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.