Sunday, May 30, 2004

Memorial Day Weekend

We're trying to clean up a bit, in anticipation of my sister in law's family visiting tomorrow. We have too much junk. It's really impossible to get beyond a certain unsatisfactory point in bringing order to the chaos, because there is just no place to put some of it away... So, there are stray books, magazines and DVDs in the oddest places my husband can come up with to hide them...

Mikro's toys are covering the entire living room floor, and there is next to no point in putting them away till the crack of dawn tomorrow, because ten minutes after I do, he will pull them all out again and laugh at me for bothering.

Kevin refers to the process of packing them away as parting the Plastic Sea.

Got the boy puzzles yesterday at the Goodwill, which he is still probably not ready for. Although he did take great joy in turning them over, knocking all the pieces to the floor, and kneading them together like a great big ball of dough. Sorting them back out and putting them back together became daddy's job.

I am beginning to think my son resents the little time he allows me at the computer, because it seems like every time I sit down to blog, he comes up to the baby gate and growls, and then I smell the distinctive odor of baby poop. I swear he times it so he can get me off the computer! Gotta go.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop...

I have spent the last three days on the verge of a panic attack, which I wish would just come and get me already and get it the hell over with.

Not knowing what is making me this anxious really sucks. If I could figure out the trigger, I might be able to do something to shake it off. As it is, it's oppressive, and maddening, and it's making my chest hurt. I really hate this.

I probably made it worse yesterday by deciding to undertake a little Do It Yourself Therapy. I picked up The PTSD WORKBOOK and started going through it. Probably a pretty stupid thing to do when you are already hanging off the panic cliff by your fingertips...

Tomorrow is my Mom's 60th Birthday. Visiting her would entail taking the baby on a cummulative 8 hours of train rides. I just can't subject him (or anyone else) to that. So I won't see Mom for a major milestone birthday. Can you say GUILT TRIP? Mostly self imposed. I invited my parents to meet us at Central Park, which would be a two plus hour round trip for me, and a three hour round trip for them. It's meeting pretty much half way. I offered to take them to the zoo and buy everyone lunch or dinner. They declined. They are afraid of terrorists. Which pretty much means they are letting the bastards win, if you ask me.

Anyway, I smell baby poop. Gotta go.

Masochistic Menu

5 baby wipes

4 paper plates

3 plastic cheese slice wrappers

2 poopy diapers

and a trip to the kennel to think about her sins.

Otherwise known as, what the big dog had for breakfast.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Happy Birthday, Little Brother

My brother turns 37 today. He's throwing himself a huge birthday bash at a nearby water park. We're not going, because we can't get there by public transport. Just heard he's got a major professional opportunity on the horizon. It would involve moving back to NYC, so my parents are against it... I hope my brother makes his own decision. Only down side is, he would be working with a close frind, and that can be a truly tricky situation to navigate... I should know. Hiring a frind cost me a friendship. So, here's wishing my brother all the best, whatever he decides, and a happy birthday too!

Hot & Humorless

It's hot here, and humid too. The Boy is crabby. As in: Will.Not.Stop.Screaming. I think we have hit that lovely separation anxiety stage. Once again, I stood in plain sight to open the front door and let the dogs out, and the screaming started. Once he gets on a roll, he just goes with it... Sometimes for an hour nonstop. Sometimes he stops for ten minutes, usually to watch a stupid car commercial, and then screams for another hour, until he's too tired to go on and will finally consent to nurse, and, if I'm lucky, fall asleep. His napping is totally irregular at this point. Some days it's 15 minutes, some days 2 hours. My sanity is fraying, badly. I'll probably pop him in the stroller and attempt to distract him with a walk if he doesn't chill out soon. If it doesn't thunderstorm again...

We bought an air conditioner over the weekend, and Kev installed it. For the first time in 13 years, I will not have to spend the summer holed up in my bedroom, the only cool oasis in the hot house. We got a 12,000 BTU unit, which cools the entire downstairs. Woo hoo. Of course, my computer is in the one spot in the whole house that has zero airflow, so sitting here is like taking a sauna, even though it's pleasantly cool five feet away in any direction...

Big dog is doing well at the moment, despite having eaten a poopy diaper Monday.

Just heard that a neighborhood dog was killed by coyotes, so I am going to have to stop tying little blind dog out in the yard when she gets stubborn about pooping...

Lord, reading this, my life really does seem to center on other creatures' bowel movements. Ah, motherhood.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Long Days

About sums it up.

Mikro is both teething and going through a separation anxiety thing today. I am not allowed to go pee or make tea without hellacious howling from the peanut gallery. It has been an extremely long day. (I've been saying that since 1030 am...)

My neck is horrendously painful, and my dear son is taking great joy in bonking me on the head, attempting to rip my hair out, and climbing on my back, all of which are making the pain worse.

The big dog has diarrhea again, and she's looking to go out every five minutes. I just have to let her out the front door into the yard. Even though he can still see me plainly from behind the baby gate, Boyo screams every time I let the mutt out.

My husband picked tonight to go to his mom's with a buddy, which I begged him to do on a Friday. Because then my 20 hour solo parenting hell would at least be followed by a weekend day when I could get a break... But no, he's gone on a Tuesday, so the 20 hour crabby-boy-athon will be followed tomorrow by a 14 hour redux. Rinse, lather, repeat till Friday. Oh, joy.

I didn't sleep much at all last night, even though I was exhausted from the weekend.

I am feeling really bad because I need to get around to email and comment replies, which I haven't touched since last week... But the five minutes I'm getting to post here may be all my little dictator allows me...

Quick weekend recap-
Saturday saw my psychiatrist. She thinks I'm a weirdo hippy parent. She's my mom's age, so that kind of figures... She definitely doesn't approve of the cosleeping, extended breastfeeding stuff... Also did grocery shopping, went to Goodwill and bought the ever growing weed boy some bigger jeans, and ate at an overpriced Italian place in the next town over that caused me major gastrintestinal unhappiness.

Sunday: made pancakes. Spilled half the batter down my leg and across the kitchen floor. Big dog cleaned up (which explains her aforementioned diarrhea). Waied for my friend A to join us before heading to river front for the local Shad Fest. She called, running late, so we took off and said we'd see her there. Hiked a couple miles with the stroller packed with a picnic lunch. Got to the park and let Mikro watch his first ever puppet show (about the Hudson River Estuary), chased him across the fields, breastfed him under a shady tree in the middle of a huge crowd, gave him a taste of Mr. Softee vanilla ice cream, met A, did the craft booth circuit, spent money, took photos, and hiked home. My feet still hurt.

He's yelling again, so that's it for mama's computer time.

Friday, May 14, 2004

A Bundle of Contradictions

That's me.

I have conflicting feelings about so many things in my life right now.

I love being home with my son, and I am privileged to be able to watch him learning and growing full time, but I wish it was by choice. I'm home not because we decided it would be the best thing for our family, but because I was home anyway. Because I am disabled and can't work. It's getting harder and harder for me to physically cope with my growing toddler, and I am constantly worried about what my limitations are, and how much of a price I pay in pain for exceeding them.

Since I settled my lawsuit concerning The Accident, it feels like there is a tremendous expectation that 11 years of spinal problems and PTSD should magically end. People in my life must have thought I was faking it on some level to now think that everything should be all hunky dory just because the lawsuit is settled.

Settling itself is a huge source of mixed emotions. Yeah, the battle is over, I can look forward to one major trigger being eliminated, and a bit less ambient level stress in the future. That's definitely a good thing.

But it will forever irk me that I let them off the hook, that I settled because of some legal fuckups that made it just too risky to go to trial -- as in, possibly not being able to call a single expert witness because certain deadlines were not met-- not because the offer on the table bore even a ghostly resemblence to what my actual losses were. I am not a quitter. I wanted to go the distance and have a jury tell the people who hurt me that it was NOT alright, and that they would NOT get away with it. I didn't get that satisfaction.

By settling for the pittance I could get, rather than risking walking away with nothing, I let them off easy. I did not put a big enough dent in their checkbook that they will think twice about doing this to someone else. The idea that they will just conduct business as usual, and let other innocent people pay the price of their reckless indifference, their greed, their refusal to take even de minimus safety precautions, just makes me sick.

Yes, I am stupid and naieve for ever thinking this was about justice. I should know better.

But some visceral sense of justice, of vindication, mattered far more to me than any sum of money, because cash is not going to restore me, physically or mentally, to the young, healthy person I was before The Accident. It is cold comfort. Yes, it is nice to not be living completely hand to mouth, husband's paycheck to husband's paycheck, as we have for the past ten years. It's nice that there is a cushion if another disaster befalls us. But it doesn't make up for the fact that I am in excruciating pain every day, that I feel like a freak, that I feel useless because I can't work anymore. It isn't a magic cure for what ails me. Not by a long shot.

I'm angry at people who think that it should be.

I'm angry at my doctors, for pretty much deciding not to do anything to help me while I am breastfeeding, and for pressuring me to stop, so I can get back on my medication. I am frightened about changes in medication that have been proposed for the future, and wondering if just going without and being in pain and horrifically anxious is better than the alternative.

I'm angry at myself, for getting PTSD in the first place, because I know the judgment that other people make is that I must be weak or have some character flaw to have let this affect me so terribly, and part of me thinks they must be right.

I'm angry at the people who judge me for being angry.

Most of all, I'm angry at the people who caused The Accident, and I just don't know how to get over that, to forgive and forget, when every day that I wake up in pain is a reminder of what they did to me, of the fact that they valued my life so cheaply.

All in all, I'm dealing with alot of things I'd rather just try to avoid.

That is my dysfuctional, but generally effective, PTSD coping technique. Obsess about something trivial, and avoid the overwhelming stuff. Only at this point, it has stopped working. Compulsive shopping, insanely addicted escapist reading binges, surfing the net, none of that is providing even temporary relief from the tightness in my chest, the flashback or panic attack lurking on the fringes waiting to assault me.

And the Boy just will not let me paint, so that outlet is closed for the time being.

On top of all this, I wish my husband and I were not going round and round about the same old problems, without ever getting to a resolution. We love each other, but we are very different. Sometimes that is just hard.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Pest Control

Ugh. Homeownership really seems to be about swimming for your life against the tide of decay and destruction. We had the place sprayed yesterday for carpenter ants. The termite erradication began last Saturday. I know its purely psychosomatic, but I am itchy and feel like there are ants crawling on me. Yuck.

Boyo has been turning into an unfortunately nocturnal creature of late. He was so active Tuesday night that we had to give up entirely on him falling asleep and bring him back downstairs to the living room to exhaust himself in play. Not my idea of what life at 2 a.m. is supposed to look like. Last night he stubbornly held on to consciousness until after 1 a.m., but at least he wasn't body slamming me, climbing me, hitting, pinching, and pulling my hair like he was the night before...

He only does this to me. He plays nice with everyone else, but he routinely whales on me. I am his freaking trampoline. I am not proud of how annoyed it made me at 2 a.m. Visions of boy velcroed to wall danced in her head... Instead, we went downstairs and he played with his trucks while his daddy and I attempted to remain at least partially awake and watchful.

Finally, around 3:30, he looked a bit sleepy, and by 4 a.m., we were all out. Phew. The only redeeming quality about his timing was that Daddy had yesterday off because of the exterminator, so he didn't have to attempt to fuction at work on two hours sleep.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Must Read & Dunking Jesus

Go see Fluid Pudding. It should be illegal to be this funny! She made me pee my pants. (Granted, it's easier to do after the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing, but still!)

Hope everyone had a nice Mothers Day. Ours was quiet. Kev bought me brunch, and we took a nice long walk with Stroller Boy.

Wierdest thing to come out of mama's mouth this weekend:

Uh, did you just dunk Jesus in the dog water?

Think 12 month old with rosary and convenient puddle....

Friday, May 07, 2004

Phone prodigy

Mikro is fascinated with the phone. Not toy phones, mind you, of which he has four. Only the real deal will do. He enjoys button pushing and disconnecting me while I'm talking.

Well, he has a new trick.

Today he dialed 911.

The nice policeman was very understanding, but my cheeks are still red. Not only did we waste his time when there might have been a real emergency, but we also treated him to a view of me at my absolute grungiest: Hair up in rubber band a la Pebbles Flintstone, paint covered tshirt, baby sweet potatoes covered pants, and extremely dirty toddler stuffed under one arm like a football.

What a lovely impression we must have made. Cue the theme from the Beverly Hillbillies... Gah!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

How To Turn A Vegetarian's Stomach

Take a product that used to be free of meat and change it, without a big honking notice that you've changed it, so that when I unsuspectingly microwave it, I fill my house with the odor of cooking flesh.

Absofuckinglutely gross.

Thank you Weight Watchers for eliminating a staple from my lunch menu. Santa Fe Rice & Beans was quick, easy, full of protein, and one of the few fucking entrees you make that I could eat. Not anymore. Now it's tainted with chicken fat, chicken meat, and goodness knows what else.

I hoped I was wrong, but as it started to cook, I detected the distinct stench of dead animal.

May I say, your new and improved simply reeks.


I became a vegetarian when I was a little kid, because I didn't want to eat anything that could have been my friend. After thirty years not ingesting my fellow creatures, the smell of cooking meat actually turns my stomach. Thank you, Weight Watchers, for nearly making me puke.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

This is new...

He can't press the horn on his car yet -- it takes too much force. But Kev was honking it, and he was giggling. When Kev stopped, Boyo grabbed his hand and dragged it back onto the horn. Pretty eloquent substitute for AGAIN!

He's also saying dog now, in addition to mama, dada, nay nay, baby (baybay) and big. He flips the pages in his board books and really studies each page, and he's starting to have the attention span to let us read to him, or watch a video for more than a minute and a half. Mr. aquaphobia is even splashing gleefully in the dog dish. Maybe soon he won't scream like a banshee in the bath...

Can't resist that smile!

I just can't resist the temptation to post a couple of pictures of my happy little guy.

His smile just lights up my soul.

Like the Grinch, I think my heart grew 10 sizes the day he was born.


Any time he spills food, he gleefully smears it over any surface within reach... the couch, the high chair, the coffee table, his clothing, me...

So I figured, what the heck, let's try him with fingerpaints.

Um, no interest. None at all.

The paint was already glopped on the paper, so mama starts playing.

Next thing you know, the Boy and the little blind dog decide to participate afterall. By walking in the paints. Boyo also added to the design by falling on his rump right smack in the middle... He likes the little plastic spatula that makes parallel lines, and is waving it around vigorously.

I wiped his hands and feet and other fleshy purple and green bits, but at the moment, his white t-shirt is multicolored, and the dog has a green beard...

I'll post our masterpiece once it dries.. And here it is:

Monday, May 03, 2004


My husband was trying to call his mom to wish her a happy birthday. He couldn't get her all day Saturday. The strange thing was, her answering machine was not picking up. So we figured that maybe she accidentally turned it off, as my parents have occassionally managed to do. We were a bit worried. We try to call her next door neighbor, but there's no answer there. So, we figure, try again tomorrow.

Sunday morning, we get a call from a friend who has not been able to reach her since Thursday. This freaks us both out, and not being able to reach her neighbor either makes us think dire scary thoughts.

So Kev hops on a train and runs out there.

We are both trying not to imagine the worst.

Two hours later, he rings the doorbell, and there's mom, fit as a fiddle.

Her phone line was dead.


So, she got an unexpected visit for her birthday. And we nearly had heart failure...