Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Wearing My Grumpy Pants

I am seriously grumpy today. I called in to work because I just couldn't face it. I'm counting on the assumption that if my absences become termination-worthy, someone will warn me and then I will have to start hauling my ass in even when I'm emotionally in the shitter.

I'm not sure exactly what it is. I think it's partly Christmas fallout. I woke up yesterday morning in good spirits, actually, and we had a fine present-opening with Bubba. with only a little bit of disappointment about the fact that my husband hadn't gotten me anything at all. I kind of expected it because he never has any money, but I figured maybe he could have found a little token something just so I'd have a present to open. It was a little bit sad when I gave J. the books I'd bought him, and the calendar with Bubba's picture and handprints that we'd made for him, and then Bubba said "Where's your present, Mommy?" and I had to say "I don't think I have one, honey." Sigh. J. said, "Mommy's going to get her present later. That's how it works sometimes." Yeah right. I don't even want the THING, whatever it is, I really just wanted to have something to open. Next year I'll buy myself a present to have under the tree, I guess.

Anyway, the plan was to do our little family Christmas and then head back to my parents' house (about an hour's drive) for the big family Christmas. There weren't any deadlines we had to meet, or so I thought--I just figured as long as we were back before noon things would be good. We all got cleaned up and loaded the car and dragged Bubba away from his V-Smile and were just about to get in the car at 10 a.m. when my sister called.

"Where are you?" was the first thing out of her mouth.
"Well, we're still at home," I said.
"Are you frickin' kidding me?" she says, and I didn't detect any kind of joking tone.
"Well, we had to do our Christmas here first," I said.
"Yeah, but Bubba gets up at 6 a.m. so you should have had plenty of time by now!" she says.
"Bubba didn't get up until 8:30," I reply. "We're just about ready to get in the car."
"Okay...well, Mom says the turkey will be done by noon. But don't speed to get here."

I got off the phone, and I felt like my Christmas mood had just been deflated like a popped balloon. I took my anxiety meds and we got in the car. About 15 minutes into the drive we realized we'd forgotten blankie and puppy, two critical items for both the drive there and back and for any hope of a nap for Bubba, so we had to go back, thus making us even later. We still got home by 11:15 because yes, we did speed--although J. does that regardless.

By the time we'd gotten there I was pretty mellowed out from my pill, and things went fairly well for most of the day, other than Bubba not taking a nap and his incessant neediness, which I feel bad complaining about but jesus, it's tiring. I was also a little disgruntled about how our family Christmas has devolved over the past several years to opening presents, eating, and then my husband and both my nieces playing video games all afternoon. I sat there yesterday wishing we could do something where we could actually connect as a family rather than just be stuck watching them play a game. Oh well!

At about 5 p.m. Bubba falls asleep so I have to wake him up so there will be a chance of him sleeping at night. I was cuddling with him on the couch and we were talking about "the sunshine song" that he likes me to sing to him. It's the "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" song. I started singing it to him when he was a baby, only I could never make the "please don't take my sunshine away" part come out of my mouth because it always reminded me of Hope and how she had been taken away from me, so I changed the words to "and I know you'll never go away."

I said in passing to my mom and sister that I had changed the words and I sang my version to them. My sister, in one of her typically intense outbursts, says "Oh my God! When I said I would love for my children to live with me forever you were the one who told me I had to let them go and now this is what you're singing to your son!" Like I was some kind of hypocrite or something. I actually sat in silence for a moment wondering if I really wanted to drop the dead baby bomb and then decided fuck it, I'm telling her and I hope she feels bad about it. So I said, "I sing it that way because after Bubba was born it always reminded me of how one of my kids had already died and I didn't want another one to be taken from me." Then I got up and went to the other room, and was explaining the whole incident to J. when she came in and apologized and of course started crying. Her apology was genuine and I let it all go, but I really, really wish she would realize that she is very harsh sometimes and that the things she lets fly out of her mouth can really be hurtful. I don't suppose she will ever change, it's who she is...but in spite of all my therapy and drugs I just can't let it roll over me all the time.

So that incident got me sort of focused on Hope and remembering that first Christmas without her. I think of her every day, and especially on holidays, and in fact J. and I had gone to the cemetery earlier in the day to visit his parents' graves and we stopped by the baby section and I remembered Hope while looking at the stones of other little ones who were gone. So it wasn't like it was a shock or anything to be thinking of her, but usually I can remember her peacefully, and that incident with my sister got me thinking about the pain instead.

We headed back home about an hour later, and I sullenly sat in the car until I fell asleep, then grumpily hauled myself into the house and just went straight to bed, leaving J. to entertain Bubba who was oddly still awake. And I woke up today feeling pretty much the same way I did when I fell asleep. Now I am looking around my house at the post-Christmas disaster and dealing with mood where I just don't know what the hell I feel like doing because really, I just don't feel like doing anything, and yet I also don't feel like doing nothing.

God, it sucks being an emotional mess.

So that was Christmas. Thank god it's over! Hope you all had good ones, or if not, I hope you'll blog about the drama so that I can feel some cameraderie with you all!

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before That Crazy Man Breaks Into Our House Leaving Loud Toys We Don't Need And That Bubba Will Cry Over When We Have to Go to NaNa's

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
All the creatures were running from our child, the grouch.

The stockings were hung to be filled in the night,
While Bubba bawled at the table, refusing "just one bite."

Other children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While our precious son cried to "sleep in Dad's bed!"

And mamma with my Clonazepam and Daddy with his smokes,
Had just settled down for a long, calming toke,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I rose heavily from the porch to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I stumbled and crashed,
Tore open the shutters and threw down my stash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen ice, sleet and snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to all the stuff down below that we haven't picked up yet from summer.

When, what to my extremely dry eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in couple of minutes that it must be St. Nick.
(Either that or it was pharmaceuticals fucking with me).

More rapid than a mother trying to get her puking son to a toilet his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

Like dry heaves from your child makes you grab him and fly,
St. Nicholas and his deer quickly took to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of more noisy, lead-ridden toys (and St. Nicholas too).

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

Soon after, from the din, I heard my child rise,
Then I forced him to stay in bed so it "would be a surprise!"
As I finally got my kid asleep and unwound,
Through the open porch door St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot from all those richy houses that have fireplaces in their living rooms.

A bundle of toys he had flung in his sack,
That, hopefully we won't have to take back (because Nana already got it for our extremely spoiled son).

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
He was smiling, actually, like a real psycho.

The stump of the pipe he held in his teeth so tight,
Smelled familiar, then I knew how he flew so damn high.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
He must have had the munchies, 'cause he emptied my shelf.

He winked his right eye, and for awhile he zoned,
Then I knew for sure good old Santa was stoned.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
He snorted some horse and then finally arose.

He staggered to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas or whatever, and to all a mellow night!"

After he left, we finally rested our heads,
For about five minutes until Bubba started crying and climbed out of bed.

It was Christmas alright, there was nowhere to go,
Better wake up and face it. Ho ho fucking ho.

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No butts about it, it's her birthday!

Hopefully she won't think I'm being cheeky, butt today is a special day--it is Best Friend Tingle's birthday!

Unfortunately, when I talked to her last night, she was in the throes of a bad stomach virus, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, the whole nine. I hope she feels better today!

Even though she never reads my blog anymore, I still wanted to publicly acknowledge the day of her birth. How happy I am that she is in the world, and how lucky I am to receive her gift of friendship.

Happy birthday, Tingle. I hope you get everything you wish for this year!

This moment is unveiling the divine

I just got back from my therapy appointment. I came away with a few good things that I want to note for future reference.

I told her I've been in a rut lately where I feel like I slog through 8 hours of work and then gear up for another shift at home. I told her how I tend to dread doing some of the things that make up our evening routine, like playing with Gary, until they're actually underway and then I usually find myself having at least some fun.

She said, "So what you're telling me is that you get to go home after work, lie on your bed and listen to your son talk about love? Boy, that sounds terrible!" She helped me look at it as a way to unwind rather than something I have to do (even though I do have to do it, because if I didn't, the resulting tantrum would be so not worth it). Truthfully, though, it's my attitude more than anything else that makes it seem like a chore.

Another thing she said really made an impression on me. She said that when Bubba wants me to play with Gary, or "crash cars," or whatever, that he's inviting me into his world, and that as much as I can, I should accept those invitations so that when he's 30 and out on his own with his own family he will still be inviting me in (she's really good at saying things that I know I know as soon as she says them, but that I hadn't really brought up to the conscious level). This really made a lot of sense to me.

The final nugget, one that I think I'm going to post on the wall in my house, is something along the lines of "This moment is unveiling the divine." Translation for those who aren't all Sufi like my therapist: this moment, no matter how challenging--in fact, the more challenging, the more powerful it is--is an opportunity to stretch yourself to see how patient, how loving, how merciful you can be, either to yourself or to the person you are with.

My homework is to dance at least once before our next meeting in January, and to try to think of things that I think are fun, because I told her how I was trying to think of ways to make our time at home more fun and I came up with a big blank space that scared me so I stopped thinking about it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Life as a Trichotillomaniac

So. I wanted to talk to you today about....trichotillomania, otherwise known as a "hair pulling disorder." I also want to give a shout out to Melissa, who bravely came out in the comments on my last post. Good for you!

I started pulling my hair in fifth grade. I remember the very first time I pulled out one of my own head hairs. I was in science class, and Mr. Hansen made everyone pull out a hair from their scalp and look at it under the microscope. I was fascinated by the root. It hurt, but not enough to prevent me from pulling out another one now and then to examine the root again. By the time I was in sixth grade, it had become a habit that I have lived with ever since. It didn't hurt anymore at all. I knew it was weird so I tried to hide it, but one day my mom found a huge pile of my long hair next to the chair where I used to sit and read. I told her what I was doing and she just told me to stop and seemed kind of disgusted, so after that I was more careful about cleaning up after myself.

I have always pulled from one primary location on my head, at the crown on my right side where I also have a cowlick. I also pull from the other side, but not as much. Throughout my school years, I don't remember it being so bad--I could do a comb-over and spray it with hairspray and it was pretty much undetectable. Now it's more noticeable, because along with adulthood has come more anxiety and thus, more pulling. I used to agonize over what I freak I was, try to stop, fail, and then feel even worse about myself. Now, I've kind of let myself go with it. Sometimes I still feel like a freak (like when I have to visit my stylist), but in general, I've kind of accepted it as part of who I am.

The only problem is that because I pull more, my bald spots are harder to hide. I now have long hair, so I'm able to pull it back into a barrette or put it up and hide the spot. I can never go out of the house with my hair down, because it would just be too apparent. Plus, because of the constant stress on those follicles, all the hair there is white.

So why do I do it? I tend to do it in two different situations: stressful ones, or times when I'm bored. I do it a lot at work. I do it a lot in the car when the drive is boring. There is a ritual to it: I feel for a hair that is particularly coarse, pull, examine it, and then usually chew on the root. I know, it's disgusting, but not that uncommon amongst those of us to have this disorder. It somehow relaxes me, even though there's still some residual shame that comes on after a big pulling binge.

You can read a lot about trichotillomania on the web. Some of the more interested tidbits to me are that the disorder is possibly related to Tourette's syndrome; some hypothesize that it's kind of an overexpression of normal self-grooming behaviors that our primate relatives engage in. There are also a couple of disorders related to trichotillomania including compulsive skin picking, which I also engage in, and obsessive compulsive disorder, one that I somehow escaped. While some think trichotillomania is or could be classified as OCD, right now it is labeled an "impulse control disorder." There's also a hereditary component, which I know is true in my case. My dad is a skin picker, and at my grandma's funeral I happened to catch one of my cousins pulling her hair out during the service.

The whole thing has given me a lot of angst in the past. The first person I ever really told was J., who probably knew already but still, reacted very supportively. Then I told LilCherie, and later on, Tingle. A few months ago my mother saw my bald spot and seemed completely shocked, even though I'd told her before that I do this. "What's this from?" she said sort of gaspy. "Mom, I told you--I pull my hair out," I said. I guess maybe she finally believes me!

By far the worst part of this disorder is--or I should say was--going to the hairdresser. They'd come across the bald spot and look troubled, then really examine it and say something like, "What's going on here?" or "What happened here?" I'd usually feign ignorance, like "I don't know, I just noticed it and I don't know how it happened." It was mortifying every time. I started seeing my current guy, Shawn, about 8 years ago. We were acquaintances already before he did my hair, so I felt a little more comfortable with him, but I gave him the same line or variations for several years. He is so cool, though, that I finally decided to just tell him. He didn't act like I was a freak at all. He asked me a few questions about it, like why I do it, but not maliciously. Then he just said "We all have our thing, you know?" Last week when I got my hair cut I came clean right away and told him I'd been pulling a lot, and he was totally cool. No big deal.

And this is going to sound minor but it does cause me a little bit of grief--I hate, hate, hate the saying "I was about ready to pull my hair out!" It's amazing how much people use this expression, which I'm sure I wouldn't notice if I didn't actually pull my hair out!

I have to say I feel much less stress about this part of my life since I've decided to be open about it with those who are close to me and my hair guy. It's easier to be myself when I don't have to worry about my bald spot showing. Nobody has acted like I'm a freak, which surprised me because I always felt like one. But really, is it that much different from chewing your lip or biting your fingernails, which people do all the time, openly?

I wish more people--hair stylists especially!--knew about this disorder and I wish it could be discussed more openly, because I think it's really sad that something that is such a minor quirk in the big scheme of things causes people so much angst and anxiety for years. It's so not worth it.

So, to all you closet pullers out there, my advice is: come out, accept yourself, and realize that it's just not that big of a deal. If you want to pull, pull, and don't beat yourself up about it. You're not a freak, you're not alone, and you're not crazy. It's okay. Like Shawn said, we all have our thing.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about my disorder. Thank you. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Notes From My Life

Monday: During half-hour battle with 3-year-old son to get him to take Tylenol, he states with all the petulant, serious anger he has in his little body that the whole idea was "Tartar sauce!" (Toddler-friendly expletive courtesy of SpongeBob SquarePants).

Tuesday: Third ice storm of the month hits Iowa on the same day that Aunt Flo's Second Day Hemmorrhage floods my underpants. Bubba's still sick, so it's me and him, along with Manny, Sid and Diego (from Ice Age); Peter Pan, Wendy and "the Injuns" (have you watched this movie recently? Wow.); and SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and Gary for approximately 9 hours. Tree branch in backyard cracks just moments before my own sanity does same.

Wednesday: Morning with Bubba (still sick) and then on to the endodontist. LilCherie and I share the same endodontist who has a stunningly bad bedside manner but has the magic hands with the root canals. I am in his office for literally five minutes. He looks at the x-ray sent over by my dentist, puts an ice cube on my tooth, I say "Ow," and he says, "Yep, needs a root canal." For that, I am charged $60. If you break it down, he earned $12 for each minute I sat in his chair. I guess that's cheap compared to the approximately $40 per minute he gets for the actual root canal. Luckily the procedure can wait until after the first of the year, since I've already maxed out my dental coverage on this year's root canal/crown/pulp cap follies.

On my way back from that appointment, I stop at a convenience store for smokes. I am musing at the hillbilly who's ringing me up -- he's a hefty guy, with a lot of erratic facial hair and eyes that go in two different directions -- when suddenly one of his eyes seems to focus at something behind me and he says, "Hey. Ah laak that hat." I turn my head and there's an older guy behind me wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with a Confederate flag. "Yeah, me too," says the hat-wearer. "Ah'm a proud and true Tennessean!" Hillbilly cashier says, "Yep. Ah'm frum Kentucky." Luckily I get away before I overhear them talkin' 'bout the ole fashion lynchin' goin' on down at Redneck Corner at sundown! Christ!

Stay tuned for more excitement, as tonight I am going to my stylist for the first haircut I've had in about a year and a half or something like that. I've been putting it off because I have trichotillomania, and have been pulling a lot lately, leaving a couple of nasty bald spots on the top of my head. I've come clean with my guy, and he's really cool about it, but's like having someone examining your freakitude.

What a trip.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Regrets That Haunt Me.

Yesterday I read this story and it made me ask all those questions I periodically ask myself about Hope's birth and death, which are:

*What if I had ignored the doomsday scenario presented by my OB and just waited for nature to take its course? Maybe she would have hung out in there until at least 24 weeks. Bubba stayed put for a week even though I was 8 cm dilated and 100 percent effaced, and probably would have stayed in longer with the help of tocolytics but I refused them because of my feeling that he was better off outside of my body than in it at that point.

*What if I had DEMANDED tocolytics with Hope to stop my contractions and then just waited?

Both of these questions can be boiled down to one question: What if I hadn't given up? What I know now that I didn't know then is that doing something, anything, to try to save her, no matter how futile, would have at least assuaged the massive guilt I felt (feel) about her death. This is something my doctors didn't understand either, as they pushed me for a pitocin drip to just "get the inevitable over with." If I had done the two things mentioned above, I would at least have been able to say that I tried everything. As it is, I blindly followed my high-risk, cutting-edge university doctor's recommendations that I just give up. And just giving up is hard to live with after your baby dies.

For the most part, I live with these questions by reminding myself that I did the best I could at the time...but I'm still disappointed in myself, and stories like the one I linked to today bring it all back.

Next June it will be five years since I had Hope, and I know there are still parts of her life and death that are affecting me and that I haven't dealt with because I just don't want to feel the pain. Five years later, and holidays are still bittersweet because I think that I should have two kids decorating the Christmas tree. There hasn't been a Christmas yet when I don't think about that Christmas after she died, and the emptiness of her absence when she should have been there in her First Christmas outfit.

Five years on, and I still haven't addressed the massive anger I feel toward the medical people who were supposed to be caring for me and my baby. I know I need to delve into it and disassemble it in order to get it out of me, but I also know how much it will hurt and I just can't bring myself to go there. And that feels, in a way, like just another way I'm giving up on my daughter.

I know in my heart that I would never have chosen for things to turn out the way they did, and that if anyone else told me my own story I would hold them completely blameless and would shower them with compassion. It's just hard to do that for myself. Why is it so much easier to beat ourselves up than to support ourselves with love?

Here, for future reference in case the story I linked to comes down, is the story that prompted this entry.

It was to be the one and only cuddle Carolyn Isbister would have with her tiny, premature daughter.

Rachael had been born minutes before - weighing a mere 20oz - and had only minutes to live. Her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.

As doctors gave up, Miss Isbister lifted her baby out of her hospital blanket and placed her on her chest.

She said: "I didn't want her to die being cold. So I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold.

"It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment." Then something remarkable happened. The warmth of her mother's skin kickstarted Rachael's heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.

Miss Isbister said: "We couldn't believe it - and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry.

"The doctors came in and said there was still no hope - but I wasn't letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away.

"But she still hung on. And then amazingly the pink colour began to return to her cheeks.

"She literally was turning from grey to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too."

Four months later, Rachael was allowed home weighing 8lb - the same as a newborn baby - and she has a healthy appetite.

Miss Isbister, a 36-year- old chemist from West Lothian, said: "Rachael has been such a little fighter - it is a miracle that she is here at all. When she was born the doctors told us that she would die within 20 minutes. But that one precious cuddle saved her life. I'll never forget it."

Miss Isbister and her partner David Elliott, 35, an electronics engineer, were thrilled when she became pregnant.

At the 20-week scan at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, doctors told them she was carrying a girl and they decided to name her Rachael.

But at 24 weeks a womb infection led to premature labour.

Miss Isbister, who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, eight, from a previous marriage, said: "We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn't think there was much hope." When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless.

"The doctor just took one look at her and said no," said Miss Isbister.

"They didn't even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying. Everyone just gave up on her."

Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: "All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.

"Two hours later the wee thing was crying. This is indeed a miracle baby and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother's love saved her daughter."

Rachael was moved on to a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress.

Miss Isbister said: "The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope.

"She had done it all on her own - without any medical intervention or drugs.

"She had clung on to life - and it was all because of that cuddle. It had warmed up her body enough for her to start fighting." Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems.

As the days passed, Rachael began to gain in strength and put on weight. She had laser treatment to save her sight because the blood vessels had not had a chance to develop properly in the womb. And she also had six blood transfusions.

"We couldn't believe that she was doing so well," her mother said.

"Her heart rate and breathing would suddenly sometimes drop without warning, but she just got stronger and stronger."

After five weeks she was taken off a ventilator and Miss Isbister was able to breastfeed her.

Then, after four months, the couple were allowed to take her home - a day they thought they would never see.

Miss Isbister said: "She is doing so well. When we finally brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl.

"And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest.

"It was that first cuddle which saved her life - and I'm just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did.

"Otherwise she wouldn't be here today."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just a bunch of stuff

Health Update
Monday I went to the doc for my weekly sinus check. A cyst in my left sinus had reformed, so he had to go in and anesthetize the area and pull off a "chunk" of the cyst so that hopefully, it won't close up again. I also have to be on Bactrim for another two weeks (for a total of four weeks) because I'm still showing signs of infection, although it is getting better. In general, I'm feeling a lot better but not 100 percent.

A Very Special Christmas
Last weekend I hosted our Third Annual Girls' Night Christmas Party. It was a blast. Tingle made it in from Cleveland, and LilCherie and Pioneer Girl braved a major ice storm to get to my house. It was awesome. It started out a bit rocky as I was feeling crappy with what might have been a cold or could have just been sinus stuff, but as the evening wore on I felt better and it was amazing. To give my husband credit where credit is due, he kindly took Bubba and himself to his sister's house that afternoon so we could have the house to ourselves. We exchanged funny gifts and all wore our tree skirts (Pioneer Girl made all of them, and Tingle got one this year). My friends are the best!

Winter + Iowa = Pain in the Ass
The weather in Iowa has been challenging. The ice storm last weekend left a sheet of ice on our driveway and sidewalk that we haven't cleared yet. It's been very cold, snowed a bit on Tuesday, and now is snowing again with an expected 3 to 5 inches tonight. Then Saturday we are supposed to get more snow or possibly ice, which really pisses me off because I'm supposed to go see Oprah and Obama! I am really psyched up for this, so I can't miss it. I may have to leave for LilCherie's house at 10:30 in the morning like she did to come down to my house last weekend.

Ich bin sehr müde
I am so tired. I feel like Bancini in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Tired, tired, tired of everything. Tonight I have Bubba-duty and as much as I hate to admit it, I'm just not looking forward to it. Sometimes I can get myself kinda psyched up for my Bubba time and really enjoy myself, but other times, I feel like I'm leaving one job just to go to the next, and I know my day won't be over until I fall into a coma next to him as I put him to bed. The total lack of "me time" during a day puts me in a bad mood--I'm selfish that way. And it may happen again tomorrow night, as I've told J. to try to plan something fun for himself so that I won't have to feel too guilty about essentially spending the entire weekend at LilCherie's/seeing Oprah.

Lately Bubba has been very clingy and whiny, and his favorite activity is sitting on my bed and playing with the body pillow. It's "J" shaped and Bubba calls it Gary because he pretends it's Gary the Snail from SpongeBob. So we sit in there for half an hour or 45 minutes while Bubba pets Gary, makes me pet Gary, talks about how cute Gary is, hugs Gary, pretends to have Baby Garys in his hand, kisses Gary, etc. It's pretty cute--for the first five minutes, and after that it's honestly really boring. The only way I've found to spice it up is to have Gary ask Bubba about school, because Bubba will tell Gary more than he ever tells me or J. But even that only lasts for about three or four minutes before Bubba declares "That's enough talking."

Sometimes I feel like I am just Bubba's handmaiden. "Fetch me some milk, you lowly wench! Turn on the SpongeBob! Take off my socks! No, put them back on again, me feets has got the chill! I need to go to the potty throne! I want some more candy! I don't want to eat supper! I don't like to have lotion on! I don't want to go to bed! I want to read the only book in the house that you cannot find!" It's truly exhausting.

I really don't believe it when I hear stars say that they don't have nannies or cooks or anything like that. There's no way. If I were rich, I would totally employ a nanny, not to raise my kid or anything like that but to just do the scut work, like running back and forth to fill milk cups, changing the DVD at Bubba's whim, changing his clothes and doing The Lotioning and maybe giving a bath now and then. Hmmm. That pretty much covers most parenting duties, huh? (Aha Moment: Parenting IS scutwork!) I like to imagine that while the nanny is bustling about, Bubba and I are engaged in enriching play, because if I had a nanny I wouldn't be so damn tired. Maybe I'd just hire a maid and a cook so that I could redirect that energy to Bubba-related stuff. Or, maybe I'd be just as lazy but not have as good of an excuse!