Monthly Archives: July 2010

You Can Speak Your Mind…

…but not on my time.

Oh Billy Joel, you talented drunk.

I try not to get involved in debates about how to raise my daughter.  Not with my mother (sorry Mom) or the in-laws or my friends.  And I especially do not want to get drawn into a debate with a relative stranger.

Guess what?  My daughter uses a pacifier.  Big freaking deal.

I will admit that I didn’t want her to use one.  Not because I am morally opposed to them, but I didn’t want to have to deal with the drama of taking it away from her when she got too old.  Would sucking her thumb be any better?  No.  Do you know why?  Because you can’t just take her thumb away from a kid and tell them they aren’t allowed to suck it anymore.  I’m sure that would work splendidly.

Lorelei went through a phase – the same phase that all babies go through I’m sure – when she constantly wanted to suck.  As a new mother who still had no idea what she was doing, I thought maybe she was just hungry.  But no.  I would try to nurse her and she would scream bloody murder after five seconds but then would want to suck more.  I had no idea what she wanted and there I was just muddling through.  I was tired and my boobs were sore (you’re welcome) and there is nothing worse than listening to my baby cry and not have anything to fix it.  So we got her a binky and the relief was almost instantaneous, like a heating pad on a sore muscle.

Sure there are days when she is really dependent on them and (god forbid) if it falls out of her mouth while she’s sleeping it is THE END OF THE WORLD but mostly she does without them.  She is more interested in shoving whatever random thing lying around the apartment into her mouth and pulling books off of shelves and playing with remote controls.

So, lady who I don’t know: you can say that you don’t let your grandkids use their pacifiers when they’re at your house but I really don’t give a shit.  I do what I have to so that my daughter is happy and healthy.  And I’m sure the older she gets the more things that I will discover I have to compromise on.

If I ask for your advice, please give it.  But don’t judge me and I will do my best not to judge you.  No one is perfect.  We are all just muddling through.

Exhausted But…

Almost every night if you asked me how I was feeling the response would be Exhausted.  Usually, it’s exhausted and something.  Most frequently exhausted and sick.  Exhausted and depressed.  But Monday was an exhausted but kind of day.

Exhausted but happy.

The sky was overcast but not so dark that it looked like it would be raining soon and the temperature had not reached the level of fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk hot.  Baby girl and I ventured out to the botanical gardens for an early-ish morning stroll.  (Thanks to a very generous gift from great-grandma Madelyn, we are now members so I am no longer dependent on the always overcrowded free hours on Wednesday and Saturday mornings!)

First, we saw a dinosaur!

Apparently, the botanical gardens has started some sort of Jurassic Park like dinosaur cloning program.

Not really.

We saw droplets on freshly watered flowers:

By accident, I ended up in the Japanese garden:

We essentially walked the entire perimeter of the gardens which means I got a really good work out for a change!  Lorelei had a really good time though:

Yes.  She loves sticking her tongue out.  What’s your point?

We napped in the afternoon, I planned a menu and then we (along with the help of my friend Desiree) hit up the holy trinity of stores: Whole Foods, Target and Trader Joe’s.

It was long day but I was happy.

Sweet Tooth

I love doughnuts.  Especially my friend Rory’s homemade doughnuts.  Or, since she had to up and move to Oregon, I’ll settle for a maple log.  MMMM…maple log.  *drool*  Unfortunately, doughnuts are no longer a part of my diet.  That does not, however, prevent me from purchasing chocolate flavored lip balm in a snazzy container:

Oh yeah.  Add that to the list of toys that aren’t really toys that Lorelei likes to play with.  Or maybe she has just inherited my sweet tooth.

No Words

I swear I had planned on a happy post today.  I was going to the tea room to hang with my friend Desiree and a few other people and I was anticipating a good time.  And it was fine until…

Brian called.

He had gone to our house to get our friend’s stuff to put into our storage unit until she needed/wanted it.  Turns out that someone had broken in.  They smashed in a window, cut the line to our alarm system and stole our refrigerator and stove.  They also tried to steal our washing machine by smashing the pipes that connected to it.  For whatever reason, they didn’t manage to steal it.  Thank goodness for small favors I guess.

I want to know what I did to the universe that it has decided to fuck with me so much.

I feel sick and sad.  I know that we didn’t live there anymore and I was doing my best to forget about that part of our life to avoid the depression I feel about it.  But I hate to think about our house ruined in that way.  We lived there for three years, it was home and someone thoughtlessly destroyed it.

I don’t know what else to say.  There are no words to describe how completely devastated I feel.

Scared

I wish there was something happy and magical and uplifting that I could write in this space today.

I worry that my blog is too depressing and people will think that all I do is complain.

I try to be better.  I try to find something positive to say.

But today I’m really down.

This morning, we set the Pack ‘n Play up on the front porch and let the daughter go to town.  She had her rings and her monkey and her lemur that makes a weird noise when you squeeze it.  She was happy.  I was happy.  It was early still and the heat of another July day in St Louis hadn’t set in yet.  A light breeze drifted through the big trees in front of our building, shading us from the worst part of the glaring sun.  It was one of those perfect moments when, for just a few seconds, I was completely content with my life.  I was able to forget the things that keep my up at night, sick with anxiety.  I could ignore that dull icky feeling that is a constant part of my life.  I had my husband, I had my daughter and they were happy.

I don’t know what happened.  I can’t pinpoint what it was that made me want to just crawl into bed and shut the door.  I don’t know why I just wanted to be alone.

I’m lonely.

I don’t know why I often feel the desperate need to be alone when I barely see anyone other than the baby and Brian and the cashiers at Target.  I want so badly to have a connection with other people but, at the same time, I’m afraid to go out and find it.  I am not a very outgoing person.  I’m not one of those people who is comfortable striking up a conversation with a random stranger.  Yesterday, there was an older lady in the laundry room with me and, since Lorelei was with me, she started talking about her grandkids and asking questions about my daughter.  It was nice, but at the same time I wanted to disappear.  I felt awkward and stupid.

Even online, with the relative anonymity that the internet provides, I feel like that nerdy girl in high school with the poor fashion sense and bad hair who hated wearing make-up and preferred to be over-committed after school than have a real social life.  Sometimes, I remember so clearly the feeling I had at all the senior parties as I sat mostly in the background and wondered when one of my (very few) friends was going to show up so that I wouldn’t be all by myself.  There are a lot of really wonderful women who’s blogs I frequent that I feel like I know.  I want to meet them in person.  I want to hug them and tell them how awesome I think they are and how much I appreciate everything they’ve written.  I feel really lucky that I stumbled upon one of their sites which led me to another and another so that everyday I get to feel inspired or I get to laugh or even I get to cry.  But what do they think of me?  Do they want to meet me?  Do they come here and read my whining and ranting and even my gushing baby loving posts and think I am a big fat loser?

Okay.

I know that they probably don’t think that.  In fact, I know that they don’t think that.  But I’ve always been the self-conscious shy little girl and I don’t think that’s a part of me that will ever change.

But I will try.  I will take risks and try to forge friendships and try new things.  Because I don’t want Lorelei to have this crushing feeling of insecurity.  I want her to be brave.  I want her to be the girl who runs up to the kid who is sitting alone on the sidelines and ask to be their friend.  We need more people in the world like that because there are already enough of us who are too scared to be the one to make the first move.

Stay-At-Home

Today, I was literally a stay-at-home mom.  I did not leave the apartment once – unless you count walking to the laundry room as leaving.  Most days I would go completely insane if I didn’t go anywhere.  I almost always try to have one errand to run, one fun trip planned to the zoo or the gardens, or heck even a trip to the local coffee shop for a change of scenery.  Today, mostly by choice I was stuck at home.

Recently, Brian has been driving to work and coming home for lunch and then taking the train back to the office.  It gives me a little extra time to get myself going in the morning and, as an added bonus, he gets to see me during the day and eat something that doesn’t come from a can that says “Chef Boyardee” on it.  Now, on Wednesdays (also Mondays), Brian teaches an ACT-prep class which runs until nine and because public transportation sucks here, he doesn’t get home until almost eleven.  I would love to pick him up, but Lorelei is in bed by 8:30 at the latest and she is just now starting to sleep normally so I don’t want to mess with the schedule if I don’t have to.  I was feeling generous, and since just the idea of leaving the apartment when the heat index is in the 100-degree range made me sweaty, I told him to go ahead and take the car tonight.

I won’t go into all the mundane details of what was a pretty normal day for us, but there are a few things that made it interesting: she is wicked fast.  Earlier today, I was letting her do her thing like I normally do – only stopping her when she started to get into trouble – but I blinked and she was gone.  I hear a clanking noise coming from the vicinity of the dining room so I rush in.  We have a wine rack that we have not yet figured out what to do with so it is currently shoved in the corner of the room next to the bookcase.  There are only two bottles in it – both on the bottom – so the damage she could inflict would be minimal.  Naturally, I drag her away if she starts to mess with it, but I wasn’t fast enough.  She had pulled out one of the bottles and was smacking her hands on it like it was a musical instrument.  That’s my little wino!  I considered grabbing the camera to document the hilarity, but I figured I’d filled my bad mother quota for the day already so I just took it away.

We played some peek-a-boo, which she somehow figured out how to do on her own.  She’ll cover her head with a blanket:

And then we’ll say “Where’s Lorelei?” and she’ll do this:

She’ll laugh like a maniac and, quite frequently, fall over.

So despite the fact that I really was a stay-at-home today, we had fun.  She mostly behaved and she even came with me to do laundry.  Did I mention that it looks like it’s about to storm and my laundry is still in the dryer?  Hold me.

Five Second Lunch

Well, it’s technically more like five minutes.

As someone who used to live off of lunch meat and cheese sandwiches for lunch because they took no time at all, it’s been hard for me to come up with quick and easy meals to make for myself during the day.  Lorelei is generally okay playing by herself for a little bit, but beyond five – maybe ten – minutes and she starts to get really cranky.  This morning – last night? – I was thinking about what I had in the fridge and this is what I came up with, apologies for the lack of measurements:

Spinach Salad with Fresh “Fruit”

  • 2 Chicken breast tenderloins
  • Greek seasoning
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baby spinach (duh), a few cups worth
  • 4-5 medium or large strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • handful of grape tomatoes, diced or whole depending on your preference
  • goat cheese

Season chicken tenders with greek seasoning.  Grill.

While the chicken is cooling, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar (I used about equal parts) and a dash of greek seasoning to make your dressing.  Toss with your spinach, strawberries and tomatoes.  Arrange on salad on plates.  Add diced chicken and crumbled goat cheese on top.  Yummy.

Serves two.  So good, so easy and a good way to use up leftover produce from other recipes.

Reality. It Sucks.

This weekend was great.  Awesome even.  It was two days of almost total relaxation.  Saturday, I lounged for an hour all alone at SBux and read.  I got to have a friend over for our apartment’s monthly BBQ and we got to go swimming with the little bit.  Sunday was my birthday.  Brian almost completely took over the care of the baby while I slept and lounged in bed.  I got pedicures at the mall with two of my good friends and then we wandered around for an hour.  And then, happiest part, second date night post-baby for my birthday dinner.  Gluten-free pasta carbonara with lobster and a pomegranate martini.  It was heavenly.

Today, however, is sucking the big one.

Because I’m dumb, I scheduled a teeth cleaning for the husband and myself at eight o’clock this morning.  A fact which I forgot repeatedly over the last several days.  I hate the dentist.  I take okay care of my teeth, thank goodness, but every time I get the lecture about brushing better and flossing.  I’ll get right on th- LORELEI STOP GETTING INTO THE TRASH CAN!  Oh yeah.  Most mornings I’m lucky to shower and get deodorant on.

Despite that, not a bad trip.  A mostly painless half an hour and then it was back home.  Back home to extreme nausea, the shakes and a fever.  Seriously.  Almost passed out just from the effort of changing the baby’s diaper.

Can we go back to this weekend please?  That was so much better than this reality.

Things That Are Making Me Happy Today

The weather is still hovering at the edge of unbearable like this summer is saying Eff you, but despite all that, I’m having trouble not being in a good mood.  Here’s why:

1) Baby Feet Especially those of the standing up variety.  All of a sudden, despite the fact that she hasn’t gotten the whole crawling thing totally down yet, Lorelei has moved on to pulling herself up into a standing position.  Yesterday afternoon, while I sat on my bedroom floor folding laundry, she “army crawled” her way over to the bathroom and into the tub room (we have a weird “Jack and Jill” style bathroom with the tub/shower in the middle).  She was chattering away and seeing as there is nothing really in there that she could get into that would hurt her, I left her pretty much alone – well, as alone as you checking every 5 seconds to make sure she hasn’t done anything she shouldn’t.  But then she had to go and pull herself up using the edge of the tub as support and well, we spent fifteen minutes doing this:

and also this

2) Starbucks Well, going there by myself and spending an hour curled up in an armchair with my decaf iced caramel macchiato (yes, I am that lame) and a good book.

3) Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp Loving it!  I’m not really a big mystery fan, but this one is a lot of fun to read.  Bonus: I “know” the author’s daughter (one day I hope I don’t have to put quote marks around that word)

4) Julie I love her to death.  I can’t believe I only met her a year ago (doubly weird since we went to the same school and she worked in a “sister” department of the one Brian worked in).  She came over this afternoon and went with us to our apartment complex’s BBQ/Pool Party.  Well, we went to the BBQ part and then went to the other pool (I know you’re jealous that I live somewhere with two pools) and played around in the water with Lorelei.

5) Blake My lovely friend in New Orleans is turning 29 today.  She is exactly – well, not down to the minute – 366 days older than I am.

I also am anticipating a good day tomorrow.  It’s my birthday!  I would be happy to just get some time to sleep in, but I’m going to get mani/pedis with a couple friends and then (if we can find a babysitter) going out for dinner with the hubby.  Nothing fancy, but a couple hours alone would be nice.  I hope everyone else has a good weekend!

The Great Diaper Struggle

Lorelei has entered a phase where she hates – and I mean HATES – getting her diaper changed.  In the past, she’s would be a bit rolly, but in the last few days it has reached epic proportions.  EPIC.

I’ll put her on the changing pad and almost immediately she will twist herself around to try to reach the bin full of changing supplies (she’s particularly fond of the wipes package).  I try to distract her with other things she can wave around – burp clothes, her pants, a clean diaper – but that never works.  So here I am trying to keep her from rolling off the changing pad (buckling her down seems to make it worse) while she screams as if I’m torturing her.

I’m about at my wits end.  I hate it when she cries like that.  I actually feel physical pain listening to her pathetic screams, but no matter how gentle I am with trying to get her rolled back over, she’ll arch and scream and…ugh.  So what normally would only take a minute is taking five and I have to hope she doesn’t pee everywhere while she’s trying to escape me and OH MY GOD cloth diapers make it worse.  Not only do I have to get the cover in position but I have to make sure the diaper is lined up so that if she poops it doesn’t run all out the back.

Anyone have advice on how to wrestle with a squirmy baby without causing a scream session?