Life is Rich…E-R-S-O-N

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Archive for August, 2009

Sing a Song of Sixpence

I was singing to Baby the other day.  Although her favorite songs include “Peanut Butter Jelly Time“,  “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparx (in my defense I only sing the part that sounds like ‘Buddha Buddha Buddha’ because Baby looks like a little Buddha when she sits…please don’t judge me for the terrible lyrics in the rest of the song!) I decide to make up a new song featuring amazing lyrics of “lalala”.

Crazy decides he LOVES my song and starts to sing along.  “This is new…”, I think to myself.  I decide to keep this song going as long as possible because Crazy seems to be really into it…like, more into it than Baby.  The howling and lalala-ing continue for several minutes.  Eventually Crazy grows tired of it and heads upstairs.  I tell Baby “That crazy Crazy…he’s so crazy! He was singing with us!” and kept right on lalala-ing, thinking the whole time what a fun family moment it was and how I hope Crazy will always sing with us.  Usually, Crazy is pretty dumb, but I’m beginning to think there’s something really there for him to know to sing along to help keep Baby happy!

After many, many verses of my amazing song, Crazy returns to the basement and sits down in front of me with a very sad looking face.  I’ve seen this look before, and it’s not good.  Baby in tow, I emerge from the basement to a smell I hadn’t smelled in a while.  There is poop and pee all over the dining room.

Ugh.  Apparently, Crazy is NOT a fan of my singing, or my awesome, made-up song.  Nor was he singing along.  Nor has he somehow gotten smarter  and knows it’s a good idea to sing to help Baby be happy.  He was only whining the generic I-need-to-potty whine.  What a stupid dog.

And the dumbest part…Crazy even came downstairs, plopped right down in front of me, and told on himself.  WHAT a stupid dog.


Rasta, Mon (insert your best Jamaican accent here)

I thought as you get used to having a baby things start becoming more natural and normal.  I also thought that between Husband and me, with combined qualificiations of two bachelor’s degrees and two Master’s degrees (ahem, the Master’s are both mine…not that I’m bragging…I’m just sayin’…), we were almost over qualified for the job of having a baby.  I mean, really….between the two of us, we have taught thousands of children in our careers (…this also makes choosing a name for your child VERY difficult….) and I was pretty sure that it would be difficult, but we’re not idiots.  C’Mon…how could we mess this up?

So, yesterday, as I get Baby ready for church in her darling striped dress that her Aunt gave her.  (People will give you ugly clothes….my sister in law is not one of those people.  Everyone should know her simply because she knows how and where to find the cutest baby clothes.) I try to smooth out her hair in the back.  Baby’s hair is trying very hard to be curly.  On a nice humid day, Husband and I don’t look that great with our frizzy curls.  He keeps his short and I spend a lot of time trying to fool people into thinking that my hair is actually straight.  I do my best to help Baby’s hair know that it should stay straight, too, but it I think it will end up having some curl.  And, since Baby’s hair is “baby fine”, it really just gets kinda….icky in the back.  Anyway….

Back to getting her ready for church.  I begin the smoothing process thinking it would just smooth itself out and be fine.  Well, APPARENTLY, sometime in the night, Bob Marley snuck into my house and gave Baby a new hairdo fit for the Jamaican bobsled team.  What in the world?  I KNOW I brush her hair.  Sure, she has a good amount of hair, but it is the consistency of spiderwebs.  How tangled can it get?  I’m Cousin It compared to Baby and my hair doesn’t get that tangled.

Needless to say, these new dreads on Baby do not “comb out”.  In fact, that makes them worse.  (Note to self: Do not comb out dreadlocks.)  It also makes Baby very annoyed at me.  So I did what any mom (who should apparently know to comb her baby’s hair multiple times a day) would do and I got out my scissors.  And I cut those little buggers out.  And now, Baby looks oh-so-much better with her four weird bald spots and a mom that carries a comb around all day.

Shoulda just left it….  Shoulda….just….left….it.  Good call, Miss I Have Two Master’s.  Sheesh.

Hotcha Doggie!

Today I made Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers.  A friend made them for book club and they were very very good.  Those who know me best know that I was a daily customer at Sonic during pregnancy simply for the Cheddar Poppers….MMMMMM.

My friend told me she de-seeded them, but forgot to wear gloves and that her fingers were “on fire”.  “Hmmmm….whatever” is what went through my brain.

I started out using a spoon to de-seed my jalapenos.  It was too hard, so I ditched the spoon and just used my thumbs and index fingers.  It was much faster, and didn’t burn at all.  At this point I am wondering about my friend’s tolerance for pain….seriously.

Until now.  It started out really slow…just a tingle really…about 2 hours after finishing.  At this point, my fingernails feel as if they might peel back from my skin.  I have since washed my hands multiple times. My eyes are burning, my fingers are burning, and at one point I had a hangnail to chew off…..and now my lips and tongue are burning.

My advice….WEAR GLOVES.

Lullabies to order…and the ONE to stay away from.

I ordered music for Baby to sleep to at night as part of the “soothing process”.  I read that if Baby is always used to being rocked to sleep while seeing either my or Husband’s face she will also need that if she wakes in the middle of the night.  With the advice of our doctor, and books, we wanted her to learn “self-soothing” techniques so that if she does awaken in the middle of the night and is not hungry, she can simply soothe herself back to sleep (like we do as adults).  So, part of this process is providing a similar process for each night so she will get used to a routine and putting her down awake – thus the music.  That way it will be on in the middle of the night and she can hear it and think “Ah yes, this music is for sleeping, I must need to go to sleep again without crying or enlisting someone else to entertain me until I am sleepy.”  I know Baby has an inner monologue…

So – I ordered music made for soothing.  I ordered the Beatles and U2 versions of “Rock-a-Bye Baby”.  The ones I ordered had no words, and so I went back to iTunes for more.  I then found some other albums with people actually singing.  (Sidenote: If you are ordering music for your child to sleep to – I recommend buying LOTS of it.  Hearing it through the monitor all night, every night, over and over, is enough to make me want to stick freshly sharpened pencils in my ears.)  I love the music; it is soothing and sounds great, and although she hasn’t really told me either way, I think Baby is really glad I turn it on for her while she sleeps.

WELL, the other day I go in the nursery because Baby is crying.  Normal.  Must need to eat.  Plus, she had been alseep a long time.  Totally normal.  Baby’s eyes are wide open, and the words I hear coming out of the iPod are as follows:

Stay awake, don’t rest your head
Don’t lie down upon your bed
While the moon drifts in the sky
Stay awake, don’t close your eyes

Though the world is fast asleep
Though your pillow’s soft and deep
You’re not sleepy as you seem
Stay awake, don’t nod and dream
Stay awake, don’t nod and dream

What in the world? No wonder Baby is awake.  The stupid song I purchased TO HELP HER SLEEP is brainwashing her to STAY AWAKE!  I paid good money for this, and don’t feel I was given adequate information as to what I was purchasing.

It has since been deleted from the “Sleeping Baby” playlist on the iPod.  I realize it is a Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins original, but GET REAL. It is not helping in any way…

What I DO recommend to you, if you choose to purchase music, is “Children’s Lullabies: the iTunes Essentials”.  Although there is one song on this playlist that encourages the listener to “sing this lullaby to yourself“, it is by Jack Johnson and so it makes it okay that he is being a little snotty.  Everyone knows babies can’t sing…c’mon Jack….plus, we paid $0.99 for YOU to sing it.

The first real day of maternity leave

Today was the first day I would have HAD to go back to work.  My maternity leave was deferred because I had Baby in the summer time, after the school year had ended.  (If you don’t know, I am a teacher…)  Maternity leave: each day will start with a good 3-4 mile run (please see My Cure for the Race on how that would have worked out…), then a wonderful protein breakfast, followed  by quality time teaching Baby EVERYTHING so she can start reading chapter books by 6 months of age, enjoy a nice hour long lunch with a friend or my mom or my sister in law and her kids, and then have dinner ready for Husband after watching anything other than Oprah (I really dislike Oprah, but will comment later….).

So, today all my work friends sharpened pencils, put up bulletin boards, laminated things, went to meetings, and made grandiose plans for this school year, while I stayed home and followed all my plans…

Instead, I woke up at 4:30am (again, this is after Baby had slept 9 hours….so don’t feel sorry for me).  I fed Baby, and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I checked Facebook (Why has NO ONE updated their status yet??? UGH!)  I took my Dad to the airport at 7am while drinking 100 cups of coffee (although Baby slept 9 hours, I decided to stay up late after book club and watch TV for awhile….).  I then got dressed, and went shopping at TWO different stores for punch out letters for Husband (he’s a teacher, too, and needed help with bulletin boards.).  I then drive to Husband’s school, and start laminating, cutting out shapes, and putting together bulletin boards after eating a fast 10 minute lunch.  All of this while taking breaks to feed and burp and play with Baby.

Seriously?  This is NOT how I planned it.  I’m not supposed to be doing ANY of these things.  There has been no running today…lunch was 10 minutes IN MY CAR…I did have an egg for breakfast…and I didn’t even get to catch up on Big Brother OR teach Baby how to read. (Did I mention that I STOLE my own bulletin board stuff from MY classroom and took it to Husband’s school for HIS bulletin boards???)  The rate I’m going I’ll be volunteering in my own classroom tomorrow morning while I pay out of pocket for day care that isn’t supposed to start until 12 weeks from now….

Knock on Wood

Last night, Husband and I were talking about how we certainly must be “lucky” because we have an easy baby.  For the last week, she has slept a good 7 – 9 hours each night solid, and wakes up with a smile, and we really felt like we might be the only people who have had it this “easy”.  But, when we stopped and really thought about it, we came to the conclusion that people must feel lucky when they have an “easy” baby because all you ever hear about are people who have difficult ones.  Is it really luck of the draw?  Do we need to hold our breath every time we get pregnant hoping we “luck out” and get a baby that is easy?  It can’t be this hap-hazard, can it?

No one ever talks about easy babies.  No one ever talks about easy labors or easy deliveries.  And since I’ve never been one for a verbal filter…I’m gonna go ahead and talk about mine.  I think people should talk about it if it is easy – because I don’t think first time moms need to go through pregnancy holding their breath thinking labor and delivery is the worst ever every time or that as soon as that baby comes out it cries for 3 months straight.  The cruddy part for me came on my own body afterwards, and only because I wasn’t aware these thing happen.  People only share horror stories it seems.  And that isn’t how it happens for everyone – or at least not for me.

I was induced in order to have my baby.  The only negative to my story is that I had a TERRIBLE 1st trimester +4 weeks and a very painful 3rd trimester and I think my doctor felt sorry for me and let me be induced….regardless it really worked in my favor.  Back to induction.  I started on pitocin at 7:30am, water broken at 9:30, was tired of having contractions by 11:00 and got an epidural.  I hadn’t felt that great in a few months, and literally 5 minutes after getting that epidural I cried because I couldn’t feel the pain in my hips for the first time in a long time.  It was AMAZING.  After that, I hung out and enjoyed my day.  My doctor was paged when it was time for delivery, but Baby was already making her entrance.  Luckily a different doctor was standing in the hallway at the time, because he was grabbed to come in and deliver.  I looked at the clock when they put my feet in the stirrups.  The minute hand was between 5:29 and 5:30pm.  He told me to push, and I did…9 times, 10 seconds each with a breath in between.  At 5:35pm my baby was out and I was finished.  Piece of cake…. seriously.

At three weeks old, Baby was able to sleep about 4 – 5 hours at night for her “long sleep period” the majority of nights.  Books and such call this “sleeping through the night”.  Really?  I’m pretty sure sleeping through the night for me would be a good 10 hours, but maybe that’s just me.  Regardless of the definition, Baby started sleeping longer and longer at night with each passing week.  I was tired, sure, 5 hours isn’t enough for me.  But it was better than one or two, or ZERO.  We can now put her to bed with wide awake eyes, and she will go to sleep, and she will sleep for 7-9 hours.  I can also put her to sleep in the daytime, eyes wide open, no fussing, and she will take a good nap.

Baby doesn’t cry much.  Sure – she let’s you know if she’s hungry, or needs her pacifier, or has dirty pants, but other than that she likes to gurgle and “talk” to me.  She smiles a lot (and not just at Husband anymore!).  She likes to look at Crazy (our puppy) with his white flash on his black face.  She smiled and giggled today when I took her hand and put in on his fur.  Grumpy was out chewing his bone so he missed out on the pets.

I can count on one hand the times where I have been so frustrated that I wanted to cry in the last 9 weeks due to the baby and I would say 3 out of 5 of those, it was only because she was needing to eat sooner than we expected.  One time was because she had gotten shots and the house was hot and so she was hot.  There has never been a time when she cries simply for no reason and I love her for that.  Every noise she makes has a reason, and I love that I know what each one means.

She sleeps, eats, and poops like clockwork.  Maybe I’m getting used to having a baby, or being a mom is becoming more second nature than something I have to think about consciously.  Regardless, people should know that some babies are easy, and I (knock on wood) got one…luck or not.  I know there are several of you out there that would like to punch me right now, and I’m sorry.

My Cure for the Race

I used to be a runner….not in the sense that I was running marathons every weekend…I probably averaged about 20-25 miles a week.  Regardless of how far you go or how fast you pace, I say you are a runner if you run…even if it is only to the bathroom when you really have to go…

I stopped running while I was pregnant because, honestly, I was afraid to do it.  But, after that baby came out, I was a determined woman.  I signed up for Race for the Cure when Baby was 2 months old and was sure it would be just like old times…breathing crisp, morning air in my lungs, hearing the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, watching the cracks in the sidewalk going by…it was going to be awesome.

Well, I wake up the morning of the race to go meet my team (we raced for a friend’s mom who is a Survivor) and 29,000 of my closest KC running friends downtown only to find out that the high temperature of the day was to be 95 degrees with 5000% humidity and last night’s low was a chilling 77.  Still, I am determined to rejoin my running community with full force regardless of the temperature.  It would STILL be like old times….minus the crispness of the morning air.

I arrive at the starting line and am already sweaty and red faced.  Seriously?  I count the walk from the car to the starting line as my warm up seeing that we had to park a good mile away or so and figure that was good enough.  Plus, the emcee said “GO” right when I got to the starting line, so I had no choice.  I was off….

The first steps were exhilirating!  “I still got it, I own this race” I sing to myself as I went up the first hill.  Then I realize am in WAY OVER MY HEAD.  What was I thinking?  After the first 5 minutes I can’t even breathe normally and my stretched out stomach skin (gross, I know) is swaying back and forth so I have to adjust my stride.  Forget ‘listening to the sound of my feet hitting the pavement’.  All I could hear was my heart pounding louder and louder with each step I took.  But I was committed – and I tell you – I ran with gusto.  And walked.  And ran a little slower.  And walked.  And then jogged a little bit.  You get the idea….

The finish line in my sights, I decide I need to finish with all I’ve got.  Plus, there were several people there watching me and I certainly didn’t want them to notice how extremely tired and out of shape I am.  Forty minutes after starting this brilliant idea, I cross the line.  Forty minutes?  I’m pretty sure people can WALK 3 miles faster than that.  Seriously, a nice saunter and you could beat my amazing 40 minutes.

At least now I get to go eat breakfast and go home.  Once home, I realize that my legs have cramped up to the point that I walk like Frankenstein.  My knees are achy, my feet feel slightly swollen in my shoes, and my hips a clickety clicking with each step.  I admit to Husband it was difficult and that I hadn’t worked that hard in a LONG time.  He says very nicely, “Yeah – it’s been about 9 weeks.”  How sweet Husband is, to remind me of my hard work to birth our beautiful baby, and acknowledge this difficult task of bringing life into the world.  It would have been a great moment to relish in, but instead, with my crampy legs, achy knees, and swollen feet,  ALL I could think about is how much better I would feel if I could just get another epidural after my sad little 5K performance.  Plus, then I could eat all the popsicles I wanted…..