A New Toddler Experience

I had found The Little Gym and decided to try out a class with V.  We went as a family.  It is a movement class for kids from 19 months to 2.5 years old.  I cannot believe what a great time she had!

There was gymnastic equipment everywhere….tumbling mats, balance beams, bars, etc.  The instructor had us sit in a circle and work on the main mat, but told us to let the kids go if they felt comfortable enough to explore.  She said the only time we should really go get them is if we saw them doing something that was a safety concern.  As hard as it was for the hubs, we let her be.  Eventually she found her way back to us while we were playing with the other kids and families.

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Kiddo in an action shot!

We walked in a circle, ran, jumped, and galloped.  We got out a parachute and shook it, and then gave the kids a ride while they sat in the the middle of it.  We played with balls.  e did some trust exercises where we rolled down a ramp with our kid, using our arms as a container so we didn’t squish our kiddo.  We also did some exploration, where the instructor was encouraging us to try new things with our kadiddles.  V was on some low bars, and the instructor told us to lift her hips up so she could put her feet on the bars.  We showed her once, and then every time she went back to the bars, she put her feet up and basically bear crawled across them.  It was awesome to see her doing things that we wouldn’t have normally encouraged her to do…or even thought to have her try!

The coolest thing was watching her hang from an uneven bar.  She wasn’t even tall enough to reach the bar herself, so one of us had to lift her up.  But she was so strong, hanging around like a monkey.  And then, without warning, she let go and fell to the mat in a fit of giggles!  She immediately wanted to get up and do it again.  Another kid even copied her, falling to the mat right after her.  We were both amazed at her feat.  I forget that little kids have no fear.  It was awesome to see her enjoy herself so much and I know we will definitely be back for more fun!

Mixed Reviews

Sharing a few updates…some positive, some meh.  Let me set the stage for you on the marital bliss front tonight:  I’m on our deck, paying bills and enjoying watching the storm approach, while the hubs is couch surfing, on his phone (as per usual) while the TV drones on and on in the background.  I think he’s barely said 10 words to me since he got home at 7PM.  I’m trying not to take it personally…he’s had a long day and I’m guessing he wanted to unwind in peace.  It’s ok honey, let me cook dinner and clean up, get the toddler ready for bed and walk the dog.  You just sit there!!!!!

The good update – I’m no longer jobless!  YAY!!!!  I start my new gig next Monday the 18th.  It was a long process…I had interviewed last month (6/10) and am only starting now.  Offer negotiation, drug screening, pre-employment health screening and then finally orientation!  I’m really excited about the new role, as I’m doing business intelligence work in a clinical/healthcare environment.  This is a new area to me, but am SO geeked that I will be learning about it.  I’m going to get certified in EPIC, which is the electronic health record most hospitals and healthcare organizations use, so I figure this is my insurance for being able to get a job anywhere.  Anytime.

I’m a little nervous about starting back to work, because, well, it’s been 6 fucking months since I worked.  6 months!  My friend said it seemed like yesterday….and I wish I had felt that way.  This time has really dragged on for me and has been fraught with worry, so I’m happy to get back to some type of regular routine. And paycheck.  Fer real on the paycheck.

Which brings up a not so great update.  I filed for unemployment in early June, and have yet to receive a determination.  How incredibly shitty is that?  I mean, I’m thankful that we weren’t (and aren’t) living paycheck to paycheck, but for fuck’s sake, how would anyone survive having to wait over a month to know if you’ve been approved or not?!?  It is not something that anyone could even rely on and that’s a sad fact.  Much about our country seems sad these days.

Our Seattle trip was overall good.  We had a huge fight on the trail to Poo Poo Point.  And I’m seriously not shitting you on that name.  (See what I did there?!? Ha!!!!)  It is totally legit and I think it’s fabulous that our family hiked that trail.  Mind you, we did not make it to the top of Poo Poo Point.  You could say we had a blowout of sorts.  Husband had told me we were gonna hike for “an hour or so” and after 2 solid hours of hiking, I discover we have a scant amount of food for our toddler.  Who was scream crying for more food.  I became the bad guy for wanting to turn around and not try to make it to the summit because our daughter was hungry.  We resolved our fight on the way back, and I’m glad that we did.  I’d also call it progress for me because I didn’t really give a shit in that moment if I was the bad guy.  And usually I acquiesce if I’m feeling like the bad guy.

And our relationship has been kind of meh these days.  I go back and forth with how I’m feeling.  For those of you that have been married longer (we are going on 8+ years) do you often feel this way too?  I wonder if we’re going through a difficult season, or if something has fundamentally shifted in our relationship?  I know that having our daughter was a huge adjustment (and we’re still adjusting) but does it ever get easier?  It feels hard these days, and often I’m too tired to want to put in any effort.  Like I’m schlepping through wet cement.  I think this is a woman and mom thing more so….I mean for gawd’s sake, the kid needs constant care and attention, the dog is whining to get walked, everyone has to eat, people gotta have clean clothes, then it’s time to go night night, etc.  Plus I need to work out and try to do some shit for myself….and at the end of all that, sometimes I think to myself, “Husband you want to what?  You want to fuck me?  I have no energy left for that…”

And on that note, I’m taking my tired ass to bed.

Toddler Travels

We were headed to Seattle to visit some family but the hubs had a last minute business trip. Which meant I was flying cross country with a toddler and no one to tap out to. I was more than a little bit afraid of how the day would go. 

I have often told my husband that I’m exhausted before we even start vacation and here’s why. Not only do I have to pack myself, the kiddo and the dog (for doggie daycare) but I also have to schlep all the goddamn kid gear too. Diapers? Check. Diaper bag with snacks, extra outfit and activities?  Check. Car seat? Check. Medicines?  Check check check. I had my purse, 3 bags, a car seat AND my kiddo to haul. Moms are fucking Sherpas dude. Total ass kicking pack mules.  If you see a mom at the airport with a shitton of stuff in tow, tell her she’s doing an awesome job. Better yet buy her a coffee because you know that momma is tired. 

Bless the lovely lady at the park and ride this morning because she wouldn’t let me put anything in or take anything out. She hauled it for me. At the airport she even put my backpack on me because I had the kid in a wrap. I cannot tell you how touched I was by her kindness. 

We paid extra money for TSA pre-check  to ensure a faster way through security. Not. Why are the TSA dicks?  I had to submit to a pat down in order to keep my two sealed Horizon organic milks for my kid. Take off shoes, take her out of carrier etc. As the TSA agent went through the rest of my bag she confiscated a tube of toddler sunblock because it was 1 ounce over the “limit”.  Told me I could take it back and check it or she’d have to throw it out. I told her “You know I can’t go check it because my bag is already gone.”  She shrugged her shoulders as she tossed it in the garbage. I thanked her for making the world safer from Babyganics sunblock. Get real people…it’s shit like this that give those assholes their terrible reputation!

V did great on the 5 hour flight!  So good that I was a little shocked. It’s different now with her being a toddler. She plays independently at times so as she sat in her seat reading her book I was able to play a few rounds of solitaire. It was a “holy shit I’m kind of relaxing” moment. She did make up for it by flailing and crying for the last 10 minutes of the flight. Up until this point I’d been afraid to travel solo with the kid but after this experience we can be a dynamic traveling duo. And I won’t be (as) tired next time because some kind stranger is going to see me hauling ass and buy me a coffee. 

Motherhood is Fucking Lonely Sometimes

I am sitting on the couch, alone, surveying my disaster of a living room, taking a moment after putting the baby down to bed.  Eating popchips like a mad woman.  Watching episodes of Law & Order SVU because I can’t get enough of that show.

The husband is a 4 hour flight away at a funeral and I’ve been dealing with a kiddo with an ear infection since Tuesday night.  A single ear infection turned into a double ear infection.  Add to that an allergic reaction to the antibiotics we were given.  This week has sucked.  * Sigh *

Did I mention my husband was away?  I wish that the dog could somehow help me out or babysit for a few hours to give me a break, but no such luck.  Husband won’t be back until tomorrow, but he’s taking the red eye, but I don’t know how much “help” he will be when he does get home.

I love my daughter, and being a mom, but sometimes I think about my old, pre-baby life with longing.  And I get a little sad.  Because I miss some of the close friendships that I could more easily maintain pre-baby….and I feel like they’ve gotten left by the wayside.  Overrun by shitty diapers, double ear infections, dinner time, nursing, walking the dog, laundry, bath time, putting the baby to bed…the endless list of to-do’s on my plate these days.  When I do get a moment, I just want to sit in silence.  By myself.  Without anyone needing or wanting me.

I realize the irony in that last statement…how can I feel lonely when I’m almost never alone?  But I am lonely.  For some real friendships.  For my mom tribe.  For someone to tell me, “You are gonna get through this”, whatever this happens to be, knowing that they’ve walked in my shoes and can speak from experience.

My only close mom friends live far away….and it fucking sucks.  I have made a few friends here, but one of the friends I have is the “cherish every moment!” kind of mom and that shit just ain’t real.  Being real to me is admitting that some days you want to run away.  Some days you want to scream at your husband that the next time he leaves his socks laying around you are going to put them all together in a pile and burn them.  Real is not losing your shit on the dog, even though you really want to, when he shits in the house because you were too busy tending to your sick kid to take him for his normal walk.

 

No one told me that this mom business would have these kind of moments.  Such worry.  Such anxiety.  Such frustration.  Such loneliness.  I’m probably talking to no one right now.  * Sigh *

I think I’m going to bed.  Alone.

I’ll Take The Shits for $350, please.

When you read that headline, isn’t that exactly what you envision for your anniversary?  No?  Well it wasn’t what I envisioned either…but that’s what happened.  And still happening.

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Dessert!

Let me set the scene for you.  We decided to take a trip to Napa for our anniversary with the kiddo in tow.  I had even found a local nanny service with terrific reviews so that the hubs and I could have some alone time.  He found a restaurant with great reviews, and booked us a reservation on our anniversary.  He even went so far as to let the restaurant know it was our anniversary too!  (Bonus points for him on this….I believe I owe him a quality BJ at some point for this good work.)

We got to the restaurant early and enjoyed this scenic view.

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View from our table

We sampled different Napa wines from their extensive list.  We had a delicious three course meal, with the chef even sending out two additional small plates for us, free of charge.  Seriously, the food was divine!  At one point, I had even said to the hubs, “I think I may have just come a little…” because the food was THAT good.

 

Our dinner was so good for a number of reasons.  We got the opportunity to talk about plans for the future, about things in our marriage we should keep doing, things we should start doing, things we should stop doing.  We had the rare opportunity to spend time with each other, without one of us being distracted with one eye trying to pay attention to our spouse and one eye watching our kiddo.

On our ride home, my stomach began to rumble very deeply.  I remember commenting that I didn’t feel so hot.  We get back to our hotel, pay the nanny, got the report on how V was, and then I exited to the bathroom where I shit the entire contents of my dinner out.  I was also feeling sick to my stomach, and I was praying to the porcelain god and any other god that would listen, that puking wouldn’t follow the diarrhea.  To be sick from one end is bad enough, but to have it coming out of both ends is truly awful.

We racked our brains trying to figure out what the offending dish may have been, as we both were pretty sure I had a case of food poisoning.  I think it was my 3rd course, which was squab.

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The offending dish (I’m sorry little squab)

It was supposed to be medium rare, but I think it was mostly rare.  I didn’t ask for them to cook it more, and in hindsight, I really should have.  Because I looked at it and thought “That’s too pink to eat” but ate it anyway.  And am now paying the consequences for my dumbass move.

 

And for those of you that may want to judge me for eating squab.  Please don’t as I’ve already beaten myself up enough over this.  You see, when I ordered, I thought squab was a type of pheasant.  Because we were in a fancy schmancy restaurant, I wasn’t going to be the unsophisticated type to ask “What is squab?” Growing up in the Midwest, I came from a hunting and fishing family, so we regularly ate wild game, including rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, deer, fish we caught, etc.  It was only later on that I googled and discovered that squab was pigeon.  Young pigeon. And I felt morally conflicted for having eaten a young pigeon.  The hubs didn’t help when he was jutting his neck in and out like pigeons do when they walk.

I’m writing this post 5 days after the dinner in question, and I’m still shitting my life away.  I’ve felt truly awful since Monday evening.  In addition to the diarrhea, I’ve felt bloated, gassy, nauseated, and just icky in general.  I dropped off the kiddo at daycare this morning, and as I walked to my car, I started crying, muttering to myself, “I just want to stop feeling like shit!”

Sigh.  At least was a memorable anniversary.  How about that for a positive spin?

P.S.  Had to post this real life pic from our trip.

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This is vacation with a toddler.  

Hubs was trying to get some nice pics of me and the kiddo together, because it’s almost always her and him in photos, with me behind the camera.  He managed to snap a pic of her pitching a fit, and me trying to protect her melon from making contact with the pavement.  I love the contrast of this beautiful scenery behind me, with a flailing child in front of me.  Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Wrapping this up so I can go shit my life away.  Again.

 

Parenting with Different Backgrounds

Last night was another fight in the Von Poopenberg household over our kid. Well maybe not fight. Let’s go with discussion instead.  Sure, that sounds better.

Today is the hubs birthday.  Last night, we had a sitter lined up and had plans to meet some friends for dinner and drinks.  We bring V home from daycare yesterday, and while I was holding her, she starts throwing up.  She threw up on me twice, and then again, after I had hauled her upstairs and had given her a bath.  She didn’t have a fever or anything, but I didn’t feel right about leaving her with a sitter while she’s not feeling well.  The hubs suggested that we go to dinner anyway, bring her, because she appears to be fine now.  I vehemently disagree.  As the time ticks away, we try to figure out what to do.  He tells me “I don’t want to leave you alone while she’s sick.”  I tell him I don’t feel comfortable leaving her, regardless of the reason why she is sick.  I tell him I want to stay home to monitor her.  Five minutes later, he tells me he’s going to meet our friends for drinks and will be back later.  With that, he grabbed his keys and left.

I was a bit dumbfounded.  And then I was angry.  So I put the kadiddle to bed, and I end up staying in the bedroom because I don’t want to be far away from her.  What if she throws up again?  Sure, I could turn on the monitor but I don’t want to be on another floor if she needs me right away.  So I lay in bed, reading for awhile.  I try to sleep but every time she rolls over or makes a sound, I sit straight up in bed panicked.  Then I sit listening, straining to make sure she is still breathing.  And still stewing about the earlier interaction with the hubs.

He starts texting me, telling me that “I felt bottled up and trying to understand your perspective when mine was fighting was making things hard on me” and “our perspectives were clashing in my head” so that’s why he left.  He got home later and we had a very pained conversation about it.  He doesn’t understand why I was so worried, because as he said, “If your finger was still attached, then it wasn’t a problem”…meaning in his family, you didn’t get attention for simple sickness.  Only when it was something catastrophic.  He went on to say that he is trying to see things from my perspective but he’s having a difficult time.  And that I’m a first time mother, so compared to his mom (who had 6 kids) I react differently.  So I tell him that from my point of view, when my kid is sick, that is my first priority.  And I’d rather be home with her than out and about.  And then I ask him, “After you’ve thrown up, for whatever the reason, did you feel like doing anything?!?”  And what I don’t tell him is that it felt like friends won out over his family.  That his daughter had thrown up three times, and he still felt the need to go out and have beers, even though he was out with the same gang the night before, and would be going out again tonight.

Our conversation ended with no real resolution.  I feel like we camped over in our corners, respectively, waiting for the bell to ding again for the next round of fighting.  I’m struggling to understand how he’d want to go out still (granted it was his birthday celebration) and he’s struggling to understand why I worry so much about her, when in his mind, she is fine.  I think our different styles of parenting are a positive thing – we both bring different strengths to the table, and that can only benefit our daughter in the long run.  But how do you come to some sort of compromise when you are in opposite corners?  How do you get each other to understand your point of view?

I’m stumped.  And kind of sad about that.  So I guess on that note, let me wish you all “Happy Fucking Valentine’s Day.”  This parenting shit is hard!

 

Lavendar is TOO relaxing

            So I find that every now and then essential oils come up in discussions on common childhood ailments and issues. In the beginning I was totally skeptical, but then I was rocking a gassy three month old who was screaming his head off and I figured, it couldn’t get worse. I gave it a try. While I am nowhere near being “a new believer” I will say that the results are pretty damn remarkable. I’ve used oil concoctions for teething, gas, and runny noses to date. Stuff works, gotta give the EO people that. Joe was incredibly fussy the other day and I figured why not add some oil to his bath to help calm him down a bit quicker before bed. I added the oils and left Joe in the tub with my husband to watch over him and wash him off.

Within five minutes of finishing the dishes I hear “LAVENDAR IS TOO RELAXING! THERE IS CRAP IN THE TUB!!!” coming from the bathroom. Apparently Joe was relaxed enough to poop in the tub, something my husband had never experienced before. I walk in to see him holding Joe up in one arm and using the strainer we keep in the bathroom for his toys after baths to fish out the poop which, according to him was “disintegrating too quickly to catch all of it”. I was laughing too hard at the stressful issue at hand while I tell him to pull the plug and “just rinse him off, and I’ll clean up”. I have a feeling I should copyright that saying for as much as I say it with him.

My husband is a social creature and immediately took to informing a dad-to-be friend of ours of all that he has to look forward to… as though that was helpful.

*sigh*

Ella

Having My Best Week Ever (not true!)

You remember that VH1 show, Best Week Ever?!?  By referencing that show, does it show my age?  Ah, well, hell….let me tell you the week I’ve just had.

Last Thursday – Sunday:  We have had a trip planned to LA for several months so of course I get sick right before we fly out.  Thanks for sharing your germs from daycare kiddo!

Monday:  Work from home because I’m feeling like absolute crap and guessing my coworkers will be happy that I’m not going in to the office to “share” this with them.  Went to doctor and confirmed that I have upper respiratory infection and because I’m still nursing, there’s not really anything I can take unless I want to dry up my supply.  Bonus/plus side?  My doctor was pretty hawt.

Monday Night:  Husband tells me that his work trip, which was supposed to be a day trip on Tuesday will now last until Friday.  Wake up in the middle of the night and I feel a lump in my boob.  Don’t give it much thought as I roll over and go back to bed.

Tuesday Morning:  Work from home again because I’m still not feeling great/hacking all the time AND am pretty sure now that I’ve got my second case of mastitis.  My right boob is throbbing anytime I move around.  I’ve been trying to hand express to get the milk out, and also put moist heat on it, but not really helping much.  FML.

Tuesday at 11AM:  Jump on a “catch up call” with my coworker, boss, and director to find out that the latest reorg puts me, my coworker, my director, and about 10 other people of our 25 person team out of jobs.  I was expecting this, but there’s something to be said for hearing someone tell you “Congratulations – you’re getting laid off/let go/bye Felicia!”  We were told our last day would be 2/29/2016…a day that occurs once every four years.  What a special occasion!

Tuesday at noon:  Mastitis is confirmed with slight fever and boob that is all red and inflamed.  Call dr. to get prescription for antibiotic since I’ve been here before…thanks to my friend Angela for that suggestion because I’d have probably waited until I felt like complete and total shit, requiring a middle-of-the-night ER visit.  Add finding new daycare to the to-do list because of massive issues.

Tuesday evening:  Talk to husband and have total meltdown on the phone, complete with ugly crying, repeating “I can’t adult any more today”.

Wednesday morning:  Still at home, took a sick day because I need to rest AND because I no longer give two shits about my (soon-to-be-eliminated) job.  My idea of “relaxing”?  Cleaning up my shit sty of a house.  Relaxing fail.

Thursday:  Finally go in to work and virtually no one in our department is there.  I get it, with the happenings of this week, but we have 5 months until our last day…it’s a little early to start checking out everyone, isn’t it?  Leave work early myself to enroll daughter in new daycare.  Go to pick her up from daycare that we are about to fire and the ladies ask me, “Did you not bring any food for Viv?”  Um, what?!?  You didn’t feed her all day then and I see hardly any milk has been drank.  Oh even better – they fed her food that we didn’t authorize, and they sound unsure of what they fed her.  Let’s just hope she doesn’t have allergies to anything because I don’t know WTF she ate.   Please, please, PLEASE dear God do not let me lose my shit.  If I end up in jail, it will be a solid 24 hours before the husband can bail me out.

Friday:  Inform daycare that we are pulling our daughter from them.  Best part?  When I pick her up a few hours later after working a short day, they even fuck up packing up her supplies.  I was missing two bottles full of milk THAT THEY DIDN’T FEED HER.  Husband had to stop on his way home after his flight landed.

Friday Night:  Drank a beer and listened to my husband tell me all about his wild night during his business trip.  I got to hear how they were out until 3AM, their dinner bill for 9 people came to $1,400, they went for drinks later (that was $500 alone), and lastly, but surely not least, they ended up at a strip club.  I honestly don’t care about the strip club part, but way to regale me about your adventures when I’m stuck here, sick, and managing to (barely) hold down the fort.  I love my husband deeply but sometimes I want to slap his fucking face off.

Saturday Morning:  As I write this blog post, I’ve been awake since around 3:30AM.  I’ve fed and clothed the baby, changed 2 diapers, walked the dog, got showered, and am currently writing out my grocery list.  I went upstairs around 7AM with the baby, and the husband was still half asleep.  He’d been sleeping for about 11 hours, and when I mentioned that to him, he replies, “So?!?”  And then commented about how he was making up for my lack of sleep.  How thoughtful, huh?!?

Conclusion:  I need to buy a lottery ticket because my luck has got swing back up at some point, right?!?  It HAS to…that’s what I keep telling myself.

I ran out of diapers

             My child is borderline lactose intolerant, like he can have milk as long as that is his only dairy for the day. If he has cheese then he better not have more than a couple of cups of milk. We have ratios and in general we know how to work with his diet. My husband apparently pays attention to none of that. In one of the rare occasions that he tried to help out by giving me time in the house alone; he went out with Joe. He was gone for a total of three hours, to the library, the zoo, the grocery store and even the parking lot for an impromptu nap. You know, when a kid passes out within two minutes of getting to your destination and the number one rule is to never wake a sleeping baby… yea…

            Well, during his outing I was occansioanlly receiving picture text updates of where they were and what they were doing. It went something like this

At the library: he sure does love that fish tank

At the zoo: look babe, he loves ice cream

Parking Lot: guess I have to wait to go inside huh?

At the store: I think we need this mask

I did not reply because, well, my hands were covered in paint and I pretty much got all these texts at once. But I noticed the ice cream and thought… he knows better, he has to… and then I hear the garage door open. I count the steps, yes he’s rushing, and then I hear the door slam… YUP he’s rushing. I greet my husband who is holding a pissed off toddler and a disheveled diaper bag. This is how it went down:

Husband: I ran out of diapers, I had to bring him home, that diarrhea is unbelievable, I don’t know what he ate that made him poop so much, it’s everywhere…

ME: How much dairy did he have?

Husband: He only had his bottle, the rest was just his snack poofs while we were shopping….he went through three diapers in an hour!

ME: so not TWO cones of ice cream?

Husband: He LOVED THOSE

ME: I love chocolate, that doesn’t mean it won’t turn on me and make me fat…

Husband: I’ll go get the bath ready….