Sunday, September 13, 2009


The best job I ever had...

I went to college and got a degree. I worked for several years, gainfully, in corporate America. The daily grind, the paperwork, the TPS reports (no lie, they were called TPS reports..). And when I started to feel unfufilled, I went back to college, got another degree and worked for a few more years in a wonderful, people serving, people helping, soul-satisfying job.

And then this past June, I got a new job.

The hours are crap -- and I've worked my fair share of nightshifts as a nurse. No salary -- in fact, the money I've spent to sustain this job is mind boggling. I had no training, no manuals and really, little relevant experience. But I was hired. And my only charge in this 24 hour gig is also my demanding boss, my task master, my impatient ruler and my giggle filled, spontaneously pooping, truly blessed gift from God.

And I've come to find out that the benefits are unmatched.

As bleary eyed as I might be after a sporadically slept night, the bright eyed, toothless smile from ear to ear that greets me over the rail of his crib as if to say, "Oh good!!!! You're awake too!! Now we're awake together!! What are we gonna do today?" makes my heart swell.

The sweet smell of his breath as he dozes so trustingly and snuggily on my chest. The knowledge that the folds of his chubby thighs and the clothes that I swear fit him yesterday that I can't snap closed today are because of the amazing, life giving milk only I can give him. And the quiet anticipation of the day I get my first hug from him - the first time he tells me he loves me, and the secret hope his first word is "Momma" (because my first word everyday and the last word of my prayers every night is "Ollie").

In a moment, on the evening of June 24th, I immediately understood that I would do anything, truly anything, for this blessed baby. And I immediately felt initiated into this amazing cult of motherhood. I have been entrusted by God to care for and rear this sweet child -- and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to devote every fiber of my being to giving this child everything he needs to grow up happy, healthy and safe.

This is the best job I've ever had.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Deliver me. Please.

Pregnancy is really magical. This tiny life that you (and likely someone else) created becoming their own person right inside you. You can feel their every movement. I marvel that after my initial role in pregnancy (ahem), that my body is already pre-programmed to crock pot this child for over 9 months knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. All I have to do is provide the fuel, the cargo room and the transportation.

There are a few big lies out there about pregnancy, though. And I realize I'm not the first pregnant woman to ever live, so perhaps my revelations aren't all that earth shattering. The biggest lie, however, is that pregnancy is 9 months. It ain't. Look it up. 40 weeks -- divided by a 4 week month is actually -- ha, 10 months. Which is probably why after 9 months most women, no matter how magical their experience, are totally ready to end the inside magic/ever-enlarging-ness and get to the outside magic/poo. We're psychologically programmed to "be done" after 9 months.

And I'm there.

Looking back, I can't believe that I've been pregnant for nearly a year. The morning sickness seems like ages ago, as does fitting into regular clothes. I think of the early months of worries that I will soon be trading in for a lifetime of different worries. And the strange anxiety to deliver a healthy baby as soon as possible because the thought of anything going wrong at this juncture of the pregnancy -- so close to the end -- would be all too terrible to fathom.

You know how when you learn a new word you somehow see that word all the time after that? Well, I think that phenomenon extends to pregnancy as well. I notice other pregnant women all the time. All of my television shows seem to be featuring pregnancy at one point or another. I also find it interesting that, per Hollywood, you cannot deliver any shocking news to a pregnant woman without her going into labor. If this is some secret trigger for labor, could someone please whisper something shocking to me soon?

I posted before about the amusing one liners I found myself on the receiving end of -- and, happily, they kept coming. I was recently in the hospital elevator -- taking the long trip to the top floor where I work. The elevator was full of miscellaneous visitors, myself and a male coworker. It was quiet. I was minding my own business. Suddenly my male coworker pipes up, shatters the peaceful silence and says unnecessarily audibly, "So, Cathy, am I the father of your baby?" Wow. I mean, Wow. Come up with a clever or, hell, appropriate retort to THAT. I, 40 shades of red, came up with, "No, my husband is. But thanks for asking."

For non-Facebook followers, I have been chronicling the ever growing girth and chunk of my in-utero son. 4 weeks before his due date, he was already 8 pounds. So you can imagine, if he's hanging out at a solid 8 pounds what *I* must look like. I get it. I'm big. Believe me, no one is more familiar with my hugeness than I am. But for some reason, people really feel the need to let me know just how big I am and how much it has shocked their day to have set eyes on a pregnant woman who is just so damned huge. I get that it isn't meant as an insult. I get that some humans (most of which I work with or encounter at my place of work..a strange gathering place for people with the mental disability of flowing thoughts right from their brains to their mouths ) are incapable of seeing something without immediately commenting on it -- it's a lack of the internal filter. What I have come to love more than the "Oh my God, you're huge!" comments (which, I openly admit I am getting crustier and crustier about responding to in the moment) are the "Oh my God, are you having twins?!" comments. When is it ever appropriate to comment on a woman -- nay, anyone's size? I am thankful that 1) I am not thin skinned (though, currently I am large skinned..) and that 2) these comments always start with "Oh my God", so that I am able to have that moment to steel myself to the upcoming remark, sigh loudly and thank them for their thoughtful observation.

In opposition to all of that -- I've had to wait 9 and a half months for a random stranger encounter that was actually 150% positive. Today, at the store, a woman shopping next to me said, "I just have to tell you how beautiful you look." Just like that. Maybe it was pity or maybe she works where I do, too and was once pregnant, or maybe, just maybe I really did look beautiful at that moment, but I stopped her, touched her arm and thanked her so very much for telling me that.

When I was first pregnant, I was told that my pregnancy was, sociologically speaking, community-owned. People see a pregnant woman and want to touch her and engage her. While it's magical for me, other people also think it's pretty magical to have a new, growing life inside someone else. It also freaks some people the-hell out. When I enter stores, men will hurry, unfailingly, to hold the door open for me -- their faces dripping with some mixture of trepidation and sheer panic that I might actually deliver a baby in front of them -- to their utter horror. (Funny sidebar -- I understand that this "door holding" thing is temporary. Hold the door for me when I'm pregnant, sure, but when I'm carrying a baby carrier or pushing a stroller, I'm on my own.)

I think that for men, even fathers, pregnancy is still a fairly mysterious process and they'd prefer to keep it that way. They know enough about how it happens, less about what happens during the pregnancy and only where babies come out. One of the Mister's co workers tells my Mister that fathers in the delivery room is far too modern a notion for him. When and if his wife has a baby (and to be honest, he'd have to actually snag himself a wife first.. ) he will be firmly entrenched in a waiting room with a box of cigars -- and that is his understood role. My Mister has been a champion during the whole process, really. I must commend him. He has read books, learned all the terms and asked thoughtful questions of the doctor. We recently had a trial run of pre-term labor at the hospital a few weeks ago. He calmly ushered me to the car and remained a pillar of strength and fortitude for our overnight stay. He didn't flinch at the gross stuff -- of which there was a fair amount -- and I half had expected him to, but he did leave the room for the IV insertion. Needles aren't his thing.

Our new son is anxiously anticipated to arrive in the next two weeks -- whether of his own accord or with some medical intervention. Everything that I could possibly make ready has been readied -- pregnant or no, I'm still terrifically Type A. Last weekend was spent cooking, baking and food-saving furiously -- frozen dinners of our typical fare all ready for the nights when neither of us will have any desire to cook. The bag is packed, the car seat installed. Even the cats have been prepped -- per baby book -- with diapers to sniff and other baby shiz to familiarize themselves with that thing that will completely usurp their place in our home and hearts.

Now we just need that baby. I hope to do proper introductions in my next post.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Meet our newest addition: Bizzaro

No, no, not that newest addition.. I was referring to the neighborhood stray/ferral/someone-else's-outdoor-cat-that-just-prefers-our-deck. We noticed him last year when we first moved in. He came around every so often to sunbathe on our deck, chase birds and generally wreak havoc on our two indoor cats who would not bear the sight of another cat on what they considered to be their deck, even though they are indoor and know nothing of the deck.

And it is because of my cats' indoorness that from time to time I'd catch this other cat on our deck out of the corner of my eye and have a moment of sheer panic that my indoor cat had somehow found himself on the deck. All this because of the strange resemblance of outdoor cat to my indoor cat, Bernini. Hence, we have dubbed outdoor cat: Bernini's Bizzaro Twin, aka: Bizzaro.

Meet: Bizzaro. Seen here in his usual environment -- our deck. I think he looks so grumpy because I came out to photograph him and not to bring him his usual dish of food.

Compare to: Bernini. His expression is likely due to the shock that I wasn't at that moment bringing his food out to Bizzaro. And also a slight pleading expression that we not decide to adopt Bizzaro.

They walk alike, they talk alike and at times they even sleep alike. When kitties are two of a kind! Really, this is Bernini keeping close tabs on Bizzaro -- who couldn't be more disinterested in Bernini so long as the food keeps coming.

And that's what's gotten us into trouble. Bizzaro started making regular appearances around Easter. My nieces were here cooing about the new kitty outside, Bizzaro is so damned cute and he sits at our door crying that real "I'm super hungry!" kitty cry (come to think of it, all kitty cries sound like that...). And thus we, well, I, made the first fatal error: I fed him. The Mister duly scolded me for it, but the next day I caught him filling a bowl. And thus it has been even since. We are enablers. We are feeders. And to Bizzaro: we are suckers.

He couldn't be more friendly. He purrs, he does that kitty curly walk around your ankles when you come outside. My nieces, from one weekend with him, are taken with him and ask about him whenever they call. Really, he's like our dirty little ferral kitty secret.

The truth is, we don't know if Bizzaro has another family/families. He wears no collar and is perturbing our cats at all hours from the back deck. Sometimes I hear him as early as 5AM when I'm getting ready for work and we've seen him outside licking himself close to 11PM. We don't let him in the house -- he has no contact with our kitties, in case Bizzaro is really a Typhoid Bizzaro carrying all manner of kitty ailments.

But last night when that monsterous thunderstorm went through, The Mister heard the truly desperate pleas from the back deck -- Bizzaro was stuck in the downpour. He made a snap decision, grabbed Bizzaro and carried him through the house -- with our two cats, completely dumbstruck in horror, following close behind -- to the front porch where Bizzaro could at least be under cover for the duration of the storm. Our cats refused to speak to us for the rest of the night (even though *I* was upstairs and had nothing to do with the Bizzaro transportation..).

With our real new addition close to being a more tangible addition, it is desperately unlikely that we would actually adopt Bizzaro. Plus, I cherish the relationship with our current cats -- no matter how tenuous it is these days because of our consistently daily feeding of Bizzaro. We will likely take Bizzaro to the vet to have him scanned for an owner's microchip ID, and if that fails, we have purchsed a collar to put on Bizzaro with a little note asking the owner to please collar, and hell, FEED, the cat.

In the meantime, however, I have already set aside a little tupperware dish near the door with food in it for Bizzaro -- for whenever he shows up today.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Another blog for my mom

Dear Mom,

With any luck, this will be the last photo you'll see of me before you cease to notice me at all. Oh, you might notice me as the person who brings to you the smaller, more important thing that you really want to see. I have come to terms with that.

Hope to see you soon -- and hope to have someone new to introduce you to by then.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Requiem for the birds

I blog with bad news, friends. It would appear that this morning, as the Fed Ex guy attempted to deliver the Mister's weighty delivery (I hesitate to use the phrase "the Mister's weighty package" in a somber moment like this..) that something went horribly awry.

From what I can surmise, our dear single mother Robin must have done her usual dive-bomb at him as he attempted to bring the package to the porch. Perhaps it startled him, he discovered the nest on the door and thought he was doing us some big favor.

When I came downstairs, I found my cat crying at the front window. Outside lay the large Fed Ex package, the door wreath on top of it, the nest upside down, and sadly, friends, all four eggs shattered on the concrete of the porch. From my calculations, they would have been hatching in only a few days.

Maybe it's my hormones, or my compassion for gestating things is on overdrive at the moment, but I sat on my front porch in my pajamas crying and crying. (Naturally, I called the Mister and tearfully told him that his Fed Ex delivery was bathed in the blood of baby birds. He thinks I ought to call Fed Ex. For what? So I can hear the guy on the other end of the phone chuckle at the loony lady calling about his delivery driver smashing a few eggs?)

I rehung the wreath in high hopes that Robin will come again and perhaps give us another chance to foster her brood (though I learned that the correct term for a nest of eggs is "clutch"). I buried the little eggs under our rose bush -- perhaps overdoing the sentimentality of the situation. Rest in peace little Shadrach, Meshach, Abendnego and Egg.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Bird is the word. Subtitled: If you ring my doorbell, duck.

Oh, what a lovely door and an even lovelier spring wreath -- you might say. That's what I said, at least.

And then I got a closer look.

And an even closer look.

It seems that in a matter of less than two weeks, my new wreath and not-new door have become home to a knocked up, single mother bird who desperately needed a spot to harbor her eggs. Momma bird works fast.

I do not have any strange bird paranoias (unlike some Besties I know, ahem.). My main thing with birds nesting on my front door are thusly:

1) The high potential for bird poop on my door and surroundings.
2) The higher potential that a startled bird -- Momma or otherwise -- may fly INTO the house when the front door opens. Then I have cats who will go bitchcakes. Or keep sleeping. Either is likely.
3) Everytime someone attempts to ring the bell/knock, there a flurry of bird flying at their head. My sister in law can attest to this -- in fact, this is how we found said nest.
4) The constant cheeping and worm barf that comes with newborn birds.

I addressed my concerns with the Mister who believes that we ought to leave the birds alone. Not because he has any real, deep bird love, but because he does not want to mess with "baby-things karma". Addling birds eggs might not leave us in a favorable light, karma-wise, considering our current baby-thing and nesting tendencies. A fair point.

So the bird & eggs stay.
1) Bird poop will be cleaned up on an as-needed basis.
2) Birds in the house will be dealt with -- either with feline intervention or a broom -- I feel we can't really be faulted for this.
3) My aunt suggests a note of caution to those entering the porch.
4) Wikipedia says baby birds stay in the nest for 2 weeks. I can deal with the cheeping for that long.

In that case, I decided to align myself with the bird and potential birds. I named them. Robin is the mom. Duh. And her babies are: Shadrach, Meshach, Abendnego and Egg. I thought there were only 3 eggs, to learn upon my camera footage there were actually 4. And by that point I had already hit my creative contrete wall of bird names.

Bird updates to follow?

Saturday, March 21, 2009


For a show I don't fraking watch, I sure do know a lot about it.

No, I don't watch Battlestar Galactica. I'm married to someone who does and have occasionally stumbled into the room to see it, but, again, I reiterate, No, I don't watch it. And no, I really don't care to. Yeah, I know. It's a great show. No, no, "It's a deep, complicated, engaging show!" says my Mister. In fact, and I mean this with no ill-intent, I usually sleep through it. The Mister lovingly cues it up on the Tivo about 20 minutes after 10pm each Friday night, and that somehow Pavolvian-ly triggers me to begin my 40 minute nap on the couch.

I know, I know you're going to tell me if I would just watch the first few episodes I'd be all hooked. No, really, thank you. And I certainly have no intention of ribbing those of you who have chosen B.G. as a lifestyle choice.

Part of my problem is that I'm in too many T.V. show committed relationships already. I can't get involved with who is or is not a cylon. Who fraked a cylon. I can't manage mental tallies of who we know for sure would appear in a cylon directory.

And for all that not watching I do of B.G., I have a few complaints.

1) And I think you'll all agree: Does it just bug the nuts out of you when an actor whose character not yet dead on one show appears on another show as a different character -- like you weren't going to notice. Like you can totally watch show #2 and not think that, say, Starbuck has really cashed in her B.G. chips when she's all geared up to play the tattooed, oversexed anesthesiologist on Nip/Tuck. Incidentally, I wouldn't have noticed this except that the Mister, who does not watch N/T (He has no intention of watching it except that he's married to someone who does and occasionally stumbles into the room when it's on.), blurted out in one of his passing-bys, "Hey, that's the chick who plays Starbuck."

2) Starbuck, by sheer mention of her name, makes me want coffee. They ought to have given her a more clever name. Or hell, at least a brighter disposition to carry such a sunshiney name.

3) The Mister assures me I am mistaken, and maybe I, by my presence alone, just bring it out in shows -- but B.G. seems like soft porn. I know, coming from someone who watches Nip/Tuck. But for real. As rarely as I'm in the room, someone's always having some serious space-sex. And they aren't always too terribly discriminating about that whole "with-whom" part. Dead people, real people, real robot looking people, people with creepy eyepatches.. I thought their world was being destroyed? I thought each one of them was plagued with creepy, reoccuring dreams? I thought their junk-heap ship, La Galactica, was on its last space leg and they were pleading to their too-numerous-to-count gods for answers? Peeps seem pretty down with all that to be getting it on so much.

4) And why did Creepy Eyepatch Dude choose a skin-toned eyepatch? That just made it extra creepy, sir. And how did C.E.Dude land the hottie with such a creepy eyepatch? See, it could only happen in space. Though pirates are near and dear to me, an eyepatch on a man is a deal breaker. Unless the eyepatch is obtained post-first date. And even then it demands some reconsideration. Be honest, you agree. I'll say it, I'm an eyepatch-ist.

5) Funny that all of your little baby fighter ship things run just fine, but that big one that you park them on is falling apart. Might want to have the mechanic take a look at it.

6) Where's the funny guy? The guy who lightens up the mood with a great one-liner? Perhaps if the show is pre-Earth they haven't made anti-depressants yet, because everyone's so gloomy. Or if the show is post-Earth they didn't have enough cargo room to store the medication for 38,000 people tooling around space.

I'd go on, primarily about the finale, but I fear that a few of you have not yet seen it and I'd hate to fill your mind with questions at that, the most final of finales.

Seriously. I don't watch the show.

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