Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Breastfeeding is Not Wrong or Obscene - And Why Do I Even Need to Point That Out? (UPDATED)



This is the part about blogging and reading blogs that I hate: reading posts about situations in which people behave with such ignorance, such a lack of understanding or compassion, that it makes me physically ill.

When, people of America, will you learn that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, and that breastfeeding mothers need and deserve as much support as those who don't?

Is that asking too much? Then how about this: when, people of America, will you stop harassing breastfeeding mothers while you continue to turn a blind eye to gratuitous, degrading images of the female body?

Damn, people, I'm pissed, and I really hate feeling this way. Actually, I'm not pissed so much as I am filled with an awful sense of helplessness. It began with this, a post on IzzyMom about a mother on MySpace who has a picture of her baby nursing, and which MySpace has removed three times now for violating its policy about "sexually suggestive images".

Excuse me, MySpace? A picture of a baby nursing is sexually suggestive? But this is not? You're on crack, right? Because last I checked - 30 seconds ago - MySpace is chock-full of naked chicks, and you don't seem to be doing jack-shit about it. But a picture of a baby nursing, that shows less than an inch of skin - that you can take down three times?!

When are people going to get that there's nothing obscene about a mother nursing her child? Better yet, if you find it obscene, can you clue me in why? I know that breastfeeding is a controversial topic (see all my breastfeeding-related posts here), but give me a fucking break. We're a sick, ignorant nation if we can't tolerate the sight of a woman offering her breast to her child.

And you know, I understand that sometimes, breastfeeding advocates (the ones deemed "boob-nazis" or "lactivists") hurt the cause more by being so bitchy and judgmental about it. I get that. But there are times - like right now - when I understand why some women are like that. Because the frustration and feeling of helplessness are so enormous, so overwhelming, when you're trying to do right by your child, and you get kicked out of the mall; or your child's daycare discriminates against you; or you face losing your job. And it seems to me that a lot of energy is spent in the mainstream to make mothers (and fathers) who are committed to breastfeeding come off as militant assholes, stoned-out hippies, or weirdos, but not enough is spent on actually exploring why breastfeeding is a wonderful thing that should receive wide support.

It also seems to me that nowadays the assumption is always that bottle-feeding moms are bullied by breastfeeding moms (to what degree that's actually true doesn't seem to matter), and that the inexcusable acts of some harsh nursing moms somehow justifies the fact that mothers who breastfeed - by and large - receive little to no support from their jobs, their families, or society at large. And that's bullshit. People turn a blind eye to this because in America, breastfeeding is not status quo and the majority of people are appallingly ignorant about it. More than bullshit - that's just wrong. Plain wrong.

And you can choose not to do it - that's fine - but you can't act like mothers who do it are freaks of nature, or undeserving of basic rights and support. So next time a friend, co-worker or relative tells you she's breastfeeding, maybe you should think twice before you roll your eyes, or ask why she's doing "that thing" (as an acquaintance was recently asked by her *alleged* best friend), or shrug your shoulders. Because if that's your take, then you, my friend, are a part of the problem, too.

*****************************************************

UPDATES:

Lauretta writes in the comments: "Hi, my name is Lauretta. I am the creator of the petition going around that is against Myspace deleting the breastfeeding pictures. We currently have 7427 signatures, but would LOVE some more. Our goal is to get 10,000 signatures and then we will be sending it in to Myspace both through e-mail and "old fashioned" snal mail. Please go and sign this petition if you have not already. Thank you!!

http://www.petitiononline.com/Brstfeed/petition.html"

So what are you waiting for??? GO SIGN THE PETITION!

Also, Stephanie from Rag Trade Happy Clothing Co. sent out a bulletin to all her MySpace friends about MySpace's asshattery. In it, she linked to this post. Thanks, Stephanie!

Labels: , , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/27/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, February 26, 2007

On Posting Personal Pictures (UPDATED)

The topic of parents posting pictures of their children on their blogs is pretty big in the mommy-and-daddy-blogger world. Some do it, others don't, and everyone has a strong opinion on it.

I have to say, given my nature to be so paranoid about everything, I'm constantly surprised whenever I hit the "publish" button on a post that has a picture of my boy. I don't know the statistics for what, if any, horrible things have happened to other families as a result of doing this, but some pretty crappy shit has happened in the past (there's too much on this topic to link to, plus, I'm not writing this to fan flames or bring up old shit), and considering the world we live in today, as a parent you have to stop and think before you do the seemingly harmless thing of sharing with your friends, family and the world your adorable child's fun day at the park. Because the next thing you know, your kid becomes the target of mean jokes at the hands of nasty, cruel adults; or you attract the attention of some sick-ass pedophile who ends up preying on your child; or what you think is just you writing about your life ends up being you giving stalkers, killers and creepy people a map to your home and habits. Think I'm exaggerating? Well, I don't. I don't put anyone above anything nowadays, and even seemingly innocent websites about family life are targets for whack-jobs and evil people.

So yeah, posting pictures doesn't always seem like the most brilliant move on my part, not even to me. So why do I do it? Why do I last like a week before I crack and post one up? I haven't been able to adequately express the reason why, and then I stumbled upon this post by Her Bad Mother. She captures my feelings perfectly, specifically the part about punctum, and how pictures help me capture all that is wonderful and quirky about my boy. Really, I can't put it any better myself, so you should go read it for yourself.

Even though I now have a way of verbalizing the reasons why I post pictures of my son (and myself and husband, too), I still vacillate. I still hesitate before hitting "publish". I still fear my son becoming a target and it being my fault. And yet, I maintain a belief in the power of images, in the way they can convey an emotion, event, or the essence of a human being so that you feel a direct connection with them - and that that transcends the bad things that can possibly happen. I think the images I use here enhance my writing without becoming the focus or being provocative in a negative way. And maybe one day, as my son grows older and life evolves and his need for privacy becomes more urgent, my feelings may swing more strongly in the other direction and his pictures will no longer appear here.

For now, though, I believe his images have that ability to puncture, and for that, they will remain.

******************************************************

Update: Amanda shares her thoughts on the matter.

Labels: , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/26/2007   | | | links to this post

Some Random Person on the Internets Makes Me Want to Cry

Whoever you are, thank you. It's such a small, random thing, but you've managed to make my day - most likely my week, too. And trust me, my days lately have been somewhere between "blah" and "I want to stab my eyes out."

I noticed I was getting visitors from a blog I hadn't heard of, Dante's Inferno with Children. So I went to check the site out, and there it was: a link to me. Specifically, a link to me in a post where people suggested their favorite blogs for Liesel to check out.

Dude, that's so friggin' cool. So, so cool. I don't know who e-mailed her with the recommendation, but I love them. This has never happened before, not to my knowledge. As much as I maintain this blog for my own sanity and as a way to work on my writing skills, it's SO wonderful when I find out someone enjoys this site, and even more wonderful when they recommend it to someone else.

So if you've arrived here via DIwC, welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit. And if you're the person who recommended me, thank you. It means a lot to me.



Posted by Tere @ 2/26/2007   | | | links to this post

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saturday Night


THE PLAN:

A night of drinks, food and good company at Big Fish as a group of family and friends gathered to celebrate my sister's and brother-in-law's birthdays.

THE REALITY:


A night at the ER with a very sick monkey who's temperature had dropped extremely low. He could have been going septic, or it could have been the flu or pneumonia. Thankfully (yes, thankfully), it's just a very bad cold/sinus virus plus ear/throat infection.

On the bright side, how many moms go to the hospital looking so hip?



Posted by Tere @ 2/25/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, February 23, 2007

Snot, Drool and Lent

I no longer know what round this is. Just as Max seems to be better, a fever arises, the congestion returns, and in as little as half an hour, we're back to square one.

My poor child. Between the medicines, the fever, the horrific drooling and the stuffy head, it's a miracle that he maintains such an upbeat attitude. The rough part for him, though, is being able to sleep comfortably at night, so you know what that means. I'm so exhausted I can't compute any other thought. I'm living and breathing my exhaustion at this point. I'm walking around like a dumber, more dazed version of myself. And on top of that, I'm caught in some awful vortex of fretfulness about my career.

And in the middle of all this, Lent began. And like any good Catholic with a lifetime of guilt on my shoulders, Lent ranks right up there with my other favorite holidays. Why shouldn't I eagerly welcome the chance to reflect on the many ways in which I fall short?

Actually, despite my issues with Catholicism, I think Lent is a very good thing. The notion of sacrificing, of taking some time to really challenge myself and face or possibly conquer a bad habit or character flaw - I think I need that. Hell, I think everyone needs that. Especially in today's world, where we're either too busy pointing out what's wrong with everyone else or not taking responsibility for our words and actions. I think it's good for the soul to offer up some kind of meaningful sacrifice.

For me, that means giving up chocolate.

Well, it did for many, many years. That, and ice cream. And I have to confess, that HURT. It hurt very badly. Still, at some point I figured I could aspire to nobler sacrifices, so now I go with being a model of patience, which is pretty much the hardest thing in the world for me. During Lent, though, I make it a point to be extra conscious of when I'm being impatient (which usually sets off a chain reaction of other crappy behavior on my part), and I try not to be, or to deal with it in healthier, better ways. Then I try to keep it going past Lent, but you know, that's hit or miss.

So in the midst of some career-related angst, as I'm kept up night after night by a sick little monkey, I'm trying to keep a grip on it all by being breathing deeply, holding back, and doing all I can to be patient, patient, patient.

Considering all this, there's no fucking way I'm giving up chocolate.

Labels: , , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/23/2007   | | | links to this post

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Everglades are Burning

I stepped outside this morning to walk Zoe, took a deep breath, and was instantly thrown back 23 years into my childhood. The air smelled the way it consistently did early mornings back in the mid-80's: rich with the scent of burning wood.

In 1984, the school I attended moved from it's small building on Calle Ocho out west to the boonies; specifically, to the area around Tamiami Trail and SW 132 Ave. At that time, while there were existing homes in the area, most of it was still largely undeveloped. The Everglades reached SW 137 Ave. nearly undisturbed. Development was really just beginning to take hold, and so almost every morning, the smell of burning wood permeated the air as land was cleared to make room for the suburbs. You could smell it as far away as my home in Little Havana, and always, when I asked my dad or bus driver or anyone else what the smell was, the reply was the same: "the Everglades are burning."

For me, the smell made me feel like I lived up north somewhere. Chilly, foggy mornings were the best, transporting me far from muggy Miami and into a cabin in the Canadian woods. I didn't quite get the real meaning behind that smell: that a fragile ecosystem was being destroyed in the name of growth, so that Shoma and Lennar Homes and strip-mall corporations far and wide could profit like mad little bitches.

Back then, as the school bus approached my school, you could see, just a short distance away, the grayish-black smoke rising in the air. There were days when recess would end early or be canceled because the smoke was blowing right over us, making it difficult to see and breathe. And there were days when it felt like the fire was headed right for us, even though, in hindsight, that was probably more in my imagination than an actual possibility. Either way, the smoke and the smell were a near-constant presence, an integral part of my school days.

I'm not sure if the early-morning smell of burning wood is still a sign that the Everglades are burning. In many cases it could be brush fires or perhaps something else entirely. But the smell is forever linked to my childhood; to the days when I didn't understand the true meaning of that smell, and I just longed for a log cabin in the woods, for a different life, and to be anyone but me and anywhere but Miami.

Labels: , , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/22/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Number 249

So between last night's post and my third sleepless night caring for a sick one-and-a-half year old, I've realized I'm delusional. Or perhaps indescribably exhausted.

Either way, seems like I got a lot to vent about, but yesterday's topic seems more resolved in my head. Namely, when I say I want to "be a writer" or "write for a living", I know exactly what kind of writing I want to do, and I should just stick to that without stressing about freelance work and my lack of contacts and knowledge. I think I'm after something that's really hard to attain, but it's something that would fulfill me, and I want to keep that in mind. If that means that right now I keep slugging away in an office, that I'm not my own boss, that I only get to devote time and effort to my big dream late at night - well, I'm just going to have to accept that, right?

So while I'll happily take writing work if it comes my way or I stumble onto a good opportunity, I'm not going to put all my energy into that, into trying to jump into an overcrowded field where I really have no way of standing out in any significant way. And I've decided this mainly because the stress of it all has been eating at me for a while now, and I would rather enjoy my blogging and offline writing and the rest of my life instead of making myself miserable over this. What's all that cliche crap? Love what you have; enjoy what you're given; make the most of what you've got; don't drown in a cup of water; trust in the universe; take it one day at a time.

I guess I've had one sleepless night too many. Although, to be fair, we can all blame Max for that. No really, poor Maxi is sick and hasn't been sleeping well, which means I get to stay up all night with him. Or rather, I get to spent my nights half-awake, with him right on top of me, or us cuddled and cramped in our snuggle chair. The down side, obviously, is that I'm a sleep-deprived wreck who would give anything for some non-baby, non-husband, non-housework, non-anything time. The up side, though, is that I've been able to enjoy having my baby snuggled up right against me, his little hand rubbing my face, filling me with warmth and joy and tears because I'm able to comfort him and make everything better.

I may be short on sleep, perspective and patience, but damn, I think I'm finally beginning to enjoy and appreciate the fleeting, awesome moments that my son keeps opening my life to. They come cushioned between the exhaustion, the crying, the tantrums, and the giant, sloppy, boogery messes, but when I finally open my eyes to them and stop and let them wash over me - wow. I know in those moments the secret to eternal happiness. And I know that everything's really and truly going to be o.k.

Labels: , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/21/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Overwhelmed, Restless & Frustrated: It's a Typical Tere Day!

I swear, this medicine I'm taking is fucking with my head. It has to be. I'm a mess; I've been a mental mess for about two, maybe three, days now. Thank goodness I'm about to ignore my doctor's orders and will stop taking this awful pill tomorrow; I can't take any more of this craziness.

Here's the problem: I can't explain what the problem is. Some problem, huh?

Problem!

All right, I'll try: I keep going in circles over how to make more of my writing - how to be a better writer, how to write more, how to write about different topics, how to write in different voices, how to make money as a writer. And no matter how much I meditate on this, or whom I speak to, or how knee-deep into research I get, I ALWAYS come away feeling even more overwhelmed and less hopeful than I'd felt before.

I mean, on one end, half the shit I find on the Internet seems like a scam - and given that I have no gauge as to what's a good opportunity and what's crap, I feel like I can't afford to investigate every single lead. On the other hand, some things that may (or may not!) be legitimate writing opportunities pay shit. Actually, they pay less than shit, and here I just end up frustrated. I mean, people want written material that will help market or promote their business, or content for clients, and they expect to pay writers $5 a pop?? Are you fucking kidding me? About 80% of the "freelance writing opportunities" I've found pay less than $20 for work that will take more than two hours to complete. Sure, there are people who will accept that, but you get what you pay for. Quality writing costs money. And considering how many years of writing, and how many different styles I can cover, I've got under my belt, I can't help but feel that $20 for a good piece of work is a total insult to those of us who put a lot of work and effort and passion into our craft.

So ultimately, I feel like, fuck freelance writing if it's so unappreciated. I mean, I get it - everyone and their mother claims to be a writer and it's most definitely an employer's market. But I have to say, from a professional standpoint, most of the stuff I read - stuff that's billed as "professional" work - is so riddled with grammatical errors, incorrect language/word usage, hyperbole and other similar crimes of writing that the writer - as well as the idiots who hired that writer - should be embarrassed. I mean, there are some actual skills required for writing a readable, CORRECT piece of work, regardless of whether it's a brochure, news article or press release. But it seems to me that such skills are not properly recognized or valued by those in a position to pay for the work.

And then on the other end is my paralyzing fear of my own skills and abilities. I mean, I churn writing out every single day of my life, have been for ten years now, and get paid to do it. But there's a difference. Being part of a company is not the same as getting to write about the things you WANT to write about. It's not the same as having someone say, "wow, I like what you have to say and how you say it - let's put it in a book!" Or at least an article that will reach people who are as interested in the topic as you are. Maybe it's just that when I write what I want to write about - when I'm researching something or exploring my thoughts and emotions and putting it all together into something that I hope others will relate to, enjoy and perhaps be moved by - I feel so free. And maybe I just want to feel that freedom everyday - the freedom to set my own hours, the freedom from feeling bossed around, the freedom of finding the right words and putting them together into something meaningful. Writing is my freedom. And while it's not fame that I seek, recognition would be nice. It's not millions of dollars I want, but enough to make a comfortable living here without it having to be paycheck-to-paycheck.

Oh hell, what the fuck am I saying? Right at this moment I feel so defeated and overwhelmed that I can't even really tell you WHAT I want. Maybe I'm imagining how sweet and fun others have it but really have no clue what it's like for them. Maybe my writing is mediocre at best so I'm really just living in some delusional land where I'm the next Anita Shreve. Maybe having to churn out article after article is more slavery than freedom. Maybe my writing's excellent, but no one can relate, no one laughs and no one cries, so what does it matter then?

Jeebus, I think I need a vacation.

Labels: , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/20/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thank God for Dead Presidents

I thought today would never come. Yesterday was the longest day ever. The longest day in the history of my life, or at least in the last six months.

Actually, it began the night before, with Max having a hard time sleeping. Between our house being cold as hell, the noisy humidifier in his room creating a holy mess of steam and condensation and his inability to fall asleep, I was a an exhausted mess by the time I staggered back to bed at 4 a.m.

From there, it was all downhill. Despite the fact that he got a total of four hours of sleep, the baby was up at 7 a.m. and running like a madman. Mid-day nap? Yeah, right. My lunch date with PCD was a stressful two hours of him being tired and in denial and wanting to run around all over the place - hence, he was a pissy whiner because he was confined to his highchair.

The ride home from lunch was 40 minutes of non-stop crying an screaming. He kept asking for "Wa". You know what that is? Neither do I. I can tell you, though, that it's not water, nor his pacifier, nor his play phone, nor the diaper bag, nor his sweater, nor his maraca, nor his book. So by the time we got home, I stupidly believed he'd be eager for nap. Oh, I was so stupid. An hour in the crib, and he spent it jumping and chattering - until he abruptly broke into tears. I took him out and cuddled with him, hoping to comfort him to sleep. Except that he realized he was free and took off running.

For the rest of the afternoon, from 4 to 8 p.m., I was busy prying him off the TV, which he kept switching on and off, on and off, on and off. I tried every which way - from gentle to firm to slightly psychotic - to get him to stop, and they all failed. The only way to get him to stop was to stand there and block his way, which is exactly what I did. But of course, that just led to a full-on tantrum every time I stood up and blocked his way. So I was caught in an endless cycle of trying to distract him with a game or book or some kind of silliness, and him taking off within five minutes to smack the TV button on and off, on and off, on and off.

Oh, and bedtime at 7 p.m.? Um, nope! At 7 p.m., he was running around the living room, shrieking like a banshee, tossing books around, babbling, and the best part - stopping every few minutes to run up to me to give me a big hug. But finally, by 8 p.m., he'd had enough, judging by the way he looked up at me, asked to be carried, and said, "night, night." By then, those were the best two words I'd heard all freakin' day.

Really, none of it was bad - just exhausting. It was non-stop playing and throwing and whining and tantrum-throwing and laughing and shrieking. There was no break, no moment to pause. And the fact that I'm taking this medicine that causes moodiness was no help, and most certainly just made it harder to bear when I was in the moment.

So this morning, Ben took over and got him ready for daycare so I could sleep in. Sleep in! I got to sleep in! All the way to 9 a.m. Blissful, blissful sleeping in.






Posted by Tere @ 2/19/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm Getting Better at This

"This" being motherhood. Or maybe not. It's just been a good week. So maybe I should be more factual and say that: it's been a good week. Because you just know that if I say one more time that I'm getting better at being at a mom (crap!), that some catastrophe is looming right around the corner.

So, good week. Max is an incredibly exhausting boy, but I'm getting the hang of it. By that I mean that I'm getting better at just sitting on the couch while he destroys the house, because I just don't care anymore. We have four baby gates, so the damage can be contained to just the kitchen, just the living room, or just the Florida room. So I spend my days rotating rooms for him to, um, redecorate.

Because yeah, he's not destructive, he just likes to take things from wherever they belong and throw them into the other room. Or put them in the dog's mouth. Or hand them to me. Or place them in another box, on the floor, or under the furniture. So I've just decided that as long as he's not in danger, I can sit on my butt and read, or cook, or organize.

It's taken me a very long time to reach this place. And it's freaking weird. Of course, I still hover right. over. him. when his safety's an issue, like when he's trying to climb the baby gate, or when he's yanking on Zoe's snout, or when he's playing with the rotating cabinet doors. But otherwise, he's so good about playing alone sometimes or "helping" me or Ben out.

Basically, all that's different or better around here is that I'm learning to chill the hell out. I don't face my weekends alone with him with anxiety anymore (some dread if I'm sick or extraordinarily exhausted, but that's no biggie). I'm not a melted-down brat by the time Ben gets home. I'm actually just being... normal.

Then again, my son is a joy to parent; or rather, I'm so in love with this kid that it's transforming me. I'm not really getting "better" at anything. He's just teaching me how to be more patient and less afraid to just be and love and live as I want.

Labels: , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/16/2007   | | | links to this post

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Final Product

As requested, those early weeks of hormonal craziness resulted in what is, in my totally biased opinion, the most adorable, charming child ever.

Behold:




He hates sitting down for his breathing treatments - seriously, it's a twice-a-day trauma that includes crying, squirming, screaming and some kicking - but you wouldn't know it from the way he loves to play with the machine parts at all other times.



Posted by Tere @ 2/15/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love Rules After All

While I still have no use for V Day, I understand I'm probably in the minority here, so for all you people walking around with little hearts fluttering around you, here's a picture of the love that was growing deep inside me two years ago.

The following are excerpts from my previous blog, all entries written in February 2005, when I was between 8 and 11 weeks pregnant.

2-4-05: "It seems that my life lately is all about food. If I get a craving, I will fantasize about that food until I can eat it. Yesterday, at about 5 pm, I started craving a pastelito de guayaba, totally out of nowhere. So between then and this morning, when I got one, I could think of nothing else. I could almost taste it, I think I even dreamt about it. And that's how it is now. I'm not overly hungry, not craving any weird things. But out of nowhere, these desires will pop up, and I go nearly crazy until I can get my hands on that particular food. So thank God we're getting pad thai tomorrow -- if I had to wait any longer, I'd go ape shit or something."

2-17-05: "I am in desperate need of a pedicure. Please help."

2-18-05: "I'm in this horrible stage where I've got some extra belly on me, but it just looks like fat, not a baby. So I look (or at least, I feel) pudgy, but not pregnant. It fucking sucks. When you're pregnant, you grow wide first instead of out. And on top of that, I'm so sick in my stomach that I'm bloated or swollen or distended, and that's where the pudgy look comes in. (I'll post pics if I feel up to it later). Many women lose weight at this point from all the vomiting, but I haven't vomited at all, not even once. So I have a perpetual fullness b/c of it. Coño. Mierda. This blows. I need to get to that stage where I'm all cute and glowing."

2-21-05: "B took the day off and we're watching TV. For some cruel reason, he just hypothesized that the baby will most likely have his propensity for guilt-tripping, and my temper. OMG, God help us -- we may be creating a monster! ... B was just trying to give my belly/the baby a love rub, but I think he ended up giving my spleen some love instead."

2-22-05: "10 weeks"


2-23-05: "... in today's saddest news, I'm out of cream cheese. WHY, OH, WHY????? I need cream cheese!!!!"

2-25-05: "Goodbye, Earl -- Oh, sadness. My Earl jeans no longer fit. I button them, and when I sit, it's pure torture. I'm sitting here w/unbuttoned pants. This is what pregnancy does to you, apparently."

Trust me, the love was growing inside me. It's just that the crazy hormones overshadowed it for those first 12 weeks.

Labels: , , , , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/14/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Judge Tere, Presiding

I'm told I'm judgmental, which I won't deny. Despite my best efforts to keep some thoughts out of my head, sometimes I can be unfairly judgmental. I'm very hard on myself, about everything, and sometimes I don't even realize that the things I demand and expect of myself are harsh and unrealistic, and I spin out control and place my ridiculously high standards on others. I know, I suck.

But here's the thing: is there ever a time when you can form an opinion of someone and not be judgmental? I ask because I really want to know, because there are instances where I'm told I'm being judgmental, and I can honestly tell you people that I just think I'm calling something as I see it, without attaching any sense of judgment, of good or bad, right or wrong, to it.

An example: you are cheating on your spouse and you get drunk every day and you're telling me your life is a mess and why do things keep happening to you, and I respond that the problem is that you're an alcoholic with fidelity issues and you're in complete denial about it. Was I being judgmental there? I don't think so.

I guess I just don't understand where the line is. If I truthfully state what I think is "wrong" with a person, I just don't buy that I'm being judgmental. However, if on top of stating what I think is true I add that they are a bad person or that they have no morals or something similar, that, to me, is what makes it a judgment.

Also, isn't it normal to be judgmental sometimes, even though we try not to be? Isn't it part of the human condition to be critical and judgmental sometimes? Is it wrong (or judgmental!) of me to think, when someone says to me, "How can you judge me when I never judge you, I don't judge anyone" that if that's true then they're not human?

Believe me, I'm not making excuses for the times I'm judgmental. But I know when I'm being judgmental and when I'm just stating my opinion about someone, or when I'm flat-out asked for advice and I give it and it's not what the person wants to hear. Maybe that's it - that in the case I'm thinking about, they just don't like what I have to say so they roll on their back, play victim, and call me a judgmental meanie.

So be it, then. I fall into the trap by getting defensive and overly, ridiculously apologetic over... having an opinion on someone, an opinion I've formed from observing the person in action. And with that I enter a vicious cycle of having an opinion the person doesn't like, being called judgmental for it, defending my position as not being a judgment, and on and on and on.

The funny thing is, I'm usually so busy cringing over my bluntness and harshness that I really don't ever acknowledge some of my better qualities. The truth is that I know inside what I am and what I'm not, and I'm confident about who I am, even about my insecurities. Confident enough, anyway, to have no need to discuss them with anyone. I really believe that a person's true nature comes out, regardless of whether or not they constantly talk or write about it. And I guess I just have no interest in talking or writing about it, as I have no need to hammer home what a good, deep, compassionate person I am (also, that's boring). And considering what I've just said, perhaps it will make sense when I say that I don't know what to make of others who devote a lot of energy and time to saying and writing that they're a good person, that they're humble, that they've never caused harm to another, or that they're not judgmental. Because for me, the more you have to say it, the less inclined I am to believe you, or the more I think there's something fishy going on. (and for those of you keeping count, that's just my opinion)

Unfortunately, I can ride the drama coaster only so many times before I'm spent. And like so much of my life now, this too has exhausted me, and exhaustion now pushes me to places I didn't know I could go. But I'm giving myself permission to go.

And with that - case closed.

(Obviously, there are more chapters to this story that I don't care to get into. I know that affects the quality of this post, or your understanding of what the hell I'm trying to say, so I apologize for that. Hope you can still follow along somehow.)



Posted by Tere @ 2/13/2007   | | | links to this post

Valentine's Day: Most Useless Holiday Ever

Is there really any point to Valentine's Day besides giving restaurants an opportunity to hike their prices up or to pressure people to act sweeter, more affectionate or just better than they normally do?

I really don't mean to sound like a Scrooge. I believe in love. I love Love. I am in love. But seriously, there's no real value in Valentine's Day! The pressure is on to buy your loved one either a grand gift that expresses your love, or chocolates and flowers, both of which are over-priced. Where's the joy in this? How can you revel in your love when you've got so much pressure on you to be romantic and thoughtful and sexy? When the clear message is: "buy a gift or lose your chance at happiness forever!"? Meanwhile, the guy who gets his woman a $3000 necklace is doing her best friend and the woman who treats her man to a nice dinner is going to dump his ass the next day. So maybe V Day's really the Holiday of Guilt. There's no romantic crime that a box of Godiva can't soothe!

Ben and I boycotted V Day long ago. We get each other cards and that's about it. This is the first year in many that we're getting each other gifts, which must be no more than $30 or so. But that decision was based more on us being so stressed out lately and wanting a small treat. I guess we'd rather a great partner throughout the year who shrugs off a commercial holiday as opposed to grand romantic gestures one day followed by a year of unhappiness.

So there you have it: Valentine's Day is a bunch of crap. Believe it at your own risk.

p.s. Sorry for the snippiness. Still sick. PMSing. Haven't consumed enough chocolate to make it all better.

Labels:



Posted by Tere @ 2/13/2007   | | | links to this post

Oh Crap, They Got Me

I was hoping it wouldn't happen (mainly out of stubbornness, since once I make a claim I find it hard to back down without making yet another production out of it), but they got me. I've had to convert to Blogger Beta, or whatever the hell they're calling it now. It wouldn't give me access to my stuff unless I did it. Holding blogs hostage to get them to convert - talk about brilliant PR!

My main resistance has been my fear that I would lose my template and sidebar content. It took me some time to figure out how to work my template and add thingies to the side, and I was scared to lose it all and have to start from scratch. It seems that may not happen, and if so, I can make my peace with this.

Posted by Tere @ 2/13/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, February 12, 2007

Was Your Weekend as Cheerful as Mine?

I left my parents' house for five minutes - the exact amount of time it took me to walk home, grab the baby's lunch, and walk back. When I walked back in, I found my mother regaling a captive audience - made up of three aunts and an uncle - about the *fantastic* funeral plan she had stumbled upon.

From there, the conversation - naturally - turned to everyone's preference for an eternal resting spot: the ground, the drawer, the urn. A 15-minute debate about the merits of each one followed, and they didn't leave a single aspect unexplored, covering important considerations such as whether it was smarter to buy a "duplex", the expense of ground vs. drawer, and the cost of re-opening a grave to bury whomever in the marriage died last.

The impetus for such a discussion? My uncle's death early Saturday morning. However sad his death is, this is really a case where everyone felt *good* about his passing because he had been suffering from Alzheimer's. And as those of you who have had a loved one suffer from this disease knows, death can be a blessing. My uncle, thankfully, did not reach the stage of complete physical deterioration. A tall, strong man, his body fended that off quite well. But he was nonetheless very ill, and the family as a whole agonized over his fate.

For whatever reason, my parents' house became mourning central. So they spent yesterday receiving their siblings, nephews, nieces and friends. There was lots of cooking, cafecito and reminiscing. My uncle was larger than life. A gregarious man, he loved to travel and befriend people, and never failed to bring his sisters and nieces a gift from each adventure. He loved traveling to Brazil most of all. In fact, I still have a vivid memory of him giving me a gold bracelet he picked up there. He went into great detail about how one of friends took him to an Indian camp, where he met some of the indigenous people and shared a meal with them. As a parting gift, they gave him the bracelet he was giving me. It was pure gold, mined by the Indians in the Brazilian wilderness. I put that bracelet on and told every one of my friends and classmates its story. And three days later, my pure Brazilian gold bracelet turned my arm green and withered down to nothing.

That was my uncle: an embellisher who always had a great story to tell. I will always remember him for his flair for drama and generousness. And his smile. Even long after he could no longer identify any of us, he greeted visitors with a big, ready smile.

My uncle, aged 75, was also gay. To be Cuban, of that generation and gay was no easy thing. He never officially came out to his family, even though we all knew. And it's a shame. I wish he had felt like he could be who he was without hiding it. He had a partner for 37 years, a man whom we all knew but whom he never gave his place as his life partner. They lived in NYC, where, I suppose, my uncle felt he could be his true self. When my uncle became too ill for his partner to care for him by himself, he was moved to a nursing home here. His partner would come once a month and stay for about a week. Out of respect for my family, I won't get into the tension and problems between my uncle's partner and my family. Each side has valid points. But the last few years have been rough on both sides, and now with my uncle's passing, I really don't know how the rest of this story will play out.

I do know, though, that my uncle's final wishes will be honored. He adored his mother, adored her in an almost-obsessive way. His wish was to rest near her, and so, sometime this week, my uncle's ashes will be laid to rest near his mother's grave. And there, may he rest in peace.

Labels: , ,



Posted by Tere @ 2/12/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, February 09, 2007

If it’s February, I Must Be Hacking Up My Lungs

Dude, this shit never fails: EVERY February, I get sick as a dog. I start out with an awful cold, and it ends with a terrible upper-respiratory-tract infection. Every. Year. Including, by the way, the year I was pregnant, except that it started later in the month, lasted into March, and was triple the awfulness because it was combined with first-trimester feelings of death.

So now, this year. I am so congested I can’t breathe. In an effort to be smart, I headed to the doctor first thing this morning. The good news: no respiratory infection yet. The bad: they loaded me up with more medicine than could possibly fit in my body. The conundrum: whether or not to take the meds.

I’m not much of a believer in medicine (so living with a medical professional? Not fun during times like these). I feel that our society’s been conditioned to believe that a little pill fixes everything, and I find that disturbing (unless the little pill is Xanax and I’m about to board a plane). And, I don’t know – I just feel weird about filling the body with pharmaceuticals. I can understand taking something when you have a headache or something, or the fact that some people need medicine for serious issues like heart disease or diabetes. I mainly feel weird with situations like my current one, when you feel like shit and end up taking antibiotics, decongestants, expectorants, etc. It just seems like too much.

(Full disclosure: I’m on four – FOUR – medicines for my chronic allergies/asthma. I’m not happy about it. I refuse to take them everyday like I’m supposed to and reserve them for really crappy days).

I prefer a holistic, natural approach to things and consider myself a mini expert on natural health and home remedies. Still, when I get sick like this, I have to admit that if I wait too long to start with the teas and proper oil blends, then it feels like it takes forever for me to get better.

So I’m debating the meds I’ve been prescribed and am trying to talk myself into taking them since it’s only for five days. It sucks big time to feel this way and to have to go on with life without even a nap thrown in. As it is, tomorrow alone I’ll be out the door before 7 a.m. and won’t be home till about 5 or 6 p.m.

Wah. I just want to curl up in bed and not get up till the achiness, stuffiness, sore throat and overall ickiness goes away.




Posted by Tere @ 2/09/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's My Party and I Have No Clue What to Do

Come July, I hit the big 3-0. Maybe I should be freaking out about this (and who knows? Maybe I will as it gets closer), but I'm really quite excited about it. You know, it's a milestone, life's pretty good, and I don't look my age - so really, it's a thing to celebrate.

(Cue the violins).

When I was a little girl (from 5th grade on), I wanted nothing more than a party with a DJ. Why? Because all my other classmates had boy/girl dance parties, and they were basically the highlight of my life. They carried all the excitement and intrigue that you would expect from pre-teens. We got to see each other out of uniform! The boys from other private schools would be there! I might get asked to dance! (um, I never was, but we'll save it for another post, 'k?) I could show off my mad fashion and dance skillz! And boys! Boys! Boys! Boys!

(Aside: my first dance party ever, thrown by Karen R., is forever etched in my memory - thank goodness. From what I wore to how my sister styled my hair to the fact that my unrequited love, Danny L., spoke to and joked with me, it's a treasured memory. Unfortunately, I also remember a Halloween party from 7th grade where that heinous bitch Gelcys A. - the following Monday morning - publicly accused me of spending the party making out with the boy I was dating. Despite my insistence that such a thing had never happened (because, people, I had never kissed a boy at that time! And I was outraged because it was an outright lie, not because of my supposed reputation), she proceeded to tell everyone AND pepper her gossip with judgmental commentary. Fucking bitch. )

But I never had one of these parties. Besides the fact that I wasn't popular enough to draw the kind of crowd these parties typically drew, my parents just couldn't afford it. In hindsight, yeah, feeding 60-100 kids (and like 20 parents), decorations and a DJ do add up to a lot of money, so I can't blame them. But back then, I just wanted to be normal. And "normal" was a dance party with a DJ.

The desire for this kind of party (or something similar) has never left me. I want a DJ. I want a shitload of people. I want silly social intrigue. I want my guests to feel giddy, cut loose, and mingle, talk, flirt, dance and drink like they haven't done in ages. I want to be toasted and cheered. I want to wear a tiara.

The 30, though, is not going to be the year of my grand party. Because just like in 1988, a party like that costs money. To do it right, I'd need some serious money. And while I'm perfectly willing to go all out to celebrate myself, I want to do it when I can spend that kind of money and not feel guilty about it.

Still, I want to celebrate (and Ben has been harassing gently reminding me about telling him what I'd like to do so he has enough time to plan it). So, what do I do? What are some good ideas? What is turning 30 worthy of?

I ask for and welcome suggestions. However, let me tell you what I DON'T want, before it's even suggested. I don't want a party in my own backyard. I don't want a BBQ in anyone's backyard. I'd like to avoid anything that's too casual. My reason is simple: I do that kind of thing on a regular basis. Our housewarming party next month? Will be an über-casual BBQ in our backyard. The get-together I'll probably be itching to throw around year's end? Will be an über-casual BBQ in our backyard. We're pretty informal people who throw and attend casual get-togethers all the time. So while I'm not asking for fancy-schmancy and I definitely don't want anything too formal, I'd like something different and slightly special. And fun. Did I mention fun? The most important part is fun.

So be sweet little dears and help me out.

And people, if I get my way, my b-day celebration will end up like this:



Posted by Tere @ 2/07/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Re-Building Memories

A Perfect Post – February 2007


I've been very troubled lately but my swiss-cheese brain and the fact that I can't recall a single thing about giant chunks of my life. It's not something I purposely set out to do; there hasn't been any one thing that has made me think, "Quick! Delete, delete, delete!" But then again, I suppose that plenty of crappy things have happened, and my mind has done it's own thing with them and pretty much blocked them out. Except that in doing that, I've also lost whatever good things were happening at the time, which is an awful, awful feeling, to say the least.

Still, while there are many items in the "crappy things that have happened to me" category that are pretty wretched, a lot of the things that are blocked are those that were merely unpleasant or uncomfortable, but hardly traumatic. For example, if I hated a particular job at some point, then almost all that time period is blocked out. It seems that one negative thing sets off a chain reaction on everything else, so that everything, good memories included, fades away.

All these feelings came to a head last night. Max was having a bad night. He's sick with yet another respiratory infection, and he was having difficulty breathing. As a result, he was clingy and restless, but surprisingly cheerful nonetheless. He had fallen asleep around 7:45 p.m., and I had plans to soak in the tub for a while - my muscles ached, and given how bad he felt, he had given me one hell of an afternoon. Max, however, had other plans. He woke up an hour and a half later (time I spent cleaning and organizing, which made me need that soak in the tub even more) and would not settle down. He was wailing, trying to grab on to me, so what could I do but comfort him?

In a move that is sadly rare for me, I completely surrendered to the moment and his needs. I didn't mentally bitch about the bath I had to kiss good-bye, I didn't rush through the comforting motions so I could put him back down and bolt out of his room. I just took him in my arms, settled into our snuggle chair, and held him close to me, softly kissing his little hand, which he had slipped inside my shirt.

We stayed like that for a good while, and as I stared at his face, I realized that I had all but forgotten how this very thing had been our ritual up until almost four months ago, when I stopped breastfeeding him. I was flooded with memories of the last year and a half, and was instantly frustrated with how distant and vague those memories were. How is it possible that I've strived so hard to burn each moment of my life with my son into my brain, and not two years in, it's starting to fade away? I've made every effort to stop and enjoy the moments and create beautiful memories of them, consciously terrified of not being able to recall what he looked like as a newborn, what he smelled like as we snuggled, what his first sounds sounded like, his facial expressions, the moments where I felt like all the inconvenience and sacrifice on my end were so worth what I was experiencing right then and there. And now? I hold my son and cry because I have already forgotten our early rituals, because I can't recall how he looked at four months and how he felt in my arms as a newborn.

Will these memories ever come back to me, or are they gone for good? If I were to lose him, what would I do with all the blank spaces in my mind? How would I survive without the memories? How would I keep him alive? And when he's a grown man, how will I be able to look back and remember these days? How will I feel and understand the passage of the years, the happy moments, the pain, if I can't remember any of it? How much does my life ultimately matter if in the end, there is nothing for me to look back to?

Last night with my son in my arms, I did what I always do: I closed my eyes and told myself to remember it. I told myself to create a memory that included the sound of his labored breath, the feel of his body, the expression on his face. I told myself that everything depended on this one memory, this one night of me comforting my sick baby back to sleep. And it does. Everything depends on this moment, on moments like these, and my ability to remember them, to build the story of my life and give that life meaning.

Today, the memory of last night is vivid in my mind. I don't know how long it will last, and so I write about this memory in case I lose it. Maybe in the end, this is why I write - so that where my mind fails me, perhaps my words can save me.



Posted by Tere @ 2/06/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Ex Files: Doc Marten’s Happy Face

It was the happy faces he had painted on his Doc Marten shoes that first caught my attention. Actually, it was the Doc Marten shoes themselves, a rare item to make an appearance at my Catholic high school. Only a few of us wore them, and we were euphemistically labeled “alternative” for it. But here was a funky-looking new boy in Docs, which he had altered with bright colors and big happy faces right on top.

I no longer remember who approached whom first. We were in Mr. Lambert’s computer class, I a junior and he a new-student senior. I just remember that it was very early in the school year, because our first date was the annual Kick-Off Dance, which took place about a month into the school year.

I had known him, up to that point, to be sweet and funny. But as he showed up to pick me up, I also realized he was something else: rich. He showed up in a Lexus, one that was decked to the nines and very luxurious. He sheepishly told me (seeing the look on my face, I guess) that it was in fact his, a gift from his parents for “straightening out”. When I asked more about his parents, I discovered that he lived in Key Biscayne. Hhhmmm… rich and residing in Key Biscayne. At that time, the rich Key Biscayne kids were known for two things: heavy partying and heavy drug use. It was the first warning sign.

During our very brief relationship (2 months, if that), he was incredibly sweet to me. While he was very affectionate, he never tried to overstep the boundaries I had clearly set (i.e., I won’t mess around anytime soon, sex is not an option). The only real memory I have of dating him was that he took me to the House of Pain/Cypress Hill concert. It was at the Bayfront Amphitheater, and it was a dreary, rainy day. He was dying to get into the mosh pit, but seemed torn about leaving me on my own. Even after I told him I’d be fine and sent him on his way, he’d run back to check on me very so often. It was sweet, but I was miserable, soaked to my bones and not all that interested in the show (which was canceled before CH even came on).

As I got to know him, I understood that while he freely shared information about himself, there was only a certain depth he would go – there were no details, not proper context, no self-reflection on his part. And part of what he’d revealed was his drug use. He dropped that information casually, with no hint that it was important or dramatic. He made it sound like something he’d dabbled in. And while it worried my sheltered little self, I took him at his word and left it at that.

Meanwhile, I quickly realized that there was no substance to the relationship. I couldn’t relate to him, we didn’t have much (beyond the Doc Martens and some musicians) in common, and our conversations were beginning to bore me. Since I was pretty sure that he was very into me, I wanted to let him down easy. So I began to figure out a nice way to end it.

And then a totally unexpected thing happened: a girl I really didn’t know came up to me and told me Alex had been asking her out, but that she’d turned him down because she knew he was dating me. Suddenly, my need to be nice disappeared, and I ended up dumping him with a very cold note that I left on his desk in computer class.

And that was that. We never spoke again. He dated the other girl almost until the end of the school year.

The spring of that school year, I went on this leadership retreat that impacted me very deeply. When I came back, I had a different perspective on a great many things, including Alex and my involvement with him. So right before he graduated, I tucked a note into his backpack that basically said: “I was very angry when I found out about (the other girl), but the truth is that I was looking for a way out and latched on to that so I wouldn’t be the bad guy. I harbor no ill will towards you and in fact think you’re a sweet, funny guy. I wish you all the best now and always” (I’m paraphrasing). I don’t know if I got my message across, but I basically wanted him to know that he had spent an entire year avoiding me when there was no need to, that I didn’t hate him for what happened because we were wrong for each other and I was o.k. with that. He never responded to my note, though, so that was that, again.

About a year later, I got a phone call from his mother (whom I may have spoken to once, if at all). Alex was in rehab in Mississippi (or Missouri or Alabama, I forget which one), and he wanted to talk to me – she wanted to know if I could call him (something about them not being able to make many calls but could receive them). So I did.

It turned out that the drug use had been deeper and worse than I (or many) suspected. He was in a rehab facility far from home, from where he could not leave until he was clean. He had wanted to talk to me because of that last note I’d given him. Basically, he was sorry he had not responded, sorry he had avoided me that school year, sorry he had been sneaky and underhanded. He wanted me to know he thought I was a cool, sweet person, and that he thought of me often and how different things could have been between us had he not been such a fuck-up. I don’t know if he wanted more. I cared enough about him to let him have his say, to be supportive, but my life had moved on. Given that he was in rehab, my assumption was that a relationship would be detrimental towards his recovery, and I did not want to encourage him.

We kept in touch for a couple of months, and then just like that, he was gone. I have no clue how long he was in rehab, what he did afterwards, if he’s still using. And I’d rather not know. I prefer to remember him as the sweet guy with happy faces on his Docs.

Labels:



Posted by Tere @ 2/05/2007   | | | links to this post

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Two Weeks of Personal Training... (Edited)

... and the results are very subtly starting to show. Not much, obviously, but enough to make me feel good.

For one thing, although my stomach is still in need of lots of work, if you touch it, you can feel the muscles right underneath. My arms don't jiggle as much. My trainer told me today that my thighs (the WORST part of my body) looked just a little bit slimmer - although she also said that it'd be months before I could see any real difference. My guess is that her professional eyes see things others can't. However, it's possible that in the next couple of weeks I'll start to notice the difference in my clothes; and really, that's all I care for - to be able to wear my clothes and not feel like a dumpy pudge-ass.

Speaking of my ass (which was once the BEST part of my body), I was noticing today as I looked in the mirror to make sure my poses were correct that it's looking pretty damn good. Enclosed snugly in workout pants, at a distance of 5-10 feet, it looks like it did back in high school.

And then you look at it up close and without workout pants, and it's obvious that I left high school eons ago, and that my workout pants are quite possibly magical.

Really, I'm just trying not to think about this too much. I have no expectations beyond becoming a healthier person. I just want to be stronger and have more energy to keep up with my life. That's it. I'm not thinking about how much the workouts hurt, how long the hour is going to be when I'm only 10 minutes in and my abs and legs are burning, or how much of a commitment this is for me. I'm not giving these things enough attention so that I end up dreading workout days and then start looking for a way out. And I'm most certainly not dreaming of a tight, toned body. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised if I wake up one day and discover that the flab is gone.

I think I've got a long road ahead of me. Meanwhile, I'm going to go soak my aching little self in a nice warm tub...

p.s. Happy Valentine's Day from me to you: if you're interested in two free personal training sessions (must be taken before Valentine's Day), e-mail me at tere.the.blogger at gmail dot com for details.



Posted by Tere @ 2/03/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Last Veggie Post

I'm not going to bore you all with the details of what I did and didn't eat. I know my life is hopelessly fascinating, but I can concede that some things are a bit much. We'll just go with an overall assessment of my CSA experience.

In theory, this is a wonderful thing. Eating locally grown food is one of the best things you can do for the environment (the reasons why are listed here). I'm happy that So Fla has a CSA program, and happy that I participated in it. I liked the sense of adventure inherent to not knowing what you'd be eating for the week until you picked the box up. It forced us to be creative, and we didn't even really stretch our imagination that much, given that we've had a chaotic month.

But in reality, it's a lot of food. A LOT. And a lot of food that we just don't eat, at least not on a weekly basis. I've been up to my ears in greens. I never eat beets. Turnips, those I was pleased to find were pretty decent. The carrots, green beans and tomatoes were all delicious. My husband loved the tangelos and carambolas. But it was A LOT of food for 2 adults and one toddler, and as it is, we were splitting the share.

Another issue is money. I haven't really figured out how much I spend on fruits and veggies, but the thought of putting $580 (the cost of a full-share for a season, roughly 20 weeks) seems steep. If we were vegetarians or better about eating veggies with every meal, or if I actually liked a wide variety of veggies like Ben does, it would make sense. If we were to take this on for a season, I think we'd start with a half share ($350). I would also probably join the egg share, too.

Final assessment: Loved my experience, it's not for us right now, will revisit this option in the future.



Posted by Tere @ 2/02/2007   | | | links to this post

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Color Me Undecided

So far, 2007 finds me as a very undecided person. I just can't make a decision on ANYTHING. Or rather, I make a decision and then stay vacillating over it for the next two weeks. Or, I think I've laid something to rest, and soon enough it's back on my mind, running crazy little circles that make me dizzy.

This is happening with things big and small - from what I decide to feed my son to what rug to pick out for the bathroom to how to handle X problem with Ben and how to propose some ideas to my boss.

I can't wrap my head around this - don't know why it's happening or how long it will last. The thing is, my latest topic of indecision is a huge one: baby #2.

I've been here before.
I'm as undecided and worried now as I was then. More, actually, because time keeps ticking and I'm feeling this pressure - and why or where this pressure comes from, I know not.

Actually, I do. It comes from money and our adoption plans. We want start the process later on in 2007, but I'm seriously stressed and worried that this year might not be the best year to take on this financial obligation. I would sleep better and think we're being smart people if we wait till 2008 to start.

BUT. I also feel like if we're not going to get moving on this right now, that maybe we should have our adopted child as #3, and have #2 the old fashioned way - and this year. I now have it in my head that we have to make a move, whatever that move is, THIS YEAR. No, I don't know why. I don't know if it's because Max is getting older and I want him to be close in age to the next child; or if it's because if we want me to do one more pregnancy, then I want to do it before I'm older, more tired, and my body has a harder time recovering; or if it's because I'm now obsessed with this topic and must figure it out NOW.

Whatever it is, it's killing me. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to pressure and high standards and perfection. I demand it all of myself and am usually convinced that Ben does, too, despite the fact that he's never really said or done anything to that effect (which is not the point!).

ARGH. Frustration.



Posted by Tere @ 2/01/2007   | | | links to this post