Friday, February 25, 2005

In the Green

There's something so gratifying about getting out and doing yard work. Maybe it's the sun on the back of your neck, or the breeze, or simply getting some fresh air after so much time spent indoors. Maybe it's the feeling of accomplishment you get from standing back, beer in hand, and admiring your work. It's certainly an instant gratification thing. I can't think of any other activity you can do in two or three hours that yields such a reward.

Until yesterday, my yard looked like something out of "Nightmare before Christmas." Seriously, even the Jehova's Witnesses pass me by on their routes. It's embarrasing, not only for me, as a homeowner, but also an eyesore for the entire neighborhood.

How did it get so bad?

Before Jonas was born I'd spend at least two days a week out working in the yard, tending to my plants, cutting the grass, pulling weeds. Then I got pregnant, and it was no big deal until the doctor ordered bedrest. Then I had to call it quits, and things just sort of fell apart. Wil tries his best, but green things are not his strong suit, and frankly, the time just hasn't been there.

It's hard to believe that it's been more than 8 months since I've had my hands in the dirt, but looking at the four large bags of lawn trash piled at the curb confirn just how bad things had become.

So the worst part is over now. The weeds are gone, the beds are tilled, the fertilizer is spread, the little plants are nestled into their new homes. Let's see if I can manage to keep things looking this good throughout the summer.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I don't give a damn what you think

So many people have opinions on how to raise a child. It seems that my particular parenting style rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I'm constantly being told all of the things that I am doing wrong and all of the horrible habits I am encouraging down the road.

The hottest topic lately is the fact that we choose to co-sleep with our son. Even his pediatrician thinks this is a bad idea, citing a higher risk of SIDS. Yeah, well, we don't sleep on a waterbed, we don't drink or smoke, and we've eliminated all fluffy bedding and pillows, so scratch that one doc. Besides, if they truly knew what caused babies to die of SIDS, wouldn't they just come right out and say it? Their thories change with each generation of children. The bottom line is, it's simply one of those things that happens sometimes, and the professional world knows it's a parent's biggest fear, so they capitalize on it by using it to strike fear in us if we do anything outside the "normal" parameters of parenting.

Besides, I think that if my son were to stop breathing in the middle of the night, I'd know about it a hell of a lot sooner if he's sleeping right beside me instead of on the other side of the house, right?

Yeah, anyway.

I've been told that letting him sleep with us will spoil him. That he will never leave our bed. Now, come on folks, have you ever met a 15 year old that still sleeps with mom and dad? And if he does need to sleep with us until he's 8 or 10, who's problem is that but our own. Who has a right to give a shit where my son sleeps?

My mom offered to give us a port-a-crib so that he can still sleep in our room with us, only not in our bed. I find this ridiculous. Yeah, it might be nice for those rare nights when we decide it's time for some adult activity, but otherwise, what's the difference in having him across the room or across the house? Either way, we're building distance. Let's let Jonas decide when he's ready for that.

My belief with co-sleeping is that we are building a closeness and a bond with our child. When he wakes up in the night, we are right there to soothe him. He doesn't have to lie there in the dark wailing his lungs out until one of us wakes up, and trudges into his room to get him. He knows that we are there for him, 24 hours a day.

My Mom says this is teaching him that he has all the control. Ok. Let's face it, he does. I'm perfectly fine with a six month old dictator living under my roof.

And at night, when it's quiet, and he stirs just a little, rolls toward me and places that perfectly warm and soft little hand against my cheek, then drifts peacefully back to sleep I know that what I am doing is absolutely right. There's nothing in this world that could make me believe Jonas is being harmed by our parenting style.

So go pick on those folks that don't give a damn about their kids. Go screw with the folks who see their children as obstacles, mistakes, and obligations. Our family is doing just fine without you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

When I Grow Up

I hate my job. It's not that the job itself is a bad one, or that the people I work for are impossible to get along with, it's just that ever since my son was born, I find it hard to look forward to the routine. In order to be at work on time I have to be up at 4:30 a.m., drag my sleeping child half way across town, only to put in long hours, fight rush hour traffic to pick him up again, so that I can get home in time to give him a bath and put him to bed.

I know that I'm not unique in this situation. There are literally millions of working moms in the world, so I'm not looking for sympathy here. It's just that sometimes I wonder if it's even worth doing. And to be honest, my work productivity and quality suffers from my lack of enthusiasm. Let's not get into how I feel about my son spending so much time in the care of strangers.

So I'm looking into a medical transcription course. I feel like I already have a bit of a leg up on this, since I'm familiar with the medical world, and I'm a decent typist. If I can complete the course, I can work from home and probably earn more than what I'm making at the clinic. Plus, I wouldn't have to pay for daycare anymore.

The course costs about $1500, and if I work hard at it, I can probably complete it in less than six months. Doesn't sound too bad, does it?

So that's my goal. I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up... or at least what I'm going to do with myself. I guess it's not exactly the career I always dreamed of, but it gets me one step closer to being a stay at home mommy, and really, isn't that the ultimate dream?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sunday, Lazy Sunday

I love Sundays. It's the only day out of the week that I'm guaranteed not to have to go to work, and usually Wil is home too, which means that, at least for a little while, we can act like a real family.

Speaking of real family stuff, Wil and I went out on our first "date" in over six months last night. I made him go have sushi with me. It's not really that he dislikes sushi all that much, but he likes the "safe" sushi. You know, california rolls, that sort of thing.

They brought us out this giant platter of different raw fishes, all delicately sliced, and beautiful on a bed of lettuces and rice noodles. Wil was at a loss as to how to eat this stuff, and to be honest, I'm surprised that he didn't excuse himself to the restroom and bolt out the window.

He was a brave little soldier, and actually tried just about everything on the plate, except for the eel. *Goodie, more for me*

Now, any of you out there with kids know how difficult it is, and how strange it feels to be anywhere without them for any sort of time. Instead of really enjoying our evening out, you know, maybe go catch a movie, or sneak back home for some sweet lovin' while the baby was safe and sound with Grandma and Aunt Wendy, we ate our dinner, mostly in silence, and then promptly went to pick our son up.

I guess this whole dating thing takes time to get used to again. I haven't been anywhere except work without the munchkin since he was born, and even work is a struggle sometimes. I know I drive the babysitter crazy with my phonecalls, but hey, we've had some close-calls with his health. I have a right to be a nagging parent, don't I?

So anyway...

Right now Wil and Jonas are cuddled up in bed taking a nap. It's so cute to watch the two of them sleep. They are so much alike, and I don't think that either of them realizes it. I love the way that both of them tilt their heads to the same side, and that they hold their mouths just so. I love the arms stretched out over their heads and the crossed ankles. Amazing how many things are inherited that we don't really notice, or even think about, really.

So why aren't I curled up in that cozy little bear-cave with my lovies? Because I am superwoman! Yes, you read that right. I'm superwoman, and today is my day to shine. When I went to bed last night I resolved to fix some stuff around here today, and so I've been hard at work since the crack of dawn. Ok, well, since about 9:30.

First I ventured out to the store and bought a few groceries, and some food for the kitties. They were thankful after going nearly 4 hours (gasp) with an empty bowl. Poor little things. It's a wonder they don't just waste away.

After making sure that the cats were satisfied with their meal, I proceeded to the other side of the kitchen to actually fix Wil and I some breakfast. Yes, ladies and gentleman, she's beautiful, talented, AND she can cook, too! Well, sometimes. I made Potato, mushroom hash this morning, with peppers and onions and eggs and hot sauce.

After eating about half, Wil promptly laid down his fork and declared a belly-ache. Oh well, you can't please them all, can you?

Since breakfast I have done dishes, assembled Jonas's new fancy high-chair. It's the coolest thing. It has eight height adjustments, four recline positions, a dishwasher safe tray insert, a separate snack tray complete with a toy to keep him occupied, and it all folds neatly up into this flat little thing that will slide neatly into the corner. A huge bonus for those of us living in cracker-jack houses. Now I am patiently waiting for liquid plumber to do his job on the kitchen sink that's backed up, and then I think I'll tackle the bathroom cabinets.

Or, it's a beautiful day outside, maybe I'll pack up the kiddo and take a walk through the garden center. It's the closest thing to a nature preserve around these parts, and besides, sooner or later I want to tackle the flowerbeds along the front walk. Right now they're full of nothing but deat weeds and two scraggly looking hibiscus. People are afraid to come visit. Our house truly looks like something out of a horror movie.

Either way, it's time for me to give up the keyboard and get back to doing something more productive.

A beautiful weekend to the two or three of you who wander through these parts.