Bullets are appropriate for Friday

  • The bathroom renovation is, I’d say, three quarters complete. Sheet Rock Chris and Tile Chris are both here now and doing their respective things.
  • I have run every other day for a week now and made it 2.2 miles at about an 11 minute pace, which is decent for a beginner and someone not training for a race. I have not weighed myself, however. Tomorrow, I am going to add another mile to my run. If I can do 3, I’m going to sign up for some 5ks, just for fun. Actually, to get out of the house for a while, selfish as that is.
  • I’m getting so incredibly sick of the programming on Nick Jr that we’ve started watching old cartoons on the Boomerang channel. Elliot has now been introduced to Tom and Jerry and a boatload of Popeye.
  • Isaac was 6 weeks old yesterday. He’ll sleep most anywhere we go and if he wakes, he’s good. I can’t believe it’s already been 6 weeks though. As you know, time flies… Before I know it, he’s going to be Elliot’s age.
  • Next weekend, Elliot has two birthday parties to attend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday, they’re at the SAME PLACE. God help us but it’s a gigantic warehouse full of bouncies. I am going to lose my mind, I am sure of it.
  • Being housebound due to the workers is making me nuts. Not that I would leave but I don’t like having that option taken away. I could so go for a latte right now, as Isaac woke me twice last night instead of once, which I was getting used to.
  • Tomorrow, my plan is to clean this house and I think I’ll start feeling normal again after all this remodel junk. Wish me luck.

Forward momentum

There are decisions you make that you  think will be Big Deals. I’m reluctant to go back to work early but I believe that’s something I’m solid on now. Only by two weeks, but still.  I have to; financial stability is important these days. I haven’t called Isaac’s daycare lady but it probably won’t be a problem. This time around, maternity leave was… different. I both enjoy it and loathe it. Days aren’t really long or boring as I thought they would be. Somehow the time has gone exceedingly fast; Isaac is two days away from 6 weeks and I am blown away by this fact. What the hell have I been doing in that time?? I couldn’t say.

Though it could totally jinx us, I’ll tell you that he’s leveling off now. There were a couple really rough weeks there and he was Fussy and Inconsolable and I was seriously losing touch with my sanity. But he’s been a heck of a lot better lately. I’ve been able to take him out and we even went to dinner with friends the other night. I was worried because evening is usually his fussiest time of the day. But he slept the whole time. And speaking of sleeping, the past two nights I have bathed, fed, and put him down around 9:30 and he’s slept between 5 and 6 hours, only waking me once in the night.  In some ways, I attribute this to actually sticking to a routine. I don’t think we bothered putting Elliot down that early because it seemed like he was totally awake from about 8 PM to 2 AM. We probably could have though; new parents just don’t grasp those concepts.

I feel like I am better equipped this time around, even though there are days – usually Sundays – when I feel weak and lame and completely incapable of handling even the smallest tasks. I don’t know why; maybe it’s because I easily fall into the mindset of selfishness. I don’t get a lot of things for myself these days and even though I am not typically materialistic or selfish in that manner, I find myself getting cranky about this. Like yesterday, I didn’t get to read my book at all and that annoyed me. Reading is one of the few things that is solely mine, even though the majority of the time, I have to do it while breastfeeding. In my head a little voice – Elliot’s – echoes “mine!”. He has no worries about looking like a fool and yelling this about all kinds of stuff. When I steal away for a mere second the bathroom or to feed Isaac and read, my internal voice growls, “Mine. My time. Go away.”

I think as a parent you have to pocket these little things in order to maintain your sanity. At least some shred of it. I will otherwise lose it; send Elliot to his room, dump the baby in Ash’s arms and run screaming to my car to get far far away from the fray. But that’s all part of being a parent. You pay your dues now but the payoff is great.

Six week post-partum check up in 30 minutes. I’m off like a prom dress, y’all.

Resurfacing

Since the in-law visit, I have been, well, away. For starters, my computer sort of died so I reloaded it only to have that problem again. Luckily, we have a backup laptop. My sister and her boyfriend came one day after the in-laws left and then our weekend was busy and now, our bathroom remodel has begun. Well, our bath tub replacement, which is sort of avalanching into a bathroom remodel. There’s always something else that comes up, isn’t there?  What kind of tile and what sorts of fixtures? Now we need a sheetrock guy and oh, we ought to take this opportunity to put in an exhaust fan. Then we are sandwiching the tub installment between the tile guy’s demo and tile replacement. It’s all sort of nuts and chaos and oh what I wouldn’t give for a Subway tuna sandwich and a shower right now.

I took Ell to daycare then came home to meet the tile guy and then, on a rare silent moment from Isaac, ate some Lean Cuisine cardboard. The worst part about these home improvement things, to me, is making the right decisions. I have a hard time trusting any workers. I am sure they’re probably on the level – especially our plumber because we’ve always used him – but you can only watch so many shows on HGTV about botched jobs before you don’t trust anyone.

I feel so bound by this project. Have to be here, waiting. The tile guy just finished cleaning and left but now I am waiting for a sheet rock guy to come give me an estimate. I would much rather leave the house for thirty minutes; save my sanity.

OK, So THOSE guys came and went and OMG, you guys, I get to take a shower! It’s the little things in life, you know?

In-laws!

Remember that scene in Addams Family Values where Debbie comes in with the shotgun and says that? Yeah, just me then

OK!

So,  Ash’s father and his wife got in last night and now, everyone but me and the baby are getting his brother from the airport. We have a lot planned so that’s what I’ll be doing all weekend. But tell me: what are you doing this weekend and what would you rather be doing?

Fairies and birthday presents

SO, Elliot has been to a few birthday parties but yesterday he received his first invitation from another kid at school. (Daycare, whatever.) I know that in public schools, you can’t send out invites unless EVERYone gets to come, which is lame lame lame. When I was a kid, you didn’t worry about offending people that didn’t get invited because chances were, they didn’t care anyway. You didn’t invite them because they weren’t your friend. So it didn’t matter. But that’s not the point.

The invitation has Tinkerbell on it and the party is apparently being held at a hotel here in town. There was a small piece of paper tucked inside requesting – no, very seriously making clear – that everyone RSVP by the 17th so that “all children may receive a costume and a goodie bag.” Costume? What kind of 3 year old party is this going to be? We are so intrigued that we are definitely going. If nothing else than to see what kind of bar the other parents are setting for their kids turning three.

For Elliot’s first birthday we went all out: lots of beer, people and decorations. For his second, we didn’t invite as many people and didn’t really play it up. But this year? We’ll have to actually invite his friends. And have things he wants to do. I’m thinking we have it somewhere I don’t have to clean up. I’m thinking at a park or playground. Because then the kids can go blow the stink off by running around away from me then reconvene to get all messy with cake. And then their parents can take ‘em home and we can up and leave too.

But here’s a question: what do you get a three year old girl? Do I assume she likes fairies/Disney princess junk? Or should I go gender neutral and get something educational or just fun? I don’t know much about this stuff because a.) I have boys and b.) I never liked dolls or make-up or anything pink or girlie when I was little. I was into Legos and Ghostbusters and drawing.

So, if you have any suggestions, that’d be awesome. I’m at a loss and have about a week and a half to get some kind of gift!

A little game, eh?

randomtuesday

I haven’t done this in a long time! But now’s my chance.

Ok ok so… random huh? Well, here goes:

So, there’s a family who live at our same number house, just on one street over. And they’re really nice and have a four year old and a one year old. The mom does a lot of things with our neighbourhood, like planning the yearly get-together, etc. We’ve spoken a lot and I pass their house whenever I walk. So, knowing I had a brand new baby, she came by last Sunday with a couple brownies and a tupperware of red beans and rice. How nice! But here’s the part that makes me feel like a complete and total asshole. I took a bite of a brownie and it was one of the worst things I have ever put into my mouth. It had this dirt-like consistency and god, how do you screw up brownies? And to boot, the beans and rice were utterly flavorless. It was the kindest gesture but pointless overall. I know; I’m just mean.

*******
We watched The Invention of Lying last night and it was nothing that I expected it to be but was utterly fascinating. If no one could tell a lie, this world would flat out suck. We’d have nothing to believe in, no hope, hardly any happiness. Their only happiness lay in ignorance, which is as you already know, is bliss. But the movie got me thinking about how believing in things that may or may not happen or be “true” doesn’t necessarily make them lies. I really enjoyed it.
*******
REMOVED
*******
Whenever I go to the store, with or without child, I am paranoid about having spit up or some other baby substance on me. I don’t remember being this way with Elliot but Isaac spews forth great amounts of fluids all day every day so the likelihood of some of that resting on my shoulder or streaked down the front of my shirt is great. And it never fails to totally unnerve me.
*******
Elliot, who can count to 20, sing his ABCs and other songs, is now mixing things up. He’ll count to ten from about 6, then roll in “w x y and z now I know my ABCs how I wonder what you are.” It’s like all his new knowledge is jumbled up in his brain and sometimes I look at his huge nogging – seriously, the boy has a gigantic head (Go to 1:42) – and it must beso full of information, working in overdrive, that he can’t even get it all straight, he has to put it all into one big outpouring of chatter. But I am amazed by him every single day. Looking at Isaac and how little he can do makes me realize how grown up Elliot is now. How independent and smart that boy is. It’s enough to make a mom cry.
Ok, that’s all for now. Be sure to check out the other people playing along at home. I love that Un-mom site.

Ten things I learned this week

  1. Isaac cries a lot if he’s tired but he can’t just fall asleep. He has to be calmed via walking around the house or possibly held upright. Otherwise, the crying is uncontrollable and constant.
  2. In the Iron workers’ Union, Chicago is Local 1, because that’s the first place they started building skyscrapers.
  3. Babies tend to sleep better on their stomachs; you’re just not “supposed” to do it. Oh well.
  4. After fighting the temptation to even care a smidgen about the iPad, I think I may just want one. A little.
  5. I’m a total sucker for romance novels. There, I said it. But only of the vampire persuasion. I wanted to fight it a little longer but there’s no use; I’m a lost cause. Bring it on.
  6. You CAN take a complete shower in less than five minutes, if that’s all the time the baby will afford you.
  7. Transformers 2 sucked even harder the second time I saw it. And I hate Megan Fox.
  8. If you are on deferred probation in Florida, no matter your offense, if you were to, say, be in the car with someone and that driver gets a speeding ticket, you would automatically be arrested. Our justice system makes no sense.
  9. I’m feeling a lot more confident about my parenting this time around but sometimes when he cries all crazy, I get tense and really don’t feel like I can handle anything.
  10. Weekends with two kids are ROUGH but I have the best boys in the world and Mother’s Day rocked.

I like to share

Here’s an excerpt from something I found on the Black Dagger Brotherhood website. J.R. Ward, the author, wrote some smaller “Slice of life” pieces to accompany the novels. This part makes me feel like I could write a novel. But mostly, it just makes me want to read more and more of this stuff.

“Releasing her vein, he collapsed into her hair as he shuddered and bucked.

And then there was only their desperate breathing.

Dizzy, out of it, satiated, he lifted his head. Then his arm.

He bit into his own wrist and brought it to her lips. As she nursed quietly, he stroked her hair with a gentle hand and felt a stupid fucking weak-ass urge to tear up.

When her blue black eyes lifted to his, everything disappeared. Their bodies dematerialized. The room they were in ceased to exist. Time became nothing.

And in the void, in the worm hole, Wrath’s chest opened up sure as if he’d been shot, a piercing pain licking over his nerve endings.

He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it’s from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birth right and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn’t breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine.

And sometimes it’s from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up.

And sometimes it’s age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health.

But sometimes it’s just because you’re looking into the eyes of your lover and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows… because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn’t run scared or turn away, they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear… or your combination of both.

Wrath closed his eyes and focused on the soft pulls at his wrist. God, they were just like the beat of his heart. Which made sense.

Because she was the center of his chest. And the center of his world.

He opened his eyes and let himself fall into all that midnight blue.

“I love you, leelan.”

Now, I command thee: go out and buy these books!

Goods and bads; day to day

Maybe you don’t want to know about this but I bought a new product today, one that actually works and benefits me, the breastfeeding mother.
The Milk Saver is a wonderful invention that catches the milk that leaks from the side on which you are not feeding your baby. Some women don’t leak that much in general but this being my second kid, I already know how my body is. This is a product made for me. In three feedings alone today I have saved almost 4 ounces of milk. Why would I want to do this, you ask? Because Isaac is unpredictable. With Elliot, I knew that if I fed him, he’d be good to go for 2-3 hours and I could run errands during this time. Isaac can have just eaten – on both sides – and still want food in ten minutes. Or is it gas? Or is it that he needs to spit up? And then once he spits up, he’s all upset for some reason. This happened to us in Target today. I was “that” mom with the crying, inconsolable baby. He screamed his little red head off the entire drive home, only thirty minutes after a relatively large “meal”. When I got him home, he snacked for five minutes and promptly passed out for nearly two hours.

Sigh.

BUT, the upswing of the day is that I harvested some milk in the event this happens again I can pop a bottle in his mouth in hopes that our next quickly south-turning outing will be fixed. And also? I worked out while he slept. Yup. Got my sports bra on, my running shoes… opened to my page in the first book of this series, (You may judge me; I’m not afraid to tell you how addicted I have become to trashy vampire novels.) and got down to business with the elliptical. And man, that 30 minutes made my entire world seem brighter. Well, and the fact that the sun is finally shining. Days and days of gloom have brought me down something fierce.

I’m glad to be feeling better. Things are never as bad as they seem, even when your kid cries for no reason.

Sometimes babies just cry, right?

There’s this weird circular diagram in one of my parenting books that shows a 24 hour cycle of newborns. It has periods of wakefulness, sleeping, eating, and crying. I don’t remember Elliot being a very loud or fussy baby so I wrote this off as bunk. Well, Isaac is so totally NOT Elliot and he does indeed have periods of flat out crying. Typically this happens right around 5-7 PM, which is prime time to annoy the every living hell out of me. Ash is a big help but sometimes he’s doing things at that time. Like yesterday.

He and Kevin  went to Lowes and then came home to cut some wood for more add-ons to our rock wall. So I had the baby and Elliot and had to make E’s dinner. Sometimes, Isaac will fall asleep at the most opportune time but not yesterday. No, I had to make ravioli with him in the sling, which did nothing – NOTHING – for his state of mind. He just CRIED. Ash offered to hold the baby but I knew this was something I had to try to figure out. But there was honestly nothing to be done. Not feeding or changing or holding or music or soft voices or any of that other junk. FINALLY, I couldn’t take it and I cried. And I held him and rocked and after endless minutes of insane screaming, he fell asleep. And he stayed asleep through dinner and until midnight. So about 4 hours. I’m thinking he was just tired but couldn’t find sleep.

Ash knew I was getting really fed up and kindly went to pick up Outback take-out. It was just what I needed: someone to cook for ME. Someone to do something nurturing for ME. I spend all day feeding and changing and tending to the little one that – although I love him – I get pretty worn down. It sounds super selfish but I’ve been able to have my own free time since Elliot learned to sleep all night at 6 months. Though I knew it was coming, I wasn’t ready to give up so much of me. I hardly have time to read or write. What little free time I do find myself faced with is either spent napping in hopes it’s enough, cleaning, or taking care of Elliot and Ash. It’s not the hardest thing I ever had to do – no, that was definitely the first 6 weeks of Elliot’s life – but it’s difficult.

Since I brought him home, we’ve had a pattern to our morning. I take Elliot to school and Isaac sleeps in his carseat until I get home. While I do internet stuff, he usually sleeps; a good hour or two. Today? Nope. Fussy like yesterday. People keep saying it’s probably colic but I have read all about it and I seriously don’t think so. I JUST got him to sleep and you know what I did? I turned him so he’s on his front, head to the side. I KNOW this is not what you’re “supposed” to do but by God, he’s SLEEPING. And besides, I have a baby monitor. I can see and hear him.

SO, I am grateful for parenting techniques that defy the “rules”. I am struggling to make this work. I want him to be a calm happy baby. I don’t want to feel as frustrated and angry as I did with him yesterday. But every day is a new challenge and a new chance to make things better.