Tuesday, August 30, 2011

tootin' my horn

So I am trying to not totally suck and the whole stay at home wife thing. I rock at the stay at home mom part, the baby is still in one piece and hasn't needed therapy (yet) -- what more can you ask?!

Its the domestic crap I am bombing at. So I am trying to get organized, clean out, and set goals.

Today I did a total Betty Crocker thing and made my own recipe cards. Seriously, how lame, --er I mean, how housewifey, organized is that? Quaint, I know. Yes, I feel a little ill too.

But since I am cooking more, (I am, I have pictures to prove it and will post them soonish) I needed to be organized with the recipes. Yes, real recipes, not just the directions on the side of the box. This is a huge departure from my norm.

So I found like 375 different print-your-own-free-template things online and I either had to pick between gagolicious teddy bears or cows and roosters, neither of which were very me. Then I had ones that required a recipe author and this meant I had to come up with a smart ass names for each one which was both time consuming and bound to get me in trouble at some point.

"Mommy did Manuel Labor give us this recipe for enchiladas?"

So I wound up making my own. It took five minutes to make a design that was neither juvinile or creepy then I just had to type the recipes up. That took much longer. Much better, and I have no frightening clown-like dolls smiling at me from the side of the card. Score!

Friday, August 26, 2011

boobie milk and breast cancer

Okay so remember a while back how I posted that Thelma and Louise were going to be part of a world record? The Big Latch on was fun and I seriously have been working the whole "world record attempting boobs" thing for weeks now.

But it was getting to be old news.

So now my boobs (and my milk) are going to contribute toward research that may someday lead to a more effective indication of a woman's personal breast cancer risk!

What, you say? How is this possible? Well I saw a thingie on facebook that said they need (1) women who are currently nursing and (2) have either had or will have a breast biopsy.

Um, check and check! Who'da ever thought having my ta-tas cut into previously would make me smile and say "hey, I can help!" Long story short, and sans medical mumbo jumbo, there may be cells in breast milk that could possess markers that are indicative of a woman's potential risk to develop cancer. By gathering info from women who have had or will have biopsies in the near future and following them to see if they are ever diagnosed with breast cancer the researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst feel they might be able to identify how to spot the alarm bells. But they need boobie milk.

And I can make boobie milk.

So I signed up and will be getting a milk collection kit, and from the pictures it looks rather Bond-space-age-coolio. I will tell you more about it once I get it.

Breast cancer is something that runs in my family, and as a 6 time 3 Day walker I am totally down for anything I can do to nix cancer from reality.

Monday, August 22, 2011

the dark days of babyhood

When you have nearly a decade-long gap between kids you forget certain things.

Like how tired you really can be; like how no matter how much you plan, prepare, and leave early you will never, ever be on time with a baby; like how easily you will disregard body fluids on your clothing as being no biggie.

But you also forget some of the more charming things too. Thing 2 is still enough of a cute baby-blob that its not such a big deal yet, but the darker days of babyhood are coming. He can roll now -- though he stubbornly refuses to do it again -- I know that mobility in a child is a truly frightening thing. He is trying to sit up, and when he has tummy time he will scream and kick so furiously that he scoots forward in a quasi-crawl though he has not yet learned to control it.

Between the determination to move and the fact he loves being tossed in the air I am already dreading seeing him parachute off the entertainment center by 2. Thing 1 was a "spider man" kid, he climbed everything. He climbed down again, if I didn't pluck him off of it while having a heart attack first, he wasn't a jumper. Just a climber. I think I might have a jumper on my hands this time.

But yesterday as I tried to buckle Thing 2 into his car seat he did something that brought me back 9 years.

He arched his back and locked his elbows and knees. It briefly looked like I had one of those old rigid plastic baby dolls laying across the car seat like a bridge over a canyon. While it was only a few seconds, I had a series of thoughts hit me all at once: When I was a kid my girlfriends and I would have slumber parties and we would play light as a feather stiff as a board. It never worked obviously, but we always had to try. Just like the childhood version of me, Thing 2 got real stiff but weighed no less, in fact I think he miraculously gained like 10 pounds. And I recalled how Thing 1 was when he decided he didn't want to get in his car seat. He either looked like a soldier at attention or got as floppy as a Raggedy Ann doll.

Thing 2 does not yet know he can control me.

But he will.

And anyone reading this who says "babies can't control adults" has clearly never had one.

In time, Thing 2 will go the way of Thing 1. They all do. One day he is this cute little baby-blob, all chubby thighs and gummy smiles, then the next day he will develop the Jekyll to this cute baby-Hyde. While Bruce-Banner-baby is cute and sweet, the Hulk-baby will look like a synchronized swimming routine on pause (while screaming) the second you try to put him in a car seat. One second you have a baby who is so cute trying to vocalize and blow raspberries and you think it is oh so precious ... the next you are covered in splatters of baby food and hear their evil little baby laughter. One day you are beaming with pride and updating your facebook status as they take that first step, the next you are wondering how the heck they learned to lock you out of the house. Yeah, they so know what they are doing.

Don't get me wrong, I know Thing 2 already is in possession of some of the higher faculties of thinking than doctors will acknowledge. I am not claiming he is some kind of baby genius, though every mother knows their baby is the smartest and cutest little minion on the planet, I am saying that I think modern medicine simply lacks acceptance of the obvious fact that babies are born with some basic know-how. For example, while changing Thing 2's diaper he never pees on me when I am not going somewhere. If I have plans, and especially if I am running late, his little baby brain sends off a warning ... sirens blaring, you can almost hear it ...

Warning, warning, we are at DEFCON ONE, mom is dressed to go somewhere and appears to be running late. Initiate operation Hose Her Down.

And while he may not yet have "object permanence" and other fancy developmental-talk skills yet, explain to me how he knows that the skin on the back of my arm is highly sensitive and if he grabs it and does a simultaneous twist and pull I will instantly pay attention to what he is wanting and entertain him? He came home from the hospital with diva like demands, feed me every hour, hold me, clean me, keep me at appropriate temperatures, never put me down or make loud noises, and very little has changed.

He's just learning to move now.

God help us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

mommy sick days



Gnomes? Fairies? Big Foot? Nessie? Chicago Cubs World Series win?

Nothing is more evasive, more elusive, more imaginary than the sick-day for a mommy.

Just a random thought for the day I had to share.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

sniff, sniff, proud mom moment

Though not a conventional one I am sure, I am having a proud mommy moment in this picture:

We are having a nightmare of a time with Thing 2's reflux. Poor baby is miserable and we are struggling to find a way to address it best for his sake, but that is another post entirely. Yesterday was a bad day, lots of gagging, spitting up, arching, and crying, and Kellan was having a hard time too.

{crickets chirping}

Okay that was a pathetic attempt at humor, I deal with stress by trying to be funny. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. That, admittedly sounded better in my head. Oh well, moving on, it was a bad day and my poor little guy was pretty miserable the whole time. We had just gotten done eating and I had a documentary about the historic pubs of Ireland on and when he was quiet I was listening to it. Well he wasn't quiet much, and I wasn't paying any attention to the TV, but as I was trying to burp him he suddenly stopped all the yelling and stared intently at the screen. He watched the whole segment very seriously and serenely. When it was over, he began yelling up a storm again.

What was he watching?

The history of Guinness Stout.

Sniff, sniff, such a proud moment in my maternal life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

domestic goddess in training

I accept that I am not a casserole-baking-sewing-my-kids-clothes-homeschooling-scrap-booking queen.

I am trying to become some of those things (I would like to scrapbook someday, and casseroles I have nothing against) but, to anyone who actually knows me it is pretty apparent that I am not a natural at any of this.

Before I had an excuse. I worked full time. Who expects someone who pulls 50+ hour weeks to be a Martha Stewart? No one, and we gawk in awe and disgust at those who somehow are, and either fantasize about marrying them or dumping their bodies bedazzled garbage bag somewhere. Those bitches give the rest of us a really bad name.

But now? Now that we decided for numerous reasons that I would stay home now with Thing 2, now am I supposed to be good at that stuff?

Now its almost tacky for me to not have my schmidt together. How disorganized or pathetic do you have to be to mess this up?

The answer is clearly however disorganized or pathetic I am. I actually am very uninterested in hearing the amount that would work out to be because I am sure it would be depressing. But in my defense, I challenge those who would judge to try it. Be an entirely non-Joan Cleaver type person and suddenly try to fit in that apron and heels. Yeah, that is so not happening here.
The other day while on the phone I had to answer what I do for a living. The woman gave me the title of "homemaker." I almost laughed. My husband, when I later relayed this story, did. In his defense, I was laughing when I told him about it.

But now that I "don't work" (that is a hilarious notion indeed) I feel like I should really be a lot better at all this wifey/mom stuff. So I am making a list of crap that I feel I need to learn to do and rock at. The list will be a work in progress. For example, I might try something and swear it off and never do it again, thus needing to remove it and all things related to it from the list. I can also add stuff later as I think of it. I don't want to become a 50s housewife, I just want to have fewer domestic reasons to laugh at myself.

The list has stuff on it that I view as being worthy of my attention or stuff that I have seen other moms/wives do that I have thought "dang, I never do that" before. I won't waste time putting stuff I know I won't do down but I will shamelessly put down stuff I already have started to do before the formal idea of a list popped into my head. Hey, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and this might improve my general chances of success!

Domestic Stuff I'm Gonna Rock At: (catchy title, eh?)

1. Use my Crockpot (for something other than the one recipe I know)
2. Use my Kitchen Aid Mixer
3. Make a weekly menu and actually use it
4. Regularly make weekly menus
5. Try to make something from scratch (this doesn't have to happen regularly and will involve goal #2)
6. Iron (when we aren't going to a funeral)
7. Make a cleaning schedule (I need organization dammit)
8. Figure out how the food processer works
9. Find the damn food processer because its in "storage"
10. Figure out what the hell Mahjong is
11. Use coupons
12. Budget better
13. Wear an apron (I have one, wore it at work or when painting, yet I get filthy while cooking and never thing to wear the stupid thing)
14. Seasonal decorating (this one is already in danger of not happening just because I think putting scarecrows up in Arizona's fall is stupid)

When I imagined my list it was a lot longer, but at least this is something to start with. Lets view this in a positive way, the list is short because I am already so faboosh that I don't need to do much more! Woo hoo!

Oh shut it, I am trying to be positive here!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

what not to say

Emily Post I am not.

So when you make some kind of faux paux in social etiquette its gotta be a little glaring for me to notice. This said, I am a big supporter of using one's brain and logic in general. But, as the song goes, "the world is full of stupid people" and, somehow, I think I attract them.

Thing 2 has nasty reflux. While at the children's hospital yesterday for some tests (we aren't sure if it is just* reflux or if their is more causing his problems) I encountered someone who clearly didn't take their Logic Pill when they got up.

While preparing to feed my baby a bottle of barium I was asked if maybe all the reflux was caused by something other than genes, bad luck or a malformation of some part of his upper digestive track ...

"Do you burp him?"

Burp? Do I burp ... no, wait, seriously, did you just ask me that? Do I BURP him? Are you seriously wondering if I have forgotten to do something as simple as that, something that crappy 12 year old babysitters know to do? I am at a hospital, for the second time, having tests done and perhaps in the nearly four months of this child's life his misery is merely caused by my not burping him after feeding?

Now I know that there may be people that dense out there, but by the point in time that I have had a doctor order tests like this, again our second time here and she knew that, donchya think that maybe someone has asked me that one already? Perhaps that little gem has already been brought up?

You can file that question it right between "you don't eat spicy stuff do you?" (since he is breastfed) and "you don't lay him down right after he's eaten, right?"

But let me go ahead and answer for the sake of assuaging your brilliant mind, yes, I burp him. At least 4 times per feeding. And yeah, he still spits up, still refluxes, still gags, still chokes, and still writhes and arches because heartburn hurts like a mutha. And this is on twice daily meds.

I didn't say that, I think all I managed to get out was "um, yeah" because I was a bit worried I would say more as I was already annoyed I was waiting for the radiologist to stop chatting with another doctor while Nurse Brilliant peppered me with helpful questions like that all while Thing 2 was papoosed to the table.

But the other nurse in the room -- her name was Rose, she was smart and sweet enough to get real-name treatment -- decided that she was going to make up for Nurse Brilliant's momentary idiocy (in all fairness I can't be sure it was momentary) and went and told the doctor to move her leaden apron along while calling over her shoulder:

"Of course she burps him, does she look like an idiot?!"

Nurse Brilliant didn't answer that one. Smart move hun.

*I say "just" reflux because anyone who has ever dealt with a baby who has true reflux issues knows that saying "just reflux" implies it isn't that big of a deal. Saying just suggests that a response of "oh, is that all" may be appropriate, and in this case that response would not be appropriate. Go ahead, dare you to ask the sleep taxed emotional wreak of a mother that such infant's have if reflux is no biggie. That should go well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

thanks Western Mass

Ever had one of those days where you leave the house and as you are driving away you suddenly panic and check that you changed out of your PJs? Have matching shoes? Are wearing pants? Well I am working on a long string of such days right now and was thrilled this AM when I answered no, yes, and yes to those questions respectively.

I had Thing 1, Thing 2 and Cindy-Lou Who with me this morning and this trifecta could make the most composed person have a "oh crap did I forget to put mascara on both eyes?!" kind of morning. So when I got all three in the car and buckled myself in, I was feeling a bit smug about how I was doing good time-wise and hadn't even sworn at inanimate objects yet when it happened.

The sad little gas light came on.

Now I ignored the light yesterday, but don't tell my husband. If he's in the room I never admit to letting the gas dip below the quarter tank mark. It has something to do with a fuel pump going rogue and it costing a fortune and him needing to remove half of the car and backseat to fix it ... anyhoo, I was at a *wink, wink* quarter tank last night and just came home figuring I would do it today.

Oops, forgot. Smug little I-am-doing-so-good-and-am-on-time bubble pops.

So we go to the gas station and the uncoordinated symphony adding to my hurried stress begins: get out of the car, get the wallet in the back seat, get card, put wallet back, open the driver door again to pop the gas door open, remove cap, put card in, it asks for my VIP card, open back door again, get out wallet, etc... I finally get the gas pumping and have not yet totally lost any of the three attention spans in the car when I hear someone say,

"Hey, like the shirt."

I check, he is talking to me. Oh skittles, I checked the pants, did I forget to put on a shirt?! Surely the 9 year old would have mentioned something on the way out the door ... nope, I have a shirt on, and this guy isn't commenting on vomit or some other body fluid being all over it. At least not the front of it, who knows whats on the back. But it appears I am actually just hearing a compliment about the shirt. Whew.

At this point I realize I am having a silent panic attack about being topless or vomit coated and have not yet given some sort of polite reply. Check shirt again to see what I am actually wearing and see that it is a Boston Red Sox shirt. Ah yes, another fan. Cue appropriate response. It is given. Conversation usually ends here when this happens (its a very witty shirt so this isn't an abnormal circumstance). But guy at the next gas pump keeps going. He's from Western Massachusetts, where am I from he wants to know. So I answer. Tells me the name of the town he is from, big Sox fan, points to his licence plate. Super, great. This is a little more than the normal bonding we Sox fans do -- after years of living with the Curse of the Bambino and then bonding over the blessed breaking of said curse we view fellow fans as family and bond readily with "strangers" as a result. I am not bothered by this, but do need to get going as I have three kids of questionable patience in the car behind me which is nearly full of gas so I am not wanting to talk.

Then I see it.

The left hand check.

He glances at my left hand while I am talking, sees the band, and the conversation ever so politely slows down and ends.

Western Mass was hitting on me.

Wait, Western Mass was hitting on me? Me? Really?

I get done with the pump, and drive off hearing my 9 year old chattering about the importance of the aglet (its the plastic thing on the tip of your shoelace, and no, I didn't know it had a name either) and I laugh a little because one of two things just happened:

1.) Some dude from Massachusetts is driving around and is blind as a bat, so beware of a Buick with a BoSox B plate on the front.


2.) I still got it.

Personally, I vote for a combo of the two.
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