Monthly Archives: October 2010

A.W.O.L.

Hey.  Did you miss me?  Well, I’ve been busy.  My friend, Karen, was in town from New York and she hung out with me most of Friday afternoon.  I picked her up from the airport, we wandered around Wash U’s campus, we napped.  Saturday was a busy day of baking and preparing for my church’s trivia night.  Trivia nights, as we all know, are very serious business.  Especially, when costumes are involved:

“Viktor Krum” and “Harry Potter”

Be impressed with Josh (Krum)’s costume because he made it himself AND he only decided on his character the day before.

“Death Eater” Frank and Lorelei

Originally, we were going to actually dress Lorelei up as Hedwig, but we couldn’t find an owl costume that didn’t look totally stupid.  Instead, she was The Owlery, complete with sign (made 10 minutes before we left the house) and stuffed owl.

The whole crew: The Owlery (Lorelei), Generic Hogwarts Student (Cecily), Fleur (Beth), Voldemort (Erich), Death Eaters (Frank and Julie), Professor Trelawney (Meredith), Viktor Krum (Josh), Ginny Weasley (Me) and Harry Potter (Brian)

You can’t really tell, but I did put some comb-in dye in my hair.  However, I didn’t buy nearly enough to get all of it dyed.  Surprisingly, we did not win the costume contest.  Lame.

Then today was Julie’s shower at the tea room:

Place Setting and favors

Tower of cupcakes

The Bride

Now, I think I need to sleep for several days to recover from all this fun.

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Finding My Balance

That dark day two weeks ago was one of the worst I’ve had since Lorelei was born – dear Lord, almost a year ago – but since then I have been trying to keep myself from burrowing deeper into my pit of depression.  Everyday, instead of battling with myself to just get out of bed – although that is still a struggle – I tell myself that it will be a good day.  I say it over and over in my head.  It will be good, it will be good, it will be good…

I admit that there are some days that are easier than others.  If Lorelei has slept well the night before and, by extension, I have slept well the night before, it is easy.  I can be up and fed and (every other day) showered and dressed by nine.  I know that seems late, but that’s when I’m dressed, I will have been doing things already.  I just enjoy my time in my bathrobe.  I can go whole hours without wanting to burst into ugly tears.  I might even go a whole day without wanting to yell at Brian.

(Side note: thank goodness for my understanding husband who, most of the time, does not take it personally that I’m being a bitch to him.  It’s just that my frustration gets the better of me and he provides a convenient outlet.  Or punching bag, although not literally.  I’m working on not doing that anymore; however, I know it’s going to take a lot of time.)

This is me.  I’m recommitting myself to a positive attitude.  I’m trying a new thing.  As a self-proclaimed list nerd, I’ve broken out one of the thousand notebooks I own.  Everyday, I write down my menu plan for the day, the things I need to do – errands to run, chores around the house – and then any activities/appointments or calls I need to make.  It seems a little OCD and, for people who juggle work and family and a thousand other things, I’m sure they wish they could organize their days so easily.  But for me, struggling to even get dressed some days, having a list that can be crossed off – even if it’s just “make the bed” – helps more than anything else.

I’m finding my balance.  Sometimes I falter and fall.  Some days, nothing gets crossed off the list.  But the next day, I try again and a few more things are accomplished.  Lorelei has her story time and her crawler class.  We go to the gardens or the play ground.  She’s happy and sometimes that’s all I need to make me feel better.

Now matter how terrible I feel some days, when she smiles at me, I can’t help but smile back.  When she laughs, when I tickle her belly, when she wobbles as she learns to walk, when she chatters “bweeb bweeb weeb.”  I know I’ve made the right decision.  This is where I need to be and though some days are downright painful, I will continue to try my best.

For your amusement, a couple other things:

  1. I found someone else’s lacy thong in the laundry I was folding this morning.  One of the downsides of coin-operated machines in an apartment complex.  That and the pillowcase that went missing and we can’t replace because Target DOESN’T MAKE THEM ANYMORE!
  2. Last night, there was a shriek outside in the parking lot.  This is still a better place to live than where we were before.
  3. Old Navy needs to stop sending me e-mails with NEW! SALES! every single day, I do not need to spend anymore money on clothes for Lorelei.  But, it’s so cute I can’t resist!
  4. I don’t have a forth thing
  5. Or a fifth

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Steps

Over the last couple of weeks, Lorelei has started to walk.  Not in the strictest definition of that word, but she has taken steps.  She can crouch and pick something up from the floor.  She will take a hesitant step, pause, take a step, crouch down, take a step…fall over.  Soon she will be running.

Thankful Thursday: Sick Baby Edition

This week’s post is brought to you by Lorelei’s cold.  That’s right folks, my baby who never gets sick was down with the sniffles for the better part of the last week.  Fortunately, there was no fever and she is much better today.  Thank goodness for that because I was getting tired of her screaming every time I tried to use the nasal aspirator on her – you know so she could breath – and having to wipe nasty snot off her face with my hand.  Let me tell you, wet boogers hanging out of a baby’s nostril is about as disgusting as it sounds.

On to my thanksgivings:

1. My other husband Getting a Massage
With everything that has been going on over the last six months, I had to freeze my membership at the massage place.  (Don’t I sound like the snobbiest person ever?)  Of course, the last six months have been really hard and I have needed a massage like whoa.  On Tuesday, finally, I got the chance.  I love my massage therapist, Nate.  Yes, he’s a dude and no, I don’t care that I’m naked under that sheet.  My back and shoulder had been giving me trouble since I fell out of the swing the other week and now they are better.  Thanks Nate!

2.  Being a domestic diva
Sunday, I cooked and baked.  A lot.  I put a double batch of Acorn Squash Coconut Curry Bisque into the crock pot and froze half.  I baked two apple pies and froze one.  I made a big dish of chile cheese grits and meatloaf.  It’s been nice having food already ready to go this week.  I’ve been struggling with cooking dinner every night – especially with a cranky, sniffly baby – but this week, there have been no issues.

3. Crawler’s Class
Can I just say that I was relieved when Lorelei was well enough to go to class this morning?  Not just because I didn’t want another day of crankypants baby, but because she loves this class.  And I love that she has been asleep for almost three hours.  This is the first decent, drama-free nap she’s taken in weeks.  Hallelujah!

What’s everyone else thankful for this week?

(Belated) Thankful Thursday

I started writing a post yesterday afternoon while the baby was napping.  Unfortunately, after only 20 minutes the maintenance guys decided to come by and change the air filter.  Naturally, this required a lot of banging around which woke Lorelei up.  And she would. not. go. back. to. SLEEP.  The day spiraled downward from there.

I was in a very bad place but since I didn’t want to clutter up this space with more of my depressed writings, it’s over here.  Feel free to read it or not, it’s up to you.  On to some thanksgivings!

1. Frank & Meredith
Last night, you let me crash your dinner out together.  I don’t think I would have made it through the night if you hadn’t been so willing to let me join you.  Also, thank you for not thinking I was completely weird for having Brian be the one to call you.  Special thanks to Frank for keeping Lorelei entertained while she was in her high chair, usually after fifteen minutes she is ready to be out of it and crawling around.

2.  Story Time
At least I know that Lorelei will be occupied for half an hour twice a week.  Also, thanks for being a reason for me to leave the house.

3.  Swings
No words are necessary:

What’s everyone thankful for this week?

Fall at the Botanical Gardens

This morning the weather actually felt like fall.  It was cool with a gentle breeze.  Since it had been more than a month since my last trip to the gardens, I decided it was time.  It was a perfect morning.

The Climatron reflecting in the lily pond

Chihuly glass Walla Walla Onions

Lorelei plays at the “General Store” in the Children’s Garden

Gourds

Sunlight off the Chihuly gate sculpture

Big Girl Tub

Starting last week, Lorelei figured out that she could climb out of her baby bathtub.  Not all the way out, but she could grab a hold of the real tub and pull herself up.  I saw disaster in our future if I let that continue.  Last night I made up a big girl bath for her.

She hated it.

Lucky for me, Brian had just gotten home from class when this whole process started otherwise it would have been a complete disaster.  She screamed and cried.  She tried to climb on top of me – yes I was in the bath with her – not that it made her feel any better.  I don’t know if it was the combination of bubbles and the sound of the tub filling up.  Maybe the water was too hot.

We’ll try again tonight.

Eleven Months, One Day

Dear Lorelei,

Normally, I would use this space to list all of your accomplishments over the last month and lament the swift passage of time.  But I have to start off with a small, teensy tiny, itsy-bitsy compaint.  Right now, at this moment, I am completely exhausted.  Why? you ask.  I will tell you.  The last several nights have been possibly the worst since you were a newborn.  I feel like I have tried everything – I’m probably beating a dead horse saying this again – but I don’t know what to do about your sleep habits.  It starts out very well: you have a good bedtime routine (bath, moisturizer/massage, book, nursing) and then will (usually) fall right asleep.  That’s been great and please don’t think this is me asking you to change that behavior; however, generally between 3 to 4 hours after you go to sleep you wake up SCREAMING.  Not just crying.  Not just cute little talkative noises.  This is wake the dead screaming and it hurts.

I love you, baby girl.  I would do anything to make you feel better but it has become increasingly difficult to figure out what it is you really need at night.  You aren’t wet (not wet enough to warrant changing a nighttime super-absorbent twelve-hour diaper 2-3 times a night).  You aren’t really hungry.  Sure, you’ll nurse but it seems like you aren’t eating much of anything, just comforting yourself with the familiarity of mommy and I don’t want this to become a habit.  Rubbing your back and giving you back your pacifier while leaving you in your crib doesn’t seem to work.  Letting you cry and try to comfort yourself doesn’t work just makes you more upset and harder to quiet down later.  It is very frustrating.  And what makes it harder and more stressful for me is that we have neighbors and I’m so self-conscious about what they must think when they hear you screaming like that.  Do they think we’re neglecting you?  I hate looking them in the eye when we pass each other on the stairs because I feel so embarrassed.

I know it could be worse, but I’m tired of giving in and just nursing you so you’ll go to sleep.  Doing so is not going to help either of us in the long run.  Your father tries to put you back to sleep without my help but he can’t seem to manage it.  He tries, he does.  I get frustrated with him sometimes because it doesn’t feel like he’s trying that hard but I think we both know that, in the middle of the night, it’s really your mother that you want.  I will one day wish that I was the only one who could make you feel better or that you even wanted me to make you feel better; so I’m trying not to complain about it too much.  I’m holding out hope that this is just a small phase – a tiny little bit of sleep regression – that will pass as soon as that other top front tooth comes in.

Yes.  You are working on your fourth tooth.  And, frankly, it needs to come in soon because you look like a gap-toothed yokel.  I kind of miss your toothless grin, but I’m getting to love your ridiculous looking toothy smile.

And with that, we will transition out of your mother’s (seemingly) endless whining.

You and I have begun our first tentative steps into the world of playdates and classes.  Because you seem to love story time so much, your father decided we should sign you up for a “crawler’s class” at the local parks and recreation.  It sounds like a really silly idea I’m sure.  Why does a baby who can’t even walk yet need to go to a gym class?  Well, because you get to be around other babies who give mommy the plague and make new friends.  Playmates who are not your mother.  As much as you love me, I’m sure you get tired of it just being the two of us all the time.

I get treated to the pure joy of watching you chase a ball around an entire basketball court.  You giggle madly and crawl with great determination towards this rubber ball that seems always just out of reach.  I swear that I don’t help it get away from you, it must be a combination of you pushing it slightly whenever you touch it and the smooth floor of the gym.  Despite the fact that you never catch it, it makes you so happy just to chase it.

You are the only one in the class not walking.  I should say “yet” (we’ll get to that in a minute).  But that doesn’t seem to bother you.  You are perfectly content to play with your ball and attempt to steal other babies binkies and knock over the other mothers’ water bottles.  Your mother is also getting over her handicap, her anxiety at meeting new people.  It is a slow process but each day I try to talk a little more to the other mommies.  Fortunately, it seems that they are all equally new and nervous about the whole parenthood thing as well.  They seem much more open to beginning friendships than the mothers at storytime and so far we have walked out to the car with Maggie* and her mother Bree.*  She’s the closest in age to you, having just turned one, and her mother seems to be of the “it’s okay to wear yoga pants out in public but that doesn’t mean I always look sloppy” crowd (my kind of people).  I’m feeling hopeful.

Last night, you had your first sort of “play date.”  Some friends of your mommy and daddy had a son in March and, since your parents needed a date night to celebrate their anniversary, they offered to babysit you for the evening.  There was some hair pulling (apparently) and since he is not yet mobil like you there probably was not much playing together, but you were well behaved.  Your daddy spent much of our date worried that he was going to get a panicked phone call – much to my annoyance – but we never did.  This is good.

Now, we have reached the most exciting part of this entire letter.  You have taken steps!  Multiple ones!  In a row!  On purpose!  In the general direction that you wanted to go!  So far, this has happened three times.  Once earlier this week and twice today.  It is scary to think that soon you won’t just be walking but you’ll be running.

One more month left in your first year.  When did that happen?

Love Always,

Your (Occasionally Whiny and Exhausted) Mother

One Year Ago

Now my little girl is almost one year old!

*Names changed

Three Years

Three years ago today, I married my best friend.  My partner.  My rock.  And yes we had a horse and carriage at our wedding, what of it?

Did I mention that he’s a big nerd?

Of course, I’m kind of a nerd, too.

Who else would I go on adventures with?

Who else would put up with nine months of my near constant whining?

She may look like me, but I think she’s going to be just like you.

I know I’ll always have your hand to hold.  No matter what.

Girls Day Out

Ah.  Fall.  Possibly the only good time to actually go to a baseball game.  I mean, I love baseball and everything, but I’m not a fan of going to games when it’s approximately 100 degrees outside.  I mean I have gone, I just prefer not to.  I’m rambling.  Anyway…

Yesterday, I went out with Julie and Meredith for the second to last game of the season.  No playoffs for us this year, sad.  I can’t remember the last time I went out alone with friends but Brian took Lorelei and they ran errands and “worked” on stuff at the apartment so I could have a day off.  Bonus: Stan Musial day at the ballpark!

Meredith’s Flat Stan totally photo-bombed!  Jerk.

Julie has mastered the snarl.