Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We are off to see our family. Going on these trips is both fun and a little sad. Why? Fun because I get to see my family and friends (of course). My sisters and I have been going on these midnight shopping excursions the day before Christmas Eve for years (they were little kids when I started taking them). It was an adventure--and now that we are into our 30s (me) and 20s (them), it is even more fun!

Tomorrow night there is a big girl's night. I am looking forward to it, but at the same time I have a little anxiety about leaving J for too long. Ugh . . .

Tomorrow we leave bright and early. Hopefully J will sleep, otherwise we will be listening to static all the way there (all six and a half hours)--J calms down when he hears it--otherwise its cry, cry, and more cry (translation: I hate car rides). Last time it took T (husband) and me hours to recover. The static really gets to you.

Have a wonderful CHRISTMAS. I'll be posting once we get back!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mom Lit . . .

After writing my review of The Undomestic Goddess, I received a few comments. One got me to thinking about Mom Lit . . . a grown-up version of Chick Lit (though in some cases not so grown up). I was excited upon entering mommyhood that this genre existed. I was entrenched in classical fiction, non-fiction, world or "the other" fiction . . . that I didn't get a chance to explore other genres that often.

So, without further adieu, here is a list of some Mom Lit authors. Aliki2006 pointed out that there are some great reviews on Literary Mama--so go check 'em out. Otherwise, here is a great place to start if you're itching for some Mom Lit:

Tales from the Crib by Jennifer Coburn
What Do You Do All Day?: A Novel by Amy Schiebe
Class Mothers by Katherine Stewart
The Yoga Mamas by Katherine Stewart
The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn

Gucci Gucci Coo
Notes From The Underbellyby Rissa Green
The Baby Trail: A Novel by Sinead Moriarty

There are SO, SO many! Have I read these? No. Do I plan to? Yeah. I think so. Why not? I read some of the reviews. Many of the not-so-good reviews came from people looking for stellar literature worthy of a Pulitzer. The good reviews came from people looking for a fun, light read. So, why not?

If you read these or come up with others, please share! I'd be happy to link to your review if, and, or when you read and review. Just let me know!

I am a voracious reader. I can have J in one arm and a book in the other. I can read all night . . . in the kitchen, on the couch, on the counter, in the office, outside the house, and even with a mouse . . . I love "acting out" what I'm reading to J. He gets a kick out of it. Pretty soon I'll have to stick with only kiddie books, but for now he doesn't care as long as mom makes like a crazy lady!

Again, please share if you've read these. I chose ones with decent reviews, but I really want to know what you think . . .

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Book Review: The Undomestic Goddess

Have you ever wished you could just leave your life behind, shed all responsibilities, all demands, your entire identity? Sophie Kinsella, author of the popular Shopaholic series, explores such a fantasy.

I always hesitate before I pick up a book categorized as "chick lit." I guess I have a little residual English teacher prejudice (from reading, studying, being taught, and teaching classic literature). The simple fact is that back in the day I wonder what some of our so-called classic literature would have been called--some of it could have been called chick lit (Jane Austen anyone?). Regardless, I have learned to appreciate a variety of literature. To get my students reading I encouraged them to read anything from action adventure graphic novels to romance novels with bare chested men on the covers. When you see their noses buried in books, you just can't help but get excited.

But, I digress. I'm hear to discuss Kinsella's novel. I had heard about the Shopaholic series for a few years, but never had a chance to grab a copy of the book. So, when perusing the shelves recently, I came across The Undomestic Goddess. The premise sounded interesting enough. It had the whole "fish out of water" scenario along with a healthy mix of romance, humor, and a sprinkle of feminism (though flipped on its head in many ways).

Samantha, the main character, is a workaholic. She is striving to obtain partner in her prestigious London law firm. Because of this, she seldom has time to maintain proper relationships let alone to clean her flat, wash her clothes, or cook herself a decent meal. Samantha feels the pressure of her high-powered job, but she also feels that the reward of partner will be enough to compensate.

That is, until she makes a monumental mistake that sends her spiraling . . . to a small town where no one knows her. In a case of mistaken identity Samantha becomes the very thing that she not only has been trained not to be, but that she has absolutely no clue how to be--a domestic, a housekeeper, to be exact. It is an odd decision that Kinsella has Samantha make, but it is one that propels her into a world of self-discovery clich├ęd, but very fitting term). Kinsella mixes enough humor to elicit out-loud laughter. There is a touch of romance, but not enough to feel that this is a romance with other stuff thrown in. Romance works as another catalyst for Samantha to see who she was and who she truly wants to be.

I do love the fact that there is a level of vindication at the end--something that Kinsella does not make easy for our protagonist. Kinsella's writing is light enough to digest, yet heavy enough to leave a pleasant taste behind. You aren't bogged down with non-essential detail and you aren't overwhelmed by non-stop action. It truly is a perfect mix. On a scale from 1-10 (best): 7

Christmas Card Frenzy!

Well, so much for the posing. I realized that I've taken a ridiculous number of pictures--enough to make my Christmas cards. My husband thinks I'm crazy for designing them myself. But, I can't help it. I get all caught up and can't stop. I mean, this is the first time in my life I've actually had something cute to send! Usually I spend hours trying to find the perfect card, this year, I have good subject material (a chubby, bald, bubbly baby!). I'm taking full advantage.

* * *

I am excited to say that I sat through an entire move . . . It's a Wonderful Life! The movie, that is. Though it really is a wonderful life. This has been a tough Christmas. This marks the year anniversary of my father-in-law's passing--he was the "force" in our family and you can really feel the void. We found out we were pregnant only two weeks after he passed. We wanted so much to tell him we were expecting before he passed. I guess in some parallel universe I thought telling him might make him hold on, might make all the cancer shrink into nothingness. He and my husband were incredibly close. Unfortunately, he died on my husband's birthday . . . just a couple weeks before Christmas. Needless to say we spent last Christmas in a mourning stupor.

* * *

I have learned so much by perusing blogs. I've learned that many people make money by having ads on their blog, by reviewing books/products, by writing content. I can't believe how inventive people are--and entrepreneurial! I can't help but wonder if you have a fairly active blog how much money one can make? I've also learned that there are a lot of awesome writers out there. The most amazing thing I've learned is how much people have been able to use their blog as an outlet for all their thoughts, emotions, creativity, opinions. As I've mentioned before, I am a self-proclaimed techie, but I resisted blogging. Part of it is the commitment I knew I would have to have to keep up with it. Another is the sheer number of blogs out there can be overwhelming. This is why I have spent so much time reading blogs--I'm trying to find a group of blogs that I can relate to and visit on a regular basis. I've spent the last few days reading blogs and came up with a Top 12 sites -- see right sidebar. I anticipate it will change, but these are blogs that I've visited and that I've found I like their content/writing style and/or that we have a lot in common.

* * *

I can't help but wonder what is one baby item you could not live without or at least an item that has really made life easier. I love my Boppy and Brest Friend--I know, they are similar, but each one has its own strengths. I realized in the last few days that I really love my activity play mat. J can stare, swing at, and grab for things for hours if I let him. I also love my papasan cradle swing--though he has to be in the right mood (relaxed, maybe tired, but not TOO tired) to stay in it. Oh, and I like the Bumbo! I know it was recalled, but for goodness sake, the warning was printed right on the back--pretty obvious actually. And common sense seems to dictate not to put a baby in a unsecured seat on a raised surface. Anyway, J likes sitting in it. He is loving sitting on the couch, pretending he's just one of us! Oh, and he loves watching me eat and brush my teeth. I hope when the times comes, he loves eating as well--just like his mom and dad!
So, do any of you have any favorite/can't live without baby/toddler items?

Monday, December 10, 2007

To Do Lists

I made a To Do list for myself over the weekend. I love To Do lists. You get to put down everything you want to do and then you get to mark them off the list as you finish them. For a somewhat Type A, perfectionist sort of person, this appeals to me. What does not appeal to me is how often stuff stays on the list.

My list right now focuses on this blog. I really want to stick with it. I think it is an excellent way to focus on writing (what I had hoped to do when I became an English teacher--no go there--no time!), and documenting being a new mom (I LOVE the fact that there are so many out there). I am also hoping to revisit my passion for art by taking it to the technical level (design, illustration). I'd like to design a header for my blog--you know, snazz it up a little.

Since I decided to take a year off from teaching, I feel all those ambitions and creative juices flowing again. No more late nights grading essays, planning lessons, creating activities, talking to parents, organizing files, writing reports. Part of me feels lost. Part of me feels overwhelmed by the prospects (like looking at a 10-page menu and having no idea what to order).

* * *

I'm embarrassed to say that I DVRd (not a verb, I know, but it works) a bunch of cheesy Christmas movies that were on Lifetime, Hallmark, and The Family Channel. I watched one today. Wow. Someone actually wrote this stuff!!! This one was about a boy who wishes for his mom to have a husband. It was with Gail O'Grady. I have about 10 more to watch. My husband was scrolling through the recordings and couldn't stop laughing. I'm a mush . . .

* * *

We spent the entire weekend with the TV off. Not kidding. (I know, after the previous item about my DVRing habit, you might be shocked). We read. We played with J. We made dinner (my husband did-broccoli soup--not so good). We went to the store. We cleaned the house. It is amazing how much you can get done!

* * *

I took way too many pictures this month. But since they are all of J, save one of a t-shirt he spit up on--my shirt, it looked like a profile of Santa, I guess it is OK.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Book Review: Younger

Is it possible to reinvent your self? Can you really change who you are, what you believe, where you're from and become someone else? And even a bigger challenge, can you believe it yourself?

I just finished reading Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran. It was published in 2005 and seems to be part of the somewhat more mature "chick lit" genre. The story is simple enough, a mature woman (can we call 44 middle-aged--I hesitate to), newly divorced and with an empty nest, attempts to reinvent herself into a younger twenty-something.

At first I thought the premise was a little far fetched. Not that a forty-something can't look younger, I just found it hard to believe that this particular forty-something could fool SO many people. She fooled her boss, her "boy toy," her twenty-something co-workers. But I think it was the fact that she even fooled herself that I found so intriguing.

The protagonist, Alice (she refuses to go by Ali--the younger, hipper version of her name), lands a job at a publishing company, one that ignored her when she was her "old" version, a new friend, a new boy, and a whole new outlook on life.

Yes, it is like many other novels where the woman finds herself and is thus empowered to revitalize her life and realize her true value. BUT, this particular character had real flaws that were easy to relate to. She also did what many of us have done, given up a career to stay home and raise a family. Her cost was high, but she always felt it was worth it. While she was living what many of us would consider a fantasy as a seeming twenty-something, she was also doing it in such a way that reality became an inevitable part of her salvation.

It didn't necessarily have a fairy tale ending. As a matter of fact, it had an ending that I would consider . . . promising.

Satran's writing style is simple and clear. I particularly appreciated the lack of words written for the sack of words. There was not unnecessary description or detail and the story flowed quickly. I am notorious for skipping over paragraphs to get to the guts. I didn't have to with this novel. I finished it in about two days (for a mom of a 4-month old, that isn't too shabby). There are some racy parts, but nothing that won't make you shove the book under the couch if someone asks you what you are reading (though it may make you blush a bit).

For my casual reads I am not a big fan of flighty, superficial "chick lit," however, I do enjoy stories that are written by women, that explore real issues faced by women, in all periods of their lives, in an intelligent and unique way. This is a good read. On a scale of 1-10 (best): 6

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cry it out?

Yesterday my little one had to cry it out. My husband forced me to go on my little outing (which I happily obliged) and when I came home I found he became "super dad." Sort of made me feel a little inadequate (see earlier post). Anyway, we chatted this morning and he told me that he feels that J needs to cry sometimes to learn how to soothe himself. I am conflicted about this. Although I know that he needs to cry at times, especially when all of his needs are met, it pains me. I think I've read a bit too much about attachment parenting (Dr. Karp and Dr. Sears) and similar approaches. I worry about him not trusting me . . . deep inside, however, I know that letting him cry is OK.

He certainly seemed fine last night (my husband had let him cry for about 15-20 minutes in the swing just before he fell asleep). Just before bath he was laughing and smiling.

I get confused as to how much I should really be playing with him, holding him, carrying him, soothing him myself --some books tell you he can be active (not necessarily awake) for up to an hour at four months. I don't think there is a set time--I just look for the cues of over-stimulation. But still, I am not one of those moms who can read his every cue and every cry. And, once I do figure it out, it changes. Welcome to the world of babies!

I'm also not one for schedules, at least not rigid ones. I try to give him a nap and put him to bed around the same times each day and he usually eats a little before nap and bed, so in a way, he is on a schedule, but with no rigid time frame.

I would love to know what works/worked for other moms in terms of crying it out, soothing, scheduling and such.

Right now, I'm winging it . . .

My little outing

Today I had a night out on the town . . . really sad, but my "night out" was by myself, running errands. I went to two libraries, Office Depot, and a craft store. Wow. My husband, T, came in the house in a whirlwind and ordered me to go out. I hadn't called any friends and wasn't in the most chipper mood after spending four straight days with J (nearly 4-month old baby). He's great, but I think he's bored with me. I felt boring today. Not bored, mind you, BORING.

When I came home T had made dinner (from scratch), done four loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and kept J entertained without any problem--he did it all in about three hours. Me, I was lucky enough to brush my teeth and change J's diaper a couple times. I had eight hours.

* * *
I watched Grey's Anatomy tonight--didn't have to DVR it--which is my FAVORITE thing in the world to do now that I have one. Anyway, it was a decent episode, but the dancing annoyed me. The chemistry between McDreamy and the nurse was interesting. I liked it. I want Izzy and George to be done. I think it'll happen.

* * *
Finished a decent book (It took me two weeks, but I did it--I had to finish the last chapter at the library). I am into books that are an evolved form of "chick lit"--they are more like "mom-lit." Some are good and some are so, so bad. Laura Zigman is a fun author. She sometimes seems too smart for her content, if that makes sense. Her latest, Piece of Work, was OK, but I found myself speeding to get to the end. Dating Big Bird and Animal Husbandry were great reads--easy and fun.

Being an English teacher I've had my fill of the classics and often read them over and over anyway, so I don't feel guilty indulging in some "fluff." It's fun! For fluff, Candace Bushnell is pretty good, though I really didn't like Trading Up at all. The writing was weak and the main character had no redeeming qualities. I guess that was the point, but I wasn't into it. I have several other authors I could discuss, but I'll save that for a future post.

* * *
I wish I had more time, yet less time. I feel that when I have a lot of time I waste it. When I have to little time, I use it wisely, but never have enough. It is a strange and frustrating paradox.

* * *
I think I might post pictures of my house--decorations for Christmas specifically. We have an obnoxious tree and lights and greenery hanging along the staircase. No one will probably see it (save the chimney cleaner and cable guy) since our families live in another state. I remember seeing how a bunch of people tagged others to do something like this--I think it was just to show general house pictures. I wonder you do that . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another Recall

Recalls are getting out of control. I'm overwhelmed, especially since becoming a mom. I'm a few short steps away from stripping J down, dressing him in a leaf grown on an organic farm and giving him a stick (which has been freed from leaves and loose bark) to play with. From train sets to Boppy covers, what's next? What's safe? I hesitate to give J any toys because nearly every day there is another item that is found to have excess lead. I already sent one of his toys back to the manufacturer. Thankfully, I have the Pea Pod Bobby cover, which I don't think is impacted--but who knows???

I'm from an era that played outside ALL THE TIME, at least until the street lights came on or until our little noses were stuffed with frozen boogers. We played on playground equipment that surely was painted with potentially hazardous materials. Underneath the death trap were rocks, not mulch. We ate dirt. We drank from the drinking fountain at school and from the HOSE at home! We ate sugar. Lots of sugar. We ate those gooey, non-organic, sugar-laden Hostess pies. We went to McDonalds (though it wasn't ALL THE TIME) and had fries (not apple wedges). Some moms smoked and drank while pregnant while other moms smoked like chimneys in their minivans, windows rolled up, kids in the back seat. We made this incredibly "sturdy" forts out of old cardboard boxes, chairs, and blankets. One time I made a two-level one with a balcony (my mom's dining room set never recovered). We sat in the front seat of the car (and sometimes without a seat belt!). I sometimes wonder how it is even possible that I am still alive . . .

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.


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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