Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh hai. You has help? I can has some for her?

My friend Sarah needed a safe place to vent, so when she came to me I said, "Sure, here are the keys. Lock up when you're done. I'm going to go take a nap."

Plus, she offered to babysit in return. She doesn't know that, but she totally did.

But please, help this poor lady in need. She has three young boys, for chrissake. She's tired from wiping all that pee off the toilet, so you'll understand if she needs to bounce a few things off of someone who can cut their own food.

If you need me I'll be sleeping. Better yet, you don't need me that badly. Don't even dare try to wake me up.

Shhhh…Sarah here from In the Trenches of Mommyhood. *whispering* Tania is getting some much-needed sleep. So while I’m here playing with the girls, Tania is graciously allowing me to vent on her blog about something that I am unable to mention on my own – THE IN-LAWS.

We’ve had computer “issues” in the Trenches. Basically, I lost 5,000 PHOTOS IN ONE FELL SWOOP! 4 YEARS WORTH OF PRECIOUS MEMORIES!

(Crap, I hope I didn’t just wake up Tania with my yelling.)

Anyway, it was apparent we needed some help. Thankfully, Hubby’s assistant’s husband is a tech guy. She reads my blog, and offered up his services. They came over on Saturday afternoon, along with their 2 little girls, and Brian went to work. Photos restored! Wine consumed!

It was when I was in the kitchen, preparing some appetizers, that I heard something. A car was pulling into our driveway.

The next thing I know, my IN-LAWS walked into my house. Uninvited. While we had guests.

Needless to say, I was FURIOUS. And needless to say, our guests left fairly quickly. Perhaps because they felt uncomfortable? Perhaps because they felt rushed out the door by the random arrival of Hubby’s parents?

So, upon our guests’ departure, I went about my business. Feeding the boyz dinner. Cleaning up the kitchen. Folding laundry upstairs. Anything to avoid contact with the party-crashers.

Eventually, they left.

And then I lit into Hubby: “What was that?! Why were they here? And did you know they were coming?”

He fired back, “No, of course I didn’t know. My dad asked me yesterday what we were doing. I told him that they would be here so Brian could fix the computer. That’s all. They’re 65 years old. They have nothing else in their lives. They don’t know any better. So don’t be mad at ME!”

So, to summarize:

My in-laws knew we would be having company.
They saw a strange car in our driveway.
Yet still walked into our home as if it were no big deal.

Mind you, this behavior is nothing new. Their “drive-bys” usually occur at the most inopportune times – either just when we’re ready to sit down and eat or else right before we’re ready to put the boyz to bed.

THEY KNOW what time we eat dinner. THEY KNOW the boyz’ bedtime.

I’ve held my tongue all this time (over 7 years). Smiled and grinned and offered them a drink upon their disruptive arrival, while silently seething inside.

But I’m done. This was the last straw.

I’ve decided they need to call us first before they just stop by. Which is all well and good IN MY HEAD, but how do I make this rule clear to them? Gulp.

Do I confront them myself? Yuck. Awkward.

Do I make Hubby do it? After all, they’re HIS parents, right? (For the record, Hubby readily agrees that it was extremely rude of them to stop in when they knew we had company. However, he’s nowhere near as irritated as I am.)

Or do I just GET OVER IT? The nice daughter-in-law buried inside me thinks this is the right answer. I don’t want to be a bitch. I don’t want to make any waves. I don’t want to offend them, even though they BUG THE SHIT OUT OF ME. They’re awesome grandparents. They help us out. They love the boyz to death.

What would you do?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crazy days and desperate nights

When a prisoner of war is forced to go without sleep for consecutive days at the hands of his captors it's called torture.

When a woman or a man is forced to go without sleep for consecutive months at the hands of their infant it's called parenthood.

I'm willing to bet the amount of sleep I'm working off of right now would seriously impair my judgment if I were to use heavy machinery or drive a car.

On top of it all, my body is so run down I've developed a nasty head cold which is making it impossible to sleep, even if C.C. decided to allow it. Which she won't. Last night I got two hours of sleep. I'm not exaggerating even a little.

I barely get a break. I just can't seem to keep up with her demands; her demand to nurse, her demand for comfort, her demand to be walked, rocked, bounced. Her demands are loud and urgent. Her cries are piercing and angry.

She kicks and punches her arms with such force she makes swaddling nearly impossible. And those Swaddle Me blankets? Please. I don't think a baby sized straight jacket with buckles could hold her. But she needs it, she needs to be held tightly or the constant movement will escalate to a frenzy and she'll become nearly inconsolable.

She's teething.

She's rolling.

She's growing.

She's not quite four months old.

She needs.

She demands.

She's exhausted me. She's exhausted my husband. She's exhausted herself.

I love her. I go to her whenever she needs me. But at two a.m., after trying to comfort her back to sleep for over two hours, knowing I'll be doing it all over again in another two, there is rage and fury and tears. So many tears.

I love her. I resent her. It's visceral. I plead and beg and yell and coo. I tell her I love her. I demand her to tell me what's wrong with her. I punch the mattress and press my head into pillows to stifle my screams of frustration. I hold her tight to my body trying to will my love into her.

I leave the room and let her cry. If he's home, I hand her off to Mr. C. and lay with the pillows over my head trying to block out her cries. But still she demands me.

I hate myself.

I feel like I'm failing her.

I'm doing all that I can for her.

I love her.

I'm exhausted.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This is what my life has come to

Meet my new best friend, Box o' Wine.

Mr. C. brought this home yesterday and shortly after my head exploded. But that just means that since I don't have a tongue (remember, head went boom) I can pour it straight down my throat and strangely enough it's still satisfying. And I don't have to deal with the cardboard aftertaste.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Because the next step is barbituates in her apple juice

The kids are kicking my ass.

No, really. Chicky just tried to kick me. Unfortunately for her she's too short to reach my butt and ended up on hers.

You can laugh. It was kind of funny.

That girl has more crazed energy than a Jack Russell Terrier after six double espressos. I'll do just about anything to get a bit of peace. Even... *gasp*...Video Games.

I'm reviewing the VTech V-Motion Active Learning System for PBN (Late, unfortunatley, because the kids are kicking my ass. Oh, I said that already?) over at my review blog today. It looked a bit like a Wii Fit for the preschool set but did it live up to my expectations?

(dun dun duunnnnnn)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zoloft. Zinfandel. What's the difference?

Me: "We really need to sit down and make out a strict budget and stick to it. Things are so expensive right now."

Him: "Fine with me. What were you thinking?"

Me: "Well, for instance, we really need to put aside a certain dollar amount for things like kids clothes. They're both growing like crazy it's hard to keep up. I'm just glad that C.C. can wear most of Chicky's old baby clothes."

Him (nodding but barely listening): "Mmm hmmm."

Me: "And we need to be tough on how much money we spend on wine. No more stopping on the way home from work and picking up a random bottle. We need to be tough about that. I think wine should fall under 'Entertainment'."

Him (perking up): "Can't we put that under 'Medication'? I mean, that's what it is, isn't it??"

Me: "You know I'm totally going to blog that, right?"

Him (lost in thought): "I wonder if we can leverage my Flexible Spending Account for that?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Rawfuls! Um, the Rohfuls? No wait, the ROFLs!

Once upon a time, there were two women who thought "Hey, the blog world is way too full of itself. We should be rewarding those who rage against the sober, and the serious too, and celebrate the laughter with pointless buttons that will clutter up our sidebars and awards that don't even come with a stuffy banquet and complimentary baked stuffed chicken!"

Okay, I have no idea if they thought that. What I do know is that from these women's loins sprang forth the ROFL Awards!

(Not really from their loins because that would be weird. I mean, how would you even explain that to your OB? And to your significant other? And, hey! Look over there! It's a bizarre tangent!)

But! I'd be lying if dry poultry with a choice of two sides wasn't somewhere on my mind when they passed the reigns to me and a certain Canadian. Because if there's anything I love, it's banquet food.

Wait, I had a point here. I think. I'm working on three hours of sleep so just work with me, okay?

The ROFLs. Right.

Unfortunately, time constraints, family obligations, and a lot of persistently heavy posts beat the poor ROFLs into hiding. For all its bravado, the ROFLs is a sensitive beast and it took a mighty warrior to ride in on her magnificent steed to coax them out of their hiding place.

It was... The Nominatrix!

And my, how she rode that steed. She rode it hard and proud, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Which is strange since she has a preference for riding park rangers.

What was I saying?

She spoke to them of sun dappled meadows full of happy, dancing children who slept 12 hours at a time and lured them out with bits of Twinkies, a nice Pinot Noir, and promises of laughter and ponies and rainbows. And laughing rainbow ponies drinking Pinot Noir.

And on the seventh day, she rested.

(Three hours of sleep and we'll see how well you do with keeping your stories straight. The only thing on my mind today is the ROFLs and sleep. And more sleep.)


Jessica of Oh, the Joys and I are bring back the ROFL Awards but we NEED YOUR HELP. Yes! All caps! That is how much we NEED YOUR HELP.

But how, Tania? How can I help?

Funny you should ask.

Nominate a post for the September ROFL Awards!

The deadline is October 1st.

To nominate:

1. Pick a post from the month of September that made you laugh.

[Please only choose original material written or developed by a blogger, any blogger - i.e., not a YouTube video, cartoon, or joke circling the Net. Because, dude, lame.]

2. E-mail me a link to the post that you are nominating AND a link to your blog by October 1st.

[Jessica and I will send you the award button so you can share it with the blogger you've nominated.]

3. On Friday, October 3rd, write a post on your blog about the post you chose.

[Please link back to this blog and to Jessica at Oh, the Joys so that people can see the full list of award winning funny posts.]

4. Send the award button code to your awardee so they can post it.

We're also rebuilding the ROFL Award mailing list.

If you want to be included on the mailing list and recieve monthly notifications about the upcoming ROFL deadlines, leave a comment here with your e-mail address listed or Jessica an e-mail at OhTheJoys(at)GMail(dot)com.

Feel free to e-mail me with questions.

I can't wait to bring back the funny! Right after I get some shut eye.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Maybe we should change her name to "MeMe"

C.C. is a talker, a big one, and the more tired she is the more talkative she gets. Which means she'll probably grow up to be that really annoying girl at the slumber party who dares everyone to stay awake all night long. You know the one, the girl who will put your bra in the freezer if you're the first one to fall asleep and then tell all the boys at school about your icy boobs.

But even when she's perfectly rested C.C. is the type of baby who likes to engage whomever is near, and that someone is usually me. Her eyes will follow me where ever I go and when I turn to look she shoots me the sweetest smile before chattering away. And that smile is the reason why she's still allowed to live in my house after waking me up every two hours last night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Repeat after me: No matter how much I want to staple my kid to the wall, I must stay positive

Now, repeat that 50 times and read my review on "Ready for Bed" and "Ready for the Day" (for the Parent Bloggers Network), books not only for kids but also to remind parents to stay positive and help their kids make correct decisions. With all we've been going through lately they've definitely helped.

Seriously. Go read now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meta blogging through real life. Now with more blasphemy!

Even though I sounded like a whiny shit on my last post (come on, admit it. I was pretty whiny even if life was kicking my ass) you all left the most wonderful comments anyway, so I thank you from the bottom of my cold, dead heart.

I always told myself that if I was going to post something on this blog it was going to be 100% truthful. I may not include everything that is going on in my life but what I do share I am open and honest about. Warts, whine and all. I am not this open in my real life but here, as strange as it sounds, I feel safe to let it all hang out. Figuratively speaking of course. I'll leave the boob flashing to my more uninhibited friends.

The other night I shared this blog with a friend of mine (Hi K.!). I had recently begun to open up about this site with my friends - when in the past I had kept it secret from all except my husband and sister, even going so far as to use a nickname instead of my real name (Have you noticed yet? Look to the right. Higher. Higher. Yeah, that's it. That's me. Hi! *waving*) - so I felt comfortable doing so. Especially since she answered an email of mine practically begging for a playdate with a plea of her own. She's also a new mom of two and going through the same crap that I am and it seemed like she felt a little alone in her woe. So off I sent my site address.

Alone? Ha! I'll show you how NOT alone you are, friend. There's a whole community of people out there who know exactly what you're going through. Let me share the love with you.

I don't feel as comfortable doing this in real life. Sharing, I mean. I don't think I'm going out on a limb here when I say that in my every day travels to preschool, playdates, and visits to our local fight club other parents seem to have their shit together when I feel like I'm falling apart. I know this isn't true, but damn if the mothers especially seem to have both feet firmly in reality when I'm floating in the ether. It makes me want to shake them. What is your secret?! Why are you handling this so well?! And who does your hair?? Because it looks fabulous.

It felt like there was a short period after C.C. was born that whenever someone asked me how I was doing I felt compelled to tell them exactly how I was doing. They would ask innocently and out would come this vile spew of words before I could shut my big yap to stop them. And their faces, oh lawdy, the look on their faces when they realized their innocent question was getting them covered in my emotional vomit... After that I figured it was better just to keep my feelings to myself. Everyone was left decidedly less gooey.

And that's the beauty of this medium. When I need to purge, I purge. You can choose to read now, save it for later when you feel ready to deal, or move on quietly. Rarely, but sometimes, someone will tell me to suck it up, and sometimes I need to hear that, but for the most part you offer kind words and virtual hugs and reassurance that things will get better. Here, have a glass of wine and a Xanax, you say to me. This too will pass.

Okay, you've never offered me a Xanax. Ahem.

This is not to say I don't love my real life friends and know they'd be there for me. There are just some barriers to break down before I can feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone to any one of them and scream "GAAAAAAAAH!" and hang up and know that they'll know and understand and empathize. The women I consider my friends today (Hi guys! Please don't look at me too funny when we next meet, 'kay? This will all make sense. Promise.) were not made in the same way I had made friends in the past. We have come together because our common thread is our children. We also came together because there was something about the other that we liked, yes, but our kids were the ice breaker. Strange relationships these are. Strange and wonderful but odd and sometimes uncomfortable during the feeling out process.

Which is why I finally came out of the blog closet and shared.

(Yes, that was the point of this post. I knew I'd get to it eventually. What? Like you've never had a brain dump before?)

Now if they choose to read, my friends will know exactly how I am feeling. No pretenses, no pretending, just me and my baggage. Maybe I can convince a couple of them to start their own blogs. It's very therapeutic. Kind of like confession.

Forgive me mothers for I have sinned, it's been 9 days since I've bathed my baby.

Say five Goddammits, ten Jesus Christs, and have two bloody marys. Go in peace, my sister.

If they chuckled at all at that last bit, we'll all get along just fine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Crying in my w(h)ine

When I was two years old my Mom and Dad and my grandparents, my Dad's parents, took me on a family trip to the sweetest place on earth - Hershey Park, Pennsylvania.

It turned out to be, apparently, the family vacation from hell.

I know this because my parents have never let me forget how I ruined that trip for everyone because I was such a brat. The story still comes up periodically and my dad - and before she died, my mom - takes great pleasure in telling whomever will listen how I screamed and cried all day and how my poor mother broke down and my grandparents had to step in and take me away for a few hours so that sainted woman who so generously carried me for nine months and then forcibly pushed me from her lady parts could get a few hours of peace away from her ungrateful toddler.

Yeah, that's fun.

What is sometimes included is the conditions of the day - Hot and Sunny. Very hot and very sunny. What is never included is if I was given adequate food, snacks and liquids to balance out the heat, excitement and inevitable chocolate overload. If I had a nap that day or how I was sleeping during that trip overall. But for the past 33 years I've had to listen about how I single-handedly ruined what might have been a lovely family vacation with my terrible behavior.

So to recap - I was probably not eating right and was probably hopped up on sugar. I was in a strange place, away from home, and probably overexcited. It was 90+ degrees. I was TWO FREAKING YEARS OLD. I'm going to be 36 years old in a few days and yet I'm still subjected to this story and the blame, always the blame. My parents have never taken any of the blame onto themselves. Ever.

Why yes, I do have a wee bit of a chip on my shoulder. Why do you ask?

I mention this because we've been having a tough go of it with Chicky lately. Her turning three (apparently an even tougher age than two for some kids and a little nugget of information SOMEONE should have told me before I decided to have unprotected sex, thankyouverymuch) coincided with C.C. being born and our subsequent move to a new home, not to mention her starting preschool. A lot is going on in that girl's life and I don't know if it's all the changes or just the age, but whatever it is I'm failing her. Yes, I'm failing her.

She whines and cries more than any child I've ever seen and most days I just can't deal. I'm trying my best but she breaks me down. And sometimes, in my greatest moments of weakness, I blame her for being hateful and defiant. I blame her for peeing on the floor when just a minute before I reminded her to use the bathroom. I blame her for being too rough with her sister and making her cry. I blame her for my headache after she's spent the past hour running through the new house screeching at the top of her lungs. I blame her for being three.

Isn't that the stupidest thing you've ever heard?

But then I remember how my parents made me feel every time they brought up that day in Hershey Park and I hate myself.

I told Mr. C today, after a particularly draining afternoon, that I need to go back to work. Not necessarily because I need the personal fulfillment but because I need to give my children to someone else to deal with for awhile. I probably don't have to say how that made me feel, right?

Oh. I do? Like shit, that's how. Like a big pile of steaming dog shit. Not a nice visual, but it drives the point home.

What can I do? I'm desperate and I need help. I'm reaching the end of my rope, so I'm asking you, Internets, what do you do, what have you done in the past, that has worked? A book, a method, a roll of duct tape?

Another glass of wine, perhaps?

I wait anxiously for your suggestions. Really. Anxiously and exhaustedly. Because if there was any time that I refuse to be like my parents, it is now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Crazy going slowly am I

Have you ever had one of those days when life is just too overwhelming and every day obligations have pushed you to the edge of insanity and then your children, whom you love and hold more dear than any other being on the face of the earth, so much so that you would willingly step in front of a bus to save their precious little lives, collectively pick you up and toss you over that cliff into a deep, dark pit of despair so that you're left sitting on the floor in the corner of your bedroom hugging your knees, rocking back and forth, singing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow", and plotting your escape from this life you've created for yourself by running away with the guy who runs the Tilt a Whirl in one of those traveling carnivals that set up for the weekend in the local bank parking lot - you know the one, the guy with the missing front tooth and acid washed jean jacket - because residing in a beat up pop up trailer with some guy named "Hacksaw" and cooking Chef Boyardee on a camp stove in a housecoat while chain smoking Pall Malls sounds far more pleasurable than having to deal with one more whiny preschooler meltdown or wiping one more shitty ass?

Just me?

Yeah, thought so.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

If one more major life change happens I think my head will explode

We're in.

The house, I mean. We're in the new house. Can I just say... Wow. If you're planning on moving with young children don't do it. Take some advice from your pal Chicky and just don't do it. Or, if you decide to not heed my good advice and move anyway, don't expect it to be sunshine and puppies. Not that we expected sunshine and puppies, not even unicorns and rainbows, but maybe flowers and a brass band....

What was I saying?

Oh yeah. Moving.

We're exhausted. Moving, whether it's five miles or five hundred miles, is tough. And to add insult to injury C.C. has decided that sleeping at night really isn't her thing and partying at 3am is. So that's fun.

Alright, she was sleeping in this picture. And maybe we forgot she was out there with all the commotion going on. But when we remembered she was still sleeping so it's totally okay and not necessary to call the proper authorities on us.

The new house is fantastic, I think, but it's hard to see the house for the boxes. Our anniversary was this weekend, but that kind of got overlooked in all the madness. I'll have all sorts of stories soon but I have something much more important on my mind today.

Chicky has started school.

My baby started preschool this morning. I'll admit I did get a little teary eyed when she took her friend's hand and they walked into the classroom without so much as a kiss goodbye. I'm a big enough woman to own up to it. I'm a bit weepy this morning. She's never been to anything like this before without me. She's never been to daycare, never had a babysitter who wasn't a relative or close friend even. Cutting the cord is tough, I just didn't expect it to be done so quickly and without any ceremony. And without even a hug.

With her new "pack pack". If I had a pack pack I'd keep my Zoloft in it.

But while she's at school I need to unpack more and find the cat, which I'm pretty sure is in a box around here somewhere, so I'll be back soon with those stories I promised before. Because the world loves a good moving story. It's right up there with a play by play of your great Uncle Harold's gall bladder surgery. You're excited, I can tell.