Wednesday, May 31, 2006

random. and boring!

Lucky you. This is my most random and probably most boring post yet. Things are feeling wacky lately but not interesting enough to write about so I have to break my non-writing streak somehow. So, here goes:

I have been sleeping really crappy and dragging around for days.

I have been eating waaay too much chocolate lately. I'm sure this has nothing to do with my sleep issues.

Henry is still teething but better. He has been waking up from his nap around 2:30 (almost an hour earlier than I prefer) and so I tell him to go back to sleep or rock him for a minute and then tell him to go back to sleep. It has actually been working! He gladly sleeps for another hour or so. I feel like an evil genius.

I have a bunch of very annoying manuscript edits to do today and am in the middle of two crappy freelance projects. I have no time. I am squandering naptime on this post and I don’t care.

I made potato leek soup this morning, which Henry repeatedly called “tay-toe doop!.” I said, “say ssssoup,” to which he replied, “doooo-puh!” with extra slobbery emphasis on the end.

I am once again wondering what the fuck I should be doing with my life but too busy and lazy to do anything about it.

The house is semi-clean but I haven’t fit in a craft project or a decent dinner for days.

Juggling a yelling kid and work phone calls all day is making me insane. It’s been months since I’ve had to resort to cartoons but I can’t expose clients (who don’t have a clue I am at home) to the screaming. Henry loves it and I hate it. I should be thankful for the ability to be home with the kiddo and make decent money and do semi-interesting work but I resent it all.

Jason is working with old friends and having a great time. I am glad he is happy but sad that he has to leave us all day to be happy (and he does). It’s not so easy to be nice when he gets home. I think that is a temporary hormonal reaction after a crazy work-filled-day on my part though.

I think I just heard H waking up from his (second) nap. I had planned to leave on a better note but….

Wait, I do have one. My parents took Henry to some version of a county fair this weekend and he rode the merry-go-round and sat in a box of corn and saw a horned goat. How’s that for random? See for yourself:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the bitch is back

Or, more aptly put, the insane, manic, grumpy, wakes-in-the-middle-of-the-night-screaming, demanding, tantrum-throwing child I call my son is teething again. His top two incisors are bulging their hard white tips through his swollen pink gums and he is pissed. I know it will pass in a matter of days but damn I am thankful that it has been months since we have had to do all of this and that he only has 6 more to go in the next year or so (slow, unpredictable teether so give or take). When he was younger he just woke up a lot and cried and wanted to be rocked and didn’t eat much and took shorter naps for a few days and then it was over. Now he’s possessed. Like when he threw himself into hysterics when he couldn’t open a CD case after trying for 3 seconds. Or when he tried to comb my hair with his toy broom. Or slapped the dog jut for fun. Or when he started screaming for cheese (wtf?) in the car on the way home tonight, 20 minutes after he had eaten. A lot. Or when he started bashing his head into the chair repeatedly and giggling manically. Or when he just called for me 20 times to come into his room and asked me to rock him and then after 7 seconds (you think I’m kidding. Oh no. I counted) demanded to go back to his bead. He is so up and down it’s unbelievable. I need to get over some serious PMS and this boy needs these teeth to pop through, preferably both, or we may not make it.

Update: I have sympathy and patience really I do but the volume and quantity of yelling this morning are such that I just want to go back to bed and hide. Unfortunately I have responsibilities and it’s way too loud.

Monday, May 22, 2006

camera dump

I cannot possibly love this boy any more than I already do. Yet, everyday I love him more.

He may look a little goofy sometimes but he can stack 12 blocks! All by himself! Tell me that’s not impressive?

My newest craft obsession (felt! felt food!) is not looking as hot in the light of day as I remembered it from a few nights ago but isn’t that always the case? Not to worry though, it’s only a prototype, a mere first attempt. There will be more, so much more. Cakes and slices of cakes and pie and pancakes and donuts and bacon and fried eggs!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

a little all around update

It is seriously hot in pdx right now. High 80s to low 90s in May is nuts. I had no time to prepare! Generally, I don’t mind it but the heat at night kills me. Our house is perfect until about 5pm and then the heat sinks in and stays. All night. I need a good night’s sleep.

Jason has been working his ass off on projects around here and for pay. Things are getting done that were started years ago which makes me insanely happy. I will post photos soon and when the back yard is done I will open it up for summer backyard bbq season! I think he’s working so hard lately so he can avoid work he agreed to do for my parents but I can’t be sure.

This week is shaping up to be a busy workweek for me. I have been super slacky lately and now I’m paying. After a mind-numbing 4 hour meeting with my boss yesterday and a morning of calls and new projects to set up I am scrambling. The kid is asleep and I should be working (and I am sort of) but I’m not! I am also drinking way too much iced tea and I’m caffeinated! I am so seriously sick of dealing with incompetence and the changing of everyone’s minds around me all the time. No detail oriented people here. No way. No how. I also have a new freelance website to do that is big and complicated and daunting and due in 2.5 weeks. Yay.

I picked Henry up from my mom’s yesterday evening and we had a pretty nice, uneventful, although quite slow drive home. He was getting a little annoyed but remained good natured, pointing out school buses, city busses, trains (max), tractors, trucks, etc. He was starting to get hungry and asking to eat a few minutes from home and when we got here I told him that we were home and he could eat now. Ok. Not quite. BTW, I was super hungry myself. When Henry saw his swing on the porch he freaked out. “Swing! Swing! Swing!” and when it became obvious it wasn’t happening he threw a huge fit, screaming and crying and falling on the floor. This is not characteristic for him. I distracted him with something but then he started slamming cabinet doors and took to hitting me! Fuck. I threatened a timeout and that stopped but it didn’t keep him from standing very close to me as I cooked, swinging a toy at me just close enough not to make contact. Little bastard.

Today he ate plain nori (sheets of sushi wrapper seaweed), which was an interesting site to see- cramming paper like pieces of seaweed in his mouth as fast as he could. Whatever. He also wanted a granola bar so I took it out of the package and broke it in a couple of pieces. This wouldn’t do. Since he has been give the whole bar in the package on occasion, that’s the only way he could possibly eat it. So, I crammed the pieces back together (it was sticky) and wrapped it in the torn wrapper. He ate almost the whole thing.

Bed time is another whole deal now. He has taken to calling me for an entire hour after he goes down! And when I do go in to see him, it’s all “Mama. Night, night. Look, bear. Look, pink bear. Look (at photos of the three of us on the wall), mama, daddy, baby. Um, elephant! Um, music. Blanket. Night, night. Bye.” He is fucking grasping for anything to keep me in the room but gives up when he runs out of ideas. Tehn I leave the room and the “mamaaaa!” 750 times starts all over again. I am sucker and go in too often but I love the kid and I have a fantasy that I can calm him down. Ha. BTW, no crying at all, just yelling for us. For an hour.

So, to reward all of this insanity, I think I will cram in a little more work and when the little shit wakes up we will go out and buy groceries then play in the back yard. Really, I have done enough work already and there’s always tomorrow!

Somehow I have found the time to try some new crafty projects lately and I am loving the results! I will have to show them off as soon as I take some pictures.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

happily ever after?

Something has been bugging me for a while now. I read a number of blogs (more every day it seems) and interact with a fair number of people in person. Many of these people are parents and some are not. I have found that when the topic of relationships comes up, I am much more likely to discuss relationship problems (theirs and mine) with my friends without kids and especially my unmarried friends. It feels like relationship/marriage problems/issues are sort of off limits with the happy parents set, or people really don’t have them. That’s how it feels anyway. It’s interesting because conversations with and posts by other mamas are usually so frank and open. We talk about our deep fears and poop for heaven’s sake!

I have a great partner and so do most of the mamas I know. We are so very lucky. But, it doesn’t mean that my relationship doesn’t have major issues, sometimes more often than others. It doesn’t help that many of our existing problems have been magnified by daily life as parents (H’s behavior issues, sleep deprivation, time/money concerns, etc.). These are things that my single and non-parent friends can’t relate to and I feel like I’m on my own. If I don’t keep up the perfect relationship image, what will the other mamas think? Will it change our interactions? I doubt it and it seems kind of stupid when I put it in writing but hell if I know, maybe there are a lot of perfect relationships out there. If that’s the case, I need to talk to people in them anyway. I need the secret to happily ever after.

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a lovely day

I can’t remember a time when I did not want to be a mother, eventually, that is. Even while I was pregnant, I knew my life was changing forever. I remember the first day or two after Henry was born like it was yesterday. I had the profound realization that having this child was one of a very few things that I have ever done in life that I can never take back. At the time I was pretty scared about that fact but after the shock wore off I was profoundly happy. I cannot imagine not being a mother. My child has made be a better and much happier person. My patience is tested daily and thankfully it usually wins. I cannot imagine a day without this sweet, happy, funny, intense, peaceful being in my life. We had a relaxing day, during which I slept in, bought some plants, planted some plants, read my book, made an easy dinner and ate in the back yard with my boys, after which we laid on a blanked and relaxed some more. It was a perfect Sunday. Even Henry calling “mamaaa” from his crib 700 times, during which I have gone in 3 times to check on him, cannot ruin it.

Mother’s day is interesting though. For the first time, I am have been thinking about all of the women who want to be mothers as bad as I did, or worse, and for whatever reason can’t or are having a hell of time. Also, the women who have given up children or lost them. It breaks my heart and I can’t quite shake the awesome responsibility that is parenthood. The other thing I have been thinking about today is my own mom. We really aren’t very close and, as I mentioned recently, my sister isn’t communicating with her or any of the rest of our family. My mom and I see each other at least a couple times a week and she takes care of Henry regularly. We are nice to each other and talk on the phone frequently and have meals together several times a month. We spend holidays together and do things for each other and help each other out and I appreciate the help with Henry immensely. It’s just that I don’t feel much of an emotional connection to her. I have had issues with the way she treated me as a very young child my whole life and things really went to shit when I was a pissed off teenager. We have gotten over that for the most part (thanks in part to a fair amount of therapy on my end) but I can’t remember the last time I told her I loved her. Probably in writing or over the phone while I was in college. We have gotten closer since Henry’s birth and I trust her completely with him but I don’t have any idea if we will ever be any closer ourselves. I know she feels that I keep her at a distance but I can’t help it. There’s just too much history for me to do anything else at this point so I guess time will have to tell.

I think it is due to my lack of physical closeness and emotional connection to my parents that I am so incredibly thankful for my relationship with Jason and the relationship that seems to get stronger everyday with Henry. I appreciate how cuddly this kid is and nothing makes me feel better that his sweet, crazy kisses all over and big hugs. Truth be told, when I have Henry with me for a 9-10 hour day while Jason is working, we probably spend about 2 hours of our day rolling around on the bed or floor just cuddling and tickling and being goofy. And I love it. I know it won’t last for ever but I hope that some level of physical closeness remains throughout our lives. When I was in high school, I always envied friends with close relationships with their parents and all I can hope for now is to maintain that with my own child. Just this week, Henry started saying I love you (more like I youuu) and although he doesn’t really know what it means I am happy to hear it every time. He has even taken to saying it on occasion when I haven’t said it to him first. It’s incredibly sweet and is all I could have asked for on Mother’s day.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

mulling it all over

I’m sitting at my desk when I should be sleeping (never knowing when I will have to wake up SUCKS) and feeling like a sell out. A sell out from what you ask. Well, fuck. That’s the problem right there. I haven’t sold out from anything. I never had it. I worked all day at a job I have little interest in (with ok benefits and major flexibility and good money considering how much I slack) and took on a couple of freelance projects that I have less than zero interest in (decent people, not too hard and that damn money thing again). And finally, I just finished up a hideous graphic design job that I wouldn’t put my name on for a million bucks (very sweet client/friend, again not to hard and minimally enjoyable except for the outcome). Spending full days with Henry this week has been fun but I know that I need more creative/thinking outlets and the money. I swear that if I knew what I wanted to do with my life I would do it. Whatever it takes. Don’t get me wrong, life is good. Really good for the most part. I am super lucky in so many ways and I know and appreciate it. I just don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and last time I checked grown up is here! Right now! And it’s like I just showed up for the job naked and I didn't even study the material. Fuck.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

tales from the crib

Henry is a really good sleeper these days. He was a terrible sleeper for a very long time so we really appreciate the change. Even though he continued to wake up many times a night for almost another year after, we were able to get him to fall asleep on his own very nicely at about 8 months (I think but it may have been more like 11 months. My brain is so far gone.) This trend thankfully continued with some minor shifts in routine. His sweet little “night, night” and “bye, bye” every afternoon and evening melt my heart. Sometimes it takes him quite awhile to fall asleep so he talks to himself and plays with his stuffed animals in his crib and maybe kicks the wall a little. Then he’s out. Usually. So, last night, 45 minutes after I put him to bed, when I heard “mamaaaa” I knew something was up. Into the dim room I go to find Henry naked (except for his diaper) with his pajamas stuck over one foot. “Uh oh” he says. My first thought was to get the camera but instead I suited him back up and rocked him for a few minutes to make sure he was really drowsy and would just sleep. His eyes began to flutter and I got the sweet little “night, night” again so I left and figured that was it. The next I heard of it was a couple hours later when Jason went in to go to bed and cover him. He whispered “your kid’s naked again” down the hall. (I tell him that H is his kid when I don't want to deal with the event of the moment too.) When I went in myself I found that Jason had just covered him with a blanket so I lugged the dead weight out of his crib, turned the pajamas right-side-out and put them back on where they remained until this morning.

Henry just went down for a nap and after about 3 minutes he called for me again. I thought he may have gotten his shirt off (he’s been doing that for awhile) but it was awful quick. Instead I found him still curled up under his blankets with an outstretched hand and on his pointer finger a large booger. “Boog” he said and gave it to me. I suppose a girl could/would do the exact same thing but all I could think was, ug, boys. I guess I should just be happy that at least he didn’t eat it.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

a moment for the environment? hell no.

To the perky young lady trying to raise money for OSPIRG outside of the grocery store:

I fully realize that in order to raise money you have to ask people, a lot of people. That’s your job and the more you ask the more likely you are that someone will say yes. However, I am willing to bet that your rate of return is pretty damn close to zero for mothers with a cart full of groceries holding 25 lb child who is yelling “Eat! Eat!” repeatedly in her face. In addition, your “have a moment for the environment?” line only drew attention to the fact that in that very moment the environment was one of the farthest things from my mind, which in turn made me feel guilty as well as annoyed. So, do yourself and your kind a favor, and skip the ask for those of us who clearly don’t have a moment for anything besides a tired, hungry kid. In turn, we may be more likely to listen to what you have to say when we do have a moment for that damn environment.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

a weekend away from it all

Finally a few pictures from last week’s trip to the coast. A few people thought we were crazy to spend a weekend in a house with both sets of our parents but I have to say that it worked out pretty well. Henry didn’t sleep past 6:30 any morning and woke up a couple of times commanding me to rock!! him, but that’s my only real complaint. The weather was unbelievable. Our parents distracted themselves with each other and Henry and kept encouraging Jason and I to walk on the beach, take the dog out, run errands, etc. It was great to have little bits of unplanned time to ourselves. Most importantly, I think the ratio of 6 responsible adults to 1 toddler is just about right.

disappearing ink?

Crayola® Color Wonder™ Markers? Not so wonderful. They seem like a good idea, right? Markers that only draw on the special Crayola® paper and don’t mark or stain anything else seemed like a great idea to me for a slightly spastic and unpredictable but creative toddler. Henry prefers to try to draw on the back side of the paper, which doesn’t work but I can hardly fault Crayola® for that. What I can fault them for is the fact that after a couple of months my child’s formerly vividly colored drawings are fading to a washed out grey. I know that he’s no artistic genius (at least not yet!) but these were some of his first drawings and I had planned to keep a few of them around for, oh, say forever. Now, as they fade to what look like dirty water stains, not so much. Back to good old-fashioned pens and mess for us I guess.