Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Have To Tell This To Someone!

I just finished a twelve page paper for a course that is a, well, to be honest, BITCH!!!!! I took a test a few weeks ago and I almost cried because of it; I felt like I had never seen most of the info on it. I was lost. Somehow, though, I managed to pull a B-, mostly thanks to the fact that it is an internet course and I had all of the online notes on hand and I am a good BS'er.

Well, as I was sourcing my paper, something caught my eye on the syllabus:

Neuliep, J. (2006). Intercultral communication: A contextual approach. London: Sage Publications. ISBN 1-4129-1741-7.

Hmmn. I thought the author to my textbook was Jandt. (Found book and checked.) It is.

Uh. Oh.

Yeah, how freaking stupid am I? I bought the wrong #$%&*@$ text! Or, I should say, I was directed to the wrong book by the fifteen year-old work study flunkie who was manning the bookstore that day!!

No freaking wonder I felt like there was a party that I wasn't invited to when I took the freaking test!

I know I am very much to blame for not noticing this until the 9th week of the quarter. I didn't, though. This caught me out of nowhere. Apparently the texts are similar because I did all of the reading (well, not really, I realize now) and was vaguely familiar with many of the concepts mentioned but the minutiae of the test was like Arabic to me. Now I know why.

This dumbass moment was brought to you by BrainFarts, Inc.
Available to all new moms who have "too many irons in the fire".

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventuring: Conqueror Style

Yesterday was a good day in our home despite the fact that The Conqueror woke at 4:45AM. Yes, you read that right. He was up for about 2 hours and then took a morning nap for about 2 1/2 hours. I was able to get a great deal of school stuff done and feel much, much better about my chances of not failing the class that has kept me up at night lately.

He awoke at 9:30 and was mostly pleasant, considering he has red, tender and swollen gums. This time, I know he is teething because one new tooth erupted on Thursday and the other areas are inflamed. He stayed up for about 3 hours and took a marathon (for him) 2 hour afternoon nap during which time I actually did a load of laundry in peace and read a magazine! Can you imagine???

After Her Highness arrived home via school bus, they spent some time basking in sibling love but, soon, friends stole her away from her biggest admirer. When she left, he was playing nicely in our mud room with shoes (and, yes, he was probably eating them and dirt but, honestly, he wasn't crying so I didn't mess with him. Pick your battles, I say.). So, I picked up my magazine again.

Shortly, I realized something. It was quiet. Too quiet. I jumped up, calling his name. No response. Immediately, I think he has somehow escaped and is crawling down the road. Impossible. Did he choke to death on dirt? Unlikely.

He did manage, with a little help from a big sis who forgot to close the door, to enter the powder room. Uh. Oh. Still saying his name, I approach with trepidation, fearing he is honey dipping, as my mother would say, or playing in the potty, as I would say. I was relieved to discover he was not. He was, however, feasting on toilet paper. And it. was. everywhere. Mostly, though, it was in his mouth, which explains the silence.

I should have known not to be lulled into complacency. That is what he was waiting for...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Freeze Frame

The top photo is the gang of children we went trick-or-treating with yesterday. We have only eleven houses in our neighborhood and four of them are represented in the photo. In addition to the kids who live in our neighborhood, we also took along a few cousins who spend a great deal of time around here. For the last three Halloweens, we have made it a tradition to take a group shot just for kicks. I am amazed, though, at what a change that has occurred just in that short amount of time. We have several new babies and, my gosh, how the others have grown!

The bottom picture represents Her Highness and her very bestest friends in all of the world. BFFs, I guess I should say. (Eyes rolling to ceiling.) The one on the left side is my niece who spends inordinate amounts of time with my family and has been sort of adopted by the neighborhood as an unofficial resident. Beside my niece is Her Highness and then our neighbor girls, the Two Princesses.

Right now the world is perfectly right when these four girls are playing together. They are great friends and love just being in one another's presence. As moms, my neighbors and I hope that they all remain friends as time goes on and they grow up. I am so grateful to live in a neighborhood where there are other girls for HH to bond with. I never had that. I lived in the country and there were no other kids around except my four year younger brother; so, I spent a lot of time reading. A lot of time.

It is hard to imagine just what kind of changes lurk in the future for the four friends. As I look at this photo I am still amazed at their innocence. For them, Santa is real. So is the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Their parents are still smart. They still tell us everything.

I feel like we are on the edge of a change, though. As I look ahead to the Christmas season, I am looking for Hannah Montana and High School Musical stuff, instead of art supplies and doll houses. Music has become increasingly important to my daughter. In my memory, that signals the shift from little girl into tween. Perhaps I worry to much. Okay, I know I do.

Honestly, though, I would like to freeze these little ones who are so important to me just as they are in these photos. Safe. Innocent. Happy. I want to hold on to the magic that make-up, costumes and cheap candy represent. Don't you?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cleopatra and A Firefighter

This afternoon we had trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. We do it on Sunday because the larger ones in the surrounding areas are on October 31st and most people who live in our 'hood are off on Sundays.

It was The Conqueror's first Halloween costume. Sigh. So many firsts lately. He is growing up so quickly! He hated the hat so it was "Quick! Snap the photo before he rips it off!" He was way more into the snacks on the tray of his stroller than the actual trick-or-treating, although he did dig the stroller ride accompanied by nine other kids and four moms.

Her Highness was feeling really beautiful today. Did you notice the make-up? I pulled up a photo of Liz Taylor as Cleopatra and tried to mimic the look. I think I did all right, what do you think? At seven, it is all about being cute and she was feeling it and enjoying the compliments although she was worried about the removal of the eyeliner.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm Growing Up

I went shopping yesterday in Columbus at Easton Town Center. It is a shopper's dream. Well, at least a shopper from MyTown's dream. We have two Wal-Marts, two KMarts, Kohl's and a mall. Our mall consists mainly of stores geared toward teens so not a lot of choices for moms or little kids.

I essentially went shopping for Christmas outfits for my children and to do a little early Christmas buying. I had some discount certificates (read: coupons!!!) for my favorite kids stores and they expire Sunday so I wanted to use them. Moreover, as a master put'er-off'er, I am procrastinating from school work which I couldn't do some 50 + miles from home, so...

My mother, RxMan and The Conqueror accompanied me and we had a surprisingly good day. I bought Christmas outfits which I love. Had a yummy lunch and enjoyed the company of my family. (Her Highness was at school and then in the care of a neighbor afterwards, in case you were wondering where she was.)

I discovered something, though. With two kids, I cannot justify the purchases I could a year ago. It seems pretty crazy to spend $75 on one item for Her Highness. Not that I couldn't have. In fact, RxMan was of the opinion to just get whatever I wanted to because she is still his little princess. But me?

No way. I just couldn't. I tried. Oh, God, did I try. I wanted to. But, I couldn't. Some of it has to do with the fact that Her Highness is growing like mad right now. She has outgrown clothes that fit a few weeks ago and she is going to be taller than me sooner rather than later (not a difficult feat, but still!). Also, she doesn't really care (yet!) where her clothes come from as long as they are pretty and comfortable.

I have to wonder, though, am I growing up? Am I becoming more practical as I age? I think the answer to both questions is yes. A few years ago, it was nothing for me to spend hundreds every season on Her Highness's clothing and then half of it go unworn.

So, although I did splurge and get her a really cool birthday outfit, her clothes will not be coming out of swanky designer stores or off the pages of Cosmo girl. No, not anymore. Her momma has wizened up and won't be doing that so much. There will be a day, I know, when the issue of clothing will matter so much more to her than it does now so I should take the money I am saving by not buying designer and horde it until then, no?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Haiku Friday

She did her solo
And made her momma so proud
A perfect night

Tonight was the second grade musical that we have been anxiously awaiting. Her Highness rocked the house. She was not only the cutest thing there but also the best singer, if I do say so myself! (:

I am hoping to be able to upload video over the weekend but...I am not holding my breath that I will be able to figure it out so, dear readers, any advice would be ever so helpful.

(Please excuse the cruddy photo taken during the program. In Ohio, we do not build auditoriums in new school buildings because...well, 'cause we have stupid school funding issues. Anyway, this program occurred in a "cafetorium". That is Ohio-speak for cafeteria with a stage. Snazzy, ain't it? Anyway, the lighting was horrid and we were sitting waaaayyy in the back so we could make a quick escape had The Conqueror gotten fussy and loud because the music teacher told the children to have mommy and daddy get a babysitter for any little babies! Can you imagine!?)

It is Haiku Friday, wanna join in?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Last week, I was tagged for my first meme and, now, it has happened again! I feel like Sally Field when she won the Oscar: "You like me! You really like me!" Okay, maybe I'm a little overly dramatic but I am excited to be a part of this whole meme thing. This time I was tagged by WorksForMom.

7 Unique Things
1. Link to your tagger and post rules. 2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird. 3. Tag 7 people at the end of post and list their names. 4. Let them know they were tagged by a comment on their blog.

1. I am left-handed.

2. I have a photographic memory.

3. I was classified as gifted in the fourth grade.

4. I broke my right femur in the 5th grade and spent 3 weeks in the hospital followed by 4 months in a body cast and wheelchair. I wasn't allowed to run for a year!

5. I once saw a ghost. (And, no, I hadn't been drinking.)

6. I cannot chew gum without swallowing it. Every. Single. Time.

7. I met Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady) at a freshman event in college (the first time I was in college) and danced with him to "It's A Sunshine Day" in front of the entire freshman class.

I am tagging Michel, Allie, V Dog, My Life As It Is, Nap Warden, Patois and, oh, hell, anyone else who wants to. (If you don't want to participate or already have, no worries!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I am so far behind in my school work that it is frightening. If I start thinking about just how deep in this I am, I get butterflies in the stomach and diarrhea (TMI????). It is true. I don't exactly know how it happened and it is really not like me but I just let my course work slide this time and now it is down to the last several weeks of the quarter and I am going to have to work triple time to catch up- if that is even possible at this point.

So what am I doing?

Reading blogs. It's true. I should be reading an oh, so riveting book about power, privilege and differences but I am reading your blogs. I can't help it! Your lives are so interesting and your writing so talented that I just can't stop.

My husband threatened last night to schedule an intervention. He says besides having a new man in my life (our darling son) who steals all of my attention and affection, I have become an internet addict and have to check email about 1,000 times a day. I also try to turn every embarrassing family incident into a post for my blog. Sadly, it's true.

But, I don't get out much. I don't have a lot of adult conversation so reading my favorite blogs is a link to the outside world; an escape from the monotony and insanity of my days.

Oh, gotta email just chimed. Then I probably should read. Or not.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkins, Corn Maze and Tears

I failed to mention that our neighbors also accompanied us to the pumpkin patch on Saturday. They have daughters aged seven and three. Their eldest daughter has been known to drive me more than a little crazy because she is so different than my own daughter. Her Highness is usually fairly quiet and is content to read Junie B. Jones or play Barbies but when this other child is in the mix, the crazy level and volume reach unknown heights.

It's not like this little girl is bad. She's not. She's silly and ornery; she just occasionally could benefit from some pharmaceuticals. That's all. The pumpkin farm seemed the perfect place to go with a high energy child like Princess W because of the wide open spaces, fresh air and a 5 acre corn maze. Surely she couldn't drive me batty there.

And she didn't. Thank God. She actually fulfilled a role in our group that my own daughter has become so adept at fulfilling. That is the role of the sourpuss. The whiner. The complainer. You know what I am talking about: the child who wears their proverbial heart upon their little sleeves and the slightest bump causes it to tumble to the ground and shatter into a bazillion pieces.

Little things such as her little sister getting to hold the bunny first set her off. She flung her jacket to the ground and stomped off. Another time, she was asked to hold still for a picture and almost exploded into a thousand pieces of anger and tears. Her parents became frustrated. Her father fumed and fussed. Her mother made excuses.

I nodded in agreement that, yes, this is just being seven. Isn't it a difficult age? I shrugged off the behavior to the fretting father, assuring him that it was fine; it happens often at our home. But, inside, I was gloating. Thank God it wasn't my child. No, indeed. My lovely, well-behaved, emotionally stable daughter was playing nicely with the others, her sensitive nature shrouded this day by the excitement of pumpkins and a corn maze.

On that day, my kid kept her emotions in check. She was not the one embarrassing me and appearing as a pampered, coddled, spoiled little brat (which, sigh, she kinda is). Those moments made me so glad that we went to the farm with the other family because someone had to be the crybaby and, for once, my kid was off duty.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Good Day

Yesterday, RxMan and I took Her Highness, The Conqueror and my niece to a local pumpkin patch. The weather here in southeastern Ohio was lovely: around 70 degrees and cloudless skies. It was truly a perfect day for being out in nature.

There was a corn maze, hay ride, sand box, slides and petting zoo. I was a little disturbed by the petting zoo, though. It consisted of three bunnies, 2 pigs, 2 donkeys and a sheep and a goat. All of the animals but the bunnies could run away but these poor little rabbits were stuck in their cages at the mercy of all the little kids who reached in a dragged them out. That seemed a little inhumane to me and I am not really a person who gets worked up over animal rights or anything of that nature. Of course, my indignation didn't stop me from getting them out and passing them around to the children with me. Hmmn. I guess I'm being a bit of a hypocrite, aren't I?

It is days like yesterday that make me proud to be a mother. My children were well-behaved. I didn't berate or scold RxMan in public (that I recall). Her Highness didn't melt down about, well, anything. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Husband Will Kill Me For Posting This...


I have mentioned before that my boy likes breasts. Turns out he doesn't care if said breasts are on males or females.

RxMan gave The Conqueror his bath this evening as he does most evenings when he is off. After the bath, they went through the ritual of lotion, diapering, dressing and a little silliness.

The Conqueror, fussy and ready to sleep, suddenly tried to latch onto his shirtless father. Not surprisingly, RxMan was taken aback a little.

Hey, you can't flash those things around little nursers like that. That'll teach you to go around without a shirt on, Daddy, you big tease.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Haiku Friday

Tangled, messy hair
Creases and drool on face
Beautiful girl

Lovely princess
Growing so fast, heartbreaking
Please stay small for me

Great big sister
Worshiped by baby boy
So glad we have you

It is Haiku Friday, wanna join in?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Very First Meme!

I'm a kid in a candy store. A five year old at Christmas. I have been tagged by Michel at Minnesota Madness to do the following meme. And this is the first time I have been tagged since, well, the sixth grade! I feel like the cool kids asked me to be on their kick ball team.

Okay, now that I have revealed what a dork I am and ruined my chances of being tagged in the future, here goes:

4 jobs I've had worker at a farm market, student worker in the government documents dept. at a university library (yawn), dental office receptionist, assistant manager at a chain drug store

4 movies I could watch over and over Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing (I know, I know), Steel Magnolias and She's All That (this is a teeny-bopper movie starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. from the '90s, long after I was no longer a teeny-bopper. I got hooked on it when I was expecting Her Highness because it was on late at night when I was up puking my brains out, so...)

4 tv shoes I watch Only four??? Thank God for DVR; I watch TV while nursing The Conqueror because he doesn't allow reading. House, Prison Break, Heroes and Brothers and Sisters. Oh, and Grey's Anatomy. And Boston Legal. And...okay, okay only four.

4 places I've lived WhereILiveNow, OH (born and raised), Columbus, OH, Circleville, OH and I did a short stint in Kent, OH. Other than summers at my grandparents' home on the Outer Banks, NC, I have always resided in the Buckeye State.

4 favorite foods Pizza, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Ziti and Cherry Pie or Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing (a toss-up between the two desserts). I'm a pretty simple person.

4 favorite colors Black, Red, Green and White.

4 places I'd love to be right now Hilton Head Island, SC, Florence, Italy, New York City, Chicago (Oprah, of course!)

4 names I love but could/would not use for my children Jack (this was the second runner for The Conqueror, who we ended up naming for family members), Grace (which I wish I had named Her Highness because she will always have the first letter of her last name on her papers), Sophie (our last sounds weirdly like this and ridiculous together) and Liberty (my family thought it sounded hippie-ish and we are done. Done. Done. Having Children. Done.)

I am now tagging WorksforMom, Bradley and Allie!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Full of Crap, Extended Version

Okay, so I gave you the nuts and bolts version of the events of Sunday night and Monday but what I left out was that it was a horrible, horrible day. Horrible. One of the worst days I have had as a parent.

Unfortunately, RxMan and I have spent a lot of time in hospitals with Her Highness. See, she has asthma and reflux. The two illnesses together, coupled with allergies, made for one sick little girl for a long, long time.

Yesterday, as I sat in the waiting room waiting to hear if my nine month old son would need surgery a lot of uncertainty resurfaced that defined my life for HH's first 5 years. It was scary. And, as much as I wanted to be with my son, comforting him in a way that only a mommy can, I wasn't able to. I couldn't bear to witness the agony that he was going through; my own fear and trepidation would have only upset him more.

He, intuitive in that baby way, sensed that mommy wasn't the strong one yesterday. He was a daddy's boy. All day long. Daddy was the strong one; the one The Conqueror needed. I was so grateful that RxMan was there with us. So often, his freaking job pulls him away from us when there is "stuff" but not yesterday. Thank God.

My son was a limp rag doll for the biggest part of the day on Monday. He was in great pain and just lay on my husband in a way that he hasn't since he was weeks old. It frightened me. He didn't smile or shout out. He didn't wave. It was heart wrenching. Poor little man.

The radiologist assured us that these kind of things just sometimes happen. It wasn't something we did. Or didn't do. Some kids just have this happen. It may never happen again, he said. But, he also said, that this was a very severe and serious case of impaction and in just a few days it could have become dangerous.

But, as is so often the case in parenting, it was all worth it. The good news is that he is better today!! He is like the baby that used to live in my home. He is pleasant and a playing fool. He has been giggling and cooing and chasing our evil cat. It seems that the problem is fixed. We have to add a stool softener and more things like prunes and more juice but, hopefully, he will never experience another episode such as this again.

Thank you for all of your kind words, nice readers...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Full of Crap

We had a really bad night last night.

And, a bad day so far today.

The Conqueror, as I have mentioned , has been Sir Cranks-A-Lot for the last several weeks. I blamed it first on teething. Then, I thought he had a cold. Then, I was convinced he was just a rotten, spoiled monster.

After our godawful night, RxMan and I decided that something was wrong. Our cranky baby had turned into one crying out in pain. For hours and hours. We took him into see the pediatrician first thing and he was as alarmed as we were at his pained crying. He ordered a series of X-Rays, ultrasound and a barium enema.

Turns out my little boy had good reason to be a monster. While the tests all came back negative for everything, we did learn that our son was impacted with stool throughout the small intestine and almost into the large intestine. It took two (2!!) barium enemas to clear out this little child.

My husband, who earned a platinum star for parenting today, endured these tests with TC. He volunteered so that I wouldn't have to help hold him down during this ordeal. (Am I a lucky girl or what????) He soothed our son and was a rock for me when I needed one the most.

So, our hopes are that this was the cure-all for the crankies that have plagued my dear little son for a month now. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


My friend, Jann, and I have lost touch. We didn't stop talking for any particular reason other than that our lives are completely different. I am a married, SAHM of two. She is a divorced, childless, working woman. We didn't make a conscious decision to not talk, it just sort of happened. She came to visit about a month after The Conqueror was born and that was the last time we spoke.

I felt relieved, honestly, though. It was often difficult to come up with things to talk about. As a SAHM, I sometimes feel like my tales of diapers, school functions and kid illnesses just don't compare to those of a working person. I think society teaches us that and, even though I know that I do an important job, I feel a little less than my working friends.

Jann, though, has said things off the cuff in the past about SAHMs and other things related to this that kind of made it clear that she thinks it is all eating bonbons and watching Oprah. So, I have felt just a little uncomfortable around her. Also, she is dating/engaged to a guy that I am not particularly crazy about and I was a little too vocal about these feelings so, I am not blameless in this situation, either.

I was sad when we began to drift apart a few years ago. We had been friends for years and years. We actually attended kindergarten together but really became friends in junior high school. I stressed about losing this friendship but felt like it was inevitable because of the different paths our lives had taken.

On Friday, though, Jann called. RxMan told me it was her before I answered (thanks to the wonder that is Caller ID) and I groaned. I really didn't want to talk to her but chose to because I hate returning phone calls. Well, it was surprisingly wonderful to talk to her. It was great to ignore the din of a whining baby, sick seven year old and a busy daddy. RxMan took over with the munchkins and I just talked to my friend. For an hour and a half. And it was really great.

We talked about my kids and she seemed truly interested. She chastised me for not sending photos. We spoke about our parents and extended families and former classmates. We gossiped and laughed. We dissected her failed marriage and my career options. I can't say it enough, it was a good hour and a half.

I learned something in that time. No, Jann and I are not the close, BFFs of ten years ago but there is still an affinity and a closeness that new friendships just can't compete with. She just knew to ask certain things that newer friends don't. She and I have a history that includes inside jokes and shared secrets. I missed this and I didn't even know it.

So, after talking on the phone for 90 minutes, I had to go to help with The Conqueror. We exchanged IM info and promised to email, IM and get together soon when she is in my area visiting her mother. When I checked my email a short time later, she had written, saying, "It was great catching up! Funny how we can not talk for months and pick right up where we left off." Then, we IM'd for an hour.

I guess this was just a reminder to me that friendships wax and wane; they evolve. I am not so eager now to write off this friendship as I was a few days ago. Sure, our lives are different but that isn't a bad thing. It is just going to require more effort on both parts to find a common ground. An old friend is just what I need right now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Haiku Friday

Oh, dear little man
You captured my heart at birth
Filled an empty place

Interrupted nights
Many napless, cranky days
Erased by a grin

Now you crawl, babble
Eat anything with gusto
You are so loved

It is Haiku Friday, wanna play along??

Well, DUH!

Yesterday, Her Highness returned to school, ever so briefly. RxMan and I were in Wal-Mart grocery shopping and the cell rang and I knew it was her school. HH had gone to school despite still having pain in her belly. So, we hurriedly gathered what we needed and left.

A little while later, as I tried to ascertain what the root of this mystery stomach pain (Where is House when I need him?) was, I asked HH a series of questions.

Me: Her Highness, what does the pain feel like? Is it burning or feel like something is poking you?
HH: Both, Momma.
Me: Okay, well, when did this start? Before or after you fell at the neighbor's house on Saturday?
HH: (pausing) Well.... I don't know, Momma. It started when it started.

Well, DUH, right? Of course, it started when it started. My bad, Her Highness. My bad.

She went back to school, again, this morning feeling much better, she announced. So, I hope that sticks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why Don't I Listen...

to my mommy instinct?

I have been feeling pretty certain that there was something not quite right about The Conqueror's behavior for the last few weeks. As I've mentioned, his sleeping (and, thus, mine) went to hell and he has been a cranky pants. I had this nagging suspicion that it wasn't just teething or being spoiled, even though that was the consensus amongst my family. I just didn't want to appear like an overanxious mother so I ignored these feelings.

Well, I should've listened to my inner Super Mom. She was right. RxMan and I took Her Highness and TC to the ped this morning and he has either the beginning or ending of an ear infection. Ah-ha! That is what I was most suspicious of, too, because his cries were often pained. So, the doc gave us specific instructions on what to watch for and a prescription we are to fill only if he worsens. I feel pretty certain that he is on the tail-end of it because last night was markedly better than the previous two weeks.

As for Her Highness, well, she has either strep or mono. The rapid strep was negative but the results are pending on the full-blown throat culture. Because of her other symptoms, the doctor was also thinking it could be mono. Great. That won't show up for ten days so, hopefully, she will be all better by then but, if not, it will require a blood test.

So, the gist of this is I was right. And I should've trusted my gut that the boy isn't just a raging spoiled monster. The poor little guy hasn't been feeling well. Now, I feel really bad for being frustrated with him.

I've Got Good News And Bad News...

The good news is The Conqueror was only up twice last night. Did you hear my sigh of relief? He is still a cranky little dude but at least I got more than a couple hours of sleep in a row. Thank God.

The bad news....Her Highness is sick. Her tummy hurts. She has also a sore throat, sniffles, fever and achiness.

Being the Sherlock Holmes that I am, I have begun to suspect The Conqueror has the same thing HH does but is unable to describe his overall crappiness; thus, the incessant whining and unhappiness.

Hello? Dr. Gupta? Look out...We're coming to visit today.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

How Did I End Up Here?

When I was a kid, way back when, I never thought of myself as being someone who would be a SAHM/student at thirty-two years old. It's true. I had these grandiose, LA Law-type dreams of where I would be at this age and, let me tell you, none of them encompassed living in my hometown raising two kids, still working on my first degree. Uh-uh. I was going to take the world by storm, pardon the cliche. What happened?

Well, life happened. I went to college with little idea as to what to be and found that beer was way more fun than class. I made really cool friends who taught me how to bong beer, shotgun beer and do shots. Lots and lots of shots. These same friends also introduced me a time or two to the area Police (just for questions about others, longtime friends) and lots of campus security. For a girl who left high school with great expectations (see the literary reference there? Clever, huh?) and lots of potential, I was headed nowhere fast. Really. Fast.

As a child of an alcoholic, I recognized that it wasn't normal for a previously non-drinking person to be able to keep up with the 25 year old career frat boys in drinking games. Nor was it normal to not be really hungover after doing so. I was also a little embarrassed by my dismal performance academically. So, after 3 semesters at this university, I came home and attended the local branch of Ohio University.

I still did not do well. I took a job with the local newspaper and it absorbed insane amounts of my time, taking away from my studies. I should be honest here, though, I wasn't interested in school at the time. It required a lot of time that I had never had to put into school work before. I was a good student in high school and did little to get the grades I had. This does not translate into higher learning, even for us seemingly intelligent folk. So, being fairly lazy, I just bombed away in school. Horribly.

Eventually, I dropped out altogether. Surprised? I was. Surprised. And embarrassed. See, I was the kid in high school who was not only going places, I was really vocal about it. Obnoxious, even. Always, I swore to myself (and my dad, who took a great deal of stock in my going to college) that I would return and get a degree. Any degree. Just finish!

Well, when I took my sabbatical from college, I worked a handful of awful jobs and met my future husband and fell madly in love. (Gag me with a spoon, right?) Well, I did. We were in a great hurry to marry and begin a family. So, we did. Then my excuse for not returning to school was Her Highness. Who was going to take care of her if I were in class? Then, there are always financial concerns. How could I justify taking that money from my family when I had done so poorly in the past?

Truthfully, though? I was scared. To. Death. I was only getting older. I didn't want to be the old person in class because those people are always obnoxious. I also worried about fitting in and looking terribly out of place. Mostly, though, I worried about failing. Again. I just didn't know if my fragile self-esteem could take another blow like that. I still thought of myself as "smart" but what if, gasp, I wasn't really? What if I was just lucky in a mediocre high school?

But, eventually, RxMan encouraged and poked and prodded and insisted and I relented. I now love school. As I stare down graduation, I worry about leaving the safe cocoon that has become my forever education. Should I go to grad school? Can we afford it? I also really don't know what to do with this degree that I am pursuing. I want to write but who really makes any sort of living doing that? And, am I talented enough?

But, this all began with How Did I End Up Here? Well, through a series of choices that weren't always great, it is true. But, honestly, I am pretty happy overall. I am a much better student this time around and appreciate the opportunity to learn way more than I did as a twenty year old. I love my children. And my RxMan. Is it the path I foresaw? Lord, no. But, man, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What Do I Have To Complain About?

I spend a lot of time worrying and complaining about the state of things right now in my life. The Conqueror has decided he will go into newborn-mode and get up every two or three hours at night. I guess he just wants to mix things up a little; keep me on my toes. (Or, show me who's boss!) I feel like I am neglecting Her Highness because she is seven and simply not as needy as the boy is. RxMan's having a lot of stress at work and then the lack of sleep we are getting at night is a concern I have for him. His job is such that there is no room for error and I worry that he will make a mistake that could really harm someone.

But what do I really have to complain about?
I have a nice home. A loving, wonderful husband who would do anything for me or my children. RxMan works so hard so I can stay home and be with TC and HH. He is so encouraging about my course work and the time I need to do it. He even lets me go back to bed in the morning so I can rest for a little bit when the boy has been up several times in the night. I am a truly blessed person to have such support from him because I know many don't have that.
I also have two children, who are healthy and perfect in every way. Her Highness is smart and nice. She makes friends everywhere she goes. She is talented. She is polite and such a help with her little brother. Less importantly, she is so pretty. Even when she was a wee baby, RxMan and I were stopped by strangers telling us how beautiful she was/is. I always wanted a daughter and am so glad that HH is the one I got.

Then there is The Conqueror. There is a reason I dubbed him this when I began blogging some time ago. He is a force to be reckoned with, that is for certain. He will not conform to any set of schedules or rules that I set down. Oh, no. He is a dude with an agenda and will of his own. He brings out a side of me that I don't much like sometimes. His stubbornness and unwillingness to conform to my ideals makes me feel frustrated and defeated; I feel like I have somehow failed as a mother a lot of times. But, I also have found a new way to love someone. He and I are so much closer than HH and I were at this point, thanks, in part, to breastfeeding and no post-partum depression this time (thank God!).
So, for all the sniveling I do on these pages, I know that I am truly one lucky, blessed person. I have everything I want in my beautiful family and thought today was a perfect day to remind my self of it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Haiku Friday

Her Highness got a
Solo in the Second Grade
Program! She is thrilled!

The second grade musical is on October 25th and Her Highness has been anxiously awaiting the news about who was given the solos. I cautioned her that there were many more children than parts and that the important thing was that she tried her hardest and volunteered to sing one. Secretly, though, I was telling her that there are lots of teacher's kids in the second grade and that they would most likely get the parts and that I was sorry.

Guess what, though? Mommy, ever the pessimist, was wrong this time! This is one of the few times it feels good, even great, to be wrong. On top of that, she was invited to be in the Blue Ribbon Choir. What is that, you ask? It is a group of second and third graders who wear $6 t-shirts and have a fall and spring choir concert. Her Highness, though, is on top of the world and is going to be on American Idol in ten years you know. Look out, Simon....

My Parents

Tomorrow my parents will be celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary. I find the idea of being married for 33 years a little unbelievable, particularly for my folks. You see, my mom was 15 and my dad only 18 when they wed in '74. Yes, you read that right. My mom. Was. 15. Oh! And pregnant. (Let that soak in for just a minute and think about what you were like at 15.)

Scary, huh?

It hasn't been an easy 33 years, though. Not for any of us. My dad was an alcoholic (I know he still is but he was a drinking alcoholic then) until I was 10. He was never physically abusive but there were times when hitting would have hurt less than the things that he said and did. During his last drunken weekend hurrah, he and my mom were arguing really, really bad and he took the shotgun and went outside, sat in a lawn chair and shot the weapon. He then held it between his legs and slumped over it. Of course, it looked like he had committed suicide and my mother, then only 25 with two kids (10 and 5), freaked. He sat up and laughed at her. That weekend he also wrecked our only car and destroyed (and I do mean destroyed) our kitchen.

My mom took us and went to my grandparents. Dad sobered up a few days later, for work, which he never missed and came crawling back. She told him he had to choose, her or the booze. Surprisingly, he chose her. And, honestly, the drinking man was much easier to live with than the non-drinker. For a long time. (There are still no guns allowed in my mother's home.)

That was eons ago and most of the stuff that happened then has been forgiven and forgotten. My parents are stronger for the hardships that they have faced and, honestly, they are more in love than ever. They have turned into pretty good grandparents, which has helped me forgive and forget, too.

Our relationship is not perfect. My dad and I have difficulty with affection. But a lot of the demons that he was drinking to forget were childhood traumas that no one should endure. My mom and I have a pretty good friendship but there are issues. (But don't we all have mom and dad issues?)

Regardless of what the past was like, my parents are definitely a model for sticking it out. Even when they probably shouldn't have. So, today's post is for them. (Even though they don't read this and don't even know it exists because this post would probably piss 'em off a little.)

Happy early Anniversary, Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Nine Months Old!

Is it really possible? The Conqueror was born nine months ago today. It was cold then and we were barely out of the haze that was Christmas and New Year's. His birth, a repeat C-section, was so much better than that of Her Highness's seven years before. I knew this time it was a section, I was prepared for the pain, recovery and surgery. And, I was very relieved not to go through two days of failed labor before a major surgery.

Now this boy is crawling like an expert. He is pulling himself up on everything. He chases the cat all around. He hollers and has four little chiclet teeth. He waves. Backwards and frontwards. He trolls around on our furniture. He seems to be a perfectly normal little boy.

The sleep thing, which I have bemoaned too many times on this blog, is an issue for us. He isn't consistent with any of it. He will sleep really well for a week and then be up three or four times a night for three weeks. He naps. Some days. Others he only teases me.

Looking back over the past nine months, I am so surprised at the speed in which it passed. I doubted that I would be nursing after a month because it just wasn't easy for us, for a number of reasons. Now, it has been nine and he still loves it and, for the most part, so do I. I cannot imagine not spending that time with him; in fact, it is the only time during our day where he actually will be held quietly in my arms. Sure, there is the occassional biting, which does suck, but it is rare and not worth giving up on this.

Some days, okay, lots of days, I wonder what I was thinking by having another child after so many years. Seven years baby-free is a long time and, in many ways, it was like starting over again. I thought that I would be better prepared than I was with HH and, in some ways, I was. But, in many, I wasn't simply because I had forgotten. I don't worry so much about clothes and what he is dressed in. I don't worry as much about the state (of disorder) of my house. I do fret over his sleeping and I am no more patient this time than last.

Despite all of those things, I cannot imagine my life without this child. He is a gift from God and I am so glad we decided to take the plunge and have him. He is worth all of the headaches, tears and concern that he has caused (and will cause, I know).
Note: HH is an Oreo fiend, in case you were wondering after seeing the three packages of Oreos in the photo.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Technologically Un-Inclined

I am not technologically inclined. I'm not. I try to fake it but, eventually, my secret leaks out. When I returned to college a few years ago, I was stopped dead in my tracks with the way technology had infiltrated the classroom. When I began college in, gulp, 1993, no one in my dorm had a computer. No one. I went to a university that had 17,000 on campus and my dorm housed around 300 and there was not a computer in the place. There were labs scattered around campus and only about half the computers in the labs even had Microsoft Windows on them. Personally, I had never used Windows in '93, despite the fact that my dad had had a computer in our home from the time I was in third grade. We always had an IBM compatible computer and used, I think it was called, First Choice.

So, as I was saying, when I returned to college, I was overwhelmed by Power Point, BlackBoard and all the other programs I was pushed head first into. Luckily, I was familiar with the internet because we have had a computer but I was a SAHM who emailed and surfed (okay, shopped) more than anything else. I was fortunate enough to be in class with some really nice 18 year old kids who thought it was freakin' hilarious that I couldn't Power Point or IM and they gave me a crash course. Most everything else I know I have picked up by accident or a tongue-in-cheek visit or call to Tech Support at my university.

Now, though, I am blogging. And I like it. I love to read all about your lives and enjoy giving you snippets of mine. The problem is I am jealous of your knowledge of how to do things like "go pink for October" and just honestly don't have the time to look into learning more about it. So, bear with me as I am still a newbie at this blogging business. I am going to commit some time over my Christmas break to joining the 21st century with my blog. I want to list all of the cool blogs I read. I want to put the Haiku Friday logo on my posts but, alas, I am not advanced enough at this juncture to doing it.

I am determined, though. I am. Mark my word, I am coming. I am.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Yesterday afternoon, we went to visit my mother and took Princess W, a neighbor girl, with us. Leaving our neighborhood, we drove past a new two-story home under construction. I remarked to RxMan that it was going to be pretty when it was completed. The two seven-year olds in the back, little eavesdroppers that they are, struck up a conversation on their own regarding the new home.

Princess W: "Hey, Her Highness, that is a big house."

HH: "Yeah, it is. It's gonna be pretty, huh?"

PW: "I wanna go in there but the people are always there and my dad won't take me in."

HH: "I know. I want a big house like that when I get big."

PW: "Not me. I want a three-story house."

HH: "I want a mansion!" (giggles all around)

PW: "How much you think a mansion costs?"

HH: "I don't know........probably, like, thousand dollars."

PW: "Wow, that's a lot of money."

Oh, to be seven and clueless again, right???