Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What if the hokey-pokey is what it's all about...

I've been trying to catch up with blog-reading before diving back into the blog-posting, but that never seems to pan out for me. So, in the new year, I'm planning to find the time to write more here even if I never catch up with the posts in the Google Reader. It's an outlet I desperately need and one that has been strongly missed.

To start things off right, I'm following Jonniker's advice and doing a New Year meme. A list of others who've also done this one is posted at All & Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Drove across the country from Virginia to Washington, which was necessary to accomplish my first ever move away from the eastern part of this country.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'm not sure that I made any. I was busy being pregnant, waiting for my husband to come home from deployment, to think much further into the future and strive to do anything.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me! I also had another friend give birth very shortly after me.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just my own, but a lot of it.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Some much needed resolution and peace.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 19, LMX's birth date
August 24, our arrival to Kitsap County, Washington
October 4, when I officially hated someone so much I wished he'd die
October 16, the day we moved to our house in Washington
December 11, my first-born babies turned 5

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Survival. Success with breastfeeding.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Allowing IFKAMH to provoke me into arguing with him in front of my children.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I suffered from some awful, inexplicable back pain off and on recently.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Ergo baby carrier. Most useful item during our travels and adventures.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
LMX, for not causing misery during the roadtrip. NS, for honoring the "for better or worse" vow when IFKAMH decided to burden our lives with his presence, his ill-conceived ideas, and his mother's money.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
IFKAMH and his mother.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying daycare, old creditors, and a retainer for an attorney.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having new baby! Moving across the country! Throwing birthday party for 5 year-olds!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Mostly happier. There are some things that have made me sadder than I've ever been before, though.
b) thinner or fatter? Smaller but fatter. Last year, there was a growing baby in my belly; now, while there is technically a smaller number of pounds, the distribution of that weight isn't nearly as cute.
c) richer or poorer? Both, somewhat.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Unpacking because it's still not done. Writing because there has been too much on my mind.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying, fighting, yelling, crying.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In our new home with NS, all my little boys, and my sister-in-law, K.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
So many times, over and over, with the same people.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Psych. Love it. Look forward to it. Heart would sink if it wasn't coming back.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'm not sure if I was certain of the hatred last year, but even if I was, the hatred is stronger now than it was then.

24. What was the best book you read?
I haven't finished the only book I've had open all year. It's just not high on the list of priorities.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't dislike country music nearly as much as I once did.

26. What did you want and get?
A baby! A house! A family like the one I've always dreamed of having.

27. What did you want and not get?
More money. IFKAMH accepting his failure as a father and understanding his place in their lives.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
It's hard to remember what I've seen this year. I know I enjoyed Wall-E, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and likely several others.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to my grandmother's house. My 28th birthday was on a Sunday this year and should have involved a full weekend of varying activities and fun for me; instead, everything got shoved into the one day to accommodate a visit from IFKAMH.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I could have finished unpacking or painting or been able to keep my money to put towards one of the many renovations we want to do in the house instead of paying a lawyer.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Accessible boobs.

32. What kept you sane?
NS. Showering alone, in private. Chocolate, mostly in the form of brownies.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
My love and adoration for Selma Hayak was renewed with her statements regarding breastfeeding and how it doesn't magically melt pregnancy weight for every woman.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Same-sex marriage has influenced my views on politicians greatly. It disturbs me greatly that so many people in this country think same-sex couples are deserving of less than equal rights and benefits. I officially became a Libertarian this year, just before the election, after getting fed up with neither major party actually fitting with my beliefs and finding that the Libertarian party was the closest match.

35. Who did you miss?
My mom. I wish she could be here in Washington with us.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
The boys' new preschool teacher. She is very caring and actually seems to enjoy her work and responsibility.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I am a strong person and have survived a lot in the last few years. The magnitude of it all didn't really dawn on me until this year, until I was forced to re-document it all. Having the blog was immeasurably helpful for that task. Life is a lot easier when you have people to lean on and when you let yourself lean on them to make life easier.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Just live your life.

Cheers to a new year, everyone...may it be a very happy one;>

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Promise I'm not shutting down...

We moved to our house a couple weeks after my last post, where there is no permanent internet available besides dial-up. A question we didn't think to ask since we aren't exactly out in the middle of nowhere. Alas, we currently have an air card that I use mainly for working. We share it during non-work hours, but with the cap on usage, we try to minimize our internet time to only essential tasks.

We have paid one of the cable providers here to do the work necessary to make our house serviceable, so we expect to return to normal life in a few more weeks. Just checking in. Can't wait to catch up with everyone; I feel so lost and disconnected.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Babysitting, uh, I mean...SITTING BABY

He's officially able to support himself while sitting.

My excitement for the big boy could not be contained any longer. We've entered one of my most favorite phases of babyhood, the one where I can plop him somewhere and know he'll stay pretty much where I plopped him.

He won't just crash into the floor from lack of support nor will he take off somewhere seeing as he isn't actually mobile. While he can sort of scoot around, he's fairly content with practicing his super hero moves, balancing on his belly with arms and legs stretched out.

This "sitting by myself" accomplishment is about as safe as it gets for kids.





Way to Go, LMX!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Planes, trains, and automobiles...or just trains

M and J love trains. Love all types of trains, squeal at the sight of train tracks (with or without trains, it really doesn't matter) on the side of the road, spend hours scooting toy trains around their room, and know all the characters from the Island of Sodor and Tidmouth Sheds and Knapford Station and all...and they know which of these characters they own and which they do not so as to be fully prepared to pick up a new one at any given outing. I am no longer the keeper of this vital information. This is a clue as to how I lost track...

M and J laying with all their trains pre-move

Bird's eye view without the boys


Please read that first caption; these pictures were taken before the packing and moving. The boys were allowed 10 trains each to bring along the ride. They have accumulated at least another 10 each since we left. The miles of tracks of all varieties and stations and all other types of accessories obviously couldn't fit in the pictures. Spoiled much, you think?

Anyway, the point is, they love trains more than anything else. All other toys not train-related are played with for approximately two days or twenty minutes and then cast aside in favor of more train play, even if the trains aren't as new as the other toys. So, what reason would someone - someone who calls himself a parent of these charming boys and demands that others regard him as a parent of them - what reason could he possibly have for not wanting them to play with trains?

I could understand if we were talking about kids obsessed with something like pirates, so much so that they constantly ran around leaping from furniture into imaginary sword fights, shouting about how they will pillage, plunder, and/or ravage any who dare get in their way, threatening everyone with walks on a plank. That could be construed as a bit violent, and I could sort of understand someone's objection to that, but trains? Really?!? What harm is there in train play?

His condemnation that trains were no longer age appropriate is beyond my comprehension abilities. How, exactly, are trains to be deemed inappropriate for 4-5 year-old boys? Why must he act so exasperated at their desire for all things train and ask me so desperately if they will outgrow this soon? Somehow I think he wouldn't be so displeased with their interest in transportation if they were more interested in planes, his favorite. I can only imagine the eye rolls and disgust he would express if they had taken to boats or, even better, submarines!

So, instead of taking full advantage of the opportunity to win the boys over again and again by indulging them in their passion for trains, he's vowed to never buy them trains again. That's alright with us, their family, because we certainly have no problem enabling their train addiction. It may not always be "Thomas" trains as they get older, but I don't see their train fascination dwindling anytime soon, not when one of them is so certain he wants to become a conductor when he grows up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Driving Cross-Country Chronicles - Day 2

Wednesday morning began a tad later than I thought it would with us waking up well after eight o'clock and getting everyone fed breakfast and not beginning the drive to the Louisville, Kentucky, area until nearly ten. With nearly 10 hours of driving to our next destination, our timing was less than ideal.

LMX was not happy with the long distance driving, prompting me for a stop with each passing hour...or less. I finally determined part of his problem might have been due to pressure in his ears from going up and down through the mountains as I noticed some irritating pops in my own ears. I would eventually learn that he probably just hates being in his carseat for any length of time beyond 15 minutes regardless of the terrain's grading.

Speaking of going up and down mountains, I thought my car might get airborn on one of the downhill cruises. My cruise control was set around 65 mph, but with a rapid increase to 85 and no indication of reaching a plateau soon, I tapped the brakes enough to keep us from defying gravity...though that would have made the trip so much shorter. Soon after, NS zoomed past me; he did not feel the need to interfere with nature by using his brakes, so his car exceeded normal traveling speeds by a little bit. All in all, it was a fun time.

Nearing one in the afternoon, right past the entrance to West Virginia, we took a break for lunch. This began with me with me hanging up my phone and then gasping in horror as it slide into my very full 32 oz cup of water instead of the pocket on the side of the diaper bag. I fished it out as quickly as I could in my state of shock and disbelief. I rushed to remove the plastic case in which it is kept "for protection" and started soaking up water and wiping off water and shaking out water. It seems to have survived well, without any loss of functionality or disfigurement, but ever since then, I've been bombarded, more or less, with a message about how "this accessory is not compatible with the iPhone" or some such admonishment, to which I say, "Duh. Water's not a compatible accessory for the iPhone. No kidding, huh?"

Anyway, Big Dog still refused all offers of food during our stop, even human food, as he had been doing for two full days by now. M and J expelled some energy by running around in the grass and posing for some pictures.





I also captured an amusing shot of Miss P airing out her tongue.



With LMX taking a solid four-hour nap after we got back on the road, we were able to cover some quality mileage for the first time since we'd left. We still didn't get to our hotel in Clarksville, Indiana, until almost 8:30 that night, which meant it was nearly nine before we sat down to dinner at IFKAMH's place. Following a late night round of rough-housing, we retreated to the hotel for a night of rest and rejuvenation. The plan for the next day was to meet at their house for lunch and then go to a nearby water park.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Baby's 1st meme...

Y'all, this is LMX here. Momma's nearly caught up with the backlog of blog posts in her Google Reader, so you should be hearing from her real soon. In the meantime, I'm taking over to answer some super personal questions for all your inquisitive minds.

1. Cloth or disposable? Well, I've only ever tried disposables (Yeah Pampers!), but as soon as momma gets paid this week, she's ordering me some bumGenius! 3.0 clothies. Promise I'll make her tell you more about them after I've tried 'em out.

2. Breast or bottle? One of daddy's friends sent me a bib that says, "Boobies make me smile," and has a smiley under that; it suits me well;> I've not had the artificial stuff, and mom's planning to keep it that way. I have taken a few bottles with momma's milk, though, and it's a suitable alternative.

3. Eczema or reflux? Neither...whew!

4. Jumparoo or play mat? Jumperoo! JUMPEROO! JUMPEROOOOO! There is no other toy I love more...I get bouncy just thinking about it. As far as I'm concerned, we could just do away with the rest of that crap.

5. Mommy or Daddy? I love people. Just talk to me all excited with a smile, and I'm your friend...until I get hungry.

6. Sling, front carrier, or stroller? Sling was great in the beginning, super easy for me to snuggle against momma's chest and make her feel like she's got a kangaroo pouch, but it's getting a little difficult for mom to fit me into, I think. Now, for anything more than a quick trip, I'm hanging out with ease in the Ergo carrier. Mom would rave about it if you asked her how she likes it. Apparently, it's quite easy on the back and will hold me for years to come. She'd probably tell you these are a couple of her most favorite purchases despite their cost. I've got a questionable tolerance for the stroller...well, maybe that's just because of the disdain I have for my carseat carrier, which mom may tell you more about as she finishes the chronicles of our drive to Washington.

7. Pacifier or thumb? Usually, pacifier. I don't use my fingers or thumbs much for comfort or soothing, but I do love them for entertainment.

8. Bumbo seat or bouncy seat? Bumbo ALL THE WAY. I love feeling like I can sit and hang with everyone as they do their sitting.

9. White noise or silence while sleeping? I think my mom would prefer it to be silent while we sleep, but I don't really care what's going on while I snooze.

10. Crib, Pack'n'Play, or parents' bed? I fall asleep in mom's arms. She takes me to the Pack'n'Play next to her and dad's bed, but I sleep next to her in their bed after I wake up for a middle of the night feeding. I hear we'll be changing out the Pack'n'Play for one of my big brothers' cribs once we move into the new house, though.

Thanks Zoot and Culture Cat for a cute and fun twist on the blog meme!

And, yes, AndyZ, I know about the feet, too. Just wait 'til you get them in your mouth...positively awesome discovery!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Driving Cross-Country Chronicles - Day 1...

We left Virginia on Tuesday, August 12th, as planned, just a few hours later than we'd hoped.

First of all, both packing and truck-loading took an extra day each, with our storage unit not getting done until Tuesday morning. I had gotten up early, after getting a whopping two and a half hours of sleep, to meet the movers at the storage unit when the gates open, at seven o'clock, and I thought I was running late when I didn't get there until 7:25. Around eight, I sent NS a text message asking if he had a number to call the movers because I wasn't sure if they'd been there and left or if they just hadn't gotten there yet. I got a message from the moving company a couple minutes later that they were on their way. By nine, one of the trucks was there, the smaller one, driven by one of the packing ladies. The bigger truck was right behind her but disappeared. They had to find a place to turn around and park because the big truck wouldn't fit in the storage area. Our check out inspection was originally scheduled for ten in the morning, but when nothing had been loaded on the truck by 9:45, and I was ten minutes from home with cleaning and car-stuffing left to do, we would not be able to keep that appointment. I called to get it rescheduled for noon.

Just after I left the storage unit, I got attacked by what I now deem to be "sleep-deprived, stressed stomach pains", which are kind of like having a vice grip with razor-sharp ends squeezing my midsection. This happened Saturday morning, too, which is why I think it's from lack of complete sleep, seeing as that was another late night/early morning combo. Well, this shortly rendered me useless in the efforts to finish cleaning the house and packing the cars. Thankfully, NS is awesome and made sure we were ready to go; my family also helped with consolidating some items into bags and accepting items we couldn't take with us, like all our candles and cleaning supplies, NS's woodworking liquids, and my betta fish...yep, Marmaduke was adopted by my mom and her husband.

So, by 2:30 we were finally able to start the drive up to DC to visit with Missalove and her husband and their kiddos for dinner. But, about twenty minutes later, LMX had woken up and wanted me to stop. This was not a good omen for the long drives ahead.

We made it to this first official stop around 6:30 in the evening. After dinner for all the solid food eaters at Red Robin and a meal for LMX back at the house, we were driving again in a few hours. I needed gas about an hour later, and by this time, I was desperate for a place to lay down and sleep. The thought of driving for more than another hour to get to where we were planning to stop for the night was so far beyond less than appealing, so we wandered a little way down the road from the gas station and stayed at a Ramada in Strasburg for the night.

Sleep has rarely felt so good or well-deserved as it did that night. The freedom to rest without the nagging, subconscious awareness of an alarm set, ready to shock the peace out of my mind just to witness my heart quicken its pace to panic mode as it forces my muscles to take flight away from the bed, was a welcome relief from the night's before.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Livin' it up on the West Coast...

Y'all (I'm sure that's not even allowed over here seeing as the glory that is sweet tea escapes these people), see that pretty mountain view pic a couple posts down? Well, provided all the inspections go smoothly, that view will be what I see from my living room.

Last night, NS and I put in an offer, a substantially low ball offer, mind you, on the house that boasts that view. We were countered, we countered back, and then we were re-countered...with a "bottom line" price. Because we knew that, while the bottom line price was within our budget, we didn't truly believe the price was good for the condition the house is currently in, we told our realtor to give us a few hours to discuss it and said we'd call her back.

We give it a few minutes of thoughtful conversation before deciding that this is still a deal for this house, knowing that we can do some inexpensive rehabilitation to build substantial value and equity, whereas any other house we'd get wouldn't be worth much more in a few years than what we pay for it now.

Maybe two hours later, before we've gotten back to her on our decision, another call comes from our realtor to let us know the sellers have agreed to accept our last offer amount so long as they are not expected to complete any work orders that may come from the inspection. Seeing as we weren't really planning to continue the purchase if any big work orders came up and didn't want to wait for any small things to be fixed by the seller since they'd done some shotty work in the house already, we yelled, "Score!" And, then, we danced the happy, not-going-to-be-homeless-anymore jig, told the boys we were going to live in the bee* house, but without the bees, and called our parents. So, um, through some hesitation and procrastination, we got what we wanted all along, which is a potentially awesome house on nearly two acres of land in a good neighborhood for $35,000 less than the most recent list price (dropped for the umpteenth time since it went on the market 450+ days ago) and probably $50,000 less than the tax assessed value. We are, apparently, master negotiators; take note...hesitate, procrastinate, win.

Of course, I have lots more to blog about, namely a 4,000+ mile drive with all the stops interspersed, but since my iPhone travel notes got unintentionally erased tonight, I just can't begin all that right now...devastation and grief over the loss of my surely brilliant yet meandering thoughts might begin to describe my feelings from this evening. Look forward to the chronicles of our adventures in the coming weeks; it was an exhausting blast.

* We call it the "bee" house because in two visits, with a grand total of less than 10 minutes outside, we got stung four times collectively, twice for NS and once each for J and me. Good times, indeed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Truckin' along...

So much for my lofty ambition to post updates on my travels each day, huh? It's hard to get motivated to drag in the computer and power cord each night after a full day of new adventures and relentless pavement rolling, though.

Well, I'm currently somewhere in South Dakota, drivint south towards I-90 to head west for Rapid City. The sun has nearly disappeared to my right, and I have some driving observations I'll post some time later, like when I'm not hurling a couple tons of metal at 70 mph towards a stop sign that appeared in the middle of nowhere on a damn near deserted highway in The Great Plains.

We are making progress in reaching our destination and have little to no incidents to report, save for one tire blowout, not mine, and my uncanny knack for getting lost within half a mile of where I'm going while using two navigational assistants, my 5 year-old car's GPS as well as the iPhone. I know you're all envious of my directionally challenged abilities;>

More to come...stay tuned.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Skipping out...

shhh...the view we hope might be oursWe're down to the last week of life in Virginia. Next Tuesday, we load up two vehicles with two adults, two preschoolers, an infant, an old dog, and a giant puppy and then take to the road for a 3,000+ mile adventure that ends with Washington.

I'm excited; NS is counting down the few remaining days that seem to be passing slower than the days before; M and J are aware of the plans but don't have the ability to really grasp the abstract concepts of a two-week long road trip to our new home that will place us much farther away from grandma and school and 100+ temperatures and heat indexes. They think the journey to "new house" will take a couple days...or that we're leaving in a couple days. Maybe a little of both of those ideas is floating in their brains.

We're not physically ready for this move yet, though. We finally started putting some time into getting ready yesterday. We folded the thousands of loads of clean laundry that had been scattered in every which place we could find in the house. I may be slightly, but just slightly, exaggerating that. I hate folding laundry. I think hate may be too weak a word to describe my loathing actually. I will wash everything, taking care to read labels and change settings and pre-treat stains, and then happily transfer it to the dryer or to an acceptable air-drying location, but I will then promptly put it all into a basket and let that basket sit until there's nothing worth taking out of it anymore. I not only despise the folding task, I dread putting the stuff away, too. This chore is the reason I would like maid service. That and to have clean bathrooms. One man (although, really way better than most men) and two little boys...the ugghh-iness is off the charts a lot of the time. Anyway, so we've done part of one thing on my checklists of things to do before the movers arrive Friday to pack our belongings...wash all laundry and fold all clean laundry. At least I've got M and J's wardrobe set aside for the next couple weeks in addition to a week's worth of clothing for cooler weather should we encounter it.

Speaking of encounters, we're planning to take advantage of this excursion as much as possible with our limited timeframe, meaning whatever wonderful sites we can squeeze in during approximately 10 travel days plus a few days in the Midwest, we're going to do. A couple that are definitely on the list of places to visit are The Children's Museum in Indianapolis and Yellowstone National Park. I've got a couple other places in mind, like a Trainland in Iowa!, as does NS, but it will depend on how the trek is going to really figure out the best places to stop.

So, this time for an exceptionally good reason, my blogging will be slacking in the next few weeks, although I will aim to post updates on our progress each day we're driving...if for no other reason than to document that we have, in fact, made progress;>

Monday, July 14, 2008

We should be ashamed of ourselves...

udreamofjanie - Washington Fundies Are InsaneI read Miss Britt's anti-tolerance post last week, and whole-heartedly agreed with every word.

It hit me even more as I watched The Great Debaters this weekend and hurt with the sting of shame and disgust during a scene in which a black woman stands alongside an empty bench at the bus stop because the bench is labeled "whites only". I find it disturbing to my most inner core that this type of thing ever existed. That shit is never okay and never should have been okay, yet it was accepted by society at large not so very long ago. It was legally sanctioned bigotry, discrimination, and hatred. Blacks were "tolerated", not included.

In kind, I am increasingly disturbed by the current "tolerance" of our country towards gays and lesbians. Tolerance is not something to be exhibited towards other adults when we're talking about equal civil rights. It is not enough to tolerate gays and lesbians if it means we are limiting their freedoms and protections, the same freedoms and protections the rest of us enjoy. You may find it offensive to see a same-sex couple in public, but I think we all know how I feel about people being offended at the sight of things which are legal. Try exercising your right to turn your head or close your eyes instead of telling people to only display their affections behind closed doors.

We cannot legislate acceptance. We cannot make it law that we all embrace each other as part of the same human race. But, it is not fair to have legislation that in its lack of inclusion or outright exclusion gives us permission to be bigoted, to discriminate, and to hate. Not including homosexuals in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, passing amendments into constitutions disallowing marriage or civil union by same-sex partners does just that, though.

The gender of the people with whom I prefer to have sex and relationships should never keep me from getting or keeping a job. You know, unless the job requires me to be sexually attracted to and aroused by or in love with someone of the gender I don't prefer...not many of those out there.

The issue is religious and has no place in our country's laws. I don't think there should be legislation requiring all churches to marry same-sex couples, but it is absolutely wrong to have laws that don't allow them to be married by anyone, anywhere or that declare their marriage as illegal. It would be wrong to have an amendment that states someone who has been blind since birth cannot carry life insurance. Instead, the life insurance companies base their offers or rejections of coverage on various risk factors that affect their livelihood. Can we not just leave it to individual churches to decide whether or not marrying a same-sex couple goes too far against the church's beliefs? There are plenty of churches that won't marry a couple for any number of reasons, depending on the strictness of their beliefs. Nothing prevents these couples from getting married at another church or in a non-religious ceremony...at least, not if the couple is a man and woman. They are still married under our country's laws, even if a particular church, or group of churches, doesn't accept the validity of that union. Gays and lesbians should be afforded the same rights. Period.

I am a registered republican, for reasons with which I still agree. But, these "republicans" of late have lost their damn minds. I will never knowingly vote for a candidate if they have openly acknowledged their opposition to giving every adult the freedom to make a law-abiding and legally-recognized commitment to another adult, regardless of gender. I've cast my vote solely for this reason before, and I won't hesitate to do it again. While my political leanings generally sway me to the conservative side of the ballot, my conscience tells me that anyone who endorses legalized bigotry, discrimination, and hatred of fellow Americans is not my representative or leader.

Slavery was abolished, and all slaves were considered "freed" people, but it took another hundred years before they had the freedom to co-exist with the white folk of our society...to go to the same schools, see the same health care professionals, eat in the same restaurants, sit on the same benches.

While gays and lesbians are free to be who they are and not hide (provided they are not serving in our military), able to have their own communities and celebrations, they are not truly free to enjoy the same freedom that every other adult citizen has. They are this generation's "freed" people. I just pray that I am alive when we all shudder in disbelief at the fact that our society felt gays and lesbians did not deserve the same equalities as straight people.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Where I have a panic attack at four in the morning...

And, possibly, save my baby's life.

I awoke suddenly for no apparent reason. I found LMX stretched out, away from my body. His lips look blue. I muttered something about "oh, no" and quickly brought him into an upright position, saying his name and caressing his cheeks. He seemed limp.

I rushed to stand up, still calling to him, now also begging for him to wake up. He is breathing and warm; his lips are not blue... Still, he seemed limp and slow to respond. I patted and rubbed him on the back, drawing circles with my hand motions.

I managed to rouse him completely, at which point he seemed to thank me for this early opportunity to feed, and I indulged this thought of his. Of course, I can't go back to sleep now...I'm not sure if I can ever sleep again.

The whole panic-stricken scene took place in the span of five minutes, at most. Time may as well have ceased to pass, though, because right then, the moment was dreadfully infinite. Now, I'm not even sure what startled me into panic mode was even real. It could have been the sudden awakening, finding him in that stretched out position rather than the usual cuddle on my chest or by my side, combined with the dim and eerie glow from the television that had me seeing blue lips. And, I haven't tried to wake him from a middle-of-the-night sleeping spell since he was a couple weeks old, when the doctors are warning you not to let the baby sleep for too long between feedings (which I found to be utterly insane and stressful advice for us, which is why it stopped happening after the first couple weeks), so who knows if he was really all that limp or unresponsive. I'd be willing to bet I'm limp and unresponsive in the midst of a good sleep cycle, too. I'm sure a little subconscious guilt at having had a glass of wine with my dinner, in the middle of which I realized that I'd need to feed the baby at approximately the very second after I swallowed the last sip to wash down the last bite, might have played a role in all this hysteria, too, especially as I recall my extra careful check for his continued breathing when I went into the bedroom. I have my doubts now, now that I know he's perfectly fine and can replay everything back in my head and take note of things like his body being warm and the blue lips I thought I'd seen having disappeared within the seconds it took to bring him to my chest, but I doubt I'll have another glass of wine for a while, and the next time I'll be more aware of the timing. It's a bit of a shame since I have four bottles of great vino arriving on tomorrow's UPS truck, but there is nothing more important than mama and baby having a peaceful night of rest;>

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poppin' boobs in your face, baby...

cleavageImagine this: I’m posting about a news story that provoked me without waiting a month…or three;>

I read a Women’s Health News blog entry yesterday that led me to read this story, which then led me to this other coverage of the same story. I was completely fired up yesterday afternoon by the comments on those stories, particularly the negative ones that shunned the woman for breastfeeding in public.

I’m going to admit right now that I am not uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. At all. I would not feel an ounce of shame if I had to completely uncover myself to do so, but I also don’t like to do things that might draw an excessive amount of attention to myself, so I do attempt to minimize the skin I show when nursing in public places. (All bets are off if you’re in my home, though, because I will not be juggling blankets or cover-ups in my own living room. I tried a time or two when visitors were here while LMX was a few weeks old, but it became futile, and I decided I didn’t care if my boobs were exposed, and anyone who might care could either be an adult and look away or leave.) However, I cannot stand it when people 1. Compare breastfeeding a baby with urinating or defecating (because those things are so far from being the same; breastmilk is life-sustaining nourishment while urine and feces are waste products), and 2. Act as though they are physically incapable of not staring at a woman who may have some breast skin showing. It's almost the opposite of how some men try not to stare at women with breast implants or naturally large breasts.

Today, I read another story, and this statement bothers me: "The Sheriff's Department acknowledges in the statement that breastfeeding is legal in Tennessee, but if there are complaints, they ask women to cover up or move to a private area."

Hmmm, let's see...
Why suggest the mother cover up or move to a private location at all? Why not simply tell those who were complaining that she is doing nothing illegal or wrong and suggest they refrain from watching if they find it offensive or indecent?

And, if one of the stories is correct in that they were asking her to move for her safety as there were inmates being brought through the hall, then I wonder if this was expressed to her? Did that first deputy say, Ma’am, we’re preparing to bring inmates through here. If you would feel more comfortable in a private room, then I can help you get to one.? Somehow, I doubt it, especially since none of the stories indicate this amount of concern was used when talking to the mother. It seems as though she was approached by a female deputy and asked to cover herself more or move to another location, and after she declined, she was approached again by Sgt. Potts. The bottom line is this: if she was comfortable feeding her child where she was, then they needed to let her continue to do so without making any additional pleas for her to move.

From what I’ve read, and the way the incident has been portrayed, the mother could have handled the situation more gracefully, but maybe she was having a sucky day or a crappy week, and maybe, just maybe, she was just plain fed up with people acting like she should be embarrassed for feeding her child the way her body intends, especially by law enforcement folks who should have been aware that she was not doing anything illegal. I just don't understand why anyone, let alone two people, felt obligated to say anything to this woman about what she doing; her reaction is irrelevant, in my opinion.

I’m also irritated by the amount of people who commented to say women should just pump and feed from a bottle when they need to feed their infants in public. Excuse me? First, not every mother can afford to buy a pump, especially a decent one, if it isn’t a necessity, and I don’t like the implication that a desire to leave the house for more than 20 minutes at a time makes a pump necessary. Second, the likelihood that any non-top-quality, non-double-electric pump will produce as much milk as the baby would need is pretty slim, and even if you have a top-quality, double-electric one, you might not get as much as the baby wants. And third, do these people have any idea how annoying and time-consuming pumping and bottle-feeding is in comparison to just latching the baby to a breast? Trying to keep the milk stored properly, cleaning the pump parts and bottle parts, not to mention that hands-free pumping is near impossible…it’s just more trouble than it’s worth so that somebody doesn’t have to witness breastfeeding, which is significantly less disgusting than someone blowing their nose, picking food out of their teeth, or licking - I do mean licking, not sucking - their fingers in public, at least to me, and when I glimpse someone doing one of those things, I simply look away and keep going about my life without giving them a second thought.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Real or sarcasm...

thoughtful monkeyI upgraded my Firefox browser over the weekend (With which I am in love! I'd been using Opera as a default, but that may be changing since some sites that don't work properly in Opera do work in Firefox.) In doing this, I added a toolbar for StumbleUpon. That's a little button of addictive crack for people who get in the majority of their reading time via the internet for ease of one-handed scrolling versus one-handed page-turning while holding the multiple-hundreds-paged book.

One of the items I stumbled upon last night was an Amazon.com book review for The Shadow God. The review is awesome, and I've never before seen an Amazon.com review have so many comments of its own. The review involves several digs on the writer's poor word usage, whereas the author probably meant to use one word (emanated) but used another, somewhat similar-looking word (emancipated) that means something entirely different. The examples quoted in the review, such as the emanated vs. emancipated one, are quite laughable, and if the book wasn't 472 pages and almost $20, I'd consider reading it to find all the hilarity for myself. Instead, I'll just take his word for its awfulness.

The point of all this is that one of the 70 comments on the review was, "I don't think word choice is nearly as impotent as you think it is. Who cares if he mixes up a few words? It's not like he's a doctor or a science test or something." Now, this brought me to question if he was seriously defending the book's author while making his own usage errors, or if he was simply attempting his own clever jab at the ridiculousness of the author's work. I'm leaning towards the latter, especially now that I read it also says "impotent" rather than "important", which I failed to notice last night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How low can we go...

Well, I guess not really "we" so much as "me".

I'm a little worried about me because I can't remember the last time I felt so awful about myself. My self-esteem and self-worth seem to have sunken to new lows, and what makes me sad is that the only thing I can pinpoint that has had such an impact is my physical appearance, my weight specifically. That's sad because I know that isn't all I am, but it seems to be the only thing I can focus on nowadays.

I had hopes that this post-partum period would be different than the one following my twins. I gained 70 pounds with that pregnancy, lost half of it within a few weeks, and then didn't lose another damn ounce until they were 6 months old, and even then, after losing weight for a few months, I continued to carry around an extra 10-12 pounds that I hadn't had before the pregnancy. But, I eventually lost it all, and then continued to lose so that I was back at a size I was happy to be...but that was during a supremely stressful period of my life, a time when I was force-feeding myself because I knew I couldn't just not eat, and also at a time when I became unemployed and found it easy to workout every other day for an hour.

The pregnancy with Baby Angel left me with weight as well, but because it was short-term, it wasn't a lot. However, this time, I've still got 30 pounds to lose just to be where I was before I got pregnant, which was about 10 pounds more than I like to be. I wanted to cry as I continued to step on the scale, seeing little to no change those first few weeks following LMX's birth. I had expected much more drastic results; I thought I'd lose at least half the weight by then, not just 15 pounds. I somehow knew that whatever didn't come off by then wouldn't be coming off anytime soon.

And now, now my body is holding onto everything else, just as I thought it would. It sucks. I still want to cry because I came to a decision that I would not actively try to lose weight while breastfeeding, but that decision, no matter how right I feel about it, doesn't change the perception I have of the woman I see in the mirror.

I hate that I feel so awful about a body that has done so much good; it's like I'm afraid to truly accept it as it is for fear that when the time comes I won't care enough to get it back to the way it was before. It's an awful internal conflict, and I just don't know if there's a resolution for it.

I cringe when someone comments on the appearance of other women. Whether it be that they are attractive (I feel like a toad) or that they are heavy, homely, or anything less than attractive (I identify with them and then feel insulted and hurt). That doesn't seem like a healthy way handle these comments, yet I can't seem to change my reactions.

As much as I didn't want to, I had to buy new clothes. Wearing maternity clothes while not pregnant, or only wearing the select few items in a wardrobe that are made from stretchy and loungy materials really does very little for one's appearance. I had to get some things that actually fit this body so that I wouldn't fully dread having to dress myself to leave the house. It doesn't help as much as I thought it might, but having real clothes, ones without elastic waists in particular, helps lessen the frumpiness I once felt.

If I truly think about it, I'll probably end up losing more weight after I'm done nursing without doing much else since that's when I restarted losing weight after M and J. Since LMX actually nurses exclusively, I'm sure it will take a lot longer than it did back then since I simply decided to stop pumping once they started solid foods at four months. With a kid that actually feeds from the breast, I know I want him to continue for at least a year, which could mean at least a year of static weight. At least I know I'm not the only woman whose body reacts this way...thanks, Selma! I knew I loved that woman for good reason;>

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm a lucky one...

I was dreading my return to work this week, as in I seriously considered if I could feasibly spend all-day, every day with all my boys at home, only going places where our feet could take us so that we could give up a car payment/insurance/gas (OMG, THE GAS!!), and I would never have to return to work...that's the sort of dread I was choking on. I think a lot of it stemmed from my fear of being forced to put my not-quite-3 month-old baby in a stranger's care for two months, at which point he may have just gotten adjusted to said stranger's care, and then we would yank him outta there and do it all over again, 3,000 miles across the country, following what is sure to be the most memorable car-ride of my life. (Whether that be good memorable or maybe-I-should-have-opted-to-ride-in-the-roof-box-thing memorable is a looming mystery.) So, I was uneasy about this plan of mine to work with LMX at home, especially since I'd never gotten around to voicing said plan to anyone at work, let alone obtaining agreement with it prior to firing up the VPN connection yesterday morning.

But, as it turns out, no one wants me to toss my baby into someone else's arms; it might even be they expected he would continue to be home with me. It's a relief beyond reliefs, and yesterday afternoon, I took several moments to recognize how freakin' lucky I am to work for the company I work for, with the people I work with, and to have the skills needed for this job...and then, I said thank you. I'm still saying thanks today and may very well be doing it every day for a very long time as I relish in not having to part with my infant in order to earn a decent living wage.

I used a lucky bamboo image for my post about being lucky, but ironically, my lucky bamboo has died.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Flickrific mosaic...

Saw this lovely little time-killer over at the blog without naked pictures. If you'd like to do one, too, here's how:

1. Using the questions below, type your answer to each of the questions one at a time into Flickr Search.
2. Using the result, select an image from the first page.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Choose the 4 x 3 or 3 x 4 option. There are 12 questions, so you’ll need 12 images.
4. Save your mosaic and upload it to your post. Or print it out and mail it to Grandma. She’ll think you painted it yourself and she’ll invite her friends over to make them jealous.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. The name of your high school?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One word to describe you?

12. Your flickr name?

Mine came out like this:




Giving credit where it's due:
(even though this totally makes obvious some of my not obvious choices)

1. Gina Art, 2. Cheese-kun! Amigurumi!, 3. Warwick Castle taken from Mill Garden

4. Blue Morpho, 5. Harrison Ford Sat Here, 6. Margarita Rosa 2008 ©™ JGyL 2008®

7. south Pacific sunset, 8. Double Chocolate Cheesecake, 9. Whale Watchers being Watched

10. {side-splitting laughter}, 11. You're Special....., 12. DSC_2707.JPG

Friday, May 30, 2008

Moving on up the growth charts...

LMX had his two-month check-up yesterday afternoon. He's a solid 4 pounds above his birth weight and 3.25 iches longer (or taller if he was a standing human being), which is perfect. He handled his three vaccination pokes like a champ...wailed during the sticks and immediately calmed once they were done. That stuff is always so much harder for parents than the babies.

Two months old and been in his 3-6 month clothes for over a week;> And, of course, he's still rockin' his punkish faux-hawk hair style...providing a source of hours of entertainment for me.

Miss P is a clumsy, enormous puppy. She's about 30-ish pounds at 3 months of age. It seems her leg muscles may not be quite ready to fully support her weight as she can usually be found flopping herself on the ground or at least plopping her butt down whenever possible.

I've one more whole week of maternity leave left. It has gone too quickly, and I just don't want to give up my days of quality baby time, but I must, so I will.

One of my very best friends leaves tomorrow to do contract work in Iraq for at least a year. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Today's her birthday, too.

Oh, by the way, we all survived the snot invasion I previously mentioned; I apologize for any adverse physiological reactions that post or this follow-up may have caused;>

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Snot on my bra...

Giant Microbe common cold plushI had hoped my more-than-once-a-month blog posting would be more varied than the woeful tales of mommydom, but we're not ready for that quite yet, it seems.

Viral germs have invaded and may have conquered my children...all three of them. There's goo oozing out of all of their facial holes; one refuses any symptom-relief medicine (whiny? irritable? YES!) and another is too tiny to get any such stuff. Amazingly, LMX has very little trouble feeding despite his congestion and has remained in mostly good spirits. I've never had such satisfying use of the bulb syringe before in my life, though, which probably helps;>

So, I'm swimming in snot, trying not to drown...although I think I may be going under since the sore throat set in last night. Orange juice is now my beverage of choice, and naptime is anytime there is a mintue or two of peace and quiet.

Oh, and did I mention Miss P, the Newfie puppy that arrived full of pee and poop Friday night? Yeah, she either loves me or hates me because she thinks it's an honor to have me clean up her bodily waste and refuses to leave it outside in the grass when I'm available. Good thing she's super cute and not hyperactive. I'll get some pictures of her posted as soon as I can.

*edited for puppy picture*

Newfoundland puppy

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I must have lost my mind...

Thinking that grocery shopping with two 4 year-old boys and a 7 week-old infant wouldn't be a big ordeal.

A couple days ago, I waited until LMX finished eating, making sure M and J were ready to walk out the door as soon as I was, then packed up the diaper bag and loaded my feeding pillow into the car, and we all headed out for lunch and grocery shopping.

Lunch was easy. But, by the time we finished and arrived at the first store, LMX was ready for another nursing session. So, we sat in the parking lot...M and J listening to the Chinese vocabulary cd that came with their kids' meals and 'reading' books in the back seat, me feeding baby in the front seat. Once LMX seemed finished, I loaded him onto the front of a shopping cart, and we all headed inside. Thankfully, the shirt I chose to wear had long strings dangling from the neckline, presumably to be tied into a bow of some sort, but I just let them hang freely. M and J were told to hold onto those while we shopped. I forgot how hard it is to see where you're going with a baby carseat sitting atop a shopping cart. We managed to escape with everything on the list and without any screaming, wailing, or lost children. I felt like a miracle-worker.

Of course, we couldn't even make it to the next store without another baby-is-awake-and-hungry announcement coming from the center of the backseat. So, I pulled into Wendy's to get M and J frostys to keep them occupied during LMX's feeding. The frostys disappeared into the black holes my boys have for stomachs much faster than LMX could finish his meal. Fortunately, there was a road crew erecting work zone signs along the street in front of Wendy's, which was enough to fascinate M and J until we were ready to continue our journey.

We arrived at the last destination for the day, baby napping. Well, the sleeping didn't last long at all. So, I took him out of his carseat and popped him into his pouch. We barely survived the remainder of this trip without everyone in meltdown mode. LMX was ready to feed once more by the time we made it out the doors of the store.

Since M and J had been patient and well-behaved little boys, they'd been able to pick out some stickers at the last store. These kept them busy while baby and I sat in the front seat attempting to fill his tummy and lull him into a slumber long enough for the drive home. While he didn't stay satisfied all the way home, we all made it back without too much frustration.

Five and half hours since we'd left the house, but it had felt like an eternity, and I couldn't have been more exhausted, especially when I decided to embark on this excursion after a poor night of sleep...poorer than normal, I guess, is more accurate. I ached from head to toe, but I think M and J thought it was a great day. I doubt I'll be attempting that much in one day again any time soon, though. Once was enough torture...at least I know we can do it if need be;>

More pictures are on flickr, but here are a couple that show whom I dragged with me on this escapade...


Monday, May 05, 2008

Still adjusting...

I think LMX might finally be settling into a schedule of sorts. It's been rare to find time to do the things that need to be done let alone anything just for the fun of it...like blog reading or blog writing;>

He's a great little baby...nurses well, sleeps extended periods at night (especially in the company of a warm Mommy or Daddy), and has an adorable gummy grin you can't help but love.

M and J were pretty indifferent towards him for a while, only noticing his existence when he cried, which they then equated to a belief that he "cries a lot", which really wasn't the case at all. Now that they've spent more time around him, they are warming up to him. M actually said he likes him, but I suspect that might be because LMX smiled at him a couple days ago. They're becoming such independent little boys and are almost always willing to help.

Our Newfie puppy comes to live with us this weekend, which I'm sure will come with another round of family adjustments. NS, LMX, and I went to visit with the litter of puppies yesterday afternoon, and they are all so adorable and playful; I can hardly wait to see which one NS brings home Friday night.

I'm hoping to find some time to blog here and there now, at least now while I'm still on maternity leave. We'll see how things go.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yes, Baby Woo-Woo is here...

LMX smilingThe short version is: L'il Man X, or LMX, was born perfect and healthy at 7:47 a.m. on March 19th. He weighed 7 lbs., 15 oz. and was 20 inches long. We're doing well and just taking our time adjusting to life with a new baby. More pictures are on flickr.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And the countdown begins...

Baby Woo-Woo is officially scheduled to exit my body on the 19th...15 days from today! I'm achy, uncomfortable, and exhausted, to say the least. Otherwise, the whole Woo clan is doing pretty well and anxiously awaiting our new addition's arrival.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Prayer answered, wish granted...

Earlier rather than later.

My NS is home!

That's all for now;>

Friday, February 01, 2008

Well, it couldn't be allowed to last for two whole weeks...

So, for a week and a half, I was feeling so much better, happy even. Why should that last? At least now, I know exactly what is bringing me down and hopefully can somewhat avoid it. I've been harassed by IFKAMH for the past couple days, and since it seems obvious that we do not use the same logic when making decisions or arguments about our decisions, I can no longer attempt to discuss anything with him other than specific dates he wishes to visit. The fury that invades me during these phone calls with him is overwhelming and causes an inappropriate amount of stress for me that I absolutely do not need. Hopefully he will now heed my request to leave specific messages when he calls that actually tell me why he is calling so that I can decide whether or not it is a call I can handle. I know I'm not alone in hating it when people call and just leave a message that says, "Hey. Call me when you get this." If I call and leave you a message, you can be assured that you will know exactly why I've called. Is it really necessary to leave a message if you aren't even going to say why you're calling? I mean, he's calling a cell phone; it's pretty obvious when I've missed a call, so why leave a message that basically tells me you called and wanted to talk to me...duh.

Okay, I'm feeling physically drained after the past couple days. Please let NS get home earlier than later; I need a serious pick-me-up.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The simpleness that broke up the black clouds...

I guess before this weekend comes to a final close, I should keep my promise to share the things that happened last weekend to turn my mood around.

For starters, just writing the post and publishing it helped a lot more than I even imagined it would.

Then, two days later, as if my mom completely read my mind, she asked if she could have the boys spend the night with her last Friday. This demonstrates how in tune with me my mom is. She must know very well how hard it is for her daughter to flat out ask for help or a break, and so she disguises her offer of exactly that as a request for special grandma time, which I certainly can't turn down.

Thursday, I get an email from NS! My heart simply leapt for joy when I saw that little mail alert pop up. Nothing profound was said, but it was such a relief to just have contact once again.

Of course, that all got even better when he was able to call me on Friday. We talked for a while about how they'd gotten screwed and how I hadn't really been delusional in thinking that I should have heard from him about a week before I actually did. We just chatted and did as much catching up as possible with the little time we had on the phone.

Friday evening, my boys went with my mom, and I had a relaxed dinner watching what I wanted to watch on t.v. without any interruption.

Saturday didn't turn out to be the sleep in day that I had thought it would be, but I woke up well-rested and spent time online with NS for a lot of the day. I shared pictures from Christmas and of my big belly. He said the only thing people should be allowed to say to pregnant women, that I was beautiful. Of course, he brought on the tears with other sweet comments about wishing he could be here and by sending me a couple songs that he plays because they make him think of me (the most appropriate song for our situation, which is the one that had my cheeks soaked with tears and me excusing myself from our conversation to get some tissue when I listened to it, can be heard by clicking on the YouTube image below). I then ate dinner at my mom's and brought my boys home for the evening.



Sunday was a hermit day because both boys were sickly (J had started it Thursday night but acted like he felt much better by Friday afternoon) and not really able to eat anything solid, but it was also an easy day because they wanted to do nothing other than hang out with me on the couch watching movies.

So, my weekend was not filled with breaking up fights or repetitively ordering the boys to return to bed, and in fact, I had a lot of simple downtime, even when my boys were back home. I also got some quality, real-time contact with my husband and reassurances that he will be returning home as scheduled early-mid February (should be just a couple more weeks now), which I really, really needed. It also helped a lot that over the week, the boys stopped staying up 3-4 hours after they went to bed; we're not at an ideal sleep-time yet, but I'll take a reduction from 3-4 hours to 1-1.5. Yeah, I'll definitely take that as a reason to be happy;>

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So much better...

I felt I needed to put up a quick update to let y'all know I am doing so much better. Even though my boys were sick most of the past 5 days, I had a great weekend that lifted my spirits tremendously. I'll write more about why this week.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not so good...

Me, that is. Thank you all for your hugs and kind words. I'm still feeling very down most of the time. I think the last time I felt like I had a good day was around Christmas time.

I know my pregnancy hormones are compounding normal emotions into unbelievably out of control ones, and it sucks to just feel like I don't know what to do. I want to hide under a blanket so that my boys don't have to deal with me all the time. While the stuff they do to irritate me would irritate me regardless (like staying up until midnight every night, which I was letting slide until they started whining and fighting more during their waking hours), I just don't feel like I have the energy or patience to handle it calmly or rationally right now. I end up crying or screaming or both, more often alternating between both in the same night. I feel bad that they're stuck in this house with their crazy-acting pregnant mommy. I don't want them to get to a point where they have to walk on eggshells around me because they don't know if continuing to do what they're doing will make me upset to the point of being mad or to the point of sobbing, but would it really kill them to obey a request to lay down and be quiet so they can fall asleep before the tenth time, if even then? Too bad they can't put themselves in my place and realize that if they asked me for something ten times, and I continued to ignore them, they'd have been in meltdown tantrum mode after three.

So, basically, I'm not feeling much better, and I think I might just be feeling worse than I was the last time I posted. Thanks for being here for me. Posting will likely continue to be sparse until I am feeling slightly more myself.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Lonely...

I'm feeling lonely. I thought being reduced to nothing but back and forth emails sucked, especially when there's often a delay, but not being able to get any email in response to mine sucks so much worse.

The more fun part of pregnancy is happening now, and I have no way to share it with anyone. I can write about it and talk about it, but the reality of it is that I spend my days by myself working at home and my nights sitting by myself. Those are the most eventful parts of the day for the baby, the times when I'm alone, and it's impossible for anyone to enjoy it with me right now. The boys are interested and try to participate, but they just can't be waiting around until 11 o'clock at night to feel the baby kicking and watch him move in my belly. And, really, even if they could, it would never be the same as sharing these things with NS.

Baby Woo-Woo hasn't heard his daddy's voice yet and won't get to for probably at least another month. I don't know why all this stuff is overwhelming me all of a sudden...maybe it all gets back to being on the supplying end of one-sided emails for the past few weeks. It's one thing to wait a couple days to get an email; it's something else altogether to know there isn't a reply email coming at all. I also feel obligated to keep the emails I send fun and light-hearted because no matter how much I vent or complain about something, he can't respond to any of it right now to make me feel better, and I don't want him to feel helpless like that. That's why the email I just sent him says that I can't think of anything I really want to write about other than to say I love him and miss him while I then write this here. I just wish I knew when they were getting to the next port. I know it's this month, but I don't know when, so I can't even count down the days until the next contact.

I'm in a miserable mood. I think it's time to go to bed.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

There are a couple of future-women that will thank me someday...

Now that it's more than a week after Christmas, you probably thought the post-Christmas wrap-up blog posts would be over and done. Haha...not with procrastinators like me keeping blogs;>

Yesterday, I posted all the photos from our holiday celebration to Flickr. Today, I write about what awesome boyfriends and husbands my boys will make someday.

Other than trains, what might my boys' favorite present be? The gourmet kitchen, of course. I spent about three hours Christmas Eve assembling the plastic pieces that arrived in two enormous boxes a month ago. It still wasn't completely secured by the time I gave up at four in the morning because I didn't have the muscle necessary to continue gripping the screwdriver while trying to plow through the remaining pre-drilled holes barely visible dents in the industrial-strength plastic. It wasn't going to collapse without the added security of those screws, so I took the pictures and collapsed in my bed. The effort paid off a million times over when I stepped out of the shower Christmas morning to find they had woken up and immediately made themselves at home in their kitchen. They spent a couple hours that morning preparing meals for each other, J being careful to add just a touch of fresh-ground pepper to his creation.

Our next stop that day was my mom's house. There, the boys received a couple of very useful gifts, hand-held vibrating massagers that they'd had fun playing with at the store a few days before. No, not those kind of hand-held vibrating massagers...what kind of people do you think we are?!? Those cutesy things that are often thrown up on a display around this time of year along with other randomness that someone, somewhere might appreciate as a token of thoughtfulness should they wind up being a recipient. My first thoughts were, "Perfect. Mama could use a massage!"

I also received the gifts they had picked out for me while shopping with my mom. Tell me these boys aren't learning to be the kind of gift-givers women have fantasies about. They each chose a pair of earrings for me as well as a pretty silver necklace with a heart-shaped pendant that included changeable hearts to match a variety of clothing. J even chose the appropriate heart to go with my sweater today.

So, my boys are getting used to being gourmet chefs who give massages and choose jewelry as gifts for the important women in their lives. Sorry, ladies, they're only four; you've got a while before their eligible bachelors;>

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Because the only thing I should be doing instead is cleaning...

While catching up on blog-reading over the past few days, I came across a unique way to answer some questions. Since I still had my iTunes open from adding some new holiday music, I decided I could do this one. An easy way to post something, at the very least.

Here's how it works:
1. Put your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter what.

Q. What would best describe your personality?
A. "Time After Time" by Chet Baker (Mabye I'm consistent?)
Q. If some one says it's okay you say...
A. "You Want This" by Janet Jackson (Sounds a bit conceited.)
Q. What do you like in a guy/girl?
A. "Armageddon It" by Def Leppard (Treat every day with me as if it might be the last? Certainly sounds like a good idea.)
Q.How do you feel today?
A. "Stars on the Water" by Jimmy Buffett (Like a boat among many boats scattered in the darkness of the sea, floating aimlessly? Maybe.)
Q.What is your life's purpose?
A. "Lovely Cruise" by Jimmy Buffett (While I think it shouldn't play the same artist back to back on shuffle, I think this one is very fitting.)
Q. What is your motto?
A. "I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow (Definitely, as in I shall believe that everything has a purpose.)
Q. What do your friends think of you?
A. "Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins (Like they're reading my thoughts about my plans to call or email? Sure.)
Q. What do you think of your friends?
A. "It's Alright" by Jay-Z (Yep. It's always alright with friends.)
Q. What do you think of your parents?
A. "In America" by Creed (Um, well, yeah, I suppose this applies.)
Q.What do your parents think of you?
A. "La Fiesta" by Will Smith (They think I'm a party? Woo-hoo!)
Q. What do you think about very often?
A. "Smack My Bitch Up" by The Prodigy (I don't think so, but that was funny.)
Q. What do you think of your best friend?
A. "She Will be Loved" by Maroon 5 (So very, very true.)
Q. What do you think of the person you love?
A. "Trucker Hat" by Bowling for Soup (I've tried to make this fit, but I still can't get how this might apply.)
Q.What is your life story?
A. "Jimi Thing" by Dave Matthews Band (I hope not; it's kinda depressing.)
Q. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A. "Flat on the Floor" by Carrie Underwood (If this means I won't ever really grow up and will always be able to have fun like a kid does until I die, then I'm good with this.)
Q. What do you think when you see the person you love?
A. "Touch" by Amerie (Oh, yes! And I can't wait;>)
Q. What is your hobby/interest?
A. "Loser" by 3 Doors Down (That's just mean.)
Q. What will they play at your funeral?
A. "Hooch" by Everything (This would be hilarious.)
Q. What is your biggest secret?
A. "Roll On (Fold Mix)" by Sneaker Pimps (As in deodorant? Not now, but I have tried it.)