Category Archives: Random thoughts

Double take

It’s pretty amazing how quickly my moods change, even to me.  I can’t imagine how it must be to live with me.  I mean, I AM a Gemini, so it’s not suprising.  In fact, all three of us in the house are Gemini.  Oooooh.  That explains a lot.

But I digress.

Hubs has been gone for over a week now for work, and my Lovely Sister-In-Law and Mother-In-Law were throwing a bridal shower on Sunday.  So, MIL offers to take Homeslice Saturday night so I can finish cleaning up.  Don’t get me wrong, I DID clean up.  A little bit.  But I also made plans to go out.  I was actually pretty excited about my particular plans that evening, so when they got cancelled, I was understandably upset.  I had a back up plan, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting.  Anyway, I ended up at a friend’s house, drinking keg beer and playing drinking games until way too late.

It wasn’t until the drive home that it hit me.  The reason I was so upset about my original plans being cancelled is that I don’t get too many nights like that out anymore.  If Friday night sucks, I can’t just try again Saturday night.  My life has changed so much and, driving home, I didn’t like it.  It wasn’t fair that Hubs was out of town and I had to take care of Homeslice by myself.  It wasn’t fair that I couldn’t go to a bar and drink and get hit on and flirt and stay out late anymore.  It wasn’t fair that I had a kid way before I was ready, and now I don’t have a job, my body will never be the same, and my expectations are through the roof.

I’m not going to lie, I was kind of a mess.  I cried the whole way home for what could have been – I cried because my plans were cancelled; I cried because I made those plans in the first place; I cried because the next day I had to get up and clean up and be the suburban housewife that I’ve been trying to avoid since moving here.  I cried because I feel like I’m too young to have a 2 year old, and I’m younger than all the other moms in my Mops group, but I’m too old to go out to bars or stay up late.  I cried because this wasn’t the life I imagined I would have, but I cried because I wasn’t sure I KNEW what life I was supposed to have.

So.  I cried, I took a shower, and I went to bed.

Sunday morning, I got up, cleaned up and hosted a kick-ass bridal shower.  I remember standing at the sink, cleaning a pan, calling out orders to my Lovely Sister-In-Law and Mother-In-Law, thinking “I’m really good at this.”  I overheard people commenting on the invites that I made myself, and the pictures that I took, and the house that I decorated.  I overheard a friend of mine praising my chili, and my Mother-In-Law bragging to her friends about how I taught myself to sew.  I was told over and over again that I should throw parties like this for a living, and how funny I am, and how glad they were to meet me.

And I was in my element.  I liked hearing that people enjoyed my cooking.  I liked showing off my photographs, and handmade pillows.  I still felt like I was too young to be “entertaining,” but I had a good time.

So I don’t know where I fit.  There are days when I’m so happy to be doing exactly what I’m doing; to be moulding a young life, to be cooking and creating.  I know I’m very lucky that I get to stay home with Homeslice, and I know that these years will go by way too fast so I should treasure them.  But there are times where I feel restless.  I feel like I’m not doing what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing – but I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to be doing.

So, I’ll get through this weekend.  Then I’ll get through next week.  And I’ll keep trying to find that thing that makes me feel whole.  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe I’ll never find it, but at least I can say that I tried.  At least I can say that someone likes my chili.

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On doing something

When we moved back to Austin, Claire was 3 months old and I was staying home with her.  I didn’t mind it so much; she didn’t DO anything and I got to just sit around a lot.

But, a week or so after we moved back, JR started travelling.  He was gone 9 weeks in a row.  Not 9 weeks total, but he’d be gone 3 days here, then 4 days there.  I don’t remember the days being all that bad, but the nights were hard.  I wasn’t hanging out with the people I used to hang out with because I had a kid. I couldn’t just go out if I wanted to; I stayed home a lot.

JR’s friends really stepped up.  A few times a week, usually when JR was gone, one or two of the boys would come over.  We’d drink beers and talk.  It was those nights that kept me from going crazy that first 9 weeks.  I don’t know if you know this, but a 3 month old doesn’t have the best conversational skills.  I’d ask Claire what she thought about the new movie that was out and the best answer I got was a blank stare.  Sometimes she’d drool if she really enjoyed the conversation.

With our friends, I could have a conversation with someone who didn’t grunt when they were pooping.  Or maybe they did, but being gentlemen they kept that from me.  We didn’t talk about anything life changing; there wasn’t discussions about politics, or Kant, or the state of affairs of Cuba.  But it was important to us.  One of the guys was going through a divorce.  He’s one of the most introspective people I’ve ever met, and it hurt me to see him as withdrawn as he was.  Talking in our garage, over cheap beer, we worked out a lot of things.  I didn’t directly benefit from any of them, and I don’t talk to him any more, but for that moment in time we really TALKED.

Soon, JR would stop travelling and start hanging out in the garage and the conversation would turn to less intrusive topics.  Then I went back to work and stopped hanging out there altogether.

I was reminded of those late nights tonight.  A friend of ours is leaving next Wednesday for New York.  A few weeks ago he went to a 10 day acting workshop and was awarded a partial scholarship to an acting school.  He tells me that he always liked to perform, but never thought he would act.  Then one day, he just…decided to try it out.  And he was hooked.

He’s 27.  He’s been to college, he’s had a full-time job.  And now he’s going to New York to persue a dream that he’s had since he was a kid, even if he didn’t realize it.  I’m so envious.

Not about moving to New York, although I would love to live in a city like that.  And not about the acting part, although I would like to act.  I’m envious of him because he is doing what he wants to do.  It’s not going to be easy, he’s not that naive, but he’s decided that this is what he loves and what he wants.  And he’s working toward a goal.

We’ve lived in Houston for almost a year now and I’m still trying to find my place.  I’ve taken up sewing, I turned the guest bedroom into a crafts room, I buy scrapbook paper and sharpies and fabric.  Cork board lines my walls; I have a notebook labeled “Inspiration.”  I subscribe to DIY blogs and decorating blogs and I visit forums.  I have a folder labeled “Crafts” in my bookmarks and I add something to it every day.

But I’m not DOING anything.  I know I want to create something, but I’m scared to try.  I can’t draw, so I’m scared to try.  Writing doesn’t come easy for me, so I just don’t write.  Every night I find myself looking back over the day and wondering what it was that I did.  What did I accomplish that day? What did I spend my time on?  Usually the answer is “I finished the first season of True Blood, and started watching The Wire.”

My life can’t continue like this.  I need something to work towards.  I need deadlines, and specific goals, and they don’t have to cost money.  If I want to write, I need to write.  If I want to take beautiful pictures, I need to pick my camera up and fumble through it.  I’ve gotten used to not doing anything that I’m not DOING anything.

Starting tonight, I will create something every day.  It can be perfecting a drawing of a dandelion, or sewing a pillow case, or writing for 10 minutes.  I need to work out my brain, to shake off the dust and cobwebs and push my limits.

Starting tonight, I will DO something.

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here.

Now that I can breathe again, now that I can speak again, I realize I’m back to where I was before my darkness.

I want to DO these great things; I want to BE this amazing person; I want to CREATE.  But I don’t know how.  If someone were to tell  me that I could do anything in the world, without worrying about money or childcare or the commute, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what I would do.  I’m inspired every day by words and pictures, but I feel like I don’t have it in me to create the same thing.

This might be the plight of the stay-at-home mom.  All this time, and nothing to do.  Claire goes down for a nap and suddenly I’m alone.  There are hundreds of things I SHOULD do; laundry, dusting, dishes, wash the kitchen floor, vacuum.  There are dozens of things I would LIKE to do; take pictures, find objects to fit in my new typesetter tray, sew.  But, when it comes right down to it, I end up reading or watching TV and then she’s up and it’s back to being a Mommy.

I haven’t grown into this skin; this motherhood.  I’ve had 2 years to do it and I still feel like a novice.  People mention how good I am with kids (hell, I was offered a job at my local Gymboree. Even more amazingly? I was deep in my depression and it took everything I had just to GET to Gymboree), but I don’t feel like I am.  I would rather be good with adults that kids.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s nobody’s fault but my own, I have the resources, and I have the oppurtunity to create, but I don’t.  I want to be something other than a wife and mother, but I don’t know who that person is anymore.  I’m different, now and I can’t describe it.  I don’t know what I like, I don’t know what I want.  I know only that I wish everyday that I could be happy.

It’s not that I’m unhappy.  I’m just not happy.  But when asked what would make me happy, I don’t have an answer.

I’m just here.

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Anatomy of a post

Most of the time I don’t think my life is very interesting.  I’m home all day with a kid who says things like, “Oom. Et-ee. It daa. Hai mummy. Puppies. Puppies. Pysh ah. Ah! Hahaha! Whoees. Et-ee”   Sure, sometimes she’s funny, but I forget what it is that she did that was so funny, or it’s only funny if you SAW her do it.

I write mini blog posts in my head, all day.  I write because I want to remember this time.  I didn’t write much during Claire’s first 9 months, and I wish I had.  So I’m determined to keep track of the daily happenings.

So, when something that had potential to be a really great post happened last night, I immediatly wrote down some notes about it.  I’ve been trying to twist and turn the events, to get just the right descriptions to accuratly portray the incident.  I don’t think I have it just yet, but I’m going to revisit this post during her naps and keep working on it.

Topic:  Claire sat on my lap while I was pooping.

Here’s where it gets tricky.  Normally, I’d start at the beginning.  I set Claire up with (fucking) Nemo, and tiptoed away to the bathroom.  I thought I had enough time to do my ahem business before she decided to look for me.

I was wrong.  I had maybe 45 seconds to myself before I heard her little footsteps and her small voice ask, “Mommy?”

“Hi, honey.  Mommy’s going potty.  Do you want to go potty?”  I asked, trying to buy some time.  She nodded, lifted up her dress and sat on her potty.  This will give me at least another minute.

But, she’s a smart kid.  She stood up almost immediatly, looked down at her diaper in confusion, and walked over to me.  She played with some of the bath toys, but looked a little sad.

“Mommy?”  She asked, holding up her arms.  “Pee-ee?  Peeese?”  This means “Pick me up, please.”  Not “Can I go pee, too?”  So I did.  I picked her up, sat her on my lap and continued to do my ahem business.

And I’ll tell you, she was silent.  No wiggling, no speaking, she just sat there, stoic.  I haven’t seen her sit that quietly since she learned how to walk.  We practiced some sign language – boat, baby, book.

I finally was done, and we walked out of the bathroom, hand in hand.

So, here’s my dilema.  The funny part about that story is in the middle.  She sat on my lap while I was pooping.  But the part about her being quiet is pretty funny too.  I don’t know.  I’ll look at it later and see what I can change.  There’s always room for improvement.

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I read something this morning that I’ve been thinking about all day.  In one of the (many) blogs I read, Mr Lady talks about being pissed slightly annoyed at a mother who parked in a narrow, snow and ice covered, no-parking pick-up and drop off lane at her kid’s school.  She got mad, wrote a letter and now is on the PTA, directing traffic and organizing other parents to get behind her on this.

I don’t work, as you may know.  And I  miss it.  I dream about getting up early, showering in the morning (instead of late afternoon, or not at all), getting dressed up, and driving to a job.  I wouldn’t mind long commutes, as long as I have my coffee and a book-on-tape.  I  miss listening to the news in the morning, and being around adults, having adult conversations.

Of course, in my dream, I’m working someplace where I love my job and I’m fulfilled with my career.  That’s the crux of the issue, I think.  I stay home with Claire all day, everyday.  Sure, I see her learning things that I’ve taught her.  I get to see her grow up and change before my eyes.  I’m lucky that I don’t HAVE to work.  But, I’m not fullfilled.  I’m been reading more, which I never had time for when I was working.  And I get to cook now, which I never wanted to do when I was working.  But when Claire learns a new word, it’s me who gets to hear it all day.  It’s “nope” by the way.  I HATE that word, it’s just dripping with blatent disreguard for my rules.

Anyway, after reading Mr. Lady’s words today, I realized that the thing I miss about working is feeling like I’m DOING something.  Feeling like I’m making a difference, and am worth something to the people I work with.  Claire’s not so good with the thank you’s, is what I’m saying.  But, I CAN do something.  I CAN make a difference in some way.

I need to be more like Mr. Lady and FIND the things that I’m passionate about.  I know there are things that I feel strongly about, I just need to find them and get off my (ever-growing) ass and DO SOMETHING.

Of course, as I write this, I’m sitting on my couch, drinking coffee.  Sometimes it’s really easy to stay home and not do anything.

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My kid, give me strength.

I don’t think I’m good at being a mom.  I mean, I don’t hit her or anything, and I usually really enjoy spending time with her.  But, she’s going through a phase (oh sweet jesus on a cracker, please be a phase.  I don’t think I could handle it if this is the person she’s turning out to be) where she’s just….cranky….and whiny…and kinda bitchy headstrong.  We’ve been needing to disipline her for a few weeks now.  Nothing serious, just telling her to “put your bottom on the seat,” or “Claire, we don’t touch the buttons on the TV.”

But, she won’t stop.  It’s a constant battle to get her diaper changed, get her clothes on, get her to eat something other than hotdogs in a place other than on the couch.  She fights everything.  She’ll walk up to the TV (which is large, and sitting on a coffee table and I have fears of it falling down on top of her), looks at me (and I tell her that she should play with something else.  Here, what about this AWESOME BOOK or this REALLY FUN BABY STROLLER?!), shakes her head and puts her hand right on the screen.

.

I don’t know what to do.  I try to distract her, give her something else tp play with, take her in another room where the temptation of playing with things that are off limits are not an issue.  But she runs back into the living room.  Where the temptation is.  We’re going to change the layout of the house when we move, and put the TV on the wall and the cable box above it so she can’t touch it.

Maybe it’s the move.  Maybe she’s stressed out.  Maybe it’s just that I’m on my period and don’t have ANY patience.  But, I’m at my wits end.  I’m frustrated and I find myself really enjoying the hours that she’s at the daycare because it’s calm and quiet in the house.  I don’t WANT to feel like this.  I’m not going to have a daycare to ship her off to when we move.  I’m going to have to face it head on and figure it out.

I just don’t have the energy now.

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How I see myself

Last night I went to happy hour with some ladies* from a message board I frequent.  This may sound a little weird, meeting people for happy hour that you’re never met before, but the ladies* are all really close.  It’s interesting, we’re usually one of the first people we tell things to – pregnancy, miscarriages, new jobs.  It’s safe because we typically don’t know a lot of the members in real life, so we don’t have to worry about them telling other people.  About once a week, there’s a post about how much we enjoy the other members.  They’re all so supportive and we don’t have the kind of snark that the national boards have.

But, I digress.  I met two of them last night for some margaritas and mexican food.  We had a great time.  More than once, they mentioned how funny I am on the board and that when I told everyone we’re moving to Houston, they said to themselves, “I have to hang out with her IRL before she leaves.”

I know!  I was as surprised as you probably are.  I mean, sometimes I think I’m funny.   But that’s usually when I’m speaking in a funny voice, or dancing around the kitchen.  And it’s usually only funny to my 16 month old.

***

A few weeks ago, we went to a party at our friend’s house.  A coworker of her’s was there with his girlfriend.  Homegirl had been quiet most of the night, just sitting back and observing everything that was going on.  As is usually the case when we get together with JR’s friends, there was a lot going on.  All of us are pretty outgoing – it’s one of the reasons I get along so well with “his” friends (I know, they’re my friends too, but they were his first so…anyway).  At one point, after I finished a long (probably embellashed) story about something JR did, she looked at me and asked if I was a writer.  Taken aback, I mumbled something about this blog and my low stats and kinda didn’t know what to say.  No, I’m not.  I write on a blog that hardly anyone reads (which doesn’t really matter, I’m just sayin’**) and most of the time isn’t not very good.  I asked her why she thought that.  She replied that I frame stories like a writer.  I can’t remember the last time I was given such a nice compliment.

**

I don’t know the purpose of telling you this.  Maybe it’s to look at how people look at you verses how you see yourself.  Now that we’re moving, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do.  I’d love to stay in the wedding biz, but I feel like I need more of a scheduled day to get things done.  JR thinks I’d been good at PR for some big company, but I think of all the times I’ve said something inappropriate and think that’s probably not a good idea.  I don’t think I’m a good writer, but could I BECOME one?  I don’t know.  I’ve always wanted to be published.  I just don’t know what to write about.

*

So in closing, I don’t know what I was saying.  Maybe just that I need to take a long look at my strengths, instead of just my weaknesses when I think about a career.  Or maybe I should figure out a way to become a professional Member-of-a-message-board-and-happy-hour-goer.

Yeah, that sounds perfect.

kisses.

* I HATE when people refer to grown women as girls.  I’ve been through puberty, I deserve a better moniker.

** My mother-in-law says “I’m just sayin'” ALL.THE.TIME and it drives me up the wall.  She says it after just about every statement.  And now I’m going to be living within 30 miles of her.  Awesome.  ; )

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