Sunday, January 27, 2013

week 4

getting our Valentines ON

  • We had lots of dance parties. Almost every day.
  • We didn't sleep through the night. Almost every day. 
  • I broke out the car seat for a friend to borrow & JJ loved to put her baby in it. It would have been cuter, if she slept at all this week. Instead she is just mocking me with her cuteness. 
  • It was so cold this week, with the heat blasting, I wore winter hats, scarfs, gloves and heated myself with a candle. Brutal.
  • The kid brought home our first god awful piece of pottery - and I love it. Whatever the hell it is.
  • We ran errands, like zombies - cause like I said. We aren't sleeping. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

6 years ago: today

6.years. I can't even believe it. I remember it clearly.

A week ago (6 years ago) I had ventured away from my usual lunch selection and added salmon to my salad. I was a frequent flyer at my office's salad bar. I got the same thing, every day. This one day, they offered salmon at the salad bar and I went for it. Salmon? Salad bar? Somebody call the salmonella police*.

Anyway, I had eaten this salmon in my salad and for days I was not the same.


And everyday, at some point in some way I would say, "Jesus. My stomach is not right." And after the first few times, one of my friends would make some comment about perhaps it wasn't the fish. Maybe I was knocked up.

People are predictable funny.  When you are at a ripe age and dating someone everyone asks, "when are you getting married?" After you get married, everyone asks, "when are you going to have kids?" Once you have a kid, everyone asks, "when are you going to have another?" At this point, the ball&chain had locked down our forever contract for 4 months. I was used to the "when are you going to a baby" question.

My friend's persistent "maybe you are knocked up" to my persistent "I'm never having salmon again" was starting to get to me. It was a Friday night, and as per usual, I met friends after work for many some drinks. She had said "knocked up" one too many times. It was like her voice was echoing in my head as I stumbled walked home. There was a pharmacy en route to my final destination. I stopped in and picked up a test, to finally put the "knocked up" comments to rest. We weren't trying, but we weren't not trying. Let's just lock this down so I can be at peace, her voice echoing in my head was getting to me.

I came home and the ball&chain was sitting on the couch. I walked past him, said I had to go the bathroom. I did. But I also had to pee on a sick. I did. I had to put the "knocked up" comments to rest. I didn't.

I.was.knocked.up. And kinda buzzed.

I proceed to freak out and the ball&chain who was not expecting this was first beyond confused and then beyond concerned as I started to problem solve our way out of this.

Me, "Wait. The line isn't all the way - it's faded! That must mean something."
Him, as he reads the instructions: "It says, the clarity of the line doesn't matter. If it kind of shows up, it's positive."
Me, "Wait! I've had a few beers. Maybe alcohol changes the accuracy!"
Him, as he reads the instructions: "It says, While alcohol and illegal drugs do not affect pregnancy test results, remember that you should NOT drink alcohol or use illegal drugs if there is any possibility you could become pregnant."

6 years ago today, I have never been more surprised. Surprised isn't even the word. 6 years ago today, I found out my life was about to change. Forever. And never had I ever gotten the reaction so right.


*Sure, salmonella is apparently connected to chicken, but whatever. "Salmon" is in salmonella, let's go with it.
**In the most loving way, possible.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

My plea to who very well may be our grand finale

Dear JJ, 

Hello. Your mother here. You know. The one that carried you for 10 months. Sure, I didn't really know for the whole time. But I still carried you. And PS. Not to go there, but, let me go there: not only did I carry you, but with carrying you came the joy of giving myself a shot each night to remind not only are you there, but I can't eat ice cream or carbo load. It wasn't fun, nor funny. I hate shots, more than I hate being pregnant. While your commute to the world wasn't easy (for me), every day since then hasn't either. Yea, you are adorable. Cute. Funny. Strong (willed). Independent. Smart. Loving (when you are not on the attack). Beautiful. And so much more. But seriously, can we be real here?

War wounds of sisterly "love."
In return for the life we were blessed to give you, I ask you: why can't you cut me a break.  I'm not asking for the world, just a small - modest - list of things that I say, very confidently, it is the least you can do.
  • Stop the violence.
    • The hitting & scratching, has to stop. If you can't stop the latter, for the love of all that's holy, let me cut your claws semi-regularly. 
  • Sleep. 
    • We brought you down to one nap to avoid the 4am wake ups. But listen, even though 630am isn't 4am - it's still dark out. Wait until day breaks. For the love. 
    • Take your one nap. You were at 2 naps at 2-4 hours a POP. How is it down to one nap you are barely clearing 2 hours. I am no math expert, but these numbers don't add up. 
  • Stop being a snot.
    • For the love: SLEEP.
    • I know you know how to say more than you let on. I know this because if I catch you at the right moment you do yo thing. This whole all of a sudden you don't know how to say Mama bs? Not.Cute.
  • Be careful, tough guy.
    • The climbing up, running for the stairs to go down, the putting ridiculousness in your mouth. The lot of danger you brush against each day? Cut.It.Out.
Love you, we do. Hard, absolutely. But if I'm being honest here - I thank each day that you were not our first because home girl - L would be a dang only child. As it is, I am putting off our hopefully third for fear what the next will bring. And sweet baby hay-zues, if my wish for twins were to come true... I don't know if your father would make it. For reals. 

Lovingly and hoping for a break, 

Your mother.

Mama. Go ahead, SAY IT. I know you can!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

week 3

"And then I says..."

She only reads "big girl books" cause that's what her sister is into.
Board books be damned. Also be damned?
The paper connected to said "big girl books."
She dressed herself. Wanted "all black" as she had a big day.
Field trip & taking a school bus.
Big doings.

Sister "love."
Week 3 highlights
  • It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. And L schooled me on the peaceful man. 
  • The kid took her first bus ride. "I thought it was going to be the best bus ride, ever. But it was just really bumpy and really loud."
  • JJ understands time out; that's been going "strong" for awhile.  This week I have a picture of one of the reasons she gets sent to time out. And understands it. Sigh.

Friday, January 18, 2013

To do: steal this from the hospital

As I think about what to get a loved one for her baby shower, all I can think about is the most important gift no one ever gave me. A list of things to lift from the hospital.

Forget onesies, or "layette sets" as they are called. The endless newborn or 0-6 month old outfits. Spoiler alert: these only fit for up to 6 months if you are lucky. And if you have an 11 lb baby, guess what? Doesn't.Fit. Who needs another wash cloth (seriously, why did I get so many wash cloths)? Or a baby blanket (irony, to come). What I needed, what every mom needs, is a list of things that likely are the root of the jack up of medical bills. Listen, you are going to pay the price of a car (albeit used), you might as well get something out of it. Yes, I know you are getting a baby - but last I checked it's not for making the baby. It's for taking the baby out. What kind of racket is this?

Here is my list of must haves. Get yo sticky fingers on.
  • Binkies.
    Grab as many of those blue baby binkies as your pockets can hold. With our first, we walked out with one - maybe two. There are too many close calls to count. You need to have more than one blue hospital nuks. End.of.story. With our second? I could open an Etsy shop to peddle my extras.
  •  A hospital blanket.
    See irony. The thing is, my babies are going to have "their" hospital blanket. Sure for our first we only grabbed one, and that may or may not have been the "one" that the dog got to sleep with and smell to get her used to the baby's smell. I love that when they get older I'll hopefully forget that part of the story and they'll have a blanket with the hospital they were born in stamped on it.
  • Hats.
    With my first, I took none - and those bastards fit on any size head. With my second - I stocked up. SUPER convenient. Yea, I prefer a hat that has ears - but these were her everyday wear - when needed. You seriously never know when you'll need a hat. You bring these out, and if you lose one - no big whoop (if you lifted enough). 
    If you are going to pump, think you might, maybe  you will - hospital grade milk bottles are the way to go. End of story.
  • Peri pads.
    I had to google their real name. They are the pads on steroids. It's gross, but you are gonna need them. Trust. 
  • Squirt bottle.
    See above, even grosser - even more grateful I took it with me. Listen, birthing ain't pretty.
  • Gold: diapers & formula.
    Most hospitals stock the baby's bassinet with formula & diapers. I thought of it as a hotel. If you take away the extras, they give you more. If you don't take away any, they don't give you any more. Use math here - and take away as much as you feel comfortable with. They restock. You stock up your bag.
I mean, it's not really stealing. The nuks I did totally swipe packaged ones that weren't used. But it's not like they can pass around supplies. With L, I didn't think about it - I just wanted OUT.   What am I missing from this list?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Marcia Lucian- a peaceful man

L, "Mommy. We learned about an important man today. It's his birthday."
Me, "Who did you learn about?"
L, {struggling} "Marcia Lutherin."
Me, "Who?"
L, {struggling} "DOCTOR Martha LuciaKing JUNIOR."
Me, "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?"
L, "That's what I said."
Me, "Ok. What did you learn?"
L, "He was a peaceful man. He was a good man. He told the people, 'you better be nice!' Some people didn't like what he said. They shot him."
Me, {not quite ready for that} "Well. I mean, yes. Hmm."L, "Don't worry. If you want to see him, we have a picture of him in my classroom. And I have his head on a stick, in my backpack pack."

Let's review: Marica Luther, a peaceful man told the people to be nice. Then killed. Now on a stick in my kid's backpack.

Freaking Kindergarten.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

week 2

2/52. The second week of 2013 seemed to work out better for this girl, than the first. Slightly. 

Old Maid. It's a sickness.
Remember the time I tore apart the house looking to put this little
bastard away with the Christmas decoration... that was fun. 
January: when we learned if it isn't raining in Cleve, it's snowing.
Baby's first basketball game.
We found out? Our babies. They likey the basketball. Big.Fans.

The blur on my back? A protesting basketball fan - she didn't want to leave.
My guy. Doing jazz hands.
It's.Not.Raining.OR.Snowing. We venture out.
"Oh, this is the outside that you speak of." - JJ.
Hermitting it since we moved to this place. 
So HAPPY to be outside.
Getting our creative on.

"It's a hotel." - socialite L
Week 2 highlights:
  • It snowed. Like always. And by always I mean: if it isn't raining, it's snowing up in here. We played. With sand toys. Mission to give my kid the impression I am a genius, complete.
  • Inside activities include: cleaning, organization, and Old Maid. SO.MUCH.OLD.MAID.
  • The ball&chain got tickets to a Cleveland Cavaliers game. They play basketball, yeah. I had to Google that. Interesting fact: my kids are major basketball fans. Major.
  • The snow (and rain) stopped for a few short days, and we made the most of it. Our weekend activities included family walks, playing at the playground and building a box hotel empire. As you do.  
Not pictured: 

JJ has not been sleeping through the night. She wakes up anywhere in-between 4am - 5am. It's as fun as it sounds. Then, once she wakes up and we give in to bring her into bed with us she chooses to sleep one of two ways. Both equally as terrible:
  • The H position: the ball&chain and I are both sides of a capital H. JJ? She's the middle, horizontal where we are vertical. Smallest one in the bed, taking up the most space. 
  • The caddy cornered: the ball&chain sleeps comfortably (when not kicked in the face on her trip to caddy cornered position). The baby creeps up to the top left of the bed (my side) and sleep diagonal at the corner of the bed, thus "caddy cornered." This pushes me to the bottom of the bed, where I (try to) sleep like a dog would.  At the foot of the bed. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A mother's lot in life.

The kid got cotton candy at a basketball game, she wanted what she had left over (yeah, she likes cotton candy - even if it is stale) for dessert. And then, the story of a mother's life happened:

She would try to give JJ some of her cotton candy. JJ would refuse. JJ would scream and/or grunt in protest.

I would tell her to give it a rest. "Don't give her any, she doesn't want any."

She would try to give JJ some of her cotton candy. JJ would refuse. JJ would scream and/or grunt in protest.

I would tell her to give it a rest. "Don't give her any, she doesn't want any."

Rinse & repeat. 


"Maaaaammmmmooooooommmm! JJ keeps eating my cotton candy!" 

The kid had pushed her stale sugar on the baby long enough that she was into it and wanted more. Keep in mind that she never wanted the damn sweet treat to begin with.

Is it always going to end with I told you so? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

week 1

After a successful 365 project each day I still feel equal parts: relief that I don't have to post a photo and sadness because the kickass-ness of having a place to see just a few photos throughout the year is over. I mean, really. Click here and press shuffle. What fun (maybe it's just me). Each week, I'll sum up the week in photos - mostly Instagram & iPhone. Nothing too fancy, but it tells our story in a quick soundbite. Visual bite, as it were.

  • We went to Pittsburgh for New Years Eve, as you do. 
  • We saw the sites of Pitts: like the Ikea, old friends, Children's Museum & First Night.
  • We took the tree down and all of the trimmings... but couldn't find a wise man & reindeer. 
  • We cleaned the house as it never has been cleaned... only to "never" find the wise man or reindeer.
  • Until days later the little bastards show up. 
  • I took the kid to school, but there was still no school. That day? Definition of shit show.
  • 2013 - 1, me - 0

Friday, January 4, 2013

The day I was on time for school...

Disclaimer: If you follow me on the twitter or the 'book - my apologies. This is a rerun for you. I debated, do I tell this story again? The answer is yes. 

Wednesday was the first day back to work. I didn't take a lot of time off this holiday season, but enough. I was excited to get back into the routine, finish out this week with a strong start to the 2013. That was the plan.

The best laid plans. ALWAYS with the plans.

To start, I had a super busy day, a ton to do. Whenever I take time off, there is always catch up but particularly around holidays. I never finish it all before I sign off, and I always have a long list to do when jumping back in. Imagine my joy {sarcastic font} when I get a phone call from our au pair saying she missed her bus back to the Cleve. She went away for NYE. She was going to be home super late Tuesday night or super early Wednesday morning - however you want to break it down. The moral of the story is: she was going to be home by the time my work day started. With this curve ball, she'd be late - coming in around 11:30 - 12pm. I could work around that. But the morning; the morning is tough. It's one thing to get the kid ready, but add to that bringing JJ along it just requires more. More organization, more rushing, more scrambling, more chaos. I know, moms & dads all across America get their kids out the door everyday - but it's a pain in the ass. It's even worse when you are out of practice for a school day. School days add to it a whole other level of things to remember.

Is it gym day? She has to wear sneakers. Is it library day? Don't forget the book. Don't forget the lunch. And the drink. And the backpack. And the school folder she has to bring in everyday. Gloves. Mittens. Hat. FREAKING SO MUCH.

We are almost always late. Running to catch the bell & line up, or worst case scenario running in before they start their first class. So this fine day, with the amount of work I had to do, I also had to race the clock with two kids and get L to school. And it was gym & library day, so double the preparation.

We get on the road (for the 10 minute walk, 3 minute car ride... it's almost always the car ride - see previous comment about almost always being late) and we are going to be on time! I am Mother of the Year! 2013... I'm coming for you!

We get a wee bit closer to school and I suddenly am acutely aware that there is no one walking to school. There are no cars parked. The parking lots are free and clear of cars.

I immediately pull over and check out the school's website. Yup. Winter Break... through this week.

Follow up to this/ cause this wasn't the end... our au pair's flight got further delayed. I lost track of how many times. She took a train home, got off the wrong stop, had to walk who knows how long, and when she tried to call me her phone died. 2 hours later (14 hours after originally expected) a frozen Colombian who walked into the house after a who knows how long walk, in the snow & cold, with luggage. I'd say it was a pretty bag up day for us all. 
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