11 months

Originally uploaded by wi77ow

Dear Josephine, dear dear Miss Josephine,
I am so tired.
The end.

Ok, no, I can write more, but seriously baby, Mama is tired.

When a woman is pregnant her body does some amazing things to prepare for her baby’s arrival. It stretches in ways you wouldn’t believe, it nourishes and protects the growing baby, and it prepares to produce milk when the baby arrives. There is one other little know miracle that the mother’s body performs while gestating though, her brain starts melting. It’s true, a part of the mother’s brain turns into a puddle that sloshes around for a while before leaking out of the tear ducts the next time she watches a commercial with a happy ending. It’s the part that remembers the difficult and horrible times of labor and also parenthood.

If a mother’s brain could remember how painful labor is she would never have more children, but a few weeks or months postpartum and she is looking back at labor like it was a stubbed toe. If a mother could recall every exhausting 2am, 3am, 3:30am, 4am…waking, and every tantrum at the grocery, and every hours long crying session then I think there would be a babies category on EBay.

This brain melting is so very important though, for survival and for sanity. Luckily the part of the brain that remembers the good times swells to fill the space of the puddle. I know that I’ve wanted nothing more than for you to please sleep one more hour, but when we get ready to go to bed the next night I’m not dreading waking up seven times, I’m looking forward to the morning when you’ll pull my face to yours and give me kisses to wake me up. That’s your new thing, kissing, you kiss everyone and everything. Even right now you are sitting on my lap as I type this and you are leaning back every few seconds to give me a kiss. I like this new game. A lot. It might not be the best idea to put your mouth on everything during cold season, but it’s awfully cute. You kiss the dog, your toys, even papa’s scruffy face, and when there’s nothing right near by you sometimes stop in your tracks, bend down, and kiss the carpet. I will really miss this when you stop.

When we get ready to run errands in town I’m not worried that you’ll throw another tantrum when I don’t let you run free and clean off the shelves at Target (even though you probably will). Instead, I smile thinking about how you love to sing as loud as you can while sitting in the cart and everyone in the store stops to tell me what a wonderful baby I have. They don’t even know how wonderful you really are.

There have been days when I would have given my right arm if I could get a babysitter for one hour. I just want to spend a little uninterrupted time organizing computer files or picking up our room without you following behind undoing everything I set straight. One day I got my “wish” and even got to keep my arm. Grandma watched you while I went to see the new James Bond movie. I spent most of the movie thinking about you and absolutely not relaxing. You may be exhausting but you are also so delightful and I miss you every moment you aren’t around.
You are quite rambunctious now. I have spent time with babies before and usually the boys are wilder than the girls. You break that stereotype, shatter it, you are only getting bandages and icepacks for Christmas. You really like to spin until you fall over, which is pretty funny to watch. Sometimes you don’t even bother to spin, you just belly flop right where you are standing. Then other times you try to run as fast as you can through the living room and crash into the couch or a pillow on the floor. You are really good on your feet but you still manage to trip every once in a while and knock your head on the coffee table.

You LOVE dancing to any and every beat. There are the obvious times to dance like when you push the buttons on one of your noisy toys or when mama is watching that Beyonce video again, and the less obvious, like the beat of the security alarm at the mall, which you’ve rocked out to in the shopping cart many times.

You can’t stay still for very long, nor do you even want to. You even walk around when you have a book open and are “reading” the page with the cat and dog on it over and over.
But it’s at night when you really show off your inability to slow down. Even in your sleep you keep going and going. I’ve witnessed you laugh and smile in your sleep for months now, but recently you’ve also lifted your head to give the air a kiss before lying back down. It was precious, as was the time you reached out one hand very deliberately, pinch two fingers together and bring them to your mouth. You were dreaming about having a snack and you gave a big smile “eating” your treat. It’s terribly cute how you dream, but oh how I wish you would just sleep through the night. Like I said before, I’m so veryzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…


read while eating pea soup, or chocolate sauce, or butterscotch pudding

Several times as an infant she surprised me by peeing all over as soon as I pulled the old diaper off. Everyone in the house who is not a mother has been thoroughly grossed out by stray streams. That seemed mostly in the past now that she no longer has to relieve herself every 20 minutes.
There have been a handful of times that she's walked out of the bathroom, sans diaper, and created a puddle on my bedroom floor while I started a bath. That's not a big deal, her urine doesn't smell bad and it isn't difficult to clean up.
Once, when she was still small enough to lay in her baby tub, she pooped and had to take a bath after her bath.
Then there was this morning. Everyone was running late getting ready for church which is unusual as my mother is typically dressed and reading the paper before I get out of the shower. Normally I can dress Josephine and toss her in the living room with grandma while I finish fixing my hair and face, but this morning I didn't have that option.
I started the shower, pulled off her pajamas and night time diaper and set her down while I undressed. She walked into my bedroom and back. She held up her arms, asking to be picked up. As I bent down to scoop her up I noticed something didn't smell right. I looked into my room and because it'd only been a few seconds I only looked a few feet into the room. No puddle. In that same moment I had pulled her up nearly to my chest and then I saw it. Her legs, back side, and one hand were covered in that tell-tale mustard brown slime. Poop.
I quickly tossed her into the shower and walked further into my bedroom. She had made it further in than I thought, she had rounded the corner and when I did as well I saw it. She must have been holding it in a while.
I scooped as much as I could up with a wash clothe and jumped in the shower. When I got out I tried to clean it up some more but I had only a few minutes to get ready. I was having a hard time keeping Josephine occupied and out of the mess while trying to clip the hair out of my face and put on a little mascara.
My room smells like pet stain remover.


Yes we can

Dear Josephine,

I'm not sure how to start this; I want to present you with an eloquently written letter but I'm also finding it hard not to type OH MY GOSH I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LAKJDFLAKSADFSFJSFJ!!!!! over and over and just call it a day. You will always know a world where an African American can be the President of the United States and it's no big deal.

I can't help but think about the few similarities between you and Barack Obama. Like so very many other children out there who, until now, had no real reason to believe that America would have enough confidence in them to elect them as President, you have a white mother, an absent black father, and more love and devotion from your grandparents and me than you know what to do with. You could be our president 40 years from now! or really anything, an-y-thing. Now, don't misunderstand, I did not vote for Barack Obama because he is black, I voted for him because I believe he is going to be the the kind of President we need. I'm happy he won and I'm happy the outward, as well as the veiled racism in this country didn't win.

Unfortunately, even with this amazing step forward the same day held some terrible steps back as well and in all reality you will know a world where not all people are treated equally.

I hope that when you are older and you read this you are baffled at the idea of anyone being discounted because of the color of their skin, their sex, religion or lifestyle, or because of how they grew up. I hope that you are only known as Josephine.

You won't remember November 4th 2008 but hopefully your life will be filled with equally momentous days. Days where civil rights trump self-righteous attitudes and days where there is not tolerance, but acceptance and love.


If You Care

i voted

Utah is so red that no candidate bothers to campaign here. Utah is the reddest state in the world. Most houses around here have signs in their yard but only for the local elections, I've seen one McCain sign and maybe 5 Obama signs. I'm pretty sure that as long as you don't have a Obama sign in your yard you are assumed to be a McCain/Palin supporter. That's how red it is here. The first Obama sign in our yard was broken and stolen so we replaced it and after a few days this one was obviously kicked/stomped/punched/something but it was at least left in the yard and I managed to rig it back up. I've seen that the one neighbor with an Obama sign has also had to replace theirs and move it higher in the yard away from the sidewalk.

I know McCain will win Utah but I'm looking forward to see how purple we can get it this year. Also, we have had beautiful weather lately, warm and sunny, but today it is snowing. I hope it doesn't stop people from getting out to the polls. Oh! and you know about those flyers and phone calls telling people that they can vote after the 4th or that college students will lose financial aid if they vote at their school rather than their home state? yeah I thought that most people have figured out the truth but just last night someone had a bet with my brother that the polls were open until the 7th. She had received an email. Oh My Gosh people, today is the last day to vote and you will not get in trouble if you go, I promise!


Some Super Duper Exciting News!

I can't help myself. I start growing my hair out and then the next time I have a babysitter I make an appointment to chop it all off. To be fair, my last cut was kinda yucky and growing it out was more stress than any natural occurrence should be. And this cut? I love it. I've seen a new stylist the last 4-5 times I've gotten my hair cut because I was so unimpressed with the results that I was willing to take my chances with someone new rather than remember their name, but this time I will remember that EMILY cut my hair and she did awesome.

Now, where have I been? Well, I've been busy entertaining company for one. My grandmother has come to meet Josephine and hang out for a week. Here is four generations of CRAZY:

This has been the fastest fall I've ever seen. That bush in the picture is the only thing that is still colorful in our yard. Just about all the leaves on the oaks have fallen already and it seemed to happen all at once. (boo)

Josephine is much more comfortable around my grandma now than she was the first few days she was here. For three days I had 20+ lbs hanging on me 24 hours a day as she was terrified a stranger might look at her or *gasp* talk to her. By Halloween night I was ready to drop her in the pillowcase of the next trick-or-treater.

Speaking of Halloween... I hadn't planed on dressing up Josephine originally. I'm not a fan of the holiday myself and there was no way I was going to spend precious time and money on a costume she'd probably want to rip off anyway. But Martha ragged on me for days about how cute it would be and eventually I caved. I pulled together some things from our closets and dressed Josephine as St Joan of Arc...I guess I was the English.

Joan here had a marvelous time emptying the candy bowl all afternoon.

In other news, the night before Halloween my sister and her boyfriend, my father and I went to a local haunted house. That is really haunted (if you believe in that stuff). It was in an old Psych ward and interesting because it was interactive, they encouraged you to talk to the scaries. At the end was a maze with movable walls and spooky people that would MOVE THEM while we were still wandering around and so it took a while to find our way out. I hadn't been to a haunted house since I was in Jr. High. There are a lot of high quality ones around here but I figured they wouldn't let a big fat pregnant person in for fear they would scare the baby out of me so I didn't hit up any last year.

Sunday was a fun day as well. We all, except for my mother, went to SLC to see Body Worlds. (They don't allow pictures) I thought it would be kinda creepy but it wasn't at all. All I could see was how easy it is to pull a muscle doing mundane things and by the end my next was all twitchy. It was quiet in there, barely any whispering, only the sound of a heart beat playing over the speakers. I feel smarter having been through the exhibit. I'd be happy to give you a consultation on your cholesterol levels if you like.

We had a nice lunch out where Josephine entertained everyone in the restaurant like she always does. This time she was doing tricks with a straw and a spoon, you should really try to catch that show.

When we got home the old ladies of the house and I went to an antique show/sale. I snagged a super ring there called a poison ring. Pretty isn't it?

Yeah I didn't think about it until later that night but it's kinda like a good place to store some coke...but don't worry I'll only keep an emergency Cheerio in there, or maybe a picture or something.

Today I voted.

Now that we're all caught up on my week I'm sure you can finally sleep at night. I can't though, oh no, Josephine wouldn't allow that, but that's old news.