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    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Ms. Mama Signing Out...

    I have been debating for the last few months if I should keep going with this blogging stuff. Finally last night I made my decision, I am retiring this blog, placing it on the shelf with all those other blogs not so long ago shut down.

    I am too overly critical of myself to actually enjoy writing a quality post (with the constant checking to see if anyone at all replied), and am a bit too private to truly share my life with the internet. Just the thought of this blog and my lack of posts fills me with dread and this is not why I started to blog at all. I have met some incredible people blogging, and I am very happy I did venture into the blogsphere. I do plan to continue visiting your blogs and to comment as always, I just can not keep posting my life and opinions to what often feels like a big huge abyss.

    So this is me, signing out. Thank you for all your wonderful comments and support over the last months, I will miss that...

    posted by Laura @ 8:17 AM   23 comments

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    She just keeps growing up

    What happened to that helpless baby I brought home from the hospital less than 10 months ago? She has changed seemingly overnight into an amazing little person. Sometimes, when she can't sit still for a moment even to get her diaper changed, I long for that little baby who would lay for hours on end sleeping on my chest. But then she exclaims "at!" as she chases the cat across room or babbles "mamamamamama" when done with her nap and my heart seems to explode with love for this incredible little girl. She never ceases to amaze me.

    posted by Laura @ 7:50 PM   4 comments

    Please Stop...

    Dearest Internet,

    I kindly ask you to stop making me cry. I am having enough problems breathing through my nose as it is without you sending me into tears and further stuffiness and nose blowing.

    Dearest Fates,

    I ask you to please look over all my internet friends and keep them healthy and happy. They do not deserve all this sadness and tragedy.


    Ms. Mama

    Stacie, I hope that Faith's health rapidly improves and she proves the doctors all wrong. You deserve a happy healthy baby girl, hang in there. My thoughts are with you.

    Amanda, I am at a loss for words. I hope one day you are at peace with Eric's passing and you can remember all the good times you two shared. Your time together was too short, yet your message changed our lives and our picture of people living with cancer.

    Eric W. Shaffer, 7/21/81-3/17/06 - May you rest in peace.

    Don't let Eric's message fade away, tell your senators and congressmen to say NO to the Bush administration's proposed cuts to cancer research funding.

    posted by Laura @ 9:55 AM   0 comments

    Monday, March 20, 2006


    Why didn't anyone warn me that having a child would mean that I would spend the entire winter struck down by one illness or another? Mr. P and I woke up yesterday, our heads filled with snot, our throats raw and our joints aching. Pumpkin seems to be a tad bit better, her nose at least has turned down the faucet of boogers, but I just want to crawl back into my warm bed with a bowl of chicken soup... I can't imagine how sick we would all be if Pumpkin went to daycare! She is around other kids once or twice a week for a few hours at playgroups, and I am sure she brought this cold home from the group we attended last Tuesday. If she went to daycare I am sure she would be bringing home something much worse - ebola, bird flu or such!

    Now the question is, do I skip playgroup tomorrow (assuming I am a bit less icky) since we still have a bit of the cold? What is proper playgroup etiquette - colds can last for weeks - do I isolate us for the entire time to avoid doing this to some other poor family?

    posted by Laura @ 8:13 AM   7 comments

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    A bit quiet

    I know I have been a bit quiet lately. There actually is a lot going on right now, and I would love to write about it all, but there seems to be a sort of traffic jam in my head since every time I sit down to write a post nothing comes out.

    Many of you were surprised that we had not yet informed Mr. P's parents of the move. Since this is his family I left all timing up to Mr. P, and he wanted to wait until there was no doubt in our heads of the move. I fully understood and supported this. Mr. P is very close with his family and he knew how hard this news would be taken, there was no reason to be premature. However since we have moved onto hiring a realtor he needed to tell them ASAP. So Wednesday evening after work he went to his folks for dinner and told them of our plans. Needless to say there were many tears and afterwards much silence. They not only were upset that we were leaving, but also saw our plans as foolishly risky. They could not understand how we could give up everything we have - a house, a good job, and enough security which allows me to stay at home - to move to somewhere where we have no home or form of work waiting for us (as of now). We know it will all work out, and we know we need to take the risk, but it is not easy to explain to anyone, especially those who are hurt most by the news. Mr. P came home that night feeling terrible. He felt like an awful person - an ass hole in his own words. He is feeling a bit better now. I just hope they are comming to terms with the news.

    Yesterday we met with three realtors, and after weighing them against each other we decided on the one we would hire. It seems the market is not as good as we had thought and we will not be asking as much as we had hoped, but the news was not bad either. He seemed to think we should be able to sell relatively quick, and that the expectation of leaving in September is not crazy early. The realtor is putting together our contract and after we sign he will take photos for the brochures, internet sites and advertisements. I expect the house to be on the market before April 1st. Keep your fingers crossed we get lots of good offers very quick!

    I have to go now though, Pumpkin has a icky cold and I have to go fight her to wipe the crusty boogers from her face. I promise to post sooner rather than later!

    posted by Laura @ 4:06 PM   2 comments

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Photo Shoot - 9 1/2 months

    I figured I owed you guys some new photos of Pumpkin, so here they are, a selection from our "photo shoot" last week. I am quite happy with my latest shots - my gal does not look like a baby anymore... They do grow up way to fast!

    posted by Laura @ 8:32 PM   7 comments

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Move Progress Report

    Although we have been traveling and then sick - there has been much progress made towards our move back to the US. While Pumpkin and I were enjoying the sunny weather back in California, Mr. P was keeping himself plenty busy by crossing things off the to-do list I left him. In the evenings and weekends he was able to not only cross off all the home repair things I had listed for him to do, but also made headway into some jobs I figured we would tackle together upon my return. Now that the last few jobs are being completed (I never want to see a can of paint again in my life!) the house is ready to be placed on the market.

    This coming Thursday we have three realtors stopping by to look at the house and present to us what they will do to sell our home and for what cost. We figure that by Friday we will have chosen a realtor and the house will be placed on the market. If we get an offer and the sale contract is signed before June 1st, we could be moving as soon as August 1st. I am excited and terrified at the same time!

    Aside from the house sale we also have been dealing with Mr. P’s Immigrant Visa (commonly called a green card although it is actually white). After I filed the petition in January we received a folder full of paperwork in the post and we have been working our way through the stack. Everything is now filled out; we are just waiting on a police report from the UK stating that Mr. P is not wanted for any crime from his year long residence in Bristol. Once we receive that we will send in the “ready” form and Mr. P will be given a referral to a doctor for various medical checks (he already got all his shots updated as required by the US for the visa) as well as the appointment for his final interview at the American Consulate. The final interview seems to be a mere formality, and as long as we have all the paperwork he should walk out of the consulate with the green light and a 6 month time period to enter the US. He will not actually have the visa however until we arrive in the US.

    Of course there are many small issues we need to tackle that are linked with the move and they will actually be the hard part. But it is nice to see progress and be checking things off our list. Before we know it we will be packing to leave!

    Next step, telling Mr. P’s parents - I will be sure to let you know how that goes!

    posted by Laura @ 10:11 AM   5 comments

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006


    This photo is proof of just how sick we have been in the Ms. Mama household. First Pumpkin was sick, then a day later I started puking too.

    Finally Pumpkin - who spent days upon days wanting to do nothing but lay on my chest (like in the photo) while I wanted to do nothing more than curl up in a ball and die - is back to her old self. After days of not eating more than a few spoonfuls of soup and a few bites of toast, I too am finally all better and also a few pounds lighter (yipee!).

    Then yesterday, just as Mr. P was happily bragging that he survived the puke fest, he decided he would not skip the party after all. Perhaps next week we will be all back to normal?

    posted by Laura @ 8:40 PM   3 comments

    Hippo Diet

    I am joining in on The Queen of Spain's Hippo Diet. As I discussed a few posts back, while I have managed to loose my pregnancy pounds, I somehow have a fat pocket sitting in that area under my belly button. My goal is to loose an inch off this area. I do not pretend to think I can do this in just one month (hell if it was this easy it would be gone already right?), but to be rid of it before Pumpkin turns 1 in May.

    The queen requests that I post a photo of myself, but not having a recent shot I prefer to post what I want to look like again. This is a shot of me the day I got my positive pregnancy test, when at 4 weeks Pumpkin was simply a bunch of dividing cells. This is the belly (or lack there of) that I want back.

    Since Pumpkin passed her stomach bug onto me I am already off to a good start. Three days of no eating means I am already 3 lbs lighter!

    posted by Laura @ 7:57 AM   3 comments

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    Mommy Wars?

    A few weeks back, while visiting my family in the states, I flipped on the television and randomly tuned to Good Morning America. I tuned in just in time to catch a segment called “Mommy Wars” with my oh so favorite woman of the moment – Linda Hirshman.

    My first reaction was “what the hell, am I at war with other mommies?” I never felt that I was at war, and I am sure most moms agree with me. Or are there mommies slugging each other in the baby food isle at the supermarket, throwing dirty diapers at each other in the playgrounds? As I watched on, and listened to Ms. Hirshman blame women who stay at home for “destroying feminism” I just got more and more angry. Who was this woman to tell mothers what they should be doing? Isn’t telling a mom that she should stick her kid in daycare and go work 40 hours plus per week to break through that glass ceiling on behalf of all womankind just the same as telling a woman that she belongs at home barefoot and pregnant, scrubbing the toilets and waiting with dinner ready for her husband to come home?

    I have always considered myself a feminist, but according to Linda Hirshman I am actually destroying the cause because I, a university educated woman (whom she calls elite to my utter enjoyment), has chosen to stay at home with my daughter instead of going to work outside the home. Wow, amazing that what I thought was the very IDEA of feminism – choice – has made me the cause’s enemy. To me feminism is about putting women on equal footing with men - in the office and at home. Feminism fought for my right to earn a degree, and to go to work. It fought for my right to make reproductive choices (and vote for politicians who support those choices) so I could decide when I wanted to become a mother. Feminism fought - and is still fighting hard for - access to affordable daycare so women can go to work after they have children. Didn’t feminism also fight for my right to choose my life path? To be able to choose to stay home if that was my desire?

    I could go to work right now if I wanted to; no one is keeping me at home except me. While Mr. P is exceedingly happy that one of us can stay at home to care for our daughter (as am I), he would fully support me if I had decided to go back to work, either part or full time. He is not forcing me into any “less flourishing sphere” against my will, and I am not “unjustly” assigning it to myself. I love being able to devote myself to my daughter, to help her grow into a strong confident young woman. I am glad that I have that option; many women do not. Many women are single moms who have to go to work or lose the roof over their heads, even if they are barely making ends meet working two jobs and barely seeing their children. Many families can’t afford to survive on a single income and both parents have to go to work, while perhaps one would love to stay at home. Shouldn’t Linda, if she really is so concerned about a mother’s status, fight to make sure women who want to go to work can afford to do so, with daycare options and flexible hours – and shouldn’t she likewise fight so that women (and men too of course!) who wish to stay home also have the option to do so?

    What angers me the most though about Ms. Hirshman, is that she pretends to know what makes me happy and what does not. She states that I must be bored mentally at home, that I can not be possibly happy unless working my way up the corporate ladder, furthering my career. Perhaps that is what makes her happy, but it is not for me, and it never really was. I gave up a “great” career in advertising long before Pumpkin was even thought of because I could not stand the cut throat nature of the business and the god awful office politics. I did not see myself fighting my way to the top, it just was not me. In fact I never had a job I loved until now. I love seeing my daughter grow up, being able to teach her things and show her the world. I love that every day she can count on her mama being there. Perhaps as Pumpkin gets older I will decide to work from home or part time while she is in school, but my first job is and always will be Mom. Am I the anti-feminist because of this? Am I a shame to all “elite – college educated” women? I don’t think so. In fact I think I am exercising my feminist right to choose my life and my career. If you disagree please feel free to toss a dirty diaper at me the next time you see me by the sandbox.

    posted by Laura @ 9:25 PM   4 comments

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Puke, puke and more puke

    I had a big post planned for today about Linda Hirshman and my take on her declaration about SAHM's. But last night Pumpkin started vomiting and everything else stopped.

    We knew something was up, she had sick breath the last few days - you know that smell that gives away something is coming. When I smell that breath on Mr. P I start forcing echinecia down his throat, and he likewise warns me when I get sick breath so I can dose myself up. But since she can not pop pills yet we were left only waiting with Pumpkin, hoping it would just be a cold. Then last night we were sitting on the couch reading when we heard a strange cough followed by a cry over the baby monitor. I knew immediately that she had puked. We both ran upstairs to find a baby covered in her own vomit. I took pumpkin and cleaned her up while Mr. P changed her sheets. We then put her back in bed and waited. About 11:00 I woke up to Mr. P jumping out of bed, she had puked again. This time was less, and baby wipes took care of the cleanup. Then nothing all night. I was hopeful this morning when I got her out of bed, till she started to dry heave. Then I knew it would be no calm day.

    I skipped cereal this morning and gave pumpkin a bottle, just hoping to keep her hydrated. She drank half and then laid down on my chest. After about 15 minutes I put her down so I could pee, and just as I unbuttoned my pants I heard the unmistakable sound of vomit. I ran out of the bathroom, pants hanging off my hips, to find her sitting in a puddle of puke. My poor baby had puke running out her nose. She just looked at me and whimpered. My poor baby...

    A bit later I decided to try again and gave her the rest of her bottle. She drank it greedily and laid back down on my chest. Less than 5 minutes later the milk came back up. All over her, all over me, all over the couch. Amazing how I normally start heaving at even the sound of puke, but I sat there covered in her vomit only calmly stroking her back and telling her it was OK. Only after comforting her and changing her and cleaning the couch did I notice the vomit dripping off my body. Only then did I decide it was best to just change back into my PJs - it is definitely going to be one of those days...

    posted by Laura @ 9:45 AM   8 comments