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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You think you know a brand

And then wham, they go and put fish oil in your baby's yogurt! When did organic, whole milk yogurt need to have anchovy oil, sardine oil, and tilapia fish gelatine in it?

I have been buying Stonyfield yogurt for years and have never noticed that before. But perhaps I never noticed because they don't put that kind of nastiness in the plain yogurt that I usually buy.

But here in Western New York, the Stonyfield Farm Organic YoBaby was the only whole milk yogurt in the grocery store. So I bought it without even reading the label. Because I trusted the brand, I thought I knew what I was buying. No such luck. Gross.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Been losing sleep

I just couldn't do it four nights in a row. I'm not that young anymore. And I just need more sleep. I don't know how people can go out night after night and have drinks and not go to bed until 3 am, and then still get up and be functioning members of society.

Three nights in a row was my limit. I went to Niagara Falls in Canada to a nightclub that plays nothing but 80s on Thursday night. It was fabulous--you know how I love the 80s--except for all of the 19-year-old guys. Yes, they can be cute, but for the most part, they are usually quite drunk, never offer to buy you a drink, and are terrible and aggressive dancers (Think Dirty Dancing without the suave part).

Then on Friday night, I went out to see a local band with my girlfriends. We danced and had some drinks and ended up at Denny's. I can't believe they still have Moon Over My Hammy on the menu!

And then Saturday morning I was supposed to have breakfast at my dad's house with the kids. Breakfast??!! I had just gone to bed five hours earlier and now I'm supposed to be awake and have my kids dressed and ready for the chitchat that goes with blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs?

Then I looked in the mirror. And there was a very disturbing image staring back at me. My hair was straggly mess. There were dark circles under my eyes. My eyes were only half open. I was wearing the same shirt that I had slept in and I had not put on any deodorant. I was a mess. We ditched our plan to go to the zoo and I took the kids to my mom's house, put the baby down for a nap and crashed on the pull-out sofa for more than two hours. Thankfully my mom was there to watch Preschooler in Chief. My siesta was followed by a quick shower and then it was time to go out all over again.

There was dinner with my dad and the kids, then driving to my mother-in-law's house to get the kids to bed. We watched a movie, and then it was time to drive back to Lockport to go out dancing with my mom and her girlfriends. It was fun, but I have now put mascara on my eye lashes four nights in the past week and that is more mascara than I have worn in the past four months. I lasted about an hour before I needed to head back to my mother-in-law's house.

Just five hours later, the kids were awake.

I was supposed to go out again tonight. And. There. Was. Just. No. Way. It. Was. Going. To. Happen.

I don't think I'll complain about my I-like-to-go-to-bed-and-read-at-9-PM lifestyle once I get back to California. Or at least I won't complain about it for at least a couple of weeks and I start missing my friends and the dance floor. And now I'll take this opportunity to go to sleep. Good night.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You can take the girl out of WNY...

But you can't take the Western New York out of the girl. I arrived in Buffalo (yes, Buffalo is Western New York, not Upstate New York), after a long day of travel with two small kids and it was as if I was instantly converted to another version of myself.

My vowels immediately sounded more nasally. All words with an "o" started sounding like "aah" (for example: instead of hospital, it would be h-aah-spital). I was excited about my PT Cruiser rental. (Sadly, they didn't have one for me, and I ended up with an HHR, which is sort of like a PT Cruiser only it looks more like a pick-up truck.) I happily programmed my rental's radio to have all of the local Top 40 stations for the 30-minute ride to Lockport. After my boys were tucked in, I was ready to tackle the local bar scene. I hoped that I'd see someone I went to high school with. And I drank Yingling, a WNY favorite.

The bar wasn't much to look at, but it was spacious and it was full of faces that I wanted to be familiar. The dance floor wasn't overly crowded, but if it did get too packed, the dancers just back up in between tables and along the bar. The band was working hard and the crowd was the payoff. It wasn't the Cheeseballs, but it was a wonderful, town-I-grew-up-in close second. And I felt comfortable, at home, included, loved. It's no surprise that I managed to meet the band. And during the last set I got at least 15 shout-outs because it was my birthday. And I was with one of my best friends. It was perfect, except that Father in Chief wasn't around to enjoy it with me.

There is something about going home, home to the small town I grew up in that is comforting. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my family still lives there. My dad still lives in the house I grew up in. My mom lives in the house that my family lived in when I was born. My grandmother still lives in the same house she has for the past 60 years. My uncle lives in my other grandmother's house. Two of my best friends still live here. Stores come and go, but the shabby downtown keeps trying to reinvent itself with renovated buildings and new bars. Mostly, it's comforting because when I lived here--17 years ago--life was pretty simple. The biggest worries were whether he was going to call and whether I was going to have to work on New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The sun'll come out tomorrow

It's amazing how a little childcare has helped me hate the annoying and naughty parts of my kids a little bit less and like the silly and inquisitive parts of my kids a little bit more.

This is only week three of recurring, part-time childcare--Preschooler in Chief at school; Toddler in Chief with the nanny--and I've seen a change in the way I spend time with my boys. Why? Because it's quality time. I look forward to the days when it's just the three of us of exploring and enjoying our adventures. And after all that exploring and enjoying, I know that I'll have other days to catch up on all of my stuff and household chores. And there is time to work too! Imagine that. That means I can spend time with the wee ones without trying to cram shopping and laundry and telephone calls and query letters in between puzzles and naps. I don't have to forfeit my attempts at working to do fun things with my kids. And I don't have to forfeit quality time with my kids so that I can work. In this scenario, everyone is getting some of what they need.

We've been to the beach and the zoo and the park and the farmers' market. And we're having fun. I'm not cursing under my breath because I need to do other stuff. I'm not sticking them in front of the TV so that I can make a phone call. I'm not wishing I could run away and leave it all behind. Nope. I like my kids again. Well, I like them most of the time. That is, all except when PIC whines or TIC pees on the fresh sheets after a bath before the diaper is securely fastened (although the peeing thing was sort of funny, in a perfect baby timing kind of way).

It's almost like I've had a glimpse of the Whole MIC. The sane, together, complex woman/mother/wife who does more than just run a 24/7 childcare center. As a result, I don't have to clench my teeth as the baby starts crying a bit too early in the morning. There will still be good days and bad days. And it doesn't matter. I can handle it. I will get through it. I'll let it roll off of me like rain on a duck. I know that a break for me--whether that break involves writing or yoga or grocery shopping without incessant demands--is only a day away.