Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Grinch or Republican Debates?

Wow. Tough call. I went with the Grinch. Then I went to the debates. Switched back to the Grinch and then back to the debates. I decided to DVR The Grinch and watch the debates. Although I love The Grinch, I was captivated by the debates. They made me laugh . . . and cry . . .

I'm so overwhelmed with politics and cam-PAIN-ing. Democratic, Republican . . . it doesn't seem to matter. It is like one big job interview where you tell the interviewer everything he/she wants to hear so that you can land the job with the cushy office, fabulous benefits, and incredible income. We just have so much to sift through. Maybe we need a How to Pick the Best Person for the Presidency for Dummies. Right now, though my hopes are that the smoke with clear fast, I dread the voting booth.

As a flaming moderate . . . my head hurts.

Isolation

I love being a mom. I love my baby boy. I love his cuddle, his coos, his laugh. I love changing his diaper (strange, but true). I love nursing him and watching his eyes flutter as he goes to sleep. Love, love, love. I am not a mushy gushy sort of person, so this says a lot for me. However, I am human. I hate feeling isolated.

I am isolated. We don't live near family and our friends all work. I keep saying we . . . it really is me, though. I used to live in a big city where you could find people like you by the dozens. I now live in a rural area where the average age of the girls at the OB's office was something like 17. Most of the people "like me" are back at work. Their child is snuggled next to grandma or a sweet elderly aunt. Mine is with me. I wouldn't change it for the world, but it does leave me with recent feelings of extreme isolation. I knew I was having serious issues when I began striking up conversations with our exterminator. And, just the other day I tried to hold a discussion with a telemarketer. I did have a lovely conversation with the lady at the chimney sweep office. Ugh!!! I think this is why I've taken to the computer and have several late nights. I told my husband I am suffering from insomnia--but that isn't it. I'm not sure he'd understand.

I guess I should feel comforted by the fact that millions of women, new moms especially, go through this. J and I will continue to have our lengthy conversations about how I want to improve the house, how I wish to write a novel or at least start a freelancing career (he's great to bounce ideas off of--he likes all of them!). I talk to him about everything. I guess the positive in all this is that J will be a very verbal child. I hope so, I need someone to talk to . . .

Monday, November 26, 2007

TV Sucks . . .

the life right out of you. I know this is true. I know I shouldn't "watch" so much of it, yet I do. I usually have it on for noise in the background. It is as if Regis is in my kitchen and the girls from the View (I can't stand that program, yet I watch it for the disaster that will inevitably take place) are at the kitchen table annoying one another, and Dr. Phil is giving advice in my office, while Oprah, oh Oprah, is conducting a book chat in my living room. Is my life sad? The really sad thing is that I can't really tell you what is on because I don't really watch it. I listen, I might glance over while playing a game with J, or I might catch a news segment while nursing. I just like the noise . . . the company. Oh boy, this is sad.

I watch little J stare over at the TV as we play on his gym. I turn him around but he finds his way back to the set. I try to make myself feel better by telling myself he is just into the lights, but somewhere deep within the recesses of my brain I worry that he'll be a game-playing, soap-watching, sugar-eating couch potato by the time he's five all because of me.

I sometimes find that I time my life according to what's on. I have to be sure to have my decaf coffee (I know, what's the point?) while watching the early morning news. Breakfast must be eaten with Regis or during the Today Shows 18th hour (enough already!), while lunch happens during House Hunters (I'm strangely addicted to that show). There is some dead time before Ellen comes on and then dead time again until the evening.

Today was one of the few days that the TV stays off. We listened to music, danced, played, surfed online (he fell asleep in my arms--it was nap time), sang . . . It was nice, but strangely lonely, too. It is a habit I am eager to break. But, at the same time, I dread it. How will I know what toys have been recalled? Who is dating whom? What secret ingredient will make me look 10 years younger? What food will help me shed those last five pounds (let's be honest, it's 10)? What fashions are hot for winter? What are the must have items for Christmas? I guess I'll just have to read about it . . .

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Review: Mommy Must Haves Part I

I was sitting with J today and thinking a lot about all those baby items that I couldn't live without. I mean, there are lists and lists available online, in baby books, in magazines, from friends who list must have items. However, there are several that are just darn near essential and NOT part of the typical "needs" list.

Here are a few of mine:

The Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing:The reviews on this particular swing are outstanding (read 'em at Amazon, also where you can find it about $30-40 cheaper w/ free shipping!). It plays several tunes (though it is a tricky on/off maneuver you have to do to hear them at times). It also switches from side-to-side to front-back very, very easily. And, you can fold and store!

Diaper Wipe Warmer: OK, a lot of people will tell you this is a waste of money. I am a very practical person (in most respects) and I will tell you this is simply not the case. When I first got it I sorta laughed thinking this was a little extreme. But, let me tell you, if you need to do a midnight change on a sleeping baby, you don't want icy cold wipes touching his behind. J barely woke when we changed him after we started using the warmer. A simple little item that turned out to be priceless!

A Baby Carrier: Yes, you need one. The slings are great as well. Unfortunately, being on the petite side, the slings felt cumbersome for me, plus I wanted something that would work past his newborn stage. The Baby Bjorn is my favorite--I'm not a brand name fanatic, but this one was simply the easiest to put on and felt the best out of most of the others we tried. You can find the original Baby Bjorn for under $80 (under $50 from BabyAge in Denim). You don't NEED the more expensive sport carrier.

The Baby Book by Dr. Sears: This is a fantastic book. I've read quite a few baby books . . . and this is a great book. Before I proceed, I have to explain a few things about the reviews of baby books (and in some cases baby products). Now, a lot of moms, dads, and others will say that some of these baby books make people feel guilty (moms who don't stay home or don't breastfeed), tell them things they don't agree with (vaccinations), make people feel excluded (not written for the dads). So what! You aren't going to LIKE or AGREE with everything, but that doesn't mean the information is not useful or helpful. You take what WORKS FOR YOU!!! Also, just because you don't like something or it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it is bad! I get annoyed by reviews that say something is bad--just tell us it didn't work for you--give the facts of your experience and leave it at that. Sorry for the rant . . .

Anyway, this is a inexpensive book filled with lots of great information. Dr. Sears is all about attachment parenting (I think he even coined the term, not sure). I'm not 100% on board with all those ideas, but I like the philosophy and do practice some of the techniques and they have worked well for us. He also gives a lot of info on medications, baby development, illnesses, techniques for the fussy baby and much, much more. He has several other books that go into greater detail on several of the issues he discusses in the book (sleeping though the night, fussy baby, nutrition . . . ).

The Happiest Baby on the Block: Wow! What a lifesaver. My husband I used the techniques (the 5 s's) and we are happier for it. We can swaddle J, put him on his side, shhh him, and sway and he is typically out like a light in minutes. It is amazing. We aren't big fans of the "cry it out" method, especially at only a few months old (you can spoil a baby before six months!). This is a fantastic book. I can't lie, I skimmed through some of the reasoning for each of his techniques only because I didn't need any convincing.

Baby J calls . . . more later.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blogging Overload

It is 1:31 in the morning. I need to stop the madness. I have been looking up info on blogs, blogging, widgets, and other stuff for HOURS. This is my problem. I have a tendency to OVER DO. I admit, I am slightly Type A and a perfectionist. Are those one in the same? I can never tell. Questions to ponder:

Why is it so difficult to just do? Why must we over do?

Why are there so many people blogging? What are the goals of blogging?

Is every blogger a writer? I mean, a real writer or are they just writing?

Are we truly unique are are we really all the same? I'd like to think I'm different, but only a couple hours of perusing blogs and I find I am so much like so many others. I don't know if this is a good think, bad thing, or maybe a comforting thing. Who knows?

Is it possible to be overwhelmed by too much? Too much information? Too many web sites? Too many people? Too many words? Too MUCH stuff? Too many . . . Or is it all a good thing?
Will he be unique? I hope so . . .

I must sleep . . .

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dragging the dead, rotting, corpse . . .

EVERY ONE has a blog. YOU need a blog. Blog this . . . blog that . . . blog, blog, blog.

Considering that I've been involved in technology and working with computers for a long, long time, I am surprised that I have finally decided to write a blog. I feel like my dead, rotting, smelly carcass is finally being dragged into doing the inevitable. So be it. We shall begin.

I find I need an outlet. After having recently left my teaching job and given birth, I find that I am in desperate need of some way to express the thoughts and ideas that are continually emerging from my brain. It isn't that my thoughts or ideas are intellectually superior or full of a creativity never seen before--they are just thoughts that are getting all bruised up from bumping into one another within the strict confines of my brain. Granted, I often express these thoughts to "J"--my son, but at a whopping three months, he responds with a mere grin, an eager giggle, or a drizzle of drool. I recently found myself talking to myself. That was no fun, but I did like the conversation. Seems I agreed with everything I had to say.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't just sit around blabbering to the baby in my milk-stained t-shirts, pajama bottoms, and claw-clipped hair. I certainly don't hold intense political conversations with myself as I fold yet another load of previously milk or poop-stained baby clothes. I am a sane person. This is what I have done since I have relinquished my career position for a more maternal path:

1. I go out to dinner with friends. We talk about babies and try desperately to talk about life in general (which normally leads us to discussing what's on TV. I'm not kidding. We got giddy as the fall TV season approached. Sad. So sad).

2. I go out for a "Crazy Night on the Town" where I pick up clearance outfits for "J" and bread and eggs from the supermarket. My last crazy night found me buying three different tablecloths. I couldn't make up my mind as to which would go best in our incredibly bare dining room (that basically holds J's bouncy, pack-n-play . . . and a bill-laden dining room table) so I brought them home to my "what would make you think I care about tablecloths" husband.

3. I play on the Internet. I look for houses in places I will never live. I research items I will never buy. I Google celebrities that haven't been around in awhile. I research careers that I can have from home. I add items to Kaboodle and MyRegistry. I check e-mail over and over.

4. Of course I cook (sometimes), clean, do laundry, try to take a shower (if J will let me), work out (sometimes--though I am completely jealous of celebs who have fab bodies only a few weeks after popping out a baby--more on that in a later post, I'm sure), read (so much more on this later . . . I've gone from literary classics to mama chick lit, oh my).

5. I take J out from time to time--we visited my previous place of employment, went to the park (when it was warmer), ventured for a walk around the neighborhood. I haven't yet had the guts to go the the mall or to an actual store, but I'm sure we'll try it soon.

I don't think my life is boring--it is fulfilling and calm and nice. I just am getting . . . anxious. I have horrible insomnia. For someone who used to be able to fall asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow, this is a horrible thing. I fall asleep during the day (usually with J in my arms), but at night, forget it. I figure it is because of all the thoughts running around in my head, constantly bumping into one another. Dang thoughts. So, blogging will hopefully be the outlet I need.

As for outlets, what have I tried?
1. Exercising. Works. Sorta. But, the thoughts eventually get up and run around again. Since they've worked out, they even have more energy.
2. Joining a mom forum. GOOD grief. There are a TON out there. I checked a couple out, but I felt overwhelmed. I mean, it is like going to a restaurant with 45 pages of meals. I feel overwhelmed. And, I hate to say it, those little signatures, you know, with the blinking lights and birth and birthday countdowns, jazzy pics, cute smiley graphics DRIVE ME NUTS. I know it is usually because these are young moms--they have to be--and I am not a *young* mom. I am not an *old* mom. I am in a funky mom purgatory.
3. Writing. I want to write. I mean, who doesn't. But, as an English teacher and person with an English degree, it makes sense. You will not find me quoting Shakespeare or Thoreau or any other great literary masters. It isn't me. I don't go crazy with grammar, spelling, or punctuation either. I just want a piece or paper and a pen or a blank screen and a keyboard. The problem, I just don't know what to write. I have bought yet another copy of Writer's Market. I have started searching the Internet. I need to focus and with a new baby and a mind that tends to wander between sleep and semi-consciousness, it hasn't been easy. Enough excuses, I know.

So, what will I talk/write about? I have no idea. I'm just going to let it flow (which is unlike that planner and organizer in me). But, I do have some ideas on what I'd LIKE to discuss:

  • Being a mom (I have to, it is what I do and what I am . . . stop rolling your eyes)
  • Politics (I am a flaming moderate with liberal ideologies and conservatives tendencies)
  • People/Life (I try so hard to NOT be judgmental, but . . . )
  • Religion/Faith (I have a ton of faith, it is the religion that confuses me)
  • Health/Fitness (Wow, being a mom I am so much more aware of the stuff we are exposed to and what it can do to us--and I am not an tree-hugging, Prius-driving, organic, veggie-eating hippie)
  • TV/Movies/Books--I am not going to lie. This is my life outside of my son and husband. I don't live in a culture-rich area with plenty to do (I used to--*sniff*), most of my friends work or live far away, and I live far away from family (states away, to be more precise).
I guess that's it for this first post. I have no idea when I'll post again. I guess I also have no idea as to who will read this. I don't know if I'll share it with friends or family. I feel like I might not . . . I feel like I need a place to be myself, yet someone else. I feel like I need to reach out to others who are like me and maybe not so much like me. I'm searching for FRESH.

Good night . . .

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