Saturday, February 27, 2010

In the Pink

The Boy has pink eye. And an ear infection. Damn new school...

And now I am in the process of calling everyone we have been in contact with over the past 24 hours or so (including BOTH of his great grandmothers, one 87 years old and one 93 years old) and warning them of the impending pink.

I feel like I was just diagnosed with an STD and I have to call all of my "suiters" to warn them of how it will soon start to burn when they pee. If only I had such an active love life...

My poor dude...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Seeking Balance

Things are shifting around here. And I am having a hard time dealing with it.

My bank account makes it very apparent to me that it is time to step it up where work is concerned. I see this every month and somehow scrape and scrimp and float and hang until the next month when I have the same conversation with myself. I have been telling all of my clients that I am looking for more work and (half heartedly) looking around online for new clients. And since I have been doing this there has been a soft chorus of "You're doing all you can..." in the back of my mind. And somehow that has made me live with the guilt and stress of being short of money. Years ago, when The Ex and I split, through the help of some very wonderful people (and some very hard work on my part) I was able to pay off all of my debt except for my mortgage. I am proud to say that I am still in that space, but I am very close to letting that slip if I don't step it up.

For whatever reason (life seems to either be feast or famine where work is concerned) all sorts of people have come out of the wood work lately and I have several new clients and old clients that all of a sudden seem to have a ton of work that needs to be done. Obviously I am in no position to turn down work so I am busier than I have been in over a year. That feeling of fear on a Monday because I am worried there isn't enough work to fill the week has turned into fear that I can't possibly accomplish everything that needs to be done during that week. I feel like from the moment my alarm goes off at 5:45am I am literally running my ass off until I fall down on the bed around 10:00pm. And it is taking its toll.

I had to talk to Peanut's daycare and start to send her on Wednesdays. This means that I literally have NO time alone with my daughter. I see her, but I only see her when her brother is around. I loved having one day where I could give her the things that her brother got to enjoy while being the first and only child for 3 plus years. I miss that. I miss her. Not only that but I am now pumping 4 days a week instead of three.

Have I mentioned how OVER pumping I am? Obviously I will continue to do it because I am committed to getting her to a year of exclusive breast feeding. Not only do I dislike it immensely, but it seriously interferes with me getting my work done throughout the day. For the past year I have been mostly working from home. Now that things are picking up again I am spending more and more time away from the house at clients' offices. It is really hard to try and work my schedule to come home every three hours to sit at the pump for 20 minutes. So between driving to and from clients all day long and trying to stop at home to pump, I am running around all day long and not billing for very many hours because of all the time spent traveling.

******

I just re-read this post and it sounds like I am a big ole whiner. I should be thrilled to have more work. I should be tremendously grateful. And I am. I truly am. I guess part of being a single parent is somehow trying to find the balance where you feel like all aspects of your life are getting the time they deserve. I don't feel that way right now. I feel like I am so busy just trying to provide for my children that I am somehow missing all of the joy that occurs just being on a daily basis. My daughter is growing up so fast. And she is my last baby. She is 10 months old. Soon she will be a year. Soon I won't have to worry about breast feeding and pumping because it will be gone. And I will never get it back. I will never get these moments back. And right now I am struggling to figure out how to really appreciate the moments that I am living instead of feeling like I am running furiously through them. I want to find out how to have enough time to work enough to provide for my family and at the same time be present and treasure the moments that I have with those very people. That doesn't seem like too much to ask but it also seems like an insurmountable goal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cybil

In pony tails...

(and for the record...she wasn't crying about the pony tails. She was crying because we had rudely taken one of the two hair brushes out of her hand...BRAT!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy 10 Months Old Peanut!

Dear Peanut,

You are ten months old. We won't even discuss how close that is to your first birthday because it makes Mommy a little choked up. Instead let's talk about all the things that you did this month. It was a big month for you. Unfortunately, you spent the majority of the month like this:
You seem to have gotten cold after cold after cold. You got one right before we left for vacation, and then you got a resurgence of it while we were on vacation. And then about a week after we got home you got another one that you are still trying to shake. It has been a long month sickness-wise. But you are a trooper when you're sick. You are the most pitiful version of yourself but you do you best to power through.

The biggest thing that happened this month was that you went on your first vacation to Hawaii. This included lots of "firsts" for you. Your first time on a plane (you are an excellent traveler. Not one cry in either direction. All of your fellow passengers thank you...):
You also got your first taste of the beach. However since every single thing that crosses your path goes into your mouth, you were not set free to roam about on the sand. But you did check it out from your stroller and from Gigi's lap. And I did walk you down to the water where you just looked at the waves like, "What the hell?" All in due time...
You also had your first experience with a swimming pool. And you LOVED it. I think you are going to be quite the fish. You were pissed off that I wouldn't let you roam freely about the stairs in the pool and looked quite confused when you went down one step and were suddenly completely under water. But it didn't phase you. You loved the whole thing. Mostly you just wanted to chew on the side of the step or chew on whatever thing you could get your hands on (not unlike your regular existence) but if it was in the pool? All the better.
You also had your first taste of Chinese (?) cuisine at Benihana. You loved that more than I have seen you love any other food. Either you were just really hungry, or else you really love some portabella mushroom and asparagus and chicken with an Asian flair. Oh and of course, you also chewed on the chopsticks...
Once we returned from vacation you settled back into life at home just fine. You were really happy to see all your toys and your very own crib. Then soon it was time for your first Valentine's Day. I tried to get a picture of you in your adorable little shirt, but every time I pulled out the camera you saw me and furiously crawled over to me to get at it, so I never got any shots of your shirt. But you sure did look cute while doing it...
You amaze me with how fast and furious you can crawl now. I swear it was just like a month ago where you were actually moving. Now you can go down the hall as fast as I walk. And in doing that you have also decided that if Mommy was going to lag in baby proofing the house, then you were going to do your best to destroy it. So after several conversations about how my laptop cords were not for your consumption Mommy finally got wise and baby proofed the living room. Now all the shelves have your toys on them and you can pull them off to your hearts content. And best of all, no one is chasing you around telling you "no" and then trying to "redirect" you. You love it!
I can't believe how big you're getting. You stand up constantly, using basically anything to pull yourself up. And you are cruising around while standing on anything you can hold onto. You have definitely mastered the "side step" but don't do quite as good yet on moving forward and backward. Hopefully that means walking is still a ways off, although you blatantly stand up and let go of your hands and stand for a few seconds before you grab back on or fall over right now so you are learning...
As you can see by your pictures, your hair is getting longer. It is now so long that if I leave it alone it will be in your eyes all day long. So I have to use a clip or a rubber band to keep it out of your face otherwise your hair will have some combination of food and snot in it by days end. The clip looks sophisticated and cute, although it usually falls out within an hour of my putting it in so lately I have been opting for the "bam bam" on top of your head look. It probably isn't your best look, but as you will learn as you grow, Mommy goes for function over style.

Your personality has really come out this month as well. You are a very strong willed little girl. I remember when I used to write these monthly letters to you and talk about how you will eat everything I put in front of you. Not so much anymore. You have distinct likes and dislikes. In terms of the pureed food you still eat you love all fruit, sweet potatoes and broccoli. But any other veggies you just clamp your little mouth shut and deny entry. I also refuse to believe this but you apparently can tell the different between frozen veggies and fresh, organic ones. I was sick and tired of buying fresh, organic carrots and standing there for an hour to peel them and chop them and then steam them...all to get like 8 cubes out of it. A friend suggested just buying frozen carrots in the bag and steaming them that way. So I did and was so amazed by how easy it was in comparison that I bought 4 bags worth and cooked them away. Now you hate carrots. I refuse to believe that your delicate little palate could possibly distinguish between frozen and fresh but it is really big coincidence that you used to LOVE carrots and now you can't stand them.

You still continue to want everything that you are not supposed to touch. Your brother's toys are far superior to your own as are the phone, the remote control and any other object that I try to keep away from you. The other day I was sitting at my desk working and you wanted to crawl under my legs to pull all the cords out of my computer. I positioned my chair in a way that didn't allow you to get under there and you tried from every different angle. When it became apparent to you that it was I that was denying you entry you sat down and looked at me and SCREAMED. You screamed so loud that I was convinced that I had rolled over your finger or something. But no. You just didn't get your way. When you scream I truly think you might be able to shatter glass. It physically hurts my ears. Your brother could never scream like that. Or he didn't. But either way, you make your desires well known.

Thankfully we seem to have remembered how to sleep this month. I appreciate that. I can now put you in your crib fully awake again and you will play for about a half an hour and then lay down and go to sleep without any help from me. That makes my life much easier, thank you. Although this past week you decided it would be a good idea to try and cut three teeth at once (only one has made its appearance as of your 10 month birthday). You were miserable and I felt really bad for you. So sleep became something that we did in between the moans that came from your bed about every 20 minutes. And then you got another cold. Teething and not being able to breathe made for a baby who didn't sleep very well at all. And therefore a Mommy who didn't sleep either. That was fun.

Your "day in the life" hasn't changed much from last month so I won't go through it all again. You are still nursing exclusively and everyday you eat more and more finger foods. You drink from a sippy cup after Mommy finally found one that you liked. You still take two naps a day (for the most part) and still go to bed around 8:00 and get up between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning.

I am amazed at the little girl you are becoming every day. I can't believe how different you are from your brother. I say that a lot but it is just an amazing thing to get to parent two children and have two completely different experiences with each. I love your strong will. I love your determination. I love that you can now crawl over to me, climb up in my lap and bury your head in my shoulder. I love the way you squint your eyes when you smile a certain way. I love the way your eyes change color and, even at 10 months old, I am not sure what color they will end up becoming. I love the way you smell, I love the way you light up a room with your presence and I love how I can see the sunshine in your eyes on a rainy day. You delight me my baby girl and I love you more than words can ever express.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If Only There Were Time...

Some of the posts running around in my head...
  • How The Boy finally seems to be adjusting/adjusted at his new school. And the process he had to go through to get here.
  • I watched A Family Is A Family Is A Family on HBO and it totally made me think. I watched those kids and how they not only knew, but were damn proud of, who they were and how they got there. And I wonder if I have given The Boy enough of an explanation of his family. I wonder if my "let him define his own emotions and boundaries and definitions" might be doing him a disservice. I constantly question how to navigate through this post-break-up, two mom (but not really cause one is more like an aunt than a mom), Gigi-more-of-a-parent type family that he lives in.
  • I am SO OVER cold and flu season. We are the house of sick. Again. And I am pretty much done with it. That, and I dearly need some sleep.
  • Peanut has a new tooth. But it isn't one of the ones that are "supposed" to be coming next. She has her two bottom teeth and the two ones on top of that are still missing. But the one next to the ones on top has popped through. And if you look at the top teeth they are swollen and WHITE and I know they are coming through at any moment. Which basically means she is cutting three teeth right now and she is miserable. And as I result, so am I. She cried and moaned last night literally every 15 minutes or so.
  • Did I mention how tired I am?
  • And finally...I would like to do a post on how I feel like I am running a marathon and I can't catch up. I feel like I am constantly chasing after my life because it just moves so damn fast. And with all that chasing I know that I am missing some of the best, quality moments that are occurring. And that makes me so angry. And I really feel like it would help if I could take the time to type it all out and get some of it out of my head.
But as usual, I don't have time. I have to put The Boy to bed and then I have two loads of laundry to fold and then I have to bring the trash cans in the house and then I have to make lunches for tomorrow and then I have to finish up some work so that I can mail some things out first thing in the morning and then I have about 5 emails that I HAVE to take the time to answer. And then, please God, then I am going to go to sleep. And pray that I can stay that way for just a few short hours.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Little Sweetness On Your Friday

I have been having a tough time getting back into the groove of working full time and leaving my kids behind after our vacation. I miss them a lot during the day. I have also been working on our Hawaii video (in my copious amounts of spare time) and I ran upon a clip of The Girl that I just had to share...

video

My daughter saying "bye bye" to Hawaii...there aren't very many things cuter in my opinion. Happy Friday everyone!

Irony

I keep telling my mom how much money we have saved (since she "helps" out on buying my groceries a lot of the time) by breast feeding.

"Formula is SO expensive..." I tell her.

Yet I just realized that I have spent a total of $900 renting a hospital grade breast pump for 15 months. (I rent it for 5 months at a time for $300 and since The Girl will be 10 months old in a week, it was time to rent it again).

Please tell me that formula for 15 months would cost more than $900...

Please...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RIP Captain

Holy shit.


Apparently he had a stroke and ultimately died from it. I am so sad for his sons and his family. How horribly sad. He was always my favorite.

Rest in peace.

Trying NOT to Pass the Torch

How do we avoid passing on our neurosis to our children?

It's a question I have been contemplating lately. I learned something on my vacation: My son gets motion sick. Specifically he gets air sick. Especially when returning to California during a storm. When the captain comes on the loud speaker and tells you that the descent into your airport is going to be particularly bumpy and for the flight attendants to please sit down and fasten their seat belts, you know that isn't a good sign.

So once we landed he barfed. And then barfed again...all over himself.

Here's the thing. I wasn't even sitting next to him. I was in the seat in front of him with The Girl. But even though it was The Boy that barfed, and even though it was my mother that dealt with the entire thing, I was completely traumatized. You see, I hate barfing more than pretty much anything else in the world. I will go to GREAT lengths to make sure that I don't do it. I can remember only one time in my adult life that I have barfed and it was when my son was 9 months old and he got some nasty flu that he passed on to everyone around him and everyone barfed. But for some reason barfing completely freaks me out. I have no idea why. I mean, I know that it isn't exactly pleasant, but it there is no need for me to obsess on not barfing as much as I do.

And when we got home from vacation, as I was trying to fall asleep in my very own bed for the first time in 7 nights all I could think about was him barfing. Not about the fabulous vacation we just had...not about him running on the beach or playing in the sand, or swimming in the pool...no. I layed there and thought about how horrible it was that he was going to have to suffer through motion sickness (like I do--thanks Dad) and if I am being totally honest, about how I was going to deal with the imminent amount of barf in my future. For the next few days every time he hiccuped or coughed or even looked at me funny I was convinced he was about to barf. I didn't want to take him in the car for fear he might hurl. My rational brain realized how absolutely ludicrous this whole thing is, but I sat there and silently obsessed. I don't know what my deal is. I really don't.

So here's the thing. I clearly have some ridiculous fear/obsession about vomiting. It seems as though my son might have some barfing in his future (re: motion sickness) and I would like nothing more that for me to NOT pass on my own neurosis about barfing to my son. Like I mentioned above, while vomiting is certainly not something I think most people would prefer to do, it isn't the horrific thing that I have made it out to be in my mind. And my son didn't have any issues. Once he barfed, he was fine. Didn't think twice about it. I want him to keep that attitude and I am doing everything in my power to not let him see that I am silently freaking out. But he's a smart cookie. He might pick up on it. And then I wonder? Why the hell am I so freaky? Did my father do some strange thing to scar me when I was a kid and that's why I am a nut job? Cause if so, I want to make sure to NOT repeat that to my own child.

So sorry that this entire post centered about vomit, but really, my real question is...if you happen to be a bit neurotic about something...anything really, how do you "break the cycle?" How do you make sure to not make your poor child a nut job like me?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back

As I sit here pumping at 6:00am for the first time in...11 days I am painfully aware that we are back. Back from vacation. Back to the grind. Back to work and school. And most of all back to having to take my babies and drop them off at their various locations while I stay alone and work, work, work.

This sucks.

Vacation is fabulous, but coming back? That's another story.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blogging from Hawaii, Day 7

The last day...sigh... Just when you get into the groove of vacation, it's time to go. I am sitting here during Peanut's morning nap packing my suitcase and looking at all of our pictures. I am so thankful that I got to have this time with my kids. I am so sad to have to leave and go back to the grind of everyday living. The Boy said to me this morning, "Mommy if I really good do you think we could stay on vacation forever?" I wish my son, I wish...

But what an amazing vacation it was. We still have all day today but as soon as we wake up tomorrow morning it is time to head back. We leave Hawaii at around 1:00pm Hawaii time and get back to California at around 9:00pm California time. We have to leave our Hotel at about 10:45am to make it all happen (remember all the STUFF we travel with from previous post?) so that will be interesting considering The Girl has gotten into the schedule of napping from 10:00am to 12:00pm every morning.

But let's not go there yet. I have another set of pictures for you all, which really, I know is the only reason you come here.

Here is The Boy and Poppy coming back up the beach with water for his sand castles. I should take a moment to have you all note how very empty the beach is. If you go anywhere on Waikiki Beach you would be hard pressed to have this much space all to yourselves. We have been VERY lucky to be able to stay on the military resort that we have privileges to because of my grandmother. When we drove to the aquarium the other day I was SHOCKED at how populated all the beaches are. My entire family is very spoiled...

My mother and I were shopping at the PX and found these matching shirts for The Boy and his Poppy...could they be any cuter?
And here is a shot of our typical evening sunset...
Yesterday my mother and I went shopping when I usually stay in the room for afternoon naps (The Girl napped in her stroller for about 45 minutes and The Boy had napped earlier while we waited for lunch). It poured down rain yesterday so the beach and the pool were out. We spent WAY too much money in this store, but ended up with some of the cutest things I have ever seen for The Girl (including this new hat).
I know a lot of you who read my blog know me and my family in real life. If you are one of those people, this will not surprise you at all. If you aren't one of those people...well this may just seem like one of the cheesiest things you have ever seen in your life, but trust me, if you knew my mother... And well, the woman does more for me than anyone could ever really imagine so I very rarely say no to her. So it was for that reason that I did not protest when she came home from her Maui vacation in October and told me she had bought matching outfits for her and Poppy and both the kids. Last night we ate dinner at Benihana at the Hilton Hawaiian Village so it seemed appropriate to don the fancy matching outfits. Behold the photographic proof...
It should be noted that when we were taking these pictures all the "kids" my age walked by and sort of smirked at the matching outfits. However all the "older generation" (my mother's age and older) stopped and commented on how adorable they outfits were and how they will treasure these pictures for all time. Again, if it makes my Mom happy...I am happy to oblige. I realized that before last night I did not have one picture of my two kids together on this vacation. Perfect opportunity...
And once I put that together it came to me that I also did not have one picture of me with my two kids. So again...make it happen (note the lack of the matching outfit, although I did don a festive Hawaiian dress to make my mother happy...)
It is no secret that my mom has a really special relationship with The Boy. But I think day by day The Girl is doing a pretty good job of worming her way into my mom's heart. It doesn't hurt that she let's her put bows in her hair and wears a matching dress... She has also learned to wave recently and is waving to me while I am snapping the picture here.
Speaking of The Girl, I should take a moment to note how brilliant she is. Not only is she waving, but she is signing to me. She has understood signs for a while now. If I make the sign for nursing she grins and crawls over to me and buries her head into my boobs and starts sucking. And just this week she started signing "all done." She knows the sign for "more" and will nod her head and open her mouth if I ask her if she wants more and she does, and if she doesn't then she will make the sign for "all done." Brilliant.

Also I discovered a few things about her eating on this trip. First of all, she hates jarred baby food. Apparently I spoiled her with all that home made stuff. But she hates it. She will tolerate a jar of fruit, but that's about it. At home she eats like 4 cubes of pureed food each meal followed by a ton of finger foods, but here she generally won't even finish an entire jar and just eats finger foods. And nurses. And nurses a lot. I don't know if it is comforting to her since we are in a strange place, or if she is making up for the pureed foods she isn't eating or what, but if she is awake, she is nursing every three hours again. I lugged the breast pump with me on vacation because she was so sick and last time she was this sick she stopped nursing because she couldn't breathe and I had to pump to give her all bottles. But not this time. I have had a week long vacation from my pump and I couldn't be happier. I am going to be so bummed to return to that pump once we get back.

Also I just have to mention that last night while eating at Benihana The Girl was hysterical. I had brought food for her but no need. She SCARFED on all the food from there. She ate white rice, fried rice, diced up asparagus, Portabello mushrooms and chicken. She was hysterical. She couldn't shovel it in fast enough. So while her brother sat quietly dipping his chop stick in a bowl of teriyaki and licking it, she was eating everything in sight. She kills me. The Boy did eventually eat all the chicken he was given but he was certainly not "shoveling it in." I love how different my two kids are. Needless to say, everyone was full after we ate and there was a battle over who got to ride back to the hotel in the stroller...
So that brings us to today. Our last day. As I mentioned, I am packing and doing laundry while The Girl is taking her morning nap right now. The Boy is down on the beach with his Gigi and Poppy making sand castles. They will be back up here around lunchtime and we will go eat something for lunch and then hit the pool for the afternoon. Yesterday it poured rain so we didn't do the beach or the pool but the weather is nice again today so we are going to live up our last day.

Thanks for following me on our vacation...I will see you all on California time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blogging from Hawaii, Day 5

Perfect vacation day for a 4 year old:

7:15am: Wake for day. Snuggle in bed with Mommy, sister and Gigi.

9:00am: Go down to beach with Gigi and play in sand.

10:45am: Walk approximately 100 yards from beach to play in playground overlooking beach. Make a new little friend and pretend he is Batman and you are Spiderman.

11:30am: Come back up to room, make lunch, collect Mommy and sister and head down to the pool.

12:00pm: Eat lunch at the pool and then play in the pool until you are so tired and cold that you are shivering. (Note: The Boy is getting SO brave. He even wore swimmy's today and floated around...this is HUGE for him!!!)

3:00pm: Come back up to the room and take nice, warm bath and have a snack.

4:00pm: Snuggle in for an afternoon nap.

5:30pm: Wake from nap and put on fancy little Hawaiian shirt and have another little snack while the "adults" have a cocktail.

6:15pm: Dinner listening to a band by the beach. Do a little dancing.

7:30pm: Walk to Honolulu Cookie Company for a little after-dinner snack.

8:15pm: While Mommy heads back up to the room to put sister to bed, you get to stay down by the beach (now back at our hotel) listening to music with "the big people."

9:30pm: Return to room and change into jammies and snuggle with Mommy and watch some TV.

10:00pm: Close eyes...drift off to sleep and dream of another perfect day tomorrow.