Saturday, January 31, 2009

Two in two days! Oh my!

I KNEW I was right. Check it out, yo: A Little Dirt is Good for You!

Not that I have a vat o' mud in the toilet into which I dip Grace on a daily basis, but neither do I wash my hands every time I pick her up or freak out if she picks up a piece of lint off the floor and tries to eat it (don't worry; I don't let her eat it, since it would probably really mess with her digestive system). And guess what. She's been sick once. ONCE! And I'm pretty sure she got it at the hospital because it happened right after we came home, and it only lasted about a week. I can breathe a sigh of relief over my dirty-yet-still-healthy home.

James found a ham a while ago for two dollars. It was a nine-pound ham. A delicious nine-pound ham, but, nonetheless, nine pounds is a lot of ham. Ham is coming out our ears. I don't know what to do with it. It's sitting in my refrigerator in two of my largest Tupperware containers, mocking me. There's no way we can eat it all before it goes bad. And, odd as this may sound, it bothers me far more to waste a two-dollar nine-pound ham than it does to waste a two-dollar chicken breast. To let such an amazing deal go to waste! It hurts!

ETA: I looked up freezing ham. That was my first idea. Seems it gets dried out and icky but is still good for stews and things. Problem is that I don't much care for ham unless it's plain or in a sandwich.

I had a long, fun entry planned out, and then my pastor called about music and stuff. And now The Child has to eat. You know it's a tiny congregation with limited options when I'M the music person.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mostly not about the baby I promise.

Lost is giving me brain lesions. And I LIKE it.

The Child had more vaccines today. She was so happy and shrieky this morning. I swear she plans it that way so the knives of guilt in my heart will feel even duller and rustier as Those Weirdos Who Torture Babies jab her, and I just look on, doing NOTHING to protect her from these barbarians.

Things I learned at the pediatricians office today:

1) My baby is enormous.
2) Her flat head is fine.
3) My baby is enormous.

She's 16.25 pounds (89th percentile), 27" long (>97th percentile) and 17.25" around the head (96th percentile). I was wrong last time, by the way; her weight at 2 months wasn't 95th percentile, but 85th. So girl likes her snacks, apparently.

We came home, and she was again extremely cheerful for a couple hours. Then BAM the world was ENDING and can't you see my PAIN and why can't I just SLEEP on your BOOB?

(there are few things worse in this world than chapped, raisiny nipples; just trust me on this)

Then she crashed in her bouncy seat and has been asleep for an hour and a half already. Which is good. Because she didn't sleep at all this morning. And we got to hear all about it.

I made chicken tacos earlier. I made a quadruple batch. And yet I have a feeling it will not last through tomorrow even though it has to because I'm bringing it to church on Sunday. Crap. What will I eat? Maybe I will just "drop" my contribution to the potluck "on the ground" on Sunday morning. "Oops".

Which brings me to my next point. I AM STARVING ALL THE TIME. I keep saying this, but nothing helps. NOTHING. Healthy fats and lots of protein and fiber just disappear into the endless vacuum of my stomach. It's a black hole. This might explain, though, how The Child grew 2.5 pounds and three inches in just two months. Some days, when I'm really hungry, and she's not being particularly pleasant, I look at her and see a giant cooked turkey in my arms. With delicious aroma lines coming off it. Like in the cartoons.

Facebook. Ooooooh, Facebook. 25 Things about Me is getting old. OLD. REALLY OLD. I finally gave in and did it. One of you people even tagged me. Which is fine. I'm not actually mad. But now I've been tagged for two more surveys on Facebook and I refuse. REFUSE! LOOK HOW YOU'RE MAKING ME USE ALL CAPS.

My sister doesn't like them because they're narcissistic. Not that I disagree. They are narcissistic, but I keep a blog, so for me to criticize them for that is kind of PotKettleHi. They're just like those eight billion Facebook applications, though. Every time I get tagged for one, I feel guilty for not wanting to do it. Like the person who tagged me will be hurt if I don't. This is stupid because I'm pretty sure some people just tag all their Facebook friends and couldn't care less if I responded. Same goes for the applications.

But because I'm a narcissist, I just assume that most people are waiting with bated breath for my 25 Things about Me Because I'm Just That Interesting. So I did it.

And now I'm starving. Again. Even though I had four chicken tacos less than three hours ago.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I just realized I'm starving.

Grace laughed yesterday (and not in her sleep). This is so corny, but no other sound has ever made me so happy in my life. It was even better than the first time she really smiled at me. I whinge all the time about being a mom, but I truly love it.

She did it twice, and I haven't been able to get her to do it again. Stubborn child.

She has some mild flat-head going on the right side of her skull. I'm not sure how it happened. When she was first born, she spent a little too much time in the bouncy seat, I think. I was a little fuzzy from the c-section and painkillers and pain, and it was very hard to hold her a lot between the fatigue, baby blues and stabbing midsection pain.

Since then, though, I've been careful not to lay her down all the time. And when she does lie down, I've tried to position her in ways that will keep her from always resting on one side of her head. So. I don't know. This is a little distressing to me. It sounds stupid, but my biggest fear as a parent (for the baby phase, at least) was that I would have a flat-head baby. And it came true. Awesome!

Tummy time continues to be a major trial. Even if I just do it for five minutes before each feeding, she still manages to lose half her lunch all over the place. If she weren't growing like a weed, I'd think she wasn't digesting any food. So I lay her down, and she'll hold her head up for .006 seconds and then flop around like a fish on a pier. I KNOW she's strong enough to do better; I've seen her do it many a time. She doesn't seem real inclined to do any hard work. Hmmmm. Sound like someone else we know?

I plan to bring all this up with the pediatrician on Friday, who will hopefully not make a note in her chart about me being a horrible, bad, awful mother who should never be allowed to reproduce again. I'm pretty sure she was a little alarmed when James told her Grace was sleeping eight hours a night at two months, despite her being obviously fat and happy (Grace, not the pediatrician).

Good news: She has found the thumb. Before, she was sucking on her fingers from time to time, but not reliably enough to soothe herself. This meant a lot of carrying her around in the sling and holding the pacifier in her face, which meant doing everything one-handed. This makes housekeeping and cooking a real challenge. Anyway, as I've mentioned before, this new development can be pretty hilarious at times. She has thumbs almost as long as my pinkies, so gags herself, get scared, shoves thumb further down her throat, and gags some more. Don't worry! I rescue her. But it's still hilarious.

The bad news that goes with the good news: She drools all over her hand and then smears it on her face. So I, in turn, have to smear lanolin all over her face regularly, or her cheeks get so chapped I could sand my furniture with them. They're a nice rosy red color, though!

She's back to sleeping really well again. Finally. Two days in a row now, she's stayed asleep until 8:30. It's wonderful. I feel like I'm capable of being a wife and mom again. Sleep deprivation doesn't seem all that bad while I'm going through it, but once I'm out the other side, I look back and think, "Wow. How did I survive?"

She no longer needs the swaddle at night, either. This is wonderful. It sucks a lot to swaddle a grouchy, tired, strong and thrashing baby at the end of the day. Like if you tried to braid a hyperactive octopus's tentacles.

Child is trying to inhale her thumb again. I must go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank God for noses and my paranoia

Grace FINALLY made it all the way through the night without waking up. She woke up early, but not at three and five in the morning like she has been. It was AWESOME.

Then I went downstairs and caught a very faint whiff of gas. Hrm. It was extremely faint, so I chalked it up to imagination. I'm always hearing and smelling and seeing things.

Twenty minutes later, I walked down the hall and the smell almost smacked me in the face. So I grabbed the baby and booked it out of there, called the gas company.

The guy came by, checked everything out. No gas leak. BUT the CO level in our chimney was above what his meter would read (9999 ppm, which is somewhere between car exhaust and death in 1-3 minutes). None (that he could find) in the house. The smell was from some gas or other that's a byproduct of incomplete combustion. So we, at the very least, need our boiler cleaned. We have hot water heat.

The guy is here right now. Oh, YAY! With a just cleaning it will work just fine.

Anyway, the cat would have dropped dead already if it were still dangerous in here, but she still acting like Queen of Everything, so we're good. Just a little chilly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Maybe everyone will calm down soon

Does your vision ever go all bouncy on you? Like the whole room is shaking? This happens to me all the time. Please don't tell me it means I have a brain tumor. This has been happening to me for years. So if it's a brain tumor, it's the kind and gentle variety.

I am so glad the inauguration is over. The lovefest has me so nauseated I'm actually starting to lose the baby weight. I don't care if the Angel Gabriel himself just became President of the United States of America. He's going to disappoint even his most fervent worshippers. You know why? Because we're all human. Nothing makes us happy. And Obama isn't the Angel Gabriel. He's just a guy. So that means we have disappointment squared. I don't envy him.

Speaking of losing the baby weight, I don't really know how this is happening, but the extra rolls have just started melting off. This is pretty remarkable for two reasons. One, I'm still not exercising (partly because of bum knee, partly because I am Lazy). Two, I eat anything and everything that crosses my path. For instance, I made some food for Awesome Friend's shower. A whole package of cheese, half a gigantic summer sausage, half a batch of garlic dip, and a whole batch of chocolate dip went back home with me. I devoured it all in two days. Most of it in one sitting.

The Child permitted me to go outside today. She didn't even squeak. Must have been the brandy I dipped her pacifier in.

She has also learned how to roll over from back to front (well, back to side, but I haven't given her much of a chance to complete the job). This makes life more complicated for me. No more leaving her on the changing table (I know, I know!) while I find a pair of socks.

She also has hit the Woman, Don't You Ever Put Me Down phase. This sucks a lot because she weighs approximately 72 pounds. She wears the same size diapers our pastor's two-year-old wears. Yeah.

Time to go watch Supernatural. I am so glad that show is back on. Tomorrow I watch Lost. I couldn't be happier right now.

PS: For those of you interested, here are the recipes I used for the dips. They were both incredibly easy and delicious:

Roast Garlic (I used this garlic roasting method rather than the one in the dip recipe, but they're not that much different)
Garlic Dip (I don't have a food processor, so I just used a blender; it worked okay)
Chocolate Dip

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Short Update

Thursday night was terrible, again. But better than Wednesday night. She only woke up twice (I think? I don't really remember).

Yesterday I was so thoroughly exhausted. I was so tempted to throw her in her crib with a bunch of hangy toys and let her tend to herself for the day. But I didn't. She would have gotten really hungry.

She went right to sleep for both her naps, and then last night she was out like a light the second I put her down. She only woke up once, at six. I fed her. She sounded so sad and alone, and I was tired. Still not ideal, but I'll take it.

I put her to bed about 40 minutes ago, and not a peep yet. I won't start breathing again until an hour's up, though.

I got more sleep last night, but I'm still to tired to write anything real. Just didn't want you all to think I'd died or something.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Despair is a stubborn baby

When I was six, I thought I'd die before willingly uttering these words, but my sister was right. The third day is magic. And not just in Celtic lore. It applies to babies, too.

Today was good. Is a good thing. Am so tired.

Last night was a nightmare, both literally and figuratively. Grace woke up probably six times after screaming and screaming and screaming (I told you about that part already). She put herself back to sleep almost every time within a minute or two, but I still woke up. Two of those times I ended up just feeding her. 3:00 and 6:00. I'd forgotten what that felt like.

OH CRAP. She just woke up. She's been asleep for almost an hour, which may mean she's well-rested enough to really stay awake for a while. I guess we'll see.

I think she's back asleep now. Who knows.

Anyway, I had horrible nightmares last night. I like the occasional nightmare. They're exciting. But I had them all night last night. So, screaming baby, constant nightmares, what do I have to be upset about?

I know this will be over soon. I'm going to write a real entry when I'm not on the verge of running away with the circus again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Too tired to make this very interesting

This Boot Camp crap has me knackered.

The cat sits next to me on the couch. She is snoring. I had no idea cats could snore. It sounds remarkably like the video of Grace snoring.

Speaking of the cat, I'm starting to feel a very faint affection for her. This is alarming.

First, the boring stuff (I'm writing about this because some of you have asked me to):

I spoke too soon yesterday. The Child woke up several times yesterday evening. I couldn't handle it and went grocery shopping. Some of you already know that I hate grocery shopping. I hate it even more at 10:00 at night. And even more when it's 37 below zero. This tells you how distressing this was for me. And she wasn't even crying that much, just waking up off and on for a couple hours.

This morning she woke up early again. At five. I went in to check on her almost right away, and I am so glad I did. Her swaddling blanket was wrapped all the way around her head. I'm not talking a corner of it. I'm talking the main part of the blanket that is supposed to wrap around her torso. I tore it off her and then ran out of the room, hoping she'd go back to sleep. She didn't, which is probably a good thing; if I hadn't had to feed her, I would have lain awake in bed, my mind turning all the what-ifs over and over and over in my head.

But all is not lost for the swaddle. I figured out how she got out. We'd had the crib propped up just a little bit from when she was first born and had a *kid. She was creeping down the bed, and her movement pulled the swaddle loose. Just to be sure, I've been checking during every nap today (one was almost two hours long!), and it's held very tight.

*OH. Oh my. I'm more tired than I realized. That's supposed to be "cold". I'm leaving that typo in, though, because it's just way too much fun.

Naptime Boot Camp: Day Two went swimmingly. Emphasis on "Day". She was a ball of brilliant sunshine almost constantly today. Night Two is another story. After I put her down tonight, all cozily swaddled and happy and sleepy, she started screaming. And I tell you what, I have never heard her scream like this.

At the twenty-minute mark (going in every ten, of course), I went into her room, and I broke. I picked her up. I had to make sure she wasn't actually hurting. I think she might have been. Even after she calmed down, she kept arching her back and straightening her legs out (my child is now taller than I am, by the way). So I don't know. If it was gas, there wasn't much I could have done about it. I give her gas drops before bed and make sure she's well-burped. But I held her and rocked her and told her I loved her and kissed her. She was mostly asleep by the time I put her back in the crib, so I know by that time there was nothing wrong with her.

Seconds after I closed her door, the screaming started again, worse than before. So we went back to the ten-minute intervals. I was crying, which I never do. James was fretting. I updated my Facebook status, telling the Internet I was going to eat my young.

James offered to go calm her down. "NO!" I said. "That'll screw everything up!" I was a little worried that my rocking her before had already made it worse.

A few minutes later, he went upstairs anwyay, and I didn't stop him. The practical, logical side of me wanted to, but the mother just sagged with relief. Grace stopped crying. I stopped crying. James came down twenty minutes later. "What did you do?" It was both an accusation and honest curiosity. Duct tape? Pacifier taped to face? What?

"Nothing," he said.

"Oh, you just rocked her?" I asked.

"No. I just went up there and read my book on our bed so I could go in every few minutes and you wouldn't have to."

"You mean she stopped crying on her own?"


I was relieved for a number of reasons. The first was that I don't have a roasting pan large enough for her.

She's woken up once since. I have a feeling she'll wake at least a couple times tonight, but I can handle that. I hope I never have to hear her scream like that again, though; if she were doing this night after night I don't know what I'd do. I know some mothers have children who do this, and all I can do is gape at them in awe that they're still alive and breathing.

The good thing about all this is that if she wakes up at 4:00 this morning, I'll be more than happy to get up and feed her. She's sound asleep, and I still want to go in and comfort her. It's odd how I wait all day for her bedtime, and then when she is in bed, I miss her so much.

I always wanted to do the co-sleeping thing. People I know who have done it have all had good experiences. They get enough sleep, they get to bond so much with their babies, and so much more. There is absolutely nothing sweeter than curling up next to a sleeping baby.

Unfortunately, the reality with me and Grace is that she's a twitchy sleeper, and I'm a touchy sleeper. Until I'm asleep, anything and everything will wake me up. The best thing that ever happened to James and me was getting that king size bed. Grace twitches and snuffles and jolts no matter how deeply she's sleeping. We tried co-sleeping. For three days. I went from deep adoration of my newborn daughter to GET ME OFF THIS RIDE STOP I DON'T WANT TO BE A MOM ANYMORE. So that had to stop.

Now, hopefully, once she's settled into a good nap routine, she'll be back to the excellent nighttime sleeper she's been since about two weeks. My sister assures me this will happen. I know that in two days, when it has happened, I will think, "Well, of COURSE. I knew she'd do it." But right now I'm so uncertain. I'm afraid that she'll turn into a terrible nighttime sleeper, and the next year of my life will be a bleak haze of sleeplessness and possibly Prozac.

On a brighter note!

We have Naptime Boot Camp in full swing. Today we also began Operation: Phalange Discovery. For the last few days, I've caught The Child staring intently at her hands several times. Like something is just on the edge of her awareness, and she's not sure what it is, but she almost... has... it... and... it's gone. I get that feeling a lot, which is probably why I can spot it in other people.

Well. Today she was in her bouncy seat with the hangy bar over it. Normally she stares at it for a while, and then starts yelling at the musical frog. Today she completely ignored the musical frog, and she started batting at the turtle with the rattle. On purpose.

She also brought things to her mouth instead of trying to bring her whole body and face to things. I had a few moments of sadistic merriment when she grabbed at hangy fish thing from the bar and pulled and pulled and pulled and just couldn't get the velcro to come loose. The grunts, the wheezes, the wide-open mouth whole inches from the object of her affection. I wish I had video. I took the fish off and gave it to her. It's the size of her face, but that didn't stop her from trying to fit the whole thing in her mouth. I wish I had video of that, too. Instead of trying to shove in the small fins first or even getting it sideways, she pressed the whole wide flat part against her face and started rooting like crazy. I think I laughed 'til I cried. Which explains her need for revenge tonight.

I ought to go to bed. I'm wrecked, and tomorrow will probably be rough.

My little purger

There is a blogger I read (we'll use the pronoun "he" for simplicity's sake, but that doesn't mean it's a he). Don't worry; it's not you. He does not read me, that I know of. He does not note me, and I do not note him. I don't think any of my favorites note him. I cannot figure out why or how he got onto my favorites list.

He makes me crazy.

He'll write something like, "Last night I dreamed a golden egg embraced me in its yolky warmth. I emerged, as if from a cocoon, a butterfly on new wings. When I woke up this morning, I was a new man, a man freshly birthed from the egg of my dreams." Everyone leaves notes like, "Deep, man. Very deep." And I barf and roll my eyes so far back in my head I can see my scalp follicles. I don't get it.

That quote doesn't actually resemble anything he's written. At least not in substance. But the nonsensical weirdness and *pseudopith makes me crazy. And yet I can't stop looking. It's like a train wreck. Except everyone else sees a rainbow. Can you tell me why I keep staring?

*I know I just made up a word. I like to make up words.

Grace has discovered her hands, more or less. She is slowly catching on to the idea of bringing hand to mouth, rather than mouth to hand. Sometimes she forgets. What's really awesome is that she's starting to stick one digit in there at a time now. This makes for some fantastic entertainment. She'll get thumb and forefinger all the way in (and girl has giant, meaty paws, mind) and start gagging. Only, she doesn't have the brain connections yet that say, "Gagging on hand. Must move hand." So the gagging will alarm her, she will need comfort, she will shove hand further down throat, and gag some more.

It's so hysterical that sometimes I don't want to stop her. I think this makes me evil.

I have now run boob-first into a doorway twice. This whole pregnancy and breastfeeding thing is so bewildering to someone like me. Someone who once resembled a fence post.

I never thought I'd complain about having BOOBS, but ramming full-bore into a door frame at six in the morning with an engorged breast (while I have to pee like a racehorse) is somewhere up there with having my nipples chewed off by a thousand rabid hamsters.

I changed The Child's white noise machine setting from "rain" to "ocean surf". It should be "ocean surf and those idiot sea gulls".

I changed the setting because today was Naptime Boot Camp: Day One, and "rain" seemed to just piss her off rather than calm her down. Anyway, all day I've been running back up the stairs in response to her cries, only to discover it's those idiot sea gulls shrieking away. I don't know why they don't wake her. I picked "ocean" because it probably mimics womb noises the best, but I don't remember birthing any sea gulls while I was in the hospital. They drive me crazy, but I guess we'll keep them. I get a lot of exercise going up and down the stairs this way.

Speaking of Boot Camp. Day One went better than I expected. Nap One was a total nightmare for both of us. I spent most of it on the phone with my sister for moral support. I went in every ten minutes to pat The Child and reassure her that I was, indeed, still alive and just outside the door, listening to her cries with sadistic pleasure. An hour and a half of that.

It's days like today that it would be nice not to be breastfeeding. I think this might have been much less stressful if I were hammered.

Then I fed her at her usual time, kept her awake for a while and then swaddled her up, turned on the ocean and those idiot sea gulls again, and ran downstairs to stare at the bottle of vodka in the fridge really hard. She actually stopped crying after ten minutes. Half an hour later, she was still asleep, so I took a shower. When I got out, she was screaming again. She'd come unswaddled and Was Not Pleased. So we did the ten-minute increments thing again. For the next 45 minutes. I bought a kilo of marijuana, just in case.

After the next feeding, we played some more, and then I put her back down. And hallelujah she slept for an hour and a half. I had to wake her up to feed her again.

She was sunny and sweet for almost the rest of the evening. And she couldn't have gone to bed easier if I'd drugged her.

I'm hoping we meet just as much success with Day Two. If she naps decently on the first round, I won't make her nap again until one-ish. And we'll save money on booze and drugs.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Embracing the frump

I tried the bouncy seat in the bathroom again today. It worked for about twenty seconds. And I don't think it was the shower noise the first time; we have a white noise machine set to "rain" in her bedroom, and it doesn't seem to help at all.

Also, she woke up two hours early today. Two months ago, I would have rolled my eyes at present-day self, all, "Girl, please. You need to suck. it. up." But I've reverted to pansyhood, and when the child started wailing at 6:30, my stomach and heart curled into a ball together and dropped twelve feet down to my toes, and I seriously contemplated running away with the circus.

But we got through it. The child survived. I put her back to bed after she was done eating, and then I accidentally slept way past the time I'd intended to get her up. So much for starting naptime boot camp today.

I made dinner tonight. And by "dinner" I mean three separate courses, not something slopped together in a pan that incorporates enough of the major food groups that we won't all get scurvy. This is a major victory these days.

If you like a good pork roast, you'll like it even better if you wrap it in bacon. It sounds vile, wrapping a pig in his friend and eating them together, but I'm heartless and cruel, and the only way this would be better is if cheese could somehow be incorporated.

I also made some gravy. As I was pouring it into the serving bowl, the pot went flying out of my hand, landed on the counter, and sent the serving bowl and most of the gravy halfway across the kitchen. It went everywhere: walls, floors, cabinets, stove, my pants. I didn't cry because of the cleanup. I cried because it was really good gravy. It had bacon in it. And my nasty floor got almost all of it.

So James and I each got half a tablespoon of gravy with our dinners, which was hardly even enough to taste.

But my kitchen floor is clean for the first time in two months.

I have a few favorites who are pregnant and suffering from heartburn. I already hand out unsolicited advice like it's the best candy ever (and wrapped in real gold foil), and I'm trying to stop. So instead of sending a bunch of notes, I'll just passively put it here: Altoids. I had ridiculous heartburn with Grace; between her giant butt and my freakishly short torso, my stomach started squeaking around 2 weeks gestation.

My mother-in-law suggested Altoids, and I thought she was nuts, but I tried it anyway to make her happy. And they WORKED. I started keeping them by our bed and going to sleep with three of them in my mouth (I know, but I was willing to choke to death and/or lose all my teeth if it meant some relief).

You see this, Altoids? I'm doing advertising to all three people reading this. Now pay me.

I was posting a comment on my brother-in-law's blog the other day, and my word verification was "dinglyma". I desperately need a definition for this awesome new word. And not something stupid and silly. My creative juices are running dry, and this word is just too much wonderful to not be real. So help me make it real. I have a dream!

While we're at it, help me make a new word for "blog" so I can stop typing it. I hate "blog". I hate looking at it. I hate reading it. I hate saying it, hearing, thinking it. It hurts my tongue and throat to squeeze it out. When I make that noise that mimics vomiting, it sounds just like "blog" without the "g".

"Diary", "journal", and all the other approximations I can think of are equally bad for different reasons.

I love the ads here; my favorites are the adult diapers ads. I blame my rant about scented diapers the other day. I should click on the ad. Grace will be in adult diapers next week. Maybe I can get a deal.

My haircut is turning into a mullet. Back in October when I got it, it was hip and fresh-looking, short and flirty. Now it's turning frumpy and mullety.

At first there was much chagrine. Ten years ago, if you'd told me I'd have a kid and a mullet, I'd have looked at you like you'd grown six heads out your nipples. But now, I think a mullet could be kind of fun. I don't ever go anywhere. I'm not looking for dates. But I DO like to make people laugh. I plan to dig up some old oversized t-shirts and leggings to complete the look. Wish me luck.

(no, I'm not kidding)

So. I did something really stupid. I jumped into a debate about public breast feeding on a forum. I'm not even going to tell you here what side I'm on because I don't want to ever do that again. But people get really INSANE about public breast feeding. People on both sides! You'd think one side was advocating puppy murders and the other kitten drowning for the way they talk at each other.

But quitting would have been conceding defeat, so I stuck with it and shook with rage at one woman's wildly inaccurate characterizations of me and other people who fall into the same camp. Let this be a warning to you all. Never again. Never again.

(this is why I NEVER EVER NEVER EVER talk about politics or religion here; I'm very opinionated about both, and I AVOID AVOID AVOID because I tend to get a little frothy around the mouth; also, I'm a coward)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's three degrees in here.

Dear Canada, do you really have to hoard your good shows? I got really excited about Being Erica when CFF brought the videos to my attention (scroll down on the Being Erica blog; there are, I think, 15 videos or so). So I tracked down the website and got really excited when I saw the tab that said, "View Episodes". Then I got angry when Canada had a message that said, "Oh sorry if you're not Canadian, you're not good enough to watch our show." This is lame. If the show is only viewable online by Canadians, they're missing out on some pretty huge advertising revenue. The estimated population of Canada is about 33.5 million people. California alone has more potential viewers than that. *Something good finally comes out of Canada, and we're not allowed to have it. But we are allowed to have Shania Twain. I ask you how this makes sense. If you are Canadian, please assist me in understanding.

*A joke! Some of my best friends are Canadian! And even some family. No, really.

All that work and angst yesterday, and today she falls fast asleep in the bouncy seat while I'm in the shower. Bright light, no bouncing, nothing. Just SNOOOOOORE. She's been sleeping for an hour and a half now. She's right next to the toilet that I haven't cleaned in a week, inhaling toilet spores. This makes me an awesome mother.

Now the question is: do I make her nap in the bathroom from here on out, or do I try to nudge her in the direction of bedroom and crib? We have two bathrooms, so that's not a problem. I just don't want her to be 14, and the only place she can sleep is on the bathroom floor. That would mean I'd actually have to clean my bathroom floors from time to time.

Remember a while ago, how I forgot we had a cat, and it scared the living daylights out of me? Yeah, that keeps happening.

I got an electric throw for Christmas. It is so soft, like it was woven from unicorn fur or something. So of COURSE the cat has claimed and regularly rubs her butt on it. People wonder why I have no fondness for cats. Dogs might be dirty and slobbery, but cats are too. They're just stealthy about it (Oh, look at me! I'm so clean! I bathe myself! WITH MY SALIVA.) (And so do dogs, CAT, so don't act all high and mighty just because you have a barbed tongue). And dogs don't act like the Queen of Everything or steal your stuff. Or hate you forever because you took their man.

Anyway, she is finally acknowledging my existence. Mostly by walking up to me and claiming me via scent gland. I have cat cheek molecules all over my clothing. And my couch. And my nursing pillow. She probably claims the baby, too, when I'm not looking. Or she hates the baby and is biding her time until she can eat it for breakfast. I think our heavyweight champion could probably take her. Maybe that's why Cat is warming up to me; a greater evil has come along, and she is attempting to gain an ally.


Friday, January 9, 2009

I wonder where she got it from.

A dah dah dah dah dah.


The Child, she hates naps. But she so clearly needs at least a little sleep during the day. Part of the reason I'm so behind on things like housework and getting my butt back into shape is that my rear end is cemented to the couch, and my foot to the bouncy seat. I can wear a sling only so long before I start feeling like the Hunchback.

I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of HATE BAD MOTHER NEGLECT! for this, but right now she's upstairs in her crib crying. And I'm sitting down here on my computer. Don't worry. I only let her cry for a couple minutes at a time. It's not like she's up there all alone and scared. She's upset because she knows she's sleepy, and she's fighting it. It's not because she thinks she's been abandoned. She does the same thing if I'm bouncing or rocking her during the day, and she's sleepy.

If she weren't such an awesome night sleeper, I might be a little more frantic about her resistance to naps. But since I usually get at least seven hours of sleep a night (sometimes up to nine hours. NINE!), I can handle just about anything. I would like her to learn how to nap, though. She learned how to sleep at night at a very young age (not by me leaving her in her crib to cry, either), so I know she's capable of it.

So, to summarize:

1) Child sleeps just fine at night without me rocking her to sleep.
2) Child is sleepy during the day but will not sleep without me bouncing her through a nap.
3) Even when I do bounce her, she fights sleep tooth and nail for at least ten minutes before she drops off.
4) I'm not neglecting her; I got in and pat her and tell her I love her every few minutes.
5) If she learns to nap, it will benefit both of us, not just me. But its benefit to me will be a benefit to her, too.
6) I know she CAN sleep on her own because she does such a great job of it at night.

ALSO: I do wait to put her down until her natural sleepy times. I don't just throw her in the bedroom with the lights out at random times and expect her to sleep.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If you hate babies don't read this

The Child, I think, is going to be a musician. Or she'll at least like music. Or I'm in another fit of overgrown parent ego. Every time I sing to her, she grins like an idiot. But for some songs, she just stares in wonder. "Down to the River to Pray" (it's on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, sung by Alison Krauss, one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard) is one of those songs. Yesterday she woke from a nap freaking out. I started singing that song as loudly as I could without singing off key, and she calmed down immediately. Today we were rockin' out to some Regina Spektor, and I don't think I've ever seen her so happy.

We really need to get the piano tuned, or she'll grow up thinking singing a quarter-tone flat on every other note is a good thing.

She slept most of yesterday. I think she grew an inch in the last 24 hours. The outfit I put her to bed in last night even looks smaller on her now.

Operation: Car Seat has not started yet. She's been so sleepy and hoooongry and touchy the last few days. If I keep putting off stuff like this, she'll be fourteen and still afraid to go pee in the middle of the night. Wait. I'm afraid to go pee in the middle of the night (don't you KNOW there are monsters living in the sewers?). Bad example. She'll still be afraid of vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers and cars.

I spent all day yesterday fighting off insane cravings for a hummus plate from Mediterranean Cafe. I nearly took the car and drove to Madison in my pajamas and crazy hair with my crazy-haired baby. I really need to learn how to make a good hummus. And a good yogurt sauce. A possible a good Greek salad dressing. Then I wouldn't need Mediterranean Cafe. I could be happy and keep my money.

Behold, a video of The Child, which is also up on Facebook, but in order to see it there you have to be my friend:

I recommend watching it in high quality.

Don't believe her. We really do feed her. In fact, I think she'd just finished chowing down minutes before this.

This brings me to my next point. The Child may be aurally and verbally on track, but in the motor skills department, she's off-roading in the short bus. The only object she's interested in handling are her own hands. Which she chews on. Constantly. She still hasn't really mastered the concept of bringing her hands to her face. She stretches her head and neck forward as far as she can and becomes very, very frustrated if her hands happen to be in her lap. She's not THAT flexible.

Yesterday I was having no luck getting her interested in her brightly-colored educational rattle, so I stuck my hand in front of her face. I thought she might play with it. Don't ask me why. Instead, she promptly leaned forward and landed open-mouth-first on my palm. She chewed on that for a while before she realized she was in a really uncomfortable position and started to fuss.

We got a play phone for Christmas that lights up and talks when you push the buttons. She has that kind of figured out, but now I can't find it. It's disappeared since our trip to Indiana. So has our camera. Which might be a good thing.

We have a bar that attaches to the bouncy seat with things that hang down. One of those things is a big plastic frog. She'll stare and giggle and flirt with the frog for twenty minutes, and then abruptly start screaming at it in terror. She does the same thing with the ceiling fan. Yesterday she really freaked me out. I was reading and bouncing her when all of a sudden she went all wide-eyed at something over my shoulder and started shrieking. I actually thought there was something in the room with us for a minute. She was utterly terrified. I was really spooked. I wonder what she saw, if anything.

I'm also getting really frustrated about tummy time. I know she's strong enough to push herself up (I've seen her do it), but she just won't. She'll lie face-down on the floor and cry. Nothing works. I can put her on a pillow or on my chest, and she still hates it and just gives up. I also have to wait until at least 2 1/2 hours after she's last eaten, or she barfs everywhere. Which means she's never in an optimal mood for tummy time. I think she'll be two before she can sit up.

That's okay. If you're a musical or verbal genius, why would you need to be able to dress yourself in the morning?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Still recovering from Indiana

I am such a LOUSY mother when I'm tired. I love my kid, and I even like her a whole lot, but when I'm short on sleep, it's so tempting to just stick her in the bouncy seat and let her entertain herself all day. I dozed off during all but one feeding today. And I did just stick her in the bouncy seat a LOT.

Last night I was asleep by 11:15-ish, and... she woke up an hour early. Again. I'm hoping this really is a growth spurt and not her permanent schedule. She went from sleeping until 8:30 (at least 8:30; I was waking her up, so who knows how long she would have slept) to waking up at 7:00 HUNGRY and PISSED. She practically ate her own body weight today, though, so I'm guessing growth spurt.

I've been washing my face with castor oil recently (The Oil Cleansing Method).

(Castor oil is a laxative. Imagine Naomi, walking into the pharmacy at Wal-mart and asking, "Where is the castor oil, please? I need it for my face.")

It's awesome. I just use castor oil, though it supposedly dries your skin out if it's not diluted with something else. Not mine. Which is weird. My skin isn't THAT oily. And it dries out really easily during the winter.

So I've been smearing laxatives all over my face, and my skin is better than it's been since about second trimester. I forgot how crappy my skin was in the six months that it was suddenly, magically beautiful. Then I had the baby, and my hormones just crapped all over me. My skin was not spared. I thought the bad skin would go away, and then it didn't, and then I cried because I realized that no, this is just how my skin always is. Oh, to be pregnant again!

My skin isn't acne-ridden or anything. It's just... eugh. And completely unresponsive to typical treatments. And extremely sensitive and irritable. So, castor oil, I salute thee! I'm just waiting for the day the baby gets ahold of it by accident. I very clearly remember one of the first times I was allowed to bath alone. I found a razor and shaved my arms. Just imagine what I might have done with castor oil.

As often happens, I had more to say, but I've now forgotten it. It had something to do with clothing, I think, but I can't remember what. So. Good night.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Joining the polar bear club.

If I ever again have a three-month-old, and if I ever again say, "We go to Indiana this week. I'm much more excited about it than I was last week," (see last entry) I want one of you to come over here and club me senseless until I need to be hospitalized for the duration of said trip to Indiana.

1: Indiana; Illinois, too, but mostly Indiana because at least Illinois has Chicago. Indiana just has Gary, which plasters cheerful greetings to highway drivers all over the big rusty tanks at the water treatment facility. Which is like me painting "Welcome to our home" on my dirty toilet bowl. I'm talking here about the northern part of those two states, so don't get your undies all in a bunch if you live in Beautiful Southwestern Indiana or wherever. Northern Illinois and Indiana have maybe six hills between them. Which is great if you're watching the horizon for an invasion, not so great if you'd like to drive in a straight line without the wind rolling your truck. Or if you'd like to stay awake at the wheel.

2: The Child. I don't think I've ever seen her so utterly miserable. She was a real trooper. She was. But around hour four (going both ways), she began to come unraveled. There is some consolation, however: Her fine motor skills are improving; she has learned how to remove her pacifier from her mouth with her hand, not just her tongue. My poor brother-in-law only made two or three jokes about throwing her out the window. He could justifiably have made more. And I would have laughed. Maniacally. She wasn't like this the whole time, but when she was, she was exhausting. We got home and threw her in the bathtub, and she Did Not Appreciate That.

Which brings me to Awesome Thing Number Three from This Weekend; even though it has nothing to do with Indiana, I'm blaming Indiana anyway:

3: Our water heater stopped working while we were gone. James is down there trying to light the pilot light with incense sticks because our long lighter isn't long enough and our useless Wal-mart doesn't sell superlong matches. I haven't heard any cursing, but I imagine he's weeping by now. I would be.

The Child is asleep now. She has been for a while. I promised her she wouldn't ever have to see the inside of a car seat for a week. But then I remembered about church. I also remembered my earlier vow to strap her in the stupid thing for ten minutes a day whether we went anywhere or not. So Mommy is a liar.

We did have a great time once we got to where we were going, but I won't ever do that again without a van. Or possibly a bus.

No luck with the water heater. It will either be a chilly morning or a very greasy morning tomorrow. I can't decide which I prefer.

Update: It is fixed! Joys!