Thursday, August 21, 2014

Poor Puppy

I've never been a dog person. Meaning, I think they should be treated humanely, and I think pets should have loving homes, but I don't feel like that home is with me. 

About two weeks ago, my in-laws dropped their dog off at our house so they could enjoy their Alaskan cruise. They told me beforehand that the dog had a heart condition and might not make it. I wrote it off. And joked about it. 

And then the dog died last night. The night before he was supposed to go home. 

And I have no idea how to process this. If it hadn't happened at my house, I honestly don't think the dog's death would have much of an impact on me. And I realize there is nothing we did to cause it. The dog died peacefully in his sleep after having a treat before bed. But I feel guilty. And bad. 

The dog's owners have been notified and his remains are buried. And I guess I move on? I found a way to explain the Circle of Life to Hailey (I think). And I keep on keepin' on. 

RIP, Oskar. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Things I Don't Know How to Process

Today Hailey asked for the iPad. By name, as in "I want iPad." It's her first technology ask (besides DragonTales, which I suppose counts). 

Is it bad that she wants to play with the screen? It's far from the first time she's asked for a toy - baby, blankie, tea, animal, ball, etc. And while she has liked playing with the iPad for a long time, it's now apparently part of her routine. 

I think it's OK. She plays with plenty of technology and non-technology toys. She sits sometimes and runs sometimes. And when it's not -50 she's perfectly content outside. So while I am definitely raising a 21st century daughter, I think she'll be OK. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

That's Not How We Behave

Now that Hailey's at an age where she occasionally needs to be punished, there's a whole new series of decisions to make. What deserves a punishment? Is there a warning? What is the actual punishment? Why are toddler punishments such a pain for the parents? And the list goes on. 

Some decisions aren't too tough. Time-outs, one minute or slightly more, one warning, boring consistency. 

But as she ages, and even now, these decisions will be harder. Nick and I recently had a discussion about teenage drinking, and we didn't immediately agree (we aren't that far off, and we have some time to decide so it's hardly code red). Grandparents and the general public have opinions they are all happy to share. 

And the consistency. Ugh. It's so easy to let things slide. Or to bend the rules occasionally. Or to make rules on the spot. Some of this will happen and some of it's OK. But it never makes it easier. 

And now I am overthinking. My parenting style usually involves overthinking. It will all work out. There's no perfect way to parent, but there are lots of pretty good ways. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Yesterday my birthday. I know I was born in 1980, so with some simple math I can deduce that I'm 33. Yes, I am now officially at the age when I have to think about how old I am. When I was a kid I thought that was so pathetic. Wow, how things have changed.

The other day I realized that I feel like a real grown-up almost all the time. Yikes. Does that mean I'm more mature? Not likely. Maybe. But probably no. Really it probably boils down to being busier and more efficient in decision making. And realizing that my decisions have repercussions for me and for others.

There are still so many things I want to do. Ideally I would drop to a four-day workweek (I should probably ask about that, but I'm not ready to take a potential pay cut just yet). I want to have another kid. I want to go on vacation with Nick this winter. I want to see my friends more and make more local friends. Short-term goals, mostly, and all things that are doable.

Long-term? I'm not sure what I want. I've honestly never pictured my life past this point. At some point I'd like to retire. Be debt-free. Maybe write, but probably not. Enjoy Hailey and her potential siblings at all phases of their lives. I'm getting better about living intentionally, but there's still so much time wasted.

Lately, I've stopped being so emotional about everything that happens to me - the tears are still there, but first I make the decisions and do whatever needs to be done. I bawled at the news I was being laid off, but I was fully together when Nick fell. And both situations ultimately turned out fine. Like most do.

Anyway, another year. Maybe 34 is the magic age when I finally have all my shit together. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Books: Beautiful Ruin

Beautiful Ruins
Jess Walter

I was really excited to read this book (I think based on a review in Entertainment Weekly), and it didn't disappoint. It's frankly the best book I've read in awhile - and I found myself telling people about it a lot.

Which was somewhat complicated, because the plot is complex. Beautiful Ruins centers around the meeting of actress Dee Moray and Pasquale, an Italian innkeeper. From this meeting, there are many ripples of aftermath, which are all covered in the book. The character list is sprawling, and there are many jumps forward and back in time. But what separates this book from other gimmick-y books with time jumps and several generations is that everything wraps up with a consistent plot that makes sense and isn't predictable.

Did I like it? Yes. Very much. Read this book.

Did it pass the Bechdel test? Sadly, no. There are a number of named female characters, but they don't interact outside of men.

PS: I have read other books. I'm recommitting myself to blogging consistently. Which will involve books, among other things.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If I Had One Wish

Friends, the death of Cory Monteith is really affecting me more than it should. Why? Sadly, plenty of celebrities have died before their time due to addiction. Plenty more will. So I have a few theories as to why this one is impacting me so much.

1. Cory was younger than I am (by like a year, but still). I'm apparently at the age where "gone too soon" means someone close to my age.
2. I'm a total Gleek. So this time it's someone I was a fan of who was at the height of their fame.
3. I'm a mom now. Just one more thing to worry about.

It's probably a combination of all these things. Maybe it's something else, I don't know. Obviously this is not someone I know, but it still hurts.

I've never been an addict myself (social drinker, but I can and have function fine with weeks or even months between drinks, and I am aware of my limits when I do imbibe), so I can't speak to the feeling. But I have some powers of observation, so I realize that the addict may be a swell person but the drugs are not swell and completely take over. They take away all sense of reason or awareness and control. They may leave the person alone for awhile, but they're always nagging.

If I had one wish for Hailey, it would be that she never start with addictive substances. Unfortunately, I'm not the only mom who wishes this, and it's clearly not a case of wishing making it so. And I don't think it's due to parenting or willpower or anything else I can make happen. And while there's not necessarily a causal impact here, you don't have to travel very far back in her bloodline to find some pretty gnarly mental health/substance abuse issues (for the sake of protecting privacy, let's just say it spans her parents' generation, her grandparents' generation and her great-grandparents' generation, and it's pretty widespread).

Of all the things to protect your kids from, this may be the hardest. And the most important.

And if you're someone who needs help, please reach out. If you're not sure if you need help, talk to someone. We're all pulling for you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LMG: Saturday Night

What did you do last Saturday night? Chances are, it was either go out and have a good time, or go to bed early. Well, as my latest lazy mom's guide, I am here to make a new recommendation: go grocery shopping.

For me, Saturday night shopping started as somewhat of a necessity. Since Nick's injury, he can't be alone with Hailey (unable to bend or lift, so not much good if she does anything tots do). One weekend, I was looking for a chance to go buy groceries. I had some other errands to run Sunday, and I knew that one more long-ish stop was going to be unpleasant for both of us. Bad weather was predicted. It was about 9:00 Saturday night, and I realized nothing was stopping me from going to the 24-hour supermarket.

So I got in the car and went. No diaper bag, no putting baby in and out of the car seat. She was safely in bed, so a hubby playing with the iPad at home was plenty of supervision (if there was a fire or something, he would be able to save her ... and he was as available as he would be if we were both home sleeping). No crowds at the store (even in the cereal aisle!). Light traffic (not often a problem for me, but it was lighter than usual). And when I got home, I was able to put away the groceries in peace without keeping baby out of the fridge or listening to her whine. Perfect. Repeated, and a new routine.

Also, the DQ between my house and the supermarket is open late. Perfect for a mommy treat ... it is, after all, the weekend.