Thursday, June 25, 2009

by the way...

after posting that, i remembered that i was originally going to blog about our father's day trip to six flags but i'm no longer in the mood. it was pretty much a disaster as all of my great ideas are. 2 out of 3 fathers didn't even attend. it was 124 degrees and there were 250,099 people at six flags. the story tells itself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

no strings attached...

i've been meaning to write, but for the longest time all i could think about was my vagina. moe can't stand it when i make that a topic of conversation so i just didn't write for a long time. now that other things are on my mind, i can tell you what that was all about.

i got this stupid mirena iud thing without reading the pamphlet or asking the right questions ahead of time. i was literally on the table getting some plastic thing stuck in my uterus when my doctor said, 'your husband shouldn't be able to feel this, but if he says anything i can trim the strings' - ummmm, say again? what are we talking about here? did you just put a puppet up there as a joke? what strings, what's happening? why does this thing require strings and why are they so long and cumbersome that there is even the possibility my husband can feel them?

but at that point, they already had me by the balls, because not only was the thing in there, but on the way in to have it done i was informed that while my insurance covered the insertion at 100%, it didn't cover the cost of removal. 'that's fine,' i said, 'how much is that?' oh, it's $378. WHAT?

after she said that i was convinced it was the wrong thing to do and told the receptionist to forget it, i would just get on the pill (that i opted not to do originally because 1) i can never remember to take the pill and b) do i need another reason? if you forget to take it, it doesn't work... case closed). but then she said, well, i can say you're low income and it would be around half that. 'i still don't want it, why would i pay for that?'

she reminded me that the pill isn't free on my plan, it's around $20 a month. oh yeah... i forgot about that. so if i need protection for a year or so, then i guess it's cost effective to get the iud. then she tells me in a whisper, 'yeah, i love mine - you never have to think about it, you just set it and forget it!' like it's a crockpot or something. she didn't say anything about having strings coming down. i'm still not sure what that's all about, but it doesn't sound appealing to me.

so in the interest of having an open and honest dialogue with my husband, i didn't tell him any of this. i just came home and said, let's take this thing for a test drive, baby!! whoo hooo! okay, i didn't really say that, but we had to abstain for two weeks before getting the stupid thing because i wasn't willing to use any other form of birth control and there can be absolutely no chance that you're pregnant when you get one so we were really looking forward to the day i had it done. blah blah blah, in other words, as soon as i got home and the kids were napping, we did it.

and sure enough, just like the princess and the pea, he stops immediately and says, 'what the hell is in there?'

and not wanting to ruin the mood, i said, 'it's a plastic device in the shape of a T or V that was spring-loaded into my uterus this morning that has some sort of strings attached that hang down through my cervix and into my birth canal. they said you shoudln't be able to feel it since it's technically in my uterus. actually, no one knows exactly why or how it works, but it releases pr...'

'(cuts me off) okay... well, i can feel it'

'hmmmm, well, does it cause you pain or is it just uncomfortable? because if it's just uncomfortable, i say we keep trying'

'uh, i'm not sure. i mean, it doesn't feel good'

'just keep at it, maybe it will get shoved up there or something'

and god bless him, he was a trooper. but now every time he looks at me, he sort of winces a little bit. i called my girlfriends who have mirenas and they were like, 'ooooh, yeah. my husband complains about that from time to time. it's just because the strings are like fishing wire. it also might make you bleed for like a month or two at first' ummm, could you have maybe mentioned that to me ahead of time?!?!

so anyway, i have this stupid thing now and i hate it and i'm not sure what to do about it, but i get a check up at the end of July so i have decided to keep it until then.

but that's not even what i've been thinking about lately so i'm not sure why you even brought it up. i've been pretty sick for the past couple of days and i find it really interesting that i would be getting way more rest if i went to work, but the people i work with get really fired up when people come into the office when they're sick. some of them will literally follow you around with a can of lysol. it's annoying, but i get it. one time, this guy came to the office knowing he had a stomach virus and he HUGGED me before he told me. i was like, why are you here??? and he said, 'i couldn't call in sick. i've never called in sick' so naturally i was infected and out for the next two days, pregnant and barfing my guts out. i still sort of hold it against that guy even though it's a little unreasonable.

so even though i'm home sick, i still have the girls to take care of which means actually doing stuff all day long that is not sleeping. today we went to the public library for a magic show. i had no idea it would last an hour or i wouldn't have gone. i want to say 'but at least andie had fun', but for 55 minutes she clung to me with fear in her eyes until at the end of the show when the puppet bird (Vern) sang Old MacDonald for the big finale and i stood up to go. then all the sudden she was all smiles, clapping and telling me to "'it down, momma. 'IT!"

then she acted out parts of the show and told her daddy all about it when we got home. he had no idea what she was saying, but it was cute. we watched Keith the Magic man online over and over again to her delight while bella napped.

dammit. i really have no idea what i was going to write about when i got on here. i had a clear direction before i started talking about what i wasn't going to talk about... i just took tylenol with codine - is that how you spell it? anyway, i always think it's going to help me sleep but it never does. it makes me hyper. i mean, clearly i'm on something right now because i am rambling.

okay, i'm giving up on this for now and going to watch jon and kate + 8 for the 1000th time today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

i get it now, nana

growing up, we spent our summers on the lake. our parents bought a lot on lake oconee when it wasn't even a lake yet and put a camper there until we were able to build a house several years later. it seems like we were there all the time. as very young children, the three of us sat on the bow of the boat in our foam life jackets and loved it when my dad drove fast. i learned quickly to look straight ahead at all times. you couldn't turn your head or your hair would whip you in the eye, bringing tears and temporary blindness. and i should clarify - when i say we sat up there, we sat just as we're pictured below. while the boat was moving.

i'm not sure how my mom felt about her three babies sitting like that, but i do recall how she felt about my dad's unorthodox method of teaching us to swim. as the boat coasted down the cove towards our dock, dad would grab each of us and throw us in the water yelling, 'sink or swim!' and we would have to figure out how to make our way to the dock - either by kicking or screaming. kicking was the slow way. screaming got my mother out there fast and she would help us get back. i'm not sure how she managed to swim, drag us and curse my father all at the same time but then again mothers are great at multitasking.

after a while, i guess i figured out how to swim well enough not to sink and it was sort of fun to go flying through the air and land in the cool water after a long boat ride. i always kept my legs underwater and kicked like a frog or pretended i was a mermaid. this drove my nana crazy since she couldn't see me doing anything. 'make a splash, kick your legs! make a splash!' even as a young child, i thought things like, 'i am kicking my legs you idiot' and 'don't tell me what to do' and even though i wanted to keep my legs under the water for spite, i usually klunked them once or twice to make a splash. more to shut nana up than to make her happy.

during those early years on the boat, i started chewing on the inside of my life jacket (which now that i think about it may have been directly related to the anxiety i felt about being tossed overboard.... but on a positive note, at least everyone knew which orange life jacket was mine). i probably would have done it anyway, since my mom said i started biting my nails as soon as i had teeth. in school, i also chewed on my pencils until i had wood bits and slobber all over my chin from where i would spit out the little chips of paint that would litter my tongue, but even that did not deter me from the practice.

it wasn't until i was a young adult that someone asked me what i was so nervous about. what do you mean? i asked. they explained that biting my nails was a nervous habit - i must be nervous about something. it surprised me that people could tell i was a nervous person, up until that point i thought i was holding it together pretty well. now whenever i get really nervous about something, i remember that and force myself to stop biting my nails so no one will be able to tell.

i decided to stop today as i worried myself to death about moe and how he is doing with the girls... if he's getting enough rest, enough to eat, enough time to himself, enough time to get ready for work. wondering if i have done a good enough job preparing him, if the schedule is working out okay?...

he said the other day he's like a horse with blinders - he only looks straight ahead, just like i had to learn to do on the boat. i gave him a life vest in the form of a strict routine for the girls and i tossed him overboard, forcing him to sink or swim. only now i can't see how he's doing. i just want to see him kicking above the water, splashing and having fun... maybe then i won't be so nervous.

Friday, June 5, 2009

this will just take a second...

i just paid a bill online. it was the easiest thing ever. that is a good thing about working in an office. you get all of your personal business handled quickly and efficiently. when you leave that office for three months, you may or may not get a notice in the mail that your power will be turned off if you don't remit payment immediately. ooops. so i guess doing all of your bills online backfires when you only go online to use facebook.

last month, i got a notice that demanded i go to the georgia power office in downtown decatur to pay my bill - do not send a check and do not pay online. okay, no biggie. i guess i didn't set that bill up for automatic payments like i thought.

i put the girls in the car and go to pay it.

first stop, 9:30am:

this part was pretty easy - i have a drive up atm near my house so we went there on the way

second stop, 9:45am:
publix grocery store

after securing the cash, i had to stop somewhere to get a money order. i get both girls out of the van and go stand in line. this is the first time i realize that it's friday and i forgot to put any shoes on andie. when it's my turn, i give the woman my cash.

"what's it for?"

'oh, i forgot to pay my power bill, i got this notice (hand her the notice as my voice trails off)'

"(laughing)no, HOW MUCH is it for? how much is the money order for?"

'ooooooooooh, sorry, (letting everyone hear me) i don't ever use money orders. i pay online. i've been on maternity leave (no one cares)'

she doesn't engage in further conversation and hands me the money order. i give a half smile to the people in the line as a sort of thank you for entertaining andie who had decided to hold hands with an elderly black gentleman a couple of people back. he didn't seem to mind so i let her since it kept her from pointing to everyone asking me, 'dat?' as in "who is that?" and it freed me up to hold bella's bucket carseat that weighs three tons even though she only weighs 12lb. after getting her attention, i grab andie's hand and hoist her up on my hip to carry her back to the van.

third stop, 10:15am:
side of the road

if i haven't mentioned it, andie is potty training/trained so we have a plastic potty in the van that we take everywhere. mid-way between publix and georgia power she informed me she had to 'poo poo popby' so i tell her to wait and find a quiet street to pull down so i can unstrap her and place her on the pot and wait.

"read book, mommmy!!"

'no, we're not reading, we're going potty. do you have to pee pee potty?'

"read book!"

'andie, look at mommy. do you have to pee pee?'


'okay, i'm going to wait another minute, but then you have to get back in your seat if you don't have to pee pee'

"noooooooooooooo, read booooooook, waaaaaaaaah, nooooooooooo!!!!!!!"

[i busy myself looking around the van to see if there are any shoes for her. i find them and am thankful that i never clean out the van]

'that's enough. don't pee in your panties, andie'

(wailing, screaming, crying as i strap her back in the car seat)"pooo pooo popby, pooo pooo popby"

'no, you can go in a minute. just wait, andie.'

fourth stop, 10:30a:
meter parking in downtown decatur, ga

at this point i have been listening to both girls scream since our last stop so i am devastated to discover that a) i forgot to bring the stroller, b) the georgia power office is still a block and a half away AND on the other side of the street and finally, after getting both girls out of the van... c) i have no change to put in the meter.

two twenty-somethings flaunting their easily obtained starbucks lattes get in the parked car behind me, hear me sigh and tell andie we have to get back in the van because i forgot to bring change and offer me their spot. there are six minutes left on the meter. i thank them, put the girls (screaming, mind you... still screaming) back in the van and reverse into their spot only to get the girls right back out of the van again so we can walk down the block.

fifth stop, 10:34am:
sidewalk outside of georgia power office

i'm carrying bella in her carseat and i have andie by the hand. after what seems like forever, we arrive at the office. it's packed. i panic and ask a girl going in if there is a dropbox anywhere. she said she thought there might be one in the back. i look around and see a sign, 'drive through payment in rear of building' - thank god - and i turn around to head back to the van. i'm not even going to count that as a stop - i'll just skip to the next one.

sixth stop, 10:40am:
georgia power building

i don't see the drive through, but at least there is free parking for georgia power customers. i unload the girls AGAIN and walk right in the building. naturally, the girls always stop crying in front of potential witnesses so i look around at the people in line. they are the lower middle class to say the least. so, these are the people who can't manage to pay their bills on time. shame. i thought to myself, "i bet they wonder what someone like me is doing here." clearly, i was a lot better than them.

just then, andie blew her nose on my sweat pants and i looked down and saw us through new eyes. my child had on mismatched pajamas, high-heeled patent leather shoes and maple syrup all over her from breakfast. snot was literally caked on her face and hanging from her nose in a string that was attached to my leg on the other end. i looked over at the baby, who had snot in her hair from where i had allowed andie to kiss her this morning, but otherwise she didn't look that bad (besides the mismatched socks).

i turned my attention to myself. i wasn't wearing any form of underwear and realized i hadn't taken a shower. since wednesday. i had on a pair of XL sweats that at this point were more snot colored than anything else (andie had been blowing her nose on them ever since i put them on three days ago), my brother in law's blood-stained Ruston Paving t-shirt and flip flops that wouldn't even be touched by a hazmat team. i can't even describe the shape of my hair and from the stale taste of coffee in my mouth, i'm guessing my breath was also heinous.

i sort of hunched over and lifted the carseat up to cover my chest and shuffled along trying to go unnoticed. i forgot that andie has a thing for the brotha's and she was flirting with everyone in line so clearly we were the center of attention as she smiled and said, 'hey' to the men around us.

as soon as we paid, i tried to make a clean getaway, but remembered that andie had to potty so i searched for a restroom for a split second before deciding she could just go on the potty in the van.

as we sat there with the door open waiting for andie to pee, a woman pulled up next to us, took one look at me and said, "boys?" and i said, 'no, two girls' and she said, "i understand."

it was almost 11:30a before we got back home and i declared to moe it must suck to be poor. thank god we weren't anything like those people....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

obsess much?

as per usual, as soon as i declare something as fact, everything changes. the past two mornings have not been anything like the one i described. yesterday, i delayed breakfast and took the girls on an early morning walk. today, bella woke up early so i had one on one time with her until andie woke up and then i put bella back down and had one on one time with andie. both mornings were great and helped me realized that everything will be fine. i have to work, there's no getting around it, but i don't have to feel miserable about it. i can have whatever kind of morning i decide to have... i just can't go to the zoo or six flags (until the weekend).

speaking of six flags, i am dying to go again but no one wants to go with me and watch the kids while i ride on everything. for some reason, that doesn't appeal to anyone. i cannot imagine anything more fun! when we went as a family a couple of weeks ago (on the very first day it was open on a week day, because i could not wait another minute) moe let me ride on Acrophobia because there was no line. he said he would wait while i got in the line for Superman, too, but it started raining so we left the park. i may just go over there one day by myself and not tell anyone. if i don't ride Goliath soon i will consider it a personal failure.

you're not even supposed to ride the sky buckets when you're pregnant, and i was pregnant for two years, so six flags wasn't that fun for me. even though i went both years. torture. that is about the only rule i followed while pregnant. i stayed off of rollercoasters. and now that i'm not pregnant, it is all i can do not to think about amusement parks all day, every day.

not only do i think about going to six flags here in atlanta, but i wonder if the muffins will mind if i make them go ride a rollercoaster in minnesota while we're there next month and i think about going to ohio just because they are supposed to have a good amusement park there. i can't wait for the kids to be old enough to appreciate disney world because as soon as they are, we are headed to orlando.

i think i am focusing on them a lot because moe won't let me even talk about having another baby so i have to think about things that are good about not being pregnant and my favorite thing about not being pregnant is riding rollercoasters. the next best thing about not being pregnant is horseback riding, which i plan to do this fall. i feel bad about riding horses in the summer. they always seem so hot and miserable that it takes away from the experience for me. i'm sure they hate it no matter what time of year it is, but i like to ride horses in the fall because if i were a horse, that seems like the least miserable time to have someone mount me.

oh!! oh, how fun, i just remembered another good thing - white water rafting!! i have to do that while i'm not pregnant. now i am really excited and hardly even depressed at all about not having another baby any time soon. okay, actually, i am depressed a little and all i really think about it trying to lose my baby weight and hoping that moe changes his mind and wants to try again in august. but you know, i can pretend to be excited until then.

i just thought about something andie always does. i am trying to teach her about opposites and one that i focus on is happy and sad. for happy, we smile and clap and for sad we frown and pretend to cry. whenever she pokes bella in the eye or crushes her by laying on top of her, bella starts to cry. i ask her if bella is sad and andie always says, no, momma, she's happy!! and claps her hands and smiles at bella trying to will her to stop crying. i will be really sad if we don't have any more kids, but if i ride a horse over to six flags i'll be happy, momma, happy (clap, clap).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

oh.... so i have to do this every day?

i could barely sleep last night after i realized that i would be required to come to work every day from now on. yesterday was like an extended visit with friends - it didn't occur to me that it was mandatory. once that realization set in, i was terrified. i am now among the ranks of all the people who count down the days until their next day off - there is little wiggle room as to what my day will hold. when i was at home, the sky was the limit (sort of). maybe we'd go to the zoo, maybe six flags, maybe the park.... now, i know exactly what i'll do. every. single. day.

i will get up at 6a and get ready for work, eat breakfast at 6:30a, get the kids up at 7a, put andie on the potty and then give her breakfast while i nurse bella. i will try to keep them quiet so moe can sleep until 8:15a. i will hug andie too much and she will tell me to 'be back, mommy' because for some reason she can't say 'get back'. i will get bella's bottle ready for her next feeding, i will do the dishes and i will tell andie i love her every time that little shit comes my way. she is too busy to care about that so she says, 'need help, mommy' and it is always help with something she shouldn't be doing in the first place. i will go wake up moe, tell him i love him, i will get my breast pump and i will walk out the door. this will be the first time andie will care whether or not i'm even around and she will cry and scream 'nooooooo, mommy, no go gurk' which i will have to ignore and lock the door behind me without looking back.

i am really lucky, though, because i get to come home and see them for lunch every day. and also lucky because i have about a 10 minute commute so i don't have to spend much time in the car. our time is spent playing and again, with forced affection that andie has no time for and no interest in returning. yesterday i was kissing bella again and again and andie said, 'do dat, mommy' so i said 'oh, andie wants kisses??' and i happily went to give her some, but i got a a hand to the face and a reply, 'no, do dat yay-ya' which meant she wanted to kiss bella all over, too. we needn't have worried that andie would be jealous of her baby sister, as it turns out, i'm the one jealous of her. she gets all of andie's affection most of the time.

maybe she will want to cuddle more when she realizes we only have a limited amount of time together each day. or maybe i will start keeping her up all night so i won't feel like i'm missing out on everything. of course then i would be out a husband because i cannot imagine he would enjoy taking care of two irritable babies all day while i'm at work. it's hard enough to take care of two happy babies. so i will keep them on schedule and live for the weekends, like everyone else in the world who works for the man.

if i keep complaining, my mom will drive me insane telling me that i should just stay home and write a book so i must say that i am thankful to be here and thankful for all the things this job affords me. but in the meantime, there's no harm in playing the lottery.

Monday, June 1, 2009

starbucks, spray tans and spanx... oh my!

today is my first day back to work following my maternity leave. so far, so good. i'm happy to have the time to blog and it's nice to see everyone. i may think it sucks tomorrow (or whenever i get back in the swing of things and actually have to do work), but right now everyone is used to me being gone and no one has called me or emailed about anything. it's actually really nice.

i wasn't sure how i would feel about coming back and to be honest, i was dreading it and trying to come up with every possible way to avoid it. but then, i walked in the building, saw the starbucks and realized, 'hey, i can go get that any time i want' and suddenly life was good.

i go to the local coffee shop all the time with the girls, but there is always a certain amount of planning involved. do i take the double stroller? if i do, then i have to drink my coffee there because i can't steer it while holding the coffee cup and if i drink my coffee there i will have to let andie down or she will be screaming the whole time. if i let andie down, i have to be willing to chase her all over the place. or do i put bella in the bjorn and hold andie's hand so i can drink it on the walk? if i do then i have to wait until bella wakes up from her nap, dress her in something cooler so she won't overheat and once i get my coffee i will have to drink it from a straw because i can't drink from the cup while she's strapped to my chest because i might spill it on her. on and on and on. but today, all i had to do was walk over and get coffee and that's exactly what i did. and i got to drink my coffee with a co-worker who told me about getting laid this weekend. best. morning. ever.

also, everyone is being really sweet and telling me i look great which is good to hear. especially after being around my family a lot while i was on leave. between my brother and my mother, i'm surprised i don't have a complex by now.

a few weeks ago, my brother was learning the art of spray tanning and practiced on me and my sister. we both just had babies (she had zoey in december and i had bella in march) but somehow she and her 5'2" self looks better than ever and i still have a long way to go. to be fair, she looked better than me to start with and her husband encourages her to take time to go to the gym. my husband encourages me to have another donut. we both oblige.

anyway, she went first and she came out of the 'tent' looking like malibu barbie so i thought, okay, i'll do it, too. keep in mind, i am not thrilled about seeing myself in a bikini these days, much less standing in awkward positions in front of other people in one, but it looked worth it so i did it.

as soon as i walked in the tent, my brother yelled to his wife - 'farrrrah! we're going to need another batch!' i tried not to take offense, since he was just saying it as a matter of fact, so i stood there trying to forget i was half naked in the sumo position and waited to be sprayed. i followed all of his instructions while he worked - 'put your arms up... put your hands down... turn to the side... turn around...turn your feet in...turn your feet out...' and that was fine until farrah came to inspect his work. by way of explanation for what must have looked like shotty work, he said, 'i can't get that part good, she's too lumpy. see how right there she's got that roll? i can't get in that part where her skin folds over' and farrah, also forgetting i was a real person standing there and thinking only about how to get me tan, said 'yeah, i see what you mean - just have her put her arms up higher and try it again' ummmm, hello!!!!! do fat people not get spray tans? if they do, i guess they don't wear bikinis, since the fat roll on my stomach seemed to present quite a dilemma.

the tan ended up fine and my ego recovered just in time to take another hit from my mom while she was helping me shop for some 'transitional' clothes. i'm pretending that one day i will get back into my normal clothes so even though i will be wearing these clothes for months, they are still 'transitional' clothes in my mind. anyway, i was informed by my mother that i would look okay if i wore "a spank" under everything. "you just need a spank to hold all that in and you'll be fine."

so anyway, it's nice to hear "you look great!!!" all day long from people who haven't seen me since I was 9 months pregnant. compared to that, i guess i really do look great... even if it's only because of a spray tan and a spank.