Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I actually made New Year's Resolutions this year, something I normally avoid because I figure that if something in your life is important enough to do or change then you should just do it. Whether it's January 1 or April 22 or August 3. Just take charge and do that shit.

Which is funny since I am so laid back and not a take-charge kind of person. Suffice it to say there is little shit I have done and things happen at a pretty slow pace for me.

I like it that way.

But what with my depression swallowing me whole and with little accomplished outside of parenting in my lately-life, I decided to make myself a list, which I'll share with you because I'm sure it is very interesting to the world at large.


First, the serious stuff:
1. Call a damn doctor. I have already had a visit with an OB/GYN to speak about my lady business, and I have an appointment in place for later this week with a general practitioner to begin talks about my sleep (lack of it), depression and anxiety, and that night I thought my gallbladder or something was going to kill me. Now I just need to schedule with a dentist. Because having health insurance is pretty great.
2. Start and actually go through with a more rigorous at-home exercise plan to strengthen my body and increase my stamina. I can't wait for spring to arrive so I can get outside more and ride a bike. In the meantime I'll spazz out in my living room and play in the snow. Maybe ski and skate.
3. Make more art. Actually BE the artist I like to think of myself as, and make stuff! And sell it! And be so happy about it! (Two projects already underway because I'm awesommmmmme.)
4. Be a better housekeeper. Know where things are. Store things appropriately. Put the freaking laundry away when it's folded, not two weeks later.

I have also resolved some fun and silly/superficial things to make my 2010 to-do list more fun. Here we go:
1. Put clothes on. Clothes that are not jammies. I have found that when I put on some jeans and a bra, I have more motivation to get things done earlier in the day, and then that pumps me up because I see these results like a sparkly kitchen before noon. Maybe this belongs in the 'serious' category.
2. Wear heels. I don't have feet that were made for heels but I feel like if I wear them (lower, more reasonable ones) then I will feel fancy and if I feel fancy I will have more fun. I bought this super-cute pair of pumps at Payless and I cannot believe how comfortable they are, even on my feet. Sometimes I wear them while I cook dinner or wash dishes because, well, being two inches taller and having shoes that click the floor is fun.
3. Accept invitations to events where I can wear these heels. I already wore them on my date with Gabe for his birthday, and now I need weddings, gallery shows, museums, and parties to attend so that I have reason to wear them again.
4. Have more sex. Tee-hee-hee!
5. Go swimming at every possible opportunity this summer, and hike from spring through fall. Purchase and ride a bicycle regularly.
6. Get more familiar with Maine and all of its hidden gems I have yet to discover, and revisit the destinations of my youth.
7. Purchase sweet prints on Etsy (like this one and this one) and frame them to display in my home. Also print more photos of Liam and my life to frame and display. No more bare walls!
8. Step up my social life and that of my son so that we go less crazy. I already have some sweet activities lined up for us, events I am actually planning!, and I'm really excited.
9. Get rid of all of the underwear that does not fit me; more specifically, the underwear I've owned since before my pregnancy and then throughout it, resulting in an almost total loss of elasticity. I still wear this crap when I haven't done enough laundry. But I aim to get rid of them all and replace them with much cuter undies.

It's almost the end of January- have you made any resolutions? Have you already forgotten them? Have you had any successes so far?

Monday, January 25, 2010

golden nuggets

For the past eighteen months, whenever Liam has had a doctor's appointment- be it a well baby visit or a sick visit- I've been told he has an awful lot of wax in his ears, to which I have always replied, "Is there anything I should be doing about that?" I was consistently told no, there's no safe way to irrigate the ear canal, and I was always like, so why are you telling me how waxy he is? and they're all blah blah blah and I'm like ?????? and they're like, have a nice day!

For at least a week, Liam has been tugging at and poking at one of his ears. It started just at nighttime before bed and I thought he was simply stalling because he doesn't like going to bed. More recently I'd ask him what's wrong and he'd say, "I'm fine." There was an absence of any other symptoms like coughing, congestion or a fever so I let it go until yesterday, when Liam was touching his ear all day and saying it hurt. I got him in to the doctor late this morning expecting some kind of stealth ear infection.

Once again, when the doctor peeked inside of Liam's ears I got the wax comment. This time it was, "Whoa! Got some wax?" I didn't even ask this time. I was just like whatever, at least I have a small co-pay for this visit. Then the doctor went on to say Liam has so much wax built up that it's all packed in and he can't even see his eardrum. So he used a little tool (I just tried Googling it to see if this tool has a name but I ended up with some gross earwax shots so I'll leave it at that) to dig a tunnel to check out the eardrum. The eardrum looked good- no infection!- but he gave me two options about the wax:

1) Buy an over-the-counter liquid to dry up the earwax
2) Flush out the wax in-office, same day

I chose number 2 for quicker results for Liam's relief. And HOLY MOLY. I cannot believe what came out of my son's ears!

There were several flecks of wax floating in the little cup that caught the water as it came out, plus a few pea-sized gobs of yellowy-black wax. The SIZE OF PEAS!



It was so gross and fascinating. I didn't even know there was ROOM for that much wax inside of Liam's cute little ears.

It was not a comfortable procedure for Liam; I held him close to me and he quivered and cried but he was so good and did not try to get away. Almost as soon as it was over he looked at me and said, "Mumma, I feel better already!" This evening as I was tucking him into bed, after I read him a few stories he told me his favorite part of the day was going to the doctor and fixing his ear.

From now on I'll be dropping peroxide into Liam's ears weekly to prevent the future need for wax-flushing. Most importantly, I don't want Liam in that kind of pain and discomfort again if it's something I can prevent.

Also, I cannot get the image of those wax nuggets OUT OF MY HEAD!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Welcome back, girls. And by girls I mean my breasts.

I haven't been on birth control in over three years. There are reasons why, but they're kind of accidental reasons so they are boring and do not matter. But I decided to go on birth control again because I thought it'd be nice to have clear skin for the second time in my life, and also be able to know when I should be expecting my period. Because every 20-32 days is not regular enough for me and my period was trying to kill me with pain and excessive blood loss.

(And by excessive I mean, you don't want to know how much blood was coming out of me.)

So today marks the start of my third week on a regular ol' birth control pill. In my first two weeks I gained five pounds, an insatiable appetite, less sleep but more fatigue and my boobs.

That's right. My boobs, who both went missing when my breastfeeding days were over. They are back.

They're sore from so much growth in such a short period of time, but they are currently sitting perkily upon my chest, pressing warmly against the inside of my bra, happy to be home.

And I'm just going to say it- I like having breasts that feel familiar again, no matter how superficial and shallow that sounds. I missed my breasts and I did not like what they'd been replaced by. This is not about sex or my husband (who loves them no matter what, thankyouverymuch) or pressures from society and media about how I should look. My breasts are a part of me and I just wanted to feel like myself again. (If, say, my eyes changed color or something happened that altered the shape of my lips, I'd be sad about that too.) I can't exercise myself into bigger breasts and I don't like the idea of having implants- so this side effect from the birth control is a very welcome change.

In (somewhat) related news last week I was helping Liam pick up his toys, and he caught a glimpse down my shirt as I bent over. Upon seeing my cleavage briefly he asked me, "Mumma, why you have a butt in your shirt?"


Saturday, January 23, 2010


One of my oldest friends just had her first baby in December; a sweet little girl named Ava who I got to hold and she looked at me with wide blue eyes and gurgled at me and all I could do was gaze back and tell her how sweet and tiny and pretty she is.

Gabe's cousin and his wife just had their first baby a couple weeks ago; a sweet little girl named Lily. They live in Texas so we haven't met her yet but in her photos she's all soft and loved and beautiful.

My buddy Bridget just added a gorgeous baby girl to her family. Welcome, Ada! You and your brother are going to have so much fun. But get better soon, first!

Gabe's brother and his wife are expecting a baby girl in April; also their first. I already bought some clothes for my new niece (the very day I found out they are having a girl, in fact) and I'm just giddy with anticipation to meet her. I'm so excited for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. What a beautiful family they'll make!

Feel my forehead, folks. That's baby fever. I'm afflicted.

Also spiking my temperature is that Gabe and I have begun talks to mayyyybe move up our "let's try to have another baby" plan by a couple years, which WHOA OMG DID I REALLY JUST SAY THAT?!!! Yes. Yes, I did. It's not going to happen right this second and we're still not sure when exactly we'll try to conceive but it's definitely not 4-6 years from now, which was the plan pretty much since I was pregnant with Liam.

I'm revamping my list of names, thinking about where to move next and will promptly enact a plan to get my body into some serious shape to help support a strong and healthy near-ish future pregnancy.

Pass the Tylenol please.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I woke up one morning last week to a wide-eyed Liam squeezing my nose and saying, "Wee-wee-wee nose! Wee-wee-wee nose!" And as I hugged and snuggled him and said good morning, he took my face in his hands and said, "You are my woman in the whole world."

(melt melt melt!)

Just a few days after that, we were in the check-out line together at Walmart, buying a cartload of groceries. I noticed a man staring at me from the bench nearby- the kind of staring that is intentional and creepy and uncomfortable. So I was trying to avoid eye contact, and I was chatting with Liam as I loaded grocery bags into our cart. Liam was playing with the big green buttons on the front of my coat, and then he pulled my coat aside and gave one of my breasts a good squeeze. You know, just for toddler fun. Creepy dude watched on.

(ack ack ack!)

You win some, you lose some.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tiny changes

Frightened Rabbit's Midnight Organ Fight (2008) is my new obsession, and that's a big deal. In the past couple years my interest in music has really tapered off and I just stick to the music I know and already like. I don't seek out new music and new bands like I used to. Here and there I'll hear a song I like but nothing really grabs my attention for long before I am back to listening to matt pond PA, David Bowie, Mozart and Neutral Milk Hotel on repeat.

I'm not even sure where I first heard of Frightened Rabbit, seeing as how the album is almost two years old now and I am late to the game. But I recently looked them up on MySpace to find out what they sound like, and I liked what I heard enough to ask for one of their albums for Christmas. (That's a big deal too since I haven't actually gone out and bought a new CD in ages. If memory serves me correctly the last time I slapped down some cash for a CD was in October of 2007 when I bought Last Light at the matt pond PA show in Dallas. I'm only twenty-eight and that's like an eternity, especially compared to my past music-buying rates.)

Gabe gave me a copy of Midnight Organ Fight for Christmas and I am officially, whole-heartedly SUCKED IN and I am showing no signs of shrugging and turning back to my old faves. These past couple weeks have been like embarking on a new relationship. Really exciting, heart-skipping, breathless. The songs consume my mind like I might think of a new lover in his or her absence-just wanting to be near again, wanting to nestle into those new warm arms, and trying not to giggle when we kiss.

It's actually a break-up album full of sadness and anger, heartbreak, brutality- yet there's something still so sensual, sexual, passionate and even hopeful about it. Scott Hutchison's voice will tear you to shreds and then stitch you up gently, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

I've ordered their first album, Sing the Greys, from my local music store and am not-so-patiently waiting its arrival. I should be realistic, though, and know that I will only stop listening to Midnight Organ Fight when someone rips it from my cold, dead hands OR BETTER YET, when their new album comes out in March.

(That sound you just heard was the quiet thunder of my heart beating twice at the same time. Yes. The same time.)

I am hoping with a silent, obnoxious shriek that this Scottish band tours North America to support their new album. I'd go see them. Anywhere. I live in Maine and most touring bands I am interested in don't seem to want to come to Portland, so I used to travel frequently to Massachusetts and even Rhode Island to see bands I loved. Now that I love fewer bands, I am really only willing to leave Maine (I am older, have less income that can be used frivolously, chronically sleepy, etc) for one band. Now it's two. TWO BANDS! Frightened Rabbit has changed my life!

This is serious.


From their upcoming album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks: