Ex Haus Ted

Today was my visitation day with the kids. We managed to steer them away from spending lots of money at the mall or movies, and took them to a park to run crazy. Well, they ran crazy with Southern Hottie and I sat in the truck with all the windows down feeding Little Man. I’m sure they had a great time.

It’s time to shave my legs. I have one leg up under my desk with my knee just barely touching, and at first I thought my knee was going through cobwebs, but it’s actually my knee hair brushing against the back of the desk.

I just got wind of a site that buys books and pays for the shipping. I’m going to try it out and see if it’s any good. I have a bunch of books to get rid of, and I’d rather sell them for a couple bucks than lug them over to the new apartment. That’s right, NEW APARTMENT. We got a place in the same complex a couple buildings over, and it’s ALL ours. It’s been a while since Southern Hottie and I lived without roommates. Mostly I’m excited because I’ll be able to walk around naked if I want to. Ahh freedom.


A Small Rantle on Breastfeeding

I originally posted this in response to BabyShrink‘s “The Good Enough Mother : Are Breasts Required?” post, and realized I had said a lot more than I meant to and didn’t realize just how much until I’d posted the comment.  Comment? It was like a book! So I stole it back, and here it is.

Breastfeeding is such a hot topic, and I feel like I’ve gone through every facet of it. When my first was born, she was a month early, I was only 21 and had just moved to a new city due to the military. I didn’t know anyone and had no family in the area, so when my daughter was born I was completely overwhelmed. I wanted to breastfeed so badly, but I just couldn’t. I had no idea what I was doing, the hospital had me roomed with another person and they had people coming in and out all day, and she was so tiny it was like she couldn’t eat even if she wanted to. The nurses never asked me if I wanted to breastfeed, they just started her off on bottles right away. The pain of engorgement was something I just suffered through, because no one thought to ask me about pumping, and being an ignorant young lass, I had NO idea about it! My daugher is 10 now, but she’s very petite and willowy, and even though she’s a healthy growing girl, I can’t help but wonder if she’d be more robust if I’d breast fed her, and I still feel guilty about it.

When my second came along, I was bound and determined to breastfeed. I learned from my previous ignorance and had plenty of maternity leave and a pump all lined up. I was still in the military so I was able to be out of work without the stress of worrying about money. I found I was only able to breastfeed my son while laying down. My breasts are large but they’re so soft, they just smooshed over his face if I tried any other way, and he couldn’t breath. But I managed to do it! I was so proud of myself, I finally got it right, and I was even pumping extra for when I would go back to work. Disaster struck, literally, on 9/11/01. I was recalled from maternity leave after a month and a half with a son who WAS NOT WEANED TO A BOTTLE. He hated it, didn’t want it, cried whenever I tried to give him one. I was forced to take him to work with me a couple of days (for 12 hours overnight when I was the only one at the office) at the very beginning, and actually got in trouble, BIG trouble because of this. Trouble so big it made me only want to get out of the military and never look back. Needless to say, the stress of everything made me lose my milk, and my now 6-year-old son was formula fed from then on. I also got out of the military 6 months later.

Enter me at 31. Older, wiser, and much less meek, and my second son was born on January 2. I quit my job on Valentine’s (and hadn’t worked since October so they didn’t miss me anyway) to become a full-time mom. I feed on demand and co-sleep with my son, and I’ve never been happier. I still need to feed mainly from the side position, though I’ve managed to have him on my lap a handful of times. I did have to supplement a bit at the beginning before my supply got regular, but the days of formula in bottles are long behind us. My fridge is full of frozen milk I never needed, but can’t bear to throw away just yet. Just in case, I tell myself.

Catastrophic Failure

Last night as I was in the middle of working on something, my program suddenly locked up with a “corrupted file” error, and my external hard drive started making clunking noises. Anyone who is at all familiar with computers knows this is not a good thing. I turned it off and added a “MyBook” to my list of things I’d love to get ASAP. I’m hoping it’ll last long enough for me to get the substantial quantity of files off of it.

By substantial I mean about 200 GB worth. Including rips of every single CD I own, and some very old DOS programs that I have kept since I owned a 286 running Windows 3.1. Needless to say, I want to rescue this stuff if at all possible. If I can’t, well… I’ll cry that river when I get to it. The first thing I’m going to do is burn all my crap onto DVDs for backup.

I said that the last time I had a hard drive failure too. Where are my backups?

It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve done more writing on here in the past couple of weeks than I have in quite a few months. With a little luck, I’ll be able to siphon some of the writing juice over to the creative pond, which currently has a few dying fish flopping around in it, and is mostly mud.

There’s another thing I need to mention on here, about surveys online. You know how it is. “Make money at home filling out surveys!” For the most part they’re crap. Spend money to make money? Yeah right. However, I just found a very valuable site in my survey battle. A real live person doing real reviews of real survey sites, both good and bad. I love it, and I’m so glad I found it. I’ve already kept myself from filling out some ‘join now!’ forms because of what I’ve read on here. And even better, her (yes, I said HER, how cool is that!) name is the same as the Southern Guy’s. I’d promote it anyway, but she’s having a little contest that I’d like to win, so here it is. I’ve already subscribed on my Google Reader.

The thing about doing surveys is that you have to do a lot of them (and I mean a LOT – I do 10-15 a DAY) to get anything for it, and even then it’s just a few bucks here and there. Mad money for me, really. But it’s something to do and I occassionally get to try food samples and whatnot so it’s fun. When I was doing it years ago I was actually one of the people who tested out those Campbell’s Supper Bakes before they went on the market. You’ve seen those, right? Yeah, I helped with that 😀

A Tiny Fish in a Great Big Blog Ocean

Now that I’ve decided to improve myself, I started looking for other interesting blogs to read and get inspiration from. The problem is, they’re all wonderfully better than me. I’m inspired by everything I see so far. Even this one. Honey, are you reading? You should try this instead of dumping everything on deviantArt.

The truth is, there are a lot of talented folks out there happily blogging away their daily lives in a kind of euphoric rapture. They even make the bad stuff sound good. Me, I just want to ramble about how I had to fight off mastitis in my right breast by nursing constantly even though it was incredibly painful and have people enjoy it. My pain is your humor. Admit it.

In a way, I’m glad that I’m just a tiny fish. I’m blogging for myself, and I don’t feel any pressure to produce spectuacular words of wisdom delivered with just the right amount of sass to the masses. I think the number of people who read this blog is one. Two if my mom remembers. Three if I prod my Southern Boy and ask him if he’s read my blog lately.

I consider these first, stumbling posts to be practice. Practice for when I actually feel the urge to put an ad on my site, or better yet, buy an actual web address. I’ve already spotted some things I’d like to steal from other blogs, including my OWN theme, rather than borrowing a wordpress default, however lovely it is.

I should mention that I have another type of blog. Now everyone can see how artistic I try to be, and how artistic I’m actually not. I am rather proud of a couple of these, but for the most part, I view them as practice. There are some truly talented artists over there, and I love to look through their work.

That’s me in a nutshell. Aspiring writer. Aspriring artist. Aspriring business owner. Aspriring make-enough-money-at-home-to-stay-home mom. I’ve some more to post, but for now I’m going to let this one fly into the wilds of the intarwebz.

Notes to myself : The snake, the penis mushroom, the sunburn, the art festival, the county fair, the move. I’ve got big plans, oh yes indeedy.


Lactose-free and Loving It!

I switched over to lactose-free milk today in an effort to stave off the horrible things that regular milk does to me. So far so good.

I have determined, over the past few days, that I need to post on this blog as soon as I get up or shortly thereafter, or else I’ll never get around to it. Things just have a way of interrupting my train of thought. Diapers, cooking, cleaning, all that good stuff. Pretty soon I’ll be adding a work-at-home job to that list as well, which I am very excited about.

The DH and I saw my other two kids on Sunday, which was fun. Got a kid that likes shopping? Turn them loose in a dollar store. They get to go crazy and you don’t have to worry about your wallet. Hopefully they’ll get to spend the night with us soon, for the first time.

My brain is a bit fried right now, which should be obvious due to my lack of witticisms and interesting material. Oh well, such is life. Poop and spit-up isn’t funny every day, just most days.

What’s that sme— Oh.

Yesterday was an interesting day, inasmuch as one of my days can be interesting. For one thing, my phrase of the day was “Have you pooped yet? No?” My son is usually very regular, and for the past month or so has done all his pooping at around 1pm every day. For the past two days, he decided to hold it in, for whatever reason. So I was often checking his diaper to see if he’d done the deed yet.

It wasn’t until about 11 pm at night, after fighting with him to get him to go to bed, that he decided to finally let loose. The problem is, I didn’t notice right away. I had him sitting on my lap facing to the right, to burp him, which he did quite happily. Then I noticed I could smell that very distinctive breast-fed-baby-poo smell. But when I leaned forward and tugged the leg of the diaper, there wasn’t anything to be seen!

“Hmm…” I thought to myself. Then I realized that one of my hands was wet. THEN I realized that the poo had shot up the back of his diaper, coating the back of his shirt AND my lap.

Thank goodness I was wearing pants.

I managed to shuffle him over to the changing table without any collateral damage, and got both of us cleaned up. Needless to say there is a load of laundry in the wash right now, and Spray-n-Wash with Resolve is excellent for poop.

 I didn’t get much done yesterday, though I did manage to pack a couple more boxes up. There’s about a month to go and still at lot of stuff to go through and get rid of or pack. I’m nervous about moving but at the same time I can’t wait to get out of here.

I just got finished visiting with my mom. She’s a wonderful lady with an amazing green thumb, which, unfortunately, didn’t get passed on to me. I’ve actually managed to kill cacti. We had a nice lunch and chit-chatted. She’s going to Ohio tomorrow for a while, she’s got a little condo there which is very nice. I can’t blame her for wanting to get out of Florida. This place gets worse every day.

The funniest thing about our visit today was when she leaned over the top of my head and announced I had a grey hair. My first real grey, I’m so excited. She yanked it out but there’s a few more hiding in there. I haven’t decided if I’m going to accept them, or yank them out, or color them. I don’t mind the grey, really. I’ve seen some ladies with very attractive natural silver hair, so hopefully I’ll end up being one of those.

Sleep is for the sane. Clearly, I’m not one of them.

Last night was a rough night. Not on the part of my son, who slept through the night after he finally passed out after fighting sleep for an hour, but because my insomnia kicked in and I was awake until 5am this morning. Two, perhaps three hours later, I was awoken by the cheerful axe kicking heels of my son on my thigh. At one point I thought he was going to leave bruises. As the DH (that’s dear husband, for those of you not versed in womanly messageboarding shorthand) was getting ready for work, I groggily fumbled through feeding my son and trying to keep him occupied without falling asleep again.

After the DH left, I was able to gather myself enough to put the boy on the changing table, change him, and manage to get myself some breakfast. I was so hungry I thought my stomach was going to eat itself. I should note that right now I am only 20 lbs shy of my pregnancy weight. Although I have happily not gained any, I’m not losing either. I believe I am going to keep track of things here, just so that I can’t use the “out of sight, out of mind” trick on myself.

When dealing with things that you need to change about yourself, the best way to do it, is to do it. Don’t say “On the first I will start…” or “On Monday I will start…” or “On my birthday I will start…” Nike had it right. Just do it. So I will do the same. I will make another post detailing my weight and eating habits. Sure, I could find a diet site and do the same… But then I’d have to pay for it. I’ve heard it only takes 21 days to make a habit. For the sake of my son, and my knees, I’m going to make health a habit.

Speaking of health – Morningstar Farms corn dogs taste EXACTLY THE SAME as real meat corn dogs. They are so tasty it’s hard to believe. Although I am not a vegetarian, I can certainly stand to include more veggies in my life, and this is just one very tasty way. Although, in this case, I will need to wait to change some of my eating habits simply because we can’t afford to do anything else for now. We don’t have a microwave so I have been cooking from scratch a lot more, which I love, but my pantry and fridge are not as well-stocked as I’d like. Such is life, and thank God for Top Ramen.

Back, foul tangent!

After I had breakfast, I laid down with my son again and we slept until the DH got home from his first job (the part time one), right around 2 pm. At that time I was able to say “Here, distract the boy!” while I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and did a couple loads of laundry. A quick trip to the grocery store later, and now both the DH and the DS are sleeping. I’ll need to make the DH some dinner in a couple of hours when he wakes up to go to his second job (the full-time one), but I’m not feeling very adventurous tonight so I’m making spaghetti, using whole-wheat noodles.

For right now, I have some free time on my hands. This could be spent in many ways. I could play a game on the computer, read a book, doodle, write, scrapbook, pack, or exercise. I could attempt to take a nap, but unfortunately I’m one of those people who need lots of darkness and white noise to fall asleep, both of which are hard to get at 6pm with an already occupied bed. I tried one of those sleep masks, but it was more annoying than helpful. I think what I’m going to do is assemble three boxes, my goal for packing today, and do some crunches. Then I will doodle, and then I will play a game.

Spit Bubbles and Happiness

My son is in bed, humming to himself and blowing spit bubbles. He sounds quite content, and incredibly cute. I’m trying to ignore him because it’s his bedtime, but he seems to have shifted his schedule slightly. Still, he’s not fussing, which is a good thing. Normally I would lay down with him and nurse him to bed, but he wasn’t really interested in eating.

He’s definitely interested in blowing spit bubbles, though. I wish I had something that could record audio, so I could play it back in front of his new girlfriend years later.

I co-sleep with my son. This is one of the reasons why I have a king size bed, and why I’m willing to suffer the huge amount of space it takes up in the room. It’s big enough for me, my husband, my son, and any large farm animals we may acquire later as pets. I’ve used the bassinet of the pack&play twice, but even though he does fall asleep over there, I miss that warm little body next to me. Plus he sometimes gets hungry in the night without actually waking up, and it’s much easier to just feed him without getting out of bed.

My son also sleeps on his tummy. I know, bad parent. He does prefer it to sleeping on his back-which he WILL do from time to time. I think because he’s much cozier on his tummy and sleeps more restfully. Since about 2 months, he’s started sleeping through the night, or at least for large chunks of it. As I’m usually awake until about 3 am, this lends to grogginess in the morning on my part, because for some reason, my son is a morning person.

Still, there’s nothing quite so heart-warming as slowly waking up to babble and little feet and hands pummeling my back, rolling over, and receiving a huge, gummy “Good morning!” smile from my son.

Writing this is like trying to walk a group of dogs with different leads, each pulling in a different direction. I try to keep things going in a straight line but I still wander a bit.

I’ll close with an experimental recipe that turned out well. Since my husband is the only one working, this means cheap food and making things last. The following manages to be both, and stemmed from a “reduced price for quick sale” sticker on some turkey legs. I used a crock-pot for this.

4 turkey legs
1 packet Chicken Taco seasoning
1 can ro-tel mild

Pull the skin away from the meat but do not remove. Sprinkle meat on all sides with chicken taco seasoning, pull up skin. Place two legs in a large crockpot (I think mine is 4 or 5 quarts), sprinkle with seasoning. Lay the other two legs on top, sprinkle with the rest of the seasoning. Add about 1/2 cup water, cook on low for 10-12 hours.

When the turkey is done (juice is clear, meat pulls away from bone easily), discard skin, bone and sinews and any other non-edible bits. Shred up the turkey and put back in crockpot with juices. Mix in one or two cans ro-tel. I used my hands for all the shredding and mixing just because it’s easier to feel bits of bone that might have been left behind. Leave everything in the pot to cool for storage, or else serve some up immediately by putting some on a tortilla with salsa and cheese.

Another way to serve it, which is what I did, is to put about 3/4 cup of the mix (I guesstimated) into a small non-stick frying pan. Use non-stick spray if needed. Heat thoroughly. While it’s heating, beat 2 eggs. The turkey in the pan should be quite juicy, pour the juices into the eggs and mix. Pour the eggs into the pan and let cook for a few minutes. When it starts setting, you can either attempt to turn the whole thing over to cook the top, or pick it up and let the uncooked egg go underneath, or turn it in chunks almost like a scramble. Regardless, make sure the egg is cooked thoroughly. Turn it onto a plate (or a tortilla for a breakfast burrito), and top with cheese and salsa.

I have no idea about nutritional content or anything, so don’t ask! It just tastes good.

It’s Just Like Cottage Cheese

As I sat here, deliberating the need for yet another blog on the net, my wriggly, energetic 3-month-old spit up on me for the second time today. The first time was akin to Niagara Falls and necessitated changing my pants, while this one was a mere smattering of curds on my shoulder. As I hastily carried him away from the computeris vitalis, I thought “Surely -someone- would find my daily life amusing, or at least intersting enough to read it. Besides, you should write more anyway.”

Now my son lays happily on the changing table portion of a pack&play, kicking the metal bar at his feet with all his might. Yes, I am a bad parent. I leave my son unattended on a changing pad. Granted, said pad is all of 12 feet away from me, in a room taken up mostly by a king size Sleep Number bed. The room is also occupied by two cheap computer desks side by side (mine is closer to the window), three bookshelves, boxes in various states of being packed, and piles of clothes to be dealt with, both clean and dirty.

The sanity of my decision to become a Stay-At-Home Mother is frequently assessed. I admit I am going somewhat stir-crazy. I -enjoyed- working, however the thought of being away from my child for more than a couple hours brought on some serious panic attacks, not to mention the fact that I’m breastfeeding and didn’t want to deal with all the hullabaloo about expressing milk at work. I was a security officer, so I’m sure my situation would have been a little different than the lucky office workers who do the same.

But I digress. Let this post serve to introduce the world to my strange ramblings, occassional recipes, and utter domesticity of my life. And on that note, I need to gather up the dishes on my desk and start the dishwasher. My son is happily chattering with his mobile that I have managed to fasten to the side of his pack&play -probably violating several safety rules by doing so- and I’m quite sure he’s telling his lion friend that the next time he spits up on me, it’ll be indistinguishable from cottage cheese.