Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Just Not Me

The other day I was clicking through some other mom blogs just for the fun of it. I couldn't help but be shamed by the crafty, organized mothers out there who make their own cloth diapers while wrangling, you know, twenty small children. I, to say the least, am not that organized. Sometimes, when I see something misshapen and green crawling out of the refrigerator, I wonder if I will ever be able to catch up on my daily household chores. The ones where I actually wash the dishes instead of watching them slowly solidify into a crusty mound in the sink. Good thing my hubby does dishes (God bless him)!

It's shameful because I only have one child, who is most definitely not high-maintenance. In fact, she can entertain herself quite well when the need arises. It's just that I have a hopeless aversion to dish washing, toilet bowl scrubbing and vacuuming. I do them (every blue moon or so); I just don't like to. Same goes for being all crafty and making my own baby clothes or hand carving my daughter's crib from a tree cut out of our own backyard. It's just not me.

Lest you think that I am the laziest person that ever walked the planet, I do enjoy scrapbooking and recording my daughter's milestones in a handy little book my mom gave me. Which reminds me I need to write about her seven month milestones before she hits eight months. Could get confusing after that. One day my daughter will be able to look back and say, "My mama may have let the dishes pile up and the toilet turn green, but she didn't forget when my first tooth came in, or what day I was born on!"

First and only page of CiCi's scrapbook. It takes awhile for ideas to germinate. In this case 3 or 4 months.

Incredibly, adorable baby blankie made by my MIL for CiCi. I love her and hate her at the same time. Note the rings attached to the ribbons around the edge of the blanket. Too cute! And CiCi loves it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Great Naptime Conundrum

To nap, or not to nap? That is the baby's question. The mommy's question is: to take Excedrin Migraine, or to take Extra Strength Advil? Once upon a time, in a happy animated land far away, the baby went down for a nap and slept like a little angel. Now our naptime routine goes something like this:

Baby begins rubbing eyes and whining. Generally, a miss crabby pants.

Mommy determines that Baby is ready for nap. Mommy puts crabby pants, I mean Baby, in crib and tucks in with sweet kisses.

Mommy leaves room. Advanced screaming begins. Mommy waits. Advanced screaming continues. Mommy returns to retuck Baby and display peace offering (see Pacifier).

Mommy leaves room. Baby opens Gates of Hell. Mommy waits. Baby sobs (see pathetic).

Baby becomes quiet. Mommy sighs with relief. Ten minutes pass in somber rejoicing.

Baby unleashes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Mommy waits. Baby continues after short lull for pathetic sobbing. Mommy ponders "Scene of Mommy Warrior Returning to Rescue Baby from Terrible Naptime Horror"

Doors begin to rattle. Mommy gives up because Excedrin has worn off and Baby is apopleptic (may burst blood vessel if allowed to continue). Upon seeing Mommy, Baby appears like innocent, non-verbally abusive infant.

Mommy pops more Excedrin.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lil' Orphant Emory

We have five cats. This may not seem like a big deal, but up until Saturday evening we only had four. And we were definitely not planning on having anymore. I mean we have a baby and a one bedroom house. Four cats are too many as it is! Never mind all that though, because we have five cats.

I will never again suggest to my husband that we go driving around town for the fun of it. It only leads to trouble I tell you. Trouble and five cats! How can one see a tiny kitten in the middle of the road and not stop? You can't see any houses in sight and the kitten is as scrawny and bedraggled as they come. You just stop in the middle of the road, get out of the car, and take that kitten home with you. Then you spend two days (make that three days) giving that kitten bath after bath with baby shampoo and a flea comb so you can pick off the one trillion fleas that are crawling all over it. You also have to schedule an appointment with the vet because the kitten has worms and ear mites. A walking parasitic infection is what it is.

Now she is family and we've named her already. She lives in our bathroom. Our one and only bathroom, which I miss having all to myself. Oh, well. We're looking for a bigger place anyway. We'll just have to factor in space for two adults, one baby, and FIVE CATS. Welcome to the family little Emory.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Messes, Milestones, and Mud Wrestling

CiCi is three months old. It seems like just yesterday she was the size of a peanut in my belly and making me nauseous all day long. Now she's relatively the size of one of my cats and talking gibberish to her red Lamaze elephant. How time has flown. Though I still seem to be stuck in a rut. I wear either a pair of very tattered jogging pants everyday, or, if I want to look nominally human, a pair of hated maternity pants. It's not that I can't wear my prepregnancy jeans, it's just that they're too tight on the belly to be comfortable right now. Maybe soon, I'll be dancing around a bonfire in the backyard whilst tossing maternity pants into the flames with abandon. Sounds like a plan for the Fourth of July!

The house is also in a rut as it has not seen the right end of a vacuum cleaner, dust rag, or broom for quite some time. When I have free time I'm often thinking of either taking a nap, taking a chunk out of the endless mound of laundry or eating some breakfast, which is actually lunch, because I don't get to eat till afternoon. The house is slowly being overrun with furballs. I'm thinking I should start collecting them and making sweaters for the winter. If I don't soon, CiCi will be old enough to start collecting them, and I don't think you can give hairball medication to a baby.

During some of my free time, spent not cleaning my house I've been reading the occasional parenting blog. It's fun to read about the trials and tribulations of other parents. The only problem I find is that parents, mothers in particular, are very competitive. There's the breastfeeding v. bottle feeding argument, the spanking v. time-out argument, and the homeschooling v. public schooling argument. To name a very few. I'm sure this will become a reality TV show soon. I picture women in their late twenties to mid-thirties wearing bikinis and aprons throwing themselves at each other in a giant mud pit while screaming, "I breastfed little Johnny for three years!" and "I never raise my voice at my children even when I'm menstruating!" I'm sure it would be a popular show and get a wide viewing audience what with the mud wrestling and bikinis. Maybe I should pitch it to a major network...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Baby Smells

Ahh, morning... the twitter of birds, sunlight drifting through the windows, the scent of poopy wafting on a gentle breeze and coming from the general direction of my soft, sweet baby girl. This is no ordinary poopy smell, either. This poopy is both stinky and slimy and sticky and monstrous. You see at some point in a baby's life they begin to create what I like to call toxic waste. Not all the time mind you, but in CiCi's case about once a day, usually in the morning between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Talk about an eye opener...

Of course, changing said diapers is much easier now that CiCi smiles and coos the entire time instead of curling the paint with blood-curdling screams as soon as air touches her bare behind. This makes the whole experience more pleasant, despite the contents of the diaper or my state of mind at the time. Of course, poopy odors do not constitute the entirety of baby aromas. Sour milk burps, wee smelly farts, and milky spit ups also occur on a regular basis.

But, without a doubt, my favorite baby smell is the one that magically lingers on CiCi's skin no matter what. That baby smell that one can't quite describe. Maybe it's the baby shampoo or maybe it's just her natural aroma, but it is soooo delicious! I sometimes just have to sit and drink it up while she is in my arms. I know one day it will be replaced by an older kid smell. I don't know what that smell will be, but I can't imagine it being as sweet as the one she has now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My First Mother's Day and Other New Mom Stuff

My mom and CiCi.

MIL and CiCi.

My husband must be trying to spoil me, because he showered me with gifts on Mother's Day. We went to a lovely restaurant in Highlands with my parents and my MIL. CiCi was with us too, of course. The food was great. The cards and gifts were wonderful, but, to tell you the truth, I still don't feel like a mom sometimes. I mean, all the signs of motherhood are there. You know, the flabby abs, the dark circles under my eyes, the few extra pounds of baby weight (OK, maybe more than a few). But motherhood still feels a little surreal. It could be the sleep deprivation that causes this. I look at pictures of CiCi's birth and think, "Wow! Who is that big, puffy woman with that tiny baby?"

Don't get me wrong, I love being CiCi's mommy. No doubt about it. It's just getting used to this new me. After CiCi was born the fluctuating hormones sometimes made it hard to cope with the physical and personal changes in my life. And the "encouragement" I received from random strangers and medical personnel didn't exactly help. At my six week postpartum appointment I attempted to address my weight loss concerns with my doctor, whom I actually really like. Most of the time. She said, "If you were breastfeeding I would tell that you'll lose the weight, no problem. But I don't know. Your hair, however, will fall out at six months no matter what." Gee, thanks. At least I have something to look forward to. Oh and thanks for the added guilt trip about breastfeeding. I really needed that.

The next day hubby and I were taking a walk around the neighborhood with CiCi, and we bumped into a neighbor lady. She struck up a conversation with us, and, turning to me with a meaningful look, she said,"You know I'm the Mary Kay representative for the neighborhood and we're having a meeting on Saturday. We're doing makeovers." I could feel a full blown case of postpartum psychosis coming on. I envisioned giving her a makeover with a hammer and a chainsaw.

Despite those incidents ( and a few others) I am recovering my dignity. The pounds are coming off (Ha, Dr. Potter!), and I do wear makeup when I'm not taking casual strolls around the neighborhood (Ha, Mary Kay lady!). Perhaps next Mother's Day I will be able to look in the mirror and say,"I know that lady. She's C.R.'s wife, Cici's mom, and myself. Hang, Mary Kay!"

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pictures for the Pictureless

The following are some pictures from our first few months with CiCi. I will post some more recent pictures soon. Enjoy!

Waiting in the hospital for the big moment!

Sleeping like a baby...

A daddy's girl if I ever saw one.

Squeaky clean!

Whew! Playing is hard work!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Life As Mommy

I started thinking about how much my life has changed in the past few months and realized I needed to give all my friends and family a heads up on mommyhood. I know some of you may be experiencing it in the future and you may find my mishaps and milestones inspiring. Actually you'll probably find them more amusing than inspiring. Or you might be only slightly scintillated, but at least you'll know what's going on.

My little CiCi is only two months old, but it feels like I've had her for a lifetime. This week she discovered her hands and feet. She also discovered that she likes having her Mommy hang over her crib when she goes to bed at night. She is really good at keeping one eye open to assure that I don't leave before she falls asleep.

She gets craftier by the day. She proffers her most beautiful smiles right before bedtime. I think she knows it works better than screaming at the top of her lungs. That's generally when I get on the internet to see if they auction off babies on Ebay. Even in those dark hours I am astounded by the fact that I am her mother and she is my child. God's blessings sometimes come in small, diapered packages that often spit sour milk all over my lap.