Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Family Drama, Continued and Thanksgiving Blessings

My Mom came up on Saturday afternoon, and stayed till Tuesday afternoon. She is absolutely crazy in love with her grandson. She spoiled him rotten, and drove me a little crazy, because she gets hyper-anxious any time the boy cries. So I have two people to worry about and try to comfort, rather than one. Nevertheless, she is a cool gramma, and I am so glad she came.

My Dad is not speaking to her, because she had the nerve to go through with her plans to visit, even though he was having dental problems. Had she stayed home there is nothing she could have done to help with his teeth, except listen to him bitch and moan. Which is apparently what he wanted. He's pissed she left him alone and in pain. She's pissed he acts like such a big baby, and is jealous of a seven month old...

So, it is gonna be a chilly holiday at their place tomorrow....

Sunday night, my MIL announced she was going to come here for Turkey Day after all. Monday I went out and bought a ton of food. Last night, she cancelled again...

So, its jst gonna be me, Kev and Mikro, watching the parade on TV and relaxing and stuffing ourselves with too much food, and feeling sad that Mikro's grandparents won't be here. But that is their choice. And I am going to make the best of the day for our little nuclear family despite it.

Obviously, at the top of my list of things to be thankful for is my healthy, happy, adorable little boy. And his Daddy.

My Mom called last night and asked to talk to Kev. Last time that happened they were asking his permission to give me a dog (which they had already bought). So I really wondered if I was getting a GSD puppy to train for service dog work, given my dog's medical retirement.


She just wanted to tell my husband that she thinks he is a wonderful father, and how good he is for her daughter, and that he is on her list of Thanksgiving blessings.

How cool is that?

In case I don't get online tomorrow, I just want to wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, and to say that I am so very thankful for the wonderful friends I have, online and off!

Now off to de-crankify Mikro...

Friday, November 21, 2003

Not having a good day...

I'm in a foul mood. Its a combination of old fashioned cabin fever and my-family-betrayed-me-again funk. And it doesn't help that I got cheated out of the supposed benefit to me of exclusive breastfeeding. Eight weeks of lochia, a four week break, and then boom, back to regular cycles. So PMS is probably a contributor in my black mood.

I can't wait to get together with the Crazy Artists Club. We are really good at cheering each other up...

I just hope I don't depress them!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hope and Faith (of the Heart)

A small excerpt from the lyrics to the theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise (the extended version of the song), Faith of the Heart :


It's a song I used to sing alot when I was pregnant with Mikro. [[[OH SHIT-- DOES THAT BUY ME A FUCKING LAWSUIT? SINGING A SONG TO MY KID? IS THAT WHAT'S NEXT??? AM I STILL LIVING IN AMERICA??? ]]] He recognizes it. It's what I wish for him -- that he never ever lose faith in himself and his dreams.

It's hard for me to remember to wish it for myself. It fit Me Before The Accident. But it really doesn't fit Me Now, because the accident cost me alot of dreams. I am a pretty negative person alot of the time, and I have to fight that tendency constantly.

But it goes along with a favorite artist quote of mine:

	It is a huge danger to pretend 

that awful things do not happen.
But you need enough hope to keep going.
I am trying to make hope.
Flowers grow out of darkness.

-- Corita Kent

So that is the goal I strive towards. Trying to make hope... in spite of my last entry...

Generally I end up singing this song in tears, and hugging my precious little son, who is my Faith of the Heart.

OK, enough of me and my weird mood. Time to feed the kidlet.


The Artist's Way...

I'm about to take another stab at doing Julia Cameron's Artist's Way program, because I need something to get me off my behind and back in my studio... Which ain't easy with The Boy, but I haven't really even tried lately...

So, I started a new blog, which will focus on my artwork, at Brushstrokes & Breastmilk.

I failed miserably at the NANOWRIMO novel in a month gig, but I really do need to get back to a routine of writing and painting. Only maybe not at such an ambitious pace. I got way too stressed over the deadline and froze. So, I'm punting on NANO this year, and just going to try to take small steps forward on the creative stuff...

Signs of sanity???

I am having lunch tomorrow with my group of local artist friends, affectionately known as the Crazy Artists Club. All of us have been in the creative doldrums lately, and we haven't gotten together in ages. Maybe we can kick each other in the seat of the pants and all get moving again.

That's my hope for tomorrow. That and a baby who naps frequently....

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Public Restrooms

Last night we watched the Gilmore Girls. There was a scene where Lorelei comments about a woman taking a four year old boy into a ladies' restroom.

I didn't get it. Call me dense, but what is the big deal? There are stall with doors. It's not like taking a four year old girl into the men's room, where she can watch the urinals being used.

Can someone tell me what the big deal is? What was she suppposed to do? Leave the four year old standing outside in the street while she went to pee? Not exactly safe where I live, and I live in a nice small town. I would never leave my kid like that, and I sure wouldn't crash the party in the men's room in the name of keeping him with me so I could pee. (Lord knows with the way men behave in unisex bathrooms on trains, I probably wouldn't want to sit on the seat in there anyway, even if there were not a risk I'd get arrested.) Heck, if my four year old son had to pee, I would drag him into the ladies' rather than send him alone into the men's. There are too many sickos in the world.

And yet, Lorelei obviously had a problem with this, so I suppose some other women do too. Why? I mean, I am assuming that I will be able to keep Mikro from peeking under the doors or being a total pest, which I suppose is a large asumption, given that I have seen other kids do those things. And yes, I was annoyed when it happened to me. But jeez louise, it's a four year old we are talking about, not a teenager! I got over it.

So what is a mama supposed to do?

I am years away from having to worry about this, but I worried about it when I was pregnant, when I found out I was having a boy. Yes, I'm nuts. But I wonder what the right answer is...

All of that said, here's an entry for my category called The Death of Civility

On Public Toilets:

What is it with women who stand up to pee in public toilets and then leave their splashings all over the seat for the next person to deal with?

If your pristine ass is too good to sit on the toilet like a normal person, then do what my over-cautious mama taught me, and wallpaper it with toilet tisssue until your comfrot level is reached. When you get done, use another bit of TP to slide your butt nest into the bowl and flush it away, please.

I am not your fricking maid, and your piss is no more or less offensive or unsanitary than the cooties, germs or VD you imagine your mannish pissing is going to save you from. It is ignorant and inconsiderate in the extreme.

I always wipe the seat before and after I use the facilities. I do not imagine for one second anyone is eager to wipe up my piss, or sit in it, so I make sure I leave a neat dry seat for the next happy camper.

Why is that so fricking difficult for some people???

And even if you are a mama with kids, clean up after the kids' pee too. It takes a second, and it is your responsibility.

I can remember one incident in particular which bugs me. A woman cut the bathroom line at the train station one morning, right in front of me, with her little seven year old boy. I was tap dancing because I had to pee so bad, but she came out of nowhere and practically tackled me to edge in front of me. When she came out some ten minutes later (which felt like an eternity), she left little boy piss all over the seat and floor. So I had to spend yet more time cleaning up her mess.

When I got out, I approached her, pissed purple, and managed to limit my response to her disgusting behavior to a very loud remark:

Lady, if you can't teach your son aim, at least teach him manners. Clean up your own damn mess!

At least she looked embarassed. Maybe I made her think. Maybe her kid will bug her about it. One can only hope.

What ever happened to common courtesy?

But I'm Doing Much Better Now...

Anyone remember John Astin's character on Night Court? As Judge Harry's wacky father, whose tag line is my title...

Things are much saner, although today the forecast is a return to windstorms, so who knows how I will be later. Right now its pouring rain, and my two silly dogs have a thing about getting their dainty paws wet, and won't walk on the grass. Being country dogs, they absolutely won't go on concrete, so I had to stand out there, getting soaked, until I could persuade them that wet feet would not be fatal.... I am dripping on my keyboard.

Mikro is much much better. He's not constantly in teething distress. The bottom two teeth are fully extruded up through the gums now, and actually look like teeth. The tops are still bugging him, but it isn't non stop. We did the washcloth thing, which helped. He also got some relief from gnawing on the stage one infant toothbrush (the thing that looks like a blue rubber asparagus spear). I will give the frozen bagels a shot next time, since I never managed to get to the store to pick some up this go-round.

As to the beloved teething keys -- We got them back.

Restrain me, someone, so I do not strangle my husband, but it turns out they weren't really missing.

They were not in the 99 places I looked.

They were in the one fricking place I asked him to look.


So, while my friend never bothered to look for them or call me back, which irks me severely, my husband is the true villain of the piece, for being a typical male unable to competently find anything without female assistance.

I am an idiot for not double checking where he looked myself.

After all, I know when I ask him to get something out of the fridge, his general response is "It's not in there," if it is not directly front and center.

Anything that isn't so obvious that he will trip over it (actually, sometimes even stuff he has actually tripped over) is strangely invisible. He and my dad both suffer from what I call Male Pattern Blindness. If actual effort is involved, they don't see it, so it isn't there. (Yet this is a guy who can tell where his bullets hit a target set up 50 feet away...)

So, three days of insane infant were totally unnecessary!

If it weren't for the fact that he is otherwise the most amazing daddy to Mikro (and he is kinda cute), I could have cheerfully strangled him.

In other news...

Mikro was seven months old yesterday. I'll be posting a new entry and some pictures to his baby blog later tonight, once I can get dear spouse to download the digital camera, which is currrently riding around on his belt...

Friday, November 14, 2003

Still in Teething Hell, with a Detour into PTSD Nightmareland

Still no call from my friend, and no suitable substitute for Mikey's teething keyring located yet... He screamed for three straight hours, despite singing, jiggling, dancing, swinging, and anything else I could do in my desperation. Then he threw a tantrum so bad I thought he was going to have a seizure or something. He turned purple and flailed and scared the hell out of me. I am in tremendous pain from slinging around a nearly eighteen pound raving crazy boy. He finally fell asleep. Tylenol and orajel didn't console him either. He's just exhausted. So am I.

I was already in PTSD hell because of the insane windstorms hitting here. They are major triggers, so I wasn't doing so well to begin with. The added teething hell stress has me on the edge of a major panic attack, with acid reflux and chest pain to boot. And I can't sleep. I got less than an hour last night.

Winds please go away. Girlfriend, please find (at least look for!) the bleeping teether toy!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Teething Hell

Poor Little Man has two new teeth, bottom center (as of about a week ago), and two coming in on top. And maybe an incisor on top too...

He is horribly uncomfortable, and what makes it worse is, we have lost his favorite teether.

It was a set of soft rubber keys on a plastic ring, velcro'ed onto his carseat. My friend removed it when the little guy spit up. It must have fallen out of her car when we pulled out the carseat. Or maybe its under the seat. I couldn't get ahold of her for more than half a day, and when I did, she was not enthusiastic about looking for it. Its a full twenty four hours later, and she still hasn't called to say she looked and either found it or didn't.

In the meantime, I have a screaming baby.

My husband ran out and bought what teethers he could find, but couldn't locate a duplicate for the lost favorite, or even anything very close. Mikey likes the new things as toys, but has no desire to chew them.

I guess, not having kids, my friend thinks this is no big deal. I would hate to think that she's letting him go without his beloved teething keys because she thinks I spoil him. Which she does. (Because I'll breastfeed him till he self-weans, and he co-sleeps, and I am going to let him set the schedule for potty training. )

But that's my decision to make. Since when do seven month olds need to be toughened up?

It hurts me to see my boy so miserable. (and I mean that in both the emotional and physical senses, since the only things he is willing to teethe on now are my boobs...)

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Veterans' Day

To all the vets out there-- Thank You! I wish you peace.

When I was growing up, one of my neighbors was a Viet Nam vet. He was a USMC combat medic. Back then, nobody had ever heard of PTSD. My neigbor, T, was a sweet and funny man, when his demons weren't tormenting him. When they did, he drank. People called him the Neighborhood Drunk. Most avoided him. My Mom and Dad liked him, and listened to him. He was my friend. I had no clue what he suffered. I only knew he came back from over there having seen awful things, and it hurt him. It cost him his marriage, and his daughter, who was about my age. Maybe that's why he liked me and told me funny stories. My Dad used to talk to him and encourage him to stop drinking. It didn't happen. I watched someone I cared about slowly self destructing. One night T was evicted from his apartment because he woke up in a flashback and beat up his roommate, who he thought was an enemy soldier trying to kill him as he slept. After that he disappeared and became one of the far too many homeless vets out there. I still wonder how he is doing, and I pray for him. Since my accident, and being diagnosed with PTSD myself, I have a clue about what he was going through. I wish someone had understood back then and offered him the help he needed so badly. I hope by now, he has found peace.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Sharing the Wealth (of Germs and Grunginess)

My dear spouse brought this miserable cold home from work... He got over it in three days. I've been sick for a week, and it seems to like me so well, its decided to stick around. At least the worst (the sore throat and fever) is over. Now I'm just alternately dripping like a faucet from the nose, or left thinking Liquid Plumber might be what it would take to clear the clog... I am sick of being sick. And worst of all, the baby seems to be catching it from me. He's running a fever, and is a crabby little guy at the moment. I don't expect this nap to last long.

And on today's agenda is the continued archaeological excavation of my junk-locked living room, into which I am supposed to be willing to admit company tomorrow night. Actually, this was supposed to be two weeks from now, which was just about how long it would take to get the place quasi-presentable, but our guest moved things up, and my husband (who has absolutely no shame about living in a pig sty) agreed without consulting me...

The slob gene is one I wish we could have avoided passing on to The Boy, but we're both afflicted, so it seems inevitable he will be too. Unless two old very sloppy dogs can learn new neatnick tricks...

Kevin says we should be chanting the mantra "we have too much shit." We are at the point where one (or both) of us needs to learn how to throw something out. The Collier Brothers have nothing on us. (And you know how they died, right? Killed by their own boobytraped junk... We don't have traps set, LOL, but the piles of books and magazines are independently dangerous. An avalanche of paper could kill someone around here.)

If only being a packrat was a marketable skill, we'd be fabulously wealthy...

I probably should never have booted the computer today, because it is much more fun than cleaning up (i.e., skillfully concealing) this mess...

Thank God The Boy hasn't started crawling yet, because we are far from baby-proof. That may be the only thing that actually motivates us to change. In a hysterical last minute manner, of course.

As one of our friends says, "you need a bulldozer." And a dumpster or two.

Or a magically expanding house that stretches itself to add on a much needed library and pair of home offices, as well as an extra bedroom or two, and a studio for me and audio-visual editing lab for Kevin, and ... you get the idea.

Two aging packrats. Two cats. Two dogs (one a humongous German Shepherd). One baby. Four hundred tons of art supplies, equipment, and research materials. One small "starter" home. Yipes.

Oh, and did I mention the sixteen filing cabinets and seventy boxes of research material for dear spouse's book (a technological history of egress systems in military aviation) which are being truckled in from Texas sometime in the very near future?

We are doomed.

Saturday, November 08, 2003