Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

So I am following Jonna and Linda into this meme. I am sure I missed their deadlines but well, it's still 2008 here.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Gave birth. Made hot wings. Swam a lap.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I’ve never really made resolutions but maybe I should. Have some focus for next year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Me! My pal L.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank God, but J did lose his great-grandmother.
5. What countries did you visit? None. I am not much of a traveler but this needs to change.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Some balance. I feel like I spent this year tinkering with my life trying to figure out a way to have a life and work and have a baby and wow I would like to invest that energy elsewhere in 2009.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 28th, Ramona’s birthday. Actually, the 26th through the 28th since I was in active labor all that time. And November 4th. I imagine we will all hang on to that one.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Surviving Baby Bootcamp. Learning to swim.
9. What was your biggest failure? I had a goal to not be doing my current job by July 08 and wow I am still doing it.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, luckily.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Post-birth jeans. They are different than my pre-baby ones but they don't have an elastic waistband which is the most important feature.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My mother. She has been incredibly supportive and a great grandmother. And not a pain in the a** at all, which is sort of a miracle.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? John McCain. And sometimes my own.
14. Where did most of your money go? The house. Paying down debt.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Not being pregnant anymore. Obama’s victory.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008? You Are My Sunshine—since I sang it to Ramona every night this year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Happier b) thinner or fatter? Thinner but only because I was nine months pregnant last year. c) richer or poorer? Richer in basically every way.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Sleeping
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying
20. How did you spend Christmas? Slacking off at my parent’s house
21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Yup. With baby.
22. What was your favorite TV program? My friend L got me hooked on House.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.
24. What was the best book you read? The Year of Living Biblically
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? James Morrison even though I know I am about the last one in the world to find him.
26. What did you want and get? A Flip video camera—thanks Mom.
27. What did you want and not get? A longer maternity leave.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I don’t think I saw a single movie this year. Wait, Kung Fu Panda. What does that say about me?
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? It was my thirtieth and I went all over the WORLD to find my friend Chris a Wii. And then my husband took a group of friends out to a dueling piano bar.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? This is too mind-fucking to consider.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Puzzling. The post-Ramona shape is not exactly what I had hoped and I still trying to figure out how to work the new body.
32. What kept you sane? The internets.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Obama. Actually both Mr. And Mrs. Obama.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay marriage. Prop 8.
35. Who did you miss? My best friend T.
36. Who was the best new person you met? The best new person is actually an old person. I re-connected with one of my good friends from Junior High/High School after not seeing her for twelve years.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. That I really can't control things so I should stop trying.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I am terrible with song lyrics so SKIPPING.

Have a Happy New Year Y'all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holiday

I did something dreadful to my back (yes, I said DREADFUL). It now feels like chipmunks have been chewing it up like it was made of acorns.

I hope that you all had a lovely holiday, I did and now I just want to nap until the New Year. I can't so all of you should and tell me all about it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

J and I are celebrating this holiday that is not really ours by having a wicked fight. We don't fight often so when we do it is always a shock and just awful. I am sure we will sort it out eventually (though right now it feels like we will not) but in the mean time AWKWARD.

I hope that your holidays, if you celebrate, are more festive and friendly.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reason #912

When I was growing up we had this front closet that was always jammed full of crap. There were a bunch of scarves, including crocheted ones that my grandmother made with our initials on that we never wore, my spiderman ski mask--though I have never skied, those twee mittens on strings so we could not lose one but possibly hang ourselves getting ready to go out in the snow and a big giant pile of boots. I used to like to hide in the closet and try everything on--like a big cold weather version of the makeover scene from Pretty Woman.

My favorite things in the world were my mother's high heeled snow boots.

Now that I am an adult I wonder what the fuck she was thinking with high heeled snow boots. Especially in Iowa were there really was a lot of snow and ice. But at the time I thought they were unspeakably glamorous and obviously what I would wear when I grew up.

This is my only (weak) defense for what comes next. I wore my regular high heeled boots to work today. I didn't think much about how the park and ride would be a sheet of ice. Or how no one shovels so there would be drifts blocking every sidewalk a foot deep. I didn't think really. So I trotted off to work in my Jessica Simpson (MORE SHAME) boots and basically skated around the park and ride in front of a lot of people.

When my bus didn't come (for hours), I finally drove a friend of mine in and she screeched at me. Which is how I found myself buying real boots at lunch. Warm and cozy, very practical, and miraculously on sale. I say miraculously because every woman in Seattle was buying boots today.

They don't have high heels though. Adulthood is nothing like how I thought it would be.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Am Sure That Is How The Idea Was Pitched Anyway

For the past week the Pacific Northwest has been hammered by snow and ice. At my house we have over a foot of snow. I know that in other parts of the country we are being laughed at with our city shutdowns and emergencies. But there are two important factors that everyone overlooks while pointing and laughing at Seattle. We average about three inches of snow per year, so we don't have many snow plows, sanding trucks or people who know how to use that equipment. And there are about three flat streets in the entire metro area.

So I haven't been to the office for a week. Not because I could not physically get there, but because I am not willing to wait two hours for a bus that will take two hours to get there. And risk getting stuck because they stop running the buses because really none of us belong in articulating buses on streets that look remarkably like luge courses.

For a couple of days I really dug the novelty of running reports in my PJs and not doing my hair. Then for a couple of days I consoled myself that at least I was getting to eat better lunches than I usually do since I could cook actual food. But today I was just sort of bored. I wouldn't mind working from home but I am not really set up to do so. Tap tap tapping away at my laptop under a duvet in front of a Clean House marathon is awesome and all but well . . . I miss having a desk top, wrist support and a working environment that does not involve a screeching baby who is pissed she isn't allowed to climb stairs.

If I had known this was going to happen I would have set up an office upstairs in other words.

Even staying home from work I have logged some serious hours out in the weather. Let me tell you, four wheel drive is totally worth it. Even for a couple of weeks a year. And I should probably own gloves, a hat and maybe some shoes that are not totally freaking stupid in the snow. I slid across a parking lot and landed on my ass today in a way that was not graceful and wow hours later my ass still hurts.

I am ready for the snow to melt now please. Also, for Christmas to be over. And for my baby to quit trying to kill herself on various parts of my house. And to take a vacation--even though that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

I will settle for the snow melting.

I do love my seat warmers in my car though. Whoever invented that shit deserves some sort of prize. Like the Nobel Peace Prize. That seems extreme but I didn't kill anyone Saturday morning when I was out and about and I might have had I been even one degree colder than I already was. Butt warming technology saves lives.

Friday, December 19, 2008


As a little girl I was "smart." I was a good student, well behaved, got good grades. I had to study a little, just enough to have to try, but not enough to have to work too hard. I helped my classmates along. I grew up to be a good high school student, got into a good college and I had no plan at all of what to do when I got there. I had no plan, no goals and no focus. And for the longest time I have been dealing with the fall out of that. What happens when the girl who could do anything grows up and does nothing?

I've been ashamed, when in reality I know that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have built a career for myself, I have a beautiful home, I have an amazing family. But I haven't done anything special with my career. I can't shake the feeling that I've been too safe.

I remember never being able to answer, "what are you going to be when you grow up?" Not ever really. I do remember having some ideas--ideas that were ruled impractical by my parents. Now, I do not blame them, they were just trying to help. But I never found a goal that was just right.

I never learned how to dream.

I am thirty years old. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I still don't have any idea where I am headed. But there is the tiniest of dreams stewing in my head. The beginning. And I am gearing up to leap in the way that I should have when I was seventeen or eighteen or even twenty-five. But I am getting there.

I still love getting A's in classes. I still love to be the smart girl. But I am learning to love being a dreamer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hate Winter

I am so very bored of the snow. It is icy and cold and slick and gah I haven't been to the office since Tuesday. As much as it is interesting to work in my jammies I would like very much to be able to be out and about. And also, to talk about something besides the damn weather.

Don't mind me, I am just pissed off.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Guess I Just Fail

A couple of months ago I posted because the kid had popped up on her hands and knees and squirmed around. I believe I said, the not dramatic at all "HOLY SHIT MY LIFE IS OVER."

And then she never did it again.

Sure, she became the master of rolling around from place to place and girlfriend could scoot backwards faster than I can run (which, is not that fast but still fast on your stomach). So I was the Mama Who Cried CRAWL and J was convinced I was making it all up.

Well Friday morning she started doing the whole army man crawl--like a sniper stalking her kill--to being able to scramble around the house at a rapid clip on all fours. For a couple of weeks she has been cruising slowly around all the furniture but now she pretty much runs while hanging on to the couch and coffee table.

I fear we are getting awfully close to toddling.

I swear, just when I get comfortable the baby changes all the rules on me. Now it's about trying to make sure there is nothing on the floor that will kill her dead RIGHT NOW. And also not letting her impale herself on the coffee table. Damn, it sounds easier typed out like that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Missed the Baby

Ramona just spent two nights with my parents (well my mother, if I am honest, because my dad does toy pick up duty and funny face making duty and well strap her in the carseat duty but everything else is all Grandma) and I feel a little weird about the whole thing.

On one hand, it was good for everyone. J and I went to see Robin Williams Friday night (hilarious, alarming and clearly coked out) and had drinks with friends. We slept in both mornings. We met people out at a bar to celebrate J's birthday. We got massages! It was like a vacation. We ate meals without having to entertain a tiny dictator. We drove without trying to calculate nap time. We stayed up late without paying a terrible price. And that was good. Also, my parents clearly had a ball. The baby got to have alone time with her grandparents and be adored. Everyone is a winner.

On the other, I missed her. This makes me feel a little pathetic really. But for all my bitching about the drudgery of being a mom, and how the hour between five and six every day is excrutiating, I still am a mom. And I still love my baby girl. I guess I can't really get through the day without munching some baby feet and smelling her little curls and playing peekaboo. I guess this means I am officially even less cool than I was before (which . . .is not easy). And also that I am going to have to come up with something. Since she is rapidly approaching toddlerhood.

I am such a fucking sap aren't I?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


There is just a soupy mess in my head. The meat of last week--work induced exhaustion + gratitude inspired by the holiday. Bits of cute baby stuff--she's been scooting her car around the house backwards and begged for pie at Thanksgiving. And the spices are the current economy, a bunch of work nonsense and that stupid baby formula contamination. Yeah, I have heartburn.

I don't know how to sort through it all. Feels like there are no answers to anything. I just keep muddling through it. I suppose that is what we are all doing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small Scare

My mother fell down the stairs today.

Luckily, she is fine. She is bruised and sore and staying the hell home from work tomorrow (griping all the way) but fine. She tripped and tried to steady herself and slammed everything on the railing. It sounds like her co-workers panicked a bit and had her on the backboard and everything.

My mother is sixty-one years old. Which isn't old but it isn't young either. She is more fragile than she used to be.

Actually, both of my parents are. They are frailer. My father can't do big projects on his own (we often try to go down and help). J doesn't ask my dad to come do things around our house anymore because he doesn't want him to hurt himself. My mother tires when we go out for the day.

I suppose I was in denial about all of this.

I was so worried, am so worried. Because I cannot handle it if anything happens to my parents. I still need them, Ramona needs them. This is our family. Everyone needs to stay safe and healthy.

And my mother needs to stay away from stairs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Off To Paraguay

So a few weeks ago I caved to the demands of my pal L and signed up for Facebook. It's been an interesting experience, I think half of my high school is on there. Since I skipped my reunion I got to have all my "WHAT THE FUCK HE HAS SIX KIDS?!" moments at home like God intended. And I didn't have to hit the gym or diet. AWESOME.

And it's been largely a fun experience. I've had lunch with an old friend, one I had forgotten how much I used to enjoy. I get to see adorable pictures of everyone's kids. It's a low committment thing.

But today an ex-boyfriend friended me. And I accepted automatically.

I wish I could take it back actually. I didn't mean to hit accept. And now, with the conventions of Facebook, I can't take it back without making it a Thing. Something that has more meaning than it really does. God am I mindfucking this much?

This person was mean to me. That seems like a small thing doesn't it. But he was cruel and really messed me up for a long time. I don't know that he meant to be, I don't care. I am over it but I don't really want to deal with him again. Not even in my social networking life.

Really, I should be able to launch him to Paraguay with just the powers of my mind. That is the kind of skill a girl should be able to cultivate.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And Now I Love Cher

I am socially stupid. I don't make small talk well, am actually reserved when I first meet some one (and then cannot stop talking once we are friends) and wow I just don't like to put in the time for a lot of friends (WOW I AM AN ASSHOLE). J juggles dozens of friends but I can't manage it and it gives me hives just thinking about it.

I do have girlfriends. But my best friend lives in Denver. And a lot of my friends live far from me or are in the same situation as I am--super busy with small children. So it's not like we are out boozing on Saturday nights.

But J bought me tickets to go see Kathy Griffin and he really didn't want to go. So he devised a scheme to get me to take a friend of his' wife. Which she and I have met and I genuinely like her but still. Did my husband fix me up on a date?


And it was awesome. Just the right amount of small talk. Wickedly funny show. And look at me staying up to a big girl bed time on a weekend. Sounds like MoMo didn't even miss me.

Plus, Kathy Griffin did an awesome bit about Cher!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Aw I do love the way the internet gets all worked up on a Sunday afternoon.

Her Bad Mother, Mom 101 and Moxie are just a few throwing their two cents in. But Twitter was all . . . well a twitter with the whole Motrin debacle.

To catch you up, if you do not follow internet mommy drama, Motrin has a new ad out (view here ). It is a rather unfunny ad that is semi-insulting to it's target (moms). The internet has viewed the ad and BAM. Motrin is getting killed via the blogosphere (and have since removed the ad I think).

As much as I did not get offended and insulted by the ad as many did, I do see their point. Mainly because I am tired of the Momification of everything. Jonniker wrote some interesting things on this last week but damn I am tired of being marketed to, spoken to, and treated exclusively as a Mom. It started during the election, when I realized that I was in that coveted Middle Class White Mom demographic, that I started feeling insulted by the crap I was supposed to be moved by. Now I notice that almost every damn commercial is targeted to me. Talking condescendingly about how busy I am, how stupid my husband must be, how CHOOSY I have to be about everything in my house. GAH.

The internet is no different. And while I find Mommy Blogs compelling and interesting (some of them anyway), and am glad that women have found ways to earn money and respect through this medium sometimes it feels so overwrought. The Momversations thing (which I am not linking) and that kerfuffle over Johnston and Johnston's junket a while back. It's all just more commercials and cynical bullshit. Honestly, you don't have to put a white lady in capri pants with an exasperated look on her face to sell me something. I am interested in the same things other people are. Books, music, politics, good food, something to make my ass look smaller and my boobs higher and well yes--something to clean my house with that doesn't kill the baby. Companies that have products that cater to that and don't treat me like I am silly and stupid would get my business.

But I am oddly not annoyed with Motrin. It's all been done before, even more tastelessly. The whole Milfy Cougar shit makes my blood boil a lot more. I wish that there was a way for a woman to be not hyper sexualized or asexual in our culture but for the moment there really isn't.

Motrin might have been better off with the Tagline "Pain Reliever You'd Like to Fuck" at any rate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sad How Little a Jackpot I Need

Some one is some sort of mothering genius and will undoubtedly (and dude I hope you do!) comment with a brilliant solution to this, but when I go to pick up the baby from her swimming lesson (which makes it sound like we chuck her into the water and let her sink which is what my mother thinks but NO J takes her) I get fucking SOAKED taking her into the locker room to change. I know it is because of the swim diaper which holds about eighty pounds of water (we use a containment diaper instead of disposable swimmer. Those are more convenient for us but god I just get drenched just carrying her in.

Other than that the swim lessons are brilliant. She loves the water, loves the attention and it is something fun for she and J to do together. Plus she is worn out afterwards and I am pro-anything that makes my baby sleep hard all night. I have to admit it's really adorable that she has somehow mastered a bit of a frog kick. I know it is largely an accident but still awesome and cute.

My swimming lessons (did I tell y'all about my swimming lessons) are even more fabulous. I could swim well enough that I wouldn't drown but not well enough to really swim for exercise. But that is really changing now. I cannot recommend YMCA adult lessons enough. I've really improved a lot in a very short amount of time and now my routine is to swim an hour and a half twice a week.

I want to model healthy behavior for Mo. I am a pitiful athlete and I still really struggle to see myself as an active person. It's hard to change your once you are grown. I hope that she will find something that she is passionate about that will keep her healthy and strong.

Also, it's baby free time. Rewarded with time in the steam room afterwards. It's like the mommy lottery.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wild Weekend

We don't entertain much. So it always sends me into a tailspin whenever we have people over. I am not sure why, since it's not like anyone expects Martha's house or anything. But having guests makes me steam clean the floors and worry about air fresheners. It's messed up but at least the floors are clean.

We hardly ever see these friends and it was great fun to catch up and just let the kids play. I fried steaks in butter (delicious) and we just sat around. When you have small kids this passes for a wild Saturday night. Sadly, about ten minutes before they arrived my head started buzzing with the beginnings of a migraine.

I fought and fought it off and was managing until it was getting late and the baby was screeching (up way past her bedtime and tired of being good) and their daughter was crying because she was up past her bedtime and oh I was at the end of my rope. By the time I was feeding the baby before bed my scalp was cracking I swear (why didn't it occur to me to ask J to put her to bed? NO IDEA I AM BRILLIANT).

Ten minutes later I was weeping on the floor because I couldn't relax enough to lay down. J rubbed my neck and I just shook I hurt so much. And then I went and barfed up my steak. I took a couple of Tylenol PMs and PASSED the eff out. At eight at night. All night I ached and ached and had messed up dreams. Dreams where I was being held by the CIA and there were tunnels and WOW I CANNOT EXPLAIN THIS. Let it be said that sleep aids plus a migraine = shit that should not be dreamed.

This morning I woke up all hung over. Which is especially unfair since I was the only one not drinking a thing. I swear, it was like J stayed up late and smacked the crap out of me with a crowbar. My parents were over this afternoon and I passed out on the couch while they played with the baby. I was just a wrung out rag all day.

Pathetic. My wild weekend.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And We Ate Cake

Today I am just feeling joy and excitement. I feel so hopeful for this country. I feel so connected to my community. I am so proud of all of us.

I recognize that for so many, yesterday did not go as they had hoped. But I hope that they too see our country moving toward rebuilding itself. And that we all try to push forward and create something special.

This is a time for celebration and hope. And I am not (too) embarrassed to admit how much I have cried in the last twenty-four hours. I slept peacefully last night (until awakened by the tiny dictator in the next room who doesn't care about history) and awoke trying to figure out what to do with all this productive energy.

J and I watched the returns with excitement and fear. We didn't blink because we were afraid it would stop happening. And we ate cake.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Like a lot of people I am just emotionally spent by this election. I believe J started obsessing about it in November 2004 and WOW. I need it to be over. I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say that this is the most important election of my lifetime. I believe this is a time when our country will turn a corner. Regardless of how you feel about the candidates, please vote your conscience on which way that turn should go.

Until it is over my anxiety is cranked up to eleven. I know the pundits are calling it my way but I felt hopeful before and actually that isn't helping. I still think it could be stolen. I am like a ball of freak out.

J is staying home tomorrow to drive the elderly to the polls and then drinking himself silly (either way). I am just trying to stay calm. And maybe when it is all over we can talk, think, dream about something else. And the headache that I have had for a month will go away.

I am going to tell my daughter about tomorrow. I just hope it's the beginning of a great story.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

When I was a teen it was considered cool to go to Haunted Houses on Halloween. You would pay ten bucks to go into a dark warehouse full of strobe lights and a guy with a chainsaw who would jump out and chase you down a hall. Scared the shit out of me. And I hate being scared. I don't like horror movies or even mildly startling ones. I don't like roller coasters. I don't like surprise endings.

And I hate haunted houses.

My idea of Halloween fun is the kind for little kids. I like costumes that make you look fuzzy and mini Kit Kat bars. Anything else is beyond me.

Today I dressed my baby as a skunk (free costume from a friend of mine's son). And damn she was cute. We went to a downtown Everett Trick or Treat event so she could look at all the kids in their costumes. And damn, we will totally do that again. Lots of kids, lots of candy all wrapped up in a festive non-scary atmosphere. I hope we go again next year.

I'm already planning the family costume.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Ramona is beautiful. This is, understandably, not the most objective statement I have ever typed. And yet I think it is hard to deny. She has a big smile and huge blue eyes. But also a sparkly personality--she flirts and waves and grins at everyone she meets.

I am aware that people pay attention to babies. I am a baby gawker myself--I stop and make faces, admire their outfit, make an ass of myself. But we can't go anywhere without people tripping all over themselves to talk to Ramona. At the Y, when we go for her swim lessons, everyone comes to admire her. The other baby in her class only gets attention from his mother and the teacher. I have lost count of how many people stop me to tell me she should be in commercials. How many people emailed me Gap's Baby Model contest demanding that I enter her.

She clearly loves the attention and, for now, I think it is good for her to interact with so many people. And who wouldn't enjoy having their baby be almost universally admired (GOD, could I sound like even more of an asshole)?

I do worry. See, I was that cute baby before (though I don't know that I ever got so much attention). But I outgrew those looks and became a completely ordinary person. Since, my husband is just on the handsome side of normal and I am the plain side of normal I doubt that Ramona will grow into some sort of raving beauty. The world is kind to those who are especially beautiful--but I can't help but think that her being just plain normal isn't a bad thing either.

What I do worry about, probably prematurely, is that she is admired so much for her looks. That she will be sad when that attention is gone, but also be more upset than is healthy. I want my daughter to know that she is beautiful but I hope that she grows up and realizes that it really isn't that important. I don't want her to value looks above everything else. I don't want her self-esteem to crash down around her ankles during the awkward years to come.
There is also the gender issue. Would everyone focus so much on her appearance if she were a boy (probably)? I am ridiculously careful about complementing her skills (you sat up so SO LONG without falling down, you got stuck under the coffee table again but you DO IT SO WELL) instead of just her prettiness. It's like this ridiculous circle of stupid. But I can't help worrying about it. I have to admit that I am worried that she will be this beautiful child and grow into a less than gorgeous adult and WOW. Self esteem crush.
I am sure she will be fine. We all will be. And one day she will morph into a plain little girl. And I will still tell her she is the most beautiful girl in the world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Because Yes Seattle Is Still One Big Grungy Cliche

This week J and I went to another concert--Kings of Leon this time. When we plan to go out now, there is always a strategy session. Usually it is just me because the other general in this army doesn't care and doesn't try to figure this shit out. So I came up with a plan where his mom could stay with her and still get enough sleep and I stayed home from work a couple of days. In the planning stages, all of this work never seems worth it. I am a homebody and why can't we just stay home and watch a movie or order pizza? Or just go places that take babies?

The answer is that I always feel 80% more human after a night out, like I am not just the taxi service bringing the cute baby places. I am more than just Mommy.

It's hard, because beyond my job and the baby there isn't much going on in my life to talk about with J. And what is the point in going out without the baby if you are just going to talk about her the whole time? But I think it was worth it to go and spend time together. To be adults. To eat a meal without a deranged Fraggle screeching for more Baby-Yo or goldfish crackers.

That concert made me feel OLD though. It was half people our age and half kids in their late teens, early twenties. Really drunk girls in tube tops. I didn't even envy their fun I just wanted to make them wear sweaters.

Everyone like us (old) watched the concert with respectful head nods (anything more than that at shows we normally go to gets your ass whooped) but the kids were out there waving their hands and dancing like they were in the club. Also, most of them videoed the whole show on their cell phones--something I will never understand. I felt very "damn kids! out of my rock concert!" about it.

The defining moment was when Eddie Vedder came busting onto the stage. He stole a drag off of the guitarists cigarette and then sang half of the chorus with the singer and ran off. Everyone old is going APE SHIT because EDDIE! and all the kids are like "who is the hairy roadie? and why is he wearing flannel?"

Sunday, October 19, 2008


In 2004 J and I jokingly said that we would move to Canada if Bush won. Of course he did win and we did not move but I found that we were not joking as much as we thought we were. I felt broken open inside, like I didn't know this country anymore. J jumped right back into politics but I kept back. I wasn't ready and in many ways I still don't feel ready. We didn't leave because how do you leave a piece of who you are? This is our home, we just felt we couldn't abandon it.

I am very tired of being told that I am lesser. That because I live in a city (or really a suburb) I am not a REAL American. That because I work in an office, at a computer, that I am not a hard working person. That because I am a Jew that I am not part of this country.

It's happening now. With a VP candidate talking about the "Pro America" part of America and a Congresswoman calling for McCarthyesque witchhunts for anti-American ideals (which actually that is anti-American).

I desperately want to be a part of this country again. To be part of the solution, to help us rebuild. And I believe that we can. I believe we are better than the ugly shit that is on display right now. Better than the thinly veiled racism at rallies and Pat Buchanan's ugliness. Better than racist, anti-Semitic men hanging an Obama doll in effigy (with a Star of David painted on top).

We are broken as a nation right now. Our economy is just barely sputtering along, we are not safe, we have an energy crisis, we are still at war. There is a lot of work to do.

Today we drove to Tacoma to see Joe Biden. Ten thousand people were there, the largest crowd for him ever. We put the kid in her backpack and took her along, we took pictures and waited in line and talked to other voters and we were there. I believe that this is an important point in history--we have to rebuild ourselves. This election will really decide my daughter's future.

Tonight I put Ramona to bed and told her a story. About how today we went to see some one we hope we will be the next Vice President. That right now the race of his running mate is considered very important but I hope that when you are a big girl it won't be anymore. We hope that things will be better for you then they are for us, that you will grow up in a place that values you and wants you to succeed. And that we wanted you to be a part of it because this is when the world changed.

In a couple of weeks we will know if the rest of the country agrees.

I confess that I am fully of anxiety of the voter suppression and intimidation efforts by the Republican party. I am afraid they will steal this. I love this country--I really don't want to leave.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You're Next

Julie and Cecily said it more brilliantly than I ever could.

I am not going to lie. I cried during the debate last night. I cried when John McCain mocked all women. When he doubted our abilities to make medical decisions with our doctors and loved ones. When he discounted whether our health was important at all.

I had a difficult pregnancy. I never came close to dying. I never got very sick. But I am not going to lie that I was afraid of that every second I was pregnant. That I had already had a loss heightened this problem. I knew but did not know until I was pregnant how dangerous it was. How it all could have gone terribly wrong at any second.

I did feel safe, trusting my doctors, having talked these out with my husband before. We had access to a lot of great care.

I don't really care about how you feel about abortion. I think how we talk about this issue in this country is stupid. Because I think most of us feel the same way--we don't like them. We don't want anyone to die. We never want to have one. It's how the rest of it is managed that divides people into camps. Camps that don't change anything.

I didn't really believe until last night that there was anyone, anyone in this country at all that really believed that the mother wasn't important at all. But John McCain does.

I wish I could force people to read Cecily's story, even though I know that people discount her experience and do not believe her or her doctors (because strangers on the internet know more than her personal physician). But I feel a little smaller today, knowing that the country cares so little for me, for my gender, for my life, that a man running for President can go on TV and tell me that my health is not important.

You're next.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kids These Days

Ramona slept through the night two nights in a row. The reason I am telling the internet this, knowing that this will jinx the fuck out of it, is because I didn't really benefit at all from this. Last night she stayed with my mother while we went to a concert and the night before J was supposed to take the middle of the night shift. But still, sleeping through the night is a big deal and I am sure I will properly appreciate this milestone when she duplicates it again some time in 2011.

Those following me on Twitter would have noticed some increasingly pissed off missives concerning our concert last night. The headliner, Weezer, was fantastic. But the opening act Angels & Airwaves was the biggest waste of arrogant emo shitheadedness ever to grace a stage. Much exaggerated gesturing, I believe some jazz steps and some seriously boring music. And I think I might have made violent threats to their lighting tech at some point since I am pretty sure that shit gave me a seizure. Assholes.

Best moment of the night was Weezer's encore. They covered a Nirvana song and all of the sudden you could instantly tell who in the crowd, which was an amazing mix of ages (people older than my parents down to the little eight year old playing air guitar in General Admission), parted between Old and Young. All of us who were old were going crazy because well it was Awesome and the kids were confused.

What the hell do they know anyway? They were rocking out to that Angels & Airwaves emo weepy black eyeliner bullshit.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yom Kippur

Last night I rushed home to make our Erev Yom Kippur meal. I roasted potatoes and carrots and made a pepper oil tender loin. We ate and drank wine and yes, I cheated because the baby went down right before sundown and damnit I deserved ice cream so I ate that just after sundown. I woke up this morning with a raw throat and a head ache and sounding a lot like Marge's sisters from the Simpsons. So a lot of my good intentions didn't happen for observing the holiday.

But I really enjoyed my ice cream this afternoon. I earned that man.

Monday, October 06, 2008

And Then Be Hell On Wheels Sunday

I realized today that Ramona is thirty-eight weeks old this week. And since I delivered her at thirty-eight weeks well . . .she's been out as long as she was in. Which is probably surreal only to me. But it is surreal all the same.

My gorgeous girl has not been her most charming the last couple of weeks. She is hitting a lot of milestones (she hasn't crawled again which her grandmother and father seem to think is pure laziness but I think she is kind of like I've done that) and learning a lot of stuff and trying to pop eighty-seven teeth all at once. I suppose that would wear anyone down and my girl is no exception.

She has already started to throw tantrums which are both alarming and hilarious. It seems that she inherited the worst of both of our tempers which means the toddler years are going to be interesting. I think it's mainly frustration but I see a lot of years of trying to calm her ass down while we try to teach her to get a grip on her emotions.

Until then we are white knuckling this stage. I think once the teeth that have caused her gums to swell up in knots pop through or she finally starts crawling or I don't know she pulls that stick out she will be just fine. In the meantime it is just waiting it out and being kind to one another.

She is spending Saturday night with my parents. What do you want to bet she will be a perfect angel?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I feel like I am drowning. It's not any one thing--it's the sum of a lot of things. A swirly clusterfuck of things. The economic stuff is just making my head spin and I have to admit I have been doing some 2am disastering. Our 401Ks are shot but man my parents were supposed to retire in a couple of years, there may not be time for them to recover. I'm dealing with a lot of changes at work--including a new boss. And my business is not the most fun to be in during tough economic times (though what is? the unemployment industry?). And the baby is trying to get all of her top teeth at once which I am sure this is efficient but fuck efficient. She is just in a terrible mood and I don't blame her. Her mouth is all swollen--her gums look like we took a crowbar to them. And the damn teeth still haven't cut.

It just feels so overwhelming. And none of it is anything I can really do anything about--it's all out of my control. So it is just there above my head, swirly and worrying. Making me sick to my stomach. Waking me up at night.

I can't stop worrying. Can't get control of it all. My face is broken out. I have weird bruises on my arms. Bags under my eyes. I feel battered.

I just have to get through this, I just have to hang on. I am that freaking inspirational poster of the damn kitten holding on by a paw goddamn it. But if I fall I won't land on my feet. And there is nothing there to catch me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tovah

After listening to Chicken Littling all day which lead to the first Anti-Semitic Jew banker remark I've heard in just ages I am Done with the banking crisis.

Shana Tovah, Happy New Year everyone.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Go Cubs Go

Like a lot of people I am struggling right now. The economy. The election. It's all so overwhelming. Layered on are issues with my job, my family, everything. . .it's just a lot. I am nothing special or unusual and sometimes I just look around and can almost see the cracks in the people around me. We are all just walking around half broken.

So I am trying to take a break from this and focusing on something that is so very important. The Cubs playoffs! I will immerse myself in all of the ups and downs and really shitty calls that this is bound to provide. We've ordered garb for the whole family. I am pretty sure there will be crying. Actually, there will definitely be crying.

But it's a beautiful distraction, one that I need desperately.

God I love baseball.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Call It Sleep

I'm about to write something that is the height of blogging idiocy. I am going to admit to the Internets that I let my baby cry herself to sleep tonight.

Of course this is the advantage of having a small (but loyal!) readership. The tens of you that come here probably are not going to set fire to this site. And on the whole, you are a level headed wonderful lot.

Mo used to have the easiest bedtimes in history. From basically three weeks old when she went into her own room, I'd change her, nurse her and put her to bed. No muss no fuss. But a couple of months ago she had a growth spurt/teething fiasco had me rocking her to sleep. Even this was a simple routine with only an occasional issue.

But in the past couple of weeks I've figured out that I have taken a baby who happily put herself to sleep and coaxed her into not wanting to do that anymore. I'm not really blaming myself, I think she needed that for a while, but now she needs to go back to putting herself to sleep. I know she can do it (this is very different than some kids who just are not ready to do this and I understand why this doesn't work for everyone).

Last night was the first night and a brief and minor crabby fit was it. She went to sleep, woke to eat (early, unfortunately) and then again at 3 this morning (and had to cry herself to sleep again). Not a great result but not horrible either. I'd heard from many people that the second night was much worse so I put the baby to bed and got in the shower (so I wouldn't have to listen). And she didn't make a peep.

Until twenty minutes after I got out of the shower. And she had a meltdown. It was so very hard not to go and pick her up. So I gave myself a mental deadline and luckily she fell asleep before that.

So many of my friends have done this and I have encouraged them. I have never judged them except to think that they were obviously doing what they thought was best. But I have to admit I was judging myself because GOD I was weak about it. I knew she was just mad, not scared, not needing me. I knew she would give in and sleep. I knew she could do it. But it felt so very strange not to go to her.

But she hasn't made a sound in hours. That is a very good sign.

Of course not only did I just tell the internet I let her cry it out. But I also just jinxed her sleep.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Elizabeth and Jessica NEVER Have to Deal With This Shit

I am so angry. I honestly gave consideration to taking up a career as a dominatrix--might as well make a nice side income off of punching people in the balls. I don't know how one gets into that line of work exactly but I would even squeeze my ass into pleather. I mean I am guessing that the hours are flexible?

These problems are not the kind that I can talk about here since I like paying my mortgage so that ends that. But I think everyone has had these problems, the kind where there really is no solution--at least nothing I can control--and I just spin and spin and make myself crazy because I can't change anything. It's this circular problem that I cannot seem to get acceptance with or move forward or do anything but the same shit over and over again. And I hate that feeling. Of knowing that it is useless to obsess over it but endlessly rubbing that worry bead over and over. I've worn the finish right off of those beads trying to make sense of everything.

I've failed.

I think in my mind I thought adults didn't do this. They didn't have problems they couldn't solve and they didn't obsess about things that they couldn't change. But I've been an adult for a long time now and I suppose it is time to admit that I have both of those things going on.

Somehow being a grownup is way less about staying up late and being able to read Sweet Valley High novels than I thought it would be.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sad Night

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would visit my dad's parents for two weeks a summer. Shockingly, Waterloo, IA isn't exactly a hotbed of activity and our days were mostly dorking around the house, running in their huge garden and, for me, watching Cubs games in the afternoons with my grandpa.

He'd be mowing the lawn, or doing something with the corn, something outside and would come in about ten minutes before the first pitch. We'd have ham sandwiches and icy Cokes. He would spend the whole three hours griping about what bums they were and how blind the umps were and WOW didn't anyone ever hustle anymore? I didn't learn anything subtle about baseball from my grandpa, he didn't talk stats or about pitch selection with me, we just watched the game and complained about the bums on the field.

I fell in love with baseball in those summers, but the kind of love that you know you will revisit. Some years it was true love, some years just a mild crush. But year after year we watched the games and it just became a part of me.

In later years we moved to an American League city. Baseball was one of the few things my dad and I could talk about without fighting. I learned about the designated hitter and forkballs and had my heart break a dozen times. I am a baseball fan. We are a dying breed if you listen to the media. But I have my doubts. I think kids across America are watching games with their grandpas (and grandmas), learning the game without knowing it. They don't call themselves fans today but they will in ten years.

This weekend my Cubs (!) clinched the National League Central. Unlike last year we are not worn to the bone just making the playoffs. It's the 100th Anniversary of our last World Series. No pressure guys but it would be nice.

Tonight is the last game at Yankee Stadium. If you are a baseball fan you love Yankee Stadium. You might hate the Yankees but you love the Stadium. I did not understand when the Yankees announced they were building a new stadium. I still don't. To me Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are like holy lands. They are special. They are magical. And I can't really imagine voluntarily giving that up.

I watched the closing ceremonies tonight. They had Whitey Ford and Yogi. They had Don Larsen and Thurmon Munson's kid. Bernie! Boomer! I was sobbing (J is playing softball and I stupidly didn't tape it for him). It breaks my heart.

Baseball will keep moving forward. The Cubs made the playoffs. But Babe Ruth's daughter threw the first pitch. And a little bit of the game is dying tonight.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I have to admit that while I have been following Sundry on her fitness journey, and cheering her on, this entry was hard for me. Our babies are the same age and dude, girlfriend is in better shape then she was before her first baby. That entry was not about me and not about any of her readers. You can tell she is really giving herself a pep talk, was really trying to keep up her momentum. And she really is an inspiration.

I am jealous. I am jealous of her determination, her drive and that she has already damn done it.

I don't know that I want to devote so much of myself to fitness. I don't want to focus too much on it. Because for me I know that could quickly build to an obsession. But I also know that I want to be a strong role model for my daughter, that I want to be healthy for me. I am actually not in a bad place weight wise from the pregnancy, but as some one who has never been an athlete I am not the strong person I want to be.

I can do better than this.

I just have to decide to do it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And We Didn't Even Fight With Any of the Drunk Whiney Seahawks Fans

I work with a guy who has a familial hook up with the San Francisco 49ers (which happens to be the favorite team of the AB family). So this week, since the 49ers were playing the Seahawks, I did some wheedling and BAM. Tickets for J and me.

Tickets that were not quite as close to the action as you might hope (a sherpa might have been helpful for getting to our seats, also a jetpack). But there are no bad seats at Qwest. So we were thrilled. And screaming. And winning!

We had (wisely) dumped the child with my parents. Qwest has the rep of the loudest field in the league and lord my ears are still ringing. Have a feeling that would have made the Meaper in the Screamer and wow. Yeah. Glad she spent the time with my mom.

Plus Zambrano no-hit the Astros and the Cubs magic number is SEVEN. Y'all. Just imagine the horrifying dancing that happened in this house when I watched that over and over on ESPN. I had to do it silently since I finally got the kid to sleep but still. The intent is there.

Very excellent sports weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


When I was eighteen I had a job in an “up and coming” neighborhood. This basically meant that it was a slum that was gentrifying—full of bars and restaurants but also junkies and the homeless. At this job one of my duties was to clear the veranda of the night’s occupants each morning before opening the office. This lead to all sorts of horrifying situations because my bosses didn’t really seem to grasp that a cute little eighteen year old blond probably wasn’t the ideal person to do this.

On time stands out for me—even though it was very mild. I had just walked up the stairs to start rousing the regulars awake. There was a pile of blankets near the stairs and a pair of arms shot out from underneath the blankets. Those hands grabbed at my ankles. I flailed and kicked and fought and ran.

I was completely fine (and much more careful after this—though to stupid to insist that the process change until after I was actually attacked). This incident really altered how I thought about personal safety. It was a turning point for me in realizing that I wasn’t invincible. Being young and white and cute wasn’t going to insulate me from all the bad things that could happen (long time readers realize how much this was drummed into my head after this).

It’s been twelve years and every morning I walk past the blanket piles that the homeless of this city still sleep under. I am not eighteen anymore and I don’t work in that neighborhood. And I am a transformed person. I am cautious and snake-bitten. I walk past the blankets and wait for the hands to shoot out. I am ready to scream, to kick, to fight.

I think many of us feel this way about 9/11. We spend this day watching the skies. We shakily check the news. We warily wait for the hours to pass. It was a country wide tragedy—the loss of our collective innocence. Whether you were in New York that day, whether you knew some one who died, whether you were on a flight—your experience that day changed you. Our collective experience changed us all.

I woke up this morning apprehensive. I remembered that day. I remembered the person that I was what feels like a long time ago. I mourned her and I mourn us all. The politicization of what is an American tragedy is sickening. No matter our individual experiences we survived this as a people. And as a people we move forward—dodging those hands that seek to grab us. Those that are real and those that live only in our fears.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yes, I Name My Cars Don't You?

There is an often quoted study that came out a few years ago about how women buy cars based on cup holders. And as sexist and overly simple as those quotes may be I think that the gist of the study may be true. Not that women only care about cup holders. I just think that the study was really trying to find the differences between what men and women really look for in a car. I suspect that women (grossly generalized) are about the comfort of the experience--they want all of their passengers (including their kids) to feel secure, to have access to beverages and snacks, to have the space that they need. They want the car to be easy to tote gear like groceries and kid supplies in. They want it to fit their whole family, they want it to be simple to park. They want safety equipment.

Men might care more about the bells and whistles. Like tech packages and headlights and the rims. They care about horsepower.

I know that this is ugly stereotyping at work and wow I bet there are definitely those of both genders that cross those lines. But in the AB household that is where we stood while shopping for a car.

Since it was my car it was ultimately my call (which is a weird thing when you are married and annoying because HI I DON'T WANT TO DECIDE ALONE). And I turned into a big cliche. I wanted something with stability control for safety. With the same amount of cargo space that I have now, with leather seats and a sunroof. I wanted something that was easy to have a baby seat in. And I wanted something that my dad could sit in the back seat in (even though this will never happen--I can think of situations where I will be hauling Shaquille O'Neal and a St. Bernard named Maxine that are more likely as my dad does not ride in the backseat ever but still).

So Friday night we bought a new car. It was a totally different experience than the last time we bought a car (which was like six or seven years ago). This time we test drove a few things way in advance, we secured financing ahead of time, we consulted Consumer Reports . . .we were so responsible. Major purchases are still examples of when I feel like we are totally playing at this adult shit. I may be thirty years old but I still feel like a kid when it comes to shit like buying a car. But we did exactly what we were supposed to and it still took fucking forever.

But, many hours longer than it should have taken, we got what we wanted. It's beautiful. We got a good price and I am delighted with our purchase.

Fucking salesman though. Harpied us about the baby having a pacifier while we were buying the car. WTF DUDE? Shut up about the damn binky or I am marching my ass out. Also, suck my DICK SHE CAN HAVE A BINKY SHE IS A BABY.

So now we have a lovely new Mommobile in our driveway. She just needs a name. J's suggestion is Shirley which I sort of like but feel like I shouldn't use because he only likes it as he wants to bone Shirley Manson.

Any suggestions internet?

Monday, September 08, 2008

All I Want Is No Muffin Top

Immediately after giving birth I lost thirty pounds. I don't recommend my method--which was to lose a whole bunch of water and also be so crazy that you don't eat anything for about two weeks. I lost thirty pounds in two weeks and was just eight pounds heavier than my pre-preggo weight. And I have been hanging out there ever since.

I've lost and gained that eight pounds a couple of times. According to my parents' scale (I don't own one) I might actually weigh more than I did that two weeks post partum. Yes, that depresses the hell out of me.

This flux is mainly because now that I am back at work I sit on my ass all day (vs. on leave when I was afraid to sit in my house all day and drug my baby all over town and walked a whole shitload--even walking all pokey-like is better than sitting around).

I recognize that I am probably going to have to do something about this eventually. Possibly work out, definitely stop eating the way I have been (which is whatever I want). But in the mean time I have to stop worrying about how things are not The Same.

Jeans are my toughest thing. Because my pre-preggos fit just fine. Except, well there is some hanging. And the hanging is not ok with me. I recognize the irony because y'all I preached the low-rise. Not the super low-rise that requires waxing or anything but a nice low-rise jean was just the ticket for some one with curvy hips, bigger legs but a small waist. Especially with as much junk in the trunk as I rock. But I don't have a small waist anymore. And sadly the flat stomach is gone. So everyone I urged to wear low-rise that was like BITCH BE CRAZY well I see your point.

But being a girl with a small waist but real hips and thighs meant jeans were a challenge. There were like two brands that worked at all. And well, now I have a hanging stomach. I wish there were another way of putting that. I wish there was another reality but . . .there is skin, there is pudge, there are cut up muscles. It's SEXAY. Also, I have lost my ability to suck it in. I have been sucking it in since I was twelve years old. Twenty-seven years of sucking all down the drain. I love my baby but why does she have to punch my soul right in the junk?

So I have been wearing one pair of mid-rise jeans since I had Mo. They are mid-rise (which means they are like five fingers below the belly button. And they are ok, and frankly I would love them if I could suck it in. But I can't and well there is some spillage. So after a couple of weeks of depressing try ons. . . well. I bought mom jeans.

Now they are not 1980's taper legged nonsense. From the hip down they look like fashion jeans. But they are practically up to my armpits just trying to mush all that shit in. I feel a little bit crushed by it honestly, and a little horrified to be admitting this shit on the internet. This is way worse than that time I told y'all about when I got a tampon stuck in my delicate lady parts (notice no link though DIGNITY). I feel all neutered and unsexy and like I am terribly unattractive. And sadly, these jeans still make me feel better about myself than the ones I was wearing. I paid money to feel this bad.

But at least my belly won't be hanging.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This Is Why I Am Not Sure I Could Ever Do A Newborn Again

Last weekend my mother took the baby Saturday night and there was much rejoicing. We both slept all night and slept in the next morning. The other days of the long weekend (with alternating nights) really helped me feel re-charged and rested. Y'all know where this is going right?

Since she came home little girl hasn't slept well. Teething and crawling and being so hungry have all combined to make a clusterfuck of not sleeping. She is hard to put to bed (something I am really not used to at all), wakes up several times and has even started eating twice during the night.

It is kicking my ass so hard.

I am trying a few things. Tylenol before bed, trying to get the MIL to feed her more during the day but mostly I think I have to be patient and ride it out. Milestones mess up sleep. Teething messes up sleep.

Like most parents, especially with two people working outside of the home and those with infants, our schedule hangs on by a thread. The slightest change in it sends us into a tailspin that is difficult to recover from. I think the distribution of labor between J and I is really fair but I still put her to bed every night and I get up with her at night 6 nights a week. Which means when she doesn't sleep I am the one who suffers.

He does it once a week. And I know he would do more. But with our arrangement this really is the fairest way. It just beats me to a pulp when she is like this. I get up at 4:30 in the morning so I have zero chance at eight hours of sleep regardless. My best shot is seven (not in a row) but this week my best night is five.

So yeah, I've spent that sleep I banked when she was at my mom's.

I have to keep chanting to myself that this is a stage, that she really is a good sleeper and will be again. Eventually she will sort out the crawling, eventually she will stop teething. Eventually she will stop trying to suck my will to live out through my veins. Eventually I will stop feeling like a crazy person.

I just have to stay calm. Be kind to myself and to my husband. And try not to kill anyone.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Not Won Over

Y'all. I tried. I tried so very hard.

I gave her a chance. Technically I am the demographic that the GOP is courting with the pick of Sarah Palin for VP. I am an independent white female voter who supported Hillary and GASP I'm a mom (first one to call me a soccer mom gets a cockpunch).

To be honest the chance that I would actually vote for John McCain was tiny. My big issues are the economy and civil rights and McCain's policies on these issues scare the FUCK out of me. But I was supposed to be wowed by this woman via her vagina so I tuned in like the cynical shit that I am. But I honestly tried.

I thought the coverage of her daughter's pregnancy and the rumors about her baby and GAG the bikini pictures was just gross (though SPARE me GOP your horror at it all since you have been slinging racist shit at Obama for a year assholes). I think the criticism of her record and her religious views and her inappropriate and unethical behavior while in office is totally in bounds and fuck off if you think I shouldn't know that as a voter. I might choose to vote for her anyway but I should know what I am getting.

So I watched her speech tonight. And. Wow. She was not impressive. She was sarcastic and petty and I didn't get a thing about her that made me feel anything but disgust. I was suppose to relate to her. I was supposed to think she was supermom. But all I could think was how much I loathed her. Loathed everything she said--how she smeared civil rights, how she mocked people for wanting hope, how she cocksucked John McCain for being a POW while advocating the torture of prisoners. The only thing I related to her about at all was that if I had to give a speech in front of all those people I would have sucked too.

Somehow I don't think that is what they were going for.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Her Bad Mother knows that we all need a little place to spill our guts, maybe about things that won't work for our personal blogs. Nobody needs to empty their spleen about their boss only to have said boss stumble upon their blog. That is why all weekend long bloggers have been hosting guest bloggers in a bitch across America. See the Basement for details.

Today I am hosting some one who wishes to be Anonymous. I am sure we all understand.

What to bitch about, what to bitch about?

I've been pondering that question for the last few days, trying to figure out which part of my life is bitch-worthy.

The problem is? Lately, my life has been pretty damn skippy. Especially when contrasted with some other people I've been reading about on-line. I obviously can't bitch about my personal life situation when all this kind of crap is being flung at other people.

Then I thought, "Hey! I can bitch about Sarah Palin, someone who seems to have been assembled like a Mr. Potato Head from a Republican wet dream." ("NRA Lifetime Memembership? Check! Vagina? Check! Oooooooooooooh, baby... you are making me so hot!") Have you seen that picture of her with the fur collared suit? It's sooooo... MUCH FUR. I could honestly go on and on about that, but I feel like I'd be wasting my bitching opportunity. Instead, I'm going to go with the tried and true and bitch about my husband. My darling, special husband, who is a wonderful person. 99.9% of the time, he is thoughtful, and hard working, and loving. I'd say his biggest flaw is his workaholic mindset. He works in a profession that requires an immense amount of both technical knowledge and emotional involvement in other people's lives. And he gives too much of himself away.

You would think after 10 years of this, he would have developed some coping mechanisms for the stress he puts himself through. But although he works out regularly, he won't make any time for anything other that attending sporting games. And then there is the drinking. He and I both acknowledge that our drinking has become positively 1954 over the past few years. Wine with dinner, a cocktail or two, almost every night.

Even that doesn't worry me so much. What worries me is the rare but awful binge drinking. In the 20+ years we have been together, I have witnessed some scary binges from him. I have certainly had my own as well, but if someone you love is puking their guts out or stumbling so badly you have to support them, a 6'4", 200+ man is way scarier to deal if you are only a 5'3" woman, rather than the other way around. And I haven't been that out of control in a decade, whereas with him it's a once every other year thing.

I haven't actually had to deal with it in a long time. There was one incident last year, which I was not a witness to, but that involved a big sports team win and a $2,000 charge on a credit card he had absolutely no recollection of. When I read back over this, I feel bad, because I give the impression that he is out of control, and I think that the opposite is true. I think he tries so hard to maintain control that when he very rarely finds himself in a drunken situation around other people drinking like crazy, he will give up that control.

He'll let go and just drink until he can't anymore. And he's a big guy, and he can talk and walk and laugh and seem far less drunk than he is until he suddenly hits "incoherent." It's scary, and it's the kind of thing that wears away at the foundation of our relationship, and it has happened just enough times that it has taken a bit of the trust in him away from me. And that just sucks.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Social Cleaning

When J and I got married we were the only ones we knew in our circle of friends who were married. In fact, most of our friends didn't have long term relationships at all. And we spent a lot of time trying (largely unsuccessfully) to cultivate that holiest of grails. The couple friends.

It's a quirky bit of chemistry to find friends that the husband/boyfriend gets along with the other husband/boyfriend, and likewise for the ladies (I guess this is probably also true for same sex relationships) but also the four people enjoying everyone's company. Add in that my husband is the sort of person you really LOVE or just loathe and I am socially awkward and . . it has been a challenge.

We've tried though. Lord knows we try. We have one set that the girlfriend and I have literally not one thing in common and yet we soldier on, eight years into the relationship. It is just close enough. Even though after eight years I still don't know much about her and would never dream of going to movie or anything with her on my own. We can get through a night of cards and a few barbecues with each other.

Adding a baby into the mix makes this even harder because now it would be really great to have this other couple have kids and hey could one of them be a baby?

This is why, after MoMo was returned to us by the grandparents today, and after she went to bed we steam cleaned the fucking floors of this house. I am baking cookies. And making wings. And a variety of other things. Because one of J's friends and his wife are coming with their kids tomorrow and well. Maybe they are the ONES.

Normally J will claim I will just love whatever girlfriend/wife that he can dig up. Because all chicks enjoy each other. We just sit around and look at each other's vaginae and whooping it up. J has never been a thirteen year old girl, he thinks all women like each other.

I do like women though. It's just harder for me to find ones that I want to spend a lot of time with--female friendships are amazing but they require a lot of upkeep. You have to invest in female friends in a way that you don't with men. But this woman does sound nice and her youngest is about a year old--older than Mo but still a young baby. For this I will clean my house and try to not be a social moron. Try.

So wish me luck. I might be drinking all morning (while baking!) in preparation for trying to charm these people. All so J and I can have a couple to play poker with and eat cheesy appetizers with. I am a team player.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Five Blissful Weeks

There are things that I have been dreading, nay denying that they will ever happen despite a lot of evidence to the contrary. I go on and on pretending that everything will stay exactly as it is today and well that strategy has been working for me. Except for that messy bit about how shit but keeps happening anyway. That part is a kind of lame.

One of those things is crawling. OH YES MY BAYBEEE IS CRAWLING! Unacceptable is what that is. She just turned seven months old yesterday. IS SHE ALLOWED TO DO THIS? WHAT AUTHORITIES CAN I CALL?

Sorry for the shouty but this! Makes me shouty! And abuse punctuation! But my life is so very over. This house, while charming, is a total death-trap for a mobile but poor judgement showing thing. I means she already eats hairballs and keeps petting the cat (you know, the cat that wants to kill us all), I am pretty sure she will pull that damn bakers rack in the kitchen on top of herself any second now. It is fortunate that her crawling is more of a forward moving inch at this time but I am pretty sure she will be a pro in no time at all.

I had planned for her to be like me. I never crawled. True to lazy-ass form I held my arms up to be carried until one day I was like Fuck It and walked. Then learned to roller skate a week later. YES I WAS VERY LAZY.

But the damn kid has her own ideas and abilities and I vote hell no.

I was just thinking earlier this week about how much I was enjoying this stage. Where she can really play with toys and sit there on her own and man it is really handy for going to the bathroom. I mean, yes, she could roll but she really wasn't going to roll for distance. It was blissful really. I enjoyed that stage. All five weeks of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Miss Him

I saw this old man eating his lunch today with shaky hands and I couldn't stop thinking about my grandpa. And though his hands would never shake while eating (because he is like the food equivalent to my best friend's grandfather who had Parkinson's disease and yet never spilled a drop of his martini) this old man just reminded me so much of him. The slightly stooped yet proud posture, the oddly formal clothing, the carefully combed hair. I just wanted to crawl in his lap and kiss the top of his head, breath that old man smell.

I had to remind myself that if I did that I would likely be arrested or . . .fondled. But it was touch and go there for a moment.

I miss my grandparents. Him more than her in a horrible way mainly because she really just likes to make us all feel horrible. Where he just enjoys us while he can. My grandmother is a wonderful woman and everything a grandma should be yet I am my grandpa's favorite. And every child should get to be some one's favorite. And he is the kindest, most gentle soul I have ever been lucky to meet.

The old man saw me watching him and asked me for directions to his bank. I walked him there, I didn't want him to get lost. I know that when I do that, when I care for some one else's grandpa, some one will take care of mine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Maybe I Shouldn't Blog While On Cold Meds Either

I was sitting at lunch when this (I assume) homeless dude comes up and asks me for fifty cents for a McDonald's Hot Apple Pie. I immediately go for my purse because I do not wish to deny anyone their hot fast food pastries. In fact I gave him a dollar because man, you need two.

I cannot stop bitching about the trash can at work. I have a cold and according to the new eco-standards I should get up every time I use a tissue and walk to the trash can. This means I should work about fifteen minutes a day because I am not staying late because of a fucking trash can move. Instead I have a mountain of used tissues spreading germs forth into the workplace. We are saving the environment by infecting us all with the black plague and wiping out humanity! WINNER!

Not that there is anything delicious about a cold but I am quite enamored with the return of dangerous cold medications. During pregnancy they just toss you some vitamins and shake their heads at your selfishness if you so much as take a Tylenol but now I am allowed the entire aisle at Rite Aid. Sure I might die but the baybee will live so glug that Nyquil (except don't because I would totally sleep through her nightly howl for snacking). Still, it is a relief to be able to take something and not want to die. Of course trying to decide whether to stay home is now a calculus problem involving child care and is it more work to stay home and try to entertain the baby (or do I make my MIL come even though I am here and is it weird to displace them from their routine and GAH). Frankly it is a lot less stressful just to go to work and waste my time walking tissues to the trash can.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Know, Technically I Do Not Have a Dick

Just so y'all know, not having a trash can is pissing me off even more in practice than it did in theory. It does not make me want to recycle. It makes me want to huck organic produce at some one.

I have a cold. The baby has a cold. We are snotty nosed messes. And I have to walk down the hall to throw out a damn tissue. Suck my dick recycling program!

Poor baby keeps waking up. J went and rocked her back to sleep. She is just a runny eyed snotface. Poor thing. Poor me because you know she will up ninety-eleven times tonight and I am already tired.

And I am still pissed about the trash can.

Friday, August 22, 2008

PKFA for Short

A really ridiculous thing happened at work today, one that I feel pretty comfortable talking about here because it really isn't about my office. It's about offices all around this country and all the stupid shit that happens in them that makes no sense at all.

They are taking away our trash cans.

I don't actually get this. Apparently this is to encourage recycling. And also exercise because you have to get up to throw things away? So when you have a cold that uses eighty-four thousand tissues a morning you can drag your ass to the trash center and burn 10,000 calories.

We have solved both global warming and the obesity epidemic.

I think this is why so much of the eco-movement just irritates the hell out of me. I do not mind doing small things that add up to big things. I don't even mind doing big things if they make sense. But I really mind that I am not allowed to have a goddamn trash can anymore to throw away my snotty tissues. And that I was barraged with emails after the announcement from people hitting reply to all friggin celebrating that we would all get exercise while we GO GREEN.

I love the sentiment of Go Green but I would like the phrase erased from the English language.

I suppose this all makes me a planet killing fat ass who doesn't want any exercise. I doubt that surprises anyone.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do I Look Like Mike the Mover?

If you weren't following me on Twitter today, and you weren't since no one is, you missed that sometime around lunch a large box arrived in my office. It contained a chair.

This chair. In zebra print.

Which, oddly enough, I never ordered. It took some time for me to convince my officemates that I didn't order it, a vendor didn't send it to me (why would they do that), and NO J DIDN'T BUY ME A ZEBRA CHAIR.

It took me a really long time to track down who was supposed to get the chair (a woman from another part of the country, who's name in no way resembles mine and who I do not know) and convince the company that yes, it is a problem that I have this chair since I didn't pay for it and some one else did. Enough time that I am thinking I won't be doing business with Ballard Designs. Because bitches are crazy.

By the end of the day Zebra Chair was sort of a celebrity. People were coming to pose on it and remark on it's glamour. I think I will miss it when they send a man in brown shorts to come get it.

I am sure as hell not carrying it downstairs.

Monday, August 18, 2008


In the past week or two the baby has taught herself this sort of fake cough--ahem HACK ahem--that she employs at every opportunity. Any time that things are not proceeding according to her little diabolical plan she gives a little Excuse me *HACK* and we are all supposed to fawn all over her. Except that it is the fakest cough sound ever, like she is a passive aggressive asshole trying to "politely" alert you to her presence. Usually girl dissolves into giggles shortly after--I mean she is six months old so her acting skills are keenly developed for her age but she is not Meryl Streep.

It's hysterical honestly. Except that when we are out and about and people are staring at us in horror because we are laughing at a choking baby.

So she will cough and then stop and check our faces for response. She will peak up over her lashes to see if we are watching. Laughter is the wrong response. Laughter will make her try again, like COUGH DID YOU HEAR ME? She will then howl a bit and be angry and well eventually will lose interest all OOOH SHINY. It's awesome and sad and we are so totally fucked when this kid is thirteen. That is a lot of time to perfect screwing with Mom and Dad. I am pretty sure she will get better at it.

*Side note, have totally signed up for Twitter. Have no followers. Please join up and I will follow you right back and we'll be BFF forever! Or something less stalkery!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not At All

Yesterday was my thirtieth birthday. I spent it running DelSelva around the whole fucking earth trying to find him a Wii (VICTORIOUS I AM SHOPPING CHAMPION) and then we all went out to dinner at a dueling piano bar. I am glad that I secured the promise of DO NOT HUMILIATE ME before that dinner because those celebrating events got to do many classy things like grab their husbands' jock in front of a room full of people. Funny when other people do it maybe?

I am not sure exactly how I feel about thirty actually. I think it's an age that I remained convinced would only happen to other people and I would stay 29 for at least ten years. Not because thirty is old exactly, but because I am still young naturally. And I am still young. But I am old too. I am married, have a young daughter, work for The Man and pay an obscene amount of property taxes. I am not exactly partying heartily if you catch my drift.

I look at J and I think what the fuck because we were young once! We had flat(ter) stomachs and no grey hair (well I still do but . . .) and man we were adorable. Like little puppies. Now we are rumpled and tired and slightly more round. I guess it is still to accept that aging is universal and I cannot opt out. It is not at all like not buying an IPhone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Woe and Despair

Most nights MoMo goes to bed easily. I take pride in this, not because I am doing something right, but in that I can usually spot it when things start to go very wrong. Because there is a brief window that she will go down easily and happily and if you miss it. Well hope you packed a bag with some ear plugs because it is going to a while.

Tonight we have an out of town guest and in between the long trafficky drive to get him, the excitement of lunging for pizza and her business in flirting with him well she crashed and she crashed hard. It doesn't help that she is working on yet another tooth and she got her six month shots yesterday. But she spiraled into an hour of screaming at me, a half of screaming at J and then reluctantly passing out while watching a Queen DVD with J.

I have to admit I worried that the newborn stage would be even more screamy than it has been and on nights like this I am so grateful that it hasn't been. Because I am weak and my nerves cannot take it. An hour of weeping, face melting wails of WOE AND DESPAIR and I need to recover from my vapors with ice cream and Olympic television. There are just moments when I want to reason with her, to just force that information in her brain--you are upset because you are tired so just go to fucking sleep kid.

I am sure our friend thinks I am a dream mother.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Are Family

When we were still struggling with infertility I had a really difficult time articulating exactly why I wanted to have a baby. I have never craved babies the way that other women seemed to (though I cannot stop monching their cheeks now). What I wanted so badly, what cost us so much, was a family. I was lucky enough to grow up with a fantastic family and last week I got to just enjoy what I was looking for.
I know that my parents really enjoy my baby. I know that they truly love watching me mother my baby. And I love watching them with her. MoMo makes us a family in a way that we weren't before. I know that other people have great family relationships without children, and we did too, but for us this was what I wanted all that time.
We didn't really do anything so special. We lazed around, played with the baby, ate lots of chocolate chip cookies and bacon. We played cards and watched the non-stop coverage of the Brett Favre trade. I have been fortunate to have positive relationships with my parents as an adult (we all work at it but I think there is an element of luck too). They love my husband. We stayed up late and night and played cards (and yes, my mother drunkenly had issues removing her fleece jacket and flashed us all). We talked about babies and sports and what car we should buy this fall and everyone got some time to themselves and everyone cared for the baby and it was all so very healthy.
Everyone deserves that.
There is a lot about being a mother that has overwhelmed me. I tried to prepare for the big changes and I think I did as well as I could but . . .I just didn't know what it would be like for me. I am really struggling with balancing my life, figuring out how our marriage will work, getting used to the idea of even being some one's mother, struggling with my new body. It is a lot. I have never regretted having MoMo, though having a baby is so incredibly hard. But last week really embodied what I had been looking for.
And I felt so capable as a mother, I felt like a good wife, a valuable friend, a daughter my parents could be proud of. And I ate bacon! It was like the Thanksgiving dinner of vacations, short but satisfying and rich. Something to look forward to and to look back on with a sleepy and satisfied smile.
And did I mention the bacon?