Monday, May 28, 2012

Damn it feels good to be right

"Trust me, you don't want your baby to walk."

"He will be so much more difficult once he is mobile."

"Keep him from walking/crawling as long as possible!"

"Enjoy him while he still wants to be held.  Once he is walking/crawling he will never want you anymore."

And the ever popular, "He's never going to learn to crawl/walk if you hold him all the time."

All you naysayers...I was right, you were wrong.

He is WAY happier now that he can walk around and explore.  Yes, he is non stop and is into absolutely everything, but I really don't mind.  I mean, putting things in the dog water bowl will lose its charm eventually, right?

And since I'm already tooting my own horn, I will point out that I too was right about the sequence in which he would do things.  Walk first, then crawl.  Oh, and he totally still wants to be held and cuddled it's just now I can actually PUT. HIM. DOWN!!

Oh glorious putting down of the baby for 5 whole minutes!  Oh wonderful peeing without a baby on my lap, where have you been all my life!?

Check out his swagger...

video

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Really, You Should Listen to This Advice

New mothers, soon to be mothers and hope to be a mothers.  I know that you don't get much advice from family and strangers (eye roll) so I have a little bit of advice for you.  It's not going to change your life or make parenting any easier.  It won't do your dishes, help your baby sleep, give you a better sex life or wipe your french bulldogs butt, but it WILL actually help.  At least I hope it will or I spent all this time straining my brain for nothing.

Ready?

#1.  Learn how to pick things up with your toes.
I'm telling you right now that this advice alone is worth reading all of my nonsensical gibberish.  If you are pregnant then this is the perfect time to practice and perfect this skill so that by the time your baby discovers that gravity is the coolest thing since sticking his fingers up your nose you can save yourself hundreds of back breaking bend overs. 

#2.  Lower and/or change your expectations.
In fact, have NONE!  It took me many months to figure this one out and when I finally did it made life oh so much more livable.  I wish I would have gone into this mother business with no expectations or ideas of what "normal" is, so I'm saving you the months of anguish.  Don't expect your life to look a certain way.  Don't try to force things to happen and try not to let the smudges on the refrigerator eat a hole in your soul!

#3. You will never sleep the same again.
Okay, so this isn't really "advice" per say, but it is something to wrap your head around.  Even if you are blessed with a really good sleeper, you will still not sleep the same as you did before you had children.  Why?  Because a piece of you is in the other room, or next to you, but still a  part of your heart is living on the outside and you will CONSTANTLY be aware of it.  You will become hyper aware of every noise, every breath, every wiggle.  I am pretty sure that I can hear Caches' heart beating at night while he sleeps.  Haha, I made a joke!  When he sleeps

#4. You will get WAY too much advice... kinda like this post, hummm
Give birth, heck, even announce that you are pregnant and all of a sudden you get 50 different opinions about child rearing.  It is overwhelming, sometimes heartfelt, but most often unsolicited and downright annoying.   Learn to IGNORE.  There is no reason to engage in a debate, try to prove a point, or even share why you are doing something unless the other person is genuinely interested and open minded; just smile and nod.

Smile and nod for two reasons.  First, because this usually makes said person think that you agree with them which makes them feel satisfied that they have saved your otherwise improperly parented baby.  They will usually then leave you alone.  Walk away slowly and don't so much as touch the baby until you are out of eyesight.  Second, because it is YOUR BABY!!  You carried it for 40+/- weeks, you gave birth, you are overflowing with hormones and intuition and YOU know what is best for your baby, really, you do! 

No book, no mother in law, no friends, no "child experts" know your baby!  They know their children, they know a little bit about your child, or have studied groups of children, but they don't know yours, not like you do.  And I promise you will not screw up your baby, it really can't be done!  Your toddler, adolescent or teenager on the other hand, you can totally fuck them up, so be careful. 

#5. You don't need so much crap
When I was pregnant I loved looking at baby stuff!  Still do in fact.  All the different strollers, clothes, blankets, diapers and carriers... There is an overwhelming amount of baby stuff out there and it is all so damn cute!  It is also all marketed the same way;  to in some way shape or form, make your life easier, make your baby sleep better, or shut your baby up when they just won't. stop. crying.

You don't need it!  Sure you need some things, of course you do, but the millions of options and gadgets and toys and bullshit is just not necessary!  A video monitor though, THAT is 110% mandatory.  How did people survive without the hidden camera in the baby room!?!?

#6. Let the baby be the book
I wish I wouldn't have read so many books about babies.  I wish I would have accepted that my baby wasn't like the babies in the books sooner.  I wish that I never wanted him to be "normal".  I wish I would have known better, and so I'm telling you.  PUT THE BOOK DOWN AND QUIT GOOGLING! 

Sure, there are good books out there and you may even find one that fits your style very well and offers some great insight, but every baby, every mama and every family is different.  You can not, nor should you strive to train your baby to be like "all the normal babies" in the books.   Yes, most babies fit into a basic pattern of feeding and sleeping but yours might not, and that's okay.  Or maybe it will, and that's great too.  But know this, you have a lot less control over it than you think.  Your baby is born with a personality all his own.  Try to follow your baby's cues and go with the flow.  Which leads me to my next bit...

#7.  The flow sucks sometimes
 Babies are black holes of need.  You will be tired and hormonal, you will want to kill your husband/partner/dog, at least once a week.  You will cry, think you are doing it all wrong, make mistakes, and it will be HARD!  You will get shit on, leak milk through your shirt, dread going poop and avoid trying on jeans for a while.  You will get frustrated, your baby will cry in spite of your best efforts to soothe him, you will look like hell, sometimes feel like hell and you will forget to shower...for days.  You will be pushed to your limit and then pushed some more. 

But know this; it will get easier.  I used to HATE HATE HATE when people would tell me this because in my case it took a LOOOOONG time, but it did.  It gets better and all the while you get better too.  And stronger and more confident as a mother.  And much more willing to let the dishes sit in the sick because you are tired and/or the clinking of porcelain and glass will wake your very light sleeper.  And guess what...the world will not end because you go to bed leaving dishes in the sink!  Crazy, right?!  I totally thought it would too!

#8. You can not spoil a baby
No really, you can't.  So hold that baby as much as you both want and don't worry about it.  From a mother who at times held her baby 20+ hours a day, when baby is ready to be more independent he will be.  

#9. There isn't a #9 or #10.  Kinda drives you crazy, doesn't it.  Me too


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Checking In

I PROMISE a real post is coming soon.  And since I capitalized promise, clearly that means it will happen, right?  I hope so!  I mean, I actually have things to write about.  Like Caches' black eye, slap cheek syndrome and mystery bruise on his left butt cheek.  The poor kid looks abused!  I'm half expecting CPS to show up on my doorstep...And I'd say take him away, please!

Kidding, of course, but with all the walking, crawling and exploring he's doing bumps and bruises are inevitable.  This kid isn't just walking, he is OUT OF CONTROL moving and shaking.  He's a little lightening bolt and I'm not the least big surprised.  One second he's right next to me chewing on a toy and the next thing I know he's making a break for the door, chasing the dog, teasing the cat, dumping the water bowl AGAIN or grabbing knives out of the dishwasher!!!  Maybe someone should call CPS? 

 His black eye is now in the "greenish" stage and will soon turn that gross yellowish color before it fades to reveal his slap and/or eczema cheek.  And because the doctor is unsure of what the rash under his eyes is...no more dairy for me.  I'm not going to lie, I cried an ice cream flavored tear when I heard the news, but honestly, it is better for BOTH of us if I cut out dairy.  I always feel better when I don't eat a lot of it and the fact that it could improve not only his skin but mine is just an extra bonus. 

So, real post coming, and if I can rub these two remaining brain cells together long enough we may have a masterpiece.  For now, I'm going to eat a vegan cookie and go to bed...at 7pm...because I. AM. A. ZOMBIE.  Don't worry though, my cookie is vegan, no brains, yet.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Kind of Thank You Card

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new."  ~Rajneesh

Today is Mother's Day and while a big part of me says, "Hallmark Holiday," an even bigger part says thank you.  Thank you to my mother who through grace, love, persistence and patience not only raised me to be the woman I am, but also the mother I am to my own son.  I always knew that I was loved unconditionally by my mother, but I now have a profound understanding and appreciation of the deep, almost painful love a mother feels for her child. 

Gail, Ryan's mother, thank you for raising the incredible man who became my husband and now is the father of my son.  I don't think he would be the man he is today without your love, patience and support.  I strive for my own son to grow into such a man. 

Caches, thank you for making me a mama.  You don't know it yet, and you may never fully understand, but you have completely changed me.  Never have I felt more brave, more inspired; you are the person I want to be the best for.

To all the moms who read this silly little blog, thank you.  Thank you for opening your hearts to me and listening to my stories.  Thank you for doing the laundry, sweeping the floor, scrubbing the toilet, cleaning up the vomit and waking up at 2am to feed the baby.  Thank you for remembering where your husband left his keys, for buying apples at the store, making dinner, losing sleep, missing showers, rocking your baby rather than dusting the living room and for doing it AGAIN AND AGAIN!  Thank you for all the thankless thing you do. There is no more difficult, more heartbreaking, more rewarding job than that of a mother.  And for that, I thank you. 

 
Month One







Month 10







Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kinda Pathetic

Hey Anne, way to post about your new website and get all pumped and then drop the ball big time by not even touching the blog for a week+.  I'm fairly certain nobody lost any sleep over it, but sorry.  I really have no grand excuse or clever complaint this week, and I'm pretty sure you are tired of hearing that I'm tired.  So let's just put it behind us and move on, shall we?  This week I have had quite a few, "I should totally blog about that." moments,  I just never put pen to paper finger to key.  What was I going to write about but never did you ask?  Well I'll tell you...

I intended to write about how in one weeks time, Caches has gone from not knowing how to crawl AT ALL, seriously he would just lay there on his belly and whine, to now crawling all over!

I intended to write about how in this same week Caches has gone from taking only a few little baby steps to full on holy shit the kid is about to walk out the back door!!!  He is out of this world crazy excited about being on the move.  I still have some adjusting because it's happened so fast, but I am trying to rub my two remaining brain cells together and remember that the baby can MOVE! 

I was also planning on finishing up a post about my amazing husband but it remains unfinished.  It was his birthday this past Monday and I really wanted to have it ready to post by then but obviously that didn't happen.  It pretty much says how wonderful he is and that I'd probably be sleeping in a cardboard box on the street by now without him.  I will in fact finish it soon.

I even considered writing my thoughts on the explosive TIME magazine article about attachment parenting/breastfeeding but I think just about every single person on the internet has beat me to it. In a nutshell, I think it is a shame that TIME used such a blatantly inflammatory photograph on their cover sensationalizing the act of nursing a toddler in order to sell magazines and missing a real opportunity to share the ideas of attachment parenting. Sigh

I was even going to complain about how filthy my floors are due to the fact that I haven't given them a proper cleaning in months, yes MONTHS!  Oh call the floor police!  I'M TIRED!  Anyway, I was drinking my second cup of luke warm, sixth time microwaved coffee while Caches played on the questionably clean floor when it hit me.  I could probably turn cleaning the floor into a game that he would enjoy.  I was wrong.  All he wanted to do was drink the cleaner.  The floor is still dirty. 

So there it is.  A summary of my intentions for writing over the past 10 days.  Maybe this week I'll get some real writing done. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sea of Change

I have been writing with blogger for a few years now and while I like it, I am out of free storage and don't want to pay ready for a change . I don't do well with change which may explain why it has taken me MONTHS to make this announcement but here goes: My blog will soon be moving. 

A work in progress would be a bit of a stretch because honestly, I haven't been working too much on the new site.  I have the best of intentions, but always seem to get sidetracked or choose five minutes with my eyes closed rather than working.  So I'm hoping that by announcing the move I will be motivated to work harder and get the new site up and running. 

All content will be moved over and hopefully, if I can focus long enough to learn how to do it, you will be able to search for content,  "like" me on facebook, sign up for an RSS feed, follow me on twitter and roll your eyes because why the HELL do you care what I'm tweeting?!? 

My hope is to get more followers/comments providing with motivation to keep writing.  Maybe I'll even get some haters.  Nothing like bored people reading something they don't like just so they can comment and feel better about themselves.  Haters, you are welcome too; I like you, I really do. 

So where is the site moving?  What will the new web address be?  Where can I buy a t-shirt and coffee mug? 

The new web address is: www.anneofgreenfables.com  All you will see right now is a mugshot of Caches, but hopefully over the next few weeks everything will be up and runnnig. 

Care to explain?  Why yes, I do.  Obviously it is a play on Anne of Green Gables, which by the way, I have never read, but I like the sound  of it and it is not easily forgotten, a household name if you will.  Anne, that's me.  Of, kinda needs to be there for it to work.  Green, I would consider myself a lover of the earth.  Fables, I tell stores here. 

As for the shirt and coffee mug, I would totally make you one if requested.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 Months

Caches Michael,

Today you are 10 months old, double digits!  I know I say this every month, but wow, how is it that 10 whole months have already past!  Wasn't it just yesterday that you were a helpless newborn barley able to hold the weight of your head, with swollen eyes and tightly clenched fists?  When did you start to become more like a toddler and less like a baby?!?  It's already happening, there is now way of stopping it...you are growing up.

And the time is going way too fast.  There are moments, like when you curl up in a little ball and fall asleep in my arms that I want to stop the clock, break out a bottle, and pickle that moment so I can have it forever on a shelf to admire.  And I would take it out and stare hard at it when we have a bad day or when my patience is running thin.  Caches, we would have a whole pantry of pickled moments, a bomb shelter full! 

I know that sometimes I dwell on the negative things, like your detestation for sleeping and my accomplishing anything in the way of household chores.  But when I really think about it, I suppose I should be flattered.  That a person enjoys my company enough to demand in not only all day, but all night as well.  Hell, even I get tired of me after a while.  But not you, not my sweet curly haired boy, you still want mama.  Unshaven, unshowered, food stained t-shirt, holey yoga pant, frizzy hair, stinky arm pit mama. 

Sigh.  I can already picture when you won't.

It won't be long, you are walking on your own and getting better, and braver every day.  You cruise all around the house and have even taken to using Abner as a walker when he is handy.  Caches, you LOVE Abner.  Your word for Abner is "buh" and every time you see him, he barks, or you want to see him you utter this over and over.  When you hear him barking from the other room you grab a hand and drag a willing body with you to see your "buh"  You also like to take his bones, water bottles, stuffed toys or anything else he could be chewing on and tease him by pretending you are going to eat it.  It's kind of mean, but actually pretty funny.

You are so funny!  Within this past month your personality has really started to develop and shine.  You giggle and squeal over the silliest of happenings and you make goofy faces and out of this world weird noises.  When you are happy, you are HAPPY, but baby boy, when you are mad holy shit you are M A D!  You do not hold back your emotions, and while this can be extremely trying, it is also rather endearing.  We adults are so jaded and accustomed to holding back how we really feel, sucking it up and doing things we don't want to do, but not you!  If I so much as look at you the wrong way I am made quickly and loudly aware.  At some point you will need to take it down a notch, but in the mean time, enjoy it. 

Something else that has really developed this past month is your hair!  Oh my goodness the curls!  The soft, perfect, wispy baby curls that make women swoon.  Caches, your hair is perfection.  I know that some day you will want to cut it, dye it, shave it, braid it, who knows, but for the time being, while you still don't know that you are allowed to have an opinion about your hair, I'm letting it run wild! 

And along with your hair, I hope you run wild.  There is so much out there for your to discover, to explore.  So much dirt to dig in, rocks to shovel, water to splash in, and trees to climb.  Sure, there will be skinned knees and splinters, hurt feelings and frustrations, but run wild my curly haired son.  For no matter what happens, mama will always be here with open, albeit stinky, arms to hold you.

Love,
Mama

*There are no pictures because my laptop contracted a gnarly virus that a dear family friend is working to fix.  Once I get the computer back I'll update. 






They will change your life

Guest editorial by The Husband and curator of the crazy museum

Today marks the first time I have felt compelled to join the emotional venting production team of cleanfloorsdirtypaws/diapers. One would think it would be to promote something fantastic that my darling son has accomplished or failed to accomplish, or to sneakily praise my wife for her ridiculous natural ability of mothering this hen house of nitwits. Sadly it's neither. I'm here to glorify and sing the praises of my most cherished companion, the Bitch named Lilly.

Lilly,
Today you are Nine years old. The bright autumn red of your coat is slowly receding to the encroaching whiteness of your paws and muzzle, yet it has done so, so gracefully that I only seem to notice while looking at pictures from your youth and comparing them to the present.

A man and his dog, is not that the truest love?

You are the sassiest bitch on the block, and continue to add to the list of things you will not do:

walk on wet grass, concrete, or asphalt
 pee on grass that has already been peed on
go outside in the rain
go to bed without flapping your ears a dozen times
take a bath willingly
sit in the car space that you have been provided with
stop licking your feet with slow lapping tongue flaps
walk on leash in a straight line
leave any item of food or potential food wrapped in plastic unconsumed
leave my side, under any conditions.

I am the father, husband, and son, I am today; because of you. You are my shadow;  my constantly concerned admirer, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't want to thank you.

I'm sorry for all the times I spanked you, called you a whore, or yelled at you for doing something you(in your eyes) absolutely had to do do. Your arrogance is part of your charm. I have no credibility as I have no justification for my disgust of mayonnaise, seafood, or women who accentuate "s" sounds when they talk.

You have accepted the additions of your slightly damaged bulldog brother, bulimic flea bag sister, compulsive vacuuming, walk Nazi of a mother, and are as patient as one of your age and stature can be expected to be with the ever poking and prodding of  Caches.

People see us and they say,"That's what it's like to have a dog? We should get a dog!" I want to tell them it takes a lot of work and patience, vet bills, sleepless nights.........ect. In the end all it really takes is love, and the right dog.

So stretch out in the sun, lick your feet, chase the cat, eat something we forgot to put away, today is your day. Just know that you mean the world to me. All who know me are grateful for the impact that you have made on my life.  I couldn't have done it without you.

Love,
dad

P.S..  you are still the fastest dog on the beach, and the scourge of squirrels and rabbits the world over.