4.29.2008

On being a single parent

I need to rant a little. Publishing my rants on the Internet make me feel like maybe someone out there understands, empathizes even. Feel sorry for me damn it!

Now, I'm technically a single mother, primary caregiver, blah blah blah, but you all know that I live with my parents right now so it's not like I'm doing it all alone. I'll start off with the good things that come with being a single mother as well as being a single mother living with her parents...you know, so I don't come off as too big a complainer. Need to keep up my image!

I got to pick out the name. This was one was huge for me. I was thinking about names from the moment I saw the positive test, but I was nervous about sharing my ideas because I just knew that as soon as one person said "uh really?" I wouldn't be able to use that name and I would be CRUSHED. Josephine wasn't my first choice, but my first choice got leaked and first her father asked me if I was joking and then my mother made some comments and out the window it went.

Along with picking out the name, I get to make all the rules! I generally don't like to be in charge of everything. Hey, I'm totally a control freak in many situations, like in the kitchen, but there are always at least a few decisions I'd rather not make. Not so with Josephine, I love that I get to make every decision concerning how to raise her. I decide what she eats, wears, what her curfew will be, how she will be disciplined, etc. I know that in a healthy relationship, both parents make the decisions together and blah blah blah, but there are always times when one parent says A and the other parent says B and I don't have to deal with that right now. I know that if/when I get involved with someone later in life things will change, and I'm just not thinking about that right now. I'm the boss!

Living with my parents gives me the opportunity to be home with Josephine, nurse full time, cook dinner every night...instead of having to get to work right away and put my newborn in daycare. For that I'm so very blessed.

Now on to the bitching!

I have pretend babysitters. Everyone is so eager to play with Josephine and goes on and on about how they will be happy to babysit anytime I need it. yeah. In reality, the ladies of the house are always too tired to hold her while I eat, can't stand the crying, put diapers on sideways (seriously), try to play when she's trying to sleep, and it goes on and on and on and on... Sometimes I just say "thanks but, no thanks" and they are offended. They think they are being a huge help when sometimes they are more just in the way than anything. Weekends are the worst when they should be the best, but Josephine's schedule get so screwed up when everyone is home.

Then there are the comments. Yep, it's started and I don't see an end. Everyone knows what I should do to get her to sleep better, laugh more, cry less, etc, etc. Sometimes I say "this is how it is" and someone else says "but it should be like this". I'm caught between feeling like I'm supposed to walk around being grateful and spouting "thank you's", and wanting to stand up and shout "I'm the mama and I'm the boss!". I'm a little tense.

the end

4.28.2008

Cha Cha Cha Chicken

Try this: Pound out some chicken breasts, pile some good stuff on, wrap them up, and cook 'em!



Here is what I did:



Spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, parsley, garlic, and cilantro. The spinach is raw and the rest of the ingredients were mixed in a food processor...



Hold them together with toothpicks and put them in the oven for...uh...you can figure the time and temperature out...
My dad loved these, I however, am not as huge a fan of cilantro as I thought...I would have liked more cheese, tomato and spinach. I think I actually made that once.

Anywho...can you tell how much I like food? Right now my favorite food is, oh, I'll save that for another post. I can tell you that a after dinner snack I am loving is a peanut butter and KitKat sandwich. That's right. I may as well get my maternity clothes back out.

4.23.2008

Month Four

Four months huh? Can you believe it's been that long since you were ripped from my belly? Of course being only 4 months old you don't really have any concept of time do you? Well for me it's been a 4 month long blur. And to be honest, this whole 'time flying' business is starting to piss me off.


video


This month you have become quite attached to your mother. I admit though, that sometimes? the feeling is totally mutual. There may have been many moments that I wished someone else would take you so I could just make a freaking sandwich. But this month has been filled with moments of missing the hell out of you when you were only napping for 30 min in the other room. When I pick you up out of your bed I tell you how I've been missing you and I hold your little body close and try to memorize what that moment feels like. The feeling of your breath on my neck, the weight of you in my arms, how your body melds perfectly into mine, it is all so precious to me.



After all that mushy missing you business I look at the clock and see you've only napped a total of 15 min in the last week and WHY AREN'T YOU TIRED? Oh right, that whole sleep regression thing. I've read horror stories about babies that start their 4 month regression and don't go back to sleep until after their 9 month regression. You aren't that kind of baby though, tell me you aren't that kind of baby. Mama is tired.


video
(falling asleep on the couch)


I do understand though, that the reason you aren't sleeping is because you are learning all kinds of new tricks. To date you haven't mastered any of the more recognizable milestones like rolling over, crawling, writing a novel, or cutting teeth, but you haven't been without accomplishments. You babble on and on with new sounds every day and it's one of my favorite things in the whole world to look into your eyes and listen to you tell me about all the dreams you had last night. You also mastered spitting. Yep, it started with some funny sounds, then raspberries and spit bubbles, to finally full on spitting in my face. You find this pretty funny too I might add, even though you don't know what you are doing, luckily you prefer the raspberries.






You are laughing a lot more. You like the mirror and when I kiss you near your armpits the best. I also discovered that you love bouncing in my arms. I'm not talking about the kind of bouncing you see mothers doing at restaurants when their babies are crying and other diners are giving the stink eye (ahem Buca di Beppo), no, I'm talking about serious bouncing. I have a huge exercise ball that I use instead of a rocking chair and for the first three months of your life you would fall asleep almost instantly when I would hold you and bounce lightly. Now, however, you get excited when I sit down on it because you know I'll bounce you real high, and you open your mouth as wide as it'll go because that's what you do when you are really happy. You sometimes erupt into a fit of laughter, but mostly you just try to open your mouth a little bit wider than your face will allow.



video
(laughing w/ grandma)


We made the switch to reusable diapers this month. I'm happy with it, you seem unfazed, but everyone else in the house seems either grossed out (Martha) or just kinda confused about why I would want to do this (grandma and grandpa).


*I want you to know that right now, as I am uploading pictures to this post, I went to put on my PJs and your grandpa, (who is now "papa") attempted to check his email on my computer. If I had taken one second longer, all my work would have been lost and you would have no memory of ever meeting your grandfather.

You know what Josephine? I can't believe how big you've gotten. Seriously. You are exclusively breastfed, no formula or solids, you were on the small side (of the healthy average) when you were born, yet you weigh in at the top of the charts now. As of today, you are in the 90th percentile for weight and 80th percentile for height. Is grandma sneaking you candy?


The next thing I want to say is pretty difficult to express accurately. When you are older, I want you to be able to read these posts and understand a little bit what it is like for me to be your mother and how much I have always loved you.

Before you have a baby you can't know what it's going to be like when you do. I knew I was going to love you, I was already in love with you before you were born, but I love you differently today than I did in the first few weeks of your life. See, this is where I don't want you to misunderstand me; I LOVED you like crazy the moment I saw your puffy face peek over the curtain in the operating room. But....most of what I did for the first few weeks was instinct. I still act on instinct everyday, but now I also know who you are and can make day-to-day decisions based on our relationship. I know there will come a day when you won't be able to stand me. You'll slam the door to your bedroom, open it, slam it again, and write about how I just don't understand you in your diary. Until then, I am going to cherish every snuggle, because that's the relationship I have with my daughter today.

4.22.2008

scrambled

Due to uncontrollable circumstances*, this household is currently in possession of more eggs than we know what to do with. Soooooo, does anyone have any suggestions for a meal that requires lots of eggs? Also, we have too much milk but at least I can freeze some of it. Should I freeze some eggs to see what happens? what happens? nothing exciting, I imagine.
If we knew who egged our house/car we could exact revenge. But we don't.
Off to make deviled eggs! and omelets! and quiche!

*Uncontrollable curcumstances are that I didn't see we had a gallon of milk and 18 eggs in the garage fridge so I went and got 2 more gallons of milk and another dozen eggs... but I also got garlic! and juice! how about I just type out my shopping list for you! interesting post! too many exclamation marks!
A list of TERRIBLE things that can kill you by just being near you. Some that will kill you just by being in the same room!
According to my dog Akila.

big red exercise ball
cardboard tubes from paper rolls
broom
shovel
balloon
plastic bag
vaccuum
razor scooter
the cat
the stroller
air

4.19.2008

soup for you

It's not quite summer, so if you have an afternoon free you should make this awesome soup. (I guess I think of soup as a winter/fall/sorta spring thing) I made it when a friend was sick and also my grandmother was here and both asked me for the recipe. I haven't given it to them yet so feel special I'm sharing it with you first.
This will make a whole lot of soup, like for 10 people…you can obviously cut the measurements down as you please but this is how I remember making it and I can't be bothered to do the conversions for you.

Ingredients:
1/2ish cup butter
1 1/2 finely chopped onion (I used yellow)
sliced carrots, as many as you want
3/4ish cup all-purpose flour
7-1/2ish cups chicken broth (I used 4 cans of low fat/low sodium broth)
2 cups wild rice (Rinse half way through so your kitchen doesn’t stink too badly.) (Pretty sure I had 2 uncooked cups)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 package (1 lb?) of spicy Italian sausage
3 tablespoons and 2-1/4 teaspoons dry sherry
2-1/2 cups half-and-half (or 2ish cups 1/2n1/2 and about a cup of milk)

DIRECTIONS
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and carrots and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Then add the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer. *I forgot to cook the rice before hand so I let this simmer for about an hour while the rice cooked.
Add the rice, chicken, sausage and sherry. Allow to heat through, and then pour in the half-and-half/milk. Let simmer while you set the table and wash your pans… *Do not boil or your roux will break; at least that’s what I’ve heard, I’ve never tried it.

Add salt to taste, it’ll bring down the spiciness of the sausage. Pretty sure my dad added salt when I wasn't looking & I have no idea how much he added. Add more milk to thin it out

yummy yummy

4.15.2008

message to the people

Dear friends, family, strangers, and all readers of this blog,

I regret to inform you that Josephine does not care for you at all. It has come to my attention that your voice hurts her ears and you smell funny. When you hold her you are always rocking too fast or too slow, and in the wrong direction. Your hands are too cold and your singing is off key. When you change a diaper you do it all wrong, just give up. You have no idea when she is wanting to play or when she's had enough and needs to chill out.

Josephine has made it clear to me that she believes the best course of action for everyone involved is for her to be permanently attached to myself and for all others to keep at a distance a minimum of 12 inches. We both would like to insure that we don't mean to offend anyone; Josephine dislikes everyone equally.

Rest assured that if/when the situation changes you will all be notified immediately.

-Mama

hello spring! how about a nap!



So, this 4 month sleep regression. Kicking. My. Ass.



I'm about as tired as the first few weeks home with Josephine, but it seems worse because since we've been home almost four months everyone expects that I have things down to a slick routine now. I should be able to take care of errands etc like What baby?
Some babies stop napping, some babies stop sleeping through the night, some babies (my baby!) just give up sleep alltogether. She isn't extra fussy or tired acting, but I sure as hell am missing the breaks her naps used to give me.
I am so glad I read about sleep regressions before Josephine was born. Otherwise I might be thingking that I had done something wrong, that I messed up my baby!
In other news->
I saw on msnbc Friday, that St Cloud, MN was still getting some serious snow. That's where I was just last year. Last night I turned the A/C on in the house. I'm wearing shorts today. I got a sunburn this weekend doing yard work.

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. My sister and I made him a cake.



Here I'm setting up to make a bow. Because I am a control freak in the kitchen I only let Martha make the red dots and dye the bow green.


Now the final product:


(I probably shouldn't have bragged about the warm weather...it's snowing now.)
I plan on making more cakes, it was fun. Sometimes I catch Ace of Cakes on TV. Man, I wish I could decorate at that level...
Anyway, I was eating the pieces of cake that I had to shave off and thinking about how the last several years I've declared I dislike all things cake, when really I've never taken a bite of cake and thought, "yuck". I think that the fact I could easily pass on cake no matter how hungry I was, combined with my legitimate dislike for all things frosting, led to my, uh, lying about not liking cake. Truth is, I cannot resist a good chunk of plain cake and a glass of milk. I lie in bed waiting for Josephine to be in a deep enough sleep that I can get up and get a piece, a glass, and further postpone my return to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Now I'm sure you're thinking "Didn't she say she had a baby that never sleeps? How did she get this whole post typed out? With pictures even!"
Well I say to you, I typed 90% of this with one hand while I nursed the little party animal. (The other 10% was typed out while she was actually asleep for about 5 min.)

4.12.2008

overheard in my living room

-Does it look like I'm losing weight?

-It looks like you are rotting from the inside.

checking in

I've been starting posts for days now. I have lots of stories, anecdotes, lists and letters. I also have a daughter that has begun her 4 month sleep regression. Like A Champ.

So I'll just bore you with my day and I'll hopefully have some fun stuff to say later, like maybe in June.

-- Ahhhh! Sunshine! Finally a warm day after days of rain/snow/hail/blaaaahhh. Let's go to the Pow Wow at the college down the street, ceremonies at noon.
Uuuhhh no signs...are we in the right building? right day? let's go home. bummer.
Yard work! Got a sunburn! Went to get ice cream at a place I'd never been before, and will never be going back. Ew.
Went back to college campus and found the Pow Wow in time for 6:00 ceremonies. Super great show. Leave when Josephine really needs to eat and take a nap. No one can nap with all those drums.
Dinner. yum.
Set out to walk the dog and see the house and the car in the driveway have been egged. Awesome. Well I do have a sister in high school.
Josephine. Wont. Sleep.
ok, now she's asleep.

remind me to tell you why I don't like my sister's school.
and how Josephine hates Buca di Beppo.
and about some more of the yummy food i've been cooking.
and that other thing.

4.05.2008

blueberry sour cream banana bread

Steal this recipe:

This is basically the recipe I followed, though I don’t concern myself much with accurate measurements. You shouldn’t either.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1.5 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp cinnamon.

In another bowl, a bigger bowl, combine 2 large eggs, ½ cup sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla and ½ cup melted butter. (I didn’t have vanilla extract so I used vanilla flavoring, I know, not the same thing, but I’m pretty sure you can omit the vanilla and never know the difference)

Mix in two mashed bananas then the dry ingredients. I guess you’re not supposed to over mix, but maybe you should and tell me what happens.

Fold in 1 cup blueberries. I used thawed out frozen berries only because they were cheaper than the fresh ones. Also, some nuts would probably be good, but I didn’t feel like putting any in this time.

Pour into a greased loaf pan (I wish I didn’t have to tell you that step, but I’d never forgive myself if I found out you poured the batter directly into the oven) bake at 350 for about an hour. Start tooth-picking around 50 min.

Use a potholder or thick rag to pull the pan out of the oven, and wait a little while for the bread to cool before eating it so you don’t burn your mouth.

Then enjoy

You’re welcome.

4.04.2008

My baby, she can reach out and grab things. She can reach out and grab a toy and put it in her mouth! Not to her cheek, not to her forehead, in Her Mouth!

4.02.2008

being born

I haven't read the whole book yet, but here is a part I'd like to share with you from The Heart of Christianity - Marcus J. Borg

Born Again: Why We Need This

Why do we need to be born again? Why do we need to die to an old way of being and an old identity and be born into a new way of being and a new identity- into a life centered in God, in the Spirit, in Christ? The reason is because of something that happens in us very early in life and then is intensified by the process of growing up.
…..
She was the firstborn and the only child in her family, but now her mother was pregnant again, and the little girl was very excited about having a new brother or sister. Within a few hours of the parents bringing a new baby boy home from the hospital, the girl made a request: she wanted to be alone with her new brother in his room with the door shut. Her insistence about being alone with the baby with the door shut bade her parents a bit uneasy, but then they remembered that they had installed an intercom system in anticipation of the baby’s arrival, so they realized they could let their daughter do this, and if they heard the slightest indication that anything strange was happening, they could be in the baby’s room in an instant.
So they let the little girl go into the baby’s room, shut the door, and raced to the intercom listening station. They heard their daughter’s footsteps moving across the baby’s room, imagined her standing over the baby’s crib, and then they heard her saying to her three-day-old brother, “Tell me about God—I’ve almost forgotten.”


He goes on about self-awareness, maturity, seperating from God and a whole lot that I shouldn't try to summerize here lest you think this book to be as simple and superficial as this blog.

This is one of the most worderful things I could read as a mother. I read it when I was pregnant and then again as I had to type it here and I will admit each time was a very different experience than the other. It was a nice, profound even, exerpt when I was pregnant, but now that I can read this and then look into Josephine's eyes...there are no words.

Here is someone with something to say however. This is how she says good morning.


video

4.01.2008

How do you deal with a shedding cat?

Vacuum a lot? Lint rollers?

Get the hair before it has a chance to fall off the cat by covering the cat in packaging tape?

Just so you know, those are not my hands...
Also, welcome to my new site. Hopefully I will be able to pretty it up a bit, but I'm still getting used to all the differences between Blogger and WordPress so bare with me. I have no idea how to transfer my old posts on WordPress to this new blog so I'll keep the old one running for now until I can figure that out...if ever.