Monthly Archives: April 2010

Quiet

A few days ago, I came home from lunch out with the husband to find two cop cars parked across the street from my house.  Living in a relatively high crime area, seeing multiple police cars is not a rare occurrence.  Seeing them just parked outside without a flurry of activity going on around them was what was strange.  Now, I don’t know what they were doing there, but there was a noticeable change in the neighborhood: no blasting stereo.  We have been e-mailing the “neighborhood stabilization officer” (whatever that means) about the problem and had told her that despite repeated calls to the police and polite requests by us, they continued to listen to their music at unreasonably high volumes between the hours of 2 and 9 pm.  In fact, on a recent occasion when Brian went to ask them to turn it down – the guys who were outside were actually polite and told him “No problem, we got you man” – the woman who owns the car came outside and in essence told off the polite gentleman for turning it down for us.  She then proceeded to tell Brian that she didn’t want to see him near her car again (what?) and that she was just having a good time and quote: “I ain’t botherin’ nobody.”  And her and her bitch friends would sit outside and make rude comments whenever I would pull up in front of the house and get out of my car, which is why I now park in the garage even though its a pain in the booty and means I have to lug the car seat through the backyard, down the walkway between the houses and around front again, fortunately shielded from their view by the two trees out front (oy).  This is a rambling way of saying: our e-mails resulted in a cease and desist order being issued to their landlord and posted at the house.  My guess is that the cops were there to ensure that it was enforced.

So, it’s been quiet.  Does this mean we’re no longer moving?  Absolutely not.  We got approved on Wednesday and on Sunday we go to sign the lease.  Over the next several weeks we will move this life across town.  I wish we could make a clean break and be done with the house, but we have to at least try to sell it (that’s a whole other story) and movers are expensive.  As much of our stuff that we can get there in our car or in our friends’ cars will be taken out over the next week or so and then movers will come for the furniture.

Lorelei, fortunately, is taking this very well for a not quite six month old, and has been very happy the last few days:

Who’s going to tell her Christmas is not in April?

I got a ball!

Timeline

Time to spill the beans (to those that don’t follow me on Twitter):  We’re moving.

If our application is approved.

If the realtor thinks we can sell the house for what we owe.

If, if, if…

This time last week, I was stressed out, completely exhausted and on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown.

Now, I’m stressed out and completely exhausted, but I’m also excited.

Tomorrow night, the realtor is coming by so we’ve been trying to get the house a little more sale ready so that he/she won’t completely laugh in our faces.  We fixed the drain in the bathroom sink and replaced the toilet seat.  Random nails left from the previous owner that we never removed have been pulled from the walls.  Soon, we will begin spackling (spackeling? spackleing?) the holes and touching up the paint.

The impending move has been the swift kick in the pants I needed to finally finish the process of purging the closets and basement since we won’t have as much space for storage.  Most of the furniture is going with us, but there are a few things that won’t be able to fit in the new place.  I’ll be sad to have to get rid of the glass pub table in our sun room and (possibly) the big bookcase in the office (it’s glass and I don’t think there will be a wall to put it against, so it’s not very safe).

We should know for sure about our application by Wednesday.  I’m puking in my mouth a little just thinking about it.  We have to get our occupancy permit by Friday and on Sunday we’ll be taking possession of our new apartment.

Freak out level HOLY SHIT! has been reached.

This time a week ago, I never thought I would be so close to leaving this house.

This time next week, I could be almost moved to a new and better place.

Tornado Warning

As I write this, the sky is a clear blue with just a few wispy white clouds.

Two hours ago, the sky was dark and tinged with green.

I was in the car, after picking up Brian from the Metrolink station, and headed for home.  Lorelei was chattering happily in the backseat, sucking on her binky and playing with her monkey rattle.

The storm came suddenly.  One minute it was a bit of light rain and the next it was coming at us horizontally.  I pulled off to the side of the road and turned the engine off.  It started to hail.  The wind shook my tiny little blue car.

I kept saying over and over, “I don’t want to die in my car.  I don’t want to die in my car.”  I could imagine a tornado coming by and lifting us into the vortex.

When it let up enough, I drove white knuckled on surface streets until we reached the Target with the underground garage.  At this point, the rain wasn’t too bad, but I was so tense from driving in the storm and feeling like the car had no traction as we went through enormous puddles from backed-up storm drains, that I needed a break.  And the husband wanted crack coffee.

As quickly as it came, it was gone.  Leaving a flooded sunroom in it’s wake.  But at least it wasn’t the basement and at least the ceiling in the living room didn’t start leaking again.  That’s one bit of good luck I suppose.

It would have been really nice if a tree had fallen on my neighbor’s car, but alas, it did not.

Odds and Ends

Overheard in my neighborhood this week:  A small child, maybe four or five, spent several minutes yelling “Mama!” over and over.  What did her mother say, “Stop yelling for me or I’m gonna whup your ass!”  I could not make this shit up.  That is what she said word-for-word.

Why do I torture myself with shows with incredible amounts of sexual tension.  My blogging friend, AndreAnna, already mentioned the Booth and Bones thing.  Why did you turn him down Bones?  Why?  Want to throw things at the TV!  Tony and Ziva on NCIS.  Every time I watch that show I want to scream, “Will you two just do it already!”  Castle and Beckett.  Come on!  I have no idea why I get so worked up about other people’s fake relationships, but there you go.

The other night I had a really weird dream.  It was a bizarre mix of Terminator and Transformers.  Well, Shia LaBoeuf (or however you spell his name) was there, at least.  And he was hiding from the Terminators.  Also, Ahnold was in it.  Although, oddly, he was wearing a helmet that was one part Stormtrooper and one part Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica.  I swear I’m not on drugs, but sometimes I have really effed up dreams.

WARNING: THIS IS A WHINY RANT

I know you are all tired of hearing me complain about my neighbors across the street (and Sean, I swear to G-O-D, if you tell me that it’s because I live in the “hood” and I should just move, I will punch you in the nose) but it is getting worse.  I could put up with it if it were maybe an hour or two in the evening.  I could put up with it if it wasn’t so loud I can feel my house vibrating.  Unfortunately, the music starts at about 2:30 in the afternoon and goes until six or seven or sometimes even later at night.  Husband and I have called the cops, repeatedly.  This is mostly because I am not comfortable going across the street and asking them to turn it down (when I get mad, I get emotional and that would just make the situation worse).  We were convinced that they weren’t coming, but when Brian went to ask them to turn it down yesterday evening, they asked if we were the ones calling the cops.  (Like we would tell you if we were)  Then, they go on to say that they’ve been doing this for four years and no one has complained before.  BULL.  SHIT.  We have lived here for four years and other than once or twice on the weekends last summer, this has never happened before.  Oh, and they haven’t even lived here four years.

I feel like a prisoner in my own house.  Not because I can’t leave – I can – but because I shouldn’t have to.  I can’t get anything done because I’m so distracted by the music and so mad that they seem to not give a shit about anyone else.  Lorelei doesn’t take real naps anymore.  It is impossible to get her to go to sleep and if – by some miracle – I do succeed, she wakes up after only a few minutes.  I’m tired because she’s not sleeping well at night (stupid teeth) and I would very much like to at least lay down and have some quiet, even if I don’t sleep.

We don’t really have any options right now.  Although our house is worth more than what we paid for it, I get the feeling that selling it would be a major hassle.  And if we did, where could we move to?  Houses in our price range are going to be in similar neighborhoods or ass-far away from Brian’s job.  We only have one car and we can’t afford another one right now, so we have to live near a bus route so he can get to work (I sure as hell am not going to drive him to work everyday, waste of gas and money that is).  I honestly don’t know what to do.  Should I just learn to get over it?  Should I keep calling the cops everyday until the situation changes?  Do we foreclose on the house and try to find an apartment that is big enough for us and close enough to Brian’s job?  I’m barely holding it together right now.  I was just getting to the point where I wasn’t feeling completely depressed and anxious and now I’m back to barely functioning.  Someone please help me.

There.  End rant.

Here’s hoping that I can go back to all rainbows and unicorns and sunshine and puppies sometime soon.

I’m (Not Really) So Vain

I don’t take very good care of myself.

It’s not that I don’t care.  I do.  But, there is always something more important for me to be doing.  Or, at least, that’s what I think.

Today, I plucked my eyebrows.  For the first time in probably two years and I last got them waxed about a year ago.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment.  I’m fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to possess eyebrows so pale that they are almost invisible, so my lack of plucking is not very noticeable unless you are right on top of me.  But, I had some time this morning and figured I would tackle the forest that was growing on my forehead.  OH.  EM.  GEE.  I now remember why it is that I never do them myself.  Ow ow ow.  Waxing may hurt, but at least it only lasts for a second.  This was ten minutes of me wincing in pain.

Of course, after all this, I got to thinking about what I used to do.  I used to go to the “spa” at least once a month and splurge on a mani/pedi and a wax.  I would go over there after a long shift of death at [redacted] and relax.  There is nothing more wonderful than sitting in a massage chair while someone else deals with your nasty, smelly, work in a restaurant, totally fucked up feet.  And the sugar scrub.  I miss being able to have the time and money for that indulgence.

Today my “pedicure” is noticing that my toe nails have gotten to be more like talons than nails and then clipping them super short so I can go as long as possible before I have to do it again.  Gross, I know.  And a manicure?  Forget about it.  If a nail breaks, I pull that one off and go on with my life.  Until, that is, three or more nails have broken off and then I trim them.  Back in the day, when I played piano and violin, I had to cut my nails every other day (or so it seemed), now I enjoy knowing that is no longer a necessity.

All of this is on the outside.  There are certainly other things that I can add to the list of reasons why I don’t take care of myself.  1) I enjoy fast food on a semi-regular basis (although, recently I’ve been better).  2) I get no sleep (not entirely my fault) and 3) I allow myself to get stressed out far too easily.

I’m not really vain.  I swear.  I enjoy the rare occasion when I look nice, but I’m just as happy to leave the house in sweats and a t-shirt with my hair in a pony tail.

How about you all?  Anything that you wish you took better care of?

P.S. Anyone in St Louis want to babysit so I can get a pedicure?  It’s sandal season and no one needs to see my gross ass feet.

Justification

Last week was long and exhausting.  I’m really really really (can you tell I’m REALLY) glad that I got to spend so much time with my friend Rory.  She lives all the way in Oregon now which means I never see her.  It was fun to hang out with her at Einstein Bros and then have Chinese food and play Guitar Hero with her and Ryan while the baby took a nap.  We got to go to the Botanical Gardens (my favorite Wednesday morning activity) and walk among all the blooms.  By the way, I was there only a month ago and the difference is astounding, there is so much blooming right now it is incredible.

By the end of the week, however, I was exhausted.  I don’t usually make a lot of plans during the days because I get to nap when Lorelei naps when I’m tired.  If I got next to no sleep the night before, I don’t have to think about putting on real clothes or taking a real shower.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a great week, but I’m glad to be back to normal.  Especially after the marathon crying session of Thursday night and Friday morning.  I swear, she has been teething for a month now and there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress.  Unless you count more screaming as progress.  There’s excessive amounts of drool and a big ol’ bump that shows which tooth it is, but still not much improvement.  I am ready for these teeth to finally arrive.  For the love of G-O-D.

And all this leads me to what I was going to say which is, I don’t have anything particularly exciting to write about.  So, today you get my opinion on those touchy subjects of parenthood.  For kicks.  (Brian calls us granola, in case you were wondering.) I’m not an expert and I am not trying to convince anyone that their way is wrong or that my way is the only way to do things, I just want to get it out there.

  • Breastfeeding: Here’s the deal: I get why many mothers chose not to breastfeed.  It is a pain in the ass.  I spent the first month (or more) with Lorelei attached to my boob twenty-four hours a day (or so it seemed).  Don’t get me started on night number two in the hospital which ended with both of us in tears.  And breastfeeding in public?  Hoo boy.  I’m totally not a fan of whipping my boob out in the Target food court (although I have done it) or enduring the weird looks of random strangers as I sit there trying to feed my daughter.  I’m glad, however, that I don’t have to deal with bottles all the time and carting around formula whenever I go out somewhere.  Do I judge women who bottle feed?  No.  Sometimes it is the only way to go.  If bottle feeding is the only way your child is going to get enough to eat (for whatever reason), far be it for me to tell you that you didn’t try hard enough with the breastfeeding and that somehow formula is going to make your child stupid.
  • Diapers: I use cloth diapers.  Or more specifically, I use a diaper service.  I know that makes me sound all fancy-schmancy uppity, but the longer it’s been the happier I am with this decision.  For starters, Lorelei is a pee and poop factory.  Everyone says that an infant uses ten diapers a day on average. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  How about 15 or more.  Lorelei would need her own landfill for all the diapers she uses.  And disposables are freakin’ expensive.  We pay $18 bucks a week for diaper service, how much are disposables?  For as many as we use?  And other than the fact that we occasionally run out and have to do a load of diapers ourselves (the horror!  pee diapers!), it has worked out really well so far.
  • Co-Sleeping: For the first two months, Lorelei slept in bed with us.  I know.  We are horrible parents because we slept in the same bed as our daughter.  And by slept, I mean she slept while we – or at least I – lay there in fear that I would roll over and crush her.  It was that or she could just not sleep at all and spend all night crying.  Hmm…I wonder which one most people would choose?  One night, I tried putting her in the crib for a nap and she slept just fine, so afterwards it was all crib all the time for her.  Except for the rare occasion when she is really cranky and won’t nap unless it’s curled up next to me.

So, there you have it.  A few of the many hot topics of parenthood and what I think.  I would love to hear your opinions, just keep it civilized.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

This pretty much sums up the last few days.  I’m so exhausted, but so happy that Rory is in town and gets to spoil Lorelei.

Pic-A-Nic Basket

Today Lorelei, Brian and I went to the park.  We had sandwiches and chips and cherry Dr. Pepper (it’s incredibly smooth).  Here are some pictures and what my brain imagines Lorelei is thinking.

I’m tired.  You cannot tempt me to awaken with this sunshine day.

Crap!  That car horn woke me.  Oh look, feet!

Why did you put this ridiculous hat on my head?

I will now attempt to eat nature.

I wonder how long Mommy and Daddy will let me grab handfuls of grass and try to get them to my mouth?

I like it when Daddy tosses me into the air even though it scares the crap out of Mommy.

Five Months

Dear Lorelei,

This month has been hard and I want you to know that it’s not your fault.

I know that you see Mommy cry sometimes.  I know you know that means that I’m sad.  But it’s not because of you.  You are what gets me through the day sometimes.  When you smile at me, I can’t help but smile back.  I feel like my heart is going to explode from how much I love you.  You are so perfect in every single way; from your old man sounding laugh to your shriek of delight to the way you sometimes just look at me and grab hold of my shirt.  The perfect little sweet pea.

In the past month, you have learned to roll over.  Back to tummy, tummy to back, it doesn’t matter to you.  You are an expert roller.  Sometimes I will find you at a completely different angle on the floor because of all your rolling efforts.  Of course, this means that changing you is becoming an epic battle of can I get the diaper back on before you roll over.

You have discovered your feet.  I don’t know why it took you so long, your feet have been fascinating me since day one.  Ten tiny little toes and a ticklish little sole.  Now you are constantly trying to stick them in your mouth or if, GOD FORBID, we put socks on them you must pull them off.  Don’t even get me started on the footed pants.

You have learned to shriek.  Not the horrible screaming that indicates something is wrong and OH MY GOD YOU MUST FIX IT NOW! but the adorable shriek of happiness.  Walking around in Target, you’ll just start shrieking at me.  Not for any reason that I can determine other than you have caught sight of me and want to say hello.  Your cute little noises draw the attention of staff and shoppers alike and I get to enjoy a few moments of gushing over how adorable and well-behaved you are.

So many little things have happened this month.  You are eating solids – well, rice cereal mixed with lots of breast milk – really well and have recently started eating twice a day.  Some days you hardly make any mess.  You have figured out that in order to crawl you need to push up on your arms.  Still can’t crawl, but at least the concepts are becoming clearer.  You’ve been to the botanical gardens again and the zoo.  And you made it through all of Easter service without having a meltdown.  See:

Lorelei and Auntie Cecily

Time is still flying past.  It makes me sad to see you growing up, but I’m still astounded by what I wonderful little girl you are.

Love You Always,

Your Mother

Five months and six hours old

Side Effects May Vary

I love Spring.  I really do.  After a long and dreary winter consisting of below freezing temperatures, sick mommy and baby, and darkness that seems to last all day; it’s nice to be able to leave the house without five layers of clothing on.  Plus the peach tree is blooming:

Maybe we’ll eat some this year.

Unfortunately, Spring comes with a few side effects.  They include but are not limited to:

  1. Not actually being Spring for long.  Seasonally, it’s still Spring, of course, but the temperatures are not.  One day it’s a beautiful 65 degrees and the next it’s 85.  And, in the past it has even snowed in April.  Or, even better, it starts out in the 40s in the morning and ends up in the 80s by noon.
  2. Sudden weather change may cause sinus infections.  Stabby stabby painful sinus pressure.
  3. Ants.  We are generally pretty clean people.  Sure I don’t vacuum as often as I should, but it’s not like I leave food laying around the house.  We had a pizza box sitting next to the garbage can the other night (it doesn’t fit inside of it) and when Brian went to move it, he found hundreds of ants crawling in and around it.  Ugh.  Even the thought of bugs makes my skin feel itchy.
  4. Speaking of itchy: mosquitos.  They haven’t attacked me yet, but it’s only a matter of time.  I am a mosquito magnet.
  5. The dogs are outside again.  All the time.  And they bark a lot.  They’re the kind of dogs who bark at leaves blowing in the wind.
  6. The worst side effect?  My neighbors.  I’ve harped on this many times, but it bears repeating.  Yes, the weather is nice.  Yes, it’s nice to be outside for a change.  This is does not mean that it is okay to sit on your front porch with your car stereo turned up all the way.  It’s a relatively narrow street and it sounds like the music is coming from inside my own house.  Despite the fact that we have asked them multiple times to turn it down, it lasts about five minutes and then they turn it all the way up again.  We’ve called the cops probably five or six times and I have never seen them actually show up.  (Side note: I am aware that there are much more important crimes going on in our neighborhood, but some response would be appreciated).  And.  And?  This is the kind of music that has a big old EXPLICIT sticker on it.  Just because you’re okay with your four year old hearing that kind of language does not mean that I am okay with my child hearing it.

Okay I’m done.  I will try not to complain about my neighbors again.  At least for a few weeks.

I leave you with one of my favorite things about Spring.  Going to the zoo: