Stories of life in the suburbs with Husband and our daughter Squishy and son Button!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Expert Mommy Turns One!

I have officially been blogging for a year! I averaged one post every three days and branched from stories to Baby Guide and Recipes that get equal or more views than the other posts. I've started walking, lost weight, and now I'm writing Button Blogs so I can keep memories of my second pregnancy forever in tact.

Expert Mommy's birthday coincidentally coincides with the new year. I'm not one for resolutions or reflections. I spent the day pondering predictions. I have one goal that's been sticking out in my mind for about two months and part of my feels like if I make it public maybe it'll carry more weight with me.

I want Button's birth to be natural. That is, no medications for pain.

I was even looking into a home water birth but Husband was not comfortable with the idea of not being in a hospital in case something happened. I knew the hospital I will deliver at didn't have big pools to labor and deliver in until my mom said that may change soon. I am hopeful once more.

I feel like I was not well prepared for the pain of labor with Squishy. Who can be prepared, right? Nobody can prepare you for something you've never done before especially if it's unique to you and your body. Well, now I've done it once before and I want to change my mind set and do it intervention-free this time.

So, in light of the New Year and the fact that I don't want my blog's birthday post to be a recipe (watch out for Tiramisu next week!) I will spend the coming months preparing myself and Husband for a natural childbirth.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stroller Angst

The following is a rant about my dream stroller: The Britax B-Ready. I've carefully chosen this item above all the others. I've had a few people listen to this rant and tell me to settle for something I would be 100% unhappy with. I knew that you, fellow Expert Mommies, would understand my aches and gripes about my situation. And if nobody ever reads this, it'll at least help my sanity a little before bed.

When I get the double stroller that I want, it'll be off Ebay or Craigslist. It retails for $400. Holy balls, right?

Also, it's sold as a single stroller. In order to make it into a double stroller, the second seat must be purchased. Retail $119-150.

Since Button will be using an infant carrier until (s)he is big enough to use the second seat, and the infant carrier we have now isn't the same brand or size or at all compatible with the stroller I have in mind, a new infant car seat will be purchased. Retail $189-229.

So...why the hell do I want this particular stroller and all the shit I'd have to buy with it?

Because it is simply the best.

I've been doing research on double strollers since before Button was conceived. I've watched other Expert Mommies with their double strollers the size of freight trains or as wide as my ass at 9 months gestation. I'm not having any part in that.

My dream double stroller is the size of a single in length and width. It also folds up smaller than my current single-seater travel system. It's beautiful. I will have it.

There is no way I'm paying retail, so I'm getting scrappy. But after four failed Ebay auctions for any of the three pieces, I'm stressed and discouraged. I'll find what I want, I just hope all the components match when I do. But I would rather take a cow print infant seat in a green stroller with a red second seat than a train stroller.

We are also in the process of buying a second convertible car seat for Husband's car. I'm making slow progress on that. I purchased a highly rated car seat for my car, and it's sub par in my opinion. The straps twist and it's too big. I'm looking into a few on Craigslist so hopefully I can cross that off my list by Friday.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Button Blog! 2nd Pre-Natal Visit

I am so glad that I know about the midwife practice at the hospital where I'll be delivering Button. My mom works there in Labor & Delivery and knows all the ins and outs and politics of the place. Although I probably won't have to use my mom to negotiate anything, it's really nice to have her as a source. If I have a question but I'm not too worried about it, I always call my mom first and see what she says. She knows that if she doesn't know the answer or is concerned, she tells me to call the midwife-on-call. So far we have been smooth sailing.

I'm still irked that I didn't get an early ultrasound. I know I got to hear Button's heartbeat at 9 weeks but I really like the visual of double confirmation with something this huge. It's getting easier to bear since our first and only ultrasound is less than 6 weeks away.

I just had my second pre-natal visit this week. Not a whole lot going on yet in terms of development. My weight is the same as it was last month which surprised me a little since my abdomen looks bigger. Ah, distribution of water is happening already...

Everything was measuring normal and for what it's worth, looked normal. I filmed the Doppler so Husband could hear Button's heartbeat later. I liked sharing that moment with him since he can't be at all the appointments like he was last time.

I made my next appointment with a different midwife so I can talk with them all about my birth plan and their opinions on certain things. Midwives are very natural birth, mama and baby oriented people. But I can't forget about hospital protocols and possible hurdles when it comes to what I want. This is my second tiny human and I want to make sure that we are ultra-prepared for Button's birth.

Nothing has changed as far as symptoms go this week. I'm getting more energy back, finally feeling like a House Manager again. Kitchen is still dirty, but all the laundry is done! I'm starting to get little twinges that are most likely ligaments stretching. No big deal. I'm drinking lots of water! Last time I didn't get stretch marks until after Squishy was born, and they are officially gone just in time to start over again.

More on Button as things develop....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Play Suite

My last month or so was harder than I thought it was...but I didn't notice until everything calmed down and gave me a chance to reflect. 

Thanksgiving, the end of my first trimester, my best friend's wedding, and the end of my semester at school were all happening simultaneously. 

I am officially on Winter Break from school. I was planning on taking next semester and the summer off to have Button and settle in a bit with having two kids. On my last day of class, however, my Argument professor, who has been poking around this blog a bit and may actually read this (Hi Dr. J!!!), made a very tempting offer. She's teaching a gender course starting January that sounds like a blast. It's not writing or test heavy, which makes me think that I can do it and concentrate on school and growing a person and being a full time House Manager all at the same time. 

I was wondering if she'd let me bring one of those exercise balls to sit on as I round the corner to full term since the chairs on campus probably won't permit a hefty preggie any comfort. Husband wants me to do it if I think I can do it. I want to, but I am still thinking about it. I've got a little time. 

I did all the laundry, vacuumed, put up our tree, cleaned out Squishy's closet and put 5 bags in storage and 5 bags in donations. I arranged Squishy's toys in a new play area I've dubbed "The Play Suite". Hopefully this will keep the toys confined to one half of the apartment instead of the entire apartment. We are on Day 2 of The Play Suite and it's going well so far! 

The Play Suite: Rocking horse, canvas tub of animals,
bookshelf, blocks, and big girl toys.
Don't forget the giant stuffed hippo.

She likes having all her books in the same place. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Button Blog! Second Trimester

I'm officially in the second trimester. I felt like the moment I turned 13 weeks I wasn't as tired as I have been. I also have more motivation to do things like dishes and laundry. That might be because I was avoiding homework or because I was scrambling to finish homework...

This pregnancy has been blissfully non-eventful. I wrote so many posts about being sick, losing weight, missing work when I was pregnant with Squishy...not so much to write about this time. At least, I can't turn it into an entertaining rant about vomit or heightened smelling sensations. Does the drastic difference mean Button is a boy? I don't know...

I have an appetite again which is great! I was getting sick of ramen and not enjoying it when I was eating it. I've made a few good meals recently. Husband appreciates that, he'd been eating a lot of hot dogs and frozen pizzas. I made carnitas and chicken alfredo. I am probably going to make soup today. This is really making me hungry.

Alright, I've made some food and I feel less hungry. I'll probably be hungry in a few minutes.

Is rambling a preggie symptom?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Squishy Short Story

"I'm gonna get the Baaaaay-by" is the right prompt if you want to hear a joyful squeal and hurried baby shuffles in this apartment. 

Squishy's favorite game is Hide-and-Seek. She has a total of ONE hiding spot. There is a one foot gap between her dresser and the wall. Usually her laundry basket is there but she has taken to emptying that as well as her dresser drawers so we just have to remember what is clean and what is not. Anyway, among the small pile of clothes is where she loves to hide. 

If you take too long to come find her, or if you try to look for her in other places she will giggle or clap as if to say "Hurry up and find me! I want to hide in this exact spot again!" 

The other night she demonstrated her dedication to this game. 

A friend of Husband and mine was over and she and I were chatting and Squishy was sitting just outside her bedroom. We had been playing and reading off and on all evening, but Husband wanted yet another round of the never changing game Hide-and-Seek. He gave Squishy the prompt "I'm gonna get the Baby." She was immediately filled with motivation to conceal herself and turned wildly to scurry away. 

Trouble is, one of the double doors of her bedroom was in her path. Her face slammed into the corner of the door with a deafening thud. She paused slightly, and the three adults waited for the shrieking. But Husband decided not to react to her sudden and obvious injury (no cut or anything, but it was a significant BANG), and repeated the phrase. 

Upon hearing her second warning that daddy was going to "get the Baby", she had a look of panic on her face due to wasted time. She was still in plain sight, and to her, this was simply not acceptable. She went around the door and hid with all her might. 

When she was found 10 seconds later, she emerged sporting a vertical red bump above her left eye and laughing. We were all laughing. 

This is a really good example of how children's reactions are based on parental reactions. Squishy looked at Husband after hitting her head. If he had looked scared or hurt, chances are she would have been very upset. He chose to ignore it and go on with the game. Afterwards, we checked her head more closely, but she was fine. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Introducing Button Blogs!

I want to do my best to journal about my pregnancy with Button. I wanted to wait until after my first pre-natal appointment. So this will be the first Button Blog.

I'm almost 10 weeks and honestly compared to my first pregnancy it's been a breeze. I only have two issues that I've been battling: Nausea and Fatigue.

On the Nausea front: Not nearly as much throwing up as last time. In almost ten full weeks I've only thrown up twice. I have some level of nausea throughout the day but that is remedied by eating small bland snacks. Small bits of chicken or a pierogie if it's time for a meal. Otherwise a cracker or some Kix can help me get over a sickly feeling. It's nothing like my first pregnancy where I was puking 7 or 8 times a day and lost 10 pounds in my first trimester.

On the Fatigue front: I am back to the sleep schedule of someone with a newborn. I sleep when Squishy sleeps. I think some of the fatigue is because I have a 14 month old roaming around all day, but I'm still very tired at the end of the day even if I've had a two hour nap. Also, I'm having some insomnia at night. I'm certain this contributes to my daytime drowsiness.

The fatigue mixed with the nausea makes me a very poor house manager. Husband has picked up the slack and is taking very good care of his ladies.

It's getting to the end of the first trimester and I'm happy to say I've had two or three nausea-free days this week. I also had my first pre-natal appointment with my midwife and she said everything looks good. She found Button's heartbeat right where I said it would be. It's looking like Squishy and Button came from the same ovary!

My instincts are telling me Button is a girl. I'm basing this on the fact that I'm totally turned off by sweets. I am loving salty and sour and that happened with Squishy as well. I've also had two dreams that cast Button as a female tiny tiny. We will find out end of January!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Thing With Dollar Bills...

I got mail today from my Grandma. It was a small package and there's no impending holiday (Grandmas are never late on birthdays or the like) so I knew it must be something good.

Yeah, it was really for Squishy. It was a pair of pink fleece footie PJs in the size Squish will be in for the winter. But there was something else...


A crisp one dollar bill and a note that explained the PJs and the rest said this: "Powerball is getting pretty big and it sucked me in on Saturday- probably will have to buy one on Wednesday also."

I laughed out loud like I always do and said to Husband: "G-Dubs sent another dollar."

I tucked the bill and note together and went to the closet. I opened a box where I keep all the cards from relatives. Within this box is an envelope with several one dollar bills. Some have notes, some don't.

No, Grandma is not at all crazy.

She's one of those "cool" grandmas. First of all, she's accepted the nickname "G-Dubs" from her six grandchildren. She promises to never get old. She will feed you until there is no food left (on the planet). She plays cards and wins. If the blender isn't making margaritas at the stroke of 5 PM she's like Miss Clavel: "Something is not right."  She makes sure you had breakfast while you're still eating it, and insists that the banana bread, muffin, pancakes and bacon you ate was certainly not enough and starts making you eggs. I swear if she weren't so damn Scandinavian I would bet that she was Jewish or Italian.

She also kicks me out of her will on occasion. And reminds me that I was dropped off by the Gypsies and that God will get me someday. These are all special traditions we have.

But here's the thing about the dollar...

Many years ago, I went to Florida with my mom for spring break to stay at my grandparents' condo. I went with Grandma to the grocery store to get some items for dinner. In the parking lot on the way out, Grandma stopped and exclaimed "Oh shoot, I forgot to buy a Powerball ticket." Now, hoping that she hadn't been an old lady duped into spending lots of money on the lottery, I posed a simple question:

Me: "Grandma, you know the odds of the lottery, right?"
G: "Yes, but I don't do it every day."
Me: "Let me see the dollar you were gonna use to buy the ticket."
G: *Hands me a dollar bill*
Me: "What numbers were you gonna use?"
G: "Well, I always use all your birthdays so 18, 22, 16, 27, and 24"
Me: "Hmmm...Nope, you didn't win." And I pocketed the dollar.

We created tradition that day. I told grandma that every time she fell victim to buying a lottery ticket she owed me a dollar. My mom will come home from trips to Florida with gifts for everyone and a dollar bill for me. In a birthday card I once got a 20 dollar bill and a single with a post it on it that said: "At this rate neither one of us will  be rich."


This is the first and only time that my sarcasm has earned me a semi-regular paycheck. Although it is far below minimum wage, it is tax free. Now that I'm thinking about it, this collection of dollars may be my only form of inheritance from her, seeing that I'm out of the will and all.

I have all the original dollars and I don't plan on spending them, but maybe when I have enough, I'll buy G-Dubs something nice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh Button, My Button

I feel bad that I didn't keep a detailed journal of my first pregnancy. I should do that next time around. Which is this time around. That's right, folks! I'm a preggie once more.

This is what I'm calling a planned surprise. All the literature and everyone I talked to said that it would take a few months for everything to get back to normal after an IUD removal. Being an expert planner, I got mine taken out in early September so the few months of trying would time out perfectly with age differences and our ultimate family plan.

Oops.

It only took two weeks! I will not complain about this. I know how much trouble people can have getting pregnant. I could tour with my uber-fertility. Maybe in Vegas.

Anyway, there's a little Button on the way.

I can use all the preggie related tags again...Yea!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Recipes: Rustic Potato Soup with Leeks and Bacon

I spent a long time getting the perfect wording for what I'm going to call this soup. It goes along the same lines as any "Clean Out the Fridge" soup, so correct measurements are not always needed and alterations are highly encouraged. Like any good Scandinavian woman, I started with a healthy dose of garlic and onion. When it was done, I wanted to bring some to my mom and mother-in-law to gloat about my superior soup making skills, but Husband ate it all.

That's right, people. Husband, a.k.a. The Pickiest of the Picky, who when we got together stated "I don't like soup." ate three heaping bowls of this stuff. If that doesn't make you want to try it, I really don't know what's wrong with you...

Rustic Potato Soup with Leeks and Bacon

Half a red onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 leek, chopped
8 strips of bacon
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced.
Broth or stock, any kind
Pepper, cayenne, salt to taste (don't salt until the end if needed)
Heavy whipping cream
  1. Fry bacon until crispy (Keep the grease!). Make a few extra slices because if you're anything like me, you're going to be sampling  throughout. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside. 
  2. In a large pot, cook the onion, garlic, and leeks in the bacon grease until leeks are tender and onions are transparent, around 10 minutes. I seasoned them with a bit of cayenne, for a bite.
  3. Stir in sliced potatoes. 
  4. Add enough broth to cover everything. I used one part beef broth, two parts chicken broth, and one part water. I threw in a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are almost done, 10-12 minutes.
  6. With a knife, cut up potato slices into smaller chunks. They don't have to be uniform, just bite sized. The chunky wholesome texture that results is what made me call this soup "Rustic". 
  7. Stir in bacon pieces.
  8. Add heavy cream. I added 3/4 cup. This kept the soup liquid but you can still taste the cream. Excellent. 
  9. Simmer until potatoes are done, 5 more minutes. Season with pepper (should be plenty salty, but to each his own).
  10. Serve. Makes 4-6 bowls.

Bacon frying
Potatoes peeled
Potatoes sliced to equal thickness
Leeks chopped
Leeks, garlic, and onion
Before broth
After broth
Color reference after adding cream
Finished!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sometimes You're Covered in Poop

It was a typical Sunday morning...

Squishy alerted me to her immediate needs around 8:15 AM. I changed her and gave her a bottle and went back to sleep. Please note that Squishy knows when it's the weekend, and takes this chance to sleep in, have extra time to rest before she has to go back to the Baby Office. 

So I woke up on my own around 11 AM and Squishy was still sleeping. A rarity. Husband and I were enjoying each other's company when Squishy decided it was time the whole family was awake. 

I poked my head in  her room to say "Good Morning, Baby" and my nostrils were overwhelmed with the smell of poop.

"I smell a Stinker Butt!" I said with a grin. Squishy did not return my smile. 

It. Was. Everywhere. 

My tiny human had blown a gasket. She was covered in poop from the waist down. Since she's a baby, you should already assume there is shit all over her hands. Therefore, there is poop on her face, in her hair, and everywhere else baby's hands go. 

My immediate thought was keep the poop away from her mouth, ears, and eyes. I started reacting to the poop with shrieks of "Oh my God, it's all over you, Baby!" And things like that. I forgot that babies react to your reactions when they don't know what to do. So, she thought I was yelling at her. Squishy became a blumbering mess of cries thinking that I was mad at her for no reason. My fault. I was only reacting to the literal shit storm that was my 1 year old. 

I took off her shirt and tried to come up with a maneuver or something that could get Squishy to the bathtub without getting poop everywhere. Squishy was so upset, however, that she turned into a clingy baby monkey. She was sad, and needed Mommy cuddles. 

So I got poopy too. 

I just wrapped my arms around her and carried her bare ass naked to the bathroom for a bath. I got in the tub with her, and started scrubbing. 

I don't know exactly when this moment happened, but there was a moment...

If you think about it, how many people would you hug if they were covered in poop. Just hug them, without thinking about it. It's what they need at that moment and you dive in and deliver. What's more, would you then climb into a bathtub with them and wash them? Would you rinse and repeat until all the shit had gone? That is a special kind of love. 

Reminds me of that Bruno Mars song "Grenade". He's professing such a love that he would catch a grenade, be hit by a train, take a bullet, and get stabbed for the one he loves. 

Really Bruno? It's really nice that you care for someone that much that you would potentially take a painful, if not deadly injury for the one you love. But, Mr. Mars, I have to ask you....

Would you stew in poop? I would. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

See Expert Mommy Go To School!

I am sitting on campus in the computer lab. I don't have class for another hour so I thought I would write a bit about school so far. It's a ton of work, but I like all four classes, my teachers are amazing, the drive isn't that bad, and it seems that my writing skills will get me by. My 4 classes are...

Introduction to Argument. 4 credits. On campus on Tuesdays 6-10 PM. Yes, we will be using the entire four hours for class every week. There is nothing I can do about this except drink coffee on Tuesdays. I adore my professor, she's actually working on a computer down the row from me right now! I'm confident that her disdain for power points and her love of wit, good writing, discussion, and movies will not waste any class time. I don't care about being in a classroom for 4 hours, as long as I'm doing something.

Introduction to Communication Research. 4 credits. On campus on Thursdays 6-10 PM. Same applies as the last class, so I guess I'll be drinking coffee on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My professor is awesome, she's also head of the department and will be my adviser. Double win for me. 

This brings me to my online courses....

Technical Communication. 4 credits. Online meetings 7-9 PM on Wednesdays. This is easier than physically driving to campus, but the designated online sessions have the potential to interfere with my other home activities. I doubt anyone else in the class has a Squishy crawling around their ankles trying to practice her typing skills while they are supposed to be drafting a mock memo or working on professional letter formats. I know just enough about computers to get by in life, nothing more. I don't think coffee can save me from that one. Moving right along...

Geology of the Oceans. 3 credits. Online. Tripped you up with that one, didn't I? Yeah, it's a Geology class. Although I am very interested in the course material (avid fan of How the Earth was Made), the lectures tend to...drag on a bit. Did I say a bit? I meant forever. Anywhere from 40-60 minutes. But don't worry, they are classy. Nothing says "class productivity" like a black and white power point slide show with a voice over reading the slides verbatim. Since I can access the lectures, slides, assignments, and quizzes anytime (almost), I think a nice glass of wine, or possibly a good drug dealer can get me through this. 

After the first week I put in a ton of effort taking notes and really preparing, hoping that I could find at least one class that didn't require that much work per week. Well, so far I have not been so lucky. I spent a collective 16 solid hours at my parents' house reading and taking notes, also doing the actual assignments and online quizzes. It helps that I am interested in all the material, and after studying for three different communications classes, my geology class has turned out to be some sort of sick reward.

Well, it's time for class. I hope I brought the right notebook...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Don't Open Until 9/9/11

Dear Squishy,

One year ago, I woke up with wet underwear. I blame you. I didn't get to have that rush of "Shit, my water just broke in the middle of the grocery store!" No, no. You were subtle. A gentle stream of amniotic fluid and peaceful contractions to let me know it was going to be a long, long day and night.

We were a great team, don't you think? No, I'm not talking about your father, little girl. He did the best he could. But really, how much can you say to a woman in labor if you're packing male genitalia? That's right. Jack Squat.

I'm talking about you and me, my love. It was 17 hours of labor for you, too. Good work, little lady. If I was yelling when you came out, sorry. But mommy's epidural wore off and it hurt a little (like Hell on my vagina). You were yelling, too. But you were supposed to be pissed, and it was probably pretty cold.

Although Mommy is usually very eloquent with words, all I could exclaim at the time was "Oh My God, it's a baby." Yeah, you sure picked a winner of a mother.

Squishy, my darling baby girl, you have survived your first year of life. How? I have no clue. When you were born, I knew as much about raising a baby as you know about the Reykjavik Symphony Orchestra. Actually, I've never asked you if you actually know anything about them, so that might be a bad simile.

Along the way, we've had many ups and downs. You're the best excuse I've ever had for leaving a place! I hope I can still milk that for a few more years. Your blissful ignorance to the ways of the world have also proven to be one of the best remedies for pure disastrous despair.

Alright, you want the truth? I honestly can't recall a lot of it. You wanna know why? Because this is my first time! I am so sleep deprived I hardly know what day it is sometimes. Thank God we have like, a zillion pictures of you so far...and over 100 little videos.

Let's give some credit where credit is due...I was pretty much your slave for the last year. You can't do anything for yourself except get into things, and most of the time you can't even get out of those things. I do all the work, and you stay alive. Without context, this would seem like a brutal situation that Oprah would investigate. But thankfully, we have that brilliant connection caused by hormones.

Little-Boo, it's been one hell of a year! Thanks for taking the ride with me. I couldn't have done it without you. And let's be honest, you'd be toast without me.

Looking forward to the rest of your years,
Mom.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Learning How to Learn

As I'm sitting here on the couch contemplating my vast, complicated, and completely nuclear life as a 24 year old suburban House Manager...

Do I really want to go to school? Is it going to be worth it? Can I actually do it? Thing is, it's absolutely typical of me to come up with some theory for my life then proceed to grab the third rail with both hands. But when it comes to fruition, I get nervous, agitated, and I convince myself that it's never going to work the way it does in the movies.

It's all well and good when I'm going through the course catalog with Husband, reading class descriptions, filling out forms for financial aid, discussing how my credits are feasible for our situation.

"Yeah, one more class, just for the credits. I'm going to have to take it eventually."

Well, the premature feelings of accomplishment are slowly being taken over by those little pangs of struggle. My inner dialogue is currently debating the size of the bite I've managed to take, and if I'll be able to effectively chew and swallow it without choking or worse.

I'm learning how to learn all over again. Wasn't it I that just wrote about Sucking It Up? Maybe I should read my own post for motivation... It's all a balancing act, isn't it?

But, looking down at the tiny pink tennis shoe on the couch has just reminded me why I'm doing this in the first place. Bring it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My First Reboot

I wanted to write a little about how I felt about each day of my first reboot. If you have no earthly clue what I'm talking about, check these posts for a little perspective...

Juice it Good
On My Own...

Day 1
I was still heavy into my prep week when I tried to do an all juice day. It went very well. I had a Purple Power juice with hidden carrots and kale that I sipped all day. I was feeling confident that I could do this Reboot. So today will mark Day 1.
Day 2
I woke up today feeling like crap. I had started to actually detox. It felt like the flu, aches and pains. Plus I was extremely tired. I didn't want to repeat this process in a week so I decided that yesterday was Day 1 and I had more juice and veggies for breakfast. I'm taking it slow, drinking a lot of water, and sleeping whenever I can.
Day 3
I felt fine this morning, made some strawberry beet ginger juice for breakfast. I've been really good about drinking hot tea right away in the morning with a big glass of water. I'm tired, I've been sleeping whenever Squishy sleeps. Water, water, water. I miss cheese. I bought a half wheel of Minnesota organic Camembert that I was saving to eat when I'm done the the Reboot, but now I have to hide it from myself in the fridge.
Day 4
I love fruits and vegetables. I love fruits and vegetables. I love fruits and vegetables. I love fruits and vegetables. Hard day today. I just want a chicken and black bean quesadilla. I want butter. When I was craving something sweet and crunchy, I grabbed a carrot. I ate three carrots. Today I learned carrots aren't chocolate.
Day 5 
Today was better. I watched the documentary that started all this again. I went to the website and read some encouraging messages from fellow Rebooters. I've been doing this for 5 days I'm not going to quit now. Let's push for a week and evaluate. I think at Day 7 I'll do a weigh in for some motivation to push through.
Day 6
First, I didn't sleep well last night. I have summer cold coming on which sucks. I really want a hot bowl of dumpling soup, bread, mashed potatoes. But I am getting used to the not having the simple comforts of cheese and carbs. I may be bitter. Maybe. But I'm almost to a whole week on the program! Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. I want cornbread.
Day 7
I have completed a whole week of this Reboot and honestly I didn't think I was going to make it this far. I'm crabby, no doubt about that. I'm also very tired. I'm really glad that it's almost over but with everything considered I don't think I'm going to make it the full 15 days. I also ate some black beans today because I just could not take the lack of protein. I think I'm going to end up using the black beans as an excuse to end early...we'll see what tomorrow brings.
Day 8
Today was my last day of Rebooting. All in all I lost some water weight, but nothing to write home about. I would keep this diet in mind if I ever run into the need of getting rid of water weight or just cleaning out my intestines. I would only follow the program for 3 to 5 days at that point.

Going in I had made some assumptions about what this was going to do to me. I have realized the following things:

  • Kale makes any juice brown but not undrinkable.
  • Organic carrots are really delicious solid or juiced.
  • Cherries are damn expensive, hard to pit, and mold easily.
  • Watermelon is worth it.
  • Cheese and bread are things I cannot live without.
  • Pair beets with ginger or it tastes like dirt.
  • I love going to the Farmer's Market.
  • I actually really enjoy starting and ending my day with a nice cup of Lemon Zinger tea.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Manifest Destiny: Baby-Style

Squishy is now in the "Move and Shaker" category. It's funny to think that we used to be able to just set her down anywhere and she'd just...stay there. For the first couple months she occupied a 1x2 foot space next to the coffee table.

Nowadays, even though I clean up all the baby things every night (almost), by the middle of the next day it looks like Hurricane Squishy has come through the apartment. I thought this place was my turf, I spent so much time, money, and effort to make it my home, and it no longer belongs to me. All 900 square feet are Squishy's domain. I do attempt to keep her in the living area or her room. However, this has been proving difficult the last few weeks since she has recently taken to stretching her legs and testing her boundaries.

When she gets the rare chances to sneak off to the master bedroom or bathroom on her own it's like going 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea!

"What's this?! New, uncharted baby territory? Mom, come quick! I've found more stuff! I shall name it: Squishyville."

She's really grasped that "can do" American spirit and her own tiny tiny version of Manifest Destiny. Let's just say the Baby Is Causing Mischief Alarm is constantly buzzing. She doesn't even mind that she can't actually fit into some of the places she's exploring (she's currently underneath a kitchen chair)...because she knows that her shrieks and gripes will make mommy come running to save her (she's stuck...brb).

The bathroom, bedroom, and laundry room doors are always closed unless someone is in there. In which case the door in question must remain open so Squishy can perfrom her duties as The Baby Inspector. If she knows you're in the bathroom and you God Forbid close the door for a little privacy, she will sit outside that door and wail until you open it and apologize for your agregious actions.

And with that, I'm afraid The Baby Inspector herself is about to seize the computer from me. More latlaksjdlkjdkh;adsjfghfkjadgiuwEF'qnmd,vsdlfkawriogrwgng.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Juice It Good

So I'm gonna try something for the next couple weeks. 

Apprehensive? Yeah, me too. 

After watching the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (I love you, Netflix Instant Queue!) I decided I wanted to try doing a Reboot

This plan will consume my life for 15 days (maybe more):
  • Fruits and vegetables only!
  • No beans, nuts, seeds, or dairy.
  • No animal product of any kind.
  • Juicing fruits and veggies to replace at least one meal a day.
  • Lots of water and herbal tea.
I've been doing okay with my healthy eating and working out. I have been looking for inspiration and motivation on the internet. Not that I don't think my friends and family would be supportive, I didn't want to tell my family or friends about my goals because I didn't want the added pressure. I think that if everyone knew I was trying to lose weight every time I ate in front of them I would be scrutinized for it.  I've been having productive conversations with my dad about healthy choices since he's been training for a hiking trip. He loves my kale chips.

Back to the Reboot. 

I will be doing a prep week to try different juice recipes. During that time I will also attempt to cut back on things that are healthy that I will ultimately have to give up for the duration of my Reboot: Cheese, beans, and nuts. 

What I'm expecting to get out of this:
  • A lot of hunger
  • Feeling gross in the first few days
  • Water weight loss
  • Healthier eating habits 
Hopefully when all this is over I'll be a bit slimmer, and I'll be more conscious about eating fruits and vegetables. It's like being thrown into total immersion to learn a language...You're bound to pick something up. 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

On My Own, Pretending He's Beside Me

This is turning into more of a challenge than I thought it would be. I never expected Husband to follow me blindly with my weight loss goals or healthy eating habits. I can't train a man how to eat, he's been eating that way his whole life. I can't guilt him into eating vegetables, he won't go near them. So how do I avoid temptation in my own home? I can't. It's everywhere. I'm not asking Husband to change, he is who he is. But I no longer feel comfortable buying foods I think are unhealthy.

Husband brought with him to our marriage, among other things, the Pizza Night tradition. Along with his bad education about what foods are good or bad, his extreme picky-ness, a candy/chocolate addiction, lack of enthusiasm toward vegetables except mashed potatoes, and our opposite eating habits, I had my work cut out for me when I decided that it was time to get rid of some baby weight. 

Husband: "You look fine, you're not fat."
Me: "I'm not looking for your opinion, dear. This is how I feel. I'm doing this for me."

I'm not one to bash tradition, so I went along with the Pizza Night. I like pizza, and it's a night I don't have to cook. Well, Pizza Night (every Friday) has become my gateway drug to making bad choices all weekend. I have made the decision to not part take in Pizza Night anymore.

Husband won't give up Pizza Night, saying it's one of his rights after a long week. Even if I offer to make dinner, he still wants his pizza and giant cookie. He has shown support, in his way, toward me and my healthy choices, but he won't go so far as to give something up that he likes to support me.  

I also don't like Husband's candy addiction. I don't want to enable this behavior, so I told him that I won't be buying candy at the store any more. I told him that I don't care what he eats. If he "needs" candy everyday like he says he does, he is responsible for purchasing his own treats. It would be appropriate to categorize his reaction as a "Hissy Fit". His argument was the time he spent at the store buying candy was taking time away from being with his family.  

I love Husband, but let's face it: I'm pretty much doing this on my own. I've taken to the internet in search of different ideas for getting healthy. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Suck It Up

I decided to make a few minor changes to living life in the suburbs. As my friends have taught me, it's not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes your baby is sick and you have to step up and live in a hospital for months. Sometimes you crash your car and die when you're only 23.

So I think it's not too much to ask of myself to smile a bit more. Try a bit harder. Not sugar-coated? Quit bitching and get on with it. I have support and love in my life from every angle. I have no enemies. I'm not faced with adversity. The biggest challenges I tend to have these days are "Which aged cheddar do I buy this week?" or "I have 4 whole loads of laundry to do." 

Then 96 people get dead in Norway, 80+ being children. So yeah, I can suck it up and do things like laundry and dishes. My baby is healthy and my family is wonderful. It is in that spirit that I have a couple things to talk about in this post...

I mentioned that I was accepted to school! I enrolled in 15 credits (sounds like a lot) toward a Communication Studies degree. I'm still waiting for some logistics like financial aid and a book list, but I'm really looking forward to getting some work done. Right now my weekly schedule is wide open and my day to day activities depend on Squishy's level of tolerance. Having this school commitment three times a week (plus online time) will be really good for me. Now that I think about it, it will be good for everyone. Our tendency to be procrastinators will have to be hip-checked. 

I spoke a while ago about wanting better habits and wanting to feel better. I was on the right track for a while but as always, it just sort of tapered off. After a long talk with Husband about support and wanting to make better choices, I started again with a renewed sense of vigor. I added a few new tools: My Fitness Pal (a wonderful online community for counting calories and logging exercise), actual exercise, and Kashi foods. 

I tried Kashi's frozen meals in the past and they have been lacking or worse. However, I've given Kashi a second chance and they have come through for me with flying colors. Soft baked cookies, cereal, whole grain crackers, and snack bars are all so delicious and while I don't live on these foods they are healthy choices that I love making! 

I'm down 12 pounds (Took 4 weeks) and I'm feeling a lot better. One of my favorite things about making better choices is buying produce. Filling my cart with fresh fruits and veggies like a boss is strangely satisfying.

I found a documentary on Netflix Instant Queue called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I watched it. I liked it. I won't give you a long synopsis but it was pretty much an overweight guy doing a 60 day juice diet. Obviously, he lost a bunch of weight and re-did his whole life. Good for him. 

I went on the website and read all about juice cleanses. After an hour of reading this and other sites supporting (and not) this Reboot program, I decided I wanted to think about trying it. 

I already eat healthy. I exercise. I love fresh produce. I took the assessment quiz and was matched with a 15 day Reboot which entails eating raw and cooked fruits and veggies and juices made from fresh fruits and veggies. So that starts August 1st and I'll have lots to talk about during that time.  

So my wonderful readers (all 37 of you), you can expect lots of new topics from Expert Mommy in the near future. It's no longer laundry and grocery store trips for me. Oh, and Squishy is turning one in just over a month!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weebles Wobble...

But Squishies fall down. 

That's right. Squishy fell and hit her head for the first time. She was in the sitting position between Husband and me next to the coffee table. The coffee table in question has a shelf. Well, Squishy was looking for something on that shelf and she found it...with her face. 

She tipped into the shelf and hit right between her eyes. 

We then come to something called the delayed scream. This is different from the morning wake up yell, the diaper rash gripe, or the hungry whine. This is a fuck you/get away from me/cuddle me scream that turns the palest little red head's face the color of an eggplant. It's only reserved for days with pain or surprise.  

So after some daddy cuddles and distractions away from the big, bad coffee table, a bump and yellow bruise formed right between Squishy's eyes. Let me tell you, this shade of yellow is not her color. 

I'm sure there will be many more falls. Even since writing this post there have been catches and little head bonks here and there. I haven't thought about extensive child-proofing since we have such a small space, but since Squishy is more and more adventurous each passing day. That sense of wonder mixed with the fact that I'm not allowed out of her sight line is the reason I am no longer allowed privacy in the bathroom. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recipes: Kale Chips

Ever since My Love/Hate Relationship with Kale was "on-again", I realized I haven't made anything with kale other than just sauteed. Therefore (drum roll, please...)

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 t. brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Rinse and dry kale stalks. 
  3. Tear kale into pieces, remove the spine.
  4. Toss kale with olive oil until lightly coated.
  5. Place kale on a baking sheet in a single layer (you may need 2 pans) 
  6. Sprinkle salt and brown sugar evenly over kale. Do not over salt. 
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.
Rinsed and dry. 
Torn into pieces, spines removed.
Coated with olive oil.
Sprinkled with salt and sugar.
Baked for 25 mins. Brown is okay.
Whole bunch fit in this cereal bowl. Yummy!

Started eating them right off the pan! The sweet and salty together was really yummy, the chips with more sugar on them were especially good. I would try a bit more brown sugar next time. I've seen recipes with just salt, salt and pepper, or any seasonings really. These are a wonderful substitute for crackers or potato chips. I ate half the bowl just sitting here typing, and I don't feel like I ate half a bowl of anything. Really tasty treat!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Distractions and Applications

I've been Crafty McCrafterson the last few days. One of my friends had a baby boy, and I fashioned him a green hat much like one we saw in a photography book at a kiosk in the mall. I also made Squishy a hat for this fall. I love it, but that's just me. It might be like a pug hat: so ugly that it's cute. I'm really just trying to use up some yarn to make room for new yarn!

I'm also starting on another hat for Squishy using the pink tiny tiny yarn I used to make her hats while I was a Stir Crazy Preggie.

Hmmm...all this crafting lately...I wonder if that's why the kitchen isn't clean. And that laundry pile over there is getting big.

A green knitted beanie with button detail.

Pink design with ribbing, almost finished. See others here.

Anyway, I'm getting back into the groove of knitting, it's helping curb my snacking habit. Also, I applied to school! I hope my 4.0 gets me in, and that all my existing credits transfer. Who knows, I'll take anything at this point. I'm just really excited to get started.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipes: Lentil Soup

The thing I've found out about soup is that it's generally a hodge-podge of different things, so I feel like a strict recipe isn't always required. I was making taking inventory of the refrigerator and pantry to make a solid grocery list. I found that I had small quantities of staple food items. I also keep chicken or beef broth around (for crock pot meals) and a bag of lentils. Why the lentils, you ask? When I find that my staple foods are running low, I jump on the opportunity to clean out the fridge and make some soup. Lentils have proven time and again to be a wonderful base for soup, especially lentil soup :-)

Clean out the Fridge Lentil Soup
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups broth (beef or chicken, or mixed)
1 red pepper, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
5 pieces of bacon
1T. fresh oregano, chopped
5 shakes Tabasco sauce
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cumin*
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. cayenne*
dash nutmeg*
dash white pepper*
salt and black pepper to taste*
*These are eyeball measurements, adjust if you want.

Cook the bacon until crisp, save the grease! Dice into large bacon bits.
Add bacon grease to soup pot, cook pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and onion until tender. 
Add oregano, Tabasco, dry spices, bacon bits, lentils and broth. 
Bring to a boil, stir. 
Reduce heat, simmer until lentils are tender. About 45 minutes. 
Adjust flavor to whatever you like. More pepper or salt? More spice? Make it yours! 
Blend the soup with a blender or food processor until smooth. Add flour to thicken (optional).

I encourage you to clean out your fridge and spend some time making soup. It's super good.
Simmering away...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Too Big, Too Small, Just Right

This post is pretty much about me getting prepared to get dressed up, which I haven't done in quite some time.

I'm getting on a plane and going to Philadelphia in a little over a week to attend a wedding with my sister.

Since my new job of House Manager was invented and implemented, I have been wearing jeans and tee shirts. Usually Husband's tee shirts. And flip flops. I used to have a fast plethora of shoes to choose from, but thanks to Squishy, my feet have outgrown nearly every single pair. I hate that my feet grew half a size because of my pregnancy. I mean, I spent all that time, years of my life, perfecting my shoe collection. I have over 100 pairs. After Squishy was born, hardly any of them fit anymore!!!

Apart from shoes, I would regrettably have to find a dress as well. I thought I could wear one of the dresses I already owned, but alas for they were either a little too small or not "dressy" enough for this soiree. I tried on dresses that I have had for a while to a lot of groaning and moping around. It sucks that I'm not the same size I was when I was 19 years old, I'm one size bigger. I was depressed. I was also depressed at my boobs. They don't look the same and when I tried on my pre-pregnancy dresses they looked totally gross. Needless to say I had a mini melt down about my body. I haven't had the need to look nice until now, and I was freaking out a little bit at my lack of self esteem.

My sister offered me an old staple of hers: The Little Black Dress. It was a size 8, so my first reaction was something like "Dream on, that will never fit me." I may have even been a little angry at the simple fact that she knew I wasn't a size 8 and she was forcing me to try this dress on.

Well, Shut the Front Door! It fit. Not only did it fit, it was wonderful. A classic black halter A-line dress. It covered everything that needed covering. Except for my bra straps. Okay, I can go bra/shoe shopping. That might be fun!

We got to Victoria's Secret and I wasn't messing around. I asked the sales lady "I need to be measured, and I need a halter bra" I was instantly brought to a changing room and with some tweaks and tries, I found out that I haven't been wearing the right size bra since Squishy was born! I thought I was a 38D when it turns out I should have been wearing a 36DD.

Honestly? I almost cried at the comfort of the bra I bought. I didn't know that I could have nice looking boobies. But there they were, cuddled together in shear harmony. It's as if they were saying "Please parade us around; we finally feel sexy again."

I got a great pair of black leather sling backs from Sofft. If you don't know Sofft, you should. They are the most comfortable heels ever.

When I got home, I put the whole ensemble together. It was like magic.

So maybe it's not that my body is ugly, it's just different now. My weight is distributed differently, my curves are more curvy. I still have a pretty nice shape. My skin is soft and my acne is pretty well controlled right now. I just needed to find some elements that fit better. My boobs are different and I think they are going to stay that way until I have another baby. I am not dreading going to this wedding anymore. My purchases today were strategic and wonderful, and it turned out to be a good mood day for me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No More Lazy Days

Every time I hear that song "Lazy Days" I turn the radio off.

I don't feel like songs about being lazy or being out of work are appropriate. I don't think that singing (mostly auto-tuned/rapping) about shaking your ass, being "crunk", staying out late partying, or having random unprotected sex with as many people as possible is appropriate either. So I'm doing my part by ending my lazy streak.  

I haven't written in a while. Even after I checked Google Analytics and the RSS Feed and discovered I had over 30 loyal readers, I've let you down yet again. For that, folks, I apologize. 

I don't know what's gotten into me lately. I'm in what you would call a "funk". I know it's a funk because I'm thinking about getting another tattoo or changing my hair (drastically). Whenever these extreme thoughts start becoming an every day occurrence, it means there is some kind of hole in my life that needs filling. 

I've been thinking a lot about going back to school. I have an insane want for finishing my education. No, finishing is the wrong word. I want to continue my education. 

Maybe if I post about it on my blog I'm finally accountable to people I don't know? Don't you think I should have the motivation I need simply because I have a daughter? I think so. So why is it so hard for me to get up and just do it? I don't want to make excuses any more. I don't want to be in this funk. I have a wonderful husband and a very supportive family. I can do this. I'm going back to school. There is too much I have in myself to let it all go to waste. My "Lazy Days" are ending.

(The fact that this is the very first post I have labeled "school" made me smile.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Best. Post. Ever. (In a while, anyway...)

Ah! I haven't posted in a few days. I've been so good about posting thrice a week (that's three times for those of you living outside the Renaissance) too. I had a two and a half week buffer of posts ready to go! Well, I got lazy and my buffer ran out. Shoot. I have a few posts of notes and ideas for stuff I want to tell you guys, but none of them is ready! So, here is my post to tide you over. Enjoy!


This is a very small bunny.

This is a sad little puppy. Begging for love.
This is a mama giraffe kissing a baby giraffe.
Look! It's a baby tiger cuddling its mommy.
OMG! So cute!
Tiny huge baby elephant!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Squishy's Silly Baby Antics

Squishy weighs 19 pounds. She's 27 inches tall. She has only two teeth. She's a tiny human. My question is: Why is it that she has more stuff than Husband and I combined?! Seriously, where the heck did all this crap come from? She has a walk in closet (full of crap), a bedroom (full of crap), a cupboard in the bathroom (you guessed it, full of baby crap), and FOUR (1, 2, 3, 4!) places to store other things that Squishy had acquired, probably behind our backs. I think the grandparents are giving her credit cards and rides to the mall...

Storage places:
  • First, a big pink canvas bin with butterflies on it. 
  • Second is a a pink nylon tote box that is supposed to be for baby bath items, but I'm using it for every day toys.
  • Next is a contraption hanging on the back of her closet door with different envelope-like compartments that holds books and other things. 
  • Finally, on one of her closet shelves is a large collection of stuffed animals and toys. 
  • There are two outlying piles of books located at either rocking chair: one by the living room window and the other next to the glider in Squishy's room.  
There is a quilt my grandma made on the floor at all times for her to roll around on, a bumbo chair to practice sitting, and a baby gym for reaching and kicking. Also a jumper that fits in any of the 5 practical door frames around the apartment. All in all, toys and the like are readily available whenever she needs entertainment.

That said...

Why does she find the most enjoyment out of playing with a dirty sock, or a headband? I swear. Grandma spent $24.99 on that Jellycat stuffed zebra, and all she wants is to chew the tag. I usually laugh and shake my head at these cute little antics, but what she did this morning takes the cake.

Squishy gets lotioned every day to keep her eczema at bay and to maintain smooth baby-butt like skin. She usually tolerates legs and back (done first), but when I get to her arms and tummy she has a few things to say about that. It's a nessesity for her comfort, and only takes a few minutes every day. But once she sees the lotion bottle, she knows what's coming and I have to apply distractions so she doesn't attempt escape. We have named lotion as Squishy's number one nemesis. So you can understand my surprise when I look down today and see she has rolled over to the coffee table and was chewing on the lotion bottle with a huge smile on her face.

Ah, TJoM. (The Joys of Motherhood)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dear Squishy,

Learning a new skill takes training. Mental and physical. You've got to be the right size and shape for the job. You've got to know the techniques and be able to put them together. It helps to watch professionals to get inspiration, tips, and tricks to doing it well. I know it can get frustrating when you're in training. You may whine and stamp your fists or feet at your inadequacy, but know that I'm here for you. You'll get there someday, baby girl. For now, keep your head up. Keep your knees underneath your body. Continue to trudge in place until that magical day when you can trudge forward. Crawling is hard. I know you can do it.

Love, 
Mommy

Monday, May 9, 2011

Word of the Day:

Potential

[puh-ten-shuhl]–adj. capable of being or becoming

Life is sometimes like those create your own mystery books, only you can't look ahead to see where each choice will take you. It's even harder when you have a little one you're accountable for. Tasks that were seemingly mundane before the baby are suddenly jam packed with potentialEvery outing can to turn into a disaster, or some great adventure. On this particular day, Squishy and I were to meet friends at the mall and go to the grocery store. Then later, I was meeting a girlfriend for drinks. A nice, fun, smooth day. Full of that magic word: Potential. 

Squishy woke up an hour and a half early. I trudged into her room half asleep with a fresh bottle, wondering what caused this insane early rise. She looked at me, confused, like it was my fault she was awake at this god forsaken hour. I think she only woke up because she had once again realized that she couldn't crawl yet. She chomped away at the bottle giving me the stink eye (she was apparently still blaming me for waking her) as I changed her diaper in the dark. I gingerly placed her back in her crib, willing with special mommy powers for her to go back to sleep. Thankfully, she did. 

I slept for another hour knowing Squishy would sleep in after having an early breakfast. I decided to take a nice long shower before she woke up for the day. I took time to shave my legs (a rarity since winter lasted so freaking long), wash my hair twice, I even broke into song a few times!

It was raining, did I mention that before? *Scrolls up* No, I didn't. Okay, it was raining. Not a light humid the-birds-are-chirping-and-the-sun is-out rain, either. It was pouring. It was also cold and windy. I was wearing jersey capris with shaved legs. I didn't change into jeans. Maybe that was the mistake that hurtled my day into disarray. I bundled Squishy with blankets while she was battered with rain pellets that had the big potential to turn into "wintery mix" at any moment. Good thing I had done my hair curly, the rain and wind actually make it look better. Sexy and wild, even. 

We got to the mall at 11:00, ready to meet my two mommy friends for our weekly "walk and talk"...

11:10 Nobody's here
11:15 Text from one friend "I'll be late"
11:25 I text the other friend to see where she is. 
11:30 Reply "OMG!!!! I thought you said noon?????" No. I did not say noon. It was your idea to meet at 11:00.

So it seemed like Squishy and I had some time to kill before our friends arrived. This had some potential. Squishy loves the mall. There are people to watch, and shiny things to look at. Also fountains. Squishy loves a good mall fountain. I think the day she realizes that throwing a coin and making a wish is fun will be the day my bag of spare change gets a lot lighter. Or goes missing altogether. 

By noon my two friends had arrived and we chatted for a while. It's always nice to see friends, especially since it was so dreary outside. It was around 1:30 when Squishy decided that it was time to GTFO. She was getting squirmy and cranky, and needed a nap pronto. I was sure that if she took a cat nap in the car on the way to the grocery store, everything would be fine. 

Well, she didn't sleep in the car. Everything was not fine. Plus it was still raining. So there I was, in jersey capris taking deep, centering breaths trying to decide whether or not to do the grocery run. On the one side, I have gotten really good at fast shopping, my list is written in exactly the order in which they are displayed in the store. If I focus, I can be in and out in 45 minutes. On the other hand, I had a ticking time bomb for a shopping companion. If Squishy didn't get to a bed soon, she was going to explode. It could potentially be alright, or potentially suck. I decided to get the groceries.

I got the cart with the baby bucket seat to give Squishy some napping potential. I stopped in the restroom to change her and make an "in case" bottle so I would be prepared for an emergency baby soothing situation. As I have said before, I have no problem with abandoning my cart and take her home if she demanded. But once I hit the check out lane, I'm locked in. 

I shopped fast. I followed my list exactly. I was a lean, mean, expert mommy machine. I filled the cart, kept Squishy entertained and sort of calm. The checkout lane was there, it was in my sight line. Then...

BOOM! 

The bomb went off. Squishy was no longer cute and cuddly. She was an angry, red faced, mother-hating creature with a look on her face like I was deep frying her alive (which I wasn't). The high pitched shrapnel-like screams would undoubtedly bring pterodactyls swooping in at any moment. I was so close. I could have made it stop by just abandoning my cart and taking her home. But I decided to soldier through it and check out. 

Quick was the name of the game. I found an empty isle with an experienced looking cashier. Score. I used the deafening shrieks as motivation to go faster. I arranged my groceries on the conveyor belt in a way that would create maximum ease for bagging at the other end. I spoke soothingly to Squishy to no avail while I efficiently sorted and bagged my items. I was offered help by a bagging boy. I dismissed him. He would no doubt be slow and only fill the bags half way, making me find another cart. No way! The lady next in line offered to hold Squishy while I seamlessly carted one full bag and opened another in one fell swoop. I rolled my eyes to myself knowing that her intentions were good, but also knowing my baby all too well. Without stopping I told her that Squishy was just tired and a complete stranger picking her up and attempting motherly comfort would only make matters worse. I held my debit card and keys in my mouth awaiting my total, wanting a fast getaway. The cashier then asked me, loudly, if I would like someone to watch my baby and cart while I pulled the car up since it was still raining. Are you nuts?! Do you honestly think that she would be any calmer if I suddenly left her there alone with a stranger? Also, I'm not making the patrons of this store endure my baby's longing for sleep a moment more than I had to. 

I rolled out of the store and back into the rain. I covered Squishy's face, now the color of pickled beets, with a blanket to avoid the rain. I ran to my car and fastened her in. She was asleep almost instantly. I slowed my roll, and took some deep, centering breaths. I was snapped back to reality when the wintery mix hit me in the eyeball. I got in my car and sped off toward home. 

I was so drained that I didn't even want to meet my friend for drinks anymore. But just because the baby was crying at the store is no excuse. Meeting my friend for drinks was potentially going to be the best part of my day. 

When Husband got home I left to meet my friend at a chain pizza place. I sat at the host stand waiting. She said between 6:45 and 7:00, it was 6:48. By 7:30, I had gone through all the horrible things that potentially could have happened to my friend on the way to our meeting. The hosts were giving me shifty glances, wondering if I was a vagabond, or simply a crazy person thinking this was a bus stop or something. Since my friend wasn't responding to digital attempts at communication, I called Husband. He told me that I had moved this meeting to Thursday, not Tuesday. Crap. Distressed, I got up and walked outside. The wind hit my shaved legs and I was struck with shivers and the sudden need for Cold Stone ice cream, which was practically next door to the pizza place.

I walked into the Cold Stone taking a deep, centering breath. Ice cream, now that had potential.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to Squishy

3 AM, sweaty, tired.
Is it supposed to hurt this much?
One more push, and there you were.
Welcome, Squishy, it's been 17 hours
Since you decided it was time to meet me.

You burst into my world with
10 fingers, 10 toes.
Dark blue eyes, tiny little nose.
Bigger than we'd all thought you'd be.
With bright red hair, a surprise to me.



Coming home with you in tow.
Walking in the door was like crossing the
 Threshold into a new existence.
Now what?

Sleep, cry, poop
Sleep, cry, poop.

So tiny, so perfect.
My double-scoop.
No play, no sex, no sleep. 
I sit for hours just looking at you. 
You're my life, my all.




You are all firsts:
First smile,
First reach, 
First roll, 
First laugh. 
Discovery should be your middle name.

I didn't know
It was possible
To love someone this much.
All my wants, my needs, Come second to yours.
They all say having a kid requires sacrifice and compromise.
I say it takes adjustments.



You make my life difficult.
You make my life wonderful.
I will never wish for a world
Where you're not with me. 



I haven't showered in 96 hours.
I forgot to eat yesterday.
I'm wearing sweatpants today,
And I'll wear them tomorrow.
I don't look like a celebrity.
I don't look like the cover of a magazine.
I have stretch marks and strong arms.
I'm a mom.

Happy Mother's Day