Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poop, Crap, #2, and Rubber Gloves

We (barely) survived the week, but here we are. And, after changing approximately 60 poopy diapers this week, I am ready for my friend's birthday dinner this evening. And, kudos to her, it's girls only! Trust me, I wasn't sad when I realized I would have a few hours to myself after this week I fondly refer to as "The Diarrhea Wars" wherein I pretty much got my butt kicked by a pooping toddler. (Yes, I have to say toddler, because Gage is walking all the time now.)

Last weekend we went to my niece's First birthday party. Gage pooped while we were there. And, little did I know, that was only the beginning. Sunday and Monday he was pooping nearly every hour and I couldn't get him to eat much of anything. He got horrible diaper rash that turned into a yeast infection on his bottom region. (this is one of those posts that he'll hate me for when he can read). It wasn't exactly on his bottom, more on his man parts.

First of all, who the hell knew boys got yeast infections? All it needs is a warm wet place...like a diaper. It made sense, but sort off defied what I believed to be scientific truth. Secondly, I personally felt like it was my fault for wiping his bottom sooo much. Maybe I could've given more rinse off baths and less friction to his bottom would've helped the situation. I remember when I was changing him, I wiped him, and I saw a spot start bleeding. I freaked out and we put Neosporin on that place. (by "we" I mean "ME" - more on this later)

Here I am with all my creams and what not. I have Maalox (the first thing suggested to me by a couple of friends for the diaper rash) that I am blotting on with a cotton ball, letting it dry (by blowing on it. yes, I blew on my kids butt o help the medicine dry. you do what you have to), and applying diaper cream, and then Vaseline
(Curtis's and another friends' suggestion) to protect it.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, his butt wasn't getting any better (and neither was his tummy) so we went to the doctor. That boo boo had turned into the yeast infection, as well as another spotty area was infected. And, the cure? Lotrimin. Athlete's Foot Cream. It's an antifungal.

So, I am applying foot cream, diaper cream, and Vaseline to my kids ass all week. And, guess what? Tonight, it's Curtis's turn. He's hoping Gage doesn't poop after I leave. I am secretly hoping he will. Because, I am such an awesome wife that I haven't made Curtis change any drippy diarrhea diapers. I have asked him to help me when Gage needs to be rinsed off, but I didn't make him apply cream to Gage's little baby boy nuts or penis. I know Curtis will have the reigns when Gage is potty training, and has to have help aiming his pee into the toilet.

Curtis and I were both sick for one day each. And, the awesome new dinner I made this week...well, I won't be making broccoli chicken again for a long time. Throwing it up wasn't much of a treat. Curtis still ate McDonald's, even after he threw up that. Ugh. I STILL won't eat Sun Chips because I threw them up when I was in the 7th grade. And, after I turned 21, I didn't drink for a month because of all the puking I did on my birthday. (alcohol, I can get over. But, Sun Chips, NOT A CHANCE)

I'm just glad it's mostly over. I've been feeding Gage the BART diet (thanks Melinda and Chris!) and I gave him some acidophilus supplement. He's been acting a little less energetic this week, but no fever, and no real issues outside of crapping himself into a yeast infection. The only positive thing about this: he's been more cuddly and calm to sit with. Of course, that's not the price I wanted him to pay for him to cuddle with me.

I DID buy Curtis some rubber doctor style gloves in case Gage has a crazy blow out while I am gone. I mean, I can understand not wanting to touch poo with your bare hands. It's not something I enjoy at all, but it's just part of our life for as long as we have kids in diapers. Shit Happens.

On the topic of poop, have you ever had a "poop stand off" in a public bathroom? You know, where you're waiting for the other person to leave their stall and exit the bathroom so you can poop in private, and it turns out they're doing the same thing? So, you're just sitting there, waiting it out, wondering who will break first. You'll either leave and wait a bit and come back, or just say "forget it" and go on with your business with an audience who can hear the ploop! and splash!. Personally, when I was working and I was pregnant, my poop schedule coincided with another girl's schedule. If I walked in and she was after me, she would usually just wash her hands, look in the mirror, and I guess come back in a little while. When you're pregnant, pooping turns into a luxury and you can't skip the chance to go.

I am not really a shy pooper anymore. Something about Gage screaming and peeking under the bathroom door if I close it to poop makes it more difficult to concentrate on the task. So, I just leave the door open and ignore him trying to see under my bottom and flushing the toilet for fun. Curtis still locks the door - like I'm going to barge in and have a heart to heart while he's taking care of business...

And, just a nod to MOPS this week. Turns out spitting on a price tag stuck to the bottom of a glass vase helps it come right off. Thanks, Christina for the hint!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gage - Eleven Months Old

Dear Crusty Booger Nose,

I will warn you in advance that I am using your 11 month letter to catch up on everything else that's been going on as well. Of course, that all includes you and your life, so deal with it. The world revolves around no one single person. Ok, I'm done being THAT mom. You're the whole world to me and your dad and we love you so much that we ask each other randomly "How much do you love Tank (or Big Head, or a number of other things we call you both to your face and behind your back)?"

It's been a month since I've written anything on here, and I can sum all of it up pretty easily. Ah bin bizzy! (I've been busy, my friends who can't read that out loud to themselves and get it.)

Let's back it up from the ending because that's probably the only way I can accomplish the task of processing it. The past two weeks I have been watching a friend of mine's kids because she went back to work. I remember seeing on a series of her Facebook statuses that she had an interview, got the job, looked for a daycare, interviewed some private daycare givers, and was pretty much S.O.L. (shit outta luck, people. I won't break anything else down for you tonight. Hehe!)

I had been thinking and praying and discussing with my husband on the day she seemed at the point of not taking the job, and I sent her a message and asked her to call me if she was interested in talking to me about watching her little ones. A few conversations and carseats in my car later, we got it all nailed down, and I have been watching Hannah and Noah for the past two weeks. They're awesome kids. Noah is the same age as Tank (they're 4 days apart) so it's kind of like raising twins since they're going through the same things at the same time. In fact, they've both been teething, and Gage's tooth finally broke through over this weekend. I am hoping poor Noah (who looks like he's getting THREE) has had some successful teething this weekend too. Hannah is like a built in helper. She's obviously use to her brother, so she's automatically use to Gage. Except Gage is a bit heavier and more rough than Noah. And Gage is obsessed with Hannah, especially the other day when she wore pink tights. He grabbed her leg on the couch and was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. But, she makes them both laugh, and she's such a sweetheart.

Gage, you now have SIX teeth. Four on top, two on bottom. And, you've only bitten me like seven or twelve times now. Thanks, kid. I appreciate that a lot.

You are, oh it pains me to say it...walking. Like full on waddling through the house, on the porch, in the yard. You're walking and crawling even amounts, I would say. But, you only crawl when you're in a hurry (like you have anything to do in a rush. You pee in your pants, so it's not like a mad dash to the bathroom after too many drinks.) Or when you're butt naked in the middle of a diaper change and you want to get away from me.

You're eating more and more people food. Because, let's be real, that crap called "baby food" is NASTY! You want to eat what we have, of course. You crack me up, throwing fits if we don't share. It's really not that cute, but we ignore you and let you do your thing. I don't want to stunt your emotions. Feel them, let them out, but act like a nutzo and you won't earn our attention. The other day I was eating some fruit snacks, and I didn't realize you had seen me, and when I crumpled up the empty wrapper you threw yourself on the floor and I thought you were hurt because I didn't see any reason for you to be acting like that. And, then I realized you were expecting me to share and thought I ignored you. So, we got another package and I gave you all the orange ones, because they're my least favorite...what? Like I am not allowed to be selfish with my fruit snacks and save the red and purple for myself? Whatever. You're lucky I gave you candy at all. You sat in my lap, being very sweet for about 3 minutes. Which brings me to my complaint for this month...

YOU DON'T WANT TO CUDDLE WITH ME. You're a very very sweet boy, giving kisses and patting the dogs and stuff. But, you won't sit and cuddle. You don't want to be rocked or snuggled or loved on too much. Your independence is getting old. I want a cuddly baby. You're going to make me have another baby soon just so I can have a cuddler. You must STOP getting big. Your great grandma even suggested laying down with you on the floor with a blanket to take a nap, and when I tried it, wanna know what you did? You crawled over to me, gave me a kiss, laid your head on me for a second and then got up and crawled away giggling. Man, you're adorable.

Oh, here's where I embarrass you. So, last night we went to your Uncle Scott & Aunt Miranda's new house. At one point, we had been outside, and you had on your little zip up hoodie, with the hood up. I changed your diaper, and in the middle of it, you crawled off and proceeded to roll around their living room with your legs open and closed laughing and showing off your butt and other goods. And, you KNEW you were being cute and ornery. You're such a little cute hamburglar. Yep, daddy calls you that too. Since you're so quick to grab stuff you shouldn't. So, there you are, looking like a bare-assed mini Unabomber, and we're all laughing at your antics.

I think you're getting sick. Well, you probably already are. Your nose is nasty and crusty. And it's getting sorta green. So, Tuesday you're going to the Doctor to see why you're so gross. But, we still love you.

You had your first Halloween this past month. You were a lion and everyone said how adorable you were. Which of course, is true. Because you're the cutest kid on the planet. We've let you eat SOME candy, and you got to ride a pony and a little train, play in a ball pit, and go down a big blow up slide (on my lap of course). And we let you get two tattoos of dinosaurs.

You're just getting so big that it's almost painful for me. You're not going to be a baby for very much longer. You're walking, eating and drinking by yourself, and repeating words we say. They may not sound exactly clear, but you're definitely trying out new sounds. You've repeated down, boo boo, snack, outside, daddy, and I swear you were saying "I want a bite" for a while, but you've stopped. You clap your hands and wave at people. Sometimes you say "yeah!" and sometimes you say "na na na na na" really fast because I say "nononononononono" to you about things. You've finally learned what yucky and danger mean. I base that on the fact that you won't put something in your mouth if I say it's yucky, and you stop what you're reaching for if I say "danger".

You know what "no" means, but you're totally into testing us. You'll slowly reach for something after we say no to you and see if we still say no. And, you smile about it. That's because you're OUR kid. And karma sucks like that.

You're quickly approaching your first birthday, and it makes me want to throw up. Where did the time go? Life speeds up with you in it. We can't pause time, but I sometimes wish I could. I won't get all depressing this month, but it's an inevitable path...you growing up. Right about now, I wish I could stop it.

You're my little man. You're our whole world. I love everything about you and your innocence and wonderment with the world around you. Everything is a joy to you, and you're a complete joy to me.

I love you when you're messy, I love you when you stink. I love your white blonde hair and how you've got your daddy's two front teeth. I love your chubby fingers, and how you still hold on to our fingers tight. I love hearing you growl when you wake up in the morning and babble to yourself til you fall asleep at night. You've captured our hearts and re-ordered our life. I've learned to prioritize what really matters and grown up right along with you at times.

Happy Eleven Months of Life, Baby Gage!

Love, Mommy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gage- Ten Months Old


Little Bucky,
We've been in our house for almost two months now. You've loved having a yard to play in, and wood floors to push your toys across. You got sick for the first time this month. You've added a few more words to your vocabulary. You're saying "Dada" now. You're signing "more" and "milk" and you say "Mmmm" and "Eeee" when you want to eat. You also said "down" the other day a few times, and you said "wa" when I turned on the sink. You growl like a monster, because your dad always comes into your room to say goodnight like a silly monster with his hands as ears and stuff. You think it's hilarious, and you're growling because of that. It's adorable. Your first Halloween is coming up, and I am planning on you being a lion.

You're completely comfortable drinking out of your sippy cup, although you're not really doing much with the glass bottles when I feed you. Of course, that's the ONLY time you want to cuddle anymore, so I cherish that time.

You're more and more sure of what you want every day. You screech in protest when we bring you in from the front yard. You get mad if we don't share our food or drink. Who cares if it's spicy or alcoholic?!? You DON'T! We are trying to think of a way to differentiate for you, so you understand when something is just off limits like that.

You're such a joy. You are adorable and funny and cute, and you have your dad's teeth, and it just makes me love you both even more. You're so close to walking. You pushed your dump truck all over the front yard today. You're SO BIG. I already wish I had cherished the newborn days more, but I was so tired, I am mostly just glad we all survived it. We are absolutely crazy about you. People love you in public. You're kind of a turd at MDO sometimes, but I think your teachers don't mind because you're such a charmer, just like your daddy.

I kinda wish I could just stop time right now. You're still a baby, and you haven't gotten completely away from me yet. You still need me, but you're awesomely independent. You LOVE everyone you meet. And, they seem drawn to you. You're such a little magnet.

We took you to the Allen Homecoming Game last weekend and you were SO GOOD. You didn't whine or scream or throw a fit. There was so much to see, you just were excited to be there. You cheered with the fans. You watched the band and drillteam on the field, and of course watched the cheerleaders...what can I say to that? We were very proud of you. We ARE very proud of you. You're a climber, you're a charmer, you're just this bundle of energy that I could sit and watch all day long. I am constantly telling myself "these are the days".

I pray for you every night. I use to pray with you before bedtime, but you can't stand being cuddled for more than 3 seconds in a row right now. So, we kiss you goodnight, and I say prayers in my own bed at night. I pray for your continued health. I pray for your future salvation. I pray you'll love God's Word, that you'll hide it in your heart. I pray that you'll be a good friend, and have a servant's heart. I pray you'll use your gifts and talents to glorify God and further His kingdom. I pray for your purity, and your future wife and her purity. I want you to know how precious you are and how precious that treasure is. I pray you'll have a passion for God's will and that you'll be successful at all you attempt.

How blessed among women am I to be your mother!

Love, Mommy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our First Time

I relish in the act of using double entendres for my post titles. Maybe because it gets your attention. Maybe it's because I happily suffered through a year of being on Yearbook staff in High School wherein we were forced, under pressure, to come up with catchy headlines for articles.

Nonetheless, this past week was our first time having a sick baby. Now, we had 2 weeks of colic back in the beginning of Gage's life. We also had a week of an upper respiratory cootie that never caused anything but a congested, barely sleeping baby and a couple of puking drainage sessions. The worst part was Gage was so young and could hardly breathe and woke up a lot. But, he never had a fever and he got over it pretty quickly. Besides, everything was so hard still, it didn't make much of an difference.

Sunday afternoon, Gage took a 4 hour nap after church. Well, he was unconcious when we picked him up and he didn't wake up during the trip to the car, in the car, or to his crib. That was the first clue that something was wrong. When he woke up, he felt a little feverish, and of course, the batteries on the thermometer we have are dead, and I didn't go get any right away. As his mom, I could tell that he was warmer than usual. I considered that it could be a sugar fever because we let Gage have a donut for breakfast for the first time. Judge not, folks.

Um, much of the week is a blur after that. He slept fine that night, but around 4am, he woke up and was insistent, so I went and got him, and he was BURNIN' UP. I gave him Tylenol and a cold bottle and put him back to sleep. We ended up taking him to the doctor Monday afternoon, and he had a 101.5 temperature and an ear infection in one ear. We got an antibiotic and were told to keep giving Motrin/Tylenol for the fever and aches. He had a fever early every morning until Thursday. That's when he got a rash. So, of course I took him to the doctor again. No ear infection, no fever, so we stopped the antibiotics in case it was a reaction to them, and the doctor declared it was just the virus reacting to the medicine, and he was fine. I am just glad to hear it's not The Plague. I hear that's making a come back.

My poor baby slept a LOT. He was lethargic. He was cuddly. And, you know how you roll around in bed and just moan because you feel like total crap? Well, he did a lot of that too. It was heartbreaking. People might feel bad, thinking I didn't get much sleep. Actually, he slept more this week than any other time. He woke up every morning sometime between 3 and 4am because his medicine had worn off, and his fever was back up. But, he went back to sleep after 20 minutes or so. He did OK during the middle part of the morning, but was taking 2 hour (or longer) naps in the afternoon.

I tried to explain to Curtis last night that I was mentally exhausted from all the worrying. It was hard to fall asleep at night, and I just sat and cried with Gage a few times because there's not really much more I could do aside from give him medicine and try and figure out what will make him happy. My mind was clouded with this overwhelming tension. I have experienced a new level of love and worry. One morning Curtis was coughing and I was all feeling his head and patting his back and telling him to cuddle with me, like I was on autopilot, taking care and being nurse. I normally wouldn't baby him quite so much.

I admit with a little shame that my level of frustration grew this week as well. It was so painfully frustrating to see Gage not feeling well, and him crying and whining and rolling around and just not being able to help. Helpless. THAT'S a hard thing to feel when it comes to your kids. I would just look at Gage and say "If you could just TELL me what's wrong. What hurts, why you won't drink a bottle..." It's hard to even look back at that and not remember how painful it was to see him suffer. Maybe it sounds dramatic, but I have always had a deep sense of empathy with other people's pain. It made me one serious child and I was often stressed to the point of causing ulcers when I was 11 yrs old. I may not have as much compassion if I can look at someone and say "They have the ability to help themselves, and they're just not doing anything to change their situation". But, when someone is incapable of changing their own situation, my heart breaks.

I'm a pretty "black and white" kind of person. I consider myself a realist, and I can detach myself emotionally if I need to step back and consider and evaluate. That ability goes out the window when it comes to my kid. I admit, I can even step back when I am having a conflict with my husband, and he's pointed out that sometimes I don't seem to care when it gets to a certain level of conflict. The reality is, when I care THAT much, I have to take a step back and be sure I am making a decision based on what makes sense, not based on how upset I am at the time. But, I digress...

Gage being sick was HARD. Not because he was whiney or was up all crazy times at night. But, it was mental torture for me to see him suffer and him not understand WHY. And the worry ate me alive. I have a feeling I will spend a LOT of hours worrying about our child(ren) over the course of this lifetime. That comes with the territory. Trusting the Lord with them is my first feat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An impromptu Q&A

A Facebook email conversation I had this week with a precious woman whom I adore because she's a BAMF and she loves Jesus. We have TurboKick related nicknames for each other. So, you'll see them here.

COCO: jodes, your letters to gage are so precious.
i fully believe i can never have a child and just live through yours! mmmmmk GREAT :)
i love you SO much, my ninja jodester. hope all is well at the avary nest. .

ME: you are very sweet and hilarious. Having a kid is great. Maybe you'll feel more ready in another 5 yrs.
I love you too my sweet Coco!

COCO:maybe.... like 20 years :) .

ME:Have Gage for a day and see how you feel about it. :)

COCO: I'd love to! I'm just not sure i could do it. Like when I raise my voice or get really frustrated with (my dog) i freak out and cry. Or when I see people being not nice to their precious babies. And I guess I just haven't found the right person yet to make me want to raise a baby together. And I could never be as good as my mommy !!!

ME:Girl, if you think we don't lose our minds with our kids you're misinformed. I have lost my temper with him, and I have not always been proud at my lack of patience, but being a mom has made me a better person b/c you learn as they grow to be a better person. More loving. More patient. And being a mom is very selfless. I am not tooting my horn here. I mean, you give everything for this other person and it sucks sometimes when you want to do your own thing. But as I mature, I learn about sacrificial love. And Curtis was definitely the first man who I remember thinking, I want YOUR babies. Not just to have babies, but HIS babies. So, that might be part of it too. Your mom does rock, and my mom and I are just as close, so I understand that! She's what makes me want to be a good mom. And she's admitted she lost her patience with me before my memory remembers, and of course I don't remember her yelling at me til I was a teenager and was yelling at her first. Ha!
Not everyone wants to be a parent, and that's totally fine! Don't ever let anyone tell you that you have to be one to be happy or that you're selfish for not having one.
Bottom line: I fail my ass off everyday at being a mom, but that boy is what makes me world go round - after Curtis. :)
Thank you for the compliment of reading my humble blog.

COCO:awe thanks Jodes. you're so precious and SMART! maybe someday you'll even be wise ;) .

ME:Lol. More like a smart ass!

COCO:that, too!!! would you say your life is what you wanted/expected? .

ME:I would say my life is exactly what I didn't know I wanted. I wanted to get married and have babies, but God worked out all the details in a perfect way for me.

COCO:♥

Monday, September 20, 2010

Conversations

Gage: Thunk!
Me: "Gage, do you have to find everything with your head?"

Me: "Gage keeps taking your socks out of your drawer. I'm not sure why."
Curtis: "Probably because he knows I'm not use finding them in there"

Me: "Sorry the laundry's not put away. Your clothes are in the baskets. Today wasn't laundry day."
Curtis: "What about yesterday?"
Me: "I went and got my hair done."
Curtis: "And the day before that?"
Me: "Grocery day."
Curtis "I think I see where this is going..."

Curtis met the neighbor behind us this past week. He's in his 50s, and he seemed normal. Curtis relayed their conversation to me.
Neighbor: Do you collect your aluminum cans?
Curtis: No, not really. We usually drink bottles of beer, but we have Coke cans and stuff too.
Neighbor: I'd appreciate it if you don't mind giving them to me...You can just throw them over the fence into my yard.

REALLY? Do we look like beer can throwing people? As if! We crush them against our foreheads like frat boys, of course!

MOM Conversations are always fun

Me: (MDO) is five hours of bliss, right?
Another Mom: Yes, I am going home to take a shower...and shave my legs.
Me: Yeah, it's nice to take a shower without interruptions. I get to shave maybe twice a week.
Other Mom: I'd just like to be able to put on my underwear without someone watching me.
Me: Or go to the bathroom alone. Gage likes to use my underwear as a ladder rung to crawl into my lap while I'm trying to pee.

I saw a friend's Facebook status today:
"I've learned a valuable lesson...you can remove silly putty from hair with oil."

Showering has turned into a challenge again. Mostly because Gage is too big for his Exersaucer (where I use to confine him while I showered) and not big enough to be left alone for 10 minutes. So, I get all smart and bring him INTO the bathroom with me. I had just mopped and disinfected everything, so it was fine if he Oh, I don't know, put his mouth on the toilet lid and blew zerberts like he did last week. (Again, the toilet was clean. Being a mom has forced me to consider the germ factors around my house, and it's never been more clean!) I throw some toys on the floor and start the water. Well, Gage likes to stand on the couch and pull back the curtains to look outside. So, pulling back the shower curtain was an obvious delight. Then he got to stick his hands into the shower water and managed to get the upper half of his body wet. So, I decide to go ahead and just put him in the tub. Of course, when I take off his diaper, I see he's pooped. So, I hose him off in the shower and sit him down once the poop has rinsed down the drain and proceed to shower, unphased. Because that's become a typical day in my life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

And then there were five...


It seems like we've arrived over the hill of this round of teething. Gage has 5 teeth now. Of course, that means the matching fang will arrive in about a week, as we experienced with his first two top teeth. The best part is that he slept through the night again last night, so I don't have to sell him on craiglist.

We have our fist official play date today, so I'm glad he's not going to act more insane than usual. He crawled up to a sock of his that he had been playing with this week, and instead of picking it up, he leaned over and grabbed it in his mouth like a dog and looked up at me. Strange little man. It's bittersweet to hear "mama" in the baby monitor when he calls for me in the mornings. Because for 9 months I had hoped he would be trained to say "dada" at 5:45am! But, it's kinda sweet that he's calling for me.

Monday night was pretty rough for Gage and myself and even Curtis...Gage was a MESS all night and we got hardly any sleep. And, I had some moments where I look back and think, "Yeah, I'm not really proud of how little patience I have after the 4th wake up before 2am." Curtis is always quick to remind me that we will both make a lot of mistakes as parents, and

q.O 78 0 OJJJGJGFFUGUGU AA CX XCVMVI43

(I let Gage use the keyboard, and that's what he had to say about it)

So, another failure on my part. Unfortunately it will not be the last. And, there was no adorable "mama" coming through the baby monitor either. More like angry baby screams. If you're a parent, you know what I mean. If you're not, then I laugh in your face if you think it's not as bad as I'm saying. Because I'm not talking about the whiney, overtired kids at the grocery store you hear. I'm talking about how you might scream if someone was stabbing something sharp into the soft gum tissue of your mouth without cessation. Can't wait for the molars...

A grandpa stopped me in the store this week - actually, people stop and talk to me and Gage all the time when we're out. I think it's because he's so damn cute. But, that's just me - and commented on him to his own grand daughter who was with him. Then, he asked how old Gage was and saw his teeth when Gage smiled...and I said "yeah, we're teething right now" (Because you're obviously not a parent if you think they teeth on their own. No, it's a group project. Only, the kid is that one person in your group who didn't really do anything except for take credit for your work. Children survive teething because of the grown ups who take care of them. And mommies survive teething thanks to many bottles of rum.) He flat out told me to get a little bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and rub it on his gums to sooth them. And then he laughed and said "Helps them sleep too. I used it on her mother." People, if I had a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps, it would be a large one. And I would be drinking a lot of "peppermint mochas" in the middle of summer.

At least we made it through another round.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I missed him...this time

This past week, we started MDO, had a date night with MOPS, and we shipped Gage off to grandma's over the weekend.

It was probably the most I've been away from Gage in the course of a week. Of course, he was teething ferociously, so by Friday night I was ready to send him to grandma's! I even said that to him, and Curtis kind of called me out, reminding me that when he's just a little older, he will understand my words, but not my meaning yet. ("I wish you were already at Grandma's" TRANSLATION "I am desperate for a break, and I am so thankful he's getting to spend some time with grandma") Oh how humbling parenthood is.

Curtis and I spent some time together this weekend just hanging out. Doing NOTHING. I slept until 9:30 on Sunday morning without one peep in the night. Except I had a dream I was telling everyone I was pregnant before I knew for sure with a positive test. And, NO, I am not pregnant right now. After the beginning of next year, ask me again. But, I really missed Gage this time. Maybe because he had been away from me so much this week. Maybe because I felt bad for what I had said in frustration. Nonetheless, I couldn't wait to squeeze his cankles!

I finally went back to work for the BIL today. I'd been bumming around with the move, and teething and the torrential rain last week as excuses - all valid ones, of course. But, I am glad I made myself get back up and do it again. I enjoy having a reason to get out of the house, and it helps him with his business, and I make a few bucks. Ones I am saving for our anniversary this December. (and Gage's birthday, and Christmas, and everything else!) Plus, Gage likes to play with their dogs. They're very patient and NON-growling (ahem to Scooter, here!!!!). Ironically, as much as Scooter hates Gage, I swear I heard him look at that dog and say "Coo" like he's saying Scooter's name. My mom heard it too.

There's still crap to unpack. But, I feel like a MONTH is the cut off for having this sort of organizing done...I have about 14 days exactly. Help me, Jesus!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gage - Nine Month Letter


Dear Little Bug,
I am a couple of days late writing you. It's your own fault really. You've been teething very dramatically this week. Last week it was FINALLY the 2nd top tooth, and this week, your MDO teacher spotted one of your little fangs coming in. You haven't slept well the past 3 nights, and well, I have been very spoiled by you sleeping through the night for so many months that this is kicking my ass. Yep. I said it. I will also say again what I have always believed to be true: Teething is a spiteful bitch and she will die old and alone with her 38 cats.

I've been thinking to myself about the phases of the months you've been here with us. The first three months were really a blur, and I am glad I wrote you a bit just so I can remember what happened now. It's like when you get wasted and wake up with your shirt on backwards and unsure of where your watch went...the time was fun, but you sure don't remember it. Good thing there's usually incriminating camera phone pictures to remind you. (As your mom, I would appreciate you wait until you're of legal age to engage in such immature and irresponsible activities such as the scenario I just described - one very similar to my 22nd birthday).
Then there's the months up until you turned 6 months that were just pure baby fun and sweetness. And, I distinctly remember that from 6-7 months flew by, while 7-8 and now 8-9 seem to have slowed down to a good, memorable pace.
You've now been out in the world for the same amount of time you were inside my belly. You're a lot more of a handful out here! We love you so much, and this month has had some very exciting things happen.

First of all, you've gotten 3 more teeth - well three that you're working on right now. You actually just ate a cardboard book while I wrote the first half of this.

You are trying to stand up on your own, and instead of sitting when I put you down, you keep your legs straight so that you can stand. You're reaching from table to couch to my knee. You insist upon holding on to my legs if I am standing near you just so you can stand too. You grab my legs when I am in the kitchen and I have now mastered the art of washing dishes, doing laundry and making your food while standing on one foot to provide you with my bent leg to hold on to. You have a couple of toys to stand and push and you love to walk with them across the wood floors.

You seem to be happiest when you have something you shouldn't be playing with. Like, who needs all those toys when you can play with a power cord or a dog turd? We are guilty of appeasing you with prohibited objects if you're impatient for lunch or getting fussy right before bed time, or when we are trying to have one of those things called an adult conversation. Your dad is especially guilty of spoiling you. I am a little bit harder on you because I have you all the time while he's working everyday. You're totally getting a break from me at MDO and I know you love all the other kids there are to crawl after and knock down while you try and stand up.

You have graduated to putting yourself down for naps now. You really don't want to be cuddled unless you just woke up. Then you're all cute and sweet and want to be held. In fact, I use to bring you to bed with us if you woke up super early, and you don't really like that anymore either. You totally want your own stuff and your own space. You're feeding yourself small foods, but you still won't hold your own bottle. I won't complain (although your babysitters and teachers might) because it's the only time you're not wriggling out of my grasp.

You say "Mama" and make lots of "B" sounds and you haven't quite come up with "Dada" which bugs your dad. In fact, he was saying "da da da da da da da" to you one day, and I walked out of the room and you looked at him and said "MAMA". He was annoyed. But, hey, I've been rooting for you to say his name first so that when you wake up at 1AM, you're asking for your dad and not me!

You've exploded into this independent, charming little person even more this month. It's hard to watch you grow up. Sometimes when I lay in bed at night, I think about when you were born, and how you popped your little head up and looked at me from my chest as soon as they handed you to me. I should have known you'd be just the way you are. We are constantly proud of you and cheering you on as you accomplish new things.

It took you a long time to get where you are. Nine months cooking and nine months learning. It took you 2 whole days to make your first appearance once you started knocking around to get out of my belly. In the grand scheme of life, it's not much, this time you've been here. But, it's meant more than a million days without you ever could. I have screwed up BIG TIME raising you. I have to remind myself that no one really knows what they're doing, especially the first time they become a parent. I am quick to admit that I have totally bull shitted my way through the past 9 months, and will continue to do it that way. I follow my instincts, and I always ask for advice as well. But, Gage, I will always make the decision that I feel is in YOUR best interest. Never will I do anything without considering how it affects you. That's what a family does. We consider each other before ourselves and we strive to make the best decision we can in every situation. And, we sacrifice for each other.

Happy Nine Months of life. We love you more and more every single day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poop, Poop, and Poop

So, we had a GREAT first real weekend in our house, and we had our friends Rachel and Jason over kind of last minute, which was cool of them to do, since we didn't plan ahead well. Curtis grilled ribs (he's the Grill Master, guys!) and Gage slept a lot this weekend. He's getting so big...like in a grown up way. More about him tomorrow for his 9 month letter.

We started MDO today, and had a great first day. Gage even napped there, so it proves how well adjusted he is. However, my morning started out not so great.

Yesterday, we gave the dogs a couple of rib bones in the back yard. Well, evidently they over-ate because Curtis didn't take them out before he left for work due to the rain (they're total pansies like that) and well, there was poop everywhere when I got up at 7am. I got up, stepped in some, started to hop to the bathroom to wash it off, and then decided it was better to get Gage somewhere safe first. So, I am yelling at the dogs, carrying the baby away and set him down. I get the poop off our bedroom floor, and I walk into the living room and the little blind dog is pooping about 12 inches away from Gage in the dining room. So, then I am LIVID, and I try and grab her and she runs under the coffee table, and Scooter runs into the bathroom to get away from me (he's very sensitive to my yelling, although after 3 years, you'd think he's have adjusted to it) so I grab paper towels and get the poop AGAIN, and move Gage AGAIN and when I go to move the coffee table to get Jinx, she poops in fear and I throw them both in the backyard.

However, I hadn't seen her final poop, and when I came rushing back in, Gage HAD A TURD IN HIS HANDS. Let me say it again...my precious, sweet faced angel baby had an effing dog turd in his clean sweet, soft little hands. (I had to stop and gather myself after typing that.) I started crying "no, no, not the poop!!!" and I carried him into the bathroom and shook his hands as clean of the poop as I could and then ran the bathtub so I could use the detachable shower head to spray them and washed his hands a few times with antibacterial soap. (Meanwhile the dogs are outside in the rain suffering, and they're lucky I didn't leave them out there. And hope that they found a hole in the fence.) I am still shuddering!

The ONLY thing I can think is...thank God we have wood floors and I could scrub the germs off. NOT how I wanted to start my morning. I called Curtis to let him know he owed me big time...like a pedicure or something. But, I ended up getting Gage some new clothes because someone should APOLOGIZE to that kid for the fact that he played with dog crap today.

Tomorrow...Gage's nine month letter. Wow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Getting Settled

Well, we finally got our internet and cable hooked up yesterday afternoon. So, I have returned to the land of Blog. Let's see, my last post was Thursday, so let's start from there.

Friday, I did a great deal of packing...in fact, I stayed up until 2am packing. Curtis went to bed at 10pm and got up around 4am to take his shift. This is a perfect example of how he is a morning person and I am not. The movers were scheduled to arrive at 8:30am. They showed up 20 minutes late, which should have been my first clue.

They're paid by the hour, with a two hour minimum. They took nearly 4 hours to move our stuff. And, we moved approximately 73 seconds from our old apartment. I was very disappointed with them. I wish I had found someone else to do it! Next time we move, in 2 years, I am going to pay someone to come and PACK ALL OUR STUFF first. Because that's a bitch. Yep. I said it. I hate moving that much. Teething's a bitch too. Moving and Gage teething...well, there's not enough tequila in this world to make that more tolerable. I was exhausted and (more) bitchy over the weekend as a result. Gage DID stay Friday night at Suzanne's, and a good portion of the day on Saturday due to the MORONS WE PAID to move our stuff. Again, this is a small, family owned moving company, and I am ALL about supporting the small business owner, but I wish we had used someone else.

I spent Monday doing I don't know what. Unpacking I guess. I know I didn't work. I wish I had been drunk so I would have a reason for not remembering. Tuesday I took Gage to Miranda's and spent almost 3 hours packing and moving and loading and unloading the rest of the crap from the apartment. And, I still had to make 3 more trips over the last two days to complete that. Thankfully, my mom came up and helped watch Gage while I did that today. I even had to carry trash to the dumpster. Let me tell you all a secret. I am NOT high maintenance in the grand scheme of things, BUT I truly feel like taking out the trash is my husband's job. It's really the only thing I expect him to do regarding cleaning the house. I think that's reasonable. But, he wasn't there today to carry it. I came home and I said "I did MANual labor today. I am not doing anymore for the next year". I am SO not joking here. I grew up never having to take out the trash or mow the yard, so I just don't have the gumption to start now. I ain't gettin' paid enough for that! Ok, I will stop being a brat. I'm sure Curtis will be embarrassed of me for writing that.

Tuesday night was Meet the Teacher at MDO, so I showered and shaved and even brushed and dried my hair and went to the church. Then we went and grabbed a bite to eat afterwards, and I got to know some of the awesome ladies I will be working with this year. I NEEDED that. Thankfully Curtis fed and changed and put the baby to bed while I was at Meet the Teacher, so I didn't have to worry about the munchkin. My hero! We start "school" next week, which reminds me I gotta find Gage's supply list and find what he needs.

Wednesday was a BEATING. Gage woke up in a teething sort of mood. We left early for me to squeeze in a few hours at work, and while I was running to the bank to make a transaction, I got a flat tire on the side of 75. And by that, I mean I had a small blow out and thank GOD I wasn't driving too fast, and I had some warning because my tire seemed to slowly blow out. It was in pieces when Curtis took it off my car. Fortunately I called my Hero, I mean my Husband, and he came and rescued us and changed my flat.

So, we are completely out of the apartment and into the house. There's random crap in my car from the last trip I made because I just didn't want to deal with it. It's odds and ends (how many times can I use that phrase in reference to moving?) and pictures and our Christmas tree. And, yes, there are plenty of things to unpack still, but I think over the weekend, we will have it mostly finished.

I am definitely going to be in the market for some throw rugs. I decided to fore go an area rug because I enjoy wood floors. But, my bath mat and kitchen mat don't go with the wall colors, so TOO BAD, guess I will be shopping once things truly get settled around here. I also want one of those cool car mats for Gage's room. The kind with the roads and tracks printed on it to drive matchbox cars on.

I will let you know when our heads are above water again!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Down to the Wire, "CLETUS!" And, yes that's my eye twitching

Thursday...Wow. I realized how busy I've been when my sister in law posted on my facebook wall simply "Why so quiet today?" Curtis said "because you usually live on here". Smarty pants!

Well, I made The PW Apple Dumplings from Heaven for MOPS and I made triple her recipe so I could have enough for like EVERYONE. And, they were amazing. Yes, anything made with two whole sticks of butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar must be good for my heart and hips. I gave up on being the same size I was before Gage. Before I was married actually. And, I won't sit here and make you all angry at me for complaining that I am not a size zero anymore. But, hey, you have to understand because if you're not the same size as before you had kids, we're in the same boat whether you want to smack me with the paddle or not.

MOPS meeting was great. I made the unfortunate decision to GET TRICKED INTO sharing about 43 different facts about myself with the whole group thanks to my excessive use of toilet paper. When I told Curtis he was like, "I know that wasn't HARD for you to do". Then he asked what all I had shared. Pssshhhh, as IF! What happens at MOPS stays at MOPS (thanks, Pam!).

I went and got only about 2 hours of work done at the BIL's. And, Gage put himself down for a nap again over there. He DID poop beforehand, and I was faced with a parenting dilemma. I know he's sleeping in his own poop, should I wake him? However, my BIL said it's just like when you go in there after a nap and you realize they pooped, except you already know. So, Gage slept in his poo filled diaper, and was totally fine with that.

Maybe I am lame for being late in noticing, but Gage is all of a sudden getting a tooth in on the top. Yes, A tooth. Not both in at once, like he did on the bottom. My kid is getting ONE tooth on the top left. Meaning, I will have to start referring to him at Cletus if he only has one tooth on top for a while. I'm hoping the other top tooth will come in soon after. Because I will have to put him in overalls with one strap broken and marry him off to a cousin if he looks like a hill billy.

Today I dropped off Gage at my other sister in law's and then went to the church to decorate my MDO room for a couple of hours. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped though. I DID get to use the die cutter, and that was exciting. I could cut out shapes all day with that thing. Letters too. Oh small joys!

Still so much to pack. Shoot me now. Or, just come help me pack and don't shoot me. Curtis packed his "knick knacks"/collectibles today, so I am not as stressed, because I promised him and myself and anyone else who will listen that I am NOT packing that crap myself. There's not THAT much stuff. But, I think we could use some more boxes...and Tequila.

Don't expect much up an update til next week, friends!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Procrasti-what?

I feel like I have made headway with the packing. I've been doing it for 2 weeks now. But, there's still a lot to be done. And, today is Tuesday...and we move Saturday. But, I've got other stuff going on, and it's hard to pack with a curious baby who enjoys pulling things OUT of boxes. I've packed all the stuff we don't use regularly. I've been a bit more sensible, throwing away junk, sorting things to donate and keeping it minimalistic and all that. There's too much going on here right now to share more. Perhaps another day, my friends!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I had to sneak one in

Just wanted to sneak in an update. Work went well last week, doing part time help for the BIL's (brother in law) insurance business. I felt good because I was making calls to people and several were interested and even called back when I left a message to get a quote from him. So, I felt like it was successful, in drumming up some possible business for him. Also, Gage sleeps well at their house because it's family. He naps in the P 'n' P (pack 'n' play) after lunch and I can't believe how much he doesn't need me anymore. I DO sneak in the cuddles occasionally.

Guys, you KNOW how crazy I am about his naps and 7pm bedtime. So, you'll be shocked to know that I let him stay up til 8:30 last night because we were at a friends house, and another couple we're friends with had their 2 year old daughter there and Gage is all social, so we let him stay up and play. But, here's the kicker. We set up the P 'n' P in their bedroom and I took him up there, cuddled and said prayers with him like always, and decided to lay him down awake like we do at home. And, I literally RAN downstairs to see if he would cry - because I figured he would. Guess what? He DIDN'T. I heard him rolling around for a few mins, never a peep, and he went to sleep. He's also working on the first few chapters of his second novel.

When we left, of course he woke up, but I rocked him again at home and put him down. When he woke up at 2:30am, I just got him and brought him to bed with us, since I felt bad for waking him up to leave our friends' house. (also, this is where I sneak in cuddling these days) Can you believe the world did not cave in when I woke him up? I know! I won't do that but every couple of months at the most because I don't want to wreck his sleep. Who likes being woken up in the middle of the night? Not me....oh wait, Gage, that's called payback! No, not really. But, we put him to bed at 6:20 tonight because he was tired, and he's all sleeping in his diaper so cute and sweet right now.

I will be helping out as the 3 year old class teacher at MDO starting in 2 weeks. I am excited about this final decision, because as much as I would have enjoyed being the music teacher, it would have meant going into Gage's class, and I don't want him to see me come and go, and develop some annoying issue right now. He's in such a state of development, I don't want to foster or develop any bad habits for him. So, I am thrilled to have a part time schedule where I can BRING my son to work every day, and have a little extra money to set aside for us.

By the way, this kid is like 2 sounds away from talking. He's started all these new sounds in the past week. Like he's trying out the letters to see how they feel. He's got the "b" and the hard "c" sound, he's always had the hard "g" sound - probably from hearing his own name so much. Sometimes I swear he's about to say "puppy". He has recognition of words and things, but hasn't repeatedly applied the same sounds to a thing, so I can't say he's said his first word yet. If you want to get technical, about 2 1/2 months ago, he repeated "hello" back to a stranger at the grocery store, and all three of us (my mother was there as well) were surprised and agreed it sure as heck sounded like he said hello right back to that lady in the green dress. He also said "baaa" today when I took him into the bathroom to put him in the already full bathtub. So, I am just going to wait until it's super obvious he says something before I write it in his baby book. I just love hearing him babble, and since the evolution of these new sounds in his vocab, we've started obsessively naming everything around him like Rain Man in order to fill his giant head with options for words. Don't get me wrong, we've been talking to him and explaining the world around him since he popped out (more like squeezed out of an exit the size of a grape), it's just this mad dash to get him to repeat us. I'm still half rooting for him to say "dada" first, just so when he wakes up at 5:15am, he's asking for Curtis, not me!

And, of course, we move this Saturday! We have til Sept 2nd to be out of this apartment, so it gives us a little time if we need it. But, we are spoiled and have hired movers (the cheapest we could find, AND they came with a glowing recommendation from a previous, repeat customer of theirs) because who in their right mind wants to move all their crap in August in Texas? Curtis works too hard in the heat all day to have to move our couch and boxes in the heat on his ONE weekend of this month.

So, things are changing, and we are excited to get moved and settled and have a YARD. A backyard to PLAY in. And let the dogs poop in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A working Girl, again

I have a job. Yeah, a real one. Where I make money. And, no, it does not include taking off anything. Stretch marks and strippers should not mix. But, rumor has it that most strippers don't resemble the ones in movies. How disappointed was I to hear that?!

But, I digress. I started helping out my brother in law (well, Curtis's sister's husband....does that mean B.I.L.?) with his Farmers Insurance business. Mostly helping him get organized and get some systems in place, and it might just be for a few weeks, or it might be for longer. Additionally, I am going to be working at the Mother's Day Out program that saved my life last winter. I MIGHT get to be the music teacher for the program. Because singing ridiculous songs and good children's church songs is near and dear to my heart. So, I would truly love to get that opportunity. Either way, I will be helping out there, and it's exciting because Gage gets to play with friends and I get to make some new ones.

MOPS (the other program that saved my life after I had Gage) starts in a week as well. I am helping with crafts this year. Yep, I love me some good ol' arts 'n' crafts too. I think all these insane changes in my life are the final steps into accepting motherhood, and wearing it well. Doing the mommy thang is hotter than it use to be...thanks Angelina (Jolie) and Jessica (Alba) for making it popular again. Thanks to all the everyday moms who've been making it cool for decades!!!!

I had another job offer today, working for Atmos Energy, making what I was asking for an office job, and when faced with it, I realized I just can't take Gage to daycare. He's making new sounds and I swear he was looking me dead in the eye and trying to tell me something from his high chair today. I can't miss that. Whatever sacrifices it calls for, I am willing to make. And, that includes being lonely sometimes. However, that's what's so great about this new stuff. I get to take Gage with me to my jobs, and I won't be lonely making new friends!

And, I can still work on the business for us. And, I might get it together and start my sewing projects once we move....IN TWO WEEKS!! I've been forcing myself to accept that reality and call the electric company to schedule service to be turned on and off and planning our change of address info for the USPS. I have also been forcing myself to pack. And delegating to Curtis what he needs to pack...like his collectible, manly man stuff. I swear, he has more "things" than I do. I collect books. And shoes. He collects shot glasses, coins, Coke memorabilia, and other people's cups (He tends to leave customer's houses with their cups when they give him a drink of water at work.)

Yeah, I'm pretty damn excited about life. And, it's just the simple things that really make us happy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Same crap, different day - wherein I get political

That's a bit more dramatic than necessary, but my twitching right eye lid is telling me I need more sleep and less to think about.

This week, I kept my nine year old neice again for two days while her mom filled in at our husbands' work. She's very helpful, keeping Gage entertained. And, it didn't hurt that we had just bought Toy Story 3 for the PS3. She actually totally kicked butt and found some levels we hadn't even been to yet. Kids! She's a lot of fun, but Gage didn't like napping when she was here. That's because of the fun factor.

I think Gage has dumped over my coffee, my Dr Pepper, and grabbed a burrito off my plate this past week. He routinely knocks the keyboard off the desk (thankfully we will have a taller desk when we move) and his new favorite thing is to play "splashy splashy" in the dog's water bowl. Speaking of the dogs, I took them to get their nails trimmed. An ordeal with Gage, but a lot easier with my neice's help.

We've always planned on having a second baby, but today our health insurance costs sent Curtis reeling, since we have to get our own through a broker...a joy of not having a job working for someone else. It's so frustrating, but necessary. Gage, obviously, has insurance. And, there's no amount we wouldn't pay for that. But, if I have coverage PLUS maternity coverage (because can I JUST have Maternity coverage? I don't know.) is ridiculously expensive, and well, I don't even have it this year. It's knowing that if we stick to our plan of having baby #2, and I get pregnant next year, what's really the benefit of insurance vs. out of pocket?

Obamacare has already started to piss me off, and I can tell you here...I didn't vote for him. But, you already knew that, didn't you? I can also tell you that having another kid is scary when you think about the healthcare industry changes...including the fact that most people won't be able to get maternity coverage added to their health coverage if you don't work for a large corporation that pretty much has to include it in their benefits. Gage, you might be an only child. So much for our second tax shelter!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gage: Eight Month Letter


Little Man,
You turned 8 months old yesterday. Honestly, I had been thinking about it all week, and then it occured to me only this morning that I owe you a letter.

This past month has gone by much more slowly than the 6-7 months did. This month, you've gotten TWO teeth...at once...on the bottom. Man, are they sharp! Your dad likened it to being bit by a rat...he said you've got rat teeth. You bite his toes when he's in the recliner, and it always catches him off guard and I have to muffle my snickers. Today, however, you experienced their rattiness for yourself. You totally bit yourself while eating and left two little rat teeth marks on your hand. I was pretty shocked, and somewhat amused you didn't realize this already. So, I am thinking you might stop biting people....or let the power go to your head and start biting everyone.

You've started standing up in your high chair, standing up in the bathtub. And, this weekend you stood up in the grocery cart. Your dad fell out onto his head once doing that. Unless you want the same issues he has, stop standing up. As for the issues I have, well, you're screwed on that one. You spend most of your time with me, and that's just how it is. You can't escape from the warping I may cause. We can start saving for your therapy OR college. Not both. You have finally mastered coming around the corners on the coffee table. You use to walk along the edge, and get down and stand back up on the next side. Now, you're rounding the corners like a pro. Meaning, I can't "hide" something from you on the opposite edge of the table. You've got full access now.

You MUST eat everything we have. You make this "mmmmm" sound when we eat and you always climb up our legs and make this sound to let us know we'd better plan on sharing. You feed yourself cereal puffs and baby "cheetos". This also makes for more adult like poop. I miss the "baby formula only" diapers. Now, it's like changing a diaper with my own poop in it. Yes, gross.

Last week, Malia came over for two days while her mom worked and you LOVED having a buddy. I loved having a buddy! She's old enough to be helpful and young enough to enjoy playing with you, even though you knock down her blocks. You caught up on some sleep this weekend. You hardly napped due to the excitement of knowing she was in the living room, just waiting to play.

By the way, you're too big for your britches, kid. We love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pros & Cons

As we approach Gage's 8 month birthday, I can't help already feeling nostalgic about his newborn days. Granted, he's a lot more FUN now, he's also into everything, as I mentioned in my last post. I feel like a referee, and I only have ONE kid so far.
The thing is, Gage is getting so big, so fast. It makes me want another BABY to have around, since he's all "Hey, look ma, no hands!" And working on his second novel. I said to Curtis "Oh no, I have baby fever." And he pointed to Gage who was hanging on precariously to the sharp corner of the coffee table and said "There's your baby fever right there."
I miss the cuddling. Gage is SO over cuddling unless it's right before bedtime. And, he doesn't even fall asleep with me, he just hangs out looking at me like "So, when are you going to be done holding me so I can get in my bed and sleep?" He's also a lot more selective with *KISSIES!!!!* We have to steal them now.
However, Gage is such a joy to watch as he learns and goes off on his own more. Right now, he's squealing while chasing after the dog...the blind one...who hides from him under the couch, which he finds hysterical. And he gets down on his tummy and peeks under the couch and reaches for her and giggles.
I know they grow up, but I guess I figured I had more time before he started being so independent. He hardly wants to be held in the swimming pool and occasionally pushes away from us like "Hey, guys, I got this figured out. I totally swam around in mom's tummy for 9 whole months. I'm a pro!" He wants to be put down after 1.5 seconds of soothing after a nasty crash.
I DON'T miss the waking up at night. Gage sleeps very well at night. And, he's really great in public. Not at all embarrassing like Curtis. OK, really, I am the embarrassing one. But, Gage is the one who burps mid-conversation with the check out clerk. AND, he's the one who makes farting sounds on my leg when I am on the phone.
He's pulling up on everything, smashing his face, and getting right back up. He wants to eat whatever we have on our plates, and we let him have bites of everything. He feeds himself little baby snacks without a problem (this has increased his value to our dogs). He's not really into using a cup, but it seems to be that he doesn't want juice. He makes faces when he drinks it.
When I say "no" he looks at me and smiles. He gets that charm from his dad. He's so insistent upon having his own way, and it drives me crazy, because I want to have MY way. Like not getting poop on me when I change his diapers.
I miss watching him sleep, I miss him sleeping through grocery store trips. He's now graduated to screeching for fun, and grabbing whatever is hanging on hooks nearby. I went grocery shopping alone last night while Curtis and Gage played at home. They had a great time, and so did I. Since I wasn't pulling price tags out of Gage's mouth that he had chewed off the toy I picked up for him.
I am still very protective of his naps, and that's cramping my style more and more these days since he's big enough and fun enough to take places. So, I want to take him out, but I have to plan around naps. I don't mind Gage when he's not napping. He's such a good kid (minus the dog terrorizing) when he's awake. I think that's because of the naps. I am telling you, parents, let your kids sleep on a regular schedule! Not letting them sleep enough is like feeding them a nutritionally lacking diet.
I feel like I am ready to take on something new. I'm getting a little bored. So bored I bleached my floors last week. AND spot steam cleaned the carpets. However, that reminds me that we move in less than 4 weeks, and I have a whole house to pack. My goal is 3-5 boxes a day, depending on size. I've already gone through my old makeup and toiletries to throw out stuff that doesn't make sense to take to the new place. Like 7 year old silver eye liner....correction, I think I bought it when I was 15, so TEN year old silver eye liner.
Our (new) church we attend is having a back to school clothing drive for kids aged up to 18. I think my size 0 and size 1 jeans can go ahead and see some tiny teens hips now. They'll never meet mine again. So, I am purging out old, but gently used clothes to donate and that will cut down on the packing.

Back to my pros and cons...
It's hard to watch Gage grow up and AWAY from me. That's at least what I feel like is happening. It makes me miss his baby days (most of them, not ALL of them), it makes me want another baby in the house, it makes me look forward to the big boy days too. His curiosity is amazing, and amusing. And frustrating when he's grabbing things off the computer desk. He has started sticking his tongue out while he plays. He makes lots of new sounds. But, I miss the bleary, unfocused eyes of the newborn Gage. And I miss him biting me WITHOUT teeth.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I've been up to lately....

Um, why haven't I been here to entertain with my words? (Dance, Monkey! Dance!) Here's the run down. I've been really busy...
Saying...
Gage, No!
Gage, what are you doing being so quiet in there? Oh Crap!
Gage, what are you chewing on?
Gage, what's in your mouth? Gross!
Gage, where did you find that!?
Gage, turn around and sit down. Stop standing on your high chair!
Gage, sit on your bottom in the bathtub.
Gage, hold still, you're getting poop all over my carpet...and your clothes...and your hair...CURTIS!!!! Will you please run a bath for Gage?
Gage, mommy needs a minute.
Gage, stop crawling up my leg.
Gage, don't put your mouth on the dog.
Ow, Gage, don't bite my knee cap.
Gage, go see Daddy.
Gage, that's yucky.
Gage, don't play with your spit up.
Gage, please hold still.
Gage, you're going to be an only child.
Gage, get out of the dog's bed.

Grabbing...
Paper out of Gage's mouth
Cups and keys off the coffee table
The TV tray before it dumps over
The fan before Gage pole dances on it and breaks it
Shots of tequila to calm my nerves
Gage before he hits his head
Gage before he climbs out of the bath tub
Gage before he leaps from his high chair
Cords that are hanging from the computer desk that Gage re-enacts Tarzan with
Boxes of Jello and uncooked potatoes from the kitchen floor
Tupperware lids Gage gets from the drawer
Gage before he dumps over the laundry basket
Gage before he drowns himself by dumping the dog's water bowl
Flip flops from Gage's hands
Jars of baby food Gage gets from the drawer when he's in his high chair

Get me?
Good luck to all my pregnant mommies to be!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's a "Go"

I know I mentioned in a previous post that we MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT be moving into a house. Well, I am super excited to announce that we signed a 13 month lease on an awesome place last night. And, our friends are going to China to further the Kingdom. I feel like this is our way of helping spread the Good News of Christ, by being stewards of their home while they're out of the country.

I promised that I would NOT post pictures of their home on the internet, since it's still THEIR home, and they'll be living there when they return, and probably don't want to worry about crazies. However, I'm happy and excited, and I feel like we're listening to the Holy Spirit's prompting. Plus, A BACKYARD!!! And wood floors through out, so no vacuuming, which scaredy pants Scooter will appreciate. They're leaving a couple of pieces of furniture (one less thing to have to put in storage for two years), including a computer desk that rocks my socks off.

This will be the house where Gage turns one, where he'll take his first steps (as long as he doesn't decide to be all big and start that before the end of August), where we may have our second child. It's also the first HOUSE Curtis and I will live in together. We've had a couple of APARTMENTS, but not a house. And, that's a milestone that makes me content in a new way. It's our first little home together, with trees and a backyard (!!) and no more lugging fat boy up and down the stairs. Twenty extra pounds of warm bodied baby is a killer in the summer. I can't even imagine what being full term pregnant in the summer must feel like.

Which reminds me, my gorgeous (half) sister had her baby girl, Aubrey, on Tuesday. Fortunately, she's in WA state, so I think it's not as bad as it could've been this summer. That's my opinion only. I remember sweating in November when I was hugely pregnant last Thanksgiving. Pictures of that day are amusing, and Curtis likes to laugh and say "Hey, you look hungry". I probably ate a lot, because, who cares if I gained 5 more pounds in the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy, the baby weight is GONE now, suckas! But, the stretch marks remain...and, I didn't care. Being pregnant is the only time you can unapologetically stuff yourself on a meal by meal basis and no one can judge you. When giving my order at a restaurant I invariably started with "This is going to sound like a lot, but..." The BIG boss at my job would offer me snacks in the afternoons (like a granola bar, or something like that), and I never said no.

All these babies, and the thought of having a house that we will most likely be staying in for two whole years without moving, added to the fact that Curtis's truck will be paid off in the foreseeable future gives me baby fever. And, then I hear Gage's head hit the Exersaucer (or floor, or small toy) and I remember to take my birth control pills.

So, it's a go! The house, I mean.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gage - Seven Months already!?!?

Dear Thunder Thighs, Uh, where the heck did the last month go?? Oh, I think it's a blur because I have spent most of my time chasing you around the house all day. Yeah, because on June 16th, you started this cute scooting/army crawl thing. Except now, it's this terrorizing scramble across all surfaces, uneven and flat! You steamroll across the floor like a wrecking ball, and the dogs HATE IT. It's pretty hysterical. You have dumped the dog's water bowl over twice, I have had to pick up shoes and unplug everything within your reach, and just when I thought I had learned to manage this whole mobility thing, you started teething. Yeah, I mean like chewing on metal belt buckles and table legs. Not to mention, you started pulling up on things this past week, so now I have to keep the coffee table free of everything I don't want in your mouth. This is the first month's passing that's been a blur for me. Well, except for the first 2 months when I was in a place I can't remember called "Newborn Mommyland" where my nipples were cracked and I didn't shave my legs. I told your father last night that I don't want to go back to that place, but, I probably will so you don't have to grow up an only child and turn out like me, all mal-adjusted and unable to share. Yeah, kid, it's insane. You sleep through the night, except for the past few nights have been a bit rough, and I'm only soft hearted to you at 3am because I know it's the gums. Teething's a bitch. And, I don't care if you say that either. Because it's the truth! The funniest thing about this whole mess, is your unstoppable chewing on leather belts and wooden blocks, and this growling while rubbing your fists on your gums thing you do:


You're awesome! We love you so much. We even let you stay the night at Uncle Scott & Aunt Miranda's house so mommy and daddy could have some alone time this past weekend, and we were all very happy with this arrangement. They love you, and we loved having a break from you. Don't be offended. You loved having a break from your insane mother and you know it!

Every month you're getting bigger, smarter and more loveable. More you. And, we can't get enough of it!!

Love, Mommy

Monday, July 5, 2010

A 2nd Honeymoon


I'm going to go ahead and say this past weekend was in the top 3 best weekends I have ever had with my husband. The other two weekends include the first time he told me he loved me (and that he intended to marry me) and the weekend of our honeymoon.

And, now let me chase a rabbit. My favorite non-fiction author is Elisabeth Elliott. She wrote "Passion & Purity" many decades ago. When I was in college, having suffered enough break ups to assure myself that I was TIRED of hearing "i love you" with no real follow through in action, I read this book, and I found something that made so much sense to me that I prayed for the man I married to feel the same way. In one of the final chapters of "Passion & Purity", Elisabeth Elliott shares that her father told her brothers (I believe that was the situation, as it happens, I can't find my copy of the book to confirm) this piece of advice. "Do not tell a woman that you love her unless and until you are ready to follow that with a marriage proposal."

Surely you see where I'm going here. Curtis told me he loved me 4th of July weekend two years ago. It might sound like a silly thing, but it was the first time I
heard it followed by "And, you're going to be my wife." That's exactly how he said it. I had finally found a man who could take charge even when he was sweeping me
off my feet. Let me also give you a time line. Curtis and I had been dating exclusively for about seven months before he told me he loved me. By month THREE, at the latest, every other guy had thrown out this three word phrase. I remember he stood by the front door of his apartment, told me he loved me and boldly stated that even though he didn't have a ring right this second, he was going to marry me as soon as he could (and he did, about 5 months later). So, this weekend has always been special for us, because it was the beginning of our life as we now know it. And, he admitted he wanted to tell me he loved me about 3 months into the relationship, but he wanted to wait because he wanted it to mean for a lifetime. Now, tell me God didn't write that love story.

So, this past Saturday, Curtis had ran out to get something, and he called me when he was about five minutes from home and said that he had an overnight babysitter for Gage and I needed to pack his stuff because he was staying with his brother and his wife. At first, I sort of panicked. Like, you did what? You're sending our son away?? Have you lost your mind?! I worry NOT about who is watching him, but he's never spent the night away from home (from me, from MOMMY!!!!!). Until now. And, I only wish Curtis had forced me to do it sooner. Nearly seven months without a break, and always knowing that even if Gage is asleep for the night, he could always wake up, interrupt our movie, and annoy me just enough that it ruins the time Curtis and I have together.

So, we spent the evening together, stayed up until midnight, and slept in the next morning. Scott & Miranda brought Gage home around 10am. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't realize that not only does a baby monoploize my time most days, but he also monopolizes my mind. It's hard to remember to put anyone in front of your kids, and the problem with that is, you wouldn't have the kid without the man you made him with! So, the time away from being "Mommy" and just being "Jodie" really changed my perspective. It also reminded me of why I am so crazy about Curtis, and why we started a life and a family together. What a joy and blessing it is to be a mother, but how much more of a joy and blessing to have a loving husband to be married to, to love, to get into bed at night with.

This past weekend was like a mini honeymoon for my heart and mind. And, I am soooo ready to schedule Gage's next overnight trip!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Modest is Hottest....right?

I should be cleaning since this weekend I basically got nothing done, but I know Curtis will be working a full day, so I have time to get it all done by the end of the day. And, Gage is SLEEPING, so I am taking a break for a minute.

I spent a good portion of Saturday at a MOPS planning meeting - which is basically the beginning of the best thing that I've been a part of as a mom. I went to a few MOPS meetings at the end of the school year last year, because my sweet friend, Raquel, invited me to the group when I was taking Gage to MDO at FBC Plano. It basically saved my life. MOPS is "Mothers of Pre Schoolers". It's a Christ-based international organization that has probably done the most good for mothers around the world. We meet twice a month during the school year and have potluck brunch, a speaker or some sort of creative activity (which is the committee I am on this year...crafts!!) group time, prayer requests, and generally support each other through this thing called motherhood.

I can't say how much this particular thing means to me. If I hadn't found MOPS (or rather if Raquel hadn't found me and told me about MOPS) I think I might have had an even harder time getting through my dark days.

One thing I noticed on Saturday was all the "Mormon shorts" as Curtis calls them. They're shorts that are closer to the knee than the crotch. Now, please don't be offended, or think I am being rude. It's really a compliment to Mormons that Curtis associates them with modesty. I think that's their goal anyway. And, really, it's just the same as Baptist shorts, because that's how I was raised. "Modest is Hottest" and "Above reproach; below the knee". I can go on forever with those.

I bought some shorts in the spring from Old Navy, and they're all within 2 inches of my knees. Curtis likes them when I'm in public alone, but he thinks they're a little silly in general. I remind him that one of the reasons he married me is BECAUSE I'm not a floozy. And, it's not just because I'm a mom. It's because I'm a woman who guards the things that are meant for my husbands eyes only. I'm not trying to be "holier than thou" here. My parents raised me VERY conservatively. No sex, no alcohol, no cigarettes, and no short shorts! I wasn't allowed a 2 piece swimsuit until I was 15 and that's only because Tankini's made their debut. And, I am certainly glad for the way they raised the standards of what they expected, versus what the world says is attractive. And, these moms I hang out with, they obviously feel the same way about modesty. I love that I can be around a group of women and not feel intimidated because their sexy cleavage is visible.

It's something that's been a growing frustration for me as the weather gets warm. A woman walked into a restaurant where we were eating the other day, and Curtis and I both looked right at each other with a look of shock, and I jokingly covered Gage's eyes because she looked like she had on one of those Denim Diapers that I've seen commericals for. Her shorts barely covered her cheeks.

And, I'm glad you're proud of your breast augmentation, and I'm glad you had the chance to do that for yourself and your husband (though, of course, not all women who have faux tops are married and only showing them at home), but please don't show them to me and my family.

Wear what you want at home. I believe some women forget to be sexy at home for their husbands...and sometimes when your kids are older, that's an awkward challenge. Don't forget your husband loves you and wants you. But, please, refrain from making me see what the good Lord gave you, or what you paid for.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What an insane 2 weeks!

Hmm...I think I have to start with Gage crawling. He started scooting around on June 16th, and he's only made huge leaps and bounds of progress since. I've frantically had to baby proof the house. Meaning I have:
-Vacuumed and mopped practically every other day.
-Picked up all cords (like the cable cord) and hung them on something to get them at least a foot off the ground.
-We've starting putting our shoes in chairs, or on the mantle. Which leads me to...
-I pushed the couch against our fireplace mantle. We have a pretty substantial brick mantle in our living room, and we don't use the fireplace in the summer, if you can believe that!
-Pulled a receipt, and a Reese's foil wrapper from his mouth.
-Brought the Pack 'n' Play into the office to contain him when I need 5 minutes on the computer without wondering what he's got in his mouth.

It's been pretty crazy to adjust to his mobility. He loves it. He can get after the dogs, follow me into the kitchen, crawl under his exersaucer, and generally get into everything possible!
He's gotten interested in sitting in his high chair to hang out while I wash dishes (because something has gone terribly wrong with our dishwasher the past couple of days) or cook. He's so big, playing by himself. He's gotten s few bumps here and there with the crawling. A scrape on the knee, and a bruise on his big head from the coffee table. But, he's a tough kid! At his 6 month check up, everything was great with him. He weighed 19 lbs 8 oz, and is 27 inches tall! The round of shots he got seemed to affect him more this time, making him tired and cranky and whiney for two full days. YUCK!

He does not want to be held as much, now that he can get around on his own. That makes me sad. He's gotten a little belligerent with his new found freedom. He's arching his back to be put down, he doesn't want to be rocked. He's also been waking up a little more at night, which I feel is a direct test of my tough love abilities. He knows how to put himself to sleep at night, (because we taught him that at a very young age) and he knows how to put himself BACK to sleep if he wakes up. So, I may check on him but I won't pick him up. Of course, I am battling the pee pee leaking diapers, but I am trying out the Huggies Overnights tonight. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

yo gabba gabba - gage's mistress


Gage and I were playing in the breakfast nook/office together yesterday. He was crawling on me and giving me slobber kisses, when all of a sudden, the music changed on TV and he stopped and leaned toward the sound. Our TV isn't visible from the computer, but you can obviously hear what's on. And, what does he do...he starts trying to turn around in my lap.

It took about 8 more seconds of music before I hear "Yo gabba gaaaabbaaaaaaaaa!" and I figure out what's on TV. So, I take Gage into the living room (he hasn't watched the show in quite a while because I got tired of it, and he's usually napping when it comes on at noon) and I put him on his bottom to sit up like a big boy, and he immediately looks at the TV and starts smiling. And, I am SO offended. He picked THAT show over kissing and cuddling with mommy. But, here he is, so cute and big boy-like with his blonde head, I couldn't say no.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Conversations

Yesterday Curtis and I were giving each other a hard time about our respective jobs and responsibilities. I had left my coffee cup on the computer desk, and he was at the computer and said
"Gee, I wish I had time to sit at the computer and drink a cup of coffee. And, look, you only drank half."
My response, "Yeah, I only had time to drink HALF A CUP OF COFFEE while I was doing marketing for (y)our business yesterday morning."

Via text message in the late morning.
Me: "Your son is VERY talkative today"

Several hours later we're trying to watch a Netflix movie and Gage is squealing and squawking, Curtis looks at me exasperated and all I ask is "Didn't you get my text message?"

And, this morning, I woke up around 2:30 to discover the baby monitor was turned off, and I went to check on Gage, and I felt pretty bad about it, even though he sleeps until 4:30 or so. WHen Curtis got out of the shower, I asked him if he had turned off the baby monitor and his reply "NO. I would never ever do that!".
So, apparently I am the bad parent, and I turned it off in my sleep. Subconcious action? :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Can't Complain??

It has occurred to me that some people might feel like I have no right to complain about poop or sleepless-ness since I have the blessing of staying home with my son. My question: Do YOU love every single minute of YOUR job? Because that's what this is. My job. The one I don't get paid for.

I love the hell out of my life. It's crazy, it's awesome, it's stressful, it's full of shit sometimes. I get to stay home ALL DAY with my son. I don't even have to put on pants if I don't need to go anywhere!!!!! And, I haven't mentioned this to anyone yet, but we MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT be renting a little house instead of moving to another apartment. It's all in God's hands right now, but it would be an opportunity to help support some missionaries to China by renting their home while they're gone for 2 years. This is me being excited about having a back yard for the puppies and Gage. That's probably the #1 thing I am most excited about.

So, I am going to be honest. I do NOT love every minute of my job. It's not always a blast to clean poop off baby feet at 4am, or scrub a belly full of baby food throw up off a wooden high chair. You can pretend like you love your job all the time. Or you can get real and join the rest of us on EARTH.

But, dang it, this is the best thing I've ever gotten to do. So, be jealous. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gage: Six Months Old


Dear Big Boy,
You are no longer always a baby. Some days you're a little boy now. You've gotten big, and I think this past month you've shown the greatest amount of progress between "birthdays".

You've had a lot more "firsts" in the past month. You've eaten a lot of new foods. You went swimming in the pool. You're laughing even harder. You've started throwing fits. You spit. You can drink from a sippy cup. You're sleeping pretty well. I DO think we're about to hit the hardcore teething days really soon. I also would like you to know that I still have another 7 lbs to lose, and your nap schedule has made it hard to get to the gym lately.

You're reaching for everything. Cups, toys, the dogs, dirty diapers I just took off of you, my slice of pizza. You just figured out you can stretch and reach the floor with one foot in your walker and push yourself backwards. Your dad saw you take one crawl and face plant yesterday. So, I know crawling is just around the corner. Scooter will LOVE when you're mobile. Then he will have to hide from you on our bed or somwhere equally unreachable by you. I'm pretty sure HE is the reason you will pop up and start crawling any day now. You want to get your hands on him so badly.
You respond to me saying "bounce" when you're in your exersaucer. You think it's funny when I made an idiot of myself dancing, singing, crawling (to set the example, of course!) and jumping around. You somehow manage to get stuck under the coffee table on a regular basis.

You are VERY interested in everything. We love to watch you in "discovery mode". You're everywhere, and we can't look away for a second. You've learned how to flip onto your tummy in the bath tub. You've started spitting. You're six months old!!!

I just can't believe we have a son, and he's already six months old. If you want to speed up time, have a kid. Then every day of memories is new and goes by way too quickly.

Gage, you've turned my whole world into something new. I see things from your perspective. And, it's taught me what's important. Like squirrels and bananas. And rolling across the living room. And splashing water out of the tub. And not wearing any clothes. (ok, you play naked, mommy doesn't)

I took you to the pet store yesterday, and your eyes popped out of your head to see all the puppies and bunnies and fish. I can barely keep you fed these days. You're eating constantly it seems. But, you go for several hours at night without eating, so it makes sense. You are concerned with what we are eating, and I think you're figuring out that you're getting screwed when it comes to the cereal and jars of baby food.

I am just overwhelmed with all the things that have happened this month. You're getting sooo big, and I can't wrap my mind around it. You get angry when I force you to hold still when I change your diaper. And the spitting...usually when you're angry. You get crazy in the saucer when you're hungry. Speaking of eating: you sit in your high chair like a big boy and open your mouth like a bird when i get te bowl and spoon out with your cereal in it. And, you smacked the bowl out of my hand the other day and splattered cereal across the floor. Scooter likes you a little more because of that.

You scream for fun. You try to sit up when you're laying down or in your car seat. You reach your arms up to get picked up by us when we come to get you. You're constantly happy. You love people. You love yourself. I think we're the luckiest parents to have a kid like you. We couldn't ask for a more special, wonderful son.

Thank you for all you've taught me. For all your kisses. For cuddling with me at bedtime and patting my face to wake me up after our early morning nap together. Thank you for being such a good baby in public. You've always got a smile for strangers. Thank you for making us parents. And thanks for not firing me for sucking at this job.

Love, Mommy

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Daily Goals

It might seem silly, but I have made a list of things I want to accomplish each day. It's sort of a "to-do" list for all aspects of life. Simple things that don't always get done in a normal day, but should, if I manage my time better.

In somewhat chronological order:
Make Coffee
Read Bible
Post/Maintain Marketing Ads
Workout
Shower
Do dinner dishes and wipe down kitchen counters
Clean off coffee table (it collects stuff over the day)
Plan for dinner by thawing appropriate meat
Wash, dry, fold and put away a load of laundry

Other things:
Play with Gage (don't worry, this is what I spend a lot of time doing)
Read Bible story to Gage before bedtime
Blog
Get out of the house before 4pm to run errands - this is a challenge because, as I mentioned, I revolve my time around Gage's naps, and I won't leave the house if he's suppose to be napping. It makes life easier if he's well rested.

If you think this sounds ridiculous, you probably don't have kids.

Poop Patrol (and my iron stomach)


**FAIR WARNING, CONTAINS POOP COMMENTARY AND ANECDOTES**

Soooo, the other day Curtis asked me if I had written any blogs lately. It warmed the cockles of my heart. I think. Because I'm not sure where that saying came from, or where my cockles are exactly. That should be a blog in itself...where do these random sayings come from?

Here I am. I think two weeks ago, I started going back to the gym. Meaning, I made it two days last week, and zero days this week. Gage has been sleeping more. And, I may be a terrible parent what with all the tequila Gage drinks these days, but I firmly believe in the importance of sleep. So, I will plan my life/day around the sleep habits of the mini monster that lives with us. So, I never wake him up. Ever. Except for this morning. More to come on that.

I explained to Curtis that I have always had the tendency to write when I am feeling something negative. It's my creative outlet for my disappointments and frustrations. And, I think the natural high of FINALLY working out (even if only a couple days at a time) was such a fix for me, that I've been riding that high for two weeks. Also, I went to see SATC 2 with a girlfriend last weekend, and we had a cookout with those same friends for Memorial Day weekend. So, I've been socialized, exercised, and something else-ized enough that I've not felt a NEED to write to feel better.

But, I have things to share. Like why I woke Gage up today. He's been sleeping great lately. Lots of naps and sleeping through the night on occasion. Last night, he woke up around 3:15, had a bottle and slept until I had to wake him up because he was sleeping in his own poo. Yes, I said that. He had pooped his diaper, it exploded out the top, and he was happily sleeping on his tummy with crap on his back. After a few minutes of debate (i am VERY dedicated to letting him sleep) and texting my mom what she thought...I woke his poopy butt up. And, thank the Lord I did. It was worse than I thought.

He had poop dried to his back and side. His shirt was ruined, and his sheets were spotless. Guess he hadn't rolled over from his tummy since he pooped, so it was all "contained" to his backside. I took him straight to the tub of soapy bath water I ran before I got him, and I had to scrub the poop off. Yep. And, now my iron stomach that has always been able to handle anything nauseating has truly earned an award.

On the flipside, my mom use to listen from downstairs while I threw up in the bathroom and yell "are you ok?" between barfs. To her credit, this was only after the age of 12. Curtis has thrown up on the toilet lid, on my kitchen counter, on the side of my car. And, guess who cleans it up? Not Curtis. Guess who comes to take care of me when I throw up...not Curtis. Any time I throw up, I am on my own.

So last night when Gage unexpectedly poops all over himself BEFORE bed, and I run him to the bathroom to strip and bathe him, Curtis ran the opposite direction. He DID say "tell me what to do" and then got a towel for me to lay Gage on to strip him on the bathroom floor. And, as I asked Curtis to run the bath water, I lost him. He looked at Gage, looked at me, and went to the living room saying "this bathroom's not big enough for all this". Meanwhile, I am wrestling Gage who doesn't know (or doesn't care) that he's rolling in poop and it's in his hair because he bucked when I tried to pull the onsie over his head. I ran after Curtis and asked a poignant question "Why the hell did you have kids? THEY POOP!"

I washed Gage, put his diaper on, and made Curtis hold him til bedtime. Curtis didn't trust Gage. I guess it's true: Never trust a fart.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Retrospect

Last week someone asked me if I had struggled with Post Partum Depression with Gage. It gave me pause, because at the time, I don't think I knew which way was up. At the time, I just knew I was merely surviving some days, and crying all days. At the time, I knew that I loved Gage and wanted to be the best mommy possible, but when I had a moment to myself, I felt like I might not get through to the next moment when he needed me.

I had read Heather Armstrong's very open blog about her deep struggle with PPD after her first daughter, and I knew I wasn't as bad off as she had been. I knew she had decided to check herself in for a weekend to the psychiatric ward at the hospital because she knew that's what was best for her family at the time. So, to keep it in perspective, I wasn't ready to seek professional help. But, maybe I could have benefitted from that.

I think my dark moments were more often than I wanted to admit. I believe so strongly that God delivers us from all our demons. I also believe that there are people who may need prescriptions to balance chemical deficiencies. For me, I have had about 4 seasons of emotional depression over the last 10 to 15 years. These were times as a teenager, and young adult/college student that I was dealing with things that mentally overwhelmed me for specific periods of time. It may have been a couple of months, it may have lasted longer. Some times it was just a few bad days, and I was fortunate enough to pull out of it.

I attribute these times to being extremely emotionally sensitive. Not that I easily get my feeings hurt, but that I've always been in very close touch with my emotions and have always been able to share them easily and fairly eloquently. I'm an open book most of the time, and I can rarely hold my tongue when it comes to sharing how I feel. (Curtis refers to this as me being opinionated sometimes. :oP)

Anyway, I was just a mess of emotion and hormones, as all women are after giving birth. I think to myself, we go through 9 months of carrying a child, give birth to them in a matter of hours, and then have to take care of that newborn immediately after. There are not a long of things that are as physically demanding as childbirth. Not to mention the hormone levels that slowly built for 9 months all come crashing down in about 3 days. So, you've done something physically exhausting, you're overwhelmed with love for this new child in your arms, and then you get home and all hell breaks lose.

We had a rough first night home because Gage had his circumcision that morning. I technically only stayed one night in Recovery because I had him so late Tuesday night that I was moved to a recovery room around 3am Wednesday morning. I stayed Wednesday night again, and by Thursday, I just wanted to go home! I had been at the hospital since Monday around lunch time. That night, Gage didn't sleep. His little package hurt, and I had no idea what to do. Curtis could only suggest keeping his diaper dry at all times because it probably stings to have a wet diaper on his surgery. I just wanted to get back in the car and go to the hospital and ask for help! Looking back, I should've stayed another night. But, how was I suppose to know? The nights did get better, and thankfully, newborns sleep whenever and where ever. So, I did my best to sleep when he did.

But, it was the times when I left the apartment alone to run to Walmart, or where ever for a few brief moments that the darkness hit me. I would think, "if I drove my car off a bridge right now, everyone would be ok. I have life insurance to pay for Gage's college, and Curtis would have a lot of help from our families to raise Gage." I could make it make sense to give myself a break. Being so exhausted drove me to think crazier things than I would ever dream of in my normal wakefulness. I resented everything for a while.

And, then, one day, it was like the fog left. About 14 weeks after I had Gage, life made sense again. It was almost immediate. I don't know if it was Curtis's prayers for me. I know he didn't know what was wrong, but that I wasn't happy. I know he did what he knew to do: pray for me. I don't know if it was just that my body and mind finally came together back to my normal self. There were a few factors that I've mentioned before that made things worse for me during an already difficult time. People who I've never even met trashing my peace of mind. A lack of preparedness for the emotional roller coaster. A husband who didn't understand what I was going through, because I didn't know what I was going through. That falls under not being prepared. Again, how could I have known?

But, that's how it was before. And, I know that looking back, I could've asked for more help. Shared my struggles with my doctor. I don't know how close to the edge I came, but I am so thankful to be back from it. Hind sight is 20/20, and I don't think that I knew how hard of a time I was having, or that maybe I could've used support in a different way. All I know, is that by the grace of God, and with Curtis doing everything he could during a time that was incredibly hard for him as well, we made it.

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with my sister in law and a friend who is expecting her first child. We were joking about our kids, and my sister who has three teenagers at her house said "kids are great until they're about fifteen". And, I added "and they're great after about the first 15 weeks!"

Bottom line, in retrospect, yes, I think I did struggle with some Post Partum Depression. And, going forward, I will make some different choices and plans for the next time I have a baby.