Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Picture Post

I've been swamped and stressed lately, so I'm taking the cheap way out and skipping words in favor of images.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today I Pretended Not to be a Mom

Scandalous, right???

You see, there I was flying to DC by myself for 2 days of meetings, when the MOST gorgeous man in a business suit sat next to me on the plane and introduced himself. As I shook his hand, I snuck my rings off my left hand and into my pocket. And when I went to turn off my cell phone pre-flight and he spied the wallpaper picture of Luca and asked, "That your daaughter?" I lied and said, "No. My neice. I don't have any kids." and batted my lashes.

And then we joined the mile high club.

Or, maybe it went something like this: After refusing to let myself cry when I dropped the kids with Laura (daycare) on my way to the aiport this morning, I waited in security behind a mom and her new baby boy, and in front of a Dad and his toddler girl who looked a bit like a red-headed Luca. Or maybe she didn't, and I just WANTED her to look like Luca? And my throat got all lumpy and my eyes started to burn and then I realized that, hello?, the people in line have NO IDEA I just left my kids for my second work trip this month, and therefore I should NOT cry lest they mistake my jealousy that their kids were there with them for some sort of manic episode wherin I am crying in fear the cocaine in the lining of my suitcase will be found. Because really I was NOT in the mood for another security-point breakdown like I had last time I flew to DC alone.

And then I sat waiting for my plane to board and logged onto my computer only to be greeted by my background picture, which happens to be this:

And I had to put my head down and cover my face a little with my sweater so the old man with the paunch and the Michigan t-shirt who was sitting directly across from me wouldn't feel all weird and uncomfortable about the tears I was trying not to cry.

And then I boarded the plane and had a middle seat, and the woman in the window seat could have been my mom's age. And she made small talk with me and she was SO nice, and then she asked where I was headed. And I answered "DC." and she said, "Lots of fun stuff to do there!" I smiled and replied, "Yeah, but I'm going for work. Someday I'll have to go back with my fa---husband. Husband. And do the tourist stuff."

Yep. That was it right there. I was thisclose to saying, "my family", but I realized midsentence that her inevitable follow-up (esp in light of her prior statement that she'd been in AZ visiting her grandbabies) would be, "Do you have kids?"

And, really? Truthfully? I was seconds from public meltdown in the plane, sandwiched there in the middle seat (flashbacks to always having to 'ride bitch' as a kid) and it woulda been ugly. So I pretended not to be a mom, and I venture a guess if YOU had been that lady, you'd be thanking me now for doing that as opposed to breaking down into heaving sobs over an innocent question.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be Still My Heart.

Rohan's been saying 'Mama' for awhile now, usually mid-cry. I think it's less, "Hey, there's my mom!" and more surivival instinct.

But today? Today he said Dada. And I will admit I fell even more in love with him and Darrick. SO sweet to see my big ole' husband beaming as his son repeats "DADA" at him!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Comedy of Errors

Oh tonight. Tonight. Tonight. Can tonight suck it, please?

Let me preface this with stating the obvious, for the random reader who might Google something about Tony Romo and end up on this blog. I LOVE MY KIDS. I LOVE being a mom. I've always wanted kids and as much as I sometimes miss sleeping in and time alone and having more money and those sorts of fun things, I've never NOT loved being the mom to my wonderful little blonde muffins. Blahdy blahdy blah....

Ok, so are we clear? Because SOMETIMES no matter how much I love motherhood and love my kids, I lose my cool. And lately I've run up against a little something called The Toddler, who it would seem is now capable of outfoxing me from time to time. Enter, tonight.

We're working on trying to eat better and save money, so dinner at home has become the routine rather than the rarity it used to be. Seriously...we used to go out to eat more often than we ate at home. Hi, self, still wondering why you're fat and poor? Now part of the reason we went out so often is because Darrick and I have vastly different food preferences. He loves beef and spicy foods. The last bite of beef I had was 12 years ago in Japan (I was famous during pregnancy for saying, "No I won't be eating my placenta. I don't even eat STEAK.") and Pei Wei's Kung Pao meal makes my tongue so hot it itches. Thus, going out became easier than staying in because instead of US making 2 meals, we each just ordered what we like.

Well, throw a picky toddler into the mix...one who doesn't even like to eat for the most part...and now we're making 3 meals most of the time. It sucks, but we deal.

So tonight I got home to discover that Darrick was heating up some stromboli my mom made him (chock FULL of beef) and Luca and I were on our own for dinner. I had some bagels I brought home from work and she wanted to try one, so I set out to make her an open face turkey melt in the toaster oven. Potato bagel...turkey...cheese...melty. Sounded like a recipe for success to me.

I sit her down in her highchair, and she tells me it's too hard to chew. I go over with a knife and cut ut into bite-size pieces.

Now she doesn't like the bagel. Fine...it's new to her and probably hard to eat. I go over and peel the cheesy turkey off the top so she can focus on that part and skip the bagel.

15 minutes later and not a single bite consumed, she's begging to be let down. I try to barter by telling her if she eats the turkey we can go get ice cream. No dice. We can have some melon? Not swayed. We can color and play Play Doh WHILE eating ice cream and melon and watching Elmo? Not sold.

Frustrated but trying to play it cool, I decide to play hard ball.

"Luca, you have two choices. You can eat your turkey and then we can play and have some ice cream. Or you can go to bed right now."

"Luca wants to go to bed."


this was not the plan.

did she?...she did, didn't she?...shit...my 2 year old just called my bluff.

Remember that talk before, about adoring my kids? Well, I also work outside the home. Which means I have ALL THIS ADORATION which has to be bestowed upon them in the morning before work and in our few evening hours together. The few hours which Luca just put the kibosh on by calling my bluff and choosing bed over dinner.

So, shit. Now I have to put her to bed. Right? Right. I send her to get her jammies and a nighttime diaper, all the while expecting she'll snap out of it and change her mind. No such luck. She is compliant about getting ready for bed. She dutifully kisses her Daddy goodnight, does not put up a fight when I tell her no bedtime books, and gets right into bed and under the covers. The clock on the wall reads 6:15. Her regular bedtime is 8:30, sometimes 9.

We left her door open so she could hear us downstairs. I told her that she could change her mind and come back down and we could play SO LONG AS she ate her dinner. "Ok mama. Night night Mama. I love you Mama." she replied.


Downstairs I went, where Darrick and I spent 15 minutes loudly 'playing Play Doh' and singing her favorite songs, expecting her to come bounding down the stairs any second, having realized the error of her ways and willing to eat dinner so she could play.

After 15 minutes, I finally looked up at the hallway outside her room and saw her standing there, sheepishly smiling. I invited her back down with the condition she had to eat her dinner. She agreed.


Grabbing the plate off the table, I broke the turkey into smaller pieces for her, but she immediately began trying to avoid eating, so I decided I needed to be firm. This was going to require me to get down in the trenches.

I sat down by her little table, pulled her onto my lap, and began feeding her pieces of meat and cheese by hand. Little by little, she was eating her dinner, and without complaint. When just 2 or 3 pieces were left, she started to resist a bit. "Mama, Luca don't like this turkey." Thinking this was just an excuse to avoid eating, I ignored it and kept feeding her. The last piece I put into her mouth was spit out into her hand. Thinking she was just being stubborn, I chided her and made her eat it.


Just then, Darrick decided we needed some ice cream, so he pulled it out of the freezer and called Luca into the kitchen. And just as she stepped onto her little stepping stool to watch him serve the ice cream, she gagged and up came ALL THE TURKEY AND CHEESE. I must take a moment to praise my husband's lightening-fast hands which managed to reach out and catch most of it before it landed on the floor.

You know what feels shitty? Forcing your kid who says she doesn't want her food to eat, only to have her puke it up a few minutes later. And even shittier? As I cleaned her off and carried her over the the couch to tuck a blanket over her, she looked at me, tilted her head to the side and raised the centers of her brows at me (just as I do when teaching someone a lesson...), pointed at me and said, "See Mama? I told you Luca don't like the turkey."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

If They Only Knew

Tonight I had about an hour at home between when I got off work and when I had to head to the airport for a 2 day meeting in Reno. It was just enough time to throw everything in my bags and snuggle the kids. Rohan was so cute, waking up from his late afternoon nap all smiles. I lifted him out of the crib and to my chest, where he reached out with his big mutton hands, grabbed my cheeks, and burrowed his face into mine. He gave baby kisses too - those open mouthed exuberant droolfests that leave your cheek or chin dripping and make you laugh like a damn fool. I love how unencumbered babies and kids are...how free with their emotions and their expressions of love. I can be in the WORST mood, and then that little muffin-butt grabs my cheek and swings one arm around my neck to run his hands through my hair, nuzzling his forehead into mine, and I can't help but smile.

He's too young, obviously, to get that I was about to head out to the airport and leave him for 2 nights. But this was the first time I had a work trip planned where Luca sort of 'got' it. I don't think she understood what 'going out of town' means when I left tonight, but I'd be willing to bet when she wakes tomorrow and I'm not back she will know. Which, really, breaks my heart.

I tried to sort of prep her in advance for my leaving by talking to her about my trip, and how I'd be leaving on a plane and there would be 2 nights where Mama wouldn't be home. Being 2, she took 'leaving on a plane' and translated it to 'going to the moon and back' (you parents know that one...). So last night and today she kept saying, "Mama's going to the moon and back!". It was SUPER cute up until I was putting on my shoes and choking back tears, and she said to me, "Can Luca go to the moon and back too?". I told her that I had to go alone, but tonight when she goes to sleep she can meet me there in her dream. Not that she gets it, really...it's more for me and my aching conscience than anything.

So I get to the airport and manage to pull myself together so I'm not crying at security, and then my flight is delayed. It was nearing her bedtime, so I called home to tell her goodnight. She told me she'd see me on the moon, and then she said, "And Mama? MAMA! Luca loves you Soooooooo much!". And I just knew that if I could have seen her at that moment, she would have been standing with her arms stretched out to the sides as far as they would go, balancing up on her tippy toes.

At that moment, I wanted to share her sweetness with the people around me. I almost felt bad keeping it for myself, like holding onto something that sweet and amazing and beautiful and not sharing it with the WORLD is crule. I wanted to tell the emo girl standing behind me in line...the middle aged woman whose kids are probably way past the emotive stage and probably into the phase where they think their mom is the enemy...the grandma and grandpa in front of me, who were smiling while trying to pretend NOT to be listening in on my conversation. I wanted to put my kid on speakerphone and share the cuteness with them. I wanted to put them on the phone and let them talk to her, to experience the sweetness that is Luca. I felt sad for them that she was not theirs. And SO happy for me...because she IS MINE.

I love those kids. I can't wait to see them on Friday!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feel Better Bear

The Feel Better Bear is a new resident in our household, introduced in response to Luca's latest cold. Yes, we have a cold tearing through the house AGAIN and it sucks sucks sucks! Complicating things further, we're hosting a BIG event at work tomorrow, after which I am jumping on a plane bound for a 2 day meeting in Reno. In other words: we don't have TIME to be sick!

But sick we are, and it started with Luca on Friday, and she's STILL feeling crappy today. Luca's a very verbal 2 year old, so when she's not feeling well she lets EVERYONE know about it and, in no uncertain terms, demands lots of coddling. Which, really...if you know me you know I'm not exactly saying no to the snuggles and couch time. But bedtime was proving to be a bit of a challenge for a few nights, and she was fighting going to daycare, which is rare for the kid who last week told me that instead of staying home with me on my day off, she wanted to go to daycare.

:::pulls knife out of heart:::

Anyhow, out of necessity, the Feel Better Bear was born. Last night after she went to bed, we could hear her coughing and fussing in her room. This from the kid who usually goes right to sleep without so much as a protest. Desperate for a good night's sleep (I was up about once an hour every hour, and also for a chunk of time from 11:15-12:30 the night before with Romo, who's cutting a top eyetooth AND nursing the cold as well) I went up to check on her. And tripped over one of her eleventykajillion stuffed bears. And suddenly I struck what appears to be Mommy Gold.

Picking up the bear, I knelt by her bed to run my hands across her forehead and smooth her hair. Her eyes were rimmed red, she was clammy, and she said in her best (overly dramatic, super pathetic) voice, "Mama, can you sleep with me?". Look, even if I was small enough for it to be feasible for us to both fit in that bed, MY bed was calling me with its down mattress topper and down pillows. So instead of ME, I offered her the next best thing.

"I can't," I replied. "But I have something for you. This is Feel Better Bear (brandishing bear I picked up off floor). If you let him give you kisses and you hold him tight, he'll help you feel better." And then I swooped the bear down until his nose was kissing hers.

Wide eyes.

Swooping the bear again, this time so it kissed her cheek.


Swooping once more, kissing the other cheek.

BIG smile!

Swooping one last time, kissing on the lips.

A laugh, sweet as could be.

I tucked Feel Better Bear in next to her and got up to leave, but she stopped me when I opened the door. "Mama, you hafta kiss Betta Bear Night Night!", and I knew she was sold.

This is not the actual FBB, but a stand in Luca used to explain the FBB love to Rohan.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Romo had his 6 month appointment this morning. At 4 months he was sick, so we were able to avoid telling our (very pro-vaccine) pedi that we didn't want all the vaccines done at that age, since they won't vaccinate a sick kiddo anyhow. We ended up not going in for the follow-up appointment we'd scheduled, opting instead to go in at 6 months and deal with it then.

We had a new Pedi today, at the same office we've been using since Luca's birth. I went in ready for a battle over the vaccines. See, the thing is, I believe in vaccines. I believe they are important. But I don't think the 'regular' schedule the AAP suggests is ALWAYS right for ALL babies. And Rohan, with his Masto impacting his autoimmune system and the questions in my head over the blood-brain barrier in Masto kids and whether vaccines aare safe for him...well I'm just not sure the AAP schedule is RIGHT for him. To my surprise, the Pedi didn't argue with me, especially when I pointed out the info on the very sheets they provide, stating that some vax (like the one for Rotavirus) are not advised for kids with immune systems outside the norm. She agreed with me that the chance he'd get Rotavirus is slim, and if he DID get it, the negative effects it would have on him were less than the possible risk the vaccine would pose. I was really happy she was willing to listen to my concerns and work with me without making me feel guilty or stupid or like a negligent mom.

So we're doing an alternative vaccine schedule with him, skipping some vax all together because we don't perceive the benefit to be greater than the unknown risk. And I feel really happy and comfortable with the decision we came to together.

So overall it was a good appointment. He's 19 lb, 4 oz (75th %) and 28 inches (90th %) and is on track with all his milestones. She was even impressed he's so close to crawling and so alert and responsive to his environment.

Luca came with us to his appointment, and she was really hamming it up for the Doctor. She's been obsessed with the idea of going to the Doctor ever since her 2nd birthday appointment, and it's kind of funny to me how fascinated she is with Doctors. When we were talking about how Rohan is near crawling, Luca, who was sitting up on the exam table with a pile of books, chimed in, "And he can fall down, too."


"Yes," I tried to explain, "sometimes when he's sitting up he tips over."

"No, Mama. He fall down stairs. And then he can cry. And crrrrrrrrry."


"He falled down yes-taday." (who taught this kid to talk?!?!)

Busted. She totally ratted us out. I tried to explain to the Pedi that he did fall, when I wasn't home, but it was only 1 step into our front den and he was fine. She looked at me, smiled, and said, "If you're living in a house with a 2 year old and a 6 month old and that's the WORST thing that's happened, you're doing pretty good."


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