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?