Tag Archives: motherhood

Catching Up

I have been busy. Crazy busy. Ridiculously busy – and yet, I have nothing to show for it. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have LOTS of half finished projects, a sink full of dirty dishes & piles upon piles of laundry waiting to be done. I shouldn’t even be writing this, but I’m enjoying a moment. Yum Yums took an incredibly short nap, so I scooped him up and floated him on over to my bed where I’m sitting half-hug with him under the covers. He fell right back asleep and I absolutely refuse to carry him back to his crib. Before I blink twice he’ll be in the second grade like his brother & I’m not letting one magical second pass me by. Dishes be damned! And anyway, I do so hate doing dishes. And laundry. And cleaning bathrooms. I *can* however, cuddle a sleeping boy and type one-handed on my iPhone, so here we are!

Let me catch you up on recent happenings:

1. We just got back from a trip to Florida with my parents! Talk about a great time! The Noodle’s highlights were getting his “driver’s license” at Legoland, going down Humunga Cowabunga at Typhoon Lagoon, and getting to go on Space Mountain 4 times (3 of which were in a row with no wait! Gotta love off-season!).
The Muffin also loved driving at Legoland (as well as going on every single roller coaster they had), the Storm Slides & Lazy River at Typhoon Lagoon, all the boat rides (except one in Epcot) and the buffets we went to mostly because of the ice cream machines. She hated Space Mountain. It was too dark.
Yum Yums loved anything that had a steering wheel, the water slides & sand at Typhoon Lagoon, and the Dumbo and Magic Carpet rides at The Magic Kingdom – so much so that he screamed & cried whenever we took him off.
Me? I had a great time visiting my cousins & Aunt and Uncle. Oh, and just about everything else! It’s Halloween at Disney & the place is completely decked out Halloweenn-style. I love Halloween, so I was extra excited by this!

2. I suck at sewing. It kills me that I suck at it as much as I do. I have such grand plans. I have big ideas for a diaper cover line. I dream big at the fabric store. Yup. I’m great at ideas. Too bad I’m so sucky at execution. I made a diaper yesterday out of an old t-shirt, a piece of terry & a newborn sized prefold folded up. I saw a YouTube video of a teen mom making something similar – in like SEVEN MINUTES! Hers looked great. Mine – though functional (I think), looks sad. I fought with my machine, my elastic didn’t do what I was supposed to make it do, my thread broke repeatedly, it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to do a zig zag stitch (and I’m still not sure how I did it), and what took that teen mom minutes, took me all afternoon.
I *can* however make a bag with straight sides & uneven stitching. At least that’s something. I do think, though, that I will be returning the snap press I bought yesterday. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that advanced. Maybe I should just stick with screen printing & find someone to partner up with to actually assemble the diaper covers …or maybe I should get my head out of the clouds & not make myself busier than I already am …

3. This is a break-through that I’ve been meaning to share with you for awhile! Ever battle with ants in your house? Hate the idea of using poisons around your kids – or pets – or yourself? I have the answer: cinnamon leaf oil!! It is potent stuff & your house might smell like Christmas, but it works! Evidently, it messes with the ants’ pheromone trail & they hate that. At first, I doused a q-tip with it & painted around the baseboard & door where they were coming in. That really made our house smell. I mean I really applied it liberally. Then I read that it can be a skin irritant, so I scaled it back to a few drops on a wet sponge. It worked like a charm! No more ants!! We also had ants in another room & couldn’t figure out how they were getting in, so I sponged the floor with the cinnamon leaf oil & g-o-n-e! Now I maintain our ant protection by making my own floor cleaner: hot water, vinegar & 12 drops of the oil. Haven’t had a single ant since! I researched a bit & found out that it’s an old bee-keeper’s trick. The ants hate it, but it doesn’t bother the bees one lick. I also read that peppermint oil works, too, but I haven’t tried it. (Peppermint makes me sneeze).

4. No-poo is a no- go! I really wanted to ditch the shampoo, I really did. And I had read such glowing things about the baking soda/vinegar rinse method. I thought ” sure, no problem! I can live through greasy hair for a week or so! It’ll be GREAT to be free of shampoo & I’ll be saving so much money! And the environment! And…”. Yeah. Well, day one was fine. But then instead of my hair getting greasier, it got drier & brittle. I went 3 or more days between washing (which is normal for me), and still it just got drier & rougher. Maybe I wasn’t effectively washing out the baking soda. Maybe I should have used more vinegar – though I felt like I was using tons. I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s just not for me. Oh well. I tried.

5. I made my own dishwasher detergent!! It’s baking soda, salt, citric acid, and orange & grapefruit essential oils – with an orange-vinegar rinse aid. So far, it’s doing a great job! I’m so excited! Hopefully, I’ll still like it in a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted!

6. In addition to sucking at sewing, I also suck at bread making. I don’t understand it. I’m following the recipes exactly, and still I either get bread shaped bricks, or bread shaped pieces of disgusting grossness. Oh well. You can’t be good at everything, right? Still, it irks me. It’s not just the failing, but it’s the wasted money (ingredients), and time. Maybe I just can’t afford the learning curve on certain things right now. By the time they lay me to rest, though, I WILL be able to bake a loaf of bread & sew a diaper! (The power of positive thinking, right? 😉

7. The Noodle is missing his 2 top teeth, and 3 more are loose! When those come out, the poor boy will be on a solid diet of mush!

Right. Well, there’s lots more to mention, but I’m going to have to wake this sleeping boy so we can collect the other two from the bus stop.

Be well!

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Mamas and Cowboys

Mothers are funny creatures.  I can say that because I am one.  I have two wonderful children who I love more than life itself.  I would do anything for them.  I would walk through fire.  I would scale a mountain in my bare feet using only dental floss for rope.  I would jump in front of a Mack truck.  I would surrender the last cookie in the box to them – which, those of you who have lived with me know, is big stuff.

So now that I’ve established my fondness for my children, I feel that I can safely talk about how difficult my daughter was as an infant.  She was a sweet loving baby (to me), but she had a set of lungs on her that could rival any opera singer’s – and her range!  She could hit notes that would not only make the glass in our house shatter, I feel certain that if there was glass on Neptune, it would have been destroyed as well.  I am not kidding.  The scream of a banshee would have sounded like Mozart next to her wails.  The only thing that calmed her down (most of the time) was if I sung “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” . I don’t know why.  I never listened to Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings when I was carrying her. I didn’t even know who Waylon Jennings was before I looked up the song to learn all of the lyrics!  I had, out of sheer desperation, started to sing the first thing that came into my head one day – and that was “Mamas…” – but not the Willie Nelson/Waylon Jennings version.  It was the Alvin & the Chipmunks version that I was thinking of complete with “Aaallllvvvviiiiiiiin!”  But the version playing through my mind at the time matters not, the important thing was: by Jove, it worked!  She was instantly captivated & stopped crying mid-wail.  Since learning the “Mamas” trick, I branched out & started to listen to Willie Nelson quite a bit and have added a few other songs to my “calm The Muffin down” repertoire.  I can’t tell you how many times, though, I have sung that song.  I would sing it over & over & over & OVER again for months & months & months & MONTHS until she ceased to be the fuss-pot that she was & began to be the absolute sweetheart that she is now.

Tonight, The Muffin did NOT want to go to bed.  She threw her milk.  She squirmed.  She kicked.  I had to wrestle her into her crib & she straight-up refused to lie down.  “No naps, Mama!  No!”, she said.  “Yes, Muffin, it’s time for naps.  Time for bed, ” I said.  “No!  No naps!  No lie down!  No!”, she said.  Then I remembered my secret weapon & I burst into “Mamas Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…” – and it still worked!!  She layed down right away & with thumb in mouth, snuggled deep into her blanket.  When the song was over, she asked for it again … and here is where the strangeness of motherhood comes in – I turn into a weepy mess, and with tears streaming down my face, barely get the notes out.  Apparently, the memory of me singing this to the “baby Muffin” (mid-song), has reduced me to this state.  I’m even teary as I write this.  But WHY??  I’ve sung that song a million times!  And the whole reason I sung it in the first place, was to avoid having my ear drums blown out.  I am so completely glad that The Muffin is not that baby any more!  I am so completely glad that she is a happy & contented 20 month old, I cannot even tell you – nor, I am sure, can the people who babysit her.  So why, does me singing that song evoke this strange “awwww, my Muffin!!!” response.  Maybe I’m just tired.  It has been a long day.  Or maybe it’s all part & parcel of the “Motherhood Packet of New Emotions” that was delivered to me the instant my first born was.  I signed on for many things (blood, vomit, poopy diapers, bandaids, school projects, laundry, family dinners, etc & so forth), but I had not counted on this.  I had not counted on instantaneous tears at the mere memory of no more than like 10-12 months ago.  No one tells you this stuff before you become a mother – but someone should.  Not that it would make any difference, because tears & all, becoming a mother is still the coolest thing I’ve ever done.  But enough of this, I have to help my son get past the Venus Fly Traps on “Lego Batman” …. not that I signed on for that either – but it’s DEFINITELY fun!

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4 Minutes

I knew I was in trouble when the clock read 11:38 and I still hadn’t made it to the car service center.  I needed an oil change – but more than that, I needed my daughter to stay awake at least until we got there.  She usually takes her nap at 12:30, so going out anytime after 11:15 is a risk with the grumpiest of consequences.  If she fell asleep in the car, even for a few minutes, she wouldn’t take her nap when we got home & no one needs a napless 19 month old come 4:00.  I stopped at a red light, turned around in my seat, and that’s when I saw it.  The half-closed eyelids and the thumb most of the way in the mouth: classic nap posturing.  Desperate for stimulus that might keep her awake for the few yards we had left to go, I grabbed the apple juice that I had hidden in my purse (for just such an occasion), and in my loudest voice possible: “Here ya go, muffin!  We’re almost there!”, while thrusting the sippy cup in her lap.

Whew!  That was a close one.  Too close.  I had just gotten around to fretting about the trip home, when the mechanic announced that my car was ready (wow! that was fast!), and we all piled back in to go home.  Amazing.  Everyone was still in a good mood – and perfectly awake!  It was, however, the middle of the lunch rush, and we needed to get to the other side of town – on roads that were undergoing massive road work.  Ugh.  We were never going to make it home before “the muffin” fell asleep.  Well, as it turns out, we almost did, but not quite.  4 minutes.  That’s all.  “The Muffin” fell asleep 4 minutes before I pulled into our driveway.  I still held out hope that I might be able to transfer her safely, quickly, & quietly to her crib so that she barely noticed being woken up by me undoing her car-seat harness (why is it so hard to untangle a sleeping child from these things?!).  Unfortunately, this was not in the cards.  She noticed that Tyrone, Ernie, and “Num-Nums” (cookie monster) had fallen to the car floor & she needed them.  Then her brother had to go to the bathroom, and she decided it was absolutely necessary to study the texture of the brick wall of our house while I tried to balance her, Tyrone, “num-nums”, and my purse, while holding the screen door open with my foot & trying to unlock the door quickly so her brother could go pee “ooohhh, Mom, now!”  So much for a stealth transfer.  It guess it didn’t really matter, because her diaper was dripping wet, anyway & she needed a change before I could, in good conscience, put her down for “naps”.

I tried, though.  I tried putting her down.  She played nicely in her crib for awhile before I gave up & went to rescue her.  It is hard to imagine that 4 minutes is a suitable replacement for 2 solid hours of napping – but alas, evidently, it is.  If only I could get by on just 4 minutes, imagine what could be accomplished…

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