Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Man Poop

Warning: This blog post is about excrement. If you do not feel like reading about excrement, then you should probably find another blog post without the word "poop" in the title.

Now, moving on...

I have recently diagnosed E with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Every time I ask him for help with a messy or unpleasant task with the baby, he gets irritated, and then says he has to go to the bathroom. Twenty minutes later, after said task has been completed by yours truly, he reemerges from his man throne. What really annoys me is that he will then offer his help, knowing full well that I have already done whatever it was that needed to be done. At first I believed that it was merely a coincidence, but now I know better. It happens almost every. single. time. I'm on to him. You can't exactly start an argument about bathroom habits, though- especially without hard evidence. And that's not an investigation that I am willing to undertake.

There is a great deal that I understand about men, having grown up with a father and a brother, and being on my fourth male roommate. However, I have never been able to answer that age-old question- What the hell takes them so long in there? Why do they need a half hour bathroom break? Why are stacks of reading material necessary to eliminate bodily waste? Why can't they just get it over with and get on with their lives? What is up with the man poop?

The best explanation I have gotten for this is from my ex's best friend, Wayne. Wayne explained to me that it was like creating a work of art. You spare no time or expense to carefully squeeze out the perfect sculpture. He told me this over dinner, and explained to me that he wasn't just eating a medium-rare filet- he was beginning the work on his next masterpiece, Vincent Van Wayne's Mona Lisa. Needless to say, Wayne doesn't have many friends, and the ex and I just couldn't make it (not entirely because of his choice of friends, but still...)

So if any of you have any answers to this mystery, I am all ears. Until then, I am going to stock my bathroom with a few good books, bubble bath, and a bottle of wine, and pull the "I have to go to the bathroom" card before he can next time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Folley of Errors.

What a day, what a day. And it's only 8 a.m.

A few weeks ago, I decided with Eric's crazy restaurant management schedule and my negative income (or outcome, as I like to think of it) that I would take up substitute teaching. It's the only way I can think of to make money with zero commitment. Since I have a huge fear of commitment, plus a very demanding and unpredictable baby, nothing could be more perfect for me. Well, except for the small fact that I don't like kids. Especially kids in large groups. I figure that's something I can overlook, though. I've overlooked more major issues at other jobs.

So today was to be my first day subbing. I have been putting it off and putting it off. I've been putting everything off, to be honest. But, I must have money. It's at a critical level. So after paying bills last night (ok, ok- after looking at bills last night) I decided to check the Sub Finder website to see if there were any jobs today. There were two listed: 2nd grade or high school special-ed. I chose special ed. What could be better, right? I could make some money andget that warm and fuzzy do-good feeling! So I clicked "Accept this job" and went to bed feeling hopeful for the next day.

Naturally, that's when it all started to go downhill. Austin has decided that the week he slept in his own crib was just to tease mommy, so he slept with me and kicked me all night. Eric hogged the other side of the bed. The temperature was all wrong. Basically, I slept for about an hour and a half, thinking all night about giving up the job today. But no, I told myself, I must make money for my family (and, again with the honestly, for the new laptop), AND I will be helping special needs kids. So at 5:30 a.m. I roll out of bed, shower, and prepare for my day. I found a pair of pre-preggo work pants and squirmed into them (with a little help from Spanx), I managed to fish out the one sweater I own that pretends to contain my massive mommy breasts, and I completed my teacher ensemble with a pair of fantastic heels that say, "I'm professional, but I'm also hip and a little sexy." (Well, that's what I think they say. To everyone else, they probably say, "Please make this lady stop thinking that Target shoes are fashionable.")

So off I go to nervously begin my time in teacher-land. I walk outside to my car in the cold rainy morning, thankful that I had parked close to the apartment. But wait! Where's my car? Eric had moved it, so I began sloshing through the rain with my silly heels in search of my car. I finally find it, way down the heel, crank up the heat, and begin my journey to school with my head racing. I mean, I have no idea what to expect. And these are rich kids. Really rich kids. What if they are like the rich kids that I went to high school with, with snotty attitudes and a huge sense of entitlement? Where am I going to sit at lunch? I won't belong anywhere! I'm not a "real" teacher, I'm not a student... what if it's like the substitute teacher version of Carrie?

Thankfully I left in plenty of time, because not only was the morning nasty, but a tractor trailer overturned on the interstate near the school. It was all over every radio station. It basically shut the south side of the city down for the morning. Since I left so early, it only made me 5 minutes late, but in those 5 minutes, the kids had arrived. I had to park in student parking and ignore the weird looks from the students as I walked in. I could just feel their eyes on me, thinking, "She's not one of us, AND she shops at Target!" I tried to walk in like I knew what I was doing, and I pretended to know where I was going. I was totally lost. Finally I found what looked like an office, went in, and was told that the real office was right across the hall. The secretaries got to see that small walk of shame from their windows. I went in the main office, they told me to come around, and I couldn't find the door. The frumpy secretary shot me a not-so-amused look at that point. Then, THEN, they can't find me on the sub list. Did I have the name of who I was there for? No. Do I have the job number? Negative. So to save face, I try to make small talk with the frumpy secretary, who is obviously annoyed by my very existence. I knew I should have worn a tacky Christmas teacher sweater. She would have liked me more. The main office lady took pity on me, pulled me in her office, got on the computer, then proceeded to give me a sad smile and tell me I had showed up a day early. Go me.

It just HAD to be special-ed I was subbing for when I made such a fool of myself. I can only imagine the jokes they made when I left. The nice secretary told me to stick around and have coffee to wait for the traffic to subside, but I had to get out as quickly as possible. So I drive home, feeling like a fool. When I got in, I changed clothes, and thought I'd step on the scale to make myself feel better. Apparently my 3 tough days in the gym have helped me gain 3 lbs. Well, at least I get to go back to sleep now, right? Wrong. Ze bebe wakes up the second I step foot in the bedroom and gives me a big gummy, "HI Mommy, I'm wide awake, let's play now!" grin. And how can you refuse that?

I have to say, though, it helped put my day in perspective. I might be a moron, fat, and poor, but my sweet baby still loves me. I'm going to enjoy the time I have left with him before he develops a sense of reason.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Help Wanted- PT Domestic Goddess

After two weeks of not working at all yet still getting absolutely nothing accomplished (except for the lack of major bodily harm befalling the baby- now that he has become mobile I consider this no small feat), I have decided that it is time to embrace my inner domestic goddess. No, there has been no hormonal "must clean... must have order..." shift in me as I had hoped. As all my friends were rushing to sign up for Home-Ec in high school, what with its easy 'A' and baked goods, I was the kid sitting in elective calculus (which I still find fascinating). Day to day routines and attention to detail are not my strong points. My desire to change has been brought about for two reasons: 1. After my illness, if someone does happen to come in my apartment, there is some possibility that they would call Child Protective Services on me, and 2. I am really sick of hearing Eric complain all the time that I don't do anything. Not that #2 would normally inspire me to change- actually quite the opposite. However, I have reached a new level of maturity where I have learned that making him happy makes him shut up, and one whiny baby is all I feel like putting up with on any given day.

So I go about trying to embrace my inner domestic goddess, but so far, it hasn't gone so well. It turns out that she is quite confrontational, and perhaps slightly mentally retarded. The initial conversation looked something like this:

Me: Hello, um, inner domestic goddess? Are you there?
IDG: No, I'm vacationing in the South of France. Where else would I be?
Me: I think we should start deep cleaning the apartment, and planning a dinner
IDG: No.
Me: What do you mean, no?
IDG: I'm busy.
Me: Doing what?
IDG: I don't like you. Go play Tetris and leave me alone.
Me: Can't you just help me out a little bit?
IDG: I'm not a day laborer.
Me: If you don't help me, you are fired.
IDG: *silence*
Me: I mean it!
IDG: *more silence*
Me: Hello? Hello?

Apparently my inner domestic goddess is angry at me for keeping her locked away for, oh, about 27 years, and the years of neglect have rendered her talents useless. I would like to replace her with Merry Maids and perhaps a part-time personal chef, but these luxuries are not in my Stay-at-home-mom budget. So instead, I have just joined Flylady.net. It is a website geared for people like me! How fabulous! It teaches you how to clean and organize your home and keep it that way. In a nutshell, it turns us hopeless creative types into Martha Stewart! Well, ok, maybe Martha Stewart's redheaded stepchild, but I'll take it. I'm ashamed to admit that I almost teared up reading the welcome letter. Stupid hormones. Fly Lady promises there is hope for me, so if I can keep up with the program, perhaps in a year from now I'll be sitting in my tidy living room playing with my well-behaved toddler as a homemade treat bakes in the oven. If not, there is always Careerbuilder.com and daycare.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Germ Warfare and Lollipops

Every November, I have a tradition. As the chill sets in the air, I watch the leaves change colors, I freak the hell out about the Christmas music and holiday displays in stores, and I get bronchitis. The bronchitis is a pretty regular thing for me, and as I type, I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with it again. But it's a new ballgame now. I have a baby. A really high maintenance baby. A baby who doesn't break for bronchitis. I thought maybe the universe would cut me some slack this year, but alas, no such luck. "How is it even possible?" I ask myself. I don't go anywhere. I don't do anything. How the crap did I get exposed to it this year? And then it hit me- Monday, I was in the mother of all germy cesspools: the pediatrician's office.

If you don't have kids, and you've never been to a pediatrician's office since entering adulthood, let me tell you- you are one lucky bastard. One mustn't be fooled by the warm, brightly colored waiting room- these are baaaad places. Just one look at the super frazzled receptionist should give you your first clue. Imagine, if you will, Wal-Mart. Now, take everyone with those horrible kids in buggies out of Wal-Mart, and put them into a room about 1/20th of the size. Now, make half of those kids sick. Voila! Now you have a pediatrician's office!

As soon as we entered the waiting room on a Monday morning for Austin's six month checkup, I knew it was not going to go well. The place was packed, the phone was ringing off the hook, and the children were wild. After sitting in the waiting room for 30 minutes, no one had been called back, and the patients kept pouring in. A good hour in this waiting room teaches you a lot about what kind of parent you do not want to become. There is always that one haggard looking mom with "that" kid running around like a ... well, you know "that" kid. At first, you feel sorry for the mom. "No, Parker, don't take that little girl's toy. No, Parker, don't throw that ball at people. No, Parker, don't run out that door." New moms like me look around wide-eyed, fearing that we are looking into the future. A little farther into the wait, you stop feeling so sorry for her. Her commands become more and more disheartened. She is losing the battle and has accepted defeat. "No, Parker, don't lick that baby's forehead. No, Parker, stop jumping on the table. No, Parker, we push our trucks on the floor, we don't throw them at people's heads." So little Parker Pathogen keeps running around like a tiny maniac, being atrocious and spreading pestilence with his germy little appendages. I know it was him. I didn't like the looks of the kid from the time I walked in the door. He had it in for me.

I should have seen it coming. I should have known that I could not have come out of two hours in a pediatrician's office unscathed during cold and flu season. They might as well have wrapped me up in a smallpox covered blanket, for I apparently have no immune system to speak of.

On the plus side, Austin is healthy and happy. He weighs 16 lb 5 # (he is now literally twice the baby he used to be, as his birth weight was 8 lb 2 oz), he is 26 1/2" long, and he got 2 shots. On an even more positive note, the baby was the only one to cry this time. The last time he got shots, he cried for about 2 minutes, and mommy cried hysterically for about 25 (I totally caused a scene. I made the nurse cry, and the doctor laughed at me. I think even the baby was laughing at me by the time I finally calmed down).

So anyway, now that my Nyquil has truly kicked in, I'm going back to bed. I'm sure it will be just in time for the baby to wake up, since it's 7 a.m. and all. Ah, Nyquil- breakfast of champions. Wish me luck this week- I think I'm gonna need it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An open political letter

Thank you, thank you- it's Election Day! That means that I no longer will have to endure my inbox being filled with political stupidity day after day. It's even worse for me than most people, I think, because I hail from that great state of Alabama, where the pockets are tight, the shotguns are loaded, and the necks are overwhelmingly rouge. If I have to read one more stupid made up thing about Obama, I am probably going to go crazy (er).

A couple of my favorite idiotic things:

To be fair, this one didn't come from anyone in Alabama. It was forwarded to me by Eric's mom, or, for those of you who have been following my saga with her, the MILTF (Mother-in-law-type-figure). I won't bother to get into the content of the email- you can probably figure it out from the image.

Then an anti-Obama Alabama aquaintance of mine actually bothered to link to a site (now taken down) where some moron compared Obama's campaign logo to a logo of some kind of communist-led Shanghai organization:

So, you see the crap I'm up against. Not that I'm the biggest Obama supporter in the word, but c'mon, seriously? Really?

In retaliation, I finally posted an open letter that also serves as my auto-response for any stupid political fowards that find their way into my email. Here it is:

Please do not forward me anymore crap about Obama. I have already voted. Yes, I realize that he is *gasp* black. No, I do not think he is a Muslim. Even if he is, that's ok with me. Lots of the world is, and I would prefer to have an articulate President who could perhaps speak on some level to that small percentage of extremists who want to bomb the sh!t out of us. No, I do not think Obama is a terrorist. I also do not think he is the antichrist. What's more, I think you are an idiot if you keep sending out Myspace bulletins and forwards about how he is the antichrist. Yes, I realize that all of you will have the last laugh if it turns out that Obama is, indeed, the antichrist. I am ok with that risk. And if you happen to mention something about Obama finishing what 9/11 started, then I have no idea what you mean, and I think you should be banned from posting Myspace bulletins for at least the next 120 days.

I do not have an Obama sticker on my car. I do not think he is the best choice on Earth for the Presidency. I do think that, for me, he is a better choice than McCain. I don't hate McCain. I will not be upset if the McCain/ Bible Spice ticket wins. I do not post bulletins about how we should not vote for McCain because he is old and has yellow teeth. I would appreciate the same respect.

I think that everyone has a right to vote, but I also think that if you are going to exercise that right, you should bother to educate yourself instead of simply spouting off extremist propaganda.

I realize that this probably sounds rather rude, and I'm *a little* sorry, but I'm truly sick of it all.

That will be all, and have a nice day.

It felt really good, and I should have done it much, much sooner. The response has been mixed :)

In closing, I hope everyone went out to vote today, and may the best man win. Happy election day.

My name is Erin, and I approve this message.

Oh please no, not that!

July 10, 2008 - Thursday (bringing over a few old Myspace blogs)

Something bad happened today. Something very, very bad. I arrived home after a week long vacation and went to the mailbox, expecting to find the usual- lots of junk mail and bills, maybe a Netflix movie. I was not prepared for what I found. I had no idea it was coming. I was blindsided. In my mailbox, lurking in the hot dark space, was.... A LADIES HOME JOURNAL MAGAZINE!!!

Surely this cannot be, I told myself. Surely it is a mistake. Surely, like the child support notices and medical coding newsletters we get, it was meant for a previous apartment tenant. This will all be OK, I told myself, as my trembling hands flipped the magazine over. But there it was, in plain capiltalized Helvitica or whatever that font is, was MY name and address. How, how did it come to this?

My MOM gets Ladies Home Journal. My GRANDMOTHER gets Ladies Home Journal. That's not me! That's not my marketing demographic! One short year ago, I was a "hip young professional!" I was a well-educated, unmarried 20something that marketing machines spend tons of money advertising their tiny overpriced condos to. They told me which risque television shows I just had to be watching. They told me what designer vodka would help me to find my place in life. And now, because one stray sperm found its way to my unsuspecting egg, I am a totally new consumer. I somehow got subscribed to Ladies Home Journal, with such compelling reads as "Roast with the Most!" and the ever dramatic, "Can This Marriage be Saved?" I am not being told which designer handbag I cannot live without, I am now being told which coupons will help me save the most when I prepare my family's nutritious dinners.

Yes, having a baby truly changes everything.

Friday, October 31, 2008

We Wii!

A few days ago, I was having one of those evenings where you just have to put on makeup and get out of the house. So for cheap entertainment in my low-income part of town, I decided what better to do than go and observe the local ne'er do wells in their natural habitat- Wal-Mart.

So there we were... just my family and I amidst a sea of sagging jeans, night-time visors, gold teeth, and bleached blond hair the size of which is rarely seen outside of a Texas trailer park... when I noticed how fat everyone at Wal-Mart is. This train of thought led me to remember a mommy and baby workout DVD that someone had recommended to me. So we walked over to the electronics department in search of the DVD, when lo and behold... the fluorescent lights shone down from mega-store heaven above, directly on to an IN STOCK Wii AND Wii Fit! *insert heavenly music* It was like the low-price-place gods had spoken directly to me, and I had no choice but to listen. Still in disbelief, I pushed my way through the juvenile delinquents crowed around the demo machines, playing Grand Theft Auto 8 or Hannah Montana- Ultimate Rock Star Party, or whatever the heck it is that bad kids these days are playing, and find a Wal-Mart employee to reaffirm my faith and hand over the Wii (Apparently I wasn't the only one in shock- a rather cute girl came up and asked if the boxes truly were Wii's while the guy was helping me. Only, when she spoke to him in a flirtatious voice about her workouts, it became obviously clear that this girl was a man. Eric didn't play that one very cool, but I digress...)

So, instead of a $12 DVD, I am now the proud owner of $400 worth of Wii and Wii accessories.

I have to say, though, this thing is AWESOME. It used to be that watching other people play video games was boring. Not so with the Wii. Watching Eric break a sweat on the Wii short run is great entertainment for me (and for the record, it is scary how much his mii looks like him!), and watching me Wii hula hoop is apparently great entertainment for him. Score 1 for Wii. Plus, there is Wii Zelda. Score 2. Perhaps my finest moment with the Wii came from the initial fitness assessment of the Wii Fit. Eric laughed as I was nervously awaiting my post-baby BMI results. He laughed harder when the ticker went to fairly close to the highest end of the "normal" range. Instead of kicking him in his old-man shin, I let him do the fitness assessment instead. When the ticker went halfway into "Overweight," I got the last laugh. What helped even more was when his mii automatically plumped up. Mwhahaha. Score 3, 4, and 5 for Wii. Sometimes, I love Karma.

I guess I'm not the only one who still has some baby weight to lose.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Notes on Breastfeeding

When you are pregnant, you are filled with hopes and dreams. You sit lazily staring off into the sunlight, and imagine your relationship with your new bouncing bundle of joy. You have read all the information you can possibly absorb about all things baby related, especially the first bonding moment- breastfeeding. You imagine it just how the books tell you- you and your little cherub will gaze lovingly into each others eyes while he suckles oh-so-contentedly off your ample breasts. Such love, such tenderness.

Fast forward five months.

My child is wailing like a pint-sized banshee. Is he wet? No. Hungry? I don't think so. Cold? Nope. Perhaps if I put him in my lap, he will calm down. Uh uh. What to do? I know- instead of finding creative ways to entertain my baby and stimulate his imagination, I think I'll pop a boob in his mouth and hop on my laptop! Genius! So I ask my baby if he wants the booby (hopefully that won't be his first word) and he gives me a gummy little grin and starts to open and close his mouth like a little fish in preperation for his feast. All is good. Until... it turns out he IS hungry again. And he isn't getting enough milk out, because he just ate an hour before. So what does my little cherub do? He bitch slaps me in the boob. Yep, he's totally like "Where's my milk? I said GIVE ME MY MILK, BIOTCH!"

This seems to be somewhat effective for a moment, until he starts squirming again. So he slaps again, but now he's got a new trick. I have no idea what it has to do with the flow of the milk, but he's discovered (for the first time out of utero, anyway) how to effectively kick mommy and push off her internal organs. So now he has one really strong foot implanted in my abdomen, one on my throat (my baby is quite flexible, and remember... he got steriod shots in the womb), and he has his little talon-like claws out trying to pull on the other nipple (are you enjoying this visual yet?). Like a good mother, I persevere and focus my attention elsewhere. And then, HE BITES MY NIPPLE! You'd think it wouldn't be so bad what with the lack of teeth and all, but I swear this child has the jaws of death. For one tiny flash in time, my subconscious battles between two primal instincts: Maternal instinct, which says to nurture and protect your baby, and Survival instinct, which says to remove whatever is causing you severe bodily harm as forcibly and quickly as possible from your body, and get it far far away from you. Luckily, maternal instinct wins out. Before I've even had time to process this, I let out a loud scream, startling the baby. His death grip relaxes and his little limbs flail in the air, because I've scared him.

And then, he looks up at mommy with a wicked little milky grin, and it's all worthwhile.

Ah, the womanly art of breastfeeding.

Everyone else is doing it...

I have reached that special time in every cybergirl's life- the time where she spreads her wings and starts her own blog. No longer will the virtual halls of Myspace do to post my ramblings, for I am now a grown up. I am a mother, after all. And as such, my previous keen insight and interest in sociopolitcal, metaphysical, philosophical and other big-worded topics has been replaced by keen insight and interest in baby poop and other baby bodily fluids. For that, I apologize to all my childless friends. Hopefully one day soon I can find some sort of balance. We'll see. Who knows where this blog will take me.

Thanks for stopping by.