Monday, November 30, 2009

Baby's New Wheels

On yesterday's trip to my favorite place in the world, Kid 2 Kid Resale Shop, I happened to find a travel system that matched E's carseat. That's really no simple feat since I bought the carseat used too. We have been looking for an extra base for it because the damn thing is far too complicated a feat to move between both vehicles. Only problem is, it's grey, and grey is apparently a hard color to match. I have found blue and black and tan but never grey. Must be a conspiracy. The new ones are like $50, which is insanity in its purest form. I paid $25 for the whole carseat. It's a ridiculous market, this baby gear monopoly.

When I saw the travel system, everything in me said NO! Don't buy it. Wait. Wait until she is older. Get a cheapie one.

But I couldn't help myself. I got all the way to the cashier, started paying and said "Hold on. I guess I'm going to get the travel system too." I didn't really need the extra carseat. I needed the base. I guess the extra carrier is a bonus. The system I fought so hard against eventually won. Just like that damn C-Section. Fight Fight Fight. Eventually bend. Sigh...

I'm too sexy for my under shirt...

So I go the travel system half price, solved my "need another base" problem, socked away an extra carrier and also scored some sweet baby goodies; a New Years dress for E for like 10 bucks, a new swaddler for 2 bucks, a cute bib for a dollar. Another successful day at the consignment shop. I can't wait to start taking MY stuff there for store credit. I am a firm believer in thrift stores!

next time I dress myself, k?

I get the thing home and I'm so excited about a purchase I spent three months snubbing as "what a waste of money, I'll never buy that" that my toes are curling. I skip grocery shopping and dump my coupon binder and list on the desk. Change little E, nurse a bit. Put on tennis shoes, for the love of Nike, it's been like eleventeen months since I wore something other than those damn sandals. Oh and guess what? Too small. Yup. Feet grew just like the hands so now my shoes and my wedding ring no longer fit. But I don't care. I wear em anyway.

nom nom nom

I pop E into her carseat and then pop the carseat into the stroller and OHH EMM GEE we are strollin'! Like, I totally get it. The travel system thing. It's amazing and I stand corrected. To all those I know in real life who were recipients of the "don't waste your money on the stupid travel system they only use for less than a year and it's bulky to boot" speech, I was wrong. I admit it. This wrongness, it's statistically bound to happen eventually. Please don't tell my Husband.

 my preciousness. let it overtake you.

After I get her secured and blanketed and out the door, it occurs to me that I have committed this great travesty against Lizzie and her infanthood. Walking with a baby in a stroller is awesome! I can talk to her without holding her and the stroller does not get heavier as she falls asleep. We are a have-stroller-will-travel duo and we can explore the great outdoors. She's comfy and secure and I don't feel like I'm being smothered to death by her flailing clawing baby dagger arms/hands. It's a Win Win situation!


Immediately I get this insanely logical idea that we will walk to the grocery store and get the few things for dinner because it's not really that far, I can curb spending by not being able to haul much crap back home with me and, oh I don't know, maybe even burn a few of those dinner calories before those rat bastards can set up shop in mah jelly rolls. No need to pat me on the back; I'm doing it to myself as we speak.

sleep.fighter (take 2)

Two things to remember for next time though:
1. Bring the "green" reusable bags instead of using their bags and
2. Remember that it gets pitch dark by, I don't know, noon during the winter.
When I was done shopping, I realized I had to hoof it back at a double time because the sun had set and this paranoid person cannot be casually strolling along in the dark, what with all sorts of bugs and snakes and murderers out trolling the streets.

It felt so good to be outside, to be crunching through leaves and really looking at the neighbors yards. I don't know what I was thinking! We will be doing that more often I hope :)

fancy meeting you here, feet...

A few days later, I convinced Stephen, aka Anything of the Outdoors is of the Devil (make the sign of the cross), to go on a walk with me. We even took the furbaby Chewie, poor doggie. He never gets the attention he deserves anymore. If I can get him to behave on leash, then I can take him with me and E when we go on walks. He still has a ways to go but he's getting better.

My 'dad' impression...

A mere 10 houses down from us is an entrance to Mt Trashmore. You walk a ways, cross a little bridge between 2 houses and get deposited smack dab in the middle of the path around it. There are ducks and a pond and a jogging trail. It's pretty amazing and we are very lucky to have it so near.

 wow, um, kinda high dad!

Thankfullness was the theme of the walk. We have so much to be grateful for. Our life. Our "stuff" (the house, vehicles, furniture). Our perfect baby girl. Our health and financial stability in the most unstable time in our generation. There isn't anything to stress over right now so let's just enjoy it while we can because something is bound to come up later and we can worry then.

 seriously gotta work on this whole hand-eye-coordination thing.

I'm off to pack for Florida. I'd love to blog more but as usual, I have already burned my free time before my work time :(

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (all 4 of you who read LOL)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh no she DIDN'T!

Funny story! Funny story!

So I took some time out to pout and eat ice cream about a little incident that happened on Monday. It was a poo poo moment that made me throw in the blogging towel in a very "Eff you, I'm out!" attitude I'm actually very much known for. (((Big bow)))
*pout* What's the point?  *pout*
*pout* How could anyone love me?!  *pout*

So anyhoo...
We went to the NEX to get this nursery furniture set I saw in the weekly ad. I was so uber awesomely excitedly BESIDE MYSELF with glee that I told Stephen to "turn this puppy around (the truck), we are buying THIS HERE set RIGHT NOW (jabbing jabbing jabbing the sales paper with my finger and wildly pointing at the road behind us). Hurry hurry go go!!

Buying the crib and accessories for E's room has consumed many frustrated mom-hours and resulted in no purchases. I really wanted to get her something special and beautiful but not too expensive; not because we're broke but because OMFG furniture that they only use for 1.5 years?! Seriously. I have every intention of moving E to a toddler bed at 1.5 yrs and into her twin bed set at 2 yrs. So MAYBE 2 years in a crib/toddler bed combo. The half way decent sets are like $1000-$1500. *blink* *blink*  Yeah.... no thanks...

But... the cheapy sets have still been in the $600-$700 range and tackily made to boot. Not sturdy. Not cute. Not doable. I need simple, affordable, and sturdy. I will sacrifice adornment and wow-factor for value. But I don't want a cardboard box. Capice?

So when I saw this in the paper, I said "sold". Take me their now, dear chauffeur husband.

Even better? The price!
... as in... for the WHOLE SET! Yes! I know!
My thrifty meter just pegged high-out-of-sight. Thrifty shrines should be built in my honor!

And I saw the constructed one on the floor room and it was sturdy and safe. It has a minimalist air about it, but meh, nothing a little pink and brown paisley can't kill. I got my ticket, paid for it, and brought my receipt to the warehouse area to pick up. An older asian lady went to the back to see where exactly my thrifty, you're-so-jealous purchase was being stored. She was a little confused so after running around a bit, she enlisted the aid of a beefy stock boy to look it up. You could see he was struggling with her broken English and clearly she was struggling with, you know, the English language as a whole. It was chuckle-able. She was trying to convey "nursery furniture" to him.

And this is where our romantic comedy spirals down into the horror movie from hell. As she is flailing around in non-helpful non-descriptive arm movements, you can see a light bulb go off in her head. She couldn't find the right word for "nursery" furnture. Go figure. So she is repeating "baby" furniture and Mr. Beef Cake here on my starboard side is glassy eyed and clueless. Way to go same-team-ers. Le sigh.

Then... and then... it happened...

She reached her cold bony hand out, toward me, and let it settle on my stomach.
She says "BABY FURNITURE"... "for her baby ON THE WAY"

(a complimentary pause to digest what was just written, brought to you by Hostess Twinkies and the letters F, A and T)

Seriously?!? Did that just happen?!

So what was my response?

Did I politely inform her that no, actually my baby was already born and no they didn't leave the other one in HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, you so funny?
Did I slap her hand away and say NO! No touchy touchy crazy lady!
Did I break down in tears and need security to escort me out?

Nope. I was like, in total and utter shock. Like mortified. And wanting-to-die-ness. And "the rock! the rock! wherefore art thou, rock to crawl under and die".

I am officially one of those fat asses. The ones who get mistaken for preggoes. Like, what is my motivation to keep on living? I don't deserve to live with the general population. I should pack a hobo stick and find a leper colony to join. Or maybe find a lard co-op and go in halvsies with another gravity-challenged hippo. Oh noes.

Gena, pity party for one. Gena! Pity party for one?!

So yeah. Monday I went home and just ate everything in sight, like, crying into my Nutella, "For the love of GOD! How did this happen?!? Tuesday I woke up and swore I would never eat again. Ever. I was going to officially become an anorexic. And then 45 minutes later, found myself crying again into the Nutella, "For the love of GOD! How did this happen?!? And then Wednesday I gave up all hope and cried, into the Nutella, "You're my only friend :( "

Now it's Thursday. Logic is slowly returning. I let myself go. Too far this time. Gotta do the opposite of what got me here. So today I'm instituting Change #1 for weight loss.

Drink water. Yup, that's it. Drink water. And only water. Water water water. And a glass of milk for calcium and Vit D (8 oz). And a few cups of coffee. But everything else is W-A-T-E-R! That's a big enough change to start. I'll make another change when I get this one under my belt. Wish me luck!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programs....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movin' and a Shakin'

Lazy day for Stephen, holding E in the carrier, playing video games, watching movies.
What a life.

I wish! Someone has to clean this house!
I enjoyed my day of babysitting by starting my FlyLady inspired life-makeover.
(Thanks again MAMA!)

Although Day One I didn't even do, I still did well. I will do day one tomorrow since it sorta requires you to do it in the am and I didn't see it until late. Instead, I worked off her principle of "you can do anything for 15 minutes". It is a remarkable concept. Nothing is too overwhelming if you only have to do it for 15 minutes. Anyone who knows me personally knows I suffer from pretty intense anxiety and low esteem ala self. Also, I have a PhD in procrastination. Like Procrastination High Def. I once bought a book in college by the name of "Overcoming Procrastination in Under 30 Minutes a Day". I still haven't read it. No shit.

So 15 minutes per project, and then a break, and then 15 minutes more, then a break. Like, uber my level. It's magic. Somehow, knowing I only gotta do the minimum effort helps me get my butt in there, start the task, avoid anxiety, experience the beginning of accomplishment, maybe even keep going. I feel like I can do so much more now. I totally get it. It adds up, those mischievous minutes. Suddenly those cavernous junk rooms and teetering "important paper" mountains seem far less scary. I could totally like, get my shit together and junk.

I started on the dining room.


The painters spilled paint on the hardwood. The table went in there next. Then it became the "electronics without homes" headquarters. Some un-unpack-able kitchen boxes slid in next (cuz I mean, hey, the kitchen is right there, so they are close to being unpacked). The table top slowly filled with "stuff". It got dusty, Chewie-fur infested and cobwebby. Cobwebby. That's how neglected it was. It had absorbed so much chaotic energy that no one dared ever go in there except as a shortcut to the other side (lest you get yanked into the dark suck hole and spat out the other side to a different dimension where everyday is Monday and no one has ever heard of coffee). Somehow the pack-n-play got stationed in there last week because, let's face it, a room everyone avoids is the perfect place to put a light sleeping infant.

After awhile, you start to abuse your junk room. Say you empty a hastily packed box and get all the way down to the "crumbs" (you know, some dead pens, movie ticket stubs, important receipts, pennies). The trash goes in the trash and the rest goes... goes... where? That's right! To the junk place! The place you use to dump off category-less stuff and nervously chuckle to yourself that you will "take care of/sort/organize it" later. Mine is the dining room. I guiltily shove homeless items in there all day long, knowing I shouldn't. If only it were clean and organized! Was that even possible?!

So I just set my timer for 15 minutes, made the sign of the cross, and went down the rabbit hole. Freaky freaky.

I started with the table. I love that table. I bought that table on sale, two days before Stephen came home from deployment, the last piece of furniture for the apartment. Its dark wood and pub height chairs are gaga drooling gorgeous. Today they were disgustingly filthy. I decided to baby them a bit. I cleared the top and set to work lovingly rubbing in lemon oil whilst whispering sweet nothings into the wood. Apologies and such. Promises not to let them get this bad again. It took awhile longer than I liked, but I owed it to them.

Then I slowly but surely transferred every last piece of crap important stuffs out of that room and to new homes (which may or may not be their proper homes, I can neither confirm nor deny). All of it. Dust bunnies WERE harmed. All bugs discovered WERE euthanized. Even the spider I killed with a 2 ounce SHOT TO THE FACE of wasp killer spray-goo. I had to call Stephen in to verify it's death and that it wasn't HOLY FRACKIN POISONOUS or I would have to hunt down it's extended family with a homemade flamethrower of Bic plus aerosol spray. He did in fact acknowledge my victory with a funny look and a "you sure got him good babe". "Thanks. It was close." (Gena 1, killer arachnid 0).


After the room was empty of stuff and life, I "fixed" the stuck blinds to make them move (translation: pulled entirely too hard until the poor defenseless cord gave way and respected my authority.) I dusted the window sills and sucked the cobwebs down with the Dyson. I swept and mopped. And then I started Goo-Gone-ing the hardwood. That is a chore unto itself. I gave up in favor of cooking diner (it was that late) and just soaked the paint splotches with product until tomorrow. I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment!


Dinner was completely unplanned but we stuck to our guns with the whole "we seriously need to go back to cooking most of our meals at home" goal. There were a few chicken breasts thawing in the fridge so I browned them babies up with some stir-fry sauce and oyster sauce, added some frozen broccoli and even tossed in a few servings of egg noodles. It was pretty good. Stephen said it was tasty so SUCCESS! I look like a culinary diva and he doesn't know that the secret ingredient was prayer. *wink*

Another long ago started project that I finished today: Baby's first prints. We needed to get the Gramma a hand and foot print so we bought a frame kit and used the extra ink to get her a copy. It turned out so adorable with the perfect picture of her in her collared onesie and a pretty pink skirt. Now we just have to find a home for it (at least I didn't put it on the table to deal with later, huh? Huh? Are you proud or what?!)

I also drew up a ROUGH, emphasis on the ROUGH, sketch of maybe what I want to do with the walls in E's room. Squint when you look at it and also rely on the fact that my photography skills are amateur at best. The top is a brown and pink stripe and the bottom is a toile in pale pink and brown. The chair rail and some of the stripes would either be a creamy beige or a clean white. It was stunning in my head but might be too busy now that it is on paper. Maybe it should just be stripe. Or maybe flipped the other way. I don't know. I'm a physics major not an art major. Constructive criticism full of "you are so Awesome" is welcome.

And THAT is all for tonight. No more beer and blogging. Apparently Yuengling makes me ramble.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gramma's gone :(

... and we FEEL IT!
The house is quieter, Lizzie is more calm and Chewie whimpered for awhile before settling down to sleep on the rug. A little piece of excitement just packed up and left... on a jet plane...

I couldn't believe Stephen got home from the airport in like 35 minutes flat. Quick and dirty. My lip quivered and I almost cried. I missed her already. When we were transporting a sleeping E from boob to bed, I handed her to Stephen and went to get her paci and her blanket. He just stared at me and said two things with a hint of choking up:
1. I miss my Mom
2. I love Lizzie so much.

It was almost more than I could take. I felt the goodbyes earlier were rushed. I wanted to go to the airport too, to say my own farewell, make my peace and find visitation closure. Gramma didn't want us to go, I understand. Woulda been harder on everyone, the crying, the emotional overload. But instead of winding down and accepting the time was over, as soon as the front door shut, I nursed E and tried to put her down like business as usual. Washed a few dishes. Started the dryer. Let Chewie out. Sanded a few cabinet faces. Organized the sewing desk. I put a lid on the sadness and set it on the back burner, simmering all evening. I wanted to order out for dinner. I had no intention of exerting the effort to cook. Stephen was the wise one, suggesting leftover white chili. Good man. I love him for that.

I quietly got E ready for bed: bath, clothes, boob, rock. It was anticlimactic. Almost solemn. When she was out for the count, we moved her. Stephen said 1. and 2. from above. The sadness pot boiled over. To hear him say he loves E and almost cry made me realize that she is such a new and beautiful creature at three months. She woke up from her newborn boring-ness and is an entertaining, captivating, spoiled monstrosity of a million funny moments in a teeny tiny body. She's a real person now. Stephen sees it too. She isn't our baby anymore. She's our daughter.

But to hear him say I miss my Mom, well, it was the one-two punch I never saw coming. If he would have said it like "Damn I miss my Mom, she would have helped with the baby right now" or "I miss my Mom, I'm trying to make conversation and relate to you" I would have sighed and said "Me too". But he didn't. He said "I miss my Mom" quietly and while pressing his nose into the crook of E's neck. Kinda far off, maybe like he was scared, he finally noticed she was gone. His voice quivered just a tad. I had never ever ever heard him say anything like that before. It made me see him as a son.

Someone's son, missing his mom, holding our daughter, who somewhere someday would also miss us, her mom, her dad, just like him.

And then he took E to her bed. I had to turn away for a sec, lest Stephen see me tearing up and accuse me of some sinister postpartum hormonal shenanigans involving estrogen and dark makeup. It was over as fast as it had happened. I checked my email on my phone and he started rummaging around in the cabinets for chocolate. But it made me think that somehow, something had changed. Something clicked over, the next cog engaged, the world continued. I can't put my finger on it, but I know it has to do with us moving forward, becoming better parents, growing up and into the next stage. Maturing.

I feel also like something has changed in me. I'm ready now to assault the weaknesses in my life; to stop making excuses, dwelling in the past, procrastinating, wasting energy on fear, avoiding life/friends/the sun. The Gramma showed me a site to help with part of this transition. (FlyLady). It has many many good tips on how to reclaim your life at home; clutter and chores and such. I'm starting off with 15 minutes a day per room and habitizing myself to get up and get dressed and presentable in the morning. To develop healthy habits. I'm super stoked. I'm very grateful for the link. Thanks Gramma!

I'm off to bed now. I'm so sad the Gramma is gone, but now we are that much closer to E's first Christmas and the holidays and 2010! I can't wait to see her again. Less than a month! I miss the energizing vibe between the star struck Gramma and her grandbaby. We'd all do a wee bit better if we tasted just a tad bit of that every day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Playing around with pictures...

1. Someone snapped a pic of Mommy sleeping. Seriously?!?! Do you wanna die?!?! Now we gotta fiddle with the saturation and the size and even black-and-white that monstrosity before we post it. Consider me motivated to sweat to the oldies.

2. This baby right here? The one all a-grin and excited? She loves her some Gramma. They are best buds. Who has the other wrapped around the little finger? Hmmmmm. Good question.

3. Skype Skype Skype. We love to Skype. Here we are Skype'n Aunt Christie.

4. Funniest.Joke.Ever.

5. Last night with Gramma

6. Her blue eyes. Even bluer here. Mesmerizing.

7. Nom Nom Nom baby fingers.

8. She wants to be wherever he is. Playing video games. Watching TV. She doesn't care.

9. Co-sleeping.  We do it. We love it.

Here's GRAMMA!

total.sigh.of relief.

The Gramma has been here for a week and like, holy shit, healthy time away from Lizzie. Not in a see-ya-I'm-off-to-the-bars way though. More like "We aren't touching, yet we both continue to exist in this dimension without our heads exploding!" So I have basically sat on my ass and converted O2 to CO2 since Sautrday. Scrum-didly-umptious!

It's different from Stephen being here. I mean, he's great and all, youbetcha. He will change the Hiroshima of poo-splotions and go right back to eating his chocolate pudding without skipping a beat. He will sop up barfed milk and walk a screaming baby around. He's really awesome, but he still needs supervision, per his instructions.

The Mama-in-law, on the other hand, is total tag team perfection.
Baby's crying.
Gramma's got her.

Am I using this well deserved break from marathon parenting to catch up on the blog or, I don't know, exercise? No.
Mostly I'm surfing the web for funny shit or playing games on my iPhone. Real life-enhancing/personal development stuffs. Don't judge me...
So, for lack of motivation, I will simply "blurb" (quick blog) some updates in bullet form.

1. Lizzie is 3 months old. (well, more like three and a half since this entry is so late)
We recently celebrated our 100th day of her life a few days ago (triple digits SHAZAAM!) and I can't believe the difference that 100 days has made. Lizzie is fully incorporated into our lives. Her bubbly morning coos kick start my day and her contented sigh as she sleepily comes off the boob and slips into dreamland signals day's end. The moon and the stars revolve around her and shrines have been built to honor her many chins and rolls. She is the baby "standard" that all other baby's are measured against. This is scientific fact. Undeniably. My days are spent holding her, laughing with her, loving her, sniffing her bum (did you pee? is that pee? do I smell pee?) and feeding her boobie milk (of which a good 37.2% goes directly down my hooter and pools on my shirt in huge crop circles (Honey, are your boobs leaking? No. They must be crying from all the overtime they put in.)

2. Exactly a year ago I peed on a stick and it said Congratulations your baby maker has been activated. And unlike the few times in your life when you pee on one of these babies and pray that you are coming down with something like the flu or food poisoning and NOT parenthood, I really really really wanted it to be positive. Like more than anything. I had finally gotten Stephen to say we could stop The Pill and here we were, 3 weeks later, at our first opportunity to maybe "be with child". I remember thinking "Yes!!" and "Here we go, Baby Rollercoaster!" and "CAPS LOCK HOLY SHIT un-caps lock!" (and a year later, we still sometimes experience those HOLY SHIT what are we getting into moments. Translation: Daily.) Trying to imagine the awesomeness and cuteness of my baby girl a year from NOW? Harder to fathom than the vastness of all the universe. Her adorableness makes my brain hurt.

3. The movie of my life is currently in musical form. We sing everything. I sing and make extremely exaggerated facial expressions and act absolutely enthralled by her every movement. We have these long drawn out one-sided conversations about cooking dinner and vacuuming and laundry. I sing to her while I'm in the shower, poking my head out of the curtain, trying to keep her entertained long enough to lather my hair and sort or rub the foamy water sort of in a circular cleansing motion as it streams down my body. I sing to her when she is so exhausted and can barely keep her eyes open at nap time yet she continues to fight sleep like she might miss something and I say "time to go night night" and she looks up and screams as loud as she can, IN MY FACE, and I sing back to her, lovingly, "someone better go the hell to sleep or momma's gonna beat her with the be-good-stick, I swear to God", (again, lovingly). I sing to keep her occupied when I set her on the cold bathroom floor so I can pee because, well, she can't be unattended and I can't wait 10 hours to go pee. Therapy fodder, let me tell it to you.

4. She also has this new thing where she laughs and then immediately gasps air like she's dying. It sounds like when they show dead people on movies and they zoom in slowly really really close and then the dead guy's eyes pop open and he gasps for air. Like the dead awakening from a peaceful century old slumber. Yeah, THAT sound. She laughs or coos and then sharply takes in air and then does it again. The first time I heard it, I thought she had asthma or sleep apnea or ANAPHALACTIC SHOCK! But she just kept smiling as my saucer-sized eyes slowly relaxed and she seemed rather pleased with herself and I thought "OMG she knows she has the power, and we are all doomed." It's pretty cute.

That's all for now. She's causing a disturbance in the swing and making that whiney noise that vibrates at the harmonic frequency of my brain matter, slowly turning it into grey colored goo.