Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Year in Review

I’ve read that there is this blogging tradition of going back over your year at New Years’ time and linking to all the big stories of the year. Since I didn’t blog most of this year, I guess you will be saved a bunch of links to stories you probably skimmed the first time while I catch up on my need to share life.

So here it is: Mama’s 2008

January: Mama adjusted to life with a new baby and toddler. Breastfeeding did not go as well this time around and Mama turned into a one-woman dairy farm, and my firstborn got glasses.

Mama reluctantly decided in favor of an IUD. Let me just say this: If taking The Pill makes you an insane, raging lunatic to the point that your husband would rather face the prospect of never having sex again than share the unstable air that surrounds your hormone-ravaged self, ignore your doctor when he tells you that the level of hormones in an IUD is so much lower that “You’ll be fine.” You won’t be fine. You will find yourself locked in your bathroom to avoid screaming at your already terrified children while you beg the nurse on the phone to GET THIS THING OUT OF MY BODY. NOW. I can has Prozac?

February: After removal of the Foreign Offender, and some chemical assistance from a very remorseful obstetrician, the clouds began to part and I finally began the process of bonding with my precious baby. I can has The Love!

March: Mama went back to work. Mama also grew giant asparagus. I can has giant bowl of hollandaise?

April: Mama began a long, slow march back into the depths of depression. I still don’t know if this is about hormones, loss, or something else, but yeah, I’m going to go ahead and use the D word. I can has no jokes about this one, people.

May: Mama started a new blog, but it turns out that I wasn’t any more consistent over there than I am here.

June-July-August: We learned that Isaac had had what the doctor later called a “neurological reaction” to the DtAP vaccine, or at least to the “P” part. Mama and family made the tough decision to discontinue the Pertussis series, and we continue to learn what that means for us and for him. Hubby had a birthday, which will be recorded in history as The Birthday in Which the Wii Changed Our Lives. Mostly, we enjoyed the Galveston beaches and the summer.

September: Hurricane Ike left both our home and my parents cabin on the beach (The West End, for locals and compulsive news-watchers) miraculously untouched. We even had our power back on in a matter of hours, most likely because we live on the same grid as a major hospital. Unfortunately, the cold front that blew in the next night proved to be the straw that broke our municipal sewer system's back, and we woke up to several inches of water in our house. I can has a new wet-vac?

October: God is just good, people. Despite having 18” of drywall cut from the bottom of every wall in our house and losing all our downstairs flooring, the whole flood thing really brought mostly blessings into our home. We got a new front door out of deal, and we realized that we can count on our friends and family more that we could have imagined.

November: Did I leave out the part where Isaac stopped sleeping at night and stopped gaining weight around six months ago? As it turns out, my 75th Percentile Preemie hit twenty pounds at six months old and didn’t gain more than a couple of ounces by his first birthday. Between not wanting to eat anything that wasn’t served a-la-boob and raging ear infections that kept him on diarrhea-inducing antibiotics for most of the second half of his life thus far, no one was totally shocked. But we were concerned all the same. We decided to get tubes put in his ears, but the we missed the first scheduled surgery because he had The Croup. I can has Amoxicillin?

December: Isaac got the tubes in. The doctor told us he was in the Top Ten of all the babies he’s ever “tubed,” meaning there was more gunk in there than anyone had realized…and within 2 weeks he has another ear infection and has actually started sleeping less. So we’ve come full-circle and here I am back at the blog. I can has naptime? PLEEEZ?

New Year’s Resolution: Sleep more, feel better, enjoy my kids – I think it has to be in that order, but I’ll take it how I can get it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How do I say Goodbye?

I’ve loved doing this blog, and I’m not deleting it. Mama still really needs a nap, and I’m hoping that in time, I will find the balance that I need to come back to this blog and make it the thing that I want it to be.

The bottom line is that I can’t do that right now. Yes- I need to take time to write, to reflect, and to have something that is mine, but I need to take my focus a few degrees off of me. For now, you can find me here.

I love you all and I will miss you…but I’ll still be hangin’ out on your blogs, I promise!

P.S. If you have kids under 2, you need to read The Vaccine Book, by Robert Sears. When you are done, you just might know more than your doctor knows about vaccines.

~Mama

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Things that I worry about

Every. Single. Day. It’s stressful being mama.

-My daughter being hit by a car. This might be an every hour item, really.

-Getting kidney stones from drinking water out of water fountains. I didn’t say these things made any sense.

-Whether I unplugged/turned off the flat iron. The sad thing about this one is that I only straighten my hair 2 or 3 days a week.

-The cat getting out of the house and being hit by a car. Yes, I have a thing about cars.

-People staring at my eyebrows because they are too thick. This is why I sometimes have gaps in my eyebrows – I pull on them unconsciously. In my saner moments, I understand that the gaps are much more conspicuous than the thickness.

-My son not developing his baby skills on time. This is universal among parents of infants, I’m sure.

-That I am working outside the home too much.

-That I am not doing enough at my outside-the-home work.

-Roaches taking over my kitchen. This is not as crazy as it sounds – the roaches really are on the offensive at my house.

- David Cook losing American Idol because in the finale, they are going to make him sing some corny song and it will sound terrible. This one is a short-term issue.

-Getting a traffic ticket. Every time I see a police car, I start having conversations in my head explaining to the officer why I did whatever I imagine he is going to ticket me for doing.


-Whether anyone will hang around to read my blog after another day with no posts / after reading the post I wrote today. Then I convince myself that it really doesn’t matter if anyone reads it anyway.

Something that we do

Consistent blogging. Yeah. I’m not getting there. Now we have addressed the obvious, so let’s move on.

These days I just don’t feel like myself. Is it post-partum depression? I don’t think so, but my OB/GYN does. I think it is something more like grief, more like struggling to accept with my heart a decision that I’ve already made in my in head. Most people who read this blog can probably guess what that’s all about, but for the rest, I don’t mean to be vague but I just can’t see it in writing yet.

I love being a mother and I love my babies, but the fallout of being gloomy and exhausted is that I don’t always feel that affectionate towards them – or anyone else for that matter. These days, about a third of the times my daughter wraps her arms around my neck for a hug or smashes her face into my cheek for a kiss, my internal reaction is “please oh please just back off,” and not the rush of warm fuzzies that I am accustomed to feeling. I am careful to smile at her and give her a squeeze, but she knows something is not right. In case my heart was not broken enough at not being able to embrace her affection, she seems to have drawn the conclusion that if she hugs me more, I will feel better.

We have our good days, good times, happy moments. She still falls asleep in my arms at naptime and runs to be scooped off her feet when I pick her up from preschool. Yet I realize that even though it may be years away, the day is coming when she won’t want every hug I have to offer and every minute of my time I find to give. Realizing that my time to hold her is limited, I know that love needs to be something that we do rather than something that we feel. I know that I need to kiss away every tear and smile after every temper tantrum, read the same story a thousand times and pretend to be Daisy Duck until Micky Mouse Clubhouse is no longer in style.

Still, I can’t enjoy the goodness that is so fleeting and every moment I miss just makes the need to get better more desperate.

**If this post made you teary, don’t go listen to this song**

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Short of it

I’ll spare you the long.

For the past 3 months, I have been collecting my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to tell the story of everything that happened around Isaac’s birth. The result was a little epic for a blog, but in writing the long version out, I made sense of it for myself. The heart of the story is what follows here.

On Saturday, November 24, I started bleeding- like A LOT. Hubby took me to the hospital in a panic, and I was quickly seen by my doctor and the ultrasound team. Baby was fine, but it appeared that my placenta had started to separate. There was a bunch of confusion around the ultrasound specialist’s report, but after a few hours, everyone seemed to agree that the abruption was “stable” and that I needed to stay in the hospital on a fetal monitor and full bed rest. I still wasn’t allowed food for awhile in case I needed emergency surgery. At the time, my doctor thought we would have to deliver the baby in a couple of days.

Everything started to look good, and I was unhooked from most of my attachments and allowed to move around the room a little bit. My doctor talked about keeping me for a week and then possibly sending me home on bed rest. On Tuesday, I started having labor, and the whole thing changed. They put me on a magnesium sulfate IV and tried to stop the contractions. I had a couple of injections of something that was a “smooth muscle relaxant” that made my heart race, and they got things back under control. My doctor called me a time bomb and said that the goal was to get to Monday (35 weeks) and then deliver the baby. Over the rest of the week, I had a few more scares and a few more shots of the heart-racey stuff. I lost count of shots, IV pokes, and blood draws around 25. My husband took care of Natalie all by himself, and he and my parents worked to make sure she got to come see me every day. It was all a blur to me because of the magnesium.

At one point, a very sweet friend from church who is an RN came to visit and was alarmed by my mental state. I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, but she apparently had the nurses check my magnesium levels, and found out they had gotten too high. They fixed that, but then I had to have more of the heart racey shots.

What I remember most about that time is being confused about whether I was making good decisions. I couldn’t differentiate between what was good for the baby and what was a risk for him but better for me. It was all very confusing, and I am thankful for my doctor coming to see me every day and helping me stay calm about it all.

Early in the morning on Monday, December 3, I was prepped for c-section delivery. It was very different than what I remembered with Natalie, and I was scared. I just didn’t know what to expect little baby Isaac to be like. I didn’t know whether I would see him and hold him right away, whether I would hear him cry, or whether he would be whisked away by the army of pediatric specialists in attendance.

When he was born, it took about 15 seconds for him to let out a terrific cry. They did take him away to the next room and put him on oxygen, but we could all hear him wailing the whole time. I just cried and cried in relief that his lungs really were working. It wasn’t long before my husband got to hold him and show him to me, which was great. I remember mostly thinking how different he looked from Natalie.

Soon, he went to the NICU and I went to my room. I was sick from the morhine in my spinal anesthesia, and he was getting fed by IV and under an oxygen hood. It took him about a day and a half to get the magnesium out of his system. I did get to go see him Monday night, and I also got to hold him. I could go see him every 3 hours. The nurses had gotten a little attached to me since they don’t usually have any patients longer than two days and I had been there nearly two weeks, so they were happy to wheel me down to the nursery whenever I could go.

We didn’t know then how long Isaac would have to stay in the NICU, but most of the staff thought it would be about a week. I was just in shock at not being pregnant and having this baby that I couldn’t bring home. I had spent most of pregnancy in fear of preeclampsia, and now it was done and I was left with more questions than answers. My doctor said we would probably never know what caused the abruption. Although preeclampsia can cause this to happen, I did not have high blood pressure or protein “spilling” this time. I did have several of the other symptoms of pre-e (unusual amount of swelling, pinwheel spots in my vision, and pain in my rib cage) that I had while pregnant with Natalie in the weeks before my blood pressure got out of control, but it’s just not a complete picture.

In my heart, I believe the complications of both pregnancies are related, but I’m not sure exactly how the pieces fit together. I’m not sure there is a way to answer the questions or whether it would make any difference, but I do know that I am blessed to have two beautiful, healthy babies and the rest of my life to enjoy them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Where did I go?

The routine used to be:

1 - sit down at the computer for blog time
2 - visit the sites on the blogroll...try to make interesting comments
3 - check the news
4 - make a cursory check of my work e-mail and maybe reply to one or two messages that needed my attention
5 - focus on the blog

Since I have been in the office a couple of days a week, people have caught on that I am available to do their work for them. Now the routine is this:

1 - sit down at the computer for blog time
2 - check voicemail while the computer is starting up
3- return gazillion phone calls while making sure my favorite bloggers are still around
4 - pull up work e-mail and freak out that there are 20 e-mails: 3 with those little exclamation points that let you know the sender thinks you won't read his e-mail unless he puts his important pants on, 2 with the word "urgent" in the subject line, and 7 that are forwards with only "fyi" addded on top of a string where my co-workers said things to each other that should never be put in writing
5- frantically attempt to answer e-mails while feeding the baby and stalling Natalie until I finally give up and shut down my computer to go take care of family
6 - avoid computer remainder of day

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March of the Whys

These days, almost every request made of Natalie is met with a “but” or a “not right now,” or most often, a “why.”

Mama: Natalie, don’t stand on your book please.

Natalie: Why?

Mama: because it will break

Natalie: Why?

Mama: because it’s not made for that

Natalie: Why?

Mama: because people don’t want to pay for books that are strong enough to be stood upon

Natalie: Why?

This is not going my way, is it?

Mama: because they have budgets

What? Budgets?

Natalie: Why?

Mama: because we have to feed our families and pay our bills

I need a new strategy here…

Natalie: Why?

Mama: Ninjas

Natalie: (laughter) No, mama! Try again!

Dang.


This post is dedicated to Russell – you would’ve had so much fun with this girl, man. Happy Birthday. We miss you so much.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm a b@#$%, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother

And I’m fond of using song lyrics for my post titles.

Last week I wrote a post complaining about going back to work. About an hour after I wrote it, I began feeling guilty. How can I complain about having a job that pays me well for my skills and is even flexible enough to accommodate part-time work? How much of a spoiled little brat am I that I can bitch and moan about 2 days a week in an air conditioned office where people respect me and my work? There are millions of single moms out there working 2 or more dead-end, minimum wage jobs just to put food on the table, and even more who would give their right eye for even one minimum wage job – not to mention the dual-parent families struggling to make ends meet. I have what they are all dreaming about, and here I am complaining.

Now, having said that, and meaning it 100%, let me say it one more time with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.

I am a spoiled little brat for complaining about having a really great job.

It’s hypocrisy to pretend that I am so empathetic that I can die to my own self-pity just because I know in my head that I’m not that bad off. I wish that I was able to do that, but I’m not. Instead I’m here in the duality of being honest about how I feel without giving myself license to wallow in it.

There is always someone worse off. I recognize that what I am going through is not suffering. It’s really not anything like suffering. It’s unhappiness, and it’s a valid emotion. I don’t need to feel bad for feeling bad when others are feeling worse, but I do need to keep my own situation in perspective and use that to pull myself up and keep going. I do need to appreciate the good in what I have, even when I don’t feel good about it.

I have something in common with those single moms, too. We are all feeling the same pull to be more – more of a provider, more of a lover, more of a playmate, more of a teacher, more of soft spot for our kids in a hard world – all at one time. We tell ourselves that we can choose, and we call it “prioritizing,” but so often the choices feel like they are being made for us. We have words thrown at us like “working mom” and “full-time mom,” as if there is some kind of part time mom or not working mom. Then we beat ourselves up for being in one category or another when we really want to be everything at once.

In this, none of us is alone. It drags us down and it pulls us back up onto our feet.

And if it wasn’t there, the word “mother” wouldn’t mean as much as it does, so I guess I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Just a quick update

Well, I went back to work this week. It was not fun on several levels -

1 - Isaac won't take a bottle from his sweet nanny, so he ate absolutely nothing the first day and about 3 oz. the second. We will spend the weekend trying out different bottles.

2 - I was at work about an hour before the parade of people eager to tell me about how miserable they are and how stressful the workplace has been began.

3 - I was at work 2 days (TWO DAYS) before my boss asked me to start working more hours than what we had agreed on.

4 - The difference between getting up at 5:30 a.m. and my usual 7:00 a.m. after a short sleepless night is bigger than I expected. Today I took a 2 hour nap with the kiddoes and the laundry sits unfolded upstairs this afternoon. Unimportant, I know, but it still makes me feel out of control.

There is a silver lining, and I will find it. Not today, though.

By the way, the asparagus are not photoshopped. Actually, it is a banana tree that thought it could take on my husband in Battle Royale. My husband is a big cheater and brought a chain saw.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

That is my name too!

According to the internet,


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
36
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
I'm not sure it's true, because the site also says there are 0 people with my husband's name. I knew you were special, honey!
In other Internets news, apparently the celebrity that I most closely resemble is Wen Jiabao. If I force the darn thing to believe I am not a man, then it thinks I look like Geri Halliwell. So....Ginger Spice, or the 69 year old communist premier of China? Really?
I had to do some research on this, so when I upload Wen's photo, it does match it to him, but the female he most closely resembles in Marion Jones. Ginger Spice matched Agam Rudberg (who seems to be some kind of internet pinup girl) and Meatloaf, but not Geri Halliwell.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Or Maybe I Really am Crazy



I really love spring. My family is fortunate enough to have bought a house that someone else spent the time and money to landscape, so this is the time of year when we get to enjoy all the beautiful flowers that we would have killed if they required any maintenance on our part. My husband did the trimming this weekend, and I decided that today would be a good day to take pictures of all the things that are blooming.





We have irises (my favorite):




The Texas classic – azaleas:

Even the oleander is trying to wake up for Spring:
This is where I started to question my sanity:


Are asparagus supposed to get that big?







Thursday, February 28, 2008

Call Me Crazy

So…

The first thing I heard this morning (excluding the 4:00 a.m. feeding and hubby getting up at 5:30) was my daughter telling me that it wasn’t dark anymore so it was time to get up. It was true – the first whispers of sunshine were creeping in through my bedroom blinds.

Reluctantly, I got up, got dressed, brushed my teeth, put on my glasses, and came back to my room to find my daughter asleep in my spot on the bed.
I also drove about 30 miles criss-crossed around town looking for a cheap swing at a resale shop since in my time of unemployment, the cost of a new swing seems unjustified.

We didn’t find one, but we did find a really cool playground – where my daughter spotted a child of a different race than us and shouted (totally within earshot of the other child’s dad,) “Look Mama! I like those kind of kids!” At least she was complimentary.

Later that afternoon, I had accumulated enough laundry in the last 6 hours that was soiled with poop, potty, and vomit to do a whole load. I had to set the volume on the washer to “Large.”

I heard a plastic toy sing “Back Pack – Back Pack” more times than I can count.

It took almost two hours from the time we decided to go to bed before I actually shut my eyes.

Next week I am going back to work (part time). Call me crazy, but I am totally depressed about all the time at home with my babies that I am going to be missing.


On a separate but related note, TLC has a new show called The Secret Life of Soccer Moms. I don’t know why, but I find it very offensive. I think it's great to give women a chance to make a career after their kids grow up, but I get the feeling that they are subtly implying that the women should feel regret for their choices. I'll have to watch and see.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby Love

Sweet Isaac,

I’ll be the first to admit, you and I got off to a bit of a rough start.
Love at first sight? Yes.
Instant bonding? No.
There were the chemical-hormonal affects of not being able to hold you when you were born and the emotional affects of having to leave you alone in a plastic box in the NICU six to eight times a day for your first eleven days. I had to put up some walls to deal with that, and I’m sorry for what they took away from our relationship in that first month.

But now, my sweet baby, I know you and you know me.

I have learned that you like to be bundled up and warm,



and toys that vibrate make you cry.



I’ve learned that you have really big feet, but tickling them is only amusing to me. As far as I can tell, your favorite activity is putting my nose, chin, cheeks, or pretty much any part of my face in your mouth. Do you know that I love it, too?

You also love your sister. Your eyes light up when you see her, and she delights in your chuckles like they are little precious gems.

I’ve learned that when you crank your arm around like a ribbon dancer, you’re not trying to make me laugh – you just need to burp.

I’ve learned that you make all kinds of squeaks and grunts in your sleep, but when you are about to wake up, you get quiet and still and pop your eyes open to look around before you let us know about it.

I’ve learned that you have a little spot near your temple that feels like velvet. It is warm under my kisses in a way that makes me think of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven just long enough to eat, when the chips are still all melty. Its smell is all baby – milk, powder, and new skin. You close your eyes a little tighter when I touch you there and then get a soft little grin.


Precious son – I love you so much. I can barely wait to see the new little bits of you that are emerging every day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

Turkeys

I woke up this morning thinking about how long it’s been since I posted anything and was prepared to go online and announce a hiatus. I was making a mental list of all the reasons that I could use to justify not blogging for a few more weeks. Then I checked my mail and found out that Jen over at Unique But Not Alone sent me an award:




Thank you, Jen! She reminded me that all the things that I was thinking of as reasons to take a break were actually reasons that I need to take the time to do this. This is one thing in my life that I do just because I want to. There are many things I do that I enjoy – like playing with the kids, taking naps, hanging out with hubby, trying out new recipes- and on and on, but those are all things that I do at least in part for other people. This is just for me. I need it, and I am thankful for all the other bloggers, like Jen, who provide my Daily Dose of all the other things I need, like laughter, tears, and perspective.

Lately, I have really been letting the turkeys get me down. My turkeys aren’t people, but they do have names. Some are common, easily identifiable, easily understood. Medical bills. Post-Partum Hormones. Returning to Work. Sleep Deprivation. Some are a little harder to pin down. Mothering Ability Self-Doubt. Mistake-Making Shame. I-Don’t-Want-to-Make-These-Decisions Avoidance. None of these things have the power to bring down my life or even my day unless I give it to them, so today I am taking the first step and calling myself out for letting them hang around.

Actually, Sleep Deprivation packs a pretty good punch all on its own, but nothing a good nap can’t fix…

And to the business of passing on the Daily Dose award: I’m giving this one to MamaDrama’s Jenny and Min, because they make me smile every single day with their unique way of seeing the beauty and humor in the ordinary things of life.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Honey for Children's Cough - A Test

Now the FDA says no cold medicine for kids up to age six. Natalie is 3 and has a cold. Again. So…

The latest news claims that researchers concluded that honey is just as effective as OTC cold medicine in treating cold symptoms. Since honey is not recommended for children under one due to botulism, I’d say this is a step back from the previous recommendation of chicken soup.

Natalie did some research on Poppy’s new iPhone and decided that there was some support for this theory and that we should give it a go.



The basic idea was that we should give a teaspoon of honey, but it does not specify how it should be done. Since honey is basically sweet, I though we would just go with a teaspoon and call it a special treat. Natalie took one small lick and spit it out, saying “I don’t like honey.”

For the next attempt, I told her we were having tea. I mixed the teaspoon of honey and water in the most exciting mug I could find in our house and nuked it for one minute.

The resulting mix tasted like lukewarm sugar water, which I was sure would not be popular. I thought about adding some lemon juice, but I didn’t have any lemons. I did have a lime. I don’t recommend using lime. That cup got poured down the drain, and the next one got a few squirts of this stuff – although I’m not really sure what it actually is and I am totally sure that the holistic medicine people would frown upon using it.

That version tasted pretty good, so I offered it up to Nat.

Mama: Here’s some tea for your cough

Natalie: Well, I only drink pretend tea. Real tea is for mommies and daddies.

Mama: [Dang, she listens well.] Actually, this is just pretend tea.

Natalie: [ No words actually came out of her mouth, but her eyes were totally saying “If you think I’m going to drink that, you haven’t been paying attention the last 3 years.”]


Take 3 – I filled the syringe that came with her last round of antibiotics with honey and told Natalie it was her cough medicine. She took it without complaint, and then decided she needed to drink the “tea.”

The results:
She got the honey at about 10:30. It controlled the coughing well until about 1:00. I gave her another dose at 1:30, which held up through her nap – although she was too jazzed up to actually sleep. She started coughing again around 4. I gave her another dose, but the coughing persisted. At bedtime, I gave her some children’s Triaminic, which kept the cough away for about 4 hours. For the record, we were using unfiltered Texas Wildflower honey, which is a very dark variety.

Personally, I think I will stick to drugs at night time so that everyone can get some sleep, but I have to say that I was surprised at how well the honey worked during the day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Inspiration

This woman is my new idol.

If you are frustrated with having toys all over your house, this post has some excellent tips.

Both kids are coughing and unhappy today. Mama took some steps yesterday toward not being pregnant for awhile and is not feeling so peachy either.

Monday, January 21, 2008

You're Lucky You're Pretty, Brett

funny pictures
moar funny pictures


Mama is not too happy either after the Packer's brutal loss to that other team who the Patriots will be destroying handily in just under 2 weeks.

See y'all next year, Pack.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Day in the Life

Now that I am home all day with my two kids, I find myself wondering, “What the heck to people do with two kids all day long?” Honestly – I want to know what other people do. I guess I have a compulsive need to find out if I am “normal.” My biggest problem right now is the baby who wants to have a 30 minute snack every 90 minutes or so, but I still find myself wondering if I am overshceduling, underscheduling, or just plain lying to myself that my schedule is relevant at all.

Here is our “yesterday:”

8:00 Daughter comes into bedroom and wakes up Mama. Mama says, “OK Honey – go play in your room a few minutes while I get dressed and then we’ll go downstairs for breakfast.”

8:15 Mama wakes up again (that 90 minute feeding schedule is 24-hour.) Daughter is playing with loud truck toy in the bedroom. Mama hauls out of bed and brushes teeth, but skips the get dressed part out of guilt for having fallen back asleep.

8:30 Mama is still upstairs getting kids dressed. Now baby needs to eat. Daughter plays with cat, who is in the crib and obliging daughter’s fantasy that Cat is a baby, for another 30 minutes while Mama is a full-service restaurant complete with rocking chair.

9:00 Daughter is eating Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Yes, I said eating. They make a cereal, and Wal-Mart “thoughtfully” places it on the second shelf from the ground, right above the Cheerios, so that when you ask your kid to grab a box of reasonable cereal, your child will inevitably smash her face right into the Mickey Mouse sugar puffs.

9:30 People from work call right as Daughter is finishing breakfast and needing to find something else to do. Co-worker is treated to Daughter singing “potty-potty-potty-potty…..POTTY” from the bathroom. Daughter stays in bathroom for 10 minutes because she knows I can’t rush her while I’m on the phone and comes out with red ring around tushie from kiddie potty.

10:00 Mama gets daughter started playing with a Littlest PetShop toy. Mama starts a load of baby’s laundry, takes out the Diaper Champ trash, and goes through some mail with baby strapped in the Bjorn. Mama thinks this would be a good time for Baby to eat, but Baby disagrees.

10:30 Baby needs to eat again. Mama sits down to feed him and Petshop toy becomes soooo boring. Daughter goes to DVD shelf and selects “Charlie Brown Christmas.” Mama has mercy because it is raining and this is when we would normally go outside to play or go for a walk, but Mama cannot take another viewing of Charlie Brown Christmas, so we watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Mickey Saves Santa – from the DVR while baby eats.

10:40 Mama remembers that we were supposed to start playgroup today at 11:00.

11:00 Mama frantically packs lunch for playgroup and takes everyone upstairs so that Mama can get dressed. Baby cooperates this time and stays asleep while put into the carseat.

11:30 Family arrives at playgroup. We are the first ones there, which is my first clue that we might be normal. Daughter eats lunch. Playgroup attendees are:
1 boy, age 6 weeks
1 boy, age 15 months
1 girl, age 25 months
1 girl, age 3
3 girls, ages 27-32
Guess who enjoyed playgroup the most? Anyway, Daughter found the toys at someone else’s house infinitely more fun than the toys at her house, even though they were basically the same toys.

1:30 Family arrives home and goes upstairs for naptime. Baby ate twice at playgroup and is already asleep. Daughter selects The Barenstain Bears – Mama’s New Job. I think it is an appropriate choice.

2:00 Daughter falls asleep and Baby wakes up, hungry again.

3:00 Mama finds herself in the recliner in the bedroom with Baby still eating and the laptop resting precariously on the arm of the chair. Did I comment on your blog yesterday? I don’t remember either.

4:00 Baby finally settles down after a bout with the reflux because he ate too much at one time and daughter wakes up. We all head downstairs and start the race toward dinner. One of my super awesome friends is bringing a meal to us today, so I am off the hook, except that my kitchen looks like a bomb exploded and I would rather not have company see how we really live. Daughter “helps” sweep with her mini broom and dustpan while Mama tries to clear the area.

4:30 Daughter eats snack and watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Daisy Bo Peep- on the DVR. Daughter cannot handle the day in which she does not have cheese, chocolate milk, and Mickey sometime between 4 and 6 p.m.

5:00 Mama and Daughter sit at coffee table and look through workbook. Daughter selects a math sheet and draws dots on it while Mama explains how there are 3 ways to make a number (numeral, letters, dots - she didn't think it was a good lesson either.)

5:15 Mama, daughter, and now-awake baby sit on couch and read stories until Daddy comes home.

5:30 Daddy comes home. The parent-child balance in righted and all Dughter's toys become fun again. Things run smoothly through dinner and evening.

8:00 Mama hands Baby to Daddy, and Daughter immediately NEEDS to sit in Daddy's lap.

8:05 Cat decides that Daddy's lap is really the place to be. Mama thinks Daddy is doing a great job and goes upstairs to take a shower....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Feeding Machine

Isaac is going through his 6-week growth spurt and is eating all the time. Since he has some problems with reflux, he doesn't like to eat much at once, so all this combines to make me a human milk machine. It's easier this time around because I know this phase goes quickly, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Natalie has to get glasses. It makes me sadder than I'd like to admit that she'll have to wear them - my beautiful girl should not have anything between her beautiful eyes and the world - but I'm excited to see how it helps her.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

This is Barbaric, People

If you had asked the 8 year old me what my favorite show was, I probably would have told you that it was American Gladiators, (or ChiPS, but that was just a phase.)

So…you know I was psyched when I heard that NBC was bringing back the gladiator glory this week. Then I realized that it was nostalgia, not love, that was getting me. Those t.v. hawkers even brought back Hulk Hogan to host the show. I’m surprised they don’t fight in Castle Grayskull and have a names like Cheetara and Cobra.

After all, the adult me understands that all that spandex is designed to objectify the gladiators and that adults beating each other up for money and glory is a reflection on a society in decay.

Still, I had to watch it- just to confirm that I am as rational and mature as I think I am.

It turns out that I am still 8 years old and I cannot get enough of this stuff. Shame on me. Please don’t tell my old college professor Dr. Stratton, who wrote a virtual treatise on how spectator sports were the true cause of the fall of the Roman Empire and believed we were following their footsteps – and that was before the XFL. The man is probably stocking his underground shelter as I write.

I can’t help it. I love it. I hope it outlives Survivor.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Safety Words

Warning- Random information to follow...

You know how in the movies people always have a "safety word" or some kind of code so that their loved ones can make sure they are really themselves and not a zombie or a clone?

Well, if you ever meet me in a dark alley and you want to be sure it's the real Mama, just ask me, "What is the difference between concrete and cement?"

If "I" stare at you like your head is made of jell-o and you are speaking Portugese, then it is not me, it is a zombie.

If "I" say "They are the same thing, you fool," and start laughing maniacally, it is NOT me, it is a clone with a taste for world domination - run away.

If I immediately start waving my arms and talking about "aggregate" and "silicates" and your eyes glaze over and you think maybe I said there are volcanos in Portland, then you have met the real Mama.

Mama REALLY loves concrete.

When I was in college this is pretty much the only thing that kept me coming to class every day.

Yep, I'm a geek. But how many people do you know that can build a boat out of concrete and race it? Well, now you know at least 1.