Sunday, September 30, 2007

At bedtime tonight

"So I got the fancy dress at the preschool PTA clothing sale yesterday, and Sybil loaned us her fairy wings - I figure we get Liza some sparkly shoes and a tiara and she's set for Halloween. Since she's going to wear this to preschool, I guess we'd better skip the wand and give her a bag of confetti "fairy dust" instead."

"Yeah, and we can tell everyone she's going as Rip Taylor."

(after I stop laughing hysterically)"You realize I'm totally going to use that line, right?"

"Yeah. I figure Rip googles himself a couple times a day - he'll get a kick out of it."

Cleveland crafts I will be buying soon

Must ... not ... melt ... credit card ...

Wait - you mean I'm not the only crafter in Cleveland?

While I was at the beach I got an email from a Cleveland friend who found that the etsy Cleveland Street Team was sponsoring a forum on how to sell successfully at craft shows - did I want to attend? I was like, Heck, yeah! and Wait, Cleveland has a street team? Where do I sign up?

Turns out I sign up here. Which I did the day after I started to restock the shop, and the ladies I've corresponded with so far couldn't be nicer. It's a diverse group, with folks from all over the Cleveland area, doing all kinds of crafts, and it's exciting to learn about what everyone is up to. I look forward to picking their brains, exploiting their contacts, and buying their stuff in the coming months :)

I was lucky enough to sign up in time to make it to today's destash party, where we all brought extra craft supplies we didn't think we'd need ourselves and offered them to the group for ridiculously low prices. So basically we all unloaded our junk onto the other Cleveland crafters, who may or may not ever get around to using it, but we had a lot of fun doing it!

They're all probably going to end up reading this, so I won't gush about the group too much. Let's just say that it's the first time in a long time that I've been in a room of women who all understood the need for stash, the urge to create, and the idea of selling what I make. Plus, they're really freakin' funny. And I wasn't the only one standing in the kitchen at a party, knitting. And somebody made really good brownies ... and what's up with Ramona bringing half a pig with her? All I brought was a lousy chrysanthemum for the hostess.

Anyway, if any of the non-etsy folks reading this are in the market for nifty stuff, stop by etsy and search for "Cleveland" in the tags ... we're all using it to make our stuff easier to find. We've got talent, and we're not afraid to share it with the rest of the country!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crafty goodness

Does anyone remember that I finished one adult sock at Origins? I finished the other one before I left on vacation, I just never got around to posting a picture. So now I'm getting around to it.
No, you aren't imagining things - they aren't the same color. I got the yarn on clearance, and they only had single balls of any color, so I figured I'd just go for the "mismatched house sock" look. Good thing, too, since the cuffs are different styles of rib and different lengths, so even if they were the same color they wouldn't match particularly well, anyway. Now I can just say that I planned it this way!
Oh, and on vacation I finished another set of socks for Little Miss I Must Wear Slippers Or Slipper Socks To Bed, using leftovers from my mother's sweater. These are the softest, most cushy socks I've ever seen. Of course, they're so cushy that she can't actually fit any of her shoes over them, but as far as slippers go, they rock. Not that I have a photo of them ... just imagine these in a powdery blue, since it's the same pattern.


TMI Alert - If you're just here for the cute kid pictures, you might as well skip this post.

Are the new readers gone yet?

Over the last six months or so, I've noticed (and repeatedly confirmed) that my body just isn't as happy with my birth control pills as it was before I had the kid. I'll spare you the worst of the details ... suffice it to say that I have been experiencing pretty much every potential side effect that's stereotypically associated with the Pill, including mood swings that made me decide that everyone else on the planet is so insufferably stupid that it's really not even worth it to try to hold a conversation with them, since they're going to be so dense and just piss me off anyway. This usually followed the Productive Days, when sleep is not an option and I get ridiculous amounts of stuff done. And these Why Are You So Fucking Stupid Days usually overlapped the Debilitating Headache days, which I suspect are stress headaches brought on by lack of sleep and poor posture while typing, knitting, and sewing. And all this normally culminated in the Maudlin Days, when I was prone to crying at Hallmark commercials and got all weepy if separated from my daughter for more than about 15 minutes. Yeah, that's normal for me - not.

Since so many of the problems are so obviously tied to my cycle, I figured that it would make sense to try another version of the Pill before trying to treat any of the symptoms ... why go on meds for the "don't mention food or I'll puke" headaches if I can fix all of the problems at once? So I made an appointment with my doctor to talk about it, and I started checking to see if any of the other pills were supposed to cause less severe side effects.

The more I checked around, the more it looked like my symptoms could be classified as PMDD, which is basically PMS's belligerent older sister. And yes, there are treatments for it, including different versions of the Pill, and various antidepressants (a list which does not include my current happy pill, Wellbutrin).

Armed with my idea about what needed to be done, I headed for the doctor's office. Of course, the only appointment they had was on Maudlin Day, not the best time to be talking about my mental health, since probing questions on that subject tend to turn me into a blubbering mess on even happier days.

My doctor's first suggestion was to switch me to Seasonale, a Pill that encourages your body to menstruate once every four months, rather than each month. When asked if it would help with the mood swings the way another (Internet suggested) Pill was supposed to, he said, "Maybe not, but at least you'll only feel like killing your husband four times a year instead of 12." Um, no. The WAYSFS Days are significantly before menstruation, doc, so that's probably not going to help.

His next suggestion was that I should take an antidepressant, either in addition to or in place of the Wellbutrin. But I'm pretty happy with how the Wellbutrin works for me, and I hated the side effects from the Zoloft (one of the recommended ones for PMDD). "It doesn't sound like it's working so good, if you're having these sorts of mood swings." Yeah, well, it works 25 days out of the month, and it sucks for three. So I'm supposed to switch because of the three? Not if I don't have to. And he also suggested that I see a counselor ... the prescription sheet says it's for "adjustment disorder," if I read it right.

We finally agreed that I'd try the Pill that is recommended for PMDD, try to schedule an appointment with the counselor, and we'd check on my progress in six weeks. Oh, and the headaches? Probably stress, but it could be a rare side effect from the pills that sounded like something-something-pseudo-tumor-something, so let's get you a CT scan to make sure. Great.

So I take the pills, call to make sure the counselor is covered under my health plan (but I don't make an appointment, because I'm stubborn and think it's stupid), get the CT scan, and go back to the doctor. The thing is, when you change birth control pills, it takes several months for your body to adjust, so the first few cycles are usually wacky and not an indicator of how it's going to work longterm. So going back to the doctor after six weeks was pretty pointless - I couldn't tell if the pills were helping or not, and the lab had forgotton to send my CT results to my doctor, so I didn't even find out if I had an alien living in my skull. I hadn't seen the counselor (Why should I talk to her if it's only a couple days a month and it's all hormonal and we can fix it otherwise? "Sounds like you're letting your depression prevent you from getting treatment." Dude, I don't want to say it's depression, I want to say it's hormones. Can we move on?) We agreed that I would come back in three months, in the meantime giving the new Pills a chance to even out, and maybe giving them up altogether if I still wasn't feeling well. If I'm not feeling on a more even keel by the next appointment, we'll start monkeying with my antidepressants.

So by now I've finished two full cycles on good old Yaz, which has to be the dumbest name for a medication in the history of the world. Anyway, my body is not digging this stuff. If anything, everything is worse now than it was before, with the side effects as bad or worse (or more prolonged), plus now they're not as predictable as they were on the old stuff. Oh, and an additional annoyance - Yaz supposedly cuts most women's periods down to about four days. Mine's clocking in at a week and a half (and still going strong). Meanwhile, the WAYSFS Days and the Maudlin Days are still around, the Productive Days are all off schedule, the crushing headaches are occurring randomly during the second half of my cycle, and things are generally going to hell in a handbasket.

I'm ditching Yaz and going au naturale for a couple months to see how that goes. That will bring it's own set of lovely problems (example: cycles that alternate between three weeks and eight weeks long - so I have no idea when Aunt Flo is coming to visit, as one of my high school friends so eloquently put it). And I'm going to call the counselor on Monday to set up an appointment, since the WAYSFS Days have segued into overall bitchiness in response to Jason's repeated questions of "Are you okay?" and "How was your day?" and "What's for dinner?" and "Are you sure you're okay?" And I may call my doctor to see if I can talk to him about the antidepressant issue before December, which is when I'm currently supposed to go back.

I hate this.

I hate that my body is reacting so differently to something now, compared to before I had the kid. I hate that a large portion of this is probably stress-related, which means I could make it better if only I handled stress better. I hate that my Wellbutrin doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. I hate that I'm perpetually grumpy and pissed at Jason and not enjoying things I used to and not looking forward to things I used to (um, yeah, like those aren't classic signs of depression). I hate that I've been avoiding trying to plan things that are supposed to be fun, because it's too much effort and I probably won't enjoy it anyway or I'll just end up sniping at Jason the whole time. I hate that the class of antidepressants I'm going to have to try are the ones that you have to ramp up and ramp down, rather than just stopping and starting, so it can take months to get up to the right dosage and months to stop so you can try another drug if it's not working. I hate that the last time I took it, Zoloft made me feel like an android -not depressed but not happy either, and with a huge case of the daytime yawns and insomnia to boot. I hate that trying to schedule counseling sessions is going to involve coordinating me, the counselor, Jason's travel and work schedule, and/or a babysitter, because I'm certainly not going to take Little Miss Understands Everything She Hears in there with me. I hate that all of this is hitting just as I'm trying to get the etsy shop running and coordinate a kitchen remodeling project and start planning for the holidays and refinish a cabinet and sell off old furniture on craig's list and fix the window wells in the basement and put in a new flowerbed in the backyard and rearrange furniture in our house and ... well, you get the picture.

I hate that I'm sick, and will probably always be sick. It's like I've got asthma or heart disease, something that has to be monitored and treated forever, only my disease is only marginally socially acceptable to talk about. Okay, maybe it's more like herpes - nobody wants to talk about it, I'd rather people didn't really know about it, and it can be managed but not cured. Yep, I've got brain herpes.

I know this is not unusual among depressed people, to have the very fact that they're ill feed into the depression. But that doesn't make it easier for me to short-circuit the guilt relay in my brain, the part that thinks I should be able to handle this on my own, or maybe with Wellbutrin's help, but why should I have to ask for more help than that when everyone else gets along just fine without chemical intervention. Yes, I know that everyone else doesn't really get along just fine without chemical intervention - some of them self-medicate with drugs or alcohol or self-destructive behavior, some of them are medicated but in the closet about it, and some of them are miserable but don't show it enough that I've noticed. But again, not really helpful.

I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to write it down so I can quit planning out what I'm going to say. I guess that, like the kitchen remodel, this is going to be a semi-regular topic, because neither of them is going to be completed anytime soon ... so consider yourself forewarned.

On the positive side: I'm usually a lot funnier when I'm pissed and/or depressed, so it should be a little more lively around here when I drag myself away from the sewing machine long enough to post something.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I finally got the CT scan back and I don't have an alien living in my head. Shucks, and here I was looking forward to having a tumor to blame all of this on.

Show me some love

Okay, I've finally got the etsy store back up and running. Which means that, should you want to throw a little cash my way (and get cool stuff in return), you've now got a way to do it.

I'm gradually adding the stuff I made during the sweatshop-a-thon I had when my mother visited last time, and hopefully I'll be finishing some additional merchandise over the next few weeks. I'm planning on participating in a local craft show the first week of December, so I'm doubly motivated to sew, sew, sew! So use the widget on the sidebar to check out the stock - you never know when you're going to see something you simply have to have!

And here's a secret bonus for my Mind Flush regulars - if you place an order and contact me through etsy to tell me that you learned about the store from this blog, I'll give you Priority shipping for the price of First Class. I know, it's not much, but my profit margin is razor-thin to begin with, and it's better than nothing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Her newest hobby

Don't ask me, I have no idea why she's fixated on this right now. All I know is that one of the characters in a new book we've got juggles, but it's one reference on one page. How she gets from that to "JUGGLE JUGGLE JUGGLE" for the last three days, I have no idea.

And yes, I've got mad juggling skillz. It may have taken a dozen years and a book called "Juggling for the Complete Klutz," but I can handle three balls (insert crude joke here).

Some craft ideas are better left untried

Sure, it sounded like a good idea at the time. Give the kid a handful of toothpicks and a styrofoam craft ball and let her go to it. Hey, the toothpicks don't really stay in too well, so she gets to keep putting the same ones in over and over - brilliant way to keep her occupied for 45 minutes! And true, she is so inordinately fond of the porcupine she made that she has a raging fit if she forgets where she left it.

But ...

... the toothpicks won't stay in, which means that my entire house is littered with potential emergency room visits. And she keeps trying to make it climb up my back. And she has a screaming fit if she forgets where she left it, or, for example, if I insist that she NOT sleep with it in her bed. And she wants to carry it everywhere, despite the fact that she regularly runs into things and falls down for no discernible reason other than exhaustion.

But it seemed like such a good idea at the time ...

All it took was a two-week absence

Remember when I had to bribe Zach with kitty treats to get him to come into the same room as Liza? And she wanted nothing more than to gnaw off his ears?

Apparently, all it took to get them to befriend one another was two weeks apart. Liza spent the last week at my mother's house, trying desperately to get their cats to acknowledge her presence (they didn't). And Zach is so needy that he would accept attention from giant soul-sucking leeches, if only they had fingers to scratch his head.

And so this week the two of them are locked in some sort of co-dependent relationship, and I keep stumbling upon scenes like this ...

Liza, chillin' with her homey watching the (Sesame) Street. Yo, word to ya mutha!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rainbow video

Okay, the guy's English is fairly bad, but I defy you to watch this video and NOT smile. Just try - it's not going to work, especially at about 2/3rds of the way along the timeline.


After she spent Sunday morning making Play-Doh cupcakes, I offered to help her make real cupcakes after her nap. "Pink!" was her only description of what kind she wanted to make, so we entered the world of naturally and artificially flavored strawberry box cake mix (Mimi, promise you won't tell any of the other Cooks Talk folks, okay?).

"Not yet, Liza. First we have to bake the cupcakes."
"Not yet, Liza, first we have to frost the cupcakes."


"Yes, now you can sprinkle. Only maybe not all of it on one cupcake, okay?"

Oh, and Mom, check out a little less than halfway along the timeline - you'll need to turn your speakers up to hear her channeling cousin Karen ...


Oh, they're beauties, all right. Nothing like fake strawberry cupcakes topped by "white" flavor frosting and sprinkles that are mainly made of corn starch ... if you don't hear from me for a while, it'll be because I'm recovering from a cupcake-induced diabetic coma.

Check out the beach photos

See the little widget in the left-hand column that used to have river photos, but now has beach photos? Click there to see all the photos I don't have time to post here.

In the meantime, here's a few to keep you happy until you have time to stop by the flickr set ...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Evil parenting trick #432

Want Grandpa to take the little stinker down to the park so you can actually take a shower without having to pick cat litter out of your daughter's hair afterward? Grandpa a little reluctant to be saddled with the responsibility? Get the two-year-old to ask nicely.

Liza: "mumble mumble please Grandpa walk mumble okay?"
Grandpa: "What was that, Shorty?"
Liza: "mumble please Grandpa take Liza for walk? Okay? Go to park? Jump rocks?"
Mom: "Oh, sweetie, I don't know if Grandpa wants to take you for a walk. Of course, he did just bring my old wagon back from the other house ...."
Liza: "Wagon! Walk wagon! Waaaaaaaaaggooooooooonnnnn!"

The guy is powerless to resist .... bwahahahahah!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


There's hope I may get to wear turtlenecks soon, after all.

Proof that it's dangerous ...

... to leave me alone with your computer for two hours when you've got funny photos saved in an obvious folder. Tsk, tsk.

Sorry, Mom, but it's a thumbnail on one of the first folders that shows up if I open "My Pictures." That's not even paying lip service to burying the embarrassing photos.

Long overdue photo

From the Oktoberfest we went to over Labor Day weekend, where Liza spent about 45 minutes on the inflatable bouncer before the lady with the timer finally remembered to kick her out. She was wearing underwear the whole time, hadn't pooped yet that afternoon, and she refused to pee every time we offered to take her. Jason and I spent the whole 45 minutes imagining what a pain it was going to be to clean bodily waste out of the little ball pit. Fun times! Shame we never got to put any of our plans into action ... maybe next time.

Date night

While we were in Cape May on vacation last week we managed to con Liza's grandparents into babysitting while Jason and I went on a Date. That's Date, not date, because I made him wear shoes that required socks.

We went out for dinner at Aleathea's (which we thoroughly enjoyed, and heartily recommend if you're in the area), then honed our skee-ball skills while winning a handful of tickets that we forgot to turn in before we left town. With time to kill before Liza was in bed and it was safe to return to the beach house, we headed over for some long-overdue mini golf.

Note the extreme care with which Jason is lining up this shot ... see, he's not even holding his Blackberry in one hand when he aims.

Apparently while I was admiring Jason's form, he was admiring mine ...

I don't know where those came from, but I'd like to order a pair to keep around for future use ... and yes, high heels and vodka do help my golf game, since I only lost by one point this time, and usually he skunks me and I have to sulk for like, oh, two years afterward. And I might not have lost at all if the mosquitos hadn't decended on the course en masse when the wind died ... stupid buggy beachfront golf courses.
More photos next week, after Liza and I complete Stage II of our vacation, otherwise known as "stay with Grandma and Grandpa so I have a babysitter while I hawk Lazy Mama patterns to every quilt store within 100 miles of their house." Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just checking in

Oh, how I hate sweating. Even when it's at the beach, sweat is nasty. Mosquitos, also nasty. My daughter frolicking in the swells and enjoying the large holes her father digs for her to stand in, too sweet for words.

I'm on an expensive internet cafe computer, so I can't write much now. More this weekend, hopefully. Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Dude, don't blame me for the goth toddler look.

Okay, so I bought the color-changing blue/green/purple nail polish five years ago ... and I did offer it as one of the choices when she actually performed on the potty ... but how was I supposed to know she'd pick that over the hot pink she had on her toes? The good news is that it chips like crazy, so it's all coming off before bath tonight. So if you hear screaming from Ohio around 8pm, you'll know what it is ...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Oh, whatever

We won't discuss the number of accidents. Let's just say it was a lot, and most of them occurred when she was stuck in a car seat or exhausted from missing her nap, so I'll cut her some slack. This time.

Taking Liza to a baseball game was interesting, not least because for once I wasn't the person in our row who was least interested in the actual game. Liza had been to a game before (Jason took her to "Slider Potato Head Doll" day to get the toy, and they lasted for 2 1/2 innings before she lost it and they left), so when we told her we were taking Aunt Susan and Jeff to a game, she said rapturously, "Ohhhhhhh - POPCORN! And PRETZELS! And PEANUTS!" She's a girl after my own heart.

Liza enjoyed the Popcorn! and Peanuts!, eating about half of a giant bag of popcorn before I cut her off, and sucking about 1/5 of a container of nacho cheese off of the same nacho chip over and over again. She was in favor of the fireworks canon, which unfortunately we only got to see after the national anthem because the Indians sucked so bad today. She thinks the mascot Slider is going to try to molest her or something, going board-stiff and watching him out of the corner of her eye anytime he's within five sections of her seat. She enjoyed the singing, even the part in the seventh inning when it was blazing hot and we were running low on water and she really wanted to go home, or, as she put it, "Let's go to Liza's HOUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSEEEEE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!"

In fact, she liked "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" so much that she requested it as her lullaby tonight, and after I sang it twice she pitched in on the third round, managing to pull off at least half of the words well enough that a stranger could probably tell what she was singing. So what if it's "Take Me Out mumble mumble Hall Game" when she sings it?

The best part of the whole day was the fact that the air show was running today at the same time as the game, in a location that was perfectly situated for the jets to bomb overhead a couple times every hour, doing ridiculous maneuvers and breaking the sound barrier and stuff. When the F-16s fly so low you can see the paint job on them, it's a good sign you've got a good seat for the show. Liza was enthralled, even when they flew super low right over the stadium and pretty much half of the crowd had to change their underwear afterwards, they were that loud. She really liked when they flew in formation and used the smoke thingees so you could see their trails in the sky ... she calls them "rainbows." Between the rainbows and "castles" (skyscrapers), it was a pretty magical scene.

And since the Indians lost 8-0, I can get my oil changed at Mr. Tire this week for only $8, which I needed to do anyway. Hooray for attending a game that was so boring that even the gung-ho Indians sports radio talk show announcer described the Blue Angels performance as the best part of the game!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

potty update

One poop accident, one pee accident, both first thing in the morning (and while Jason was in charge, but he hasn't had much practice with the whole potty training thing, so I'll cut him some slack).

She's been clean and dry since about 10 this morning, including naptime, lunch, dinner, and a trip to the Berea Oktoberfest where she spent hours on the inflatable toddler play area. I had horrible, poo-filled visions of what was going to happen in the ball pit, but she did us proud.

I think she's saving it up for when we go to the Indians game tomorrow ... that should be fun.