Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quick... Before I Forget How To Type

I'm losing my mind.  Seriously.  I have the brain power of... I dunno. What's something that has a tiny brain?  That white thing with feathers that tastes so good next to mashed potatoes?

See what I mean?  It's getting ridiculous.  It's getting beyond ridiculous.

Exhibit A:
Twice in the last month, I've locked the keys in the car and my understanding and never-exasperated-at-my-forgetfulness husband has had to drive from the other side of town to rescue me. 

The first time, it was a little inconvenient, as it was at day care and the girls and I had to wait for Benny to get there and save us.  This consisted of Millie snoozing in the car seat, while I attempted to prevent Hazel from eating ants and pulling out all of the pansies along the walkway. 

The second time was yesterday and was kind of... a pain in the rear.  We were closing on the refinance on the house at 3 p.m.. At exactly 2:36, I packed up my stuff (breast pump, cooler, lunch containers, phone, water bottle, ice pack.... kitchen sink) and realized that I didn't have my keys with me.

And then I remembered why.

I had worked out at lunch and had to run home quickly to shower, lest the one time someone comes to the office is the day I am looking like I got beat down with the Crossfit Stick.  Even uglier than the Ugly Stick.  For sure smells worse. 

Anyway, as I was driving away from the house, I got a call from Benny telling me to bring my checkbook to the closing.  Which was in the house.  No problem... I needed to grab an ice pack for my knee anyway, so I turned the car around,  ran back in, grabbed the checkbook (and a hard boiled egg from the fridge... random) and headed back to the car.  Once in the car, I remembered the ice pack.  So, back in I went.  Where I proceeded to pour myself a glass of ice tea and head back to the car.  Again, realizing I had forgotten the ice pack, I ran back in and... grabbed my cell (which, oh yea!! need that!) and another hard boiled egg (ps... I make the worlds best hard boiled eggs... truth) AND CAME BACK OUT TO THE CAR SANS THE STUPID ICE PACK. 

So, that's what?  Four attempts?

So, when I finally got back to work, I was so flustered (and, quite frankly, amazed that I had remembered the way back to the office and didn't have to call for directions) that I grabbed my ice tea, the two eggs, the ice pack and my cell phone, stashed my wallet in my purse... and for some unknown reasons, threw it in the back seat, locked the doors on the car and headed into the office with my hands completely full. 

Because purses and bags are for wimps. And I've never been chic enough to pick out a cool bag/purse that doesn't look like something I bought at the market cuz it was on sale for $5.  Let's face it... I actually did buy it at the market for $5.

Oh, right... and along with my wallet, I threw the keys in the purse.  So that puts them.... in the backseat. 


But that's nothing compared to my inability to retain even the simplest information or instructions.  At Crossfit, I have to have the instructor demonstrate and explain to me at least 5 times what a thruster is.  It's a move I never learned back in the day, so it's not ingrained into my psyche like squats and hang cleans are, but it's actually a very easy lift once you get the technique down... but can I remember the technique and put it all together?  Nope.  It's been WEEKS and I still can't remember it. 

And work is the worst.  I can read something and think to myself that I need to communicate this to certain people and can nod in agreement or disagreement with an idea that is being floated around nationally and I'll think to myself:  "Self, this is important stuff.  You need to be on top of this one.  Cuz if you're not.... oooo, look!  A butterfly!"

But as soon as I turn the page, I completely forget what I just read.  And I'll have to go back and go through the same thought process... agree/disagree... stay on top of this one... blah, blah, blah.  Turn the page.  WHAT DID I JUST READ?

Try repeating that 10 times and not feeling like you're a complete idiot.

Have you ever seen a bird fly into a window in your house?  It's like that with my brain right now.  The bird is the information that I am consuming and it's flying directly into the metaphorical window protecting my brain from retaining anything other than my name, phone number and address.  And even then, I'm not always sure.  So, here's this information hitting this window... feathers flying everywhere... and I'm sitting around all glassy-eyed going:  "What was that sound?"

That sound?  That's the sound of your career imploding.  That's the sound of silence when your husband has to provide you with a word that you can't just seem to think of. 

That word being... chair. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Millie's 4-Month Update

Dear Millie,
Last week, you turned four months old.  And celebrated that little milestone with your first ear infection.  We were on vacation in San Diego and my sweet, little bundle of easy baby turned into a wake-up-every-three-hours nightmare.  You didn't have any other symptoms of an ear infection, but on a hunch I took you in and there it was.

So, the first few days of our vacation (for you and me, anyway) were rough.  But in the end, it all worked out and you have returned back to your regularly scheduled awesomeness. (Just in time for your four-month shots, but that's another story).

This last month has been a big one for you in terms of growth and development.  You are tipping the scales at 16.5 pounds and are 26.5 inches long.  You're in the 98th percentile in length and 93rd percentile in weight.  So that means that there are at least 2% of babies in this world that are taller than you.  (This is progress for our family, as your sister was in the 104 percentile at one point... which seemed to be a little abnormal.)  In other words, my four-month old is the approximate size of a nine-month-old.  No average four-month-old for you.  No siree.  Let this be a lesson to you that you are not average.

You are unique...

You are special...

You are sooooo happy!  I mean, your sister was a happy baby, but you.... well, you take the cake.  I have never heard a baby giggle as hard and as much as you do.  It's so fun to just sit on the floor with you and make faces while touching your tickle spots (your legs are extremely ticklish!) and watch you lose your mind in delight.  I especially love making you laugh when the two of us are out shopping.  When we had to go to the CVS Pharmacy in San Diego to get your meds, you and I had a lovely outing... full of giggles, coos and smiles.  In fact, the pharmacists couldn't believe that you had an ear infection.  And your laugh was so contagious, that people standing in line behind me couldn't help but smile.  I like to think that your laugh brightened up more than a few people's days that day.  In fact, a complete stranger came up to you and made you laugh.

I hope that you always have that contagious happiness, Millie.  You make every room brighter with your smile.  And you don't have to be talked into being happy or laughing.  You WANT to be happy.  You WANT to laugh.  You WANT to be just like your sister... we can see it now.  The two of you are going to gang up on us and then we'll really be screwed.

We brought out the jump-a-roo for you a couple of weeks ago.  Your sis started in the jump-a-roo when she was four months, but you seemed to be ready for it earlier.  You LOVE it.  And you play with the attachments already... it's absolutely insane how quickly you progress.  For the love!  You can already turn yourself around in it!  I don't know that Hazel ever mastered that particular skill!  You sister loves to play with you in the jump-a-roo.  This consists mostly of her getting right in your grill and laughing hysterically.  And then stealing your binkie, sucking on it and then attempting to put it back in your mouth.  Where she will again steal it and repeat the cycle.

And you love it. You truly love your sister.  And she loves you.  Has from about the time you were two weeks old.  She always wants to play with you, kiss you, hold you, feed you cereal... all things that require Mommy to monitor.  But I know that both you and she can't wait until I turn you loose with each other.  And then.... well, I hope this neighborhood city country world is ready. 

You've also learned how to roll over.  It was a sad day when that happened.  It was June 4th.  I remember because your Daddy was in Vail.  I was attempting to bathe Hazel and you were in the living room alone playing in the gym.  Your Aunt KC came over and I yelled at her to play with you while I finished bathing your sister.  That's when she yelled back:  "Um... Millie's trying to roll over."

To which I responded: "No... she's been rolling to her side a lot recently.  Usually that's how she falls asleep.  Don't worry about it!"

Approximately 20 seconds later...

"Millie just rolled over!"

Yea.  And both your Daddy and I missed it.  But, at least someone from the family got to see it, right?  Huge bummer.  But, as it turns out, you're a pretty big fan of rolling over so I like to say that the first time you actually rolled over was on June 5... in front of both Daddy and me.  We'll go with that story, mkay?

You have become quite the slobberer in the last month.  Literally.  You are a drooler, Millie Bean.  A big one.  I keep thinking that it's because you're about to teethe... as your sister had her first two teeth when she turned four-months-old... but, nope.  Nothing.  You're just an obligate slobberer.

You're still a binkie baby... although I blame myself for that.  I keep hoping that you're transition to the thumb but you get so frustrated trying to suck your thumb that I "help" by sticking the binkie in your mouth.  Which means that Mommy can't complain that she has to get up in the middle of the night to plug you back in. 

You are still hit and miss on your sleep.  Sometimes you can throw down 12 hours (your first was last night!) without a feeding.  Other times you wake up every four hours and want to feed.  I've instituted a new rule that you only get fed in the middle of the night if it's been at least 6 hours.  You're only interested in eating about 5 oz at a time.  Which is frustrating because sometimes I wonder if your sleep would be better if you would just tank up at night.  But, you're a bit of a snacker.  So, we deal. 

But, wonder of wonders... you are able to fall asleep at any time, in any place... without so much as a "How do you do?". How many times have I looked over at the gym where you were busy playing and laughing... to discover you are sound asleep?  How many times do your Daddy and I say to one another:  "Millie's asleep again."?  Too many to count.  It's hilarious how you can just fall asleep like that! 

You are such a fascinating baby, Millie.  You really are.  This morning, I went in to your room at 8 a.m. to see if you were asleep or at least stirring so I could feed you and you were just laying there... completely awake... just enjoying being.  And your face lit up when you saw me.  I felt my heart melt right then and there.

I know that these moments are fleeting.  I know that by this time next year you're probably going to be throwing temper tantrums like your sister (ah.... the divine comedy of being a toddler!) so right now, all I want to do is cuddle with you and rock you to sleep.  I want to make you laugh so I can ingrain that sound of pure happiness into my brain.  I want to make you smile so I can take a mental snapshot and think of it when I'm not with you.  I want to watch as you and your sister interact and capture those moments in my heart and be grateful at how blessed I am as a mother to witness such things. To know that I gave birth to two such special and amazing spirits.  That I'm raising a little family.  That I'm in charge of helping you make it through this world.  That I have a responsibility to help you become whatever it is that you're destined to become.

I hope and pray that I don't totally screw it up.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zero Sum Game

Today, I officially got my butt handed to me.  Not by the guy at Crossfit.  (Yes, yes.. I am currently drinking the kool-aid)  No.  That wouldn't shred my pride and my confidence in myself into teeny, tiny ribbons that a cat then comes along and poops on.  He just made my abs hurt in a way they haven't hurt in years.  But I can recover from the physical pain.  No problem.  Bring on the physical pain!  It's the mental pain that hurts the most.  And being a parent?  Most of the time it's a mental pain. 

The butt handing was done by my 19-month-old terror toddler.  Hazel, if you're reading this, the reason it's NOT a letter will become clear in 3-2-1....


So, Hazel's been pretty sick for the last week or so.  She started a cough last Wednesday... nothing too bad.  Runny nose.  The usual. And then Saturday, she woke up at 3 a.m. with a temp.  No bueno.  Same thing Sunday and Monday.  We couldn't keep her temp down.. and it hovered between 101-103 for most of the day.  And honestly?  HONESTLY?  She was a freaking angel.  Probably because she was too hot to do that much complaining.

Well, her fever finally broke Tuesday, but she still has the cough and runny nose.  Only now, she's also got the whole I'M GOING TO MAKE MOMMY'S HEAD EXPLODE disposition and really.... SHE'S NAILING IT.

Internet, you should see the house right now.  It done be tore up. And do I care?  Do I give a tiny rat's ass?


You know why?  Because right now, at this very moment, it's quiet.  It's peaceful.  I hear birds singing.  I hear rain on the roof.  And I'm not even upset that it's raining.

YOU KNOW WHY?  Because I can hear the rain. Which means that I'm NOT hearing the constant, never-ending, nails-on-a-chalkboard, head-exploding, brain-matter-splatting, face-melting, hair-curling, throw-ourselves-on-the-floor whining/crying that has assaulted my ears from the moment The Bird woke up this morning.  The same noise I heard for the entire 45 minutes it took for her to eat breakfast which consisted of applesauce a banana and toast.  45. MINUTES.  The same noise that I heard for the next 38 minutes that it took to wrangle her into her outfit and shove her into her car seat so that she could go to day care and magically transform into the little girl that everyone at day care wants to take home.

The same noise I heard the very second we crossed the threshold of the house when we got home from day care.  The same noise I heard when I gave her dinner and she promptly took her spoon and threw applesauce in her eye.  HER OWN EYE.  The same noise I heard when I attempted to get the applesauce out of her eye/hair/ear.  The same noise I heard when I took the applesauce away after she threw it at me... on the other side of the room.  The same noise I heard when she slid out of her booster seat and then proceeded to roll on the ground... refusing to stand up or take some Tylenol... prefering instead to roll under the chair, hitting her head repeatedly on the chair leg.  The same noise I heard when I wiped her nose... I theorize that the boogers are actually a manifestation of the evil that has taken over her soul and is now seeping out of her body, looking for the next unsuspecting victim.  Seriously, something is wrong with this child.  Perhaps the demon inside her woke up with a hangover and really needs some painkiller.  WHO KNOWS?  All I know is that this noise... IT. MUST. STOP.

I subscribe to an email service called the Daily Groove. Often when I read the insights into parenting that it has to offer on any given day, I just know that somehow, someway, the author has Google Earthed our family and somehow can see inside our house every morning and evening.  It speaks to me. And I feel like I'm better able to parent.


I have decided that for every positive, there is a negative.  For every time I want to pat myself on the back for not losing my cool, there's a day like today... where I have to stand on the porch and scream.  And it's not like I can just scream and go about my business like I could do if I was in an isolated area like the farm where I grew up.  Oh, no.  You scream around here and people come over to check on you.  What makes this even more egregious is that they're normally not bearing gifts like cookies.

Or tequila. 

But, I digress.

I believe that opposites can coexist.  In peace and harmony.  And can showcase ideals, as well what we in the business of being a parent like to call REALITY.  This is why I'm starting a new series on the blog:

The Daily Grave.  

As in: Hazel/Millie buried me today. I mean it, they PUT ME IN MY GRAVE. 

The inaugural Daily Grave is brought to you by two very tired, shell-shocked parents.  One of whom is hungover from the motion sickness meds he took this morning.

Today's Daily Groove: No Problems.

Today, try letting go of the idea that conditions "should" be different than they are. Simply accept
them... But don't confuse acceptance with defeat. You can be accepting and still desire change. And change happens easily when you're at peace with What Is.

Today's Daily Grave: 99 Problems... And My Toddler Is All 99 of Them.

Today, when your toddler lets loose the demons deep within her soul, try not to take it personally.  But most importantly, don't let her see you cry.  Cuz then she wins.  And raising kids?  A zero sum game. YOU HAVE TO WIN EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Crying?  There's no crying in parenthood.  At least until the kiddos go to bed.