Sunday, January 28, 2007

Finger Fetish

When I think of my children as adults, I have the usual idyllic thoughts of wanting them to be successful financially, be great parents if they want to be, find someone nice to be in a relationship with, be socially conscious, and be really happy. We all want these things for our children, right? Well, how about the genes that we know they have inherited that might sabotage all that we want for our kids - what do we do with the ones that make us have tendencies for alcoholism, smoking, over-eating, and depression? I don't have a plan yet as to how I want to talk to my kids about the fact that daddy's uncle and cousin committed suicide, my brother is an alcoholic, and I'm obsessive compulsive. Like, when is it a proper age to start explaining all the crappy things about life?
Well, I'm sure the answer will come to me one day, but for now, my youngest son seems to have been born with his own idiosynchrosy. He is obsessed with fingers. Not the whole hand, just fingers specifically.
Like a smoker who needs his nicotine fix, my son needs his "finger nightcap". He studies them, he touches them, he squeezes them and he doesn't let go until he's drifted off to dreamland. So in addition to the binky addiction, there's the finger fetish. I have no idea where this obsession began. Ever since he was a little baby, he has gravitated for the fingers. It seems to comfort him greatly.
Now before everyone jumps to conclusions since I began this post about genes, my husband is not obsessed with fingers or toes, or wants me to wear high-heeled hooker boots to bed or anything. Neither of us have any crazy fetishes, so I find it hysterical that my son loves other people's fingers so much. And there is no bias with him, as he likes to touch anybody's fingers. Just so long as he can squeeze them, everything seems all right in his world.
So is my son the only freak for bodily parts, or do any of you have secret festishes??

Friday, January 26, 2007

Flying 101

The letter below was written while in mid-air:

To the Dude in Front of Me on the Plane:

Even though they offer a reclining position in an airplane seat, it doesn’t mean you have to exercise your right to use it. Due to the fact we are traveling on an express jet, there is little room on this aircraft to spread out and read your hardcover book. Have some sympathy for your fellow passenger sitting behind you who hasn’t had a minute to herself in 2 weeks, and has to write her blog post “offline”, and while writing said post almost got her laptop crushed as you reclined your seat without warning. And now your stinky leather jacket is starting to invade my space, too. So here’s a bright idea next time you travel: this is NOT your living room. And you are so goddam comfy that it was probably you who just farted. Lovely. I think I’m going to barf.

From, the passenger you obviously do not care 2 shits about


These past 2 weeks I’ve been in 2 different cities, and the following 2 weeks, I will be in another 2 cities, so I’m half way through the training programs we are hosting. I arrived and departed from the Lone Star State without incident. So for those keeping track, as I mentioned in my last post, I had to board an aircraft for the first time in almost 5 years and I wasn't feeling very confident about it. I’m OK now, and I didn’t die in a fiery crash. And since I hadn’t posted in almost 2 weeks, I’m sure some of you were thinking I had been a goner. Alas, I m back to bore you with the tales of my life.

So, in addition to having a terrible chest cold, it wasn’t the best birthday present I had received, since I turned 36 on Monday. I am knee deep in the programs we are hosting, so there was little fanfare for my birthday, although my boss arranged a very nice dinner for me when we arrived in Texas. It was very, very thoughtful, and reminded me how I truly work with a great bunch of people.

As for air travel, I haven’t missed it in the 5 years I’ve avoided it. Although there are a couple things that have changed since my last flight:

Kiosks for check-in. These are by far one of the best inventions of the 21st century.

De-Shoeing. OK, this was a first. And not a pleasant one, as I don’t enjoy walking in my socks on a dirty airport floor.

Liquid limitations. A bummer since I packed an 8 ounce can of aerosol hair spray that was promptly confiscated for its apparent terroristic qualities.

I still don’t enjoy take-offs and landings. Enough said.

As for life outside of blogging for these past 2 weeks, it’s been a whirlwind of traveling, 15 hour workdays, and nights full of missing my sweet boys. I promise to catch up on all the worthy reading of my favorite bloggers. I miss you guys!! Work and life have been rather overwhelming lately so there has been hardly a moment to write. The stress level is pretty high. I could use a few stress relieving suggestions, so please, indulge me with your comments before I totally lose it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Fear of Flying (and motherhood, too)

Originally uploaded by katebunge.
So today begins the culmination of several months of planning
and preparing for four nationwide training events that are being
hosted over the course of the next 5 weeks. When I started my new
job in early October, I have been doing close to nothing but planning
these events on a daily basis. So in the next 5 weeks, I will be
traveling to the central, midwest, south and northeast regions.
Outside of the fact that I am nervous as hell about the success of
these events, I am scared out of my wits of flying.

At the risk of sounding like a hermit, I have not flown in an
airplane since 2002. And I am not a flying novice (up until recently
of course). My first trip on an airplane was when I was five
years old, and it was by myself. Back then in the 70s, parents
could feel safe and secure about passing their kids off to
the nurturing female flight attendants. It was a quick flight from
New Jersey to Ohio, but I did that every summer to spend fun
times wth my cousins in the midwest. And didn't think anything
of it. In fact, as I got older, I used to time special music to the
takeoff and landings. Then, when I was about 19 years old,
I visited a friend in L.A. The transcontinental flight was about
5 hours, much longer of a flight that I had ever taken before.
But on my way out, I was lost in the scenery below, and again,
had no fear of flying at all. Until the return flight home.

On the return flight home, about midway, I suffered a
severe panic attack. I began wondering how we could keep
this huge jet up in the air for so long, how do we have so much
gas, are the pilots sober.... all sorts of things were running
through my head. And it didn't help that I was sitting next to a
kid that wouldn't stop kicking his seat. And it was nighttime.
I had never flown at night before. I didn't like it. Needless to
say, I kissed the ground like the Pope when the plane landed
and I have never flown with much frequency before. And without
a shot of bourbon and a valium.

This first leg of my next 5 weeks, I can drive to the first training
event. Next week, I've got a 3 hour flight first thing in the morning.
And I can't take a shot of bourbon and a valium, because I need
to work. And stay awake. I might just become a religious
zealot on the plane, as I grip the arm rests when the plane
takes off, revisiting my inner Catholic school student by
reciting the rosary.

So I've been a little stressed lately. Thinking about the
impending plane rides, the events themselves, making sure
I haven't forgotten anything, etc. My head has been completely
into my work since the new year. So imagine my ire when my
husband has the nerve to say to me yesterday that he thinks
I act "helpless" with our kids sometimes. This coming from
someone who recently couldn't muster up the wherewithall
to sign up for his own drawing class at the local art college.
But it got me thinking - does he have a point? It's a fact that he
stays home with them on a daily basis, and knows what
they like to eat, when they eat, what they like to play with. But is
he right? It's been flustering me ever since.

I think it's borne out of the fact that I no longer share that
habit with him any longer. He used to work part time and we
shared the responsibilities a little more , but now, I'm all work
and he's all stay at home. But is this such a terrible thing?
Is it so bad that I have my head in my job - I mean, the weight
of providing for the family rests on my shoulders, so how can I
possibly be everything to everybody anymore? Our daily
duties have been flipped by traditional standards, but it
became quite apparent to me that the knee-jerk reaction that
"mom is supposed to know best", has not gone away. And
what a double standard on working women like myself. It's
disdainful for women to not know their children inside and
out. Most people, including my husband obviously, are appalled
by a mother's bumbling attempt to get 2 kids out of the house
effortlessly. But what about his inability to function in the real
world and manage a checkbook. Needless to say, we've since
made up, as we always do, and this wasn't meant as a post
to bash my husband. But I couldn't help but think about how
we've comfortably we've settled into our roles.

But it's forced comfort.

Deep down inside I envy the stay at home moms. And he didn't
grow up dreaming about becoming a stay at home dad.

When I go to Target at lunchtime and I see a mom in jeans
toting two kids in the cart, I can't help but feel jealous. The grass
truly is greener on the other side, because I know some of the
SAHMs look at me with envy, but I think raising your kids is by
far the most important job in the world.

We should all live in each other's shoes someday. Problem is
if I traded shoes with a SAHM, I might not want to give them back.

Don't get me wrong, I do like my job. In fact, I love my job. And
when I was a little girl, I always dreamed of having a glamorous
job. Thing is, when I had my kids, my dreams changed and
the glamour job I longed for was a SAHM. But it never happened
and it never will. I've accepted it. So I live with the fear that I
will lose touch with my kids. Just as bad as I fear flying.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Listen To Your Uncle

Blame it on my insanely busy work week. Blame it on the fact that I'm kind of a blogging newbie. Or blame it on the fact that I just don't follow trends very well (you should see my wardrobe). Or that I'm usually about a week behind the rest of the world (my Christmas tree is still up in my living room. I know, I know!) Either way, it's come to my attentive that it's officially "De-Lurking" week. I know, I'm so quick, right? It's Friday and I'm just getting aboard.
But here's your assignment, reader: comment or die. I know all of the handful of readers out there in the blogosphere that are reading me regularly usually oblige by leaving their witty insights, but today, this is my official blogging open house. C'mon in -- the coffee's fresh!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pimp My Blog

Since the lovely and talented, Allison from Soccer Mom in Denial, nominated me for a Weblog Award, once I returned from cloud nine (thank you Allison, I owe you utter gratitudeness!), I felt it was time for an extreme blog makeover to go from blog blah to blog fabulous. And as a start, I’ve designed for myself a swanky new banner. What do you think?

Problem is, since I don’t have time to read HTML code for Dummies, I am at a loss on how to get this sucker up on my site. So I turn to you my bloggy friends, can anyone lend this javascript lacking cyber friend a hand? I can guarantee no monetary compensation because I am a tight ass cheap-skate, although I could offer some free banner design (if you think I’m designer-worthy), and some home-baked chocolate chip cookies. Anyone up to the task?

Monday, January 08, 2007

An Open Letter

To the dumbass who doesn’t know how to park their car in one spot:

Apparently you are not aware of the fact there are 7,499 other people working in the building and that parking spaces are at a premium for this office building. Or maybe you need new glasses to see the bright, white line that indicates where cars are to be parked. Or better yet, perhaps you are a parking space bully and want other people to know that you are special and require two spaces instead of one. Well, I have one suggestion for you if that is the case. There is a far away space located in the corner of the parking lot that is always available without other cars around it and you can take up as many spaces as you desire. I know this, because, thanks to my tardiness this morning, and poor parkers like yourself, I was forced to park my car in said lot, otherwise known as Bum Fuck Egypt.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution was this year, I would revise it to include parking lessons. Instead of spending all that money on your Volvo on loan payments and insurance, I would suggest trading it in for a lesser model and spending the difference on driving school. Because by the likes of your talents for parking, it would be safe to assume that you are probably not much better of a driver either.

The Pillow Chick

Andrew's birthday news to come at a later post. For today, I needed to get this letter out and off my chest as part of my all around crappy mood today...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Don't Bug Me

Thanks to everyone who offered their 2 cents where the video game is concerned. All in all, it seems as though CJ is not very interested in it anyway, so it is quickly collecting dust, and I might just pack it away out of sight for the time being, per the suggestion of Amy. But we have developed more pressing issues on the home front.

To kick off 2007, there seems to be a plethora of illness going around in my office, at home, in my family, in the mommy blogosphere, even my beloved Mac G4 recently got its first virus in over 6 years. CJ had the flu last week, my mom had bronchitis, my boss’ son had pneumonia, and now Baby Andrew has caught what CJ had last week. So Dave and I together have gotten a grand total of 2.5 hours of sleep over the past 2 nights. Besides the fact that my eyelids are being held open by toothpicks as I type this, you can’t help but feel actual pain in your heart when your child is ill, and the baby’s fidgeting and fussing last night almost made me weep myself. There can’t be anything more pathetic in this world than the face of a child who is sick. (I still can't get the image of Wonderbaby's little urchin face out of my head). But it is still comforting to know that this, too, shall pass, and that the pain in my heart is nowhere near the pain felt by some other mothers out there whose child may have a much more serious illness.

In my “real” world, news of sick children hit home for us twice last year. Our nephew, Nick, was diagnosed with a tumor behind his eye, and underwent weeks of chemotherapy. As of now, he is off the chemo since the tumor neither shrunk nor enlarged, and his long term prognosis is that it is too dangerous to try and surgically remove it, so it will be there for the remainder of his life and he will undergo regular MRIs to keep it in check. I have not written about this before in detail because my husband’s brother rarely talks to us all about it, and him and his wife have all but closed themselves off from the family during their care for him. Without getting phone calls and emails returned, it was impossible to say how he was doing (they live North of us), so when we saw them at Christmas it was good news to hear that he was doing OK, although he looked slim and pale.

Then a few weeks ago, more news came that my BFF’s sister’s son, Jack, was diagnosed with leukemia. I was shocked by the news, as well as her entire family (she is youngest of 11 children), but they have a huge support network, as they are the kind of family that resembles the Kennedy’s without the fame and fortune. Jack’s fate is not yet determined, as he is undergoing chemotherapy right now, and his body so far is reacting positively to the treatment. He is home now, but will be out of school for the next 2 years, continuing his treatment and praying for a recovery. This has radically affected him and his family. We continue to remain hopeful. I'm writing about this for the first time because it just seemed to unreal to think about.

This holiday, there seemed to be so many children affected by illness, I didn’t know where to turn but to my own. So as I hug my baby in the middle of the night, and hold his hand through the pain, I can only hope that the flu will be the extent of his illness. He is so young and has his whole life ahead of him. This weekend he will turn 1. A whole year behind him, and hopefully many more ahead.