Her Bad Mother

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bloggrrls Gone Boobie

You know that you've reached a special place in your life as a quote-unquote mommy-blogger when: a) you really want to write about your breasts, and not in the context of breastfeeding, and b) you cannot write about your breasts because other people have already written about them and the topic of your breasts is already so freaking yesterday.

Which, whatever. It's not really about your boobs any more.

(I cannot believe that I just said that without immediately following up with a Gratuitous WonderBaby Photo.)

(OMG WonderBaby. I cannot even go there.)

So, yeah, the boobies. Or rather, everybody else's boobies. My boobies started a meme. A tittie meme.

You can read about it here. I'm now officially sick of my boobs now and it has nothing to do with breastfeeding.


Okay, lie.

It has a little bit to do with breastfeeding. I've been weaning WonderBaby for a couple of weeks and I figured that I was homefree heading off to BlogHer for four days. All boobies no baby? No problemo. I didn't give it a second thought.

Which sucks, because that second thought might have reminded me to pack a breast pump.

You know what happens when you are lactating and you don't have a baby or a breast pump on hand?

Udderly engorged! With pasties!

(These are not my boobies, people. Please.)

It sucks. Hard. (No pun intended.) It hurts.

And it totally detracts from the in-yo-face rockstar glamour of being a mommy-blogger at a blogger conference.


And there is glamour, y'all. Dirty glamour. And it goes waaay beyond the nippie pasties...

Bloggrrrls Gone Wild. You knew that it would be like this, right?


We're toasting you all here. You do know that, right? We totally are. Every third conversation begins with the words, don't you wish (insert mama or papa - yes, you, MetroDad - blogger name here) was here?

We're maybe not doing so much visiting this weekend - we're busy dressing up les boobies and getting drunk - but we're thinking of you. Every minute. (Okay, every other minute. First minutes are reserved for missing babies and husbands.) So, every other minute. No lie.

And all you rockstars who have been doing the Mupproustian Interview Experiment? I'm reading your interviews, and I'll be Muppeting you up and spreading the linky love immediately post-BlogHer. Pinky swear.

And, and... keep visiting the Basement. Someone's hanging there right now, and could use the company. Bring cookies.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Live! From BlogHer! It's Friday Morning!

And this pretty much sums it up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Loose Ends

Dear Baboo,

You are not, despite all of your efforts to commence rule of the Universe at such an early age, yet able to read, but Mommy needs to pretend right now that she's able to leave a little note for you. Something for you to find tomorrow when you wake up and she's not there. A message to you, from your Ma, saying how much she loves you and how much she misses you already and how much she's going to miss kissing your chubby little legs and your apple cheeks and your sweet downy head. How she's going to ache for your sweet laugh, for your sweet smile.

How she misses you. How she will miss you every moment until the moment that she returns.

But she can't leave that message. You'll wake, and she won't be there, and you'll turn to Da, and your smile will be for him. He'll love you enough for two, this weekend, while Mommy's gone. You'll hardly notice that she's gone.

So I'm whispering these words to myself, really. This is for me. This is so that I can freeze you in time, right now, and hold onto this moment and carry it with me for the next four days and for ever after that.

Dear Babchi, my sweet little monkey, my petunia pie, my Miss Milly-Fo-Filly. You are eight and a half months old. You are the most beautiful creature on this earth.

You are just over 30 inches long, a tall girl already. When the man at the farmer's market insisted upon letting you sit on his vegetable scale a few weeks ago, you weighed in at nearly 19 pounds. More than a watermelon; not quite as much as a bushel of apples.

Your eyes are bright and blue and sparkle with the light of a million giggles. You are always smiling, even when your sweet lips are downturned. You make me smile, always.

Your first teeth came in just over a week ago, and now they peek out when you smile, two little pearls. You use them to munch on the cucumber that you so love: you bring the stick of cucumber to your mouth and nibble away like a bunny. Then you shove it all into your cheeks and grab for more.

You love cucumber. You also love watermelon, and wholewheat bread from Ace Bakery, lightly toasted, and avocado, and slices of tofu with melted cheddar cheese. The slices of tofu with cheese, we called them tofu soldiers, until your Da challenged the name. Now we call them peacekeepers. You love them. You grab a slice in each fist and lick the cheese and nibble and then, as with the cucumber, you stuff it all in your cheeks.

You can fit a lot in your cheeks.

You have the sweetest cheeks.

You love pressing your cheeks against mine when we hug. If I say 'kisses,' you purse your little lips and brush my nose and then pull your face back and look me in the eye and laugh out loud.

You love to steal my glasses. You love to take them off of my face and then try to put them back.

You love peek-a-boo. You love the cats. You love your little wooden castanets, and your blocks, and your books. You so love your books: you pull them out, one at a time, from the book carriage, and sit, patiently working the pages, turning the pages, before hooting at me or your Da to come read.

You love life. You greet each day with a hoot and a fart and a smile.

You love me. And you have taught me that love can not only fill one's whole heart, but that it can fill one's soul completely, and one's whole being, and make one feel such joy, such unrestrained joy, that it seems that one's own little heart and being cannot contain it.

You are love. You are my heart.

I will ache, missing you this weekend. But I'll be okay. You will too. Better than okay: you and your Da will play and laugh and love and each day will sparkle and shimmer and you will be happy.

And because you will be happy, I will be happy.

With so much love,



In case anyone is wondering, yes, I will miss the Husband, too. But we've endured times apart before, and we're big kids; we know how to finesse each other's absence, how to tuck that extra pillow behind our shouders just so, the better to imagine that the other still sleeps alongside us. We know how to do this.

I don't know how to 'do' the separation from WonderBaby, how to endure the absence that will surely press upon me, ache and echo like a gaping hole in the middle of my chest. This is entirely new. And scary.


Okay, well, one thing that I do know: I will fill that gaping hole with liquor.




I'll be posting from BlogHer. And, all of those Mupproustian interview links that y'all are sending me? I'll link a few with each BlogHer post (and into next week with the post-BlogHer posts), with select Muppet Guest Star profiles... (and, in the meantime, if you're looking for some Red! Hot! Blogger! Profiles! check here...)

And I'll be raising my glass to all of you, for sure.

Wish me good times (and lightness of heart)!

Um, this is me. Substitute martini glass for child.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

(Not) In the Pink

Do you still call it a scare, if you’re not scared?

We had a pregnancy ‘alert’ this weekend. The whole late thing, the-past-that-time-of-the-month-thing, you know, the sort of thing that once upon a time had you kneeling on the cold white bathroom floor late at night, praying hard that the cramps would come and that your panties would stain and that you would know that everything was going to be okay.

The sort of thing that, last year, would have had you pacing in anticipation, if you had ever gotten to the missed-period stage. Which you did not, because you obsessively took First Response tests from the first opportunity (how many days-past-ovulation? How many days before expected period? When when when can I test?) The sort of thing that was cause for hope sweet hope. The sort of thing that ended in a WonderBaby.

This time, however... this time, you don’t pray. You don’t know what you want. You count the days off on your fingers in the dark, pricking your palms with your fingernails so that you don’t lose count and wonder how you really feel about this, about this being-late thing.

You know – you think that you know – that you want a Number Two. You just don’t know when, or how. Should siblings be close in age? Should you wait for your body to recover more fully from WonderBaby’s incubation? Can you handle pregnancy with a turbo-charged WonderBaby? Is waiting worth the increased risks that attend thirty-something pregnancies?

Is it possible to love any other being in the universe as much as you love your WonderBaby?

You take a test. Nothing. No line. Negative. You wish that you knew how to read the patter of your heart. Is that a twinge of relief, or of disappointment?

You wait. No period. Three days, four days. Five.

You test again. You wait. You stare into the clean white window of the stick, of your future. You notice that you are staring, hard. You notice that you are looking for it, that slash of pink, the faintest hint of a line that will tell you that, yes, WonderBaby’s sibling is on the way. The empty space of the test window stares back at you, the persistence of its stark whiteness taunting you. Where is the pink? Where is the pink?

A day later, today, the waiting ends with a streak of blood. A different kind of pink. And the sigh, yes, this time, the sigh is deep.

Because you know, now. You’re ready.

(GRATUITOUS WONDERBABY PHOTO will go here, with heart-tugging caption, whenever %*@^*# Blogger gets its photo-upload shit together)

(The good news? Unfettered drinking at BlogHer. Someone’s gotta pick up Kristen’s slack, right?)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

We will, we will BLOG YOU (uh) blog you (uh)...


The fog clears and I am able to get my bloggy shit together well enough to post the much-anticipated BlogMe interviews...

Starring... The Amazing Devra and the Scrumptious Izzy!

But first:

My apologies to my lovely interviewees and to you, dear reader-friends, for lollygagging on this. My own interviews (which you must go read if you are squirming to know more about HBM)have been up at Parentopia and IzzyMom since Friday and Saturday respectively, and I have had Devra's and Izzy's responses to my interview questions since Friday. I have no reasonable excuse, really, other than that WonderBaby's Quest for World Domination continues unabated and, as you all should know, World Domination Begins At Home! And, yesterday was a bit of a head-fuck day (a subject for another post).

Also, I am being tormented by Britney Spears. If you read my post on Friday, you would have seen that she and I are currently deriving inspiration for our, um, writing from the same sources. Which has led some to wonder whether I am not cadging from the Great Britney for all of my posts. I assure you, I am not. (Go, read, and tell me what you think. My dignity demands it.) And now she's haunting me. I have heard her songs no less than a half-dozen times in three days AND (oh god oh god oh god) I have dreamt about her twice since Thursday (oh god).

If this continues, I will lose my mind before BlogHer. So, if I turn up there singing Oops, I did It Again and sporting a Her Not-That-Innocent Mother t-shirt - please stage an intervention. Take me into a dark room, blare The Cult (She Sells Sanctuary - Izzy, you bring the CD) and show me the Colin Farell sex video while forcing me to down a half-dozen frozen vodka shots in rapid succession.

Oh, hell, you might as well do that to me anyway. Can't hurt.

Okay. Enough about me.

(Cue theme to The Muppet Show) And now, our very special Guest Stars... Devra and Izzy!!!

(You must read both of these interviews, and my remarks, and my notice at end, or I will send Animal after you. Animal is my bitch.)

So, Devra, tell us...

What is the quality you most admire in a blogger? The ability to utilize language colorfully instead of just using colorful language. For example, if I read a blog entry which states, “The lady giving me unwanted parenting advice as my toddler threw a fit in the middle of Target (Which, if held at a border of two warring countries would fend off any decision to invade), was out of line. So I took things into my own hands and said “Lady, ‘Thou art a purpled hell-hated canker-blossom!’, and she calmed the fuck down.” I’m going to be impressed by that.

What is your most marked blogging characteristic? Honestly, I don’t know if have developed one. I’ve not been blogging long enough to feel like I do.

What is your greatest virtue as a blogger (what do you most like about your blog)? Altruistic intent. Aviva and I desire most to help others. Flat out. That’s it.

What do you regard as the principle defect of your blog? We don’t seem to be in a high traffic area on the Internet. It’s possible we need a larger sign as I’m not sure people know where to find us, but we are always in the same place. Here. We try to stay really really still.

What character of fiction do you most wish had a blog? Hands down, Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. By far I think he would have enjoyed the hell out of blogging and may have called his blog “The Most Terrific Liar” or named it after some moron.

What historical or real life person do you most wish had a blog? Historical it would have to be Eleanor Roosevelt. She is oft quoted and I would love to read her own words as she put them to paper, or in this case, screen as she reflected on our country, her motherhood, etc.

What is your present state of blog (present state of mind as a blogger)? Panic. I am afraid Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah may try to ditch me during the day or kill me at night (we are sharing a room which would make quite convenient for her. Really.) I keep asking her technical blogging questions, she’s been extremely helpful, and happy about it, but I have that panic in the back of my mind that my life may be in the balance.

What is your blog motto? “Ditch the Mommy Guilt and Parent For Pleasure!” Our editor would not let us use “Parent for Pleasure” in our book’s subtitle because she thought it sounded, “too sexual”. Aviva and I decided we absolutely must use it on our blog. If any of you are “Reading For Pleasure” just stop it now before you get hairy palms and go blind.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? If chocolate disappeared from the face of the earth.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? No one experiencing abuse, neglect or disease and everyone grew up to be healthy and happy adults who eventually die of natural causes.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent? I lack Pie Hole Control (PHC). Seriously, at times I feel somewhere down my in the depths of my ancestary, someone procreated with a Paddlefish.

What is the quality you most admire in a man? Integrity.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman? Integrity.

What is your favorite virtue? Integrity. Big surprise. Who knew?

Who or what would you have liked to be? Taller, definitely taller.

Where would you like to live? I would like to upload New York City into the state of Colorado and live there. I love New York City because it is the city of my origin I feel invigorated when am on the streets of NYC. Sitting on a Colorado mountain top, looking out at the landscape and breathing in the mountain air is restorative to my soul. Combining the two would be where I would like to live. But what to call it?

(ed. note: ColYorkorado? New Yorkorado? Aspen?)

Who are your favorite composers/musicians? I have such an eclectic taste in music, I can’t pick favorites. My musical taste changes with the weather and my mood. But I can say with certainty I can name almost any song from the 70’s or 80’s in three notes.

Who are your heroes in real life? I realize this sounds corny, but my husband is my hero. He serves in the US Air Force (almost at 20 years!), is a veteran of two wars. My husband supports all of my endeavors 100 and ten percent and is equally as dedicated to being husband and father as he is to serving our country. Go ahead, cue the music. My other heroes are my children. I know! Even more corny. Well maybe it’s because they were born here. When I look at my children, I am reminded of where I came from and where I am going and why. They also remind me to get out of the cashier line when we aren’t buying anything. This happened recently. Who knows what I would have done had I made it up to the counter.

What is your motto? My motto actually belongs to my friend, and one of my many mentors, Jill who said, “Remember, your most important legacy is the honor and integrity of your life.”

That interview picture above? That's not Devra. THIS is Devra.

And now, live from the pond... IZZY!

What is the quality you most admire in a blogger? I like it when I feel like we could be compadres in the real world, that we have a similar outlook on life. It's not a specific quality that I could define. I also like when they keep me on my toes with new and interesting topics or things to think about and of course, a sly, dry wit is always appreciated.

What is your most marked blogging characteristic (or, how would you describe your blog)? That's a hard question. Let me answer it in another way... If IzzyMom was a character, she might be a blend of Xena Warrior Princess mixed with a bit of Dawn AKA "the Weinerdog" from "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and Jo from "Facts of Life" with a dash everybody's favorite understanding & sympathetic teacher from middle school. Kind of tough but tender and super dorky on the inside. Of course, I have no idea if that's how others perceive me or my blog but I'd certainly be curious to know.

(ed. note: HBM perceives Izzy as Rita Moreno circa 1976. One hot mama.)

What is your greatest virtue as a blogger (what do you most like about your blog)? I don't know how to answer that really but I guess if you pressed me, it would be that I try to be true to myself always. I try not to exaggerate or embellish too much or do anything that would make me feel like I wasn't keeping it real. I'm not suggesting it should be that way for everyone. I just meant that for me, that was one of my ground rules for myself when I started my blog.

What do you regard as the principle defect of your blog? I bitch about things...people, society etc. I mean I don't know that it's a defect, per se. But it's a central theme from time to time that might make people roll their eyes. Every blogger has their "thing" and that's mine, I guess.

(ed. note: um, I said DEFECT.)

What character of fiction do you most wish had a blog? Most definitely Holden Caulfied.

What historical or real life person do you most wish had a blog? I think a blog by Bettie Page or Edie Sedgwick would be kind of interesting. Or maybe John Lennon? The Dalai Lama? Andy Warhol? I enjoy biographies/autobiographies of all kinds of people so this list could go on and on.

What is your present state of blog (present state of mind as a blogger)? I truly love it but sometimes I wish it didn't consume so much of my free time or rather, I wish I knew how to better manage my time so that I could both blog AND do tiresome household chores AND have a social life outside the tiny Mac Mini box.

What is your blog motto? Well, officially it's "Faking it since the turn of the century" meaning that my first child was born in 2000 and I've been faking being passably good at this mom thing ever since. But to be honest, being around so many first time moms in both the blog and real worlds and also having a second child has made me recently realize that after 6 years, I'm actually nearing all-pro status... So I think the real motto is the old quotation "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" (In case you didn't know, I have found being a mommy blogger among so many other mommy bloggers to be quite empowering.)

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Depression.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? Those rare moments that feel magical. But also the really ordinary ones where you realize as it's happening how awesome it is. Just a few minutes ago, I snapped a photo of my husband on the sofa with two kids and a cat on top of him, laughing and being so silly. It was both ordinary AND magical. That's earthly happiness.

To what faults do you feel most indulggent? Self-doubt

Who or what would you have liked to be? A cultural icon that brought about positive social change.

Where would you like to live? Someplace very progressive and pedestrian friendly. Anyone have any suggestions?

What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty.

What are your favorite names? Tristan and Natasha.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? Unwavering self-confidence

What is your present state of mind? I have PMS so I am feeling anxious, cranky, persecuted, unloved and unlovable. The usual fare for that time of the month...

This is a piece of Izzy. Yes, she's cooler than you. And me.

Now that you know Devra and Izzy (and me, if you went and read my interviews), aren't you dying to let us have a little piece of you? Especially if you are not going to BlogHer and want us to raise our glasses to you (which, fine, we're going to do anyway, but still)?

Write a post in which you respond to the following Proust-inspired questions, and invite someone else to do the same. If you do this, and post a comment here with the link, I'll assign you Muppet Special Guest Star identity. (I KNOW! How can you NOT participate now?) And I'll write about it, and there'll be pictures. (TO mamas, I'll link your interviews here, too.) It will be a Mupproustian Interview Experiment, and it will prove for once and for all that motherhood and blogging have caused the limbic and cortical parts of my brain to melt together into one confused mass.

Just answer the following Proustian Blogger questions (and, if you like, any of the original Proust questionnaire questions that you think might reveal something important about yourself. You can find my selections from the questionnaire here, and a version of the original questionnaire here). Or do a post about one or two or some of these questions (I'm particularly interested to see who you all wish had a blog, and why):

1) What is the quality you most admire in a blogger?
2) What is your most marked blogging characteristic (or, how would you describe your blog)?
3) What is your greatest virtue as a blogger (what do you most like about your blog)?
4) What do you regard as the principle defect of your blog?
5) What character of fiction do you most wish had a blog?
6) What historical or real life person do you most wish had a blog?
7) What is your present state of blog (present state of mind as a blogger)?
8) What is your blog motto?

I saw you lookin' at Izzy's boobs, amphibious perv!

**Just one more thing: it's a little quiet in the Basement; our current visitor could use a little company...