Friday, December 18, 2009

Stripper Mom Thinks

I’ve been away for awhile. Regrouping. Rethinking about what I want this blog to be.

I got off-track for awhile with what I was doing with Stripper Mom. I started writing about what I thought people wanted from me rather than what made sense for me. So, I will begin again. I will use this space for what I had intended.

I want to figure out who I am.

I know I’m a writer. I know I’m a mom. I know I happened to be a stripper once upon a time. And I know that stripping down is a good analogy for what I’m about in life.

Right now what I need to strip down to is what I’m doing with my writing.

I’m getting so tired of working and reworking the same project. I’m getting bored of waiting on agents to get back to me.

I have a possible agent holding on to my manuscript right now. Very lovely. Likes my manuscript. Provided great editing so far. But now I have to wait for her to find another agent to back her up on my project before she can take it to the head honcho.

What I’m worried about is that this will just keep going on like this for years. An agent will like the manuscript, take it on, have me revise it, sit on it for months, and then pass. And then I’m back to square one.

I want to move to square two already.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Peepshow



Here’s an interesting looking stripper tale. I’ll have to check it out.

From Publishers Weekly:

Peepshow by Leigh Redhead. Outfit (www.outfitcrime.com), $16.95 paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-60701-150-7

Australian author Redhead puts her past as a stripper and table dancer to effective use in her debut, the first in a crime series to feature aspiring PI Simone Kirsch. Simone, who performs in peep shows and as a striptease dancer to support herself, gets her first break after Frank Parisi—a thug who ran a strip club called the Red Room in St. Kilda, a Melbourne suburb—is “brutally hacked to death before being dumped in the bay.” Frank's brother suspects Simone's best friend, Chloe, who worked for the dead man, ordered the murder. Simone, who manages to buy some time by offering to identify the real killer, gets a job at the Red Room and starts to pump the other dancers for information. Soon, she's involved with several men, one a police officer whose boss is notorious for being both dirty and violent. Readers should be prepared for some graphic sex scenes, which fit naturally into the action, given the heroine's line of work. Redhead has made an unlikely premise convincing. (Nov.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stripper Mom Receives Apology



In the spirit of peace, church apologizes to those it has hurt

Finally, a story about a Stripper Mom with a happy ending.

You remember the story back in 2001about Christina Silvas? Silvas was asked to withdraw her daughter from the church-run school because Silvas was working as a stripper. On Sunday, Silvas sat with her daughters during the worship service as the pastor apologized.

Cole said he decided to apologize while preparing for this week's sermon.

"This has been weighing on my heart," the pastor said in an interview before the sermon. "This should have been done long ago, I don't want to let any more time go by."

After the sermon, Silvas, teary-eyed, called Cole's heartfelt apology amazing. "For so long all I felt was shame - people whispered about me, calling me the stripper mom," said Silvas, 31.

She said she had been urged by friends and attorneys to sue Capital Christian but had declined.

Now working for the state, Silvas quietly returned to the church about a year ago. Last year, she said, Cole and other church leaders offered a full scholarship to Silvas' two daughters.

"Coming back to church and my girls going to school here is more valuable than what any settlement would have bought," she said.

Perhaps this is a sign of something greater for the Stripper Moms of the world.

We have nothing to be ashamed of. None of us do.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sleep, Please

Cole is nine-months-old. He ate Stage 3 chunky baby food today.

We went out to dinner to celebrate Nick’s birthday and Cole just kept wolfing food down.

We’re hoping that his belly is finally full and he is going to sleep longer than usual, which shouldn’t be hard to do.

I’m so exhausted. I was going non-stop today. I really, really want some sleep.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A poop story

Cole’s introduction to more solid-type foods kind of backfired today, or rather, didn’t backfire with enough explosive power.

All day he was straining, red-faced, and obviously constipated. Two times when I changed his diaper, his tushie-hole was even open as if gasping for relief.

When his face turned beet-red in the tub, I thought I was going to see a brown island floating by, but still, no.

I put him to bed, knowing I’d be seeing something in the middle of the night.

Sure enough, a half hour after he was asleep, he started bawling.

I picked Cole up from his crib, turned on the John Lennon lamp, and lay Cole on the changing table.

His eyes were closed as I opened his diaper.

There they were. Two lumpy hard sausages with another stuck halfway out.

This half-in/half-out baby turd was as wide as a silver dollar and it was not budging. Cole was half-asleep but crying in pain.

I did what only a mother would; I grabbed a wipe and grabbed a hold of that poo and gently pulled it out.

Cole immediately stopped crying and fell asleep on the changing table.

I gently wrapped up the three hard, corn kernel-filled poos to share with Nick when he came home.

I placed Cole back in his crib and he remained asleep.

My work here is done.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day

Nothing like a day to bring back memories of labor. Those two days already grow fuzzy in my mind—life’s little gift to keep itself recreating.

Cole is all about the standing. He stiffens his legs and lifts up strongly.

He’s also all about eating big people food. Anything he can pick up and shove in his mouth himself, he is glad to do.

I should be sleeping now, but that’s what chocolate brownies with rainbow sprinkles can do to you.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Stripper Fail

The teething continues. The screaming. The crying. The horror.

So in my state of exhaustion, I give you something funny to watch.

It is, indeed, a stripper fail.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Go to my happy place…

Oh, for the days when the most crucial part of my day was getting my hair right.

Cole is teething (or being taken over by alien beings who just like to scream and cry nonstop).

He has his two front bottom teeth, one upper front one (yes, I know there are more technical names for these, but they escape me at the moment), and—hello! The second front tooth has poked his little toothie self through.

Miss Genny is still in a phase. You know, the kind where she tells me to shut up.

My nerves? Fried. My hair? Horrible.

If I don’t get some peace, quiet, and sleep soon, this Saturday I will look like I’m going to my fiftieth high school reunion instead of my twentieth.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Big Why

What a way to top off a long day.

I’m at the Big Y grocery shopping when Cole dumps over Genny’s milk jug onto himself, our groceries and the floor. While I’m trying to clean up all the mess, Cole dumps over my ice-tea.

The fun wasn’t over yet either.

As I’m bent over mopping up milky ice-tea, I notice a man with a handlebar mustache saying, “Excuse me, ma’am.”

“Yes?” I ask, thinking he’s come to my assistance.

“You’re falling out of your…bra there.” He averted his eyes.

“Argh, I’m having a rough day.”

He politely excused himself as I tucked my errant nipple back in. I really shouldn’t wear this tank top in public anymore.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Other McCain: CULTURAL APOCALYPSE WATCH:The Pole-Dancer Doll for Girls

The Other McCain: CULTURAL APOCALYPSE WATCH:The Pole-Dancer Doll for Girls

I don't understand the fury over this doll.

She has on her clothes and she's dancing around a pole with a disco ball.

What child is going to think anything else than, "Oh, cool. A cute doll that swirls around a pole!"

Last time I checked, roller rinks had disco balls, should we be offended about that?

And what about subway trains? Shall we declare war on people holding on to poles because of the wrong impression it might give to children?

Dancer Doll


I do understand the concern that parents have over this doll, knowing what they know about adult “pole dancers.”

I don’t know though. If I were a child and I saw this doll, I would just think that it’s a cute doll who dances around a pole.

Aren’t we just imposing our adult knowledge on our children when we have a problem with a doll like this? They don’t know about our adult references.

This appears to simply be a doll that dances around a pole. So what? Unless she strips off her clothing or dances provocatively, I don’t see what the big deal is.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Striptease or Burlesque?



The big tease: Burlesque grows in popularity
Shows sparks debate: performance art or downright smut?


Is there a difference between striptease and burlesque besides personal opinion? I don’t think so. One woman’s burlesque performance is another woman’s striptease.

It’s the old “I know it when I see it,” defense, only for striptease instead of porn.

The last club I performed at was called by two different names: Fallen Angels and Blue Angels. It was considered a burlesque club, which meant you could do performance art while you stripped, as long as you ended up naked.

I always wanted to push the envelope and do some funny stuff, but my need for cash kept me pretty much just straight-stripping. Although, by most peoples’ standards, a lot of what I did over the years was more burlesque than just peeling and posing.

I did feel better about myself when I worked at Blue Angel. I was not so afraid to tell others where I worked because now I could say I was a “burlesque performer” instead of an exotic dancer.

My favorite routine to do there was my own version of Strawberry Shortcake. I had a pair of yellow cut-off shorts and a halter top with strawberries all over and I put my hair in pigtails. I would bring strawberries on stage with me and eat them suggestively.

I found most men really didn’t care what you did though; they were waiting for the naked part.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wiggle It


I’m feeling better today.

I’m actually thinking my major depression feelings of the past few days have come from my hormones realigning themselves. I just started my period back after baby two months ago. The depression matches my ovulation timing perfectly.

I find it very peculiar to write about things like my children, my period, and stripper news all in the same blog post, but hey, here goes.

Have you all noticed how accepted strippers and strip clubs are lately? Well, I don’t mean “accepted” accepted, but there are often stripper news items to report. When I was a stripper in the early nineties, stripping was still very uncool and untalked about.

This afternoon Genny stood up on the kitchen chair and started shaking her tushie. It was a tushie dance.

She had watched The Wiggles beforehand and I was out of the room for some of it. Should I be worried? Are those Wiggles actually wiggling around in stripper stilettos?

Or was it those darn Care Bears?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love Lost


I don’t know if you’ve noticed my blog posts have been a little depressed lately. I’m sorry for that. I’ve just been falling into one of my dumps lately. I’m feeling overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. I’ve got three major projects I’m working on, too. Or I should say, trying to work on.

I guess I thought my daughter would love me.

I know she will one day. I mean, I know she loves me now, but she likes to make me think she doesn’t.

She lies. She constantly tells me she likes Daddy better.

When she was rude for the umpteenth time to me today I asked if she would speak to a friend like that.

“No, but I like my friends better than you.”

“OK, but that’s kind of rude to say. You should have some respect for your mother.”

“Well, I don’t. I respect my friends.”

“Do they take care of you? Will they buy you things and make you dinner?”

“No, but I like them better.”

I remember reading somewhere that it’s our jobs as parents to love our children, but not the child’s job to love us.

I believe this intellectually, but it hurts when I don’t feel love, or even like, from my five-year-old.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Type of Girl is Your Favorite NFL Team?

What Type of Girl is Your Favorite NFL Team?
By Andy Benoit, www.NFLTouchdown.com


This choice article is a fine example of why sports bars and strip clubs belong together.

I keep thinking our society is evolving away from men like this and then I keep being proved wrong.

If NFL teams were girls, what type of girl would each one be? What would it be like to date that team/girl?: Let's find out.

Raiders

Ms. Raider is that super sexy, rough-around-the-edges girl with the notorious wild side. Her hair isn't its natural color, her cleavage appears to have been sculpted by Michelangelo and her lower back is stamped with a half-visible tattoo. The second you see her, you want her. But by the next second, you're smiling coyly and thinking, On second thought...looks like a blast, but probably too much for me. And you're right. Ms. Raider is a better stripper than girlfriend. She's always attracting large, surly alpha males (think Vin Diesel type). The ones who date her quickly learn to run because deep down, just like her mother, Ms. Raider is crazy as hell.


It's so endearing to see the woman-loving articles out there on the Internet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reporter Gets Hit by a Mean Hoe

The craziness continues. You must read this article and see the accompanying video of the fifteen-year-old stripper’s grandmother.

What really gets me though is the last line of the piece:

If you ask questions about a stripper, don't be surprised if you get hit by a hoe.

I’m sure a lot of men who frequent strip clubs are laughing heartily. But you know what? Why must strippers be so jeered upon? Why is it okay to make a joke like this? If they made this joke about anyone else, people would be in an uproar.

This just solidifies my feeling of absolute exhausted sadness tonight.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom finds teen daughter performing at topless bar

Rosemary Lumpkin says she got an anonymous call from someone claiming her 15-year-old daughter was a stripper at the business. So this spunky mom didn't waste any time -- she called Cocoa police and officers raided the place.

Why is this mother “spunky”? What mother wouldn’t call the police when they found out their fifteen-year-old was stripping?

The most disturbing thing about this article is the comments section. There are some really whacked-out responses to the fact that a fifteen-year-old girl was stripping. I’m wondering what planet these people are from.

Here’s a fine example:

More girls should start out this way as to get ready to spend their life serving their MAN as they should!

There is nothing like a well oiled machine, if you know what I mean?

Women were born to take care of MEN regardless of what happens to them....PERIOD!

For those of you who don't get it, GET OVER IT!

Oh, and I hope that this one was written as a joke, but…you never know.

I think it's a womans choice to dance on top of mens faces, laps, poles or wherever we want to dance! The dance is just a dance! We were born with our 'money makers' and we have the opshion of using them who ever way we want too. I gots lots of monies from doing this for meny years and are a verry eductated woman.
I terned out just fine and so will shie if only her mother aksepts her dancing. Dancing is an art form! We are artistses!
Not just hores!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daddy Cyrus to the Rescue



Miley’s father has come to his daughter’s defense regarding the great stripper pole dance.

“I always tell her to love what you’re doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion,” he says.

I agree with what his beliefs in staying true to one's art.

I do think it’s important for a young girl to not glamorize being a stripper, too, but I stick to my guns in believing that Miley’s routine wasn’t meant to cause that connection.

And if people are so sure that’s what they see in that ice-cream cart pole and they are so upset and outraged by it, my real concern then becomes, what? The pole bothers you but the short shorts and the other innuendos don’t?

If we’re going to get all huffed up, shouldn’t we be more concerned by the overall message sent by sixteen-year-olds singing and dancing like this?

Shouldn’t we wonder what this tells us about the American youth culture?

What does this tell us about ourselves? About the importance we place on looks and sex and youth?

Isn’t Miley just providing the audience with what it wants and expects?

And aren’t we as adults in this society responsible for the culture we create?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miley Cyrus: Stripper in Training?



I had to check out the video of Miley Cyrus on the MTV Teen Choice Awards after I read about how inappropriate her dancing was.

While I would agree that, yes, the dancers, including Miley, are all dressed in very short shorts and dancing pretty sexily, I just don’t see the stripper pole dance at all.

Yes, there’s a pole on top of the faux ice-cream cart that she holds onto while the cart is pushed stage left. Only once does she even dance while holding the pole.

Can a pole never just be a pole again?

Anyone who sees Miley as promoting stripping through holding onto a metal pole so as not to fall down probably has a stripper pole in their own bedroom. I don’t see how anyone without their minds fixated on stripper poles would ever make that connection.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mobile Stripper pole on bicycle New York streets!!!



Now I’ve seen everything.

Thank you, Meredith, for this link.

From an online stripping thirteen-year-old to a stripper on a pedicab.

What is the world’s fascination with stripper poles all about?

Is Your Child an Online Stripper?

Online stripping? This letter details how a thirteen-year-old girl was earning $1 an hour in virtual money as an online stripper in Second Life.

I’ve never played these virtual games, so I know nothing about this issue.

It does seem strange that people would actually want to watch a virtual strip tease by a cartoon character.

I am not surprised by this letter though. Our children are online. They can see and learn about anything and everything.

Genny is five-years-old and already can operate a computer and play online games. She’s always supervised, but there will come a time when we will turn away for a few minutes.

How do we protect our children beyond education and supervision?

It’s a scary world. Our children will learn this sooner or later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oregon seamstresses sew custom-made strip-wear



There’s so much stripper stuff in the news that I’m trying to catch up on since I came home from vacation.

This article demonstrates that Portland, Oregon is the place to be if you’re a stripper: They harbor 50 strip clubs!

I remember a motherly figure that used to come backstage to strip clubs in Connecticut selling homemade costumes. I even bought a leopard-print tuxedo jacket with matching thong from her.

If you have good sewing skills, this stripper costume-making business could really prove to be lucrative.

Monday, August 17, 2009

...And I Wouldn't Have Thought "G-String" Was a Musical Term

Thank you to my friend Paul for this great conversation from Overheard in New York.

Oblivious teenage girl: Are strip cubs illegal?

Less oblivious friend: Um, no. Why would you think that?

Oblivious teenage girl: Cuz while I was going out with Matt he said something about a strip club getting busted.

Less oblivious friend: You went out with Matt? You slut!

Oblivious teenage girl: No, if I was a slut I would have known whether strip clubs are illegal or not.

--Central Park

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We’re back from vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC. We had a great time, but Nick was a bit stressed out since he was trying to work.

Cole liked the ocean. He is also now rolling over like nobody’s business, and he can crawl backwards.

Genny had a great time pestering all of her family members.

I even got one afternoon when Cole napped and everyone else was out at the movies or the alligator farm. Guess what I did? I got to read, uninterrupted for an hour! Now that’s a vacation!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Vacation

Stripper Mom and family are going on vacation for a week!

I probably won't be posting, so I'll see you all in a week.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sleep, Baby

It’s so interesting how different ways of putting a baby to sleep are, well, so, different.

I’ve been trying an in-between take of the two extremes: let baby cry it out or respond to each cry from baby.

Nick and I have been trying to ease off the running to every single whimper. We’ve been having success with putting Cole to bed without nursing him into a coma. I’ve been nursing him and putting him in his crib while he’s still awake. He cries, but I don’t leave the room. I soothe him with songs and back rubs until he’s out. It takes about thirty minutes.

I figure this is a good step to helping him learn to fall asleep all by himself.

Today at Playland Village (an indoor play space in Monroe) I was speaking to another mother about Cole waking up four to five times a night. I told her I nurse him back to sleep each time.

“You’re going to have to let him cry it out,” she said.

“Well, I don’t know if I like that method. I don’t want to mess him up psychologically.”

“You won’t,” she said. “I’m a psychologist.”

So she explained it’s the way to teach Cole to go back to sleep in the middle of the night on his own: let him cry for a half-an-hour the first night, then an hour the next night.

“Turn off the monitor,” she said.

I just don’t know. Yes, I want to sleep for more than two hours, but I don’t want to make Cole cry.

What have all the mothers out there found to work?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Here


This is where I want to be.

This is my mantra.

I sat beside Cole as he fell asleep in his crib dressed in his soft monkey onesie. He tossed and cried. He paused as I rubbed his back, his legs.

I held my hand against his lower back.

I wanted to be somewhere else. At my computer. Some me time.

This is where I want to be, I said.

I will be at my computer later. When Cole is asleep. Right now, this is important. Helping Cole learn to fall asleep. It takes patience. And I have that patience to give him, to teach him.

This is where I want to be. This is my job as a mother. To be here while he learns to sleep.

To be here. To give.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Nurse away

This is a new one—a breast-feeding doll.



I was surprised when I saw the title for this video on MSNBC. In fact, I was confused. Breast feeding? Like a baby doll and a mommy doll for it to nurse on? No: a baby doll to nurse on the little girl.

Sure enough, the video shows the commercial of a little girl putting on a halter top with flower pasties to nurse.

It seems odd to me, but Genny has never shown interest in nursing her dolls. Since she’s seen Cole nursing, the only reaction it’s spurred is that she wants to nurse again. But not seriously. She thinks it’s funny to pretend to want to latch on. I always stop her, but if I didn’t, would she actually nurse?

I wonder what her reaction would be to this doll. She reminds me all the time that she doesn’t want to be a mom. The reason? She saw me get a blood test while pregnant. I’ve explained that people get blood tests all the time for all kinds of things, not just being pregnant. And she’s already had blood tests. But still, she says, “I don’t want to be a mommy.”

Nick’s looking forward big-time to being a grandpa, so I hope she changes her mind.

I don’t know how I feel about the nursing doll. I mean, in principle, I don’t have a problem with it, but I do agree with the doctor being interviewed that it sexualizes young girls.

It would be better if the halter top didn’t have big flower pasties on it. Of course, then what? Pretend nipples? That would be weird.

I just don’t know. I guess being in a crappy mood today doesn’t help.

I’m feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

If only I’d thought of the nursing doll, maybe then I’d be rich and sitting on a beach nursing my real child.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Giving Stripper Moms a bad name



Cops: Mom left 2 kids home alone to work at strip club

This woman is what people think of when they think of Stripper Moms.

When Fiordaliza Collado-Ramirez of Palm Bay, Florida couldn’t get a babysitter last night, she left her four- and five-year-old daughters home alone while she went to work. At a strip club.

The question I have is: was she planning on leaving them home alone all night by themselves? The report even says that the four-year-old was sick. How does a mother leave two small girls alone to go to a strip club?

After my initial anger and shock, another emotion and thought enters.

I wonder why she felt the need to not be late to her job. Perhaps she would have lost her job if she were late one more time. Perhaps she needed money to pay her rent or buy food. Perhaps this is the only job she feels she is any good at.

I am not forgiving her action by any means. I just want to remind us all that we don’t know the circumstances of her life.

I feel sad for her and her kids.

One more question: did the cops not let her change out of her work clothes?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cold, please!

I’ve wanted the heat and now I’ve got it and I’m cranky as all get out.

I’m sick of being sticky and sweaty. I don’t know if it’s just me, but ever since I gave birth a second time, I feel sweatier and smellier. I can’t get clean.

I would like to live in a cold shower for the next month.

I would like icicles to hang from my nipples and a great ice floe to form around my midsection.

Ah…I feel cooler already.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This phase


Genny has a few annoying habits.

She laughs when she thinks someone has been hurt, but not in an embarrassed, don’t-know-what-to-do way. She purposefully laughs screechy and loud and then looks to see if she’s hurting that person’s feelings.

Genny also loves to tell me every chance she has that she likes Nick more than me. It’s fine that she says it, but she seems to do it to get a rise out of me. Nick says that I encourage it, but I don’t think so.

I wish my mother was here so that I could ask her if I said things like that to her. I don’t remember being mean to my mother at that early of an age. I was too shy and scared, I think.

I’m looking forward to Genny growing out of this phase.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

He is asleep


Praise the Lord. I just put Cole to bed without nursing him down.

It was time. He’d been cranking all day. I nursed him in my bedroom like I normally do, then headed to his room when he had conked out. As usual lately, the moment I put his body in the crib he woke up crying.

I consoled him. Sang, Rock a bye, baby. And then I turned out the light and sat on the daybed in his room.

I let him cry on and off for fifteen minutes. I would sing and tell him, “Mama’s here.”

Then I moved over and sat in the chair next to his crib. I massaged his belly. He arched his back from side to side and I slid my hand under his back and rubbed. I massaged his legs. Stroked his hair. The crying stopped. He rolled from side to side. Getting sleepy now. And finally he ended with my hand on his belly and one of his hands resting against my arm.

All in all, it took me less than thirty minutes. I knew he wasn’t hungry. He just wanted what he wanted—the usual sucking on one of mom or dad’s fingers.

This feels like such a triumph. It’s the first step to getting him to learn how to sleep on his own.

Now, let’s see how long this sleep lasts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How old are we?


Mama is feeling mean today.

If the wrong breeze brushes by me, I’m going to blow.

Just one of those days when I feel angry at everyone and everything.

I had a nightmare experience with Nana in Stop and Shop. Taking care of her is wearing me thin. She’s my grandmother and so, of course, I will do all I can, but sometimes I think I’m going to lose it big time.

Taking care of a 7-month old, a five-year-old, and a ninety-year-old is just plain crazy.

Especially when the ninety-year-old says in front of the five-year-old, “I want to die.”

And then, of course, you get the five-year-old saying to the ninety-year-old, “Why don’t you go home.”

So much fun to explain to them both that it’s because the other is “only five,” or “very old.”

Friday, July 24, 2009

Attitude of gratitude

Those buttery pretzel bites at the mall are addictive.

After indoor noshing and playing at the mall, Genny, Cole and I headed for a friend’s place where we went swimming. I was proud of myself for getting right into the cold water. Cole was loving being in the pool. He has no fear of cold.

I learned how to make homemade baby food. So easy. At first I thought baby jarred food is so cheap—less than one dollar a serving! Then I realized Cole’s going through three servings a day. That’ll add up. I may actually start being a happy little homemaker! (No, not really, just a little.)

Actually, seeing our friend holding Cole and loving it made me appreciate what we have. And perhaps also seeing the child in a wheelchair at the mall. I consciously said to myself, I am grateful.

Cole fell asleep in his car seat on our way home this evening and I thought he’d be out for awhile, but he just woke up. I nursed him and he went right back out.

It is Friday evening. Here I am. My family healthy and safe.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Remembering

I’ve just learned that a good friend of my mother’s died in Long Island Sound.

I feel so sad for his wife and family.

I told Genny and she said that he is now in heaven with Grandma Mary and Grandma Alice.

Rest in peace, Ray.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looking for work

I don’t know what happened to my baby today. He was awake from seven am until three pm then he had just a little bit over an hour nap. That’s it. And he’s been cranking and drooling and squealing nonstop. And I have a feeling he’s not going to want to sleep now either.

As much as I can, I’ve been job hunting today. Nick’s work has been intermittent and I want to help financially if I can. Teaching is kind of out for now since it’s summer and takes too many hours.

I’m looking for editing or writing or yoga teaching jobs. I don’t know how exactly I’ll manage any of these things, but I’ll try.

Looking for work got me to thinking about why I used to only look for nude work when I was young. How strange that I only thought to look for naked jobs. I guess that’s all I thought I had to offer. How nice to have other options now.

Oh boy. Cole is crying. I must go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quiet

Another miracle day.

Genny’s grandparents took her to see the movie “Up” this afternoon. They are out for dinner as I type.

Cole is napping upstairs.

I just ate a salmon burger at my desk while surfing the Internet.

And now it is just me in the room. Sitting and typing and enjoying the cool, rainy weather.

I almost don’t know what to do with myself all by myself. Should I work? Should I write? Should I watch television for the first time in months? The possibilities are endless.

It’s actually quite nice just imagining all my choices.

But if I am correct, I do hear some baby stirrings. It was lovely while it lasted.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Third?!

I told Nick not to trip on the three wise men outside our house this morning. Yes, it’s true. We had a little Christmas in July here last night. A miracle. Cole only woke up one time.

How he goes from up five times a night to one time is beyond me, but I don’t mind about that, as Genny would say. I await without my breath held to see what will happen tonight.

I finally got my first period after having given birth. It really got me thinking about whether Nick and I will have another baby now that my body is saying it’s physically ready again. Of course, my brain isn’t saying anything like that yet.

Since I’m no longer that young, if we’re going to have another baby, it will have to be sooner than later. But how soon?

It’s a hot topic for me because as much as I’d like to have a big family, the pregnancy and early years part is so tough for me. I know Nick would do all that tough stuff if he could, but alas, he will not be the world’s second pregnant man.

I can see how it is probably true though, that after two, adding a third is no big deal.

We’ll see about that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strippers in Training

Genny, Cole, and I kept busy this afternoon by going to the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. After visiting the bookstore (and purchasing Rainbow Fairy sticker and stencil books—score!), we made our way down the long deserted hallway toward Playtown, stopping briefly at Pretzel Time for some pretzel bites (Oh my goodness—hot pretzel delights drizzled with butter and salt and probably sugar!).

After Genny’s requisite climbing fun, we went to the pet store located right next to it (at the Trumbull Mall they have a candy store right next to their Playtown—ah…the genius!) and pet a $1600 Chihuahua named Bumbles, or something.

Walking back down the hallway toward our minivan after testing out all the mattresses in Sears, we went into a fancy dress store to see the “princess” dresses. As we worked our way back into the tulle madness we encountered what can only be described as stripper gowns.

Stripper gowns are what must be worn in higher end strip clubs in New York. They usually look like a prom dress on crack. Just like these today.

There was one so awful and so stripperly that I had to remark to the saleslady, “Wow—you must have a lot of strippers shop here, huh?”

She looked at ME like I was on crack.

“What? NO! These are prom dresses!”

“You mean this one here with the slit up to the crotch in pink and zebra print? That’s a prom dress? You’re joking, right?”

“No, actually, that one is quite tame. You should see what they wear to their proms nowadays.”

I looked from her to the stripper gown in horror. I’m sorry, I mean, the “prom” dress.

Horror.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer is here

Today was all about being hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. Ugh. Carting around two kids in a minivan in 86 degree heat made me wistful for the old summer days I remember before I was mommed.

I’d stop at a deli, buy a hard salami sandwich with a pickle, drive down to the beach with my windows unrolled and the music cranked. I’d let the breeze whip my hair into my mouth. I’d sing.

I’d lie down on the hot sand in a teeny-tiny bikini and know I looked great. The heat would soak me raw and hot. I’d walk down to the water to cool off.

I could spend my whole day doing nothing and being responsible for absolutely nothing. Maybe I’d take a nap later on and just chill out.

I just noticed the stubby end of a pretzel stick that Genny left for me on my desk.

She made cherry juice earlier.

She actually helped water the garden and only complained once.

Cole is sleeping. Genny is sleeping.

And I just finished a cool glass of ice tea.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Into It

Genny’s latest cute saying, “I’m into apple juice now. Yeah, I’m really into it right now.”

I’m into the need for sleep right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boomba

I think Cole set an all new record for least amount of naptime in one day. He slept for only 30 minutes two times today. That is not much for a 7-month old.

I’ve been getting crankier as the day wears on. I barely got any work done.

Yo—chill out, Mom.

Man, I really do need to lighten up on myself, but then I remind myself that I’ll never succeed in life if I don’t keep pushing past my limitations.

Cole’s word of the day was boomba.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Progress

Genny is full of beans today.

She’s taken to calling me Sheila a lot.

I didn’t mind when she did it every once in awhile, but now it seems she’s doing it to get me going.

And when she doesn’t get her way she makes the most awful pout ever.

I was getting Cole undressed for his bath and he was crying, so I said, “Don’t you like baths, Cole?”

Genny from across the room said, “He doesn’t like you.”

I looked at her and she bit her hair.

Of course, five minutes later she rushed into the bathroom to help bathe Cole. I try to let as many of her little annoyances go by as I can, but sometimes she’s just pushing me too hard.

Cole was only up twice last night. True, he didn’t go to bed until 10:30, but this is progress.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Five Boxes A Weekend!


Nick and I have started a new blog called Five Boxes.

We have pledged ourselves to clearing out five boxes a weekend from our basement. Nick estimates there's about 200 boxes of stuff down there. We are going to share our journey through too much stuff with you.

You'll share all the sorting excitement as we struggle through almost 100 years of stuff. We're sure to come up against all our issues as we sort and sift and decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw away!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Stuff

For some reason Cole can’t seem to sleep longer than two hours at a time. Last night was awful. I took him into bed with me and he used my nipple as a nuk, not actually nursing and emptying out the milk, but just suckling. The second I would try to reclaim my breast for myself, he’d wake up and cry. So I had an overfilled right breast all day.

And then he barely napped today. Ugh. I should be sleeping now, but this is my time to get a few things done.

We harvested broccoli from our garden! And we have corn stalks almost as tall as me. Pretty cool. Nick is quite the farmer.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Other Slide

I've got another nagging depression biting at my ankles.

I'm having agent problems--as in, my agent won't return my phone calls or emails. I'm still feeling sick. Cole is only happy when in a lap. And I'm tired. Plus all the other annoyances that include my grandmother making me nutso.

On a lighter note, Genny told a great joke unknowingly today.

"Mommy, why did the chicken cross the road?"

"I don't know. Why?"

"To get to the other slide!"

"The other slide?"

"Yeah! That's funny, right? I guess he was at one playground and there was another one across the street!"

That's my new fave joke.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sleep Deprivation

This is a nursing blog. Cole sucks away, which makes typing difficult.

What do I need to strip away tonight?

I need to reexamine Stripper Mom and figure out what I want to focus on.

What do I want to write about?

I do not know tonight.

I want to sleep.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Full of grouchiness

There's nothing like being peed and pooped on to make a day great.

Enough about that subject...

Cole poked me full force in the eyeball with a sharp fingernail.

Besides the eyeball pain, I also have a headache and a shoulderache.

Cole was screaming for apparently no reason for most of the day. And he only had itsy-bitsy naps.

Fortunately, Genny was in better spirits, until she rolled off the couch and walloped her head on the wood floor.

Did anything good happen today?

Why yes, I somehow managed to get two pages done on my graphic novel project. I have no idea how.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Roles

I’m wondering what truth is anymore. I’m wondering whom I speak to when I write my words. I’m wondering who I was and who I am.

Who will my children know me as? When I am old and need to be driven to the grocery store, what will they tell their spouses when they talk about me afterward?

I know I am not the only one who is right.

But I am wondering how and why I became the caretaker. I don’t feel like I ever chose the role, rather it snuck up and clobbered me on the head, said, “You’re mine. Now get to work.”

Perhaps I just need to accept this role. And all the other roles I play.

And the roles I played, that are now quite played out.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Get ‘er Done

I’m still just getting better—not all better yet.

I’ve been doing a good job of keeping up with my writing. It truly amazes me that I’m getting so much more writing done since I became a mother.

I wasted so much time as a non-parent. I would think nothing of watching three hours of television an evening. I don’t even know what shows are on TV anymore.

Have other parents experienced this upsurge in creativity since becoming a parent?

And for you non-parents, how do you keep yourself working and not being distracted by all our digital era offers?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Storytime



Here is a funny stripper mom commercial. This would never fly in the United States.

I’m wiped out. I took Genny and Cole to the pajama storytime at the library.

Cole threw up pear sauce and breast milk all over him and me.

Genny actually sat in the circle with the other girls. She still looks to the others for how to act though. She laughs when they laugh. She copies. She follows.

I’m hoping that this year being the oldest at her Montessori School will force her into being a leader.

I want her to lead. I don’t want her to conform.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Life In a G-String: A Round Up of Stripper Memoirs

Here’s an interesting article that my friend Tanya told me about. It’s round-up of stripper memoirs.

I agree with the writer, Katie Roiphe, on a few points she makes, but also feel annoyed at the unfair treatment the stripper writers receive.

Are all naked women pretty much the same? Reading stripper memoirs would lead one to think so. It is a surprisingly rigid genre, with a set of rules and conventions as strict as those of sonnets or villanelles.

Of course, there are “conventions” as Roiphe points out, but what books about a certain group of people don’t have conventions? Alas, there are a lot of similarities to some strippers’ experiences.

You would think the subject would have a certain voyeuristic frisson, but something about stripping lends itself to cliché and obviousness, to the literary equivalent of fake breasts and caked mascara and silver thongs. Still a vast number of them have appeared on shelves, including Lily Burana’s good-natured Strip City, Elisabeth Eaves’ journalistic Bare, and Lacey Lane’s ditsy Confessions Of A Stripper.

True, I’ve read these books and there is a bit of cliché laid on, but that just reflects the job. And for there being “a vast number” of stripper memoirs out there, I’d have to disagree. How are a small handful of books “a vast number”? I’d say there aren’t enough (and not just because my memoir hasn’t found a publisher yet).

How many clichéd white male diatribes about the same old business thing are there out there?

We need more tales of strippers and prostitutes and mothers and clerks and waitresses. We need more stories told by women. Perhaps then we will begin to see the true extent of the similarities and differences inherent in women.

Monday, June 29, 2009

....StripXpertease.... The Strip and the Tease.

....StripXpertease.... The Strip and the Tease.

Shared via AddThis

I just stumbled upon this blog that reposted my Salon article from 2000 with the writer's comments.

She teaches a striptease class.

I've had my own thoughts along these lines...of course, with my own strange twists!

Life is short.

I love it when people take what they've done and find new ways to monetize it and empower themselves and others.

Calling All Mom Writers!


Attention Mom Writers! (Or moms who WANT to write…)

I’m looking for writers for short posts on my blog - strippermom.blogspot.com (and possible inclusion in a book).

Looking for short pieces (25 – 500 words) about what it means to be a “stripper mom.”

It doesn’t mean that you’re out there working the stripper pole at your local “Gentlemen’s Club.” Being a stripper mom is about stripping down to your past, no matter what it may be, and embracing and accepting it, so that you can live more fully in the present. We all have experiences or jobs from our pasts that we view as negative. Instead of letting those things constantly hold us back in life, we can look them squarely in the face and learn from them.

Are you a stripper mom? Are you a woman engaged with using her past stories to create the life you want for yourself now?

Be as creative as you like! What does being a metaphorical “stripper mom” mean to you? What is it like to be a mom writer? How do you make time for everything? What advice do you have for other moms who want to write?

No pay, but good experience and exposure.

Please email your submission in the body of the email along with a short bio and any email or website contact you would like included with your piece. If you would like a photo to appear with your piece, please include that, too.

shageman@hotmail.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting Better

Genny is still at her grandparents. Her grandma was so wonderful to say she could stay one more night while Nick and I get better.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I miss her silly personality and her needling.

Cole is sleeping as I write. I am hoping this will last for a few more hours.

I am feeling better physically.

And mentally.

I’ve upped my Zoloft to 75 mg from 50 mg. Not a big jump, but I think I feel less anxious.

Next week I will hopefully be back to my “normal” self and getting some work done.

One day at a time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Still Sick

Cole’s first tooth is officially in and it looks like the second one is on the way.

His personality is really showing forth this week. He seems to be a happy soul! I hope he continues along this path.

I’m feeling an eensy bit better after my hospital visit last night. I have a sinus infection, but by the middle of last night, after not having slept for two nights, I started gasping for breath. I had been so congested for hours that I could only breathe through my mouth and it was causing me to hyperventilate and freak out a bit.

I got fluids, medications, and a breathing treatment at the hospital. I’m still crazy congested, but at least I’m not feeling so horrible.

Cole is rubbing eyes like crazy now. I’ve got to get him to bed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Naked Tushie


I’ve got one of those headaches that feels like a starter headache of something else.

Cole’s getting his first tooth in on the bottom. I thought the first one was supposed to be on the top?

Perhaps my headache is simply a starter headache from all the teething screeching. A warning of more pain to come, for him and me.

I’m sitting on the floor typing this so I can be close to Genny and Cole. They’re both rather needy.

I have one sleeve of my tank down because I was nursing. Genny tried to do the same thing with her long sleeve shirt and practically tied herself up.she decided to just take off her shirt instead.

Speaking of my daughter and her liking being nude (oh God, no, please!), she does a tushie dance. She’ll just pull her pants and undies down and shake her tushie and sing, “Shake your little tushie!”

I asked her where she learned it, but she said it she made it up herself.

It is quite funny.

When does doing a naked tushie dance go from being funny to being stripping?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where am I?

Cole had his six-month checkup.

He’s only 19 pounds 8 ounces. I really thought he’d be over 20 by now.

I realized where my mysterious bruises on my thighs have been coming from—Cole in his car seat smashing against me as I carry him.

I’ve got to say, I’m feeling extremely depressed tonight. I feel disconnected from my body, from other people. It’s one of those things that’s so hard to explain. I feel nervous, anxious.

I just want to be able to relax and stop thinking. I guess I miss my yoga practice. I’ve got to get myself some alone time.

It’s hard to breathe. Shortness.

Blech.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gotta Go

The nap gods smiled upon us today. Cole took two, I repeat, two two-hour naps.

The rain fell nonstop.

And I gained back a fun side-effect of having a baby.

I pee nonstop.

Well, not nonstop, but any amount of peeage not associated with a toilet, I consider as good as nonstop.

This is one of those untalked about features of stopping your kegel exercises, I guess. I was squeezing my “pelvic floor” like a good yogini many times a day, but stopped about a month ago.

Now, after having partaken in a baby-making activity the other day (with no actual baby-making attempted), I get this silly, if-I-don’t-find-myself-on-a-toilet-the-instant-I-have-to-pee-then-I’m-peeing-where-I-am-phenomenon.

So I’m starting my kegels again. I’m thinking that the recent activity shocked the muscles and they’re saying, whoa, lady, we’ve got to take things slow here, or at least get squeezing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Questions

Why is Cole not sleepy?

Why does my back ache?

Why does Genny not like me to take her photograph, but she’ll let other moms take it?

Why did I not appreciate my free time before I had children?

Why has the weather been so chilly even with global warming?

Why is Cole scratching my leg brutally and slobbering on my hand?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tired

Something cute and fuzzy was munching on our corn stalks. We need to build a protective fence around our entire garden.

Tomorrow is Genny’s last day of Montessori school for the year. I’m looking forward to the cute graduation ceremony they do.

I was doing pretty well all day, but I’ve got a headache now. And, you know, I’m a bit exhausted.

It was chilly out today. In fact, I took Genny and Cole to Long Brook Park and Genny wanted to come home without playing because she had goosebumps.

That’s it. I’m absolutely dry. I have nothing to write about. I was writing all day in my spare moments. My eyes are tired of looking at the keyboard.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day

Cole continues to astound with his, “Maaa, maa, maaaaa.”

He also seems to have grown an inch in like two days. We had to raise his exercauser a spot.

He likes to practice standing with assistance.

And from his reactions right now, it seems as though he may have a future in computers. He’s practically leaping at the keyboard and his whole body is shaking.

My own mood is pretty okay today. Not manic. Not depressed. Just pretty focused on working and getting things done.

After dropping Genny at school, I took Cole to my home away from home, Starbucks, and I was able to get an hour worth of writing in.

After school, the three of us went to Target to buy diapers and cranberry juice.

I just came in from my daily stroll through our garden. It looks like we may have fresh lettuce every day forward from yesterday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Only Good Thing in My Life

Nick said I should call my blog post what I said about coffee this morning.

I don’t understand why it should upset my husband for me to say it. I obviously meant coffee is the only good thing in my life BESIDES my family. Besides, I mean, you can’t drink your family.

So, Cole said, “Mahm.”

Not Mom or Mama exactly, but he made the sound. And he knew he was doing something marvelous. He practiced at least three times for ten minutes. He put his whole being, body, and breath into it. He pushed out the sounds from deep in his belly.

He just said, “Mome.”

And now, “Uh-Mum-mum-mum.”

Okay, THAT sounded like, “Mama!”

Very cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I’m just saying

Today is Cole’s six-month birthday. He celebrated by screaming whenever we tried to put him down.

Right now he’s sitting on my lap making baby grunts and “uuunh” sounds. If I were to place him on his playmat, which is full of fun baby things like crinkly cows and mirrors, he would once again begin crying until his eyes wrinkled and his entire head and face turned red.

Not the makings of a peaceful day, or a day where one gets much done. I hate having high hopes for a day’s work and then having to settle for being thrown up on instead.

Wow, I am really being a crepe hanger today, as my grandma likes to say.

I just thought of something cute Genny picked up. The other day she asked me what something meant, I don’t remember what, and I said it was just a saying. Now when she says something that I don’t get and I ask, “What?”, she says, “Oh, it’s a saying, Mom.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beliefs

I’m sick and tired of being depressed. I can’t stand that I can’t just enjoy life. I want to be able to savor the moments with my children when they are young. I want to relish every smile, laugh, and baby poop.

I know there isn’t anything “wrong” with me, but that thought is always nagging at me. Like I’m supposed to be loving motherhood more. I’m supposed to not mind sacrificing so much of my own life for others. I’m supposed to survive on the joy I receive from others’ dependence on me.

But I don’t fall into that mindset like many other mothers may. But I still want to be a mother. And I really want to find ways to enjoy motherhood more. Perhaps this is enough for one day—to realize how I feel is fine and to want to find ways to gently shift my experience.

I really don’t like how I can’t stand up for my own beliefs sometimes. Why must I feel the way I believe people think mothers should feel? Why must I meet expectations when it comes to motherhood? When it comes to anything?

The same goes for my feelings about strippers. When I read people talking about strippers as if they are whores or dumb, I go through different emotions. Anger. Agreement. Sadness. Disgust.

It’s like my mind is constantly trying to figure out who I agree with, but I never find the exact right belief.

I’m just here. Me. Trying to figure my life out.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mood Swings

I am considerably better today. I had phone therapy during which I spoke to my therapist about the possibility of my being bipolar. I have such massive mood swings. I physically feel unable to move when depressed, but when in my up state, my body feels like it’s fueled by baby hamsters running through my blood.

I’m hoping that this whole brain imbalance is simply from lack of decent sleep for six months. Perhaps when I begin getting a solid four hours every night I will begin to feel evened out emotionally.

I just took Genny and Cole for a walk. We probably went about a mile. It felt good to move and the added benefit is that Cole fell asleep. I now have some time to work on my project.

On a side note, one of my favorite pairs of pants would not close around my belly this morning. This, I do not like.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stressed Out

You know how when you’re really stressed out and angry you can only focus on that and not write about anything else? That’s where I’m at today.

Cole was not happy all day. Crying and whining the moment he was set down. He had to be held. And he still does. Nick is holding him while he and Genny watch Kung Fu Panda.

Some days I feel like I can handle everything. Today, I feel like I can handle nothing.

At one point, trying to put Cole down for a nap, I sang, “I want to kill myself, kill myself, kill myself!” It was a rousing chorus.

My depression makes me feel physically heavy, unwieldy.

Tired. I want to pull the covers over my head. I want to call out for my mother to come and help me. And I do call out to her sometimes, but she doesn’t answer. Then I feel sorry for myself.

But the baby still cries. And I still get down on myself for not getting more work done. It’s a bottomless swirl where each depressing thought feeds the next.

I hope tomorrow I can lift my head up above and breathe.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Plunking Rain

Cole’s jammies are very green pea covered. He’s kicking his little feet against my thighs, chewing on his fingers, and saying, “Mmm, mmm.”

Cole should be sleeping. He almost was—twice. But it didn’t take and I gave up and brought him downstairs with me. Now he’s staring at the computer screen.

It’s so slow typing with one hand and balancing a baby on your lap with the other. Lately, he only is content when he’s being held, which cuts down on my work output. Although I am moving forward with a few new writing projects that I hope to be able to share with the world soon.

Now my hand is slopping wet. I may even have a baby hickie on my thumb.

Tomorrow we’re off to a wedding. I promised myself not to spend too much time picking out the dress I’m going to wear. I decided to wear the first one I tried on even though I’m not fond of how my belly pooches out.

Any day now I’ll be starting back with abdominal crunches. And yoga. I’m getting there. Thinking about it is a big start.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Kick to the Head

Bravo to this stripper in Florida!

There were many occasions when I wished to do what she did. After a slap on the buttocks, she kicked back.

Apparently, the customer had broken bones, even though the Cheetah manager said he came back later that same night for another beer.

If anything, the stripper should be suing the guy. Yes, that’s what she should do—countersue!

What a great way for her and the club to get major media attention.

I would gladly take the stand to support the need to kick strip club customers in the head when they slap you on the ass.

Some men think just because a woman is dancing nude that it means they are asking for it, whatever the “it” is that he feels like doing.

“Hey! If a naked woman if sashaying her naked stuff inches from my face, of course I’m gonna grab it!”

Hey yourself! That’s her job! She’s not there so you can grab her ass—she’s there so she can make some money!

Keep your hands to your own self (as Genny’s teacher would say)!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tired



I was looking at photos of Genny when she was a baby. The similarities between her and Cole are striking.

Cole seems to have really discovered his feet tonight. He’s kicking his legs and shaking and grabbing his toes. And he’s all about making bubbly noises.

I’m feeling a bit under the weather. And I’m smelling Cole, who smells like a carrot.

Genny is watching a Barney video. Nick is on his computer.

My back hurts. I’m tired.

I did get writing work done today. I am content to end my day on this note.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Me, Groggy

Today I am determined to keep on working, even if I’m tired, even if I’m typing one-handed while nursing. The only way to change what I’m not happy with is to take actions to change it. In this case, the “it” is not having a published book. If I need to work when tired, so be it.

The children need tending, the house needs to be prevented from falling down, clean laundry must be made available, and food must be eaten. But that does not matter. I must keep moving forward on my creative projects, even if slowly.

And I am glad that I was there to see Cole take his first playground swing ride today.

I want it all.

I want motherhood. I want work. I want my husband.

I will have it all, even though it means being groggy for awhile.

Monday, June 01, 2009

To Be a Man


Today while I was cooking tofu and broccoli, I wished I was a man for the first time.

Through all the annoyingness of life as a woman, I don’t think I’ve ever wished I were a man before, but for some reason, stirring broccoli florets in salt and water, I did.

I suppose it had something to do with the seeming simpleness of the “male” tasks Nick was performing outside: bringing out the garbage, recycling, and watering the garden, while I tried to creatively cook the same thing I always cook. I had just gotten Cole to nap and Genny was in the living room sulking and moping for some unknown reason.

The thought just flashed through me all at once, “I wish I were a man and I could go to work, earn the bacon, come home and have my dear wife cook for me and watch the children.”

I thought it a curious thought as soon as it passed through me. I guess I was just feeling stressed and frustrated because I didn’t have time to do any creative work today at all. I so wanted to write and draw and study, but there simply was not time.

That is not true. During Cole’s long nap, I too napped instead of working, but he was up twice last night and then awake at six, so I was desperate for a rest.

I tell myself that I shouldn’t let tiredness be an excuse, but I know if I push myself, I end up sick.

Not having enough time makes me crazy. It makes me want to be a man for a brief moment, but then I remember how hard my husband works. It’s not like he’s rolling in time either.

Sigh. The struggle to have it all continues.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Anniversary


Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. We’re going to order food in and watch Red Dwarf.

Genny is staying at her grandparents’ house for the night.

I’m happy to say that I got some housework AND some creative work done today.

It is the day-in and day-out of writing that I love and also hate. I get in the zone and love the work, but I also wonder when my agent will find a publisher for my finished book.

I know at the moment all I can do is push forward with my new projects, but oh, how I’d like to put the finished manuscript behind me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prune City

A rainy, chilly day. At least we don’t have to water the garden.

Nick managed to leave work early, so we’re picking him u at the train at 7pm. We’ll go have some dinner for my birthday.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. May is a busy month for us.

Speaking of busy, Cole’s bowels were active today. I think he had five prune poops. It looked the same coming out as it did going in.

He’s napping now.

Genny is making a tower with her princess fairy books.

Nana needs her smoke detector battery changed.

These are the facts of my fast-paced life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birthday Eve


Time for reflection on my birthday eve.

The birthday numbers are meaningless, I know.

I seem to keep track of my children’s ages more than my own now. I know my place in time through where they are situated. I wonder if that will always last. Or if one day I will again know myself through only me.

Probably never again will I be only me. And that is a wonderful thing, now that I think about it. Yes, I long for the time when I will have some alone time again, but it is beautiful to be a part of a family. There will always be someone there to love me. I have created my life into a world where I am surrounded by good and caring people.

My reflections tonight are good, peaceful, satisfying. I am happy where I am today. I have no regrets or fears as I move into my birthday this year.

Life is overly full, abundant.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I’m OK


Do my ears deceive me or are Genny and Cole seriously both in bed?

True, Genny’s not asleep, but she’s staying in her room at the moment. True, this is probably just a nap for Cole (and he’s in the swing), but he’s asleep.

Can it be that I have a few moments to myself before I collapse in utter exhaustion into the bed?

Well, actually, I have to make the bed before I can do that, and to make the bed I need to open the noisy sheet closet next to Cole’s room. Oh brother.

I’m proud to say that it feels like my depression is lifting today. Could it be that I’m actually not dreading this year’s birthday? Have I finally reached a place in my life where I can stop worrying about age and beauty and all that jazz in favor of just enjoying life?

I wouldn’t go crazy yet, but I think I might just get through this life happy.

I might be able to enjoy some of this motherhood thing.

Note to self: Remember to reread this post when I’m next stressed out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day



I’m recovering from a migraine yesterday. There’s nothing like an illness to remind you of how important your health is. But then as soon as we are better, we forget.

I have not forgotten how valuable every day is yet, but I’m sure I’ll be wrapped up and worried about the mundane tomorrow.

I’m once again trying to get a few minutes of quiet to blog, but Genny keeps coming into the office and shouting into her Barbie walkie-talkie, “Daddy, where are you?!” while Cole blubbers on my lap.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Weekend

It is the weekend. I am grateful.

Wonderful to go to a tag sale and find the exact thing I’m looking for.

Relaxing to dig my fingers in the garden.

Enjoyable to shower for as long as I wish.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Future Stripper Moms of the world!

There’s an interesting discussion on pregnant strippers at Live Journal by booju_newju.

There is a dancer at the club I work in (I'm a waitress in a strip club - don't be hatin') who is rail thin but looking about 5 months pregnant. Which got me thinking, at what point of pregnancy would you say it's time to throw in the thong and tassels and maybe get a less physically demanding job than being a stripper?

FWIW we're talking a pole dancing club, full nudity several hours of bouncing around and contorting your body in every possible way. Very physical work, in very absurdly high healed shoes. Also consider the safety risks involved with working in that kind of place.

What say you booj? What stage of pregnancy is it quittin time for stripper-mom?

What an interesting post and responses. I’m quite surprised that most of the respondents to when a pregnant stripper should quit say that it should be when she wants to. I would have expected more moralizing.

I can’t remember any noticeably pregnant strippers dancing in all my years gyrating.

Of course, I can’t remember much of anything tonight. Today was Gen’s birthday: I spent an hour shopping at Target for gifts, had phone therapy, tried to write, did laundry, washed dishes, nursed, soothed teething baby, took care of Nana, dropped off and picked up Genny, took kids to Boothe Memorial Park and playground, got supper, fed family, including Nana, picked up Nick at train, reheated supper, helped in garden, did birthday stuff, made Genny apologize for sticking tongue out at Nana, and…egads! That’s enough already.

Being a pregnant stripper sounds like a breeze after this week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Only Wednesday?

Another day, another dazed mother.

I forgot about how painful teething can be. It hurts for the baby, too.

Cole’s nursing now and I think I smell a poo.

We just got home from dinner out with Grandma and Grandpa for Genny’s birthday, which is tomorrow.

Before we went out Genny had another clothing freak out. Nothing felt good and everything was too big or too small. This went on for twenty minutes while Cole screamed and I sweated.

My brain feels all discombobulated.

This week can’t get any worse.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get it Done

Stripper Mom has been pretty stripped down the past few days about her depression and momhood angst.

I really think Cole must be teething with all his ear tugging and screeching.

He went down for a short nap—in his swing. Yes, I know we’ll have to break him of this habit eventually, actually pretty soon since he’s getting too big for the swing, but at the moment, it’s one almost-sure way to get him to take his nap when he’s frazzled out.

As for me, no nap today, but I did have a visit from a friend, which was liberating. We popped Cole in the car seat, drove to Wendy’s and picked up lunch, and then drove to the beach to eat our food.

Not much creative work done though today, but I’m trying.

Come on, Sheila, trying isn’t good enough. Doing is where it’s at. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be done.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweet Sanity

For those of you whom have never taken care of a screaming baby for a day…it can make you want to kill yourself or baby.

I’m fine now. Cole is nursing and not screaming at the moment. And the killing of self or baby is never an actual option, just a scary bubble of emotion that pops up from the brain-piercing screeches and then saws at your sanity.

I am eating a mini brownie as a pumper-upper for what may prove to be a long night. I am thinking there is some serious teething going on inside this house.

Ugh, every day I plan on saving some sanity and time for my dear husband and then something like this happens and I’m a big freaking mess by the time I hear him open the door at eight o’clock.

Oh sweet sanity…I miss you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Mother

Yesterday had me asking…Am I manic-depressive?

I go, go, go and then I crash. It hurts to breathe. Depression deep. All consuming. The pace of life required of me exhausts, consumes my head. Cloudy. Crying.

A day like this—I miss my mother. She’ll never be here again. She’ll never celebrate another birthday with Genny. She’ll never meet Cole.

And I wonder, how can I do this life without her?

And I wonder, how do I be a mother?

Why does Genny have to be so rude to me? “I don’t like you,” she spits at me. She doesn’t want to kiss me or hug me except when she’s scared. How long will this phase last?

How could I have been mean to my own mother?

And again—I feel so different from all the other moms who coo over every baby murmur. I love my baby and my child. But I ache in such a hard way for my own self. I can’t seem to separate the two.

Where am I? I feel like there is something wrong with me when I don’t feel what other mothers feel.

Does Genny see me as inadequate? Does she sense I’d rather be somewhere else, doing my own things? Does my anguish cause her to not like me? Does she already sense and suffer from my depression?

I need to stop caretaking. I need to stop feeling so responsible. I need to clear clutter. I need to rid my self of unwanted pressure—unwanted physical junk, too. I’m holding onto Mom’s things as if they will bring her back to me. Things will not salve my grief.

Perhaps I have not grieved for my mother enough. I need to have more closure. My mother is not coming back.

I am a motherless daughter.

I am a mom.

Friday, May 15, 2009

This is a Mom

Today I was a mom.

Yes, I’ve been a mom for five years now, but today, I was just a mom.

I did not even try to make time for my writing. I did not work on marketing. I did not work on drawing.

I prepared for a gaggle of little girls to invade my home tomorrow for Genny’s fifth birthday party.

I organized the living room, dining room, and kitchen. I cleaned and emptied the back porch and washed off all the outside paraphernalia. I dug up the dirt and grass that had overgrown our slate pathway. I washed muddy slippers and shoes, which reminds me, they are still in the dryer. I cooked supper for daughter and father-in-law. I nursed. I ferried my daughter to and from school.

My back aches. I’m dirty and sweaty.

I now understand why it takes a mom to run a home, to do all the stuff that needs to get done. It really and truly is a job and a half.

It seems the only way to make mothering work is to commit to it absolutely and completely and only do other stuff if you happen to have some free time. I do not like this. But I think I must accept it. Or somehow make oodles of money so we can hire someone to help with all the housework and drudge work.

I know there will be a balance between me and me-as-mom eventually.

But I can’t expect so much from myself.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nursing

No one ever mentions the downsides of nursing your baby.

There are obviously lots of pluses: nourishing your child with life-giving food, voluptuous breasts even for the small breasted, and an amazing bonding experience.

There are negatives: never being able to be away from your baby for more than a few hours (unless you pump or supplement with formula), never getting many hours of uninterrupted sleep, and uncomfortable, painful, leaking breasts.

At the moment I have one hard, lumpy, painful right breast, which is always much larger than the left, by the way. Cole is nursing on it right now, so hopefully he’ll help the over-milk full feeling.

Nick just carried Genny upstairs to bed since she fell asleep on the couch. I am soon to bed myself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Thoughts


Lack of sleep is making my brain fuzzy. I’m finding it hard to concentrate. Cole just doesn’t want to sleep for a long stretch anymore. Maybe I’m the one of the lucky moms who gets one of those babies, you know, the kind who doesn’t need too much sleep.

Unfortunately, I’m one of those babies who DOES need a lot of sleep.

This Saturday our home will be overrun by four and five-year-old girls for Genny’s fifth birthday party. I’m watching the weather with bated breath, hoping the rain stays away, so we can play outside.

Cole is blowing spit bubbles and chewing on a toy octopus’ legs.

I am washing clothes and being splashed by spit bubbles.

Did I mention I’m tired?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This is Me



Stripper Mom breaks expectations and conventions. Unintentionally.

How many mothers do you know that wear makeup every day? Not me. Here's a photo of what I look like on your average day after having maybe four hours of sleep. Yes, I do have a five-month-old baby. Four hours of sleep is good.

When I was stripping most people would never guess what I did for a living. I only wore makeup when I performed. The rest of the time I was simply me.

The same goes today. I hardly ever wear makeup in “real” life. I guess I got that sweet bit of freedom from my mother, who never wore makeup.

I’m happy with who I am and what I look like. I thought most of the world was catching up with the attitude that women are most beautiful when they are just being themselves, but then I realize this isn’t so.

There are so many straightjackets of expectations I have dealt with in my life as a girl, as a woman. I imagine this is true for many women, but having been a stripper, a model and an actress, I’ve been exposed to truly confounding expectations from others.

I realize now though that I truly am fine with what others think of me. I know I can’t control how others perceive me. And I certainly don’t intend to try to figure out what others might expect from me. As long as I am happy with myself—that is all that’s important.

My greatest hope for my daughter is that she will always feel secure in herself just as she is. This is my dream. This is my goal.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Itsy Bitsy This!



Today is one of those days that feel like the universe is laughing at me.

It all started with my second Itsy Bitsy yoga class this morning. Cole napped on our way there and was in general quite happy during the class. I, on the other hand, was cranky.

It must be my post-partum depression coming out because I was thoroughly unhappy with yoga class. I felt so out of place with the other new first-time mothers who were just so happy about everything baby-related.

The instructor asked us to share something “funny” about our birthing experience and that word just ticked me off. There was absolutely nothing at all that I could describe as funny. And then as I listened to the other mothers happily sharing their different levels of labor pain, all I could think about was how horrible my birth of Genny was five years ago.

Nick’s mother passed away the night before Genny was born and my own mother was horribly ill with cancer. To say there was stress involved is putting it mildly.

Cole’s birth was much better, but still, there wasn’t anything funny or fun about it.

The other mothers were also just very happy about the whole motherhood thing. They were laughing and bubbly and loving everything baby-related. I was not. I felt out of place. Out of sorts.

And then the whole Itsy Bitsy yoga thing started feeling so wrong. All the moves are done sing-songy and yes, I do speak to Cole in a cute, sweet voice, but there was just something so fake and contrived feeling about this today.

I’m thinking I should write my own baby-yoga book, but it will be about letting out our mother-angst. There will be drum beating and wailing and moaning and writhing about on the floor. Once we’ve let all that out then we’ll turn to our babies with love and say, “I love you, but I really would love some time to myself.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom’s Day


Stripper Mom was reminded of her past today on the drive to her step-sister’s house.

We drove through the valley along Route 8 and passed through Waterbury.

I remembered The Patio—a strip club that was also a restaurant where I once thought I was going to have to strip for a very elderly woman (her husband removed the unaware woman before the strippers started their shift).

And I remembered another Waterbury club, whose name I can’t remember, where the bar back kept sneaking a peek of me through a large crack in the dressing room’s door.

And at the moment, my children will not let me have two minutes on the computer: Cole sits on my lap kicking me and blubbering, and Genny will not stop saying, “Mommy, mommy, what does this say?” as she scrolls through the LOLcats on icancheezburger.

So I will end with saying Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.

And a remembrance to my own mother…

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Nursing Post



Multitasker Extraordinaire!

This is the nursing post.

I can nurse while doing just about anything…radio interviews, cooking, playing Chutes and Ladders, blogging…you name it and I bet I’ve nursed and done it.

And now I’ve just been spit up on while blogging! How cool is that?

The coolest part about nursing that no one talks about is how all the closet stripper moms can expose themselves legally wherever they wish. If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to bare your breasts to strangers then just become a nursing mother. Although don’t expect to make any tips.

Men can get pretty uncomfortable when they see breasts being used for something other than their pleasure. The funniest result is when a man comes up to speak to you, not realizing you’re nursing, and then does a crazy fast turnaround in embarrassment.

It never bothers me if people see me nursing, but perhaps that has something to do with my past.

I actually sometimes wish that someone would come up to me while I’m nursing in a public place to tell me to cover up. They’d wish they’d kept quiet.

“Cover up?! It’s my legal right to nurse in public! I’m feeding my child! Nourishing our future!”

Here’s to our multitasking breasts! Lovely to look at and nutritious to suck on!

Suck on!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Radio Time


In case you missed Stripper Mom’s interview today on WLW 700 am - Cincinnati, Ohio, here’s a link to the podcast.

Well, I thought it was a beautiful thing that you could hear Cole nursing in the background of the radio program today. It was pretty funny (considering I was talking about stripping) to have a baby attached to my breasts.

But it totally brings up one of my biggest points about the difficulty of being a mother AND a sexy woman at the same time. Eddie Fingers and Tracy Jones were talking afterwards about how it was “creepy” to hear Cole nursing during my interview.

Why creepy? Because it’s hard to imagine moms and sexual beings in the same thought? This is the dichotomy that mothers struggle with. We have social expectations to be a good mother, which doesn’t include being a stripper or even having been a stripper.

I’ve got news for you world—if we’re mothers, we have indeed had sex at some point!

And mothers who are strippers do indeed use their breasts for something other than as objects to be viewed.

Actually, if you want to talk about creepy and breast milk…I do remember one stripper at The Hideaway who was lactating who would put shots of breast milk into customers’ drinks. I was only eighteen and quite naïve when I saw this spectacle. I actually asked some customer at the bar, “What is she doing?!”

He thought this was quite funny.

I can’t remember if this was the same stripper who also put lit matches around her nipples and swung them around in flaming circles…

Ah, the good old days…

Stripper Mom’s Busy Day


A busy day for Stripper Mom!

I’m the featured poet on my cousin Alison’s awesome Haiku Blog…Provocative Haiku.

You know you want to read some stripper haikus!

And Stripper Mom was interviewed for a radio show airing this afternoon, WLW 700 am - Cincinatti, Ohio…3PM-6PM EDDIE FINGERS & TRACY JONES…For Mother’s Day - Eddie & Tracy support single Moms – and the strip-clubs where they work.

And you know what else? I’ve changed two diapers, nursed four times, washed one load of laundry (one more to go) and one sink full of dishes, dropped Genny off at school, and showered. Not too bad for an overtired mom.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Thong Post

You know you’re no longer a stripper, but rather a mother, when you are getting dressed in the morning, stepping into your usual underwear choice, a thong, and your almost-five-year-old daughter says, “Mommy, you put your underwear on backwards!”

You spin your head around as she continues to say, “Your tushie! I see your tushie!”

When you tell the story to your husband, he says, “Perhaps it’s time to start wearing regular underpants.”

This freezes you in your tracks. Regular, uncomfortable, full-bottomed, granny panties? The ones you only wear when you have your monthly “visitor”? The ones that show panty lines in your jeans?

You briefly consider making the switch for sake of not wanting your young daughter to want to start wearing thongs, but then you realize, if you’re already feeling unsexy as it is, aborting g-string usage may just completely push you over the edge into wearing mom jeans and baking cookies.

So, right then and there you decide the only answer possible…you will only dress or undress out of daughter’s eyesight. When wandering the house in undies and a tee, you will give in and wear cute, low-slung boy shorts.

A compromise made…your thong is saved for another day!