Wednesday, October 28, 2009

posting this for wegohealth

no one still thinks i blog here, right? you all know to find me at dreamwidth on my other rarely-updated* public blog, right?

*this will change. someday. i swear. this summer has been particularly bad in terms of my health, plus it's only been a year since Dude lost his job and we had to move 250 miles away AND THEN BACK less than 3 months later, so i've been in a constant state of transition and craziness... which does not make for good blogginess. i just spew crap into my (protected) LJ and that's about it.

but ANYWAY, even though i do NOT blog here anymore, i am re-posting this invite from wegohealth in case anyone happens to come across this post!

Invitation: WEGO Health Exclusive, Health Activist-only webinar presentation on Wednesday, November 4th, "When to See a Reproductive Endocrinologist: 7 Key Factors."

Presented live by one of the country's leading reproductive endocrinologists, Glenn Schattman, MD, from Cornell University. This event is free and made possible by one of WEGO Health's sponsors.

Webinar attendees will gain:

  • Valuable insight to help women you know online to make informed decisions
  • In-depth medical updates - usually reserved for physicians - about the factors that all TTC women should consider
  • Exclusive direct access to Dr. Schattman during our live Q&A session

This one-hour webinar is offered at four different times on Wednesday, November 4th: Noon, 4PM, 6PM and 9PM (all times are EST)

Attendance is limited, sign up today!

To RSVP, please complete this brief survey and someone from WEGO Health will email you the logistical details shortly:

Earn $5 for RESOLVE:

To help incorporate participant ideas and feedback into later programs, WEGO Health will invite all webinar attendees to participate in a brief follow-up survey. For every attendee who completes this short survey, WEGO Health will make a $5 donation to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

Questions? Contact WEGO Health at (

Marie Connelly

Community Manager

phone: 617.649.1548

fax: 617.426.5027

Follow us on Twitter:

Become a fan on Facebook:

empowering health activists to help others

hope this info is useful to anyone reading out there!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

not feeling it.

I don't feel like my actual self on this blog. I feel like Mama Bean, an online persona who has to write in a certain style. I end up blogging frequently, but not here, never here.

So I'm attempting to move... again. If you want to see any more from me, please visit me at, a blog I think I might just be able to be regular with.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

it takes a blogosphere.

I wanted to mention this a while ago, but I forgot until just now. But I loved this post from Da Momma. I liked the post in general because, you know, it was funny, and I do enjoy reading about Mare and Ren. But one thing that really stuck with me was this part:

The barn owner tells the instructor to bring a horse over and I tell Mare to get her boots off and pass them to Sister. Mare instantly complies, but the boots are tight she’s having trouble getting them off, and Ren’s waiting for her ride and … here it comes. The Meltdown.

She’s high strung. She’s dramatic. I indulged her too much as a toddler and now she has no coping skills. She’s never going to be able to manage a corporation or a surgical team or an embassy and people won’t like her and she’ll be That Girl and it’s all my fault...

“Mare, why are you freaking out???” I finally say. She stops mid-wail and looks at me with a deep exasperated sigh. She puts both hands on my shoulders and says,

“Momma. It’s what I do. I’m a person who freaks out.”

I stare stupidly.

She’s not me.

You freaking dumbass. She. Is not. YOU.

“Oh, okay,” I say.

She nods and goes back to hauling on the boots and wailing. She gets them both off, we ram them on her sister, and Doodley skips happily over to the horse and scampers up.

I loved that. "It's what I do. I'm a person who freaks out." I think it's very easy to forget about this with our kids. When your young child is throwing tantrums or doing things that you just don't want them to do, you are supposed to Do Something to make sure that they don't engage in these maladaptive behaviors for the rest of their lives. Like Da Momma said, you don't want your kid to be That Kid just because you fucked up and dealt with tantrums wrong or something.

And yeah, children shouldn't get their own way constantly and they shouldn't throw tantrums to get what they want and blah blah blah. (I know I keep mentioning tantrums a lot - Bee is the queen of tantrums, so it's nearly always on my mind.) It's great to lay down the law and help your child be a functional member of society. But at the same time, you have to step back from your child and accept the person s/he is. You can't always try to mold them into better people if you want them to love themselves for who they are and not resent you for constantly trying to change them.

So I'm logging this here so I can remember this for Bee. Had I not read it, I don't know if I'd otherwise be that level-headed during that kind of interaction. I don't know if I'd just be able to say "Oh, okay," and let her do her thing her way, even though it would be the right thing to do. I often feel like the blogosphere helps me to be a better parent. Thanks, Internet. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

which fruits and vegetables should i buy organic?

I'm all for organic food, but it's simply not thrifty for us to buy 100% organic everything every time we shop. We decided that we'd make sure to buy organic for the most contaminated fruits and veggies, and not worry as much about the cleanest ones.

Here is a fantastic list that ranks fruits and veggies based on their pesticide load. I found at, which is apparently run by EWG (Environmental Working Group).

(Feel free to comment and tell me how to get this huge space out of the middle of the post, as I have no clue.)

1 (worst)Peach100 (highest pesticide load)
3Sweet Bell Pepper83
10Grapes - Imported66
13Collard Greens60
16Green Beans53
17Summer Squash53
21Grapes - Domestic44
28Winter Squash34
31Honeydew Melon30
33Sweet Potato29
41Sweet Peas - Frozen10
45Sweet Corn - Frozen2
47 (best)Onion1 (lowest pesticide load)

I hope this is as useful to someone out there as it is for us!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

siftables, the future of computers. or blocks. or both.

Okay, this is really cool. This is an example of the kind of thing Dude is interested in professionally. He has actually met this guy, but only tangentially. Anyway, whether or not Dude finds it interesting is irrelevant, because this shit is awesome.


If you have high expectations/standards set for the people in your life, you will continue to be disappointed when they fail to reach them. This can cause annoyance and frustration on your part as well as resentment on the part of the people in your life.

I'm not saying you should expect (or accept) the worst from the people around you. But if you expect everyone to be perfect, you will be disappointed and they will be hurt.

Do expectations really have to be that high? What if you step back from the standard you have set and just evaluate people as they are? Are they really that bad, despite not living up to YOUR expectations for them? Can you accept them for who they are? If so, let it go. It can only help both sides. If not, I suspect the problem is on your end. You are not perfect. Why expect perfection from others?

I'm working hard on this, especially when it comes to ME. I will never live up to any impossibly high standards I set for myself. But when I take a step back and look at myself as I am now, not living up to these expectations at all, I see that I'm actually just fine. In fact, I like myself better and am more relaxed when I just accept that I am where I am. I'll get to those high standards if/when I get there, and there's no need to feel bad about myself in the meanwhile.

Same for everyone else. The people in my life are going to fuck up, and I am going to love them anyway. People say and do hurtful or insensitive things constantly, but I can't expect them to never do these things. What I can do is accept that they will do these things, that we will communicate about them if necessary, and then we will move on. I don't want to have high expectations for other people. It is not fair to me or the other person.

I don't want anyone to have high expectations for me. I'm doing fine the way I am. I'll never be perfect and I don't want to be. I think about teachers in my past and how many of them said I wasn't living up to my potential. If I worked really hard, I could be a straight-A student. If not, I would continue as a B/C student. I felt like I should try harder, should do better, and yet I never did and I felt bad about myself constantly.

Looking back, WHO THE FUCK CARES? So I didn't live up to my potential. Big fricking deal. I learned a lot of important things and I am still learning today. Maybe I am not living up to my potential now, and I'm okay with that. I am happy and content with the way I am living now. My husband and daughter seem happy and content as well.

So fuck it. Even if I had the potential to do things way better than I'm doing them today, it's not worth the stress and the constant sense of failure. I'd rather be a happy-go-lucky C student who's surprised by and proud of the occasional A or B than an anxious A student who berates herself for the occasional B or C. And sure, it'd be great if we could all be straight-A students without the stress or anxiety or self-deprecation, but we can't. At least, I'm not one of those people who can. I don't want to lay that trip on my daughter, either. I'd rather have her be a functional, happy, self-accepting person than someone who lives up to her potential in school.

I've been told often that I am too laid-back about things, but that's the way I am and that's the way I want to be. I'm proud of not forcing myself to live up to my potential. I'm glad I'm accepting where I am. I'm excelling at relationships, so I don't care if I have no motivation towards a career or going back to school or being the perfect homemaker. I am where I am, and I'm doing just fine, and I have no desire to try to do even better than fine. I'd rather be content with what I have than constantly striving towards a goal I'll never reach.

I'm very happy I've finally reached that point, although many might look at this and feel like I'm giving up. But I just don't care. Maybe my house is messy and I'll never get a master's degree or a "real job" and our budget is stretched thin and I quit my work-from-home job because I hate it and we eat the same thing for dinner 4 times a week and we get pizza too often and we fail at our color-coded cleaning schedule and I don't keep up with my writing and I don't shower every day and sometimes we forget to brush Bee's teeth and and and and... I just don't care. I just can't give a shit anymore. Even with all that, we're a happy and healthy family, so why harp on all the things I'm NOT doing?

We seem to be thriving on imperfect, and all that happens when I attempt to do things beyond my capability is that I feel like a failure. This is bad for my mental health, day-to-day life, parenting ability, and relationship. When I stop freaking out about the clutter and the dirt and the fact that it's crockpot stew for dinner AGAIN, I can finally feel good about myself. I'm doing a fantastic job in terms of being a happy and well-adjusted person, an attentive and nurturing mother, a supportive and loving wife, and a caring and generous friend. And even when I don't do as well at those things as I'd like, it's okay because I'm human and I'm bound to slip up every now and then.

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin. Real life. But there was always something in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time to still be served, a debt to be paid, then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." - Alfred D'Souza

I guess what I'm trying to say is, suck it world, I'm fine the way I am. I'm not going to wait around until I'm perfect to love myself and enjoy my life. It is what it is, and what it is is JUST FINE.

Monday, April 6, 2009

this is my kind of mom.

I just discovered The Pioneer Woman, and OH MY GOD LOVE. I especially liked this post on homeschooling. (For the curious, I don't have plans to homeschool the Bee, although I haven't ruled it out either. It's certainly something I'd consider, but not something I'm planning for. As of now, I think it is more likely that Bee will be in public school, but that door is still open.)

An excerpt:

And when you have a baby or a toddler and you homeschool—fuhgettabouta schedule. There is poop when there should be math. And there’s crying when there should be literature. And with that color-coded schedule that lasted four whole days, if something got in the way and you missed a thirty-minute block of time, you were screwed—there was no more time in the day to be had. And all I did when I tried hard to stick to a rigid schedule was fail, and then I’d feel like a loser, and that wasn’t fun. Because I’m not a loser, dang it. I’m not. No, I’m not. Stop saying that. I’m not.

Leaving out the homeschool part, the post echoes my own shiny new approach to mothering: the relaxed approach. I once scheduled out every hour of every day in order to achieve all the goals I had in mind to work towards being, well, Little Miss Perfect. Every single day had absolutely everything I needed, scheduled in beautifully manageable chunks. See? I laughed outright at the Pioneer Woman's description of her color-coded schedule, because it sounds EXACTLY like MY color-coded schedules. In theory they seem totally great and are aesthetically pleasing to boot. I would try to make easy schedules that seemed fool-proof, but you know what they say. Make something idiot-proof, and they'll make a better idiot.

So I have stopped setting myself up for failure. I have stopped giving myself a million goals to accomplish in a day or week or month. I try to do what I can, and if it doesn't happen, I don't tell myself I'm a failure. No more rigidity - it doesn't help me, Dude, or Bee. We get through the day, every day, in whatever way works, and we feel good about ourselves while doing it.

I've got no clue if this approach is going to produce any particular future outcomes that I might want or not want. I like to think that a calm, laid-back lifestyle is good for the whole family. But even if things don't turn out the way I expect them to in the future, it doesn't matter. I can't stress out about being the perfect mom or perfect housewife in anticipation of providing my daughter (and any future children) with some sort of perfect life. We're enjoying the imperfect life we do have, taking pride in our abilities while accepting our limitations.

So yeah. I'm not as concerned about what the future will bring or whether I'm doing things the right way. My daily routine is flexible and less goal-oriented, and it's working out so much better. Just like the Pioneer Woman, some of our days are awesome and some are not-so-awesome, but they all go with our general flow. If things turn out amazingly, great! If not? Well, I guess I'll close with a line from the post...

But I refuse to believe it will be because I chose to wipe my baby’s bottom with that color-coded schedule rather than let a piece of paper tell me when I had to make my bed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

how not to blog.

I compose blog posts in my head several times a day. Some of them are awesome. You'd probably enjoy them. They never seem to make it from my head to my fingers to the keyboard to the screen, though. The process gets interrupted very easily.

An online friend of mine made me think about how bloggers change once they become parents. Pre-Bee, I would post constantly to my own online journal (not here) and to communities related to women's reproductive health. It's just not that easy now.

During the time it's taken me to type out these two paragraphs, with absolutely no editing, Bee has turned my cell phone on and off twice, thrown it across the room once, and threatened to throw it down the stairs three times. She also sat down, patted the area next to her, and said "Mama" until I came and sat next to her. Currently, she is nursing while punching me in the chest and kicking me in the armpit. Sure, I could blog while she's asleep, but being that she is not the world's best sleeper, naptime is my chance to get anything done that's easier to do without her awake.

So I'll give you a quick update on her first and then me. She is nearly 16 months old. She is getting approximately 200 teeth at once, and I did not know there was even enough room in her small head for that, but apparently there is. She's a very verbal child, and she (as I've mentioned) loves to read. She memorizes books very quickly, and because of this she has learned things that amaze me.

For example, she can correctly identify the numbers 1-7, out of order and out of context, thanks to Sandra Boynton's Hippos Go Berserk! (a book I thoroughly recommend). This is brand new, just started this weekend, and BLOWS MY MIND. We went to my in-laws' house on Sunday for dinner, and she picked up pieces of a number puzzle and just went to town. "Theeeeee!" she beamed proudly, picking up the 3. "Doooo." (2.) "Poor." (4.) "Pa-kiiiiiive." (5. 5 is always pronounced just like that. She cannot pronounce Fs so they come out as some sort of interesting PK amalgam.) "Bebben." (7.)

"Stop teaching her this stuff," my father-in-law warned. "You don't want her to end up smarter than you." This is true. I don't want to be outsmarted by a 1-year-old. How was I to know that reading a book about hippos approximately 700 times a day would start me down that path?

She also can correctly identify yellow, blue, and red. She gets green right every now and then. If she's not sure what a color is (e.g. brown, orange, pink, purple) she will tell you it's yellow with a very proud grin and an "I'm-totally-acing-this" look on her face, followed by applause.

She is also starting to figure out how to climb. She is going through such a shift over these past few months, from baby to young toddler to SUPER TODDLER, and it blows my mind. Last summer, this was the baby who rolled over ONE TIME and refused to do it ever again. Now she's moving furniture around to see if she can, in fact, jump out the 3rd floor window, because that sounds like a good plan.

So let's move on to me. I know I've linked to this in other places, but possibly not here... WEGO Health did a spotlight interview on me, which is REALLY COOL because I have always assumed that no one cares about what I have to say. I am also blogging occasionally for Massachusetts Friends of Midwives, along with several other bloggers.

In our personal life, things are going quite well for me and Dude. We are at the phase of "settled in the new house" where there are still definitely some things left to do, but they are so minor and easy to procrastinate that they never get done. But that's okay. I've also kind of given up on trying to be Super Housewife. Because who cares? At the end of the day, there might be dried food under Bee's high chair and dust on the shelves and a sink full of dishes that no one wants to take care of. But Bee and I are happy and healthy and well-fed, and Dude and I have an amazing relationship with each other and our daughter. We all enjoy each other every day.



When it boils down to it, our family dynamic is supremely awesome, and that's the most important thing, isn't it? I'm not saying we live in squalor (my mother may disagree), just that the house is rarely tidy these days, but we all love each other and are taking care of ourselves and each other. And that is all that matters.

Someday I will write about nursing a toddler. About how Dude and I are hoping for a 2010 baby and a planned homebirth. About Fertility Awareness Method and how we have used it to avoid as well as try for pregnancy. All these posts and more are brewing in my head and itching to be typed out. But some other time, I suppose, because my Bee is falling asleep at the breast. I'd like to put her down and maybe work on some of those non-priorities mentioned above.

So for now I shall leave you with this, the true marker of a successful day... playground time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I am not going to post today really, but I identified with some of the feelings in this, so go read that instead.

The one noteworthy thing: Bee's 15 months old today! As of about 5 minutes ago.

I will tell you what I want to post about, though:
-nursing a toddler and the benefits of extended breastfeeding
-recipes for curried beets & tofu, veggie couscous, crockpot minestrone soup, super easy Spanish rice, and "un"fried beans
-thoughts on when to begin the quest for baby #2, tandem nursing, homebirthing, and such

Instead, I will leave you with Bee's favorite TMBG podcast. I cannot so much as look at the laptop around her without her begging to watch one of these. She's started saying "please" out loud while signing it, and it is very hard not to give her whatever she wants. She makes an angelic face, signs it, and says "Peez?" with her voice inflecting up at the end. It's terribly cute and she knows it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

head to toe.

Bee's a reading girl. She's obsessed with books and wants us to read to her constantly. She has memorized her favorites and has created little verbal or physical (or combination) routines for nearly every single book.

Two of her favorite topics are animals (especially the sounds they make) and body parts. She can tell you the sounds made by: dogs (bow-wow), cats (meow), birdies (tee-tee), mousies (skeek-skeek), chicks (peep-peep), hens (buk buk kaaaa), horses (neigh thbbttt), monkeys (ooooh ahh), sheep (baaaaa), goats (mehhh), lions (raaaa), dragons (raaaa), donkeys (haw-haw), geese (honk honk), pigs (a failed attempt at snorting), snakes (sssssssssss), elephants (thbbbpttt), seals (arf arf), owls (hoo hoo), frogs (bit bit), and... you know what? I'm going to stop, because I thought I was done at elephants, and then I thought I was done at each of the next four, and I feel like I could spend way too long thinking about all the animals in all the books and puzzles we have downstairs, and my brain can't stop. (I just remembered crocodiles, snap, should be on the list.)

Anyway, she never refers to the animals by name, only by sound. And whether she sees an animal in real life, a photograph, a cartoon drawing, a painting, on a puzzle piece, or what have you, she can usually guess what animal it is and tell you the right animal sound without being asked.

Body parts are her other favorite. She can identify, on herself as well as other people, animals, and pictures of people or animals: head, hair, eyes, eyebrow (ah-bow), ear (eeee), nose (nooo), teeth (tee), tongue, mouth, chin, neck, chest, arm (she pronounces this the same way Homestar Runner does), elbow (bo-bo), hand, fingers, tummy, belly button, knee (knee), legs, feet (eet). The ones without parentheses are the ones she doesn't say out loud, but will point to when asked.

So if you know the book From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, you might guess that this is one of Bee's favorite books of all time. A body part to move AND an animal sound to make for each page? Could there BE a better book?

I'll agree that this is a great book. And we love Eric Carle. Heck, back in 2004, when we were in college, my parents met Dude's parents for the first time, and we all went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art together. Still, though, I find myself hiding it a lot. The way Bee feels about this book shows off her feisty toddler personality, which I love to pieces. She is so funny and passionate and melodramatic.

It goes like this. I'll be doing something or other, picking up toys or tidying up the kitchen or sitting on the couch, while Bee is perusing her bookshelf. She spies it - the best book ever, From Head to Toe, sitting there on the shelf, waiting for her. If you think it's going to be greeted with a huge grin, or some positive expression at all, you're wrong.

The anger begins. She yanks the book off her shelf, hollering madly, running to me with the biggest, grumpiest pout on her face.

She's mad because this book was on the SHELF! On the SHELF, Mama! We haven't been reading this ALL THIS TIME! How DARE you?

Trying not to laugh, I calm her down, and I even get her to sign "please" with a big smile. She enjoys the first few pages with an I've-missed-you franticness that is slowly lost as she tries unsuccessfully to turn her head (she always turns all the way around) or raise her shoulder (she does this knee-bend pelvic thrust thing). We bark at the seal and meow at the cat, and everything's fun. We're having a good time.

We turn to the elephant page. The lower lip trembles. She makes the elephant sound and stomps her foot with me, and I turn the page. To the very last page. She hardly lets me read it, refuses to wiggle her toe with me, and resumes the pre-book anger as soon as I snap the book closed. Sometimes at this point, she hurls herself to the floor, wailing about the injustice of the world, the world with never-ending books, the world with Mamas who actually go so far as to HIDE books.

Most of the time, she can get it together, sign "please," bring me the book with a teary smile. If so, I'll read it again, maybe even another 5-10 times in a row, opening right back to the first page as soon as I finish reading the last page, and just when I think I'll lose my mind she loses interest. I hide the book in the couch, knowing that somehow, it will find its way off the couch and onto the floor and then back onto the shelf, and it will happen again before I know it.

Know what would be great? An opera about the life of a toddler, filled with emotion and melodrama and passion and singing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

i have never looked half as chipper when ill as my daughter does.

Went to bed feeling queasy, full of Tums and Alka-Seltzer. Woke up at 2:30 am to a very sad and confused baby covered in barf. (She went to bed feeling queasy, too.)

The three of us all woke up together about five hours later to discover that we had whatever stomach bug has been going around. Bee is also dripping with snot and sneezing a lot, but she's otherwise a trooper. But she's like that. Past evidence:

(This is from last June. She had a temperature of 103 degrees when I snapped this picture. She had just been sitting up, playing happily. I took a couple pictures of her, and then when I went to pick her up, I realized she was burning up and feverish. I felt SO guilty...)

But anyway, what I'm trying to say is that she doesn't always act ill (or tired) when she actually is. Which is what she's doing today, running around at top toddler speed.

May the babysitter gods bless us tonight, because neither of us has the energy to keep up today. Cursed stomach bugs. February's always the worst month of the year, so I guess it just had to slap us in the face one last time before disappearing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

is this bitch kidding?

Just read this (click to open a larger version)...

Is this woman for real? Has she ever even seen children? For someone who purports to be the "best friend" of a mother, she sure has the wrong idea about child-rearing. I can see why her "best friend" never bothers to call or e-mail her.

I mean, let's say that you've spent your day chasing around a child with 100 times more energy than you will ever have, you never got the chance do ANY of the chores you wanted to, you ate one crappy meal and are starving and have no chance to feed yourself, naptime was a huge battle, and a poopy diaper got smeared all over the wall. Once your kid is asleep for the night, go ahead and call your bitchy friend who doesn't get it and listen to her judge you for not wanting to go hang out with her needy ass. Afterwards, why not stick yourself in the eyeball with a fork? Make the day complete!

I've got several dedicated child-free friends, and even though we clearly don't agree on whether or not we want to raise kids, we can still respect and understand each other's choices and have fun together. Parent or not, no one wants to spend time with someone who doesn't understand them or their lifestyle. Maybe this is what's going on with this mom and her friend?

hottest husband.

(Okay, so while I firmly believe that my husband is the hottest husband of them all, he has not been entered in Redbook's Hottest Husband contest for 2009. But I just had to preface this post by declaring my strong attraction to my extremely good-lookin' guy.)

FireDad of Stop, Drop and Blog fame is one of the top 25 finalists for Hottest Husband 09. Check out FireMom's post on it, read about FireDad on the finalist website, and vote for Joshua H!

Oh, dear, I just saw that one of the finalists has the last name Kuntz. That must have been rough growing up!

different ways to spend the day.

Last night, Dude found the coaster holder I'd been searching for all day wedged between the couch and the wall.

"Was Littles playing with this today?"

"Oh, that's where it went! Last time I saw it, she'd brought it into the bathroom. She was smooshing her face into it while I was sitting on the toilet."



"Your days are just SO different from mine."

Monday, February 23, 2009

blah blah blah.

A week ago, there were movers traipsing through my house, moving large items of furniture and huge boxes. My eyeballs were whirling with the sight of an unpacked, toddler-unsafe house filled with Things To Do.

You should see this place. It looks SO much better. Once it's all set up, I'll do a photo tour so y'all can see it. Where ARE you guys, anyway? Is anyone still here? Did you all get mad and leave because I've been away so long?

Anyway, I've got nothing of value for right now. I'm only on to find a recipe for dinner, and it looks like Moroccan eggplant with couscous is the lucky winner. Whee.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

oh em gee

Sign on I-95N in Needham, MA

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i made it, and now i have a mountain to unpack.

I ended my last post saying that there was a lot of good coming and I just had to get there.

I'm there!

After almost 3 months of shuffling back and forth between parents' houses and temporarily living apart, Dude and I finally have a home of our own again! (Well, it's a rental home, but whatever.) The cats are at Dude's aunt's house, so once they move in, my little family will be all back together again.

I'm loving the new place. We moved in on Monday. It is Wednesday. I have a lot of unpacking to do. But now that I have an actual DESK with my LAPTOP on it, and now that I am getting back into my routine, be prepared for me to come back to this blog with open arms.

I have all kinds of ideas about delicious recipes I want to share with you (like my crockpot minestrone soup that is BARELY ANY EFFORT but better than Olive Garden's), and I've decided to start sharing pictures of the family, and a bunch of other things. I was thinking about having this blog be kind of... anonymous in a sense, I guess? But it isn't anyway, and how can I keep this kid to myself? I mean, look at her:

So stay tuned, blogosphere, because I am coming back in a big way.

Monday, January 19, 2009

crazy day.

One of Dude's friends recently told him that for the past several months, every time he (Dude) starts a conversation with anyone, he always says, "I'm sorry, I've had a crazy day."

We've had a lot of crazy days, I guess! 2008 was rough for us. March through July, my back was completely out and I couldn't care for myself and the baby. Dude got a new job in April, and he started the same day we moved into an apartment. July ended with a nice case of hand foot and mouth disease for the Bee. In August and September, I was feeling really under the weather and we're still not sure why. October started with my birthday and a fabulous trip to the Dominican Republic which was quickly followed by Dude being laid off and us having to move out of our apartment and in with my parents. This took up November and December as well, which were also full of "What are we going to do with our lives?" type stress and a job hunt.

2009 is starting out marginally better, with a fantastic job offer for the Dude at a company he is really enjoying so far. Also, he found us a super awesome (rental) house that we will start moving into next month. We are currently doing the long-distance relationship, with him at his parents' house working while I am here at my parents' house 250 miles away, managing the toddler. (My parents' house is just a better set-up for me and the Bee.)

This part is definitely a suck-fest. My mother is away, so it is just me and my father, and he usually leaves for work before we get up and comes home soon before bedtime. Bee is super clingy in the evenings, so I pretty much never get a break from her.

However, the nice thing is that there are good things on the horizon. I have lots of things to look forward to. So while the days can be long and frustrating, filled with tantrums and "no" and sobs about "DAAAAADAAAAAAAAAA" (oh how she misses him), I am so grateful for all the wonderful things that are awaiting us. There is so much good coming. I just have to get there.

I feel like I've done a pretty good job during Bee's babyhood, especially considering all the setbacks we endured. But I worry for her toddlerhood. Having worked for several years in the baby room of a childcare center, I can tell you that once they hit that phase that they hit sometime between 12 and 18 months, I was ready to show them the door. Bye-bye, toddlers! Go up to the toddler room, and let's find a cuddly 3-month-old to take your spot. Bee is hitting that phase nicely right now, at 13 months. Running around, speaking her mind, and understanding the world in this new way. It's amazing, but it also puts us into the world of temper tantrums and wanting to do things her way RIGHTNOW, and I wonder what happened to that small creature I used to snap into the bouncy seat and watch drift off to AIR as I jiggled the seat with my foot and browsed the Internet.

No, this is definitely a far cry from that. High-energy parenting. And all the craziness of moving around and being away from Dude and dealing with emerging toddlerhood has taken a toll on my energy.

But there's something so rewarding about the way she throws her arms around my legs and said "Mama!" and makes her "hug noise." (She makes this little grunt whenever she hugs us. It's cute.) And she knows when to pour it on, too. Yesterday she was being such a little punk, and when I finally sighed her name in exasperation and told her I might sell her to the gypsies, she leaned in to my face, said "MMMM-WAH" with her lips pressed into my cheek, cuddled into my chest, and said "Hi, Mama." That's what I love about this phase versus bouncy-seat phase. She was so cute and fun then, but she interacts with me in such a different way now and I just love it.

So I guess I can keep handling these crazy days. There are good things on the horizon, and she knows how to help me keep going when I'm at my wit's end.

There is so much good coming. I JUST HAVE TO GET THERE.