Thursday, March 29, 2012

8.Months.


8 months. She's 8.months.old.

SAY WHAT? I know. I KNOW. 

Each month (or 2-3 weeks after her month birthday) I take pictures of her. And it's adorable. And I treasure the pictures. And I'm not only taking pictures but doing something with the fabric we use in the back ground. While she's the 2nd child and she may or may not have a baby book filled out, she'll have these month by month pictures and it's legendary.  But you know what else it is? It's a pain. But it's SO worth it. LOOK at that face? LOOK AT HOW BIG SHE IS. It's like somewhere between month 1 and 3 someone came in and dropped a reincarnation of L into the house. I'm told in person she doesn't look as identical as the first born. Most people say she looks like me. Who wouldn't want to be compared to this doll? 

She's 8 months old. She's almost been out longer than she's been. 

I looked back to see where was L at this time.  It's fascinating. I love this dang blog.  Even though I don't post often, and there is a blog post that has been pending for weeks because I don't know how to write it the right way - I love it. I get to see my girls in a moment. Like, where were they today 2 years ago? No seriously. Click.

Baby girl is 8 months old and honestly, I can't imagine a day without her.

She's delicious.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Price of Distance

I'm still trying to sum up our trip to the Northeast a few weeks ago. As I reflect, there are some good ol'fashion mayhem stories, funny stories, but there's also another side to the trip that is nagging on me. There is a price to living so far away. A price that weighs on my little family, it weighs on me. Am I the only person who lives far from their friends and family that gets this? I don't even know if company would help to ease the burden of distance.

In a few short months, we will have been in our new home for a year. A new city, new state, half way across the country from our family and many friends. Here's the thing about being away: it isn't always awful. I know many of our friends & family hate it. I know this because they beat it into every conversation or visit we have. Actually, let me clarify... here's the thing about being away: it isn't awful at all. It's a certain kind of wonderful, with the exception of when we are visiting or having conversations where we are told how awful it is.

Guess what? We know where we live. We know we are far. We know that it isn't easy. We know you miss us. We miss you, too, for the most part.  Ironically, how people handle our distance actually makes me miss you less. True story. 

There is a TON that we are grateful for, when it comes to how far we are. It's true. Why does that irritate people to hear?   And if it doesn't, why do they behave as such when we talk about how much we love our new life? We live in an amazing neighborhood, outside of a city that has a lot to offer. There are parades, street parties, farms and zoos. Tons of things to do with the kids, good food, beer is everywhere, a great little (temporary) home and a gift of successful and enjoyable careers. We go to parks, shop at small markets, walk to dinner or out for an ice cream treat for the kid. There are new neighborhoods to explore and favorite spots we like to frequent.  We love the STL.

The fact that friends and family aren't close, it's hard. We miss out on fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations. Here's the thing, that maybe no one else will say.  You know what else we love?
We miss out on fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations.

This gives us, our family unit, a unique opportunity.  A chance to enjoy each other, get to know each other and bond in a way that let me tell you: you don't get when you are stressed and driving all over God's creation to participate in fun get togethers, dinners, weekends away, parties and celebrations. We get to make new family traditions and special holidays that make our kid's eyes light up.  Why aren't more of our friends and family excited about the opportunity we get to have strengthening our family unit? Maybe they are, but why don't I see that in their actions or the words they use?

I'm trying to be okay with it. Use these experiences to add to my list; my "I'll never" list. Maybe my friends who move away will appreciate it.  Or perhaps when it's my turn, someone will be forwarding me this link to remind me.  When it comes to my kids? I'm sure if I forget this valuable lesson they'll fire up the antique internet and throw it in my face. At least I hope they do, because I want them to be happy. Near or far. I know, at the heart of things, our friends & family are happy we are happy. I just wish that it was less about their experience.  I want them to feel our happiness.

Self indulgent disclaimer: I am writing about this, because it's part of my story. It's how I feel, and maybe you don't understand - but this site helps me. It is the cheapest gD therapy on the market. I am writing about this, because it's what I do and if I didn't I wouldn't be staying true to myself and why I have a blog. I am not talking to one person or even two. It's a theme I experienced. You, the person internalizing this, (I am assuming many will) I hope you think about this in another way.  You're lucky!  Not only would I talk to you about this given the opportunity, but you get to read my thoughts. You're welcome. Now since you are internalizing it, perhaps it's because you know you lament over our distance. Let up next time, huh. Enjoy the time together and let's spend less time complaining about how little time we have.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Trifecta Part II

Almost 4 years ago we had our first trifecta dinner party, it was fun. If you like dogs pooping in the corner.  No seriously, the people made it fun. Just like Trifecta Part Duex.

The scene: we're at a friends house. A glorious new condominium that the likes of Pinterest was created for.  After a long weekend full of 16 hour work days and a long day at the office, it was a highlight of our stay in Boston.  I'm not quite sure if by the end of the evening it was the highlight of their weekend.

To review, the characters include:
  • The ball & chain - the husband.
  • Yours truly - me.
  • The kid - 4 year old, on the move and in vacation mode 3 days and counting at the point of the story. 
  • The baby - 7 months old and unpredictable as the day is long. 
  • Jez - a friend with whom despite having many differences with, you would be surprised at the amount of things we say, think, or even choose to wear on any given day that is identical. Sometimes on purpose, so what we have the same duvet cover, most times by accident. 
  • Chris #6 - Jez' husband and the 6th Chris in our life. When in doubt, if you want to know what some one's name is, it's likely Chris.
Opening act:
In observing all that goes into the baby stage, especially when it comes to feeding the little bugger Chris #6 asked a puzzling question: "At what point can you sit down and eat dinner together?" The ball & chain answered confidently, "We eat dinner together every night, just about."  However that really wasn't the question.  He clarified, "When do get to use both hands?"  We laughed. I don't think it was a joke. We answered something to the effect of:"Well. L is 4 years old and we're still waiting."

The Trifecta:
We show up and JJ starts spitting up (aka vomiting) all over their glorious new bamboo floors. Note to self: bamboo sure does clean up nice and easy. That's count 1 for the trifecta. Fast forward, there is eating, drinking, and being merry. We had sous vide pork, as you do when you dine with a fancy pants chef in disguise. You didn't know what that is either, do you? About 20 minutes into the meal, the kid excuses herself. She heads to the bathroom which is dangerously close to the meal. I don't worry, but I do notice how close it is when we hear her murmur, "Wow. That bread sure is spicy."

The bread was not spicy.

We all laugh and when I ask if she needs help (parent lingo for, "Are you going to poop?") she declines and announces she just has to pee. That's 2 in the count to trifecta.

5 minutes later she gets up from the table, again, and goes to the bathroom. Someone makes a joke about the "spicy bread" and I silently hope for the best. As the adults giggle our way through dinner, the kid can hear us commenting on the effects of spicy bread and she wants to set the record straight. Despite her being able to just tell it like it is, she screams it - to make sure no one is confused.

"I'M NOT POOPING! I'M JUST FARTING!!!!"

You'd think that's 3 in the count to trifecta, but it's not. Let's call it 2.5.

On an aside? While I could have gone without the screaming like a lunatic about her flatulence, it was a proud mama moment. For years we've been telling her, rather than letting it rip at the dinner table (or any table, hall, or room for that matter), excuse yourself to the bathroom. She did it! Proud. Mama. Moment. You know who wasn't as proud? Chris #6. Homeboy was starting to loose the color in his cheeks, and I don't think it was the spicy bread.

P.S. The bread? It totally wasn't spicy.

So, post "I'M NOT POOPING! I'M JUST FARTING!!!!" we settle down and the adults continue to eat.  A few minutes later and home girl leaves the table, again, to make her way to the bathroom. Again. Let the spicy bread jokes ensue.

But then shit got real.

Literally.

"Um. I need some help. Daddy! I pooped on my leg."

That. Happened.

Chris #6 goes ghost white and I'm pretty sure his desire to procreate left the building. The ball & chain goes and helps the kid out and since we apparently have a mic in the bathroom, we could hear the whole thing.

The kid, "I just kept going to the bathroom. I wanted to look. I was curious."

Apparently the spicy bread got her, so when she went to go and look - well, she got poop on her leg. As you do. To make matters worse (because it had to get worse), she got nervous and she pulled up her pants. Awesome.

"Luckily" we were traveling with a year's worth of clothing, so the costume change was painless. The look on Chris #6's face? Not so much. 

Closing act:
We're going to San Diego in a few months. We told L all about the San Diego zoo and all the animals we'll see. We're pumped. Jez & Chris #6 just got back from Australia. L was looking through their pictures. She came up on Kola bears, as you do. Her natural and no nonsense response? "Oh you went to the San Diego zoo, too? That's nice."

So yea, we're going to Australia aka, the San Diego zoo soon - and God willing? There will be no pooping on any legs. A girl can dream. 
Forward:
The next day Jez left me a voice mail. L loved it.

"Hey it's Jez. Call me back. I pooped on my leg." 

The only issue? Since this was a favorite story to tell from place to place on our journey, L loves to tell it. It gets a big laugh. Slight issue though, she doesn't introduce the concept or set up the story.  So her version? It goes like this:

"And then Mama's friend Jez left a message. It was so funny. OK I'll tell you. 'Hey it's Jez. Call me back. I pooped on my leg!!!' And then I was in the bathroom
and I said: 'I'M NOT POOPING! I'M JUST FARTING!!!!'" 

We are going to work on the story telling. It can only go up from here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lessons from the Road

We're back. We survived. Where left you left your superhero we were getting ready to take a trip. Scared of what was to come, not so much the visit itself on the other side of the transportation, but the journey itself to get to the visit ahead of us.

Long story short - the travel piece - went swimmingly (on the way there). It was perfection, sure there were some bumps, but the start of our trip? It was (overall) glorious.

Some interesting factoids and photographic proof of mayhem and/or above aforementioned glory?
  1. Traveling alone with all that is needed on the first leg of the trip is a pain in the ass interesting. We came into the airport like bats out of hell and may or may not have taken down the "VIP" ropes. Traveling with kids means traveling like a pack mule. I had one suitcase that should fit clothing for a year, a car seat, a piece O crap stroller (that I found out in-between two boarding lines doesn't actually fold with ease), a diaper bag and a back pack. Visual b: The rope that didn't see it coming. In related news? Yea, we're starting with b. Whoops.
  2. East coast trip = Dunkin' Donuts everywhere. Even at the gate to go to the East Coast. I run on Dunkin'. Visual a, perfection: a D&D at our gate. Oh heaven how I love you. You know what else runs?
  3. People. They suck. Specifically when you walk toward them with a baby. The looks I got carrying that kid, you would think I had a bomb strapped to my body. The looks, the sneers, the whispering. At one point, I almost started to say to people "I know, I hope she isn't on my flight either! Am'I riiight??"
  4. In getting on leg 1 of my trip (yes, I had to stop) the gate attendant handed me my ticket as I boarded flight whispering in my ear, "The seat next to you is empty." To which my only response could be, "God bless you." Note to self, travel tip: When getting on a flight, be sure to check your ticket for your seat assignment.  True story.

    After blessing the airline agent, I settled into my seat, D16. 2 carry ons and wearing the baby. Afraid for my life and those around me. A man comes up to our aisle and I think to myself, DAMN I thought that broad said this seat was empty. He informs me, I am, in fact D16, in his seat. I look at my ticket... A16. I could have sworn it was D - but whatever. I move.

    I cozy into A16, scared for my life, wondering what kind of hell the baby will put me through as soon as we take off because on all accounts home girl looks happy. I figure, it's the calm before the storm.

    2 minutes later, a new man appears. He says, I am in his seat. I look up and check, I'm in A16. My seat, so says my ticket. I get it out, to prove this yahoo wrong and hope to sweet baby hay-Zues they didn't double book my seat. I look. I SEE A16 - and show him. At which point he shows me that A16 was the gate. My seat is D13. He's happy to go sit there, instead of having me move. I kindly (think) say, "Oh that's so nice! No (f'ing way) thank you!" That empty seat next to me was MINE and I wasn't going to give it up. Despite the two time shuffle.
  5. The baby? Was great. If she wasn't sleeping? She was smiling. Visual c.
  6. An extra seat? It's divine.  Visual d.
  7. By the end of the flight I wanted want to go around to all those that gave me dirty looks & go all "Big mistake. HUGE." w/ Pretty Woman gusto. She was amazing.
  8. You know what was not amazing? The weirdo sitting next to us. He zipped himself up into his jacket. Um. Excuse me sir, but what the F?
More stories from the road, soon. I took notes on barf bags from the plane. Class act right here. Let's hope I can make sense of the rest.
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