Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Random Cuteness






















When I saved this photo, I titled it "Bowlhead." It sounds like an ethnic slur.

Edited to add: Yes, the girl has more toys than you can shake a stick at, but her FAVORITE is this bowl. (See picture <-- for more evidence.) She likes to pair it with my shoes or slippers. Just wait, next year bowls will be all the rage. She's a trendsetter, my little bean.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Little Houdini

I was awakened yesterday morning, as I am EVERY morning, by the sounds of Sophie in her crib. There were equal parts hollerin', crying and chattering. I rolled over and snuggled up to Neil, praying that she would go back to sleep. Then things went quiet. After a minute of suspicious silence, I grabbed the video monitor to reassure myself that she had gone back to sleep.

When I turned the monitor on, THERE WAS NO SOPHIE!

Despite the fact that her little eyes can't even see over the edge of the rails, she had managed to get out of the crib. I have a picture in my mind of her taking a running start and vaulting over the side like a miniature Olympic athlete. When I opened the door, she was just standing there looking dazed. Not sure if she was stunned from the fall or just amazed that she had gotten herself out.

This is not a development I am especially happy about. I was looking forward to at least a few more months of keeping her safely trapped in her crib. So now I'm forced to get creative on ways to keep her in there.

A few of my ideas:

1. An invisible fence. Sure, she'll have to wear a collar and might get shocked, but she'll learn real fast not to climb out.

2. Pigeon spikes. I'm betting I wouldn't even have to put these bad boys on. I could just show them to her and that would be enough. Scare her straight, so to speak.

3. Laying a screen door over the crib. (This was suggested by my mother, who was evidently kept in her own crib via this slightly inhumane but inventive method. Yeah, we're classy.)

4. Bourbon. For her. Not me. I'm thinking if she's passed out, she's probably not going to be doing much climbing.

5. Two words: Duct tape.**

Any other suggestions?

*Obviously, I am joking about all of these!

**Thank you, Kristi!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wild Things

I am and always have been a big reader. I remember curling up in bed with a book, staying up late, praying my mom wouldn't find me. I don't have any active memories of my parents reading to me, but I am sure they did. They are both readers and always encouraged it in me. It is definitely something that I plan to do with my daughter.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of my all time favorite children's books. I remember reading it when I was young and fantasizing about playing with monsters. Although the book only has 10 sentences in it, it has captured the hearts and imaginations of people throughout the world.

So you better believe that the realization of this beloved book into a movie has captured my attention.



If the preview is anything to go by, I think I'm going to love it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Random Shiznizzle

A bunch of random stuff that I could probably twitter if I were so inclined, but I feel like laying out as a list instead. Because there are few things I love more than lists. Truly.

-Why, oh why, do the OLD guys at the gym feel the need to wear skimpy little nylon shorts while working out? In what world could you possibly think that it is acceptable to wear clothing so small that we are in real danger of your grizzled manparts coming into view?

-We went out to dinner last night and despite the fact that shrimp were the likely culprit for my intestinal troubles on Monday, I had them again. It's like playing Russian Roulette with my stomach.

-How is one piece of sandwich bread a serving? Doesn't a sandwich by definition require two pieces?

-We had a code brown* while bathing Sophie the other night. It wasn't that long ago that I didn't even know this sort of thing happened. I wish I could go back to that.

-Why are all of the voices in cartoon movies famous people? When did that become a requirement? I remember when Aladdin came out with Robin Williams and it was like "wow, crazy, can you believe he's doing something like that?" What happened to all of the non-celebrity voice actors?

-I have seen five spiders in my house in the last 24 hours. Do they come out in the springtime? I always talk to them on the off chance that one of them might be related to Charlotte.

-After almost two years in my maternity underwear, I finally went to Victoria's Secret the other day and bought some girlie roos. I want my grannies back.

That's it for me. Anything random going on in your life?

*Another fabulous MEPism. It's when the wee ones poop in the tub.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Have It Bad

I generally don't eat leftovers. It's not that I don't like leftover food, it's just that I get tired of food and don't feel like eating the same thing again until after it has expired.

Last Friday I went out to lunch with a friend and former co-worker. We went to one of my favorite Italian restaurants and I got one of my favorite dishes, the Pane Rotundo, a bread bowl full of shrimp in a creamy, buttery, garlicky sauce. It has about 7 gillion calories and a week's worth of fat. It. Is. So. Good.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish it. I know, I know. Me? Unable to finish a dish? Not possible. But it's true. So I had the waitress box it up, knowing that I probably wouldn't ever eat it, but just in case...

Well, this afternoon I looked in the fridge and thought to myself, "Self, I'm going to eat that leftover Pane Rotundo." So I did. And I enjoyed it. Then I went about my day.

Somewhere around three hours later, I started to feel uncomfortably warm. And then a little clammy. And then a little crampy. And then my mouth started watering, not in the good way. And then the tsunami of nausea hit.

I'll spare you the details of the rest of the day, but suffice it to say that I had to call Neil to come home early to watch the Bean while I spent some quality time in the bathroom praying for a quick death.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll bother bringing the food home with me next time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

When I Think I Have It Bad...

Sometimes I feel kind of down. Sometimes I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sometimes I feel like nothing is going my way. As my mom would say, that if it weren't for bad luck I wouldn't have any. It's on these days that I go check out my new favorite website:

F My Life

Because the fact is, compared to the people that write in to FML, I really have it pretty darn good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Child, The Artist
















Sophie has gotten the coloring bug lately. There are more than a few creative types in my family, so I am not at all surprised that she might gravitate towards the arts. I had been trying to find those really big crayons for little hands, but these largish triangular ones were all I have been able to track down. She's really starting to get the hang of it.

Obviously, I drew the face there. But look at the mighty fine beard she added! I'm seeing dollar signs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Doodie Talk

Sophie has had the poops the last several days. I'm sorry, I know no one wants to hear about it, but when you're spending as much time with it as I am, you become sort of immune to it. In fact, even the word has lost its punch. Poop. Poopie. Shadoobie. Doodie. It's all the same.

An unfortunate consequence of this is that she has also developed a really nasty diaper rash. Believe you me, I have been changing her diaper the minute her little ass puckers up, but evidently not fast enough to prevent the rash. I was using Desitin, but she screamed when I put it on, which keen intuitivist that I am, I took to mean she didn't like it. So I switched to Boudreaux's Butt Paste. She didn't scream when I put it on, but the rash didn't seem to improve either. Now I'm using A & D ointment and that seems to be doing good things.

This afternoon I needed to take a shower, so I put her in her crib while I was in there. If I leave the bathroom door and her door open, I can just see her. Since she would be contained in a relatively, um, mess-proof environment, I decided to follow the advice of a friend and leave her commando while I showered. Give her girliebits some airing out. A dangerous prospect given her digestive issues of late, but I felt reasonably confident we wouldn't have any accidents.

Approximately every 4.2 seconds, I leaned out of the shower to look at her and yell, "Please don't poop!" Praying that she heard (and understood) the DON'T in my entreaty. While it would have made for some great blog fodder (and a really awful mess), I am happy to report that her 15 minutes of commando was a success.

Unfortunately, in my distracted state I'm pretty sure I washed my hair with my husband's Old Spice Hair and Body Wash.



In case you're wondering, it's not right for me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Poor Baby

On Sunday, Neil's parents were kind enough to come over and watch Sophie so we could have an afternoon date to go see The Watchmen. We had planned to go out after the movie for dinner, but when we called home to check in on the bean, the report was not good. So home we came. It would have been the first time just Neil and I had been out to dinner since Sophie was born. Sigh. Someday.

I'm not a rush to the doctor type, but a fever, diarrhea, and not eating gets me worried. So Monday morning I called the doctor and scheduled an appointment to take her in for a visit.

An hour later we're sitting in the waiting room. An hour later we're still sitting in the waiting room. An hour later we're finally in the exam room. Waiting. Finally the doctor comes in, does about three minutes worth of examination and says she doesn't know what the problem is. So she sends us down to Radiology to get a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Word to the wise: if you have to take your toddler in for a chest x-ray, make sure you have two people there to hold them down. Oh, and bring ear plugs. Not fun.

After four hours at the doctor, 3 hours and 45 minutes of which were spent in waiting rooms, all the results came back negative. We don't know what she has, but she is still sick. Meaning I can't go to the gym, which surprise, surprise, actually bothers me. But more importantly I still have a sick baby and no idea what to do about it.

So we're not having much fun around these parts. Unless you count changing diapers three times as often and holding an almost constantly fussy baby while pleading with her to please, please eat as fun.

On the bright side, she is being a cuddle fiend and we spent all day yesterday laying in bed watching TV. At least this sick stuff has a few perks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Slainte!






















May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Staying Home

Some days I am impossibly lonely. Some days the choice to be a stay at home mom weighs on me. How could I have thought that this was something I would be good at, something I would be happy doing? No one tells you that spending day after day with only a baby for company is so hard.

There are a thousand books and none of them tell me what I need. How do I make it through the day with my sanity intact? To everyone, I say I love staying home with my daughter, and that is the absolute truth. But only half of it. I just don't know how to reconcile the other half. The half that says I miss daily adult interaction and the stimulation that my job offered.

This blog and my blogland friends do a pretty good job of filling in for some of that but writing posts and traded emails don't quite fill in for the challenge of a new proposal or doing my beloved NYT crossword with coworkers over lunch.

I glamorize my memories, I know, making my life before seem idyllic but the truth is there were many times where I was just as frustrated. Where long hours caused friction between Neil and I. When things went fabulously wrong and I thought I was going to lose my job.

I wouldn't trade these days with my daughter for anything, though. Despite the doubts and the fears and the loneliness, being with my daughter means everything to me. I will get through this time, just as I have gotten through others. We're getting into the good stuff now, how could I miss it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Because I Don't Have Anything Else






















Mom's Chuck's? Check.

Gene Simmons-esque milk tongue? Check.

Dinner plate-sized drool stain on shirt? Check.

Unbelievably cute kid? Checkizzle fo' shizzle!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cinco de Poundo

I decided when I started working out that despite my incredibly strong desire to weigh myself every time I went to the gym that I would only weigh myself on the Tuesday of each week. Why Tuesday, you ask. Because that is the day I was first "weighed in." Trying to keep it consistent, y'all. My plan was to work out Monday and Tuesday and then Thursday and Friday. Not surprisingly, life has gotten in the way of that on at least two weeks, however I have still made it in at least four times each week.

So, since I wasn't able to go in on Monday, I went yesterday and today and decided that today would be my weigh day. The result: after one month, I have lost FIVE pounds! I know this isn't like wowee zowee kind of weight loss, but I feel it is a healthy amount. Especially considering I haven't really gone full tilt on the diet side of things. Sure, I've made some changes (trading out low-fat mayo for the good stuff and that sort of thing) and I'm trying to eat less, but truth be told, that is definitely an area that could use more improvement (like maybe cutting out mayo?). One step at a time.

Anyways, Five Pounds! Yay me!

On another completely bizarre note, I woke up this morning with a black tongue. That's right folks, my tongue was BLACK. My first thought was, of course, the PLAGUE. Then I thought maybe it had to do with this new cream my dermatologist had prescribed for my face. In an unfortunate turn of events, my skin has just gone crazy lately. I never really had acne as a teenager, or even really in my twenties. I had breakouts from time to time, but it wasn't something that really bothered me. The last few years though have not been good for me and my skin. It really sucks being 35 and still dealing with pimples. So I go to a dermatologist and he has put me on a couple of different creams that generally do a pretty good job of controlling things. The one I had been using seemed to be less effective lately, so we switched to a new one, which I began yesterday. So, of course, this is what I attribute the black tongue to and I immediately call me derm.

After explaining the situation to him, he tells me this is NOT a side effect and to get myself to my GP stat, black tongues are serious business. I decide to give Dr. Internet a quick go before I wake up the baby from her nap (something I am LOATHE to do) and go racing out to the doctor. Turns out, you get it from Pepto Bismal, which I took last night because my stomach was upset. Has this ever happened to anyone before? It sure as hell hasn't happened to me and I am a longtime PB user.

So today's lessons are: 1) Working out works (guess that explains all of the skinny people at the gym) and 2) A black tongue does not necessarily mean you're dead.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Is What Photoshop Is For

We don't have a dog. Not for lack of trying on Neil's part. He really wants one. The truth is, I love dogs, but they are high maintenance. And high maintenance is not what I want right now. I already have a high maintenance child to look after. That doesn't stop Neil from forwarding me those "Dog for adoption" emails on a regular basis. At least I broke him from sending me the sad, sad pictures of the doggies at the ASPCA.

So this morning when I return from the gym, one of the first things I do is check my email. Because I'm just that addicted. There are several emails from Neil, but one catches my attention. The subject is "Julie!"

"Julie?" I think, "What is this? We don't know anyone named Julie." So I click on it first.

Turns out it is one of those dog emails. Nothing new there. Like with all the others, I'm not interested but I looked through the pictures because I like the cute as well as the next gal. Whereupon my eyes were greeted with this:

















Could they not have cropped out the two dogs pooping?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight Losing Time

I hate Daylight Savings Time. Frankly, I just don't get it. It doesn't save me anything. Truth be told, it generally loses me one of my favorite things in the whole world. Sleep.

Sophie has been quite the pill lately. I'm not sure if she's teething, having a growth spurt or just being a 17-month-old. Whatever the case, my nerves are a little frayed at the moment. There is lots of crying, screaming and whining. She's a generally good natured kid, which is why this is extra frustrating for me. Until the last couple of weeks, I had never seen a tantrum. No laying on the floor kicking legs. No wriggling, writhing body when I try to pick her up.

Part of me would like to blame it on the example of the other kids at the gym. What better excuse to get me out of the gym than for the health of my daughter? But I suspect it has more to do with her age.

Another part of this phase/stage/age is that she has been getting up at the stroke of 6:08. EVERY DAY. For you morning folks out there, this might be perfect. For me, this is torture. I am the classic night owl. Which is probably why I spent 10 years bartending. I have a tough time falling asleep before midnight. Neil says, "turn the light off and you'll go to sleep." Yeah, it doesn't work that way for me. I'm not a parrot.

Regardless of what time she goes to bed, she gets up at 6:08. To bed at 6:30? Up at 6:08. Down at 9? Up at 6:08. I was hoping that with DST, she would sleep in until 7:08. My body clock would still say it's 6:08, but at least psychologically I would be fooled. I put her to bed at her usual time last night, about 7:30. However, it seems Daylight Savings can't fool my daughter.

She woke up right on time at 6:08. Arrrrgh!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Homecoming

Once a week, I get a sanity outing while Neil watches Sophie. While the gym doesn't really count as a pleasure outing, any time that I get to leave the house on my own is a treat. Not having to lug the big bag, just jumping out of the car and running in, not wondering if I need to take a stroller or if I can carry her. Such luxuries.

While I loved having those hours to myself, coming home to my darling was really freaking awesome.

video

*I've watched this video about a hundred thousand times and every time it makes me smile.

**Notice she doesn't drop the bag. My girl is all about her accessories.

***My husband just said, "Are you sure you want to post that video? It shows you in those shorts." That's right, someone's in the doghouse.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Venus de Sophie

I saw my first naked lady at the gym today. I was standing at my locker, packing up my stuff when a roundish woman in nothing but a bra and panties (albeit very LARGE panties) came strolling past. Then she came back and stopped next to the long dressing mirror, all the while talking to a friend in another row of lockers. So, actually there were two large naked women in my view.

Now, I'm no prude, but I'm not the type to walk around in my bloomers, at least not outside of my home. Even then, I generally keep it to the bedroom, quick runs to the dryer for a needed garment or those times when there is roving marital friskiness(wink). TMI?

Anyhoo, even though it's all ladies and the locker room is the spot for getting nekkid, I don't really think of it as a spot to hang out that way. There aren't any comfy chairs and the lighting is decidedly unkind. I tried to be discreet, but I suspect there was some eye popping on my part.

A few minutes later, I head to the kiddie corral to pick up Sophie. I find my daughter, sans pants, evading capture by one of the ladies who works there. They tell me that's the second time she has depantsed.

I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to wind up being one of those women that walks around naked. Frankly, I'm just happy she kept her diaper on for a change.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Worries

Does there ever come a time when we stop second guessing every action we make as parents? Every day I make a hundred little decisions that affect my daughter. Each one of these is insignificant in and of itself, but put together with all of the rest and a pattern emerges. Each of these decisions becomes a part of how my daughter sees the world, what I allow her to be exposed to and what I prevent her from doing.

I worry that I allow her to spend too much time playing by herself. That I should be spending more time helping her with shapes, drawing or just dancing around and singing. But then I think that by allowing her to play on her own, I am helping to foster her creativity and her imagination. I don't want a child that needs my constant entertainment. By forcing her to entertain herself, I am making it possible for her to do so.

I worry that I am not encouraging her to eat more solid foods. I worry that I continue to feed her the jars of baby food because it is convenient. They're pre-packaged and don't require refrigeration, so taking them when we go out to eat or to visit friends and family is so easy. I do try to give her real food, but I don't force the issue. At pretty much every meal, I offer her some bit of table food, optimistic that she will take to it and make a meal out of it. On most occasions, she will eat a bite or two and then turn her head away when I offer it to her or will throw what is on her tray over the side onto the floor. She has become more adventurous when it comes to food, but we are still a long way from giving up the jars.

I worry that I still get up and nurse her when she wakes up at night. She generally sleeps through the night these days, but on occasion she will wake up and despite my attempts to put her back down after a bit of cuddling and rocking, the only thing that reliably gets her back to sleep is nursing. I know she is not hungry, that she is only doing it for comfort. But I worry that she is too old for this and I am reinforcing this behavior by allowing it to continue. That this will make weaning that much harder.

Each stage of her life has brought with it a whole new set of worries. Decisions that I fear will negatively impact my little beloved. I know that in coming years so many more choices will be forced on me. I just hope I can make the right decisions.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Show Your Email

I like to think of this whole blog thing as not just me spouting off about my thoughts and experiences, but a conversation between me and you. The easiest way to make that happen is for me to be able to reply by email to your comments. However, you must have an email address connected to your blogger account to make this happen.

How do you do this, you ask? Easy peasy:

1. Open up a new window. That's Ctrl-N if you're on a PC, Command-N for Mac.

2. Leave one window open to these instructions. Go to your blog on the other window.

3. Click on customize. Click on dashboard in the upper right corner.

4. On the left, next to where your profile picture is, click on Edit Profile.

5. Under Privacy, click "show my email." Under identity, make sure the public email address that you use is there.

6. Save profile.

So, please, show your email!

Thanks to Darcy for putting together the instructions and to Julie for passing it along.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pardon Me, Do You Have A Light?

I used to smoke. I won't lie, I loved it. There was nothing like a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Which isn't to say I always had a beer in the other hand, but the two just seem to go together, like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Tom Cruise and gay rumors. When Neil and I began dating, we both smoked. He was more a social smoker, while I was a daily smoker. When we started getting serious and tentative marriage talk began, he had one dealbreaker. We had to quit. Not right away, but before we brought any children into our lives. Of course, I agreed.

We had our last cigarettes on New Year's Eve 2006. I miss it. And I don't. I've joked (sortof) with Neil that if I make it to 80 and they're still legal, I'm taking it back up. I would much rather go out with a bang at 85, with a cigarette in one hand and a very dirty, shakenotstirred, vodka martini in the other while a Chippendale's dancer with a granny fetish shakes his moneymaker right in my kisser.

I stumbled onto something that just might change the face of smoking, though.

Two words: Electronic Cigarettes.

















Can you believe this? They're non-flammable plastic cigarettes that deliver a puff of nicotine when the user inhales. Supposedly they feel and taste like real cigarettes without any of the carcinogens associated with traditional smoking. You can use them anywhere, anytime. I admit, I am very curious about these. While I have absolutely no intention of taking up the habit again, even in this modified form, if I had found these back in my smoking days, I would definitely have tried them.

Once, on a trip to visit family in Kansas, our flight was met by uniformed police officers at the gate. Being the inquisitive folks we are, Neil and I dawdled long enough to find out what the hubbub was about. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. Shortly after we came out, a little old lady was pushed out in a wheelchair. Much to our surprise, this is who the police were waiting for. Turns out, the old broad had lit up in the lav. When questioned, she denied sneaking off to the bathroom for a cigarette, but she was caught. As we walked away, chuckling a bit to ourselves, I thought that it was kind of sad. While, obviously, quitting is the best solution, for some that is easier said than done. Perhaps something like this e-cigarette would have saved her the humiliation and likely the fines that she incurred from her actions.

They don't bill these as a cessation aid, but I would think this might be a good transition. If nothing else, it has to be healthier. They're about $80 to get started but after that, they cost roughly half as much as traditional cigarettes. The long term cost savings could be quite significant, given how expensive cigarettes are these days.

So what do you think? Has anyone tried them? Is this the future of smoking?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just A Little Cuteness

Some people might think that having a girl was purely the luck of the draw. We had a 50/50 chance and this is how the coin fell. To them I say, ha, I had a girl on purpose. I needed a model for all the sweet little girl clothes!

Lucky for her, she has a beloved Auntie who brings her beautiful outfits back from India. And lucky for me, Sophie is a good sport about our little fashion shows.