Jun 29 2006

Huge Ethical Dilemmas here.

First of all- today is John’s Birthday! Go tell him to have a great one.

This morning, after yet ANOTHER blowout (this time in the exersaucer- lovely! You know, the drain holes in the base of the exersaucer seem like a good idea until there’s a pint of liquid poop poured inside) and the subsequent scrubbing of hands, John and I went to get scones from our favorite place. Because of his birthday, not because I’ve been craving them daily. Nothing like that.

I walked in and was able to order immediately. I didn’t dither, I didn’t ask for extras, I had correct change, and I was pleasant.

I think I got a little glare for not tipping.

I’m a big tipper- when I think it’s deserved. If I ask for extra work, i.e., warming my scone, making an espresso drink, double wrapping, or bussing my dirty plates and garbage, then I tip. I tip more the more effort it takes. I am overgenerous most of the time.

But reaching in a case, putting a scone in a bag, and taking my money? That’s just your JOB. That’s what you get paid your basic salary for. I’ve worked a LOT harder in sales without any kind of tip or extra compensation. A tip is not DESERVED, it is EARNED.

Am I wrong? I admit, I have never worked in food service- for a reason! I imagine it really sucks. But where do we draw the tipping line? Do I tip you just because you smiled at me and said “Have a good day”? I think not.

So, do you agree? What are your tipping guidelines? I’d like to hear especially if you’ve been in food service. When do you tip?

Jun 28 2006

My title of Worst Mother Ever is firmly deserved now.

Yay! Beer!!
Mmmmmm….
…mmmmmmm…
Mom, I’m soooooo…
…Drunnnnnk!
I can’t even sit up straight in this exer-thingy.

Is this thing on?
Jun 28 2006

Overwhelmed

Oh my goodness- I’m so sorry about the no posting. Weekend- crazy! (but good), Monday- wicked! (and NOT good), yesterday- a real mixed bag…

Anyway…
The birthday party was wonderful. We had a great time. The timeline went like this: Kids got there (her parents came and set up that morning); They ran around in the heat like crazy people for a while; asked to watch cartoons and were disappointed to hear that we only get one channel of tv; watched about 15 minutes of Finding Nemo; Adults made Margaritas; Margaritas finished in seconds flat; Kids ran around like crazy people; Lunch; crazy running; beat a pinata to death; crazy running; presents; crazy running; cake; crazy running; they all went home.

Nothing red and permanent was spilled on the carpet, I have not found cake stuffed in the VCR. All in all- SUCCESS! Her parents even cleaned up after!

Sunday we swam. The heat, it was brutal all weekend! I mean, over 100 degrees brutal. Sunday was a relly nice, relaxing day.

Then came Monday.

That morning, Cole had a blow-out that looked something like butternut squash soup (yummy, huh?). All over the couch. I didn’t really know what to do because I really needed to come in to work. So, I took him in to daycare. I let the daycare lady know what had happened and told her that she should call me if it got worse.

I got a call that afternoon from her, telling me that it had happened twice more and that he was acting really fussy (which is totally unusual for him). I asked her if she needed me to pick him up and she said no. I just couldn’t get away from work! I felt so bad!! Then the network here at the office went down (so no post) and so I left at 4 and picked him up.

I was afraid that Monday night would be a bad one, but it wasn’t terrible. He continued to poo, but there wasn’t much left so it wasn’t messy. I gave him a bath that he seemed to enjoy very much.

The rule for daycare is that the day after illness like that, the kids can’t attend. So I stayed home with Cole on Tuesday. John was home with us for the morning- seems he caught whatever Cole had- but, ridiculously, he decided to go to work for the afternoon. Idiot. (Me not at work+Network still down=no post)

So Cole and I went grocery shopping, birthday present shopping (for John! It’s tomorrow!), had a nap together and had frozen yogurt (his first!) (Don’t worry- he hardly had any). Then he slept all night. YES!!!

So I thought that everything would be alright this morning. What was the first thing he did? Yup- blow out. At least it was on an orange towel…

He went in to daycare anyway. I really hope he’s okay. I don’t know what to make of all this. All I know to do is keep offering fluids and cheerios (which is what he eats mostly anyway). Daycare will call me if he doesn’t improve.

Do I sound heartless leaving my poor little baby at daycare when he feels yucky? I feel like the worst mommy on earth. He let me know what he thought about it this morning when he cried as I left. 

I’m an asshole. How are you?

Jun 23 2006

Maybe I should sue.

Last night we went to a friend’s house so that John could fix their computer. It turned out to be an easy fix (the monitor was plugged into the wrong port- my friend feels like an ass!), so we were all hanging out talking in their kitchen. I had gotten Cole to sleep after a bit more fussiness than usual and a full, 8 oz bottle. He was passed out on my chest (making us both sweat because OH MY GAWD! The HEAT!

All of a sudden, as I’m gazing down at my son’s beautiful sleeping face, he opens his mouth and I feel like I’m in a scene straight out of Exorcist. A fountain of undigested formula came gushing out of his fully open mouth and landed all over me, him, and the floor.

I froze, still not really sure what had just happened. As my friend ran to the sink for a rag, I slowly came to my senses and peeled Cole off of me. He was not crying and didn’t even seem upset. He started coughing and I got another wave of stomach contents.

Their dog went to work on the floor and had it cleaned up in minutes. My friend gave me a new shirt, but we’re pretty different sizes, so I was stuck with my own soaked pants. We decided that it was a good time to make our way home and left.

As I was buckling him into his carseat, Cole continued to bring stuff up. Eventually I could tell that there was nothing left. I called my mom and warbled and freaked out in her ear as I drove to Rite Aid for electrolytes and juice. I was sure that we would have a night of no sleep and a lot of mopping. Talking to my mom made me feel better and I was able to calmly go into the drugstore.

While waiting for the cashier, a line formed behind me. I was feeling very aware of how I must smell (with the puke still soaking every piece of clothing but the borrowed shirt) and that the puke must have made its way ALL the way down my front and it looked like I had peed myself. I was hoping that, upon seeing that I was clutching Pedialyte and apple juice, anyone wondering would get the idea.

We got home and I got two small bottles worth of water with a tiny bit of apple juice into Cole’s tummy. And it stayed there.

We took a lukewarm shower after taking his temperature (normal) and he still wasn’t sicking up.

We got ready for bed and laid down and played with books for a while and he was still okay.

He woke up seeming normal and happy, so I broke the rules and took him to daycare. I haven’t gotten a call yet.

Our best guess is that it was food poisoning. We purchased some small cans of pre-mixed formula for emergencies a few weeks ago. We had used some while out shopping and they had been fine. Then it got hot. I wondered about leaving them in the car in the heat so I checked the labels and packaging thuroughly to see if they said anything about not storing it above room temperature or whatever, but there had been nothing about it.

So last night, when I fed him a can of it, I wasn’t expecting anything unusual. Apparently, they should add that warning to the cans, because we can’t find that anything else could have been the cause of his illness.

But at least it wasn’t a stomach bug. As much as I could stand to lose a few pounds, puking is not really the way I want to do it.

Jun 22 2006

Project: Birthday Dream Party- Update!

I took my nephew out shopping for a present last night. Unlike what I expected, when we walked into the aisle with the toys, he immediatley grasped the concept that we were shopping for a girl and that she has different taste than he. It was amazing, considering he’s only 4. He almost instinctively chose toys that I think she will love (for the maximum time allotted to any one toy- about 15 minutes). I was totally shocked. He’s only met this girl once and it was several months ago. They didn’t really spend much time together and didn’t exactly get to know each other well. I don’t know where he learned how to shop for a girl, but if he has a wife when he grows up, and he still shops for women this well? She will be a happy woman. I mean, he has no love for girly things (that I could tell) but he even picked out the perfect gift bag- the Disney Pricesses. My niece is enthralled by the Disney Princesses. How he knew that? I don’t believe I’ll ever know.

He was a pleasure to shop with. He made up his mind quickly and made really good choices. Even when we saw things that he wanted (a Bambi stuffed toy was one) he was willing to just look and never begged to take something home. He didn’t seem disappointed at all that he didn’t get a treat or anything. I even asked if he wanted to play with the Bambi until we got to the register, but he politely declined. Again, I was seriously impressed. He was lovely to be with. (Until we got to the restaurant, but that’s another story. At that point, he was also his grandmother’s responsibility, and for that I was thankful!)

So I have hope that, if a 4 year old boy can so easily shop for a 6 year old girl, maybe I, too, will find deep reserves of inspiration and we can pull off a great party for my niece.

But, just in case, suggestions are still very much appreciated.

(Really, what do you think about the dog poop game? ‘Cause our backyard is really starting to need it anyway. No? Are you sure?)

Jun 21 2006

What Did I Get Myself Into?

This Saturday we are hosting a birthday party for my niece (who turned 6 on the 7th of this month, but her parents decided to wait until the 24th for her party). Seriously, have I been smoking crack? Have you been seeing me down in front of the bars at night begging for a fix and you just didn’t tell me about it? Because that’s the only explanation I can think of.

I don’t even know what I’m in for. I haven’t been to a birthday for a six year old girl since mine in 1985. I don’t think I had much fun then, either. I was an overly serious girl.

So… Questions:

What does one even do for a six year old girl? Are pinatas, like, totally last decade? What about a rousing game of “Pick up the dog poo from the back yard?” I’ll hand out plastic bags and whoever cleans it up the fastest can go home with it all.

I already got her some presents. I got girly, pink and purple clothes, a Cinderella purse, sparkly lip gunk, sunglasses, and obnoxious gum (2 packs!)(What- it’s not like she’s my daughter. I don’ t have to deal with her identification with unrealistic role models and traditional roles for women. That’s for her parents to fuck up!). Now I have to take my nephew out to go present shopping for her and I’m tapped for ideas. Any suggestions? I think my nephew will probably pick something having to do with motorcycles, and I’m not sure she’d be too into that.

And what about rules for the party? Can I isolate all the kids in the room with the floor that’s easiest to clean? Or outside? In the 100 degree heat (There’s a hose)? What about putting up a baby gate across the entrance to my living room (with off-white carpet, no less) and a sign that says “Adult Lounge- Must be 18 years or older to enter”?

Finally, can I serve pink, frothy, irresistable-to-children drinks loaded with alcohol, or do you think that could turn ugly?

Any suggestions would be helpful as I am totally and completely fucking lost.

(I also think it’s a really good thing that I am the mother to a boy.)

Jun 21 2006

One more thing…

You know, there are downsides to having your baby, who normally likes to nurse throughout an entire night, finally sleep through a night. They are called boobs, and they hurt.

Jun 21 2006

Huzzah! I Rejoice!

Cole slept through the night last night!

I’m not gloating, I’m just really, super, fucking grateful to have gotten 7 straight hours of sleep. I might just be able to function today!

My writing abilities, however, don’t seem to be much changed from the usual awful crap. Like the saying goes- Those who can’t write, edit.

(For those who don’t know, I’m a Technical Editor. It’s even more pitiful than a real Editor, who might actually have to have some kind of writing skills in order to get a book in shape. No, I just piss around with formatting and grammar. I’m the asshole with the red pen catching your spelling mistakes.)

Jun 20 2006

What a Weird World

Here I am saying that I absolutely don’t want to be pregnant again and I find out seconds later that my friend probably lost the baby she so desperately wants. There’s only a 1% chance that it’s okay. I’m really sad now. It’s a strange sense of loss.

Jun 20 2006

Really, Brutally Honest

Can I be? For a post? It’s really hard, you know? How personal do you get with these things? Is it okay to talk about because it has been happening to me or, because it involves another, is it off-limits?

But I can’t get it out of my head. I need to write it down and it feels like cheating to write it and then erase it.

It may be too much information. You’ve been warned!! But I have to get it out.

Cole tore me up badly. I mean, REALLY badly. It was a nightmare of complications. The amount of trauma, both physical and mental, was pretty unbelievable. John and I were only able to be together for the first time since Cole’s birth about a week ago. That means about 8 months without. Eight. Of forced separation. EIGHT!

And the going, even now, is slow, awkward, and, at times, quite painful. We were not prepared for this. All the books said “after your 6 WEEK checkup, it’s usually safe to go back to normal.” Six weeks came and went and there was no way in the whole world that we were going to be able to do anything.

Insult to injury is that this month? The month that we’re finally getting back up to speed? I couldn’t get birth control. The only way I could have gotten the pill is by paying about $125 for a checkup and then $40 for a month’s supply. I don’t have that kind of money. What’s ridiculous is that I actually have insurance this month, finally. But, because there are so few doctors in this area, I couldn’t get in anywhere for an appointment. Until July.

Now is not the time for advice on other methods. Some have been tried and don’t work. Others need an appointment that would be just as spendy as the pill. We have no solution right now.

And we can’t just go ahead anyway. There is no money, no time, no energy, and no desire for another baby any time soon, if ever. I can’t get pregnant. The thought scares the shit out of me. I can only just begin to image what it’s like for her.

Please no. No, no, no. That is one of my nightmares.

So another month will go by. It’s hard on a marriage. Harder than I ever would have thought. John and I will be fine- I’m not worried about that. But it has taken a toll. I’m just looking forward to a time when we can be a little more normal again. A little more like spouses and less like roommates. And maybe, when we are happier with each other, we can be even better parents to our beautiful son, who deserves the best parents on earth.