Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mommy's very own milestone

Kaylee's had plenty of them. Smiling, rolling over, eating her first bite of real food, laughing, making her first masterpiece out of poo.

It's time I had one of my own.

I'm so very proud to tell you that I finished reading an actual book. Not the Goodnight Moon, Guess How Much I Love You, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day type of book. I'm talking an actual grown-up book.

I can't even tell you how excited about this I am! I feel like I've salvaged part of my pre-baby self and it's the best feeling ever!

In my pre-baby days, I was an avid reader. My favorite things to read are fiction books. I love fun books that are easy to get through and are entertaining. I love the Liz Curtis Higgs series that's set in bonny Scotland, and I love authors like Billie Letts (author of Shoot the Moon), Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), and Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes, and Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!).

I just love a well-written, witty, entertaining read that paints a vivid picture in my mind of the characters and the setting. If a book doesn't hook me from the get go, I quit reading it. I'm super picky when it comes to the quality of an author's writing. Even though I'm from the Midwest and Southwest, I love books that are set in the South for some reason. I don't know why. I just do.

So, anyway, back to my proud moment...

I had several failed attempts at achieving this whopper of a milestone. I think I've tried reading three other CHAPTER books in my postpartum life. Never made it past the first 15 pages.

But that, my friends, was until I cracked open the pages of Twilight. I will admit, when I first heard about the series, I thought it sounded cheesy and like it was full of teenage drama that I didn't really care to read about. But, I decided to give it a try.

My sister-in-law owns the whole series, so I figured, what the heck - if it takes me 26.3 months to read the first one, at least I won't owe the library outrageous late fees. So, I started reading it, and I've been hooked ever since. I zipped through that first book like it was nobody's business, and I'm now on book two, and I'm totally rooting for Bella and Edward, and occasionally I get all tense and clench my jaw for fear that he just might eat her alive, but so far, he hasn't. Thank you, Edward.

It feels good to read for fun again. Let me clarify - it feels good to read books that aren't about ladybugs, hippos that talk, or Little Nutbrown Hare. It feels good to read a book that's printed on paper instead of a book that's printed on cardboard. Don't get me wrong - I love reading Kaylee her bedtime stories (and I think I enjoy Sandra Boynton's Pajama Time and Let's Dance, Little Pookie even more than Kaylee does...), but dang it, it just feels so darn good to read a book for me again!

Hasta manana - it's time for my storytime...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And this is why we wear hats, children...

So, we were on our way out the door the other day - where we had someplace to be at a certain time, when suddenly I notice this.

Yep, that's squash in her hair, people. (I washed her face so well after lunch. How she managed to do this without me noticing is beyond me.)

Did I have time to wash it? Nope.

Did I put a cute hat on her to cover it up? You bet your bottom dollar I did.

Personally, I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but apparently, Kaylee was rather angry that I would let such a sophisticated young lady as herself go gallivanting around town with squash stuck in her hair.

I think this last look was her attempt to guilt me into washing her hair before we left. Sorry, kid. Not happening.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He Sees You When You're Sleeping...

So, this year we're starting a new Christmas tradition at our house.

For the first time ever, Dennis and I get to be Santa. Or, I guess he'll be Santa and I'll be Mrs. Clause. Or do we both get to be Santa? Growing up I was pretty sure Mrs. Clause kept her butt at the North Pole and that she wasn't exactly involved in the magic of The Night Before Christmas. I don't think I want to be Mrs. Clause because I want to have fun, too, dammit! Screw sitting at the top of the globe knitting a sweater and making peanut brittle!

Anyway, it seems crazy that I have the ability and privilege to be Santa already! It seems like just yesterday that one of my grade school teachers ruined my day by bluntly stating, "You know it's just your Mom and Dad pretending to be Santa, right?" Stupid bizatch of a dream crusher - what was she thinking? Breaking the news about Santa to such gullable and trusting children. They shoulda fired her ass over that one. But, it was a church school, so they probably paid her to say it. Heh heh.

So, back to what I was saying. I know that Kaylee won't be able to realize that Christmas is anything different than every other day of her life. She'll just carry on and do her thing. She'll eat, fill diapers, open presents, bang her doll's heads against the floor and probably say some variaton of da-da, ta-ta, teh-teh, ga, ba, and ya all the live long day. So, maybe this year Christmas will be a little bit more special for Dennis and I than it will be for Kaylee because we realize how every Christmas will always be a little brighter from now on (I know, pass me a tissue - I'm getting all sentimental here).

We get to stay up late stuffing her stocking, wrapping presents (that are things she is currently using but needed before Christmas), and enjoying some cookies and milk by the twinkling of our Christmas tree before we drift off to la-la land and dream of sugar plum fairies and the like.

No other Christmas will be like this one because we'll never have another "first" Christmas with Kaylee. I can hardly wait to see her reaction to everything. Although I'm 99% sure that she won't give a rip about anything but the boxes and the paper. Oh well.

Before Christmas actually hits, I'm sure we'll talk about other traditions we want to add. One idea I've got is to read the Christmas story out of the Bible before bed.

I'm sure that we'll change and add new traditions as Kaylee gets older, but I want her to have memories of favorite Christmas traditions just like I do. Two traditions that I grew up with are going to church on Christmas Eve and opening one gift that night as well. Although many of my childhood memories of church aren't the greatest, I always loved the Christmas Eve service (even if I hated memorizing my lines for the program). I loved hearing the Christmas story, singing the Christmas hymns, the paper bag full of candy and an apple that all the kids got when we got to the door after the service ended, and most recently, I love the candlelight service at the church we go to now.

After we've sung the Christmas songs and heard the Christmas story, the service ends as we each light a small candle, the lights are dimmed, and "Silent Night" is sung a capella. That's one of my favorite moments of the whole Christmas season.

And every year I'm afraid that someone is going to accidentally light something on fire and ruin my moment of tranquility and peace. Good thing there's a fire sprinkler system. Just in case.

This post is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop Thursday. Do yourself a favor and head on over there to check out the rest of the Writer's Workshop Thursday posts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It Ain't Easy Bein' a Diva

I attempted to have a photo shoot with Kaylee yesterday so we could get our photo greeting cards ordered and printed at Costco. (Yep, I know Christmas is next week - it's just the way I roll this year). We spent a long time taking pictures, and I got some great ones, but our session was cut short when she began to attempt shredding the froofy layer of her dress with her single razor sharp tooth. We promptly ended our time trying to get the "perfect" shot for the Christmas card and high tailed it to the kitchen to fill up on Tylenol, teething tablets and a teething ring from the fridge.

This photo totally captures the essence of Kaylee's diva side. I love it.

Head on over to 7 Clown Circus for more Wordful Wednesday posts from other bloggers. And, while you're bopping all over the blog world, check out one of my favorite bloggers, Jenners, over at Life With a Little One and More. She's giving away at Target gift card. Hello! Who doesn't want a Target gift card right now?

(For any of you out there that regularly follow my blog, this last week has been insane with trips out of town, holiday parties, a stomach bug, and work. I miss my blog and all the happenings of the blog world. I'm back in action, so watch out!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Road Trippin' Mama

Before I decided to become a social worker, I studied journalism for 3 years. I love to write, and I always have. And I love a good challenge.

These days, a lot of my writing consists of either making lists around the house or writing in patient charts (i.e. "Unable to assess patient at this time. Patient on bedside commode." or "Unable to assess patient. Patient actively withdrawing from cocaine." - lovely...). My blog is such a great outlet for me to write for fun again!

I've come to look forward to Wednesdays because that's when Mama Kat from Mama's Losin' It gives out her Thursday Writer's Workshop assignments. She always gives bloggers a few writing prompts to choose from, and then on Thursdays they're all posted. It's great fun, and it always makes me think outside my little box.

This week, I'm choosing to write about a "new road" I've taken in my life.

So, I'm going to write about the Road of Motherhood, since I'm still such a newbie at it. I'm going to compare the Road of Motherhood to a road trip, so fasten your seat belts, hop on in, and enjoy the ride. Don't worry about hanging on tight - I'm not a speeder - I like to go 5 miles over the speed limit maximum (I appreciate my insurance discounts, thankyouverymuch), so you'll be safe - I promise.

Here are 5 reasons the Road to Motherhood is like an actual road trip.

1. It is what you make it. All sorts of things can go wrong on a road trip, and the same goes for motherhood, but a lot of the time, it is what you make it. Call me cliche, but your attitude will play a big role in how things go. Granted, some road trips are filled with nothing tire blowouts on the freeway, forgotten toothbrushes, and tiny little dogs named Shorty at service stations in the middle of nowhere (where you go to get aforementioned tire repaired) that hump your leg (it wasn't my leg - it was my friend's leg - whatever). Similarly, when you're a mom, some days are filled with nothing but diaper blowouts on the freeway, forgotten coats or mittens (that result in annoying and rage-inducing lectures from a certain Granny Panties at church) and barf on your leg in public (your baby's - not yours...unless of course you were drinking heavily the night before, but that's a whole other issue). Both circumstances suck big time, and you may not be able to laugh about it at the time because, let's face it, those "one thing after another" days are the pits. But, if you can laugh about it eventually, you're on the right track.

2. Ooooh, the anticipation! I always get excited for road trips, and I imagine what kind of adventures will be had along the way. What will we see? What will we do? Will there be shopping malls and plenty of bathrooms along the way? Motherhood is the same. You anticipate it, you hope for so many things, you wonder about a few things, and from the time you are pregnant and for the rest of your life you are hoping there will be plenty of (clean) bathrooms along the way.

3. On the Road Trip of Motherhood, you should always bring food - same goes for an actual road trip. There's nothing like being 2 hours from a service station and not having a dang thing to snack on. Sure, you could just chew gum for 2 hours and trick your mouth into thinking it's getting actual nourishment, but that just makes your temples hurt after a while. Always bring food when you're a mom, too. At first, when all your baby is consuming is either boob juice or formula, bring a snack for yourself. Chances are that once you get to the hell hole known as the Wal-Mart parking lot at 3:15 p.m., you're going to hear your stomach rumble as soon as you put the car in park and you'll begin to realize, "Hmm, I forgot to eat lunch today. And breakfast. No wait, I had Kix for breakfast - sh*t! I had Kix yesterday. I never ate at all this morning! I haven't eaten since dinner last night!" Enough crazy things happen at Wal-Mart, people. We don't need you passing out in the parking lot. Pack a stinkin' granola bar, an apple, SOMETHING in that diaper bag, for Pete's sake. And while you're at it, you might as well make sure you've got a bottle for the baby if they need one, too. Once they start munching on food of the non-liquid variety, you should probably stash some of that somewhere in your bag or your car, too.

4. Lets face it - at some point, you're going to need to call in back-up. If you're road trippin,' that could mean connecting with AAA (if you're on the Road of Motherhood, AA may be a more appropriate connection to make), a backseat driver, or calling your long-lost cousin who actually lives in Booger Hollow, Arkansas (real place, people - I've been there. Don't believe me? Look it up.) to have him tell you where the nearest gas station is. For us moms, if it's not AA, it's probably a mom, sister, husband, friend, counselor, or the person stocking produce at the grocery store. Braving it alone is not recommended in either situation.

5. No matter how much you prepare for your journey, you'll never know what the destination will look like until you actually arrive. Headed to San Diego for a day at the beach? Ha! I hope you enjoyed your 10 hour drive for FOG and RAIN. Maybe next time. See? You just never know. Or, for you "the glass is half full" people (I happen to be one of you - I'm just playin' the devil's advocate here), the odds were perhaps in your favor and it was a sunny 70 degrees with a slight breeze and no stinky seagulls in sight. (Speaking of San Diego, did you know that San Diaaago is Spanish for a whale's... nevermind). Now consider your plans for motherhood. Did you plan your nursery out all perfect ahead of time (and wash and put away each new outfit as it was given to you - even those given to you when you were FOUR months pregnant?) and daydream about this or that? It's okay to daydream! Trust me, I did plenty of it, and it was fun. The beginning of my Road to Motherhood had a few bumps in the road, I ran out of gas a few times (the energy kind, not the hand-me-some-Beano-NOW kind - there was plenty of that!), and I've had to ask for help a time or two (or ten or twenty), but it's by far the most incredible adventure I've been on thus far.

And, you've gotta admit. A diaper blowout is far more desirable than a tire blowout any day. I can change diapers, no problem. Tires? Not so much...

(Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Now march your little booty over to Mama's Losin' It for more fun stuff, or to check out the prompts for your OWN Thursday Writer's Workshop post)

A Little Peace in the Midst of My Chaos...

When I started this blog, part of my intent was to share my struggles during my first few weeks as a new mother. I did more of that toward the beginning - I've talked about postpartum depression, such fun activities as fishing for turds and struggling to have a clean house, and suffering from moments of mommy brain, but there's so much that I haven't shared yet, and today it's time to talk about it some more.

I am so glad Dennis snapped this picture of Kaylee and I. She wasn't yet a month old. Those first 2 or 3 months are pretty much a blur to me, and I don't have a ton of fun memories of that time. Mostly, I remember being tired, cranky, weepy, putting on a happy face when, in all reality, I was freaked out and in way over my head, exhausted, and unable to function in many ways.

I wanted to share this picture because when I look at it, it reminds me that I did have some moments of peace in the midst of all the chaos of those first few weeks. I did have sweet moments with my baby girl. And believe it or not, apparently I did manage to get some sleep here and there.

I've talked to my mom and some of my friends about those first few weeks, and I usually end up in tears by the end of the conversation. I get so sad because I honestly don't remember a lot of what happened, and I feel like I missed out on some really precious time in the earliest days of my baby's life. I truly felt like I missed out on moments that I will never get back, and I think I'll always be sad about that.

In order for you to understand the whole picture, I'll start at the beginning.

I had a normal labor and delivery course, and could have gone home after 24 hours, but we were having trouble getting Kaylee to nurse, so I was encouraged to stay an extra day to get more support with breast feeding. I agreed, but one sleepless night in the hospital turned into two sleepless nights.

I was exhausted from giving birth. I was in awe at this sweet little being nestled in a handmade, white, crocheted blanket in the bassinet next to me, and I couldn't stop looking at her and checking on her as I lay in that hospital bed. I was tired of being bothered all the time so the nurse could check my vitals. I had what felt like everybody and their mother in my room trying to help me breast feed my baby every two hours - seriously, at times there were 2 or 3 nurses in there at once trying to help us. And every time I tried, I failed. I was really, really, really sad that my baby wouldn't breast feed. I felt like a freak - like something was wrong with me - that I couldn't do one of the most basic tasks of motherhood.

And I was in pain. The ice pack and pain meds were wearing off, and I was beginning to realize how much trauma my body had just gone through. Episiotomies frickin' suck - and Kaylee was only a 5 pounder. My body eventually decided that it didn't like the codeine that was in the Tylenol, so I proceeded to ralph up all my pain medication in the middle of the night, and had to wait several more hours before I could get any other form of relief, and from then on my pain was never really under control. That's when things really started going downhill...

When I was finally discharged, the doctor said something about taking Aleve at home. Somehow, I managed not to catch the part about how I should take several Aleve to equal the amount of medication I was getting at the hospital (sleep deprivation, perhaps?) , so I went home and proceeded to take 1 capsule of Aleve. I was on 800 mg tylenol and narcotic pain meds at the hospital to manage the pain, so 250 mg of Aleve didn't even touch the pain once I got home.

I literally could not get in and out of bed - my husband had to get me to the bathroom and back. It was quite possibly worse than the pain of contractions, and my dignity had flown the coop. I was in so much pain I couldn't concentrate on anything else. I wanted so badly to just settle in and enjoy my baby like I assumed every other new mother did, but I couldn't.

We ended up calling the doctor and I was able to get on a regimen that effectively managed my pain, but it took at least a day for it to kick in.

Those first few weeks I know I freaked my husband out. I was not myself. My house didn't feel like my house. I felt like I couldn't enjoy my baby because I was so dang tired all the time that I couldn't function. And, as ready and willing as I was to pump milk for my daughter every 3 hours, that took a toll on me as well. Each time I got hooked up to the milk machine I got sad that I had a damn machine hooked up to my boobs instead of my baby, nursing peacefully. I was happy I could at least provide her with breast milk, but I still felt crappy each time - it was time spent away from my baby and time spent thinking of how I STILL couldn't breast feed her. The day she turned 8 weeks old she decided that it was high time to latch on, and she's been a little nursing pro ever since. Anyway, back to what I was saying...

4 days postpartum I had the first anxiety attack of my life. I'm a relatively laid back person and don't really get worked up about stuff. After I realized what happened, I was determined to figure out what triggered it so it wouldn't happen again. I quickly realized that it all began with food. I couldn't get it out of my head that the nurses at the hospital told me I had to consume between 500 and 1000 extra calories daily to sustain breast feeding. I wasn't really eating like I normally do because, well, I was either trying to sleep, remembering that I hadn't taken a shower in 2 days, wincing through pain, or listening to my baby cry. So, in the back of my severely sleep-deprived mind, there was something telling me that I had to eat A LOT, and I needed to eat a lot NOW. So, I started eating really fast - I felt like I hadn't eaten in days and shoot, if I wanted to breastfeed I had to eat, eat, eat, right?

Suddenly I was having trouble breathing. I was suddenly ice cold. I was trembling. And it was all completely out of my control. I was scared out of my mind and didn't know what was happening to my body. We called the doctor and he talked me through it - telling me that I was having a panic attack. I can't tell you how embarrassed I was, and what a WIMP I felt like at the time. I was mortified that my family had witnessed all that. But, I still remember my dad, standing behind me as I sat in the glider in the nursery. He would gently pat my arm and kept saying, "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay" over and over. And over. And over. Because I told him not to stop saying that. He calmed me down and helped me get through it. I'm sure he was scared sh*tless, too, but he didn't let on that he was.

I'm getting better about it, but I can't even begin to describe to you how much I've beat myself up over the fact that I have had such a hard time adjusting to motherhood. I really didn't think it would be this hard. But it is. Thank God it's getting better, and thank God for medication. I'm slowly learning to cut myself some slack and not be SO hard on myself. A huge part of my being able to get through this is talking to people who have been there before, or who are going through this now. Because I realize that I'm not the only one.

I'm not a freak. I'm not a basket case (well, okay - maybe some days I am), and I don't need to be locked up somewhere and put in a straight jacket (not yet, anyway - although I did have a conversation with some of my mom friends one day and we all informed each other that we would like sparkly, rhinestone straight jackets if someone came to take us away...).

I'm a mom. A new mom. One that loves my baby tremendously and is living a dream that I always wished for. And, I'm wreck some days. And that's okay.

(This post is part of Wordful Wednesday, sponsored by 7 Clown Circus - head on over to check out more Wordful Wednesday work.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today's Post Brought to You By the Letter M

I love lists. I'm one of those people that has to make a list for everything. To Do lists are the most common lists you'll find around my house, and I'm so OCD about my lists, that if I do something that's not on my list, I'll write it on at the bottom just so I can cross it off. It's pathetic - I know...

So, since I like lists so much, I'm very excited to share a top 10 list with you - this list is in no particular order, though. Jenners over at Life with a Little One and More is playing a fun little game and assigned me the Letter M, so everything on my list must start with the letter M. When you're done here, bop on over to read Life With a Little One and More - Jenners is hilarious and you will quickly become addicted to her blog - I guarantee it. Ok, on with my list!

1. Mashed potatoes.

I friggin' love mashed potatoes. They're just so good. My favorite is when my mom or mother-in-law makes them from scratch and they have lumps in them. And, they've gotta be real buttery with salt on them, too. When I was pregnant I'd eat platefuls of mashed potatoes with brown gravy. Holy heaven they hit the spot like no other. I love mashed potatoes with all my heart.

2. Mom - I seriously don't know what I'd do without her. I'm so lucky she lives close to us. She loves to go shopping as much as I do, so we have fun window shopping or "for real" shopping, and she's just so patient while I try on clothes. She's an awesome Grandma to Kaylee and she's really funny, too. Even though she's 10 minutes away from me, we can still talk on the phone for hours at a time. It baffles my husband and dad to no end.

3. Magazines.

I've always loved to read, and before Kaylee was born, I read tons of books. But, since she's been born, I've found it much easier to read magazines. It's just nice to be able to pick it up and finish a quick article instead of starting a book, putting it down for a week, and then having to re-read a chapter because I can't remember a darn thing I read before. I've got subscriptions to Parents and Parenting, which I love. And a friend lets me borrow her Better Homes and Gardens when she's done with them. My mom just gave me Working Mom and several copies of Natural Living or Natural Health, Natural Something or other - I can't remember. Anyway, I'm a big fan of magazines.

4. Mother-in-law. I feel really lucky to have such a great mother-in-law. She's got some mad cooking skills and many a time I leave her house after lunch or dinner wishing I'd worn sweatpants instead of my fit-just-right jeans. She's also got sweet sewing skills, and is just super supportive, and she's also a wonderful Grandma.

5. Monks.

Yes, you read that right. Monks. A while back Dennis was downloading some new tunes. He chose these Gregorian Chants sung by monks because they're so relaxing. Well, he was home alone with the baby and she was fussing and crying in the nursery. He had just burned the CD and so he took it into her room because that's where the nearest CD player is - he wanted to make sure it worked. He pops in the monks, and silence ensues. Every night since that time, we put the monks on when it's time for bed, and they lull Kaylee to sleep peacefully. They also help calm her down during the day if she's fussy.

6. Mommy and Me. I try to go to Mommy and Me as often as I can at our local YMCA. When I got set to go to my first class, I was convinced it would be total cake. I'm like, "Hmmm, a bunch of moms, pushing their babies in strollers, talking, eh - no problem." WRONG. It was harder than any group fitness class I've ever taken. The instructor is relentless and it seriously feels like boot camp. So, I leave feeling really good - I work my butt off and can usually feel the after effects for at least a day or two. It also provides me with a fun place to go to get out of the house and to chat it up with other mamas. I've met some great ladies there.

7. Mini Me.

I just love her so much. Even if she absolutely refuses to be on any sort of schedule so as to provide my days with some semblance of order, she's such a good baby, and she's so darn entertaining and cute. We are SO blessed to have her.

8. Monkey Bread. Holy Toledo, have you ever had it? Oh my goodness. I think I need to make some. Now. It's SO friggin' good. Especially fresh out of the oven when it's nice and gooey and warm. You make it with biscuits or dinner rolls in a bundt pan and then you sprinkle a concoction of instant pudding mix, butter, cinnamon and sugar over the top and let it bake. I swear it's got crack or some other addictive property in it because it's nearly impossible to stop eating it. One of the best food inventions EVER.

9. Mini Me's Dad.

I seriously have the world's most patient and hilarious husband ever. He puts up with my NON-STOP talking and babbling, and he put up with me in my pre-ABP days - how he ever did that is beyond me. He's an incredible father to Kaylee, and he never, ever fails to make me laugh. Every day. I love him so much.

10. Motherlode Cake from Claim Jumper.

Yes, I realize that a lot of my items are food-related. I won't lie to you. I love to eat. Once you eat Motherlode cake, you never go back. I seriously think it's got 6 layers of chocolatey goodness, and most of the time I get sick after eating it because I eat so much. But, I keep coming back for more. I just can't help it. It will feed at least 5 or more people, depending on how ravenous everyone is.

So, there you have it! 10 of my favorite things that start with the letter M. Wanna play? Leave me a comment telling me you want to play, and I'll assign you a letter.

Friday, December 5, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

I love the fact that I work 2 or 3 days a week and get to stay home with Kaylee the other days, but on days when I go to work, I often feel discombobulated.

Take tonight, for instance. I go to work, work all day, get off at 4:30, pick Kaylee up at 4:45, go to the store, pick up dinner, and get home at about 6. Play with baby, eat dinner, put baby to bed. Hubby is in bed. Laundry from yesterday is still in the washer and dryer. Dishes are piling up in the sink (HATE that...), and I'm just trying to unwind and not having much luck with it. And I feel too lazy to do the laundry or the dishes. I am out of motivation and out of energy.

Tonight is also the first night I'm "on call" for work. I'm actually training with another social worker to be on call in the Emergency Department. They say you don't sleep well at all the week you're on call, and now I know what they mean. I'm just sitting here wondering if I'll get paged, and I'm contemplating how pissed I'll be if I get paged approximately 4 minutes after I fall asleep. Seriously - I'll be a bit upset. Ok, a lot upset. But then I'll remind myself that I get paid time and a half if I get called in. A little cash money around the holidays never hurt a girl.

I love my job because it's never the same. One day I help an 82-year-old get into the nursing home, and the next day I'm calling CPS because a mother admitted to doing crack on her way to the hospital to have her baby. Today proved to be another interesting day. It's never dull.

First, there was the 50-something alcoholic who said he's trying to drink himself to death (and who, unfortunately, doesn't realize that when you reposition yourself and don't have your hospital gown pulled down correctly and the blanket over you enough, you flash the whole room! Sh*t, people! This is why I became a social worker and not a nurse. I want to be in people's business - not SEE their business. in the hospital...). That was sad, but it was also a vicious cycle that he's been dealing with his whole life. You feel bad for them, but then you realize that in all reality, they'll probably never change (I know, I'm pretty young to be so cynical, but it's true - and yes, I know there's always exceptions to the rule).

Then there was the college kid who was very sick. Mentally. It was heart breaking. It just makes me sad that mental illnesses like schizophrenia and paranoia even exist. I just pray that medication can give this kid a somewhat of a normal life.

My work gives me a chance to step out of "mommy mode." I get to use a different part of my brain and interact with other adults. And I think it's good for Kaylee to interact with another adult every now and then, too. We all need a break. But still, I wonder if I'll ever get a better handle on balancing work and home. It's not easy mixing the two.

How about you? Are you a stay-at-home mom? Do you work outside the home? How long was it before you felt like you had a handle on balancing stuff, or are you like me, and you're still not there quite yet?

I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. I wouldn't want to be home full time, and I wouldn't want to work full-time, but I'm just still not quite sure how to balance both. Oh well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Writer's Workshop Thursday - 2 Random Pictures

Here's my assignment for this week's Writer's Workshop. Head on over to Mama's Losin' It to join the partay for yourself. All the cool kids are doing it.

The assignment...

Post and write about the 6th picture from (the 6th folder of) your Flickr account and then do the same for the 6th picture of the 6th folder on your computer.

Here's the 6th picture from my 6th folder in my Picasa account (don't have Flicker so I had to use Picasa - sue me, okay?)

Meet Uncle Colin. He loves Kaylee to pieces and is currently away at school. He got to spend an entire day with Kaylee and my mom the day he got back because I had to work. He loves making her face do funny things, and this time around, Kaylee decided she'd repay the favor by rearranging his face as well. We're talking jabbing of the eyes, smooshing of the nose, scraping of the inside of his mouth with her sharp little fingernails - the works.

Now, for the second part of the assignment. This here is the 6th picture from the 6th folder on my computer.

This is the first time Kaylee ever discovered a toy and showed interest in it, proceeding to whack the crap out of it. This little orange elephant used to hang from the handle on Kaylee's carseat and has been fondly named, "Rrrroberto" (you have to do the tongue roll at the beginning or you are pronouncing his name incorrectly). Roberto no longer stays attached because his clip has lost the "spring," so he's been replaced by a musical frog who sings when you press his eyes (that's where she learned how to jab our eyes out...).

Anyway, I remember this day vividly. We were getting ready to leave, and I was in the kitchen doing something. All of a sudden I hear the jingling bell of Roberto, and there is my little sweetie - just batting away at the elephant. Notice how he's the only one moving in this picture. She got so excited that she could hardly stand it. It was so much fun to watch.

I'm so thankful that I get to be home with her part-time because it just makes my heart melt to watch her learn and discover new things. I just love it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't Bite the Boob That Feeds You

Dear Kaylee,

My boob is not a chew toy. I mean it, little missy.

Last night I nearly shot through the roof with the excruciating pain that accompanied your attempt to slice off my nipple with your jagged tooth. I know you feel the need to knaw on something, but please - I beg you. Use the cold, wet washcloth that I give you. Use a sock. Use your toes. Use a teething ring, for Pete's sake. Just please, keep your jagged little tooth off of my booby. It still hurts and you bit it over 12 hours ago.

I've been kind enough to open the booby bar 24 hours a day for you. The least you can do in return is NOT BITE THE BOOB THAT FEEDS YOU.

Now, I'm going to have to look this up to verify it, but I'm pretty much 99.99 % positive that my health insurance will not pay to have my nipple surgically reattached if you bite it off. I'm sure the out of pocket cost for such a procedure is not cheap. Your dad and I are not made of money. Not only that, but biting off my nipple will rob your future sibling of the boob, and that's just plain mean of you.

Do you want a cookie? A pony? A puppy? Just tell me what you want, and if you promise never to bite my boob again, it's yours in a heartbeat. Seriously.

Wordful Wednesday

This is Kaylee with my sister-in-law's dog, Mindy. Kaylee is obsessed with Mindy and loves her to pieces - possibly even more than she loves me and Dennis (well, maybe not, but she certainly doesn't get so excited when she sees us enter the room). Mindy is extremely patient with Kaylee, through the tail pulling, the rather hard patting, and all the excitement. Mindy knows she's not supposed to lick Kaylee on the face, but occasionally she'll give her a quick lick on the face (see Exhibit A) and then make a run for it. She howls when Kaylee cries and is very protective of her, which is pretty darn cute. Here's a couple bonus pictures to show you what their little friendship is like.

Exhibit A

Kaylee's Bodyguard

Head on over to 7 Clown Circus to check out more Wordful Wednesdays.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This White Girl Loves Hip Hop (just don't ask me to dance...)

Seriously. I can't dance to save my life. Even my baby laughs at me when I try to bust a move. Let's just say if someone taught me how to dance, it would have been this guy. That's how freakin' awesome of a dancer I am.

So, I've shared my top secret love of hip hop music with the blogging world. I've also added some new songs to my jukebox, so hopefully you'll get to hear some hip hop jams while you're here. I added some Justin Timberlake with Madonna, some J-Lo, Sir Mixalot, and Fergie.

I had just one little problem, though, while I was trying to add hip hop songs for you to jam out to. Uh, I don't know who sings most of them. I just know that I like the songs, but what they're called and who the arteest is, is beyond me.

So, help a girl out. Tell me some of your favorite hip hop songs, and if I like them, I just might add them to my jukebox. I really wanted to add Lowrider and have the accompanying Tom Cruise in the fat suit dance from Tropic Thunder, but it had some rather objectionable language in it that I didn't want on my blog. But, it's still hilarious - so, if you're bored (and if little ears are out of hearing range) go to You Tube and find the video. You just might pee your pants laughing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This Turkey is Stuffed

Well, Happy Thanksgiving to ya. I've been skimpin' on the posts a bit this week due to the holiday and my work schedule, so as soon as the holiday weekend comes to a close, I'll be posting regularly again.

We spent the day with my side of the family today, and it was real nice. I stuffed my face. And I don't even care.

Normally I try to be very good with my portions. I generally try to eat healthy foods, but I don't really have anything that's off limits. My general rule of thumb is just to select healthy portions of whatever it is I'm eating.

Before I got pregnant, I lost 18 pounds by doing Weight Watchers online, and I loved it. It really helped me to learn what healthy portions are, and now that I'm back at my goal weight after having Kaylee, I just try to eat appropriate amounts of food.

But, not on the holidays. The holidays are a free for all. Especially when you have my mom and my mother-in-law cooking for you. The holidays are really the one time a year when we have a really big, special, traditional dinner, and I want to enjoy it all. Today I felt completely stuffed - not a feeling I'm particularly fond of, but it was totally worth it.

We ended the night with Dennis and I teaming up against my dad and brother for a good old game of Bash Five. My brother cheated, but we're not quite sure how - he wouldn't give up his secret. But, it doesn't matter because Dennis and I won the championship of the world game - we beat 'em 2 out of 3.

Well, I know this was a rather boring post, but I'm sort of gorked out on food right now - this is the best I can do right now.

Are you going shopping on Black Friday? I'm planning to hit a couple stores in search of some sales after lunch sometime. I miss enough sleep as it is these days, though - so you won't find me at those crazy 4 a.m. store openings. Thanks, but no thanks.

Feel free to come back and share your good Black Friday deals or crazy shopping stories.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday's Confession

Here's my confession:

A few weeks ago, my boss called me and told me that I did not have to come to work on November 24th because she over-scheduled our staff. Yay, right? Sure, but it's only a "yay" if you remember to mark it down on your calendar that you, in fact, DO NOT have to come to work. Since my brain cells seem to be escaping my body at an exponential rate these days, I somehow managed to forget to make this itsy little correction to my calendar.

So, I get up, get the baby ready, get my car packed, and right before I get ready to leave, I realize I don't have the stroller in my car. Dennis still has it in his Jeep. And he's already left for work. Which, is a problem because the babysitter walks her kids to school every day and pushes Kaylee in the stroller. I call Dennis up to tell him about our little stroller situation, and lo and behold, he happens to be at the babysitter's when I call him because he realized we forgot to make the stroller switcheroo this morning, and he was there to drop it off for her. He informs me that while the babysitter is still willing to take Kaylee today, she has just informed him that I told her weeks ago that we didn't need her today after all.


I was just thankful that we had our little snafu with the stroller, beacuse what if I had actually shown up at the babysitter's this morning? All snazzy in my work clothes, la-dee-da, "Here's Kaylee - I sent pears and squash with her today - there's an extra bottle for you to keep at your house in case I forget to bring one like I did LAST week, your check's in the mesh zippered pocket, and oh - by the way - she's got a mean diaper rash, so be sure to put lots of the Burt's Bees on her bum today? Ok? Ok. See you after work! What? You're not supposed to be watching Kaylee today? Silly lady. I knew that. I thought I'd just get dressed up nice in my work clothes (that I ironed this morning), pack the car, rush around, and pretend to drop my child off beacuse I wanted to play a joke on you. Ha ha ha - aren't I funny? BYE!"

Wow. I can't even describe to you how much of an idiot I feel like right now.

And, one more confession, just for the heck of it. I absolutely could not say no to the dinner rolls at Texas Roadhouse on Saturday. Seriously. Have you ever had them? Warm, fresh from the oven, with that addicting cinnamony butter stuff? Uh, I lost count of how many I snarfed down. But, it was okay because I didn't eat lunch that day.

Please indulge me today. Prove to me that you, too, are a Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins and share a confession of yours from this past week. Pretty please, with sugar on top?

(Oh, and you'll definitely want to head on over to Mama's Losin' It at some point today so you can enter to win these beautimous earrings made by Jessica.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mama's Late Night Out on the Town

Before I give you any other details, I'm going to tell you how freaking late it was when I got home tonight from my little night out. You might wanna sit down because you are not going to believe this, people.

I got home at 9:30. 9:30 P. frickin' M. I can't even stay up that late to watch Law and Order: SVU most nights. I'm so proud! Woo - woo! *raises the roof a few times*

So, before I leave, Dennis gets home, we chat for a bit, I hand over the baby, and I'm out the door. I hop in the car and Darius Rucker begins to sing to me as I back out of the driveway. We're off to a good start. I crank the volume up a few notches, and start singin' along.

I arrive at the mall, and before I go anywhere else - I stop at Sonic. It's America's Drive-In, in case you weren't aware. Except if you're in the mall. I do not recommend driving in to Sonic when it's stationed at a shopping mall. So, my late night out on the town began with some much anticipated Tater Tots.

No, we're not talking this kind of tots:

No cold, mushy, only-half-way-cooked school cafeteria tater tots that will later be stuffed into the side zipper pocket of your MC Hammer pants. There will be none of that on this night of nights.

This - THIS is what I'm talkin' about.

Good old fashioned Sonic tater tots in all of their greasy, salty goodness. So stinkin' freshly made that I actually burned my tongue. I don't even care. They were so good. Let's not forget the Lemon Berry Cream Slush, either. I place my order and walk over to the cushy chairs in front of the fireplace. The Christmas decorations are all up, but the damn fireplace wasn't on! You've gotta be kidding me! I didn't let it ruin my evening, though.

I sit back and sink into the cushy chair, and then proceed to spill part of my drink on my shirt. Bright pink spillage. Lovely. I think to myself, "If it's not baby snot or spit-up, I guess it had to be the cream slush. Even without the baby here, I manage to ruin a perfectly clean shirt in public." Oh well, I didn't let that get to me, either.

After I savored my treat, I head on over to Hallmark to get a little somethin' for a good friend of mine whose surprise birthday party I would be attending approximately 45 minutes after I popped the last tot. I got a her a funny little book about motherhood and picked out a cute bag to put it in - I just love to make presents look cute when I give them. It's who I am.

So, after that, I decide to head back to my cushy chair to get her gift ready and write her a quick note to go with it. Well, be still my heart if there isn't a Children's Place store right in front of me. Well, well, well. That little chunk of paradise wasn't there the last time I was at the mall (let's remember I don't get out much, okay?) I just had to go in there. I must tell you that I excercised uncanny restraint. I cannot even begin to describe the level of cuteness that was contained in that store - and the sales - oh my goodness, the sales! But, good little me, I walked out the door with a clearance headband - just 1.49, thankyouverymuch. It may not fit Kaylee's head until she's 2, but oh well.

It's rather cute - see for yourself!

After this fun little purchase, I set off for the surprise party, and I had myself a real good time. My friend was just thrilled about her surprise, and I enjoyed spending some time with other adults - just laughing and having a good time. Although, I will tell you that I was rather pissed that the restaurant would not make me a cheese and pepperoni calzone. I'm a very particular eater, and excuse me for not wanting olives and other disgusting food items in my dinner. Apparently these so-called calzones are prepared ahead of time. Stupid idea if there ever was one. I was so certain that what I wanted was the calzone that I didn't even come up with a Plan B. So, I got a quickly chose Frito pie, which turned out to be surprisingly delicious.

I never made it to Target or JC Penney, but I did almost hit a small family of javelinas (say it like have-a-leenas). In case you don't know what that is, it's a wild pig that's uglier than sin. It was sort of like this. Only it was dark, there were 4, and I don't drive an SUV.

Anyway, I managed to make it home without hitting one of these fine beasts. I even got some top-secret hip-hop time in the car with J-Lo...."I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block. Used-ta have a little, now I have a lot. I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block." Yeah, yeah, what up homes.

Tomorrow I plan to do some work around the house and then we'll do some sort of family activity that has yet to be determined. BUT! I will be going to the gym to get buff at some point, and on my way home, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be stopping at Target and Penney's, and yes - I'll take my sweet time and enjoy every minute of it.

Dear Fellow Bloggers and Readers...

...If you are reading this, it means that I have set out on an exciting adventure.

My adventure will begin as soon as I hear the rumbling of my husband's Jeep coming down the road. I'll grab the baby, and I'll make my way to the front door. We'll greet him happily and wait for him to get into his comfortable clothes.

When Baby Daddy is all comfy, Baby Mama will hand off Baby, lace up my Adidas, grab my bag, get in my car, find some good tunes, and embark on a long-awaited journey...

...To Target, JC Penney, perhaps a home decorating store, and wherever the heck else I want to go. Alone. By myself. Solo. Sans baby or husband or friend or family.

Thanks to the brilliant, yet surprisingly simple advice from a couple of my readers from yesterday's post, I'm making time for me.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I can shop leisurely, with no worries about having to breast feed my baby in a public bathroom, or change a poopy cloth diaper in a public bathroom, arriving at my destination with a screaming child and no pacifier, or figuring out how to put all my purchases in the bottom of the stroller.

Heck, I might even stop at the food court, grab an indulgent treat (mozzarella sticks from Sonic, perhaps? Orange Julius? Cream Cheese wontons? The possibilities are endless, people...) and sit down by the big fireplace so I can watch people and make up stories in my head about what they are like.

I'm trying to be more intentional about taking care of myself and doing the things I enjoy, be they things from my pre-baby days, or new favorite hobbies, such as shaking my butt at the baby to make her laugh hysterically (I think she laughs because she knows she's responsible for the extra jiggle in my butt - she probably thinks, "Ha ha! I put that there, and it ain't comin' off any time soon if you keep sneaking those cookies, Mama. You're welcome, by the way."). But mostly, I'm going to try harder to incorporate the "pre-baby" activities that I enjoyed so much that I've neglected these past few months.

Anyway, I'll be accepting virtual *high fives* all night for my accomplishment of venturing out into the real world all by myself.

What will YOU do for yourself today?

Head on over to SITS (blog speak for "The Secret is in the Sauce" - go check it out - I know you're curious...) to read more Dear So-and-So letters from other bloggers. I promise you'll laugh if you do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It Won't Be Like This for Long

I remember when Dennis and I could actually stay awake long enough to watch an entire episode of Saturday Night Live.

At the time in our lives when we could actually accomplish such a feat, we also lived in an apartment that was a whopping 365 square feet in size. So, maybe the same thing that allowed us to live in such a confined space for our first years of marriage without killing each other is what gave us the uncanny energy to stay awake at what I now consider to be such an ungodly hour.

When I tell you our life was simple back then, I mean it was real simple. Just the two of us. We went to school, worked part-time jobs that were total cake, and had almost no bills, thanks to our financial aid. It wasn't until I approached the end of my studies in social work when we learned about poverty and all that fun stuff that I truly understood why the financial aid gurus were so good to us. I learned that we were actually living below the poverty line. We honestly had no idea.

We never felt poor (well, aside from the type of "poor" that all college kids feel...the ramen noodle type of poor, if you will). We were so happy, and we had a blast pretty much all the time. We'd pick up and go on a hike or a picnic in the woods on a whim. We'd pack up the chess board and set up a game in a grassy spot on campus (where I would then proceed to angrily knock all the pieces off the board - multiple times - after losing. Repeatedly.). We were really very care free, except during finals week, of course.

Life is different now. Way different. We've had to grow up a bit. Now we have a mortgage, real jobs to go to, lots of bills to pay, and an extra mouth (that likes to babble, blow raspberries a lot, and make fake coughing noises when she wants more attention) to feed.

Kaylee came into our lives at the perfect time. We were thrilled to find out she was on the way, and I was blessed with an uncomplicated pregnancy, as well as a good labor and delivery experience. Being the avid reader and information junkie that I am, I read a butt load of stuff about pregnancy, labor and delivery, but not a whole lot about what to expect after all of that. There just aren't many books out there about it, and frankly, I didn't think I needed to read many of them even if they were out there.

Being a mom was the part I thought I could handle. I was confident that it would just come naturally. I was good with kids, I knew I had the necessary motherly instincts, I've taken care of babies and kids - I was ready. Ready to have the baby, get home, and start living life as our new little family. Dealing with the pain of pushing a kid out was what terrified the daylights out of me that whole 9 months, and not much else. I survived the labor, discovered that chocolate is a girls second best friend because epidurals were actually a girl's true best friend, and thought the toughest part was over. I wasn't all that worried about missing some sleep and dealing with newborn poop.

I could have worried a little bit more, perhaps, but it wouldn't have done any good, because I've had a hard time adjusting, in spite of my assumption that it'd be just hunky dory. (More posts about that will be sure to come)

People always said once you have a child, you'll never get to eat an entire meal before it gets cold again. So, I expected that, but I didn't realize that after a while, that gets really old. We are the kind of people who occasionally partake of delectable breakfast foods for dinner, and I don't care who you are - cold eggs SUCK. I just want to eat my eggs while they're hot! But, the eggs have to wait when you've got a stinky diaper to change or tears that need to be wiped away.

Sometimes I miss not being able to watch a full episode of my favorite TV shows because they interfere with bathtime, bed time, or rice cereal time.

Sometimes I miss being able to take a nice, long shower without mini me right outside the shower door because she'll cry if she can't see me every 13 seconds.

Sometimes (try every night) I miss being able to sleep through the night.

To be honest, I really miss having more time for myself.

A good friend of mine helped me to realize that new moms often actually go through a grieving period of sorts - a grieving of the parts of your identity and your life that aren't really so evident anymore. Your life changes the minute you become a mother, and no matter how hard you try, you can't really prepare yourself. I'm still trying to grasp the fact that it's *okay* that I miss a few things about my pre-baby life. And there are a lot of things that I do miss.

But you know what? Give me the cold eggs. Give me the sweet little girl in her jumperoo whose face lights up brighter than the sun when I open the shower door to remind her I haven't gone anywhere. Give me the 7 p.m. screaming session, signaling to me that the rice cereal and squash are exactly 2 seconds overdue and they need to be delivered NOW. And I mean RIGHT now. Give me the 3 days worth of dirty dishes and the 6 loads of laundry. Give me 15 minutes of The Office instead of 30. And yes, give me the middle of the night wake-up calls from the 6-month-old down the hall who has already proven that she is capable of sleeping in 8-hour increments - she just chooses not to most of the time.

I might complain about how hard things are sometimes, and for good reason, because they are hard. In reality, though, I know that people aren't lying when they tell me I'll miss these things someday.

This - right now - this is what we were going for all along. This is what we always wanted. And I'd eat cold eggs every day if I had to because it won't be like this for long.

(Head on over to Mama's Losin' It to read more Writer's Workshop posts from other bloggers.)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your Tag's Stickin' Out

How about some random funny stuff? I'm tired, and I don't have anything brilliant to write, so thankfully, I've been tagged by April over at The Life of Me Plus Three. So, she took the guess work out of what I should post about today, and all I have to do is answer her fun questions. I hope something gives you a chuckle.

1. What is your funniest childhood story?

Well, I'm sure there are plenty, but the Wall of Boogers is probably up there toward the top of the list. When I was a tiny little kid (about 13 years old or so...just kidding! I was probably 3? I don't really know...) I picked my nose and put the boogers on the wall beside my bed, but I was a smart little cookie and put the boogers on the part of the wall that was covered by the mattress, convinced that no one would ever find them. Duh. We eventually moved and boom. There they were. Not just 5 or 6 - but a whooooole lotta boogers. The looks on my mom and dad's faces must have been priceless. I have no idea what possessed me to do such a weird thing, but I did it. My dad ended up telling my then future father-in-law about it at Easter dinner before my husband and I were even engaged. Fortunately, my husband still chose to marry me, in spite of my odd booger behavior as a child.

2. What would your dream dress look like if you could design it?

My wedding dress was my dream dress. A princess dress, if you will. Fitted top with spaghetti straps, poofy skirt. Cried when I tried it on because I knew it was THE DRESS. I don't have another dream dress. It was the wedding dress I always pictured in my head.

3. What weird habit does your hubby have?

No weird hubby stories on my blog. He's got immunity here. :)

4. How many cookbooks are in your kitchen?

Probably about 5 with a few random cooking magazines.

5. Granny panties or loyal Victoria Secret girl?

Vicky's Place . But only if I get the free coupon in the mail. Silly ladies - don't ever PAY for a pair of those undies - wait for the free coupon and then tick off the snooty sales girl when you refuse to use the other part of the coupon that says you get a whopping $10 off if you buy a $50 bra. No thanks. Give me my free underwear so I can be on my merry little way, thankyouverymuch. (Don't even get me started on Granny Panties)

6. My favorite memory from 2008 so far is...

Welcoming my baby girl into the world.

7. I secretly...

Well, I already told you I secretly have fake poops and secretly listen to hip hop music in my car. If you expect me to tell you that when I pumped every three hours for my daughter's first 2 months of life, that I ate cake every time I got up in the middle of the night (when it was readily available in my fridge - which was often), well - I'm just not sure you need to know that.

8. I could really go for...

8 hours of sleep.

9. We are going to have a big snow storm and you will find me...

Curled up on the couch with some hot chocolate. Perhaps reading a book or watching a fun movie. Now I wish it would snow.

10. I knew he was the one...

The day I was finally willing to fart in front of him. Ha ha ha! Ok, maybe that wasn't the defining moment, but it was an important milestone nonetheless.

Back to business as usual tomorrow...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday's Confession

Once again, it's time for Monday's Confession!

Ok, I've got two to share today.

1. Yesterday after my crazy morning I grabbed a frosted cookie and snarfed it down on the way to church. I wasn't hungry - it was nothing but pure, delicious emotional eating.

2. I have 3 more hours until I have to be to work, but I had Dennis drop off Kaylee at the babysitter's on his way to work an hour ago so I could have some extra time to myself this morning.

Your turn!

(I got back on here to add one more - I ate a cookie with my breakfast - yay for me!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fishin' for Turds - My Maiden Voyage

Well, I did it. I fished a turd out of the bath tub. Bare handed.

I was wishing I had one of these:

After Kaylee nearly flooded our kitchen floor with her fanatical splashing in the kitchen sink during bath time, we decided it was time for her to move on up to the actual bath tub. We took her diaper off before plopping her in the water, and we were very careful to make sure the tiny poop that was inside of it didn't drop out, but apparently there was more where that came from. We put her in the tub and suddenly I notice what appears to have been a cling on. Just the tiniest little turd - we're talking the size of a pencil eraser, people.

But, she still grabs for anything and everything in the tub and it goes straight for her mouth. As my child plays gleefully in the once-clean bath water, I start to panic. Again, my fear of my child eating her own poop kicks in, and I have no choice but to attempt to capture the little floater.

My husband just looks at me and says, "You gonna bare hand it?" I had no other option. So, for the first time in my life I intentionally picked up a piece of poop with my bare hands (I don't think I've ever accidentally picked up a piece of poop with my bare hands, but I digress...). Have you ever tried to fish a teensy turd out of bath water? It's no simple task!

So, I think I'm asking for one of the above fish nets for a stocking stuffer this Christmas. Just $1.19 at Affordable, practical, protects me from poop germs - what more could a girl ask for? Plus, apparently it flows through the water quite nicely. Check out the product description: "A loose weave net for easy movement in water. These loose weave nets allow unhindered movement through the water. Available in 3", 5", 8", and 10" size nets and varied handle lengths."

God forbid that anything should hinder the movement of my baby turd net in the water! We just can't have that! I'm thinking I can start with a 3" net since she's still pretty small, and as the turds increase in girth, we'll just up the net size.

That's all. It was just a monumental achievement and I felt compelled to share it with you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just Call Me the Multitasker Extraordinaire

Today I was talking to my husband. On my cell phone. Holding my baby. While I was on the toilet at Olive Garden. I rock.

My Reason for Laughing at 5 a.m. When I Wish I Was Sleeping...

I didn't have to go to work on this particular morning. I wanted desperately to sleep in. For once. Just once. Please? Pretty please, with sugar on top? Nope. I hear stirring in the nursery and a tiny little voice beckoning me with jibberish. I stumble out of bed, eyes half closed, and this is what I see when I walk in. Friggin' hilarious! And she stayed like this while I ran for the camera. I really, really wish what I knew why she did crazy stuff like this. Maybe she's going to be a completely self-taught circus acrobat. Who knows.

Head on over to Candid Carrie to join in her Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta for yourself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday's Break From the Chaos

One of my very favorite things to do on Thursday nights is to watch The Office with my husband. We are huge, huge fans of the show for one simple reason. It's freakin' hilarious. We never fail to laugh out loud for nearly 30 minutes straight.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited we were when Jim and Pam finally got together. Then, after our excitement, we laughed at ourselves for getting so overjoyed about a FAKE TELEVISION COUPLE.

Anyway, I found this on YouTube and had to post it here. It's the Top 10 Jim and Pam moments. So, kick back, relax, and escape from some of your own chaos. And, tune into the Office. Thursday nights. NBC. 8 o'clock. Well, that's just what time it's on where I live. I have no idea what time it's on where you live. Maybe you should look that up.

(Oh, and before you hit play on this video, pause the music player on the right - otherwise your pretty little head might get overwhelmed and confused, and we don't need that.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mama's Losin' It: Haiku This!

So, I found a new blog that I absolutely LOVE, and I'm telling you that you should definitely go and check it out. It's called Mama's Losin' it - I saw the blog title and knew I just had to check it out. Now I'm hooked.

Anyway, this post is part of a fun little challenge she's got goin' on. The assignment is to write a haiku about what you see out the window. And, if you're like me, and you didn't pay attention in 10th grade English, click here for the definition of a haiku. Onward!

I can't see too much
It's nine oh nine o'clock now
Yep, it sure is dark

I know, I know. You're jealous of my sweet haiku skills...

Mommy Brain Moment of the Week

I suffer from frequent Mommy Brain moments. When I was pregnant, Dennis and I called it "Preggo Brain" and said it was the baby stealing my brain cells. I would just say the dumbest things that made no sense at all. Well, now that I'm breastfeeding, I claim that my brains leave via my boobs, because I still say, and do, stupid stuff that makes no sense to me. Take today for example.

I decide to dress Kaylee in a really cute linen shirt that my father-in-law brought home for her after his last trip to Costa Rica. It's an off white color, so I wanted her to wear her brown pants with it - you know, keeping with the earth tones. I mean, we won't be leaving the house at all today, except to get the mail, so - for crying outloud - we've got to be matching for all the people we're bound to see. Well, I can't find the pants in her closet or her dresser, so I figure they must be in the dryer, waiting to be folded. So she wears yellow pants instead. Close enough.

Well, I finally take my shower and go perusing through my closet for a t-shirt, when I find this, among the clothes in my closet. Yep, I'm losing it.

Care to indulge me with your own preggo brain/mommy brain story, so as to make me feel a little better about myself? Anyone? Anyone? Beuhler?

Things I Could Be Doing Right Now...

I realize that by posting what I am about to post, I run the risk of you all thinking I'm a major slob. But, if you think that, then poo poo on you because, if you're a mom, I'm venturing a guess that your house has looked like this at some point, too. If not, then, please - by all means - lend me your supermom cape for the day. I promise I'm not a slob. Hopefully you'll see these pictures and not feel so bad about your own little messes. Or, if your house happens to be clean right now, pat yourself on the back until 6 o'clock tonight when it's a mess again.

Kaylee decided 5 a.m. would be a grand time to wake up this morning. Then she proceeded to fuss for 2 hours straight. Fun times, people. Now, this is what she's up to...

*insert Hallelujah chorus here*

So, it's officially nap time at our house, and there are a few things I could be doing right now - like...

1. Taking a shower
(oooh, or scrubbing soap scum off shower walls....)

2. Picking up the kitchen

3. Folding this laundry

4. Washing the stack of dirty cloth diapers that are inside this Diaper Genie, and that are now starting to pile on top of the Diaper Genie

5. Cleaning the living room

Nahhh. That would have been the old me - the one that had not yet learned the lesson of why God provides mamas with baby naps...the girl who thought that nap time meant "productivity time" and power cleaned like a mad woman. Yes, I could have gotten a lot done around the house, but that's not what I needed to be doing. Ya see, those messes will be there all day. That's a fact.

BUT! These moments of quiet tranquility could end at any given moment, so I'm going to savor them. I'm going to use nap time for what I believe God intended nap time to be. ME TIME. I need my quiet time - my time to sit back, relax and do something for myself. I can clean the house later when Kaylee is awake and playing in her jumperoo or something.

For now, I'm going to eat my Fiber One bar, toss back a cold glass of water, and do a little blog hopping. In my pajamas. And I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Not one bit. So there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hop on Board the Crazy Train!

Hey! If you want to follow my blog and get all the latest posts, there's more than one way to join the crazy train.

1. Become a follower. Wendy is cool. She was my blog's first follower. She is currently my blog's only follower. You should join her so she doesn't get lonely.

2. Subscribe to posts and/or comments. There's a link to do this on my sidebar.

Ok, now go do whatever it is you were doing. Me? I'm going to go take my shower. It's 5:08 p.m. High time for a shower, wouldn't ya say?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday's Confession


I busted out the Baby Einstein DVD today when Kaylee wouldn't stop crying and refused to nap. It bought me 30 minutes of scream-free time.

Fess up - what's your Monday confession?

Well, that's just crap-tastic

This was originally posted on our family blog, but I figured it's quite appropriate to be placed here as well. I'd love to hear your own funny kid poop stories!


Allow me to set the scene for you...

Ok, so earlier tonight, Dennis, Kaylee and I are all here in the office. I'm diligently working on figuring out strange computer codes in order to make the blog look all fancy, and Dennis is playing a game on the other computer. Kaylee is having a grand old time, just entertaining herself in her play center.

Dennis and I are just clicking away on our respective keyboards, when out of the blue he says, "Sera, did you fart?" I had to think about that one for a minute. "No, I don't think so," I told him. Instantly we both turn around and look at Kaylee.

She's got a huge grin plastered on that sweet little face of hers. That horrendous smell couldn't possibly have come from her. I'm noticing that her little, tiny legs are moving very fast, sliding around rather easily, when normally, she meets some resistance. Hmmm, what ever could that be about?

Dennis and I both realized what happened at the exact same moment.

(Go ahead and use your imagination about the choice words that were uttered at this point).

So, the bottom of her play center has a flat surface that her feet can rest on, right? Well, it looked like the surface of a finger painting by a master painter. Except this wasn't finger painting. It wasn't painting, and there were no fingers involved.

This work of art was fashioned with straight up poop and baby toes. Yep.

This little fiasco resulted in an immediate bath for Kaylee (whose new nickname, bestowed upon her by Dennis, is "Poop Dancer"). I felt like I was wrangling a calf holding her as Dennis ran the bath water. I couldn't let her touch her feet, her legs, her diaper - nothing. Oh, but my sweet little determined girl tried so hard to be a little pretzel. Normally such a cute attempt on her part, but this time it was my worst nightmare for fear that my child would actually put her own poop in her mouth, only because she puts everything in her mouth. I just kept thinking, "Oh, please don't put your hand in your poop. Don't eat your poop. Don't eat your poop..."

I'm standing there holding Kaylee as Dennis runs the water in her tub. We both just look at each other and immediately start to crack up. It was so funny!

And let me just say this. I'm realizing that there are words that you will never utter in your life, not unless you're a parent. I was scrub-a-dub-dubbin' Poop Dancer and the following phrase just pours out of my mouth with no forethought whatsoever: "Hey, stop squirming around so I can get the poop out from between your toes!"

This results in more laughter. I'm realizing laughing is sometimes the only way to get through some of the things you have to deal with as a parent. I mean, that was disgusting as all get out, but at the same time, it was so freakin' hilarious that it makes me giggle just thinking about it.

Man, I love that kid. Artistic toes and all...