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Let's not mince words [momland]

I listened to the recent This American Life called "Birds and Bees" which discussed making babies, racism, and death. What adults say to kids, what kids say to each other. All these things are things I need to deal with at some point, and given the adventerous nature of my progeny, the death one is a theme for this week.
About why I am so angry and afraid when he runs that close to the road. Since apparently "Because I said so" is never ever going to be a good enough answer.
Tonight's: why we don't put plastic bags on our heads, ever. And what is breathing and why is that important.

My 3 year old answer to what is death-
your body stops working and then you're gone and you never come back because you are dead. I'm not gussying it up. Not "pass on" or "pass away." I've never been fond of those euphamisms. Ech.

It's awful. But also?? How about we not put plastic bags on our heads and not run headlong at traffic?!

On the plus side, I'm trying to be more mindful about being way more present and playing with him. He's getting great at playing Spot It. Our Calvinball version of it at least. And he's learning about the concept of Time Out in the sense of "done with that/too much" aka, kid safe-word.


I am a problem-solving monkey

BOOYAH. The classic mom workout routine: totally working today. That being the regular lifting of 30+ of wiggly preschooler.

I was 2.5 hours later coming into Alewife than I normally am, and with the usual trailer + bike rig. Except c'mon. No way no how an awkward set up like that will find space in one of the most popular bike commuting destinations in the area.  I took the trailer off, and stowed that along the perimeter of the cage. The bike had to get put on the top tier, a thing I'd not ever considered given my height limitations. But by gum, I got that sucker not just up but back down with zero assitance.

Score one for inventive chick who refused to be flapped by a middling but unrelenting challenge!!

Not sustainable

I’ve been giving a LOT of money away lately. At least by my standards. Of course there are more opportunities and need for me to participate further. A list of stuff I've already given money to in the last 1 week to six months:

  • floating friend's visit to Boston (not all covered by my own fundraiser for this purpose)

  • friends with cancer

  • random strangers/kids with cancer who are friends of friends

  • friends in the hospital

  • Syrian refugees

  • Ongoing (small) monthly donations to Planned Parenthood and some Patreon stuff for favorite Youtubers.

Things I have been thinking about that could use more help:

  • Friends whose house burned down

  • Nerdfighter efforts for Syrian kids

  • friend of friend whose currently homeless.

Nope, can’t do it. Can’t give anymore right now. I think I need to start planning X amount a month and just have a list. If something comes in after I've spent that month's allotment, it goes on the list. Chances are better than zero I can wait 3 weeks or so to give to something.

I need to remember at least I can give. I've worked very hard to minimize my outstanding debt. I can give some. I just need to not let my impulses return me to a ridiculously indebted state. ::mutter mutter bleeding heart libreral mutter mutter::

Dealing with 3: tales from parenting-land.

[I acknowledge here, I am reinventing the wheel-- I’m mostly writing this for my own remembering later]

When they say 3 is hard, I don’t think you can quite comprehend that on a bone-deep level until you find yourself arguing with your mini-me over the most ridiculous shit. The thing I’ve come to learn is for every “no” I say, he will always be able to come back one more time. The energizer bunny of argument (This isn’t an argument, this is abuse!... oh lord, so true)

I"m going to ramble for a while about parenting now.Collapse )Please let my new leaf stay turned. I hated Sunday.
I do not get to keep my vacation days. If I have any by Dec. 31, they evaporate. So, this means I need to take random days off (I know, we weep for humanity)
Thanks to not being rushed, the morning routine didn't feel like a race. I got to talk to D's teacher for more than 30 seconds. He's been going to play group, which allows the school district to observe him over a longer period of time than one random instance. There's some frustration for his teachers because my child doesn't like to stay focused. Again, please contain your surprise. The teachers are hoping that the school system professionals could provide some extra tips/tools to meet this goal. At this point I am feeling like "He's 3. What do you want?"  After a few months of the playgroup, I haven't been convinced that it's making any difference whatsoever. Eh? Anyway. Nice to talk to the teachers and confirm the "let's figure it out one way or another" sentiment.

One of my favorite mom friends was dropping off her kid as I was leaving, so we ended up having a walk, coffee, and a chat for an hour or so. That was awesome. I was hoping that would work out, and there you go.

The big goal for today was to go see Avengers Age of Ultron. Which I did! I decided that if it was going to be a nice day (and it is!), that I'd figure a bike route. Which I did. I even found a path along the Mystic River for a bit. I'd not been in the Arsenal Sq area since it got its facelift. So, I left early so I could wander. The movie was worth seeing, but I'm not a huge fan of movies based on the premise "and now we destroy all things." There were some definite good moments. I'm definitely on team Romanov and Barton, so having their storylines feature moreso than not: win.

It's now 3:30 and I have another hour and a half before my kid comes home. Luxury.


PSA + Vaguebooking

It's spring.
I'm restless.

I'm sure nothing at all bad will transpire given that.

ETA: seriously. It feels like my blood is screaming.

Birthday Weekend

Amy arrived on Thursday night. We spent a lot of time squeeing at each other because she's here, she's really here!! My bestest friend that I've had since before I could talk is finally visiting me after a whole child's (hers) lifetime. 19 years as adults and her first visit to me since I moved away. Epic fun to be had...!

Which was somewhat sidelined by a visit to the ENT for me after I'd been having some not-small issues breathing well at night.
I thought I was going in for a 20 min visit, which would then get a follow-up where STUFF happened.
And what happened at the ENT and thereafter. May be some TMI.Collapse )
The rest of the day was a bit distracted with my post-doctor visit self and perpetually asking "do you smell that, too, or is that just me?"- but Amy and I had a lot of fun. We headed out to Back Bay. We visited the Church of the Covenant, spontaneously. It's a gorgeous gothic style cathedral (half-sized, so perfect for Back Bay) with Tiffany windows. I strongly recommend taking a real tour (they're on Newbury St. near the Garden) or at least a virtual one.  The initial goal of Newbury besides to show the neighborhood was because I wanted to go to Warby Parker and pick out sunglasses. Which I did:
I won't have them for a few weeks but at least I can be assured they're the right ones.
Thai food for lunch across from the BPL and a spontaneous visit to lifecollage, who gave us a spontaneous tour of the library. I had not visited the revamped space. The teen room: amazing. The kid room: even more amazing. I have to chisel out some free time when the library's open to take the kid.
Our final Friday destination was to Central Sq. Back home for dinner with the fam + asciikitty's bff, P.

Saturday was pretty laid back. Amy and the kid hung out. Groceries were got. Cupcakes were eaten. Dinner at Olivios with these crazy kids:
This morning Amy the kid and I did a quick tour of Porter and an extra abridged visit to Harvard. I feel like Lush should give me some sort of commission for making so many conversions. Tonight: we SKATE. I have a playlist... cutting it to only 2 hours is hard.

Manic Miz-A Brain Dump

I'm having a good day. Manic, for sure... I am super-focused and when I start talking, I have a hard time stopping. But with all this positive energy, it's a huge rush! I suspect I'll crash out from all the expended mental energy before the end of the day, but right now it's totally worth it.

The major factor is that I had a hard interaction last night and the requisite hard conversations that were last night and again this morning. The content of that is not particularly important in this story, but what is was that I was able to express myself in the post-mortem clearly. I was able to indicate what I think went well and what I think was not healthy to the other person's choices. This is something that is monumentally hard for me to do, thanks to decades of conditioning and reinforcement.  I am not sure I have ever had such a clear-cut "victory" in using my words effectively on encouraging healthy communication and reinforcing my boundaries. My therapist (and how many of my friends? ::looks at lifecollage in particular::) has of course chided/encouraged me to do so, but fear won out pretty much every other time. What the fear doesn't want you to realize, is that if you actually succeed in doing the hard thing, you come out the other side feeling satisfied, vindicated... in my case today, feeling bullet-proof.

That bullet-proof translated into being excited and ready to work today. I managed to get most of this out (again, thanks to lifecollage who joined me for the commute in) so I didn't feel a compulsive need to write all this out first thing. So, I'm really happy with how much I've done with today. I've had unbelievably great conversations with my intern and my colleague's intern. I signed up for some professional development for June that I'm rather pleased by. I went out at lunch and bought replacement glasses. They'll look almost exactly like my old ones without the liability of being approximately 4-5 years old. Sadly, they were a bit too expensive for me to also get sunglasses at the same time. I will go to the internets for that.

Moral of the story: Don't let fear own you. When you get it right, it's really worth it on the other side of the brave thing.

That was a surprise

I left work early because I just couldn't focus with this cold. There was a train arriving as I got to the platform, but it took most of 45 minutes or more to get to Alewife, but I can't be sure exactly because I kept falling asleep.
Then no sleep when I got home.

Dinner tonight: meat loaf and baked taters. Mac & cheese, too. Because Kid.
CrimeFighter ate everything on his plate and asked for meatloaf.
He wiped his hands when he was done.
He decided to use the potty and cleaned up after
He agreed to put things away after we said clean up
And brushed his own teeth without argument. And let there be Vicks applied to his chest... AND he said thank you.

This earned double stories and lots of praise.

Additionally, asciikitty (and I) got the food cooked, the dishes washed, the food put away, and the dishwasher running.

Despite being sick, I am feeling energized from all the collaborative good stuff.

A PSA Regarding Knitting

Please. For the love of ALL that is holy. Do not ask me to knit you anything in exchange for barter unless you have something to offer of equal value. Something that is permanent that I can keep. Offering to barter in the moment services, like massage or babysitting is never ever in a zillion quadrillion years be worth it to me. Ever. Because it will take at minimum a week, maybe two (socks/hand warmers/scarf/cowl) or a month or three (blanket or sweater). I'm either going to have to make it in advance or follow up far after the fact from the service being offered by the other party. The thing I'm going to get is going to be an hour or two of your time, possibly a few times, but very very fleeting.  And you're going to get to keep a thing that I just spent days/weeks/months working on.  This doesn't feel equitable. I am SO happy that I just figured out why I have such a visceral reaction to this suggestion.

Further, because it's not remotely obvious unless you live inside my own head-- I don't actually enjoy knitting as much as my other crafts like clay or spinning or painting. Partially because I usually have to continue knitting far beyond the point of enjoyment. I get bored 75% of the way through, which is not true for the other 3 mentioned crafts. In socks, it's right after I turn the second heel and have to keep going. Also. Often-times, it has to fit someone. Pretty much everything but a blanket or scarf requires it fitting, so ... you know. No pressure. That means I make you something it must mean I really like you. I like you for you enough to knit you a thing that may have caused me a great deal of irritation and boredom for a few hours... or a week. So, if I'm voluntarily making you a thing, that's cool! My choice, and my timeline (usually). But when you make it transactional, it removes the majority of the fun and puts 500% more pressure.

Also, insert yadda yadda links to already published articles and blogs about the chronic undervaluing of women's work over the centuries... etc.

This has been your pubic service announcement for the day! Thanks for reading.

Some updating

I appear to have figured out a basic cable. I can now see for myself that this is pretty easy, just sort of awkward til you teach your hands how to deal with the extra needle. I am pleased.

I appear to have allowed committed the sin of volunteering and will be in committee this year helping sweetmmeblue with guest of honor liaison (GOHL) for Arisia next January. At least I'll be in good company. And you know, hang out with John Scalzi a bit. This is actually a good thing. I think.

I discovered with buxom_bey that SkyZone is a fantastic place to take toddlers. They are literally allowed to bounce off the walls there. Next time we get tickets well in advance. We were only able to let the kids play for half an hour, as they booked up.  Turns out our kids really like hanging out together, so we'll be headed to the MOS in a few weeks. Again.

Great day

Whelp! Thanks to one of my childhood friends who is friends with both Amy and me, We are funded, 100%.  I didn't advertise this widely because my neurotic brain couldn't even begin to fully accept this was an accpetable ask, but I did it anyway. I've had at least one person say she had no idea this was even a thing til after the goal was met. I suspect it flew below the radar for a lot of people. I'm just so excited and gratified. The weekend will be not 100% all fun, as there's a work event on Saturday I can't get out of, but it's only a few hours, at least.

In other positivity news, I have the first half of today off. I "slept in" a whole 15 minutes, so did the kid. Knowing I didn't have to rush to work meant a 90% reduction in stress to get the kid out the door. Would I could harness that on a normal day. We'll see... So, here I am, with free time! I already did a full half hour of Dance Central, did the dishes, and next up is some painting while catching up on TV.

The kid started in on some theraputic play time via the school system to try to help him learn how to work with his classmates and stay on task. His teachers have been frustrated at the degree of independence he has. And at least for the next 15-19 years, he's going to need to suffer through group activities for much of his day. Learning how to do that is required.

Awright. Those paintings aren't going to paint themselves...


I am grumpy.
But I also finished my part of the Big Project that has had me crying into my beverage for the last month. I'm too fatigued to appreciate this victory.

I'm giving my hormones a suspicious side-eye here.
But also 6 feet of snow is enough to get a girl down.

Birthday Plot: Activated.

Did I mention I'm turning 40 in a few months? I am.
I've put together a birthday present alternative project on GoFundMe. I'm feeling anxious now that it's done, and seeing how it goes...  So go read, and yeah, I'm gonna go hide.


Message in a bottle to the me of 2 weeks ago

Dear Me:
You have gotten through the worst of this work project and the puzzles that nearly drove you to tears 3 or so weeks ago is not even slightly perturbed. Also, you found a few "Missing" items. They don't hate you. You're not going to be fired. You're not a bad archivist. You did the best you could at the time, and your colleagues legitimately understand that.
Please try to remember the next time you have what feels like an impossible task like this one was, that you are more capable than you know and just keep swimming. Once you get through it, you'll be a beast; large and in charge. It really is OK.


This snow.

I am sitting here, catching up on LJ and will try to catch up on other social media, too, and I realized something that made me stop reading and start writing.
We are on our 6th snow day in what, 20 days? Plus I had Friday off to travel to Ohio (it went well), and there was Arisia before that, which was yet another 4 day weekend. I haven't had a normal week in so long, I have forgotten what normal is. And with all this time at home, I am almost incapable of remotely keeping up with social media, since I can't do that on a good week. But it means I'm more isolated, but also almost NEVER alone. I'm alone right now and oh it's so nice. Except when it isn't, and I'm just stuck at home with a 3 year old and some number of my family.

I need to be able to go to work. Because remember all that stuff that's been going on there? Yeah, and I've lost over a week now to being out and snow to a tight schedule.

[I wish I could be more coherent, but I had to write something before I lost track, but now I want to go read again]

Good to to fly I guess

Crime Fighter and I are headed to Cleveland this morning to visit with jedipartner1967 and his parnter. This is not the usual social call, we're coming back Sunday mid-day (So please snow: just chill out til I get home, OK??) and pretty much just seeing D with a side-order of Amy and Laura.


Things of this weekend

  • Dry cough (ouch- you best be gone by the end of the week, germs)

  • Making myself go out for a short birthday celebration (total yay)

  • Handed off 2 commissions (well received)

  • Continuing the pantless toddler shenanigans (eh? Boy is getting there, but it's exhausting)

  • More beef stew made (enough for 2 meals)

  • Snow day called for kid's school (c'mon!)

  • Watched SportsBall Big Game (Huh... home team wins- that was exciting!) (and when I say "watched," I sat in the room with the game on because I had...->)

  • Started work for tomorrow eventually to be thwarted by the system not saving my work (Just for 1 record, not everything lost)


Jan. 28th, 2015

We did not have french toast, but I did make cinnamon buns today, on our 2nd day of being at home with Snowpocalypse.  It's the first storm where QE was not in a plow for 48 hours straight, he says he is wistful, but I'm glad he was home.  We're in the midst of a huge project at work that demands we meet goals by X date. The work was transportable, so I'm set for going back to work tomorrow with no stress on that count. I ended up staying up til 12:30 last night to get today's quota in so I could relax, which is pretty much what I did. With a pantsless toddler. Preschooler? I feel like he's getting a bit big for the term "toddler." He's more of a scale all things and run fast and be very articulate. Anyway... pantless progeny for the last 2 days and we'll keep on that. Today was better than yesterday for that.

This 2 days reminds me I'm not an ideal candidate for SAHM status.

OK. My head really isn't into this post, but wanted to leave at least something in here- I need to be in bed and I just want my ipod to synch up already.


Arisia con-crash, post art show tear-down

The upside of not selling much at the art show is that I don't have to rebuild my stock. Right?
::shaking it off::
I have a few more items in my commission list, so I'll do those then let clay go for a few months til I don't feel so epically disappointed.
And I'll up my stock on Etsy in the meantime.




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