Dalgal412’s Weblog

Just me, Forrest Gumping my way through life

Still Me, Whoever That Is April 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 3:55 pm
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Not my bag, baby

So I mentioned the Diaper Bag Conundrum last time I wrote, two months ago. While I was pregnant, I read (more than) my share of pregnancy message boards. One of these was The B*mp, wherein a fair number of women were like, “I *refuse* to carry a diaper bag that looks like a diaper bag!” and proceeded to compare bags which were $100+. My reaction to that at the time was along the lines of: That’s crazy-expensive (especially for something which may get poo on it)! And: Who cares?!? The baby you’re carrying is going to undo your Sex and the City persona, anyway. And: Oh, B*mp, you’re just like The Kn*t, but with baby on board signs (except the signs are now handmade on etsy, and bedazzled. Not that I don’t love me both some etsy and some bedazzling!)

As happens when I get all judgey, turns out *I* care. About 4 or 5 months into this baby business, I emptied out the diaper bag I’d registered for and later bought, and transferred the supplies into my artsy, hipster messenger bag I’d used as a grad student, keeping my fingers crossed & breath held that everything would fit. Thankfully it did.

Then I turned it up a notch for my birthday, asking for a pink (but really more raspberry) purse with fabric flowers attached to it. I mentioned on Facebook that, despite not being girly, I *loved* this new purse, and smiled each time I saw it. (And it happens to be big enough for a diaper change. Sold!) One of my bestest friends from college remarked, You’re a lot girlier than you think; that bag looks just like you!

In my head, once I had the baby, we’d go out and find some cool, like-minded moms to hang out with and discuss politics and babies and whatnot. In real life, I went to 1 breastfeeding support group and retreated to the corner crying when my kid was still not gaining weight the way “she should.”

It dawned on me last weekend that having a baby didn’t change who I am at my core. Usually when this is addressed, it’s along the lines of maintaining one’s coolness and sense of style and professionalism and whatnot. Turns out it’s just as true for people maintaining their socially withdrawn, homebody qualities. Of course, then, I haven’t gone really searching for a mom’s group to join! Pre-baby I had a tiny gang of lady-friends from various points in my life (and spread across the country/world), and emailing with them was sufficient when coffee was out of the question. Chit-chat with my grocery store cashier would fuel me plenty for my twice-weekly socialization. Coming to this realization helped immensely in taking the pressure off myself as far as what I *should* be doing; what a mom looks like and does. I still fully intend to take Cora out for activities, where we will likely meet other moms (if it ever stops raining), and she will charm them all, but what I’ve been doing so far? Better than okay.

All this to say, it’s kind of like getting married, this business of having a baby. That is, I’m still the same and not much has changed, but at the same time, I also feel like my life pre-baby is nearly unrecognizable. AND the whole thing is in flux and I’m still–even at (gasp!) 34, piecing together who I am, and who I’d like to be. Life!


Post Script: Rambling and Grappling (not necessarily in that order) February 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 1:42 pm
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So this has been nagging at me since I hit Publish or Send or Post or whatever it is on Friday. It was a lovely post and all, and is true, but it’s not the whole story.

The gist of it is, yes, Cora is slowly chipping away at me and helping me realize I’m a mom. And in all likelihood I’ve been mommy-esque to my former students (I mean, why else would they feel comfortable assaulting me? Yeah…. And there were the kindergarteners (and third graders) who would accidentally call me mom, and then turn the cutest shade of red….) But as the world’s most obnoxious commercial asks: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Etc. And I’m not.

I suspect that maybe motherhood is something you arrive at, little by little. Or maybe not; I’ve only been at this for 6 months. Maybe it’s the whole identity monster holding me back; notions that I can’t be a Mommy if I also enjoy an occasional adult beverage and don’t love carrying a diaper bag that looks like a diaper bag. (Which it turns out I don’t, and should be its own post, because it is exactly the heart of this thing. In cute accessory form.) I think the identity issue may be more challenging for me because I’m a stay at home mom (or SAHM, in the Internet lingo, which is too close to SHAM for my taste). I don’t get to hang onto my former identity of Teacher, AND being a SAHM is even less respected than that. (And here’s where I’d link to the NYT article about mom-bloggers if I had any sort of computer skills. But I don’t. Suffice it to say, the response-comments were all along the lines of, “get a real job and quit bringing about the end of civilization.” Something to that effect. Same as all the recent anti-teacher sentiment. And anti-Oprah sentiment. And any other anti-women sentiment. Sensing a theme?)

Annnnnnyway, all of that is to say that despite the neat and tidy ending of Friday’s post, I’m not like, “Ta da! I’m a mommy!” Maybe I’m moving in that direction, though?


Becoming Mommy February 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 5:05 pm

So I have a baby.

This seems like a pretty straightforward, fact-based kind of sentence. But turns out it’s more complicated than that, even in my 1950s-style, super-traditional kind of world. Our birthing teacher warned us about this; that you get so caught up in the week-by-week of the pregnancy that the having a baby part comes as a bit of a surprise. True.

The first time it hit me for realz that I was going to birth a baby, which would then be our baby? Was when we were in the exam room verifying that my water broke, and I was dilated five centimeters. Five out of 10.

But even after the whole labor and delivery thing, and in the six months since then, I haven’t felt like I can claim the title Mommy (or any of its variants). I mean, I say it and refer to myself as Mommy all day long. I broke down into a weepy mess signing her first Christmas card, deliberating whether I should sign Mom or Mama or Mommy…. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t own that title yet.

But then yesterday, we had to take Cora in for her 6-month shots. She took them like a trooper. When she cried after the third and final shot, I picked her up and she stopped crying within about a minute. And you know why? Because even though I don’t recognize myself as Mommy, Cora does.


Long, long, long time, no blog February 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 7:55 pm
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Sooooo…. Guess it’s been a while. Boyfriend has undergone multiple name changes here: Boyfriend to Programmer to Husband. I’ve now been on a plane, to Ireland nonetheless. Got married. Grew a human from scratch… The usual. Life in suburbia is sometimes lovely; other times dandelions are upgraded from First World Problem to Worst Problem in the Worrrrrld (so upgraded by our neighbors; not by us). It turns out I *can* be okay dropping my former last name. I’ve moved from crying at the social security office when they declared a combined name would be too long, to getting a bit weirded out when I accidentally sign my maiden name. As often happens, things that seem like a Really Big Deal turn out not to be, given a little time. It’s funny: I think Husband is more thrown by the name-change than I am.

Husband has been nudging me to start writing a blog (or re-start, except he was unaware of this blog), but as I keep explaining to him, I have neither an area of expertise, nor a gimmick. But. I’ve recently been commenting and offering useful advice on other people’s blogs (I’m down with OPB, yeah you know me!), and am starting to recognize that my experiences can be useful and/or entertaining to others. Just as I’ve sought out perspectives on wedding planning, natural birth, cloth diapers, etc, you know–like, other people do that, too. Plus it was super-entertaining/interesting to rediscover my blog and read about the challenges of new cohabitation and whatnot. From the future!! So for the moment, this will continue to be my personal, non-subject-focused blog. Maybe one day down the road, I’ll get fancy and come up with a clever name and/or a gimmick, and make a purdy blog. But for now…. (hmmm, is that a blog name??)


Wedding planning update April 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 6:47 pm
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Today I’m going to chat a bit about the wedding planning, and the whole name-change conundrum. People keep asking me how wedding planning is going. And I completely appreciate it (and of course am simultaneously panicked that I’m behind on something and they know it), but I’m never really sure how to answer. Like as far as I know? Planning’s going okay. We have a timeline (several, in fact. But not the one on theknot.com which told me when I signed up to their site that I was overdue on something like 162 items.) and we’re on-track for most of the items. We don’t have music for reception or ceremony totally nailed down, and the honeymoon is a loooooong way from being planned (Ireland! Then Amsterdam! How’s that for a plan? ;-) ). These were all due Feb. 1, which was maybe a week after we were officially engaged? If we still don’t have those things by, say, July 1 I’ll be concerned…. But I’ve also never planned a wedding (or a birthday party or anything else that required, um, invitations for that matter), so it’s kind of hard for me to say. So my stock answer is, “I think it’s going okay??” Plus, does anyone really want to hear about high drama concerning fonts? Didn’t think so. (Also? And this is kind of random-ish: my job is weird, to say the least, and gives me an entirely different perspective on things and so things like centerpieces and fonts don’t make it on the radar all that often.) So the name-change business. 1) I wasn’t ever one of those girls who imagined herself getting married, although I did sort of assume it would happen. I just didn’t concern myself with any of the details (how, who, when, what I’d wear, etc.). 2) I consider myself to be a pretty liberal, feminist-type, and so really figured I’d keep my last name when/if I ever did get married. 3) Once Programmer and I decided we were going to get hitched, I started thinking about how that would work out for me–having a different last name from him and from our future kids… Every time I thought about having a different last name from my future husband and kids, I’d tear up a little (or sometimes a lot), and so started reconsidering my “I’m a feminist, so I’m keeping my name” thing. Earlier this week, I finally caved and did the dorkiest thing in a long, long while–I sat down and practiced writing my name with a hyphenated version of our last names, and with just his name. From doing that, I realized that his name has a LOT of the letter ‘n’ in it! And that, even though he’s a vegetarian, his last name has a meat-word right in it. Weird! I also learned that I can’t be okay with just dropping my last name. So right now, I’m leaning toward having my legal name being First LongMiddle MyLongLast-HisLongerLast (which is an awful lot of name!!). Maybe after we’re married for a time and have kids and whatnot, I’ll sign things as First HisLast (which excites me some, because I’ve always been a complete dorky fan of same-initial first and last names, which I’d now have. I was totally envious of Denise Day in 3rd grade because of it. Such a dork I am!!), but it’s not my name right now and not who I am right now. Interestingly, my mom said something that shows she assumes I’m changing my name. I’ve been *super* interested in hearing other people’s name-change stories–both sides of the issue. I read things people had written who couldn’t have been more excited about their fathers *giving them* to their new husbands!!! If that works for them, of course that’s fine; I’m no wedding-dictator! But I can’t relate to that sentiment at all; it doesn’t sit well with me. Since my dad is passed, I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that whole thing yet. Am kind of leaning towards walking down the aisle myself, but we’ll see. Also? I’m walking down to the song “Miss Sweeney” by Weezer, as Programmer’s a big Weezer fan and it’ll be the last time I get to be Miss Sweeney. And it’s a cool song. WITH MY NAME IN IT!!! (which never happens to me. Sure, there are songs about Eileen and Carlene, and Stephen Colbert’s classic, “Charlene,” but no songs with my first name….that I know of.) Anyway, I’m very excited about that (the Weezer song). :-)

Our main project right now is getting invitations figured out. We’re designing/making our own and I think they look pretty good (“they” meaning the one model we have *mostly* put together). I think we’ll get it to the printers this next week, then on to DIY-palooza. We’re also starting on other details like flowers and whatnot. I should add that it’s kind of a fascinating experience to plan a wedding with someone. (And in this case, the “someone” in question has opinions about things and wants to be involved, which is great. Um, except sometimes when I do want to be *our* wedding dictator.) I think it’s been a good way of learning how we compromise and make decisions on things. We’re both first-borns in our families (from a therapy perspective) and are smart cookies who are pretty confident that each of us is the smartest/right-est person in the room much of the time. This does not always work out well. I think we’re pretty good at compromising and problem-solving together, though. Good news, that.

So anyway, that is the full version of, “I *think” planning is going okay??” ;-)

Interesting to note (after re-reading old posts): I keep thinking I’m having these great insights while I’m writing? Then I re-read old posts and see that I “discovered” whatever it was several months ago. Sigh.


Well that was a trip in the wayback machine! March 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 6:10 pm

So I just got done re-reading my previous posts on this blog; what the heck?!? Things have crazy-changed in the past several months. Most notably, perhaps, is that I’m engaged to be married this August 1st. Whoot! :-) I guess the long-version story of our engagement is that originally Programmer’s plan was to propose on the last evening we spent cleaning out my apartment after I moved, since our relationship was sort of rooted in that space. Due to a ring snafu, that didn’t happen. So a few weeks later we decided to go to a Bridal Fair (oof! That’s a whole blog post by itself. Let’s just say that Bridal Fairs are not My Thing. In the same way that being in junior high was not My Thing). I had to register there, which required writing the date we’d gotten engaged. So I asked Programmer, “What should I write for our engagement date?” He thought and responded, “January 21st.” I started writing that, then gasped and exclaimed (ever so brilliantly), “But that’s in the FUTURE!” He just grinned and perhaps even giggled at me. So his next plan was to propose on Obama’s inauguration day, which would have been very cool. But again, the ring wasn’t quite ready yet. So the final plan was for him to present the ring on the following Saturday, when it was expected to be finished. Well surprise, surprise–the ring was done early and he popped the question on 1/23. On 1/22, he offered to bring home Indian food the following day and I readily agreed without suspecting anything, since I “knew” that the ring wouldn’t be done until Saturday. He’d planned to put the ring (in it’s box) into an extra takeout container, but the box didn’t fit in the, uh, box. So he improvised and asked if I wanted to play Scene It. I agreed and handily won, then he offered me my “prize.” He asked and I (again, ever so brilliantly) responded, “Really?!?” and then amended that with, “Yes! Of course!”

Since then, we’ve secured most of what there is to secure–ceremony and reception venue, catering, cake, photographer, my dress…. Most of the time I’m pretty well convinced that we’re matching up well with the timelines and that, besides, the only thing that matters is getting the license or whatever from City Hall. Other times I’m waking up in cold sweats after dreams of wedding pies and wrapping 150 personalized suckers for the reception. Whatev. We kind of started off well-aware that the smartest thing to do would be to just go to a Justice of the Peace and throw a reception after the fact. But also well-aware that we’re both the first people in our immediate (and in his case, extended) family to get married, so a reception wasn’t probably going to cut it. Plus I wanted the dress and pretty flowers and pictures and, you know, family and friends present. So a wedding we shall have ;-) I’ve made efforts to be all “crafty” and “techie,” which (one: is relative) has resulted in the following Inspiration Board (as they’re known in the world of wedding blogs. sigh.):


Some of the pieces (i.e. the dress, but with a different sash; hydrangeas) I’m hoping to actually include. Other things (i.e. the ring) are just things I like that are in the style I’m aiming for. I typically refer to this as Pretty and Natural-ish. I think it kind of reflects our outdoor ceremony venue and reflects us generally? That’s what we’re going for, anyhow.

I have learned a handful of things as a result of this process. One: I have preferences for things that I’d never, ever given any thought to previously, as I was NOT one of Those Girls who started wedding planning at age 7. Like veils? Probably not surprisingly, but the simpler it is the more I like it. Two: The wedding planning process is a fantastic way to learn about how a person and their significant other communicate. Like I’ve started to parse out how much pushing I need to do to make things happen, and how much prodding I can handle. We’re learning about how to compromise on things; where our preferences do and do not overlap; etc. Very interesting, and also (importantly), very reassuring. We work really well together. :-D

So that’s about it here. My mom is coming down for a visit next week, and this will be the first time she sees us in our home environment. I think it’ll be a good time.


Get to know me! September 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dalgal412 @ 10:35 am

46 ODD Things about you! If you opened this, FILL IT OUT! Learn 46 things about your friends, and let them learn 46 things about you!

1) Favorite objects in your room?
Big, giant bed; boyfriend; sometimes the dog. Sometimes fresh hydrangeas from the yard. Clean sheets. Mmmm….
2) Have you ever smoked heroin?
3) Do you own guns?
Nope. I wouldn’t trust myself with it; would be likely to accidentally shoot the wrong person, I suspect. And totally couldn’t live with that. I’d be, like, totally upset with myself if I shot and killed someone? Like, you know, whatever. ;-)
4) What flavor do you add to your drink at sonic?
Cherry limeade every time. Love it! I wouldn’t count it as a drink, per se, but I do also love the Tropical Fruit Smoothie. But hate that the smoothie machine is consistently “broken.” But only at night.
5) Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
Depends on what I’m going for. Unless it’s something potentially cancer-y, I’m pretty okay.
6) What do you think of hot dogs?
I go through phases where I think they’re the greatest thing ever. The cheese ones, all grilled up on the George Foreman grill? Mmmmm….. The phases last like 3 days, then no hot dogs for 4-6 months.
7) Favorite song?
I don’t think I could name a favorite. Depends on my mood and that sort of thing.
8) What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
I love delicious coffee, with some sort of flavored creamer or that kind of thing. I also love Simply Apple apple juice, which basically tastes like cider. Frickin’ awesome :-)

9) Can you do push ups?
I can do the modified ones. I don’t think I could do a push-up that would pass military muster.
10) Can you do a chin up?
I have not tried in years, but if I had to guess, I would say no. I never could before. Couldn’t even successfully do the bent-arm hang thingy. Sad.

11) Favorite movie?
Again, I think this probably depends on what I’m in the mood for. For a long while, my favorite was Sliding Doors, which kind of looked at the idea of things happening at a particular time for a reason, and ultimately working out for the best interests of the people involved. It was a romantic comedy, too, though. I haven’t watched that forever, though.
12) Do you like blue cheese?
I didn’t used to, but now I LOVE it! I heart cheese.
13) Ever been in a car wreck?
Yes, but always (thankfully) non-injury accidents.
14) What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
Hate’s a pretty strong word. But probably something body-issue related?
15) What’s one trait that you love about yourself?
I could go on about traits that I love about myself. Today, right now, anyway. :-) I’m a pretty big fan of my optimism, I would say.
16) Middle name?
17) Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
I love my boyfriend and his family and my dog.
I don’t want to go back to work tomorrow.
I am happy.
18) Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
I think I’ll skip this one. They’re not for sharing.
19) Name 3 drinks you drink regularly?
Coffee, water, fruit juice (apple or orange, mainly)
20) Current worry?
Probably money. Everything else is pretty darned good right now. And even the money thing is relatively taken care of.
21) Current hate right now?
Not liking my job that much yet. I HATE feeling incompetent, and this job does exactly that to me. And I’m not sure how fix-able that is. I think one underlying problem is like a mismatch between this specific part of my job and my personality traits.
22) How did you bring in the New Year?
Board games with a couple of friends, text messages from my new boyfriend even though we weren’t very official yet. sigh. :-)
23) Where would you like to be right now?
I’ve been kind of homesick for fall in Iowa lately. I’m not sure they’re having fall quite yet, though.
24) Name three people who will complete this?
I don’t know.
25) Do you own slippers?
I did, but I think my dog used one of them as a dog toy/attention-getting device, and so now I don’t own a pair of slippers. I may own a single slipper somewhere.
26) What shirt are you wearing?
A mustard-y yellow shirt that’s kind of tatoo-esque/rock and roll-y? I bought it a couple of years ago and haven’t really ever worn it. We’ll see if it goes outside of the house today. It’s a little more snug than I might prefer it to be.
27) Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
I don’t think I ever have. It doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me, though.
28) Can you whistle?
Yes, but not using my fingers. I do a pretty good whistle-solo at the beginning of Winds of Change by the Scorpions? sweet. ;-)

29) Would you be a pirate?
I don’t think so. They were pretty violent.
30) What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don’t generally sing in the shower. But I did used to sing along with the bathroom fan that automatically came on in my apartment. I’d sing random songs that were stuck in my head in the key of the fan, OR I would just sing the pitch of the fan and then slide up and/or down to pitches that were awful and out of tune. Just for my own amusement.
31) Favorite girl’s name?
I’m a pretty big fan of the name Grace. And the concept, I suppose. I wish it were less popular.

32) Favorite boy’s name?
I kind of dig Ian or Liam; Irish type names.

33) What’s in your pocket?
Currently nothing. Typically I have my Burt’s Bees lip balm, and maybe random work-stuff–PECS cards, visual schedule cards, etc.
34) Last person that made you laugh?
Probably either myself or Boyfriend.
35) Best bed sheets as a child?
We didn’t have them as a sheet set, but just in a bag of random hand-me-downs, there was a Snoopy/Peanuts flat sheet that was pretty fantastic. I don’t remember any fantastic childhood sheet sets otherwise. I enjoy picking them out as an adult, though. I typically go for solids in colors that I like; nothing super-exciting.
36) Worst injury you’ve ever had?
I had a really bad sprained ankle once when I’d walked while my foot was asleep. I also got 2nd degree burns on both of my legs this past summer, which might actually be worse. I was pretty much bed/couch-ridden for almost a week. At least with the sprain I could still walk around upright.
37) Do you love where you live?
I love with whom I live :-) And the house is great; just a lot more suburban than I’m used to.
38) How many TVs do you have in your house?
2, I think?

39) Who is your loudest friend?
Probably any…well, most…of my boyfriend’s young female relatives.
40) How many dogs do you have?

41) Does someone have a crush on you?
Yeah. :-)
42) What is your favorite candy?
Lately I’ve been eating Fast Break, which is like a form of peanut butter + chocolate? I’m a huge fan of the Take 5, which has a great balance of sweet and salty parts to it. And I love plain dark chocolate. Kitty want candy! (Gaffigan, 2007)
43) Favorite Sports Team?
Iowa Hawkeyes. It’s the only team I really follow fairly closely at this point.

44) Where is the next place you want to travel to?
I haven’t done a ton of traveling and there are lots of places I’d like to see and try out. I’d love to go to Ireland at some point. The next place I want to travel to that I’m also *likely* to travel to is Iowa.
45) What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Getting my boyfriend’s cousin addicted to the socially acceptable crack that is wedding planning/browsing. Me, alright?!? She learned it by watching me! (DEA, 1980-something) (Actually, I suspect very much that she did *not* learn it by watching me.)
46) What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
That is probably isn’t fair to pick a fight in real life with my boyfriend because he’d disappointed me in my dream by sneaking around planning our wedding, and told everyone except for me what he’d planned. Dream-jerk! ;-)



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