Thursday, April 23, 2009
What has it come to when a friend is having a baby, and gets this kind of news, and you can't think of something to say? I replied that a baby is a joy, in whatever form, and he would still be hers to love and snuggle. Celebrate the positive, and you'll find a way to work with the rest. But she sounded so down. People were taking the wind out of her baby sails, and that just made me mad. I hadn't intended to send her a gift, but I needed to do something for her. I put together a box with cute baby stuff and sent it off. I wish I could have done more to let her know that everything will work out. This might be their family's only baby. It deserves to come in with the same excitement that any "normal" baby would.
She wrote again recently to say they did have a victory, though. She had been born with a heart problem that she was nervous would pass to the baby (I guess DS babies are also prone to them, also). But, nope, little one is growing just fine! Good news.
When I was pregnant with LG, I didn't think I wanted to go for any of the "tests" to see if anything was going as planned. PB felt differently, though. He wanted to do the quad screen. His feeling was, it's one blood test, and if we did find out anything, it would give us time to plan. We would never abort a baby (barring an extreme situation), but this would give us a heads up that we needed to make special accommodations. Good thinking. So, we did. And I was happy about that, though I hadn't thought to worry about it. I just had my quad screen for baby #2, and this time I was a little more worried. The issue seemed a little closer to my heart. This one also came back negative, and for that we're thankful.
It has made me think a lot more, though. Much like my college friend, PB and I hang out with a pretty "professional" crowd of people. How would they react if our little one isn't "perfect"? Right now, they are all just amazed at LG. (He's a bit of an overachiever.) But what if #2 isn't? I would like to think they'd all be able to at least fake support, but would they feel bad for us, or want to enjoy the baby the same way they enjoy LG? Just makes you think...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Can you still love someone with radically different views than you? I'm pondering this one at the moment. I have recently reconnected with some girls I went to HS with. Mostly on Facebook and through calls and e-mail. (We now live really far apart). I grew up in a small, conservative town in upstate NY. (Sidenote: does anyone realize that most of physical NY votes Republican? It's the city that swings that vote to the Dems. This is just to help you see where this is coming from...) Anyhow, many of these people are still conservative republicans. And I'm not. Actually, never was. So, on certain subjects their opinion is VERY different from mine. And I've just avoided those topics. Because I still really like these people. Certain "newer" friends have seen some of the Facebook posts my HS girls have put up, and kind of taken offense. And wondered out loud why I don't respond, or say anything. Uhm, because they're entitled to their opinion? Is that weak? I don't know. I have no desire to make these issues into something larger with people that I'm only in touch with sporadically, and who don't really influence my daily life. But some people think I should get rid of their "negative" influence. Hmmm, I don't know.
Again, enough randomness for one Tuesday. If you need more, see my rant below on Dr. Laura.
Dad gum it, I just realized I didn't post this. And it's Wednesday. Maybe they'll cut me some blog slack?
Last Wednesday I came across this little number:
Uhm, wow. Really, just wow. Over 100 posts to this blog. A very hot topic. And I admit, a hot topic for me.
We'll start with the original blog entry. Kudos to the author for not stating an opinion or ranting one way or the other. That showed great restraint.
On to Dr. Laura. Now, Dr. Laura has burned my biscuits for a long time. You can google her to find out what a hypocrite she is on your own. On occasion, when my blood pressure is very low, I listen to her show. I've heard her give women what I thought was terrible advice for many years. One of her books "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" pretty much compares men to house pets. Uhm, my husband is not a puppy. He is one of the most intelligent people I know. Far more so than I, probably. So to say that he has simple needs, and if I should meet them I will make him completely happy and faithful to me is a tad condescending to both of us, no? She touts a woman who greets her man with a kiss, tends to the kids without complaint, and does not challenge his ideas. Uhm, sounds like a Stepford wife to me. Creepy. I would like to think that my husband appreciates that I am honest with him when my kid is a pain in the rear, and that I do not simply concede all his points, but argue what I think is best. Otherwise, he married the wrong person... Oh, but I do greet him with a kiss when I see him. She might be right on that one.
On to her newest book, titled "In Praise of Stay at Home Moms". I think it's a little misleading. It should read, "Outright Bashing Working Moms and their Life Choices". Now, I will not claim to have read the book. It will drive my blood pressure through the roof, and I just don't need the stress right now. But from the quotes, I can see that she's still touting her 1950's agenda. It's not a right or left agenda, I don't think it's political. It's just a little... dated. Or crazy, you choose. She has once again laid on the line "the right thing to do". Thank you, Dr, for trying to set us all straight. We shall all now line up, in our aprons, and "do the right thing". Whatever.
What really got me going about this, though, was the comments on the blog. Over 100 of them. Really, I kid not. Most very opinionated to one side or the other. And I was a bit shocked. Many of the very negative ones were from SAHMs. I had always been under the impression that they felt they were under attack. Not here. Now they are on the attack. And Dr. Laura is giving them fodder. Eeek. Some of these ladies bring God into it (which I don't find relevant in a society where we all have a different idea of God. Really, now, if you want to make an argument, you'll need to come to the table with more than that). Others bring in the economy (and not everyone seems to have a grip on how our economy really works). And a few just bring in their own personal preference (good for them for sticking up for their ideals). Oh, and there was one Mom on public assistance who thinks she has a right to public funds, so she can stay at home with her kids. I'll leave that one for another rant.
I tend to agree with the folks who say live and let live. Do what you need to do. I shouldn't feel like I need to justify being a working Mom (yet somehow I do). My friends and relatives are all supportive. When I told the girls at my book group about this, they all agreed I needed to do what I thought was best for my family (not what Dr. Laura thought). My husband asked me why I even go near anything with her name associated with it (knowing she's as far from my agenda as I am from China right now). I was feeling all sorts of local love when I needed reassurance on this one.
It makes me sad that women are still cutting each other down. Men don't hurt women's causes half as much as other women do. Every time women make a step toward potential equality (the vote, working outside the home) we start to dig at each other. If you don't want to vote, don't vote. But not because your a woman. If you don't want to work, don't work, but not because you think your husband should support your family. Do these things to support your own beliefs. But don't stop me from having mine.
Oh, and please don't feel sorry for my son for going to daycare (a quote from the good Dr, "My heart hurts for what these women miss and what their children miss from them."). He's a happy little kid. And don't let your heart hurt for me, I'm doing fine, as well. Maybe direct your sadness at kids who really need it. The abused and neglected. Kids who are sick or in danger. They need your prayers, or your sympathy, or advice. Whatever it is you think this book is providing, other than criticism.
I don't want to start a 100 comment blog here, either. I know everyone has an opinion on this subject. I know there are pros and cons. I know some people believe in God's direction, and some don't. I just needed to vent.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I think it's really hard to instill manners these days. Everyone seems to have a different opinion of what's ok, and what's rude. And some people just feel a little more relaxed about things that they did, say 20 years ago.
For instance, I grew up in a house where manners were pretty important. We weren't allowed to play with a toy, or wear an outfit, that was a gift until the Thank You note was written and in the mail. We NEVER ate with our hands. I mean ever. No tacos, no hot dogs, no hamburgers at our dinner table. Those were picnic foods. At the table you ate with a knife and fork (and when my Mom jonsed for a burger, she made it with gravy and called it Salisbury Steak). Beds were made everyday before we went to school, and there was never a stray toy out of the box when we went to bed. Martha Stewart had nothing on my Mom. And my Dad enforced the social rules. We never called an adult by their first name, always Mr. or Mrs. Sometimes we abbreviated it to say, Mr. S, or Mrs. M. The only exception was very close family friends, who were Uncle or Aunt. Even if someone said, "Oh, please, call me Bob." my Dad would explain that he would rather not have us do that. And that's just how it was. Rules weren't different outside the house than in it. Everyone got the same respect.
Nowadays, though, I don't always follow these. For instance, we had tacos for dinner last night. And ate them in front of the TV (I know, we suck.) Whatever. LG was done with his meal long before PB finished ours, and he wanted to play. So we ate tacos and he played. My Mom would have had a cow. We call the teachers at school Ms and then their first name (sort of a compromise?) And I'm ok with these changes. We still follow the thank you rule, though, mostly because I'm afraid we'll totally forget.
I think in the chaos of a day, it's also harder to follow through. A prime example was this weekend. Some of the fam took us out to lunch on Saturday. Good deal. LG was not happy to be sitting in a high chair while he wanted to nap. Completely my bad. He behaved so so at best. However, not the point of the story. One of my nieces ordered spaghetti and french fries (only a kid, right?). Now, she's not "little". She's more in between. And she proceeded to eat it with her hands. Which almost killed me. My SIL must have told her 5 times to stop, but it didn't happen. I tried once or twice (completely not my place, but I had to sit next to the mess...). Still nothing. So what do you do? Would it have been worth it to make a scene at the restaurant to enforce table manners? I don't think so. She wasn't hurting anyone. Yeah, she made a mess, but she cleaned it up before we left. I know my niece can eat perfectly well with a fork. I have seen her do it many times, so it's not a matter of knowing how to behave properly, she knows. She just had a different idea that afternoon.
I think part of the change is fear (this just occurred to me). I used to fear my parent's wrath. No, not in the sense that I was always scared, they never did anything bad to me. But I was worried about their disapproval, and disappointing them. Oh, and the occasional whack with the wooden spoon. I can honestly say, I don't think my nieces fear my SIL at all. Nor does LG fear PB or I. I don't necessarily think kids think much about how their parents will feel when they do things anymore. They are far more independent. It might have come with the new age. Cell phones, computers all that stuff put more responsibility on kids earlier.
You might have said that using the french fries as a fork for the spaghetti was creative. But then would you be excusing bad behavior for the sake of creativity? I think that happens more now, too. What was once bad behavior is now considered showing individuality or creativity. I think that's krappe, personally. But that's just me.
Who knows. I'm babbling now. I'll stop.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Look, I got both of them to smile at the same time! We tried to get LG to hold the card, but it was written with those scented markers and he kept trying to eat in instead. Not quite as cute.
Best wishes for a great year, Auntie Steph, and happy Friday to everyone else!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This is for random Tuesday, and anyone who might want to offer me sympathy or advice...
My darn head is spinning today. Yeah, like the Exorcist, split pea, spin.
Why, you ask? Health care. No, I don't want to talk about socialized medicine, or the new administrations plan. Think smaller. MY health care. Since I'm leaving my current job (that has super health benefits, even after a cut last year) and moving on, the fam has some decisions to make. Do I go on my COBRA and keep my plan? Do we try out the new company's plan? Do we go on PBs plan at work? You try understanding and comparing these health plans, figuring out deductibles, maximum out of pockets, and co-pays. It's killing me. As soon as we think we have something to go with, we ask another question. And find out that our answer isn't possible. Or logical anymore. It's frustrating. Especially since we know that having this kid in Sept might blow the bank if we choose poorly. In any other year I'd say, "Meh, roll the dice." But it cost almost $40,000 by the time we took LG home. That's nothing to Meh about.
And you know what? My kid has absolutely no advice on this one. He sits on my lap and looks at all the paperwork, and still, nothing from him. That's a one year old for you. Maybe I'll spread them all out and the one he tries to eat first will be the one we pick.
Oh, and Sprite's Keeper mentioned some of her food idiosyncrasies. So, I'm going to take this moment to defend mine. I don't think I have many. They're just particular.
Please don't put anything on a sandwich that you don't mention. If it's going to come with lettuce, tomato and mayo, say so. Don't make me guess. And don't surprise me. I don't like it. Ditto with any kind of sauce, actually. I don't want some fancy, schmancy sauce that you neglected to mention. I want to be forewarned, and be allowed to decide. Sauce is important, tell me about it.
I don't like more than one condiment per food item. Hot dogs get mustard. Hamburgers get ketsup (or ketchup, if you prefer). Cheese isn't a condiment, it's a topping. Same with onions and pickles (but only with warning on those). Please don't try to sell me a "California" burger with mayo and mustard and ketchup. I will try to scrape them off, and complain the whole damn time.
I like the condiments on toast to go all the way to the edge. Butter, jelly, whatever. Cover the darn toast. Don't do a little in the middle and assume that I'll just survive the crust. The crust needs it most!!!
I don't like beer. Lay off. I know, you all love it. It makes your world go round. Good for you! I'll buy it for you, brew it for you, whatever. Just don't ask me to drink it. I won't. I'm not abnormal, just a picky eater. Now get off of me.
I have huge problems paying for an Italian meal that I will inevitably compare to my mom's and be disappointed. So we don't usually eat Italian out. Sorry, PB.
I think that's all. Right around now, PB would mention that I could probably live off of Twinkies and Yoohoo. And he's probably right. But I'm an adult and I don't.
And I think this is random enough for your Tuesday. So go do something productive. Save a whale, or eat one, whichever is the fad now.
Today's is especially neato. Not only is part of it directed at boys (woo hoo) but it involves STRIPES! How cool is that.
Now go enter. And win me that toddler boy set. Or do some shopping of your own. Whichever makes you happiest.
I will stop boring the rest of you without kids now.
Monday, April 13, 2009
If you don't know who Sprite's Keeper or what the Spin Cycle is, go here: http://www.spriteskeeper.com/my_weblog/the-spin-cycle/
Celebrities are fine. I like to watch movies, and see their talents. I appreciate being able to look at the good looking people. The pretty dresses at the Oscars and such. However, I have no need to know much more about them than that. I don't want to see pictures of their weddings, or their new kids. I don't care what religion they practice. I don't know these people at all, why should I know any of that stuff? It's just odd.
I think paparazzi should be outlawed. They cause far too much trouble. And what fuels the paparazzi? People who need to know way to much about movie stars and sports stars. They want to be "just like" Madonna, or J Lo, so the paparazzi will go out of their way to find out any morsel they can about these poor people. Get a life. If the person in question isn't willing to stand for the photo, or tell you in an interview, that let it be. You don't need to know. You'd be peeved if someone was standing outside your dr office trying to get a peek at your latest x-ray. Or selling not so flattering pictures of you in a bikini.
Now, people will say, "My kids look up to these people. I should know if they do drugs, or abuse their children". Uhm, no. You might want to think about what you're teaching your kids to value. It's nice to admire A Rod because he can play baseball. But that's it. You don't know A Rod, at all. And you shouldn't. He's not a part of your everyday life. Look up to your own baseball coach. The man who spends endless hours out in the hot sun to try to teach you to play. He's a role model, get to know him.
A Rod is doing his job, that's all. Let it go. Don't chase him around trying to find out more. He doesn't live a life style even vaguely similar to yours. Don't try hold him to the same standards or moral values. He doesn't care about you, or your kid. And he shouldn't have to. That's your job. You don't know a thing about the challenges in his life (though I'm sure people think he has it easy because he has money). Watch him play the game, and leave him alone.
If Madonna wants to adopt an African kid, or Britteny is a bad mom, that's their business. If A Rod has a thousand girlfriends, or Brad Pitt is a good dad, good for them. They're not my neighbors, their behavior has absolutely no effect on me. And they shouldn't have an effect on you, either. They aren't trying to be role models. It's not their job.
However, I make on exception. Politicians. Now, I'm not saying that I need to be all up to date on their personal lives, but I need to know what they believe. Because God knows, they don't always vote based on what the majority of the people they represent believe. So, I want to know what you believe. Are you a right to lifer? Or do you support stem cells? I don't care if you're gay, or if you have a dog, though. Do you support gay rights? How do you feel about animals? I might care if you have kids, since they change your perspective a bit. But again, I'm not going to idolize you, or let my kid idolize you. I don't know you, and no amount of information from the paparazzi is really going to let me get to know you.
Instead, I'll look up to the true hero's in my life. Grandpa, the rocket scientist, who hugs my kid when he cries, and the Grammie, the homemaker, who rushes a blankie in the mail when we lose ours. The aunties who are teachers, and the rowing coach who spent hours in the cold when my husband was a kid learning to row and learning teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance. I'll let my kid learn his values from them. They do the right thing, and I can count on it. And if they make a bad decision, I'll understand why, because I know them, and I trust them.
Ok, rant over. I shall now step down from the soapbox.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
And while we cooked and talked, the older cousins chased LG around the house. Out of one room and into another. Up the stairs, around the couch. Which prompted my sister in law to ask "Do you chase him around like this every night?". Why, yes, we do. Because he has two speeds, forward and sleep. My son does not sit down, ever. I'm not kidding, at all. He does not watch TV, he will not sit and do a puzzle. He doesn't really "play" with his toys, he carries them around (see January for a video of this). Not that he can't. He knows full well how to put the pieces into the puzzle, or stack blocks. He would just rather go down the slide, or race around the kitchen table. Which is why we're exhausted.
Lots of people have "sympathized" with this. "My son is just like that." I hear all the time. But, no. I've seen your kid sit, have you ever seen mine sit? No? Yeah, that's what I mean. Even when he was tiny (I'm talking 4 or 5 months old) he wouldn't sit in your lap. He would stiffen himself out and make you hold him standing up. People thought it was hysterical. Because they didn't do it 24/7.
We've spoken to the Dr. about this. Is something wrong? Is this a first sign of something? Nope. But it does explain why he's so thin. Because he's in perpetual motion, and no one could possibly get in enough calories to power that kind of motion. Goody for us.
People keep suggesting gates. "Put up a gate and let him go." Uh, yeah. And then he'll take it apart. Because that's what he does. He'll find the one screw, or locking mechanism, and get the darn thing down. Meanwhile, pregnant old me will take 45 minutes to get past the thing with a load of laundry and end up swearing about it. He can disassemble his exersaucer, take off all the toys, and has figured out how to get his fingers into the legs to play with the springs (which is why we put it away...)
In the end, we would rather just chase him around. Keeps us involved. Makes sure we're watching. Yeah, and just a tad sleepy.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
And, predictably, a memo came from HR reminding us that our clients and competitors frequently walk through the office. So, business professional is required. Business casual on Fridays. Which is fine. But the offenders clearly do not understand the terms. So we either need to send out examples (again, this happens every year) or address these people directly. Which never happens. Kills me.
Also, this is a memo to the general public: I do not want to see your foundation garments. Whether they are boxers, a g-string, granny panties or a bra. I'm not interested. Keep them fully covered. Wear an appropriate shirt and a belt, if you need one. I will assume you are wearing them, you don't need to show me. Recently, a friend of mine pondered if we would see so much underwear if it only came in plain white. If there weren't a nice plaid or hot pink to show off, would people bother? I wonder...
I just don't want to see your underpants. Or your muffin top. Take some pride, people. Oh, and if you're not working out, leave the athletic apparel home.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
For the past few days, I've been taking the same route to work. I drop off LG, and head down a residential road that happens to bear a lot of morning commuter traffic. And I should mention it has a speed limit of 35 due to lots of kids at bus stops (I mentioned it was residential, right?). As such, I go 35 mph, 40 tops. Not because of the cops, because of the kids. And I like having them there. I like to see all the kids out at the bus stop, dressed in the latest fashions, sporting their backpacks and instruments that are half their size. Don't ask why. It just gives me a sense that all is right in the world.
Never fail, every morning, I have someone behind me do something rude. Last week, a guy tail gated me mercilessly for about 6 blocks before getting frustrated and passing me. I swear, if he got any closer, he could have told you what brand shampoo I used. It made me nervous, but irritated me at the same time. Does he realize that even if he goes 50 down the length of this street, it will save him less than a minute?
This week has been the horn honking week. For any minute second you are not progressing forward, someone will beep. This morning, the woman in front of me didn't dash out at the red light. So I waited patiently for her to finish her thought (for god sake, it's 7:am, there's a lot to think about at that time!). And the person behind me laid on the horn. I swear, we didn't wait for more than 10 seconds. The poor lady jumped and proceeded forward. I hope she finally remembered what she needed from the store, or decided on a new nail polish color, or whatever she was pondering.
Really people? Are you in such a rush, that if this woman takes an extra minute, it will make you irreparably late? Is your time that valuable? And if it is, maybe you should get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier so that this isn't an issue for you any longer. You can get to work without causing anyone else the angst that you feel the need to harbor yourself.
Things are moving at blur speed, lately. I've been trying to slow down and make some time for little things. Getting to work without stress, having time to feed LG and not getting frustrated if he takes longer than I plan, a few extra minutes at the grocery store to do a little comparison shopping. And its working. We don't get to snooze in the morning, and sometimes we don't get as much play time, but in the end, we're happier (ok, PB would like his snooze back I'm pretty sure).
Monday, April 6, 2009
I try to send mostly healthy stuff. Fruits, veg, chicken nuggets, cheese sticks, cereal bars. Nothing outragious. However, some of the other kids come in with donuts, muffin tops, Oreo Cakesters??? These kids are all around 1 year old.
I've explained to the teachers that LG at least has to have his fruit or veg first, then he can try other stuff. But in the afternoon, his snack sometimes gets a little out of hand. Cakesters and 100 calorie Chips Ahoy? When I know he has fruit cups and cheese sticks? Argh. I've stuck to my guns, only water and milk in the sippy cup.
I hate to whine to the teachers, or tell them what I want them to do, too specifically. For instance, I don't want to go to school and say "No more krappe for snacks". They are with him all day, and would never do anything to "hurt" him. But this isn't really how I want him to eat. I know he could use the calories, but he doesn't really need all that sugar.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes the other stuff he gets is really good stuff. He gets to share their broccoli and cheese, or wagon wheels. And he gets to try any leftover school lunches (he's tried salsbury steak, hamburgers, beef and mac).
What do other people do? Am I just mean? Or are they a little out there with their choices???