Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm not dead. I know it looks like I am because goodness knows I never blog, but this Real Life stuff keeps happening.

Busy, busy, busy. I still haven't found any work-life balance. But I did win $50 in a writing contest. Which is like 1 case of diapers so that's nothing to sneeze at.

The babeola is inching closer to talking while scaring the bejeesus out of me with horrific tantrums. Where are the auditions for Extreme Tantrum? Because my babeloa is a star in the making. She actually has a bruise on her forehead from purposely smacking her head on hard surfaces. We daily live in danger of having our noses broken by an errant head butt. The other day I thought she was leaning in to cuddle only to yelp in pain when she smashed her head into my knee.

If I say no to her or express displeasure with something she does, she immediately looks for a place to smack her head. This self-harming behavior is distressing to say the least. I've tried ignoring it, but then read that's not a good idea so now I run around trying to keep her from hurting herself and failing miserably.

The tantrums last a long time too. Hours on some days. You've heard of interval training in exercise? The babeola interval tantrums, maintaining a steady state mild tantrum that spikes to extremes. This is either proof of me being a bad parent--which really, what kind of crappy mom am I that I can't figure this tantrum stuff out?-- or a testament to the babeola's strength of will. Or both.

Regardless, I am tired of feeling like a crappy mom and the incessant checking to be sure the babeola's pupils are the same size to rule out head trauma.

Thoughts? Advice?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Around 7 years ago, we picked an old school desk out of the garbage with the intent we would use it for our kids someday. We didn't know yet that we were infertile or the heartache that awaited us as we strived for a family. We were innocent and blissfully ignorant.

The desk sat and sat and sat in our garage becoming a painful symbol of everything we thought we'd never have. Yet we never threw it out. Never even thought about it.

Last week my husband finished refinishing the desk and brought it home for the babeola. Somehow the circle finally feels complete.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Is it just me or am I the only one who noticed that, on the Elmo potty training DVD, Elmo wears a shirt, Elmo's Dad wears a shirt, but Elmo's Mom is topless.

What is up with that?

And did you ever notice that none of the kids on Syd the Science Kid have eyelashes? They probably all have a heavy Visine habit.

As for food, this is disgusting, but essential information. Do you know what red food dye is made from? Do you??? It's all natural, which is NOT a plus in this case.

Red food dye is made from bugs. Scaly bugs that look a bit like potato bugs.  Think about that the next time you slurp a maraschino cherry off its stem.

Which brings us back to the title, are the bugs the reason why Elmo is red?

Could be since the bugs are also used to make textile dyes.

I am SO grossed out.

Monday, May 18, 2009


The babeola was crying revelry at 6 am this morning. Ugh. And she has just taken the shortest nap in a long time. Double Ugh.

I still managed to accomplish something today though...

--Ran the dishwasher
--Scrubbed crayon off the living room walls
--Ran a load of laundry
--Spit polished 5 articles and sent them off (cross your fingers for a happy client.)

And just when I was getting ready to kick back and indulge in some me time, guess who wakes up? Sigh.

I also checked my ad revenue share articles and found I'm up to $8. I think I was less than $5 last time I posted? I was happy with the $8 up until I learned about someone who is at $30 in less than a month.

I wonder what I'm doing wrong?

Oh, and I found out a lot of people are making $1000+ a month doing web content writing for the same site I work with. I'd like to know where they find the time? I am so busy with the babeola, it's all I can do to crank out $100 worth of web content a week (and I'm not even trying this week because I have too much going on). Plus, how do they write so fast anyway? Maybe I'm doing too much research? Then again, I also pick stuff I don't know anything about, but that I know I can research so maybe that's why I'm the turtle?

I don't know! I hope I figure out how this all works at some point!

By the way Parent Juice is getting really good traffic so far, more than 100 hits in three days. Thanks for checking it out, I hope you liked what you saw (Did you see the toilet paper thing with the Bangles Walk Like An Egyptian video? I was kind of proud of that--brings back memories.).

Friday, May 15, 2009


This is my first niche blogging site...if you want to contribute, here are the contributor guidelines.  Note that contributors are compensated.


I took the babeola to the zoo today where she was enamored by a) other kids and b) a rock-like chunk of concrete. Lions, flamingos, and condors are just so not cool.  Eh. I bought a year membership so maybe, with time, she'll notice something besides the masses and the concrete jungle.

In other news... freelance writing is an insane amount of work and it pays poorly. I'm feeling a little burned out and also looking at other, easier ways to make money online. Since I am not hot enough to do nudie type internt things, I'm hoping to start some monetized niche blogs. I also plan to continue with the ad revenue writing for a while until I am sure it is or is not profitable.

Ironically, one of the reasons why freelance writing pays so little is due to ad revenue sharing websites. That and people in India who provide online content for like a buck because, despite what the US Department of Education maintains, grammar and spelling are really not important. All that matters is whether or not someone clicks an ad.

I have 5 articles due on Monday and then I'm taking a break from up front pay work. One of the things that really bothers me about up front work is they want instant turnaround. I was looking at signing up with another content service, but they want 2500 words in 48 hours, which includes keyword research, topic research, product research, writing and editing. I sat down last night and roughly calculated how much free time I have each week and yo, I have like 20 hours of downtime a week, if I'm lucky. 20 hours in which I must tutor, do tutor paperwork, work out, run errands, blog, relax, and eat.  For me to write 2500 words in 2 days is impossible, I can't handle that kind of deadline.

Well...if let the babeola watch TV all day, everyday and I stay up until midnight, I can get more work done. Except that really starts to run me down because I don't get to sleep until 1am and then the babeola is screaming morning revelry at 7am. Not to mention the brain frying TV addiction. So freelance writing is not the easy mom friendly solution it is cracked up to be. However, there is money to be made. If I can find a happy balance between deadlines and my ability to do the work, things might be good. Lately, the whole thing has just been stressing me out big time though.

I'm really crossing my fingers that the ad revenue share work pays off. Tons of people are supposedly making $500 a month or more. From what I understand (and I've read 3 books on the topic now) there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do it too. Plus, there are no deadlines.

My moles were all normal by the way. So yay for no cancer or pre-cancer. I am laughing though because Kaiser is so damn cheap they didn't shave my nape, just cut the mole off and slapped a bandaid over my hair. So the bandaid didn't stick well enough to cover the wounds and migrated as my hair and neck moved. One of my moles, they couldn't figure out how to bandage due to hair, so I got nothing.

I'm of the thinking Kaiser is lucky I didn't pick up an infection. I really do wonder at their business model. In the aggregate they may save money, but I question at what risk to patients.

Oh! And the Mother's Day epilogue. I got some perfume. Not wrapped. No card, but I think that's the best the husband could do given his obvious holiday disability. Christmas is a nightmare of a similar nature. Thankfully, the husband is pretty spectacular on non-holiday days and I think I'm just going to try and be grateful that holidays aren't that prevalent.

Monday, May 11, 2009


The babeola is currently partying in her crib, babbling, tossing, turning and just in general having more fun than Paris Hilton in New York.

Me? I have a pounding headache and a cake hangover. Some people drink. I eat cake. And my body is not cake friendly so I have a carb overload at the moment.

Anyway, this will be existentially scattered, which I'm sure you've already realized. I had three moles removed for biopsy today.

In case you didn't know, I am holey moley girl. Moles a plenty and one came back pre-cancerous at the end of 2008--ahh the good old days when I had better health insurance--so it seemed like a good idea to test a few more today.

Happily, aside from meeting with an endocrinologist later this month, I am now pretty much established within the Kaiser Permanente network.  I am hoping this means I never have to go back again. Especially now that they've cut me and made me bleed.

Use your sunscreen my chickadees. One with both UVA and UVB protection. It makes a difference.

Hey, I actually started this post to bitch about Mother's Day. So how about we get to it? Here's how M day has been to date...

While I was pregnant:  "You don't count, you're not a mom yet."  This after 4 years of infertility treatments. Ouch. Husband got in heaps of trouble that year. Heaps. He'll never live it down in fact.

After the babeola was born: I had to help the husband find the card he'd bought because he lost it, then I had to remind him to sign it and give it to me. Lame.

This year: Nothing, which we were too busy running around and making the babeola cute for great-grandma for me to really notice. Plus, guess what? I'm allergic to shell fish. Or cats. Something to where I was taking Benadryl to relieve the buzzy itching in my lips.

Sooooooo the upshot of this recap is, where do we sign up for there the remedial 'How to not be a jerk on Mother's Day' class, also sometimes known as the 'Where to buy Mother's Day cards and pens with which to sign them'? Because I think someone needs to go.

Although I'm mostly laughing. Because the irony of working so damn hard for motherhood only to be not just ignored, but summarily dismissed on the big M Day is kind of funny.

Kind of.

If I squint.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Happy Mother's Day. I hope all the mommas enjoy their day and my thoughts are with all the mommas-to-be struggling with infertility. That was me once and somehow, through much pain and sacrifice and not so great odds, my happy ending came. Don't give up.

We are going out of town for M Day to visit great grandma in the nursing home. She is over the moon with excitement so hopefully we will make her day.

The babeola is cute as always, but challenging. Very tempermental and she's learned to open the baby gate to to the kitchen which has been a huge pain in the ass. Lots of tantrums over being goose stepped back into the living room by her evil momma. I am such a horrid mother, what with the not sharing the knives or letting her hide in the dishwasher...the babeola will be calling CPS herself as soon as she can figure out how to work the phone.

Ad revenue income has gone from $4.70 to $5.70 which is a huge jump in just two days. I am pleased and continue to hope I've found a simple (for me at least) way to make income. The writing contracts are pretty loosey goosey and the companies can delete my content, cancel my account, or decide not to pay their writers at all, which makes me anxious.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Calling 911 for an allergic reaction to antibiotic #2 is not my idea of a fun Friday night, but clearly, I have no control over the script of my little medical soap opera. I have never had an allergic reaction where I couldn't breath and I always have Benadryl in the house...except for last night. So I ask you...Got Benadryl? It's the only reason I'm not in the ER right now. 

Possibly the only reason I'm alive.

About five minutes after I took the first dose, my tongue started to itch. Then I began clawing at my body, trying to rip off my clothes so I could scratch myself bloody. Recognizing it as an allergic reaction, I called the nurse line and asked what to do.

Since I was breathing okay and by then it had been twenty minutes, we figured we were safe sending my husband out to the drugstore for Benadryl. What we didn't know, and what the nurse failed to inform us, was that a severe allergic reaction can take up to 4 hours to manifest. It's not always immediate. Another thing that went unmentioned is hives on the face and chest almost always mean airway swelling will occur, although the severity is variable.

The nurse did tell me to take a bath in baking soda though. Every time I call the Kaiser Permanente nurse line they tell me to do something to my body with baking soda. It's like they have a fetish or own stock or something.

Anyway, while my husband was gone, I started having difficulty breathing. So I hung up on the nurse and called 911, somehow managing to simultaneously throw a DVD in for the babeola. This is probably the best metaphor for motherhood I can think of, you never again do anything without taking care of your kids, not even almost dying. You never come first again, even when maybe you should. (Not that I'm complaining, it's just the harderst part of the job to explain to non-moms.)

The babeola watched the DVD to the exclusion of all else. Paramedics invading my living room have nothing on Baby MacDonald. The husband got home with the Benadryl ahead of the ambulance so, thankfully, by the time EMS pulled into our driveway I was starting to breathe a little easier.

They checked me out. We debated if I should go to the hospital or not and settled on not. They left--the dvd had ended at this point so the babeola blew kisses and waved and was super cute.

Then my nasal airways promptly swelled shut.

But I still felt okay (surprisingly) and rolled with it, mouth breathing like a prank caller until midnight when I took another dose of Benadryl. By then, I could finally take a deep breath and breathe through my nose.

I had taken this antibiotic before with no problem. This really just hit out of the blue. 

Today I'm going to the store and stocking up on Benadryl, both the liquid and the pill. It's easier to swallow a liquid when your throat is swelling shut, you know?

So mommas back to the original question, got Benadryl? Because I'm living proof no home should be without.