Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beer Belly



The breastmilk just isn't cutting it anymore- he's on to a more manly beverage.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Overly Paranthetical Ramble

Oof. I haven't eaten a vegetable that wasn't cooked in butter and cream of mushroom soup for over a week. I have consumed so much chocolate and coffee and alcohol it's a wonder Eli hasn't stopped eating in protest (okay, not an ALARMING amount of alcohol, but more than usual, the usual being none.) I got such good presents- bracelet, sunglasses, lotions and chap sticks aplenty, new jammies, a new DVD player (at last!) Pistons tickets (yay!) the new Philippa Gregory book (ohmygosh her books are like literary crack to me) and also some lovely gift cards which I used to buy shoes and a silky new party shirt and a sweater. (The silky party shirt? A little more low cut than I realized when I bought it, but OH WELL let's flaunt these girls while I've got 'em, 'cause Lord knows after nursing a few more kids they are going to seriously be DOWN TO MY KNEES.)

I have already taken the tree and decorations down- I find them kind of depressing after Christmas, so I just put it all away and try to get excited about the New Year and all the New Stuff instead of feeling mopey and wistful about Christmas being over. Except I still end up feeling mopey and wistful, but that could be because the sun hasn't shone in about three days, and there is no snow, only dead grass and barren limbs and a gray, ashy sky. And also because my Christmas CD in the car has Jonie Mitchell's "River" on it, and it is so pretty that I keep skipping to that track, but it's a little too depressing to listen to over and over again, it seems, without casting a melancholy shroud over your own mood.

Nonetheless, mostly I am very happy, because all the exhausting parts of the holiday (shopping, wrapping, loading and unloading the car, pretending to like your relatives) are past, but there are still a few more days of the lying around in pajamas together and eating candy and watching Christmas movies and not minding that the house is messy. Those are really the best parts, as far as I'm concerned.

But I do wish the sun would come out.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

Here you are- Merry Christmas! A festive shot of my new haircut, with bonus double chin angle for no extra charge!


The highlights have since been touched up, so it does look a little less ghetto than what you see pictured. They were touched up, however, by a complete MORON who, when told to try to match the blond shade growing out in the bottom half of my hair, liberally streaked the top half with BRASSY ORANGE. It's not immediately noticeably, but when you look at it under direct light, it's pretty glaring. And horrid. Bah humbug.
But my Christmas shopping is done- AND I actually feel confident this year in my gifts for Jim (i.e. they are not just a ton of lame SHIRTS that basically say, "Here, you should dress better!") I am getting very excited. Our various celebrations start on Christmas Eve and end the day after Christmas, so that's three whole days of presents, people! And family and love and stuff. *ahem.*
I hope you have a Merry Christmas, everyone, and that all your wishes come true. My wish is that it would snow again, because what we currently have is a Brown Christmas situation. There was about ten inches of snow a week ago, then rain, then all the snow melted into wet dirty mush. This seriously happens EVERY. YEAR. I am getting pissed here, Mother Nature!

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Of Those Days

I felt like the worst mommy ever today. Most Likely To Permanently Screw Up Her Children. First, Eli finally learned how to roll over- and promptly fell off the couch, missing the oak coffee table by inches, but still managing to bump his head on the floor and completely freak his little self out. Also to completely freak ME out. Because here's the bad mommy part:I wasn't even there. I heard the thump from the kitchen and ran to the living room in time to see his face scrunch up in horror and his mouth open in a scream.
He's generally fine if we lay him on the couch, positioned so he won't just roll off the edge, of course, and so I often put him down there while I fold laundry or play with Addy (or blog, or totally space out...) But I must have been puttering around, tidying things up, and gone to return some dirty dish to the kitchen when it happened. I felt SO AWFUl. He was fine; no red marks or bumps on his head or noticeable weirdness of any kind. But, to use a line from a few days ago when I was judging other people for their stupidity, WHO DOES THAT?! Who leaves a baby old enough to be learning to roll over alone on a couch?
Then, while I was comforting him, Addy ran off on her own, and returned with some mysterious red mark on her forehead! Now, she's very fair and gets blotchy anytime she bumps into anything, but what the heck! My children are clearly not safe in my care; they're just falling all over the place. I need a rubber room.
Fast forward to naptime. Cue the screaming and forty-five minute circus. Again, I feel like the stupidest mother alive. See, almost the day after I posted about Addy's fit-throwing over naps and bedtime, she quit throwing the fits and finally got used to the no-bottle policy. But then- THEN- I went and screwed it all up the other day. She was overly tired and crying even as I was getting her ready for bed, so I tried to comfort her by getting in bed with her, reading extra stories, letting her up for snacks and drink, etc. (You: Smacking head. "Oh no you DIH-UHNT!") Yes, I did. I am a moron. And now she's throwing fits again. She is in fact throwing a fit from behind her baby gate even as I type (it's eleven thirty at night.) I already dealt with this today, and am still recovering. I can't go up to bat again. But I have no choice, because Jim got called back to work at seven thirty and I am here alone. Alone with the special lasagna I made for dinner that he DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO EAT.
If there weren't brownies in this house, I might have snapped awhile ago.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

People For Whom Strangling Is Far Too Good

That would be the parents of Riley Ann, otherwise known as Baby Grace. I would rather not describe the whole sickening thing, so if you are not familiar with the story, just follow the link.
This kind of thing makes me physically ill, and this particular case has been bothering me on and off ever since it hit the news. It just fills me rage that some people would give anything to be a parent- a GOOD parent- and other total wastes of oxygen like these two "parents" are able to reproduce at will. God help us.
But then I got to thinking, we are supposed to be God's hands on earth. So instead of just sitting around feeling nauseous and furious, I would really, really love to be able to do something to protect other kids from this sort of fate, preferably by removing them from dangerous situations BEFORE something tragic happened.
Ideally, I would have some sort of enormous home (funded by an endless cash supply, of course) where people who are total assholes and have no interest in properly caring for their offspring could drop their kids off, no questions asked, at any age, and sign them over. Just say, "Here is my kid. I don't want to/am unable to care for it any longer." And then my agency would legally adopt the child and take care of it.
I realize I am not exactly in a position to do just this. I have no idea how one would legally go about setting up something like that. I just know that I want to do something, even if it's just raising money and giving it to people who ARE doing something like that. Does anyone have any good ideas about how to make a difference for abused kids, or have any referrals for me to organizations that are doing that very thing?

Friday, December 14, 2007

People I Want To Strangle

-The guy at the paint counter who completely ignores me for five minutes while he unloads stock, as I stand, LITERALLY drumming my fingertips on the desk, ten feet away. And then, when I have put in my order and come back ten minutes later, as instructed, to pick it up, he is too busy chatting with another employee about some sweet new scanning gadget (SERIOUSLY??) to address me. I wait patiently for another five minutes, then finally interrupt to say tersely, "I'm kind of in a hurry. Is my paint ready yet?" Shrugging, he glances at the paint mixer machine and says, "I don't think so. Another few minutes." As his fellow employee gives me a raised eyebrow- "Bitch," that eyebrow is saying to me.
-The clueless moron working at the drive-thru carryout who, with a line of three cars, mine included, waiting, stands chatting away with his friend in the first vehicle. Seriously, just stands there, chomping a toothpick and shootin' the breeze with his pal while we are all idling behind them, dollar bills in our hands, waiting for our gallons of milk or whatever. WHO DOES THAT?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Long Goodnight

Burning Question of the Day: How do you handle kids who keep getting up and up and up out of bed even after you have read the story, sung the song, given the kisses, turned on the CD, and said the prayers? And maybe you've even read the story a couple of times, and changed the diaper a couple of times, and sung the nighty-night song more than once, and the kid is STILL popping up?
Specifically, I'm asking about bedtime policy. I understand the importance of routine, and we've gotten better about that. Our routine has become regrettably long, but it is in place. We've even broken her at last of taking bottles to bed. But this means she has no happy juice lulling her reliably to sleep. Now, she will willingly go to bed, but then, unless she is dead tired, will jump out five minutes later to yell for us. Over and over and over again she will yell for us to put her back to bed, until she has at last exhausted herself of the whole tucking in process. This could mean she gets up twice, or it could be ten times. Just depends on the level of crazy she's hit before bedtime.
So what do we do? Is there a certain number of times we should go in, and then after that, just let her yell? Do we not go in at all, not even the first time? Is she playing us for fools, or are we just helping her get over the hump of learning to go to sleep without her beloved ba-ba?
I mean, I'm fine with it if it's a temporary situation which will eventually (SOON) resolve itself, but if it's just some stalling ritual destined to become more and more elaborate each night, then I'd like to nip it in the bud. Suggestions? Ideas that worked for you? If nothing else, commiseration?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Monday

The problem with buying festively wrapped Reese's cup minis is that you cannot in fairness be snarfing them all day in front of your salivating toddler while telling her, "No more candy, eat your banana!" You have to invent reasons to sneak off to the kitchen and furtively shove one in your mouth, then saunter off as though it's all Business As Usual.
But that was not my point. My point today was about Preschool Politics (i.e. other parents' subtle and not so subtle comparisons of YOUR child to THEIR much more remarkable and advanced child) and how I loathe them so very much. First of all, let me say as a disclaimer that I am no less prone to this shameful habit than any other parent. I feel the urge to brag about my kid's cuteness and genius, too, and I am no stranger to those private comparisons to other people's kids. But I try to keep them PRIVATE. I try not to, say, ask every other parent in the room when, specifically, their child turned two, then nod at my own child knowingly and say, "Ah, THAT's why..." The end of that sentence presumably being, "...These other kids seem like such drooling idiots compared to you."
I love all the other parents in our Kindermusik class, but there's this one dad who drives me nuts on a regular basis. He just acts so superior, and his kid is always dressed in preppy little outfits complete with Bass Weejuns. The dad is always asking him questions designed to show off his brilliance, such as, "William, can you count to ten in Spanish for the group? William, can you show Miss Amy how you learned to tie your shoes already? William, can you explain The Theory of Relativity to the rest of the kids?" And so on.

Bonus Humiliating Anecdote!! So the holiday season is upon us, and with it many occasions for some indulging in the spirits. So I was thinking, since I'm not on the pill yet and not getting periods, it might be a good idea to take a p.t. test just to be absolutely sure I'm good to go with the drinking this Christmas (alcoholic that I am.) So I go into the Dollar General (the ghetto Wal-Mart!) to buy one of their cheapo generic tests, only to discover that you have to request them at the counter now. As opposed to what I used to do when I was trying for Eli, which was grab them buy the handfuls out of a big ole' Bin O' Pee Sticks.
So I stand in a line winding halfway to the back of the store, then quietly state my request to the cashier. Who SHOUTS ACROSS THE ROOM in front of the approximately thirty customers waiting behind me, "Hey Andrea, do you have any PREGNANCY TESTS at your counter?" Andrea yells back, "No, but there's some in the back! Have a stocker go get you one!" Cashier No. One then SHOUTS to a nearby stocker, "Hey Chris, go get this girl some PREGNANCY TESTS!"
To make a long story short, I scurried out of the store, redfaced, without the test. I'm pretty sure I'm not in the family way, and definitely not concerned enough to wait for five minutes with a whole line of people tapping their feet behind me waiting for Chris The Stocker to go fetch me my pee stick. Gaah.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Siblings


Unfortunately, she knows just how cute she is.


Addy hearts Eli. Eli... Tolerates Addy.


Eli, keeping an eye on Addy for any sudden moves.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mom Hair

Oh geez. I'm getting night-before-big-haircut jitters. One's life is sadly lacking in drama if you're getting the Nervous Tummy about a haircut.
I think I'm for sure going short. I had it pretty short at one point, the summer I was pregnant with Adelay, and I mostly liked it. Other people seem to like me better with long hair, but hey, it's my head. My only fear is that despite my best explanation of what I want out of this hairstle, I'm going to end up with the dreaded Mom Haircut. Wish me luck, people.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Remedy

...For a morning in which every room you step into presents new chores to be done and new messes to be undone...
...For a morning in which the hours are flying by too fast to even shower, but the minutes themselves, of wiping bottoms and fetching snacks and letting dog in and out, are going by way too slow...
...For the deep longing to get the h out of the house, but you can't because winter has come at last, gracing you with icy roads and a snow covered car...

Is watching Waitress while eating vanilla ice cream covered in Nutella spread. Nothing like fudgy goodness, with a reminder that one's life could always be worse on the side.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pretty In Pink

Adelay, just for the record, is not always a girly-girl. She loves to run and wrestle with Daddy, and is very good at kicking and throwing balls. One of her favorite things to do is drive her truck around the house. That said, I need to express my mounting annoyance in regard to her TOTAL OBSESSION with all things pink.
She has shown a preference for the shade since even before she could verbally identify it, and now that she can, we never hear the end of pink. At our church about a month ago, they had a slumber party for all the girls, and one of the activities was nail painting. Well, I made the mistake of letting- nay, ENCOURAGING!- her to get her fingernails done. Of course she chose the pink bottle of polish, and of course, she soon discovered that I had a bottle of pink polish hidden away in our bathroom at home. So now she must have her nails, fingers AND toes, painted pink at all times. If it begins to fade or chip, she notices, and demands, wiggling her hands urgently in my face, "Pink! Pink!"
She also has what borders on a fetish about pink socks. The last time I replenished her sock drawer, I bought about ten pairs, and two were pink, one dark and one light. It was then that Adelay became suddenly aware of the existence and importance of socks in her universe. The importance, specifically, of their color. Every day when I got her dressed, she began to run to the sock drawer and search frantically for the pink socks. If they were dirty, I had to talk her off a ledge. I finally wised up and just bought a whole crapload of pink socks. Problem solved, right? Except that now she suffers pangs of horror every time she changes clothes, because she cannot bear to banish a perfectly good, perfectly PINK pair of socks to the hamper, no matter how grubby they might be.
This morning this whole obsessive-compulsive tendency came to a head. We were seriously late for Kindermusik, and I was trying my best to get the whole dressing process finished without sounding like a stuck record of a song called, "Hurry Up." But as usual, the more I tried to light a fire under Addy, the slower she wanted to move. It came to the sock exchange- I pulled off the dirty ones, threw them in the basket, and put on a clean pair. Simple enough. Until the child wrenched herself from my grasp and fell to her knees before the clothes basket, weeping actual tears and sobbing incoherently about "The pink! The pink!"
I thought maybe she was upset because I hadn't let her throw the dirty pair in the hamper herself, something she loves to do. So I pulled them out and handed them to her. Still she wept, and began to root through the basket, flinging every item of clothing onto the floor, searching for some imaginary pair of pink socks. Snot and tears were running all over her face, and I couldn't understand anything she said. Every attempt I made to talk to her or physically remove her from the situation was met with hysteria. It was seriously like a scene out of a mental institution or something. A sock induced nervous breakdown.
I finally just worked around it, putting on the rest of her clothes and brushing her hair as she screamed and flailed. She didn't stop talking about the friggin' socks until we pulled into the parking lot of the Kindermusik location.
She has also of late developed a passion for (shudder) Barbie. Not that she plays with the actual dolls, but she has a Barbie movie, "Barbie as Rapunzel," which she loves with the whole of her little pink loving heart. Almost every morning she wakes up requesting to watch Barbie, and we have had to institute a "one showing of Rapunzel a day" rule. When we tell her, "no more Barbie," she grows sober and grief-stricken. "No mo Bah-bie," she will murmur softly to herself, staring at the TV sadly.
If only this were so.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wallowing In Our Own Filth

Or, The Post House Showing Let Down. It sure feels good to wake up in the morning and know that there's no compelling reason to dust or vacuum anything, and that it's just fine to go ahead and make a huge, greasy breakfast, then let the dishes and splatters just be for awhile (awhile = all day) while we sit back and sip our coffee.
You could also say it's a Post Christmas Decorating Let Down. I always forget that, while fun and festive, putting up a tree and all the related trimmings is a long and kind of chaotic process of rearranging furniture, digging in closets rarely explored, and stepping over boxes and cords for the majority of the day while things get situated. It's good old fashioned family fun, sure, but it's also a massive pain in the rear.
All of this to say, our house is happily messy right now, and while I am sometimes a clean freak and unable to relax in clutter, at the moment the clutter and mess feels like a big sigh of relief.

Addendum: I made an appointment to have my hair cut (or CHOPPED OFF) next Saturday. I was going to just walk in somewhere today, sit down, and let them do as they would with it, but then chickened out and called a stylist I at least knew and trusted. So now I have a week to decide whether I want a trim, or an actual whack job. You'll all be waiting with bated breath, I know!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Top Secret Weight Loss Tip

So yesterday Swistle was asking about weight loss ideas that involved only small, painless changes to one's day (as opposed to a drastic overhaul of your entire pantry leading to the eventual loss of the will to live due to chocolate withdrawal.) At the time I had no ideas to contribute, but as I was making Adelay's lunch today, I realized one very simple principle I have always lived by which, while not exactly sculpting my abs and toning my rear, and most definitely not contributing to my overall health, has managed to keep my weight somewhat under control.
It is this: (bracing self for rotten vegetable throwing and outcries of horror) Whenever possible, I eat dessert first. I know I'm going to want it eventually, and I know I'm not going to be able to consume the calories of a full meal AND a giant piece of cake without gaining weight, so I just eat the cake first and then however much of the regular meal I want until I'm full.
I know, I know. It's appalling. So while I'm horrifying you, I'll share my second, corresponding rule of thumb: If planning to eat dessert, lessen portions of the rest of the meal accordingly. Even at Thanksgiving, when I had to follow the standard courses of the meal and couldn't dig into the pie immediately, I ate tiny portions of the regular stuff to compensate for eating as much dessert as I wanted.
I realize this probably breaks every health rule in the book, and what I should actually be doing is cutting OUT dessert in order to make room for MORE veggies and lean proteins and blah blah blahs, but the fact is, skipping the sweet stuff makes me feel woeful and deprived. I also realize that all that sugar contributes to sugar crashes and I would probably feel much more energetic if I ate complex sugars instead of the white, refined stuff that I crave like crack.
But there you have it. That is what works for me (well, if your definition of "working" involves love handles and a number on the scale stuck stubbornly about fifteen pounds higher than this time last year. But I AM out of my maternity pants at long last.)
Oh, and to make up for the aforementioned crashes, I've been making half decaf, half regular coffee and drinking it all day long. Eli is finally tolerating moderate amounts of caffeine, which I discovered accidentally after drinking a soda at a hockey game, remembering in horror that it had caffeine, and then realizing a day later that there had been no tearful, inconsolable episodes as a result!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early Christmas

Saturday we were in Michigan with Jim's family for an early Christmas celebration. Highlights are as follows:



Addy with her new baby. It's pink! It's a doll! It's heaven!




Addy and her cousins, showing off their brand spankin' new snowman! (Snow courtesy of Michigan lake effect. Snowman was decapitated by the boys approximately five minutes after this photo.)




Okay, is this an acceptable Christmas card picture? Be honest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Really? A Post Having Nothing To Do With Real Estate Issues?

*Sidenote: As I sit here writing this, leaning forward to reach my computer on the coffee table, Adelay has taken hold of the lovehandle chunk of my midsection lopping out the back of my jeans and is squeezing and pinching it. She has been at it for about five minutes, totally enthralled. It's like kneading pasty, stretch-marked dough! she is thinking gleefully.

So my hair is really driving me nuts. It grows really fast, and since being trimmed and highlighted about two weeks before Eli was born, it has grown at least an inch and a half. Which means my highlights are hitting me at about ear level, and my thick, thick layers are bushing out around my shoulders. It is seriously SO. THICK. You don't even know.
Does anyone know of any good websites with actual pictures of short hairstyles to choose from? I looked today for about an hour and couldn't find anything actually helpful. It's all, "How to achieve Posh's sleek new short 'do in sixteen simple steps!" One of which being "Lose Twenty Pounds So Your Cheekbones Are Actually Noticeable."

Further Woes About Home Selling

So there's nothing more fun than jumping up on a sunny Sunday morning and flying around in your p.j.'s cleaning like a crazy person. Due to the holiday and being out of town, I hadn't gotten a lot done in preparation for the open house yet, so there was dusting, vacuuming, mopping, Windexing, and hiding of toys, laundry, and dishes to be done, while hubby feverishly raked leaves and swept the front porch. Oh, all while intermittently nursing a baby and getting a toddler dressed for Sunday School (which her grandma took her to- there was no keeping of the Sabbath holy for us, I'm afraid!)
So we finally had everything spotless and left for lunch and Christmas shopping errands, hoping to return to lines of prospective buyers in mad bidding wars for our house. Okay, well maybe not lines, but we were hoping at least a few interested people would have found their way to our house. Instead we arrived home to a note: "Jim and Sara, (that's right, he misspelled my name after seeing it probably twenty times on the papers I signed,) unfortunately it was a really slow day- only one group came through."
One! After approximately four hours of frantic cleaning, ONE family looked at the place! And the realtor said that they didn't even seem interested. Then, we were supposed to have the video tour done this morning so that it could go on the website, but it got cancelled due to the rainy weather. This really disappointed me (although I was relieved not to have to keep the house clean all morning) because our house is relatively bland and unimpressive on the outside. The interior is definitely more eye catching, so I am anticipating a lot more interest once people can view the inside. Now we'll have to wait another week to get it done.
Oh well! Thanksgiving was great and we had a lot of fun, so I should still be in a blessing counting mood, I guess. After all, it only takes one buyer to get the house sold. We could have had tons of people go through it, and if none of them fell in love with it, it wouldn't have mattered at all. We just need one person who can really see themselves living here.
I sure hope they show up soon.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Nabisco Ginger Snaps... Or PURE EVIL?

So it's nine thirty Wednesday night, and I'm all set to start baking my traditional pumpkin cheesecakes (traditional in that this will be the second year in a row I have made them!) I chose a different recipe this year than I made last year, and this particular one called for a crust of crushed ginger snaps and, naturally, butter ("A little buttah makes everything bettah!"-Paula Deen.)
So I put the snaps in a Ziplock and commence crushing them with a rolling pin, and... Nothing happens. These gingersnaps WILL NOT BE BROKEN. Seriously, it was like trying to crush diamonds. Worried that I was losing my mind, I bit into one of them, and it actually hurt my teeth!
Hearing me swearing and fuming in the kitchen, Jim comes in on his white horse to save the day, first trying to crush them the same way I had (the plastic bag finally tore) and then trying to grind them up in a bowl with the end of the rolling pin, pestle and mortar style. The ginger snaps were still winning- it was like these cookies were starring in an all baked goods cast of Braveheart. "Freedom!" they were shouting to each other in silent ginger snap language, somehow, inexplicably, triumphing over their much stronger opponents.
I then had a stroke of genius, and dumped the cookies into the blender on the ice chopping setting. Do you think it worked? Well it didn't. And then, based on my clearly limited knowledge of blenders, I thought that maybe dumping in the melted butter with the cookies would help make them more choppable. Do you think THAT worked? Well it didn't. Are you thinking that instead it probably made a giant goopy mess stuck around the blender blades? Congratulations.
I finally gave up sometime around ten thirty and scraped the goo down the disposal. Then I called Jim, who was out renting movies, and requested a package of good ole' cinnamon graham crackers. While he was getting those, I mixed up the filling, constantly reminding myself that I was doubling the recipe. This was supposed to be a marbled pumpkin cheesecake, mind you, so I knew that at a certain point I was supposed to remove some of the basic filling and then add the pumpkin and spices to the rest. But did I remember to double the amount that I was supposed to remove? Did you guess no? Hey, you're catching on to the theme of this post!
So it ended up being in no way marbled, just a plain old pumpkin cheesecake on a plain old graham cracker crust, finally put into the oven at close to midnight by a very cranky yours truly. But it tasted fine and Thanksgiving was amazingly not ruined by my less than stellar dessert presentation.
For which I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Spic and Span

So I'm beginning to wonder what on earth we were thinking, trying to orchestrate a move during the holidays with a toddler and an infant. Today was the realtor walk through, which I guess is like an open house for all the area realtors or something. I wasn't aware such a thing existed until I got a call around four yesterday asking if I could be ready for this by tomorrow morning at nine. So last night after Addy was in bed I bustled around trying to hide all the evidence that we actually lived in the house (dishes, trash, toys, newspapers) and then this morning, let Addy sleep in as long as possible while I finished making everything spotless. When I was ready to go and Eli was buckled in his carseat, I got Addy up, threw a coat and shoes on her drowsy, pajama-clad body, and hustled her right out the door to Grandma's house before she could even ask about dragging out her dollhouse or spilling Cheerios all over the floor.
Now we're over here at my mom's, where I can relax, make coffee, and let Addy get out toys and eat breakfast without fear of destroying the delicate, preternatural tidiness of my own home. But I know that all too soon I must return, where I will resent every dust particle and dirty towel that falls to the floor. I will cringe about every splatter and spill from Thanksgiving baking, because I know that it must ALL be cleaned up again before Sunday, when we will be heading out of town while the realtor does an open house. And then I can't even relax when we get back Sunday evening- no, everything must STAY spotless, because they're doing a video tour of the house on Monday morning!
Blech.
I just keep chanting this mantra in my head: "Dining room. More bathrooms. Basement. It's all worth it, it's all worth it!"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Real Estate

Our house is being listed this week. There will be an open house next Sunday, while we are gone visiting relatives. I feel a little weird about this- strangers will be walking through our sweet little home, all ambivalent and objective, judging and critiquing. I want them to react emotionally, to say, "How cozy! What warm colors! Look at the pretty arched doorways!" Instead of what they will probably say: "One bathroom! No central air! Let's keep looking." I feel all protective and defensive of my little house- similar, I imagine, to what I would feel if strangers were to look my kids up and down and decide if they were good enough to adopt. I want to say, "True, we are leaving this house because we are in the process of outgrowing it, but it's not the house, it's us! The house is fine! It's great! Please love it and take good care of it!"

Also: It is driving me crazy that our offer was accepted, but I cannot start changing anything in the new house until we sell ours and actually buy it. The new house must sit empty, just CRYING OUT to have its walls stripped of the violent floral and goose patterned paper and painted gorgeous shades like "Mocha" and "Camel Hair Coat." It is WEEPING for its turquoise carpet to be replaced with a color less assaulting to the eyes. But its cries must fall on deaf ears until an undetermined point in the probably not too near future.
I hear you, my new house! I will rescue you from the late eighties as soon as I can!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Version Of Post Secret

Except it won't be so much a secret, unless you choose to comment anonymously. But come on, join me, won't you? It'll be fun! (Sardonic, wry laughter here.) I want us to confess our greatest failures as a mother, or spouse, or person in general. It will be both horrifying and cathartic.
Swistle got me started thinking about this in her latest post about anger, which I totally recommend you go read. She says she has a problem with a quick temper- she blows up, loses it, whatever, then soon calms down and is overcome with remorse. I realize many people have this problem, but I have personally never experienced it, so not only was her post amazingly honest, it was particularly mesmerizing for me because it was like a look into a normal person's psyche.
I was actually just saying to Jim the other day that I WISHED I could lose my temper and totally fly off the handle just once, to see what it felt like. It seems like it would be such sweet release, to lose all control and say any and every scary thing that popped into my head. But that's just not my style. Oh, I'm happy to engage you in a, shall we say, spirited debate. There will be snapping and terseness and unnecessarily emphatic shutting of cabinets and drawers. My voice may even border on raised. But I almost never yell, and even when I do it is intentional, if you see what I'm saying. It's not a loss of control.
So this is (knock on wood) hopefully not something I will struggle with in regards to parenting. I do get frustrated, and I do mutter under my breath. I do feel my entire body stiffen with agitation and impatience as I wait, wait, wait for Addy to do everything by herself while I'm rushing to get out the door, because Lord knows it will only take even longer if I try to insist that she let me do stuff for her.
But my real failing, my real weakness, is selfishness. To me this is far uglier than momentary flashes of anger. Less scary, maybe, and on the surface not nearly as obvious. No one's going to call children's services on me when they see me not taking my children for a walk because I'm on the couch blogging instead. No one's going to know that I had a mental conversation with myself about whether or not to put down the dust cloth and join Adelay in playing dollhouse, and that I actually chose the dust cloth over the dolls because I didn't feel like summoning up the mental energy to play with my child.
There are so many examples. My half-heartedness in attempting to potty train Addy, for instance, because it just takes such consistency. Sometimes I don't feel like waking her up to go to the bathroom as soon as her nap should technically be over, and I'd rather sit on the couch until I hear her actually open her bedroom door, even though I know that means we've probably lost the potty success opportunity.
Or my feet-dragging when it comes to establishing a feeding schedule for Eli, even though I know he probably needs one, as he's been spitting up a lot lately and is probably over eating during the day because he's nursing for comfort. But it's just so much easier to feed him on demand.
And then there's the selfish thoughts, so selfish I am ashamed to write them, but I will anyways. Thoughts at the grocery store, when I'm already exhausted and sweaty from wrestling an unwilling toddler and chubby baby and carseat into the cart, and I still have all the shopping and unloading and putting away to do, and my brain just wants to hide. And so it rages: "I shouldn't even be doing this! I'm twenty-three! I should be getting ready to go to a party, choosing an outfit that accentuates my flat, unstretch-marked belly. I should still be enjoying the occasional license to, as Vince Vaughn puts it, 'Get hopped up and make some bad decisions.' Why am I here? Who is this person wearing mom jeans and a damp bra?"
Do you know what I'm saying? These confessions may not necessarily seem that heinous and are certainly not child abuse or anything, but they just reveal a smallness about myself that makes me cringe inside. I want to want to be a good mommy, not force myself to do it while inwardly I am wishing for the sofa and the remote and, most of all, solitude.

And now, your turn, if you will. What tendency of yours do you most despise? What do you do about it?

The Waiting Game (Or: Somebody PLEASE Buy Our House!)

So you guys! They accepted our offer on the house we love! They didn't even counter offer, despite the fact that we offered a SIGNIFICANTLY smaller amount than they were asking. So now we just have to sell our house (minor detail!) and then we can move in! Yay!
I know this is really a pipe dream, but I'm hoping we can at least spend the last few days of December moving in so that we can ring in the New Year in our new house! Our festive celebrations will of course consist largely of stripping some truly horrific goose patterned wallpaper out of several rooms, but still.
I haven't yet figured out how to show you a picture of the house without basically posting our address for all to see, but I'll try to take some pictures on the digital to show you eventually. Suffice it to say- a ranch. Green-ish blue siding and shutters. Pine trees in backyard. White picket fence. Five bedrooms! Three bathrooms! Basement! A dining room!
I'm so happy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If Eating Cookie Dough Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right

The alternate title to this post was, "Sugar: The New Caffeine." In my current "sans coffee" state, I crave it so much that I sometimes long to inject it intravenously. Today was particularly rough. Last night, Jim and I were up discussing house stuff until about two in the morning (because apparently we lack the capacity to foresee the consequences of our actions) and I was of course completely exhausted by about two this afternoon. I had grocery shopping and errands to do, including running all over town trying to find out where the heck I was supposed to buy dog tags. I finally found the place, only to be told they are on a two week hiatus from selling the tags and that I had to go to the dog warden's office on the other side of town! Oh sure! No problem whatsoever!
I have since revived myself by baking chocolate chip cookies, and steadily shoving Ghiradelli chips into my piehole as I mixed up the dough. I am currently scraping the empty mixing bowl and eating giant spoonfuls of buttery, salmonella-poisoned goodness. Now I am Happy and Wide Awake!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Big Glut Of Pictures


My two lovies.


We spend a lot of time smooshed together in the bed.


Rockin' the pigtails.



Adelay's second birthday, October third. Didn't my mom do a good job on the cake?




Please note the remarkably large cheeks on that baby! My breast milk is apparently pure cream.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pregnancy Envy

So today I was walking around the grocery store, and a few aisles over I saw a largely pregnant girl, maybe eighteen, wandering the toy aisles with her boyfriend (or maybe husband, who knows.) She was wearing a spaghetti strap camisole, much too light for the weather, and you could see her beautiful, taut belly right through the lace. She looked like a commercial for a glowing, healthy pregnancy, and I, naive consumer that I am, bought into it immediately. "I want a big round belly again!" I thought wistfully. "She looks so happy, and so special. I want to look special again, instead of just being a tired looking lady with an extra fifteen pounds around her hips." I of course do not want heartburn and swelling and joint pain and sleeplessness, nor am I mentally ready for another delivery or another baby, but still...
Pregnancy does have its perks.




On another note, whatever happened to memes? EVERYONE was doing them for awhile there. So I'm bringin' 'em back, baby! Everyone is tagged, all you have to do is respond in my comment section- and all you "lurkers" out there chime in, too! (Not that I have anything against lurking; that is certainly your prerogative.)
It's just one question. What's your favorite quote/quotes? Maximum of three. I'm a big collector of favorite quotes, and it occurred to me it would be interesting to hear some of your faves.
Here are three of mine.

"Love possesses not, nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love." -Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

"Our greatest danger in life is in permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important." -Charles E. Hummel

"Three things are important in human life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind." -Henry James

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The One Where I Talk About Food

1. Bowls are for losers. I prefer to eat my Breyers Oreo ice cream straight from the pint.
2. Swistle asked today about eating cookies for breakfast. The unanimous response seemed to be that cookies are a perfectly acceptable breakfast option. I so heartily agree that I wanted to do it here, on my own little platform: COOKIES- NOT JUST FOR SNACKTIME! (Ditto pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.)
3. Drinking a half a pot of decaf coffee every day seems to be helping me function better. Is this all mental, or are there trace amounts of caffeine which are finding their sweet, sweet way to my sluggish brain?
4. Am I dork for loving my slow cooker SO MUCH?
5. Forget baby weight- what I am carrying is toddler weight. Or maybe guilt weight. It's the ring of fat that has formed not solely due to pregnancy but also perhaps to my constant cleaning up after Addy's meals. I cannot stand to cut up a banana, heat up pasta, slice cheese, or spread PB and J and then throw it untouched into the trash after she declines yet again to eat. It's the whole "children are starving in Africa" mentality- I feel bad about throwing away food. So I eat it- a quarter of a sandwich here, half a banana here, a cheese stick there- but then forget I've eaten it and make myself a normal sized meal as well. This is becoming a terrible habit, and also a slightly gross one. I remember as a kid cringing at those moms who were always picking at their kids' leftovers, and look at me now. A human garbage disposal.
6. I have invented my own yummy little concoction based loosely around a Rachael Ray recipe (I know, I know- she's so perky and squeaky; it sets me on edge, too. But still. I like her show.) First you boil half a box of penne pasta. While it's going, you chop up either half an eggplant or half a zucchini, a green pepper, and some onion. Throw that in some olive oil to saute, along with some black olives and a can of stewed tomatoes. When the veggies have browned, add some chopped up smoked sausage, however much you like. Throw in about half a jar of marinara sauce, add the cooked pasta, give it all a stir, then cover and simmer for about ten minutes. And voila! It sounds like a lot of flavors, but they blend really well and its very filling, plus you get your veggies without having to gnaw on a carrot stick or anything nasty like that. You could probably use turkey sausages to make it even healthier.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Haiku for Eli

Much as I love you,
My boobs are not a snack bar.
Pace yourself, chubby!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Things I Didn't Know

Things I didn't know before having children include, but are not limited to, the following:
-that while Addy is eating, trying to keep her and the dog away from one another is as futile as the Capulets and Montagues trying to keep the infamous star-crossed lovers apart.
-that baby nails are the sharpest weapons known to man.
-that breastfeeding is NOT always painless and effortlessly natural.
-that when one has a child in tow, complete strangers seem to feel that the boundaries of respect and privacy are removed and they are free to, say, yell sharply from three yards away, "That baby needs a hat!" And that even responding politely with, "Well, he actually had one on and was crying and trying to pull it off, so..." does not shut said strangers up. Instead it apparently invites them to respond nastily with, "Well, he's not the boss, you are!" over their shoulder as they walk away, leaving you gaping and fuming and thinking up wonderful retorts just a few minutes too late.
-that a rather long, lean two year old is actually easier to carry for long periods of time than a short but remarkably solid bundle of two-month-old.
-that introducing vitamins to a child only gives you one more thing to say "No" to when your kid starts asking for vitamins five times a day. Try explaining to a frantic toddler that ONE vitamin is a good thing, but LOTS of vitamins will make you sick.
-that potty training will involve many episodes of spotting a child about to go, rushing them to the potty where they twiddle their thumbs for ten minutes, then putting on a fresh diaper only to have it promptly soiled about a minute and a half later.

This is just off the top of my head. Feel free to educate me further and contribute to the list!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Catch Up

This is me, typing away happily on my NEW LAPTOP that WORKS whenever I want it to! So far! One of Jim's coworkers heard him talking about how he needed to get another computer, and offered to give him a laptop he had "just sitting around taking up space" at home! Hello! I'm not one to see God behind every good parking space or sale on beef, but this coincidence did seem very providential.
So here's what's been going on in La Casa de Desperacion. La Casa is now for sale, as we are hoping to purchase a bigger house in a neighborhood about ten minutes from our current location. Our home, while having issues like only one bathroom and no central air, is decorated nicely, is completely updated (most floors, windows, roof, siding, bathroom, kitchen, all fresh paint) and is in a great location (right behind the high school, smack dab in the middle of the best school district.) So we are really hoping that despite the slow market we will be able to move it quickly, since any offer we make on this house we're looking at will be contingent on the sale of our own house.
I'm trying to be patient and not get all worked up and excited since there are many pieces that still need to fall into place for this to work out. But the house seems SO perfect for us. In my head I'm already thinking of it as ours, despite my efforts otherwise. It has beautiful oak trim and chair rails and crown molding, which I love, a basement that can be Jim's "man room," a cool finished loft bedroom over the garage which would be the kids' playroom, a family room with vaulted ceiling that opens to a little deck, a cute kitchen with very nice cabinets, a master bathroom and walk-in closet, a nursery/office/work out room adjoining the master bedroom, and two other big bedrooms on the main floor. So in all, four bedrooms, with the possibility of a fifth (the room adjoining the master could easily be closed off into its own room, as it has a separate closet.) And let's not forget the two and half baths when we've been used to pacing around waiting for each other to be finished! It's worth more than we could afford, but the house has been on the market for a year and a half, and has been vacant for a year (the previous owners moved out of state.) So the realtor thinks they will (or at least should) be ready to negotiate. Here's hoping!
I of course couldn't sleep last night- I was too busy thinking about wall colors and mentally arranging all our stuff in the new house. I finally got myself to sleep watching Friends, but when Eli woke me up at four, I immediately began my mental decorating again! At five, when I still wasn't back to sleep and even Friends had failed me, I took Nyquil, thinking, "I must get some sleep before Addy wakes up!" This was a bad idea. A dose of Nyquil ensures a good FULL night's sleep, not another couple of hours. I woke up so groggy and deranged that I am just now starting to feel fully awake and functioning- it is eleven fifteen. It has been an unproductive morning, even more so because I skipped taking Addy to Kindermusik. I had a good reason- she has had a rattly, wet sounding chest cough for the last few days and I was sure the other moms wouldn't be pleased to have her hacking all over the instruments and holding hands with their own healthy children- but it did remove all pressure to fight the Nyquil fog which has hung around my brain thickly all morning.
This warmed up cup of decaf seems to be tricking me into waking up a little, though, so I guess I'd better go make a fresh pot. Then at least I might achieve a shower and a load of laundry today... Aim high, that's my motto!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Secret To Weight Loss

Be rich. Or so I gathered from today's Oprah, which featured an inside peek at the life of, among others, Cindy Crawford and her husband. They were revealing their "must-haves" and guilty pleasures. Cindy's was- prepare yourself for the sheer decadence- a spoonful of white sugar in her morning tea. That was her caloric indulgence, I should say. Because her other indulgences were of the outrageous spending variety: expensive designer handbags, her own label of skincare products, and diamond-studded dog tags with her children's pictures embedded in them. Her husband's guilty pleasures were even better: a whole garage full of Harleys, a giant bar completely stocked with expensive liquors. And let's not forget the Malibu mansion right on the beach.
Now, both of these individuals work hard in their respective careers and have been very successful, so I do not begrudge them these things. But I'm just sayin'. If I could go out and buy five hundred dollar sparkly shoes to comfort myself when I was feeling down, I could probably resist that bowl of leftover Halloween candy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In Which I Face My Failures

So the other day was an Errand Day, not to be confused with a Shopping Trip Day, which at least has the potential of fun. Shopping Trip Days usually hold the promise of a trip to at least one large store with makeup departments and home decor departments and kids' clothing departments in which I may wander at my leisure provided neither child pitches a fit or fills their pants. Whereas Errand Day, by definition, involves lots of small trips to boring destinations, with multiple gettings in and out of cars and carseats, and is not something I look forward to.
The first stop was the DMV. Now, I don't know about your town, but the DMV nearest to our neighborhood is grim at best. The floors are dirty, black flecked linoleum; the walls are a dirty white, as are the chairs lined up before the dirty white counter. There are many dusty fake plants sitting around, and the walls are "decorated," inexplicably, by large, postcard-like photos of random waterfalls and beaches at sunset which I can only surmise to be ancient castoffs from a travel agency. The women behind the counter literally never smile, have uniformly terrible haircuts, and don't own a flattering shade of lipstick among them. They speak in voices devoid of emotion. It is a place I loathe. I feel gritty when I leave, as though a layer of the place's dust and defeatism has settled on me while I was waiting in line. I was doubly dreading the trip this particular day because I had to take both kids with me. I was anticipating having to keep Addy quiet and well behaved in the essentially library-like atmosphere while hoping Eli didn't awake and start rooting around discontentedly, forcing me to fumble with blankets and shirts and flaps of my bra while pretending to be totally cool and un-self conscious about breastfeeding in public.
But the whole thing went off without a hitch- I got the kids in, settled Addy in a chair with a box of chicken nuggets, dutifully approached the counter to take my number, and was told I could go next! The paperwork went quickly, and a nice old lady talked to Addy the whole time and kept her from running around. Eli slept, and the lady at the counter smiled when I left and called me honey! A miracle which filled me with hope.
The next trip was to evil Wal-Mart, as there continues to be no Target in a fifty mile radius. I only had a few things to pick up, and I was anticipating no problems as Wal-Mart trips generally go smoothly. But it was here that my bubble was burst. Within five minutes, Addy was so desperate to be out of the cart she was about to throw herself overboard, so I finally released her, and then chased her around the aisles for twenty minutes. And no, I couldn't put her in the seat-belted front part, because I had to clip Eli's carseat there, and no, I couldn't have put Eli's carseat in the back because our Wal-Mart's carts are tiny and there would have been no room for both a carseat AND my purchases.
I finally managed to get to the check out, after helping her put about fifty Halloween greeting cards back in their appropriate slots, and we headed towards the parking lot. I staved off a near tantrum at the soda fridges beside the counters and was almost home free. Then we passed the stupid rides and arcade games and all that crap. Side rant: Getting out of your average discount store is like a freaking gauntlet of temptation for kids- candy bars, impulse-purchase novelties like nail files and Pez dispensers and Kleenex purse packs. Then the inevitable bucking broncos and swaying cars and glittering glass boxes filled with mounds of tantalizing stuffed animals just waiting to be plucked up with a mechanical claw. It's like the store is booby trapped!
Now, I patiently let Addy play around in the rides for a little while, but it was only delaying the inevitable. Suffice it to say, Addy was not pleased when I finally decided it was time to exit the yellow plastic car and go home, and all hell quickly broke out. Oh, how I hate these scenes- the yelling, the stares, the attempting to physically manipulate the child back into the cart without prompting any calls to Children's Services by concerned onlookers. I was sweating even in the autumn chill, Eli was grunting hungrily from his perch in the cart, and a largely pregnant woman was watching me with wide, fearful eyes. Finally, carrying a screaming and flailing Addy under one arm and pushing the cart with the other, I marched resolutely towards the parking lot. Only to be tapped on the shoulder by a kindly older woman, who was holding one of Addy's light up Dora the Explorer tennis shoes, apparently kicked off in the scuffle. I shamefacedly accepted it, and Addy calmed down, her face still flushed and tear streaked, distracted by the appearance of her beloved shoe. If this hadn't happened, I'm pretty sure I would have had to continue on to the car carrying a hysterical child over whom I clearly have far too little control.
This worries me. I need to get a grip on my kid here before she gets too big to carry, basically. I realize that this scenario was merely embarrassing, but it brought up a real concern for me. I need her to listen to me, at least about important stuff like not running away in parking lots, etc. And I am not a spanker- not staunchly and adamantly and self-righteously, but it's just not me, and since I can't ever see myself doing it with any confidence, I'm pretty sure it would simply be ineffectual at best and confusing at worst, so let's start by saying that that particular disciplinary tactic is not part of my repertoire. However, putting a kid in time out is challenging when said kid is going limp and sliding off the chair while screaming.
Can anyone tell me what I am supposed to do about defiance and tantruming? It's embarrassing, but it's also concerning on a more fundamental level. I am all for having a loving and playful relationship with my kids, but I'm getting a little worried that there's a bit too much play and not quite enough respect in Addy's and my relationship. Have I already failed- is it too late to reign things in? Help!

Edited to add: Is everyone else taking their kids to fun fall festivals but us? Everywhere I go in the blogosphere I encounter adorable pictures of children with giant pumpkins! Stop showing me up! My idea of a fun trip with the kids is talking about the names and colors of the produce at the grocery store.
Oh and also: My cheesecakes turned out be-yutifally and I was outrageously pleased with myself. I have great plans for pumpkin cheesecakes this Thanksgiving. I was so proud of myself I went on to make fudge, which I have never attempted before. It was pretty good, too- not fabulous, but good.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Zippety Doo Da, Zippety Ay

I am having a really great Saturday so far. Didn't sleep in, of course, but when Addy woke up at eight and I went to get her, she peed in the potty for me! That's two mornings in a row. True, she never goes in by herself with the intention to pee, but if we catch her at the right times she is starting to. (Is this a new thing, you ask? Why yes it is! You haven't been doing this for months? Why no we haven't!)
Then I went to breakfast with my mom, which was fun. Lots of attention paid to Eli by strangers, which I always enjoy. It's like a random person complimenting your cute handbag or haircut, but on a much more satisfying level, because you actually helped to MAKE the thing being complimented, rather than just CHOOSE it.
Jim had Addy for about four hours- first they went to swimming lessons, then lunch, then to a soccer game his friend was coaching. And I? Eli and I had the aforementioned breakfast, then made a quick stop at the store for some party supplies I forgot, then went home to do my favoritest thing in the world- rearrange. See, every few months I start getting twitchy with the burning desire to move around furniture, pictures, lamps, etc. I can't deal with things being permanent fixtures, as in, "This is the candle that sits on this table, world without end, amen." I guess I have a commitment problem or something, but to me, the placement of decor and furniture in my home is always changeable at a moment's notice.
Today I had one of those moments. I walked in the door, put my frozen foods away, returned to the living room, and stared. Then I went to get my screwdriver and rehung a tapestry. From that followed an hour or two of intensive thought and some carefully executed maneuvering of the glider, an end table, and a floor lamp, and the switching up of some frames and photos, just for fun. I finished it all up with a quick dusting and then vacuumed. I even changed the vacuum bag and threw in a couple yummy smelling Bounce sheets for good measure. Voila! Fresh new living room, and I didn't have to buy anything.
After I finished playing house in my house, Addy got home and was positively delirious with joy after her fun morning with Dad. She played with us for about a half hour, and then went down for a nap. Then Jim left to watch football (or some kind of ball) at a friend's. I ate lunch IN TOTAL PEACE WHILE READING BLOGS YAY YAY and then got to work on those cheesecakes. The brownie crust is now baking away, fragrancing the house with something other than its usual eau de diaper pail, and I am writing! Things are mostly clean! The babies are sleeping! Everything in my universe is, momentarily, as it should be.


*Er, not that I want my children to always be asleep. I like them awake sometimes too. But there is something to be said for silence.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Multitasking

Oh hi! Oh hi everyone! I miss you so much. I miss writing so much. But in order for the laundry to be kept up on and a certain level of sanitation maintained in the house (read: not necessarily dusted, but at least with the mildew scrubbed out of the tub on a semi-regular basis,) and the children kept fed and changed and sort of clean and myself kept sufficiently fed (which is apparently a full time job in itself,) well... Blogging has had to be back-burnered for the time being. Plus my computer at home is a little BITCH (sorry Mom!) and only turns on and stays on about one out of every three tries. Sometimes just the idea of messing with it long enough to get the internet up is too exhausting, and I am forced to flop to the couch and watch Oprah instead.
I have been doing lots of baking, though, which is very out of character for me. Hey, stress eating is my new hobby! This weekend I am attempting CHEESECAKE for a baby shower I'm hosting. PRAY for this cheesecake, friends, that it will survive a night in my house and make it to the party untouched.


And here, for your reading pleasure, is the one post topic which has managed to stick in my head all this week: The Perfect Mother. And how I am not her, no matter how hard I try. I mean, I seriously don't know how moms who also have full-time jobs DO it. How do you keep your house clean, your clothes washed, your cupboards stocked, your children bathed and fed and dressed and sufficiently loved on, meals cooked, various birthday gifts remembered and shopped for and wrapped, appointments scheduled, and still hold down a job? I feel like I am doing these things by the seat of my pants, and I have all day to devote to it!
And these are just the things that must be done. There is also the fact that I hope to still maintain a sex life, keep up with my friends, have a hobby or two, and find time to shave my legs at least once a week. But everything, every little childcare issue or chore or grooming task, be it plucking my eyebrows or changing Addy's diaper or remembering to trim the baby's nails, must be fit in between CONSTANT NURSING. I feel like my brain is churning twenty-four seven, firing off little telegram reminders: "Buy toilet paper! Brush hair! Bathe baby! Wipe counter! Sweep crap off floor! Call doctor's office!" And I hate the way whole days will go by in which I feel like I have accomplished nothing, even though I have felt busy and stressed the whole time.
Is this normal, to feel like you just can't get it all done, no matter how fast your brain is flying and how many post-it reminders you leave all over the house? Is it normal to be gritting your teeth in frustration because just when you sit down to play Legos with your toddler, your baby starts fussing, and now you can't enjoy either the block playing or the nursing with your whole heart, because you know your other baby is wanting you,too? I wish I could clone myself so I could be everywhere, meeting everyone's needs, at the same time.
Just to get this post written, I've had to be rocking the bouncy seat with one foot and getting up and down to play with Addy in between the rocking. And I just love them both SO much, but there's just this mounting fatigue....
Well, here's an example for you: The other day, one of my non-mom friends was over, holding the baby, and she asked, "Don't you just hate to put him down, ever?" And Jim and I looked at each other wearily and answered in one voice, "No. We're excited." Which sounds horrible, but please understand that Eli fusses a lot when he's awake, even when fed and changed and warm, because he wants to be held. This is fine and I am happy to cuddle him as much as he needs, but when he's finally asleep and quiet, my first thought is not usually, "Oh man, I sure wish I could just sit here for ANOTHER hour holding this hot heavy bundle!" It's more like, "Oh sweet! Now I can shower and brush my teeth and maybe get a glass of ice water and watch a sitcom with Jim before Eli needs me again!"
So anyways, that's the state of things here at Semi-Desperation Central!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Cliche Is Upon Us

The terrible twos, that is. They arrived at our door promptly the Sunday evening after Addy's second birthday party, and appear to have brought all their luggage with them. They are settling in for the long haul, introducing us to furious, limp-bodied tantrums, endlessly dragged out bedtimes, and the desperate determination to do everything by herself. EV-ER-Y thing. No matter if it takes twenty minutes to buckle a pair of shoes, or if she clearly lacks the fine motor skills for a particular task and will only end up in a heap on the floor, weeping, because the milk carton was too cumbersome for her to lift into the fridge. These things are only annoying setbacks which we must power through, because, doggone it, Adelay is a big girl and she does not need our help!
I am also the last few days remembering something Catherine Newman once wrote about her son Ben when he was around three. It was something like, "You know what I just love about this age? Ben's all, 'Oh, however you want to do it, Mom. We can do things in whichever way, on whatever schedule you want. I'm cool.' In opposite land!" (Obviously, the way she said it was funnier, but I don't feel like digging through years worth of Ben and Birdy archives to find the exact quote.) The point, however, is there loud and clear: toddlers are the most particular, persnickety, dare I say OCD people on the face of the earth, and often over the most bewildering issues.
If Addy kisses one person, for instance, she must kiss everyone else in the room as well, and sometimes a few of the inanimate objects get kissed too just for good measure. If I get up from the table to get myself a napkin, she must have a napkin, and then wipe her perfectly clean face and hands just as I have done. If I go to the BATHROOM for one second of privacy to PEE, she is compelled to follow me, drop trou, and demand her own piece of toilet paper. She then sits on the potty for one nanosecond, depositing nothing, before jumping up to help me flush and to congratulate me on my own pottying success.
She wants to snap her own shoes, put on her own socks (inevitably a failure,) buckle her own stroller and carseat straps, buckle ELI'S stroller and carseat and bouncy seat straps, pour her own milk, brush her own hair, push the grocery cart instead of riding in it, carry the giant diaper bag, dispense her own cereal and syrup and orange juice... Pretty much any task which would be messy or painstakingly tedious or just clearly impossible, she is willing to take on as her own personal mission. And there are parts of this that are a delight. It is fun and fulfilling to see her growing independence and to watch her learning new skills.
Yet she is still so much my baby sometimes, too, chewing her hands to ease the pain where her final teeth are emerging, smiling up at me and calling ni-night in her sugary-sweet baby voice. Running through the house with her comical, knock kneed gallop, her blond ringlets bouncing wildly behind her. Laughing with the same glee at the hundredth repetition of peekaboo as she did at the first. Melting down and crying with sheer exhaustion when she misses her nap or is up too late, and having to be carried to bed, sobbing and hysterical over, just for example, an applesauce cup.
I think this age in childhood is perhaps the best of times and the worst of times, emotionally speaking, and it sometimes feels like the pendulum swings sharply between the two (frustration! delight! exasperation! heart-warming pride!) at least a dozen times a day. Anyone else feelin' the love?

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Short Criticism

So today I'm at Kindermusik (aka let's make the overweight moms jump around and gallop like horses and feel like total buffoons IN FRONT OF A WALL OF FULL LENGTH MIRRORS!) and there was this woman there with her granddaughter. Now, let me preface this by saying that I admire her involvement in the kid's life by taking her to the class. Now, let me go ahead and say that I think it is both destructive to a kid's psyche and irritating to everyone within earshot to barrage a clearly shy child with a steady, harassing stream of, "Now, Samantha, everyone ELSE is playing with the instruments, why don't YOU want to play? PLAY! Now Samantha, Miss Amy wants us to march in a circle! Stop hanging on me and MARCH! Samantha, look at that other little girl, she's a GOOD girl, see how she's clapping? Can't you CLAP?" And so on and so forth. All while the poor child is staring, wide eyed and overwhelmed, at the roomful of yelling, prancing children who are marching and clapping and singing and playing maracas like toddlers possessed. All while Miss Amy keeps gently reminding you, "Some children are observers. It's okay if she doesn't want to participate right now." I really wanted to take Grandma aside and say, less gently, "Back the f off! This is supposed to be fun, remember?"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

So! Many! Posts! So Little Time! (But Enough Time To Give You Pictures)







*Here is the chubberkins baby boy, who grows ever so slightly less fussy and more plump and delicious with each passing day. And of course the birthday girl, resplendent in her Toys 'R' Us Birthday Club crown!
So... I finally have a moment in which to write! True, I must simultaneously watch 30 Rock and eat leftover birthday cake- for these things, too, must be accomplished- but here I am with one child in bed, one child still asleep in his carseat, and one laptop before me, unattended!
Now, where to start? There are about five possible posts floating through my head... Shall I talk about the massive poop blowout which greeted me when I awoke, leaving a child to bathe, sheets to strip, a mattress to wipe down with Clorox, and a diaper so toxic that its disposal led to the taking out of every trash bag in the house just for good measure? Shall I talk about the soup which I managed to burn at lunch, leaving me feeling like a more capable mom only perhaps than Britney Spears? Or maybe about the giant dog which attacked Fonzie ten yards from our house on a walk which I was reluctant to embark on in the first place? How about the budget, which seems to be completely blown (by yours truly) every single week despite my best intentions? Someone tell me how twenty dollars here and thirty dollars there turns into five hundred dollars without my even noticing?
Maybe you'd like to hear about how I'm beginning this new paragraph an HOUR after completing the last one because Child Number One popped out of bed three times, needing a diaper change, more diaper rash cream (don't ask) and to give Eli another "tiss" goodnight? No? Well, then maybe you'd like to just listen to me cry for a little bit about how in the world my baby is two years old, my baby that I just a tiny second ago held for the first time, covered in slime and the most beautiful thing I ever saw?
Sigh.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Top Five; Also, Comfort Food

And now for a fun change of pace, I shall fascinate you all with a list of products that save my life!

1. Swiffer floor cleaners, wet and dry. And the dusters. These are SO much less annoying than sweeping, and also more effective at getting up dust and dog hair. My only worry is that I am compounding my Debt To Mother Earth by adding these disposable cloths to the amount of trash our family produces. Perhaps there are washable microfiber-type floor cleaners that work the same way?

2. Uncle Ben's 90 Second microwavable rice bags, especially the whole grain varieties. Genius, genius! We use these at least once a week.

3. The Prince Edward wipes warmer. I think the warm wipes prevent me from being peed on, because they're not a cold shock in the middle of the night, and therefore diaper changes don't always completely wake Eli up and cause him to let loose in midair.

4. The Kiddopatomous swaddler blankets, which velcro shut and keep babies nice and snug. Both my kids have always seemed to sleep much better when swaddled, so these blankets have been a big help with Eli, as he has already grown big enough to squirm out of those little flannel receiving blankets.

5. The Infantino baby sling. I never had one with Addy, but purchased one for Eli when he was about two weeks old to try to deal with his need to be constantly held and my need to USE MY HANDS every now and then. So far it has worked very well. Only downside is that my movements seem to put him to sleep, and then it's tricky to get him out of the sling and laid down without waking him up.

Also, I have figured out the reason behind my lack of weight loss with this baby. It is a two-fold problem: First, I am up at night a lot more than I was with Addy, leaving me unspeakably tired most of the time. My body, in a mode of pure self-preservation, screams to me, "Carbs! Eat carbs! The sugar and flour and chocolate chip cookie dough will keep you awake with short bursts of energy!"
And then secondly, my mind, also in survival mode, whispers, "Eat the brownies! Bake another pie! Eating yummy things is the ONLY thing you are doing for yourself these days. Do you blog daily anymore? No. Do you read for pleasure anymore? No. Do you take long scented bubble baths? Oh please. But scarfing down another another cookie while breastfeeding? This I have time for, and this I will do.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

To Eli

Dear Baby,
I can't believe you are four weeks old already! I mean, I seriously can't; I feel like I am just now starting to resurface from the postpartum fog I was swimming in, only to find that my tiny baby has been switched out for a real, giant boy while I wasn't looking! I am terrified I have already lost some of your precious, fleeting newborn sweetness to the demands of toddlerhood and laundry and the delirium of sleeplessness. Every day there is a moment in which you seem to me suddenly bigger, and my heart lurches a little in panic. I want to freeze you until I have thoroughly soaked in every second of your littleness, of the way your dark, downy head still fits in the palm of my hand. The way your eyes shine up at me while you nurse, the color of ripe blueberries. The way your lower lip thrusts out when you try to eat in your sleep, and the scent of your hair when you're tucked in on my shoulder.
Today we took a walk around the neighborhood, and Addy fell to her knees and wept inconsolably when I tried to put you in the stroller and have her walk with me. So I let her ride, and I carried you against me in your sling. Every few minutes I would peek down at you, just checking, and that bright blue gaze kept meeting me, steady and calm, just taking everything in. Then after about twenty minutes I peeked and you were asleep, your body curled against mine to fit, your dimpled little hands resting serenely on your cheeks. You looked so precious it was heartbreaking. I nearly walked the stroller into a tree staring at you.

~~~


Addy calls you E-yi, as in "Eeyi, eeyi, yo." Lately we have all begun doing it, and sometimes without meaning to. "Oh, Eyi, don't cry," I will croon sincerely, not even noticing that I am calling you the chorus of a song about barnyard animals. I hope that you are ok with this and we are not scarring you for life. Come to think of it, I spend a lot of time worrying that I might be scarring you for life, by not rushing to you the second you start crying because I'm in the middle of putting on Addy's shoes, or by watching TV while breastfeeding at night instead of staring at you raptly (because when I WAS staring at you, I kept dozing off accidentally.)
You seem fine, though, and you even seem to like me- you perk up when you hear my voice or see me walk by, the same as Addy did, so I must not being screwing you up too much yet. And you're getting so chubby and cute and even starting to bust out some smiles, and surely I can take some credit for these things too, right?
Just now you looked up at me and smiled, open-mouthed and half asleep, and then stuck out your tongue and kind of snorted and chuckled. You are the noisiest little guy! Unless you are sound asleep, you're almost constantly gurgling and stretching and grunting and snarfling, often in apparent displeasure. In these instances, the grunting is generally followed by a crescendo of gunshot farts. It always amazes me that a nine pound infant can produce burps and farts as loud, if not louder, than those of a fully grown adult. Other times it's because you're hungry, which you are almost constantly. We call you Grumpy Bear because you really hate to be kept waiting if you're getting hungry!
Well, you're awake now, and it's getting tiresome to type one-handed while you wriggle on my lap, so I'll end this. Happy One Month Anniversary of being in the world! We hope you're having an ok time so far! We're sure enjoying you, Grumpy Bear, farts and all.
Love,
Mama

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

As Regards Swistle's Mother In Law

This is really just getting silly. This woman is INSANE. Bat-shit crazy, even. Secrets as power! Refusing to reveal DATES of cross-country, weeks-long visits. Nonchalantly dumping the responsibility of hotel finding onto other people, DAYS before intended visit. And that's not even going into the anticipated behavior during the actual visit. What is this?
Here's what I propose: Everyone is to observe an official Think of Swistle moment of silence each day for the duration of the hostile takeover of the Swistle home, aka MIL's visit. Here's what I will be thinking: "Zoloft and Dove chocolate. Zoloft and Dove chocolate." There is no shame in it!

~~~

Also, in case you needed some proof of what a rock star of a mom I am, I offer to you Exhibit A- Adelay now chirps, in a voice fueled by hope and desire, "Fries?! Fries?!" every time we drive down the fast-food joint lined road near our house. Guess it's time to start cooking again.
And here's Exhibit B- frequently, within the last few weeks, I have heard Addy say to me or Eli or even the dog, "Jus'a minute! Jus'a minute!" in a reassuring but slightly frantic tone which rings all too familiar in my ears. These are not my proudest moments.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Early New Year's Resolution

*Random complaint before launching into an unusually complaint-less post*
I am really tired of missing half of church because I have to get up and go sit and nurse in the bathroom. At least they have a couch and pillows in there. But WHY are the speakers which pipe in the sermon never turned ON? That would seem to be the point of their existence...

But I digress. I was going to say that this week my goal is to try to remember something from one of the songs in church on Sunday, which was about God's joy being our strength. My ears perked up at the lyrics, as strength and energy are things which I am chronically lacking these days. So decided to try to savor moments of joy with the kids, instead of just being depressed about how tired I am, and derive energy from that. Moments like when Addy is actually being cooperative and sweet and fun, and moments like today when I gave Eli his first real bath and he LIKED it and didn't cry and was so sweet and round and yummy smelling afterwards.
So far it seems to be working... I had a bit of a setback when Addy decided to cry and throw a fit about her nap, which is very out of character, and then yell and bang around in her room for an hour and a half and keep me awake during the brief window when I could have gotten a nap myself. But I rebounded and moved on.
Besides, how can I be grumpy when I do still have some help, in the form of Beth the Babysitter Extraordinaire, who still comes by Monday mornings for an hour or two, and Friday afternoons for about three hours. These are my Hours Of Sanity, when I can clean the house without interruption, or even (theoretically) sleep, or escape the house and do shopping without diaper bags and carseats and crying. And also there is my mom, who came and took Addy to Kindermusik this morning when I was unable to get myself ready in time to take her (despite the presence of Beth... I know, I know, I'm pathetic.)
And also I really do have a wonderful husband, who helps with kids willingly and gives me chances to escape the house without them. So there. See how grateful and joyful I am? See how I am not complaining about things like ninety degree weather and endless laundry?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Postpartum Post-Its

This post has been slowly composed all week long, in a series of yellow post-its stuck randomly around the kitchen and den. Here for your reading pleasure are snippets from my postpartum haze which I found amusing/horrifying enough to commit to paper.
1. I realized with some alarm that I was laughing out loud, kind of wackily, for an unreasonably long amount of time at one of those "Real Men of Genius" Budweiser radio commercials. There was no one else in the kitchen, mind you. Just me, unshowered and dripping milk, standing there chortling uncontrollably about the Overly Aggressive Touch Football Game Player.
2. I spent an entire day avoiding opening the fridge because every time I saw the pile of leftovers and expired crap that needed cleaned out, it literally overwhelmed me and put me on the verge of tears.
3. On Friday, Adelay's breakfast consisted of strawberries, raisins, and a glass of milk. Guess what she ate? The glass of milk, which she consumed by repeatedly dipping her toothbrush into the cup and sucking the milk from the bristles. I did nothing to stop this, only watched wearily as I sat at the table (what else?) breastfeeeding.
4. Two words: Muffin top. There is muffin top happening everywhere, even when I am not wearing pants. It just sits there, a shelf of fat embracing my hips.
5. I find myself feeling resentful towards people who get to sleep all night. I also feel irrationally angry when people hear that I went to bed at nine, got up every two hours to feed Eli, and then they do a little mental math and say, "Oh, so altogether you got about seven hours of sleep though, huh?" I want to shake them violently while explaining that I could have gotten SEVENTEEN hours of sleep, and if it was broken up every two hours by a hungry baby it still would not provide the same amount of rest that an uninterrupted eight hour night would.
6. On Thursday I fell asleep at the kitchen table while eating lunch. Just fell asleep with my chin propped in my hand. It kind of scared me.
7. One night while sitting up during a feeding, I was literally mesmerized by an informercial for "The Weight Loss Cure." I found myself thinking things like, "Wow, that could work for me! I need to order this book! Maybe I really can drop these twenty extra pounds with no real effort! I just have to read about this miracle fat cure!"
8. My vertigo seems to be returning on and off, in varying degrees of severity. But I notice it only crops up when I am getting really tired. So sometimes I feel myself getting woozy and wonder, "Is it my ear again- or am I actually falling over with exhaustion?"
9. After several weeks of feeding every two hours and sometimes even more than that, I am about ready to take on caffeine as a lover on the side. Unfortunately, Eli's tummy does not tolerate caffeine well at all, which we discovered after about a week and a half of almost constant fussing and gassiness after feedings. So it seems that, in a cruel twist of irony, I am on a temporary caffeine strike just when I need it more than ever before in my life.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Glamorous Life

Just a short rant here about how the milk, it is in. And about how the kid, he is hungry- but only for the boob. Eli is a breast man. He loathes bottles and pacifiers; they are his NEMESIS, his arch enemy, and he will fight them to the death. Which means that while theoretically, I could pump and have bottles at the ready for other people to occasionally take one of the daily dozen feedings, in reality, there is only one person on the face of this earth who can feed my son. That person is me. I'd be the girl who, last night at an office party, sat propped in a corner, forcing her eyelids open by raising her eyebrows in order to not appear drugged. I also tried not to engage in conversation as I could not recall a single person's name. I forget important information like my daughter's age and birthday (in front of the Kindermusik teacher- nice,) and words like "mailbox" (what, it's a hard word!) My brains are being slowly, methodically leached from my body through my nipples.
My son, besides being a picky eater, is a grazer. He does not wake up, get hungry, eat for fifteen minutes from each side, burp, and then happily stare into space for another two hours until his next feeding. He wakes up hungry, eats for about two minutes, falls asleep. I play with his cheek and try to wake him up, change his diaper to try to wake him up, convince him to drink for another three minutes or so at the other side, and then he's napping again. Ten minutes later, when I have finally given up and packed the girls away, he's awake again and starving. And so on and so forth. I feel like a human pacifier. A soggy, gross one, which leaks milk all over the couch and the bedsheets from whichever side I happen to be laying on.
Oh, and how's this as an example of both my mommy brainedness and my glamorishousness? This morning, a half hour before Addy's first swim class at the Y, I'm packing her up to go and suddenly realize that her swim diapers and bathing suit are still at my mom's house. Where they have a pool. Where I thought it would be SO convenient to store all the swimming paraphernalia. So I'm flapping around crazily in my nursing gown and hot pink slippers, throwing half-dressed children into their car seats and tearing out of the driveway towards my mom's, which luckily is about five minutes away.
I managed to get there, get the stuff, and get back in about ten minutes, which means it is now roughly fifteen minutes until the start of class. The Y is approximately fifteen minutes from our house. So Jim and I are putting forth this amazing team effort, with me changing a poopy diaper and putting on a swimmie diaper while Addy stands there in bewilderment, and Jim pulling her dress over her head and gathering up swim trunks and beach towels and keys and hustling them both out the door. The poor kid looked dazed, yet smiled and waved weakly at me through the slamming door. Her first experience with the Y is off to a swell start!
Also, for a quick pick-me-up, there's nothing like being made to feel like a drug addict by the nurse on the other end of the phone. See, I finally got up the nerve to call and ask if I could get more of my prescription, right? And good old Mary Lou (yes, I knew her, which made it that much worse) pauses, then says rather severely, "Well, I'm pretty sure he's not going to order more of that. Those are very strong narcotics you were taking. I'll ask, but it's very doubtful. Call back later- maybe he can prescribe something that's milder." Guess who hung up sheepishly and never called back?

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Link

Hey, check out my latest link down there- my little sister has decided to follow in my footsteps of coolness.
Also! This is my two hundredth post. Let's all have a moment of silence.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

De Je Vu, Soccer, and Mommy Guilt

So yeah, woke up today to the pleasant surprise of DIZZINESS and NAUSEA! Much like a certain hellish two-week illness in my not so distant past! What the frick, as my friend Elliot of Scrubs would say. It's not nearly as bad as it was before, but I am most definitely light-headed and wobbly and weird feeling. I'm really hoping it's just some sort of dehydration thing due to a combo of the stomach flu and nursing every two hours nonstop, and does not in fact have anything to do with my inner ear. But either way, it certainly threw a wrench in my plans- two doctor's appointments, which had to be rescheduled. I have done nothing today but lie on the couch or bed, drinking water and either sleeping or woozily clutching an eight pound baby to my chest.
So! Here's hoping tomorrow I wake up and this is just a memory. I feel irritable, like I cannot catch a break, health-wise. A week after Eli was born, I got a bladder infection requiring antibiotics, and now this crap again. Does anyone know, once a person gets an inner ear virus, is their equilibrium kind of off for the rest of their life, or easily unbalanced, or something? Can I expect random occurrences of vertigo FOREVER now?
Anyways, other than the seemingly never-ending string of weird health problems, we are doing pretty well around here. I haven't had any more big tearful breakdowns, which is a relief to everyone, and Eli is fattening up like a... Like some kind of farm animal which gets fattened up. Is it pigs? Geese? Suffice it to say, he has chubby and squeezable cheeks, and bellows much more loudly than his sister ever did when his meals are not delivered promptly. Also eats in a much more round-the-clock manner than she did, not that I am bitter.
I am feeling truly bitter AT MYSELF, however, for encouraging Jim to coach soccer this season when he literally approached me with the idea in this manner: "Well, there's this coaching opportunity, but with the baby and your being sick and all it's terrible timing. You probably don't want me to..." And here's Sarah, the smiling, eternally supportive Good Wife: "Of course I want you to! You love coaching! We'll manage, don't you worry!" I think if I could take back any spoken words of my entire life, those would be the ones. It was just one thing too many, for all of us. It would have been fine earlier in the summer, or later this year. Any time but RIGHT NOW, what with his being behind in work anyways from having to take off so much due to my various hospitalizations and incapacitations, and what with me or Addy wanting his attention every spare moment, and the rain suddenly pouring down every other day and turning our acre of yard into a knee-high swamp. He so did not need this on his plate, too. I actually feel guilty, because I think if I hadn't encouraged it he would totally have just said no. I am chalking this up to a lesson: This is what comes of trying to be giving and supportive instead of rational. Always go with rational.
Also, someone assuage my guilt about Eli, please, please? Tell me it's okay that I haven't written in his journal yet, and I haven't even BOUGHT a baby book, and I haven't gotten pictures developed and cropped and painstakingly scrapbooked. That I never got his Tigger crosstitch finished, and that I'm not taking at least ten snapshots a day of his kissable newborn cuteness the way I did with Adelay. Is this normal? Will he forgive me? It just feels like all I can do to stay on my feet right now, to get a shower and keep the house and laundry reasonably in control and make sure that everyone has been fed and changed somewhat recently. I am enjoying him very much, but I also felt delirious with exhaustion and pain killers the first week or so. And now it's pretty much just exhaustion, but then also the bladder infection and the flu and then this nonsense today with the wobbling around drunkenly. He's not going to have middle child syndrome as a direct result of my lack of recording every minute of his first few weeks, is he? (Hint: Say no.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Seven

1. I have rediscovered a delightful little combo called brownies and ice cream. I find that late at night, when one's oldest child has been hanging on them and crying and one's youngest child has been ever so slowly nursing and hogging that coveted commodity, Mommy's lap, a nice bowlful of this carbohydrate-laden treat goes a long way to bring down the stress level.
2. I took my last precious pain pill today, and feel sad and mournful tonight. Also crampy and sore, but there is no solace other than plain old Tylenol.
3. Speaking of general pain, they should really warn an eleven-day-postpartum mom who gamely brings her toddler and newborn to the first session of Kindermusik that this program involves the PARENT jumping and leaping and wriggling and dancing as well as the child. Laying on the floor and wriggling like a fishy. Need I say more?
4. In a similar vein, does anyone have any thoughts about Kindermusik? I want to try to introduce more structured activities into Addy's day, as she seems to be going really stir crazy, but this program seems somewhat expensive. I really enjoyed today's session, though, (residual aches and pains aside) and Adelay certainly did as well. Is it worth the money?
5. The skin on my stomach feels like bread dough. Yummy.
6. Sleep is really like a drug. Yesterday I didn't get much of a nap at all, and by bedtime Addy was unraveling and so was I. We both just sat there crying, and everyone was frustrated and despondent. Today, having gotten almost three hours of nap while both the kids slept(!), I felt strong and capable and the evening went smoothly.
7. Any ideas about how to clear up baby acne, short of wiping him down with Stridex pads? I know it's shallow and it doesn't matter to him, but it makes me feel like a dirty mom when my baby's face is all oily and breaking out.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Week Ago At This Time

(which is four forty-five AM)I was just waking up from my mid-labor nap, feeling restless and grumpy. I am currently hanging out with a wide-awake Eli, but again feeling distinctly rest-less. And fairly grumpy, because I keep thinking about how in three hours we have to leave for the doctor's office, so there will be no sleeping in for me this morning.
I can't believe he'll be a week old tomorrow. It seems impossible that it's been only a week, but also impossible that it's only been a week. Wasn't I just being wheeled to recovery? But then again, hasn't he been here forever? Hasn't the house always smelled like a diaper pail?

Twelve hours later. Just woke up from a nice, drug-laced nap, which felt like heaven after a long morning of doctor's office, hospital, and errands (picking up necessities such as donuts and industrial-sized pads.) I ended up leaving at eight fifteen with Eli and not getting back until noon. First it took forever at the ped's office because of all the new patient paperwork I forgot I had to fill out for him, and then he ended up looking kind of jaundiced still, so we got sent to the hospital for another blood draw to check on the bilirubin levels. I hadn't stopped to eat breakfast, and I had foregone the pain pill in favor of driving legally, both unfortunate choices. By the time I was leaving the hospital, I was so hungry and tired and achy in all sorts of body parts that one of the old, frail looking volunteers asked me kindly if I was all right, or if I needed him to carry the infant seat for me.
I was all right, of course, although let me just say that I think when our hospital spent millions of dollars on new patient ammenities and an extended lobby/outpatient area, they might have thought to include a freaking chair somewhere in which a mom could nurse her screaming baby! So that the mom does not have to stand in a bathroom stall for twenty minutes with a furious infant yanking on her knockers.
Beyond that, thank goodness lots of people, including many of you, reminded me of the insane weepiness which follows birth. I cannot stop crying, over completely random things. This morning, waiting outside the hospital for the valet service, I saw a little girl about Addy's age playing in the fountain and I got all teary and nearly burst into a weeping fit in front of about twenty people. Because... ? I cry if Addy is happy with the baby because it's so sweet; I cry if she's angry because I feel so bad for springing this new sibling on her. I cry if I'm hungry or tired or sore or if Jim forgets to affirm my self-worth every hour on the hour. I cry more than the baby does, seriously.
Apart from that, I am very happy with this new guy who's moved in here. I am especially happy, and things seem simple and very handle-able, when I have taken a pain pill and all the children are asleep and I am eating a delicious meal brought to me by someone else. It reminds me of being in the hospital, which, frankly, I love. I don't understand why people are so desperate to leave the fresh crisp sheets and the nursery at night (I had him brought back for feeds, don't worry!) and the pain pills and ice water brought to you cheerfully any hour of the day.
'Kay, just got back from cleaning up a poo explosion which was dropped literally in my hand. I think I am done trying to write coherently- let's just have pictures, shall we?