Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hi, My Name is Kate, and I'm a Halloween Hater

OK, I know I will receive a lot of bashing over this one since I know as a mom I'm supposed to get all enthusiastic for my kids when they want to dress up and go get sugared up on some high fructose corn syrup, but I'm not. I Hate Halloween. All this hub-bub over deciding what your costume will be, then fighting people in line for the last size 5 Superman costume, putting up decorations, and dealing with the anxiety after the sugar high wears off is for the birds.

Last year, while I was 7 months pregnant, I built my son a train out of a big cardboard box and decorated it like Thomas The Train. Oh, how Martha Stewart of me, right? That was before the baby was born, when I really did have spare time. And so I was banking on the fact that he would want to be Thomas again since he has been Thomas for the past 3 consecutive Halloween's, but this year, he was dead set on Superman. I have nothing against it, and we actually lucked out with finding the custome, albeit after dealing with the crowds, but it all just seems like a bunch of non-sensical crap to me. I know we're all supposed to feel silly, and act silly and be wicked, etc., but it all just seems a little weird to me. Last night we carved the pumpkins, which is actually something I do enjoy, but all this other stuff that comes along with Halloween, I can do without.

And now the forecast says it it supposed to rain tonight. Lovely...

Friday, October 27, 2006

How to Scare The Living Bejesus Out of Me

So lately I've been feeling like I have a lot of junk in the trunk since I haven't quite lost all of my baby weight yet, and would like to lose another 10-15 pounds. Some exercise and decreasing my portions is about my only game plan at this point. So in the spirit of this newfound attention to my expanding waistline, I decided to go for a brisk run/walk after work on Wednesday. In the attempt to do some after-work bonding, I asked my son, CJ if he wanted to join me by riding his bike while I exercised. Even though he still has the double vision in his eyes from the surgery, he still seems able to coordinate himself to get around, and was ecstatic when Dave and I let him ride his bike again. So needless to say, he gleefully agreed, and couldn't get his shoes on fast enough and we both ran out of the door into the crisp, early evening air.

It's unfortunate that we don't have warning signals for certain days so that we just don't get out of bed. It would save us so much trouble. The misadventure that was supopsed to be my "workout", quickly became a complete and utter disaster. First, it started with CJ getting on his helmet. The helmet straps were too tight. I attempted to loosen them, but apparantly not loose enough, because when the poor kid went to click the buckle under his chin, it wasn't pulled out enough, and - WARNING: EXPLICIT NERVE SHATTERING INFORMATION THAT MIGHT NOT BE SUITABLE FOR THE WEAK AT HEART - some of his skin got stuck inside the buckle! Then the most earth-shattering scream came out of this little kid's mouth that I immediately sent myself into panic mode and couldn't get the damn buckle unfastened quick enough. What was probably a 5 second long incident, seemed like an eternity. We then ran back into the house, both crying at this point, to assess the damage and hug and kiss to bring all of our emotions together again. My husband was obliviously cooking dinner and watching the baby, so he didn't know what was the heck was going on with the 2 of us.

OK, so crisis averted, right? Wrong. Yes, it does get worse. So after we both calm down, we decide to continue our "workout" and trek over to the schoolyard that is located about a 1/4 mile from our house. They have a playground there and a big blacktop area with a circular track that I was going to use to count my laps to let me think I was maybe getting somewhere in my exercise. There happened to be some other kids there (for what reason I have no idea), being supervised by some disheveled looking teeangers who were more interested in conversing with themselves than watching the kids. Either way, we all went about our merry business, and CJ did laps around in his bike, and I did my ru/walk, feeling happy I was on the way to rapid weight loss.

Lost in my thought of reaching a size 8 again, I had turned my back on CJ for maybe a total of about 20 seconds as I rounded the curve on part of the track. As I rounded the track back toward his direction, I suddenly realized he was nowhere to be found. He was not on the track. He was not on the playground with the other kids. He was not out on the baseball field. He had literally vanished into thin air. And of course, panic sets in again. I started to run like hell to the front of the school, feeling somewhat sure I would find him riding his bike. He was of course going to be in major trouble for riding away from my sight, but either way, I just wanted to find him at this point. But to my surprise, I do not find him at the front of the school. I am now panting frantically because I am so out of shape, and then ACTUAL REAL PANIC sets in. I start having visions that he's been abducted right out beneath me and all these people here. I continue to run faster and faster around the school back to the playground and I am now yelling his name over and over again. One of the hooligans started to yell his name, too, until another one of them asks me, "Is he on a bike?" To which I replied in a pure, mother-mania tone, "YES!"

"He went that way."

And so I darted in "that" direction, running as fast as I could, still screaming his name, until I rounded the corner of the school and found him innocently lost in the blissful world of his new bike.

"CJ, you scared Mommy to death!" I said, as I ran up to him hugging him tightly between my tears until I probably scared him to death, since he promptly began to cry himself. He knew right away that he had done something wrong. And then I immediately switched the mood and said, "We're going home. We need to go over the safety rules again. You know better than to ride your bike to the front of the school without me."

He was hysterically crying at this point, and then I felt bad for giving him such mixed emotions. But I was totally overwhelmed by the feeling I had when I couldn't find him anywhere and then the panic became anger that he had done that to me. I told him that he was not in trouble, but that we needed to go over the safety rules again and talk to Daddy about what happened.

After calming down, he rode his bike back home a few paces in front of me, and by the time I returned home I was ready for a drink. So much for my exercise routine and some quality time with my son.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'Lost 3x04': I See Lightening In Your Future

Desmond is one of my favorite characters on Lost, and the Dharma Initiative is by far my favorite plot line. When they introduced the show last night with him, I was anticipating a focus on his backstory so that we could return to his connection with the Dharma Initiative and explore that territory of the plot again. Alas, that was not the case, and the backstory was focused on Sawyer, in a story about his time in prison. The fact that we discovered he has a child and that he gave his commission to her in Albuquerque as he finally “saw the light”, is a terribly trite plot. All this being said, I’m feeling the same way today about the show as I did last Thursday: I want to know where all this is going. I feel like we’re being driven in the slow lane on the highway of this plot, and I feel like I need to be put into a higher gear. Based on the preview for next week’s show, I’m hoping that is exactly what is going to happen since the show’s 3 month hiatus is looming. I am sure we will be left with quite a hook for the last show.

So back to Desmond: I’m wondering how many shows it will take before he sets up a hut with tarot cards and a crystal ball. Is it just me, or did this come out of left field? I am totally intrigued with where they are heading with his foretelling ability. My bet is that it will lead them to where the Others’ camp is located. And speaking of the camp –hello!- they are actually on another island? Are you telling me these huge islands aren’t on the map and no human civilization comes in contact with them? I know, I know. This is Lost. Stop asking obvious questions. Nothing is plausible on this show. And that’s OK with me. For some reason, I’m able to accept the unbelievable on this show. As my friend has mentioned, this is like the X-Files on a deserted island. Personally, I think this is the X-Files on crystal meth.

Well, that’s my rap. Here’s the link to the preview for next week’s show.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Where Does Mommy Keep The Diapers?"

I've neglected to mention the impressive ability of my husband to adopt his new role with great aplomb. Granted, he has been kind of a stay at home dad for quite some time, although he still worked part time for about 20 hours a week to escape the insanity for a little while. He worked at a marketing research firm on an hourly wage. And it wasn't much income but it was enough to sustain us in addition to mine, to pay the bills and eat. Now that life has changed, and he is home 24/7 I've noticed he has taken to his role positively. Admittedly, I was a little concerned with how well this role reversal would go, but I think we are both pleasantly surprised.

There is however, an emotion behind all this, that has been unexpected on my part. There is an element to this that has affected me, beyond anything I had planned for. Part of this has required me to "give up" some of the control I exhibited in the day to day operations of our home. I really can't be doing everything all the time, and so this has left me the inability to control the general order of the house even more than before. Let me get it straight, I have never had total control (and I use the word "control" loosely since we don't exactly have great order in our hosue), and nor do I want it, but I enjoyed still enjoyed making most of the decisions. Even the baby doesn't respond to me in the same way anymore, so now I'm preoccupied by the fact that the bond with my baby has been disrupted, and he favors his dad now instead of me. Every kid is supposed to favor their mom, right? What about all those hours of 2 am nursings - have they been quickly forgotten? I am jesting really, but maybe part of me isn't. I realize there are a ton of stay at home dads out there and I don't know how those moms have adapted to their newfound roles since I haven't done any extensive research on how role reversals can impact a relationship. What I do know, is that there's the mommy gene in me that needs to be the head of the household, but the reality is that I am not and never had been. That being said, how do I learn to give certain things up? Better yet, how do I learn to accept that Dave can do things just as well as me (as cocky as that sounds)? And in some instances, better?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Calling All Tired Moms

Check out some cool chicks on a BlogHer Forum who are apparantly very tired, too. I started this forum back in August, it kept going for quite sometime: http://blogher.org/node/10017.

I feel a lot better now since I first started the forum, since I think most of my problem was with my discontent with work, and dealing with the job search. Additionally, it was just getting too much with Dave working nights and weekends that I felt like a single mom half the time. That had been going on for almost 3 years, and I think I was getting to the end of my rope. I've gotten some more energy back now since life has calmed down, but I thought it was interesting the amount of feedback I received. Fatigue seems to be the #1 disease of motherhood.


In other news, CJ is doing well, although he said he still has double vision. We had some tentative plans to go pumpkin picking today with one of the kids from his school, but Dave and I think that might be too ambitious considering his vision. And his eyes are visibly very red and swollen, although supposedly the redness is something that won't go away for quite some time. I hope he doesn't deal with any issues from his classmates on that. You know how kids can be so ruthless. I'm counting on the fact that 5 years olds are still blissfully unaware of that crap. I guess we'll see how he does in school on Monday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

'Lost 3x03': The Dope Smuggling, Peach Picking, Hunter

Originally uploaded by katebunge.
This weeks' episode seemed to be a little disjointed. I really like Locke
as a character, and I have to say that his backstory in Wednesday's
episode was really disappointing. It didn't really seem to make much
logical sense to me. Therefore, the word I would use to describe the
episode would be: disappointing. I was really looking forward to the
writers getting back into the Hatch plot line, but all we saw was the crater
it left in the island, and we didn't really get much more information about it.
I'm a little bummed it blew up because I always liked the Hatch plot line.

OK, so am I the only one a little confused on Locke's backstory? He
joined a commune? Am I the only one that thinks this kind of strays
from his character? A Hunter? When are we going to find out why
he was paralyzed? Wednesday's show did not answer any questions
for me. It didn't get back to the Others at all, and now what is with
Desmond? Is he a seer now? Can he tell us the future? If so, can
he tell me when the writers are going to step up the plot lines a little?
I heard that this sesaon is going to be full of more romance and action.
But you see, I really don't think the show needs that There is already
a great story with the characters and the plot. Why do they feel they
needed to add more gratuitous action? I suppose some ABC
executives got a stranglehold on the writers for this season
to sell out. What a bummer.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So Far, So Good

Originally uploaded by katebunge.
We are now home from the hospital. The surgery was scheduled at 11:20 am
and we arrived home by 1:00. It all went pretty quickly. CJ was quite brave and
didn't fuss about anything at all. He is sleeping now, as he is a little groggy from
the anesthesia. His eyes are red, as expected, and his tears are bloody.
He is expected to feel some nausea, but so far, he hasn't complained of a
bellyache, although he's been sleeping most of the time since the surgery, so
not sure how he will feel when he wakes up. Just wanted to report our progress.
Dave and I were very proud of his courage.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This Post is Dedicated to the One I Love

Moving on from my emotional post of the other day, I am so appreciative of the eye-opening advice I received. It is so true that our parents did not play with us, nor did they feel it was their responsibility to be our playmate. Mine did not make a schedule for me each weekend, and I was pretty much expected to play on my own or with friends, and up in my room. However, I do know that I grew up in a neighborhood of other kids, so I usually had someone to pal around with anyway. I think part of my guilt stems from the fact that we don't live in a family-oriented neighborhood for CJ to make friends, and I feel that was something Dave and I failed to plan for when we decided to have kids. The only remedy to that is to save money and try to buy a house in a better neighborhood, and that's our 18 month plan right now. I mean, it's always been our plan since we moved to Ohio, it's just getting closer to be a reality for us than what we once thought. And don't get me wrong, I do currently provide a fairly nice and small roof over my kids' heads, so it's not like we live in poverty, and my kids are well fed, clothed, and CJ goes to a really nice and expensive pre-school. So I know all this guilt might be my own doing, and more than one of the older ladies I work with told me not to sweat it because whatever you do you will scar your kids anyway. They do remind me though that this time with him will go by so fast, so do try to make time with him, and when he wants to play with you, just remember that in a few short years he will NOT want to play with you and I will wonder what happened to all the time. And I do know that, but I guess just somedays the whole day-to-day operation of the household gets in my way of recognizing that.

And tomorrow is surgery day again. Here we go for another round of our trek to Children's Hospital, hoping this time CJ won't catch an allergy in his eye and put the kabash on the whole thing again. We kept him home from school today as further preparation for tomorrow, too. CJ has had some behavioral issues lately that I think are stemming from this whole issue with his eyes, so I'm going to be glad when the whole thing is over. A little nervous on what to expect during the post-surgery phase, since I've heard everything from possibilities of extreme nausea to mild fatigue and no nausea.

In closing, I know we are all overwhelmed by motherhood. I know I am not the only one out there struggling with all the guilt, the fatigue, and the uncertainty. I love CJ so much with all my heart. He's my first born, and has unfortunately had to be me and Dave's "practice baby". Andrew has been spoiled with all our parental knowledge. CJ has been through a lot with me and Dave, moved 3 times in his little short life, and has adapted to all the adversity quite well. Maybe it's me that needs to be sit back and take a deep breath. I hate that I complain, because I truly am so blessed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mommy Guilt

If "mommy guilt" were a definition in Webster's dictionary, you would see a picture of me. My husband thinks I'm insane that I feel I have to keep my 5 year old entertained constantly, but I can't help but feel guilty when I have to keep telling him "mommy can't play with you right now" about a million times today. Today is Sunday, and I need to do a ton of things that don't involve my son. One is having to shop for some clothes at the mall, another is having to pack for my business trip tomorrow, and a third is trying to get some cleaning done around here. Part of it is that I feel guilty because I spent Tues-Thurs in Michigan on business and I'm going back tomorrow-Tues, but another part of it is the fact that he has never been good at entertaining himself, and it can be very tiring. We unfortunately don't live in a nice, suburban cul-de-sac with kids his age running around for him to play with, and the only kid in the neighborhood moved to London, England a month ago. We had an exhausting non-stop weekend last weekend with my mom in town and with his birthday, and next week he has his eye surgery, so I guess I just needed a quiet weekend now to catch up. Is it so wrong for me to expect that maybe I don't have to be his in-house entertainment 24/7? I am literally consumed with guilt over this all the time, and like I said, my husband thinks I'm crazy for feeling guilty all the time. Does anyone else feel this way? Like, I'm trying to post this, and he's right down on the floor next to me constantly asking me questions about miscellaneous stuff here in the basement. I'm saying to him, "Mommy can't answer you right now because I need to type something." And his response is "Why?" I know he's only 5, so I hope no one is going to beat me up for saying all this, but it just gets hard sometimes. I guess I need to find a way to shake the mommy guilt, because even my own mom says to me that he picks up on it and works it to his advantage. It just seems like one of those things that's much easier said than done. He acts out sometimes in retaliation to me not playing with him, which then upsets me even more than before because then I feel like someday he's going to turn into one of those rotten kids on "Supernanny" and that I've completely scarred him for life. He's just been one of those high-maintenance kids since birth. And now I can see his baby brother following suit, because you can't leave a 5 foot radius around him without him screaming about it. What do I do?

Friday, October 13, 2006

'Lost' 3x02: Believe It, Jack, the Red Sox Won

This episode seemed divided into 2 parts, unlike last week's season premiere. In one part, we learned a lot about Sun and Jin's relationship, as well as the relationship between Jin and his father-in-law. It
tied up some loose ends for me, because in season one, we only saw a part of an incident in which Jin came home with blood on his hands, and we were led to believe Jin was part of some Japanese mafia or something. Now we know who's blood that was, and that he was not a hit man after all. So it satisfied that story line, and I also personally like Sun and Jin as characters so I didn't mind the backstory last night.

So here comes the "big but": it seemed to steer away from all these cliffhangers we were left with last season yet again. Personally, for me the best part of the episode was the last 5-7 mins when Ben was teasing Jack with the possibility he would be able to "go home" if he did what he wanted him to do. And what is "home"? Supposedly Michael and Walt were able to go home by driving off in the boat to compass point 3-2-5. But, we know better than that, right Lost fans? Michael and Walt are just going to drive in circles to one day (next spring is my guess) shout Land Ho! on the island again. But I thought it was really funny when Ben used the example about the Red Sox winning the world series to prove that he has contact with the outside world since my husband is a huge fan. So... is that really true? Do the Others really have contact with the outside world? Or are they just TV feeds from the leaders of the Dharma Initiative to trick them, too into thinking they have contact. Is everyone being fooled by a larger unseen presence? Is everyone unknowingly a rat in a cage?

Monday, October 09, 2006

My How Time Flies

CJ & Dave - June 2002
Originally uploaded by katebunge.
We've been celebrating CJ's 5th birthday for like, days now since my mom has been
in town since last Thursday, and I just can't believe how old he is now. That's why
I've been a little lax about posting anything in the past few days. I've simply not had
time. And on that subject, where does all that time go anyway? I feel like lately I've
been so caught up in the day to day that I have completely not stopped to smell the
roses AT ALL. I mean, I'm not even driving by the roses. The roses have totally gone
by without as much as a whif. CJ is picking up on this upheavel lately and has started
to act out severely. But I think a good dose of NOTHING might do the trick. Ever think
you're whole life is passing you by in an instant? Like, I also can't believe Andrew is
already 9 months old, too. Wasn't I just pregnant? We also celebrated by mom's 68th
birthday this weekend, too since hers is the 12th, and so all this talk about aging and
time is on the front burner of my mind right now.

Personally, I hate getting old. I hate the thought of dying, and I hate to see my mom
getting older because that means that I'm getting older. We were looking over some
baby pictures of CJ, and I swear I look like a teeanger in these pictures! And it was
only 5 years ago. Having a second child has taken light years off my smooth face.
But this post is not all about me and my wrinkled, 35 year old face. It is to mark this
passing of time, these moments that we age, as our children grow and become less
dependant. It's about stopping time now. About stopping things to just sit down on the
living room floor and play a puzzle. About kissing my son's forehead for no reason
because he still lets me. And it's about hanging on to this time as long as I can.
Because it seems so fleeting.... Happy Birthday, my first born. Mama loves you.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

'Lost' 3x01: We Ain't in Kansas Anymore, Freckles

Two words describe my emotion after the first few moments of last night's Season 3 premiere episode of 'Lost': blown away. Based on the hype and the message boards, I knew something major was supposed to happen, but I really did not see that one coming AT ALL. Seems as though the Others are maybe employees of the Dharma Initiative, and perhaps the island is not as remote as we once were led to believe. I had always envisioned this island to be smack dab in the middle of the South Pacific, especially based on last season's cliffhanger showing the two men parked in the middle of a polar ice cap picking up its radio waves. But now I'm questioning that theory, that maybe the proximity to civilization is much closer than we think.

As for another aspect of the episode, I was a little uninterested in Jack's backstory. I don't feel like I needed that information. I'm growing a little impatient with Jack's melodrama, and I wish they would shift him from the main character spotlight. Would anybody really be that good looking and that smart to be a spinal surgeon? No, I don't think so. But yet, I let it pass, as I do all the other implausibilities of the show, because it's total fantasy, and for some reason all of that is OK with me.

In conclusion, my overall feeling of the first episode was that it yet again left me with more questions, rather than answering any of last season's teasers. I suspected that they weren't going to answer much, but I would have loved a little insight into at least one of these: the hatch explosion and who survived, the 2 men on the polar ice cap, and Walt and Michael's journey on the boat. But that's what makes good drama and good writing, right? Keeping me hanging for the next episode, because of course I can't wait until next Wednesday night.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Characters for the Dilbert Files

I'm always intrigued by people's personalities. At work, there is always some dynamic going on with how to approach someone, how to try to get what you want with someone, how NOT to piss someone off, etc. There is always that person in the workplace that you always have to talk to with kid gloves for fear that they might explode and go postal on you. That someone is the person who is taking over my responsibilities for the job I am vacating. I'm not in the practice of naming names on my blog, nor do I want to share with what company I am affiliated, nor do I like talking about people behind their back. But let's just say that in this large corporation, that I'll henceforth refer to as "Cubicle Country", of all the people I have run into and had to bite my tongue with, she by far wins the prize. I've often been accused of being too upfront with people, too forthcoming in my communication, and frankly, I never understood why that is viewed as a bad thing. I will keep my comments to myself on what is wrong with this department that I am leaving, but I find it strange how someone like herself doesn't get called out with the same accusation. It seems like some people can slip through the cracks and others can't. Maybe it's because I always have that post-it note stuck to my back that reads, "I'm From NJ so Fuck You", but I have always been singled out as the one with the "attitude" around here, and someone once said to me, "I don't like anybody from NJ.". Ever since I moved to Ohio, there's been this suspicious nature from my fellow Buckeye-ers. But my observation is that, finally, with this new job, my direct communication and my forthcoming nature that always got me in trouble in this department, has been my winning quality with this new one. I started half time in my new position yesterday, and it was like a re-birth for me. Being surrounded by such talented people has completely recharged me. So in case you're wondering, yes I'm still excited about the job. I know I can't stop talking about it. And I promise I will shut up soon.

On the homefront, Andrew is still not 100% better yet and now is in the habit of waking up in the middle of the night like a newborn again. Not sure why, if it's his stomach still bothering him, if he's getting his appetite back, if he's in pain with his teeth -- I have no clue. All I know is that he seems almost "wired" when he wakes up -- he's closing eyes, turning his head to the side like he wants to sleep, but then his hand can't seem to sit still, and he pops his binky out, and starts to fuss. Then we go through the same thing over and over again. Dave decided to give him a bottle after he had been in this half awake/half sleep situation at about 3:30am. Dave had let me go back to sleep at that time, and this morning D said that he acted like he was starving and sucked it down really quick. He then went back to sleep after that. I'm assuming he's starving because he's been on that BRATY diet for about 10 days now: bananas, apples, rice, yo-baby yogurt and lactose-free formula. Any thoughts? Not to sound selfish, but I hope he gets better soon since we have CJ's birthday celebration this weekend and I've got my mom coming in from out of town. Not to mention I'm going to be traveling next week for work, leaving D for the first time with the kids 24/7 for 2 days. I'm a little worried about that. I just want him to get back to normal because I'm really getting worried about him.