And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Springtime Musings

I love spring! I know it's trite, but I can't help it. More specifically, I love this week of spring. The pear trees and the weeping cherries are in full bloom, daffodils and hyacinths brighten up gardens everywhere, the forsythia are still blossoming -- all of my favorite flowering plants and trees. I love driving down the highway and seeing the great white spheres of the pear trees dotted here and there among the slowly greening branches of all the other deciduous trees. I love the intense chartreuse puffballs on the huge, spreading maple trees -- the incipient form of those thick layers upon layers of maple leaves that make those trees look like the epitome of the word "tree."

The first tree we planted, the first spring we were here (and, coincidentally, the spring Katie was born) was a pear tree. We planted it right outside the room that was then my office (now Ian's room) so that I could look out at the blossoms. Pear trees just say "Spring is here!" to me. I think of it as Katie's tree, and I'm sad that we're going to leave it. I'm sure that a pear will be one of the first trees to go in our yard at the new house. Along with a cheery, a dogwood, and a Japanese maple -- and perhaps an apple, since they make such good climbing trees when they get bigger. We'll have a veritable forest. (Oh, and Dave wants a palm, just because they grow down there and he finds them so odd and intriguing.)

One of my favorite springtime phenomena is the varying greening/flowering schedules of deciduous trees. It wasn't until I was an adult, living in Virginia, that I regularly saw "woods" -- large groupings of trees with enough varieties that you could see the different colors of green layered on top of each other and watch the progress over the first few weeks of the season. It echoes the fall color palette that you can see in woods, but in a cheerier, more promising and less melancholy way. I look forward to it all winter long, when the woods are a sea of monotonous branches, broken up here and there with pine trees.

I can't wait to get out and do a little bit of planting. The weather is finally warming up enough to do so, but unfortunately we have to do some maintenance first -- weeding, removing leaves, etc. I think we'll have fun doing it this spring, with Katie helping and Ian running around like crazy in the grass. I'm definitely a fair-weather gardener -- I like to plant things in the spring and watch the perennials I've planted in years past make their entrance every year. I poop out in the summer, which is probably why I've never had a successful vegetable crop. Oh well, I'll just enjoy my perennials and not worry too much about it. Maybe someday I'll have the persistence to finally reap a harvest of peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Random Rantage...

Remind me to get the titles option fixed for this blog.

Can I just say that it's SO UNFAIR that my period has come back when Ian is still up to nurse two to three times a night (we're working on that this weekend) and comes up to me every couple of hours during the day to oh-so-delicately pound on my chest and/or point at my breasts and say, "nuh?" with his head cocked to the side? (His excited attempt at a nod -- which involves his whole torso -- when I ask him, "Do you want to nurse?" is quite entertaining.) I am at the point where I'm over breastfeeding for this go-round (incidentally, my last). I can't imagine that weaning at this point would be an easy process, though, so I'm probably not going to give it up very soon. Sigh. At least maybe the night weaning thing will help.

Speaking of which -- last night Dave and I had a big pow-wow about our strategy for night weaning before we went to bed last night. This after Ian screamed for an hour and 20 minutes the night before, while the air reverberated with frustration and resentment. He typically wakes up within minutes of us actually turning out the light and trying to fall asleep (how he knows, I have *no* idea) -- around 11:30-12:30, then again at around 3, then again at around 5-6. So what does he do when we actually have a plan? Sleeps through until 3:45. I swear, if he was *trying* to throw us off, he couldn't do a better job.

Let's see, what else? The guy from behind our house is once again parking on our property. I've decided to let it go for the three months we have left here, but I simmer every time I spot his SUV out our bathroom window.

Please tell me that 5-year-old phases don't last for very long. I swear, if I hear one more "IT'S NOT FAIR!!" screamed at me because I am *making* this child wear brand-new, very nice clothes that *she* said she wanted, there may be one less very bright 5-year-old in the world.

OTOH, I'll insert a brag in with the rants -- we picked up the next "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You" book (against her wishes -- grr), and she did really well reading it. I highly recommend those books to slightly more than beginning readers -- they're cute and fun to read together (readers take turns reading, alternating every few lines, which are set in different colors).

And Tori, in answer to your question, the bunny was obviously not trying to get to the other side (since he didn't succeed), but was instead setting out to prove that the world is a very cruel and ironic place. Poor bunny. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Wow, that feels good!

I just sent in an editing assignment three days early. And I know it will be gratefully received, which just makes me feel good. Maybe having my little break from work last month wasn't so bad -- I'm now more eager to get into my projects, and I've tamed my procrastinating habit a little bit. (All right, I still play Snood more than I should, but I'm getting better!)

Today was a whole-family-home day -- Dave has Tuesdays off from the university -- and things went pretty smoothly. I took Katie to dance while Dave watched Ian and put him down for his morning nap; I worked while Dave lunched the kids and put Katie down for her nap; and then I took both kids to a playdate to give Dave, who's sick with a cold, a break. Then he got them dinner and ready for bed while I decompressed and then worked. And now, since I'm done early, I might even get to go hang out with *him* and watch some TV before we go to bed.

I worry sometimes that this switcharoo parenting -- my turn, then his turn, my turn, then his turn -- isn't the "right" way to do things when we're all home together. I worry that it sends the signal to the kids that parenting is an undesirable chore, something to be "gotten through" until your turn is over. And the thing is, it often *is* an undesirable chore, right? But I feel like the ideal mom would have more fun when she was watching the kids, and the ideal family would do everything together. But then when would there be time to do the dishes, pick up the house, work, nap, etc.?

And napping is important. This place often feels like The House o' Naps. On days when he's home, Dave usually lets me sleep in (i.e., I don't have to get up at 6 with the kids; I get to "sleep in" until 8:30 -- remember when sleeping in meant not stirring until long past noon? But I digress...). Then I get up and take over the kids, and he naps. Someone usually naps during one or both of the kids' naps (which at the moment stretch out over the whole day between the two of them), and it's not unheard of for one of us to nap at 8 p.m. and then get up for a little while before going to bed again. I'm hoping this will change when Ian finally decides to sleep through the night (as of now, at 16 months old, he technically sleeps through (meaning 5-6 hours), but not really -- he goes down at 7-8, wakes at 1, wakes at 3:30, and wakes for good at 6; needless to say, no one's getting a really good night's sleep with this going on). The plan (again) is to night-wean him this weekend -- if we're not too sick, or too tired, or too busy to follow through with it.

I guess spending time with one's spouse is important, too, and I'd better get to it. Not to mention there's this crocheted baby bootie project calling my name...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Oops, forgot Sam Byck (wanted to crash a plane into the White House to kill Nixon). That's only because he didn't have a song.

Oh, and I wanted to add that I just finished reading Bookends by Jane Green, and I highly recommend this bit of British chick lit. I enjoyed the story a lot, and it wasn't as fluffy as the cover blurbs made it sound. Of course, it's going to take a while to get the words "bugger" and "bloody" out of my head . . .

My Adventures in the City

Tuesday night I got to have a great treat -- ten hours to myself, a trip to New York City, and great seats at a musical I've been waiting to see for almost three years. I went to see Assassins, by Stephen Sondheim. I first got to know the musical in college, when my best friends introduced me to Sondheim musicals and I became obsessed with them. Assassins never made it to Broadway the first time around (in 1991, I think), but they did produce a cast album, which I listened to with relish. The play basically strings together the stories of all the people who have tried to assassinate presidents of the United States, from John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln) to John Hinckley (Reagan) and including Leon Czolgocz (William McKinley (he "succeeded")), Charles Guiteau (Garfield (also a "success")), Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK), Giuseppe Zangara (FDR, when he was President-elect), and Sara Jane Moore and Lynnette "Squeaky" Fromme (both attempted to kill Ford). I did that all from memory -- are you impressed?

Anyway, Assassins was supposed to come to Broadway in October 2001 with Neil Patrick Harris (you know, Doogie Howser) in one of the lead roles, and I was all hopped up about that way back then -- and then 9/11 happened, and somebody decided that maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea to stage a musical about killing presidents in that climate. And I've been waiting ever since. When I found out it was finally scheduled again, I snapped up a ticket to a preview, figuring that I didn't want to take a chance on it being cancelled before it even opened!

And it was so worth it! I loved the show, and loved seeing some of the story that happens between the songs. Almost all of the characters were as I pictured (except for Zangara, who was played by a very WASP-y accountant-y looking guy -- odd for the role of an illiterate Italian menial laborer). Neil Patrick Harris was actually phenomenal -- a great voice, great acting, and just an electricity that I didn't expect (I now have a crush on him). I was pleasantly surprised to see that James Barbour, who played a dreamy Rochester in the fairly short-lived Jane Eyre musical was also in the show, there were a lot of swoon-worthy moments. The woman who played Squeaky Fromme was pretty amazing too -- a very believable "dippy hippie"/follower of Charlie Manson. All in all, a great show. And another pretty exciting thing -- sitting three seats away from me, in the banquette section (like little couches), was Stephen Sondheim himself! Pretty cool! Although of course, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask for an autograph or anything.

The rest of the City visit was pretty fun, too. Despite a nasty drizzle/light rain, I did a lot of walking after taking the train in. I browsed the garment district and picked up some fabric for my proposed crazy quilt Indian fabric duvet cover project (it's only been in the works since Feb. 2003), all the while being hit on by a Bangladeshi man who was old enough to be my father, who decided I was so "nice" that he'd keep giving me discount after discount. I got hot dogs from the famed Gray's Papaya, since I actually happened to find it. I wandered through Macy's annual Flower Show (site of a nightmare Katie meltdown last year, so doing it alone was a nice change). I people-watched. I had some lousy Mexican food but a nice raspberry margarita at a restaurant with great atmosphere (does that make up for it? No, not really.). And then I had a little too much to drink when I decided to have a glass of wine at the show, only to find that they didn't sell wine by the glass, but by the 1/2 bottle (about 2 glasses). Apparently, I've become some kind of lightweight. I was fine until I got up to leave, and then I realized I was a bit tipsy -- and even embarrassed myself by breaking the wine glass. I'm still a bit mortified. Fortunately, by the time I got some coffee at Penn Station and sat on the train for the hour's ride back to my car, I was fine to drive.

The drive home provided some supreme irony, however. I was listening to the BBC World Report on NPR -- aside: What on earth is up with cricket??? I heard a report of a test series (I think?), where one team was 466 runs behind -- 466!! -- and then some bloke came on and said he thought they had a good chance of turning it around! I boggled. But anyway -- and there was a story on about how research has shown that listening to loud or fast music can impair one's driving. The researcher was saying, "Even a decrease in reaction time by 1/3 of a second can be fatal --" and a bunny jumped in front of my car on the highway. The poor thing didn't have a chance, since I was using cruise control and going about 65 mph. It was my very first roadkill, and I was sad, though not as distraught as I would have thought. I was quite bemused by the coincidence of the radio story, though.

So that's the story of my foray into the City. The kids did great without me, though Ian hasn't slept very well at night since (I mean, he's worse than the usual waking three times a night). I was so glad to have the opportunity to indulge, since my chances of seeing Broadway plays will probably decrease phenomenally when I live in Alabama.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Spent the day in the City with both kids and some friends who also have a 5- and a 1-year-old. We decided to take Karina and Katie, best friends, in to see the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. Dave wasn't able to join us, since he had advising meetings, but we managed pretty well regardless. The kids were all very good, despite the lack of regular naps, and I think Katie really enjoyed the dinosaur and Exploratorium exhibits.

Am I a bad intellectual if I admit that dinosaurs really do nothing for me? I mean, once you get your head around the concept that there actually *were* dinosaurs, and they existed an inconceivably long time ago, the rest of the exhibit is pretty much just one pile of bones after another. In fact, the whole AMNH is really not my cup of tea. Yet the membership we bought keeps bringing us back because -- hey, it's free! -- and Dave, the science geek, really likes the place. I'm not crazy about stuffed animals (i.e., of the taxidermy persuasion), the exhibits really don't exemplify the latest and greatest trends in modern museumology (very few interactive exhibits; lots of staged tableaus), and the place is huuuuuuge, which means you have to go through the hall of ichthyosaurs and related mammals (I'm making that up, but you get the picture), through the Hall of Biodiversity (not making that one up), and through the Teddy Roosevelt memorial to get to the space center that you really wanted to see (and then you can't find an elevator to take you to the main exhibit floor, but that's another story).

I do like the minerals and gems exhibits -- Mrs. Hayward, who taught 8th grade Earth Science would be so proud of all that I remember about rocks -- and I like IMAX movies. But that's about as far as I can enthuse about "natural history," and I feel bad that I couldn't even really muster up a whole lot of enthusiasm to share with Katie. Ah, well, I guess that's why she has two parents -- we'll have to go back one more time before our membership is up this month so that she and Dave can swoon over the science stuff together.

As for me, give me the Smithsonian Museum of American History in DC any day. Social history -- that's what I like. Stories about people's lives from another time are the things that float *my* boat. With luck, I can stir up a penchant for that type of thing in Katie and Ian, too. Hmm, maybe it's time to start planning our trip to Baltimore and DC...

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I'm beginning to loathe Easter. For one thing, as a not particularly religious person, I find the secularization of Easter a little bit weird. I mean, I can get behind giving gifts to those you love at Christmas. I can support getting together with extended family and giving thanks to them, if not to some type of deity, at Thanksgiving. But the transformation of Easter from the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to a holiday in which a bunny encourages children to gorge themselves on candy is strange to me. Not that that keeps us from participating.

Last year, we hid a ton of eggs for then-4-year-old Katie, and it took her forever to find them. My husband and I both found it a frustrating experience. This year, we again hid a ton of eggs -- 37 for her, 5 for 1-year-old Ian (scattered on the floor in a special area) -- despite my husband reminding me of last year. "She's 5 now," I replied. "She'll want to find lots of eggs."

Yeah, right. Again, it took forever. For someone who's so into hide-and-seek, this girl has no sense of looking for something until she finds it. The thrill of the hunt is not for her. No wonder she can never find her favorite stuffed horsie at bedtime.

And, of course, there was the requisite meltdown about Ian picking up one of "her" eggs. Because, you know, *36* eggs to *6* is a much less favorable ratio than 37 to 5. Sigh. And the also-requisite yanking of an egg away from her brother, followed by the customary go-to-your-room punishment.

She seems happy with her presents, which mostly consisted of a whole herd of My Little Ponies. Ian seems content with his lot, which was being able to eat jelly beans for breakfast (oh, just this once!). Everyone is playing and relatively happy. But still. Holidays are not all they're cracked up to be. I can only hope that someday it'll get better -- that with maturity (the children's? mine?), we'll all be able to handle the heightened anxiety, anticipation, and giddiness that stem from these big events.

(Note: This was supposed to be published last night around 6:30, but I couldn't get Blogger to accept the publishing.)

How bad are we? Right now, my husband Dave is staked out in our bathroom, eavesdropping out the window on the latest situation with our white trash neighbors. It all started about a month ago, when we confronted a "kid" (we later found out he's 20 years old) riding an incredibly noisy, not to mention illegal dirt bike up and down our street at night when our kids were in bed and asked him to stop. He did. The next day, the same thing happened at naptime, and Dave went out again, but this time the kid and his friends gave him lip. Fine, we figured, next time, instead of trying to be neighborly, we'll just call the cops.

A few days later, the opportunity presented itself, and we tracked down the non-emergency police number (do you know how hard that is to find?) and called to report it. They seemed excited that we were reporting and transferred me to someone who asked for the address. I gave it, and asked, "The next time we call, what number should we call?" "911," was the reply, so obviously this is something the cops are taking semi-seriously. That was Friday, March 12. Saturday, March 13, our porch was set on fire.

It was 9:30 at night, both kids were asleep, and we were in the basement watching TV. Our lights were on, and both cars were in the driveway, so it was apparent that we were home. While sitting on our couch, we thought we smelled smoke, which was mildly alarming, but because we use an electric baseboard heater, which can sometimes smell "hot," to heat our basement, we assumed it was that. We unplugged the heater. Then we smelled smoke again, and this time saw some, up near the ceiling. Now a little bit more than mildly alarmed, Dave picked up the heater to take it outside or something, thinking unplugging it hadn't been enough. When he got upstairs, he saw smoke coming in under the front door and called to me.

I came upstairs, went to the front door, and opened it, and saw our welcome mat in flames. Dave was frantically searching under our kitchen sink for our fire extinguisher (he was ultimately unsuccessful); I ran back to the sink to find a pot to fill with water. I learned that water doesn't come out of the sink fast enough in such a situation. My pot did nothing, and neither did Dave's pot. I grabbed the phone and called 911 and raced to Katie's bedroom to wake her up.

I don't think I've ever done anything scarier in my life then wake my kids up to get them out of a burning house. I'm sure the 911 transcript would be entertaining reading, as I was in full-on panic mode, trying to wake my daughter calmly, dropping the phone, picking the baby up out of his crib. Katie was very disoriented, and I sent her out to the living room to leave the house through the back door. She started to go down the basement steps, poor thing, but by that time I'd gotten Ian, hung up with 911, and I could shepherd her out the back door -- all three of us barefoot and in pajamas.

We gathered on the front lawn. Dave had beaten us and was trying to use the garden hose to put out the fire, which by now had spread to the side wall of the porch and melted the vinyl siding. He was having a hard time untangling the hose, and ended up using the water coming out of the crack in the hose joint, but he finally got the fire out. Another minute or so and the fire trucks pulled up -- though he had to go flag them down, because the house numbers on our street are out of order, and they couldn't find our house (builds confidence, doesn't it?).

Meanwhile, Katie was cold (it was probably about 35 degrees), and I was trying to calm her by repeating, "It's OK, it's OK." In hindsight, your mother frantically trying to reassure you in such a manner probably isn't all that reassuring. I decided to take the kids to the neighbors' across the street, so I carried both of them over (still in my bare feet), only to find out that the neighbors weren't home. So we went next door instead. Those neighbors took us in, gave me tea, and gave Katie an audience (she perked up immediately once she was inside a house; Ian was nonplussed by it all), and I held it together -- until I went outside to talk to Dave, at which point I started sobbing hysterically (which was OK, because the kids were still with the neighbors).

(Aside -- funniest moment of the night was when one of the firefighters asked Dave, who had his arm around hysterically sobbing me, "This your wife?" No, it's just a hysterical bystander, officer, what do you think?)

Arson investigators came and talked to us. We told them about the dirt bike stuff, since this was the only possible reason for this to happen. We don't interact a whole lot with our neighbors, and there had been no other incidents like this in the six years we've lived here. I had gotten the first name of the kid from the neighbors -- he's the grandson of the woman who lives behind us in what can generously be described as a shack -- and when I told the police, they knew him and his last name, and didn't seem at all surprised. It turned out that what had happened was "someone" had pulled the old "flaming bag of dog poop on the porch" prank, only it got out of control. When I found that out, it made me feel a little bit better than the scenario I'd been envisioning, which involved someone deliberately setting our possessions on fire. But still -- a stupid thing to do, and extremely dangerous.

However, of course, as seems to happen often, there turned out to be nothing the police could do. They got a hold of the kid, but he claimed to have been at his girlfriend's house, and the girlfriend backed him up. No one saw anything. And so it goes.

And then the dirt bike started up again, supplemented with an equally noisy, also illegal ATV. I wasn't going to let them set my porch on fire *and* keep going with this, so I called the cops again last week, at which point an officer came to talk to me and told me that they're not really allowed to do anything in these situations, because if they chase the ATVs and the rider falls off, he could sue the police. In other words, really not worth the effort. So a few days later, again during naptime, I went out myself.

Now, it was probably a stupid thing to do, but I ended up confronting kid and friends (nicely at first), and they yelled at me, called me a bitch, and were generally disrespectful and argumentative. I came in from the encounter shaking with impotent rage, and couldn't think of anything to do. So I lashed out at the family behind us. They've been parking basically in our side yard for a couple of years, and we've had exchanges about it, but for the most part, since it's off a dirt street and behind a fence, we haven't bothered with it. Now I printed off a No Parking sign and wrote a note that said we'd like them to stop parking on our property, and that we'd let this go for a while, but given the disrespect shown us by their relative, we weren't feeling as charitable as we once were. I put the note on the windshield of the car parked there at the time. This was last Sunday.

Of course, nothing happened. The car continued to be parked there, and I didn't catch them not being there. I resolved to go out and buy "real" No Parking and Private Property signs, along with rope, and put them up (roping off the spot so they *couldn't* park there, as soon as I saw the car gone. That happened on Wednesday.

Thusday evening, the rope had been taken down. Dave went out to tie it back up, and this time kid's uncle, who is 27 and who lives in the auxiliary shack (converted garage) back there, confronts him. I went out and joined in the fray, during which this guy called me "eye-ratic" until I finally snapped at him that there was no such word and he should stop saying it. (No, I don't know when to back off.) We all had some words, but it actually eventually ended amicably, when I told him I didn't know what else to do to make them aware of the situation. He disavowed any responsibility for the kid, but still, I think we got our point across.

Of course, I found out that he had *also* called the police to file a report when I put the sign up originally, in case we vandalized his car or something. I told him I had a deed that proves it's our property; he asked to see it. I put a copy in their mailbox later that evening. Still, as I said, it seemed to be amicable, and I had hopes that things would be resolved.

And that brings us to today. Once again, while Ian was napping, the ATV started up again, rumbling the house. I looked out the back, and could see kid, minus helmet this time, doing wheelies, spinouts, standing up stunts, etc., up and down the road next to our house. I struggled. I really did. I tried to let it go. But after more than 10 minutes, I couldn't. I called 911, this time anonymously, and went back to the basement with Katie. A few minutes later, Dave came to ask me to keep an eye on the kids while he eavesdropped on the cops. A few minutes after that, he came and said, "Would it fill you with glee to know that the cop ran the ATV's serial number and it's apparently stolen?" Why, yes, it does.

And now, after this long saga, the events for today are over. Kid and ATV have been hauled off to the police station. I am overjoyed (and at the same time, a little guilty about that feeling). If they couldn't do anything about the fire, this is the next best thing. And at the very least, the ATV is gone for good! I'm so glad I called today, and that the stars were aligned to allow the cops to actually *get* there and catch the kid.

However, I think I may stay away from the windows for a while -- don't want to provide an easy target for any vengeful white trash neighbors!

Thursday, April 08, 2004


Meg on my Freelance mailing list got me to rambling about transitions, and I thought I'd post this to my new blog. As you can tell, I'm feeling a fair amount of angst about these issues.

At the end of June we'll be moving from Long Island to Alabama. We figure the cost of living is about 30% less down there than it is here, and my husband will be making 33% more than he is currently making. So we'll definitely be ahead, and possibly ahead enough that I wouldn't have to work and could be a SAHM instead of a WAHM. The thing is, it's never really been a goal of mine to be a SAHM. I love my kids (ages 5 and 15 months), and think I'm a pretty good mom, but I don't get the same kind of things out of mothering that I do out of working. I love knowing that I'm good at what I do, and getting praise and recognition for it in various forms, both verbal and monetary -- neither of which can be said of parenting. I find it interesting that when I've discussed this development with other SAHMs (I don't interact with many WAHMs or WOHMs), I get the reaction that it's great that I'll be able to quit working. But that kind of ignores or diminishes my desire to continue working part-time.

Other transitions -- currently my daughter (the 5yo) attends preschool/daycare 3 days a week (MWF) from 9 to 4. My son doesn't go anywhere without me yet. This of course means that working for the past year has involved lots of juggling. My husband is a college professor, and works on campus only 3 days a week (MWTh) and sometimes comes home earlier than the typical homecoming time, plus he gets 3 months off in the summer and a month around Christmas. I admit I'm extremely spoiled by this schedule and depend on his co-parenting a lot. With this move and new job (out of academia), he'll be working 5 days a week, closer to 9-5 (although he may do some flextime things and leave earlier and come home earlier), and my daughter will be in full-day kindergarten 5 days a week. We're going to be "normal" -- schedulewise, at least. :) I started my daughter in part-time daycare just after she turned 2, which worked out very well for us. Now I have to think about when my son should start -- it would be convenient to start him at the same time Katie starts school, but that's at "only" 20 months, rather than 2+, and I'm feeling some parental guilt about that (despite the fact that he would be absolutely thrilled if I left him at Katie's daycare when I dropped her off -- he fits right in with the big kids) -- especially if I don't "have to" work (see above).

I think there's no question that I'll continue working. How much is the question. Whether to put Ian in daycare is the question. And how I'm going to work to be a better and more involved mom is always the question. The best part about being a WAHM is knowing that I'm at least physically home with my children. The worst part is feeling like I'm always doing a not-good-enough job at what I'm doing, be it parenting, housekeeping or editing (not that my editing's not good enough, but that my organization and attention to the business end and such tend to fall a little short). I find it interesting -- and the tiniest bit panic-inducing -- that in 6 months my life is going to be completely different from the one that I've managed to work out now.

I do have to say that I feel incredibly fortunate that these are the worst of my problems (well, worst if you don't count the hoodlum who set my porch on fire a few weeks ago), and that my job is portable and didn't have to be a factor in this major life decision, among numerous other things.

All right, figured the time thing out and the comments thing out. Someday I'll do some design as well. At least I've gotten a decent start.

Hmm, that's interesting. Apparently Blogger's time zone is set in California, and if I change things to have the time show what time I *actually* posted (East Coast time), the post doesn't post -- maybe not until that time in CA? Plus, I'm wondering how to get all the neat-o things others have -- comments, links, etc. Maybe I'll have to do some looking around.

Okay, fine. I've gotten a blog. Even got one with my own name, which is generally much harder to do than when I was a Dockstader. I'm not sure what purpose I have for a blog, but heck, everyone else has one, and maybe it's better to post my long, long ramblings on this than on my e-mail lists -- my posts are always so much longer than everyone else's that I have a secret fear that people see my name as the sender and think, "Oh no, not *her* again." Ah well, the curse of being a wordy person with no censor. At the very least, perhaps it's a convenient way to keep a diary of sorts, which I never get around to doing no matter how many pretty journals I buy from Barnes & Noble. So here it is -- if anyone's reading, glad you could make it.