Thursday, December 30, 2010

some items for your consideration, fourth edition

Item the First:  Thank you, so very much, for all the kind words you gave me this week.  Things do tend to look differently after bourbon, or in the morning, or in the morning after bourbon, which in this case is an air-quotes "in the morning" because it pretty much took until today for things to look upward enough to be convincing.

I think it's important to say so when things are not good, just as it's important to say so when things are good.  More than one IRL person told me this week they were totally surprised that I ever felt overwhelmed and inadequate.  Y'all.  Really.  I'm just a mama over here.  I might be a little more quirky than the mama over there and a little more straight-laced than the mama in the other direction, but we're all just mamas, right?  

And when you said, You're not alone, or I get this, or I know how this feels, you weren't just saying it to me.  You said it to other hurting mamas who needed to hear it just as badly as I.  

So thank you.

Item the Second:  In addition to having a bad case of The Whatever That Was Last Weekend, I found myself having a case of the _____________ which led me to schedule an appointment with my midwife, who also performs regular vaginal maintenance procedures.  (And no, the correct answer to the fill-in-the-blank is not BABY IN MAH BELLAH, so pipe down over there.)  I just really don't think that you need a clear description of All Things Southerly, so I'm just going to be a little vague, and you're going to be happy about it.

This was not my yearly exam, because, well, I didn't actually have a yearly exam in 2009, because I was doing something else that did not involve duck-billed anythings in my places.   Except it turns out that when you plan to attend the gyno only when you have a case of the ______________, she will take advantage of you when you are scantily clad and in a relatively immobile position to swish as many swab-ish things as she can in order to secretly conduct your yearly exam.  Big trickster.

But then?  Good news, people!  She upped my meds.  For those of you who don't know, I flat out lost my shit when I was six months pregnant with Elliott, and started taking a low-dose SSRI.  Turns out that flat out losing your shit when you're pregnant is an actual, serious medical condition called antenatal depression.  Time magazine wrote a really great piece about it last February.

But then?  Bad news, people!  She told me I'm fat.  No, she didn't say the Eff word exactly (or the other eff word), but she said something about 20, no 25 pounds and so really speedy quick I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang the Smurfs theme song.  Classy, I know.  I can't even help it!

Item the Third:  Christmas was nice.  Hope you had a lovely Christmas, too, if you're a Christmas-er, or that last Saturday was a nice, plain old boring day if you're not a Christmas-er.  And thank you to my internetty pals who sent us cards.  The short people would open them and say Who are *those* people? and we'd say Blog people, and eventually the short people would open a card, have a look, and say something ridiculous about Pretend People From The Computer.  Except for WRH's card... they jumped up and down and shouted about The Well-Read Son and The Well-Read Daughter and demanded to return to Philadeedelphia at once.  Heh.  Not with that attitude, missy.  And mistery.  Mystery... Oh never mind.

Item the Fourth:  It is bloody cold in my house.  This whole BEING CHEAP thing is not for me.  Thank GOD for my boyfriend, Colin Firth.  I pop that fella in the microwave for three minutes, and he warms me down to the tips of my toes.  Sometimes he warms only my toes, if I make him sit on my feet.  And you know what?  He's okay with that.  And he always cuddles and never asks for anything more, no matter how hot he gets.  You should totally get your own Colin Firth.  (Spoiler alert:  shameless plug.)

Item the Fifth:  Laptop or iPod Touch.  Discuss.

Item the Sixth and Final:  Plans for New Years' Eve are as follows:  Feed the children dinner.  Make some popcorn in our new Whirly-Pop thingy.  Pop a movie in the DVD player and cuddle in bed with the short people whilst The Mister mixes some random bar band and earns a pocket o'cash.  Bed by nine.  I know.  We're terribly exciting.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

so this is christmas.

And I am sitting here, at the computer.
I have a pint glass, full of diet soda and possibly quite a bit of bourbon.
Because I can.

It was quiet today, even though it was loud, louder, loudest.
The waking up!
And the gifts!
And the happy!

Oy, and also vey.

I have reached a certain point with my short people.
A certain very critical point, possibly a crossroads of some sort, but who's to say, really?
Because more than anything, parenting well is about realizing you are at a point before you can even give a name or a purpose or a reason to the point.

I long to parent well, and I fear I do not.
Do you fear that, too?  Because from where I am perched, right this very minute, I feel alone.
I look and I watch and I calculate and I plan and I judge and I watch some more and I try to figure it all out.

I feel like I have too many children to do a good job.
And this is not a life-long truth; it is not even close to being a good assessment of my life, our life.
Do you ever feel that way, too?  Just once in a while, even?
Like you are in over your head, or you're soon about to be submerged by the requests and the needs and the I JUST WANT MY MAMA TO PLAY DINOS WITH MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because from where I am sitting, right here and now, I'm sinking.

They say it is a season, that things will not always be this way, but ohmygoodness.  When does the upswing begin?  And then they say, Heh. Well.  Enjoy it now because it only gets worse.  Who are these people whose lives suck more and more with each passing day, and why do I feel like I'm joining their club? 

I celebrate holidays with a full-out contemplation of my responsibilities.  I cannot explain it to you.  I cannot explain it to me.  I sat in my living room today amidst squeals of excitement and charming lovelies and warmth and full bellies and I feel...  I feel...  

I don't even know.  Inadequate, I guess.  And I hate inadequate more than anything.  Because those four little people do not deserve inadequate.  They don't deserve adequate, either, for that matter, and that I'm not even coming close to meeting the standard is causing my heart to hurt very much.

What's it doing to them?

Monday, December 20, 2010

some items for your consideration

  1. Elliott has learned the fine art of screaming MINE!!!!
  2. My church got itself a new pastor and due to a very long story that has no bearing on this story, which resulted in the sending of a few emails back and forth between New Pastor and Moi, New Pastor spent some time here.  And told me it was "interesting reading".  I would rather get to know someone in real life through, you know, ACTUAL REAL LIFE, than to have my first impression be the dayton time.  And not because I'm somebody entirely different here, but there's a line between The Actual Pamela Dayton Time and the dayton time.  Hello, awkward.
  3. Remember my What the Fark, Amazon? post???  (Please be advised I used my Bad Words, and lots of them... people were giving that disclaimer on the effbooks about that post... gulpish.) Anyway.  Dude got arrested.  Hooray, Florida Law Enforcement!!! 
  4. My official assessment of the current homeschooling situation in my house:  DISMAL.
  5. My official assessment of the homeschooling situation in my house come January:  BETTERISH.  At least it had better be betterish.
  6. I played Hair Roulette with my gal pal who cuts my hair.  I said Cut! Color!  And she went to town on my head.  Pictures later, after I've showered, and applied makeup to the black rings under my eyes.  Because right now I look a little bit like this:

  7. Wee Man has learned the fine art of Pushing People's Buttons.  I have learned the fine art of NOT BEATING HIM.
  8. I mailed out Christmas Cards.  Not because I'm especially awesome, but because mailing Christmas Cards is the only item on my very long bucket list that I have accomplished this month.  Granted, I've only been cultivating the bucket list for about three weeks now, but still.  I'm one step closer to being able to sleep through the night without having a single, solitary reason to wake up.
  9. And yes, that was a little morbid.  But I am at the point in my life as a procreating person where I honestly believe I will be dead before I sleep more than three consecutive hours.
  10. Almost all of our gifts this Christmas are handmade by me, or us, or by someone else. Except the Legos for Wee Man, and the Stocking Snacks.  I am really happy about that.  And while it *totally* makes me look like someone who PLANS THINGS to say I started knitting for Christmas in MARCH, please know it was not on purpose and I just happened to be (illicitly) shopping for yarn and the first Yarn Purchase Justification I could muster was BUT I'M KNITTING IT UP FOR YOUR MOM. FOR *CHRISTMAS*.  And I'm pretty sure he knew I was grabbing at straws or strings or whatever you kids are grabbing these days, but it's knitted up.  For his mom.  So there.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    happy tuesday.

    That's me, senior year of high school.
    Ten points if you can name the musical.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    that's a first.

    You may congratulate me.  I have received my first official Cease and Desist letter.  I know.  I'm a total infringer.  

    Here's the deal.  I made these adorable and cozy things:

    butter yellow wristies
    butter yellow wristies  butter yellow wristies

    And I made the mistake of calling them wris+ies.  

    I came home this weekend to this:

    by wristiesprofileshopcontact
    hello -
    Your "Wristies®" are beautiful but would you please remove the word "Wristies" or Wristie from your products, website, and advertising? the word is Trademarked and using it without permission is not cool (and illegal). I'm sure it's an innocent issue, but we have rights to the word and would appreciate your cooperation.
    Best wishes for a successful holiday season,
    Susan Gregory
    Wristies, Inc.
    11 December 2010 1:34pm EDT

    I really appreciate that she took the extra time to explain that using a trademarked word is not cool.  The thought of being not cool was really and truly what motivated me to take The Offending Word out of my listing.   I think that everything after the word is Trademarked is a bit unnecessary because really?  Intelligent people, even intelligent people who have committed an innocent issue, will understand the concept of The Trademark.

    Rest assured, I have taken care of the innocent issue, quickly renamed my product (without consulting the googles) (again), and replied to her message.

    by revelbabyprofileshop 
    I had no idea that you owned the word 'wristies'. Of course I will remove it; I would never want to do something that wasn't cool (or that was illegal). I apologize for taking a few days to respond to your convo. I've been out of town and away from the computer.
    Have a lovely day.
    13 December 2010 11:34am EDT

    So. Do me a solid and just go purchase all the rest of my wristy-warmers before the owner of wristy-warmers-dot-com sends me a cease and desist letter, too.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    somebody fix this. now. please.

    So I told you about the little trip I'm taking, where LITTLE means IS TURNING INTO A COMPLETE AND UTTER NIGHTMARE.

    Anyway.  Back to the nightmare.

    I am the photographer for the wedding.  Which will be fun! and unstressful! and lovely!  Except.  I am bringing the short people because a Certain Someone has to work at His Certain Place of Employment all bloody weekend long.  

    You might be wondering why I'm bringing the team with me to photograph a wedding in a land that is far, far away.  And to be perfectly honest with you?  I'M WONDERING, TOO.  Elliott is still nursing, and at the moment he's working on about four teeth, and he's not feeling well, so it's not really the right time to leave him.  (Although, he's getting four teeth, and is crabby, so leaving him is somewhat tempting.)  If I take Elliott, I'll need someone to take care of him in The Far Away Land whilst I'm quote-unquote working, and I'll *also* need someone to take care of the Other Three whilst A Certain Someone is quote-unquote working.  And I can't really afford to pay two babysitters to simultaneously watch my children at home and in The Far Away Land.

    So I decided to take them all.


    And this is the part that makes me want to say all kinds of bad words.  I cannot find a place for us to stay.  There is one child-friendly Bed and Breakfast in the town, and there are three NOT AT ALL child-friendly B&B's.  Naturally, the child-friendly one has a three-room suite that is totally budget-worthy, and a sun room to play games and watch tv and stuff, and it is booked.  

    There are hotels.  But none of them will let me, the four short people, and my take-along babysitter all stay in one room, which is NOT AT ALL what I want.  And none of them have adjoining rooms.  They don't even have accommodations suitable for one adult and four children (and no, the babysitter is not sleeping in the car, for heaven's sake, people).  I can't put some of my people in a locked room with my babysitter (this has nothing to do with her, she's lovely) all night long, because can you imagine being little and wake up in a dark room in a strange place and WHERE IS MY MAMA!!!!!!

    I have a headache.  Tell me how to solve my problem.  Please.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    we have a winner!

    email me your address, manda.

    going to the west by-gawd for the weekend

    We have a winner!  Congratulations, Danae.


    People, I'm having a bit of a crisis.  Crisis might be a little too-strong of a word for this situation, but it's my blog and I'll crisis if I wanna.


    My friend K from Cleveland is no longer going to be My Friend K From Cleveland.  She is going to be My Friend K Who Formerly Lived In Cleveland Way Back Before She Married Her Long-Lost High School Sweetheart.

    And that, people is WAY TOO LONG OF A NAME for me to A) remember and B) type on this here blog.

    But that is not the crisis.

    The crisis is that I'm trying to pack all my crap special belongings and necessary items and I have no actual suitcase.  Why?  Why do I have no suitcase?

    Well.  This one time back nine years or so ago, I had a suitcase.  I had several, in fact, with enough room to take all of my "NEW SLEEPWEAR" on my honeymoon to London, and to bring back souvenirs for, well, me.  Like my superty-fab Mary Janes from THE ACTUAL DOCTOR MARTENS STORE ON COVENT GARDEN.  Le sigh.  Which no longer fit since I've done gone birthed four rather large critters out my places.

    And then, one time back, well, less than nine years ago, our hot water heater blew up and the suitcases got wet but I didn't realize it at the time because I was too busy shop-vac-ing up ninety-eleven bazillion gallons of water.

    And now I have to take a trip (by myself), with fancy clothes and non-fancy clothes and shampoo stuff (because I will be showering a completely unnecessary amount of times on my trip to make up for all the showers I don't take at home), and all of my camera stuff.  Because I am the photographer.


    And if My Friend K Who Just Got Married (does that work? probably not for the long run) permits it, I might share some of the pictures with you.

    Wondering why SUITCASE is the hot word?  Because I need one, dangitall, and because CSN Stores wants to give you a $50 gift card that you can use on any product in any of their (more than 200) stores.  The gift card won't cover any part of the shipping costs, so plan ahead.

    So.  Click on a SUITCASE and leave me a comment telling me which one I should purchase.  OR!!! Leave me a comment telling me how I should refer to My Friend K From Cleveland until death do us part.  All names will go into a fancy-dancy hat on December 12th at 11:59 p.m. My Time (that's an official time zone now, don't'cha know!), and a short person who is being nice will pull a name from the hat sometime the next morning.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    little known fact

    The Mister has our babies' footprints on his right shoulder.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    wish for snow... and a $50 gift card from 77kids

    I was invited to attend a special blogga-mama breakfast at the brand-spanking new 77kids store at Carousel Center Mall in Syracuse.  And not just because I'm cool, but I'm sure it helped.  Well, maybe a little.  Or something.

    Can I have three of these, please? And an extra for little old me?
    77kids is reaching out to its friends and customers this Christmas season.  Each customer will be given the opportunity to donate 77 cents (or more!) when they make a purchase, and all of those 77 centses will be given to the local Children's Hospital.  In our case, the lucky place is Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.

    This here?  Was why we were there.
    Superty cool signage, no?

    this cutesy button
    But Pamela! you say, there is no 77kids in my neck of the woods!!!  Never fear, my darlings.  Give this cutesy button a click and you will be magically transported to the land of virtual snowflakes.  In a couple of minutes, and with very minimal work on your part, you can create your very own virtual snowflake.  And when 100,000 of these babies have been virtualized, 77kids will donate $25,000 of their own cool cash to the  Children's Hospitals.  Pretty sweet. Even sweeter?  77kids is giving away one $77 gift card EVERY SINGLE DAY to a very happy snowflake-maker.

    And to make it really worth your while, we're giving away a $50 gift card to 77kids.  Oh yes we are.  And no, I haven't started referring to myself as "WE".  Well, here, anyway.

    So. The rules, because you know there's just gotta be rules.

    That's the main rule.  But you can do other superty-clicky things, too.  Such as:
    - Follow 77kids on Twitter
    - Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following:
    @pameladayton is giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky reader who helps @77kids donate to charity! Let it snow! #77kids
    - Like 77kids on the effbooks
    - Like the dayton time  on the effbooks
    - Blog about the giveaway and link back to this post
    - Create more snowflakes–one additional entry for each snowflake you make!

    Be sure to leave a comment for each extra thingy you do.  Comments will be closed at noon on December 6th.  Winner will be drawn out of a hat by a yet-to-be-determined short person, and will have 24 hours from the time I email you to reply and claim your gift card.  

    And here's the part where I tell you that this giveaway is a collaboration between 77kids and The Motherhood, and that while I was compensated for my time, my words are, indeed, my own.

    Finally, this.
    The knitted toys. 
    You know how I love The Knitting, right?

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    this is the one i chose...

    Family Wall Noir Christmas Card
    Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
    View the entire collection of cards.