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Archive for August, 2007

I Got My Diapers!!!

And I’m so freaking excited!  Lucy and I just unpacked the box and everything is so wee and cute I could squee 🙂

Hurrah for The Stork Wearhouse!  I am so totally excited–can’t it be October already?  These last weeks are a killer, wanting the baby desperately and being terrified of him coming prematurely.

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Sigh

I got home from my shift at the CSA pick-up last night and, after feeding myself and Lucy, settled into the glider with my to-do list.  I have several going these days, ranging from the overall before-the-baby to the one I started on the subway in to my appointment yesterday which was to be separated out by days but was ruined by our stupid building’s stupid delivery rules which mean our computer armoire can’t be delivered until next week.  I had been sitting there for a few minutes, juggling the binder list and the spiral notebook list when I was hit by the overwhelming need to clean the bathtub.

Moments later I found myself half-perched on Lucy’s stool leaning carefully over the side of the tub scrubbing some particularly insidious soap scum.  I say half-perched because only one and a half of my butt cheeks currently fit on said stool, and also because I’m short and the soap scum is well out of comfortable arms’ reach.  I scrubbed and rubbed, becoming more and more sweaty and also more frustrated.  Giving up, I turned my attention to the toilet.  As I was literally dripping from my forehead with back seizing up, I tried to remind myself that there is still time before the baby comes to get my lists finished.  8 and a half weeks is a long time, even if it doesn’t seem that way.  Calm down.  You know, that sort of thing.  And there it was, the voice in the back of my head, telling me that this all has to be done by the end of next week.

The end of next week.  The other Big Event I’ve been looking forward to/terrified about for the past, well, many months.  Next Thursday is Lucy’s first day of Pre-K and I’m going to have to admit to myself and the world that my baby girl is not a baby anymore.  I know I see it every day; she gets her own breakfast and puts her dirty dishes in the sink, she possesses the negotiation techniques of a litigator, she even sleeps in her own bed all night.  She can get me a glass of water and brush the cats, tell elaborate stories, and just yesterday she began drawing her very first comic book.  This child is ready for school, and I’m ready for her to get out and have new experiences, but holy crap, I’m going to miss her.  It is going to be very lonely here all day without her, and even though I have lists of things to keep me busy, it just isn’t going to be the same doing it without her.   She’s played such a huge part in nearly every big thing I’ve done since she was born, and it’s a little scary to have to get ready for The Baby Brother all by myself.   It’s just so much more fun to do things together.

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We took Lucy to see Mary Poppins on Broadway yesterday.  The show itself was quite a spectacle, although both C and I were a bit disappointed that the nuances of the movie were pretty well erased (no woman’s suffrage so comments made about what women could do were taken out of historical context as well as a softening of the ultra-greed aspect of the bank.)  Plus, there was this uber-creepy toy kangaroo court deal that was just oogy.  The costuming and sets were amazing though, and talented actors, blah blah blah.  I’m not a huge musical sort of girl, at least not the newer ones.

Before, during intermission, and after the show we were bombarded by the merchandise.  The theater kindly provided people with boxes-full of programs, cds, t-shirts to patrol the aisles before the show and during.  Stands were set up conveniently near snack and bathroom passages.  The audience was full of people clutching parrothead umbrellas and Mary Poppins Barbie-sized dolls.  And so we were hit by an attack of the ‘I Wants.’  And by we, I mean Lucy.

Never mind the completely outrageous price of our seats and of merchandise at these sorts of things, we weren’t even through the show yet.  Now, lest I seem like some sort of ogre, I do remember the joy of going to a show and coming home with a t-shirt or some other bauble.  I am a huge fan of the souvenir, as is my husband.  We both grew up in families for whom memories of the show (and Playbills) *were* the souvenirs and we were lucky to hold on to ticket stubs.  What neither of us are big fans of is being hounded for stuff.  And it seems that we have reached the being hounded stage.

We explained.  We asked for the ‘asking for’ to cease.  And once we got out of the theater and were on our way, we thought we had made our point.  And then, as I used the bathroom at Port Authority on our way to the subway, the ‘I Wants’ struck again.  By this point, it’s not a souvenir she’s asking for, or even something specific.  She’s simply asking for more stuff.  In this case, a book.  A book, of which she has received 6 in the past two days–three from me and three from her grandmother.  We haven’t even read those yet.  Ok, no.

On the way home we had a long talk about how it makes people feel when they take you out to do something fun and all you do is ask them to buy you things.  We talked about people who think that they need new things to make them happy.  We talked about how important it is to me and her daddy that she appreciates the things she has instead of always feeling like she needs more.  And we gave her a choice:  she could choose 3 toys to give up (one for each new toy she had asked for after being spoken to) or she could choose to give up 3 outings we have planned for this week.  Cue tears.  For the entire rest of the ride home.

When we got back and she had calmed down, we all went into her room.  Her chin began to quiver and she began to tear up and said, ‘I don’t want to give up my clothespin dolls book.’  Aha.  C explained that we weren’t asking her to give up her 3 favorite toys, and I asked her whether 3 toys was a lot compared to how many she had.  For the first time in a long time, I saw her look around her room and really register how many things she has in there.  ‘No, not a lot,’ she said.  I asked her if she thought she could even count how many toys she had in her room, and she said, with wide eyes, ‘No, mommy, I wouldn’t be able to remember what number I was on.’  And so we asked her again if she would rather give up 3 toys or the 3 trips, and this time there was no hesitation.  Three toys it was.

We didn’t take anything away, although I am going to sit down with her before long and sort through what she’s playing with and what she isn’t because she has a crapload of stuff, even in the face of a new baby to go through the younger stuff again.  And we may end up going through this again over the course of the week when we go the museum and zoo, two places with gift stores we all love.  But I really hope it can stick with her, the idea that doing things together is more important than buying stuff because I really don’t want her to grow up into a person who thinks she needs stuff to be happy.  Stuff is nice, and stuff is necessary, but it never made anyone happy.

This segues nicely into Venessa’s latest about Not Shopping.  I’m certainly guilty of buying things I don’t need, or thinking I need things which I really don’t.  Coming on the heels of my rather defiant and not convincing last entry, it’s something I really need to think about.  Consumer spending is my Achilles heel.  Sometimes I am going to have to buy things, and buying dressers from Ikea allows me to buy my diapering supplies from The Stork Wearhouse  .  Is it the right trade-off?  Who knows.  I’m starting to shy away from using the word ‘right’ when it comes to the choices I make for the environment.  it is true, however, as Venessa says that revolutions don’t have to be loud. In fact, most of the time the best way to make your point is to just not buy something.  It doesn’t matter if Wal-Mart notices that you’ve not spent half your paycheck there.  It does matter if your kids notice, if your neighbors notice, your friends and family notice.  Maybe they’ll ask why, or maybe they’ll think you’re crazy but either way, it sticks somewhere in the back of the mind.

As an aside:  since starting the Riot for Austerity, I have had a fair amount of people ask me about what we’re doing and why.  Truth be told the response has been more positive than I expected.  I expected to have to defend myself and the project more than I have.  I expected to have people point out flaws in what we’re doing and to spend great lengths of time explaining why it wouldn’t make a difference or why it was too hard, or worse of all, be accused of letting the project be more important than ‘living comfortably.’  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve fielded comments about how much easier it is for me because I don’t work, and I’ve even been told that I needed to make sure I didn’t jeopardize my health by not turning on the a/c (like I would ever allow myself to fall ill to prove a point.)  But for the most part, the past two months have been a pleasant surprise.

This is why I have decided that I am going to continue tracking my spending after all.  And I’m going to count the armoire even though it’s a gift because it’s not an entirely unsolicited gift.  It’s hardly fair to cut out a category simply because I’m uncomfortable with the amount of money I spend, and the fact is, I keep finding myself wanting to write about how almost all of our furniture is used and we never buy high ticket items, which means that I need to own this purchase, so to speak.  Do I think spending money on one item that will last for years is better than spending the same amount on clothes and shoes from Wal-Mart or a big screen tv?  Absolutely.  Is it without its own impact?  Definitely not.

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After several years of searching for the ideal computer desk (we’ve been using a piece of crap CVS desk since 2002) my MIL found, last night, the absolutely most perfectest armoire ever!  After some shuffling and confirming with my husband and child that it was, indeed, perfect, we ordered it this morning.  And, get this.  They just called and it will be here on Thursday.  Like the Thursday that comes next week.

This totally takes the edge off of not getting our new-to-us sofa and chairs until the beginning of October and not knowing exactly when the new dressers will be here.  No more worrying that our child will be crushed because the screws have wiggled loose!  No more components spread on every available surface!
On a more serious note, I’m no longer tracking consumer goods for the 90% reduction.  I don’t want to feel guilty about getting new furniture that will make our home safer and run more smoothly for when the baby comes and getting a second computer is simply a necessity if I’m going to continue to do proofreading and C is going to continue to pull down straight As.  I am going to keep looking at the sustainability of what we purchase, and do my best to cut out the little impulse and junk purchases but other than that, this will just have to serve as a reminder that it’s easy for expenditures to bite one in the proverbial arse.  Ironically enough, the armoire is going to be a gift to the household, and the computer may very well end up covered in part by C’s Dean’s List book allowance so I guess technically I could not count them toward our spending.  Nonetheless, this category has been the one with which I am least comfortable all along so I’m going to give it the ax.

Other than that, my attempts at nesting have been thwarted by other delivery woes (see above) and my own exhaustion.  I keep a to-do list that is currently full of ‘*whens’ (as in will do when…) and it’s been driving me crazy.  For once I’m not procrastinating and still everything is taking too long.  Suffice to say, this armoire will give me something to do with myself while I’m waiting to be able to get Lucy’s room split into a dual child facility.  For some reason I’m really concerned about getting everything done in time this time around, and even though I have 9 weeks left to get shit done, I’m really feeling crunched for time.  I’m feeling a little like the baby is going to come before my due date and it’s freaking me out.  In fact, most little aches and pains are eliciting pretty serious evaluation on my part.  The only thing I can think of is that having had one kid with birth complications has made me feel as though all births are to be stressed about, and so pre-term labor has stuck in my head at this point.  Who knows.  Either way, I need something to keep me busy and quick.  Even Lucy has become rather self-sufficient of late.

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Look!  Two blogs in one day!  WOuld any of you be surprised if I told you about the jackhammer across the street?  Woohoo!

1. The obvious-have you picked a name yet?!!!

We think so, but for some reason I’m not ready to share yet.  I’m terribly superstitious and have trouble committing so I think I just need to make sure neither C nor I change my mind and to get used to using it to refer to the baby.  I had the same trouble when we named Lucy, and after a few weeks of repeating it in my head, I couldn’t imagine any other name.

2. You’re getting pretty hippy dippy greenie. 🙂 What’s driving you? Is there one thing, or many?

Back in high school I liked to refer to myself as a post-punk neo-hippy so I guess it’s more coming back to a part of myself that I forget from time to time 😉

Every once in a while since Lucy was born, I get a wild hare up my butt and go nuts with the green-ness.  It started with organics and Seventh Generation diapers and wipes while we were still living out in Brooklyn, and then when we renovated and then moved into this apartment, I was in the first big upswing of ‘green’ and so out went chemical cleansers and in came cork tile, Energy Star, Green Power and CFLs.  I hit a sort of stagnation point until I got pregnant again, which coincided nicely with Radical Mama’s Earth Day posts and the realization that I was feeling like we weren’t doing enough because there was more we could do.  It was the decision to sign up for the CSA, inspired by Kind of Crunchy Mama, that tipped me over the edge, I think.

I suppose the short answer is that pregnancy turns me into Nature Mama but what fun are short answers?

3. Name your favorite visual artist, and why.

Oh this one is hard.  For years, I was hugely partial to Francis Bacon.  I can’t remember if it was in NYC or Kansas City that I saw one of his paintings in person, but I was completely mesmerized by the texture of the paint coupled with the contortion of the figure.  This was, of course, in my tortured teen years.

Nowadays I’m partial to, in no particular order, Joan Miro for his shapes which just sort of hit me in a way I can’t really explain, Jean Cocteau’s little doodly drawings (I carry a picture of Cocteau with Picasso in my wallet) and Chagall.  Aside from Cocteau, these are subject to change without notice 😛

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer.  More than anything.  Except for a brief window when I was 3 or 4 when I wanted to be a cat and other brief periods in 8th/9th grades when I considered being a lawyer or a lobbyist.  *shudder*

5. Courtney Love-Nutbag or tragic widow?

I met a guy in a bar one night who was bragging about being her dealer and pulled out a check she had written to him.  That pretty much cemented my opinion of her.  No doubt having your husband commit suicide makes you a tragic widow, and I’ve done my fair share of trying not to judge her, but honestly?  She irritates the piss out of me.  I never really got her as Grand Female Role model, I always thought Hole pretty well sucked, and the whole tragic widow thing only goes so far before you need to get yourself cleaned up and get help.  I’ve always felt absolutely horrible for Frances.

I think she’s a Nutbag Extraordinaire, albeit a tragic nutbag.

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview Me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

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Our apartment has been hit by insomnia.  Namely Lucy’s night-waking, which means, of course, that I am now awake as well. A few hours ago, when she first came into Big Beddy with us, I was concerned about the cause.  Hereabouts I just want to be able to unclench everything long enough to fall back asleep.  Again.  Seeing as that doesn’t seem to be very likely, I have unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, eaten half a bag of chips with onion dip, and debated running away from home at least half a dozen times.  Really, after 6 nights in a row of nobody getting enough sleep (this is the worst by far but it’s been building) I’m not nicey nice mommy anymore.  Now I’m cranky, bitter, overtired mommy and I hate being that mommy.   I want to be the one to help Lucy through whatever is troubling her, but between the hours of midnight and 3:30 with a child who insists that all she needs is to cuddle me when we’ve already had an hour and a half of half-cuddling, half-tossing and turning (her, not me) with no sleep forthcoming?  It’s hard to help when everybody is too exhausted to think straight.  And it’s doubly hard when you know that *something* woke the kid up but it could be anything from a bad dream to just having to pee and the kid can’t seem to tell you if she’s scared or upset or just can’t get herself back to sleep.  And then there’s the whole if it’s the latter, what can I do for her?  I can’t sleep for her and I can’t help her if she can’t tell me what’s keeping her awake.  She eats no refined sugar, watches no tv before bed and drinks only water and milk so it’s something head-related, and she gets so wound up if she doesn’t get her way that she totally melts down.
It’s so hard having a kid who is smart enough to make you forget that she’s still only 4.  And it is doubly hard when that kid doesn’t get enough sleep to think straight.  I’m going to give the old sleep thing one more try and hope (for everyone’s sake) that my kid doesn’t come trotting in at daybreak, because I don’t think either of us can handle that.  It is so freaking frustrating.

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I finally got around to ordering cloth diaper supplies, cloth menstrual pads for post-partum and wool nursing pads!  Lucy and I picked out the perfect navy velour footie sleeper with smocking for the baby to wear home from the hospital!  I am not anemic (although I am on the borderline) so I don’t have to choke down iron supplements!

When Lucy and I went out to lunch today, the waitress asked how long I had and guessed six weeks.  I sighed deeply and said, no, a little over 2 months and then realized moments later that it sounds like so much less when I say I have 10 weeks left.  At any rate, I feel slightly less ridiculous for freaking out about not having everything ready yet.  I still don’t have everything ready, but I’m feeling much more like I’m on the right track.

My next official act will be to start getting ready for labor.  I’m a little unsure how to start, but I’m equally sure it will come as no surprise that it will involve making some sort of labor mix CD because, hey, any excuse to play around with music and because I have to have a soundtrack for absolutely everything.  Any suggestions appreciated–I’d love to have music that reminds me of strong wimmin while I’m laboring.

We think we’ve found a name for the baby but I’m not tellin’ yet.  Lucy is still calling him Carl Elvis or, sometimes, Fluss.  She finds it hilarious.

I am going to seriously look into going back to school next year.  I think I want to study this but I can’t figure out how the online degree option works as far as specific areas of study.  Then again, I may be delusional from the hormones.

Yes, I jump topics this often in person as well.  I’m like a malfunctioning remote control caught between TLC and C-Span.

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