Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wanna make out?

You'll have to forgive me. I'm stuck with the creeping crud and having a difficult time prioritizing between parenting, working, and snot wrangling. Thank goodness for Neti pots, that's all I have to say.

Yeah, I know. I'm bringing sexy back.

In other exciting news, we took a trip to the next town over this weekend and CLEANED UP at the used kid's clothing store. It was bargain shopping at its absolute, tippity- toppity, double fudge ice cream sundae finest: We got a 2 piece Columbia snowsuit, snow boots, shoes, pajamas, the cutest flannel shirts you've EVER seen, corduroy pants and more for under $100, people.

And we got to stop for ice cream. I was not kidding about the sundae.

So it was a great weekend, fun was had by all, and if my freaking face wasn't full of rubber cement at the moment, I'd be happy as a pig in shit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Year

Dear Otto,

Today you are 1 year old. That mere fact completely blows my mind. I know its cliche to say things like "It seems like just yesterday...." and "time flies" but REALLY! It does and it does.

We had a small celebration for your birthday last Saturday- just family and a few friends who happened to be in town. You are still very suspicious of strangers or people you don't see often, but we had a fabulous time. You have received some really neat gifts (mostly books- SCORE!) and I am touched that people are remembering that a year ago today, I went through HELL to get you here. Heh.

I say this every month but you are SO much fun right now. Every day leads to new discoveries and our sides practically ache from how much you make us laugh.

Here's a list of things you can do:

-WALK!! Granted, you only go a few steps (maybe 7 or 8) before plopping down or grabbing on to something but we are impressed. And the distance you can walk increases every day. Won't be long before I'm chasing you in supermarkets and cursing under my breath.

-Say stuff. So far, you can say the following: Dad, shoes, cheese, teeth, this, there he is (sounds more like he-is), yes, and I SWEAR I heard Mama this morning. Oh, and you can meow like a kitty and tweet like a bird.

-Sign. You are great at "milk" and are practicing "all done," "yes," "eat," and "water". I need to be better about signing please and thank you because I think you will pick those up soon. You are also nodding your head "yes" and shaking your head "no." (Um...the "no" thing? HILARIOUS. And sometimes frustrating. )

-Get jokes: You are starting to make your own jokes and laugh at them. Just last night, you were smacking my leg and laughing uproariously. You love it when I crawl around the room, chasing you, and think its incredibly funny when we use the coffee grinder. (Now that I think about it, you're probably just laughing at the fact that its decaf and we still seem so desperate.)

Your 12 month doctor's appointment is on Friday, so I guess we'll find out at that point what all your measurements are. I also plan on asking the Dr. for input on pump weaning and giving you cow or some other milk while at daycare. I'm ready to be done with the pumping already!! But I am incredibly proud that we got through the first year and never ONCE has formula touched your lips. Go us!!

Speaking of food, you are turning into a great little eater. Your number one, super-duper Favorite food is frozen blueberries:

You are also wild about mandarin oranges, banana, chicken, frozen peas, carrots, crackers, rice, pancakes, and I'm pretty sure you were in 7th heaven with the piece of birthday cake you had the other day.

Things you DO NOT like so far include stir-fry that your dad makes, salsa (mild), and broccoli.

Also, cat food is apparently quite delicious. Who knew?

You are still not a great sleeper, a fact that I have just decided to accept. I don't have the time or energy right now to 'sleep train' and I question a lot of those methods anyway. You still wake up 2-3 times a night and sometimes we can get you back down without nursing, but a little milk remains the quickest way to put you back in dreamland. You are still spending half the night in bed with me and as long as you actually sleep, and I can function at work the next day, its really not that bad. We are works in progress, no?

Oh, and your hair gets redder by the minute:

All in all, you are a fantastic little person and I'm so pround to be your Mama. You amaze me every day with your intelligence, perseverance, affection, learning and your overall adorable-ness.

Happy first birthday, my love!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Birth Story

**Warning: This is a long one. There is a super abbreviated version here**

One year ago today:

I was immensely pregnant. We are talking whale-like proportions. I was tired, sluggish, and wearing support hose. It was gross. Little Mr. O was almost a week past his due date. I was READY.

But he wasn't. While I waited in vain for labor to start, the midwife convinced me (citing his estimated large size, his lack of movement, and my circulation issues which included painful blood clots) that we should induce. First we tried stripping the membranes, lots of walking. More walking. Stripped membranes again. And then she asked if we could just book a bed at the hospital. In hindsight, I wonder if this was the right decision; I know that he would have eventually shown up. And things may have gone better for me. I had read all the books, frequented all the message boards- I knew that induction meant an increased risk of C-section and other interventions. Logically, I knew this. But at the time, I was SO miserable and the midwife was SO confident (and apparently worried because he really was not moving much at all- we were failing stress tests), I just nodded my head dumbly and allowed her to make the call.

We checked into the hospital on Sunday night. Earlier that day, we'd puttered around the house, gone to the store for some last minute items none of which I can remember right now. We were in a daze. We were nervous, anxious and a little giddy...giggling at stupid shit in that way you do when you are kind of excited but kind of scared at the same time. Once we checked in, I got all settled and the midwife came in and applied prostiglandin (sp?) gel to my cervix to coax it into dilation. We slept.

At about 3 am, I awoke to find that my water had broken. After that, there was no sleeping. Everyone waited to see if maybe labor would start on its own. The Husband and I watched early morning television and made jokes. No contractions.

As the sun came up, I had to beg for breakfast. They didn't want me to eat because of the risk of vomiting but I knew I would need as much strength as I could get for what I was about to do. Finally I convinced the midwife to allow some toast. Jeesh. Ridiculous. It was like I was asking for a freaking steak and lobster dinner.

Then, at around 9 am, they started the pitocin.

All I can say is HOLY MOTHERFUCKER OUCH. The contractions slowly revved up, getting more and more intense. Bob and I walked the halls until they were coming so close together, I couldn't really stand for too long. I used the birthing ball and the rocker and was periodically hooked up to the fetal monitor- more than I would have liked but they were so paranoid hearing the little guy's heartbeat.

At this point, mid-afternoon, I started getting bitchy. Like, really bitchy. I was in a really fragile place, emotionally. The poor Husband, who hadn't left my side all day, felt a little rejected, I think when I didn't seem to want him to touch me at ALL- I could see him thinking that all that massage practice in birth class was for NOTHING. I know now that it really might have helped, but at the time, I was so close to tears, I felt like if he were to even touch me, I might just lose control and start bawling all over the place.

At 3, 12 hours after my water broke, the midwife let me un-plug and get in a warm bath. Immediate relief. Heaven. I think I even dozed for a couple minutes. Bob sat quietly beside me. However, this stalled my labor, so after about 45 minutes, it was back out, and more pitocin.

Long story short...I was finally ready to push around 8:30pm. And push I did. For TWO AND A HALF HOURS. The contractions were coming so close together, it was like I couldn't even breathe and about half way through I asked for help. I was totally losing my shit and at that point, I really didn't think I could do it. The midwife gave me half a dose of Nubaine (sp?) (the only pain med I was to have) and it really, really helped. I was finally able to take two deep breaths in a row and get my shit back together. I mean, it still hurt. ALOT. But it took the edge off just enough to allow me to regain my focus. I remember thinking "Oh, I hope I'm not ashamed of myself for this" but you know what? I'm not. I truly think that this small amount of painkiller saved me from a C-section or forceps/vacuum extraction. Because shortly after that, it was decided that the baby was stuck behind my pubic bone.

The midwife called in the OB/GYN on call because she thought forceps or vacuum might be needed. Something about this served as motivation for me and I made one last desperate attempt, with the midwife, the nurse, the Husband and the on-call OB all cheering me on.

At 11:03 pm, Otto FINALLY made his appearance. They immediately put him on my chest and the world fell away. After a few minutes, they wrapped him up, briefly weighed him, and gave him to the Husband as I was being stitched up (only 3 stitches) which was fine as I felt too weak to hold him just then. (After all- I'd just done the hardest work of MY LIFE on 2 PIECES OF FUCKING TOAST and a butt load of water and Gatorade.)

It is at this point that I really should stop and mention how totally, utterly amazing the Husband was. He left my side only ONCE the entire day, to pee. Other than that, he was there cheering me on, holding my hand and just being an overall badass.

Anyway, after I was all fixed up, the nurse helped as Otto latched on for the first time. Then they left us alone. We oohed and ahhed over his perfect handsfeetarmslegsbackeyesnoselips...we were totally in love. As it was now pushing 2 am, I sent the Husband home to take care of the animals and get some shut-eye in his own bed - the fold out chair thingy in the room was not the epitome of comfort. I had a nurse smuggle me a bagel and cream cheese and some apple juice and I fell asleep with a warm, snuggly baby in my arms.

Some random memories:

For some reason, the TV was on and tuned to the Discovery Channel the entire time I was in labor. I was totally oblivious to it but I remember noticing at one point that it was a marathon of Man vs. Wild.

The hospital food, once they allowed me to eat, was actually not bad at all.

That first hot shower after labor was the best. shower. ever.

My midwife had a broken ankle and while she stayed with me for the entirety of my labor, I could tell that she was uncomfortable...she had her foot propped up a lot of the time. What a trooper.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


One year ago today was my due date. I remember being in a very, very bad mood. The fact that Otto wasn't born until a week later should clue you in as to the reason for this. Heh.


I'm taking tomorrow off from work to get my head clear and play with my kid and clean the house so the grandparents can come celebrate with us this weekend. Yay! Birthday Cake for EVERYONE!!!! (And YES- I am excited for cake in spite of the fact that it depresses me that I still have 10 lbs to go until my pre-pregnancy weight. Is that wrong? I mean, I know that I'm still nursing and that my body holding onto some extra is an insurance policy, so to speak, but I can't help it that I have "fat days" more often than not.)

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it has been a whole freaking YEAR since the little guy showed up. Craziness.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This past Saturday began great. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. The air was crisp and fresh with an apple cinnamon scented promise of fall. Or that might have been my car freshener. Whatever.

Anyhoo. We went out to breakfast and just as we were walking back in the door, our bellies distended with waffles and pancakes and syrup and grease (mmmm...grease), I remembered- Oi! Daisy has a vet appointment today! For vaccines! Seeing as how the last vet visit for Daisy ended in a black eye and deep scratch for me, it was RED ALERT time for preparedness.

And so, I fished her carrier out of the closet, cleaned it up, found the leather gloves and screwed up my courage. I lured her into the carrier with a treat and off we went. Whee!! Of course, since she does not handle car trips very well, she cried like a human child the entire way, clawing and scratching at the door of the little crate.

Once we got there, she seemed to be relatively calm, as evidenced by the photos below*:

Once the vet came in, I warned her: "My cat is aggressive. Very aggressive. Last time it took 4 of us to give her the shots and I got a black eye." (Maybe it would have made more of an impression had I cheered it: "She's! Aggressive! She's! She's! Aggressive!" Who knows.)

"Oh ho!" She scoffed. "We see aggressive cats in here all the time!"

Then she gave Daisy the first shot.
Hiss. Spit.


"I think we'll have to sedate her." Yeah.

And so they did. They corralled the poor thing into a fish tank and gave her just a bit of gas until she was asleep. Another shot and a physical later, they took the gas away and she woke up. P.I.S.S.E.D. beyond belief.

I lent the veterinary assistant my leather gloves so he could help me get her back in the carrier. Never have I seen the like: this cat was hissing, spitting, and gunning for both our jugulars. Honestly, it was completely frightening. The vet assistant said it was the most excitement he'd seen in 6 months. And that included watching Animal Planet.

I escaped with only a flesh wound (read: two smallish scratches) to my right hand and a monetary wound in the neighborhood of $80.

And the reassurance that it will be at least 2 years before we need to endure an episode like this again.

Damn cat.

*I don't have any photos of the "excitement" as the assistant put it because HELLO I was in mortal danger. Maybe next time I'll hire a camera man. Who knows...maybe we could get our own reality series...Birdie and the CAT FROM HELL

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big Issue

While there is much political rhetoric and mudslinging swirling around about The Issues, who's honest about them, who's not, blah blah blah, please let me clarify one of the the important issues in MY life (and honestly, right now? not so much to do with politics. More to do with me. And my desperate quest to hang onto my sanity):

My Issue Numero Uno: SLEEP.

Or how I am NOT GETTING ANY. Don't know if this is a developmental thing or what but for the love of Pete, why is my kid not sleeping??? He was up 5 times last night. I'm running on fumes. We are slowly working on weaning him from co-sleeping and its a struggle- not his issue really, but mine. I mean, yeah, he's waking up astounding frequency, but when he's up so much in the night, the easiest thing is just to pull him into bed with me and fall back asleep while he nurses. Its easy in the light of day to be all "oh nursing will be the last resort, I'll try to get him to bed in other ways first, only if that doesn't work will I nurse him IN THE CHAIR and then put him back in his own bed."


Its way way harder to stick to this plan when its 3am, he's been up twice already and I'm thinking to myself OMFG I only have 2.5 more hours to sleep and I've only slept a total of 3 hours so far and I KNOW that if I just bring him into bed and nurse him, he will be out like a light in 20 seconds and I can get back to my dream about Christian Bale.

Upon doing some research, it appears that this very well may be a developmental, 11 month old thing. And by research I mean some phone calls and random googling. I'm being promised that things will get better again. He will eventually sleep through the night. I would even settle for 6 hours in a row right now. Until then, guess I'll just keep drinking my half-caff's and skipping my am workouts. Sigh.


And of course, gotta throw in just a little teensy weensy political thingamajig: Go here to figure out if Obama's plan would result in tax cuts for you. Be sure to read the disclaimer at the bottom.


Monday, September 8, 2008

11 Months

Dear Otto,
Once again, I am a bit late posting your monthly letter. ( An idea, as I have mentioned before, shamelessly stolen from other bloggers. Deal.)

This month, one away from the BIG 1 YEAR, you are blossoming in a way that is truly astounding.

First in physical development: You are on the fast track to walking. You are currently practicing standing unassisted...which you do for a moment or so and then begin this drunken hula-hooping movement that inevitably results in you falling on your diapered butt. You crawl with lightening speed but I can tell that you'd really love to be running. Don't worry. All this practice will pay off and you'll be laughing and running away from me in stores in no-time.

You also seem taller and leaner...a result, I'm sure of growing (er...yeah. D'uh.) and moving around so much. You are on the go ALL THE TIME. Even in your sleep...you crawl around and then fall into hilarious poses involving your previously mentioned diapered butt sticking straight up into the air. Cute.

You make all kinds of faces at the moment...many of the funniest are when you are finding circumstances to be decidedly UNFUNNY. I try not to laugh but, sorry, sometimes it can't be helped. Especially when you are pouting and stick out your lip and your tongue. Its ridiculously adorable.

Word-wise, you are an old pro at "Uh-oh" which has evolved from "Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh" to a very distinguishable two syllables. You say "Dad" ALOT, "shoes," "meow" like a kitty cat, and yesterday you said "Cheese" over and over again at the grocery store. You say a heck of a lot more, lecturing us on what I'm sure are very interesting, in-depth opinions on everything under the sun, but we don't understand much. We just nod and smile and hope you keep on talking. Because we love it.

We are currently planning your 1 year birthday. It seems surreal to be even thinking about it but there it is...2 1/2 weeks away. Where has the time gone? In some ways it seems like you just got here and in others like I've been diapering your little ass forever.

Watching you grow the past month has been a blast. You are so much fun right now and I really think its just going to get better.

I love you up to the sky and back again a million bazillion times,

Monkey Business

I wanted to post this earlier but you know... {insert excuse here}.

Anyway. A bit ago, I entered a contest on the FABULOUS Amelia Sprout's Blog for an adorable hand made sock monkey. And you'll never believe it, but I won! Guess I can no longer mournfully claim "I never win anything." Behold:

Little O loves him too. Evidence below:

Thanks Amelia!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Feel Good Friday

Chances are, you've seen some version of this before but damn if it isn't touching. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hockey Moms = Dogs???

Did you watch Palin's speech? Even though it has been WELL established that I am not her target audience yada yada yada, I couldn't help but tune in just out of sheer curiosity. And the "know your enemy" thing.


I was impressed with Palin's poise, her polished appearance and demeanor, and her cute hair. I was not impressed by the canned speech, the lack of substance in her words and the level of sarcasm that accompanied jabs at Obama. And since most of these jabs were unfounded they held little weight.

Oh, and I personally do not think that comparing yourself to a dog is very flattering. But whatever. Although, on second thought, I have known some amazing dogs so maybe I take that back.

Ah well. Onwards and upwards. Looking forward to the debates!

Great analysis of Palin's speech here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

So its no big secret that I am not voting for McSame come November. His choice in running mate, however, has given rise to vast amounts of speculation both on and off the internet, some of which I can't help follow. Its incredibly entertaining and wonderfully distracting from things I don't want to be doing like, um I don't know, WORKING.

The best analysis I've read by far can be found over at Huff Post. Of course it has a liberal slant but I think the points made are valid. And not just a little bit humorous.

It's one thing to discuss how unqualified Sarah Palin is. That's a national matter and huge. But on a grassroots political level, her nomination takes away the Republicans' ONLY weapon in the campaign - calling Barack Obama inexperienced. They haven't even been trying to run on the issues, or on the eight-year record of George Bush, which John McCain has supported almost 95% of the time. They've only been running on the faux-issue of Barack Obama's experience of 14 years in federal and state government. Yes, Sarah Palin is merely running for VP, not president, but with a 72 year-old candidate with a history of serious medical issues, this is who they're saying is able to step in as president in a heart-beat. She has so little experience that she makes Sen. Obama look like FDR, Winston Churchill and Julius Caesar combined. So, the Republicans pulled the rug out from under themselves. They have no issues. The economy? Housing? The national debt? Education? The Environment? Iraq? Afghanistan? Nothing. All they have is "Dear Democratic women: please pretend our VP candidate is Hillary Clinton. Just forget that she's pro-life. And against most things Democrats stand for."
(P.S.- there is no mention of the daughterteenpregnancy debacle.- I agree with Obama on this one- people's families, especially kids, are off limits. Although I will say that this just might could be where abstinence only sex ed gets ya. I'm just sayin'.)