Mrs. Flinger: A work in progress

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.

How weird is this? Apr 16, 2007

#Getting to know me#Social Clutz Loveable Spaz

Not that we’re peeping Flingers or anything, we aren’t. It’s just that our tiny townhouse is crammed in with a bunch of other tiny townhouses. Which means One could, potentially, look out the window and see in to about seventeen other people’s tiny townhouses, if One was to look. And, should One not close the blinds on the stairs, One would see a family just across the street who recently set up a crib in the spare room giving One the conclusion that One was right when One thought the gal looked pregnant walking to the mailbox.

One is getting a bit confused here.

So, our neighbors were gone for a few days and, being the stellar observer that I am, I turned to Mr. Flinger and said, “I was right! I was right! They’re out having a baby! I bet you money! MUHAHAHAHA!” (Read in a snotty tone while doing a really obscene dance because I am almost NEVER right. Ahem.) He says something about “not spying on our neighbors” and how “you really shouldn’t assume someone is pregnant just because they’re heavy,” and something else equally as man-ish. Meanwhile, I’m jirating on the floor because there’s another new baby next door and I WILL MAKE THEM MY FRIENDS! or something less crazy sounding.

I’m fully aware misery loves company. I know this because just today at story time, another mom of a five month old and a two year old told me horror stories of raising two babies in a two bedroom house. I say a few positive things, “Yea, we thought of that. We’re just hoping it works out ok…” I turn to Michelle with an “Oh, dear god, save me” look, which she did, but only after my wavering spirit was crushed to bits and I vowed to find the largest cork-screw known to man and shove it up my vajaja so this child will never come out, no! he will never. come. out.

As it is, I don’t know our neighbors any more than I know the chick from the library. I run the risk of being That Chick, the one with a toddler who was a collicy baby and gassy and full of sleepless months, full of bad stories of first time parenting. Or, I can be That Chick who brings over dinner and says congratulations, I don’t want to stay too long, but if you need anything we’re right over here and will be in your shoes shortly.  I’d love to be That Chick, the latter one, the one that makes cookies for her neighbors that just moved in and the ones who just brought home a tiny person only two months older than our newest family member.

But I don’t need to be That Chick that weirds out her neighbors with the binoculars and the fake camo. I’m just not sure which Chick they’d think I was.

When I think about you, I soil myself…. Apr 14, 2007

#The Flinger Family

I eluded to an incident that happened in our house a while back. I got this fantastic idea that I’d put LB in panties so she can get the sensation of wet versus dry. I read that she might not fully grasp the concept because HUGGIES WICKS AWAY 99% OF ALL WETNESS!. Great for Huggies. Not-so-much for potty training.

So, I waited until LB was up from a nap, freshly pooped, and put on her small paul panties. She ran around for a good hour before I remembered she wasn’t wearing a diaper and I had some sort of obligation to take her to the potty every thirty minutes. Sure enough, she was wet through her pants and sitting, happily, on the floor eating goldfish. I said we’d go change her bottom, let her try again, and this time I’d try to run her upstairs (read: waddle her upstairs huffing heavily) every thirty minutes.

We played the thirty minute game for about two hours. She never actually went potty but she was staying dry so I figured we were well on our way to college at this point. SURELY she’s got some fantastic bladder control. Ten minutes later, though, she comes in from blowing bubbles outside in tears, “I’m POOPY! I WANNA DIAPER! I’m POOPY! EWEWEW!” She not only pooped, Internet, she had green, runny diarrhea all over her small paul “Wednesday” panties. Mr. Flinger stepped up and helped wash out the panties while I bathed and put our two year old back in a diaper.

Since then she’s come to me with a diaper in hand, taken off her own diaper, and attempted to put on the new one. “I am WET” she’ll say. I look at her, incredulously, and say, “If you can change your own diaper, it’s really time to start wearing panties.” She gets this startled look on her face, “NO PANTIES! NO!”


I think I may have single-handedly ensured our daughter will never wear panties. Look at the upside: I guess that’s good for the first period drama. She’ll be one-upping “Always with Wings” with massive Huggies.

You aren’t the only one Apr 13, 2007

#Pregnancy#The Flinger Family

If you’ve noticed I’ve not been “around” lately, you’d be right. If you noticed that, say, the past five weeks or so you’ve been thinking, “She NEVER comes to MY blog. She posts three times a week? Whatever! Ppfftthhhtttttt.” (Wipe the screen off after you read that last part.) You’re not alone. I’ve been thinking that, too. But to little LB, I’ve increased my computer time ten-fold and she doesn’t know “neglect” from “making money.”

This week is the final “push” for work. I am finished on Sunday (or sooner if I complete my work earlier) and will have a few weeks to be with LB while she’s still an only child. We’ll bring an end to the “Just Mommy and Me” phase of her life and talk a lot about the new baby, the changes, the new life we’re about to jump feet first in to. It both amazes me and breaks my heart how intuitive she is. She knows things are changing. She knows mommy is not the same. She knows my lap shrunk and my complaining grew. She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t know that Mr. Flinger and I tell each other, “That was one great morning,” having figured out the conception date to remind ourselves we did this to us. We made a decision. We’re happy with that decision, no, we are! It’s just that it was quiet possibly the last “good morning” we had. (Now wondering how much to say because do all children need to know stories of their conception? Or is that just our family? Right. Moving on….)

The other day, LB and I were painting. Actually, she was yelling, “Paint Pwease!” and I finally stopped grading papers and answering emails long enough to paint. She asked me to “draw mommy on the Concuter.” I laughed. Then I thought for a minute. “Draw mommy on the computer?” “Yes, pweasseee!” It hit me that this is all she sees. She doesn’t realize what “taking on another class” or “only for five weeks” or “soon I’ll have a few weeks to be just the two of us together” means. To her, lately, all she knows is Mommy on the “Concuter.” I’m hoping to change that soon, because in a few weeks all she’ll remember is “Mommy is tired,” and “Mommy is feeding the baby,” and “Mommy can’t pick you up because she has an owie on her tummy.” And here I thought I neglected the dogs when we had LB.

Are you a playah? Apr 12, 2007


Mr. Flinger and I both play an important, all though very different, role in LB’s life. I’ve started noticing my role as the “Getting-Shit-Done” parent and Mr. Flinger as the “Disciplinarian/Playah”. It’s a strange combination at first glance but we’re developing these rolls and settling in to a mold that I can’t help but wonder if we’re destined to fill. No matter how much I try to play like Daddy or use my “stern I-mean-it” voice, I am not Daddy, and no matter how much he tries to fill in for Mommy, sometimes he can’t.

LB has drastically different responses to each of us. Upon hearing Mommy walk through the door she’ll gasp and say, “Mommy is home! WHEEE!” and come running to the stairs to wait for me. When Daddy walks through the door each night after work, she will drop whatever activity she is in the middle of and go, “oh! oh! Gotta hide! Daddy will get me!” Once he gets to the main floor, he’ll look over and see her hiding and run to “catch” her. She squeals and runs and immediately starts the usual “Daddy catch me” game that lasts at least the initial ten minutes he’s home.

During our daily routine, I often accomplish other activities while she’s home with me. I will do the dishes, email a few people, do the laundry, make breakfast/lunch/dinner, pick up the house. Often LB will “help” with these activities. But there are times she isn’t in a mood to help and mommy isn’t in a mood to play. At times I’m so focused on getting us out the door, paying the bills, cleaning up so friends can come over, I forget she’s only two and can’t focus as long as I can on a task as mundane as vacuuming. I’ll get frustrated with her constantly getting toys out while I’m trying to pick them up. I’ll remind her she should be putting on her shoes instead of dumping out the entire basket of plush animals. After a bit, I’ll get frazzled and irritated and wonder why I have to do it all.

Mr. Flinger has a vastly different approach when he’s home with LB. If I leave for an afternoon, the house may or may not be clean when I return. The dishes may or may not be done. The TV may be on, the toys may be strewn about, the left-overs from lunch may be still on the table. But almost always, without fail, LB is happily playing near her daddy’s feet or with him when I walk in the door. I almost always hear reports of a nap. I always see a disheveled child smiling happily with a “Hi Mommy!” greeting. She always looks refreshed and happy and he always looks a bit tired but no worse for the wear.

This is also the case during the bedtime routine. Mommy tries to get the PJ’s on, the teeth brushed, the story read all in a “matter of fact” type of maner, usually resulting in “ME DO IT!” fights and power struggles.  But when it’s Daddy’s turn, there is chasing, screaming, tickling, laughing, and never once a “Me Do It!” outcry. Sometimes he has to lay the smack-down as I hear, “Ok, that’s enough, time to get your PJ’s on” in a stern voice, but there’s never a fight or resistance. She willingly lets him put her arms through the sleeves or brush her teeth. I’m always amazed.

I don’t think that one role is better than the other. I used to struggle with my “get it done” type outlook and my role as a housekeeper. I spoke to Traci about this once and she holds the same role as I do with the same resulting power struggles. Sometimes I try to play more, to consciously set aside the work and make time to paint or chase or giggle. But some days there are things to do and places to go and it’s not time to play. I’ve come to realize that’s ok. LB will see me taking care of those things that need to be cared for. She’ll watch me care for my children, provide a safe and clean environment, keep my responsibilities with the bills. There are worse things that I could be teaching her.

I just need to remember that it’s ok to play sometimes, too. That sometimes? If I chase her up the stairs to bed? She really will fall asleep on her own; Happily.

Which role do you have? Are you a playah?

Sometims I just can’t wait. Sometimes I know I should. Apr 09, 2007

#Good News#The Flinger Family

Upon seeing my large belly, Moms of a toddler and an infant strike up conversation with me. It’s easy to tell the “impending doom” stories as their infant gnaws on their arm or cries for a bottle while their toddler virtually destroys the playground/field/coffee shop. Out of the twenty or so moms who have started this conversation in the last week, only one said, “It’s really not that bad. Don’t let people fool you. It’s wonderful.” I’d like to smoke whatever she’s on.

I’m sitting here with a rare quiet moment. I’m supposed to be working but instead I can’t stop watching the family of four girls with their just-older-than-I-am-and-stunningly-more-beautiful mom. I’m thinking things like, “I wonder if she colors her hair? I bet she works out. How old are her girls? Oh my god, two of them have to be twins. TWINS.” I instantly go to what her life must have been like 10 years ago. Struggle. Tantrums. Pooping in panties and refusing to change. But I only know this because I have a toddler. Because I’m most certain mine is not the only two year old to yell “ME DO IT! NO, MOMMY!” when I try to change/dress/help her. I know we’re not the only family to use sticker bribes for naps. Mine is not the only child who forgets to share or goes boneless when she is told no. I know this because you people tell me. I know this because random moms I meet on the playground tell me. I know this because I see your children do it, too, and we talk about how they challenge us, frustrate us, turn our shiny brown hairs gray.

But these are just memories to this mom who is enjoying her dinner with her four girls while talking about soccer and pizza. They look civilized, using forks and not throwing food. The girls are well behaved, each ranging in age from 8 to 12 (I’m guessing). They offer another piece of pizza to their sister. They talk about a boy from school. They tell their mom about their teacher. Not one person is on the floor crying. Nobody is sitting on their knees because they pooped their pants and refuse to be changed.

I’m almost in shock.

As much as I get frustrated with the “now” stage we’re in, the twos, the soon-to-be sleepless nights, I remind myself to not wish this away. My child will never again come grab my leg and say, “Paint with me, Mommy! Paint?! Pwease? Yellow and Wed?” She will only want to curl up and watch Sesame Street for so long. She will only ask me to read to her or hum her a lullaby or rub her back for a little while. I will only be invited to play Little People for a few more years until she’s off to makeup and friends and phone calls to boys. And while I’m excited to sit at a table without telling her to stop crawling under it, I don’t need to hurry time along.  Time hurries on its own. We’ll be there. One day.

The Second Kid Apr 09, 2007

#Pregnancy#Rants and Raves

(Disclaimer: I know I know, I’m going to talk about pregnancy again. But it seems to be on my mind a bit, what with the constant peeing and swollen boobies and whatnot. If you hang around, though, I promise to make you feel really good about your body. I might even throw in some poop talk just for kicks.)

Conversations have taken a turn for the worse around the Flinger house:

Mr. Flinger informed me recently that I’ve mentioned pooping out a kid more than a few times in the last week.  “Well? There is no more room and he’s now squishing my bung-hole. I know that’s now how the plumbing works but I kid you not, I could fart and a kid would come out.” “CB, leave your mom’s butt alone.”

And, for the visual types among us (me included): Proof I am, in fact, carrying a litter of puppies instead of one baby boy.

Here I am an entire week ago compared to 3 days before delivering LB. I do believe I was smaller before I delivered LB. I’m so totally screwed.

I guess I owe a few people an apology. I’ll be in the corner eating crow. (Mmmm Crow.)

As yo mamma taught you…. Apr 07, 2007

I keep sitting on my hands willing myself not to type because how much does the blogworld need to hear that I’m a friggin’ whale? How much do y’all need to know that I now sweat under my boobs almost constantly and there is not one single shirt that covers this alien-thing growing in my uterus? Would you like to hear more about my wedding rings that now reside on the bathroom counter making me feel naughty for being knocked up without them even as I tote my doting and loving husband and first child around?

I really didn’t think so.

I thought I’d simply post, “It’s not all bad. Today CB had the hiccups three times and I’m the only one that knows.”

Then I realized a post under twenty words is a pathetic and obvious out and could subject me to a rash of tomatoes sent to my house. Perhaps you’d like to hear something warm and fuzzy. Maybe about kittens! Or puppies! Or ooey-gooey sweet goodness of Easter? All hail the chocolate bunny.

This year I’ve done my best to get “in” to Easter. And by my “best”, I mean I purchased a few plastic eggs to hide,  the egg color dye, the eggs to boil, and a bucket for hunting with. Then? The eggs expired a month ago, the bucket handle broke, we missed three eggs hunts and the dress is in the washer after spaghetti dinner.

It’s not that I’m not in to Holidays, it’s just that I’m a shitty mom. And it’s not that I don’t try, it’s that she’s either refusing to put on pants, or we’re late to the egg hunt and stuck in a mile of traffic in the rain (before blowing it off and going to the coffee shop, per our daughter’s request “STARBUCKS! STARBUCKS!” How do you argue with that?). I guess this is how new traditions start; you’re just too lazy or old or tired to do the old ones.

We annually boycot Valentines, we didn’t go trick-or-treating, we went to bed early on New Year’s and now we’ll hide a couple of eggs in our townhouse before grabbing a coffee and doing taxes. So, Happy Easter, Flinger Style.

DO NOT FEED THE POLAR BEARS (But shovel BBQ in to the pregnant lady) Apr 05, 2007

#Pregnancy#Rants and Raves

Mr. Flinger began creating a sign last night for those less informed on how to treat a pregnant lady in her third trimester. It’s akin to a billboard with multiple points. Or, perhaps even more accurate, a wild-life warning sign.

Just last week I almost lunged at an old lady who, upon hearing my due date, exclaimed, “Mymy! Are you having twins!” Fortunately for her, there was a counter between us and she was in charge of making my half-decaf (I only partially buzz the fetus) carmel latte. If it wasn’t for the sugar-laden drink she was producing, I’d call her expendable.

This is true of the half dozen or so people who reach out to grab my belly a day. It’s also true of the skinny teenagers that see a pregnant lady in the crosswalk and rev their engine because she just can’t waddle fast enough. Ditto for Elizabeth.

Having done this once before, I know this is a passing phase. I’m aware that very few people should actually come in to contact with me until.. roughly… four months after CB’s birth. There are a few people in the “inner circle” that don’t constantly offend and that are not constantly offended by me. They get it. They never say, “Wow, your belly is LAARRGGEEEE!” They never point out the belly hanging below my shirt and above my pants or the cleavage spilling out all over Seattle. (They should, by the way. From them? I would not be offended. It’s much better than coming from the chick who pointed to her friend and giggled because my shirt was three inches from reaching my pants.)

And so, the list began:

1. Do not ask when she is due. (Note: Wear a shirt that says, “June 12. One boy. Shutthefuckup.”)
2. Do not ask if there are twins. (Reference shirt above while flipping the bird.)
3. Do not touch belly.
4. Do not attempt to cheer her up.
5. Do not attempt to make sense of any gibberish spewing forth from her mouth.
6. Do not suggest she “put the ice cream away.”
7. Do not scold her for walking around home with her shirt above her belly.
8. Do not pass go.
9. Bring BBQ.
10. Preferably Cow.

(**For the record, I can not stand beef. I’ve gagged at various BBQ joints for about fifteen years, recoiling at the smell. But this baby is a BBQ nut. Instead of the usual chicken and tofu, we’ve been consuming whole cows. I almost salivate at diary farm commercials picturing the slab o’ beef. It’s really very disturbing. And tasty.)

The silver dinosaur that left a big impression Apr 04, 2007

#Getting to know me#The Flinger Family

In light of recent discussions around the Flinger house, Mr. Flinger an I were recounting events from our childhood that helped mold us in to the outstanding adults that we are today. (I saw you roll your eyes. That’s fine. I did when I typed it.)  We both have distinct memories of things our parents told us when we were young and impressionable. We’ve probably told each other these same stories a million times over the course of our 16 years together (yes, we’ve known each other for 16 years) but still, we launch in to the same stories with enthusiasm like it’s a new captive audience instead of the spouse that’s heard it all. Six times.

One particular story came up last night while driving home from a photo field trip at the Tulip Fields.  I recalled a dinosaur shadow box project I was asked to do in fourth grade.  I chose Triceratops because, frankly, he is the best dinosaur ever made. I mean, really, the thing has THREE horns, not just two like all the other piddly dinosaurs do. Sure, your T-rex might eat people but three horns? Come on.

Like I said, I was supposed to make a shadow box. The night before the project was due, I informed my mom and dad that I had this big science thing due and, almost in tears with overwhelmed frustration, confessed that I had no idea how to make it. I offered a solution involving some cardboard and a shoebox with cutout grass but, and this is the part I remember best of all, my dad turned to me and says, “You will not to ANYTHING half-assed. Do you hear me?” I heard. In fact, as a fourth grader, I rarely ever heard the word “ass” and having had it handed to me on a plate full of parental disappointment left a pretty big mark on my tiny ego. I could probably seek therapy for it now if it hadn’t made me in to the strong, anal, perfectionist that I am today.

Internet, I’m here to tell you, I no longer do anything half-assed.

My mom and dad went to work on the shadow box having me do the paper research and write-up on Triceratops. I remember crying as I wrote “He is an herbivore” and watching my parents make a paper mache dinosaur around a wire hanger with cardboard horns. I crafted the shoebox home while they set it aside to dry. My dad went to the garage looking for some brown spray paint and came back cussing. “We have silver and white.” I had to pick the color of my (their) dinosaur based on the colors of a gymnastic sign we made three weeks earlier. The only can with enough paint was the silver one. So, a few hours after I went to bed, my parents spray painted the Triceratops silver so it would be dry in time for me to take to school in the morning.

That’s right, I went to science the next day with a silver paper mache Dinosaur in a shitty shoe box with real grass stuck to the bottom and glue drying as it leaked out the edges. It didn’t take long for my teacher to know which portion of the project I actually did and which my parents “helped” me with.

I remember the other shadow boxes with their cardboard dinosaurs and cutout grass. I remember not feeling especially proud of my project. Even as a child I had enough guilt for a small nation of catholics, Northern Ireland not-withstanding. The silver dinosaur represented more to me than how much my parents helped with my project. To me, it was a reminder of my dad’s disappointment and hearing, over and over, “You will not do anything half-assed.”

That silver dinosaur still turns up from time to time. I’m not sure if my parents remember that night as vividly as I do, but now, almost 22 years later, I can appreciate the lesson in a bigger context. I don’t just hear the “half-assed” lecture. Now, I understand how much of an impression a parent can make on a child. She might not appear to be listening, but she is. I have more than a few dozen of these vivid stories when my mom or dad taught me a lesson either in passing or on purpose. Mr. Flinger and I enjoy recalling these lessons now as adults but as parents it reminds us both that what we say does make a difference. I may not always consciously think of the silver dinosaur project, but I did grow up to be someone who never did projects at the last minute, made it through graduate school, and never never did something “half-assed” in a job.

So, what’s your silver dinosaur?

Short Memos Apr 03, 2007

#Pregnancy#Rants and Raves

To: the man who is named “Elizabeth” with the makeup.
Re: Tip about talking to pregnant women

DO NOT look at their driver’s license and then say, “You look young in that photo. It can’t be taken that long ago. It must be the baby making you look old. It’ll go away after the baby is born.”
I might kick you were your nads used to be.

To: my husband
Re: All those add for penis and sexual function

PLEASE IGNORE THOSE. Oh, for the love, do not read or listen to a single commercial for a sex pill.
Signed, your very pregnant wife.

To: everyone
Re: Flickr and Pics

Join our my new group! Speaking of education and what-not, I decided to start a flickr group for those of us who are starting out and love photos from some amazing and talented photographers and don’t mind sharing some tips and secrets. I also thought, perhaps, it would help me keep better documentation on what it is that I’m doing to each shot and maybe stretch my own imagination a little bit.

If you don’t mind sharing a few tips or answering questions, come along! Hopefully my own photos will change and take better shape as we go. All experience levels are encouraged.