Friday, March 26, 2010

All Insects Are Out to Get Me

I'm not often a paranoid person. (Hm...that statement may not actually be true.) Nevertheless, I am constantly worried about running into bugs of any size, shape or affiliation. The sad thing is that most of the time I don't have to worry about these tiny critters, but inevitably one will appear where I've most dreaded finding one.

Take, for instance, the time that I found a lady bug in my underwear drawer. To be honest, anything remotely suspicious in the underwear drawer is cause for great alarm- especially if it moves by itself. Let's just say it took me a little longer to get dressed (due to inspections) for a few days after that experience.

Then there are the bugs in my food scenarios. I've already professed my love for coffee, so the few times I've found a bug in my coffee cup have been some of the more traumatic and disheartening moments of my life. (I only exaggerate slightly.) Then of course there's the time that I was happily eating my soup, only to find that, what I thought was a pea pod was really some hapless green insect. I actually remember spitting it out and telling my mom that I had a bug in my soup. She assured me I was imagining things, until she looked at it herself...then she stated emphatically that it was a bug after all. (Note to self: If Charlotte thinks she's eating a bug, assume she's correct.)

And then there's all those times that I see an insect-particularly a spider-in the car while I'm driving: sheer panic, I assure you. There once was a hopping spider that pretty much repelled down steering wheel- I'm certain if I hadn't killed him he would have eaten me. Although a bee in the car is no picnic either: once one flew into a Dunkin Donuts while I was at the drive through. But just as I was pulling away it flew in my car window and perched upon my groceries. (I had a 3 or 4 month old in the back so of course I had to stop and catch it in a cup and abandon the bee cup in the DD parking lot. It's what anyone would do, I'm sure. I've also had a bee fly in one window as I was driving 30+ mph. Seriously what are the odds that he and my open window would have intersecting paths?? He must have been a 007 Bee- and had timed his entry hours earlier based on intelligence he received from the queen bee.

But the event that sparked this blog actually occurred yesterday morning...I'm always a bit nervous about putting on my shoes or slippers on the off chance that a bug would be hiding there. Well yesterday it happened...I put my bare feet into my slippers and felt a little something (not quite warm and fuzzy) touch my foot. I instinctively pulled out and a little black thing fell out too. At first I looked at it and thought, oh silly me...another bit of fuzz is trying to trick me. But was a spider that was now balled up and dieing on my carpet. The willies would be an understatement. I promptly washed my slippers on the hottest water setting possible just in case the spider had deposited any offspring in the slipper. You can never be too careful.

And this is how I know that all insects are out to get me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Charlotte: An 18 Month Old Boy?

You really can't go anywhere with a baby without someone coming over to say hello. (I established this phenomenon fairly well in a previous entry.) But I've also noticed that everyone feels the need to guess my baby's gender and/or age. For instance, I had one woman approach me and ask if my (then 8 month old baby) was 18 months old. Granted, I have an adorably chubby baby with the cutest chunky cheeks and thighs, but she is also somewhat petite... there is really no mistaking her for a child twice her age.

And it's almost worse when it comes to gender- because people don't always ASK if it's a boy or girl...they just take one brief, summary glance at what my baby is wearing and declare, "Oh what a sweet boy/ girl." Now I admit, when it comes to clothing, I'm not really one for pink frills and tiaras, so it can occasionally be a challenge to tell that my daughter is a girl based on her clothes. But there have been plenty of times when she has actually been wearing pink, or at least a flower and heart splattered outfit, and people still say she's a boy.

It doesn't really bother me when people assume she's a boy, but it does create a dilemma: Am I going to let this be awkward for me, or for them? With the former plan, (which I often use for sweet old couples that probably can't see the pink embroidered flowers on her brown sweatshirt), I simply go along with the gender they select. When they ask how old "he" is I just give an pronoun. When they say, take good care of "him" I simply smile and nod. This plan will inevitably keep the other people from any awkwardness, unless of course they ask what "his" name is...and I say Charlotte. I'm actually considering using her nickname "Charlie" in the future if I get myself into that pickle. (Oh what a tangled web we weave, eh?)

Then there's the later which I simply state that my baby is, in fact, a girl. While this option is much more straight forward, people tend to get very flustered and apologetic when you correct them...and most of the time I figure I'll never see them again, so it doesn't really matter if they walk away and tell their friends they met the cutest little boy in the world.

Anyway, the point of the story (yes, there is a reason for this rambling) is that if you ever see a mother and baby- it is better to ask than assume, no matter how much blue or pink the infant is wearing. And for heaven's sake, don't try to guess a baby's age- fat rolls will throw you off every time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Operation: Peaceful Bedtime

Charlotte does not sleep through the night anymore. She used to go at least 5 hours, but my suspicion is that when I thought she was teething, I babied her into a clingy, needy, wake-up-every-two-hours child. So lately, she's been sleeping in our bed instead of her own...which she seems to have almost a phobia of at this point. A friend of mine suggested redecorating the crib area so she doesn't recognize it. I feel that might work if she were a much less clever baby. So here is our current plan of action:

1) Try to ignore the pitiful cries and face she makes when we leave the room. (This may involve tactics such as closing the door, and temporarily ceasing to have a compassionate human heart).

2) For 3 nights (Thurs, Fri, and Sat) we will put her back in her crib instead of in our bed. She will fight. We must be strong. My husband must work to convince me that cuddling all night is not part of our operation.

3) Based on the outcome (successful sleeping or excessive weeping) we will do one of two things: One would be to rejoice in our victory and long lasting sleep and a lot more space in our bed- and mourn the fact that I won't get to cuddle my baby every night anymore. The other would be to fall back and regroup...let her sleep with us occasionally to wean her off the co-sleeping less painfully- and secretly to enjoy the fact that I can cuddle with my silly baby awhile longer.

4) If all else fails, we'll give her crib a complete make-over as suggested. It will not work- which means we are desperate.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Superficial Bad Mood Cure

I tend to be moody at times-a trait I'm not proud of. I can't be sure if it's because I'd rather vent about my frustrations to my husband, etc. than actually confront people when they do something I have a hard time with. (People who are really wonderful but occasionally don't do things the way I'd like them to really. Wow, as I'm writing this I'm feeling sillier and sillier about my attitude.)

You see, I do have your garden variety of passive-aggressive responses when I'm upset. You know, I'll become suddenly quiet and unable to make eye contact with anyone...I'll steadfastly refuse to laugh at anything or anyone no matter how hilarious, or I'll suddenly disappear and hope that I'll be found. (This plan usually backfires- the longer you sit by yourself waiting to be found, the more time you have to think of things you're mad about.)

Anyway, yesterday my solution was to skip off to the store, buy a discount box of auburn hair dye and have my mom dye my hair for me. She did a great job...although my hair is rather thick so there didn't seem to be quite enough dye to give my hair a uniformly auburn color. My roots are dashing, however...though a little redder than I expected. (As a side question, is it better to cut off a few of the less-auburn inches, or to buy another box of dye and dye the ends of my hair again?)

I think anger is one way area of my life in which I often fail. I believe in God- I believe he loves everyone and that his powerful version of love can overcome so many of our problems. But I just don't live that out often enough. I'd like to- because my version of love (loving those who love me back- loving when people make me happy- loving when I feel a warm fuzzy desire to love) is shallow- my version of love does not make the world a better place because it's conditional.

Perhaps every day that I look into the mirror for the next several weeks I'll behold a red headed grudge holder. And that image can humble me a little...(that or the harsh chemicals I used on my scalp can eat away at the pride/anger cortex of my moody little brain.) Because if I can't learn to love...learn to forgive...and frankly just learn to get over myself...then I will live a miserable life and will pass that on to my kids. (And that last part is probably the best reason I can think of to deal with this weakness now...preferably before Charlotte can talk- and thereby start giving silence treatments of her own.)

Whew...alright...excuse my overly-honest ramblings.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Identity Crisis

There comes a point as a mother that you're forced to stop and think about who you are. Pretty much everywhere I go I get lost in my daughter's identity. At times I treat her as an extension of me...I feed myself, so it's time to feed my baby...I need a nap, so it's time for Charlotte's nap. And since she can't speak for herself yet, I tend to make up what she'd like to say, or rather what I think would be most adorable of her to say. I've even used her to "ask" my husband to do things. "Daddy...I really reallllly need a diaper change. Daddy- do you want to feed me some peeeeaaaas?"

Other times, I let her be my identity- and I'm more like an interpretor. Perfect strangers see us in the store- and it sometimes seems as if all they see is a baby suspended in air by a faceless prop.

"Oh what a cute baby- OH! Look at those eyes! You're such a sweety, yes you are! Yes you are!"

I could be standing on my head and holding her with my feet and they would still only be aware of that adorable baby. The only time they need to acknowledge me is to find out more about said baby. "How old is she?" (or he...we get that a lot for some reason- probably because I'm not a pink fanatic) "What's her name? Oh is she always this good?" (That particular question I will save for a later discussion.).

Anyway, there are times that I truly enjoy losing myself in my baby. It is simpler that way. She's totally my security blanket, and as long as I have her with me there is no reason to talk about one bothers asking if I'm in college or what I plan to do with my one probes into my past or cares if I'm wearing makeup or not. If I arrive somewhere late...they just smile at my baby and nod with understanding. And people tend to ask similar questions so I get into a routine of answering. "Yes she's eating solids, no she's not sleeping through the night anymore... and my goodness we're as shocked as you that she has blonde hair."

So even a deeply inrospective person like myself can do a little less soul searching...a little less dreaming about the future...a little less constructive self critiquing. But I need to- because that baby is eventually going to speak for herself...and slowly grow her very own identity. And I want to be a mom that teaches her how to be strong and independent. I guess that means I should be too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ode to the Moo-Moo

Charlotte may be wearing her cute cow outfit for the last time today, as it's getting rather unflatteringly snug. Such a sad event requires a moment of mourning:

Dear Cow Onesie,
Cozy and sweet,
fleecy and warm,
without any feet...
Lovely cow onesie,
you covered my girl,
in shapeless brown blobs,
cuter than a squirrel.
Tiny cow onesie,
We'll miss you a lot,
But may find a new you,
When baby's a tot.

That's What "Friends" Is For

Today is shaping up to be one of those days. First of all, I've been up for well over an hour and I'm only just now drinking my coffee. (I know, the horror.) And I put baby girl on the floor today while I literally just got out of the bed and she managed to bump her head on my bed frame and get a little bruise above her eye. Now she's a little cling-on (not to be confused with Klingon) so I can't seem to leave her for 2 seconds without her crying.

And to top it off, my crazy aunt flo (who hadn't even been speaking to me for almost a year and a half) decided to stop in abruptly yesterday. It's been so long I almost don't know what to do with her when she's here. And I'm sure my husband has no idea how to deal with her either.

I feel somewhat gross, but of course I can't shower until the peanut takes a nap. Although, she seems to enjoy the company of her new baby doll so maybe I'll prop them both up in the play pen and let them become the best of friends. Although, Charlotte would like to pick the baby doll's nose off, so the friendship may be short lives.

So I'm sitting here holding my sleepy baby, sneaking occasional sips of coffee, and watching old episodes of Friends...because they always cheer me up. I think it'd be fairly hilarious to have Joey and Phoebe running around my house every once in awhile.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baby's Mount Everest

In the entirety of our house their is basically one step, which separates our bedroom from the kitchen. Why we would possibly want to be a whole step beneath (and therefore further away from) all the food is beyond me. Although perhaps I burn off a few extra calories a day going up and down it.

Well today I sat my baby Charlotte on the carpet in our bedroom right next to the step into the kitchen. She seemed intrigued by this step...she smacked it with her hands (which she must do to everything now on the off chance that it is in fact a drum) and then she tried to pick up one of the nails that hold it into the floor. (The nail head wasn't even protruding from the wood...but she's confident that she can pick up and eat anything that is roughly the same size as a cheerio.)

The only thing she didn't seem willing to do was try to crawl up the step. Perhaps this makes sense, because she's resigned herself to the army crawl. She occasionally gets on her hands and knees, but apparently only to scope out what's in front of her...if she's going anywhere it's with those chubby little arms pulling her and those little toes trying to help as best they can.

Well I thought I'd back up a little bit on the kitchen floor and give her an incentive to climb the step. Apparently she was fine without me, because she kept right on pounding on the step.

Then I put a cell phone on the kitchen floor a few feet from the step. Oh my goodness that child found a way to climb that at break neck speed. She didn't falter...she didn't look puzzled for minutes trying to determine how to get up the step...she didn't really seem to notice that she had gone UP a step at all. But she made it to the cell phone.

This baby is going to know more about technology by the time she's 2 than I did at the age of 12. And I imagine when she starts potty training I'll have to bribe her with a blackberry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Will Not Eat the Barbeque Ribs

My sweet husband took me out to dinner last night for my birthday. I was thinking of getting a nice lobster-fresh in the shell, but I decided I didn't want to do that much work on my birthday. So instead I got a nice seafood platter with scallops, salmon, shrimp and such. It was all coated in wonderful butter with...well, you get the idea.

My husband got a full rack of bbq ribs. Of course, we worked out a tidy little trade at the restaurant: one plump scallop for a large bite of yummy ribs. But in the end, my hubby had a whole half rack of ribs left while I had devoured every last shred of aquatic goodness on my plate. The only way I could walk out of that place with any dignity was that I managed to refrain from licking up the leftover buttery sauce.

I slept in today (after little sleep last night) and woke to find my husbasnd at work and his wonderful ribs sitting coyly in their styrofoam abode in the fridge. Now I would have loved to take a wonderful bite, but I was quickly reminded of a similar incident that occurred while I was pregnant. Of course then it was eggplant parmesan instead of ribs. But my pregnancy hormones tempted me to open the container and have just a couple of bites of his take home. But that turned into me eating pretty much the whole eggplant. When he came home later my hormones told me to rush outside to greet him giddily and confess that I had eaten his tasty food. As I laughingly told him what I had done, I realized that he seemed less cheerful than I was. I asked if he was disappointed and he casually said that he had been looking forward to eating the food himself. He didn't sound angry at all but the baby hormones told me he was terribly disappointed and upset. So I burst into tears and apologized for five full minutes. It took him forever to assure me everything was fine, although I think he ordered eggplant parm for lunch the next work day.

But you see today I have no pregnancy hormones to blame. And even if I confess to eating the ribs and burst into tears, I have a feeling non-pregnant Carrye won't elicit quite as much sympathy from her spouse. So I will distract myself with my baby girl, who lately spends much of her day spitting and blowing rasberries at everything. (That is, when she's not attacking electronic devices.) So hopefully I will stay busy and I will not eat the barbeque ribs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coffee, Computer, and Quiet??

I'm on my second cup of coffee. (I suppose that's as good a way as any to start out a brand new blog.) Although, when I make my coffee I always throw in a scoop of decaf so I can mentally subtract part of my coffee when I'm tallying my total daily caffeine intake. (Let's see, three cups of coffee, but part decaf!- I must have only had 2 cups worth of caffeine.) It's totally counter productive since I always feel justified taking another cup- and by the way, my coffee mugs hold much more than 8 oz of that glorious java.

Anyway, my husband just got me this fabulous mini- laptop and I felt inspired to write. When I started, my 8 month old daughter was fast asleep in her crib. (Her naps seems to be a rareity lately...perhaps since I'm breastfeeding she's getting a little too much coffee herself?) And of course, she just woke up so I'm sure I won't bother everyone with much more of this blog. She's been teething lately (and finally) and also has a stuffy nose so I'm babying her as though she were in a full body cast.

It's sort of a vicious cycle though...for 6 or so months she slept in her bed but recently we let her spend a few nights in our bed. Big mistake. She now feels it's her right to have a sleeping partner and lets us know that every night. I'm exhausted, but part of me wants to go to her every time she cries. I suppose with the first you sort of have to do it them too much, then let them cry it out and sleep on their own. We learn as we go. I cannot seem to follow anybody else's advice very well when it comes to getting my child on a sleep schedule. Call me stubborn, or crazy...I'm sure I'm a little of both.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy some coffee for me...and maybe a little more quiet than I will.