Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A "Great" Way to Start the Day!

There are some days when you know, "it can only get better from here, right?" I am having one of THOSE days - and it is only 10 am!

So I woke up a little after 8am to my daughter whimpering.  She was wet and hungry.  Ok, this is a daily thing, no biggie!  So I give her the binky, go toss the dirty diapers in the washing machine, and start it, and go pump.  (She refuses to latch properly and we have found that she is perfectly content with refusing to learn so that she can get her milk in the bottle - soooo much easier to eat from a bottle than from mom! Grrr)  Thus far, it is no different than any other day.  So I get her bottle all ready to go and change her.  (She also will not eat if her pants are dirty!)  As I am changing her my phone rings (of course, because it has to ring when I am busy!) and the number comes up 000-0000 on the caller ID (blocked number), so I don't think much of it, let it go to voice mail and continue on.  I put the diaper in it's pail, wash my hands, grab my daughter, the bottle, and my phone and sit on the edge of the bed to feed her.  She was pretty hungry and sucking the bottle down pretty quickly, so I thought, well lets see who called me and left a voice message.  So I call my voice mailbox, type in my code and hear, "Hello, this is Officer ______ from the sheriff's department." At this moment the thought crosses my mind, I am the ICE (in case of emergency) contact for 2 people for sure - my mom and my husband.  I know this because I am the one that set up both phones.  I let the bottle slip just a little and it hits the back of my poor daughter's very sensitive throat.  "One of our officers has found your (insert make and model of the car my husband drives) abandoned.  Please call us back if you get this message in the next 10-15 minutes."  It had been about that amount of time already.  As she is finishing up her message, my daughter has finished vomiting all over both of us.  I am not talking just a little spit up.  No, I am talking covered both her and I from neck down, coming out of her mouth and nose vomit.  There was not a dry article of clothing between the two of us.  My shirt, bra, pj pants, and even underwear were soaked.  You could have ringed out her little sleeper it was that wet.  GREAT!!  So at this moment I know a few things:

1.  The baby is getting a bath.

2. My husband is not a small man and he knows how to fight.  His work has even used him as a fill in "bouncer" on occasion.  No one in their right mind would intentionally pick a fight with him for no reason.

3.  My husband is out fishing.  He had talked about trying out a new location last week.  He probably unknowingly parked where he shouldn't have.

4.  My husband does not drive a car that most thieves would consider worthy of their time and energy to steal - especially during daylight hours.

5.  My husband has a bad habit of being bad at cell phone usage.  He will let the battery go dead.  He will leave it in odd places.  He will forget to change the ringer from silent to sound.

All these factors and my heart still skipped a beat and then rapidly sped up.  So I listened to the message again to get the number and called the dispatcher back.  She puts me on hold and comes back on the line and says, "Oh, one of our officers has made contact with your husband.  He was out fishing.  Have a nice day."  CLICK.  Thank you for telling me something I already knew.  So I strip the baby down to her birthday suit and run the bath water.  I know there is not going to be a lot of hot water because the washing machine is almost completely finished, but the little floating turtle says that the temperature is acceptable for baby bathing and she reeks of vomit.  So she gets cleaned up and a little play time in the water (her favorite thing to do).  I get her diapered and dressed and she was falling asleep, so I laid her back in bed.  So I jump in the shower - only to discover I get to take a tepid-cold shower.  Yeah!  Go ME!

So, how was your morning?

The only good thing about summer is...


I am intolerant of heat.  I hate being hot.  I whine, I moan, I complain, and every family member I have knows that I don't like the summer.  My favorite season is winter.  Spring and Fall are nice when it is under 80 degrees (preferably under 75).  That being said, the only good thing about summer (well Spring to Fall really) starts with baseball spring training and comes to a sad conclusion at the World Series!

I should probably back this post up a little and say there is a MAJOR stereotypical role reversal going on in our house.  My husband is the better cook.  I cook because I have to eat (and usually it is pretty simple meals.)  He doesn't just cook, he creates.  He reads cooking books for fun.  He owns cooking things I don't even know how to operate.  I love sports.  I obsessively follow my teams.  I have a favorite college football team.  (My husband roles his eyes)  There is a major obsession with my favorite college basketball team that probably needs therapeutic guidance.  (He calls it pumpkin pounding and discourages our daughter from watching it)  But the one that my husband is willing to tolerate is my love of the local baseball team.  I don't follow professional football or basketball because I think they are a bunch of over paid pansies, but for some reason that hatred does not filter over into baseball.  I love going to the professional games.  Maybe it is the slow pace.  Maybe it is the food.  Maybe it is the good company one has while sitting watching, or maybe it is because the college baseball teams around here usually are not that great.  Whatever the reason, starting in about 2 weeks there will be a game on 5 nights a week and Sunday afternoons.  While I might only attend one or two games at the stadium, I will watch a large chunk of the games on TV.  And hopefully my husband will join me and my daughter in this practice.  I hope to not only teach her to love the games, but to be a good sport when playing them.  I already know she is a fan of baseball - whether she realizes it or not.

You see I found out I was pregnant with her in late winter/early Spring.  I already had a trip to Chicago to visit a few friends planned for April of that year, so naturally I took her with me.  (It wasn't like we could be separated!)  I was just starting the first week of my second trimester when I landed in Chicago.  One of the things I wanted to do when I was in Chicago was to go to a game.  I didn't really care if it was the Cubs or the White Sox.  Well only the White Sox were in town when I was there, so we went to the Sox vs the Indians game.  Well I didn't feel movement per se (it was too early for that), but I could feel some intermittent pressure when I would get excited or laughing too hard at things my friends were saying.  Nothing to make me too concerned, but I think it was her way of showing she was enjoying my happiness at the situation.  Since it was sooooo unbelievably and intolerably hot last summer, I spent more than my fair share of time laying on the bed under the ceiling fan watching baseball.  I would talk to my daughter about the games.  She could hear me cheering for the team.  I even think she heard her daddy cheering them on at times.  Fast forward to the end of the season.  My team had no chance of making it to the World Series.  I was aware of that.  My husband has some family that are diehard Cards fans.  I have some friends who bleed Cardinal red as well.  So I jumped on the bandwagon.  My team was done, so I started to enjoy a team that had a chance.  (Hey, don't judge me! It allowed me to enjoy the game for a few more weeks!)  Well I was at the end of my pregnancy.  I would walk around a local park and lake to try to coax her out....didn't work.  I did just about everything short of castor oil (I have my limits) to try to get her out.  The only time I got good contractions was during the world series games.  Starting with game 3, I would contract for 3-4 hours about 15-20 minutes apart, but only during the game and for a little bit after the game.  They were going pretty good during game 6.  She was even moving A LOT during games 5 and 6.  I was sure she would be joining us after the 6th game.  But no!  I had to sign her eviction notice and be induced the morning of game 7.  While it was a scheduled induction, the world series game was not why I was being induced - it is just a unique coincidence.  Well labor got going real good and actively strong right about the time the first pitch was being thrown.  She was born in the middle of the 4th inning.  We spent the rest of the evening learning each others quirks and getting to know each other and watching the end of the game and the coverage after.  (Since after she was born it was late and her daddy was exhausted we let him sleep.... the nurses were in and out of our room every hour throughout the night, so I was awake whether I wanted to be or not)  I told a few of my Cards fans friends and family that I may have inadvertently birthed a Cards fan, but I will do everything in my power to get her to like the right team!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sad Commentary on Society

So last week (Friday) I went to church with my daughter for Stations of the Cross.  After the service I was talking to priest and a lady stepped between us and said to me, "Thank you for not aborting your child."  Well I looked over her shoulder to see the look on Fr.'s face - it was one of shock and awe and I think there might have been a twinkle of "how is she going to handle this one..." (he is a little ornery sometimes).  Well I looked back at her and as gently and kindly as I could muster while being as shocked as possible, I responded by saying, "While she was a little bit of a surprise, she is and was very much wanted and loved.  My husband and I are truly blessed to have her."  To which Fr.'s face turned to one of awe and love (and there might have been a little bit of a tear forming since he was aware of our struggles with carrying a baby to full term).  She mumbled something about thinking I was a teenage mom because I looked so young.  I told her my age.  She didn't believe me.  Fr. reassured her that I was in fact at least as old as I claimed (he tried to add a year or so onto my age!) forward a week to last night.  I took my daughter to Saturday evening mass because I had to work Saturday night and didn't really feel like getting up a couple hours after I had got home from work to attempt to be functional during mass.  My husband was at work and had just got off work as I was leaving the house and he was in no condition to go to mass with me (really tired, kinda stinky, etc), so again I went to church without him (he'll go in the morning when he is good and rested)...  THE SAME LADY comes up to me after mass and tells me how cute my daughter is (yeah, I know but it is nice to hear, and I thanked her).  The she proceeds to tell me about her son and how she doesn't have any grand-kids.  I think I mumbled something about how unfortunate that is (I am trying to hit the door so I can drop my daughter off at home to play with her dad and so I can get to work on time).  Then she proceeds to attempt to set me up with him.  I reminded her that I am married and have been for almost six years and that this child that she was admiring is in fact his.  Oh yeah, and her son is 52 years old.  I am 28!

So my reflections upon this:

1.  It is sad that people seem to think that mothers need to be thanked for not aborting their kid.  It should be a shock to the system that moms would consider killing their child, not the other way around.  Kids are a blessing, not a burden!

2.  I sometimes hate being so short.  I get associated with teenagers a lot more often than I want to admit.  While it has been about a year since I was given the kids' menu at a restaurant, I do have a "young" looking face and short stature!  Grrr.......

3.  Gee... lady.... last week you think I am a teenage mom.  This week you think I look old enough to date your son who is my mom's age.  Did I really look that bad at mass?  I asked a co-worker if I looked that rough, and she said I looked the same as I usually do.  (Then a few comments about my height and charming teenager looks were added for good measure!)

4.  Maybe I need to go to church with my husband so this lady doesn't keep talking to me.  I think she thinks he is a figment of my imagination.  He is in fact very real and a great dad to our daughter!  Back off lady, I am not interested in your son!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Baby bad habits

My daughter has two very bad habits that I know her daddy would LOVE if she did away with because they both affect him negatively.

1.  Pulling daddy's beard.  She gets as much fur as her little hands can hold and just yanks for dear life.  I don't even have to see it anymore.  I know when I hear her name in a pained voice she is yanking on her daddy's beard again.  Good thing sheering day is in a few days and he gets his bi-annual hair cut and shave!  (More on that later)

2.  She seems to target him for spit up and puking.  It's been a few weeks since she has nailed me with some good vomit (I know I just cursed myself by saying this).  My poor husband on the other hand - about every other time he holds her he gets nailed.  A few nights back she nailed him 4 or 5 times while we were having family movie night.  I don't get it.  It is almost like she gets SOOOOO excited with him playing with her that she just unloads her stomach contents.

St. Patrick's Day fun

St. Patrick's Day is always a fun day in our house.  The celebration started extra early this year.  My dear husband has been playing Celtic music and Irish drinking songs since mid-February.  Both sides of our family have some Irish blood flowing through our veins.  For the last 3 or 4 years we have gone to a local microbrewery and listened to a local Celtic band.  This year was no different. The only difference is that we have the little lady.  So I dressed her up in a shirt that said, "Irish you would KISS ME" and took her to listen to the music.  Her daddy danced and sang with her for a couple hours.  She loved it!  They looked so cute it made my heart melt.  How awesome is it that she has such a great daddy who adores her so much?  She is a lucky little lady and she knows it!


My child may never learn her name.  Why is this?  Because we keep calling her by nick names.  Here are a few of the good ones:

Chipmunk (her daddy gave her this name when he saw her on the ultrasound.  She had and still does cheeks that could hide half a tree's worth of nuts like a chipmunk)

Pumpkin (she was born right before Halloween)

Sassy Pants (she has her mama's attitude)

Stinker Pants (she has the ability to do what we don't want her to do right when we don't want her to do it)

Fluffy Butt (Cloth diapers are thicker than disposables and she is so thin it makes her diaper look so much larger)

Tinky (my mom calls her this because my nickname was Tinkerbell and she is a little me - in personality, not looks)

Angel baby (She is our little gift from heaven)

Princess (she knows she rules this house)

Cutie Pie (her daddy calls her this)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Commentary on my parenting - from my daughter

So my mom taught my daughter how to blow raspberries.  A fact that is adorable, but she uses it negatively.  It started as a tactic that was used whenever she was annoyed, she blew raspberries.  LOUDLY!  She now does it to her dad during play time.

Well for the last couple weeks instead of screaming when she was annoyed with me she would blow raspberries.  This is a fact I am fine with.  It is so much more socially acceptable for a baby to blow raspberries (it is very cute) than to scream it's little head off.

She and I went to stations of the cross tonight and she blew raspberries almost the entire time.  (She did take a short break from it starting at the 13th station, when she passed out until the end).  If you are not Catholic or have not been to stations of the cross, the best way to explain it is Catholic Jazzercise.  It is beyond Catholic aerobics (aka the Mass).  The kneeling-standing routine happens approximately 60 times in about 30 minutes.  You are in constant motion.  Well I had her in her Kangaroo pouch and she wanted a nap.  Because I kept moving with the stations, she couldn't fall asleep as easily.  So she blew raspberries.  When Fr. walked by between the 4th and 5th station, he saw her doing this and laughed.  I guess I shouldn't be nearly as embarrassed as I was.  She was adorable doing it, even if I knew she was annoyed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mom and Dad-isms

So I have noticed that my husband and I say some very odd things now that we are parents.  Many of which can be completely misinterpreted if taken out of context.  Here are a few examples:

"No, keep your legs down." (diaper changing and dressing)

"Confessionals are not accommodating for 2 people - even if one of them is 25 inches tall and weighs less than 14 lbs." (talking about holding my daughter while in the confessional)

"Come on, please burp!"

"Poopy !  Yeah!!"

"Don't puke! Don't puke! I don't have time to bathe you today, please don't puke."  (also been said in combination with "Don't puke because you won't get a bath if you do." but that was said after she was anointed with chrism and smelled heavenly)

 "How's my fluffy butt doing?" (Cloth diapers!)

"What are the rules?  No peeing! No pooping!  Keep feet out of the diaper."

"I'll let you bite my noise if you will stop crying."

"Come on you stupid burger!"  (Said while trying to clean out my daughter's nose)

"No sweetie, we kiss with our mouths closed!" (She likes to lick people)

Visit from a Priest and a true gift of Friendship

I have known a man who is a priest since he was between his junior and senior year of high school.  There is no human reason we should have remained friends - it is only because God knew we needed each other in our lives.  I like to say he's the little brother I never got and I am the older sister he doesn't need.  (He has four sister and no brothers!)  Here's how the story goes:

2002 - I am a camp counselor at a retreat center in a different diocese.  I drove 5 hours (driving through a couple diocese in the process) to volunteer at this camp because the director of the camp (my uncle) needed more counselors for his senior high school camp.  There I met this tall, mildly awkward kid with a funny name.  One of the first conversations we ever had included me asking him where he was thinking of applying to college (I was in college, he was going to be a senior - seemed like a logical question).  His response shocked me - with a big smile and excitement he said, "I am going into the seminary.  I am going to be a priest."  How could this kid be so certain when I didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life and I was older than he was?  My response was something like, "That's awesome.  I will pray for you."

2003 - Same camp, same senior week.  I only remembered 3 kids from the previous year.  The same kid with the funny name was there.  He was taller and less awkward.  Since he had graduated from high school, I wanted to know one thing, so I asked if he was still going to the seminary.  There was an excitement in his eyes when he said he was.  At the end of the week long camp we exchanged emails and instant messenger names (yes, this was the age of instant messenger).  I never knew if I was going to see this kid again or not, but everyone needs more friends.

Over the next two years we occasionally would "check in with each other."  Not often, but often enough.  He came down for my college graduation in 2005 - not a short drive from his college in Minnesota.  It was nice to see him again after not seeing him for two years.  A year later I got married to a wonderful man.  Since he was a seminarian, my husband and I asked him to be the petitioner at our wedding.  A married couple (my husband's aunt & uncle) did the readings.  We thought it would be appropriate for a married couple to read about the Bible's words on marriage and a seminarian to do the prayers.  I also gave him carte blanche on what the petitions should be to.  The note I handed him said something along the lines:  "You are a seminarian.  If I have to tell you how to pray your diocese has issues."  He did a great job.

We would not see each other until his deaconate ordination over four years later.  I had a little surprise up my sleeves for this.  A few weeks before his ordination I called him and asked him if I could bring someone with me, but I would take care of feeding this person, he didn't need to worry about it.  I had to laugh when he told me there would be more than enough food and I wouldn't need to worry about it - I could bring anyone I wanted.  After over five minutes of hinting around I had to just come out and say, "hey, you're not getting the hint - I AM PREGNANT!"  The only thing that could have made this story better would have been if I would have been able to see his face when I said it.  I could hear the excitement through the cell phone.  This excitement was continued at his ordination.  I couldn't have been more excited/proud of him.

This excitement came to a crashing halt three weeks later when I sent him a text asking him to pray for me and my unborn baby because I was going in for emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.  My surgery was very early on a Sunday morning, which made me feel guilty because I missed mass.  So while my husband was at mass (I was out of surgery and in a room to recover by this point) my now deacon friend read the mass readings to me and gave me a blessing via the phone.  (I don't know the rules on long distance blessings, but we gave it a go)  On Tuesday my husband and my world was forever changed when our son was stillborn.  When my deacon friend found out he immediately booked a flight to come down for the funeral.  He even spoke with the priest that was set to preside over the funeral to make sure everything was in place.   He also helped with the funeral as a deacon.

The following year when he was set to be ordained a priest I was excited to witness it.  He even asked me to be the second reader at this event.  I was able to see him the weekend prior to his ordination at a different man's ordination and I had a little surprise for him.  He got an early ordination gift and letter from my unborn child.  Yes, I was pregnant again!   I got to see his face when he realized there was a little baby inside of me.  He was super happy for me.  I was the same place in this pregnancy as I was when our son was stillborn, so I was beginning to feel movement.  The following week at his ordination my daughter had a surprise for everyone.  She decided to be a part of the ordination.  Right in the middle of the reading, she kicked my bladder.  I stopped/paused reading to make sure I didn't wet myself.  It was very noticeable.  While up in his diocese I did some behind his back investigation chatting with his bishop.  You see my husband and I wanted him to be the Godfather of our baby, but we both knew that some diocese don't allow priests to be Godfathers.  (We didn't want to ask him and then find out it wasn't allowed - oh the disappointment that would have been for everyone involved)  I had already found out about our diocese.  His was a go!  So after we found out our little baby was going to be a girl (at Father's day weekend no less), we asked if he would be willing to agree to be the Godfather.  He was!  And five months later he baptized his own Goddaughter.

He came down to visit for a couple days recently.  He wanted to escape his parish (yes, priests need breaks from the stress of parish life sometimes) and to visit his Goddaughter and my husband and me.  It was nice to see him again and the little lady decided to celebrate by rolling over unaided for the first time with the three of us watching.  He also honored us by celebrating mass in our house a few times.  He also anointed the little lady with the same batch of chrism that was used at his ordination a few months prior.  Something that is nice and somewhat humbling.  Not to mention she smelled heavenly for a few days following his departure.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Appreciation for what we have

In a world where being a father seems to be purely biological (get the girl pregnant and say adios!), I am very much appreciative of my husband.  Yes, people, I am married to my daughter's father.  Shocking as that might be in these days.  Not only am I married to him, we have been married since 2006.  Our son was still born in 2010 and our daughter was born in 2011.  You do the math - the "ring" came before the "bump"!  (A fact that a priest thanked us for this past week - which is sad that he felt the need to do so)  The only shotgun that was associated with our wedding was the one that my husband's uncle/Godfather gave to him as a wedding present (completely random and funny story associated with that!)

Ok, back to why I (and my daughter, though she doesn't fully realize it yet) am appreciative of what we have.  My husband is not perfect - none of us are.  That being said, he does a great job of doing the best he can.  It took a friend pointing out how much I was taking for granted to realize it.  In the past week my husband has:

~ Changed probably 60-75% of the diapers when we have been home together
~ Warmed up bottles and fed our kid probably 75% of the time that we have been home together
~ Laid on the floor and played with our daughter
~ Encouraged her to roll over (her latest trick)
~ Sang made up and traditional songs to her
~ Held her when she was upset
~ Played with her
~ Read/told stories to her
~ Helped me clean the house
~ Dealt with my craziness with minimal commentary
~ Watched over and protected her while I spent time visiting with a friend

One might say, "yeah, but that is what you would expect him to do".  That is probably why I might have been under appreciative of him lately.  I should expect him to help out with our child.  Yet, in a day/age where so many men are making babies and running away or just not being fatherly towards them, I am lucky.  My daughter adores her dad.  And he whole heartedly deserves her adoration.  There are times when I am pretty sure she would rather be with him than with me.  He is the fun one. She is lucky, and one day very soon I am sure she will realize it.  Right now, she is just too young, so for the time being, I am here to say, THANK YOU SWEETY!  We love you!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

You do WHAT?!?! - chapter 2

I currently give my child breastmilk, but I plan on making my own baby food for my child.  I bought a Baby Bullet mixer and everything.  Again I am cheap resourceful and want my child to get the best food possible.  This way she can eat a little of the same things we are with less preservatives.  We are going to start her on solids/pureeds when she reaches 6 months or so, but the machine was on sale/clearance, so I couldn't resist.  Why wait 2 months and pay 2 months more?  I'll let you know how she likes her change of food.

Addict in the making

There is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT about the fact my husband is a bibliophile (that is a book lover/addict)  I like to joke that our "library"/spare room is going to go up in flames and be the best kindling if our house ever catches fire (please pray it doesn't). 

Well while doing some Spring cleaning/organizing I came to a realization.  Our 4 month old daughter already has over 50 books.  While she really has only "read"/listened to about 10 thus far (the rest are for her when she is a little older), she has them for when she's ready for them.  This doesn't count all the books that are at my mom's house waiting to show up at our house because I keep forgetting to bring them back.  My mom has all my kiddy books from when I was little (or at least all the Dr. Seuss and Bernstein Bear books) and they are my daughter's whenever I remember to bring them back.  That will put her book count way up because we had every book written by those two authors.

Oh, and I should probably mention, I like to read too.  I do not own as many books as my husband, but I can't claim to not like to read.  So our child better like to read because her mama and daddy do and we like to read to her.  So far she seems to enjoy it - at least the pictures and funny voices.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Grandma's at it again!

So the last time we visited grandma (remember she fed my child ice cream) she was trying to teach my kid how to blow raspberries.  Yeah, my daughter didn't seem interested at the time.  WELL..... last night as we were laying in bed, my very exhausted husband looks at me and says, "Is our child blowing raspberries?"  To this I responded, "Yeah, she's been doing that to me all day when she's annoyed with me.  My mom taught her how to do that."  Hubby:  "Hmmm..." and rolled over and went to sleep.

So why was my child annoyed with me you might ask?  Yeah, I put her in bed and expected her to go to sleep.  It was midnight and she seemed to be the only one not sleepy.

So I guess it's good that she wasn't screaming her little head off.  Yet I couldn't fall asleep I was laughing so hard at the 20 minutes of raspberries she was blowing.  She did it again at 5am when I put her back in bed after eating her first breakfast of the day.  Silly baby!