Only Got 35 of My 40 Winks

April 30, 2008

M made it home safely last night without any problems.  He watched the co-worker down another five beers while waiting for the plane.  Can we say alcohol problems?  Fortunately the actual installation of the software at the company yesterday was a breeze, and he totally impressed everyone with how awesome it was.  So he was gone for nearly two full days for two hours of work.  Nice.

In other news, BabyN has decided to tweak his daily routine, and I hate it.  No, I loathe it.  Remember my love of sleep?  I love my job because most days I get to sleep late.  But BabyN has become that jerk boss with ridiculous demands, including being attended to super early in the morning.  He wakes up desperate to eat and then coo at me and play.  And God forbid I try to sleep while he sits and plays next to me.  No, I MUST be giving him my full attention as long as he is awake.  And he’s so darned cute.  Who can be that cute that early in the morning?  He doesn’t even mind my morning breath.

Then about the time I give up and get up for the day at a barely reasonable hour, he decides it’s naptime.  But by now, PJ is up and running circles around the house and begging for another episode of Blue’s Clues, so going down for a nap myself ain’t gonna happen.

I suppose I could always remedy the problem by just going to bed earlier and planning to get up for the day early.  But what’s the fun in that?  I enjoy pretending to be a night owl with my husband every night.  (Truthfully?  I’d rather go to bed an hour or two earlier than we do and get up at a more reasonable time, but I feel like I’m getting away with something by staying up late.  Oh, and I get to sneak a few more alone minutes with my hubby this way.)

Anyway, I’m sure this early waking is just a phase for BabyN.  I remember PJ going through a similar phase–and then he discovered the wonders of sleeping late.  That phase has lasted much longer.  Aah, a kid after my own heart.

Written While PJ Whines in Time-Out

April 29, 2008

M left yesterday on another business trip.  He’s been looking forward to this one.  He gets to go to a company to try out this really innovative software he developed.  Everybody has been super impressed with him since he found such a simple solution to a huge problem.  He expected some awesome treatment while he was there, and for good reason.  He’s making both companies TONS of money with this software.

He was also excited enough about the location that it was his primary reason behind getting a point-and-shoot camera for his birthday.  He expected to have at least a little time for sightseeing and wanted something to be able to bring back pictures for me.

Well, he began to suspect his sightseeing time would be cut short when the sales guy he was traveling with set up for them to go to a baseball game with the other company’s liaisons.  That would take up all of yesterday evening, the only night they ended up staying.  He was okay with it, despite being anything but a sports fan, because he was told the company was springing for box seats.

Then he got there last night to discover they were not box seats, but pretty bad ones instead.  The company liaison was a good friend of the sales guy, and the baseball game was an excuse to get together with the friend on the company’s dime.  The guys ended up drinking like fish through dinner, the whole game, and then at a bar afterwards.  M doesn’t drink at all, so this was annoying to him.  He won’t begrudge someone else a drink, but he felt a bit uncomfortable having no choice as he was carted from one drinking location to the next as the other guys just got drunker.  He didn’t even get to advise the drunk driver not to drive in  his state because of his unique business situation.  I’m just grateful he made it back to the hotel safely, even if it was incredibly late.

Needless to say, he’s already a bit disappointed about the trip, and he hasn’t even had his chance to show off the software yet.

Meanwhile, at home, I’ve been dealing with a toddler who has put on his worst behavior for me.  I deal with him every day, but about the time yesterday that he realized his daddy wasn’t coming home from work, he flipped out.  He got many more punishments than usual and ended up in bed early because I was afraid I’d hurt him the next time he earned a punishment.

It turns out I NEED the break that M gives me in the evenings.  Even if I still end up doing most of the work that involves the boys, he’s at least around to help with the disciplining.  I didn’t really understand how much his mere presence helped me until this trip.

But he’ll be home tonight.  He may be disappointed that the trip didn’t turn out the way he hoped, but I’d rather he was disappointed and home with me than disappointed and several states away.

I Sound Girly

April 28, 2008

My birthday presents started coming in this past weekend already.  M got notice of his bonus at work on Friday and decided that in celebration, we would really splurge on me this year (which we end up doing every year).  While looking at other things at Target on Saturday, he encouraged me to browse through their clothes.  We ended up with three cute shirts for $35.  That’s my kind of shopping.

Then Sunday, M was still in a shopping mood, so we went to the nearby outlet-ish mall.  There are some things about this mall I don’t love, namely that they don’t have as many popular stores, but you can stumble across some great finds if you know where to look.  We did.  At the outlet of a pretty classy normal mall store, we found three more shirts and a pair of capri pants, all for $50.  I get to wear new clothes all week now!

(By the way, do you know how awesome it is to find capri pants that fit?  Most capri pants fit like normal pants on my itty-bitty body.)

I would be happy with this much for my birthday, too, but M says it’s not over yet.  He’s looking into other ways to persuade me to go shopping for more.  When we’re at my parents’ for part of our vacation in a month, he may send me off to the mall with my mom.  Hey, I’ll take the break from the kids, even if we don’t find any clothes!

I’ve decided on three more necessities, though.  I am a total sucker for cute, summery dresses and can barely restrain myself from overbuying these since I only get to wear them once a week to church.  But I could use ONE new dress, one that I could breastfeed while wearing.  I’ve been wearing the same blouse and skirt to church lately in case BabyN decided he was hungry halfway through the service.  Has anybody seen any styles lately that could let me nurse while wearing?

And I need a new bathing suit.  M and I are sneaking away one night of our vacation to a nice B&B, the one where we spent our honeymoon, and I know I’ll want to go swimming while we’re there.  But I haven’t bought a new suit since I was in my single and fit days.  I no longer have six-pack abs and can’t pull off a skimpy bikini.  I definitely need something new.

Oh, and shoes.  M insisted on getting me sturdier slip-on shoes when I was pregnant with PJ (clumsy me kept stepping out of my flip-flops), and I’ve been wearing them ever since.  Seriously, the only time I wear other shoes is for church, and then I trade off between two or three different pairs.  I’d love to find a few new pairs of cute sandals.  Unfortunately, I also have fit issues with my feet–they’re TINY–and can only find shoes to fit at Payless.  I need to persuade M to go there with me to look for something cute.  He’s too set on finding me something practical for walking long distances.  Sure I could probably use some, but they wouldn’t get worn nearly as often as cute shoes I could wear every day.

For someone who swears to dislike shopping, I sure sound like a shopaholic, don’t I?  I guess I’m just in the mood for it right now.  Besides, it’s fun to feel cute while wearing new clothes.  It’s a much-needed boost to my self-esteem.

Shopping Extravaganza

April 25, 2008

I had a dream last night that I was shopping.  I woke up satsfied and content, a huge change from some of the nights I’ve had recently (in one I was being strangled by a snake that looked like a cobra but I called an anaconda and had already sunk its poisonous fangs into me three times; in another I was trying not to drown while saving my boys from the same fate; and in another I was forced to sleep at Wal-Mart because my in-laws wouldn’t make room for me in their house and I intentionally left my boys in the care of strangers because I couldn’t handle them anymore).  So, yeah, a shopping dream?  Nice and relaxing.

If you haven’t already figured it out, normally I’m not that fond of shopping.  I hate when the stores are too busy (*ahem* Hell-Mart), so I kind of wig out if I want to browse in a store that has too many people.  I usually give up without truly looking at what I want to.  Or if I find something I am interested in, I’m either too embarrassed to pick it up and walk it to the fitting room to try it on, or I look at the price and decide I can’t justify spending that much on me and pass it up altogether.

Is it at all surprising that the last time I bought clothes was when I needed maternity clothes in a desperate way?  It’s very likely that the last time before that was when M and I were dating.

I’m considering doing a closet purge, getting rid of most of my pre-pregnancy clothes that don’t miraculously also fit my post-prego body.  Considering my hooters are two huge sizes bigger and I have a wrinkly, pudgy belly to cover, that leaves me with very little in my closet.  Even just getting rid of everything I had in college or high school strips my closet to the bare minimum–and nun-like dressy teaching clothes that I’ll never wear again.  I’ll go naked first.

My birthday is coming up in less than two weeks, and I’ve already decided that the present I’m going to ask for this year is a shopping spree.  Last year I got a laptop, so I should get a lot of clothes for that, right?  No, really we don’t usually splurge that much on birthdays.  Even combining my birthday, Mother’s Day, and our anniversary, which all happen within a week of each other this year, I doubt I can end up with that many clothes.

But I’m gearing myself up for a real shopping spree.  I’m excited about the prospect of new, cute clothes that fit my new body, even if it means I have to overcome some discomfort in the stores themselves.


April 24, 2008

When I got that first comment yesterday, I was hurt, even if it was at least partly true.  That happens every time I get a critical comment.  I don’t take criticism well.

I debated about what to do about it.  Do I delete it?  Do I ignore it?  Or do I defend myself?  I tried to deny her the satisfaction of getting a response out of me, but it was tough.  Finally I realized that I was torturing myself for nothing.  As hard as I tried to hold myself back, eventually I would give in and reply to her comment.  What was the point in putting off the inevitable?

And that taught me one of the most important lessons of my life: I am who I am.

I can fight my nature or hide certain aspects of my personality from people, but that won’t actually change who I am.

I took some time last night to evaluate who I really am.  I started listing in my mind all my good qualities as well as my bad ones.  I am learning to embrace my true personality, even my flaws (of which there are many).  Until I can do this, I will continue to be hurt when others point out these flaws.

Okay, truthfully I will probably be hurt anyway, but I’ve decided that I’d rather open up and let myself be vulnerable.  I don’t want anybody reading my blog out of pity for me or to see what outlandish thing I say next; I want all of you to like me for who I am, flaws and all.  And even if you choose to point those out to me, I will graciously agree with you about them.

Because I am who I am, flaws and all.  I simply can’t continue trying to be someone other than who I am.  I never should have tried in the first place.

For once, my new header is more than mere whim.  Since I took this picture, I have felt drawn to it.  I want to be like my little boy, able to open my mouth and let whatever comes out do so.  I want to be that uninhibited and shameless.  While it is against my nature to be like that in real life, this blog is my place to stand and shout out for whoever might be listening.

So I am taking back my blog, as many of you have said many times (yes, it took that long to beat it through my thick skull).  No longer will I edit as I write out of concern for how any of you might react.  If you don’t like me for who I really am, then what should it matter to me?  I’d rather you give up and move on to someone else’s blog than stick around to hear what I have to say when I’m pretending to be something I’m not.

And to those of you who have stuck around through this whole process of self-discovery and liked me all along, thank you.  Hopefully I won’t disappoint you by going back on my words anytime in the future.

My First Open Letter

April 23, 2008

Dear Neighbor People,

When M and I met you and realized you were moving into the house only two doors down from us, we were excited.  You seemed like pretty nice people who might even end up as our friends.  You and your kids quickly doted on PJ, and we had visions of you baby-sitting him from time to time so we could finally get out alone.  So far that has only happened when it was an absolute necessity–when I was in the hospital when BabyN was born–but I suspect that if we’d asked, you would have been willing to baby-sit more often than that.

I considered your family our closest friends in this end of town.  But then you go and do something like you did the other night.

In case you were wondering, it is NOT cool to make fun of our dog.  I’m sorry she reacted badly to your little mutt (whom we’ve heard you curse at yourselves).  It bothers me that she acted aggressively towards the dog, but in her defense, I think she was trying to play and it just came across wrong.  Regardless of her behavior, though, that does not give you permission to start making up nicknames for her that all imply she is mean.  We do not have to warn people that she is mean because she is not–just to your dog.

What makes all of this worse is that it’s not your precocious and thoughtless girl who started this merciless teasing, as I would expect.  It was you, Mr. Mature Dad.  You’ve met the puppy before and know that she is one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet.  You even commented on it at the time.  You know her behavior the other day was out of character for her.  Making fun of her so that you’ll look cool in front of your kids and their friends is not an appropriate response.  We were humiliated enough by her behavior; you didn’t have to make it worse.

You and your whole family wear your Christianity on your sleeve, as though this is what people should know about you first.  As a Christian myself, I agree it’s good not to be ashamed of that, but your attitude about your faith is an assumption that everyone agrees with your views, always stated in such a matter-of-fact, yet condescending, tone.  I’m aware that Christians make mistakes too, but because of the way you usually behave around us, it makes it harder to believe that YOU can.  That’s why your behavior the other night was so shocking; it reeked of hypocrisy.  It’s something I would never expect from such strong Christians.

And I don’t think you realized you did anything wrong, that you hurt our whole family by your words.


Your Weaker Christian Neighbor

PS. Really?  You really think tagging your dog is going to send him–or your family–to Hell?  And you’re going to judge us that our dog is tagged (regardless of whether she was when we got her)?

PPS. We’ve had our puppy all of three weeks (-ish).  Do you really expect us to have her perfectly trained in that time?  You’ve had your daughter for ten years and haven’t managed that much.  (Ooh…was that petty?  Sorry…kind of.)

Not Intentionally Brushing You Off

April 22, 2008

I’ve got a busy day planned, and the boys didn’t wake me up early this morning, so I’m already behind.  For that reason, I’m going to neglect this blog for now.  I had something kind of thought-provoking to write, but I don’t feel like taking the time to sit down and think it all out for now.  We’ll see; if I finish what I’ve got planned for today early, maybe I’ll come back and write something.  If I’m not captivated by yet another episode of Blue’s Clues, that is.

Another Aha

April 21, 2008

This weekend we welcomed an unexpected visitor–good ole AF.  Since it had been nearly a year and a half since she showed up, it was clearly unexpected.

Fortunately, the IUD has kept it from being as awful as I would expect.  It’s been much less painful (although I am still having plenty of cramps; they’re just not severe), less heavy, and it looks like it will be shorter too.  I can handle this, even with all the false alarm spotting that can happen at any time.

In retrospect, PMS is a likely explanation for the drowsiness I’ve had recently; the medicine may have only been partly at fault.  The hormones also explain some of the grouchiness.  I’ve already been a little more stable since starting on Saturday.  M’s awfully glad about that.

In other news, M and I spent the weekend on our new hobby, tracing our genealogy.  M stumbled across this new online program,, which makes it super easy to start a family tree.  He grew up knowing little to nothing about his family background, so he’s insistent that we correct that for our own family.  He’s done lots of research online and found many generations back in his family, on both parents’ sides. 

My grandmother has done tons of research on her family, so I thought it would be easy to fill in my family’s side.  Not so much.  I even have a whole file of genealogy information on both sides of my family, and I can’t find it anywhere.  I’m kind of disappointed because I’m missing out on so much information by having lost that file.  Fortunately I’ve still found lots of info online.  I even found one tree that someone else put together that supposedly traces one line all the way back to Adam and Eve.  Although I doubt the accuracy of some of the older entries, their sources for the more recent ones appear valid.

So far, I’ve determined that I’m pretty solidly American.  One line has been traced back to the Mayflower to several different passengers and another back to full-blooded Cherokees.  The more recent immigrants so far are Germans in the early 1700s.  I suspect there are some Italians more recent than that, but I can’t prove that.

It’s astounding how much of this information you can find online, without leaving your computer or even spending a dime.  If this continues to be a hobby for M and me, we may invest some in it to find more and better information, but we’re still having plenty of fun doing this the amateur, cheap way.


April 19, 2008

You may have picked up on the fact that I’ve been a bit tired lately (as if I didn’t mention that a million times in the last post alone).  It’s been as bad as it was when I was pregnant.  I’d wake up eager to go back to sleep, regardless of how late it already was.  I’d drift off anytime I wasn’t actively doing something and was anxious for bed as soon as the boys were in bed.

Last night, I suddenly had the thought to check the label on the allergy medicine I’ve had to take since getting the dog.  Sure enough, in plain English, it said the medicine could cause drowsiness.  Now I feel like a fool for letting myself be miserable for several weeks when I didn’t have to.

I also discovered that this is not the same medicine I thought it was and that this specifically says it is not recommended when you’re breastfeeding.  Oops.  Next time I need to be more careful about what it is I’m taking and not assume that M got the exact same thing that I thought he was getting from the grocery store.  I haven’t noticed any changes in BabyN, so I don’t think it’s a huge deal that I took the medicine anyway.  And it’s not like he’s a newborn completely dependent on my milk for sustenance.  I think he’ll be fine, but I’ll be watching him carefully anyway and might mention something about it to his doctor the next time we see him.

Needless to say, I’m not taking the medicine anymore.  I’m beating myself up for not reading the label first–I ALWAYS do, except for this once.  I’m hoping I didn’t do anything that could end up harming BabyN.

And on the bright side, despite being kind of stuffed up and sneezy today, I’m feeling better than I have in several weeks.  I don’t feel like I need a nap right now.  What a novel feeling.

I’m a Grouch

April 18, 2008

I’m unnecessarily grumpy at everyone today.  I wanted to sleep late, but neither boy had that idea in mind.  BabyN woke up “early” to eat (okay, so it was after eight) and refused to go back to sleep.  He was so adamant that I get up and entertain him that he stopped the obnoxious cooing and actually started crying.  You know he’s serious when he stops smiling.

PJ…well, I’m just annoyed with PJ because when I got him out of his room, he dared act perky and happy.  How can anyone be that upbeat first thing in the morning?  He should be grumpy because I am, right?

And the dog…I’m grumpy at her because even though she was the only one willing to let me sleep this morning, she wanted to do so with me.  I love it when she cuddles with me, but not to the point that I’m falling off the bed.  It seems that the bed is really hers, and she gets to sleep in the very middle if she wants to.  I need to fit around her, not the other way around, and if that means half my butt hangs off the edge, that’s not her problem.

And I’m grumpy at Joe because I’ve seen far too much of him in the past few days, thanks to PJ’s ongoing Blue’s Clues obsession and the fact that we only have one Steve episode DVR-ed at the moment.  He annoys me so much right now that I’m tempted to force PJ to watch Dora instead because it HAS to be better than Joe.  I’ve mentioned my hatred of Joe before, right?  This might be a recurring theme if this phase lasts very long.

But yay because tomorrow is the weekend.  M will probably get up with the kids and the dog, and I might actually get a chance to sleep late.  I always feel guilty when he does, though, because I get to sleep later than him every single day.  He should need to catch up on sleep more than I do, but he still gets up at a decent time to give me a break.  Now I really can’t wait until vacation so the grandparents can get up early with the kids and give us both a chance to sleep late without feeling guilty about it.