Thursday, March 29, 2012


I'm pretty sure some woman has mentioned this before, but the whole work/life balance thing is tricky, man. And something like a pick-up of work activity or a sick kid throws off a finely (if precariously) balanced system that results in stress and unhappiness all around. That, plus pregnancy makes your hormones do weird things, no?

I am currently stewing in rage because my daughter had the gall to get pinkeye and then act like maybe she felt bad. The nerve! Doesn't she know that Mama was already feeling overwhelmed?

To make matters worse: pregnancy makes me get angry faster (I swear, it's a hormone, I'm normally not like this) AND I can't have a giant fishbowl-sized glass of red wine like I want. >pout<

And then it makes me write cranky, uninteresting blog posts. Sorry. My bad.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Girl babies!

Baby #2 is a girl.* We didn't find out during our first pregnancy, but this time we wanted to plan, and to be able to talk to Sylvia about it, so we found out. D was suspecting a girl all along (he believes the Fates had already deemed him to be a Father of Daughters (read 4th paragraph). I wanted a girl - it just seemed easier after having had one - but last week changed my mind and I began to think it was a boy, especially since this pregnancy has been different than my first (in related news: pregnancy acne, really?! That's just cruel, Nature).

Actually, when I was in my early 20s, I wanted a flock of boys, four or five maybe. Enough to field a team, or maybe a band. I saw myself as a mother of boys, boys who would skin their knees and muddy up the house and love their mama no matter what. I was unsure what to do with myself when I had a daughter, but within a few days, I couldn't imagine anything different. Sylvia has since turned out to be an adventurous, funny and nature-loving kid: not the princess-obsessed prissy girl I had feared. But then again, I love it when she gets girly and wears tiaras and tells me "I love your red lips, Mama." So maybe I'm mushier than I realized.

So...tell me about sisters. My high school friends didn't get along with their sisters until after college. Other friends of mine name their sisters as their long-time best friends. I look forward to watching these girls grow together, but I can't say I know what to expect.

I guess having a girl, like, well, having ANY kid, will be a new adventure. I'm excited.

*Sorry for the lack of the expected ultrasound image here, but we were given paper copies and I just don't have the time to deal with scanning right now. My favorite pic was of her precious, tiny foot. I'll try to post soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I realize it's become trendy to like things others' don't, or to shun minority opinion, but I have a few opinions that so oppose everyone else's that I usually keep them to myself. Until now, when I feel an odd need to confess.

1. I don't like Peanuts (the comic strip). The original TV holiday specials are charming, I guess, but rather depressing.
2. I don't understand why everyone is so crazy about the book Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was interesting (after 100 or so pages), but a national phenomenon? I haven't read the next books and I'm not sure I will. And don't even get me started on Twilight (yes, it's possible to read just one).
3. I don't really like spending time with children (other than my own).
4. While I enjoy bacon occasionally, I see no reason to put it in every dish or worship it as the new food craze. Bacon is just O.K.
5. I hated Titanic. And Jerry McGuire.
6. The older I get, the less interested I am in talking to or spending time with people I don't know well.
7. I really like my in-laws. I'm glad we live in town so near them.
8. I don't really like buying shoes.

I'm sure there are more, but that feels pretty good for now. I am prepared for your wrath.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Checking Back In

I may have mentioned that I back in the throes of academia. Not the class I teach (that is moving along smoothly, and I love it, thank goodness), but a visit back to my master's degree. Yes, it only wrapped up in November, but that feels like ages ago based on how much I've turned off my brain.

For reasons I'm having trouble remembering, I agreed to be part of a panel to present at ATTW (Association for Teachers of Technical Writing). My thesis fits in well among several other Clemson professors' work, so we're all heading to St. Louis to hold a panel about it. We each have 10 minutes to discuss our topic, which translates to about five double-spaced pages of written text. So now I'm working to summarize my ENTIRE thesis into five pages. This takes brainpower like I haven't flexed in a long, long time.

Then, once the presentation is over, I need to shift focus to turning the thesis into a publishable paper. The paper will need to be about 30 pages, so I'll need to either elaborate on the presentation or cut the thesis (not sure which approach will be easier, though I'm thinking the former). My adviser will then add an intro and conclusion based on his expertise, and we'll shoot it off for publication early this summer.

This stuff takes time. And brains. And yet I'm not getting paid for it. I agreed to the paper when my adviser took me on: we had a deal that he wanted to publish a paper on this, and I wanted a thesis out of it, so let's work together and kill two birds with one stone. The presentation came out of those discussions as well, and then something about grad school sucks you in and makes you want to volunteer for stuff and show off your work and be stellar like you were in high school and AH! I have a kid! And minimal daycare! And a freelance career that actually seems to be expanding a bit! Why did I agree to this?!

And yet, it's nice to feel smart again. In my very, very tiny world of this topic, I know a thing or two, and that's somehow empowering. And Lord knows you'll all hear about it should I get published. I guess it's nice to succeed in one world, even an isolated one.