and this is why I suck sometimes.

because meanwhile I'm all "time for the little things" and IT IS BELLA'S FIFTH MONTH BIRTHDAY. today, bella is officially five months old.

a lifetime and a blink of an eye, all at the same time.

all quiet on the eastern front

there's not much going on, actually. I haven't done anything stupid KNOCK ON WOOD KNOCK ON WOOD that has aggravated me, bella hasn't started regressing OR playing piano or speaking in full sentences in french, trent hasn't forgotten to do anything at the last minute...even my clothes are not breaking.

but that does remind me - cute easter outfit whose skirt zipper broke? replaced it. wore it today. looks totally stupid. it's too long and flouncy and I feel like a 50s housewife who did some sort of freaky friday move and is at her husband's work instead of home vacuuming in pearls. this is the skirt, from target. cute enough in the picture, cute enough on the rack. not cute on patrice.

maybe it would be cuter if I weren't in 2.5" heels. doesn't sound like alot but it really is. and the white non-whore fishnets. but a softer green cardigan (yeah, flouncy skirt and cardigan - all I need is a quaaludes smile and a pink plastic mixer and I'm totally a 1956 life magazine ad) and these heels are really not cutting it - not for work, anyways.

anyway. this gives me time to reflect on life's little mysteries. like why we still make clothing that wrinkles when the wind blows the wrong way. or why some people can't appreciate a good hardy boys tv show episode. or why bad food tastes so good. or why corn is shaped that way.

I could go on. couldn't you?


On becoming baby wiser

so everyone who is everyone knows you're supposed to read to your babies. otherwise they will grow up really dumb. well, I guess we were really busy and all, because we totally forgot. we play with bella, we stick her on her stomach so she can flail around and get frustrated, and we put her in a baby einstein saucer, even, in an effort to make her smarter. (side note: at what age is she supposed to get the funny implication that the boingy mr. sun is next to the rattle replica of the globe? because she's already almost 5 months old and STILL doesn't get it.) we even let her watch american idol on tv so she can see how horrible some of the singers are and learn not to go to auditions unless she really is that good. but we've forgotten to read to her.

when reminded, sean and I both looked at each other like, oh shit. our friend nicole reads to noah all the time, because she is smart (her mother must have read to her) and a good mother. she even buys books for him. and not just to put on the shelf to make it look like she reads to him, she really actually does it.

to be fair, sean does read decibel magazine to bella, but that's only once a month. she seems to enjoy the tales about Lamb of God (formerly Burn the Priest) and Cephalic Carnage. sean said she'll appreciate this month's interview with Failure conducted by Cave In. (okay, even I like those bands, but still.) but that's still only once-the-month, and that is Not Enough.

so when we were no longer able to pretend the problem doesn't exist, I sort of broke down. "we're retarding our baby." sean gently reminded me that she's still young, we can still start reading to her, but I was not so sure. she's almost 5 months, as I said. considering that some women strap walkmans (walkmen?) to their baby pouches that play mozart and books on tape, we are clearly very very far behind.

I read her a book soon after, and so did sean. we read the book nicole gave us - on the day you were born - and bella was not interested. she stared off into space, she blew raspberries, she pounded at the pages, she even tried to eat the book. I varied my tempo, I acted like each word was more wonderous than the next, I even let my eyes get really wide while reading. bella was like "whatEVER." so it's evident to me that we've waited too long and now bella is going to grow up really dumb.

we've failed.

sean's still trying though. today he's reading a book my mom gave us called "the meaning of life." (meanwhile, the book's prologue says that it doesn't really give you the meaning of life. I wonder if my mom noticed that before purchasing it. my guess is no.) I am sure that any wisdom in this book will be lost on bella because we didn't start reading to her earlier.

but on the bright side, I can say anything I want about her childhood in this blog because even in the off chance that it survives until she's older, she'll never be able to read it because we started reading to her too late. LABOR WAS A TOTAL FUCKING BITCH AND IT HURT LIKE HELL AND I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH IT AGAIN. there.

if she could read this, though, I'd want her to read that I am sorry that we've retarded her. baby bubblegum, little boba fett, I am sorry!


this one has to do with EASTER.

let me just start by saying that my intention in having this new baby was to have more of the, how you say, "normal" parenting experience. like mommy and daddy and baby and when one parent has had enough, the other comes in to help. or they tag team. or whatever. but with sean working 12 hour days on weekends and me working during the week, we never see each other, and I am often reminded of how freaking difficult it is to take care of a baby alone with no respite. to wit: easter sunday.

it started out okay. trent was with his dad, sean went off to work at 5am as usual. we woke up around 8ish, bella was in a good mood. I put her tights in with some wash so they'd shrink enough so that she didn't have such bad elephant legs. we lounged. I knew I had to be at the (really really far away) restaurant to meet my sister and my mom and the people that go with them at 4pm. figuring since denise decided to pick a restaurant in freakin easton, which is like an hour or more away (and not like in the city an hour away, it's in the middle of nowhere an hour away, which is decidedly longer), and having to pick trent up at his grandparents, I should leave around 2. that gets me to trent around 2:30, his grandmother oohs and ahhs at bella for a few minutes, and we're on the road by 2:50ish. stop for money at an atm, we're in bumblefuck by 4 no problem.

working backwards, as I always do, having to get out the door by 2 means having to get in the shower by like 1ish, probably a bit earlier. I had an advantage in knowing what I was wearing and what bella was wearing, so I could cut out time to find outfits for the 2 of us.

so around noon, I went down to get bella's tights out of the dryer. the dryer is in the basement. I, being the bad parent I am, had put bella in the baby einstein saucer thing (which sean calls "the command center") while I went to the basement. she looked really happy to be in there, even though she'd been in there for about 20 mins already. I literally thought, and I kid you not, "she looks as happy as a pig in shit." seriously.

so I go to pick her up out of the command center, and as she leans forward, I see a HUGE amount of mustard looking stain on her back. that's right. BLOWOUT. of gigantic proportions. the command center seat was compromised. I take her upstairs, attempt to change her diaper, smear shit all over her and me, and then proceed to take her, naked, into the bathroom to give her a not-anticipated bath. it's about 12:30 by the time I get her in there. as it was a rush job, I had just taken the towel she had already used and put it on the floor for when I take her out of the bath.

as soon as I put her in the water, she peed. so I bathed her in pee pee diluted water. some bath. when I picked up her wet, wriggly body to put her on the towel I had laid out, I noticed that maggie, our dog, had picked up the towel and taken it into the corner of the bathroom and was laying on it like it was her personal bedding. so I have a cold, wet, wriggling baby and no where to dry her off. I took her in and put her on the bed and used our blanket to dry her off.

I got her all changed, and I was a little behind schedule, but things were still okay. I put her in the travel swing in the bathroom while I embarked on what would become a marathon shower. because, and I haven't told anyone but sean this, I have not shaved my legs since bella was born. I've worn plenty of skirts, but always with black stockings. if you looked really closely at my legs with the stockings on, you could have seen hairs poking through, but no one looks that closely. easter, however, called for white fishnets, naturally. (they look less trashy than they sound.) so I had to break out the razor. and it took FOREVER. the razor kept getting clogged. this is seriously disgusting but hey, you're the one still reading.

and to make matters worse, we have what I like to call a Shath. I've been shedding like a dog in july but even though I clean out the drain after every shower, I guess enough hair goes down (or other stuff, I don't know what's down in those pipes) that the shower tends to get clogged early on in the shower experience, causing the showeree to have both a bath and a shower at the same time. a Shath. so I'm in the Shath, bits of leg hair swirling around in the water.

(sidenote: during my shower, I was listening to the radio and of course, they were talking about politics and/or the pope and/or terry shiavo. I can't remember which story I was thinking about when I thought of what I say quite often about things: "I'd rather eat glass than...." and then I had another one of those "what if a serial killer kidnapped me" moments where I wondered if I ever got captured by a serial killer and he actually did make me eat glass, what would that be like? and maybe I shouldn't say that in case a serial killer were stalking me and was planning to make me literally eat my words. but anyway.)

so now that bella and I were both "clean", I started to get dressed. I had purchased an outfit specifically for easter from target - a cute pleated skirt, the white non-whore fishnets, an existing black shirt, and one of those trendy shrugs that ties under your boobs. I donned the fishnets and the shirt, and waited until all makeup and hair had been done before I put on the skirt, so as not to wrinkle it. and...the zipper broke. and I spent about a half hour trying to fix it. it's now 1:40. and my target leave time is 2. of course, I tried on every combination of the pieces that were left of the specifically purchased outfit with existing clothing and everything looked dumb. I wound up wearing the white fishnets (signifying spring) with a teal pleated corduroy skirt (signifying fall) and a black cardigan (signifying winter) that had bejeweled buttons (signifying simple bad taste) with red flat mary janes (signifying long-gone youth.) I looked sufficiently stupid as I left the house at 2:25. (after screaming at sean about directions that made no sense. sean, I am sorry.)

we got trent, we let his grandmother ooh and ahh over bella, and actually made it to the middle of nowhere a half hour early. how do these things work out? because though it may seem like "whew, she got there early" it was more like "what the hell am I supposed to do for 30 minutes out in the middle of nowhere??"

the whole time all of this was going on, I kept feeling like - hey, I am married this time, I have a loving husband and father to my child. why on earth do I still feel like a goddamn single parent??????

in the plus column, however, the place we ate at was beautiful. like right on the delaware, with the delaware canal on the other side of the restaurant. our table faced new jersey (in a good way) and we saw ducks and floating debris. beautiful.



I just found a small piece of nut in my sock. like inside the sock next to my foot. so it had to come from my house. we don't really eat nuts. so this baffles me. perhaps it is a sign - but of what? impending insanity? messy floors? a stranger eating a drumstik in our bedroom?

I think I am worried.


you put the lime in the coke, you nut.

I can't get that out of my mind. anyways.

so the kitchen is done. well, as done as it can be now without us having ordered countertops or found someone cheap enough to install them. and the floor isn't done, either. but the painting and hardware and all that is done. and it looks fantastic. though it makes the countertops look like ass, not to mention the shitty floor looks even shittier. so there's still work to do. but overall? love it.

so today seems to be a day where I can take a breath. just a short one. it's been hectic lately. I will feel better when I go home tonight and sean has put the kitchen back together. we've decided we need a new microwave to match the kitchen. (though I'm not sold on it, but I do like the idea because it would mean we won't have to try to clean the one we have now - which, if anyone from some important health agency saw it, they'd totally take our children away.)

oh! and the stupid avant garde knobs-as-handles idea? BRILLIANT. seriously. not just because I thought of it. it looks really cool. when the cabinets are closed, the knobs look like this
:: instead of this [ ] and it's excellent. I can't believe I thought of something that actually works.

now we have to work on the upstairs. we need carpet, stat. trent had a friend over the other day (!!!) and they were playing basketball in trent's room and....it is paining me to even type this...I am squirming all over in my chair but I have to do it...so the kids are in their socks, and....oh god...oh sweet jesus....the friend pulls his foot back and....gaahhhhhh....GOT THE BIGGEST SPLINTER I EVER SAW IN HIS BIG TOE AND IT WAS SO BIG THAT IT DISAPPEARED INTO THE MEAT OF HIS TOE AND IT WAS LIKE A HALF INCH LONG AND IT LOOKED HELLA PAINFUL AND OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD

okay. took a little break there. we got out the....OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD

okay. we took out the splinter and that is the last we shall speak of that part. so now we know we need carpet. or something. in all rooms up there. so that's our next big thing to tackle. because if I ever have to see anything like that again, I may just go into shock.


thank god it's tuesday

I'm so glad last week is over. that was hellish. this week seems to be a little better...knock on wood. saturday we had nicole and mark and master noah over (check the site for a crazy conjoined baby head picture), and that was fun. we just kind of lounged around aimlessly and looked at each other's babies. a little later, my most favorite mother in law (what do you mean, I only have one?) came over to watch bella for the first time ever while we went to the sixers game. again, fun (sixers game, that is). but when sean mentioned how cute bella is, I had to shush him, because I can't start thinking about her when I'm away or I get freaked out. june, and our trip to vegas, is rapidly approaching and just thinking about it makes me feel like I'm going to hyperventilate.

so the "workers" are coming over again today to "finish" our "kitchen". "it" "should" "be" "great". workers really mean rhonda, finish really means put on yet another coat of paint, and kitchen really means...well...kitchen. and of course we are totally prepared for our company tonight of joe and sandrine, and for tomorrow's guests kristen, brian, julie and josh. completely prepared! thank you, sarcasm-implying italics!

but here's the real news. hang onto your hats for this one. so our neighbor apparently has some, um, special pets. once when he moved in, he accused our other neighbor of stealing an aquarium he had out in his back yard, and "now the alligator has to be in the tub!" yeah. so apparently he also has something that eats small rodents. how do we know? because they escaped into our house, where, unbeknownst to them, our attack kat was lying in wait.

(sidenote: while I was typing, I totally just choked on my own saliva. like my saliva went down the wrong pipe. I wouldn't have believed that is possible if it didn't just happen to me. seriously. choked. on my own saliva.)

anyways, for about a week, we heard the mice in the radiators and watched as one by one, the cat found them, mutilated them, and played with their half-dead bodies. and how did we know that they were from next door? well, I have seen a few mice in my day, and they are sort of smallish, brown, and have actual instincts that lead them to run away from cats. these were miniscule, white, and had no idea what the hell they were doing.

so we know that the neighbor has mice that get out. we recently heard another mouse in our wall, and the cat was on patrol by one of our radiators again. she didn't pull it out (though she ripped up the carpet something fierce) but after a while, we heard no more scratching. the optimist in me (a small, little part of me) thought it had escaped into the wilderness where mice can run free without fear of being eaten. but a few days later...the stench started. the stench of death. we changed the baby's diapers repeatedly and looked for dog or cat poop but that was just a ruse - it was not shit we smelled. it was the aroma of decay. decay behind the wall.

I called my dad, who is supposed to know everything about everything (and usually does), and he said that there is nothing we can do short of cutting a hole in the wall to remove the carcass. not gonna happen. so we wait - he said about a month or so. in the meantime, we have alot of candles burning. highly scented candles.

I'm desperately trying not to think about the fact that if the mice can get out, it's possible that whatever is supposed to be eating the mice can get out. now THAT would be an interesting thing to have in the walls. as sean said "this isn't the fucking chamber of secrets!"

stay tuned.


commence eye clawing.

today? throwaway. yesterday? need to forget. this whole week? we never have to revisit.

one good thing to say - the kitchen looks FANTASTIC so far. (at least until you walk into it and turn to face the other wall, which they cannot get any of the contact paper backing that has been GLUED to the wall using some adhesive not of this earth...they have to come back with some sort of laser or magician's wand or something to take care of that.) one other good thing to say: I bought bella a j-lo esque velour jogging suit and it looks fabulous on her.

that concludes the good things.

yesterday was the day that would never die. after a gruelling day of crap, I forgot that I was supposed to get home on time because sean had a hair appt with my hairdresser. I love you sean, but you were entering michael bolton status with what was going on on top of your head. so I tried to double park outside our house and let trent, bella, and sean jump in. that didn't work. honking, beeping....anyways, so we get there (on time, amazingly) and sean gets a great hair cut, I get to feed bella in the bathroom, and we decide (loosely using the word) to get dinner at PJ O'Wheelihans or something equally irish sounding. which was totally not my idea - going to an irish pub? for dinner? with a baby? ON SAINT PATRICK'S DAY?

so we begin the journey to the irish place when brett calls - back up to 2 days ago. brett had called and asked if I could go to the baseball field to pick up the team equipment. it had to be done either that day or the next (yesterday.) I was like, I'll do it tomorrow, and brett was all "are you sure you'll remember" and I got totally high and mighty and said "*I* am not the one who forgets things...you do."

so brett calls, "did you get the equipment okay?" GREAT. we have 25 minutes to get there before the deadline, and I guess after that the team has to use broomhandles and old rugs. and meanwhile me with the "I don't forget things" routine. so we decide we are going to get the baseball stuff and then go to a more local irish place (Finn McCools - I swear, all of these places should be called "Irish McDrinkey's") for dinner. it's nearly 8pm now.

so we get the equipment (with 2 mins to spare - think of that when you're swinging that bat, trent) and we go to Finn's. even before we get there, we see the cars lined up on the side of the road. which really drove my point to sean home about not going to an irish place for dinner on st. patrick's day. but then, why else would you go? but anyway. so I make an executive decision (which is easy to do when you're driving) and said there is no way on god's irish green earth we are going there. and we turned the car around and went to mcdonalds to get burgers and shamrock shakes.

afterwards, I said to sean, "well, you wanted to go to an irish restaurant, and we did."

ba dum bum.


everything's craptapulous, till it ain't.

monday: trent's project. tuesday: museum night. wednesday: ikea. thursday: full fucking moon or something, who the hell knows. friday will not come fast enough and I'm sure will be just as eye-clawing as the rest of this week.

thursday: ikea. it's simple enough. we need 17 cabinet handles and 7 drawer pulls. 24 handles in all. ikea has cheap handles that are nice. the blahgskt version (or whatever the hell) looks sort of 50s. have I mentioned we're redoing the kitchen? no, I've just blabbed on about the kids. yeah. so we have no kitchen right now because it's all being painted and whatever. so we have to get new handles and we had to get them last night, so they can start putting them on.

3 inch handles. 24 of them. not hard. and what do they have? 3 3/4". 5". 8 fucking inches for a handle, who has hands that big?????? 3 inch? no. no. no no no.

you know what we're using? two knobs on each door. instead of a handle, we, like the fucking idiots we are, will be using two knobs on each door. maybe it will look avant garde.



bella rolled over by herself for the first time today. noah's been doing it for like years, but it's bella's first time unassisted.

actually, I'm surprised that she hasn't done this sooner. she absolutely hates being on her stomach and I would think she'd try as hard as possible to flip onto her back. instead, before today, she'd just let her head plop face first into the carpet and cry. poor thing.

and to everyone who gave me funny looks when I said she couldn't roll over yet - I TOLD YOU SHE'D BE ABLE TO DO IT SOONER OR LATER. we weren't worried that she'd be a 38-year-old woman who would panic if she found herself on her stomach for some reason - "but I can't roll over! I never learned!!!!"

ps: yes, the triangle tango IS a "Trent's Pants" production.

it's the triangle tango....

so last night was museum night. I got home and we had to leave 10 minutes later - always love that. through the drive thru at wendy's and then over to some other school. turns out we were supposed to bring a dessert...so off to weis market (worst. supermarket. ever.) goes sean and returns with doughnuts.

trent's project was about the bermuda triangle. and honestly, from all his procrastination and freakout came a really cool presentation. at the last minute, he decided to dress up like a marooned victim of a shipwreck (didn't even get a "thanks, ma" for that one) and so we took an old t shirt and ripped it up, along with pants that probably fit trent about 2 years ago. added sandals that still had sand in them from visiting the shore with nicole last year, and voila! he really did look good, and his presentation board was nice, too. and he had a tape of him singing his bermuda triangle song - and I gotta give the kid credit for putting that out there. it's trent, a capella, singing:

deep in the ocean blue
found dead is the captain and his crew
they thought they could handle it
but they fell into an endless pit
they thought it would be all the rave
now they float in their watery grave

it's the triangle tango, it's sweeter than mango
it's the triangle....tango!

there's a second verse, too, which I can't seem to remember, but we had it on a loop playing over and over and over again.

I took alot of pictures and trent (along with most of the other kids) was taped for the local educational programming station. but the best part, which moved me to tears, was watching him talk to the judges about his presentation. he was so poised, so articulate, and he really knew his stuff. it was great to watch. he's growing up...he's growing up. they seem to do that.

I'm proud of my little man.


it occurred to me that my blog is now a year old. that is all.

I just wanted to do the damn puzzle

I had to leave early yesterday to get home in time for sean to take maggie to the vet. he didn't want to have to take bella with him, hence me getting home early. of course, that didn't happen - so I called him and told him to just bring trent with him - trent could watch the dog while sean watches the baby. seems logical. so he did it. and then I realized that I was going home to a house with almost no responsibility. no husband, no children, no dog - no one wanting to speak to me, no one wanting to be held, no one wanting me to throw a ball. it was just me...and the cat. no big deal. I had been on the phone in the car (yes, I know) with nicole and I told her about my luck and she asked me what I was planning to DO. had it been a few hours that they'd all be gone, I would have opted to sleep. unhindered, not worrying about smothering anyone, with nothing farting at me (be it human or dog) and no one usurping either covers or bed space. AND WITH THE LIGHT OFF. (nicole totally agreed with me there - neither of us has slept with the light off since our babies were born. and I was one of those people who needed complete darkness to sleep.)

but since they were not going to be gone for hours, I had to pick something else. now, trent and I had been doing puzzles on the kitchen table for a while now. because trent is 12 now, doing anything with him is sometimes hit or miss. if he's in a good mood, it's totally fun. if he's not, and that's like 80% of the time lately, then it's horrible. so we have this puzzle going on the kitchen table - a mystery puzzle, you don't know what it is; plus, this particular one was 2 separate 500 piece puzzles, a before and after scene, so it is pretty challenging - and every time I try to do it, I either have to make someone dinner from the stove or from my boobs, or pet something, or entertain someone, or whatever. so I told nicole that I was going to just sit, quietly, and do the puzzle completely unhindered for whatever amount of time they'd be gone - likely 20 mins. we agreed that it was going to be wonderful.

here's what really happened.

I got off the phone with nicole and found I had a voicemail. I listened to it and it was sean, panicked, saying they couldn't find maggie's collar and could I call them immediately? I don't know where maggie's collar is, and I'm heading into the house, but they aren't there. apparently they found it. a call to sean confirms it. so I put away all the crap I have to schlep to and from work, go up and change out of the hideous outfit I had decided looked good that morning for whatever reason, and come down and start my glorious puzzling. then -- the cat.

a word or two about my cat: she is pretty aloof. in fact, sean is often upset about the fact that no one can just sit and pet her. (namely him.) she comes in and says hello once in a while and then finds somewhere to lay and sleep, usually upstairs or in the basement.

back to our story. the cat, our aloof cat who spends her days burrowed in god knows what god knows where, decides that it's the perfect time for a purr session. she jumps up on the table and sssppprrraaaawwwwllllssss out on top of the puzzle. pieces flying everywhere. stuff that was already put together breaks apart. and then she roooollllllssss over, purr purr purr, don't you just want to pet the shit out of me now??

I tried everything - I put her favorite treats all over the floor to lure her down, I blew on her, I ignored her, I put out a bowl of milk on the counter - she would not leave.

and of course, the moment she jumped down was the moment the door opened and in bounded all the responsibility I was dreaming about shirking. score one for the universe that is against patrice.

and I'd tell you about the rest of the night - because this was just a precursor to what was coming - but I just don't have the energy right now. in a nutshell - trent confesses to having an after-school affair to show off his not-finished project, we realize we cannot make a tape of him singing something and sean has to make a mad dash to walmart, sean buys the wrong thing and it doesn't work, trent has a nervous breakdown when he realizes he has procrastinated (and side note, the kid actually waited until 10pm to be upset about the fact that he waited until the last day to finish his project -- he even procrastinates about being upset!!) and I stay up until almost 11pm finishing his project for him.

tonight's episode: trent's "museum night" featuring his project on the bermuda triangle and the people who have been lost forever inside it. some people have all the luck.


wild weekend. flower show with brett, trent, and bella. even though we went at 4pm, it was still very crowded. and trent was being more pre-teen than usual. but the thing I hate most about going out to events like that is Other People. Other People are annoying, rude, stop in the middle of foot traffic to talk about what coffee to get, stop to talk about how their rhododendrons look nicer than these do, and look at you funny if you ask them to please excuse you as you attempt to roll a stroller around them. yeah, I know strollers are annoying at these events, but you know what? it's my only option. you, Other People, have slightly more options as you plop your giant quilted coat on the floor on top of your 15 bags full of useless information that will wind up in a landfill next to your moldy 15 foot pussywillows that you insist on not only purchasing at the flower show, but bringing aboard the train home. you have more options. so I won't apologize for my stroller.

and then I watched The Color Purple for the first time. yes, I realize it's been out for like 40 years and blah blah, but I never saw it. and I watched it alone with bella on sunday. then I watched Delores Claiborne on tbs. and then I had this awful epiphany that I'm sure every mother has had...that I probably had already with trent, too: I looked at her, dressed in her 5th outfit of the day due to diaper blowout madness, all drooling and smiles and farts, and knew that someday, someone would hurt her. someone is going to hurt this innocent baby. someone is going to break her heart, someone is going to ignore her, someone is going to threaten to punch her, and someone is going to betray her confidence. someone is going to talk behind her back, and someone is going to tell her something she doesn't want to hear. and there could be more hurt -- deeper hurt, things that I dare not even pretend to think about. and there is nothing I can do about it. as she giggled at me, looking to me to protect her from gravity and hunger, knowing nothing awful in the world other than a dirty diaper and an empty belly, I just had to cry for all the things that I will never be able to protect her from.

this is motherhood. and though I write it down today and it's still fresh enough in my memory to bring tears to my eyes today, I probably won't remember this day - not this specific day, not this specific time...not the way she looked in her pink sleeper, not the way she crinkled up her eyes or the exact babble that she spoke on the changing table. this piece of my life, this specific day in our lives, because it is so ordinary, will blend into the background and eventually it will no longer be available to call back to mind. I look at trent and I know I went through the same things, and I have glimpses of him, but it's all short clips in a too-short montage of his babyhood. and it makes me sad for her, and sad for him, and sad for myself.


today is picture day at bella's daycare, so she's all decked out in her cute silver silk asian H&M dress that has never been washed because before I bought it I didn't notice the tag said "dry clean only" and if anyone thinks I'm going to dry clean a newborn's outfit then they have not only smoked the dope, but inhaled. what we do is just put it on her for short spurts, keep a bib on her as much as possible, blot off any spittage, and then let it air out between wearings. please, my skin is sensitive around my wrists - please use regular cuffs and not those plastic things.

that also meant I had to get up super early, as pictures started at 8, and I normally get to daycare sometime around 8:45. I usually use trent to watch bella while I get a shower (that is exactly why I waited until trent was 11 to have a baby - the babysitter factor) but he hadn't been dropped off yet. bella was still sleeping. but she normally wakes up shortly after I do because her heat source and the aroma of milk is no longer there, so conundrum. I used the baby monitor and got into the shower, all the while thinking that she's going to suddenly learn how to turn over, and fall off the bed, dying before I could get to her, all because I needed to finish rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. and would it look even worse because I would have stopped to put on my robe? would sean ever forgive me? would I be in the shower later on, listening to KYW and hearing my own story on the news? maybe I'd be able to heal by going on tour not blasting the perils of cosleeping, no, because that really wasn't the problem. it was leaving your baby unattended, that's what I'd speak about. and I'd go on line and join a support group of women whose babies have died. but they wouldn't accept me when they found out that the reason I lost mine was because I needed to take a shower and left her on the bed. they'd be cruel, but I'd deserve it. but maybe there was an online community for women who were careless and caused their own child's demise? if so, I could join that. even though it would be depressing. and I'd probably tell my doctor just to prescribe me antidepressants right off the bat. I'd probably become addicted to them and die myself. which would really be better. and would I be able to hear her on the monitor if she did really fall? I should have turned on the radio in there so I could hear it through the monitor. even though the wall of the shower faces into our bedroom and even when sean just farts, I can hear him, but maybe I won't hear her. did I turn it up or down before I got in the shower?? I thought I turned it up but now I don't know. and it would be my luck that I turned it down. why did I leave her in there???

and then I was done, so I got out of the shower and found bella sleeping peacefully on the bed. at least it's friday.


my friend jen made me 2 cds of soft-rock from the 70s - stuff you used to hear when you were riding around in your mom's car. ever since then, I've had various songs from them stuck in my head, and corresponding flashback glimpses into my childhood. right now it's "think of me" with flashbacks of driving on 95 and going under the blue steel arches of the ben franklin bridge. thank you, jen - not only do I love the songs, but I love remembering.

so after reading theresa's blog, I am reminding myself to HANG UP THE FREAKING SMOKE DETECTORS, ALREADY that I bought a few weeks ago after having a bad dream about our house being on fire. this leads us to a problem I have: assuming that since nothing bad is happening in my life right now, something is lurking just around the corner that is going to blindside me. I know alot of people have this problem, just not knowing how to be happy. I can't sit here and enjoy the life I have right now - babies, kids, husbands, friends, houses, jobs - because I am afraid that at any moment, and most likely as soon as I do let my guard down, something horrible will happen. and the more happy I am, the bigger the something horrible will be.

of course, I know that it's silly to think this way, but I am unable to change it. so I guess I'm convinced that our house will now burn to the ground. (another issue - feeling like if I say it, or even joke about it, it will happen. somehow, it doesn't work when saying or joking about winning the lottery.)

so until something bad does happen, I'll be sleeping with one eye open. at least I'll have good cds to listen to while I am fetalized in my bed, rocking back and forth, my eyes darting around the room looking for smoke. "think of me" indeed.


update on trent's math situation: no dice. she was very nice, but firm. (unlike my boobs.) the best we can hope for is that trent's math teacher next year sees his potential and refers him to the new class. so what did I do? I turned brett loose on her. one of two things will happen: she'll be like "holy shit, I'm not dealing with this maniac" and give us her supervisor's name, or we'll be banished from middle school altogether. stay tuned.

apparently, just READING about noah's night sleeping tribulations in nicole's emails has made bella decide that it's a good idea to follow suit. so last night was a blur of whimpering, popped out binkies (one time, sean helpfully pointed out that I had actually put hers in upside down, which is possible to do because we use the NUK kind), and kicking. lots of kicking. what didn't help is that the dog was sprawled on my side of the bed, the cat had decided to join in because it was cold and she couldn't find the mouse that is lodging in the downstairs radiator, and sean had eaten the most garlicky white pizza I have ever encountered. I love sean so much, but he doesn't always smell good on a NORMAL day. he smelled like he had stuck a clove of garlic in his cheek 3 weeks ago and finally decided to start exhaling. so there I am trying to maneuver myself between the cat and dog, have one hand on the binky, watch that we don't smother bella, and try to roll away from the garlic breath and the kicky baby.

anyways. so I'm tired today. it's about 4 degrees outside and my body aches from having to walk a quarter mile from my parking space to the front door all clenched up against the cold.


goddamn, everyone's blogging! it's exciting, though, to read everyone's trials and tribulations. when electronic advances make us more disconnected and less personal, blogs seem to bring some personal connection back to the Interweb. so yeah. blogs. check out theresa's blog about getting ready to run a goddamn marathon. file that under INSANE. and then jen's a Get In Shape, Girl! too.

okay. anyway. so bella's starting on foods, right? only she hates them, right? right. so as a mother, it is my duty to make her realize that she likes food. get her to try different foods. and get her to eat them. and later in her life, she'll want to learn to diet. and then she'll have to learn to eat healthy. then she'll find out about hot pockets and start bingeing. and then she'll diet again. so I'm really starting her off on her first rollercoaster ride. a rite of passage as a female. here you go, honey, welcome to the hell that is socially-imposed weight issues.

I'm also wrestling trent's middle school math coordinator, who is trying to tell me that even though trent is a math genius, that because ONE TEST he took was 2 points below the minimum, he cannot go into the highest level of math classes in 7th grade. which means he can't in 8th grade because he didn't in 7th. which means he can't in 9th because he didn't in 8th. which means...blah blah blah. so yeah. it's important. meanwhile, I've been warned that this woman has been doing this for 20 years and doesn't let anyone through, no matter how much you bitch. makes me feel good that she looks at students as individuals with different needs.

(When nicole and I email each other and need to convey sarcasm, we italicize.)

AND I think I'm getting sick. AND work sucks. AND it's snowing today when it was fucking 68 degrees out yesterday. AND it's only tuesday.

so. piss off. in a good way.


so we're having family over tonight to celebrate trent's 12th birthday. which was on feb 23. which officially makes me a horrible person. poor trent - having to bow to the whim of his mommy for his birthday cake. to be fair, we did take him out to dinner (red lobster - obviously his choice) and had a cake there. and we were kind of waiting for my mother, who works 3rd shift at a nursing home, to have a night off so she could join us. but the reason why we didn't have it sooner in the week is because...and here's where it gets awful...there were too many good tv shows on. and here's where it gets even worse....we have comcast DVR so we totally could have recorded said shows. but we didn't feel like it.

trent, if you ever wind up reading this or meet someone who has read this, please know that I love you so much and here's $50, go buy yourself a new ps2 game or some therapy.

I'm so glad I have a new little baby to screw up. she already watches tv like a crotchety old lady. american idol is her favorite. lock me up now, please, AAP.