Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Toddler Truth

In my quest to teach my boys all of the colors, I am often asking them what color something is. I usually follow it up by asking them to name something else that is the same color.

This morning while I was getting dressed, E was talking to me and I asked him what color my pants were,

"Black, like a mean old witch hat."

Uh, right, okay. And what color is my sweater? He checked out me and my sweater and replied,

"Pink, like a big piggy."

Coincidence? I think not.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Generationally Speaking

When I was a kid, my best friend was Julie, and she lived across the street from me. She was one week younger than me, a fact I lorded over her even though she was a good 2-3 inches taller than I. Julie and I did everything together from about age 3 on. We sat together on the bus, she swam in our pool, and I spent hours laying on the floor of her family room watching "Match Game" or playing Barbies in her basement. During the months my grandmother was dying of cancer, I knew that if I ever came home from school and my mom wasn't there, it was because she was at the hospital and I was to go to Julie's house. Julie's phone number was the first one I learned after my own.

My mom tells a story about me at age 4 or so. She was getting dinner ready and the news was on. I overheard something about blacks and riots and people getting arrested and going to jail. I asked my mom if I knew any black people. She says she didn't know what to think. Either I was just dumb, or they had actually succeeded in raising a child blissfully unaware of racial differences. Julie, my first best friend, and her wonderful family, are black.

I was blissfully unaware of prejudice at that age. My family lived in what was, for the early 70's, a rare microcosm for the small, rural, middle class town we lived in. It was a cul de sac. We were white Catholics. On one side lived a Filipino-German couple, on the other WASP's, followed by Italians, more WASPS, a Jewish family, and then Julie's house. Everybody got along. I thought that was how the world was.

Every September they end one night of the evening news (NBC and Brian Williams at my house) with a list of what this years current crop of freshman have lived through. I searched around online and found this abbreviated list for the class of 2007.

They were born after:

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Ronald Reagan

The Cold War and the Berlin Wall

Getting tangled up in a long kitchen phone cord

Setting the record timer on your VCR

Michael Jackson and the moonwalk

Recording music off the radio

Desert Storm

Floppy disks

The Oklahoma City Bombing

The O.J. Simpson Trial

The internet

At 40, I can't even say those things happened when I was a kid. Most of those things happened during college, or even *gasp* AFTER college. So now I look at my kids and I think of what will be on their list someday. My kids were born after some of the most defining moments of my adulthood - September 11th, Seinfeld, the reign of Pope John Paul II, The Sopranos, The Clinton "Impeachment", Katrina. Reality TV, Princess Diana, Columbine, Y2K, and the '92 LA riots.

I haven't made up my mind yet about who I will vote for. There are too many months of debates, and spins to get through. And I will vote for who I believe the best person for the job is, regardless of party, gender or race. But it brings me great joy to think that there is a very good chance that my kids will never know a time when only old white guys get to be president.

This is cross-posted over at DC Moms.

Friday, January 25, 2008

One Sexy Gig

So yeah, we got the virus. Although sparingly. So far.

Last night as we put the kids to bed, Jonas spewed undigested corn all over the hallway carpet. This after he had spent an hour sitting on my lap (with bucket and towels nearby) telling me he was not sick. They made it through the night without another eruption, and they are home with Tom today and still vomit free at almost noon. But I highly suspect more is to come, since their classmates and teacher were all violently ill when they had it.

Sidebar - "Violently Ill" always makes me laugh. As if you should be vigorously swinging swords and knives around instead of weakly lying on the bathroom floor trying not to shit yourself.

So as I was scrubbing vomit out of the carpet last night, I couldn't help but think that motherhood is one gross ride. Between the vomiting, the snot sucker, the rectal thermometer, the diarrhea, the pink eyes and the draining ears, it's a regular 3rd world country peace corps experience. But without the peace.

This wasn't in the brochure.
Another one bites the dust - Tom just called at 2:00 to say that the other kid has succumbed. This is going to be a Fabulous weekend...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Random Subjects

Things I would be musing about if I wasn't so crazy busy this week:

  • Whether a car dealer with a radio commercial that has a hickish woman saying "I would buy from them again in a skinny minute." really wants my business.

  • Why my kids are in complete denial about the existence of toilets

  • Why I continue to love American Idol

  • Why I am already feeling campaign malaise and it's not even Spring yet

  • Goodie Bags - to do, or not to do for the boys 3rd birthday?

  • Whether or not it was a wise decision to leave my kids at daycare today when the head daycare lady said she was "feeling much better today but I threw up all night."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dating Other People

I had to laugh when I read Sherry's post about how some of her regular blog reads have gotten too political lately. Lately, I have just been yawning through alot of my regular blogs. Not any of you people who come here, I love every last one of you. I am talking about the many other ones I read and generally lurk on. Maybe they are just feeling the winter blues, or have other stuff going on in their lives (imagine!) but other than you guys, and some of the big news and gossip ones I read, it's been a January hibernation.

I need good reads like I need coffee. My job is very technical and frustrating and sometimes, after losing another 100 points off of my vision from deciphering billions of lines of data, I need a mental break. I need a laugh, a hot shopping tip, or a good story or soup recipe. I like a little political banter as much as I like a crazy Brittny story. I also like a blogger who just writes really well about life and it's ups and downs.

So, my friends, I need your suggestions. Please tell me about bloggers you love. Or even just websites you love. I need to bulk up my blog dates list.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day of Reckoning

Some of you may not be intimately familiar with how Tom and I procreated. Others of you (Christine, I am looking at you) know every tearful step. After two years of trying on our own, then another year-ish trying Clomid and IUI's, we finally, thankfully, successfully, had in-vitro.

In-vitro wasn't a small thing for me to venture into. For me, life begins at conception, and I was NOT going to have 30 little mini-me's created in a lab by an over-zealous fertility clinic staff. I had long conversations with my doctor about conservatively stimulating me, and even more conservatively harvesting and fertilizing. The final result was 4 embryos, 2 of which became our boys, and two of which we froze. For the "future".

I have thought about those two frozen embryos every single day since they were created. When our kids were about 10 months old, I wildly thought I was ready to try again. I even saw the doctor and had a chat and some blood work done. For several different reasons, we didn't go through with it at the time. And it was for the best. We have made great strides since then in becoming more financially secure, and more parentally and maritally relaxed and secure.

But while I was thinking about those little embryos every day, I wasn't actually sure when it was that I was going to be ready to meet them. Sure we talked about when/if/how we would have more, but in the back of my mind I kept putting it off. Sometimes Tom will jokingly say "Just two more." whenever our kids were being particularly bratty or challenging. It was funny the first few times he said it, but then I realized he was serious. He really does want two more. And I started to resent it. What was a "Why not?" thing for him, was a "Holy Shit!" thing for me. The doctor's visits, the pre-natal worrying. The extra work and the extra expense of one more. Or two more.

And then the other day I got a letter in the mail from my fertility doctor. A letter and two forms. One form for us to fill out and sign saying that we no longer wanted to store our frozen embryos and giving them permission to destroy them. And another form to fill out if instead we wished to continue having them store the embryos with "the intention of a future transfer and possible pregnancy". And suddenly the room started swirling around me. The future was no longer far away. It had walked into my kitchen and said 'Hello! Remember me? Time to wake up lady!"

And it was all so clear. I do want another baby. I know it won't be easy or quick. I am committed to losing at least 30 pounds before I even schedule an appointment with my fertility doctor to talk about transferring the frozen embryos. And I want to start exercising regularly again. That means at least 4 times a week. I am 40 now, and my kids are getting faster and I am getting slower. That has to be fixed. I want to feel really good before I even try to get pregnant again.

If I dont get pregnant, at least I will have tried, for my two embryos in limbo, and my husband, who is a wonderful father, and for me, who very suddenly find herself thinking about babies again. Alot. And if nothing else, taking better care of myself will make me a better mother for the two wonderful children I do have.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cringe Blogging

I finally feel like I am starting to "get" it at work and can go to a meeting without living in mortal fear that someone will ask me a question.

I had a meeting this morning at 11. I spent all morning working on some complex data and I was so into it I lost track of time and ended up just getting to the meeting in time. I didn't even have time to run to the bathroom. It went well and I rushed back to my desk after to get a few more things done before lunch.

And that is when I saw it. The big, very red, splotch on the seat of my cushy baby blue office chair.

Just when I think I am an adult, suddenly I am 14 again. At least I am wearing black pants. But the chair looks like it took a bullet for me.

PSA - 13 Baby wipes will take 90% of the blood out of a desk chair cushion. After furious scrubbing.

How do I explain the other 10%?

As the Scale Tips

My husband has mild asthma. I say mild because it is under control. Once a year he goes in for his annual "breathing review". I am sure there is probably some medical term for it, but that is what I call it.

So his "review" was yesterday afternoon. When he got home last night we were doing the usual, "So how was work? Did you mail the water bill? Can you take the trash out?" while we were getting dinner ready. And just as we get the kids settled at the table to eat, he says "Oh hey, I lost 33 pounds since last year."

I thought he looked like he had lost a few pounds, but 33? 33 POUNDS? If I had lost 33 pounds, I would have bought a new wardrobe. And put an announcenment in the paper. And possibly had a parade.

How did he do it? In typical male fashion, where all they have to do is think about needing to lose weight and it comes off. He gave up soda, and got a job where he was more physically active. Slightly more active. For me to be active enough to lose 33 pounds, I woud probably have to try to rebuild the pyramids. Alone.


Thursday, January 10, 2008


Yes, I know I said I was trying to unclutter the blog, but JerseyGirl89 had to go and tell me about Pyzam and all of their fancy free blogger templates and this one just struck me.

Two cherries. For my two little guys. Because they didn't have one with two cocktail weenies.

Attention Target Customers!!

My Target just knocked a ton of toys down to 75% off!

I bought stuff for my kids for Christmas next year, bought a birthday and Christmas gift for one nephew, and Christmas or birthday gifts for three of my nieces. Plus, I bought four awesome gifts for the upcoming birthday parties my kids are invited to. Awesome enough that I can feel very cool and generous just giving one really awesome gift even though I have two kids coming to the party.

I just ran in for tampons and got so much more.

Target can use that as their new slogan. You saw it here first.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stuff I thought Came Later. Much, Much, Later.

A few weeks ago one of the boys looked up at me with his angelic face, sweet dimples and trusting blue eyes and said, solemnly,

"Mommy, we do not say "Fuck it".

Stunned, and trying not to laugh I said, "No, we sure don't."

Again he regarded me with his most serious face and repeated, "We don't say "Fuck It".

In the next day or two, the subject came up a few more times, and each time it went pretty much the same way, he informing me, gravely, what we don't say, and me agreeing that he was correct.

I knew he hadn't heard it from me, and although I far exceed my husband in profanity, I did check with him and he was also unaware of the origin of the "Fuck It" rule. I mentioned it to his daycare lady, who was equally stunned and amused by it, as I had been. She wasn't aware of any recent F-bombs among the 2-3 year olds, but would keep an ear out. We figured that one of the other children may have said it in the presence of another day care employee and my son, overhearing the discussion, filed it away for later use.

Don't even get me started on the latest Boob Fascination that both the boys have. I know that it is normal at this age for them to be noticing and mentioning the differences among people's bodies, but having two boys chase me down the hall yelling "Let me see your boobies!" kind of freaks me out.

Bad enough that their father does it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Simplification 101, Unclutterring the Blog

If you are here on a real visit, and not via a blog reader, you may have noticed some changes round here. I took off everything except for my blog roll. Hopefully this will speed up loading for some of you (Sherry I am looking at you), and just feel less cluttered for all of you.

I am not big on resolutions per se. I prefer a "Theme" that I can apply to everything in my life. Without going all preachy-Oprah on you, I hope 2008 will be about simplifying my life, and this is one of the places I am starting. Not that I will blog less. I actually hope to blog more. But I don't need all of the bells and whistles and links and clubs I was trying to be part of in 2007. So bye-bye Blogher ads. I am not sure how to officially break it off with them but since I haven't seen any revenue checks yet, I think they may have beat me to it.

It looks sort of monastic and barren here, so if anyone knows someone who can do some spiffying up for me color and theme-wise, and who can do it for less than $100, let me know.

On a related note, I think my husband made a "Theme" to rock my world in as many ways as possible this year and it is working beautifully. Lets hope we both stick to our "Themes" this year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year, Friends

We had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year. We spent Christmas at my sister Christine's in Pittsburgh and it was a whirlwind of celebrating. We started with a birthday party for 3 year old niece Sanna on the 23rd where I got to meet my sister's wonderful friends Maria and Grace, finally. Hi Grace!!

On the 24th Christine and my mom and I had a last-minute shopping trip and lunch out which was a treat for the body and mind. It is so nice to get away and have adult conversation with two of my favorite people in the world. We went to Mass that night and my BIL Bart watched the kids so Tom and I were able to relax, hold hands, and LISTEN at mass for a change. Although we actually spent a good part of the time pointing out other people's cute kids and missing ours.

Christmas morning was a blast of paper, toys and kids. I could watch the kids open presents for hours. Mine were slightly confused by all the activity at first and then loved their new cars, microphones and baseball bats. I loved watching Christine's kids, especially since she dragged out their "big" gifts until the very end. I gave Tom a camcorder and had fun wielding it all morning. Later in the day we had a much quieter dinner with his family and it was great chance to nap and catch up with them.

We came home Wednesday and I spent the next two days on laundry and figuring out where to put all of the new stuff we got. On Saturday it was off to Pottsville to my sister Amy's for a weekend of kids, cookies and cards. We all slept through the ball dropping but still had a great end of 2007.

I know this is a newsie, hokie Mom kind of post, but that was the kind of peaceful, happy holiday we had. I hope yours was equally nice and I wish you all of the very best in 2008.