Monday, March 29, 2010

Is that death I smell on you? Or mud? Or shit? Ah Spring!!

Spring is springing here in BFE, Indiana. There is nothing quite like being distracted from stacks of work, cleaning, laundry, and cooking like a sunshine and blue skies! Ahhh! Soon, I'll get my shit together and go hang my beloved hammock in the trees. But it's heavy, and rain seems to always be in "tomorrow's" forecast when I want to hang it. Maybe I'll just go to bed instead.

I have some landscaping that I've decided I'm going to add to my "To Do" (but probably won't get done) list this year. I'd like to spruce up the view from the home office window. Right now, I have a bright, shiny view of a transformer and electric box. Oh and a huge puddle just beside that when it rains (which, come to think of it) probably isn't a terrific thing in and of itself.

When daydreaming out my office window, I can also see my older dog laying/sleeping/rolling/drinking said puddle.

The younger dog knows better.
Much better
She rolls on dead things and eats shit instead.
You know - like a normal dog.
And then licks the inside of my child's mouth.

Happy Monday, Ladies. Sorry this is a short post.

Personal circumstances leave me a bit less than inspired as of late. Hopefully the coming days will inspire more entertaining entries.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hello, Old Friend - I can't say that I've missed you...

The introduction of solid food to our baby has meant a few changes to this family:
1- Feed time can no longer happen anywhere, and is no longer something I can semi-multitask through. Cleanup's a bitch.
2- Birth control changed. I was on a pill-lite while I was full-time breastfeeding, but now I'm on full power birth control again. I prefer Nuva-Ring for the simple fact that I'm an asshole and can't remember to take anything at the same time every day.
3- My cycle is back. Whoopie!!

During my pregnancy, I was on a relatively even keel. Granted, that even keel was more emotional than the average within my normal roller coaster of emotion, but it was even. Once the baby came - all bets were off. I made no promises with moods, but even through colic I was able to pacify the demon bitch that lurks within my being with the cute baby-ness that had entered our lives.

I suppose that is over now. I've been set off by the dogs barking, comments on social sites, and of course the husband not being able to read my mind - that I had changed three times since we last spoke.

Red Flag: PMS. Damn.

I've never been really bad - like screaming and crying and throwing things bad. Well, at least consistently. I just get pissed off at stupid things and boil over at something utterly ridiculous. To top it off - while I'm spouting my frustration with the fact that humans should be able to consume food without making a single sound...I have the out-of-body experience that shows me Ebeneezer Scrooge style that I'm being an ass. I still can't stop. Ugh - I was enjoying not having to apologize for being an utter bitch.

That said...

We all have our days when it all piles up and the ones closest to us bear the brunt. That sucks - but that isn't unique to the females. Men do it, too -- and THAT, my friends, comes with no warning, and can't be marked on a calendar.


So there.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It just takes a moment to put it all into perspective

I am busy as hell. With each passing day, more dishes accumulate in the sink - or dog fur on the floor - or dusk on the tv. Well, the dust gets taken care of now, but just with random socks - and no one ever gets the corners.

I feel as though I'm falling behind in all aspects - no longer above water, but just a couple inches below. Survival is just within my grasp, but the more I frantically reach, the deeper I slip.

This is my life. The life of a momma, a step-mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a dog owner, a home owner, a friend, an employee, a facebook addict, a car driver, a tax payer, a blogger, and a woman. It is exhausting. I've become borderline narcoleptic - sleeping in the five or ten minute increments that I'm afforded.

Oh, but it is worth it - my friends. I can sit pissing time away day after day watching my little one as she grows. She is why I have fallen behind in life - but she is also why the rest of that no longer matters. Bills will get paid, and laundry will get done.

I will likely allot the next five minutes to watch her reach, and reach, and reach for a toy - and then squeal with her when she finally gets it.

Because she does get it. It's about the triumphs in life - her 5 1/2 months have shown her no failure, but just things for which she needs to continue reaching -- even if you land square on your face trying.

I'll continue to reach in all directions, but I'll be sure - come hell or high water - that her direction is the one from which I never stray.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I may die of not one, but two bad food consumption incidents tonight

As I am sure is the case with many of my readers - the easier the dinner, the better. Since I don't have a child to try and coax into eating a specific food group - my menu creativity is allowed to wane for now. Tonight I wanted chili. It has been a cool day, and the ease of opening a few cans and turning on the stove sounded good to me.

Chili in some corners of the nation is held in the realm of religion. Pasta, never pasta. Beans, never beans. Meat ground, chopped or omitted. Essentially, the only common factor in chili nationwide is the chili powder and tomato product as its base. Here in the Midwest, chili varies from family to family like meatloaf and homemade mac n' cheese. Running with an outdoorsy crowd, serving chili is perfectly acceptable because the after dinner campfire hangout provides an appropriate setting for post-chili release. (Did she just make a reference to farting? - Yes. Yes I did.) Plus, chili made over a campfire is fantastic - but the cleanup is a bitch.

Anyway, I have had the fortune of having several families versions of chili since I've been out on my own. I have seen the different applications of ingredients to arm myself with the ability to make chili with almost anything in the cabinet - so long as one item is chili powder and I have a tomotoey base.

Other factors that play into my preparation:
  • Availability: If I don't have something, it's obviously not going into the chili. Since I have a chest freezer full of venison this time of year - we normally end up with a meaty chili. I usually ensure that I have the chili beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce or paste, and diced tomatoes stocked in the pantry.
  • Heat: My husband prefers to cry at every meal by slathering everything in peppers, hot sauces, and other torture devices. I have a more sensitive palette and with breastfeeding I have to be careful, but I try to compromise. I put in enough spice to push the mix beyond a beany spaghetti sauce, but not so much that it burns my eyes as it simmers. If my husband is making the meal, a mix of the following required coolants are required: cheese, sour cream, sugar. The combination of all three are preferred.
  • End game: What are the plans for the next 24 hours? Will we be sitting at a wedding, hiking single file, crammed into a family gathering, or working solo in the office or hanging on the couch? How available will a bathroom be? Seriously, if you don't worry about that stuff - you're either "that guy" fogging up the room and blaming the dog or you live a very secluded life. I'm just one foot inside of the mountain cave and I still take it into consideration.
  • Time: Finally, the end-all, be-all limiting factor. Do I have time to cook peppers and meat before adding to the pot? Usually no. I cook during nap time. If I add steps, I reduce the likelihood of being able to enjoy my creation before bedtime.
Tonight's chili:
Chili ready diced tomatoes, chili beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce. No time for meat. I like to serve my chili on top of pasta as to not risk bloaty-pasta chili in subsequent bowls. Of course, the queen of pasta hoarding had depleted her stash of three dimensional pasta. (I apparently can make spaghetti until the cows come home.) I ended up breaking lasagna noodles into bite-sized pieces. I added shredded cheese and sour cream (which may have been past its prime - so hard to tell with a dairy product already marketed as mold, so we're good to go). It wasn't great, but not bad either. I'm sure my husband will dump a load of chili powder into the mix when he tastes it - rendering the remainder too hot for me to handle...

I know you are all jealous of my culinary prowess.

Oh. Icing on the cake: I was inspired to make chili by the corn bread on the counter that was no less than three weeks old, but covered securely with foil. I had already cracked my can of chili beans before noticing (while chewing a nibblet of the bread) that white mold had begun to grow on the top.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You can keep your moldy bread, unless it tastes like bubblegum...

I'm not a huge fan of antibiotics. There. I said it. I know that the world as we know it today - with the population levels we sustain and need to feed - simply would crumble without this technology. I just believe that today's doctors lean a bit heavily on these - signing over Z-packs over the phone to "heal" a person's self-diagnosis. This abuse is simply going to FORCE everyone into stronger and stronger antibiotic requirements - and those that cannot afford to be treated or go undiagnosed will succumb to a superbug that cannot be fought by the body's natural immune system alone.

Am I a bit paranoid? Maybe. Do I think our nation's overuse of medicine to solve problems is money driven? Absolutely. Do I have a medical education and are my opinions grounded in medical fact? No.

Proceed at your own risk of reading an opinion...

I'm an ecologist. Simply put - nature has a balance - if you screw with that balance - everyone's screwed.

I have two specific instances that give me pause when I'm prescribed antibiotics - to the point were I will hold a fresh prescription bottle in my hand and wonder if I should actually go through with the treatment. Of course, as directed, if I start an antibiotic I always finish it.

The following are observations I have made in relation to antibiotics that the docs and pharmacists have failed to mention to me when administering the prescription.

(1) Birth control
The long and the short of this one: I know of several babies who were born 38-40 weeks after an antibiotic was prescribed. Pill babies. Women on the pill who get sick are prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotics override the system, and women get pregnant. I have ALWAYS told doctors that I'm on birth control when asked if I'm taking medication. Some have responded in a way similar to "oh, I mean real meds, sweetiepie..." fuckers. It is frustrating that I have noticed that pills fail when a women is on antibiotics - but a women is neither counseled in the doctor's office or warned on the prescription about this risk! Maybe the handful of "oops" pill babies that I know of are a coincidence...but maybe not.

(2) Good bugs v Bad bugs
Antibiotics are not discriminatory - they nuke the bodies microorganisms and can wreak havoc on the natural systems of the body. When I was in the hospital to give birth, I was given an IV of antibiotics. Many women - especially those whose water breaks before coming in - have experienced this. In addition to having this IV during labor - I had to continue on the IV for another several hours after birth because of the "reconstructive surgery" that was required... I went home with my baby and life was good. Until about a month afterward. Then shit hit the fan - and everything else. I had a crippling bought of diarrhea and vomiting. I almost lost my milk supply because I was so dehydrated. I went to the doctor (not my ob) and he said that the antibiotics that were used cleared my gut of the bad AND the good bugs, which left me a clean slate for colonization. Apparently, the bad bugs claimed me as their territory. It took a while for them to build up to a level of nasty that affected my system. He said that it is fairly common for people to experience this. He prescribed me another antibiotic to re-nuke my system - and told me to start eating yogurt with natural bacteria in it to recolonize with the good guys. Why hadn't I been told at the hospital that my digestive system had been given a run for its money and to eat yogurt to ensure a positive, non-pukey postpartum experience?

Sidebar: Of course, I went to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription he called in - and on the bottle it said - DO NOT USE IF BREASTFEEDING. What the hell? He asked me specifically if I was breastfeeding and we actually had a discussion about it. I digress...

Ok, so this rant has a lesson, ladies. Number 1 - talk to your doctor AND your pharmacist about the side effects of your antibiotics. Getting better feels like the most important thing, but taking care of a newborn that was conceived when you were religiously taking the pill while shitting your guts out is not an ideal situation. Number 2 - if you take an antibiotic - eat yogurt. It doesn't have to be the name brand - just one that has natural cultures on the label. Your colon will thank you.

Again, this is all my personal observation. Feel free to comment if you have a more informed opinion! The purpose of this post is to get you to think - and ask questions of your health care provider.

You, not they, are ultimately responsible for your well-being.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I wish I had a more up-lifting post, but I am really concerned about his issue. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just when you think you've got it all together someone shits on your floor

Sunday night: Get the kid to bed on time (check), 3 batches of homemade noodles set to dry (check, and pat on the back - thankyouverymuch), teeth brushed and in bed before 10 (check, check!).

Mondays are hard. They always, always are. I try very hard to combat Monday suckiness by getting a good night's sleep. "Try" being the ever operative word.

At 3:30 I was up with the baby. To her credit, she was in bed for almost 8 hours... She was UP I started goofing around on the internet. I nursed her and then went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Starting my day early is good. When I get more accomplished before noon than a normal day, I feel like I've stolen a couple hours from somewhere. It's a great feeling. I was energized by the day's potential.

Upon returning to the living room, it hit me. The stench of one thousand melted turds surrounded us. My eyes adjusted to the dark room and I saw it. Dog shit pooled on the floor. It was bad. As a life-long dog owner, I've dealt with cleanups before. There was something about this one though - the way it burned my eyes. I tip-toed past the land mines.

My husband was then returning from letting both dogs out. Apparently, one of them waited until I was in the bathroom to do the deed - and the immediate stench had woken my husband from his nightly coma. Serves him right. It was the vat of used peanut oil that he left in the backyard after a dude-fest that she had licked clean. Clean! (*gag*)

Granted, we have bad carpet in our house. Bad, old, blue carpet. It's been begging to be replaced, but until we get the money to do so, I'd prefer to not have shitty stains scattered about. So, from about 4AM to 6AM I did every trick in my book to get oil-based doggy doo out of the carpet.

The pooch cowered outside - terrified that she'd be punished for an explosion that obviously wasn't her fault. She won't, but I would rather her be out there if any aftershocks should pop up.

Now, we have a trail of brown poo-ey stains surrounded by halos of bright, super clean carpet. The smell is gone, but it is still gross. We have the area cordoned off with a fence of used paper towel rolls to delineate the danger zone lest any socked foot dare to enter. I am going to have to try dish soap or something...

After all of that, I took a three hour nap...

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Soup for Momma's Soul

Just an update: my bronchitis is back...again.

In order for this Momma to get the healing effects of chicken soup - she's got to make the stuff herself. Which means it takes two days to do it:
Day 1: Feel like shit and wait for someone, anyone to take care of you.
Day 2: Get off your ass and do it yourself, muttering the whole time.

The goal is to clear up this funk before heading up to see my grandparents' this weekend. To expedite the process, I took 2 Mucinex. You know the one with the snot people throwing shin-digs in people's chests. It makes your hacking worth while. It also has a speed-y reaction to my system. I'm all over the place today. Making chicken soup from scratch - like hello birdie with a few feathers lingering on your frozen body; making a dish for my husband to take to a carry-in tonight (it's bullshit, but I didn't feel like arguing); feeding, clothing, bouncing, cheering, changing, and overall un-fussing the baby... you know - the usual - except all at once and very quickly. The down-side? I don't have the concentration capacity to actually do the work that pays the bills.

Soon, oh so soon, I'll come down off this high, reopen the "cough-a-cabana", and get some work done...

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Mountain of Puking, Writhing, Sweating Self-Pity

Now it's stomach flu. Of course. Why would I not have stomach flu?

I have never been as sick as I have since I became a momma. The first few illnesses were a direct result of staying in the hospital and the antibiotics administered within - thanks to the "reconstructive surgery" that one specific set of baby shoulders made necessary. After that first month and a half of my body deciding which are friendly stomach critters and which were evil - I thought I was in the clear. Wrong!!

In the last three months I have had 2 colds, one torturous bout of pink eye, bronchitis, and now the stomach flu. In all honesty, I have not had as many issues in the last 5 years as I have has in recent months.

The funny thing of it all is that I am a hermit. I don't interact with people outside my home - yet I still get sick! I am sure my biweekly trek into civilization is just enough to send my immune system into a downward spiral.

The reason I believe that I've been so sick is that I am breastfeeding. I'm sending all my reserves to the little one. In all this time, she has had a stuffy nose twice. The first time was a legitimate cold I think, but now I blame teething. I think it is spectacular that she's as protected as she is. I mean pink eye lurked in our household for two weeks - yet she showed no symptoms.

Of course as a WAHM, I don't have the option of curling up in bed alone in the dark for two days to recover. No rest for the weary. Luckily, the babe was content with sitting inside a fortress of pillows and nursing laying beside her weakened momma. We just snuggled and slept once the hurling subsided.

Even though all of my defensive troops are all out defending another's immune system - I wouldn't have it any other way. Well, I would like to be less sick - but apparently that's not in the cards.

Have any of you experienced anything similar? Please let me know that I won't be a sick freak forever!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One Month!

Modern Super Momma is one month old!

I just would like to thank everyone for reading. It is difficult to know how large our Modern Super Momma family has become. Based on our number of Facebook fans, we are a growing fast! Keep it going!!

Know a momma who has a lot on her plate? Maybe she could benefit from knowing she's not alone in the challenges that she faces. Direct all the modern super mommas in your life to!!

Thanks again for giving me a reason to blow off other duties to write to you!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

If you were to paint my thoughts - they'd look like a Jackson Pollock painting - or a park bench under a mulberry bush

What if someone could record the stream of consciousness that is in my head for a single day? If that technology becomes available - they'll need to make room for me at the loony bin. My family would surely have me committed.

I think it would be a neat experiment to record the topics of my thoughts for a day - just to see the general trend of my craziness. Of course I don't have time to brush my hair, so I likely won't have time to actually run the experiment. I hypothesize from experience that 95% of my thoughts fall into the following categories:
  • Excretions - mainly from the baby, some from the dogs, some from me and the rest of the family
  • Teething and related teething symptoms. It seriously bugs me that my little one is running a fever and has a snotty nose because she'll be sprouting a tooth one month from now. I think about that a lot.
  • My next Facebook status. I spend too much time trying to think of the next coy little blurb of my life to share with the world.
  • Work listing. I'm a "To Do" girl. I need my lists of what I need to get done. Unfortunately, the making of the list tends to take longer than the tasks therein. It's a horrible cycle.
  • Food. I loves me some grub. Food comes in two categories: (1) the food that I will eat that is available in my home and (2) what I would eat if I could get my hands on it (donuts are always on this list. Always).
  • Dates/Plans. What did I say I'd do for (fill in the blank) this weekend? What is today's date - oh shit - it's (fill in the blank)'s birthday - no time for Hallmark I'll give him/her a call. When is the next doctor's appointment - where did I put the card for the doctor's appointment - oh well the doctor calls the day before the appointment...
  • Wishes/Shouldas. I shoulda started work when I got up instead of goofing around with font on my website for 2 hours...I wish I had taken the time yesterday to clean my desk off...Shit, It's 11pm, I wish I had called (fill in the blank) for his/her birthday...I shoulda done the laundry so I didn't have to sit here covered in spit up for the next 2 hours (loops to excretion bullet). I don't hang on these for long, but they pop up throughout a day. Wish in one hand and shit in the other....
My favorite - the one that takes precedent over all others - the reason I have no time in my day and huge dark circles under my eyes.
  • How happy being a mom makes me. Through the tears, squirts, snot, gags, glances, giggles, and stares - I wouldn't trade a second of my chaos for a life without my kid.
Ha! I should have given I "mushy moment" warning! - I guess that thought lands in the "shoulda" category!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Whatever dip - food for a godess

As many of you can relate - I have not had a hot meal since my daughter was born. I swear, the smell of cooking food must tweak her nose hairs and the sound of a knife on a cutting board must screech in her ears. The bell on the microwave and timer on the stove wake her up - even if she's in the other room - with the door closed - with a box fan running - and white noise music playing.

Often times, I end up skipping lunch or dinner to fend off tears - grab a granola bar "for now" and dive into chips, donuts, candy, pudding, ice cream, or anything else that sounds good once she goes to bed. Leftover dinner items need not apply.

I have been on a dip kick. I big dip kick. Since I had to eliminate peppers and onions from my diet for breastfeeding purposes, I had to say farewell to my beloved salsa addiction. *tear, sniff* Since a naked chip is an ugly chip, I've been inventing new dip combinations. Some are sinful and fantastic and others have a tinge of healthfulness. I call my dip "Whatever Dip." Why, you ask? Because it's whatever I have on hand because I forgot my list at home and decided to stock up on ketchup (when we have a 3 unopened bottles in the cupboard) instead of buying what I really need.

The dip ALWAYS turns out better if I'm at the store when I decide to make it - rather than after I return home from the store.

Below I list all the ingredients that have made it into the dip to date. In my opinion, they all go well together, but some may disagree. Feel free to mix and match!

  • Diced tomatoes (you can upgrade to Italian style for added flavor)
  • Cream cheese (softened for mixing pleasure)
  • Ground meat (I've used sausage, ground beef, venison, and combinations thereof)
  • Cilantro (fresh. always, always fresh)
  • Parsley (when I decide not to read the label on the bunch of cilantro at the market)
  • Velveeta (used when I was out of cream cheese)
  • Avocado (everything's better with avocado)
  • Lime juice (fresh squeezed gives a nice finishing touch)
Of course, if your feeding situation allows you to add peppers, chilies, onions or hot sauce - be my guest!

  • Tortilla chips (these are my standby - they must be sturdy as this is a bulky dip)
  • Triscuits (always dip with dominant ribs pointing down or they'll break!)
  • Carrots (I do this when I'm feeling guilty - I usually set a goal: eat 2 carrots before busting out the chips)
  • Spoon (why the hell not!)
  • Finger (dishwasher friendly - it keeps the junk from crusting up on the inside of the bowl)
Enjoy! (Yes, the baby cries when she hears the chip bag, too.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

There's a storm front comin'

(alternatively named - "You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals")

This title won because I used to do interpretive rollerblading dance in my driveway (for the world to see) to Billy Joel's Storm Front album. The whole album - every time I strapped those suckers to my feet. Ah, life was so much simpler trying to memorize the "We didn't start the fire" lyrics.

I digress...

As I type this, my area is experiencing a low pressure system. We were supposed to get an assload of snow, but now it's not supposed to be too bad. Also, while I type this (one-handed), it is 3AM and my infant is WIDE awake in my lap. I've picked up on this pattern - baby awake in the middle of the night = snow on the deck in the morning. Coincidence? Maybe. I ask though, why should a young human baby react to a weather system with none other than pure instinct?

When a storm front approaches, what happens? The birds stop singing, the squirrels hunker down, the deer head for cover. Mostly, the reason for this is that with a storm system comes wind and noise which disables the critters' usual predator-avoiding senses. I've even noticed that we catch the bulk of our under-the-sink mouse population the night before a big storm. They're running for cover. My dogs are more clingy and restless, too. Why should my child - who has not yet been soothed by stories of hippos bowling in the clouds or excited by hopes of sledding and building snowmen during a snow day from school - not act out of instinct.

Of course, she's unable to run for cover, but the reaction of being alert when she's normally asleep has me intrigued. In addition to her being awake - it is a quiet alertness that she possesses. Watching and observing without a peep - from the peepiest baby I've met to date - might I add.

Is she on the lookout for predators?

(After nearly 2 hours of chair swiveling and leg bouncing, she's back out...)

Yes, I admit, this was quite the cerebral post. For this I shall not apologize. I will, however, note that middle of the night posts tend to be that way...