Shocking lack of chainsaws.

Tree removal was scheduled to begin today. I can't imagine they'll begin at 430pm, so I have to conclude that the City is full of hooey.

Len Bodack and his peeps rock.

Have I mentioned that a huge damn tree crashed into our yard FROM CITY PROPERTY over a month ago, and the City has been dragging BUTT shuffling this problem around? Well, it did, and they did. And so I called. And called. And called called called.

Finally yesterday, I called our City Council rep, Len Bodack. Today, the tree removal has been SCHEDULED for next week.

Kick ass!

When did he grow up?

We're having a chilly day here today, so for really the first time in a long time, I dressed Badger in actual clothes instead of just a onesie. And so on went the long-sleeve T shirt and his first pair of jeans, and the socks, and the crib shoes to keep the socks on.

And all of a sudden, my little baby seems too much like a little kid.

I'm a virtuous woman.

At least, according to the woman I talk to on the phone every blessed day regarding the tree that has been in my yard for a MONTH. Come on now, a MONTH!? The city is dicking around, shoving this case from department to department. But I apparently have a pleasant, patient demeanor on the phone when calling about this... for all the fucking good it does me, right?

The tree will ROT AWAY before they do anything about it, I swear to God. I know what they're doing: they're banking on the fact that no reasonable person would wait this long to get this taken care of. And they're right. But we're not reasonable. We are the perfect combination of stubborn, lazy, annoying, and broke. You want to dick around all summer and have me call you every day? Great! Because I don't have a few thousand bucks to get this taken care of. I do, however, have plenty of time to call you, your counterpart in every other possible related department, your supervisors, and the mayor's office. So try me, really. Don't bet on our being reasonable people!

Perhaps an October client?

I got an email from my doula mentor asking if I would take a pro-bono doula client, due 10/15... which is the day I went into labor with Chim. And boy, I do love October babies! I was able to arrange child care for both kids; Chim can go any day at her pre-school and since Badger will be turning one that month, we can leave him on a drop-off basis too!

The bad news is I haven't been able to reach the momma! Three phone calls, no answer!

Oh, and I'm going to talk to my mentor about joining her doula group. I think that would be the way to go, for me right now. I need direction and support, and I feel good about being associated with her and the other doulas from her group that I've met.

A twister!

We had some excitement here in Steel City yesterday -- a tornado warning, and some unconfirmed sightings of funnel clouds too. And one item reported that a possum was seen being flung about on the wind. Gotta love a city with possums. We know that with all the hills, a tornado is likely to just bounce off the hilltops if it would touch down, but we were concerned about flooding -- especially with Chim being across the river. So Mr. Sweetie took off during the onset of the storm to get her from school, where she and her classmates were huddled in the bathroom after being roused from their naps. She was more scared than Mr. Sweetie will acknowledge and I can't blame her. I got a little scared... OK, I freaked out when I heard a loud rumble of thunder and I turned to exit my room to grab Badger from his crib, and I somehow smacked my head on a door, giving me a giant goose egg. But we hung out in the basement until the storm was over! Then once Chim and Mr. Sweetie were home, we went out to dinner because we didn't have power so no cooking was happening here. We finally got power restored around 1030pm.

So that's all the weather from here. Thankfully we were relatively unaffected except for some adreneline but we're sending our love out to those in our city who have damage from the wind and water.

Wouldn't it be nice if cars weren't moneypits?

Honestly we suck at buying cars. I am looking forward to buying a newer used car in the future when we can afford a bit better options, that's for sure.

We have two vehicles right now -- a 2000 Civic with ONE payment left on it (woot!) and a 2000 Windstar that we've had for 2 years and the mechanic's had it more often than we have. So the Civic is up for inspection this month and we bring it in. $350 for the fixins for that. Drop off the Windstar when I pick up the Civic because #1, the check engine light is on AGAIN (hopefully it's just a stupid reason), #2 the oil needs changed, and #3 we need to get the stupid mirror fixed AGAIN and #4 get a quote to fix the rust (which given what my mechanic told me, we probably won't decide to do). And then we're selling that POS, if we can, so...

... hopefully in a month, we will be car-payment free!!!

And hopefully the repairs on the Ford won't be more than $500 because that's all the space I have left on Ye Olde Citibank Card. Fun times.

Making friends, grownup style.

You know, I never really learned how to make friends. There were no little kids in my neighborhood growing up, really. I went to school with the same group of kids from Grade K on. So, making friends is something really foreign to me, and I just don't know how to do it. It's like I am missing that part of my brain.

So, I'm making a big effort to join a local mom's group that seems very well-organized (a lot of these moms groups have 2 mall walks scheduled and then fizzle out), and an area toy lending center that is staffed by volunteer members. Maybe I can join some committees and really get to know people. Maybe I'll start going to church again and get involved there.

I need to get out and get social... and, once I myself learn, teach my kids how not to be social misfits like I am!

Happy Anniversary to US!!!

Five years ago, I was a nervous bride-to-be getting ready for her wedding: Getting my hair done, trying not to lose my temper with my future in-laws or my mother, furiously arranging centerpieces for the reception, fighting with the photographer... as my future husband was getting sauced in the lounge at the Holiday Inn.

Flash forward to today... I'm in a nursing tank and yoga pants, I have a tremedous zit on my chin and bite marks and hickeys from Badger all over my face, and my hair looks like Chim Chim cut it. Mr. Sweetie is sporting a Diego and Dora Band-Aid from where he cut himself trying to get our rabbit ears hooked up to our TV because we are old fogeys now and cancelled cable because we are fed up with Comcast's stupid assholery.

For our wedding present, my parents gave us a few place settings of china and a generous cash gift. For our 5 year anniversary, they got us a gift card to Wal*Mart, which we hope to use (at the same Wal*Mart located next to the salon where I got my hair done on my wedding day, and where we stopped to pick up black socks for my ring-bearer nephews to wear!) to get kitchen glasses to replace the fancy ones we got for our wedding gifts, that all broke within a year, and new bedding to replace the bedding that, come to think of it, I got on the day Mr. Sweetie was shopping elsewhere for my engagement ring!

Funny how life moves by so quickly, and how things come full circle if you wait long enough!

Healthy kids!

Chim and Badger both saw their pediatrician yesterday, and both kids look great.

Chim just needed a look-see at her elbow, which got dislocated. The pediatrician didn't seen any use in sending her to a specialist, and said that we just need to be more careful until her ligaments tighten up.

Badger had his 9 month checkup. He's 20 lb, and 29 inches -- average weight, above average height. All on track for physical and verbal development (crawling, cruising, babbling), and eating and drinking appropriately (he's moving onto finger foods in earnest now and really resents being spoonfed). His teeth are comng in a strange order but that's fine. I started nightweaning him last week and it's going very well -- it was clearly a good time for him. We checked his hemoglobin, which looked good (but on the low side of good, so we will be diligent about his vitamins).

All in all, an easy, successful visit with no tears! I still cannot believe I have 2 kids sometimes.

Doula plans

Mr. Sweetie wants me to take the next 3 months (until Badger is a year, at which point Mr. Sweetie remains under the unexplained, misconceived, and oft-corrected idea that I plan on weaning Badger) and really make a plan for being a doula. I don't know where to start! I feel very scared because he wants me to be more ambitious than I feel up to. I know it's a stupid thing to complain about, but he has a lot more confidence in me than is really warranted. It's intimidating and overwhelming.

Every idea I have, he adds on to it. I wanted to start selling painted wooden letters for nursery decoration -- he "helped" me by brainstorming about making lampshades, drawer-pulls, all sorts of accessories that I did not know how to make... so I got overwhelmed and discouraged and didn't go any further. When I wanted to do a bit of copyediting, he "helped" by trying to make it into a multi-pronged business that involved search engine optimization... now, I barely know what that IS, much less how to do it. So I got overwhelmed and discouraged and didn't go any further.

Now he'd like for me to make a business plan for my doula-ing, but to include child birth education, breastfeeding classes, belly casting, selling stuff online, blogging (hmmm!), and who knows what else. Seems overwhelming and discouraging. See a pattern?

Except I really want to do this. I want to succeed because I feel like this is what I ought to be doing. I'm afraid I'll work hard on this plan and he'll read it and tell me it's not feasible, and that'll be the end of it.