Sunday, December 31, 2006

i'm dreaming of socks. Warm, fuzzy socks. I think I'm being helped in the sticktoitiveness with the holes that are rapidly expanding on the socks I threw out last night. My stash of socks is finally wearing out, and now that I can turn a heel I'm dreaming of all the fun thick and WARM socks I can turn out over the next month.

Also: hooded blankets. I'm modeling it off hooded towels; but this will be toddler/small child sized and in some fun colors. How often have we swaddled our babies up in those warm towels post-bath and wished that we could just swaddle them in something similar for nighttime? Especially if you've got a swaddler on your hands...

ah. the knitting calls. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Socks and retail therapy. A recipe for a happy mom tonight. Also it helps that I didn't have a nap today and instead stayed busy enough that I'm now really tired. Dinner was my famous pizza pasta. The toddler slept for three hours and then woke up and screamed for most of the next two hours. Now she's asleep again.

I'm not makng much sense beyond sentence fragments at the moment. But I'm busily converting a pattern for crocheted socks into a sort of hybrid that involves crocheting the cuff and leg, and then half of the heel, then sliding it over to double point needles and knitting the rest of the heel, the foot, and the toe.

Right now I have a nice thick tube of crocheted ribbing, and it's cushy between my fingers. And I'm going to bed now.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to everybody. I sincerely wish everyone everywhere some peace of mind and family and just an all-around good warm fuzzy time tonight. Of course, reality is what it is, and I'll take the closest thing to warm and fuzzy that I can get. In our house this means that my Boy and I sat and heckled my mom on her Holiday Family Calls. If we had not been so well fed on her roast beast and yorkshire pudding, if we had not been so happy and content to have both her and the Toddler here and had not had such a good time the rest of the day- we would not have been happy enough to heckle.

My project to keep my fingers calm this week is: socks. Yep. I'm digging through the book of crocheted sock patterns one more time, and I've almost completed my very first sock. I am so flushed with triumph and giddy girlish glee that I'm trying very hard to NOT go right to the yarn store in the morning and rummage through their $3 sale bin of needles in order to find a couple pairs of double points and learn to knit socks instead of crocheting them. Yes, I'm intimidated by double point knitting. Yes, I'd prefer to slog through the dance that is crocheting with a really tiny hook and sock yarn [which is thinner than a standard business rubber band but not nearly as tiny as the number 10 thread or the steel hook I use for lace]. Whew. Can you tell I've had some eggnog this day?

And really, since I'm focusing on the knit and crochet arts this year to help my nerves settle into a calm and focused Motherly Attitude, this is good for me. It's just the sort of fussy work that requires detail and slow breathing. I can literally feel my blood pressure lower while I'm working. If I keep at it, I can easily learn the basic pattern by heart by the time I finish my third pair, and then I don't have to balance the book on my lap every five minutes. I'm starting to dream about sock yarn. About all the different colors they come in. About all the glorious things I could do if I could switch to making all our own socks.

Before everybody chimes in to tell me that I'm not THAT broke, that socks are less than a dollar a pair at walmart and are these days practically a disposable item, that hardly anyone even bothers to darn their socks anymore because they're so cheap- well, I can counter with the fact that making your own socks from cotton or wool means that they're precisely to your measure every time. That they may actually last twice as long as the storebought ones. That they feel cushier on your feet and keep your tootsies warm in the cold winters.

I know, I know, I'm in San Diego right now where it doesn't get cold. But next year we'll be up by the desert and I hear it gets downright nippy in the desert in winter at night. I can't sleep when my feet are cold. So POOH on you. Nyah.

Besides which, even though I'm only part way through my very first sock, I can feel so calm and content when I'm working it. It scrunches up nicely into my project bag or purse. It's fine work, fussy work, and a simple stitch; and that's probably what I need most right now.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

validate my reality, world

After an incredibly emotional day which I can only justify to myself by saying "It's Wedsnesday", I've got 20 minutes left before I go to pick up the Boy.

I wasn't, but it seems that the ship broke, so they can't go underway today like they wanted to. The captain tried. Bless his heart, he tried. But you really need the steering column to operate a ship that size.

So the Boy gets to come home tonight and play with the toddler, and I get to cry on his shoulder about how depressed I am, and tomorrow morning my mommy is arriving on a big ass plane and will Fix Everything.

Note: I don't care how she plans on fixing Everything. I suspect it will involve crying on my shoulder and hugging the Toddler. In any case, my mommy will be here and that will lighten the load I carry by just enough that I hope I'll stop having this meltdown moments.

Monday, December 11, 2006

There is nothing like an inconsolable child to make a mother feel hopelessly inadequate. The shell she learns to wear against the clueless comments from strangers and the sometimes unhelpful suggestions from family and friends might work against grownups in the outside world, but when it's down to a game of one on one with your flesh and blood pre-verbal toddler who refuses to eat, sleep, or be comforted... that's when I feel totally and completely lost again.

It's only a day like this has been to send me back emotionally to the state I was in when she first came home from the NICU. The thoughts running one after another. I don't deserve her. I can't handle or care for her the way she needs. She might be better off with another mother, or at the least without me in her life. My Boy would be better without such an useless woman bound to him by a piece of paper he probably never wanted to sign in the first place. I don't deserve the emerald he married me with.

I know that these thoughts are flawed on a basic level. I know that I just have to keep breathing and get through minute by minute and this night will end. The bad case of the Icky Feelings and Snuffles that Tiff has had these past days will end, and she's going to smile and giggle and play chase-the-mama with me again. She'll reach up those precious little arms and hug me. She'll stop screaming and trying to throw her little body against the floor and walls.

In a lot of ways I've learned from the seventeen months she's been home. If I think back to the colic and the reflux (and the two of them coming together after a growth spurt when the prilosec stopped working) I can see that I'm just reacting to the situation and the tears. Right now? This is nothing. She's only been truly inconsolable for 30 hours now. I got a full 6 hours straight sleep last night before having to cope with today. I know that I'm about as exhausted as she is right now, and that once my dinner starts kicking it's way through my system I'll start feeling better- I haven't had a chance to really make myself eat anything today apart from a handful of wrinkly grapes. This is entirely because I'm depressed and not hungry.

Tomorrow will be better. I know it will. As long as I lay down now and close my eyes and try not to think how totally black and dark the nighttime seems to be.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday. Date night. This has become our tradition, following the Friday Beer and Pizza night. Except that last night we didn't have pizza. And only the Boy drinks beer. But I treated myself to a wine cooler, and that went down very well. So tonight I may make my herbed cheese bread; I just have to remember to buy some cheese when I'm out of the house this afternoon.

The Toddler is really cranky today. I haven't seen her out of sorts for so long now that it's a bit of a shock to me. As a mother I've become incredibly spoiled by having a child with such a good temperment (sorry, Sarah!) and since it followed her refluxy and colicy months so quickly and steadily I've come to know a lot of peace. Of course I have to ask myself how much of it is that she's bright and has learned that if she's happy and content Mommy doesn't have a Little Moment?

Not that my Moments are nasty. Not at all. But they lead to frustration and a few snapped words and Tiff being sent to play in her room while Mommy tries to crawl out of bed.

Some days are easier than others. That's all I'm saying here. And I'm not going to argue if my good days are starting to outnumber the bad ones again. Whatever, you know? I'll take it. I'll welcome it. And tonight I'm going to be snuggled up with the Boy on the couch watching musicals and munching on cheesy bread. Fun.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why is it that on the days when I am able to leave Tiff with the Boy while I run the recycling over, there is no line and I can walk right up to one of two working machines and get to business? On the days when I have a cranky toddler in a stroller as well as my two big bags of bottles and cans, there is a minimum 30 minute wait. Today I got a whopping $3.12 back from our CRV tax. I exchanged some of this for a bag of mixed garden vegs (14 oz, frozen, $1.98). When I got home I let them thaw out in a big mixing bowl.

For dinner I boiled some angel hair pasta (half a box that was bought at .80) threw it with the veggies, and the last of the shredded mozzarella (2/3 cups of a 4 cup bag bought at $4.00).

Pasta, 40 cents. Cheese, 66 cents. Veg, 1.98. The meal cost a total of 3.04 and will feed two hungry adults and a toddler. Not bad, is it? I've been trying to work in one meatless meal every week to try and save a little money. I think this counts as a healthy and successful dinner.

In other news the Goop attacked Tiff again, she's been suffering a clogged nose and serious Goop of the eye today. I feel for her. A lot. I wish I could take it for her, and I find myself looking forward to the surgery next week just so I don't have to pick the Goop off her anymore.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's so easy to say that if only something were different you'd be happier. If we had more money, I'd be happy. If I had a white picket fence and a split level four bedroom house in the country, I'd be content. I'm waiting for my ship to come in and the day to come when we can afford everything our lifestyle really needs; it occurs to me that I'm being silly. Because my ship already did come in.

The USS Lollipop has come in. There is one more underway, just a day or two, before the Boy transfers off and gets to stay home with us for four whole years. That's Four. Whole. Years. In which I don't have to say goodbye, retain a valid power of attorney in case of sudden departure, or raise the Munchkin by myself indefinately. In three weeks he leaves his current command. Since we've been a navy family we've moved, been apart, come back together countless times, had some rocky financial times and a baby... I could say that it's already been a lifetime and I can't remember life before all this was in my world. We have full medical. I don't have to worry about how we're keeping the roof over our heads or afford the early intervention services that the Munchkin needs.

If everybody stopped living in the world of what-ifs and if-onlys, they'd likely be a lot happier. They'd definately be living less on credit and more on Reality-Land. I told the Boy yesterday to let me keep living in dreamland for one more week. Then it'll be time to stop fantasizing that we'll win the lottery or stumble across a suitcase of unmarked bills; time to give up the daydream of moving into a five bedroom victorian gingerbread house in 8 weeks. Time to work out what our budget will allow for, what our new cost of living is going to be; time to work out when/how I have to go back to work to afford all of this.

Without our dreams we lose hope. Lost in the crunch of everyday humdrum life and seduced by the constant ads and media blitz- I see the people around me rushing from paycheck to paycheck and unhappy most of the time. I can't do much about that. I can do something about my own attitude. I can teach my daughter to know the difference between having and not having, and that she doesn't need to be a designer label to be somebody. If it weren't for the daydreams of someday striking it rich, of the princess living happily ever after, I'd sink back into the trap of depression and find little reason to ever try to climb out.

So I'm going to dream. I'm going to spend tonight thinking about how I'll spend all that money when it falls into my lap. I'm going to decorate our dream house and make friends with neighbors that exist only in my twisted brain. Tomorrow I'll be a grownup and live in reality-land.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

love, life, and dishes. The trinity of my existance this week. What in the world is so overwhelming about a dishwasher of dirty dishes that need to be run? Honestly. It's not hard- a 5 year old could do it. Insert dish soap. Close door. Turn dial to "on".

And yet that's what I'm struggling to convince myself to do this morning. We have decided that base housing is not going to be an option in our next move. This means that we're home hunting again. Operation Move-in 2007 has now begun. And since I'm going to be doing this around the rest of my life and my on again off again depression struggles- this should be fun. No, really. Fun.

Especially when you consider that every time we've moved since we've been a couple we've done a clear upgrade. Yes, the rent goes up commeasureately. This will be the first time in 6 years that we're looking at moving to a lower-cost of living area. Of course, our housing allowance is also going down- it's cut by about 600 dollars. I can't quite wrap my brain around that one yet. I'm hopeful.

Cautiously optimistic shall be my motto for the next couple of weeks while we're hunting. It's not a bad motto. It should be part of my mood on a more frequent basis. I really need to try to be positive about this.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I got a frantic call from the Boy this morning saying "Please. Tell me some good news." So, alright. I told him that I got the Toddler new sleeper jammies, feet built in, and she's going to be pissed that she can't strip them off as easily as her socks and pants. Whether or not this becomes of more angst to her than the part where I installed a baby gate in the kitchen to prevent her from rummaging through the dishwasher, climbing into the oven, and exploring the trash can? Who can say.

It seems that his split pay hasn't been paid. Again. And since we are short of funds again (why, oh why, couldn't I have held onto more money from last payday?) he wanted to make sure that we got the majority of his paycheck which was to be direct deposited in our bank account. The atm next to the pier is, once more, non-functional and even when it works is a bit wonky.

To celebrate these things I'm making calzones for dinner and he will have beer tonight. The toddler will have some calzone, and none of the beer. This will, no doubt, cause her even more baby angst as she becomes convinced that her parents are just two big people intent on ruining all of her fun.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Sky and Sand" has been finished and is now for sale! First come, first serve. Check out this and other fun crafts on Etsy.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ever since I was little I've loved fibers. Especially visiting the higher end yarn shops- you know the ones. The ones where the cheapest skein of yarn is about 6 dollars... but they have soft mohair. Fuzzy fibers that feel like angel's kisses. Eyelashes, and metallics, and wools, and silks. I saw one skein today that made me drool and dream wistfully of owning it. I wouldn't make anything with it. It's too pretty for that. I'd just put it in a drawer and take it out to fondle every now and then. It was gold and red silk with cherry red glass beads spun into the twists. It was also 36 dollars. For less than a hundred yards. But it was so pretty...

I very seldom indulge my fiber lusts. For one thing, I hate having to go into a store and leave again without picking something out to take home. It's expensive. For the amount of knitting and crocheting I do the acrylics are my best choice. They wash and wear well, and they're easy to work with, and even though they are the plain jane next to the glamorous yarns they fit my budget well. Today I made a special exception to my rule.

There's one yarn that I fell hard for. It's a mottled sky blue with bright gold accents. The yarn is a ribbon-like one; about the width of a very narrow flat satin ribbon. It's smooth in my fingers. It was even on sale. On large needles it'll work up quickly; I'm making it an accent scarf. I'm not going to keep it, of course. My joy is in the creating of this; I wouldn't know how to wear it and I don't have the fashion for it.

But it's pretty. That's all that counts tonight.
Ever since I was little I've loved fibers. Especially visiting the higher end yarn shops- you know the ones. The ones where the cheapest skein of yarn is about 6 dollars... but they have soft mohair. Fuzzy fibers that feel like angel's kisses. Eyelashes, and metallics, and wools, and silks. I saw one skein today that made me drool and dream wistfully of owning it. I wouldn't make anything with it. It's too pretty for that. I'd just put it in a drawer and take it out to fondle every now and then. It was gold and red silk with cherry red glass beads spun into the twists. It was also 36 dollars. For less than a hundred yards. But it was so pretty...

I very seldom indulge my fiber lusts. For one thing, I hate having to go into a store and leave again without picking something out to take home. It's expensive. For the amount of knitting and crocheting I do the acrylics are my best choice. They wash and wear well, and they're easy to work with, and even though they are the plain jane next to the glamorous yarns they fit my budget well. Today I made a special exception to my rule.

There's one yarn that I fell hard for. It's a mottled sky blue with bright gold accents. The yarn is a ribbon-like one; about the width of a very narrow flat satin ribbon. It's smooth in my fingers. It was even on sale. On large needles it'll work up quickly; I'm making it an accent scarf. I'm not going to keep it, of course. My joy is in the creating of this; I wouldn't know how to wear it and I don't have the fashion for it.

But it's pretty. That's all that counts tonight.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tonight I'm sitting down with something that seemed like a good idea at the time and which still tastes good, but...

hot chocolate, heavily spiked with nutmeg.

It makes my tongue numb. And vaguely sleepy. Good night; I'll see all of you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. Thankfulness for the blessings we have.

This morning I had a Moment over a picture of a newborn baby and his mother. Again. In front of the Boy. I don't know why this is so emotion packed for me, still. I keep trying to talk myself out of it and I keep thinking that I've succeeded until the next Moment. I just don't know. Is it because there are still unresolved feelings from my first pregnancy? Is it something else that's deeper?

Why do I want to cry when I think about holding another baby in my arms and imagine that I have two children clutching my skirts? Or three? Why does the yearning come over me so strongly that it chokes my voice and infiltrates my dreams?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

8 loads of laundry were done today. Does this qualify me for the Washtub Star of honor? I hope so. I should get a big medal with little stars for each extra load done. And the odd part? It wasn't even for two full weeks worth of stuff. It was all the bits and ends that accumulate in the corners around here. Helped, no doubt, by the toddler who likes to go into drawers and pull out all the contents.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here's another nifty way to stretch the meat dollars in our budget:

you can usually find ground turkey by the pound in the frozen food section- sometimes I really have to look; Wacky Zacky is usually the cheapest option at $1.00/lb. Since ground turkey is next to tasteless either spice it up in the browning process by adding a few dashes of Mrs Dash or seasoned salt... or you can brown it with one roll of sausage (regular bulk pork) and split the results. Take one half of the mixture and use it in place of a pound of ground beef. This is especially tasty in italian dishes.

I really miss the old days when we could get ground beef for 99 cents a pound or even $1.50 a pound. This solution has decent flavor and is about as healthy for you as the ground beef- since the turkey is almost fat free and the sausage is fat full. I'm not a scientist so I don't know the actual facts and figures.

Tonights menu: Pizza pasta

1 12oz bag of penne pasta that I got for 80 cents
1 jar tomato sauce at .79
about half the bag of pepperoni (full price, about 3.99)
1 15oz tub of ricotta cheese -2.99
1 pound of the sausage-turkey mixture

cook the pasta, throw in with the rest of the stuff and bake at 350 for about half an hour or so. This is the dish that makes the Boy eat three bowls and then tell me that I cook too good because he has to work to meet standards.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tonight's dinner in the new crockpot, which is so good I cannot stop munching on it.

take one package of boneless skinless chicken thighs (about one pound was 2.80)
one tub of chicken livers -1.84
*put in bottom of crockpot*

one can cream of mushroom soup
3 Tbsp flour
about 1/4 tsp black pepper

*combine these three and pour over chicken*

cook on high for about three hours. Then add one bag (16 oz) peas with pearl onions. Continue cooking for another hour.

I think this would probably work best for people who like dark meat and/or liver. It really doesn't come off as all "liver-ish" per the stereotype. The trick is to puree the liver -just chop it up in the food processor briefly before adding it in; this turns it into a pate when cooked thoroughly. Not overpowering. Just nice.

Will feed two adults and one Toddler for two meals -4 adult servings and two toddler servings. Total cost of this meal: $7.39 which is 3.69 for each dinner if served two nights in a row.
I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Again. After a week of horrible lows and wierd, twisted logical leaps in my depressed mind, I had a pretty good day. This was aided by the Toddler being all happy and bouncy and bright, and it is to our credit that she stayed up later than normal for us on duty days. Now she is reluctantly going to sleep. I can cope with that.

What I can't cope with, apparantly, is the thought that I'm a good mother and good wife. I feel like I should be one or the other and that both is some fairy-land ideal. It's not real. I know that it's not real. It has no basis in my personal reality right now. So why do I feel this way?

The only thing I know for sure tonight is that there are dishes that need to be put away and a funny book to curl up with. Tomorrow will bring it's own challenges and god only knows if it will be any better or worse than today. I can only go to sleep secure in the truth of the lullaby I sing the Toddler every night.

hushabye and good night, go to sleep little baby
hushabye and good night, go to sleep little girl
in the morning you'll wake when sunlight comes streaming
hushabye and good night
till morning is nigh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There is something that seems fundamentally wrong about the yeast I just bought at costco. I came home and checked the jar in the fridge- you bakers will know what I mean. The little jar that you get that is about 4oz of yeast and you buy for about 8 bucks?

At costco they have red star yeast in a big freeze-dried brick. 32oz. $3.24.

I swear, I'm not going to argue with it but it seems WRONG. So this is a big savings for the thrifty housewife. 8 of those little jars = 1 brick so 8*8 is a lot more than $3.24

So to celebrate this huge saving I bought Tiff a giant plush hippopotamus chair. It's soft and her size.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

want to know what's cooking up today? Here you go. Try it at home for a tasty and comfort-food dinner!

herbed stuffed bread.

Take your favorite bread recipe, and after the first rising roll it out into a big flat pancake about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with thyme, crush rosemary with your fingers and sprinkle that, take an 8oz package of italian blend shredded cheese (I used the mozarella and provolone blend that was on sale this week) and some cut up ham and layer that on top. Then roll it up like a giant stromboli. Or like a jelly roll. Pinch the dough shut along the seam. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for ten minutes, reduce the heat to 350, and bake another 30 minutes or so until it meets the bread-being-done test.

We're going to have this with creamy potato soup, because I have a package of that on the shelf left from the summer.

Despite the sound of it, the bread really isn't much work at all. It would be even less work if I had a bread machine that would knead the dough through to that first rising for me.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hooray for the three hour nap! The Toddler came out, appropriated my keys, and is now banging them against the front door. Do you think she's starting to make a connection there?

We got yet another possible commission. I'm happy. It's another little thing that makes me feel more productive. More like I'm doing something. More like I'm not a couch-sitting bonbon-eating soap opera-watching mental patient. Because mainly, well, I prefer cold case files and CSI.

Don't laugh. It gets me through. And whatever gives you the extra strength to get through the day is a good thing. It may get morbid at times but it's not overly graphic. There is a plot. There is far less bad acting and scripting than is found on other channels [I'm looking at you, MTV!] And when I was little my mom would watch Perry Mason in the afternoons while I was playing nearby. So there's a certain continuity to this, a bonding through the generations.

I've got to go and pick up the Boy in a few moments. It's going to be all nifty. We haven't seen him since this morning, early, before even the Jimmy Dean SunMan had gotten out of bed. There will be a kiss. There will be a tickle of the Borgmonkey in the back seat. There will be much laughing.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm going to do this weekend's donut baking a bit easier than I did last week. Actually letting the dough rest overnight in the fridge like the book recommends as best.

Yay me, I gave the Toddler a bath after lunch today. She still doesn't like having her hair washed. I suspect this is because she knows that this is what leads to having your hair combed, and she Really doesn't like that. We took a picnic lunch down to the pier this morning. The Boy had duty. He has an extra watch tonight because somebody didn't show up when they were supposed to, and that means that he won't get to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow. The sun will come out tomorrow. My Boy will be home tomorrow. The Toddler will be giggling again as we chase her through the house with the stuffed tickle monster. I'll bake. Likely, I'll spend a lot of time knitting and reading.

Sometimes this depression is like a big gray cloud over my head. A sack of rocks in my backpack. I know it's all in my head. I know that there's not an earthly reasonable reason for this to exist. I can't kick my ass out of the slump. The meds can help pull me out, but right now this moment they're not helping a lot. All I can do is keep telling myself that it gets better. It will. Tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2006

oh, I'm naughty. I'm going straight to the hot place. I floated a check this afternoon, and I went to bath and bodyworks and got myself the cinnamon bun bodywash/shampoo/bubble bath -3 in 1!- and I don't feel guilty. I also found a box of my favorite hair color for half price. And we ordered a pizza for dinner. And I still don't feel guilty.

It's hard to feel guilty when I've been wanting these things for so long. My afternoon out came early this week cause tomorrow's Duty Day. The Toddler is trying to convince me that she's really not sleepy and doesn't need to go to bed. The Boy is outside savoring a post-dinner pipe. I'm going to jump into the shower soon with my newly minted hair and come out smelling like Cinnabon.

I am then going to curl up with the Boy and my knitting and watch CSI Miami until I fall asleep. Still tired. Still depressed. Tomorrow I have to put myself back on the "don't spend money" wagon. But damn. I feel good about myself right now.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

let's see... how do I do what I do? Hrm. In the past week I've done the following:

Sunday was sausage patties and rice
Monday was cheeseburger helper (made with generic helper mix and a pound of ground turkey, and half a bag of frozen peas)
Tuesday was baked pizza ziti (the throw it in a pot and forget about it version)
Weds was leftovers and apple fritters
Today is going to be sausage, cheesy orzo
Tomorrow is turkey helper-fried rice

To make this I bought 2 rolls of sausage at 1.50/ each
2 roll of ground turkey (frozen solid) at 1.09/each
16oz store brand frozen peas at 1.33
32oz ricotta cheese at 4.79
8oz pepperoni at 3.00
12oz ziti at .88
generic helper mix at 2.30
tomato sauce at 1.79
brand-name helper mix at 3.14
apple pie filling at 1.29
shredded cheese at 2.50
12oz orzo at .80
rice I count as a pantry staple.

now these prices are what I actually paid for these items, according to my household accounts, some of which were on sale a month ago and sitting in the cupboard until now. I prefer not to pay more than a dollar a pound for ground turkey, which is a great substitute for ground beef- at least half the price, half the fat, and I compensate for the blandness by adding a shake of Mrs. Dash or seasoned salt over it while browning. If I had stocked up the week before this trip I could have gotten more sauce for a dollar a can. By saving and reusing some of the glass jars that more expensive sauces come in, I can pour the canned sauce into a clear jar when I open the can; this lets me keep it nice for longer in the fridge. Unfortunately I wasn't thinking that week when I was in the store and so I paid nearly double.

Also pantry staples that I always have to have on hand, milk and baby cereal and such: milk I get 2 gallons for $4, a case of generic diapers for $20, and various other things.

I spent $120 on last week's grocery order. I ordered online, they delivered to my door, and this will feed us for most of the month saving one or two things. It's worth it, even though the delivery charge was $9, because it eliminates impulse purchasing. Plus, I got three flats of bottled water for the Boy to take with to work (at 4 a day it adds up) since the ship doesn't have running water or working plumbing right now. And all this delivered to my kitchen floor.

I recycle all our refundable materials. In CA this works out to 4 cents a bottle/can under 24oz. With the spare change from this I can run a "free" load of laundry at the laundromat every other week at $2.25. Or I can buy a pack of twinkies and a soda.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another big hit in my household this week? Apple Fritters. The only thing I had to get that wasn't a pantry/baking staple was a can of apple pie filling. Oh, Yum. I used about half the can of filling in my batter, the other half-can is set aside to do this again later in the weekend, and it made a heaping dinner plate full of fritters.

And another big thank you to my mom, who taught me to cook, cleaned up my messes in the kitchen, and encouraged me to continue this by personally annotating the Mennonite Community Cookbook with all the family recipe variations.
Yesterday I superglued my fingers on purpose. This wasn't because of some psychotic break with reality, this was solely because I was tired of the little chewed up ends of skin by my cuticles. They fray and peel with the yarn constantly rubbing over it. Bandaids will not stay on at this point, because they too are constantly abraded by yarn. I went one step further- packing tape. That wouldn't stay on either. So I turned to an old standby for desparate times: superglue.

Superglue has the advantage of bonding instantly. It forms an outer, protective skin for my poor abraded flesh. It won't fall off, it won't allow further peeling of the skin to bleed. Those blood trails through the house... disturbing. Especially when you don't know you're bleeding and haven't a clue how long you've been dripping blood down your fingers.

The Boy also paid me a huge compliment last night. He says that if I keep cooking this well he won't stay within standards much longer and will have to get sent back to fat camp. Which is nice to hear- but I wasn't the one forcing seconds and thirds into his hands at dinner.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dinner was a throw-it-in-the-pot and forget about it affair. A package of ziti. the two-thirds of a can of tomato sauce. Most of a carton of ricotta cheese. A handful of pepperoni. Bake until bubbly, or about 40 minutes at 350. And yes... it was good. The ricotta evened out the pepperoni bite. The whole thing blended nicely into my belly. The Boy is eyeing it with delight.

The Toddler, however, is trying to tell us that she doesn't want to go to sleep yet. Even though she's tired, and we're tired, and everybody needs a nap.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I got another blanket commission this morning. Thanks be! The karmic angel of Divine Intervention is lending a hand to us. This commission will cover two weeks of childcare for me to go to therapy. I'm thrilled. My Boy will be less thrilled, as it doesn't quite affect him as intently as it does me. But he's still happy about it.

Plus, the color scheme intrigues me. It's not a scheme I would have chosen for myself. Depending on the outcome I'll make a second one for my Virtual Craft Show. This gives me a little more hope for the next few months, that life won't be quite as tight as they've been. I just want to have a fudge zone in the budget again.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One of my favorite Virtual Friends commented on the grocery budget post, and I thought that my response to her response to my response to her question was worthy of a post all of it's own. If only for the sake of good grammar.

In regards to my $80 per month grocery budget. I certainly don't LIKE to do it that tightly. I think back fondly to the days when I could spend $60 or $70 a week to feed me and my husband. That's in addition to meals out. But now that I'm an at-home mom, things have to change. Some things get cut back, other things get cut out, and I embrace happily my early training in how to squeeze a dime. We don't go out to eat anymore. We've maybe gone out to a sit down restaurant once in the past twelve weeks. We've ordered in a pizza about four times in those twelve weeks.

This is part of the reason why I've got ads on my site. The only reason I put up one of those whiney "donate" buttons in hopes that somebody will drop a coin or two in the jar. This is also why I've got the online craft shop, the virtual book sale, and why I will happily contact you with information on melaleuca products and how they can make your life better (especially the stain treater, because OMG I can spritz the Toddler's stuff, throw it in the hamper, and get to it whenever with the full knowledge that I don't have to do anything else to get the stains out)

Maybe it'll get better in a year or so. I hope so. I'd like to have contacts next year, I'd like to go out and have a spree in the bookstore with my Boy. I'd really like to be able to order out for pizza once a week or be able to go to a restaurant once a month. I comfort myself with knowing that we're not living on credit. We're working our way out of the debt we accrued before he enlisted- when we did live on credit and check-to-check. We may be nearly always dead broke, but we're not getting further behind. We're actually started to pull out of it. Isn't that worth your support? If only by prayers and good thoughts- cause I firmly believe that those count for as much as cash when done in a believing way.
On Saturday I got up before dawn to bake. I didn't plan on it, it just turned out that way. First I couldn't sleep. Then, since the rest of the family was up I thought that I'd leave the bed and go join them. Then I was hungry. And what I was hungry for- donuts.

To paraphrase the great Homer Simpson "mmmmmmmm.......... donuts."

It took me the entire morning. Started at 6 am, and didn't finish frying until noon. But boy are they good.

I'm still mourning the loss of my ideal. Or I'm still trying to live up to it. Have't figured out which it is, all I know for certain is that I'm stricken with these wierd feelings that I've failed my loved ones because I'm not a classic 1940s housewife. It's scary. In my head I know that it's not right, and it's not logical and it doesn't make sense. In my heart I believe it. That's where the conflict comes from. That's where I need to be medicated until I can come to some sort of middle ground.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Next month the Munchkin gets to have a surgery to help correct the blocked tear duct in her left eye. This should help her vision problems a little bit, and that will be good. Also, she'll be under anesthesia for this surgery. That is good. I just remember the last time she was under anesthesia. So small, so completely limp under the drugs. It was kinda scary.

Today is shaping up to be a decent day. We'll see. In the meantime... there's plenty to do and play with.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's not easy being green. Or blue. Or polka-dotted with big ears and frizzy hair. Today... was a day like any other. I guess. It's the end of the month, so it's time to pay bills, do math, and see exactly what money we have left to live on for the next two weeks. When I can, I like to over plan the meals and grocery list during this payday. It gives me just a little more wiggle room during the back half of the month, and you never know when you're going to need that room.

Tomorrow the Toddler goes back to the eye doc and we get to find out what our next step is. Do we keep up the eye drops? Do we do something different? And more importantly, how do we handle the transition when we PCS next year?

Day after that, of course, is my shrink. The appt where I get to sit down and spill my secrets and get scolded. I don't care right now.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I do get a very twisted thrill out of the look of disbelief on people's faces when they find out my grocery budget. It's not that it can't be done- it's just that a lot of people can't conceive of living that tightly. I blame my genes for this. While my mother and grandmother could squeeze blood from a copper penny, I can only get saltwater... so I'm not quite as good as they are. But I'm going to get there one day.

Tonight I've decreed it to be baking night. I'm trying to get a jump on this week's baking now, and then it'll be a lighter load the rest of the week when there's a lot going on. I'm finishing some of my needlework projects, too. They've just been hanging over my head so long. I have to finish at least four projects this week. A lot of them are nearly done in any case. The Boy has duty today. Let's see if I can surprise him with something pretty and tasty tomorrow?

Still settling into the new medication. Still tired, nervy, easily frustrated, and to top it all off I'm starting to PMS. So it's good that I'm getting a head start on the week. It's a really good thing.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I thought I knew what an afternoon out was like before, but no... this is it. Right now. Right here. The Boy has kicked me out for five whole hours, and we're halfway through them now.

I'm taking advantage of my local library to post this. It's been such a wild day, complete with sleeping in, a little bit of playtime, and a lot of watching the Boy play EverCrack. Tonight's date night, also. We'll see what we see, cause now that my meds are higher I can't have the wine. At least we're still allowed to watch DVDs together. :) It's a Good Thing. So is the cuddling. So is the knowing that I've got some soft projects to work on tonight after he falls asleep, and that I've got an entire afternoon off. And it's even possible that she'll be asleep by the time I get home again.

I'll start having those mushy happy-cuddly-baby feelings again instead of the pull the blanket over my head and hide feelings.

Friday, October 27, 2006

When I woke up this morning it was all, like, WHOA. Medicated. Nice. I was alert and functional and I didn't have fifteenZILLION thoughts racing through my head at once. That lasted all of about five hours after I woke up.

The crash, when it came, was hard. It made the blackness feel even worse because I had been so much better right before. Just goes to show me that I'm an idiot who needs her pills. Wasn't I posting a few weeks ago about wanting a Mother's Little Helper? Isn't this kinda ironic? Now I'm medicated, I haven't even resorted to believing any of the promises in my Spam email. Vicodin, oxycoton, your pain can vanish overnight.

That would be bad. So I'm seeing my shrink like a good girl, and I was *supposed* to call him this morning and let him know how the med increase went last night. But I didn't. Yet another thing that I find nearly impossible to do- when I get to the point where I pick up the phone to place a call to anyone these days, it's either because I'm heavily medicated or on the very last straw. Tomorrow my Boy is going to throw me out for five whole hours. Five Whole Hours. I'm not allowed to call the house, I'm not allowed back in the door for a whole half day. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself.

Just... hoping that I can extend that magical morning I had today. Extend it an hour longer tomorrow, fifteen minutes more the next day. I've got to have hope. If I lose that I might as well give up.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My shrink called this morning. He's raising my meds a lot. Like, significantly. So cool: now I'll be medicated so I can turn my brain off at night to sleep. The Boy has decreed that I've got to leave the house more. That's right, the atheist that I married told me to my face over dinner that he's going to insist that I start going back to church.

It's been the depression keeping me away. It's what has been keeping me from being outside this past month or so. All the little things I used to do. All those things- they just don't happen anymore. Playgroup is now a hit or miss. Storytime is the same. The only one I've been to in the past two months is the one that we waltzed into the last ten minutes and came away with the door prize.

I wish that I didn't feel this way. I wish that I was happier. I wish... wishing won't bring it any closer to happiness.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I heart carbs. Especially in bread form. I think in the past two days I haven't had a snack or meal that did not involve bread products. Right now I'm sitting here with a bowl of pistachio pudding swirled in with chunks of homemade bread. Nummy. It's like bread pudding, with sauce, with pistachio flavoring.

I think today went pretty well. We split a bottle of wine earlier, and cuddled while watching the Law & Order that I taped last night. Now the Boy's asleep, the Tiffany is asleep, and I'm trying to get my brain to turn off long enough for me to join them.

And tomorrow? The teacher comes back to our house. We'll see how the little one has progressed from last week. We'll see if Mommy can get her butt out of the house long enough to go to story hour at the library.

Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and more! Tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Medicated. For your protection.

That's what should go on my superMommy shirt. You know, the one that's totally impervious to all child fluids, all household tasks, and cannot be ripped by a speeding lego hurled. Just kidding. Legos aren't hurled in this house. When she gets mad, or frustrated, or just plain unhappy with me, she turns around and bangs her head repeatedly against something hard. This worries me a bit. At this stage, at this developmental point- should she still be banging her head? Shouldn't she be working on developing words? On standing on her own?

She won't as long as I will cave in and treat her like the delicate little preemie she used to be. I have to get it through my head that she's a toddler now. They're very hard to break.

Into every mom's life some crap must fall. If we're lucky it will fall straight into a properly fitted disposable diaper. A wipe, and a clean diaper, and the sun smiles once again on the residents of this humble home. Unfortunately this is metaphorical crap, and it's not in the diaper. It's messy, and it makes me want to crawl under a rock and close my eyes and wait for the world to end.

This, too, shall pass. I know it will. I know it will go away and leave me alone. There will come a time when I can get out of bed in the morning and leave the house willingly without having a checklist of things that must be done before I can come back home again.

In the meantime... would anyone like to crawl into a pillow fort with me? We can make s'mores and tell fairy stories.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Another day, another Little Moment, another reach up to the cookbooks.

Why is it that in my moments of most extreme bad-housewife-failure-low self-esteem, I need to bake to feel better? Today it was chocolate-caramel chip cookies. Then we all sat down on the floor and ate them, with cold milk. It was Tiffany's first experience with warm from the oven, chocolate chips still all melty, cookies.

Yes, it was an enormous hit with her.

The Boy hugs me and says that I'm just having a bad weekend. Which started, for me, on Thursday. Maybe earlier than that. I think I'm just having another bout of stress at having a good life. How messed up is that? My life now is literally better than it's ever been before, and I get all upset with it.

I need a drink.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thing is, some times I can't turn my brain off. That's when I start looking for answers to questions that have no structure or even a reasonable point. That's when my brain starts replaying all the most emotionally charged moments of the past three years. That's an improvement, I guess. I don't feel the need to relive the tapes of my childhood. I don't need to revisit the things that happen in my college years. I just have a few things... I'm diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. And that means, in part, that I have this need to create outer drama to create inner peace. When the outside calms down my inside goes nutty. And I have been having a pretty good run of things this past year. The past three years, to tell the truth.

It's like a thought that comes through your head one morning. I need to go buy milk. Then you start thinking of the last time you bought milk, and the time before that, and how much milk you should buy this time around that can make your milk purchasing be more cost efficient. And all these thoughts are circling through at the same time. And then you think, what if my daughter ends up with a milk allergy? What if she gets food poisoning? You start a new trail of thought to document all the little bits of that possibility.

Somewhere in the mess of jumbled thoughts is You. Dizzy from trying to catch up, unable to calm your thoughts enough to sleep, and you feel bad because this is a sign of the disease. This is what you have condemned your loved ones to suffer because they love you, because you can't just "snap out of it", because all the therapy and medication of a decade and even the love of a good husband can't make you normal. I hate myself for thinking that, even as I'm thinking it, even as I think how silly I'm being for having this thought in the first place.

Pretty soon my brain starts functioning in run-on sentences. Pretty soon it comes back to the old coping mechanisms. Is there something strong enough to knock out the mental merry-go-round? Is there anything in this new life strong enough?

I have to go back to my therapists next week and tell them that I'm having a relapse. I'd give anything not to have this.

To be normal.
don't you just hate it when the kids lose weight despite all our worrying and trying to fatten them up? I feel sometimes like I'm fattening a turkey for thanksgiving: "eat, eat! You're too skinny! You'll never get big if you don't eat!"

unfortunately this is probably why I'm still having trouble getting around to making her self feed at 18 months. Granted, she started out at 2lb10oz, but she's not my little teeny micropreemie anymore. She's learning just how far she can wrap me around her little finger. If she puts up enough of a fuss I'll just grab a bottle and put baby food in it and make her a Cool Berry Smoothie (or fruit smoothie, or turkey rice smoothie).

And so we go. I think she's about 20 pounds right now. That's good, right? I think I can stop obsessing about food and weight gain now, but I'm her mom and I still worry.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This morning I baked two loaves of sandwich bread. So many recipes of bread, so many variations that always come back to the same things. Flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar.

That's it. So simple, isn't it? And yet so incredibly tasty. For the next couple of days I'm going to have a big bag of french toast sticks in the fridge; heat and eat. It tastes so much better when I use the real bread. By real I mean not loaded with preservatives and god-knows-what chemicals. Sure, it looks pretty in the store and it stays soft and doesn't go bad for weeks. But it has a bland texture and not a lot of taste. With homemade bread, not only do I get the thrill of baking it and smelling it bake, but I know exactly what's in it.

Dinner tonight is a tuna noodle bake. Cause I can. And tomorrow is Friday, which is calzone day. And Saturday is Date Night around these parts- the Boy and I will curl up together and watch tv and eat cheesy bread and cuddle. I'm looking forward to this with everything that's in me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My favorite timesuck when I'm broke and bored is virtual slots. I always do the free ones, and I'm horribly loyal. Imagine my shock when I tried to log onto my preferred slot game last night and found it was... CLOSED! The horror. I found another site quickly enough, and it seems more engaging, and the games have enough flashy lights and bells to hold my interest and distract me from how broke I am. Of course, there's always the daydream that I'll actually hit the button on the randomly selected instant that the jackpot gets released.

I know, most of the time it's a scam. You never actually get that jackpot. BUT. Once, a long time back, it happened that I won one of the lesser cash prizes on such a site. And they did send me a check for the full amount and no strings. So I feel pretty safe with it. And I'm not actually spending my real non-existant money.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What to do when you've got a little bit of cheese, pepperoni, a cup of tomato sauce? Calzones! I made the dough, quartered it, rolled it out, filled it with equal portions of my filling, pinched them shut and baked them. Now I've got 4 lovely calzones; enough to feed us for dinner tonight and the Boy for lunch tomorrow. Yummy. An added bonus: this is a meal that does not require reheating, since his access to microwaves is sporadic at the moment.

I feel happy in feeding my family on a penny-tight budget this week. All it took today is forethought and a bit of planning. I did most of the dough and prep work while the Toddler was eating lunch in her highchair at the table. Easy-peasey, cause she can't climb around my knees when she's in the highchair.

Speaking of which, she's becoming more and more catlike as she grows. I mean, really. Give me a break here. If I want a small mammal to twine around my knees and trip me and beg for food at my knee, I'll get a puppy or a kitten. I sort of expected different behavior from my offspring. Don't know why.

Monday, October 16, 2006

people coming today, yip yip hooray!

I'm all excited, I'm straightening the house, the Toddler is cooperating by sleeping in a bit this morning, and I'm flying high on anticipation. Is there a prettier sight?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

So nice to see that the USN is practicing safe berthing techniques. As I went to pick the Boy up yesterday I saw the Gianormous Ship-sized condom over the side of the superstructure. Now, I know perfectly well that it's actually a heavy duty tarp/protective covering to guard both the exposed bits and the workmen down below from any injury while the ship is being repaired and spruced up. But it still looks like a giant condom.

I tried a new recipe today. Essentially it's a potato-herb bread stuffed with mozarella. It's delicious. Rich, and filling, and if it's sliced and toasted you've got an instant gourmet treat. I can see myself doing this again, possibly with a crock of soup. After the Toddler went to bed the Boy and I curled up together with a plate of the bread and some wine. I couldn't even finish my glass before my head started aching, though. I don't know why- I wish I could drink like normal people. It would make the urge to drug my depression into submission less pressing.

That's not too good either, is it? So I'll just be happy with what I've got.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Guess what time it is? That's right! It's time to do my shameless self-promoting/begging for sales. It may be the midmonth pay period, but the bills are once again cleaning out the account of every penny. We do need to eat, and the toddler says that she's not ready to be potty trained, so please bring your patronage and that of your friends to my shops. But only if you are into the crafts, or reading, of course.

The Book Shop
The Craft Shop

and contact me if you're willing to schedule an appointment to hear about Melaleuca products. I'll set up a three way call with a good friend of mine who's much better at being able to talk on the phone than I am.
Another night, another morning, another chance for the toddler to squirm around and play with all her toys. Still no words, although she's getting closer and closer to having them. The "juice" that she was saying only a month ago has fallen by the wayside, replaced by more meaningful looks and grunts. I blame myself for this, of course.

See, the problem as I see it is that I respond too quickly to whatever she wants. She doesn't have a real need to form the words. She knows that mom will interpret and obey.

Am I too soft-hearted? Like my own mother admits that she was with me? Do I have it in me to be an authoritative parent? I think so. And yet I have an 18 month old child who doesn't have one word. Some variety of sounds, but no words. I constantly hear about kids less than a year who are speaking. It's depressing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

There's been so much mental turmoil today that I've worked myself into a tension headache on top of a backache on top of the stiff shoulders from holding everything in all day. And now it's nightnight time, and I've taken nifty relaxant pills that are starting to kick in and make me feel a little better, and I can admit to both myself and the 'Net that yes, I think too much. I'm a mom who thinks too much. My life revolves around this munchkin's timely development, and I've been so worried and had so many fears allayed that I'm taking the fast track to burnout. Like, if she's doing fine and is okay, then I should stop beating myself up over it.

Why do I care? Why do I care what a bunch of strangers think about me? What society who doesn't even know our household has to recommend about bedtimes and bottles and weaning and... all the little stuff that happens. There's a part of me that wants everyone to like me. A people pleaser. There's a part of me that says, don't be stupid, you need to set rules about stuff and stick to them and she's finally in that formative stage where our battles will be fought. These are the battles that count. Like wearing a hat outside. Like wearing socks in the winter.

We're going to be starting a whole new batch of reality rules here in the next couple of weeks. I don't want things to change, but I do. Everybody else is not shy about telling me that they have to if I want the kind of family dynamic that I want.

It's going to be fun. Send prayers, keep us in your thoughts. Give me strength to do this.
What do I want, a well-adjusted child or a politically correct child? What goes into making a "good" parent? A bad parent- I think I know what that is. Most people have a fairly good feel for what goes into bad parenting. But what about the rest of it? Why don't babies come with instructions?

"non chlorine bleach, warm water, tumble dry on low" would make things a lot easier. Instead there are rows and rows of parenting books and page after page of parenting websites and blogs. Hundreds of experts from Spock to Brazelton. Attachment parenting. Cry it out. The independant child. The independant parent. Nannies. Supernannies. And yet there still isn't a Super Mommy outfit floating out there in my size.

But people still expect a SuperMom. My girl is 18 months old now. My Boy is starting to get very antsy about never having a neat home, about always coming home to a wreck, and -specifically- about me dumping the child on him when he walks through the door. What he fails to thoroughly understand is that bedtime is early because otherwise Mommy would not only drop her marbles she would be loading them in a catapault and flinging them through the locked door with a force that would drop an elephant. That Mommy needs Daddy to take over every night without fail if he expects dinner to arrive on a neat table, the toddler to arrive in her crib tucked in and clean for the night, and if he ever expects to get affection again. I understand he's had a long day. Well, so have I. And my job is such that it's hard to find a substitute. Next to impossible to schedule a sick day, and just forget about mental health days.

I also think too much. Have you noticed that yet?

Fortunately there's a book for that too. "Parents who think to much: why we do it and how to stop". I checked it out of the library today. It sounds like it may have answers for me; at the least it'll be a comforting shoulder to tell me that "I understand"

Monday, October 09, 2006

ah... depression in autumn. Nothing quite like it, is there? I want to spend the majority of every day in bed. Or asleep. Or drugged on Mother's Little Helpers. So what am I doing instead? Baking.


Nothing beats the power of the well-timed baked good. Today we had pizza. From scratch. No kits involved- just my raw ingredients, flour, yeast, olive oil... and it turned out pretty decent. Scary, though. I've made bread twice this weekend and pizza once, and two crockpot meals, and I went out last night for a drink. I haven't had a chance to get online since last night because I've been busy cooking. Bless the Boy, he vacuumed yesterday while I was laying down. The munchkin is deciding that since she's a Big Girl now she doesn't need naps. This is good when it comes to getting her good and tired for night-nights, but bad when it comes to Mommy having a nap.

It just feels odd. That's all I'm saying. I'm stuck in the depressive today and I want to kick myself in the butt until it goes away. I just can't get up the motivation to do that.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I've been having quite a mental rollercoaster this weekend. Yesterday my patience ran out. Do you know, mothers do not actually have an unlimited supply of patience and tolerance? We are not superhuman. We occassionally reach the end of our tolerance even for the people we love the most. Today was spent in recovery of my patience. I spent about half of today burrowed into the bed and hiding from my family.

And now it's bedtime again. And I'm relaxed. And I'm ready to go curl up with my Boy for the night.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Is there ever going to be a day when I'm not worried about whether or not she's eating enough, sleeping enough/too much, or the state of her internal processes?

The Toddler is home with me today, the Boy has duty again, and it's just a girl's night at home for us. How to combine that with a schedule that doesn't have me running around like a headless chicken and pulling my hair out? I want to keep her up tonight a little later than last night. I want to start easing us into a Big Girl sleep pattern, instead of the mommy-friendly one that we've been following for most of the past year. It feels like I'm making progress with that, bedtime yesterday wasn't until 1800. Which is still pretty early for a toddler, but considering that she wakes up in the morning around 0500, doesn't seem that early at all.

The currency exchange doesn't take coins either. Which sucks. Here it is, the only place in town that will exchange foreign money, and they will not take coins (unless they're euro 1-pound coins), and they charge so much for exchange as a flat fee that I effectively am now stuck with this instead of the handful of dollars I had hoped for. This is why I'm baking bread tonight and planning the cheapest meals I can think of for this week. I splurged last night at the market- five of the ripest sweetest peaches I've ever seen. Cost me five dollars, but they were about a pound apiece. And SO worth it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm planning a trip to the farmer's market on 3rd Avenue for this afternoon. I plan it like an overly anal-retentive micro-manager. My main goal is to create happy, family-oriented memories for the child. Whatever I plan at this point, the times she will remember and take into her memories will be something unplanned, unpredicted, and might show her parents in less than rosy lights.

So why do I try? For the same reasons I am counting pennies into my purse for the outing. To make things better. To give her peace, to give her a sense of rightness in her universe, so that she trusts us and learns to trust the world around her. In some small way this is why the recent Amish school shootings are hitting me so hard in the emotional gut. Because it was just WRONG.

Now, it would have been wrong in any case, no matter where or who it hit. But even the most modern and high-tech of my acquaintances agree that there's something about innocence that is precious and not to be touched. For this level of violence to touch the lives of those who are a) children and b) part of a peaceful sect that has opted out of the high tech world, well... it's a whole new level of wrong. The amish do not have a beef with anybody else. Just want to be left alone, to follow their doctrines and non-violent beliefs in peace. I have never met anyone who would argue that they should be hurt for this. Peace is just too hard to find. Good intentions have dropped off the expected radar in so many other areas.

I feel like some old b-movie starlet crying out, Why can't we all just get along?

What happened to this world, what made this sort of thing possible?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

changes in the craft store

I've recently changed all my stuff for free shipping. The price is the price, so head on over and take a gander. I won't tell. :)

Craft Store
It seems that I'm having a hysterical pregnancy. Three separate docs and several tests have confirmed it. I thought this sort of thing went out with the horse and buggy?? Doesn't today's society know better about such things? Somewhere in the ambivalence of Homecoming and the Boy coming back and the wanting another baby and deciding just not yet- my hormones got mixed signals and a few wires crossed. So the solution becomes to just suck up the symptoms and wait until the hormones realize that hey, we're not making a baby here, we can relax and stop all this mayhem.

I'll let you know if that actually works any time soon.

The Boy, who I dragged with to this morning's appointment, is relieved. We'll try for another little one when he's wrapping up the next duty station. In a couple of years. Let's give ourselves some more time to relax and enjoy being parents of this child before we go on and stir up the mix some more.

I'm trying not to get myself all ferhoodled over this anymore. I've wasted enough energy on it. I need to let this go. I need to finish a few of my needlework projects and start cleaning out for the next move. I need, I need, I need... to spend more time enjoying the sunshine and the health of my happy baby and the love of my husband. Stop worrying about tomorrow. Enjoy the moment.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I sit here and wonder what's going to happen tomorrow. Or the next day. I'm either going to be officially 'late' or officially 'not pregnant'.

cue Darth Vader-esque music

"All rise in the presence of... Blue Helmet!"

I've seen Spaceballs too many times. When we had friends over one night the four of us started rehashing the movie. All of us could make it through at least three complete scenes without resorting to thinking about the words or the cues. Scary. My child is going to be doomed. I married someone with the same sense of humor. Our families could be related, that's how alike they are in that respect. Forget all the stereotypes about inlaws, mine are just a notch below Absolute Perfection. I wouldn't have it any other way.

So the Boy's Ship is starting the long and tedious process of repairs post-deployment. Hence the blue helmet comment. His hard hat is, in fact, blue.

I think it's cute. And it's my blog so I get to make the rules.

At some point this week I'm going to do laundry. At some point I'm going to sift through my cookbooks and come up with a meal that is both tasty and rock-bottom cheap. The budget's hurting again. I want it to stop. I'd like to go back to the days when I was working, earning a decent paycheck every week, and could go to bed whenever I wanted. Now that time's been eaten up by childcare and mommying. I don't care. All I need is that sweet smell of baby-head in the morning. The smile lighting her eyes. The giggle she greets me with first thing in the morning.

My insomnia is finally catching up with me. I think, just maybe, possibly, I'll be able to sleep tonight. Cool.
My etsy shop has been updated. Take a wander over there if you like crafts, Etsy is a virtual craft show that never closes.

It was a weekend that I could stand to forget. One thing after another. I'm trying not to get completely hysterical that I might be pregnant. It's one thing to have the tests come back negative. It's another to believe it when you're having the exact same symptoms as your first pregnancy, which won't let up, which don't go anywhere, and when you can feel a lump in the expected spot.

This is where my inability to let things go works against me.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'll leave you with just this clip for the day, found on the TagWorld website. I thought it was kinda cute.

TagWorld layouts, backgrounds, and codes
TagWorld Funny Pictures

Friday, September 29, 2006

my arms ache for hope deferred
my heart weeps for the dream lost on waking
tears burn throat chokes
still there are dishes in the sink
counters to be wiped
floors to be mopped
my daughter, precious gem, stirs
i go to her
i want to snatch her up in my arms
hold her close
whisper to her that one year she will have a sibling
not this year
not next year
i tuck the blanket around her shoulders
she settles back into sleep
love hurts more than yearning

I have finished the baby blanket of the week. It's for sale. I'm asking $12, free shipping, first come first serve. This is a mix of soft blue and green, acrylic yarn. Machine washable and dryable (Baby-Friendly!) knitted in a plain garter stitch. measures 29 by 31 inches.

The next project is another blanket, double thick and embellished with a chain stitch over the top. Soft blue/white variegated yarn. Stay tuned for the option to purchase!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gratitude. What a funny word. I can't think of one that's more loaded in terms of guilt and obligation and sincerity. Gratitude is what we're told to have when we feel the least grateful. It's what we honestly feel for the little things that somebody else does for us, the things so litte that they don't give it a first thought. It doesn't mean a thing unless it's sincere. Gratitude is like love in that respect. It cannot be brought out on cue and trotted for the admiration of society.

I'm grateful that I've got a child and a husband. I'm grateful for the roof over our heads, for the situation that lets me stay home with our daughter and raise her myself. Will I be less grateful if it turns out that I'm having another baby? Will I be more grateful if it turns out that I'm not? I've heard that I should stop going on about this. I've heard that I should shut up because it'll hurt the feelings of somebody having infertility troubles, because I had a preemie who lives and thrives, because I don't know how lucky I am and stop rubbing in other's faces.

It's hard to know how to respond to that. Should I stop being grateful for these gifts? No. Is my intent to rub it in the faces of those who do not have these gifts? No. I don't read the blogs of women who seem to have everything I dream of, the ones who have never been raped or abused by people who were supposed to take care of them, and take it as a personal affront. I choose to be genuinely happy for them. Does it hurt? You betcha. It hurts as much as my gratitude hurts others.

I look around at the world and see a lack of gratitude for even the most basic stuff. I see kids taking everything with a sense of entitlement. I see a whole bunch of people who are so self-focused that they have lost all sense of empathy with those who would kill to have one tiny bit. Those are the ones who just don't get it. Then there are the rest of us. The ones who shake our heads when confronted with that kind of self-absorption. We wonder how anyone could think that way. We wonder how they have relationships.

I pray every night that I can raise my daughter to be one of the latter. Not to take anything for granted as an entitlement because she was born white or female or blue-eyed blond. Your parents love you. That's why they are your parents. And the unconditional love of your parents is the only thing that she should be able to take as an unalienable Right just because she's been born.

She'll learn to be grateful. Even if she's not always grateful for the things I would want her to be grateful for, she'll know it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

tomorrow morning I have to go see the shrink and ask him for tests. I need to know one way or another. For whatever reason- I can convince myself that I'm being hysterical, I can get my mind wrapped around this being all in my head, until the next wave of queasiness hits me. Until I try to move and my lower abdominal muscles protest. Until one more little nagging thought dances into my brain and whispers, "Baby."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Promotion

Since the season of fall cleaning is upon us, and cough and cold season, and the season of sniffly little children, I'm going to expand my previous enrollment offer to all the DotMamas out there who are constantly looking for ways to improve their families' lives. To recap the offer: if you enroll with melaleuca and stick with it two months [I figure that's a good time to give it a good try] I'll refund your enrollment fee. So you're only changing where you buy the products, not the price... it's a good deal. Just PM me your address and I'll send you the forms and some brochures. We'll chat about it.

take care of you, and your little ones. hugs to all.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I wasn't going to go to therapy this morning. I go through this every weekend. On Friday I decide, I'm not going on Monday. Then I dither back and forth- I should go, it's good for me to go, it's an outlet and a two hour block in the week where I can get childcare and a safe place to be me. But then I don't want to go. I don't want to lay myself open in front of strangers to judge me, strangers who can see my eyes when they go far away and who can have me forcibly committed if I go a little too fey. I go back and forth, back and forth, and at last in the ten minutes before I have to get out of the house on Monday morning I say to hell with it. I go. And I sit there wondering how I ever thought I wouldn't go.

It's been another day of uncertainty. Of the heartburn and the Big Queasy. Of the knowing that my HPTs are all coming up that I'm not pregnant, and knowing that there's something happening internally that I can feel, dammit, and that this isn't something I can just order myself to snap out of. I tried that. It didn't work. One more week and I can lay all these feelings in front of a doctor who will tell me one way or another, a doctor who can order the tests to tell me what is what and if I should be knitting a little white layette for my next bundle of joy.

The Toddler didn't want to nap today. She stayed awake for 12 hours, straight, and finally gave it up around quarter to 6 this evening. She's going to be exhausted tomorrow. She's hopefully going to sleep through the night tonight, although I know that I won't. I'll be awake again, several times, with the same medley of symptoms that have me placing one hand on my lower belly where it's now extremely tender and deep-down sore, and wondering,

Is there anyone in there?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

say of the quiet night that it wraps loving arms around me
twisting the light shards of a dozen past times
harness the emotions; like a wild horse they run
rioting against the halter ropes
forbid nothing ask me go back to the darkness
Lady Pain holds my allegiance
she asks nothing but faith
the dreams will end
the splinters of my childhood, of a misspent adolescence
melt in the light of the coming sun
all I need to do is endure the night
all I need to do is to keep faith
light a candle against the dark
count the prayers in the stars through my window
in each breath that moves in my heart

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tomorrow morning will be three years. Three years to the day since my Boy and I were married in front of the county clerk and our mothers. I always count the marriage as beginning somewhat before that, all the way back to the moment I accepted a commitment to the relationship- but that's a special point that can't be broken down into any real words.

Tomorrow the Boy can't be here. He's got duty. Again; this makes the second year in a row. But that's cool. I don't mind. Really and truly I don't. Because he's here today. We made dinner special, and we had a special evening together watching Soap and L&O reruns.

I love him more now than ever. These have been the best three years of my life.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The update on Tiffany's foot/leg is that her hip is slightly angled and so is her foot, which in real terms means that two slight angles make a major angle when everything hits the floor running. Her left foot turns out at a duck-like angle, and she's used to balancing like this. Which may be problematic later. We'll see. In the worst case scenario she'll be good at ballet... Best case, she'll be average.

So I'm feeling kinda psyched this morning. The Queasy passed about twenty minutes ago. At the current moment Right Now I can eat anything I want to and move around without worrying that I'm going to puke. After the PT Lady left us we managed to get our butts to the library for story time. Tiff won the Book of the Day! I'm thrilled, more thrilled than she is. She's like, So? I always chew on my books. And I'm like, Yes! You can chew this one without Mommy getting all loud about it. Mommy has enough drama in her life this week.

The Used Book Sale is coming along really well. A bunch of stuff has moved in and out this week. I lucked out this morning at the library sale- four brand new paperbacks! I'm thrilled. They were a real steal for me and I hope that they will find good homes somewhere with some of you. Am I running a book adoption program here? It feels like that some days.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Frugality isn't just a knack for saving money. It's not about how often you can rinse and reuse your plastic baggies. It's not about saving a nickel on gas or buying the super duper discounted canned goods and day old bread. Frugality is a state of mind. One can be frugal and spend $50 a week on groceries while throwing out those baggies after only one use. One can even spend $75 a week. My point that I'm trying to get around to making is that it's really about the quality of your life that matters.

The bottom line is that if you're squeezing every last cent until they beg for mercy, but you and your family are not enjoying yourselves, it doesn't make sense to do that. Unless, of course, circumstances force you to that. Even then you can find a few things to make life better. Pick a wildflower and put it in a vase. Check out a stack of library books with pretty pictures and immerse yourself on a virtual vacation or a Learning Experience to improve your mind.

Right now this minute I'm enjoying an indulgence. I ordered a scented candle in this month's melaleuca package. It smells incredible. There's some scented lotion in the bathroom for later tonight; I'm going to feel like a pampered princess when I go to bed tonight and I DON'T FEEL GUILTY. My check is supposed to get here any day now.

My husband says that I should get some sort of part time work because it would increase my self-esteem and improve my general mood. He doesn't mean that I should go back to work just because of the money, but that's a concern as well. My solution? I'm building my business as a part time job. It's a combination of online survey sites, email clicking programs, blogging, and melaleuca referrals. The melaleuca takes less time and effort to get a check. Yeah, it may only fill the gas tank once a month, but that's something with the price of gas being what it is these days. Not every site on the 'Net that offers those Money-Making programs is a scam. I've got merchandise and actual check stubs to prove it. Be suspicious of the ones that promise you an income that can rival a full time job just by sitting on your ass- those are obviously meant for the desparate housewife. But there are ways to do it if you're flexible and willing to accept the smaller checks right off the bat.

Let me take a minute to share with you the best part I've found about our use of these products: all I had to do was switch who I paid for the stuff. I'm buying a safer product that costs less and I can get money back on it. Isn't that a good deal? And the out of pocket was what I would have let us spend for a dinner for two and a half at Denny's.

Besides, it's my blog. Nobody's forcing you to read this. Although I value the time you spend dropping in to browse... hint, hint, hint.

In this month's box: the candle (home-baked, english pound cake flavored). No Work Daily Shower Cleaner. Sun Valley hydrating body lotion (ginger citrus). Antibacterial soap (mint flavored, smells like a candy cane, good for guys and gals). Ibuprofen. Prespot Laundry Treatment (I've raved about this one several times in the past). MelaBrite laundry detergent. All this fulfills my monthly commitment to buy, I got it for less than what I would have spent at Target. The laundry detergent is the concentrated form that means a smaller bottle =less bulk and weight to haul back and forth from the laundromat. It's safer. It's smells fabulous. It raises my quality of life because I feel like I can indulge just like everybody living off of credit card debt.

So my goal for next month is to enroll four people. Just four people. If you're one of the four I'll personally refund your enrollment fee if you stay with it two months. That's an easier money-back deal than you'd get as a dissatisfied customer! All you have to do is try and like it!

All right, all right. I'll get off the soapbox now. My spiel for the day is done. I've got a baby sweater to knit.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Something I really have come to like about using the melaleuca products is that I can get so much more done. One of the unexpected benefits is that it reacts to my El-Cheapo nailpolish by -get this- removing it while I'm cleaning.

The kicker here is that it only comes off when I immerse my hands in the stuff. My preferred method of scrubbing is to mix it up at twice the strength they recommend. More is better, right? So after five or ten minutes of scrubbing and rinsing and wringing out a damp cloth my nails are back to their virgin state, my hands feel like they've just been moisturized, and my floor is clean.

There are certain things that will not be explained. Certain questions that I've learned not to ask. One of these is the above-mentioned hand transformation. Another one of these is why legos sprout legs and skitter across the floor to land under my bare feet every time I walk from the living room to the kitchen.

Today Our Heroines went to the Pediatrician's office. We had a danish when we got there. I let her free-range around the waiting room. She had a LOT of fun with their toys. I'm expecting her to demand a caterpillar tunnel any day now. She's almost twenty pounds now. I'm so thrilled with that. My daughter almost weighs as much as a sack of dog food.

Granted, she's more wiggly and a hell of a lot better smelling than most brands of dog food, but still.

This morning I stopped rummaging around for a sweater that might fit her and it occurred to me that hey, I can knit, I knit all the time. Wouldn't it be better/easier/saner of me to dig out my sweater patterns and just make her one? I can make it a little bigger in the shoulders. She'll grow into it. I can't believe I'm turning into every other mother on the face of the earth. And that somehow I've picked up the notion that I've turned into Frump Woman just because I'm a SAHM.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Lately I've been wondering if Tiffany will ever start to a) talk and b) stand up on her own and start walking. She's got the cruising down yet oddly she doesn't want to put any weight on her own two feet while either walking or holding our hands. I've tried to make it fun. I've really tried. I've tried bribing. I've tried playing silly games and singing songs. So far there has been zilch interest.

I tell myself to be patient. Just because other babies her age do this ALL THE TIME is no reason for her to need to do it yet. Even adjusting for gestational age. I think that the reason for parents to get so crazy over competing is due to the Experts. There's a whole range of sites that will provide an expert opinion on everything going from permissive to discipline-centric. Stay at home moms are ripe for their traps because our children are the only things that we're being graded /judged on by our peers that really deeply matter to us. We want to point at our kids and their trophies. We want to show off their talents and how wonderfully intelligent they are. We want to parade them through the streets so people will tell us what good mothers we are. That just because we don't earn a paycheck we're contributing to society.

I'm not being graded on my child. If I were, I'd get a solid B, because of where she started and how far she's come in 16 months. But I'm running out of time because that stops counting when she turns two years old. That's when she's supposed to be all caught up, and there are hundreds of small children out there waiting to show us up on the big stage of Life.

It's a new game show: The Stage of Life! Come on down! You could win this fabulous washer dryer combo or a full academic scholarship for your kids to the Ivy League School of Their Choice!

We'll get June Cleaver to show the prizes. And Marge Simpson to award the "Best Effort" certificate. I can do a clean house or a happy child or a tidy mind. Well, I can manage two of the three. Pick two. Because if you left the choice up to me I'd say let the housework go to hell and be happy. This explains why I haven't scrubbed the kitchen floor in three whole days. Obviously the Cleaning Police will show up at 2300 tonight in order to arrest me and throw me into Messy Housewives Anonymous.

agh. The hell with it. Tonight I'm slipping into bed in my new flannel jammies and I'm going to knit until my eyes close.
Naptime started easily enough. She got sleepy, I put her in the crib, shut the door, and she immediately sat up and started playing. It was quiet playing. That's fine by me. After a while she stopped... fell asleep. When I went in at the end of naptime I saw the brownish fluff stuffed in the corner between the rails and the mattress.

Being of an inquiring mind I asked her, "What's this?"

Then I saw the remains of the pillow.

She had ripped open the corner and pulled out all the stuffing. Love-ly. What a mess. At least she didn't consume any of it- that would have been an even larger mess to clean up. And so we come to the philosophical question of the day:

Did I really birth a puppy?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The link to my amazon book sale is here.
Stop by, check it out, you know the drill. New stuff has been added this week; a couple from Jennifer Roberson's Cheysuli saga, and I scored four Elminster books (Forgotten Realms) which will be posted for sale as soon as I re-read them. Cause, you know, I need something to do in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.

Still achey, still hormonally challenged, still not popping positive on the pregnancy test. However. I'm still dealing with all the stuff I had in the beginning of the last pregnancy. ALL of it. We'll give it another week and then retest.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


The Toddler is asleep, finally, having lost the daily battle of Night-Night. I've eaten massive amounts of dark chocolate. I'm about to settle in for a nice, relaxing, evening with knitting and lots of reading.

This has been a truly odd couple of days. I've been emotionally all across the field. Large parts of me have wanted to scream and rant and rave, and other equally large parts have wanted to crawl into a closet and hide from the world. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me this week. Maybe I'm pregnant. Who knows. I certainly won't for another couple of weeks.

And next week brings with it another underway period. A whole week of solo-wrangling. Then the Boy comes home. We'll have an anniversary- three years we'll have been married. Three whole years. That's pretty impressive for someone who never sustained a relationship longer than 3 months before I met him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another night in which I couldn't settle my mind to sleep. Am I becoming of one Those People? The wives that cannot sleep if their husband is away? I used to be one of Those People, but then the Boy enlisted and I got over it.

Lack of sleep means that I'm cranky this morning. Extra cranky, and a bit of a headache (still) and I want to go back to bed and sleep. So I'm drinking water and eating a piece of whole wheat bread instead. The Toddler is set up in front of PBS kids, and I don't feel bad about it enough to take her away from the tv. Sure, it's an electronic babysitter. I need one of those myself, so why not her on occassion?

My insides are still churning. Twisting, turning, and if I wasn't completely confident in the effectiveness of my Pill I'd think I might be pregnant again. Wouldn't that be crazy? I'd want a second opinion on that. And the verdict in writing. And I'd insist that somebody else be the one to tell the Boy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It turned into a spontaneous party around here last night. For reasons known only to the PTB, our lives were "invaded" (in that nice way) but a young family who needed some help settling in out here. They had moved with just the stuff in their car, and that's it- and their son is the same age as my daughter. So it's no biggie, we helped run them around to a decent housing complex, and bought them lunch. Things will go well for them.

Then simi and her husband came over for dinner in the evening. I made ziti, and bruschetta, and we had fudge. It was so absolutely lovely. Simi gave me her fudge recipe and I may just be forced to make a big tray of it this weekend. My chocolate/sugar fixation continues this week. I guess all that ice cream last weekend only eased the thoughts a little.

And here we sit. I'm awake at an early god-forsaken hour of the morning because I can't sleep. But I can knit, and I can enjoy the Boy's company on the other side of this big dark living room, and I can go back to the blankies and cuddle when I'm done checking my mail.

Soon, right? Soon we'll have a walking, talking toddler running around here making all our lives chaotic. In the meantime, she's all mine.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Orders at last. His NTL date is Feb 14, 2007. I'm going to be moving again. But we've had nearly two years at this address. I'm definately spoiled.

Monday, September 11, 2006

hormones or phased by the moon?

The past week has been -interesting. Either my Pill is jumping up and down on my remaining ovary, or it's shacked up in my glands and sending out for margaritas. Either way, I'm not complaining at the moment.

The Boy is not complaining either, in case you were wondering. /smugness/

But there's been all this other wierdness. Breakthrough bleeding. Unexplained bloating. Strange dreams. And then the thing with the yarn. A sign? Is my biochemical self trying to communicate? I don't care particularly one way or the other just now.

Damn, but it was a fun week.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

quote of the day

"Cheating on your wife when she's imminently due home is a bad idea. Doing so when she's on her way home from church is just plain rude."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

When I mentioned to my Boy that I felt Red Foreman from That 70's Show was the ideal spouse and father, he told me that I had finally slipped over the deep edge.
"No, wait," I protested. "Hear me out."
"He's gruff, yes. He's unsentimental, uses the word "dumbass" a lot, and is authoritarian. BUT."
"Go on."
"He's a real father. A real husband. When the shit hits in any serious situation, he handles it. He supports his wife and shows his love for her in real ways. He backs her up in front of the children. There's not a lot of glamour or glitz about him, but he supports the family, pays the bills, and doesn't bitch about the stuff of life that is an underlaying reality for all families."

The rent still has to be paid. Cars need to run. Food needs to be in the house. We may never be rich, and we may never have disposable income, but our needs in this family are met. The other day I said to the Boy that I was tired of being poor. He looked back at me oddly and said, "but we aren't poor. I remember poor. We're making things meet and have a little extra for the planned indulgences."

So there. How's that for a slap of reality? The ends are meeting. We may not have a load of extras to afford trips to legoland or the zoo every weekend, or go out to eat all the time. We do have everything we need. Nobody calls us for collections. We can hold our heads up in the leasing office because we've never bounced a check or been late by a day. In an economy where so many people are still living check to check and can't quite manage that- I can know I'm doing something right.

Now I'm off to tidy up my nursey/bear pit. Again. The Toddler Wakes. She must be placated. At least for a little while.

Friday, September 08, 2006

the knittingiest lady

An older gentleman of my acquaintance tells me that I'm "the knittingiest lady" he's ever seen. He also says I remind him of his wife, which sounds a lot nicer than it sounds. From what I hear of the lady, she's quite the Wonderful Wife.

This morning while running errands I had to pick up another pound of black yarn for the big blankie I'm making my friend simi. As I passed through the yarn aisle my brain was snagged by a certain shade of baby yarn in a variegated soft color scheme. It's mostly blue and green but there are hints of pink and lavender in it. I had to buy two skeins... for a full-size baby blanket. So somebody is having a boy. It's not often that I come to this sort of "directed" purchase, and every time I've ever had the spirit move me this strongly over baby blankets it's been finished just in time for the baby.

I swear, the majority of the time I haven't even met the mothers of these children until I'm almost done the blanket. It's wierd. Seriously wierd. I don't mind too much though; it's not like I'm stockpiling baby furniture, or hoarding slivers of soap. I'm serving a purpose by using knitting to quiet my mind and center my thoughts. It's meditation. It's prayer. It's a really good way to lower my blood pressure and deal with insomnia. And at the end, after I've WORN OUT a pair of aluminum needles -yes, I actually wear them out, between the speed of the motion and the clenching in my white-knuckled fists some nights- I have something to show for it besides a bad case of tendonitis in both wrists.

Somebody's having a baby. They're in my thoughts tonight.

It's Friday already?

It's not supposed to be Friday yet. I have barely noticed each day of this week as it went by. I suspect it's something to do with a federally mandated holiday, because I've seen more of my husband this month than I have in the past 7. (Hah! A Joke!) And we just spent a very long evening trying to get the Toddler to understand that just because Daddy's home it does not mean that we all get to stay up late and play.

I was talking to him earlier about how empty my arms are starting to feel, now that the Toddler is venturing into independance after so many months of needing my constant attention. He blurted out, "Just because she's going to go to preschool is not a reason to have another baby!" I thought that was cute, true, and very sad all at once. I know it's not a reason to have another baby. I just thought that, you know, we could think about having more little feet in the future. Say, in the next year or so. I'm not THAT greedy, I'll settle for just one more baby. Maybe two.

It's frightening how much I've grown to love being a mom. After all the nightmares getting here; all the second guessing I've done of myself. After all those months of endless depression. All those months. All those very LONG months. He doesn't want to do it again. He doesn't want to see me do it again. If he ever would, he wants a signed statement from my doctor to the effect that I'll not be as sick and unhappy. I just want a signed statement that I'll be able to go into labor with the next one. That I'll deliver close to term and be able to leave the hospital with a newborn instead of a bunch of balloons in my hand saying that I've had a girl but no baby. People try not to look, but they do, and I know they were wondering.

agh. Enough of this. I'm going to eat some more pizza and get in my jammies.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

sometimes you feel like a nut

Tonight I'm going all out. I'm drinking a wine cooler. I bought a lottery ticket. Wow, I'm like, rich, or something. Living dangerously. Woo-Hoo.

Tiffany's asleep. She fell asleep in my arms again; I kissed her when I laid her in bed and tucked her in. She turned her little face up to me and smiled. Sweet Girl. Mommy loves you. Mommy fell in love with you a long time ago, and falls all over again every night.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I've got my Boy home with me Four Whole Days. That's four whole days I don't have to send him to work before dawn. Four whole days in which we can be a lazy stay-at-home family. If there's anything better than that, I don't care what it is. Right now, I'm content.