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 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 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.