Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Throwing in the towel

NaBloPoMo 2007 has beaten me. I just can’t keep up. I love posting every day, and I especially love reading other’s daily posts. But once I got behind, I just kept slipping and fell even further and further behind. My apologies to all 3 of my readers out there. I will try to be a more frequent poster from here on out. A daily poster, I am not.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Frenzied Frantic Frazzled

Today has been one of those days. You know, one of THOSE days. It all started with feeling almost incapable of even lifting my head off the pillow this morning. I think it has something to do with the weather. I love that the weather is finally cool and has some sort of semblance of fall, but this kind of weather always makes me want to lounge around in my pajamas in bed all day. Oh, if only!

Getting to work on time was difficult because of my sloth-like movement around the house this morning. Fortunately, the Professor took charge of dealing with Charlie. After I arrived to work, there was no room for laziness. It was a very busy day and I am wiped out. I had meeting after meeting and project after project. My bosses seem to forget sometimes that they have asked me to take on some serious responsibilities, which makes it difficult for me when they ask me to, I don’t know, be a secretary. Their insignificant requests late this afternoon made me late for a work event (I hate being late!). That event started late, which made me late picking up Charlie from daycare. So now I am out an additional $14 that I have to pay to the daycare for being late. They charge $5 dollars for the first minute late and then $1/minute thereafter. So, I was 10 minutes late.

Did I mention that I hate being late? It aggravates me so much, and I hate the chaotic feeling that comes with it. I grew up in a house where everyone was always late. Always. Always! We spent most mornings rushing out the door, my mom speeding down Poplar to get to school on time. Even with all that rushing, I was still late. I probably had cafeteria duty more than anyone else in my school. I got sent to the office so many times for being late that I think Mr. Champion, the vice principal, felt a little sorry for me. I even took licks (slaps on the palms of the hands with a paddle) once for being late. It was either that or 3 days of detention.

Sunday mornings were no different. They were spent in a mad dash to make it to Sunday school/church on time. It rarely happened. I barely recall ever getting there in time for Sunday school. Instead of leisurely Sunday mornings with pancakes and the newspaper, my family spent time arguing about being late. There was always tension on Sunday mornings. My sister inevitably was much of the root of the problem. She was definitely a girly teenager and could not leave the house without full make-up and coifed hair. And then she had to decide what to wear. And then she had to dig it out of the piles of clothes on the floor. Sometimes it was my dad’s fault because he would take his time getting ready – he believed he had plenty of time because no one else would be ready on time. Other times, it was my mother. She tended to have last minute wardrobe changes (that of course required ironing). And many times, our tardiness was my fault. I had difficult waking up so early on Sunday mornings (it was the weekend!) and I did not like going to church. Especially, our church (that’s another post altogether).

What I hated most about the tardiness of our family, besides the frantic rushing to get somewhere all the time, was the waiting. If I needed to go somewhere, I often had to wait and wait and wait for something to take me. If I needed to be picked up, I usually had to wait and wait and wait for someone to show up. On days that I didn’t take the bus home, I had to wait and wait and wait on my mom. I spent a lot of time waiting in my early teen years and it really messed with me. I’m not talking about a mere 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there. The waiting periods were more like 20, 30, and even 45 minutes. And I’m not trying to imply that I expected my family to jump when I needed or wanted to go somewhere. Most of these instances were timed appointments: school, doctors’ appointments, getting picked up at a certain time from a friend’s house, etc.

When I got my own wheels, I vowed that I would work on my tardiness habit. It was hard pattern of life to shake, and I still am not completely past it. It’s almost as if it is engrained in my DNA or something. I really try, but sometimes I just lose my mind and tell myself that I have more time than I actually have. That’s how the cycle begins.

So, when I found myself late picking Charlie up last night from daycare, I was frantic and rushed. I didn’t care about the fact that they would charge me for the extra minutes. What I cared about was the pattern of tardiness that I was practicing and teaching Charlie. I hated that I was making him wait, wondering if anybody was coming to pick him up. I hated that I knew he was hungry and needed dinner. I hated that I usually pick him up at 5:15 and it was now 6:10 - almost an entire hour of waiting. I hate that I did that to him because I know what it feels like.

I know these things are impossible to avoid sometimes. I know that it is probably good to teach him that things don’t always work out the way you want or expect them to. But, I hope to never make him wait for me again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Potty for Christmas

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about potty training and how much I DON’T know about it. I’ve looked on line and read things here and there and have heard others stories about the ins and outs of this milestone of their children’s lives. Most of the advice I get has at its core the notion that “when they’re ready to do it, they are ready.” Cool. I can live with that.

In my potty training research, I have read several stories about kids potty training at ages as young as 16 months. Wow! I had no idea it could happen that early! And these stories weren’t necessarily about those who decide to notice the rhythms of their child’s body and then holding them over the toilet when the think they need to go. You’ve heard of those people, the ones who apparently have all the time in the world to watch when their kid flinches in just that way and then rushes them to the toilet. I’m all for having fewer diapers in the world, but I just cannot ever imagine a time when I would be available enough to do this.

I guess I’ve just been a little obsessed with this topic lately because I’m feeling a bit guilty about using disposable diapers. I went on the gDiapers website and saw the horrifying evidence that disposables really are that bad for the environment. I could make myself feel better and just start using the gDiapers but they are so expensive, too expensive. I even toyed with the idea of switching to cloth diapers but fear that the experiment would backfire because Charlie is so accustomed to disposables. And I am not even sure my daycare is willing to accommodate the change either.

Thus, the potty. I plan to get Charlie a training toilet soon. I don’t plan to begin the actual training right away, but I want him to have the opportunity to explore the option as soon as possible. I thought about getting him one as one of his Christmas presents, but the Professor won’t let me. In his mind, a potty is not an appropriate gift. In my mind, giving it as a gift might give Charlie a reason to love it more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

When I say blue, yell blue!

I’ve failed. I missed a post yesterday. I had full intentions of logging on to the computer and whipping out something witty and quick. But it never happened. What with all the business of the day, I just could not find the energy to pull my self off the couch last night to write something. It doesn’t help that I fell asleep on said sofa before 10:00 p.m. To make up for it, I’ll try to do a double post today (or sometime this week). Posting every day is difficult, especially on the weekends.

Yesterday, I went to my nieces’ cheerleading competition. M (5) and T (7) are both cheerleaders this year, and their teams participated in the competition called Cheer Off. M is on the Flag team and T is on the Pee Wee team. They were anxious, nervous and excited and both did very well. I was so proud of them, and of course they were adorable.

When my sister signed them up for cheerleading, at first I was a little apprehensive. I guess I reverted back to my high school days and the stereotype that cheerleaders are just a bunch of bubbly back-stabbing-bitches. But then I thought more about it and dug deep into my memory. And really, I don’t remember cheerleaders at my school being this way at all. In fact, some of them were my friends, and most of them were pretty cool. For example, Leigh Hood was a cheerleader. For those of you that remember her, you know what I’m talking about. One of my close friends Stephanie was also a cheerleader, and she’s not like that either. She is one of the kindest people who will go out of her way to do something for a friend. Now that’s rare.

So, I thought and thought about why I had this nagging uneasiness about cheerleading. And then it dawned on me. In 4th grade, I was a cheerleader. At the time, I was going to a private school but I was somehow able to cheer for the neighborhood public school. I think I was eligible because I had gone to that school in previous years. At the same time, I was taking violin lessons twice a week. The expensive private violin lessons that my parents could not afford made me about 15 minutes late for cheerleading practice. And I always got chewed out for it by our sponsor, Mrs. Shipp. It always made me feel wretched.

I really liked cheerleading for a while. My best friend was on the team and we had fun practicing together. I was into gymnastics so I liked the tumbling aspect of it as well. But digging through the dark cave of my cheerleading memories, I found that I probably disliked it more than I liked it. Here’s why:

1. Getting chewed out for being late to practice because my mom was also making me take violin lessons. I guess she thought that violin and cheerleading would be a good balance. Come to think of it, Leigh Hood played the violin and was a cheerleader. Again, she was cool. Maybe I should have stuck with both?

2. Having to put on a fake smile all the time and pretend I was having the time of my life when in reality, I was trying to keep count to the routine in my head and not screw up.

3. Some of the other girls on the team actually were bubbly back-stabbing bitches. Mrs. Shipp’s daughter was on the team, and she was one of them. I didn’t go to school with any of them either, which made my sense of belonging that much more difficult.

4. Homecoming. A boy had to escort me on the football field. I hated that moment. I was in 4th grade and did not know the guy, and I simply found this experience to be horrifying.

5. Competitions. Boy, were these girls serious about the competitions. They made me so nervous and sick. I always did my job and never screwed up, but we never won. This made some of those bubbly back-stabbing bitches even bitchier. I remember one competition where half of our pyramid fell down. It was unavoidable because the girl on top lost her footing which led to a fall which left the spotter unable to keep another girl from falling off the side – it was an honest mistake. Before we even made it back to the stands after our routine, there was already some serious blame being thrown around. Tears were shed, feelings were hurt, and it was an altogether unpleasant experience that is burned into my memory. In another competition, our girls were confident. We did our routine perfectly and everyone was sure we would win. We didn’t. We didn’t even place. The other teams were just better. But gosh, you would have thought someone died there were so many tears that day. The disappointment was just brutal.

This is why I do not like cheerleading.

BUT, I do think that there are good things that can come from it. I’m not that much of a pessimist. First of all, I think it is good for building strong, confident women. The health aspects are great and the sense of teamwork is like none other in the world of athletics. The girls get to be with their friends, dance, tumble, and scream their heads off, all the while having people cheer for them. They have to work hard, discipline themselves, and learn about the value of practice and having a focus. Now who couldn’t use a little more of that in their lives?

My nieces did a great job yesterday, and I was happy that I was there to cheer them on in support. I think they had a great time, which is all that matters anyway. And if I have anything to do with it, they will never become my stereotype of a cheerleader. Instead, they’ll be strong, confident, and happy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Not that I'm trying to tell you what to do but...

This morning, the Professor and I headed to Easy Way to begin our regular weekend shopping. I love that store. I especially love that we leave with an overflowing cart and have only spent $20. What I don't love is the tight quarters of the place, and that shopping there early on a Saturday morning means vying for cart space with some of our fair city's older population. Usually, I am appreciative of the adoring comments these ladies lay on Charlie, but on this particular day, I got very annoyed.

A woman (probably in her mid to late 70s) made the usual Oh, he's so cute comment about Charlie. I smiled and said thanks and prepared to move on. [I failed to mention that at this time, Charlie is busy sucking on one of the plastic produce bags. We gave him this to avert his attention from throwing the contents of our shopping cart across the store.] Here is how the conversation went.

Her: You shouldn't let him play with that bag. They're dangerous.

Me: Yes, I know. But I am keeping a very close eye on him. As long as I keep watching him, I'm sure nothing will happen. He's happy and he's fine.

Her: Well, you shouldn't let him play with it. He could put it over his head and suffocate.

Me: Thanks, but he won't do that because I am watching him.

Her: You shouldn't let him play with it. He could suffocate.

Me: (BIG sigh) Okay, thanks (with gritted teeth).

Did she really think I would let my kid, the love of my life, put a plastic bag OVER his head?

Charlie and I walked back over to the Professor while he was trying to pick out the freshest head of romaine. He could tell I was annoyed and asked me what happened. I gave him the run-down of the conversation, let him know I was fine, but that I really did not want unsolicited (and stupid) advice from a perfect stranger.

His response: You should have just said, "how about I put this plastic bag over your head? What do you think would happen then?"

While I don't agree with harming others to get them to back off, I did get a good chuckle from this.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Random and uninspired

I’m feeling good today because last night was my final event for The Big Read. We held an event at Theatre Memphis and it was totally awesome. Lots of students showed up, the acting was superb, and the discussion was enlightening. This was a great way to end this program. Now I just have to write the report for the grant. Wretch.

I’ve been curious about Google Ads on blogs. I am not necessarily for it or opposed to it. I wonder if any money can actually be made, especially for a blog that is not widely read. The Professor and I had a discussion last night about credit card debt. We have a 5-year plan to pay it off, but the 5-year plan has been in existence for 5 years already, and we still have 5 years to go. Maybe Google Ads could help whittle those bills down?

My baby will be walking any day now! For the longest time, he would only walk if someone held both of his hands. But yesterday when I picked him up from school, he walked all the way from his classroom to the water fountain and then from the water fountain to the car, the whole time only holding one of my hands. In the other hand, he held his cup. He was so proud of himself! I was proud of him, too. Unfortunatley, learning to walk also comes with a multitude of bumps and bruises. He now has a bruise on his forehead, a bruise on his temple, a cut on that place between the top lip and the nose, and several bruises on his legs. Let’s hope no one mistakenly calls Child Protective Services on me! But, with all the falls, missed steps, bumps, cuts and bruises, my little man persists and gets right back up to getting from point A to B. So, I guess that is inspiring.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Stinky Cheese Contest

Tuesday, the French Club at the college where I work, announced that they would hold a stinky cheese contest. When I found out about it, I immediately emailed Stephanie informing her that we were participating. Of course, she was game. The following day, we headed to the contest full of anticipation. I was little nervous since I had been stricken with a stomach bug recently, fearful that the stinky cheese that I usually love so dearly, would leave a bad taste in my mouth. It did leave a bad taste in my mouth, but in a good way. All signs were good that the bug had finally and literally left my system. Oh, I just adore you stinky cheese!

The cheese featured were some of the staple French chesses (and one that is Danish): Brie, Camembert, Havarti, Gruyere, and Chévre. They were tasty but they probably were not the best quality French cheeses one can find. But who’s complaining? Steph and I particularly like the Chévre and the Havarti. The Havarti had a whopping punch of garlic in it that made us both wish we were sipping on a fine bottle or two of wine.

Nibbling on the stinky cheese reminded me of the glorious cheese plate at Dish. They serve a huge portion of various cheeses (Manchego, St. Andres, Cabrales, Goat, Reggiaanitto, Halloumi, Grand Padano, Fresh Mozzerella, Petite Basque, and Feta). Also included are olives and giant crackers cut the richness of the cheeses. All this costs only about $16. I ordered this with 2 other people once, and we had a hard time finishing it. Yum-my.

Thinking about all this cheese makes my head spin with other tasty delectables I have and have not yet had while eating out in Memphis. While the Memphis restaurant industry has not always been on par with other cities of its size, it is finally starting to catch up. I frequently hear about new and unique restaurants popping up, especially those downtown.

Unfortunately, being a mother of an 18 month old makes it difficult to eat out often. Dining out these days usually does not consist of lingering over a glass of wine or, god forbid, actually tasting the food. Dining out most often requires at least 2 things: fast service (and fast cook times) and low, low, low prices. That way, if Charlie manages to smash his little chubby fingers into my plate and hurl my food across the restaurant (or stuff it in his mouth only to spit it out while making retching noises), all is not lost. If he suddenly decides that he is miserable while the server sets our food on the table, we can easily pack it to go and run.

Recently I’ve been dreaming of lingering over a glass of wine and savoring a nice meal. Hopefully, when Charlie is a little older and when our budget will allow, the Professor and I can venture out for more frequent dinners. And in case anyone wants to offer free babysitting and finance the rendezvous, below are some new places (and old) I want to try (or revisit).

Bari - I am particularly in love with the Frutti di Mare Fritti, the Polpette and the Zaccagnini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Riserva. And the cheese!



Felicia Suzanne’s

McEwen’s – Banana cream pie anyone?

EP Delta Kitchen

Bluefin – I’ve heard good things about the Tuna Tataki Pizza.

Umai – I have eaten there once and thought it was really special. I really enjoyed an appetizer that consisted of black seaweed (I think?). Regardless, it was tasty and I hope to go back.

Grill 83 – If you plan to finance this one for us, be sure to include a night at the Madison Hotel, as well, preferably the presidential suite.


Any others that you might recommend? I mean, I am dreaming here. Might as well make it count.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Black taffeta with a balloon skirt

In response to yesterday’s post, the fabulous Spiffy Tiffy (a.k.a. Hyena) sent these beauties to me this morning. Thanks to her, I don’t have to attempt to verbally describe the black taffeta chaos (with ruching, a balloon skirt, and a demure sweetheart neckline) that I described yesterday as a dress. You can see it for yourself.

First, a photo of Tiffy and me. Who knows what we were doing or where we were. Judging by the hair, it was at least 10th or 11th grade. I know this for sure because if it was any earlier than that, you would have jumped back from the page a bit by Tiffany’s exploding bangs and curly/fried permed hair.

Next, is a photo of that dreadful prom night. Notice the dress? I like the way the camera and the light worked together to pick up the swirls in the taffeta. The camera did not, however, do the balloon skirt justice. That skirt was full and bulbous and absolutely huge. Maybe it was the dress that led me to my cruel and heartless breakup?

My mom pulled out all of my and my sister’s old dance dresses from the attic a couple of years ago. I tried this one on (it was the only one with elastic – camouflaged by the ruching, of course). It did not fit. Man, I was skinny back then!

And finally, a photograph of me and Chip on prom night 1990. This was a pretty interesting evening/weekend. First of all, Chip had already moved to Nashville. We had been having a long distance relationship for about a year (we hadn’t quite hit the 1 year/5 month mark – that happens when he actually comes back to Memphis for college the next fall). So, Chip is living in Nashville and it is prom season. Because we have a long distance relationship, somehow, Chip needed to get to Memphis for my prom. This led Tiffany and I to the following brilliant idea: Road trip!
We decided to drive to Nashville on Friday after school and pick him up and return to Memphis in time to get ready for prom (I can’t remember if we drove back immediately on Friday or if we waited until Saturday morning). Because our plan was so last minute, Chip and I had no plans for any of the prom madness. All of our friends were busy getting drunk in their hotel rooms, while Chip and I were stuck way out in Germantown at my parents’ house trying to figure out where to go out to eat while I curled my hair. We decided on Grisanti’s and I think I ate lasagna. This was before I trained my palette to have a little adventure. That night it also poured rain, so my dyed to match red shoes were bleeding all over my cream stockings, and my curling iron curled hair was flat before we got to the restaurant. We had fun though. I recall stopping by Tiffany’s hotel room, but being the only sober ones in the room was not so fun. And I’m pretty sure we had a pretty early night. Gosh, my memory is killing me!

The funniest part of the story occurred on Sunday. We were leisurely hanging around my parents’ house and having a relaxing day when my father asked how Chip planned to get home. Ummm, wha? How is he getting home? I don’t know. We, being the responsible and genius teenagers that we were had not thought about the fact that Chip actually had to get home. It was a school night, so my parents would not let me drive him. My parents would not drive him because they had to work the next day. Chip’s parents would not come pick him up for the same reason. So what brilliant plan did my oh so practical father devise? Greyhound bus, baby. That’s right. I had to drop my boyfriend off at the then scary Greyhound bus station on a Sunday afternoon. I think it was some kind of punishment for us being so stupid. Of course my father drove to the station because, you know, it was in downtown Memphis. Danger! Danger! It wouldn’t be smart to let his 16 year old daughter drive down there in the middle of the day. Of course not. So I watched Chip board the bus, and what normally would have been a less than 3 hour trip by car, took about 20 hours or something like that. I think his bus stopped at every little Podunk town in the 210 mile stretch between Memphis and Nashville. Poor Chip.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So what is a C-dog Mama?

Many, many years ago, waaaay back in high school, I liked a boy named Chip. Chip liked me, too. So, we kissed a lot. We tried to keep our affair somewhat hidden because Chip was living with my ex-boyfriend’s family at the time. You see, it all started when RT and I broke up. RT and I had dated for over a year. A year and 5 months to be exact (this duration turned out to be my limit for any relationship until I met the Professor. Until then, at approximately 1 year and 3 months, I would start to get that feeling. Panic would set it; I would lose my breath, sweat, and seriously analyze the relationship, always ultimately determining that I needed to be single again and live freely. I think this is due to my prowess at keeping my guard and various emotional walls up for a very long time. At about a year and 2 months, the person near and dear to me is always able to begin cracking away at the shell, forcing me to be myself, and that person finally gets to know me for me. And this is what always sent alarm bells through me, insisting that the relationship needed to end.)

*Now, I can’t say that at the ripe old age of 17 that I was really capable of understanding all of my emotional baggage. RT and I had dated for over a year, and it was time to end it. It was prom night, 1989. We went to prom with my best friend Tiffany and her date (GH) in his ancient 1970 something Volvo. We had a nice dinner at Captain Bilbo’s, and then we went to the dance at the Peabody. I wore a black strapless taffeta dress with a balloon skirt that I don’t think I could ever describe on paper. It was truly hideous. RT and I fought for a good part of the evening. On our way home, we decided to stop by Audubon Park to, I don’t know, “talk.” At least that’s what Tiffany called it. That’s when RT and I broke up. It was miserable and painful and when I look back on it, I am ashamed that I instigated it – ON PROM NIGHT. Just call me cruel. It also didn’t help matters that the Volvo broke down on the way home, so RT and I were stuck in the car with Tiffany while GH went to call his mom. Fun! I really think I need to apologize to RT for that horrible night. I mean, what kind of person does that? A really emotionally screwed up person, that’s who.

Earlier that year, Chip’s family moved to Nashville, but because it was mid-year, they decided to let Chip stay in Memphis until the summer. Chip and RT had always been good friends, so he temporarily lived with RT and his family. Chip and I had equally been good friends. We were all the kind of friends that went out in large groups of people: me, Chip, Tiffany, RT, BT, BH, AN, etc. We didn’t go on real dates. We all just went out together. Before the end of the school year, Chip and I decided we liked each other. But, you understand, it was really difficult because he lived with my recent ex-boyfriend.

So, fast forward a couple of weeks. The annual Memphis in May festivities of 1989 saluted Africa. Tiffany and I were always excited about going to Sunset Symphony, and this particular year was not any different. We decided to secretly go with GH and Chip, and just not tell RT. I don’t remember what kind of immature lie we concocted, but we somehow ended up at Sunset Symphony – just the 4 of us. We had fun, but I’m sure we all felt a bit of the weight of that lie on our shoulders. RT eventually found out, and it was not pretty. It turns out, though, that he was much more mature than I was because he did not act like a complete shameful lying jerk about the whole thing like I did.*

So, C-Dog Mama? Well, at that particular Sunset Symphony, we listened to a band performing traditional African music. Throughout their set, the singer kept yelling out, “Jambo!” Our group of friends had previously thought it fun to give each other random nicknames, and “Jambo” became my newest nickname that day. Or was it Chip's nickname? I don't remember. Other nicknames we had were: Jasmine, BBB, other forgotten names that began with “J”, Cat, and C-dog (coined by none other than Spiffy Tiffy). Is there any meaning whatsoever to the name C-Dog? No. It’s totally random. It is just a name Tiff gave me a very long time ago. When I became a mama, it seemed only logical to add “mama” to the end of it. Thus, C-Dog Mama.

*[All dates and events are represented purely by my aging memory. There are probably several inconsistencies. The Professor and I have been married for over 8 years and have been together for over 11, but I do remember at 1 year and 5 months considering a break-up. I think I even tried but he wouldn’t let me. I am eternally grateful for his persistence.]

Monday, November 5, 2007

What's for Dinner?

...certainly not anything I want to eat. We are still battling the icky illness. The Professor came down with it last night and spent most of the evening in the bathroom. I stayed home from work today and spent the majority of the day sweating, asleep on the couch. Charlie, fortunately, only had a mild version of this last weekend; and he certainly handled it much better than the Professor or I have. So, Charlie went to school today and I got to rest. I am feeling better but I am not really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

While at home today, I had visions of being the stay at home mom that I long to be. I dreamt about how I would spend my mornings on long walks with Charlie, come home and have a story and a snack, and then whisk him off to a long nap while I dust, vacuum, scrub the bathroom and do laundry. He would then wake and we would head out to have a late lunch or coffee with my mom or sister. We would finally come home in time to make a nice, healthy, and complicated meal for dinner. I know, I know, this vision is so far from the reality of most stay at home moms. But it's my dream, damn it.

I am definitely coming to terms with accepting the fact that stay at home mom-ness is just not in the cards for me. For the longest time, I've wished and hoped (and blamed) that there could somehow be a way. But there just isn't. So, I am trying to accept this completely and move on.

When I really think about it, I don't even know if I truly want to stay home all day. In fact, I'm not sure I would even be all that happy doing it. I'd probably get fat and lazy and know WAY too much about daytime television. My main frustration with the whole notion is that I don't even have the choice to give it a try. Our finances just don't have any wiggle room to try to "cut back" to make it happen. We're already cutting back, and we both work full time. So, I guess I'll just have to save making complicated dinners for the weekends and look on the bright side. At least I won't have to clean the bathroom - I'll save that for the Professor. I hate cleaning bathrooms.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Charlie has never gotten a haircut. I have long had a firm desire to let his hair grow long "just to see." This is the one time in his life that he doesn't have to worry about standards and norms for sex and gender. So, let him have long hair. Let him play with princess toys! He doesn't know the difference! That, and his shaggy curly hair looks really cute in pictures. I recall seeing a picture of my brother-in-law as a young child with long and curly hair. At the time I thought, "I want to have a picture of Charlie like this."

Last night, while bathing Charlie, I decided that he needed a haircut. You see, Charlie has this wild and crazy curly hair that makes him look like he has bed head most of the time. I have cut his bangs once before to get it out of his eyes. But when I cut it then, his hair was dry and I was able to give him a whispy, natural looking trim. Last night, though, well, he was in the tub. I had just washed his hair, and someone should have just stopped me before I took the scissors to his hair.

I have straight hair. REALLy straight hair. When you cut it, nothing happens. It just gets shorter. Little did I know that when you cut short or wavy hair, there is actual science involved! Cutting curly hair involves precision and skill and the ability to understand that when wet, the curls are weighted down. When dry, the hair bounces up. So, in my misunderstood and ignorant state, I cut the hair above his brow and the hair at the nape of his neck. When it dried, it reminded me of the time I cut my sister's Barbie's hair. I laid the Barbie down, let her hair fall back (that's what they do in the salon when they wash it!), and I cut off all of Kissing Barbie's hair in one chop. All I wanted to do was give her a trim, but when I sat her back up, her hair looked like it had been run through the Cuisinart.

Fortunately, Charlie's hair does not look nearly as rough as Kissing Barbie's did 20 years (okay 30 years) ago. He just has some seriously straight across bangs and a big divot at the nape of his neck. All of this is surrounded by whispy bed-head curls that need to be neatened up a bit. I just can't bring myself to take the scissors to him again for fear of destroying all of his cute little boy tousled-hair look. I think I"ll take him to a salon and let a professional do it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sleepless Again

Yesterday evening I planned to go to bed early. Who cares that it was Friday night, the official start of the weekend? I was exhausted from the week and the lack of sleep the week brought. I wanted to nurse the hint of the cold that was coming on. I wanted to get lots of sleep to ensure a fun and grump-free weekend. I was so looking forward to waking up refreshed and ready to take on my Saturday. Well, I'm sure you can guess where this is going.

Yesterday, I felt a little more exhausted than usual. When I got home from work, the Professor and I ate pizza for dinner, and ever since that meal, I just did not feel quite right. I felt disgustingly full even though I hadn't eaten more than I normally would. I decided to go to bed around 10:30 in hopes of feeling better by morning. At 3:00 a.m. I woke with heartburn and horrible stomach problems. It was awful. So awful that I couldn't sleep. After 2 or 3 trips to the bathroom, I decided to spare the Professor from my getting up and down and my tossing and turning, and I decided to make a night of it on the sofa.

By 5:30 a.m., after watching terrible late night television, I had finally downed enough Pepto Bismal to go back to sleep. I woke again at 7:00 to Charlie enjoying his breakfast; at that time, I reclaimed the bed. At 9:45, I got up for the day and have tenderly wandered my way through it in a daze. I attempted to keep up with our original plans of errands and a football game, but I just found myself feeling like a big disgusting lump that did not want to move. I am feeling better now and am hoping that tomorrow morning will bring complete relief. OH PLEASE let this be gone by tomorrow.

What a way to spend the weekend.

I HATE getting sick.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Last weekend, we took Charlie on our second annual pumpkin search/photo shoot. Last year, we just happened upon a local church “pumpkin patch” and decided to go back to the same location this year. They won us over with the abundance of props for photographs and their impeccable service. The youngsters at the patch are more than willing to help with selecting the best pumpkin, with prices, and toting your load to the car.
So, Sunday afternoon, we donned Charlie in his costume and headed for the pumpkin patch. [We had originally planned to attend a Halloween party at Aunt D’s house immediately after selecting pumpkins, but the party had to be cancelled at the last minute; thus, the costume on a day other than Halloween.] Charlie had a blast checking out all of the pumpkins.

Saturday night, we dressed Charlie again in his cowboy ensemble and headed to the Zoo Boo with some of the Professor’s co-workers and their families. We were hopeful about the evening but worried that we might have a similar experience to last year’s Zoo Boo experience. I happily report, however, that Charlie had a fantastic time. He gawked in amazement at all of the kids dressed in costumes, rode the Zoo’s train for the first time, and devoured his first candy (jelly beans and Raisonettes). He also got to eat a free mini ice cream sandwich from the nice people at Blue Bell. We hit most of the attractions and even though the event is geared more toward kids who are a little older, I am glad that we are introducing to some of our fun traditions early in life. His jelly bean buzz did not wear off until after 10:00 p.m., though.

Sunday night was pumpkin carving night. Charlie did not participate much. I think he is a little dainty when it comes to getting slimy stuff on his hands. He did NOT like the pumpkin guts. (For some reason, though, that does not prevent him from smearing oatmeal all over his face.) He was so appalled by the pumpkin guts that he threw up all over himself halfway through the carving! (No seriously, the barfing was just left over from a mild illness that struck him earlier that day).

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Ok, so I decided to do it. I had planned to do it earlier last month, but as October dwindled away, November got even closer. I began to have doubts. I begin to worry that just one more thing would be enough pressure to make me crack. But, my good friend Stephanie convinced me this afternoon that it would be fun just to see if I can do it. So, I’ve joined. I am committed. I will post each day for the month of November. I hope that this experience will help me bring more clarity into my life, vent more of my frustrations and perhaps help make me a better writer. So, bear with me as I will probably have to dig deep on some occasions just to get more words out than “this is my post for the day.”

NaBloPoMo is a challenge to bloggers to post every day for the month of November.