Friday, April 29, 2005

I've Got Nothing

I've got nothing really inspirational or even half-interesting to say today. Well, PMS sucks! Does that count? Blah. Blah, blah, blah. That's how I feel.

I certainly hope that my daughter had a good day at daycare. Would it kill her afternoon teacher to say just one positive thing about my daughter when I pick her up? Just one. I'm not even asking for everyday, just maybe once a week or so. These are the things that I usually hear:

"She didn't sleep very well today."
"She tried to bite someone today, but I stopped her." This one has a tone I don't like when she says it. It seems like she wants some kind of praise for stopping my little cannibal from attacking her classmates, and I see that as her doing her job.
"She didn't eat very much today."
"She threw her cup at lunch, so we took it away." This one does not make mommy happy. I took her to daycare with 3 cups the other day. All full of apple juice except for one that she was drinking in the car on the way. I picked her up with 2 full cups, and the other one was half full. So, throughout the entire day until 5:00 PM, my daughter had exactly 4 oz of liquid. Am I the only one who sees this as a problem?

Anyway, Miss Afternoon Teacher will occasionally tell me, "She had a pretty good day today." I'm usually waiting for the "but" to follow, and I get it about 50% of the time. Every time she tells me that my daughter had a pretty good day, she has an attitude that it was completely unexpected.

At least the morning teacher assures me my daughter isn't the little hellion that the afternoon teacher seems to think she is. I can't help it if my daughter has more spirit and intelligence that 90% of her little classmates.

So, my own little way of getting back at this teacher is:
Whenever I pick my daughter up, she is happy to see me. She usually screeches and screams little "Ahhhs!" This teacher acts like my daughter has committed some crime, "We don't screech inside. Use your inside voice." My daughter usually gives her the look. I don't say a word. I could probably back her teacher up and she'd stop, but why should I?

Can you tell I'm in a good mood? And my lucky little girl gets to spend the evening with me. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Vitamins and Funerals

Well, Oprah was doing a show about a White House intern turned crack addict. Not really my thing, so I had to find something else to watch this morning at 3:30 AM. I considered watching A Bronx Tale in memory of Cody (read below). But, I settled on American Wedding. I watched that for a while before falling asleep.

The reason that A Bronx Tale reminds me of Cody is because of the car door test. For those of you who have never seen the movie, the gangster (Sonny) at one point explains to the teenager (C) about how you can tell the worth of a woman. I can't remember exactly how it was worded, but essentially, you use the car door test. When the guy picks up the girl for a date, he gets out of the car, locks all the doors, and goes to get her. When the two of them return to the car, he unlocks and opens her door. Then, the guy goes around the back of the car to get to his door. If the girl leans over (this was set in the 1950s before power locks) to unlock his door, she's a "good" woman or something like that. Having never seen A Bronx Tale until a couple of years ago, I would not have known about the car door test except for the fact that Cody had told me about it in high school. He told me that he was going to test any potential girlfriends with the car door test. I laughed and told him that it was a silly test, but I never forget it, and always made sure that I unlocked the doors if the situation presented itself. The thing is, any man I've ever met knows about the car door test. I even found a different version call the
Barbed Wire Test which I found pretty humorous.

Cody was like that. At his funeral, they had a point where people could come up and say a few words or share a memory about Cody. These were some of my favorites (paraphrased, obviously).

1. A young woman stepped forward and explained that she had driven 6 hours to come to his funeral. She was an ex-girlfriend, she said, and explained how Cody had given her chocolates for Valentine's Day. Later on, he gave her a rock. Told her that it would be something that she could always remember him by. When they broke up, she tried to give him the rock back, but he didn't want it. She then went on the say that she would never forget that day in 3rd grade. She still has the rock.

2. A girl got up to ask it anyone remembered when Cody had just dyed his long hair blond and he convinced three old ladies on the airplane with him that he was Tom Petty's son. Typical Cody.

3. A guy stood up and prefaced what he said with, "I only met Cody a couple of times..." He went on to relate the first time that he met Cody. Cody and his roommates were having a party at their house, and Cody was dressed as
Thor. He was saying things like, "Thor needs another beer!" and "Thor requests the pleasure of your company!" One party-goer had the audacity to mention that maybe Thor shouldn't have any more. Cody's response, "You would dare deny Thor another beer!"

4. A friend of ours from high school shared his memory of leaving school for lunch. He started by saying that he had a POS car with a huge back bumper and a hatchback. Someone would always call shotgun (usually my brother). Cody never even tried. "I call hatch!" he would say, and he would ride home hanging onto the bumper (we didn't live that far away) or stuffed in the hatchback (Cody was about 6'3" tall).

5. The first person who got up to speak was a friend of Cody's from high school. This friend, Cody, and another friend had gone to the local livestock arena to ride the bulls. Cody said he wanted to ride a bareback horse. The two friends rode the bulls and were quickly thrown. Cody rode the horse and was barely on it before he was thrown off. He decided that was great fun, but he didn't want to do that again. The friend went on to explain that the horse was older than the arena itself. He was thrown by a geriatric horse.

The funeral was beautiful, and, as expected, I cried through most of it. My brother, his best friend an roommate, was doing better than me. My mother brought 10 Kleenex for us to share. I told her that wasn't going to be nearly enough, but she thought it would be. Then she proceeded to give 2 to my brother. Needless to say, I ran out of Kleenex about halfway through the service which happened to be about the time that they played the video.

Actually, it was more of a slideshow of about 25 pictures with music. Talk about a tear jerker! The pictures that got me the most were the ones with my brother in them (we all grew up together -- any pictures before high school often had my brother in them), one of the first ones that had him about my daughter's age getting a haircut, and the one from my wedding. Our wedding was in Cody's parents' backyard. It was a carefree shot of Cody with a bunch of friends. He had his arm around my brother's shoulders.

Well, I didn't want this to turn into another Cody post, but, as you can see, I'm still working through my own grief and memories, so it did. But, I did have a little story about my daughter as well. She's starting to learn events and consequences.

Last night, she started coughing really bad. The poor thing has allergies, and she always has mucus dripping. I told her that she needed some medicine.

"No." We've been giving her Pediacare since she was born, but we recently switched to the children's rather than the infants. She doesn't like the children's.

"Do you want a vitamin?"

She ran down the hall to the kitchen pointing to the cabinet where we store the vitamins.

"You have to take your medicine first."

"No." The internet does not do justice to the tone she uses when saying this.

"Yes." At this point, I pull out the dropper and start getting her medicine ready. When I'm done, she's nowhere nearby. I look down the hall where she's peeking out from her bedroom.

"Come get your medicine."


"You have to take your medicine if you want a vitamin. Do you want a vitamin?" Let me just say here that the child lives for vitamins. Absolutely loves them.

She looks at me really carefully and thinks for a minute. "No," she finally says.

"Well, too bad, you're taking your medicine anyway, so you might as well have a vitamin."

She choked down the medicine and then gladly accepted the vitamin.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Afternoon

Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Lots of random things this afternoon.

1. Thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me expressing your condolences at the loss of my friend, Cody. His funeral was Friday (hence the reason for my long absence), and it was beautiful. I'll do a seperate post on Cody soon (I'm working through my grief, and I have so many great memories that I want to share).

2. My daughter lost her first tooth. Well, half of it anyway. When I picked her up from daycare on Thursday, she had a scrape on her chin (my husband says it looks like a goatee). She also had a band-aid covering a scrape on her knee.

Apparently, the two teachers had taken the kids for a walk. They have a rope that they stretch between the two of them, and the kids all hold onto the rope. Remember that these are all kids from 18 to 24 months old. I would pay good money to see these two teachers trying to get 8 kids to hold onto the rope. But, apparently, peer pressure kicks in and they do. They were walking along and then started marching. Well, the marching was getting a little fast (more like running), so the teachers were trying to calm and slow the kids down. Well, my graceful child fell (I'm guessing she tripped over her own two feet). The kid behind her fell on top of her. On a silly side note: I know that daycare cannot tell you what other children are involved in accidents or incidents (when the case is not an accident -- biting, for instance, in the case of my child), but the huge scrape across the forehead of another little boy in her class clued me into who tripped over my daughter. So, anyway, I signed the accident form and went home.

Friday night, after I had picked her up from daycare after the funeral, my mom was playing with my daughter, and she said very innocently, "Does she have one front tooth longer than the other?"

Me, angry/panicking, "No, why?!"

"Well..." At this point, I had snatched my daughter away from her, and had her over my lap prying her little baby lips apart to see her teeth. She was squirming and trying to get away from me (I can't imagine why!).

Yep, she lost at least half her tooth. I started crying, cursing daycare, threatening to sue (I'm not sure on what grounds because this could have happened just as easily at home as at daycare, but I wasn't really thinking rationally), and dreading telling my husband. I guess after the funeral, my reserve of strength was spent, and her broken tooth pushed me over the edge.

The really sad part: My first thought was that her pictures from now on are going to be screwed up. How awful am I! Worried about pictures. I smack myself just thinking about it.

The really good part: My husband's reaction.

Me: "[long explanation of what happened here], so.....she's got a broken tooth."

Him: "Mmm-hmm....can I call her 'Chip?'"

Me: Exasperated sigh/slight giggle (yes, that's really hard to pull off).

Him: "It was going to fall out eventually anyway. My sister did that when she was about Chip's age crawling around in a playground in the mall."

3. My husband was playing horsey with my daughter last night. You know, down on hands and knees with my daughter on his back. Well, at one point he stopped and laid down on the floor with her still on his back. She was slapping at his back trying to get him back up, and I said (foolishly), "You've got to kick him to get him to go."

Bad move. She got off of his back, went around to his arm, and kicked him! Twice. I was trying so hard not to laugh while telling her that we don't kick daddy (yeah, right after I told her that was how to get the horsey to go!).

A few minutes later, I was giving her a drink, and told her, "Chip, come get your milk!"

She got up from playing with her daddy on the floor and walked about 3 steps toward me. Then, she turned around, walked back to my husband, and kicked him a couple of times in the arm. Only then did she turn around to come get her milk. I was laughing too hard to punish her. It was so funny! I will obviously have to punish her if she keeps it up, but I just couldn't keep a straight face to do it! My husband wasn't much better.

Thank goodness this day is almost over. I have been so sleepy for the past couple of days, and my husband leaves in the morning for work, so I'll be up at 3:30. I better see who Oprah has as a guest. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)

My husband, daughter, and I went out to visit with Cody's parents last night. My mother decided that it would be good for me. My husband thought that would be good for me. So, instead of letting me decide what would be good for me, they basically put me in the car and drove me out to Cody's parents house.

I didn't have a panic attack or anything (although that took some special concentration to avoid), so I guess I did okay. I feel selfish worrying about how I would react when so many people were grieving. Maybe I am.

I know that no one is good with these situations. But, I honestly don't know what to say. When the grandmother of a close friend died, I called her (at my husband's urging), and he was sitting across the table from me literally writing me notes on what I should say (easy things like, "Please let me know if there is anything that we can do for you," I don't think of). I mean, the listening part, I'm good at. I can close my mouth and just listen. I can hug people. I just always feel like I somehow say something that makes it worse or just something insensitive. I couldn't give you an example because I probably never actually have. I just feel that way.

So, last night, after I got home from work, my husband and I decided to go out to my parents' house. No problem. I can handle that. It's good for them to see me, and as my husband assured me, it would be good for me to be around people who were grieving to the same degree that I am. He didn't know Cody as well, so his grief is on a different level. I agreed to go to my parents' house. Once there, of course, my mother instantly starts talking about how we need to go out to Cody's parents' house and that it will be good for me. Thanks, Mom. Glad you have decided that since it is good for you, it will be good for me too. I hate that. What she has failed to consider is that maybe I grieve in a different way, but, that's too bad.

So, after being assured that we wouldn't stay very long (yeah, right, I know how that goes), I moved the car seat into my parents' car, and we set off. As soon as we got there, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I just wanted to leave, but this was good for me, right? So, I couldn't leave. We spent 20 minutes there, and I can honestly say that I wanted to leave the entire time. I did give both of Cody's parents a hug, and I didn't say a word. Better nothing than the wrong thing I always say. Cody's dad looks awful. I've never seen him look so bad. His mom seems to be holding up as well as can be expected.

Before we went to Cody's parents' house, my husband and I went to the store to get something for dinner, and when we returned, Michael's dad was at my parents house. We spoke with him for a few minutes, and then he headed off to see Cody's parents.

Michael was yet another person who died too young. He was also like another little brother to me. When my parents moved into their current house, I was 10, 11, somewhere in there. My brother and I were used to it being just the two of us, so we always played outside together. Michael lived next door. After a few days of seeing him playing basketball in his driveway by himself while we played one-on-one in our driveway, we invited him over. Michael was a little younger than my brother, and a little older than Cody (I think). Michael was in Cody's grade. During his senior year (or was it his junior?), Michael left football practice one day and was driving home (they had moved by this point, but he still attended the same high school. I don't remember what exactly happened (I guess I chose to forget), but he was thrown from the vehicle. He didn't survive.

I was in college, living in the dorm, and my mom called me to let me know what had happened. I went for a walk. In the dark. Through the dark, deserted parts of campus because I didn't want to run into anyone. Not exactly the smartest thing to do looking at it in hindsight, but nothing bad happened. I didn't go to the funeral. I just couldn't. I didn't even go out to see my parents or my brother or anything because my parents' house and Cody's parents' house became the places that everyone gathered to remember Michael.

I regret to this day that I didn't go to Michael's funeral. I've never even been to his grave, so in many ways, I never truly said goodbye to Michael. Maybe that's why Cody's death is so hard.

I know that Cody will be buried in the same cemetery, and I'm guessing that he will be buried very near Michael (in a small town, the cemetery doesn't grow very fast, so there's room near Michael). I'm not sure how to handle that. Like I said, I've never even been to Michael's grave.

My memories of Michael seem to fade, and I'm afraid that I will forget memories of Cody as well. But, memory is a strange thing. I remember little pieces of information, you know?

I remember Michael liked to eat tortillas with peanut butter on them. We always made fun of him because the thought of tortillas with peanut butter on them makes me want to vomit. But he loved them. He would often come over to our house after school, so my parents always kept tortillas and peanut butter on hand for him.

I remember every summer (or at least the last couple of summers of his life) he would grow a goatee. It looked ridiculous, and I would tease him about it, but he always took everything in stride. That's just who he was.

I remember Michael and my brother doing bicycle tricks in our driveway (well, maybe you couldn't really call them tricks).

I remember Michael and my brother playing baseball in the lot next to my house (before there was a house on that lot) , and Michael hit the baseball right into the windshield of my parents' car. He even came to the door to tell my dad.

Everyone was devastated when Michael died, and I remember my mother calling me and telling me that my brother and Cody were asked to be pallbearers and she and Cody's mom hadn't even thought of that possibility. I had. I should have said something to her.

My parents had to get my brother a new suit, and Cody's parents had to get him a new suit as well. Now, they're going to bury him in that suit.

When my mother first called me about Cody, one of my first questions was whether or not anyone had told Michael's dad. She told me that no one had, and they weren't ready to do that yet. I told her that someone should before he heard it on the news. My mother called him the day that they removed Cody from life support, and he hadn't heard yet. I can't imagine what he felt. My mother said that was the hardest call to make, but she was glad that she had done it.

As anyone could see, Cody's death and Michael's death are somehow intertwined at the moment. My regrets and fears from Michael's death impact how I've dealt with Cody's.

It's hard to see the things in the paper about it. It's hard to even think about a lot of times. His friends have made statements to the media, and they have done a great job. One of them even mentioned the song written about Cody. My brother wrote the song. It is so funny, and based on real life. Only Cody knows how much. It was his story. My brother only put it into song.

I have so many memories of Cody, and they go back so far. I knew him his entire life. My husband has pointed out to me how blessed I was to know him that long. He is right. I'm very blessed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Death Of A Friend

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.
A. Sachs

I've had a bad weekend. Not because my mother-in-law came into town, but because I lost a very good friend. In order to understand how close we were, I have to give you a little background.

My brother and I grew up on a farm. Not a farm like most people think of, but a farm that was an extension of a university agriculture program. As such, there were several people who lived on "The Farm." Only two families had children, my parents and Cody's parents.

My brother, Cody, and I grew up very close. My brother is 2 years younger than I am, and Cody was born about six months after my brother. We all played together as children. I was quite the little tomboy since I was the only girl of the bunch. All through school, the three of us rode the bus together and played together. When I left for college (not too far away), I obviously kept in touch with both of my little brothers. My brother spent a year in the dorm with a roommate, but when Cody went to college, it was obvious that the boys would be roommates. They were in the dorm, and the two of them plus another friend got a house togther. That was 3 years ago. They've been through several roommates for the 3rd person (probably because so many people want to live with the two of them that during the summers when one person goes home, another moves in!).

Cody was on his motorcycle on his way home early Sunday morning around 1:00 AM. A woman in a minivan made a turn in front of him, hitting him, before leaving the scene. She turned herself in about 8 or 9 hours later.

My mom called me Sunday morning to tell me that he had been a bad motorcycle accident, and they didn't know what was going to happen. I just couldn't believe it. She didn't know many details, but she would try to keep me updated. Cody's mother is her best friend.

I found out later that Cody had brain hemmoraging (I know I didn't spell that right). He was bleeding from the ears. He had a huge gash on the back of his head, but he wasn't stable enough for them to even turn him over to work on it. I dreaded the phone ringing because I knew that there couldn't be any good news.

It was obvious pretty quickly that even if he survived (and that was a big if), he wouldn't be Cody anymore. Cody would never want to live that way. He was removed from life support yesterday.

His family chose to donate his organs because that's what Cody would have wanted. I can't talk about this anymore right now. I'm at work, and it doesn't do any good for me to be crying my eyes out right before it's time to go home. I will warn you now that I will probably be covering this same subject for several days. It's the only thing that I can think about a lot of times.

I have so many memories of Cody that keep popping into my head. I'll probably write about all of them that I can think of simply because I'm afraid to forget.

Grief is such a weird thing, you know? I did go through some of the stages (and I'm sure I'll hit them all). Denial. How bad could it possilbly be? I couldn't believe that he wouldn't make it through. Anger. How could he not be wearing a helmet. I still don't understand and probably never will. Depression. That's the one that I'm stuck in now. I know it will get better after the funeral and with time.

My husband has been great. I can tell he's worried about me, but he's willing to do whatever I need, and he is willing to let me decide what that is. He has encouraged me to spend time with my parents and my brother and Cody's parents because he thinks it will be good for me.

Having dealt with anxiety disorder and depression, I try to be concious of my limits. And knowing what those are, I tend to shelter myself from things that will provoke an anxiety attack. To me, that is the ultimate embarrassment. I'll have to discuss my anxiety attacks at another time. The problem is, I don't know exactly where my limit is in this matter. Would going to Cody's parents' house set off an anxiety attack? I don't know. Another problem is that when I get depressed, my brain just shuts down. I don't know any other way to describe it. I feel dizzy and sleepy. I know that I don't have any other health conditions because this only happens when I get really stressed. Like when my husband works half the week in a town 2 1/2 hours away and I stay here to take care of the bills and the baby and everything else. That stress I've learned to deal with. I had adjusted and was doing fine. But, I wasn't to the point where I was ready to add more stress. I feel overloaded and sleepy. I just want to sleep. I want to go to bed and not worry. Like sleep will take away all the worry somehow. I can't really explain it because it doesn't really make sense.

Friday, April 15, 2005

No Internet

You know how in my last post I mentioned that it's hard for me to go from 5:00 when I leave work until 8:00 when I return to work without internet access? This morning I found out just how hard that was. Our internet was down. All morning. And through lunch. I don't think that the people who were fixing it understood how important the internet is to some of us.

How am I supposed to start my day without my updates*? I was ignorant of world events until 1:30 when it was back up again. At that time, I realized not too much had been going on that I needed to know about. But at 8:15 when I was obsessively trying to get online, I didn't know that.

And, the blogs. Let's just say I read about 20-25 blogs every morning. And then again at lunch (in case anyone has updated). I could not check those either. It was awful. I started getting a very bad headache that I blame on not having access to the internet all morning.

And the bulletin board I read. All of us are mothers with children born around the same time. One of them might be pregnant, and she was taking a test first thing this morning and posting the results immediately. I had to wait until 1-freakin'-30 to find out that she got a very faint positive line and was going to try and get into the doctor's office at 2:00.

Oh, the horror of being without the internet.

Did I mention that my mother-in-law is flying in tomorrow night? Well, my mother-in-law is coming into town tomorrow night. I love my mother-in-law. I am one of those lucky people who was blessed with a mother-in-law who is so sweet and nice, and doesn't believe that her son would be better off with someone else (I have a friend whose mother-in-law doesn't like her very much). She's also a wonderful grandmother.

Well, I guess that's all my news. :)

*I get an email every morning from that lists the headlines (they are links, so you can get the full story) of World, U.S., sports, entertainment, etc. news. I open the ones that I am remotely interested in reading, and close them as I finish them.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

More Random Thoughts

Random Thought #2
My daughter's daycare teacher thinks she's smart. See, it's not just me. :) Just kidding (not about her daycare teacher thinking she's smart, but that I'm the only one--her dad thinks so too!)

Random Thought #3
I love when my daughter tries to say something, but it doesn't come out like I expect. For example, this morning, I was putting on her shoes, and she looks at me and says, "Bitsh." Assuming that she had just called me a bitch, I looked at her puzzled and said, "What did you say?"
She looked at me like I was nuts, pointed to her boots, and repeated, "Bitsh." Boots. Yeah, that's better.

Random Thought #4
My daughter has a crazy fascination with the toilet. Let me say up front that I am not ready to potty train the child and will not be ready to potty train her until at least, AT LEAST her 2nd birthday in August. At that time, I will assess the situation, and if (that's a big if) she's acting like she wants to potty train, I'll consider starting. But only if I'm ready. I think the checklist of ways to know if you child is ready should contain a lot of questions about the adults and if they are ready....but, I digress. Back to her fascination with the toilet. She follows my husband or I into the bathroom where she procedes to watch us go to the bathroom. I having lost all modesty with pregnancy and having a baby, don't care. I don't think my husband does either. Anyway, she's been doing that for a while. Recently, she has started saying, "Poo-poos." That apparently means, Put me on the toilet (with all my clothes on), give me a piece of toilet paper so that I can wipe myself, and then get me down so that I can flush the toilet. I'm starting to be scared that she'll be ready at 2, but I won't be. :)

Random Thought #5
I hate 5 year old computers that only use dialup. Hate.Hate.Hate. So bad that I type about 5 words while the cursor sits motionless at the last thing I typed and jumps to reveal my 5 words while I am busy typing away at the next 5. If this post is full of typos, I just want to say, it's not my fault. Blame the 5 year old computer. This thing is an antique. Should I just shut up and be glad that I have internet access at all? I mean, really. It's very hard to go from 5:00 when I leave work until 8:00 the next morning when I arrive at work again.

Random Thoughts

Random Thought #1
Should I be offended that the neighbor's cat decided that my house was not a good enough place to leave her kittens? About 3 days ago, as I pulled into my driveway, the neighbor's cat was running across the driveway with something in her mouth. Let me clarify that "the neighbor's cat" should be taken with a grain of salt since they did not obtain the cat by adoption or purchase, but simply started feeding a stray. Anyway, the cat dropped the kitten in the middle of my driveway and ran off into the bushes by the side of my house. When I realized what it was, I got my daughter out of the car quickly so that I could show her the kitten. Well, she came back and got the kitten and took it off into the above mentioned rose bushes. About 3 hours later, she had left 3 kittens carefully deposited under the bush where you could see them, but risked considerable injury from the thorny bushes to get to them. Yesterday, she moved them. Maybe because I scared her by always checking up on the kittens. Either way, it's probably better. My husband was concerned about me becoming to attached to the kittens.

Time to go home from work, so random thought will be continued tonight. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Keep cool. You're the parent and you're in charge. Don't answer a tantrum by a display of anger or respond to shouting by shouting back. You're the adult here. Don't let them wind you up.
From Supernanny Jo Frost's Top 10 Rules

My husband left early this morning to go back to Smalltown. He gets up at 2:50 so that he can shower and leave by 3:30. That way he makes it to work by his 6:00 shift. Of course, last night, he didn't get more than a few minutes sleep in any one stretch, so he was very tired. Great. I love when he drives 2 1/2 hours on very little sleep.

Anyway, since I was up at 3:30, I was flipping through the channels. There was nothing on at 3:30. I have 100 channels and 85 of them are infomercials. Of the remaining 15, 8 of those are in a language I don't speak, and the rest are either televangalists (don't get me started) or weird stuff I don't want to watch.

But, at 4:00,
Oprah was on. Oh, yes. Oprah. Let me just say that I usually don't watch Oprah mainly because it comes on when I'm at work. While I do very little at work, heading off to the breakroom to watch Oprah might cause some problems, you know? So, the only time that I get to watch Oprah is when it comes on again at 4:00 in the morning. The guest? Supernanny Jo Frost. I have never watched Supernanny because I am secretly afraid that the child on the TV will be way too much like mine I don't usually watch reality TV.

The first couple had a 6 year old and a 2 year old. The older boy was soooo out of control. I wanted to reach through the TV and give him a good spanking. The younger child was well on his way to being the same way. The younger son's issue was bedtime. So, I watched while Supernanny explained to the parents everything that they were doing wrong (relating to so much of it that I almost turned it off). Then, she brought in two pieces of carpet (one for each child, I assume) which she called the "naughty mat." The child gets a warning first and then when he repeats the behavior, he has to go to the naughty mat where you ignore him while he's in time out. My first question: What if they don't feel like staying on the naughty mat and come looking for you? It's hard to ignore the child who is pulling at your clothes. But, the six year old stayed. And everything worked out. Yea!

Now, on to the two year old's sleep problems. The two year old doesn't want to go to sleep. He will yell and scream and get out of bed, etc. The parents were often up until 11:30 to midnight dealing with this issues. My first thought: Thank goodness my daughter can't get out of bed. At least if she wants to cry it out, well, she can't get down and play. Anyway, the technique here was very interesting, and I think I'll use it next time my daughter decides that she doesn't want to go back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Just a side note: She has been going to bed very well since we gave her back the dummy, and I have gotten a full night's sleep for the past 3 nights (well, except the dogs always want out at some point).

What Supernanny had Mommy do was sit next to the crib where the child could see her profile. She was not to make eye contact, just sit. When he got out, she put him back in bed and sit back down being careful never to make eye contact. This gives him the security of knowing that Mommy's in the room, but she's not available to play. He was asleep in 25 minutes. The goal is to sit a little bit farther away every night until you don't have to sit in the room at all. It looked really promising.

What struck me most about this family is when the mother was up at 11:46 crying in the kitchen with the screaming 2 year old in his bedroom. I felt her pain. I wanted to cry right along with her. Supernanny asked her why she was so upset, and she replied that felt like she was doing a bad job. She didn't want to screw up her kids, and she felt like she only got one shot at it. Supernanny explained to her that it was okay for her to admit that she didn't have all the answers. By this point, I was crying. Everything she said, I've felt. I couldn't believe how well behaved the kids were by the end of the show.

There were other families, but the first one was the one that stood out in my mind (maybe because I was dozing off during the rest?).

I've had a lot of luck with another technique she used, making eye contact. When I'm trying to get through to my daughter, a lot of times, I will kneel down in front of her, take her arms gently in my hands, and make her look at me. She doesn't always want to comply. Sometimes I have to tell her, "Look at me," more than once, but if I start the battle, I win. Usually, she looks at me and says, "No." I don't think she's being a smartass or anything. I think she knows that what she did was wrong, and that's her way of letting me know. I always tell her what she did that was unacceptable, and let her go. Nine times out of ten, she won't go back to what she was doing. I guess when Mommy gets down on her level, she knows I mean business.

I really wish that I knew where I put my instruction manual for raising children. It would make things so much easier. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I'm A Bad Blogger

I apologize for the lack of posts and the lack of a quotation on this post--I know that everyone loves to see those. Hey, at least I put them in bold font so that you know where my real post begins. :)

So, anyway, I haven't had much to talk about. Nothing too exciting is going on in my life. I'm just here. In fact, I have a strange lack of emotion which is very uncommon to me. I've lived with anxiety attacks and depression for so long that lack of anxiety is almost enough to cause anxiety. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Anyway, I'm not sad, I'm no depressed, I'm not exactly bouncing off the walls happy either. I'm just here.

I do have an interesting story from daycare about the pacifier. If you are tired of hearing about the pacifier, you might want to quit reading now. :)

I took my daughter to daycare yesterday morning and was getting her stuff out of the bag, her blanket, her Pooh Bear, and her pacifier.
Miss Cecilia (actually, I think it's Mrs., we'll just go with Ms.) jokingly said to my daughter, "Are you still using your paci at home?"
I quickly spoke up in my defense, "Only after they gave it back to her up here."
Ms. Cecilia looked a little taken aback as I related my pacifier story. She then vowed to find out who gave it back to my daughter and why. And, she assured me that she wouldn't give it to my daughter at naptime. I told her that she could give it to my daughter because I don't want her to cry and keep all the other kids up.

Ms. Cecilia told me this morning that she had talked to Miss Trish and found out that they gave the pacifier to my daughter because she woke up screaming (that's twice now that she's done that) and they couldn't comfort her. She also told me that my daughter didn't use it yesterday because she had hidden everyone's pacifiers. Hehehe. Of course, my daughter never cried or asked for it. Why does she do that for Ms. Cecilia but not for me? It would be much easier for me to get rid of it if she wouldn't cry and ask for it!

I heard of a new method of getting rid of the pacifier. Cut the end off of it. Apparently, the child will view the pacifier as broken because it is hard for her to keep it in her mouth, and it doesn't provide the comfort it once did. I might have to try that. My new date to get rid of the pacifier: August 10, 2005 -- my daughter's second birthday. Until then, I've decided not to worry about it.

Tune in tomorrow for more of the 101 Things My Daughter Does To Make Me Smile. :)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

101 Things My Daughter Does to Make Me Smile

God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race - to enlarge our hearts; and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affection; to give our shoulds higher aims; to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion and to bring round our firesides bright faces, happy smiles, and loving, tender hearts. My soul blesses the great Father, every day, that he has gladdened the earth with little children.
Mary Howitt

Of course, I could only think of 20 right off the bat, but it would be good for me to think of 20 more when I'm having a bad day or when my daughter is particularly trying my patience. I will eventually get to 101 and probably more. So here are the first 20.

1. The way that she comes up and gives kisses for no reason.
2. The way that she tells the dogs, “No, no, back!” when they get too close to her.
3. The way that she tells my husband “Bye-bye!” with the phone in front of her face rather than next to her ear.
4. The way that she tries so hard to put her shoes and socks back on in the car when we are nearing our destination because she knows that she’s not supposed to take them off.
5. The way that she says, “Chee, peas (Cheese, please).” Cheese is her favorite food.
6. The way that she “yells” at her baby doll and tells her, “No, no, no!” when Emily is not sitting perfectly in the doll stroller.
7. The way that she gets so excited to see the jogging stroller come out.
8. The way that she doesn’t want to sit in the basket at Walmart.
9. The way that she pull the chocolate syrup and the milk out of the refrigerator to make chocolate milk even though she can't lift the milk off the floor.
10. The way that she dances whenever any music comes on. She reminds me of the Dancing Gopher from Caddyshack.
11. The way that she knocks on the bathroom door when my husband has closed the door specifically to keep her out.
12. The way that she gets this little gleam in her eye when she’s about to do something she knows is wrong (and of course the mischievous little smile that goes with it!)
13. The way that she loves to play outside no matter what kind of weather. She’s going to be an outdoorsy type.
14. The way that she swishes back in forth when I put a dress on her so that she can see the dress spin around her.
15. The way that she runs to me when I pick her up from daycare in the afternoon.
16. The way that she lets out a little screech of joy to see me when I pick her up even though her daycare teachers tell her every day to use her inside voice. Should I try to reinforce that by saying something to her? Well, let’s see, they gave the pacifier back to her after 3 weeks without thinking about reinforcing what I want, so I think not. Screech away!
17. The way that she has her daddy wrapped around her little finger.
18. The way that she cooks in her little play kitchen even waving the oven mitt to dispel smoke from the imaginary smoke detector. (Yes, I honestly set off the smoke detector almost every time that I cook. If I’m lucky, it’s because there was something on the burner).
19. The way that she tries so hard to help me even if she’s getting in the way.
20. And, of course, the way that she smiles at me.

Small Minds

Small minds are much distressed by little things. Great minds see them all but are not upset by them.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)

Mine must be one of the small minds. I am very, very stressed out. Everything is starting to pile up on me, and I feel like I can't take it anymore.

Yesterday, I posted how I gave my daughter back her pacifier. I've thought about it some more as to why I am so upset by this turn of events (giving her back the pacifier and letting her into bed to sleep with us). I think the main thing is that I feel like a failure as a mother. Rationally, I know that I'm not. My daughter is well cared for, and I do the best that I can. But, I can't help but think that I'm not very good at this parenting stuff. I'm not consistent at all, so my daughter never knows what to expect. I get upset about little things. I probably don't spend enough time with her.

I don't know. I feel like she was doing so well, sleeping in her own bed, slowly giving up the dummy, starting to talk pretty well. Now, she's sleeping in our bed or with me on the couch. I gave her back the pacifier. And, she doesn't seem to be making any progress talking. Let me address all of these.

1. The sleeping thing is making me crazy, and that (along with all the wonderful hormones) is probably why I'm feeling so down. I need sleep. There are people who can survive easily on 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night. And I can to once in a while. But not night after night. Last night, right on cue, 2 AM and guess who's awake. Until 4 AM.

2. I'm okay with the pacifier thing now. I'd prefer that she didn't have it, but honestly, I don't care what any books or so-called experts say, my daughter still needs the pacifier. It is a source of comfort to her, and with all the changes in her life in the past couple of months, I don't feel I have a right to take it from her.

3. The talking thing is weird. She was doing really well, vocabulary expanding like crazy, and now she's gone back to the grunt-and-point version of communication. Actually, I have to be honest. That's not entirely true. I think what I'm dealing with is that for a while there, her vocabulary increased at some kind of exponential rate (and I have a feeling it still is). But, now it seems she's learned so much that she just repeats what you've said rather than trying to form sentences on her own.

I am feeling better (I know it's hard to tell from this post, but I really am). And, as promised, I will tell you about my animals (although not necessarily why they hate me). I guess the best order will be in the order we got them.

Fungo joined our family in April 2002. He's a black kitty with little white "socks" on all of his feet. Why is he named Fungo? Well, that's a long story. But not really, so I'll tell it. My husband and I were reading (and still do) a comic strip called
Get Fuzzy. In the comic, a man named Rob has a dog named Satchel and a cat named Bucky. We had two cats that we named Satchel and Bucky. Well, Bucky T. Catt (as he likes to call himself in the comic strip) is often trying to fight the neighbor's ferret, Mr. Sqiggles. Satchel the dog makes friends with Mr. Sqiggles and finds out that he likes to be called Fungo. So, we kept with the theme and named him Fungo. (In case you were wondering, Bucky and Satchel went to live with my parents.)

Funny Fungo fact (try saying that five times fast): He's afraid of ceiling fans. He will come in the house (they stay in this cozy little storage room in our garage) and even if the fan is not on, he will slink down as close to the ground as he can get going underneath it. And we have ceiling fans in every room of our house.

Buddy joined our family in June 2002 (on my birthday actually). He came from the pound. He is (as near as we can tell) a mix between a golden lab and a greyhound. I know that it sounds like an odd combination (and it is), but he's really a pretty dog. He's got the long snout like a greyhound and the way curved in tummy (which looks really funny coming off his labrador rib cage). You should see this dog run. That's how you can tell he's part greyhound. He can run so fast, and he gets really close to the ground.

Fun Buddy fact: He was my birthday present. When I got home, I walked in and my husband was sitting on the couch. Buddy was curled up asleep next to him, so when I went to sit down next to my husband, I almost sat on him.

Bitsy joined our family in August 2002. She is what they call turtle colored (meaning that she is red, orange, black, brown, every color but white). She is a crybaby talker. She will sit next to the door of the garage and cry until we let her in. She is named Bitsy because even at almost 3 years old, she looks like she is about 6 months old. She must be a runt. I don't know. She's really one of those cats that is so ugly she's cute.

Fun Bitsy fact: She's an attention hog. Try petting Fungo or one of the dogs around her, and you will incur the wrath of Bitsy.

Shadow joined our family in January 2004. My daughter was about 4 months old when we adopted Shadow at PetsMart. He's a black lab although you can see a bit of some kind of bird dog in his face. He is still just a puppy in a full grown dog's body (which makes it interesting sometimes). We have to feed Buddy and Shadow seperately because Buddy won't let Shadow eat. They play together, they sleep together, but when Shadow started looking thin, we started watching their eating habits, and Buddy will guard both bowls of food (even when we put them very far apart) so that Shadow can't eat. Now, Buddy has to come in while Shadow eats. Buddy will graze on food all day long and let it sit. Shadow wolfs his allotment down in 5 minutes.

Fun Shadow fact: He loves my daughter. Although no pets are allowed to play with her without an adult present, I think that he would be the one that I trust most. He likes to try and kiss her (which she hates), and I have to make sure that his tail doesn't bop her in the head, but he loves my baby girl.

Like I said, I'm feeling better now. In fact, I think I'll write a post on the 101 things my daughter does that makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Worst Mother Ever

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
Gaiman and Pratchett's "Good Omens"

I am trying to keep things in perspective. I am having a bad day. My bad day actually started at 11:30 last night. That was when my daughter woke up. Let me see if I can break this down so that it won't be a very long (not likely, this will get long) disjointed post.

Issue #1: Pacifier
I just can't let this one go. I don't know why. Yesterday, I picked my daughter up at daycare, and the afternoon girl casually tells me that my daughter was screaming and crying for her dummy at nap, so they gave it to her. THEY GAVE IT TO HER!!! I tried extremely hard to remain calm (after all, it was not this girl who gave it to her, but the other one who is there during naptime). But it was hard to remain calm. I took my daughter and left more quickly than usual. I was pissed. Who are they to be giving her back the pacifier after 3 weeks of her not having it? So, I tried to be realistic. They have a classroom full of kids (okay, 8 kids if all of them are there on any given day, not exactly a classroom full, but I digress) that they have to think of as well. One screaming child will definitely keep all of them up. So, I asked myself why it was so important for her not to have a pacifier (so that I could calmly explain to them the next morning why I was taking her pacifier and burning it in the parking lot so that they could never find it again respectfully requesting that they give it to me for burning safekeeping). And, you know what? I couldn’t think of a good reason. Not one. My entire obsession with getting rid of the pacifier has no basis at all. Or at least not one that I could justify with anything more than “I’ve read that children don’t need the pacifier after 1 year old. At that point it is strictly for the benefit of the parents.” So. I have based my entire obsession to rid my daughter of her pacifier on my unrealistic expectations for her. So, either I am a bad mother for taking away my daughter’s only comfort item to which she has grown attached or I am a bad mother for letting her keep something for my benefit. So, I drove home trying to decide whether or not I should just give it back to her. I can’t really fight daycare on the issue, now, can I? What good would it do me to take it away from her at home if they give it to her at daycare. This would be an easier decision for me if, after 3 weeks, she didn’t still want it so much. She still screams and cries for at least 30 minutes going to bed wanting the pacifier, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since I took it away from her 3 weeks ago because she wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep without it (please keep reading for issue #2). So, I decided she can have it back. And I decided not to feel bad about that decision. And, then I quickly had to rethink my decision and try to evaluate whether or not it was really worth it to give it back to her. I mean, I will have to take it away from her eventually. I don’t want to be the woman in Walmart with a 4 year old who is so cute but would be even cuter if she would just get the pacifier out of her mouth. So, I decided to be the bad mother because I let her keep something for my benefit (read: sleep). And add to that, I am a bad mother because I withheld it for 3 weeks, then gave in (so much for consistent parenting), and I will eventually take it away again (at a point when I can rationally explain to her where she can understand that big girls don’t use pacifiers). So, there.

Issue #2: Sleeping
As I just mentioned, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in 3 weeks. My daughter wakes up and can’t manage to put herself back to sleep. Perhaps this is because I give into her and won’t let her cry it out all night. I do better. I let her cry until I can’t stand it anymore, stomp my way to her room (which usually quiets her down because she knows I’m coming), and tell her in no uncertain words to lie down and go to sleep. And she flops down into her bed. I give her Pooh Bear and cover her up. And as soon as I start to turn around, the crying starts again. In the last 3 weeks, I have slept on the couch a number of times with a baby in my arms thrashing around trying to get comfortable. Or, even better, my husband tells me, “Just bring her in here with us.” Oh, yeah. There are no words that I hate to hear more. Seriously. I mean, we kicked her out of our bed taught her to sleep in her own bed because she (like her mommy) tosses and turns in her sleep all night. So the just bring her in here with us means I am doomed to a night of feet, knees, elbows and hands poking into my back all night. As you can imagine, I don’t get much sleep. Parenting mistakes: Consistency (or definite lack thereof).

So, I gave in. I gave her back the pacifier. And when she woke up at 11:30 last night clutching the pacifier and crying her eyes out, I brought her in to sleep in our bed. So, being the horrible mother that I am, we have reintroduced something that she doesn’t really need (as evidenced by the fact that she doesn’t actually even put it in her mouth!) and she now thinks that she is supposed to sleep in either our bed or with me on the couch watching TV in the living room. I feel like the worst mother ever. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why my pets hate me, too.

Monday, April 04, 2005


The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
Richard M. Nixon (1913 - 1994)

Well, the disappointing results were that I am not pregnant. My period started Saturday (28 day cycle -- very unusual for me). What's funny is that I wasn't really as disappointed as I thought that I would be. Must have been those PMS hormones making me crazy.

Instead, I got the hormone kick that I get around this time every month that I call the change-the-world hormones. Fortunately, these only last a few days. It's like making New Year's Resolutions once a month.

This month's resolutions:
1) Play with my daughter more. I don't know if I spend enough time just sitting and playing with her. It would certainly make me feel less guilty about all of those times when I get so impatient with her.

2) Get moving on my application process for nursing school. That would be a real disappointment to miss a deadline because I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.

3) Lose some weight. Ugh! This is the one that I don't want to think about. Before my daughter was born, I was in the process of losing weight (funny how it got much easier after I started throwing up everything I was eating). My pre-pregnancy weight: 168. I gained about 15 pounds with my daughter putting me at 183. For some reason, I couldn't stop eating like I was pregnant and instead of losing weight after she was born (and while I was breast-feeding), I kept gaining. I peaked out at 189. Right now, (well, Saturday morning before I had anything to eat or drink -- the best time to weigh oneself in my opinion) I was 172. Not bad. I have been hovering around the 176 mark. My goal is 140. I am 5'9", and judging from past experience, that seems to be the weight that looks best on me (meaning I'm not carrying extra pounds, but I don't look like I came out of a concentration camp). So, here I am. Started at 189. Down to 172. Only 30 more pounds to go. What's I wonder is whether or not I will start getting that concentration camp look before I get to the goal of 140. I haven't been at that kind of weight since my daughter was born. I have some jeans that I was looking at the other day. They are size 9. I'm realistic enough to realize that I will never fit in these jeans again even if I lose 100 pounds. My hips will just be too big. Right now, I can wear the size 11. Granted, they don't look very good on me (yet!), but I would like for them to fit just a little bit looser. I will be happy to get down to pre-pregnancy weight.

Anyway, that is how I'm feeling today. I feel stupid for letting myself be convinced I was pregnant. I guess I just want to be so badly. There are many things that I want in my life, but I want another baby. I'm only 24 and my biological clock is ticking! I don't know what it is. Probably because I'm afraid of the other things that I need to do first.

I know that I need to get back into school and pursue the LVN that I have been wanting to do since my daughter was born. I guess I'm scared of screwing that up.

I'm scared to quit a job that I love to move where I won't have a job, and there aren't many jobs to be had.

My daughter is one of the things in my life that I have done right. The timing wasn't perfect, but she is truly here to get me back on track. I think I'm starting to lose focus again, and something in my mind knows that would refocus me. Does that make sense? Not really. I don't know.

I need to get things going with school. After I'm done with that, then we'll worry about another baby. I guess I just wanted my children to be close in age, and the more that we put it off, the farther apart they will be. Right now, if we wait until I finish school and then start trying, at the earliest, my daughter will be almost 4. That's really not bad. I wanted them a couple of years apart, but that just isn't feasible. And it will be much easier if I wait until my daughter's older. She can help. I have a feeling that I will have to teach her not to help so much. :) And another good thing is that I won't have to pay so much for daycare. My daughter would only be about a year away from kindergarten. Listen to me planning kindergarten for a child that isn't even 2. I'm so glad this day is almost over. I need to go home. My head is pounding. I hope that I have some Tylenol in my purse.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I'm going crazy!

I wish my period would just start already! As long as it hasn't appeared (and it isn't scheduled to until Monday or Tuesday), I can't give up the hope of being pregnant. I want to be so badly that I have convinced myself that I am. I have absolutely no signs of starting anytime soon except for the crazy mood swings I've been having (and guess what those could also be a sign of?). Either my period need to come or I need a positive pregnancy test. One or the other. Because living in this limbo state where I can allow myself to think I'm pregnant is about to drive me out of my ever-loving mind. Hopefully, a week from now, I can claim that my insanity is just pregnancy hormones. More likely, I will just have a bad week. Either way. At this point, I don't care. I just want a definative answer either way. The negative home pregnancy tests (yes, more than one) probably aren't a good sign. The problem is that I don't believe them. Why can't I just believe that I'm not pregnant and move on? Why do I have this overwhelming feeling that I am? I am just setting myself up to be very, very disappointed. I tell myself that the pregnancy tests don't show because it's too early (even those that say you can test before your period). But, the way that I see it, if I have enough hormones in my system to cause the symptoms, wouldn't I have enough hormones to show a positive on the test? Hmm? Good question, right? Here's too much information for you, I'm having discharge now. What the hell is that? I never have that before I start my period. So, isn't that nice of my body to try to give me false hopes? I'm going to go nuts before this is done. My husband will be sure to use about 3 methods of protection from now on because he certainly won't want another child with my genetics! (Just so you know, I'm totally kidding). My husband is a good guy who told me that he would be happy if I was pregnant even if it does mean that a lot (and I mean A LOT) of plans will be screwed up. But, he also told me that I couldn't take any home pregnancy tests until he got back. He left Wednesday. Gets back tonight. I already have a test for tomorrow morning. When it comes out negative, I think I will just cry and start pounding on my abdomen until my period starts. Sorry for this long, rambling disjointed post. My brain has turned to sludge until I know whether or not I'm pregnant.

Friday, April 01, 2005

No time to post....

Work has been very busy today, so I haven't had time to post. I'll try to post tonight from my parents' house, but the internet connection is run by little mice on wheels, so we'll see if blogger will cooperate.