Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ideas of Beauty

As a teenager, I used to look at Seventeen magazine and wish I had blond hair and blue eyes. It must have been something about the 80's, because every model seemed to look the same. Or maybe it's because I wanted what I didn't have. I can even remember this cover, from when I was a senior:

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Okay, so Niki Taylor didn't (and doesn't) have blue eyes, but look at that gorgeous blond hair. I did everything I could to have blond hair. In fact, up until very recently when I stopped getting blond highlights, most people thought my hair color was naturally blond. In high school, not so much. Instead of a well-paid stylist, my good friend Michelle took care of all my hair-care needs.

Once, we bought some haircolor that showed a girl on the box who looked a lot like Niki Taylor. We used it. WHAT A DISASTER. It turned a horrible shade of orange. And back then, it was not cool to have orange hair at school. I ended up going to my mom's stylist, who reassured my shocked mother that she could fix it. But then, I told the woman I wanted my hair color to match my eyebrows, which are very close to black (you know how teenagers can't make up their minds). I'll never forget the looks I got when I walked in school the next day. Why I chose to wear a bright fuschia sweater in addition to that is beyond me.

When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I'd have a good possibility of having a red-haired child, or blond, at least. There's red hair in both our families, and Matt's hair is reddish-blond. I was blond as a child.

Imagine my surprise when, during my "attempted" delivery, the nurses said, "We see the head! There's a full head of dark hair!" I was like, "Are you sure?"

And all my thoughts of having a light-haired child flew away. I absolutely fell in love with her dark hair, not to mention her dark eyes. She is so beautiful I can't stand it, and I wouldn't have her any other way.

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So I'm glad she'll grow up with a more diversified idea of beauty. Just check out one of the recent covers of Seventeen with Selena Gomez.

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Now, THAT'S what I'm talking about. Although, when I think about it, she doesn't need to be reading that trash anyway. She needs to be absorbed in Romeo and Juliet or something. Those girls are way too skinny, don't you agree?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A student again...sigh

Not that I don't like taking classes, oh no. In fact, I could easily make a career out of being a full-time student if I had the money. Oh, and if I didn't already have the best job in the world, taking care of this little angel:

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(And yes, she IS chewing on the strap to her high chair. Getting new teeth is rough).

This class is for my teacher re-certification, even though I'm not teaching right now. I can't let my certificate lapse and have all that education go to waste. Also, it means I could teach a home-bound student, which pays very well.

The class is really perfect for me. Totally online, independent study, reading interesting novels.

I've finished reading the first book, Evvy's Civil War, and I was surprised that I liked it. Since the target audience is middle school students, I wasn't sure if I would. It incorporates lots of great topics, like the Underground Railroad, the oppression of women and slaves, and the Civil War, of course.

But when I sat down to write my paper on the novel last night, I just stared at the screen.

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This is not like me. Not to brag, but I never had to brainstorm or do those silly pre-writing exercises that teachers (myself included) like to require of their students. I just sat down and...wrote. Like I do with my blog. It just flows out of me, for better or for worse.

But this is killing me! I think the problem is, Dr. M wants the paper to be written in first person. What? I've never written something like that, not when evaluating a novel. I have a BA in English, and any of my professors from the College of Charleston would have gladly knocked me over the head if I'd written a paper in first person.

So, I've decided that my writer's block is Dr. M's fault. It's her fault that I'm procrastinating, and it's her fault that every time I see the novel I grimace.

Sigh...being a student is hard.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How far we've come

Audrey is so close to crawling that she can taste it. I don't know the precursor for crawling, but I imagine it has something to do with a baby on her stomach, getting really frustrated because she can't move anywhere on her own. See the frustration?

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Okay, so maybe that's more of a confused look, but it's so cute I had to post it.

But she just hasn't gotten it yet. Mom says I never crawled, that I lacked the coordination (thanks, Mom). I don't know if she actually said that last part, but that's how I remember it:)

Mom said I went right to walking, and that I wasn't at all happy until I did. Apparently, she used to sit in a chair while I grasped her finger and practiced walking around the chair. Mom said I would do that for hours. And that's probably not an exaggeration, since I tend to keep at something until I accomplish it. Stubborn? Yes. Driven? Absolutely. OCD? You betcha.

But Audrey's been perfectly content, until now, to just sit in my lap, or beside me, and play. She's such a happy baby. And I looooove it.

Now? Those days are mostly over, unless she's tired. Her favorite activity is to flip onto her stomach and flail around, trying to get somewhere.

If crawling was defined as moving backwards, Audrey would have it down pat. She can back up with the best of 'em. Forward...not so much.

Lately, though, she's been pushing herself into what I think of as the plank position. It looks like I am at the beach in June:

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And if you believe that, I've got some seaside property in Arizona I'd like to sell you. I USED to be able to do that, and so much more, but FMS has stolen that from me. Okay, bitterness over (for today).

I haven't been lucky enough to get a picture of Audrey performing this yoga move yet. Is it just me, or is the camera impossible to find when you need it? But I'm amazed by the strength of her legs and arms, this strength that she's developed in just the past 8 1/2 months. And the fact that, even though no one's showed her how to crawl, she's going to do it. Amazing.

Or at least I hope she will, and not be stubborn like her Mommy and go right to walking.

Monday, August 23, 2010

And the "I couldn't care less" award goes to...

my family.

I fell again yesterday. I'm okay (don't panic, now), but it felt as if I'd dislocated my kneecap (patella?) for a few minutes. Hey, at least I didn't get a concussion this time, right?

The fall isn't really the point of this post, though. The point is that, when it happened, all of my immediate family were sitting in my den. You would think someone might come to my aid, right? Yeah, that's what NORMAL people might do. Here's a brief synopsis of what happened:

The family was over to go swimming yesterday. Everyone was in the foulest of moods, even my mom, who would usually have a smile plastered on her face even if she was sitting in a briar patch.

Here are Mom and Michael later at the pool, where you would think the Vitamin D would improve their dispositions. But you would be wrong. Case in point:

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Anyway, I open the front door to go outside with my niece to get her flip-flops. Our dog, T, chose this time to come barreling in the front door, almost knocking me over. Whatever, I'm used to that.

The problem is, he was on one of these leashes:

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which are really fabulous. Except, have you ever been burned on the legs by one of those as your dog goes running past? That thin part of the leash will sting like your grandma just took a switch to your legs. And yes, I would know.

In order to avert the burn on the backs of my legs, I quickly moved out of the way and slammed my knee into the door. Big mistake, since the burn would've been much better than the knee pain. I fell to the floor, writhing in pain. And y'all, I'm not a dramatic person. I'm the type that says, "Go ahead, I'm all right", if I get hurt.

Do you know what my family did? NOTHING. Audrey had woken up during my unfortunate accident, and they played with her. Matt came to my aid immediately, of course, but COME ON!

I lay there for about 10 minutes, trying to ascertain if I had dislocated my kneecap (if that's possible) or what. So, Noah had to go out the front door in the meantime, and he just stepped over me like I was a pile of crap on the floor. Seriously. He never even asked if I was okay. Then, someone threw him the truck keys, OVER MY BODY. What in the heck is going on here?

If any one of them had fallen, I would have been at their side in an instant! Good grief. I think even strangers would've paid more attention to me than they did. My mom finally came to see if she could get me some ice. Too little, too late, Mom, but thanks a lot.

And sorry, Noah, that my body was in your way when you were trying to get out the door. I could have sworn I heard you huff when you had to step over me. The nerve.

Grrrrr. My family has taken the leap from merely dysfunctional to seriously disturbed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Parent abuse...from my own child

Dear Audrey,

Darling, I have done nothing but love you for the last 8 1/2 months. You have been my joy and my delight. I know you love me, too. See?

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You know how much fun we have. I'm here 24/7, at your beck and call.

But lately, you've been abusing me. You pull my hair, hard, and it hurts, especially when I have a migraine. Whereas before, you used to stroke it gently and lovingly. Can we go back to those halcyon days?

Now, you reach for my boobs, grab my nipples, and twist as hard as you can. Is this some kind of retribution for not breast-feeding you? You know I couldn't, and you know my meds wouldn't allow it. You know I agonized over it, especially each and every time I read that "Breast is best". And every time somebody asked me the inappropriate question, "Do you plan to breast-feed?"  

::side note:: Yes, a man asked me this at one of my baby showers.

But, honey, I'm giving you good nutrition, despite it all, and remember when you had all that diarrhea? I searched high and low for a special kind of formula, otherwise known as The Holy Grail.

Please, baby, treat your mommy right. Otherwise, I'm going to have to cut my hair really short (which is not a good look for me, trust) and design some kind of nipple protector.

Hmmmm....maybe I'll do that anyway. The nipple protectors, I mean. I could call them "Nipple Shield" or something like that, and I'd make millions. Yay. Thanks for the great idea, Bug.

With all my love,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pancake time (and not what you think)

I got a mammogram yesterday. Ouch. If you've had one of these, you know of what I speak.

I mean, they squish your boobs into a pancake. It doesn't seem possible. Then, to add insult to injury, you have to stand as still as a statue (and hold your breath) while they take the pics. You don't dare move, since you'll have to re-do it, and it could also show something in your breast that's not really there. And no one wants a biopsy, right?

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(Yeah, how could I resist putting that picture in here?)

I've had about three at this point, even though I'm only 38. I have a family history (Mom's had it twice), so the recommendation is to start at 35. Joy. I guess it's better than worrying about it, though. But of course, it's always lurking in the back of your mind, after the mammogram, that you're waiting on the results. Just waiting for that note card in the mail to make sure you're okay. Or subconsciously dreading that call that may say you're not okay.

And I maintain that, if men had to go through a similar exam, the men in the Senate and House of Representatives would be pushing for money to research and find a better way to perform them. As my mammogram tech said yesterday, "Honey, if I had to do that kind of procedure on men, I'd quit. After 18 years, I'd be done. Men are babies." So, so true.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Awwww...she finally slept!

Oh, thank God. Audrey took two naps yesterday, and each of them were at least 1 1/2 hours. Hallelujah! Can I get an "Amen" up in here? The child has not slept more than 35-45 minutes for naps since she was a newborn (except for when the salmonella set in, which clearly doesn't count). Yay for sleeping babies!

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There's something so peaceful and beautiful about a sleeping baby, isn't there? Besides the fact that you can actually have some time to yourself, I mean.

I can't tell you how excited Matt and I were. We actually began to think there was something wrong because she was sleeping so long, but we were scared to check on her for fear of waking her up. Also, we have the AngelCare monitor (love that thing!), so we knew she was okay. I wish I'd had that monitor from the very beginning, because it has saved me a lot of heartache and worry. Our first one sucked...Graco iVibe...don't get it. Seriously. Don't waste your money. All you can hear is static.

Anyway,  she was a different baby yesterday. She usually has a pleasant temperament, but she was positively radiant. She was bouncing up and down on Matt's knee just for the sheer pleasure of it.

Oh, please let this continue...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why? Just...why?

Okay, I know someone who's currently traveling a path very similar to one I experienced myself. Divorce (oh, I hadn't mentioned that before? Oops), depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, even nearly identical health problems. I think you get the picture. Yet, this person will not take any of my advice. NONE.

I see him going through almost exactly the same things that I have (or are currently) going through. I have lots of resources that could help him, such as psychiatrists, therapists, etc. I have lots of ideas about things that could really make a difference in his life.

BUT HE WILL NOT LISTEN. He pretends to listen, nods his head, and says things like, "Yeah, maybe I should do that." But does he? No, he most certainly does not. He is at rock bottom; he could not be lower unless he was dead. But I can't do anything except watch him self-destruct.

How am I supposed to deal with this? How??? Because it's breaking my heart, every day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear lady at TCBY,

Thanks a lot for catching me with my pants down, literally, the other day. I was in the restroom, and what did you do? You just came barging in like the troops on D-Day, and I was just standing there with a look of horror on my face. Something like this:
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Yeah, I know I didn't have the door locked. THAT'S BECAUSE THE DOOR LOCK WAS BROKEN. Have you ever heard of knocking before shoving your way into a room where a person is very likely to be naked? If you haven't, you must have been living under a rock somewhere.

And did you apologize? Of course not. I stammered out something like, "Uhhhh..." and you just looked at me, huffed, and left. Are you freaking kidding me? Not even one "Sorry", whether you meant it or not?

I yelled, "Unbelievable!". I didn't meant just flew out of my mouth. I thought, when I come out of the bathroom, you'll apologize, tell me how you should have knocked first. Did you? No, you most certainly did not. You just kept chatting to your friend like nothing ever happened. You never even made eye contact.

You are rude, and I don't like you. Why don't you learn to be polite before going out into public again? I'm sure we'd all appreciate it.

Thanks ever so much, 

Thursday, August 12, 2010


My ex-SIL is a loser. I've written two posts about her, part 1 and part 2, if you're interested. I never continued the saga, because I found out that she put my nieces in danger, not just once, but several times. I'm done with her. But not with my nieces, of course. I've been a big part of their lives since they were born, and that's not going to change just because Marie sucks. Here are my adorable nieces:

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That's my mom, Audrey, Nichole, then Elizabeth on the right. (By the way, my mom would kill me for posting this. For the record, she DOES NOT have a receding hairline; she just hates looking at the camera).

So, Marie decided, after the separation from my brother Noah was barely final, she was going to move in with her boyfriend, Shane. Yeah. They're living in a single-wide trailer with no air conditioning. We live in the SOUTH, where the heat index is frequently over 100 degrees. That's four people in a small trailer, along with Shane's two boys, who will be there every other weekend. Nice set-up, huh?

Also, Marie's uncle, who Marie claims tried to "touch" her when she was little, has a grandson who's been hanging out around my nieces. He told my youngest niece, Nichole, that he wanted to rape her. That's right. I'D LIKE TO RIP THAT KID TO PIECES.

I cannot stand Marie. My anger for her knows no bounds, even though I know I'm not supposed to harbor anger towards anyone. Now, I get the news today that the girls will be going to their third school in nine months. I was a teacher for 11 years, so I know what kind of cruelty can be dished out to the "new kids". This is just too much, TOO MUCH CHANGE for these little girls.

I'm so disgusted, I can't even write any more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just for one day

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You know what I wish? I wish that everyone who doesn't understand my FMS, who thinks it's a crock, could have it for just one day. From the people at Wal Mart who give me the side-eye for walking too slow, to my doctors who don't seem to care and just throw prescriptions at me, to the people closest to me, who seem to "forget" about it. The people who say they understand, but they really don't. The only person I would exclude from this list is Matt, because he understands me more than anyone else on earth. He's been through this whole journey with me, from diagnosis to now.

You know, if I only had one arm, people would look at me a lot differently. They would actually "see" my disability. But since people can't see it, they often assume it's not there. So, I didn't walk fast enough across the parking lot for you, guy in the redneck truck? Bite me. I can barely walk at all today. So, I'm pushing my cart more slowly than you'd like? That's because my arms are killing me, like I've been boxing for an hour.

So take it, please take it from me for a day. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (and you know who you are) for the rest of their life, but just for a day, understand why I can't do the things that "normal" people can do.

Then you'll understand why I give you the side-eye right back. And why I don't explain why I can't do certain things anymore, because you wouldn't understand anyway.

Monday, August 9, 2010

So much pain

I feel as if someone has taken a baseball bat to my lower back. And not just anyone, but a professional baseball player. Good grief.

My lower back always hurts. ALWAYS. It's just a question of how much it hurts from day to day. On Friday, my massage therapist worked on that area almost exclusively. I thought, I am going to have an awesome weekend! My niece was coming over to spend the night, and I was very excited. She's so good with Audrey. Here they are, Audrey and Elizabeth:

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Anyway, I was wrong about the weekend. I was in so much pain that, when Matt suggested we rent a movie, I knew there was NO WAY I'd be able to sit on the couch and watch it. So we all piled in the bed together, which worked. But you know it's bad when you can't even sit on a reclining couch without major pain.

I dragged myself to church yesterday, and we sat in the privacy room, since I'm not comfortable leaving Audrey in the nursery yet. We sat in the congregation last time, but she was Chatty McChatterstein yesterday, and that wasn't happening. It was absolutely frigid in that room; even Matt was cold, and he is the most hot-natured person I know. Audrey's usually warm, too, but her hands and feet were icy. Not to mention the fact that we couldn't hear a word that was being said...something wrong with the speaker in there. I swear, it was probably 55 degrees. So, we left. Another fail.

Today, we had to go to Wal Mart to get a few things, especially baby-proofing items. Audrey's not crawling yet, but I wanted to go ahead and get them, since Matt is going back to work on Thursday. Another fail. We were there for over an hour, and I felt like I was going to have to be carted out on a stretcher. MY BACK WAS KILLING ME.

I am so ticked off. I can't even do a simple trip to Wal Mart without nearly keeling over. So, so, so sick of this. I told Matt on the way home that sometimes I wish I was dead, just so I wouldn't have to experience the pain. I know that's awful, but when you live with pain each and every day, it gets to be too much at times.

Don't know what I'm going to do on Thursday without Matt's help. I couldn't be more discouraged about my health right now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What an honor

So, my step-dad, Michael, was ordained as a deacon on Wednesday night. Mom thought it was very important that Matt and I be there, so we left Audrey with MIL so we could go.

I grew up as a Southern Baptist (don't hold it against me), so I guess I've probably seen lots of ordinations in my life. But, as a person who strayed from church for a long while, I'd forgotten the process.

I didn't think it would be so emotional. They "laying of hands" was the most touching part. Most of the current deacons literally laid their hands on Michael, whispering prayers in his ear. When Michael's dad lay his hands on him and prayed, I thought I was going to lose it. What a great honor, and what a wonderful experience it must have been for his dad, to see his son being ordained.

Michael definitely deserves it. He probably would have become a deacon long before now (he's in his 50s and has been a member of the church since he was a baby), but he's the quiet type. The behind-the-scenes, non-attention-seeking type. I'm glad his devotion was finally recognized.

He'll be a great comfort to families in need, visiting hospitals, ministering to families, and even attending funerals when he can. What a great responsibility, and he will be such a blessing to the families in his care.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

8 months old today

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August 5, 2010

Dear Audrey,

The best way to describe this month is to use Dickens' quote from A Tale of Two Cities; "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." If I'm being positive, though, I'd have to say that it's all turned out well in the end.

You've made some incredible accomplishments this month. Thanks to sleep training, you're now putting yourself to sleep at night (with your Green Heart Bear, of course), and you're sleeping a solid 11-12 hours a night. We're still working on naps, since you prefer not to sleep more than 30 minutes at a time during the day. You'll get there, though.

You're now sitting up without assistance. You have the best laugh, a low, mischievous chuckle that I treasure every time I hear. You've tasted all the vegetables Gerber has to offer, and you're now starting your first fruit. You weren't sure about the applesauce at first, but now you love it.

You're the sweetest child. You take my hair in your hands and run your fingers through it, very gently. It makes my heart soar. You have two teeth, which I love to see when you give us that beautiful smile.

You made it through a serious case of salmonella this month, with a fever that spiked up to 102.6 with Tylenol. We (and the doctors) thought it was just a stomach virus, but your tests came back and showed us the truth. I was devastated, like I didn't protect you enough. But your daddy and I took good care of you, and I'm so thankful he was home for the summer to help care for you.

You're feeling so much better now, almost good as new. Your eyes still look a little haunted, but I'm just glad my prayers were answered and the salmonella didn't get into your bloodstream. You're a fighter, aren't you?

I love you so much. I love kissing your drooly mouth. And I love the rare times when you say "Ma ma ma ma ma." Thanks for bring such joy to our life. Happy 8th month birthday, love.

With all my love,

Merry Maids update

In my previous post, I wrote about my disappointment with MM this week. To update, the two ladies who came out on Tuesday rocked. my. socks. off. They were so apologetic for the previous cleaning (these were different ladies), and they admitted that not all cleaning teams were the same. Of course, I already knew that.

When I was telling my mom about this, she said, "Why don't they let those people go, then?" I hadn't even thought of that, but seriously. There are so many people out there looking for jobs, why keep people who don't perform well?

Anyway, I can't even tell you how pleased I was with Tuesday's cleaning. They dusted everything, and I think they even washed our kitchen floor on their hands and knees (that's how this particular team does it). I think the first team we had just spit on the floor and wiped it up with their shoes.

Instead of the smell of disappointment, I smelled cinnamon. Ahhhh...delicious. They added all these personal touches, like folding in the sides of our toilet paper and putting little stickers on there (a fish and a duck). They also set up Audrey's green heart bear in her crib, like the lovey was just waiting for her to come back.

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Awesome! Now these ladies are on our rotation, and I could not be happier. I mean, if they could get three-year-old cheese from countless pizzas out of the stove, they have superpowers. Don't judge me.

Cinnamon smells so much better than disappointment.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh, Merry Maids...

I mentioned last week, in my Thankful on Thursday post, that we're finally able to get a service to come out and clean our house once a month. I can't do housework because of FMS. That's right; I actually have a prescription that says "No housework allowed".

Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But my rheumatologist told me that vacuuming is the worst thing I could do, as far as cleaning goes. Which figures, since that's really the only cleaning task I don't mind doing. That and laundry. But I can't dust, either, because of my leg weakness. And I get sore just thinking about scrubbing the bathtub. Please. They'd find me facedown in the tub, covered with Comet and dripping with Tilex. It would definitely make the 5 o'clock news.

I'll end my pity party here, but I just wanted to explain why we need this. Because I'm embarrassed that I can't clean my own house. I used to pride myself on it.

Yesterday, our very enthusiastic-sounding Merry Maids came out. We were told at the initial consultation that the first visit is a deep-cleaning, including...wait for it...baseboards, ceiling fans, windowsills, blinds. I nearly had an orgasm just hearing that. I swear.

We left while they were there, mostly because I'm allergic to dust and didn't need to inhale all that junk. Because let me tell you, practically none of those things mentioned above have been cleaned since Matt moved into this house.

The deep-cleaning was supposed to last about 3 hours. They called me less than an hour and a half after they arrived, saying they were finished. Say what? They would've needed 10 people, working at full speed, to do everything they promised in that amount of time. I instantly felt a sense of dread.

Matt and I were still being positive about it (him more than me, of course). He spoke of the smell that might greet us as we walked through the door. Would it be cinnamon? Vanilla?

Nope, it was more like the smell of disappointment. I went in first, and what did I see? Let's just say I wasn't too merry when I saw everything that hadn't even been touched, much less deep-cleaned. Audrey could've done a better job. So Merry Maids=FAIL.

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I was so mad. I walked around the house for the rest of the night, mumbling to myself and running my finger over surfaces to see what was dirty. Even Matt noticed what wasn't done. I got so worked up that I was angry at myself for being so angry.

They didn't clean the ceiling fans, the baseboards, or anything that was promised in the deep-clean (oh, I'm sorry, they did clean the blinds. Yeah, just one side of them. The side facing out). Surfaces were dusted, but nothing actually sitting ON TOP OF the surfaces were touched. I took a post-it note off our computer monitor where I had taped it, and a big plume of dust filled the air.

I called MM this morning to give them a piece of my mind. But D, the guy who answered the phone, was so damn merry that I couldn't even work up a decent indignant voice. He said they'd be out today to clean it again, along with a supervisor to make sure that it happened. D said to make a list of what needed to be cleaned, which consisted of about 15 items.

So, as much as it pains me, I now have to give props to MM's customer service. But I'm still not sure about their cleaning; guess I'll see about that later today.

I think I'll take my toothbrush with me, though. I've heard horror stories about what maids do when they feel they've been wronged. And believe me, it's worse than a waiter spitting in your food.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We have two teeth!

I can't believe it. My tiny, helpless baby who came home from the hospital with me in December, who couldn't even lift her head, now has TEETH! I just can't believe it (oh yeah, I already said that).

She got the first one on July 15, and the second one came in on the 29th. As I went to record this amazing development in her baby book, I marveled at how fast this is all going. Despite the fact that I'm with her basically 24/7, she's changing every day before my eyes, and I can't keep up with it.

I had already told Mom about the first tooth, but honestly, so much has been happening that I forgot to tell her about the second one. So when we went furniture shopping yesterday, she was appalled that I hadn't told her about the second tooth.

And I thought, why didn't I tell her? I used to call her the second Audrey did something new. This certainly qualified as a major development.

I immediately felt guilty, as if it somehow diminished Audrey's milestone because I didn't pick up the phone, or at the very least, shout it from the the rooftops. I mean, my baby has her second tooth! And that's something to celebrate.

I did celebrate with Matt; we were excited, shocked, and so proud. We were constantly trying to get Audrey to open her mouth so we could see it. We did everything we could think of to make her laugh, which was the only way she'd open her mouth for us (stubborn child).

I'm trying to give myself the benefit of the doubt here. I barely spoke to Mom this week, and most of our communication was by text. But still, the lingering guilt remains.

Do you ever get over that when you're a mother? Somehow, I don't think so. I think the guilt can eat away your soul if you let it.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going up to the rooftop now to shout the news. Better late than never, right?