Friday, February 18, 2011

People Be Crazy

I read this crazy Sarah Palin quote (but really, aren't they all?) on CNN this morning:

"No wonder Michelle Obama is telling people to breast feed their babies, because the price of milk is rising so high."

Uhh. What? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't feed a baby milk from a cow as an alternative to breast milk. Sure, some formulas are made partially from cow's milk, but straight up cows milk would be hella cheaper to feed your kid than $15 cans of formula. But I don't think that's what she was talking about. I think she's just a dumb lady who says dumb things and she was trying to make an ohsnap on Mrs. Obama and the current Dem run economy but failed. She's also upset that Mr. Obama isn't hanging out in Egypt telling them how to run things over there. I think we're all in agreement that Egypt is a nation unto itself, not controlled by America, so I'm not sure why she thinks they want to listen to anything he would have to say - especially considering the fact that we can't even run ourselves efficiently.

I read another crazy quote from someone on a message board who said she avoided having an epidural during labor because she didn't want her kid to get autism. I guess I missed that chapter in What to Expect When You're Expecting because I was completely oblivious to the fact that there is an autism/epidural link now that the autism/vaccine link is old news.

People are really, shockingly out of their minds sometimes. A former roommate once told me that he didn't use teflon or the microwave because they cause cancer. The actual words out of his mouth were, "Do you think ancient Greeks died of cancer? No, because they didn't have things like teflon and microwaves." Ehem, the word cancer came from Hippocrates, a really old Greek dude.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ungrateful Little Urchins

I wrote the following paragraph yesterday with the intention of finishing the post today with a whole bunch of "WAHH! I'm missing my child's life because we need this stupid thing called money to pay these even stupider things called bills."

Lennon is frustratingly close to rolling over. Everyday he gets a little closer and last night he was 99% of the way there. He had his entire body facing down and all he had to do was let himself go and touch the ground. He was like a 1/4 inch away from begin completely on the floor when he suddenly snapped back over onto his back. There was this thunderous, "NOOOOOOOOOO!" between Matt and me. After that he never got as close again. He would get up onto his side and start grunting while trying to flip himself over. But he was too worn out and couldn't make it. I told Matt that he doesn't dare put Lennon on the floor today when I'm not around to see it. I have a feeling that the next time we let him kick around on the floor he'll flip himself over. So help me I will not miss my first big parenting milestone because I am at work. So. Help. Me.

And then this morning, less than 90 minutes after I left the house, that ungrateful little urchin/sweetchubbface rolled over. He rolled over without me. He didn't even care that I wasn't there to see it. His dad reports that he rolled over, laughed about it, and then hung out on his tummy until he started grunting and needed to be manually rolled back. I've been working with him for two weeks on rolling over, and then I miss it by 90 minutes. What the shit is up with that?

Here he is right before the roll:

I don't know what to say except, WAHH! I'm missing my child's life because we need this stupid thing called money to pay these even stupider things called bills.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammy Trainwreck

I listen to two radio stations - Omaha's NPR station, and 105.9 classic rock. And despite having no clue what's happening in popular music these days, I watched the majority of the Grammys last night.

Wow. Can I just say, wow. It was bad.

I only watched it to see Mumford and Sons. After they played, I ended up switching over to the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion. At least RHOA is upfront about being a completely trashy program. They aren't parading around behind some illusion of tradition and esteem. No, they're wearing fake hair and showing off their boob jobs and yelling at each other. And they're honest about it. Whereas the Grammys had pretty much all the same elements but with far more self-congratulations and zero sense of humor. (Save for Cee-Lo who probably wasn't taking himself too seriously singing with muppets.)

That probably explains my biggest beef with popular music in the last oh, 20 years. It's not that the music is bad, just that it's average. But the images and egos that go along with that average music are so over-the-top and manufactured that the combination of the two makes no sense at all. Lady Gaga's song was a pretty obvious, and snooze-worthy ripoff off Madonna. It was boring, you guys. But Lady Gaga herself is this walking, avant-garde freak show. If she really has that much style and such a highly elevated level of taste, how can she put out such terrible music and sincerely feel good about it? I don't get the correlation between her music and her image. The same goes for Katy Perry. She's supposedly this outrageous rocker chick who does crazy things and is married to Russell Brand, but in reality she sings circa 2000 Brittany Spears quality pop music and hawks acne medicine for pocket change! Please, someone explain to me what is so rocknroll about selling Proactiv on TBS?

At least with the Mumfords of the world they're honest about who and what they are. A bunch of guys playing banjos and upright basses might not make for great TV, but at least they're real musicians playing real music live on live television and not with the aide of backing tracks and prerecorded vocals. I'm sorry, but if you can't recreate the vocals you recorded in a studio, live on a stage then you're probably not Grammy worthy. And that my friends, is the problem with the Grammys.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Three Cheers for Sleeping!

A major parenting milestone occurred overnight: Lennon slept from 9:00pm - 5:30am. DUDE! Unless you have been waking up at least once a night to feed a baby for three months, preceded by nine months of waking up at least once a night to pee or make sure you don't barf in the bed, you have no idea what a beautiful thing that was. Even if this is the only time it ever happens. Even though I still ended up putting the coffee on at 5:30. I slept through the night uninterrupted. And that is worth blogging about.

In other news, I'm going to spend the weekend at my parents. Matt is leaving tomorrow and they asked me to stay with them, supposedly for my benefit. However, I suspect an alternative motive in the form of 48 hours straight with their grandchild. I admit I am looking forward to it though. Nana and Pop Pop time means I can have both hands free AT THE SAME TIME. This is great news since I bought a book that I'm trying to read before going to a lecture by the author (currently on page 37 which is technically page 1 of the actual text) and I want to make my niece a birthday present. I'm also elated over the fact that they now have wireless internet so I can use my iPad. My parents are quite possibly the last people in the world to cancel their AOL. Yes, I'm talking DIAL-UP. Until last week, using the internet and talking on the phone at the same time was but a mere dream for my mother. Now she's enjoying 2002 with the rest of us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adulthood Is a Bitch

The good news is that I booked 24 weddings this year, 24 being my goal. The bad news is that I now have two full-time jobs and a family. Oye.

I hoped to book 24 weddings which would give me a monthly income comparable to what I make now at my 8-5 job. If I add in a handful of family photo sessions every month, I'm definitely making the same money. But 2011 is going to be a huge learning year for us. We have a kid now who is only going to be costing us more and more money as he grows. Matt is also starting out his first year of being self-employed. I don't know if I ever blogged about it, but Matt got laid off from his craptastic restaurant job four days before Lennon was born. His choice (if you can even call it that) was either get another shit restaurant job or sign on for a second touring show and finally do the musician thing full-time and be a stay-at-home-dad between tours.

If I quit my job, we'll be relying on two self-employed incomes. My weddings are contracted so that money is pretty locked in. But Matt's income usually isn't confirmed until 3-4 months out from the tour. Like right now we only have his schedule confirmed through the beginning of March. The shows he is in are gaining a lot of interest with a potential contract through a casino. He could have a really great year ahead. Or not. We just don't know how much money he'll bring in this year.

This is also supposed to be the year that we save a shitload of money and finally get around to fixing things in the house that we've been neglecting. That's not going to happen if I quit my job. All my photography money goes into a business account where it sits. I occasionally pull money to pay for things, but mostly it just gets saved. Not so if I'm pulling out $2000 a month to pay bills.

And then there's the self-employment tax. Oh god, the tax. It's an ass-kicker. It haunts me in my sleep. I can't even imagine what I'm going to pay to the government in 2011. What if we have to pay them $10,000 at the end of the year? That could potentially be a deal breaker on its own.

But if I stay at my job I'm trading time with my family for a second paycheck. I spend 45 hours a week away from Lennon working at my office. And soon I'm going to lose three Saturdays a month for weddings and likely a couple Sundays for engagement and family photos. It's completely heartbreaking to think of how little time I will get to spend with my baby this year. I want to stay home with him and Matt and be his daycare provider when Matt's out of town. I don't want to miss out on my family because I'm trying to be super career lady, working seven days a week. Plus, I still have the potential of booking more weddings this year. I've turned down open dates because it's just too much. But what if I can book 5 more in 2011? Would that be enough to make my decision easier? But what if I still can't quit my job and end up with 30 weddings, making the situation even worse?

It's such a terrifying ordeal. Which is the better choice? An overwhelming amount of work and an underwhelming amount of time with my family, or a huge risk with possible catastrophic results? My priorities are telling me that irreplaceable time with Lennon is more important than a savings account. However, I would absolutely have a heart attack if we couldn't pay our bills. I've had a salary since I was 20 years old. I don't know how to live without someone else signing my paychecks. It's one of those life choices that I wish someone else could make for me.

I need a bottle of wine and m&ms. Big decisions need to be made.