Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm FEMA, you guys


Before I had a kid, I was not known for my extreme preparedness in potentially disastrous situations. In fact, my emergency plan consisted of exactly one word: Nothing. Quite literally I did absolutely nothing to prepare, ever. In my defense, I do live in New Jersey. The worst we've seen are a few bad floods, a few bad blizzards and that one black out a few years ago when the whole East coast went dark for a few days. I've never had to evacuate and I've never been stranded without food or running water. Maybe it's just luck, but somehow I've never felt the need to go crazy worrying about something that probably wasn't even going to be that bad.

Until I had a kid.

This is what I did to prepare for Hurricane Irene:
  • Brave the grocery stores and all the crazy people stocking up on water, bread and canned goods. Buy several gallons of water, milk and cheese for Caitlyn, juice, bread and pasta. Then remember that if we don't have running water or electricity, most of the shit I bought will be useless. Awesome.
  • Stock the fuck up on water. How will I wash bottles? Or cook pasta? What if Caitlyn drinks through the 2 giant bottles of juice and gallons of milk I bought? She is gonna be OMGSOTHIRSTY!!! Relying on the 2 gallons and full case of 20oz bottles of water to supplement the juice and milk just seems risky. I know, I'll fill every pot and bowl and pitcher I own with tap water! (Yes, I really did this).
  • Bake brownies. For when the electricity and gas go out for days and I can't cook pasta or salvage frozen foods or make grilled cheese sandwiches. I heard they give astronauts and Navy SEALS Duncan Hines brownies for unforeseen emergencies.
  • Charge my phone. Because I am the most prepared person you will ever see. How the fuck am I supposed to update Twitter and Facebook if the electricity go out? Thank the good Lord above that I now have internets on my phone. God works in mysterious ways, you know.
  • Have zero activities planned to amuse my toddler, who will be stuck in the house for countless days or weeks or months on end. I can't believe the mall is closing for Stormpocalypse. What the hell am I supposed to do to keep this kid entertained? On a related note, I'm fucked when winter comes.
I'm fairly certain that I'm at least 10 steps ahead of where I'd be if I didn't have Caitlyn, but I still feel like the most incompetent and unprepared individual ever. You might say I'm a Katrina-era FEMA. Yeah, I think that explains it perfectly. Maybe I should stop making fun of the people who stock up on batteries and candles and... umm... HAVE some batteries next time? Yeah. We are going to be in the fucking DARK if we lose power.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


As everyone probably already knows, Nadine and I are all kinds of gay for each other. So when I asked her what I should blog about, she responded "blog about me". Ok. You asked for it. For your enjoyment, I present: Stories Nadine Doesn't Want Me to Tell.

Let's start with the basics. Nadine and I have known each other since high school. In fact, she's one of the very few people from our school that I didn't hate. We bonded in senior year over the fact that I had not yet mastered the fine art of typing. She offered to type up my report for English that was due the next period (yeah, I was a real go-getter like that) and was amazed to find that I had more to say than "I love Derek Jeter" (I still do) and "I have a bunch of cats" (just down to the one now).

In fact, as she read through my report, her reaction was hilarious: "Don't take this the wrong way, but I thought you were a moron". The paper was on Beowulf so you might say our friendship is based on a solid foundation of intellect and fine literature. I think the following accounts of our craziest tales will solidify the notion that we are, in fact, worldly, intelligent ass bitches.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day was a magical time for us. It started very early in our friendship. At the ripe age of 19, we realized we were comic geniuses and should turn our musings into a book. Here is a sampling of "the book".

"Nothing fixes a relationship like cookies and anal sex."

"I don't want to be the one to push him off the overpass onto (route) 46."

"When you're puking on Rob's bathroom floor; that's what friends are for."

"I told that bitch to put away his emotional baggage and do me."

Oh, were you looking for a story or plot of some sort? Sorry, that isn't what the book was about. The book was our Twitter in 2001; essentially every stupid phrase that crossed our lips was "the book". We were so WITTY!

Drinking Times

Drinking was 100% more fun when I was underage, and I think Nadine would agree. My mom visited her boyfriend, who lived a few hours away, every weekend, so every weekend became party time at my house. There are so many stories.

When drinking with Nadine, it's very important for YOU to know her limits. Because, ummm, she doesn't. Or at least she didn't back when we would drink every weekend. Nadine's stages of drunk go something like this:

Stage 4: I'm currently vomitting in my hair.

I will share one of our drinking stories with you today:

We were big fans of beer pong (except it was mixed drink pong when we played it). There was the time we were playing mixed drink pong and after 3 or so rounds, the rest of us got bored and stopped playing. Nadine didn't realize this and set up 4 more sets of cups (we were playing twosies, obviously). When we told her we didn't want to play anymore, she decided she couldn't let those drinks go to waste and pounded all four sets of cups. Did I mention that Nadine mixes a REALLY strong drink? At some point after that, she started walking around with a bottle of Captain Morgan and ate some Captain Crunch. The Captains had a brawl. I think it's obvious which Captain won. After Captain Crunch was tossed out of the bar that had become Nadine's stomach and passed out on the proverbial couch that was her hair, she made her way to our friend's shower. She then passed out with her head in the shower. Just her head. Which doesn't really explain why she got completely naked.

Gross Stuff

Then there are the stories that will live in infamy forever, for no other reason then that they are too horrifying to forget. They are as follows:

The time Nadine nearly amputated her thumb on broken glass. I was not there for this incident, but apparently she had left a trail from her door to a blood stained note that said something along the lines of "went to the hospital" for another friend who was on her way over. I'm very glad I didn't see that one, because I would have been pretty convinced she was dead.

The time I caught her and her boyfriend having sex in her pool. Another friend was with us, and he had left. And apparently she was under the impression I had left too. "Oh, you're still here?"... Yes, but not for long, I can promise you that.

And since I've told all of her embarrassing secrets, I suppose it's only fair if one of these stories is embarrassing for me:

The time we were driving down the parkway and I had the brown cow knocking at the back door. A few minutes after we stopped so I could use the bathroom, I came running out of the rest stop and just said "we have to go" because you know how sometimes when you are in view of a bathroom, it intensifies the need to shit by like 1000%? And as you are pulling your pants down, you ass decides you are no longer clenched enough to continue to hold it in? And you get shit on the walls? And you are 18 years old so you don't have the class to clean it up and you just hustle out of the bathroom and hope the other patrons don't start chasing you with torches? No? Just me then.

In conclusion, Nadine is goodtimes. We have fun and do stupid shit and have lots of stories. Perhaps I will share more of them with you one day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lezzie McGuire

I think my babysitter is trying to make sure Caitlyn doesn't end up being a lesbian. Do I need to tell you how such a thing is accomplished? Obviously, by doing girly shit with her. Because those lesbians, the only thing they hate more than Jesus is looking like a girl. Let's backtrack a bit, shall we?

So since before Caitlyn was even born, she has had a lot of clothes. I mean a LOT of clothes. I love to find cute things for her to wear. The problem lies in the execution. I'll find something I love, then I save it for a 'special occasion'. Which obviously never comes. It was especially true when she was an infant because mostly she wore onesies or pajamas... the two piece kind, in case you were wondering, because she's been kicking her way out of the feety ones since she was 5 months old. So most of her cute outfits were saved for when we were going to visit someone or going out somewhere- which didn't happen much until she got a little older and it was a bit less stressful.

Then there's her hair. You've seen it. It started off very straight, just like mine. When we went on vacation, the humidity decided that Caitlyn's hair was now curly. And I have no fucking clue what to do with it any more. Truth time? Sometimes I don't even brush it. Ok, usually I don't even brush it. My mom managed to manuever some adorable pigtails when she had her a few weekends ago. ALLEGEDLY, Caitlyn sat there like a perfect little angel while she got her hair did. She does not do this for me. And IF I manage to get in some half-assed version of a ponytail, she rips it out in 4 seconds. Explain to me how this kid still had pigtails in her hair when my mom dropped her off after a 2 hour car ride. EXPLAIN IT TO ME. Because I just do not have the patience to do her hair. Ever.

Finally, there is the issue of ear piercing. I just don't get it. I mean, not that I don't get it ever. But I certainly don't understand why people decorate infants like Christmas trees. Babies don't need bling or sparkle. They are plenty cute enough on their own. Culturally, ear piercing is VERY common with hispanic babies. The brown side of the family was horrified when I refused to pierce Caitlyn's ears. "How will people know she's a girl?" they asked, aghast. Ummm... maybe the pink outfits and the vagina? That's how I usually know. And really, who gives a shit if you can't tell the sex of a young baby? They are supposed to be ambiguous, you know? Because they aren't sexually matured. Am I really supposed to be upset if someone thinks my infant is a boy? Because I don't give a shit at all actually.

What I'm saying here is that Caitlyn isn't fancy. Her hair is usually (always?) a mess, and lots of times I just throw on the first tee shirt and pants I find when we go out. I don't think it's a big deal, and it sort of goes along with her personality. She's a toddler, which means she's always coated in a layer of goo and a good majority of the time that goo has migrated to her clothes and hair. And she's too busy being a badass who isn't afraid of anything to think about being dainty. She's not really a girly girl at all.

Fast forward to this week. The other day, the babysitter informed me that Caitlyn wanted her ears pierced. She said Caitlyn was playing with her earrings and she asked her if she wanted earrings and she said "yeah". Babysitter isn't a moron and she knows I'm not either, so I definitely don't think she meant "you should listen to your one year old about this", but I wonder if she wants to know why I haven't pierced Caitlyn's ears.

Then yesterday. I pick Caitlyn up and her toenails are painted pink. It's cute and all... but I found myself wondering if she's telling me I don't know how to make her look like a proper girl or something. Also, I wondered how long it would be till Caitlyn tried to eat the polish off her toes, but that's a whole separate issue. Babysitter has a little boy and maybe she's just playing out her baby girl fantasies with Caitlyn.

Or maybe I'm feeling like  I should be doing more and I'm not. Not budging on the earring thing, but maybe I should start brushing Caitlyn's hair or some shit.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Have a Wrinkle and a Midlife Crisis

I'm getting old.

There are the obvious things, like the fucking wrinkle I have on my forehead and the occassional gray hair that make me want to get botox and shit. And then there are the more subtle clues. The things that creep up. The kinds of things you have to think back to your youth about and realize that you have to THINK BACK TO YOUR YOUTH. Because you are old and probably gonna die soon. Here is a list of things that made me feel old last week.

1. Sandblasted jeans. I went shopping for new jeans a few days ago. I picked up a folded pair and went into the dressing room to try them on. And then they were on and I realized they were sandblasted. And I thought "fuck... do people my age still wear sandblasted jeans?". I concluded that, no, in fact they do not. And I got some fucking grown up jeans instead.

2. Cute. I've always been cute. It is common knowledge. Not hot or pretty or sexy. Just downright adorable. And I wasn't ever the kind of girl who took it to mean that I was less attractive than the hot girls. It was just a different kind of attractiveness. And then someone called me cute over the weekend. And I realized that cute isn't going to last forever and my fat ass needs to work on some sexy before there is no cute left.

3. Strollers. Remember being a teenager? Or in your early 20s? Remember going to the mall and seeing all those moms pushing their kids around in a stroller looking decidedly middle-aged compared to your young, carefree ass? I'm the fucking stroller mom now. Fuck. FUCK.

4. Hangovers. I got my drank on Saturday night. And I spent all day Sunday in bed hunched over with stomach cramps or in the bathroom with diarrhea because old people can't have 3 drinks without spending the entire next day in shit limbo.

That is all.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Swings and Tears

I wish I had something funny to say today. But I guess 3 straight days of vivid dreams and tossing and turning through the night haven't left me feeling particularly entertaining.

Last night's dream is easy enough to reconcile. I went to see "The Change-Up" last night (really funny, by the way) and for some reason, all the previews were for horror movies. And for anyone who doesn't know, I'm a total bitch baby about scary movies. And scary movie previews, apparently.

There was this one preview for some bullshit vampire movie with Colin Farrell and McLovin'. And so last night my dream was that I was being stalked by some 15 year old boy vampire. I had something he wanted, though I didn't know what it was, and he was planning to kill me. At some point I realized that I was also a vampire, but only in the capacity that I could run fast enough to mostly get away from him. But I knew he was stronger and that he could easily kill me. I had stopped at a Walgreens and was picking up money from their Western Union for my rent and he showed up and was giving me the stink-eye like "as soon as we get out of here, I'm murdering the shit out of you". I ran away as fast as I could but I knew he was gaining on me and eventually I ended up boxing myself in on some secluded patch of woods where I would meet my untimely demise. That's when I woke up.

I don't remember the particulars of the dream I had Saturday night. Just that it was vivid and not exactly a nightmare. It's also probably in pieces because Caitlyn woke up a couple of times crying and refused to go back to sleep and we had to bring her into bed with us. So I hardly slept at all really.

The dream that I'm having trouble with was the one I had Friday night and it nagged at me all weekend, turning me into a blubbering mess or a hostile crazy person at regular intervals.

My dream was that I was 5 or 6 months pregnant with a baby boy. It wasn't Nicholas, of that I am sure. Because Caitlyn was there. She was maybe 3 years old and she was very excited about her baby brother. She kept rubbing my belly and feeling his kicks. Oh, the kicks. My subconcious must remember what baby kicks feel like very distinctly because everything about that dream felt exactly real and exactly right. I remember being vaguely anxious in my dream because I was very close to gestation where I lost Nicholas. But then I remember reassuring myself how strong this baby was- how I could feel his kicks and rolls so clearly and how I knew he would be ok. Then I woke up and cried for a while.

There's just so much I'm unsure of right now. I've been unsure of my marriage for the last several months, though that has been getting better. But with that come all the other questions I inevitably will have to answer no matter how my marriage plays out.

If my marriage ends I don't know where I stand when it comes to having more children. I don't want to be that girl with the Baby-Daddy drama. Rodolfo has too much pride to cause problems for me, but then... do I want to be that girl with multiple baby daddies? Not really. And then there is my age... I'll be 30 next year. Which isn't exceptionally old or anything, unless you are on the brink of a divorce and have to start all over again. Because something else I don't want to be is that desperate woman looking for a husband, her biological clock loudly ticking in the background of every interaction she has with every dude she meets. If I've learned anything, it's that you shouldn't rush into something like marrying a dude and having his baby.

Maybe that whole argument is moot, because at this point we are closer to reconcilation than divorce, but I guess I just had to talk about the fears associated with that possible outcome.

Next: Staying with my husband. This is the more likely path at this moment in time. I want another baby. Not right away, but I definitely want one. It's a point I was pretty fuzzy on till that dream made it crystal clear to me. The problem is that he regularly tells me that he doesn't see it happening. Not that he doesn't want another kid, exactly, but that it would be financially devastating to us at this point in time. He can't see past the cost of IVF, especially when it doesn't guarantee us anything. And if we've learned ANYTHING, it's that there certainly are no guarantees with fertility treatments. Even when they fucking WORK.

With my sudden, crystalized revelation that I definitely want another child and his constant reminders that I probably won't get one, I nearly imploded this weekend.

I've been reorganizing my house. Rodolfo attachs sentiment to very few things and just sees most of our stuff as space-wasters that we should get rid of. I, of course, attach sentiment to absolutely everything. My crazy sobbing fit (the first one, anyway) started because of Caitlyn's swing. He wanted to get rid of it. Besides the obvious implication that he never intends for us to have another baby, I have another attachment to that swing. Nicholas.

When I was pregnant with Nicholas, I spent a lot of time trolling Babies R Us. A LOT of time. I didn't know the sex of my baby at first (obviously) but I had chosen a few gender neutral things that I knew I was putting on my registry. There was a certain stroller I fell in love with and there was the swing I wanted. It was so pretty... yellow and green with bumblebees. Super adorable and appropriate for a boy or a girl. I was in LOVE with that swing actually.

When I think about it, it always seems like a cruel joke the universe was playing on me. I had my Level 2 ultrasound on February 19, 2009. I remember the date because my next appointment was exactly one month later: March 19, 2009-the day we found out we lost Nicholas. It seems absurd to think of all the things that happened in that one short month. It seems ridiculous to think about the fact that I spent almost the entire month picking out cute little outfits for my baby boy. Maybe it wasn't a joke. Maybe it was the only time I was truly able to embrace who he was supposed to be (I had been sure- SURE!- to that point that I was having a girl).

In that month I made my registry. I was so excited. I had been looking forward to it for 5 months. I knew what major items I was registering for, but after that I pretty much walked around and scanned half the store. I remember resting in a glider, going over Babies R Us's provided checklist with my mom. I remember asking her how many crib sheets she thought I would need. I remember going to Wendy's afterward, eating a salad and then promptly barfing that salad up into the rest of the salad. Mostly I remember being horrified to find out that my swing had been discontinued. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING TO ME?

I spent the next 2 weeks calling every store in my area- even going to one and finding that the swing they had put aside after my phone call was, in fact, the WRONG swing. I called my mother, defeated, and she promised to find my swing. And less than a week later, she did. She said she would hold on to it. It would be part of my baby shower gift. And then we got the news that Nicholas had died. It was like a week after my mom bought his swing. I remember blubbering into the phone that she should return it.

Except she didn't. She knew how much I loved it and she knew that, maybe, when I was less emotional, I might want to keep it for my next child. And so when my baby shower for Caitlyn grew near, she asked me about it. She asked if I wanted to pick a different swing. And of course I didn't. It was sort of the one thing that seemed to connect my two babies, something they would always share. And Caitlyn loved that swing. I think she slept in it every night till she was like 3 months old. And it's resided in a corner of my closet ever since. Presumably till my next baby needs it.

And then Rodolfo told me how annoyed he was with it. How it was taking up so much space and he thought we should throw it away. "We can always buy a new one if we have another baby", he said when I yelled at him for dashing my dreams of ever having another child. Then I cried. Because I guess he just doesn't get it. And shouldn't he? He lost a son too. If anyone should get it, shouldn't it be him? Apparently not. It seems Angie is really the only one who understands me.

The weekend went a lot like that, with me cleaning out closets and him declaring that I should get rid of the things Caitlyn no longer uses. And then I would cry and he wouldn't understand why. Or I'd have a disproportionate amount of rage and anger toward him for no real reason or fault of his own. It sucked.

So I don't know. I don't know if another baby is in our future or my future or what. I don't know how to reconcile this feeling of longing. I know we aren't ready for it right now. I know I want more time with just Caitlyn before I throw another baby in the mix. And I absolutely realize that we just can't afford it right now. But it's there. And I have no idea what to do with it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You Know What I Hate?

Bumper stickers. Really. Why do bumper stickers exist? I don't care about anything you have to say about your personal philosophies via paper glued to the back of your car. Freedom of speech is one thing, but when you cut me off in traffic and I see that you supported Bush in the 2004 elections, it makes me seriously want to rear end you even more. Let's get down with it and break down the different types of bumper stickers and why my hate for them is completely justified.

I hate everything about you

1. I love my (fill in the breed of dog you have)- Just... no one cares. I mean, you couldn't provide me with a more trivial piece of information about yourself if you tried. If you had a bumper sticker that declared you were allergic to bees, it would piss me off less. I have a dog and I LOVE my dog. But NO1CURR what breed he is and the relevance of the fact that I have a dog is lost to other drivers, unless I happened to have a dog who was prone to jumping out of the car onto the highway. Then maybe I'd get a bumper sticker to announce that shit.

2. Jesus will save you - embrace Christ, UR 4 GIVEN. Is Jesus going to save me from a ticket if I run this red light? Is he going to save me from your lawyer when I scrape off that sticker with MY bumper? Also? When I'm trying to squeeze into the only available parking spot and your Jesus-lovin' ass parked all up on MY side of the line AND your bumper sticker declares that we should "Put the Christ back in Christmas" and it's fucking JULY??? Everything about that scenario makes me hate you, but also possibly Jesus. Because the least he could have done was given you some parking skills in exchange for your extreme devotion. (I should also point out that any religious-like devotion to any politician for any reason, ever, also falls into the Jesus will save you category).

3. OMGZZZZZ Radio station! - I think this is another one that falls into the category of I just don't give a shit. Also? They lured you into Best Buy with their stupid promotion because you can "win $100 if we spot you with our sticker". If you are over the age of 21 this is unacceptable. Find better things to do with your time then wandering into the mall to get radio station bumper stickers.

4. I have hobbies and I'm going to make them sound sexy- This is one of the worst, if you ask me. The fact that you have 900 shitty hobbies apparently isn't bad enough. And clearly, socializing with the other humans isn't going to be on that list, so you try to make yourself sound desirable by making your stupid past times sound sexy. You know what else they say about divers? That they pee in their wetsuits. So yeah, what's sexy about that? Nothing. Unless you are into that sort of thing. I bet you like being pooped on too, creepy bodily fluids diver man.

5. Here is going to be where I lose some of you. The thing I hate more than anything are those stupid ribbon magnets that everyone puts on their car. Fucking ribbons. It started with "support the troops". And in theory, I do. And maybe at first some part of the profit from their sale was going to support the troops in some way. But then it was AIDS and breast cancer and autism. And I guess at least those are legit causes to support, even if the companies that make all those stupid magnets are certainly not donating ANYTHING to any of these causes, I GUESS I can concede that I understand why someone might buy one. I guess. But now its all just spiraled into ridiculousness. You can ribbon-magnet support anything. Local football teams and Welsh Corgies, as it were (and when I see THAT, I get double pissed off). You can have your own "support" magnets custom printed. My point is that you aren't supporting anything but a factory in China. Fuck ribbon magnets.

Back when we were in our early 20s, Nadine created a little game for herself with the ribbon magnets. At first it was just "steal a bunch of ribbon magnets off of people's cars". But then she realized she needed to diversify. She would covet certain hard-to-find magnets. She would scour mall parking lots for ones she didn't have. She had quite a collection at one point. I don't think either of us knows what ended up happening to all those magnets, but now when I see a ribbon magnet, I think of her. It was good times and the only time I've ever seen those stupid magnets have any real purpose.

So in conclusion, don't have bumper stickers.