visual-free since ’93*

I was going to post a picture, but I’m on Not So’s laptop, which means I’m only using one browser, which means – you really want to hear this? Okay – I’m not logged in to Flickr under my Cranky Mama alias, so I can’t grab the code for the image I want. The short version is “because.”

Today I went to the office, where there is STILL NO BLOODY INTERNET, and spent the day stitching together the various and sundry body parts of a new batch of Cranky Pals. Then I came home so I could work some more! My life, you wish it was yours. Also, I wore unflattering jeans, but that’s okay since I haven’t exactly been feeling like a sex beast, what with the death in the family and the…death in the family. Yeah, weirdly, that’s not hot. I was surprised too.

The kid is currently sleeping on my chest (I’m in bed, which is the beauty of using the laptop). You will note that is is 9pm; he’s been out since 8. Miracle? Why yes, if you call the Great Nap Boycott of 2007 a miracle. At least it means I can get some work done without anyone jumping on my head. Yes, cats, that means you.

*…not really. But it made me giggle, so it stays.

hoppity hoppity

I grow weary of all my angst-filled posting, so I bring you fluffy bunnies. Look, the bunnies. They are so fluffy.

We found a place to have Happy Fun Baby’s birthday party (yay!) and as soon as I have the time/energy/misc. I will figure out invitations and food and suchlike. I think I have a loose theme in mind: frogs. The kid, he is obsessed with frogs. Like so many things, he says the word backwards (‘gof’), which makes me snicker every single time, because I am 12. (Anyone who frequents my favorite message boards will recognize the ‘GOF’ acronym, and will probably snicker accordingly too.) But, yes. Frogs. I think I might doodle up a frog illustration and make it into a shirt for him, either as a stencil (easy) or a felt applique (…less easy, but still not hard). Oooh. That gives me an idea for gift bags. Score.

I just discovered that the kid carefully placed his uneaten banana segment inside my running shoe. There are things you expect to say as a parent, but an earnest dissertation involving the words “Please do not put your banana in my shoe” is not one of them. I don’t think it had much of an impact, anyway – our shoes are currently host to his Boy Doll (stuffed head-first into Not So’s slipper), a small plastic cow, and several Duplo blocks. And, uh, apparently some (dry) corn flakes, which I totally would have missed until I tried to put that shoe on. Sigh.

It’s a good thing he’s so damned cute…

only 36 more shopping days…

Today I got the newest email from the in-laws, looking for a Christmas list for Happy Fun Baby. Christmas. Isn’t it way too early to think about Christmas? Except that clearly isn’t true, since it’s only a little over a month away.

The thing is, I haven’t even really started thinking about the kid’s birthday, which is December 13th and will require a celebration of some sort, obviously. A party, one might say, except that we can’t have a party at our apartment because we like our friends and do not want to have to conduct some sort of Party Lottery to determine the lucky three people who will be able to fit in our living room. (Did I mention our apartment is small?) So I need to find a venue.

Here’s the problem with that: it has to be someplace toddler-friendly but also low-key and somewhat inexpensive, which sort of invalidates my favorite idea (party room at the Children’s Museum). “Why not something like Chuck E. Cheese?” says Not So, whose other suggestion was glow-in-the-dark miniature golf (for a bunch of two year olds, which – the mind, it BOGGLES). I responded by saying that if we did Chuck E. Cheese I might as well just wear a shirt that says “THAT Mom” across the chest, because – two year olds. All a two year old requires to have a good time at a party is cake and some toys. They do not need video games and giant animatronic singing mice. Rats. Is Chuck E. a mouse or a rat? I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before. Weird.

Also not the point, because whatever arrangements I was going to make should have been made weeks ago, as I am almost certain that every other December birthday-having kid’s mom did. Because there’s only one day we can do the party. Because I like to live on the edge.

And don’t even ask me what we’re going to get him for his birthday. My brain only holds so much.

cough, cough

Or, I guess, sniffle sniffle would be more accurate, but whatevs. I’m getting sick. I can feel it in my head, in my poor beleaguered sinuses, in my cannot-drag-self-out-of-bed-to-save-life-ness. I woke up this morning and immediately needed a nap. Waking up: it’s harder than it looks!

But I don’t have time to be sick…or do I? Reassuringly, my husband just began a sentence “Well, he was standing at the sink with the bottle of shaving cream,” and it did not end with anyone needing to be hosed off. Clearly things are fine without me.

As an aside: somehow I have taught my son to cackle maniacally after giving kisses. “Mwah! Ha ha ha!” It’s hilarious, yet I wonder how this will go over when he’s playground age. Will he be the creepy kid chasing the girls for kisses and then running off with a sinister laugh? Given my playground hijinks I suspect the answer is, tragically, yes.

quiet, at last

The kid, he naps. Or I guess I should say, “The kid, he doesn’t nap,” because that’s been the issue for much of the afternoon. I’m trying to work, and he’s trying to surgically attach himself to my lap. Conflict? Why, yes. YOU try typing code while someone does his best to pick up items on your desk with his little monkey toes.

But he is asleep now, hallelujah and hooray and all that. Happy Fun Baby gets short-tempered when he’s tired, and my afternoon has been punctuated by the sound of a toddler flinging himself to the ground and wailing in misery at the slightest provocation. Provocation like the fact that the sky is blue, or that his cup was out of water. After he drank it.

I had this great moment today, though, despite the tantrums and the screaming and the back arching (oh, how I despise the back arching). I was snuggling with the kid on the couch and I looked down at him and  thought “This is how I want it to be.” I have always pictured myself as a mother, but since becoming a mother I haven’t felt…right. I’m depressed, I’m anxious, I’m impatient, blah blah blah, but more than that, I’m doing this square peg thing, and it just isn’t cool. Because this is what I’ve wanted all my life, so now that I have it, I should appreciate every second. Right?

But today, things were just good. I love my kid, and I love hanging out with my kid, and maybe I’m not doing such a bad job after all.

Or maybe the meds are finally kicking in. You know, one or the other.

sharing the wealth


Happy Fun Baby has recently become obsessed with making all his toys walk. Makes perfect sense, since he’s such an old hat at the walking thing. It’s pretty cute to see him trying to teach his Totoro (who doesn’t have legs) and his giant Ikea dragon (who…ditto) to take their first steps down the hallway.

The other day we were at the toy store and Happy Fun Baby spied a bunch of baby dolls. To my surprise, he went right over and picked one up.

“You like that baby?” I said (because I’ve been not-so-secretly trying to interest him in baby dolls since, oh, always).

“Baby,” he said. He carefully inspected the doll’s feet. Then he set it on the ground and tried to make it walk.

He also chucks dolls out of the doll stroller on a regular basis. No patience for non-walkers: that’s my kid.

nanowri-what, now?

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Why? Because I am a crazy person. Seriously, I have time for this? Between kid, work, school, visiting relatives, and Thanksgiving? (I probably don’t even have to mention that I have one, maybe two projects that are on a tighttighttight 30-day deadline.) Yes, clearly I can also write 50,000 words. Who needs sleep?

I fully intend to do it, though, because it will be good for me. I think too much. I plan too much. What could be more therapeutic than 30 days of enforced brain-dump? At worst, I’ll have some prolific sludge; at best, the bare-bones beginning of the Mommyfiction novel I’ve been making noises about for the last year. (My actual work in progress novel – er, one of them, anyway – already has 30,000 words, so it’s out of the NaNo running.) C’mon, it’ll be fun.

Speaking of “fun,” I’m leaving in two days for a web design conference. I will be away from my kid for five entire days. Days in which I will not be able to snuggle him or kiss his head even once. I think I might die.

morning people may have other annoying tendencies

Remember how I used to be all “Yeah, my kid might not go to bed until 11pm, but at least he sleeps until 9:30 or 10!” Remember that? Because wow, was I wrong. I mean, not then. Then I was right. But now? Now we are up, awake, bright-eyed, etc. at the ungodly hour of 8 in the morning.

8, people. It’s just not right.

Still, I’ve started to actually get things done in the morning, which is novel. I went for another jog yesterday, and still managed to get emergency file changes to my client by 10am. And we finally, finally made it to the library in time for Storytime, although – ha! – the librarian didn’t, so Storytime was cancelled. Figures. (Maybe we’ll try again next week.)

It’s not as satisfying as sleep, mind you. But it’s not that bad.

My sleep’s gone to hell anyway. I blame the meds. SSRIs have a rep for causing very vivid dreams, and that’s definitely true in my case. Not that I didn’t have vivid dreams already. So there’s that, and there’s the middle-of-the-night anxiety, and there’s the kid, who hogs the bed like no one’s business. Yes, we’re still cosleeping, and no, we don’t have any concrete plans to move him into his own room…but the idea is starting to sound better to me, mostly because of the early-morning wakiness. I mean, if he gets up at 8 every morning and then wants to lay around and snuggle for a half hour…that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

I already know what bed I want to get for him (it’s from Ikea, natch) and we got the bedlinens already, since Not So had this great idea about the kid having his own pillow, so that when we move him to his own bed it’ll already be familiar. Great, right? Except: where do we keep an extra pillow on our bed? We have a full-sized bed. A “double,” as it used to be called. “Double,” because only two people fit on it. (Don’t get me started on the whole “Why didn’t we get a Queen?” thing. Because I SO WANTED ONE, but SOMEBODY thought it would be too big and “not as friendly.” Somebody who now has his kidneys kicked regularly by our lovely child, who apparently dreams of soccer.) There is no room for an extra pillow. There is barely room for our heads. So the kid’s bedding is hanging out on his crib mattress in his room. The cats think it’s great. They will have no problem transitioning to a new bed.

I do miss sleeping in, but somehow it’s hard to feel like a slug when you’re up and about at a decent hour. Maybe that’s the meds talking, who knows. But it’s not all bad.

we have sleep

It’s 9:15 pm, and the baby? The baby is sleeping.

sleeping kid This is unusual enough to prompt a whole blog entry, as is the fact that I’m typing merrily away on a laptop which actually connects with the internet (it belongs to Not So, but still). So, yes. 9:15 pm. Baby sleeping. Me online. Me online and not working. Has the world gone mad?

The secret to getting my kid to sleep at a reasonable hour is twofold, apparently: put him to bed early, and put him to bed with mama. The first part is something all the sleep books insisted upon and which, at first, I brushed off. My kid? Night owl. I couldn’t possibly put him to bed at 7:30! Which…I still can’t, but if we get him to bed at 8:30 he’s out like a light at 9. Whereas, you know, if we put him to bed at 9, he’s bouncing off the walls at 11:45 and mama is losing what little mind she has left. Because, oh my god, woe betide anyone besides me who thinks they can lure the child into slumber. Not So attempted to put his son to bed tonight, and it was only after listening to an excruciating 15 minutes of hysterical screaming that I came in…and the kid calmed right down. It was like flipping a switch. And then, you know, there was sleep, and can I argue with sleep? No, I can not.

It’s weird, though, having him sleep so early and so seamlessly. I feel like I should be Doing Something. Celebrating, perhaps?


crappy webcam pic of lr/kitchen

Some friends of ours who just bought a new house confided that they’re giving themselves a year before they start feeling bad about the things they haven’t unpacked yet. An immensely sensible attitude, says I, and one I would love to share, except for one thing: we have no place to squirrel away our unpacked-ness. A two-bedroom apartment, as it turns out, does not so much accommodate three bedrooms worth of stuff. I know! I am shocked too.

We’ve been here for, what, two months? And I have clearly wasted an inordinate amount of that time on working, sleeping, and bathing, because our house is a disaster. Do you see? Do you see the disaster that our house is? (Do you also see the crappy excuse for a webcam? Clearly no competitor to the lovely iSight, which is currently on the office computer.)

I’m feeling particularly downtrodden about the state of the apartment since my inlaws are in town. I love the lovely inlaws, but I cringe every time I picture them walking into our house and being confronted with…this. These are civilized people. The sort of people who rinse plates the moment they’re finished with them and place them carefully in the dishwasher, and vacuum on a daily basis. They are not the sort of people who realize, after living somewhere for two months, that they still don’t know where the lint rollers are (said realization being sparked by the fact that there is a blanket-like layer of cat hair on the cream-colored glider in the baby’s room). They certainly don’t consider simply covering said chair with a blanket rather than tearing apart boxes to find the lint rollers, which might not even be there, since we threw so much stuff away, and given that we threw so much away WHY DO WE STILL HAVE SO MUCH CRAP? (Note to self: do not open hall closet and furiously contemplate stacks of boxes full of things Not So meant to sell on eBay and did not, and then meant to toss and did not, which means we moved and are inexplicably keeping four or five boxes of stuff we do not want, while having no place to store stuff we do, and yes, that sentence is rambling, and OMG do I have any more Calm pills? Do I?)

Hmm. Yes. So today, today is all about the cleaning. Well, the cleaning, and the school, and the work, and the babywrangling, and the lunch-making, and the not flying into a shrieking fit and tossing all our belongings out the window. Because, did I mention? We are probably having the inlaws for dinner on Saturday. Tomorrow, for those keeping track.

Wish me luck.

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