Sunday, February 27, 2011

Elmo's World of Fashion

Me: "Are you excited about the Oscars tonight?"
The kid:  "Yes, and Elmo's World too, right?"

photo credit http://www.exposay.com/
and a google images search

She will be sorely surprised that there will likely be no furry red monster and no Gaga in an egg.  I think she's going to dig the fashion which will continue to confuse me and how we are related.

Friday, February 25, 2011

First Hair Cut

September 2010
The night before her first (scheduled) haircut!

I'd been toying around with getting the kid's hair cut for a few months now. The end of September, I was getting a hair cut and L wanted one too. While I love her curls and her hair, it is a pain in the ass. Most importantly, she was bringing it up - she wanted a hair cut.  I try not to let the kid run the house, but she does have (some) choices and cutting her hair and style is one of them.  The ball & chain is down with this, for now, though I sense I change of heart when she wants to shave her head or dye it blue.   We might be a house divided if he does.  I'll try not to fast forward and focus on the issue at hand; a simple hair cut.

Scene of my first hair cut.
Photo credit, Disney's Tangled.
While my father still talks about my first hair cut where all my curls fell out and the color changed (impossible), I didn't want to be like that. (Side note: I now invision a scene in Disney's Tangled.   The one when Rapunzel's hair gets cut it turns brown.) It was severely traumatic (for him) and he has the hair from that dreaded day like a serial killer keeps a trophy of a kill.  He'll show you if you want.  I was not going to creep out like that. (Don't worry - the irony is it's about to get creepy.)  The night before the scheduled cut, her hair was PERFECT. Adorable. Amazing. Of course. Sure, she has ice pop face - but I had to take pictures to prove it.  To make matters worse I put it on the Facebook and got slammed for the possibility of a hair cut.

We got to the hair salon and after my hair cut she was NOT interested, so crisis averted. I didn't force the issue because like I said, it's her choice.  5 months later, as snow blankets the ground, there is proof that summer existed in her hair. The ends of her hair, mostly this little tail of curl remains in the back of head (that curl up there in picture one, taken in September).  5 months later, it is the blondest, tightest, knottiest piece of hair that has ever lived on a 3 year old's head. It is the curliest piece, it is the blondest piece and for all of these things, I am fairly certain Nana Lu is still mourning her loss. Every morning I expect to find it forming a dread.  While I dig that; dreads do seem a bit unconventional for a 3 year old. Randomly one night, I asked her if we could cut a little of her hair, it was still up to her. I explained her rat tail was kind a pain and would she mind if we cut it off? When I included the idea of "beauty parlor" she was in.  SURE, she'd be delighted - next can she have a manicure?? We had her take a bath, we combed out her hair and with a random scissor I cut the way back rat tail that was plaguing us daily.  For the grandparents reading:  yes we discussed that no she could never take a scissor to her head, no she was not to do this on her own, etc etc - will this come back to bite us? Perhaps.  I'd like to believe there are kids out there that have taken a scissor to their hair before ever receiving a hair cut.  It is what it is. I cut ONE piece.  It was only one part of her hair, though combed straight about an inch and half to two inches. I took a picture - mostly for fun and perhaps ceremoniously.

If I planned this (post) better I would have gotten a Tangled doll to use for scale! I suggested the hair cut, but she agreed. The clipped hair, which of course I mean to only save a lock for her baby book still sits on our book case. Full clip.  Serial killer like.  Also, her hair looks SO short now and I swear to God, it looks darker.

Creepy apple, not fallen far from the tree, Mama signing off.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Other White Meat

The ball & chain is the chef of the house. Can I cook? Sure, I think it's possible. The thing is, the man loves it - my feeling? Why take something away from him that he loves? What kind of person would that make me? Also, he's way better at it than I am.  Why mess with perfection? Homeboy can COOK.  He can also bake... that I won't even try to attack. It isn't worth the pain.  There are somethings that I can cook better or he hates cooking - for those things I rock the kitchen.  By in large, though, he's the head chef of the house.

The kid loves to help, which may sound crazy since she's 3 years old - but she loves it. She has (almost) mastered breaking eggs, whisking eggs, stirring anything, putting things in the toaster, putting things in bowls - no cutting and the stove is off limits - but other than that she is in. She loves it and I love that she loves spending time with us (mostly her Dad) during that time.  It keeps her busy, off the boob tube, and engaged. It also gives us yet another opportunity to record a wacky quote.
The other night she helped with making chicken cutlets... 
C: "Want to help me make chicken cutlets?"
L: "No. I don't like it."
C: "What don't you like?"
L: "The cock lets. I don't like it."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lessons in Backseat Parenting

Sometimes L takes SO long we have to flat leave her at the dinner table. I know that seems harsh, but with an audience it could take hours.  If we rush her in the moment and tell her to finish up - there will be no less than 5 choking scares. The rule is - adults can leave early, kids have to wait until the adults are done. May not seem fair, but it's our kingdom. We all eat, at a normal pace. Sit for a few minutes, but then it's time to clean up and get on with the night. We'll leave her and tell her she has to finish up.  This time, her Daddy stuck around with her - he picked up a magazine and I left the table.  I was close, in the living room, so I could hear the conversation. This is how it went:

L: "Get away from the table, Asshole."
Me: (trying to remain calm, not really successful - from the living room) "WHAT'D YOU SAY?"
L: "Get away, Asshole."

I waited for the ball & chain to spring into action, he was parent on duty - closest distance to the kid therefore it's on him to discipline. But alas, I hear no movement to that end, just a flip of a paper - is he really that into whatever magazine he's reading through?

Me: (to myself) "Do not backseat parent. Do not backseat parent. Do not backseat parent."

Me: (aloud, trying not to sound like an asshole: ironic) "Are you seriously going to let her talk like that?"
The ball & chain: "Like what? Should she say please?"
Me: (trying to remain calm, somewhat successful) "What did she just say?"
The ball & chain: "Get away from the table, Abelle." (The dog, if you aren't familiar.  The way she says it is like "Ana-BOWL" and really fast, I swear, all I hear now is asshole.)

Me: "Yeah, right, I guess no please is necessary...."

I passed along what I heard. Apparently I was wrong; way wrong, I can be such an Abelle sometimes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Benjamin Button

Perhaps naming this baby to be Kev was a little premature. This kid is making me old.  I didn't see the movie, but maybe I'm carrying Benjamin Button. I'm clearly on the fast track to senior citizenship. I mean as fast as the elderly go - I'm going that fast; maybe with a little boost from a hoverround or lark.

Prove it? Fine, I will.
  • I eat my meals on an early bird rotation. A few weeks ago I met one of my besties for dinner at what I admit was elderly O'clock. I believe we rendezvoused before 5pm. And that's late for me.
    • Lately, I've been eating dinner around 4 pm. 
    • I will also frequently eat lunch at 11 am.  
  • I don't like to drive.
  • I definitely don't like to drive at night.
  • I'd prefer to stay home, wrapped up in a blanket and watch my 'stories' if I could.
  • I haven't worn my contacts since I found out I was knocked up. I did take a break from my glasses on a few separate occasions when I outside of Connecticut; dress it up and put my eyes on.
  • Sure with this pregnancy, I don't feel like I'm going to die - but I do feel like I'm on death's door or it's short list. Gah... I can't keep typing my eyes hurt and I think "Murder She Wrote" is on.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

6 Degrees of (my) Kevin Bacon

Obviously I have some issues with names, but we've finally settled on a name. And while I wouldn't normally announce in such a way, what can you do.  I need to get it out.
photo from Disney - Pixar's Up


We're calling him or her Kev. 
As in Kevin. 
As in Kevin Bacon.
As in this kid is basically made O bacon. 


The movie Up had a Kevin and he ended up to be a she so that totally takes care of the is it a boy or a girl thing.  Kevin is the big ol'blue bird if you haven't seen the flick.


I don't know what it is, but this kid loves him/her some bacon. Bacon for breakfast with some eggs - yes please. BLT sandwich? Don't mind if I do. When I wake up in the morning, this is what I think from the moment I open my eyes. Sure, my story is being told by a golden retriever but it's my story... minus being fed out of a bag.  If it was really that easy - I wouldn't be mad.  A friend sent me this due to all my bacon talk. You would imagine one look at this and I would be off the salty meat deliciousness. But all it did was help me understand my dog better... and want more bacon. 


Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine

edited to note:
kid = ours
costume = bought for no reason a few months ago at Marshall's because why wouldn't you spend 10 dollars on this kind of potential of fun? You never know when this will come out again. Every kid needs a dress up case and mine is no exception.
picture = instagr.am & iPhone
editing = picnik
cheesy caption = We took the picture Friday... but couldn't think of a caption all weekend. Had to call in the troops (aka someone who has a knack for the play on words) for chessy wording and ta-da an electronic greeting from ours to yours.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Heart Beats

The first week of February L had (another) snow day and I had an appointment with my new OB/GYN. I miss what we had in Boston, big time, but I was looking forward to meeting this new doctor. Up until this point I'd been seen by technicians and nurse practitioners. I had a good feeling about our new doctor for a few reasons. First, I'd asked some local moms for some recommendations a few months ago - and she and her practice came up a lot. Second, after a recent first trimester screening blood test and sonogram she called to follow up. The technician said, "No news is good news - you won't get a call unless something needs to be looked into."  Instead, the doctor called to say "Everything looks perfect!" Who doesn't want to get a call like that? Unnecessary but something that doesn't go unnoticed. I had a feeling all was going well - I mean the kid waved at that appointment... I'm thinking that was a sign.

When I think about how things are this time vs. last time - the temperament of these kids are 100% different. How can I tell? Look at this kid? Waving, just chillin. That's right kiddo - you stay calm. L? She was beating her fist from the moment she could. 

Let's bring it back to the point here; we had a follow up appointment and since L had a snow day I thought it would be neat to have her come with us and hear the heart beat. She didn't really get it, but that's ok. As we left her quote was worth the trip.  Apparently she thought when I said she would HEAR the baby I wasn't clear enough; she thought she would MEET the baby. 

"OK Mommy. Where's my baby?"

She looked up at me impatiently as if let down by the trip. Ah home girl. If it only happened that fast.
168 more days. Give or take a few weeks, cause that's the way we roll.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Name Game

photo credit Babycenter.com
I have some rules about names (for me).

1. Respect (head's up - this is my angriest of rules)

What others do - I respect and (try) not to judge. Listen, if you want to name your child something I can't pronounce a) that isn't hard since I can hardly pronounce my last name and b) it's your baby. Mozel tov to you.  I most certainly do not comment out loud, nor will I here. My rules are things that I think about when we talk about naming babies, for our family not rules that should be mandated from state to state, country to country.  I completely understand how many people, if not most, will think the following thoughts on naming the next kid in this crew is bananas.  That's fine, think we are bananas. Think it silently. What I hope most will also think is that this first rule is the most important one.

I continue to remain shocked at the audacity of people. Sure, I can see in their eyes when they try keep their reaction to some of the names we are thinking about silent. At least they are trying, A for effort.  I'll respect that. Just the other night someone made fun of my favorite name for a girl. I'm not going to lie and I'm also not going to sugar coat or censor this.  I think that's totally fucked up. And it took all I had not to reply with a loud and proud (and clearly hormonally charged) big fuck you. I'm not going to sugar coat it. It's fucked up. Do I make fun of your name, maybe it's one of the names I specifically say I dislike the most?  Do I poke fun of what comes to mind when I hear that name? Who do you think you are?  Why do you ask about names if you aren't going to play nice? Why do you participate in the conversation? Does it make me angry? Guess.

This particular interaction isn't the first time and I know it won't be the last but it is the most fresh. Make no mistake, if you've done it in the past to me or anyone else I would wager they remember.  Perhaps it doesn't make them as angry as it does me, perhaps they don't get angry at all - but they remember.

2. Names should be nicknamable

If you know my name, it might seem nicknameable.  If you don't know it, you won't need to be Nancy Drew to figure it out.  The thing about my name is there are a few options and one of them my mom took off the table from the beginning. Jenny was never an option... ahh the spelling possibilities, how I feel cheated we could have had so much fun Jennie or Jenni - with hearts over the i's it would have been grand.  Alas it was banned. If I were ever able to make a new start, I might try to see if it catches on. I dig it, strangely. There are names we absolutely LOVE that I can't come to terms with.  I can't figure out a way to consider them because it isn't nicknamable OR I can't find a name that would BRING me to these names. This rule is the least favorite of my rules and the one I can't seem to walk away from. It's irritating. Maybe I should flip to Jenny now to be able to get over the whole thing cause we are missing out on some hott names.

Examples, in no particular order:
Sloane
Isla
Norah
Brody
Reid
Rhys
Jake (I know, Jacob.  I can't do it. When I think of Jacob, I think werewolf. It's a tween obsession. I can't go there.)

There are more but I think I'm trying to block out names I can't consider, because I'm bananas.

3. Names should be somewhat uncommon in some way

My name was also one that was the last thing other than unique.  That said, L's name isn't all that randomly heard. It sucks. Her name is one that has always been rattling around in my head, variations of it - but I always knew I wouldn't know until I met my daughter.  Then I did and there she was.  Who would know variations of her name would climb into the top 20 the year she was born? Number 17 and climbing.

You know what is a little more unique? Elle. I'm just saying (popularity ranking: 442 vs. 17). Since I'm the only one that calls her that it doesn't really count. This time around, word on the street is I get carte blanche on this next kid since the last round my naming dreams were dashed. See number 63 - 64 in the 100 list.

When it's all said and done, this seems to be the rule we care the least about.  Our favorite name for a boy is Jackson which is (A) a super popular nation wide (B) a popular name in our family and extended families (C) the nickname I most prefer, Jax, is the name of characters of two TV shows I admittedly watch. ALL of that said, I like the name in spite of my General Hospital habit and I loved it before my obsession began with Sons of Anarchy. Basically it's in all ways, the opposite of somewhat uncommon, yet I compare all boy names to Jax. Let's take a moment of silence for the name that will never be.


(this is the silence)


4. Names should have some kind of connection to family names

L's full name - first, middle and initials ties to family 100%. I feel like pulling a name from a baby book, despite how much we like it, seems like we are cheating the next kid out of something. I might be over thinking it. OK fine, I'm totally over thinking it.  I think I may be over thinking the whole thing. OK fine, I'm totally over thinking it - but see rule number 1.

I'm stressing. I don't know why - but this whole naming thing is a lot of pressure and I feel it. How do you handle picking names for the kids, pets, cars - whatever?  It's a lot of pressure - no matter who or what you are putting a title on.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Home Sickness

This time 4 (ish) years ago things were different. I am happy things are different for so many reasons, but holy hell do I miss some serious pieces of of 4 (ish) years ago.
  • Hippies. I need to find me some oasis over here. Urban Oasis in Cambridge, MA - how I miss thee. There is no one here to "give this baby some love" the way you did, hippy oh mine.
  • MGH. Sure we had our fair share of terrible memories of that place, but the atmosphere was beautiful.  Despite many nights of feeling unstable, ultimately, some of the worst of my life - I can't help but think of the times it wasn't an inferno of hell. Like the weeks leading up to d day - the appointments, the days leading up to her release. For all it's crazy times you can't hide that the building is beautiful and the neighborhood surrounding it is gorgeous. While the doctor we are going to now is great, is connected to a great hospital with a level 3 NICU (yeah, I made sure) - the place smells like crap, looks like it's a left over from the 70s and the drive in is like driving through a scene of The Wire.
  • Friends. We've lived her for a bit, and have some subset of some social interactions and we love it here, for the most part. There is something comforting about Boston though. Even though family was not right around the corner - we had friends. Good friends that we just don't have here. Most of the time it's the little things I miss, but sometimes it sneaks in that we are (almost) all alone here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

After the Storm

The snow storm? I wish.

I'm talking announcement. Apparently my Facebook coming out announcement was confusing. There is a surprise. You be the judge - but if you aren't on Facebook, you are disqualified from the judges table.

It's too bad they don't have a profile update - like when you get married. You can tag your ball & chain - and say you are married. It's (FB) official. How do you update when you get knocked up? Consider my baby daddy, C tagged and this FB official.

Even though everyone didn't get it; I should have taken the day off. The announcement of being with child is like a birthday. SUPER overwhelming with the alerts- I imagine the same thing as once he/she will get here. I wasn't on the Book when L was born and based on responses of the announcement I'm scared.

The usual questions have ensued and reminded me of all the reasons I started this here corner of the world wide web.
  • How do you feel? 
  • When are you due?
  • Will you find out if it's a boy or girl? 
  • What are you thinking for names? 
How am I feeling? 
FANTASTIC - that being relative. I feel sluggish and (already) too fat. The usual. BUT relatively speaking, thinking of being pregnant with L - fantastic. It is POLAR opposite. Totally and absolutely the opposite. For every reason. I do not feel like I want to die, I do not go to bed at 7pm, I do not cry every day, I do have control over myself, I don't want to puke 99.9% of the day / night. I LOVE vegetable this time - and vinegar makes me more happy than I would like to admit. Last time the very thought of lettuce and salad dressing would make me throw up. Never mind the fixings of salad. YAH.UK! Now? If it would be socially acceptable to drink dressing from my salad bowl like soup - I would. Though I'm sure it's not cool to drink soup from the bowl either - but you get my drift.  Every single thing different than last time. It's kind of amazing. I know everyone says "every pregnancy is different" but I honestly don't believe "them" ... I guess I should have.

When am I due?
It's complicated. Technically, 8.5.2011, however that's up for debate. Due to L's outrageous size (to review: L weighed in at 10 lbs 14.8 oz - just about 11 lbs - was 22.25 inches - almost 2 feet - and a 15 cm head. Yes, at that size I do believe the decimal points are appropriate and well deserved.) and situation of her arrival I could go in a week earlier with a scheduled c section.  That would bring her arrival the last week of July.  Truth be told, I don't know for sure what we'll do - and frankly it's none of your beeswax. I am (clearly) open to discuss a lot of things but I'm not taking votes on the fate of my abdomen, uterus or vagina. I feel that's fair.  I have a feeling I'm going to have to make a t-shirt with this motto.

Will we found out if it's a boy or girl? 
Totally random, but no. Last time we waited, mostly because the ball & chain wanted to wait. I said second time around we'd find out.  Here we are and the more I think about it the more I remember that moment we found out that we had a daughter. Sure, her birthstory took four takes, but just like her - it was worth it. 
"....The next few seconds, at 10:55 pm, are crystal clear but difficult to describe. I did feel an amazing amount of pressure, like a large part of my body literally being lifted from my abdomen. Oh wait that is what happened. It was like a weight was lifted out from my stomach. Then I heard the doctors, "Wow, what a big baby!" They also kept calling to "Dad" to look. C was going to announce the sex of the baby- that was the plan but in all the excitement- he and I had locked eyes and he wasn't looking up. Finally I said, "That's you! What is it?"

C looked up, jumped up and started waving his hands in the air... "It's a girl it's a girl - we have a daughter. A daughter! Oh my god, it's a girl it's a girl!!!!" He was circling the operating room and almost took a nurse or two out. We were crying- and then started hearing L cry. It was pretty much the most beautiful sound I had ever heard."
What are you thinking of for names? 
GAH what a nightmare. I wish I could give L some authority over the name.  It would REALLY help the situation because we are totally stuck on a boy name. If it were up to L, we'd be naming this kid "Buddy" from the Elf movie. True story.  Luckily we have 179(ish) more days to figure it out. Yes. I am counting, NO I don't know for sure if it's a boy. The front runner of our boy names was (non)violently taken from us and since then I can't seem to find a name that we like anywhere near the same. It sucks. It makes me sad every single time someone asks me what we are thinking of naming the baby.

With girls name, we are all set and no I'm not broadcasting here. If you want to talk it out though, I'm not against that (totally different than last time). That said, yes, I will remember when you make a remark about the names we have carefully and thoughtfully considered for our flesh and blood.  We have a few names in mind though we never really know until we meet him/her at least that's what happened last time. We do have some solid thoughts.

The only issue is my own narcosis.  I have rules around names. And these rules just give us less choices. Cause why keep anything simple? Oh but all that for another day.

The countdown is on.
Trimester 1 over and out.  Since "they" are onto something what say you? If you've been knocked up more than once - what ELSE is different?  
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