If you got that obscure reference, please leave me a comment.
Anyway - today I stunk my house up with Christmas cheer. I made my fabulous cheddar shortbread nuggets, and some slightly less fabulous brown sugar and oatmeal shortbread cookies. They aren't bad, the just aren't right. I might mess around with the recipe, or I might scrap the whole idea and stick with the cheddar shortbread. We'll see. All I know is I've blown through five pounds of butter today and I am tired.
And a little sick. I accidentally tasted way too much dough. And obviously I had to taste the finished products... Now I want to vomit.
The child did not make baking easy. Instead of getting it done in one fell swoop, I had to break it up into increments and hope against hope he wouldn't decide to melt down when I had a fistful of dough.
Christmas is almost here and I have the overwhelming desire to cut off communication with the outside world and sleep for three days. Naturally, I have to do the exact opposite. I have to be social and presentable, and I won't be allowed to lounge in my garden gnome pajama pants from dawn til dusk.
I think I may have to work a little harder on the Christmas cheer.
Christmas cheer, dammit! And I'm about to make a shrinky dink "Baby's First Christmas" ornament because all the ones I've seen in stores are LAME. MamaGrouch - I think we may need to start a business to address this problem in the New Year. Let me know what you think.
I've been knitting the babe a sweater-type thing, and I'm trying my darndest to get it done for Christmas... so I've been employing the use of the many neglect-o-matic devices in our house. Sue me.
WHY did I choose December to be my NaBloPoMo? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Too much to do, too little time to blog.
In knitting news, I have finally broken out of my hat and scarf doldrums and I am knitting a swaeter for the boy! It's totally cute and so far is turning out beautifully. It helps that it is ridiculously easy.
I'll post pics when it is finished - Monday maybe?
MamaGrouch gave me a Christmas tree because our aforementioned sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree is missing a foot.
What's that? I should take a picture of all it lit up? Would that I could.
I spent an hour and a half or so straightening the branches, fluffing them, making them even, lovingly stringing the lights upon its branches... Finally, I placed it on a little end table and got ready to plug in the lights.
Me: Hon! C'mere! I'm going to light the tree! Me: Um... Android: You didn't test them first, did you?
And then, instead of mercilessly making fun of me, he came over, put his arm around my waist and started singing O Tannenbaum.
And that's why I love him.
Anyway, I have another set of lights in a box somewhere. At least I didn't decorate it first.
For years I've done little, if any, preparation for Christmas. For example, last year we discovered our Christmas tree (a three foot sad little Charlie Brown lookin' thing) was missing a foot, so it stood, undecorated, against the rocking chair in the living room until mid-January. Somehow I managed to do Christmas cards, but I didn't mail them, I just handed them out as I saw people.
As a couple, Android and I have never had stockings, or special ornaments or any real Christmas traditions of our own - we've always been with his family or my family... Well, except for one year. One year we decided to be just the two of us on Christmas. I screwed up the turkey breast, and he decided we should go see King Kong. If you've seen King Kong (2005) you'll know why this was so bad.
This year, however, I'm not totally hating Christmas. The kid makes things seem bright and shiny and magical, even though he has no idea what's going on. Today I was trying to decide what book to buy him (The Night Before Christmas or A Wish for Wings that Work?) and I remembered the good old days when snow was still awesome and reindeer needed carrots to be left out for them and... well, I just generally wasn't jaded.
This year I'm going to try to start some new traditions - ones that he can look back on (when he's 27 and apathetic about all things Christmas) and remember fondly.
Tomorrow I will mail out about 3/4 of my holiday cards and a huge box of maternity clothes that I promised someone back in like, August.
I have to take this "cheer" thing slowly, you know.
The kid has been rolling from his tummy to his back for a couple of weeks now, but today he rolled from his back to his belly! Well, 3/4 of the way, but it's way harder. It takes all kinds of extra muscles to roll off your back, so he's obviously gifted.
Or totally normal. Whatever.
I'll admit I'm kind of a Nazi about tummy time, though. He hated it for a long time, but unless he was screaming bloody murder I made him do ten minutes a day. I'm reaping the rewards now because he can hang out on his blanket for up to a half hour without me having to say boo to him. I put him down on his belly and when he gets bored with that he flips over and stares at the light fixture for a while. I could spend this stolen time doing housework or something, but that would be like a punishment for a job well done!
The kid does not, in fact, have a tooth coming through.
Apparently Mother Nature thought it would be a funny trick to make little hard white bumps* pop up on your baby's gums before they start teething. You get all excited and you figure that your child is obviously way ahead of the game, and then-Poof! Gone. All gone.
He's just a toothless little guy who drools all the time.
My baby is essentially the town drunk without the booze.
*These are called eruption cysts. I would have posted a link, but I couldn't find one without scary pictures. The bump on my kid's gum wasn't nearly as scary as these were - so I'll spare you. You're welcome.
The Czar is four months old as of yesterday! Good job, buddy!
Thanksgiving weekend is a time for major changes in our household. Five years ago we got our cat Lucy (She's the devil, but we love her. Well, I do. Android - not so much). Four years ago Android proposed (while I was watching Mean Girls in my jammies. So romantic.). Last year, after several days of more-than-moderate drinking, I realized my period was five days late. That Sunday I peed on the test that directly led to this Thanksgiving's major milestone:
The Czar's first taste of solid food! Do I have something on my face? Yeah, I'll pass. Thanks, though. No, really - My fist is hitting the spot.
I learned something new this weekend. What Android categorizes as "screaming" (as in "The Czar was screaming for two hours before he finally went to sleep") is actually "crying/fussing".
For MONTHS I've been coming home to "Oh, man. He was screaming his head off the whole time you were gone." or some variation on a theme... and The Czar was actually just fussing like a NORMAL FREAKING BABY.
I called him on it this weekend - "That's what you call screaming? That's not screaming! Are you kidding me?"
Screaming is when his face turns beet red and looks like it may actually take flight and/or explode. Screaming is when your eardrums become punctured if you come within three feet of him. Screaming is when you question your will to live or start researching how much you can get for a baby on the black market.
Look, don't get me wrong, he is a wonderful husband and father...
But if I hear one more thing about the baby "screaming" I will smite him where he stands.
I trucked the babe down to our local polling place (all of four blocks away). I brought a diaper bag, a book, and an extra pacifier - Just in case. (My whole life seems to be lived in terms of "just in case". There are receiving blankets dotted around the house because they are the best multi-purpose tool in the baby world. They can be used to warm the baby, soothe the baby, wipe up the grossness that oozes from a baby...)
I heard there were super long lines leading out the door of the building. I was in and out in five minutes flat. Should have known that by 10 am the masses had thinned out.
Anyway, I voted in a Presidential election for the third time in my life. Maybe the third time will be the charm and my guy will actually win!
Since becoming a mother I've been tossed into the world of baby clothes. They are tiny and cute and, let's face it, completely absurd.
Put an animal, any animal on a piece of baby clothing and suddenly it's supposed to be cute. The weirdest example I've ever tun into has got to be Pooh vs. the Giant Crab:
What the hell? How did a crab get into the Hundred Acre Woods? (And you smarty pantses out there who are about to tell me that there are crabs that walk around on land and hang out in forests - hush. I don't need that kind of terror in my life.)
There are bears playing basketball, and talking monkeys and frogs. There are frogs everywhere. It's like the cute version of the Plagues of Egypt.
And I love the clothes that proclaim to the reader what they are supposed to say upon viewing. It's like cue cards for ugly babies! For example, we have a hat that says "Cutie" (Oh! What a.... "Cutie"! Yessir! He's mighty "cute".") There's also "I'm so sweet" (for the colic-y babes), and "100% Lovable". You dress you baby in that the morning after a particularly horrendous night.
I prefer to think of the Czar as El Baroda. So much cooler than proclaiming to the world that he is adorable.
Oh! We also have a teeny little soft grey jacket that someone slapped a squirrel on. I like squirrels, and I like babies, but generally I avoid mixing the two. You know, rabies.
The holidays are coming, so naturally I'm afraid someone will force him to wear a sweater vest or a tiny baby suit. I hate sweater vests on grown men, so there's no way I'm making my kid wear one. In fact, he doesn't need to wear a tie until he's old enough to tie it himself.
Girl clothes are less doofy - but more pink. I'm not sure it's a good trade-off.
On the other hand, I think we're in for several more years of cricket-playing giraffes.
The Czar's first Halloween was a rousing success. We spent it with my sister and brother-in-law and their three neighbors. We hung out in front of sis's house, drank wine around the fire pit (which was endlessly entertaining for the babe), and made kids sing for their candy. Some of them sucked it up and belted out the ABCs, some showed off by singing in harmony, and some straight up walked away. They figured Nerds weren't a good enough prize for humiliation. So be it.
Anyway, the boy was a dream - he almost always is in public. He stayed up as long as he could and crashed like a paper airplane as soon as he got strapped in to his car seat.
I have also vowed to make his Halloween costumes for as long as he'll let me.
I realized today that it was not because I had nothing to say, it was because I has nothing pleasant to say. Even the stuff that seems funny to me in the moment comes out jaded and bitchy. I blame sleep deprivation.
I've been contemplating a charming musing on baby clothes and why they are ridiculous. I'll crack that out in the next couple of days.
To represent the happy new leaf I will be turning over, I shall soon post a picture of my babe dressed as the Jolly Green Giant. (Get it? Leaf? Well, maybe it will make sense when you see the costume.)
He is napping at the moment and it it my belief that one should never wake a sleeping baby unless one is a glutton for punishment or just plain certifiable.
I just wrote and then deleted a wholly rancid post complaining about my child's sleep patterns, my husband's inability to do something simple like take over nighttime baby duty on weekends, and that fact that I would very much like to throw both cats out the window this morning.
I am sleep deprived coming out of a weekend, which doesn't bode well for the week. I will try to be optimistic, but I can't guarantee anything.
I need to get back to posting. I'll come up with something pleasant to read soon.
The Czar and I just got home from his two month well baby visit. It went swimmingly. He's still a tall (25 inches!) blond Norske warrior. He's 12.4 lbs and his head has grown 2 inches in the 9 weeks since they've seen him last.
All said - he's perfect. He had his two month vaccinations, as well. This was not as traumatic for me as I was told it would be. Then again, I didn't even look at the needles. I just couldn't. I held my baby's teeny hands and looked him in the eye while he screamed bloody murder. Then I snuggled him and it took thirty seconds for him to calm the heck down and start staring at a lamp in the corner.
In an act of solidarity I got a flu shot and a tetanus booster. My band-aids aren't nearly as cool as the kid's are. Sad.
As in: "I totally lost my shit when that jerk cut me off on the highway", or "The Czar lost his shit when he woke up and I wasn;t there."
Yes, I know it's been around for a while, but it's so descriptive! Crude, yes - but it gets the point across.
In other news, all is well here. The boy is not sleeping as well as he was a week ago, but I think it's because we moved him back to the co-sleeper while he was sick. He seems to be pretty much over the worst of it, so he's being relegated to the crib tonight. I think being near us makes him sleep more lightly, and makes him more likely to wake up.
Sorry, buddy. You're on your own. It's a cruel, cruel world.
The boy and I are sharing a cold. Let me tell you how awesome last night was. Oh, did I say "awesome"? I meant "terrible". He woke up at 4am with this cold - he was all phlegm-y and howl-y and scream-y , and I couldn't do anything but feed him and rock him. I finally got him to sleep for about an hour only to repeat the process. It is 7:17, he just ate again, he's sleeping in my bed.
The Android went to the grocery store for orange juice, a bag of oranges (he believes vitamin C cures all), and a nasal aspirator for the baby. We lost the one we had three weeks ago.
I don't want to jinx anything, but I think we've entered a new stage of development. I think my kid might actually be sleeping through the night.
Or close to it, anyway. Last Wednesday he slept 6 hours straight. Thursday he made it 7 and a half (almost in a row. He woke up once and was easily lulled back to dreamland by having a pacifier plugged in his face.). Friday was screwy, but last night he went another 7.5 hours.
I'm deliriously happy.
In other news, he's still kind of amazing. He's holding his head much more steadily now, and he can stand (with assistance, of course) for longer periods. His legs used to just go to jelly when any weight was put on them, but now he plants his feet like a champ.
Today we will enjoy baby's first Twins game. I sure hope they don't lose - it might put him off baseball forever.
It's been nearly eight weeks. Some days it seems like a miniscule amount of time (and in the grander scheme of things, I guess it is.) and some days it feels like I've been at this forever.
This mom thing is rewarding. When my kid flirts with me and gives me a smile so big it threatens to take over his face, when I correctly guess why he is crying and fix it before he breaks into a full on screaming fit, when I manage to pull a shirt over his head without suffocating him or breaking his neck (technically there has never been a possibility, but my rationale flew out the window weeks ago.).
I do a touchdown dance every time I recognize his sleepy signs and put him down for a nap - and he's sound asleep within a minute. Man, that's good stuff.
He's growing up so much. Every day I realize he does something a little better, a little stronger. He's getting cuter - if that's possible. And his face is endlessly fascinating to me. Sometimes when he's asleep I have to physically restrain myself from waking him up to play with him. The only thing that keeps me from doing it is knowing that that would be monumentally stupid. Never wake a sleeping baby. So, I watch him. And I kiss him. A lot. And I rub his feet and he makes little purring and grunting noises.
He continues being fairly perfect.
How do people have twins? My head would explode.
*Oh, and lest you think I believe I am the best mom ever, here's a fun tidbit: Yesterday I cut his right thumb while attempting to trim his nails. He cried for five seconds, I cried for five minutes. It was the first time I ever used the teeny baby nail clippers. I'm sticking with the nail file for now.
Yesterday the Android came home from work and sat down for a cuddle with the boy. I walk away for a moment and hear a bloodcurdling scream coming from the baby. I had never heard him shriek like that, so naturally I went to check it out.
It seems that the Czar got a bunch of accidental Stubble Kisses and did not approve at all. Android was apologizing to him and I was practically begging for the baby. He just kept screaming at his daddy until I wrested him away, changed his diaper (the screaming continued) and cuddled him (I am stubble free) until he chilled the heck out.
It was traumatic for all involved.
I had a night to think about it and I have determined that it wasn't the sandpaper face that alarmed the Czar so much, it was the Fu Man Chu his dad has been sporting for the last week or so.
Yes. Our household was recently teleported into a mid-seventies porno.
It's not that I haven't had anything to say. I do have stuff to say, but most of the time it's so boring I fall asleep thinking about it!
The most excitement I've had in the last couple of weeks is very long drive to and from Illinois. I left the Czar and the Android alone overnight for the first time. Naturally, the boys did brilliantly, and I didn't totally fall apart. That's all I can ask for. I did accidentally go 12 hours without nursing or pumping - never again. I was sure they would explode and take out most of eastern Wisconsin.
We're really just trucking along nicely now. The boy is six weeks old as of yesterday - time flies. My six week checkup is next Monday. I'm kind of looking forward to it just to make sure my nethers are, you know, as they should be.
Oh - I'm back at WeightWatchers. Getting back to counting points and actually thinking about what I feed my face is both liberating and frustrating as hell. Technically, I only have to lose 15lbs of baby weight, but since there was an extra 60 or so hanging around before the kid was even a glimmer in my eye, the finish line is a fair ways off. No worries. I can handle it.
When I was pregnant I didn't think I could feel more like a cow. I was wrong. Know why? Because when I was still pregnant I wasn't being milked like a cow.
Now, of course, I am.
I don't begrudge my child his need to eat. That's fine with me. I'm happy to help. But the truth is, my boobs have taken on a life of their own. Since I started pumping it's been even crazier - I'm producing double what I was before. This is both good and bad. Good because I'm creating a stockpile of milk so the Android can take the wheel (or nipple, as it were) on occasion. Bad because if I miss a feeding by more than a minute, I spring a leak. I don't like being soggy.
Wanna know what an engorged breast feels like? Okay. Take a balloon. Fill it halfway with pebbles - all about the size of a half dollar. Then, fill the balloon with warm tapioca pudding until it's about to burst. You think I'm kidding? Try it. I dare ya.
I'll admit pumping is now a bit of a game for me. I like to guess how much I can get in one session (Most - 4oz. Least, 1/4 oz). Shut up. I'm weird.
I meant to write and Ode to the Android on my pregnancy blog, especially after I had given birth. Now I have more ammunition for a LUV-post because this man is like, the best father ever.
When I was pregnant he rubbed my feet, and he got me glasses of water when I couldn't roll my perfectly spherical self out of bed, he let me whine about pretty much everything, he took the childbirth classes very seriously, and used that information in labor and delivery!
I never had the movie/sitcom childbirth moment where I screamed at him "You bastard! You did this to me!". I never had to. He was lovely and supportive during the whole ridiculous process. However, at the end (when the epidural wore off for the third time) he started to panic. His three phrases "You're doing great! Breathe, honey! You can do this!" were coming as hard and as fast as my contractions. I finally looked at him and said "You have GOT to calm down! You are freaking me out!"
Poor guy. I've never seen him that panicked in my life. To his credit, he pulled it together.
When our baby made his appearance we were both overwhelmed. This tiny person caused me s much pain, and I wasn't mad at it in the slightest! Normally I'm one to hold a grudge, but not this time. The Android was obviously smitten at first sight, and so far this has continued on.
He learned to change a diaper in the hospital, and he was the only one who did it for the first three days. He figured I get to feed him, so he may as well bond with Baby over the Diaper Champ. That was a sweet setup for me since I couldn't really move much without bleeding everywhere.
Now that he's back at work, he doesn't get as much time with the Czar as he would like. He makes up for it by coming home and immediately cuddling the guts out of our boy. And the Czar loves him. He's fascinated by the blonde guy with the hairy face who talks to him and makes faces and is generally goofy at him.
When the Czar was 24 hours old the hospital gave him a hearing test. His right ear failed not once, but twice. This is relatively common as newborns have spent the last nine months floating around in amniotic fluid, and some of it is bound to be wedged in small spaces like ear canals.
They gave us the number for an audiologist and we made an appointment for today. He passed with flying colors, thank goodness.
I kinda figured his hearing was fine because the other day I was nursing him on the couch in the living room (way at the front of the apartment), and the Android came home from work through the back door (all the way at the back of the apartment) - he called out "I'm home!" and the Czar whipped his head around (nearly taking my nipple with him - luckily he let go) and looked around for Daddy.
10. I can sleep on my belly. 9. I have to pee about one tenth of the time that I used to. 8. I can take a HOT bath without boiling my kid's brain. 7. My wedding rings fit again! 6. No more tent-like maternity tops! 5. I can shave my legs without having a giant belly get in the way. ('Course, I haven't had time to shave my legs, but the point is I could.) 4. No one touches my stomach without permission. 3. My feet are no longer bloated beyond all recognition. 2. Hey! I can see my feet!
And the number one reason I am LOVING not being pregnant: I haven't had heartburn in three weeks.