A Beautiful Case of Luck

He’s always fidgeting, moving, squirreling. That or his nose is buried in a video game. I haven’t seen him in a long time. I mean REALLY seen him. I’ve honestly forgotten how beautiful he has grown. I focus too often on how “lucky” we are to now have Aitch. She wasn’t luck, in that sense. Instead she was a case of beating the odds. The same, but different. But with him? We did get truly lucky. He made us parents by a blessing most take for granted and some even regret.

Truly…beautiful.

Has it changed or have I?

I recently unsubscribed from another blog via my reader. It was an infertility blog written by someone who has gone through some failed IUIs and is waiting to begin another. I started reading her for one of the major reasons I start reading ANY blog: she commented on one of my posts.

She came here via another blogger, who had linked to one of my posts. I love seeing new bloggers stop and comment here. Seriously…I love it. I have subscribed to every blogger who has left a comment.

Every one of them.

Now if I never unsubscribe, I’d have a reader with hundreds of blogs, but my list remains at a near constant number for one of two reasons: 1) they either stop blogging (and I mean completely deleting their blog as I still have blogs in my readers from those who haven’t posted in years); or 2) they never reciprocate. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t subscribe to uber popular blogs because they’re either so popular they don’t even allow comments or they could care less since I’m just one of 233 comments about:

  • Their fear of clowns
  • Their hatred of crocs
  • Their extolling the virtues of mommybloggers who do or don’t do it for money/free/by behaving badly
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

But I always add because despite what seems to you as perpetual cynicism, I like to meet new people and explore new ideas. So I would read. Occasionally, I would comment, and while I’ll admit I’m definitely not as prolific a commenter as I once was due to a less lenient environment (I use to blog at my other job – there, I said it), I would make an effort. Unfortunately, in most cases my attempts were rarely reciprocated. My poor ego does not thrive in this current blogging market, that’s for damn sure.

So then I’m thinking, why did that person even bother commenting on my blog in the first place? Sure, most of the time, it was in response to a call for support, which I can’t even imagine how I could have got through the past four years without at least one person taking pity on my pathetic little soul. But the things is, I’ve tried to figure out how I’m suppose to take the comment, “I’m so sorry” when left upon the news of another failed pregnancy by someone who never again stops by my blog. Can that kind of singular sentiment without any emotional attachment actually be sincere?

I’ll be blunt and tell you that in the world of Mommybloggers, it’s difficult to break into an already established cloister of bloggers. My circle of parenting blogs is made up of those that I knew before they were parents. And I do love that circle very much because that level and range of snark is totally mutual; but sometimes I really would like to blog with simple joy about Doodicus and/or Aitch…to blog like Mrs. Soup or Amanda or Eden.

When I get the desire to add new reads, I often go back to my roots: infertility blogs, especially those just starting out, like the one I mentioned above. Unfortunately, the camaraderie in infertility blogs has definitely been removed or at the least, watered down. Even the content has become tamer, “gentler”, and dare I say – happier.

Do you think reciprocation in commenting has changed since the “good ole’days”? Or have I become that irrelevant – old news – in today’s blogging nation? Maybe a little of both??

And the Banjo Responds

My dear husband has the emotional sensitivity of a rhino in heat. During one of the five years we dated, we were going through a particularly rough patch over the Thanksgiving holiday, which the family decided to pack up and carry out in Des Moines. Because we weren’t getting along, Sparring Partner didn’t attend. And me, being a sappy girl in love, called him several times, and in one of the phone exchanges I wailed into the phone hoping to instill some guilt, some emotion, from him: “You don’t LOVE me!” to which he replied, “No. Not as much as I use to.”

KaPOW!

Obviously he fell in love again and after threatening him with an ultimatum, marry me or I’m moving one (who’s PWND now, mister!), we were able to accept each other’s emotional – and lack thereof – responses.

Last night we went out with the in-laws. SIL exclaims, “Did Sparring Partner tell you the news?!” and most anyone who has gone through years of infertility will always have the first thought be that someone’s pregnant.

My first thought was correct.

“Number 5!” she announced excitedly.

So Daughter#1 is percolating Baby#3. Didn’t I mention not long ago something about Dueling Uteri. Cue the banjos:

  • D#1 had Baby #1
  •           D#2 had Baby #1
  • D#1 had Baby #2
  •           D#2 had Baby #2
  • D#1 is due with Baby #3

All within the past four years.

 Mark your calendars for next year…

But that’s not really the point, or at least the one I care to get into right now. The reason I mentioned how insensitive SP can be is when we later walked out to the car, I told him thanks for the heads up *sarcasm*.

And he said, “I didn’t know that it would still bother you.”

“You wouldn’t.” was my reply.

Yes, it still bothers me. It will for a very long time. I would love to meet that person who it DOESN’T bother and maybe they’d share their secret with me, and then in turn, share it with you.

Trainee

As most of you know if you have access to my private posts, I am training my replacement at my temporary position. If you have kept up with my Facebook updates, you will also know it has been…interesting, for lack of a better word without actually saying, “Sucking hot, sweaty, fly-covered donkey balls.”

You think I’m exaggerating? The following exchange is just too good to keep under a password. Get this:

Today I was showing her how to order supplies via the internet. I instructed her click the “Add to Cart” button.

As she clicked, Trainee asked me, “What’s a ‘cart’?”

*head-desk*

Mirror

My sister asked how Doodicus was doing this year in school. The short answer, compared to last year? Night and Day in that he’s so much better.

Now whether we can attribute that to the ADHD meds or a year of maturity or a different teacher or a different group of peers or even perhaps, a divine combination of all of the above? I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. Just as long as I can say things are better right now.

At school, that is.

But the fighting and bickering between the two of the male members of the family at home are enough to make me shout, “Shut. Up!” (which is a statement that is actually banned from our home, so you can guess how pissed I was to have spewed it) last night as they went back and forth, back and forth, about something so stupid that right now I can’t even remember what it was.

One exchange that I had to step in – yet again – was one that centered on a book Doodicus brought home. They have a program at school that after each book read, they test. Generally, Doodicus has been bringing home books that are short stories, a cover-to-cover read in one sitting. However, this particular book was a chapter book that he brought home weeks ago. After supper last night, I told him he had to read a chapter and then he could play. He told me that he was on chapter 15 and that was the last one.

Wonderful! I exclaimed. Finally we wouldn’t have to see it come home again.

While this exchange was happening, Sparring Partner’s Internal Hearing and Comprehension Modulator had been turned to mute, so he missed what was going on, but he saw Doodicus walking around with this book.

S.P.:  “Why don’t you read that? You’ve been bringing it home for weeks!”

Dood: “I’m going to read a chapter now!” (Immediately on the defense, since duh, that’s what he was settling in to do.)

S.P.: “No you’re not. You’re just wandering around!” (Apparently, walking from the mud room where his backpack is kept and into the living room is “wandering”…)

Dood: “I am, too! And then I’ll be done!”

S.P.: “Well, it’s about time. You’ve had the book for weeks!” (So you’ve shouted – STFU, already.) “Sit your butt down and start!”

Dood: “Mommmmmm!” and the tears of frustration begin which of course adds to the tension and in short, more tears.

It’s fucking ridiculous.

You’ve heard similar stories of conflict between Doodicus and his Dad. Sadly, the situation never seems to get better as far as the butting heads go. Afterwards, I try to pull Sparring Partner aside and ask what the fuck is up his ass that he’s always riding Doodicus’s. He’s normally apologetic – to me – which means jack-shit; and he realizes after the fact that he shouldn’t have said most of what he does. If he can’t be the one to grow up and be the adult, he’s going to push Doodicus further and further away when he’s reaching an age and stage where the two really need to get much, much closer. I’m not panhandling for advice at this point since I can clearly see what the problem is, with the major one being the two are EXACTLY alike in personalities.

When you’re staring into a mirror, that person on the other side of the glass is the most familiar, the most recognizable, but also the only one you can never really reach into without shattering the barrier leaving one image standing alone. I fear that day, which as Doodicus gets older, looms ever closer.

Mickey Mouse of a Post

I’m always up for a good (relatively speaking) rant here on my blog, but between my dashed vacation dreams, my FIL’s surgery, my MIL’s extended physical rehab, my mother’s trip overseas, and the training of my replacement at “work” well, dammit, I just refuse to write that many depressing and more-than-likely password protected posts several days in a row.

I think I’m suffering from a chronic vitamin D deficiency. Seriously, if the sun doesn’t start shining and real fucking soon, I’m going to suggest the Army send up a big ole’ H-bomb set to detonate about 20 miles above the Asshole of America so I can at least see my shadow in the brief seconds before I’m obliterated into ashes.

Would you believe that I have a rather inappropriate sense of humor? Of course you would if you’ve been reading me for any significant length of time.

Sparring Partner’s shop has been overrun by mice. He refuses to get farm cats – which will significantly help him with the problem – because he’d have to feed them (WTF?? Dude! They’ll eat the fucking mice!). That leaves him trying to poison and trap a hundred million mice. Give or take a mill’. It’s had little impact. However, with the little victories he does claim, he feels the need to share with me like some primitive hunter who speaks Gruntian and walks like Quasimodo.

So what then do I do? I share it with you, ya’ lucky beetches.

I’ve inserted a jump (or I think I did) because the pictures are rather graphic. And if you hate mice, you’ll hate these pictures even more.

Continue reading Mickey Mouse of a Post

Updating with Nothing

Have you ever met up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages and you have all these things you want to tell them but you only have 30 minutes before you must leave each other so you generally end up saying none of the things that were really important?

That’s how it is right now between me and my blog/you right now. Lots of things to tell you about but I have to filter out the most irrelevant.

Before I can do that, I have to catch up on my sleep. Daylight Savings has kicked my ass but good.

Another day, perhaps, when I’m not so tired emotionally and physically.

I said Boob Tube, not Tube Boob!

It’s funny the things I have forgotten about Doodicus as a toddler until Aitch either does or doesn’t do something.

One of them is the TV watching. I’m fairly positive that Doodicus was heavy duty into The Wiggles right about now. Most definitely anything Baby Einstein (those lying bastards). Even when any kind of animation or repetitive jingle from a TV commercial would come on, he would stop what he was doing to watch.

Aitch, at almost 20 months old hasn’t shown the slightest interest for anything on TV, including the numerous Pixar movies I try to use as a distraction from her constant need to be “pup” (UP on my hip). She’s completely oblivious to my attempts at operation Cartoon Corruption.

Well, except when Doodicus is playing the Wii Fit. She’ll watch the mii jog, jump, or fall and she’ll stand right in front of the TV and giggle and imitate the mii. As far as I can tell so far, that’s the only 2D imaging she’ll respond to. This is fine, of course, but how do I get my own damn “mii” time without letting Doodicus spend hours on the Wii??

Here’s where I think one of the private, home daycare vs. daycare center advantages and disadvantages come into light (which, hell, I could be wrong and probably am, but hear me out).

Doodicus went to a daycare operated in Kasey’s* home. With hindsight 20/20 and all, we now realized Kasey let the kids watch TV waaaay too much. We got endless excuses as to why they weren’t out playing in the yard (no fence/too hot/too cold/she had a migraine/the kids WANTED to watch a movie/parents of KidA didn’t want them to get dirty as they were getting pictures later…), or why they didn’t go play in the “playroom”, which was located in her basement. You know…down a flight of stairs…where Doodicus got in trouble that led to Kasey kicking him out but no one seems to know what happened because SHE was upstairs (probably watching TV with the babies and nursing a migraine)? Yeah, THAT basement.

By the time Doodicus was four, the kid was a walking, talking TV Guide for preschoolers, including the channel, time and main characters. Within the first couple of minutes, he might even be able to provide a mini-plot since he’d probably seen the episode a half dozen times already.

And while that was frustrating for obvious reasons, I’ll admit that there are (and by god, STILL times) I’m happy to let him turn on the TV so he will just shut up and sit still for 30 to 60 minutes.  At least now his viewing preferences for Deadliest Catch or Dirtiest Jobs or anything on Discovery, have become way more tolerable than The Wiggles or Lazy Town, even though I passed the time fantasizing about the Blue Wiggle being a bad, bad boy off the set and the many positions Sportacus might be able to hold given the opportunity behind closed doors…

whoa…what happened…? I blacked out there for a brief second(s).

The luxury just doesn’t exist anymore. Doodicus would love to have the opportunity to quietly zone out in front of the TV or behind his Nintendo DS while on the other hand, the last thing Aitch is able to do is “chill”. The girl is balls-to-the-wall every minute she’s awake. I have no idea the cost involved in converting a room to be like one of those padded play areas they have in malls, but if I was ever to win that lottery we never buy tickets for, I would convert the front room into a mini jungle gym that she could practice her falls for her quickly budding stunt-double career (she intentionally falls head first off the couch…repeatedly…AND happily! – weirdo.). I credit her disinterest in TV to the daycare center’s environment, which keeps the kids busy with age-appropriate toys and crafts.

How old was your little one when you noticed their interest in TV? Do you try to moderate how much TV or are you like me and take every blessed quiet moment as a moment from God to not have to throw back another jigger of cheap rum?

Maybe it was “I’ll give you a mess of money for some medicine.”

The link that Cat sent me for ASLPro is great in that it lets you see how each word looks in ASL. I checked each of the suggestions that were made (medicine, money, messy), but unfortunately none of them were it.

I also found this ASL site that was nice in that it gave a more comprehensive list of words for baby ASL. So if you want to pick up a few key words, scroll the list (don’t search. you only get to search for 5 words per day unless you’re a member, and personally I have way too many web accounts), and you might find a few that you can easily remember and try out.

I asked Doodicus to demonstrate what she was doing so I could take a picture. Here’s what it looked like.

I’m grateful for everyone’s input with so little information. If it turns out to be ASL for, “Bitch! I’m not tired and I am SO going to scream my head off until I get my way!”, well then I’ll give her kudos for at least being able to express herself.

Looking for a Sign

Sign language was just gaining popularity with babies with Doodicus was born. Well, maybe it was terribly popular then but since I was getting all my parenting advice from magazines and family and not the internet, I could be, and most probably am, wrong.

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to teach Aitch any sign language. Lazy, perchance? Before her first birthday, it looked like she was signing, but I couldn’t be sure since I didn’t KNOW any signs. Then she started saying “more” (which comes out like, “MOO-oooooore”) and signing. I asked one of the daycare staff and she said that she’s shown them a few, which I think is awesome, but I wish I had known so I could 1) recognize it; and 2) work with Aitch on increasing her ASL vocab.

At the new daycare, there’s no signing. Once in a while, she’ll still use “more”, but not as often. I try to, but really wonder what’s the point of knowing only one sign. However, tonight as we were getting ready to put her down for bed, she was really agitated over something and kept repeating one word over and over again: “mess-et, mess-et, mess-et!”, but I also noticed it looked like she was signing. Neither Sparring Partner or myself could decipher the word (blanket? messy? bunny? Pinky? Jesuschristwhat??!), and since we don’t sign, we were unable to get whatever it was that she was frantically asking for. The sign? Put your fingers together of one hand and tap them into the open palm of the other like a chicken pecking at the ground but sideways.

So if you can offer a suggestion as to what she might have been saying, we’d be grateful.

In an unrelated event, when I told Aitch it was time for a dry diaper, she took off, running away while dragging one of my long neckscarves behind her. Because I am lazy (see above), I refused to run after her. Instead I just stepped on the end of the scarf as she ran by. It was like being a part of a real life Tom & Jerry cartoon. Also? It was just as funny as you would imagine it to be. That’s not mean, is it?

Getting Kojaked

My son was giving me grief about the shirt he wanted to wear compared to the one I asked him to put on. The reason the one I chose for him, a polo, was not an acceptable option to his, a t-shirt? He didn’t want something heavy.

How is the polo heavier than the T?

The three buttons at the collar makes it “heavier”.

I swear. That kid is going to make me bald, which will conveniently eliminate my need to cover all the gray he’s given me in the past few years.

Organic, My Ass

I’m going to admit something openly here that normally I wouldn’t share unless it was about midnight and there were at least two empty pitchers of mojitos in front of us and the remains of half-eaten limes scattered about. Make sure to exhale so the collective gasp will be all that much more fulfilling.

I’m sick of hearing about “organic” products.

Suddenly, it’s a big freakin deal to eat organic eggs and organic meat and to wear organic clothes. By the most current definition, organic simply means crop or livestock that’s been raised without synthetic fertilizers or hormones.

Newsflash: that refers to almost every small, family-run farm out there, including my parents’. The problem is that very few of these farms exist independently anymore. You know why? Because back then, our dairy farm of 40 cows giving us four to six gallons of milk a day produced literally a drop in the bucket. Steers going to market at 1,000 lbs were puny and equated to puny pennies a pound.

Little income meant no money for the fancy fertilizers and hormone injections. It was enough to inoculate and dip and to purchase seed (which may have been “coated” for a bit of an herbicidal affect) for the crops, which were NOT fertilized or irrigated (irrigated?? Irrigated…by God, by god) and weren’t sold through the grain markets, but used as SUPPLEMENTAL feed to grass-raised cattle. You know? The puny cattle.

See, I get my panties in a twist over this because if my parents were still young and strong enough to be doing today what they were doing 20, 30, 40 years ago, they’d be making a killing with all the organic milk, chickens, beef, pork, and lamb we took care of every damn day.

So yeah, now I have a certain level of derision for that “organic” farmer, who more than likely a large corporation who ran the original organic farms under with their hormone-drunk cattle and weed-free bean and corn fields. The same producers who sell their organic products for twice as much while paying organic farmers from 20 years ago HALF.

So yeah. REAL sick of hearing about organic products like it’s some new and fabulous idea. I grew up organically and maybe that’s not a resounding testimonial for an organic diet, but I’m not going to jump on a bandwagon that I was on for 30 years before getting off. Too many slivers from the buckboard and fleas in the straw.

Beautiful Bloggers

Heather over at BigP and Me was under the impression that I should be able to come up with seven interesting things to tell you about me, per this meme/award. Oh, Heather…thank goodness someone thinks I could even have one interesting thing to tell you about me.

I. I have a maxillary midline diastema. What’s that? I’ll save you the googling (and from the images that will pop up because they are freaky…). A maxillary midline diastema is a gap between the two front teeth. When I was a kid, I would stand in front of the mirror and push chewing gum into the gap and squint, just to see how I would look if my teeth were “normal”. I hated that gap. I had it filled in about 20 years ago so you would never know by any of my pictures.

II. A few weeks ago, I was proofing the news article about our family history for the hometown’s Quasquicentennial (125 years). My grandfather had six step-brothers/sisters. One of his step-brothers married his step-sister. No blood relations, I was assured, but still…ooky. And that really doesn’t count as an interesting about ME, but let’s not quibble.

III. I hate reality shows. My overall feelings of dislike were not helped by that time we asked SIL to watch Doodicus for a couple hours while we went to a meeting regarding our building permit and she said she couldn’t. Because it was Survivor night! A reality show trumped the welfare of my son’s. SO not cool.

IV. I’ve been arrested. Shoplifting. I believe it was jello and a sandwich from a grocery store. Ironically, while the officer searched my purse, he missed the hidden zipper pocket that held a couple of roaches. Hey, I was 20. There’s a LOT about me you don’t know.

(Good god. 3 more to go.)

Um, let’s see…

V. I use to be REALLY good and writing in reverse. I use to write stories backwards on my notepaper, in cursive. I tried it after I had read that Michelangelo did something similar.

VI. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was around 12, I fell down the basement stairs. When my mom found me, I was on the couch, shivering and unconscious. No one knows what really happened since I ended up with not only a concussion but amnesia, but we deduced that when I fell, I knocked over a bucket of water at the bottom of the steps. At some point, I must have crawled back up the steps and passed out. I spent three days in the hospital and developed my loathing of jello (so why I ever chose that to shoplift is BEYOND me!).

VII. I was part of the Invisible Clique in high school. I didn’t fit in with the Popular Girls, The Geeks, The Sluts, etc. I was simply invisible.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven! Seven Interesting Things about me! HAHAHAHahahaha!

“SEVEN!!”

Personally, I don’t mind memes. Some people think they’re “above” completing a meme, but I get a little giddy anytime I see my blog’s name linked. You may not feel the same, but I’ll test out seven of you to see:

  1. electriclady from City Girl Tales
  2. Linda Beth from Kismet
  3. Michelle from Michelle Smiles
  4. Jen from My Beautiful Crazy
  5. Chris (OHN) from Only Half Nuts
  6. Serenity from Serenity Now
  7. Heather from Unwritten

Rules?

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Hang the badge
  • Write 7 Interesting Things
  • Nominate 7 Bloggers

Easypeasy.

The Earrings

There has been a rash of jewelry related activities going on in my house lately. Unfortunately, none of them are particularly good. This is just one of them:

Last Friday, Doodicus was invited to a classmate’s birthday swim party at the Y. As soon as we got home that day, I had him quickly change out of his school clothes in the laundry room. I unexpectedly walked in on him while he was reaching into the pocket of his pants that he had just taken off. Since he’d been sneaking toys and such to school, I figured he was trying to retrieve whatever it was in secret before they got washed. Upon seeing me, he threw down the pants. “What’s in the pocket?” I asked. “Nothing!” he responded guiltily.

I reached into the pocket and pulled out an earring with a bent post. It was very similar to the one I had found in his backpack a couple weeks earlier, which he said he had found on the playground: gold with a single rhinestone. I reached back into the pocket and found another earring, this one with the back still on it. Warning bells suddenly went off in my head.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that the earrings looked very familiar, and they weren’t rhinestones. Doodicus was staring at me in fear. I walked quickly to the master bath and saw that the diamond stud earrings Sparring Partner gave me for Christmas shortly after we were married were gone from the ring-holder where I usually kept them. My hands clenched in fury and the posts of the earrings dug into my palm.

I turned to see Doodicus had followed me. Normally when I’m mad, I yell. I’m not proud of it and I try to do better, but yes, I yell.

Not this time. I was so angry, I growled at him, “What are you doing with my earrings?”

“I found them on the floor in the laundry room this morning and I didn’t know what to do!” He was nearly in tears.

I tried to remember if I had worn them recently. Had I put them in MY pocket and forgotten to put them away? Could he have found them as he said? It didn’t really matter.

“What do you mean, you didn’t know what to do with them? Have we had company lately that they could have been Grandma’s?! Are they Aitch’s?!” I ground out each question between clenched teeth and to each he answered with a small no.

And then I glared at him, seething, boiling over.

“Go ahead and take off your swimsuit. You’re not going to the birthday party.”

“What?! That’s not fair!” and on and on with more tears. More “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with them!” excuses. Finally, he shot out, “You’re the meanest Mom!”

In my head I was no longer looking at my eight year old son. I was looking at some stranger who was only trying to protect his ass, like the kids I had to deal with when I caught shoplifting when I worked at Claire’s. In one of my least “motherly” moments I’ve had in a long time, I responded to his last accusation, again in a low, angry growl:

“You’re damn lucky you didn’t lose either diamond. You think I’m mean to YOU because I won’t let you go to the birthday party? I’m not being mean. I’m punishing you because YOU were mean to me and took something that is very special to me and lied about it,” and I turned my back on him and walked away.

He ran to his room in tears leaving his Asshole Mom to tend happily (or so it appeared) with his little sister’s demand for a snack. A few minutes later he came out of his room, quiet, subdued. I was cleaning up in the kitchen and I offered a couple suggestions for supper. He calmly answered. It was if the mini-implosion had never happened. Aitch joined him at the table and they started to color. After a few minutes, Doodicus got up and on his way back into the living room and said, “You can look under that paper, if you want to.”

I didn’t want to, but I walked over anyway. I picked up the paper, half expecting that he had written “You suck!” on the table in permanent marker, but there was nothing. I then noticed that something was written on the back side of the paper. It said, “You’re the worst mom. I’m the dummest [sic].”

I felt as small as an ant’s nutsack. I kid you not.

And then we calmly talked. In the end, I asked him if he learned anything from what had happened. Yes, he said. I told him that I did too. “If we didn’t make mistakes, we would never get smarter. You didn’t make the best decision, but I would never, EVER call you dumb, so please don’t think you are. Dumb is not learning from mistakes, and we ALL make them, every day.”

I honestly expected him to resent me for the rest of the night, even the entire weekend, for not letting him go to the birthday party. But he didn’t for which I’m so thankful. Even as angry as I was about what he had done, I had a helluva time taking that privilege away. I really hope he learned something from it. I hope we both did.