30 September 2006

It's Official

Jim's seasonal allergies (or should I say "allergies") are about 10% actual, and 90% psychosematic (or however one spells that). Just don't tell him I say so.

It's been driving me nuts this weekend, as it's GORGEOUS outside, but we can't open any windows in thehouse because of his "allergies." Memo to my husband: You don't know this, but as soon as you leave for work, I open every ding dang window in the house. The fresh breeze is good for my soul. And that phone call I ask you to make when you are heading home? You know, so I can plan dinner? It's actually so I know to go around closing all the windows so you don't freak out. Surprise, surprise, your "allergies" haven't been bothering you much at all this fall. But this weekend, I crack a window while you are out doing errands and you come home before I close it and you FREAK OUT how congested you are all how your sinuses are going to explode and how you have to go NOW to take a cocktail of allergie meds and change the filter in the A/C. What-fucking-ever. You may in fact have actual allergies, but I think you have to spend an afternoon frolicing in a field of ragweed before they actually kick in.

(It should be noted that I, too, have seasonal allergies. I get itchy and my eyes get itchy and I have to take out my contacts and then I'm sneezing and sound like a frog. I just choose extra body lotion, long sleeves, wearing my glasses, and the occasional sudafed over being stuck inside a closed up house on a perfect 72 day in September).

26 September 2006


It's been a rough week. For so many reasons. I could probably write 17 posts explaining why. But I won't. Something has been added to my daughters life this week that I didn't plan on her experiencing for a while: PBS

I'm not against TV, I knew a time would come when she'd become addicted to Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow and whatever animal programs were on the Discovery Channel. I just didn't think it would happen when she was only 7.5 months old. Up till now I did most anything possible to make sure she couldn't see the TV, turning her back to it if I was trying to eat breakfast and watch the news, or just not having it on when she was around. She's just gotten to a point where mamma is the only one that will do, and not just mamma, but she has to be in mamma's lap, pulling her hair, and trying to eat mamma with her gummy little toothless mouth in order to be a pleasant child at times. It's really hard to do even the simplest things with a drooling monkey attached to your hip 24/7, so one day I couldn't take it anymore and plopped her down in the exercauser (a.k.a. the poopersaucer) and turned on Sesame Street and went to take a shower. Bert and Ernie gave me 20 glorious minutes to go from train wreck to somewhat less of a train wreck who smelled nice, had food in her tum, and was even able to make a business call DURING BUSINESS HOURS. True bliss which eliminated all guilt of putting my baby in front of the TV. To her credit, she alternates between banging around on the exersaucer and watching. At least she's not glued to it like an odd little bald zombie. At least not yet. We'll see how that's going in a few years.

But it also got me wondering...do they still show "vintage" Sesame Street from the pre-Elmo days of my youth? There's all these new characters and graphics and stuff that makes me long for the old days, you know, the '80s. I must find out...

20 September 2006


We're starting to get into our groove over here at the aubergine household. Jim's work is fast paced and challenging, but in a good way. I'm groovin on the working-from-home thing, and Natalie is starting to get on a schedule. Except for her pesky desire not to take proper naps. 30 minutes is not enough for a 7.5 month old. I barely have time to get something to eat, use the loo, and do some mundane chore like empty the dishwasher and she's up again. No time to sit down and do any work for which I'm being paid. Which is why I end up on the computer till way past my bedtime.

I just feel so blah most of the time. I've got what I wanted (working from home for a steady paycheck even if it is rather small) (oh, and a baby) (and a husband who is - finally - gainfully employed). Why can't I be happy? There is the whole depression thing, which is a really scary thing when you slap that label on it so I prefer not to think about it that way. I can think of two things right now standing in the way of happiness: Not getting to do anything on my list of fun things I want to do (sewing projects, painting projects, photography stuff, etc.) and dreading looking in the mirror. Someday, somehow, I'll get around the the stuff on my lists. But getting rid of this body and having some sort of transformation into hot mamma? It seems far fetched at best.

I fell in love with the Shape of a Mother website and was all set to post my own tale of woe, but I find myself wanting to ignore my body all together. I'm mad at it for my breastfeeding heartaches, I'm mad it for all the bad hereditary things I have lined up in my future if I'm not careful. I'm mad at myself for always comparing myself to others and making myself feel even worse about my body. I hate not fitting into any clothes, so much so that I am already dreading going shopping to find something, anything, to wear to my husband's company's fancy pants christmas party. I find myself dressing, how one would say, "bohemian" because it's pretty much the one style that is the exact opposite of my Ann Taylor Banana Republic friend's wardrobes. They all seem so perfectly manicured and pedicured (not to mention skinny, ranging in sizes from trim to toothpick) and made up and I can count on one knarly looking unpolished hand how many manicures I've had in my life. And don't get me started on makeup. I don't know the first thing about it, except that I have a crush on black liquid eyeliner and I swear it's how I got boys in college when out dancing with my girls. But now? I pretty much feel like a train wreck. Or maybe I don't feel too bad about how I look and then catch a glimpse in a store window and want to gag. Everything is kind of on hold while I still attempt to breastfeed, and I'm not ready to take that away from Natalie, yet I really want to get cracking on getting my body figured out. And I'm kinda tired of "giving it up to God" because right now? Right now if feels like He wants me to be fat and I'm not ready to accept that.

18 September 2006


The allergy fairy has teamed up with the cold pixie for a 1-2 punch out to my sinuses. I feel like I'm going to die. Instead, I'm praying Natalie sleeps for a while so I can go take a nice long nap, too. She does not know how good she's got it - eat, sleep, play, poop, sleep some more, have every need personally attended to, rince, repeat. Sometimes I feel like I am not her mother, but her cabana boy.

14 September 2006

Things I have done today that make working from home so f'ing fabulous

(or things that would get me fired if they happened in the office):

#1 - Talked to my boss while breastfeeding

#2 - Talked to my boss while holding a naked baby who had just peed on herself and her changing table for the 2nd time in one changing

#3 - Kicked back with a beer while working on a powerpoint

13 September 2006


I look out the window next to my desk here and see three vibrant red cardinals (aviary variety, not the Catholic leadership variety) fighting over the lone cluster of grapes that survived the summer on our grape vine. Wish there were more, but they are all that made it. We know that vine was planted sometime circa 1975 when an Italian stone mason lived in our house. He used to make wine with the grapes that grew on this same vine. I wonder what his trick was to close out the summer with more than one cluster. Because those are the most succulant, juicy grapes I've ever had, and I don't want to make wine out of them; I just want to eat them.

11 September 2006

5 years

I was able to get through about 20 minutes of the morning news today, just long enough to see the weather report, before I had to turn it off and it's staying off all day. So the terror attacks on the WTC and Pentagon and a field in PA were five years ago today. Almost five years ago to the moment I'm typing this. I was in VA, in line at the DMV to get my new drivers liscense and plates (I had been living in the DC area for a year and was finally getting around to it). Some girl in line got a call from her aunt in Oklahoma City to say that she heard a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. The Pentagon was a mere, I don't know, 5 miles away from my house? There were no televisions in the DMV, and cell service was nuts. My dad finally got through to me, and my roommate, whose father works at the Pentagon and whose boyfriend worked in lower Manhattan. Not till I got home, and saw the news did I fully know what happened. And for 3 years, till I got married and moved to MD, my drivers liscense said "Date Issued: 09-11-01"

It was a terrible event, horrible. Personally, I don't know anyone who was taken. But I have friends who lost loved ones, there were a couple people from my highschool class lost, my mom even had the daughter of one of the pilots in her classes for 3 years. For some reason, I can't bear all the news coverage of the anniversary today. To me, it feels like re-opening old wounds. Sure, in one sense I'll "never forget," as we're told so many times, the events of today, but at the same time, all I want to do is move forward. Still, my heart goes out to those that are still hurting physically and emotionally from what happened. To those people, I wish you hope and peace.

10 September 2006

Seven Months

Yesterday, you turned seven months old. I now know why my mom calls me every year for my birthday at 8:02am, the time I was born. It's because every 9th of the month, I replay the events leading up to your birth at 10:40pm in my head and get a little misty. It's still amazing to me that you lived INSIDE ME for 9 months.

And today, we dedicated you at church. Big deal for us. Big deal to stand in front of our congregation and ask for their help in raising you in the church, raising you to be a child of God, and admitting that as parents we can't do it alone. But no one really listens to all that, they are transfixed watching you as Dr. Norris carried you up and down the aisle. We were swarmed by every single old lady afterwards telling us that you are the sweetest most beautiful baby ever. Some even wanted to take you home. We were tempted, as you are teething right now and have also decided that you don't really need to nap.

Your belly laugh is divine, and you will giggle at most anything. You don't cry much, but when you do it breaks my heart. If the post office still had lickable stamps, I could rent you out now that you've discovered you have a tongue in your mouth and it's obviously fun to stick out, which makes me want to use you to lick all my envelopes shut. You are so close to waving. We know this because you'll stop what you're doing, look at your hand, wave the fingers towards you, and then go back to what you were doing. Your favorite toy is this hand-me-down cabbage patch doll you got. You LOVE this thing and enjoy trying to eat it, which creeps your daddy out a lot.

There is nothing more cuddly than nursing you in my big bed in the mornings when you are all warm and toasty in your fuzzy jammies. I love you so much, my sweet Natalie, more and more each second of the day.

07 September 2006

About to throw up...

I have anxiety issues. I don't deal with change, big or small, well. I have personal space issues. I am not a morning person. Take all these things into account and guess my reaction when Jim called on his way back from the airport to say that his mom will just sleep on our couch tonight.

(a) I was overjoyed as I can't wait to see my precious darling mother-in-law, and would love to let her sleep on our couch [we have no guest room/spare bed], relax with her in the morning, etc.


(b) I had a mini panic attack, because this is happening! In less than an hour! She'll be here all night! She hogs the bathroom! She sleeps in! I can't sit in the comfy chair and nurse in the morning while watching the Today show! I can't watch the Today show period without feeling guilty that I'm being judged for letting my daughter in the same room as the TV! Oh, the judging! I'll be on eggshells feeling like every little thing I do is under a microscope! I'll have to close the door when I'm getting dressed! And I might have to visit with her in the morning instead of using Natalie's morning nap time to drink diet Coke with lime and surf the internet! I'm going to have to take her to the groccery store! And try to ignore the involuntary twitching I get every time she refers to me as "precious" or "darling" in that thick southern drawl. And smile graciously when she offers to cook when I know it won't be anything I should eat as she cooks things with fat and puts wierd spices in salads!

Don't get me wrong, she's a wonderful woman. Personality wise, I am not a good pick to be her daughter-in-law. There's just something about her that makes we want to be...confrontational. Not that I want to pick a fight, but just do things that I'm perfectly OK with but I know probably makes her squirm...like refusing to read into her subliminal messages when she talks as she never comes outright and says something. Or make sure I've got earings in all my ear-holes and purposefully not wear my Tiffany's necklace. That sort of thing.

Gotta get off the computer...They'll be here any minute now. It should be an interesting weekend. I'm trying to stay positive. Honest.

06 September 2006


One of my first tasks when I started working from home was to take the time to clean out some closets. Mine because I'm short and I tend to just fling workout clothes and spare blankets and luggage up on the shelves willy-nilly. Now everything is folded and neat and the next time we're at Ikea I'm going to grab a cheap little plastic step stool to keep in there so I have no excuse for not being able to reach. The other closet was the one in the office, with Jim's spillover clothes, which are not the issue - it was the camping gear and boxes of clothes he never wears that were driving me nuts. Camping gear. In an upstairs closet. When we have a basement with a storage space under the stairs. Why did it have to be up here? So I pulled that stuff out, compressed things into less containers, and filled the new found space up with my sewing stuff which had been scattered about the house in different corners and closets and such. Sewing things I intend to use, as I have fabric to make some jumpers and pants for Natalie and other accoutrements for her room and the house (pillows and curtains and quitls, oh my!)

Tonight? He discovers (a week after it happened...) his camping stuff is downstairs. He decides the back packs and tent need to be stored up here and goes about spending 20 minutes moving things about in there in order to shove them in. Let me also add that the last time we went camping was also the only time we ever went camping, and it was 3 years ago. My backpack - he got it for me after that camping trip - has been used once: To New York City. He was the dork trying to get the rolling suitcase off the bus and over bumpycity sidewalks while I strolled effortlessly along with my back pack on my shoulders. I looked way cooler, too.

I should also add that in less than 24 hours, his MOTHER will be here, and there are sooooooo many things he could be doing to clean his crap up than moving his camping gear back upstairs. Or going to Home Depot, where he is now, to buy a valve for the tub, which will take him over an hour to do, since he has to stop and look at everything.

Times like these feel more like I have a boy roommate than a husband.

05 September 2006

Feels like Monday

I sit her typing at the desk, with the window open directly next to me, where the rain is coming down in sheets. It's lovely. I adore rainy days and find them perfect. More than a few in a row and they get a bit dreary, but after a day or two of sun I'm ready for more. Perhaps I should move to Seattle...but I digress. Natalie is in her crib, alternating between warbling and hollering (yes, they are different) where she is dead tired but refusing to sleep. Wish I could take her nap for her, but alas, I've got boring old work to do. And I've been putting off cleaning up my piles in anticipation of the houseguests this weekend, too. Should probably get crackin. I should probably be doing a lot of other chores like cleaning the bathroom, making groccery lists, vacuuming, etc. But I'm not. I find I can't make up my mind what I should do and therefore I don't do anything.

Exciting, huh? Riveted to your seat, eh?

I'm enjoying life as a "stay at home mom" which is a term I also loathe for reasons I'm not certain of. I just don't like it. Yes, I'm a mom. Yes, I'm home during the day. But I'm busy, I talk to other humans (like my boss, who called while I was breastfeeding...if only he knew...), I have a life, at least sort of. If it wasn't raining, we'd probably have gone for a long walk that culminated with a sit at the park with my book while Natalie snoozed in her stroller. I'm contemplating a library trip, but then I'd have to take a shower because I don't think they let stinky spit-up-upon mama's with greasy hair and ill fitting clothes and no bra on in there. Pretty picture, isn't it? I kind of revel in it because to me, it's one of the biggest advantages of working from home: Not having to get dressed in the morning. I'm feeling at ease lately, and *almost* happy if I dare say so. Still have lots on my mind, still have lots in there that needs sorting out. But for now, it's not so bad.

I suppose I should take advantage of my time and get to those piles and off of the damn computer. I'm back on my diet (no sugar) and man, I could really go for a milkshake right about now. Chocolate, of course. Good think it's raining or I'd be tempted to make a run for one.

03 September 2006

Only in DC

We sit down at church in a pew behind a couple of senior citizens. But, no! They are not ordinary senior citizens! Behind their fading exterior, silver hair, and spreading wrinkles, one discovers that we are actually sitting behind a former vice presidential candidate, his wife, and a former ambassador to the UN and national security advisor. Talk about a bunch of overachievers.

Makes you wonder what that young couple with the baby will be thinking many many years from now when they sit behind our saggy old selves someday...

01 September 2006


I've noticed recently that the little gmail banner, the one that supposedly scans your email content and gives you related links that the giant machine thinks you'll like, keeps spitting out recipes for spam. Haven't really been emailing anyone about spam lately, and I doubt I'll be bringing "French Fry and Spam Casserole" to the next friendly neighborhood potluck.