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When you get that notion, put your backfield in motion

Officially a Mom


Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not what you expected, huh?

15- Number of people who googled the word "boobs" and were brought to my blog yesterday

15- Number of people who googled the word "boobs", were brought to my blog and were VERY disappointed yesterday.

Who googles the word "boobs"? I mean, honestly.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

BOOBS!

I haven’t talked about the girls in awhile and since I just know all of you have been lying awake at night wondering “now just what has Amanda’s boobs been up to lately”, I thought I would do your sleepless minds a favor and devote an entire post to my breasts. You can thank me later.

I can’t believe in a little more than three weeks the Goose will be the age that comes after 11 months (I still can’t say it) and we will fall into the category of extended breastfeeding. I really hate that term. Extended. Extended from what? Extended from the cultural norm? I live in South Carolina so in comparison to mu culture (let's pretend that SC has culture, shall we?), I have been extended breastfeeding since she was a month old. Extended because we’re nursing past a year? So because she is 366 days old rather than 365 days nursing somehow becomes extended? If Grace wants to nurse past a year then she wants to nurse past a year and it is extended from anything. It’s just nursing to Grace. Nothing more nothing less and I really think labels like “extended” make nursing a child who is the age that comes after 11 months seem freakish and weird rather than what it really is: perfectly normal for that individual child who is the age that comes after 11 months.

We have had such an easy time at breastfeeding and she is still very much attached to it but come one, let’s face it. You’ve seen my rack. Who wouldn’t be attached to it? (Ick. A sexual joke in the context of discussing breastfeeding your child is never kosher, is it?) I still can’t believe we’ve made it this far. I have been pumping 2-3 times a day at work since she was 9 weeks old and for the first 10 months of her life, she would only sleep if she was snuggled next to me attached to the boob. Still, compared to nursing Gavin and what many other moms go through trying to work and nurse their babies, we have had a really easy go at it with tons of support. The husband has been very supportive. He is the washer of the pump parts, the listener of my breastfeeding woes, and the biggest doubter of my ability to nurse Grace. Before Grace was born he actually told me he didn’t think I would be able to breastfeed Grace. On his behalf, he did see me go effing nuts after Gavin was born and feared for his life daily until I weaned Gavin. What he didn’t know is that telling me “I don’t think you can do something” is the equivalent of telling Marty McFly he is “chicken”. I hate to be told I can’t do something so before Grace was born those 6 little words drove me to do everything in my power to ensure what happened with Gavin did not happen with Grace. Fortunately I didn’t experience the horrible post partum depression I had after Gavin’s birth with Grace. Either Vitamin Z is that good or I just got lucky.

While the husband has been super supportive of me nursing Grace, I do sense that he would like for me to wean her sooner than later. I believe he has grown tired of the yellow, do not cross, police tape I wrap around my boobs any time Grace is not on them and the fact that I am unable to be away from Grace for any great length of time and not have to worry about what I eat or drink. Plus, while I do enjoy nursing her, as of late I have been complaining more and more about her biting and twiddling. I have been hesitant to mention the biting and twiddling on here because in true lactivist form I didn’t want to write anything on my board that would deter someone from giving breastfeeding a shot but DAMN! SHE BITES AND SHE TWIDDLES AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS! Whew. I feel better now that I got that off my chest. Baby teeth are freakishly sharp. They are designed that way so they can cut through their gums and apparently through their mother’s breast tissue. She doesn’t bite all the time but she has certainly made a sport of it. I can always tells when she is about to bite because she looks up at me and smiles with twinkling eyes and just when she knows I am captivated with all her cuteness and under the spell of all that is my sweet, baby Goose, she clamps down with such fury and then laughs as if to say “SUCKA!!!! GOT YOU AGAIN, BIOTCH!”. I am now impervious to her charm and as soon as she smiles, I still my finger in her mouth and tell her no. When I tell her no she looks at me like I just bit her boob off. Now who’s the SUCKA!!!

The twiddling has been going on for some time. I used to keep my hand over the non-nursing breast as if to keep it from jumping off my chest over the fear of being bitten but I’ve gotten lazy. She used to always fight with me to twiddle and play her little game of Tune in Tokyo and when I prevented her from doing it she would bite so I would have to use my hand to keep her from biting and then she would go in for the kill and grab on and start twiddling with all her might. Get her twiddling fix, if you will. She still nurses once a night and she while she is a mild twiddling fanatic during the day, she turns into full-blown twiddling maniac during the night. I swear, it is like nursing a baby while be groped by a 14 year old boy. I try to stop her and she smacks at me and if I cover the non nursing breast she’ll start clawing and kneading my stomach and I wake up looking like Freddy Kreugar got a hold of me. I’ve explained why baby teeth are so freakishly sharp but I have no idea why their fingernails could rival Edward Scissorhands.

All that said, I do plan on working to stop the twiddling and biting so I can allow Grace to nurse until the year that comes after the age that comes after 11 months if she so desires. We’ve come too far for me to wean her now and there things I can do to nip her less than desirable nursing etiquette in the bud. Besides, she really, really likes to nurse- she needs to nurse- and it is so very good for her. What mother wouldn’t want to fulfill her child’s needs when she is able?

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Way cool AGAIN!!!

The Goosers, the Gavinator and I are Image of the Day over at Blogging Baby today!

I love this photo because no matter what I am doing, I always have both kids underfoot. Unloading the dishwasher? Grace is gnawing on the rubber inside the dishawasher and Gavin is grabbing for any sharp instrument. Taking clothes out of the dryer? Gavin is pushing on the button to make the dryer light turn off and on and Grace is trying to crawl in. Putting clothes in the washer? Gavin is begging "up, up, up!", so he can watch the water spray on the clothes. Use the bathroom? Both kids are banging on the door or sticking their hands under the door and making such a fuss that I open the door so they can climb up on my lap while I do my "bidness". Vacuuming the carpet? Grace is clapping in her entertainer and Gavin is following the cord around with one of his cars. Lying in front of the tube? Grace is trying to get to the boobies and Gavin is using my body as a highway for his cars. Showering? Grace is screaming and Gavin is pulling back the curtain so the water will spray on him. Working out? Yet another officially a mom moment. See for yourself....

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When I'm all big and fat and they are embarrassed of me at school functions, they will only have themselves to blame.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Time flies. And yes, Gavin is wearing the same shirt.


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Friday, May 26, 2006

Way cool

The Goosers and I are Image of the Day over at Blogging Baby!

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My baby girl is so delicious it is a wonder I haven't covered her in hot sauce and eaten her all up! Oh well, sweet baby kisses will suffice!

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Random updates

Remember when I told you about applying to be photographed for When Mothers Nurse? Well, I heard back from them:

Just wanted to let you know we are getting closer to finalizing the trip to Asheville. If you could organize more moms in the area for the project it would be a big help to us.

Hmmm, so not only do they want to photograph me, they want me to do a little marketing. I do know plenty of nursing moms through LLL so garnering interest for the upcoming project in my area shouldn't be a problem but I can't help but imagine myself walking up to nursing moms asking if they want to come with me to Asheville to have pictures taken of them breastfeeding. I wonder if the folks at When Mothers Nurse would post bail for me if I decided to go that marketing route?

Gavin has his appointment with the developmental psychologist yesterday. As you may remember, we were referred to the psychologist after his evaluation with the developmental pediatrician in April. You know, the pediatrician appointment where we never actually saw a pediatrician. The one where I flashed my boobs at my former coworker. This appointment was definitely our best one yet! And not because I didn't flash my boobs at anyone because I did flash my boobs a couple of times while nursing Grace and then a few more times for good measure because I really liked this doctor! The psychologist spent over two hours with us and while he did refer to several questionaires we filled out at our previous appointment, he didn't go down a set checklist like some Dr. Robot, MD and he talked to us! He asked us how we felt about Gavin's behavior (just wonderful, doc. Don't you know every parent dreams of giving birth to the antichrist?), what our goals were for Gavin (for him to become a self-made billionaire by the age of 9 and support us), and what books we had been reading to learn more about Gavin's behavior (the Old Testament of the Bible). The doc validated all of our concerns and acknowledged that while Gavin does demonstrate many behaviors that fall on the autism spectrum, he does not believe that Gavin is autistic.

He described Gavin a being social, intelligent, and a problem solver. (side note, the social and intelligent he gets from me. The problem solver? Perhaps a long lost gene has been turned on or something?) Based on the doc's experience as a psychologist and having seen children with speech delays who also exhibit this type of mixed bag of behavior difficulties, he feels that Gavin's autistic/OCD/SID behaviors are related to his expressive speech delay and that they will resolve as his speech improves. We also discussed discipline and I confessed to using bribery with Gavin and the psychologist laughed and told me there is a medical term for that: contigent reinforcement. Apparently I don't bribe Gavin, I contingentally reinforce him. I like that and hell, people can't knock my parenting if they can't understand what I'm saying. I have a meeting with the doc on June 19th to further discuss his findings and he will more than likely track Gavin's progress at bi-annual appointments. In fact, there was already a lot of progress from his appointment with the developmental pediatrician (the one where we never saw a pediatrician) in April to now. I'm just bursting with pride!

Oh, and Karrie, I wore my gauchos to work again today and FOUR people have complimented me on the already. How you like them apples? :)

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pop Quiz (and Crossroad Addendum)

What's more embarrassing?

A. Pumping at work and then, unbeknownst to you, buttoning up your shirt wrong so that half your bra is exposed only to be told by a male coworker (after about 30 minutes after your pumping session and after talking to about 10 people) that you "might want to do something about that".

OR

B. Finding out that "C"* from your Crossroad blog entry, ubeknownst to you, reads your blog and sends you an e-mail about aforementioned blog entry. Now while it is always a pleasure to hear from "C", I sort of felt like I was getting the "there, there, it was me, not you" talk 7 years later. "C" is a totally cool cat who, together with his lovely wife, is the coproducer of one of the most stunningly cute baby boys I have ever seen, but I have to say that it didn't take me long after moving to SC and sobering up to realize that "C" and I were meant for other people and that dude, I'm way to hot for him, man. :)

Hmmmmmmm...... you be the judge.

A little unknown fact about the Gavinator is that when he does something he knows he shouldn't and knows you're going to scold him for it or tell him "no" or anything else he definitely does not want to hear, he runs away with his hands over his ears so he can't hear you. Smart boy.

Imagine me, right now, running away with my hands over my ears.

____________________________________

*Addendum added: in re-reading the Crossroad blog entry, it became apparent to me that what the crossroad actually was came out to be as clear as mud. Short story made even longer, I could have moved away with ex (wrong path) or been true to how I felt- perhaps even vocalized those feelings which probably would have gone a little something like this-

Me- I like you
C- I like smoking pot

and then moved away to SC on my own all the while realizing much, much sooner that not only is it stupid to like someone who doesn't like you back, it is even stupider to like someone because they like you (right path). What can I say? Yet another reason to NOT make life altering decisions after 6 years of chronic binge drinking.

Relationships are give and take. Love and be loved. But first, you gotta love yourself and when I got that figured out, along came the husband. Perfect timing, really.

Oh well, you live, you learn and then you get LUVS.

No wait, don't get LUVS. They leak like a mo fo.

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G-mail #11

Hey you guys! How’s it going? Sorry my g-mail is a couple of days late but I have been sick as a dog! I had a temperature of over 103 degrees! You should have seen mommy’s face when she read the thermometer! I think she looked more scared than me and I was the one with the you know what in the you know where!

Me not feeling so good and telling mommy, "get me out of this pack and play or the giraffe gets it!!!"
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I’m 11 whole months old! Did you know that’s just one month shy of being one whole... wait a minute… I forgot… I’m not allowed to talk about turning a certain age in less than a month. Mommy is having a huge crisis over something about me not being a baby any more in a month. I do not know what she is talking about because I will ALWAYS be her baby but you know how moms are. They’re all weird and emotional and they never want ya to grow up. I, on the other hand, love growing up! Every day I learn something new and I can do something else. Why in just the past month I’ve grown 4 whole new teeth and started crawling (although I prefer butt walking), trying to pull up, standing with assistance, eating big people food (those teeth sure come in handy), and saying “mama”, “dada”, and “cat”. I love to smile and laugh and I have even mastered the art of clapping and waving. People love it when I wave at them! I’m still nursing but I’m really beginning to like real food, too. I love pasta, peas, and yogurt but my favorite food is my wheat teething biscuits. I chow down on those! Yummy in my tummy and makes my gums feel oh so good!

Here I am waving AND eating big people food!
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See my teeth????
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Guess what happened to me this month? Come one, guess! I, Grace Elyse, was dedicated at church. It was the coolest thing ever. Mommy and daddy took me on stage and the Pastor called out my name and gave me a Bible with MY name on it and even said a prayer just for me. It was so special. Mommy told me to tell you she’ll send out the pictures as soon as she gets them back. We also went to Greek festival last week and I got to watch mommy and daddy eat yummy Greek food (good thing we don’t live in Greece or mommy would weigh 500 pounds!) and watch big bro ride rides all by himself. He went on this swing thingy that spun him around and around and then he jumped up and down for like 10 minutes in this big inflatable red thing. He had so much fun. Big bro is really starting to talk a lot more and me, mommy, and daddy are so proud of him. Daddy just set up a pool for big bro in the backyard and as soon as I’m feeling 100%, I’m going to get in the pool with him! We go for walks every night with mommy and me and big bro play outside a lot. I love it outside. Big brother is mean to me sometimes- like when he pushes me over and sits on me and heck, last night he took off his diaper and peed on me (don’t you dare laugh)- but I know he loves me and I love him.

Playing with big bro:
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Big bro in the pool:
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Well, that’s all from here! We’re looking forward to Memorial Day weekend and hopefully we’ll see all of you real soon. I had a great time with pa and great grandma last weekend and it made me want to see everyone else I love!

Love ya bunches,
GE.

Bear compare!
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Just a bloggin'

G-mail number 11 is going to be a bit late because the Goose is under the weather. She has been running a temperature that went as high as 103 degrees and has been lethargic, extremely fussy, and just basically pissed off at the whole entire world. Out of respect for her, we chose not to get her all dolled up to pose in front of a stuffed bear for her 11 month pictures so the bear compare will have to wait a day or so. The husband took her to the doc this morning because we thought it might be an ear infection (runny nose, high temp, pulling at her left ear, inconsolable crying, not wanting to be layed down, etc...) but the ears are crystal clear and this bug just has to run its course. Poor baby. Grace is such a sweet and easy-going thing, to see her sick and so out of character is heart-wrenching to say the very least. I've spent the last couple of days holding and rocking her, nursing non-stop, and trying not to laugh in her face when she does her pathetic "I'm really ticked off so I have to scream but I'm still the sweetest thing since cheesecake" motor boat cry. By motor boat cry, I mean that... well, she sounds like a motor boat. She does this thing with her tongue when she cries out that I really can't explain but my homegirl can totally roll a Spanish "r" like nothing I have ever heard before. What makes it even funnier is that Gavin can't stand the sound so he cups his hands over his ears while the Goose wails and wails. So not only do I have senorita rolling her r's but I also have the Gavinator with his hands pressed firmly against his ears curled up in a fetal position trying to block out his oh so offensive sick sister. Just another day in our household!

My dad and grandma were in town briefly so that forced me to do some serious housework. I thought they were going to stay most of today so I took the day off of work but they left early in the morning because grandma has an "abdormal breast" and needs to go to the doctor. Right. There are two things a granddaughter never needs to hear no matter how old she is, and they are:

1. grandma has breasts
2. one of grandma's aforementioned breasts is abnormal

Gettin' old is apparently a bitch but my grandma is hanging in there... abnormal breast and all. She is a tough cookie. She was freaking out about how traveling made her constipated ALL day yesterday. Fortunately for grandma, I overheard her tell my dad that she was able to take a poop in the wee hours of the morning before we awoke from our slumber. I never felt such a bond to my father as when I heard his reply. In all his smartass glory that I have thankfully inherited, he asked her dryly why she didn't wake him up to tell him the good news?

My dad is a pretty cool guy but something he isn't hip to is blogging. He, in all his blogging unhipness, calls it "bogging" and in fact, he is so unhip to blogging that is totally unaware that such a thing called a site meter. Silly fella. See, he visited my sister before he came to visit me and as it turns out, unbeknownst to him, I knew exactly what he was doing at my sister's house on May 20, 2006, from 7:57-8:54 pm. Those crazy cats were hanging out and doing what probably every family does when they get together after having not seen each other for 6 months or so- reading another family member's blog. I'm totally cool with family reading my blog because I'm careful not to post anything here that I wouldn't say to their face and in all honestly, aside from the one person I mentioned previously, I really like my family and I have nothing negative to say about them. Also, I'm pretty much an open book about my life and I don't have anything to hide. If being unhappy about the fact I have to work fulll time outside the home and be away from my kiddos shocks you then I don't know where you have been for the past two and a half years every time I have opened my mouth. If my husband being stressed out by staying at home with two kids and working full time comes as a shock, then perhaps you need to ask him how he is doing a little more often. If you haven't heard the words "boobs" and "sleep" come out of my mouth a half a million times in the past 11 months then maybe you don't spend enough time with me because my baby loves boobs and until recently, she loved not letting me sleep. And if being a mom to a toddler with a speech delay and sensory integration dysfunction and a baby who lives for the boobies that aren't there half the day and a wife to husband who is totally awesome but works way to hard means I need to have a little creative outlet on this thing I like to call "My Blog" and it comes as a surprise to you, then maybe you just aren't listenting.

I love my life. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my family (with the one exception noted). I'm just me. I was me for 26 years before I met my husband, 27 years before I met my son, and 29 years before I met my daughter. I like to write about things that were, things that are, and things that will be. More importantly, I like to read what others write (you have checked out my links of interest, haven't you?) and if maybe I can do for someone what the people on the other end of those links have done for me, then I love that, too.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sniff.... sniff....

My baby girl is going to be 11 months old tomorrow. That's just one month shy of one year. One month away from being a toddler. One month away from being a mom to a baby and a preschooler to being a mom to a toddler and a preschooler.

Sniff... sniff... sniff.....

Please be the longest month ever. Please.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Crossroad

I’ve mentioned Gavin’s love of music, or rather his love of one song that must be repeated over and over for a month straight before moving onto a new song, before but I have never really touched on the fact that he inherited that gene from me. Anyone who has ever lived with me or ridden in my car could tell you that once I find a song that I like, I listen to that song over and over again until I can’t stand it anymore and then I listen to it once again for good measure. Gavin tends to get hooked on songs that the husband and I like because where else is he going to find out about music? I don’t mind it when he gets hooked on songs that I like (although he even takes my obsession with hearing the same song repeatedly to a whole new level) but when it is one of the husband’s, I strongly encourage him to move on but unfortunately, he seems to prefer Lloyd’s taste in music to mine. The desire to listen to Blink 182 over and over again does NOT come from my gene pool.

For Mother’s Day, Lloyd bought me the new Rascal Flatts c.d. I know, I know. Bah! Pop country music sucks but for one, I never claimed to have good taste in music and for two, Rascal Flatts is pretty darn good. On Wednesday morning while driving the kids to work with me, I put the c.d. in the player. At first, Gavin did not like it and started to kick the back of my seat while saying “Mine… c.d… mine… this… c.d. mine” thus indicating to me that yes, I do have bad taste in music and that Gavin wanted to listen to his c.d. of classical lullabies. Yeah, right. Do you know what it is like to have to drive to work after only a couple hours of sleep and listen to music meant to put people to sleep? Sorry but not gonna happen, Gavinator. But then, song two started playing. All of a sudden the kicking and screaming stopped, Gavin cocked his head to the side to listen much like a dog, his mouth relaxed and the drool began to flow freely, and he began to gently kick his legs in time with the music. Needless to say when the song ended he was begging “More, more, more, peas. More peas”, and we ended up listening to What Hurts the Most the entire drive to work Wednesday, Thursday, and this morning. I can usually tolerate the repeated playing of one song- especially when it is a song that I like- because it keeps him calm and keeps me from either getting the crap kicked out of the back of my chair or running off the road because I fell asleep at the wheel to soothing strains of lullaby music. However, we seem to have a conflict. In my list of weird things about me I shared with you all that:

I’m a total freak about music in that I think I have a touch of sensory dysfunction because certain songs remind me so much of certain places and people that I can smell, see, feel, and practically be exactly where I was and who I was with when I used to hear the song. Some songs bring back memories that are a bit too much to take and I have a hard time listening to them.

It turns out that What Hurts the Most is one of those songs that is hard for me to listen to. Not because it brings back memories but because a certain verse in the song reminds me of a certain time in my life; a time when I was at a crossroad. Unlike most crossroads in my life when it wasn’t until I looked back that I even realized I had been at a crossroad, I knew that time I was standing at one. I knew I had a life altering decision to make regarding which path to take. I also knew immediately that I chose the wrong way and yet I kept going. Why? Why stand at a crossroad and knowingly make the wrong decision and even worse, instead of turning around, keep going? Of course, looking back now, it doesn’t matter. I had plenty of dreams growing up but I never even dared to dream I could have a husband I am so deeply in love with or children I am absolutely smitten with. My life is that good! So what does it matter if I had to take a few wrong turns to get here? I still got here. I still got to where I am supposed to be. I should be thankful for all those wrong turns, right? Rationally, yes. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. But emotionally, when I hear a certain song or when I’m alone in the quiet of my own thoughts, I still haven’t come to terms with the regret I feel over that one decision I made. Making a wrong decision by mistake is something I can get with. Making a wrong decision because I was too afraid to do what I knew was right is difficult for me to get over. It was the one time in my life I sacrificed happiness for safety and no decision in my life has ever been so apparently wrong for so many reasons, not upon reflection but upon actually doing it.

In May of 1999 I spent several weeks in Charleston packing up my belongings before moving to SC for my first job. My boyfriend (and future ex husband) was moving with me but he was still in his hometown spending time with his family and getting packed up. I very much did NOT want him to move with me. I loved him but I wasn’t in love with him. He was someone I could live with but he wasn’t someone I could live without. He didn’t make my heart race but he was fun. He didn’t have a lot of goals but he had made me a lot of promises. He adored me and I loved that someone adored me. However, I didn’t want to be alone and I didn’t think I would be able to find someone who loved me as much as he did so we made plans to move together.

I thought I was in love with someone else (we’ll call him C) and had felt that way for three years but C was only interested in casually dating (read: meeting up for drinks and then getting it on in the front seat of my Saturn). We had been on and off again over the years and while I put up the front that I was cool with the casual three year long fling- aside from the occasional drunken confession of undying love to any of his friends who would listen- inside I was totally and completely head-over-heals, little girl-crush, in crazy love with this kid. I knew he didn’t have the same feelings for me and that was ok but it did hurt to feel so much for one person and never have those feelings reciprocated. I think all those years spent secretly thinking I was in love with someone who never quite felt the same way scared me and while I only have myself to blame, it is why I sought out the relationship I had with my future ex husband. I wanted someone to love me and adore me without having to give anything back. To love someone is to give up part of your self and I felt like I had spent three years giving up too much of me. In my ex, I had found someone I could live with, perhaps even for the rest of my life, but I didn’t have to take the heart-wrenching and risky leap of finding someone I couldn’t live without. Loving with your head is much easier than loving with your heart. Or so I thought.

So here I was getting ready to make the big move and C and I decided to go out for a good bye dinner. After dinner we went for a walk around the state Capitol- something we had done frequently during our dating days- and we sat and talked. About what I can’t remember because inside I was dying. I fought the lump in my throat and struggled to breathe with what felt like a vice around my heart. This was going to be the last time I saw him and I just wanted to stand up and scream “I think I love you! There! I said it!” It didn’t matter if he loved me back or not and that’s really not the point. The point was that because I was too afraid of ever loving someone who didn’t love me back again, I was getting ready to move away and commit to someone I didn’t even love and all the while thinking I was really in love with someone else. If I told C I loved him… if I just said it out loud… if there was just another witness to my true feelings other than the inside of my heart… then maybe, just maybe, my head would finally get the message and maybe I would do what was right. Scary, but right.

Take the risk.

I didn’t take the risk. I dropped him off and cried the whole way home. I cried the whole way to SC and I spent the next 3 years crying. It didn’t take me long to get over C but I still haven’t gotten over taking the safe road. I found out it hurts much, much more to be in a relationship with someone you don’t love than to love someone who doesn’t love you back. The safe road turned out to be the one that hurt the most. Who knew? I did learn from my mistake, though. When I met my husband, I knew he could totally break my heart but rather than shying away from him, I told him exactly how I felt. It was so unbelievably frightening to put myself out there and risk getting hurt but it was also so unbelievably amazing. I lost so much during those years I spent living in fear and letting my head rather than my heart lead the way. That said, I am glad my wrong turn took me here but it seems to me that here is so right that I imagine any number of roads would have brought me here. While I don’t live under a shadow of regret and it is only the occasional sad country song that can make me think about it enough to write about it, I am not quite sure how to come to terms with making a decision out of fear that affected so many people. I mourn the loss of the years I spent loving with my head.

But I wouldn’t trade right now for anything. I guess that’s all that matters. Well that, and getting Gavin hooked on a new song so I don’t think so damn much.



What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away





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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Memories.... in the corner of my mind....

Back in the summer of 1993- my last lazy summer before heading off to college- MTV picked up one of the best sketch comedy shows EVER. I don't know who out of my friends watched The State first but it wasn't long before we were all completely hooked on it and quoting each and every episode verbatum every chance we got until those around us who didn't have the affinity for The State that we had threatened to kill us if we didn't knock it off. Unlike every other show on MTV, they didn't continue running episodes of The State once it went off the air and since it has been unavailable for purchase or rental, it has remained alive only in our random quotes (you would be surprised how many times over the past 13 years I have been able to work "I'm Doug and I'm outta here", "You dip your balls in it", "The international sign for choking" and "I'm going to the zoo to watch the monkeys do it" into a conversation).

Lloyd has never seen the State so he has had to watch me perform the one woman shows of all the episodes but now, thanks to Nikki G, I found out The State is available on You Tube so he can finally see what all the fuss has been about! I have been watching them over and over and over again and I don't know how they did it, but they are even funnier than they were 13 years ago. Like all things cheesy, The State gets better with age. As corny as it may sound, I do get a little nostalgic watching these episodes. It seems like only yesterday I was a 17 year old girl cruising Edgewood with Nikki and Emily and taking advantage of parents being out of town not by partying but by using the house to stay up all night making our own horror movies, watching The State, and going on 3 am runs to Ghetto Taco Bell. It was a simpler time...

From me to you. My favorite episode-

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Officially Mother's Day

I definitely brought Mother's Day to a whole new level. I'm so tired from mothering that I can't even bring myself to blog about it. My day went a little something like this:

7:00- shower, get dressed
7:40- get Gavin up, dressed and fed
8:30- get Grace up, dressed and fed
9:00- Play
10:00- Pack the diaper bag and load the kids in the car and head to church
10:30- Meet the husband at church and attend meeting regarding baby dedication
10:50- drop Gavin off at kid's church
11:00- see phone number flashed on big screen and go rescue Gavin (or rather the volunteers) from the evil that is kid's church
11:10- send the husband to try and convince Gavin that being in kid's church is a good idea and he totally needs his daily does of Vitamin J.C. to spare him from sure eternal damnation
11:20- give up and find neighbor to watch Gavin so Grace can be dedicated
11:30- Grace's dedication
12:00- pose for family photo, say goodbye to the husband before he goes back to work, and hit the road
12:20- McD's drive-thru (shut up)
12:40- Lunch, play
2:00- put Gavin down for a nap but only after allowing him to use my body as a highway for his plethera of toy trucks for about 30 minutes
2:10- put Grace down for her nap
2:15- clean three bathrooms and do two loads of laundry
3:00- lie on couch
3:01- rescue a screaming Grace from the evil that is naptime (did I mention the ten billion dollars??????)
3:02- nurse Grace for about 2 hours straight
5:00- take the kids on a 3 mile walk
6:30- feed Gavin dinner
6:45- ask Gavin if he loves me to which he responds "cheese". Assume that since Gavin loves cheese more than life itself that must mean that I am somewhat held in the same regard as cheese in his book and pat myself on back.
7:00 nurse Grace
7:15- hit repeat play on Teletubbies DVD to buy 2 minutes of peace
8:00- bathe the kids and put them to bed.
8:45- Blog.

Although I should mention that Gavin referred to his butt today as his "booty" and if that ain't the best Mother's Day present then I don't know what is.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The blog entry in which I confess to being a total lame ass a.s.s.

With all the new changes over at Babycenter I haven't had time for blogging much this week. I loooooooove the new boards... and I'm not just saying that because I'm a host and I'm sure they would like for me to say that. I think the avatars rock (who doesn't love a sombrero-wearing chihuahua? I mean, honestly?) and I like the option for the siggys (let's face it, I am kind of a big deal). I think change is good. I'm thinking of doing a little inservice on Who Moved My Cheese to help those who are complaining of their eyeballs bleeding out from just having to look at the new format.

Anyhoo, back to me being a lame ass a.s.s. Last weekend I was feeling kind of adventerous so I loaded up the monsters and headed to Old Navy. I bought a skirt and a pair of denim gauchos. Seeing as how I had 25 pounds of baby strapped to me with a Baby Bjorn and the Gavinator hates enclosed spaces, I was unable to try on the clothes so I just went with a size 6. I've slowly been able to squeeze back into my size 6's since having Grace so I was pretty confident in my size selection. I got home and tried the clothes on and if I do say so myself, the 6's fit fabulously. I little slim but not tight and they totally flattered my 30 year old, mother of two in two years figure. I wore the denim gauchos to work yesterday and I was feeling really good about myself all day. Something about not only wearing a cute little piece of trendy clothing but also fitting into a size 6 just made me feel awesome. Hello, Vanity. Party of one. Your table is now ready.

I know it sounds insane to have my day made over fitting into a size 6 but for 1. I never claimed to not be insane and for 2. it sounds even more insane that when I went to the bathroom and discovered the tag on the inside of the gauchos said size 8, I almost started crying. That's right. Size. 8. My world shattered. I went from feeling cute and sexy to feeling dumpy and gross. I wanted to go home and change clothes. I wanted a girdle. I wanted these size 8's off me! How dare I live a lie for what? Close to 4 hours? I racked my brain to figure it out because I knew the tag on the outside of the gauchos, as well as the hanger, said they were a size 6. They also fit like a size 6. I mean, they were slim. Was the skirt a size 6? I was going to have to check the trash can at home to make sure the tag was a size 6 because if these were really 8's, I was taking them back. Could I take the back without a tag. I was starting to sweat. Could I wait until 5:00 to check the tags in the trash. I could call Lloyd and ask him to check. Yeah, perhaps it was just a mistake. A manufacturing error, if you will.

My inner monologue regarding the shock over wearing size 8 gauchos went on for quite some time. As the day went on, I was able to convince myself it was a manufacturing error and that I really was wearing a size 6 and talked myself down from spilling a vat of spaghetti sauce on me so then they would give me hospital scrubs to wear. I'm over it now. Size 6, size 8... whatevah. I mean, hello, I was a size 14 for a couple of years in college and I didn't care. Granted, I was too drunk and stoned to care but still, I didn't care. I'm just left to wonder why someone like me. Someone who has an awesome husband, two gorgeous kids, and all the blessings in the world, could be reduced to a blubbering mess of insecurity over a tiny blue tag in the back of a pair of denim gauchos. Must make sure the kids never see this side of me.

Oh, and the tags and receipt in the trash? They say size 6.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Media whore

I love that my favorite picture is now the stuff that blog entries are made of.

Mommy wars, schmommy wars. My best friends and I are about as night and day as they come with regard to parenting choices and it doesn't mean a damn thing other than fabulous moms (and women, for that matter) come in various size, shapes, and parenting styles.

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Kiddie Corral

Wow! My blog is controversial! Who knew? Not you and until last Friday night, not me either. Turns out the hubby didn’t care for my “Drowing in a river” blog entry. I noticed I was getting a bit of the “cold shoulder a la Lloyd” last week after I posted the blog entry and it is well known to me that the cold shoulder is the first stage in his 5 stages of anger. The other four stages are:

DENIAL- “Me? Mad? Noooooooooo.”

DEPRESSION- “I’ll be right back. I’m going to the liquor store.”

ACCEPTANCE- “I am mad! You had no right to write that for all the world to see.” Side note: Ummm, hon, I’m flattered but check the site meter. The whole world ain’t reading my blog. Dooce I am not.

BARGAINING- “I’m sorry. You’re right. You’re always right. How about we get that fence you wanted?”

I have wanted a fence (aka the material good that is going to save my husband’s sanity and therefore my marriage) for over a year now. Gavin loves to be outside but he runs around like a wild animal and playtime outside usually results in us chasing him up and down the street and being worried sick that he is going to run out in front of a car. Never mind the fact that dude will not listen and when it is time to go inside he takes off running away from our house and I’m stuck dragging him kicking and screaming and all of his toys he took with him the ½ mile back to our house every night. Also, Grace is almost 11 months old and will be up walking within the next couple of months and I guarantee that as soon as she is able, she will be going in the complete opposite direction of her big brother every chance she gets.

I figure our options are for me and Lloyd to clone ourselves or get a fence and corral the kiddies in. After seeing what happened to Dolly the sheep, we gave the fence guy a call and is coming to give us an estimate on Friday and hopefully the fence will be put up soon thereafter. We’re totally broke so we’ll be mastercharging it all the way but I break it down something like this:

Chain link fence: $1200.00
Labor: $480.00
Corralling your children in your backyard so you can lounge on patio furniture and drink mojitos while dodging telephone calls from the creditors: Priceless.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

One Million Ten Billion Dollars

To the first person who can discover and turn off the genes in my children responsible for them knowing the exact nanosecond that I finally sit down to relax during their naps, thus causing them to wake up and start screaming because we all know that I'M NOT ALLOWED TO RELAX!

Whew.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

When you hate your family

Not the Goose or the Gavinator or the husband; but other family. Anyone have close family (not close in proximity but close in terms of relation.... a brother, for example) that you have just shut out of your life completely to spare any further hurt feelings and/or complete and total bullshit in your life? I'm doing it and I'm not proud of it but I'm starting today. I just don't see why because someone is a sibling I should have to be friendly with them or even have any sort of relationship with them when the fact is, I DON'T WANNA!! I have done it over the years because I do value family but what I value is not necessarily MY family but the idea of what I think family should be and what I hoped mine would one day become. I also want to set a good example for my children by being a good daughter/sibling/wife because my kids are- or one day will be- all of the above (or close to it... son/sibling/husband) and I feel they will learn by watching me. The thought of Gavin and Grace not growing up and being friends breaks my heart.

I can't do it anymore, though. It is long and complicated and I'm not about to get into it here but I'm exhausted by putting forth what I feel to be a tremendous effort to only be trashed, ridiculed, and told I'm a waste of time. And really, the events of the past week or so are not even dramatic enough to deserve such trash-talking or insults but so they have come to be and for what reasons I don't even know. The emotional toll of caring about a person, albeit if only by obligation and pursuit of a family unit to be presented as an example to my own children, is great and I have enough on my plate. I believe that putting to bed the idea of a family I would like to show to my children is a small sacrifice to be able to take care of my own family in the present without emotional baggage.

I'm not a bad person. I might become one if I try to be a good sister. Game over.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Drowning in a river

Gavin’s vocabulary is growing at such an incredible pace that I really need to start spelling out f.u.c.k. and s.h.i.t. before my potty mouth comes back to bite me in the a.s.s in the form of a hyperactive and extremely loud two and a half year old. In just the past couple of weeks, some of the words he has started saying are:

Wheel
Who did that? (this is especially funny when said while spinning around to check his butt after farting)
Wash
Sheets (Lloyd was amazed when Gavin pointed to his bed and said “wash sheets” since no one had ever taught Gavin that. Ummmm, rrrrrrriiiiggghhht. I can think of a certain no one who, while Gavin watches, washes Gavin's sheets every weekend and her name starts with an “A” and ends with a “manda”)
Thanks
Hands
Boy
Play
Knee
Boo boo
Neck
Puppy
I want (My suggestion for other parents is to NOT teach your kids this phrase because they want everything. It’s a given. No need for them to verbally express it, in my opinion)
Night night
Light
Bye bye
Plate
Spoon
High
Leah
Poopy


His increased vocabulary is certainly making communication, and therefore our lives, much easier. For the past two years Gavin has thrown himself on the floor in a fit of rage screaming and crying for upwards of an hour while we played try to figure out what Gavin wants. Right! He wants everything! Now Gavin still throws himself on the floor in a fit of rage screaming and crying but it is because we told him “no” to his one millionth request for a Fig Newton cookie rather than because of our inability to understand his one millionth request for a Fig Newton cookie. See how much easier our lives are? See? See? Please, somebody tell me you can see that!! I talked to Gavin’s speech therapist yesterday and he is at or above normal in all areas of speech except expressive language. In other words, Gavin has difficulty putting words together to formulate thoughts. I should let his speech therapist have a look see at my blog and she would see that yet again, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. She also revealed to me that upon first meeting Gavin, her and the physical therapist were convinced that he was autistic but after getting to know him, he is far too attached, empathetic, and emotional to be autistic. She said he is just one of the worst cases of sensory integration dysfunction she has ever seen and that he is such a mixed bag of sensory seeking and avoidance and he is so rigid in his behaviors that she has found him difficult to treat. Well, I’ll see your difficult to treat and raise you one because he is such a mixed bag of pain in the ass a.s.s that I find him difficult to parent.

The conversation between me and Gavin’s speech therapist quickly turned from Gavin to Lloyd and as it turns out, that was her main reason for calling. Certainly brings family-centered care to a whole new level and I did commend her for looking at our family dynamics when looking the treatment for Gavin. See, Lloyd and I have two entirely different ways of parenting and I’m not going to say whose way is better (although I’ll give you a hint….. starts with an “A”…..) but to be perfectly honest, I believe I deal with the pressures and stresses of parenting better than the husband. I don’t think he is at fault; there are just innate differences between men and women and while Lloyd is definitely Mr. Mom in many regards- what with all the cooking and child rearing and therapist taking and bottle making- the Mr. in front of the Mom says it all. He is a man (a damn fine man if I do say so myself) and he is fighting to stay afloat in the river of tears and poopy diapers we live in and that has become achingly apparent to Gavin’s therapist over the past few months. Well, that and he has great taste in clothes (still not sure why she told me that but since I mentioned it, he does). She gave me some tips about what Lloyd and I can do to improve our situation: put Gavin in preschool (we’re doing that in August… check), get Lloyd out of the house (he bowls on Thursday nights… check), and have a date night (trying to line up a babysitter as we speak… check).

The thing that bothers me the most is that I would give anything to be the one at home with the kids and he would give anything to not be at home with the kids and no, this is not a case of the grass is always greener. Like I said before, Lloyd and I deal with parenting differently and I thrive in the utter and complete chaos that is life with the Gavinator and the Goose. I don’t know what it is about child bearing but I am almost deaf to the screaming (almost) and I am proud of the fact I can nurse a wiggly ten month old, mop the kitchen floor, fry an egg, chop broccoli, and unload the dishwasher at the same time. In fact, it is what I am the proudest of. Unfortunately, my staying at home is not an option. So while Lloyd and I have agreed all along that it is in the best interest of the kids and in our best interest financially to have a parent at home, is it still in the best interest of the kids and our finances if one of the parents is quickly losing it while staying at home with the kids? Losing it to the point I have a parent-therapist conference about my husband instead of my child. Losing it the point that the therapist feels if Lloyd is unable to relate to Gavin it will hinder Gavin’s progress? If it’s not in the best interest of our family then what the hell h.e.l.l. are we doing it for?

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