 EPT tests and I think I might be pregnant..." Starting a family was the furthest thing from our minds at that point in time (did I mention that my father was also living with us at the time because he'd had a stroke about 2 years before?), but there we were.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I'm afraid that if I didn't think this way I'd lose all hope and faith in humanity and the world, and then it would just be all over for me. Maybe I'm naive. But the days of looking at him, usually while he's throwing a tantrum of some sort, and thinking "I just can't do this" are getting fewer and farther between. So I think we'll be okay.

Who am I ... or who I am...

Finally, at almost 36 (shudder) I think I'm starting to get a sense of myself and who I was/am meant to be. I only wish I'd come to some of these realizations sooner, instead of wasting so much time worrying about what other's think.

I am a daughter... who is trying to work through the death of both of her parents

I am a sister... who is trying still to figure out why her brother seems to reject her

I am a wife... trying to support my husband as he tries to start a new career

I am a mother... doing my best to raise a son in a troubled world

I am a type II diabetic... still trying to get things back on track after a high-risk pregnancy, and still trying to get over the fact that McDonald's is not considered a food group or included on the food pyramid

I am a Christian... whose faith and belief in God has been shaken violently over the last few years

I could go on, and probably will in a future installment, but right now I (unfortunately) have to get to work.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Potty Training = Nightmare?

Is it possible that every parent dreads this as much as I do? Where do you even begin when it comes to teaching your child how to use a toilet instead of a diaper? Amazingly, at least to me, there are widely varying opinions on when you should start this process with your child. Some books give you a long list of signs to look for that will tell you your child is ready and open to the idea of using the toilet. Others say there's no reason a child can be toilet trained by the tender age of 18 months. Shouldn't using the toilet be instinctual, like the cat knowing to use the litter box? Apparently not.

So I log on to my library account to comb the 'card' catalog. Ah ha! Dozens of books on the subject. This will be a breeze. I request 10 or so and wait for the emails telling me they're on hold at the counter of my local branch. The first book I pick up is written by Fred Rogers. Can you go wrong with Mr. Rogers? I open it eagerly and begin to read. Two or three pages in, I decide I can't get past Mr. Rogers referring to the #2 as "BM's". I put the book down and move onto the next one.

I tell myself that this second book will be much better. The first half of the books is a guide for parents, the second half is a picture book to read with your child. Let's skip the advice for parents and go straight to the picture book. It's always better if there are pictures. I feel victory just around the corner as I begin to read...

Let me paraphrase this one. When you're wet, you've made wee-wee. When you're dirty, you've made do-do. Everyone makes wee-wee and do-do. Daddy, Mommy, the mailman, the policeman, grandma, grandpa, etc., etc., etc. And, of course, there are pictures of everyone as they sit on the toilet, doing their business. The 'Daddy' picture is particularly striking as the drawing resembles Gabe Kaplan ala 'Welcome Back, Kotter'. My heart sinks. To assuage my blossoming fears that this will be impossible, I tell myself that W.T. obviously can't be ready for this, since he's just beginning to put complete sentences together. Or is it Mommy that's not ready?

I return the books to the library. We'll try this again in a month or two, when he seems more prepared to take this next step. Maybe next time we'll look at the classics Once Upon a Potty and Everybody Poops.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I am a math widow

A gray, rainy Saturday here in Ohio. K is off at school studying before a tutoring session. He's in his second of three Algebra classes. Math is not his strong subject. After he finishes all the Algebra, he will move on to Statistics, then Tech Math... God help us all. So today, at least for 5 more hours or so, it's just me and W.T. I think W.T. is coming down with a cold... he hasn't been his usual energetic self this morning, and instead is laying on mommy & daddy's bed watching the Disney channel. I certainly don't want him to be sick, but hopefully this means he'll at least be subdued while we shop for groceries and other sundry things at the super Walmart, and maybe we'll have a cuddly afternoon since we can't go outside.

I think it will be somewhat of a miracle if I survive K getting through school. It is important... and it is for the good of the future of this family... but I HATE spending so much time alone. Alright, technically I'm not alone because W.T. is with me, but really how much company is a 21 month old? No other friends have children his age that he could play with while the mommies talk. I suppose this means I should start looking around for some sort of play group or something, the thought of which makes me cringe. Trying to make new friends at 35 is not a happy thought.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A few of my favorites...


My life is like
crooked blinds
a tad bit skewed
a touch off center
my hair is never "perfect"
and I only buy on sale
my clothes aren't vogue
I admit I've never had a manicure
my room is a disaster
my styles, eclectic
yes, I have seen the inside of K-mart
and if my sense of humor
is a little out of whack, that's okay
so's my brain.
But my heart's where it should be
and if you don't care for my
silk suits and generic high tops,
then close your eyes
because I've never been able
to pull the blinds straight.
Besides, I like crooked blinds
and if you truly love and
accept me for who I am
you'll leave my blinds alone
-Stephanie Kovacs

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somwhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

What am I thankful for, this day?
I heard a poor man softly say
A chance to earn my daily bread
A place each night to lay my head
A soft, warm hand to ease my care
A child's small voice to rise in prayer
A special friend both kind and true
To help me right the wrongs I do
To dwell where tyrants fear to tread
Where freedoms flag floats overhead
The faith to ask on bended knee
God, may all men be rich like me.
-Paul Ferguson Love

Here we go...

Here I am... I am 35 going on 36... married for almost 8 years with a son that will be 2 in January... hopefully someone will find my thoughts on things interesting... Happily married, you ask? Most of the time. Enjoying motherhood? In all honestly, it has shaken me to the core. I still have quite a few moments when I don't quite know what to think about it. Like my job? What can I say? It's a paycheck. Since I have yet to win the lottery, there's not much of a choice. So let's see where all this takes us... and blame my friend Mou, of the internationally famous blog 'Mou on the verge' for all of this. After taking a look at what he had to say, how could I not start a blog of my own??? It would be unthinkable.

As I said, motherhood has shaken me to the very center of my being. I feel very much as though I've lost my sense of self, and I just have not figured out how to find it again. I guess at heart I'm a little selfish, and I haven't quite adjusted to the fact that life no longer centers on my, but on my son. I live now with a constant feeling of fear and dread in the pit of my stomach that something out of my control will happen to my son. It's an awful feeling. And it's made me realize very quickly that the line between appropriately cautious and maniacally paranoid is very, very fine. Therapy, perhaps? It probably wouldn't be a bad idea, but it would be a waste of time and money. I freeze up. I spend too much time wondering if they're thinking 'Wow, this one is really f-ed up...' I'm much better at working these things out in my own head, in my own time, than trying to spill them to someone else. (Ah, and who knows... could blog = free therapy? Hmmm....)