I have some complaints. Plus Mildred Pierce.

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We’ve been watching the 2011 Mildred Pierce HBO series. It’s wonderful, but I am really cheesed off at Amazon Instant Video and the terrible quality that I pay money for. I guess the $99 a year for Prime is technically for shipping, but I use Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library and lots of other services offered “free” with Prime at least as much as I use the “free” shipping (all the quotes are because I pay $99 a year for this “free” stuff) and I think I should be able to actually USE the services I pay for.

BUT NO. On Tuesday, we watched on the PS3 and the video paused to buffer or some shit literally every 30 seconds, making it totally unwatchable. When we’d been watching for over 30 minutes and had seen less than 15 minutes of the episode (it’s a 5-part mini-series), we turned it off. We tried again on Thursday night and it played just fine, but the picture was weird and blurry–the way it sometimes looks for the first few seconds, but forever. We switched to Amazon on the WiiU and the picture quality improved dramatically, but Will says it is often super terrible on his work computer, where he will often put something on while he does paperwork. So it’s not necessarily a Sony vs. Nintendo issue.

ANYWAY. The series is A++++++++++++++++ and has reminded me how much I hate history fiction’s greatest monster, Veda Pierce. Evan Rachel Wood plays her in the final episode of the series (which we haven’t seen yet), but younger Veda is played brilliantly by Morgan Turner.

I’m having a hard time this week with feeling like my feelings don’t matter to anyone else, so it’s kind of hard to watch Veda being her monstrous self. Last night Grace sneered at the macaroni and cheese because “It’s homemade” (VEDA) and today Sam told me he’d rather wear a sweatshirt than a sweater I knitted, because sweaters “have holes.”

PITY, PARTY OF ONE.

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At least Grace will wear things I knitted. Too bad Sam hates cheese.

In Which L.A. Winter Tries To Kill Me

I know, I know, Los Angeles doesn’t have weather! LOLOL!

Well, we do. And maybe I am a jerk for complaining when our days are near 70 but our nights are 30 degrees colder. The swing in temperature is not good for the system. I am waking up every morning with my nose running like a leaky faucet. Today I sneezed so many times, and so hard, that I almost fell over.

I spend about half of my days thinking I am getting sick. I’m out of commission enough that I might as well actually be sick.

…I forgot what else I was going to say because I had a five minute coughing fit.

PLEASE SEND COCOA.

Things That Woke Me Up Last Night

  1. Grace asking for water.
  2. Will putting Sam back in his bed after discovering him on top of the covers on the edge of our bed.
  3. The phone ringing, once, at 2:30am. (It is not on the caller ID, which kicks in during the second ring. OF COURSE.)
  4. Sam sneezing about a dozen times.

I JUST WANT ONE DECENT NIGHT’S SLEEP, PLEASE.

…Wait, I want more than one. I want to sleep ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT. I do not think that is unreasonable. I should have slept in the top bunk like I threatened to.

In Which I Treat My Body Like Shit

…and Pay the Price

I don’t eat dairy. Or wheat. Or much sugar.

Lately I’ve been eating too much sugar, but mostly maple sugar which I guess makes it okay? I don’t know. It tastes really good anyway.

This weekend I ate a ton of wheat and even more dairy. I had a milkshake, which I haven’t done in years. I had a quesadilla (the best damn quesadilla I’ve ever eaten while not in labor) and a grilled cheese sandwich (not at the same time).

I am now awake despite being ready for bed an hour ago, because my digestive system is PISSED OFF. I’ve got an irritable bowel and a sore throat from belching up acid.

And I am feeling very sorry for myself.

Sick Day

The children are sick. Not take-them-to-the-doctor sick, just a summer cold. (Isn’t it funny that we–or at least I–feel the need to specify that it’s a summer cold, as though summer colds were in any way distinguished from regular colds? BUT IT’S JULY! And it’s hot out, see? So a cold is funny!)

I should have known something was up when Grace was super-cranky for like three days straight, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that I figured it out. She’d finally gotten down off my lap, after a couple hours of climbing on me and yelling. I thought she’d gone downstairs, and after a few minutes I got up to check. That’s when I found her at the top of the stairs:

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Actually, this picture? Is from the second time I found her asleep at the top of the stairs. No joke, it happened twice. After the second time, I put her in bed. She slept until 9:00, played for an hour, and then asked to go back to bed.

Yesterday we pretty much watched TV all day. Grace took a nap in the afternoon and I fell asleep putting her in bed, which makes me think I might be coming down with something too.

Sam is not visibly sick unless you know him very well, which I am pretty sure I do. I gave him my Nintendo 3DS and he played Mario until the batteries ran out. I considered taking it away a couple of times because he was so intensely frustrated, but every time he figured it out, and who am I to take that sense of accomplishment away from him? He also turned bright red (dehydration, Will picked up Gatorade for him) and willingly drank children’s ibuprofen, which he has always found to be utterly revolting (it is). Last night he refused to go to bed unless he could sleep in the big bed with Mama and Daddy and Kiki (his nickname for Grace) and Sammy.

And so it was that I went to bed at 8:30 last night, on the bottom bunk. I got into my own bed at some point (not difficult) and then Grace nursed all. night. long. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a human buffet all night and OH BOY I AM SO TIRED NOW. I got up with her around 5:00 and her diaper was dry–yikes. I mean, sure, she is nearly potty trained, but she should not have been dry after drinking all night. And did I mention that I’m a little dried out? OMG.

If Will had more sick time accrued I would ask him to stay home so I could take a nap, but alas.

What is a weekend?

Last weekend was a little busy.

Friday we took Sam to speech therapy, then went to buy his bike. I spent the afternoon and evening doing birthday prep, and we also had the gaming crew over in the evening.

Saturday we rushed around picking up party supplies (day of stuff like bagels, fruit, and balloons), then had Sam’s party at a playground. We spent most of the remainder of the day recovering and playing video games.

Sunday I went to a baby shower.

Written out like this, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it felt like a really full weekend.

I have declared this coming weekend a do-nothing weekend, though of course we’ve already got a lunch date, dinner plans, and a visit to our favorite detective agency on the books. Still, it should be fairly low-key. Unlike the following weekend.

On Friday the kids and I have a babysitting/play date. Friday evening is game night. Saturday morning is a birthday party. Saturday night I’m going to the movies with Katherine (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN FUCK YEAH). Sunday morning is another birthday party. Sunday night is another shower.

It might kill me.

Haaaaaaaaaate

I feel bad following up that nice post about Brenda’s books with this one, but it has to be done.

Grace is at the stage where she is almost done napping, and so she doesn’t try to go to sleep until mid-afternoon and if I let her then she is up all night and I lose my mind.

When Sam stopped napping, it was awful because I lost my only time off during the day. Now I don’t have any time off during the day so I would much rather she not nap at all and then go to bed at 7:00 so I can have a little adult time in the evening.

Today is going VERY BADLY and can only conceivably be redeemed by an evening of wine and bad television, so of course Grace just fell asleep. I JUST WANT A NIGHT OFF.

Frustrated!

Monday and Tuesday nights, Will and I went to bed at 8:30. I’m not saying we fell asleep right away (wink, wink), but we caught up on some much-needed rest. Wednesday night (that’s last night, lest I confuse anyone) we stayed up late (like 10:30) watching Observe and Report.

Here is my review: hilarious, slightly mean-spirited, no fucking rape scene omg I am so horrendously offended that anyone thinks that was rape, did I mention hilarious?

So back to sleep. Apparently we are not allowed to fill our sleep deficit for more than 48 hours, because last night SUCKED. So unfair. Today I feel like absolute crap. Both children woke up at like 3:30 in the morning and took forever to get back to sleep. Poor Will has been up ever since–at least I got back to sleep, though my neck is at such an angle today that I’m not sure it did me any good.

OTHER COMPLAINTS:

  • My sister has encountered the legendary Southern California flakiness, just as she was thinking she might have a job.
  • I made Sam cry twice today and feel like a rotten parent.
  • I am all touched out and wish both children would leave me the hell alone, which makes me feel even worse.
  • DID I MENTION MY NECK?
  • Amazon has not yet delivered my copy of Freefall. UPS claim they attempted delivery yesterday, but they didn’t leave a slip. GOD I HATE UPS. If you ever have to send me anything, please use the post office. Our mail carrier is the best.

I am trying to make Grace’s Halloween costume. I changed my mind and instead of Supergirl she is going to be Robin to Sam’s Batman. It is so obvious that I had a real facepalm moment when I realized. So I’m using this tutorial to make the top and the pattern instructions made me feel like a real moron but I think I made it work. (I didn’t have a onesie handy that I could actually take apart, so I attempted to trace one just by manipulating it and that may have been dumb.) If I can find my black felt I will make the Robin symbol (I bought yellow and I even know where it is!) and then I can sew the top together. I’m making pants too, to stand in for tights, but I already know how to make pants.

THEN I have to finish Sam’s costume. My mom bought this cape for him (she got Grace one too, but I’m making her one for Robin). He needs a cowl (yikes) and black leggins (everyone sells black jeggings, so I’ll probably have to make these) and a new t-shirt (which I thought I could buy but it’s not looking good so I might have to make that too) and a UTILITY BELT which I am super excited to make but not really sure how I will manage. Oh, and I am going to make some Bat-arangs.

Halloween is NEXT month, right?

Oh, right.

Will made a wise observation this morning: I am not on vacation, after all. I am doing my normal job(s), in a different location, with added responsibilities and less backup.

HEY, THIS SUCKS.

I mean, I am actually having a very nice time. But.

Taking care of children is hard enough in their own space. In a strange space? A later bedtime is the best I can hope for, really. They know things are not normal and they react to that.

Plus I am still trying to work on my knitting designs, to do some actual knitting, and to catch up on sewing. Last year when it was just Sam and me (pregnant with Grace), I got SO MUCH done. I knew this time would be less productive, but I didn’t realize how very much less.

And I’m cooking in a strange kitchen, which requires a little extra creativity. (Let’s be honest: I am eating a lot of pancakes made from a mix. Which is so easy, but I’ve had an upset stomach all week because I can’t handle the dairy.)

Oh yeah, and I am writing. Or rather, I am not writing, but I need to at least write this week’s column. I’ve basically given up on writing anything for myself.

Also I am taking care of Cassie’s house and cats (though K is doing the lion’s share of the cat care, since she is sleeping in Cassie’s room).

So Will was pretty spot-on when he said I’m not on vacation. My job is harder than usual.

CRAPPIT.

So I still need a vacation. It can’t be very long (Grace needs milk) or very far (I have a $0 budget) but I need some time for myself. I’m not picky–it can be a working vacation or a lie-around-reading vacation. (I am sitting here laughing as I type because YEAH RIGHT.)

With those easy-peasy parameters, ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Once Upon A Time

Hey, remember when I called myself a writer? I don’t.

The other day I got an email out of the blue from an old friend who was briefly my editor when I wrote for Creature Corner. Last time we talked, Will and I were shopping DOGS OF WAR. And oh my, a lot has changed since then. Like how we stopped writing screenplays. And we don’t write together lately (we did put together a comic book pitch a few months ago, but it didn’t go anywhere). And Will is writing novels. And I don’t write at all unless you count my column or this blog.

Not writing feels like this huge part of my identity has just been rubbed out.

Compounding the problem is the feeling of utter aloneness I’ve had lately. Friends have asked me to do non-playdate things with them exactly twice all year. Tim took me to a concert for my birthday, and Morgan took me to dinner when she was in town after Comic Con. And frankly, I don’t get asked on many kid dates either–but when people do ask me to do things, it’s in my capacity as a mom.

Everyone urges mothers to not lose their identity. But no one ever mentioned that my identity might be taken away. I feel that I am only thought of as a parent by most of the people I interact with. Will pointed out that most of the people I know now didn’t know me before. Which is depressing as all hell because that means they didn’t know me when I was skinny. Yes, that is incredibly shallow of me. No, I am–sadly–not really joking.

(Incidentally, I immediately emailed a friend who is also a mother and asked her out for a no-kids cocktail. It was wonderful.)

So I got this email from Dave, who knew me when I was skinny and not a mother and still writing. And he asked what I’m up to. And I told him, and he was shocked. Mostly by the fact that I write knitting patterns. And I’m not in any way ashamed of that–I seriously love designing–but it’s such a wholly different identity than the one I had just four or five years ago, and I’m not sure how it happened.

I like what I’m doing now, but I don’t like not writing. I know this is just an extension of the whole not having enough time thing. You know, that thing.

But I need to find time.

How do I do that? Other than putting the kids in school/care, which I won’t do.