Thursday, August 31, 2006
Even though my little booger got me sick on Monday, I feel sorry for him when he starts sneezing long, green snot trails. If this morning's sneezes were any indication, we are in for a long weekend of napping and snot sucking. At least I know what is happening to me when I'm sick. Zac always looks so startled after he sneezes, like he's saying: "What the hell was that? What is the stuff running down my nose? Does it taste good? Let's see. Ohhhhh....not so good. I wonder if I could rub it all over my face and into my hair. I'll try it and let you know."
This must be the true meaning of parenthood - complete, selfless abandon. You care more about the one that got you sick more than you care about drinking tea and trying to sweat out a fever. Although some tea would be nice right about now. Maybe I'll go and get myself a cup.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm tired of you always hanging the moon for me. Every damn night, all I see is the moon in Texas. I want more! Vermont, California, and even Missouri have started flirting me, giving me the attention that I don't get at home. They tell me that I'll like the way they hang the moon better.
You've made me hate 90+ degree weather in late August. I mean, really, can you please just acquiesce to the fact that fall has descended all across America? You can't hold out forever you know. I promise. Eventually, I will wear sweaters and wool socks and love cuddling under a blanket. Right now all I want to cuddle with is a bucket of ice water and copious amounts of Shiner Bock beer.
I need more space. Barring a very fast, emotionally challenging trip to Pennsylvania in early July, I haven't left your borders since New Year's. I haven't even left the greater Houston area!!From Huntsville down to Galveston, I know every nook and cranny of the north-south interstate. I can also drive in circles, on beltways and loops, never leaving the city (!) as the brilliant planners of this fine city decreed. Everything is circular, and brings me right back to where I started.
It's not that I want to permanently leave you. I just want to explore some different parts of my soul. New York keeps calling me, leaving me voicemails, telling me that I need to get my f'ing ass out there or it's going to beat up the brother I don't have. New Hampshire is feeling neglected because I always idolize Vermont, but really, it knows that it has a piece of my heart. Colorado has been asking me to visit for the past three years, but have I made time? No. You know why? Well, I blame you.
You've cowed me into believing that I shouldn't mess with you for long enough. First chance I get, I'm outta here.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I spent yesterday at home with Zac, trying not to lose my mind at his unbelievably high temperature that mocked in the face of infant Tylenol. He puked in his crib twice and apparently rolled in it. When I went and rescued him in the morning, his hair smelled so strongly of vomit that I had to bathe him early in the afternoon, just so we could continue snuggling in peace (by snuggling I mean, lying on my chest, drying heaving with me watching the Today show and trying to fall asleep).
After waking up from a four hour nap on the couch with me, I decided to trundle Zac into the city to pick up some files from work so I could "work from home". Turns out that my time would have been better spent going to Blockbuster and picking out new movies to rent than going to my office and displaying my incredibly sick child. I learned that I cannot, under normal circumstances, "work from home". That phrase is a euphemism for "a three hour coma while the baby is taking his afternoon nap". Anytime that I'm around a horizontal surface, I can guarantee you that I'm asleep in under fifteen minutes.
I don't want to hear the "but you're a single Mom" excuse because this is getting ridiculous. I know plenty of single Moms that get enough sleep. Besides, it's not like I'm up doing things and that's why I'm not sleeping. No, really, one minute I'm awake watching CSI reruns, and the next minute, I'm snoring and drooling. Dishes be damned!! One of my friends told me yesterday that I should start a chapter of SA - Sleepers Anonymous. Then we realized that no one would come to the meetings because other SA addicts would be too busy hitting the snooze alarm for the eighth time to actually attend anything.
So, barring any further illnesses or narcoleptic seizures that knock me out for hours at a time, I'll be answering your e-mails shortly. Please, keep them coming, and I might just tell you what happened with Deep Sea Diver J. and why I'm smiling today (although trying not to pass out on my keyboard).
Monday, August 28, 2006
In honor of all of the love that I got over the weekend, I thought that I would share some.
Before I had Zac, I read every parenting book that I could get my hands on. The overriding themes of these books seem to say, "Don't worry about the dishes, the laundry, or showering, just enjoy the special moments with you and your new baby!!" This theory might actually work if you have someone (or a whole team of someones) to do the dishes and laundry for you and to watch your baby while you shower. It also might work if you can stop freaking out long enough to recognize that your baby loves you unconditionally and that you are exactly what your baby wants and needs. Oh, and you're also supposed to fall instantly, madly in love with the creature that lived inside your uterus for nine months.
For me, it didn't work like that. I was so afraid that I didn't know what I was doing that I was numb to Zac's beauty and the love I felt for him. I couldn't appreciate his perfect fingers and little nose, his blond hair and the snoring sounds he made when he fell asleep while nursing. I was little more than ambivalent to him, especially after three months of waking up every hour-and-a-half to nurse him. I would get scared when I thought he needed me. Certainly I couldn't be the mother, the woman, the caretaker he needed, I thought. It was easier to let someone else pick him up and comfort him, even though I was wracked with guilt. I felt like I knew what motherhood was supposed to feel like. I should be enamored with him! I should never want to leave him!!!
Then he and I moved into our own apartment and there was no one else there.
It was just us.
and I fell in love with him.
I love the way he stands up in his crib, shaking the bars, crying, holding his arms out for me to come and pick him up. I love the way he dances, rocking back and forth, while his toy turtle plays little snipets of songs. He laughs and wants to be around me - all the time. I still struggle to enjoy those moments, especially when I would rather e-mail in peace, yet there is a sense of calmness about it.
I can now imagine loving him for the rest of my life. Watching him grow into the man that I see inside him. I can imagine going to parent-teacher nights and being with him the first time he rides a bike all by himself. I can imagine high school homecoming games and waiting up for him to come home from a school dance. The panicky feelings are still there, but they are more subdued, more tempered by the fact that I can see my future intertwined with his.
One day, hopefully after I'm dead, when Zac reads this blog, I hope that he can see that this is the period where I let go of my fear and opened my heart to him completely.
I love you, Peanut.
Friday, August 25, 2006
You know - I give, and give, and give until I can't give anymore. It is time for you, oh readers of the blog, to help me. Basically, I've been feeling really isolated since moving to my new job. It's not to say that I don't love my new job (because I do, so far, at least). I just like the idea of change much more than I actually like to experience it.
One of the most annoying parts of my old job was that my boss would come running in and out of my office, to get his documents from the communal printer. The printer was located behind me and my boss would take his papers, put his hand on the back of my chair, and stare into my computer, just to see what I was doing. Sometimes, if I was really into something, I wouldn't even hear him come in until he was standing beside me. It was awful and I total invasion of any and all personal space.
Yet, I find myself missing him and the constant hum of the printer. I miss all of my coworkers flitting around the office, sticking their head into my cubicle to ask if I had seen X file or Y grant. I haven't even seen my boss today. I've heard her down the hall, I think. I can't be sure though. I would have to actually stand up to go and investigate and that would involve moving the blanket from my lap. I'm not ready for that kind of commitment this early in the morning.
I was trying to build a relationship with J., which meant that I stopped talking to some of the other people from the internet that I was talking/flirting/laughing with almost every day. My friends from college are busy and I have this one year-old (maybe you've heard about him?) that takes up most of my evening, so it's hard for me to find time to call.
It's my fault. I know, I know.
Here is where you come in. I have this Yahoo toolbar that stares back at me from my computer. The mail icon just sits there, like a bastard, waiting for me to cave in and click it, only to find out that I don't have any messages.
I'm asking anyone who has ever read a post on this blog to give back. To break my cone of silence and isolation. I don't care if you have ever commented before or not. I don't care if you hate me and wish that I would stop talking about my kid so much. Cool. Tell me about it. Tell me a funny story. Tell me about your kids. Tell me that about the last lie you told someone. Tell me about the last time you wanted to cry, but couldn't because you feel so numb.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
In summary, I'm tired of dealing with other people.
Last night, Zac and I played on the floor: me assembling his foam puzzle from American Baby, and he destroying the said puzzle in his best, "I'm a toy-tester and no one can stop me," kind of way. I waited for the phone to ring. Waited for my heart to stop hurting.
It didn't happen.
Day 4 at the new job:
I bundled myself up today. There are nuns in Florida right now showing more skin than I am right now in my office. I'm wearing gray trousers, a white button-down shirt, black sweater vest, SOCKS, and black loafers. Yes - I do look like a pubscent, 1980's prep-school boy. Why do you ask?
I don't think that I've worn socks in over eight months. My feet are enjoying the cushy softness and it's mid-day and I can still feel my toes. Granted, I sweated all the way into work, trying to wipe the perspiration off my face to see the road through the blinding glare of the Houston sun.
But it's worth it.
Oh yes, it is worth it.
I'm considering purchasing a space heater next pay check, just to make sure that I don't cause any permanent damage to my extremities.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I've tried not to get my panties in a knot about Z-man's development. Yes, he started crawling late, standing late, and talking late. At his 12-month physical, the Doctor asked me if he could say 1-3 words. His repertoire of sounds is varied and complex, but actual words connected to an object or person - no.
When he's happy, he usually babbles "da da daddadaddadda". Do you have any idea how awful it is to hear my child babble that for hours at a time? It's like sticking a knife into the eye of single mothers everywhere. Sometimes, if I'm feeling bitter, I tell him that he doesn't have a Dada and he should start calling out for Mama.
When he wants something, he yells, "na na nanananananana". This demand may or may not be connected to a sighting of a banana. My child gets orgasmic glee every morning when I share my banana with him. Honestly, I never imagined that a kid could get so happy chewing on a piece of fruit. He looks like he's died and gone to a vegetarian heaven, located somewhere off the coast of Fiji. The banana is the magic fruit that transports him there.
Everyone says that I'm going to hate it when he can actually talk back to me and tell me what he wants. I think those people have clearly forgotten how frustrating it is to hold an inconsolable baby at 2:30am and not have any idea what is wrong with him. Or to have him demand the box of Nilla Wafers, only to start stacking them into architecturally-sound piles after wetting them with his saliva. I've spent the past thirteen months guessing what it is that my child needs, wants, or hurts from. I'm ready to hear him, although after living exclusively in the Not-so-Pregnant household, I'm guessing that his first full sentence will probably include some variation of the f-word.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
It seemed last night that my nipples were staging a revolution for the indiginity of being hard for six straight hours. When I've lived in extremely cold climates, I wouldn't see my skin for days, sometimes weeks. I would just add or take off layers to suit my body's preference for 'awake' and 'asleep' time. No such luck at the office, especially when you walk outside to 100+ degree heat. I almost passed out in the lobby when I reached the front door on the way out to the parking garage. Today, I'm still wrapped in the accountant's old sweater as I type this, giving my boobies a welcome siesta.
Well, as I came home, I changed, listened to the six voicemails that I had on my cell phone, once I found it from under the pile of Zac's toys in the living room. I went for a walk/run, Zac fell asleep, domestic bliss was had everywhere. Deepseadiver J. came over at 8:30pm and we hung out, marveling at Zac's ability to play late into the night after a brief evening nap. He pooped twice after his bath (Z. not J.) and I decided that it was time to take the mountain of dirty diapers out to the dumpster.
Since J. and I communicated over the internet for two months before actually meeting, he knows that I tend to be a little sensitive about guests in my home who create more work for me. I believe that I also had told him that if I wanted someone to take up residence on my couch and not help me with any of the housework, I would fly the FOB town to Houston. With that in mind, he grabbed his shoes and happily marched out to the scary dumpster in the unlit portion of the parking lot.
This morning I got a call from the apartment manager, that insists on pronouncing my name wrong in the most annoying Southern accent I've ever heard, saying that they were issuing me a written violation for disposing my trash in the laundry room.
My trash was found where? How do you know that it was mine?
"Well, maaaa'am, the maintenance man opened the bags and found four pieces of mail with your name AND apartment number. The mail has FOOD and PIECES OF HAIR on it (at which point I vomitted a little in mouth thinking about that and felt sorry for the maintenance man) so we know that the trash is YOURS!"
Yikes. I have no idea how my trash ended up there.
I couldn't even find the laundry room if I needed to use it. I have a washer and dryer in my apartment and I can almost guarantee that J. didn't put it there. He gets lost just trying to find my apartment. Branching out to other areas of the complex, at night, isn't really his style, especially to dispose of poopy diapers and leftover shrimp gumbo.
I've heard of identity theives, but trash thieves? That's a new low.
Edited: Turns out J. did place the two bags of trash in the trash can next to a Coke machine after walking around in circles for ten minutes. If he had gone further into the room with the Coke machine, he would have seen that there were coin operated washers and dryers. He didn't want to admit to me that he couldn't find the scary dumpster so he disposed of the trash in what he thought was a public garbage can.
Management at my apartment complex made it sound like I had dumped the entire contents of both bags and redecorated the laundry room with Pampers. I actually think the whole story is very, very funny. The metaphor, "The path to Hell is paved with good intentions," seems fitting here.
Monday, August 21, 2006
5am: Zac decides to wake up and scream. Then scream some more. Then make me his bitch by screaming so long that I go into his room, pick his crying butt up out the crib, and bring him into my room. Where he starts to play.
5:45am: I take the baby-that-wants-to-play back into his own room. He can play in there dammit!
6am: Z. stops screaming and goes back to sleep. I go back to sleep for 58.23 minutes
6:58.23: Wake up and get into the shower
7am: Zac wakes up while I'm shampooing my hair. Give yourself extra points if you think he woke up screaming, cuz he did.
7:15am: I decide that it would be a good idea to distract Zac with my actual cell phone (rather than his play cell phone, and yes, he has a play cell phone and, no, comments about me indoctrinating my child with a toy cell phone would not be appreciated) while I blow dry my hair.
7:30am: Leave the house sans cell phone. Can't remember where he was last playing with it.
8am: Arrive, bright and chipper at my new place of work. Find out that the receptionist and I are the first ones to arrive in the office.
8:10am: Try to find my new office by walking through a maze of hallways and closed, locked doors. Get asked if I'm the new legal intern.
8:25am: The head boss comes in, unlocks my office, and spends the next thirty minutes on the phone with the contract IT guy getting my computer login password. Finally end up logging on.
10:30am: Finish talking to the head boss about the "streams of income" into the organization. Glaze over. Consider intraveneously administering Diet Coke into my blood stream.
10:45am: Finally break down and put on the sweater that the accountant left behind last week when she was in this office. Realize that it is 62 degrees in my office and I can't feel my feet anymore. Ask the receptionist to call maintenance.
10:47am: Holy crap! The maintenance guy shows up and starts tinkering with the thermostat. At my old job, it would have taken a work order, a couple of weeks wait time, and a sigh when I would have been told that I there was nothing they could do about the temperature.
11:16am: Wonder when lunch is.
11:17am: Get asked by a different co-worker if I'm the new legal intern.
Friday, August 18, 2006
In Mongolia, the Peace Corps gave us a book called, "Where There is No Doctor". It was the most horrifying book you could ever hand a scared 21 year-old in a foreign country. The whole idea of the book is that you could diagnose and treat yourself in rural areas where there was no doctors - hence the title. I liked to torture myself by reading the infectious diseases chapters and frequently referring to them in conversations with other Peace Corps Volunteers. They thought I was insane. Later, I would be, but at the time, I was fascinated by dracunculiasis - the Guinea Worm disease. Basically, you get it by drinking water fleas that have been released into the drinking water supply. The water fleas go into your body, develop into larvae, chill out in your small intestines for a year or so, then migrate down into your lower extremities, where an adult female will burst out of a blister (totally "Aliens" style) and release her eggs anytime you are in contact with water. The CDC, in all of their bureaucratic glory, write: "When someone with a Guinea worm ulcer enters the water, the adult female releases a milky white liquid containing millions of immature larvae into the water, thus contaminating the water supply."
You can't cure the disease. Once the worm has erupted from your skin, you can wrap it around a stick (which probably really pisses it off) and pull it out a couple centimeters a day and hope that you don't die of a massive, secondary infection.
Once you get that image in your head. It doesn't matter that you've never lived in Sudan or even know what continent Sudan is on. You just start thinking about a worm, wrapped around a stick. Next stop is "Snakes on a Plane" paranoia. I promise.
At the doctor today, I found out today that Mr. Z weighs 22 pounds 10 ounces, is 30.5 inches tall, and has a giant head. Well, that isn't the technical term for it, but he's in the 50th percentile for weight, 45th percentile for his height, and the 75th percentile for head size. The Doc said that his brain is "clearly developing nicely". Well, duh. One look at his coconut and you would know that!! It's nice to hear that he is perfect in everyway, especially after defending him all the time to complete strangers how like to declare, "He's sooooo BIG! Look at his smile!! The dimples!!! What are you feeding him?" I like that question because it makes it seem like I'm filling him up on Big Macs, fried pork rinds, and dark beer. No of that, "Tastes Great - Less Filling" bullshit from my prodigy.
I have a brain to develop here! He is definitely getting Guinness.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Yesterday was my last day of work at the Houston Food Bank. I was supposed to finish last Friday, but with Zac being sick two days last week, I ended up extending my work until this week. And, really? Who needs a week vacation. Oh wait - I know - I do. Between stress headaches and just plain stress, I'm wound pretty tight. I would consider maiming someone to get the hell out of Texas for a while. While it was hard saying goodbye to all my coworkers at the food bank, I felt oddly detached from everything. It's like I can see it happening, but it's happening to someone else.
I also have something else to confess here, mostly because he asked me if I had already done it yet. I had to sheepish admit that I hadn't told more than 2-3 people that he and I were hanging out. Well, DeepSeaDiver J. and I talked last week. I hadn't expected to hear from him. I was listening to the Norah Jones, Dolly Parton duet, "Creep on In," thinking about how some people just seem to get into my brain and not leave on their own accord. Basically, he said he had overreacted. His phone died and after not calling me for four days, he figured that I was so mad at him that he didn't try to call. When he got his phone fixed, I was like, "Whoa! I hadn't planned on hearing from you again!!"
He asked if he could meet me, so we met downtown at a Mexican restaurant. I'll say this, his pictures didn't lie, he's really handsome. And tan. And tall. And thinks that I'm beautiful. And likes to tell me that. We hung out again last night with Zac and I met his two daughters, K. and M. Zac decided to have a massive separation anxiety attack at his house that led to a complete meltdown. I realized that I don't really take Zac as many places as I think I do. Really, he spends most of his time at my apartment, daycare, or Grandma and Grandpa's house. He's been to SJ's house twice, but other than that, the kid just likes to play with the musical turtle in his crib and crawl around naked in the company of those he loves.
So, J. and I had an agreement early on that if we were ever to start dating, that we would only date each other. No more blind dates for me, at least for a while. It's time I give a relationship room to grow, without scheduling (or even double scheduling) another date. I was getting ready to hang up my saddle, whether things worked out with J. or not. I've made some male friends through my adventures and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.
That's the story. Now, pardon me while I go take another nap.
Monday, August 14, 2006
The only place I could get him into the doctor was down in south Houston, where my parents live. On the way down, my air conditioner decided that since I had a kid in the car with a fever higher than the temperature outside, (Z = 102, Houston = 97) it would be a good time to stop working. By the time I got him to the doctor's office, it looked like he was about to burst into flames. The sweat was rolling down his body, off his hair. My Mom tried to distract him with pieces from a wooden puzzle. It worked for a little while, until the doctor started pulling on his ears and looking in his throat.
Apparently, babies can get rashes when they have viral infections. I had no idea that this was the case. Baby immune systems are so foreign to me. If I had broken out in a full body rash at the end of being sick, I would be in the hospital - either because I needed to or just to make me feel better that I wasn't dying. There was a scary moment when the Doctor asked if I was up-to-date on Zac's MMR immunization (measles, mumps, and rubella). I'm not. We're one month behind, which left me to agonize, "MY PARENTAL NEGLECT GAVE MY BABY THE MEASLES!!!" Turns out, it didn't, and Z. is getting his immunization this Friday.
So, Z. spent the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa, who are also both sick. Fun was had by all, I assure you. I spent 2 1/2 hours at the Saturn dealership, waiting for an 'estimate'. Finally, after I complianed long enough, they called the repairs into the warranty folks and I got a rental car and left.
Sucks, sucks, sucks.
Car is fixed now and Zac's internal temperature is back below the boiling point for mercury.
For P., the supplier of all great oneies, a poop story:
Just to round out my insanity, the great Houdini pulled a good one on me this morning. He woke up in a great mood, sitting in his crib, playing with the stuffed rabbit that the FOB's Mom had given him for Easter. I picked him up and went to change him on the changing table. Looked around. Realized that the ointment for his very, very sore butt was downstairs in the living room, which was the last place I had tried to lasso him into a diaper and some clothes.
I put Zac on the floor, sans diaper, went downstairs, grabbed the ointment, came back upstairs. I was gone for less than 60 seconds. I open the door to his room and see him sitting next to a giant pile of yellow and green poop. He was just sitting there so sweetly that it took me a second to realize that the poop had actually come from him. Large, firm turds were scattered around, like he had been crawling and pooping at the same time, and then sat down next to it, looking guilty. I cleaned it up, diapered his poopy ass, and realized that I may never be sane again.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I can hear my Mom's voice in my head telling me that I need to establish a routine and everything will be better once things settle down. My life is in a giant transition now: three more days at my old job, one week of vacation, and then starting my new employment. Nothing that I thought was solid is actually what I thought. It's like stepping off the sidewalk onto the ground, only to find out that an unseen hand has switched out the ground for something else. The announcer in the background whispers to the unseen audience in a conspiratorial tone of voice: "Now ladies and gentlemen, let's watch what happens as Ms. Not-so-Pregnant goes about what she believes is an average, ordinary day. Little does she know that we've secretly replaced every solid surface with marshmallow fluff. Let's see what happens!" Some days, the ground has turned to Jello, which is nice because I can bounce back up. Some days, it's a cloud, or worse, a gaping precipice that leaves me free-falling until the next morning.
Zac was sick yesterday with a high fever and I was home from work taking care of him. Last night, or rather this morning, the combination of illness and separation anxiety led him to only fall asleep on my chest. Anytime that I tried to put him back in his crib, or at least move him off my chest, the effort was met with pitiful howling. I laid there, rubbing his back, thinking about the last time I had listened to someone's heart beat, been comforted by a presence, or laid my worries down in another's arms as he snored softly.
Monday, August 07, 2006
No one ever believes me when I tell them that because I write everything that comes into my head on this blog and have the most up-front, straightforward conversations with my friends that usually involve the phrase, "Well, don't sleep with her until you get her tested!" Honestly. My willingness to submit myself to the torture of blind dates only seems to counteract the fact that I consider myself a little bit reserved in person until you get to know me. What? You were expecting pole dancing and body shots?? That's the second date, people. I go on many first dates and very, very few second ones.
Anyways, I'm going to give you all a little break from my dating (mis)adventures. I met a nice man today (Hi DarthD!) for lunch and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better. Much to SJ's chagrin, I will not be going on a date with a blind cowboy anytime soon, although I did get to spend some more time with her crotch fruit this weekend. Ellie climbed up in my lap, pointed at my shirt and said, "Prettty," so clearly, it's not me that's the problem with this whole dating thing. If a two year-old thinks I'm pretty, then I'm golden. She even grabbed my boob later and exclaimed, "Boobie!" with a glee that I haven't heard in relation to my breasts since before my pregnancy with Zac.
Lately, I've been really getting into some more "controversial" (read: feminist, proud-female) websites. The one that everyone has been talking about in blogs is http://www.shapeofamother.blogspot.com/. Check it out, it's pretty amazing.
There has also been a recent "controversy" involving BabyTalk magazine. BabyTalk published a picture of a woman breastfeeding on the cover of their magazines. A full 25% of their readers (of freakin' BabyTalk!!!) feel that it's inappropriate to publish pictures of women and their "giant boobs" nursing. I wish I had a picture of Zac and I that I could post, but the only time my family usually saw me breast feeding was after Zac and I had fallen asleep on the couch, with my right boob hanging out and some of mama's milk drooling out the side of his mouth. It doesn't really lead the picturesque kind of shots that you want to share with the 'Net. Anyways, some women have posted great responses to the BabyTalk cover, most notably Kateri and Joy Unexpected.
All I've got to say to those folks that "object" to pictures of women breastfeeding is: Bite me and my formerly lactating tit!
Friday, August 04, 2006
Sometimes people (well - usually Moms with parnters), "How do you do it? How do you do everything around the house AND take care of Zac?" Short answer is: I don't. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to put Zac's bottle in the microwave to heat it up, only to realize that I forgot to put the milk in. I've even started the microwave with nothing inside it, the bottle of cold milk on top of the appliance. I did the dishes last night to avoid the smell of things best left unsmelled permeating my entire apartment. The laundry only gets moved from the washer to the dryer when I start worrying about mold and then sits in a basket until I need to wear it again. It's my way of coping. Well, that and watching bad reality television like, "Design Star" and the marathon of, "America's Next Top Model," on VH1 (Damn you MNS. I really didn't need to start watching that show!)
I also have one HUGE benefit to being a single parent and that is, I have no one to tell me when I should or shouldn't do something or even how something should be done. Vacuum at 10:30pm? Ok. Do the dishes at 4am when Zac wakes up? Sounds good. There is no one complaining when I forget to rinse out my container of yesterday's breakfast of oatmeal and bananas. No one is there asking why I'm so inconsiderate or harping, "Why don't you ever do anything for me?" Everything is exactly in the same place it landed, last time it was touched. Nothing moves unless I move it. I know when I go home tonight, my hair brush will be in the same place on the counter next to the sink, right next to the screws, q-tips, old bottle of nail polish remover, and last week's paycheck stub. Right where I left it.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
It was the last practice before Thanksgiving break and I was excited because we were driving down to see my sister in college. My arms were above my head and my left leg was preparing to land on the beam. Except it didn't land. It glanced off the right side of the beam, causing my leg to cross in front of my body with my right leg still in the air. If you imagine a contorted pair of scissors, falling perpendicular to the horizon, you have some idea what I looked like. I instinctively tried to put my hand out, to stop the inevitable fall. My back hit the beam first and crushed my hand, which was trapped underneath my body. My entire left leg was scraped in a giant raspberry and I had bruises forming on my forearms and elbows. My head ricocheted off the beam, whiplash style, and I fell like a rock to the mat below. I laid there and tried to clear my head and force air into my lungs. I had severely sprained my right hand and broken one of my fingers. I still can't completely straighten it to this day. I have my own version of "the claw".
Immediately after Thanksgiving break, I was back up on the balance beam. In gymnastics, you know that the best cure for fear is to get back up and do it again, and again. You do the move so many times that your body will find the beam without your mind. You do it so many times that your body forgets its fear.
That is what dating is like for me now.
Blind Date #10: T. a.k.a.: Larry the Cable Guy
I met T. at a Mexican restaurant close to my work. He lives in way, way north Houston (really, this city is so sprawling that parts of Houston are almost in another county), but he said that he would drive into to meet me.
He works as a commercial construction foreman. He owns his own business and makes his own schedule. We had only talked over IM and e-mail a couple of times, but he had lived in my home town, not just Seattle, but the actual suburb that I grew up in, for six years. He also has two kids and an ex-wife that he didn't seem unbelievably bitter about.
I was very surprised when he started talking to hear the strongest, thickest Texas accent come out his mouth. It wasn't just the accent; it was the words he was using. He sounded just like Larry the Cable Guy. Here are a couple of examples of actual sentences: "I wodn't too smart in school. Well, shoot, if my Coach hadn't a been my history and math teacher, I don't think I woulda grad-uated," and "Sheee-it, I ain't never been out of the country before."
Yep, I was out to lunch with a redneck. He tried to tell me that he wasn't a redneck; that he just sounded like one. I asked him if he liked hunting, fishing, and Nascar (the penultimate trilogy of redneck sports). He said yes to two out of the three.
I'm a little bit afraid that there might be a shot gun in my future if don't agree to go out with him again.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Today is my 200th post on this site. Much like Zac figuring out how to extract urine from a toilet, I'm not sure whether to be proud or horrified. This time, I'm going to go with proud...
...I've recently been inspired to keep a personal general ledger of all of my accounts payable for the house. I blame Amanda D over at the Naked Ledger for the inspiration and the idea that not only could I share my (lack of) lovelife with friends, family, and random strangers - I could share my finances. We can just sit back and let the hilarity of the situation wash over us. Who needs to try and think of something interesting to say when you have $22.83 in savings!?! While trying to raise a kid! HA!! And trying to lose weight and date! And make every third sentence rhyme!! HA! Let the raucous laughter ensue I say!!!
I have never, ever been able to (read: wanted to) keep track of everything that I have going into and coming out of my bank account. Throughout my college and post-Peace Corps years, I've struggled with not bouncing checks, only to bounce them when my landlord held onto them for three months before depositing them, or having to frantically call my parents and ask for money (again!).
Really, it was a combination of factors that led me open up an Excel spreadsheet, keep track of my receipts, and balance it against my online bank account. The results of this experiment made me a little queesy, at best. I'm posting only the expenses that I have any kind of control over. Rent, car payments, car insurance, utilities, credit card payments, student loan payments, and daycare are included in my total expenses for the month and not posted here.
July 2006 Expenses, Naked Ledger style:
Expense: Budget/ Actual
Food & Hygiene: $200/ $213.17
Gas: $160/ $160.32
Misc: $100 /$350.62
Clothes: - /$95.96
Entertainment: - /$58.01
Gifts: - /$68.24
Savings: -/ -
Total: $460 /$946.26/ (-$486.26)
First of all - let's go with the positive. How much do I rock for accurately predicting how much food and gas Zac and I would use in the month? The food & hygiene expense is EVERYTHING that I purchased at a grocery or drug store, including: diapers, wipes, baby food, cleaning supplies, shampoo, milk, bread, etc. At first, I was a little shocked at how much I spent in that category until I realized how many supplies for the house and for Zac's butt I pick up at the grocery store. The actual feeding and keeping us healthy part is really only an afterthought during those trips. The gas prediction was really just a lucky guess on my part.
What killed me were the unbudgeted and miscellaneous expenses. It was a really unrealistic budget to imagine that I wouldn't spend anything on clothes, gifts, entertainment (eating out, going out, anything else that might be done 'out'), or miscellaneous items. Since this was my first crack at budgeting and recording my expenses, I'm going to forgive myself this month. Try not to vomit all over your computer when you think about how much money I'm spending, though.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Update on Blind Date #9: J2
He finally called me this morning at 9:30am to tell me that he was sorry he blew me off like that. It was nice that I got to ask him if was ok, which he was. Turned out that he fell asleep putting on his shoes. If he was that tired, he shouldn't have volunteered to come over.
We still haven't met. He thinks that I'm too interested in being a single-party girl. Ha! Double: Ha!HA! I laugh in that general direction. I was honest with him about going out with a couple of friends on Saturday and he completely lost it. I'm not exactly sure what he wants me to do, especially considering that WE'VE NEVER MET!!!
He thinks that I went looking for 'attention and affection' and he 'had hoped that I wouldn't be that needy'. Well - I'm not. I wasn't looking for anything other than a laugh and some companionship. I spend a lot of time alone. I work in front of a computer, alone. I live alone (Ok: with Zac I concede, but has anyone ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone that just wants to put your fingers in their mouth and hold them when they get tired? Maybe you shouldn't answer that. Come to think of it, I've had a couple relationships like that, but you get my point). Even when I'm in public, like dropping Z. off a the daycare or in the grocery store, I'm alone in my own head. I just exist in my own world.
I want someone to come in and play with me; in this world I create in my head. Right now, it feels like J. broke down my defenses and is now behind enemy lines, causing a ruckus.
Here is the embarassing part (there always is with me), I want to sit down with him over a cup of coffee. I want to see the man that has judged me so harshly that it made me cry at work. It's not fair what he did and I want him to know that.