Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Losing My Mind, One Cell At A Time

I’m fond of telling people that having children caused me brain damage.  And when I say “fond,” I mean that I’m forced to confess this to people after humiliating moments of raging stupidity brought about by having birthed said children.

To wit, recently I was at the park with the kids, talking to another mom.  I can’t recall precisely what we were discussing because, as I mentioned, I have brain damage, and I was trying to describe the part of the jungle gym that Ginger was going down… you know… the thing that angles down to the ground.

The other mom stared at me blankly.

“You know, that silver thing that kids sit on and then scoot down… from the top of the jungle gym to the ground… that thing.”

“Oh,” said the other mom.  “You mean the slide?”

“Yes, that’s it!” I said, at which point I promptly dropped to the ground and pretended to suffer from a sudden, severe ankle injury to distract her from my swiss cheese mind.

It’s amazing: I can remember random details from 30+ years ago but can’t recall what happened yesterday.  For example, thanks to a temporary childhood infatuation, to this day, I can still describe the technical differences in all the various figure skating jumps despite never having been a figure skater myself, but I couldn’t tell you who won the Super Bowl last year.  Given that I spent many years being a huge – HUGE – football fan, that makes this all the weirder (not to mention that my father, who took so much pride in my love of football, is so ashamed).

Another regularly occurring example: I can walk upstairs to do something and by the time I get there, forget what I’ve gone to do.  I can’t begin to count the number of times this has happened.  I used to think it was because I was sleep-deprived, but little Fred has been sleeping through the night for 15 months now so that’s no excuse.  Then I thought it was because I was malnourished, since every parent knows that having a newborn means you can barely find time to use the bathroom, let alone feed yourself.  But I have no problem finding time to feed myself these days.

Then I thought it might be because I let my brain go after leaving my job, and reveled in parenting magazines, learning the proper way to sanitize baby bottles, puree sweet potatoes, treat eczema, and soothe a screaming infant.  But I’ve since abandoned that mindset and now read about current events pretty fanatically (although I can still get through entire news articles without being certain of what I have just read.  This tends to happen when a small child wearing underwear on her head is banging on your arm and shouting your name while you are trying to read).

So perhaps you can see why I’ve concluded that I suffer from permanent brain damage.  I just hope that I never forget where my underwear should go.

Lessons From Vacation

So as you probably guessed from the paucity of posts lately, we’ve been on vacation.  The kids and I headed to my parents for a few weeks, with GrumpyDaddy joining us in the final week.  I’m tied up trying to settle back in at the moment, but I wanted to do a short post noting that the quickest way to remember what life was like pre-children is to visit people who don’t usually have the tiny monsters running around, destroying their home. 

My parents live the life.  They are retired and basically spend their days golfing, doing volunteer work, and partying with their friends.  They come and go as they please, and don’t need to do three hours of advance planning and bring along several bags of crapola that might be needed in the event one of them suddenly (1) gets hungry; (2) needs to poop; or (3) otherwise behaves in a way that could result in public humiliation.

Watching them live what I would consider to be a “normal” life was a sharp reminder of what used to be around my house.  I just can’t imagine having freedom like that anymore, and boy, is that depressing.

So here’s the kicker: my parents were kind enough to care for the kids overnight while GrumpyDaddy and I took off for a two-day trip just to get away.  It was my first night ever away from the kids and despite the fact that I felt zero compulsion to check in to see how things were going, I found that I missed them.

Thus, here’s the net-net: when I’m with my kids, I need a break.  When I’m not with my kids, I miss them. 

Do they make a drug to treat this particular form of mental illness?

Ginger Rats Me Out

I am still without a computer, which has become more than a mere nuisance. Frankly, I’m borderline homicidal at this point.

The good news is that GrumpyDaddy, our resident computer expert and all-around tech-savvy guy, has found what he thinks will be an appropriate computer for my needs, which basically consist of internet silliness and shenanigans (to wit, this blog).

The first computer he tried to sell me on had all the bells and whistles and did everything but launch nuclear weapons and tie your shoes. Sounds like fun, but the pricetag sent my head spinning. We’ve now settled upon something that is half the price but will serve the same purpose and – bonus! – be faster than my old computer, which apparently got bogged down with too much crap that I downloaded from the internet. What can I say, I’m a sucker for all of those embarrassing videos of celebrities tripping as they walk down the street or getting into bar fights.

So hopefully posting will become more regular in the near future. Until then, I must report that my loving daughter has ratted me out to GrumpyDaddy twice now.

The first time was of little consquence. Fred knocked over an upright planter and sent a plant skidding across the floor. Not fun to clean up, but not a big deal and I had forgotten all about it until dinner time, when Ginger announced to the world that Fred had done this. It was the first time that she had done anything like this, and I made a mental note that I could no longer trust her toddler brain to forget everything I did only seconds after it happened.

Not that I’m keeping any big secrets, but, you know, sometimes things happen during the day that don’t necessarily need to be shared. Such as, and this is a PURE hypothetical that has ZERO relation to reality, when your child gets into decongestant medication, spills it everywhere, and just possibly licks a bit off her fingertips. Not that this ever happened in my house at all. Ever. It’s just an example. I can’t imagine the irresponsible mother that would let this happen.

Anyhoo, the second ratting out involved a true, if indirect, ratting out. We were driving home from errands yesterday, with GrumpyDaddy behind the wheel. As we crawled through our neighborhood, Ginger says, “Why are you driving so slow, Daddy?”

Crap.

GrumpyDaddy turns to me and says, “And just how fast do you drive through the neighborhood?”

Technical Difficulties

I suppose it has to happen to everyone at some point,  and now it’s my turn.  My computer has died. 

Well, kind of. 

Let’s just say that it is acting very fickle and whether or not it works seems to depend upon which way the wind is blowing, hence my lack of posts of late.  I’m not on my own computer at the moment, and the one I’m on is slower than molasses in the middle of January, but I wanted to check in to confirm that I am alive and well, just computer-challenged at the moment.

In the meantime, I’ll offer this tidbit about Ginger: now that summer weather is here, she has gone back to wearing her snowsuit to bed.  She also wants to wear – I’m not making this up – her black turtleneck and jeans.   Meanwhile, I can’t find clothing skimpy enough (while still tasteful) to keep me from sweating my body weight times two each day from the heat and humidity.

I’m not sure whether this is an early demonstration of a future proclivity to be contrarian, but I get all hot and sweaty just looking at her. 

Anyway, back to work on salvage whatever information is left on my dying computer. I never realized how much I relied upon that small metal box until confronted with the threat of losing its contents. 

Meet My New BFF

Today at the gym, as I was getting dressed after my workout, I spotted something that made my day. Another woman was getting dressed after her workout and was eating a Snickers bar in full view of the rest of us, with zero shame. I love it.

Shouldn’t we all enjoy life like that?

Motherhood – The Ultimate Weight Loss Plan?

Random thought for the day: I’m not one to obsess about weight, but I don’t understand why I’m not a size 00. Well, aside from the fact that my entire body frame would have to collapse on itself a wee bit in order to make that happen.

But seriously, being at home all day with two toddlers is the world’s best (or worst, depending upon your perspective) workout. I chase these kids around all day long, with one blessed break in the middle of the day while they nap. They used to go to bed around 6 and 7 respectively, but with the longer days, they are usually in bed by 8 or so. Then I plop down on the sofa, check emails, watch TV, and collapse into bed around 10pm. I sleep through every night as though I’d cross-country skiied that day. Plus, I go to a gym 4-5 times a week.

My mother visited this past winter for a few days and commented that she couldn’t believe I weighed an ounce over 98 pounds given the physicality of dealing with young children all day long. Even she, who is physically active (if playing golf, drinking G&Ts, and partying with friends count as “physically active. Lord how I envy retirees living fabulous lives in golfing communities) found the physical nature of the work quite daunting.

Frankly, it’s amazing I haven’t shrunk into nothingness. But I honestly do wonder what on earth I’m eating that’s preventing me from disappearing into (frighteningly) thin air, because I’m basically the same weight I was back when I used to sit behind a desk 10-12 hours a day.

I suppose the constant access to food is an issue. Who can resist a handful (OK, a bowlful) of Kix cereal or raisins every now and then when they are sitting right there? Nevertheless, I have often wondered why it is that I’m not marathon-ready given the physical nature of being a SAHM.

Diet Dr. Pepper Strikes Again

I hate fast food. Don’t get me wrong – I think it tastes fabulous. However, the older I get and the more educated I get about what goes into such stuff (read Fast Food Nation if you want to have the pants scared off of you), the less inclined I am to actually enjoy what I purchase from such places, no matter how good it tastes.

However, I may have to alter my perspective a bit.

As you may recall, I love Diet Dr. Pepper in an unnaturally strong way. The craving started when I was pregnant with Fred and it never went away. Coke and Pepsi don’t even taste good to me anymore because Diet Dr. Pepper simply is The Drink for me.

So today, while reading the Wall Street Journal (I subscribed as part of my “feed my brain” effort), I caught this tidbit:

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Coca-Cola Co. said Monday that they entered into agreements with McDonald’s Corp. that will give the two beverage companies’ brands a wider presence … (Source)

I can’t make the entire blurb clicky because it’s subscriber-only content, but the gist is that Dr. Pepper – and I’m hoping by extension, Diet Dr. Pepper – will become available in all McDonald’s restaurants starting this year.

I’m pretty proud of the fact that Ginger, who will be three next month, has never had a single bite of food from a fast food restaurant, unless you count an organic cheese sandwich from Panera. Fred also has never had any fast food. Unfortunately for their arteries, I may just be a bit more inclined to hang out at Mickey D’s if they bring in my beverage of choice.

I’d like to think it would help if I merely skated through the drive-through, but I’m convinced that the siren call/smell of McDonald’s French fries alone will cultivate my kids’ desire to eat fast food, particularly since it’s enough to drive me wild.