movin' on up!

CONGRATULATIONS, AMYJO!!!!!!!



She's gonna be famous! Hurry over and read her
blog so when you find yourself standing in line at her future book-signing/press conferences you can nod your head wisely and say "Yeah, I knew her when she was all about the cheese." I'd say more, but I'm not sure how public her future fame is supposed to be at this point... :)


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spitting up

We've been dealing with Little Guy's Greco-Roman heritage since he was born. Not that either Big Guy or I are particularly Greek or Roman. Little Guy just seems to have this need to purge after eating. Yes, folks, we're talking about spit-up. And not just polite little dribbles of milky sweetness. Oh no, we run the gamet from the stealth trickle to the bet-I-can-hit-the-other-side-of-the-room exploding vomit. We worried about it for a while, but the pediatrician has assured us repeatedly that he's fine. It's "just a laundry issue". Which would be great if it were just his laundry. God knows the child has enough clothes to keep a small country covered for a year. I could change him every hour on the hour and still have a spare outfit in the diaperbag. The problem is that I'm running out of clothes. And our waterbill is on the rise. Never mind that we've seriously considered looking into gettinging laundry detergent directly from tanker trucks rather than wasting our time with those piddly warehouse size vats.

Then there's the sheer exhaustion of trying, trying, trying to contain it. When he was only taking in 2 oz at a time, it was kinda cute. "Belp" and a little frothiness appeared ever so sweetly at the corner of his mouth. But then again, poopy diapers were cute then, too. But this is getting out of control. We've tried it all. Breastfeeding, breast milk in the bottle, special mortgage-your-house-to-afford-it formula for babies prone to spit up. We've given him small amounts at a time, carefully patting his back to encouraged the bubbles out in between each portion; we've tried holding him upright while he eats (yah, try to nurse a sleepy baby like that! Ahhh, good times.), holding him upright after he's finished, bending him backwards and forwards at the waist.


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caucus race: do join us!

Forward, backward, inward, outward
Come and join the chase!
something something something
something something caucus-race.

At least that's how I remember Disney's version of it. And I remember it that way on an almost daily basis. Not because Little Guy has a crush on that blonde bimbo who just couldn't keep her hands off of other peoples stuff, but because that's the shape of [insert day of the week here] right now. Upside-turvy. Topsy down. Spiraling madly out of control down the effing rabbit hole.

I like schedules. I like rules. I like patterns and predictability. Not that I'm a slave to such nonsense. Doing something 30 minutes earlier or later than anticipated is perfectly acceptable in my book. I've even been known to *gasp* eat pasta for breakfast. Okay, so I'm not much of what they would refer to as a "free-spirit". Things have a place and they should be in them.

And then I had a child. A child who very much likes to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and may or may not want to nap 30 minutes later. A child who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his [rattle/block/ball] one minute, then screams in terror when it is presented to him TWO SECONDS LATER. A child who grins and giggles at the funny face I was JUST making, then pointedly raises one eyebrow in derision when I tell Big Guy "Look, look! He loves this!"

Someone told me to go with my gut on this childrearing thing. Sage advice, for sure. It's not possible that any book can accurately detail the ins and outs of parenting my child. I spend 24/7 with him, so who could know him any better than I? And I truly believe that mothering is 98% instinct (the other 2% being driven by guilt). The problem arises when my stomach tells me that my screaming child is tired and needs a nap but it turns out that said screaming child really just wanted the toy on the other side of the blanket and once he got it was pleased as punch to play quite nicely for another 30 minutes (at which point the screaming did in fact signal that playtime was over).

Or how 'bout the time that he woke up from his morning nap after 15 minutes and my gut said, "Wait. See if he'll go back to sleep." Damned if he didn't get quiet after about 5 minutes. I celebrated my motherly-ness with a handful of chocolate. I went up to put his laundry away about 45 minutes later and tiptoed in so as not to disturb him. I couldn't resist peeking lovingly at my peacefully sleeping babe. Who looked back at me. FULLY. AWAKE. I swooped him up, apologizing for my neglect and sat down on the floor to play with him. He humored me for about 10 minutes and fell asleep.

I really thought I had it together the morning I decided not to change him out of his pjs until he had finished with his morning spit-up routine. A big burp (and several dribbles) later I felt confident that we were good to go. I dressed him. He smiled at me. And spit-up. Seems that my stomach has the right idea. Unfortunately, it has some timing issues. Must have some
butter in the works.

Which reminds me, if you run across Alice, let her know I'm looking for her. Stupid bitch ate all the cookies and I can't find a decent bottle of wine to calm my nerves. Anyone know where I can find the caterpillar?



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mommies:

Go, right NOW over to Motherhood Uncensored and READ THIS POST!!!!! Then go do something for yourself. Glass of wine, bubble bath, long phone call... whatever it takes to release all of that New Mommy Guilt. You are too beautiful, too necessary AS A WOMAN to be allowed to suffocate under the weight of something so evil.


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let's get one thing straight

I am not an enabler. I don't like that word. It makes me sound like I leave wads of cash lying around for my best friend the crack-whore to "find".

  1. I don't have wads of cash.
  2. We're pretty sure the constant sniffle is due to allergies.

I prefer the term "facilitator". It has an edge to it. Sort of Schwarzenegger-y.

Thank you.




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lost in transplant-ation

We had a great walk today, Little Guy and I. We got to hang out with two of our favorite people and two of our new favorite people. Little Guy and his Buddy did the dueling stroller thing, happily taking turns at reminding us that without 'em we adults probably wouldn't have ever met. I'm starting to wonder if Little Guy and his Buddy will ever get to know each other, though. They seem to be convinced that we'll get overloaded with the cuteness and/or crying if they're awake at the same time! Maybe they're just being generous to us -- allowing us to save up our energy for the day in the not too distant future when we will have to spend all our time chasing after them and whatever small critter/girl they have decided to cover with mud. And just wait until they rope Buddy 2 and Buddy 3 in on the action. Just to cover my bases, I want to issue a blanket apology to my dear new mommy friends. I know my son will probably get your son(s) in trouble. I'm sorry. I promise to reprimand him as firmly as I can. And keep a straight face. Without melting into a huge slobbery pile of mommy goo at his cuteness. Come on, could you resist this face?!!!


Oh, and by the way, he turned 5 months old this week. Happy Birthday, Little Guy!

Here's what struck me as we were out and about today: We may all live in the same country and speak (more or less) the same language, but there is an incredible range of culture to be had in the good ole US of A! Here's my illustration:

Woman at the dog park: You know this is a dog park, right?


Not being a native, here are the different ways that I heard this question:

Colorado translation: Yup, this here is one of those new-fangled areas where them citified folk bring thar dawgs. Reckon them dawgs don't get to do much cow herdin' in the city. Yup, so this here's a dog park.

Arizona translation: Yeah, so in California they've got these dog parks. Guess we should look into that, eh, bro? Maybe we could do the dog park thing in the desert. Like a giant dog sand box. Or maybe for cats. Yeah, a giant cat sand box.

California translation: Duuuude, this is a dog park. Like that is so cool and shit. Like this is a great place to come and hang and find your inner dog. Like be one with your inner dog, dude. Like all of nature should totally be a dog park.

Texas translation: Well, hot damn! This here's a dawg park. Ya'll really cain't be in this here dawg park without yur hound an' yur huntin' rifle. We'll shut that gate thar reeel easy like after ya'll git back to yur truck. Ya'll little ladies have a nice day now.

Thank goodness Amy was there to set me straight.

Philadelphia translation: You know this is a dog park, right?

BTW, when Amy moves to Atlanta this summer, ya'll better be good to her. Otherwise this Colo-zona-forn-xas-ania girl (isn't it clever how I can weave all the states I've lived in into one single, impossible-to-pronounce word?!) will have to come down there and open up a can of mostly-south-western whoop-ass on you 'uns. You. Ya'll. Yous. Whatever it takes to get the point across.



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blogger saves readers

Boy, oh boy, internet, did you get lucky! I had a nice, long, fuming rant all ready to post when *poof!*, it disappeared. Recover Post only pulled up the beginning, leaving all the carefully crafted venomous spew somewhere out there in cyberspace. So if you go out there for the next couple of days, wear shoes.


In unrelated events, check out the company I'm keeping these days!

I may never get to be "Stacy's Mom", but if I keep hanging out with these hotties, maybe I'll get to keep my Cool Mom Club membership card. Oh, and don't you just love Little Guy's mohawk? 5 months old and already a rebel!


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spinter or wring?

Yesterday:


Today:


Will we ever get to put our winter clothes away?



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move over, gerber baby!


Don't you just wanna lick his face?


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detour

After I posted this , I got a couple of emails offering me praise and encouragement to "keep up the good fight". I was a bit confused, but really liked the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with getting patted on the head so I chalked it up to "new-mommy brain" and didn't worry too much about it. Then my sister commented on my last post (hey, sis, glad you found me! Next time, don't hold back, LOL!) and suddenly the lightbulbs went off. In the immortal words of Stephanie Plum, "Unh!" So now I find myself in the undesirable position of not only having to explain myself, but of having to return the praise that I realize now I didn't deserve. Blech.

Explanation first:

His suckling slows, he drifts off to sleep. Tiny tummy full, he sighs in contentment and turns his face away from my breast. His breath brushes across my arm and in that instant my longing explodes into a million pieces. I am struck with the blinding reality that this is what I've been longing for. The joy I crave is not in the doing, it is in the being. In the sight, the sound, the touch, the smell. In the rushing way my senses are filled each time we just are.

He sighs again, tiny lips still pursed in a perfect kiss. An invitation, I think, one that I accept with a fullness, a contentment, a peace unlike anything I've ever imagined. I kiss his lips, whisper "Sweet dreams" and his lips curl up into a smile. I tuck him into his bed and head off to mine.

As I drift off to sleep I feel my lips curl into a smile mirroring his. Softly my heart whispers, "This."

I wish I could say this was a description of me finding the joy that I expected to find in the act of nursing. It's not. Instead, this is the defining moment at which I realized that I would have to stop seeking this "holy grail". The moment that I learned that I would have to either accept the idea that I might very well NOT LIKE BREASTFEEDING or drive myself mad searching for something that continued to hover just out of reach. The moment that I made peace with myself and started what has turned into the most difficult journey of trusting myself and my instincts when it comes to being a mother.

Which brings me to the next confession. I am not strong. I am not courageous. I am not a fighter, a warrior, a crusader. I'm tired, emotional, stressed, and scared. I'm terrified that I'm going to choose the wrong method/diaper/toys/food and make my baby's life harder than it absolutely has to be. But there's no text book for motherhood. There are more theories than you can shake a stick at, but no one source that clearly states the when, why, and how-to of being "mommy". So, like every other new mother, I'm stuck taking this one step at a time, answering each new question as it comes to me, mostly relying on my gut to supply those answers. I'm not claiming that my way is the right way -- I'm not even sure what my way is. I'm just winging it.

Currently, winging it means that I'm weaning him. Slowly, but we are breaking away from the breast. I worried that we would feel withdrawal pangs, that I was starting down a path I wouldn't want to continue. Instead, I found immense relief -- the proverbial burden being lifted from my shoulders. I can't even begin to describe how difficult it is for me to admit this. I'm already cringing, waiting for the wrath of Motherhood to come down on my head when my confession is made public. How can I be so selfish? How can I ignore the advice, the evidence, the current modus operandi? And I have no sufficient answers for those questions, other than to say "It's what feels right for me. It's what feels right for us." And even saying that, knowing in my head that doing what feels right should be sufficient, I still feel the need to justify my decision. And I know that no matter the justification I use, I will still face a certain amount of condemnation for my decision. But when I search my soul, I feel no guilt, no shame, no embarrassment. Instead, I feel hope. Hope that if he retains even the slightest glimmer of a memory at this age he will it will be one filled with laughter, kisses and pride rather than one of anxiety, tension and resentment. I want him to remember my smile when he grabs his bottle and angles it towards his mouth, defiantly pulling it from my hand in an act of independence. I want him to remember my delight when he smacks his lips, milk running down his chin, and burbles "goo?" at me. I want his memories of being pulled to my chest to be memories of gentle arms holding him softly, of my lips nuzzling his hair, whispering how much I love him. I want the images of me crying in disillusionment and inadequacy to be replaced by snuggles and stolen kisses.

The joy I crave is not in the doing, it is in the being. In the sight, the sound, the touch, the smell. In the rushing way my senses are filled each time we just are.

I didn't find my way through my struggle, I found my way around it.



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maybe next year...

The new year is barely 4 months old and I am sorry to admit that I must already take myself out of the running for "Mother of the Year". (Yah, like I was ever really in the running... more like just showed up to get the T-shirt!) Sigh. And I had the space on the mantle all ready for that trophy!

Little Guy had his first real bout with illness this week -- snotty nose, pitiful baby cough, the whole nine yards minus the vomit and diarrhea (thank God!). He also had a bit of a fever, the determining of which is the reason for this post.

While pregnant, Big Guy and I took the standard issue battery of new parent classes to "prepare" us for our new roles. We'll have a chance to discuss how "prepared" we got in the 20+ hours of playing with dolls, looking at charts, posters, and diagrams, and listening to speakers ranging from dry to coma-inducing in some other post. Let's just focus on the two minute discussion in one particular class that focused on teaching us the delicate art of temperature taking.

There are three ways to take a temperature (well, at least three were discussed in this class) -- oral, axillary (armpit), and rectal. Guess which one is the most reliable for infants. Yah, we were a bit uncomfortable with that one, too. But as educated adults faced with the oncoming responsibility of caring for a new life, we opened our minds and learned the proper technique. Whew! We were now prepared!

Fast-forward to Monday afternoon. Little Guy had gotten increasingly more cranky as the day wore on. Getting him up from his afternoon nap, it's suddenly obvious to me that this is not just a case of "irritable baby". Oh, dear God, my baby is SICK. And it's my job to FIX IT. No handing him a tissue and nagging him to take some Advil. Brain begins to spin, heartrate quickens. This is not a drill, people, this is GO TIME!!!

I manage to push my panic back down to just above my stomach and calmly lay him down on the changing table. Good, good, give him a minute or so to calm down. Maybe he's just warm from being all covered up. Change the diaper, check his forehead again. Yup, still warm. Okay, I can handle this. The medical supplies -- nail clippers, cotton swabs, miscellaneous tubes of ointments -- are neatly at the ready in the top drawer (top, because we are so responsible and prepared), so it only takes me a second to find the kit with the digital thermometer that we purchased for exactly this moment. And the vaseline is right next to it. I'm all set. Little Guy is all ready, looking at me with those big blue eyes, imploring me to MAKE IT BETTER. I prepare my equipment, take a deep breath, and...

I can't do it. Mentally, I can't stand the idea that I'm about to inflict further discomfort on my little baby who is already miserable. Physically, I can't get close enough to the changing table to do the deed because MY butt-cheeks are clenched so tightly together in protest that I'm afraid they'll have to be surgically separated. I hear the nurse "The most reliable temperature is one that measures the heat of the core of the body..." I hear the pediatrician "The more accurate information you can give us when you call in, the better..." In my minds eye I can see the green handout that reassures us that "only minor discomfort will be felt." It doesn't matter. I can't do it.

The owner's instructions that came with the thermometer instruct us to add .9 degrees to a temperature taken in the armpit. I suck at math. That's okay, I'll approximate. As long as it's not over 101, I'm good. Somewhere I remember that 102 is the cut-off for when to call and when to let it run it's course. The thermometer beep-beep-be-beeps at 99.7. Quick calculation in my head (carry the one.... ), I'm safe! After his shots, the good Dr. said I could give him Tylenol to help with the discomfort, so I go with that, give him a dose, and we sit down in the chair to cuddle. Crisis adverted. No trophy, no prizes, but I'm okay with that.



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