Not in the hip & cool way. And not in the smelly way.
In the I-am-in-a-blue-funk-and-I-can't-get-out-way.
Suggestions? (Note to self: wine does not help. Come to think of it, whine doesn't, either.)
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
There is much out and about in blog-land about "Cocktail Moms" lately. Check out this, and this. I think the concept is funny, and true, and in some ways, I hope that I am less Uber-Mom and more Cocktail Mom. But I just can't jump fully on the bandwagon of "Yeah, me too! I'm no Uber-mom! Those Uber-Moms suck! I don't cater to my kids! Go on out and play, you useless brats, be sure to be home before dark, and stop playing at the local sexual offenders house!" (Exaggeration for comedic effect.)
I hate how mothers can be so judgmental. Didn't we just have a whole blog come to Jesus consensus about "Mommy drive-bys"? And didn't we all agree that we shouldn't cast stones, but we should support each other, instead? Yet if you read the comments on these posts, people are practically running over each other to be the first one to bash the Uber-Mom.
Isn't it possible that Uber-mom is not really uber? That maybe she is just having a really good day, kid-wise, and enjoying spending time with him/her at show and tell for once? Or perhaps Uber-Mom had a true Cocktail Mom as a kid, one who was actually abusive with all the drinking and the neglecting, and so Uber-Mom is doing her very best to be sure her own kids don't experience the same sort of trauma? I tend to think that Uber-Mom is doing the best that she can, has her kids' best interests at heart, and would be really shocked to know that others thought she was doing a poor job.
I have been accused of having no opinion before--being so careful avoid judging people that I excuse blatantly bad behavior. So maybe that's what is happening here. More likely, I just hate it when I see anyone being judged, because in my brain, if Sally is judging that mom, then certainly Sally is judging me, too, and hey--I'm doing the best I can here!
I know that Uber-Mom is an exaggeration, as is Cocktail Mom. And I know that in that extreme, both of these Moms are less than exemplary. I agree that kids need a parent, not a friend, that they need time to play and use their imagination, that perhaps giving every child a blue ribbon, whether they win or lose, is not necessarily preparing them for the real world. I also think that drinking a martini while your kid runs wild in the street is not the ideal. I actually like the idea of bolstering my kids' self-esteem, so they won't be 'fraidy cats when they grow up, like their mother.
Like so many other things, the truth lies in the middle. None of us want to be true Uber-Mom, or true Cocktail Mom. We all strive for somewhere in-between, and because we have different tendencies and backgrounds and values, where exactly that in-between spot lies will be different for all of us. Why is that so hard to accept? Just because you lean more towards Cocktail and I lean more towards Uber, does that mean either one of us is wrong?
I get how we all need validation. And being a mom doesn't come with much of that, so maybe the only way we get it is by saying--"Hey, look at her! She's doing it wrong! I don't do that! Therefore, I am a better mom!" I do the same thing. But I want to stop.
I hope this is not coming across like--I am so better than you horrible judgmental people. I just wanted to play devil's advocate for a minute, because the comments seemed to me sort of gang mentality-ish. And I definitely don't think either original poster was being unduly judgmental. The tone of the comments just got to me. People were reacting to the stereotype, of course. My first instinct was the same. That's why I wanted to write about it, to explore why it's so easy to judge other mothers, and to force myself to be smarter than that.
(Of course, I'm not brave enough to say anything about that on the comments page, I just sneak over here and write what I want where there is less chance someone will hate on me.)
You know how you are taking a shower and thinking about the things you read while blogging today, thinking "I should write about that, too", thinking and writing and editing in your head, and then you have a perfectly concise, well-written, descriptive post in your head, so you get out of the shower and into your robe, wrap up your wet hair and sit at the computer, and then what comes out is not at all like what you were thinking in the shower? That is this post.
If only you could be in my head, my pretties, perhaps I would make more sense.
Arggle. Finally I feel like blogging again and just getting into Blogger is trying my patience.
So I will just say this: I am here. I am depressed (probably due to all those nasty hormones since I just got my first post partum period). I am tired. Both kids have colds again. Vivian also has some stomach bug and is either vomiting or shitting all over the house at all times. Isaac was up at 4:45 this morning. For good. Vivian still has horrible horrible horrible excema all over her face. Did I say I was tired? I haven't showered in two (or more?) days and what little hair I have left is so greasy it is leaving stains on my shirt collars. Wahhhh!
The good news? My mother is coming to town to visit starting tomorrow night. Hooray! The sun is finally out and it's a beautiful day. (Though we can't go to the park to enjoy it since both kids are sick--oh,wait, this was supposed to be good news. Sorry.) The Tar Heels are in the Final Four.
I think I need a mantra, and I just found it: The Tar Heels are in the Final Four. The Tar Heels are in the Final Four. The Tar Heels are in the Final Four.
Hope this week is finding all of you in much better spirits!
And, thank you, Trisha, for asking about me.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Yesterday at nap time my two lovelies were giggling and playing in their cribs and I decided to let them. They were both tired, and I figured they would get bored of the throwing-things-from-one crib-to-the-other game eventually. I turned off the moniter and lay down on the couch for TiVo. Every now and then I'd turn up the moniter to see what was happening--always giggles and laughter. It was kind of cute, actually. Made me smile.
But when it had been almost 2 hours I decided I had to put an end to it. So opened their door. And this is what I saw:
Yes, Isaac had ripped the border off the wall and strewn it all over the room. I'm afraid the picture doesn't even do it justice. Hence, the hysterical giggles. They were still giggling when I walked in, and quite proud of themselves.
Now we have to do something to make the room a little more unisex. Vivian is practically one, after all, and we were supposed to do that months ago.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
It is 2:18pm here in the West Coast, which means it is one hour and 18 minutes since I put the children down to nap. Isaac has been alternately crying, laughing, singing his ABCs and throwing his blankets into his sister's crib for that amount of time. By some miracle, despite the deafening noise and attack of flying blankets, after about 10 minutes, Vivian was able to fall asleep--until about 5 minutes ago, when I heard her awake.
When I went in to see what was up, Isaac greeted me with "Open the shade! Open the shade! Isaac want to git up!" I could smell poop, so I peeked in his diaper to see if he was the culprit--no. "Poop! Poop!" he said. "Isaac need fresh diper! Isaac git up! Need fresh diper!"
Instead I grabbed Vivi and set about changing her very stinky diaper. Suddenly Isaac growled with all his might. I look over and he is turning red in the face, obviously trying as hard as he can to push one out so that I will free him from his crib.
I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
But I didn't get him out. And he is still in there, talking loudly, Vivian now babbling along with him.
1. Keep their skin soft with lotion
2. Make and keep their physician appointments on time
3. Feed them a relatively healthy diet
4. Make sure they watch no more than 1 hour of tv per day
5. Iron their clothes
6. Change their sheets regularly
7. Bathe them (almost) daily
8. Purchase them new, fashionable clothes for each season and throw out clothes that have holes or stains
9. Try to stimulate them intellectually by reading Good Night Moon 6 gazillion times a day
10. Love them unconditionally
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Remember that post about how cute and small Vivian is? Well, we just got back from our 9 month check up, and turns out, that yes, she's small. But not in the oh-what-a-cute-petite-little-thing-way, but rather in the, freakishly-small-off the charts-your boobs are not producing enough milk-not growing-way.
This is the exact same appointment I had with Isaac at 4 months. My supply had dwindled without my knowledge, and he didn't grow at all between his 3 month and 4 month appointment. As soon as I started supplementing with formula, he drank 24-28 oz a day no problem. Turns out he had been hungry all along, and I hadn't had enough milk for him. Thing is, he was sleeping great, he rarely cried, and he smiled all the time. I had NO IDEA. Want some Mommy guilt? Try starving your child and not noticing.
Cue 20 months later, and there I am, at the doctor's office, with a new baby this time. I've noticed that Vivian isn't very big, but I think she's just cute, and just like Mommy. But then, wait! No, it's not that at all! It's that you are not feeding her enough. She is hungry, and you are offering her empty, useless, wet-sock, saggy, piece-of-crap boobs.
Luckily for me, I've had to switch doctors in the meantime, so, not knowing my previous failings, they didn't call Child Protective Services on the spot.
God! What is wrong with me? How is it that I am unable to determine when my babies are hungry? I mean, there's really not that much to babies--they eat, they sleep, they poop. You just gotta figure out those 3 things. Is that so hard? And what the hell is going on with my traitor of a body that I can't produce enough milk to feed my own children? UGH. Just to underline the whole point, I got my period today. A nice bloody reminder of just how inept I am at this whole nursing your baby thing.
With Vivian, I have rather enjoyed nursing. I don't feel the same impatience I did with Isaac. My lifestyle has changed, and I'm used to it now, so nursing doesn't feel like such an imposition on my life and my body and my identity. I've even felt sort of proud to be still going strong at 9 months, like I can finally fit in with those AP moms who I always feel like such a loser around. And now it's gone. Great.
Not to mention--formula is expensive! And bottles are a pain in the ass!
Oh, and this: I had plans for an adult evening tonight with an old friend, complete with grown-up food, grown-up clothes, and grown-up libations, but . . it got cancelled. Hooray!
Monday, March 21, 2005
My Elite Eight picks:
The ones in bold are still in it.
My only hope is that Illinois loses in the Sweet Sixteen this weekend. That way, I could very well come in last place (out of 173) and at least get my money back. (Last place gets the pity vote, and the poolkeeper returns the entry fee.) Currently I am 172.
However, none of this really matters, since North Carolina is KICKING ASS all over the place.
Bless you, Tar Heels.
I so hate to interupt the pure joy that is March Madness with a post about that most boring of American games, baseball, but here it is:
Why is everyone acting so surprised that Mark McGuire probably used steroids?
OF COURSE HE DID. SO DID/DOES EVERYONE ELSE. THE END.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
I am so happy that my local grocery store finally started carrying scrapple again! Open your minds (and palates), oh ever-so-ego-centric Californians, and try something new.
Don't even try to talk me out of it. Yes, I've already given it to Isaac, and he loves it, too. His Mid-Atlantic State relatives should be proud.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Today you are 9 months old. If someone had said to me, when you were two weeks old, "Cherish this time. Before you know it, she'll be 9 months old," do you know what my response would have been? Try this: "Nine months? It will be a miracle if she lives that long because this sleep deprivation is killing me! Killing me, I tell you! But yeah, I'll cherish this. Whatever, lady."
Guess what? You are a miracle baby, because here you are, 9 months old! And I'm still living and breathing and occasionally smiling! And even though Blogger just ate my stunningly beautiful post about you, I'm still here! Saving at every sentence which makes posting really really tedious, but still here! Completely pissed off and un-imaginative since all my creative juice was spent on that last post, but still here!
Wait, this is supposed to be about you. So, 9 months old. Here's what's going on this month, Viv:
You have improved your crawling skills. While you have yet to manage the all-fours thing, you do get around much more quickly these days, inching your butt in the air and pushing your torso ahead of you like you're playing shuffleboard. Occasionally you do get up on your knees for a few seconds before the sheer weight of your body tumbles you back down. What you lack in beauty, though, you make up for in speed, as it takes no time at all for you to cross the entire room. I guess it is just a matter of time before you are crawling like a real baby.
You are still eating solid foods, and showing a remarkably sophisticated palate, enjoying almost everything Mama offers. (Except green beans, of course. Peas, you love. Green beans, not so much.) As much as you enjoy food, apparently your constitution is having some difficulty with it, as you are covered in excema. I'm sure this is very itchy and not at all comfortable for you, but more importantly, it shadows your cuteness. This is no good. You are the cutest baby around, but no one can tell, because your face is marked by patches of excema. Fortunately for you, Daddy took some good photos at the beginning of the month so I can post them here without fear.
Vocabulary-wise, we haven't seen too much going on. You just don't seem in a hurry to speak actual words. You do like singing, though. Recently you discovered a very dainty high pitched "ah" tone that you like to sing, interspersed with the occasional "bwha, mwah, enhhhh". Right now, I can hear your father singing back to you in the other room: "You smell, ah. A little pooh, pooey. Pooh pooey, ah ah bwah. Ah, ah poo." You have also learned how to screech. Ouch. Who knew such a loud and uncomfortable noise could come from such a small baby? Fortunately, you use this new "word" of yours sparingly, and so maybe we won't have to send you back after all. When you are not talking, you breathe heavily. Really. Like Darth Vader. That's right. When you are happy--you smile with your mouth wide open and pant like a Star Wars villain.
I must mention: you are flexible. Rubberman could not stretch the way you can. I put you down, sitting, on the floor, and in two seconds you are doing a complete split, then two seconds after that you have lowered the top half of your body to the floor in some sort of advanced yoga move. I'm sure it has a name, but since Downward Dog flumoxes your completely inflexible mother, I will never know. Daddy thinks you will be a gymnast one day, as you are forever tying yourself up in these amazing contortions. Mommy would be so proud if you were. But I am a bit taken aback: not only does Mommy have zero flexibility, I also missed the day they handed out grace and beauty. I think you need those things for gymnastics. You will get from me fairly decent coordination, scrappiness, and speed, but these are traits better suited to games like, say, lacrosse, or soccer. Fortunately, your father gave you flexibility, and I am searching through our family tree for grace and beauty. So far I'm not having much luck, but your great-grandmother's name is Grace, so maybe that counts. And another great-grandmother, while not what anyone would call sporty, definitely always looks put together, even at 90. So maybe the beauty will come from her.
Whenever I pick you up, you stick your legs out in a mid-air split, then wrap them around me with a vice grip as I lower you to my hip. I love this lower-body hug! If you are especially excited, you bounce up and down, then kick out your ankles while still gripping me with your thighs. And make your singing ah sound. I have to smile every time, and sneak a kiss against your cheek.
You are teensy. I am not surprised by this, as I am small. I keep thinking, though--is this the only trait I am going to pass on to you? Being small? So far you have eschewed all my genes but this one in favor of your father's. I'm just not sure that was the right pick. Surely there is something else useful I could have provided for you. Although you are 9 months old, you fit easily into 3-6 month size clothes. Your father calls you "pinner", but I relish your tiny little body.
You were born with handfuls of really dark, almost black hair. It started falling out around 4 months and some of what has grown back in is blonde. When you are nursing, I scrutinize your scalp, practically counting the blonde hairs, in hopes that maybe by some miracle you will become a tow-head, and people will recognize you as my daughter after all.
Oh, but this doesn't really matter. I don't care who you look like or who you take after. Your father is hot, and funny, and has these gorgeous blue eyes that sparkle when he smiles. You could do worse than take after him. But you are Vivian, after all, not Daddy, and not Mommy. You are everything we ever imagined and nothing we ever dreamed of. Vivian, you are the dawn to my midnight, the lime in my margarita, the purr in the kitty cat, the sun after a storm. Watching you change and grow is like opening so many gifts on Christmas morning. I love you.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Our venture into food-allergy-free land turned out to be short lived after all.
After my success with the Havarti, a few days ago I decided to try yogurt. We had just come back from the grocery store and everyone was starving and tired and cranky. I had about a gazillion grocery bags to unload, plus two lunches to make. So I quickly fixed a plate for Isaac with his leftover banana from breakfast, some cherry tomatos, and what else? Oh, here, let's try a yogurt. I watched him carefully for the first few bites (he loved it!) but no rash developed. Great, since Vivian had commenced wailing and slamming her hands onto the high chair impatiently. By the time I finished feeding Vivian, Isaac had eaten almost the whole yogurt and was working on the tomatoes. Guess what?
The rash appeared. And with a vengeance, this time. Not only the little red spots around his mouth, but all over his face, not to mention a few hives. I took the yogurt away and after a half hour or so, the rash calmed down. He was constipated for a day, then had a few disgusting diapers and that was the end of it.
Hmm, I thought. Well, maybe there's something really "dairy" about yogurt. And he'll just be able to eat cheese, and milk, and butter. I can live without yogurt.
For the next few days, I kept offering him cheese, which he refused. This I found strange, since he had enjoyed the Havarti. But "Nooooo, Mama, no cheese! Isaac no like cheese. Isaac can't have it." I did give him buttered toast, no problem. A bagel with a very small bit of cream cheese, okay. Today, I put the tiniest piece of cheese on his lunch plate. When he asked for some of his sister's squash (he loves babyfood, I kid you not) I told him to finish his cheese first. He picked it up, stuck it in his mouth for 1 second, then put it back on his plate. "No!" 5 minutes later he had the rash again, all over his face, with hives, and this time also on his arms.
This is 1 second's worth of dairy, for the love of pete! Apparantly the exposure to yogurt has made the allergy worse. I don't understand! I wonder--why did he refuse the cheese? Does it burn or something when he is eating it? If so, why doesn't the yogurt? Why doesn't he react to butter on toast?
I am much more upset about this than I should be. Thing is, even though everyone keeps telling me--"oh, a dairy allergy is very common, don't worry, he'll grow out of it. It's no big deal"-- I have this terrible feeling that he won't grow out of it. Because, yes, dairy allergies are very common in children. But Isaac's reaction is not common. Most kids with the dairy allergy get stomach-aches, bad diarhea, that kind of thing. And many of them can eat cheese and yogurt, just not milk. For some, it's the lactose. This is not what Isaac has. Isaac gets a rash if he eats anything with dairy. Until he was about 18 months old, there was only one brand of bread I could buy him, because he would react to the smallest bit of whey or casein in the ingredients. Even if a product was made on the same machines as something with dairy, but contained no dairy, he would react. Fortunately, he did outgrow that hypersensitivity, but still. I don't want to be making him special meals for the rest of his life. And I don't want him to never be able to have ice cream at birthday parties, to have the kids pick on him when he brings his tofu in for lunch, or to spend his life avoiding Mexican restuarants.
Also, even though, generally speaking, his reaction is very mild (usually the rash doesn't bother him at all, I doubt he even knows he gets it), I still hate it, since everyone tells me that the less exposure he gets, the more likely he will outgrow the allergy. Every time he gets a rash, I feel this sense of failure, like our chances for an allergy-free life are just disipating before my eyes. Plus, he's starting pre-school in a few weeks, and now I have to deal with making sure they don't feed him dairy, bringing him special food, and so on.
AND, Vivian is a complete ball of excema. Even though I refused to start solid foods until she was almost 7 months old, even though she had nothing to eat except breastmilk for those 7 months, even though when I did start solids I started very slowly--still she has excema. People tell me, oh babies get excema all the time, it's probably not a food allergy. But then why didn't she have excema before we started solids? So far, I have been unable to determine what she is reacting to. It keeps getting worse, instead of better, and now she has a big patch over one eyelid. Can't be comfortable for her.
Peace out from allergy-land.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
You know how I posted a few days ago about the heavenly night we had? Why did I do that? Why did I tempt the fates, as it were? I mean, we can all guess what kind of nights we've had since then, right? Has Isaac stopped screaming before 9:30pm? Uh, no. Has Vivian slept later than 5:30am? Uh, no. Has either one slept through the midnight hours without waking? Well--NO.
And guess what else? Not only have bed-times become a horrible horrible 3 hour struggle and precurser of interupted and non-rem sleep, capped off by insanely early wake up calls--but naptime is now catching up in nightmarish-quality.
Yesterday, I put the kids down for their nap around 1:15pm. At 3pm, they were still awake. Isaac screaming unconsolably in his crib, having had all the blankets, slinky, animals taken away from him and forced to wear his pjs. Vivian still occasionally gigling, lying on her back and periodically banging her binky against the crib bars. Me? I was in a heap on the floor outside their room, completely hoarse from screaming at them for the last 2 hours to BE QUIET! CLOSE YOUR EYES! LIE DOWN!
Eventually they did nap, but they didn't awake until 5:30, which pushed back their bedtime, making it even more "pleasant" than usual.
I am so dreading naptime today. Nothing like screaming at your kids (who are babies, for pete's sake!) for hours on end to make you feel like the world's greatest mom.
I know what they say--you can't make them eat, and you can't make them sleep. But, why not??? There must be some way to force sleep on an over-active 2 year old and his monkey-see, monkey-do sister.
Until then I remain, your sleep-deprived shit of a mom.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
and these are things I hate:
1. Having my hair cut
2. Rolling up my sleeves
3. Wearing a hat of any kind
4. Wearing gloves or mittens
5. Peeing in the potty
6. Wearing bandaids
7. Sitting in the high chair
8. Staying in bed until 7am
9. Waiting for Vivian to wake up from her nap
10. When my mom sings anything
These are things I love:
1. Eating my sister's babyfood
2. The feeling of anything soft against my cheek
3. Lollipops, unless they are rootbeer flavored
4. Peeing in the bathtub
5. Watching Elmo
6. Sitting in the front seat of the car and pushing all the buttons
8. My "Isaac" cd
9. Going to the beach with my dad
10. Looking at photos
Monday, March 14, 2005
Isaac is going to pre-school! All together now: Hallelujah!
I know that 2 is a bit young for school. But, people! I cannot go to the grocery store with the both of them anymore! Do you know what a pain it is to get them both ready and into the carseats, then get them out of the carseats and into the shopping cart and bjorn, then run through the store as quickly as possible before Isaac has a meltdown and starts throwing things, then get them both back in their carseats??I keep forgetting to buckle Vivian into hers! One of these days I'm going to forget her altogether!
So you see why pre-school is the best thing. I can't keep him entertained anymore. Even he has tired of building castles with the Lego set. Plus, since we don't really have any friends with kids, at least this way he'll get to spend some time with other children his age.
And I will have 3 mornings a week with only Vivian to take care of. One butt to clean! One mouth to feed! One miniature, short-attention spanned specimen to entertain! Pure heaven.
Also, and this is for Trisha: I believe he is a genius. In fact, I am so sure he is gifted, I'm getting a little worried about the hardship this could be for us. Today, when he picked the magnetic letter "T" off the floor, he said "letter T"! And even though 2 minutes later he said "Dubbeyu", I'm sure he knows his ABCs. Already! You see? So I must send him to school to stimulate his incredible mind!
The only problem with this pre-school thing is that it costs money. And money is kind of tight these days. So I guess we'll just go (further) into debt, like the rest of the country. Just doing our part to stimulate the economy!
I must also report this: Vivian has been sleeping. I mean really, truly sleeping. 11 hours at night, two 2 hour naps per day. I'm not quite sure what to make of it.
And: yes, Carolina lost the other day. I DON'T CARE. We still got the number one seed and we are still going to win the next 6 games, HANDS DOWN. (Which means we'll win the title, dummy.)
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Saturday, March 12, 2005
When Isaac was 8 weeks old he developed a really scary all-over body rash that the doctors could not diagnose. After blood work and cancer scares we finally realized it was an allergic reaction to the cow's milk based formula he was drinking. I would post a picture of the rash, but it still scares me to look at it. And it's ugly.
Anyway, since that age he has not been allowed to eat dairy at all. No milk, no cheese, no butter. Have you ever noticed what toddlers eat? I'll tell you: string cheese, yogurt, and milk. Oh, and Macaroni and Cheese. Maybe the occasional grilled cheese sandwich. Or how 'bout a chicken nugget (the breading contains milk)? But not Isaac. Oh no. He's been eating tofu, and garden burgers, and soy milk for the last year. Actually it hasn't been all that bad, since he's not a picky eater. But eating at restaurants has been challenging, and I always have to make a separate meal for him, since almost nothing I cook is dairy-free. Kind of a pain in the ass. And also, I keep thinking--will this kid never be able to enjoy cheese? His whole life??
At our 2 year well check this week (which was traumatic for so many reasons I can't begin to blog about it) the doctor suggested we go ahead and give dairy a try. Slowly, she said. See if he can tolerate some yogurt, or a piece of cheese. About 4 or 5 weeks ago, I had given him a sour cream and onion potato chip (by accident, of course!) and he immediately developed a rash. So I'm thinking, no way is this going to work.
Still, I gave him a small bite of Havarti cheese yesterday, just for kicks, and guess what? NO RASH! Last night, we went out to eat at a Mexican place, ordered some taquitos for him, which came with guacamole and chedder cheese on top, and again--NO RASH.
This is very exciting news indeed.
I think I have mentioned before that I hate peas. I will never purchase them, frozen or fresh. When Isaac was eating baby-food, I refused to buy the mashed peas. And until last week, I had refused to buy them for Vivian as well.
Vivian refuses to eat green beans. She actually refuses to eat anything that has a hint of green in it. Everything she eats (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, pasta and vegetables, peaches, pears) is yellow or orange. My sister told me that, as babies, her kids' skin turned orange because they ate too many carrots. I don't want a pigment-challenged 9 month old, for Pete's sake.
So I bought a jar of babyfood peas. Yuk. The smell when I took off the top last night was enough to make me gag. However, since the health of my daughter was at stake, I continued. I fully expected her to refuse the peas, at which point I would move on to spinach, and never have to purchase the horrid things again.
Vivan, do you know what happened when I put the spoonful of nasty mushed peas in your mouth?
You smiled! Then you laughed! Then you opened your mouth, begging for more!
How are you my daughter? Is it not enough that you look absolutely nothing like me, that you have the same dimple under your right eye as your father, that you are almost an exact replica of him, just smaller? Must you also reject my very characteristics, the things which make me who I am?
My god, you are not even 9 months old and already you are kicking Mommy to the curb.
is putting the children to bed around 8 and after only minimal chatting and giggling, not hearing another peep until 6:50 am.
We haven't had a night like that since before Vivian was born.
I really need to thank Dr. K for the cough medicine with codeine.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Lately (well, today) I've been out-ing myself to some of my real-life friends. Hi! Jen. Heather. Susanna. Rachel. Lance.
It's funny, you start blogging and everything seems so weird and scary, and you are afraid that someone might actually read your blog. But then, like anything else, over time you become more comfortable and suddenly you're thinking, why doesn't anyone read my blog? Next thing you know you're sending the URL to as many people as you can think of.
Anway, I am pleased to report that I am no longer taking myself so seriously--it's not as if this has to win a Pulitzer prize, for God's sake! It's just a journal.
Next, I may even hand out the URL to my family (gasp!)
(And: yes I realize that Carolina almost lost-- to Clemson-- today. But they didn't. And that's all that needs to be said.)
(And: I am sick. I knew that when I typed #74 in my 100 things list, the powers that be were giggling in anticipation of kicking my ass. So here I am, sick, and kicked in the ass.)
Thursday, March 10, 2005
So the time is here, folks. Time for my annual insanity to arrive in the form of brackets, Dick Vitale, and Carolina Blue. I have received my first email correspondance from the "humble poolkeeper" and league championships have begun. Hooray!
My absolute favorite weekend of the year (I think this even beats Christmas) is the first weekend of the NCAA men's basketball championship. This is the weekend of the 2nd round, where you can literally watch basketball for 8 straight hours, both days. And it's really good basketball too. Usually 3 or 4 buzzer beaters, definitely some Cinderellas, and the occasional ass-whupin'. Someone we've never heard of will play the game of his life, a well-respected coach will get kicked out of a game, maybe a really good player will break his nose. Oh, the drama!! I plan to be on the couch with Tivo in hand (to replay all the great shots, of course) for the entire weekend.
I've decided to watch the tournament games live. I just can't live by my TiVo rule (although that did work out well for the Dook game) where the tournament is concerned. While I may be covering my eyes if the Heels are not playing particularly well, I do intend to be in the room, with the television on, while they are playing. They better play well this year. For the sake of my children, fellas, please play well.
I am not a sports fanatic. I like sports, yes. I will watch the occasional NBA of NFL game happily. And baseball is fun, if it's live. But I don't go too crazy.
Unless it is March. Or anytime from November to March and the University of North Carolina men's basketball team is playing.
Here it is, March. And guess who's playing today?
I am SO EXCITED.
Also: Rashad McCants was cleared for practice a few days ago. Yippppeee!
dooce wrote a post awhile back about how Jon taught Leta how to sit up, which was really cute, until Leta refused to nap because every time Heather laid her down, she would sit up and peer out over her crib like a periscope. Here, let me try to link it for you.
What does that have to do with anything? Well, nothing really, but I thought of it today.
At naptime today, I was happily blogging away until I heard Vivian start to murmur and fuss. She wasn't being particularly loud, so I thought I'd just wait awhile and maybe she'd fall back asleep. (I know, wishful thinking, but you gotta have a dream, right?) Twenty minutes later she was still talking in there, and getting louder by the minute. I didn't want to risk her waking up Isaac, so headed in to retrieve her.
And what do I see when I open the door? Vivian's head and torso peeking above the crib rails, her arms waving in the air gleefully, her smile bigger than ever, and if I could understand her babbles I'm sure she was saying, "Hey, Mom! Look! Look at me! Aren't I the smartest baby around?"
Yes, you are. And the cutest, too.
I am becoming concerned about my husband, and I hope you can help. I have searched the web for a diagnosis, and better, for a cure, but so far I have come up empty. Therefore, I appeal to you, my ever-so-small group of readers, to give me your advice on this problem.
For several months--wait, I think it has been 2 years now--my husband has been exhibiting symtpoms. Unfortunately, there appears to be something wrong with his arm, and it has begun affecting other areas of his behavior.
Let me explain. Our children have a clothes hamper in their room, which has a top. When one is putting dirty clothes into the hamper, one must remove the top first, deposit the dirty clothes, then replace the top. However, and this is what has me so concerned, my husband seems unable to do this. His arm does not function in this way. No matter what, the dirty clothes always end up on top of the hamper top. He is unable to take the top off first.
I keep waiting for improvement--surely, his arm will get the hang of this hamper thing eventually!--but no dice. And so I worry.
Then, just the other day, I realized he has been exhibiting another symptom for years now. When he is rinsing dirty dishes, his arm is unable to open the dishwasher door. So that, similar to the dirty laundry, the (now rinsed) dirty dishes remain on top of the dishwasher, instead of inside it.
What should I do? I have searched WebMD and other medical sites to no avail.
Recently, another symptom, seemingly unrelated, his reared its ugly head. It seems that in addition to the faulty arm, my husband also lacks hearing skills. For example, perhaps I am nursing the baby while simaltaneously conversing with my husband. Isaac begins the wail that breaks glass in the other room. My husband does not react. He continues talking as though the wailing is not happening. Then, when I say something along the lines of, "Could you please go see what the hell is going on in there?" he acts surprised, as if he has heard nothing.
Please, any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.
(Aside: am I the only one having issues with Blogger lately? It has taken me two days to get this post published. And all those fabulous posts that were percolating in my brain have had nowhere to go, and now are lost forever. Sigh.)
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Do you have The Coffe Bean and Tea Leaf where you live? I don't know if it is national or not and I'm way to lazy to look it up right now. It's a coffee shop, and in LA, there are hundreds of them. Supposedly, they are much cooler than Starbucks. But I will tell you this: the people who work at this fine store, no matter which store you frequent, these people are not quick. And I mean that in all senses of the word.
Now I know that making a fine espresso drink can take some time, but come on, people! Twenty minutes? To make 3 drinks? What the hell is going on back there?
How's that for a random post?
I can't wait until my Starbucks re-opens.
I keep seeing these 100 things on everyone's blog in the about me section, so I thought I'd jump in. It's possible I can figure out how to put a link to this post in that section, but I'm not guaranteeing it.
1. I am 36(!) years old.
2. I have 2 kids, 16 months apart: Isaac (3) and Vivian (2)
3. We are probably done having kids. My husband says we are definitely done having kids.
4. Secretly I want one more.
5. I grew up on the East Coast, where the ocean is to the East.
6. After college, I moved to California, where the ocean is West.
7. I have a terrible sense of direction.
8. I have a bad hair day almost every single day. Really.
9. I was a jock in high school--captain of 3 sports.
10. My highschool was really small, with only 70 people in my graduating class.
11. I went to high school in Conneticut, at a small private boarding school.
12. I loved it.
13. But I won't send my kids to boarding school.
14. Conneticut has really really terrible weather.
15. For college, I decided to go somewhere warmer.
16. I went to a large public university in the south: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
17. I loved it.
18. But not at first.
19. People act different in the South. Once I learned how to understand their language, I fit in better.
20. I have held a job since I was 15.
21. Until I had Isaac, 2 years ago.
22. Being a stay at home mom is the hardest (worst) job I've ever had. And I was a telemarketer, once.
23. It's also the best job I've ever had.
24. I was smart in school and always made good grades.
25. I hated studying.
26. Once I graduated from college I swore I'd never have that kind of stress again.
27. Consequently, I never worked at very important jobs.
28. I'm pretty sure my dad is disappointed in that.
29. But I know he loves me anyway.
30. I hate and fear talking on the phone.
31. I much prefer email even though it is cowardly.
32. I don't like being told what to do.
33. I don't like telling other people what to do.
34. I like being alone.
35. I love my husband.
36. I miss my family. They all still live on the East Coast.
37. My husband grew up in California, and this is where we are staying.
38. I love the weather here.
39. I hate being cold.
40. I can't drink hard alcohol unless it is in a Margarita.
41. I love beer.
42. I drink at least one beer 5 out of 7 days a week.
43. I can't believe I'm only on number 43.
44. I moved to California after college because it was really far away and it sounded cool. Plus I hate cold weather.
45. Unfortunately I moved to San Francisco. It is pretty cold there, all year round.
46. Cold as in 55-65 degrees, not 3 degrees. I don't know how people live in Minnesota.
47. I loved living in San Francisco, despite the cold.
48. When I lived in San Francisco, I often made fun of LA, and people who lived there.
49. Even though I'd never been to LA.
50. I met my husband on a blind date.
51. When he told me he was a middle child, I thought, "Hmm, maybe this will work out."
52. I am a middle child.
53. My husband grew up in LA.
54. LA is not nearly so bad as they make it sound when you live in San Francisco.
55. Never call San Francisco "Frisco"
56. My husband works for Cisco Systems.
57. We moved to LA after we got married.
58. I cried all the way across the bay bridge. Then I stopped crying.
59. The weather in LA is MUCH better than the weather in San Francisco.
60. I have lived on the West Coast now for 13 years.
61. It bothers me that my children will never experience a "snow day."
62. But not so much that I would consider moving back there.
63. I am not outgoing.
64. I feel really shy around new people.
65. It's hard for me to make new friends.
66. I am incredibly unobservant.
67. For example, I never notice what people are wearing, or even what they look like.
68. Unless they are really hot. Or really ugly.
69. I generally think the best of people and give them the benefit of the doubt.
70. Consequently I am let down a lot.
71. I am not a good judge of people.
72. I assume people do not have an ulterior motive.
73. I should know better by now.
74. I rarely get sick.
75. As a result, I am completely NOT germ-a-phobic.
76. Germ-a-phobes really annoy me.
77. I have been known to pick my daughter's pacifier off the ground and put it in her mouth.
78. I don't mind eating something that has fallen on the floor.
79. And I rarely clean the floors.
80. I hate cleaning the floors.
81. I hate ironing even more.
82. And hand-washing. Yuk.
83. I have one shirt that is hand-wash only. It has been at the bottom of my laundry basket for almost a year.
84. I like almost all foods.
85. I can't stand it when people are picky.
86. Or when they send food back at a restaurant.
87. I was brought up to think that if someone gives you something, you should be grateful, even if you hate what they got you.
88. I hate returning things to stores, even if they are defective.
89. If I have to return something, I usually make my husband do it.
90. He doesn't mind.
91. He's kind of picky. I call him fussy.
92. If he doesn't like a gift from you, you can tell.
93. It's really annoying, even though I suppose it's more honest.
94. I know I said I wasn't picky, but I do hate peas.
95. And I was a vegetarian for 10 years.
96. I am really non-confrontational.
97. If you tell me something I don't agree with, I won't say a word.
98. But it won't change my position.
99. I am a democrat, but I am too practical to be liberal.
100. I am practical to a fault.
101. Luckily for me, my husband is a romantic.
102. I know this is number 102, but I repeated myself once. Can you find it?
Monday, March 07, 2005
On the way home from the store today I had to stop off at the neighbor's house. You see, last Thursday I left Vivian, (who was sick as a dog) home with her Dad and walked with Isaac up to see the neighbor. The neighbor (Suzanne) has two boys, Tate and Riley. Riley has asthma. They have to be really careful that Riley does not catch a cold, as this could trigger an attack.
Why would I take my germ-infested child to their house, then, you ask? Good question. The thing is, Isaac was not sick on Thursday. Not even remotely. And I thought that Vivian was simply not over the cold she had had earlier. I didn't think it was a new germ. Since Isaac was definitely over his cold from earlier, I figured it would be fine.
Until Saturday, when he started coughing. And now he's got as much snot as Viv. So I had to go to the neighbor's house to apologize for possibly infecting her son with another cold virus. Oy.
We stopped, and Suzanne and her boys happened to be out front. I got out of the car to talk to her (fortunately her boys are showing no signs of sickness yet, cross your fingers). After a few minutes I rolled down Isaac's window so she could say hi. And when I looked in, I noticed Vivian was practically crawling out of her carseat.
How is this possible, you ask? Good question. When I got to the car with the groceries, I had Vivian in the bjorn. Isaac was in the shopping cart. First I got Viv out of the bjorn and into the carseat, but because I didn't want to leave Isaac for long in the shopping cart unsupervised, I just plopped her in the seat, thinking I'd buckle her up after I got Isaac in his. You can imagine what happened next. Thank god we made it home without crashing.
(Want to know what's worse? This isn't the first time it has happened. This is the 3rd time. )
We finally get home and it's almost noon, so I start fixing lunch for the both of them. Vivian is acting really fussy and can't get enough food. "Jeez, Viv, what's the hurry?", I think,--and that's when I remember I haven't fed her since breakfast. Usually I nurse her when she wakes up, feed her breakfast, then nurse her again after her nap, then feed her lunch. Today I forgot to nurse her when she woke up.
So before noon today, I had already fessed up for needlessly exposing an asthmatic child to a cold virus, carelessly put my daughter in danger, and starved her for no reason.
This is what happens when you are sleep-deprived. Or when you are just an incompetant mother. Or both.
Surely whatever motherly sin you made today, you can't beat that. And if you can, hey--give it time. It's only noon here! I've still got 7 more hours to fill with mother fuck-ups!
Sunday, March 06, 2005
I know I said earlier that I wasn't complaining, but I guess I lied. Maybe my hangover just caught up with me, but LORD, I am tired. Please oh please, dear children, sleep tonight.
Vivian has been on another antibiotic since Thursday, but she doesn't seem any better. Shouldn't she be better by now?? Over the counter medication isn't helping much either. I've decided she sleeps much better without the Pediacare, even though it says it's for nighttime use. The antihistamine in it does make her sleepy, but then it wears off, and the decongestant is still there, wiring her up. This is my new theory. Last night she didn't have the Pediacare and instead of being up from 1am to 3:30am, she only woke a few times before 4, and we were able to get her back to sleep after 5 or 10 minutes. Then of course she woke up at 4, all hungry. The last few nights have been so bad with her that I have ended up feeding her, once at 1 am, once at 3:30 am. But I don't want to get back in the rut of nighttime feedings. So this morning I refused. I made Lance go try and soothe her back to sleep, which worked for about 20 minutes. At which point he returned to her crib to soothe her again. Twenty minutes later, repeat. And so on, until around 5:15 when we finally brought her back to our room so Isaac wouldn't wake up. I fed her around 6:45.
Isaac has caught the damn bug now, so even if Vivian does sleep better tonight, I'm guessing Isaac will be up and raring to go. I can't give him any medication, except plain cough syrup, so at least he won't have that getting him amped up. Antihistamines definitely make him wired. He was up a few times last night, but fortunately for all, went back to sleep fairly quickly. Unfortunately, he woke up for good around 6:30 am.
We did bring the humidifier in from the garage (duh!) so that might have helped last night too. Maybe it will do the trick tonight. Maybe the antibiotic will start working today. Maybe Isaac won't get as bad a cold as Vivian has. Maybe I will find some concealer to hide these bags under my eyes.
God. Aren't you getting tired of posts about how tired I am? Tiresome, isn't it?
Okay, so I'm not supposed to be thinking about the game.
(My new rule is to TiVo the game, and only watch it once we have won. I am hoping this staves off my psychosis, and protects my innocent children from Angry Amy Who Swears Like A Sailor.)
However,I just sneaked over to ESPN and guess what? We are winning at halftime, 47-41. Rashad McCants is not playing. But we are still winning.
Please, please, please keep it up fellas.
UPDATE: HOORAY!! Lance just called to tell me we won, 75-73. We were down by 9 with 3 minutes to go but pulled it out! I have to go watch TiVo . . .
As I have mentioned before, we live in Southern California. Which means we pay a ridiculous amount of money to live in a hovel. It also means that Isaac and Vivian share a room. A small room. As in, 10' x 10'. Right now it is decorated with a fire engine theme but we are going to change that to something more unisex at some point. Hopefully before Vivian goes to college.
When Vivian was an infant, she slept in her Moses basket in various rooms of the house. But in December we put up the crib and started the sharing of the room. I was a little nervous about this, but we didn't have a choice, as it was either share a room or put one of them out on the front porch. Besides, people with experience had told me that it would be fine, sharing a room was the best thing they ever did for their kids, they won't wake each other up, they will be so much closer as they grow up, and so on.
Problem #1: Vivian's morning nap.
Isaac cannot play in their room if she is napping. Isaac needs access to each and every toy at all times or he will drive Mommy crazy.
Solution: While Vivian naps, Mommy allows Isaac to watch Sesame Street.
Okay! That wasn't so hard.
Problem #2: Afternoon nap.
Vivian only sleeps for about an hour in the afternoon. Isaac will usually sleep 2.5 to 3 hours, so long as his fussing sister does not wake him up.
Solution: Mommy simply runs in and snatches Vivian out of the room the first minute she starts to peep.
Okay, this has worked in that Isaac isn't waking up anymore. However, it does not give Vivian the chance to go back to sleep on her own, so she is perpetually tired. But she's perpetually tired anyway, since she refuses to sleep, so I can live with this.
Problem #3: Isaac learned how to climb out of his crib, and worse, into Vivian's.
Solution: Fortunately for Mommy, and perhaps not so fortunately for Isaac, this one solved itself. Twice in a row when Isaac climbed out of the crib, he really bonked himself. He has remained in the crib ever since.
Problem #4: When Vivian wakes up in the night to be fed, she wakes her brother up.
Solution: The only solution to this problem is to teach Vivian to stop waking up at night. So far we have mixed results.
Problem #5: Anyone who wakes up in the night usually wakes up his/her sibling.
This is true about 75% of the time.
Solution: There does not seem to be a solution to this problem. Anyone?
Problem #6: Although Isaac is no longer climbing out of the crib, he does have a new trick.
He throws all his blankets, stuffed animals, socks--anything he can reach--from his crib into his sister's, much to their mutual delight.
Solution: we make sure there is nothing heavy or sharp in his crib. W go in and check on them periodically and pull the extras out of Vivian's bed, not returning them to Isaac.
This has not worked well at all. We put the kids to bed at 7:30, and lately it is almost 9 before the fun of throwing things into Vivian's crib and being reprimanded by Mom is over.
So this sharing a room, it's not going so well.
Yesterday was Lance's birthday (34). I really hate it that he is younger than me (35), but that's another blog.
Because Vivian kept us up again Friday night I was really tired all day (read: cranky) which translated into not being particularly sweet to Lance, although it was his birthday. I even suggested more than once that we postpone our dinner out so we could get to bed early.
But we did make it out, and in fact had a really nice time. We so rarely spend time together anymore, just the two of us. The food was great, the restaurant was beautiful, we had a nice intimate table in the back, and sort of found each other again. What I mean is: we actually had things to talk about, besides the snotty (literally) children. We talked, and listened, and laughed, and it was really great.
So great that I'm not even complaining this morning, even though Vivian of course kept us up again, and I have a hangover.
Happy Birthday, babe.
Friday, March 04, 2005
I don't have much to say today--another sleepless night with Vivian has sapped my of any coherent thought--but I did want to warn you:
The Duke-Carolina game is coming up. In two days. And Rashad McCants is still not playing.
So I may be freaking out until around 4pm Sunday. By then all will be right with the world, Tarheels will be assured the regular season ACC title and secured a number 1 seed-- or all hell will break loose and you will be subjected to another pathetic drunken post, bringing into question the sexuality (how original!) of any and all dookies.
Aside: why does anti-histimine cause both my children to become crazed monkeys? It is supposed to make you drowsy, dammit! As in, ASLEEP. Not wide awake and laughing from 1 to 3 am.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Thanks to Psycho Kitty, you can now see the text of my blog without having to scroll down. The fact that I am ecstatic over this is just more evidence of how blogging has become an addiction to me.
It may also have to do with the fact that Vivian is sick (again!), and the little shit refused to sleep all night. Slap! Happy! Anyone?
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
After my little pity party yesterday, I had to post this: I know I am blessed. I know I am lucky to be able to stay home with the munchkins, and I know that lots of people would love to have it as "bad" as I do.
The thing about blogging--maybe about life, in general, actually--is that it is more interesting to write about the bad stuff. It's that whole--"you think that's bad, you should have my life" kind of thing. When I'm feeling happy or content, then I don't usually have the urge to write. I usually have the urge to keep doing whatever it is that is making me feel so good. But when I'm depressed, or overwhelmed, or frustrated--that's when I write.
In a lot of ways, I love my life, and I love it more now that I ever did before. Which doesn't mean I don't have bad days or weeks or moments, or times when you couldn't pay me to admit that. Writing is a way for me to let off steam, a place for me to vent so my husband doesn't have to bear the brunt of a 10 poopy diaper day alone.
Which is all to say, this blog could very well be skewed in a negative direction. Just to let you know.
One other thing. There is a little nagging voice in the deep recesses of my brain, one who says, "SIDS can happen up to 1 year of age." or "Don't they say that babies who don't play peek-a-boo are likely to have Autism?" or "It's awfully rainy out, I wonder why isn't Lance home yet. Wasn't there a really bad accident on the 405?" I just can't keep that damn voice quiet. Every time I admit how great things are, how much I love my children and my husband, that little voice is there, whispering how I don't deserve them, or how bad things happen to good people all the time, so why not me. On some level, I am in a constant state of apprehension, waiting for the other shoe to drop, just so my little voice can have a good laugh and say "I told you so!"
And writing about how bad things are generally keeps the little voice away. Writing about how good things are--well, that just makes him* speak up.
*Of course the little voice is a man, what did you expect?
Okay-- I signed up for "Blogxchng", which is a service I found on another blog. You can see the link under the blogroll (if I did it right). It's a place to register your site so that other people can find you, and so you can find new blogs. Seems pretty cool, and it's free, so I signed up.
I think I was being impulsive. Because all of a sudden I feel kind of nauseous. Now random people are going to be directed to my blog. They will probably be expecting to be amused or at least interested, and they will be sorely disappointed. Ack! What have I done?
Also--I feel like blogging is addictive. And you can waste a lot of time reading blogs. Currently I spend most of naptime either writing my blog or reading others. When I could be doing more productive things. This signing up for Blogxchng is just going to get me in deeper.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
are harder than others. Some days it just all seems so endless and overwhelming. I'm awake for 45 minutes and I've already been working harder than I used to at the office all day. And there is still more to do.
What makes it even more depressing is that most of the work is not even remotely challenging or rewarding. At least when you are working, there is a sense of accomplishment, a certain amount of pride that comes with doing your job. Of course I am proud of my job as a mother, but here there is no one to validate that feeling. At work, you get a paycheck, you get pats on the back, you get the respect of your peers. But here, at home . . it's not like Isaac and Vivian are doling out strokes every time I fold their clothes for them. And I can't validate myself either--after all, folding laundry is not rocket science. An 8 year old could do what I do.
Changing dirty diapers, taking out the trash, changing the sheets, grocery shopping, cooking, feeding, cleaning, bathing, paying bills, sweeping--GOD. Thankless, thankless, thankless grunt work. And it ALL has to been done, SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. Over and over and over again, no end in sight.
Every night I lie in bed and think of things I need to do the next day. People I haven't talked to in ages who deserve a phone call, doctors' appointments (mine) to make, letters to write. And every day for that 1.5 hours when both kids are asleep, it's all I can do to clean up the kitchen from lunch and lay down on the couch for some TiVo. Or pop on the computer to blog. So the next night I make the same list in my head, and add whatever else I've thought of that day. (Arrange rental cars for Hawaii, send thank you notes from the birthday party, make reservation for Lance's birthday dinner . . .)
To all my good friends out there who I have lost touch with, I'm sorry. To my dentist and OB, who keep sending me "Its time for a check-up!" notices, I'm trying. To Grandma, who is having a hard time and who really needs some love, I am going to call you soon, I promise. Really!
I am just struggling ever so slightly today, but tomorrow will be better.
Update: since I am feeling particularly whiny and woe-is-me today, I'll just add this: Vivian, the incessant crying, fussing and whining for no apparant reason is really wearing. So stop it already.