Mar 31 2008


I worked SO HARD in the yard this weekend. I am SO SORE today. Who knew that raking and planting would hurt the backs of my legs so much. Oh right… I should have remembered from the last time…

Oh well. Exercise hurt, as much as I never like hurting, is at least tolerable because I feel like maybe it burned off a few of the cookies. Or the chips and sour cream. Or the roasted garlic and cream cheese mashed potatoes (aka fluffy, whipped HEAVEN).

I got the back yard re-seeded for the chance of a real-ish lawn this year. I also planted a bunch of shade plants and cleaned up the planting beds (weeded and put down more cocoa mulch). John and my father cut down the crappy, ugly, straggly trees in the backyard and got one step closer to finishing the fence. Very productive!

Cole ate cat vomit. Less productive. Unless you mean for producing mass panic.

This morning I came to work to find that I am going to get to go to BlogHer this year for free! All I have to do is work one half day at the registration booth. Fine with me! That means I get to meet everybody! This information made my day possible.

But I am now fried and it’s time to go home.

More tomorrow, if I get a chance.

How was your weekend? Cat-vomit-free, I hope?

Mar 28 2008

Lost: The ME Episode

I feel like I’m losing it.

It’s just little indications so far, but I fear where it’s headed.

Like yesterday, I hid a coffee delivery from my husband so that I could tease him, and then totally forgot about it. Luckily we had just enough coffee left this morning to make a pot. I also forgot to give Cole his medicine before he went to school. And, when I was approached by a coworker about an event this weekend, I tried to say that we had a previous engagement, but all I could think of was preexisting condition.

This morning, I managed to remember the medicine, but Cole almost walked out the door without shoes. I forgot to wipe his face off, too, and I had to use the “spit on my thumb” method, the old Mom standby, as we were going up the walk to the daycare door. I was sent an invite for a meeting this morning, but neglected to look at it long enough to see that the meeting is TODAY and that I need to have materials ready for it. I’ve now had a 15 minute lunch because I’m having to scramble to get stuff together.

I know it’s not a lot of stuff (though I’m SURE I’ve forgotten things- I’ve lost it, remember?), but it just has seemed like one thing after another. Little things going wrong for days and they’re all my dumb fault.

We have vacation in 2 weeks and 2 work-days. I need it so badly.

Mar 27 2008

NIMBD (Not In My Bedroom Drawer)

Did you know that Hello Kitty makes a “personal massager?” Neither did I, until today.

It takes all kinds…

Mar 25 2008

Cole’s Birth Story

I know I’ve written about Cole’s birth before, but the Birth Story Carnival is on (um- was on. I’m a couple of days late. I wrote it on the 24th, but didn’t get a chance to post until today), and I’ve decided to write about it again from my perspective of nearly 2.5 years later.

The night of Cole’s due date, John and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. We went to a nice restaurant and had a lovely dinner. I got lots of stares when I walked through the place. I must have been huge. I remember feeling really good.

The next morning, I went to work, as usual. I requested a meeting with my boss, having just gotten up the guts to ask for 2 more weeks off for maternity leave (I had been given 6, I wanted at least 8. Well, I wanted a lot MORE than 8, but we just couldn’t afford it). I sat at my desk while waiting for him to get off the phone and started to feel… weird. Anxious. Squirrelly.

I went into the meeting and the extra 2 weeks were agreed upon without effort. Then, I suddenly found myself telling him that I would like to start my leave that day, as soon as the meeting was over. He laughed and said “We expected you to leave a week ago!” I thanked him, cleaned up my desk, said goodbye to my ladies, and went home at about 10am.

When I got home, all I wanted was to sit upstairs in front of my window in my rocking chair. I had hardly touched this chair since I put it together a few months before. It had been a present for my baby shower. But now it was all I wanted. I read like I hadn’t been able to read in months (reading made me VERY sleepy). I rocked and read and rubbed my belly, until I realized that I was rubbing my belly because it was achy.

The contractions started very slowly. It was nice, because I was able to sort of ease into labor. At first I figured it was just Braxton-Hicks, but they kept, by small degrees, getting stronger and closer together. I was breathing easily through each one. I called my midwives when the crampy feeling was as strong as the worst period cramps I had ever had. They advised me to call again when I couldn’t talk through the contractions.

I waited and waited as the contractions kept getting closer and closer. Each time, I would do a “talk-test,” and I passed each time. At about 4pm, I had had enough waiting. I knew that the drive to the Midwife Center was not great at the best of times, but that it would only get worse after 4:30 when rush-hour would start. I called and said I was coming in. I figured that, even if they sent me home again, it would kill some time.

We gathered our stuff and got in the car. John, at that time, didn’t drive. Not a bit. I don’t think he had really driven since we had moved to Pittsburgh. The drive to the Center had a really tricky merge, and we had meant to do a few practice runs with him driving, but just never had. It just happened that I was in the middle of the worst contraction so far, not to mention 9 months pregnant and practically immobilized by my huge midsection, just when we hit that merge and John asked “are there any cars coming?” To answer, I would have had to turn my whole body and smoosh my face against the window to try to catch a glimpse of the speeding cars, something I was just physically unable to do at that moment. I know he was pissed when I told him that I couldn’t help him, which made me want to punch him, but there was nothing I could do.

We made it to the Center just fine. We got settled into a room after a check showed that I was coming along, though I wasn’t far (can’t remember- just “not that far”). Pretty shortly after that, I got in the bath.

OH! The HEAVEN of the bath! It was so wonderful. I was still breathing and talking through my contractions, and the nurses and my Midwife were telling me what a champ I was.

But then, I just sort of stayed there.

They started whispering amongst themselves about how long they should let me go before moving me to a hospital to speed things up. I remember wanting to cry at the thought of leaving that beautiful room and the wonderful bath to go to the awful, stinky hospital. ANY awful, stinky hospital! I was just so blissful there in the bath, with John pouring water over my belly.

When my doula got there, I got out of the bath for a while to try to speed things up. It worked, but not as well as they wanted, so they asked if they could break the bag of waters. They explained that some people felt it was good luck for a baby to be born with the bag intact, but I felt like it was better luck for the baby to be BORN, so yes- break the effing bag!

That’s when things got fun.

They had me labor in the bad for a while until the Midwife felt that Cole was face up instead of face down like he should be. Back in the bath I went, but on my hands and knees this time to try to get him to turn. When I was too wasted to do that anymore, I went back to the bed.

Suddenly, I HAD to go to the bathroom. My doula sat next to me the whole time. That woman is STONE, I tell you. She’s certainly stronger than I.

When I was empty, I knew things had changed. The only thing I wanted in the whole world was to push. They had me try pushing while sitting on a ball, and then in a couple of other positions, but I just didn’t have the strength to hold myself up and push any more. It was going nowhere.

I went back to the bed and had John sit behind me. My midwife helped me focus on the place where I should concentrate my pushing, but I was having trouble. Finally, against my initial wishes, she brought out a mirror and had me watch what my pushing was accomplishing.

It was amazing. Now, each time I pushed I could see a little fuzz-covered head coming that much closer. I reached down and touched Cole’s head for the first time. It was so strange to touch this warm little being that was still a part of me but not a part of me.

Shortly after, Cole was born at 10:45pm. The only thing I could say as they eased him out and showed me was “No way! No way!” They laughed at me and said “Uh- YES WAY!”

He came out face up with his hand covering his nose. The nurses laughed that he was the vainest baby they’d ever seen- because his hand had covered it, he had a perfect nose from the start. Usually, vaginally-born babies have a serious case of squish-nose for a while, but not Cole. Of course, it also meant that he had torn me somethin’ fierce.

They tried to set Cole up on my chest when he came out, but he had a short umbilical cord. In my birth plan, I had asked that the cord not be cut until it stopped pulsing, so we waited a while with Cole on my belly. When it was time, John cut the cord and Cole was in my arms.

They put him on the bed next to me from time to time to do his tests, all of which he passed beautifully. The rest of the time, he was in my arms.

They called in a Midwife with more trauma experience to stitch me up. They said that it would take a while, and that they couldn’t give me much for the pain, but the only other alternative was to go to the hospital. I told them that going to the hospital sounded more painful than anything they could do to me, and to bring it on.

I had my feet up on the arms of a rocking chair for a couple of hours while she stitched. I was told it looked like a grim smiley face when she was done. I’m still glad I never went to the hospital.

The whole time, I was allowed to have Cole in my arms. That was as much pain-killer as I needed.

We sat in bed together, all three of us, and had breakfast. We slept. We tried to nurse. I wanted to go home. The nursing was the problem, I was told. Cole still hadn’t latched on or nursed properly. I kept feeling like we both just needed a good long rest and that the nursing would come in time. They kept trying to force the issue. This part was the only bad thing about the whole experience.

Finally, I convinced the
m that we would keep trying at home and that I would get help if there was no improvement by my follow-up visit at home the next day.

They let us go.

I remember putting Cole in his carseat and feeling like he was a little doll.

We got home and, as I suspected, he latched on fine after we both got some sleep.

So there it is (again): my totally drug-free birth experience.

The one thing that I always try to stress to pregnant women who ask is that the ONLY actual pain that I experienced was one tiny moment when Cole crowned and I yelped a little bit. The rest I never felt as pain. Intense, incredible pressure, sure; but NEVER pain. I never felt fear and I was able to focus on the movement of my body and my muscles as they coordinated to push Cole out. It was incredible. I didn’t need to yell or curse. I didn’t cry or try to give up. I was powerful and doing something I felt like my body was meant to do. I’d never felt stronger in my whole life than I did that day. I know that not everybody wants to, or can, do a drug-free birth, but I’d do it again without hesitation.

Mar 25 2008

Dear Baby

Re: your email of 3/24/08:

“Are you a good mom?‏
From: ParentCenter”

Fuck you.


Mar 25 2008

From Yesterday

Cole: What matter your eye, Mama? You have problem?
Me: No, baby, I’m fine.
Cole: You all better? You alright?
Me: Yes, sweetheart, I’m okay. Are you looking at my eyelashes?
Cole: Your youlashes?


Mar 21 2008

Self Portrait of Truthiness

Last night, for reasons that I’m just too beat to go into, I managed to set our bedroom clock ahead one hour. Which, of course, meant that I thought I was waking up at 5:45 this morning, but, instead, woke up at 4:45. 4:45! That’s SICK and WRONG.

But, of course, I didn’t find out until after I had my shower, was dressed, and was starting to make coffee. *Insert head-smacking here*

SO! As much as that sucked, it left me time to take the photo for my Self Portrait of Truthiness. Granted, this is after my shower, moisturizer, and sunscreen, but it’s before make-up and coffee, and I think that’s what really counts here.

Behold: At 5:30 am.

Mar 20 2008

The Tale of the Littlest Drunk-Dialer

Once upon a time, there was a darling young boy named Cole. Cole was a happy boy, most of the time, and his Mother and Father loved him very much.

Cole was usually a healthy child, but one day he came down with a cold. It wasn’t a horrible cold; not deadly anyway. But Cole’s sleep suffered because of the awful coughing he had to endure at night when he laid his head on his pillow to sleep. His Mother was afraid that the dear boy would cough to vomiting, it was so bad.

So his Mother took it upon herself to devise a soothing concoction so that her darling young son could get some sleep. She had to be creative because the wizards of the land had recently called back all of the magic elixirs that she might have used before. Instead, she boiled some water; added lemon, ginger, and other soothing herbs; and stirred in a spoonful of golden honey. But, because she wanted to be absolutely sure that her cherished son got the sleep he needed, Cole’s Mother reached into the far recesses of her cabinets and pulled out a mysterious looking bottle of amber liquid.

Cole’s Mother knew that some people would say she was wrong to use this particular ingredient; that it was something that only those in great pain- physical or mental- would turn to, or those who had great trouble relaxing or getting laid. But Cole’s mother felt sure that, if she only used a very tiny amount, her son would find the comfort he needed to sleep without being harmed. So she tipped in a capful of the potent stuff and stirred all of the ingredients together.

Cole drank the healing brew happily, and his Mother didn’t notice a change at first. But then, when half of the cup had been ingested, Cole reached for his telephone, and his Mother knew she had made an awful mistake.

He called his Grandparents and his teachers; his neighbors and his friends. To each he professed his undying love, alternately crying and laughing hysterically. He kept calling and calling until his Mother, in her shameful fear, took the cup and phone away and put him to bed, where he slept soundly the whole night through.

And thusly was the Littlest Drunk-Dialer created.

Mar 17 2008

Can You Get Diabetes Over a Weekend?

Also this weekend, we went to a movie. I don’t even know the last time we saw a movie in the theater. Usually we feel dumb about spending so much money to go on a “date” to a movie for people over 10 years old when we could sit at home and not talk to each other in the dark for free. But I’d been itching to go, for some reason, and I thought “Hey! We’ll go to a kid’s movie! And we’ll take Cole! And I’ll get my movie fix and we won’t have to futz with a babysitter or anything!”

And then, FOR MONTHS, there weren’t any kid’s movies that I would ever take my kid to . Until this weekend when Horton Hears a Who came out.

And so we went, and dragged my parents along with us, which is one of the delightful things that they have to endure get to enjoy with us living in the same little town.

We got popcorn and, caving to a craving, a bucket of cherry coke (which is the ONLY acceptable movie-theater drink). I also snuck in candy because I wanted some and OH MY GAWD! How can they charge those prices for a box of CANDY which would cost A DOLLAR anywhere else?! So yes- I brought my own.

I got Good and Plentys, Whoppers, and Junior Mints, because I was pretty sure the only adult who would share with me was my mom and we like the same candies. Except SHE, the silly woman, went out and bought Snickers miniatures, also to share. So here we were, each with our own stash of illicit candy, each wanting to share, but with a toddler stationed between us. A very observant toddler with candy radar. So, of course, we each sat and ate our own candy. I was actually very good, and only ate about a third of the small box of Good and Plentys.

But that meant that the candy came home with me.

I don’t keep candy in the house for lots of reasons, and not a small one that if there is candy on my property, I will know it and it will call to me with its siren song until I break and binge.

The candy was purchased on Saturday afternoon. The candy is already gone.


The Horton movie? It was adorable. Nothing deep or life-changing or any of that nonsense, but it was just a really cute family movie. And Cole only wiggled a little, which is saying a lot for an almost-2.5-year-old.

Mar 17 2008


I was roaming WalMart yesterday (I’m not proud of it, but- yo- I live in a town with no Target. Weep for me.), trying to go fast and getthefuckouttathere , when I happened upon this scene:

The setting: “Sports” Department, Ammo Case
The Characters: Young Man 1 and Young Man 2. Both characters have heavy southern accents which are either fake or the fellas are recent transplants from far far away (this being the central foothills of California).

Young Man 1: …Fourty-Fahve, Fourty-Siyux, Fourty-Sevuhn, Fourty-Ayuht, Fourty-Nahn. I hayve fourty-nahn dollurs.

Young Man 2: Wahl I hayve siyux.

Young Man 1: Thayut’s Fifty-Fahve.

Young Man 2: Dang! Yore uh Geyneus.

Young Man 1: C’mon- leyt’s puht that togaythur ‘n leyt’s go.

(End Scene)

Does this quite capture how hilarious this was? I doubt it. Damn, but you just had to be there, I guess. However, ever since then, I have been using their accent in my head. It’s like they triggered some deeply buried southern hick in me that had been in remission since I left Tennessee at the age of 3.

It still didn’t make me like WalMart any more, though.