Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Secret

One great nap. At least that's how it's starting. Who knows how long until he wakes up and ends the peace and quiet. But it started wonderfully. He wriggled in my arms at first, playing with my hair, making his baby chatter noises, trying to get me to laugh. But then I shifted him in the crook of my arms and he relaxed against me. Slowly, his fingers went limp in his mouth and his eyes closed. I enjoyed a few minutes of rocking my sleeping child before I laid him in the crib. As I was pulling the door closed, I was reminded of standing in that very spot this time last year. The same warm weather, the sun coming through the blinds in the office across the hall, and my own feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. "Why can't I get this baby to sleep? What is wrong with me?"

I was struggling with new motherhood. Trying to figure out the exact right combination of music and patting and rocking to help my son fall asleep and stay asleep for more than twenty minutes at a time. Wondering what the secret was for all of those "other mothers" with their sleeping babies. When really the secret is that there is no secret. Babies must load up on sleep those first few weeks of life and then nothing can make them nap. It's all their time table and not until they are good and ready. But when they finally are, it's bliss.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It's almost 1:30 in the afternoon. Everyone in the house is asleep except for me. Even the cats are napping. But for no good reason, I toss and I turn and I just can't seem to catch that drowsy, relaxed feeling that precedes sleep. I have tried laying on my back, on my side, on my tummy. I have tried deep breathing, I have tried to think of nonsense words or daydream about happy things. Nothing. Not a single Z. Meanwhile, the Husband is next to me snoring away.

I am sure you are thinking, "Well, maybe you are just not tired. Not everyone can nap in the afternoon." and you would be right except for one thing. I am really tired. I am so tired I couldn't wait to push my mom out the door this afternoon so all of our house could get some much needed rest. I slept for all of five hours last night. Five. And, no, it wasn't the Tot keeping me awake. It was nothing. Not a darn thing. I went to bed late and was exhausted after a celebratory evening at a friends wedding. I couldn't wait to get my makeup off and let my head hit the pillow and then...nothing. I laid awake for over an hour tossing and turning. Because Grandma kept the Tot, she also agreed to keep the baby monitor and let us sleep in this morning. Oh Joy! I expected that because it took so long for me to fall asleep last night, I would sleep much longer in the morning. I expected to not be conscious much before 8. But, at 7am, I was wide awake. I tried to go back to sleep, really, I did. I kept thinking of all that I had to do today and how much nicer happier I'd be if I was well rested. But then the "Mom" piece of my brain kicked in and I started wondering if the Tot had his breakfast, if he was missing me as much as I was missing him, if he was being good for Grandma. And I couldn't shut it off, so that was it for me.

But this afternoon? Everyone is sleeping. The house is quiet. There is nothing for me to feel anxious about or be worrying about. So why can't I sleep? What is keeping me from catching those z's? I haven't a clue. My only guess is that I have crossed the threshold from being tired to being "overtired". You know, like they write about in all of the "How to get your baby to sleep" books? So, maybe I just need someone to put my butt in the car/stroller and drive me around town for awhile? Or how about snuggling me in their lap and rocking me to some soft music in a dark room? Any takers? No? I guess I will have to settle for some warm milk, a hot bath and an early bedtime instead. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

My wish list:

1) I wish the Tot wouldn't fall asleep when we are 10 minutes from home so that I have to wake him up in order to have lunch so that he can then go back to sleep for his regularly scheduled afternoon nap. Because of course, he never wants to take his nap once he is feeling re-energized by his "micro nap" and the conflicts ensue. Not to mention that I am sure he is completely confused by the idea that we woke him up and now he has to go back to sleep. This is crazy-making, to say the least.

2) I wish that I didn't always feel an overwhelming desire to plan everything. I want to be one of those women who can just let life "flow". I have the most annoying need to know what is going to happen and when and with whom all of the time. If I don't know how things are going to go, it usually causes me immeasurable anxiety and planning is my coping skill. But I wish I didn't need to do it.

3) I wish I were more secure in myself as a mom so that I didn't balk at every hiccup and transition. I remember when I first became a mom that I felt like I was completely clueless and was in a constant state of confusion over the "right way" to do things. I know now that there is no such thing, but that insecurity comes back every time we face a new challenge, whether it be swimming lessons or peanut butter.

4) I wish I were more expressive of my appreciation to my husband. He is a great dad and a very supportive partner. For some reason it's a lot easier to tell him what he's doing wrong instead of how much I love all of the right things he does.

5) I wish I could be more confident in my decision to leave my career and be at home with the Tot. I really love being with him and seeing him grow and I know that this time will be gone in the blink of an eye. I just wish I didn't feel like a second class citizen every time someone asks what I do and I say "I'm a mom". Obviously this is one wish that is just a work in progress (as seen from all of my previous posts)!

6) I wish it wasn't so hard to live up to our principles. The mess in the Gulf has me thinking about that bible verse about being good stewards of the earth (Isn't there a bible verse like that?) and feeling very guilty that we aren't being good stewards. I am even more guilty on a personal level because we are talking about trading in our fuel efficient Honda Accord (which is like 15 years old) on a gas guzzling Honda Pilot. I know, I know. I continue to struggle with what is the right thing to do as someone who cares about the environment and what is the right thing for our family.

7) I wish people would stop using the phrase "game changer". Everywhere I look I see stuff about how this t.v. show season finale was a "game changer" or that product is a "game changer". Even the Iphone slogan is "This changes everything" I'm sorry, but since when is change a good thing? Most people I know complain about change. In fact, isn't that where the phrase "the good old days" comes from? Because someone felt they had a great life before everything changed?

Happy Friday! Check out more quick takes here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What matters more

Bigger Picture Moment

Today I went to get my new phone. The phone that I have waited weeks months two years for. My contract was finally up, I was finally able to get a phone that would allow me to access both my email and the Internet without freezing up. A phone that would be able to switch from "no signal" to "signal available" without my having to shut it off, restart it and wait for it to s-l-o-w-l-y reboot before being able to make a call. Needless to say - I was thrilled.

I got to the store bright and early this morning while Husband so generously agreed to take the Tot to his swim lesson. I held my breath a little when the salesperson went to the back to double check that they had my phone in today's UPS shipment. I almost squeaked with delight when he confirmed that it was ready to go.

But then, as he was getting ready to process my order and activate the phone, he said he needed to talk to the authorized account user before he could give me the phone. Wait - what?? I explained that I was an authorized user and that both my husband and I were on the account. He informed me that my name was on the account as a user but that I was not "authorized" on the account to make purchases. He asked that I contact my husband and have him call the company to authorize me to use the account. I needed to call my husband to ask permission to get my phone. My OWN phone. I was so humiliated. And there it was again - that frustrating feeling of being dependent on someone else. Feeling like a 1950's housewife. Again. Still.

Through some shenanigans, I was able to get the situation resolved and walk out of the store with my new phone, but the feelings of embarrassment and aggravation stayed with me. I went home and continued to ruminate on my situation and began wondering yet again if I should be returning to work rather than staying home. If somehow by resuming my previous life as a working stiff, I would regain some of the autonomy that seems to be missing right now.

After the Tot's nap, we were playing on the floor. He started a game of putting a scarf over his head and walking around underneath it, giggling. At some point the scarf slid off and no matter how many times he tried, he couldn't get it back on by himself. I continued to reach my hand out to help him and call him to come over to me, but he refused. He was insistent that he could do it himself. At one point, he became so frustrated  that he even resorted to banging his head on the carpet in a temper tantrum. As I was calming him down, I said "It sucks to have to depend on someone else to do what you want to do".  Exactly. That does suck.

I hate having to depend on someone else. There is something in me that positively rebels at having to feel a need that I cannot meet on my own. It's somehow all wrapped up in upbringing, feminism, and just plain pride. It's not productive and it's not something I want my son to learn. As I watched my son play on the floor, banging blocks together, singing to himself, I thought about priorities and what matters. Is soothing my insecurity worth more than being here for all of these quiet moments? Not in a million years.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am Kate.

Guilty confession time - I have seen every episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. I didn't start out watching the show, but I heard about it last Spring when all the tabloid nonsense started and I was a new mom with a lot of nursing time on my hands and not a lot to occupy myself so I started watching reruns. I think it actually helped me feel better when my newborn was extra fussy or didn't sleep well. I would watch an episode of Jon and Kate and think "If she can manage eight kids (EIGHT KIDS!!) I can certainly handle just one!"  Okay, the woman had a lot of help, but still! Eight children! I can't imagine what that must have been like when the little ones were under a year old. Talk about needing a padded cell! Anyway, my point is - I have watched plenty of Jon and Kate. Because of that, I am very familiar with Kate's, um, "conversational style" when she communicates with her then-spouse. You know, that sort of barky, commanding "Jon! WTF?!" kind of stuff she says? Probably much like the rest of the viewing audience, I would cringe when it happened. Probably because it was embarrassing and also because I had the hindsight to what was down the road for this Kate from the past.

Therefore, it is with quite a bit of guilt that I confess to my own "Kate" moments. In Kate's (and my) defense, I feel like it's really hard to not have those moments partly because I spend most of the day being the Captain of the ship and when evening rolls around, it's not easy to give up command. It may also have something to do with Husband being somewhat more...shall we say... casual with his parenting. Yesterday, for example, he let the tot play with a pointy screwdriver. Which caused some "Kate" reaction in me that was something like "WTF? Are you kidding me with this?!" Okay, yes, not one of my most supportive moments. I am sure I have had similar duh-type parenting moments, but I guess the biggest difference is that I don't have anyone standing over my shoulder criticizing coaching me when I make a bad call. Most of my mistakes go unobserved and let's be honest, even if there was someone around to give me some..um...feedback, odds are I would not be very good at hearing it. Maybe I need to try to some good ol' fashioned censorship. Or some duct tape.

Friday, June 18, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) I have recently caught several snippets of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that the tot was watching while I was getting ready. Mickey Mouse strikes me as a kind of a know-it-all sometimes. I wonder that he has so many friends. I think they are just using him because of his cool clubhouse. (I also have to say that Stinky the Plant on Sesame Street is my least favorite puppet. I hope someone switches his miracle-gro with bathroom cleaner.)

2) We have a babysitter coming tonight so we can go out on a date. As much of a date as it can be when you are going to see a kids movie, anyway. We have had a sitter before but it is typically for an afternoon event, so this is the first time the tot will be put to bed by someone who is not a family member or one of his parents. I am really hoping he doesn't give her a hard time.

3) We all have some allergy junk this week leading to less restful sleep and general whinyness for everyone. It also maybe have been the cause last night when the tot fussed extra long after being put to bed and I had to go up and rock him for a bit for the first time in MONTHS. Needless to say, this is compounding my anxiety about having a babysitter.

4) I really love coffee. Sometimes the thought of a hot steaming cup is the driving force to get me out of bed. That and the chatty tot down the hall. Both are a great way to spend the morning. Both also have the frustrating quality of keeping me up at night.

5) I recently found out that another friend of mine is trying to have a baby and undergoing fertility treatments. When Husband and I were going through similar issues, I was surprised to find out how many people had similar issues. Now, it seems like most of the moms I talk with had to do some sort of procedure whether it was Clomid, IUI, IVF, or all of the above. This has had me wondering if fertility problems are on an upswing and if so, what the cause might be. Nothing like another heap of paranoia to add to my day!

6) The tot's new favorite word is hat. He walks around patting his head asking "hat, hat, hat?" He picks up all of his toys that have hats and points to them. He drags his Sheriff Woody doll all over the place muttering "Hat. Hat. Hat." He finds his own hats and makes a game of putting them on and taking them off, all the while musing to himself (and anyone who will listen) "Hat? Hat. Hat? Hat." Well, at least his new love of hats allows us to accessorize! I hope the next word is something equally helpful like "tooth brush" or "green beans" (a girl can hope, right?)

7) We had our 15 month check up this week at the pediatrician office. It seems that the older the Tot gets, the fewer the questions. I can distinctly remember at his two week, two month and even four month appointments that I had a list of questions written down. That I didn't even use. I wrote the questions down and then memorized the key phrases so that I would remember to ask them all without having to pull out the actual written list so that the doctor wouldn't see it and think "Oh no. One of THOSE mothers." (Just in case anyone wasn't already thinking I was pretty nuts) So, it was some what funny to me to think of that sitting in the doctor's office this week when I had no list. Nothing written down, no real questions. Just some basic "My kid is a picky eater, but I hear that's normal" type stuff. "Ha ha!" I thought. "I don't need a list anymore. I am an old pro at this parenting thing!" When I got home, I figured out that I had forgotten to ask at least two questions. Next time I will bring the list. I feel my pediatrician should know me well enough by now to not be scared off by my particular brand of crazy.

Happy Friday, Everyone! Read more quicktakes here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Swimming lessons: Lunesta for babies

It's our second week of swim lessons. Our instructor is fabulous and has already taught us all kinds of cool stuff like how to get in and out of the pooh correctly and how to blow bubbles. Unfortunately, she is also a big believer in kids going underwater. The tot, however, is not a big believer in this concept. and clings to my neck and swim suit straps like a spider monkey. Right about now is when I would start frantically googling "swimming for babies" and "toddlers fear of the water" and emailing all of my mom friends to see if it's normal for a kid to be so opposed to swimming lessons and going underwater. But, I am not. I have decided instead to just let it ride and see how it goes over the next couple of weeks.

Another benefit to swim lessons - the tot eats a great lunch when we get home and sleeps like a champ. I barely rocked him before he was asleep in my arms. Yes, you read that right - asleep in my arms. I had almost forgotten how great it is to have a baby sleeping in my lap. So, of course, I had to hold him a little longer to savor the moment. The warm weight on my chest, the sound of his deep breathing, the smell of his soft baby hair.  It was heaven.

I am thinking of making swimming a daily activity.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Magic Cheerio Dust

Mealtimes have continued to be a stressor in our household. I continue to struggle to serve the tot something other than steamed sweet potatoes or bananas. I recently purchased a book, First Meals by Annabel Karmel. I had tried some of her recipes in her purees cookbook and they had mostly been a big hit with my little foodie.

The first recipe I decided to try was a pasta recipe with cheese sauce and bits of ham and peas. It wasn't extremely complicated to make but it did take a little bit of time to make the sauce and cook the pasta. It smelled great and I even tried a bite before I served it. It tasted great, so I was hopeful. I am sure you can guess what happened. He wouldn't even try it! It sat on his tray for most of dinner and he would turn his head and purse his lips anytime either Husband or I tried to offer a morsel. Finally towards the end of dinner he tried some pasta. Well, let me be clear. He put some pasta in his mouth, chewed it up and spit it out. Did I mention that it was the cute mini bowtie pasta? I have no idea what he found so offensive about the tiny, cute, cheesy bowties.

I was somewhat discouraged by his lack of interest but we had a lot leftover (probably because it didn't get eaten at ALL the first time. Grrrr.) so I decided to offer it again today at lunch. This time I tried to give him just the pasta first and leave everything else on the counter reasoning that if he had nothing else to pick from, maybe he would at least try it. And...he ate a pea. One measly pea. Then he began fussing and gesturing in the general direction of the kitchen in a "WOMAN! FEED ME SOMETHING ELSE!" type fashion. So I got the requisite sweet potato chunks and some banana and strawberry slices. Of course, everything else went over like gang busters and the pasta sat there ignored. All of the sudden, I remembered this trick we used to use when the tot was much smaller to get him to try new foods that he didn't like the texture of. I swear, if I had looked up above my head right at that moment, there was probably a cartoon light bulb dangling there.

When the tot was first eating solid food and was presented with a "wet" fruit or vegetable like banana or strawberry, we would sprinkle crushed Cheerios over the top to give it a better texture and something he could grasp more easily. So, I went and got Cheerios which I crushed and then sprinkled over the cheese (now cold) pasta and held my breath waiting. The tot regarded the "new" pasta with the Cheerio crumb topping. And all of the sudden, he grabbed a bow tie in his chubby fingers and popped it in his mouth! Then, miracle of miracles, he chewed it and swallowed it! Success! He followed that bowtie with six or seven others and I could hardly stand my excitement! I feel certain that the whole portion of pasta may have been consumed had it not been for the enormous amount of banana, strawberry and potato already in his tummy. I am now debating whether to share my secret with Husband or just let him be impressed by my sudden feeding skills.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Code Brown

It happened. I knew it would happen sooner or later. I had been expecting it, but because it had not happened yet, I allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. I was a fool.

Tonight was the Husband's night to bathe and bed the tot. But he was busy cleaning up dinner and we were running behind as usual. So, being the great wife that I am, I offered to do the bath. (I am a giver, I tell you!) I got the bath started and the tot undressed and submerged in record time and was feeling pretty proud of my accomplishment. I had just finished washing him and was giving him a little extra time to play in the tub. So there we were, just he and I, enjoying our time. All of the sudden, I noticed these funny bubbles coming from the water. From his..uhhh... caboose area. And then, I just knew. I just knew what was about to happen but I couldn't move. I was frozen in a combination of horror and disbelief as two little brown pebbles floated to the surface. I know I made an audible gasp which was received from the tot with a worried frown. I tried to be reassuring but had a primary focus of getting my newly clean toddler out of what had just become a defiled bathtub. With what I am sure were cat-like reflexes, I quickly snatched the tot up out of the tub and rushed him to his room before he had any chance to come in to contact with the offending floaters.

Never have I been so glad to be a co-parent as when my husband came in as I was changing the tot and I told him that he needed to empty the bathtub. He was concerned and all I could say was "We have a Code Brown."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fake it until you make it

Things are better. I have started getting this whole credit thing resolved and am in the process of obtaining documentation from the doctor's office that the collections account is not mine (hooray!). The lady I spoke with there was very nice and very apologetic when she realized that it was likely an error on their part. You know, assuming I didn't fly 1200 miles to go to the doctor a few years back and all. So, I will be getting refunded for my collection payment and (fingers crossed) getting the black mark removed from my credit report. I realize it doesn't change the fact that I still may not qualify for a credit card due to a lack of employment, but I am continuing to investigate my options and if that ends up being the case? Well, I guess I will jump off that bridge when I get to it.

In the meanwhile, we have started swim lessons. The tot is loving them mostly and learning so much. In all honesty, this is his second time with swim lessons but our last instructor wasn't very, um, instructional. So this time he has already learned to get in and out of the pool and to push off from the wall. We are working on learning to go underwater but so far, he is not a fan. I am sort of dumbfounded by his reaction given that when we go to the local pool or even the baby pool at the gym, he waddles around happy as a clam, and face-plants repeatedly in the water. The first couple of times this happened, I grabbed him in a panic and pulled him out coughing and sputtering. He was very upset and I thought he was traumatized, but then realized that he was upset because he wanted me to put him down so he could go back to his wading/falling. I have since tried to have a non-reaction (how does one do that when their baby is laying face down in a pool?) and just stand him back up. In reverse, when he goes underwater in swim class, I try to put on my biggest happy face, cheer and clap so that he knows I am proud of him even though he is coughing and fussing and clearly NOT enjoying himself. Fake it 'till you make it, right?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The worst...

I am a stay at home mom, for those who don't know. It wasn't a decision that I reached easily. There was a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights wondering if I was making the right decision. The biggest hurdle for me wasn't staying home with a brand new baby (that came later) but it was the fear of being completely dependent on my husband for our welfare. It was panic-inducing to think about going down to one income and that income being all his. Don't get me wrong, my husband makes a decent income and we could easily afford for me to stay home. I know that I am blessed to have that opportunity. I know plenty of moms who are not so lucky that have to work at least part-time if not full time and don't get nearly as much time with the kids as they'd like. Still, it gave me butterflies whenever I thought about not being self-reliant. It had been drilled in my head as a young girl - "Go to college. Get a good job. Never have to depend on anyone but yourself." So, I definitely felt some trepidation at letting my husband "take the reins" so to speak. But, as time went on, I stopped thinking as much about his working and my staying home and started thinking of it as both of us working. Only my job was more emotionally taxing and (in my mind) more stressful.

Then, two weeks ago, I decided to apply for a credit card. We had paid all of ours off some time ago through credit consolidation and had both agreed it would still be good to have one for emergencies. Not to mention that I wanted to be able to buy stuff for birthdays/Father's days/anniversaries and not have the charge show up in our checking account and ruin the surprise. So, I filled out an application, cringing only slightly when they asked for my occupation and I had to put "homemaker" because at least they also asked for my mortgage payment amount and annual household income. So, I wasn't that worried about it. But then - I was denied. Denied! Rejected! You guys, I have never, never, never, been denied credit before. For anything! I had like 5 credit cards in college (hence the reason for the credit consolidation)!

And there it was - all my doubt and anxiety about not being a working woman. All my fear about being dependent on my husband. I was so embarrassed and disappointed. But more than that, I was panicked. What if something happens to my husband? I won't be able to get a credit card. Or a home loan. Or a car loan. In fact, our current car loan is in his name as is our home when we refinanced due to some nonsense about his debt to income ratio giving us a better rate than our debt to income ratio combined (which probably doesn't help my credit AT ALL).

So, in the midst of all of this worry and irrational thinking, I pull my credit report and find that I have a negative mark on there because I was sent to collections for a medical bill back in 2006. From the last state we lived in. Where I haven't lived for more than 5 years. So I assumed it was just a case of delayed billing and them not being able to track me at my new address (which is crazy, since we left a forwarding address) but whatever. I contacted the clinic, got the info for the collections agency and promptly paid the past due balance. I felt horribly guilty that they might have thought I was trying to skip out on the bill and wanted to be expedient. So the collections agency very politely sent me a copy of my receipt along with a copy of the invoice from the doctor's office. That's when I see the service date was May 2006. MAY. 18 months after I had moved! I started to think that seemed like a VERY long time for them to delay billing. There was also a note on the invoice that I did not have insurance at the time of service. Wait, what? I have never not had medical insurance. So, now I am really suspicious. So I call the medical clinic and speak to the billing office. The woman I speak with says "Oh!" in a   oh-shit-we-screwed-up kind of way and puts me through to the voice mail of the office manager explaining that I will need to talk to her to clear this up. Somehow, I doubt that I will be at the top of her To Do list so I wait a few hours and call back. I explain the situation and she is very apologetic and also puzzled. After checking a few details with me, it is very obvious to me that I was not the recipient of service. But, how do you prove to someone four years later that the person who saw the doctor that day wasn't you? She agrees to look in to it further and get back to me today or tomorrow.

I then contact the collection agency and explain the situation hoping to get my charges reversed. This lady is much less...um... shall we say helpful? She refuses to help me saying that she needs to talk with the medical clinic and confirm that this is, in fact, an error. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that the conversation slowly deteriorated from there and may or may not have ended with me hanging up on her rude self. I also contacted the credit reporting agency to try to rectify this matter but, of course, will need to wait a momentous amount of time to see if their investigation actually resolves anything.

Meanwhile, I sit here ruminating about my poor credit. Wondering if I am denied the privilege of being a Visa or American Express holder because of one error on my credit report? Or because the car loan and the home loan are now both in The Husband's name? Or, is it like he says, that I am currently not working and therefore have no income to offset any potential debt? In which case, is getting a job the only way I can resolve this issue of bad credit? Does it really come down to a choice between being a self sufficient working mom with limited time to spend with the tot or a completely dependent Betty Draper-esqe housewife with no resources of my own who actually gets to watch my son grow up? If anyone knows the answer, I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Best Laid Plans

This weekend we traveled north for a family gathering. The Husband and I thought we were pretty swift because the gathering was scheduled for early afternoon so we planned to give our tot his lunch prior to departure and let him take his afternoon nap in the car. It's about a 2.5 hour drive so assuming he fell asleep quickly, he would still get roughly his full nap. We also packed his jammies and an overnight diaper so that we could get him ready for bed before we returned home and then just carry him in the house and put him in the crib. Ha. Ha. Ha. HA!

Admittedly, he did fall asleep both on the way there and on the way home. For about 20 minutes.

Yes, those are Star Wars jammies. Shut up.

But, no matter how quiet we were or how many soft soothing songs we tried, most of the ride was like this:

Today, however, I drove home from the store listening to "Sweet Child Of Mine" (Sometimes I get nostalgic.  Go ahead and mock.) and in the ten minutes it took to get home - he was out like a light. Next time I will be making a playlist of 80's Hair Bands. Not that I own music like that. Shut Up.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

1) The tot is sick with a mysterious illness. He has no symptoms other than some lethargy and a high fever last night. He seems better this morning but is still a bit sluggish. These are the days I wish he had the power of speech. I am trying to get him to rest by bribing him with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which really is a double bonus - he gets to watch tv and I get to blog in peace).

2) I expected this summer to be peaceful. I think I actually said to the husband "I can't wait until everyone is on break from everything and we have nothing to do!" Except that hasn't actually happened. We go to the gym every day and the chiropractor and the store and everywhere else in town. And now we are signed up two days a week for summer swim lessons. So actually a big "NO" on the downtime and relaxation. However, because of the aforementioned mystery illness, today we are inside doing nothing. It bothers me to be house bound but it is also kind of nice to still be sitting here at 8:45 in the morning in my pajamas. This weekend was also packed full of visits, errands and the like. But now it may be full of time spent indoors caring for our quarantined tot. I am already brainstorming ways to entertain us (which, given that most of our daily activities are self-inflicted, makes me think that I must actually enjoy having lots to do every day).

3) This week I have read two new books. Both were excellent but very sorrowful. I read Anna Quindlen's "Every Last One" and "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. Anna Quindlen is one of my favorite authors and I have read most everything she has written. I enjoyed both immensely but am not so sure that it was a great idea to read two books about loss back to back as it left me feeling very melancholy and introspective. I have now started Steig Larson's "The Girl Who Played With Fire" which I doubt will have the same effect.

3) I have the worst habit of buying more books than I even have time to read. I think I enjoy the process of shopping for books as much as if not more than reading them. I thought that this would change some with the kindle as there is no going to the bookstore and flipping the pages which is part of what I love (I still do it, I just end up downloading the titles rather than purchasing them) but it turns out that browsing Amazon is just as addictive because you are able to download samples of the books. And being able to have the book in hand without having to leave the couch only makes it worse! I'm trying to control my urge and not let myself buy more than two books at a time and not purchase more until those two are read. However, willpower and I are not friends, so I am doubtful of this strategy.

4) I am enjoying a summer with little to no tv. I had hoped to start this big experiment of not watching tv at all this summer, but realized my spouse would probably start sneaking off to hotels to watch the tube. So rather than making it a hard and fast rule, most nights when there is nothing on the DVR, we play games or do other "non-television" related stuff. It's been fun so far. My long term goal is to cut back on our tv watching overall, but we'll see how it goes given that I am missing "The Good Wife" and "Grey's" already and he has already started perusing the network websites to see what new stuff starts in the Fall.

5) I think part of my desire to cut back on our television habit stems from the fear that we are setting a bad example for our tot who may be turning in to a tiny couch potato. Or maybe a tater tot. Sorry, too good to pass up. Anyhow - he doesn't get to watch a lot of the tube unless we are getting ready to go somewhere and he needs to be distracted. Bu,t what used to be background noise while he played in his Pack n Play is now his primary focus. More days than not, when I get out of the shower, he is laying on his bear staring up at the screen transfixed. All of those parenting articles and research studies start repeating in my head and I envision myself in a doctor's office five years from now discussing his learning disability/attention issues/obesity etc. Yes, yes, I am sure that it probably doesn't happen exactly that way and the husband always says something nerdy like "Correlation doesn't prove causation" when I bring it up, but it doesn't stop me from worrying about it (much like everything else parent related). And yes, I have Googled this (of course) and the results were mixed. It seems like a lot of doctor types say "NO TV. Not before age 2 and even then only in small doses." But a lot of parent types say "Are you kidding me? If I don't turn the television on once in a while, I will end up in a padded cell!"

6) Because the tot is sick, I am bending the rules and pretending not to notice that he is drinking his sippy cup of milk in the living room. Does this make me a sucker?

7) I am so glad it's finally summer. We have been outside almost every day. The grandparents have gone to great lengths to turn the backyard in to a toddler fun land so now we have slides, a water table, a sand box, and a baby pool. The tot is both joyous and overwhelmed. I am glad he likes the pool but am quickly tiring of the swim diapers/swim trunks/hat/sunscreen routine that takes 20 minutes in order to venture out in to the yard for him to only play for 45 minutes and then come back in for the rinse off/change diaper/change clothes routine. I swear I am spending as much time getting him ready to go out and cleaned off when he comes back in as he actually spends out in the yard. Oh well - at least we are all still getting fresh air and sunshine and that's far better than the icky cold of the last six months!

Happy Friday, Everyone! Read more quick takes here.