Friday, July 31, 2009

Ode to Pong

Anyone who knew me and Hubby when we lived in L.A., knew about our evil Shih Tzu, Pong. He was truly a bad dog. But I loved the little shit...tzu. If you have ever seen the dog whisperer with Cesar Milan, than you understand what I am talking about when I say that Pong was in "the red zone" 99% of the time. He did not like people, and I think he tolerated Robert. He of course loved me, but would not flinch at biting me if he felt wronged in any way shape or form. More times than I can count did that dog attempt to attack someone. He was the typical yippy dog. He would attack your feet, your hands if they were near him, and he would not relent.

We tried everything to get the dog to behave better. Longer and more frequent walks, diet change, and of course the Cesar Milan method. His behavior slightly improved when we moved to Colorado, but he was still evil. We worked diligently with Pongy for 9 years, as I am a true believer that animals are not to be thrown away. That I had made a pact with this dog when I took him, that I would care for him and he would be part of my family.

Making the decision to get rid of my Pongy was not an easy one, but it had to be done. When Cookie came along, the dog was on edge constantly, more so than normal. We did everything to try and help the dog adjust to the addition of a baby. And I mean everything. But there came a day, the fateful day when Cookie was 11 months old, that I had to face facts, Pongy and children were not going to work together. I did not want to risk Cookie, who loved him and all dogs, getting bit. I mean Cookie's first word was "dog dog". But our evil dog who would attack you if you walked by him and he was startled, or in a bad mood, was not a happy boy. And we were not happy either. The stress was intense between us and the dog. Needless to say there was an incident between Pong and Charlotte regarding a cracker, I managed to grab him in the process of trying to attack her, got bitten, and he was thrown down the basement stairs. I contacted the Shih Tzu rescue of Denver that night.

The lady at the rescue made me feel horrible. Like I was abandoning my dog and was not doing enough to make it work. I already had remorse and guilt up the yin yang, but my child's safety came first. Not to mention the dog's. I mean, I threw him down the stairs!!! But, she agreed to take him that week-end. I cried the entire drive into Denver (an hour), but once we signed the paper work giving up ownership and placed him in his new foster home's car, there was nothing but relief. He was stressed, we were stressed, no one was happy, except perhaps Cookie.

I miss having a dog. I miss the familiarity of a canine companion greeting you like a god when you come in the door. Having a dog is a small deterrent to robbers. And of course Cookie constantly talks about getting a dog. She says things like "when we get my doggy". I told her she has to be at least 5 before we get a dog, I want her and #2 to understand that animals have feelings, that they are to be treated well. And of course, I want to be done with diapers before I take on more poop.

My neighbor has two yappy chihuahuas. They are just as bad if not worse than Pongy ever was. The difference is, my neighbor has done nothing to fix their behavior. She coddles them and pets them when they try to attack someone. I hate her dogs. They yap at everyone who walks by, and frankly I now understand what people felt toward my evil little Pongy. I would like to believe that he is off running around in a beautiful back yard and loved by some little old lady. But really they probably had to put my poor angry little beast down. Our pets are our family, and sometimes I feel I let Pongy down, but really I would have been remiss to allow such an evil little dog around my children. Inevitably he would have bitten one of them, leaving them scared for life. Hopefully when we manage to get past the horror that was Pong and take the Pooch plunge again, it will go better.

Monday, July 27, 2009

#1 toilet paper changer

Have you ever had the feeling that you alone are the only person that changes the toilet paper roll? I get that feeling all the time. We have four bathrooms in our house and I once changed the roll in all four in one day. All FOUR were empty. While there are only two of us who really use the T.P. or can actually change it. Hubby just doesn't. He will leave the roll completely empty. Or my favorite, on little itty bitty piece so he can claim there was some left on it. He uses T.P. once maybe twice a day, being a guy, so when it is out, I just don't think he thinks to change it. In the great scheme of things, his failure to change the roll is nothing but a mild inconvenience. I've just learned to keep my bathrooms well stocked with T.P. that is in easy reach to change while sitting on the toilet.

But there are times that I think I am the lone T.P. changer where ever I go. The doctor's office, a friends house, a department store, I have changed the roll more times than I can count. Maybe I am a little anal retentive when it comes to making sure the T.P. is actually on the roll and not just sitting on top of the T.P. dispenser. Really though, it's about sanitary conditions. Who wants to use a loose roll of T.P. knowing that it has been possible that it has been rolling around on some public restroom's floor. Yuk! So for those of you who are lazy T.P. people, take the extra minute and put the stupid roll in the dispenser for cleaner bottoms everywhere. Or just my sanity.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sympathy pain

Hubby suffers from sympathy pregnancy symptoms. I am serious. He gains weight, has all kinds of cravings, and even suffers from some of the same stomach ailments that plague us pregnant women. This can been seen as sweet, funny, and even mildly annoying. Annoying when one is so tired all you want to do is crawl into the fetal position and pass out from exhaustion, leaving your toddler in your partner's capable hands, but said hubby is also not sleeping well, and has passed out before you were able to hand off the parenting baton. Sweet, as it makes him a little more apt to be sympathetic to my ailments.

So here I am, so tied I want to cry, my toddler refuses to nap because she overheard a conversation on the phone that we may or may not get to see her favorite friends after naptime today, and hubby is passed out in the basement after a fitful night of not sleeping. Hubby came to bed as Cookie and I were getting up. So, once again, I am overheated, overtired, and overly pregnant, with yet, another day of no relief.

I am not sure that those who have not been pregnant understand what the "due date" actually means. It is one of those goals that we all strive to meet, but never want to go over. If we are slightly earlier than said "due date" awesome. If we go beyond, someone needs to pay. We are not sure who, but I think everyone who comes in contact with us pays with our misery. I didn't realize how anxious I was to get to 38 weeks, 2 days because that was when Cookie decided to grace us with her presence. I was not sleeping, hubby still is not sleeping, and even Cookie could feel the tension. Well the date has come and gone, and there is some kind of relief knowing that #2 is doing her own thing.

In the womb Cookie was brutal. She used to beat me up to the point that you could see bruises on my abdomen. I would actually get angry at her, the kicks were so strong and painful. It is no wonder that Cookie came out early. Before putting her in a toddler bed, Cookie would yell to get "Out Out" and now she just jiggles her door handle yelling it. I think she was saying the same thing in the womb. #2 is blessedly mellow. She kicks and squirms and pushes, but rarely do her movements hurt me like Cookie's did. So I am thinking, Cookie was so discontent in the womb, therefore, she came early. #2 is blissfully content in there, so will she come closer to 40 weeks? Maybe 41? I am amazed at how ones body prepared them for the lack of sleep that is coming. But right now, in this moment, I am annoyed at hubby for getting to nap, while I am struggling to stay awake, because Cookie can't sleep.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Green Living

After we had Cookie, I really wanted to start living a more economical, cleaner, less wasteful life. I started making Cookie's food, breast fed the first 13 months, switched to a better laundry detergent, and put Cookie in cloth diapers. We were also only driving one car. When weather permitted, I rode my bike, pulling Cookie behind me in the bike trailer. But, there are some things I have been reluctant to give up or have failed at miserably.

First, we bought a mini-van last month. I love it. It makes life so much easier than driving my husbands manual Subaru WRX. While his car is fun to drive, it is hard to get kids in and out, not to mention the lack of trunk space for all that baby stuff like a stroller. So we now have two cars. And one only gets 19 miles to the gallon!!!

Second, Cookie refused to wear the cloth diapers at 18 months. She is in panties and has been for a while, but we still put her in disposables for nap and bedtime. I hate disposables, but they do hold more wet, and when your child is a heavy wetter and wakes up at 2 in the morning because the cloth diaper is soaked through and all you want to do is sleep, disposables seem wiser and easier. So part of the reason Cookie decided that Cloth was not acceptable was that the disposables had Sesame Street on them. I am not much of a name brand person, but when it comes to diapers, I have tried many and Pampers have worked best for us. The character tie in drives me nuts. Cookie wants to know what character is on the diaper I am putting her in. She has her favorite, Zoe, and her least favorite, Elmo. In fact, there have been some two year old tears over not having the right character on the diaper. She has some other quirks w/ diapers which may be a good topic for tomorrow. Anyway #2 will be in disposables until her cord comes off and she fits into the cloth All-In-Ones. Disposables may come back as she starts to sleep longer at night.....for her well being and mine:)

And last but not least is our excessive use of paper towels. I will use a hand towel most of the time after I wash my hands or do dishes in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I also used cloth wipes for Cookie at meals to wipe her down....until about 18 months, then it was the Sam's Club wipes. I am ashamed to admit that I love using wipes, they are so convenient and easy. Not to mention, Cookie loves to use them. But I am not the real culprit of the paper towel wastage. It is hubby. We literally go through almost a roll a day. He loves to use paper towels. For some reason he will not wash his hand in the bathroom after use, but uses the kitchen sink when on the main floor. He will then dry his hands w/ said paper towels and then, this is the kicker, leaves the used, wet paper towel sitting on the kitchen counter. He has yet to make an effort to place them in the trash can. One day he came to an amazing epiphany as he was leaving, yet another used towel on the counter, that he was being a jerk, not placing the towel in the trash can, but leaving it for me to clean up. Do you think he has changed? NO. But at least he recognized what an ass he was being. Anyway, in a previous post I posted a pick of hubby w/ Cookie making play dough. I also posted the kitchen after he was done making the play dough. A huge portion of the mess was the pile of used paper towels. Literally half a roll! He loves them, and while I would love to attempt to switch completely to cloth kitchen wipes, I think hubby just may rebel.

So, Colorado living has made us a little bit more Eco conscious. But we are far from being "Green". Maybe one day we will be able to get over some of those bad habits like paper towels, my swifer wet jet disposable cleaning wipes, and the two car household. But for now, we do what we can.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brain Fart

Have you ever had a brain fart? It happens to me all the time. I was going to do something and then forget what it was when I leave the room. I meticulously clip coupons make a list for the grocery store, only to leave it all at home. Well that is what happened with today's blog. Major brain fart.

I had something well written in my head as I was making dinner, and then poof it was gone. I am pretty sure it was brilliant beyond compare. Everyone would ooh and ahh over my insight. Really I can't remember what it was. It is driving me insane. Of course many things happened since dinner was being prepared. I served Cookie and hubby, we ate dinner (interrupted by not one, but two potty breaks for Cookie), clean-up time (dinner and toys), bath time, picture time, bed time (hubby fell asleep on the couch after dinner, gave him bedtime reprieve), and then I sat down to write and it was gone.

I tried the, go back to where you had the thought, and nothing. Really what was it? It must not have been that great if I can't even remember what the topic was. Maybe I am just so preoccupied with the whole when is this baby going to come that my brain isn't really functioning at tip top level. Maybe tomorrow it will come back to me.

Thousand Words Thursday

How long will this last? My very helpful little girl

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I've been outsmarted by my 2 year old

Cookie has nightmares. Mostly when she is sick or after shots, but sometimes she will have a bout of them. Night after night of waking and screaming. So as any mother might do, I turned to my mom for advice. She suggested that as I am putting Cookie to bed I tell her that under no circumstances is she to dream about dogs or cats, or whatever I think she would really love to dream about. Of course I followed her suggestion and had good results.

So what's the problem? Nothing really, it is now a game of course. Cookie says, "No dream about????" and I have to fill in the blank every night, and now sometimes throughout the day. As cute as this game is, I have discovered how devious my 2 year old is. For example last night, I said, "No dreaming about bikes." Cookie responded, "But I can dream about wheels and pedals." I kid you not. She was quite smug when she made this pronouncement. Hubby said he told her she couldn't dream about flowers. Cookie asked what color flowers. He said, "yellow". She responded, "I can dream about orange flowers and blue flowers."

While we find these responses creative and kinda cute.....we also think that this just a prelude to tough times ahead with this little girl. She already is so independent, willful, and kinda devious. Maybe she will be a lawyer who discovers loop holes in the law. Or maybe a white collar criminal who finds loop holes to break the law. As it is, at age 2, Cookie is finding loop holes in our play and in rules at home. "Don't stand on that table" can be interpreted literally, instead she will sit on it, "not standing on it" she will exclaim with a smile. I know that she knows that it is not okay to sit on it, but until I tell her not to, she will do it. I'm just glad hubby was just as devious, he usually can see the wheels in her head turning before I can. I just hope I can instill some honesty in this not so honest little person before I release her into the world. I definitely will not be that mom who tells the teacher, "My child would never lie."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why I am jealous of my sister

There is something I must admit, something that will make my sister very very giddy. I am a little jealous of her. You see, she is a working Mom. While that is not the part that I am jealous of per se, I am envious of her ability to find little ways to pamper herself. There are numerous postings to facebook by her with phrases like "off to yoga" or "getting a pedicure" and "out for drinks w/ the girls." These activities are relics of my past, little things that at the time, were every week occurrences in my life.

I sometimes refer to the time before Cookie as "BB", before baby. Many of us Stay-at-home-Moms have trouble getting away. We are with our kids literally 24/7. The idea of leaving them with a sitter to get a manicure is just not there. My sister has her kids in daycare, therefore, if she gets out of work a little early, she has some time to herself, to go shopping without kids in tow, get a manicure, get a haircut, go to a yoga class, or have a drink with a friend. Her sitter is going to get paid regardless if my sister is two hours early or on time. Us SAH moms rarely leave our little beans with anyone during the day. We drag them to doctor's appointments, the grocery store, and to the park (for a round of run w/ jogger).

Today, a friend and I went and got pedicures. It was a lot of maneuvering on both our parts to make sure our hubby's had the time to watch our kids, makings for dinner was provided, and that we had an appointment, so we would not be home too late. It was nice to get a little pampered and to relax for an hour. At the end, we both commented on how we should do it again, and how we would have liked to have a little more time, but both husbands were anxious to have us home in time for dinner and little one's bedtime.

I am not complaining. I am just stating that for us SAH moms, our reality is a lot different than working moms. We are lucky to be able to see our children grow and make all of those little leaps and bounds as they are happening. We have a better ability to control what our children consume both physically and mentally throughout their day. But one thing many of us fail in doing is taking care of ourselves. After my hour of relaxation, I felt a little less stressed and harried. Just like our marriages, and our responsibilities as parents, taking care of ourselves is a work in progress. But, we must remember to take the time and work on each of them.

So to my sister, I salute you and your ability to take that time. I am jealous of your yoga bending, alcohol drinking, adult socializing time. Enjoy every minute of it, because there are those of us who just can't figure out how to have it all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Power of Positive thinking

Once in a job review I was told I was too negative. I apparently always had a comment regarding something. Actually what it meant was that I questioned authority way too much. Whenever changes were made to policies I asked why the new way was better. Was it more efficient, did it save money, or was someone just making policy to prove they had purpose in the company? I guess the history major in me would not bow down to the corporate machine. I took this "constructive criticism" to heart and tried to be more positive. I actually found myself stumbling to be more upbeat and not complain or make "negative" sarcastic comments. The next staff meeting I met my first real positive challenge. We had a new V.P. of operations. I found myself muttering, "oh great what new changes does this lady have" and then remembered my review and tagged on, "she is sure to have some good ideas, being from such a larger company and having such an extensive background." I even managed to keep the sarcasm at bay. My manager actually commented on how my attitude was what she expected from everyone regarding the change.

Another time, my friend and I were traveling with Job's Daughters and were under the guidance of a woman who we did not necessarily like too much. We decided that we would try and be more like Pollyanna, "We'll gladly do it" became our mantra. Even when said woman decided that on the way home, after a long week-end of screaming girls, little sleep, and a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead that we would stop at her mother-in-laws and hour out of the way because it had a nice view of the the Sacramento River, we kept smiles on our faces and chanted "we'll be glad to go." And I think we had a better time because we refrained from that negativity that can bring you down.

This topic has been on my mind lately and it is a little ironic that there is a great article in Good Housekeeping this month about the power of positive thinking. You see, I am a miserable pregnant person. I tend to dwell on all of the uncomfortable things about pregnancy. The bloating, nausea, headaches, blah blah blah blah blah.....So as I near the end, I am trying to think about all of the kicks and bumps number two is giving me and find pleasure and joy in how amazing it all is. Really being able to create a life and carry a baby to term is amazing. Soon, we will have this living, breathing person, and they came from me! It is hard to not be negative when sleep is illusive, comfort is very little, and one's body is huge and tired. But, I will make an attempt, because I owe it to myself, my husband, and Cookie. And really 3 weeks is not that long, I want number two to be healthy and if that means she stays cooking in the oven for 4 more weeks, so be it. I'll gladly do it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heathy Eating

Ever since I joined weight watchers....ohh about 8 years ago, I have tried to live and eat healthy. Stocking my pantry and fridge with healthy choices instead of all of those tempting, empty calorie, fattening ones is a must. I have no will power when it comes to chocolate, ice cream, or chips. So, I try not to buy them. But, when you live with someone else, sometimes the best laid plans get thrown out the door.

Not only do I try and buy the "right" foods, but I try and stick to a budget. However, hubby has a habit of setting up road blocks and stiff arms that make this an uphill battle. I will announce that Cookie and I are heading out to the market, "anything you want or need." Usually hubby can't think of anything, sometimes he has a request like frozen burritos or dinners to eat for lunch, since he doesn't always like my lunch solution of a sandwich and fruit. These little requests are easy for me to comply with, as I really don't enjoy either. (in fact when prego, frozen dinner smells make me especially nauseous).

However, every once in a while hubby will proclaim that he would like to go, too. These family trips to the market are a budget and calorie killer for me. Not only does hubby shop with his eyes and empty stomach, he wants to buy all kinds of things I hate having in the house. Bags of chips, ice cream (the good stuff not the cheap store brand), soft drinks, cookies, trail mix, nuts, and candy. While my hubby's once a month binge usually just tests my will power, there is a new phenomenon occurring. Cookie now has an opinion in regards to the food she wants and enjoys. She has recently discovered, thanks to daddy, the joys of chips, french fries, chocolate, Popsicles, candy, and ice cream.

I am by no means a mom who says absolutely no to sweets, at least anymore. Up until Cookie was about 18 months I was really able to avoid giving her those "bad" foods. But one day, Cookie noticed what we were eating and wanted some too. I knew I was in trouble when hubby begged me to go through he drive through at some fast food place to get "something" and Cookie announced she wanted french fries.

The good news is that I still control what she eats. The bad news is, I can't control what and when hubby decides he wants a "snack". Take for instance today, Cookie and I had made cupcakes together. She likes to help and asked if we could bake a cake. So, I complied, chocolate cake sounded good to me...but in cupcake form for portion control. (yes, I use these little tactics to keep portions down). Not only did Cookie eat one, but we had some friends come over to play later, and after lunch kids got cupcakes, so Cookie got to eat two. This indulgence is fine on occasion, and I felt okay letting her share with her friends.

After nap, Cookie declared that she of course would like another cupcake. As I am telling her no, she may not have any more sweets and some strawberries or a banana was more appropriate for an afternoon snack, hubby is dishing out a bowl full of ice cream for himself. While hubby is an adult and entitled to eat any amount of "bad" food he wants, I just want him to show Cookie healthy eating habits. If I indulge in ice cream or chips, I usually wait until Cookie is napping or in bed for the night. Needless to say a lovely argument ensued over my ugly look at him, and his over the top response to said nasty look.

Maybe I was cranky and tired, maybe he was itching for a matter, but how do I convince hubby to eat healthier in front of the kids? I've asked, but really other than eating in the pantry or sneaking food into the basement when they're not looking, I don't foresee hubby complying to my request. Anyone else with this problem?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My friends

Taking a page from Evolving Mommy. Thursdays are "Thousand Word Thursday"

Cookie asked to take a picture and set up her favorite "loveys" George, Neh Neh, and Thomas.
Life is simple when these items will make one soooo happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can I actually enter into the 21st century?

I must admit that my computer skills are rudimentary at best. Hubby uses me as his guinea pig when designing sites and seeing how functional they are for the everyday user. It drives him crazy when watching me try to navigate through the web. I can see his fingers twitching, dying to take the computer or mouse out of my hands and just do it himself. For the most part he resists temptation.

I am all for online banking, paying bills online, etc, etc. But I love, love, love my checkbook. I still sit down every two weeks when hubby gets paid and hand write in all the bills, set aside money, and balance our budget. I am not sure I will ever get away from doing it the old fashioned way. But I would love to be able to pay my bills online without having to write a check. So what's stopping me? The bank.

I have tried not once, not twice, but three times to set up my bills for online pay. I have gathered all the information, sat down after Cookie has gone to bed and am prepared to enter into the 21st century. What's my problem, why can't I manage this simple task that my own mother (even less computer literate) is able to accomplish? The bank's website times me out every single time. I dutifully enter in my information, hit the enter button and watch the little curser turn into a pretty itty bitty circle of "I'm thinking" and then......minutes later I receive a nice message that the server has "timed out". I try again and again....same thing.

Now, I have done this procedure three different times, and months apart. I have now given up hope. Is it me? Is it the computer? Maybe it's my internet connection? Maybe it is the bank? For now, I am still content to do things the way my mother taught me. I just hope Cookie and Jelly Bean never have to witness the frustration and despair I had to see every time my Mom sat down to pay bills. But for now, I like paying them. I always feel like have accomplished something. I love to see that once again, I have budgeted properly. Does that mean we are debt free? Far from it. But it does mean that the bills are getting paid and I don't have to worry about it for another month.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Mommy Breakfast Club

It's weird, I thought that once I had grown up that there would no longer be "the popular" crowd. But of course this is not to be. Funny how throughout life people manage to be herded into the same kinds of social situations. It is like we are perpetually typecast and thrown into junior high over and over again. In the mommy circles I like to refer to this phenomenom as The Mommy "Breakfast Club".

There are the "jock" moms who are physically fit from the moment they give birth, and look at you like you are the fattest most laziest person on earth for not being able to drag your ass out of bed at 5 a.m., and run a 5K pushing your little darling in a jogger. Deep down we are all jealous of their obvious dedication to their perfect and taunt bodies and the ability to work in exercise and parent. But verbally we twitter (that's the verbal kind, not the texting kind) on and on about how they must be ignoring or denying their little ones some sort of emotional love because it's obvious that these fit bitches care more for their bodies than their kid's well being.

Then there are the "beauty queens" the popular moms. Those who seem to enter into a room and everyone wants to be their friend. Their kids are dressed in name brands, opposed to Target and Walmart. They seem to have it all together. They seamlessly float into motherhood arriving on time, with their Emma's and their Carter's looking pristine. Whenever anyone complains or frets about the antics of their own kid, these moms look down their noses at them and make comments like, "ohh we never have that kind of problem." They and their children are perfect. You hate them, but you so want to be that mom. You envy her ability to keep it all together. What is really happening, is that mom is on some sort of happy pill, her husband is less than perfect, and her kids are holy terrors....just not when your looking. Or at least this is what I want to believe.

The "screw-up". This mom none of us envy. She is always late, always appears frazzled, and her kids are a mess. They are the ones, with snot draining from their noses, which they continually swipe with the back of their own hands. Mommy can not be bothered to wipe it for them or ask them to use a kleenex. But, at one time or another, you are that mom. Your kid is screaming, you just spilled coffee down your shirt, and you are working on 4 hours of sleep because sweet little Janie had nightmares about the snakes you saw at the zoo the day before. Although, Popular mom is never this mom....bitch.

The "nerdy" mom. This is where the majority of us fit in. Or at least I do. You think you are making connections...and then popular mom enters the play area. All of those women who you thought you might make a play date with scatter away from you and fawn over popular mom. These mom's know that their kids are not perfect, in fact they tend to love to share stories about the trials and tribulations of their kids. They are always asking for advice from other moms, since they have not quite figured it out, or know that there is always something new to learn. Beware of popular mom, she has the uncanny ability to make you feel like you are the screw-up mom for you inability to be able to keep your kid's hair in a bow, or get her to eat carrots at dinner time.

I write this all down because I have come across the "popular" mom. She haunts me. She was in yoga, music, and now our exercise/play class. It drove me nuts, why did I not quite like this mom. Her kid is cute, and sweet and I like her. But there is something about the mom that rubbed me the wrong way. And then it finally came to me. She can do no wrong. Everyone seems to love her, talk with her, want to be her friend. So, of course the green eyed monster got me. I was jealous at first...I ached to be included in her circle of friends, then it dawned on me, I didn't want to be her friend. She was always perfect and so was her kid. I once commented on how lucky she was to be able to put her daughter's hair up in bows, since Cookie has some sort of extra sensitive head and has issues about me touching it. Popular mom's answer was, "ohh well, I've been playing with her hair since day one, so she won't fight me." She said it with this superior intonation like I was a failure because I couldn't get Cookie to sit still for a frickn bow. Popular mommy is now pregnant. I was telling another mom how we had started having some trouble w/ Cookie going to bed and she was back to peeing on the furniture since we got #2's furniture. Response from popular mommy, "Ohh my daughter is so excited to have a new baby. We talk about it all the time. And we have had no problems with potty training" Like we weren't trying to prepare Cookie for baby. And who does potty training without pee on the floor at least once? Of course that is the day Cookie decided to have an accident outside of class. I was so mortified that I yelled at Cookie. Then repented to her later and felt like the screw-up mom for yelling at my kid for having an accident.

So what is the lesson here? Ignore popular mommy. Don't let her get to you. Because I bet, deep down, her kid is not perfect. Her life is not perfect. And she is a big fat fraud.....or at least In my own head she is:) I am sure she has just as many insecurities that we all do as moms, but she can not or refuses to acknowledge them in public. I feel for her because, I think she is even more lonely than the rest of us, who are honestly sharing our lives and our kids with others. At least these are the things I tell myself so I don't strangle the bitch.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why I love my hubby, quirks and all

I will probably compose blog after blog about the things my hubby does that drives me nuts. Little things like not putting dirty clothes in the hamper, leaving a colony of dirty socks in the basement then asking me why he has no socks to wear, making a mess in the kitchen after it has been cleaned and scrubbed and I have gone to bed, starring at his bike like a love sick puppy when I am trying to get us out the door and going somewhere, or the toothbrush in the kitchen now because when I was sick he wanted to keep his brush "germ free."

Regardless of his little quirks and annoying habits, which I have learned to live with and have come to expect, he is a great husband and father.

First of all, hubby is a great provider. He takes on free lance work when I seem a little stressed over money and the credit card debt. (of course a lot of that is due to his love of bike riding and the need for "new" tires or other bike paraphenalia). But, he works really hard.

Second, he does little things for Cookie that I am not sure other dads can do or will do. He makes numerous batches of play dough until he gets it just right. (see pic of the mess he makes while making it though). He paints her a "kitty picture" for her room. He takes her for special bike rides to "purple park", just the two of them. He will cook her special noodles or rice. He plays with her like I can't...building great pyramids and objects out of blocks. Creates all kinds of neat things out of play dough. If she wants it, he can sculpt it.

Third, is really in tune to my feeling for the most part. He knows when I feel overwhelmed and is willing to pitch in. He didn't mock me for wanting to have a blog. (which I am sure inwardly he finds annoying because he finds all things like facebook and blogs lame). He accepts my family and loves them, I think more than his own.

He's very handy. Hubby can fix just about anything. He will help out the neighbors when they are in need. Not sure how we moved away from him being my families personal handy man to the neighbors'. The other day, our neighbor asked if he knew anything about ice makers. Like they expect him to fix it and take a look before they call someone. When we lived in Reseda, our building manager asked him if he "knew anything about telephones and intercom systems". Hubby didn't, but agreed to take a look anyway. He fixed the building's intercom system, and earned the gratitude of the manager. Weird foreign manager was less surly and polite. In fact when we moved, the manager overlooked some things because he was grateful for hubby's help giving us the full deposit back.

He's really smart. He knows things. Information about weird stuff, if there is something you want to know, just ask him and he probably can tell you. For example, 4th of July, "did you know that sparklers burn to almost 1100 degrees". Not sure where he gets this stuff, but he has a memory of an elephant. He never forgets. (which can be disturbing if you get on his bad side, he never plays fair). I may have a Master's degree and he may have just barely finished high school, but he is way smarter than me. I have to ask him how things work, why things are the way they are, and in general I defer to him in all things when it comes to making decisions about almost anything.

Lastly, hubby is really funny. He is quick witted, sarcastic, and makes me laugh. In fact that's one of the main reasons I fell in love with him. I think he is Seinfeld funny. Conversations and comments from him sometimes sound like lines from an episode. Yet, sometimes his humor can be hurtful. He holds nothing back and I have seen him bring people almost to tears and not the good kind. He can find humor at the expense of others. Good thing he keeps these harsh barbs aimed at others and not me. But for the most part his humor is just plain funny.

After 14 years together, I still love the guy. I may bitch about him to my friends and family a lot, but really that's just blowing off steam. From the moment I met him I knew he was "the one". Really I had love at first sight. For those who don't know, I met hubby in high school. I think the '94 earthquake in a way helped us get together. We were stuck in a Video Production class, which neither of us wanted to be in, and were bored stiff. Since all the equipment was at our high school and we were now taking classes at the rival high school, there was nothing to do but talk or read. My anti-social husband chose the later in order to avoid any kind of personal contact with anyone. Of course, this made me feel sorry for him. I made the first move, noticing he was reading a book I had read. And the rest as they say is history. He never had a chance.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Friends are the Spice in Life

Maybe I should have started my blog with this entry. It is more appropriate. You see, I was inspired by Evolving Mommy to begin a blog. Her blog is witty, sweet, and full of inspiration. Mine probably will turn into rants and raves about hubby, Cookie, and life in general, but I am thankful to have Evolving Mommy as a friend.

Three years ago hubby and I uprooted ourselves and moved to Colorado. Literally leaving all of our friends and family behind in California. We believed and still do, that where we live is a better, safer place to raise a family. Of course, we had no idea that our family would get started quite so quickly. I had envisioned finding a teaching job. Making new friends with my colleagues and establishing a social base before kids. Fate, divine intervention, whatever, had other ideas. Two weeks after the move I was pregnant. Maybe it was the new house, the new bed, or the higher altitude. Or the fact that we chose not to use protection. (condoms work people). But, I was in a new town, a new state, and knew literally three people. My relator, my husband, and a good family friend who lived one town over.

Being pregnant is scary enough, but not having family or friends around to support you is terrifying. I busied myself preparing for baby and working as a substitute in the local district. Subbing is really a lonely job. Especially, when the schools don't really have teacher lunch rooms. So meeting friends at work was a fail.

I was thankful however, to have met some really nice neighbors who have since become a great network of information and trustworthy friends. But once Cookie came, I was no longer working, and I was desperately lonely.

So, I turned to the web. I went looking for mommy and me classes with the hope that I would connect with someone. I started mommy and me yoga, mommy and me stroller fit, mommy and me music. I failed to make any strong connections. And that hurt, other mommies were making connections setting up play dates and car pools. I was not sure if it was because I was a Californian, too pushy (which I can be), or these were not the mommies for me. I have never had too much trouble making friends, but I felt like I was in Junior high all over again. I really didn't want to join the local Mommy and me club, as I had my fill of politics. I did not want to pay dues, vote for presidents and secretaries, and go to meetings. I just wanted some friends for me and my daughter.

Not to be daunted, as I am anything but a quitter, I found a new local site run by the local newspaper trying to connect moms. So, I posted a cry for a playdate. And it was so desperate. I was going to be at a certain park between certain hours w/ a sign. It took me three weeks of sitting in the park alone with Cookie (who was 4 months and could do nothing but lay on a blanket), choosing different days and times before anyone came. I found myself snubbed by other moms who were regulars at the park in those three weeks, but I was determined. Eventually other moms came. And these women became my friends and my saviors. Together, I think we found kindred spirits. Most of us were non-locals. Most of us were fairly new to town, and almost all of us were stay-at-home moms who used to work. I have enjoyed getting to know these ladies. While we, as one large group, mostly still meet only once a week, some of us get together at other times, either as a whole group, in twos or threes, or with our individual families to enjoy a holiday or an outing. I trust them with Cookie, with my feelings, and am thankful everyday that someone answered my desperate cry for friends.

So, to my playgroup friends, thank you for not abandoning me and my crazy, sarcastic ways. Thank you for accepting my daughter and letting her play with your precious children, and thank you thank you for always listening to my rants and raves, either by e-mail or in person. You all have been my lifesavers. It has been three years and I hope we can make it another 20-30.

To my friends in California, I miss all of you and our monthly dinners. I miss my former colleagues who became friends and friday night drinking buddies. I miss the familiarity that comes with knowing someone forever. And I miss this connections that our children would have had if I had stayed in California.

For now, I am content. I have people who I love and love me and my family nearby. Maybe I am just sentimental because I am pregnant and thousand upon thousands of hormones are racing through me making me introspective. Whatever it is, Thank you to everyone, new and old friends for your support and love. Friends are the Spice in Life. Without them I would be adrift.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What is in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

If my grandmother had her say, she'd reply that any name other than Rose would smell sweeter. But, she is an angry and bitter lady who harbors resentment and grudges for 70 years. I already digress.

Names are of course on my mind lately, as I am entering my 36th week of pregnancy and as of yet, hubby and I have not settled on a name for our second daughter. While Cookie (#1) thinks Jelly Bean is perfect for her new sister, I am not sure that I can agree. (other than how I refer to her on here)

Names are important. They define us, follow us throughout childhood, and amazingly mold our personality. When naming Cookie, we also struggled with names. First, with a name like Ginger, growing up was fraught with name calling and mocking. "Gingivitis, Where's the Skipper?, and Ginger Ale" rang in my ears. I hated my name. Loathed it really. I was jealous of my sister who had a simple every day name. There was even an incident where I accused my mom of hating me for choosing such a cruel and weird name. I love my name now, but as a kid, it was torture. So picking an ordinary name was important, but not too ordinary, like the Jennifers and Scotts of my generation.

Second, I don't know about anyone else, but when growing up and imagining the names you would give your kids, you never factor in a spouse. So while I loved the name Natalie (name of one of my cabbage patch kids), my husband was not so keen on it. And round and round we went. Not to mention the many different opinions people gave on names we had on our list. A not so sensitive family friend made fun of one of the names I loved. Thus, in the throws of labor I named our daughter, picking the name my husband favored more.

Thirdly, in my previous life, before children, I taught middle school history. Associating names with previous students is just one detriment of teaching. I can't help but have negative and positive feelings in regards to certain names. I could write a whole other entry on certain names and the type of person who possess this or that name. Some names will actually make me wince. Therefore, agreeing on a name with hubby has been doubly difficult.

So, here we are with more or less 4 weeks to go and again we have not settled on a name. Family and friends keep pressing for at least a short list, but after my experience with Cookie, I have refused to even give a list of names. But there is one name my husband mentioned in kind of a jest, it is a little quirky, I like it, but if we choose it, have I relegated my daughter to the same kind of ridicule and tears I endured? Do I go with the safe bet? I think we will once again, wait until I am in massive amount of pain to name #2. So for now, #2 is just that, #2.