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Happy Halloween!

I'm sitting at work scarfing down smarties and M&Ms.. ahh.. all holidays should be about satanic rituals and candy..

I've got about 2 more hours at work before it's PARTY TIME. I'm going to see if I can dig up a photo of myself on Halloween in 2006, when I was pregnant. That was one of my best costumes.. the baby bump really made the whole thing snap. Shiela had never gotten dressed up for halloween before, so we went all out and bought the makeup to make fake wounds and bruises.. it was great. We looked horrible. We then went to a party where everyone was wearing cute outfits that were very fashionable and there we are.. aside from the dude with his brain in a jar.. we were the only gross ones there..

This year is a bit more tame. We're not into scaring 22 month olds.. at least not intentionally. Ben is dressed up as superman and BOY is he cute. Shiela is out with him now stopping in at her work and his daycare and possibly doing some trick or treating in some of the stores in Lexington where they have an afternoon program for the younger kids. She's got the camera and there will be hell to pay if I find out that she hasn't been snapping a few dozen pictures per minute.

Tomorrow we will be heading to New Hampshire to a farm where we'll be hanging out with some good friends and some new friends and the kids will have the chance to milk a cow (or scream), make butter (or scream), pick eggs (or scream).. we'll see how the whole nature thing goes. Ben is pretty good about loving animals and being outside.. so my guess is that we'll have a blast. The best part (aside from the square dancing) is that the guest rooms don't have telephones and cell service is spotty! YAY! We may never come home.. *laff*

Even better (and slightly more challenging..) is that NoBloPoMo starts tomorrow, November 1. I'm going to do my best to take part and I have to say that the month starting on a Saturday where we're going away to a place with no phones makes it a bit challenging to meet the blog-a-day requirements. I did see on the farm's website (farms shouldn't have websites.. the next thing you know, the cows will have bluetooth headsets on.. talk about Happy Cows!).. anyway.. I saw that they have wireless internet access. I may bring my laptop, but I don't want to risk messing up my first NoBloPoMo by being in no-man's-land. Therefore, I will be blogging either sometime after midnight tonight or very early early early tomorrow morning before we head out.

Good times... good times.

When I dropped Ben off at school this morning, he was all decked out in his Halloween costume. I should have known that I still wasn't feeling that hot (oh yeah.. I never blogged about the fact that I picked up whatever plague it was that Shiela also died of.. now she's feeling a little better and I'm not.. wonderful.. hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow).. anyway.. I should have known that I wasn't feeling 100% because I didn't have my camera with me to take a picture. No fears though.. Halloween is tomorrow and we'll definitely take lots of pictures.

Anywho.. we have a very strict routine. Ben likes routine. So does Mommy. When we get to daycare, it is no different. Each day we do the same things.. we pick up the clipboard to sign in. Ben helps. Then I take his jacket off. By this time, all of the kids are swarming around us talking about "Baby" and running through the bazillion facts that they have stored up to share with us.

Maddie and Riley (twins) were very impressed by the fact that Ben was wearing his Halloween costume. They were even more impressed by the fact that he had a cape. While that was a hot topic of conversation while I was stumbling over myself to take my shoes off so that I could follow Ben over to the CD player to turn on his favorite song before his head spun off of his shoulders.. the line of questioning soon turned to our standard daily issues.

I'm cool.. I get that. The kids like me. Shiela, though.. for some reason (I will not let it be said that she's cooler).. has some draw with the young folk. She's ultramega cool. Every day when I walk in to daycare, Maddie comes over and asks if Shiela is at work. "Shiela at work?" This has been going on since Shiela was known as "other baby mamma"... "other baby mamma at work?"

There have been a handful of times just recently where the twins have been there when I have picked up Ben.. most recently was this past Monday when Ben and I went there to hang out in the afternoon and I spent a few hours at school. When were leaving, I told Maddie that we had to go pick up Shiela at the train. She found this very interesting. On Tuesday and again yesterday, she asked me if Shiela was on the train when I dropped Ben off. I explained that no, right then, Shiela was at work, but that she took the train to work in the morning and then home at night and that Ben and I usually picked her up at the train station after work and school. She hangs on to every word intently and nods very seriously.. you can tell she's absorbing and processing it all.

This morning was no different.. but she mixed it up a little bit and totally confused me for a second. Remember, I was stumbling over myself to take my shoes off while Ben had my leg in a death grip while trying to pull me across the room.. Maddie comes over and says, "Shiela on Thomas??"

I stopped.

I laughed.

I said.. "um.. what sweetie?"

She repeated.. "Shiela on Thomas??"

HA! I finally put it together. Thomas is a train. Shiela rides the train to work. Therefore, Shiela on Thomas.

What the heck is up with the photo uploader thingamabob? I linked the photos in the two posts below just like I always do and the *&$^&%^ing photos are being sized wrong. ARGH! This isn't helping my day!

We had a siberian dwarf hamster named Olivia. She looked just like the one in the picture above.. sans uzi. She was a vicious little sucker. There were more times than one when I tried to feed her and wound up with a 2" hamster swinging from my finger while I ran around the living room screaming "she bit me!!!"

She was a doll.. very cute. We learned to throw food in from a distance.


If one more person walks into my "office" to say "hello".. scaring the holy hell out of me and adding to my grey hair count.. I'm going to go to Home Depot and pick up some supplies to build walls around my "office".... complete with a door. I don't think that a simple knock on my cubicle partition is too much to ask.. you don't have to wait for me to say "come in" or any other such nonsense.. just give me a heads up that you're barreling into my space.



I almost screamed once.

I'm mainly writing this for the wife.. who called me about an hour ago to ask me to update my blog because she needed something to do at work. It seems the poor thing has picked up the plague and spent this morning puking, shivering, and walking around the house half-naked trying to find the clean laundry basket with her favorite clothes in it. Shiel.. when you read this.. remember that you told me an HOUR AGO that you were wrapping things up so you could go home and be mopey there.. right?

Ok.. so the subject line.. "A-day" to a "C-". The story behind the term "A-day" is long.. I'll share it at some point.. maybe with a photo of myself when I was in 4th grade. The reader's digest version is that, like giving letter grades to rank the quality of a day.. an "A-day" is good.. a "C-" is a grade that makes me twitch.

Yesterday was awesome. Ben and I spent the first real "Mom doesn't have to work on Mondays" day together all month. I've worked 2 of the 4 Mondays so far and one of them was a holiday, so no one worked. Yesterday was a good day.

We spent the morning doing some chores, like getting the car's oil changed, and having a treat (we stopped at Dunkin' for a munchin') and then some good old fashioned time at the park. The one sad part of the day was that when we got to the park, Ben remembered that we had been there just the day before and that Shiela had been shooting hoops. He shot out of the car and ran to the basketball court and stopped short in his tracks when he saw that his Mamom wasn't there. He just crumbled. I thought for sure that he had pinched his finger on the gate or something.. it took a minute to realize that the "ma-MAAAaaaa" he was saying was in reference to Shiela not being there and not asking me for something. oops! He was upset that Shiela wasn't there, and it was cuter than cute, but after a few hugs and kisses, he realized that the slides were right there and off he went.

Both Ben and I had a nice 3 hour nap.. *laff*

The afternoon was spent hanging out over at B's daycare. They were having a combo birthday party for some of the little kids (3 kids turning 1 this week!). It was a blast.. Ruth made homemade tamales and the kids all had cupcakes. It was nice spending time just sitting and relaxing (once Ben started to believe me when I said that I was staying). We headed from school over to pick Shiela up before doing some grocery shopping.

You know you're having a good day when grocery shopping with a 2 year old is actually enjoyable. Here are some pictures that I took with my cell phone.

Ben was in a great mood.. we were in a great mood. We also got to laugh at my sister's attempts to catch her little Jerry.. (beck.. come up for dinner and you can borrow our REAL mousetrap!)

It was a good day. An A-day.

Today, in contrast, has sucked wind.

Shiela woke up this morning with a pukefest. That's never fun. It was also pouring and cold out. No fun. We all have to work (and go to school).. no fun.

Then.. to top it all off.. I've had no less than 7 coworkers scare the heck out of me by jumping into my office unannounced.. Where's that mousetrap when I need it?

Hi all,

It appears that I've managed to detox from the benzos..

Wikipedia explains it best:

"The benzodiazepines (often abbreviated to "benzos") are a class of psychoactive drugs with varying hypnotic, sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesic properties, which are mediated by slowing down the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines are useful in treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, and muscle spasms, as well as alcohol withdrawal. Recreational stimulant users often use benzodiazepines as a means of "coming down".

The long-term use of benzodiazapines can cause physical dependence."

Since January of 2007, 4 weeks post-partum, I've been taking some type of benzo medication. I started on Lorazepam and then switched to Clonazepam when I was hospitalized in March of 2007. At one point, I was on 3mg per day. Needless to say, I felt like a zombie (one of the old school zombies that move slow.. not these new freaky ones that run faster than humanly possible.. i could never run..bad knees.) Anyway.. I've been tapering off of the Clonazepam for over a year now.

There have been a few bumps in the road.. like when I decided that I could handle going cold turkey off the med. That put me right back into the hospital. Oops.

My psychiatrist finally agreed to work with me in a serious effort to get off of these meds. While I needed them to deal with PPD (post partum depression) when things were really sucking.. I don't need them now. The challenge is that when you're tapering off of them, the side effects from the withdrawal are almost worse than the original reasons you went on the evil stuff in the first place.

Anyway.. several months ago I changed from Clonazepam back to Lorazepam, which is a shorter acting version of the same type of med. I have continued tapering. The last time I took the med was over a week ago. While I can't say that it will be smooth sailing from here on out.. I can say that I feel like I've gotten past the main physical withdrawal symptoms and I finally feel like myself again.

Especially since I have a cold. *sneeze*

[Edited to add: Oh! I forgot the best part. The movement disorder that I have (dystonia and essential tremor) is becoming more and more irritating each day. Wanna know what the treatment is? Clonazepam. No crap. I was on the stuff prior to trying to get pregnant with Ben and tapering off of the 0.25mg/day dosage was hard enough. Sheesh. I'd rather be intubated and have my brain function correctly than be on that crap and feel like a zombie. ..and no.. I'm not joking.]

[[Edited AGAIN to add: Double crap! I forgot to link to Giovanna.. doh! I'm never going to get through the month of November's NaBloPoMo! ]]

Oh, the irony..

There is a fine balance between sanity and gnawing on a checker piece (only the red ones) when it comes to blogging. Particle man, particle man.. "is it a dot, or is it a speck" Seriously.. what is ok to write about and how much detail should one share when everyone you know reads your blog?

I had an awesome conversation a few minutes ago with someone who is close to me. The funniest thing EVER happened to her today.. abso-friggin-lutely HYSTERICAL! The conversation started with "you can't blog this..."

doh! just when I had a juicy story.. sheesh!

Ok.. I love THIS website.

It's called (this is sand dot com). It's like those little jars of sand that we used to make in grade school.. but it's on the computer. Check out the Gallery for some examples.

I also realized that I forgot to include a link to Giovanna Diaries in my last post.. So much for discipline.. how am I supposed to keep up with a blog posting a day for NaBloPoMo if I can't even remember to add a link.. wait.. what.. look at the pretty butterfly..

don't ask.. my train of thought is sloshing through ditch water while being laughed at by troublesome trucks. If you don't get that.. go read a Thomas book.. :)

As more and more people enter the blog world.. we are reminded that we live in a real world with some freaky weirdos. What to share on a personal blog and how to share that information is quite a challenge. We often are naive thinking "who would read this.." It's amazing how your reader list grows.

Those of us who are parents often think about the whole blogging issue. Putting pictures of your kid online and telling stories about your life online is like taking out an ad in the Globe saying "hey.. look at me.. i'm a sitting duck". Several of my friends have battled with this. I have some friends who blog entirely anonymously.. no pictures, no names.. That works. I have other friends who have CNN articles written about them using their full name, home address, telephone number and home security system access code.

In the grand scheme of things, half of my blog hits are from my mother.. another quarter are from my niece.. and the remaining few are a sprinkling of friends and family. I've made $8 in advertising on my page. Yeah.. time to quit the day job, man!

Anywho.. I was curious and decided to see how difficult it would be to find a person using only the information that was available in their blog. I know that I found the correct address and phone number, because I can check those against my address book. I'm pretty sure that this picture is correct too, although i'm a broke fool and have to admit that i haven't made it out to visit this blogger since the family's last move.

[image edited]

Of course, this was an easy test.. especially since I already knew the answer.. even so.. I think I'm going to go through my blog and change all of the "Ben"s to "Sven"..

Well.. I was going to post on Ben's "22 month birthday", which was on Sunday.. but I managed to stay away from the computer and didn't get around to it until today.. so 22 months and 2 days.

Ben's second birthday is coming up. This blows my mind. He's this wonderful little person. His birthday being just 6 days before Christmas makes the whole party planning thing a bit challenging. We've opted to have his party at a local kid's gym in our town. We've reserved the place so that the kids will have a place to romp around in without risk of toppling our christmas tree. Is it too cliche to go with a Thomas the Tank Engine theme?

My train of thought is a bit scattered today, so I'm going to share some little random things about Ben and some pictures.. enjoy!


Ben LOVES mariachi music. He sings "YA..ya.. ya yaaaaaaa.." and dances the mexican hat dance. We typically have a CD playing in the car with mexican music that we copied from his daycare provider. I'm actually starting to learn the lyrics.. I have no clue what the words mean.. but I can sing along! As an aside.. we were listening to it about a week ago and shiela started laughing and said "he just said that the burro is crazy in the head". what kind of children's songs are these?



Ben can now say "apple".. clear as day. He refers to anything that comes in a small serving sized container with a metallic film cover (i.e. applesauce, yogurt, jello, etc.) as "apple". It's very cute. He wakes us up now by talking about apples. He also signs apple.


Ben is still addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine. He can now sign "Thomas please" and "more Thomas please".. well.. he signs "train please" and "more train please". yesterday he was home with shiela and he wanted to watch Thomas and she wasn't jumping quickly enough so he went and pulled her by the shirt and then reached over and rubbed her belly. He knows that to sign "please" you rub on your belly. He knows he's cute.



We spent his 22 month birthday in Gloucester. We needed to see the ocean and wanted fresh air. We went to a state park and spent the afternoon playing and then hit up a local seafood restaurant for dinner. Ben was asleep and snoring before we made it home.


Ben says "water" by saying "wah wah..". He refers to anything that he wants to drink as "wah wah..".. if you say "do you want some milk", he typically spits out his binky and says "wah wah!!!"


Ben's mom sent him to school today with black pen marks on his face.


Ben is about 27.5 lbs and is 34 inches tall. He's about 50% for height and weight. His feet are HUGE.. size 7 extra wide. It's like looking at a puppy.. big ol' head and feet.. i'm curious whether he'll hit the 6 foot mark or not.


Ben was 5 lbs 13.8 oz when he was born, 4 weeks and 4 days early.



We used to call Ben "the jellyman".



We always said that Ben would not be a "Benji".. but now he is.


When you ask Ben if he's ready.. he yells "GO!!!" (for "ready, set, go!")


Ok.. I've been trying not to ask. I've been hoping that "light would dawn on marble head" (3 cheers for anyone who can name the movie and actor that I stole that quote from)..

No luck.. I have no friggin clue what "meme" stands for. I admit.. I haven't taken the time to google it to figure out this mystery. I'm being a bit stubborn I guess. I don't want to admit that something in the blogosphere is a mystery to me. Heck.. I'm in "The Mom Blogs".. I should know this.

Alas.. no friggin clue.

To mix things up a bit.. I've decided to respond to a meme that I wasn't even officially tagged on. What A Card unofficially "tagged" everyone who read her post.. so here is my response... This also doubles as my weekly TUESDAY TAG post (by "weekly", I mean, I did it last week and then again this week...)


Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences on your blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.


Here goes. I'm at work, so I'm afraid that the book selection is a bit limited. The book is titled "Noise Control: Measurement, Analysis and Control of Sound and Vibration" by Charles Wilson.

Page 56.. Sentence #5 and on..

"A noise source produces a sound field with a maximum directivity index of 11. The A-weighted source power is 0.0001 W. Find maximum A-weighted sound level at a radius of 15 m from the source in full space."

yes.. a college text book..

3 cheers for anyone who can solve the question above.. I'll give you a hint.. Lmax is equal to 10 times the log of the sound power divided by 4*pi*r^2 plus 120 plus the directivity index.

Now to pass on the tags..

I'm going to tag the following lucky bloggers:

Giovanna from Giovanna Diaries - I'm tagging Giovanna because she is in Whatacard's book club. Plus, I'm trying to see if I can link to her blog in every blog post for the next week.

Tegan over at The Kappel Family - I've been friends with this mother of 2.34 for.. *gasp*.. like 15 years now. Jesus. This tag is to remind her that her blog is the least private of anyone that I know.. have you decided on a new blog name yet, T?

Moo over at Moo's Moo - This mom cracks me up. I nose whatever I'm drinking at least once or twice a week while keeping up with her blog. Give her a break though.. her 3 year old got out of the house in his birthday suit.. "My pants-less, pen!s hanging out son had apparently decided that he was over the video and he was going to go for a walk. And since I apparently hadn’t latched the gate properly, he was down the stairs and out in the parking lot, enjoying himself in the fine afternoon sunshine."

Jane from Amazing Trips - I'm tagging "Jane" because she completed her first (oops! SECOND) triathalon and I'm in awe. I can't even get my grocery shopping done with just ONE kid.. she's got a wetsuit and has FOUR kids.. plus, I wanted to pass the link on to my old Resolve buddies.. This is "Jen(Three for me)".. but now she has 4 and calls herself Jane.

Last, but definitely not least.. my niece, Ashley. Ash.. you don't have a blog, but I figured you could play along by leaving your response in a comment below. Plus.. you're up next.. guest blog time my friend. So your mom doesn't shoot me.. keep it anonymous.. no real names/places or pictures with recognizable faces (pictures of the backs of peoples heads are acceptable). Ask your mom how she did hers.. she just emailed me the text and I copied and pasted it into a blog post. :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Hi all.. I talked my sister into writing a post.. yay! Here goes!...

(btw.. our mom will be SO proud!)


On Saturday, Jen asked me if I wanted to be a….”guest speaker” on her blog. At first it made me laugh…then I got to thinking about it- and figured- ok why not?

Fast forward to today (Sunday) 8:30am. I am sitting in my truck waiting for my son’s 9:35am hockey game to begin. Sipping my coffee watching the clock…..what to do- I have an HOUR to kill- I already played with my cell phone (clearly it’s WAY too early to call anyone (Jen A- you are welcome)).

So back to what to do….. I could:

A. clean my truck (freaking disaster)

B. think about what I could write for this guest speaker spot (the pressure…..)

C. clean my truck (disgusting)

The truck has been a mess for months….that’s boring- here goes………

Where to start. My sister (Jen) is the writer- if you are looking for grammatically correct writing that flows and makes sense….well you might just be a bit disappointed. I am usually all over the place (ask those closest to me- they will agree). My mom used to say as a child I would flit from one thing to the next (leaving a trail behind me I am sure). I hate to admit it but that really hasn’t changed 30 (ish) years later. I will have a stream of thought and smack in the middle of it something will distract me and then I am off in a different direction. It’s kind of the “ooohhh look pretty butterfly” concept (wave helloooo, where are you???). Yes that’s me. Good luck following me. It’s probably a case of attention deficit disorder that wasn’t diagnosed and that I never grew out of.

My mom also used to say I run (ran past tense) like a gazelle…..lucky for me no one ever got that on tape.




I love my coffee- dunkindonutstoastedalmondcreamandsugar. Yes- I know….you should see me order iced coffee in the summer:


Usually the person behind the counter- If they are new gets this sort of glazed look on their face----“huh”??? What you didn’t get that? And then I WONDER how THEY could FORGET to MELT the SUGAR???? I mean how hard is it really – put sugar in (BEFORE ICE) put a little hot coffee in swish- add ice, cream, more cold coffee….tip upside down a couple of times and voila….perfect (usually). If the person behind the counter is…seasoned…. they are making it as the words are coming out of my mouth. If they are a PRO- and believe me…those are few and far between…..she (b/c there is only one person) is making it when she sees me walk through the door.

I took my 14 year old cat to the vet on Friday night. He is a fearless hunter- likes to kill birds, chipmunks (disgusting), countless mice, frogs (that was a treat- ask my 8.5 year old son). I figure he should be treated for worms… PLUS he’s having ISSUES with TICKS lately. I am about to lose my mind over that. That’s another story… so I get him there and find out that the last time I had him to see that vet was in (gulp- Jen look away) 2001. WHAT? Really? Yes…he looks GREAT for his age- he carries his weight very well (still overweight lol) for his age AND his teeth look great- b/c of all of the killing he’s been doing. (you must be kidding).

Well- the reason I am talking about this is because we saw the cutest kitten there. I took a video of Adam holding her. She is a doll….and I cannot get her out of my mind. So yes….I’m kicking around getting one. Because I don’t have enough going on right now. But she’d be SO cute curled up next to me…

[Video clip coming soon.. for some reason the email exchange managed to flub that one.. whoops.. trust me.. the kitty was cute.. I think that they should adopt her.. -Jen]

Ok- so a couple of things- there is blog etiquette right? Have an idea- one focused topic and write….and clearly I have issues with that. You should see me at work- I manage email all day- by noon I have 45 opened, partially answered emails, throw in some meetings , phone calls and by the end of the day I wonder why I have not accomplished anything.

OH- it’s 9:30am….and I gotta go in to his game.

Shiela and I watched the 3rd presidential debate on Wednesday night. I went into it with my decision already made.. made long ago.. but I was still open and was hoping for some surprise that would make me think twice about the election. When the subject of abortion came up, Shiela and I got into an off-shoot conversation and I didn't fully absorb what McCain was saying. Yesterday, I was being a political geek and reading lots of blogs on the debates and I stumbled onto one post that just made my head spin.

I'm pretty good at expressing myself in writing.. but this is one topic that I just can't seem to find the right words. In short, I'm mortified by the flippant disregard that McCain expressed (and how he expressed it) regarding a woman's health. My views on abortion are very intense. I spent most of my life thinking that I wouldn't be able to conceive or carry a child and then I spent 4 years battling with infertility. The thought of having to end a pregnancy makes my heart hurt. At the same time.. I have a brain. I am pro-choice for many reasons, but the main one is the fact that I believe that the.. *gasp*.. "health of the mother".. is something that is a private matter between a family and their doctors. The government can try to fix the economy and leave my body alone.. thank you very much.

I was damned lucky. When my health tanked at the end of my pregnancy.. Benjamin was fully developed and could be delivered safely. The concerns that were front and center when we made the decision to go ahead with an emergency c-section were based entirely on my own health.. since we were confident that Ben would be ok (at least the doctors were confident). I can not comprehend what it must be like to be in the situation where the pregnancy has not made it to the point of viability and the mother has the same health crisis. My son was delivered because my own life was in jeopardy. The doctors estimated that I had less than a day.. at some point my organs would have started shutting down. If I was only 20 weeks pregnant.. our story would be much different. The pregnancy would still have to end.. or my life would.

One of my best friends experienced this. My heart still cracks a bit when I think about it.. I can not imagine going through what she and her wonderful husband have been through.

The two links below are well written and insightful. I wanted to share these women's thoughts with you all. My goal isn't to try to talk anyone into being for or against government regulation of abortion.. my goal is to open just one persons eyes to the catastrophic impact that poorly executed government regulation could have on the health of so many women.

Why no one with a uterus should vote for John McCain - a post by a little pregnant.

More Wounded that Eloquent, I’m Afraid. - a post by Flotsam.

Seriously.. It doesn't take much to make me happy. :)

Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that the medical world really needs to buckle down and figure out the human brain. I want to be able to bring my son to a pediatric office visit where they can do a quick retinal scan and print out a list of areas this misfire and the reasons why and then he gets one shot and it fixes whatever ails him.

Is that too much to ask?

I hinted in the post below about something happening at daycare. It may have been nothing.. but my lord.. my hair is turning a wacky shade of gray.

Anyway.. as we were getting to daycare, some of ben's friends were just arriving as well. the three kids headed into the main door and the other mom and i went to follow. there are a few steps down between the outer door and the inside door. ben stopped at the top step and looked down. from behind him, it looked like he was debating the safety of the stairs and was a bit unsure of himself. this isn't a big deal.. i reached out for his hand.

he held my hand, but had a combination of losing his balance and trying to assert some independence at the same time and ended up losing his balance and falling on his bum. the fall, in and of itself, was nothing.. he falls like that 20+ times a day or more. he did knock his head on the doorframe, but it more surprised him than hurt him. i picked him up to give him hugs and took my time saying goodbye to him. he was acting fine and doodlebugged his way into the kitchen with the other kids.

one of the providers was standing at the inside door when the kids were coming down the stairs. she came right over to me while i was holding ben, and told me that prior to him falling, his right eye looked like it was turned way inward. He looked fine by that point, but it was clearly enough to send my worry-train-brain into hyperdrive.


ok.. so most of you know that I've been doing battle with some meds that I went on for anxiety shortly after the red head was born. that crap sucks. i have had.. at least 4 fenderbenders since Ben was born and at one point was even falling over when the wind blew too hard. shiela reminded me last night of the time that I actually fell with benjamin when he was just a few months old. i have no memory of that.


if i start "worrying" about all of the things that I may have forgotten.. well.. it makes me need the meds again.. *chuckle*

anywho.. i managed to get my dosage of the original med that i was on down very low. i then switched to a "sister medication" of that original.. it did the same thing, it was just shorter acting. the change was challenging.. but i did it.

since then i've been slowly dropping down in dosage. it really was going quite smoothly until this week. i did notice that for a day or two after changing dosages, i'd have a bit of a headache and would feel a bit more stressed. knowing that it was likely chemical made it easy to brush off and roll my eyes about.

this week.. i have started the big step of not taking the anti-anxiety med at all. i haven't been able to completely drop it because when i start feeling really poorly, i'll let myself have a half of a tablet (which is like licking an asprin since the pills are so friggin small).

So far this week, I have taken one half of a tablet twice.. once in the early AM hours on Tuesday and once last night. not too shabby.

i'll be impressed with myself when i start feeling like i'm not going to crack into a thousand pieces.

i've been nauseous all week. i've also started with having body aches.. it feels like having the flu. then, just to make it fun, i started puking while at work yesterday.. i felt fine.. just wacked nauseous and a vomit fest right before a huge conference call.

luckily, all of my coworkers and clients have been cooperating this week (so far), because i really don't think they'd want to see my "angry eyes" (Toy Story reference).

i have found myself wishing that we could all act like a 2 year old once in a while and have the only repercussions be the adult head shake and maybe a time out. i'd LOVE a time out!! think about it.. something doesn't go ben's way and he either headbutts whoever is closest or he looks for something to chuck. how liberating would it be if i could just headbutt someone just because my sock was twisting the wrong way and i was thirsty but didn't have anything to drink?

today has been tough. it started out ok, although it took me at least twice as long to get through our morning routine. i was stressed.. but i also knew that it made sense with the whole meds thing. i bullied through it. when i dropped ben off at daycare, something a bit strange happened. it was probably nothing, but given that my defenses were down i just let it snowball.

[insert mental image of me driving through Boston traffic on my way to work while talking on my cell phone to shiela and boo-hooing.. yeah.. you wonder why i've gotten into a half dozen car accidents...]

anyway.. i've been relatively productive although i would sell my right arm for a little valium. unfortunately, the only valium that I have in the house is in ben's seizure kit.. and the withdrawal isn't bad enough to merit a rectal gel.

I thought I'd share something that made me smile.. this was my favorite moment from the debate last night.. it was at the close when the two senators were coming around the table to shake the moderator's hand. cracks me the hell up.

I have to post the pic below just to tease Snickollet. The kids had an awesome day playing together this past weekend. Ben and Riley got into a disagreement over who was going to push Maddie in the baby stroller. Riley won. :) My guess is that it was payback for a few of Ben's recent headbutts.. but alas, I don't have those captured on "film"..

THIS picture was in perfect focus.. doh! I need to read that stupid manual.

I'm somewhat mortified that it has been 3 full years since the wife and I tied the knot. I have a post about our wedding partially written.. that may or may not get posted today.. maybe I'll save it for our 4 year mark. It's crazy because the last 3 years seem to have flown by and at the same time, I have so much trouble imagining life before October 15, 2005.

I have been watching my "friend list" on facebook grow over the past few months as more and more of my old grade school classmates from Windsor Locks join FB. I remember being friends with the kid version of some of these people. It's surprising to see pictures of them with spouses and children. I can separate my FB "friends" into distinct categories.. "relatives", "Windsor Locks" (i.e. grade school), "Uha" (i.e. college), "Jesters" (i.e. the college friends from the schools I didn't go to.. long story), and of course, "30'something" (i.e. now).

It's remarkable to look back and see how friendships have come and gone over the years.. how the world has changed.. how I have changed. I remember thinking that the world revolved around a few grade-school and pre-grade-school friends. Now they are just links on my Facebook page with pictures of adults who look vaguely like someone I used to know.

I think about the fact that there are a few of my ex's listed with my Facebook "friends". Do I really see these people as "friends"? Well the gay guy.. definitely.. I really don't even know McDreamy anymore.. so I don't count him. That leaves my two significant long term relationships prior to me finding Shiela. (btw.. yes, Bill.. I *DO* consider you to be my friend.. no worries, you old fool!)

I think about the fact that I've been with Shiela for more than 8 years now. More time than I spent in high school and college combined. I think back to the people we were when we met. My lord, we were just kids! Everything was SO dramatic! We've come through some major crap over the years. We've both changed, for better or worse.. who knows. We've both grown up. Our priorities have shifted. We're closer now than we ever were in the past, even though it didn't seem possible.

I'm watching Ben grow up in little tiny baby steps. He has his own set of friends now. He'll specifically request to play with some of his friends. I think back to my old childhood friends. I wonder what path Ben will take in life. Will he find friends in his childhood that are in his life forever? Is that even possible?

I take pictures because it is my little way of trying to capture individual moments. Now if I could just figure out how to make my new camera stop blurring those moments!

Happy anniversary, Shiel. I love you.

Ok.. I'm famous..

If you do a google search for "brickhouse moms".. this site comes up as the #1 hit.

The funny part is that I've actually gotten a number of hits (prior to adding this post) from people googling "brickhouse moms". Seriously.. what are they looking for? I'm not sure they found it.. of course.. I'm not sure they didn't find it either..

Ben's daycare provider is like another grandmother to him and like another mother to me. I've written about it before. One of the most rewarding parts of having her in our lives is that she has helped open my eyes to Mexican culture.

Last Thursday, Ben woke up with a fever. It had been a rough few weeks. I gave him some Motrin and got him set up with a tippy of milk before sitting down to call in to my work to let them know that I would not be in and then to call his daycare to let "R" know that he wouldn't be coming in.

R's english is very good with the exception of words and phrases that are specific to the Mexican culture. For example.. I asked her what the translation of "El Jarabe Tapatio" was and she explained the story behind it but didn't know that the song/dance is known in English as "The Mexican Hat Dance".

After I told her that Ben was sick with a fever (again.. 3rd time in 3 weeks).. she was very worried about him. She then sighed and said "Can you do something for me? You'll think I'm crazy". That's never a good way to start a conversation. I figured that she was going to ask us to drop off the check for daycare services that day instead of waiting until he was better and could be back at school. I was surprised when she said "get an egg".

I would pay serious money to get a recording of this telephone conversation. R was having trouble describing what she wanted me to try and what she was describing was so off the wall that I kept asking her to repeat and spell just about everything.. twice.

She asked me to get an egg, and to roll it (uncracked) over Ben's arms and legs and to pay special attention to his head. She said to then run the egg under water. That was it.

I was perplexed.. but I was also curious and I'll admit it.. a bit desperate. We had already spent 2 weeks on "seizure watch" and for a new fever to start up was very worrisome. I figured.. what the heck.. what is the worst that could happen? I figured the worst that could happen was that I had mistakenly heard "egg" when she actually said "warm washcloth". Boy would I be embarassed!

So while Ben was watching Thomas the Train, I went and got an egg.. and rolled it over his head and his arms and legs. He laughed. I laughed at myself as I walked to the kitchen to then run the egg under water.

We went back to watching TV. The Motrin kicked in and his temperature dropped. A few hours later he went down for a nap. When he woke up.. his fever hadn't returned.. and it never did. He was feeling fine and acting fine. If anything, his mood had taken an upswing and he wasn't anywhere near as cranky as he had been.


the egg?

I was insanely curious, but I also knew that the only way I could get R to fill me in on why she had recommended "the egg thing" was if I stopped by the house. She was having trouble explaining the steps I needed to take.. getting an explanation of mexican folk healing was surely not going to be an easy conversation for the telephone. I waited until today.

This morning, both Shiela and I dropped Ben off at daycare. We overslept.. long story. As he was taking inventory of all of the toys and easing his way toward the kitchen for.. ironically.. some scrambled egg.. I said to R.. "ok.. you have to explain the egg thing"

She explained it as best she could with the exception that some things she didn't have a translation for. For example.. what the egg heals is mal de ojo. She didn't know how to say that in English. We chatted about it for a while and both Shiela and I came to the conclusion that this little bit of Mexican folk medicine was really no different than Chinese Traditional Medicine and Qi (pronounced "chee"). I was a total skeptic of CTM until I went through acupuncture and herbal treatments for infertility. I don't believe that CTM "cured" me of infertility.. but it definitely did something.. I felt better than I had in decades!

I can't say that the egg thing was a definitive success.. the Motrin could have made his temp drop and maybe he just had a very brief viral thing. Who knows. One thing we DO know is that we can't say that the egg thing did nothing. We just don't know if it specifically did something. clear as mud?

The part that I find compelling is that I brought him to his pediatrician and good ol' Western Medicine had no answer for his ailment aside from "well.. it's probably a virus".

mal de ojo (mäl dā ō·hō),
n,an ethnomedical condition common to Latin America (with roots in the Mediterranean), is a childhood illness characterized by fever, headache, and irritability. An envious gaze, typically from a nonrelative and often accompanied with compliments, is considered to be the cause of this malady, and the immediate cure is for a family member or care giver to touch the child being complimented. If this is not possible, a healer (usually a relative or a curandera) may roll a egg over the sufferer's body.

I'll leave you with this.. Rhode Island is neither a "road" nor an "island". Discuss.

Ok kids.. it's Happy Marriage week here at TMAAB..

I rarely write about the fact that I'm "happy" and that I'm in a "happy" marriage. It's a tough topic because emotions are SO charged on both sides of the "debate". So why, you ask, am I writing about it?


I am gay. I am legally married in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to my partner of 8 years and wife of 3 years (as of tomorrow).

This blog posting will not be a doctoral thesis on the pros and cons of gay marriage. We all have access to the internet and can read about it ourselves. My only request is that if you google one side.. try googling the other as well. You may not find information that you agree with, but at least you'll be exposed to the whole picture.

The following video clip is from an Ellen show earlier this year where she talks with McCain about the issue of gay marriage in California (and in general). I find it amazing how you can actually FEEL the tension. Ellen is my hero.. not because she's "happy".. but because she's friggin hysterical and can make us laugh about even the toughest topics.

To be fair, I should note that both Presidential candidates, Barrack Obama and John McCain are on record for believing that "marriage" should be between a man and a woman. I don't believe either of them for a minute -- their responses to this question are so scripted and seemingly insincere that I just don't think we truly know what either candidate supports or does not support. We do know how each candidate and party has supported civil rights historically.

[Edited to add: Looking back at this posting a few hours later.. I realize that I never mention what triggered the topic of thought for that moment. I received an email from MassEquality with a link to the following video:

I remember being terrified that the initiative to change the constitution in MA would result in us having to be subjected to all of the negative advertising that surrounds such a campaign in any election, let alone a presidential election year. I feel so badly for the families in California that have to explain to their children what these ads mean and why there are commercials on TV saying that their family is "wrong".

Here is a CSA that Ellen put out on the subject:


I absolutely love parenting blogs. When I stumble onto a new blog that catches my eye, I almost always look over that blog's links to other blogs. I keep a few blogrolls going -- I have my list of RSS feeds in Google Reader, then there are my Firefox "bookmarks" and of course, the blogs that I actually put a hard link to from my main site. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites finds.

Notes from the Trenches - Like the Wizard of Oz I've been reading this blog for quite a while now. Partially because the writer is also an awesome photographer. I'm jealous of her talent and her equipment. :)

Classy Chaos - The Country Club for New Moms This blogger mom cracks me up. All I can think about with this post is the local indoor "play gym" where the cliques of mothers are quite clear.. it's like the Cafeteria in High School all over again!

Classy Chaos - It's ok to legally change your kid's name This mom gets two links. I "nosed" my Diet Coke when I was reading this because a laugh caught me off guard.

The Busy Dad Blog - My NYC Trip. Mad Libs Style. This dad describes his own blog as "a look at parenting through testosterone-tinted beer goggles." FUNNY!

Luke, I Am Your Father - "Looks Like We Have a Jumper" This guy gets points for the name of his blog! The post about his son jumping off the couch is one we can all relate to.. :)

We set the no-kill trap up in our kitchen last night with a lovely spread of multi-grain tortilla with crunchy peanut butter and a sprinkling of oats.. fine dining. At about 2am, Shiela woke up and decided to check in on it and the little dude had fallen for the bait! In the corner of the trap sat a little mousie with big ol' black eyes and huge ears.

Shiela woke me up. We stood in the kitchen. We stared at it. It stared at us. We whispered.

"I can't believe we caught it"

"What do we do with it now?"

"He's so tiny"

"It's cold outside."

"Is it wrong to just put it in the basement?"

"Why is he still staring at us?"

"Why are we whispering?"

So we each put shoes on and got a bag and a towel and in a move straight out of some bio-warfare movie, we carefully lifted the trap and put it into the bag. Shiela was making Darth Vader sounds.. "wwhhooo.. paahhhhh.."

We brought it outside.. looked around the neighborhood.. looked at each other..

"What do we do now?"

"Let's put it over there..."

We walked across the street over to our neighbor's fence. Is that wrong? We're horrible neighbors. I even hit their daughter's car once when I was backing out of our driveway.. of course, I hit just about anything and everything when I'm driving.. stay off the sidewalks!

Anyway.. I took the trap out of the bag and put it on the ground. Shiela backed up. I opened one of the two doors. It looked at me. It didn't scamper away.

We have had a few "pocket pets" over the years.. 4 hamsters and 3 gerbils to be exact.. I'll have to post some pics. Anyway.. that's a long story. The point I'm trying to make is that we spent years trying to keep them contained.. trying to be sure that they didn't get out.. trying to keep the cats from them..

Now we have a "wild" mouse and the cats are no where to be seen and I can't get the thing out of the cage.

I shook it. Nothing.

I opened both doors. Nothing.

Shiela backed up.

All of a sudden it FLIES out of the trap and runs about 8 to 10 feet up the utility pole next to the fence. Damn that thing was fast!

We walked slowly back across the street.. shaking our heads.. back upstairs.. set the trap again.. by this time, both cats KNEW something was up.. yeah.. they are quick!

My guess is that Jerry ate the piece of bread that I brought out for him (yeah.. i KNOW..) and then crossed the street and found his family's little passageway into our basement. he's probably back in the wall behind the kitchen cabinets as we speak scoping out the fresh tortilla and peanut butter sitting in the trap. My guess is that he's too smart to fall for THAT one twice!

Yes.. I have pictures. Pictures of Jerry. Pictures of the cats sleeping. It was 2am.. of COURSE I had my camera! Now I just have to figure out how to install the drivers so that I can download the pics from the new camera.. doh!

Ok.. pictures will be forth-coming.. but I just had to blog about this before I head out to the hardware store...

We have had a slight feeling that we may have a small little visitor in our kitchen lately.. a little mousie.. "Jerry". We hadn't seen him, but one of the cats has been camped out in front of the stove for a few weeks. Of course.. this is the dumb cat and he's been known to stalk dust bunnies.

This morning we went to a Spanish story time at our local library with some friends for a playdate and had a blast. I didn't understand a damned thing, but the kids loved it and I think shiela understood a few of the songs. They had a few songs that Ben has on his mariachi mix cd (yes... it's a favorite in the TMAAB house!).. it was quite the event! of course, it was dangerously close to nap time and ben was mysteriously allergic to something in the room and got major itchy eyes.. so we had to leave a little before it was over. All in all we had a blast though and totally plan on attending the next one. I'll have to remember to tell our daycare provider about it so that the other kids at Ben's school know about it.

Anywho.. we got home and Ben crashed. While I was "putting the baby to bed" (i.e. laying in our bed watching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine), Shiela decided to do some investigating in the kitchen.

Shortly after Ben went to sleep.. she comes into the bedroom laughing telling me that I have to come and see something. Walking into the kitchen, she's got the microwave pulled out. There is a teeny tiny hole that has been chewed through the spot where the wall meets the cabinet in the back corner behind where the microwave sits. Little Jerry has been visiting through there and luckily has only made it into one of the many cabinets in the kitchen. This is if we go by the little "breadcrumbs" that Jerry has left in his wake. Shiela has now thrown half of the kitchen away and the rest is sitting in bleach.

I have to run out to the hardware store to pick up some no-kill mouse traps. I think we still have the gerbil tank in the basement along with some of Georgie's old toy's.. I wonder if Shiela will let me keep Jerry...

(I say this.. but I would be the first one on a chair and yelping if I actually saw the little guy.. Nanook (cat) is going to get some special food for staking out the kitchen and keeping us safe!)

Last Friday night we had our first "lights out" night. The plan, as I mentioned in a previous post, was to set aside one evening where we went sans electricity. It was a HUGE success.. with a few funny stories along the way.

Shiela doesn't work on Fridays.. so she headed out with the boy to get some supplies. You know.. a few pillar candles, a huge Diego coloring book.. popcorn. Important items. They picked me up at work and we headed to the park before heading home.

Given that this was our first attempt at going "lights out" with a 21 month old who is severely addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine.. we utilized our time before the sunlight faded to prepare as much as we could. We came up with a few caveats for the night. First.. the bathroom is a free zone.. lights and functional plumbing are items that we're not interested in losing in the potty room. This will be particularly important as Ben moves toward potty training. I'm not hauling a candle into the bathroom. The kitchen is also a free zone.. although we tried to avoid it as much as possible. Battery powered lights were fair game.. that included battery-operated tea lights (that Ben could handle) and a few flashlights.

Short pillar lights in mason jars worked GREAT!

Ok... so as the sunlight faded in the evening sky (how poetic).. we lit a half dozen or so candles that could be located in toddler-safe zones. We also had 4 or 5 battery operated tea lights for some smaller candle holders that Ben could help with. He promptly found a second use for one of the candle holders.. it was a perfect bridge to drive Thomas under!

We were sitting at the dining room table.. coloring and talking. Pushing some thomas trains around the table. Enjoying one another's company. All "Kum Ba Yah" and crap.

So in a classic "doh" moment.. shiela starts humming a tune. Gotta fill the silence, right? It's hard not to sing/hum/whistle when the tv/computer/etc. are all turned off and it's quiet. The kicker? She sings.. "oh demand.. or on tv.. day or night and online too.. sprout is always there for you"... OH CRAP! It was the theme jingle to the OnDemand programming for the Sprout Channel.. the portal to Thomas episodes that one red headed boy knows all too well.

He smiles. Pushes back from the table. Says "all dah" (all done) and then starts yelling to get out of his booster seat. I unhooked him and he climbed down and ran right over to the rocker and turned to point at the TV and giggled while saying "gah gah" (that's how he says "Thomas".. i have no idea why.. the kid can say "Vitamin" and "Fishies" and yet "Thomas" comes out like he's clearing his throat.)

Shiela crumpled.. I laughed my butt off. It was the funniest thing..

We managed to change the subject from the TV to playtime. I flung myself onto his beanbag chair and he started to climb all over me. Shiela took some pictures but I will NOT be sharing these as they all make my butt look HUGE.

As an aside.. this was my first evening with my new little Nikon point-and-shoot camera. It was great.. especially the part where you can take nice clear pictures in extremely low lighting.. the down side to that is that all of the pictures I took don't even hint that we had the lights out. You'll have to take my word for it!

We had a "picnic" style dinner of sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches and a huge bowl of popcorn. Both were a huge hit with the little guy.

We rounded out the evening with some dancing to mariachi music (long story) and then it was bedtime for the carrot top. Shiela and I moved back to the living room where we sat and talked for a few hours. We had all intentions of staying "lights out" through our own bedtime.. but in the end we were too keyed up to relax.. so we allowed ourselves some TV in bed.

All in all.. a huge hit. We are going to do it again.. maybe tonight.. but we have plans to hit a mexican restaurant with some friends first.. so we'll see if we have enough time to make it worth it. I'll let you know if we get away with it twice!

[EDITED - Saturday night: I've taken some liberties and changed the rules again.. *chuckle* Check the end of the post btw.. thanks for all the entries guys.. awesome!]

It's October!! (well.. it HAS been October for a whole 10 days now..) This is my favorite month and marks both my wedding anniversary (on the 15th) and Halloween.. tack on the crisp weather and the foliage colors and I am one happy camper. To spread the joy, I've decided to hold a little contest. The winner (chosen by yours truly) will receive their choice of the following DVDs:

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (appropriate for kids of all ages and adults who aren't tough enough for a REAL scare)


"The Happening" (a REAL scare.. brand new on DVD as of this past Tuesday.. winner must promise to not allow kids to see this movie until they are at least in high school..)

OK. Now for the contest Rules. Submit a photograph (or two) showing either

1) a creepy place.
2) a cute kid (halloween theme).

Two sub-rules.. this Giveaway will only happen if I get at least 10 submissions (and they can't all be from you, WhataCard or Moo). I will choose the winning entry based on my mood next wednesday, October 15.. The third anniversary of "the two moms" (umm.. that would be us..)

Here are some examples:

1) Creepy Place - Scary House on Mass Ave in Lexington.

This is a front view of the house.. "curb appeal" isn't what comes to mind.

This is a view from the driveway. No word on whether the house is occupied or not. There are vehicles in the driveway, but they are older than I am and have collected about as much dust. The windows are not boarded up, but they all do have a heavy curtain covering on the inside blocking out any and all view of the inside. Creapy!

and now...

2) Cute Kid (Halloween Theme)

Here is a picture of Ben helping to carve his first pumpkin last year.

EDITED: Giovanna picked up on a glitch with my plan. Ok.. so email it will have to be. All submissions should be emailed to me at jmhinckley at gmail dot com. I will post all submissions prior to selecting the winner.

EDITED AGAIN: Ok.. at the suggestion of WhataCard and some other new blog followers.. you can also post your entries on YOUR blog and leave a link to your blog in a comment to this posting. Does that make sense? ALSO.. you can enter more than once. I've gotten enough response so far to be impressed with myself.. and to be impressed with all of you guys.. I will add a post on the 15th (the day the contest ends) that will include some of my fav's and links to their owners blog (if they have one).. I've also decided to give each entry that makes me laugh (or scream) a number.. on the 15th, I will have my almost-22-month-old son type a number on my cell phone.. good luck!

I stumbled onto this at ArtLung's blog. It made me happy.


1. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.
2. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors."
3. Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."
4. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
5. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.
6. Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
7. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."
8. Practice making fax and modem noises.
9. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and "cc" them to your boss.
10. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.
11. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
12. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and grimacing.
13. Disassemble your pen and "accidentally" flip the ink cartridge across the room.
14. Holler random numbers while someone is counting.
15. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
16. Staple pages in the middle of the page.
17. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a croaking noise.
18. Honk and wave to strangers.
19. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints at the cash register.
21. type only in lowercase.
22. dont use any punctuation either
23. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
24. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times.
"Never mind, it's gone now."
25. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
26. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "No, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
27. Ask people what gender they are.
28. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
29. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
30. Sing along at the opera.
31. Go to a poetry recital and ask why each poem doesn't rhyme.
32. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles."

First of all.. the term "organic egg" sounds funny to me. It reminds me of a baby onesie that I saw at Whole Foods once that said "Organically Grown".

Ok.. that aside. I was getting the big guy ready for school today and while I was packing his lunch/snacks into his Thomas backpack, I cracked an organic egg into a plastic dish that I had shot with cooking spray.. stirred it up.. and tossed it into the microwave for a minute.

As I was watching the plastic dish spin around on the microwave tray, I began cursing myself. How many things were wrong with that equation. First of all.. if i'm going to spend the extra cash on buying organic foods.. shouldn't I take the time to actually cook them?

Now.. i've already bought into all the hype about plastics and have myself convinced that my infertility stems from growing up in the 70's and 80's when even clothes were synthetic. I normally don't microwave anything in a plastic dish. This morning I was pressed for time and thought "what the hell.. what are a few extra BPA's".

When I use cooking spray.. all I can think of is the commercial with the lady that starts listing off all of the chemicals she used to bake a nice dish of brownies.

Then of course.. there is the microwave. I started thinking.. ok.. one thing that I know I believe is that you're not supposed to microwave breast milk. You'll lose the nutrients.. or some of them.. or something. Google it. Anyway.. i remember reading this over and over again when I was pregnant. Good thing I did, too.. that information came in handy.. not.

Anyway.. I then started thinking.. what does a microwave do to the chemical composition of an egg (any egg, although the one I was speaking of was organic and cost about 320% more than a regular egg)?

I got to work and googled it. While I can't find an answer to that question.. that in itself is my answer. There are a few sites that rant on about how microwaves are killing us and sound quite similar to my uncle talking about the dangers of drinking Coke. Other than that.. nothing. Whew..

My mom says I should quit my day job cuz I'm a rockin' blogger. Hmmm.. I'm getting there. I have made a whopping $3.47 now off of the advertising that I have on my page and I've been improving my hit count.

Funny thing is that, aside from my bud Snick linking to me (hey snick.. how many times do giovanna and i have to pick on you before you write a story about what good friends the two of us are.. do you have ANY idea what one day of getting a portion of your hit count would do for our checkbooks? Giovanna would finally be able to get that Coach bag she's been eyeing...).. i digress. Aside from certain popular friends writing articles for CNN about how cool her friends are and providing very prominant links to their websites (why not just change your header to a big link to my site.. seriously.. it would work).. aside from that.. I'm relying on word of mouth and some random google searchers to build my viewing audience.

For example.. I linked to Palin Bingo yesterday.. my hit count JUMPED. I'm going to start writing about Palin and see if I can capitalize off of this whole election thing. Not. There are a few too many political blogs out there in the first place.

As an aside.. I have a new point-and-shoot camera in my possession. I'm very proud and pleased of myself. I'll post a picture of the camera later.. or maybe a picture of me taking a picture of the camera. Or maybe a photo from my new camera of my old camera. Maybe...

How 'bout that Maverick! *wink*


I'm not sure how well written this post will be. I have a lot of thoughts and emotions about this subject, but whether I can voice it using 26 letters, a few numbers and some weird and often misused punctuation has yet to be seen (see.. there.. i already f*&$ed up the punctuation and grammar.. now I can stop worrying about THAT).

It has been a whopper of a week at the TMAAB home. For those of you who are new readers.. it has taken lots of psychotherapy, but the root of most of my "problems" are with self-esteem and guilt. HA.. now how much did it cost me to figure that out? That's for another post.

I got slammed with post partum depression. Want to hear it summed up into one paragraph? I'm gay. i'm infertile. I was able to conceive with the help of a wonderful group of doctors, a wonderful and generous man that I do not know and a whole boatload of medication. Pregnancy changes my world. Nothing is more important than the little squishy dude growing inside of me. I sucked at being pregnant (shhh.. don't say anything, I already know this is the self-esteem thing.. just keep reading). I had gestational diabetes. I took insulin. I craved cinnamon buns that I couldn't have.. and dill pickles and anything with BBQ sauce slathered on it. My blood pressure held steady. I was monitored constantly. My blood pressure spiked. I was put on bedrest. I sucked at that. I developed pre-eclampsia. My baby was taken from me 4 weeks and 4 days too early and kept two floors away from me while I couldn't be with him for more than 24 hours. All this and I still seemed relatively sane. Then comes the clincher. Faulty boobs. I learned the hard way that I had no mammary function. Wham. I'm obviously not meant to be a parent.. which was the only thing in life I ever really wanted to be.

Looking back almost two years later.. wow.. I thought that was so hard.. little did I know how much guilt and terror could build up AFTER the child is here!

Ok.. so fast foward. Luckily, I've moved mostly past the PPD crap and do not feel like I wasn't "meant" to be a parent and do not feel like I failed at anything. That's why I spent the big bucks on all that therapy. Now we're in the present where I am learning just how terrifying the rest of my life will be. Granted.. I wouldn't trade a second of it for the world.. but still.. kids should come with a warning label.

Now.. this week.

Ben picked up a virus. A sore throat with a fever. Nothing major. With that fever, Ben had two seizures. Terror. It was just 3 days. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. He's doing fine today and is back at school. We're exhausted. Between the two of us, we struggled to get a handful of hours of sleep each night.. not because the baby was awake.. but because we were awake watching over him and making sure he was still breathing. And double-checking. Again. Just one more time.. just in case. "Every parent's fear this". Ok.. maybe so. But I held my child for about 5 second just two nights ago while he was completely unresponsive and NOT BREATHING. I will never shake the terror that I felt in that moment nor the relief that I felt when he cried seconds later after the seizure had broken.

Our nerves are raw. Our attention is finely tuned inward. There is nothing that even comes close to the importance of our child's health and safety. His laughter is the most beautiful sound in the world.

So.. snap back to reality. The title of this post is "a working mom's guilt". I haven't even mentioned my job in all of this. Why? Well.. because when telling the story of our week.. the important part is that Ben is ok. The important part is sharing my own feelings about these events. The important part is that Shiela and I are on the same page regarding how to proceed with the medical aspects of this.

What IS NOT important is the number of hours either of us worked in our house or in our respective office. What pisses me off is that a working mom's guilt made this week all the more difficult for both of us. Every day we worried about idle tasks at work. Every day we struggled with trying to get work done while not going insane with a screaming and sick child. I'm not saying that work isn't important. It obviously is. I'm also saying that what we do at work isn't important. Again.. it obviously is (or at least I hope it is.. I spend a whole lot of time doing it!). What I'm saying is that I can't stand the balancing act. I can't stand the fact that I spent even a second worrying about it. I'm irritated that I'm writing about it.

Have I explained how a working mom's guilt feels? Nope. Do I even understand it all? Nope. Do I have a fix? Nope.

Am I at work? Yes. Am I productive (aside from this blog posting)? Yes. If I'm going to be away from my family.. I'm going to make it worth my time.

On that note.. I have some things to get done so that I can go pick up my son.

Thanks to Snick for this link. Tonight is going to Rock.

Print your Sarah Palin VP Debate Bingo Cards here!!!

Ok.. This isn't a political blog. I hate debating (or opening myself up to debates) on a few subjects.. politics and religion top the list. I enjoy having discussions about said topics, but I dread things getting confrontational.. even if it's supposed to be "all in good fun".

So.. although I'm sure you're all disappointed.. I'm not going to ramble on and on about my political views, which are just about as wacked and convoluted as my religious views. I have trouble taking sides.. I tend to vote based on the issues and not based on the party affiliation. Go figure.

All that aside, I just can't help but sit in amazement of Sarah Palin's ride to the VP spot. I absolutely LOVE this. This isn't anything new, but I found this FICTIONAL Sarah Palin Quote Generator.. I just can't get enough. It cracks me up.

Tonight she will head off against Biden in the one and only VP debate. I'm practically giddy.