Monday, November 9, 2009

Tidbits from a hobo mama

graphic backgroundSince things are a bit busy around here with NaNoWriMo and ramped-up holiday sales, I had the idea that I could keep blogging in November and December if I changed up my style a bit. I usually end up writing posts with a bunch of references and links — it's not the writing itself that takes so long but all the compiling and fact checking.

And before you say it for me, I'll freely admit that it's not like those other posts are perfect! I'm just saying I get bogged down writing them.

So, I had this thought that I could try a more personal, freehand style for some of my posts this month, and not do any research for them and very little linking. 'k?

Well, if not, you can go peruse the archives or wait till January...

I love reading some of the random lists other bloggers put on their sites, so here's mine for the day. [I am sitting on my hands to avoid finding links to said bloggers. Ok, not literally, or else I wouldn't be typing.] Some of mine are truly random, and some are tidbits of potential posts. I might expand them one day, or I might leave them be.

     • Today Mikko insisted on going up a "bridge" he saw: a concrete ramp at an apartment building. It was wide and gradual, and I figured it was a wheelchair ramp. Until I got to the top and we found ourselves on a balcony with only stairs to choose from there forward. Was this the architect's form of "Ha ha, wheelchair users! Take that"? [P.S. We hung out on that ramp for 10 minutes. Lots of time to think about the architect's intentions.]

     • My sister-in-law loves that she nannies for twins, because she can take every carpool lane in the city, even the ones for 3+ people. Do babies count as passengers? Sam thinks it should be people who would otherwise be driving their own cars, but regardless of the spirit of the law, what is the letter?

     • Before Mikko was born, Sam and I had a two-year stint running a cat-sitting business. I wasn't some cat maniac or anything, but I liked them a lot and it was a pretty peaceful business (except around Thanksgiving and Christmas; we routinely choose awful businesses for holiday purposes). I was always dismayed at the parents we sat for who were very distant about their cats, having no toys for them and feeding them the cheapest food and wanting us to come over only every other day and saying things like, "Oh, I guess I could try to find their brushes...but then they'll just be spoiled and miss the attention when we get back." They would say that they just had no time for their cats now that they had children, and it made me sad for the cats. Then I had a baby, and it took probably six months or so before my beautiful cat (and she is empirically beautiful — this has been confirmed by multiple sources) looked anything other than wrong to me. She was so...furry! And...furry! Not all smooth and plump and adorable like my newborn. And, still, two years later, I fight not to be annoyed with her when she wants attention, as if I've given up all my touching and nurturing and there's none left over.

     • I am ostensibly at a NaNoWriMo write-in at a coffee shop and am sitting at a table by myself working on my blog. I got here late and couldn't quite figure out what group might be the write-in. There was really only one possibility, but none of them were writing. They're all just chatting away, and I didn't want to look like a loser and break in.

     • I said no links, and yet I specifically went looking for that write-in link up there in case you didn't know what a write-in was. Habits...

     • I couldn't find a wireless signal when I first sat down here and I thought, How unusual but brilliant — a coffee shop without internet, so that you have to work! But then I changed tables, and there it is, strong and free. And so I've written 174 words on my novel instead of 1,667.

     • I seriously adore my NaNoWriMo novel. It's making me giddy with pleasure. I went with a romance this year, and I can't wait to see how it turns out! Will they fall in love? Will they? Will they? [Answer: Yes! Yes! Yes!]

     • The cashier at the coffee shop liked that my hoop earrings mirrored the circle pattern on my shirt. She said that's a mark in great artwork — repeating patterns. I, my friends, am Great Art.

     • We unearthed all three of our swimsuits and all three swim towels and made a trek to the pool this weekend. We could have made do without those particular, chlorine-infused towels, but skinny dipping is against the rules — our pool has a sign up that specifically states: "This is a family facility. Please dress and act accordingly." I do try. There was one woman there who had a young baby, probably around six months or so, though I'm not the best judge. She held her [after the baby was dressed in pink, I determined it was a she] under the vigorous shower stream for a solid five minutes to rinse off the pool nastiness and generous helpings of the dispenser soap, and the water and suds went over the baby's face multiple times. No fussing, definitely no crying, just a mild squawk here and there. Then the mother wrapped the baby in a towel and laid her on the bench while the mother dressed herself, which took at least another five minutes. Again, the baby just lay there, content and silent. I was so befuddled I couldn't even be jealous. Mikko was never that quiet — never. He always hated the pool shower, even when I turned away so the stream didn't hit him full on. And then I always had to either (a) hold him while trying to get dressed or (b) listen to him scream after I'd laid him down and try not to let him thrash himself off the table. I used to feel like kind of a failure for not being "AP enough" or "Continuum enough" since I still had such an angry baby, but as time went on, I got over it and realized: That's just the way Mikko is. So, watching this woman and baby in the locker room, I started thinking, What if this woman runs a blog? And what if she posts to her blog tonight about how her baby's so laid-back and content because of the awesome way she parents?

     • Enter to win a fleece mei tai. I can't stop promoting that sucker.

     • A friend of mine in real life held a giveaway of an item she made. Since it's a private blog, eight of her friends entered, and she was racked by sadness that she could award only one person the win. I feel the exact same way about this baby carrier giveaway. Every single entrant seems so worthy and so lovely, and I feel bad in advance that nearly all of them will not win. It makes me want to raid JoAnn's for all their attractive fleece [hint: a few bolts at most — seriously, John Deere prints??] and make as many mei tais as I can.

     • I'm in the middle of redesigning my site. Have been for months now. I was thinking of doing a vote for which of several choices was best but then realized — I might not agree, and then I'd either have to (a) ignore the voters or (b) live with the results. So I'm deciding in private... Stay tuned.

     • Are you bored yet?

Back to noveling.


Lovely illustration courtesy mckenna71,
which I found by typing "random" into stock.xchng

8 comments:

Jamie (SuddenlyStay@Home) said...

I like the new format- don't get me wrong, I appreciate when you do a ton of work and write those really intellectual articles- but this is good too... just as an FYI, I have an angry baby too. He's 14 months old today and his main form of communication is YELLING. He thinks that a loud screech will cause a door to pop open or a toy that he is frustrated with to magically work. It's getting to be a bit much and I am hoping that we get some words soon. Or at least a bit more patience on his part. Anyway, I hope that we get to hear more about Mikko and Sam and your hobo adventures!

Jenny said...

I'd been wondering how you find the time and energy to write a full, formal article for every one of your posts! I do a lot of pictures and personal posts, because my blog is also a baby book for my girls. Also, the relatives just want pictures and really don't care about what type of cloth diapers I use or why cosleeping is great :-)

jorjedatoy said...

** I love bridges! I can appreciate a lil man who simply must walk on a cool bridge... even if it is just a ramp. And yes, how very odd! Maybe the higher floors were added later? Hrm.

** I have no idea what the letter of that law might be, but I certainly wouldn't think transporting children should be considered carpool worthy... but then if you were carpooling children to school whom would otherwise be riding in separate vehicles. Now I'm torn.

** I work in the shipping business... it nearly ruins what I consider to be the true holiday spirit. Children are what keep it alive for me. I live for Giftmas morning!

** My 19yo who suffers from social anxiety has gotten in on NaNoWriMo this year and it is so great! She has been attending write-ins and we're all thrilled that she is getting out there and socializing. It is funny to hear of people visiting and then suddenly stopping to type... in a group.

** I love that you do so much research and include links. I always want to link everything in my posts, but sometimes it seems like overkill.

** Skinny dipping as a family sounds absolutely devine! Oh I look forward to taking my new little bundle swimming for the first time. I so enjoy getting into the bath with her and am tickled that she enjoys it, too.

** bored?!? Surely you jest! lol How about you? Bored yet? I was all comment-y on here!! lol

FYI - HTML for lists is not allowed in the comment form. :-P

jorjedatoy said...

Hey, in your "spare time" I thought you might enjoy this article I happened upon (as opposed to stumbling upon it):

Ever wonder how well the children of parenting experts turned out?

It is a cute and interesting (and fairly short) article by a father in which he interviewed the children of authors of parenting books (including Dr. Sears).

Rambling Rachel said...

this post is inspiring. I love to post random things and I think I can break away to do that this week.

I don't admit it to many people, but I had to give away my cats to friends because they were too much after having a second child. You described the feeling exactly--the self-absorbed felines required too much. At least I didn't get a dog during the pre-child days. They require more work.

Jessica said...

A couple of things: shooting from the hip is always exhilarating (for me it is anyway) and I like the freedom to say what I want and to also read whatever anyone else wants to say, no strings attached.

I did a revamp of my blog this summer. I narrowed down the header picture (not the one currently up - I've since taken on a completely different look) to some favorites and set up a poll. Then there was a second round to pick the absolute favorite. I gotta say I had more hits for that post than practically anything else I've written. Weird how people like to just do drive-by opinions.

Romance novels are da bomb. Are you having trouble coming up with names for things? Lemme know and I'll be happy to share some of the more original ones I've come across :)

Hobo Mama said...

Jamie: Thank goodness, I'm always happy to meet another angry-baby mama. Your baby cracks me up. Probably the screeching does work...because you make the door open or the toy work to shut him up!! :)

Jenny: We run a family website, too, where we post just pictures and little captions -- easier on our brains there, though we're always getting just as behind, because of the sheer enormity of pictures and videos we take. Every once in awhile, I try to slip in something sly and preachy about breastfeeding or babywearing or cloth diapering, but you're right -- they just don't care.

jorjedatoy: I am SO IMPRESSED that you wrote a list back. Even if Blogger wouldn't format it -- I'll have to take that up with them. :) The link overkill thing reminded me of our family Christmas letters. We always post them online, and I can never resist (you'll believe this) linking them up the wazoo. Like, if I mention a trip, I link to our photos of the trip. If I mention our church, I link to our church. But it gets to the point where I'm linking, like, every fourth word. I call it the Hyper Hyper-linked Version so that people know what they're getting into. I'm digging the article about how kids of parenting experts turned out. It's amusing me that the Searses' AP kids turned out musical and the others became doctors.

Rachel: You inspired me. How fun that it works both ways! Yours was one of the blogs I was particularly thinking of that sometimes does these random lists that I like. See, I should have linked to you after all, but I was being intentionally lazy. Good thing you commented and solved it for me! I'm glad someone else feels the same way about the cat thing. I feel really guilty about it sometimes, but wondered if it's more common than not. After all, I hear mothers talk about how they feel temporarily disconnected from their older kids when a younger one is born, so I figure it might have a biological basis -- protecting the vulnerable newborn and all that. I know of people who've given away needy dogs as well, post-kids.

Jessica: Well, maybe I'll do a design poll anyway, just to give people something fun to do! Then I can rig it so the results match my wishes. Ha ha! I shouldn't have said that out loud. And, yes, I could always use help with romance vocab! :) I saw a list once somewhere; I should go ferret it out. That would be a nice procrastination break from actually writing my novel. Because I need help finding more procrastination...

Lisa - edenwild said...

I say anyone with a baby should be allowed to drive in the carpool lane!

I totally get the cat thing.

You're making me feel bad for that post I wrote about my baby's behavior. I guess you could never know for sure how your parenting affects your child unless you do "experiments" with them. Ugh. Hard to explain, but I've been racked with torment ever since writing that post. I need to write a follow-up but I'm still confused about the whole thing.

Guess what?????? I'm working on a novel!!!!! I started it today. I wrote 1361 words before Michael got up from his nap. Yay!

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