Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forgot what I was saying...

Have you missed me? I haven't been around much lately.

Oh you didn't even know I was gone!? IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION PEOPLE. Jeeeeeez.

I didn't even update Daily Lizzie until yesterday-ish and let me tell you... Thank God the camera records the date the pic was taken. There were a few days where it was all I could do to pick up the camera and snap 2 or 3 pics before giving up. Those pictures can never compare to the days where I take 200 (literally) different shots and then laboriously choose the snazziest of them all to showcase.

On hairy days weeks like these, my only save is a close-up crop and a little black and white action. Think artistic. Think vogue.

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Valentine's Day was very lovely. (Yes, I know it was over a week ago. DO YOU WANT TO HEAR THE STORY OR NOT.)

We ran out of milk for pancakes and coffee so I had to send Stephen to the store before either of us was fully awake. I didn't want to go and neither did he but, well, let's just say that an inconvenienced Stephen is unfortunate but a decaffeinated Gena is a ticking atom bomb so choose wisely. See also: Psychotic Rage.

So off he went, saving my coffee-morning and also picking me up an overpriced heart shaped box of chocolates. I'm trying to diet and usually not a fan of flowers or gifts of sweets but I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I ate pretty much the whole box right then and there. What can I say, I try to be appreciative....

I let him have a few pieces but then, UGH, he ate the goddammed cashew caramel cluster of awesomeness, of which there were only two and hey, I was only saving them for last, but go ahead, steal my happiness. I must have too much anyway.

He said he didn't know they were the best ones but I knew he was lying so I berated him mercilessly until I had him reduced to tears and then right before I squished his guilty heart in my fist, I told him “It's okay, Honey, but next time, just say you think my fat ass should slow down with the shoveling of calories into my cave mouth. Don't pussy foot around the facts by eating all the good chocolates. LET'S HAVE SOME HONESTY HERE!”

See also: Psychotic Rage

 
Thanks for my new book Gammy!

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E has officially said her first word and it is dada.
 
I would have preferred Mama to be the groundbreaker, sure, but whatever.

I mean, it's okay that he gets to be first. He plays with her and lets her watch Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and also forgets to put her socks on but who am I to judge. I only get up with her 1734 times a night and still breastfeed every two to three hours and, OH YEAH, also thoroughly trashed what's left of my body to bring her into this god forsaken world.....

I'm sure I was a close second and no, I am not bitter at all.
(Who needs “I told you so” when I have “Guess you SHOULDA SAID MAMA FIRST, huh?!?”.
I can't wait to use that one.)

BFF

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I always brag that I am a night owl. Stephen is also a night owl. I do my best work after 10pm with a fresh pot of coffee brewing. The two of us used to stay up until 1am every night and on the weekends we would rarely roll out of bed before late noonish. So wouldn't we be so lucky as to have a child who also likes to burn the midnight oil. And she still gets up AT LEAST two times a night. Unfortunately, my rapidly aging body can no longer keep up such a schedule. I'm wearing thin.

I am eternally grateful to the baby sleep gods for allowing us a child who can be put in her crib awake and then put herself to sleep. I have no complaints there and again, 1000 thank you's. What's turning me prematurely gray is the “Hey, I've been asleep for a few hours but I'm awake now and it's 2am so pass the tequila because it's PARTY TIME! Egg-cuh-LENT!” I just don't know how much longer I can deal with this sans narcotics.

I also don't know how much longer my marriage can take it because I am so frikken tired of restraining a squirmy, flailing, shrieking infant, a mere 12 inches from my husband's head, while simultaneously shooting evil death ray eyes at him for sleeping through the whole ordeal. Seriously. HE MUST BE FAKING!

And, just like her first unaided sitting session, her first word was picturesque and poignant and by the light of the 2am moon. Dadadadadadada.....

The preciousness of it all almost burst my heart but then I remembered it was 2am and instead, burst into tears. It was a rough night.

Nyquil Anyone?

 
Your tears make night-owl-baby very happy. 
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There was more but I don't know what I did with it......

HERE... 
LOOK AT MORE CUTE BABY PICTURES instead!!!!!

 
Me: Oh, hai, did I interrupt something?
Them: *cricket* *cricket*

 
We are officially in that baby phase where her sweet little scream-hole is continually covered with some sort of crusty food residue. 
Like all the time.

 
If Mommy doesn't give you what you want, just do this..... 
THANKS HONEY!

  
Citrus is Lizzie's catnip.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

He's the Daddy...

Wordful Wednesday
A damn good bloggy idea from:


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Post a pic...
Say a bunch of words...

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Stephen is a good daddy.

He's not perfect. He doesn't read books to her. He doesn't doesn't even read the parenting books to himself. If he has a spare moment or a few hours to do as he pleases, you will not find him googling about baby sleep habits (like I do) or lookng into 529 plans (like I do).
That drives me crazy.
He will, 100% of the time, forget to put socks on her, under her sleeper, unless I remind him.
That drives me crazy.
He does not see the need to cover her head with a blanket when the arctic air is blowing snow in all directions and he will give me the deer in the headlights look if I ask him about his opinion on vaccines, starting solids, breastfeeding or any other important baby related decision.
That drives me crazy.


But he will always change her diaper. He will always get up to pat her when the baby monitor starts howling. If I say “Can you take her?”, he always says “Yes.”


She adores him. She lights up when he gets home. She jumps in my arms with squeals when he talks to her in his excited voice. She relaxes in his lap and assumes his couch potato stance as they watch bad TV or play violent video games together. Often times they pass out on the couch while I am folding laundry or cooking dinner. They snore in harmony.


He gives her a bath, gives her all her medicine, puts her in her jammies.
Every night. By himself.
And every night he takes her upstairs to our bedroom window and peers down at the neighborhood, spying on the neighbors, calming her down for the night in the darkened room. He waits for me to finish rushing around downstairs: emptying the bath water from the kitchen sink, stuffing the dishwasher, erasing the dinner smears from her highchair, the table, the counters. And when I have carved a huge chunk out of my evening routine, I go up there to nurse her. He peeks her sleepy little head around the corner and into the nursery.
“Where's Mommy?”
Her eyes find me in the rocker and she smiles. We start our evening routine. Sometimes we read a book or two. I make the sign for milk. She drinks heartily and drifts off to sleep. Her hand covers her ear and she talks in her sleep. Because Stephen has done the mundane steps of bedtime preparation, I can focus on nursing her and enjoying this time. And not feeling rushed or thinking of how long it takes to get her from her highchair to her crib. On the rare chance he gets home too late, I realize how much it helps to have him split this time with me. I forget that he could try harder. Worry more.
Be more like me.
But somehow, in a totally different way and with a totally different attitude, he's exactly what she needs.
He's a good daddy.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is it bedtime yet?

Saturday Ramblings

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Stephen: "What are you doing?"

Me: "Thinkin' about startin' a blog entry..."

Stephen: "Nice. Gonna make a Blentry?"

Me: "What?"

Stephen: "You know... Blog is short for WebLog. And a blog entry is a Blentry.... Get it?"

Me: "sigh........."

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Oh Daddy.....
You slay me!

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My muffin slept from 7pmish to Midnightish last night. Then I gave her a dream feed (where I pick her up without waking her and nurse her) and put her back down. With her hunger timer now restarted, I went to bed myself. She didn't wake up until this morning at 6amish. 

Earth shattering? Brag worthy? Yup. Sure as shit is.

My whole life right now revolves around how to achieve, maintain and enjoy MORE SLEEP. Like, more than 2 hours at a time. I have been in serious sleep deficit since I was 7 months pregnant. I am not functioning as sharply as I need to be. My thoughts are muddled and my humorous comebacks delayed. I cannot wait for this sleep situation to resolve itself. With or without NyQuil.

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 Wait.... go back to the part where she's going crazy from me not sleeping enough....
That shit cracks me up every time!

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One of my FaceBook friends had a status update that said "Random thought: what if in the future the use of nano technology enables us to fight colds, except, it's like a subscription to Norton where you gotta pay every year to stay "current."

And it made me think about every day when I boot up the ole' laptop and my Norton thingy screams at me to renew my subscription! NOW! You're not PROTECTED!  

And I am so lazy that I don't click to renew and I know I won't any time soon. 

And yet I can't even be bothered to click on the "Remind me in 15 days" bubble. I leave it on the "Remind me in 1 day" bubble and click "ok". 

See you tomorrow, daily reminder of my debilitating procrastination skills!

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Ninja Baby sees your inadequacies and is recording them for future therapy sessions.

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Most recent Awesome Movie Quote?

Wheeler in Role Models...



Birthday Sushi

So yesterday was my birthday!
Which, oddly enough, doesn't feel particularly deserving of the "!".

Despite the balloon animals and kazoos you have pictured in your head, it actually passed without such glittering fanfare. Stephen worked. Chewie licked my feet. E tried to brainwash me into shoving dull butter knives into and through my eye sockets. Repeatedly. (Translation: Sleep issues)

Here's the play by play in the excessive detail I'm sure you're drooling for:

12:00:01 Yes, that's right, MIDNIGHT + 1sec. As the old grandfather clock (we don't own) donged our passage into the day of the anniversary of the birth of yours truly, I was awake. Laying in bed. Feeding the Milk Monster. Again. Listening to Stephen snoring blissfully unaware next to me. Happy Fucking Birthday to me.

02:37 Yep, still middle of the night. Still Awake. Still clinging to my sanity with whisper thin threads. A whimpering baby chewing on the sheets next to me. Whimpering and pumping her legs and staring at me with wide open saucer eyes. I flipped her to the other boob side. Watched her eat in a ravenous fashion and create a new milk puddle for me to wallow in later. Watched her sweet eyelids slowly fall closed and listened to her swallows get more shallow. More intermittent.

I let my guard down. Let my own burning eyes fall closed. E must have sensed my relaxation. My weakness. With an evil cackle and much agitated squirming, she woke up for round 3.

Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating with the evil cackle, sure, but there WAS a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder and the hardwood floor cracked open and exposed a gash of burning earth and flowing lava and the screams of 1000 mournful sinner souls. Think what you may. I WAS THERE.

04:12 Trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with this child. She's wide awake and fidgety. And cranky. I beg her to sleep. To just lay down and let it happen. She is having none of it. She does not want to be on her belly. Nor on her back. Nor cuddled. Nor feeding.

I sit her up in the middle of the bed and try to have a heart to heart with her. She quiets down. We talk. Well, I talk and she just sits there and listens. It is a few minutes before I realize she is sitting all by herself. No help from me. No props. Just sitting. I've never seen her do this so well and for a moment I am so proud of her. I wake Stephen up to show him and he sleepily acknowledges I might have said something to him. He then returns to sawing logs. Typical.

She is staring, unblinking, out the window. The moon is pouring soft blue highlights all around her. Her expression is deep and thoughtful. I cannot imagine the contemplation of her heart but she is serene and beautiful. I catch my breath as I wonder if I am staring at a glimpse of what she will become. When time and errands and life will whisk her to and fro and perhaps I won't get the chance to study her by moonlight or share the quietness of a moment with her. My heart fills up heavy with sadness because one day she will move on and cleave to another and leave me behind to be alone with Stephen: Old Edition.

She's only 6 months old and yet it chokes me up that we are running out of time. As soon as you get close to them you put two and two together and realize they will not be your baby forever. This is why I cried at Marley and Me. I saw where that movie was going like 15 min in and I said Holy Shit we are in for a cryfest shitstorm and yet I had to keep watching..... And this is exactly why I should be asleep at 4:30 am and not mulling over an eventual empty next syndrome when my main problem at the moment is full nest syndrome.

But still. This moment? Priceless.

04:35 Moment(s) over. Breathtaking. Awesome. Let's go back to our primary objective here: the one involving the "go the hell to sleep pleasethanx" principle. I tried to pull her down and get her comfy but she was having none of it. She wanted to sit. And only to sit. Sit or scream: YOUR CHOICE, CHOOSE WISELY.

Oh, and Happy Effin' Birthday....

07:30 I don't really remember what happened or how I got her down. All I know is when we woke up later, she was sprawled across my arm and I had the weirdest kink in my shoulder blade. I figure she started dozing sitting up and finally decided to collapse in between me and Stephen.

Or maybe we were slipped roofies. Now that I think about it, I woke up and strangely my nightgown was lifted up towards my neck and the girls were basking in the morning sunlight. Course maybe E found herself some late night munchies, which is another explanation, but like I said, I don't remember much. I changed her diaper and we went back to sleep. I needed to get up and do things but couldn't muster up any Igivahdam. My birthday. My rules.

10:15 That's right. Mid morning. We got up and had some PB and J toast and waited for Stephen to come home. I cleaned out the TiVo. Did some official blog surfing stuff. Put E in an actual non-sleeper day-time outfit.

13:30 Stephen comes home. Tries to distract me with some lame story from his day's adventures whilst retrieving the card from the hall closet he has hidden it in. I act like I don't see what he is doing but I know it's there. I watched him buy it at the store when we went three days ago to pick up a few things. I can't be mad. Last year I didn't even get a card so "You're movin' on up there Honey!"

13:31 Open cards. One from him and one from E and Chewie. I act surprised. Laugh. Lather on appreciation so his man brain associates "small tokens of appreciation" with "exuberant and abundant adoration".

13:32 I inquire where my gift is hidden. He stares at me blankly. I flap the card open a few times and look for falling pieces of green paper. I look up at him. "Where's the monies?" "The monies?" "Yeah, the monies. When there's no gift you should at least get monies in the card." His eyes brighten! He pulls out his wallet. Frowny Face..... He looks around. "Where's your wallet?" I give him the disgusted face. His response is "What?...."

17:15 The electricity goes out. WTF?!?

17:19 The electricity comes back on. Must have been a moment of darkness in honor of my birthday. I am overcome with gratitude. I am caught off guard. Without a speech.

17:35 We load up and go to the sushi buffet with the only 2 sets of friends I really hang out with. Do not feel sorry for me: they are a hoot and I'm pretty sure the world could not handle a larger group of us. We descend on that place like rednecks over fresh roadkill. What transpired next was a vicious, gory, omnivorous devouring of Asian delicacies. Heaping plate after heaping plate of deliciousness. Wasabi-tainted soy sauce splashes and vittles stuffed into white rice nuggets. All amidst grandiose tales and excessive chopstick-wielding flourishes. Pure Joy. Beautiful. Perfect.

19:30 Heading home. I am so full that the last two bites I had to actually store in the folds of my cheeks, waiting for the rest of my food to digest and make room for them. It's not pretty but it happens to me every time. And, NO, I'm NOT proud of myself.


20:00 Still digesting. Do E's bedtime routine. Nurse her. Put her to bed.

20:30 Contemplate blog entry but am too disgustingly full to think about food, much less describe it in all it's glorious splendor. Again, I'm not proud. Just trying to get the facts down.

20:40 Due to unforeseen complications out of my control (getting old, having a child that allows me no sleep, still-expanding sushi rice in my belly) I pass out unceremoniously.

23:59:59 E wakes up. "I know it's still your BDay and I don't mean to bother you, but do you think I can maybe have some milk, please?" (Only it came out more like "WaaahhhhhIsaidNOWheiferhhhhhhh")

Day Over.

Happy Effin' Birthday to me.

Subtitle?
"Still not sleeping through the night" baby is trumped only by all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.

I'll take it :)

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Cute pictures of E consuming food:

 
Green Beans!

Asparagus!

PB&J Toast!

Bananas!

 
Water!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

E: Turn On, Turn Off


 
Turn On:
Eatin' mah FEETZ!

 
Turn Off:
Eatinz so much I could SPLODE!


 
Turn On:
Playin' in mah seat when I'm Happiez


 
Turn Off:
Playin' in mah seatz when I'm teh CRANKIEZ!


 
Turn On:
Surprise endings in mah bookz


 
Turn Off:
When I haz no Bookz and I gotta make up de story myselves.

  
Turn On:
Sittin' up like a big girl and watchin' big girl TV.


 
Turn Off:
Fallinz asleep early and missin' Project Runway :(

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Ten Things

Mama's Losin' It

 TEN THINGS I NEVER KNEW UNTIL I HAD ELIZABETH
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1. I would turn into a hippie.

Before E came along, I abhorred hippies. Hippies were always trying to make my life harder and more expensive and like, tryin' to sell me dope and shit. Dear Hippies: Please refrain from pushing your organic eco-friendly bullcrap on me, thankyouverymuch. GO SAVE THE WORLD SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Then E joined our family and now I'm doing the cloth diaper thing and the breastfeeding thing and the babywearing thing and the General Hippie Child Rearing 101 course. I have my green cloth shopping bags and I shop on the outer edges of the grocery store away from all that processed crap. (I haven't jumped on the organic bandwagon yet but that's probably because I'm not rich enough.)  I'm a hippie. *hangs head in shame*


(Look at my MIL over there smiling to herself. I STILL HATE HIPPIES, Woman!)

2. Before I was a Mom, I WAS LAZY!
I had not realized this, at the time. When I first got out of the Navy and we decided I would be a housewife, I did 100% of the chores (I still do). I cleaned and paid the bills and ran the errands and generally built the Geis empire with my bare hands. I went to the gym (sometimes) and took the dog to the dog park. Life was good and I didn't even realize it.

There were times when Stephen would come home and ask me about my day and, get this, I got less done then than I do now and I was more tired. I was going to go to the bank but I ran out of time. Laundry was backed up because I had too much on my plate. I would so totally slap that woman in the face today. YOU HAVE IT SO GOOD!

3. Other Moms can be so supportive.

I had heard of Mommy Gatherings and knew that, generally, there was a support group for just about every calamity out there but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I have seen mothers join forces and pool resources and fight tooth and nail to keep another mother above water, safe, comforted, reassured. I have seen women bare their souls and relive horrible tragedies just to be one of a hundred comments on a blog saying "I'm sorry." I've seen compassion between people who have never met in real life. That's moving.

Don't believe me? Check out NieNie or Anissa.... Mommy Bloggers stick together and I LOVE YOU GUYS FOR THAT!

4. Other Moms can be such BITCHES :(


I know it's tough out there and its difficult to research and make decisions for your family. And then you have to defend yourself and your choices. And that's fine. Do it. Help others. Offer advice and lend a hand. But don't put another mother down for her choices. She's doing what she thinks is best for her family. It happens all the time.

Mommy 1: Hey guys, I'm starting my baby on bananas this week. Her first solid food! I'm so excited!

Mommy 2: Me too! Only we're starting our little one on peaches. I can't wait!

"Bitch" Mom: Oh hey guys, the AAADJHDW recommends only starting babies on veggies so they don't get that sweet tooth and grow up to be obese and also peaches are real acidic and I read it can give your baby allergies so by the way you're KILLING YOUR BABIES, I though you guys should know. God Bless!

Really? Is that necessary?

5. Breastfeeding SUCKS.

It's better, sure. It's healthier and cheaper and more natural. I know the drill. But it is NOT easier than formula feeding and I very highly doubt you bond better either way. It is a pain in the ass 95% of the time with the 5% it ROCKS being in the middle of the night. Late night boobie calls are way more awesome-er than getting up to feed a bottle. Science has advanced enough that formula is fairly close to mother's milk. And if you are like us and have a baby that only wants hooter and will not take bottle, then you almost regret not formula feeding and getting to share the responsibility.

And it hurts for the first few MONTHS. Your boobs leak like their weeping with sorrow over losing thier girlish figures. The sheets are soaked and you always smell faintly of sour something. Somewhere in the Amazon a bush-baby whimpers in his sleep and my whole chest tingles and suddenly my hooters are SOBBING into my nursing top. There's no consoling them. There is squirting. People get hurt. I feel like a dairy cow only I'm supposed to also be skinny. I have "over supply". Starving kids in Africa? Gimmie a breast pump and a truck full of 5 gallon buckets. I've never had thrush or mastitis but I had bloody cracked nipples and engorgement so severe I feared my tits would literally burst at the seams and spray boob-guts all over the walls. NOT COOL.

6. I need unsolicited advice from strangers.

Before I had E, I could dress myself and run my errands and even raise my husband the way I saw best. No one cared when I went to the bank in pajamas and no one called the food police when I fed Stephen pizza four two nights in a row. Times have changed since then. I'm no longer able to properly care for another person without meaningful input from these random parenting gurus I run into. I require coaching in the areas of dressing, feeding and socializing E. Good thing they have my back! And in return? I help them out with whatever advice I can offer in return :)

*Example*

Well Meaning Parent with Small Child (talking to E): "Hi Sweetheart! You're so pretty. It's chilly outside! Mommy should have put a hat on you! You're gonna catch a cold!"

Me (bending down to talk to Small Child): "Hi Troll-Baby! What a special little boy you are. Mommy should have put a hockey mask on your ugly mug. YOU'RE SCARIN' THE SHIT OUTTA MY DOG!"


7. Everything takes longer with a baby.

Leaving the house. Making food. (Trying to) eat food. Housework. Taking a crap. Responding to emails. Blogging. Walking the dog. Twice as long if I'm holding her and using one arm. Four times as long if she's in the carrier (it's like being preggo again with the huge waddle belly). And 189374 times longer if she's screaming. I have to take roughly three days worth of baby survival gear to go to the grocery store. I also still drive a two door Civic so roughly 50% of our adventure time is spent precariously balancing the car seat to get it into or out of the backseat.

But sometimes slower is so much sweeter. When others are bustling and hurrying around me, I can just wave them on. Go ahead of me, I'm gonna be awhile. My kid wants to stare at this plant for a little bit longer. And so we loiter. I move the stroller so a few leaves hang into her arm's reach and watch as she rips them from their stems and tries to eat them (no thank you, Lizzie-Beth, YUCKY!). We have to stop every few minutes so each old lady on the walking trail can say hi to her and get their grandbaby fix. And her giggle makes me stop in my tracks. If that bouncing rat-dog tickles your funny bone then by God we will stay here all afternoon so I can listen to you LOL-ing.

8. I'd be "Mommy-BiPolar".

My good days are sooooo gooooood. We sing and play and take pictures. She smiles and coos and my heart bursts with joy. I'm high on baby lovins! She nurses and palms my mouth so I can blow raspberries on her hand. She smiles big and wide and barely keeps the nipple in her mouth, milk spilling out the corner. Afterward she lays her head on my shoulder and wraps her arms around me hug-style and starts snoring. Stephen comes home and we've played and cleaned and achieved Stay-At-Home Nirvana. I love her so much.

Other days I'm run ragged and I barely make it until Stephen comes home. She won't nap and my coffee sits cold on the counter and her incessant whines and flailing arms drain my best intentions. Dishes crust over in the sink and my hair hangs in greasy strings and I wonder if anyone else has days like this or if I'm the only one that wears the same clothes three days in a row (or was it four? I know I showered maybe two days ago so probably just three. Wait, is it Thursday?) I think of all the wasted brain cells in her brain that I didn't nurture and wonder if she spent her day muttering under her breath "lame...."

9. I'd think about DEATH all the time.

No, SERIOUSLY, I do. All the time. I get these flashes o' death probably a dozen times a day. Stephen's holding E up in the air and blowing raspberries on her belly and SHUDDER, I see him dropping her on the kitchen tiles. I give her a piece of orange and SHUDDER, I see her choking to death right in front of me. I'm walking upstairs to take her to her crib and SHUDDER I trip and fall down the stairs, smashing her baby brain to bits on the banister. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!?!

I know some of it is unfounded paranoia because that's what I do. It's my thing. I'm overly paranoid about everything. But I can't help it. I do it without thinking. It gives me a shudder and I shake my head a few times and sat MY GOD WOMAN, get a grip. Is there a pill for that? Is that normal? Maybe that's over-share....
 
10. I was supposed to be someone's "daughter" too...

When I was a kid, I thought I was THE SHIT. No one could touch me and I didn't need anyone. I also knew everything. Pretty well-rounded I like to think. I thought I was so mature. For a good portion of my childhood, I was treated like shit. And then after that, I treated other people like shit. People forgot that I was a kid and just started treating me like an adult. Which meant that most of them washed their hands of me and my baddassness so off I went, me and my untouchable grown-up self. I have no concept of being someone's princess or angel. I've worn the title of daughter but never known what it felt like. It's not a sob story, just facts.

And here's MY daughter. I look at Elizabeth and I get this feeling in my gut, this certainty in my head. She's my precious baby girl and knowing I will watch her feel pain/heartache/sadness in her life makes my throat close up. I'm like that lady from that movie Role Models. "I am an animalistic woman. I am a lioness and this is my cub. If you mess with my cub, I will claw your ass up until you shit sideways." I could never hit her or make her cower in fear. I will never make my love for her conditional on her actions or her merits.

She can be a serial killer and I will go to her trial. She can be a horrid teenager and move away and avoid my phone calls and I will STALK HER ASS and send her "wish you were here" postcards. She will always know I love her, without a doubt. I mourn the loss of my own childhood deeply and painfully for the first time in my life. My heart aches to be closer to my mother. I would hide dead bodies and sell my body to prevent E from ever knowing that feeling and my heart would cease to beat in my chest cavity if for ONE SECOND she felt like she had wandered out of the spotlight of her mother's love. We will figure this mother-daughter thing out together. I can't wait, SweetHeart!

OMG we only get to pick 10?!?!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm FAMOUS!

Some days are smoother than others.

I do FlyLady. It's a system. It keeps me sane. You should check it out.

Everyday I do the same thing in the morning and before I go to bed. I have routines. Written ones. In a binder marked "Control Journal".

I'm serious. Fly Lady knows her shit.

What used to take me 3 or 4 uncoordinated crazy hours now gets accomplished in 20 to 30 min, tops. I do the steps mostly in the same order every day. Which means any random morning you could sneak in my house and watch me let the dog out the back door and KNOW that the next thing I will do is push the button on the coffee maker to make it "do what it do". (I wouldn't recommend you sneak in my house though. We sleep in the nude. With guns.)

Now I don't always get to do them perfectly in order. Sometimes E is awake early or Chewie isn't cooperating. Sometimes E will quietly cover herself with baby goo while I'm not looking and next thing you know the dishwasher has to wait because I'm cleaning snot/milk/poop out of her nose/ear/butt. It can get crazy in an instant here. Planning a visit? Bring wading boots and an umbrella.

But for the most part, KNOCK ON WOOD, my mornings and evenings run like clockwork. Sometimes a little too well.

This morning, for example, I made a slight blunder.

I enjoy me some coffee. I LOVE my coffee. Cannot function without it. I take it with Splenda and a splash of milk in case you wanted to bring me some. Or if, by chance, you were bringing me Starbux, then I want a venti iced caramel machiatto with extra caramel sauce and 2 additional shots of espresso. YES I KNOW IT ALREADY COMES WITH 3 SHOTS NOSY BARISTA LADY, this way I only need to drink ONE to function today.)

Sometimes, if we have company, I go the extra mile and have some creamer in the fridge. Creamer is the bee's knees. It's like milk only more FAT. MMMMmmmmm. So I don't get it very often. The next time I will get to have creamer is 24 Feb. That's when my MIL comes down for two weeks to save me from this baby visit our family. I can't wait. I wish she lived here. Come soon dear MIL so we can quilt and have creamer and I don't have to win the "who wants to go get the baby" game EVERY TIME.

I must have been thinking of her coming for her visit while I was making my coffee this morning. We got up a little late and so I jumped into my morning routine and started thinking about the incredibly important things I have to do today. (Shut it! I do!) I made some toast. Chastised the dog. Drank my coffee. Looked strangely at my coffee.....Threw up in my mouth....

WTF?!?

Coffee not good. Coffee gross. Coffee slimy?

 

Egg Mates? 

Oh yeah, I bought those yesterday to try out. I am generally leery of recipes that want me to add a raw egg, stir and serve, so I bought these because they are pasturized. And safer. But NOT creamer. Same skinny carton. Same twisty pour spout. NOT CREAMER. Not even white. It's yellow! What's wrong with me?

My mind is not all here today. I didn't sleep very well last night. I tossed and turned because I knew today was the day my email interview thingy came out at BecomingSarah.com. She is thanking her audience for being all supportive and junk and sending them love in the form of visitors and comments. HOW THOUGHTFUL of her! I'm being presented to Sarah's fans as a funny blog to check out. Go check it out! I'm so NERVOUS! What a weenie ;P

The truth is, I don't know shit about blogging. I don't have a clue about marketing or target audience or even how to use the spell checker correctly (read my archives and believe me.) I do not feel professional in the blog category AT ALL. But what I do have, what I CAN offer, is true stories about our everyday life that also happen to be funny. I don't have any control over this process. Stephen and E and sometimes Chewie, they are to blame. (Well and sometimes my spaz brain helps).

So when Sarah said "Oh hai, bloggy interview thingy and do you wanna be the first one and I have cookies..." I heard "cookies" and said SHIT YEAH and next thing I know, interview POSTED. And I realized this morning that if she was going to be sending company over to my blog home then maybe I shoulda cleaned this place up a bit and made it more presentable. But it was too late so PLEASE EXCUSE THE MESS.

Linkies may not work and the "flow" is very un-feng-shui and the gadgets are.... well I have no gadgets.... you get the idea. But WELCOME none the less. Kick off your shoes, stay a bit, RSS me. Laugh. Please. I drank RAW EGGS for you. You owe me.  

*****************************



And also this happened. 
Turn away to check emails and they smear peanut butter all over their face and turn into heathens.
GAWD!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Storm'n 2010

Back in December, we were stranded in BFE, Virginia during the WINTER STORM 2009!!!!!!

I didn't take E out in the snow because she was just too little to even comprehend it and we didn't have baby tundra apparel packed. We stayed warm in the hotel and hunkered down to wait it out.

*********************************

Fast Forward to January and we had the worst snow storm in forever. Over a foot on the ground. Ice everywhere. Nothing was open all weekend and the schools and bases were closed on the following Monday AND Tuesday. It was nuts! We let Chewie out in it and he was in doggie heaven. He would refuse to come in until he had been out there for hours, paws frozen and fur sopping wet from melted snow. Then he'd want back out in 30 minutes.

Go for it Buddy. Burn that energy off! A pent up Golden Retriever will drive you insane. I snapped some cute pictures of him because, again, it was just too much for E to enjoy.

 
No Sirs...
Iz do not have white powder problem.

 
Makes you wonder what they think is under all that snow.
You know, besides the GROUND.


Hai Chew, you got a little boogie hangin' off your...
Oh wait, no... you got it...
>.<

 
He does not mind the cold.

 
At all.


 
I can haz five more minutes to play plz?


 
Snowgasm Afterglow.

*************************************
So when the forecaster called for ANOTHER weekend of snow, I figured I really needed at least one pic of E in cold weather gear amongst the flakes. It actually rarely snows here. Too close to the beach area.

So we put her in her cute pink coat...


 
pink-on-pink preciousness

...And we headed out to get some snapshots...
I took about a dozen pics and then we hightailed it inside. 
IT WAS COLD!

E really looked like she enjoyed all 3 minutes of it and I got a few cute memories of her captured on film. Which is all that really matters. 

 

 



Saturday, February 6, 2010

THUD

I was just muttering to a friend the other day how E is 6 months old and we've come this far without any real bumps or emergencies. Six months of our parenting and she had survived unscathed. It seemed like something to pat ourselves on the back for.

When you first bring your baby home, the pure helplessness of that sleeping babe is overwhelming. Here you are, responsible for this other PERSON. How much does it eat? Is it tired? Am I going to drop it or snap it's neck in two from holding it wrong? Does it need more layers of clothes? Why is it crying?!?

And then you get a few months in and there's all this other stuff to consider. Solid foods and vaccines. Is TV ok? Am I setting her up for sleep problems? Does she need more tummy time? Should we hold her more? Less? You read these books and Google long and hard into the wee hours of the night on your iPhone (in bed). You ask people and read blogs and research until your head throbs from information overload. You are now the subject matter expert on "exclusively beast fed babies" and "vitamin D". You make comments to the pediatrician and quote studies that he has not heard of.

You have left no stone unturned. No path unfollowed. Your knowledge has led you to make decisions that bode well with your soul and your sleep at night is peaceful. The air is full of butterflies and rainbows and unicorns frolic in the meadow. Tra La La La....

And then your boobie-milk fed, cloth diapered, sling-riding baby falls. Face first. Onto the hardwood floor.

The entire universe stops and your eyes bug out and your lungs forget how to expand and collect the much needed oxygen your brain requires to process the situation. One minute she's on the chair, the next minute THUD and a cry and your heart has packed up and left because THIS EMOTION? This heart-wrenching throat-closing response? It is too much to bear.

I'm eternally grateful that it happened to me on the day of a regularly scheduled doctor appointment. A mere 2 hours before we were to leave. But the fear and guilt still paralyzed me. I didn't know what to do or even the signs to look for that something was wrong. Was she ok? Have I broken a part of her that will leave her scarred for life? WILL SHE LIVE?!?

It seems laughable now. An uncomfortable laugh but a chuckle none the less. You spend all this time dissecting each component of every substance that touches their delicate skin, enters their bellies, even catches their poop and then THUD, brain bouncing on the deck. If pesticides and synthetic fibers might slightly irritate that sweet little body, what does a roundhouse kick to the grey matter do?

I had set E down on the desk chair in my craft room. I was thinking we would whip out a sling I haven't used before and YouTube how to wear it. With one hand on the sling and the other on the mouse, I clicked and started watching. My leg was up against the chair and I was RIGHT THERE. I've been telling Stephen for weeks: you can't leave her alone anymore. Not for a second. Not two feet away. She can roll and tumble and she has no concept of danger or terminal velocity. It's a serious matter. If she fell, you would feel like shit and she might even hurt herself badly.

And then she falls. RIGHT NEXT TO ME. On my watch.

The moment her face splat on the ground, her lungs opened and THE ANGER. She was runaway-thermal-reaction pissed. Her unintelligible screams morphed into accusations: How could you let this happen? I trusted you! I could have been KILLED.

THUD. My heart. Kicked overboard by the guilt. How does it feel Heart? Bouncing on the floor and rattling your marbles around?

Immediately I start crying. I'm telling her I'm sorry and it's ok. I rush to the couch and I'm trying to shove the boob into her mouth. Here! Take this! You like this! This is comfort! But of course she's having none of it. Sorry Ma. This isn't over-stimulation or stranger anxiety. You dribbled my face on the pavement.

Eventually she did simmer down and her screams turned into that weird hiccupy inner sobbing as she nursed. The adrenaline died down and the oxytocin started flowing and the fear grip on my stomach eased it's clench. The combination of too many hormones chilling out and too many endorphins rushing to my aid was too much for my system. My Breakfast was Revisited.

THUD. All over the victim. Before my mind could react, I had tossed my cookies all over E. Her eyes shot open like WTF PSYCHO?! I am so totally trying to eat here! I just sat there and stared at her. I did not just seriously barf all over my kid did I? What kind of twisted dream is this?

And then Chewie came over and brought me crashing back into reality by first sniffing and then LICKING my pants leg. My barfed on pants leg. My barf. OH MY GOD.

Before I knew what I was doing, my foot shot out and connected with Chewie's ribcage. THUD. I screamed at him. An overly profane sentence that translated into "You crazy dog, that's barf and barf isn't for eating. Okay you silly mutt? Understand? Now time for some belly rubs."

I put him in his kennel to avoid chancing him licking my bile off the rug right in front of me and I stripped E down to her skiveys and disinfected her with baby wipes. After all was clean and back to normal, I finished feeding her. She had a big knot on her head and I had an even bigger knot in my throat. Poor little angel baby.

And then I strapped her in her car seat and drove her little ass to go get some shots.

How shitty was her day?!?

 
The damage.

**************************************


Friday, February 5, 2010

A Good Mix

 
My sweet princess <3

  
The cutest baby husband in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
Baby Stephen <3
And Monkey! Look how soft he was there!


 
Monkey gets around <3
E at 5ish months


 
Stephen and his mom, the MAMA, on left.
(Yes I totally just did the "which hand makes the L for left" trick.)
And Aunt Christie and Doug on the right.
WELCOME TO THE INTERWEBZ AUNT CHRISTIE!
(please don't kill me LOLZ!)

 
Mmmmm.
E deliousness :)


 
Mommy and her Daddy
RIP 1945 - 2008


 
Oh Hai, you guyz order up some precious?
Cuz it's served :)

 
Faux-Hawk
aka Proof E's Hair is Growing in FINALLY!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blow Test Fail

 
So... Hungry...
(Alternative title: I got the blues, Harmonica version!)


When E was born, feeding her was a no-brainer: Le Boobies all the way, all the time. Boobies for breakfast and boobies for dinner and boobies for midnight snacking (and 2am and 4am and 6am and sometimes, hell, in between). I knew I would breastfeed, if I could. It's good for her and hella cheap and blah blah blah, but that's not the point of this post.

When we rolled up into E's 4 month well baby appointment, the doc started off with "Have you started her on solids yet?" I was aghast. Solids? Really? At 4 months? What's the rush?

I knew some people start around 4 months and some even earlier. I knew all about the old wives tales of babies sleeping better and longer with a few tablespoons of rice cereal snuck into their bottles. I remember my baby sisters eating cereal from a weird bottle that was a big syringe contraption, before they were even six months old. I wasn't convinced. I just didn't see how a spoonful of EXTREMELY OVER-PROCESSED carbs might somehow give the delicious fattiness of my milk a higher "fill quality".

Disclaimer!!! When to start solids is one of the huge fences in child rearing, I know, but you have to pick a side. Either way you're wrong. Or right. Or whatever. It's worse that choosing between being, hmmm, Republican or Democratic? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Team Jon or Team Kate? (And on that last one: ewwwwww to both. Ew. Ew. Ew. And in conclusion.... EW.)

Both sides can get spiteful and venomous and shoot off remarks about how uneducated or inhumane the other side is but at the end of the day, you have to make an educated decision, stick to your guns and keep an eye open for new data that might prove you wrong change your mind. Whatever works for you and yours, is probably fine for you and yours. Just don't throw others under the bus to make you feel better. End disclaimer. Comments Closed.

We originally thought we would pursue the normal route of solid food introduction but alas, E had other plans. (She often does this sort of thing). Here's what transpired, in chronological order....

Solid Food Incident 1: 
Scene: Grandpa and Gammy's house for Thanksgiving

I may or may not have slid some cranberry sauce onto her tongue at dinner. This would be right at 4 months old. It wasn't a spoonful or even a smidgen. I dipped the tiniest of fingertips in the red goo and shook off the majority of the excess before letting her partake of it. Does this count?  Meh, you be the judge. Evil or not, she loved it. I have pics.

 
nom nom nom

Solid Food Incident 2: 
Scene: New Year's Day, Great Grandparents house

Whilst visiting said great grandparents, I gave E some chewed up slow-cooked ribs (Hush! You know you've done it!), sauerkraut, mashed taters and MAYBE some roll with butter.

Funny why?
-She totally looks like a baby bird here, regurgitated meat offerings and everything!



Solid Food Incident 3:
THE REAL DEAL

A few weeks ago, I started giving E bites of what I was eating. I am super ashamed to say that I practiced no restraint in what I offered her. Her cute little gaping open mouth was too adorable as she literally BEGGED for a bit of whatever came near my mouth (she almost ate my chapstick, people). Bites of over-easy egg. Asparagus tips drowning in butter. Banana bits with peanut butter. The works. If I ate it, she ate it. If it was iffy, I'd chew it up a bit first. Mostly, I just wanted her to let me eat in peace and this is the only way I could get her off my back and stop the screaming. Judge me if you must. Desperate times call for desperate measures.


See what I mean?
Total. Meltdown.

I know the "proper" thing to do is research and agonize and have nightmares about high fructose corn syrup and pesticides and shit. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that because a little caution never hurt anyone. And also, it's not like I was shoving mashed up Twinkies at her and washing them down with Hawaiian Fruit Punch. I'm not an idiot. In these matters, at least. So bear with me and please don't throw steak knives at your computer screen when I say this...

  
K, I'm ready....

We are skipping everything between boobie and table foods. 
EVERYTHING...

Boobie => Rice Cereal => Mixed Cereal => Baby food purees => Baby Food Chunky Style => Smashed People Food => Waiting 3 days to check for allergies => Waffle House Hash Browns with Chili and Jalapenos ( I believe that's topped and scattered? Or topped and smothered? Whatever...)

I kid, I kid.... Why the dirty looks? 
I know absolutely no jalapenos until a year old. 
Seriously, people, calm down...

  

 

So why the rush through the process? Am I just so impatient and so ready to force my darling child through her baby time and into her big girl time? Do I not care about tradition and research and her health?

No. The honest injun truth is that she just won't eat any of that crap. Not. One. Drop. Hell, I wish she did. I wish she would follow the common baby time line and be normal and let me fit in at the Food Lion with a basket full of Stage 1 goop jars and organic baby grain boxes. All the other moms have their baby carriers perched high in a cart full of weekly groceries, Pampers, wipes and oodles of brightly colored glass jars, full of homogeneous baby feeding paste while I have to skip that cool ass aisle all together. We cloth diaper and my kid won't eat any of that shit so, ho hum, from canned goods to the frozen section I go. I never get to loiter in the baby gizmo section. It's not fair, dammit!

I can't help it. If you insert any puree-ish consistency food in E's scream hole she will reject it. She's quite clever that little vixen. She rolls the unknown mush to the front of her lips and blows very softly through a whisle shaped mouth. If the offender makes bubbles and flubbers around, it's a puree. It's deemed unfit and the blowing gets harder and more violent until said mash is spottily distributed within a 12 inch radius. If it holds itself together and stays put, it's a solid and therefore edible food. Nom Nom Nom please sir can I have some more...

 

  
  


 

 


I give her props for being smart and shit but it's not an exact science. Some things really fuck her up. Example? Pudding = puree, so she starts spitting it out only to realize mid-blow that it's ACTUALLY! GOOD! This pisses Her Highness off greatly.

HAHA! Blow Test FAIL.

Or at the sushi joint when we kept giving her jell-o. She would push that slippery little devil to the edge of her mouth and then even the slightest nudge would plop it out and onto the table. I think she was confused because it felt solid in her mouth but disappeared when she pursed her lips.

HAHA! Blow Test FAIL.

And as usual, anything that royally pisses her off is funny as shit to all of us. Everyone is laughing at her and I'm scrambling to retrieve and reinsert said deviant jell-o as I join in the chuckles. This makes her more pissed off and even more hilarious to us. It rolls to a tear-inducing other-customers-glowering crescendo until she finally gives up and publicly denounces the food as not worth her time. Evil even. Insert angry pouty face here.

Exactly like this.
Only this is her Daddy.
But, still, EXACTLY this expression.

God, she's also just like her mother..

And that brings us to where we are now folks. Whatever we eat, she eats. Obviously I cut it up real small or even nosh on it a bit to break it down for her (as with some meats) but other than that, no other special handling required. She eats oranges and bananas, asparagus and chicken breast, sauteed onions and smothered rice. She is not turned off by any of our typical seasonings: not soy sauce nor chili pepper nor ginger nor tomato paste. So far she has truly tried and accepted 100% of my cooking, which is a good deal more than Stephen so yay! She's a keeper :)



Just don't mash it or puree it or you will wear it. As decoration.

Call us crazy but whatever we are doing, it's working. She isn't fussy or gassy and she sleeps better at nap time and night time because she isn't up every 30 min wanting to pull on the boobie. It's also working better than it would have even a month ago with our new cooking stance. I have decided to toss all the processed boxed crap and everything I cook now is from scratch. Well, 95% I guess. I don't make my own tomato paste or pasta but I do make my own stock and avoid the cream of whatever soups. It's not like I feed her Hamburger Helper or Ramen Noodles. Gawd, I have some standards.

 
Everybody's a winner!



And I'm still nursing around the clock. She still gets up 1 - 2 times a night for milk marathons and still goes about 1.5 - 2 hours between milkings during the day. I try to make her wait longer between feedings but then she turns into Milk-Monsterilla and we end up tearing at each other's throats and saying things we don't mean (Shut it! She says hateful things too!) 

Sometimes, when she is zombie tired and is whining pitifully with sleepy closed eyes, she will get a wild hair up her ass and think I'm tricking her food-wise, trying to feed her poison or something painfully melodramatic like that (I know, RIGHT, where does she get that shit from?!). She will fight and fight and when I can forcibly crane her neck towards me, I slap her mouth area a bit with my milk maker and try to convince her that what she really wants to do is shut the hell up and come get your damn milk

When your baby is that cranky and thrashing around while you try to get her to please just put the boob in your mouth and go to sleep (before my head explodes and leaves a ghastly mess for Stephen to clean up when he gets home from work), the last thing you want to do is to appear happy and/or mistakenly down play the severity of the situation in her eyes. She is being accosted and it's not a laughing matter.

But it's hard not to laugh when she's so tired and she's rooting and flubbering around at the boob and she looks like a newborn kitten, searching frantically for a nipple with closed eyes and mewing. Eventually she finally hits her mark, finds a nubbin in the dark and quickly latches on.

However, comma, it is NOT funny when she motor boats your areola and scares the EVER LOVIN SHIT out of you as you rock her stubborn ass to sleep in the dark. It's quiet and dim and soft elevator lullaby muzak is playing and all of a sudden someone's sleepily blowing raspberries on your nipple. And it's not your husband....

HAHA! Blow Test Fail!

********************************

And in related news:


HAHA! 
CUP FAIL!!!!