Tuesday, December 19, 2006

WEANie

Well it looks like my fears have been put to rest: I've stopped breastfeeding.

I had to take some medication that you can't breastfeed on. I decided I would do the ol' pump and dump, because I fully intended to start again once I was off the medication. The first night was a NIGHTMARE. The baby sleeps in bed with us, and he's used to nursing like 15 times a night. I'm not even exaggerating. He is CONSTANTLY on the boob. In fact, if he happens to become removed from the boob for any reason, he cries and wakes me up and gets on the boob again. Needless to say, I have not been getting my full nights rest. So the first night he constantly screamed and pulled on my shirt. I felt bad for him, because obviously you can't reason with a baby. Eventually my husband got him to sleep after I left the room. Then, on night #2, a miracle happened: my husband gave him a bottle and the baby rolled over and fell asleep. All of a sudden, it was morning, and I didn't remember waking up once. Oh no, I thought. I must have slept through all his crying! Poor husband...but it turns out...the baby slept throught the night. The whole thing. HE SLEPT THROUGH THE MOTHERFUCKING NIGHT PEOPLE. I don't think that has EVER happened.

And? He's become less clingy and doesn't cry when I go to work anymore. Last night was the second night off the boob, and he only woke up once. I gave him a bottle and he snuggled right back to sleep. I am still in shock about this-we've broken him of his boob addiction! He's off the boob!

I had a hard time deciding whether or not I should stop breastfeeding permanently. I took into account the fact that he's extremely willful and it would be even harder to break a 2 yr. old than a 10 month old, and I was NEVER going through that night #1 nightmare again. And if we ever want that kid out of our bed, getting him to sleep through the night was a good first step. It will be so much easier now that he isn't literally so attached all the time. I know breastfeeding is SO GOOD for kids, but, for us, the time was now. So I stopped pumping, and here we are. No more nursing. I'm free! That sounds harsh. But I am! I was very sad about if for awhile, but now I'm completely happy with the decision.

EXCEPT.

Dude. My tit hurts SO BAD. I say tit because leftie was fine with the whole decision. He was like, man, I wanted to quit this shit months ago! But rightie is all, NEVEEEEEEERRRRR!! He's the size of a melon. I'm pumping a little bit when it gets too painful to go on, but I think that's just encouraging him. I am such a WEANie.

AND. As some of you may remember, I found the whole world of "mommyblogging" during my pumping sessions at work. It was a nice hobby for awhile, but...now I don't pump anymore. And things keep popping up to fill my time. I'll probably still write on occasion and read other blogs sometimes, but this is really about it for me. So, to my loyal...2 readers? What, do 3 people read?...farewell, it's been cool.

Peace.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The One Day My Hair Will Look Right

I feel so awesome today because I got a haircut. I haven't had one since I was about three months pregnant so...[does math on fingers]...16 months ago. That's a long time. I feel so refreshed. Maybe now I'm one step closer to becoming a MILF. (I don't really have a feministy stance on the whole MILF thing or anything, but I do hate the term because it reminds me of Stiffler. But props to Kristen who wrote a great post about it)

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Pool Where We All Go To Drink


The reason this blog is called “Stop The Block” is that for the last couple of years I’ve had a horrible case of writer’s block. I long to write, but it seems impossible sometimes. I have dozens of unfinished stories, of ideas I have yet to write about, but when I sit down to do it something cripples me and the page is blank. I wanted to blog about it so I could figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I’ve written about writing in the past, but usually I just write about funny conversations, my kid, and cockroaches. Which is fine, because I’m writing something, but I want more.

I want to take a dive into “the pool where we all go to drink” and find my story. I’ve been obsessing over this ever since I recently finished Stephen King’s new novel Lisey's Story.

From the Nora Roberts guest review on Amazon:

Lisey's Story is, at its core, a love story--heart-wrenching, passionate, terrifying and tender. It is the multi-layered and expertly crafted tale of a twenty-five year marriage, and a widow's journey through grief, through discovery and--this is King, after all--through a nightmare scape of the ordinary and extraordinary. Through Lisey's mind and heart, the reader is pulled into the intimacies of her marriage to bestselling novelist Scott Landon, and through her we come to know this complicated, troubled and heroic man.”

This was such a beautiful and lovely book. I love books about relationships, and books about writers, and books that are bittersweet, and this was all of those. Something that was especially interesting was that the character Scott Landon referred to the place he got his ideas as “the pool where we all go to drink.” Of course, in the story, people assumed this was a metaphor for a collective consciousness of some type. Really, the character could actually transplant himself into another world, where there exists a large pool with healing waters, so he actually meant he got his ideas from this pool. The character also claimed that he never knew where the story he was writing was going to go; that writing was like finding a piece of string in the grass and following it and seeing where it took you. Sometimes the string broke, but if you were lucky, it took you to something really amazing. I’ve read interviews with Stephen King where he claims, like his character, that he doesn’t know how his stories are going to end either. He just writes, and it goes wherever it goes. Almost like connecting to something that already exists, finding the string, following it, diving into the pool where we all go to drink, and discovering a story, not actually making it up.

I thought about this the other night as my husband was working in the garage. He’s an artist, and the latest medium he’s exploring is glass blowing. He makes lots of cool beads and pendants and I make them into jewelry. I was taking out the trash, and I realized he had the music turned up so loud in the garage that you could clearly hear what he was listening to from the yard. I thought about how in Lisey’s Story, Scott had a habit of turning up his music so loud while writing that Lisey could sometimes hear it from the house even though his study was out in the barn with soundproofed walls.

So when he finished working, I asked my husband about the music. He said listening to loud music helps him remove himself from his thoughts and just focus on the glass. That it takes something so loud to get him out of himself enough to be able to connect with something different; the energy of the glass, or some new age-y sounding thing. The pool where we all go to drink.

So I’ve been musing over this ever since, and wondering if I’ve been going about getting rid of my writer’s block the wrong way. I’ve been trying to manage and micro-manage any ideas I have by outlining and planning. This is a habit I picked up in high school when we were discussing some dead writer in an English class. The teacher mentioned that his last book was unfinished at the time of his death, so his son or someone finished it based on his outlines. This made me think that “real” writers outlined their stories from beginning to end, and had all the details planned out. How else could things fit together just right if they weren’t organized that way from day one? So that’s the approach to writing I’ve taken ever since. Never mind that was not the way I did it growing up. I’ve written for as long as I can remember, and it was always so easy up until that point. I’d get an idea, or maybe an image, a little piece of something, and then I’d sit down and write about it for hours, expanding on it, making it something different, all without planning or organizing or worrying how it would turn out. I left a lot of things unfinished, but that was usually because I was onto the next idea. I did finish some things though. I probably finished more things as an adolescent than I have ever since. It’s when I start being critical of myself, when I think, this idea is too good to be written about so poorly, when I think, I need to figure out what’s going to happen so I don’t waste my time on something that’s going nowhere, that’s when I lose it. The inspiration, the drive, the story.

So here’s my question to artists of all kinds and especially writers: How do you get to “the pool where we all go to drink?” Do you plan things out from the start or do you get on it like a ride and let the story take you somewhere? How do you get back on track when you find yourself being too critical or thinking too much about your story-how do you reconnect with the “pool?”

Friday, December 01, 2006

"You're one of those people who put up their tree the day after Thanksgiving, aren't you?"

Last year we didn't put up any Christmas lights outside. We did put up a tree, but it's little therefore easy. I just couldn't be bothered with decorating, what with all the swelling and hugeness I was having to endure at the time. But now the baby's actually HERE, and he can see the lights, and not just their aura from within the womb, but SEE them, touch them, look enraptured by our neighbor's outdoor lights. So this year we did it! We have lights!

Now I'm starting to understand how holidays are fun for grownups because of the kids in their lives. I'm glad I discovered this, because I was really starting to get bored with Christmas before the baby. Now I can watch him enjoy it. That's pretty cool.

By the way, Blogger keeps trying to get me to switch to the NEW! BLOGGER! but I'm resisting. One time I updated my SpySweeper and now my computer runs slow, so I'm a little wary of BIGGER! BETTER! Is it really bigger and better? Am I missing out on something here?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

La Cucaracha

Husband: Ever since you've been keeping the sink clean I haven't seen any roaches crawling around.
Yes we had/have roaches. Yes I'm a slob. Let's move on.
Me: Well, that's good.
Husband: Yeah, roaches are so gross because they can live as long as dogs.*
Me: DOGS!?! I think I'm going to barf. I believe it though, because there's this one roach that's my archnemesis. I've seen him in the bathroom, the kitchen...he sees me and he knows I hate him, and he hates me too. I can see it in his eyes.
Husband: Why don't you kill it?
Me: I'm afraid to. He's really scary looking. He's got these, like, fucked up wings, like he got into a fight with a cat or something. He looks like a bad ass.
Husband: Oh, I killed that thing this morning. WHACK! He's goners.
Me: My hero!

*I have not verified this statement.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble Gobble

I love the feeling of the holidays. A day off in the middle of a work week! Lots of food! It's almost as good as Christmas! Actually, it's better than Christmas, because I don't have to buy anybody presents. Not that I have anything against giving; it's just, you know, the being poor.

I'm going to TWO Thanksgivings tomorrow and all I have to do is bring cookies and brownies. So easy. So yummy.

Have a good holiday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Free Panties!

I admit I was at first seduced by the language on the pink mailer. Everyone likes free shit, right? Especially underwear. I hate paying for things that are so essential, like toilet paper and tampons. Or do I just hate paying for things that have to do with my ass?

I hesitated with my hand over the trashcan, the Victoria's Secret coupon dangling, ready to drop amongst the egg shells and dirty paper towels. Should I go get my free panties? I was going to be at the mall later, because we were getting my tires rotated across the street. Going to Victoria's Secret wasn't the problem, as we would surely pass it by once or twice during our excursion. The thing was-how totally poor and cheap would I feel exchanging that coupon for some underpants?

I know why they send out coupons like that-so you'll go to get your free whatever, and buy something else while you're there (there was also an offer on the same coupon for $10 off some bra I can't have because it doesn't include those convenient flaps that come down and expose your boobies so some child can suckle them). I knew I would be making no other purchase-did I have the shame to go into that snooty store and say, HEY! Give me some free PANTIES!

I decided that I was more thrifty than prideful, so the coupon went into my purse.

"HIIIII can I help you today?" The perky salesgirl asked as my husband tried to maneuver the stroller around those annoying displays that are never quite big enough for strollers to get around and I fingered some cute boy shorts at the front.

Say you're just looking! You're JUST LOOKING! My inner ego screeched. Don't let her know you're only here for the free swag! She'll look down on yoooou!

Just admit you're here for the freebie, countered my inner whoever is concerned with not spending all day in a panty store. Must be my inner husband. Oh wait, that actually was my husband, hissing to me as the baby pulled some kind of Santa-inspired lingerie monstrosity off of a mannequin.

"Um, yeah, uh, I just wanted to get the free panty?" (I hate that my statements always become questions when I'm embarrassed.)

"They're back there on those three round tables. There are people back there to help you. Also, the Pink panties are five for $25.00 right now!" Like they aren't 5 for $25.00 any other day. Like I'm actually going to be purchasing anything today.

So we make our way back to the three round tables about as gracefully as a herd of learning disabled monkeys, knocking panties off of tables, bras off of shelves, and leaving a trail of general disarray wherever we go. You know how I roll.

"The free panties are only in neutral colors, black, light gray, tan, or white," the sales girl tells me, removing every color choice that was somewhat appealing to me.

Fine, I'll get some black ones. Large and extra small only. Great. Ok, this is embarrassing enough, just grab some and GO! Ego says. At first I think it is husband goading me along, but he's found some sort of lacy thing to stare at. Great. He's occupied.

So I take my grey (yeah, I settled) panties up to the register and hand them over with the coupon.

"It's only the light grey that are free."

Jesus. Could this get any more embarrassing? I'm cheap, yeah, I'm here for the freebie, and apparently I'm trying to live above my means.

So I go back to the round tables. I pick up the light grey.

"Those aren't the free ones," a salesgirl tells me.

"These are lighter grey than those," I snip, then shut my mouth, realizing I'm arguing color semantics with a panty pusher at Victoria's Secret.

"No, it's these grey ones," and she holds up the ugliest pair of panties I'd ever seen. The ones I'd chosen first were a nice coal grey; the next ones I liked were a lighter shade of the same color; these were like dirty white poo-poo grey.

Finally I ended up with a white thong. Newsflash! The panties they give away are thinner and flimsier than the ones they sell. Was it worth it? Eh. I guess. I mean, I got the free undies, but not without an ordeal. And they're kinda crappy. So I guess you could say you get what you pay for. And there's no such thing as a free lunch, er, pair of panties. Because the receipt may say "no charge," but I sure spent a lot of my pride on them.