UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Few places live up to your memories, but this one never fails Mar 08, 2008
Hindsight is not “2020”. Hindsight it almost always a romanticized version of history. It’s usually a picture far off reality generated by emotion of regret and wishful thinking.
The day I left Bellingham to move back to Texas is as vivid in my romanticized mind as a novel cover. Mr. Flinger and I stood on the train platform in Fairhaven. We hugged. He told me to call when I got back to Kelso before my flight to Houston. I agreed. My eyes were curiously dry as I boarded with the last of my belongings from college. We wave as the train pulls away and I settle for a four hour trip taking me to the place I’d board a plan 24 hours later. To a new life in a very different city than the hippie mountain college town I lived.
And then I spent the next seven years trying to get back.
I visit as often as I can. I speak highly of the town I fell in love with. Most graduates of Western Washington have visions of raising their family in the small family oriented town of hippies and vagrants. Of people with a love of nature and good books. Of free spirits. And water. And sky. But most students move along to another location where jobs are plentiful and life takes a different turn. Mr. Flinger and I are no different.
When I met Sydney online, I could relate to everything she wrote. It’s a story no different than most other bloggers turned-real-life-friends. There’s something wonderful that happens when you meet someone for the first time and they already know you just started your period, your husband needs a vasectomy and your baby boy was born early and growing healthy and your daughter is a diva. So when I met her for the first time in person in my favorite town at my favorite park, it’s only natural I’d blog about it.
I declared myself her new BFF. She laughs. We walk on the new boardwalk discovering things we have in common, which is almost everything from the year we graduated, to when we were at Western and the experiences of being a woman in computer science. She makes a living doing what I do. Her children are nearly the same age. She lives in a city I’ve always wanted to go back to and vowes to help us get there. She buys me coffee. She’s wonderful to my children and LB talks about her for days. “Can we go visit Sydney again?” she asks. Of course! I say.
The thing about blogging is that some days the Internet is crazy mean. Sometimes it’s all traffic and Search Engine Optimization and ad campaigns. But sometimes there’s a real community and a place of commonality. Sometimes it really is about the people behind the text and sometimes you find a gem like Single Super Mama and you can’t help but think, “What if I’d stoped blogging back in February of 07 when I turned off my site for a month. What if…” and hindsight is kind because you didn’t and you kept your hobby and you realized it’s not about anything but community and friendship and sometimes hindsight lives up to your expectations the way Bellingham does for me.
Speaking his language Mar 03, 2008
After knowing Mr. Flinger for nearly twenty years now, seven years of those married, six of those as best friends, and 5 years of dating, you’d think I kinda know the guy a bit. You’d think that. And you’d be right. Mostly.
For some reason I’ve been approaching this whole birth control thing completely wrong. I’ve been approaching it like a women, with logic and emotion. *We* don’t want to have children, so *we* need to find a solution that works for *us*. *We* need to get a cost effective/low impact solution. *We* don’t need the Mommy (hi) to be an emotional wreck from the hormones of Birth Control Pills (also? I can not be counted on to take them thus making their reliability around 2%) or the IUD*. *We* don’t like condoms. *We* don’t want an abortion. *We* don’t want to do this again. We’re happy. With two. A boy and a girl. Remember?
So why is it that The Other Solution isn’t discussed? Because he doesn’t want to discuss it. Because “he’s not ready for that” and “not man enough” and “someblatheringIcan’tunderstand”.
Then it hit me. A chart. I needed a chart.
Lo, I created a chart.
Remember back when we purchased our garbage can? Remember how
he graphed my hormones during my miscarriage? Did you know he once asked me to rate my daily activities on a scale of one to ten before deciding to go back to Graduate School? You know, to quantify the decision?
Graphs. Charts. Engineer. :: Slaps Forehead ::
:: owie ::
So I decided to quantify the decision. And this is what I came up with.
Note in Figure A we have a cost ration per various solutions. Note that in Figure B, all birth control costs pail in comparison to the cost of raising a child as noted on Baby Center.
Here in Figure C we have the joy ratio of various birth control methods:
And here is the link I’m sending via IM to my husband as we speak.
Did I mention the pocket knife? You get a pocket knife. Snip. Snip.
Maybe now I’ve talked his language, he will talk mine. BowChickaBowWow.
*A note about The IUD. I thought about this route. I thought long and hard. I thought I’d go this route but in order to do so, my doctor wants me to call The First Day Of My Cycle, which as you know, is completely unpredictable and irratic (because the ENTIRE internet knows this about me) and thus have been trying to get in for three months now. Three. Long. Sexless. Months.
**I didn’t even take in the anual cost of therapy the third child will bring, the cases of wine consuned before child reaches four, or the pregnancy tests I will continue to pee on until the snip is complete.
**For your further reading enjoyment.
Being a mother changes you Mar 01, 2008
There are a few standard Saturday Morning experiences Mr. Flinger and I tend to dwell on: “Remember when we didn’t wake up at 6am on a weekend?” “Remember when we used to go out on Friday nights?” “Remember spending money on ourselves?” “Did we used to go hiking on the weekends?” “Didn’t we use to have sex /go to dinner / see a movie / shower every weekend?”
Then we usually laugh, “Buhahaha. No, I don’t remember.”
Perspective changes as often as the months of each year. Very few experiences in life truly and profoundly have the impact to change the steadfast ways of your rutted thoughts. Some days come in and out of memory blurred with every other and change is slow and gradual while other days grab you like the baby fist reaching up from your arms.
Reading through Jessica’s account of her flashback, reminded me of something I’ve become a little more aware of lately. I am a mother. I know this should’ve hit me three and a half years ago, with the birth of my first child. I know this should’ve occured to me before her first birthday, before my second and third pregnancy, before the birth of Baby O. But it’s something that occurs to me in bits and pieces. It occurs most to me when I read of tragedy and realize I immediately flock in my mind to protect my children. I identify more with the parents. I picture their loss. I picture my own life without my children and I crumble from a depth of myself that did not exist until I had them.
Perspective shifts through life, it’s true. From knees at eye level to empathy for strangers. From crib bars to the open road. From teenage self perception to forgetting to eat after caring for your children all day.
Now when I go work for a day at the local coffee shop, I pause and take in my atmosphere a little more deeply. The children, their mothers, the bustle, the families. That I’m not alone in my harried constant being. That it’s not just my family wondering what happened to sleeping in, to weekly date nights, to self preservation.
Instead, I take in the world just a little bit more like my children do now. From their perspective. And it’s a powerful shift that I hope never fades.
Flashback Friday: How Tiffany Changed My Life Feb 29, 2008
Remember those angsty years known as “The Eighties” and possibly “The Decade Following The Eighties” or even “The Decade Before The Eighties”? Because, frankly, if you remember The Eighties, you’ll remember they were loud, bossy, full of ozone-depleting sprays and makeup and really quite full of themselves.
Your first assignment (should you choose to play along and face it, you will) is to let us know how (obscure old pop rock band) changed your life. Mine is a story, of a girl, with a song in her heart about what could’ve been.
As a typical eighth grade girl in 1988, I pined over a certain typical eighth grade boy: Steve Nelson Martin Jr. That’s right, I was in love with Steve Martin, only not the one with the big nose, the other much less famous but much cuter and acne-free version. I pined and I pined. I wrote letters to him in my journal. I wrote notes to him in class. I wrote really very awful poetry full of obvious rhymes like, “If there is a heaven above, let me win your love.” (Incidentally, these same words later became part of the lyrics of a one hit wonder.) I even wrote a short story based on “characters” named “Rosy Cheeks” (you’re gagging?) and Steve* (so clever, I am.)
Enter the woman with no need for a last name who simply is to be forever known as: TIFFANY.
The flowers you gave me
Are just about to die
When I think about
What couldve been
It makes me want to cry
I remember lying on my bed, singing the words, each one on purpose, with feeling. You know, the kind of “feeling” that makes you put your thumb to your mouth as you sing like a fake microphone. Try it now, sing in to your thumb, sway a bit, thereya go.
The sweet words you whispered
Didnt mean a thing
I guess our song is over
As we begin to sing
Oh, and the horror! The love that’s over before it’s begun. YES! I’d think, She’s singing about us! The dance I should’ve made it to, to dance with HIM, my one chance to lock arms awkwardly around his neck while he puts his hands behind my back and we swayed, unevenly, to the late 80’s love ballads was thwarted. I was grounded two days before the eighth grade dance. I was upset. I was cursed. I was Tiffany. More awful poetry resulted.
Couldve been so beautiful
Couldve been so right
Couldve been my lover
I’d giggle, “Lover.”
Couldve been so beautiful
Couldve been so right
I’ll never hold what couldve been
On a cold and lonely night
A few months following the dance, the 8th grade dance that should’ve been my night to fo-makout with Steve Nelson Martin Jr (just in case he is googling his name now and can finally read my
really bad poetry about him) I’d gathered enough courage to fess my feelings up to him. I marched right up to him and handed him a note.
I ended the note with this Everytime I get my hopes up, They always seem to fall. Still what couldve been is better than what could never be at all.
He started seeing my best friend a few days later. I never did get to make out with him.
Still, though, there is the memory of what could’ve been. There’s the memory of 1988, the memory of big bangs and sad ballads and very bad poetry.
But thankfully, it’s little more than a memory. Just like Tiffany.
*I can not even believe I found this photo of him. In a stash of four trillion bad haircut photos, fashions and notes, I found this one gem. Steve Martin Jr. 9th grade school picture. Steve, don’t sue me, please. I’m sure you cut the mullet shortly after this was taken.
**I did a quick search and found out he did become a doctor after all. A good christian doctor. A family man. Boy, I know how to pick ‘em.
*** For the record, I met my husband the following year. Of course, I didn’t marry him for another 10 years, but I did write really bad poetry for him in 1989. Like I said, at 12 and 13, I really know how to pick’em.
Wanna join the Flash Back Friday? Follow these supah badass bloggers who are also participating. And don’t ask who I had to sleep with to get listed in that stack with those am-az-effing women. I won’t tell.
*Updating list as they come in* Check back * Word *
Her Bad Mother: http://badladies.blogspot.com/2008/02/come-armageddon-come.html
Oh The Joys: http://othejoys.blogspot.com/2008/02/since-youre-gone.html
Girl’s Gone Child: http://girlsgonechild.blogspot.com/2008/02/where-you-goin-with-my-heart-in-your.html
If you do write a post, be sure to link back and list the participants. You know, so we can come find you and revel in your teenage angst.
Oh, sure, everyone else is being all deep and reflective and shit and I’m posting about writing bad poetry and NOT MAKING OUT while everyone else is posting the songs they lost their virginity to or making out to or reflecting on how their lives totally improved/changed profoundly/re-cultivated and I’m all, “OMG! This boy I haven’t thought about in twenty years, like, totally! OMG!”
That is all. Resume your awesomeness writing please.
Why, thank you! Thank you very much! Feb 25, 2008
Guess who learned to clap?
It’s like having my own personal audience all day long. And boy, I’m really impressive with cherrios in my teeth. And banging my forehead on the table. And barking like a dog. And…
*it’s only 20 seconds of this because, seriously, it’s only cute for about 23 seconds if he’s not your own kid. Maybe 32 seconds for Grandma.
*Also, one day I’ll write in complete sentences.
The problem with labeleling and google, which is not at all related Feb 21, 2008
We’ve hit a portion of time known in our circle as “the three-and-a-half-year-old” stage. ohdearmotherlivinghell. The “terrible twos”? A warm up. The teenage angst? Being foreshadowed. My mental health? On the wire.
Tuesday we had what could only be referred as “a throwback to Rambo” There was yelling, fighting, dramatic throw-downs. This all in the first ten minutes of the day. She literally turned in to a fish out of water gasping for air because, ohgodforbid, her mother asked her to wipe her own bottom. That’s right, Internet, I forced my child to use her own toilet paper. IknowIknow. I see you shaking your head. Trust me. I disappoint many.
The trouble with this behavior is that I don’t so much like it. And the trouble with not liking the behavior is that it’s not much of a stretch to feel like I don’t like the kid all that much just then. And the problem with not liking the kid just right then is the guilt/shame/I’m-a shitty-mom thoughts that come with it. And the trouble with the I’m-a-shitty-mom thoughts is the previous postpartum depression.
Did you follow that?
Yea, it’s a stretch. I do that.
So I started thinking I was going nuts. I’m never going to survive being a mother. A MOTHER. You know those mom types, right? The ones who are gooey and soft and love their kids? The ones who make pb&j and cookies after school? The ones who come running when their child needs them instead of glaring at her from the other room thinking, “getoffthefloorgetoffthefloorgetoffthefloor” and contemplating have her very own matching fit. Not really the definition of MOM.
Which is why I don’t like labels. MOM. PPD. Crazy-lady. Three-year-old. It’s all so… confining. It’s almost self-fulfilling. It’s a lie.
Just because my daughter and I struggle (and struggle, oh! the struggle) does not mean we will forever. Just because I want to lie on the floor in my PJs all day wishing there was ten minutes of silence does not mean tomorrow I won’t get dressed, leave, and enjoy my children in the sun. Just because I can’t bake to save my life and never remember to seperate the darks from the whites when I do laundry (that’s so 1960’s Alabama, people! I like to think beyond color.) and just because I usually pay bills about four days after the late fees are issued, doesn’t mean I don’t care for my children and hurt when they hurt and cry a little not just because I’m annoyed (again) at the fits (again) but that I’m sad life seems so dramatic and hard to my daughter.
I’m afraid if she thinks it’s hard at three, she may look at her life at 32 and wonder what she did wrong. And that’s no way to live.< changing the topic just a wee bit ... or rather coming out of left field a little >
I’ve now enjoyed every one of your comments on the last several posts. For some reason I was not getting them via email. OHTHEHORROR! (Gee, no idea where my drama queen gets it. Shutit. I hear you snicker.) So forgive my lack of bloggy-etiquette and for not replying to you. I came to my site, read your comment, read your other comment, read a few more and by the time I hit the white square for me to reply, I couldn’t remember what I was going to say because they-were-all-good-comments and how-do-I-address-them-all and didn’t-my-daughter-just-fly-off-the-couch-on-her-brother—-again. So really, I blame gmail.
Let’s all wear a tee-shirt that says, “I blame google,” because really, I can’t wear a tee-shirt that says, “I blame my children.”
or can I?
< Even bigger topic change >
I saw this at Target tonight and giggled. I told you I’m a twelve year old boy. But comon, didn’t you immediately think, “Oh, that Justin Timberlake…” hee.
Feminism barefoot in the kitchen Feb 15, 2008
I’ve been rolling around ideals about my identity for some time now. Struggling with my decision to stay at home. Struggling with the images I put in my daughter’s head. Struggling with a place for a strong, empowered woman in a traditional home context. I’m educated, I’m strong, I’m willful. I’m also a woman who cries, gets irrational and stays home to clean the house and care for her children.
I no longer think these things are mutually exclusive.
I’ve recently started reading The Red Tent and find the role of women almost empowering. The community of females working together to care for the families; The work, actual hard labor, it requires to be in this role of caregiver: That alone is empowering.
But to find a group of women, online and in person, who share your views, help raise your children, walk through life with you: that is where empowerment becomes confidence. And while I appreciate, and admire, and respect and live up to, the role of being a strong woman, that does not include being a woman for woman’s sake or working in a job because “it is my right”. It’s also my right to choose to stay home, to care for my family and to be a woman.
Did you hear that? I’m ok with being a WOMAN. I’m ok with being a GIRL. I’m ok with having boobs and hormones and PMS. I’m ok with makeup and wine and shaving my legs. And I love that I’m a woman and that means I am not a man and I’m more emotional, hormonal, and social. I love that I care about hair and makeup. I’m ok with that. Being a feminist does not mean I have to be equal to a man in every way, but rather as a New Feminist, a feminist of the 2000’s. It means I am strong, confident and capable with being a woman: A life-giving, home-making, emotional-at-times woman.
And that’s what I want to pass on to my daughter, who will enjoy not only equality but strength in who she is: a woman.
School Rulz Feb 11, 2008
The assvice, it never ends. This morning I called a preschool to request a tour. The following is based on a true story. (Perhaps loosely, but still, based non-the-less)
“What age is your child?” the lady on the phone asks.
Uh, well, that’s a tricky question.
“It is? What’s her birthday.”
Well, see, it’s not until October but she’s really very smart and she’s already in a threes class right now and I’d really like her to continue on to preschool next year because she’s freakin’ brilliant and can not only spell her name and the name of all the presidential candidates but can also create hydrocarbons from fluoride.
“We don’t believe in allowing children to go in to the level above. It’s per WA state guidelines. Think of High School!”
(Here’s where I scratch my ass a bit and look around at my daughter running circles in a cinderella outfit. High School? Seriously?)
Yes, well, I’m sure she’ll be launching rockets to mars by High School but this fall I’d like her in a preschool class.
“We can’t do that. Socially she won’t be ready. She’ll be the youngest in her class! You need to reconsider what you’re planning for the sake of your daughter. Think of the peer pressure she won’t be mature enough to handle!”
Right, so about that tour….
“These days kids face so much more than they used to. .... Bladybladyblahhhablahbalablahlabhlabh ParentingPhilosophiesOfTheSeventiesVersusNow The HORROR.”
Um. So. I don’t think we’ll need a tour…
“Well, that’s too bad. I really think you should think these things over.”
And the thing is, my daughter really IS brilliant. I mean that not just in a “OMG! She’s so smarttttt because she’s MIINNEEEE” I mean that in a “holy crap my three year old is starting to read and can count to ten in Spanish and knows more than I do” kind of a way. Socially? Yea, she probably is a little on the immature side but I’m not really pushing her over the top.
Or Am I?
I think I found a solution to this whole preschool-causing-me-heart-palpitations issue. But still, can you please give me our assvice? Because if there’s one place better than preschool teachers who’ve never even met me but who have strong opinions about how I should raise my child, it’s Teh Internets.
So.. what would you do?
(Obviously destined for greatness by the company she keeps)
Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do: Or “I have no idea what a caucus is” Feb 08, 2008
When trying to figure out our events this weekend, we over-heard someone say the Washington State caucus was going on. “Caucus?” I giggle. Heh. You said CAUCUS.
No, really, I’m twelve.
I actually do care, you know, about politics. I care deeply. I have my :: ahem :: opinions and I want to voice them in a dark room or behind a closed curtain with a #2 pencil and a bubble sheet. I remember voting in my younger years, basing a huge decision like WHO WILL RUN THY COUNTRY on things like, “well, this guy has lovely hair…”
I know it’s silly. I’m aware that it’s not really helpful, but there’s a rush that happens when you think, for one defining moment, that you can change the fate of the world. The (echo THETHETHE) World (echo WORLDWORLDWORLD)
So imagine my disappointment when I found out it wasn’t true.
Did you realize that the little piece of ballot you submit for the primaries in Washington State do not actually elect the presidential candidate that represents this state? Did you know you have to attend the caucus? Did you know what a caucus is and that the tiny ballot you send it will have zero effect on the outcomes of that said caucus?
Did you know you “Do Not Need Your ID or Voter’s Registration Card” to participate? That “when you sign in you are asked to declare that you are a Democrat and a registered voter. This is by the honor system.”
Nope. Me either.
So? What. The. Hell. People. The honor system?
So I looked a little further in to the greatest democracy on earth:
The slates of electors are generally chosen by the political parties. State laws vary on the appointment of electors. The States prepare a list of the slate of electors for the candidate who receives the most popular votes on a Certificate of Ascertainment. The Governor of each State prepares seven original Certificates of Ascertainment. The States send one original, along with two authenticated copies or two additional originals to the Archivist of the United States at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by registered mail. The Certificates of Ascertainment must be submitted as soon as practicable, but no later than the day after the meetings of the electors, which occur on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 15, 2008). The Archivist transmits the originals to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR). The OFR forwards one copy to each House of Congress and retains the original.
The electors meet in each State on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 15, 2008). A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President and Vice President. No Constitutional provision or Federal law requires electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their State.
* * EYES ARE ROLLING AND MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING IN TO TINY PIECES OF MUSHSHHHHSHHHHHHH * *
It’s starting to look like I’ll be voting for the person with the lovely hair. At least I can wrap my brain around that.
**P.S. Baby O is doing much better, thank you THANK YOU to everyone. He’s not so much a preemie anymore, is he? The man-baby, he is huge. Now if he could just sleep through the night….
Tonight I am thankful for my job Feb 07, 2008
I’m grateful to have so much work to do tonight. Because the Man Baby, he has the RSV. THE RSV. The Really Snotty Virus. The Runny Shit Virus. The Rotten Stupid Virus of DOOOOOOM.
I’m doing everything I can to not google “RSV and PREEMIE and NOW GIANT MAN BABY” because I’m afraid of what it’ll tell me. I’m hearing the nurses in the NICU rail OnAndOnAndOnAndOn “Don’t let him get sick” “Don’t let him get RSV” “Start praying to God now that he doesn’t get RSV” “You’ll shoot your eye out”
It’s ok. We’re ok. He’s ok. In fact, the Doc (McHottie) thinks he’s had it for a while. So much so that he’s no longer contagious and should be out of the woods in a week or so.
A week is a very very very long time in Baby Years.
At his nine month “well” baby check he came in at 80% height (29 inches!) and 40% weight (20 pounds!). He’s pulling to a stand, he has six gum-cutting teeth and one on the way. He’s saying “LALALALA” and “BABABABA” and laughs almost religiously at his sister. We love him so deeply that I can not, dare not, ever want to remember our lives without him.
So tonight I’m sticking my nose in the computer and trying not to run up and listen to him breathe, praying for no wheezing, no labor, no cough. Instead, I’ll pray for my CSS to validate and my clients to be happy. It gives me some sense of control and that’s OK.
I wish he’d just get better.