Monday, July 31, 2006

Time Suck

I don't know what to do with myself.

Mr. C has taken Chicky Baby to work with him and I am home, alone, for about an hour and a half before I have to head off to work myself. When I was struck with the reality of having spare time, for however short a period it is, I was immediately overwhelmed with all the things I could get accomplished. My first thought was "I can go outside and read a book!". Then I get all practical and thought "Well, I really should get some laundry and vacuuming done while I don't have a toddler attached to my leg.". But then I decided "No! My garden really needs weeding, so I can get something accomplished and be outside on this glorious day!"

So many choices! So many things I can do with my short break from child and husband! My mind is swimming with possibilities. Which way to go? Which direction to take? Outside? Inside? Both?

While trying to figure out what to do first I figured "I'll just sit down and check my email." Forty-five minutes and 6 blogs, two checks of different emails, and one Jon Katz article later (and one written blog - yay!)...

And I'm still sitting on the damn couch and nothing has gotten accomplished.


Can you believe at one time in my life I was a Project Manager? Now I am the CEO of Time Suckage.

I'm all for audience participation, but it's not usually my bag. But I have to know - How do you all stay motivated? And don't you dare say "Give up Blogs" because I'll call you out as the obviously delusional hypocrite you are. Or I'll call you my husband. C'mon, share. What's your secret for staying motivated?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Okay, it's official...

...I am totally jealous of everyone attending Blogher.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that all my blogging friends who are attending are having the time of their lives - or seem to be having the time of their lives from the pictures they're posting - but I am seething with jealousy.

And green, though my color, is not a shade that compliments me right about now.

It's not that I want to take away from all the fun and frivolity (and SWAG! Oh, how magnificent the swag seems. Pasties for everyone! And, did someone say 'Free Wine'?! Eeek.) but I would truly relish the opportunity to meet all the women who inspire me with their writing and their true-accounts of motherhood. This may be the wine talking (yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the wine. A lovely Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for $9 a bottle. Score!) but you have been my lifeline in this tumultuous sea of motherhood. The opportunity to toast you, and let's face it, the opportunity to rub elbows with Dooce et all, is something I would pay good money for as well as risking my reputation by letting you see my social retardedness.

But I'm not there. Next year, yes. I will attend if it's still "the" thing to do. My husband, after witnessing me whimpering in the corner cradling my laptop one minute and whipping myself like an albino member of the Opus Dei would the next, has already vowed to send me to Blogher '07. If only to shut me up. But that, too, might be the wine talking.

So, instead, I will say this... If you are reading this (and you should, you bitches. Put down the drink and open up my page. I am Uri Geller. Bend to my will, dammit, BEND!) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the laughter. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with me and other's, but mainly me, and thank you for the thought-provoking posts you all serve up for me to indulge in with my morning coffee. I love you guys. I love you...

Damn, it is the wine talking. Forget those last two lines. I'm a New Englander, for Chrissake. We don't love, we merely tolerate the existence of others. And we certainly do not hug.

Aw hell, who's up for a group hug?

Shit, you're all in San Jose. Well, not all of you...

A couple of days ago, Kvetch, in her infinite wisdom, called upon all of us who are not attending Blogher to give a shout out to other's who are not attending. Spread the love, etcetera, etcetera. Well, I've got a few...

My first tasty morsel to dish up to the hungry masses is Mo-Wo, along with her partner-in-procreation P-man. They just had the cutest, if not quite possibly the hugest, baby in Canada. She's smart (so is he) and engaging (uh, ditto). Not reading her (them)? Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. And once more for the wee babe (their second child) - Shame.

Second, is the frighteningly intelligent mother to Bub and Pie. She had the misfortune to find me whilst the summer was commencing, because otherwise I would be there everyday, if only to bask in her IQ and hope that some would rub off on me. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe she is a published author. Something about romance novels. Makes me wonder if there weren't heaving bossoms and flowing locks before the Bub and Pie were conceived. Hmmm...

Third, and certainly not least, is Radioactive Girl. So named because she is enduring much to rid herself of the ugliness that is cancer. Go to her and give her support. Commence with the supporting.

So there you have it. If I didn't mention you in this post it isn't because I don't have much love for you, I just ran out of energy. And wine. But I heard at Blogher they were giving away wine for free. I hope they are as generous at Blogher '07.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just put me out of my misery now, please

My husband is on vacation this week.

We're not really going anywhere, just puttering around the house, taking a few day trips, doing some minor home improvements. He's taking this opportunity to catch up on time missed with Chicky Baby. He's connecting with our child in ways he hasn't been able to do as a full time-plus working man. He reads her books and plays roll-the-ball with her. Now that she's a full-fledged walker, he takes her on walks (actually, I should call them "toddles") up and down our street. In return, she's reaching for him more and more. She brings her favorite toy to him instead of always bring it to me. It is truly a wonderful and glorious thing to behold - the relationship between father and daughter.

But even though he's spending much more time with her, he's still the same guy that wants to get accomplish as much as humanly possible in the short time he has away from work. He wants to clear out the spare room and make it into a third bedroom (for guests. no, I'm not pregnant) instead of a 9 x 11 trash heap of long forgotten books, old tax returns and paperwork, an older Bowflex machine that we like to call "The Clothes Rack", linens we haven't used in a dog's age, and cat hair. Mountains and mountains of cat hair. He wants to weed the yard, clean the garage, and keep our pool sparkling clean so we can swim in it (twice, we've swum - swam? - in it twice since Friday, all that chlorine and electricity to run the filter for naught). He also wants to spend time with me, sans child, as well as quality time together as a family and he wants to visit relatives and old friends.

And he's driving me insane.

Remember, I said he had 10 days off from work. Ten days is not enough time to do all the things he wants to get done without needing to take another ten days off to recover from exhaustion. And just so he doesn't read this ('cause I know you're reading this right now, Mr. C) and misunderstand, I am thrilled that he wants to do all those things and more. I just need him to understand that, though this is a vacation from work for him, this is every day for me. With another body thrown in to screw up my routine.

My routine. My precious, oh-so-necessary routine. My life-saving, sanity-saving routine.

In the mornings after getting Chicky out of her crib we usually go downstairs to the kitchen where I make breakfast for her. A few mornings this week Mr. C took care of this and I got to sleep in an extra half an hour. But even after waking up, fresh from that extra 30 minutes of slumber, we still follow a routine. Feed kid. Feed dogs. Let dogs out and make sure they go to their "spot" to do their thing so they won't piss on our new lawn, leaving large, circular burn marks in our otherwise luxurious, green grass. Make coffee. Drum fingers on counter while coffee is brewing because It's. Not. Brewing. Fast. Enough. Resist the urge to pull the pot of coffee out from the machine and inserting head under the stream of hot java to expedite the process. Play with kid. Change poopy diaper (you could set your watch by my kid's bowel movements. Uh, too much information?). Sit and read paper, online, and start in on my daily blog reading....

And that's where the problems start.

My husband, though he does occasionally read some of your blogs - especially is you leave interesting comments - is not a blog reader. He is not a blog writer. He doesn't understand the time it takes to read, comment, write, re-write, work out writer's block, write again, read and comment some more. He finishes reading the Boston Globe or ESPN and he's done and ready to move on to the first big task of the day. I, however, like to read blogs while drinking my coffee and eating my I've-convinced-myself-it's-healthy cereal. And I'll finish when I'm good and damn ready, thank you very much. Let's just say this is not going over very well with my dear husband, the Task Master. Honey, that spare bedroom has looked like a Super-Fund site for at least a year and a half, it can stand to not be completely spruced up in two days time. Martha Stewart is not coming to visit anytime soon.

So, for the rest of the week my reading, commenting and writing will be sporadic at best. It's good timing, I suppose, because there's this stupid, little conference going on this weekend and a lot of the bloggers I read will be at it probably having a horrible time in climate controlled hotel conference rooms.

Was that convincing? Hell, I didn't even convince myself. I'd give my third toe on my left foot to go to Blogher. What? You didn't think I was going to say 'right arm', did you? Its just a conference, people. A conference where fantastic women are knocking back martinis and wine while comparing notes on all us losers that aren't going. Who am I kidding. They'll be too busy luxuriating in their own fabulousness to even notice we're not there.

Oh, the jealousy though, it is oozing from my pores.

I've got to get a grip. After all, I've got my husband all to myself for the rest of the week. The rest of the week. Oy.

That's if we both make it that long. If he gets on my nerve I can always bury him under that huge mound of cat hair I have yet to vacuum up.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

They shoot Jeep Cherokees, don't they?

See? See! I told you I was a slacker. I haven't posted since Thursday (ignore the line that says Wednesday, I started it on Wednesday but posted on Thursday. Damn Blogger.) but, in my defense, my husband has been on vacation since Friday and we're trying to cram as much family time into 10 days as possible. Heavy emphasis on the word "cram", as in trying to cram a sized 26 woman into a pair of sized 4 pants. Something has got to give. Ah, blog, my love, you are always the first to suffer the strains.

So, where were we?

(takes a sip of wine)

Ah, yes... When we last left our heroines, the Chicky Sisters, they were recovering from their fabulous night on the town. Food. Wine. Music. Skirted tankinis (has that joke gotten old yet? Thought so.). What I failed to mention about the Toad the Wet Sprocket and BHTM concert was that I was informed later that evening by my sister that, because of her "connections" through her restaurant, she probably could have pulled some strings and gotten us backstage to meet the bands. But she didn't. I think I hid my the urge to wring her neck and pull her hair very well. I love my sister. I love my sister. I love my sister. I love m......

GAH! I could have met this guy and this guy! I could have stood there like the awe-struck dork I am and stuttered and sputtered in front of these men, these mere mortals whom I have put on pedestals because they play guitar and sing in a band. I could have told TtWS how much I loved "I Will Not Take these Things for Granted" and told BHTM that their version of "Tangerine" was gutsy and good. Who takes on Led Zeppelin? That takes balls. And I've listened to a lot of covers in my day, but this one is pretty decent. That is a high compliment from me.

But anywhooo - I got off topic there for a sec, I tend to do that when I'm blindsided - what I was trying to get at was I could have leaned over and licked the sweat from their necks before anyone could pull me away. I could have yanked a clump of hair from More's head. Hell I could have coped a feel if I wanted to (that would be wrong. But I would have been that close! Who would have blamed me?) but my sister decided to grow a conscience. Damn her. Oh yeah, today is her birthday. She's 30 today. Happy birthday, Aunt Chicky. I love you, regardless of your goody two-shoes ways. You old bat.

Aaaaand we're back. My sister and I had the next day, my last day of freedom, all planned out. A leisurely breakfast, followed by beach time, and then back home I would go to my child and husband, but I would return tanned and rested and with sand in my ass crack. Oh, glorious day. Well, let's just say that things don't always go according to plan. Breakfast was a nightmare. We waited an hour for our food and when it came the eggs weren't cooked right, the coffee was as good as flavored water and the food was subpar. I will never return to that place again. I don't care if Joey Kramer likes their food and they serve baked beans and cornbread for breakfast sides. They've lost my business.

Mmmm... Corn bread.

As soon as we were on rt. 6A heading toward... hell, where were we going anyway? Chatham? Falmouth? I forget. Let's just say we didn't make it. The Check Engine light should have tipped me off to the fact that there was something wrong with my car before we started out, but nooooo. We had to find out the hard way when we stalled in the middle of 6A. Kaput. Deader than a doornail. Get out the rifle, its time to put 'er down. In a brief moment of clarity, while the car was stalling, I had the good sense to bank a hard right and we ended up mainly on the side of the road. We spent the remainder of our morning (wasting valuable baking-in-the-sun time) waiting for my brother-in-law to come pick us up. He got my Grand Cherokee started and drove it back to Hyannis. After checking with a local garage - who told me there wasn't a damn thing they could find wrong with the ol' girl - we parked my hunk of shit and decided to squeeze in some late day beach time.

Yes, we salvaged the day. We broke out the beach chairs and some great works of fiction at the local sandy spot while I, silently, freaked out over the idea of having to spend another night away from my kid. Normally, I would have loved the idea of being forced to spend another evening with my sister, but this time I was physically ill at the thought of being held captive on the Cape by a dead Chrysler product. I had not mentally prepared for another 24 hours away from the sweet smell and soft skin of my daughter. Away from the "Mamamamas" and the "S'at?" point, "S'at?" point, over and over, answering her incessant questions of "What is that curious object, Mother?".

Was I crazy? I had the opportunity to stay away from my motherly responsibilities for another day and all I could think of were ways to get off that damn peninsula. Could I walk? Too damn far and I didn't bring sensible shoes. Hitchhike? I'm not into potential rape and murder, thank you very much. Nope, I decided to drive my pile of steel and dog hair back home. Breakdowns (the car, not mine) be damned. Besides, Mr. C got a triple A membership that afternoon so I could have the car towed all the way home if I needed to.

I drove my car back home without incident. It made it the whole way without one hiccup or lurch.* And I made it back to my daughter in time to tuck her in at bedtime. The perfect ending to the perfect mama's night out.

Well, almost perfect. If only I had the chance to throw myself at BHTM, then that would have been the perfect night out. Thanks again, Sis.

*(The Jeep made it home, but barely. Two days later I tried to drive it to work and it died at the end of my street. My Grand Cherokee spent the next three days at the local mechanic. Damn. I hate being without a car. But it's all better now, and my wallet is much lighter, thanks for caring.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Of Toads and Todds and skirted Tankinis

Three days since my last post and there is still little semblance of order in the Chicky Household. I've been trying to put my house back to the way I left it before I took off for my single gal evening on Friday and its just not happening. Even though I do have air conditioning it's still hotter outside than a frog's ass on a hotplate and that heat tends to permeate the walls of my home making it insufferable in the afternoons. Not conducive to cleaning, if you ask me. Or maybe I just felt like lounging around watching repeats of "The World Series of Pop Culture" (which, btw, I would totally kick some booty in) while scratching at the heat rash on my shins and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. Either way, progress is slow and I can't put off posting any longer. Summer's are tough on the blog updates, man. I don't know how some of you do it.

I mentioned the other day that I had my first night away from my child since she was born 15 months ago. It was a long time coming. A very long time. But there never seemed to be a good excuse to get the hell out of Dodge. Before you say it, I know I shouldn't need an excuse. But apparently tucked inside that wee baby blanket that swaddled my newborn on the way home from the hospital was a huge amount of Mommy Guilt. Its not my fault, it was the Mommy Guilt. I am powerless in its clutches.

It took a call from my sister and just the right combination of words to get me to put down the cross and leave the county without my child.

"Hi Sis. Guess what? Toad the Wet Sprocket and Big Head Todd and the Monsters are playing at the Melody Tent in July. Wanna get tickets?"

Uh, does the Pope wear a funny hat? Are the Red Sox going to screw up any chance they may have at winning another World Series? Is a Blooming Onion possibly the worst thing you could put in your mouth but yet oh so damn tasty??

In other words, Hell Yeah.

Pass up a chance to see two of my favorite bands from the 90's? No friggin' way. You may be thinking to yourself "Who in the Sam Hell is Toad and Todd?" or "Uh, okay Mrs. Chicky. Whatever floats your musical boat." while backing away slowly making circles around one ear with your index finger. No, I'm not (too) looney. I love the lesser known bands, especially those two. They defined a period of time in my life in the 90's and I am all about reliving my youth, however pitiful that might be.

So on Friday afternoon once Mr. C got home from work I packed up my car and hit the road. My toes were painted a lovely shade of Burgundy/red and my iPod with its car radio adapter was loaded up with some new albums. I had an hour and a half of nothing but me and music... and traffic. Gah. Normally, this is where I would be bitching about every moron driver on the road but I just don't have the heart. I had such a nice time that I'm feeling charitable.

(Except to you, Mr. Land Rover with New York tags. You, sir, should have your license revoked and your car turned into a piece of lawn art. May we never cross paths again because the next time I will not be held responsible for my actions after following you for 3 miles while you drive 70 mph in the fast lane, matching the speed of the people in the center lane, making it impossible for me to pass your sorry ass. Did you not see me gesturing wildly to you? I guess not since you had your head so far up your sphincter you were tickling your intestines with your tongue instead of driving the damn car. You finally made me flash my lights at you. I hate doing that. You, sir, are lucky I'm a lady and I kept my middle finger to myself.)

After I finally got over the Sagamore Bridge (don't look down, don't look down) and went a few miles down rt.6 I arrived at my darling sister's restaurant. Yes, my sister and her husband are restauranteurs. Usually they feed me for free (have I mentioned lately how much I love them?) but that night was a special occasion so, after shopping for that damn tankini with the skirt, my sister and I drowned our sorrows in a fabulous meal at another place in town. Lovely meal, lovely wine, lovely company, and not a Cheerio or high chair or cellulite dimple in sight. The tankini was all but forgotten. Well, almost. When the waitress had to roll me out of there because I stuffed my face with seared scallops with mushroom raviolis and crab cakes with mango salsa... Ah, hell. Damn the thighs! I own a skirted tankini! Viva la tankini!

Where was I? Shit, if I can't keep my own place in the story how the hell can I expect you to stay with me? Thank you if you're still here. Have a cookie.

Oh yeah, the concert (slapping palm to forehead) the reason why I took the night off. It was great, even for middle-of-the-road, this (thumb and forefinger half inch apart) close to soft adult contemporary alterna-pop. Indie-pop? Rock-pop? Hell if I know. For those of you who have never been to the Cape Cod Melody Tent - and that would be all of you I'm guessing - it actually is a tent. The venue is so small that there's not a bad seat in the house, and to top it off the stage rotates 360 degrees. Its kind of gimmicky but it makes for a very intimate music experience. Our seats were so close to the stage that I could have reached out and grabbed a Toad and give him a squeeze. During BHTM's performance there were times when I really would have enjoyed reaching out and touching some Todd. There's something about a lead singer who plays guitar that makes me feel all tingly. And he's a bit of a philosopher. The guy doesn't even need to be particularly good looking, but if you strap a guitar on him slung low over his, ahem, hips and stick him behind a microphone. Ooohweee. Is it getting hotter in here, or is it just me?

After the concert we still had energy so we stopped by a local blues bar and danced like idiots to a fantastic Zydeco band. I was trying to cram as much into that one evening as possible. I actually stayed out past midnight! Look out, there's a crazy Mama in town. Okay, not so crazy because by 12:30 my feet were killing me and my back was crying in agony so off to bed I went.

This is where I get all sappy. That was the first evening that I wasn't responsible for another human being. The first night in 15 months that I didn't have a baby next to me, either physically or over a monitor. I physically craved my daughter presence, it was this primal need. My husband probably thinks I got a great night's sleep because I had a bed all to myself and no worries of a baby waking in the middle of the night, but he would be wrong in that assumption. I slept like hell. I knew I was going to enjoy my last few hours to myself, but I was dying to get back to my kid. But, of course, things are never as easy as they should be and things didn't entirely go according to plan the next day. They never do, do they?

And that's where I'm going to end this post. Its gotten too long and if you're still with me you deserve two or three more cookies and a pat on the back for your stamina. And a glass of milk. Screw that, a glass of wine. Mmm... cookies and wine. But what happens next, you ask? What else did you nutty Chicky's do when let loose on the Cape? Was the skirted tankini a hit? You'll have to stop by tomorrow to find out. Or the next day 'cause I'm a slacker. A shameless slacker. With a skirted tankini.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Do they have baked scrod on the early bird menu?

My apologies in advance for this poor excuse for a post (yeah, like the last two were so tremendously inspired) but I'm still recovering from my FIRST EVER NIGHT AWAY FROM MY KID IN 15 MONTHS. That's right, my friends, it took more than a year but I finally got away from the little soul sucker, ahem, darling child for an overnight trip to see my sister on the Cape. Which turned into a 30 hour long rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs. More highs than lows, I'm happy to report, but it will take me a bit to organize my thoughts on this subject since my sister and I tried to cram in as much fun and frivolity into my short trip as possible. On top of that its going to take me at least a day to clean my house so I can feel comfortable with what passes for order in Casa de Chicky. Which, truthfully, amounts to little more than pushing pet hair around from one location to another. But still, leave a man alone with a kid for a day and that man will only take care of the kid. He'll do a damn fine job, let me stress that - A Damn Fine job - and maybe he'll throw in a load of laundry or two, but cleaning the rest of the carnage is left up to the returning conquering hero, or heroine in this case, come Monday morning.


I will leave you with this, however: Chicky Baby, my little crumb crusher, is 15 months today. And because of what bearing her and the time spent caring for her have done to my body (and, instead of exercising, the time I spent whittling the cross that I will soon be carrying, because all good martyrs should have one), this weekend when shopping for a new bathing suit to wear to one of Cape Cod's fine beaches I bought a nice, conservative tankini.

With a skirted bottom.

I'd like to think that with it's plunging neckline it looks like something Serena Williams would wear on the tennis court, but what it really is is a fucking bathing suit with a skirt. Later today I will be doing Google searches for cheap liposuction.

Until then at least I won't have to worry that much about the state of my bikini line.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

He'll take his over easy

Overheard in Casa de Chicky this evening:

Me: "You know what we haven't done in a long time?"

very awkward, pregnant pause...

Me: "Besides that."

We both break into hysterical laughter.

Mr. C: gaining his composure but still laughing "Um..." Rubbing tears from his eyes, "What haven't we done in a long time?"

Me: "Oh, forget it."

Mr. C: "C'mon. I'm sorry." snickers, "What?"

Me: "I was going to say 'Go out for breakfast'."

Mr. C: "Yeah, we haven't done that in a long time." pause, "Now can we go have sex?"

Me: "Sorry, Honey. I was more in the mood for patties, not links."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh so random

Much love from both Mr. Chicky and me - and, if she could say something besides 'Mama' and 'Dada' and 'S'Dat?' I'm sure Chicky Baby would send mad props as well - for all your wonderful and supportive comments on Mr. C's extremely tough job decision. We really appreciate the kindness of strangers in this situation. Especially the comments from people who have been there. Unfortunately, the deed had to be done via email, as he couldn't get the potential boss-man to free up some time so they could talk face to face, but the guy understood and said he knew it was coming. There is still much respect between them so that's good career-wise. Mr. C has been a bit mopey for the past couple of days, but I can see it in his face when he comes home to his still-awake and thrilled-to-see-him child that he's satisfied with his decision. Sometimes a kiss and a hug from a toddler is worth a slightly smaller paycheck. Much love to you, Mr. C. Much, much love and ooches of smooches.



- When did the Olay company drop the "Oil of" from their name? Were consumers finding the "Oil of" a negative attribute in face cream branding? Was it really that necessary to remove it? Why did I not notice that until today? And why does it bother me so much?

- I'd like to find the jackass who came up with those new Dunkin' Donut commercials. You know, the ones that make you want to jam a fork in to your temple? I'd like to find him or her or them and force them to repeatedly listen to those damn jingles that get stuck in your head and you can't get them out of there and you start singing them in the shower and in the grocery store even though those suckass songs are the dumbest thing you've ever heard but you can't stop hearing them and you can't stop singing them and you want to take that fork and jam it repeatedly in each temple over and over and over....

"Doin' things is what I like to do. Yes!"

"Swimming, soccer, ballet, oboe... And last but not least... KA-RAAH-TEEE! HaiYa!"

Don't blame me for the torturous hell that is the music brain itch. Blame DD's ad agency.

- Overheard at the Chicky Household last night

Mr. C - "I need to watch the end of the All-Star game!"
Me - "Well, too bad. I want to watch 'I Love the 70's."
Mr. C - "But this game decides who gets home field advantage for the World Series."
Me - "No shit, Sherlock. But I have a hard time believing you care about the game, you care about the outcome of this game."
Mr. C - "Yes I do. I care about the game."
Me - "No you don't, you care about the outcome. You don't give a rat's ass if some guy from the Astro's pops out to some guy from the Blue Jay's to end the game. You, watching this game, is not going to affect who wins."
Mr. C - whine, whine, whine
Me - "Fine. Watch the damn game. They'll be rerunning those damn 70's shows for weeks to come, anyway. I'll just have to wait a little longer to learn more about Superfly."

He's lucky the All-Star game wasn't on tonight 'cause there is no way I would compromise and watch Project Runway on reruns.

- Oh, did I mention Project Runway starts a new season tonight? Fashion! Contest! Catty gay men! I'm so sublimely happy.

- I know this randomness has been mostly about TV - so, sue me, its what I'm doing while typing this - but that Dmitri on "SYTYCD" is one tasty Russian treat. I'd like to serve him with some caviar and wrap him up with a pancake. And eat him slowly... With a shot of chilled vodka dripping down him well muscled chest... Um, what was I saying?

- Random cute picture to appease the hungry masses and to get your mind off wanting to have nasty sex with my dancer boy...

Oh, okay, twist my arm... Here's another.

Don't you just want to nibble on those cheeks instead?

Monday, July 10, 2006


At this very moment my husband is probably telling his would-be boss that he can't take the new and exciting job that was offered to him. There is a very good chance that right now my husband is sitting in a chair in front of a man, not much older than he, who has the position and power that my husband wants for himself one day, thanking that man for a job that was tailor made for him. Thanks, but no thanks. Because my husband doesn't want to be a weekend father.

A few months ago Mr. Chicky was offered an opportunity to take his vast store of technical knowledge and put it to real use with real customers and, potentially, begin would could be a steady climb up the corporate ladder. It took some volleying but ultimatley the job offer was sweetened with a slight bump in pay as well as potentially higher quarterly bonuses. But it also meant up to 3 days and nights away from home at least 3 weeks out of every month. And the days that he was working from the local office he'd be away from the house, including the unpredictable commute, 12 to 13 hours a day. Or, to put it into better perspective, all of Chicky Baby's waking hours.

A couple of years ago the offer of this job would have been a no-brainer. We both would have been working long hours, but we would have found time for each other after work. An hour here, two hours there, a long weekend trip to reconnect. We could be selfish with what little time we had. There would have been two incomes for two people (and a menagerie of pets) so the money would have stretched farther. There wouldn't be the stress of caring for a new little person who required diapers, milk, new shoes, and three square meals a day - plus healthy snacks - along with constant attention and love from both her parents. There was no thought of life insurance, wills, 529 plans. We both worked hard, because that's the kind of people we were. Are. That's the kind of people we are. But we're not working for our selves anymore. Now we're working for our family.

Before Chicky Baby was born we had made plans to handle the changes in our lives. I would go back to work, part-time, and our daughter would split that time between daycare and daddy-care (my husband would leave work a few hours early two days a week to care for her and keep costs down). When I got home at night he would resume work through the magic of wireless network connections and his cell phone. It would mean working late into the night, but we would make it work. The rest of the missing money would be made up for with the small inheritance I received after my mother's death the year before. It seemed like a good, solid plan. Then I delivered a seriously colicky baby who needed to be nursed constantly. Once I returned to work, pumping was a nightmare (one bathroom off the main lobby where everyone who came in could hear the breast pump working its magic was all the privacy that was available to me). I was so used to nursing every hour or two that I ended up with at least one nasty infection that kept me out of work for a few days. And then, the final kick in the head, I was ultimately forced out of that job, leaving us with slightly less money than we had intended. Due to my choice of work for the past few years I had left myself less than easily employable and, even if I chose to go back to work full time, finding a daycare that wouldn't take more than 80% of my take home salary and accepted colicky newborns was impossible to find.

That's when my dear, wonderful husband was forced to take on the bulk of our financial responsibilities.

Poor planning, higher-than-expected costs, and some necessary but expensive (oh my God expensive!) home improvements have forced us to tighten our belts. The amount of money I bring in every week from my training classes barely pay for gas for our cars. On top of that, I haven't worked for two months. My husband, feeling the stress of financial obligation, initially thought this job would affect us positively. Unfortunately, the equivalent of an extra $15 a day as a pay raise (plus those no-guarantee bonuses) couldn't possibly make up for missing out on his daughter's life for the next few years and the pressure it would put on our marriage. But my husband is an honorable man, and he feels horrible for letting the company he works for think that he was going to take that new job. Not to mention the possibility that, by turning it down, he could be sending the message that he's not the upwardly mobile team player that everyone thought he was. Is it career suicide? Its doubtful, he's too well-respected to have this negatively impact his career for too long, but there's always the chance this could chance his job track and make it harder for him in the future. The decision to not take this job has been agonizing, for both of us sure, but mostly for him.

There are no guarantees in this life, only sacrifices. My husband had to make the tough decision as to which part of his life he was going to sacrifice. By taking the job there was only the possibility for good career advancement and one day - who knows when? - more money and more prestige. But right now, Mr. Chicky, though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey (okay, sappy. I know.). I'm proud of the decision, the sacrifice, you're making. We'll tighten our belts even more. It may feel like we're suffocating at times but I think it will more than be made up for with all the opportunities you'll have to kiss our daughter goodnight without fear that you'll wake her from a deep sleep. Being a weekend father, a part-time husband wouldn't be enough for you. Being the husband and father you are right now is not only better for Chicky Baby and me but also for you. We'll have to sacrifice a lot, but at least it will be together. As a family.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A very hairy topic indeed

Even though there are far more important questions to be answered - stay home or work, one kid or two or more, keep up with the Joneses or downsize and live with less - I've decided to call upon my blogger friends to help me with one of the more simple ones crowding my mind...

To wax or not to wax?

No, not there, or there, and definitely not there. God knows I'm not going to be wearing a thong on the beach anytime soon, unless they're on my feet. I'd like to know your thoughts on facial waxing. If you're a mother I'm sure you have by now realized that you have become a wee bit more woolly than you were before pregnancy. Pregnancy, the gift that keeps on giving. I, myself, have gained a what appears to be a small woodland creature on my face along with the screaming newborn that refused to sleep for the first four months of her life. Its like the hair I lost on my head postpartum got lost while growing back, or got tired and said "Head, chin... What's the difference? Let's just take root here. Whoopee!"

I come from a long line of hairy women. My mother's family is Portuguese so all the females who got the dark hair, brown eyes, and easily tanned skin also got the curse of the five o'clock shadow and Bert unibrow. My sister, for instance, has been seeing an electrolysist since she was 13 (Hi Sis!). But, lucky me, I inherited more of my father's Scottish genes and escaped with smaller amounts of lightly colored facial hair. And better still, it bleached on its own in the summer months. But pregnancy, she is the great equalizer, and now my upper lip is quickly disappearing under the fuzzy, black catepillar that has crawled there and died and when I'm in a pensive mood I quietly stroke my chin hairs. Its sad, but if I stay this way for much longer I will probably end up spending more time shaving my face than my husband does.

Before my kid is old enough to wonder why Mommy looks like Rip Van Winkle I need to start waxing. But where does it end, where do I draw the line? The skin above my upper lip needs it, so does my chin. That's when it gets tricky. Jason Priestly would be envious of my sideburns and I have enough hair around my jaw line that I could conceivable start grooming it into the latest crazy style. Do I wax from nose to throat and from ear to ear? That's a lot of ripping and tearing. But its very necessary because tweezing and trimming just aren't cutting it anymore.

Yeah, pun totally intended.

So, thoughts? What would you do in my situation? Help a woman out here. But if you are not a hairy beast, like me, keep that to yourself. Because if you let it slip that you don't have this problem I'll find out where you live, go to your house and shed all over your carpets.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pass the tums.

That's it. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. This two day weekend has turned into a four day vacation/family reunion/extended national holiday-a-thon and I am cooked like so many of the meat products I have consumed over the past 90-odd hours. My brain is crispy fried from all the visiting, the driving to and fro, and "quality time" with the relatives, and I truly can do little more than stare, slack jawed and drooling, at Twister on Cinemax, but I feel like I owe you guys a post so here's a brief synopsis of life for the Chicky family for the past few days. But first...

"Another cow."
"Actually, I think that was the same one."

- The Hubby's sister (the Doctor), her husband (the Professor), and their two wonderful children came in from Minnesota 10 days ago and we've been trying to cram in as much family time as possible. Chicky Baby is smitten with her cousins, both boys, aged 3 and 7. She is deeply smitten. She is in deep smit. Hero worship does not even begin to describe what my child feels for her cousins. Even though they were staying with my in-laws they still invaded our home a number of times so we could all swim in our pool. I'm telling you, six adults, 2 kids, a toddler, and two dogs can do some substantial damage to a house. Currently there is a mountain of dirty dishes piled on my counter and in my sink, used beach towels hanging from ever vertical surface, toys strewn everywhere and I have no desire to touch any of it. I'm waiting for the magical housekeeping fairy to show up while I sleep. Even after viewing all of the carnage it was very sad to see them go tonight. Tomorrow they hop an early flight home and there is a good chance that the next time we see them my little Chicky will probably be speaking full sentences. Sad, very sad.

- Two important milestones in Chicky's life happened during, or because of, their visit. Number One: Though our nephews tried their best to teach our daughter destructive boy behavior - and they did succeed a bit - they also taught her how to walk. When they first showed up she was walking about 30% of the time and now she's walking about 90% of the time. Overnight she went from sweet baby to rambunctious, independent toddler. She always had the attitude but now she has the physical ability to back it up. World domination will not be far behind.

"But, I want both weapons of destruction. Since when do I have to share?"

- Number Two: With the blessing (urging?) of my Sister-in-law, the Hubby and I decided to get tough about the whole sippy cup thing. My SIL basically enabled us to be hard-asses (oh, she gets plenty of liquids from all the fruit she eats), so after their first night here we packed up all the baby bottles and put them away. Chicky Baby has not had a bottle since. Yay, Team Chicky!

"Ha! Fooled you guys. I knew how to use this thing all along."

- I learned something about my dear Father-in-law this weekend that I didn't realize for the past 7 years that I've known him. He makes The Best Margaritas In The World. Let me repeat that. The. Best. Margaritas. EVER. And now we have the recipe. And I have one next to me right now. Mmm, tasty.

(and, in case you're doubting me, I tended bar for about 4 years. These are not your typical, run of the mill margaritas. These are special. I don't usually like margaritas unless they have extra added fruit in them. There's something about the combination of tequila, lime juice, and sour mix that turns my stomach. But these beauties are the heavenly nectar of the gods. I shit you not.)

"If they would have given me a bit of that 'adult only' beverage I would have learned how to use this thing much sooner."

- We spent Sunday on the Nawth Shaawh (or, the North Shore of Massachusetts, for those of you who don't speak New England-ese) with my husband's family. All 2, 572 of them. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, there were only 2, 563. We all came together for his Nana's 92nd birthday. The lady is 92 years old and still going strong. I'm telling you, this woman is phenomenal. She and her 95 year old husband winter in Florida where they live in a community for active seniors (a place that my husband describes as college for the over-65 set because its a party everyday) and play golf almost every day. This woman not only is in better shape than I am but she also has a hipper hair cut and cooler sun glasses. Its just not fair, but its something to aspire to.

"Yeah yeah, we're all impressed with my Great Nana. Can we go home now? I'm tired of being cute."

So, to recap: Walking - good. Sippy cup - good. Margaritas - very good. Living for 92 years - good. Long visit with the in-laws - very, very good and bittersweet all at the same time. Today I reflect, tomorrow I detox.

All in all, a good holiday weekend indeed.