Tuesday, May 31, 2005

So, I've been thinking about babies

and those who aren't anymore.

Aren't babies anymore because they are growing up.


aren't babies because they never got the chance to grow up.

I get into these melodramatic moments from time to time. The conflict is intense. First, I challenge anyone to be more pro-choice than I am. Well, ok, I'm sure you could be, I don't, after all, donate my entire salary to Planned Parenthood So, forget the challenge, just let the statement speak for itself. Having daughters, I am even more pro-choice than ever before, wanting each to have the only say in what to do with her body. I have lost two children: one from miscarriage, another from ectopic pregnancy.

And, I look at my infant daughter, and looked at my others at this precious needy stage, and wonder what I lost. They make the losses all that more heartbreaking, seeing what could have been. Yadda yadda yadda about without the losses I wouldn't have them. It's true, I can't deny that, and I cannot wish the losses away because that would wish my kids away. But damn if I don't get weepy and down-right SAD about them somedays.

On days like these, I need to reread what I wrote long ago, shortly after the birth of my firstborn, N. I belonged to a Pregnancy Loss board on ParentsPlace, and had many a friend in the same place as I. It was written in response to a friend's angst over wanting her lost baby back, while still carrying the child conceived after her loss. Most anyone experiencing a pregnancy after a loss can relate to the terrible conflict of emotions.:

April is full of these days for me as well. N was born on the anniversary of when we learned the horrible news of our lost one, and I am so happy to have her.... I can't express how much she means to me... but the irony did not go unnoticed. I have spent many a tear over my little N - through pregnancy and even on to today, crying over what I would do should I loose her. This evening I plan on walking her over to our memorial tree and showing her it now in leaf, full of life where my lost one now is not. There is more guilt in this life than we could possibly deserve, yet somehow we bear it and go on. I wonder though, is it really all guilt? Is not some of the feelings we have over this bittersweet part in our lives melancholy instead? Do I honestly feel guilty over mourning my lost one instead of celebrating with wild abandon the arrival of my daughter? Or, instead, do I now know what I really have lost, and think about the impossible - having them both. I cannot wish for that anymore - to have my lost one would mean I could never have N - something I cannot bear to imagine without many many tears (as seen streaming down my face right now). By abandoning the wish that the miscarriage never happened, so that I can hold my beautiful daughter in my arms now, smell her sweet smell, feel her soft hair, gaze into those deep eyes full of trust and innocence... have I abandoned my lost one?

Aye, there must be the source of guilt. Have I abandoned that which I loved so much, grieved over so hard, promised I would never forget? In a way, yes. I can no longer truly and whole-heartedly regret what has happened. I can no longer cry out,"Why?!" in anguish, as I have joy in my arms showing me a part of that why. I can no longer imagine a life where the miscarriage never happened, with a child I will never know in person, because I have a life in my arms now with a different path ahead of her.

No, I have not abandoned my lost one. I have abandoned my total grief, but not my lost one. She lives on in my heart and memories, and her short time with me and the lessons she has taught me will live forever in my soul. So, in a way, I do have both worlds, and my life is much richer, and sadder, for it.

Kelly, we shared our grief last April, can we not now allow ourselves to share our joy this April? We will always miss our lost ones, but they are not gone as long as we remember them. Their passing has allowed new joys in our lives - to regret these joys would be to regret their gifts to us - and then we would truly have abandoned them.


Of course, I was to go on to have another loss and two more daughters. Along the way, I needed this note, as for some reason I need it today. I don't always believe it all the time, but I do often enough to find some some comfort.


Wow, there's a whole SAHD world out there!

Now that I've spent way too much time surfing blogs, I've found a plethora of stay-at-home-Dad blogs out there. One post from Daddy Zine in particular was quite cute (now if I can just figure out how this trackback thing works... edited: Thanks, HaloScan!). A is in the middle of potty training, with much the same revulsion to the toilet. I think we may use this! Funny how my 4-month old uses the toilet more than my toddler.

I wonder if, through these sites, I'll find some moms married to these SAHDs to banter about with. It's a lonely world for us... ok, for ME! Some may be having the time of their lives with this arrangement. I could use some of their input. And for the rest of us, I could use some commiseration as well.

Hubby J has been a SAHD since daughter N (5) was born. Well, really before that as well. Somehow he's managing a household with three little girls, countless fish, and a few million instar beetles, or gnats, or whatever they are. The lizard and the dog left before #3 was born, so maybe it's not as chaotic as it could be. Oh, I have plenty of complaints, and on really bad days more resentment than I care to admit. But he's a great Daddy, and frankly I'd rather have a pile of dishes on the counter and five loads of laundry to do every weekend than bored, unhappy kids (sssshhhhhhhh!). N informed me at lunch (I go home for lunch to nurse A) that Daddy helped her with a particularly difficult poop this morning, and how much she loved him for that. My mantra from the beginning of this sociology experiment has been, "Just because he does things differently than I would doesn't mean he is wrong." In this case, I think I would have been there holding her hand, too. It gives me a warm glow when we would both do the same thing, and I know he's there to do it.

Here's to Stay-At-Home Dads! And the Mommy's who love them!

What, a good weekend?

Yah! I think I've found the secret to stopping PPD freakouts - keep busy outside the home. Welllll, it worked this long weekend. I suppose by this coming weekend I won't be able to shirk my homemaking duties.

Saturday we went to a Paiute Pow-Wow. N desperately wanted to join in with the dancers, but they never did have an all-dance (I think I remember it being called a Circle Dance when we last visited a Pow-Wow, pre-kids), so she was very disappointed. Now she wants to make a Native American jingle dress. Oh gosh, that should take forever, eh? Maybe I should make it about eight sizes too big so she'll be able to wear it when it's finally done. I think I'll forgo the snuff cans, too. I'm sure I can find something a little less addicting.

Sunday was a barbeque at friends. Like-minded positive parenting Bush-hating liberals. Very cathartic.

Monday was swimming at another friend's house.

So, effectively, I didn't have all day to mope around the house looking at all that needed to be done but doing nothing about it. Instead, I got to be out of the house, still with the family, and only had limited time to mope about the house looking at all that needed to be done but still doing nothing. I didn't reach the flash point of ill-kept-beetle-infested-where-is-the-vacuum-and-how-did-all-these-dishes-pile-up housing. Unfortunately, this weekend away was at the expense of stuff Hubby wanted to do at the house. So, for sure, next weekend I'll be at home. I hope that moping doesn't have a long half-life, or next weekend the flash-point will be reached pretty fast.

Anyways, for now, good days, good days. I actually dare to feel a tad refreshed.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Pressed for truth

Friends, we are gathered here this Memorial Day to pay our respects to the front-line warriors for truth, our Fourth Estate.

Once the voice for truth, delving into the dark secrets of corporations and governments, enlightening the public to let them make their own decisions, this Bastion of Liberty has fallen. May it rest in peace. Better yet, may it rise from the dead.

Journalism in America has gone through its dark times before. Yellow journalism egging on the Spanish-American conflict into war wasn't one of its finest moments. Yet the days of Deep Throat gave me some excitement over the role of the media in keeping our leaders accountable for their actions. It was quite thrilling for a youngster to be around for such history. But, really now, a simple break-in, some shady dealings involving elections, they brought down a President, but they were nothing to what is happening now. It's a sad definition of the times when one can look back at the time of Nixon as Salad Days. "Remember when all we had to worry about was some election corruption?" Sigh.

Now, Watergate scandals can't hold a candle to the past two election scandles. But despite ad nauseum diatribe over what does and does not define a hanging chad, we didn't hear much about Florida's voter disenfranchisement. Or Pat Buchannon insisting that all those votes couldn't possibly belong to him. Ohio vote numbers didn't add up, and voters in liberal cities stood in line all day to vote while suburban soccer moms had a wall of voting machines open and easily available. And I have yet to hear an explanation for why the exit polls showed Kerry winning handily but voting results insisted otherwise.

But,that's just the press not bothering with the nuts and bolts, only going for the sensationalistic. I mean, I just love reading pages about pregnant chads. Edge-of-the-seat stuff there. After all, editors have to decide what stories they should send their reporters out on, and what should be printed. Can't print everything, and time is short in broadcast journalism, after all. I do hope you hear the cynicism in my "voice."

What gets even more bizarre besides hot stories dropping off the side of the Earth is the dropping of already broken stories. Because a rube in the White House gave 60 Minutes a fake letter, the fact that the President didn't meet his National Guard duties is dropped. Rather, the program is taken to task for believing a highly placed official. Yep, that should have warned them - journalists should know better than to believe anything told to them from Bush's White House. So, all this hoopla over a faked letter diverts attention from the fact that the President STILL didn't meet his military obligations, using his priveledged status to not only stay out of Vietnam, but out of the armory as well.

And what of Newsweek? Even though many other media sources discussed abuse of the Quran, and FOIA documents also mentions it, Newsweek found it necessary to retract it's story. Why? So one of Newsweek's sources got a little wishy-washy. So what, there are lots of other sources insisting there was abuse. Heck, even the Pentagon a few days later admitted to it. But no, Newsweek is the nasty here, not the people who actually DID the stuff.

I remember when abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib was uncovered. A prominent Republican Senator was outraged not at the abuse, but at the press reporting it. No problem, aside from titilating pictures of human pyramids and sexual promiscuity between two prison guards, it's dropped. The real story of children being raped and tortured (warning - very disturbing link)in these prisons by American, British, and "free" Iraqi guards is hidden and only whispered about in the fringe or non-American press.

I remember the days when I had some pride that our press wasn't controlled like Pravda was.

Where are the real heros? The press corp that will stand up to the White House and ask the real questions, and FIND the real answers?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Minitruth, here we come

Two plus two equals five. Two plus two equals five. Two plus two equals five. Yep, I used to think Orwell was a bit paranoid, but darn if we're not headed down the path of Big Brother in our own Oceania. And I'm not just talking about the government knowing what library books we've checked out.

Case in point: Rummy speaks

... He said U.S. officials must also deal with "a global Internet with universal access and no inhibitions, e-mail, cell phones, digital cameras wielded by anyone and everyone" ...

Yep, we've got to stop people from talking about death, mayhem, destruction, abuse and torture waged by the United States and her Oceania allies. It's not a bad thing that people are being tortured by US interests, but rather a bad thing if we are caught on camera hooking up batteries to genitals. Forget that many other sources have talked about the desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay, just piss on the messenger. (Same with Bush's military record - they are sooooo good at this Ministry of Truth stuff!) Only talk about the heinous crimes committed by the other side. Crow about Oceania's gallant and successful fight against oppression, tyranny, hatred, and theocracies. Hide the truth about how the "other side" is fighting that in us, too.

Let me say that I really do oppose oppression, tyranny, hatred, and theocracies. There are some really mean, bad, despicable despots fighting US troops right now that have no love for their own people except how they can be used, manipulated, and extorted into furthering their interests. However, we have some of those same kind of autocrats here doing the same thing to our own people. To try to hide that by finding some way to suppress the dissemination of truthful information, or just ideas, is worthy of disgust.

Not that Rumsfeld can sink any further in my eyes, of course.

Edited to add: full text of Rummy's speech and to blab on about other specifics in it...

To prove that AP is not subscribing to any "liberal media" agenda in reporting this speech, instead of just having to "deal" with such things as AP reports, Secretary Rumsfeld's speech specifically says the followings are CHALLENGES:

Global satellite television networks;
24-hour news outlets with live coverage of terrorist attacks, disasters, and combat operations;
A global Internet with universal access and no inhibitions;
E-mail, cell phones, and digital cameras, wielded by everyone and anyone; and
A seemingly casual regard for classified information, resulting in a near-continuous hemorrhage of classified documents to the detriment of our country.

Ok, I'll give him that leaking of classified documents could be a valid "challenge" for national security (although recent reports about Quran abuse, along with prisoner abuse, have been released through FOIA, not in any sense of the term "leaked"). But, really, if you're fighting a good fight instead of a cynical, corrupt, in-your-face-Geneva-convention fight, how could news coverage and cameras be a challenge?

And on a more personal note, Rumsfeld has the audacity to quote Samuel Clemens in his speech, claiming, “a lie can make its way halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on,” (slightly altered from the original Twain quote) . I can almost hear Mark Twain groan from his grave, aghast that such a religious zealot and aggressor would use his words. In honor of Mr. Clemens, let me counter Rumsfeld's quote with a few other Twain quotes:

"The history of the race, and each individual's experience, are thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal."

"When whole races and peoples conspire to propagate gigantic mute lies in the interest of tyrannies and shams, why should we care anything about the trifling lies told by individuals?"


"The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. "


Take to heart what Mark Twain said or not, I don't care. Personally, as a long-time devoted fan of Mark Twain, I take huge offense to a person like Donald Rumsfeld, a vitriolic beast if there ever was one, quoting from his antithesis.

In closing, especially for Mr. Rumsfeld, a portion of Twain's War Prayer: full text

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. "

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Row v. Wade

Yes, this is a pun, not a spelling mistake.

Being a working mom sucks. Work pulls me one way, family pulls me another, and sometimes it's impossible to keep from being torn to pieces from the stress.

Tomorrow, I have a work meeting. Fine, I can usually handle work meetings. Even if they promise to be a bit contentious, as this one does. But, usually I'm not psychotic with PPD. And during this meeting, from what I'm gathering, I won't have a chance to pump, and I definately won't have a chance to go home at lunch to nurse S since we're having a working lunch.

Something has to give, but what? Do I row with my group, ironing out stuff, or do I wade around, keeping my family obligations of feeding my infant daughter but trying to keep up with the folks in the boat? Actually, it feels like I'm treading water, too deep to wade in, and I'm getting tired fast.

Other working moms don't get the chance to go home at lunch, I should be fine with missing one lunch at home. Even if she is just four months old. My EBM stash will be gone by the end of the day, though, as I have a tough time just keeping up with her demand, much less creating a stockpile. So, I see formula in her future. Not terrible, lots of families supplement ----..... but, it's just one more thing to give up for work. Work that really means diddly-squat in the grand scheme of things. And one more thing to give up or stress over because someone else panics. How much more do I have to give up because of someone else's choices? When do I make the choice to say ENOUGH?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Happy +HPT day!

Ok, I think it was a few days before the 23rd of May last year that I got the positive Home Pregnancy test for S. Wow, I remember it so well.... at a conference out of state, peeing on a stick in an opulent brass and marble bathroom, bleeding like a period but my BBT wasn't dropping, thinking there was a great chance I was pregnant but desperate for me not to be because I was sure to lose this one.

What followed was a nightmare of trying to get HCG and progesterone tests, refusing to go to the ER (what could they possibly do for me anyways) and trying to keep all of this stress to myself so no one but Hubby, three states away, knew. I hate the untelling part of losses. Then again, I know that I'd still tell my family about a loss should I have one, even if they didn't know. Perhaps it wasn't the fear of the untelling that made me keep it secret, but not having the energy to keep answering the questions of, "Have you gotten your test yet?" "How are you feeling" and of course, the infuriating, "Oh, don't worry, everything will be just fine." Which, amazingly enough, it turns out it was. The result is an adorable little girl whom I was informed mere minutes ago just pooped all over Daddy, much to the delight of her older sisters.

One year ago today, more or less, my life changed for the better. It was a long, hard road, with absent doctors, criminally derelict and abusive nurses, and me fighting fighting fighting for me, my baby, and my care. But, because of all the hardships, I found a wonderful doctor, a fabulous doula, and had the birth of my dreams.

Hee hee, I still carry that HPT in my planner.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

You know what sucks about PPD?

Well, hopefully you don't. And, well, actually, lots of things suck about Post-Partum Depression. But this weekend, well, it sucked all the way around. I'm home, for goodness sake, I should be enjoying my time with the kids. I pine away for them all week at work. I pine away for them so much I find myself sitting there for hours just staring at the computer screen doing n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

But, this weekend, lots of stresses were on me. First and foremost is a huge infestation of beetles on Saturday morning that have made the bedrooms uninhabitable still, here on Sunday evening. We're still fighting them, and they bite, too. Add to this a teething baby, a clingy toddler, and a kid who just wants to spend time with happy parents. Then just for kicks, add in an insane MIL (who thankfully doesn't know about my PPD) who is asking hubby to leave me and take the kids with him to her dysfunctional place. Compared to her, I'm the Dalai Lama. Thankfully, he's beyond upset with her for being such a.... well, she's family, I can't call her what I want to call her. Anyways, he's calling her that for me. Oh, and 100+ temps outside as we try to clear away the beetle's habitat isn't making me feel all warm and fuzzy, either. Work is highly stressful right now, what with various coworker problems that have surfaced while I was on leave still unresolved, and me being incapable of doing any work so what was already three months behind from me going on maternity leave is getting even further behind and new work is piling up.

Still, normally, I wouldn't be what you would call happy under these circumstances, but I wouldn't be so angry. I'm usually a pretty laid back person, although I do let things build up before I let them out. To get to my title, the thing that really sucks about PPD isn't how I feel, but how I make my kids feel. All they want is to spend time with me, play a bit, nurse, be read to, you know, have a Mom who loves them and shows that she loves them. Instead, they have a Mom who loves them but is so angry and overwhelmed that she screams. A lot. I actually told them today (through gritted teeth) that I am in a really really bad mood and I need some time by myself, do NOT bother me. Ok, I guess I'm allowed to say that at times, but I'm away all week, this is my time with them, it is NOT FAIR to them that I feel that, or say that. Maybe it really is fair, I'm sure some Dr. Phil out there would say everyone needs some time to themselves. But not me. I'm always wanting to be with them. I don't LIKE "me" time away from them. "Me" time to me means going to the park with them. This is the damn PPD making me feel this way, not any healthy need for time alone.

I don't often read about working moms with PPD - almost all I ever hear about is SAHM's, or WAHM's who really probably do need some time away from the kids just for a change of pace. Hmmmm, maybe not. I'm away from them all the time, and it doesn't help at ALL. But they seem to *think* that that's what they need. And maybe they do. I can't be completely unique, but I also can't be exactly like everyone else. Anyways, just like there aren't all that many resources for working moms with SAHD's out there, there don't seem to be many resources to help working moms with PPD. "Helpful" suggestions are get out of the house, find a mom's group, go to the gym. Bite me, I can't do that. Even though PPD makes me know I need to do some things but literally cannot find the energy or courage to do it, I know damn well that I'm not going to find a working mom's group who wants to have coffee clutches with a lunatic lady. Besides, I don't WANT to at all - that's more time away from home, hubby, and babies.

Yeah, perhaps my PPD stems from a ton of guilt about not being with my family. How can anyone leave a three-month-old baby? Better yet, how can *I* leave *MY* three-month-old baby? After all, I don't seem to mind when other moms do it. Even though Daddy is doing a good job (although he lets her cry too much for my taste - my WOHM mantra is "even though he does things differently than I would doesn't mean that he is doing things wrong."), darnit, it's MY job to be a mommy, it's not a part-time job, and sometimes, particularly now, I don't want to be such an 'enlightened' woman!

So, today, I screamed very loudly in the face of my five-year-old, I let my two-year-old cry in the bathroom for over half-an-hour, and I let my new-ish born baby cry for an hour as I worked in the backyard clearing out brush to get rid of those damned beetles. The house is a wreck, the kids have watched far too much crappy tv, I'm tired, and I have phantom bugs crawling all over me. I have a staff meeting next week and I'll have to report I have done nothing for four weeks.

But, at least my baby is now asleep on my chest while I get it all out. And she smells terrific - almost covers up the smell of bug spray. Some things in life still outshine all the bad stuff.

Zoloft, take me away!

DH said take the night off, go see a movie, you need a break from the kids. I couldn't help but start crying.... I'm crying just thinking about it. How could it come to me needing a break from my kids. What I really need is a break from work. LOL, what I really need is a large trust fund, a nice MIL, lots of family around to help out, and an exterminator.

I'd like to say that PPD makes me babble ad nauseum, but no, that's really me.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Aaagh! The ethernet gods have taken their sacrifice

Inspired by http://pbu.blogspot.com/ , I wrote a long post, complete with links, about Senator Ensign and the upcoming Senatorial implosion. But, these darned laptops, sometimes they just CLICK, you know? The curser gets put somewhere dangerous and even if I'm across the room nowhere near the mouse button it automatically clicks and all two hours gets deleted. HOW does this happen? The IT folks at work insist that this cannot be happening, but EVERY touchpad laptop I've used will do this at the most frusterating times.

Sigh. Anyways, in case I don't get a chance to rewrite all of that (and I do, after all, have three kids climbing all over me wanting to play right now), put my vote down as "Bite ME" for Ensign and all boot-licking toady senators who toe the party line instead of actually looking at and thinking about the judicial nominees


There are many wonderful things about elimination training. Getting up at 3:30 to put a baby on the toilet is not one of them. S (16 weeks old) has become quite attuned to when she needs to pee, and won't sleep through it. Which, in it's own way, is good. At the moment, I don't forsee bedwetting problems as she is already waking up in time to go to the bathroom. And, in more self-indulgent moments, I feel a certain amount of pride in being able to read my baby's cues. (Of course, it's not so hard to figure out when she wakes up, fusses, but refuses to nurse). But, at this moment, as the sky is turning a less-dark shade of purple in the wee hours of the morning, I would prefer to be sleeping and must admit there is a part of me who wishes we never started down this path of ET.

The nice thing about weekends is that if I fall down asleep at 1:30 in the afternoon, I won't get fired.

In other neo-crespuscular news from an attachment parenter, my older daughters N (5) and S (2) have recently moved out of my bed and into a Rube Goldbergesque Princess bed arrangement, complete with slide and cupula. I do relish in the extra room afforded me now as I attempt to sleep, but I miss many things. Although I think I'm getting a more rested sleep (primarily because I'm not sharing the bed with two girls who exercise in their sleep anymore), I know I'm getting less of it as I find a need to get up and check on them on occassion. Every little noise they make in the other room wakes me up as I maintain some sort of sub-conscious alertness to possible problems from nightmares to falling out of bed to abduction. Similarly, too little noise causes me to jolt awake and dash into their room to make sure they are still breathing, or still there.

When we shared a bed, I was constantly reassured by their sniffs, grunts, sighs, and snores. If I felt the need, I could reach over and feel their breath or the slight rise and fall of their chest. I could smell them and gaze at them, instilling a sense of awe and gratefulness at how lucky I am to have such amazing children. As a working mom, sleeptime was the most time I got to spend with them - so important to me. What I really miss is hearing them dream. Little snippets of, "My ball!" or, "That's purple" gave me some sort of window into their dreams, and I felt privileged to be even a remote witness. Now, I have only one baby in my bed, and her dreams are quiet. But she does smell wonderful! Especially since her diapers are so clean!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Beware of the Leopard

To illustrate how distracted I am lately, I spent close to 30 minutes reviewing the word "leopard" in my mind trying to remember just how it is spelled. Is it Leapord, or in a more absurd moment leappurred, as in a cat capable of leaping great distances? Makes sense, but since it does I knew that couldn't be it. That would be more "leapfelis," and we all know that's not right. The sad part of all of this is my great affection for the obscure Beware of the Leopard reference, having for over a decade carried around in my heart the desire to create a cross-stitched sign stating such and hanging it on my bathroom door.

Anyways, today is a Beware of the Leopard (or leapfelis) kind of day. All things I must know are hidden somewhere in the disused lavatory of my mind. Or, in the case of ArcGIS9.whateveritisnow, deep in the recesses of some mad programmers mind hidden from all logical or reasonable extrapolation. I am so ingrained with command-line that this GUI stuff is baffling. I cut my GIS teeth on ArcEdit, and although I find not having to type in "vertex add" every ten seconds a savings in exertion, hey, I have a desk job, I could use the caloric loss! Seriously, getting that darned curser exactly on the line, and on a line that is too thick to see the imagery behind it to boot, is very frusterating. And WHAT is with projections being under Data Management tools???? And I thought ArcInfo5 was unintuitive! But, the reality of it all is that it is most frusterating having to relearn a software that was hair-pulling enough to learn the first go-round. After feeling like I was holding my own in this techno-geek world for awhile, I now feel like a plebe again. Nearly 40 and wet behind the ears. Sigh.

My new mantra: when in doubt, right click.

Ah well, at least I still have command-line Arc ... for now!

Even the Tooth Fairy has limits

My oldest daughter N, newly turned five, was discussing what she wanted the tooth fairy to bring her when she looses her first tooth. She is still afraid of the blood lost when a tooth comes out, but is very excited about the reward under her pillow. She is under the impression that the tooth fairy will bring her enough money to build a pool and fill it with pudding. We haven't discussed what flavor of pudding she wants to put into the pool, I think the appeal is swimming in pudding, not necessarily eating it. I have to admit, it does sound rather fun. Although, treading pudding sounds very laborious. I wonder if floaties would help? She later talked about filling the pool with mud so we could play in it. Luckily, she is considering filling our little plastic kiddie pool with mud instead of the in-ground swimming hole gift from TF. I think I can do that. I love the fun ideas she comes up with. They remind me of what I wanted to do when I was her age and never got the chance. Still, despite my great longing to travel cross-country alone on my pony, I don't think I'll let N do that, either. Luckily, she hasn't thought of that idea.

We were also discussing babies this morning, as I fed S while N was sitting next to me. In the mouths of babes, N said right after college she wanted to make a baby in the car. I haven't gathered the courage to tell Daddy this comment yet.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

PPD = pissy petulant and demented

That's me. I love the pregnancy, I love the birth, I love the baby, but this bit just plain sucks. I see that Brooke Shields has written a book about her battles with post-partum depression. Good for her, I know writing can help me air out some things and get my mind around what ails me better. And, if you're going to go through something as traumatic as PPD, you might as well feel like it was worthwhile in that maybe you can help other people get through it. But right now, having to work for a living and see my kids for only a few hours a day, I have little sympathy and lots of whinging for her. At least she gets to see her kid most of the day. Blah blah blah.

You see, PPD is insidious in that it brings out the worst in me. Which makes me even more depressed - "aren't I BETTER than this?" Which makes me even more nasty, which makes me even more self-loathing, etc. etc. etc. The familiar "viscious cycle" we can attribute to all sorts of things from sexual dysfunction to car repair.

In many ways, PPD reminds me of my pregnancy losses. So many emotions that all really boil down to, "why me?" But, I didn't lose a baby. I'm just losing myself. I wonder which is worse? How can I dare ask that question?

Clarity on Clearity

I heard a quote from Sen. Arlen Specter (R - Pennsylvania), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on NPR yesterday talking about the "nucular" option Republican senators may use to stop fillibusters over certain judicial nominees.

Anyone who has his (or her) hand mere inches from the proverbial button to destroy all life on Earth had damn-well better know that those are nucLEAR weapons and not nucULAR. Ok, I know this has been moaned about ad nauseum for the past six years, but now our senators are getting confused. Is this a sign of the times that a (relatively) moderate Republican senator is now toeing the line on how to pronounce "nuclear?" President (shudder) Bush is big on loyalty, is he now insisting that his fellow Republicans now speak the way he does? Is he planning on snowing America, like he has on so many other issues, on how to speak now, too? Perhaps Americans have "nucular" weapons/options/etc. and it makes it all friendly-like where we would like to invite those bombs over for a barbecue and a chat over the benefits of school prayer, whereas anyone who has "nuclear" weapons are holding weapons of mass destruction and are going straight to Hell (after we destroy their homes and families, of course). It's our own Minispeak. 1984 is here, just twenty years late.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ok, so I'm joining the bandwagon

I think enough babble, I might as well jot it down, eh? I'm throwing away my high school angst over doing what everyone else is doing, and joining the crowd. Now I blog. Let's see if I continue or not.

Today was a good day. I pumped over six ounces, my baby repeated yesterday's success of rolling over (back to front), and just before I came home for lunch, J thought she was acting a bit ornery so put her on the toilet and she peed! Yay! Daddy is trying elimination training, too!

Yesterday was even better. N made a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game all by herself. She drew four donkeys (one for each of us, except for S "because she's too little and can't walk"), made four tails, and taped four bandanas to the wall for our use (again, one for each of us, except for S "because you shouldn't put bandanas on baby's heads because it may choke them.") We played at lunch, and it was so much fun. Mostly because she was so excited about us all playing with HER game. She also made an obstacle course in the kid's bedroom, and we all had to run through it. A had a great time doing it. She's seen her big sister go through them at karate class and has wanted to join in. Now she got to! It ended with having to kneel on one knee and say, "Attitude!" A had a big grin when she did that. awwwww, I love having three sisters. They really revel in each others' company.... for now!

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