Our house, in the middle of NJ

It’s our house in Red Bank!! A small little red brick bungalow on a quiet little street. We are such a small, quiet street that we are only one block long. The upside is, you can only get to us from two streets. The down side is, no pizza delivery unless you want to pay through the nose!!


Hysteria, reading, and going for the Oscar…

So, we are working on reading. I have developed a series of fun interactive games to help her learn to read. For example, we make letters out of rope, name words that begin with those letters, and then walk the letter tightrope. We made a ladybug word wheel, that had a strip of letters rotating in the middle, and the letter “ug” on the end, so we can get hug, bug, rug, etc. We have a basket of letters that she gets to pick from, and we write and read as many words that begin with that letter, we have alphabet bingo, we have level appropriate books. Each time we start a new activity, she is engaged and happy, and does really well. However, each time we go back to an old activity, she doesn’t want to work at it. She sighs after each letter, she cries if she can’t read the word the very first time, and in the end, she is a screaming, crying mess. I have not been a pushy, mean mommy. I have not let my frustration show. When she gets like this, I tell her we will go back to reading later, when she is less frustrated. This results in her blowing up and screaming and crying even harder. Right now, she is in her room screaming her head off about how she “will give me all her attention and won’t yawn anymore”. I put her down for a nap after we tried to read the word “huff” about three hundred times. We were having a really hard time, she was getting really tired, but she didn’t want to stop, and each time I suggested it, she got really upset. She would sound the word out, get it right, forget it, sound it out, yawn, get it right, cry, calm down, sound it out while yawning and rubbing her eyes, forget it, sound it out… you get the picture. I told her we would try again later, but each time I tell her that she starts screaming about how she is never going to read, that it is too hard.

Is it wrong to want to just scream when your kid complains that the 30 minutes to an hour of game filled reading exercises are too hard? I mean, it must be hell on wheels to have to circle all the items in a picture that begin with the letter f. It must be the worst thing ever to have to sit still for five minutes trying to read the world “bug” on a ladybug shaped word wheel that you get to spin for the beginning letter. Argh!!

And yet, if I show my frustration, she is going to pick up on it and this will all get worse. The worst about it is, she is good! She is reading! She read five pages of a book this morning in about 10 minutes, and then she melted down into madness. Yesterday, she read all the words on her bug wheel, and then melted down into madness. The more she is able to read, the more she cries about not being able to read. We celebrate each word she reads with hugs and smiles, but any time she encounters a single hard word, she loses it. We talk about how reading is hard, and no one picks up a book and starts reading it right away. We discuss the importance of practice, but she still gives up right away.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Laudanum?

Don’t bash on the belly gentlemen…

Why are pregnant women called crazy? (A soapbox moment)

I am bothered by a common theme within our culture as represented by the media, and our culture in general. (Actually, I am bothered by many common themes, but this is the one bothering me today.)

I find it disturbing that pregnant women are considered crazy. If a pregnant woman has an emotional reaction to any given situation, she is just as likely to be treated like a person recently released from an institution as she is to be treated like a person with feelings. I understand that pregnancy causes emotional ups and downs, harsher or more extreme reactions to normal situations, and simply more emotions in general. I get it, I am currently pregnant. I understand that my crying in the grocery store the other day because the Fair Haven A&P doesn’t carry the fudgsicles my parents buy back home is not the way I would behave if I weren’t pregnant. I understand that crying at the end of Clerks II was more likely caused by hormones than it was the touching and meaningful prose of Kevin Smith. (I am pretty sure that Mr. Smith never intended to make his audience sniffle quietly whilst Dante and Randall rebuilt the Quick-Stop.)

Crazy is a hugely negative term in our culture. It immediately demolishes a person’s credibility. For example, when liberals and democrats in 2000 and 2004 began to speak about the possibility of a stolen election, the validity of their viewpoints were dimished quite effectively by referring to them as crazy. (Or by referring to them as conspiracy theories, which in popular culture is synonymous with crazy.)

What upsets me is that these increased emotional reactions are natural. They occur becuase of a natural increase in hormone levels caused by growing a baby. (Without this ability, the human race would cease to exist, so therefore, I feel we should more respect pregnant women.)
I am upset that the hormones rushing through my system as a result of my role in continuing the species give other people the license to call me insane and treat me like a ticking time bomb.

Those of you who know me know that I can get fired up and angry about a great number of things, without a single wayward hormone in evidence. How am I supposed to make it through the next nine months without harming those around me if they treat me like a lunatic each time I get up on my soapbox?

It is unfeeling of our culture to punish pregnant women for expressing their feelings when a massive flood of hormones is pulsing through their systems. (Yes, referring to pregnant women as crazy when they react emotionally is punishment.) Why don’t people simply understand that the growing of another human being has a tendency to effect emotions? Why aren’t women, while pregnant, offered commiseration and support, instead of being derided as insane? Isn’t it enough that we have to willingly get fat in a culture that makes anorexia look healthy?

Your Denver Girl (Pregnant and emotional!) signing out.

The carpet strikes back…

The Carpet Strikes Back… a thank you… and more…

To begin with I would like to thank all of you for your outpouring of support in response to my last blog. I really feel loved and supported, which is more helpful than just about anything else! My absence from posting was due to a combination of the final chapter of the carpet saga and planning our wedding/honeymoon.

So, we were told at the end of last week that the icky, yucky, blucky carpets would be gone at the end of last week or the beginning of this week. Weeell, they came out today. Sadly, all of our stuff has been in the family room all week while we waited, and we had to sleep in the living room last night in order to insure the furniture was out of the rooms. (By the way, we will be finding an alternative bed for guests, our futon sucks!! I heartily apoligize to any friends who have already learned that. Sorry Luke!!)

But today the carpets were removed to uncover a decent, though heavily stained, wood floor. I have spent the better part of the day mopping, sweeping, and steam cleaning the wood. I have also removed little pokey things (staples and nails), and tiny remaining tufts of carpet that were stuck to the wall. The rooms look better. They do not look great but they are no longer covered by stinky, ugly, dirty, lavender carpet. (YAY!!) I am now completely spent.

Our landlord came by today to haul away the carpet. He missed some, of course. One of his biggest arguments in this carpet debate is that we have pets who will simply ruin any new carpet that comes in. Now our pets are good. The girls have occasional accidents, but given that we are fencing the backyard and I will be able to let them out whenever they need to go, there should be no issues here. My cat, Chloe, has never peed anywhere. That is until this morning, when she objected to the carpets remaining as long as they have by peeing on the one in the hallway. So the carpet removal crew informed my landlord that the carpet was wet, and he gave me a very triumphant look. I responded by stating the obvious. That pets, no matter how well trained, will spray when they encounter another pet’s urine smell, and that poor Chloe had restrained herself for over two weeks. Happily for me, the carpet removal crew agreed that it is nearly impossible to stop your pet from peeing on a carpet that is covered in a different animal’s scent. My landlord grudgingly agreed, but I am positive he expects my pets to ruin the carpet in the family room. Sigh.

I am settling in a little better, the challenges of the last two days have kept me from feeling quite so “desperate”. I vacillate between wanting to stay at home and wanting to work. I really would love to write an article for publication, or maybe even a book. I would love to do crafty stuff, and volunteer for some good environmental causes, learn to cook Indian food. I would also love to take on a new legal challenge or several, and earn some money after years of incurring a massive debt. It is really hard to figure out what I want to do.

Luckily, I have some time! Tonight I am making chicken curry for the first time ever! Off to counquer the kitchen! Thank you all for your helpful suggestions and love! I miss you!

Denver Girl, signing off!

Desperate Housewives…

Desperate Housewives…. suddenly I relate.

I didn’t watch Desperate Housewives when it first came out because I thought it was a reality T.V. show. I didn’t want to spend my time watching a bunch of suburban women cheating on their husbands or doing whatever other idiotic thing the reality T.V. guru’s decided to offer as entertainment. However, one night, on an airplane to RebLaw 2006, I saw the pilot episode on the plane. I was immediately entranced with the story and proceeded to Netflix the hell out of the first season. The show was so wonderful, the characters so real. I really sympathized with the women in the show.

Well, I watched more of it today while I was cleaning house in my suburban home, on my quiet street, while my husband takes over corporate America. The show really hit me hard today, I really felt as though I understood it on a whole new level. I left behind almost all my close friends, my family, and my connections. I left my career at it’s very inception. I spent my day cleaning my living room, unpacking boxes, and attempting to entertain my small daughter with a variety of learning games. I began to feel really desperate!! All of the sudden I had an image of my days, spent like Bree, smoothing out wrinkles on the bedspread. Espescially now that law school has instilled in me a very obsessive compulsive streak.

Now I know, logically anyway, that I am not actually going to turn into a character on Desperate Housewives. I also know that I have been in this postion for a week and a half, and my sense of unease is compounded by the fact that our house is still unpacked. I also know that having nothing to do but clean the house and entertain the child is a contributing factor to this feeling. However, despite knowing this, I felt so incredibly lost today. I have got to find a job. I am afraid I am going to lose my mind if I am not doing something while Monkey is in school all day, at least until the baby gets here.

Well, thanks for listening to me rant,

Your Denver Desperate Housewife, in Jersey.

Flesh eating bugs

The one where they get eaten alive by mosquitos…

Monkey and I are covered in mosquito bites. We simply can’t seem to avoid the blood-sucking parasites. Every day I douse the two of us in Off, and every day we have little red nibbles all over our legs and ankles. I even get bites on my feet, the bottoms of my feet!!! It is so bad I am considering getting a pet bat. Yes folks!! A bat! I am thinking about buying a bathouse and placing it on the roof. Maybe attracting a few bats to the yummy bug smorgasbord that is my backyard.

New Jersey is teeming with life! Creepy crawlies abound here. I encountered the largest free range spider I have ever seen in my gardening shed. Consequently, I will not be entering the gardening shed, of my own free will, again. It was easily the size of a silver half-dollar, and that was just it’s vile, fuzzy body. Yeehhehhh. I saw it, it saw me, but I was out of there with the door slammed securely shut before it could act on any plan of attack.

We have crickets, fleas, ticks, mosquitos, grasshoppers, spiders, tiny little red bugs, and god only knows what else! I definately need a pet bat. Granted, owning bats as pets is generally a bad idea, and some of the rarer species are illegal pets, but I can certainly build a bat house and try to lure one of them to me. Here little bat, come eat these lovely bugs, check out the spider in the shed, come eat at McMisty’s!!

We have got to do something. I could put up a bug zapper but I am afraid it would be so busy killing bugs that it would keep the neighbors awake, or maybe blow the neighborhood power grid. (Which seems a little dodgy anyway, given we have lost power several times in the 12 days we have been here.)

At least Monkey can enjoy catching bugs. And we do have an abundance of butterflies and fireflies, so I shouldn’t complain too much; BUT THE REST OF THEM ARE ICKY!!!

Off the bug topic, we are settling in. The final chapter of the gross carpet saga will be resolved this week, and we will be able to get our stuff moved in and set Monkey’s room up. Finally. We will be able to hang up and put away our clothes, and get all her toys out, and have a house, wherein we can actually live.

I am going to go spray some more Off! around,

Your Denver Girl, signing off.


We are having a baby!!

Well…. I was going to wait to announce the incoming cuteness until after my first doctor’s appointment but I mentioned it in my last blog post, because my brain is tired, and so I had better announce it now!!

Lee and I are having a baby. Monkey is going to be a big sister. We are about a month along, and so far it is not too bad. I am a little tired most days, I have days when I do not want to leave my bed, but there is no exorcist vomiting as of yet! Yay!

We will be seeing the doctor some time next week, I need to set up an appointment and do whatever it is I need to do to choose a doctor, etc.

In response to Kathleen and Tracy, I would love a party! We will have to see when we can have it, but I am guessing over Christmas/Yule/Chanukah/Holiday break. We should be able to be back for a long bit around then, at least the small one and I.

On an unrelated topic, Judge Harrell sent me this link, and it was pretty neat!

Secret Worlds, the Universe Within.

Love you all, miss you all,

Your pregnant Denver Girl, signing out.


Original artwork by Misty Morehead

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