Sunday, May 27, 2012

Six months and counting...

It's too hot to work on the garden today (seriously, it was 75º and 55% humidity at 7am... no WAY am I going out there now), so I'm blogging this morning instead.

Don't y'all feel special.  *wink*

JJ turned six months old on Friday, and all y'all know what that means.

Time for another foot pic!

       Itsy bitsy bebeh...                        Six months old....

Wow.  And his feet are getting wider too.

So, in the last month, he's gotten really super good at sitting on his own, he's even started to stand using parental fingers as balancing aids.  No, I mean it.  He will stand up if you give him your fingers to hang onto.  He's figured out that he can grip my hand and use it to pat his beany-baby type toys, instead of just patting them himself.  It's extremely cute.

One picture I wasn't able to get (due to cameras & water generally not mixing well) occurred a few days ago.  It was brutally humid & far too hot in the house, and JJ took a twenty minute nap at what should have been bedtime, popped his eyes open, and REFUSED to go back to sleep.  I finally shrugged & said "Okay, let's go take a cool shower."  Did the job, but oh, y'all should have seen the look on his face when the water from the shower head was cold.

Utter.  Betrayal.

I, of course, laughed as I realized "Oh, that's right!  You've never bathed in water that wasn't warm!"

He favored me with a repeat of this fan favorite look.

Except this time it was more like 
"No kidding, Mom.  Real brilliant deduction there."

I'm going to be ordering a few mesh baby feeders for him in the next week or so... bunkin reached for my cheese this morning.  First time he's reached for food, up until now he's been after anything we drink, but that was the first time he's shown interest in food... so it's time to get the tools!  I'm thinking avacado, peas, green stuff mostly.  Gonna try to hold off on the sweeter stuff, carrots & the like, until later, don't want him getting a sweet tooth before he even has teeth!

It's also time to either change the toys on the swing mobile to something with stretchy legs, or swap out the swing entirely for the bouncer that's sitting in the garage.  Last week JJ figured out that he can grab the toys hanging from the mobile, and actually managed to pull one off the mobile entirely.  He keeps that up, he's going to break the rotator arms, so it's time to change to something he can't hurt.

He's starting to fight me on naps again.  *sigh*  Just when I got the two nap thing figured out.  Need to lengthen his first wake time, I think, stretch it out a little.  Of course, longer wake times mean I will likely have to resign myself to slightly shorter naps.  Darn it, I was enjoying two hour blocks to get things done twice a day!  LOL

Flip side is that he's much more tolerant of the bright sunlight than he was even a month ago, which means I can take him outside more as long as we stick to the shade.

But not today.  It's 85º,  heading for mid-90s, the humidity is rising, and the UV index is high enough I'd practically have to bathe us both in sunscreen.  


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tell me I don't exercise.

Go ahead.  Really.  I dare you.

See, I love to garden.   Absolutely love it.  There's just something about weeding that lets me get all my grumpies out.  (Someone remind me to vid that song ... according to my husband, it's incredibly cute.)

Then once the weeds are all ... *cough* relocated...  (Picture me attacking two-foot tall weeds with a mad cackle)... there's the peaceful planting and watering and waiting for stuff to grow.  Generally food.

Yeah... not really into growing flowers just for the sake of growing flowers.  When I do, it's things like Russian Sage that take pretty much zero maintenance. 

Oh, I have had my decorative flower beds, but they generally stay that way only as long as those few flats of "4 for $1" flowers manage to survive the summer heat, then they get converted to more useful things.  Herbs.  Radishes.  Carrots.  Stuff we can eat.  Because what is more awesome than realizing you want salad on the table for dinner, walking out into the yard, and harvesting all the ingredients ten minutes before you eat them?  Not much, I say.  Not much at all.

Where is this going, you ask?

Don't mind me, I ramble a bit when I've been out in the sun.  
Right, back to topic.

It's GORGEOUS outside today.  Moderate breeze, high sixties, not a cloud in the sky.  But JJ has had a rough couple of days, and I'm trying to give him one that's as obstacle-free as possible so he'll settle back to his usual nap routine.  This means no long walk in the early afternoon.  So once he's down for nap number two (right on schedule, bless his little heart), I grabbed my sneakers, hat, sunblock, and pestered John into finding me appropriate tools for attacking the weed bed that used to be his grandmother's garden.

Ended up using a Garden Claw.  Ever seen one of those things?  It looks like a garden fork/hand rake tool had an unfortunate encounter with a corkscrew, and maybe some growth hormone.

Yeah, that.

Don't let the commercials fool ya, that thing is WORK... but it's very effective.  I now believe that you can do everything from break ground to tilling to aerating to light weeding with that sucker, because I've done the breaking ground part, and that's the hardest, to my mind.  You shove it into the ground as deeply or shallowly as you prefer, and you twist.  Stand as close to it as possible when doing so, your back will thank you later.

That's what it looked like when I started, except taller, 
because I forgot to take a "before" picture, so this is actually 
the next section down the fence and it has different weeds.

That's what it looked like when I stopped.

That's about a six foot by three foot section that was two feet high in weeds, easy. It is now largely weed-free, loose, soft, and in need only of cleanup weeding, plants, and water. That nice rich brown stuff? That'd be soil. Not dirt. Soil. I officially take back anything bad I ever said about the midwest. It's worth the humidity and the unpredictable weather for decent soil and a growing season that's not limited to the latter half of June through the first two weeks of August.

So yeah... I'm tired... hot... sweaty... probably sunburned... and I have 18 square feet of plantable garden space.  Took me about an hour.

So go ahead.  Tell me I don't exercise.  


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too Hot to Walk

It finally happened.  It got too hot outdoors to take my daily walks.


The universe is out to sabotage me, I swear.

"Yeah, always with the excuses."

No, seriously.  It's too hot.  I walk with JJ, it's been too warm for the Moby since mid-March, and with the canopy up on the stroller to protect him from the sun, he gets too warm, goes to sleep, and it throws the whole afternoon's routine off-kilter.  Off-kilter afternoon = late bedtime = CRANKY baby.

So for exercise, I am forced to resort to my stationary bike in the basement while JJ naps.

For outside time... *grins*


Not even six months old,
and he thinks he's a CK model.
I mean, LOOK at that sprawl!

He thinks the laptop is fascinating.
Keeping those little fingers off my keyboard 
and trackpad is interesting, y'all.

He's watching his own image on the screen, lol.

Check out my little DUDE!!!

A "spinner" off the maple entertained him 
for a good fifteen minutes. 

Then he tried to eat it.

Nursing outdoors is SO relaxing.
Oh, chill, Mom, you can't see anything.

Heehee... it's cute now, but I can already see
that look coming at me dripping with teenage disdain.

"Mom... what are you doing???  Yeah, I'm cute.  So what?"

"Bored now."
(Tell me someone gets that and I'm not just a big nerd.)

The spray of dried up maple leaves he found next.

LOADS of fun!

And yes, the onesie reads "my way or the highway".

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Mother's Day...

It's my first Mother's Day.

Five & a half months, JJ's still kicking, I figure we gotta be doing something right, yeah?

Oh, I know I got flowers last year while I was pregnant... but it's different, somehow, now that I've actually got the kiddo in my arms and I can squeeze him.

I love his expression here, he's all like 
"Mooooom, not in front of the guys!"

I miss my mom... at least once a day I look at my son and think "HOW did she ever pull this off?" 

But I tell gotta ya, folks...
      faith in humanity has been restored this week. 

First a box the size of big tv shows up on my doorstep, sent by a friend from college, stuffed full of baby clothes.  When I got them all sorted out, I realized I won't have to buy clothes for JJ until sometime next year.  I actually *have* to put him in something new every day for a while in order to use the smallest stuff before he gets too big!  

And yes, we're taking lots and lots of pictures.

Then Friday came, with D's basket of survival goodies, and once again, I bawled.  I mean messy, snotty, red-eyed sobbing, y'all.  

Then Mommyland posted the link I sent them to their Facebook page.  I didn't even see it at first, until I was all "um... why are my page views suddenly going through the roof???", and I looked, and I tell you people, my jaw hit the freaking floor.  I called a friend to do the OMG dance, and yeah, the girlie shrieking was pretty epic.  The phrase "my day just can't GET any better" was repeated several times.

Saturday I got a card from another Mother Pucker, and again I did the face down in my arms weepy thing.

B from New Jersey...  YOU so totally rock!

That afternoon, my husband came home with this little treasure.

"My Wife: A Wonderful Blessing In My Life

I'm glad
it's Mother's Day
because special days
like this
remind me
how fortunate I am
to have your love
and you...

I could not 
have been blessed
with a more wonderful wife
than you.

Happy Mother's Day
with Love

God Bless the New Mommy, Love

Yeah... more sniffling.   Forget a tissue, this week has run me through the whole box.

This morning... JJ decided he was NOT INTERESTED in his nap.  Little monster screamed and whined, and I finally gave up and just handed him to his father.

And then he smiled at me.  Grrr.

Little monkey has the most infectious smile.  He grins that little grin at you, and no matter how irritated you were, you cannot HELP but smile back.  


I give.  He wins.  

We all love the punkin!  Best Mommy-Day Prezzie ever!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Some days, "Thank You" just doesn't cover it...

Okay, so you read Mommy Blogs.  Obviously, or you wouldn't be here.  (Because seriously, it can't possibly be me, right?)  Well, if you read Mommy Blogs, then you very likely are familiar with Rants from Mommyland, the awesome, creative, kind, and ever-hilarious Happy Hookers.

The ladies at Mommyland put together a little pay-it-forward style project last Christmas, matching up mommies in need of a little help, a little love, with mommies who had it to spare.  It was such an insane success that they decided to do it again for Mother's Day, calling it the Mother Pucker Project.

I sent them an email.  I figured, hey, why not, the worst that can happen is nothing, right?

A few days went by, then a week, and I didn't hear anything back, so I figured my mail got lost in the shuffle or something, and did my best not to be disappointed.  After all, who really goes out of their way to make some total stranger happy for Mother's Day?


I was wrong.

Mea culpa.  
(For those not familiar with Latin... think "Oopsie!  My bad!!")

This morning, my mother in law handed me a package.  A darned heavy package.  I wrinkled up an eyebrow and thought "I didn't order anything!"

Then I saw the return address.

I didn't recognize the name.  

I blinked... thought... and remembered the Mother Pucker Project.  And immediately started tearing up.

I got a knife, carefully opened the box, and stick a fork in me, I was DONE.

"Mother's Survival Kit"

Each item in that basket came with a meaning attached.  They ranged from "Velcro - for when you need to get a grip" to "Bath Salts - to 'take you away'.  You deserve a quiet break."  The stuff itself?  Some cute, some useful, some entirely frivolous, but what really got me was the thought and effort that went into every little piece.  The printed sheet you see there is a copy of Don't Carpe Diem from Momastery, and it's awesome, I highly recommend that you read it.  Substitute your particular consuming occupation for motherhood and it applies to pretty darned near every walk of life.

The book... is a journal.  I gave it the title "Mother's Hideaway" in my best calligraphic hand, and this is what I wrote, with tears sliding down my face.

Today, a stranger was kind.  A stranger lifted me out of a content moment an into a moment so intensely happy that I could not stop the tears from falling.  A stranger reminded me that it's okay to not be perfect, to not get everything done, to walk away from my (FINALLY) sleeping child, curl up into a little ball, and sob with frustration and fatigue.  A stranger told me there will be better days ahead, and gave me tools for surviving the hard days that are here now.

A stranger, who will never see my face, said I was worthy of motherhood.

Fit for the journey.

Up to the task.

That I would make it.

Her name is D_____.

Some days... "Thank you" just doesn't cover it, ya know?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Get. Over. It.

For several months now, I've been getting nudged.

You know.  That nagging feeling in your spirit when you know you really need to address something, but it's scary or difficult or uncomfortable or just plain inconvenient, so you keep putting it off.

In my case, it has to do with old hurts.  Bruises of the heart, so to speak, and the fact that I've hung onto quite a few for far too long.

It started with a friend request from a person I hadn't thought of in almost a decade.  A person who went to high-school with me.  A person who, at the time, seemed to go out of their way on a daily basis to make my life as miserable as possible.

I physically flinched when I saw the name and picture.

And almost without deciding to do it, I clicked Accept.

God only knows why.

Turns out this person grew up.  Wised up.  Found out that the things that helped them in high-school... popularity, looks, y'all know the type... weren't quite as useful in the adult world without some substance of person to back them up.

Turns out this person grew into a pretty damned nifty adult.

They have a spouse.  And kids.  A beautiful family.  

And I still cringe in my soul every time I see that name on my feed.

Oh, this person isn't the only one.  There are several, in fact, now that I've bothered to notice.  People I was Facebook friends with out of a morbid curiosity, a petty, mean-spirited need to gloat because the skinny ones got fat, the mean ones got hurt, the ones that snarked about my single mother got divorced, etc.  

About this time last year, I cleaned most of those out of my friends list, because it wasn't doing me any good and I never talked to them anyway.

But there are people left from my high-school years.  A couple I love, most that I liked, and some that held the dubious honor of "They didn't pick on me."  A teacher or two who saw what was going on and did nothing to stop it, never mind the reason.  Even a few people I truly detested.  And it's that last category that is the cause of the nudging.  Because while I absolutely loathed the sight of them in 2001, eleven years later, the ones I still keep track of all seem like they might actually be neat people.  People I might call friend in real life if we met now, instead of when we were all ten to fourteen and hormonal and stupid.

And I realized something... I have a little child watching my every move now.  A child to whom I will  soon have to explain the concept of forgiveness.  Of turning the other cheek.  Of choosing your battles wisely.  Of first removing the beam from your own eye before you point out the speck in another's.  Of letting it go.

How am I going to teach that... if I'm still dragging around drama and pain and grudges from eleven to eighteen freaking years ago???  (Yeah, went to the same school from fifth grade on up.)

Short answer:  I can't.

It's not possible, because he will sense it.  He may not understand at first, but he will sense that the words in Mommy's mouth and the feelings in Mommy's heart don't match.



I remember those moments, when I could hear my mother saying "Share!" or "Turn the other cheek!" or "Is it really worth being upset over?" or "Tell your brother you forgive him" ... but her face and voice and body were really saying "I had to do it, and I hated every minute, so why am I making them do the same things?????"

Don't want to be that mom.  Of course teaching my kids to be unselfish, slow to anger, able to manage their feelings, and able to let go of emotional baggage is super important.  But in order to teach them, I have to do it first.

So while I can't promise to let the hurt feelings and childish thinking go overnight, I am making a choice, right now, to start trying.  To consciously put away the memories of hurt, the feelings of vindication and justice served when bad things happen, to be happy for folks' happiness, to feel pain for their sorrows, to just get over it and let us all be adults.

*deep breath*  Here goes...

If you teased me over my glasses, braces, frizzy red hair...

If you stole my book and threw it down the hall between classes...

If you spread rumors about me because you knew I would withdraw instead of speaking up...

I forgive you.

If you pretended to be my friend so you could mock me with the others behind my back...

If you played nice when it came time to assign lab partners because you knew I would get it done...

If you offered me hope so you could laugh when you snatched it away...

I forgive you.

If you stood by and watched while others were cruel...

If you did nothing, because if you had spoken up they would have turned on you...

If you were the teacher who saw and did nothing, no matter why...

I forgive you.

And in return... I'm well aware I was incredibly difficult to be around back then, harder to befriend, harder still to love.  Still am most of the time.  If I ever hurt you in any way, I offer the sincerest regrets I know how to give, and hope that you've already let that hurt go.

Have a happy life, folks.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Stranger Danger", 3-2, and other news...

Anybody who has or is planning to have children has likely read about a few of the more common six month milestones.  Little man has hit a couple of them early, and I'm bored, so here we are. *wink*

Crawling's the big one, and while JJ is trying REALLY DANGED HARD, he's not quite there yet.  He's got the motion of arms & and the motion of legs, and he's got that he needs to push up with his arms and push forward with his feet, but he hasn't quite figured out how to coordinate it all so he doesn't smoosh his face into the mattress.  It infuriates the poor guy, and I'm sitting there biting my lip because the baby rage is just that hilarious.  *I will .... NOT... laugh... at my child...  with, yes.  At, no.*

Minnows is being extremely tolerant 
of JJ using him for a stability-assist!

Last Saturday (4/28), JJ abruptly decided that he no longer needed three naps every day.  Which, despite the fact that I missed it at first and tried for the next two days to coax him into taking a third full nap, is a relief.  My little guy needs a minimum of 90 minutes of continuous sleep in order to really be alert and happy and functional.  He doesn't get it, he is a GRUMPY BEAR.  Coordinating three naps of a minimum of 90 minutes each (and no longer than an hour and forty-five) left very little room in the day for getting anything else done, and getting out of the house was difficult to the point of not being worth the effort.  = Stir-Crazy Laura.  So, after deciding on Tuesday "Okay, bug, we'll try it your way and see what happens", on Sunday I am happy to acknowledge defeat.  Oh, he was super fussy the first day, but each day he gets a little happier, a little less screechy, a little less tired, and...

... (wait for it)...

HE HAS STOPPED WAKING ME UP FOUR FREAKING TIMES EVERY NIGHT.  We're down to one middle-of-the-night feed, somewhere between one and three in the morning depending on how many times he fussed up for food after bedtime, and that, friends, is a routine I can totally deal with.  I no longer feel the daily constant need to crash on the couch every time the baby is asleep.

He's also gone back to very quick transitions into sleep, thank God.  
I LIKE letting him nurse for the first 10-15 minutes of a nap... 
he is one limp baby going into the cosleeper!

I had to get some new binkies a week or so back, when I caught JJ trying to stuff his entire Soothie into his mouth.  Yes, I know, I mentioned that particular pitfall when I reviewed the Soothie.  So when I caught JJ doing exactly that thing, I took the Soothie away, gave him one of our less than preferred binkies as a temporary fix, and ordered him some more age-appropriate binkies from the same supplier... product review coming soon!

Last, but certainly not least, "Stranger Danger" has indeed reared its ugly head.  Now, John is having some trouble with the concept... when I mentioned it to him, he looked at me like I was a little bit bats and said "I don't really see how Grandma is a stranger..."  *shakes head*  He's a guy, he's literal like that... shoulda figured.  Anyway, JJ has pretty much decided that only Mommy and Daddy are acceptable, and does the Little Screech Owl thing (but mad/sad) whenever I leave him with Grandma, even for a few minutes.   (Rest assured, I still DO, if only because I need sunlight and sexytime every once in a very great while.)

What can I say... he's my little snug-a-bug!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Just because it's cute...

So... yeah... no substance to this post what so ever... it's just too cute for words, so I had to post it.

Seriously, how adorable is my son????

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Little Screech Owl

We've been trying since before JJ was born to figure out what we want to name him.  Oh, I don't mean his everyday given name.   That was settled back in 2006.  I mean his Cherokee name.

For those who don't know us and haven't figured it out from the pictures, my husband is Cherokee, and JJ is bidding fair to look VERY like him, just with lighter coloring and a slightly upturned nose because of his mama's Irish blood.  So the subject of JJ's Cherokee name has been quite the topic of discussion.

Lately... I think he's decided for us.

On another note,  John had one of those "you know you're a parent when" moments this morning.  He came upstairs and told me that while searching the laundry room for the load of diapers he knew was down there, "Diapers... diapers..." randomly became "Spinning in the nice warm dryer, spinning, till they are done"... to the tune of "The U.S. Airforce".

*snicker*  Had to happen to you eventually, sweetheart.  

Yes.  Yes, I did have to tell on you.  *wicked grin*