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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bad

I have been a bad blogger.

When I started this blog, it was with the idea that I would write almost daily. I have not been lately. The reasons for this vary...I am concerned that I may lose my job, I was supposed to be studying for my MFT license test (BTW, I probably failed it), I got a wicked cold. I have ideas for blog posts stored in my cell phone. Some are so old that the few words that I put in there are now meaningless to me.

That very reason is why I started to write. Time slips by unnoticed until you look in the mirror one day and realize, "Holy fuck, I somehow gained 60 lbs!" (Yes, that happened to me.) Or you look at your daughter and realize that she is soon to get her period...or that that baby you held just last week, I swear it was just last week, is now completely capable of getting herself dressed in the mornings without one drop of help from you.

When I was younger, my teachers always told me I was a good writer. I never saw it because I was hopelessly bogged down in a vat of my own insecurities. I never developed the talent. Would I have been good? Who knows. I do know that there is always a story going on in my head. I have had to, at times, remind myself of reality and that things don't always fall into place the way they would in my stories. Maybe it was my way of grabbing control of my life, when I feel/felt so completely out of control. Alas, people don't do what you want and aren't puppets to dance to whatever tune you want to create. I also can't make my life go the way I want it to simply by making up the corresponding story in my head.

But my life is a story. So is yours. And a part of me wonders if my story is interesting enough to sell books. I doubt it, but it is important enough to me that I feel the need to capture nuggets of it on the Internet. I highly doubt that very many people will ever read this (and this is not one of those self-degrading moments that females do when they really want people to come running to them with arms wide open...I have a link posted to this on my Facebook page, but thus far IDK that anyone has even noticed...I have also spoken of my blog, but don't know that people have actively gone looking for it. So really, I don't advertise it and I kinda like it that way.) Maybe it is that I like to look back at all the crazy shit that has been happening in my life. Or that I like to be able to see the random ramblings of my mind at various points in my life. Or...I don't know. The point is, I made a commitment to myself that I would try to document my life, for whatever reason, and I have not really done so. I must improve!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Politics

At the risk of sounding conspiracy-theory-ish....

Please tell me that I am not the only one who has noticed that businesses have enough money to stay afloat and will NOT stimulate the economy until a Republican (AKA, one who will be more friendly to business practices) is in office?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three

How you know you live with a three year old:

1.) Work is a place that you long for, not because of the paycheck or because you enjoy your job, but because it is someplace that you can go to where you are able to go to the bathroom by yourself.
2.) Being told "I don't like that" when you inform your child what is for dinner no longer offends you because they say that to every.single.thing.you.make. Even if they like it.
3.) Ellen and Opie from the alphabet song haunt your dreams.
4.) You find your self longingly dreaming of the terrible twos.
5.) Serious consideration has been given to enrolling your child in a case study for bipolar children, or possibly one for children with multiple personalities.
6.) You say things like, "We wear our shoes, not lick them" and "We pet the dog, not carry him around by his neck."
7.) You know the words to every Disney Princess movie, and they haunt you in your dreams too.
8.) Indecision and random changing of minds is part of your morning routine on a daily basis. In fact, it is a part of your daily routine on an hourly basis.
9.) Sometimes meals consist of enough food to feed a family of four, sometimes they consist of air and a scraped off corner of bread.
10.) Your child coming up to you and wrapping her arms around your neck, whispering in your ear "I love you eva and eva so much, Mama" makes you willing to put up with 10X worse shit than what is listed above.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Opposites

My husband and I sleep on opposite sides of the bed. This is for a variety of reasons, namely that sleeping right up close to him is akin to sleeping next to a sauna. Not only does the man generate enough heat to possibly fry an egg on his bald head, he sweats profusely. My sheets and pillows and mattress are all permanently stained from him no matter if I were to wash them daily or hourly. He also claims that I steal the covers and leave him freezing with just the corner of the sheet, soaking wet in his own sweat and uncontrollably shivering, but since he is technologically retarded and will most likely never read this blog, I can say with 100% authority that this is a complete falsehood.

We are opposite in a lot of other ways as well. I was raised a Catholic, he was raised Baptist. He is from a very rural area, I hail from the 'burbs of Cleveland. He is a conservative, I am a flaming liberal. He graduated high school, I have a Master's degree and seriously contemplating getting my Ph.D. one day. He would be an R on Holland's hexagon, I am an S (they are on opposite sides, for those of you who have no clue what I am speaking of here). I could go on and on in the myriad ways that we are completely different, but I think you get the picture.

Yet somehow, we make it work. We balance each other. He calms my tendencies towards obsessing and perfection, I bring out his assertive side. He reminds me of the value in accepting other people's imperfections and accepting that they would be overshadowed by the good in them, I remind him that just because you love someone does not mean that you have to put up with their shit when it is, well, shit. He reigns in my temper, I help him express his feelings.

We do not have a "traditional" marriage. We both work, and he does help out more than the average man with the household chores. Is the load 50/50? No, but that is partially my inability to ask for help. My husband does not expect me to be superwoman, yet my insecurities and the pressures of society make me feel that if I am not, I am failing. I think, though, that he particularly loves me when I am a human being because then he gets to see a side that I never share with others...my soft, vulnerable side that I have learned over the years to bury deeper than an inmate wants to shove his shank into his rival's side. Of course, one could make the argument that if things were truly equal, he would be helping more regardless...but baby steps, right? We as a couple are a work in progress...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Metrodog

Spartacus, the other evening, accidentally stepped on Alexis's leave in conditioner that was sitting on the couch. It ended up surprisingly not being a huge mess (did resemble jizz, but with a very fruity scent and probably is also something I don't necessarily want in the back of my throat), but he did get some on his tail.

Charles started to poke fun at him, because he knows that the surest way to get me pissed off is to arbitrarily assign gender roles to each sex. He asked me, "Why is it that I am the only male in this house that is human, I get a male dog, and he is all fruity and uses leave-in conditioner?"

After the red cloud of rage dissipated from my line of vision, I joined him in picking fun at our dog because feminist or no, I am still in possession of a very warped sense of humor. (Roast me for it later...) I told him, "Don't make fun of him for testing the boundaries. He is a metrosexual doggie! Gives a whole new meaning to doggie style!"

He picked the bottle up and said, "Well, they can't say that this is not tested on animals anymore!"

Our poor children never stood a chance with us as parents...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Notes

I just found an application on my computer that lets me put what looks like Sticky notes on my desktop.

OMG, my high strung, I have to be organized or the Apocalypse will begin, anxiety-fueled personality just had a religious experience.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Conversation

Driving to the grocery store with Alexis tonight:

Alexis: Mama, I have my hooch with me.

Me: ?

Alexis: (starts singing giddily).

Alexis: Mama, the hooch makes me sing.

I swear, you can't make this shit up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Denial

I frequently deal with denial at work. Parents who are in denial about just exactly how bad their child's legal problems are, their drug use is, or how long they have been acting out. There are also the parents who deny that MST will work or that we can create change in their child against his or her will (we can, BTW...)

It is hard, though, when denial comes and smacks the therapist right in his or her face. I can vividly remember right before my father died, at my brother's wedding, talking to my other brother about a quilt I was making for my dad for Christmas. He told me, "Make it quick". I was a bit puzzled as to why he would say that. I mean, sure, my dad's episodes of pneumonia were coming closer and closer, and sure, he did walk my sister down the aisle at her wedding the previous year while at mine that year he had to be pushed in his wheelchair....but surely he was going to make it to Christmas!

He did not. In fact, he did not make it to Thanksgiving.

When my mother told me that hospice was being called in, I honestly and truly thought that she was being dramatic and overreacting. (If you knew my mother, you would know that that is not a far stretch. In my defense ;p) I truly thought that my father was going to be just fine. His death, I can say with complete frankness, was actually a bit of a shock to me. Or at least it was, on first glance. Looking back, I knew. I don't know that I could handle the truth at that time. Is anyone ever really prepared for a parent to die?

The same applies to when we found out about Gabe. Looking back, I knew. I even remember posting on a board with other mommies who were as far along as I was, who were all talking about how they felt their babies move. I never felt my son move. Again, in my defense, I was 28 weeks with Elizabeth and 22 with Alexis. But my stomach stopped getting bigger, because he was not growing. I popped at 16 weeks then stopped popping.

The day of the ultrasound, the nurses and Charles all knew as soon as they put the wand to my belly. There was no flickering of the heartbeat. I knew SOMETHING was not right when he started to measure small...but I was in complete denial.

I can completely understand why people use denial. I can completely understand the heartbreak that comes when that denial is shattered. It has helped me become a better therapist and human being.

It still sucks, though.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Conversation

Attempting to remember a funny conversation my husband and I had in the kitchen earlier:

Me: Honey, what were we talking about in the kitchen right before you grabbed my boobs?

Charles: How much you wanted me to grab your boobs....

It must be nice to live in his fantasy world. But what can I say, he is a conservative...they have the capability to totally spin reality to suit their purposes anyways...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sharing

You know those moments in parenting when you know, just absolutely know, that you must be doing something right? Despite the fact that I do not have my children enrolled in Mandarin classes, or that I on occasion let them have pop, or that I don't serve them organic foods and have been known to let them use fluoridated toothpaste and listen to Copperhead Road, I am doing something right that will help them turn into fundamentally decent human beings.

My mom gave me two cookies to give to Alexis as she was unable to go to the New Year's Eve party she regularly has at her house due to the local hospital's inability to ever get a diagnosis correct. I gave them to Alexis to eat after dinner one night (add allowing children to eat refined sugars to my list of parenting sins...) and she immediately turned to her sister and said, "Elizabeth? Are you all done? When you are all done with your dinner, you can have my other cookie, 'K, Sissy? I will share them with you".

My children may not have all of the advantages that more wealthy parents can afford to give them. Hell, they don't even have the advantages that come with living near, oh, a city of more than 1,000 people. But I can honestly say that it is very likely that my children will grow up to have hearts, to be open to other people, and by God, to love each other very much. Even if they do fight like MMA fighters in the octagon on occasion.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breasts

On New Year's Eve, I actually had one person (who shall remain nameless) tell me that he had never seen another woman's breasts but his wife's. (This was after I told him that no one in the room would mind if she nursed without a blanket.) After we all got done rolling our eyes, I reminded him of all the strip clubs he had gone to while single. He turned to me, and with a perfectly straight face, replied, "Yes, but those were professional boobs. Hers are the only natural, preservative free boobs that I have seen."

While there is probably room for argument about that (but alas, that is another topic for a not so public place such as this blog...) it got me to thinking about the role that breasts play in our society. I dug around, did some research, and found that bra burning feminists are actually a myth. I saw pictures of all kinds of breasts, and the nipples, and found a really interesting article on how nipples are not necessarily an erogenous zone. This then naturally led me to the objectification of women, specifically as sex objects.

I don't know that all of the men in my life realize how insulting that is, not only to the women they are objectifying, but to themselves. As if they are only a mass of hormones, completely unable to suppress their sexual desires. As if they can't possibly be expected to have feelings, as if they aren't men unless all they want to see are boobies, boobies, and MORE BOOBIES!!! I once had a college professor, in the course of discussing this very thing (men's "obsession" with breasts) state, "Anything more than a mouthful is a waste." Why do men have to see breasts to be turned on? And why is it considered automatic that any and all glimpse of a breast will automatically turn a man on? Cause quite frankly, if a man is turned on by a woman's breast while she is breastfeeding, that is more disturbing to me than the actual sight of her breast doing what it was designed to do. Along those lines, if men (and women, for that matter) have issues with breasts being out while feeding because they are "sexual" or because breast feeding is "disgusting", what the hell does that say for the future of the human gene pool that we are letting these people reproduce? That we are unable to control our sexual urges to the point of feeling a Puritanical need to automatically cover up a breast DOING WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO??? Good God, it is not as if a grown man was nursing with the intent of arousal! It is a baby satisfying the first biological need we all have...to get nourishment! Not the other one that apparently men are unable to control... Furthermore, why is it OK for some men to have their shirts off when they probably have larger breasts than some women, but if a woman is to feed a child in public without covering, she is judged to be some kind of hippie rebel, hell-bent on destroying the American family, and probably (*GASP!*) a lesbian feminist who worships Satan and is actively recruiting innocent, impressionable American youth into her army of destroyers.

What really is behind the whole breast thing? Is it that we as a society are truly that uncomfortable with our sexuality that anything that is remotely sexual we cover? I don't necessarily buy that...look at how sexual messages are used in advertising, for instance. Is it that breasts have been sexualized since the advent of formula? Well, maybe....it used to be the sight of a woman's ankle that drove men nuts until skirts got shorter. Is it a way to keep women in their place...by not allowing them to nurse in public, we are therefore surreptitiously confining them to the home, which therefore perpetuates male privilege? And for those women who say breastfeeding is disgusting, could it be that they are unknowingly participating in the continuation of that male privilege because it benefits them? That by being judgmental of another woman's child-rearing practices she is making herself feel superior and thus clamoring up the ladder of society as far as she can go (until, of course, she hits the glass ceiling...)

I am sure that there are some people out there who would read this and automatically dismiss it out of hand as nothing more than an angry feminist rant. They will tell me that I am actually sexist towards men, that I just need to get laid, that women already have it better than men. Really? Women are superior, huh? So why the fuss over showing breasts while breastfeeding? If we have such an elevated status, that would not matter because we would just crush you men. Think carefully about all of the things that default to the "male" as the status quo...men being the breadwinners, women taking men's last name when they marry, men being studs when they have sex, but women being sluts, the value we place on being strong (both physically and emotionally) and independent. First of all, I take exception that these are "male" because then if you are male and don't possess these characteristics, you are somehow less than. Secondly, who got to decide that these were desirable characteristics for you to have versus their opposites? And finally, why is it NOT OK for a female to have these characteristics? When women are allowed to possess these characteristics, when women are allowed to breastfeed in public without backlash, when a woman's breasts are not objectified as either "natural" or "professional"...hell, maybe once the woman herself is not put upon a shelf as a pretty thing to be played with when a man wants to or when it is time to reproduce...when women are valued for the contributions that we make and who we are as people versus some kind of feminine/masculine standard...and once men realize that these kinds of behaviors hurt them too...maybe then, we can finally say that women are equal. Not superior, as some men say now because they hate to see the privilege they got through nothing more than the right sperm meeting an egg disappear...but equal. Then maybe, we can move past breasts and using sex as an excuse to keep women in their place.

Just a rambling bit of my thoughts...where else can I admit that I have been thinking about breasts all weekend without people looking at me strangely? Of course, if things were truly equal, I could admit that and no one would...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

MIA

I have been MIA for a while. First Alexis got sick (actually ended up in the ER with her, and they tried to tell us it is viral...which only reinforced why I hate our local hospital because it was NOT just viral...try bronchitis, sinusitis, and an ear infection in each ear...), then I got sick as well. Elizabeth is currently avoiding both of us in an attempt to stay healthy.