Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Stress Of Christmas

I am going to toot my own horn here:
Christmas Does Not Stress Me Out.

Let me say it again: Christmas does not stress me out. Why? Because why should it?

I know people from Back East will read this and scoff, but Portland saw the most snow it has seen in 40 years. We had 10 inches in my back yard alone-it blew all our minds and resulted in not only a white Christmas (sing it Bing) but also in a lot of house bound people-myself included. We aren't use to this so no trips to the grocery store, no last minute shopping, and no mail for a week ( I got my last Christmas present today).
What this taught me is that Christmas spaghetti is just as good as a Christmas turkey-family was here.
Getting a present three or four days after the fact is fine-the person who gave it to you still cares.
The people who were at my house understood that with a new baby and a three-year-old, clean is a subjective term.
The smile on my son's face was not determined by everything being "perfect".
I sent out 70 Christmas cards. I got about 20 in return and two phone calls and that suited me just fine-I still had a great time sending them out.
Christmas movies are great by myself, with a crowd, in the rain, and in the snow.

Maybe I am lazy, maybe I am clueless but I truly believe that the holiday season is only as stressful as we let it be. Maybe Santa wouldn't serve pizza for Christmas dinner, have a spotless bathroom, and throw a holiday party for 100 elves with nary a hitch, but for me some weird food and a little dirt for the holidays means I get to have just as much fun as everybody else, and that is what makes the memories happy.

A Happy Stress-Free time for everyone.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Man's World/Boy's Life

Some disclaimers:
If you are religious, skip this blog.
Even though I get frustrated, I still love my family.

I am living in a man's world. After 8 years of marriage, and now 2 boys to boot, I see more pee-pee than I ever thought I would. So this morning, getting ready for work, I say to husband that he is on kid patrol so I can take a shower without worrying that Asa has accidentally smothered Noah. Shower ends, Noah is crying, I say to husband that Noah wants to sit up. I am a genius. Oh, and both kids are still in jammies. Okay, husband just worked 12 hours so I will cut him some slack. Phone rings, husband says to me "take the baby". Hello-I have no pants on, I am shooing kid that can walk out of the bathroom counter, and I still have two kids to dress even though I am running late. You can't talk on the phone and hold a baby?!?!?!
So on the way to work I am merrily singing along with Christmas Carols, because 10 minutes in the car alone feels like I won the lottery, and the lines are something along the lines that Jesus is King and he is God's Gift to the world. (Can't remember the song, so don't ask.) Can I point out the obvious-Jesus was a man. All men think they are God's Gift to this world AND expect the royal treatment at any given time. Why should Jesus be any flippin' different?!?! Don't mis-understand me. Any time they are talking about you 2,000 years later, you must have been a nice guy but I am sure if he were here today he would say "hey hon, can you hold the baby while I look at this camel? I need to be treated like God's Gift to the world."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post Baby Life

This is what happens when you have kids-you feel like you are constantly just "catching up" with the world at large.
I know Obama is the new president come January.
England wants to pull out of Iraq in 2009.
Christmas is...gulp...2 weeks away.
What the hell is on tv now-a-days?
How can it be December?!?!?!
Last week I came off maternity leave and went back to "work". I put "work" in quotations because I only go in 12 hours a week. It isn't exactly the corporate track but damn skippy-getting out of the house feels sooooo good. The first time I went from the car to the office I felt like I was moving at light speed! No little troll to dig out of the bushes, keep out of the garbage cans, or yell at for getting in the street.It is amazing how fast one person can move solo. And did I mention using triple-syllable words? Oh, and not one person has used a sentence with the word "poo-poo" or "tooted". Wasn't that a treat.
The other great thing about work-it helps with the post-partum. I think I may have mentioned this already in a previous blog, but much to my disappointment I did get hit with post-partum again. Not exactly the same form as before, but same game nonetheless. This is my worldwide message, again, to all you out there to be pro-active with the ones you love on this issue. Did I ever feel like hurting my kids-never. Did I ever feel like staying in bed all day-never. Did I withhold hugs and love from my kids-never. But as said before, I may not be the best parent out there, but I will always try to be the best parent I can. And I can't be a good parent when I am crying over Jeopardy and having a hard time deciding what to make for dinner. I will admit it-we had sandwhiches more than once. Not a bad thing-I fed my kid a semi-healthy meal. But I can do better, and I owe it to my kids to at least try. I have gotten a lot of "pats on the back" for getting to the doctor so fast and all I can say is-I am no hero. I just want to do right by my kids-something hundreds of parents do daily. Now if Santa can just bring me a margarita we are looking good!!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I know a lot of people will call teenagers self-absorbed, selfish, and moody, and granted I don't have my own yet, but if you really stop to think about it, do we want teenagers who think like an adult? Isn't that part of the learning process-to quietly, and responisibly acquire the knowledge we need to get through life? Do you want 13 year old discussing the pro's and cons of investing in the stock market? Do you want your teenager so responsible for the household that their school work suffers?
Having said that, I had the most luxurious weekend of shaving my legs and coloring my hair. Hot damn skippy-when did that become a big event?!?!?! Oh yeah, right after my boobs leaked through my shirt. Remember the days when no plans on a Saturday felt empty? Now it feels like winning the lottery.
It is defenitely all in your perspective.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yet Another Quick Update

Yikes-2 kids, little sleep, quick meals, and baby spit on my clothes! Who knew writing a blog would start to sound like a pipe dream! But just a quick note to the world to let people know that we are a live, kicking, and pooping our shorts depending on our heigth!!!
Asa just turned 3, and tells me the most amazing things. For those of you who didn't know, according to Asa, babies eat boobs, Old MacDonald has boobs on his farm, and Burger King is good eats. Um, maybe Asa shouldn't watch me nurse Noah.
Noah is almost 3 months old, 3 inches longer, 4 pounds heavier, and NOT sleeping through the night. Okay, I am whining for having a normal baby. By this age, Asa was sleeping through the night-why don't they all do this?!?!?!
Nick is adjusting to his new hours of the night shift fairly well. He loves the rides to work, and having to do less customer service, but he misses having those "family nights".
I had a bout with post-partum, again, and it didn't help that I am home alone, at night, with 2 people who DO NOT speak full sentences. But since I have been down this road before, I knew to get help a lot faster. When I broke out crying uncontrollably watching "Jeopardy", I knew we were headed in the wrong direction!!! Alex Trebek shouldn't do that to me!!! So a few weeks of drugs to control the hormones and I feel like a much better mommy, although I still don't like the dirty diapers-is there a pill to actually like that?!?!?!
So everyone is doing well, and we are looking forward to the holiday season. Asa is old enough to know what is going on and Noah loves the happy feelings everyone is throwing around. I have some great blog topics, but maybe after the new year!!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What I Learned In College

Any comedian worth his/her salt can make a crack about the $700 Billion bail out, so I am not going there. But it reminded me of a very important fact that I often forget:
Don't ever, ever vote for the candidate, in a political race, that says "I am the new one, not a political insider, and I have no experience-we just need fresh people."

Ugh! New ideas are one thing but does anybody realize the breadth of topics a politician deals with? They all make comments about Health Care, Prisons, and Schools. I call those topics "The Big Three". Very Creative. But some of the other topics a politician of any level (City, State, or Federal) may have to deal with, but are not limited too, include:
Farming-fruit, seed, animal, nursery stock
Land Use Issues-zoning, parks, developement
Environmental-pollution, recycling, parks (see also Land Use Issues), water quality
Public Health-disease control, sewage, water quality (see also Environmental)
Health Care-services for the elderly, disabled
Social Services-services for the unemployed, homeless, children,
Financial-taxes, fees
Public Safety-prisons, criminals, disease control (see also Public Health)
Miscellaneous-trading, job retention, tourism, popultion growth, roads

Those are just the issues I can think of in my sleep-dprived, new baby at home state I know there are a lot of things I know I forgot, and Political Science was my minor in college. The truth is, as much as we may hate to admit it, Government is complicated and it requires the people running it to know a lot. (It also means the voters should know who they are voting for, and therfore the issues, but that is another blog.) So when I vote, I always look at all the candidates, regardless of party affliation, but to the candidate who's claim is no experience but lots of ideas, forget it. And as my current representatives grapple with these huge financial issues, I am again reminded that experience and knowledge will go along way in finding a solution.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And The Story Continues...

Well, anyone should be able to tell from my lack of blogs that we are still adjusting to a new baby at home. The hardest adjustment has been the division of time-as in I have the same amount of time, but one more person to share it with. Like I told my husband after he asked me if I really had wanted a little girl, I honestly replied I was okay with my boys, but it meant my husband was now the third pee-pee in line in this house. And if I thought I could multi-task before, because women naturally do that skill well, I am a total rock star now. Nick looks all happy if he holds Noah. Thank-you, it helps, but I hold Noah, I put away toys, unload the dishwasher, read to Asa, feed Asa, answer the phone, put away laundry, etc. etc.
This past week we took our first real vacation as a family and went up to visit friends north of Seattle, and then continued on to Canada and spent 5 nights in Vancouver, BC and the surrounding suburbs. Traveling with young children is...educational. When they asked at the border if we had any weapons, I was serious when I answered no, but I wanted to say that we didn't have any because it was to tempting to use them on the children. Of course I don't hurt my children but when you are stuck in line with a crying baby, a whining toddler, and a grousing husband, you think some nasty thoughts.
Still, it was a good trip-Asa saw that we are premanently a family of four, Nick saw why it can take me so long to get ready in the morning with two kids, and we all saw some cool tourist stuff. I got to geek-out at Ft. Langley, Asa loved the animals at The Aquarium in Stanley Park, and Nick liked the Tram ride up Grouse Mountain. Noah slept through Canada but he seemed to have a good time.
Now we are back to the real world, and Nick has started a new schedule at work. He is now working nights, starting at 7:00p and getting home about 7:00a. It isn't like winning the lottery but it came with some perks like the week we just took off for vacation, so you make do and call it good. I am no where near going back to work, despite the fact that I miss it. Being a mommy is fun and all, but I can only talk to small children for so long. And watching me nurse has created all kinds of neat conversations with Asa about boobs. I keep telling him to save it for the therapist he gets as an adult but he won't listen. He has told me that babies eat boobs, he sang that Old MacDonald had boobs on his farm, and he asked a woman with a newborn where her boobs were. I don't know whether to be proud that he is so observant, or cry because he sounds like a pervert in training. We just remind oursleves he isn't three yet and hope the damage isn't profound.
That is our life in a nutshell right now. GO DUCKS!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Don't Care

Okay, I beleive Science when they say that you really can't catch anything from a toilet seat. I am not denying that little fact at all. But as I am wiping down the seat at Burger King today, I am reminded that regardless of whether I can actually catch anything, I DO NOT WANT TO SIT IN SOMEONE ELSE"S URINE!!! Gag, gag, gag. Call me picky or Felix Unger; they both work for me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just To Make Sure....

I think I e-mailed everyone personally but just to make sure:

Please join us in welcoming our second son. Noah Andrew was born Aug. 22 at 1:45p. He was 8lbs. 5ounces and 20 inches long. People ask me what he is like and I will tell you: he is a baby. He has a schedule: eat, sleep, cry, spit up, poop, repeat.
I am very surprised to report that you are no more prepared for the second kid, than you are for the first. The number of "things" I have forgotten is ten-fold and I am very lucky that the first time we left the house, we weren't gone very long because I forgot A LOT! Extra outfit, enough wipes for 2 KIDS-not just one, my warm shirt, nursing blanket to cover up with, plus a bunch of other stuff.
One thing though that I did learn is that the first kid makes you "immune" to certain things. First week home, Noah spits up about a dime size on the sheets. Nick asks if I am going to wash the sheets and I looked at him and said "Is that any more gross than the junk Asa gets on the sheets just with his feet?" Point made-if it dries clear and has no chunks, it can wait.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Broken Record

I think I have blogged about this before, but it has been awhile and I am just to happy that I have to share my joy with world. Um, no-I did not have the baby.
I am a geek. Slef-proclaimed, but geeky nonetheless. News reports Toma Cruise is in town-big yawn. Presidential candidates coming to town-I would go if there weren't so many other people but it isn't worth it to fight the crowds. Rock concerts, tv personalities, and teen-y boppers get the same treatment. I just don't care.
Geek, Geek, Geek, Geek, Geek.
Now let's pretend that, oh say, one of my FAVORITE children's author's, Eric Kimmel, is giving a free presentation in Decemeber and let's pretend that I am bringing one of his books with me in hopes of getting an autograph and you have a very pregnant lady acting like some teenage groupie! But truly, we don't have to pretend because after numerous tries (I always hear about his group events AFTER the fact), I have my calender marked!!!! Eric kimmel is giving a presentation in December!!! Nick is already tired of hearing about this but I am so excited!!!!!!!!! Ha-ha Alina-that is what you get for living so far away. Oooo-I am a mean groupie to boot!
I just get so excited about meeting authors, it is pathetic. I stood in line for over an hour so Janet Evanovich could sign my sister's book (and so I could say I saw her). Eric Larson, spoke on the westside of town and so I schlepped over there on a rainy night with baby in tow so I could hear him speak as well. I just bought tickets to hear Michael Pollan speak in January. This is what get's my boat not only floating but spinnning around and around and around!
So, for the public record-I am very excited to attend future functions with some of my favorite living authors and I am rubbing it in for other geeks out there who may care. And if you don't care, I am excited enough for both of us!!!!!!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Milk Carton?

If you don't want to read about me bitching and whining, stop reading now. Since this a diary, albiet a public one, I am going to write like it is truly a diary.
My legs are cramping so hard I can hardly walk, they hurt so bad and I keep thinking that maybe the kid will be born through there. (Think alien movies.)
My abdomen area is joining the chorus and cramping as well.
I keep getting contractions, but nothing consistent. It is just painful enough, and often enough, to piss me off.
I walk up stairs and I sound like an asmatic, smoker since I have no lung capacity.
My tailbone is now residing between my shoulder blades.
I slept 8 hours last night, and still needed a nap this afternoon.
And every article I read, baby book I look at, or childless person I talk to extolls the beauty and wonderous occasion of childbirth.
I feel like a poster child for birth control. Slap my picture on the side of some pills and warn people that this could happen to you if you opt to reproduce-especially if you are under 21 and not ready to waste the day sleeping.
And 6 months from now I will have forgotten most of this and just be glad I have two, healthy boys. Where is the fast forward button?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Slap Me Silly and Call Me Stupid

I will admit it on public access blogging-I love fast food. Burger King, Taco Bell, Taco Time-Mmmm Mmmm Good. But let's face it-healthy eating it ain't. I know this, and I accept the consequences. The piece of Iceberg Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion on my burger does not constitute a salad, and the ketchup, while healthy in a sense, is being washed down by potato's that are not only fried, but probably haven't seen the light of the sun in many, many, many days.
Have I proved my point? I know fast food is bad for me.
So now comes a study that not only is fast food bad for me, but, grab your chair, the kid meals they have are not healthy for children. Too many calories, to much fat, and not enough fruit or veggies to go along with the promotional toy. Well holy shit. Pass the ketchup and pop and call me stupid.
Maybe I have superior intellect ( I certainly like to think so), but if the lard in my taco bell burrito isn't good for my arteries, what would make someone think it is good for my son's? Same goes for the pop I like to drink-enough sugar to make a dog sick, and yet for the small body of my little boy, that amount of sugar is okay?
I think that I am changing careers to do studies as well. I need money so I can sit around all day and compare episodes of "Jeopardy" and "Perry Mason"-who's theme music makes me happier? I think that would produce results as informative as the fact that fast food is just as bad for grown-ups as it is for kids. Duh.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How Do You Spell Relief?

So, after another doctor's appt., and still no baby, and still no baby in sight, we have set our own date. My official due date is Aug. 18th, but if no kid appears by Fri. Aug. 22nd, we are demanding a command appearance. After having contractions since Aug. 1, heartburn so bad I can taste it in my mouth, and to many sleepless hours to count, the kid is lucky I'm even giving him that much of a chance to come on his own. How ever, if things happen sooner, that is okay too. Wish us luck-we are ready to be a family of four.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Not Fun-But Current

A lot of people read this so I am leaving a quick message about baby "Thor". I have been VERY anti-social and have not called anyone back. I am sure it is hormones-I hope it means I am getting ready to sit on the couch with a screaming baby and not feel like going out while I schlepp a newborn. But who knows.
Anyway, it is Aug. 10, 2008, 6:22p, Pacific Standard Time and NO BABY!!! We are making progress, slowly. And we have tried many "remedies", like exercise, water, hot bathes, etc. But either this kid is stubborn (my bet), or he is just comfortable. Considering how much he kicks me, I don't think he is comfortable. If you know of anything else to try, short of drugs or beatings, let me know!

Friday, August 01, 2008


I will admit here on public space that not only am I going to make some sexist remarks, but mother-in-law has been vindicated.
Nick is a hard worker, loyal to a fault, and has the best sense of humor-until he gets sick. I couldn't understand how my mother-in-law could raise such a son that when he got sick, he turned into the Human "Uhhhhhhhh", Uhhhhhhh", "I am dying here" Machine. A simple cold turnes him into this creature.
Well, now I know my mother-in-law had nothing to do it with it. The truth has come out and the poor woman is...well, vindicated.
My son was sick this week. We got lucky-our biggest symptom was a very high fever. Granted the kid was a generator of heat, and I doubt he felt good, but with only one incident of throwing up, I feel like I dodged a bullet. So we set him up in his bed with a portable DVD player to watch Thomas the Train shows all day (that alone drove me insane), and made sure he had all his stuffed animals, favorite toys, juice, etc. close at hand to keep him comfortable. And bless Grandma Anne for coming over a few hours a day so I could at least get a few little things done. Because non-stop for 3 days-"uhhhh, uhhhhh, uhhhhh, uhhhhh, uhhhhh..." After raising two daughters and getting ready to welcome a fourth grandson, Grandma Anne summed it up nicely-"Boys whine more than you and your sister ever did when you were sick." Crap, and I have a second one of these creatures coming!
Asa is all better now, and free to whine about something else since he is also 2 1/2. But in case you are wondering, this is why women, if they opt to, have the babies. First sign of a leg cramp and men would give it all up.
And if I sound like I am whining, I learned it from my son.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Take On My Book

I mentioned in my last blog, that I am reading Barack Obama's book, "Dream of My Father". I actually have wanted to read this for a very long time, but once he announced his candidacy for Presidency, it was his second book I kept finding, and not the first. This first book is about his experience growing up bi-racial, in various parts of the US and when he lived in Indonesia as a young boy.
First off, I am only about half way through.
Second, this book has been severely mis-quoted by both Liberals and Conservatives. As with any book, there are some areas open for interpretation. But I have read in newspaper columns that this book proves Obama is a flaming liberal, recovering drug addict, supports Islamic Terrorists because he is Muslim, and openly hates white people. I can't speak for Obama, but none of that is found in the book, regardless of what you think of him personally.

This is not the first book on...I guess for lack of a better word, African-American History I have read. I read bio's on Thurgood Marshall and Medgar Evers. I read James McBrides "The Color of Water" before it became so well known. I think I read "Cane River" before Oprah did. Especially with Thurgood Marshall's bio, I read first hand accounts have how hard the NAACP struggled in those early years, and some people would argue how they still struggle. But life, for all of us regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, is such an individual and personally journey that I wanted to read this man's take on growing up in the circumstances he did.
The book makes me sad and isn't so much about Obama but some of his personal observations, if that makes any sense. I don't agree with all that he says, and even though this book was written before he was even elected to the Illinois Senate, I can tell he is covering his butt for the future. I can't say I blame him; it just takes away from the story. You write about how much fun you and your friend had throwing rocks in a pond on a summer day and someone from the opposite party will make sure to let the world know that you not only particpate in animal cruelty but you also destory environmental habitats with your slovenly ways. Welcome to the year of an election-twisting words around for all to hear. Don't admit to youthful mistakes, misteps, or wrong directions because according to the uninformed voter, anything you did when you were 5 could be, and will be held against you.
What makes me sad is his take on race relations in America and as much as I want to disagree with him that color doesn't matter, and we should all jsut get along, the truth is, we don't. And it isn't about regions or areas, or maybe rural areas are more prejudice than sophisticated urbanites. It is just people-we don't get along like we should.
Every "group" has a hurt. And I know many of them can actively point to racism or just plain ignorance. Hispanic's complain about not enough representation, African-Americans complain about profiling, Women talk about the glass ceiling and pay ineaquity. The Irish can point to the lack of jobs and blatant hatred of Catholicism, Jews can say the same thing. Eastern Europeans were historically treated with scorn and derision when they arrived and those coming from that area today talk of the same problems. Do you see where I am going with this?
Man's inhumanity against Man (or should I say Human's inhumanity against Human) is legendary, long standing, and currently continuing today.
So what makes me sad about Obama's book is that the groups he talks about all seem to be shouting the same thing-mistreatment. And they are right-I am not denying that. It just frustrates me that through all the pain, and loss of hope and dignity, people don't see that that is our common bond. We have all been trampled on, kicked around, and treated like dirt somewhere in our history. It is, unfortunately, our common thread. And instead of striving to end the barbaric practice of trying to be the strongest and not be trampled on, we just keep pointing the finger that another race is to blame, and then claim to be the one most hurt. What we should be doing is working together to take out the bullies of every race, religion, and creed that exist. Sme fo worst deaths due to Mexican illegal immigration have come at the hands of other Hispanics supposedly helping their own. And James McBride talks about his Jewish mother's beatings at the hands of her father, his grandfather. No group of people is immune from their own personal assholes.
I am reminded of a scene from "Brighton Beach Memoirs", a movie from the '80's when Blythe Danner tells her movie sister that nobody had it worse than her Jewish parents, and her sister says that the Irish neighbors have their own hurts-are their families less important that it doesn't matter the pain they have suffered?
Sooooooo, "Dreams of My Father" is so far a fine book, but I wish it weren't so true in places.
Let me be corny-"What the world needs now, is love, sweet love. It's the only thing tht there's jsut to little of."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Night Off

Last week was pretty stressful. We took a 3 hour trip to visit a sick friend of my mom's (thankfully the friend is doing better), attended a memorial service, and had relatives in over the weekend. On top of this, I am getting the baby's room ready so the kid at least has a place to sleep and clean clothes. I figure Asa can provide the entertainment.
So Wednesday night I decided was my "night off". No baby chores, no talking with friends, no worrying about what needs to be done yesterday, tommorrow, or next week. Just a nice quiet evening of relaxation with my family, and after they go to bed, my current book ("Dreams of My Father" by Barack Obama).
We pick daddy up at 4:00p, go to the store to get Grandpa Anton's birthday gift, check out the near-by toy store and endure 1 temper tantrum since Asa didn't get a new toy, go grocery shopping, hit the new drive thru of the new chicken eatery, get home and put away just the perishable food, eat dinner, clean up Asa, clean up where Asa ate, unload the dishes from that morning, do the dishes from that night, take out garbage, take out recycling, watch daddy fall asleep, change one diaper complete with solids (details not needed), take out Asa's diaper pail, water outside plants (it was 91 degrees), put away the rest of the groceries, and sit down at 10:00p to read my book.
So glad I got a night off to relax.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Parents-To Be or Not To Be

Ironically, in the last few weeks, this topic has comes across my radar from numerous different sources-how do people know if they want kids or not? How do we know parenthood is for us? I write this from the shoes of someone who not only DOES NOT like babies, but as a woman who never wanted to give birth AND sat on the "HMMMM-kids, no kids" fence post till my early 30's.
Often, when people talk about having babies, I hear a lot about "lifestyle changes", "desire for children", and "ticking clock". I can't argue with any of that, but from a personal stand-point, I don't agree with it either.
In my advanced years, I have decided there are no such things as lifestyle changes, simply because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, changes our lives. That is the one thing about life-change is constant. New jobs, marriage, divorce, where we live, hobbies we try and discard, new friends and old friends, drugs or no drugs, and the list goes on. Granted, if we get a new job and move, if might feel like a new lifestyle, but I realize now that it isn't my lifestyle that has changed, but more about thinking if I am on the path I want to be on. Life is a one shot deal-am I walking the areas I want to walk or did I veer to much? Am I at the right career to give me satisfaction or will I regret it in 5 years? Am I living in a home I like, or is the area less than I dreamed of? Granted, I may be arguing over semantics-if I move my life may change. But I think of it as putting my life back to the course I wanted in the first place. (FYI-I am not moving-I like my home).
So when I think of kids, I never think of them as a lifestyle change. Duh-my life changed with them. Along with the changes my body gets as I age, my views as I learn new facts, my relationship with the people around me as they change too, etc. What it came down to for me, is what I wanted out of life. When I am 90, and looking back on myself, what will I wish I had done? Kids was one of them. I realized that I wanted to wake up, and see someone excited because Santa stopped. I wanted to take little people camping, watch some crappy cartoon for the hundredth time, and explain why we really shouldn't pick our nose in public. I wanted to be around children. There are a lot of ways to do this. I knew I could pick a career with kids, adopt kids (my first pick), or go the old-fashioned route of reproducing. Since I had to share the decision with my husband, adoption was out and reproducing was in, but that is truly NOT the only way to have children in our lives. Again, it comes down to what you want out of life. I know teachers who are around kids all day long, and have decided not to reproduce but obvously have devoted their life to children. I know scout leaders with no children of their own who picked a different career path but devoted their free time to children. It is not the same as being a parent, but don't tell me they didn't have an impact.
So that is what it boils down to-at the end of the day, what do you want? It isn't a an easy question, and usually not answered in 2 seconds or less. But it's impact is huge.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cravings part 2

Okay, when the local Taco Bell runs out of Dr. Pepper, do I freak out and explain to them how I NEED Dr. Pepper now, or do I accept the fact that it is the pregnancy hormones making me envision driving my car through their front door? I would never do that; I would never want to hurt people like that. However, at the drive through window, I did say to the clerk that I had been salivating fro a Dr. Pepper all day, getting me looks from the three Taco Bell employees at the window. Lesson to self-don't use big words at the drive through window. They don't get it.
Let it be known on Blog Land though that I didn't get me Dr. Pepper and I am typing very fast because I am UPSET!!!! Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, Dr.Pepper-chant with me.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Ties That Bond Part 2

Oops-my bad. Even though I had EXAMPLES of why I married Nick, I forgot to state in one sentence why I married Nick.
No really. I married a life partner. I married someone who wouldn't desert me in bad times, and enjoy the good times with me. That if I really wanted to, they would hold my hand, and not make gagging noises when I ate liver. I married someone who was either willing to take the same path as me, or at least understood if I diverged a little on my own path. Love is great and all, and obviously Nick and I have a connection, but it is hard to remember why you love someone when the kid is throwing up at 4:00a and the husband is demanding to know why as he panics and gets a hand towel when I really need a big bowl to catch the fluid. If I could communicate directly with any of Asa's body parts, I am sure I would have won the lottery with my ESP powers.
So remember-marry a life partner. It will serve you better down the road.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ties That Bond

Well, tis' the season for weddings. We have been invited to many, finally able to attend one-and of course this is the weekend that Oregon finally comes out of 55 degree weather and instantly catapults itself into a forecasted 97. Can we say extreme's?
But a few weeks ago I was asked if I could give advice to a newly, married couple what would it be, and then a few days ago someone asked me what it was that attracted me to my husband since we didn't seem to have much in common ( I am paraphrasing here Heather!)
Let me sum up my answer to both questions-DON"T MARRY FOR LOVE!!!!
Nick and I have an almost storybook romance-written by a troll. He was 18 when I met him-practically jail bait since I was already looking forward to turning 21(yikes-younger men!) He had to chase me for 9 months, and then we seemed to argue about everything. If I wanted steak, he wanted chicken. If I was in the mood for a comedy movie, he wanted drama. I studied enough to pass, and skipped class at the drop of hat, while he studied all the time and thought I was some wayward rebel. Girl Scouts gone wild.
However, in the end, what really mattered was less the physical stuff, and where we wanted to go in the future. Education was huge to both of us and we spent the first four years of our relationship getting us both through college. Family mattered-current members in 1994 and the ones we would add at an appriopriate time (like Asa and Thing 2). We agreed on finances, where we eventually wanted to live, and the type of people we liked to hang with and be friends with (freeloaders, druggies, and thieves need not apply). And really importantly, we agreed to disagree and not stamp on each other's individuality. This is hard at times. I have had to choke back a snicker as Nick headed out the door in wrinkled tan shorts matched by an equally wrinkled tan shirt. When you roll your clean clothes up in a little ball...and tan on tan is not a fashion statement. And Nick has politely stayed home when I met up with some girlfriends he didn't care for, even though they were good people. But at the end of the day, it is nice to know my bank account wasn't emptied and I won't suddenly be left to raise two kids on my own because "Guido the Thug" is looking for my husband, who "owes him". Hey, people have told me about the Dr. Laura radio show-that stuff happens, but not to me.
Do I love Nick? You bet. And people would say that of course you love the people that fit into your lifestyle. I can't argue with that. But for me, it just happens to be a bonus, along with the fact that Nick picks out good produce at the grocery store and likes watching football with me. I am a lucky person.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Survival of the Starved

It took me awhile to figure this out. I am not a scientist by nature. But I finally figured out why some animals eat their young-they are friggin' hungry!!!
I have no plans yesterday, so I make pancakes for Asa and I. Not a culinary masterpiece-just add water and heat the stovetop. But these suckers do have to cook and being the good mom I am, I make Asa a pancake first, and then one for myself. I sit to eat mine and his is not only gone but he is looking at my pancake like a veliciraptor from "Jurassic Park". Where is the pancake I just made him?!?! I guess I should take the fact that he inhaled his pancake as a compliment since I am not the world's best cook but I made him wait for his seconds till I had first's. Honestly-I am eating for two and his stomach is the size of his fist-smaller than an apple. Mommy needs to eat. Of course we go through the same scenario for the second pancake too. I make him one, thinking he isn't so hungry now and that will slow him down so I can get a second one without his pathetic look on me. Nope-I get back to the table and he is again, eyeing my pancake like we are on a desert island and I have the last coconut. If all animal babies are this demanding for food, it is not wonder their parents feel the need to eat them-so they get a bite to eat!
If animal babies aren't eaten from sheer hunger, they get eaten to shut them up. I love Asa, but all I heard all day long was "what are you doing mommy", "what are you doing mommy", "what are you doing mommy", etc. etc. etc. I usually reply "losing my last nerve", but since sarcasim is not present at this age, not only does Asa NOT get it but he doesn't even think it is funny. But then daddy came home and I got 15 minutes to myself in the shower- a luxury I rate higher than dinner and movie right now.
For the record, I do not feel the need to eat my young. But I no longer wonder why wild animals do.

Monday, June 23, 2008


This past weekend we went camping. It will probably be the last time this season. God Bless the pioneer women, camping and being almost 8 months pregnant does not go hand in hand. Granted I bring my own matteress, I still have to schlep myself to the bathroom in the dark, at night. And a walk around the campsite is not the hikes I used to do but seem to do me in anyway. Apparently hippos can't walk far.
For adventure, we went to a new site I had never been to before in La Center, Washington. Don't get me wrong-I am glad we went and I am glad we checked out the site. We will not be camping again there anytime soon. 500 feet off of I-5 does not a restful weekend make. On the plus side, the site was super easy to get to, but we heard diesel trucks down-shifting all weekend. Hmmm-not the camping experience I dreamed of.
However, we were very close to the south rim of Mt. St. Helens, so we trekked up there and took Asa to his first cave. We didn't not go caving-I was not ready to haul my butt around uneven ground-but Asa got to go in, see it get dark, feel the temperature change, and all those other things Mr. Rogers says is good for little kids. They even still have a lot of snow on the ground, thanks to a cold and crappy Spring, so he touched the snow, walked in the snow, and fell down in the snow. We also spent some time at a Merrill Lake, where Asa got to take his clothes off and be all white-trash and wade around in his diaper. He loved this, and thank you to the tween girl who threw the dead crawfish far out of Asa's reach. He wouldn't put it in his mouth, but he WOULD HAVE touched it and promptly put his fingers in his mouth. What's grosser than gross-my son.
Our final activity was suppose to be looking at the historic Grist Mill on the way back to our campsite, but like all good parents, I left Asa's favorite two trains back at our lunch spot-which was conviently an hour away. I let him take those suckers in with us in hopes of keeping him occupied during lunch and it worked great-until he put them in the window sill. When we drove back to get them in the small, small town (pit stop?) of Cougar, you could see those trains from the road. So whoever was in town that day so them, and we still managed to drive off without them the first time. So much for our powers of observation. Still, the good news is we got them back and all is well with our train world.
We got back to camp in time to roast hotdogs, sit around the fire, and pray to the force that covers these things that Asa would settle down to go to sleep at a reasonable time. By 10pm, we realized we blew that force when we had to go back for the trains so I totally caved, went back on my word, and threw a Thomas the Train Engine DVD on the ol' portable DVD player we had brought JUST IN CASE, and got Asa to settle down that way. It wasn't what I had envisoned but it worked. And in a 36 hour period, it meant Asa saw 1 hour of tv. I guess it won't make him a criminal but I still felt guilty.
Sunday we used up the rest of the fire wood, listened to a few more diesel trucks, and saw a cottontail rabbit snack by our tent. It was pretty cute, and Asa is still talking about the "baby rabbit".
All in all, good time. We saw new sights, experienced new activities, and did at least manage to come home smelling of campfire and get a few mosquito bites. But next year, we pick a new adventure spot.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Go, James Bond, Go

Anybody ever seen the cartoon "Go, Diego, Go"? Granted it is designed for a 2 year old, and I have no problems with the appropriateness of its content, but can I tell you how much that cartoon is starting to grate on my nerves?
This kid is suppose to be about 8 years old, I think, and yet he can drive anything, fly anything, and go anywhere in the jungle. Okay, remind myself this is just a cartoon. After all, he can talk with the animals-I can't expect this to be a documentary from the Discovery Channel. But then he pushes a circle on his coat, and it is a life jacket. Push another circle and we have a safety vest. Yet another circle (actually, I think he just keeps pushing the same circle) and we have a heavy winter coat. I haven't even touched on Diego's backpack, which can turn into ANYTHING he needs. Tent for sand storm? Boat for rapids? Board for mudslides? He has it covered. James Bond would be so jealous he would shake his maritini himself.
I don't watch cartoons to get a sense of what the world is like outside my window. I realize that yellow sponges aren't fry cooks, mermaids don't exist let alone sing, and carrots are not always the favorite food of rabbits. Oh, and regardless of whether you are a coyote or not, you fall of that cliff you will do more than let out a little puff of dust. But these characters were already doing things that you don't except animals, or make believe things, to do anyway. A little boy running around with capabilities most 40 year olds can only dream of, is starting to get to me.
So we will continue to watch Mr. Diego, although some of us in the room pay more attention than others. And I will encourage Asa to watch something else-like the realistic coyote riding a bomb into the dirt.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Reading List

Notice the reading list is ditched-it didn't work. I still want to read all those books, but I tend to read what comes across my radar, and not something pre-planned. I am currently working on "Last Child In The Woods" by Richard Louv, although I am almost done, and I am halfway through Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The House of Seven Gables". In my younger, wilder, pre-kid days, those books would have been read last month! Lest you think I have given up reading, I have read "James and the Red Balloon", "Where's Maisy", and "Thomas' ABC's" a gazillion times.


Okay, maybe this is my version of "nesting", because I am 2 months out from having baby number 2, but I have another "baby issue".
First of all, "nesting" is supposedly a stage you go through right before you give birth. Chemicals, shear panic, or evolution inspire some to clean their entire house and surrounding area right before they give birth. Friends of mine had this happen to them. It did not happen to me. Apprently, NOTHING inpsires me to clean my house so don't take your shoes off if you come over.
But I seem to have much on my mind regarding Junior, and today it is names. Naming your baby, dog, or anything else you need to come when called (husbands?) is apparently something akin to politics and movies-it is always okay to register an opinion.
Some couples I know have opted to say nothing about names, another to announce if they are searching for a boy name or a girl name. Others have passed on their top five list and made everyone wait. And of course some of us, myself included, announce to the world what we are thinking and then must pay the price of every opinion out there.
What gets me is how rude some people can be. I have had people make faces (obvious faces), a few were kind enough to purposely say Asa wrong so I could hear what they thought everyone else would say, and one person flat out told me it was just a horrible name and how could I do that to my son. Wow, wasn't that a fun time. And for the record, only one person mis-pronounced Asa's name, and it was on purpose. Another fun time.
Obviously if my friends picked the name "dumb ass" or "numbskull", I would say something. But naming children is very personal and I have kept a straight face (or at least I hoped I kept a straight face) on the decisions my friends have made. After all, they will be calling this name out far more often then I will-the parents are the ones who have to be the most comfortable with above anyone else.
This kid will have a name that will offend someone, somewhere. This kid will have a name that is going to be made fun-other kids are creative that way, so it doesn't matter what name I come up with. But as long as we stay away from "dumb ass" and "numbskull", I am good with that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Turn On The Ole' Merry-Go-Round

Once upon a time, I thought I had an idea about Parenting. Not that I was an expert mind you, but I have been working with kids of all ages since I was 16. I had some ideas. Note the word "had". Asa was born and the learning curve, curved even further.
So, once upon a time, I had an idea about what it was like to have baby number 2. It must be easier, since you made it through the first one. And really, how many different ways are there to be pregnant? If you got morning sickness the first time around, then you will probably have it the second time around. Right?
Ignorance is not only bliss, but stupid too.
I won't whine about being pregnant-I got myself knocked up and no one cares about the heartburn I have but me. It is enough to say that reguritating acid is not fun. However, I look at other babies and I think "Oh crap, we will have one of those soon".
Seriously, it is like the biggest brain fart of my life. How did I get Asa to take a bottle? When did he sleep through the night? How did he learn to walk? What did we do when he went through the teething stage? You forget all of it, or at least I have. And I totally feel like a first time mom again, except this time I am prepared for being clueless.
I suppose we will do what we did with Asa-muddle through, love baby number 2 as much as we can, and hope he doesn't have to much to tell his therapist.
But for all of you under the impression that as a second time mom I am prepared, you would be delusional.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New and Improved WOnder Drugs

I read an article today in our local newspaper that said the potency of pot (yes, the drug) has increased since the 1970's. So all those hippie parents who pooh-pooh their kids smoking pot should be forewarned that it is not as innocent as when they were kids, or so the article says. Hmmm-the gerbil starts running.
I am outraged and disgruntled by this. In the same time period, the 1970's to now, studies have shown that the nutritional value of our fruits and vegetables has decreased. So in a nutshell, our nation's supply of pot has gotten better while our apples, thanks to hybridization, have gotten worse.
My problem is, who do I get mad at? Mommies who have gone back to work and no longer stay home with their juvenielle delinquients? Um, I don't think so. The current conservative regime who insists that a "don't ask, don't tell policy" for drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex is the best course of instruction for teenagers? I wish I could blame them for the last three decades of societal issues but it isn't fair. Do I blame the consumer? Apparently potheads demand a higher standard for quality than the average grocery shopper. Or is it international competition? Hybdrid have a higher yield, giving us extra to sell overseas. I guess no one wants or needs our pot crop?
I think one thing is blatantly clear-when motivated, anyone can succeed.
Regardless, I am not happy that innovation and improvement has gone into something so frivolous, and the things that are truly important, a good food source, seem to be less important. Now what do we do about it, dude?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Look Down The Page

Started a blog, didn't like it, a few weeks later totally re-wrote the whole thing. Only the date I started with stayed the same so the new blog is a few spots down. Look for INTELLECTUAL in the title. Ha-ha.

Friday, May 30, 2008

That Time of Year

In, Oregon, we voted in the primaries in late May. Memorial Day was about a week later, and Flag Day is coming up June 14. This is a very patriotic time of year, when people wave the flags, speak of loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice, and politicians stump a little about this great land. None of this, especially memorial services, is bad. But in the quest for Democracy, one little bit is almost always over-looked: Democracry starts with a single vote.
We think of our government as the natural evolution of a hard fought war. But forming a system of self-rule was almost harder than the fighting itself. The best example of Democracy available was the defunct Roman Empire. Sure they had voting, but not for everyone and unfortunately, we continued the practice of slavery. Some of our most esteemed leaders of the time period felt that only those with land/estates should be allowed to vote. There was much arguing on how many people each state should get to represent them in the yet-to-be-named Congress. Populous states felt 2 people was to skimpy to represent every issue they had and less populous states were afraid their voices would be ignored (hence to branches of government to satisfy both arguments-the Senate and the House.) Obviously in the end, a solution was found, and although our government is not a direct clone of it's early days, we have a system that has endured for over 200 years.
It did come at the cost of one of the greatest friendships of all time-John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams was for limited voting, and served one term for running afoul with people he was serving by gagging the press (so much fro freedom of the news papers). Jefferson insisted on voting for all, AND he threw in public education-a novel idea for it's day. His thought was that to vote, you needed to be educated. Can we share that with some political leaders today? Anyway, they patched it up in their old age, but these best friends, and vital members of the Cause, never again reached the intimacy they had shared during the war years.
The government of the newly formed US was so new and novel, it inspired other nations, hence "the shot heard round the world" (the first bullet fired for the Revolutionary War). Remember, government for the people, run by the people had NEVER been done before in this form. France soon followed, although not as peacefully, and most monarchies in Europe faded within 100 years or so, leaving their kings and queens beheaded or used mainly as a figure head.
Today, our system of government is not perfect. After 200 years or so, you think we would be able to get out some fo the kinks! But regardless of it's flaws, "the shot heard around the world" continues to inspire political activists, ethnic groups, and sometimes entire nations to become for the people, by the people. Every day, someone dies fighting for Democracy-sometimes a citizen of the US, and sometimes a citizen of another nation trying to make things better for the future-for themeselves and their children.
So why do I write all this? In the Oregon Primary in late May, less than 60%, but more than 50%, of the people of this state voted-not only a record high for us, but a high compared to some other states as well. Can I say pathetic? After all the work and struggle over the centuries by fellow Americans, and after all the work and struggle from people across the globe, and I hear people tell me they had to work and were to busy. It angers me, it makes me rage against the machine, and it makes me want to spit. Especially here in Oregon, with Vote By Mail, you can start voting days ahead of time.
Believe me, there are places to live that are much less labor intensive that don't require all this work to live in freedom. Mynamar (spelling?) is ruled by a miliatry junta that denied their own people aid to keep out foreigners. Cuba has been ruled by the same guy since the 1950's, and only recently has he let his brother take over. Hmmm-nepotism you think?The examples are numerous-and not a single one of these countries will require active participation on your part.
In November, we are voting on the person who will not only lead us as individuals, but our representative on the International Stage. And someone won't vote, either because they are working late, or because they think their vote doesn't matter. If your vote doesn't matter, why are people risking their lives to get the opportunity to do it?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones

Okay, I did the total geek and went and saw the latest Indiana Jones movie last night. I made my old mother catch the 10:30p showing, which made me feel like a total rebel since it was a "school night". Ahh, how things change. Only about 40 people there!!!! I thought the Nerd Patrol would take the day off and go to a late night showing, but no matter-more room for us.
I promise not to ruin anything, but I will mention stuff I have read in other articles so if you want to be completely in the dark, read no further.
I liked the movie, disliked the plot.
Come on-this is Indiana Jones regardless of how long it has been. I hope my husband looks that good when he is 60 plus. Smart as can be, geeky beyond all get out, and that hat...if you like Indiana Jones go. Besides, it is still better than "Temple of Doom", even with some faults.
But this is not Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nothing can bring back that era, that newness of "wow, it is a guy running from a giant rock with spiders down his back". And I am not 10 anymmore, when I barely knew what the plot was but watching the bad guys melt was pretty neat.
I was disappointed about their loosey-goosey use of facts, and the basis of their plot. I was hugely disappointed that there was no mention of Sala-John Rhys-Davies. I heard he had a falling out with someone-Lucas, Spielberg-I don't know who. But after being a major character in the two best Indiana movies, he should have been at least mentioned, because as a fan, it wasn't the same without him.
Nice tributes though to both Denholm Elliot (Marcus Brody), and Sean Connery. And some great script that had me and mom laughing out loud. And "Indiana's" acknowledgement of his age adds a lot of credence to the movie because if they hadn't done that, he would have looked pathetic trying to be something he isn't. Instead, you are left feeling like yes, this man is his age, and still good. Cate Blanchett is FABULOUS in her role. This is why she is an Academy Award winner-I would never have known it was her if not for the credits. Shia Lebouf also does a good job. And while they were loose with facts in this movie, some of their other usage of historical facts was cool.
Is this the Indiana Jones of yester yore-no way. Is this movie worth seeing-you betcha!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Greatest Thoughts To Sound Intellectual

I have recently read some blogs that have left me with some very thought-provoking...thoughts. I have pondered, been proud of the people I know, and felt a little smarter for reading what others have to say about the world.
So of course I feel pressure to write something equally enlightening. Something that would make everyone reading this go "wow, Dena is...words cannot describe!" Well, maybe they say that about me already but this time I am thinking they should say it in a positive manner.
So why is it, as I sit here, all I can come up with is "green means go dumba**!"
I don't drive well with others. I don't honk my horn, cut people off, or drive really slow to annoy. But I do fear for my son's language developement as mommy turns into a potty mouth as she gets behind the wheel.
Roads in this nation are a common element, meaning we all pay taxes on them so we all have a right to use them. I understand this and bite my tongue at the stereo thumpers, gas guzzlers, and creepy bumper sticker people drive right by my side.
However, if you don't know where you are going, you do not have the right to slow down to 20mph in a 45 mph, to read ever street sign you pass, hence endangering me and my passengers to the people driving the speed limit. Pull over.
If you are nervous about going a particular speed limit, again, you do not have the right to endanger me to the lawfully faster cars. Don't use that road.
Slowing down for the green, and speeding up as soon as it turns yellow, will also get you a name calling. Granted the windows will be up and it will look like I am singing, but still, the negative forces are headed your way.
Running a clearly red light because you are too lazy to wait until it is your turn again-name calling. Yes, sometimes people have an emergency but I cannot believe that many people, at one time, have that big of an emergency.
Get off the cell phone if you cannot pay attention to the road. You are driving a dangerous vehicle, not a marshmellow on wheels. Regardless of who's at fault, you will feel bad for not noticing what could have been avoided.
Do you see everyone else pulling over for the emergency vehicle, with it's lights falshing and sirens wailing? It is not a signal that the roads are being cleared especially for you. That is someone's cherished relative trying to get help before it is too late. Pull over, and be respectful after it passes as everyone else resumes their travel.
Today's messages were brought to you because I actually had someone come to a complete stop at a green light, as the other cars sped by, and then of course it turned yellow so they gunned it to run a red light. Why? Why? WHY!!!!!!!???!!?! Asa is now ready to be a sailor. Driving is fun, I love it. But I understand that I share the road-it isn't mine, YET. Be forewarned that if and when I get to rule the world, I already have a list of new laws of the roads, and many people will be disappointed to find themselves on the bus.
Okay, not so intellectually stimulating but I feel better!

An Advertisement

Okay, I have bitched about Science so much that I owe them a nice blog for once. Science has done something's right, and one of them was proving the Ancient Egyptians weren't crazy.
A pregnant woman generally pick's up every piece of germ coming down the pipeline. Granted, I know a few who didn't, but the immune system tends to be supressed so it doesn't reject the fetus as a giant, super germ. So after picking up most of the crap that comes your way, you then find out that your choices for medicine are limited, with decongestant's and other cold remedies being huge no-no's. Another way of natural birth control? I have my suspicions.
But pregnant or not, I use the same thing I always use and that is good, old, truly ancient HONEY. That is my plug today-Honey.
Children with a cough, given a tsp. of honey before bedtime, slept better and got better faster than children given a cold medicine or a placebo.
Cuts that were treated with honey healed faster and with less infection.
Okay, I am not putting honey on my skin. Sticky, sticky, yuck. But 80% of my colds start of with a sore throat, and if I drink tea with honey (1/8-1/4 cup per mug), once in the morning and once at night for a few days, I don't get the cold. Since January, three major colds have made the rounds of husband, kid, and all 4 grandparents and I haven't gotten one yet. I now give Asa honey even though he gets sticky-no matter how much I watch him. How do kids do that?!?!? But anyway, my point is that as the pregnant one I should be the sickiest and I haven't been.
I may not be a doctor in real life but I play one on tv... no seriously, I love this stuff as a cold rememdy. And any honey works. As a honey snob, I tend to go organic, with different flavors but in a pinch I used Wal-Mart honey and got the same results, so there you go.
SECOND DISCLAIMER: HONEY DOES NOT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. Those sore throats do not get relief from honey. It's just that in a few days, instead of getting a runny nose and itchy eyes, I just have nothing. The few times I wasn't able to get honey before the cold set in, I spent three days feeling miserable-instead of a week that a cold usually takes to go through our system. Honey helps heal but it does not relieve my aches and pains.
The great thing too about honey is that it is cheaper than cold medicine, more natural, works better, and is easy to find. Of course, the collapse of the bee colonies has me nervous for more reasons than one, but for now, honey is still my first choice.
Science can probably tell you what exactly it is that honey does, but honestly, I don't care. I just know it works, and Sience hsa been able to prove it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Title Is Irrelevant

I hope, hope, hope, that Erin doesn't mind that I am not only mentioing her by name, but I am going to write a blog inspired by her-all without her permission. Who says Girl Scouts can't be rebels? My apologies if you find this offensive Erin.
Erin writes a blog about a lot of things, but one frequent topic is step-parenting. Okay, obvisouly, I can't comment on being a step-parent. Never been one, so it is kind of like Tom Cruise offering advice on Post-Partum. And we all know what I think of that. But reading her blog has taught me much about not only Erin herself, but the position she is in.
Having been an educator, counselor, teacher, teacher's aide, and a couple other titles, I know about being around other people's kids. I have done overnights, held my tongue on views I disagree with, and even got to hold out my hand as one girl cracked a tooth and spit the pieces out for me. I truly have a felt like a by-stander in other people's lives, and yet there I was: responsible for the health and welfare of their little darling.
But this is what Erin has taught me-we all play a role in a child's life. We all are important. It is fun to say that the parents yield the most influence-and unfortnately it is the truth. Example-A friend who is a former meth-addict took up the drug to have something in common with her dad. Ouch. But all adults in our lives, blood or otherwise, impact us.

*The aunt who taught me about travel and fun, while working hard.
*The scout leader who taught me about different lifestyles without being preachy.
*The mom who was a widow and still raising a daughter showed me perserverance.
*The great-aunt who was actually nice-I thought all old women were crotchity and mean until I met her.
*The mom who played video games-I realized that age is just a number. We don't "clock out" and give up the things we love because of birth dates.
*The mom who had her daughter at 18-I wasn't going down that road.
*The mom who kept her house spotless-I wasn't going down that road either!

There are a hundred little moments from my childhood were I looked at an adult and thought "wow" Maybe I thought they were stupid, maybe I liked their spirit, but either way, they left an impression on me. And I know from friends that my mom left an impression on them. So it makes me wonder who is watching me? Because that is how kids are-they are the ultimate spy-master, catching us when we mess up, say a cuss word, or accidentally spit. Their timing is impeccable.
What this means is that if you are an aunt, step-parent, scout leader, church leader, friend of a person with kids, teacher, human being, etc., you are being watched and making an impact. Kids are listening to your views, watching you eat, and forming opinions on your attitude. Reminds me of cockroaches, but the reality is, kids are always there and always present, somewhere. You are not unimportant in the life of a child and while parents may get the credit, a lot of times the glory goes to those who earned it. Ask my mom-four people have told me she is there role model for being a grown up and none of them related by blood. Role models matter, wherever we find them. And thanks for reminding me of that Erin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hyper-Active Parenting

Well, as promised, I am writing about one of the books I finished. The exact title escapes me, but the author is Carl Honore and the main title is "Under Pressure".
Like most books of this type, he beats a dead horse. At page 2, his theories were great. By page 100 I got the point. By page 200, I still got the point. Not much variety there. But he brought up some things I wasn't expecting and that was good. I was prepared to read about to many toys, pressure for perfect kids, and sports fanatics dressed as parents at a Little League game. But never in my wildest dreams did I think about after-school tutoring, day care extremes, and college pressure. The one story that has stuck with me two weeks after finishing the book was the mom at a sports game for her school aged son (9/10 years old-ish). The mom beat up on the referee after a call against her son-and the referee was visibly pregnant.
I want to ask-is this what the world has come too? Bubble wrap our kids so that their existence resembles Pollyanna before she fell out of the tree? That the world always looks like Disneyland in the morning? That we as parents, step-parents, eductors, and the adult population in general have taken on the role as "Guardian's of the GoodTime For Those Under Aged"? That every kid needs to win the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, or Academy Award to feel validated? That if our kid deosn't get into Harvard they may as well give up on life-at 18?
I had to take a a breath and remember that obviously the author needs examples to support his point so the most extreme stories will get used in his book. Not everyone parent's like their kids walk on water. All of my friends love their children but few think they are raising the next Messiah.
And one thing I think the author missed is my old nemesis-Science. We all know the pressure of raising kids. Some of us have looked at the pressure and opted out by not reproducing, and some of us are active with kids we aren't related to by blood. But you would have to be a complete moron not to realize that kids cause stress. And to compound that, Science has informed us that we are not competent on our own. Any bookstore has a section on child-rearing: how to potty train, break the sippy cup hold, walk early, talk clearly, raising the happy child, the guides to good toys, how to provide the best nutrition, get the best grades-and just a ton of other titles. It makes you feel like a day at the playground with a sandwhich and a jug o' water are no longer good enough since the bread might not be whole wheat, the water might come from the tap, and the playground could have killer germs, bully kids, or just be boring. If your four-year old isn't potty trained they may hate their mother, or have deep psychological issues with the toilet. We no longer assume kids are stubborn, actually like diapers, or scared to move to a "big kid" lifestyle. It has to be something deeper than that.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. Not only did it give me good tips on how to avoid becoming the hyper-active parent, but it did raise issues that I need to be aware of, like the people who get their two-year old into a tutoring program (tutoring is a world-wide business-I did not know that). It also made me feel good to know that I am on the right track for the type of parent I WANT TO BE. Every parent does it different-that is okay. And to some, this book may not fit into what they envision. But for me, it did and so I enjoyed reading the ways to stay on track.
I am always reminded that Thomas Edison was sent home in the second grade and told never to return-his teacher told his parents he was an idiot who would accomplish nothing. And Einstein ddin't talk till he was over 4. If they could change the world without the benefit of all the advantages kids have today, then maybe my son has a chance if I just give him a stick, a rock, and keep his finger out of his eye.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Grizzly Adams and Friends

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I went camping with Asa and my parents this weekend. Granted we stayed in a cabin so that when it rained Saturday night we weren't totally miserable. However, like I told my neighbor-we had a campfire and we stink. It was enough for me! Besides, seeing Asa out in the forest makes it worth it. Granted at this age, camping is work. By the time I keep him out of the creek, out of the campfire, and not throwing rocks at the other little boy with us, I am pooped. But I know he is learning a lot by playing in the dirt, hearing the frogs, and watching the water flow under the bridge. Plus, by the time he is old enough to help out and not run in front of the camper/trailer combos pulling in, camping will be old hat and we can do the fun stuff like long hikes and exotic meals cooked over a campfire. It just takes time.
So despite the rain, and some minor injuries with sticks, everyone came home with their eyeballs intact, no deep gashes, full tummies from good food, and smiles all around. Can't wait till we go again in June!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

How To Be 2

I love my son. I love my son very much. I love my son like he is a part of me, because he is. I hate kids, and I am starting to despise 2 year olds in general.
This week, Asa has been VERY good at being 2. And the good news is, my child is completely normal. But I am convinced that this is God's natural way of birth control. Who wants 10 of these suckers running around driving you insane? I'll tell you, I have new respect for Nick's grandmother, who had 11 kids. The woman was a warrior.
Tuesday we start with a haircut. We had a haircut before and it went fairly well. This time around you would have thought we had released the Hounds of Hell on Asa. He wiggled, he cried, he whined, he swatted the hand with the scissors. We got most of his hair done, but it is not quite as short as I wanted because he came close to losing an ear. But it will give him something to tell his therapist one day-you have to get your money's worth after all. Next up was lunch and that went as well. After getting in trouble for running around, Asa spilled his drink , dumped some of his food on the floor, and stuck his hand in the salsa. Well, I don't want to eat that NOW!
I woke up Wednesday with renewed spirit. After all, Scarlett said tommorrow was another day and here we were in Tommorrow. Asa was an ANGEL all morning. I patted myself on the back at what superior parenting skills I had. All the baby books were right-stay consistent and you will be rewarded with a well-behaved child. The restuaraunt I wanted to try supposedly had a children's play area. Okay, not really, but we were already there and I was hungry. All the people in Business Suits got nervous-it was that kind of eating establishment. But again, like a dream-Asa did everything I asked. I have learned-there is no excellent parenting, there are only kids getting ready to sucker punch you. After eating, we headed to a real play area at the mall, and all was good till we left and Mr. Angel turned into Chucky's cousin. He cried, screamed, touched every dirty thing he could find as we were leaving, and all through the mall. After picking up Daddy from work (to which we were late), we hit the grocery store. We can strap him in the cart but one hour later, Daddy says to me "I can't take anymore of this kid-let's go home". Granted, I was at my wits end too, but one hour?!?! I had the kid ALL DAY. These dark circles under my eyes aren't a bad make-up job.
Thursday, again, I am optimistic. Again, Scarlett goes through my head and it isn't raining. We take a shower, dry off, I go for my clothes, I leave Asa unattended for 2 minutes. 2 minutes. He hit the spare room, and shut the door. I am praying that he didn't pee on the floor, but when I open the door I am face to face with a turd, and a kid with poop all over his legs running down my hall. When he got to my room, I screamed his name, he jumped, and the remaining glob fell off there. One crying kid into the bath (I didn't hurt him but I also didn't play a game of chase), two globs of poop into the toilet (and some windex to get out remanents), and one upstairs that smells like a sewer-all as I stand there in my underwear. Who says multi-tasking is a dying art. And no guilt that Asa had a stone cold bath since we had just gotten out of the shower and I had asked him 3 times if he needed to go potty before I turned him loose. It's true-a mom's voice is like background noise you just don't notice.
Three days of this and I am off to work yesterday with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I work part-time for a reason and this week was the reason. As I head home last night though, I am dreading what might be meeting me. So I walk in the door, see my son, his little face lights up and he runs to me, hugging my legs and saying "hi mommy". Okay, you little turd, I think I'll keep you after all.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Words of Wisdon

I was recently in a public restroom, when I over-heard a little girl talking with her mom. By the conversation I am guessing the little girl was around 4/5. The mother's age did not come up. But the little girl offered these words of clarification: "the bathroom is where we pull our pants down, but not at school or other places." I am sure by the smirk I heard, the mother was trying not to laugh at her daughter's words of wisdom but I thought them pretty profound.
Way to go girl! To the men/boys showing butt crack-please, you are burning my eyes! Same when you show me your underwear-boxers or briefs. Go to the bathroom and fix yourself.
To the women who dress like sluts, and get offended if you treat them like a sex object, I think these words of wisdom could work for you too. To the women who think I want to see them dressed in band-aids, guess again. Go to the bathroom and fix yourself.
To people who urinate in public (usually men of course, and I have seen this happen), please show us some courtsey.
The bathroom is where we pull our pants down-live by it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Reading List

Okay, I still have my reading list up there, and I get some geeky satidfaction just by looking at it. Look at me, I have books to read-how cool! But it was also a dumb thing to do because since I posted that list, I have read about 6 books and not one of them was one my list!!!! I finally finished Omoo, which was interesting but hardly a page turner. Ironcially, it was very popular when it came out in 1847 because it was so concise. Umm, okay. It was interesting to read about the "Sandwich Islands", which is what we know as Hawaii. But typical of the time period, Melville alternates between being paternalistic and superior to the local natives, and sometimes downright racist. Good times for those people.
I also read "Girl With A Pearl Earring". Never saw the movie, but book was great. Easy read to, especially after Omoo. I am not even into art, and I still was very interested reading about life in the artist world in the 1700's. And the life if the lower class, so to speak.
I also read some mysteries that I picked up at the grocery store, but please don't tell my husband that. I am not suppose to be buying books, but the addict in me went into the shakes and they some how ended up in my cart!
Right now I am reading two books: "Last Child In The Woods", and another one about hper-active PARENTING, although the title escapes me at the moment. I will be blogging about both of those at a later date but both are extremely informative not only as a parent, but from the point of view of society. As a teaser, one parent was so mad that her child was not being played enough in a sports game, that she physically started punching the refree. The refree was noticeably pregnant. What does that say about us as a society?!?!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Public Awareness

It seems like every month, there is a Public Health Message. Breast Cancer Awareness, Happy Hearts, Say No To Smoking, etc. I have no idea what April is, but I have a story to share before I spoil the ending.
When Asa was born, I had no expectations. Since I don't like babies, and I don't think babies are cute, I had no expectations. But after several readings, I was waiting for post-partum, a.k.a baby blues. But days went by and I wasn't breaking down into tears or feeling like my world was falling apart, so I thought I had escaped it. I was proud. Remember, post-partum is chemically based and so I wasn't sure which way I would swing.
With any new experience, whether it be babies, marriage, or going away to college, you get new emotions. So we had some learning experiences in those early days, but again, no depression so I was happy. However, I remember days of wondering if we should stay home, and have a tree fall on us. Get in a car, and be hit by someone else. Or go to the mall and get shot at. Every thing we did seemed to be fraught with danger. New baby, no tears-we were good. I would put Asa to bed at night, and think "Wow, he is one day closer to leaving me for college". Okay, that one I chalked up to new baby emotions. But still, Post-Partum, as mentioned in brief paragraphs in baby books, all talked about depression, not wanting to be near your baby, not feeling adequate as a mother, extreme emotions, etc. I had none of that. I just felt like nothing was relaxed and as a new mommy, I was rightly nervous.
So one day, I am waiting somewhere. I can't remember where, but there was reading material-a book, magazine, something. It could have been an office, store, or someone's house. I honestly do not remember. But by chance I flipped to a page and there was an article about post-partum and imagine my surprise when I read that THE NUMEBR ONE SYMPTOM OF POST-PARTUM IS ANXIETY. What the hell? Not one time prior had I ever heard that. Anxiety, not depression is what I was suppose to be looking for and 5 months of forcing myself to not dwell on every little safety issue was over. At Asa's next appointment I talked to my doctor and his exact words were "let's get you some help". It was like sunshine.
My doctor prescribed med's and I wish I could say it made everything better. It didn't. But what it did do was make me feel like I could cope, and then go out and get better myself. I sceduled in an hour of free time for myself every week. That one hour made a huge difference. I made sure to keep up on at least one hobby. But most of all, I made sure to relax and enjoy Asa as he was then, and not dream of the day when he could walk, talk, feed himself, etc. And not dwell that he could now sleep through the night, take a bottle, smile, etc. Just love him as he is no matter where he is.
I wish I could say that even after that, I become mom du-jour. I didn't. Parenting, whether it starts with step- or ends with -hood, is such a huge learning curve. And as late as last July (thank-you Katie for being there!), Asa and I were still learning the ropes. But by looking for the wrong symptoms, I delayed the entire process by months. I still get frustrated by that.
At the time I got help for post-partum, I got a lot of "pat on the backs" for being so brave as to get help. But let's point 2 things out. One, post-partum can be a whole lot worse than what I went through. We are dealing with chemicals, and it is different for everyone, AND everytime. I am waiting to see what happens with kid number 2 before I make plans about what we will do. Second, I had a baby who was depending on me to try to be my best. Note, he wasn't waiting for me to be the best. No one can be that person. Asa still needs me to TRY my best. I will make mistakes, and he will cry at what an evil mommy I am (no Thomas DVD's at midnight!!), but he will also know that my mistakes were honest and made in the name of love, and NOT because I refused to do my best, whatever that best may be.
So I declare this month, and next month, and every month thereafter the month of Post-Partum. Are you having a baby? Expecting a neice/nephew? Grandchild? A friend reproducing? Please let them know to watch for anxiety. It just seems that depression gets all the press and it isn't even what most people get. How disappointing.
A friend of mine has been blogging about her bout with Post-Partum, and while I think her's was worse (way to go T!), I also noticed that she said something similiar-she wasn't depressed per se, but she had a lot of anxiety, and since no one was looking for that, she went a lot longer than me without a diagnosis. So spread the word, because new babies deserve it. (She also inspired me to write this.)
The one thing I did learn from all this, is that when Tom Cruise passes a grapefruit through ANY hole in his body, then he can tell me what I need to do with Post-Partum. Being female, I have never made the presumption to tell men how to deal with prostrate cancer, and he has no right telling me what I need to be doing to get over child birth. If I thought bucking it up and smiling in the mirror would have cured all my problems, I would have used it in college to get better grades.
So please, pass the word-Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Puppy Training

2 days of no rain and high's in the mid-50's means we can go to the park. So I pack up Asa to an almost deserted park near my house (apparently other's are not so hardy) and let him loose. He is of course enamored with the woman walking her dogs and although he stays with me, he watches her so closely I am about ready to call him a stalker. Then one of the dogs starts running off so the woman calls her dog back and who should respond but the kid who plays deaf for me- Asa to answer the call. Hello! I wish someone had told me to forgo the child psychology books and get puppy training instead.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feeling Slinky

Winters in Oregon are brutal. Winter may also be brutal elsewhere, but this is where I live. I have seen "America's Funniest Video". I know there exists palces in the Winter where they get snow, but you can play in snow in-betweens storms. Even if it isn't raining, everything here is wet from November to March (sometimes October to April), and there isn't a contraption out there that can keep a 2-year old dry for any length of time. If it isn't wet and rainy, it is freezing cold and windy.
We spend a lot of time at the Burger King in the Winter, and yes I am shamelessly plugging this food chain. One near our house has a play structure, so we go in for lunch and stay an hour to an hour and a half. For the dollar, it is cheaper than any museum or movie, and a bonus is that Asa burns off the crappy food I just fed him by chasing every kid his size. The nap to come after that energy burn is a huge bonus as well.
So last Sunday it was rainy and Asa was antsy, so daddy and I took him to Burger King. There were only 2 other boys, but I failed to notice they had no shoes on. I never take Asa's shoes off, regardless of what the rules say. Call me a rebel. But since these new friends were shoeless, so followed Asa. Only he took just one shoe off, somewhere in the play structure. His brand new sandal. Why do kids never loose the old shoes? We send Asa up to look for his shoe, multiple times. Nick is getting into "you are in trouble" mode with Asa, and so I pulled him aside and reminded him that at Asa's age, we are lucky if the kid even remembers what we said by the time he get's to the top of the play structure, let alone remember to look for the damn shoe.
So guess who gets to haul her pregnant butt into the play structure at Burger King? Daddy isn't going because, besides his fear of heights, the structure sways when I am in there, let alone a full-grown man. And if anyone thinks I am letting a brand new shoe go without a fight, doesn't know the Girl Scout in me. I felt like the Grinch in the Christmas cartoon, slinking my way through tight spaces and sucking my gut in. And of course one of the other boys followed me, partly amazed that a mom would get in the structure and partly annoyed that I was blocking the path.
I get to the top of the structure, and am crawling through this tube when I hear Nick call up "Hey Dena, shoe is down here." I swear, I did not call my kid a four letter name. But I did think extremely uncharitable thoughts. I take the slide down, because I do fit and I thought it would be faster, but I lost momentum and Nick had to pull me out by my ankles. More entertainment for the kids-they thought it great fun.
In the end, we discovered that Asa and one of the other little boy's had taken their shoes off at the top of the structure, and then threw the shoe BEHIND the structure where no one can get. So we had to call the staff in to unlock the gate, so we all could go back there and grab these shoes. Again, I did not call my kid a four letter name, but I was thinking extremely uncharitable thoughts as I sat there trying to get my breath back. Lesson learned-we glue the sock to the foot and staple the shoe to the sock so new shoes stay where they are suppose to. If you see Asa walking with a limp, do not be concerned.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

George Lopez and Other Things

So to begin with, I have tried to call or write everyone to let them know how the last doctor's visit went, but I am sure I missed someone. Asa has been sick, I am frickin' tired, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah. So, to let the rest of the world know, we are having another boy and we are very excited. Or, to be honest, just as disappointed it isn't a girl, as we would be if it were a girl and we weren't having a boy. I feel like I dodged a bullet not having deal with a girl in puberty (I know what I was like), but no third generation Girl Scout either. I am estatic Asa gets a brother but I know 2 boys in puberty can eat a person out of house and home! What do you do? Dance to the music God gave you.

So, on to my thoughts of the day. I am admitting to world that I like "The George Lopez Show". I don't love it, and I don't watch it every night, but I find it far more entertaining than a lot of junk out there and do enjoy watching it every now and again. So when I tell my culturally enlightened husband of this, the first words out of his mouth were "Why, you aren't a Mexican?" Insert sigh here.
The show isn't just for Mexican's, for starters. One of the things I like about the show is how they discuss ALL countries south of the US border-there are acutally quite a few down there who speak Spanish, for those of you who didn't know. Second, just because I am not of a certain demographic, doesn't mean I can't watch a show. The censor at my house (Me, as I stated in a previous blog) is pretty accepting of things that might be different, whether it be on tv or otherwise. But what I really love about the show is that I can relate to it, and I'll bet if a lot of other people thought about it, they could relate to it too.
"The George Lopez Show" is culutural. Yes. But subsitute some of the jokes about tamales, or tacos, or any other food, for jokes about matzoh, kugel, or borsht, and it could be a Jewish joke. Subsitute perogi's or strudel and you could be talking about my husband's Eastern European family. The jokes about how hard it is to get along with your mother? That is just about everyone I know regardless of their ancestery. Holidays people can't pronounce or know nothing about? Ever ask someone what Yom Kippur is? They hardly ever know. And I had to ask a friend what Palm Sunday was. For all I knew it celebrated plants from the tropics. jokes about trying to get ahead at work, either because of a language barriar or stereotype? Welcome to being a woman, or disabled. People who are blind tell stories of being shouted at, and those in wheelchairs talk about how patronizing "walkies" can be.
The truth, in my mind, is that we all belong to NUMEROUS cultures. The culture of parenthood-who else wants to hear how your 2 year old crapped on the floor-again. The culture of different religions. I know as much about Ash Wednesday as my neighbor probably does about Passover-we can both spell it. The culture of disablities. I am legally blind without my glasses and will not swim with my children until they are in grade school because I can't see them if I take off my glasses. I can't do anything without them (Velma on Scooby-Doo was a wuss-I know by her lenses her vision isn't as bad as mine). Plus I hear from people in wheel chairs how difficult access to buildings can be. Jobs? Only teachers truly know that their job is not about summer vacation and only doctors can understand how frustrating it is to have people assume you can give out free advice on any health issue (ie. the story about the podiatrist, foot doctor essentially, who was asked by someone at a party about chest pains). My sister moved overseas to a country she doesn't speak the language-I'll bet she would get the jokes about not speaking the language right. And only a fellow reader will understand the joy I feel when I get a numerous books at a good price because the good lord knows my husband could care less.
So what I am saying, in a slow way, is that just because George Lopez isn't talking directly to "my kind", the show does talk about things that are human, and reminds me that while we belong to many cultures, we are all a member of the biggest one of all-the Human Culture. Plus the jokes about his big head are so true.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Didn't Know I was Suppose Care?

Last night we went to Baja Fresh for dinner. It is the fourth time this week I have been there-yes those cravings are still there. By this time, I have told them I am pregnant because the other option was to just have them think I am crazy. I mean, who in their right mind eats that stuff 3-4x a week? The same thing everytime? So by now, the manager guy knows me on sight, he knows most of my order, and he almost knows my name. As I am standing around, waiting to take dinner home, he is polite enough to converse with me and upon finding out I have a son (whom I had no cravings with), Manager Guy says "You want a girl then this time?"
Okay, just about everyone has asked me that. And I do mean, just about everyone. The assumption is, we get one sex, then we must want the other, or that mommies want a little girl to fawn over and put dresses on. Hmmm, I missed that memo yet again. But let me tell you a story:
The decision to have Thing 2 (as I call the baby right now), was harder to make then the decision to have Thing 1 (Asa). Thing 1 made us the parents we wanted to be; Thing 2 is designed to entertain Thing 1, but we as parents have all the work. We decided to go for Thing 2, and I decided, based on how it went with Asa, we would shoot for an October Baby with the flexiblity of knowing September worked well also. I was shocked to find 0ut Thing 2 was due in August. I giggled uncontrollably the rest of my appointment. This wasn't what I wanted!!!! I didn't want a summer baby! My baby clothes are the wrong season, my maternity clothes are the wrong season, I have to work around a birthday in the summer now when it comes to camping, and it just wasn't what I had planned.
I grieved for a few days (pregnant women are allowed the hormonal stuff at least briefly), and then gave myself a big mental slap. There is a whole lot worse news you can receive at your fetus's doctor's appt. then the dates aren't what you want. I don't have to say them here because I know people who read this blog (my sister included) who have received bad news, and every pregnant woman fears hearing bad news. I don't need to repeat it. Besides, who evr said I rule the universe? Who declared I got to pick birthdates, or months in the first place? No one. So I figured that if god was going to change the music, I needed to change my dance step. A summer baby means I won't have a newborn at Christmas (by 4 months lights and action will be fun). I can have birthday parties outside. And the grandparents get to buy clothes all over again, which they seem to love.
So now, we find out Wednesday boy or girl for Thing 2 and I can honestly say, I will be disappointed either way. I was with Asa. Sure I was having a girl, I was sad that I wouldn't have a son. Then we found he was a boy, and I got sad because I lost my daughter. Okay, it makes absolutely no sense-I know that. I feel the same way this time-I get excited about the prospect of either because each comes with their own challenges and joys. And a healthy baby supercedes any other wish I may have.
When we find out what kind of music God is giving us, we will taylor our dance step to fit the beat.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ahhh, the Passion...

I don't ususally write about Nick so much, but I couldn't resist passing this on, because it is so in-character for...Nick and I.
We have been together 14 years this April. We have seen many changes, as I have already mentioned. Some of them personal to us as individuals, some of them together. I don't always think about the romance in our relationship. One, I am not a romantic person and two, we just have so many other things going on at any given time.
So yesterday, we were at Wal-Mart. I had to go to the restroom for the twentith time that day, so my men went one way and I went another, with promises to meet up soon. First thing Nick says to me when I find them is "I don't know if you will like this, but I really like it and want you to have it." Ooooo-I am intrigued! My first thought it was a book. Okay, big geek I am, I always want one of those. Nick wouldn't tell me what it was, so I had to follow him to...wherever. As we go down the aisle, I see bra's and panties getting closer. I am starting to get un-amused quickly. If he thinks I am shoving my pregnant, naseous body into something slinky, we will be having words. But we go past "lingerie" to a display of pajamas that are a t-shirt and shorts set with Disney Characters, upon which Nick picks up the Chip and Dale set and says "If mommy really loved me she would get a pair of these. Daddy loooves Chip and Dale. Don't you think these are cute Dena?" He just thought it would be cute if I wore these to bed. I don't know if I should be proud that I could even look at the Junior sizes, which is what these were, or disappointed that I had to get the biggest size they had in hopes of fitting into them AFTER August. Either way, the passion from our relationship may not be what it once was, but the romance is still there after all these years, just in the form of Chip and Dale.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Gift To Nick

Okay, I read Dear Amy in the newspaper. It used to be Ann Landers but she passed away and Amy got the job. So someone writes in that the MOST precious gift a girl can give her husband is to be a virgin on their wedding night. Amy answered appropriately enough that BOTH girls AND boys need to be responsible with their sexual lives. Okay, I am not going into details here; this is a public space AND numerous family members from both Nick and I read this blog. But it is enough to say here that, that comment pissed me off. In addition to being sexist, antiquadated, and completely untrue from a historical context (7 month old "preemies" are as old as the hills), it was just so stupid.
Nick gave me two of the most precious gifts before we got married, and I returned them. Marriage made it legal-it didn't change our feelings. The two most precius gifts we gave each other was our promise to be faithful and our promise to weather the good times and the bad. The faithful one has been easier than I thought-Nick and I aren't social and we both have the delusion that most people are stupid. It helps. But weathering the good AND bad times is tough, even if counting just from the day we got married. In the last 7 1/2 years we have had numerous deaths, one sudden job loss, bought a house, and had kids. Okay, some of those we invited the stress in-namely in the name of Asa and Fetus number 2. But still, I need a guy by my side who will not up and clean out the checking account and leave me with 2 of his spawn.
I am a realist-promising something in a vow is way easy. Actions are what matter and granted we have only had 7 1/2 years, we have done really good (there is still time to screw up, although I like to think we will never go down that path). Our wedding night is over and done with and compromised less than 24 hours of our entire marriage. So what matters more-one night or a lifetime? Call me a selfish *&%#$ but I want the lifetime.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whining, whining, whining

So a blog is like an on-line diary, and in this blog, I am going to treat it as such. So there is a lot of complaining and whining this time, and if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, don't read any further.
I keep getting a lot of compliments about how I have been able to keep my weight down. Pregnant women are notorious for gaining a lot of weight and at 4 1/2 months I have yet to gain a single pound. I was the same way with Asa; I started gaining a little after 5 months. Why you ask?
As with the last pregnancy, dairy makes me sick. Not-ohh, I think my stomach is upset. More like-block my path to the toilet and YOU will be sorry for the mess on your shoes. It sucks. It is temporary, but it sucks, and this is were my newfound understanding of food allergies comes in.
When I tell people I can't have dairy, and it isn't in my head, most people reply with "no milk, huh?". Yes, no milk. From there, about 50% of my listeners will get the fact that I can't have pizza. Very good. But those two items are just the tip of the iceberg my friend. The obvious ones are milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, and butter. But think of what those biggies are added to:
*Pies (butter in the crust)
*Pasta with cream sauce/or cheese (pasta period can be tricky since many people cook it with butter
*Anything breaded, including fish sticks, schnitzel, shrimp, and gizzards from Safeway (yum!)
*Chocolate (even most dark chocolate has some milk)
*90% of the frozen meals out there (even the cup o'noodles has dairy-and I thought they were mostly stryrofoam)
*About 50% of the bread items out there have dairy, so I have to read the label carefully ( this includes loaves, bagels, english muffins, waffles, pancakes, and muffins)
*anything made with cream of... mushroom, chicken, or celery soup
*salad dressing is tricky-many companies add milk to make them creamy
Even that list looks short but call it by it's street name and the list grows: I can't have macaroni and cheese, stuffed ravioli's, chocolate chip cookies, candy bars with chocolate, my favorite mushroom soup, cheeseburgers, anything from Arby's or Wendy's that I would be willing to eat anyways(must be dairy in the buns), Dorito's, Cheeto's, any chip flavor with sour cream in the title, blintzes (the filling is cottage cheese), crepes (dairy in the batter), cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs (most places add milk to make them fluffy), and I really have to watch toppings. I mean, sure I can eat the bake potato but what is a bake potato without sour cream, butter, and cheese? I can eat a taco, but again, a taco with no cheese or sour cream is a bit bland. Asian restraunts are tricky-one I know tastes great, but they bread everything. Another uses milk in their sauces. Sigh. Pasta-a-roni and Rice-a-roni are out (not that they are the best thing to eat anyway) and so is my favorite salad dressing-Paul Newman's Honey Mustard.
I know it could be worse-I knew someone who couldn't keep anything down for all 9 months and had to have IV infusions 4-5 times a week just to stay hydrated. And when all was said and done with Asa, I weighed 10 pounds less when I started the whole endeavor. That was nice. But I would give it all up for a piece of pizza and a chocolate malt. Mmmmmm.

PS-Yes, I know about soy, goat milk, and some other alternatives. So far they have upset my stomach or taste totally gross. But I have kept an open mind and at least tried them. Goat milk yogurt just doesn't float my boat.

PPS-This is what I can remember RIGHT NOW. When I look at a menu, or try to make a meal, more things will just pop right out at me.