Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aaaand Scene!

Sophie: I'm hungry.

Me: Do you want a string cheese?


Me: (grabbing one out of the fridge) Are you sure you want a string cheese?


Me: (as I begin to unwrap it) You definitely want a string cheese?

S: Yes, yes, yes! (arms outstretched, jumping up and down)

Me: (holding out string cheese to her, big enticing smile on my face) Here you go, baby.

S: (turning away) Ummm, no.

Replay this scene about 114 times a day and you begin to understand why my kid is so skinny and my ass is still the size of Texas as I eat the stupid string cheese/apple/peppers/crackers/toast/bagel/egg sandwich because I'm tired of throwing food out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I was going through the photos I took when I was in Kansas. Finally. And I came across a couple that my sister took of me, Sophie and my granddaddy. It's a tad out of focus because it was my little point and shoot and somebody (me) let somebody (Sophie) take some self-portraits (cute!) and she somehow changed it to the macro setting. Which means that anything more than 12 inches away and bigger than a ladybug has an aura. Of course, I didn't realize this until it was way too late to retake, but if I spend long enough tinkering around in Photoshop, I think I can make it presentable. And I plan to, because I want to send a copy to my beloved granddaddy. But for now, I just wanted to get something up on my blog that puts a smile on my face. Because my last post? Does not. It was one of those posts that was terribly cathartic to write but painful to publish and think about other people reading.

This picture makes me happy. It reminds me of a hundred Christmases spent in that very room, a fire blazing while I lay stretched out on the carpet under the coffee table. It reminds me of those weeks we spent there during the summer, just my sister and I and our grandparents. Sunday nights spent eating apples, cheese and popcorn while we watched 60 minutes. So many wonderful memories. I love that I was able to bring my daughter to spend some time with her great-granddaddy, because he is such an amazing man. I love that my grandmother is still with us, even if only in our memories and a photograph that is never far from my granddaddy's side.

Mostly though, I'm just really happy that given both of our positions, you can see neither mine nor my daughter's underwear.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mean Girls

Last night I asked Neil what he thought my greatest weakness was. While he stalled in his answer, all of the things he might say swirled around in my head. I understand his reticence to answer me, being honestly critical of another person is difficult. And when that person is your wife, it's damn near impossible. So when he finally answered, I wasn't sure what to expect. Would he take the easy road and tell me my greatest weakness was being such a darn good cook? Or would he be truly honest and tell me that I'm a terrible housekeeper or that I don't have enough patience with Sophie. He went the honest route.

His answer: that I don't have enough confidence in myself.

I sputtered and said "I don't have enough confidence? I don't have enough confidence? Meeee?" I wasn't angry, I was surprised. Not because I honestly think I'm brimming over with confidence, but because I generally think I do a fair job of hiding the fact that I'm not.

But then I chewed on what he had said for a moment. While I was waiting for his answer, I had come up with literally dozens of possibilities for what his response would be. The list of things I saw wrong in myself was long and varied. That just doesn't seem like the sign of someone who has a great deal of confidence in themself or their abilities.

Truth is, self-esteem has always been an issue for me. Growing up, we moved a lot. I was always the new kid, forced to make new friends at every stop. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes not. In some places, the kids were so entrenched in their relationships that there simply wasn't room for the new girl and I floundered.

When I hit middle school, the very worst years for all but the most lucky of pre-teens, I struggled extraordinarily. Grotesquely skinny, acne and a nose that had outgrown my face, combined with the hormonal peaks and valleys of puberty to make me a pretty unhappy kid. And while I've grown into my nose, the acne is under control and I've definitely got the curves (and then some, SIGH) I longed for in 7th grade, I honestly don't think I've ever recovered from those years. From starting my first day in a new school and having the kids taunt me with "big nose" and "ugly." From one of my first real boyfriends breaking up with me because his friends told him I wasn't good enough for him. From no dates for dances.

This afternoon, I took Sophie to the park. When we arrived there were three little girls playing on the jungle gym. A year or two older than her, they were involved in a detailed role playing game. From the moment she ran up to them, they were exclusionary and rude. When Sophie attempted to join in their play, they squealed and ran away. When Sophie would follow them, they would say "SHE'S BACK! RUUUUNNN!" and run away. Despite my attempts to direct her towards other kids or playground equipment, she was not to be deterred and continued to follow the girls around. I looked to the girls' mothers, who stood not far from me engrossed in their own conversation, hoping they would tell them to be nice, but they never did.

As I watched this play out, I almost started crying, because suddenly I didn't see her, I saw myself. I saw me timidly approaching kids and being rebuffed or ignored. Right now, my daughter is brimming with confidence. She experiences not a moment's hesitation when approaching someone new. The vast majority of the response to her is great positivity. She is the friendliest, most enthusiastic kid around. She oozes sunshine. But how much will it take to beat that out of her? How many mean little girls will it take to break her confidence? At what point did mine go? How do I ensure that in 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, my daughter will have the confidence to approach any person or goal and know that she is worthy?

I wish I could go back and kick those little girls' asses. But I can't. All I can do is love on my daughter, tell her a hundred times a day how beautiful and wonderful she is, and pray that is enough.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Side Effects

Our cat Potter has given us more than her fair share of scares. On multiple occasions we have carted her off, clawing and howling, to the vet or the Pet ER when things looked dire. I've never tallied up exactly how much we have spent on her medical care, mostly because it would depress me too much. Don't get me wrong, I love my kitty and would go the extra mile to make sure she is okay, but on every single occasion the results have been inconclusive, and basically, she just got better on her own. Thousands and thousands of dollars have been spent on what time alone fixed.

She's always been a puker. At least once a week, sometimes more often, sometimes less, she would revisit upon us her lunch. But lately things have been bad. Because of her history, we were hesitant to rush her to the vet, spend a ton of money and get no answers. However, after weeks and weeks of her throwing up A LOT, as in multiple times a day and on our bed on more than one occasion, we finally decided to take her in.

OF COURSE, the vet couldn't find anything wrong with her. All bloodwork came back fine. The diagnosis, such as it was, was that hair must be accumulating in her digestive tract and causing a backup. So the vet prescribed her Catlax, a molasses-like substance that serves in much the same way as Exlax does on humans. Which is to say, it greases the chute.

You might think this would cause a disturbing litter box situation, but in fact had almost no effect on that end. And at first, the vomiting slowed down and we thought "HALLELUJAH! We're on the right track."

But then we woke up Friday morning.

It was a morning like any other. Sophie woke us up at ohgod o'clock. We went through the upstairs part of our morning: pottying, face washing, changing diaper, putting on warmer clothes; before we headed for the stairs. And that was when I saw it.

It was everywhere.

It was on every step from the top to the bottom. That's thirteen steps. It was on the wall from the top nearly to the bottom. And there was clearly a spray pattern. It was like something had stood at the top of the stairs and a fire hose of vomit shot out of it. I didn't need Dexter or a team of CSIs to figure out what had happened.

I called out to Neil. When he met me at the top of the stairs, his mouth fell open and he said, only half kidding, "Do you think she's alive?" I'd had the same thought myself. It was an explosion. I have never seen an animal produce that kind of mess. HazMat teams usually deal with this sort of thing.

I went downstairs to track down Potter to confirm that she was, in fact, still among the land of the living. I found her in the kitchen circling her food dish waiting for some breaky as if nothing had happened. After refilling her bowl, I headed back upstairs to clean that ungodly mess up. It took a half a bottle of 409 and an entire roll of paper towels, but our stairs are back to their pre-disaster state.

We called the vet's office as soon as they opened and it was decided that we take a break from the Catlax and proceed to the next level of treatment: prednisone. So now our 7 lb cat is on steroids.

The good news is that the puking has slowed down to once a day for the last three days and we're optimistic that things are on the up and up. The bad news is that she's got acne and her meow is three octaves lower.

Whatever. As long as I never have to clean a mess like that again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where's Mary Poppins When You Need Her?

I know that all children are different. They have different interests and skills. Different temperaments. And that's cool. What kind of world would it be where all kids were the same? Most days I love that I have the energetic, frenetic kid. Believe me when I say that there are NO dull moments with her around.

But some days, I wouldn't mind having a kid who sat and colored for, oh say, 10 minutes. Or who could focus on any of the umpteen million crafty projects I have put together for her for more than 42 seconds. I spent $40 and a half an hour setting up a craft project for her today that I was POSITIVE would net me at least a few minutes of quiet. Nope.

Pretty much the only way I can get some time to myself is if I turn on the tv. And I really don't like doing that too much. Don't get me wrong, we're not anti-tv around here, I just don't want to spend too much time with it on. Even that isn't much of a fix. At best it gets me a few minutes and then she is climbing all over me again.

I just don't know what to do. How to encourage her to self-entertain better so that I don't have to spend every minute of my day playing with her. My house is a disaster and I'm getting burnt out.

My husband chides me when I call taking care of our daughter work, but the fact is, it IS work. And frankly, it's hard work. But it makes me wonder, are my expectations too high for a nearly three year old or am I just lazy?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Table Topic Tuesdays: Eye Candy

I love my husband. Like, he is the apple of my eye, lights my fire, pushes my buttons...oh wait. Anyhoo, he is my dream guy. Having said that, I'm not dead. I have eyes and don't mind when they fall on attractive bits of manflesh.

So when Shannon posted the topic for this week's Table Topic Tuesday, I felt it my DUTY to list my top producers of testosterone. Not for me, mind you, but for you. Because I'm a giver. Enjoy.

Alexander Skarsgaard (aka Eric Northman on True Blood): Sure the character plays into this a little, he's a sexy, badass vampire, but he's also one fine looking man.

Eric Season Two HBO's True Blood Pictures, Images and Photos

Clive Owen: He has the gruff Englishman thing going on that is darn near irresistible. And look at those blue eyes! Swoon.

Clive Owen Pictures, Images and Photos

Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock): Seriously? Seriously. Behold:

Dwayne The Rock Johnson Pictures, Images and Photos

Chris Evans: Hi Chris! (she titters behind a coy smile)

Chris Evans Pictures, Images and Photos

Tom Hardy: Tom is a recent add to my hunk stable. Have you seen Inception yet? See it, if for nothing else than to see this man. That face belongs atop a statue to a Greek god.

Tom Hardy Pictures, Images and Photos

So who's your top five bits of eye candy?


Saturday, September 4, 2010


 (Please don't read this one, Mom)
I'm a frayed edge. It's been one of those days, those weeks; too little sleep, too much yelling. Every outing a trial. Nights too short. Days too long. And the weight of everything that has ever gone wrong drags at my feet, pulling me under. The pressure, man, the pressure, and I kick and flail trying to get back up to sweet, clear air.

How many people had perfect childhoods? Where mom and dad stayed together, and you lived in the same house forever, and there were no health issues, and there were no divisions in the family beyond a black sheep uncle that drank too much at Christmas and pissed in the potted palm. What percentage of people do you suppose fall into that category? 25%? 10%? 2%?

I feel like I'm yelling so much these days. That my daughter is constantly tugging at me. Both literally and figuratively as she presses each one of my buttons for maximum effect. Three is turning out to be really, really hard. We're only a month in and my nerves are stretched so thin. I yell at Sophie, I snip at Neil. I don't call my friends because my mind is so full of being a mommy that I can't seem to pull more scintillating things out even when I'm not complaining. I used to be interesting, if I do say so myself. Some even thought me downright funny.

Tell me it gets easier. Tell me there is a day coming when I don't feel like I belong under psychiatric care. Tell me that occasionally regretting being a stay at home mom is normal. That I'm not the only one feeling so completely and wholly incompetent at the task. Tell me I'll fit into those jeans again.

I want my kid to be in that 2%. But right now? I feel like I'm setting her up for a lifetime of therapy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Field Trip Friday

Have you all stopped in over at BlogTrotting lately? We've been visiting some amazing places and we're talking about our favorite vacation photos today. Now scoot on over there!