Home          Green Living          Crafts          Parenting

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: An Overview

The end of the year is upon us. It really has me thinking about this past year.

This year has been so incredibly different than any other year of my life.  I feel like I have changed, like I have become someone new. I've become a mother.  I've become confident.  I'm at peace with myself for the first time since I can remember.

Last year, Willie and I rang in the new year calming a colicky baby and watching fireworks out the window.  We couldn't see many of them due to our crummy location, but we craned our neck, opened the blinds, and looked at just the right angle to see one or two fireworks every few minutes while tag-teaming to try and get Addie to sleep.  That was a tough time.  I was pretty depressed last new year, thinking What a way to ring in the new year...holding a crying baby, sleep deprived, and irritable.  I remembered thinking They say that the way you ring in the new year is how you'll spend the rest of your year.  I guess that means I'll spend an entire year trying to calm down an inconsolable infant, arguing with my husband, and watching the party from the sidelines.  It really goes to show that a change in perspective can make the world of difference.

Instead of thinking I would be spending my entire year with a crying baby, arguing with my husband, and watching the party from the sidelines, I should have been thinking I'm going to spend the year with my family-all of us together-enjoying the view.  See what a difference that makes? And you know what? It's true.  I spent the year with my family-all of us together-enjoying life, enjoying each other, and enjoying the view.

The first half of the year is a blur.  It is marked in my memory as stumbling through the fog.  Despite the fact that Addie appears to be an "easy baby", the first half of her first year was probably the hardest time in my life.  Ever.  I think even Willie doesn't realize how hard that time was for me.  I hadn't started my blog at that point, although I know it would have been a tremendous help, but life was complicated.  Addie cried a lot.  I cried a lot.  It started before the breastfeeding issues though.  It started the day she emerged from the womb, so much in a hurry to get out that she ended up injured and crying for her first week.  Things settled down for a few weeks and it seemed to be smooth sailing until the colic started.  I feel like all I can really remember of those first few months is crying, and trying to cover it up with a sunny disposition.

In May, I started this blog.  It has been a tremendous help, an outlet for my anger, frustration, joy, and sadness.  It helped me open up about things no one knew.  In fact, it still does.  We discovered some underlying issues regarding Addie's crying, and found ways to fix them.  Life began to improve, the fog began to lift, and we were able to relax a little bit.

This summer was spent hiking, taking tons of photos, camping, blogging, and exploring Washington further than just Seattle.

This past fall was probably my favorite time of the year.  Addie had her first birthday, her last first holiday, and I developed my confidence in myself.

The holidays passed all too quickly this year.  Thanksgiving was spent with our friends-a relaxed affair with good food.  Christmas was a busy time for us, traveling, illness, and new traditions all rolled into one.

And now, here we are, back where we started.  The holidays have passed. The year is coming to a close.  It's New Year's Eve again, one year later.  It's been a wild ride, but I'm ready to welcome in a new year, a new season.  I'll be alone when the ball drops tonight.  Willie is working nights, and Addie should be asleep by then. So, I will watch New Years happen from the sidelines again, working on new projects for my shop.  Instead of thinking about how boring this next year will be, I am going to think of how productive it will be.  Willie and I will both ring in the new year working, earning money.  This next year will be fruitful.  It will be fulfilling. It will be peaceful.

Earlier today, I decided on my New Year's Resolution.  It's a personal resolution, something I'm not willing to share publicly, on my blog.  It shows a different side of me than the public face I prefer to show.  I will, however, stick with it this year, and you can know that it is not a frivolous resolution such as losing weight, eating better, or exercising more.  Those are all things I try to do year round.  This resolution will change my quality of life.  It will make me a better person.

Here's to 2010!!  I hope it lives up to everyone's hopes and wishes for the upcoming year.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Christmas Story: 2009 Edition

Well, here we are, home from our holiday "vacation," otherwise known as "The Trip Where Everything That Could Go Wrong, Did."  I tell ya...this trip was something else!

It all started a few days before we left for California to visit the grandparents for Christmas.We were peacefully chugging along, not a kink in sight until three days before we were scheduled to leave.  Addie woke up that Saturday morning and I could just tell something was wrong.  She was quiet, lethargic, and wouldn't drink her milk or eat breakfast.  All she wanted was to be held.  I picked her up and she was burning up. I got her one of the first appointments of the day with the on-call pediatrician, who also couldn't find anything medically wrong with her other than her 101.2 fever and her obviously sick demeanor. So, we brought her home to watch her and wait it out.  She slept almost the entire day-Willie's birthday-and woke up the next morning acting so much better, but still running a pretty high temperature-103.6 to be exact.

In a panicked frenzy I called the on-call pediatrician before he had a chance to get to the office and call to check on us..  He said as long as she was acting normally, to wait it out and if it didn't go down by the next day to bring her in again.  So, that's what we did.  By that evening, her fever had all but broke-down to 99.8-and she was eating and sleeping almost normally again.

We started packing Monday in order to have a smooth morning on Tuesday and everyone seemed to be doing great.  Addie was still sick, but I could tell she was recovering. For the most part her fever was completely gone. We had a great day, and started looking forward to our trip again.  We relaxed Monday night, knowing it was going to be a hectic week coming up since trips like this are always as stressful as enjoyable.

The alarm went off Tuesday after only a few hours of sleep and Willie and I pried our eyes open, struggled out of bed and loaded up the car.  All of a sudden Willie came in complaining that he had an upset stomach and bad cramping.  He got sick right before we left, but then he appeared to be feeling better so I thought nothing of it.  We got to the airport, checked our bags, and got through security just in the nick of time.  We were the last ones to board our plane before take off, but we weren't late.  We even got to California half an hour earlier than we expected!!  It was such an easy flight, Addie slept for half of it, and the other half she was a total doll for the flight attendants.  It seemed everything was going to go smoothly from here on out.

Unfortunately, Willie's stomach started acting up again as soon as we got to his grandmother's house.  He was sick the rest of the evening with a stomach bug, cramping, and fever.  I felt so bad for him since he was so excited about the trip and here he was laid up downstairs separated from everyone while we visited. Right before putting Addie to bed I checked on him and he said he was feeling better, and was even thinking of coming upstairs to spend the rest of the evening with his family after getting up and dressed.

That's right about the time that his dad fell down the stairs!!* I mean, are you kidding? His 60-something-year-old dad fell down two steps and busted his knee up.  He couldn't walk the rest of the trip.  It was awful.  I mean seriously. Can we not catch a break here? Sick kid, sick husband, injured father-in-law, and we're on vacation supposed to be enjoying our time?!

I vowed to make the best of our trip at that point.  I mean, Willie could do nothing but continue getting better, Addie was in a better mood every day since Saturday and other than a chest cold and being more tired than normal she was being very easy.  It couldn't get any worse, right? haha.  That's right about when I got hit with the stomach bug.  All I can say is that at least Willie recovered before I came down with it.  That made it so much easier.  He was a great husband and a great Dad.  He took Addie for the day and let me sleep it off just like he got to.  They went shopping and met some of his mom's friends, and hung out with his grandmother while I stayed in bed waiting for the bug to pass.  Late in the afternoon I felt well enough to get up and move around a bit so I joined everyone again.  Unfortunately, I was still fatigued and cramping  the rest of that night and the next day, but the worst had passed.

And the worst truly had passed.  From Wednesday on, everyone started feeling better and looking forward to Christmas.  Presents were wrapped and put under the tree.  Food was enjoyed.  Company was had. Plans were made to (gasp) leave the house and do some of the things we had hoped to do on our trip.  We were fortunate enough to enjoy the rest of our trip and enjoy our holiday after such a rough start.  I will say, traveling during holiday season is a totally different ball game than traveling during the spring or summer when there are fewer bugs to catch!


* For anyone wondering what happened to Jim-my father-in-law, he is doing much better.  His knee was very banged up and bruised, and he spent our entire trip in a reclining chair.  Willie's mom informed us last night that after we left he was able to get up and walk around using a walker, so he is definitely improving, just slowly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

Well, it's that time of year again.  Lights.  Decorations.  Family.  Food.  Fun.  Oh, and there's also gifts, but I try not to focus on that part.

The holidays have always been my favorite time of year.  We just have so many family traditions that bring us all closer.  We didn't grow up with very much, but we sure felt rich.  I hope to instill the same ideals into my daughter.  The holidays should be about who you are with, not what they give you.  In these economic times, I feel that lesson is even more important than it was before.  It seems that most families have cut back this year.  The stores don't seem as crowded as before.  I really hope we are swinging the pendulum back away from this insane materialistic culture.

I really hope people are re-discovering the meaning of Christmas.  I really hope they are remembering the small things.  The things that really matter. 

I can still remember all of our traditions growing up.  Can I tell you what I got for Christmas every year? Not even close.  I can remember a few very memorable years-like the one where we woke up with a note from "Santa" telling us to look outside where we found our trampoline.  I can also remember a Christmas where we got the original Nintendo gaming system and two games.  Mario, and The Little Mermaid.  We never received any other games for that system, but we didn't know any better.

What I remember from Christmas are the little things.  Our traditions that we kept up each year as we got older.

I remember getting a new personalized ornament for the tree every year.  Putting out Christmas decorations as a family with the Christmas music on.

I remember wrapping coffee cans with Christmas wrapping paper.  I remember spending hours baking home-made Chex-Mix for all of our friends and family.  I remember delivering those Christmas-wrapped coffee cans to everyone special to us, and seeing their face light up with excitement.  What beats home-made Chex-Mix?!

I remember opening one present on Christmas eve every year-Christmas PJ's that we wore to bed, so our holiday videos would be festive.  I remember waking up before the sun to start Christmas day, and then somehow still running out of time and rushing to my Granny's to eat and spend time as a family.  I remember there being years where 30 people came over to Granny's to celebrate with us, and years that there were just 10 of us.  I remember everyone in the kitchen helping cook.

I remember that no matter what, my uncle would make fun of whatever my mom brought.  He always made fun of her rolls saying she didn't make them right.  They were store bought!!  All you had to do was remove them from the package, put them on a baking sheet, and bake them until they were lightly browned!!  It became quite the little game that everyone (except my mom) looked forward to come dinner time.  I remember the year my mom decided No More Rolls! and asked Granny what else she could bring so "Reid would stop making fun of the **** rolls."  That year, Granny gave mom the recipe for pecan pie, and swore that if she followed that recipe exactly, she would come out with the perfect pecan pie to bring to dinner, that Reid would not be able to find anything wrong with.  Sure enough....the pie came out burnt.  In my mother's defense, though, Granny's recipe was less than perfect!  Silly old Granny wrote down the wrong temperature to bake the pie! So, despite her best efforts, my mother received the teasing of a lifetime at that Christmas dinner.  Pie slices were dropped onto the plates to see how loud of a clunk it would make each time.  My poor mom.  I don't think she brings anything to Christmas anymore.

I also remember the gift-giving at Granny's house.  I remember we would all fight over who got to be "Santa" and hand out the gifts to everyone.  It was usually whoever was learning to read at the time-at least until we got older.  The present opening was a huge ordeal as you can imagine with 30 people in and out of the house, but it was always so much fun. 

As I said, Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Reading through this post makes me realize how long it has been since I wrapped coffee cans and filled them with home-made Chex-Mix. Maybe next year...

Other than that, and going to Granny's, the rest of my holiday traditions are right on par with how I grew up, except they are scaled down for my tiny family up here in Washington.  Somehow, picking out Christmas PJ's, hanging personalized ornaments on the tree, and re-creating the Christmas dinners of my childhood make me feel close to my family again.  I think of them all, gathered around Granny's big table with their wine glasses raised, toasting Christmas, toasting each other, maybe even toasting us. I will then turn to my small little family and toast us, toast Christmas, and toast our extended family back in Texas doing the same thing we are, maybe even at the same time.

This year will be a completely new experience for me.  This year, we will be spending the holiday with Willie's family in California.  I will keep the little things as close to tradition as I can, all the while opening my heart and my mind to new traditions.  Traditions Willie may like to pass on to Addie.  Traditions that we can mix in with mine, and make them completely our own.

What are some traditions you have for the holidays? What are some of your favorite memories? 'Tis the season to share them all!


Monday, December 14, 2009

My First Sale

Well, I know I haven't mentioned my shop much on here since I opened it-other than just telling you all that it existed-so I thought I would write a post entirely dedicated to CUTEure Creations.  It is, after all, the reason you haven't heard from me in over a week.

I had my first live sale this past weekend, and have just been so busy focusing on that for awhile.  This sale was focusing mainly on hair bows, although I did have a bit of my crochet work up as well.  It was a very slow time, ending in only 1 trade and no sales.  That is Okay though, it was a great learning experience as to what people really want to see, and how much more of an impression I can make if I kick it up a notch (okay, a couple of notches).  The good news is, no one else really sold anything last weekend either, so it wasn't just me.

The other good news is that I did get to trade another vendor for this cute little guy on the right.  She does such cute work.  I'm hoping she will actually go into business soon! This was just a trial run for her, but I love her little hand made plush toys!  She helped me unload one of my 100 hair bows and I just need to get crackin' on the hat she ordered for her little boy!

All in all, it's been a busy-but fun-few weeks full of creating new items, learning new things, and planning what comes next.  I have so many fun ideas for this shop, I only hope I can keep this energy up and keep creating and putting new things out there.  As for now, I have a couple of orders, and one more Christmas gift to take care of these next few weeks, and then it's on to production time!  I plan on getting into more craft shows and fairs this spring, so I need to start getting things ready now.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


The mystery has been solved!

I guess I should start at the beginning, so you can be as excited about this mystery as I am! 

...It started a few weeks ago.  My once pleasant daughter began dreading meal times.  She would take two bites and sign "all done", then proceed to whine, fuss, and throw food on the floor throughout the rest of meal time.  We couldn't figure it out.  No one could! We eventually went to our fallback excuse, "It must be the teething,"  but what could we do? I mean, she still needs to eat, and we were coming to dread bed time even more than meal times because of the fit she would throw due to hunger.  It was a lose-lose battle if I do say so myself. 

Tonight...tonight I won the battle!  After much deliberation, concentration, and patience, I figured out what she really wants. Turns out, she has not been signing "all done" this whole time at all.  She has been signing "drink."  They look really, really, really similar, though.  The only difference so far is "all done" is signed with two hands doing this twisty-twirly move, and "drink" is done with one.

So, again I say..."AHA!!!" because I have solved the mystery! The mystery of the thirsty child!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ah, To Be a Chocolatier!!

Today, Addie and I had a new experience.  Unlike our grocery store experience, this one was actually a good time.  Addie and I got to experience the world of candy making today!

Okay, so to be honest, I did most of the work.  I know-shocker!  Addie did have fun, though.  She roamed around, watched me fill the chocolate molds, ate carrots, and played with boys.

Meanwhile, I filled molds, crushed lifesavers, melted chocolate, and created a masterpiece!  Well, maybe they weren't beautiful masterpieces, but they sure were delicious! My favorites have to be the mint chocolates shown in this picture! They are soooo good, yet so rich!  I could seriously eat them all.  I mean, we were supposed to make these to give away as gifts, but, ahem, don't you need a trial batch first??  Right?!  I also made a few peanut-butter cups, which-let's face it-I messed up.  They are still oh-so-yummy, but definitely not something I would be proud to give away as a gift.  I'll just have to practice those some more.

So, now I know a new craft.  I just love learning new crafty things!  Especially crafty things that are delicious and just melt in your mouth!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lesson of Tough Love..Learned in a Grocery Store.

Don't you just hate it when you go into a grocery store and there is a kid screaming through every aisle, throwing a fit, tossing things out of the cart, with tears running down their face? Yeah...me too.

I especially hate it after today, now that I have finally experienced the other side of that situation.  Yep.  It was my kid throwing a fit in the grocery store today!  You may remember  a certain post of mine this summer that was a reminder to myself and my husband that my daughter will one day throw a fit in the supermarket.  That day was today.  I will admit, that day came a little sooner than expected.

Nothing made her happy.  Not the sippy full of water.  Not the bowl of goldfish I packed just in case.  Not riding on daddy's shoulders. Not the two board books.  Not holding the pear. 

Sure, there were momentary distractions, such as letting her run around the personal hygiene aisle.  By the way what a great moment to choose to drop on all 4's and crawl through the store, Addie.  That sure got some looks.  I'm such a bad mother.

When she decided she no longer wanted to walk and just wanted to crawl all over the store, I gave up.  I was not going to let her crawl around the grocery store floor.  I'm not a germ-a-phobe, but yuck.  There is no telling what she was crawling on.  I picked her up and decided to carry her, which elicited many a protest, but what is a mom to do?  That's right.  Ignore it.  It was time to give Addison her first lesson in tough love.  She needs to learn that throwing a fit and causing mayhem is not the way to get what she wants.

I had no more options.  What she wanted was not even clear at this point. She just wanted to cry and squirm just to do it.  So, I let her.  We were at the check out lane, unloading groceries, and Addie was trying to climb up and over my shoulder to escape me.  Something she's never done before, and decided to pull out of her box of tricks right there in the middle of the store.  At least we were almost out of there and I wouldn't get any more glares from shoppers. Luckily, some nice old lady took pity on us and started talking to Addison, which at least calmed her down enough that I could keep a grip on her so she wouldn't fall on the floor.

We finally make it out of the grocery store...suddenly I'm holding an angel! I guess all she wanted was to not be grocery shopping.  I admit, it's not my favorite chore either, but I sure hope I figure out new ways to make it fun next week.

I am just glad we have adjusted our shopping schedule so that I'm not going alone with Addie.  While I'm sure I could handle it, I'm not so sure I'd want to.  I probably would have forgotten half my list, which would have meant we would turn around and do it again tomorrow.

Moral of the story (there are 3): Don't give in to the tantrum lest they learn how much it bugs you, be kind to little old ladies, & bring company.


Pint-Sized Cleaning Help: Another Point for the Green Team

Ahh, cleaning.  The foul stench of bleach, the cracked and blistering skin from the use of harmful chemicals.  Struggling to keep my daughter out of the bathroom while I scrub so she doesn't breath in harmful fumes...wait.  That doesn't sound so nice, does it?

That's right! It doesn't! And that's why I don't do it that way anymore.  In fact, Addie helped me scrub down the bathroom last week during a cleaning frenzy.  We bonded.  I cleaned.  She played with the dust pan.  I didn't worry once that she was breathing in harmful fumes or that she would touch the cleaning container that had a splash of bleach on the side. Nope.  We just had a good time.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I let her play with the rag I was scrubbing with or anything, but it was nice to sit there and talk to her while I scrubbed without worrying about her touching anything. And you know what? I don't think my bathroom has ever looked cleaner, nor has cleaning the bathroom ever gone more smoothly!

Granted, I have been using green cleaners for over a year now, but we've still been weeding out the few chemicals that we have had stocked up under our sinks.  I just can't waste. To me that is even less green than using the bleach.  I've been scrubbing Addie's bathroom with Method cleaners and vinegar ever since we moved here for fear that I wouldn't rinse the tub out well enough, but I continued using my bleach-based cleaners on our bathroom to use them up.  Finally we made it!  No harsh chemicals, a clean bathroom, a happy toddler, and money saved on cleaning supplies*.  What more could I ask for?


* Apparently Borax is an amazing bathroom cleaner! It's also cheap, multi-purpose, eco-friendly, and something I already keep  on hand.  Gotta love it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Ultimate Nature vs. Nurture

Addie and I seem to be sharing some fears lately.  It seems these last few weeks she has developed one new fear after another, to the point where she is terrified of the most harmless items in our house.  I know that is normal for this age, with discovering new things and becoming independent, but this is really overwhelming for me as a parent.  It is just so sudden, and so extreme.

She has always been a timid little girl.  Even in the womb I would feel her kick extra hard when I vacuumed or started the coffee grinder.  These last few days, however, have been over the top.  Things she laughed at two days ago are now things she can't even look at without bursting into tears. She wouldn't leave her play room last night because there was a tennis ball in the door way.  She just stood there looking at it and sobbing.  Reaching out for me.  What do I do in that situation? She's too young to just let her "get over it" and tell her the ball won't hurt her.  I worry about coddling her and letting her know she has a reason to be scared.  I also worry that if I'm not coddling her, I'm pushing her to face those fears too soon.  I feel like we're walking a tightrope lately, and my balance has never been great. One day I'm going to tip too far to one side or the other, and there could be lifelong consequences.

They say these traits are genetic.  This scares me.  I was shy and timid growing up. I was so shy as a kid, that my best friend in high school told me one day that when she first met me, she thought I was a deaf-mute.  It was that bad.  I grew out of this "phase" right around the time that my father moved out of state.  Personally, I always thought maybe I was timid because of him (he was a very stern man) but maybe it was not his fault after all.  Maybe it is just a trait I will pass on to  my daughter.  Maybe she will grow up just as shy and timid as I did.  If that's the case, I can only hope that sooner or later, she will start showing some of her daddy's traits and be able to grow up with a nice balance. I was scared of everything.  So much so, that after some spooky stories told to me by a friend, I was in therapy.  We always considered it a fluke.  Just the wrong stories told at the wrong age, but what if it was just genetic? What if the same thing could happen to Addison?  I don't want her to fear the world.  I don't want her growing up unable to remember most of her childhood because she blocked out the scary parts.

I feel like I am stuck in the ultimate nature vs. nurture debate.  It's making me question my past...and my daughter's future.  Maybe this seems like a silly fear, but unless you lived the childhood I did-scared of everything...even an empty wall-it's hard to imagine it being this real.  Is this something I will be able to avoid for my daughter? Can my nurturing help her overcome her fears? Or is it in her nature to walk the same path as her mother? 


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble...Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers!!  I thought now would be an appropriate time to give thanks in the form of a blog post.   I think this year it is especially important.  I think it is time for everyone to realize what truly matters and get back to the heart.  It's not all about money and buying things.  Not every family is sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast this year thanks to layoffs and a bad economy. Those aren't the things that truly matter.

I am thankful for so many things this year.

First off, I am thankful for my baby girl.  Addie has brought so much joy to my life.  I can't imagine my life without her...and she's only been here one short year.  I am thankful for the way she makes me laugh when I'm stressed out.  I am thankful for the way she makes me notice the little things again.  I am thankful for how she has opened my eyes to the world we live in-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I am thankful she has changed me in so many ways.

Secondly, I am thankful for my husband.  Willie has been there for me through a lot.  I guess you could call him my knight in shining armor.  I give him a lot of grief and he still sticks around through it all, loving me and reminding me every day of that.  I am thankful that he is working so hard to provide a better life for us.  I am thankful he is willing to sacrifice now to make our future brighter.  It has been a rocky 2 years with a lot of life changes all piling on top of each other.  I am thankful he can keep his cool under stress.

I am thankful also for every person I have met here.  I would be so lost without my new friends.  From showing me around the city, introducing me to new ideas in parenting, babysitting trade offs, girl's nights out, play dates with the kids, and sometimes just a a shoulder to cry on.

I am thankful for my very supportive family-immediate and extended.  My parents and in-laws have been a great support through our move, through my first pregnancy and dealing with it away from home, through caring for a newborn on my own, through Addie's growth issues, through it all.  They may not always understand my decisions, but I have always gotten support.  I do have an aunt and uncle in the area that have been a huge help with the adjustment to our new life.  It is great to have family away from "home".

I also have some more frivolous things I am thankful for.

I am thankful that House is on every Monday night.  With Willie working nights, the evenings are quite lonely.  At least I have something to look forward to on Mondays.

I am thankful for discovering the blogosphere.  I have gotten so much off of my chest with this blog.  Maybe not many people read it, but that's not what matters to me.  What matters is that I have an outlet.

I am thankful for gDiapers!  Without them we would have been up a creek without a paddle tonight!  I guess this is the first step in the full transition to the cloth side.

So, that is what I am thankful for.  Have you thought about what you are thankful for?  Remember to hug your families this holiday and let them know how much you appreciate them!!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mother's Intuion=My Intuition

Mother's intuition...I used to make fun of my mother for using this term.  I laughed and said she didn't have superpowers, she just had eyes in the back of her head.

Ahhh...the things that change when we become mothers ourselves.

I feared I would not have this so-called mother's intuition.  That I was a hack.  Wasn't made out to have children.  That I would fail.  These past few weeks, I have finally come into my own as a mother.  I found my confidence, and along with it, my intuition.

I feel like, this past year has been full of me asking questions to friends and having those questions answered as advice.  Really it seemed no one had confidence in me, therefore, I had no confidence in myself.  In my intuition.  Everywhere I turned I had people telling me the best way to do things.  I was given advice and direction on decisions that should have been completely personal, such as letting my daughter cry in her crib, what kind of diapers to use, and how to react to a temper-tantrum.

I know, I know..every new mother and old mother alike deal with this issue...complete strangers telling you how to dress your child or how to get them off the pacifier.   Unfortunately, I did not really deal with this situation from strangers on the streets.  I dealt with this situation from my friends. From my family.  From every person I came in contact with during day-to-day life.

I began to feel that I could not ask a parenting question as a conversation starter or to get ideas, because instead of a conversation, I would receive a lecture on why their way was right.  To be honest, I don't care how you feel your parenting skills are.  You aren't a better mother than me.  Maybe you are a better mother to your children, but not to mine.

Many issues have made our situation different than some other parents.  Addie has extremely sensitive skin, and spent the first 8 months of her life hidden under a mask of Eczema before we figured out the perfect environment and skin-care regimen for her.  Unless you have dealt with the same issue, I don't need advice on what cleaners are best for the bathtub, or which baby soap smells the best.  We can't use them.

Unless you have gone through being told that your baby is on the verge of starving-not thriving, not meeting milestones, not gaining weight-I don't need to be told by you that breast is best.  In our situation, it wasn't in the long run. I don't need to be told that it is normal for growth to slow down...it's not normal for growth and development to stop completely so that statement has no merit.  I also don't need to be told by you how much my daughter should eat or in what form she should eat it.  I ensure that she eats a healthy, balanced diet and discuss my questions with her pediatrician,  who has been there every step of the way  watching her growth and development with us.

What works best for everyone else is great.  It does not work best for us in most cases.  Some call me green, some call me crunchy, or hippie.  I just call myself concerned, and aware.  I am concerned for only my family.  I am aware of how our environment affects our daughter, and even us.  It all boils down to the fact that we are all a little different.  We should be able to parent that way without judgment, without instructions, and most definitely with support from our friends and family, regardless of how different our decisions may be.

I guess the point of this post is to say that I am finally in that place where I can say all of this.  I no longer strive to make everyone else see that I am a good mother.  I know I am.  I no longer freak out and call on a friend when something happens that I am unfamiliar with.  I finally trust my mother's intuition.  I had it all along.  I just needed to find it.  I did that in the most unexpected way.  I did it by turning away from my friends-my support.  By turning away from the books and articles.  I did it by focusing 100% on my family and our situation...not yours.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Which I Quote A Loved Character..

How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon.  December is here before it's June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?*  Sometimes I feel like I blinked and missed the last year of my life.  Where did the time go? It's almost December...and here I am forgetting my hat and scarf because, hello! it's still summer!  Well....in my mind at least. Things have been so hectic the last few weeks that I'm forgetting the small things... So where have I been?  So many places.  First and foremost, my baby turned one this weekend, as you probably deduced from my reminiscent post of this time last year.  We had a fabulous party with a Dr. Seuss theme.  It was casual, laid back, and so much fun!!!  We even hired a photographer so I wouldn't have to be stressed out trying to entertain, take care of Addie, and capture every cute moment on camera.  I can't wait to get the photos back!  I've been over here tapping my fingers on the computer for two days now wondering why can't I see them yet?!  I know, I know...I need to work on my patience.  I just can't help but be excited about the fact that my baby has now celebrated her first birthday! But...more about that later.  Hopefully with pictures. In other news, I have also been working on starting my very own business!  That's right...although I love writing, I am probably not ambitious enough to actually go anywhere with it.  I have been crocheting baby and toddler accessories-such as hats and scarves-for a little extra money.  I love love love love love being a Stay-at-Home-Mom, but with Willie working over time and going to nursing school full time, I just felt like I needed something for me.  I have just recently re-discovered crocheting.  I've known how since I was a little girl, but never did get around to completing projects.  This most recent attempt was for a winter beanie for Addie so I was determined to finish it.  I loved it!!  In order to keep learning and keep making new items, I decided to list them on my storefront and see how they sell.  I am hoping this shop really fulfills something I felt was missing.  Something for me to focus on that is all about what I want, something that I enjoy.  I love my daughter and husband more than life itself, but sometimes you just need a separate part of your life to really give your all, you know?  With that said, if you are interested in checking out some of my items, please feel free to check out my shop or sent me a message for a custom request.  I think those are the two biggest updates in my life so far.  I am working on a post for Addie's birthday party (and my emotions over her turning one) now, but I wanted to write a quick update so everyone knows where I've been and what's been going on in our house! Photobucket
*Dr. Seuss quote.  I feel it accurately describes my feelings these days.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Birth of Addison Lynn..

Don't worry, an updated blog post complete with some party pictures and recent news will be up this week!  This is my last flashback post (and my real birth story written just days after her birth with very little editing so forgive me if it's not coherent!):

I just wanted to clarify that everyone is right. As much as I didn't want pit, as soon as they said there was even a small risk I agreed to it. So we got to my room about 8.30 and told them to just go ahead and start it. After 3 IV attempts they finally got one in, but it HURT!! I must have been having a reaction to something, the plastic or something, b/c they kept coming out, and the one they did get it bothered me the whole time, even in the middle of hard core labor I was complaining about my IV, lol. Well, the good news was even with the pit, I could still get up and walk around with the portable monitor, and I could even labor in the tub. So I hung out and waited for things to start hurting. I guess around midnight the contractions were hard enough that I was starting to have trouble breathing through them, so I asked if I could get an internal and see where I was, b/c I wasn't sure how long I was allowed in the tub since my water broke so I was trying to hold out for 5 cm before I got in. I was at 4.5 so I told the nurse I would get in the tub and see if that helped. They got me situated and I labored in there for awhile and started feeling sick. These contractions HURT! I don't honestly know how long I stayed in there, about an hour or so I think, then I got out and started walking around the room until contractions would hit and they would stop me in my tracks! I got back in bed for a bit b/c I just felt I could concentrate better there, and was able to breath through a few more hours of contractions. I was starting to get nauseous and trembling so I asked if I could do the tub again now that I was in a lot more pain I thought it would relax me. While I was in the tub that time I started pretty much shaking uncontrollably, and I couldn't focus through these for anything! I still really didn't want the epidural, and since it had been so long since my last internal I was thinking "maybe this is it maybe I'm almost done!" so I asked for another internal. 5.5 cm. I almost started crying. Actually, I think I did start crying. That was about 6 am and they told me I could get the epidural and it would probably relax me. At this point I knew I pretty much had to get it. If I couldn't stop shaking, I definitely wasn't surrendering to the pain to let the contractions work effectively. I was TERRIFIED! Willie was even crying with me b/c he knew how much I didn't want it, but he knew also how much pain I was in and he just couldn't stand it. So they called in the guy to do the epidural, and by this point, I'm balling my eyes out. I really didn't want this and didn't know if I could do it. They had Willie pretty much hugging me and he talked me through the whole thing. I must say, the worst part was the little needles, lol. I screamed at one point b/c I didn't know it was the numbing shot and it felt like he shoved something hard into my spine the shoved it up INTO my spine, and I thought that was it. I was paranoid the whole time he was doing it that something was just going to go terribly wrong and I'd have awful side effects from it, or worse (at this point) it wouldn't work! They laid me back down into bed and told me the contractions should gradually get less intense over the next 10-15 minutes. She was right, and I actually started to doze off finally and from there a lot of my details get really fuzzy b/c I would only remember some of the contractions. I guess they gave me the epidural that wasn't too strong so I could still feel b/c as the contractions got stronger I could start to feel a little pain again but it was NOTHING compared to what it was before. Once I got the epidural, my labor did in fact speed up. By 11 am I was 10 cm but b/c of the pressure of Addison's hand I still had one side of my cervix that wouldn't soften so I had to lay on my right side until it thinned out. They decided to let me labor down as much as I could b/c they still weren't positive if b/c of her position she would fit and they didn't want me pushing too long and putting extra stress on Addison and myself if it wasn't going to work anyways. Well, around 2 they did an internal and she was at +3 Willie said you could almost see her fingers, haha. So I did a few practice pushes with the nurse and then the doc came in when they knew I was ready. I pushed for 2 hours.  I really started going unconscious in between contractions while I was pushing and would only wake up when I felt pain and I would push. Eventually I woke up with an oxygen mask coming down over my face and the doc saying "When I tell you to stop pushing, I need to to stop, then I'll let you know when and I'll want just a little push from you" so I knew it was either the end or there was something wrong.  It was the end, thank goodness.  The shoulder presentation felt really weird, b/c all I could feel was the pressure and I seriously thought she was cutting me all over to make her fit, lol. They laid her on my stomach for a minute after she came out, but I couldn't pull myself up to see her and I still had the mask on so I yanked it off so I could see her a little b/c I knew at that point they weren't going to let me hold her for long before they took her to the warming table. She had her first BM on my tummy, lol, and then they brought her to the warming table to get her to cry (she was coughing and breathing on me but not crying and her color wasn't great) and to look over her hand and arm since there was some pretty bad swelling and bruising and she wouldn't move it. FINALLY after about 40 minutes of me crying to hold my baby, they brought her to me and she was just perfect! I have to say the doc was GREAT. She did the perineum massage the whole time I was pushing her head out and she was really encouraging. I seriously thought only midwives put that much effort into helping a mother give birth, all the stories I've heard the OB just comes in and catches the baby and leaves, lol. Not the case here! She stayed through all the pushing, after being in and out through my entire labor, and she stayed the whole time they were taking care of Addison. I was also really impressed that the word "c-section" only came up once at the very beginning because she wanted to let me know that she had never dealt with this particular position for a birth and so she couldn't tell me how it would end but they would do everything they could to keep it from ending in a c-section. I love that doc I'm so glad she's the one that was on-call for my birth. And I'm absolutely in love with my little girl! Every time I look at her I just can't fathom that she came out of me and I made her!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Water Broke!!! *

That's right ladies and gentlemen!  The time is officially here!  I guess all I needed to do was relax a little and let things happen on there own.  It's like passing my due date just made all the tension ease from my mind and freed my body up to do what it was supposed to do.

Today started out just like any other day.  Willie went off to work, and my mother-in-law and I had some coffee and breakfast.  Instead of just hanging around the house all day waiting for something to happen, we decided to go out and buy some last minute things for the baby-Yeah because there was really more stuff we needed to buy.  

We were getting ready to leave right after lunch, and something told me (For any of the men reading this turn away now) to put on one of those overnight pads I had bought for after the baby.  No reason.  I had just tried to get into the habit of wearing one when we were out *just in case*.  So, I take care of that and we head out to Babies R Us.  The whole time I just felt funny but I couldn't quite put my finger on it so I just pushed it aside.  We get to the store and start walking around.  Every time I leaned over to look at something, it felt like I was peeing.  Boy was I embarrassed!  So I rushed off to the bathroom several times during that trip, but kept brushing it off.  I mean, I am over 40 weeks pregnant now, things are bound to get more difficult at this point.  We wrap up at Babies R Us and head out to Target.  At this point I'm wondering if something is going on.  I mean, yesterday being the full moon and all.

We get to Target and sure enough, this feeling is coming more and more.  I'm actually starting to get uncomfortable.  I go "pee" two more times while we are at Target.  The second time was right before we left.  I told myself "Okay, if I feel this one more time before we get to the car, I'm calling the doc!".    Sure enough...as we stepped off the curb I felt a pretty large gush!  I told my mother-in-law that I thought my water was leaking, and we headed back to the apartment.  I tried to pee and clean up after we got home and it just wouldn't stop so I called the OB and told them what was going on.  Since there was no way I'd make it there by 5 (the doctor/hospital is 30 minutes away and we still had to get Willie) she told me to just head to Triage when I felt it was time.

My phone call to Willie went something like this (I didn't want to freak him out since I wasn't having contractions).

Me: "Hey babe..you almost done for the day?"
Him: "I've got this call I'm almost done with and one more after that.  I was going to take my time and stretch it to 5 pm."
Me: "Well, maybe don't stretch your time.  Do you think they can take that last call off you and you can come bring me to the hospital?"
Him: "The where?"
Me: "The hospital, hun.  I think my water broke.  Can you do that? Can you get that last call taken away and come home early?"
Him: "Oh.  Cool.  Yeah I'll tell them I can't make my last call then I'll just try and make this call take as long as I can so they don't give me another one."
Me: "Umm...could you not make this call take any longer?  It would be nice to make it to the hospital.  I mean, I'm not having regular contractions so don't drop everything, but don't make it take longer please."
Him: "OH!!! So it's actually time!!"
Me: "Yeah, so we'll see you in a few?"

I went ahead and double checked that we had everything ready for the hospital while we were waiting on Willie to get off work.

Duffel bag check
Diaper bag check
Insurance info check
Cell phone check
Computer (for pics) check

It was quite a trip!  We picked up Willie from his work van and headed to Triage.    I was so nervous the entire car ride there.  I mean, my mom had two very quick labors...what if that's me? What if I'm already really far along and we don't have time to make the 30 minute drive to the hospital? What if...what if...what if...

So, we finally make it to the parking garage and find a spot.  I open the door to get out of the car and...POP!!  My water actually breaks. Like full on, messes-up-the-clothes-makes-a-huge-mess breaks.  Thank goodness I was out of the car first.  Now the only problem is that I'm soaked.  Willie goes looking for a wheelchair or someone to help us.  Do you believe there wasn't a single person available to find us a wheelchair?!  I had to walk through the lobby, down the hallway, up the elevator, and down another hallway to find Triage.  Walking.  I looked like I peed myself!  It was such an embarrassing walk!  I walked up to the desk at Triage and told them my name.  Apparently my doctor had called ahead and told them the situation so the nurse said "Oh okay, so you think your water broke? Let's go check."

I kid you not she walked around the corner and her jaw dropped and she said "Yep, I'm pretty sure your water broke.  Either that or you really have a bladder control problem.  I'm not even testing that!"

She gets me settled into a room and gives me a minute to change and calm my nerves.  Then she comes in and does an exam to see how far along I am.  This is where things got interesting!  First, she tells me that I'm now only 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and the baby has moved from -1 to +1 position.  Yeah, apparently you can digress as well as you can progress!  But that's not all...

..."I don't think I'm feeling her head.  It's either a hand or a foot.  I can't tell which right now."


"I'm going to get the doctor in to take a feel and see what's going on, but I'm pretty sure she's not head-down, she must have moved since yesterday."

So, the doctor came in about an hour ago and told me that it was in fact her hand that they were feeling, and that my contractions did not appear to be helping me progress.  They were just sporadic and irritating, but not effective at all.  With the fact that my water has already broken, they want to get my labor moving along a bit more quickly, so she is already planning on starting Pitocin.  I don't want Pit.  I asked her about walking or anything else that might get my labor going, but apparently since the baby's hand already pulled down when my water broke, they are now worried about a prolapsed cord, and would like to keep me from walking too much to risk that.

I'm now settled in my room and waiting on the nurse to come in and start my IV.  This isn't what I wanted, but I am sacrificing already for my daughter.

I've still got to call my mom and let her know what's going on, but I will write more as soon as there is an update. Most likely (hopefully) a birth announcement!

...Stay tuned for more...

* For those of you confused and wondering if I'm having another baby already without telling anyone, maybe you should read this post before you freak out

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today is My Due Date*

Yep. Today is my due date. My Mother-in-Law's flight arrives at dinnertime tonight, and there's still nothing going on.  I've been on the edge of my seat all day wondering when it's going to happen, because-let's face it-it has to happen today! It's my due date!!!

This morning I had my last scheduled OB's appointment.  She measured me and sure enough, I'm still 2 cm dilated and now 90% effaced.  I know that is kind of good news.  I mean, any progress is progress.  I have that much less work to do when I actually go into labor.  It didn't get me really excited though.  I was secretly hoping the OB would look up at me and say I see her head! and then rush me off to labor and delivery telling me to hold on just a second. 

...It was a nice dream.  At least she-in her words-tried to "help things along" while she was down there.  She told me I should walk a lot today in an effort to make things happen naturally.

So, after my appointment I decided to meet up with my friend that lives just a block or two from my doctors office.  We walked all over downtown Seattle! I had tons of fun freaking people out.

"Oh, congratulations, when are you due?"...."Right now."

Muahahaha.  The looks were priceless I tell ya!  We bought ice cream and cookies and all the things I wanted my entire pregnancy but stayed away from because I didn't want to gain weight.  Well you know what? It's my due date.  Screw it, I'm eating some Rocky Road ice cream and some cookies! 

Alas, through all of that, nothing is happening.  I guess this kid wants to stay in there forever.  Can't blame her...it's getting pretty cold outside.  Still, it would be nice to hold her in my arms finally.  We just got back from another walk (that's, what? Two walks today?) and I'm getting ready to make these enchiladas for dinner.  If nothing else, there's three different kinds of chili's in them.  Maybe they will start the contractions-even though I don't really believe in those old wives tales, I've still got some hope. I'll try anything at this point!

Wish me luck!! (and stay tuned...)


* For those of you that might be a tad bit confused & wondering if I am having another baby already maybe you should read this post

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nesting Galore..the countdown continues..*

November 9, 2008

 I can count on one hand the number of days counting down to the day.  Well, at least I hope it's the day!  I don't think I can handle this much longer.  I got stuck on the kitchen floor this afternoon after attempting to reorganize the lower level kitchen cabinets.  Seriously, I was on the floor for at least 30 minutes while needed to pee.

I've been nesting this past week-my excuse for the lack of blogging.  It's over now though.  The cabinets are organized, the floor is scrubbed, I have food frozen in the freezer, the nursery is organized (a hundred times over), the clothes are washed, my bag is packed.  There's nothing left to do but wait. 

...and imagine symptoms of imminent labor.  I can't count how many times I've woken up thinking I was in labor.  I'm really really beginning to count on this full moon to put me into labor.  Everything else I'm doing sure isn't working, and despite my countless reassurances on the outside, I'm not remaining as patient as I had wished.

Willie's mom will be here in a few days.  Her plane lands in the early evening on my due date.  What happens if we are at the hospital at that time??  Oh the pressure!!!  You would think all this stress would send me into labor.  It's not such a great idea to encourage though since my last three appointments have shown my blood pressure to be high.  Guess we'll just wait. 

Some more.  Is the suspense killing you yet??


*Photography by Andrew Yeckley

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion...The Countdown Begins..

Lately, I can't help but think of this time last year.  I was less than two weeks away from my due date, and miserable to say the least.  Addie never truly dropped, so at this point in the game, I was always having stomach trouble, be it nausea, heartburn, or indigestion.  My ribs were sore, my back hurt, and my legs felt like they were falling off-if you've ever had a kid, I'm sure you know exactly how I felt.  I thought it would be "fun" to relive those days now, while we approach the one-year mark.  Since I had yet to experience the wonderful world of blogging, most of you don't know the full story of how Addie came into this world.  These next few weeks, I'll mainly be re-living the next few weeks of last year.

November 3, 2008
 Everyone is on edge.  I'm less than two-weeks from my due date, and it could literally be any day now.  I've been having false labor pains for several days, waking up in the middle of the night and timing contractions.  My doctor says I'm  50% effaced and 2 cm dilated.  Of course, everyone keeps telling me that doesn't really mean anything, but I'm still carrying around hope inside.  I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to hold my baby girl (I hope) in my arms and sing her lullabies. 

I pulled out my exercise ball today.  I read somewhere that  bouncing or rolling on the ball can cause the baby to drop further, and may help me dilate.  Here's hoping, because I sure would like to get this ball rolling...no pun intended.   We're starting to go for daily walks by the river, too.  I don't care that it's getting colder and seems to rain every day.  What else do I have?  I can't hold out all my hope that the full moon on my due date will actually cause me to go into labor.  I'm not that lucky.

Everyone already has plane tickets ready to go, and trips planned out, all revolving around this little one's birth.  No pressure or anything.  I mean, I'd really like to have a few days at home alone with my new family before all the hustle and bustle of visitors, but whatever happens, happens.  It might be nice to have some extra help around the house when I get home from the hospital.  Then again, what if she decides to come late? What if everyone flies up here and just waits and waits, and then nothing happens?  Times like these, I almost wish I was open to the idea of a voluntary induction..but I'm not, so it doesn't matter.

All I can say is, with all these time-able contractions I'm having, I hope I'm at least making more progress.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This won't be a long post as I've been hyped up on sugar and can't sit still long, but we wanted to say Happy Halloween!  Just to forewarn you, I am 2 weeks from my due date (last year) and from Addie's first birthday, so you're going to see a lot of reminiscing these next few weeks instead of current news.  To hold true to that, here I am last year celebrating Halloween without Addison.

Me and my lopsided pregnant belly, Halloween 2008

And, here we are today, as a family, celebrating this holiday yet again.

From all of us, Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Can't Believe It!!

Dear readers,

The day finally came!  My daughter is no longer The Girl Who Cried Teeth.  Two days ago, the cutest little tooth you've ever seen erupted from the gums.  Now, let the fun begin.  Bring on the teething.  I can handle it if I know there will be an outcome!

Where's the picture of the cutest tooth in the world, you ask? Well, here's the problem.  My daughter seems to have more tongue than will fit in her mouth, so none of the tricks to get her to flash that pearly white for the camera seem to be doing the trick.  I believe the only way I will get a picture is to hold her down kicking and screaming, which, I just don't want to do.  There is hope, though!  Eventually I will be quick enough with the shutter to capture that elusive little tooth and show it off to the world! Patience is the key!!


Your Friendly Mommy Blogger


Sunday, October 25, 2009

No Einstein in Our Crib

Parent alert: the Walt Disney Company is now offering refunds for all those "Baby Einstein" videos that did not make children into geniuses.

This is such great news.  I mean, not for me, really, since I never bought into the hype about turning my daughter into a genius before she could talk.  Lucky for me that I also did not buy into the hype that putting my daughter in front of the television every day while I did chores checked my email was actually considered educational. 

I think it's funny, though, that despite not using educational toys and videos to teach my daughter to read or know her shapes or learn to talk, she's already begun exceeding my expectations.  For example, this is how our morning play time went today:

Me: "Addie, where is the ball?" (we had paid no attention to the ball at all today at this point)

Addie: looking around through her toys before she catches a glimpse of the ball and holds it up proudly to show me that she found it.

Me: "That's great! Bring me the ball, please."

Addie: Starts running towards me holding the ball out, hands it over, then claps and grins proudly.

Take that Baby Einstein! My daughter is excelling all on her own.  No videos.  No expensive toys.  Just a ball and her Momma.  Just a bit of quiet interactive play.  Who knew?

I think it is great that Walt Disney is finally admitting to their marketing scheme, and letting the public know that regularly showing their video to your baby does not only not make them smarter, it can actually slow down their development and cause attention problems.

Don't get me wrong or anything.  I have no issues turning on a cartoon on a few occasions where no one can focus on anything, and Addie won't eat, play, sleep, or settle down for a book.  Yo Gabba Gabba is a lifesaver in those instances!  So, no, I'm not totally against TV for children.  What I am against is being told that my child will not come out ahead if I do not buy these videos.  That I am wasting her childhood on toys and play time.

What ever happened to being a kid, for that matter?  I see commercials for kids toys these days, and no longer do I see toys that build imagination and require active play.  Instead, I see commercials for learning video games, and movies that teach your child to read and write, play computers, and toys filled with so many batteries and lights that a young child just needs to sit there and watch it go.  Children used to be able to learn through playing outside, through using their imaginations, and through testing limits.

Hopefully, this lawsuit and this reaction by Disney will spawn a new idea into parents' minds that it's okay to not be perfect.  It's okay to not send your kid to Harvard on a full academic scholarship.  It's okay to give your child the tools he needs to succeed in life without pushing him too far.  It's okay to let him be a kid for now.

Way to go, Disney! It takes a big "person" to admit their mistakes!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good Morning?? Ha. Yeah Right.

I know by the time I finish this post, it will no longer be morning, but this is the first time I've had a chance to sit down and focus all day!!  I apologize in advance about the utter disaster that is this post and the grammar contained in it. I still haven't even finished my coffee.

It started out like any other day.  Actually, it started better than most days, since I rolled over lazily to see the clock say 7.45 a.m.  I laid there for a minute listening for the sounds I must have missed in such a deep sleep.  Surely, my daughter is already awake and playing quietly in her crib.  Or not.  Apparently my sweet little offspring decided to give mommy a gift today and sleep in!!  I forgot what that felt like.

We had a leisurely hour of play time while she finished drinking her "milk" and I got a chance to check my email.  It was appearing to be a pretty fantastic day.  Then breakfast happened.

You wouldn't think cereal and fruit could cause a child to need a full-on bath  to get cleaned up after breakfast, but sure enough, she found a way to accomplish that.  No biggie.  She kind of had a "I peed through my diaper sometime in the middle of the night" stench to her anyway, so we'll take a bath and wash the sheets.  I got her nice and cleaned up pretty quickly so since she was having so much fun I let her play with her bath toys for a few minutes.  Oh no.  I see bubbles...

Yep.  She did it.  She pooped in the tub.  Not only did she do that, but she wanted to continue playing in said tub, and threw a royal fit when I took her out.  I had to take her out of the bathroom to make sure she wouldn't try to climb back in, completely disregarding the soiled tub for the moment.  Get her cleaned up and dressed again and put her in the living room with her toys.  I look down the hall to see the make-shift curtain we put up over the play room fluttering*.  Again, no good.  Fluttering curtains means one of them figured out how to get past it-thumb tacks and all. (I know..I'm super classy.  If you saw it you'd think it was even classier).  I run down the hall in time to see a cat dart out from under the sheet.  Crap!!  I can't deal with this right now!!  Turn around to go back down the hall and realize I don't see Addie anywhere.  But I hear water splashing.  Yep, she was trying to play in the water I forgot to drain from the tub!!! I go in there, drain the tub, pull her out of the bathroom and get her hands cleaned up.  I put her back in the living room and start trying to clean the tub out-which now has poop caked onto it, and I look over and the cat is darting back into the play room she can't go into!!!  I dart over there in time to scare her and she runs away from the curtain, then proceed to head back to the bathroom and take care of the tub situation, where Addie chooses to join me again and try to climb.  Again, I take her out of the bathroom and turn on cartoons for her, hoping that Yo Gabba Gabba is enough to distract her from the enticing bath tub.  Look down the hall...the curtain is ripped down from the doorway and there is a cat squatting in the area we are trying to get the stink out of!!  Addie is running down the hall at me, she just can't wait to get back into her play room that keeps getting taken away.

Meanwhile, Willie is asleep after working the night shift in the room right next door as I completely lose it and toss my cat out of the play room, scoop Addie up, and go yell at him that I-need-some-help-I've-got-cats-and-kids-going-in-every-direction-poop-in-the-bathtub-stinky-pee-sheets-cranky-11-month-old-ripped-curtains-and-cold-coffee!!!!!!

Thankfully, Willie got up and cleaned the bathroom while I cleaned up the mess in the play room and figured out a way to fix the curtains.  Now they actually seem to be hanging better, with no loose areas that can be squeezed through.  So, with Willie's help, we have a clean bathroom, a napping toddler, dry play room, curtains hung, and sheets washing.  Thanks to me we both have warm coffee and a few minutes of peace and quiet.

If it sounds like absolute mayhem, that's because it was.  I don't see how moms with more than one kid have enough arms.  Today really is one of those days that teach you about Surviving Motherhood.


*For those of you that don't know, we had to barricade the play room while we wait for this odor neutralizer to do it's job, thanks to a certain bladder issue from one of our cats.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Childhood Right of Passage

The birthday party.  Cake, games, snacks, and ripping paper, flashing toys, cartoons, squealing, and a melt-down after a run-in with a ride-on tractor.  I consider this a childhood right of passage.  You aren't really a kid until you've been to another child's birthday party.

Addie experienced her first birthday party this weekend.  Well, to be honest she's been to one other birthday party before this one, but there weren't a lot of kids her age, so for the purpose of this post it doesn't count.  This weekend, Addie experienced a true child's birthday party in full force.  Absolute mayhem with kids everywhere, toys everywhere, and cake and cookies galore.

While it took her awhile to liven up and get into things, by the end of the party, she had turned into a social butterfly.  She was coloring with the big kids, ate some yummy treats, and even got to bring home her very first party favor (decorated by me, don't worry, she's not that much of an artist...yet.)

She is turning more and more into a kid and less and less she is acting like a baby. No longer can I call her a bobbler, she is a full on toddler.  I must have blinked and missed the transition.  It went too fast...where is the rewind button?  More and more every day she is becoming a child.  There is a personality behind that little gummy grin (yes,="" href="http://thecruisefamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/unloading-on-you.html">still).  Yet another right of passage into childhood checked off the list.

Now, if only I could finalize the plans on her birthday party.  That's a big right of passage.  Who's in the mood for cake?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Cosmetics Do I Love??

This is in response to a BlogHer blog written by Mom101, "What are the cosmetics you love? I mean, really really love in a long term let's get married kind of way?"  She asked, and I'm telling her.  And yes, I realize I write a blog about motherhood.  What does that have to do with makeup, you ask?  Well, don't you like to feel pretty?  I feel that this blog fits well into my new goals that I have blogged about here before.

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a cosmetics snob.  Other than my short stint with a love for Mary Kay foundations and Ultimate mascara, I've always gotten my cosmetics at Target.  Alas, I've still got a few favorites, those that I buy time and time again.  Surprisingly, my cheap mascara that I pick up at the check-out lane didn't make the list.  Maybe I need to re-evaluate.

My favorites include:

1.  OPI "I'm Not Really A Waitress" red nail polish.  I tell ya, I've never been able to wear red on my nails.  Never.  Then one day five years ago, the nail tech at a local salon recommended I try this and I've never looked back.  They have apparently discontinued this color now, which makes me really sad.  I've got three bottles stock piled to give me time to find a new favorite.  Why do cosmetics companies make a perfect product, get you to fall in love, and then take it away?!

2.  Victoria Secret's "Strawberries and Champagne" Refreshing Body Mist.  This scent has been one of my favorites for seven years now.  Every time I buy something different to experiment, I end up disappointed and trudge back to Vickie Secrets admitting defeat.  Why fix what's not broken?

3.  Another favorite scent  of mine since high school is The Body Shops "Oceanus" which is a nice clean scent-my typical favorite and not as surprising to me as the above item.  I've always been a fan of clean smells and this perfume just works perfectly with my body chemistry and smells light all day.

4.  Mary Kay Velocity 3-1 cleanser and moisturizer.  By far my favorite face cleanser and moisturizer combo.  It's designed for teens with acne, but works wonders on my skin.  This is probably my most short-lived affair with a cosmetic. It's only been in my make-up bag for a couple of years.

I'm sorry I can't claim any actual make-up shades on my list.  If I did, I would be lying.  I change brands and shades every time the compact runs low.  Maybe one day I'll find a favorite that I can add to this list.  Until then, the only items I can give kudos to are the behind-the-scenes products, cause, you know, the nail polish only goes on my toes these days.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Back in the Day...

As I sit here, just having finished my lunch, I cannot help but think about life back in the day.  Life B.C. was quite a bit different.   I was finishing up my Top Ramen while leaning against the sink and shooing away the cats and enjoying a moment of silence when it hit me.  This sequence of events has not happened in years.  Probably since I met Willie and he made me stop buying Top Ramen. What can I say? The dehydrated highly salted noodles are just so addicting.

Anyway, as I was saying, I realized that I had not eaten a lunch of Top Ramen while leaning against the kitchen sink and shooing away my cats during a moment of peace in about three years.  I started reminiscing about the series of events that has changed my life so much in just the last three years to the point where I have forgotten what daily habits I clung to so desperately in single-hood.

Just three years ago, I was barhopping three to four nights a week, working a minimum wage job, living in a garage apartment in the ghetto of Southeast Texas for $300 a month, clinging to a relationship that was over long before it started, and living off Top Ramen and espresso.

Now? Now I don't even know where the closest bar is, my work is paid for in hugs and kisses, I'm living in a great apartment in a great part of town, married to my wonderful husband of two years, and I'm 3,000 miles from where it all began...

It has been a whirlwind ride these last few years.  I met Willie and we fell in love with a spark (if I believed in love at first sight I would say that's what we experienced) 3 and a half years ago.  It was a lovely affair for a few months before getting serious.  We met every other weekend to spend every moment with each other before Willie drove the four hours back to base.  When that was not enough, I packed up my little one-bedroom garage apartment into a U-Haul truck and left my family and friends behind to spend every free moment with him.

Our engagement was a pretty low-key affair-happening during a commercial break during the latest episode of Family Guy.  We announced the news to our friends via Myspace, and I left for a month long trip to Europe the following week.  After my trip, we set our wedding date and I started the planning.  The wedding was at a quaint little garden near my parents house on a warm fall evening.  What do you know?? That evening will be celebrated twice over next week.

I can hardly believe how much my life has changed with his help.  Parenthood (and married life itself) is pretty stressful at times.  We are at each others throats almost daily, but at the end of the day we know that what matters is that we are still in love and still make a great team.  We have recently decided that it's time to slow our lives down and just enjoy the family we have.  I think that is best.

I'm sure even without planning for another child just yet, it will still be another whirlwind year.  Don't we always have a way of making it so? 


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Right Back Where I Started

A few months ago, I made a goal for myself to lose some weight and start making an effort on my appearance.  It was going really well...until recently, that is. 

The past few weeks I have found myself slipping back into a slump.  I'm still making an effort when I go out of the house, but it's getting harder.  My clothes no longer fit.  That's right.  The pants that I bought last spring no longer fit.  They are way too big.  So big, in fact, that they are falling off.  Guys, these pants were the same size I was wearing before I had Addie.

The good news is that I did not want to stay in that size.  The bad news is, my wardrobe is again severely limited.  I have plenty of shirts and skirts and dresses to wear, but no pants.  Seeing as how the weather is getting colder every day, this will become an issue pretty quickly.  I've been hesitant to buy more pants , though, since I still have yet to go to reach my goal weight. 

So, to buy new pants to continue looking good, or wait until I reach my goal? Decisions, decisions!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Unloading on You

I really have to tell everyone that reads my words how grateful I am to have this outlet.  If I didn't have it, I might scream some days.  Today is one of those days. Consider yourselves warned, and proceed with caution.

Addie is teething.  Again.  I am so sick of her teething, and no one seems to understand our situation.  If Addie teethed like a "normal" baby, I would not be frustrated.  With "normal" babies, you have a week or so of erratic sleep, extra drool, loss of appetite, and irritability.  With Addie, we've had 8 months on and off of this pattern.  Every week is a new surprise.

For those of you that don't know, she started teething at two-and-a-half months old.  Yes, this is pediatrician verified.  She is now almost 11-months-old and still has no teeth! None!  For the past eight months, every few weeks we have had teething symptoms, getting progressively worse and worse each time.

When I was a kid, my dentist told me I had "floaters" for teeth.  In fact, I still had baby teeth at the age of 20 that had to be pulled.  My adult teeth took forever to come in.  I would have a few weeks of pressure which would loosen the baby teeth, then the tooth would recede and the pressure would go away again.  It seems that Addie has this same "issue."

The positive side of this is that she apparently has my teeth.  That is a good thing in the long run seeing as how I've never had a cavity or real dental surgery (<--FYI: getting baby teeth pulled by a dentist at 20 does not count as real dental surgery).  The negative side to this is that she has been teething for 8 months!!!

As of yesterday, we are in the throws of yet another teething spell.  She's extra clingy, fussy, waking up during the night and early in the morning, and just plain not feeling well.  I don't like it! I don't like waking up unsure of which Addie I will see that day.  I don't like not knowing even about what time I will get woken up in the morning.  I don't like having a child that is overtired from lack of a good night's rest.

If this was any other baby, I would say "Okay, things will go back to normal after her teeth come through," and that would be enough to make me chill out.  With Addie, though, it's not.  Who knows when these teeth are going to pop through?! How many more weeks can I get surprised with erratic sleep and a fussy baby.  How much longer can I go knowing we only have a few days of "normal" at a time?!  What's worse is...everyone says the first teeth are the hardest.  Everyone also says that about their child that teethed within the "normal" time frame.  How will it actually be for Addie?

I have even had people that had the nerve to ask if I was sure my child was teething.  It took everything I had not to yell "Yes, you idiot!  I know what a teething baby looks like.  Her pediatrician knows what a teething baby looks like! Do you think I just pulled this explanation for excessive drool out of my arse?!"  (<---Seriously?? Who asks a mother this?!).  If I hear one more time that she will get her teeth eventually and that she will not go off to college with dentures I'm going to lose it.  Seriously.  I'm ready for some sleep.  I'm ready to experience what it's like when my child isn't teething!

I'm ready to see some results already!!!

End rant.