Monday, March 30, 2009

That art gene and flying

H took this picture yesterday. I came downstairs and she nearly knocked me over saying she needed the camera. Now! She went outside where J was also taking pictures, and set up her shot. She asked to see it in the back of the camera 5 times and asked if I could print it out, she wanted to frame it.

J and H had been sitting outside talking, before the sky changed and hustled the photographers into action. H told J she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. Then a scientist. What got me though, was when she told J that she wanted to fly. She wanted to be a pilot. She said she'd have her own plane, so she could fly us places. That she'd also have a dog plane so Ruby and Mayo could come. (Why can't I just enjoy the idea of a dog plane? I do, very much, but I had to stifle my questions about who would be flying the dog plane. This would be in the future, maybe there will be tow planes by then. Planes with hitches.)

This is what you want for your kids, that they'll want to fly. That they'll do things that scare the hell out of you. That they'll make you question why exactly it is you, yourself, are so afraid to fly.

Big print

But wait, in all my disclaiming about how I'm not doing enough printing, I forget I actually am working on a print. One day I will have an art blog separate from my minutia blog, but until then, I give you a really bad picture of my really big print to be.

Its the largest print I've attempted and its already driving me crazy. Its too big to photograph, for one thing. Its made up of 4 blocks. I am trying to decide if I am going to attempt to do do it in color or not. There are monarchs in there, and I'm thinking there needs to be orange. Maybe spot color? I don't know. I am going to try and document the progression of this one.


I woke up this morning with my right eye stuck shut and in the worst mood ever. I don't feel sick, but am so irritable. S is getting her 2 year molar, I think, and isn't feeling well on top of it. The girls both have the kind of coughs that don't sound that bad until yoy take them out somewhere and they start hacking. Time stops, heads swivel and you feel an ocean of blame for letting them get out of bed. But you also know theres no way they'd stay in bed anyway, so you may as well be wherever you are anyway.

I found a bathing suit for H this morning that is 2 piece and not a string bikini. The caveat: the bottom is black. But. It has a small pink butterfly (kinds like a tattoo, come to think of it) The top is bright and flowered. Will it pass? The tags are not coming off for a while.

When my sister was here, she commented on one of H's practises that is so normal to me I don't see it anymore.

This is how H lays out her clothes before she gets dressed. Please note the headband. She has been very aware of what she wears, probably forever, but has let me know in no uncertain terms since was 2 what it is she will be wearing, or not wearing.

And speaking of fashions- I finished the dress I was knitting for H and got it sewed up in time for meeting yesterday:

Can't say that I envisioned it paired with leopard spotted tights, but again. I choose to nurture this fashion sense. I've gotten to where I really am excited to see what she'll come up with next.

Friday, March 27, 2009

True confessions

I'm having Tastykakes and Dr Pepper for lunch.

I expect them to fortify me through the afternoon.

I know they won't.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


There are many harbingers of spring. Yeah yeah, the robins, the crocus. For me the real sign of spring is finally getting out to the garden. First the marathon cleaning up of dog poop. Then the tackling of dried plants from last year that should have been removed during the fall clean up that never happened. I will inevitably decide I have to prune the roses NOW BEFORE ITS TOO LATE and get into that bubble where I just go for it, get scratched by evil rose thorns through my gloves while working fast to try and make sure neither the girls or the dogs need my attention or try to get through the rose barrier while I am stuffing thorny rose canes into a trash can and wondering why I never tipped the trash men over the holidays.

I usually need to reposition something big and hard to move. Today it was an arbor, which wasn't heavy, but big, sunk in the ground, and tethered down with dead vines. It also had a large rose climbing through it, which is what brought on the pruning. H is getting over a cold, her ears are stuffed up and she can't hear which is making things interesting. She yells everything for one thing.

H: "Whats THAT?"
me: "An arbor"

This went on, loudly, forever. I don't know if H knows what an arbor is or not. I tried, and ended up with "An arbor is this big thing! This big thing is an arbor! Things grow on it!" She asked if the ar door made things curly, it had last years dried up tendrils from something on it. I had to stop there.

The girls watched me warily, knowing to stand back a bit. I can see them finding words for this when they get a little older. Oh great, there goes mom into the garden again. Today we worked on H's garden. Which is to be known from here on out as H and S's garden, as H shocked me yet again with her generosity toward her sister and volunteered to share her prized garden with S as S didn't have one yet. We planted seeds for peas, H mixed up a bunch of different varieties- I have no idea what we'll end up with. Seeds for salad greens, bok choy and brussel sprout plants. And pansies.

I said to H, as she was pulling plants out of their plastic pots, "be careful with the roots"
I repeated it.
"No, the ROOTS"
"There aren't any."

It was great to be out digging in the dirt.

melt downs R us

The plumber came. Fixed the sink. Charged the requisite arm and leg. S is having a tantrum day- every day is a tantrum day, but today is one of those incredulous tantrum days, where there are screaming fits about where one eats breakfast, about me not letting her hit the delete button while I check my email (I have no idea how she knows anything about a delete button, but she does) about me forbidding a third granola bar in the span of 10 seconds. She was screaming so loud when the plumber called we couldn't hear each other on the phone. Luckily, he told me he'd call when he was on his way, so we both knew why he was calling and didn't have the need to hear each other. The whole time he was fixing the sink, she was screaming. I wanted to crawl under the table. Finally, when the plumbing was almost done, I put the tv on, S lay on the couch, demanded covers and put her head on a pillow. As the plumber left, he said "enjoy nap time" yeah, no shit. But he paused on the way out, looked at S on the couch and said, "I really miss those days. Man, I really miss them." And then I not only wanted to hide under the table, I wanted to cry under the table.

S will be 2 in a few weeks. She is such a maniac right now. I seriously don't know what to do with her a lot of the time. I refuse to tip toe around her volatile mood, but it sometimes takes all I can muster to stomp around doing what I know is right. She fights for her way like nothing I have ever seen. She fights for equality. We went out to dinner last night, and ordered the girls chocolate milk. The waiter brought H's, but either heard us wrong or forgot S's. We mistakenly said it could wait until after we ordered. Well. S yelled so loud they turned up the music to drown her out. Then the lip came out, and the tears sprung out of her eyes. That poor waiter ran to get her milk. And only then we could order.

We were watching CNN last night, after Obama's news conference, and they had this ridiculous collage of words that were used by Obama and the reporters- the more often the word was used the bigger it was. (Really? This is what we've become? But that's not my point) If I had one for S, and assuming wailing is not a word, the biggest would be NO, followed by MORE, AGAIN and LET'S GO.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doctors and plumbers

I'm keeping H home from school today. I have to stand up against ever fiber in my being to do things like this- its bad enough that I don't like to admit I'm sick, but now my kids have to never be sick too? I don't think she's all that bad (see?). Now we glide in to my problem with doctors. Not with doctors, but with going to the doctor. I don't think she needs to go to the doctor, because I don't think shes all that sick, all in the house that Jack built.

Growing up we never went to the doctor and never took anything stronger than aspirin for pain or discomfort, and that (one) aspirin was reserved for severe bodily harm. I know that's one of those cycles I should break, but its hard to reprogram myself. In fairness, I do take H to the doctor as often as needed often take myself off the board of those who decide if she should go to the doctor. J one the other hand thinks one should go to the doctor for a hang nail. I like to think we balance each other out. That our extreme doctor philosophies meet in the middle and we go, and take the girls, to the doctor as needed.

Now I'm wondering if plumbers have seeped into my doctor indecision. Our kitchen sink drain pipe has essentially fallen off at the top, and is leaking in the middle. I have screwed it in a few times, but it doesn't take. I know its an easy fix, but I don't really know how to do it. Do I research it, go buy the parts and then tie up the children so they don't crawl under the sink with me? What I really want is for J to do it. Hasn't he read the manual? He is supposed to fix these things. He said, after I said to him "just fix it!" that his time would be better spent doing what he does which pays him, rather than running around trying to figure out what parts he needs to fix the sink. Then he made his point that it would make him much longer to fix it than someone whose job it it to fix pipes. Like a plumber. I know that since I'm the one who doesn't want to call the plumber, that it falls on me to learn how to fix the pipe. I am feeling over extended though, so I may call the plumber. With my tail between my legs.

What the hell is a p trap? I'm calling the plumber.

Monday, March 23, 2009

fixing a hole

Once again I am conquering the world with glitter. All that glitters isn't gold, but it doesn't have to be.

We set out to find a new backpack for H, after the dogs tore through hers- and couldn't find one to our liking. Which means one with out princesses, the words 'princess', 'diva' or 'sassy'. We were informed, with attitude, that backpacks are back to school items, and they wouldn't have many until July. So we picked up a patch. I promised to fix the backpack while H was sleeping- this was very risky. I was afraid after receiving my instructions that I should find a white backpack and then paint "purple flowers with a little pink and yellow on the inside with swirlies". We managed to get on the same page and understand that I would not be fabricating an entire backpack, but fixing the original backpack. That I may or may not paint, but that it would look cool. (Why does it have to be cool? H says.)

I felt very Ma, little house on the prairie-ish mending the backpack. I didn't paint on it because I found some rhinestone stickers I had that I hope will stay on. Its shiny, it doesn't have a hole in it, although it does look a little Frankenstein.

Now, and I need this project like a hole in the head, I may search out a white canvas backpack to paint for H for next year. We'll see. I'm already having to beat down the urge to make everyone spring dresses after going into the fabric store for the patch. Must contain the craft. Must not use home ec as a creativity release. Must harness creativity to finish the print I'm working on. Or maybe I should just let go of the damn reins already.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Surprise dressing and torn backpacks

I wonder if I'll be able to write if I am ever sitting still for longer than 3 minutes with out any one on my lap at my sleeve or zipping my zipper up to my chin and someone else (a photographer. Hmm.) demanding an inventory of the color sheets we have. Everything is a prop. I wonder if I'm able to write now.

Today's drama started early, S woke up, I got out of bed to get her and passed H's room where she was up and undressed. She saw me and FREAKED. YOU RUINED THE SURPRISE! She was going to get dressed before coming in to wake me up. S was drenched in pee, so I had to change her. H demanding I don't get S dressed. In our very competitive house, we have races to get dressed, get pajamas on, and so on. When you win you yell BINGO! As per H's rules. S now says BINGO whenever she gets dressed. J had to convince H it would still be a surprise as indeed we are surprised everyday with what she decides to wear.

We came down stairs, finally, to find H's backpack shredded on the floor. In all of yesterdays running around I forgot to unpack H's school bag, which contained the lunch box. The dogs also ate the pasta off a stegosaurus H made at school and was very proud of. The dogs chewed through the back pack, to get the lunch box which they unzipped. If they can unwrap a cheese stick and unzip a lunch box, WHY can't they unzip a backpack?

All of this before coffee.

Also, I now have short hair. My sister rolls her eyes and sighs, "its not short" She of the aforementioned quarter inch hair. Which now really is a quarter inch long. Short. And looks great. But my hair, while is longer than hers, yes, is much shorter than it was. I like it, I think. I have to get used to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have been gallivanting with the wild hamsters, and totally neglecting caring for the wheel that is integral to our caged lives. The house has imploded. There is no food, no dinner plan despite the fact that its dinner time. I am floating around in an altered reality and afraid for next week when the girls and I both return to that spinning wheel. I have gone ahead and made an appointment to have my hair cut tomorrow. I have been trying to make this appointment for over a month- maybe it takes complete disarray of schedule and complete onslaught of madness for me to get a hair cut. That and a sister who is willing and excited to get her hair cut too, even though her hair is all of a quarter inch long and she just got it cut. Ok, maybe its a half inch long. I am excited for the hair coaching.

S has been screaming non stop for days, and is lying on the floor screaming right now.
H has been walking around me in circles with a kazoo the whole time I've been writing this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Birthday weekend

Busy busy over here.. no time to collect my thoughts much less write them down.

Birthday rollerskates from Granny

Attitude to spare

S following in her sisters fashion footsteps

The Cake

Big purple gumball

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Five. My baby is five. I was searching through my files trying to find H's birth story to post, and re read. I must have written it in my sketch book, I plan to find it and post it. No promises. What I did find is a half assed journal from late pregnancy to when H was 10 months .

She and I have come so far since then. I have never forgotten how hard it was for me to be a new mother- but reading this, it amazed me how scared, isolated and alone I felt, that I still had the deep pure true love for this baby.

This little powerful life changing person, who grew herself AND me. And still does.

July 25, 2003
I took a pregnancy test the day before yesterday, and inconceivably, the second pink line began to appear. Even though we have been trying to become pregnant, somewhere in my head I had deemed it impossible. I’m afraid to talk about it, even now. Afraid to think too much about it, and at the same time having a hard time thinking of anything else.

I also seem ready to cry about anything. Today I was in the garden, looked at a flower, thought how beautiful it was and wanted to cry. I thought also that if everything works as planned here it would be nice to put the aquarium in the babies room. That too made me almost cry.

April 18, 2004

Sometimes I look at her and the fact that she’s human blows me away. I’m used to caring for dogs, cats- and can fathom taking care of almost any animal, other than a human one. And yet I seem to be doing OK. she’s getting bigger- doing all the things she’s supposed to.

I don’t know how something as basic as having a baby can sneak up on me 20 times a day- especially since I am attached to this little thing all the time. But repeatedly, I startle as if she jumped out at me.

Since she got here, my days have become much more basic. Wake, feed, change, eat, try and sleep again. My days are basic in retrospect, as in all I did all week was feed the baby, but each day as it happens is monumentally complicated. Today seems to be a good day, probably because I got out of the house.

I find myself wishing for days to be over- which is something that should never be said out loud. Its pointless, really, because each day is the same as the next- just that one day is ok, the next horrible. The events that transpire are the same, my reaction to them is what changes.

I’m expecting a call from J soon, where he will either tell me he’s on his way home, or he’s going for a beer with a friend. If he does go out for a drink, it will require some effort on my part. Ridiculous, and something else that shouldn’t be said out loud. Why? Because I want to go out too, because the list of things I can’t do or participate in grows daily. I don’t quite resent the baby personally yet, but I’m waiting for the part where it all becomes worth it. Right now I look at her, admittedly beautiful and fascinating face, and wonder how this happened- and whats in it for me. Selfish, I know.

I really screwed up this journal. I have had many positive feelings- the birth of my daughter was amazing, I’ll never forget it. One day I'll compile all these writings, maybe even give them to H when she’s old enough to not be offended by them. Like when she has her first baby. Thoughts like that get me all fuzzy again. A life! Amazing.

Today we all took a walk. H, Ruby, Tamayo and myself. I wore H in the carrier, a dog on either side. I felt like a one man band. It was a beautiful day, we walked through the woods and I found myself imagining running into someone else carrying a baby. Maybe she’d have dogs too. We’d smile and strike up conversation right away- our babies would be close in age, we’d marvel at how we found ourselves mothers, we’d agree that its so not us. We’d find whatever it is mothers do instead of going out for a beer. Maybe she’d be an artist too and we could talk about the effect of childbirth on ones productivity. But I saw no one with a baby. A few mid life guys jogging, a few bikers who I must have stared at longingly- I wish I could have ridden. They all said hi. A guy with some beagles. But no babies.

She’s sleeping now, which is whats enabling me to write this, Her arms over her head. So unprotected. I want her to always feel that way. We grow up and get so messy. Life should stay as simple as it is when it begins. We should all remember to strive to keep it that way. But everything gets complicated. Needs grow.

Another thunder storm. This girl is a little over a month old and there have been so many storms in her life. She brought one of them with her, in fact. The barometer caused my water to break, the nurse said. Must be a storm coming. We went to the hospital on a sunny, springy day, and came home to flowers buried in snow.

H awakes.

I printed the other day, wearing Hannah in the front carrier. It was tiring, but beautifully possible. Until she gets bigger, then I’ll have to figure something else out. I ordered some pastels yesterday- the art goes on.


It’s hard to find time to write this. Having a baby is hard. Mostly its the constant-ness of the situation. The planning every detail of everyday in order to get anything done. I had no idea it would take me a whole day to get showered and go to the grocery store. Unsuccessfully I might add, the grocery store part. Hannah was pretty good, but I always wonder how much more quiet time I have- and if I should quit while I’m ahead. Should I look for tapanade, or be thankful we’ve gathered as many groceries as we have already and get in line. It’s not until I’m home that I realize that yet again I have bought nothing to eat. Just ingredients that I have no recipes for. Or time to make.

July 14, 2004

Sitting in my studio for the first time in a really long time. It feels good just to be in here. It’s easy to forget who you are while being busy trying to figure out who you’ve become. When things seem bad, they seem really bad. Is that just the way it is? I sometimes feel so desperately that everything is wrong, off or just indecipherable. I’m grasping. Acting like I know what I’m doing.

Why do I treat this like a bad thing? I love H so much it scares me. I can see day by day how she’s learning, she gets better at using her hands by the hour. I still look at her and can’t believe she’s here. Most of the time, though, the concept is too huge for me to even know what I’m thinking.

I can’t believe I’m someones mother. I can’t believe nothing will ever be the same. There will be a new same.

We went to Dallas to see your Aunt K, got back yesterday. Your first plane trip. You did really well, slept through most of it. Made some friends on the way out- a really large man wearing a Hawaiian shirt that you thought was really cool. You loved your cousin A. A after seeing me feeding you and hearing my explanation that you eat like other mammals eat, told his mom that you were drinking juice from my belly. K explained that is was milk from my breast. The next day you were sucking on my finger, and A said “milk!”

January 16, 2005

Not sure how this happened, even though everyone tried to warn me- my baby is 10 months old. Even though it feels like she was born yesterday. I’m sure when she turns one, three, five... it will still feel like she was born yesterday.

I think I have transformed into a mother. I know it doesn’t take most people this long, but when you study yourself the way I have my whole life, and finally think you have your self figured out- its really hard to swallow such a drastic change. Although I am the mother of a beautiful 10 month old baby girl, I am still the same antisocial artist who needs people around. Still just as irritable- perhaps more so due to less sleep.

H is standing, taking steps holding on- or in my newly learned lingo, ‘cruising’. She will walk any day now. She stood from about 8 months- and has really good balance. She has 2 teeth on the bottom of her mouth, in the center, and is getting her front teeth in. She loves the animals, especially Maxi. She loves music, and is dancing and clapping. She started waving bye-bye, with her whole arm, a few days ago.

It does feel, five years later, like she was born yesterday. And that shes been here forever.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

cupcake round 2

Here are the birthday cupcakes. That I started decorating at 9. I was actually done by 11, which isn't bad at all. H wanted 'purple monarchs'- and while these look nothing like monarchs, purple or otherwise, she just saw this picture and got very excited. Phew.

The cupcakes themselves are chocolate and... purple vanilla. Swirl. I'm hoping this will be a hit, and that the adults will keep quiet about the purple looking like zombie flesh.

Tick, tock, tick, tock

Last night we went to a circus at bed time and didn't get home until 9. Today we have grand parents, and a most popular thrilling shriek inducing duo of an aunt and uncle coming to go to a birthday party where there will be more doting family members and a slew of hyped up 4-5 years olds. The party is at 3:45. Who has a party at 3:45? Its a little exact for my tastes, but that's the only time any place in a 50 mile radius had left.

My girls are morning people. They really would go to bed at 5:30. I usually hold them until 7- although there are the days I draw all the blinds and say "hey! bedtime already! How'd that happen?" My point is, this party will be going on until 5:45, and then the packing up and returning home, the opening of gifts and then the wind down from that.

THEN there's the fact that the actual birthday is tomorrow. We're going to Meeting where it is 2 other kids (who are siblings!) birthday- we joked that we're making it a saints day (Lefty, want in?! Its Baboos' birthday, too!) there may or may not be cake there- after that we're headed home for more family gathering, with a few fresh family members- then the family gifts.

AND THEN the following day my sister Katydid and her son A, also known in these parts as supercousin, are coming for a week. That in itself is enough excitement to make time go backwards- but all of this together- I'm afraid we're headed for an expect it when you least expect it excitement melt down blow up. I'm donning my emotion proof vest, my protective eyewear and I have a whole stack of disclaimers at the ready. I suggest all of you who have any future contact with my brood do the same. You've been warned.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not bringing out the best in me

It will be a miracle if these cupcakes make it out of my house alive for their appointment at H's school tomorrow.

I don't know WHAT has come over me, but I am being such a dick about the cupcake decorating. I just want to hog the experience and try and figure out how to make leaves out of frosting at my own damn pace- but what thats translating into is some kind of resentful help allowing on my part. A lot of sighing. A lot of "Could you get your hair out of the cupcakes?" Total impatince for the 4 year (not five yet! I have 3 days!) sense of body and what it may be knocking over. Sigh, "WATCH your elbow! You need to be careful!" God I'm horrible! I can hardly stand to hear myself.

I begrudgingly let H dip some of the cupcakes, some of HER cupcakes, that she wanted to decorate, its her birthday, why am I being such a control freak? I can't stop thinking she's doing it wrong- but actually she's doing surprisingly well, and she's also doing a really good job of not getting frustrated with me being a total asshole.

Anyway, we got the base layer done (base layer! I know) and there is some discussing about color of flower petals. We were mixing frosting colors (I need to get in the studio. Really.) H and I debating the shade of violet, when S woke up from her nap. She saw 2 trays of yellow cupcakes on the table and of course wanted them, I said no, she freaked out, I went into the kitchen to clear a place to put the trays, and when I came to get the trays 2 seconds later, S was sitting on the table with a cupcake in her mouth.

The dogs are sniffing the air- hunting cupcakes. I bumped the tray with my elbow (watch my elbow! I need to be careful!) nearly dropping them all on the floor- certain death, but miraculously the tray didn't fall.

This is only the first leg of the cupcake relay- I'll do this again tomorrow for Saturday's birthday party cupcakes, you'd think I would appreciate the help.

Exactly what am I trying to prove?

After the small people went to bed, I had a self indulgent cupcake decorating party all by myself. I long for my camera, but you'll get the gist from my crap ass phone camera.

cupcakes round 1

They did make it to H's school this morning, which was no small feat. S had to stay home with J, I couldn't have her in the same car as the cupcakes. I wish I were kidding.

Octopus rodeo

I am an octopus up in here. Reaching out to everyone. I'm on a roll. Got a group? I'll join it. Got a job? I'll take it.

I'm having my own daily Stuart Smalley affirmation, I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it people like me.

OOOOhhhhh but it makes me feel like an idiot.
Mental slap!
You are not an idiot! Rock on!
You are SUCH an idiot.
I'm good enough...
Smart enough...
oh really? you think so?

Ugh- I'm feeling desperate. Feeling hopeful and able at the same time paralysed and useless. How can one person feel all these contrasting things at the same time???

I'm on the verge of transformation, so says me. I always get a little wacky and internally chatty with myself when I'm on the cusp of changing things up.

Deciding. I am deciding. I don't know what I'm deciding, but it will be a good decision.

I am grappling for the reins, polishing up my spurs, prying off my blinders, and groping flailing reaching out with octopus arms.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


H's 5th birthday is on Sunday. H's 5th birthday party is on Saturday. H will be bringing cupcakes to school on Friday. By my calculations, that is at least 60 cupcakes.

My mother, shape birthday cake maker extraordinaire, making cakes in a variety of shapes (from scratch, please) with the greatest of ease, got me a book about cupcakes for Christmas. Of course she did. But its a great book. Hello Cupcake! by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack. It says "With just a handful of candies, a can of frosting, a ziplock bag and some cupcake batter, you are on your way to having fun..." It is an awesome book, very fun, and has a lot of great tips to make cool things with icing. I have already used a lot of the tips in this book on cookies I made at valentines day. Books like this are dangerous for me, though. I have been conditioned not to use other peoples ideas, making it hard for me to follow a recipe or a pattern, but impossible to follow a cupcake design. (With the possible exception on the cupcakes made to look like Van Gogh's Starry Night.) This means I must reinvent the cupcake wheel. But, there are a lot of tools in this book to do just that. Its exciting.

I left the book out last night, and H found it this morning and was flipping through it. I was afraid. She wanted alien penguin baby cupcakes. I managed to convince her that we would make her own unique special to her cupcakes. She relented.
I didn't even have to go into my prepared spiel that she should deal with her mothers issues with plagiarism, and the fact that her mother doesn't get into the studio enough and must now exorcise her creative demons on cupcakes. The cupcakes need to be purple and red with flowers. I can do that! I may even attempt butterflies. I bought some candy to use as decorations, and ate a lot of it. I have frosting dye... I'm ready!

With so many cupcake creations before me, a daughter who gets as excited about making things out of food as I do, an inability
(perhaps genetic) to resist a cake challenge. I'm hoping the outcome is 60 cool cupcakes, but a little fearful it will be a tired freaked out me on a sugar high.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight savings, sanity withdrawl

One of those days. I need that hour back. I've always hated daylight savings time, it really screws with my mind. On NPR I was listening to something about how this is a terrible time of year for people who have seasonal adjustment disorder, this isn't the first time I've wondered if I have a bit of this. (which I refuse to acronym-inate, the way they do. SAD? Come on. that just makes me MAD). It seems more than my seasonal adjustments being disorderly. I've hit every red light all day. Except the light I got to when S dropped her monkey and was screaming, but I couldn't turn around to get it off the floor. No, that light was green. Tantrum at the store, at the post office, at H's school picking her up. Where there was no parking spot, and I had to circle around twice. I am wearing bad tantrum pants, the kind where when I have to bend down to get S off the ground and try to cushion her blows to her head, the world sees my ass and knows the color of my underwear.

I came home to find I'd forgotten to lock the trash, and there were coffee grounds and salmon skin all over the floor. I have recently switched dog food containers since my old one allowed the dogs to self feed after they chewed through the top. Ruby is supposed to be on a diet so I can face the vet. And of course for her health. She's not supposed to look like a swollen tick. Well, they've chewed through the top to this one, too. I'm willing to bet it was she, not they, as in Ruby, not Tamayo- I haven't installed the surveillance cameras yet, so they're both guilty. Theres no democracy in this house.

Everything needs doing in this house- laundry, dishes, theres a deck of cards all over the floor. Trash needs to be taken out, Dinner figured out. Dogs let out. Bills paid, accounting updated. Clutter uncluttered, lists made for H's birthday party this weekend. Calls made. Tylenol taken.

I can't think straight, S is screaming in her bed as she's under the impression she doesn't need a nap- which she really, really, does. I don't know where to start, but I'm not going to get very far sitting here writing about it all.

Better go play 52 pick up.

Stop the ho factory

What is with the constant ho-ification of our children?

Why does a 5 year old need an itsy bitsy teeny weeney yellow polka dot bikini? If your does, I know where to get one. What I can't find is a modest 2 piece bathing suit. (For convenience. That's why. I am so over the bathroom one piece swim suit thing.) I don't even care if the belly shows, but strings? Triangle tops to cover non existent breasts?

Then there are the clothes- form fitting. They sell low rise underwear in size 4. WHY is there a need for low rise underwear in size 4?!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Trying to try new things

Earlier I was eager to sit down and write about something I did today, yet another action I can't believe came out of the me I think I am.

But before I get into that, I have to delve into an entirely different first. I have just come down from getting the girls to bed- its bath night- all the usual trials tribulations, until. Whats that floating in the bath tub? The hippo habitat at the zoo flashes in my mind as I realize that is a load of crap floating around amongst the ducks in H and S's bath. H was out of the bath like she heard 'fire' at a movie theater, but S wanted to stay in the bath a play amongst the poop. Luckily tonight was not a bubble bath, I forgot to put the bubbles in causing much whining and head slapping among the bathers earlier. Finding the crap in a bubble bath is not the needle and the haystack scenario I was up for tonight. It turns out the easiest way to get the crap out is to pick it up with your bare hands. My hands are still flinching even thought they've been washed, scoured repeatedly. Perhaps I am lucky that this, approaching my 5th year with kids, was my first time with crap in the tub. Hopefully the last.

Back to some more interesting, or at least less repulsive firsts.

Part of the reason I started going to Meeting, and have continued to go, is because my family goes. I love seeing them weekly, and like that when we sit together in silence there are four generations represented. However. As much as I love my family, they are a bunch of social freaks. I come by it honestly. They push people out of the way so they don't have to stand around "sharing their journey" or whatever people happen to be chatting about after meeting. They all make decisions based on what they think someone else wants to do- which is a monumental thing I'm having a hard time getting myself to stop doing. I feel so much better now that I've started stopping.

Once a month, after meeting, is women's gathering. Last week, they announced woman's gathering this month, today, would be on the topic of creativity. One of the women who comes to meeting, who is a painter, told me last week that she was going to bring her knitting to women's gathering as she finds it mediational, and we had talked about knitting before. I have always found spirituality in working, and have often thought of my art as my religion, so I thought I might be able to say something to this. Plus, I felt she was daring me to stay.

I have been actively trying to win the war on my social anxiety. I am trying to open myself, to learn more, to be less cynical, less jaded. More hopeful. It is not easy. Especially with this inner voice I have. I think I have brought the inner voice to my side though, and now instead of yelling how pointless it all is, the voice yells as me to just get on with it. I have been trying to visualize myself opening up, relaxing, and I have this drill sergeant in my head, "Oopeen...IT, OOPEEEN IT!"

As the days led up to this today, I had the hardest time. I felt bad trying to figure out what to do with the girls. I didn't like that we'd have to take 2 cars. I wasn't sure if they bring pot luck lunch, or if you bring your own. I was nervous. I was anxious. I didn't want to go. I told myself I was stupid for wanting to go. I told myself I didn't want to go and felt obligated, so I shouldn't go. Today, finally, my inner drill sergeant woke up and told the rest of me to shut the fuck up. I called my mom to ask of she could take H with her to lunch and then home, told J he had S for the afternoon, ran to the store, last minute, to pick up some hummus and pita which I figured could double as potluck or my own lunch. Feeling like I'm inside myself kicking the boundaries, I made myself stay.

It was a little strange at times- a little drum circle-y. Although there were no drums. There was "a circle" where you all hold hands and then squeeze at the end. While we were doing this my head was jumping from one thought to the next: is this weird? What if I don't know when we're supposed to stop holding? My hands are on top- should they be on the bottom? Does it mean something that they're on top? Can they hear me breathing? Am I breathing weird? How long do we stand here? Why do you have to think about everything? None of these people are thinking this, they're all just peaceful, having a circle, why are you so nuts?

Drill sargent:" JESUS CHRIST! SHUTUP! You'll know when its over because it will be over and the rest DOESN'T MATTER"

We ate lunch- it was pot luck, my hummus was right on. Girl food, J calls it- bread, cheese, salad, and chocolate cake. One woman brought asparagus. I loved it. We talked- about Lucretia Mott, a Quaker reformer who was anti-slavery and fought for womens rights, about labrynhts and primal forests. About each of our individual strengths and creativity. I showed them my work. I told people I didn't know things about myself that I don't part with freely, not because they mean anything but because I am forever holding my cards to my chest. I got to know some really interesting woman that I may have just kept as acquaintances.

My understanding is that you have a circle at the beginning an the again at the end of the gathering. During the second 'circle' I was much more relaxed, and it actually felt a little spiritual. Like something was happening there. Which might be insane, but I was happy to have opened my mind a little. Even if it did take a crow bar.

I am trying to understand the part of me thats fighting this. The voice thats saying 'this isn't you' I know, even with out my drill sergeant, that it doesn't matter. I'm not redefining myself or trying to be anything I'm not (except maybe to be well adjusted and not a social anxious freak show) to do what I want, when I want. Why does part of me not like that? Why can't we all get along in this head of mine?

Friday, March 6, 2009

In pieces

S has turned out to be a great disassembler. I should have known, when she was about 4 months old she went through a phase of taking all the buttons off her clothes. It would get really quiet, and all of a sudden her jacket wouldn't close. Thankfully shes not one to put things in her mouth that aren't food. I keep finding ball point pens, the clicker ones, that don't work anymore because their parts have been removed.

S took apart one of H's small plastic figures the other day- one that has a brown pony tail AND purple pants. She was very popular with H, and in high rotation. J and I both tried to reassemble her tiny parts, under cover of darkness- I tried first and could put her back together, but she wouldn't stay. J couldn't resist the challenge and took his stab at reassembly while I stood there nay saying his every move. Again, she wouldn't keep her arms and legs from falling off. I couldn't bring myself to throw away the figure's body parts, (I need to have meetings and interventions with myself to throw away anything) inevitably H found her girl in pieces. Much wailing ensued. "Why didn't you TELL me?!" Indeed. I should have. She insisted I try and put her back together. I explained that Daddy and I had both tried and she wouldn't stay together. I tried to explain how glue is the enemy of movable parts. She gave me a long hard look, her eyes wide and full of tears, then pleaded, "Can't we use tape?" Ah, a girl after my own heart. We taped her. She looks like shes wearing a lifting belt to support her back. Her body taped shut holds in her head and extremities. She can still do a split. Brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Today, in the car, (which together with the shower is most thought provoking place for me these days), I had a sudden jolting thought that caused me to gasp out loud: I've never made a decision. Actually, my exact thought was I think I've never made a decision. Case in point.

By decision I mean Decision, not all the little ones, like what to have for breakfast, although those can be hard too.

Decision. As in I'm behind the wheel of this life of mine, but I haven't been the one driving.

This could be why I tell myself I'm a believer in fate and superstition.

I've always been irritated by my indecisiveness, but (I think) it has been really screwing with me. My fear of failure and fear of success has me in this ridiculous tango where I always go for the lowest common denominator and then am disgruntled for existing below my potential. Resulting in constant angst.

No decision is a decision and this is what is makes things complicated.

I need to start actively deciding.
I think.

Stop judging

This is why I'm not going to the Y.

I still feel like crap. I think I'm turning into a mole. Or a vampire. Having major light sensitivity issues.

S feels like crap. I think. And even if she doesn't she has snot coming down her face at an alarming rate.

I just rushed all around the grocery store which took everything I had out of me. Despite my list I forgot to get a lot of stuff. S wouldn't sit in the cart, kept eating my list, and was generally being an anarchist. Then had a dirty diaper which means she will not sit down at all. Which is understandable, but still. Not convenient.

My gym clothes are dirty, I think- I'm not even sure where they are.

I'm hungry. So is S.

I have to ration my energy. I'm going to the flower show with my mom tonight to enjoy fake spring in a box, and we will need to look at every bud on every flower. And discuss. Its a tradition. It requires serious stamina.

I still feel guilty about leaving S to sit in a chair for an whole hour in the child care room at the Y and god damn it I would have pushed through if it weren't for the last one.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Head like a rock

I am the kind of sick where I feel like ass, but am still able to go about the necessities of the day. Which I guess is mom sick. I don't know that I could just sit around and be sick anyway- unless I am so sick the choice is made for me. Which fortunately I rarely am.

I feel crappy enough to want to stomp my feet and yell "no fair!" about a handful of things already and its only 7 am. S woke up at 6:15 in the mood to not take no for an answer. Which is always her mood- but she wanted to come downstairs NOW and she was going to go down stairs. Now. Her impatience is driving me mad. For instance, I agreed to come down stairs, now, with her, as I realized staying in bed peacefully was not an option. She had a tantrum anyway because of the time it took me to put on pants. I want to say to her "Really? you're freaking out because I'm taking 2 seconds to put on pants? Do you have any idea how patient I am with you the majority of the time?" Instead, I try to protect her little melon head from her thrashing while putting pants on with one hand in the dark. While feeling like someone stuffed the inside of my head, behind my eyes in particular, with that foam stuff used to seal cracks in houses. And sand papered my throat. I am one big renovation project.