Saturday, August 30, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
A gaggle of girls with a gaggle of boyfriends and wild parties and too much drinking and skipped classes and driving when we shouldn't and microwaved egg sandwiches and guys named Larry that would show up unexpectedly with bags of chicken wings and other goodies. It's a miracle that we didn't all flunk out that year.
It had been ten years or more since some of us had seen each other, longer than I ever would have imagined after the year we spent living in that dump of a house. Ten years, four husbands, two fiancees, and seven kids later, but we didn't miss a beat. As much as things had changed - we are now mothers, wives, professionally employed, stay-at-home-moms, we all still laugh exactly the same way.
And to find each other, after all these years, and still have so much to talk about. That is truly special. I feel so lucky.
I had no idea how much I missed you all until I saw you, no idea how short a weekend could be, and I think my heart will ache a little for each of you until we're all together again.
Friday, August 22, 2008
To be clear, I'm not afraid of blood, or stitches, or doctors. I AM afraid of hospitals, but mostly because I think of them as places people go to die. I know others have different associations, but I do not, so the idea of bringing my sick or injured child there is scary to me.
Honestly, just the idea of Oscar bleeding or in need of emergency medical services is scary to me. I worry I won't be able to keep it together, although I have a good track record, as I'll relay in a moment. But, my baby, bleeding? Oh, god, the horror.
Why am I so certain he'll end up in the ER with a gaping wound? There is the fact that he's some kind of kamikaze child, climbing on and diving off of things, tearing around without a care for what crawls over top of or hits with his head. But mostly, it's history:
1979: Nelson is taken to the ER after swallowing a quarter.
1983: My mom rushes me to the ER with a blazing fever and ear infection so sever it damages my hearing for life
1986: My Auntie Sharon rushes me to the ER after I shred my left arm by putting it through her storm door. Miraculously, no stitches.
1988: My mom and neighbor rush me to the ER after the neighbor's son pushes me off a swing and onto the concrete, cracking my head open, resulting in four stitches.
1989: Nelson is taken to the ER for 10 stitches after BEING HIT BY A CAR while riding his bike.
1990: While babysitting my brother, he puts him arm through a panel of glass in our French Doors, resulting in 28 stitches. This wound was so deep, it was literally gaping. I thought he'd lost a chunk of flesh.
1992: My brother falls while riding his bike and the chain spokes get lodged in his calf. He promptly rips them out. My mom calls me home from the neighbor's "to look at your brother's leg," (my mom does not do so well around blood.) I look and see four deep wounds with FAT spilling out of them. PJ says, "Mom said I just need a band aid." On my very calm recommendation, he's taken to the ER and gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 stitches and no band aids.
Also, sometime in the early 80s, my cousin Chuck put his arm through a window resulting in like 120-something stitches.
So, as you can see, chances are very good that Oscar will have at least two trips to the ER, and one will most likely involve him putting his arm through a window.
This scares the crap out of me, but the thing that scares me most is my own reaction. Will I be able to keep my cool? I was NOT cool when I was the one injured. I was a crying, freak-out mess. But, when my brother was injured, I was very calm and collected both times.
I hope I don't panic. God, don't let me panic. Because he WILL get hurt and I WILL have to handle it. Crap.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The other morning, I got dressed and was brushing my teeth, per usual. Except when I went to spit the tooth paste foam out of my mouth, instead of landing in the sink, IT LANDED ON MY BOOB. As in, my boobs are so big, they OBSCURE the sink. And I don't mean a little spray of tooth paste foam landed on my boob, I mean the whole freakin mouthful.
Boobs larger than sinks = bio hazard. And I'm not even going to start on the amount of crumbs, etc. that get caught in my bra between my cleavage, since my freakishly large boobs also completely obscure whatever plate I'm eating over top of. I swear it's a veritable crumb shower when I undress in the evenings. It's like I need a bib or something.
So, here are some folks I like reading that I think are worth your having a read. Because sometimes it is good to share the love, as a few bloggers I read regularly have done lately.
One of my new favorite blogs to date is Hey, You! Remember Me?! written by anonymous blogger, That Girl. She a mom and wife in her late 20s that writes about her past and the people who have shaped her life as a way of remembering where she came from. I guess I'd call it a nostalgia blog. So many times I read one of her posts and think, "Hey, I was that girl!" She's funny, and moving, and thought provoking. If you're not reading her, you are totally missing out.
Have you met Mike Spohr? An at-home-dad, Mike's blog, Newborn Identity chronicles his funny and touching experience as as Dad to Maddie, a tenacious 9-month-old who was born three months premature. Maddie had a rough start at life, but is now beautiful, thriving little girl. Go see what they're up to!
Lastly, I think I'll send you over to Sleep Deprivation Ninja. He's a new dad and even newer blogger, but he's really on to something. Not your typical daddy blogger, the Ninja blends reality with fantasy, so what sounds like a morning commute can turn into a ninja-flying, ass-kicking, evasion of the law. Really funny and unique stuff.
So enjoy these folks while I dig out from the mess that is my home. I'll be back. Here's a photo of Oscar, feeding himself oatmeal to hold you over. And yes, he got more oatmeal on his face than in his mouth. But it was fun.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
When he was first born, I remember thinking about how he fit perfectly under my arm to nurse, and how ideal the size of his body was for cradling. I could carry him in the crook of my elbow. It was like he belonged there.
As he got bigger, he still fit right into the curves of my body, like a piece of a puzzle, while nursing or just being carried around. His legs wrapped around my right hip and supported by my right hand. We were made for each other.
Even now, as a big boy, his still tiny bottom fits perfectly in the nest of my lap. When I rock him to sleep at night, his left arm hooked around my neck and his head resting on my right shoulder, we fit together perfectly. It's almost like my body is a canyon and he is the river that shapes me as he careens violently towards adulthood.
I am different for having birthed him, for having known him.
He pulls away now, walking, learning, becoming an individual and I am proud of him. Even as I cheer him on and want him to go further, to learn more, to be more; the physical void I feel as he grows up aches mercilessly.
Although he is moving on from me, our connection is still strong. We have created each other and nurtured each other. I will always long for him and for the days when I was his whole universe and he was mine.
I am trying to let go, but it's hard when I feel the need to hold on so tightly.
Monday, August 18, 2008
We have our house professionally cleaned every two weeks. I keep it up pretty well in the meantime, but they do the heavy dusting, the floors, under the furniture, stuff like that. Well, two weeks ago, the cleaned my fridge. They took everything out and scoured the shelves, and put everything back in a way that was significantly more organized than it has ever been. In the year and a half they've been coming here, they've never done the fridge before. I didn't even ask them to do it. I'm going to marry my cleaning crew. They are the best husband ever.
My college roommates are coming into town this weekend, yay! I'm so excited. We've been planning this get together for months, since before I knew I was pregnant even, and we have all really been looking forward to it. It's been ten years since I've seen some of them. I've drunk hundreds (thousands?) of beers, shots, etc. with these women, but this weekend I can have nary a glass of wine and I probably won't make it past 10PM. But, whatever because I'm still excited.
Oscar is now walking about 80% of the time. He's gone from baby to little boy over night. Sniff.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their grace and their beauty. What I don't appreciate is their giant teeth and skittish nature. They are so big, and so strong, they could easily kill a human. So, why the crap to we mount them and stick things in their mouths and smack them with whips to make them run faster? I mean, I know why: money. But still, maybe a little more respect?
I used to babysit this little girl, Lauren. She was my first ever babysitting gig. I actually used to babysit for her and her little sister, Alex and her littler sister, Ryan. And, I heard the other day that there is also a fourth sister. Oh my god, do you know what? Lauren is like 22-years-old now. Holy crap, I'm old.
Anyway, Lauren. So, when it was just Lauren and I was like 12 or 13 I was babysitting her. We went for a walk to the stables by her house. There were all these horses there (duh.) She was maybe 3 or 4 at the time. She wanted to pet one, so against my better (13-year-old) judgement, I held her up so she could stroke the horse's muzzle.
She loved it! She was so cute, saying things like "His nose feels like velvet" and "His eyes look like water." And then I noticed that the horse was getting kind of "into" Lauren, like rooting in her armpit or something.
Well, he wasn't rooting in her armpit, he was EATING HER JACKET!!! That's when I first noticed the horse's teeth. Have you ever noticed a horse's teeth? They're huge and yellow and nas-ty.
I didn't want to alarm Lauren or alert her to the fact that the horse was trying to consume her, so I just carefully pulled her arm out of the jacket, put her down, and proceeded to wrestle the horse for control of the jacket. Okay, not really the wrestling part. I just pulled really hard and got the jacket out of the horse's mouth.
We proceeded home. The end. Except, who knew horse's were omnivorous? I knew they liked hey and grass and oats and carrots, but polyester jackets? Isn't that more goat-like behavior?
Another reason I fear horses: When I was 11 or so, we went to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins up in upstate New York. I've never been anywhere so rural in my life, and I grew up in the country. I remember taking a bath there and the water was green because it came from the creek a 1/4 of a mile from their house. It was crazy.
Anyways, visiting my aunt and uncle, which I always loved because up until that point I hadn't been living in the country, I'd been living in the city. So we'd do things like play in the woods and have crab apple fights and experience nature. Good stuff.
My aunt and uncle had a horse, Gambit. Gambit lived in a small barn inside a paddock. The paddock was lined with electric fence to keep him in. Someone suggested I go outside and feed Gambit some carrots, so I went in the paddock and fed him some carrots.
But Gambit got overzealous with his carrot eating. He so enjoyed them that he basically descended upon me. I had to back up, as not to be, you know, trampled. And I backed right into the electric fence. YEOUCH! I'm not sure how I actually got out of this situation (probably my aunt rescued me) but the lesson I learned is be nice to a horse and it tries to electrocute you.
So horses = falling, jacket eating, electrocuting = I am terrified of them.
The end. Really.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I walk into the kitchen to make myself a cheese sandwich and it gets quiet. Too quiet.
I come back in the room and I see one kid happily waving a sippy cup lid. For a second, I think, "Well, he's not crying." Then I realize if he's waving the lid, the cup, and it's contents must have gone somewhere. Somewhere onto my floor. And into a basket of books.
By the time I returned with towels to clean up the mess, one kid is sitting in the water and one is jumping up and down in it. I should have given up at this point, but I endured, drying floor and toddlers alike. Luckily only one of them required a wardrobe change.
After the wardrobe change, newly dry toddler insists on play on the couch, which is against the rules because squarely toddlers have a way of falling off the couch. Temper tantrum ensues.
I give. I allow couch playing. Toddler falls off the couch in maybe 30 seconds. No injuries, except to his ego. But, oh, the crying.
Crying abates, and couch player is content with playing with Ride-to-Stride Tonka truck. Toddler two decides to join in the fun, and attempts to sit on Tonka truck. But it is set up in "stride" mode, so he can't sit on it. Oh, the crying. He tries to sit on it again. Oh, even more crying.
So, do I switch it to "ride" mode, pissing off the first toddler and placating the second? I ponder this as the first toddler begins crying in sympathy.
Using my skills of distraction, I manage to assuage all tears. For the moment.
Other fights broken up prior to 2PM include the No-I-Want-THAT-Sippy-Cup-And-I'll-Slap-You-In-The-Face-To-Get-It fight and the Isn't-It-Fun-When-I-Jump-Up-And-Down-While-Pushing-Your-Head fight, which has the bonus of potential spinal cord injuries.
Is it nap time yet? Because I'm tired. And I still haven't had my cheese sandwich.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
He says it when he's finished with breakfast, "Noooo. No."
He says it with a smile, when he's doing something he's not supposed to do, like turning on the TV or playing with the computer wires, "No!"
He says it when Danny takes a toy from him, or is playing with a toy he wants, "No. No. No."
He says it when it's time to go down for a nap, but he doesn't want to, "Nnnnnnoooooooo!"
He mumbles it while play with his blocks or little people, "No no no no no no no no no no."
He says it if a toy, book, person, or dog is in his way of crawling/walking, "No no no!
He says it as he hands me a book he'd like me to read to him, "No."
He says it when the dogs bark, "NO!"
He says it all the while his dad is getting him dressed for bed, "NO! No! Nonononononononono!"
I think he's even saying it in his sleep. He says it so often, I'm not sure it's even a real word anymore. And it stopped being cute about 4,000 "nos" ago.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Oscar is seriously ready for size four diapers, but I still have an entire sleeve of size threes, and then some. I'm trying to be frugal and use up what we have, but we've had some major pee and/or poop outs recently. I'm not sure how much longer my love of frugality can win out over my hate of leaking poop and pee. I've got about two weeks worth left though, so I'm hoping I can stay strong.
Speaking of poop, have I told you how I can no longer change a poopy diaper without gagging? This is since becoming pregnant. It's gotten better, but it's still pretty bad. The worst is when I can smell Oscar's poopy diaper in the bedroom while I'm standing in the hallway. With the door closed. No, the worst is when I think I'm changing a pee and then SURPRISE! it's poop. Really, really bad, folks.
The dog hair in my house in out of control. OOC. The nesting is kicking in hardcore and I can't take the mess of it. It always happens this time of year, particularly after we've had a massive heat wave, but this is the worst year ever. I usually vacuum every-other-day, but the past week I've been vacuuming TWICE a day, and there are still piles of dog hair everywhere. These are the moments I wish we had no pets.
We're going to start getting Oscar's toddler room ready this weekend so he can transition out of the nursery sometime next month. My desire to do things The Right Way and my husbands desire to do things The Easy Way will once again be in direct opposition. I anticipate arguments galore. Thank god I'm pregnant because that means I definitely win and the room will look much better for it.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Let me begin:
1. Flying - It has never scared me, ever. I actually wanted to be a pilot for a long time when I was a kid. I love it. Have you ever flown into Vegas at night? You must. It is a sight to behold.
2. Heights - Not scary at all. I love being high in the air. See above.
3. Ghosts - My mother is convinced that the house we lived in when I was little was haunted, and that I saw ghosts all the time. I'd ask her who they were, "Mom, who's that man over there," and no one would be there (I was a creepy kid.) Because I grew up thinking they were just part of our household, they never scared me, and still don't. I am, however, afraid of monsters, but that's another post.
4. Public Speaking - Are you kidding me? I love the lime light. I played the Cowardly Lion in the school play and was a scene stealing success. Puddem' up, puddem' up!
5. Standing up for Myself - Seriously, you do not want to mess with me. When I was 22 or 23, I had a man GROPE me on the street. Not only did call him an extremely foul name, but I pointed him out to all passers by on the street, and began going after him. So did another good Samaritan, in a car. He ran (we did not catch him), and hopefully, stopped groping women in the street.
6. Terrorism - I worked three blocks from the White House on 9-11 and could see the smoke from the Pentagon before the rest of the world even knew what had happened. I was evacuated. I came back to work several days later to have tanks and MPs with machine guns staring me down on every street corner. It was when I saw the MPs that I decided I was not going to be afraid, because I just couldn't live my life that way. It's pretty liberating.
7. Bad Haircuts - I've had lots of them. Hair always grows back. I'd rather take a risk and have it turn out poorly than live my entire life with the same boring bangs.
8. The Snow - Bring it on! I love, love, love snow. I don't even mind driving in it, although I much prefer playing in it.
9. Change - I do not fear change. Not only do I embrace it, I thrive on it. When I worked outside of the home, I changed jobs ever few years. I love mixing it up. I like going new places and doing new things. Like I said before, who wants to live their life with the same boring bangs?
10. Natural child birth - This is mostly because I've done it before, but I wasn't afraid of it even prior to Oscar's birth. I just told myself that yes, it would hurt, and it was going to hurt far worse than I could ever imagine. But it was not going to hurt more than I could stand. Because women have been giving birth for literally thousands of years and if it was that awful, our species would have stopped procreating long ago.
So, there you have it. Ten things that I'm not at all afraid of. I'm way more brave than you thought, right?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
To start, Oscar is now refusing breakfast. Other than his drinkable yogurt, he won't consume anything. Maybe a quarter of a piece of toast, but he'll make faces the whole time. He's been interested in self feeding with a spoon so I tried oatmeal and he puts it in his mouth, but again, the face. Applesauce he just dumps from the bowl. No to peanut butter toast, no to Cinnamon toast, no to Cheerios, no to eggs. It seems unless it's something I'm eating for breakfast, he's not interested.
And then there is Nelson, the great money-spending phenom. Now, this is partly my fault because I let him see the balances in our bank accounts. While I was in Santa Cruz, he had to transfer some money from our "Emergency Fund" to have his car fixed. So he saw all the balances. When our expensive German luxury car needed new breaks, he opted to let the dealer do these repairs at a cost that was approximately four hundred dollars higher than non-dealer cost.
Four hundred dollars?! I was shocked. Why, I asked him, why would you make this decision? His response, "Well, they were already changing the oil and doing the service repair, and when I saw how much money we had in the bank I figured we'd just have them do it."
And you know what? We DID have a lot of money in the bank. MONEY TO PAY OUR MORTGAGE, which is, you know, A LOT OF MONEY.
So, I'm trying really hard not to be annoyed at my husband for squandering our money or my son for refusing breakfast every morning, but I'm finding it difficult.
Oh, and did I mention that there is some weird new trend in my house putting garbage on the counter and not in the trash can? What's up with that? And putting dirty dishes on the counter and not in the sink. I gave up on having anyone else put them in the dishwasher a long, long time ago, but now it seems the three extra feet over to the sink is just too far to travel to deposit dishes.
And while I'm on the subject of dishes, I'm tired of doing them all. Tired of it. And I'm not doing it anymore.
I see what is coming on the horizon. A pregnancy melt down, in which I end up humiliating myself in a sobbing heap begging for just a little help around here. And by help I mean, put trash in the trash can, put dishes in the sink, clean up after YOURSELF, put dirty clothes in the hamper. This will result in help for possibly one week. And you know what? I'll take it.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Two or three nights ago, he was wailing in his crib sometime after 9PM, refusing to sleep. Nelson went up to lay down with him, and that did not help at all. So I went up to lay down with him. Which also did not work at all.
When Little Man saw me, he was overjoyed, shrieking, laughing, crawling straight towards me. He proceeded to laugh and poke and kiss me for the next 30 minutes. And, I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed it. It was fun. Oscar is funny and sweet and I cherish these moments with him, although they do get old after an hour or so.
I finally got out of bed, rocked him for a minute, and put him in his crib. He promptly fell asleep. It seems he just needed a little more "Mommy Time" before he was ready to sack out.
And, again, nothing earth-shattering here. Even though he typically sleeps through the night, I know we have several more years of occasional sleep fights and night wakings. This is just part of parenthood and I know that.
But my mind flashed forward five months, when I have a newborn constantly attached to my boob, am suffering from extreme sleep deprivation and PPD, have not showered or eaten a decent meal in a week, my husband is back to work full-time and my mom has headed back home to South Carolina. What happens then?
What happens when my then 18-month-old wakes with nightmares and I'm nursing my infant on what I'm sure will be ravaged nipples for the third time that night? What happens when he wants me to read him a book or play with his little people and I don't have a free hand? When he's throwing a poop-filled diaper across the room when I doze off for the briefest of seconds? What about when he just wants to sit on my always filled lap or snuggle in my newborn-filled arms?
I work so hard every day to be a good enough mom for Oscar. To play with him enough, to hug and kiss him enough, to laugh with him and tickle him enough. Being a mom is a good gig, don't get me wrong, but it's tough to constantly give, give, give of yourself all day. Exhausting, even.
How am I going to be able to still be a good and attentive mom to Oscar when I know for at least three months I'll be too tired to think, let alone see, straight? When the arms and lap that have belonged to only to him for the last 17 months suddenly have to be shared? When my every waking moment can no longer be devoted to him?
I keep telling myself all this will work itself out. We are hardly the first family to add a second child to our brood. But I still can't envision how I'm going to manage, how it's all going to work.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
However, my BFF who I've know for 20 years LOVES karaoke and has a darn good voice to boot. Seriously. So, karaoke it was for her 30th birthday.
Being that my BFF and I have been BFF for 20 years, I've been to lots and lots of karaoke joints in my day, and karaoke in Santa Cruz was by far the most bizarre and entertaining and bizarre one I've ever been to. There are just tons of weirdo locals that show up every week. And I took photos.
Lets start with this guy:
He goes by the name of Orange Man. I'm thinking that's because of the orange hair. And socks. And shorts. Technically, he could have also gone by Yellow Man, but whateves. He went totally ballistic singing Back in Black. The spittle was flying people.
Now, check out this motley bunch:
(sorry for the poor photo quality.) You may be thinking this is once again Orange Man. You'd be wrong. This is *ahem* Psychic. And not only did he bring his own music (some German death metal) he also brought props in the form of four glowing cubes that he placed on the floor and danced around. Until he tried to juggle them. TRIED.
And, there were more. There was this super old Italian guy that sang Dean Martin one minute, then for his next song he donned giant pink clown glasses and sang Play that Funky Music (a real crowd pleaser.) A woman who wore a blond wig and did off key spoken word to Blondie's Heart of Glass (awful), a super supportive guy who sang 80s rock (he wasn't very good, but was uber supportive of all the other singers.)
And, then, there was my BFF:
Right here, she's singing What's Up? by Four Non Blonds. She was so freaking awesome, that she drew a crowd OUTSIDE the bar. There were like 15 people like up in front of the windows watching her. And she got a standing ovation. And, like 7 of the outside fans came in to enjoy more karaoke. I'm not even kidding. She kicked major behind.
I did not sing, but I did have the best time I've had sober at a karaoke bar in my entire life. And that's saying something, people.