Monday, April 30, 2007

Baked Pasta

After spending a half hour looking for recipes, I'm not finding what I want. I'm making pasta tonight and I wanted to do a baked pasta.

Do I have to put ricotta in it? Does anybody know? I'm broke this week, but we're having friends to the house for dinner tonight and I wanted to serve something cheap that can be assembled and the mess cleaned up before they arrive (the house is small, no dining room, and the least bit of clutter looks atrocious) - hence baked pasta.

If I have to go out and get ricotta I will, but I will grumble the entire way. It's stupid expensive.

Friday, April 27, 2007

100 Posts

100 posts.

I didn't think I'd get here. Honestly, I started this blog so I could be a cool kid like Karrie - she asked if any August 04 mamas had blogs, and I had had blogs before (lame ones!) so I decided to just do it up all fancy-like here at Blogger. It's taken me approximately six months to make 100 posts, which isn't too shabby. That averages out to about one every other day. I've been blogging in one form or another since December of 2000, which I think makes me some kind of blogging pioneer.

In six months, I've posted mostly under the tags of:

random foo (32)
self (18)
spawn (16)

I forget to tag posts a lot too, but I'm guessing that's pretty accurate. I've blogged from home, work, friends houses, my parents' house, and anywhere I can find a wi-fi connection. I value the connections I've made and that I know I'll continue to make.

If you've been lurking, post a comment. Let me know who you are, how you found me, and what you wish I'd write about more often. It's nice to have that input when I'm in a dry spell.

Change my Daemon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I just want to watch daytime TV

It started on Friday - that niggling little feeling of a scratchy throat. Then as I was sitting in the theatre watching Kerwin's graduation ceremony, the runny nose kicked in.

By the time we got to Chili's for a celebratory beer, the fuzzy head feeling had made its' entrance. So I skipped the beer. Head colds leave me feeling drunk enough. I slept 4 hours in between the waking to blow my nose and cough.

Saturday morning the barrage continued. I think I had a fever, but I don't remember. I was at my folks helping them get the house ready for Kerwin's grad party and we were busy. When my mom and I went to pick up the cake, I also got cold medicine. I chugged it down with a bottle of Bolthouse C-Boost juice blend, hoping to feel better. Within 15 minutes I felt like I'd been hit by a semi truck. Non-drowsy my ass. Since they took pseudoephedrine out of everything you can get off the shelf I figured I'd be safe with the phenylephrine-based stuff they replaced it with. Ha. Decongestants and I just don't get along.

Five hours of sleep Sunday night. The fuzzy head was mostly gone, but the rest stayed. I finished getting ready for the party, welcomed people, attempted to act the hostess. I spent most of the party curled up on the futon in the guest room at my folks whinging to my best friend Angie about how crappy I felt. Way to be the supportive wife there, Heather.

It's still here today, and the fuzzy head is back. I'm here at work because I have a lot to do this week, even though I know I'll be less than productive.

If you send me virtual tea and imaginary cozy blankets, I will love you forever. Mad props, and all that. If you're at home today and you catch Oprah, think of me? I want my head cold rights of tea, blankies, and daytime TV.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Last week was National Volunteer Week (Inspire by Example).

My program director sent us a little swag - a keychain that says "Essential Piece" and a pen that says the same.

The pen also has my name on it! I know this isn't really anything to get excited about, but it's fun. Mostly it means its' one pen that nobody will steal off my desk.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fudge Ripple

I had a dream this morning that I was hanging out with Karrie. I think we were at her house. There was disco music playing, and we were eating ice cream. Fudge ripple and pink grapefruit. Not together, I don't think. The ice cream was in pint containers and apparently had come from Ikea, except it was like the kind they make at Cold Stone Creamery, where they mix all the stuff in.

Yeah, I have no explanations. I didn't eat ice cream last night nor did I read blogs before bed.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The times, they are a-changin'

Kerwin is graduating from community college tomorrow. Halle-frickin-lujah!

He wasn't going to walk and participate in the commencement exercises. I wanted him to - it's a milestone and he deserves to be recognized. He came around - I MAY have bribed him with cake and a party. I admit nothing. Nothing!

He's taking a year off. He's "burned out" on school and wants to wait before applying to 4-year institutions. This is probably academic suicide, but now he'll have time to spend with us instead of on homework. For the past four years (seven semesters of which he was in school) he's worked full time at a thankless job and gone to college. I'm proud of him. He graduates with his Associate's in Science and Arts, plus 30-some credits of electives that may or may not transfer.

I'm also very glad that for an entire 15 months, I won't have to hear him bitching about how stupid his homework is, how many papers he has to write, how his professors think their class is the only class he's taking. I never bitched about these things because I just feel that they're part of going to college. People think I can't live without bitching about things - ha! I get it from him!

It'll be nice to have my husband with no demands on his time except for work. We haven't had a time in our married life where one or both of us weren't taking classes or working or both. In the past two years, one of us was always doing both. That's what we get for marrying "young" and having a baby right away. Can't change that now, nor do I wish to. Before much longer it'll be "remember when. . ." and "I can't believe we survived those years"

I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Farfalle - Work In Progress

Dug this up this afternoon. I think I'll work on it some more.

Farfalle was named for her mother’s cravings during pregnancy. Her mother always said that rotini made her think of weird bugs and spaghetti just didn’t feel right going down during pregnancy. She craved pasta, though, and farfalle was what she often chose. What better way to name the child conceived at the end of a semester abroad in Italy? Her mother didn’t even know until she got home, and she knew she’d never see Paulo again, or even be able to find him.

Named for a pasta, with a mystery father, Farfalle nonetheless is the apple of her mother’s eye. A becoming combination of her mother’s very Irish features and her father’s classic Italian look, the girl’s curly brown hair, freckles, and startling blue eyes draw constant comments.

Farfalle is three years old, and she loves pasta, too. She loves to chirp her order at her and her mother’s favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant, and it’s always for her pasta namesake. Her mother has done a wonderful thing in weaving a tale for Farfalle about her conception. Many women in her situation would be bitter, and with good reason. Farfalle’s mother had too much fun being pregnant, and then bringing little infant Farfalle to her last semester of classes to be bitter. Understanding professors and a baby in a sling combined just as magically as Farfalle’s conception, and life is good for the happy pair.

Tonight is something new. Farfalle’s mother hasn’t dated since she came back from Italy. She wouldn’t, couldn’t bring herself to leave Farfalle for an evening, and most men aren’t inclined to have a first date with a three year old, however charming, hanging about. Tonight is different. Farfalle waits with her mother at the Italian restaurant for the Greek suitor. They draw pictures as they wait, Farfalle’s mother showing a deft hand with the crayons.

Farfalle sees him first. She tugs on her mother’s sleeve as he approaches. Tall and dark, Farfalle sizes Nikolas up closely. She likes him, at least she likes how he looks and how he smiles, but he has to like pasta, too. She and her mother can’t settle for just anybody. She thinks they do great on their own – her mother is a librarian and Farfalle goes to Jenni’s daycare every day, and Miss Jenni is like a second mother to her. This arrangement works for everybody, and Farfalle is a little nervous about it changing.

Nikolas has flowers, big pretty gerbera daisies. Two daisies, one bright, bright pink, which he hands to Farfalle with a grin, and one orange, which he hands to her mother. He sits down, and they order. Farfalle first, for her namesake with alfredo sauce and broccoli, and her mother and Nikolas next. Nikolas is nice. He talks to Farfalle and her mother, and it’s one big conversation. Farfalle feels very grown up tonight as she eats her broccoli and answers questions politely. When they get up to leave, her mother gives her a thumbs up and a big grin. Farfalle returns it, since she likes Nikolas. They go their separate ways, Farfalle and her mother in their little car, and Nikolas in his littler car.

Farfalle and her mother stop at her Grandma’s house to say hello. Grandma is anxious to hear about the date with Nikolas. Farfalle tells Grandma that next time she will stay with her while her mother goes out by herself, because that is what grownups do. Grandma smiles convincingly at Farfalle’s mother, who reluctantly agrees.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Baby Not Mine

Friends of my brother's brought their 4 month old over last night.

He's cute.

He was also really stiff, spent most of his time mesmerized by lights and the TV, and was generally non-interactive. I felt kind of bad for the little guy - maybe he was just weird because I was new. Maybe they don't hold him enough. I'm just not sure. They both work full time, so maybe they're just doing the best they can. I looked back at Freyja's pictures at 4 months old and she was way more interactive, better developed, and smiley. She was one rockin' baby - I appreciate that more now than I did then.

I got zero baby fever. That's ok. I wanted to be done by the time I was 30 - I have four years yet.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cover the Uninsured Week

My AmeriCorps program director keeps a blog for us team members so we can have quick overviews of things he'd like us to think about. I wanted to post the link to the latest entry (written by one of our team members this time), since I know I have a few erstwhile social activists who pop by here every once in a while.

If anyone is interested in the American health care system and the disparities that exist, please go over and read it. Read the book that is referenced. Go to the Cover the Uninsured Week website and do something to get involved, even if it's just a post on your blog or a letter to your congressperson.

Searchy, Searchy (again)

Today's batch is a little more sobering.

you're on notice meme (did you find it? funny stuff!)
owen meany sucks reviews (still haven't read it)
depression and crazy thoughts (I hope you found something that helped you. If not, come back and let me know - I'm crazy too, maybe we can help each other)
IUGR and blog rings (since my diagnosis was false, can't help you there)
CPS I AM GOING TO TAKE MY BABY (can't help you there, either)
glorious hair (my hair is pretty great!)
Absentee Husbands - where did he go (I wonder that every time mine doesn't call)
DO IUGR BABIES SURVIVE AT 34 WEEKS (usually - if your placenta has ceased to function, better out than in. Isolettes are marvelous technology and I hope your baby is doing fine)

Crafty Bitch

I love crafty stuff, and I also like snarky stuff.

Julie Jackson and Subversive Cross Stitch rocks my socks. Somebody on some board or another I post on (can't remember now - look kids, this is what being a mom does to you!) slapped up a link to her site and I ordered "Fuck Cancer" to make for my grandmother, who is a stomach cancer survivor (they removed her whole stomach). She liked it a lot, but she puts it away when her pastor comes over for a visit. Silly, because I know her pastor, and Pastor Julie would get a kick out of it.

That led to me buying the book, and making various things from it, like "bitchin' kitchen" (the photo isn't mine, and it's slightly different as I ran the two words together and used different colors) for my mom when she finished her kitchen remodel, and "babies suck" for a pair of dear friends embarking on that journey known as parenthood. I felt it would be cruel to not give them a fair warning.

Whenever I'm feeling especially snarky, I get out the book and my cross stitching kit and I go to town. The creative outlet is soothing, and the finished project in an evening of TV watching is bliss. Plus, it's easy. Go forth and stitch!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Karrie, in her nominating frenzy, nominated AmeriMama for the "blogitzer" category at the Blogger's Choice Awards.

So I will just say "squee" and "thank you!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007



That about sums things up for me right now.

I'm at a loss for things to blog about - Freyja does lots of cute stuff, but so do everybody else's kids - and then I read about everybody else's kids, which reminds me of something funny or cute that Freyja did, and then I can't write about it, because that's almost like copying and cheating.

I quit going to therapy. I haven't been in two months. I'm not willing to get into my issues and so there's no point in wasting the money.

I'm in constant pain from sciatica that started in pregnancy and I can't do anything remotely fun with my kid, but my doctor doesn't care. Apparently I must be faking it just to get pain meds, when I haven't ever asked for pain meds. The treatment I want to use (sterile water epidural) is "risky" and "not guaranteed". Well, yes. So are epidurals in labor, but I don't hear anybody refusing them to laboring women on those criteria. The sterile water treatment has been used since the early 1900's to good effect for people with debilitating back pain.

It will all go away if I lose weight (according to my doctor). The depression, the anxiety, the back pain. I asked for antidepressants a while back and he told me to exercise. Fuck. Tell me how I'm supposed to exercise when just standing on my feet feels like I'm being stabbed in the lower back and down the backs of my legs? Just work through it? There is no working through it.

Eat less? No shit. Then I'll be hungry and in pain, which makes me just incredibly great and patient as a parent. I pass up going out with friends, taking Freyja out to play or to do anything fun with her because of this pain.

Yet I keep bitching and doing nothing. I can't work as a doula effectively with this pain either. I just can't motivate myself and I don't want anybody else to motivate me. I don't think I'm worth motivating, so all the pep talks in the world do nothing. I'm not looking for sympathy. People tell me all the time how great of a person I am, I just don't believe them (especially when I'm in a downswing).

I feel like a 15 year old trying to play at being grown up. I don't know what to base my self worth on. Next week I'll probably feel better and wonder why I wrote this. Is this what bipolar is, or am I just some kind of freak? Should I go back to therapy? Find a different regular doctor?

I think I need a hug.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weekend Details!

As we prepare for Easter, I would like to take some time to reflect on what's really important about this weekend.

I'm going to IKEA! Oh yeah! We're heading to A2 to see Kerwin's grandmother and on Saturday we're going to the Ikea in Canton township. I want to get Freyja a table and chairs (the Svala set, I think - I have visions of blackboard paint on the tabletop) and I think we're having lunch there. I've had IKEA lust ever since I knew it existed.

Oh, another monumental event is this weekend, too. I'll be wearing a dress. A new one. The last time I bought a dress was for my wedding. I just couldn't resist the cute wrap dresses on sale at Target last night, and although I looked fat in it, I look fat in pants, too. I might as well look cute and to hell what people think. I wanted to link a picture, but it isn't online. It's a black and white pattern of circles made of tiny little dots. I'll try to post a picture after this weekend. I do now fully believe that EVERYONE can look great in a wrap dress.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

So We Were Almost Killed Today...

So I was taking DH to work, driving down the highway, and all of a sudden this asshat comes flying off an entrance ramp and careens into the left lane where we were ever so courteously driving so he could get on the damn highway. He didn't even look where he was going.

Thankfully we were not up against a barrier, just a grassy median, and I was able to pull off and over enough so he didn't hit me. He did the whole hand up in the rearview mirror thing like "Oh, I see you now, sorry I almost killed y'all"

Then when we drove by him he gave us a dirty look! WTF! It was some thug ass gansta in a doo rag, yapping on his damn cell phone. What, because you have a shiny car and a cell phone you have the right to kill people on the highway?! I DON"T THINK SO, ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If there had been a barrier in the median I would probably be dead or in very bad condition right now. What an adrenaline rush!!!!!!!! OMG! I couldn't breathe and then I started giggling like a madwoman, happy to be alive.

I did manage to crack DH up by singing

"All night, all day, angels watching over me, my lord"

as we exited the highway by his work. Hoooooly shit.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Searchy, Searchy

What People are Searching For:

nccc americorps sucks
kinky "muskegon"
youe tube porn
sampoo formula]
crunchy mammas
spaghetti makes me full
burger bell
ob says cervix is fingertip and hard
KERWIN - MICHIGAN - MYSPACE (this is kind of freaky - I wonder who's searching for my husband? Own up, Internet Ho!)

If they told you, you would cry.

For the April Pulsate Olympics, sponsored by GNM parents. Wow, that feels dirty. :D

Both of my parents are still living. This really should come as no surprise - I'm young (26) and they had me when they were in their early twenties. My dad just turned 50 this past year, my mom is 48.

My dad has some serious health issues. He's a type-2 diabetic and he has congestive heart failure. He's had one heart attack at 43, followed by a triple bypass. He has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He works 40+ hours a week at a physical job (he's an electrician - does installs of radios on police cars, buses, ambulances, etc, and maintains equipment at various 911 call centers and law enforcement and dispatch facilities). He has a 15% chance of living until he's 60. I get my love of reading, my tendency to question everything, and my temper from him.

He used to be a real asshole and probably could have been considered physically abusive - he and I are a lot alike and butted heads constantly, and instead of walking away like an adult should when faced with a mouthy child and teenager over something trivial, he let his temper get the best of him and he hit me, usually a slap across the face if he could reach, and whatever he could reach if not. And if he ever reads this (I have no idea if he does), I am going to get the biggest guilt trip in the universe. I'm not saying that I was completely innocent, because I was a mouthy little shit once I hit puberty (which is when he morphed into asshole dad). They should have disciplined me differently as a young child - I was indulged and allowed to get away with a lot. As far as I know he's never laid a hand on my mother, nor on my brother. I guess I was just special.

He's mellowed considerably. Now when he acts like a jackass (much less often) I just ignore him. If he hasn't learned any better, I have. He's so incredibly patient and gentle with Freyja that it's like a complete turnaround. She is grandpa's girl for sure. It's still really hard to trust that he won't lose his temper with her, though. He probably doesn't realize it, but I always brush off his offers to babysit if my mom won't be there. I just can't take that step and I don't know if I'll ever be able to. Again, Dad, if you're reading this - I really hope you understand. It's not you, it's me.

My mom has some health issues too. She has degenerative disk disease and arthritic knees, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and high blood pressure. She also works full time, on her feet. She's a pharmacy technician and as much as she bitches about it I know she loves her job. She's looking at her 20 year anniversary soon. The woman gets 6 weeks of paid time off every year, between vacation and personal time. She spends the majority of the time on home improvement projects or with Freyja (the only grandchild thus far). I get my artistic ability, my singing voice, my penchant for sarcasm and my compassion (I do have some, I swear!) from her.

That said, she's also passive-aggressive, overly sensitive, and easy to bait. She goes to church but I'm not really sure she believes, because anytime Kerwin or I mention Paganism, Heathenry, the Pagan roots of any given Christian celebration, you name it, she goes off like a roman candle. She doesn't get that me not attending church is not an insult to her or her parenting. Honestly, I think it's proof that she raised a child who can think for herself, which is a noble and excellent thing.

Growing up, we were lower-middle class until my parents divorced. Then we stayed with my mom, and we were poor. She refused to take any help (oh yeah, I get my overly prideful streak from her, too), and I'm sure there were nights when she didn't eat after working two part time jobs to make ends meet. I have to give my parents credit in that they never used my brother and I as pawns. They had a standard custody arrangement but any time my dad wanted to take us for an extra day or they needed to switch a weekend, they did. There was never any problem with my dad paying child support. He paid what was mandated and took care of other things we needed as well. There was very little, if any, playing one parent against the other.

My dad remarried, divorced, and then my parents got remarried. Yeah, I wonder the point of all of it too. Maybe they both had some growing up to do.

As much as any of that might make me hate my parents, I don't. Sure, I went through that phase when I was a teenager - I think most normal people do - but the real clincher in getting along with my parents and actually liking them was tied to my moving out. My mom and I can talk on the phone for hours and still have a hard time hanging up. My dad and I have bonded through our love of weird trivia and family nostalgia.

I'm terrified of losing my dad to his health conditions before Freyja is old enough to remember him. I'm terrified of my mom getting Alzheimer's like her mom, and not knowing us anymore. I don't want to think of the day when I can't call my dad on my lunch break just to say hi, or call my mom at night to tell her what Freyja did because I know she'll understand. Until then, I just make the memories as I can; for Freyja, and for me.