Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

Aside from a few minutes, exactly two years ago I became a mom. Holy shit. What's that Dr. Seuss book every graduate gets? "Oh the places you'll go.." Well, I didn't go anywhere. Literally, I'm back at the same house as when I graduated but OH, THE PLACES I WENT.

My little girl has made my life meaningful. She's become a beacon of hope for our future, a blank slate I avidly watch become a person. She's the reason I work, she's my motivation to become a stronger, responsible woman. I want Lo to be proud of me, as proud of me as I am of her.

Going from anti-kid to pro-Lola was definitely a journey. I faced obstacles like health insurance, daycare and shitty strangers saying shitty things about my unmarried status but more importantly, I faced internal obstacles. People say, "it's all in your mind," like it's a comfort, but to me, that can be the scariest place of all. I was helped along the treacherous path of acceptance and eventual love of motherhood by some truly beautiful women and fellow mothers.

For her birthday, we are going to try a new cookie recipe, dance to some horrible Dora music, read some books and snuggle to sleep in our lovenest tonight. Tell me that doesn't sound like fabulous birthday bonding? I can't wait.

Although I can honestly say that I prefer Lo being toddler over a baby, I am thankful for her babyhood, grateful for her toddlerhood and look forward to each and every day after this with my gal.

Cheers Lo, thanks for being my daughter.

Honesty, A True Cure for the Mondays

It's a two-parter today foo's, MB gave me an award! Me, Miss-Wins-Nothing-And-Likes-It! Tra-la-la, what a fabulous day! Award first and little things like LOLA'S BIRTHDAY (!!) will come after. Hooray for today.

Here are the rules for this award:

a) List 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!


b) Pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap. Here goes:

1. I firmly believe in dying with dignity and support assisted suicide. Furthermore, I think a person's life is the one thing that truly belongs to him/her and ending that life is personal decision that shouldn't always be met with criticism or stigma. (Disclaimer: I don't think that people should go offing themselves left and right, just that they have the complete right to do so.)

2. I had a pig named MaryJane who just died a few days ago. She was living on a farm-type situation and because it was cold, I kept pushing off bringing her food and more blankets. Now she's dead and I feel so frickin' guilty! (Disclaimer II: She had her own shed, with straw and was fed regularly and has survived several WI winters in such a manner.)

3. I cheated on my first boyfriend, a good man, and to this day have not admitted it to him. Should I? Maybe, but what's the point anymore?

4. I prefer the company of my cat and my books to 90% of the people I know and profess to like. I do like them, but I love my cat and books.

5. I only write for BHL at work. So...technically...I get paid to blog.

6. I also smoke pot at work with my boss. So... I definitely get paid to get high.

7. My favorite bookstore is closing. It's a wonderful independent chain of eight stores, in business for 80 years! I've been buying books there since second grade, one of my favorite places in this world. Of course, I am very sad for them to be going out of business and all the employees out of jobs. I am most sad however because I've been working on this employee named Brian for years. I like immediate satisfaction people, years is a long time for me. Brian is cute in a booky-sort of way and while I can barely get him to greet me with eye contact, get this guy talking about fantasy books, or better yet, graphic novels and your ear might be in danger of getting talked off. Jeez, #7 is a novel! Anyway, I have to now take the plunge and ask this nerd out before he's lost to me, effectively ending my wait for better or worse. It's a bit sad to end our tense book-dance.

8. I treadmill 5 days a week with a huge mirror directly across the room so I can see myself walk. This isn't as vain as it sounds because I don't look that great doing it, kind of a step-jiggle-step pattern. This unsightly image paired with a noticeably smaller waist keeps me going at it.

9. I flirt with bartenders, adjusters, cashiers, stockers, waitstaff, telemarketers, truckers etc indiscriminately, in case being on good terms with them will help me in any way. I don't view this as entirely selfish because I'm sure they appreaciate a happy and flirtatioius customer/business partner/consumer etc over a crabby one. Win-win and if I can get something out of it, win-SCORE!

10. I get warm inner fuzzies when Lola doesn't want to go to Tee's mom's house. I certainly won't force her to go and then I don't have to go get her and pretend to enjoy the company of a person whose company I decidedly do NOT enjoy.

As for the people I feel deserve an award...I don't have seven. I know there are about a zillion bloggers out there but I only have a few I follow that don't get paid to do it. Not that getting paid to blog is a bad thing by any means, but they'll probably get awesome Las Vegas convention awards and so they won't get loving grassroots awards like my homeboys below:

1. Emily at Which Goose because she's creative, playful and beautiful. And because she's romantic and names bugs and shares her snappy sense of style.

2. Giyen at Bacon is My Enemy because she's strong, motivated and funny. And because she's a wonderful single mom, so she inspires me.

3. Timmy at The Next Best Place because he's adventurous, giving and fun. And because one of my best friends dated him while the other pissed on his bedroom wall.

4. Jason at Zola Jones because his blog is a perfect mixture of dignity, business (creator of my favortie purse ever!) and personal anecdotes. And because his cat and my kid have rhyming names.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here Be Pirates

Wow, things have been cranky 'round here lately. Let's lighten the mood with an old picture of Lola and I. Notice the lack of ringlet curls she now sports, the enormous chubby cheeks, the goldfish mush in her mouth. And me: crazy wild newly shorn (and definitely unbrushed) hair.
We are the two parts that make up the whole of Blackheart Lola. I've been meaning to explain the significance behind the name for awhile, and no better time than the present, correct?
Lola's first word wasn't the typical Mama or Dada. Instead, you could ask her, "Lola, what does a pirate say?" and she would enthusiastically reply"Arrrrrahhhh!" Does this even count as a first word? She's been my baby pirate for almost as long as she's been my baby and if she ever becomes a pirate to the tone of Cutthroat Island her name will have to be Blackheart Lola, the most despised piratess to sail the seas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Compare, Shall We?

Main Entry: nocturnal emission

Function: noun: an involuntary discharge of semen during sleep often accompanied by an erotic dream -- compare WET DREAM

Merriam-Webster defines a wet dream above. Now, I don't know about you but my erotic dreams are often quite pleasurable (and totally unrealistic!) When I wake up, I've got a smile on my face and I didn't have to do a damn thing.

I got to thinking about all the hard work making Lola was. The first three months of her existence were spent on the couch of a second story apartment without air, crying and barfing. I laid as still as I possibly could so as not to make myself warmer (spontaneous combustion was a very real possibility) and so I wouldn't invoke the ire of the fickle and pissed-off parasite in me. I imagined the tiny little alien-like grouping of cells like a mighty volcano god ruling my body. Smell the wrong smell, drink an ounce more than approved or think the wrong thought, the volcano god would know and send me sprinting for the bathroom, merrily retching as I go...

The next three months were physically better, plus it had positive things such as feeling Lo move, finding out her sex, hearing the heartbeat, the blessed, beloved heartbeat! But, as the universe balanced itself out, my psychological stability weakened even as my physical condition became bearable. I say bearable because pregnancy still sucked vs. non-pregnancy. The frequent urination, the enormous tits, the kicks while I was trying to sleep and Lola's constant hiccups were still taking their toll. My head was doing it's best to get used to the idea of motherhood and failing pretty miserably.

The last three months was more half/half horrible. I couldn't sleep, I half-expected Lola (in-utero kung fu master) to kick a wee foot right through my womb and cause internal damage. The growing Lo weight was putting pressure on my hips, my back and my poor pelvis was sore. I felt like I had just set a new world record for gangbanging and all I was doing was sitting in an office chair. I did finally get comfortable with being someone's mom, but the sheer physical discomfort really helped dispel the anxiety and make me look forward to her birth. A most selfish anticipation...

1. I barfed.
2. Busted blood vessels in my face, making me look like the walking dead.
3. Didn't sleep.
4. Went off the deep end, came back again.
5. Worried, worried, what if'd, what if'd, worried s'more
6. Pored over baby books, learned what a mucus plug is, examined underwear for bloody show, shopped, washed, cleaned, agonized...
7. Got beat the fuck up from the inside by the body-snatcher
8. My nipples were bitten
9. Labor pains!
10. My vagina stretched to a whopping 10 cm, requiring my first ever stitches.

The comparison of contributions to the making of babies: The above to what men can do involuntarily while dreaming a good dream. Hmmm, imagine me, weighing my Athena-like scales of fairness... I think Lola got the right last name.

PS. This post originated from Tee's tendency to say, "My penis made her." in a smug little voice when Lo's being particularly cute. I think he forgets the tiny little nine months of hell I contributed...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Which Everybody Says "Stop Being a Pussy Etta!"

When a person tells us about an unfortunate yet commonplace event, fender bender, break up, loss of job, failed class, you may catch yourself trying to console that person but feel unable because hey, that's life, it happens.

That's where I feel the romance between Tee and I belongs. We tried, we lived, we loved, we made one FANTASTIC human being but life happened. I'm still content to travel through life with him as my parental partner, I couldn't wish for a more loving father for Lo. (I could wish that Tee had an enormous trust fund, was a highly motivated professional or owned a horse ranch, but these things might be counter-productive to the good dad status he retains now, so we'll leave things the way they are.)

I'm ultimately content in having him be my friend, my Lola confidante and my former lover and while we've tried (many a time) to revert back to our former relationship, I've harbored this feeling that the time is past and we should move on to our next phase.

Now, hopefully this will be the last time I have this conversation with myself and when I have it with Tee, it'll be the last time I have the conversation with him. I'm aiming for ending this romantic relationship with the dignity and respect it deserves and guiding it into becoming the co-parenting companionship we are both going to need.

Ah, ew, sigh, fret. I hate hurting him, I hate hurting myself. I wish this could just be over.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Schmooziest of Them All

I get paid to schmooze sometimes, which is a-ok by me since I genuinely like most the people (men) I'm supposed to be schmooze. I suppose we can call them "schmoozees" as I can definitely be a "schmoozer."

An aside: Although I'm an office queen bee, I do get corralled into being a charming face (and let's face it, a pair of charming tits) during business lunches. It's nice on my end to meet the voices I hear so often and they can connect a face and tits to the voice that greets them when they are giving us business. Plus, I get free lunch so it becomes an all around win-win.

Again, luckily, I can find positive attributes about most the men I am forced into socializing with; some are big on family (I can relate), some like to drink wine during lunch (hooray!), some like dirty jokes or live music or cigars. Point being that I can usually find something, a common ground of some sort to deal with these strangers on.

You can see where this is going?

Alas, there are others which I cannot. One in particular gives us lots of work, lots of leeway while performing said work, is very talkative and loves to talk to me. But I can't take it anymore! He's so frickin' creepy and tells the most long-winded, sexist stories that I just want to scream.

He has a daughter a few years younger than I am so you would think he would think flirting with me is icky, but when he's with me, I feel like a bought and paid for object. Yuck, it's a bad feeling, let me provide you with an example.

His insurance office has adjusters spread throughout WI, but keep in mind that I've only personally met two of them. One day, I'm forced to meet this adjuster at a storage facility. Normally, I wouldn't have minded so much but I have Lo with me at work and I know this is going to screw up lunchtime and naptime. In Lola-world, these are two "times" of utmost importance, but I didn't really have much choice.

We drive to meet Adjuster and make our way through the maze of hallways to the storage unit. These hallways are really creepy because the lights are automatic, relying on motion sensors to turn on and once you are passed, they turn off. I fully expected zombies to start reanimating at any moment, Resident Evil style.

Fast forward thru all the dusting off and picture taking of contents and resume at the part where Adjuster begins taking pictures of me. HELLO? We are now an hour late for lunchtime and pushing into naptime as well, not exactly prime photo-op time dickweed! Eventually, we skedaddle, breathe a sigh of relief and let the exasperation fade.

Til a week later when Adjuster calls the office. No, he wasn't giving us work, apparently he just wanted to chat. He told me all about how he got his pictures developed and emailed them to all his little adjuster friends! "They are so jealous that I got to be alone in a storage shed with you."

Dude, eww. And we were not alone! We had a rambunctious, hungry, tired toddler there remember? Remember her getting cranky and ornery? Remember why? Because you took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Because you were too busy taking pictures of me to send to your pervy middle-aged coworkers.

Ugh. Yuck. Ick. I hate being an unintentional object of lust. I wish I could shoot a lust-laser at the people I want to lust after me (Nesto, Scarlett Johannson) and everyone else could just leave me alone.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cheeky Little Whippersnapper!

I'm sitting in the hallway of the bowling alley where the reception is held, smoking a cigarette (!), nursing my gin and juice and people watching. The date of one of Mitch's friends comes and sits by me, we start chatting.

A group of guys get up and return to the dance floor, leaving one of their sly pals behind, a plant. He proceeds to strike up a conversation with the girl-date and I. With names exchanged and relationships to bride and groom clarified (none) he asks our ages.

GD, embarassed: I'm 18.
Slyguy to me: What about you?
Me: Hmmph, I think that's probably a rude question to ask.
GD: She's much older.
Slyguy to me, again. (Persistant little bastard.): It's not rude, c'mon tell us your age.
Me: I'm 24.
Slyguy: Whoa, I'm only 21. I guess I'm like a baby compared to you...
Me: narrowed eyes shooting a lazer death beam towards his baby face. ZAP! Kaboom! Brains on the back wall.

Ok, actually GD and I ignored him til he left, then laughed. But really, what's worse, telling people I'm 24 when my birthday is still a few months away (I always seem to jump the gun) or agreeing that yes, 21 is too young. I mean, I have Lo, do I really need a baby who is now able to booze it up?

Yikes. I'm definitely getting old.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Favorite Mistake

This morning, Lo was curled up in bed beside me and when I began to creep cautiously from the covers, she stirred and fixed her determined little eyes on me.

" mama." Spoken barely above a sleepy whisper but with a note of steely resolve.

She rolled over, scooched her butt back, reached over her own wee body, grabbed my hand and put it on her belly. We ended up with my cheek resting on her forehead and my left arm encircling her little body. A warm tangle of MommyBaby in our lovenest.

Satisfied with the new arrangement, she conked out again, immediately snoring.

My heart melted into two meaty puddles in the soles of my feet. "Ok Lo, twist my arm," I thought. We were 15 minutes late for work today.

And I never wanted kids, HA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shuttering With Indecision

Ho Ho (Lo's personal Santa Claus) was supposed to bring us a camera. Alas, Ho Ho was too indecisive on whether we needed another Canon (as we already have charger, batteries and case) or something a little more Mama-proof.
My first camera was "lost." And by lost I mean taken by someone, ass.

The second one, my beloved chocolate Powershot accompanied me and Nelly in a row boat, to capture the images of the awesome sea-beasts we were about to catch... Unfortunately, we caught ZERO sea-beasts and my poor little camera got a frickin' dribble of water on it and died.

This brings to me a story. Once upon a time, my friends and I created a group named the Waukesha Travel Whores because we are whores for weekend travelling (cheap, little time away from Lo or work) and it is comprised of friends who are good travelling companions (easy-going, has money for gas or willing to drive).

On this particular WTW trip, we went to St. Paul for Grand Old Day, which is similar to Summerfest in WI, only located within a block-sized area. There were blues bands, traditional Indian music, Irish ballads, rap, contests, beer, ethnic foods and lots & lots of drunk people. We enjoyed a few different shows and then it happened....

Max dropped his camera, whack, bounce and sllliiiiiiidddddeeee...into the storm drain. Well, my camera had recently succumbed to a minuet splash of water so I offered my condolences. But wait, Max had hope.
"It's waterproof up to blank many feet!" He tells me, "I'm gonna go get it."

He then proceeds to lift the storm drain grate and carefully lower himself down. After hearing many "ewwww"s, and "groosssss"-es, he found the camera and two of our friends helped him out.

The reactions of some of the Grand Old Dayers were pretty funny but looking at it from the perspective of someone just walking by, I guess seeing a guy getting pulled out of a drain doesn't happen too often. A cop came over to make sure Max was ok, and then made sure his camera was ok. Thing is, it was covered in goop and kind of smelled but it was fine!

So, I guess that leaves me with Ho Ho's dilemma once more. Waterproof or accessories?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Call Me Mama WorryWort

So, John Travolta's son just died. CNN's IReport asked for personal stories and words of hope for the Travoltas and oh my lordy, can you say tears at work?!
Car accidents, drowning, suicide, murder; no matter the method, the pain was there.
Parenting is such a daunting task already in the fact that if you fuck up, you ruin a life. Gee, no pressure. Add into the mix that you're not just aiming to raise said child into adulthood, but guide them into becoming well-rounded, wonderful members of society. Add into that there are events over which you have NO control which will affect said child, possibly doing them harm and my little control freak brain nearly explodes...

This means I am currently worried about any or all of the following: Seizures, violent allergic reactions, car accidents, the pool gate left open, rabid beasts, zombies, nice old neighbors who turn out to be pedophiles, escalators, drive-by shootings, ax-wielding maniacs, heavy machinary, house fires, cancer, dehydration, rampaging tigers etc.

Jeez, no wonder I'm so tired by the end of the day.

That said, I don't let these worries paralyze me and I'm certainly not an overprotective mother (eating dirt won't hurt her, she'll find out soon enough it doesn't taste good...) but it's scary all the same. The feeling of helplessness in the face of so many things that could go wrong for a person I've been put on this earth to raise and protect, simply not fair.

And THEN I think about all the stupid shit I've done, like natural diasters such as tornadoes and zombies don't endanger us enough.

7 years ago... "Snorting pain killers while rolling isn't that bad, is it?" (For the record folks, bad idea.)

Take your pick of years ago... "Wellll, I don't have a condom, do you?"

5 years ago... "Let's eat these mushrooms, grab the Jack and go swimming!"

8 years ago..."We gonna play chicken, bitch."

I find it likely that at some point in Lo's life, there will be a moment in which her life hangs in the balance. I think all of us have been in a situation like this, the blessing is that we don't always know it.

EXAMPLE: A classmate was once involved in a really bad car accident. The car flipped, smashed into a tree, caught fire, the works. Everybody walked away relatively ok and when the fire dept. arrived, the classmate was told that if he hadn't have just filled up his gas tank, the car would've exploded rather than burned.
That small, everyday decision of filling up his tank may have saved his life.

As Lo gets older, I know I'll worry more and more. The curse of parenthood. My sympathies to the Travoltas.

Etta, The Cosmic Laughingstock

I feel the need to deplore the timing of the universe. Quite simply put, it sucks.

My excerise-in-restraint-with-Nesto outing was cheerful and incredibly tempting and it made me proud that I do have a little something called self-control...

My let's-go-out-because-you're-getting-divorced meeting with my sexy adjuster went excellent also. There was food, drink, cigars and a backrub... (Waning self-control is still self-control folks.)

And of course the next day, Tee brings me a rose for no reason and professes his love...

Umm. What can I say about this?


More to come.