Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Highlights

So instead of boring you with every little detail of my parent's visit I'll just stick to the highlights.

Friday we all went to Pike's Market, which was super fun. I love the crowds, the commotion, the flowers and fish. We ate some yummy lunch, gyros and clam chowder and pizza and lemonade. It probably seems so cliche to go to the market on a visit to Seattle, but really, it's so cool. There's a reason so many tourists AND locals enjoy the market!



Saturday we took Iris trick-or-treating. Local businesses sponsored trick-or-treating in a neighborhood close by, so Matt, my parents, Eloise and I walked with Iris for quite a few blocks. She completely got the hang of saying "trick-or-treat!" and of course, "thank you!". It was so darn cute. I can't wait to take her every year from now on. It was nice that there were so many families out, as well. We even ran in to some friends! That afternoon Matt's parents and sister came over and we all spent some time together. This is the closest we've ever gotten to get our entire families together, so that was nice. We've just been working so darn hard at repairing all the damage we've done to our relationship, so to have everyone there, bringing our families together, I think it felt really nice to both of us to have all of that support.




Sunday was a crummy day so we didn't do too much. My mom and I made an yummy brunch for everyone and then relaxed most of the rest of the day. Right before sunset we went down to Greenlake where Lily had done a lot of swimming so we could spread some of her ashes. I didn't really know how it would feel, but it was pretty sad and also provided some closure. I know my mom and dad appreciated being able to participate in this and my dad got this great photograph of us standing at her swimming spot. That night Iris and my mom and dad carved pumpkins. They turned out so nice! Iris really got in to it, scraping out the guts and everything.





Monday Matt went back to work and my parents, the girls and I went to Bainbridge Island on the ferry. It was a short trip, but they really enjoyed (as did the girls and I) riding on the ferry and taking in the view. It was a really clear, cold day so the views were magnificent. We had some lunch, looked at a few shops, drove around to see some houses and then came home.



I was excited to be told that my dad is finally building me a substantial piece of furniture! He is a woodworker and has built my brother and sister quite a bit of furniture, but all I've gotten is a small table and bookshelf (compared to the bed, end tables, bunkbeds and entertainment center that my sister has!). So, I've been carrying a chip on my shoulder about this for some time. Well, my dad presented Matt and I with the plans he is using to build us a fantastic entertainment center. It is huge and perfect. I can't wait until we get it! He is building it IKEA style, so it will all come apart and pack flat for shipping. We're going to have to get a flat screen tv to put in it (I know, boo hoo, right?) but that's allright by us!

My parents left at about 5:00 this morning and when I woke up today I was so sad. I am going to miss them a great deal. Probably the next time we will see them is next summer for our first annual family vacation. Matt and I have been rallying hard to get them to move out here. They actually probably would if it wasn't so expensive. They have a lovely home where they live in WI and the money they would make off of selling it would barely buy them a shack out here. I get incredibly jealous of people who have their family close by. I want so much to be close to my parents, but really, really, REALLY don't want to move back to WI. I kept saying we should all buy a duplex together and it can be a good way to save some money. No one seemed to be going for my idea.

Today it's back to the daily grind. Iris went to school this morning and I have been back spending the whole day in my jammies while cleaning, doing laundry, giving baths, sneaking in computer time while the girls sleep, you know, the usual.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The trip is over

I've been MIA the past few days because my parents have been in town. They are leaving bright and early in the morning, but of course I'm up all alone bouncing the babe to sleep.

It was a really fun visit. I miss my parents so, so, SO much living 2,000 miles away from them. I don't get to see them anywhere near as much as I would like to. I keep thinking it will get easier the longer I'm away, but so far it's been just over five years and it's no easier. In fact, I think it gets harder. I keep thinking, man, they are getting older and some day, well, they just won't be here anymore. My dad just turned 60 and he looks and acts like he's still quite young, but you never know. They are both so great with the girls, as well. My dad has this way that he gets his grandkids incredible riled up every time he's with them. I get sad thinking my girls will grow up not knowing my parents very well. I guess I didn't know my own granparents very well, despite spending lots of time many summers with them. We talk alot about us moving back home, or my parents moving out here, but it probably won't happen. It's a great idea, though. Even though I feel like a supermama 99% of the time, I still feel like I turn in to a child every time I'm around my parents. I wonder at what age that goes away. Am I going to be 70 and visiting my parents on their death bed still feeling like I'm 10? Hmmmm, probably. Heck, I actually hope so!

I'll try and write more tomorrow when I have the pictures sorted out and I'm not so, well, bummed out.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sleep sleep sleep . . .

Sleep, the subject on so many parent's minds. I have talked about it alot here already, but it will never cease to just make me totally crazy. Two nights ago something was going on with Eloise. She was just one huge fuss bucket and nothing made her happy. She was also refusing to nurse, which totally threw me off because I had no experience with that before. She finally fell asleep at almost 2:00 am after a few hours of fussiness. Sigh. Of course, last night she fell asleep at about 10:00 pm and didn't even wake up to nurse until almost 6:00 am. She's still asleep and it's after 11:00 am now. I can't wait until the sleeping patterns are at least somewhat more predictable, but nights and days like this are heavenly.

In very, very exciting news, my parents are flying in today from WI. My dad hasn't been here in four years, my mom in two, and they have never been here together or met their newest grandchild. I am so happy I think I just might explode. I really, really love and truly enjoy spending time with my parents. I miss them a great deal and wish we lived closer to them. I keep trying to convince them to move out to WA, but so far, no dice. They love to sail and in WI you can only keep your boat in the water about 3-4 months of the year. I try to sweeten the deal by reminding them they could practically sail year round out here! Sigh. Some day, maybe. We have a busy weekend planned and lots of beer and wine on hand for some fun times. Matt has voluntarily offered to leave work early today so he can come home and help me clean in anticipation of my parent's arrival. He may have just completely redeemed himself in my eyes with this one move alone. I'm actually pretty easy to please when it comes right down to it.

Iris is away at school this morning and I'm still watching Nick Jr. Why is that? My sweet, sweet friend Julia was kind enough to bring Iris to school today for me. I am so eternally grateful for the help as I have yet to figure out how to get Iris, Eloise and I all ready and in the car in time to get her to school in the morning.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thanks, Disney

Okay, so back to my usual blabber . . .

The other night Iris busted out with "I'm never talking to you EVER AGAIN!" I wasn't in the room, Matt was. He was just like, "what?" and asked me if I had heard it. I came in the room and she repeated it, with perfect 15 year old inflection. We spent the rest of the night explaining that those words hurt people's feelings and we don't say them. We have started doing little time-outs with her by having her sit on the couch, in the same room as us, if she does something sassy even after we've asked her not to. If she is still sassy on the couch then she goes to sit in her room for a couple of minutes. I'm not convinced that this is the best thing to do, but it kind of sort of seems okay for now. So, after we asked her to stop saying that, and she kept saying it, she got to sit on the couch. Said it again, went to sit in her room. I don't think she knows what she is saying. She is just repeating it, but I still think she should be able to understand that whatever it is that she is saying makes other people feel sad. Right? Is this a logical thing to expect a toddler to grasp? Who the heck let me be a mother?!?!

I was initially all irate, thinking "what little brat at school taught this to my innocent little angel?!?!" and then it finally dawned on me, she learned it from, of all places, The Little Mermaid. Last week we rented it from the video store (remember those? before Netflix?) and now I am just appalled. There's a scene where Ariel's father blows up all her shit because he is mad at her (good message, right?) and she tells him she's never going to talk to him ever again. Leave it to my daughter to only repeat that phase from the movie. Not that the story is really all that positive (I want to abandon who I really am because I am in love with a prince!) but I never watched these kinds of movies through the eyes of a toddler before. Turns out there are things about Disney movies that aren't so positive. Like, what's up with the lack of mothers? They either don't exist (like in The Little Mermaid or Aladdin) or they die (like in Finding Nemo or Bambi). Seriously, what IS up with that? Does anyone know? Does the head story writer have a beef with his mama? Was he not an AP'd baby? (just kidding!) My mom said there are certain Disney movies that my sister won't let her boys watch. I should ask her what they are. Now I'm going to be the mama with the kid at school with the sassy mouth. Awesome.

I heart blogging

Instead of being overly paranoid, I think I'm just going to be okay with assuming the risks for putting my life out on the internet where the world can read about it. I'll be making some changes here and there, but this blog will stay put, I've decided. My readership has grown considerably since I've started blogging, people I know and those I don't. It only makes sense that I would have to be more aware of that as I continue to write about my life and post pictures of my children. I will do the best I can to protect my family in the process, but I'm just going to keep plugging along as a mama and sharing my experiences with all of you.

It is very strange, actually, to know who is reading this blog. Sometimes I feel like the more I know about who is reading it, the less I want to know! It makes me understand I need to be very careful about what I say, something I never even considered when I first started writing. Putting a blog out there in the world is the blessing and the curse of it, I suppose. Having more readers increases your responsibilities as a writer.

I've very much appreciated the positive feedback I've been getting on my blog. I don't necessarily write for anyone but me (and my family) but the warm fuzzies I get from all the kind words certainly doesn't hurt.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Increased security

I've been toying lately with making this blog private. Although I'm approaching 300 posts and 10,000 hits to my blog, and have actively put my blog out there for the whole world to see, I might be having a change of heart. My first step was to move my blog to the new Blogger beta. I don't think this move changes much on the readers end (does it, readers?). Blogging in this mode will eventually allow me to only allow readers that I choose.

There is still a part of me who believes my blog contributes positively to the worlds of those who read it and I would like to be able to do something that remains public. I am strongly considering making a new blog, which will be public (and therefor less personal). I am also unsure if my current blog, when made private, will have new posts on it or if I will only post on a new blog and maintain my current one as an archive.

If you're a reader and have an opinion one way or another, let me know. I think I'll be making a decision fairly soon as to what I'd like to do, and in the mean time will start building a new blog just in case I want to use it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pumpkin patch

So, like pretty much every other family in this country with small children has done, we made our journey to a pumpkin patch today. It was tons of fun and a really gorgeous day!

Iris initially picked out a gigantic pumpkin, and we were happy to oblige her, until we realized it would have cost almost $20. Matt sneakily "lost" it in the pumpkin patch and picked out a much more modestly priced pumpkin to put in it's place. It was very cool to see so many babies and toddlers being worn by their parents. In fact, I saw only one baby being carried in a bucket and only a couple of strollers. Many dads wearing their children, as well.

We made a trek through the corn maze, which I was delighted about since I had never done one before. I imagined it was going to be much harder, but once you got in to the maze the corn was not very dense or tall, so you could pretty much see everything. We were also befriended by young girl who often ran up ahead and checked out crossroads for us, thereby limiting the time we spent making wrong turns in the maze. Worked well for us! We're pretty lazy like that.

Without further ado, here's some photos from the day.


Iris, Eloise and I in the pumpkin patch.


Iris.


This is Iris painting her pumpkin at family night at co-op this week.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Hello? You in there?

For most mamas, mothering is the most self-less thing you can do. You give away your body for nine months, endure childbirth, and only then do you begin the task of raising the child that you brought in to the world. Even the most uninvolved mamas have given an unbelievable amount of themselves to their children, just by virtue of bearing them. The more I flail around in the trenches of motherhood the less I believe that I will ever be myself again. I don't even know what I mean by "myself" because it's been so incredibly, painfully long since I've even felt like myself that I don't have a clue what I would look like even if I did rediscover it. Whew! You following this? If you're a mama, I bet you are. If you're not, you're probably re-reading this going "what?".

No one prepares you for motherhood. Where is the boot camp? They train soldiers to go in to the military, but no one trains mamas for the rigours that they face every day. I have talked with my friend Melissa about how no one tells you about the crying, the lack of sleep, how hard breastfeeding can be, etc etc. It's like everyone's too scared to be honest with you. Certainly no one told me that you go through pregnancy and the postpartum period more than a little bit crazy in the head and that every cell of your existence is now focused on caring for a tiny helpless being who will drain every semblence of self right out of your body.

Of course, there is the insane amounts of love and mamabear-like instincts to protect your children with your life that also kick in to place. Yes, there are moments of wanting more than anything to run for the hills and never return, but then the baby stops crying, you all finally fall asleep, and all is in perfect harmony once again.

In all honesty, I couldn't imagine not being a mother. I certainly don't ever wish to have my pre-baby life back, but I definitely look forward to the days when eventually my body will be done producing the gallons upon gallons of milk, my bed is mine again, a full night's sleep is a given, and I'll be able to take a long, hot shower whenever the heck I feel like it. I would also love to someday inhabit a body that doesn't feel like play-doh, but at this point, I won't hold my breath.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I heart music

I'm so proud of myself, I finally made a donation to our local independent radio station, KEXP. I've loved this station for several years now and never got my act together to give them any money.

Why should you care? Well, KEXP can be accessed online (or at 90.3 if you live in Seattle and are reading this but have been living under a rock otherwise). If you have sucky radio in your town (and most of you do) you don't have to live without good music any longer. Just today while I was listening people had donated money from all over the country, and even the world.

If you love inspired and innovative music, set your browser to KEXP and have a listen. You just might find your pockets a little lighter for doing so (and this is a good thing, trust me). I also picked up a cute little shirt for Eloise just for donating!

Two month appointment

I took Eloise in for her two month appointment this morning. I love her pediatrician. Well, I pretty much love her. There has been a few things that rubbed me the wrong way (like being told I had to night wean or else I would ruin Iris's teeth or that she could start on cow's milk at nine months) but all in all she is a great doctor.

Eloise is above the 95th percentile for height and weight. I was curious to see, as she was born right at "normal" for weight. Now she's off the charts! Woo Hoo! Her pediatrician just asks "breastfeeding? co-sleeping?". She also just lets parents let her know what they want to do about vaccinations. I decided I wasn't ready to make any decisions today and she said it was fine, to let her know when and what I choose to do. No pressure, no tsk-tsking, no nothing. Just respecting my choices, cause, you know, I'm the mother and all. I had an interesting conversation with Matt about vaccines last night. I had never known this, but he would prefer to vax on the CDC's recommendation and schedule. Neither of us have very passionate stances on vaxs, just falling on different ends of the spectrum. It makes it easy to talk about, but hard to come to any conclusions that we both feel completely comfortable about.

In another interesting sleeping twist, Eloise fell asleep at 9 pm last night and woke up to nurse for the first time at 4:45 am. Of course, Iris slept in so late that I had to wake her up to get her to pre-school on time. Every day is a crap shoot around here!

And in totally, totally unrelated news, Jeffrey won Project Runway last night and all I have to say is "what the hell?!?!" I couldn't stand him. Yes, he can design amazing clothes, but he's an asshole. I wish that ANYONE but him would have won. Especially Michael. He is super adorable. Grrrr. So if anyone reading is a PR fan, please, feel free to weigh in.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just when I thought I was in the clear

I am pretty sure my lovely daughters are in a conspiracy against me. I may be incredibly, profoundly over-tired, but I swear I am on to them.

Every night Eloise is going to bed later and later. She used to fall asleep right after Iris did, roughly 9 pm every night. She would stay asleep until about 11 pm, therby giving me some much needed downtime. Even at 11, she would wake up to get her jammies on, get a new dipe, nurse and conk out again for the evening. Now, she's awake. Not just for a bit, but for hours. Last night I didn't get her to fall asleep for good until sometime after 1 am. Bless her little heart, though, because she did stay asleep until her sister woke up at the crack of dawn whining that she couldn't find her blankie and then crawl in to bed next to me and proceed to move around and make as much noise as possible. It the not-so-distant past Iris was sleeping until 9 am, 9:30 if I was lucky. So I've effectively gone from having quiet/sleeping time from 9 pm until 9 am to sleeping 1-ish am to 7-ish am. Those little buggers. I am SO on to them. Now if I only knew how to fix it . . .

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Eloise is two months old today!

Asleep at one day old


Asleep at eight weeks old


Whew! Where is the time going? It seems like she was just a tiny little thing a second ago. There isn't a whole lot of news to report still. She is getting pretty good at holding her head up, but still does the bobblehead thing most of the time. We are starting to be able to elicit some coos and gurgles from her, which is neat. She definitely "talks" more in response to being right in her face and talking to her. A few smiles here and there, no laughs, though. She is a pretty serious baby, I think. Serious and laid back at the same time, if that's possible! Still not crying much, except for when we're in the car. Man, I had hoped that being cursed with one baby who screamed in the car would mean I would be blessed with future children who loved it. Nope. Bloody freakin' murder. The girl acts like we're killing her. Just like her big sister. I am grateful she still sleeps well at night. Not as much during the day as she used to be, but at night, every single night since a week old, she goes to sleep and only wakes up to nurse. Not to scream or have her diaper changed or be rocked. It is soooo wonderful compared to Iris, who had to be bounced in the middle of the night pretty much every night. It was exhausting. Ironically, I still lose the most sleep because of Iris! Eloise will wake up crying if her sister wakes her up, but other than that, it's quite good.

I am taking her for her two months appointment on Thursday. I look forward to seeing how much weight she has gained! The hardest thing for me to figure out now is what to do about vaccinations. With Iris I did selective/delayed vaccinations, and actually started some I thought I wanted her to get but then didn't continue to give them to her (I think the PCV is one, if I remember correctly). Anyhow, I recently read a post on Adventures in Babywearing that linked to a previous post she had written about vaccines. It got the wheels turning again for me, as I had just been avoiding thinking about it at all costs. I still don't know what to do for this first visit, so I won't do anything I am not 100% sure of, and make the decision to research it more by the time her next appointment comes around. I mean, they go just about every other week at this age, don't they? Sheesh.

I got some information on attending a public meeting that the CDC is setting up to discuss how a flu pandemic would affect our community. It got me thinking about how I would feel about a certain vaccine if there was an actual pandemic. I have never had the flu vaccine, I will never get it for my children, but I would have to think long and hard about declining one if there ever were a pandemic.

If you're interested in learning more about vaccines, I would suggest starting with Adventures in Babywearing. She's a mama of three (all boys, no less!) who has personal experience with vaccines harming her children and as she's researched more she's made different vaccination choices for each of her sons. For me, I learn alot from other people's personal experiences and how they came to the decisions that they have. She also advocates doing your research and being knowledgeable and coming to your own conclusions (whatever they may be) about vaccinations and not blindly following your doctor's suggestions, which I think is very, very wise. No one but us, as parents, has our individual child's best interests at heart and being knowledgeable is the first step towards protecting them the best we can.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lily reflections

I have been doing okay in grieving the loss of Lily. Some days I think about her more than others, she is still in my life in many ways. Last week I spoke to my mother, who had gotten Lily's ashes in the mail. I asked her what she had planned to do with them, but she didn't yet know. Right now they are sitting on a shelf next to pictures of Lily when she was in dog shows. Yesteday I suggested to my mother that she bring some of the ashes out here when they visit and we can scatter them at one of Lily's favorite places, like where she used to go swimming. I haven't had any sort of formal ceremony to mark her passing, or celebrate her life, maybe being there for scattering her ashes would be enough of a ceremony to help to move on a little more and find some closure for my guilt and sadness.

Yesterday Iris, for the first time in a while, said "Lily's at the doctor". I said no, honey, she's not at the doctor and that she wasn't coming home.

So, last night Iris woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to come in to bed with me. She climbed in and wanted to nurse, as we laid there together I was thinking about Lily's ahses, and where she would want have wanted us to scatter them, and how it would be to have a ceremony like that. As Iris finished nursing she said "Lily's not coming home". It startled me because I hadn't said anything about Lily while she was nursing, but it was all I was thinking about. I said, no, she's not, she was is heaven. Although I don't specifically believe in heaven (like God, heaven, hell, etc), I've been telling Iris that Lily is in dog heaven. We have a book called "Dog Heaven" that talks about dogs becoming angels and what they do in dog heaven. It's really sweet. Iris and I talked about when Lily used to swim. I asked her if she remembered Lily fetching her bumper at the lake, and she did remember. It was just so strange that Iris said that right when I was thinking about it.

I really miss having a dog around our home. Of course, I feel incredibly guilty feeling this way because in the last few weeks of Lily's life all I could think is how much work she was and what a pain it was to be a dog owner. I had pretty much completely forgotten how wonderful she was and how much I did enjoy having her around, even if it was stressful to take care of her on my own with a toddler and a newborn at home. I really want another dog, but in addition to it logistically not being a good time, I don't think my heart is ready. I would want a new dog to be just like Lily, and be sorely dissappointed if it wasn't. Some day, some day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Here's what you've all been waiting for (haven't you?!?!)

Before



After




Iris has been so funny about my hair. Every morning she wakes up and says "I wanna see mama's crazy hair!" and the first night after I got it cut she asked me if I wanted her to put it back on. Isn't that the sweetest? I really love having shorter hair again. This morning I just got up and went. Not even brushing it or anything. I actually keep kind of messing it up because I like that sort of messy, just rolled out of bed look. If you're interested in donating your hair, please visit Locks of Love. This is the second time in my life I had the pleasure of donating my hair to them. It's really satisfying to be able to do something like this for children.

In non-hair news, my many days of birthday celebrating are over. Last night I went to see Bobby Bare Jr. with some friends. It was so much fun. I think I have seen him live probably half a dozen times now and every time the show is just amazing. In my pre-baby days I saw maybe two shows a week on average. Now I'm lucky to see one every other month. I've gotten old and tired, but it's nice to be able to break out the rocker girl in me once in a while.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bragging rights

Now Eloise can officially say that the first concert she ever saw was Bob Dylan. Pretty cool, huh? I mean, mine was Bon Jovi (on the New Jersey tour, for those of you who care!) and I was 11 or 12. Eloise's story is infinitely more cool than mine. It was actually not that exciting of a concert. I mean, being in the same room as Bob Dylan is pretty cool, but I wasn't too excited about his full band. I would have much rather seen him out there with a guitar and a harmonica. Of course, we left early, so maybe we missed the solo set. It was also really, really loud. I put ear plugs in Eloise's ears, but I think it was probably still too loud for her. We spent almost half the time walking around the stadium in the hallway because of how loud it was. She also nursed during "Tangled up in Blue" which will be a pretty cool memory for me, as that's one of my favorite Dylan songs.

Tonight I'm actually going to another show. My friend Julie is taking me out for my birthday. Matt will be staying home with the girls. It's the last thing on my list for the birthday celebrating. Well, I suppose technically I will celebrate on last time when my parents come out to visit in a couple of weeks, but the last of the celebrating for this week, anyways!

As soon as I get an "after" picture of my hair I will post them. It is infinitely better than the first cut. I should have taken a picture of that one. It could have been "before" "in process" and "after". Ha ha. It's pretty much exactly how I wanted it. I've always been a girl who wanted her hair to be as flat as possible. I was never in to body or volume, I just wanted flat, flat, flat. In the past when my hair was shorter I would put a stocking cap on my head after a shower to flatten it down. I'm so wierd. So, now it's much flatter than it was after the first cut. Anyways, you'll see. I'll post pictures tomorrow, probably.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Now I'm just a little more upset

As if getting a bad haircut isn't enough, I discovered that not all of the hair that the stylist cut off is long enough to donate. He just put it in a pony tail and cut it, which meant the stuff in the back was long enough, but the stuff pulled back from the sides wasn't. I kept saying that, as far as the length, all I cared about was cutting off 10". That I was there to cut 10" off my hair so I could donate it. He said that he cut it so that the shortest pieces would be 10". They're not. They're 8". Last time I checked, 8" is not 10". I am going to go ahead and send the hair anyways, as probably 1/2 of it is still long enough. I assume they should be able to seperate it out.

I'm just so mad.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Grrrr.

So my surprise is going to have to wait a day. At least I hope! It was that I got all my hair cut off. I was growing it out in order to donate it to Locks of Love and was super duper excited that today I would be getting my hair cut.

I get to the salon, the only thing I had to go on regarding the abilities of the sylist is that he cuts Matt's hair, he is part owner of the place and the salon is a block away from my apartment. Seems pretty good, no? So I get there and we start talking about what I want. I have a hard time articulating, so he pulls out a hair book and I immediately find three very similar photos-- they are all about chin length with choppy, messy, fairly flat (not all poofy) hair that IS NOT flipped out on the bottom. He starts cutting and chatting and then he starts blow drying and I'm looking at it thinking he is going to cut some more, but nope. He was done. My hair was pretty much exactly the opposite of how I imagined it would be. It's all one length, I look a bit like a mushroom, and every hair was blow-dried perfectly in place. So much so that he spent about 20 minutes trying to get one part in the back to stay put with all kinds of creams and what-not. It's sort of cute. I'm a little shy about it because it's not what I wanted, even though it's a perfectly fine haircut. I said, well, I imagined it would be flater, and choppier. He was sweet and said it sounds like he just misunderstood what I was asking for. He scheduled me in for Saturday so that his wife could re-cut it, and he assured me she would do exactly what I wanted. I can't tell for sure, as hair does wierd bouncy things, but I think it's actually longer on one side than it is on the other.

I'm bummed. I wanted to walk out of the salon feeling and looking like a hot mama, but alas, I sort of feel like my mom. I'll post pics of the before and after when it's all done on Saturday. I hope to god that she knows what I want and it turns out alright. Ironically, after I walked in to the apartment with my new 'do I said to Matt that it wasn't what I wanted. He said, yeah, I could tell that wasn't the hair style you described. I mean, what?!?!, Matt knew it wasn't right but the stylist didn't?

We all went for ice cream tonight and that was really nice. Tomorrow I'll be off sugar again, but it was fun for one night (okay, two if you count last night!). And I spent almost two hours bouncing Miss Eloise in hopes she would go to bed, you know, so I could go to bed. My children are in on a conspiracy against me. One of them going to bed extraordinarily late, the other waking up extraordinarily early. Last but not least, because I didn't want to have to do a million chores on my birthday, there are now twice as many waiting for me to do tomorrow. Awesome. I should have asked for a maid for my birthday.

It's my first annual 29th birthday!

Hooray for me! I love my birthday. I'm selfish that way :) Iris just left with my friend to go to co-op for a couple of hours and Eloise is still sleeping, so I'm enjoying my birthday cuppa joe and blogging. Life is good!

Last night my friends Julie and Stephanie took me out to dinner at a great restaurant called El Camino. It's my absolute favorite place to eat out in Seattle. They make fantastic margaritas, which was very much a highlight for me. Unfortunately they serve them in pint glasses, so I was more than a bit tipsy by the time my dinner came. Luckily I just ate and ate and ate and we were at the restaurant long enough for the buzz to wear off before driving home. The waitress brought me flan with a candle in it and Stephanie ordered a decadent chocolate something-or-other, as well. Needless to say I fell right off the sugar wagon, but I will be getting right back on-- tomorrow. One of my birthday traditions the past few years is getting ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, which we will be off to tonight!

Iris gave me a card that she and Matt made for me, it was very, very sweet. Matt said she insisted on putting a birthday cake on the card, so that's what he drew.

Not much else has been happening the past few days. I've been really exhausted because Iris is in her early rising phase again. She sort of goes back and forth between waking up at 7:00 and waking up at 9:30. We're in a 7:00 phase. She is also sleeping the whole night in her own bed, which I like, and she seems to like, as well. Her bed is about two feet from mine, but it's still her own bed! Eloise has also been going through a phase where she wakes up right when I want to go to bed and then I spend a good hour getting her to fall asleep, which means I don't get to sleep until at least midnight. On the plus side, she wakes up once to nurse in the night, once when Iris wakes up, and is still sleeping.

We're going to be taking Eloise to Bob Dylan tomorrow night, as well. A very nice mama from co-op is going to watch Iris. She offered to watch them both, but I will feel better about taking Eloise. And how cool will it be for her to say her first concert was Bob Dylan when she was less than two months old! A friend suggested I get wax ear plugs for her. They brought their daughter to a Seahawks game and tried that and she slept the whole time. Sounds good to me!

I don't have much planned for the day, well, I have a suprise later that I will share with you all, but other than that, today's just another mama day at home. I hope Iris takes it easy on me today. Yesterday she dumped her "coffee" all over the chair, was super sassy with her sister, didn't listen to me at all . . . it was a rough day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Immunity my ass

So apparently the universe must think it's pretty darn funny. I stayed home on Friday night to keep the girls from getting sick, but now both of my children have a cold anyways. Wahhh!!!! I am so po'd. You know what really, really makes me mad, as well? The fact that both of my girls have been, and still are, breastfed, and this is the third time Iris has had a cold in just under eight weeks and the second time Eloise has. So much for the immunity boosting properties of breastmilk. I especially hate the mamas who brag how their BF'd children never get sick (oh, she's only had one cold in three years!) because it makes me want to strangle them. I thought Iris was getting much healthier, as she has only had probably three colds in the entire previous year, but you know, there's a baby in the house to infect now, so no time like the present to get sick at every opportunity. Grrrrr.

Other than Iris being a germy-pants, we've had a good weekend. I got to sleep in two days in a row, woo-hoo! I also went shopping on Saturday afternoon and bought these shoes. I really like them because they are super comfy but still look a little dressy. When I lose some weight I can buy new clothes to wear with them!

It's going to be another busy week. Thursday is my birthday! Woo Hoo! I hate to sound selfish, but my birthday is my favorite holiday. Mostly I just love October and I love that birthdays are fun to celebrate, but aren't over-the-top, like Christmas or Easter. I will also have a suprise to unveil to everyone on Friday morning. You'll have to stay tuned to find out what it is!

I am hoping to redeem a terrible Friday night this past week with an amazing one this week-- Matt's work has given him two tickets to sit in a suite at the Bob Dylan concert on Friday night. Unfortunately, I already exhausted 99% of my options for finding a babysitter. Hey, there's got to be a reader of my blog who wants to watch my sick daughters, come on, you know you want to! It's for Bob-freakin-Dylan, for cryin' out loud!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Finally time for more pictures!

I've been waiting for my little Zitty McZitterson's face to clear up before snapping too many photos of her. I always look back on pictures of Iris during that unfortunate time and cringe. I figured I would just save myself the agony and not take many pictures over the last few weeks.

However, there are a few good ones to share, so enjoy!

Silly sisters.


I love when babies have the startle reflex and they keep throwing their hand up while they are sleeping! Soooo cute.


Iris has become quite adept at talking on the phone.


Serious sisters.


Iris painting. Yeah, it's pretty fun to clean up this mess!


Here's a picture I got of Matt and the girls last weekend. He loves to be silly with the girls, so it's times like this that make me glad he's their dad, even when I'm not getting along with him.

Friday, October 06, 2006

So, yeah, I'm sitting at home

I didn't get to go to the wedding. Humpf. I'm super bummed about it, I really like weddings. And free alcohol. And wearing a cute dress. But alas, I'm in in my jammies in front of the computer. Luckily Iris is in her bed (not sleeping, yet, but in her bed) and Eloise is asleep in the sling. I had a half hour to be out of the house earlier tonight. Even that was enough to get me through the rest of the night.

When Matt got here after work I told him that I can't have another week like this, and that we have got to schedule in time for me to have breaks. I mean, hell, if he can go play basketball one night a week, I should have equal right to have time off, too. He totally agreed. He also told me he has tickets to sit in a suite for the Bob Dylan concert next week, he got them from work. I am now hoping I can go to that, maybe as a consolation prize for missing the wedding or something. I'm going to return my dress and stockings to Target. Yep, the dress that I took forever agonizing over buying. I'm going to return it and buy fun new shoes. I thought about keeping the dress, as it really is super cute, but I hope to be smaller the next time I'll have to wear a dress that nice, hence not needing a dress that cute in size XL.

I have also been told I'll be off parenting duties all weekend, as well. That should be good, as I totally freakin' deserve it. I am going to go buy shoes! I may even go to see a movie by myself. How great would that be?

I keep telling myself that right now is such a short time in Eloise's life, and if I have to be home with her and miss things I want to do, that's how it is. She will soon be two, then twelve, then twenty, and before I know it she'll be off on her own and I won't have a little girl at home to take care of.

In other news it's been a week since I had sugar. Not even a small candy or anything. So far, so good. I hope to keep it up. There's even sugar in the house, cookies I LOVE and two pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Even through all my angst this week, I didn't reach for the sugar. That's got to be a good sign, right? Alot of my eating is emotional, so I think that says alot.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

One-way ticket to a padded room, please

The past few days have been difficult. I've just become so overwhelmed and over extended. Nothing is even really happening, specifically, just the usual. I couldn't be more exhausted. It sucks because I knew if I could just get a break, even a small break, I'd be fine. Unfortunately there's no breaks in sight. Matt went to the co-op parent meeting on Tuesday night so he was here for literally 30 minutes. Last night we went to counseling, and took Eloise, so I had zero time where anyone helped that day or where I got a break from parenting. Tonight? Well, Matt's playing basketball. Haven't seen him all day. As much as I want to be happy for him that he's doing something healthy, I'm just positively seething that he can do a single fun thing at all, and I'm home with the girls about to tear my hair out. We were supposed to go to a wedding tomorrow night, and poor Melissa (who was going to babysit) is sick again, so I don't feel comfortable with her watching Eloise. I'll be with the girls the entire day, yet again, without a break. Matt has to go to the wedding, it's his good friend who is getting married. I don't even want to go to bed tonight for fear that tomorrow is another day at home alone, without a break, that I don't care to face.

I wish this baby would sleep. She must have gotten wind that I was bragging about her on the internet and decided to put a quick end to that! Now she won't sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time during the day. If she's not sleeping, she's fussing. I spend more time trying to get her to sleep than she spends sleeping. I wish I cared more but right now I want to put her in the other room and close the door and drown my day in a bottle of Jim Beam. I put her in the sling to try and calm her earlier and she was so pissed she was clawing my chest and screaing. I could feel my anger just boiling over. My back feels like it's going to break in two from bouncing her on the stupid exercise ball. It's the only way to keep her even remotely happy, it seems. I vowed to not use the ball this time, after how many hours I spent on it daily with Iris, but I don't know what else to do. It's the easiest fix.

My older daughter was pretty good today. At the end of the night I made the mistake of closing my eyes for a couple of minutes to get some rest and she managed to color all over the floor. I had already told her several times to pick up the pile of crayons on the floor, so I was none to happy. I just told her to go to bed. It was the kindest thing I could think to do in the moment, actually. She and I decided to set up her bed again this afternoon (you should see me put together an IKEA bed one handed, with a screaming infant in the other arm while a toddler tries to "help"), so now she's in there sleeping in her bed. I had wanted it to be a really nice transition, helping her to go to sleep. I was too upset with her and couldn't get Eloise to calm down for even a moment so I could collect myself and lay Iris down.

I hate that I feel this way. I feel like I'm not supposed to, like if I was a better mother I wouldn't. I would like my children 100% of the time and be so thrilled to be their mother every moment of every single day. But I don't think mothering should be like this. Mothers shouldn't be sequestered to their homes for days on end with no real outside interaction or any help at all. It leads to insanity. I am, in fact, certain of it. I'm about two seconds away from needing to be shuttled to the looney bin myself. Hmmm, do you get a hot shower in there? A meal in peace? That might not be half bad!

This weekend Matt's mom is coming for a visit. I'm turning over a new leaf and trying to feel really positive about the visit and having yet more responsibilities when all I want to do is run away. They are all taking me out for a birthday dinner, which I am excited about. I like dinner. Maybe between the whole family I can get them to watch the girls so I can do something alone.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who knew "snarky" was a put down?

So I haven't really updated on the drama with Matt recently. Melissa let me know my blog was getting boring now that it's drama-free (thanks, Melissa!) but I figured that my readers were just as happy as I was to move past the drama and back to normal parenting stuff.

Matt and I are in a really muddy, wierd spot right now. We are seeing a new counselor, who we really like quite a bit, and are trying to figure out what we want to do now. Possibly we will "make it work!" (okay, I'm watching Project Runway, sorry) and put the shambles of our relationship back together. So far we're not committed, either way, to making the break or getting back together. Hence, the mud. Matt still doesn't live at our apartment, but he spends about 90% of his free time here. We are going to counseling together and Matt is going to be doing seperate counseling for managing his anger. It's really, really positive work to be doing whether or not we ever are in a romantic relationship again.

Honestly, I'm confident we'll be able to work it out. We've both been making some serious strides on some really, really important issues. So much has happened for me over the past few weeks that have forced me to open my eyes and grow in so many ways.

So my stride for today was learning that snarky is actually a rude term. Calling someone snarky is not nice, people! I am sad to know this, it's one of my favorite words. It sounds so silly to say.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This baby!

Holy moley, I tell ya, this baby . . . she's been challenging the past couple of days. Eloise is six weeks old now, which is the point where alot of babies turn everything completely upside-down. I didn't want her to change! I liked that she slept 20 hours a day! Wahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Now she's sleeping maybe half of what she used to during the day and when she's awake, she's not the happiest. Damn, it sucks.

I really shouldn't be complaining, though. She still sleeps at night. When she actually falls asleep (which has been happening around 10-11) she will sleep through until 8-9 only waking up a couple of times to nurse. I wouldn't trade the nights for anything. With Iris I was up rocking her every single night. She would be awake screaming and I would be just dead tired. I'm still tired now, don't get me wrong, VERY tired, but this time it's the "I'm a mama of two small children" kind of tired and not the "I don't sleep at night ever" kind.

With Iris I remember feeling like I was falling down a black well with no end in sight. It was terrifying to look in to my future and only see screaming babies, leaking boobs, sleepless nights and countless diaper changes. As a first time mother it never occured to me that she would grow up and out of her baby stage. That there would be a light at the end of the tunnel and some day she would be easier. So now, with Eloise, I am frustrated with her behavior (the nerve of a newborn to cry!), but I am much better at taking it all in stride.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Um, yeah . . .

So this diet I'm on? Yeah, going to be sticking to it. I went shopping this weekend for something to wear to a wedding I will be attending on Friday. I came very, very, VERY close to just backing out of going at all. Finding something to wear was incredibly painful. Friday night Melissa and I went to Old Navy and Ross. I ended up buying a skirt and a tank top and shoes at Old Navy, with the hopes of maybe finding a shirt somewhere else. Ross was just a nightmare. Every dress I tried on was terribly terrible. Today Iris and I went to a different Ross. Same thing. I probably tried on 10 dresses. The only one that fit me well looked like something my mother or grandmother would wear. I couldn't show my face in public looking 40 years older than I am! I left empty handed. Target was my last chance to find something and I didn't have high hopes, since Target isn't really known to have things that are considered "cocktail" attire. But, there it was, all alone on a rack, one dress in the right size. This is the dress. It's perfect and hides all my flaws and covers enough of my upper body to allow me to wear an industrial sized bra. I realized that I already had shoes that would go with it, so I can return everything else to Old Navy. All I had to buy was stockings, which I got in black. Shoes, stocking and dress all in black, I wonder if I'm going to look like I'm going to a funeral? Oh, well.

All the shopping and disappointment has definitely cemented my commitment to the weight-loss efforts. Now that I am done having babies I feel like I can work harder at getting myself back in shape, and have the body I once did. It's not so far off, I suppose, I'm only two sizes bigger now than where I want to be.

My friend Julia was telling me she dropped a good sum of money on a personal trainer. I was feeling very jealous. I used to think that it was hard to leave the house on my own when I only had one child, now it's practically impossible. Iris is finally at the age where I can take her to drop in pre-school, or easily find a babysitter and now I have another baby. I know that in a couple of years it will be easier, but right now, this is how it is. But man, would I enjoy taking the time to go to a personal trainer! I've never been a big work-out/gym person, but I think I could get in to it if I had the right guidance. Maybe I can strap Eloise to me in the Mei Tai, send Iris to the daycare and spend some time on the treadmill? Hmmmm. Actually, what I miss is yoga class. The only yoga class I want to attend interferes with Iris's pre-school on Thursdays, and it logistically won't work for me to try to get everyone to both. I should try to find a new class, I suppose, but I'm too lazy. Plus, this one I could have taken Eloise to and it is taught by the woman who taught my prenatal class.

At any rate, I hope to be to my goal size by Christmas. That should be do-able, right? I don't own a scale, so I won't be trying to lose a certain amount of weight, I just want to get to a point that I like my body and can fit in to the clothes I want to wear. Easy peasy.