Tuesday, December 27, 2011

She hates me!

J. driving through the snow at the end of Christmas day, me crying silently in the passenger seat, and then he sees the tears gleaming in the soft orange streetlights.  He asks what's wrong and the words claw their way up my throat, burning as they go.  "She hates me!"

The rational explanation for this charming scene is that S is going through a quite normal developmental stage of preferring one parent (obviously not me) to the other.  I'm trying to be mature about this, but the fact is it really hurts my feelings and I'm starting to have trouble dealing with it.  Spending several full days with S. over the holidays made it clear she doesn't only prefer J. anyone is better company than I am. 

I don't really write about my relationship with my family of origin to respect their privacy, so I'll just say I have an awkward relationship with my mom in particular.  She's not comfortable communicating in my love language and I often question to this day whether she loves me at all.  She certainly doesn't like me much.  So I was excited to be having a girl - here was the chance to be the mother I wanted.

Yet every time I try to cuddle S. or kiss her, she twists away, looking for something fun to do, anything other than sit in her mommy's lap for a few minutes.  I know this is probably normal for an 18-month-old, especially my busy little bee.  And how wonderful that she has a daddy she adores and who lights up every time he sees her.

But my heart aches anyway.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I didn't hear the recess bell - where did everyone go?

Mama Kat had a great prompt this week:  How has blogging changed for you in the past year? What are your goals for your blog this year?

Mama’s Losin’ It

This was a timely prompt, as I've noticed a lot of my favourite bloggers have really slowed down on posting and in some cases quit altogether.  I'm always the kid left standing on the playground, yelling "It's still fun guys, I promise!" as everyone wanders off to a better game.  It appears blogging is no different, and I'm feeling sad about it.  I don't follow blogs I'm not going to read, so I really get to know everyone on my reading list and miss them when they leave.

My "following" philosophy also makes it hard to find new blogs.  I love blog hops, but it's surprisingly difficult to find a hop that includes lifestyle blogs and that doesn't insist that you follow everyone you meet.  I don't want people to follow me if they're not going to read and respond to my posts, and vice versa.  I'm not a photographer, foodie or crafter, and reviews/giveaways bore me.   Sometimes it feels like that's all there is in the blogosphere and I get frustrated. 

It occurred to me yesterday that I should just visit a bunch of the blogs that my current blog friends have listed on their blogrolls.  Kind of like finding a date through mutual friends - if someone likes both of you, maybe you'll like each other!  Sigh.  Thank God I'm married and don't have to actually date.  I think it's clear how successful that would probably be.

My blogging style hasn't really changed over the last year, other than the occasional dabbling in fiction.  I enjoyed it, but they seemed to be my least popular posts.  The strict deadlines to submit your piece also added a level of stress to my life that I decided I didn't need right now.  My job often requires significant, unexpected overtime, and when I found myself snapping at my family to be quiet so I could finish a story I'd had to leave to the last minute again, I knew it was time to dial back on that commitment.

Blogging goals for 2012...hmmm.  I've never had as many comments on my posts as I would have liked, so I'd improve that.  However, I don't know how to be more interesting and I don't want to change who I am.  I have visited blogs before that seemed very dull to me, but had TONS of followers and comments, so obviously my tastes and personality run contrary to the norm.  Meh.  I yam what I yam.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm here for your entertainment

Sherilin at laughing my abs off did an awesome post awhile back on some of her memorable mistakes.  I've decided to continue carrying the torch'o'foolishness and will outline some short cautionary tales for your holiday entertainment.

1)  Let's see if anyone will stop

I believe this is the stupidest and most dangerous thing I've ever done, and can only blame the sheer hormonal insanity that is a teenage girl.  On the way home from a shopping trip, my 14-year-old girlfriends and I decided to go stand on a street corner to see if anyone (Richard Gere, maybe?) would stop.  A car full of skeezy guys did stop, and we were fortunate to just run off laughing.  This is the kind of behaviour that terrifies me about S.'s teenage years to come.

2)  If I drive faster and turn the music up, the car will magically repair itself!

I was driving down the local expressway at dusk a few years ago, happily singing and enjoying the summer's evening breeze.  I noticed what seemed to be a small cardboard box in my lane, and although I didn't try to hit it, I didn't try not to either.  After the car did a fun little tip up on one side, it was clear I'd hit something a teensy bit more solid than cardboard. 

About 5 minutes later, the car began to make unhappy squawking noises.  My solution to this?  Turn the music up, baby!  Oh, and speed up so I could get home faster and J. could look at whatever was wrong.  After careening through the second in a series of roundabouts, the car stopped responding to my movements of the steering wheel and I somehow managed to pull over. 

Long story short, the car was irreparably damaged (something about a broken axle and some other mechanic-y gibberish), and J. was very not happy about my loud music and speed approach to the situation.  I think he thought I'd learned something from the infamous pinball incident, in which I used ricochet momentum to get my previous car up an icy apartment driveway.  Apparently not.

3)  That was so not candy

Right before S. was born, I was hanging out in her nursery decorating, fueled by a big mug of water and some Runts candy.  I was scarfing down that candy like no one's business and taking some big swigs in between.  On one gulp, I thought I felt something in the water, but assumed it was just a Runt candy still in my mouth.  So I took a big hearty chomp.  An incredibly bitter and revolting taste flooded across my tongue and I spit the whole mouthful out onto the nursery carpet. 

I then had to spend the next several minutes cleaning up the bits of wings and other debris from the ladybug I had just bit into.  That was it for the Runts candy too.  Just thinking about them makes me feel pukey.



4)  Can I assk you a question?

In my mid-20s, I had a mini quarter-life crisis.  This reached its peak while J. and I were driving through a neighbouring city, and I was whining as usual about how I never had any fun, because I was such a good girl and never broke any rules.  In a desperate attempt to shut me up, J. dared me to moon someone.

Well, we weren't in our own city and this was my chance to be a bad girl (yes I know this is pretty weak on the "bad" scale).  So I dropped my drawers and hung my ass out the window, laughing hysterically.  For some reason, J. then STOPPED the car.  In front of a bus stop full of teenagers.  The bus stop was in front of a retirement home, with the local high school a few minutes down the block.  This was the majority reaction:

On top of almost falling out of the car, my moon was left in full, non-moving view of many more people than I was expecting.  I still don't know what got into J.  Thank God this was before cellphone cameras had quite reached their current popularity level.

OH MY GOD.  While I was looking for pictures for this post, I came across this unbelievable photo. Some stupid woman on Toddlers and Tiaras has apparently dressed up her child as a prostitute!!  My apologies if this is an old story, but it's new to me.  Seriously, they should find some pill or something to temporarily sterilize everyone at the age of 10 or 11, and then you shouldn't be allowed to have the reversal until you've passed a parenting course proving you are mentally and emotionally competent to have the care and custody of a small human being. 

Here's the pic I found - how could anyone possibly rationalize this as being OK????  That poor baby.

This is the kind of mistake that isn't funny at all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's just a prickly shell, y'all

Well, my first day of vacation has been a little different than I was hoping for.  I thought S. had just picked up my cold (which was bad enough), but her daycare called this morning and the poor thing has developed an eye infection.  A sick 18-month old with a puffy, weeping eye is a sad and pitiable creature.  I couldn't get her into the doctor until late today, so I'm just glad she's able to sleep right now.  Poor baby.

But I did stop by the video store and pick up some rentals - Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits and The Hangover II.  I love raunchy comedies!  I laughed so hard at There's Something about Mary, it was like an ab workout.

I'm still upset about the community thing I wrote about yesterday.  I don't know why this bothers me so much, but I just keep thinking of these people who are so afraid and so badly need encouragement and instead they got this slap in the face and were told to shut up and be positive.  Someone in the group sent me a private message trying to explain how one person had been flooding the board with her fears, and had responded poorly to words of encouragement. 

All I could think was, OK, that person must be terrified.  It may be annoying, but doesn't she need compassion, rather than being told to get off the message board?  Don't know why this is getting to me so much, since I just joined that board and don't know anyone yet.  I guess there's a softie inside this bitch after all.

I'm just one big fucking ray of sunshine

So I was over on another board which shall not be named, and was shocked to read one mean post basically telling the "negative" and "whiny" people to shut it.  I hadn't posted anything yet, thank God, or I would have assumed they were talking about me.  And after that little rant, I knew I wouldn't be posting anything there.  The community in question is for people in a specific situation who are going to want support and might not have anyone in their life they feel comfortable talking to about it.  So much for that warm and fuzzy idea.  Better put your "ray of sunshine" panties on, or you're outta there.

Since this is my blog, I'll be as fucking negative as I want and I'm not a fan of pollyanna types.  Perky people make me want to slap them upside the head and force feed them CNN so they can wake up and grasp how fucked up the world really is.

Anyhow.  Despite the appearance, I'm feeling quite fantastic - I'm on vacation until Jan 3.  HURRAY!!!!  It's disturbing that the most exciting thing about this is that I may actually get enough sleep for a brief period of time.  It's a wild life I lead, alright.  Seriously, I am so so excited!!  I'm going to sleep, read some good books, watch the movies I didn't get out to see this summer, do some blog writing and reading, work out and generally laze around.  It's going to be the best Christmas vacation ever.  This calls for a happy bunny:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2011 laughs

Reverb11 continues...

Day 6 - What made you laugh?

Modern Family.  Damn you auto correct.com.  Horrible Bosses.  Bethenny Frankel.  Urban Dictionary.com.  Ramona Singer walking the catwalk.  Dinner with Schmucks.  Pearls before Swine.  Melynda at Craziness abounds peeing on her husband.  S. dancing.

Day 7 - Forgiveness

Who have you forgiven this year and what was the journey like that brought you to forgive them?

Honestly, nothing comes to mind.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give him points for persistence at least

But guilt implies you did something wrong

I'm going to do my Reverb11 catch-up for today in reverse order, just to be wild.  Also because I don't want to dwell on the last one and would rather keep this light.

Day 5 - 5 guilty pleasures

I'm not ashamed of most of my pleasures - I know I'm smart and classy even if some of my leisure activities suggest otherwise.  Let's just say if "Pop culture 1990s-2000s" came up on Jeopardy, I'd be in decent shape.  So I've tried to pick out things that really are somewhat embarrassing.

1 & 2)  Oh, my sweet Westley!

I have a streak of melodramatic romanticism that goes unfulfilled in real life, due to my very normal and non-neurotic husband who I've been with for 17 years.  While I don't actually want to have a volatile, slightly psychotic relationship with a "true love" I barely know, I do enjoy listening to sappy love songs about one.  Ditto for reading about lovers who always get a happy ending, no matter how improbable.

Would you like some maple with that syrup?  Here's Can't let go by Mariah Carey and The Power of Love by Celine Dion:

I will say the romance novels have to be well-written (shut up - that's not an oxymoron).  Danielle Steel does not make the cut.  The plot can be cheesy, but the writer has to know how to string a sentence together convincingly and write a sex scene that doesn't make me laugh.  Jo Goodman and Amanda Quick know what they're doing.

3)  My stomach is growling right now

There's nothing like a properly made Caesar salad, warm bread and oil, a medium-well 10 oz striploin with garlic mashed potatoes and tender vegetables, followed up by a Marble Slab Creamery red velvet ice cream cone with marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Calories, shmalories.

4)  What's that sizzling?

You know you shouldn't, and the Mastercard bill is going to hurt, but you look so hot in that outfit, you almost want to take yourself to bed.  And if it looks that good in the dressing room, imagine how fine you'll look away from fluorescent lighting!  Yeah, it's not in the budget, but it can be an explainable variance, right?

5)   I'm afraid I don't feel well today

I work really hard at my job, and my hours are definitely not restricted to 9-5.  And the professions (accounting in my case) don't pay overtime.  So once or twice a year, I wake up in the morning and find I just don't feel well.  And the remedy is to lie in bed all day, watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reading a good book and eating ice cream before experiencing a miraculous recovery in time for my favourite evening aerobics class.

Day 4 - What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

I stopped taking my anti-depressant of several years in October.  Overall, it's been a very positive experience.  The fire is back, baby!

Day 3 - A moment in time 

Tell us about one moment in 2011 that you lived that you will never forget.

Realizing my 12-week old angel baby had just dropped into the toilet and searching through the blood to find him or her, and then holding the little sac in my hand knowing he or she was really dead.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Revving up

I found a great December writing prompt series on Random Girl's blog and decided to join in, fashionably late as usual.  Don't mind the summarized answers while I catch up - I'm going to double up the days until I'm on track with everyone else.

Day 1 - One word

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

The word is "coping."  I went back to work full-time January 4, 2011 to a company in the midst of major transition, including dealing with lawsuits and fraud allegations against senior members of my department.  S. still gets up at least once a night at nearly 18 months, and even though J. gets up with her, I'm permanently exhausted.  It often feels like life is a horrible, crushing routine of joylessness and domestic drudgery that never ends. 

The terror and excitement of finding out I was pregnant with twins in late July slid into a nightmare as I miscarried one on my friend's wedding day, then found out six weeks later the second had died weeks before.  I kept on going to work and parenting S. because I didn't know what else to do, and those things aren't really optional.  But I feel a kind of dreary misery now, like I'm soaked to the bone in a cold muddy wilderness, just picking up one foot after the other while I dream of earlier, happier times.

It's been a shitty year.  I don't have a special word for 2012, only a hope that I'll achieve something better than simply coping with my life.

Day 2 - My children will do it differently

If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

I'd like S. to experience life unafflicted by guilt every time something brings her pleasure.  While I'm not looking to raise a complete hedonist, there must be something more moderate than my childish inquiry to my mother about whether eating sugar was "unChristian" (since I enjoyed it, I knew it must be wrong).

But more than anything else, I would choose that S. be spared from the bullying I experienced.  It changed me permanently, and not for the better.  On top of my worry for S. herself, I'm not sure I can handle re-living it through her and I hope I don't have to find out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This is what I get for joking about fire

The good news is that our house did not burn down.  The bad news is that leaving your cranky old laptop on your bed all day is really, really stupid. J. came home Friday afternoon to find it billowing smoke on top of one hot duvet cover. 

On the plus side, now I have a fancy new laptop that will probably be amazing once I get everything set up.  I'm a technical moron and this is not my idea of fun.  It appears we may have to buy a new wireless router, since I wrote the security key down on a post-it and now we can't find it.  This is actually very out of character for me, but the combination of motherhood and a professional job with lots of overtime has done a serious number on my normal organizational ninja skills.

The keyboard is also loaded with hot keys that I keep triggering like little minefields, so suddenly the screen will zoom in to 400% or change all the font to Pirate-speak and I don't know how it happened and therefore how to put it back.  Right now the font is so big I feel like I'm reading something for the legally blind.

This is why I'm on blogger, not wordpress or some other platform that requires any coding ability at all.  I had enough trouble figuring out how to make a button (I still can't copy them properly from other people either - and yes, I know you have to re-type the smart quotes, whatever the hell they are.  Doesn't make a difference.).

I'm just glad we're all safe (including the cats) and our house that we worked so hard for is safe too, along with all the memories it contains.  I'll leave you with my public service announcement for the day:  Don't leave your laptop on or near anything flammable!