Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Monday, January 31, 2011

Let It Be Enough

Pregnancy is awash with hormones. Who knew??

Oh, wait...I knew...

Having a baby causes those hormones to go a litte...hmm...haywire.

Haywire hormones coupled with an already chemically unbalanced brain and a hefty dose of sleep deprivation can lead to...hmm...interesting times.

I couldn't watch the beginning of Up a few nights ago...I would have cried for a week.

That's how it goes.

Little things will set me off. Big things overwhelm me. Knowing that it's hormones and chemicals, that it isn't real, doesn't help a whit. When the baby cries and cries, it doesn't matter that I know it's gas or an excess of energy, that sometimes babies just...cry...

I know that it's not through personal fault that I can't completely breast feed my daughter.

I know that we are blessed to live in a time when baby formula is so advanced, it's practically been designed by NASA.

I know that I am (as always) doing my best.

Every day...many times a day...I pray. Please, Goddess, please...oh, please let it be enough.
~~~~~
And then, there's this:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Breathing

Yesterday was quiet. The Nurse Practitioner said Sprout was just perfect, excepting that she'd lost another ounce and is now down to 7 pounds, five ounces. It is normal for babies to lose a bit of weight after birth, and she'll gain it back fairly quickly, but we'll be a little more proactive about waking and feeding her during the day. I'm still inclined to let her have her six or seven hours at night, though. Yep, selfish, me...and having gone through this same thing with Bird, I know she'll be fine.

Speaking of Bird, Gypsy borrowed the Evil Genius for the afternoon, took him to the park and let him run wild with her son. He came home a little less Whirling-Dervish-y than usual. A little. Whew.

I was hurting a bit all day...partly healing and partly because maybe I am trying to jump back into what passes for normalcy around here a bit too soon. I loathe being couch/bed bound. I don't like constantly asking Someone to fill my water cup or fix dinner or whatever. He's marvelous about it, and actually chastised me for not asking him to do more...but it flies against my nature and I'm used to being the care giver, not the care receiver. I am used to hiding my hurt and soldiering on, to ignoring my needs in favor of meeting the needs of others. No, no, I'm not into being a martyr...mostly, I'd just rather get on with life...in my experience, folks mollycoddle when it isn't wanted, and I'd just as soon focus on something else until I'm better.

The doctor told me I shouldn't do anything but feed Sprout and rest for at least two weeks before gradually becoming active again. Hah! Two weeks? I can't make it two days...but I have refrained from attempting laundry or sweeping the floor and I cooked eggs and bacon for lunch yesterday because I wanted to and needed to be on my feet for a bit - my arse is beginning to resemble a flat-iron, I'm on it so much! I may even attempt a shower sometime today, for which I am certain Someone will be quite grateful, as simply washing with a rag doesn't quite cut it.

I love to watch Someone with our daughter. His voice, his eyes, and his smile are so full of love, so gentle...whew...good thing I got my knittin' knotted or we'd be in this same boat again a year from now! I'm too danged old to be wanting/having more spawn! The way she stares up at him, puzzling out who he is, her face so serious...the way he looks down at her, marvelling at his wee lassie...oh, how full it makes my heart! She turns toward him when she hears his voice, follows his blurry form with her eyes when she sees him moving about. Completely relaxed in his hands, she'll sigh and fall asleep on him, nestling in to his shoulder or chest, content to be Papa's baby girl.

Yesterday evening I was changing her nappie (one of the few times I've done it - Someone is Johnny-on-the-Spot about nappy changing) and had a quiet moment with her. It has always awed and amazed me how a tiny baby can engender such vast feelings. I said a little blessing - "May the Gods who blessed me with you bless me also with a long life, so that every day I may love you, Little Big Brother, and Papa a little more."

It has only been since Tuesday, but already I cannot imagine a life any different than this one. I love my family...love how we are growing into each other...love how Sprout falls limply and completely asleep on Someone's chest, warm and safe under her cuddly blankie, happy when she's skin to skin with him and can smell/feel him. While my heart was the first primal rhythm she knew, and will always be the tempo in which she finds comfort and peace...his is the second drum which will calm her, to which she will dance in her dreams.

Last evening, he was holding her, giving her a bottle (you'll hear more about that later), and my eyes teared up a bit. There was such love between them, and an aura of peace about them.

I had to remind myself to breathe...I was sitting so still, loathe to disturb the quiet...loathe that even one hushed exhalation should flutter across the room and interrupt their tableaux.

Life, though, has a way of going on whether one will or no, and soon enough Someone was busy cooking dinner and I was comforting a mysteriously unhappy baby - she had one of those jags that only babies are capable of, that cry that at once pierces the ears and heart and drives parents to distraction trying to discover whatever the matter could be and right it at once. Poor thing...likely it was just gas, a bubble that wouldn't come or go and so made her middle ache. She finally calmed and went to sleep, once more our peaceful wee bairn.

In the last few days, I have had several happy occasions to remind myself to breathe...and I anticipate plenty more in the future, which makes me smile. It'll help the other "breathe" moments - the ones fueled by doubt, by hormones on the rampage, the ones that overwhelm me and threaten to overshadow everything else - pass.

So...what's made you stop and take a breath, lately??

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

We're all settling in to our new non-routine at Casa de Crazy. For the newest addition, that means a fair bit of this...

...in between meals and frequent nappy changes and cuddling.

For the Evil Genius, it means learning that Mommy and Someone may be tired, grumpy, and a little less all-his-for-the-asking than we have been.

For the four-foots, it means a bit of sniffing, a few disgusted looks tossed our way (you brought home another one??), and (in Rook's case), some looking after - wherever Sprout is, Rook can't be far behind, following from room to room and curling up next to Sprout in the pack-n-play, crib, couch, or bed on the rare occasions we put her down.

For myself and Someone, it means adjusting our sleep habits - in my case, it also means adjusting my ideas about sleep in general for a bit, as I cannot sleep lying down, yet...so I sit cross-legged on the bed, leaning against the head board, occasionally stretching my legs out in front of me for a few minutes. As I heal, I'll be able to lie down and eventually turn over again...bliss...but for now, it's going to be rough.

Heh...I dozed off several times while writing this, and eventually had to go take a nap.

I feel remarkably well, all things considered - I've been up and around a lot because it feels good to move about and sitting in one place for any length of time makes my tailbone and my back ache. I get frustrated that it takes me a minute to stand and straighten up, and I shuffle a bit when I walk...but then I remind myself that I had what amounts to major surgery on Tuesday...and I need to cut myself some slack! Someone is doing yeoman's duty, too...poor man, his wimmins is runnin' him ragged!!

Off to the pediatrician for Sprout's first doctor visit...y'all have a good one!

Friday, January 28, 2011

So Tight He Can't Breathe

How tight will she have him wrapped around her finger?



Sprout adores her Papa. I gather the feeling's mutual.

Last night was rough, but only in the usual new-baby-in-the-house sort of way. The "experts" would have us wake her every two hours to eat. Sprout has other ideas. I like Sprout's ideas - sleep until she's hungry, wake up and tell Mama and Papa about it, eat, get clean, repeat cycle.

She's not awake much, and waking her up is darned near impossible. It was like that with the Evil Genius...he slept and slept, and I fretted because I was supposed to be feeding him every two hours...until finally I was so danged tired I slept through the night...and so did he. Clearly we both survived.

If Sprout wants to sleep for a few hours, I'm lettin' her. At least one of us will get some rest. I can't lie down without a great deal of effort, so I spent much of last night sitting up, leaning against the headboard, cross-legged, with a Sprout in my arms. She was fussy much of the night, and it made us both feel better.

Today, I hurt enough to take a pain pill and just sit quietly, letting Someone do what he does so well...look after us. He spent much of last night asking me if I needed anything, bottle feeding Sprout when it was needed, taking turns holding/comforting her, and changing a loaded nappy of epic proportions. Yep, he's a keeper.

Tomorrow we have our first visit with the pediatrician and my friend Gypsy has offered to borrow the Evil Genius and take him to the park for a while. What're you up to?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Warning: This Post Could Cause High Blood Sugar

We're home. The folks at Redneck Central General Horspital and Sock Emporium were wonderful...but then, of course I'd think so, they laughed at all my jokes. Sprout's out and doing fine, and you know I MUST love Someone because I gave him my blogger AND facebook passwords so he could post updates and pics whenever he came home.

They sprung me a day earlier than originally planned, for which I am grateful - it's a nice enough place and the food's just fine...but I missed home and kitties and the Evil Genius somethin' fierce...and my bed's way more comfortable, and no one at Casa de Crazy will wake me up fourteen times a night to find out how I'm doing and then tell me to get some rest.

I'm sleepy, so I'm just tossing you some photos and going to take a nap. Is it me, or does Mum look like Sprout just farted on her??

"Rock on, Little Big Brother!!"

Besotted.

"I love my Papa Thiiiiiis much..."

Oh...sweetness...

Funny, I know just how she feels - that Someone is a comforting, comfortable place to rest a weary head...

Three generations of hands...Mum's, Sprout's, and mine...nice...

Home...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hi, Folks!




Somebody here... been sent to report a stork drop-off.

0807 hrs this morning, l'il Sprout shared her first song with the world...

She promptly weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces, and measured 20 inches head to toe.




Her and momma are hanging quietly in a private momma-baby room; Papa has been assigned PR duties!


Slainte, folks! I gots a daughter to go photograph!!!

S.

Pre-Sprouting

I am pre-posting this because one way or another I'm busy at the moment - either recovering from the natural egress of a Sprout or recovering from a c-section.

Details about weight, length, time and shoe size will inevitably follow, but for now - if I had the c-section, I went in to Redneck Central General Horspital and Sock Emporium at 5:30 (The morning one, and whose idea was it to have a morning one?? Not mine, that's whose...) and they sliced and diced at 7:30.

If I had her naturally, I can't begin to speculate as to when or what happened...so you're spared the details for now.

I should be recovering nicely by now, and (I hope) finally able to hold my wee Sprout.

Pictures and plenty of drivel as soon as I/we can manage it (I am giving Someone my password so he can post here if he wants, but don't hold your breaths...).

Thank you for your continued well-wishes and support...y'all are awesome!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Feel Ya, Johnny

There's a scene in Johnny Tremain - you do know Johnny Tremain, right? Classic American Revolution novel about a young silver-smith turned revolutionary? Written by Esther Forbes? Please tell me this is still on the reading lists of our nation's schools...

Anyway, there's a scene in this book (yes, it was made into a film...I've never seen it...can we stick to the point, here??) wherein our here, young Johnny, comes into a bit of money. As he has not eaten well in some time (things get tough when you're putting on a revolution, you know), he takes some of that dosh and goes on a dining spree.

He orders the best, most expensive foods he can think of and gluts himself.

Have you ever done that? Just eaten and eaten, simple or extravagant, until you felt you would burst...and then eaten a bit more?

When he's finished eating (and drinking), he isn't so much satisfied as feeling rather less than well. He feels stretched out, packed full to bursting. He feels as though something in his belly is alive, wriggling about, wanting out.

Yep.

I feel ya, Johnny...
~~~~~
Still no Sprout...but last night there were a few more contraction-like things going on (sporadically), so maybe...

Meanwhile, Mum's coming this way this afternoon so Someone and I can go to the pre-op appointment at the doctor's office, followed by the pre-op appointment at Redneck General Horspital and Sock Emporium where we'll find out what time the c-section will be...and, consequently, just exactly how last-minute this little wench in my middle can be before it's too late, knife time.

I am still holding out hope she'll do this on her own...her Papa is a 24'th...maybe she wants the same number...

Either way, there will be a baby tomorrow. Casa de Crazy will be a little louder, a little crazier, a little more chaotic, getting a lot less sleep...wait, whose idea was this??

In the next few months, we'll be getting used to a new life and meeting her demands. I don't imagine those demands will include blogging on my part, but I'm going to try not to be too slack in the Blue Nowhere. I'm even going to try not to make it all baby-and-post-birthing-beiges posts, 'cause I love y'all that much. I hope y'all will bear with me.

Now...what can I get up to to convince this kid to get on out here??

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Making Sense Of Things

Still no Sprouting, although there were definitely things that I would like to call contractions despite their best efforts to disguise themselves as cramps. They were longer and more persistent that cramps usually are, so I am applying wishful/magical thinking to them...don't try to stop me!

Around three-o'clock, I had a conversation with her as I lay on my side feeling like an overturned sea-lioness who's eaten too many herring (or whatever they eat - what, you think I was paying attention to that National Geographic special??).

It went something like this:

Come out, come out, my little Sprout, come out and see the world. Come out and take your place in the circle!

Nope.

Why not??

Is safe and warm in here.

Well...yeah...but it's tight and crowded, too, and while I cannot promise that you'll always be safe and warm out here, I can tell you...this world...it is marvelous in its complexity, a wonder to experience, and beyond a person's ability to imagine.

What's so great about it?

Hmm...what about the senses?

What about 'em? I got 'em in here.

No...you don't...not really.

Do.

No, my little Sprout who won't come out, you do not. You have something like senses...but to truly know what they are you have to be out here in the world.

'Splain.

Take sight. What you experience in there as sight isn't anything like what seeing should be. You don't have your eyes open...you see light and shadow, but color? No...and little one, you will love color. Red, black, and white first - those will pop out at you, so big and bold you'll almost feel them. Then blue, for Mama, and green, for Papa. Then purples and oranges and yellows...and then...oh, then, little one, all of the shades and variants will resolve themselves as your eyes develop, and your world will live and move in ways you can't know in there!

Huh.

And there's smell.

Smell?

Mmm, smell. You can't smell in there, which may be a good thing - I can't imagine that nine months of the same fluid circulating around smells very nice. But out here? That little bump of a nose on your face will tell you things about your world!

Like what?

Hmm...like Mama took a shower and put on lotion. Or that Papa has been out in the sun. You'll smell bacon cooking, and potatoes and onions frying, and cinnamon rolls and fresh bread baking. There's the scent of a steak frying and of rain on the earth, and wood smoke, and apple blossoms and Autumn loam. The scent of the sea and the sand, of orange peel. There's the musk of death, and skunk, and the pungency of corned beef and cabbage. Even before you recognize my face, you'll know my smell, know when I have come into the room. Papa, too.

Well...

There's taste, too.

Oh?

Oh, yes. At first, you won't taste much - your body and brain have to learn and sort things out...but then...then there will be bananas. And grapes. And spinach. Squash and apples and peas. Potatoes and rice and oatmeal. Cinnamon, and toast with butter and honey. Peanut butter, maple syrup, pancakes, milk. Water, little one...water is a sacrament, a blessing, and a delight on the tongue. There's cheese, and ice cream, and strawberries. Lobster. Fresh corn with butter and salt. Just you wait, little girl, until you can have coconut chicken soup and Rama chicken at the Thai place...or a Frosted Orange at the varsity...or Japanese Bagel at the sushi joint...

...

How 'bout sound.

Got sound.

Nope, not like we do out here. You have distortion because of fluid and tissue between you and the noise. The drum of my heart is most prevalent now, but out here? We have wind in the trees. Rain on the roof. Song birds and hawks. The kitties meowing and purring. Laughter. Papa's voice, soothing and low. Mama's voice, singing soft and sweet. Drums and flutes. Guitars and rattles. Sounds of night, sounds of day.

Hmm...

And I've saved the best for last.

Best?

Touch.

Touch?

Touch. Oh, little one...wait until you feel Papa's touch. And Mama's. There is nothing like feeling the hands of someone who loves you, holding you close. You haven't felt the wind on your face, or water running over your skin. You haven't felt Papa sun on your face, nor Mama Earth beneath your feet. You don't know what it's like to have the grass tickle your toes, or a kitty rub against you. Clean cotton. Sand. Snake skin. Leather. Papa's beard. Mama's hair. Little Big Brother's* gentle hand, patting you.

There's so much for you to see and do and be. Come out, come out, my little Sprout...

I'll think about it.

Well...don't think too long...because you're comin' out by Tuesday, ready or not...and I'd really rather it be on our terms and not the doctors'. C'mon, you're one of us...don't give 'em the satisfaction!



*She has two brothers - The Evil Genius (Little Big Brother) and Someone's first son (23 years old, Big Big Brother)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Because Timing Is Everything

Don't get excited, we're not Sprouting yet - I just had another slow-starting day and have been busy getting last-minute details taken care of.

I am feeling rather uncomfortable and maybe something akin to what could be possibly considered a contraction-like activity if you squint and think about it really hard.

Or it could just be wishful thinking.

I suspect she will out tomorrow. Why?

It could be because since the start January 23 has been ringing through my brain like a great, bronze bell tolling the hourse through the town square.

It could be because a friend who has only been wrong once in twenty-something years said wee hours on the 23'd, and more people have predicted the 23'd than any other date.

Or, it could be because there's not only two football games on (NFC and AFC championships) but there's finally hockey on again. Somone woud have paroxysms of delight...not that either of us is die-hard about football, but we dig watching together, and we are rather fond of hockey. So...you just know she'll out when there are three games to miss.

Fine by me, though...don't tell the little wench, but we have TiVo.

What're your weekend plans??

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anticipayayshun...

Still here, still waiting...

I did manage to get the laundry area floor passably less horrible than it was, yesterday - and believe you me, while it will never be considered "clean", it now looks less like the perfect setting for a creature-feature and more like linoleum.

The Evil Genius and I went to Borders for our weekly discussion group last night - it'll be the last one I get to for a while, and I figured that, even though I really shouldn't be so far from home and Redneck General Horspital and Sock Emporium, I could use the night out. Someone stayed home and got in a bit of Someone time...something he'll find in short supply soon enough, so I can't blame him! He also got the replacement machines ready to install...

When I got home, I helped him get the replacements in...if by "helped" you mean sat on the stairs and watched. He had to finagle 'em in place - it's a tight squeeze - and I did get to fetch tools and whatnot...and, because it's Casa de Crazy, you know they couldn't just get hooked up and slid into place - we had to have some merriment and rearranging and a little bit of "Why the hell is that there??" before all was said and done. There was duct tape involved, and a few towels, and some zip-ties. Yep...sounds like a party!

We ran our first load in the washer last night. Today I am trying to figure out if there's a way to convince the dryer that it doesn't really need to sound a buzzer when it's done.

I spent an uncomfortable night, last night - I'm relegated to sleeping on my sides, and I have to turn every hour or so or risk some wicked butt cramps. I have heartburn, and it's gotten to the point that I chew a Tums every time I turn over. Ugh. Also, I have some new aches/sensations...which could be a baby moving around in there or could be the very beginnings of labor, I just don't know. I'm nowhere near ready to make the drive to Redneck Central General Horspital and Sock Emporium, but I have hopes that maybe this evening or tomorrow morning we can go have us a baby.

Of course, with my luck, she'll decide that she, like her mother, is fundamentally lazy and will opt for the easy way out (for her, anyway - a c-section is not so easy for me).

I'm having a slow, lazy day today - moving about feels like work right now - just doing laundry and a little housework in between rounds of Wii Resort and online foolery.

What's up in your neck o' the woods? And if you've had a baby au natural, how'd you know it was time?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Waiting

Still waiting for Sprout 2011.

You'll be the first second third to I'll let you know, beloved Internets.

Meanwhile, we have what should be our last appointment with the specialist today. One more scan, one more chance to see Sprout from the inside out.

I may or may not have been feeling something a bit like a contraction in the last few hours, but not the hurt-y kind...more like my gut's sucking itself in, tightening a little. Sprout's wriggling about, zinging me. My lower ribs hurt, oddly.

We still need to finish cleaning the laundry area (and there's a future maintenance project in that space, lemme tell ya) and get the replacements installed - while I will envy Mum her fancy new machines, I am happy to have her old ones - they're a bit younger and hipper than our old units.

A fellow from the local shelter came out and picked up the old machines. They'll get a few more years out of them and then can recycle 'em locally for a few bucks. I have an acquaintance who has had occasion to dwell at that shelter, which is how I knew about them. If they hadn't taken the old beasts, I would have Craig's Listed 'em, and then gone the Freecycle rout, and finally, if all else failed, scavenged the copper and saleable bits and recycled 'em myself...but I'm just as glad the shelter wanted them.

Meanwhile, I am busy cooking breakfast (yes, it's late - if you were only days from impending no-more-sleeping-in-for-a-while baby-ness, you'd sleep late, too) - scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms in, fried potatoes and onions, coffee for Someone and unsweet iced tea for me...in case you were wondering...

What's your day looking like??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Like That Beduin Curse

Yesterday was...interesting.

I know I've said this before...and will likely say it many times in the future...but if you want to make the Gods laugh, tell them your plans.

I went to the OB as planned. They were busy - last week's snow meant closed offices and re-scheduled appointments, which meant lots of very pregnant (and not pregnant) women in a holding pattern in the waiting room. I sat for over an hour before finally being led back to my nemesis the scale.

If you've never been pregnant you may not know this, but they like to weigh us. Every time we go in. On devastatingly accurate scales. Sigh. At least they've learned to take the blood pressure before they weigh, and not after. I think they used to do it the other way around for entertainment purposes. Hey, nurses need a laugh, too...

So I was weighed, Sphygmomanometered (hey, want to give spell-check fits? Write "Sphygmomanometered" and then check spelling...heh...), asked to pee in a cup (And whose idea was it to ask pregnant women with a girth approximating that of a municipal water tower to pee into a tiny plastic cup?? Without offering us a glove or anything? I'd like a word with that person...) and hooked up to the machine that goes "hummmmmmmmmm". The machine that goes "hummmmmmmmmm" has two sensors that are secured onto a pregnant woman's middle using web-and Velcro belts and what I like to call "the icky-sticky", a sort of gel substance that I am convinced is actually something invented for use as lubricant in alien space craft.

The gel is to help fine-tune the placement of one of the sensors, which reads the baby's heart rate and movement.

In a perfect world, the baby moves, her heart rate accelerates, and the machine goes "hummmmmmmmmm" and makes a tidy little printout of what's going on. The doctor reads the printout, nods and looks wise, says something incomprehensible and then the pregnant woman is evicted from the nice, comfy chair and back out into the world for another week.

I do not, as I believe I've mentioned, live in a perfect world. Things go haywire around me. Machines especially, and most especially delicate machines. I don't even have to touch them!

The belts have to be put extra tight on me because I was all soft in the middle before getting knocked up, and that soft-in-the-middleness translates into "we need the Michelin Man size, Jane!!" and a tight fit on the belts. I also have to press down on the monitoring doohickey because it has a tough time catching the baby's heart and wriggles.

So the machine went "hummmmmmmmmm", I listened and felt as she wriggled and thumped...and the printout...er...ahem...the printout...hello? Printout?? Hello???

Aww dang.

The machine was picking up two hearts - which is a good thing, because it proves I have one - and it was confused, so it pinged and beeped and got surly.

After an hour trying to get it to behave, the doctor finally sent me for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech was very sweet, and she did her best, but Sprout decided it was nap time and would. Not. Move. I poked. I prodded. I wiggled (and, alas, jiggled). I turned this way and that. Sprout slept on, the sleep of the supremely annoying.

Thirty minutes. That's how long we tried to get her to do something...anything. Mind, her heart was beating (I could see it, and how awesome is that???), she was "breathing" just fine, and nothing looked out of the ordinary...she was just refusing to have anything to do with her audience.

So the doctor said maybe I would have to go on over to the horspital and have a baby.

Uh...beg pardon?

No, no, no...she cannot be born on an even-numbered day, and not before the 20'th, and I didn't have my suitcase, and I needed to run to the bank, and refill prescriptions because I was out of insulin, and had sewing to do, and did I mention that my son was with his father (more than an hour away) and would need picking up? So no, no, sorry, perhaps we could schedule something for next week when I'm not so busy...

The doctor allowed as how I could come back in the afternoon (it was just about afternoon, anyway) and be re-monitored, and we could decide then.

Yes, thank you, because then I could go home and have some lunch (I am diabetic and on insulin for the pregnancy, and I'd been in the office for almost four hours with nothing to eat or drink - I needed to refuel, dang it), grab my suitcase (oh, yeah, and maybe Someone, since he has something of an interest in all of this) and make a call or two to arrange a ride for the Evil Genius on the off chance I was preoccupied with...something.

I placed calls on the way home, missed my exit (thanks a lot, you rat bastards who wouldn't make a space for the Astro with her signal on for MILES!! to get over into the exit lane)(really...miles...) and had to take the next one (four miles South) and take the back roads home (and if you were the person in the white Jeep Whateveritwas, umm...you were in a bloody JEEP! You don't have to slow down when the PAVED road curves or goes down a hill...because it's a JEEP!! on clear, dry roads!!! Just sayin'.). I had just enough time at home to slap together a sandwich and a hasty e-mail, eat, and fling suitcases, cameras, and Someone into the back of the van...whoopsie...sorry, Someone...you're not cargo...

He was sweet and drove us back to the doctor's office, where we waited in the holding pattern. Whee.

At least this time they didn't weigh me.

Luckily, Sprout was feeling more obliging. It could have been lunch...or that she'd rested well during her nap...or maybe, just maybe, it was the near half-gallon of iced tea I drank on the way over...but whatever the reason, once we were being monitored she wriggled like a champ, the machine went "hummmmmmmmmm", the printout printed, and the doctor said I could go on home after I scheduled my c-section...for next week. Sprout has until Tuesday to make her own entrance, then she gets an assist.

Most of the day was shot by then, and all I'd managed to do was sit on my arse waiting for things to happen. Sigh...

We got home, I did get one sewing project worked on, and then I had to go pick up the Evil Genius (T couldn't drive him home) - I had hopes that he'd get another night with his dad, but T had to work - and head on home.

Long day.

Today we really need to get the old washer and dryer out, the laundry area cleaned up a bit (ten years of laundry, lint, and who knows what shenanigans need dealing with down there...groan...), and the replacement machines fetched hither from Mum's place. As Sprout seems content to hang about where she is for the nonce, I'm going to get to it...just as soon as Someone's laundry is done drying (we thought we were done with the laundry last night, but one of the cats decided that Someone's shirts that had fallen onto the floor looked like a fine place to pee in the middle of the night. Sigh.).

What're your plans for the day? It's OK to share 'em here...I'm pretty sure the gods don't read my blog...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lah-Di-Dah

I dropped the Evil Genius off at his father's last evening - didn't plan on driving the lad down and had to rearrange the evening to do it, but T couldn't come get him as planned (we all know about "the best laid plans...") and I didn't want the little guy to miss out on his Daddy time.

The house is quiet this morning. Even when he's sleeping, my son has a presence in this house...when he's not here we feel the absence, are as conscious of it as we are of ourselves.

I'm off for what is probably the last pre-Sprout OB visit (I won't miss hauling my carcass out of bed extra early - for me - for these happy little visits with the scale doctor, either) - if she's not out on her own by next Tuesday, then she'll be getting an assist! One week, then, or less, to baby.

Eep!

Are we ready?

Umm...no. No one's every ready, and don't let 'em try to tell you otherwise. There's always something...

In our case, we are as ready as we're getting - she has clothing, a place to sleep, and there's even a can of (ohmuhgoodness, what's in it to make it so freakin' expensive, gold dust???) formula in the cupboard in case, as with Bird, my (insert your favorite euphemism for "breasts" here) decide not to function.

The bags are packed, the car seat installed, nappies, wipes, and ointment at the ready.

The house is as clean as I care to get it, which is to say, not very, but it's not toxic or filthy and dust bunnies make terrific playmates, don't they??

All that's missing is Sprout; a natural performer, I think she's just waiting to make her entrance.

The rest of today will be spent in doing laundry - we're preparing to remove my poor, tired, almost-but-not-quite-worn-out laundry machines and go fetch Mum's old-but-still-quite-serviceable ones to put in their place - and working on some sewing projects, as well as simply having a few precious quiet moments with Someone before the chaos ramps up a notch around Casa de Crazy.

Unless, that is, Sprout decides that today's the day...but if she's made up her mind on that score, she ain't tellin' me.

What're y'all up to?

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Love Letter

Dear Chevrolet,

Oh, how I love my Astro van. Who wouldn't love a van on a truck chassis that doesn't take "no" for an answer?

Oh, how I mourned when I learned that you, in your infinite foolishness wisdom chose to stop manufacturing my beloved Astro van. I understand - it may be a bit self-defeating to build a vehicle that just doesn't die.

Oh, how I have sung the praises of my beloved Astro van. Her name is Rosie. Rose Marie Chevrolet, to be precise. I call her "my beloved mule" and "sweet Rosie". I cheer her on when we are towing a loaded trailer up a mountain side, and encourage her to keep her footing when we encounter ice or other poor-traction conditions.

I neglect her more often than I should, have her oil changed less often than I should, do not clean her anywhere near enough, and she cheerfully runs along tickety-boo.

True, I have had occasional...oddities...occur, but that's to be expected in any vehicle of mine.

Not that I've had many. All of my cars have been Chevrolets, by the way. All two of them.

My first love was Clementine Anne Chevrolet, and I loved her with a love that can only be had for one's first car - in this instance, a light brown 1979 Chevy Malibu Classic with a 305 V8, no AC (in Redneck Central, in the summer - my AC was frozen bottles of water placed in strategic places around my body), two working windows, and a two-station AM radio (but it only worked in the city). Oh, my darling Clementine, I miss you still. I had to sell her when I could no longer keep up with her wonderful V8 engine's maintenance needs, and a nice young, mechanically inclined fellow was delighted to have her.

Meanwhile, there's Rosie.

Chevrolet, I am a die-hard, Astro loving woman. I have sworn undying devotion to Rosie. She's every kind of awesome, even the kinds no one's discovered yet. I love, love, love the rear doors - I have the gated Dutch doors on the back. People see me open these doors and they envy me and want to know where they can get some. Not kidding...it happens all the time. I must sorrowfully tell them that they can't have these wonderful doors for their very own...because, as with the Astro, the gated Dutch doors are no longer available.

I have had to replace her starter, her fuel pump (twice), her transmission, a side view mirror, some kind of joint in the front (I called it a hip joint, 'cause that's what it would be on a people), a fuel tank cover, a heat exchanger for the radiator, the rear gate pistons, the AC, and re-glue the rear view mirror three times (Redneck Central is hot, parking outside often a necessity, and vehicle interiors are frequently glue-melting), among other things.

I should replace the driver's side-view mirror (I may or may not have been backing out of the garage and gotten just a little too close to the building which may or may not have broken the glass and given me ten smaller mirrors to look at while driving), the airbag sensor, the fuel gauge sensor (although I kind of like watching the needle dance, shimmy, and vibrate along as I drive), the driver's side lock switch that doesn't work at all, forcing me to use the rear gate lock or the passenger switch to secure the vehicle, and the passenger side window motor that works most of the time unless it doesn't feel like it.

I have lived for weeks at a time in that van, and can tell anyone foolish enough to ask exactly how to set up a full-sized bed and a kitchen in there and still have room for their suitcase.

The dealership that sold my Mum her Z-70 and the Astro she bought after she experienced the wonders of Rosie the Mule is the same dealership that does most of my maintenance. They have warned me that one day, even they won't be able to fix whatever's wrong. I dread the day.

She brought my son home from the hospital when he was born. She will bring my daughter home sometime in the next seven days, when she is born. She has made rescue runs to Las Vegas, New York state, and Florida, hauled my family up to Mass and back (the trip that killed the fuel pump, but she got us home anyway), and it was Rosie who carried me to Texas to first meet my Someone. Should the opportunity present itself for a new vehicle, I will decline if it means I cannot also keep Rosie...unless, maybe, if it was another Astro van...and even then...

Please, Chevrolet...won't you reconsider and start building these marvelous vans again? For me?? Preferably a blue one with an iPod friendly stereo, a sliding door on each side, and no trace of that evil tool of the Devil, Onstar? I'd be ever so grateful...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yes, Yes, Another Video

I was out running erands yesterday and put the iPod on Gordon Lightfoot, 'cause I dig him and like to sing along (when I can make out what the heck he's mumbling - my diction teacher would have had a field day with him!). One of the lyrics to the song below caught my ear...

"Deep in the dark of a burned out soul, there's a few good second-hand dreams..."

Nice...



What're you listening to, today?

Friday, January 14, 2011

This 'n' That, But Not the Other

I don't even think this qualifies as Thoughtfetti...

It actually snowed here in Redneck Central, a decent amount. Started Sunday evening, continued all night, paused in the morning, and then gave us a little more in the afternoon. The Evil Genius was delighted - he got to play in it, eat icicles, and watch the outdoor kitties heartily disapprove of the cold, white stuff.

We were well provisioned and for once didn't lose power, so we just holed up, played games, listened to the heat pump work over time, and waited for the roads to come back. At one point, Someone took the truck out to the big road to see if it was plowed (it was not, and still hasn't been). While he was gone, I got restless, so I went out and shoveled the front porch and stairs, our little bit of a walkway and part of the driveway. When Someone got home, he just shook his head and walked on into the house - he knows better than to get in my way. Why oh why do people think pregnant women can't/shouldn't do things? Whoof..let us move around if we need to...trust me, I am fundamentally lazy and will not do a whit more than I can/want to, even when not knocked up.

For games, we had Quirkle - I can't begin to describe it except to say that Casa de Crazy is addicted and will stab you in the hand if you try to take it away from us (Disclaimer: I was in no way paid, bribed, cajoled, or blackmailed into saying that, but if the nice folks who invented it ever need a game tested, they should get in touch)- and the Evil Genius's new Wii Resort game (flying = fun!!) to occupy our hours.

We decided that, until the roads were completely clear, if Sprout decided she wanted out we'd call good old 911 and let them do the driving. Either that, or Someone would fetch some towels and the kitchen shears and we'd just go the old-fashioned route.

I didn't get to my Tuesday doctor's appointment because they were closed. Thursday's was delayed, but we made it in for our Sprout scan, and she's still there and doin' fine.

Wednesday evening, I cleaned out the van a little and installed the baby seat. Someone and I both packed our suitcases. We'll put 'em in the van once the roads are cleared.

Last night we umm...er...I think we played more games, made sausage, pan gravy, and potatoes, and watched a Batman movie. Whee...

Today, we ran errands all afternoon. It was good to get out and about - you never think about how much you "pop out" for things, even if you're a homebody, until you can't! We needed bird seed, pants, boots, and I wanted to get some sleepers for the baby (we have a few, but I like to have a whole mess of 'em so we aren't dealing with laundry every day)(in a perfect world, the laindry would wash, dry, and fold itself before neatly re-occupying shelf, drawer, or hanger)(A gal can dream). We also got some nifty footie-pajamas for the Evil Genius - they're cammo, his current favorite color scheme. He may or may not have vowed that he was putting them on as soon as we got home and was never, ever, taking them off. Bathing should be interesting.

Tonight it's pizza and a movie or two. Party never stops...

I haven't blogged much because have you seen how boring we've been? Not much going on here.

On the Sprout front, we're as ready as we're getting and we have a definite date - if she isn't out on her own by the 25'th, she will be evicted by the nice folks at Redneck Central General Horspital and Sock Boutique. Should things happen as I hope they will (you know, naturally), I'll try to put up a quick "Headed to the Horspital" post on the way out the door, and try to have Someone or Mum post a picture on our many blogs as soon as they can. If we go to the 25'th, then I'll post before we leave...'cause I know you're holding your breath and really, much as I adore the color blue that shade doesn't become you.

So - how's the weather in your neck of the woods, and what've you been doing lately??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Humans, Being

I am a human being.

You are a human being.

We are being human.

We will struggle.

We will fail.

We will succeed.

We will struggle again.

We will be weak.

We will be strong.

We will be.

We are humans, being.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

Bird and I spent yesterday up at Mum's, running errands and doing a wee photo shoot - I needed some reference photos for an artist who has kindly offered to illustrate one of my children' stories.

We came home and I ran a few errands for Casa de Crazy, namely filling both vehicles with fuel and grabbing the ingredients for one of my favorite meatball recipes (posted below, without pictures 'cause I didn't take any). We were warned to expect Winter weather rolling in come nightfall, and I was craving something substantial.

Often when we get Winter weather, it means ice, which means no power for anywhere from a few hours to days. Sucks. Luckily, I can cook over the propane camp stove, and if it gets too cold we can always invade one of the neighbor's homes - they have fireplaces, while Casa de Crazy is one of the three homes in the neighborhood that was built without. What the Hell, Stupid Builder, were you thinking?? While we aren't famous for our blizzards around here, it does get cold (well...for most folks...to me, it's just a little chilly unless it's twenty below and windy) (no, really, you can ask Mum) and we do lose power fairly often. So far, though, so good.

The weather folks predicted 2 - 5 inches in Redneck Central, a substantial amount for this part of the country. Last time they said we'd have that much, one flake sort of waved on its way through town and that was it, so I wasn't going to hold my breath.

Last night on facebook, most of my friends were posting about the snow they were getting...but Casa de Crazy was clear and dry. I was starting to suspect either mass hallucinations or that someone had put a giant umbrella over the house. Finally, around ten-ish, we saw flakes a-falling. Went to bed about midnight while Nature kept at her frosting.

This morning? Let's just say the outdoor cats were very thankful that Someone is really a softie (don't tell him I said so) and let them into the garage for the night. We actually got enough snow to measure in inches, not millimeters.

Little Dude and I went out to play for a few minutes, but dang...even for me it was bloody cold! I was even wearing (gasp) a jacket!! Alert the media...

We came back in and now it's snowing again. We may go out later for some more play, but I'm just as happy to get the crockpot going (meatballs re-heating) and do some schooling with Bird...just as soon as I post a few pics here and the meatball recipe (someone wanted it last night, but I didn't feel like posting it on facebook)

Little Dude wanted to build a snowman, but it's just a little too powdery...so he settled for lobbing hunks of snow at me when my back was turned. Here's one of his projectiles:

I do love the way snow settles on every little thing:

Poor fairy - she endures all the weather with a good disposition:

If I get any good ones of the cats, I'll try to post them...but the cats are disinclined to oblige my need for silly kitty pictures, keeping under the truck and hugging the perimeter of the house when they can.

Right, recipe!

The cast:
1 stick of butter (and a defibrillator)
1 cup of flour
4 cups chicken broth
4 teaspoons dill (I use dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
A bag o' frozen meatballs (or you can make your own if you like - I'm lazy and actually like the frozen ones)

Action:

In a large pot, make a rue with the butter and flour.

Slowly add the broth, whisking smooth. Add salt and dill.

Stir until thickened, like a nice cream soup or maybe a little thicker than that.

Add the sour cream, stir well.

Dump the meatballs into a slow cooker or large pot (this is the fun part - 3 or 4 cups if you want it saucier, or fill the crockpot if you plan to serve these as snacks/toothpick food) and pour the sauce over it. Stir it up to coat everything. Heat on low until the meatballs are nice and hot, stirring occasionally.

I like to serve these with egg noodles or rice and broccoli or green beans.

You can easily halve, quarter, or double this recipe depending on your needs, and they re-heat nicely if you can't finish them all in one sitting.

So - how's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

'Cause I'm Out Runnin' Errands...

...y'all get a video. Aren't you lucky??



Why this one? One or two folks may have an inkling...

I'm up at Mum's today, running an errand or two and shooting some photos that I hope will be turned into illistrations for one of my children's stories...what're you up to, today?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sprout and About

We have been given a cut-off (or should that be cut-OUT?) date for Sprout - if she does not grace us with her presence by the twenty-fifth, then we will go in and fetch her.

While I'd like to let her come in her own time, I have to say...my body, if not my mind, is ready.

Meanwhile, we play the waiting game.

Yesterday we drove up to the art co-op where Mum was waiting for us. With the gallery closing(sniff), they had to move a slew of furniture and had scads of pieces (did you know a Scad was a fish??) they needed to be rid of. One of those pieces was/is a bookshelf that now resides in Sprout's room thanks to Mum's overworked wallet and Someone's strong back and arms. I like it - it's nice and sturdy and has plenty of room for us to fill it with books.

Today I'm going grocery shopping to stock up on things that are easy to fix, both regular foods and microwave/Evil Genius friendly stuff.

I'm also going to pack my suitcase and shower bag, clean the van, install the car seat, and get the suitcases stowed in there so we don't have to worry about grabbing them should Sprout choose her entrance time rather than let us escort her out.

I also hope to finish taking down the holiday decorations (outdoor stuff - inside's done) and get them stowed.

Why so busy?

Well...I can't quite explain it...but we're thinking maybe Sprout isn't going to wait until the twenty-fifth. She has dropped quite a bit in the last few days - that means (for the uninitiated) that she is riding lower down in my belly now. I can feel her head pressing in my pelvic area. There aren't' any signs of impending labor, not even the tiny little practice contractions that are normal in most pregnancies, but Someone and I both agreed last night...we may be Sprouting sooner than we thought.

Of course, we could be wrong, and left to her own devices she won't come out until May. Babies are contrary like that.

Still.

Better safe than sorry.

So...quick gut-check - whatcha think? Will we have an early Sprout, a late Sprout, or one who pops put exactly on time?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Well

I don't always write well. Heck, if you listen to my inner critic (who sounds remarkably like my grandmother), I don't ever write well. It's OK...I don't always listen to my inner critic - she thinks I should wear makeup and actually give a damn about my clothing and how my hair looks. Pfft.

I believe that my best words come from the same place as my deepest sorrow. It's a dark place, this source; it's the same place where all of my creativity is born. Diving into this source is painful - it's cold and cutting, slicing shadows and serrated-toothed monsters gnashing and slashing as I sink into the depths hoping for one more spark, one more bit of brilliance to polish up and present apologetically to the world in hopes it will meet with approval.

I can see why artists and writers (who are also artists, in my opinion) have been known to drink or do drugs - sometimes it's tremendously difficult to face that place again, knowing what I have to pass through to get to what may (or may not) be the good stuff. I can understand wanting to dull the senses, silence the voices...or to enhance them, bring them into sharper focus, brighten them until they are painfully clear and almost - but not quite - surreal. Through ferment or chemical haze, things can be seen...differently...and may be easier to bear.

It's dangerous, though, going into the source while...altered. I prefer to face it, ugly or transcendent as it may be, on my own, as myself, in my own mind (while I can't ever claim it's my right mind, it is my own). I prefer to know that I can, eventually, find my way out again.

For that reason, and because my depression and other side dishes on the variety plate come from the same place as what little creativity I possess, I do not take medication to treat the illness. I did so for a time and lost my essential self. I found that, for me, the cure was worse than the disease - I needed to see the world through these disillusioned eyes, to see it without the hazy, rose-colored filter of chemical wellness. I needed to be miserable, to know that when I was...when I am...happy, it's real and not thanks to Eli Lilly and company.

When medicated, I cannot reach my source. I can feel it there, I just can't touch it. That is unacceptable to me. I need to be able to go back in at will.

Sometimes it's exhausting, and at the end of the journey there's nothing to show for it but a shivering psyche and empty hands. In truth, most of the time I have to ask myself if it was worth the trouble.

Once in a while, though...I find something I think to be golden, and for that reason I will return, again and again.

The well is murky and deep, and I willingly plumb its depths for the glimmering bits I may find at the bottom - they may not be worth anything to anyone else, but they're treasures to me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do I Really Have To Spell It Out?

I know, dear reader, that you don't need to be told these things, but it seems much of the general public is wandering around in a haze of self-important self-indulgence and needs a little reminder...so please bear with me as I vent my spleen in the place least likely to garner attention from the men in white coats - the Blue Nowhere. In the interest space and time, I have refrained from a full-on venting...just two small items for now. Thank you for your patience.
~~~~~
S-T-O-P

When the above is found on an octagonal sign (that being a sign with eight sides - count them, you'll see), wherein the background of the sign is red (crimson, if you like) and the letters and a handy, attention-getting edge are white (often reflective for easy night time viewing), what does it mean, children? Yes, that's right Bobby - it means that you must gently apply your brakes and bring your vehicle to a safe, complete stop, preferably before actually entering the intersection at the corner of which the sign may be found. Sometimes there's even a nice white line painted on the pavement to indicate where the sign-placers believe you should end your forward motion. Thoughtful, aren't they?

Many times you will note that an intersection has one of these fancy little signs at each corner, indicating that all approaching traffic must stop. Should you be the only one at the intersection, you may of course proceed onward in your chosen direction as soon as you've attended the sign's directive and ascertained (that means "made sure", children) that the intersection is clear.

It is generally considered rude (and unsafe) to perform a "rolling stop", wherein you simply slow a bit and then cruise through the intersection...especially when another vehicle, long before your approach, performed the legally mandated cessation of motion, looked in all directions to be sure it's safe, and began to accelerate once more. Ruder (and less safe) still would be to perform said "rolling stop" while turning into the lane the previously mentioned vehicle is also trying to occupy at that same moment. You may find your lack of courtesy having a rather crunchy result.

Courtesy and safety aside, there is the small matter of the law, which frowns upon such shenanigans. Don't make Officer Friendly frown, children - it puts lines on his face.

Some intersections provide special lanes for people who wish to turn left or right. Handy, aren't they? It is not only polite, but recommended, that you use your turn indicator - left for a left turn, right for a right turn (I only mention this because there seems to have been some confusion on the matter, lately) - to show other motorists which way you wish to go. Playing "Guess the Direction" makes motorists cranky.

If you are in the center lane, other motorists will believe you wish to proceed straight through the intersection. This means that the nice lady in the red Astro van who has been waiting for half an hour in the right turn lane because traffic is rancid will not be looking for you to turn right from the central lane just as she is also turning right from the (gasp) actual turning lane, both of you seeking to occupy the same space at the same time. It is possible that your little black Lexus (with, apparently, malfunctioning turn signals and a directionally challenged driver) will find itself on the losing end of this physical impossibility, unless of course the nice lady in the red Astro van is being extra vigilant because you are not the first motorist to get up to shenaniganry that day, and the nice lady in the red Astro van does not wish to put lines on Officer Friendly's face (although clearly you have no regard for poor Officer Friendly and his youthful appearance, for shame).

It would be wise to note, as well, that when you are behind someone who is actually following the directive of the traffic sign, you need not honk your horn, flash your lights, or attempt to inch your vehicle up the lead vehicle's tailpipe in order to encourage motion simply because they actually dared to come to a complete halt and (gasp) impeded your own scheme to perform your beloved "rolling stop". Perhaps you could, instead, pause and enjoy the scenery while you obey the traffic laws you (as a voting citizen) have helped put into place. See the icicles on the tree? Shiny. See the flowers in the verge? Pretty. See the children chasing their puppy into the intersection? Squishy.

Alright, now, children, let's all go have some juice and cookies and think about what we've learned.
~~~~~
Elevate Your Manners

Attention, boys and girls, attention! There's a small matter of elevator courtesy to discuss before we break out our naptime mats and cuddly blankies.

Can anyone tell me what an elevator is? Yes, Suzy, that's right - it's a magic box that takes us up or down in a bulding, depending on which buttons we push. Aren't they wonderful? Aren't they fun?

Here are some things to know that will make them wonderful and fun for everyone on the ride:

First, direction. Don't push the upward facing button of you really wish to go down. Don't push the downward facing button if you really wish to go up. It confuses the poor elevator, which is really a very simple machine after all and only wants to please its passengers.

If the directional button you desire has been pressed, it will usually have a light indicating so. You don't have to push it again. Pushing it again, once or many time in rapid succession, will not make the elevator reach you any faster.

When the magical transporting box reaches you floor and opens its welcoming doors, wait a moment. Step aside and let the egressing (that means "exiting", children) passengers make room for you inside. If you see a little old lady with an oxygen tank and a walker, perhaps you might seek to place your hand in front of the door or punch the button especially for that purpose to keep the doors from closing on her as she makes her painfully slow way into the vestibule.

Let everyone off before you seek to enter the magic-funtime transporter, please. When it's your turn to climb aboard, press the button indicating your desired floor and only that button. You don't need to push them all - the vestibules all look the same, and you can always take a walking tour later if you're desperate to see each one. Move to the back of the box to allow others a chance to ride.

It is most polite to hold the door if you see someone rushing to make it to the elevator. I know the sad, frustrated, or disappointed look on their face as the door slides shut inches from them is amusing, but their gratitude will keep you warm on cold winter nights.

When the elevator has brought you to your floor and is ready to discharge you, look around. Is anyone else getting off? Is there another little old lady with two broken legs and a walker? A pregnant woman who is clearly exhausted and trying not to fall asleep between floors? If you are young, able-bodied, or empty handed, how about holding the door open for these others and giving them an opportunity to egress first? I know it means pausing your terribly important cell-phone conversation about who is going to church with whom, and how often, and what they wore and why it's wholly inappropriate long enough to actually notice your fellow passengers, but it is the polite thing to do. Also, standing in the center of the doorway while chatting blithely on the phone, holding up both outbound and inbound traffic because this isn't your floor is a double no-no and may garner you a smack on the behind with an errant umbrella.

Finally (for now), children, remember - if you felt the need to steep yourself in pungent cologne, perfume, parfum, eau de toilet, or some other scented mayhem, or if you find bathing regularly personally offensive or pungent body odor delightful...consider the allergies and sensibilities of others and take the stairs.
~~~~~
Whew...I feel a little better, now...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Guilt, Anger, Depression, Conflagration, Ash

Believe it or not, dear reader, I am a card-carrying fire fighter.

No, really.

Granted, the card has expired. Granted, if you read it it would tell you that I am certified by the state of Georgia in Race Track fire fighting and only in Race Track fire fighting - but I had to take classes and pass tests and put out fires to get it, and did so every year (even though I only had to go every two years for re-certification) for nearly two decades until the program was discontinued due to re-interpretation of the law concerning track safety and fire fighting certification.

Ahem.

So.

In these classes, I learned many interesting and a few useful things. I learned, for example, how to make ducks sink in perfectly normal looking water, and also how said ducks will look very surprised when their buoyancy is suddenly nil. I learned that the Peabody Hotel is not amused by sinking ducks.

I learned that anything can be made to burn given the right conditions.

I also learned about the fire triangle.

You see, fire needs three things to live - heat, fuel, and oxygen. Take away one of those three, and no fire. Add to one of them, and you get more fire.

Guilt, anger, and depression lead to fugue. Fugue is an unpleasant place to be. Guilt feeds the anger, which in turn feed the depression, which in turn feed the guilt...and...fugue. Around and around we go, and it doesn't stop until something is taken away. Taking something out of this triangle, however, isn't as easy as pulling the pin, aiming the extinguisher (called "fire bottle" around here) and letting 'er rip.

Nope.

With the fugue triangle, it takes an act of will (far more powerful than an act of Congress), often combined with an outside factor, to extinguish the state.

This last Sunday, we had here at Casa de Crazy what I could call a perfect storm of guilt, anger, and depression, leading to one of us trying to make a permanent Kyddryn-sized lump on the bed and another of us wondering "What the Hell?"

I feel guilt. I don't think I deserve to be loved, and I don't like feeling like my love is a burden. I don't like feeling as though my love makes anyone else feel guilty because they feel responsible for or to me. Don't try to make sense of it - I experience it all the time and I can't make sense of it. The guilt turns into anger - what's up with the people who were supposed to love me unconditionally from birth but can't be bothered? Fuck them!! Then depression - why am I so useless, so worthless, why can't I get anything right...? It's an over-simplification, but you get the point.

Adding to this feelings fiesta is an oddment of rather large size - Someone and I have a peculiar kind of synchronicity going on. If I'm experiencing peaks or valleys, chances are he is too. We don't necessarily set each other off...and we try very hard not to feed each other's fugues...but we sure do experience them together. Understanding, having empathy for, this kind of thing can be nearly as rough as being knee-deep in the middle of the swamp. So when I'm having a vary bad day and Someone is having a vary bad day...well, we have conflagration.

We have sharp words and hurt feelings and mis-or-non-communication, and we have two grown people who are sudden;y not speaking to each other because neither one of them is acting with any sense...because when you're in fugue? There's not making sense.

So on Sunday I wrote while Someone took himself out of the house and off into the city to see what he could see. When he came home, we tried to kick one of the legs off of the triangle and set things right, but our fugues got in the way and we ended up in separate rooms feeling separate feelings and dealing with them in separate ways.

Until Someone decided enough was enough. Enough darkness in Casa de Crazy. He plugged in the Yule tree, lit our last altar candle, came and found the Kyddryn-lump on the bed and...touched my hand.

That was all I needed...just that little bit of contact, that one touch, to remind me...I am loved. I am wanted. I am needed. I have purpose. Maybe I fuck up...but show me someone who doesn't and I'll show you someone with a closet full of festering mistakes they'd like to pretend don't exist. His touch grounded me, brought me back from where I'd been stuck all day.

Then I found an in-box full of e-mails from people who wanted to know what was up and how they could help and did I require medicating or brownies or what??

Tremendous kindness was shown, by people from all over the place...and I thank you all for it.

I can't, and won't, say it'll never happen again...it's in my nature to crash, and crash hard...but I hope it's not soon, and I'll be eternally grateful for the folks who ran underneath to catch a falling woman this time around.

And Someone? I don't ever doubt your love...thank you for the lights, and for finding whatever you needed within yourself to make that first contact because I just couldn't. Thank you for bringing me Home.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Dude


Happy birthday, Little Dude.
I wish I could give you more than a few words on a screen, but these few words and my love are all I have. I love you, little guy...being your mother is truly one of the finest gifts I've ever been given. Watching you grow into yourself is amazing...and I am honored to witness and be part of it. I can't wait to see what you'll do with your next year.
Holy carp, he's eight!!

But It Got Better

I napped.

Cats curled up around me and purred.

I woke up in the dark, and felt alone and loney...and Someone came and found me...touched me...and brought me back to ground.

I got up. Made oatmeal.

Friends reached out with their good hearts and kind words.

And it got better.

I know I'm loved...I just forget to remember, sometimes.

Thank you for reminding me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sorry (but I bet you won't be)

This may be it for a while.

No, not because of impending baby. Because I'm just not feeling it. Because I don't think anyone gives a rat's ass, and because it's difficult to blog without power, or a phone line, and I'm not asking you for help or pity or money or answers or a lecture or advice or why I'm doing everything all wrong and how I should be living my life, I'm just saying that I'm not going to write when I'm not feeling it because it's all worthless crap when I DO feel it...so NOT feeling it is even worthlesser. Shut up - my blog, my words, I can make them up if I want to.

Because I have no other outlet for what's in my head right now (because no one, not a damned soul, wants to hear it from me, I ain't talkin' about it in Mundania...but this is MY blog and if you don't want to put up with my pissing and moaning you can click that little "x" button and shut me the hell up and I don't have to feel like I've burdened yet another poor soul with my shit):

I can't pay the water bill. It's three months past due.

I pay the power a few dollars at a time, and so far they've been patient, but tomorrow I am supposed to pay them a substantial amount and I don't have it, so the power will be off by the end of the week and it won't be back on until I pay what I owe and a hefty deposit besides. In three weeks or so, when Sprout is born, she'll be coming home to a cold, dark house. Welcome to the fucking world, you poor wee thing. Too bad you picked a loser for a mom.

I can't pay my van insurance, so I will be driving unlawfully for a while, if I drive at all.

I haven't eaten since that bowl of Jell-O yesterday afternoon. I can't bring myself to. The thought nauseates me.

I can't sleep. I'm tired all the time.

My back hurts, my neck and shoulders hurt, my head hurts...fuck, I'm one big ouch, but no one notices...or maybe (seems more likely) no one cares.

Tomorrow is my son's birthday...and he doesn't want to come home. He wants to stay with his father. His father never yells at him or asks him to clean his room or make sure there's toilet paper in the bathroom, and can buy him McDonald's and toys and video games, and I barely managed to scrape together enough dough for one birthday present and a cake...and I had to borrow money for the cake.

Every day, he realizes a little more what a worthless fucktard his mother is. Every day, he pulls away a little more...

Let me say it again, plainly - my son doesn't want me. I used to be the cure for all his ills, and now he's not even eight and he. Doesn't. Want. Me.

And I'm going to go through it all again with my daughter - she'll think I'm marvelous, at first, until she learns better. Then she'll turn her back, too. Why wouldn't they - when everyone else shows me so clearly that they don't want me, how can my children help but do the same?

So, yeah...it's so fucking cheerful inside my head...why wouldn't I want to share all this??

See you tomorrow, or not, or the next day, or not...and in the end, if I never came back, I know it'd be as significant and a fart in the wind. Zen, yo.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolve

One is supposed to make resolutions regarding the new year, isn't one?

One is supposed to say one will lose weight, quit some unhealthy habit or begin some new healthy habit. One is supposed to promise to clean more and swear less and take action to improve one's self.

Bah.

I stopped making resolutions long ago.

I think it's enough, sometimes, to have the resolution to make it through one more day...one more week, or month, or year.

I hope this is a good year for us all...but whatever it brings, I'll try to meet it with resolve, with dogged determination, and whenever possible with a little panache.

Do you have resolutions?