Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Stories

Story 1
I have a new student that has major behavior issues probably caused by his cerebral palsy. He goes off often and will tell me, "I'm gonna keeel you." He has a slight speech impediment.

So today he is laying on the ground after destroying my room and yelling and threatening and etc, etc and he's talking to himself.

I heard him say, "Run away, Mommy, I'm gonna kill you." If you don't have chills, let me further explain that this is a 30 or 40 pound first grader with a speech impediment.


Story 2
I have another student, also a first grader, than has a very low IQ. Low enough that he is moderately mentally retarded and functions on about a 3 year old level.

We were sitting at the back table doing his reading lesson. I noticed he kept looking at me. Finally he leaned in close and said, "You have boobies."

"Uh, yeah," I answered, cause actually yeah I do.

He smiled. "So does my Mommy."

Good to know.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Any thoughts, ideas, solutions???

I have something weird happening with some of the food in my fridge. It started with my pasta. Every Sunday I make up 6 days worth of pasta, pasta sauce and fake meat (Morningstar crumbles).Well on the fifth day of eating this batch it tasted bad. Really bad. Like vinegar or alcohol or something. I even had my Dad smell it. He thought it smelled weird but not like it had gone bad. But the taste/smell was so overwhelming I couldn’t eat it.

Then yesterday Maggie finished her first bowl of food and still seemed hungry so I went and made her another bowl of food.

Because it might be important, Maggie eats a kind of puree I make for her. This time it was apples, pears, zucchini, sweet potato, and bananas blended with yogurt and I add cereal to it as she eats it.

Anyway so the second bowl had the exact same smell as my pasta.

My Mom thinks maybe something fermented or there could be a fungus but how could that happen in 2 separate sealed containers? Could it be something else in my fridge? A weird coincidence?

Also so far my pasta this week has been fine. And not all of Maya’s food had that taste. Some of the food is still normal and some isn’t.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Oops. . .

When I got pregnant R and I had been dating for about 2 months.          But that’s misleading because we’ve known each other and had wanted to date for about 5 or 6 years.     Either way we were not married, engaged or planning on being married or engaged. For some people this was a problem.

Because I have raised hell during most of my double-digit years I think some (or maybe all) of my family looked at my pregnancy as one more f**k up in a long line. Of course I think, accident or not, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

What’s funny (in an ironic sort of way) is that I often forget that some people are embarrassed by the fact that I am not married to, but with, the father of my child. My grandmother told no one that I was pregnant and yelled at my sister-in-law when she spilled the beans (silly her thinking she was sharing good news). But my grandmother told me she didn’t tell anyone because it was my news to tell and she didn’t want to spoil it for me. Uh huh.

This kind of thinking has led to some really funny moments. Made all the funnier by the fact that I usually don’t pick up on the funniness until later.

Story 1. Every year my grandmother’s (the one who didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant)side of the family has a big 4th of July party/family reunion. In 2008 I was 7 months pregnant.

So we’re at the party and my cousin is talking about his work. I’m not sure of a job title but basically he works with a church doing missionary-type work. He works a lot with teen mothers. So he’s talking about this and I can tell he keeps looking at me but I’m not sure why. Then he keeps saying teen mothers (vs. the more common “unwed” mothers). Finally it dawns on me that he’s trying not to offend me because I AM an unwed mother.

Story 2. I’m back at work after Maggie was born and I’m chatting with a co-worker. She makes a comment about her 21 year old niece having a baby (her tone made it clear that was a bad thing). Then says, “Well I had a baby when I was 21. . . but I was married.” I saw it in her face immediately. She was embarrassed. But I had no clue why. Again it took awhile to realize that she thought she had offended me because I am (all together now!) an unwed mother.

The thing is: I don’t care. R and I aren’t married but I don’t feel any shame about it. I mean I don’t think anyone thought at 25 I was a virgin. If they did and I burst that bubble in a big way, sorry about it. Is it ideal? Would it have been better to have gotten married and gotten ready and decided to have a baby? Maybe.

It’s kinda nice to have skipped past all that fretting and trying and counting days and checking temperatures. I honestly think that would drive me crazy. And with R's commitment issues we may never get married.

So instead of all that mess, I have a boyfriend that I’m pretty happy with AND a daughter that I adore more than life itself. Win-win.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Staycation 2009

R and I had a staycation. At the end of last year I got an offer to stay at a big fancy local hotel at a discounted rate because I’m a special education teacher. R and I had agreed we would do it but we weren’t sure when. After school started back and I checked and saw that we only had about 2 weeks before it expired. So we jumped on it.
We went on a Saturday and before we left we were fighting all day. We finally got ready and left and as soon as we got there all was well. The hotel is huge and gorgeous. The inside has a huge glass dome ceiling and gardens so you feel like your outside. If outside were air conditioned.
We didn’t get there until about 6pm and we were having dinner by 8pm. At dinner R announced he wanted to try and stay a second night. This is what happens when you refuse to ever take a vacation. The sad part is that even with the discount the hotel was really expensive (especially since it’s way easier to eat at the super-pricey restaurants in the hotel). If we had used this money more wisely we could have been sipping mojitos in the freaking Caribbean. But, I digress.
Saturday we had dinner at a buffet. A delicious amazing buffet. So good. Unfortunately I could barely walk I was so stuffed. So we went back upstairs, watched The Hangover on Pay per view and fell asleep. Boring.
So the next day, we were determined to be less boring. We first had to go see Maggie. I have never gone more than a day without seeing her (I’m not sure I’ve ever even gone an entire day). So we drove 30-40 minutes to go visit her. I nursed her and loved on her until she needed to take a nap. My baby is so precious.
Then we checked on our pets, packed more stuff and headed back to the hotel. R wanted to go swimming. This might not seem like a big deal but let me explain. Before getting pregnant with Maggie, I was a svelte young woman that only owned bikinis (of course). Since getting pregnant and giving birth I haven’t gone swimming. At all. So all I own are bikinis. Yikes.
Oh, my Lord, it was bad. First there was the tummy. It’s still very saggy and scarred. Then the boobies. Oh the boobies. Before Maggie, I was a full B cup. Now I can barely put them in a D cup. The bikini tops were a joke. Only I was crying instead of laughing. I brought 4 or 5 bikinis and tried them all on. I first found a bottom that wasn’t too skimpy then started trying on tops. After I would show Jake each top he would say, “No you can’t wear that. Your boobs are all over the place.” After vetoing all my tops, I finally just put one on and wore a t-shirt over it. Even in the pool. How sad is that. Oh evil pregnancy/post-partum weight. Go away.
So after my pool humiliation (actually I love the pool so I had a pretty good time), I went upstairs and watched cable. R and I don’t have cable. And I know it’s something you don’t ever really miss. Until you can watch it for a while. Then I think why am I wasting time playing with Maggie when I could be watching Law and Order and Monk re-runs on TNT.
After R got back we went to dinner and got ice cream. Then we proceeded to drink lots and have much more fun than we did the first night.
My Dad brought Maggie to the hotel Monday morning. She was sitting on his trunk and he was talking to her. When they saw us she made this funny woo sound and started bouncing. So cute.
So that was our Staycation. I’m not really sure how to end this. Um, the end.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It was bound to happen

Since Maggie was born, I have been afraid that someone would think I was still pregnant. And somehow I’ve gone almost a year and it had never happened.
Until now.
At my brother-in-law’s birthday party, my Memaw (my own grandma) came up to me and asked me if I was pregnant. Oh the pain. The horror. The shame.
It wasn’t quite as humiliating as I guess it could have been. It could have been the grocery clerk with a long line behind me. It was just me and Memaw (although I promptly told Elaine and several friends). But still. . . ouch.
You would think this would have me working out like a fiend. But no. Why is it so hard to work out? My choices are to get up at 5am or to wait until Maggie goes to bed. I think both of these choices suck. Hence the not working out. Hence Memaw thinking I’m pregnant.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


R has two best friends. BF1 and BF2. We went to BF2’s wedding in June. He married a young woman that he met while I was pregnant with Maggie.

BF1 just got engaged to a woman he met after I had Maggie.

R and I aren’t engaged. R’s not even sure we’ll get married.

How long do you stay with someone who doesn’t know if you’re the one? Two years? Five? Ten?

What if he’s the father of your child?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today my baby turns one year old. One!!! How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday she was a tiny newborn. I guess that parenting cliché about kids growing up so fast is true. My baby is a toddler now, I guess.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What I hope to do better. . .

Looking back on my teen years and well into my 20s, it’s easy for me to see that I was completely unprepared for life. I really didn’t have any idea what it meant to be an adult, to make decisions. But because of a lack of parenting, I didn’t realize this at all. Pretty much the only parent I had growing up was Elaine. Most of time I listened to her. But after a while even that fell away and I only listened to me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I had parents. I had 4 parents. But none of them parented in the nitty gritty, down and dirty way. My Dad would never touch major subjects of any kind. Hell, after he married when I was 12, he didn’t do much parenting at all. And as for our stepmom, she had never had any children and to suddenly be raising a 13 and 12 year old, well, you can imagine. So there wasn’t much help there.

My Mom was my friend. When I was young I called my Mom every day. I considered her my best friend. I thought I was the luckiest kid ever. But my memories of being around my Mom are chatting and giggling and shopping and eating and watching movies. There was never any direction or re-direction or discipline.

And of course, my stepdad stayed out of it all.

As an aside, I want to clarify that I’m not putting down or judging my parents. I’m very much of the school of thought that everyone is doing the best they can and that includes my parents. I know they loved me and believe me none of them came from great functional homes where they might have learned this stuff.

Because of the lack of parenting, I really felt like I was on my own for a long time before I was. Elaine and I did whatever we wanted. If it was necessary to lie, we lied. We drank, did drugs, spent the night out partying (while our Dad and stepmom thought we were at a friend’s house), threw house parties when they took summer vacations for a week or so and left us at the house. In other words, we were bad.

Elaine, of course, moved out first. I stayed at home and continued to do whatever I wanted. When I graduated Elaine and I decided to get our own place in another town to go to school.

A (I was going to write ‘the’ but there were so many problems who could pick one main one?) big problem I had was that I believed that because I had done whatever I wanted for so long with no discernible parenting, I felt completely prepared for life. And being a teen, I thought I knew it all and listened to no one.

The main change between living at home and moving out was that I was free to drink more. And that was very helpful. To this day I might still be a virgin, if weren’t for alcohol. An example, I didn’t kiss a boy until I was 16. 16?!? I had sex for the first time at 18 after drinking a quart of vodka. Alcohol truly was my social lubrication. I’m socially awkward and have trouble interacting with people and making friends. But alcohol made that a thing of the past. Hooray for booze!

The ironic thing about all this is that I was quite vocal about everything I was doing. I wanted every to know how much “fun” I was having. The drinking, the drugs, the partying, the going-to-work-hungover-or still-drunk, the guys that I casually tossed aside (because I was cute and flirty, a real heart-breaker, not at all a dysfunctional, terrified, can’t-date-anyone-that-might-be-good-for-me, love-guys-that-treat-me-like-crap kind of girl. Uh,uh. Not me.) But why?

Looking back I’m sure some part of me wanted to change, wanted help, wanted to understand why I was my own worst enemy. Or even to realize that. I was so dysfunctional in who I picked to be in my life and how I treated them, that when they reacted badly (which is normal), I could play the victim. But as I look back and sort of trace back, I know there were things I should have been taught as a kid that I wasn’t.

Like about sex. I knew the basics from my Mom and my Dad’s girlfriend’s 12 year old daughter but no one ever talked about the emotional aspects of sex. About self respect and honoring your body and your wants and that it’s ok to say no. Since before I even got pregnant with Maggie I’ve been practicing all the things about sex and self respect and love and dating that I want to teach her.

But mostly I want Maggie to always feel loved and valued and adored so that she never feels like she has to go out into the world and find that. I want us to provide a foundation for her of love and support so that she doesn’t desperately need love and attention from others. I want her to stand on her own as a happy and content and loved person who can then share that with someone she chooses.

Can I teach her that?

God, I hope so.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dear Hairy-Backed Neighbor Guy,

I realize that at 6:45 am most people are either not awake or haven’t yet left their homes. But I have. And the old lady who goes on walks wearing a visor despite the fact that the sun hasn’t risen, she’s up too.

So why then you think it’s acceptable to walk around in your front yard shirtless? I will admit that it took me a minute to realize you were shirtless, seeing how your back is grotesquely hairy. (have you ever heard of manscaping? seriously, waxing, shaving, laser. just look into it.)

No one (especially me) wants to see that first thing in the morning (well, really ever but definitely not first thing in the freaking morning). I mean come on. I see that you are smoking and I’m guessing your wife makes you smoke outside. I get that. But if you aren’t going to wear a shirt, you need to take that shit to the backyard.

Your neighbor (who hopes to never to see you shirtless again),