31 July 2006
Tomorrow: Jim has a LUNCH DATE. With the 3 members of the HR staff at the place that wants to hire him. They called not more than 2 hours after he got off his 2nd phone interview. They way we figure, you don't waste good lunch money on people you aren't interested in. Fingers are crossed that there is an offer letter in our future...Especially as we need the money now to pay off my dental work.
In contrast, my father's parents are barely living. Oh, they're alive and reasonably well considering, but they aren't living. They are shells of the vibrant people I remember growing up, the ones who cruised the world and rarely had time for us. Even though they lived 45 minutes away (which seems like a forever drive when you're 6), we saw them only 4-5 times a year. Now they are still 45 minutes away, but in a retirement community. They are both diabetic but have no clue, combined with no desire to give up what they like, how to control their diets. They both fell ill this spring, and it's so sad to see them. Their house is filthy, my parents can only do so much, and my grandparents refuse to let them hire someone to come in 2-3 days a week to help out. Grandpa is at least trying to get a little better, and can walk fairly well with his walker and wants to graduate to a cane soon. He might make it. Grandma won't listen to the nurses, and is therefore not healing. It's sad and gross when you sneak out to use the public restroom in the lobby because there's...stuff...in their bathroom you just don't want to have to clean first before going. They no longer can go to church or get out, we sure as hell are never letting grandpa drive again (the car stays so my uncle has something to drive when he comes up from Florida), and most of their few friends have stopped visiting because all they do is complain.
If it's up to me, I'd rather be like Busia. A weird reflection, since for much of my life I couldn't stand her and I know she's part of the reason for things that go on in my head that we're working out in therapy. But as an adult, these things come into new light. I'm thankful this deal with my grandparents has spurred my parents to go out and get long term care insurance. I appreciate them not wanting to be a burden on Tim and I (and Jim and Natalie). I worry about Jim's mom, as I don't think she has the same mindset. I cringe at the thought of her ever living with us, not because she's some awful person, but I saw what Busia did to our family dynamics during some very important years of my and my brother's growing up.
All this is so serious and thought provoking and sad in so many ways. But I love my family, if anything for their warped sense of humor the most. We've all been referring to my grandparents behind their backs as "The Geezers" for the last few years, and I caught my uncle calling them that in their presence this past weekend. They didn't even flinch. The rest of us thought we'd pee our pants trying to hold in the laughter.
30 July 2006
Long weekend, long drive, so nice to be back.
Tomorrow, I will be "sick" and get to stay home and go to the dentist, while Jim has a 2nd phone interview at 10am...he'll also be getting a hearty breakfast with lots of protein and Diet Dr. Pepper to get that brain working up to speed.
28 July 2006
Things seen on the metro this week (other than hoards of sweaty tourists):
- A man who had bolted a seat onto a Segway and was using it in lieu of a wheelchair.
- A woman with no arms and no legs (which I thought only existed in bad jokes overheard at the boys lunch table in junior high).
- A middle-aged woman going on and on to her friend about this babydoll she has that she buys clothes for every season and dresses up and puts in a car seat in order to take her out with her. This creeped me out more than the bairy bug in the shower the other day.
Most enjoyable moment at the soul-sucking job:
- Getting to meet my coworker's newly adopted little girl who came all the way from China.
Most enjoyable moments at home:
- Trying Natalie out on the park swings for the first time
- Watching her get used to the taste of this rice cereal stuff - can't wait to start peas next week!
- Finding my belt! YEEHAW! Sometimes it really is the little things.
- Seeing my sweet baby sit up all by herself for longer than 2 seconds.
- Having a very happy husband after his interview, which went splendidly, and made him really want this job for so many reasons. The benefits are great, and hearing the worlds "We'll make the salary work" come out of his mouth were a God-send. Literally. Because I had a pretty good idea of how we could make it work, but I was worried he'd be a little more difficult to convince. Should be getting a call today to set up a 2nd interview. Fingers crossed...
- Heading up to PA/NJ to visit the parents and the grandparents and the uncle who will be in town.
- Meeting my best friend's 3 week old little girl for the first time. We've already arranged the marriage of her 2 year old son to Natalie in approximately 22 years. Not really, but wouldn't that be great fun?
- Going "shopping" in my mom's friend's basement. Their daughter is 14 now and doesn't need all her kid stuff, which is all top quality and in excellent condition, and we get first dibs - the rest is going on ebay.
And that's it. Didn't seem like too eventful of a week, but I guess it was in some ways. Weekend should be hectic but enjoyable, praying now that my car holds out and we don't get stuck in any thunderstorms on the way up tonight. I'm also working on my post for Shape of a Mother, which is doing all kinds of good for me and my confidence levels. Next week holds a trip to my shrink, the dermotologist (Mole Gone Wild), and hopefully the dentist, because I chipped a tooth last night. Nothing noticeable, but I can feel the sharp edge and I swear it's going to drive me nuts.
27 July 2006
(2) You catch yourself popping your sore, cracked nipple out of your shirt to see how it's doing, then remember that you are in your cubicle. At work. With boys nearby.
(3) You get poop on your finger and just wipe it off and continue with the diaper change, yet you still get freaked out when there is a long legged bug in the shower.
(4) You discover you need to do laundry because there is nothing to wear to work that doesn't have drool/spit up/rice cereal on it.
(5) All of the above happen in a 24 hour period, and you wouldn't trade it for anything (Except maybe some more sleep. And a body that looks like Jennifer Aniston's but only runs on chocolate).
26 July 2006
Being that Earth has changed places with Mars this summer, I finally got around to making those cookies this past weekend. It was rainy and I wasn't at risk for heating the whole house up even more by turning on the oven. After the cookies are spooned out onto the cookie sheets, my mom calls, I tell her what I'm doing, and she informs me that Boot Camp Part II ends this week and Tim is driving to California by way of Indiana, to see his girlfriend* so now I'm left with 3 dozen cookies to tempt me. So I did what any good girl would do when chocolate chip cookies are calling her name from their ziploc-ed lair in the freezer: I brought them to work. Sure, I may eat a few myself during the day, but if they were still at home this afternoon, when Jim is going on his interview, I swear to you they'd be gone by the time he got back. I tend to eat my bodyweight in chocolate when I'm stressed and I know that this will be one of those afternoons. I'm already sweating thinking about this interview and this job, hoping and praying that it works out. Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I'm hoping this all comes together. I'm salivating at the thought of getting to stay home with my baby. I think I may have a little orgasm the second I find out he's employed. Seriously, I think the anticipation of knowing that a job might be right around the corner is even greater than the anticipation of sex for the first time. I'm tempted to get some champagne in case we need to celebrate tonight, but I don't want to jinx it. Maybe I'll just get one of those tiny bottles, just in case...
*We all blame her for much of his behavior of late as she's totally one of those controlling, manipulative girls I hated when I was in college who has to have a boyfriend at all times to feed her grapes and fan her with palm fronds. I'm also the only one who knows he'd been living with her since January, which would pretty much kill my mom if she found out.
25 July 2006
And a certain little pumpkin has started sitting by herself. She's still a bit of a weeble on her well padded diaper bum, but she stretches her arms out to keep her balance, which works fine until she either gets so excited she arches her back in joy and tips over that way, or she decides her toes look mighty tasty and she folds in half. Either way, it provides hours of amusement for Jim and I.
24 July 2006
I've already got one part time gig - ghost writing for my dad for a nerdy "accounts receivable" newsletter (He's a credit consultant - that's one step above accountants on the bore-o-meter). But it's a nice little chunk of change for me.
21 July 2006
To add insult to injury, I have boring hair (so much for my teen years and all those summers at the pool where it would bleach out white-blond and look beyond gorgeous with my lifeguard tan for the first day of school), post-baby acne, and a drab wardrobe. Even if I did have cuter clothes that fit, they'd just get spit up upon. Somehow, she never spits up on me when I'm in grubbies. Murphy's law I suppose. I must do something about this, but part of me doesn't care. Who am I dressing up for? I work with mostly middle aged men, so it's not like I'm dressing to fit in with the other cute girls at the office. My husband doesn't seem to mind all that much what I wear, since he gets me when I'm nekkid and that's all he really wants anyway. I guess I want to look better for me, but I can't seem to summon the strength and energy to do anything about it. It's been too hot to take our daily walks in the evening so exercise has been non-existant of late. Perhaps I just need to suck it up and go. The extra sweating will be good for me, right? Like taking one of those crazy yoga classes where they jack up the thermostat. Ugh. Those people who said breastfeeding helps you lose the weight are full of it.
Will be going to the groccery tomorrow. Will be v. good about getting nutritious things to eat, in an effort to start fresh in my quest to become a MILF.
19 July 2006
17 July 2006
On the flip side, bravo to the creators of the air conditioning system in my office!! You could have hung sides of cow in my cubicle and they would have stayed fresh. Hoards of tourists wandered around the mall like groups of flesh eating zombies that would tear your arm off just to get the ice cream cone in your hand, trying to be excited that they were On Vacation but really just wanted dad to quit it with the educational crap and can't we go back to the hotel pool? Meanwhile, I sat inside bundled up in a sweater and sipped a big cup of decaf in an attempt to keep warm.
How about it, God, why don't you get together with those air conditioner engineers and together you two come up with some nice middle ground? I've heard San Diego is like this...Can't you share the wealth with the rest of the U.S.? Please??
15 July 2006
I have so much to be thankful for.
14 July 2006
13 July 2006
Even our house has two previous owners who used to be characters themselves. There is the little old Japanese lady we bought it from who loved to garden and pruned half the bushes into bonsai. Before her, our house was owned in the 1970s by an Italian stone mason which explains the piles of brick, slate, and tile laying around the property, and the medieval stone fireplace in the basement. Also explains the laundry room which is 200 square feet of tile from floor to ceiling, and the rumor that there is a wine cellar in the floor of the shed (which happens to contain 50 years of crap that we are going to rent a dumpster in order to dispose of).
So despite all the wackiness that surrounds our little bit of the 'burbs, I saw the best character of all today: A youngish black kid, wearing a fair amount of bling, riding a fancy recumbant bicycle, with a boom box strapped to the back blaring hard core rap. And he was singing along. Out of tune. It was awesome.
Had a baby
Had a c-section
Husband lost his job
Grandparents health took a turn for the worse
Can't breastfeed due to defective boobs
Don't fit any clothes
Went back to work when baby was 2 months old
Wasn't planning on going back to work in an office EVER
My paycheck and his unemployment check barely cover the bills each month, but...
Bills are getting paid
Unemployment checks end in November
Amnesty on student loans ends in November
Lost baby weight
Haven't lost chocolate ice cream weight
No vacation in sight
Grandparents got better
Fun neighbors moved out of state
Car didn't pass inspection
Called for jury duty
Jury duty can be deferred for breastfeeding
Still no clothes that fit
Yard is a wreck
Basement is dry despite Biblical rains
Gutters need to be replaced
Sanity needs to be found
11 July 2006
[I also stop to take a picture because I am That American Tourist who really only sought out this specific cafe because it is where the movie Amelie was filmed. Luckily, there are some British folks there doing the same exact thing. We all feel cheesy together.]
The next day, we stop at a place called Les Deux Magots. I do not order the chocolate chaude, because it's like 6 friggin euros and know it will be the size of a thimble, so I get une cafe avec creme et une quiche lorraine while contemplating why this cafe is named after maggots. Then my wise traveling companion, who sips her espresso sans sucre like a pro, who also happens to be living in the 16th, tells me that it's named after two magi, not maggots, and that Hemingway used to hang out here. I think, "We'll that's good," even though I don't really like Hemingway much (Shut up, all your English majors. Just because he's rumored to be one of the greatest writers of the 20th century doesn't mean that some of us just find him really droll and depressing). Our waiter does nothing but sneer at us from the tip of his nose. He is the only French person on my trip that lived up to the stereotypes. Probably just assumed we were sterotypical Americans. Oh well. Later, I find out that the chocolate chaude is 6 euros because that's what this cafe is famous for, and I kick myself for not sucking up the cost and ordering it. I am on holiday after all.
So while I walk about, exploring streets and neighborhoods, eating croissants for breakfast on my daily constitutional, popping into trendy shops I can't afford, peering into the windows of hip eateries that I'm not hip enough to eat in, and wondering how fabulous it must be to be Parisian, I also think about what I would name my cafe, if someone gifted me a little nook of a shop on a pedestrian street near the Seine, preferably dans la rive gauche. Something quaint and cheery, I decide; something that sounds lovely in French but truly ridiculous in English. And that, my friend, is how "L'Aubergine Joyeuse" is born.
09 July 2006
One year ago today, you were a grain of rice with a thumpity-thumpity little heartbeat. Five months ago today you entered this crazy mixed up world of ours, 7lbs and 1oz of newborn baby. Now you are almost 15lbs of pure love and drool. Your face lights up when I come into the room, and that giggle of yours is infectious. You are very serious when you play, being able to pick things up with both hands and jam just about anything that comes within your reach into your mouth. It still breaks my heart to leave you every morning to go to work, but I know your daddy loves you as much as I do and you two have fun together. A weird positive side effect of him taking care of you while he looks for a job is that you two have bonded much more than you would have otherwise, much more than a lot of kids whose dads leave for work every day. We still go for walks every evening, and despite having a pitiful milk supply and wishing I was able to "properly" breastfeed you, we still nurse 2-3 times a day, but for comfort and fun. You like to smile up at me from your perch on my nipple, happy as a fat little clam. You talk to yourself and to your toys, I can't imagine all that goes on in that little head of yours. I can't wait to see where we are next year at this time. You are the greatest, my little love.
07 July 2006
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help. He built a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. "God, how could you do this to me ?" he cried. Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here ?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied. It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain, and suffering. Remember the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
06 July 2006
05 July 2006
But for now, it's just wet. I'm wearing a white shirt today. Two actually. A cami under a white button down. I'd have to get soaked to the core before my layers of white became see through enough to show anything. And I brought my umbrella so no chance of that happening. Yet I still wonder, as I dodge raindrops on my dash to the metro, past all the bus shelters teeming over with people seeking shelter from the clouds, if some guy is checking me out, hoping that I get drenched and he gets to judge his own personal wet t-shirt contest. I know boys in 7th grade hoped for this, and made all us 7th grade girls self conscious about wearing white in the rain. Sometimes boys just exist as perpetual 7th graders in my mind. Doesn't help the cause of manhood that some of them still act like it, too.
Secretly, I love the thought of ANY boy checking out my post-partum jiggly body. I just hope he's cute.
03 July 2006
Hard to say it loud and clear like that, but sometimes that's the only way for me to grasp what I'm feeling, to kind of explain away the thoughts in my head by putting a big label on them, preferably tattooed across their collective forhead. I have a tendancy to beat myself up about a lot of little things, to not understand why some people can grasp situations and function a certain way when I seemingly can't do the same. I have a screwy sense of "normal" and a hard time accepting things in my life that don't fit into that definition. I got burned a lot growing up, nothing truly awful, but enough little things that snowballed and are coming back to bite me in the ass now as an adult. Throw in a new baby (and the messed up hormones that go with that) and a currently unemployed husband and a job I'm dying to quit so I can stay home with my girl and things can be very blue. Or as Holly Golightly would say, I have a case of the "mean reds."
Some days are just bad. Nothing seems to go right, and I get angry at the smallest thing, mostly because I've got too much inside that is on the brink of boiling over and one stupid comment or action by somebody can flip me out. Not that I come off as someone with anger management issues, but I frequently take it out on my husband (usually the one with the stupid comment who catches me at the end of a long day), which I know is wrong and he and I are working on it together. I also seem to have aquired a permenant back ache (some of it could be from lugging around 15 pounds of chunky baby love) and frequent headaches. I decided partly to start keeping this blog as a way to try and find the good in every day, the little things that make me laugh or smile, that cause me to sit back and reflect on the thought that the world isn't all bad.
Today: My daughter looks me in the eye and I realized that no matter what is going on in my life, I'm the coolest person in the world to her. Seriously, the love an infant has for her mother has got to be the closest thing on earth to what God's unconditional love for us flawed and sinful humans is like. We don't deserve it, but it's there, and it's humbling.
01 July 2006
It's the best sound in the world.
So good, it's made me abandon my cleaning and organizing and bill paying. Now I'm going to sit down and have a good chat with her, maybe practice my "I'm sorry honey, I know it hurts, but maybe another boy will ask you to the junior prom" speech. The shackles of adult hood can wait.