Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pssssst: I'm Still Here. You Guys Just Can't See Me.

Hey, bloggy friends. Did you know I'm still writing like a madwoman? It's true.

Today, I posted about this new 80s throwback band I found.

Yesterday, I whined about my latest brush with depression.

And the day before that? My toddler showed you all how you how to take a proper afternoon nap.

However, my Google Friends Connect gadget doesn't want to update my feed (apparently it liked it over on Blogger better), so you guys can't see me. We're working on it, but if you'd like to get my posts sent to your reader in the meantime (or even your email inbox. I'm all fancy like that now), could you head on over to my site and subscribe all regular-like?

Heck, I'll make it even easier for you. Just click here and you'll be taken to the subscribe page.

Do I sound desperate? That's because I am. A little. It's loooooonely over here (whimpers for dramatic effect). Come see me?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moving is Hard.

Hello, loyal readers. Are you still out there?

I haven't forgotten you.

I'm just in the middle of a move to wordpress, and it's not going all that smoothly. I'll be back soon, I promise. And when I am? I'll have all sorts of bloggity goodness for you.

So don't forget about me, okay?

Mwaaah!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall.

Looking for today's Writing Workshop post? Come visit me at Mommy's Still Fabulous, where I'm guest posting today! She was my first bloggy friend, and an absolute fabulous blogger, so make sure you check her out while you're there.

So, in honor of Her Fabulousness, I'm re-posting an old Writing Workshop post about my ongoing search for my inner goddess.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

REFLECTION: Why are you glaring at me like that?

ME: Because I don’t like you very much.

REFLECTION: Again? We’re having this conversation again?

ME: What do you mean, again?

REFLECTION: For the last 33 years, it’s been nothing but, “why can’t you be thinner, why is your belly so poochy, why are you so short, why, why, why…” It’s enough to give a girl a complex.

ME: I haven’t always hated you.

REFLECTION: Name one time you liked what you saw.

ME: What about back in my 20’s, when I was a size 6?

REFLECTION: You wanted to be a size 4.

ME: That's not true. Remember that string bikini? You looked darn good in that bikini.

REFLECTION: Yeah, but your face was broken out. That was all you could see.

ME: When I was pregnant, I liked you then.

REFLECTION: Wrong. You spent the whole time worrying about how fat you were getting.

ME: Well… I was right. I did gain too much weight. Look at you now.

REFLECTION: You know what? I’ve had enough. I’m going on strike.

ME: You can’t go on strike. You’re my reflection!

REFLECTION: Watch me. I’m walking out of this mirror, and I’m not coming back until you say something nice about me.

ME: That’s impossible.

Reflection starts to leave.


ME: Hey, wait! Come back.

REFLECTION: (Over her shoulder) I meant what I said. I’m going to go back to bed, and I’m staying there until you learn to appreciate me.

ME: But people will think I’m a vampire. 

REFLECTION: That’s your problem, not mine.

ME: (Pounding on empty mirror). That’s not fair! You little bitch, get back here!

REFLECTION: Mmmm, it's mighty comfy in here.

ME: Please?

REFLECTION: Sure am glad I got these bamboo sheets. They're nice and soft.

ME: Come on. I really do love you…

Reflection pops her head back in.

REFLECTION: What? What was that you just said?

ME: I love you.

REFLECTION: Why?

ME: Because you’re strong, and you’re beautiful, and you’re capable of amazing things. It’s just….

REFLECTION: (Sighing) It’s just what?

ME: Nothing. It’s nothing. You’re an amazing woman, just as you are. And in a few months, after I lose this baby weight, you’ll be even more amazing.

REFLECTION: So you’ll cut the crap?

ME: Yes. No more name calling.

REFLECTION: You promise? Because that’s verbal abuse, you know. I could call the police.

ME: No you can’t. You’re my reflection. You don’t have real hands.

REFLECTION: Do you want me to leave again?

ME: No, no. Hey, I know how I can make it up to you. Let’s go shopping. I’ll buy you something pretty.

REFLECTION: Okay, we’ll go shopping. But no dressing room tantrums, or I’ll make you buy foundation undergarments.

ME: (shudders) A girdle? No, thank you. I’ll be good, I promise.

REFLECTION: Deal. Ann Taylor, here we come… better bring the credit card.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seven Things That Suck About Indiana.

Oh, Indiana. Home to...corn fields. Lots of corn fields. And pharmaceutical companies. You are a very lovely state. One I'm usually happy to call home (but then I'm from Detroit, so you know. That's not saying much).

But right now? You're kind of on my shit list. And here are seven reasons why.

Holy crap, the humidity. I don't know if you've noticed, Indiana, but it's only June. Not even late June. But the humidity out there? Feels like August in Southern Florida. Do you think you could turn it down a notch or five? Because I'd like to go outside at some point before it turns into winter again.

Tractors should not be allowed on regular roads. Ever. Nothing makes me angrier than having to slow down to negative five miles an hour because some stupid farmer decides to take his two-story-tall tractor out for a drive down the highway (and it happens. frequently).

Enough with the damn thunderstorms.  Five nights in a row? Really? And tornadoes on the ground to boot? This is not the vacation weather I ordered up, dang it. Cut it out!

Your most interesting city is as boring as Law and Order (the TV show).  I'm talking, of course, about Indianapolis. Home of chain restaurants, chain stores and...well, I'm sure there's something interesting to see, but the whole town seems geared toward the Midwestern conventioneers who couldn't afford Vegas (i.e., short on staycation fun).

Why do you have to be so damn rocky? Why is the whole dang state (or at least this portion of it) have to be one solid bed of rock? Because if you didn't know, basements are a handy thing to have when it's tornado-ing out. I may have to look into finishing my crawl space.

Could you do something about the mullets? There are a lot of them. He-mullets, she-mullets, toddler-mullets—even old, balding guy mullets. Someday, they'll come back in style, but for now? The mullet aficionados are making the rest of us look bad.

Diversity. Learn the word—then apply it to your populace. If there is a more white bread place on the planet, I haven't seen it yet. We are lucky that our neighborhood is home to people of multiple races, but on the whole? A face that isn't Caucasian is rare enough to turn heads. That's just weird.

I could go on. But then I'd just be feeding into the stereotypes (even more than I already am), so I'll shut up. Instead, I'll turn the tables on you. What annoys you about your state?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Stairs: My New Worst Enemy.

Every mom (no matter how clueless), knows that stairs are dangerous. We all know that we should have them gated, top and bottom. That we should never let our children climb them. And that, under no circumstances, should we ever, ever let our little bambinos anywhere near the upper landing.

Yeah.

I know these things. But the problem is, I have pets. Pets who, when they find themselves unable to go up and downstairs at will, show their immense displeasure by peeing and pooping places they shouldn't.

I also have a little girl who likes to climb. She has since she learned to crawl. So I let her climb the stairs—always following closely behind, of course.

Recently, she even learned how to go down, sliding backwards, feet first. But still, I never let her do it alone.

But today?

Today, I was five seconds too slow.

We were upstairs. I'd just put her in her pajamas, then realized I didn't have a bottle (yes, she still gets a nighttime bottle. Shut up).

So I set her down, and together we headed toward the stairs. But I paused. Stopped briefly to pick her wet bathing suit off the bathroom floor so I could bring it outside to dry.

And that five seconds? Well, that was all it took.

In the time it took to take one step, bend down, swoop up the swimsuit and step back into the hallway, she was at the stairs. I saw her start to take that first step...

Then found myself screaming as she started to tumble.

I dove, but the world, it was moving in slow motion as she started to roll. down. the. stairs.

I pounded after her, watching her surprised face crumple into tears as she thumped. thumped. thumped. Thumped.

My feet, they seemed to be moving through mud. Stumbling over my suddenly too big toes, I finally reached her. After she'd already fallen down eight stairs.

Eight.

As soon as I picked her up, she started shrieking.

And I? Started sobbing too.

The tears started during the first, furtive look-over as I checked for bleeding.

It accelerated into bawling as I bent her elbows, wrists, ankles and knees, making sure nothing was broken.

It continued even after she stopped crying. Even after she started patting my face, babbling at me merrily and wiping away my tears.

The tears even continued rolling, silently, when we were back upstairs, bottle and bedtime story in hand.

Because I failed.

I let my baby fall.

And that image? Of her rolling and rolling and rolling helplessly? Keeps replaying behind my eyes.

She's fine. But I? Well I have one more item to add to my inventory of events to berate myself with when I'm competing in my own personal Worst Mother of the Year Pageant.

I think I'll go buy some gates tomorrow.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Would Be Thieves or Not? You Decide.

This afternoon found me and the family escaping both our messy house and the hot, humid disgustingness that is Indiana in the summer by shopping at a local strip mall.

First we went to Old Navy, where we stocked up on some summer essentials for all of us. Then we went to TJ Maxx, where I found a bathing suit that at least didn't disgust me. And then? We went to Petsmart, where we threw our loot, along with our diaper bag, in a cart and proceeded to wander around the store.

I tell you all this not to bore you, but to give you the background information you need to evaluate the story I'm about to share.

To distract Tori from an impending temper tantrum caused by the removal of a dirty dog toy from her mouth, I pulled her from the basket of the cart and crossed to where the parakeets live in their big plastic jail.

The exotically-colored birds that chirped and flitted about the cage entranced Tori. So much so that I ventured even further from our cart (although still keeping it in plain sight) to help her get closer to them.

She squealed and clapped her hands in delight, drawing the usual charmed smiles from passers-by and besotted beams from us, her parents.

That's when I saw them.

A couple grabbed our cart and started heading for the exit.

I handed Tori over to Brian and went after them.

"Excuse me, that's ours!"

No response.

"Excuse me?"

They kept walking.

Finally, I caught up with them - just as they reached the front of the store.

"Excuse me, miss, you have the wrong cart," I said, smiling.

For a moment, she still seemed not to see me, and then she blinked.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. It's been a long day. We must have grabbed the wrong one..."

And they melted away.

I reclaimed our cart and headed back to Brian, thinking nothing of it.

"What was that about?" he asked.

"Oh, that couple...I guess they just grabbed the wrong cart."

"I don't think so. I think they were trying to steal our stuff."

"Don't be silly. Why would anyone want to steal a diaper bag?"

"They didn't have a cart of their own. Look."

I looked where he was pointing and saw the couple checking out with one small bag of cheap dog food.

"Well, maybe they already put it away," I said, feeling a little shaken.

"Somehow I doubt it."

We dropped the subject after that, but it's still bothering me. I like to think people are generally good (despite all the evidence to the contrary). I'd like to believe that that couple made an honest mistake. I really hope my husband is wrong.

But maybe I'm just naive. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Miracle of Those First Steps.

Those first steps are pretty amazing, aren't they?

One minute, they're standing, wobbling precariously. The next they're putting that first tentative foot forward, frowning with the difficulty of it all. And then, suddenly?

They thrust their arms up in the air and smile crazily as they take off, racing forward toward toddlerhood.


Have you ever wondered what happens to give them that push? How they get brave enough to put their feet in motion and give up their horizontal status forever?

After all, it is a tremendous leap of faith.

 I like to think they have help. That they're not taking those first steps alone.

When they thrust those chubby arms up in the air?  I like to believe it's because a spirit is taking their hands.

Maybe our loved ones, the ones who have already passed, are gathered around our little fledglings, urging them on with ghostly coos and besotted smiles.

Maybe Tori's great grandmother laughed with her as she took her first two-legged jaunt across the family room floor.

Maybe her great grandfather cheered her on from the corner.

Maybe she has a whole host of guardian angels protecting her as she trots clumsily across the yard, tripping over her pretty white shoes.

Maybe.