Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Love this girl. Love her blog. So naturally when she asked me to guest blog for her I was super stoked. I'm blogging about finding your "youness" and my bush even gets an honorable mention. So go check her out and show her some bloggy love. Check us both out at Exploits of a Military Mama. She also has a great month of fluff for all of you cloth diapering mama's.
This won't be the last you see of her either because she'll be featured here soon. I love getting other women's perspective on motherhood and with an adorable baby boy and a deployed husband she still manages to keep her shit together and her sense of humor.
Posted by Melissa G. at 5:47 AM
Monday, April 26, 2010
There are plenty of things about motherhood that I'd like to forget, poop geysers, 2 hour sleep intervals, screaming fits. However, there are many more things that I don't want to forget. But I know that my brain has been turned to swiss cheese so I figure I can write it all down here.
- How soft the inside of her palm is when she rubs my face during her nighttime bottle. She just carefully caresses my face as she drifts off to sleep.
- The way she nuzzles her head into my neck when she's sleepy. She's not squirming trying to get free, she's content and quiet. I can feel her heart beating and her shallow breaths. Gets me every time.
- Those belly laughs. When I smell her stinky feet or cover her with a blanket and then uncover her real quick. It's like food for the soul.
- When she accomplishes something new, like crawling or pulling herself up to a stand and she gets this look on her face like she just saved the world. I love it. She's so proud of herself.
- First thing in the morning when I go into the nursery and her face lights up like a Christmas tree. This is always my favorite time of the day, just so long as it's not before 6 am.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
1. Captain Feathersword from the Wiggles is starting to look pretty darn sexy in his eye patch.
2. You haven't worn your "favorite shirt" in months because you're saving it. Maybe the Pope will just come to town.
3. You wish your real life friends were more like Kai Lan.
4. You go through your entire day without a thought in your head because you're functioning in machine mode.
5. You count the minutes until bed time.
I can check off all of the above so Andy and I have decided that we need a vacation. This summer we're going to rent a house down the Jersey Shore. We're thinking either Long Beach Island or Ocean City. We figure Isabella will love the beach and the boardwalk and we'll love the change of scenery. I can't wait.
Posted by Melissa G. at 1:38 PM
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I need to preface this post by saying that I absolutely love my husband. He's a wonderful father, husband and provider for our family. But the man certainly knows how to get under my skin and not in a "Oh, I want to rip your clothes off kind of way." The thing of it is, whenever we argue it's always about the same thing. Who does what.
I feel that even though I work full time the bulk of the housework still falls on my shoulders: dusting, sweeping, mopping, laundry, organizing, and straightening up. Also I feel like when we're both home together, I take care of the baby more than he does. He'll sit around and play with her, but he always manages to have an errand to run or have to go to the bathroom right around nap time or when the smell of poop is in the air.
His argument is that he works a lot of overtime, which he does, but he totally wants to. I never ask him to work overtime. The extra money is nice but I would never ask him to give up a day off. He also says that he does do housework, like taking out the garbage, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the stove, laundry here and there (which he'll leave in the dryer for 2 days and let it get all wrinkly before he puts it away, unless of course I get to it first which I usually do...you see where the argument goes right?), and big house projects like a blown lightbulb or painting.
Where we really don't see eye to eye is the time frame in which the work needs to get done. He'll let dishes languish in the sink and keep the bathroom unpainted for a week (seriously!). I do my chores weekly, if Andy gets to them in the month he thinks he's a hero. It drives me nuts. But there's no talking to him. He's so convinced that he's Mr. Wonderful, although in his defense he says the same thing about me.
I'd say we have this argument about once a month, we already had it this month, so I'll let you know how it turns around in May.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Reward: Creating an awesome event in the way that you envision it and getting ready to start a new chapter of your life with someone you love.
Challenge: I don't know if I'm missing the wedding planning gene, but I hated planning a wedding. It was stressful, expensive, and way too attentive to details for my taste. I didn't care if my linens were bordeaux or burgandy. I would have hopped on a plane and gotten married cliffside in some foreign locale.
Reward: Getting to build a life together and create a home. Living with your best friend and learning to love each other in a whole new way while still cultivating your independent self. And let's be honest, in the beginning it's so much fun to play house.
Challenge: For me it's socks. Socks everywhere. Put them in the damn hamper. But honestly, that first 6 months were a rough adjustment. He had lived on his own for 5 years and I had never lived on my own. Finances were a big issue for us. He understood what it meant to have bills and I didn't. He resented my blaze attitude about money and I resented his tight ass ways. It was a source of constant arguing. But it passed. But seriously, the socks.
Reward: Getting to carry around your growing bundle of joy without giving up the use of your arms.
Challenges: heartburn, hemmies, and cellulite.
Stage: Newborn-3 months
Reward: A teeny tiny snuggly baby who is so brand new it makes your heart ache.
Challenge: Lack of sleep and massive anxiety. Like what the hell did I get myself into? I don't know what this kid wants and why she's crying. Someone please rescue me and give me my old life back!
Stage: 3-6 months
Reward: An interactive baby who is developing like crazy. Smiles, coos, and babbles. The messy fun of trying solids and the establishment of a routine (which has been heavenly for us in this household).
Challenge: Still some night waking in our case and teething, which is the devil. Also, we had a bout of stranger anxiety at this stage.
Stage: 6-10 months
Rewards: Are to many to count. This has been a time when I felt that we have thrived. Everyone is sleeping and she's consistently napping. It seems everyday she's learning something new and she's into everything. She's so much fun.
Challenges: She's crawling like crazy right now. And she's realized that there's life beyond the area rug in our living room and has discovered that she can crawl into the kitchen. Staring at her reflection in the stove is very entertaining. The days of letting her play on the rug while I do laundry are gone.
I can't wait to see what the next stages are, I'm sure they'll involve walking and talking.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
As a brand spanking new mom I've faced tons of anxiety in my journey. How do I bathe this wriggly, slippery little nothing? Has she eaten enough? When is this skeevy belly button husk gonna fall off? We've all been there right? But now I'm facing a different kind of anxiety...hers.
When she was around 6 months or so, she went through a phase of stranger anxiety. She'd lose it if someone 3 blocks down so much as thought about looking at her. And I'm not talking about hiding her face in my neck, I'm talking an out and out meltdown. However, that quickly passed and now she'll happily let strangers talk to her and even touch and hold her (I'm not talking about strangers on the street here holding my kid, I mean people I know that are strangers to her).
However, now we have a different conundrum. Separation Anxiety. It started right after I went back to work after my heavenly 11 day vacation. She would cry whenever I left the room. But sometimes I need to leave the room. Like when I'm by myself at night and I need to draw her bath and get her bottle ready. I put her in her crib so she doesn't try to climb the walls and the second I'm out of the nursery I hear big loud cries. Also, on occasion I need to use the bathroom.
She doesn't want me to hold her or even play with her necessarily, what she wants is to see me. She doesn't give me a hard time in the morning when I leave I think because Andy is usually giving her a bottle or she's occupied with a toy or still asleep.
I'm hoping this passes quickly because it's a little, um, awkward trying to do your business with a squirming almost 10 month old.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
When I left NYC to move to the suburbs (ish) I was sad for all that I was leaving behind, my friends who lived only a few minutes away, a ten minute commute, and the noise. It was difficult to get used to sleeping in the quiet since I had lived in an apartment under the El since I was 7. But I was also really excited because I thought that I would finally have those neighbors you see on TV. The kind that have coffee together and bring each other welcome baskets. I had lived in my apartment in Brooklyn for 17 years and I didn't know any of my neighbors.
Sure I knew whose bell to ring if one of them blocked me in during alternate side of the street parking. I knew who to give the stink eye to for leaving their barking dog out all night, but I don't think I knew any of their names. Kinda sad huh? But things were sure to pick up, I was moving to Jersey (not the Snooky Jersey though) people were nice there right?
Our first day moving in no do-gooding neighbors came to bid us welcome. That's fine, they probably just thought we were too busy. The next day came and went and still no homemade muffins in a beautiful wicker basket. Were they all on vacation? No, I saw their cars. Did they instinctively know I was from Brooklyn and therefore sentenced to be an outcast? No that's impossible, they hadn't spoken to me to hear my accent.
No one ever came. Over the years I've developed a cordial relationship with my neighbors. Although I don't know their names.
There's Angry Asian Lady who lives right next door. She has a piss poor attitude. She never wants to say hi to me or give me the obligatory head wave. But she always says hi to Andy. I'd think she wants him if she weren't married to the man we've dubbed Lance Armstrong.
Lance Armstrong can either be seen doing one of two things, riding his bike in his skin tight bicycle shorts or walking his two yappy dogs 50 times a day. He says hi sometimes, but he's less likely to ignore me when I say hi than his Angry wife is.
Then there's Disco Larry. Disco Larry lives across the street and finds it very important to blast his "UNTZ UNTZ" music at 1 am on a Tuesday. Is it unneighborly to call the cops on your neighbor repeatedly?
Then there's the Church Couple who live a few houses down. I swear the only time I see this family is on Sundays in their Sunday finest. They seem very nice, an older couple with a daughter who seems to be maybe in Jr. High School.
There is an exception to my neighborly trouble. Frank who lives next door has become very friendly with Andy. They watch games together and he's borrowed a pot once to cook for his girlfriend.
Maybe the next neighborhood will fare better for me.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Everyone is addicted to something right? Sex, drugs, alcohol, technology, food, etcetera, etcetera. I have an addiction. It's candy. It's so bad. I just love it. I'm not talking pectin based chewy fruity candy; I'm talking good old fashioned chocolate. And not that "high in antioxidants, good for you" dark chocolate, I mean caramel chocolate. Chocolate with nouggat. Chocolate with almonds. I'm salivating.
I know that I should want to eat things that are natural and beautiful and good for me. I should want things that make me healthier. And I do, most days. I'll sit and eat steamed veggies, brown rice, and a grilled chicken and be satisfied. Maybe not fulfilled, but satiated. But then thoughts start creeping in. "One little Cadbury Cream egg." "Just a fun sized tootsie roll." "Just a little sweet after dinner."
If I could stop at just a little taste, I'd be fine. But one sugar filled treat turns into 3 or 10. I have no will power, no self control. If I'm on a new health kick, I might not think about candy for a week or even a month, but then I'll spot some sticky fingered kid with brown chocolate spots smeared on her face and I'll get weak.
Why can't candy be good for you? You know, like vitamins or kegals? If you don't share my candy affliction just sub in your vice for the word "candy" and "chocolate"
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I've been meaning to write this post for a long time, but every time I sat down to write it, I couldn't quite catch the stories that I wanted. But I had enough pussyfooting around and decided to just write them as I remember them.
I've been teaching for 5 years and kids really do say some super funny things. So I decided to write down some funny conversations I've had with my students over the years.
Once I was conferring with a student, Dana, and I saw another kid, Yaire, waiting patiently next to me for me to finish. Dana was asking me how to spell the word yellow. "Where do you think you might look around the room to find that word?" I so expertly guided. Her little face lit up,"On the crayon!" As she started her writing, I turned to Yaire who said, "I don't need help anymore" and scurried back to her seat. At the end of the workshop I sat down next to Yaire to see what she had written and on her paper it said "My hair is crayola." I nearly died.
In Social Studies we were talking about children in the class who had family in different countries, Jodsina raised her hand and said, "My father comes from the country of Philadelphia and he speaks Philadelphian." Okayyyyyyy.
We had a reading teacher who used to come in once a week to work with a struggling group of readers. One day she was absent because she was in a little fender bender so when I told the class that she wouldn't be in that day because she had an accident, one little boy raised his hand and said, "Isn't she too old to pee in her pants?"
I'm sure there's so many more, but these are the ones that stick out to me. Kids sure are funny. I wonder what kinds of things Isabella will say when she starts talking. Hopefully, "Thank you" and "I'm sorry"
When Beth Davis contacted me about writing a short story about parenthood for an anthology I couldn't wait to contribute. Hopefully this is something that you're interested in too. If you are click here, but make haste because the deadline is April 15th. I'm almost finished with mine!
Posted by Melissa G. at 4:21 AM
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I don't care that Cadbury Cream Eggs are a boat load of calories, they are delicious Easter treats and I'm eating every last one of them.
I don't care that I'm not crafty. If I want a blanket I can buy one and if I want something that looks homemade, I can go on etsy or pester one of you crafty followers to help me out. I used to get really bummed that I couldn't sew a button, but I'm letting that go. I'm not crafty and that's the end of it.
I don't care that "irregardless" isn't a real word. They say it in Mean Girls and it's so much fun to say and sometimes it really just fits the situation.
I don't care that I'm not a dog person. I had a dog and he was awesome and then he died and that really sucked. But besides him I've never cared for dogs. I'm sure the unconditional love is awesome, but I have enough poop to shovel around here and thankfully Isabella doesn't shed.
I don't care that there are enough dust bunnies under my bed to start a little dust bunny reality show, if I can't see them then it's like they don't exist.
I don't care that I'm in my twenties and watching the Golden Girls, those gals crack me up.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I feel like we are at a tricky developmental stage right now. She's an awesome little crawler and I just love watching her scoot around on all fours to get where she needs to go. Although, I will say that my girl is a tad bit lazy and only crawls to get to a toy that she can't reach or something that I've taken away that she's not supposed to have. She's not a "recreational crawler", in fact she'll crawl a few feet, put her head down and take a rest and then keep on trucking. It's adorable to watch. I'll try to get it on video, but usually when I pull out the camera she either stops and stares at it or lunges for it.
She's also getting really good at pulling herself up on the couch and on the TV set (which is a big no-no), but is having a difficult time couch walking. She gets so frustrated when she can't stand up on her own. She gets all red in the face and she yells.
She's in between. She can crawl around on the floor and pull herself on up, but she can't quite stand without assistance or walk around freely. She'll get there, and hopefully take her time doing it. I guess part of parenting is letting them learn on their own and not rush in to help them every time they falter.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Easter was great. We had such a good time. We went to my in-laws for dinner, but my parents and sister come too which is great. Isabella was charming as hell and let everyone hold her and play with her. I didn't load up the pics we took today, but I do have her professional pics.
Posted by Melissa G. at 6:02 PM
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I am a To-Do List junkie. I have one for work and one for home. If I do something that's not on the list, I write it on the list just so I can cross it off. Since I'm on vacation for a week and a half (yay!), my To-Do list was so long I had to type it. This makes me simultaneously efficient and lame.
However, my lists are starting to take over my world. I lay awake at night thinking about all the things on them: Clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, sort the mail, pack away Isabella's winter clothes, etcetera, etcetera. And the thing of it is that it's never *really* finished because once everything is finished and crossed off, it's time for a new list.
It's like these endless and massive Lists have a choke hold on me and I want to be released. I shouldn't be thinking about the sink full of dishes that are waiting for me while I'm giving Isabella her bath. I should be relishing the splashes and squeals. Because when I'm giving her a bath I'm not able to do the dishes, but I'm not fully present with her either and nobody wins.
I need to find some ways to streamline my laundry list of things to be done and get more organized. So how do you busy ladies keep your lives from running over? How do you become more present in your lives? How do you not care that the dishwasher needs to be unloaded before the dishes get that "been sitting in the dishwasher too long smell?" (this is true, try it and you will see).
Thursday, April 1, 2010
If I can see it, I want to touch it.
If it's dangerous, I want to touch it.
If it's electronic and it glows, I want to touch it badly.
If I'm not supposed to touch it, I want to touch it right now.
If it's valuable, I want to touch it and break it.
If I can touch it, I want to eat it.