Who I Am

Lisa - A SAHM with not enough time and too many things to do, take care of, love, enjoy, yell at and snuggle. At least that is how it feels on any given day.

Who I Give My Time To

M - my uber-supportive husband

A - my sensitive 4 year old son

O - my charming 2 year old son

Why I Blog

"I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up."
— Pearl S. Buck

My Life Right Now

"“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
— Winston Churchill

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What Free Time? Archives

Sunday, February 29, 2004

My Gripes for Today

1. Evil neighbor cut us off in the laundry room - Rule #1 of laundry room etiquette is that if your basket of clothes is there on the washer, you are waiting for it. I am seriously running out of maternity clothes. I may be sporting the midriff baring look tomorrow as I try to squeeze into a non-maternity shirt. Lovely.

2. Someone told me today that they wish they could just stay home and have babies. A fine goal really. Except that in the context of the conversation it was more that this was way easier than working. I am probably a little SS on this topic anyway, but I am still feeling a bit rubbed wrong by it. I know I shouldn't be. Knowing this person it was probably said more with longing than anything and that makes me feel even worse. It's a no win feeling situation here.

3. Looking through the photos from A's second birthday yesterday, I am bummed that so many of them have these pictures of M's in the background that I HATE. Hate them. But he loves them. And I can not win every argument, especially as I need them as leverage for future decorating plans of mine. Hopefully they will one day be hanging in his office far from my view. But now of course they are permanently recorded in our family history through these birthday photos. Bah.

4. Leftover sweets from the party have been calling out to me all day. Not to mention this major craving for a bagel with cream cheese that I have been having. Bagels are like raw sugar to a diabetic so no go there either. I tried to satisfy my cravings with sugar snap peas. They were good, but didn't quite cut it. The more you know you can't have something, the more you want it. Just like anything in life. Sigh. At least we are having Thai food for dinner. Yum.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Time Keeps on Slippin' into the Future

My baby turned 2 today. He starts preschool on Tuesday.

Hold me.

How could two years have disappeared like that? I still feel like a new mom at times, other times like an old pro. I wonder where my baby went, my sweet, snuggly, little nursling. Who is this giant child that laughs and talks, runs and sings? Who can put down more food at a sitting than I can. Who has the most amazing imagination, who plays Tommy-choo for hours on end, making up stories and train patterns. Who sings lots of songs, who knows his ABC's, who can't count to 3 but who can count to 20 starting at 11. Who today told me that milk comes from moo-cows and apple juice comes from horsies. I miss my baby, but I am in awe of the person that baby has become. I am sure the terrible two's are about to begin sometime soon, but right now I'd say we are in the terrific twos and I can't wait to hear what he has to say next or see what his next achievement will be.

He'll always be my baby though. My first born. My sweet son.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Much Needed Confidence Boost

It is amazing how a simple thing like a haircut can immediately make you feel better about yourself. I've had shoulder length hair for awhile now, alternating between one length and layered. I like the look - when I have the time to do it. Which is usually holidays and special occasions. For everyday life it is always pulled back in a barrette. So what is the point of having all that hair?

I was waffling between cutting it or growing it longer and then I ran into an aquaintance at a local coffee shop. She had to come up and take my arm and say hello before I recognized her. I couldn't believe it, she looked great. Her hair was short, a bit spiky and highlighted. Very stylish. And I need to also mention she is also the mother of two young sons - so not like she has tons of free time for primping either. So there I was with my hair pulled back, frumpy as ever (being 7 months pregnant does not help) and there she was, looking very hip. Hate that feeling. So that pretty much cinched my decision.

So I cut it and could not be happier. It is so easy, wash, apply product, air dry, apply different product, blow dry for about 3 minutes, apply final product (did I mention I am a hair product whore? Love Aveda). And I'm done. And it looks fabulous if I do say so myself. Nothing too dramatic - it's a short (ear-length) layered bob and a bit cut up in the back. If others don't like it, what does it matter? I'm happy. And I feel younger and more stylish than I have in the last two years. As Martha would say, a very good thing.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

How I Became a Crunchy Mama

If you bumped into me in the grocery store you wouldn't immediately think I was crunchy. And given where I live, probably no one would lump me in the crunchy set at first sight. I look very mainstream.

But as I was driving home from my prenatal yoga clas I was thinking how much I have changed for the crunchier in the past two years ( I was actually able to think rather than mindlessly sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm over and over since A was not in the car with me). Anyway in my previous life I was an oil analyst (can you get any more un-crcunchy?), shopped almost exclusively at Ann Taylor, owned a home in an up-and-coming trendy Boston suburb, and ate out at least 3 times a week. The change happened slowly but the two main events were getting pregnant and M having a mid-life crisis and deciding to go back to business school.

So over the next 9 months, we had a baby, sold our house and one of our cars, packed everything up and hauled it away to BFE. Let it be said that sometimes the best schools can be located in the middle of nowhere. We moved at the end of my maternity leave and I never went back to work - though I had planned to and had already enrolled A in daycare. I hated the thought of leaving Boston, especially given our destination. But off we went. I never returned to work and I have to honestly say that for not one day in the past two years have I missed it. Not one. I am so thankful to be home with A - something we never could have swung with the high cost of living in Boston.

On the crunchy side, I have done so many things I thought I never would - I co-slept, I wore my baby (until he got too big!), I breastfed him into his toddlerhood. I wear clogs. I buy organic food and rarely eat out. I take a yoga class where she chants and burns incense. And I am trying very hard to have a natural birth with this next baby. Some of this may not be crunchy to you, but to me it is and it amazes me how much I have changed in the past 2 years. And in my opinion, for the better.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Notes to Self

Recently diagnosed gestational diabetics who are already hormonally unbalanced should not do the following -

- Make chocolate train lollipops for son's 2nd birthday party
- Make yummy cookies to give to some friends
- Have birthday party for 2 year old son where the menu consists of cake, cookies, cheescake brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, ice cream.
- Walk through the Easter display aisles in Target. The Cadbury mini-eggs were just calling my name. I was strong, but it was more temptation than I needed.

I am trying I really am. I am just so damn grouchy, it seems everything out there is on my do not eat list. Bah.

Blog Apathy

I have felt completely uninspired to write much lately. Honestly, what is so interesting in the mind of a 31 year old stay at home mom in BFE Northeast? Not so much it seems. I know I am selling myself short, and I am sure it is the damn pregnancy hormones but I have felt so apathetic in general lately. I haven't read a book since we got back from vacation at the end of January. I have however managed to watch Law and Order reruns religiously the past week or so. Obviously this is a clear sign of a rut.

Today I am seeing a glimmer of light though. The sun actually shone today, I cleaned my entire house (the in-laws arrive tomorrow) and I have dusted off my blog. My requested copy of Angels and Demons has arrived at the library, trashy pop-fiction, but still a book. Perhaps I will start it tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Thanks Dear

As we are cleaning up from dinner, M looks over at me and says "Wow, you are really getting big. You look much more near the end than just in the middle [of your pregnancy]. "

Thanks dear. What would I do without you?

It's the Small Things

No, not those sweet, wonderful, small surprises that occasionally happen, those things that make you smile and be grateful to be alive. No, I'm talking about those other things. Those small, annoying, tedious, sometimes painful things that make you wonder exactly what higher being you pissed off today.

Take last night for instance. Or to be more exact the wee hours of this morning. I was woken by these stragne chirping noises. It sounded like a steam radiator but since we have electric heat I couldn't figure out what it could be. So I sat up and that's when it hit me. The smell. You don't forget a smell like that. Skunk. Freshly sprayed skunk. I cursed under my breath and prayed at the same time that it was some bad pregnancy dream.

But no, some poor skunk got in some terrible fight right under our bedroom window. Considering I live in a large apartment complex with probably 15 buildings and 18 units in each building with at least 6 windows in each unit - what are the odds it would be OUR window? But of course it was. Just part of a long string of small, stupid things that just seem to be happening to us lately. At least this one didn't cost us any money like many of the others have. It's these small things that just repeatedly beat you up, make you want to hide under the covers for days (if your covers didn't smell like skunk that is) and make you wonder what is possibly going to happen next.

So my whole apartment stinks. Though the smell of vinegar is slowly winning the battle. It was my only option, as opening a window for fresh air wouldn't exactly help.

It must be me and pregnancy. It's a whole other post about how our dalmatian got sprayed with a skunk exactly 2 years ago on a freezing cold Boston night when I was 37 weeks pregnant and we had to bring him inside to clean him up. You just don't forget smells like that. I had thought that we had paid our skunk dues with that debacle, but I guess I was wrong yet again.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Tag Teamed

The baby isn't even born yet and he and his brother are already conspiring to drive me insane. Unborn son has wedged himself into some position that forces him to be pressed firmly against my right side. It's created this "hot spot" that burns and is incredibly tender to the touch. A actually did the same thing when I was pregnant with him, must be a very cozy nook in that corner of my uterus. Regardless, it hurts. Badly. And I can't get this little guy to budge. Not an inch.

And wonderful born son has decided he doesn't need to nap anymore. Sorry buddy, this is not a democracy it's an autocracy and I make the rules. You get at least an hour in your crib whether you sleep or not is up to you. I need that break, that one small slice of my day that is all mine. That's when I eat lunch, catch up on email and internet life, watch my soap (oh the horror!) and just chill out. You just wouldn't like me much if I don't get at least that short amount of time to myself A. So please, please reconsider this situation.

Off to rescue you from your crib now.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Bump in the Night

Confession - I am a wimp. A scaredy cat. A wuss. I hear a noise in the night and I assume it is a masked marauder coming to get me. I hate to stay alone at night. Hate it. I've actually never lived on my own - I always had a roomate both for financial reasons and peace of mind. I remember when I lived in DC my roomate went away for a month. We lived in a reasonable area, but there were always break-ins in our neighborhood. I don't think I slept that entire month - just stayed awake and watched crappy TV until it was time to go to work.

I thought maybe I would outgrow it, especially when I became a mom. I don't remember my mom ever being afraid when my dad was away on business. But honestly, it's only gotten worse. I have another vulnerable soul to protect from all those noises and bumps in the night.

Why am I writing this? Because I am trying to take my mind off of that strange noise I just heard coming from the study....

Thursday, February 12, 2004


This show needs a parental advisory warning - as in parents need to warned before they watch the show that there is content that will cause severe emotional anguish, tears, and an overwhelming urge to snatch up your sleeping child and hold him long into the wee hours of the night.


Because Valentine's Day is coming and I'm not feeling very romantic right now, I got out my favorite love poem to read. Not a classic love poem, but the way it speaks about longing and need really hit home for me. I found it when Mike and I were planning our wedding and I kept it in my wedding binder and whenever I saw it, it made me smile.


he is as salt
to her,
a strange sweet
a peculiar money
precious and valuable
only to her tribe,
and she is salt
to him,
something that rubs raw
that leaves a tearful taste
but what he will
strain the ocean for and
what he needs.

--lucille clifton

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

What problem? I don't have a problem....

I stalk my prey. I watch it carefully for days. I see how many others may be interested. Finally I am hours away from my victory. Now minutes. 4 minutes - I jump into the fray and place my bid. Everyone else seems to have fled. But wait - 56 seconds to go and someone has jumped back in - and they.have.outbid.me. What? Frantically I grab my mouse and bid again - will I bid high enough to regain victory? I have. 26 seconds to go and I am hoping my win is locked in, tick tock tick tock. Finally the bell sounds (but only in my head) - the auction has closed and I am victorious. What does it matter that I just paid 5x the normal cost of a candy mold? I won. It is mine. Oh and don't forget to add in shipping.

Member, EBAY Addicts Annoymous

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

He Loves Me

I dropped M and A off at gymnastics class this morning so that I could have an hour to myself (which was of course spent running errands, but still - BY MYSELF!). As M was getting A out of his car seat, I said "Bye A, I'll miss you, have fun with Dada," he replied "ok mama, bye-bye, I wuv ooo."

Tears instantly sprung to my eyes and I felt this light feeling - the only thing I can describe it as is pure joy. The same feeling I had when I first held A in my arms, the same feeling I had during some late night nursing sessions when he was a little one and it was just me and him alone in the world, just pure and absolute love and joy over this little human being who is my son. I'm teary now typing this out. I knew that the first time he told me he loved me would be sweet and special and of course I looked forward to it, but I just didn't know just how sweet it would be.

We say I love you all the time, Alec hears it from me and his dad and he hears M and I saying it to each other. We're those casual "I love you" types - the type of people who say "love ya" as part of good bye all the time, even if the other is just running out to the store. It's the last thing Alec hears every night of his life before he drifts off to sleep, not to mention countless times during the day - like whenever I give him a huge snuggle hug. And of course we read books that talk about love, a current favorite is "Mama do you love me?" But this is the first time he ever said it to me, umprompted, just all on his own.

He's 23 months. I'm not sure he really gets love, but at the very least I think he gets that it's something we say to those we are close to. I think. I am sure tomorrow he'll be telling the cashier at Target he loves her and my bubble will be burst. Oh well, for a few moments that joy was all mine and I'll always remember the first time I ever heard "i wuv ooo."

Sunday, February 08, 2004

40 Sweaters of Wool on the Shelf....

Of about half of which are black. Why do I need so many sweaters, let alone so many black ones? Probably because I have no resistance when I come across a bargain (take the black cable knit turtleneck I scored last weekend for $6- never mind I am 6 months pregnant and won't wear the sweater for quite some time - it was too good a deal to pass up!). And this is how many sweaters I have AFTER I spent much of the afternoon purging my closet - and it doesn't include those in my "sweater drawer" where I keep the nicer/dressier ones. Ack.

Of these 40 odd sweaters I maybe wear 10 of them on a regular basis. Some are just to scratchy or are dry clean only - not good with a toddler or baby around. But does that mean I should get rid of them? I will wear them again, I still love them and most are classic styles. But what about all those twinsets from my working days? I'm not going to show up at playgroup in a twinset with a scarf tied around my neck (my old work look). Should I keep them?

How about all those suits and dressy pants and blouses? Get rid of them just to buy again if and when I re-enter the workforce? That is probably the crux of my dilemma. Am I returning to work anytime soon? Not for probably the next 18 months at the very least, unless something unforseen hapens that necesitates my return. And I am sure as soon as I list all those suits on EBAY, that will happen and I'll need them again, as Murphy's Law rules my life.

How about the cute pants that I never quite got back into after Son #1 was born? I'm still holding out hope that one day I will get these hips of mine back in them, even though in my heart of hearts I know it's a long shot. Shift and drift and all that. Which of course means that my closet also has "transition clothes" and maternity clothes....no wonder I am out of space!

So you can see why I haven't exactly been productive this afternoon. I want to purge, simplify my closet and my life - but I just can't quite do it. To do so, I'd have to have more of an idea of what exactly I was doing with my life.

Now purging my husband's closet of 15 year old T-shirts, well I have absolutely no qualms there.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

The Name Game

I am obsessed with naming our unborn son. I feel very strongly that since we did find out it is a boy, that we should find a name for him - soon. Since it took 9 months to find his brother's name, I am understandably stressed. My husband and I agree on no names. None. Occasionally we will find we both can agree, but then that neither of us really loves it. Take Elias. I like it, M likes it. Should be easy right? Eli just sounds adorable and even good with our long often mispronounced, mispelled Germanic last name. But it doesn't sound like the name of my son.

Then there is Jacob. I love this name. But apparently so does the rest of the country since Jacob has been the #1 boys name for something like the last 4 years, and in the top 10 longer than that. Since my husband and I have two of the most popular names from the 1970's, we're trying to avoid our children having 2-3 others in the class with the same name. Sucks when you really love the name though. The other problem is if M were to agree to Jacob, he thinks it should be spelled Jakob (which to me is pronounced Yakob, but not to him). His reasoning is that if we used the nickname Jake, then it should come from a name like Jakob - in his mind I guess the nickname for Jacob is actually Jace. We had the same argument over Lucas/Lukas. Only Lukas can become Luke. See what I am up against?

Son #1 is no help either, his name reccomendations have been Elmo, Jay-Jay and Mimi (his grandmother).

I also appear to be easily swayed by my friends. One suggested Zachary (in order that I not use Ian, which is on our list but which she wants to name her son) and another suggested Erik. I am keen on them both right now, though am a bit worried Erik may be to close to son #1's name. William is still a contender, as is Caleb. Maybe Troy. Honestly, that is our short list. See why I am scared? All are fine names, but none seem to be the name for my son. Though I wasn't convinced until son #1 was about 5 days old that we had named him the right thing. So perhaps it will be the same this time around too.

I am sure the naming topic will become a tired one on my blog, despite my quest to write more about me and less about the kids here. I recently met someone who actually changed her son's name when he was 2 months old. It just didn't fit him. This is my fear. Naming is truly an awesome responsibility and right now I am just not feeling up to the task.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Why am I Doing This?

Well I am blogging. I have two running journals on my own website - one for my almost 2 year old son and one for random pregnant musings and thoughts to my unborn son so I have no idea why I am blogging. Could it be I want to actually have thoughts of my own? About myself, the world outside of my little circle? Do I even think anymore? For awhile I tried to read the NY Times everyday. That quickly fell by the wayside. At least I still have a standing date with Tom Brokaw at 6:30 every weekday night. So I have a passing clue as to what might actually be happening outside the world of temper tantrums, play-doh, chaotic playgroups and Thomas the Tank.

Do I have time for this? Probably not. I know, I am a SAHM so I should have tons of time to waste on the internet while my son entertains himself peacefully at my feet. My house is of course squeaky clean and organized, there are freshly baked goodies on the counter and dinner is cooking as I type. Well, that would be a perfect world. That however is not mine. I do, however, have homemade brownies on the counter - I do have my priorities straight at least.

So maybe this will help me refocus on my self. How do I feel about things, what do I think about when not consumed by my kid's poop and sandbox manners? I guess I am about to find out....

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