So this is what it looks like to be in your mid thirties.
MY OMG MID-THIRTIES PEOPLE.
Christhellonacracker when did that happen. Right, in tiny amounts of time known as DAYS that added up and BAM I hit thirty-four.
So if you follow me on twitter, which you totally should, you’d know yesterday was my birthday.
And that my house had the flu.
Yesterday, for my birthday, I treated myself to a pair of skinny jeans. Which, if you follow me on twitter, you know it makes me a complete asshat.
But DAMN if those French women don’t look fabulous in the skinny jean with the boot and long sweater and scarf.
Six hours in Paris can really change a girl’s mind about the skinny jean. And coffee. And Monet.
So I got a skinny jean in a size 8. EIGHT PEOPLE. That’s the size I wore in High school. Which is clearly effed because I still weigh 10 pounds more than that stage of my life but HAHA AMERICAN SIZES because I win the “zipping my gut in to a smaller size” award.
So, since I went to Europe (my god you’re going to get sick of hearing that. It was five days. FIVE DAYS. But oh, those five days….) I ate smaller portions. You know, like the French? And Dutch? And German? Good beer, smaller portions, real food. And I lost some weight.
Except now? NOW I AM STARVING.
Damn America with its unfulfilling food and the food crack they pump in the air that makes a girl want to eat trail mix by the bagfuls.
Yet, still, food hording, expanding mid-thirties ass, slowing metabolism and pirate-eye aside, life is pretty sweet at thirty four.
I got a new job working with a big shot development and design firm locally here in Seattle.
It appears we may actually be getting closer to owning a real life house with grass ‘n stuff.
I just spent five days in Europe meeting some of the best ExpressionEngine minds on the planet. And I loved them.
My son pissed in the toilet this morning.
I bought a size 8 pant.
And I still have most of my marbles. (This post’s coherence aside, that is.)
So far? Thirty four is pretty great. I am, however, marking forty for a real meltdown. I’m thinking large-scale convertable-needing meltdown in 2015. Wanna join me?
I have so many wonderful photos and stories to share about being at the EECI2009 conference. Community. The Spirit of Lifting Each Other Up. Truly inspirational.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences as of late. Blog Conferences, Development Conferences. Twestivals. But the conferences surrounding the ExpressionEngine Community is by far my favorite experience to date. I wish you could all experience this.
It’s a drastic change from the mommy blogger drama.
I had meals with the “stars” of the EE community. The Geeks that create modules, plugins, extensions. The people who extend the fabulous code EE already offers. It was like sitting with people whose brains should be too big for their heads.
But more importantly, they are people. Not overly geeky, not overly egotistical. Just funny, amazing, hilarious, real, friendly, beer-drinking people.
It was like being among my very own tribe.
I’ve known the mommy bloggers for years and years. I’ve shared births and illnesses, love, pregnancies. I’ve shared miscarriages and sleepless nights. This can be powerfully bonding. And it is. Until… Until there is a competition so fierce it negates any real emotion connected to the community. Until there is an underlying current of gossip and finger pointing. Until there is an upheaval in order to succeed and drive traffic and become known on the “grid” at whatever cost, whomever’s reputation is at stake.
It’s not that the ExpressionEngine community doesn’t compete, because we do. We strive to become better coders, developers, designers. We hope to achieve a better reputation, a higher skill set, a cleaner site. But when we find a secret, we share it. When you ask a question, we answer it. When you need an arm to help you home at night after too many liters of Leffe, they hand it to you. Even if they are the most known creators of extensions and a part of a best known design firm.
There is a real sense of community. It is not shattered false, driven by a need to step on anyone in the way of success.
I can not tell you how refreshing this is.
The conference itself was informative, dynamic, creative and perfect. All because a man from Whoooz! Media had a vision.
Photo totally stolen on Flickr from thomas.myer
And in the truest sense of the word, as I lost my voice for the second day in a row, as I was supposed to present my slides to a group about Getting Better Performance in your EE Install, an old friend, and past CTO of Ellis Lab himself, spoke my presentation for me with minimal squeaks from me in the mic.
I can find no better example for the word community.
I hope the mommy bloggers can take note. I hope we can overcome our current drive. I hope we can begin to lift each other up in the way the EE community does. Speakers mingling with newbies. Strangers laughing together over beer. People embracing each other, sometimes most literally, over a commonality inexplainable to those on the outside.
All because we use a single piece of software to create wonderful websites.
If you’d like a link to my slides, you can find them here
At the pre-conference drink, I walked up to some people standing at the bar and introduced myself. They told me they were “Henry” and “Patrick” and that they don’t mingle. I said “PISHPOSH! Who do you want to meet? I’ll introduce you.” I looked around the busy room and found Ryan Ireland, the creator of EE Insider, a guy I’d recently declared one of my bitchez earlier at the speaker dinner. “You want to meet Ryan Ireland? He’s one of my bitchez!” I told Henry and Patrick. “Bitchez?! BITCHEZ?!” Henry tried to wrap his Sweedish language around the new term. “BITCHEZ?” He rolled the word around in his mouth. Another stranger-soon-to-be-friend Andy walks up and says, “What are we doing?” Henry replies, “Learning English.”
After four years of being fantastic friends, after sharing our children’s clothes and our brownies via US Postal Mail, after praying, crying, laughing and loving each other, I finally met my dear friend Laura Camacho in Leiden. We had to travel half way around the world to meet, we laughed together. But I would go to the end of the world to meet her. I can not believe how long it’s been since we’ve had our daily chats. Once Baby O was born life whisked away and suddenly I was standing in front of her, years and years after we met, seeing her for the first time. And now I know it won’t be the last.
Low, someone whose site I refer to for ideas, even if they are in another motherf’cking language, shows us his house boat and shared his beer and gin with us. The man is a treasure. And by treasure I mean a wealth of awesome, hilarity, hospitality, and feisty. In a good way.
And, as happens in such rare cases in the Mommy Blogging community, I met one of my alltime design loves Vereele Pieters and she was just a gracious, wonderfulness of class and grace. Which only solidified my state of wanna-be stalker if I lived anywhere near Belgium. Which I’d like to.
And tomorrow, tomorrow I will tell you about the day trip I took to Paris. Because, well, it’s motherfuckingparis. And I have some work to catch up on now. I hear the real world is calling me back. Do you hear it? It yells Mommy a lot. Sigh.
Here’s a video from Patrick
I am forever grateful to Nevin of EngineHosting for the opportunity to experience this AMAZING conference and to Robert for inviting me. I will never have enough beer to repay them, but I’ll be working on that. Many thousand of thank yous.
Did you know that if you look on a map, “Holland” isn’t there? NO. What’s this bullshit about me going to “Holland” then? Well, apparently I’m in The Netherlands which is just sort of in the middle of all the peace-keeping, fence-sitting, pot-smoking countries. And BYGOD I love it here.
I’m here on business which means I’m here representing Engine Hosting who, along with my new friend WHOOOOOZE, sponsored my trip here so that I could speak at the EECI2009 Conference. I will not only buy them a beer but also possibly shout out their company names in the streets of Holland, I mean, The Netherlands whilst smoking pot and holding the hands of gay and lesbians.
Bygod I love it here.
And what’s this buillshit about everyone speaking English in Holland, I mean, The Netherlands? Because the ONE PERSON I asked, “Did she say Leiden? Leiden? Is this LEIDEN?” He shook his head no, so I stayed on the train, only to find out HAHA SUCKER, that WAS Leiden and he was saying, “NO, I have no idea what you American Lady Is Saying. LEIDEN LEIDEN. WTF”
So I got on another train heading, from platform six so naturally, BACK to Leiden. Except HAHA NO. The ticket man said, “Leiden? [words I don’t understand that may have included some mocking, possibly cussing me out and maybe using the C word in Dutch] No. AIRPORT.” And so I was back at the Airport.
That I understood. ZOOOM PLANES ZOOOOOM.
So I sheeplishly told the ticket man at the train station I REALLY needed to get to LEIDEN, if that was, in fact, a place in The Netherlands, or does it mean something else like Constantinople.
He told me “NINE FIFTY NINE TRAIN” so I purchased my THIRD ticket to Leiden and got on the NINE FIFTY NINE train. Where I met Frank.
Frank is a flamingly lovely gay black man from New York living in The Netherlands with his Husband. We chatted about the USA, Holland, I mean The Netherlands, and being married. I love Frank. Frank told me all about Leiden and where I needed to go in order to possibly shower and to not take a nap because you’ll never sleep again. Time change and all that.
And when I finally arrived at my hotel, I have Frank, my flaming gay black friend, to thank. Who speaks English. Because the rest of these fuckers are confusing as hell.
But BYGOD I love it here.
And LOOK! A real live motherfucking WINDMILL right outside my window, bitches!
bygod I love it here.
(This post is brought to you by the fact that I’ve been up nearly 24 hours straight, had 4 beers about 10 hours ago, sucked in recirculated airplane air and did I mention the trains? The three trains? And the not sleeping?)
(Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I did, in fact, see the sun come up over Amsterdam and it was beautiful. I bet a lot like what people see when they’re smoking pot.)
(Which, I’m guessing, is the hue over the city there. They don’t have smog here, what with all the bicycles and trains, but they do have the pot-fog.)
(Also, I’ve never, not once in my ENTIRE LIFE, smoked a joint. Sucked a dooby. Puffed a roll. NEVER. Not once.)
(I’m not saying I WOULDN’T should it be LEGAL.)
(Bygod I love it here.)
It’s quiet. It’s too quiet. I never realized you can hear the upstairs clock from the living room. In fact, I never realized you can hear each clock’s second hand tick in an off-beat pattern together. Three clocks in all ticking loudly.
You can hear the refrigerator hum, too. And a plane from outside. And the DVR always crunching its hard drive.
The house is missing the children. I am missing the children. They left about three hours ago in a car with their Grandparents. They’ll be staying with my In-Laws this week so that I may take a trip to The Netherlands for business and Mr. Flinger can take his structural engineering test. It’s so nice of them to offer.
But god it’s so fucking quiet.
The children add life to this place that I never realized. They breathe in their own rhythm independent of the clocks and each other. Just their presence gives this space a warmth. I never realized.
I always pictured having time away. For years Mr. Flinger and I wondered if we could just grab a few days, maybe a week, to remember what it was like before.
Only just today I’m realizing there is no way of being “before” for me ever again. I can enjoy the time to be an adult, a business lady, a person. But I will always be a mom.
And I hope my house never breathes without my children in it for long.
I never realized how much I love their presence.
Until it’s gone.
I realize Nobody cares what I had for lunch but you WILL ALL CARE about my day. I speak with authority because I have that kind of power today. The kind of power that gets shit done AND has a beer at 3:00pm.
I am one of the most influential women. In my head.
Here is, in a boring amazingly horrid long list with time-stamps, my day.
6AM - 8AM Stuff happens at home.
8AM- Toddler counts to sixty by himself with minimal help. I plot his future which includes supporting Mr. Flinger and I in our old age. Possibly from some sort of computer forensics. Or pot dealing.
8:45AM - Purchase high fructose corn syrup cookies for LB’s snack at school celebrating her 5th birthday. Also, be mother of the year because I buy a balloon. And gummi bears. There is no end to my diabetes-inducing love.
9:00 AM - Submit site for review for client. Client is happy. THANKS THE LORD.
9:30 AM - Catches up on todo list. Finished another client. CLIENT IS HAPPY.
10:30AM - Runs to Daughter’s school for Birthday Snack. IS MOTHER OF THE YEAR. Takes pictures like a good mom. Hands out candy. Children vibrate with adoration. And sugar shock.
11:00 AM - Works on long time client’s list. Is happy to finally get to help them.
12:00 PM - Find out Title Company already deposited check. WHERE WE HAVE NO MONEY. Calls one bank to rectify.
Freaks shit out completely.
12:30 PM Runs to said bank and begs for help. Bank agrees and wires money to other bank. Both banks talk on the phone to get the situation under control. It’s like watching a divorced set of parents work together for the good of the chid. I take a lollipop to solidify that role.
1:00PM. Wired money goes through. Angels sing. The house rejoices.
1:30PM Runs to Passport office to beg on status. Lovely lady assists and takes new photo, gets information for federal line, and gives me ‘worst case scenario’ packet.
2:00PM Cashes checks at OTHER bank. Nice old lady tells me to get a drink. I agree.
2:30PM Talks to four (yes four) different representatives at the Federal Passport Office. Find out passport is IN TRANSIT and may not arrive in time. Begs for “WHAT TO DO” and finds out AHA! THere is a form DS86! OF COURSE THERE IS A FORM DS86! Makes appointment for Seattle “oh shit” passport center on Monday.
3:00 PM Finished another project. Calls friend. Calls client. Gets new client.
3:30PM Sips a beer while taking over the world. Ponders over the day. Realizes I officially earn an entire day in bed. And blogs about it.
3:31PM Quite possibly the least boring blog post is written. Until the lady next to me at the bar falls off her seat and the waitress says, “Oh, it’s ok, nobody saw that” and I say, “Except I’m going to tweet that right now” and everyone laughs.
Because even old people know twitter.
3:32PM I just saw my future.
If ever you think you want top blogging, or wonder why you do it, and I know you will, I have something for you: You used to write well back when you started and then you got busy and forgot and now you write shit. So keep those archives handy, ok?
Also, because one day you just might be glad you blogged through your entire miscarriage experience so you can sit with a friend and empathize in a way you might not remember three years later.
I was doing just this very thing, fishing around my miscarriage archives, when I looked up, teary, at my husband.
“Didn’t we get baby O out of the deal later?” he asks.
“Yes, he was the baby after the one we lost,” I reply remembering back to the cycle I missed after the miscarriage. It was my pregnancy with my second born. It was a complete shock.
“Are you glad you have your archives to remember this, though? Is it easier to read knowing it came out ok?” He is honestly asking.
“No.” My voice wavers. “It still sucks.”
And it does. No matter how many children you birth or how fantastic your job/house/holland trip/children are, when you look back at those four weeks of life, it still stings just a little bit.
Which is why we can empathize with a miscarriaging mom.
So, here in order, is my story of the miscarriage. I hope this helps someone else one day. And I hope you never live through that again but enjoy the smell of your next newborn soon.
The first positive home test which is certainly not the last.
The official “what to watch for” list I was sent home with. *characters are messed up here. This entry was imported.
Activity as Normal (AKA: When we made baby O)
It was hard. That time in life isn’t the most fun, although I get how “normal” it is. But watching your blood pass, waiting for your baby to leave, wanting to at least get a glimpse of the tissue so you can, as cheesy as it sounds, say good-bye, is something you hope nobody experiences. But when they do, it’s best to send lots of love and chocolate.
And hope for next time.
Did I just totally gush out on you? Dearchrist. I just re-read my post and…
I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
When I started blogging, I was in grad school. I was plowing through programming which at the time, was akin to having my toenails shaved by the lovely asian gals until my toes were nubbins of bone. I used to envision this as I was studying the Java Sun Packages. I’d think, “SCRRAAAPEEE” toe one. “Scrraapppe” This is probably one of the reasons I never liked Java. I like my toes too much.
But then I got pregnant, finished up my thesis, had a baby and dipped in to PPD. I remember reading people’s blogs who were so thrilled to be mothers.
I wanted to kick their asses.
Or drink a lot of gin straight from the bottle.
I used to gag, mentally at least, at the joyful posts of parents who rejoiced in their children.
My kid didn’t sleep. That bitch. And I was tired.
I recovered thanks to medication and a therapist and became a mom. Then I got knocked up again.
And off the medicine.
And got a little crazy.
Or, “KrayKray” as V would say.
I’m open about my PostPartum Depression. I’m open about it because I don’t feel at fault, but rather I understand the imbalance of hormones shifting can cause a drastic change after the birth of a child. Toss in sleep deprivation and you can get pretty whacky.
I’m planning on going off the medicine eventually. My therapist said it takes roughly two years for most synapsis to go back after the change, physical change, that occurs after you have a child. I just think I’m uber cool saying, “My therapist” like I’m some hip Californian who runs on the beach at sunrise and attends spa yoga. I say it with a lisp. “My THERAPYSHT”
It’s been two years. We’re now diving head long in to two and a half. But winter here is long and dark and I will wait until the light comes back before I make that change now. And I am ok with that. I am ok with having a little extra help in the mean time, after adjusting to the change of children. I’ll re-evaluate next spring when the day comes back.
But for now you might get more Happy Happy Joy Joy posts. But I promise to try to keep them to a minimum.
And throw in some good cock.
Because damn, that’s funny.
I know we’re all busy and yet we somehow manage to maintain this space on the Interweb. We drive to it most nights grasping for some bit of ourselves. It’s our haven.
So know that when I say I’m drowning, I’m not asking for you to save me, but maybe just to toss in some floaties.
And a beer.
I could post my todo list for you here. We could marvel at its length. We could giggle, “Wow, what a large todo list you have, Mrs. Flinger” and make 12 year old remarks.
Or we could look at some pictures of my kids at the harvest festival from this weekend.
I always say pictures of kids trump a todo list.
And maybe I’ll toss in a quote that is especially moving to me today. After looking at these photos, experiencing the weekend through their eyes, and realizing I am just but one person, I want to leave myself with this small reminder:
“This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.” -Anne Lamott
Who is inspiring you today?
My son is a pancake freak. Periodically at night he’ll ask, “MORE PANCAKES.” And by periodically, I mean every so often at 2Am. It’s like he’s having a sloppy pancake dream.
I use a recipe from my favorite cookbook, “Eating For Life” by Bill Phillips. I literally have this book tagged in fifty pages of recipes we use often.
Here’s our pancake breakfast that keeps me from feeling too bad about indulging his passion.
1 cup Uncooked Whole-grain Oats (non-instant)
6 Egg Whites (We use egg substitute which comes out to 3/4 cup)
1 cup fat free Cottage Cheese*
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 packets sugar substitute
1/2 cup sugar-free syrup
1. Coat griddle in non-stick spray and turn on to medium heat.
2. In blender, combine Oats, Egg Whites, Cottage Cheese, Vanilla, Cinnamon, and sugar substitue until smooth. About 1 min.
3. Pour batter, about 1/4 cup at a time, onto hot skillet. When bubbles form on one side, flip.
4. Top with syrup and berries (optional)
*Today we only had a half cup of cottage cheese so we substituted one whole non-ripe banana and it came out deliciously. Banana Pancakes with protein. Kid Approved.
It took a long time for my brain to switch to work mode. I was so used to carrying around diapers and fourteen days worth of crackers that I often walked in to client meetings and sighed as I shoved aside four diapers, wipes, three fruit leathers and a nondescript item from what appears to be of a “gummy” family. Or once was.
I can’t tell you when it happened that I actually stopped carting around my child’s extra pair of panties in my purse, but I did. I started feeling like a woman again, not just the mom of two young children. At some point, I started leaving for work with just my laptop and a yogurt. I mean, how sensible is that?
Apparently, it’s just SO sensible that I forgot my child still craps himself. Frequently.
Talk about sensible.
So what I’m about to share with you is my sensible, and very tactful way, of dealing with a ... um.. “shitty” situation for lack of a better term. (Or the want to use one.)
I met with a fellow company about some plans and was forced to bring the two kiddos with me. I mean, hey! What’s a work meeting without yelling at your children in the play area? Who ISN’T professional without “pink milk” dribbling down one’s arm and a nearly-five year old yelling, “I HAVE TO PEE MOMMY!”
After a while, saying good-bye, I realized my son smelled of poo. It’s not something you usually bring up with clients/co-workers, etc, or people without children at all for that matter, about the consistency and smell of poo. Fellow Moms have no qualms saying, “Oh, yea, his turds nearly fall out of his pant-leg if he has too much cheese.”
For some reason, that topic just doesn’t seem to .. cut it? In this environment. (No, I won’t stop the puns, damnit! I WILL NOT RELINQUISH THE PUNS.)
I dragged the children to the restroom and discovered sensible, classy-dressed me, only had my small black purse, cell phone, wallet, and one solitary cracker. No wipes. No diaper. Nothing.
So I improvised.
I took off the poopy diaper, gagged, and shook the turd out in to the toilet. “What are you doing, Mommy?!” my son asks. “I’m putting the poopoo where it belongs” because THIS IS A TEACHABLE MOMENT PEOPLE. BY GOD I LEARNED SOMETHING FROM DOCTOR PHIL.
Next I sat him down on the potty and wrapped a length of toilet paper in to folds. Over and over I folded the toilet paper until it could cover the soiled area on the diaper. “What are you doing, Mommy?” he asks. “I am making this clean so you can wear it again, Buddy. I have no new diaper.”
“NOOooOOOOOO IT IS YUCKY!”
This is the first time my two year old ever made any sort of logical sentence in his life.
“Yes, it’s yucky. Now, let’s try to go poopoo in the potty, ok? NO NO STOP TOUCHING THE TOILET WATER.”
I slapped the diaper back on him, all to his disgust, and washed (twelve and a half times) their hands and mine.
We left looking sensible. Clean. And nobody would ever have known except for the strand of toilet paper coming out of my son’s tush.
Welcom, kiddo, to my world.
Sensible. Isn’t it, though?
13 guests here now.