Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I blame this mostly on my childhood. My dear mother is a very religious woman, and I was never allowed to "celebrate" the devil's holiday. Instead, I dressed up as a character from the Bible and went to a "Hallelujah Party" and church. I think I went trick-or-treating once when I was four. When we lived in town, we'd have a bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters, but we never decorated.

So it basically comes down to this: so much refined sugar is bad for you, the music really sucks (if our local station plays "Thriller" one more time, I think I shall scream), and I find adults wearing costumes really sad and cheesy.

I keep my feelings to myself though. I don't talk about my opinions to my coworkers because I don't want to ostracize myself or make them feel stupid or bad. But hell. This is my blog and I can say any damn thing I want.

Halloween sucks. I've never been one for scary movies: I passed out during the Matrix for goodness sakes. Because I was never desensitized to the gratuitous violence and gore as a child, I'm ultra-sensitive to it now, and it turns me off. Even the really stupid, cheesy ones seem trite and revolting to me.

Chester, around whom I do not censor my feelings that often, commented that I hate all holidays. I think this comment was made after a short diatribe from yours truly about Thriller (no, I think it was the newscaster giving the weather report in a vampire voice). I defended myself, saying I love Christmas carols. Which is true. However, I can't deny the fact that when it comes to holidays and the acknowledgment thereof, I'm a bit of a featherweight.

I suppose, in the future, when Ben is walking and finding delight in holidays, when he's old enough to know that his classmates have Halloween rituals, I will break down and really do up the holiday. For his sake. Hell. I may even get a Christmas tree to put up in December.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

SexyBack, SassyBack, StinkyBack, DroolingBack

I'm not expecting any work on my desk this week, so my skills were farmed out to the copywriting team. Oh joy. I don't mind so much, it's just that there's a reason why I'm not a copywriter. I find it dull and monotonous. Funnily enough, that's what most people think about proofreading, but I actually enjoy that kind of monotony.

I gave Ben a faux-hawk this morning. He looked adorable. We had to run to daycare at lunch time to drop off a change of clothes that we forgot to pack with him this morning. His caregiver Shelly pointed out that one of his first top teeth just popped through, and the second one is showing just below the surface. I got a little teary-eyed at how fast Ben is growing.

A few weeks ago, my boss, Lady Smo, shared the alternative lyrics she and her husband made up to Justin Timberlake's SexyBack for their one-year-old son.

I'm bringing sassy back
Those other babies don't know how to act.
If that's your snack, better watch your back.
I'll eat it up right now and that's a fact.

Last night, Chester and I came up with another verse for Ben.

I'm bringing stinky back
Those other babies don't know how to react.
If that's my diaper, you better turn right back.
Cuz I'll stink it up right now and that's a fact.

Today, Lady Smo shared another verse:

I'm bringing drooling back.
Those other babies just don't know they're fat.
If that's your hand, well then watch your back.
Cuz I'll juice it up right now and that's a fact.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lazy Saturday, The Kite Runner

I won't be able to write much today. Chester is taking a nap, so it's just me and Benji Poodle, who is desperately trying to get into mischief. And succeeding, some of the time.

I'm nearly done with the book I've been trying to read for the last two weeks. Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. Lady Smo at work recommended it to me. I have to say, it's been an intense experience. Basically, it's a book about redemption. The recurring message is "There is a way to be good again."

The whole of the book's subject was foreign to me, literally. I knew next to nothing about what life was like in Afghanistan. The theme of redemption, though, touched me deeply.

I've commited indiscretions in my past for which I remain remorseful and repentant. The idea that I could atone for those sins is refreshing. It occurs to me that my life of the last few years, since I cut myself off from a social life, I've accomplished a bit of "making myself good again." Not quite a hermit, but close, I've removed many people from my life. I've learned not to depend on others for companionship and guidance. It's forced me to simplify, but mostly it's allowed me time to reflect and realize what being an honorable person is all about.

I don't know if I'll ever cease to be haunted by my past, but at least I can rectify the damage I did to my character.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Four

Friday Four from http://www.belicove.com/archives/beliblog/cat_four_for_friday.html

(yes I realize these are from last Friday. I'll be more up-to-date next week)

Q1 - Holiday Decorations: We have a lot of 'holidays' here in the U.S., including New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Do you ever decorate your home or office space for a holiday? If so, which ones, and how far do you go with your decorating?

Q2 - Birth: Were you born in a hospital or somewhere else?

Q3 - Shoes: Do you wear shoes inside your home?

Q4 - Congressional Pages: The United States Congress employs approximately 100 teenagers from around the country as pages who serve as messengers and who perform administrative tasks for members of Congress. Would you allow your teenage child to be a Congressional page?

Q1: I have a wooden snowman in my cubicle that I take out when it gets cold. I leave it up until my birthday in April. This year, I put a pumpkin on our doorstep for halloween. But I have to say, other than that, I haven't decorated for a holiday since I lived with my parents. This will probably change for Christmas this year, now that I have a child who delights in music, color and texture. My decorating will be limited, though, to things he can enjoy, like lights and stuffed snowmen.

Q2: I was born in a hospital here in Wausau. Same hospital where I had my baby. My mother's water broke around eleven in the car on the way to the hospital, and I was born a little before one in the morning.

Q3: I do not wear shoes inside my home in the mornings or evenings. When Chester and I go home for lunch or run in to grab something, we leave our shoes on. It's more of a comfort thing for us.

Q4: Absolutely, if that was his/her wish. It's a horizon-broadening experience, and I would hope my son or daughter would know enough about how polite and civilized society behaves to know what was inappropriate or not... and to know what to say to sleazy old men.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yesterday's High/Low, Top Five

I haven't been able to blog as often because things here at work have been really tense. Everything seems to be okay now. I'll be so glad when this deadline passes tomorrow.

Ben cried through dinner time last night. His mouth was hurting badly, I could tell. He kept putting his fist in his mouth and crying. Poor guy.

Cleaned by cubicle this afternoon. Feels good. I'm on a bit of an organizing binge.

Yesterday's High
I received a compliment for my good eye for detail from the supervisor of another department. He thinks I'd be great on his team.

Yesterday's Low
The stressful atmosphere at work. I was pretty much out of the line of fire, but it was swirling above my head.

Yesterday's Top Five:
1. Harold said he liked my shirt, but I think he meant my breasts.
2. Ordered office supplies.
3. Playing with Ben after dinner.
4. Watching 30 Rock and Twenty Good Years with Chester.
5. The cold air felt really nice on my skin yesterday morning.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Baby Makes Four

Chester and I are still in talks about having another baby. We both know we want another one, but we don't quite know when. Now that Ben is almost walking, it seems like the right time.

Last night, I was watching Ben explore our entertainment center, and I was filled with such love for him, I couldn't imagine having another baby. At that moment, it felt like I was cheating on Ben just thinking about it.

I've learned from other mothers that when you have another child, you don't have to share the love you have for your first with your second, your heart simply grows and you are able to love both equally with the same fervor. I guess I'd just have to let nature take its course and expect that to happen.

Another aspect that keeps coming up is: Why do we need another baby? Ben's entertainment and joy enough, isn't he? And then I start to think about how boring my life would have been without siblings. And I can imagine what Ben will be like with a little brother or sister.

Ugh. I don't know. It's not like we're actually trying to become pregnant yet... but we've been saying that we'd like to start another baby around Christmas time. That's coming up really quickly, isn't it?

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Yesterday's High/Low, Top Five

My schedule was wonky yesterday with Ben's appointment in the middle of the day, so I didn't get a change to do my highs/lows.

Listening and watching Chester give Ben zerberts on his belly and neck... and hearing Ben's absolutely wonderful giggle.

Some health issues late in the evening. Very intense pain. Better today.

Top Five
1. Getting a good health report from the doctor for Ben.
2. Discovering that the plant pedestal, when turned on its side, makes a great baby gate between the dining room and kitchen.
3. Watching Ben play in the bathtub.
4. Ben ate beef and actually kept it down (and seemed to enjoy it).
5. Reading Ben nighttime stories.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Singular They, Ben's 9-Month Check-Up

See. This is the problem when you have a bunch of word geeks in one room. Fights start to break out. Tempers flare. Blood pressure rises. All over word usage.

Today's fight is over the singular they. I vote for going with the flow, and allowing the singular they when going any other way would be stilted and awkward. The English language is a living language, people. Rules can change.

Anyway. Ben had his 9-month check-up this morning. And his flu shot. He's developing well, just like we thought. He's a little short and tubby, but that's okay. He only shouted a little bit after his flu shot. No real tears. I'm so proud of my boy.

Chester has to work tonight, so I'll be by myself when I put Ben down for the night. I think we'll make a tent in the living room and read books together.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006


Monday morning is the designated leaf pick-up day for our community. That means that everyone needs to be done raking by then, and that we need to fill the sides of the street with our leaves. Then the city will come and load up dump trucks and take it all away.

Since we never seem to have time to play outside, and since we don't own the place, we don't spend that much time on the upkeep of the yard. We are required to do general maintenance like lawn mowing and snow shoveling, but beyond that is out of the kindness of our hearts.

Unlike our other neighbors, who are mostly older, retired couples who love landscaping, we hadn't raked yet this year. It kind of made me feel bad, but it's tough to do when we have an infant who can't just sit in the yard while we work. He'd eat all the leaves before we had a chance to rake!

And tomorrow, the weather might be kind of wet and windy, so today was the day. I told Chester we'd do it in 15-minute shifts. I'd go first. In 15 minutes, he'd come out and relieve me. By the end of my 15 minutes, I had finished 70 percent of it. I am the new Queen of Raking.

I enjoyed being outside, feeling the cold on my skin, smelling the dirty, earthy smell of decomposing organic material, and actually burning some calories for once. Our neighbors were outside decorating for halloween, and I felt a little sheepish out there, raking at the last minute.

By the way, I did decorate for halloween. I put a pumpkin on our front steps. Very extravagant, I know.

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Ode to Painting

I think I actually got a lot accomplished today. This morning, Ben woke up around 5. He didn't play that long before he got hungry, so I fed him a bottle and he went back to sleep. I started taping off the bathroom.

I love the taping process. As an anal-retentive proofreader, I really love perfection. Straight lines, perfect edges. Spending extra time making sure the taping is just right, means that I'll be happier with the final product. When we painted Ben's room while he was still in utero, I let Chester do a lot of the taping. We both realized that was a mistake, and even with the tape, he still managed to paint the ceiling. By the end of the project, he was guarding me while I stood on a chair to paint the top edges. I think I was 7-months pregnant at the time.

So. Our bathroom. The tub area has a textured vinyl paneling, so we won't be painting that. The rest of the walls are paneled as well, but with a flat surface. The hardest part of painting is the corners. Because it's paneling, there's a seam in the corner that bridges the two planes. I had to carefully tape one edge of the bridge.

We've painted two coats already of the Ponytail color. We'll probably do one more coat and then call it good. The previous paint finish is this awful faux, sponge, drip paint finish. I know the people used plastic bags, because the finished result is very bumpy, and there are paint drips everywhere. It'll be interesting to see what it looks like when the solid color is done. Very textural. It probably won't quite look intentional, but oh well.

Tomorrow we'll see how dry the Ponytail is. If it's dry enough, I'll tape it off again so we can put up the blue paint. That'll really be exciting. It's a very dark, intense, deep color.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday's High/Low, Top Five

A new tradition — at the end of every day that I'm online and blogging, I shall list my High and my Low for the day, as well as my Top 5 "things."

Seeing a coworker's sonogram picture of her 12-wk-gestation runt. Such a tiny, precious little baby.

Fighting so much with Chester this morning. I HATE fighting in front of Ben. I'm scared he'll be traumatized. I know I was when my parents fought.

Top Five Things
1. Harold said my new haircut is still "sassy."
2. Chester will buy me an apple pie to make up for the fight this morning.
3. I'm looking forward to painting the bathroom this weekend.
4. The sun came out for about 15 minutes while I was in a room with windows.
5. Contrary to Weird Troy, we don't actually need new brakes for the car.

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Odd Thomas, audiobooks

Today didn't start out well. Chester and I started arguing because I was crying about something that happened to a favorite book character of mine, and I wouldn't let him comfort me.

I'm listening to Forever Odd, by Dean Koontz. Odd Thomas, his first Odd book, is one of my favorites. I was so thrilled to learn that he started a series of Odd books. But now, about fifteen minutes from the end of the book, it sounds like Odd died. And I didn't have time to finish the narrative, so I'm left thinking that Odd is really dead afterall. I was bawling my eyes out. Dean Koontz books do that to me a lot. This is killing me.

I went online, looking for spoilers, so I can get through the day. As far as I can tell, Odd doesn't actually die. That makes me happy, but now I'm dying to get home and find out how Koontz manages to break the spell in letting the reader (or in my case -- listener) think that Odd died. In the third book in the Odd series (Brother Odd, which hasn't been released yet), Odd goes on a retreat to a mountain monastery. So that means he's okay. I treasure this character so much, the thought of him dying really upsets me.

I usually have at least two books going. One on paper, and one in audiobook form. I like to listen to audiobooks while I'm washing dishes or making dinner.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Primary Doctor, Back on Zoloft

I finally had a doctor's appointment this morning. I went to the one I had scheduled for yesterday at 3, filled out some paperwork, waited until 3:45. Finally gave up. That was with someone who was supposed to be my new primary. So I went in search of a NEW new primary. I found one I liked.

What's nice is that her clinic is smaller, so the receptionists will probably remember who I am the next time. The dr's nurse actually introduced herself, shook my hand, and looked me in the eye. Same with the Dr herself. She's also an OB and a pediatrician... so that means if I like her (which I do) she can be my OB for my next baby. I was shopping around for a new one of those too.

Anyway. I was having some butt issues. She took a peek, wrote a prescription for some cream. Pretty quick and easy. Didn't hurt and all. She doesn't believe in being invasive if it isn't called for. I like that.

I'm pretty psyched about finding her. Yay me!

In other news, I gave in and started taking Zoloft again yesterday. I was so damn emotional and stressed out. I had been arguing with my mother all morning, and then the no-show doctor's appointment. When I left the receptionist's desk there after I "rescheduled," I was on the verge of tears. By the time I was down to my car, I was bawling. I wasn't so far gone that I didn't realize that it was absolutely ridiculous for me to be crying over something like that. When I got back to my office, I took a dose of Zoloft. I feel much better this morning.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ben's Not Eating Normally

I called Ben's daycare a little bit ago to apologize for not bringing in more diapers. They said no problem, he had enough for the afternoon, BUT... They were just about to call me. Apparently, Ben's still not eating much or drinking much, and he just spit up again. He's 9.5 months old, and he hasn't been eating normally since he got out of the hospital (an asthma thing) a week and a half ago.

He's been refusing most solid foods, so I tempted him with spaghetti last night. His favorite. He gobbled it right down and had two servings.

He had two 6-ounce bottles last night before bed, and threw up after finishing the second. I figured it was just because we had overfilled the tank, and his body isn't use to that kind of quantity anymore. And because he had vomited most of his bottles, he also had a dry diaper this morning.

Then today at lunch, he refused his spaghetti that I had lovingly packed for him as a surprise. He Refused Spaghetti. What the hell is going on?

Geez. He's acting perfectly happy and playful, so it's hard to get really worried when you're around him.

The game plan: We're going to keep offering him solid foods, but we're also going to offer him Pedialyte in addition to his normal amount of bottles. If he's still not really eating tomorrow, we'll call the nurses line. Chester is all set to stay home with him tomorrow if need be. (He can stay home easier than I can because he can make up the time by coming in during the weekends).

No More Zoloft, Odd Dreams

I've been off Zoloft cold turkey for nine days now. I know it's bad to quit cold turkey. I had dropped off my prescription last Monday, but it turns out my script had expired. It took my pharmacy several days to get an answer from my doctor to get it refilled. We received a call last Friday that it was ready to pick up, but we never quite made it there.

I've only been getting the zaps now for a few days. My mood seems to be okay. I'm more aware of the passing of time now. And my dreams are really freaky. Last night I dreamed that I was getting my tonsils removed with only a local anaesthetic. The night before I dreamed that I was chasing down an evil medical cult that was encouraging people to drink these magic potions for health and longevity, but they ended up causing serious genetic mutations in unborn babies.

I wonder what will happen next. I'm not sure if I'll go back on Zoloft. I've been on and off of the stuff since I was 16. The last time I had to go on it was when I was about five months pregnant with Ben. I wasn't having very nice bonding thoughts about the little runt, and my mood was unnaturally low. So my OB put me back on the pills, and everything was fine again.

I'd prefer to be off of drugs. I don't like being dependent on pills to be happy. My life's good enough as it is.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Insurance, Bathroom Redo

Chester and I have the pleasure of working for the same company. I'm in Editorial, he's in Systems. I play with words, he plays with computer stuff. We had our yearly open enrollment meeting with HR today to discuss next year's health insurance options. Damn, that stuff is expensive. We have to reassess whether or not we'll both have individual insurance or just make like a family and have it all come off of one of our paychecks. I wish we could afford a financial advisor for this. My brother is a CPA, but I don't want him knowing how broke we are.

Anyway. Work has been slow for me today. It's taken forever for me to get some pages across my desk, and now that I have some, I'm waiting on answers from other departments. Oh the joy. Good news, I get to leave in thirty minutes to go pick up my baby from daycare. And we get to play at Aldi's to get the cheap basics for food, and then the Super Walmart for everything else.

Don't judge me.

Tonight, if I have the energy (unlikely due to this nasty cold I can't seem to shake), I'll wash down our bathroom walls in preparation to start painting. Yay! We're getting closer to being done redoing the bathroom. This place is a rental, so we're constantly balancing how much we want to put into it versus, "It's a rental, this is not an investment." But the shower doors really did have to come down. I couldn't give Benji a bath in there with the doors up. I wouldn't have access to all of him. And that's dangerous.

So the doors came down, and an industrial strength shower rod went up. And soon we'll be painting the walls two different colors (a deep, dark blue on two walls, and a dark tan on the opposite walls). It'll blend nicely with the shower curtain I bought from overstock.com that has many shades of grayish blue and tan in a fine-line seersucker plaid. We're also replacing the wall-size mirror behind the vanity with a smaller, framed mirror that has a frame of burnished silver curlicues... kind of like wrought iron.

The biggest change will be relocating the kitty box from its spot in the bathroom to having a box in each of our bedroom closets. I'm slightly concerned with the smell factor, but it'll be a big improvement from having a giant, open litter box right next to the toilet. We'll be putting a little cabinet in its place in the bathroom, so hopefully the cats will know that they can't pee there anymore. In all, we'll have three boxes for two cats, which is what we're supposed to have. It's been difficult finding good places for litter boxes in this apartment. There aren't many nooks and crannies that we can keep open for cat use.

I'll post pictures of the final product in our bathroom when it's done. Hopefully, that'll be by next week, though I'm not holding my breath.

My Dear Baby

Originally uploaded by mammacheryl.

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That was the question

To blog or not to blog. That was the question. I read other people's blogs daily. Sometimes I comment on them, but mostly I just lurk. I envy their outlet for energy and expression. Most of the time, I feel like there's no way in hell my writing could ever compare. But then again, who would I be writing for? So I've decided that I will blog just for myself. I'm not expecting comments. Ever. In my head, I'll pretend that this is just an online journal that only I can see.

In reality, my life's not outrageously entertaining, and I'm not looking for companionship over the ether. But there are times when I feel the need for someone to talk to. Someone to vent to. Someone to tell stupid little stories to. So you, dear blog, will suffice. I will treasure you. I will cherish you. I'll almost always be honest, and I promise to try not to be too whiny and bitchy. Geez. That kind of sounds like my wedding vows.

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