ue I'm More Than Just a Mom...I Think: September 2004u

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Is it Illegal to Duct Tape a Toddler?

I'm sure you didn't know this, but Zachary's picture is in the dictionary. Next to the definition of "kinetic energy". The kid can go all day without a nap and still have the energy to do his best Hurricane Zack impression. If he's not moving, he's talking. Now, he's at the point where we need to be involved in whatever it is that he's doing - he wants to show us everything and get our reaction. "Wook at me. Wook, I a wobot" (or, I a tiger, whatever mood strikes him). "Wook at me mommy. NOW!" I look, and he performs a perfect toddler somersault. Amazing, and I tell him so. Time for 15 minutes straight of somersaults and smiles, as if each time he performs this feat is the first time.

He loves to sit on my lap. Not still, of course, and (I think any mother of a toddler will relate to this) I had BETTER not try to move him around to facilitate getting to my laptop. No no, that is met with squirms and screams.

Sometimes, he will get down off of me, turn around with his stern face, point is index finger at me and say "Don't move, mommy. Stay wight dere, don't move!" This means he's getting food or drink to bring back onto "mommy chair".

I know I'm in trouble when he starts to direct how I should sit. "Mommy, put your hand dere. Put you udder hand wight here," he says as he gently puts my left arm on his lap and my right arm around his tummy onto his lap. "Aww," I think, "he wants me to hold him, what a sweet, sweet boy." HA - after nearly 3 years, I still have not figured out Zack's world to a T. Immediately after putting me in the hugging position, his fast-as-light fingers are pushing the button on my CD drive and popping it out. "I workin' mommy, I workin!" he yells trimphantly. "No, Zack, stop playing with my computer," mommy warns sternly. This is followed by a knowing chuckle from Mr. 2.5. And thus begins 10 minutes of hell for mommy. Trying to pin down a toddler sitting on your lap is NOT an easy thing to do, even if you outweigh the child by over 150 pounds. This kid is a like a greased pig when he wants something. I can try as I might to hold one arm down, but then the other pops out and BAM, my CD drive's open again.

Pinned again, he starts squirming. "Ah ha," I think, "I've got him now, he can't get away." And I'm right, except that my Internet obsession takes over within a few minutes and I loosen my grip to answer an IM or refresh a webpage and CLICK, my CD drive's open again.

"Zack, I'm going to make you get off mommy's lap if you don't stop it," I warn. "Heh. You stop it," he says, "I wanna WORK!". He slaps my hand and as I'm struggling to pin him again, POOF, my CD drive's open again.

ARGH. When he was younger, I taped my CD drive shut so he couldn't get to it. He's soooo much smarter than that now. "Tape, mommy, look, TAPE" he says, proudly holding the piece of tape that was covering my CD drive seconds ago.

And yes, my CD drive was open.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Random Thoughts

I can't think of anything to write tonight, but I have this urge to put something down on paper, so to speak. So, here are some of the things I'm thinking about tonight.

I'm glad my husband hasn't broken his leg. One of his team members on his soccer team severely broke his leg in their game last week. Had to have surgery. I really feel for his wife - a one year old, a two week old and now a husband who can't drive, and can't walk and hold the baby at the same time. Can't chase after the toddler. I never used to worry about Dave playing before. Now, I do.

SNL has been consistently funny throughout the decades. Will Ferrell is a genius. I miss him.

What makes all the sleepless nights, diaper changes, vomit cleaning, and temper tantrums worthwhile? When Zack lays on me, with his head on my chest, and watches tv. Completely content. I didn't think it was possible for him to love me as much as I love him, but sometimes, when he's laying there, drinking his juice, and rubbing his hand on my face or arm - I think he does.

Diarrhea is NOT funny.

Janet Reno is not attractive. She just isn't. I'm not trying to be mean, she just, well, she looks like a man.

I'm determined to get Xmas shopping and Zack's birthday shopping done before Thanksgiving. Mark my words, it will be done.

I'm so glad Cassie didn't follow through with her threat to try out for the cheerleading squad. She didn't consider it a threat, but any of you out there who are tomboys know that it was, indeed, a threat.

I don't want to go to the Ice Cream Social on Wednesday at Alex's school. I will though because he wants to go to bad and it would be weird of the PTA is presenting the budget for a vote without the Treasurer there who drafted it. Doh!

Planning a vacation to Disney World is beyond frustrating. If I had more hair, I'd have pulled it out by now and I haven't even booked the airline tickets yet. Everyone better kiss the ground I walk on when this is all said and done and everyone better have a MAGICAL $&*^ING TIME DAMN IT!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Goonies

I love this movie. I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid. I bought it when it came out on dvd. Now my 2 year old is obsessed with it. Finally something that I don't mind watching ad nauseum and that isn't permiated with baby/toddler music.

Little did I realize that the word "shit" is uttered no less than 5 times during this movie. Also, "shut up" is thrown around like there's no tomorrow. This makes for an interesting experience with a toddler. Zack knows he's not allowed to say those words. So this is what he does "Mommy, he said shut up, I no say that bad word". Great.

Of course, there are other things he repeats that are just adorable. He will hold up a coin and say "this is MY wish, this is MY dream" - how funny is that? Probably not funny if you don't know the movie well, but you get my point.

I love this movie - I can watch it all day long. Until, of course, I hear "SHIT!" coming from the kitchen because Zack dropped his cup.

Time to find a new movie for Zack to watch.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Fall has...fallen? It's coming? It's here? Something?

Today is the first day of Fall. Maybe it was technically yesterday, but for the sake of argument and my blog, I'm going to say it's today.

It was hot today. I didn't like that. I really love the Fall. I love brisk air that comes rushing in. The beautiful leaves (though I hate raking them and that's why Dave does it), and the rustling they make on the sidewalks. My drive home from work is absolutely breath-taking, driving over the "canyon" as I call it on Interstate 70. There's a huge bridge, one day I'd like to get out of my car and see how high up it is, but I'm scared of heights. As I approach the bridge there are thousands of trees and barely any of them are evergreens. The shades of marigold, orange, and beige is a sight to see. I will take a picture one day.

Every Fall, when I take that drive home, it makes me so happy to be alive. I know that sounds cliche and cheesy, but it's true. Without fail, I think about how great my life is and how beautiful the earth is. I'm excited for the drive this year. I wish the leaves would change.

I like dressing up in warm clothes - big cuddly sweaters, fleece jackets, sweat pants - and curling up on my couch under a comforter. Sometimes I will even open the windows to make it a little cooler inside and to smell the fresh air. I can't wait.

And this year, the Fall brings the Presidential Election. Oh, I can't wait for that!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2004

30s vs. 20s

I am a much happier person in my 30s. Even though I'm still in my early 30s, there is so much to savor in this decade.

I was a mom in my 20s. I'm a better mom in my 30s.

I was a wife in my 20s. I'm a more mature, loving wife in my 30s.

I had a job in my 20s. I still have the same job in my 30s and I'm much better at it.

I've had some horrible things happen to me in my 20s. I've had one horrible thing happen to me in my 30s and it's made me a stronger, better person. And it's made me understand the happenings of my 20s in a different light.

I was anxious in my 20s. I'm content in my 30s.

I was confused in my 20s. I'm centered in my 30s.

I got my ass kicked, so to speak, in my 20s. I'm an ass-kicker in my 30s ;)

And they say it only gets better from here!

What Cathy Believes, Part Two

I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. I even believe in third, fourth, and fifth chances under some circumstances.

People make mistakes. I think it's wrong to have the attitude of "one time and that's it". Well, you never know why someone does what they do until you really dig deep to find out. Let's say someone lies to you. Is very sneaky, deceptive, and devious. Do you automatically say "that's it, I'm never talking to you again?" Or do you have a long talk, find out the reason for the deception and try to move on? I'm talking about simple friendships here. I think it's much harder to forgive someone and move on than it is to just hold a grudge and be mean to that person.

I think second chances are important. If you really want to know someone and be close to them, you have to be able to see past their flaws and imperfections, to the real person. I know a lot of people who put up a front of some sort or another. I've been guilty of doing that myself. For most of my life, actually. And sometimes forgiving them and giving them another chance is the best road to take. It leads to the road of happiness most of the time, I've found. It can lead to the road of despair as well, but I'll be naive for now.

Where would I be if people didn't give me a second chance? Certainly not where I am today, that's for sure. I'm thankful for the second, third, and fourth chances I've been given.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Things I Have Never Done.

I have never done drugs.

I have never been arrested.

I have never jumped out of an airplane.

I have never been out of the country as an adult.

I have never been bitten by an animal (other than my pets).

I have never worn a strapless dress.

I have never seen a President.

I have never fainted.

I have never intentionally tried to make someone cry.

I have never had contact with my birth parents.

I have never eaten snails.

I have never tried Indian Food.

I have never been fired.

I have never gotten a degree.

I have never broken a bone.

I have never been as happy with my life than I am right now.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A Day of Remembrance

I sit here with MSNBC on, all the names of the people who died three years ago being read aloud by their loved ones. Parents and Grandparents are reading names and each list ends with them reading the name(s) of the children/grandchildren that they lost. It's very moving. As moving as it can be with a toddler and 8 year old wrestling and yelling, I suppose. I cannot imagine their pain. I don't know how they go on, I really don't. They are strong people. I wonder if I could ever be that strong and I hope that I never have to find out.

As everyone can, I can remember everything about that day. I was 6 or 7 months pregnant. That's always the first thing I think of. I was driving to work, listening to Howard Stern as usual. They said in passing that a "small plane" had hit the World Trade Center. Not really a big deal, probably some weirdo in a single engine plane. Weird, I thought, if I thought anything. I'm not sure I really thought much of it.

I got to my desk and attempted to tune in Stern again, as I did ever morning, but with not much luck. Finally, I got it in and heard that a second plane had hit and everyone sounded much more concerned. My boss walked in and I said "A plane hit the world trade center and I think a second one did too." I turned the radio to a news station and listened as everything unfolded. The report of a bomb going off in the Pentagon. "Mark, a bomb just went off a the Pentagon, this is getting serious," I said to him. He has a television in his office, so he turned that on so we could follow what was going on.

I was back at my desk, trying to get some work done. At this point, there wasn't really discussions of being at war or terrorists, it was still a mass of confusion. "We've now confirmed, it was another airliner that struck the Pentagon". Jesus. What was going on? We're in Maryland, about 30 miles from the Pentagon. It was starting to happen close to home. "Mark, it was a plane that hit the Pentagon!" "Yes, they say it's a terrorist attack. The WTC buildings are on fire now." I kept rubbing my stomach, talking to Zack.

The phone hardly rang that day, except for people calling to see if we had heard. I had maybe one business related call. Dave called me at some point to tell me they were closing his office and he was coming home.

"Cathy, get back here now - the building's collapsing!!" I ran back there in time to watch the first tower falling. My heart sank. I just couldn't comprehend what I was watching. I didn't move from the chair in Mark's office until he told me to go home at 12:30. There were calls letting me know that Cassie's school was closing early. That's when Mark told me to go home. But before that, I watched the second tower fall. I couldn't stop thinking about how scared those people must have been and hoping that they didn't feel any pain when they died. Especially the people on the planes. Can you imagine how terrified they must have been when they realized what was happening? I will always remember that one of the trade tower planes carried a family. A mom, a dad, and a little 3 year old girl. Zack is almost 3 now. I'm certain that mommy was holding her little girl when they died and I have to believe that they felt nothing because it's too horrible to think otherwise.

I remember walking to my car, rubbing my stomach and telling Zack that I was sorry he was going to be born during a war because I really felt like we were at war at that point. I picked up Alex from daycare and was surprised to see their TV's on to the news and the kids watching. Alex ran to me and told me that two planes had crashed into buildings in New York and lots of people died. I held him tight, told him I knew and I was very sad.

Cassie got home from school a bit confused. She didn't understand why people were so upset about buildings collapsing. She didn't realize there were people on the planes and in the buildings.

So, here I sit - watching the memorials and the speeches, still in shock that this happened. After three years, I still can't comprehend that it did actually happen. 3 months before the attacks, we were driving through NYC. David wanted to stop and see the World Trade Centers. I said "nah, not this time - they will always be there, we can go another time".

But they wouldn't always be there. How were we to know?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Bradford Curse

I've found over the past few years that, even though I'm an intensely social person, I hate people. I love amusement parks, but hate the people. I enjoy concerts, but please oh please, don't let anyone touch me.

Part of my hatred for public places is the now infamous Bradford Curse. It never fails that no matter where we go, we end up in front of, behind, next to, or within earshot of the most obnoxious, idiotic, wastes of oxygen that could possibly walk this earth. This happens everywhere. If it's not the obnoxious ones, we are next to, behind, or in front of the dumbest ones. The ones who don't know how to use an ATM. The ones who are confused when the cashier rings up their items and, gasp, they cost money. God forbid they are offered paper or plastic.

It may sound like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Ask my husband. If we get in a line at the grocery store, THAT is the line with the agitated customer who holds up the rest of us for 10 minutes while they complain that something is on sale when it's not. Or they've put in the wrong PIN number and are all pissed off that they have to swipe their card again and start spouting off exasperated expressions of anger while they are doing it "I can't believe I have to do this again. I have placed to be. These machines are so stupid". That last example happened to me at Starbucks just two days ago.

We can't switch lanes, because as soon as we do, something bad happens in that lane as well. The cash register breaks, they need a price check, you get the picture.

At amusement parks, we are always suck in line near the obnoxious teenagers who think that everyone gives a crap about what they have to say, so they speak at about 3 times the normal volume of regular people. They curse because they think it's impressive and act like they are all studs in bed (these are the girls too). Ugh. OR, we get near the rednecks who are drunk and spit chaw all over the place. Very classy.

Let's move on to the movies. Usually, when I think of people being annoyed at the movies, it's during the movie. For us Bradfords, it can even happen in the line waiting for tickets. I need to remind myself to get tickets online each and every time we go to the movies. Saturday night, we were in line waiting to buy tickets and this woman is standing right behind me, SCREAMING, to her kid, who is about 20 feet away. If that's not bad enough, when she turns to talk to her husband, she's still yelling. "What's the name of the movie? Without a r?" (Lady, that's an A, can you not tell the difference between an A and an R?) "I don't even know what movie she wants to see. WHAT MOVIE ARE WE SEEING". Oh shut up already. There are two of you in line. Walk over to your daughter, ask her, come back, save the rest of us from the ruptured ear drums. Quit being so damn lazy.

Once, we were in a theater all alone. Minutes before the movie started, two people came in and sat in the row right behind us. Completely empty theater and they sit behind us. Ok, fine, just because they are behind us isn't a problem. But of course, it ends up being a problem because they talked LOUDLY throughout the entire movie. We ended up moving. I can't count the amount of times we've had to move or ask people to be quiet in movie theaters.

This curse also seeps its way into our neighbors. We have luckily broken the curse at this point, but we've had the worst luck ever. First place we lived, the woman in the townhouse next to us would let her kids run up the down the stairs at all hours. It was horrible. Plus, her kid was mean to our kid and, even though she was nice, we hated living there. She ended up being the best of the worst, actually.

The worst was the one after that. We moved into another set of townhouses and we saw our neighbor had teenagers and we were worried. Turns out, she was sweet as sweet could be and the teenagers were extremely well behaved and polite. She moved. And in moved the family from hell. 5 kids, sometimes 6, and a 3 bedroom apartment. 5 badly behaved kids. 2 parents who could care less what their kids are doing.

I think the icing on the cake was the morning that one of their kids knocked on our door at 6:30 a.m. wanting a ride to school. I was livid. I can't even talk about this anymore, it's making my blood boil.

What am I getting to with all of this? No clue, but I bet you learned something new about me and I hope you are a believer now. The curse exists.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Can't blog..


What's dinner? Who needs a new diaper? I'm busy here, people!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

An Attempt at Positivity

My therapist says I'm too down on myself - that I have no self-esteem. I can't argue with her or pretend she's wrong. She's absolutely right on the money.

Why don't I like myself? I've pondered this for decades and I still have no answer. There is not one event which occured in my life that makes me hate myself. I've done some bad things, but I didn't like myself even before those happened. What is it about me that I don't like? How about this, instead of focusing on what I don't like, I will focus on what I do like.

What makes Cathy great:

1. I'm a great friend. I don't think I've ever told a friend I was too busy to talk to them when they needed me.

2. I'm funny. Yes, I am funny. I make people laugh. And not just titter, I can make some people laugh so hard, they cry.

3. I'm a great mom. My daughter is the the perfect example of that. She's been through a lot. She is old enough to remember living with her biological mom. She has felt rejected by her mom and has gone through her parents' divorce. She's been through custody changes and her mother moving across the country (and in turn, rarely seeing her). Yet, she is happy. She is content, loved, respectful, honest, and caring. She is happy to make us happy, but also great at speaking her mind when she thinks something is unfair. I do not take full credit for this. In fact, I give David most of the credit. For a long time, I didn't get along well with Cassie. I couldn't relate to her. She was so girly and I was so...NOT. But, with time and effort from me, we've grown extremely close. Closer than I ever thought we could be. I look forward to seeing her every day when she gets home from school and talking to her. She's a great kid. And part of the reason she's so happy is because I'm a great mom!

4. I'm a great legal assistant. I do my job well and fast. There's a reason my boss begged me not to quit a few months ago. Because I'm great.

5. I am determined. If I want something, I will go for it full-throttle.

6. I'm a good writer. I don't say great because, well, that's snotty and I have no place to say that I'm a great writer - I'm not published ;) I can convey my thoughts into words that everyone can relate to, or at least understand.

7. I'm a great organizer and planner. Ask David. He'll tell you that, and not because I asked him to.

8. I'm a great speller.

9. I am reliable and punctual.

10. I am an accomplished musician. While I haven't played in years, oh who am I kidding, it's been a decade, at one time my talent ruled my life. I won the highest seat possible in the All State Orchestra (which is above the band by the way) my senior year of high school on an instrument that I picked up and began playing my freshman year. Not an easy instrument either - the bassoon. I went on to get a scholarship and major in music. Even if I don't play anymore, I was great at it once.
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