Monday, November 30, 2009

The time is nigh

I received a phone call today and our contractor came to look at our bathroom once more. He was 'getting really close to be able to start' it and wanted to refresh his picture of what needs to be done. Well, close is freakin' close as he will be starting tomorrow! After months of hoping that our contractor would actually start, the wallpaper I took off (and the pictures that nauseated my sister) and just be plain old sick of looking at the ass of a bathroom we have, a new one will be here soon.

I'm finding myself a little anxious about what the few weeks will be for Sweet One and I. We're still working on her sleeping through the night. I made her quit the soother at sleeptime cold turkey and also her third nap. The last few hours of her day have not been as bad as I would have imagined. She's starting to sleep a bit better but if she does wake up more than once for a feeding I rock her rather than feed her and she seems to go back to sleep alright. It is obviously not only hunger that is prompting these night rousings. Nap time still isn't perfect but it is ok. However, I'm not quite sure what will become of it with this disruption to her schedule. Has anyone out there dealt with this situation? Any suggestions for me? (Well, other than to stop worrying and know that like everything else we'll figure it out!)

I think Sweet One is fighting off her first cold. Her nose isn't running or anything but her voice has more rasp to it than before. She sounds slightly conjested. Luckily it hasn't killed her spirit. With the third nap being cancelled I've been trying to spend that time out for walks. She is sitting in the main stroller part rather than the car seat now and seems to really enjoy having a look around at everything that is going on. (Winterizing will be happening as soon as I get around to ordering whatever it is I need. Suggestions are welcome.)

But I am a little weary from an early morning and so will stop. It is 6:30 and Sweet One has already passed out for the night!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

An hour long walk with the family and the rain coming down a bit; shootin' the shit; 3:00 I got the pie made and Big Love followed my step-by-step instructions to prepare the turkey at the same time; Sweet One and I just arrived home after a half hour walk in the glorious sunshine and upon our arrival home we were soaked in the smell of Chocolate Pecan Pie and turkey. So all in all it is a better day now than it began. Happy Thanksgiving!

Family matters

A few days ago I was on the phone with my sister and she told me about something that happened between her and our SIL. I'm sure that my SIL doesn't realize how rude her comment was nor that it was not taken as a joke by my sister.

Sister: Thanks for coming to this concert!
SIL: Huh?
Sister: Because you're here, [brother] is babysitting my kids so I could come, too.
SIL: Sweet! Birth Control.

Seriously? My jaw dropped. I understand that our SIL has no desire to have children and, despite being a teacher, does not like young children. What I do not understand is how she can basically insult someone's children to their face - especially when they're family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving limbo

I find that here in the states, the overall sentiment for Thanksgiving is much more intense than in Canada. I'm not sure why but I think part of it has to do with the fact that, from my observations, it is the holiday that gets the ball rolling on the Christmas/Holiday season. (What would Black Friday be without Thanksgiving? Perhaps just another "Biggest 2-Day Sale EVER" that seems to happen at least once if not twice a month.) It seems to me that people make a bigger deal out of trying to get 'home' for Thanksgiving if they are separated from their family - even though Christmas is only a month away.

For the past three and a half years we have been in Thanksgiving limbo. Each year I have made our Canadian thanksgiving. The first year we were here I made it in the tiny apartment that we inhabited for more months than I care to remember. It was on a Sunday and Big Love was gone ALL day. I cooked and drank a few rum and cokes - had to pour the ingredients for my glazed squash three times because I kept screwing up from my tipsy-ness! This year was the first year I felt more detached from Canadian Thanksgiving. The motivation to have Thanksgiving in October was not as prominent for me. It seems the longer we're away from Canada the easier it is to feel that its celebrations are not as much a part of our life. It doesn't feel like it is 'ours' anymore.

I have not yet made a Thanksgiving meal in November. The first year we were here the associate pastors of the church (who are no longer here) invited us to their house. We had a nice meal with just the four of us. I was introduced to an American Thanksgiving with a strong southern influence (Oh! the pecan pie! I can not say enough about the pecan pie. I'm told it's all in the shot of bourbon.) and the flavors were gorgeous! Last year we were invited to Sweet One's surrogate great-grandparents house where we enjoyed Thanksgiving with them and some of their family. This year will be the first year we will be at our house on our own. Big Love and I still seem to lack an attachment to Thanksgiving in November but I am going to make us a small dinner. Sweet One is an American (despite our jokes that we will raise her Canadian - no shoes in the house.) and that means that Thanksgiving in November is part of her own story. Who knows what the future will hold but I do plan on making both Thanksgivings mean something within our family. Maybe I'll even attempt a pecan pie.

I am thankful for a humble home that is full of love and the laughter of my daughter; for the opportunity to make our own traditions together.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

No more soother tonight, Sweet One

My legs were aching, my back hurt and tears were leaking out of my eyes as I silently cried with her.

Before she was even born I hoped that Sweet One would not be a baby who loved her soother but babies quickly make liars out of us and it wasn't long before she'd crawl across the floor to get one she saw. So much of the literature out there talks about how babies will get used to sleeping with the soother and be unable to sleep through the night without it.

Over the past week her multiple wakings during the night were no longer as much for food as they were for her soother. Her nap length, rubbing her eyes and yawning for most of the day were all things the professionals say are because of soother-dependency. I knew I'd have to wean her from it but I really didn't want to. There have been a number of times where I suddenly realized that it was time for changes. With this, it was time after I had walked into her room a fourth or fifth time to give her back the soother she tossed out of bed to get my attention. I had a rough day personally and didn't want them to be a regular occurrence. Something needed to change because I was barely hanging on.

Weaning was necessary. By wean I mean go cold turkey. Not fun by any means. She screamed and I leaned over the crib railing to rub her back. It felt like hours even though it was only 15 minutes or so. I was ignoring the pain in my body because it was nothing near the frustration that Sweet One was voicing after having her best friend taken from her. I cried because I felt like I was doing it to her. After all, I let her have the soother as much as she wanted. I continually gave it back to her in the early months to help her keep sleeping.

I'm lucky. For the most part, Sweet One falls into the category of an easy baby. By this I mean it usually takes only 3-5 days for her to adapt to new changes in her life. One night done, two to go. And hopefully she won't send me the therapist's bill twenty years from now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I conquered the sleep sack

Every time I passed by the dining room table I looking at the material. A constant reminder of the sleep sack I wanted to make for Sweet One. I was going to go rogue and make it without a pattern. (Patterns for this weren't on sale when I was buying the material.) My first sewing project, other than curtain panels, that I would not use a pattern for. Pieces were cut with another sleep sack as the guide. I knew I could make it but that little voice inside my head that makes me question my abilities (even for something as simple as this) was working too well over the past week and a half. Today I silenced it and my little project worked just fine. The only thing that could have been better was the size of the armholes. Because I was guessing at how big it needed to be I did not get the proportions right. (The pattern is on sale now so I will probably get it to avoid that particular problem again.) My original motivation for making this was to save some money. The supplies for this one cost under $10 whereas buying a new one is double that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Because Sweet One was born in January, it makes the Christmas season huge for what she will be receiving. I'm thinking that I will not spend a whack-load on her (since she won't remember it and all) but buy her some 'half-birthday' gifts. One thing I am really trying hard to avoid is toys for her that are based upon computer programs. Ever since she was born, neither Big Love nor I have felt that these toys are the greatest for her development. You know the ones that sing, beep, buzz and do everything for the kid short of wiping their butts and doing the potty training for me! I think that they do too much work for the kid. They are often battery powered and I want my child's play to be kid-powered. Nowadays it is so easy to push a button and everything is done. While looking online a bit I was happy to see that there are a lot more toys out there than the standard jumping frogs and other toys like theirs.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am woodwork

Lately I've been struggling a bit due to the fact that I haven't gotten out of the house with the purpose of doing something for myself (and only myself) since before October. Seriously. This is NOT GOOD. I'm going mental. Part of the reason I don't get out as often is because, quite frankly, I have no friends to hang out with so what is the point of getting out to hang out with none other than MYSELF? However, going to the movies is amazing for helping me recharge and I need to make a point of getting to the theatre at least twice a month. It will be best for all who live in this house. But I feel like I am woodwork. It sounds stupid, I know. I take care of my child, wear the same fukking clothes all the time because right now we can't afford to get me new ones and do the same thing every day. I'm not exciting, my brain is shrinking and I feel like I am losing a sense of who the hell I am. This is not only due to my daughter but has been happening ever so slowly since we moved to this little town. (Big Love: As you read this post DO NOT feel guilty. I chose to move here just as you did.)

Brainfart #1:
Last year we had the majority of our Christmas shopping done by September. It made this time of year less stressful financially and mentally. In my family, the 'kids' did a gift exchange thing and Big Love got my sister's name. I'm trying REALLY hard to find something original that she will love but I'm not sure I will pull it off. For me, she is the hardest person to shop for because in my eyes, she has everything. I think I've figured out one thing that will be original and then another thing that might not but I hope she'll like having it anyway. (To my sister: As you're reading this, I'm not trying to be bitchy/insulting at all. I just have no clue what you'd like and would desperately like to surprise you.) I drew my sister in law's name and she's easy because I can get her a jock strap for hockey and all will be good. I'm lying. But her wish list makes it pretty easy.

Brainfart #2:
We had a bit of a rough day today with Sweet One. Her rough days are fairly easy to deal with but when the hour of 5:00 approaches and I'm trying to get her dinner ready it's tough because she's pulling at my leg and won't be happy unless I'm holding her. Yes, every mother deals with this but it is still challenging.

Brainfart #3:
I really wanted to enjoy my Bacardi Rum tonight. The stuff that is aged 8 years but a) we don't have it and b) if I were at the store I'd think that we couldn't afford it right now and therefore I don't deserve it. (Wine seems to be giving me a buzz just fine.)

Brainfart #4:
Today I got a message from the author of a blog I read. She started it "Hey Lady!" When I lived in western Canada I had a friend who called me that all the time. It was wonderful to see it in an email again.

Brainfart #5:
Approximately 30 weeks ago I watched a rerun of the episode in Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Luke kiss for the first time. I decided to continue watching the episodes until the station reached the end of the series. (Did I ever mention I cried while watching the actual series finale?) Then when it stared all over again I decided to watch it from the beginning because I had no idea how many I may have missed. Well, today I got back to the kissing episode and it turns out I missed a few but not as many as I may have missed. I have officially watched every episode of the Gilmore Girls. Big Love asked if I was going to keep watching and I couldn't say no. It's is totally my replacement for not having any girlfriends here. (I know I should shut up but every once in awhile not having a girlfriend in the town I live in can really suck. Some days, more than others.)

My apologies for possibly being annoying and pathetic today but really, that's how I feel. I did get a message back from the phantom phoner. One thing to keep in mind is that he has a liver issue. He's is not all that well and may not ever completely recover so when things go weird with him, it is not just me but his parents who also wonder WTF. Man I miss this kid sometimes.

Sorry about the phone thing, my best guess would be that the keypad was unlocked in my pocket and inadvertently called your number. I am actually alive and well at the moment engaged in the usual doldrums of churning out assignments and papers for my cruel masters.
Other than the universe conspiring to rob you of sleep, hows life?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Middle of the night phone call

This is an email I sent via Facebook. I'm not in his friends list but needed to get in touch with him because I'm a little confused and slightly worried because my imagination is that good. He's the son of Sweet One's Godparents and for a number of years I taught him voice lessons. Basically, I watched him grow up and over the past year we've lost contact. I guess it is because he's in his early twenties and doesn't need to say hi to his 'big sister'.

Hey Kid,

I don't mean to stalk you but when I email you at one account the messages seem to end up in the abyss of emails that never return. Last night at 12:30 I got a phone call which freaked me out a bit. It was your cell number with nothing on the other end. Since I haven't heard anything from you in over a year it was a little weird and I just wanted to make sure you are ok. Perhaps it was some weird unintentional phoning thing that your phone likes to do to wake up mom's who were about to have their first night of 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep for the first time in weeks (how I was desperate).

Frankly, I watch too many tv shows and add that to my overactive imagination well imagine what I was conjuring up in the 45 minutes that followed to phone call as I desperately tried to fall asleep again before Sweet One woke me up at 4:15!

My sarcasm is with the idea that you are in fact just fine and not lying in a ditch somewhere. If a cell phone rings and the owner is unconscious beside it, does it still make a sound?

Hope you are well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

As long as she doesn't go buying beer

Sweet One was in the Snugli and we were on our way home from the drugstore where we picked up almost $25 worth of greeting cards. As can happen, Sweet One was making sounds to tell everyone within hearing distance that she was in fact having a great time. This time it got a slightly eccentric man's attention and he started to talk to us from across the street. Then he said, "Wait, I have something for you," and began digging in his pocket. I wasn't quite sure what to do. Was he going to pull out a dirty candy from him pocket and expect Sweet One to eat it? Was he going to be the lonely old man who follows us home? Luckily, neither of the above happened. I decided that I would let him attempt to give her what he wanted. He's an old man and it might have made his day. (If it seemed dangerous I would quickly put an end to it.) He pulled out a quarter and Sweet One took it from him. He then proceeded to tell her (although he thought she was a boy due to the red clothing she had on) not to spend it all in one place. He also said, "Don't go buying no beer. I don't believe in that stuff." We said thank you and continued on our way home.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mundane mumblings

I've had lots of postings in my head lately but it seems that by the time I can actually sit down to put words to screen, I'm tired. And then I also realize that what I might write about isn't all that exciting and so why would anyone else think it is exciting! The lovely cyclical nature of not enough sleep and over developed skills of self-flagellation.

Right now I am working on getting Sweet One to sleep without me rocking her the entire time. It is the third day and so far she is still making noise. Yesterday it too her little to no time to fall asleep because she was so exhausted from a 5 am morning and not enough naptime. Hopefully she will fall asleep soon so that it doesn't cause another one of those tomorrow. Good lord, I do not want to repeat how tired I was on Sunday. I also think a tooth is on its way and I do wish that whole process didn't have to be so painful for the little babes out there.

Why is it that almost every time I try to get Sweet One sleeping the neighbor-dog is outside barking his yappy little mouth off? We had a sheltie when I was young and my mom was able to train it to not bark non-stop. My guess is their skills at training a dog are as developed as their exercise routine. What is with people who don't take their dogs for walks on a regular basis? They all need it. (Ouch. That was bitchy. I'm tired and maybe I shouldn't be typing!)

So I'm going to leave it at that. I'll go here, raise some money for charity and hope that Sweet One does spend the next 45 minutes screaming at me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Randomly I Roll Along

A little bit of this, a little bit of that as it floats in and out of my brain over the past few days. Not much but this is where I'm at right now!

We had a lovely trip to Baltimore and then a little cabin at one of the state parks. Sweet One made the trips in the car quite easy. I think having Big Love in the back with her helped a lot because she had someone to play with. The two nights in the big fancy hotel (which we so did not pay big fancy prices for) were a little challenging with Sweet One waking up every 2 hours the first night!

The last month has been a challenging one for me as a mama. With the weight issues and trying to get her to eat more, the refusal when she is not happy with what I'm offering, and then feeding her at night 2 to 3 times. I thought I was going to lose it; it was never going to end. When we were at the cabin I had two nights of 6 straight hours of sleep! It was a miracle. And then the last night we were there I gave Sweet One a soother rather than the boob and she went back to sleep. She's eating more during the day from both me and her solids. Now I need to get her eating a larger variety of foods and hopefully she'll like what I'm giving her!

Family is family whether you know them or not. And I learned that especially in the past few days because a cousin of mine was killed in a car accident. She was only 21 years old. I didn't know her at all but my heart aches for those who knew her well and loved her even more. We never want to outlive our children and as I think of my Grandma, I am sure that outliving our grandchildren is difficult in its own way.

Another milestone of motherhood last night: I was puked on multiple times. I have no clue what happened but she woke up at 8, I found some puke and then as I tried to comfort her, waves of warm, stinky pukey-ness would cover us both. Eventually she fell asleep and I held her until 10:30, making sure she was going to be ok. For quite awhile she did that breathing thing where little bubbles of sobs were heard as she inhaled. Despite the grossness of the whole situation, watching her face squish up as she fell asleep was wonderful. As she slept, I saw many of the same expressions and movements upon her face as I did when she was a wee newborn. It is good to be her mama.