Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Over the weekend, Elliott made a "cake-cake" with Glammy to celebrate Chris' and Uncle Ben's birthdays. He loved pouring in the ingredients and watching the mixing from his perch standing on a simple chair. The best delight was yet to come. . . slurps of cake batter off the spatula.

I'm pretty sure we should all make a point to enjoy the simple pleasures like a 2 year old.

And for your viewing pleasure, a peek at my precious nephew. I love this face.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Anxious? Nesting? Projecting?

I am starting to feel antsy about getting ready for Brooklyn's arrival. Call it nesting or call it displaced anxiety, but it's making me antsy. Especially when I consider that we'll be out of town this weekend, have Elliott's birthday the following weekend, sweet little Addison's birthday party the weekend after that and then I will also be out of town the first weekend in March. ARGHHH. I need someone to just come in, snap their fingers and have it be done. The task is entirely too daunting to consider for me right now.

I must also admit that my mom had ankle replacement surgery today, which is extremely invasive. So it's possible this is just displaced anxiety. I guess this just shows that my anti-anxiety meds only help so much. . .

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lucky in Love (the friendship kind)

Sheesh. I am fatigued. Emotionally and physically. This weekend was a roller coaster of emotions and busyness. One of my favorite people in the world are hurting--hurting down deep in their souls. The kind of hurt that makes me feel guilty (stupid, worthless emotion) for having fun. Knowing that someone I love is suffering is often worse than suffering myself--mainly because there is little I can do to alleviate that pain.

At my heart, I am a fixer. Healer of wounded birds. (That wounded bird-thing got me into more than one terrible relationship.) I'm not sure what I'm trying to express other than the fact that seeing someone I love so completely sobbing in pain makes me feel unbearable hurt and helplessness and lucky all at the same time. I think the hurt and helplessness are common emotions, but the lucky part? The trust that it takes to lay bare normally unspeakable emotions--full of pain and shame and guilt and worry--makes me know that I played an important part in my friend's life. Not just in a self-gratifying way, but in a deep, compassionate, abiding love kind of way that comes with 16 years of friendship. That is a love that is rare. Rare enough that the sharing of pain starts to feel like a lucky event and important enough that it deserves it's own post.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Now I'm not so sure. . .

For months, we have been trying to get Elliott to say "truck" instead of a blanket term of "cahhh" for anything with wheels. Frequently, our conversations went like this:

Elliott: Cahhh. Big cahhh.

Mommy/Daddy: I see that truck, Elliott. It's a big truck!

Elliott: Big cahhh, mama!

Mommy/Daddy: Sigh in resignation, followed by smothered giggles.

In the past week, this has all changed. Our little man has started commenting on "big cucks" on a continuous basis. "Big cuck." "Dada cuck." "Ride cuck, mama." Our hearts swelled with pride. What brilliance! What observations! How amazing!

Stop. Hold the presses. It now is evident that Ell's pronunciation of the word "truck" sounds like a slang term for a certain male appendage. This, combined with the adjective "big" makes it just that much more cringe-worthy. What was wrong with him calling all wheeled vehicles "cahhh," anyway?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

He's a Good Daddy

Turns out that Elliott is quite the caretaker of Baby. Today, this included pushing her around in his shopping cart, giving her drinks and telling me that "Baby hungy." I try to ignore the moments on Christmas morning when he put Baby in the oven of his play kitchen and stated, "Baby hahhh (hot)."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's that time. . . Lists.

The reality of a new tiny person coming into our lives in 4ish months is starting to sink in. . . along with the realization that tiny people need a lot of STUFF. Increasing my nervousness and need to nest is the fact that my dearest friend, Stephanie, gave away her birth-9 month old clothes. Totally reasonable because they were moving and it was time for her to CLEAN OUT. However the hand-me-downs from her son have basically clothed Elliott for the past two years, so I am le sad. Every time I get another tote from her, it's like Christmas morning--so going without for those first sizes will definitely be an adjustment.

What we need:
1. Crib--and I refuse to spend $700 on a piece of furniture we will use for 2 1/2-3 years.
2. Infant car seat/carrier. Ell's went into the trash because it was used when we got it and had exceeded the 5 year lifespan. (I'm actually kind of looking forward to a PINK version. Really.)
3. Another Pack-and-Play? Our current one is at Ell's babysitter's house for naps, so I'm assuming we'll need another for tiny person #2. BUT, not sure when kids outgrow them. . . I mean Elliott won't nap in his forever right?
4. Newborn clothes--the girly version. Totally different from Birth-3 months. I didn't realize this the first time around, but they are tinier for the tiniest of people and used when they change clothes approximately 5.2 times per day.
5. I also totally want NEED a chair like this: Expensive, but totally worth the price for a tushy that is cushy. The glider I had with Elliott was purchased second-hand and was a basic model from the beginning and it is completely worn out. I don't think I realized just how much my tushy would be parked in that chair! And that's my way of justifying why I need a new glider. Totally reasonable, I think. Don't you?
6. A bookshelf? We'll need something for stuffy-stuff and cute baby things.
7. A painter. I'm out this time around. . . therefore, this justifies the expense because Chris got fired from painting a long, long time ago. . .

What don't I have to get?
1. Bedding. Because my TWO versions of girly bedding bought at a deep, deep discount totally worked in my favor.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's Different?

I feel like people are always saying, "every pregnancy is different." I get that, I guess until now my two pregnancies haven't been all that radically different. Differences to date--positive, negative and in-between:

1. I can still wear my wedding and engagement rings. At this point in my pregnancy with Elliott, they were hanging around my neck. I know that by the time D-date (delivery date) arrives, they may be around my neck again, but for now I'm excited.

2. Limited to no sciatica. Thank the Lord above, because that crap is painful!

3. No wrist/carpal tunnel pain. This means both hands are fully functional upon waking in the morning and I haven't had to bust out the especially lovely braces.

4. Much slower return of energy. I remember the energy surge hitting last time around oh, 15 weeks? Well, here I sit at 21 weeks pregnant and have finally got an ounce of energy back. I've actually helped to clean up the kitchen this week after dinner.

5. 3 stomach viruses in 2 months this pregnancy. Zero stomach viruses with Ell.

6. Ummm, well this time I'll end up with a baby with a vagina and last time we brought home a baby with a penis. Definitely the most major difference. That, and BOWS. We've already started a collection, as you might have noticed here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm Crafty Like That. . .

The amount of pride I feel about my crafty moment is totally disproportionate to the effort I exerted today to make Ell some playdough. I mean, I always just figure I'm one of those mommies who just buys the ready-made product or doesn't even go that far and makes do with what we have. That's where my pride kicks in. . . Elliott has been enjoying some ready-made playdough, but keeps wanting to put it in his mouth. I figure I would much rather him eat the paste I made than some crappalicious chemical-laden Made in China product.

How to spend a snowy afternoon? Making playdough it is!

Look at that concentration! Elliott played with his playdough (courtesy of his crafty mom) for an unprecedented 30 minutes without running around. Anyone who's spent time with an almost-two-year old knows this length of time is practically an eternity.

And just because, this is a couple of snapshots of Ell gazing in awe at the puffy, fluffy flakes of snow gracing our landscape this day (never mind the smudged window):

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Capturing a Moment

We decided, as a family, to try and capture our Christmas celebration. Please note the varying stages (commotion, hair pulling, the sad consequences of hair pulling, hijinks and belly rubs from my husband, a good picture, and then more trauma as Uncle Ben looked at E) and amount of photos it took to capture one decent photo.

How do you make friends in Suburbia?

I've been pondering this question since approximately the end of April, when we moved to the Land of Tract Homes. This new Land is full of families, families with kids. I was certain that new Mommy Friends would be crawling out of the woodwork to chat me up and share a glass of wine. Negative.

It turns out that when both parents work full-time and Mommy arrives home around 6pm most nights, it is just enough time for the dinner-bath-bed routine. No progressive dinners and shared bottles of wine around here.

BUT, a doorbell ring this Sunday brought a neighbor and his two kids. This friendly family wanted to know if we wanted this:

The answer, of course, was a resounding yes. And after one night of getting home too late to play and one morning with a toddler staring out the window, begging to go outside, instead of eating his breakfast, this is what happened:

So, back to my question--how the hell to you make neighbor-friends? (Remember, I grew up with my only neighbors being family, so I am legitimately ignorant on this one.)

P.S. I think that my kiddo just might be the cutest on the planet. I'm biased, I know.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Finally--Christmas pics!

Christmas, through the eyes of a child, is magic. Elliott had no idea about gifts or what Santa actually did besides saying "ho ho ho." But Christmas morning was magic in our house. Santa scouted out a new "maaa-mooo" (vacuum) AND brought a kitchen in which our future domestic engineer can play.

Mommy and Daddy gave him a babydoll on which to practice:

Cooking with baby:

And because I got the cutest baby bows for baby Brooklyn. . . and because baby Brooklyn is still baking:

Yes, that is my nephew. And no, his father hasn't seen those photos, but he's the progressive sort so I'm not worried--mostly.

The Gift of Normalcy

The holidays are finally at a close. I mean that in the most positive way possible. Each year I am torn between my feelings of melancholy that Christmas has passed in a flash and the relief that we can finally get back to 'normal.' I admit it--I thrive on routine. I love the holidays--with all the decorations and magic and gift-giving, but the exhaustion that is the dark shadowed twin to the bright and shiny moments leaves me spent.

A few days before Christmas, we received news that our happy little world was going to go all topsy-turvy. Chris got the news that his shift would be shifting from days (6ish-3ish) to 3pm-11pm. "What's the big deal?" an unsuspecting stranger might ask. The big deal is this: I am not cut-out for single parenthood and I'm fairly certain I'm not all that great at being cut-off from evening outings with my friends AND I know I'm pretty terrible at maintaining a marriage in which I see my husband only as ships passing in the night. Pair all of this knowledge with pregnancy hormones and knowing the slow-moving tortoise I will become in my 9th month of pregnancy and I lost my composure and typical optimism. I was certain we were doomed. This drama of my self-centeredness lasted about 24 hours. It took that long for me to recognize that my husband was not gifted with typical optimism and truly, things could be a whole hell of a lot worse. So I turned that frown upside down. Or something like that. I was on my way to making peace with a crappalicious situation.

Turns out that all my dramatic fretting was for naught--through a completely unexpected turn of events, Chris has been told that he will remain on days--his current schedule, with the minor change of days off.

Has anyone seen a pregnant lady turn cartwheels? Yeah, me neither, but I gave it serious consideration when I received that phone call.