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.


Monday, September 20, 2010


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 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


(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 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 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 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 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!