Wednesday, August 31, 2011

picture break

While Mommy's at work...

my active little monster

I don't want to rush him into growing up. That is happening plenty fast enough. But I can't seem to resist trying activities for which he's either a) not old enough, or b) just too hyperactive.

I really hope it's (a).

I bought sturdy, shiny posterboard and a set of Melissa and Doug crayons (I highly recommend these!). This activity is, somewhat, a success. He LOVES sitting on the posterboard. He likes making lines on it with the crayons. The problem comes after about 2 minutes when he absolutely needs to carry the crayon elsewhere or the world is going to come to an END.

And I take the crayon away and the world ends.

The other activity that I so long for is reading a book together. This isn't quite what I thought it would be. I always pictured my toddler and me sitting together with an open book. He'd help me turn the pages and enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to the words and touching the book.

This is not how it is.

He won't stay on a page long enough for me to read more than two words. He yanks the pages by, gets frustrated if he can't get the next page in his fingers, and tosses the book down before we're halfway through. Every now and then it will be HIS idea to read (he'll carry the book to me) and we will make it to the end of the book, but it isn't relaxing and there isn't any actual reading taking place, just rapid page turning before he runs off to see what else there is to attack do.

"Active" doesn't begin to describe his personality. It's no wonder he sleeps so much in between his sessions of world domination.

Monday, August 29, 2011

lab work

Fletcher grows. He's taller than about 75 percent of kids his age, but still underweight in the ninth percentile. His face continues to age and his second molar is poking through the gums already.

The only other thing I learned at the doctor appointment was that when you ask them, "How do you draw blood from a toddler?" and they answer, "The same way as adults," they are NOT joking, but they totally should be.

"He's so strong!" both nurses had the nerve to say as needles were dug mercilessly into BOTH of his tiny arms. Despite the fact that these women were ADULTS and trained nurses, Fletch continued to move his arm under their supposed grasp and wail as I've never ever heard him wail before, except maybe the last time we put him in the hands of these nurses (a year ago) when they failed to take blood from his feet.

And the nurses took absolutely no blame for this recent abysmal failure, instead coming up with a few excuses about "fluids" and Fletcher's upset state, and completely ignoring the fact that he entered that room in absolutely perfect condition for lab work.

Come back?

Yeah no.

A letter arrived in the mail the next day with an ultimatum that he needs to have his blood drawn before the end of September.

Here's my ultimatum:

Get a damn nurse who can hold down an underweight 15-month-old on the first try because no way in hell am I putting him through that again.

Even now, it makes my eyes fill, because I know when the next attempt comes, I'm going to have to do it. I can't trust them. I'm going to have to bruise his soft arms just so he can get out of that room faster. I have to be a monster because once again it seems like you can't trust the hard stuff to anyone but yourself.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It is *almost* zipped

It turns out boobs shrink and ribs grow. Life's little surprises.

Love to the Fourth Power

Four years ago, this guy stood in a garden and married me. I couldn't be more grateful.

I love him more with every year.

I've said it on more than one occasion. My iPod is magical. Placed on shuffle, it never fails to enlighten me.

This morning, it shuffled only to two songs on my short drive to work, two songs that I rarely ever hear.

You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson
You found me when no one else was looking
How did you know just where I would be?
You broke through all of my confusion
The ups and the downs and you still didn't leave
I guess that you saw what nobody could see
You found me

February Song by Josh Groban
Morning is waking up
And sometimes it's more than just enough
When all that you need to love
Is in front of your eyes
It's in front of your eyes

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Food According To Fletch

Happy 15 months, Fletcher!

The older he gets, the harder it is to feed him, as he gets bored with chewing and swallowing after about three mouthfuls.

Food According To Fletcher:

Mashed Potatoes: Weird. I'm going to pull that out of my mouth and look at it. Oh no, it's stuck to my hand! *rapid hand movements flinging potatoes* Repeat.

Pasta: You got this in the toy aisle, right? *pull out of mouth, study, fling* Repeat.

Cereal in Milk: Yummy! I wonder what it feels like when I squeeze it between my fingers. Oh no, it's stuck to my hand! *scrapes off on nearest, hard-to-clean surface* Repeat.

Milk: Technically, I could hold this cup myself, but I'd rather hold it not quite high enough so you'll hear me sucking air and reluctantly prop it up for me. That frees up my hands for scraping you with my super long nails that I won't let you cut. 

Goldfish, Oyster Crackers, and Dry Cereal: Didn't I have this yesterday? Come on, give me that knife and fork you're eating with. COME ON. I WANT THEM NOW.

Gerber Jar Food: Okay, I'll eat this, at least for a while. When your guard is down I'm going to let it slide out of my mouth and then mash it into every stain-able fabric I can touch in 7 seconds. When you start cleaning up the mess, I'll grab up the spoon, full of food, and drop it on your head. Then I'll totally laugh.

Because eating is a pretty hilarious game.

Not now, I'm on the phone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

molars suck

Hey, molars! You suck.

Even now, I just ran upstairs because he was crying in his crib, but I stopped outside his door. What could I do for him? Nothing. I don't have a magic soothing touch to make it better. That's one of those great lies you discover when you become a mom.

I breathed silently, listening as his frustrated cry was defeated by sleep. An entire evening week of orajel, ibuprofen, teethers, and it isn't getting better. What haven't we tried? Baby dentures?

I remember commiserating over my teething infant with Angela, who said, "Wait until molars." I get it now. It turns out we spend a large portion of our second (and third) year on this earth in horrible pain. This explains a lot.

In other news, my husband ran a half-marathon because, *shrug*, why not? One of his best characteristics is his ability to follow through, even when he does little or nothing to prepare. He started a new job today, too, *shrug*. After a few weeks with him as a stay-at-home dad, now we have to get used to being single parents all over again. While Fletch is getting his first molars. Yippee.


He eats an ice cream cone better than I do.


is the carpet clean yet?

all right, let's vacuum!

it puts the lotion on its skin

rare moment of happiness

at the park

hi, daddy!

End Note: Between Fletcher and I, we managed to wear three different states on our T-shirts in these pictures. Weird.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Let me buy my bananas, old people.

Andy went away for the weekend, which meant lots of quality time for the boy and me. The weather was so perfect, it would've been a crime to stay inside. After feeding Fletch the leftover chicken casserole for lunch, we played at the park, where he was more interested in the wood chips, grass, and sidewalk than the actual toys. Then I got a sandwich, and finally we went to Pick 'n Save for a few groceries.

I stopped at produce first for bananas, which happen to be the easiest and cheapest food ever to feed him. Then we headed toward the baby food aisle.

Now, Fletch is pretty cute. He gets a lot of attention when we go out. It's especially conspicuous when I'm pushing a stroller through the grocery store instead of a cart. So the few glances we got from strangers were not unusual.

In the baby food aisle, I had to stand around pretending to be interested in greeting cards because a woman was taking up half the aisle, and the other half was blocked by a display. I even read a few cards in an effort not to rush her.

The woman was speaking to her son in Spanish and taking her sweet time with the jars of Gerber. I finally noticed that she also was shooting sidelong looks at my son.

Yeah, lady, we're waiting for you.

It took long enough that I decided to offer Fletch his cup of water. Umm... yeah. It was easy to see the reason he was garnering attention. I don't think you can call it "spit up" when the slime stuck to his shirt, shorts, and stroller actually contains whole noodles. I think we're in vomit territory then.

So I got busy checking the floor and greeting cards for signs of projectile, and he's smiling away at me, and heaven only knows what was being said in Spanish behind me.  Probably, "Asqueroso."

Have you ever tried to take a puke-covered pullover shirt off a toddler who has a big head and a lot of hair? In a Pick 'n Save?? Mere hours after I had washed his hair??? It required much care.

Sometime during Fletcher's public undressing, my Spanish friend disappeared, but it was too late now. I had a stroller full of partially digested puke noodles and a half naked toddler, I wasn't going to bother with shopping. I took my bananas to the checkouts.

When you have only one item, of course, that's when every lane is full and all four self-checkouts have been hijacked by the slowest, most technologically impaired folks you'll ever find. Not only that, they were the folks most likely to stare at and judge the mother of a half-naked toddler in public. LET ME BUY MY BANANAS, OLD PEOPLE, AND YOU'LL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN.

Lesson: My son is cute, but sometimes people stare for other reasons.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

thinking less

When I was pregnant, I prepared by thinking a lot about my baby's first year -- no sleep, diapers, nursing, protecting him and helping him learn all of his firsts. I didn't think much about the second year and beyond.

Now it's staring me in the face. He's cutting some vicious teeth. He's showing resistance. He's curious about the limits of what he can get away with.

He's going to need to learn the potty. He needs to learn what's nice and what hurts -- for the cats and for me. He needs to learn how to behave in public -- how what's cute and funny at home isn't appropriate for the restaurant. He needs to know when I'm serious and when I'm playing.

I'm tired just thinking about it all.

If I were the me from a year and a half ago, I would purchase a handful of books and combine everything I read. I would scour Amazon for the best teaching toys and gear, and sort the list by best customer review instead of price. I would think on it, every day, until I felt prepared for the tasks ahead of me.

Instead I'm going with the flow, with only my instincts, which aren't always sharp. And when I think on it, it's with a bewildered sort of panic.

He'll be fine. We'll be fine. I just need to think less.

(Tiring him out helps, too. Here are photos taken after a day out with grandma and grandpa. When he lets me use my camera, I take advantage.)

my favorite

Friday, August 12, 2011

CD1 dysfunction


We got along great for a while.
You kept me happy.
You had me
that my dream was coming true.
I fell for you or
what you offered.
Today the romance is gone.
you hurt me.
And now I remember it's not
the first time.
How stupid you make me feel.
How much
you have over me.
I knew that you made me
and I kept you still.
I couldn't not.
We're sitting in the same room
and I can't stand to look at you.
So I keep my distance
and refuse to listen
and imagine a
from you that will never exist.

Today, nature made a fool of me. The poem is addressed to my silly sense of hope, which (in failing) has turned me sullen.

I dwell too much on what I think I want. May I never forget how much I have (everything).

This morning, Fletcher stuck his arm up to his elbow inside the empty pregnancy test box. He waved that arm around like a robot invader from the future. His secret weapon was his disarming smile. How could I not be disarmed by him? How could anything be missing from my life?

From Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple. A classic, to me.
Days like this
I don't know what to do with myself
All day and all night
I wander the halls along the walls
And under my breath I say to myself
I need fuel to take flight
And there's too much going on
But it's calm under the waves
In the blue of my oblivion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

11DPO deluded

August 11, 2011

So yeah, negative. But I'm not giving up. In fact, I see a second line if I look with my peripheral vision.

In related news, I'm pathetic.

Update: I got an expert second opinion. She began in the negative, then offered, "The longer I look at it, the more I think maybe there is a second line." Exactly. Maybe if I stare for ten whole minutes, I'll become pregnant.

Update 2: I thought to myself, "I'm not gonna give up," and now I can't get Rick Astley out of my head. What a morning.

Update 3: It's not even noon and I've typed so many symptoms into that it exploded and the dust of my delusions is raining down upon the Internet. LOOK OUT, YOU MAY BE NEXT.

Update 4: Just when I'm losing hope, my iPod makes its first shuffle... to the first song I ever sang to my son. I don't know which way this sign is supposed to take me, but I feel a temporary sense of peace.

Update 5: It's after noon and I just took a trip to the bathroom solely to check for spotting and there was none and I can't stand myself anymore.

Update 6: Now it feels like there's a heating pad across my lower abdomen. I have no idea what this means.

Update 7: Damn it. I started thinking about baby names. This optimism is getting out of hand.

Update 8: One hour until I test again. Hooray for pee sticks!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10DPO glass half full

August 10, 2011

The test was negative, of course.

I only took the test for continuity here on the blog. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.

What's weird is that I still think I'm pregnant.

I'm nervous about tomorrow, but the test is going to show two lines.

It is.

I'm not usually a glass half full gal.

But we did it this time.

I don't care what it shows on this pee stick that I'm still studying under different sources of light and upside down, three hours later.


2:00 p.m. Update: Feeling crampy. 16 hours until I find out 16 hours until I find out 16 hours until I find out 16 hours until I find out 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Little Leaf | my first children's book

The Little Leaf   

Once upon a time, there lived a little leaf, green and happy. Sometimes, it worried. What if it fell off its branch?

The sun made it hot. The rain made it wet. The wind tugged its branch, but the little leaf held on.

The dog barked. The rabbit nibbled. The squirrel dug. The mommy, daddy, and small brown-haired boy brushed by. The little leaf held on.

The little leaf worried about the ground, where it was sure to fall. Many days passed, and it became curious. Finally, it grew brave, and let go of its branch.

The little leaf fell softly to the ground and was happy once more. That was easy! Soon, it began to worry again. What would happen next?

The sun made it hot, and the leaf became dry and brown. The wind tossed it into the grass, and the little brown leaf worried more.

One afternoon, the brown-haired boy toddled over the grass. The leaf hoped. Maybe the boy would choose the little leaf for playing! Plants and leaves nearby had more colors, though, and the little leaf lost hope.

The boy bent down and chose the little brown leaf! He picked it up gently.

Hooray! The leaf traveled in the boy's small hand, across the grass and to the place where his mommy sat and watched.

The boy placed the leaf in his mommy's hand, and the little leaf saw her smile. Then the boy reached to her again. Was he going to take the leaf back?

The boy surprised his mommy and the little leaf! He closed her fingers over it. It was hers now. Then the boy toddled away.

The mommy had happy tears in her eyes. Hugged in her hand, the little leaf would never worry again.

It was the mommy's very first gift from her son.

The little leaf would be loved forever.

Illustrations forthcoming. Because I have so much time on my hands, right?

If you're familiar with children's books, please recommend edits. Thank you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

8DPO train ride

August 8, 2011

I'm obsessing again, but I hate not knowing. Am I going to be the mother of two? Am I going to change my son into an older brother? What will the answer be when the wait is over?

A few days. A set number of hours. Stretches of time. Minutes, all in a row. Barely, barely ticking forward.

I'm on a slow moving train and each bump of the track is the next second, and the next, and I'm watching out the window, analyzing every tree, every patch of grass, in case it's a sign of where this train is going.

It breaks my heart to exit the train and be right back where I started before the 28-day trip.

I think we did it, this time. I think we're going to be pregnant. I think April 2012 is going to be the month our family grows once again. Magic.

Is it a good sign that I feel so confident? Or is it horrible what I'm doing to myself, holding onto this hope? I vacillate between.

From Backwards by Christina Perri
Take me backwards, turn me around.
Cannot find my balance on the ground,
This world's too heavy
For a feather falling quickly.

And I wrote you a story,
But I'm afraid of how it ends,
And all my friends are doing well,
And I'm still on the mend.

I'm gonna lay back down,
Hope the wind takes me around.
I gotta find some courage in this town,

'Cause nobody's going to save
Somebody who won't change,
I try to be brave.

And nothing's coming easy, and all at once,
I feel a little queasy.
Oh, but if your love's my remedy,
Won't you please come and be with me?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cheesy Blogging

I got to be a Cheesy Blogger Guest Post Writer! And now I can die happy.

- - -

Theory: the cheesiest bloggers of all write blogs that don't actually exist.

I began blogging because I was so excited about a secret that I needed a place to write about it. (I was pregnant.) I thought I was brilliant and everyone in the world would someday read my beautiful words and think, “What a wonderful writer!” and the accolades would fall from the sky.

Then Cheesy Blogger founder Angela casually mentioned that I was writing a scrapbook blog, and she was absolutely right. Is the writing decent? I think so. Should anyone who doesn’t already care about my baby (now a toddler) read my blog? No.

No. Hmm.

I can’t deny that a thrilling part of the writing process has fizzled for me, knowing that I’m not writing something that entertains to a mass (or even an imaginary mass) public.

So I’ve been thinking: Start a New Blog! It’ll be clever! And funny! And someday everyone in the world will ready my beautiful cheesy words and those accolades finally will fall!

I looked up clever blog names to see if they were available as dot coms. I thought through a few entertaining posts and began imaginary writing. I designed a few mastheads. My inspiration was back!

I'd write four times per week. I'd comment like a madwoman on other people’s blogs. I'd be clever and hysterically funny. I’d try to make friends (something I’ve NEVER been good at). I’d go to conferences. I’d network. Heck, I’d advertise.

And… fizzle.

Maybe I have what it takes to be great at something. Maybe I don’t. Trying is a choice.

For now, I’m cuddling up with my little scrapbook blog, where I can be cheesy and mushy and photo-heavy for an audience of family and friend(s) and me. And in the meantime, I’ll take pleasure in reading the wonderfully entertaining and excellently cheesy blogs of others like Angela and Marianna Annadanna and SarcasmInAction. I’ll keep dreaming.

There’s always tomorrow.