The Texture Of Things

Bullets of Busy-ness

April 28th, 2008

Right now I should be:
*putting together final grades for my students
*making a doctor’s appointment
*doing something about my heartburn
*grocery shopping, including taking our mountain of coins to the C0in St@r
*finishing the cleaning of the tot’s room (a task started yesterday at 11 a.m., if that gives you any freakin’ idea how bad it was)
*mounting a large-scale revolt against The Wonder Pets
*drinking water
*writing a better blog post

…but I’m not.

Stuff going on right now/these days:
*17 weeks yesterday.
*We have been cleaning house to make up for all those weeks when I was lying on the sofa instead of doing, say, anything. (Thanks, Nausea!)
*It got warm and now it’s chilly again, so in less than 18 hours, I’ve spotted two little, yellow, house spiders. (HG evicted one last night, but I couldn’t reach this morning’s interloper.)
*I got a new laptop. (woo hoo!)
*I’m getting ready to have a garage sale this weekend, and as usual, I have no idea how to price anything, particularly the furniture.
*I have pulled the tot out of the preschool daycare in favor of the home-based daycare, and she seems happy overall.
*The tot is having pee accidents like crazy lately, though, so what’s up with that?
*On the topic of “what’s up with that?”, two weeks ago, she had her first poop accident ever – out of the house, of course, and I had no back up clothes.
*The tot continues to act excited about numero dos, but how much of that is an act?
*I’ve been shopping for a dress for the wedding I’m reading in this summer. In short, shopping for clothes is dumb, and I hate it.
*Okay, I don’t hate it, but I am mad at it. Shopping for plus-size dresses that are wedding-appropriate is one thing, shopping for maternity dresses that are wedding-appropriate is one thing, shopping for plus-size maternity dresses that are wedding-appropriate is another thing entirely. I’m such a stingy, cheap old lady that it pains me to have to order several dresses online, knowing I’ll have to pay to ship some or all back after trying them on, but there are no brick-mortar stores anywhere near me for plus-size maternity gear.
*Sporadic insomnia sucks as much as regular insomnia.
*I’m staring down the barrel of Gestational Diabetes again, this time complete with insulin, and that sucks.
*We finished our meetings with S., our Food Friend. She took another job, and since the tot was getting ready to graduate out of the program due to age, we opted not to take a new clinician.
*In a week, I’m taking the tot to an Occupational Therapist’s office (one we’ve been seen at before, when she was evaluated for Sensory Integration Dysfunction – have I written about that? Not sure.)
*Anyway, I think we exhausted about everything we could do with S., so we’ll give this a shot for a bit to see if there’s any progress to be made there. If there is, great; if not, I guess we’re on our own.
*I bought a new slow cooker, and I’m itching to try it, but we haven’t had a good day for it yet. It might be Thursday this week before I get a chance.

Um, I think that’s about it. Yeah, that looks about right.

This post doesn’t sound like it
but overall, I’m having a pretty good day,

April 20th, 2008

in spite of the fact that at the moment, I fucking hate pillows.

HATE Them.

Last night, as bedtime rolled around, I realized that I had forgotten to go out and buy pull ups for the tot, so that meant she had to wear a cloth training pant to bed. And that meant I’d be washing all of her bedding first thing in the morning.

And lo, it came to pass. In fact, it passed so much that even her pillow was pee-y.

Um, gross.

But! That’s OK! Because this pillow is washable! Huzzah!

Only except for the part where this pillow has an allergy barrier which is nigh-on airtight; ergo, the pillow, when exposed to a tub full of water, floats.


I’d like to take a moment to tell you what I had to do to get that pillow to wash. I had to cut it. That’s right. I cut a hole in the pillow and squeezed it like it was old swim floatie. So there goes the allergy barrier.

Goddam pillows.

Gah, I’m so bad at decisions

April 15th, 2008

I just got off the phone with HG a bit ago. I’m in the process of waffling on a decision regarding the tot and childcare for the first half of summer (while I’m still working). After I hung up with him, I decided that I need to quantify the things that are bugging me, so I will put it here and torture you all with it.

Babysitting Day Care Pros:
*caregiver, L., knows how to deal with feeding issues, including when to be tough
*field trips – berry picking, swimming
*easy drop off and pick up
*both the tot and I like L.
*L. likes the tot and me
*tot has several friends there
*tot gets along with all the kids there
*communication journal
*kids play outside every day, weather permitting, including sprinklers when hot
*some diversity – mostly cultural, but also exposure to special needs, sibling pairs, wide range of ages

Preschool Day Care Pros:
*more structure
*circle time every day
*art every day
*cultural and ethnic diversity
*located at my school
*better ratio of adults to kids
*cheaper by $1.25 per hour
*the tot is ready for the challenge of preschool (even though it’s not really preschool as much as it’s child care with a preschool structure in the morning)

Babysitting Day Care Cons:
*tot comes home speaking like L.’s son – who cannot say the letters “L” or “R”
*L. does not offer messy experiences daily, like messy art things
*not as structured
*not as challenging because, hey, it’s not preschool
*the tot bitches about going in the morning

Preschool Day Care Cons:
*tot comes home speaking baby talk
*fewer kids overall (weird, but I think this is true based on when I pick up and drop off)
*different kids from day to day
*about half the adults seem apathetic or disinterested in being around kids – not outright annoyed or hostile, just blase
*the bathroom has adult-sized toilets (not that big of a deal) but no step stool, so the tot has to scale them like a mountain-climber because she is small and the adults don’t help the kids in the stalls
*both boys and girls use the girls’ bathroom (I guess because all of the caregivers are women?), so twice now at pick up I have seen the tot come out of the stall with pee-splotched pants because of having to climb through messes left by previous users (both times boys, though girls have the capacity to pee everywhere, too)
*the lunchtime caregivers don’t like the lunches I pack, so they micromanage the tot’s eating. Case in point: I had been sending a handful of baby carrots each day. The tot does not eat them, but she’s been known to gnaw on one. I thought some exposure to the food outside the home and my influence might yield a breakthrough, as in ‘if it’s just there in a neutral territory, maybe she’ll develop new associations.’ One day, one of the apathetics told me that she had been telling the tot that she couldn’t have the other parts of her lunch until she ate a carrot. I guess that would explain why her lunch box was coming home full all those days.
*when we switch to the summer, we’ll be later in the day, so the tot won’t be there for the preschool portion
*the tot fights going a lot more than she fights going to babysitting
*OMG, how could I forget this?! After a semester at the preschool, at least one caregiver (I believe two) still gets the tot’s name wrong

So where I am is that I don’t know. I don’t think that each item on the list can be weighted the same, so simply counting up the items is not an accurate method. Whichever I choose, I feel that after a semester of doing one day a week at preschool and one day a week at babysitting, the tot needs to be both days at the same place.

Personally, today I feel like sending her to babysitting this summer because of how late I was this morning getting to preschool. I got the tot up earlier than usual and we were later than ever. If we had been going to babysitting, I could have called her stalling bluff by loading her in the car in her pull-up and jammies and said, “I don’t care if you won’t get ready – you’re going anyway.” L. wouldn’t have cared; in fact, she encourages it. Could I do this with preschool? Probably, but I just don’t feel comfortable enough with the staff there to do it yet.

I need to make this choice by the end of the week, ideally, but I simply don’t feel inspired. I thought writing this out would help, but I’m not sure it did. I think I will give it a day and come back to this to look for patterns and an answer.


April 14th, 2008

I’ve been hulking something around with me since late last summer that I felt and feel is largely unbloggable. It is another reason, besides illness, that has kept me from blogging – nearly every time I would have a minute to sit and write, the ideas that were stuck in my head had no place here. So my blogging fell away during those times until I could get the thoughts unstuck through other venues, namely bitching to a friend (hi Steph!) and/or husband.

The primary reason I found it so unbloggable was that I was caught up in the superficial details. I’m past most of those now and finding myself thinking about the larger patterns and lessons I can draw from this experience.

This “experience” is the American Wedding.

As you can guess, it’s not my wedding in the works right now, but the wedding of an old friend of mine. I will not talk about the details of her wedding – that’s not my story to tell; rather, I will focus on what I’m learning about the traditions, the customs, the commercialization, and the general insanity of American weddings.

There may or may not be much to tell. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Dos: One or the Other

April 12th, 2008

Click here to find out what “Dos:” means.

In response to the PSA, Summer wrote me a comment I wanted to respond to, but I found my response growing and growing. I decided to put it here instead of in the comments because it might answer some questions down the way.

Summer wrote:

Actually, I quite like reading about other people’s pregnancies, as long as the pregnant person writing is happy about being pregnant. That doesn’t mean you can’t bitch about symptoms — please, feel free to moan about swollen ankles or getting up a million times at night to pee, because I do like to be reminded of the uncomfortable, unattractive parts of pregnancy. As long as you don’t complain about the gender of your unborn child, or otherwise act as if a second child is a burden rather than a blessing, I’ll be happy to read your Dos entries.

I fully intend to bitch about being pregnant because being pregnant? not that gr8, akshully. End result = great, awesome, wanted; ends to the means? not so much.

For the record, I won’t make it any secret that I’m rooting for a girl*, but you will not find me bemoaning my “bad luck” if it turns out to be a boy. (Also, we intend to find out as soon as we can.) My reasons for wanting a girl are, quite honestly, fairly empty.

1. I already have all the girl stuff, and although I do enjoy shopping for kids’ stuff, I just can’t get excited about all the stuff in my basement that I couldn’t use if the baby is a boy. That said, I know I’d be in 7th heaven about the tax deduction after I donate the unneeded stuffs to charity. So really, it’s a toss up. (Mmmmm, tax deductions…..)

2. Though I know in my head that no two kids are the same to parent, my emotions are not as easily convinced. I feel like I’ve already got a start up the learning curve with a girl. How realistic that is, I can’t tell. When I anticipate having a girl, I feel a sense of comfort, but I feel a sense of “Oh No! I Don’t Know How To Be A Mother To A Boy!” when I anticipate a boy. But seriously? I didn’t know how to be a mother to a girl either until I had one. So that argument doesn’t really hold water either.

I guess in the end, I just want a healthy baby. A baby that’s close to or completely full term. A baby that doesn’t go to the NICU instead of rooming in with me. And when it comes to sex and gender, I’ll take one or the other and love what I get.

*Why do I root at all? I think I root for one over the other because (again, I know this is shallow) even when my team isn’t in the Superbowl, I still pick a team to cheer for. Even if that choice is based on uniform colors.

Dos: Barfing is bad, mmm’kay?

April 11th, 2008

Click here to find out what “Dos:” means.

I honestly don’t think I need to say much beyond the title, do I? I hope it gives away why I’ve been so absent.

Oh, wait. Okay, let me say this: when you’ve barfed so hard that your blood vessels around your eyes and down your throat burst, don’t go around making jokes in public about having been choked. That’s just not a good idea. I’m not saying how I know this, I’m just sayin’, is all.


P.S. When a woman you know is pregnant and suffering morning-noon-night sickness, asking more than once a week when this trimester is over will serve only to increase her despair and, consequently, her nausea. I’m sure you mean well, but again, I’m just sayin’, is all.

PSA: Numero Dos

April 10th, 2008

Despite my haphazard posting schedule, there are still readers out there, some of whom I believe do not care to read about my pregnancy. I don’t want to chase off any reader, but there are some pregnancy-related things I do want to write about. So, the question on my mind lately has been how to separate out the pregnancy-related posts in a way that is immediately recognizable, allowing readers to choose whether to continue reading or not.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and this is the best solution I can come up with.

The title of every post containing pregnancy-related chatter will begin with Dos, standing for Numero Dos, as in Baby # 2. Here is an example:

“Dos: Coming Soon to a Blog Near You”

And before the text body of each Dos entry, I will link to this entry explaining what “Dos:” means.

I hope this:
1. works.
2. is worth it to somebody, anybody.

Thank you for your time. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

Reason #1,298,458 I Love My Daughter

April 9th, 2008

“How to Make an English Teacher Proud”

The college I teach at has a Culinary Institute, and the program requires each Culinary student to take one semester of Cafe. In other words, the school has a restaurant – open to the public for lunch, two days a week – and the Culinary suckers students run it. One of the days it happens to be open is a day I teach and a day I take the tot to the on-site childcare center.

A couple of weeks ago, the tot and I found ourselves sitting at a large round table having lunch – me with some gourmet-yummy something-or-other, the tot with her leftovers from her lunch box. A colleague of mine from the English department (C) walked up to say hello. Our paths don’t cross often, so it was a lovely surprise, to say the least.

The conversation was pretty generic. Pleasantries, small talk with preschooler, etc. At one point, C asked the tot how old she is, and the tot answered.

C: Oh wow, you’re getting big! I have a daughter named E who just turned 4.
Tot: Do I know her?
C: No, I don’t think you’ve ever met her. Your mommy met her, I think, when she was a baby.
Tot: When my mommy was a baby?
C (laughing): No, when E was a baby!
C (to me): Well, she gets pronoun confusion! She’ll be an English teacher yet!

OMG, I love this kid – whether or not she teaches English when she grows up.

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