Saturday, February 16, 2008

I feel like I've just awoken or broken free of a fog that was shrouding everything I've done for the last 36 hours or so. After getting very little sleep on Valentine's night, I had another rough day and night of it all yesterday. Thankfully, school was out so I didn't have to rush to be anywhere and was able to sleep until 7:30 when Beckett was up for good. I also had the blood drive yesterday, which went well. When I was there from noon until 2 p.m. we had already collected 20 pints and that wasn't counting the five or so of us who were there at the same time. Not too shabby.

It was kind of a zoo with kids all over the waiting room. The Red Cross provided a cake as well as the normal Nutter Butters (my favorite thing about giving blood!) and Cheese Nips, and there were actually people who had just come to donate who ended up doing it in Claire's honor.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I've never reacted well to giving blood. I usually bruise severely, as in from the elbow to the shoulder. This time, I barely bruised at all, but it took over 30 minutes for them to drain me and they had to keep readjusting the needle. My arm hurts from the elbow to my fingertips, especially when I clinch my fingers for any reason. I was also exhausted. I felt as if I could just fall asleep standing up last night. So, naturally neither boy slept well although Scott helped me go to bed early. The boys or at least one of them was up at 1 a.m.; at 3:00 or so I had to get Beckett a bottle. Then, Brendan ended up in our bed and at 4:00 a.m. started whining because he was congested. I moved him to his bed and tried to sleep with him, but he woke up whining again at 5:30 and stayed up. I tried sleeping in the recliner in the living room, but he kept talking to me, so finally I left him there watching Banana Splits or whatever other nonsense is on at that time of the morning and went back to bed until 6:30 when Beckett started crying. I tried to ignore him, hoping he'd find his way back to sleep, but Brendan showed up at my bedside to tell me his brother was crying and that I needed to get him up. Finally, I caved in and cried while I was changing Beckett's diaper because I haven't felt this tired since Beckett was born and I had yelled at Brendan to leave me alone and I hate the way being exhausted changes my personality and makes me mean.

Thankfully, Beckett went down for a nap around 10 a.m. and while Brendan watched a video and played trains, I got an 1 1/2 nap while Scott ran interference for me. Then, later both boys took afternoon naps and I had a luxurious soak in a hot bath using all the delightful Aveda products Scott lavished me with for Valentine's Day.

I felt like a new woman. Now, both boys are asleep; Scott and I are watching the NBA Skills competition; I'm cozy in my new jammies; and hopefully tomorrow will be a new day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blood and Chocolate

I feel like I could sleep for a week. Maybe two.

I didn't go to bed until after 1 a.m. Beckett was up from 3:00 until 4:00. Then, I remember being up from 4:45 or so until almost 6, but I don't remember why. Brendan? Beckett? Our dog who frequently needs to go out in the middle of the night?

Am I losing my mind?

Anyway, today was our blood drive in honor of our friend's baby. I was at the donation center for over two hours waiting, watching other donors' kids, and donating. My blood flows slowly for some reason (I wonder if this would keep me from bleeding out in the event of an emergency?), so it always takes me twice as long as anyone else to give a pint of juicy red goodness.

We got home and with both boys either napping or playing quietly I slept for 40 min. The only reason I awoke then was Beckett's crying to be rescued from his crib.

If I sat still for 3 minutes and closed my eyes, I'd be asleep. It's so tempting.

I have also been starving ever since donating. No appetite at all beforehand, but now I could eat a big chunk of red meat. And chocolate. Thankfully, we have a new Greek restaurant that delivers so we'll be having takeout Gyros for supper. And then there are the truffles Scott brought us for Valentine's Day. Yum. Not the healthiest, but oh so easy. And it should quell my hankering for red meat.

Hopefully both boys go down easily and we can relax and watch the episode of Lost we missed last night and go to sleep early. Oh to dream.

Thursday, February 14, 2008



My friend Suzanne just sent me this and it makes me feel bad. I love, love, love my boys. And by having sons, it has opened up an entire world to me that I wouldn't know had I only had daughters. But I've never quite been able to shed the sense of loss or failure that I feel over not having a girl. I never even realized I wanted a girl until I didn't have one. I feel guilty, of course, for saying these things. That somehow by admitting it, that it lessens the love I feel for my boys. I've always thought that God must feel I didn't deserve a girl, that somehow I'd just fuck her up the way my mom did to me. Stupid, huh?

Anyway, Suzanne sent me the article below. I'll try to find and post a link to the actual story later.

from the UK Telegraph

Boys 'lead to more post-natal depression'

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 5:58pm GMT 13/02/2008

Women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer post-natal depression than those having daughters, a study has found.

Having a son is 'more likely to reduce quality of life'
Research carried out in France found three quarters of women who were diagnosed with severe post-natal depression had sons.

Even if the mother had not been diagnosed as depressed, having a son was significantly more likely to reduce their quality of life compared to mothers of girls, according to the research which was published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

A team of researchers led by Professor Claude de Tychey, from Université Nancy, France, studied 181 women from a community where there were no cultural pressures about the sex of children.

All the women were aged 19 to 40, with 52 per cent of the total giving birth to boys and 48 per cent giving birth to girls.

A third had signs of post natal depression when interviewed one to two months after the birth and nine per cent had severe symptoms.

Prof de Tychey said: “When we launched our research, our main aim was to study the effect that gender has on PND.

But the overwhelming finding of the study was the fact that gender appears to play a significant role in reduced quality of life as well as an increased chance of severe PND.”

They also found women who had given birth to a boy reported lower quality of life scores in 70 per cent of cases compared with women who had delivered a girl, regardless of whether they suffered from post-natal depression. In women who did not have depression, mothers of sons had lower quality of life scores in nine out of the 10 categories.

“These figures show very clearly that having a boy resulted in lower quality of life scores in all cases” says Professor de Tychey.

“We also discovered that being a first-time mother had no effect on quality of life scores.

Women had the same general scores regardless of whether the recent birth was their first or second baby.” The study also found that women who had a daughter as their first child were more likely to have a second baby than those who had a boy first.

Prof Tychey said: “Previous studies have shown that women who live in cultures where greater value is placed on sons are more likely to suffer from PND if they give birth to a girl.

“However, we believe that this study – carried out in a French community where women didn’t face cultural pressures over the sex of their baby – is the first to show that women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer from severe PND and reduced quality of life. Further research is needed to find out why this happens.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I am Superman

Brendan has been coming up with so many cute and funny things lately that it has been hard to keep them all in mind when I want to share them.

First, he has a really funny thing he says and I've started saying it around here at home because I think it's really hilarious. Sometimes I'll ask him to help me out by taking something to his room or to hand something to his brother. If he already has his hands full, he'll say, I'm sorry, Mommy. I can't...I'm full of hands.

On Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, he came home from pre-K and announced that it was King Martin's birthday, leaving me with an image of a smiling MLK wearing a crown and blowing a party horn. He learned a lot about MLK between his actual birthday and the day we honor him. His class saw two films about him and went to a special assembly. When school was out on MLK Day, I made French toast for breakfast. Realizing I had no powdered sugar to go on the French toast, I put green sugar sprinkles on it instead. Brendan was excited and I told him it was a special treat for MLK day. A few minutes later, Brendan is screaming for me. When I came back to the kitchen, he tells me, Mommy, Beckett's eating my Martin Luther King French toast! This time the image that came to mind was a piece of French toast with MLK's image on it, like the Mary toast.

His most recent act of interest has been to come up with his own superhero identity, complete with an archnemesis.

As we were driving a few days ago, he told me that he is really Glue Guy. His superpower is glue. He can shoot glue from his fingertips to stop bad guys and he can use his sticky fingertips to climb. He acquired his superpowers in class one day when he accidentally spilled some magic glue that he had found in a cabinet on himself while doing an art project. It turned him into Glue Guy.

His archenemy is Gorilla Guy. Less than 3 feet tall, Gorilla Guy, aka Beckett, stalks and chases Glue Guy, stealing his things and smearing the remnants of his favorite food – bananas! – all over Glue Guy's stuff.

I must say, I was duly impressed with my proto-geek's imagination. His love of all things super and his imagination just make me think there's a career awaiting him in the world of comics. And that would be just fine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


After Meredith Emerson's murder and the revelation that a potential serial killer had been roaming throughout North Georgia the last few years, self-defense classes popped up throughout the Metro like mushrooms in March. I think there were a lot of one-off classes designed to just give the attendees a few basic ideas of what to do if they're attacked.

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a real martial arts-based self-defense class taught by a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. My friend Barrett has been attending the class for a few weeks now and asked me to go with her. I loved the class and am eager to go back. The instructor's focus seemed to be very much on empowering the women in the class and helping them to believe in their own abilities to defend themselves should they find themselves in a dangerous situation. I am eager to go back.

Especially since yesterday, I thought I might have cause to use my newly acquired, but limited knowledge of self-defense.

After picking Brendan up from school, I took the boys to Target to pick up some Valentine's goodies for Brendan's friends. While we were shopping, I noticed a strange-looking man staring at me as he walked toward us. He passed us, then I noticed him turn and begin following us. When I stopped to look at some shoes, he passed us and stopped within sight and kept glancing over at us.

I didn't want to freak out at that point and we kept shopping and I didn't notice him again until we were leaving. Suddenly, he came out of nowhere and began following us again. It was like he had been waiting around the exit for us.

So, he followed us out of the store and my first thought was landing a kick in the center of his chest. My next thought was finding someone to tell. As I was debating going back into the store, I saw two young men who had just parked next to my car coming toward the store. I stopped them and asked if they would mind waiting on the sidewalk until I loaded the boys in the car. As soon as he saw me talking to these two young man (who I think thought I was the crazy one), he turned and went in the opposite direction. I was so flustered that I left my shopping bag in the cart on the sidewalk and had to go back for it.

As I was leaving, I saw a security guard patrolling the parking lot and told him what had happened and he said he'd check it out.

Maybe I overreacted, but maybe not. It's just like when Barrett accidentally popped the instructor in the nose with her knee while he was demonstrating a technique. It was a little uncomfortable at the moment, but perhaps that pain saves her life one day. If my discomfort and embarrassment at seeming paranoid keeps Creepy McCreeperson from Target -stalking someone else, I've done something positive.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Faces & Names

I really want to like Brendan's pre-K teacher and not be critical of her. I definitely never criticize her in front of him and I encourage him to like her.

But I swear, she's driving me nuts.

Seven months into the school year and she is still calling him the wrong name. She calls him Brandon instead of Brendan. When she writes his name, she spells it B-R-E-N-D-O-N.

Usually, in the mornings, I'm rushing. This is my fault. But, most mornings, I don't get to take my shower and dress in anything nicer than sweats until after I get Brendan to school and Beckett down for a nap. The days when I do shower, dress nicely, and do my hair and face before going into the school, the teacher always makes a big deal over my appearance and tells me that I should always wear makeup. I get it. I know I look a lot better when I'm done up. Don't we all? But I think it's kind of rude to tell someone that and to tell them that as often as she has told me.

I asked her if I could bring cupcakes to the class for Brendan's birthday. His birthday was on Saturday and I asked if I could bring cupcakes on Monday or Tuesday. She said either day would be fine, just show up right after naptime. So, on Tuesday morning, I told her I'd be back with cupcakes that afternoon. But when I showed up she acted totally surprised and even asked me if I had told her I was coming! ARGH!

The thing is...she comes across as being very sweet and friendly. I just don't know how to respond to her. So, I just take it. But I feel like my son is getting shafted by being in her class and I don't have high hopes for the rest of his elementary school career if this is how we're starting off.

I wish I could volunteer in the class more to get a feel for how things are on a day-to-day basis, but with Beckett I just can't. What would I do with him?

Maybe I'm just overreacting. I don't know. I loved school, but I know that bad teachers or teachers who did not respond well to me always made me insecure and made me hate going to school. And I know not every teacher is going to like my kid. What's weird is that this teacher seems to love my kid. She always tells me how sweet he is and how good he is. He never gets into trouble.

I suppose it's just my high expectations that a teacher should be able to pronounce and spell a name that is not that unusual. She manages to pronounce and spell Kaif correctly. Is Brendan really that hard?