Beanisms and musings

Nuggets of joy gleaned from a 30-minute phone call from Bean

I hope you don't break both your legs, mommy.

I'm going to ask all the humans did you crash Paul? Did you crash Paul? Did you crash Paul? And if they say they say yes then I am going to crash them too because that's not nice to crash people!

And I'm pretty sure you're going to love me always mommy. Even when you're 100.

Can I come to your house mommy? I will take care of you. Every time you sneeze, I will bring you a tissue. But I can't take care of daddy and Miss O, too. That's a lot of people.

Miss O just attacked me. Apparently she wants to knock me over.

I'm going to put the phone down and go ask daddy. Don't talk until I come back, okay?
Well, my big girl definitely misses me. And talking to her really drove home how much I miss her, too. And her sister, but Bean is just kind of a force unto herself, you know? The things she says and does are so interactive and engaging and unique that being away from her for this long has been really hard. I miss the little one for the more obvious reasons: my baby girl, nursing, her consistent presence. But Bean is who really puts the life and dynamism into my home.

She initiated the always awkward mommy and daddy are divorced conversation. This one began with "you loved each other for a little while" kind of discussion. Sometimes I wish I had a kid who was just not interested in the world around her, you know? I wouldn't have to talk about dead people, wouldn't have to talk about divorce ... We could just talk about her and her ponies. (Daddy got her a "medium size" Toola Roola pony, with "sparkles on her butt-butt and on her nose and in her mane!" ... the girl loves her some Ponies.)

Somehow she drew the conclusion "you still love daddy a little". Ummm ... no. Caught off-guard, I replied "no, sweetie, daddy and mommy are just friends." She asked her daddy if we were friends, and he must have shaken his head, because next I heard was "Yes you are. Mommy said you are friends" and, in the background, Dave's "yes, we're friends."

This is a bit of a shift in verbiage; historically we've kind of made mommy and daddy just separate entities, and used 'mommy and daddy aren't friends anymore' as the reason for two homes and the divorce. But as Bean's understanding of things - and her social context - expands, it seems like we'll need to wrap our co-parenting relationship in different terms.

And since, in her social context at school, "not friends" is defined in terms of exclusion, meanness and scratching, it's probably best that she thinks mommy and daddy are friends. Thankfully, I'm not alone in my thinking, so friends is the new terminology. Of course, this was followed by Bean vowing "We will all be friends forever. Mommy and Daddy and me and Miss O." So I think there will need to be some nuancing of the term, over time, so she understands there are gradations of friendship, but for now, the 'friends' bucket seems a much better place for mommy and daddy's relationship than the 'not friends' bucket :)

On the health front, I think I'm past the feverish portion of the flu, but I still have a nasty cough and the general feeling of being run down by a truck. I was out for a little while today to mail a few things, return some library books and pick up my own mail, and found the 15 minutes of driving exhausting. This is after a good night's sleep. I ended up taking a two-hour nap and woke up about 4 hours ago, but I'm already yawning again.

Still no word on swine flu results. Looks like the first local school is closing based on 'probable' swine flu, so it's just a matter of time before the first positive shows up around here. Whatever version of the flu I have, it has definitely knocked me on my ass much harder than the flu usually does. Although I've never had the flu at the same time I was returning to work and putting my kids in full-time care, so I imagine that life itself was knocking me down a few pegs already :)

The girls are on the rebound from whatever non-flu issues were ailing them, so hopefully one or both of them will be able to return to school tomorrow. Dave has totally been a rock star, keeping them over there all week, and staying home with them while they're sick. It's not a huge shock to me that he's doing all this, as his daddy skills were never in doubt or question, it's just really, really nice that he's doing it - mostly to keep them away from me, but also because it gives me a chance to recover. And, ostensibly, to work from home. Which is easier said than done, as my already limited ability to stay focused has been shredded by the combo of illness-driven malaise and medication-induced brain fog. It's taken me all day just to type this post, and I've had to give up finding an appropriate quote to use as a post title because I keep getting sucked into all sorts of silly things ...

I am not going to be cut down by some monster flu. I am better than that!

Well, at least I know what's wrong - I have the flu. And yeah, it's type A. I went to the doctor yesterday a.m. because I still wasn't feeling well, and since I had the febrile, respiratory illness the CDC was saying 'go see your doctor' about, I went. The doctor's office sent a second swab off for more detailed testing, but in the meantime, I'm stuck at home for a week and taking Tamiflu.

Dave's keeping the girls for the week to try to keep them, and their school, separate from my cooties. They both went to the doc today, Miss O because she has had some GI symptoms and a fever, Bean mostly just to cover our butts, and their flu tests were negative. If Miss O isn't feeling better soon, I think one of us will be taking her to get her urine checked.

For as long as I've been sick, I was pretty surprised to still swab positive for *anything*, but maybe I picked up the flu virus later in the game. Who knows. I don't know when I'll get the results back, as my doctor's office has "never done anything like this before" and doesn't know what to expect when they send the stuff off. They hope to have results within the week, but personally, I'd expect a little faster turnaround right about now ...

So that's what's going on here. I miss my kids, and imagine they miss me, but hopefully this will keep them from getting sick and I will finally get to recover myself. I'm doing some work, but the meds I'm on are making me a little spacey so it's hard to stay focused for long. Mostly, I'm just going stir crazy.

Pics of the girls

Bean and Miss O enjoy "leaf soup" that Bean made

Miss O feeds her dolly

Bean's "present" for mommy

A lap full of love

Miss O explains to Max how much she loves him

To paraphrase from my favorite movie, Raising Arizona, girl, "you got a panty on your head"

Bean's 'buddies' go shopping to buy "all the things they need"

Bean shows off her fashion sense and her beloved Clarice

Bean's bristle-block camera


Is this Bizarro World?

Still feeling crappy unless I load up on OTC meds, no x-ray results and my left ear is full of fluid or whatevah it is that infected ears fill with. I swear, if my ear would drain, I would at least feel a little more human ...

Since an empty fridge waits for no woman, yesterday I made a grocery run. I needed to print out my last 6 online class lessons, too, so I chose SuperTarget, as it's right next to Office Max. I hate printing tons of stuff at home, since a new laser cartridge is so damn expensive. I've printed all my class stuff at FedEx/Kinkos (you can send them print jobs online) until now, but since they make you wait for the stuff, I figured I'd give Office Max a whirl. Walked in, handed them the USB key, and walked out 10 minutes later with everything printed and 3-hole-punched. I'll be a highlighting fool in a little while, as I am way behind on my classes.

At SuperTarget, I made a spin through the toy department just to see if there was anything cool on clearance, and had the bizarro-world experience of running into Bean shopping with Dave and Miss O. Contrary to popular belief, the world did *not* spin off it's axis with the two of us in one place ... at least I don't think it did, but I've got this middle ear thing kind of screwing with my balance ...

Bean was excited to see me, and told me she wanted to come with me as she was "tired of being around boys". I reminded her that Miss O was there, too, and that she missed her daddy when she wasn't with him. Her response? "Not that much." Ouch. I spent a few minutes with her while Dave and Miss O stayed away (O would have been very unhappy to have me leave if she saw me), and then convinced her to go back to Dave. The rest of the experience was punctuated by texting back and forth about where we were in the store and ended with me sending "I'm out" when I left. My life is just weird sometimes.

I swear, I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow and ask if I have swine flu. I can't shake the cough and I'm still running fevers on and off. If those jerks would ever call me about my chest x-ray at least I'd know what *isn't* wrong. Grrr ...

I feel fine. I mean, I'm... the world's spinning a little bit, but I like it, it's kinda like a ride.

So, as evidenced by the death and graveyard conversations, Bean and I talk about all kinds of stuff. Interesting stuff, sometimes, completely banal stuff other times. We haven't done rocks in the belly, yet, Julia, but if your explanation to C involves pictures, or, better yet, visual aids, I may drop Bean off for the show and tell portion :)

Tuesday (in addition to dead people and cemeteries) we talked about how and why one would go about resurfacing a road, including trying to explain how cars and weather degrade the surface of the road, and how they lay down a new layer of asphalt without removing the old layer. She just couldn't wrap her head around the concept of how the road surface would 'wear out'. When I explain things to her, I ask "Did that make sense? Or should I try to explain it another way?" But really, how many different ways can one explain 'wears out'. I tried using holes in clothes as a comparison, but I think she's still pretty cloudy on the wearing out thing ...

Later, when she and I were talking about why she shouldn't run away from the grownups she's with, I was trying to be kind of vague and not scary about everything at first, telling her that it was dangerous and bad things could happen. She said "I need you to explain it a different way." That's when she got the 'taken by a stranger/run over and die' bit. Now every time she doesn't understand what I'm saying, she says "I need you to explain it a different way." Bed time takes even longer as I explain every nuance of her books to her, usually once but often enough at least twice. Le sigh. Kinda makes O's non-communication look good by comparison.

Melissa, I've been thinking about you this week - how did it go for you and for R?

I've been at work one day this week. I felt like crap Wednesday, but I medicated it into submission and went in, only to be rewarded with a 101.5 fever Thursday morning, and the kind of sick that makes even your teeth and hair hurt. I'm waiting on chest x-ray results for possible pneumonia. Fun. I'm pretty sure I've strained my lower back and ab muscles with all this coughing, and my head is constantly pounding. Great way to start a new job, huh? Hopefully, *hopefully* they will be understanding, and by Monday I'll be well enough to go in and kick some serious butt. And this will just be a few days we all forget about in short order.

Thankfully my folks were around to help out with the girls yesterday, so I could go to the doc and get the x-ray solo, then even get a nap in in the afternoon. I slept 9 hours last night, and plan on repeating that tonight. I already got a good nap in this afternoon with Miss O, so while I still feel like death, I'm getting some of the rest I need (and that the doctor ordered - ha!) to help my body recover.

O has made a few appearances in her daycare room this week, and she loves it. Today, she watched Dave walk out the door and turned back to what she was doing. After he took Bean to her classroom, he came back and she was happily wandering around doing her own thing. I hope, hope, hope she is going to do well with this. I am really encouraged by Dave's report, and by my own experiences of her playing happily and making friends, and cautiously optimistic about how it will go for real on Monday.

I got the sweetest phone call from Bean last night when she was at her daddy's. I was on the phone with Kelly, and clicked over on the call waiting to join a conversation in-progress (she doesn't grasp that she needs to wait for someone to answer the phone before she starts talking.) She had gotten an ant bite and jabbed herself on a "pokey plant" while at the park with daddy and wanted me to know. She was also worried about me, asking if I was resting and "soaking", as I told her I soak in a hot tub when I don't feel good. Poor Kelly gave up on me, as there's no way to explain "the other line" to a 3.5 year old, nor did I want to rush her off the phone. I spent a few minutes talking to her and then called Kelly back.

I'm anticipating a weekend of laying around like a lump as I try to kick this. They told me I should start feeling better within 48-72 hours, and if I didn't I needed to come back in. I'm holding the doctor to that, because I cannot imagine feeling this rotten for much longer :(

The important thing is that I kept up my special birthday tradition of gut-wrenching misery and horror.

Happy birthday to me :)

Since I celebrated 37 buying a house for my new life, it seems oddly fitting that I celebrate 38 enjoying my last day of being a stay-at-home mom. Both are exciting turning points, but also scary and stressful and not anything I saw on my radar when I looked a few years ahead at 36. I think I was supposed to be going to Europe this year to get *my* fancy import car; I certainly wasn't supposed to be where I am today.


It seems a sort of apropos commentary that I started this yesterday but the girls would not let me finish. Right now I feel like absolute crap - fever, body aches, an ear infection and a nice, hacking cough. Yay first day of work! I'm going to medicate it all into submission rather than call in sick, but damn, I just want to lay on the sofa for a day. Or three. I'm fairly certain I'll be spending my weekend off laying around trying to recover.

Yesterday after Bean ran off for the millionth time, I finally broke it down for her with the "Look, if you run away you could either get taken by a stranger and never see mommy and daddy and Miss O again, or you could get hit by a car and die. Do you want either of those things to happen?!?" spiel. Naturally, we then talked about those things ad nauseum for awhile. And then I said: "Now, do you understand why you can't run away?" And she replied, very soberly, "Yes. And I could even get eaten by a bear if there was one around."

Prior to this, on our way to a birthday breakfast, actually, she started on her 'dead people in the ground' obsession. She was convinced they buried people under the road. So I finally introduced the concept of a cemetery, as a park with dead people. "Do they have playscapes?" was her first question. I explained that they did not, they had some benches, and then had to explain the whole concept of digging a hole, putting the box with the person in, refilling the hole and, because she needed to know, putting the grass back on.

So, naturally, our next field trip will be to a cemetery. What 3.5-year-old doesn't want to check out a park with dead people??

And before anyone starts on me, it's her own damn fault for asking so many questions.

So… peachy with a side of keen, that would be me.

I think the stress and worry about all the looming changes are starting to settle on me.

I'm in this perpetual state of controlled freak out: mind racing, blood pressure actually rising above my perpetual 80/50 range, mild nausea, rapid pulse ... I'm so nervous about Miss O going to daycare. I think this would be a more fun/exciting kind of stress if it was just Bean and I whose lives were changing. She's a lot better at handling change, and much easier to communicate with. Screamy Screamerson, OTOH, not exactly a roll-with-it kind of kiddo.

How do I get over this? I'm not really going to, am I? I mean, the stress of the unknown aspect of it will pass, but then it will just be known stress, won't it?

And then there's the whole being back in the workplace thing, after a good 4 years and change out of it. But that would be one of those positive stressors if it were occurring in a vacuum. Without the worry about the kids and how I'm going to manage juggling everything, it would be kind of invigorating. Instead, it's just another brick in the "holy sh*t" wall.

No-one wants to just pay me to stay home with the girls, do they? Yeah, yeah ... they drive me nuts, I'm looking forward to going back to work, yadda, yadda, yadda. As push is coming to shove, none of the "yay work!" cheers are really ringing all that true anymore ... and I find myself watching O play and wander around with such a feeling of unease.

One of my favorite things about Miss O these days is how much she understands, and how she interprets it. Like if I tell her to turn around to find something, she gets that she needs to look behind her, but does so by basically dropping to an awkward, bent-in-half, downward-facing dog and looking between her legs. The only way to extricate herself from said down-dog is to drop, unceremoniously, on her well-cushioned tush. Cute and practical.

She's also very interested in clean up, the polar opposite of big sister, who is very into absolute destruction. O actually cleans up after herself, and if she sees me cleaning, will retrieve a broom or a cloth napkin to sweep or wipe with me. I was watching her play today, and she put toys back in containers and put the containers back under the table when she was done with things. Not every toy, of course, but still a refreshing change from Bean's approach to play - dump everything out, take what you want, leave the rest.

Just to remind myself it's not all duckies and bunnies, she also has a new style of temper tantrum where she just follows me around screaming, and when I look at her, she drops to the ground to roll around and scream louder. When I walk away, she takes her act on the road until I make eye contact again, and the stop, drop and roll plays out again.

No dice. I'm still freaking out.

Hey! I'm feeling some serious negative energy in this room


What a weekend. Yesterday I medicated myself into feeling decent, but the combo of everything settling in my chest and exhaustion has left me feeling completely drained. Today, thankfully, Dave didn't have much going on and could take the girls a bit early and give me some time to veg out on the couch and relax a bit. Tonight I'll be able to get a little done, have a healthy dinner and get some sleep. Since I start work in a few days, I really need to start feeling better!

Miss O is doing better. After reading a lot on pneumonia, I'm not sold on that having been the issue, but the antibiotic she's on is pretty broad-spectrum and would address bronchitis or an ear infection as well, so as long as the fever wasn't due to kidney issues, it's a win-win. She started to improve within 24 hours of starting the antibiotic, and now just has an occasional cough and a little congestion. Way better than where she was on Wednesday.

On Thursday Bean had a screening ultrasound of her bladder and kidneys and there was some fluid in her kidneys, prompting the urologist to suggest a VCUG for her, as well. I'm not sure how much fluid, but apparently enough that it raised concern.

O's u/s and VCUG didn't show any hydronephrosis that I recall, so it's possible Bean has a higher degree of reflux than O does. However, she's asymptomatic, so I'm hoping it's just a fluke thing and when she has the VCUG (insert serious frowny face here) it shows no issues.

I'm tellin' ya - my kids are defective. At least Miss O doesn't show any sign of toe-walking ...

We had a first birthday party to attend yesterday, and I had to leave early because Bean just fell apart on me. She was being a bit turdly, not sharing well, that kind of thing, but nothing major. Then I watched her yank something from her sister. When I yanked it back, Bean called me stupid, and then when I told her it was time to go, she started to take off. I caught her and she turned and walloped me in the shoulder with a closed fist. Well, that sealed the departure deal.

She was tired, but 3:00 is just too late to start a nap. So we came home, did an early dinner, bath time and an early bedtime, since O missed her afternoon nap. I'm transitioning her to one nap/day since that's all they do at daycare. I've got to transition them to a later bedtime, as well, since the 6:30-7:00 deal won't work with me picking them up at 5:30. We won't be done with dinner until 6:30-7:00!

My heart was hurting for Bean on Friday. Thursday while O was napping Bean covered about 1/3 of my kitchen table, as well as a great quantity of her leg and arm skin, with green marker. The table cleaned up much more easily than she did, so when she went to school Friday, she still had tons of green marker on her. Several of the kids sang "Bean's a baby" at her, and one kid scratched her and told her she wasn't her friend.

The baby song really, really pissed me off. Why? Yeah, kids are cruel, but the kids learned this from the teacher calling kids babies, IMO. Since she has, on more than one occasion, used 'you're a baby' to admonish children in her class when they do something she doesn't like, she has, to my way of thinking, taught the kids a way to pick on each other. Pisses. Me. Off.

The scratching thing bugs me, too. This is the second time Bean's been scratched, with broken skin, and no incident report. I mean, hell's bell's, I had to sign a report when Bean did an incidental contact scratch on a friend a long while back, but here are two deliberate scratches, that Bean says her teachers knew about, and no reports. But since I've already complained about this teacher once, I don't want to sound like I have a grudge against her ... I mean, I don't like her, I'll be honest, but that isn't why this stuff bugs me. Having my daughter tell me "No-one likes me. They all said they weren't my friend and sang the baby song" is why this stuff bugs me.

Don't be nervous. Do what I do, just picture yourself naked.

Ugh. I am so glad Dave will be taking the girls tonight and I can just take a long, hot bath and then get a solid night's sleep. I got a decent amount of sleep last night, but since it was fractured by O's frequent wakings, it wasn't all that restful - especially when I'm trying not to get majorly sick.

O is still asleep, even tho Bean's been up almost an hour now. Around 2:00 I moved us back into Bean's room, where O slept until 5:30-ish, then came up to nurse and crawled back down to pass out in her crib. Once I knew she was out, I let Bean get up. Tho keeping her quiet is much more difficult than you would imagine. If she's not wanting to play with her people and horses (who are all now shopping in the pony corral), she's banging crap around in the living room. The girl simply cannot be quiet. At all. Ever. Try reading to her these days - if she's not asking a kajillion questions based on the page you're on, she's asking you to point out words and hollering them along with you. I know it's a great skill, and that the questions are good, but when you just want to knock out a story before Screamy Screamerson decides she has had *enough*, it's sometimes tempting to but the kibosh on the chatter.

So, about the job. Bean's school doesn't actually do P/T in the afternoons, so I'll be starting P/T on Wednesday, when my folks will be back in town and able to watch O in the afternoons. That will let me take her in a few times during the week, just to get her a little acclimated. Honestly, at her age, I don't know what good any sort of short-term warm-up does, other than get her used to the provider's face. Dave will be doing the first real drop-off, which seems kind of karmically fair, and I'll get to rescue her in the afternoon.

So I'll do Wed, Thurs, Fri afternoon next week, then start full-time the following Monday. I'm a little freaked out, now that it's all sinking in, and fighting the urge to call and say "nevermind!"

The job is almost perfectly tailored to my diverse background, and is that crucial first step in knitting it all together under a cohesive single banner. It's kind of corporate communications meets PR meets event planning meets some admin-type stuff. That's the briefest description I can give you. A lot of stuff I've done, in some vein or another, mixed with one or two things I've learned about doing and one or two things I've never done.

I'm plunging head-first into the deep end of going back to work, rather than my preferred method (in theory) of easing back in. But since I'm a procrastinating visionary (read: lots of ideas and things I want to do, just no movement toward actually *doing* any of them), we all knew this was how it was going to turn out, didn't we?

I'm so disappointed I didn't get to use my new resume (done by the fabulous Liz at Ultimate Resumes - thanks Liz!), but with no job lasting forever anymore, it's a good investment anyways. In the back of my head, I was thinking "I know as soon as I pay for this, I'm going to get a job that never even sees it" - that just seems to be the way Murphy's Law always play out for me. Regardless, it was money well spent :)

I can't believe I'm going to be done with play dates, park dates and lunches with friends :( Man, this is going to be one hell of a transition for me, isn't it? I'm envisioning a week of fast food and a total disaster area at home for the first full-time week. The girls and I will be getting home when I'm usually starting the bedtime routine. At least for Wed-Thurs-Fri next week, we wil be able to start the later nighttime routine and adjust to later mornings without the get-to-work scramble.

Ack. This is all going to work out, right?

I'm not well. I feel all oogy.

Bean, practicing sorting with a bunch of androgynous Playmobil figures. She's doing all the Q&A. With voices. Enjoy:
Are you a girl?
Are you wearing high heels like me?
Then you can come with us.
Are you a girl?
Boys have to stay with the other boys. You stay here.
Are you a girl with a mustache?
Yes I am.
Then you can come with us.

I'm not your friend because you say mean stuff. You can stay in the pony corral.

Only blue boys can go. But the red boys are going to have to stay behind.

Out of the blue at the dinner table, in a totally exasperated tone: Oh what the hell?? (She claims she learned this from her school friends. It isn't from me. My 'what the hell's are usually in the form of 'what the hell are you doing?!?')

Is it any wonder she's my favorite these days? Bizzaro-world sorting hat repetoires and spontaneous hugs and kisses versus Screamy Screamerson who is just a royal PITA these days.

But, apparently, with good reason. O ran a 103.5+ axillary temp pretty much all night last night (ibuprofen only knocked it back for a few hours at a time) and was diagnosed with pneumonia today. Seriously. I've been looking for my receipt and warranty for her all day, because between pneumonia, the kidney infection and all the screaming, this is *so* not what I signed up for.

And I'm sick as heck, running on a total of 8 hours sleep over the past two nights and finally, finally, at 8:30 sitting down to eat dinner after another night from hell with Miss O. If I don't end up with pneumonia as well it'll be a miracle. Because with as low as my defenses are at right now my body is a veritable playground for opportunistic infections. (A concept I tried to cover with Miss I this evening, so if she starts talking to one of you about cooties that take over when other cooties are already there, that might be why.)

Soon as I'm done with my soup, I'm crashing. I wish with Bean, but I'll probably just go snuggle with her for a few minutes and then go bed down with Screamy in my room. Someone cross fingers that they sleep past 4:30 tomorrow morning. Because when that started this morning, I wanted to introduce Bean to Swirly Enlightenment.

Well, I better get mingling. I really should be talking to people that *are* somebody. But it was fun!

So I just published my ranting and raving post from yesterday. It covers my attempt at getting O to nap on her own and then the frustration that is 11th-hour interview prep with a sick toddler who woke up every 3.5 seconds. And wraps it in the joy of being sick and having mood-altering PMS.

It's amazing the difference 24 hours and a job offer can have on a person.

What? Yeah it's only been 24 hours. Amazing, huh? I know it takes me by surprise when I really stop to think about how little time ...

Ohhhh. Job offer. That part.

Yeah. Yours truly has now interviewed for exactly one job in her three months of searching, and was hired for said job within 3 hours of my interview. Why yes, I *do* answer to Rock Star, thankyouverymuch.

And all this transpired without even a glance at the hot-off-the-presses just completed and now entirely pointless professionally redone resume.

Le sigh. And it was a nice resume too.

I start part-time next week, full-time the week after. No-one has mentioned this to Miss O yet, so I'm trying not to worry about how she's going to react. Because it's going to be legen- wait for it -dary. Oh yes. Mommy will suit up and O will pitch a screaming hissy fit the likes of which have likely never been seen before.

If she wasn't so sick, I might try to ease her in a day this week before hitting her with it every day next week, but honestly, I don't know what difference a day or two will make. I'm not even sure I'm doing her any favors starting her part-time (ideally 12:30-5:30 - assuming they still do the part-time afternoon thing. I need to check tomorrow) instead of just dumping it all on her at once. Bean is totally fine with going every day, she thinks it's great. O will be a whole 'nother story.

I mean, it's remotely possible she'll surprise me and actually do well. But I doubt it. This will be hard for her. Hard for me, too, I'm sure, but after the past couple scream-a-rific days I've endured, it's not feeling like a hardship to sign her over to someone else :) Of course, now that I've typed that I've begun my internal panic that someone is going to shake her because she's not what one would call a calm, cool, collected toddler.

Anyone have any guidance for this? Please? Or, if not guidance, perhaps some toddler-approved valium?

Is she moping around in the dark like..... nobody around here. Hmm-mmm.


Please. Do it now.

I have spent the past hour listening to Miss O scream at me for one variation on the "I can't possibly take a nap alone" theme or another. First the screaming because she wasn't in the backpack. I was laying right damn next to her and she was still screaming.

Put her in the crib. More screaming. Got her remotely calm and quiet and try to step out. More screaming. Stepped back for some pats and soothing, tried to leave, more screaming. Sat with head pressed against crib rails, calmed her down. Moved to bed. More screaming. Calmed her again.

Tried to lay down on the floor to give my back a break. More screaming. Calmed her down again. She was nearly asleep, I stepped out. More screaming. Mind you, at that point it was 2:00 and I hadn't eaten lunch. Closed door, let her scream, took a few bites of my now-cold frozen dinner.

Went back in. Calmed her down. Realized I have to pee. Badly. Laid on bed and talked in soothing voice, she started to konk out, I stepped out to pee before my bladder exploded, but left the door open so she knew she wasn't "alone". More screaming.

I decided to leave her in there a little while with the door open, but she's still screaming and not calming down. We're at the 50-minute mark now and I have. had. it. I need to get so damn much stuff done because I was sick yesterday, including preparing for a great job interview tomorrow, and she sleep sfine in a bed at her dad's so WTF?!?

I've gone back in, tried to calm her, she won't sleep and you know what? She can just scream for a few minutes while I type all this out and attempt to decompress. Because right now? I'm inclined to let her scream until bedtime, I'm that sick of the battle.

Added to that, I've wrapped up my taxes and thanks to Dave taking both girls as dependents, claiming Head of Household and me having to claim half of the damn economic stimulus I supposedly got, I'm down a boatload of money and feeling damn pissy about it. He should get the dependents, since he has actual income and probably needs the help they provide as deductions, but damn, I'm just frustrated with giving up so damn much money. None of it is his fault, per se, it's just easier to blame him than the headless entity of the IRS.

And Miss O is still freakin' screaming. And I can now add hollering "lay down and go to sleep!" to the list of things that don't work.


Today is going to go down as the day I can't believe I didn't throw myself in front of a goddamn train.

It's 8:30. I have an interview tomorrow at 9 that I have been trying to prepare for all day. But you already read how well trying to get some alone time today went. And now O is awake - again. For the second time in 20 minutes. I spent an hour getting her to sleep. I get her nursed down and asleep, I walk out, she is up 5 minutes later. And I'm going to put my fist through a freakin' wall here in a minute.

This isn't even a little fair. How the hell am I supposed to shine with no sleep and/or no prep?

When I was in there this last time, I just wanted to scream and cry and kick something because it's just one of those days where I get to pay and pay (sometimes literally) for the damn divorce and I just want to grab Dave and shake him and ask him why the hell he was such a cowardly weasel and why the hell he did this to me. None of this is my idea of a good time - the single parent gig blows sometimes, I've been screwed royally on taxes and lost a huge chunk of what should have been my nest egg (whole 'nother story that I'm not sharing with the world at large, suffice to say one small oversight on my part = major screwage in my retirement fund) - and now I'm scrambling to prepare while I deal with a fever and a wracking cough. All of this is his fault. All of it.

Rationally and in the "not a few bubbles out of plumb" part of my mind I know that isn't a fair assessment of the situation, but with my internal pity party going full bore, it's hard to be anything resembling objective. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry and feel sorry for myself. But O is coughing again, so I'll probably just have to stop mid-cry and go deal with her anyways.

I think it; I say it. It's my way.

Yesterday I picked Bean up at her dad's to take her to a friend's birthday party. Dave was supposed to take her, but O is sick and has a fever, so he asked me to take Bean.

As we were driving there, she blurted out: I told daddy to pull his head out of his butt!


So, let me set this up a little. One day, completely frustrated with Bean not listening and not doing what I asked her, a million and seven times, to do, I snapped. And hollered: "Bean! Pull your head out of your butt and listen to me!"

I'm just impressed I used 'butt'.

Well, that totally diffused the situation, because she thought it was the funniest thing in the world. She laughed and laughed, in that over-the-top Bean laugh she has, and said "my head isn't in my butt!"

I explained it's a phrase people use when someone isn't paying attention. "You weren't listening to me, so I was worried your head was in your butt."

Fast forward to this weekend, when she said "I told daddy - pull your head out of your butt!"

As I laughed and tried to be stern, I asked why she would say that to him. She said "He wasn't listening to me." Points to her for good usage. But I have to take points away for saying it to a grownup.

I *had* to call Dave and asked how he didn't laugh out loud when she said it. He, apparently, found it less humorous. He said he had to go back into the room and ask "what did you say to me?" incredulously, and that it was a little hard not to smile, but he was already so annoyed with her he didn't find it super funny.

Dude. That's funny. A 3.5-year-old telling you, out of the blue, to pull your head out of your butt? I don't care who you are, that's funny. Maybe not something you encourage her to say again, or to any other grown up, but she deserves one free pass.

(Especially when she says to your ex-husband something you've wanted to say to him so. many. times.)

I explained to her she could say it to me once, too, but then she couldn't ever say it to a grown up again. She said brightly "okay. I will just say it to kids."

Folks, you've been forewarned.

I did tell her it probably wasn't something to say to kids, either, since the kids might then say it to a grown up and get in trouble. I also apologized to her for using the phrase, since I gave her something that could get her in trouble.

But I got a good, long chuckle out of the whole thing. Mostly just trying to picture Dave's reaction when he realized what she said.

Mommy, to birds that flew in front of her car: Ack! Get out of the way birds!
Bean, in response, stops sucking her fingers, says imperially "run them over." and returns the fingers to her mouth.

Perhaps their heads were up their butts and they had it coming?


Miss O is definitely contagious, as my 'allergies' have become a low-grade fever and sore throat. So I have that slightly woozy I'm sick feeling going on. Not to mention I burned the roof of my mouth the other day, so I have a raw spot right where my hard palate meets the soft palate: in other words, right where my tongue pushes against the roof of my mouth every. single. time. I swallow. I keep numbing it with Orajel, but that only takes the edge off the discomfort.

What's that? Y'all are breaking out your tiny violins for me? Pbbllttt. I had to cancel on a potluck dinner I had planned to attend, and will instead be spending my day in my jammies, and enjoying a long hot shower (and possibly a long, hot bath) to ease my discomfort. And to make me warm, because I'm freezing right now. Course, the quiet 'sick day' sounds kind of nice in it's own right ... like those days when you play hookie from work because you don't feel great, but aren't all that sick, and just spend the day vegging out ...

You know, people underestimate the value of a good ramble.

Miss O is a bit of an imp ...

Wednesday night at bedtime, I was reading to Bean, and Miss O was in the room with us. I hadn't yet closed the bedroom door because, honestly, I encourage O to skip storytime before bed. If she's in there, she screams bloody murder until Bean hustles off my lap with a gentle "It's okay, O, you can sit with mommy". It's very sweet of Bean, but O can't keep 'winning' like that or the screaming will never end. And it has to end. Soon.

Anyways, Miss O toddled on over to the door, grinned at us and started easing the door closed with one hand while waving 'bye-bye' with the other hand. It doesn't sound nearly as silly or cute when I type it out, but trust me - between that impish little grin on her face and the wave, it was wicked cute.

Last night while I was fixing dinner for her and I, I let her play with some dry lentils and bowls and scoops. Yeah, the stuff got everywhere, but she was perfectly content with what she was doing, and there was no whining, screaming or demanding to be picked up.

As the fun was winding down, I got out the small hand broom and dust pan to clean up. O wanted to use them, so I let her for awhile. When dinner was pretty much done, I started to sweep again, and she wandered over to the pantry, got a cloth napkin and came over to start wiping up the floor as I swept. How sweet is that?

For the past two nights I've let her more or less self-soothe to sleep. Not really crying, tho there was a bit of fussing. But when she gets wound up, I've discovered that gently scratching her head is like an 'off' switch, if the planets are in their proper alignment. So with some fussing, some skritching and some soothing, Miss O has wound down on her own, instead of the usual nursing to sleep.

I tried getting her to take a bottle of formula on Wed night, but she was angered mightly at the suggestion. So it was back to nursing last night, but I did make her fall back to sleep a few times without the boob.

She was up a lot doing this really congested sounding cough last night, and was pawing at her ear a bit before bed. I have no idea where the cough came from - she's not been sick or sniffly or congested at all. I'm hoping her ped is open today ...


Since my desktop computer kept giving me the "holy shiznit, you're almost out of space!" message every single time I booted up, I sprang for a 1.5TB (that's like a gigolo-zillion bytes or something like that) external hard drive at Costco.

While I know I have a bunch of stuff hogging space, I think my biggest problem is fragmentation and a messy C: drive - but how the heck do I run a defrag when there is next to zero free space?!? I've deleted everything I don't use, but can't move the dial from 3% free space. And the darn defrag wants 15% free space to run. Grrr ...

I'm going to end up downloading (to my D: drive, thankyouverymuch) a bunch of system mechanic type programs, because I figure $70 worth of software, plus my googling skills and (limited) computer savvy is a better option than paying someone by the hour. Right? (Someone say right. Because I have never been my own tech support!)

The clean up and file moving exercise uncovered a strange sidebar: what the heck do you do with a marriage's worth of digital images?

Do I delete old vacation pictures? Is that what one does when one gets divorced? I'm sure that Dave did, as he had a whole Sherman-esque approach to "us" when I moved out ... but it's not like I look at the pictures (ever) or, now that I've had my memory refreshed that there are pics of the places 'we' went, I'm waxing nostalgic and feeling reunion feelings. I guess it's not something like the wedding photo album, that the girls may some day want to see. Any mention of "I went on a cruise with your dad" is unlikely to be any more than a passing thing, and that's only until I go on a different cruise and the one with Dave isn't the only point of reference.

It's different for pics of family trips, once Bean was in the picture (ha, I made a funny). But pre-Bean, I guess there's really no point, is there? Is there any need to be a memory keeper when no-one really needs or wants the memories?

Well, it's a burden, but I manage

I was reading a post by the fab Ms. Single Mama about her Imaginary Husband.

Stuff like this is why I blog and why I enjoy reading blogs - because when you find out someone does something you do, or has experienced something you've experienced, it makes you feel ... good? valid? I'm not sure what the exact word is, but it's something that makes you feel less alone, less weird and more important.

I have a chore list and reasons I miss being married, too. Mine is all about the heavy lifting - both the real and the metaphorical. Things like taking out the trash, carrying heavy stuff, building RTA furniture, tech support ... but also the stuff like sick kids, nighttime parenting, bad days when you just want someone to tell you that you're still a rockstar ... they're all burdens that can be managed alone, but are easier managed with a partner.

Unlike Ms. Single Mama, I wasn't looking to get out, thinking single would be better. In a truly honest assessment, I'll admit that I had wondered about greener pastures. But I had also done more than my fair share of ... grazing ... so I knew that even if they looked green, sometimes they were nothing but chokeweed. Or at best dallisgrass - it may look like real grass, but it's just a clever impostor.

But then, my marriage wasn't awful, either. Maybe it wasn't always a lush Kentucky bluegrass ... more of an annual rye. Something that looked great on the surface, but needed attention to last. So while I'd glance at the other pastures, I figured I was in a pretty good place, as long as we took care of it.

Obviously, we didn't, but that's a whole 'nother post (and one that I've probably done in many different iterations in the past).

Those greener pastures are still there, but, as they always were for me, they're ideas of someone, not actual someones. They're my imaginary future lives, with new significant others, and there are a few versions of them. In the words of Langhorne Slim, there's no road to follow, only stones left unturned.

And while I'm turning them alone right now, I know that one day in the future one of them is going to reveal someone to help shoulder the load.

What we once were informs all that we have become

Before I forget: Bean, waiting for a cake walk to begin - "Let's move it people!!"

(I don't know where she gets this stuff.)


My c-section rant yesterday was kind of an all-encompassing rant for both my annoyance at the discussion surrounding the linked article and every other anti-c/s discussion I've seen/heard on that particular board. The discussion that tipped it off wasn't overtly offensive, but the subtext there bugs me. "... it definitely concerns me that by calling it "natural" it's a way to con women out of their right to VBAC." That kind of stuff. And the paternalistic (ironic word choice, no?) tone that 'only .00005% of c/s are truly necessary and therefore everyone else who had one is either conned by the establishment or a selfish person who just wanted the c/s'.

True, I've seen and been a part of much worse over at, but I've also seen what the local folks think of c/s in the past. So I extrapolated a little.

Who is anyone else to say what a mother's best choice was at the time? Why not give a mom who had a c/s as many flowery words and as much empowerment as possible? Why nitpick that a c/s isn't a 'natural' birth at all? I mean, duh. Baby comes out via a nice slice in the operating room, no-one really thinks that's truly natural, no matter how much incense ya burn or how soft the lighting is.

If we've reached the truly staggering 40% or greater rate for c/s in this country, then there are a lot of moms who need support, not judgment. Don't like that many c-sections? Target the medical establishment and the surgeon general for change, don't criticize the choices a mother makes. Yes, there are some 'questionable' reasons for c-sections, but who is anyone else to validate what's a "bad" reason versus a "good" one unless it's their womb, baby and heart in the mix?

Making mothers feel bad, deliberately or as a side effect, doesn't change the statistic. I doubt it budges the needle at all. All it does, IMO, is distance one group from another. And pushing people away is never a way to make them feel embraced and welcome within a community.

What's next? Vaginal-American and Caesarean-American?

Hey, you look troubled. Or is that just your lazy eye?

An interesting take on c-sections from across the pond - The new "natural" Caesarean.

I think it's way cool that the medical community wants to make a Caesarean birth as fulfilling for the parent(s) as possible. That's huge. My first was not fulfilling, but it was memorable for the overriding belief that if I closed my eyes I was going to die (no food for 24 hours, plus 22 hours of labor, plus 12 hours of epdiural, plus the addition of more anesthetic when they prepped me for the c/s does not equal a lucid brain). Miss O's was more fulfilling, as it was a planned thing that I entered knowing what to expect, and thanks to the wonderful anesthesiologist who gave me a play-by-play for the whole time he was at my side.

f course, the "more AP than thou" crowd is mounting high horses and deriding the word choice (natural, they scoff, is not appropriate with c-sections) and making sure everyone knows that a c-section still isn't a valid birth experience compared with the home-based, all soft music, no anesthetic, primal scream birth *they* had.

Because, you know, there's nothing more empowering for a woman than demeaning the choices and experiences of another woman.

So yeah, I'm troubled today.

The mommy wars. Love them. They're just great. They do so much to empower and embolden women and to show the other gender just how mature and reasonable we are. Nothing says "anything you can do I can do better" than a bunch of b*tch-slapping at each other for being sub-par mommies.

Don't think the sarcasm is all because I feel defensive about my own choices. Because, for the most part, I don't. I tend to be the kind of person for whom a past choice is in the "it is what it is" category - I don't spend long hours lamenting the two c-sections I had, or how I could have prevented them, or what I could have done differently as I raised my girls. None of that matters to me because I can't un-do any of it.

But I know lots of women who do mourn their birth experiences, their early childhoood choices ... I don't understand the choice to do so, but I accept that they do. And having the holier-than-thou crowd harping on every choice that isn't wrapped in hemp blankets, dressed with herbal tinctures, served on a fair-trade and sustainably harvested plate with a side of placenta, all covered in a mystic special sauce that embodies all that is primal and contains a puree of all non-midwife medical professionals ... well, that's just stupid. And demeaning to mothers and to women. And divisive and unkind. And totally not feminist or woman-centric at all.

So to the holier-than-thou chicas, a few words of advice - get. over. your. selves. And yes, I get the irony of me soapboxing to tell others not to soapbox. But sometimes things just need to be said. As long as you're not whacking your kid with a spoon, or leaving them in a car while you go tie one on at the bar, or berating and deriding them and their choices, you're probably a decent parent. If you need to put yourself and your parenting practices on high and criticize everyone else's choices, you have much bigger things to concern yourself with in your own psyche than you have to worry about in others' choices.


Some recent kid-isms

Verbal kidisms from Miss I, physical from Miss O. I swear, I'm going to start panicking about getting early intervention for her if she isn't talking soon ...

Miss O:

Mimics everything. Everything. I was nursing her to sleep the other night and scratched my nose (It was a scratch!). I looked down to see her staring up at me, finger up her nose, grin on her face. I drummed my nails on a table yesterday, she drummed hers. I make kissy-noises at an animal, she does too. Actually, now she makes them at any animal, stuffed or real.

Today in the car, I heard the kissy-noise and she was having two rubber duckies 'kiss' each other, beak to beak. It was beyond sweet.

She blows kisses, sometimes at people, usually at animals.

She understands so much and follows directions really well. She'll throw things away, go to the door to the garage when I say "go get in the car", etc. And she can do the two-step instructions like "go to your room and get your shoes". She just doesn't say anything. Except mom/mama and dada. It's so different from Bean, who had at least 15-20 or so words by age 1, and by two had a huge vocabulary. Like I said, I'm close to being a little freaked out about the "not talking" thing ... at her 18 month check, if she still hasn't added more words, I'm going to ask about early intervention. Since she understands so much, I'm not as worried as I would be if she weren't able to hear and follow instructions, but with Miss Chats-a-lot as a big sister, it's hard not to compare and worry.

Miss I:

Zero is how you get one. You mix them and mix them and mix them together and then you get one. If you don't mix them, you get 10.

(Reading an anatomy book to O) So, here's your lungs and here's your skeleton and here's your heart. This is your brain, Miss O. And everyone has different color skin.

I moved up quickly to Manta Ray.

Arazelli (some made up girl) is big. She's in ... (pauses to think) ... humpback whale class up on the roof!


The Arazelli one was awesome, because it showed such a solid logic in the way the classrooms progress at her school, and a good comparison of Bean being her size and in Manta Ray and a much bigger kid being in a much bigger animal class.

But the zero and one thing blew me away.

I locked my keys in the car today at Costco. I was so impressed with myself. For the longest time, I just used the lock button on the keychain and that way I could never lock the keys inside because if a door was open, the lock button wouldn't lock the car. I had to be outside of it, all doors shut, with keys in hand to lock it.

But I recently started hitting the interior lock button after I opened the girls' doors, so I could just drop my keys in my purse and not juggle one or two kids and the keys to lock the doors. As I was shutting Miss O's door today, I had the "I hope I have my keys" thought that you just know means your keys are now locked safely in your car. And mine were.

A half hour and $35 later, O and I resumed our Costco trip, and since my car insurance will reimburse me for the cost, it was really just an annoyance and an ego blow. Miss O was fabulously patient while we shivered outside and shared a slice of pizza waiting for the lock-popper guy. And she had a blast inside Costco, where I let her walk for the whole trip. She was the belle of the warehouse club :)

For your information, I live a rich and varied social life.

Thanks so much for the comments on my socializing post ... it's such an ironic kind of post - laying myself bare for the world, yet claiming to be an introvert. But I see that's the way it is for a lot of you. I wonder how many bloggers are actually introverts, parlaying the relative anonymity of the interwebz into an ability to open up and be, for all appearances, extroverted.

I keep 'meaning' to do more social things - attend some single-parent or local singes get togethers, maybe try speed dating ... I just don't really care enough to take the step from 'meaning to' to actually going. Can I blame it on all the other balls I have in the air? Job hunting, trying to network, trying to maintain my sanity ... ???

Bean, talking to the TV: "Yeah, I'm having an easter egg hunt too."

And she is. She'll be hanging with the grandparents today to do the easter egg hunt in their 'hood. It will be her first, and I'm sure she'll have a great time. Since Dave had the girls on Thursday, my folks missed their usual Bean day - and I'm just generous enough to give them a make-up day.

Yesterday both girls were up at 4:30. Fortunately, I chose that night to just make their bedtime my bedtime, and I was asleep before 7 p.m. Still didn't really make 4:30 'okay', merely acceptable, but at least I wasn't seeing the butt-crack of dawn on only a few hours' sleep. It certainly makes for a looonnnggg day, regardless.

It's actually taken me two days to get this far ... I started this Saturday around 4:30, and and just now getting back to it around 6 a.m. Sunday.

Yesterday wasn't awful, even with the butt-crack of dawn wake-up. Everyone was asleep by 7 after some short daytime naps, and, of course, up at 5:00. No matter what time we go to bed, 5:00 seems to be our magic number here ... I checked the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" out at the library, so we'll see if that's any more motivating that the one for babies. I know the baby one she wants you to keep logs for awhile and then take forever to implement, which is so discouraging to me. I want a no-cry solution that transpires over a week at most, not a couple months. Of course, if I'd started the solution when I first started my sleep griping, it'd be done and over with by now.

I'm just not a believer in letting *my* kids cry. Like I said in my comments from the other day - I don't fault anyone else for going that route with their kids (unless they are doing it with young babies - that burns my biscuits) - it's just not something I want to do. Usually.

Miss O is also not a great candidate for it, as she does not ever stop screaming. I've found that out the hard way in the car and on the few occasions I have just had it at night and left her in a crib to cry because the alternative is not pretty. (I'm a big believer in the advice the pros give new parents - if you're at your end point, it's okay to let a baby cry in a safe place for however long you need to regroup your poop.)

But my 'lessons learned' from these experiences is that O does not stop crying until she is picked up. She just doesn't. It's never been longer than maybe 20 minutes or so (in the car - in person when I *can* fix it, I've never needed more than 10 minutes before I can face the music again.), but there's no winding down at any point - it's a continued effort that says to me "however long you can take it, I can go longer". Would I ever "win" and would she ever cry herself to sleep? Possibly. But I will likely never find out how long it takes to reach that point.

Jen, 2.5 is a looonnnggg way away. You have my sympathies. And a ton of empathy.

No, I don't think "Ugh" is the magic word, if one would call it a word and even then certainly not a magic one.

Someone please explain to me why it's even a little bit fair that my kids are always up before 5:00 ... I wasn't sleepy until around 11:00, then it took me forever to just doze off, when Miss O woke up around midnight. And probably hourly after that. 5 hours of ridiculously interrupted sleep is just not acceptable.

If someone could also remind me that I hate the concept of letting my kid cry themselves to sleep. Remind me a lot. Because at almost 16 months, there is no earthly reason this kid should be waking 5-6 times a night. Last night it was more like 8-9 times, as she woke up 3 times before I went to bed.

If she didn't sleep better (and later - until like 7:00) at Dave's, I wouldn't be quite so annoyed. But karmically speaking, my sleep shouldn't be the one targeted if she was going to be a sucky sleeper at one house and not the other.

And of course, Bean woke up loaded for bear, throwing a whiny-crying-hollering hissy fit when I told her no to chocolate before real food, then ramping it up a few notches when the banana she was eating 'broke' and wasn't all in one piece. Seriously. As if that changes the taste or anything. She screamed "no!" at me a few times when I told her to pick it up off the ground after she threw it there, so I ended up carrying her, kicking and screaming, to her room, tossed her on the bed and made her stay in there until she could mellow the hell out.

Magic word? Harumph. I'll take civil words. Hand to god, if all these books I'm reading don't give me some better coping tools, Bean's going to be a gift with purchase on eBay before she turns four.

I'm tellin' ya, I almost look forward to having to resolve conflict and deal with difficult people at work again. I cannot imagine a single situation I won't be able to handle, as it's unlikely that I'll have to toss a screaming, crying coworker over my shoulder and put them in a time out. Or deal with "no!" screamed at me repeatedly. Or have them spit at me when they don't like what I've said. I'm going to be the Zen Mistress at work, the one who can handle any sort of Joan Collins 'tude without getting ruffled.

It's hard to hold a grudge, tho, when the littlest one toddles in here, turns my chair to face her and beams up at me. And it's especially hard to hold a grudge when the big one is at school for the day ... yay for preschool!!

I took my taxes over to HR Block yesterday for their "Second Look", and I'm just flat-out getting hosed. Ugh. I'm most pissed about not being able to claim student loan interest because the statement has just Dave's social on it. I'm paying it, it was charged to me in the divorce decree, but it's his to deduct. And since he makes more than they allow for the deduction, no one gets a break. My advice to anyone contemplating divorce is to talk to an accountant first. We skipped that part, and we both got hit hard on stuff. So, accountant. Definitely. Especially if you have a bunch of assets to split and a damn student loan that can't be assigned to anyone else.

I watched my expected return get chopped in half because of that flippin' student loan interest ... I'll get over it, but I'm still cranky about it. Grrr ...

On to something less aggravating - validation from the American Association of Pediatrics for me having kept Bean rear-facing until she was 2: ... Miss O is still rear-facing and I had been loosely considering turning her to the front, but now she'll stay RF until at least two as well. And since she's such a teeny thing, I may leave her that way longer. She's usually got Bean in there with her to give her someone to look at and to keep her entertained, as well as a mirror that she can see me in, so it shouldn't be too hard to keep her RF.

There's also a Stonyfield Farm recall, affecting a few runs of the 32-ounce fat-free yogurt, for a "minute amount of food grade sanitizer" -

This socializing thing is brutal. I mean, I was young once. I used to go to bars. It was never like this.

I got a night off last night - woo-hoo!! My little brain and heart just needed some serious decompression. I didn't get to sleep in as late as I would have liked, however. At 5:30 this morning something very close by got hit by lightning. We're talking thunder so loud it seemed to reverberate for a minute or two. Scared the bejeebers out of me ... I think I remember mumbling something to myself about a coronary event, my heart was pounding so hard and so fast ...

I'm doing the ultimate of multi-tasking: blogging, looking at job stuff and listening to a friend's podcast -all while sipping coffee and enjoying the blissful feeling of being able to just do my thang without interruption. Join me for cup #2, because it's that kind of easy, relaxing morning. If you want to hear the podcast, check out:

The podcast I'm listening to is Episode 2, about mom-to-mom relationships. It's really interesting because I had to push myself so hard when I first moved to the area, and I can relate to so much of what they're talking about. When I moved here, I was 6 months pregnant and knew no-one. I can credit Dave for my closest friends, as he ran into Cindy and Jorge at the hospital when Cindy and I had our first babies. Then he followed through and set up the first "all of us" lunch, which is something I probably wouldn't have done on my own, and, knowing Cindy and Jorge like I do, I don't think they would have either. And then they introduced us to another couple, and I've since become very close friends with them, too.

But everything beyond that was on me. I had to join playgroups and step so far out of my comfort zone that I was doing the heart-pounding, palms-sweating, job-interview feeling thing as I attended the first few play dates. It's funny, because maybe about 15-18 years ago, I was the exact opposite - I was a total extrovert. I would walk up to any guy I found attractive and ask him out; I had no self-confidence issues. But I was also full of bravado, a lot thinner and really not that substantial a person.

I've gone through the introvert-extrovert shifts several times, actually. Early in life, I was an extrovert. Probably until about 5th or 6th grade. I ran with the popular kids, I had tons of friends, etc. Then I shifted and my circle of friends shrank, but grew closer. Through the end of high school, I'd say, my circles shifted, but I remained an introvert. Although most of my friends were total extroverts. Ash, remember Chris and Eric? Definitely not introverts, at least not Chris. And Eric was an extrovert in his own, brooding way.

Then I started working full-time and hanging out with different people (I took a pretty circuitous route to college and 'real life'), lost a bunch of weight, and discovered everyone's confidence-builder, booze. I spent maybe 7-10 years as a pretty extroverted person. It was nice, and I was rarely lonely. You can't swing a cat without hitting a grinning picture of me from that time period: I was not camera-shy, and, if I do say so myself, I photographed well. Very different from now, where I look like Pizza the Hut in photographs and my 'smile' is more of a grimace.

As that Golden Age was waning, I got hit with a life-changing experience that smacked me down so many notches. So many. It's something a lot of y'all know about, but it's something I won't blog about in an open forum, so if you want to know what I'm talking about, email me :)

Anyways, with that smack down, came a shift back to introversion. I made brief forays into the extrovert world, but I was definitely not the person I had been. I actually developed a bit of a phobia about new people and events ... I was sooo resistant to attending things that Dave wanted to attend.

Part of that, I think, was rooted in an event early in our relationship, where he took me to a party and disappeared with another girl for like 30 minutes. It was supposedly all on the up-and-up, a friend who needed him, blah-blah-blah. But I was, in essence, abandoned with a bunch of acquaintances while my new boyfriend was off doing god-knows-what with some cute girl. Add some alcohol and I'm pretty sure my brain cooked up a paranoia and phobia that would last throughout our relationship.

I made work friends, maintained my long-distance friendships, and occasionally attended stuff with Dave, but my introverted period lasted another 10-ish years. And then I moved to Texas and had to start everything from scratch. I didn't have a job to start meeting people, I'm not a church-goer and approaching people in a store and introducing myself is so not my bag, baby. Enter online mom groups and, eventually, in-person mom groups.

Fortunately, it's been a slow and steady extroversion conversion this time, added to the confidence and relative freedom from worrying about what others think that comes with age. I like the late 30's because I think that's when we all start to get really comfortable in our own skin. And since I had the catalyst of divorce to push me into new arenas, it's also the time, for me, where I get the tabula rasa to present myself as anything I want to be.

So I've been reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones and (hopefully) nurturing the friendships I have. Because my close local friends are all busy moms too, 'nurturing friendships' takes a back seat to surviving motherhood for all of us, but we try to stay as connected as possible. I find my mommy friends indispensable - I need that validation and support when I'm feeling like a terrible parent, or that understanding when it's a big deal that my 15-month-old sorted shapes. But I also find myself looking back at older friendships and wanting to know how those folks are doing - people I went to middle school and high school with, guys I dated that still take up a space in my brain (there are a couple who I still wonder "hmm, how's he doing?" Not in a 'maybe we should get back together' way, but in a 'we shared a space in time, you were a decent person, I hope you're doing well' way.), people I worked with ...

How about y'all. Introvert or extrovert? How well do you make new friends? Do you find yourself reaching back (made incredibly easy with social media like Facebook and Classmates) into the vault to see how old friends are doing?

template by : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing