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[expletive deleted] May 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — girljen @ 8:24 pm

I think it is time to set a goal for myself.  It is a mental challenge that could have some good emotional rewards as well…and it needs to be done.  I am going to stop swearing.

Why?  The obvious reason is that Liz has dropped the s-bomb before.  On a deeper level, having to mentally revise a statement to take out all the swear words will force me to think about everything else I’m saying in that statement.   That is where the emotional rewards come in.  Rethink the situation, take the anger out, add a little more mellow to the day.

Which words will be eliminated, and which ones will stay?  If network TV can say it, so can I!  Crap, sucks, balls, and somewhat-dirty words of that nature are fine.  If the words are normally bleeped out, they’re off-limits.

The only exceptions to this rule are those rare occasions when I get to go out with adults and no Liz.  Those are my breaks.  The rest of the time, I’m Serious Mom and I don’t swear.


You know you’re a mom when…… April 18, 2008

Filed under: family — girljen @ 9:39 am

I’ve seen this meme floating around on parenting message boards and blogs lately, so I thought I’d play.


You know you’re a mom when…

-You use baby talk at work:  “Sleepy Mommy needs some coffee!”

-You use sign language even when the baby isn’t around

-Within five minutes of meeting a new person, you’re opening up your wallet/cell phone/Myspace to show off baby pictures

-You leave the house with drool in your hair

-You answer the question “How are you?” with the amount of time the baby slept last night

-You have a pacifier, burp rag, and toys in your purse, but no makeup

-Your jeans wear out twice as fast because you spend so much time crawling on the floor

-You can carry a baby, stroller, diaper bag, purse, grocery bag, keys, and coffee; all without dropping the baby or the coffee

-You wake up sore after a day of roughhousing with the baby (we should get workers comp)

-You find yourself wishing that the grocery store had a drive-thru so you could go shopping without waking the baby

-You consider poop, car seat installation, and the latest episode of  Zoboomafoo to be enlightening conversational topics


24-hour Laundry April 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — girljen @ 7:42 am

Liz has outgrown all of her 12-month clothes. Adding those to the pile of 6-month and 9-month clothes that we’ve been planning to donate made a huge mess of the bedroom, so much so that it created a trip hazard (and quite possibly a fire hazard, but a nice cushiony landing for the freak syncopal episode I had the other day).

I finally had to get my ass in gear and actually wash those clothes. In my home washing machine, that would have meant at least six loads of laundry. So, I had to go to the 24-hour laundromat.

It’s right in the middle of the sketchy part of town…and by “sketchy,” I mean, “really fun but don’t go there alone.” There are two theaters within blocks of the laundromat; both of them had shows going on. There are half a dozen bars in the area; judging by the crowds smoking outside of each bar, they were all crazy. Seeing all that, the most pressing issue on my mind was NOT how to get in on the party, but whether or not I’d find parking in the laundromat parking lot. I am officially a grown-up, and have jumped the shark thusly.

That laundromat is trying really hard to become a landmark. In a tongue-in-cheek way, it kind of is. Everyone recognizes it, everyone knows that it’s the only 24-hour laundromat in town. They’ve been making improvements; they have good video games and (w00t!) a Red Bull vending machine. They have the hugenormous washing machines that can hold 35 lbs. of laundry.

But just under the surface, that place is a soul-sucking pit of despair. I was panhandled three times.  I saw more homeless people than I could count get kicked out for loitering, including one on oxygen and one missing a leg. I saw the one employee on duty (who cleaned and cleaned and cleaned but the place never got any less dingy) get yelled at, once by a panhandler for not giving up any money, and once for not speaking enough English.

The quote of the night came from the guy using the machines next to mine; he was one of the loud guys who liked to yell at panhandlers. He had just finished folding his laundry, and he said to me, “Hey, will you watch my stuff? I don’t trust nobody here.” I wanted to point out to him that since he didn’t trust anyone, he probably shouldn’t let a complete stranger keep an eye on his stuff…but I didn’t want to get yelled at, or even talked to, so I just agreed and kept flipping through my Wired.

One Red Bull, one entire issue of Wired, and many unsettling experiences later, my laundry is done. I am never going to fall that far behind on laundry again…at least not for the next few months, until I forget what an awful place that laundromat is.


This is what it has come down to….. April 5, 2008

Filed under: family — girljen @ 8:31 am

A few times a week, Stephen and I sit around in the office with our Google Calendars, trying to coordinate work and days off and who’s watching Liz when; when we can run errands, who’s hanging out with friends, and who needs the car more; and whether we get to spend any time together (usually no).

This week’s drama is an overtime shift for me, and a business trip to to the mountains for him.  Both of those events will happen on Tuesday, so Liz is going to Grandma and Grandpa’s.

Stephen told Grandma and Grandpa that he’d be dropping Liz off on Monday so he could get some extra work done.  He has to go to the airport and fix some stuff there, then to the mall to fix even more stuff.

He said, “I don’t know whether you’d have any particular desire to tag along with me on all my errands, but…”

“Yeah, I’ll come along!”

We’re going to hang out and do all his work stuff.  How silly is that?  I’m going to sit around and watch him fix lockers just so we can hang out.  He misses me, I miss him, I’m stoked to ride around in the car with him for a few hours.

I think this is what could be described as a ‘rough patch’…one of those things that we’ll look back on in a few years and say, “Hey, remember when Liz was a baby and the only time we could spend with each other was when we were running errands?  I mean, we had a few dates, but not nearly as many as we have now…” and then we will snuggle and kiss and be happy and settle in for at least 12 hours of good solid sleep.  That’s the ideal outcome, anyway.

I need a day shift.


How was your ride? April 3, 2008

Filed under: bike — girljen @ 12:01 pm

The ride to work was sweet. The weather was nice (didn’t even have to wear my hoodie!), the trail was pretty much clear, the wind was negligible, and I went really fast. I don’t have a speedometer, but I’m guessing my speed was somewhere around WHEEEEE!!!

The ride home was something else entirely. It started out with steady rain, which gave way to those big fat wet spring snowflakes. It was cold, it was sloppy, it was scary, and it was more fun than I’ve ever had on my bike before. There is a certain joy that happens when someone gets caught in the rain (ever wonder why kissing in the rain is so romantic?). Once a person gets to the point where he or she stops worrying about getting wet and enjoys the big sloppy mess, that joy becomes apparent. I have never appreciated a cold and snowy day as much as I did riding home this morning.


First bike commute! March 28, 2008

Filed under: bike — girljen @ 2:55 am

I did it!

Three miles there!

Three miles back!

I almost wussed out. I could think of a million reasons not to ride in today: Too cold, high winds in the forecast, scratchy throat, do I really have all my stuff?, running late, and so on. I even went as far as to ask Stephen if he really needed the car today. He said he would, and then it hit me: He was counting on me to bike commute. Peer pressure rocks. I got on my bike and left.

It wasn’t exactly enjoyable; I mean, I would have much rather spent three miles on a roller coaster, or in the back of a limo with the guys from the fire calendar, but it wasn’t bad! Sure, it was 0400 and freezing outside, but my cold weather gear did its job, and I got the bonus of being outside during my favorite time of day, just before sunrise.

The highlight of the day, though, came well after my ride in. I was just sitting at my console, dispatching my dudes, when my best friend EMT Mr. C. came in to the comm center. His face LIT UP. He was so geeked-up about the fact that I rode my bike in that his voice cracked! He’s a hardcore bike geek. He’s the type of guy who will ride 50 miles in a day just for fun (hmm…him and Twin Bro should exchange numbers). The fact that my friend was proud of me gave me an ego boost that I’m still coasting on now.

I got a pleasant surprise on the way home, too: Those 20 MPH headwinds that the forecast was predicting never materialized. It was just a nice, mellow ride home, with plenty of quiet and nature and a few other bike commuters to say hi to on the way back.


Balance March 25, 2008

Filed under: family,work — girljen @ 9:24 am

For the last…month? few months? as long as I can remember, I have been working at least 48 hours a week.  This isn’t my choice; then again, it isn’t really forced overtime either.  I work a job where I feel obligated to show up and cover shifts.  If you called 911, you’d want a dispatcher to answer the phone, right?

Anyway, 48-hour weeks.  And 60-hour weeks.  Add to that my husband’s work schedule, the fact that I sleep during the day, errands, meetings, and whatnot, and I hardly ever see my husband or my baby!

One of these days, she’s going to get up and walk around and speak in full sentences, and I’ll be at work, worrying about which ambulance I should send to which call.

One of these days, my wonderful husband might run out of patience with me.

One of these days, the friendly banter with coworkers (whom I see more of than my own family) might turn into the dreaded “emotional affair,” followed by drama and soul-searching and drama and counseling and internal turmoil.  And drama.  Ugh.

Before any of that happens, I need some balance.  I need to go home and stay there for a while.  I need a few hours alone with Stephen so I can remember that we’re friends and lovers instead of just coworkers who work opposite shifts running a household.  I need to play with my little Lizard, too.