Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does.

Adding to the list of stupid things to do with a baby: buy large items. For example, today I decided I'd had enough of this hell-hole condo looking like, well, a hell-hole (once again-another post for another day re: fighting with overtime working hubby about said hell-hole needing organisation) so...off I went to market to buy BIG Rubbermaid containers to organise with. Basically, baby boys out-grown clothes, coupled with my incessant materialism, tripled with a laundry room of tools leftover from our reno attempts, quadrupled with our messy nature=a disaster in our measly 900 sq. ft.

So I am strolling around and very excited at the aisles and aisles of colored containers ripe for the picking, laden with fresh possibility; stacked, clean goodness with clear labels of contents slumbering peacefully inside. Oh how I wistfully gazed, picked up, stacked in combination, tried covers, tried different combos in different aisles...leaving a mess of piled bins in my wake-to come back and revisit and compare of course. I'm sure the lady-workers I saw with their price guns walking by were none too pleased. Juuuuust as I thought maybe I was reaching a pinnacle decision about how to stack these bins in my closet -baby boy decided he was hungry.

Inner monologue: (ok, outer monologue since I say everything to baby boy nowadays making me appear crazy!) Oh baby boy...pleeeeeeeeeeeeease take a bottle! I cannot, though I have before, pull my boob out here! I mean, where will I sit? On the display toilets in the plumbing section? Lord...if I have to I will. Actually it doesn't look too busy over there....NO. You must take a bottle. I insist. All of this refusing-bottle-mumbo-jumbo is nonsense. The Sex and the City movie is coming out on Friday and by god, I WILL go see it. You WILL stay with a sitter or at the least, your dad. Pleeeeease? Ok. Let's try.

Miracles of all miracles he drank the bottle in aisle 35 next to the closet organisers while he sat in the stroller and I held it for him...and I envisioned my completed closet. He is finished and I burped him and then, of course he will have none of going back into the stroller. None. He screams. I give in and hold him in his usual position: facing out -only now he can grab at things, which is new. I make my decision, pile the Rubbermaid's with their lids together with one hand (not easy I tell you) and then look at my situation with an outside eye. Stroller+Rubbermaid's+babe in arms=impossible. So in he goes, Rubbermaid containers in one hand with a foot shoving them awkwardly along the way, other hand on stroller. I make it to aisle 28 and he is blue in the face, doing the no-breathing scream. I sigh. I scowl at two old people buying their bulk teepee who stare agog at my screaming baby and tut-tut (I just know some helpful suggestion is on their lips). I take baby boy out. Now what!?!? F%$k.

The only thing I could do was flag down a nice lady-worker with a price gun. She was actually really nice. She got a cart and wheeled the Rubbermaid's all the way to the front cash for me. Awesome. The chicks in front of me are cashing their UI checks and buying socks and gum. Huuuuuurrrry I think (or I hope I said that inner-monologue style?) But they take forever. Baby boy is not as light as he used to be and I'm getting tired at this point and losing my patience. Oh yeah...did I mention he can grab things now? When I finally get to pay he sweeps my wallet off the counter and across the floor, which I have to do an awkward squat to pick up while holding him. He grabs at the debit machine messing up my pin number. "Maam that was not approved." AGh. Finally we are done and I'm still feeling hopeful about this organising thing, but then how to get them out the mall into the car?

Here's how I did it: I get the checkout girl to pile the Rubbermaids precariously on top of the stroller. No, baby boy wasn't in there, but I thought about it! I held baby boy in one arm while I pushed vvvvvveeeery slowly with the other. Many people stared at me. Most of them were waiting for the whole tower o' Rubbermaid to fall, I'm sure, then to scoff or laugh at me depending. But it didn't! I get out to the parking lot, but realize if I take the stroller down the slope-y ramp of the walkway into the parking area it will tumble over. Then I'd have a mess in the middle of traffic. Not good. SO...I kick the Rubbermaids down off the stroller while I hold one of their handles in one hand to guide them to fall in a decent spot. This worked relatively well. They landed right beside a couple of old dudes enjoying a Starbucks outside. Perfect. Then I leave them sitting there while I take baby boy and stroller to the car. I pack baby boy into his car seat and the stroller into the back and for a split second I think about just running back to get the bins, leaving him there. I mean...I was only about 4 cars down the aisle of cars away from where I left them. But alas...no. It could not be done.

See, my car got hit while I was parked the other day. No we weren't in it and its fine (yet another post). But if that happened and I'd left baby boy in the car? I'd die. The GUILT. So I decided the only thing to do was drive the car up to the curb and then put on my flashers, jump out and load in the bins. Whew.

Sadly, I was hungry. Sadly I wanted a Starbucks and a little stroll around the mall. I could have re-parked and gone back in. You can imagine that if baby boy wanted out of the stroller inside the store that now almost 20 minutes later he really didn't want in... so I drove off with my mad baby. Off to get an oil change. Tick, tick, tick things off my list. I may not be much of a housewife, but I know how to get things done. Yes...next time I go to buy a big item I know not to go alone. But I did it. It was stupid and highly frustrating and slightly embarrassing. But it's done.

So you see, overtime-working hubby, its fairly simple to accomplish things once you put your mind to it. Those Christmas decorations I asked you in, oh....January, to put down in the storage locker? Yeah...the ones you put your shoes and coat on every night when you get home (for 4 months now). You can do it! I have faith in you. See, I might do stupid things because I am rash and just jump in on a rampage when I get an idea ("we need to organise NOW!")...but stupid is as stupid does. Does. Done.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Specifics.

Must clarify that in my last post when I spoke of pulling a "Britney" I was not, in fact, talking about flashing my coochie. While that is also "Britney Stylez" I was referring to driving with baby boy on my lap. If you wanna see celebrity coochie, well you need to visit Micheal K at Dlisted. He's where it's at.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Part 2: Heat wave Day 2

After I payed the nice lady the 15 bucks, nursed and readied baby boy...I made a decision. A stupid one. I decided that the nice walk into the beach would be so much easier with baby boy in the pouch sling. Then I wouldn't have to lug the stroller over the rocky gravel I knew was there on the pathways. So I put him on my hip, threw some diapers and wipes into my bag and grabbed my lawn chair.

OH MY GOD. It had been a year since I went on a school trip to this beach with my students. Guess I'd forgotten-the road from the gate is LONG. The walk was probably a good half hour. A half hour lugging a 15 pound baby, a beach bag and a lawn chair. In the hot, hot afternoon sun with no breeze. Oh yeah, and I'd forgotten my own "note to self" and put him in there after a meal. So the walk was punctuated with the occasional grunt, gag and barf...all over my shirt. The whole walk I am doing the "ok, if I turn around now the beach could have been just right there" talk myself into it bit. Then I decided no turning back...but I was concocting ways I could get back out to the car without walking with baby. I was envisioning someone having to stay with baby at the beach while I hitched a ride to my car and bribed the ignoramus gate guard to let me go in to retrieve my baby. I am in good enough shape, but this was so tiring, and I felt stupid. I knew I would get back to the car eventually, but figured if I had to walk that I seriously might have to wait a few hours. Luckily...I was thinking I might be stranded, but at least baby has all he needs in me. YAY for breastfeeding.

I arrived sweaty and smelly in many ways (baby barf, my own smell)but found my friends to be still there. The visit was short and probably not worth it AT ALL. But I guess I did spend about 2 hours in the sun, and baby boy loved rolling around on the towel-incidentally I think he ate his first "ruffage". Yeah, I know I'm supposed to start him on rice cereal, but grass can't be all that bad? In the end my girlfriend and her hubby and baby drove us out to the gate "Britney stylez".

Ummmm throw stones at someone else: her husband is a cop and it was his suggestion.

Kids are expensive!

Day 2 of heat wave. The beach was calling our name. It was a girlfriend's birthday BBQ-meet on the beach sometime after 11 am-they would have a spot staked out.

As can be expected with an infant and a workaholic husband, the day did not go as planned. Hubby decided he had to go to work...on the nicest day of the year so far! Major bummer all around. But added bummer because the girlfriend who's birthday it was is a newer friend of mine from work who just had a baby of her own. I've met her husband and was hoping my hubby could now join in, and maybe, you know, we'd make friends. Even though we hate people and don't really like friends at all-but that's another post. So there I am getting baby boy ready to take to the beach on my own.

Baby boy chose a long nap at 11:30, so by the time we get there it's 1:30. Would my friends even be there anymore? She doesn't have a cell phone. Yay. The gates to the park are closed and manned by an official looking dude. Cars are coming out, but none are allowed in-the park is "full" they are saying. Huh?!?! Makes no sense...but nevertheless I join the endless stream of cars doing U-turns away from the gate, and frantically trying to score illegal shoulder parking on the way out. No dice. I circle a couple of more times trying to decide what the heck to do-turn around and go home? Find a spot? Baby boy chooses this moment to wake up...and scream. Poor baby-it's sweltering hot out and he is stuffed into that sweaty car seat. He looks frothy. He wants out.

I decided that, goddamit, I have a family now and I must do family things. Going to the beach on a hot sunny day is a family thing I should not deprive my son of!!! (Insert comment about my craziness here____). I decided to park come hell or high water. High water came first. Just outside the gates is a camp site which is charging 15 bucks to park. FIFTEEN! I could park for free if the ignoramus dude working the gate would just realize that 1 car coming out makes room for oh, say, 1 car going in? Damn.

See, kids are expensive. But not for the reasons most think. You don't need the latest Rolls Royce of strollers (which I totally have and love...need not, but love, yes), you don't need cribs and change tables, and expensive clothes (again, I buy baby boy more clothes than he can wear before he grows out of them, but I digress), and you don't need the national brand diapers or organic baby creams and soaps. But even the smallest infant will cost you mucho. Because you will be willing to pay for things you never would before, if it means one moment of peace, sanity, and quiet.

A parking spot for the beach-$15
A place to air out a sweaty, screaming baby and breastfeed in relative privacy?-WHATEVER YOU ARE CHARGING, FOR GODSSAKKKKES LADY JUST LET ME PARK!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I should be ashamed of myself

Whilst trying to navigate a border crossing today I did the unthinkable. No not "forget" to declare my un-allowable purchases. Well ok, yes that too. No, I went against everything I've ever said, stood up for, believed in fought for the right to...here's how it happened:

Border Guard: "ma'am, can I see your passport?"
Baby Boy: "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
(I pass document to guard)
Baby Boy: "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
I nervously twist in my seat to look at baby boy.
ME: "Ooooooooo, darlllling, poor sweetheart, smushy-wushy, baby boy!" (I lay it on thick)
Border Guard: "And what is the purpose of your trip?"
Baby Boy: "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Me: (sweating now): "Oh, just a little change of scenery, a little shopping, you know, getting out of the house...(under breath) buying wads of baby stuff and possibly a whole new wardrobe for me."
Border Guard: (now walking around with my documents in hand chatting with other border guards about some strange beeper-like device that is not working; Other border guard retrieves new strange beeper-like device and holds it in my window. Lights flash. They continue discussing)
Baby Boy: "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Border Guard: (finally!) "And how long will you be staying?"
Baby Boy: (purple in face now) 'WAHHHHHHHHHH!"
Me: (fake, pained, worried expression on face): "Just today! HE IS SO HUNGRY! I really have to feed him!!!"

He wasn't. At all. And if the border guard had suggested it, I might have plucked his eyes out with my tweezers. He was just being pissed off and wanted out of the car seat. But I, disgracefully and without morals, stooped to using my biggest pet-peeve to get across the border faster. It worked. And I got some amazzzzzzing deals.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Off da hook!


I ordered myself a custom "mommy" necklace from an artisan on www.etsy.com. Oh, how I love this website! Again, of all the things I am learning as a new mom, the mushiness that follows is what is surprising me most. A mommy necklace? So not me avant bébé! But then, I found this artist: Birth Designs. The jewelry is really simple and can have a hardness to it...it looks like something you'd buy to complement a new "going-out top" not something all flowery and heirloom-y. I will feel cool and inconspicuously "mushy" wearing it. My necklace is based on this design, but with copper, brass and silver elements. Will post the final picture once it is complete. I can't wait!

Happy Mother's Day to me! And yes, this gets my husband off the hook. But really, I picked out my engagement ring and bought my own wedding band, so this seems à propos.

Note to husband:

Yeah...all this working late you are doing, while I schedule and train and listen to this "cry it out" method: You owe me. Not now, maybe not next week even (since Mother's Day is in fact coming up, but I let you off the hook!), maybe not even in a year. But one day, there will be a time when I get to look at you and say "remember honey, how our son started going to bed every night without a fuss? Remember how he took long naps allowing you peace and quiet to play video games all those years? Remember how well behaved (please xenu!) he was because he was so well rested? Yeah...pay up." 'Cause this shit ain't easy on me. So I'm saving up for a good one.

Like maybe when he comes home in a police cruiser, with the keys to the car...attached to a shard of the bumper.

Or when he is 16 and comes home to announce he and girlfriend Tiphani (oh how I loathe names like that!) are running away to join the emo-circus...yeah,

your turn!

Day 6

And I'm still crying. Oh...did I say "I". Haha, silly me, I meant baby. Ok, I admit, we've both been crying. See there is lots to learn a a new mom and one thing I'm learning right now is that there is something uncontrollable and hormonal about the whole "mommy guilt" thing. I always just assumed that mommies who were too soft and not living in the real world were the ones to feel so guilty over a spilled milkshake. And now, here I am bawling like, well, my baby. You see, he has the softest cheeks. And when they are stained with tears and he looks up at me as if to say "mommy please don't abandon me, because I don't want to live in a cardboard box on the street where my only friend is a mangy cross breed and a hash pipe" my heart just leaps into overdrive. It's very hard to walk away...to not pick him up...it really makes you feel like if the little boy was really judging you, you'd be getting no gold stars. And have I mentioned I'm competitive? Yeah, I'm competing with myself apparently to be a better mom.

A couple of glitches we are still working out include: if I get in the shower when he stops crying, but I get out and he has started again...how do I know if I should go in? The whole 10 minute interval is sort of difficult to gage if I took a luxurious 25 minute shower. He could have been crying the whole time. I did however get both legs and armpits shaved, so I'm trying to balance how much it was worth it with my guilt. I ran into him, dripping wet, fearing he had freaked out so much and so long he would be choking, or had wriggled his head into a spot he can't wriggle out of. (Don't worry I know enough not to, GASP, put anything in his crib, like a god forsaken teddy bear or anything-since he could suffocate on teddy's paw!) But alas...he was just crying. I picked him up, nursed him and he calmed down. We played for like, 20 minutes at which point he got so crabby and started rubbing his eyes all over me. Evidently I hit the panic button a little too early and should not have "rescued" him from his nap. So now I ruined today's schedule and pattern.

Having said all that, the whole cry it out thing is really working for us. He is sleeping much better and taking longer naps in the mornings. I just have to hit myself over my new soft head and snap out of it. I do sneak in after he stops crying and goes to sleep though just to look at his peaceful little face and touch his cheek. Yeah, that's when the tears come.

Note to self #2

Do not put baby in hip sling directly after a meal, unless mom's clothing seems deprived of chunky gobs under the armpit area.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dinner of Champions.


Last night I went to bed around 11pm. Baby boy woke up at 12 am, went back at 12:20. At 1:30 am I was fully aware of having a very vivid but benign dream about visiting some old teacher friends. Nothing scary. I was like, shooting the shit in the dream. All of a sudden I felt myself being pulled into wakefulness... I woke in a pool of sweat. There was sweat actually pooling in my cleavage too. I felt like I had arms and legs of lead and I was sunken into the mattress, unable to move. It was such a strange feeling. I've felt that way before as I often have vivid nightmares. Scary dreams that even freak out others when I re-tell them. But this was really nothing. And yet there I was, like, scared numb in bed. My head was spinning. I felt faint and my heart was fluttering mad.

I got up and tried to walk around to shake off that odd daze that usually follows me after waking that way, but I felt really weak. I guzzled some water. Then I realized I was really hungry. I ransacked (quietly so as to not wake my baby) the fridge and scarfed a hunk of cheese, 4 crackers and a yogurt smoothie. Ahhhh. I felt much better. After I retreated back under the soggy covers and the comfort of sleep that was calling me, I had an epiphany.

I guess the huge bulk bag of sour Jujubes I ate for dinner came back to bite me in the ass. Oh yeah...and I washed them down with a bulk bag of chocolate covered raisins, too. Who needs drugs when sugar is legal?

The Crying Game

Yeah so baby boy is back to crying at night. Lots of it. And I am about to make an admission here...one that may or may not have you running for your phone, dialing 911, and asking for Children's Aid: Last night I let him CIO. Yup, that's modern mom's speak for "Cry It Out". In other words, I am "Ferberizing" or giving my baby "Healthy Sleep Habits". So, I have maybe read 100 pages of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child due to the fact that the author's writing is as dry as Melba toast. He keeps repeating himself with this "types of sleep" mantra that I never came to understand at the foremost. And, being sleep deprived, some doctor mumbo-jumbo spewing is exactly what I need to put me to sleep. What I'm getting at is, by any good mother's standards, I am not prepared for this. I haven't laid out the plan! I haven't targeted day sleep and prepped my baby son by weaning him onto the new routine. I didn't make a routine! I haven't made my partner read the book, or at the very least all the pages I chronologically marked with a sticky for him. Actually I didn't even tell him I was doing it. I didn't even know I was doing it...until it was done!

Here's how it went down: Baby boy started to fuss at 5 pm as he has been doing in his jet-lagged way since our return. I gave him a bath as per usual. I fed him to shut him up. I turned on his noise machine like I normally do...he was crying. Major crying. Too worked up to nurse to sleep peacefully as he used to do a couple of weeks ago. I changed is diaper. I put on some "soothing" nighttime crappy cream. He still screamed. I shoved the boob back in his mouth. He quieted, pulled off (using my nipples like a taffy tug-of-war). He cried. He went back on. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. He rubbed his eyes. He was sooooo tired. He kept doing the head bob, and I swear at one point he was asleep with his eyes open. He settled and closed his eyes finally. I silently did a hockey arm pump of joy!

I laid him in his crib. I tiptoed out. He screamed.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
On the 4th time of me going in, offering up the boob, him screaming seconds after I laid him down...well I was losing my cool. I decided the next time I would let him cry for 5 minutes to see if he could settle himself. I just needed some time to myself! He didn't, so I went in and picked him up, rocked him and put him back down-asleep. 20 minutes later he woke up screaming. From what I've read this is the problem: He doesn't know how to let himself fall asleep. We all have this natural 20 minute or so sleep cycle but falling back asleep is something we have to learn. He was so used to having my nipples at his beck and call-he couldn't do it without. So I decided. Ok first time was 5 minutes...this time I'll go 10. But I got on the Internet and 10 turned into 12. Then 15. Then he started easing up. He was whimpering and moaning but not crying anymore. I thought-I think he is ok! I can do this. After 22 minutes, he was sound asleep. And I had checked and replied to all of my emails. Score!

Like a friend said: life is tough. Boys don't always just have nipples around when they wish to fall asleep. It's a hard lesson to learn...but a necessary one. I would hate for me to have to wean him at 18 and him go off to college and not get any. He'd be so homesick and sleep deprived! Then he wouldn't pass his exams and become something successful and buy us a retirement condo! What a nightmare! So we are Crying It Out. Did I feel so sad and guilty all night? Yeah. Did I get over it when I saw him smiling at 12 am? (Yes...crying it out still means he wakes up to feed-there are no miracles!) Yeah.

Boy...you'll be a man, soon.

Note to self:

Do not put baby in Jolly Jumper immediately after a feed, unless the laminate floor is feeling deprived of curdled milk.