Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hold tightly

In the wake of the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut, I have heard countless people, from an older gentleman I'd never met at 7-11, to the President of the United States say that we will all hold our children a little bit closer.  So imagine my shock when Dr. Drew, who I'm not the biggest fan of, and Supernanny, who I'm also not the biggest fan of, were discussing whether or not it is appropriate for parents to allow their children to come into bed with them if they are scared in the next few weeks.

ARE YOU SERIOUS!!??  Why is this even up for discussion!?  What is the fear in holding our children AND each other close?  Are we really scared that we will create codependent children by loving them too much?  I just don't understand!  What on earth could we possibly gain by pushing our children away when they need us most?

We are becoming so disconnected form human touch it's scary!  We hardly even speak face to face with people anymore as it is, and now some "expert" is going to tell me when I should and shouldn't allow my scared child to cling to me?  Why is is that when we as adults are feeling sad or scared for our children that we get to hold them tighter and sneak into their rooms to watch them sleep, but if they are scared we question whether or not they should be allowed to hug us tighter or gasp, bother us when we are sleeping.

When did children become such a massive inconvenience?

If you are feeling sad or scared in the middle of the night do you cuddle up a little closer to your partner? (dogs included!)  Do you have a hard time sleeping soundly?  I imagine you do, and so why as a culture do we expect anything different from children.  Why is a scared toddler seen as an annoyance rather than an opportunity to hold tightly to the love of your life.  It is easy to see children as tiny adults with developed coping skills and control over their emotions, but they are not little adults, they are immature, dependent, emotional children and they NEED YOU!!!!!!

And that's okay!  I promise your college age child won't want to cuddle in bed with you when they are scared, but if they do I imagine most parents would welcome it.  I know I would.   I could go on and on about this topic in which I feel quite strongly about, but I'll save the ranting and raving for another time.  In the mean time, hold whatever you want as close as you want.  I'm no "expert," but I doubt anybody has ever wished they were loved less.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A different look

I am in my own little world, I haven't even heard of the horrific tragedy.  I turn on the news and see a soft spoken 7 year old girl recounting the incident,  "A lot of the kids said they had a stomach ache afterwards."  So do I sweetheart, so do I.  And so I spent the next hour watching CNN through a teary glaze until I could watch no more.

This post is likely to offend some, but my hope is to make you take a step back and alter your perspective just a little bit.  I kind of wrote this in the few moments I had here and there so bare with me, or skip this post.

First, when are we going to WAKE UP!?   How many more lives need to be lost before something is done about the ROOT of the problem.  And I'm not talking about metal detectors at the doors of our elementary schools, either.  I'm talking about the stigma that still surrounds mental illness and our BROKEN system!

We are failing the mentally ill and their families, FAILING!  And as a result, innocent people are dying.

Now, I don't know much about the young man who chose to take nearly 30 lives, including that of his own mother and innocent children, but I'm willing to bet that he gave some warning signs of instability.  This is psychopathy!  Amoral, antisocial, egocentric, unpredictable, calculated and TERRIFYING!  This is the act of a person who felt justified in taking the lives of beautiful, innocent children and adults who gave their own lives to save them.

I urge you to take a deep breath, open your heart and your mind, and read this painfully honest post before you read on.

How are you feeling?  Are you angry?  Sympathetic?  Do you call bullshit?  Now, of course I do not know this woman or her family.  She absolutely could be lying, over exaggerating, herself mentally unstable, or just trying to capitalize from a horrible tragedy, but I do know this, her voice in this blog post IS that of hundreds if not thousands of mothers across the country. 

Their children are sick and they don't know what to do.  

Many people don't buy it.  They think mental illness is a cop out, an easy card to pull when you just want to get off.; Plead insanity.  True, some use mental illness as an excuse, but the truly ill, the clinically insane, they have no choice in the matter.

Have you ever been in the presence of an insane person?   Has your life ever been threatened by a 5 year old who just minutes before was running his fingers through the sand and telling you how much he liked you?  Have you ever had a conversation with a person suffering from disorganized schizophrenia?  Antisocial personality disorder?

I have

Ever spoken to a mother who is in complete denial that her child would harm himself or others...even after hanging the family dog because his video games were taken away?

I have

Do you know someone who's child has ADHD?  Autism?  Depression?  Are they in denial?  Are they embarrassed?  Do they feel supported?  Do they have access to meaningful resources for their family?

Do YOU suffer from depression?  Anxiety?  A mood disorder?  A learning disorder?  Are you in denial?  Embarrassed?  Do you feel supported?  Do you know your options?

The sad reality is that mental illness is still vastly misunderstood.  When a mother drowns her children because a voice in her head tells her that she must, do you assume she is a monster or believe she is a woman suffering from postpartum psychosis?  Of course the cause does not change the outcome, but it is something I think we a a culture must consider doing something about! 

People don't just wake up one morning clinically insane, there ARE warning signs.  Unfortunately we don't typically hear about them until it is too late.

And it is too late...




*For the record, I am in NO way trying to diminish the unthinkable heartbreak that comes with the untimely death of innocent children and those who gave their lives trying to protect them.   I am simply trying to shine a light on mental illness in this country and what can happen when it goes untreated. 

I also think it is important to point out that there is a big difference between having say, general anxiety and having antisocial personality disorder, HUGE.  Unfortunately they are lumped into the same category, mentally ill.   And therefore looked upon the same by insurance companies (good luck getting insurance if you have a history of a "mental disease") employers, family members and the general public who just doesn't understand. 

Most people suffering form a mental disorder are NOT a threat to themselves or others, but sadly, some are.







Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The good

I told you there were some good, fun, and unexpected things that also happened during the shit storm that was the past few weeks, and here they are...

Thanksgiving, I love Thanksgiving.  Last year I was on a very restricted diet and could have NOTHING but vegetables and hummus, a hard boiled egg and a only good because I was desperate, gluten free cranberry cake.  This year though, I had it ALL, and it was delicious.  Of course Caches smashed all my food that I don't like touching into one huge pile and put his fingers and 4 different spoons in my food, but that's okay, we enjoyed our meal.  Vegan turkey and all the trimmings mmmmmmm :)

*

A visit to great grandmas house.  Caches has only one great grandparent and she lives in Modesto.  We see her all to rarely so we decided to take a little family trip to visit a few weeks ago.   Caches was actually a half way decent human being in the car and was pretty darn sweet with his great grandma.  We also go to see aunts and uncles!

*

A new ride, minivan style.  Ryan and I have been talking about getting a new/bigger car for a while now, but it always ended up being put on the back burner due to my forgetting about it, finances, anxiety, or any number of other reasons.  Well, Caches actually slept a few hours one night when Ryan was working and I decided to do some research.  SUV or minivan?  I always said I wouldn't drive a minivan, like I'm sure every human being says, but it just makes too much sense not to!  Lighter than a large SUV so better gas mileage.  Lower to the ground so easier for dogs and kids to get in and out.  Quite a lot of space for dogs to lay around the back and/or for the ridiculous amount of shit that we need to travel these days.  And...the doors open automatically, yeah, that sealed the deal, it's BRILLIANT!  Why don't all car doors open automatically!?  Okay, I know why, but my house door..can my house door open automatically?!

Anyway, we were still not planning on getting one right now but when I went to test drive, things just worked out and in a serendipitous kind of way and the next thing we knew, we owned a minivan!  Oh, and I did all the negotiating, yeah I DID!  ME!  The rattled one!  And I was on fire.  We got a great deal and are officially NERDS!

Nerds with automatic sliding doors!

*I wanted to post Thanksgiving and great grandma pictures, but my storage is apparently full.  I need to somehow figure out how to deal with that so I'm posting this sans pictures for now.  Hopefully pictures coming soon





Monday, December 3, 2012

It can't be...

It can NOT have been almost a month since I have written?!  Yep, it is.  Shit.  Okay.

I'm trying to decide whether to dedicate this post to a champagne hangover worthy pity party or an update on the wonderful, fun and unexpected things that have happened while I've been "away."

What was that?  You love self pity?  Me too?

*sips champagne*  Where shall I begin...

The week leading up to Thanksgiving Caches and I were both sick with a minor cold.  Not a huge deal, but it was the first time I had been sick since I was pregnant and let me just say for the record that  it is NOT fair to be sick at the same time as your baby!  It wasn't too bad though and we lived to make and enjoy yummy food for the fun family holiday.  I'll post pictures when I decide to write the good things post, this is about pity...mine.

The week after Thanksgiving I am not quite sure what the hell I was doing, but obviously it wasn't writing.

Okay, fast forward to last Sunday, not yesterday, and Cache has a fever.  Fuck. It is low and he is drooling like a crazy and chewing his finger so I hope it is teething.  Okay, he is teething his molars, but he is also really and I mean REALLY bummed!  He is an emotional kid, and an epic piece of shit sleeper, but this was/is nuts, even for him.  The NEIGHBORS could hear him screaming at night!  Yeah, absorb that.

A few days later I notice a blister on the tip of his tongue...and then some on his inner cheeks. Ahh, a doctors appointment confirms that it is a virus that is quite painful but not serious and should clear up soon.  Okay, I can deal with that.

But now MY throat hurts...I better not have a flippin' mouth blister virus, kid! 

Friday and my throat still hurts.  Handy flashlight app on my phone and a mirror show white spots on my tonsils.  Damn it!!  I make a doctors apt for myself hoping that I don't have strep.  Nope, not strep...mono.  Yep, high school, kissing disease, could fall asleep standing up mono.  Perfect.

Doctor wants me to rest as much as possible, sleep extra hours when I can, no unnecessary lifting, and the list goes on.  Um, doctor...not happening.  I have a toddler.  A sick toddler.  A sick toddler who is up even more than usual through the night.  A sick toddler who must be held and picked up all day long.  A sick toddler who refuses the pacifier and is determined to torture me with hours of nursing.  A sick toddler who doesn't give a shit if I have mono or an inflamed spleen.  He has his own needs damn it.

When do kids develop empathy?

Sigh.  So I have been holding him for his daily nap in hopes that it will force me to rest and going to bed early because a sick Caches will NOT be put down twice and a sick mama has no fight left to try.  These are basically the only times I have to write and I'm holding a kid so...no writing.

Now yesterday, just when I thought things were looking up, Caches has a fever AGAIN.  This poor kid can't catch a break.  I hate when he is sick!  And even though I am usually against medicine and hold off on giving him anything, this week Advil is MY BEST FRIEND!!  He has had more Advil this week than his entire life combined.  Judge away...

Oh, and because no post is complete without vomit, yesterday Lilly decided to eat an entire pound of almonds while we were out and was sick all last night.  It went a little like this.  Baby scream, Lilly puke, Abner snore, mama cry, repeat...repeat...repeat

Was that a fun party everyone?  Can I have some of your champagne?  No, don't want my disease...fine.  Thanks for listening 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A step back?

Baby Center, The Bump, a friend, and two strangers have recently warned me of the dreaded 18 month sleep regression.  "It's like the 4 month regression on steroids,"  I was warned.  Keep calm though, is only a phase!  "My baby was back to her normal 12 hours a night in a few weeks."  Oh thank goodness.  Whew.  I'm so happy for you, sweet nosy stranger. 

Oh generic grouping of all babies in one category internet websites.  Oh parents of children who have EVER slept well.  I, for once, don't have the problem, YOU DO!

HA!  

Because in order for a regression to take place, first sleep in a long, delicious stretch would have to exist.  And it did for you, and that's wonderful, but for once I win.  I WIN.  Because you were all, oh I have it figured out, my kid sleeps so well, pat yourself on the back, and then BAM your kid won't sleep and you panic.  And I don't blame you.  Your glorious 12 hours of sleep is slowly slipping away and there is nothing you can do about it.  I feel sad for you, I really do.  You were actually used to sleeping, and you were terrified that it  was going to be taken from you.

I, on the other hand, have not a care in the world in regard to this alleged sleep regression.  I could give a shit if my kids sleep "regresses" at 18 months.  What is he going to do?  Fight me at bedtime? Wake up often through the night?  Fight naps?  Karate kick me in the throat?  Umm, done and DONE.  So what you are really telling me internet websites and strangers?  Are you telling me that for the past 16 months we have been having the 18 month sleep regression?

Well then, the way I see it we should be just about done then, shouldn't  we. 


Ridgeback sleeps...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Voices from the toybox

Anyone who has a young child know what I'm talking about.  You get the kid to bed, clean up the tornado of toys and settle down on the sofa to relax, when all of a sudden some demented blue eared dog cries, "Hug me."  You jump about 11 feet of the couch.   What the...

"I looove you."

"Tummy."

Fuck you creepy dog and your weird voice that sounds like a kid but I'm pretty sure is an adult.  Who the hell voices these toys anyway!?  And out come the batteries of yet another toy.

"Play with me!"

"Is it under the purple shoe?"

Okay, now there is an octopus giving me a guilt trip?!  I don't want to play with you octopus who only has 7 visible legs.  (The 8th is hiding around the back and took me months to locate.  And you KNOW I looked!)  You are bullshit and get balls stuck in your head all damn day.  I will not play with you, I don't even like you!  

This is why I like a nice wooden pull toy.  No wooden pull toy has ever tried to guilt me into a hug, a game or a peek under its purple shoe. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Pumpkin head

Last year around this time Caches was a hot mess of screaming torture.  I'm kind of a dork, okay a huge dork who looks forward to every little tradition of every single holiday.  I distinctly remember last year being so excited to carve pumpkins for the first time as a family only to have him fuss and cry the whole time.  "Look baby, pumpkin seeds!"  "Look baby, pumpkin guts!  Isn't this super cool?"  His response?  Fuck you AND your stupid pumpkin and put me back in the womb!

And if I could have, I WOULD have!

This year he still wasn't all that interested in the pumpkin guts like I'd hoped, but the seeds, OBSESSED!  He was "cooking" them, sniffing them, throwing them around, stirring, playing, feeding them to the dog, licking and loving them.  Only problem was that I kinda wanted to save them to roast.  Details.  So I picked them up in their sliminess, washed off the dirt and dog spit and roasted those suckers!

But wow, what a difference a year makes.  It was fun!  There were no tears, no screaming, and no crying.  Sure, there was some why can't I hold the knife attitude, but I can handle attitude.  Ryan and I reminisced for a moment about this time last year and how difficult it was for everyone.  I agreed that it was ridiculous and emotional and HORRIBLE.  Then he asked me if I really remembered.  Dude, you don't just forget that shit. I was and will forever be traumatized.  I will never, ever, EVER in my life forget those first six month.

E V E R

At least now though I don't want to punch all the people who promised me it would get better.  Because it has, and it gets better every day.

Here is the pumpkin man in all his seed sorting glory






Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lock your garbage cans up tight

There's a crazy critter on the loose.

Caches was a raccoon, Ryan was a critter catcher, and I was a bunny!  Originally I was going to be a trash can but I figured it would be difficult to hold my raccoon when he became clingy.  Good thing I went with the outfit change because the coon was clingy in about 10 min. 

Here we are...







All Hallows

HAPPY HALLOWEEN


 Two really neat spiders in our backyard lemon tree!



They are HUGE

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snap shot in time

A while ago I read a Huffington Post article that brought me to tears.  Not that it's a difficult thing to do, but this was truly touching.  I'd post a link, only I can't remember the title or author's name.  Sigh, I miss my brain.  Anyway, it was about how this woman, a mother, who was everywhere in her children's lives, but there was little to no photographic evidence.  She was always shying away from the camera, hiding behind it rather than posing in front.

It really got me thinking about my own relationship with the camera;  I don't like it.  And my mothers relationship with the camera, she really doesn't like it.  Then I started to think back on all the wonderful photographs of my childhood, neatly organized in albums that I frequently enjoy browsing.  Fantastic memories, elaborate holidays, birthday parties, crafts, vacations, milestones, a lifetime of fun all made possible by my mother.  But my mother is hardly in the album at all.  Absent from my childhood memories in print.

And you know what, Caches' photo album looks the same.  Other than the day he was born there are hardly any photos of myself with my son, so I decided to make a change.  Yes, I may weigh as much as I did 6 months pregnant.  Yes, my hair is typically thrown up and frizzy.  Yes, my make up is almost never done, and yes, I'm usually in less than impressive dress, but I am his mother, one and only.

And some day he is going to want to see pictures of me.  He will wonder what I looked like when he was a child, what adventures we embarked upon together.  He will want pictures of me, of us, and I want him to have them.  I want him to see the look in my eye when I'm watching him, the love.  I want him to see that we have the same squinty eyes when we smile and that both our noses wrinkle when we laugh. 

Nobody knows how long I will be in his life.  I could be gone fifty years from now or it could be tomorrow.  Whenever it is, when he looks back on pictures from his childhood I want to be there.  I may be less than perfect but I am here.  I am always here.  I am his mama.

When I look at the few pictures I do have of my mother I'm never analyzing her dress or her hair.  I'm not wondering if she is in shape or if her jeans are a bit too tight.  I'm simply looking at a photograph of us, mother and child, in life and in love, and I want that for my son.   Even if he does make fun of my yoga pants and frizzy hair, at least I'm there to be made fun of.  I'm always there.








Thursday, October 25, 2012

Night weaning: Part two

I can't do it...

Not fully anyway.  I've been thinking a lot about the phases and stages of  life, my baby's life in particular.  Each new phase they pass through feels like it will last forever, only it doesn't.  There is no definite end or beginning it just is and then it is no longer.  And when a phase is over you can't recall when it started, how long it lasted, or even when it stopped.  Because life is simply a series of stages and phases.  I know I've had my fair share, right mom?  Yes, I went through a will not wear pants no matter what must wear a ruffled dress with matching bow AT ALL TIMES stage and guess what...I'm over it

For Caches there is the sweet, limp infant stage
The sleep a lot during the day phase
The must be swaddled phase
The nurse every hour stage
The very short take an hour long nap stage
The still present take a half hour nap phase
The arms flailing, startle stage
The unsteady figuring out the body stage
The holy shit I have hands let me chew on them all day stage
The everything including dog hair must go in my mouth phase
The trying to sit, trying to stand, trying to walk, trying to crawl stage
The cry all day and night phase
The never, ever put me down phase
The poop every time you change my diaper phase.
The scream at bath time stage
The scream just because I can all day stage
The be bounced on the ball until moms ankles swell stage
The 2-4am party time every night stage
The put my fingers in your mouth all day stage
The 5am party every morning stage
The I'm only eating blueberries stage
The I will eat anything stage
The I will eat nothing stage
The I need to cook an egg for every meal and not eat it phase
The I need to nurse at the most inconvenient, public times phase
The I love pacifiers stage
The I hate pacifiers stage
The cover me with a blanket phase
The I hate blankets they are suffocating me stage
The I will freak out if you are so much as an inch out of my reach stage
The later mama, I'm walking over here without you phase
I'm back...Hold me...all day and night...

The pushing you away, the pulling you close, the ups and downs, the highs and lows.  The moments you will remember for a lifetime and the moments you wish you could forget.  They are all just moments in time, twists and turns on the road of life.  When Caches was an infant and he cried day and night I felt like it would NEVER EVER end.  Like I was literally going to drop dead or snap and be institutionalized, but you know what, I didn't, and it ended. 

And now I couldn't tell you the day or even the month that it stopped, but it stopped.  Just like his nursing at night will some day stop.  Sure I could force it, but it just doesn't feel right.  I can't imagine being the one who decides when the last time he is allowed to nurse at night will be, I just can't.  Maybe in a few months or even weeks I will feel differently, but at this moment in time it doesn't feel right to force a change. 

What I am willing to force a change in and what I WILL be changing is the sleeping position of my nearly 21 pound toddler.  He is NO longer allowed to use me as a human hot rock in our terrarium bed.  I honestly think the sleeping on TOP of me is more of the problem anyway.  I don't mind nursing at night, honestly, but not being able to move into a comfortable position and having to stop all liquids after 8pm like a freakin' 7 year old because I can't get up to pee at night is not going to fly anymore.  Mama has SOME standards of living, kid. 

So that is where I am right now, and that process, I will keep you updated on.  It's sure to be interesting.  Entertaining?  Horrible? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A note on nursing in public

Ah, nursing in public.  Sounds relatively simple, doesn't it?   Baby is hungry and starts to fuss a bit so you find a comfortable spot, sit down, adjust yourself and all is right with the world.  Hum, it actually does sound rather simple when I put it that way.  Only it isn't so simple.  There is a learning curve. And dirty looks.  We can't forget the dirty looks.

When Caches was a newborn I was terrified to nurse him in public.  Just thinking about it would cause me so much anxiety that for the first few weeks I made sure to be home for all his feedings.  There was a time or two that I fed him in my car with a blanket, but not in real, people walking by, public.  No way!

Now as you know, Caches has never been a patient sort.  He has always gone from sleeping quietly to screaming in 2 seconds flat.  There was no sweet mouthing of a fist, no quiet nuzzle into my chest and there was absolutely NO WAY in hell he was accepting a pacifier.  It was woman, feed me, NOW!  So inevitably there were times when we were in public and my screaming time bomb needed to nurse.

We are professional now, but I can still remember the first time.  We were at a restaurant and our food was taking a lot longer than I had thought.  I knew he was going to wake up and need to eat.  My anxiety was creeping and my pits were starting to sweat.  Sure enough, he's up.  Okay, I can do this.  I got my little nursing cover thingy out and put it over my head.  Um, but now I can't see my baby.  I tried to peek through the top but it just wasn't going to happen.  He was getting agitated and now my butt crack was sweating too.  So I ditched the nursing cover and grabbed a blanket.

Okay, here we go.  I draped the blanket over my shoulder, positioned the baby and sat back hoping he'd latch on.  Of course not.  He was flailing all over the place like some kind of ninja fighting the blanket.  I kept repositioning it and he kept kicking it off.  Meanwhile I'm trying not to flash the table  across form me and my butt crack is totally starting to sweat along with my brow.  Come on baby, help me out here.

Nope.  Now the blanket is in his face and he's looking up at me crying like, "Why are you trying to suffocate me?  I know I'm difficult, but really, you're just going to suffocate me, in public?  There are witnesses, woman!"

And he's screaming.

Screw the blanket, sorry anybody in the restaurant who may or may not be offended, my kid is hungry and I'm feeding him.  Ahh, baby eating, body temperature lowering, breathe.  That was easy, or not.  There has to be a better way, right?  Yep, stop trying to protect everyone else and their opinions about nursing and just do it.

Humm, do I need to credit Nike?

Since then I have been on the receiving end of a few eye rolls, dirty looks and whispers but to be completely honest, I could give two shits.  Me!  The person who cares about EVERYTHING and how everyone else feels above herself doesn't care one bit if you are offended by me nursing my baby, well now toddler, in public.  Because here's the bottom line; I'm not doing anything wrong.

My baby wants to eat and I feed him.  End of story, roll credits, put a fork in it, done!  There is nothing to discuss.  You are offended then YOU relocate, we are comfortable, thankyouverymuch.

Okay, fine.  I do kind of "get it."  If you have never really been around a woman nursing before it can be a little socially awkward to make eye contact with one.  You wonder where you are supposed to look.  You want to say hi to the cute baby but there is the boob factor.  You don't want to be rude and look away but you don't want to stare.  I can see why I can be a bit uncomfortable.  BUT...there is a huge difference between being a bit uncomfortable and not quite knowing what to do verses having a problem, making a comment to the mother and making her uncomfortable or say, CALLING THE COPS!

Nice one Applebee's

I guess It just makes me sad because there are so many women who are already struggling with their nursing relationship and then to receive negativity when out in public about doing something this is normal.  Sigh, I don't think people realize how damaging their opinions can be to a mother.  You are essentially publicly shaming her.

Not quite sure how to end this other than to say this.  If something makes you uncomfortable, but it is legal, move on.   This goes for A LOT of things, not just nursing.  Remember that old saying, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all, yeah, go with that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Picture day

Way to slack off on posting pictures, Anne.  It has been months since a proper picture update and you guys, he is a man!  It happened overnight!  Woke up one day and BAM.  Where is my baby!?!?  I'm not fond of this growing up nonsense at all, but watching him grow and change each day is so amazing I guess I'll allow it. 

Officially a toddler.  Internet, I give you Mr. Nessier










I promise to post more pictures in the future, and by promise I mean I'll try to remember to not only take them but to upload and publish them.  And by more I mean I'm shooting for once a week.  Let's not get carried away here.  ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dumpster Diver

Last weekend we had hot dogs for lunch, which means we HAD to buy chips.  Because Ryan can't eat a hot dog without a chips, or a sandwich.  He also can't eat pasta without bread,  salad without bread or cake with any kind of frosting, and about 500 other food related stipulations, but I digress.  Well, the day following hot dogs, he left to go out of town for a few days.  Assuming the chips would go stale because I don't like chips, I threw the reaminder of the bag away.

Today Ryan opens the cabinet. 

"Where are the fritos?" 

"I threw them away." 

"Why?  I would have eaten them." 

"I assumed they were stale." 

"UHH...you are always throwing my food away when you assume I'm done or it is stale (and I totally do! haha).  What if I start throwing away your food, like cookies, when I assume they are stale?" 

"That my friend, will not happen.  Cookies don't last long enough in my presence to go stale." 

"True, but uhhhh.  I really wanted a few salty fritos."

With that he checks the trash can.  Gross.  Sorry dude, they are already in the bin outside.

A few hours later, after Caches' nap, we are both in the closet getting ready to go.  I kiss him and...

"Did you smell my breath?"

"Um, no.  What am I smelling for?"

"Fritos.  I ate some out of the trash while you were putting the baby down for his nap."

"WHAT THE FUCK!?  WHY?"

"Well, I was really craving the salt of a frito so I went outside and got them from the trash.  Don't judge me!"

I don't even know what to say at this point.  It wasn't even the inside trash, it was the outside bin!  WE THROW DOG POOP AWAY IN THE SAME TRASH CAN!

"I'm not going to lie, I've eaten a cookie out of the trash can before so I'm not judging, but it was NOT anywhere near DOG SHIT!"

"It's okay, they were safe inside the bag.  And the ants were only on the pizza box on top."

"Okay, there is SO much wrong with that statement."

"What???"

My husband, the dumpster diver, don't judge




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Night weaning, part one

My mind is made up, I'm going to do it.

Eventually...

I myself am a creature of habit, I don't like abrupt changes.  And because I assume my son is the same way and he can't tell me otherwise, I will be doing this gradually. 

Step one, talk about it, is underway.  No, I don't think Caches completely understands the concept or what I mean when I tell him that soon he can only nurse during the day and that nursing will soon go to sleep at night, but I am starting the conversation and including him in the process, and that makes me feel better.  Who are we kidding here, I'm the one who needs to feel better right now.  Can you say mommy guilt.

I go through moments of tremendous courage and conviction where I am sure that it will be successful and everyone will be happier.  I can and will do this and it will go better than imagined.  And then I go through moments when it all seems so incredibly overwhelming that I want to just curl up in a ball and cry. 

Right now I'm kind of teetering between the two.  I'm sure that I want to at least try but I'm still scared.  I spend every moment of every day making sure my child's needs are met and that he is happy, that's me job.  And so it seems so wrong to force something that I know will upset him, to deny him.  But then I remind myself that he is going on 16 months old and I am going on 16 months of NO SLEEP, and that he will be okay.

He will be okay.

I have asked many supportive women to share their stories of night weaning with me and the reaction of their children vary greatly.  Some fussed a bit, rolled over and went to sleep and that was it, while some protested for hours each night for days on end.  The longest was 10 days.  I don't know if I have the energy or emotional capability to endure 10 days, but I have to try. 

I have to try.

And he will be okay.





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You'd have to see it to believe it

The chaos that is my life with these creatures, that is.  Abner is certifiable, Lilly is in the corner rocking, Georgia is on the table puking and Caches is following in their footsteps.  And who am I kidding, I paved the way for all of them. 

Yesterday Caches found daddy's BBQ tools and insisted on carrying them around with him everywhere he went; with two dogs following behind trying to lick hot dog juice.  The big one lost interest but the little one's interest peaked when he realized that not only did the scraper smell like hot dog, but it reflected the sunlight.  OMG REFLECTIONS!!!  The bulldog loves a reflection. 

Internet, I give you baby swinging with BBQ tools and a bulldog.  Enjoy

video

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Human napkin

A few weeks ago Caches was sick.  The kind of sick where you ask yourself how a twenty pound baby can produce no less than fifty pounds of snot each day. The kind of sick that makes you realize that instead of changing your shirt three times per hour that you just need a giant shoulder pad for snot; you consider inventing one.  The kind of sick that breaks your heart as you watch their chest rise and fall, struggling to breathe out of their nose because they just don't quite understand how to switch to their mouth.

Wondering why, oh WHY can't babies blow their noses!!??  The cruelty of it all!  Cue the snot bubbles, oh the snot bubbles.  Second only to the sneezes sending green snot rockets flying most likely onto your face, shirt number 5 for the day or your food.  And with that you are suddenly keenly aware that you are a mother, because if you weren't you would totally throw up when said sick baby decides to use you as a human Kleenex for the two banana slugs dripping, one out of each nostril.

Your human self panics and wants to heave.  SO GROSS!  That part of you that is all, seriously baby that is dis-gusting!  But the mama part of your brain feels so sad for your sweet baby that you allow yourself to be completely covered in snot for 5 days.  You clean everyone up, again, and the normal human being part is all, kid if you smear one more slug of snot across my shoulder I'm totally going to put you in a bubble, outside, forever.  But then their sick little body nuzzles in extra close and your all, okay fine you can smear snot on me all day my love.

But then they do and you're all conflicted again.  Or is it just me?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On closing the booby bar...

at least for a few hours.

Weaning has been on my mind a lot lately.  Not completely, Caches is nowhere near ready for that and neither am I, but I feel like I need a few hours during the night when the neon light switches off, the doors lock, and the booby bar is closed for business.

I had hopes that Caches would just kind of naturally start waking up less to nurse (he's typically up every hour, though every once and a great while he will give me two or gasp three!) through the night.  Okay, I actually had no REAL hopes, more like pipe dreams.  I know my son, and he has NO intention of giving up ANYTHING easily.

Ryan Caches doesn't "do" change. 

So why don't I stop talking about it and just do it?  Because I am afraid.  Like monsters under the bed to cut my achilles tendon fucking freaked out!  Each week I say, "This is the week I will partially night wean!  No nursing from 11pm to 5am! I am in charge!"  And then I have a good laugh at myself and pop out a boob!  You see, I have actually tried before.  Oh I have tried.  I've tried to soothe him another way when he wakes up.  Ive tried picking him up and rocking, paci, not pick him up and just rubbing his back, singing a song, whispering in his ear how much I love him and that he can nurse when we wakes up.  But his is screaming is darn loud that HE CAN'T FUCKING HEAR ME!!

Seriously though.  The neighbors are like, "I thought they said they weren't going to try to kill that baby anymore?"

Scanning the internet for tips on gentle night weaning I happened across stories of lovely thoughtful women who's babies cried for 15 minutes when denied the breast and it was the hardest thing they have done, but it was worth it.  15 minutes, fifteen!  Really, are you kidding me?  15 minutes is just Caches warming up.  Last time I tried he screamed WITHOUT a break for TWO HOURS AND TWENTY THREE MINUTES!  Yes, you read that right.  And he was nowhere near ready to stop.  I gave up.  I just couldn't do that to him. 

That was months ago, and I am kind of hoping that he has since matured and settled enough to try again.  But I am still afraid.  You know what I'm even more afraid of though?  Letting my desire to be a good mama all night long interfering with my ability to be a good mama all day.  Parenting a busy toddler who thinks it's all fun and games to climb up on the dining room table requries a bit more than 3 odd hours of broken sleep.  One needs to be razor sharp like a ninja.  I'm more like a fat Kung Fu Panda.  I just feel like I could be doing a better job if I was only, say 40% zombie.

Sigh...

For the moment though, I don't have the energy to try, but when I do you'll be the first to know.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

H.O.T

It has been HOT the past couple of days.  So I decided to bring out the kiddie pool...

and fill it with mud for my little pig


and his rubber mallet!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Aw, nuts

Our neighbors across the street have a HUGE walnut tree in their backyard.  Every year around this time crows form I assume all over the city, come to feast upon the bounty of walnuts.  Seriously, it is like The Birds on my street right now.

They pluck the nuts from the tree, use their beaks to unwrap them from their leathery outer coating and then fly up on the electric wires where they proceed to drop the nuts.  The hard shell cracks open on the asphalt and bing bang boom, they have a nut.  Pretty darn smart if you ask me.

Anyway, today after getting Caches down for a nap I decided to enjoy the sunshine on the front porch.  I grabbed a snack, some nuts and a nectarine, and headed out.  It wasn't long before I felt eyes watching me.  It was the birds.  I continued to snack as word spread through the murder that there was a bowl of nuts just sitting out on an unassuming woman's lap.  Shelled nuts, no less.

I watched as more and more crows gathered near my front walk.  I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't just a little bit nervous.  Being pecked to death over a bowl of almonds isn't exactly on my list of things to do today.  So I did what any normal person surrounded by crows would do, their beady little eyes all aglow.  I panicked.  I grabbed my sacrificial nuts and threw them into the street before going inside and shutting the door, the back door too, just in case.  And then  I watched the crows celebrate the bounty of conveniently cracked nuts as I ate my nectarine from the safety of my sofa.

They are pretty cool.  Think they would pose on my porch for Halloween if I provide the nuts?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not cool dude...

Last night was rough.  Cache is teething.  On nights when he is teething I might as well drink a pot of coffee, chase it with a shot of Jack and half of a sheet cake to keep me up.  Because then at least I'd have a buzz and might find the writhing around, headbutting, kicking, screaming, nursing, rolling pin with legs entertaining. 

It was 11:45 and he had been tossing and turning, while latched on I might add, for over two hours.  I was O V E R it.  This on the heels of waking up at 4:00am for a few days just for funsies.  I was taking deep breaths.  You can do this.  I know that window is tempting, but you will regret throwing the baby out of it.

Finally his body relaxed and I could feel myself drifting off into a much needed slumber when out of nowhere the rabid chipmunk tried to bite my nipple off.  HOLY SHIT!  He has bitten me a few times before, but nothing major.  This was major.  I  know I'm being a bit dramatic here, but in my groggy state I honestly thought my poor nipple was hanging on by a thread.  And really, is there ever actually TOO dramatic when referring to ones nipples?

Of course when he clamped down I gasped and shot up, pulling him off of the breast and scaring him half to death.  I felt so bad for scaring him, but dude, my nipple!  The next hour, yes, HOUR was spent calming him down while applying pressure to my throbbing boob.  All I wanted to do was get him in a deep enough sleep to lay him down and go to the bathroom and assess the damage.  Not happening.

Finally around 2ish I got him down and went to take a peek.  Phew, the nipple is still attached, but owwwwie.  Digging through my bathroom drawer in search of the nipple cream that had been pushed to the back, unnecessary for the past year or so, I began to become nostalgic.  I opened the jar and breathed in the aroma.  Instantly I was transported to those first few weeks of motherhood.  The itty bitty fingers, the tiny cries, the sore nipples and the click of a nightlight I used to help guide a not yet perfected latch. Sigh

Fucking hormones making me forget how annoyed I am.  And that my friends, is why we get up and do it all over again.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2009

Everyone told me that the first year of marriage would be the hardest; but they were wrong.  The first year was filled with newness and fun.  We attended parties, went away on impromptu camping trips, and late movies.  We were free to do pretty much whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  Our first year ended with an absolutely perfect anniversary trip to Cayucos.  Gelato, Taco Temple, left over wedding cake, Champagne, the beach and the conception of our first baby to be.

The second year was again filled with excitement, spontaneity, and preparation.  Our love was growing by an entire human being and we were over the moon.  We took advantage of our couples only status with loosely planned vacations and mornings spent drinking coffee in bed until noon.  We had it all figured out, and then we had a baby.

A beautiful, perfect, passionate baby boy who would change everything in a way none could have imagined.

Last year we spent our anniversary in our garage, it was our first post baby "date."  Ryan spent all afternoon transforming the garage into a tiny restaurant, complete with candles and music for the occasion.  We didn't even make it an hour before baby needed me inside.

The rest of the year followed suit.  Having a challenging baby puts a strain of everything, including marriage.  I know for some couples, the addition of a baby isn't all that taxing on their relationship.  Things just seem to fall into place and the new normal is fairly easy to get used to.  It wasn't for us.  We were put through quite the adjustment and to be honest, we are still adjusting.  But we hold strong.

Sometimes Ryan and I think back on this time last year and wonder how we made it through.  It was an experience that could have broken a lesser bond.  High stress, sleep deprivation and emotional tidal waves filled our days and they did not quiet with nightfall, but we stayed close.  And we remain.

I can not take the credit for closeness we maintain.  For I am not the easiest person to be married to.  I am not free and open with my feelings. I shut down.  But somehow Ryan knows how to open me up.  He knows when I need my space and when I need my space invaded.  He reminds me that we have our whole lives for dates and a weekend get away, but that we only have right now for this baby, and that is okay, we are okay.  And so we stay.

I am married to the man of many a woman's dreams.  A true romantic.  A gentleman in a world lacking.  A man who without question dances in the middle of the night with a screaming baby on his chest.  A man who takes the time to let me know I am loved. I man who takes the time to let everyone he cares about know just how much.

Ryan Matthew, you are the cream in my coffee and the sugar in my tea.  I know you aren't supposed to think or say that another person completes you and blah, blah, blah, but I'm saying it.  You really do complete me.  It's not that I'm not a whole, thinking person without you, it's just that I'm a whole lot better person with you.  I couldn't do any of it without you.  And so we will stay.  Forever.

*Last night I looked back at pictures from out wedding day.  If you'd like to do the same here is a link to the brilliant Jeff Starbuck's photo blog.  There is also a video of Ryan's speech if you feel like crying.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just two dudes

...trying to figure a way out of this joint

Monday, September 24, 2012

Four

Today my middle little turns four years old.  OneTwo.  Three.  Four.  Notice that there is no link for three?  I could have sworn I wrote at least a small diddy for his third birthday, but I scanned the archives of last year at least three times waiting for that post to kind of appear, and nothing!  In my defense, this time last year was peak screaming all day and night for Caches so maybe I was a bit preoccupied.  But still, nothing?!  Sorry Abner.





A year later and my screamer has calmed, but not my bulldog.  He is still just as bat shit crazy as he was the day I picked him up.  Unlike a normal puppy who might show sighs of sadness leaving his mother and siblings, Abner never looked back.  He sat in the rented Cadillac, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Are you read for this?"  I wasn't.

The first two weeks with Abner I had so much anxiety I could hardly eat.  He was just so busy, I was convinced he was going to kill himself.  Choking on leaves, trying to eat bees, taking flying leaps off of the stairs! Ahh...And he didn't sleep!  You know how you hear of puppies falling asleep in their food bowls or sleeping all day in a heap of legs and plump puppy bellies.  Not Caches, I mean Abner.



He has embraced sleeping since, but if you so much as giggle a key or motion towards the door he is ready to go!  He is always ready for action.  With one of the best personalities I've ever known, Abner will tolerate pretty much anything.  Probably because we annoy the shit out of him on a regular basis and he has just given up, but still, it should be noted how sweet he is. 



He is nothing if not persistent, hard headed and stubborn.  He plays like crazy, loves like crazy and IS actually crazy.  Don't believe me?  Come over mid afternoon, when the sun hits the back door just right and watch as he obsessively barks at the reflection all. day. long.  He won't stop.  Move the door and all hell breaks loose.  He will chase and bark at that reflection until someone intervenes and physically removes him!  Where's Abner?  He's staring at the door.  Must be about 2:00.
 
Oh Abner, my sweet little bean, with your big brown eyes and shiny little lip.  Sensitive and strong.  Silly and sweet.  Curious and brave.  Absolutely ridiculous, and keeper of a large piece of my heart. Abner Wainwright, you make even the darkest day bright.  You were meant for me, for us.  And while some may think it's silly, I truly believe that you make me a better person, a better mother.  You ground me and you make me smile.  You have set the standard of crazy pretty high around here with your brother and sisters all attempting to reach you.  So just between us, seriously, you can stop now.  You win.  You always win.



Mama loves you so much.  You little snoring, snorting, no tail having, reflection chasing, tiny teeth all a mess, brilliant bulldog.  And she always will.


Happy Birthday Baby Bulldog



Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm not sure why is it even still up for discussion!?

Unnatural. Disgusting. Harmful. Child abuse. Sexual abuse!  

I must be talking about something horrible here, right?  Something that nobody would ever want their child to be subjected to, let alone actually DO to their own child!

But I'm not talking about something horrible at all, I'm talking about breastfeeding.  We had so much fun talking about boobs last time, I figured I'd give it another go.  Only this time I'm not talking about the warm and fuzzy milk drunk baby smiles, I'm talking about the sad state of our culture regarding the topic, and I'm kinda pissed. 

Like so many other things, it all boils down to education, or lack there of.  I myself haven't been an advocate for long, in fact before I had my own baby I never really gave breastfeeding much thought at all.  I never payed any attention to our cultures response to a woman nursing in public until I was one.  Never thought about what others might think or say, and I certainly never imagined it would be such a hot topic!  But oh my gosh you guys, it is like middle earth HOT! 

Okay, to be fair, most Americans are comfortable with a woman breastfeeding her baby to the ripe old age of 6 months.  In the privacy of her own home, of course.  But once baby can start eating solid food, everything shifts.  Suddenly you are considered strange, disgusting even, for wanting to continue.  Why aren't you giving that baby a sippy cup of milk?  Can't he have a cracker instead?  Your milk is just water by now anyway!  You need this more than baby, let go, let him grow up, get him off of your breast or he'll be a sissy mama's boy his whole life!

Sigh

And now you want to nurse your toddler!?!?  We might as well put the therapist on speed dial! 

One of my favorites, and probably the most common statement you will hear regarding nursing older babies and toddlers is this.  "Once a baby can walk or talk, ask for milk and/or has teeth, it is time to stop nursing!" What about babies that are born with teeth?  My son walked at 9 months.  Was that my cue to wean him?  Shit, missed that note.   And if I'm not mistaken, my newborn, at only 20 minutes old "asked for it" with a wide open, air sucking, nipple seeking mouth. 

My son now has 8 teeth, has been walking for nearly 6 months, talks, and definitely "asks for it" on a regular basis.  Should I wean him now?  Answer me this, don't all toddlers ask for milk?  For food?  For comfort?  They are walking?  Talking?  Have teeth?  Well in that case it is probably time to cut them off.

Sounds silly when I put it that way, doesn't it?

Now I know nursing a toddler isn't for everyone, I get that.  But here's what I think the main culprit is.  I think as a culture we are scared, uneducated and uncomfortable with the idea of breasts being used to nourish babies.  But rather than admit to any or all of these things we attack not the culture, but the mother.  Always the mother.  As if it is somehow her fault that she is a mammal with breasts made to feed her baby and her TODDLER!

The body of a woman, particularly her breasts, have been sexualized to such a degree that when we see a woman "exposing" her breast in public there is an uproar.  How dare she make ME feel uncomfortable.  I consider her flesh sexual therefore what she is doing, breastfeeding, must be sexual too.  Well, I'm here to tell you, there is NOTHING sexual about breastfeeding.  NO. THING.  But if you don't believe me, if you still think I'm disgusting, then my saying so won't change your mind.

And I feel sorry for you, I really do.

Because if I told you that the normal weaning age of a human is anywhere from 2.5 years to 7 years of age you would gasp.  And if I told you that there were not only immunological benefits to extended breastfeeding, but also social and emotional benefits to BOTH mother and child you would probably just tune me out.  You have been trained well by society, naysayer.  Even if I reminded you that you yourself are a mammal.  A mammal who more than likely drinks the breastmilk of another mammal FAR past the age of weaning without much thought, you still wouldn't budge. 

Oh that's right.  Cow's milk comes from a teat, not a breast.  My bad. 

Okay, I know this little blog who maybe 10 people read on a regular basis isn't going to change the feelings of an entire culture regarding breastfeeding.  I know that nursing my toddler in public is not going to change the negative thoughts and feelings of so many.  But I do know this.  If I talk about it and then you talk about it and then we all start talking about it, we CAN NORMALIZE SOMETHING THAT IS TOTALLY NORMAL.  Seriously, we could do it!

Then maybe, just maybe, American men and women would begin to respect not only the breast but the women they are attached to.  I sincerely hope that someday soon breastfeeding our babies and toddlers won't be seen as alternative or strange, and certainly not considered child abuse by some, but simply for what it is.  Feeding our babies and toddlers.  We are all hungry, I am hungry for change.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Moms, are we really still in high school?

Maybe I was naive.  Maybe I still am.  But until I had my own child, I had NO idea that mothers could be so cruel to one another.  I'd never even heard the term "mommy wars," until I started Googling my own baby related questions which redirected me to message boards, or should I call them battle grounds. So judgmental, so hurtful, so mean. 

I guess it shouldn't surprise me though.  Nobody can break a woman down quite like another woman.  We know what hurts, we are keenly aware of the soft spots, the kill zone.  And like thoughtless bullies, women go straight for the heart. 

Remember witnessing a boy fight in high school?  There was punching and pushing, blood and testosterone, but then there was peace.  The fight was over.  The pent up energy was gone and the boys moved on.  Not the girls.  Girls are silent fighters, the damage is internal.  Their wounds can not be seen by the naked eye.  They spread and consume.  You have to delve deep to see the scars of yesterday and the gaping wounds of right now. 

"It takes a village to raise a child."  Well, in our modern world this idea unfortunately is lost.  Mothers do not typically have their sisters, aunts, cousins, mothers, grandmothers and friends close by for support.  So they search the internet, nearby parks and even the market for other mothers to support them because let's face it, mothers NEED support!  

But all too often mothers seeking support are attacked.  Questions posted out of desperation or curiosity are met with hurtful responses.  The guns are loaded, the boots are on.  These women are ready for battle.  They are quick to tell mother's that they don't deserve their own baby, that they are horrible parents, they are damaging their babies, or poisoning them.  All because they have a different opinion on the way things "should" be. 

Women who claim to be peaceful parents, attachment mothers, are shaming rather than educating.  Speaking to mothers in a hurtful way that they themselves claim they would NEVER speak to a child.  A child is to be respected, but what about that child's mother? 

Maybe it's because the internet is anonymous. You don't have to look that tired mother in her darkened eyes when you tell her that she is a monster for trying to sleep train her baby.  You don't have to see the her face drop and her eyes tear up as she reads your spiteful words that were left in haste.  Does this make you feel better about yourself internet bully? 

Wouldn't this mother and her baby who you claim to be concerned for be better off with kindly suggested alternatives?  Or even actual advice!  There is a big difference between explaining in a gentle way that you do not agree, expressing why and offering alternatives, verses attacking a struggling mother's parenting. 

Do you ever wonder, internet bully, what YOUR own children are making of your quick tongue?  For your own babies are watching your every move.  They are actively absorbing the way YOU treat others.  You can tell your children every day to treat others with kindness and respect but if you do not DO the same, your efforts will be in vein.  Your children are watching, internet bully.

How would you feel if you found out your own child was cyber bullying another child?  Would you be proud?  Would you offer a high five and encourage your child to go on and drill into others their beliefs?  Or would you feel sad?  I hope you'd feel sad.  I hope that you take a step back and try to curb your passion for a certain style of parenting into a positive, encouraging message.  Because we all know that you catch more bees with honey than vinegar.  Why you would want to catch bees in the first place is what I don't know for sure.

Honestly though, it is a jungle out there.  Please mamas, PLEASE take everything you read on the internet, particularly advice from other mothers on message boards, with a grain of salt.  These women do not know you, your baby, your heart or your struggles.  They are not attached to you in any way, nor do they have a vested interest in how you are receiving their comments.  Take heart mamas, there are people who offer sound advice and sacred woman to woman, mother to mother support, but they are rarely found on baby center at 2am. 

Or maybe they are, what do I know.  I let a message board stranger bring me to tears more than once.  What, I was tired!

Monday, September 17, 2012

These times, they are fleeting

My arm, it is numb.  I can no longer feel my fingers. 

My body is tingling, begging me to move

But I cannot.  For any movement may disturb the babe

And there's nothing quite like the weight of a sleeping babe on your arm


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Writer's block

 I haven't posted in three weeks.  One, two, THREE!  That is plain pathetic, even by my standard of late!  But to be honest, until I looked at the last thing I DID post, I had no idea it had been that long!  It's like groundhog day around here!  The baby was sick, the husband was sick, my body tried to be sick but I would NOT allow it.  Rinse, later, repeat.  I got out of the habit of writing and bam, just like that, three weeks later. Nothing

It's funny how that happens, isn't it.  Not ha ha funny, but funny still.  They say it takes anywhere from 7-21 days to create a new habit and make it stick.  "They," are full of shit.  If this were the case I'd be taking my vitamins every day, eating a completely plant based diet, well, one that contained fewer cookies anyway.  I'd be running 5x a week, cooking dinner from scratch 5x a week, and a whole lot of other great things that USED to be habits of mine.  That is until they weren't.

For me is has always been far easier to stop doing something than to start or even re-start.  An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.  You remember the theory.  And when I make writing every day a priority, after the first few days of struggle, the words come freely.  I sit down and ideas flourish, I am inspired.  But it is just so easy to stop.  To fall out of sync.  It's too easy!  I let it go and I don't know why. 

Beautiful, humorous, even pointless ideas sit along side my neatly sorted Mon.-Sun. vitamin organizer, untouched for weeks.  I peek at them each day knowing full well that it would only take a moment to pour them out and swallow them down, nourishing my body, my creativity, but I don't do it.  I close the cabinet door, the laptop screen and I sit.  Putting off things that are good for me in favor of doing nothing simply because it's easier.  Only I don't want easy.  I want inspiration, sweat, nourishment, commitment, habit, creativity. 

I want the momentum to stay.

And so for the next few days I will force it out, and the vitamins down.  In hopes of creating a new habit in only seven days, or so they say.

 Meanwhile this kid is g r o w i n g WAY too fast!




Monday, August 27, 2012

On repeat

We have had this slide sitting in the hallway for like six months!  It was mine as a child and I was so excited to set it up for Caches that I may have had Ryan assemble it a tad bit premature.  And so it sat, a perfect obstacle to stub a toe on for the past five months or so.

Then, about a month ago when I couldn't find the baby (What?  Oh, I'm soooo sure you never misplace your baby!) I peeked down the hall and there he was, standing on the platform grinning.  Oops.

Now he is quite comfortable going up and down though I still cringe every time he is climbing the stairs.  I mean toddlers aren't exactly steady or coordinated.  Nor do they pay ANY attention to what they are doing.  Caches, don't trip on Abner.  Caches the dog is right in front of you.  Caches LOOK DOWN FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!  I swear he might as well have his eyes closed!

Anyway, here is a video of him sliding.  He would slide his pants down first, then slide down himself, collect the pants and repeat over. and. over. and. over. 

video





Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Full disclosure

I don't particularly like mommy labels, "crunchy," "hippy dippy," "green," "attachment parenting," "crazy!"  Okay, maybe one of those is an obvious fit, but what about all the other ones?  Is there a score card that I need to fill out to see if I qualify as a true "attachment parent?"  What if I don't meet ALL the criteria?  Does that mean all my efforts will be in vain?  What do you mean I don't get extra "points" for rinsing poop out of diapers every day?  And what the heck does it mean to be "crunchy," anyway?

I'm going to be honest here, because I have a feeling that there are a lot of peaceful parenting, co-sleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, vinegar to clean everything, homemade granola bar making moms out there that are not.  I know, I said I don't like labels, but if I don't label myself for the sake of this post then how will I tell you how much I suck at all of it?

So, in case you were wondering...

I get touched out!  There are entire days when I don't want ANYONE touching me let alone breastfeeding off of one boob and trying to grope the other all with a foot in my throat

Sometimes I wish Cache would take a bottle, a pacifier, his dad, whiskey, anything but a boob

I fantasize about night weaning

I've offered a graham cracker instead of nursing on more than one occasion

Sometimes I want to sleep ALONE

ALL ALONE

I think a stroller is a fantastic invention and I'd like to use mine MORE!  Cache disagrees

I get tired of holding and/or picking up and putting down Cache all. the. time

I yell

I lose my temper

Sometimes it seems WAY easier to be UN-peaceful

I slam doors

I say things in frustration that I later regret

Sometimes I don't feel like stuffing diapers so I use disposables*

Sometimes I don't feel like washing diapers so I use disposables*

Sometimes I don't feel like changing another damn diaper, PERIOD

I buy granola bars

I buy Snickers bars

I eat ice cream for dinner... and I let Cache taste

I'd use the most toxic cleaner on the market if it promised to keep smears off of my stainless steel appliances.  Unfortunately this product DOES NOT exist

I have been known to lick, yes lick drips of yogurt etc. off of the counter rather than get a rag and wipe them up

I can't let go of my MAC concealer or red lipstick.  Crushed up red beetles and all

I have ignored my child more than once because I was perusing facebook, pinterist or instagram on my phone
 
And I'm sure there are a lot more ways in which I fail to be "attached," "crunchy," and "green," on a regular basis.  But that's okay because I never set out to be anything.  In fact I didn't even know what these things were until after Caches was born, seriously.  Well, I knew what it meant to be green, of course.  Just ask Ryan about the death stare I flash when he uses a paper towel for anything other than poop or vomit.

Here's the thing.  We all want to do the best for our kids, our bodies, our homes and our planet.  Well, most of us do anyway.  The problem is that the action is SO much harder than the idea!  I have fantastic ideas and intentions all day every day, but the action, ehh.  We are at about 75% on most days.

Cloth diapers are brilliant, really.  But the first time rinsing a HUGE poop out of one and not realizing that the diaper sprayer was on full blast spraying poop all over the bathroom and my face was a splash with reality!  No pun intended, gross.  Peaceful parenting with patience and loving guidance at all times.  Sounds lovely, but in reality it is very difficult to be peaceful at the end of a LONG day when baby is melting down, the dogs are going wild and you just dropped an entire watermelon on the freshly mopped floor.

So at every days end I try to take a moment and assess what I could have done better.  Some days it is A LOT and others I feel like I did pretty good.  All I can do is TRY to be the best me I can be and remember to B R E A T H E.  Oh, and hope that Caches doesn't remember the first say, ten years of his life!

*They are chlorine free, biodegradable disposables.  Can I still be in the club??

Monday, August 20, 2012

Toddler: a young child, usually one between the ages of one and two and a half

Caches likes to brush his teeth.  Correction, Caches LOVES to chew on a toothbrush brush his teeth.  If he sees a toothbrush up on a shelf in another room he will gasp in awe and raise his arm pointing at it in all it's Oral B glory.  This has always been a pretty easy "give in," for me.  I mean why not let him chew on a toothbrush.  We designated a toothbrush for him and keep it with ours so whenever we brush our teeth he joins in and chews on his toothbrush.  Fun.

The other morning we walked into the bathroom as per usual to brush teeth before our morning walk.  I grabbed both toothbrushes, put a dab of spry toothpaste on them and rinsed them under the faucet.  I put mine in my mouth and handed Caches his.  Simple, right?  Wrong.

He threw his arms to his side, stamped his foot and screeched!  Ummmm, okay.  Does this mean that you don't want the toothbrush?  Nope, he wanted mine.  As I brushed, I tried a few more times to hand him "his" toothbrush but this only served to further piss him off until he was a screaming mess on the bathroom floor. 

Huston, we have a toddler

Ah toddlers.  They are pretty darn cute, aren't they?   The drunken sailor walk.  Those sweet chatty babbling conversations.   The wispy curls.  The sense of adventure.  The waving and clapping.  The awe of their ever expanding world.  The hugs and kisses.  The intense LOVE!  And then there is the shrieking, the screaming , the crumbling in public, the pinching, the biting, the fingers in your nose, the fingers in your mouth, the spiting out of food, the refusal to eat any food, the spreading of food all over your house, the touching of EVERYTHING (usually with sticky  hands), and the ever famous temper tantrum. 

Kind of like puppies, I'm fairly certain that God made toddlers extra cute so we wouldn't be tempted to give them away when they say, peed on the rug.  And yeah, your toddler will probably do that too.

Buckle your seat belts, I have a feeling this wild ride is about to get even wilder.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tread lightly

"What did you do today?"

Seems like a simple, thoughtful question.  But ask this question to a mother at the end of her day and it may not exactly produce the response you were hoping for. 

Ryan and I have always checked in with each other during the day or at the work days end.  Just a quick reconnection, I like it, I think it is a nice habit to be in, but once I became a mom I kinda hated it! Like a lot.  All of a sudden it was a loaded question.  So much pressure!  I dreaded hearing it when Ryan came home from work.  "What did you today?" went form, oh Ryan is interested in my day to hey, Ryan is questioning me!  Or at least I felt like it did.

Because even I didn't know what I did all day!  The hours passed and I was exhausted, but I had nothing to show for it.  No interesting stories to share, no yummy dinner prepared.  Hell, I was still in my pajamas half the time, my hair a tossled mess.  Did I brush my teeth today?  

For quite some time I dug deep and tried to come up with something, anything to share about my day.  Oh, we went on a walk, looked at a toy, washed clothes (no way the were folded), I THOUGHT about cooking and now here we are...smile, smile.  What I wanted to yell say was, "What did I do all day?  Are you kidding me?  Your kid is alive, isn't he?"  I would get angry because I felt judged.  And I was extremely insecure, like I should have a better answer.  

You see, I'm used to accomplishing a lot during a 24 hour period.  I mean A LOT.  I don't dilly dally,  I don't sit still, I get shit DONE.  And I thought after having a baby that I would still be able to accomplish quite a lot in a day.  Okay, you can stop laughing now.  I honestly did.  I mean I knew it wouldn't be quite the list it was pre-baby, but I definitely thought I could manage a simple dinner and changing out of my pajamas!

But I couldn't, and I fought it SO hard. I beat myself up for MONTHS.  I would feel worthless at the end of a day.  What a horrible wife and mother I was.  Not only did my baby hate me and life in general, but my husband would grow to hate me too!  Not many men like to work all day and come home to a screaming baby, no dinner, no ironed shirts for work the next day and a stinky, brain dead wife who goes to bed at 7:00 to hold the baby all. night. long.

I was angry at myself for not being able to get things done, I was angry at my baby for not allowing me even a few moments to get things done and I was angry that my husband was asking me about all these things that were not getting done.  I spent a lot of time angry and it sucked!  

Then something wonderful happened.  Acceptance.  Why did it take me so long to accept that this was my reality?  Why did I fight SO hard?  In a nutshell, CONTROL!  I don't like not being in control of my body, my house, my schedule, my life!  And I was blessed with a baby who challenged  every single fiber of my being every single second of the day AND night!  He is hands down the most humbling thing in this world. 

I get more done these days, yes, but there are still some days when Caches needs to be held more than the vegetables need to be chopped and my night shirt is still on at noon.  And I pretty much never wear make up or straighten my hair.  And guess what, it still bothers me, but I am no longer angry.  Because what I accomplish in a day is more important than laundry, cooking or cleaning.  I am responsible for the well being of a person.  A tiny, spirited, impressionable person who thinks that climbing a latter when you turn your back on him is a good idea.  A tiny person who is going to grow up to be a big person who won't remember if the laundry was folded or the floors were mopped but who WILL remember that when he needed to be loved there was nothing more important to do.  




The day after Caches was born my doctor told us a story.  It was about a man who came home to complete chaos one day after work.  Children running wild, food and toys everywhere.  Later, he found his wife upstairs in the bath reading a book.  "What is going on?  Are you okay?" he asked.  "Yes," she replied.  "You know how every day you ask me what I did all day.  Well, today I didn't do it."

*Just so nobody calls Ryan and is like, "Oh my gosh.  Did you read Anne's latest blog!?: I am fortunate to have a husband who never asked this question with a condescending tone.  A husband who always reminded me that the baby was the most important thing and a husband who reminds me that I am loved and beautiful...as long as my armpits are shaved.