Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stop Posting Already!!!

I know, I know, I am out of control. I think I "posted" about 30 things today. The real story is that I am just trying to rebuild from my blog-life crisis of last week. So for all of you who read me via Bloglines or Google reader (all 4 of you!), my apologies.

Thanks to Swistle and Binky (and their husbands) I was able to recover all but one of my favorite old posts. That one, called "A Baby Story" details our experience with getting pregnant and the near miss we had during the pregnancy. I used to pull it up and read it every once in a while and would still come to tears every time. I am most sorry I lost it.

Hey, alot of this stuff is from back in the early days of blogging, when I had little to no readers, so maybe you wanna stroll down memory lane with me?

Origianl Date Unknown - Where I spent My Summer vacation

This is inspired by Amy's great post the other day, which is really much better than what I have to say so go read hers and then come back.

Amy tells a great story about her adventure alone in Europe and her thoughts about the person she was then. I can’t stop thinking about that. The person I was “before”.

I seem to be having alot of these thoughts right now and I am going to blame it on the weather. Summer brings with it so many great things, including ocean breezes and long days and watermelon and Coppertone and frozen margaritas and the smell of honeysuckle at night while you ride through the woods in the dark. All things that make me feel like I am 16 or 22 or even 26 again. Which I am NOT.

And sometimes, even though I am really, really happy, I wish I could go back. It s not that I can’t have a margarita while sitting by the ocean, slathered in Coppertone, now. I can. But I would also have to pack Sunblock 50 and ice packs to keep the milk sippy cups cold, and something to keep the babies in the shade and remind my husband we need quarters for the meters (damn greedy beach town!) and hell, a margarita would just make me sleepy and then I would be too tired to give the kids a bath so maybe I should just have an iced coffee.

I love my life now, it is "what I always wanted" but sometimes I get blown away by a feeling of longing for the girl (yes, GIRL) I used to be. The girl who danced all night and woke up on the beach. The girl who had options. The girl who only had herself to take care of. The girl who could move to LA or Austin or Paris on a whim, but didnt. Unfortunately what I then saw as "being responsible and growing up" I now see as having short changed myself on the one time in my life when I could have done ANYTHING and didn't because I thought I was being "grown up".

I look at life alot differently now that I am married 6 years with two babies. Now when I think about my boys growing up I ache at the thought of them leaving home and if I think too hard about it I can scare the shit out of myself worrying about all of the things that could hurt them.

But I really hope they do spend some time living in Paris or Argentina and dancing all night and sleeping on the beach or whatever. Because as good as my life is now, I have given up the chance to go back. I know that one day I will not feel so needed and so tied down, but then I will also be much older, and I am afraid I wont remember how to dance all night anymore.

Amy said she would love to have just one day back. I think that I would like to take a week’s vacation there this summer.

6/5/2007 - Perhaps George and I should have a playdate

Jun 5, 2007
Perhaps George and I should have a playdate
Sometimes I get distracted by the house and all of its needs.

The other day I was putting laundry away as the boys flitted from room to room around me. They had just finished lunch and had a rare mid-day bath after a hazy, hot morning at the park. They were sleepy but also exhilarated by this rare, unfettered access to the upstairs, normally safety-gated off during the day.

I went from room to room, hanging and sorting and re-folding. Remembering to empty waste baskets and toss a few rolls of TP down the stairs for the powder room. I stopped for a minute to dust the picture frames in the hall, and straighten the quilt on the guest bed when I noticed that the giggling and scampering of the boys had stopped.

Where were they? Not in the master bath tossing OPK’s about again…Not calling 911 on the phone in our bedroom again…Not, gasp, at the bottom of the steps.

And then I heard them. In their room. Toddler A was pulling blankets through the bars of their cribs and making “nests” on the floor. Toddler B was already settled in his pile of soft blankets, eyes heavy and fingers twirling in his hair. Toddler A saw me at the door and said “Night, night Mommy. Kiss?” I kissed his sweet face and knelt on the floor to nuzzle Toddler B. He whispered “Night, night, Mama”, and I was dismissed.

They slept for three hours. A three hour nap, on a Saturday afternoon. That they initiated on their own. Be still my heart, but when did my kids get so independent? I enjoyed my three hours of “me time”, but not without feeling slightly like a lame duck Mom.
Posted by Michele at 6/05/2007 04:19:00 PM
Mrs. Chicken said...
Oh, how very, very lucky you are! I am green with envy.The Poo's last nap was in April, and that was drug-induced.This was adorable.
Jun 5, 2007 7:35:00 PM

5/16/2007 - Here I Go Again

May 16, 2007
Here I go again
I have been on vacation for a few days. Because nothing says Relaxing Mother’s Day like flying halfway across the country with two toddlers (on our LAPS for shits sake!) for a mini-reunion with the inlaws in a state that, at a roasting 90 degrees, is “Pretty cool for May.”

We stayed with my sister in law and her husband and daughter. They were wonderful.

My kids were great. But the fact is, I never sat down for more than 10 minutes at a time except when I was on the plane. That doesn’t count because even though I was technically sitting, half an ass cheek was in the aisle and I was juggling a sweaty toddler, a sippy cup, three different snacks, two Elmo books and an Etch a Sketch, all while trying to not get hit in the elbow or ass cheek by the damn drink cart.

Good times. Did I mention that my dryer broke the evening before we left, just as I pulled out an entire load of wet clothes, all of which were crucial to the vacation outfit planning?

The alarm clock went off at 2am the morning we left. AY-freaking- EM! Because my slacker husband waited so long to book our tickets that the only flight we could get on left at 6am. So why the four hour prep-time? I will let you do the math –

Time it took to get husband out of bed – 23 minutes
Time it took to wave still wet clothes from previous evening dryer fiasco around enough to dry them so I could pack – 45 minutes.
Time to get suitcases loaded in car while husband scratched his ass – 11 minutes
Time to get myself ready – 41 minutes, and I forgot earrings.
Time to get kids up and dressed while husband scratched ass again – 37 minutes.
Time to travel to airport – 48 minutes
Time it took to beg gate agent to move us out of middle seats – 18 minutes
Time to pee before plane took off and I was stuck with a toddler on my lap and no leg room for 3.25 hours – 0 minutes

Good, good times.

A plus, I stayed on my diet. A minus, there still isn’t one damn picture of myself from that trip that doesn’t make me want to throw myself at the feet of this chick and beg for an intervention.

3/27/2007 - Dear Brian Williams

Mar 27, 2007
Dear Brian Williams
I love you, I do. But your story last night on the effects of daycare on children was an insult.

The strain of not being able to afford to stay home with my children and having to put them in daycare was tremendous. It was easily the most difficult and painful decision I have even had to make as a parent. I conducted an exhaustive search for the best daycare we could (barely) afford for my kids, and I have nurtured a close, open and highly interactive relationship with my daycare provider to ensure that my kids every developmental, physical and emotional need is being identified and addressed.

So it was with great fear that I listened to you rattle off the statistics that children who spend more than 30 hours per week in daycare, as mine do, are at greater risk for aggressive behavior and that by the age of 4 ½ more than 17% of them will exhibit “Problem behaviors”.


You followed up your grim stats with your medical expert Nancy Snyderman, herself a mother.Surely a working mom like Nancy would have some advice? Perhaps some insight on why daycare increased the risk of aggressive behavior? Or what parents could do proactively to prevent/modify this behavior in their children?Nope. Instead, she offered tips on selecting a daycare provider. Tips like; “You need to feel good about your children’s caregiver.” And “You want nurturing, engaging staff…”

Day Care Selection Tips??? Because that never occurred to any of us when we went through the agonizing decision to put them in daycare in the first place? Did you think we looked for places where we didn’t trust the staff? Places where the staff were obviously unhappy and overworked?

This is the best you could come up with?Not helpful Nancy. Not helpful Brian.

Before you heap anymore stress and guilt on this working mother’s already overloaded plate, do your homework and come back to me with information and solutions that actually help me do my job better.Guilt and stress? I got that covered!
Posted by Michele at 3/27/2007 04:34:00 PM
Swistle said...
I hate it when people offer scary reports and no solutions. I remember reading something similar awhile back about the effects of divorce on children. Solution? None; basically, "Don't marry someone you'll divorce." Then, later, the study was refuted. Same may happen with this study: it seems like a lot of times, sensational information gets released before it's been carefully verified. Just to freak us out, I guess, because we don't have enough to freak out about.
Mar 27, 2007 5:53:00 PM
Suz said...
Oh...I hated her. Didn't you catch the bit where she said "mothers who have to work as MANY AS 30 HOURS A WEEK?" The last I heard, 40 hours was the standard work week with many of us having to work far longer to fulfill our job obligations. This little blurb made me find out more about the report, partially because I was just so angry at this segment.
Mar 27, 2007 7:22:00 PM
binkytown said...
Bravo. What is up with NBC. Do we have NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT to talk about?!PS- He's probably right about the agressive part- my kid is hitting everything in sight but then at least be fair and talk about the positives of day care, because, there are many; socialization, sharing, exercise, advanced learning, etc. I hate it when they do this.
Mar 29, 2007 10:52:00 AM

2/20/2007 - Carving It Out

Feb 20, 2007
Carving It Out
I have a hard time taking time for myself. Especially since I became a mother. There is always something or someone else that needs my attention, my arms, my mop, my patience and they always, always get it.

Always putting me and my needs last is really taking its toll. I need a hair cut and color, I need new clothes and I need to lose alot of weight. Alot.

The two hours when we first get home each night are jam-packed – dinner prep, service and clean-up, kid feeding, cleaning, bathing, dressing for bed, book time and play and snuggle time, mail triage, laundry detail, telemarketer rejection, shoe and toy scattering and general upheaval followed by pick-up. It is also my most internally stressful time of the day. I am torn between doing what needs to be done logically (laundry, dishes, bills, etc.) and what needs to be done emotionally (kids, husband, kids).

So I do all of the above. Because I am a perfectionist about my kids and my house. And even though I have a very hands-on, equal duty husband, I try to do everything myself (ridiculous, needless, my own fault, Micro-manager, that’s me). The only time I get to myself is generally the hour between when the boys go to bed and when I fall asleep drooling on the couch. And there is still so much else that has to get squeezed into that hour – phone calls, books, TV, nookie, all of the above.

When I was first married, my husband and I worked together and we went to the gym every day after work. I wasn’t and never will be THIN, but it felt so great to get that exercise every day. Despite being overweight, I felt fit and healthy and energized. Now it has been over two years since I have really exercised and I have been so bad about finding the time and making the effort to do so.

Last night, just as I was about to leap up from the table to begin cleaning the kitchen, my last bite of dinner still warm in my mouth, I paused. What would really happen to my world if I didn’t IMMEDIATELY start in on cleaning up from the dinner that wasn’t even cool yet? What trauma would befall my toddlers if they weren’t promptly whisked through a bath and pajama and educational book whirl? What damage would I be doing to my psyche if I didn’t insist on doing everything MY WAY, RIGHT NOW??

I took a very deep breath and a baby step. I smiled at my husband and told him I needed some time for myself. I needed to take a walk.

At first he was puzzled. You? A walk? Right now? Are you OK? Then he said “Good. Go. I will take care of cleaning the kitchen and kids up. Go.”

And I did. I hung up my dishtowel and went for a long walk around my neighborhood. It was fabulous. It was energizing. It was freeing.Yeah, I came home to a sort-of-mostly-cleaned kitchen. And two messy but laughing boys. And a husband who was happy to see me return with the glow of exercise back in my cheeks. And everyone survived without me controlling the world.(Of course I ended up doing all of the stuff I would have normally done anyway, because I am crazy like that.)

But it’s a start! Baby steps in the direction of me.

Posted by Michele at 2/20/2007 09:31:00 AM
Mrs. Chicken said...
This post really resonates with me. I'm trying to lose 30 pounds and it isn't going to come off, really come off, unless I exercise. And I hate leaving my daughter in the childcare there b/c right now she cries pitifully when I do. So I feel guilty the whole time I'm there.I think you took a huge step here. Congrats. Keep those feet moving forward.
Feb 20, 2007 12:02:00 PM
ECR said...
It sounds like the most important thing is recognizing that YOU are a priority. The next step--figuring out how to fit in that You Time--is what you're good at!
Feb 20, 2007 7:19:00 PM
sherry said...
Can you start teaching a class to get that mentality? I need some alone time...STAT!
Feb 21, 2007 12:15:00 AM
susiej said...
That was nice that you did that for yourself. I need to take a lesson from you!
Feb 23, 2007 10:36:00 PM
binkytown said...
YAY. It's about time mom did something for herself. It's so easy to put ourselves last. Baby steps baby.
Feb 27, 2007 11:36:00 AM

12/5/2006 - When Martha Married Liberace

Dec 5, 2006
When Martha married Liberace
When we were dating my husband and I discovered that we had millions of things in common.

And then Christmas came.

I was raised in a very strict White-Christmas-Lights-Fake Tree -No-Flashing family. He was raised on a more “Vegas-Baby-Multi-Colored-Flash-o-Rama" theme.The fact that our families Christmas décor tastes are in direct opposition to their personas is a whole ‘nother blog post.

This difference in our Christmas Taste first reared its ugly head when we were doing a romantic Saturday night drive looking at Christmas lights. We rounded a corner and were faced with a house and yard done completely in red, including red icicle lights hanging from every single surface. As I started to say “Dear God, that house looks like it is dripping blood“, then boy-friend-now-husband lets loose with “Wow, beautiful! Let’s do that with our house someday!”He was serious.

And I started having doubts about our entire relationship. The horror of the lights usurped any delight I would have had from him making the “Lets do that with OUR house someday…” comment, which was liquid gold in those early dating days.

Nine years later we are in Christmas Switzerland – white AND colored lights, fake tree, no flashing. It works for us. (Secretly, I really love when other people go all out crazy with lights and blow-up Santas and reindeer on the roof, the whole Chevy Chase Christmas look. )

My sweet friend Jackie is having her first married Christmas this year. She is also having her first pregnant Christmas and was content to let new hubby do the majority of the decorating. Now you must know that Jackie has great taste. She makes Martha Stewart look cheap and gaudy. So imagine her horror when new hubby starts pulling out all of his pre-marital Christmas décor, and turns her classic white-lit scene into a flashing Christmas version of the Bada-bing.

Welcome to married life. The merging of two families, two souls, and two polar opposite tastes in Christmas décor.

But it did start us on an email exchange about the crap that our husbands brought into the marriage. We both married, ahem, much older men in their forties. Single guys who had plenty of time to gather lots of stuff with no wife to help them trash, I mean, EDIT their stuff.Here, in no particular order, is some of her hubby’s “trousseau”:
1 - 20 different types of Christmas lights (not strands.....types) including but not limited to: Hershey kisses lights, ceramic colored bulb lights, plastic globe lights, fake wax candle lights, etc, etc.
2 - A Christmas Tree from QVC with multi colored lights complete with a remote control (I would actually like that in my Switzerland)
3 - Old candy wrappers and empty macaroni and cheese boxes with baseball cards on them
4 - Eight Track Tapes (but not the player)
5 - A broken plastic model Hippie statue. He refuses to get rid of it. (His brother painted it for him when they were little)
6 - A new, still in the box plastic model Hippie statue (an exact replica of the broken one)
7 - A dot matrix printer
8 - A rotisserie (never been used)
9 - A George Forman Grill (never been used)
10 - A magazine rack bought for him by his least liked sister-in-law. Probably spent about $10.
11 - A wrapped Christmas present given to him by his cousin about 2 years ago.
12 - 2 Tiffany style table lamps.
13 - 2 15" black and white computer monitors from at least the 80's. Yellowed with age.
14 - 2 24" porcelain and metallic Christmas statues, still in the box, never been used

My husband married me with:
1 - Three pairs of galoshes, circa 1977 chemistry teacher, never worn.
2 – 30 cans of tuna.
3 – Three lamps rescued from the trash at a college dorm. You know they were bad if college kids were done with them.
4 – A dresser his mother paid $15 for at the Goodwill when he was a child. One drawer missing.
5 – Three giant framed prints that look like they belonged on the set of Miami Vice.
6 – An assortment of Ronco “Limited TV offer” stuff, all in their original boxes, unopened.
7 – 2 unopened boxes from QVC, gifts from his aunt, later revealing this and this. SO worth the click over to see what I am talking about.
8 – About 100 pairs of socks, in the package.
9 – 2 snow tires that do not fit either of our cars, or the cars of anyone we know.

After six years of marriage, only #8 and #4 remain. And I am considering lighting a fire under #4’s sad, brittle self.

What did your significant other bring into the house?And what is the statute of limitations on pre-marital Christmas crap?

Posted by Michele at 12/05/2006 09:53:00 AM
HomeFireBlue said...
I will step up and confess that my darling Evil Genius Husband brought into our union 6 or 8 'long boxes' of comic books.I was overcome with greed and married him right away. (my collection was paltry compared to his, although OLDER and thus more valuable) Now it's MINE ALL MINE!BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!I'm sorry ... what were we talking about?Oh, and copies of every single school annual from every year of his life - kindergarten to college graduation (WHY are first graders offered school annuals?! Who cares?), the glass from his first purchased alcoholic drink (woo hoo), a battered Marylin Monroe poster, and a non-working lava lamp.Men. *shakes head*
Dec 5, 2006 11:00:00 AM
Suz said...
Furniture. Purchased entirely from Rooms to Go and thus guaranteed to match, except for the fact that husband substituted here and there because he likes dark green with the result that nothing matches at all. This includes the "man couch" called because it has two recliners, a massage unit, and a phone so you can order pizza without ever getting up.
Dec 5, 2006 1:09:00 PM
Everyday Superhero said...
We were young (yoooung) when we got married, but the man still came with some "mementos".All the Owl and Chess magazine he ever received as a child.Every award he ever won (even the ones for "participation".)Boxes and boxes of baseball cards. No less than four hockey jerseys.At least 10 different Chess boards. I am NOT shitting you.... truly... like anyone needs than many.On top of all that junk, all of his clothing was two sizes too big. Why do men insist they are a large? Really now, they make more than one size, because (duh) people come in different sizes.Four years of marriage and we are down to 3 chess boards, a handful of magazines (just in the very unlikely case one of the children wants to read about 20 year old information) and the baseball cards.
Dec 5, 2006 1:21:00 PM
Lumpyheads said...
You were right, those vases were SO worth the click. My eyes still hurt.
Dec 6, 2006 5:58:00 PM

8/9/2006 - My Daily Show

Aug 9, 2006
My Daily Show
Sometime this morning, shortly after I gave Baby E a smoochy squeeze and ended up with baby shit all over my arms (don’t ask) I decided that I need to start dating again.

It’s not that I don’t love my husband. I do. Maybe not as beautifully and eloquently as say, Her Bad Mother, but all in all he is a right fine husband. But our life has become one of noisy task management. I’m not looking to give it up. It’s the row we chose to hoe and we are two very happy hoes. Har har.I just want a few breaks from it to feel like a sexy woman (see shit covered arms above) drink lots of wine, eat a fabulous meal not prepared or cleaned up by me, see a few movies, maybe a concert or play, and have someone that does not share a mortgage with me pick up the check.

Please don’t tell me to “date” my husband. I have done it before and it was EXCELLENT. We are very good at dating. But we aren’t in a great babysitter place in our lives right now. My kids are 17 months old, so until they are old enough to report back to us that the babysitter taught them how to do tequila shots and let them watch Deadwood, we have to rely on family for kid-coverage. And said family is at a geographical disadvantage these days. So that pretty much leaves husband and I with each other as the only viable babysitter option. And we are back to square one.

I have been scouting around and I think the most logical choice is my already imaginary boyfriend Jon Stewart. We have been spending a delicious, if unreciprocated 30 minutes together five times a week. I know he is funny, charming, well-read and adorable. He has been on TV for 10 years so he must be bringing home some serious bucks by now. We have similar political, celebrity and topical interests. And he has two young kids so he would understand the need to ESCAPE. Yet, and this is a very important yet, he is one tiny guy. I probably outweigh him by 1000 pounds. Ok, a million (have you seen my ass lately?) Therefore, there would be no physical temptation - him because he probably has an equally tiny and hot wife, and me because I would, you know, kill him. Therefore no actual cheating. Sex is the last thing on my mind anyhow. That is one thing we do not need babysitters or money for at Chez IG2B.

Was that more than you needed to know?

So please, hold all my calls. I am waiting for Jon. I’ll be in the bathroom bleaching my arms.

Posted by Michele at 8/09/2006 02:02:00 PM
Andrew said...
Hi Michele,We've had discussions back at my site about going on dates with men other than your husband, though usually about how to give it up, and NEVER in as imaginative a manner as yours. All I can say is ... whatever gets you through the night! :o)To Love, Honor and Dismay
Aug 9, 2006 2:49:00 PM
Her Bad Mother said...
Dude! This cracked me up but good.
Aug 9, 2006 8:38:00 PM
ECR said...
You would think the fact that sex is free would be enough to drive my cheap ass husband to engage in the act every once in awhile. See, I have to opposite problem--I do get out and go on dates with my husband, but there is nothing happening on the homefront. See, this is the kind of stuff that happens when you tell me more than I need to know--I leave comments that are more than you need to know ;) Have fun with Jon. Hey, if you could arrange a double date for me with Stephen Colbert, that would be great!
Aug 9, 2006 9:04:00 PM
Binkytown said...
I think this is a great idea! I call Ed Helms!
Aug 10, 2006 10:31:00 AM
Sharpie said...
LOL!!! Sounds good to me!
Aug 10, 2006 12:23:00 PM
HomeFireBlue said...
OMG, may I please claim Ewan McGregor? I just bought The Island, watched it, rewatched it with Evil Genius Husband (kinda failed to tell him i'd just seen it), then watched bits of it again on the sly like some sort of filmoholic.Gah!
Aug 10, 2006 12:57:00 PM
macboudica said...
All you need now is to get Jon On Demand! Wouldn't that be the coolest!
Aug 10, 2006 9:39:00 PM
Beth said...
I'm hacking away at my linked blogs list and won't be around, but we don't know each other so I think you'll be all right with it. Just giving you the heads up. LOL I just read here and comment from time to time, but I don't think you come to mine. Still, I feel important enough to say, it's been fun. (sorry, in silly mood)
Aug 12, 2006 10:59:00 AM
Naomi said...
Dates with other men? What a good idea. Not so sure about Jon Stewart, but if he's yours, it doesn't matter for me anyway!!
Aug 15, 2006 10:31:00 AM

8/3/2006 - Summer Lovin', Had Me A Blast

Aug 3, 2006
Summer Lovin, Had Me a Blast
One wonderful thing came from this heat wave. My boys have discovered swimming.

My parents have a pool and I have actually taken the boys in before. Those experiences were more of the “shivering toddlers turning blue while holding me in a death grip” ilk. Last night, they got their swimming groove on.

I think it was a combination of the heat outside and the bathwater-warm pool temp that did it. I only wish I had pictures. There is something so gorgeous about their naked little bodies splashing about as if they invented water. They are fearless.

Although I had nothing to do with it, it makes me feel ridiculously proud. I want my boys to love the water like I do. My favorite summer memories involve long days in the ocean riding waves and even longer days in the pools I grew up around. I can not wait until they are old enough to go into the ocean with me.

Other things I can’t wait to do with my boys:
• Go to NYC to see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.
• Take them to the Cowtown Rodeo, yes, really. We aren’t country but we did discover rodeos a few years ago and it is really exciting.
• Take them to a zoo
• Take them to my roots
• Teach them how to cook
• Take them on a hayride
• Take them horseback riding
• Teach them to grow their own vegetables
• Take them to a drive-in movie
• Go for rides in a convertible at night
• Take them crabbing and teach them how to eat a crab

But for right now, toddler skinny-dipping, Elmo books, naps on my chest and trips to The Brew Ha Ha in the double stroller are pretty damn sweet too.
Posted by Michele at 8/03/2006 10:26:00 AM

Suz said...
Oh, yes! It's all about Rehoboth! I keep trying to convince my husband that the long island sound does not constitute "the shore" and won't be happy until I get to take our little ones to where I grew up.
Aug 3, 2006 11:35:00 AM
1girl2boys said...
That's a great list you have going there. I'm sure you and the kids will have a great time doing all those things. It's so nice when our kids can experience things we did when we were growing up and enjoy them.
Aug 3, 2006 11:45:00 AM
macboudica said...
I wish we had a pool nearby. We got to take the little guys swimming when we went on vacation and all three wore the full piece floatation suits that made them all look loke mutant sumo wrestlers. EEF had a great time (he is older, more fearless), while one of the twins clung to me and the other one discovered his new fav thing in the universe is jumping in over and over and over again. It was a great way to tire them out.
Aug 3, 2006 5:19:00 PM
Sheri said...
Love the list!!!Enjoy the time with your kids as they learn to swim. How fun!
Aug 4, 2006 6:37:00 AM
Sharpie said...
Wonderful list!! Mine always including Halloween door-to-door, apple picking, going to museums and amusement parks. And every year they are more fun than the year before. Glad the swimming went well - it is so fun to be able to do stuff as a family and ALL enjoy.
Aug 4, 2006 8:32:00 AM
Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...
Don't forget family bike rides :) We've just discovered these and they totally ROCK!Sounds like you have tons of beautiful memories just waiting to be made!Cheers!Julie
Aug 6, 2006 12:20:00 PM

7/20/2006 - 'Cause 'Ya Gotta Have Faith

I just totally hi-jacked the comments at Her Bad Mother after reading her post on deciding how and whether to take to an organized faith now that you are a parent. So I am cheating by now making it a post of my own.

I think alot of people struggle with this issue. You want to set a good example, but you dont want to be a hypocrite. Yet faith isnt something you are born with, like green eyes. It has to be nutured by example and practice, tempered with, of course, the leaps of faith. The leaps are the whole essence of it, after all. Believing in something you cant see. Trusting something that doesnt give you a written guarantee.

We are going the same route our parents did with us. Baptised Catholics, Sunday mass, and the sacraments as they come along in age order. Do I demand that my kids be Catholic? No. I hope they explore and question and challenge their faith and find one that really speaks to them, works for them. But I dont think you can just leave this to chance and hope they wake up one day with a burning desire to seek the higher power. Like everything else good, you must teach them.

Here is what I said at HBM. First, my husband and I want our kids to have good manners so we practice good manners around them. We want them to have better eating habits than we do so we feed them good, healthy nutritious stuff. We want them to enjoy exercise so we are trying to do fun things that are also exercise. We hope they want will play an instrument some day so we expose them to music. We want them to appreciate nature and respect the earth so we are teaching them about animals and plants and the sun and the ocean. We want them to be emotionally healthy so we show them healthy ways to express themselves and give them lots of love and attention. We hope they will be happily married/partnered some day so we try to be good examples in our marriage.

Not breaking any new parenting ground here. So, I don’t understand the idea of exposing kids to everything else good, for their own good, but hoping they can wing the faith thing on their own. They need exposure and examples of faith so they have some foundation on which to build their own beliefs and practices some day.

Second point, this is about me and my faith now. Back when I was young and single and had free time, I wanted to be thin and fit. I thought about joining a gym. But I hated the idea of organized gym classes and the whole gym mentality. I knew I would feel like an outsider and I didn’t want to be the “fattest fat chick” at the gym. I just knew everyone would be so brainwashed on their exercise high and carb-free and would know what they are doing and I would just get my shoelace caught in the treadmill and fly through the full length mirror. I hated the gym groupies and the steroid dudes slamming their free weights around, and the lycra fake-bake girls who come dressed to work out but really just spend the whole time flirting with the trainers and flipping their hair in the mirror, when they weren’t looking down their nose at my big ass-covering t-shirts and faded black leggings.

Did I have a few prejudiced notions? Yep. So I tried going it alone. I bought fitness tapes and new sneakers. And they gathered dust. And I gathered more thigh mass. I still wanted to be fit. So I swallowed my pride and joined a gym. Not the fancy “in” gym, but a family one, with fat people and old people. I still hated getting my ass up to go, but after a few weeks I started to see progress. I started to enjoy what I was doing and stopped feeling like the newbie. I kept at it. I never got thin, but I did get much more fit. I needed the motivation of the gym commitment to keep me going. And the regular practice made me a believer.

If walked into a gym and worked out one time and said ‘I am not fit. I don’t like those people. Exercise is bullshit.” you would say “You need to keep at it. You need to stay motivated. It doesn’t happen instantly.” It’s the same way for me with faith. I don’t love everything about my (Catholic) church. But after years of being expected to go with my family, then years of making myself go as an adult, alot of good stuff has worked its way through my muddled head. The exposure to the sacraments, the homilies, the people, has moved me, angered me, and challenged me. None of which I would have gotten sitting home on my ass waiting for the Holy Spirit to appear.

The best advice my mother gave me was one someone else gave her “If you want to be holy, start by doing what holy people do.” I think that applies to alot more than just faith.
Posted by Michele at 7/20/2006 11:29:00 AM

Sharpie said...
Speaking as a converted Catholic as an adult - I converted at 24 - and having grown up with absolutely no guidance - my parents were the "they can become what they want when they want, we'll only baptize them" type - I totally push my kids to participate. I always felt lost and felt as if I did not belong and I didn't know the big secret everyone else already knew.I am giving them some guidance - if they choose a different path later on in life - so be it.
Jul 20, 2006 2:03:00 PM
Her Bad Mother said...
I'm so glad that you wrote this (tho' I totally don't mind having my comments hijacked!)It *is* all about what you model for your children. Living well, in the highest sense. Well said.
Jul 20, 2006 8:49:00 PM

7/18/2006 - Permission Granted

Jul 18, 2006
Permission Granted
Exactly two years ago this morning I got pregnant. For my first and only time. I don’t know if anyone else celebrates the anniversary of their pregnancies but today will always be a special day for me.

It was about 10:30am to be exact. With in-vitro you get to be so very precise about when it all happened. I remember lying there, trying not to pee, as they got me prepped for the transfer. Tom and I made silly small talk and then they brought us “pictures” of the two embryos they were going to transfer. There they were – our kids, all 36 or so cells of them.

After all the fanfare leading up to it I guess I was surprised when the transfer was quick and quiet. When they said it was finished, I announced to my belly – “This is your mother. I want you both to hang on tight now. Stay in there and grow. We’ll see you in nine months.”

We drove home where I commenced my 12 hours of bedrest. Tom brought me barbecued chicken pizza and I lay there waiting to feel pregnant. I felt Baby J implant. I was told to look for a sharp pinch and I felt it. Sharp and low. Baby E must have snuck in later that evening.

I remember all that day a stupid line from a movie kept running through my head.

“Permission to come aboard?”

Permission Granted.

Posted by Michele at 7/18/2006 03:34:00 PM
Binkytown said...
Congratulations! I think it's wonderful that you can celebrate that with such precision and be able to reflect on it. How are you? OK?
Jul 18, 2006 5:45:00 PM
Sharpie said...
I think that's awesome - I am certain both of mine implanted somewhere between margaritas and kamikazees. lol.
Jul 18, 2006 8:11:00 PM
macboudica said...
That is a great memory. I have no idea when mine were implanted--probably like Sharpie.
Jul 19, 2006 9:06:00 AM
Her Bad Mother said...
Great memory, and *great* line.Happy anniversary. (I mark these occasions, too.)
Jul 20, 2006 10:10:00 AM

5/31/2006 - Karma, Kicking Ass, Mine, Thanks

May 31, 2006
Karma, Kicking Ass, Mine, Thanks
For years I worked in management of different call-center-type places where the staff was, on a good day, unpredictable. Many of the call-center rep’s would burn up their sick time as quickly as they accrued it. As soon as they were there a year, they would apply for FMLA. This guaranteed that they could still take time off (unpaid, but still) and not be penalized for it.

FMLA became a huge joke because any time the weather was gorgeous, or if it really sucked, or if it were the day before or after a holiday weekend, the FMLA call-outs would shoot into the double digits. Despite the fact that there were a few employees who really needed their FMLA protection, the majority were what we termed
I scoffed at those FMLA’ers right along with the rest of management. Me and my child-less state, barely using any sick time, ever, and proud to drag myself intro work with a fever of 102 and coughing up a lung because I was RELIABLE AND PROFESSIONAL, DAMN IT!

Knock, knock. “Who is it? “Hi, it’s Karma and I am here for your Ass Kicking.”

Now I am a working mother. And my kids are both sick, again. I had a sobbing meltdown on my way to pick them up from daycare yesterday. Full of Mom Guilt because apparently I left the hospital without stopping by the Mom Department to pick up my Mother’s Intuition when they were born.

Every time I get a call from daycare - “Baby E has a temperature of 102.5 and Baby J has a rash.” - What I actually hear is “What kind of mother are you, anyway? Come get these poor, sick, abandoned children.”

So they are home with Daddy today. He who is already pushing his sick day limit at work. Of course the District Manager is coming today and he will miss a chance to look good at work. Again. But I have no sick time left so we are stuck. Unless I apply for FMLA, which coincidentally I will be eligible for in about three weeks. And I will apply for it because I can’t handle the stress of not being able to be there for my kids when they are sick, and because I don’t want them to
L-earning how hard it is now

Karma, so nice to see you again. Can’t wait to see what lesson you rain down upon me next. Maybe this time the ass bruises can heal first? Yeah, I wont hold my breath.
Posted by Michele at 5/31/2006 11:07:00 AM
Sharpie said...
That's why I count myself lucky every day that I work from home. I would have ALREADY been fired. Sorry its been so rough - it will get better.
May 31, 2006 3:00:00 PM
macboudica said...
I know what you mean. I used to work in HR where I administered the Attendance Policy and FMLA was a big joke there, too. Then I had a really bad pregnancy with my second child that required much time off of work on bedrest. Somehow the FMLA jokes weren't so funny anymore. Another thing, don't feel guilty about sending them off to daycare then getting a call that they are sick. Kids are like that. One minute they are fine, the next they have a 103 degree fever like magic. It doesn't mean you are a bad mommy.
Jun 1, 2006 8:59:00 AM
Amy (binkytown) said...
I can SO IDENTIFY with you! On the FMLA bit at work, the daycare calling me and feeling lousy bit and the karma thing as I freak out when I have to send my boss another email saying I'm leaving- kid is sick! Oh, good times. good times.
Jun 1, 2006 10:05:00 AM
Beth said...
You have such a nice looking blog! I came here off of Sherri's blog. I don't know how you gals do it. I am a SAHM mom so have a HUGE respect for working moms. I don't know how you do that either!
Jun 1, 2006 1:44:00 PM
HomeFireBlue said...
Oh, oh, oh! Worked 10 years in a call center and yeppers ... did my share of poking fun.I'm so sorry the bubs are sick. :( That blows wads.I hope it gets better soon, soon, soon!-Blue (*sending healthy vibes*)
Jun 2, 2006 1:36:00 PM
Sheri said...
Hope everyone is feeling better. I can so realate to what you have said about the guilt. I work out of my home now.... but I do remember those days.You are a great mother.... just human with feelings. Hugz
Jun 4, 2006 6:02:00 PM

5/4/2006 - Half a Peace Sign

May 4, 2006
Half a Peace Sign
One day on my way to work I was driving past a kid waiting at the corner bus stop. He looked to be about 13-14 years old, well dressed, and in a nice neighborhood. As I passed him we made eye contact and he gave me the finger. I turned into the next circle and turned my car around. I pulled up across the street from him and rolled down my car window.

“What was that for?”

(Red faced and sheepish) “What? What? What was what?”

“You know what I am talking about. The finger. Why did you give me the finger?”

‘I didn’t. I didn’t. I swear.”

“Yes you did. I saw you. I just want to know why you did it.”

“I DIDN’T do it. I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t.”

“Don’t be a jerk. First you give me the finger for no reason and then you won’t even admit it.”

End of conversation. He refused to look up or respond so I rolled my window up and pulled away. Not terribly exciting. But I happened to mention it to my male co-worker later that day and he was aghast at what I did. Admittedly I shared it with him because I was somewhat mixed on what my point was in confronting the kid. I guess internally I was pissed off at getting an unwarranted bird, irritated that kids just tell any random adult to F off and get away with it and frustrated thinking that one of my kids might do that someday. My co-worker said I had no right to “use my adult authority and position of physical and mental superiority to terrorize a kid”.

Whaaaa…? Physical and mental superiority and adult authority? I just pulled up in my Mom car, with two sleeping infants in the back seat, to ask him why he flipped me off. He started it. I didn’t get out of the car. Hell, I wasn’t even on the same side of the street.

My co-worker said that if he were the boy’s parents and saw me he would have called the cops on me. Why? Because I was approaching an unprotected kid waiting innocently at a bus stop as an adult in a position of authority.

I could argue the “innocently” point. I think not. However I will agree that as a parent I wouldn’t want to see a car with any adult pull up to my kid at the bus stop and start chatting him up. But wasn’t that the risk that they took when they let the kid take the bus anyway? Not that I am against a kid waiting for a bus, especially in this kid’s nice neighborhood, where the biggest “risk” his parents took by sending him out alone was the possibility of getting shat on by a robin or stung by a bee.

I asked him what he would have done if I had just pulled over and asked the boy where the nearest gas station was. He said that wasn’t the same, because I wasn’t using my authority over the boy, I was asking for his help. So I guess it is OK for me to ask a kid for directions, but not ask him why he chose to express himself so ignorantly at my expense? According to my co-worker, yes.

This really chaps my ass because this is exactly the kind of irresponsible behavior that is waved away by adults who eventually have to call in Super Nanny and Dr. Phil to intervene because they just don’t understand why Johnny slaps them and cusses them out when they tell him to clean his room.

My co-worker and I argued this for well over an hour, and in fact it came up again several times later that day. My point was that I think I did nothing more than ask him why he did it, and my co-workers point being that I had no right to ask him. I ask you, dear readers, was I wrong? Please be honest, because this happened months ago and it is still bugging me. I need closure. And if I was wrong, then what does that say about our society today that kids can do whatever the hell they want and we can’t say anything to them unless we are their parent? I am going on the record. If one of my kids ever gives you the finger, demand a retraction.

Posted by Michele at 5/04/2006 09:23:00 AM
macboudica said...
You were totally in the right to say something to him. If the kid is adult enough to flip someone off, than he is adult enought to answer for it. Having teens around myself, I see a lot of their lack of a sense of social responsibility. They tend to be very self-centered and they need to learn that others have feelings, needs, and are *there* too.
May 4, 2006 11:06:00 AM
Sharpie said...
NOT WRONG! NOT WRONG!!!!!! NOT WRONNNNNNGGG!!Does this co-worker HAVE kids?Not only were you not doing anything wrong - you were well within your rights!!ALL HAIL MOMMYCAKES!! As I bask in your glow and hope that I would do the same some day if it presented itself. AND I am going on the record that if either of my kids flips you off - you can drag them to my house where I will kick their asses in front of you!
May 4, 2006 11:27:00 AM
Rebecca said...
Dare I assume your co-worker is childless? I have to applaud you for what you did! I have 2 boys and would be embarassed if one of my sons ever did something like that! I wouldn't call the police on the adult who set them straight, I would thank them. I know from experience that kids don't always listen to their parents, but sometimes "other" people can get thru to them, and it sounds like you might've gotten this one - you confused him by confronting him, and maybe next time he'll think twice before "flipping off" another car.GOOD FOR YOU!!
May 4, 2006 11:34:00 AM
sherry said...
You were absolutely in the right my friend, and that co-worker deserves a bit of a flip off himself.Asshat.I'll join the rest of your lovely commenters and go on the record to say; my kids flip you off? I'd expect you to demand an apology and then drag them to Sharpie's house so she can kick their asses. She's so much better at it than I.
May 4, 2006 12:25:00 PM
Rachel said...
You were absolutely right to do what you did. Look, it's not like you got out of the car and started chasing the kid - you simply called him on what he did. He probably thought he was being so cool and didn't even really think about the person he was actually doing this to. Hopefully he will think twice before he gives the finger again. :)
May 4, 2006 1:53:00 PM
Irish Divinity said...
I so completely applaud what you did!!!! Maybe next time he goes to give someone the finger for kicks he'll remember it and realize he might have to answer for himself! Your co-worker should really pull his head out -- if a child is disrespectful and noone ever calls him on it, how will he know he's wrong.
May 4, 2006 6:04:00 PM
Anonymous said...
As both a parent and someone who still is techinically a teenager, I think you without a doubt did the right thing. And I know some kids that it would have helped, even if it was just slightly, to have anyone, especially a Mom (even if it was not their own), call them out on being disrespectful like that. I wouldn't let it get to you too much that your co-worker doesn't agree; you know you did the right thing and that's all that matters. You definatly get my approval if it means anything.
May 5, 2006 11:21:00 AM
HomeFireBlue said...
WHAT?My co-worker said I had no right to “use my adult authority and position of physical and mental superiority to terrorize a kid”. What the Blue F*ck sort of modern pseudopsychological crap is that?I am an ADULT. It is my social responsibility to BE an adult. If I see a kid behaving badly (what if the boy was kicking the crap out of a dog or harrassing a littler kid or throwing rocks at my windsheild?) then I have a responsibility to address it.At what sick point did kids become 1) more important and more worthy than adults, and 2) so psycologically delicate that they can no longer be addressed by an adult lest it be construed as 'terrorization'??!AAAgghh!I'd like to kick you co-worker's arse at Sharpies house. let's make it a party. i'll being the Jack and Diet Coke.-Blue
May 5, 2006 1:24:00 PM
Contrary said...
I realize I'm a bit late on this, but I HAD to comment. 1) The kid is lucky if the worst that has happened to him when he pulls that stunt is a Mommy talking to him. I assume he wouldn't do it to someone he'd be afraid of, but if he keeps it up, he's going to get his ass kicked. You did him a favor.2) Your co-worker is an asshat. I have a nice anecdote that illustrates how far we have come (in the wrong direction) with teaching our kids personal responsibility, but it's much too long for this space. Maybe I'll use it as a post over at my place, with credit going to you for the idea, of course.
May 9, 2006 10:40:00 PM
Ruth Dynamite said...
And that well-dressed, 13-14 year old kid will not be flipping off passing cars again any time soon, thanks to you. There should be a name for this: drive-by motherhood? Well done!
May 10, 2006 6:57:00 AM
Johannah said...
My DSalmost16 did this once, at that same age. He was walking behing me into a convinence store and gave a propane truck driver the finger. The guy he did it to whipped it around and followed us into the store, and basically asked the same question you did. I was so glad he was called on it. I really doubt he ever did that again, and it served as a cationary tale for DS-at-the-time 11. You absolutely did the right thing.
May 23, 2006 1:54:00

5/3/2006 - The Night That We Barfed All Over Georgia

May 3, 2006
That's the Night that We Barfed all over Georgia
Thursday we flew to Atlanta for my best friend’s wedding. Me, Hubs, Baby E and Baby J and my parents. This was a long awaited, very fancy schmancy weekend-affair, and all 6 of us were invited to the rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception and Sunday brunch. We spent big bucks on plane tickets, mini-van and car seats rentals, multiple new outfits all around and my fabulous Matron of Honor dress. Plus other essentials, etc, etc, etc.

The bride is my best friend and graciously invited all 6 of use to stay in her big, fabulous house. Thursday morning on the way to the airport Baby E had a rather Exorcist-like episode. I chalked it up to drinking too much milk in the car. Silly mommy. By that evening at the bride’s house, surrounded by her future in-laws, this developed into a full on, both-ends-at-once stomach virus. Hasty clean-ups were made and kept hidden from the bride and her family. Tom decided that he would stay home with Baby E so we could attend all the rehearsal activities and they could weather the barf storm in peace.

Friday Baby J and I and the parents went to rehearsal and all was well. Came home to an almost completely recovered Baby E. Things were looking good for wedding attendance by all six of us the next day. Then it hit me like a train around midnight, and Baby J a short while later. There I am with it coming out both ends, trying to surreptitiously wash sheets, towels bathmats and clothes, and help hubs try to control further damage by sick Baby J, and keep from waking sleeping Baby E, all under cover of night so as not to wake the bride to be.

A few short hours later bride awakes and I am now needed to attend to her. Out went all of my previous visions of a sweet bonding time with my best friend on her wedding day as I concentrated on just not throwing up on her. Tom was staying home with both boys so my parents and I could still represent at the wedding. My mother was trying to convince me to let bride in on my plight as my mother feared I would collapse on the altar (or whatever Baptists call the altar) and end up on America’s Not So Funny Wedding Videos as I took the bride and flower girl down with me. I couldn’t. It was her wedding day and I was going to be the best damn (nauseous, lightheaded, clammy and dehydrated) Matron of Honor I could be.

The ceremony lasted over 40 minutes, during which time I STOOD. In HIGH heels. On the altar/whatever. I truly did not think the minister would ever stop talking. I could feel the cold sweat running down my cleavage and my legs as I tried to calculate exactly how much vomit my bouquet could hold. Finally, finally, it ended.

Parents and I proceeded to reception, where I was feeling a smidgen better. Halfway through reception, I knew we were in trouble when my Dad said he “needed some air”. Yep, another one biting the dust. We lasted through the cake cutting and then raced home. Both babies were doing much better but now Tom and Dad were stricken and both went to bed at 4pm. Did not see or hear from them again until 7am the next day.

We decided to forego any attempts to attend the brunch out of fear that the virus had caught on elsewhere in the wedding party and we would be stoned to death.

Let’s review:
Number of wedding activities we were supposed to attend - 4
Number of wedding activities my husband got to attend – 0
Number of loads of laundry I did – 9
Number of dollars spent to take our virus on the road - >1000
Number of bodily functions incidents, all participants - >36
A positive, my complete and utter drainage of all bodily fluids the night before the wedding made my dress fit really well.

An even bigger positive – the bride looked beautiful and the wedding, what I remember of it, was Fab.U.Lous.

It’s good to be home.
Posted by Michele at 5/03/2006 11:21:00 AM
Sheri said...
oh God - the stomach virus' are the worst! I'm sorry that it wans't the wedding you envisioned it to be but I'm sure your best friend was thriled to have you there. 2 Christmas' ago we all came down with some sort of sickness the likes we had never seen. My daughter was barfing every hour for about 8 hours and then was fine. I had all I could do to make it to the bathroom with a shower curtain draped around myself to catch whatever body fluids were coming out of all orifices at once. I think I remember wishing I was dead a few times. Glad you're home safe and sound and I hope you all are feeling better.
May 3, 2006 1:20:00 PM
Rachel said...
It sucks to have the stomach virus, even worse to have it while one or both of your kids have it, and the absolute worse to have all that happening when you're away from home. Glad you're feeling better now!
May 3, 2006 2:09:00 PM
Amy said...
OOOOOH! So sorry to hear that! Nothing worse than being sick with sick kids than being sick with sick kids away from home. Hope everyone is feeling better!
May 3, 2006 2:15:00 PM
macboudica said...
Well, sounds like you had a fun weekend. At least it seems like a quick virus. Last summer I was sick with a stomack/intestinal bug that would not go away. For months. I spent our family vacation Up North eating canned chicken soup and Pepto while eeryone else ate the fabulous meals my step-mother-in-law (a terriffic chef) prepared.I hope everyone is feeling better!
May 3, 2006 4:00:00 PM
sherry said...
Dear god, woman. I'm sorry you puked your way through a wedding weekend.Glad you're home and well!
May 3, 2006 11:43:00 PM
Oh, The Joys said...
AAAAACK! My baby girl had the plague for ten days. TEN!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH.
Jul 2, 2006 2:20:00 PM

4/21/2006 - June I Hardly Knew 'Ye

Apr 21, 2006
Oh June, I hardly knew 'ye
I read a great post on Her Bad Mother today about the struggle between career and family and the choices we make. I read HBM because she makes me squirm. I love her and feel insignificant *around* her but I need her because otherwise all I would think about is what to have for dinner tonight and whether to get a pedicure.

There are some great posts going around right now about feminism and our roles as mothers. I feel like a fraud. I must confess. I wish I could say that I have struggled with career urges but frankly, I would rather opt out of that whole aspect of my life any day.

It’s not that I don’t have a great job, I do. I have had several great jobs. Ones that I was very good at. A "career"? Not so much. Because to me a career implies a passionate drive and desire to succeed in a specific field. Not me. I have had great luck at landing in jobs that were fairly interesting, usually challenging, and they paid the bills. I am a good employee. I like to do a good job. No, a great job. And I am a real pleasure to work with. But given the chance I would rather be home working in my garden, with my kids frolicking nearby, as a chicken roasts in the oven and a pie cools on the windowsill, while Daddy works away at his job in the city.

There, I said it. I am not a career woman and my mentor is June Cleaver. My real driving force and passion are my family, my vacuum, my wheelbarrow and my Kitchen Aid mixer. The most basic human needs of food, shelter and nurturing are what motivate me.

So I am letting my gender down, right? I don’t disregard the struggle women made before me to get us where we are today. I applaud the women who are running this country and big business and I stand behind them and the choices and sacrifices they made to get where they are. But I’d rather stand behind them from my kitchen than in the boardroom.

I am supposed to feel guilty about that, yet I have never felt more fulfilled and content than I did/do when I am at home with my kids and my husband. Not that I am able to stay home and live out my fantasy. When I met my husband that was the track we were on. He was making big bucks and I was burnt out. The prospect of hanging up my briefcase and frequent flyer badge was too, too attractive. But things changed. He was hit hard by the dot.com bust and suddenly I was the breadwinner. I rose to the occasion, somewhat begrudgingly but with a general feeling that I was doing what was best for us. Now we were making choices on where to live and what house to buy based on me and my job. When the twins were born it would have been easier and more economical for him to stay home with them. But we couldn’t do it. Intellectually or emotionally. I knew I would resent him for being where I wanted to be, and he knew he would feel diminished in the role of SAHD, since he already feels like he had let me down by not making what he was when we decided to marry.

Side Note - Am I "let down"? A little, but he makes up for it by being such a wonderful, loving and giving father and husband. That part is way beyond my expectations. It's true that my marriage is nothing I expected it to be yet way more than I could have imagined. So we made the decision to put the kids in daycare because, all things considered, it was best for us as a family. Which sounds weird, but if you knew me and my husband you would understand. In the final analysis, I am living up to what my gender strove for. I have a great job, and a thriving family. But inside I am still pining for June.
Posted by Michele at 4/21/2006 03:33:00 PM
sherry said...
I can't think of much that would "let down your gender". In my humble opinion, feminism is all about having choices, not basing the choices we make on our vaginas.I can tell you as a full time Mom, there are some days a job looks like a juicy, medium-rare, filet mignon. I won't lie. Occasionally, the grass is certainly greener you-know-where. I admire women who can raise children and work outside the home. I also admire women who do what I do. It all depends on the person and, personally, I think you're pretty damn fabulous. See? That's the great part about being a woman...being respected for whatever you do.
Apr 21, 2006 5:27:00 PM
Carol said...
My mentor is a combination of Lorelai Gilmore (of Gilmore Girls) and Annie Camden (of 7th Heaven) - LOL
Apr 21, 2006 6:04:00 PM
Her Bad Mother said...
Oh, I don't want to make you squirm! Unless it's in a good way.I'm so glad that you wrote this. Women that really do hanker after the pie on the windowsill need to feel free to come out of the closet and assert that aprons and pies, freely chosen, are as compatible with female empowerment as power suits and multiple degrees are.My revery, sometimes? A rambling farmhouse in the country, with WonderBaby and more babies tumbling about in the grass while I watch and write and watch and write. Oh, and a pie cooling in the window.Probably not one that I baked from scratch - my bucolic fantasy includes regular trips into the city for urban stimulation and quality pie acquisition (for later re-heating) - but still.
Apr 22, 2006 10:06:00 AM
macboudica said...
Don't get too hung up on the whole feminism thing. Sometimes I think the whole femenist movement let women down because it said, "You need *equality* with men." It defined equality as sameness: same career, same salary, same political standing. Don't get me wrong--women have benefited greatly from the movement. We aren't property anymore for starters. But in a lot of ways, it fell behind. As anyone who has raised more than one child simultaneously knows, equality and sameness don't always equate. Just as each child has a unique personality/needs, so do women/men have unique needs. We are different, women do have children, and why should we have to feel guilty for wanting to raise them instead of pursuing a career? The women's movement forgot about the family, and that is its biggest shortcoming. If a woman chooses to stay at home (or to work), THAT IS A CHOICE (her choice) and, after all, isn't that what all the fighting was for?
Apr 22, 2006 11:03:00 PM
Binky said...
If you used half of the great lines in here as starting points for new posts, you'd have a month's worth of blog entries that would keep me riveted. There are so many interesting issues addressed here. I love reading all the different perspectives on "feminism" and motherhood as expressed in blogs like yours.
Apr 24, 2006 8:37:00 PM
Michele said...
Wow, I am blushing. Thanks everyone.
Apr 25, 2006 9:35:00 AM

4/5/06 - Kick me Please

Apr 5, 2006
Kick Me, Please
Will someone please kick me in the head?

When DH and I married we had no kids and no debt, so whatever money I made, I spent. “Wheeee!”

Even when we bought our first house, the mortgage was really manageable so it was still – “Wheee! Payday is Playday!”

Unfortunately I must have spent most of it on crap like pedicures and vacations and sushi, since we never replaced our HORRID furniture. I was waiting for our “real house” to buy furniture. I just knew it would be Big and Fabulous and THEN I would buy the great furniture to adequately honor the Big, New House.

So after one year in the “starter-house” we were sorely hurting from almost 3 years of infertility and took the plunge and built the Big New House. I had just gotten a big raise; we could afford it, yadayada. We move into Big New House and 9 days, NINE FREAKING DAYS, after we settle, I lose my job. We are thrown into major financial chaos. We had almost no savings, since we threw it all into the pot to buy the Big New House. And remember “Wheeee!”? – Well, that wasn’t exactly great training for financial near-disaster.

So I get a minuscule severance package, which oddly enough included medical insurance that COVERED IVF. So there we were, me no job, DH under-employed, and scraping together the money to pay for our Big, New Mortgage, in the single WORST financial shape we have ever, ever been in, and the Golden IVF Goose lands in our lap. So we did it. With almost no money and no plan on how we were going to pay for our Big New House, much less afford diapers and formula, we plunged and we were very, very, VERY lucky to have our twins on the first round.

I still don’t know how we financially survived that year but we did. And we didn’t have to sell any organs or plasma to do it.So the boys are a year old now and I have been working since they were four months old. DH is in a slightly better job but is still underemployed (smart guy who still hasn’t quite recovered from the dot com bust – more on that another time).. We are paying our bills on time, and kids and parents are well fed, warm, dry and happy. Big New House is fine, just woefully under-decorated. We are lucky, and blessed and I have absolutely everything I ever wanted in life (kids, hubby, nice house).

I have no right to complain.But there is very little “Wheeeee” anymore. I am getting used to wearing clothes from three years ago and making do with last years purses but I HATE IT. I never wanted to be the mom who needed her roots done, but I am. I hate my furniture and have taken to swearing at furniture delivery trucks that I see on the road. I am so used to not eating out that I was shocked to learn that the average family eats out four times a week, Four times a week??! How did I grow up to be Ma Ingalls?

So anyway, with all of the horrible things that are happening in the world today, like this, this, and this, I am feeling sorry for myself because I don’t see any “Wheeee!” back in my life for a long time. Hence the need to be kicked in the head, please. Because I am all about karma and I am afraid my “Feeling sorry for myself for no good reason” karma is going to come back and smack me in the face with my “Wanna real reason to feel sorry for yourself, ungrateful brat?” karma.
Posted by Michele at 4/05/2006 08:27:00 AM
Sherry said...
Four times a week? Obviously, these people do NOT have children, let alone twins. I mean, seriously. I'm lucky if I shower four times a week, let alone eat outside of my home.I have no assvice, let alone a smack in the head because I think everything you talk about is totally normal. It's a huge period of adjustment that none of us is prepared for. Just don't turn into Earl and start making a list, ok? Because that mustache? So not becoming on you.
Apr 5, 2006 9:03:00 AM
Sheri said...
ah - this post brings back some happy memories for me. When my husband and were 1st married - we had no concept of savings or even wanted to think about it. We were both in the service, making pretty good money and blowing every penny of it. Eating outevery freakin' meal, traveling, gambling and partying. Oh yes, it was a rude, rude awakening and IT HURT BAD. Lots of WHEEEEEE turned into lots of WAAAHAAAA for me.Love your writing!
Apr 5, 2006 11:14:00 AM
Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...
I have to go to a wedding this weekend, and I had to buy a pair of shoes because all of my "dress shoes" are from 2003 or before.Having twins does horrible things to your wardrobe.
Apr 5, 2006 11:57:00 AM
Sharpie said...
I totally GET the Karma thing - but your kids are small and it IS SO MUCH WORK RIGHT NOW. You are entitled to a "What about me" with no ramifications in the Karma department.
Apr 5, 2006 3:03:00 PM
christine said...
What is so special about new endtables anyway.
Apr 5, 2006 3:12:00 PM
macboudica said...
Just think of it this way: 2 boys would only make new furniture old furniture in less than a heartbeat anyway. And who wants to care that much when they are jumping on that new couch? By the way, thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers. Grandma had surgery late last night and is still in ICU. I haven't been able to get out to see her today, but I am going bright and early tomorrow since it sounds like she will still be in the hospital. They are having problems getting her blood pressure up. Also, yes, my mom is an interesting story. She was so embarrassing yesterday! Honestly, I sometimes wonder who is the child. I am going to be writing about that when I get a chance.
Apr 8, 2006 4:56:00 PM