Category Archives: Show Some Love For A Fellow Sister

WHAT MATTERS

I will honestly admit that I forgot that today was THAT day, THE day set aside by someone who like me – and tragically – like too many others, felt more awareness was needed. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

And while I forgot that today was that day, I wake up every morning knowing that something is missing from my life. Would I have smiled more, cried more, loved more? Would I have found peace sooner, stopped blogging sooner?

I am reminded of a little trick I use to deal with things that hurt or irritate or anger me in which I ask myself, will it matter in 5 minutes? Will it matter in 5 days? Will it matter in 5 months?

How about in 5 years? I can tell you that for me, it has been 5 years come this November. It still matters. It always will.

  1. Pregnancy #2: Vivienne Elise – Death November 2004 at 15wks GA, EDD May 2005
  2. Pregnancy #3: Death December 2005, chemical, EDD September 2006
  3. Pregnancy #4: Wolf – Death October 2006 at 8wks GA, EDD June 2007
  4. Pregnancy #5: Death May 2007, EDD February 2008

I don’t light a candle. The small flames flicker in my heart and they will never, ever be extinguished.

Advertisements

*THE* REVIEWER

During a vacation in Vegas many years ago, I was walking down the corridor of the hotel we were staying at to get some ice. I saw what appeared to be a crumpled napkin on the floor. As I approached it, I could make out the distinct printed scrolls that frame a dollar bill. I picked it up (of course), and unwadded it. It wasn’t A dollar bill. It was a hundred dollar bill!

I scanned up and down the hallway. No one. It wasn’t in front of a hotel door, and I’m sorry but I’m not knocking on a hotel door at 11:30 p.m. to ask the person who may or may not be a hooker if she might have dropped a hundred dollar bill.

I couldn’t believe my good luck, stumbling upon a tiny treasure – a nugget of gold! I tucked it away in my pocket for later, selfishly not wanting to share countered by my desire to whoop it up in excitement when I returned to the hotel room.

The other day I stumbled once again on a bit a nugget. Should I share or keep it to myself? But it was just too good and I am so lame that surely I was probably just the last to know about it. Kind of like the FAIL Blog. I mean, I would see posts and tweets about someone doing something they thought was stupid and then appending the word “FAIL” to it and it took me forever to figure out what the fuck you all were even talking about!

I’m oblivious like that.

So I was checking out this Sophie teething giraffe that people are going ga-ga (literally) for. I remember seeing it when I was still pregnant with ZGirl and thinking, boy, that’s dumb, but with all the hype I had a renewed interest in it (I would drop $250 on a pair of Uggs if I had the money, even though I find them atrocious – just because I’m a lemming!).

sophieHere’s Sophie. Cute, huh? Amazon has it and while I think $20 is outrageous for a teether, I did pay about the same for one of those wooden teething rattles from etsy that doesn’t really rattle at all and is way too big to teeth on. A dud, really. Anyway…Sophie’s got a bunch of reviews, a vast majority of them positive. But I like to read the one-star reviews first to get to the heart of a problem, if there is one. That’s when I read this review:

A conspiracy in the making

I find it alarming just how many parents are praising this thing. As a parent, you want to protect your children. When learning about all the protective measures this toy takes, most parents would be on board. But I know better. I did a little under-the-microscope research and have reached some alarming conclusions about this toy.

First of all, the name “Sophie” (a nickname for “Sophia”) is of Greek origin. A little known fact is that the ancient Greeks oftentimes ate their young for food or sacrificed them to their many gods. Giving a baby toy a name that descends from a line of baby-eaters is puzzling.

Even more puzzling is the deliberate use of a giraffe. There are no records of a giraffe appearing in Greece in the wild. How then are we supposed to believe that this thing can be both Greek AND a giraffe if the combination is simply not possible?

This choice of species is even more alarming to anybody who has read the Greek epic “The Odyssey”. At one point in the story, Odysseus and his crew arrive on the shores of Africa and encounter none other than a giraffe. The giraffe was seen as a demonically tainted horse and struck fear into the hearts of Odysseus and his men.

Still not convinced? Look at the gallery of customer-submitted pictures. The majority of these photos feature a baby masticating the face of their Sophie toy. A cute gesture, or the only defense a baby has against the demonic animal? Think what you believe, but my research points towards the latter option.

At first I was like, wow! what kind of crack is this person smoking and where can I get me some?!

I couldn’t help myself. From there, I just had to follow the link to the reviewer, which if his name is any indication, “THE reviewer”, I should have known things were going to get interesting.

“THE reviewer” has reviewed 98 items and they go back to 2005. He even has an Amazon review of Amazon.com:

Minor Flaws….., January 23, 2006

yeah,I like this place. I like writing reviews and what not.
I have 2 complaints:
-editing reviews,whenever you do this you have to choose your rating for the product again,which gets annoying. If i want to change it, I’ll change it.

-recommendations could be a little better.

thats all I have to complain about.

Once I press “save” this becomes property of amazon.com….yay?

Maybe you just want it short and sweet and you need a review of a gallon of whole milk:

I gave this to my cat and now he thinks he is Supercat! you should see him try to fly and jump off telephone poles

But it looks like he took some time off in 2008 and then snapped (in more ways than one – see the following paragraph) right back into in 2009 (thank goodness!):

poulanNothing gets the job done like a Poulan Pro 400E!, July 23, 2009

Hi. Allow me to introduce myself. I live in a remote village located in the rural outskirts of Spain. It’s a nice little place, and me and my people have thrived there for countless generations.

Lately, however, an American agent of some sort has shown up. He seems to be looking for some missing girl judging from the picture he once showed us. Now, I’m not gonna lie, my people are aggressive. We’re not infected monsters or anything like that, we’re just aggressive. So, when the agent kept trying to break the language barrier and inform us of this missing girl, one of villagers kinda lashed out a little. I don’t think that justifies a gunshot to the head.

So, the agent gave up on communicating with us and is now just killing on sight. I took refuge in my barn and thought desperately of a way to dispose of this American. A few minutes later and I had devised a genius plan. I opened my tool shed and got out my Poulan Pro 400E. Just holding it made me feel stronger! And then, almost without thinking, I emptied out a nearby sack of flour and placed it over my head. I don’t know why I did this, but I realized how menacing I would look once I poked eye holes out of it.

There I was, with my Poulan Pro 400E, ready to bust some heads. Finding the American agent was easy, all I had to do was follow the sound of gunshots. I eventually found him capping my people outside the chief’s home. I revved up my Poulan Pro 400E and began my pursuit. The second he heard this baby running he got a terrified look on his face. He quickly switched his handgun out in favor of a machine gun and pointed it my way. Ha! Those puny bullets merely tickled my body! It was as if I had became three times stronger just by holding my Poulan Pro 400E. The agent ran out of ammunition and switched back to his handgun. This time he took careful aim at my sack-covered face. I was amazed, the flour sack provided protection from the bullets, so much that they didn’t even phase me.

As I approached ever nearer, the agent turned and headed upstairs. I can only assume he ran out of ammo and began searching for the many boxes of ammunition that we villagers like to randomly place. I followed his trail up the stairs and caught him with his back turned. This was it. I lunged as fast as I could towards him, and he turned around just a moment too late. He was now on the receiving end of my Poulan Pro 400E with a look of pure pain on his face. After seconds of futile resistance, his head was sawed off with a nice clean cut. It dropped and bounced on the floor, much like how his limp body did soon afterward.

That’s my story. What it all boils down to is this; No matter the situation, a good Poulan Pro 400E can always help. It most certainly helped me!

Who knew Amazon reviews could be the next blogging platform?

Damn. Really, Amazon? No RSS feed? Mark that down as another complaint.

You can take this link to all his reviews. If you don’t find something to giggle about, then you are dead inside…

MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED

There are days that I get so angry and worked up, I can barely complete a simple task *.

I am angry that I have to consider a job opportunity 30 miles away. Maybe not a big deal to you city dwellers who are accustomed to a two hour commute one way, but this farm girl with a penchant for instant gratification will find the drive an equivalent of water boarding.

I am angry that the people yelping the most about the healthcare reform are those who HAVE healthcare. A (conservative) friend of mine said that the reform will just make those who don’t have insurance (because they are on Medicaid or don’t have a job) more likely NOT to get a job. It’ll “keep e’m lazy”, she said. Hey, that’s just awesome. Thanks for lumping me in with that group. So reward those who are on Medicaid by letting them KEEP Medicaid and let the few like me who don’t qualify for any healthcare without facing bankruptcy suffer for the many. Perfect answer.

I am angry that the people who proclaim their patriotism the loudest are the ones who love to throw around endearing terms like “King Hussein”. I get the whole “freedom of speech gives me carte blanche to spew my verbal diarrhea”, but don’t preach to me how you think this whole country is going in the shitter because of “King Hussein”. It’s going to the shitter because you’re an ignorant, fear-mongering, vitriol-filled, a-hole that does nothing but BITCH to anyone who will listen instead of educating yourself.

In addition to the previous paragraph, I’m angry about the endless and utterly ridiculous comparison of President Obama to Hitler. See both the Rude Pundit’s and Suz’s posts for a couple of succinct and eloquent summarizations.

I am angry that some ignorant woman believes she’ll carry her twelve fetuses to term and give birth to them NATURALLY and that she’ll get to hug them, and squeeze them and call them George, Jr., George III, George IV, etc., etc.. Actually, I’m sure that the healthcare in Tunisia is quite topnotch, especially since it must be an international hub, squeezed there between Algeria and Libya. Anyone else find it unbelievable that the expectant mother claims to be carrying six boys and six girls? I doubt that she’s even beyond 9 weeks, much less far enough along to make out the sex of each baby. I bet Suelman is pissed to be not just one-upped, but four-upped!

I am angry that while a certain Holy Roller Christian Blogger pleaded for forgiveness for stealing content from another More Famous Blogger under the guise of, “I just read her book and her words were so true!”, no one seems to have noticed that Holy Roller stole the words of another Not As Famous Blogger and since now Holy Roller is moderating her comments, her readers are faithfully continuing to follow her and stroking her poor, sweet, innocent head and telling her how wonderful and God-fearing she is and “of course we forgive you as you certainly meant no harm to More Famous Blogger who is siccing her evil minions upon you”… and I want to fucking choke someone. If she stole from two bloggers, she’s stolen from more and no one seems to care.

I am angry because I care that no one cares and that I shouldn’t care. It’s none of my damned business anyway, right?

I am angry that I’ve procrastinated until the very last evening before school starts to write my son’s name on 64 fucking crayons and sharpen 48 fothermucking pencils (oh, and yes, I have to get his name on them, too) and resist the temptation to just shave XBoy’s head bald tonight while he sleeps since there won’t be any time to get it cut according to the school’s policy before Wednesday morning! Not to mention that the yard hasn’t been mowed in three weeks and I am out of diapers. Well, *I’m* not out of diapers; ZGirl is.

* And dammit! Why the hell can’t I get two goddamned paperclips separated?! It’s not brain surgery!

…and so…

Just WHAT exactly are YOU angry about today?

LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

pittOne of the magazines in our reception/waiting area is Wired, which I would best describe as a Rolling Stones magazine for the techno junkies. Augusts’ publication has Brad Pitt on the cover…wearing a blue tooth ear piece and next to it in itty-bitty print it says something about how HE can barely pull that look off and you aren’t him(oh, so true, people). I couldn’t figure out how Pitt could tie into Wired so I went to the article inside (of course it was for the article ‘cause Pitt’s face is not the purty IMHO) titled: How to Behave: New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans.

The article is basically a bunch of tips for people like you and me that spend an abnormal amount of time blogging, tweeting, flickring, facebooking, etc. Within those tips are tinier little tips, like these:

  • Don’t follow more people than follow you.
  • No more than 20 tweets in 24 hours.
  • Don’t use a photo of your child as your profile picture.
  • Don’t type BRB. Just go and come back.

By the way, Brad Pitt, star of Inglorious Basterds, is providing separate and bad advice within the column, which is actually kind of funny.

Anyway, one of the topics of the article/column is “Meet Online Friends in the Real World (Beware: It Will Be Weird)” by Mathew Honan. And this is interesting shit, so don’t skip over this or blow me off just yet.

Nancy Baym, who studies online communications at the U. of Kansas talks about what can be an awkward shift from internet friendship to a real world one.

“With all his snappy posts and ripostes, you may have come to think of him as quick-witted. But what’s fast in message-board land can feel slower than dialup in a face-to-face exchange. ‘Sometimes good online socializers are shy in person,’ Baym says. ‘Their medium is the written word.’

This made a lot of sense to me especially later when I was talking to a gal I’ve become friends with at work. She’s outgoing and hysterical and she doesn’t come into my office nearly enough throughout the day to alleviate my boredom. Just today we were talking about boobs. She claims she has pancake boobs – you know what I’m talking about – which she was lamenting when I suggested that she go to her S.O.’s class reunion and wear something to show off her boobage to make HIM look good. She said, “It’s too much trouble shifting them around to make sure I don’t look ridiculous in case it gets cold,” and then she made this motion with her fingers as to how one nip might be pointed this way and the other that-a-way and added some sound effects for good measure.

…I guess you had to be there. I mentioned facebook to her to which she responded with a blank look on her face. “I don’t get it. I have a SIL that sits in front of the computer all day doing that shit. What the hell could she be getting out of it?”

Herein is my point. It appears that a majority of people who seem to have a more difficult time, how should I say this? Socializing, do quite a bit of blogging. I read dozens and dozens of blogs and at one time or another there has been some admitting to being shy. It’s why I veer away from meetings with other bloggers. Why even though I have a few phone numbers stored in my cell phone, I don’t call anyone. I don’t want you to realize how abysmally dull I truly am in real time. When I headed up north for the ConFab and met Molly, Alexa, and Jennifer, I felt like a fraud and an actor. While my blog is hardly spellbinding, it definitely paints a much flattering picture of me than meeting me in real life.

I think that’s probably true for 99% of those who blog religiously. We are terminally shy and looking for some kind of outlet. So to many like me, blogging is actually kind of like Bizarro World for us shy, under-worldly creatures. There’s probably a funny, thoughtful, smart, insightful person inside of me somewhere, but since she rarely makes an appearance on my blog, I’ll just warn you to lower your expectations if we were to ever meet in person. My little nook in an unused room suits my personality quite well.

UP YOURS

I’m going to try to make this as succinct and as uncomplicated as I possibly can. However, you know me, and I probably will fail miserably.

Last weekend, I took XBoy to see the Pixar movie, Up in 3D. Loved. It. Loveditloveditlovedit.Yes, so did XBoy, but just so you know, I personally enjoyed it for me. If you saw the movie and you also loved it, please do not read the rest of this post. Trust me, OK? If you haven’t seen the movie, and you don’t want to find yourself focusing on one ten second – at best – part of the movie, please do not read the rest of this post.

This past week I’ve seen a couple of posts in passing about the movie, and mommy bloggers are giving it rave reviews…almost.

This is what Maria Young at Blogher wrote after seeing it:

I adored the movie. It celebrates life and love and adventure. There was one thing in particular about the film, a piece of the silent vignette spanning the relationship of Carl (who’s seen during the previews as the crotchety old man) and his love Ellie that made me go ‘huh? in a kid’s movie? who approved that?!’ but it went over my children’s heads as I’m sure it did most kids’.

I had a good inkling of what she was referring to, but waited until someone would give it away in the comments. Someone ALWAYS does.

And lo!

Momtrolfreak* included in her comment:

I totally cried though. Especially during the miscarriage part? Seriously, who greenlighted that? 😉  

and then she included a link to where she did a movie review for Momicillin* and expanded that thought with this:

In keeping with the longstanding Disney tradition of RIPPING YOUR HEART OUT AND STOMPING ON IT (Bambi, Dumbo, Lion King, Nemo) UP includes the longest flashback montage everrrrrrrr of the entire life of a sweet married couple, which culminates in the funeral of the wife. It includes what I believe to be (I am not kidding here) the first ever miscarriage portrayed in a children’s film. We see the young couple dreaming of babies. Then decorating a nursery. Then in an exam room—wife in chair, face buried in hands— while the doctor speaks to them, shaking his head.  Sweet fancy bananas, I thought, please oh please don’t let my kid ask what is going on right now. (He didn’t.)

But wait! There’s more! Maria was full of all kinds of juicy links. Another one was to Motherhood in NYC*where Marinka wrote:

So, I’m watching this movie and give me a fucking break, Pixar. We have to deal with a miscarriage in the first ten minutes? I mean, they’re children. Why not have a few rape/torture scenes too, while you’re at it, you know, to build momentum?

In the comments?

I also thought the infertility thing was an outrage and it pissed me off. Then I was crying 2 minutes later cause of the end of that little life vingette.

Wow.

Just…wow.

Who knew having a miscarriage was so…offensive? So…disgusting and ugly and ironically, so child- and family-UNfriendly, whereas (spoiler alert) the old man falling to his death from his dirigible after his failed attempt to cut the old hero in two with a sword was perfectly sanitary; or when the dogs acting as their master’s minions burst out, sharp fangs and all, towards the audience so abruptly in one scene (remember, 3D) that I heard a little kid start screaming in fear and crying inconsolibly a few rows up from us? Yep. Those are scenes of pure family-fun entertainment!

You know what I saw when they played the couple’s vignette (spoiler alert) and the doctor is with the couple in his office and the woman is distressed? I just thought to myself that he’s explaining how, sadly, the couple weren’t going to be able to have children. That’s how I would have explained it to my seven and a half year old son if he were to ask, which he didn’t. An educational opportunity, really. It’s not like there was any inkling of realism during the scene: no cartoon feet in stirrups; no soulless ultrasound tech holding a condom covered wand; no grainy ultrasound of a baby with no heartbeat. Yep. It was totally unrealistic compared to my four experiences.

Now I’m offended.

*Apparently all mommy bloggers must have to have the moniker “mom” in their blog names. Maybe I should change mine to “Mama Said Knock You Out”, which would keep me in line with my completely irrelevant boxing theme.

PS: I rarely ever, EVER, step on another blogger’s toes openly, but given where I am right now emotionally? Fuck’em.

DINOSAUR EXTINCTION OR EVOLUTION?

I think a lot about how far Mr. DD, XBoy and myself have come over the years. I am so focused on ZGirl, the here and now, that thinking of the past makes me wonder, did I really think or say that? All I have to do is go to my archives for proof.

Here’s a post from 2006 when I took some time off from work to purge our storage of all baby items that we had held onto with the assumption we would have another baby. It’s important that you go read it and the comments with it.

05.20 clown

I did save those dinosaur pajamas. I couldn’t bear to part with them. My daughter is wearing them this very second, asleep in her crib. That’s her in an earlier picture on the left. A picture of XBoy is in the link.

I’m having a difficult time explaining how it makes me feel to see her in them. Yes, of course joy since it means that all those years we waited for it to be our turn once again, came; but I also feel a bit of heartache since I know that in just a couple of months she will have outgrown it as well and I’ll have to wash it and fold it for the last time. Sure I can save it for the ages it will take for me to maybe become someone’s grandmother, but will it survive another 20 years?

My meloncholy mood was significantly deepened when I read the comments.

Kath was still waiting to stay pregnant for the first time back then. Now? She’s had baby girl #2.

K&M’s blog is gone. She’s reinvented herself in a new pwp blog after the birth of her son.

Angela’s blog is gone, but she stops in occasionally and we cross paths on facebook.

Karen, after a couple months of silence has just started blogging again. I missed her terribly.

Leggy is now Clover, but she’ll always be Leggy to me. She’s had boy/girl twins since then.

Baggage has noticeably been absent here, but I also see her updates on facebook.

Kellie stops in still, and I am grateful for her continued presence.

Donielle…she had a blog, but it is also long gone. I haven’t heard from her in ages.

Julie. I feel my heart constrict a bit when I think of Julie (Sisyphus) because I miss her soooo much.

Erin has been a constant friend, but quieter now that she brought home her son from Ethiopia.

KarenPince also had a blog, which is gone now. She recently had a baby boy.

Trish. Former Nebraskan. She has a daughter who is terminally ill, but I don’t see updates from her anymore.

Cricket, who I never thought would become silent, has. She has an art blog and saw a recent update, but I haven’t heard from her since January.

Tuesday is still blogging. After her miscarriage of triplets, she had another baby boy.

Jess…I wish I could remember more about her other than she stopped blogging ages ago as well.

Josie and I non-stopped emailed each other for a while there. I even met her once, and it’s already been a couple of years ago. She finally brought home her son from Ethiopia as well just a short time ago.

Michelle is thankfully still out there. Her surprise pregnancy mirrored my own (non-surprise) with ZGirl.

Midori has gone through hell these past few years. No longer keeping a public blog but I do get to see pictures of her new life on Flickr and see updates on facebook.

Long time sista. My former best friend.

Kati stopped blogging some time ago after suffering several miscarriages during her SIF. I miss her sweet ways.

Rachel went through her pregnancy during her husband’s deployment, but she hasn’t posted in a year.

Menita, darling Menita. We also cross paths occasionally on facebook and I get a silly little zing when I see she’s checking in on me.

Catizhere. That’s all I need to say about lovely Cat. She is still here. Thank god.

Spanglish and I had a falling out, except I don’t know why.

Alli also stopped blogging about a year ago.

Jenny is now the infamous Bloggess and has left me in the dust.

Kellie from One Mother’s Journey deleted her blog years ago. I see someone else took the domain name.

Her Bad Mother also moved onward and upward.

Soralis is still blogging, but at a new site under a new name after she had her baby girl.

TB took a very long hiatus after the birth of her son over a year ago. She has posted since then, but not often enough IMO.

Nico went on to also give birth to a second son and a different blog.

Every one, not just my daughter, is growing, evolving. However, the difference between my daughter and these blogs and their owners is that she is growing up – eventually to grow away; these long lost bloggers…? Is the rate for extinct bloggers really that high, or do I need to only look in the mirror to find the answer?

STONE COLD SOBER, AS A MATTER OF FACT

~ Guest post by Aunt Becky

This morning when my own blog somehow got a Case of The Monday’s (on Tuesday. Dumb blog doesn’t even know the days of the week.) DD offered me the use of her own blog so that I could once again fill The Internet with my pointless drivel. Because my Twitter account only allows me to say stuff in 140 characters or less which is not NEARLY enough blathering for Yours Truly, I was most pleased to do this. Plus, DD is kind of my own personal hero, so I kinda got hot and bothered thinking about posting on HER blog.

Which, because I am not clever enough to come up with a topic on my own, brings me to the topic I’d begged her to give me. Can you be honest-to-God friends with people you meet on The Internet?

It’s tricky, yo. But after thinking about it for 30 seconds as I refilled my eleventy-ninth cup of coffee I think I have my answer: yes. Even after the posts I’ve dedicated to how self-serving and self-important blogging is (put down the pitchforks, I have my own blog, so what does that say about me?), I can honestly say that I have met a handful of people I would actually call my friends.

Back in January and February when my daughter was born with a part of her brain hanging jauntily out of the back of her head, a condition called an encephalocele that we weren’t aware she had, I took to my blog. Somehow the act of writing down my feelings and putting them into a cohesive form rather than the scattered bits of worry floating around my head made things ever slightly better. And The Internet, prayed for me, with me, and around me when I needed them. 

In some tangible way that I’d not expected, having the collective prayers of people from The Internet made having to put my newborn through brain surgery was made slightly easier. Many times, the people in the computer were more present for me than the friends I’ve made outside of the computer. And because I was able to pull my feelings into a readable (okay, that’s debatable) format, many of the people who know my blog were able to tap into the real me. They didn’t have to see my frazzled hair or blood-shot eyes, they didn’t have to come over and witness for themselves the balls of dog hair floating about my house to know who I am.

The blogs with whom I have personally connected are of the same ilk. Maybe they don’t sit around talking about deep and meaningful stuff (preferably they don’t) but on some level I can relate to their owner. Maybe they make me laugh, maybe they make me think, maybe they just make me like them. And in some way, I feel like I know them.

I’m not saying that everything that The Internet says is true. God knows that everyone has left the worst parts of our personalities (let’s hope) out of their blogs. I mean, I hate to tell you this, but my waist is not ACTUALLY 24 inches. Hell, it’s even possible that my favorite bloggers are simply PRETENDING to be who they say they are when they are really midget transsexuals living in Decatur. But it’s possible that the friends outside of the computer I’ve had for 15 years are actual midget transsexuals living in Decatur too. Maybe they just hide it really well.

Stranger things have happened. 

What do YOU think, DD’s Internet?