Monthly Archives: August 2009

7 Quick Takes – There’s a giveaway a’ comin’

1. This child. Roo. Almost 9 months old. This child. IS GOING TO KILL ME.  In the past week, I have counted four (4) ways in which she has tried to harm/maim/kill herself. I have to admit, baby-proofing was my big eye roll at the parenting community at large. Just watch them! I’d think smugly, to myself. Ha! Ha ha! Yeah. Got what was coming to me with this one. Vio didn’t need constant watching. That child is, and has always been, painstakingly cautious. She’s going to be the biggest tattletale in school — I CAN ALREADY TELL. Thank goodness for that though, as it is one extra pair of eyes policing Miss Knockitdown Chokesalot.

2. My toaster oven is possessed. If I pop in my morning whole-wheat-from-the-Publix-bakery bagel and stand in the kitchen, it shuts off after about a minute. Untoasty bagel. Not for to please my belly. On the days I throw the bagel in, hit the button, and get called to duty because “MOMMYYYYY!”, by the time I get back to the kitchen, my once glorious bagel has the consistency of charcoal. Because the toaster never shut off. I attempted to outsmart the damn thing by setting the kitchen timer on the microwave for two minutes, but it seems whenever I do that, it behaves as though I’ve been standing in the kitchen, and shuts off after the requisite 60 seconds. You guys, what I’m saying here is … there is a ghost in my toaster.

3. Our yard, I fear, has turned in to the Jungle of Nool. I say this because I’m fairly certain the grass is tall enough to conceal an elephant in its entirety.

4. A three-year-old who will let you collapse in the middle of her floor during the baby’s morning nap time and play quietly so you can “rest your eyes” is the best kind of three-year-old. This is putting aside that the reason for my exhaustion was being up half the night with said three-year-old. But we like to focus on the good here at the dashoffery.

5. The reason I was up with her? She had a scary dream. I brought her into bed with me and snuggled her all up, and I asked her if she could tell me about her dream. I guess she enjoyed Girl Talk Thursday’s topic so much, she wanted to be a part of it.

“It was just me and mommy. No daddy and no Roo. There were lots of doors. I couldn’t open the door. Mommy was all gone. Where was Vio? I couldn’t open the door because the handle was too small. There was a biiiig bed. It wasn’t my bed, it was somebody else’s bed. I think it had a … monster in it. But I didn’t see the monster’s face, just his tummy sticking up.”

I comforted her and suggested, “Maybe it was Elmo. He’s a silly monster.”

“Oh, no,” she explained. “This was a BIG monster.”

“Ah, maybe it was Cookie Monster. He’s big.”

“You know what, Mommy? There was a cookie on the floor! I bet it WAS Cookie Monster!”

6. We had a bit of a stomach bug situation earlier in the week. Possibly. I’m not sure. Vio said her stomach hurt, and then threw up. Then I PANICKED, because stomach bugs are my kryptonite. She spent the rest of the day in a Clifford-induced haze, but reproduced no further stomach contents. Wednesday was fine. Thursday she wakes up in a snit saying she doesn’t feel like walking, holding her stomach, and OH THAT’S RIGHT, we have a dentist’s appointment this morning! But the rest of the day went on, with no further stomach complaints. Her appetite has bottomed out, but she’s had no fever. Matt and I were feeling a bit icky ’round the gut toward the end of last week, so I’m thinking minor gastroenteritis? Does that exist? Normally we get the kill-us-until-we’re-dead-and-then-laugh-because-we’re-actually-still-alive variety, so I wouldn’t know.

7. A few months ago, I entered a contest and won an Applecheeks cloth diaper. When I didn’t receive my package after about a month, I contacted a customer support representative, who explained they had lost my tracking information and would send out another diaper immediately. About a week later, my package arrived, all shiny and perfect. Less then a week after THAT, a second package arrived. I contacted customer support again, apologizing for the mix-up and assuring them I had no intention of conning a second diaper out of them. When I mentioned I had planned on talking about the diaper on my blog, they suggested I use the second diaper in a giveaway of my own. A GIVEAWAY? Seems a bit daunting for my little baby blog here, and I have no intention of doing more reviews/giveaways in the future, but given the circumstances and their generosity, I’m really looking forward to it. Look for that next week!

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Girl Talk Thursday – Dreamy

It’s Girl Talk Thursday, and we’re talking dreams! The original topic asked about recurring dreams, weird dreams, or sex dreams, so I’ve thrown together a mish-mash of all three in my CLASSIC bullet point style.

  • I don’t have recurring dreams, but I do have a cast of characters who appear with great frequency. Most of them are old friends from high school, and I think each one of them must symbolize something for me subconsciously. An example is a friend of mine who was always super organized and WITH IT, and I looked up to her a lot. I dream about her when I seem to be aiming to better myself in some way. Cheesy, no?
  • Whoops. That last one is totally a lie. I DO have one recurring dream. It’s the classic end-of-term-and-I-just-realized-I-never-went-to-biology-and-the-final-is-TODAY scenario. Since it has been a good 8 years since I sat for a final exam, I’m beginning to think these are here to stay.
  • Most of my nightmares involve alligators or bad things happening to my teeth. Occasionally I’ll have a really horrible one about someone dying or nearly dying myself, but normally my nightmares are something I can tell Matt in the morning, and we’ll laugh about for hours (or years) afterward. If I ask nicely, maybe he’ll regale us with his terrifying dream of the rabbits who would sprout extra heads in the comments.
  • When I was pregnant, my number one nightmare was that Matt was hooking up with a ton of other women or was “unsure” if he wanted us to be together anymore. Uh. I might have actually been mad at him for a bit in the mornings that followed. Let’s just chalk that up to the pregnancy hormones.
  • Sex dreams are SUPER frustrating for me. I understand why, with two children, opportunities are scarce for getting down to business. In real life. However. That does NOT explain to me why my sex dreams must be ripe with interruptions and people who just will not leave us alone long enough to git ‘er done.
  • Most of these dreams are about my husband (as I’m sure he’s relieved to read.) Most others are about famous people or random people from my past or day-to-day life who are not even remotely sexually attractive to me. It’s never John Krasinski or Jon Stewart. It’s more like … the pediatrician or some American Idol contestant. Awesome.
  • When I have the not-my-husband variety of dream, it tends to stick in my mind for about 24 hours. Typically, it’s the sheer horror of it, as I try to figure out WHY BRAIN WHY did you make me experience that? It feels insanely real for quite some time.
  • I dream in black and white, but never color.
  • I do believe our dreams can tell us things we already know on a subconscious level. My mom tells the story of how, when she was pregnant with my brother, she dreamed he would be stillborn on the 27th of the month. When she started feeling cramping on the 26th, she insisted my father take her right in to the hospital. It turned out he was breach, with his chin caught on her pelvis. They did a C-section around 10PM on the 26th. Had she continued to labor, his neck would have been broken by the pushing, almost definitely on the 27th. I’m not claiming she was psychic or something, but I do think her body found a way to communicate to her that the baby was in distress.

Now, for the rest of you! Do you have any dream quirks? Do you actually get to have some sex in your sex dreams? (Do you get to have sex with John Krasinski in your dreams? If the answer is ‘yes’, I might have to pound on you a little bit.) Share in the comments, or hop on over to the original post, and Mr. Linky it up!

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Second verse

It’s pretty trite to say when you bring home a new baby for the first time, your life changes. I knew OUR life would change — that collective life my husband and I share — forever. I knew there would be less going out, there would be less time for each other, there would be less of everything (except, obviously, love.) What I somehow didn’t expect was how much MY life would change. I forgot to consider my life as an individual. Sure, I’d thought about how it meant putting off getting settled in my career and shelving the idea for a Ph.D. for some time, but the concept of minute-to-minute changes was foreign to me.

The most startling change came as a result of deciding to be a nursing mother. (Now here I say I “decided” to be a nursing mother, as though it was 100 percent in my control, and fully admitting there was a lot of luck involved. Any of us who has nursed or attempted to nurse a baby knows it isn’t always that simple, and I’m very grateful I had that opportunity.) Because I was nursing, I was the one who soothed her when she cried, who tended to her in the night, who felt as though I was the only one who could care for her properly. And I resented it. A little bit. Because while I was attached to the baby, my husband was at work, living the exact same life he had lived just a month prior.

[At this point, I feel I need to point out that this was NOT the case at all. Matt is an exceptional father. He makes me look bad in comparison, honestly, and he’d have Vio in his arms every single moment she wasn’t nursing. But he still couldn’t NURSE her, and that was the only difference my sleep-deprived-baby-blues-addled brain needed to justify the resentment.]

At the hospital, I passed Vio off to Matt as often as I could. She needed to suckle almost constantly, so he would let her suck on his fingers for an hour so I could get some rest. She was mildly jaundiced and slightly dehydrated, and looking back on it now I blame that “laziness” in the hospital. (Which is slightly ridiculous, but HI AM MOTHER GOTS GUILT.) As soon as Vio hit three or four weeks old, or however old I arbitrarily determined she would no longer confuse my nipple with the one on the bottle, I started pumping so the feeding duties could be spread out. This gave me such tremendous relief, knowing not every drop of her food had to come at the expense of my ability to move about the house freely. But. This created another problem.

I am GOOD at getting things done that need to get done, but I really only shine when I know I have to be the one to do them. I always dread my husband’s business trips, but I feel I come alive when he’s gone, knowing I have to rely on myself and no one else. The chores that would be bothersome to me when he is here become part of What Must Be Done, and I take pride in pushing through it all.

Once I knew I didn’t have to be the one to feed her all the time, it became MORE of a chore to feed her if someone else was around. Why was I having to be tied to the baby when she could be given a bottle? I still loved to nurse her. I treasured every one of those moments curled up with her on the couch or snuggled in bed late at night. But if I wasn’t the only one home, I wanted nothing to do with it. (There is a whole story here about Vio’s reflux and how I had to stop nursing and switch to pumping when she was around 4 months old, which SHATTERED me, but that is neither here nor there in relation to this post.)

Fast-forward two years later when Roo was born. In the hospital, I nursed that little baby just as much as I could. If she needed to suckle, I nursed. I nursed and I nursed and I nursed. And she wet diaper after diaper. (But she was also jaundiced. Actually moreso than Vio. This did not kill the aforementioned Guilt, however.) When we got her home, I just kept nursing her until my milk came in, and I relished the moments in the middle of the night when she would stay latched for hours.

What made it easier for me to put myself fully in charge of Roo’s needs was the existence of Vio. Matt still had to be a dad, EVEN when I was nursing. He was the one to fetch the 900 morning snacks and build the Duplo towers and read Horton Hears a Who three times in a row. Nursing Roo was actually a BREAK, a chance to sit on the couch and catch up on blogs. I remember sitting there and taking it all in, and it boggled my mind to think that nursing had ever felt like a chore.

We still offered Roo a bottle, this time a bit later. Not until she was five or six weeks old. But I dreaded it, honestly. I didn’t push it at all. I pretended to be excited at the possibility of a break, but, truth be told, I didn’t want one. From the get-go, I knew if that little baby needed to eat, I had to be the one to do it. Bottles just are not an option with her.

So I maintain the WOE IS ME persona and pretend life would be easier if she took a bottle, but I know the opposite of that is true. With Roo, I savor each nursing session, even the ones in the middle of the night, that still sometimes come every. other. hour. at nearly nine months. This one is all mine, and I’m not letting go until she’s ready.

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7 Quick Takes – Brain dump edition

1. Part of the reason I’ve been so quiet on here is that there has been a great deal of Drama and Goings On in my family and general geographic location. Both of my mom’s brothers have had health issues, and then our neighbor died. Then there were the birthdays (yes, PLURAL, see also #5 below). Maybe we should just leave it at I HAVE BEEN A BIT DISTRACTED.

2. Roo has an affinity for hair. Ever since she could control her hands, she’s been grabbing for fistfuls of my hair and gnawing on them with delight. This is why, if you see me, you’ll first note my rockin’ mom ponytail. (It’s totally not out of laziness. I really love doing my hair. It’s ACES. If I keep explaining how much I love it, you’ll start believing me, right? Because, I do. It’s the best.) You can imagine, then, that in the absence of hair attached to my head to play with, she goes off in search of hair NOT attached to my head to play with. In the form of the globs of my hair that STILL seem to be falling out and accumulating in every corner of the house. Yesterday, I pulled no fewer then FOUR balls of hair out of her mouth. I’d rather not think about how much she has probably ingested.

3. Because I keep such a close eye on her and wrench so much hair from her hungry little mouth, her hunt for hair has now become her surreptitious hunt for hair. Not ten minutes ago, I saw her fist close around something on the floor, and the sound of me standing up sent her into an immediate “OH CRAP SHE CAUGHT ME” crawl for her life. This kid is learning to be sneaky.

4. I sat out Girl Talk Thursday this week because I flat out could not answer the question. I mostly lack local girlfriends, which is SAD, and something I would love to correct, but I’m just really really bad with people. Pretty much I assume people are annoyed by me and are only being nice to me out of obligation. That’s … a really stupid way to go through life, so I’m working on it. For now, my closest “chick friend” (which, she will KILL ME for calling her that) lives 3000+ miles away. Pretty much it has to be this way, because the world can’t handle the awesome unleashed on all of mankind when we get together. (True story. I read it in one of our IM conversations.)

5. I think Cake Week 2009 has officially drawn to a close, though there will be one brief reprise next Saturday for my mother’s birthday. Vio shares her birthday with my mother-in-law and my husband’s cousin. Matt’s birthday falls four days before Vio’s. We have a lot of family down here, and it can be hard to get everyone together just once, which results in A LOT of cake consumption. Add to that the dozen cupcakes we had leftover from Vio’s birthday party, and, yeah. That’s several thousand calories’ worth of icing bonking around my thighular region.

6. When I saw the plus sign appear on the pregnancy test nearly four years ago, one of the first things I did was count backward in my head to figure out a due date. August? FRICK. Sought out online due date calculator. August 17? DOUBLE FRICK. Don’t get me wrong, I love my MIL. I just really wanted Vio to have her OWN birthday. Around 11PM on August 16, I said, OUT LOUD, “OK, little baby. You just have to hang in there for one more day!” At precisely 11:18PM, my water broke. OH I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. It bothered me a lot that my child was going to have to share her birthday with two other (local, at that) family members. That is, until it occurred to me that it gave ME something in common with Matt’s family, too. Both his maternal grandmother and aunt, my two favorite members of his family, had given birth that day. It made me feel such an intense connection to both of those women that, now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. Looking at these “Quick” takes, probably I should have written a bit more this week. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I have to say until it hits me all at once.

(As always, you can find more Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary. Happy weekend, Interland!)

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Things which I have found in my bed while attempting to fall asleep that were not welcome additions to my evening repertoire

  • Duplos
  • Snappi diaper fastener
  • a pair of scissors
  • stabby doll hairbrush
  • entire loads of clean laundry
  • the crumbs from 80 frajillion Goldfish crackers
  • puzzle pieces
  • small carpet beetle
  • Cheerios in various stages of decomp
  • a whole green bean

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Three

Three years ago, I had no idea what I was in for.

Three years ago, I did the hardest work I had ever done.

Three years ago, I hoped for a boy as I pushed.

Three years ago, your daddy cried out, “It’s a little girl! We have a little girl!”

Three years ago, I cried. Because a girl was what I had always wanted but was too afraid to hope for.

From this

main

To this

main-2

To this

main-3

To today

Violet 31

My beautiful Vio. My pumpkin. My first true love.

Happy birthday, little girl.

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Girl Talk Thursday – All up in your shower business

Jumping right in, there’s not a whole lot I can say on the topic of my shower routine. Basically I have to get in and out as quickly as possible, lest some small person should come along, throw open the curtain, and ask, “Are you done yet, Mommy??” Let us fall back on bullet points, shall we?

Unmitigated Truths About Diane’s Showering Experience

  • For starters, I shower properly: facing away from the water. HEAR THAT, SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL PEOPLE? (Emily explains this far more eloquently here.)
  • I use a shower pouf instead of a washcloth. Washcloths don’t suds up well, and I need a lot of suds to feel clean.
  • I love Bath & Body Works shower gel. My favorite is a discontinued (OF COURSE) scent called Water Blossom Ivy. A couple of years ago they had a big sale on it online, and I bought a lot. Enough that I’ve still not run out two years later. This is because the gel is super concentrated, not because I rarely shower. That being said,
  • I don’t shower every day. I aim for every other day, or whenever I get hella-sweaty, whichever comes first.
  • I also don’t wash my hair every time I shower. My hair is pretty dry, so I try not to wash it more than a couple times a week. Since I have two small children who rarely allow me the luxury of showering for more than 28 seconds, THIS IS NOT USUALLY A PROBLEM.
  • I do everything in the same order every time. This is due to necessity rather than being OCD, because otherwise I would flat out forget to do something.
  • I don’t use shave gel. I shave while the conditioner sits, so I run my fingers through my hair and use the bits of excess conditioner to soften my skin. Crafty.
  • Not having shave gel is part of my desire not too have 87 bottles of various cleansing products in my shower. I have separate shampoos and conditioners for straight/curly hair, body wash, and face wash. Matt has shampoo, body wash, and a bar of soap. This is necessary, because there are about 900 rubber ducks and frogs in our shower. We started out with just a few, but clearly they got freaky when we weren’t looking. At least someone is getting some in my shower. Sigh.
  • That got depressing. Moving on.
  • I wash my face at the end of the shower (but only if my face is feeling oily. Otherwise I never wash it, which maybe sounds gross, but I’ve always had good skin, and I credit that to the fact that I don’t overwash it. Hey, look, the parenthetical aside is now longer than the rest of this bullet point, so maybe I should wrap it the hell up. What was I talking about? Oh, right. I wash my face at the end of the shower,) after I condition my hair, so I always make sure I wash my hands with soap in between. Otherwise I’d be rubbing conditioner INTO MY FACE.
  • I don’t sing in the shower, but sometimes I dance. To whatever song is stuck in my head. It’s a compulsion.

That’s all I’ve got. Now lay it on me in the comments. What kind of shower quirks do you have?

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