Friday, May 28, 2010

My baby can share

I've been prepping all sorts of lovely posts lately.  But I had my proudest mama moment the other night and it simply trumps everything.

MJ shared with me.  We were sitting on our patio soaking in the hot-hot-heat, while MJ sat on my lap eating Cheerios out of a bowl in my hand.  I was curious if she would give me any.  So I opened my mouth and went "Ahhh" ala-dentist style.  She looked confused at first.  Why does Mom want my Cheerios?  But after a moment of scrunched-up-face-pondering she crammed her grimy little baby hand in my mouth.  It wasn't easy to eat Cheerios this way, and I understand why half end up on the floor.  But?  But?  MORE importantly, she shared. 

So then we spent the rest of the bowl sharing.  She would put some in my mouth, I would put some in her mouth.  It was such a HUMAN moment.  Vito would NEVER have shared his food with me if I asked.  Rolling over: cool.  Sitting up: alright.  Crawling: entertaining.  But sharing?  It's the first on a long road to the real person we're raising.  Perhaps she's been capable of this for a while and I just didn't realize it, but it made me all glowy inside.

I shared this story with Grandma (and everyone I know, really); she raised doubts that this can really be considered sharing.  It's not sharing if it's Mom, apparently.  But I don't care, I'm going to insist on thinking my child is capable of empathy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

::who me?::

It's an anatomical miracle, but her eyes truly are larger than her stomache.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mama Fashion

The other day, when I picked up MJ from daycare, I quickly saw that if I took the long way home she would fall asleep in the car.  So I decided the long way home would be a stop by Sears to buy a garden hose.  Ferrying pitchers of water from the faucet to the garden 50 feet away seemed inefficient before MJ; it has recently become a matter of vegetable life or death.
So, garden hose.  Sears makes these great, indestructible, life-time warranty hoses and I'm tired of buying a new hose every year, only to have it mimic a geyser within a week.  So I bought the hose. And MJ was STILL asleep.
My route out of the store happened to take me through the Women's section.  Now, I'm not a fashionista, but I don't think I've ever bought clothes at Sears. Flat screen TV: Yes. Air conditioner: Yes. Garden hose: Yes.  But with MJ asleep this was my shot to actually buy clothes.

Some might argue that I didn't need to buy clothes. That some would be my husband.  But I'm going to start teaching my first real college class in a few weeks, and it dawned on me recently that I had no idea what to wear.  I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but geologists are a pretty grungy lot.  Lots of fleece and Carhartts.  This means that I don't have to worry much about how I look at work, other than wearing long pants to protect my legs from all the acid I inevitably spill.  In fact, I would get far more stares for dressing nicely than for wearing holey jeans to work.   
But I feel differently about teaching.  Maybe once I'm confident in my teaching abilities I won't feel the need to overcompensate with appearance.  But for the time being I feel the need to look professional.

I was a master of the Sears Women's department.  I would have made James Bond proud: get in, get out, don't be seen.  In 10 minutes flat I found 3 tops and two skirt WHICH ARE INTERCHANGEABLE.  Mastery.  My entire shopping personality has changed.  Time was I could try on clothes all day and maybe find one thing.  My sale radar was too strong to buy anything that wasn't at a rock-bottom price.  But when you have no idea how long baby girl will sleep indecision is not an option. 
Here are my finds.  What I need from you?  Your thoughts.  Are these professional?  Do they make me look dowdy (blue top, perhaps?) or trashy (black and grey top, perhaps?) or something else altogether. The tags are still on, this is your shot to save me from myself.  And what shoes does one wear?  On a side note, I definitely need to work on the biceps.

And for good measure, here's a dress that I bought from Ann Taylor Loft that I have yet to cut the tags off of.  The problem I discovered tonight is that the bra sticks out.  Probably not classroom appropriate.

And you may rest assured, the vegetables have been saved.  Thanks to Sears.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Adventures in gnawing, part II


Adventures in gnawing.

It's been a busy week. I gave y'all a task, you kindly obliged, and then I ran off without thanking you. While MJ didn't win the contest, she did land herself in the top five percent (okay, really the top 6 percent, but if you round... significant figures and what not.) So that's pretty sweet. I know that it's all a popularity contest. Okay, not even a popularity contest. An advertising campaign designed by Parents to get you to their website. But regardless, it makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside people voted for her, even if their was some arm twisting involved.

Last week was MJ's 8 month birthday. It boggles my mind that she still hasn't been breathing oxygen for as long as she resided in my ute. It feels like she's been here forever, life before her arrival is a distant memory. She's been crawling up a storm and generally fascinated by the whole world. Although everything still goes in the mouth, after giving her an unplugged cord to chew on for a while she is less interested in chewing on all the cords plugged into the wall. But the forbidden is still the most sought after... I have not yet figured out any way to childproof the dog food or water bowl; if the dog food wasn't perfect choke-inducing size I would let her gnaw on some until she discovered it's really not very good. But instead, I have to constantly place it out of her reach and then remember to put it back so poor Vito doesn't starve. And for this reason it is the one thing that MJ is most fascinated by. She WANTS that dog food like you wouldn't believe. This doesn't bode well for drugs and boys later in life.

I love how she follows me around the house as I do chores. She's constantly curious what I'm up to, and participates in whatever way she can. She helped me unload the grocery bags yesterday, pausing for a while to gnaw on a leek. A long while, actually. 20 minutes of gnawing on a leek. Is this an acceptable chew toy for an 8 month old? We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, one of the few child proofed rooms in the house, as well as outside. I still love chewing on grass so I figure she can go to town.

I've become obsessed with buying organic and finally joined a Co-op (more on that to come.) We've been getting more adventurous with what we feed her: yesterday was lentils with onions, peppers and carrots. It was tasty, I brought some in for lunch today. I'm working on a leek concoction, and her preliminary opinion of leeks seems to be a good one.

Whenever we go out to eat she tries to grab everything off the table and off our plate. So sometimes we let her, expecting the reaction to be one of disgust, and usually we're wrong. This weekend she gnawed on a pickle for a while and loved it. I'm guessing this is not something you're supposed to feed an 8 month old, though I never see it explicitly stated. The assumption is probably that it doesn't need saying. Last week she gnawed on a lime for a while; despite a pause every now and then for a sour face she continued gnawing. Then I remembered that whole no-citrus-fruits-the-first-year bit. Parenting has so many rules.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I mock people who do this.

But here I am.  One of them.  (I also mock people who obsess about dandelions.  And what did I do yesterday?  Weed our front yard of every last dandelion.  It was like a dandelion genocide.  (Can we joke about that?  I have jewish friends who joke about the Holocaust, but maybe that's like the N word?  (And can we use parentheses inside of parentheses?)))

Anyway, one of those people.  Those people who put their kid in beauty pageants.  And otherwise attention whore their child.

But in a moment of weakness, I submitted MJ to the Parent's Magazine photo contest.  And now that I've done it, I feel compelled to try to get her votes.  So that one day I don't have to tell her "Yes, honey, I put your photo in a contest but no one voted for you but me."  How sad would that be?

So anyway, here I am, asking you to vote for my child.  There's no prize for you, but she is a cutie, isn't she?

You can click here to vote:
You can vote once per day.
 And now let's never speak of this again. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I must confess, this day has never meant much to me.  I always made an effort to make or buy a present.  Or a card.  As I've gotten older that effort has been less consistent.  But I confess that my efforts stemmed more from obligation than from real gratitude.  There are exceptions, and gratitude was always part of the package.  But this year is different.

I feel really, truly, utterly, completely thankful.  Both to my Mom and to DH's mom.  We are both lucky, and we know it.  We both have great mom's.  And we both know that we owe them everything.  But this is the first year that I get it.

On happy days, when MJ is all smiles and kisses and loves me more than anyone in the world, it makes me a little sad to know that she won't remember this.  That she'll remember all her teenage angst ridden years, but not her "mom-is-the-best-in-the-universe" years.  But then I remember I was the same.  I cooed and smiled just like MJ, I am sure.  And then spent years being ungrateful.  And my Mom just took it.  And still loves me, unconditionally.  And never even holds it against me (at least not that I know of.)

And the rough days?  When MJ just cries and refuses to sleep?  That's part of the package, too.  Those days when my Mom had no one around except two ungrateful children and she still loved us unconditionally?  I now know how hard that is (though still only the square root of that effort, because I'm sure two children is exponentially more difficult.)  This is the first year I can have any inkling of what my Mom went through.  And DH's mom.  We were both raised by two brave, strong, independent, loving, compassionate and totally wonderful women.  And we owe you everything.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I love me some Minnesota spring... but seriously?


It's official.  I have asthma.  The diagnosis wasn't even subtle; after running my pulmonary function test, the nurse turned to me and said "You've NEVER done a test like this before?  Are you sure?", practically screaming "Even I can tell you have asthma!" with her tone of voice.  After coughing for 4 months (that brief respite I wrote about a few weeks ago was just that: brief.  MJ brought home another cold and ::BAM:: cough was back.)  It is such a relief to officially have asthma.  I'm not sure one is supposed to feel happy that they have a disease, but that's exactly how I feel. 

So I'm on Symbicort.  You know that ad they show?  With the puppies running through the field and the feet dangling off a dock into the water?  That's exactly how I feel.  Puppies and rainbows, oh my.  Because it's advertised ::ALL THE TIME:: and I hate direct marketing of pharmaceuticals to consumers I want to hate the product.  But no, it's great.  I'm not coughing.  I don't have people moving away from me on the bus for fear of tuburculosis or alien impregnation via sputum.  My slightly increased risk of death seems totally worth it (don't worry, Mom, there's always a slightly increased risk of death.)

The other reason for the puppies and rainbows is that our household has made it through the jungle of sick that has been this week.  ::BAM:: Sunday night Dad starts puking.  ::BAM:: Monday Mom (that's me) starts puking.  ::BAM:: Tuesday night baby starts puking.  Thankfully (for me and MJ, not so much for Dad) with each successive knockout the degree of puking diminished.  I think Dad puked for about 12 hours, Mom ~4 hours, and baby just once!  But we have survived.

And you know what else is great about being sick?  PRE-PREGNANCY WEIGHT Y'ALL!!  I celebrated by going to McDonalds (I must be a bad American, because I apparently don't know proper McDonald's etiquette.  You know when you order and they put the tray down with your receipt?  YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE TRAY.  You're supposed to leave it there.  So they can put your food on it.  Who knew that when they hand you a tray you're supposed to leave it there?  Obviously not me; McDonald's guy seemed appalled by my ignorance in the ways of fast food.)  Anyway.  Let me just say that again.  PRE-PREGNANCY WEIGHT.  Maybe stomache viruses aren't all that bad.  You know how else I'm going to celebrate?  In honor of impending Mother's day, pre-pregnancy weight, no more coughing, no more puking, and the fact that all my pants have holes in the crotch and all my shirts have pit stains, I'm going to buy me some new clothes.

That is all.

Oh yeah.  And Genevieve, I have drawn again.  I'm not going through the rigamarole of posting another little chart to show that I drew the winner impartially (though I did).  I will just tell you: the winner is #5.  That happens to be Ryan, Christy, Landen, and Jackson.  Congrats!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winner: Baby Beehinds

Thanks for the reminder comment, it's been a crazy weekend and I didn't pick the winner when I said I would. Anyway, the winner is Genevieve! Please let me know a way to contact you in the comments section. Thanks to everyne for your participation!
Edit:  Genevieve, if I don't hear from you by Friday I will draw again.