Archive for the 'marriage' Category

saturday night

dear world,

we had 5 showings on the house today. i’m still feeling hopeful. but rather than having a fabulous saturday night to celebrate, we were so glad to get home from my mother’s house that we didn’t even make it to the grocery store.

dinner: hot dogs, roasted potatoes and broccoli

evening activities: bath for the girls, MHM swept the floor. i steam mopped.

it’s just another sexy saturday night,



the end of medical leave

dear world,

i’ve been alternately at work and on medical leave this year. starting in june, i’ve had 6 weeks off 6 weeks on almost 3 times. my final surgery was this past december 6th and i had my shortest hospital stay yet. my surgery was on thursday and i got to go home on saturday. i’m scheduled to be off through the new year. then it’s back to work and back to normal.

i’ve been trying to decide if i should travel with my family to NY the week between christmas and new years. i am on leave. MHM is a teacher so he’s on leave. this is one of the few times we have to go see everyone. and now, i have to decide if i’m going to go along.

there are several things to weigh in the decision. first and foremost, am i well enough to travel?

but that’s not a simple answer. i’ve travelled way sicker than i am right now, but do i want to risk the progress i’ve made to spend 8 hours in a car with my family? do i want to limit my diet so i feel ok while i’m there or do i want to spend my last week on leave stretching my limits before i have to go back to work? i know how to feel fine- i just don’t eat. but this time, is that the responsible choice?

i’m also going to miss spending a day along by myself. as much as i’ve been lonely and bored, i’ve enjoyed the restiveness of solitude. and it’s never going to come back. i’ll be full tilt for the next 18 years it feels like.

i’ve waffled and avoided making this choice until tonight. i think ultimately i have a responsibility to go. i can figure this health stuff out and choosing to stay by myself for a week to savor the time is just plain selfish. not really the christmas spirit and all that, you know?

happy christmas and safe travels to you all,


when you finally have time with each other…

dear world,

i am reading the new barbara kingsolver book now called flight behavior. i really like it. i’ve read pretty much everything else she’s written and it’s a welcome change for me from reading the mary russell series. in fact, it’s like the opposite of mary russell.

the thing that stands out in my mind today is a sentiment she shared in her novel. i read it last night or maybe this morning. part of the story is about a married couple and they haven’t spent much time with each other over the last 10 days. she wrote that at especially at the times when you most need to spend time with each other is the time you default right into an argument.

and here comes my life. i got the call from baby n’s school today around noon that she wasn’t well. MHM had said he’d be available after 11am for just in case. i called him first. he was out to lunch with friends and didn’t have his car. it would be an hour before he could get her. i called my mom and she had plans, but was willing to cancel. then i remembered that the caregiver who has been coming in the mornings to help us out was available until 1pm. i called her and she could come by and help me get baby  N into the house. it took me several calls and much arranging of people’s lives to pick up my little girl.

the first thing MHM says when he comes in the door is, “why didn’t you get V, too?” and it just went from there. it’s been a solid argument since 1:3pm. ugh.i even offered to let him go out after settle down to go be someplace else for a while, but he didn’t go. now, i feel like he’s just sitting here being pissed off that i ruined his lunch needed him to help me and no one behaved very well today. he said, no, he’s not upset. no, he’s not resentful. his actions say otherwise.

when you finally have time to spend with each other it just ends up in an argument.



susie home maker

dear world,

i am back to work half time, but today i think i accomplished more since i’ve been home than i did at work. it’s a little hard to get in the swing of things again.

at home, though, i’m on it.

we have our annual halloween parade and trick-or-treat tomorrow night in the neighborhood. obviously, i committed to bring cookies. how many cookies? i made a batch of chocolate chip cookies this afternoon (using real butter!) and the package said i should get 5 dozen cookies. i got 3 1/2. i guess i made the cookies too big, but they look wonderful. it’s a shame i can’t taste them. i’ll have to get feedback tonight. if they’re bad, i’ll just go to the bakery on the way home tomorrow. no one will know.

then, i *may* have overspent while on medical leave this time around. i felt kind of sad and stuck in the house. and not the productive let me clean out my closet stuck in the house. i guess i figured i’d get some pretty clothes to cheer me up for when i went back to work. i got a lot of them. so, this afternoon, i opened a 0% apr credit card, transferred my balance and now i have 15 months to pay off my wares. this is using credit to my advantage.

and now i’m done. and it’s only 2:50pm. i have a whole afternoon ahead of me. i think i’ll watch tv and save up my energy for my little ones when they get home. nana is coming for dinner and it’s like a madhouse when she comes, especially on a week night.

i read an article recently that said that women are now primarily the breadwinners in the family and when asked which responsibilities they kept for themselves a majority said the household finances. and baking.



primary responsibility

dear world,

i am the person in our household who is primarily responsible for our children. there. i said it.

i love my husband and i do believe we have a partnership in our marriage and our life together, but not in some areas. for example, he is the person primarily responsibly for our money. as in, i will ask before i make any sort of major purchase. i am the person responsible for our kids.

there are some distinct advantages to having one person assume this responsibility. last night, i forgot to give baby N her dose of antibiotics to fix up her ear infection. i went ahead and gave it to her this morning, confident that we will not have double dosed her. the challenge is that if i want MHM to help with the baby, i have to ask him. or be specific about the tasks that need to be accomplished and what part of those i expect him to take on.

now that i’ve stopped breastfeeding, there is no reason on earth why i should be the only person to get up in the night to feed her. except i am. unless i wake him up and tell him to go take care of her. which then means i’m already awake. i’m already thinking that i could have got up and got her bottle and stopped her crying and we could all be back asleep. so i don’t ask. which adds to the dynamic.

i’m not trying to be a martyr and say that life is so hard and i’m the only one who can handle parenting in our house and so on. just the opposite, in fact. i am not the only person who can parent- i just haven’t figured out how to balance it. i read an article in the times a couple years ago that talked about 50/50 parenting, developing a true partnership in parenting shared parenting, i think they called it. i think ultimately i strive for that, but my own desire for control gets in the way. (i also thought, well if we all had that much money it sure would be easier to make decisions like that, but that’s another story.)

i’m much better than i was with V. i think she was probably almost a year old before i let anybody else put her to bed. i was the only person who could do it right. as in, my way or the highway buddy. i’m way beyond that now. i realize there are a million ways to do things. it’s just when i’m not sure or we have a decision to make as parents, usually i get the last word.

how’s that for candid,


i don’t know how you do it

dear world,

remember that book, i don’t know how she does it? well, someone asked me that question this week. i’m sure i’ve been asked that question before, but this week it resonated for some reason.

my work week got a little overwhelming this week, but i managed. part of what i do is staff development and after coming back from the holidays (and maternity leave) i had about 2 weeks to revise, update and run a two-day training. the training itself went well, but i busted my you know what to get it there. (and i got more negative feedback than i expected which is kind of a bummer. at least i know what i need to do next.)

thursday, i got the girls up and out of the house like usual then went up to the facility to check in with the facilitators and get started. we worked until after 8pm. everyone was asleep when i got home. then we did it all over again friday morning, but we finished a little ahead of schedule and i got to pick them up from school. friday morning, as we’re getting ready to get started, one of my co-workers turned to me and said, “i dont’ know how you do it.” and all i could think was, well, i have to.

it’s hard to balance work and kids. and housework. and date night. mostly, i feel like we manage to keep our kids healthy and safe if not always happy and both of us get our work done. but could we do more? in theory, yes. in practice, nope. i’m barely getting this done.

if i plan to yoga in the morning, then hit snooze for 15 minutes, i miss my window. i have to schedule a shower. i don’t know how i do it either, but at least it gets done… most of the time.

striving for more than the minimum,


ps- i should note that housework falls into the “when i have the time” category fairly often. to illustrate, the cat tracked muddy paw prints all through the downstairs which really necessitated mopping. and by the time i finished using the steam mop this morning, my shoulder hurt! that’s right, i have a sore muscle because of the steam mop. i rule.

barbie time?

dear world,

a friend asked me recently if V was into barbies yet. i told her i didn’t know if V knows what a barbie is. since then, i started wondering if it’s barbie time for V.

i remember growing up, the oldest of 3 girls, pining after this barbie or that barbie. by the time we all graduated high school, our years of barbie collecting resulted in a laundry basket overflowing with clothes, naked barbies and various other accoutrements. i mostly liked dressing them up and fixing their hair. i think i lacked enough imagination to really play out a good barbie drama.

happy birthday ken barbie

so, i took a tour down the barbie aisle at toys’r’us last weekend. the first barbie i saw was “happy birthday ken” barbie. are you serious? a barbie dressed in a party dress designed to wish ken a happy birthday simply should not exist. i kept looking and now there’s ballerina barbie and princess barbie and doctor barbie and let’s walk our puppies barbie. it’s not what i remember.

i came home ready to talk about my disappointment with barbie with MHM. i started with, i went down the barbie aisle at the store today and he freaked out at me. can’t i draw the line at something, he asked. and inexplicably, i got defensive. people are going to give her barbies. she’s going to want barbies. if we draw the line and don’t allow her to have any then she’ll just want them more.

ultimately, we decided to talk about it later. i just wanted to be angry and disappointed with the barbie industry, but suddenly i ended up defender of all barbie gifts and paraphernalia. how did that happen?

remembering the pretty dresses and single high heel shoes,