Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Just Not Good at Homework

Ok. I failed NabloPoMo. I haven't been able to keep up with posting everyday. Some life details got in the way and I couldn't dedicate the time to sit down and write something. Fear not, I'm still going to write more often than I have been. At least this has inspired me to come back and give this particular lonely little blog some love.

I plan to write a lot more in the coming months. I may not be one of those super duper blogs with all the fancy buttons and design stuff and it may be 100 years before I get 50 followers, but that's not what it's about for me. I just like to write - even if it's not good and I don't have a talent for it. I just like to sit here and blah blah blah blah for a little bit. Every once in a while it resonates with someone and I make a cool connection. I've been writing blog style for over a decade, before there were blogs. People used to make fun of me and say it was the stupidest thing ever. Ha! I bet half of them have their own blogs. Writing is fun. It's therapeutic.

Onward!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Do I Want To Know?

I was just looking at the stats for my blog. Number one, they are so sad. My blog is a lonely one with very few reads.

Number two - someone found my blog by googling, "little boy lust boner."

Ew.

Just ew.

I would like to assure anyone reading that I do not have any desire to write about or think about such a thing. It's rather disturbing to see that particular stat.

I'm so eeked out that my brain doesn't feel like giving me writing material. It's a blog #fail tonight.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Right to Write

I'm on Facebook. A lot. I update my status. A lot. I share articles, pages and things that make you go "hmmmm." A lot. I'm one of those people. If I haven't posted something for a day then people assume I've been sucked into a vortex. I can't help it, I like to talk. I have a lot of opinions. There is a lot to be shared. I've found so many old friends there and have made quite a few new ones whom I love dearly. Most of them post daily or every other day. I respond and the cycle of Facebook life continues.

And there is someone who always hates it and has something to say about it.

I can count on reading some variation of the following a few times a month:

"I can't stand people who update their status all the time. No one wants to hear about your (insert commonly talked about subject here). Get a life!"

Ok, that person has every right to write that. I'm not going to tell them what they can and can't post. Why do they think they need to dictate what others write? Now, I read very fast and I write very fast. For the amount of content I post, I'm actually online for a very little amount of time during the day. I have quite a life offline. *shrugs* It seems simple - just ignore what you don't like. Yet, people are always complaining about what other people do with their own Facebook pages. Apparently, "people" don't want to hear about your vagina, kids, job, late night food cravings, bathroom habits, the bagel you just ate, your dog, your cat, your dog's cat, your hair, your car, school, the top 15 reasons that Edward trumps Jacob (cuz he sparkles, duh) and so on and so forth. They don't want you to share articles that you feel are informative. They don't want you to share pages that interest you and may interest or help others. And, of course, they don't want you to share pictures of grammatically-challenged felines asking for beef patties. So, they'll inform you that they dislike your status updates. They'll yell at you for offending them, as if you write only for these people. As if your sole purpose is to offend.

I tend to write a lot about pregnancy, birth, fertility, miscarriages, breastfeeding, babies, circumcision and the like. I have some liberal political views and some conservative views. I love God, but I have a lot of different opinions about religion. Add in a dash of kid stories, a pinch of damn husband rants and just a touch of bitching about cats and I'm sure to offend at least one person once a day. Sometimes I care, sometimes I don't. It depends on the nature of the "offense."

But here's the thing - I won't censor myself. Not for anyone. Why? Because what some consider dumb, offensive or way too personal status updates/article shares have actually helped people. I have had numerous friends privately message or publicly announce that something I posted made them think or helped them out in some way. I've posted about my miscarriage more times than I can count and many have come to me to THANK me - either for helping them understand what grieving parents go through or for helping them give voice to a pain they've kept hidden for years. I've been someone they've opened up with about losses they had over a decade about - losses that they were too sad, afraid or ashamed to talk about until they read what I wrote. I can't tell you how many people have come to me for advice with every single part of their fertility cycles. I have taught women how to be aware of their bodily changes through their cycles. I've taught them how to chart. I've taught them fertility awareness both to get pregnant and to avoid getting pregnant. I've encouraged women to research things for themselves so that they feel confident in their choices. They may not always make a decision I agree with, but at least I helped empower them to find information. I've saved babies from circumcision and from improper car seat use. Oh my, the car seat thing. That's a big issue and it's something that I've changed a lot of minds about. A lot of parents simply were not aware of the recommendations to rear-face for longer than 1 year. Because of my status updates and my "ranting" they were made aware. Breastfeeding is another hot topic. There are currently many babes who have been breastfed or are continuing to breastfeed because of my support. And people are constantly coming to me almost daily for some sort of herbal, homeopathic, natural or home remedy for a variety of ailments. People who publicly shun my words will privately ask me for more information or help.

A little bit of ego there? Maybe. But, I don't have much self esteem and when I find that I've been useful to people it makes me happy. It reminds me that I don't suck as much as I thought.

So, if you hate that I post about my Diva Cup (I've converted many to menstrul cups, btw), menstrual cycles and my vagina you'll either have to delete me, hide me or just learn to ignore it. It's not that hard - Facebook gives you a variety of options for hiding content that you don't enjoy. But I'm not going to stop disseminating information that you deem offense simply because I know I might just help a person or two.

So there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rump: Roasted

You may remember I mentioned cooking a pot roast in my last post. I started it this evening. It was a bit later than I would normally cook dinner, but I wanted my son in bed first. I didn't want him smelling something fabulous cooking only to have it come out tasting like crap. This was not a big roast - only 1.5 lbs - so I didn't have to worry about it taking 4 or 5 hours to cook. With this size, it took just under 2 hours to finish.

There were so many recipes and opinions out there. Some people cook it in the oven. Some use a crock pot. Other simmer it on the stove. I chose to simmer it for a few minutes first and then pop it into my dutch oven and cook it in my oven.

I browned it on all sides in the dutch oven for a few minutes, making sure not to miss a single spot. After browning it, I threw some chopped onions and garlic in with the roast. I added about 1 cup of homemade chicken broth. I brought that to a simmer on the stove and then threw the whole thing into the oven and set it at 335 degrees F.

After it had been in there for an hour, I chopped up some potatoes and carrots. I threw them into a pan with a little bit of butter (because butter is good for you) and heated them a little bit before adding them into the dutch oven. I let all of that cook for another half an hour and - BOOM! - dinner was ready.

I was afraid of failure, but it turned out really good. It was super tender. The leftover juices in the dutch oven were used for gravy. Dear Lord, it all tasted so good. I had seconds and my husband had thirds, leaving just a tiny bit leftover for the little dude to try tomorrow. All in all, not too shabby.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Accountability

I have things that need to get done. I probably shouldn't be sitting at the computer, but I figured if I wrote out what needs to be done then I'll be more likely to do it. Right? My house is an utter mess. I believe the proper term might be shit storm. It all started when we moved in...three years ago. I suck at organization. Add a toddler-turned preschooler-turned kindergartener and five cats to the mix and it's just pure disaster. Ok, this isn't anything like Hoarders: Buried Alive, but I'm afraid it could go that way if I don't get things under control.

Things were okay until a little over a year ago. Granted, my house - it's actually an apartment - was never perfect - like I said, kids and cats - but, it got progressively worse last year. When I had my miscarriage all the life was sucked out of me. I fell into a nasty depression. I didn't want to get up, get myself dressed or move to a different part of the house. I didn't want to make meals for myself or my family. I turned into a horrible, horrible mother. The last thing I wanted to do was clean. My husband tried, he really did. He just doesn't have the knack for organizing things. The hubby's method usually involved putting things in bags and then throwing said bags into a closet or a corner. Even as I made my way out of my depressive fog I couldn't seem to get a firm grasp on the clutter. I'm one of those people who needs things to be perfect, but if I can't get it perfect then I give up and let chaos rule. Eventually, things became overwhelming.

I became pregnant again a year ago. I had a wonderful nesting spike in the very few weeks of my pregnancy. I was cooking. I organized and cleaned out my kitchen. I did a lot more cleaning around the house. Then the all day nausea and zombie bone-deep exhaustion set in. And things started to crumble bit by bit. When I hit my second trimester and shook off the nausea I was then hit with horrendous tailbone and pelvic pain. Turns out I had SPD - symphysis pubis dysfunction - which really took it's toll on my mobility. It was pretty severe by the time I got to my third trimester. Every step brought a sensation of a thousand knives stabbing my in the pelvic region. I would take me upwards of 15 to 20 minutes to be able to get out of bed on some days. Since that apparently wasn't enough for my body, I decided to have these freak blood pressure spikes and my midwife benched me. I wasn't put on bedrest, but I was put on "you better stay off your feet as much as possible and don't lift a damn finger" rest. Got the blood pressure under control, but then my feet swelled to about 4 or 5 times their size. No exaggeration. I have witnesses. It was scary. The bitch of it all was that the nesting urge hit so strongly in my last few weeks and I couldn't do anything about it. Everytime I tried I would get winded and then end up with more pelvic pain. Truly, it sucked.

Here I am, 3 months after the birth of my baby. I need to get things under control before TLC is knocking at my door and asking to film us. Wait...maybe I should let the mess grow so that TLC does knock at my door and I get some free housecleaning. Hmmm.

I'm setting a goal to get serious and start strong this week. We have been having Purple Heart come out to our house to pick up donations every few weeks. So far, it's been mostly small donations, but my goal is to really get a lot out of here. Stuff just grows. I swear. It breeds. It makes love sweet clutter loves and breeds new clutter. Anyway, so I have another Purple Heart pick up scheduled for this week. I'm promising myself that I'll have a lot more for them this time.

I know to start small so that it doesn't get overwhelming. It's when I tried to do a complete home overhaul in an hour that I get so frustrated and end up making a bigger mess. I'm going to devote an hour each day, if kiddies and kitties cooperate, and I'll get things looking semi-nice. I really want to have things looking better by the holidays. No one visits, but I want it nice for me. I dread the idea of putting up a tree and having Santa deposit more crap next to the crap we already have.

My other goal is to start cooking a lot more. I suck in the kitchen, but I try because I know my mediocre meals are still much more healthier than what's served in fast food digs and other restaurants. Again, this is something that fell by the wayside with my miscarriage and then with my pregnancy. Right now, I have a pot roast in my fridge. I've never cooked one before so who knows how it will turn out. They were on sale a few weeks ago so I grabbed a couple and stashed them in my freezer. I'm going to give it a try tonight. If I'm feeling especially lucky, I'll try to make dough for some dutch oven bread.

I hope by listing some of these goals that I'll feel more accountable and it'll light a fire under my butt. I don't think anyone ever reads this blog, but I'll pretend I have an audience and hopefully that will inspire me to keep going.

Fingers crossed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cheese is Where the Heart Is

I love cheese. Life is better when smothered in cheese. I love cheesy potatoes, cheesy veggies, cheesy chicken, cheesy cheese...mmmm.

I'm in a rush today, so I don't have time for a whole blog post, so I'll leave you with my favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe. I was looking for one without velveeta and without canned stuff. I use all organic ingredients, but you don't have to if you can't.

5 Tbsp butter
3.5 c uncooked mac
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 lb grated cheese
Dash of pepper
6 cups milk

Melt the butter in a 9x13 inch pan. Pour the uncooked macaroni into the melted butter. Stir in the salt, pepper and cheese - mix it well with the macaroni. Pour the milk over the mixture - do not stir the milk in. Bake at 375 degrees F for on hour. Don't stir while baking.

I found this recipe on the web over a year ago and can't find it again to give credit. It was the first time I found a macaroni and cheese recipe that called for so few ingredients. I sometimes put in 5 cups of milk, usually when I realize I was lower on milk than I anticipated. It works out just fine, maybe a little creamier. It makes a lot, but doesn't last very long in my house. It re-heats well. For the milk, I almost always have a bottle of non-homogenized, which means it has the cream top. I use the cream for this - YUM.

I try not to eat too much pasta stuff, so I will use this same recipe with potatoes, with half the amount of butter and milk. I do that one in a dutch oven and it comes out well.


This post is part of the Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways Blog Hop, sponsored by Frugally Sustainable. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

For the Birds



My little boy wanted to make the birds and squirrels a sandwich. He grabbed a few slices of bread, covered it in peanut butter and added pumpkin seeds (saved after carving Jack-O-Lanterns) and fresh cranberries.







A sandwich was not enough, so he decided to make a cranberry "necklace" for them, too.
















He went on to make a few more sandwiches for the birds and squirrels. He was out of pumpkin seeds, so he covered the bread in peanut butter, cranberries and bird seeds. He set it outside in our special bird and squirrel feeder (squirrels get fed here, too - no fancy "squirrel-proof" feeders at our home).















We didn't get a chance to photograph the birds who came to feast on the smorgasbord of peanut butter sandwiches. I can tell you that the sandwiches were eaten rather quickly. And I have one very happy and proud little boy...who is already concocting new recipes for the birds...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sparrow


I love tattoos. I only have three so far, but more will come. They are as addictive as coffee. My most recent tattoo is the one pictured here. I got it a year ago, in memory of the baby I lost.

This wasn't my first tattoo. I'd had one done in memory of my kitty, Abigael. When she died, I stamped her paws into a stamp pad and made little ink footprints and had a tattoo artist etch them into my ankle. There wasn't any question that I'd have one done after my miscarriage.

It took a while to come up with something. The more I thought about it, the harder it was to decide what I wanted. So I decided to stop thinking so hard about it. That's when the idea of using a sparrow popped into my head. Sparrows have amazing symbolism around them. All across the world they are linked with safe travel to Heaven/The Underworld. In some cultures, it is the sparrow who guides the soul to Heaven. Sparrows also represent safe travel and finding one's way home. This could also be why they are linked to helping souls navigate to Heaven - they safely guide the soul's travel to the next place in life. Wayward souls would be caught by sparrows and brought to Heaven. Sparrows also remind us to find joy, even when things seem down. They are symbols of family ,fertility and the Mama Goddess. They tell us that being small doesn't mean you can't do big things. In Christianity, the sparrow reminds us that God cares for even the least among us. In Matthew 10:29 Jesus says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father." A similar sentiment from Jesus is found in Luke 12:6 - "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God." We are reminded that no matter how insignificant a creature may seem, it is still important to God. Sparrows have also come to symbolize The Resurrection, both in Christian terms and in the idea of the resurrection of life that occurs each Spring.

It was a combination of all those things that made me realize the sparrow was a good choice. And it.just.felt.right. My sparrow is a symbol of River's soul taking flight and safely arriving in Heaven. My sparrow reminds me that her life, though short, was still very significant. My sparrow reminds me of my connection to the Earth, the promise of resurrection and as a reminder of my fertility. I googled some sparrow images, but didn't totally settle on one. One particular sparrow caught my eye, but I didn't take the image to my artist. I figured I would discuss it with her and decide if I wanted a "real" sparrow or a cartoon version.

At the shop, my artist, Christina, googled sparrows. The first image she clicked on was the exact one that had caught my eye previously. It was meant to be. She then suggested having my little sparrow sitting on a Cherry Blossom branch. Cherry Blossoms are symbols of Spring, new life, resurrection, joy (especially finding joy within sorrow), hope and fertility. Of course they were a perfect symbol.

This is my biggest tattoo and the only one with color. The others are quite small and black. Getting the tattoo was a great experience. It didn't hurt at all. I had a great conversation with my artist. Some tattoo artists are quiet and don't want to talk while they are working. Christina was very talkative, engaging me to talk about why I chose this particular story. She listened to the story of my miscarriage. We talked about my birth philosophy, which she seemed pretty interested in. It was a good, healing tattoo session. My little baby was etched into my memory, my heart, my soul and now into my skin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Fossils of My Fertility


Those are my abs. Well, they used to be my abs. They're still under there, somewhere. That photo was taken over a year ago.

Do I miss them? Yeah, they were cute. I miss the strength more than the looks. My muscles just give up the moment the sperm hits the egg and I'm left with an weakening core as pregnancy progresses. My baby was born in August and I am still very weak in the core, which isn't cool because I typically do a lot of walking and I find myself having a harder time due to the muscle weakness there and the lingering effects of the SPD I had during pregnancy. I had a few issues - SPD and high blood pressure - that kept me from keeping as fit as I would have wanted during my pregnancy. I do want to re-build that strength, again. I work as a veterinary technician and you definitely need strength when it comes to restraining animals. I haven't done much in the way of actual exercise since giving birth, but that will change soon.

This isn't just about those glorious abs. It's about skin. It's about loving that integumentary glove that I'm in. There are days when I look at myself in the mirror and my heart nearly sinks. I'm still wearing maternity jeans (the Heidi Klum super skinny jeans from Motherhood - they look like "real" jeans as they don't have a panel). I have a pretty good pooch hanging over the waistband of my jeans. I still look pregnant. Sigh. It does get to me from time to time, I won't lie. The other reason it gets to me is that I want to fit into my old clothes. Not just for superficial reasons, but financial. I really don't want to have to buy new clothes to fit my body this winter. Most of my pre-preggo sweaters and winter clothes can't handle the pooch. And I only have one single pair of jeans that fit. They get washed a lot. Back to the skin. There are plenty o' stretch marks there. It's like my son took a maroon crayon and just scribbled on my belly. My belly kinda looks like my living room walls. I got them when I was pregnant with my son. I probably would have gotten them with my second pregnancy, but miscarrying at 8 weeks means I didn't have a chance. I got them with this last pregnancy. They all crept up, like little glistening worms crawling out of the ground after a rainstorm. I never did anything to "prevent" them. I'm not sure you really can prevent them. I did moisturize my belly with coconut oil (not cocoa butter) simply because it's damn good for your skin.



I remember seeing my first stretch marks when I was pregnant with my son back in 2006. They appeared in the very last weeks of my pregnancy, along with the PUPPS rash. My first thought was, "boo-hoo, I thought I could escape them." I was sad for a moment, but I quickly got over it. I couldn't understand why I had a minor mental fuss about them. Then I realized it's because everyone makes a major fuss about them. Think about it - it's seen as some sort of badge of honor not to get stretch marks. You get high fives from fellow smooth and unmarked-skinned mothers. You earn the right to expose your bump in public without fear of scaring small children with those shiny red tummy tire tracks. Heck, you could even be a bump model. See, I would have been voted off of America's Next Top Bump Model because my my stretch marks. Just like birthing quietly and without pain, you get extra cred for having your abdomen expand to extraordinary lengths without a single bit of crime scene evidence left on your skin.

I get it. They're not the most attractive things in the world. It can be a little startling to see all those red lines scribbled across your belly. I understand that most women in this world country have issues about their bodies and appearances. I get that. It's just that these little lines are reminders that we've done something awesome. Heck, these stretch marks aren't my first. I got them on my boobs and my hips after puberty - a reminder that I was growing, curving in all those Goddess places and becoming a woman. The new marks from my pregnancy remind me of the awesomeness that is a woman's body doing the most remarkable thing in the world.

There will be a day in the future where my boobs are less full and my abs are back to their usual firm state. The dark red lines will have faded to a whisper. My body will look like it did, for the most part, before I had children. I'll have my stretch marks forever, like fossils on stone, that remind me of my fertility and the fact that my body grew, carried and nourished little lives. So when I look at myself in the mirror now, I'll have to remind myself not to roll my eyes at the muffin-top under my ill-fitting sweater. I'll remember my skin and Mother Nature's tattooed reminders of the miracle of life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fuddy Duddy

Well, boo. I was unable to log on for the past couple of days to get my blog posts in for NaBloPoMo. I was away from home for most of the weekend. I kept trying to write via my phone, but it wasn't happening. I used to be able to access Blogger via my phone in the past, but they must have changed things to be more friendly to the fancy dancy phones and less friendly to phones like mine. I have an LG EnV...it's only moderately smart - maybe a C student. It's not 4G or even 3G. It's more like -1G. Anyway, off to writing I go!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Evil, Thy Name is Seamus.


The toilet paper (which I got on super sale, with a coupon, at CVS): shredded.

My curtains: poked with holes.

Litter Box: dumped onto carpet.

Delicately placed seasonal decor: knocked over.

My favorite sweater: unraveled.

The laundry basket: spilled.

Fresh flowers in a vase: chewed.

My chicken sandwich: stolen.

My peaceful slumber: disturbed by yowling, meowing and wrestling.

You must be thinking, "girl, you've got kids." Sure do. That's not my problem. I have cats. Five of them. Five fearless felines. All of them are naughty, but one takes the cake. His name is Seamus. He's orange with some white accents, freckles and stripes. He's a year old and apparently trying out for the feline Olympics.

This past Summer we had the windows open quite a bit. The neighbors outside could occasionally hear the goings on inside. Because I'm loud. They assumed, based on what they heard, that my son's name was Seamus. They would say, "Hi, Seamus." My son would give them his best WTF look and ask them why the heck they called him "Seamus." The answer? "Well, we always hear your mom yelling, "Seamus! No!" or "Seamus, knock it off!" or "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Seamus, you'll be lucky to live another day." Yeah. Not an hour goes by without Seamus getting yelled at. Poor neighbors probably thought I was a nutcase. They probably think I'm even a bigger nutcase now that they know that was all directed at a cat.

Seamus came to me when he was a few weeks old. I had just punched out at work and walked up to the front desk to grab a piece of candy before leaving when a client brought him into the clinic after seeing him get hit by a car. He lived, she grabbed him and wrapped him in a towel. He was just a sweet little puff of orange with a bit of a road rash. We originally thought his leg was broken. We took radiographs of his whole kitten body - all 1.5 lbs of it - and found that his leg was not broken. Yay. Instead, his stomach and intestines were crammed through his diaphragm and into his chest cavity. Boo. A Diaphragmatic hernia. The lady who brought him in couldn't keep him and couldn't afford a donation to save him. The decision was made to get him a first class ticket to kitten heaven. Sigh. We know we can't save them all, no matter how heartbreaking the case. But there was something about this little bastard kitten that really got to me. It got to a co-worker, too. Before I left she was already talking about saving him. He'd need surgery to push his little intestines back where they belong and to repair his diaphragm. It can be pretty risky, especially for a tiny kitten. She talked one of the doctors into doing it. Long story (and some drama) short...we'd have the surgery done and I'd bring him home to live with us after he had recovered. His surgery was slated for the next day - all he had to do was hang on until then. His breathing got worse overnight. My friend/co-worker stayed up with him all night, keeping an eye on him and letting him sleep in her bra (it's a vet tech thing). The little bastard guy stayed strong through the night despite his difficulty breathing. The next day came and he had his surgery. I wasn't present. They called me to say he was getting started so I got ready and rushed over. By the time I got there, the surgery was done. The vet is that awesome. Seamus was recovering inside my friend's bra (seriously - it's a clinical thing - it's one of the best ways to keep the babies warm). He did well throughout the rest of the day and never looked back.

My friend kept him for a couple of weeks because I didn't want a newly sliced-open kitten in a house with a little kid and 4 other cats. I wanted him to be able to recover peacefully. The day came for him to come home and gave the pep talk that my 1st and oldest cat, Duncan, has heard many times before: "I'm bringing home a new kitten. It doesn't mean I love you any less. Mommy's heart is big and has room for all of you. I want you all to welcome him and get along." What? They're my kids, too.

That tiny, shy little kitten arrived home and took his time to bravely walk out of the carrier. He timidly checked out the room. I fed him a little and then he hid under my furniture for the rest of the day. I let him be. I've been through this many times before and I'm one of those people who will drop a new cat in the middle of the room and let them figure things out. Usually, after a day or two, everyone learns their place and there is peace in our feline kingdom. He was still hiding when I went to bed. I was so excited.

The next day, Seamus found his balls. And his personality. And his spunk. And his need to get into every little thing. He was a wild little boy, bouncing on the furniture, zig-zagging across the living room and dive-bombing any cat that crossed his path. My two girls, Amber and Amelia and one of my boys, Duncan, kept their distance. Gawain, my giant black and white boy, is just a fat lump of love who will tolerate anything, including the tiny kitten who was bouncing on his back. He'd indulge him by playing with him, letting him attack his tail or just plain snuggling him.

Seamus is Dennis the Menace in feline form. If there is trouble to be had then Seamus will have his fill. Something to get into? Seamus will be there. Humans to sabotage? Seamus is on it! Food to steal? There's Seamus. With my other cats, I never experienced walking into my bathroom to find a feline hanging upside down from the shower curtain rod. None of them would ever acknowledge human food. Seamus is like a starved dog. He begs like a dog. He steals like a raccoon. My other cats get yelled at now and then, but Seamus makes me seem like I'm auditioning for "Mommy Dearest." All of my cats know their names and will usually come when called. Seamus knows the word, "NO!" and knows it means his little butt better run. He has this attitude where he knows he survived taking on a 1 ton vehicle when he wasn't even two pounds and can, therefore, survive anything. He has swagger. Chicks dig him.

He tests my patience and my compassion for animals...And just as I'm about to lose it, he stops, looks at me with his big eyes and purrs. Heartmelt. Ever see Puss in Boots from "Shrek?" That's Seamus all the way. Just when I reach my boiling point with him, I'll look at those eyes and remember the brave little bastard kitten who had everything against him and wasn't expected to live. And I let him live another day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attack of the Velcro Baby

It has been one of those days. My sweet little babies were both awake by 7:30 am. I got the Little Dude ready for school, grabbed myself a coffee at Dunkin, dropped the husband off at the Y and then drove myself and the little girl home for some relaxing "me time." Oh no, said she, no "me time" today.

The Little Girl decided that the only place for her would be on Mama's boob. All.day.long. Sometimes she'd doze and I'd think I could put her down in bed. I'd walk over to her playpen and get ready to lay her down when I then notice not one, but two damn cats in there. Bad kitties. Little girl senses my hesitation and hears the, "dammit, Amber and Amelia - get out!" and wakes up. Like, really awake.

We have a little conversation of coos and boogie-boogie-boos, then she'd insist on the boob again, doze again and wake up just as I was laying her down again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. We did this all morning, until it was time to pick up the Little Dude at 12:30. Ahhh...she'll sleep in the car. Not so, she says. We pick up Daddy from the Y and I inform him that he'll be taking the little dude out for a nice walk, so mama can get the Little Girl to sleep again, lay her in bed and have a little "me time."

"Oh no, no 'me time' today," she says. Back to our dance of nursing, dozing, detaching attempts, waking, coos and boogie-boos. She finally falls into a heavy sleep. And so Little Dude and hubby come home. Little Dude wants mama. No "me time" today.

It's easy to get frustrated. I haven't showered today. I had cold coffee and, come to think of it, I never did pee. Apparently, I walked around the house with one boob out for over an hour before the husband decided to inform me. He thought I knew. Sigh. I feel like I'm still holding her in my arms even when I'm not. The frustration is there. A couple of deep sighs are just waiting to escape from my lungs, but naaaaaah. While these days sometimes get the better of me, I remember that they go by awfully fast. I remember when the Little Dude had velcro moments and I'd swear he would be attached to my boob until college. All of the sudden he grew up. He went from being a few months old to being 5 in a matter of days, I swear. My little baby boy who would cling to his Mama for hours now graces me with maybe 2 seconds worth of a hug. He's too busy being a superhero and constructing things out of blankets and furniture. The life of a 5 year old is very busy and their work is quite important. There isn't always time to snuggle Mama as that would get in the way of solving the problem of dinosaurs eating Lightening McQueen. So, I wait until he is asleep. I sit next to him on the bed and cradle as much of his sleepy little 5 year old self into my arms. And I remember the teeny tiny baby who I'd rock in one arm what seems like just a few days ago.

Remembering that, I try not to lose my cool with the Little Girl. Today she is 11 weeks. Tomorrow she will be 11 years and will be too busy doing important 11 year-old stuff to have a cuddle with Mama. By then, I'll miss the days of tiny babies in my arms, attached to my boob or spitting up on my shoulder. I'll wish I cherished those moments instead of loathing them. Cries for Mama and boob will be replaced with, "Oh My God, Mom! You're embarrassing me!" For now, I'll happily be the hook to their loop for as long as they need to be velcro babies and kids.

So my third entry for NaBloPoMo is done. I'm going to bid the computer goodnight and go snuggle my babies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Change Your Attitude With Gratitude

If you hang around on Facebook, you may have noticed that people are suddenly posting about being thankful. It started a few years ago as 30 days of Gratitude in November, or some variation of that title. Folks would post one bit of gratitude each day for the month of November. It can be something profound like saying your thankful that someone saved your life by lifting your car off a cliff. Or, it can be simple - I'm thankful that toilet paper is on sale at CVS. That's actually something I'd be thankful for, just ask my husband. He will tell you how giddy I get to find out that thr 12 pack of the CVS brand Earth Essentials toilet paper is on sale for $5 bucks. It's the little things.

The idea of naming what makes you grateful isn't knew. People have been doing it forever. Some people keep gratitude journals, an idea that gained super popularity from Oprah. Others list things on Facebook or on their blog. We're all grateful for something everyday, even if it's something as mundane as a toilet paper sale. Giving a voice to it and not holding it in your mind is very power. Many argue that sharing what you're grateful for - whether it's in a journal, on social media or being shouted across a room - brings a lot of positive energy right back to you. You give good so you get good. It's another form of Karma.

Whether you want to do it to keep positive energy or just to share the good things in your life, try to list something that you are grateful for each day. It will always add a bright spot to that moment in your day and you may find that you end up inspiring others.

Me? I'm grateful that I have at least 19 readers as I write this. It may not be much, but someone is "hearing" me and I might make some small difference somewhere.

Relief for Itchy Fingers

I've decided that I'm going to try to participate in November's NaBloPoMo from BlogHer.

I used to write and write and write. I'm not very good at it, but I enjoy and, darnit, I've got a lot to say. Of course, my days of frequent writing occurred prior to having my sweet kiddies. Obviously, these mini-humans take up a lot of time and left me without many minutes left for writing. That's okay. Still, I've found that I've had a lot of long writing dry spells. Even when I have time to sit on the computer I end up staring at Facebook, watching cute kittens on YouTube (it's true, I admit it, but they're so bad and so cute!), ordering odds and ends from Amazon or reading other blogs while thinking, hey, I should really write something soon. I've seen references to NaBloPoMo many times over the past few days. I take it as a sign that I should just sit down for a few minutes each day, sip my coffee and write. Let's hope I stick with it. I've always worked better with a fire under my butt, so this should help me get back into the swing of things.

Here I go, then! I'm diving in!

***This blog post was written yesterday, November 1st. Sadly, internet problems prevented me from posting it. I also learned that my phone hates blogspot as it refuses to let me post anything from it. ***
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