My online journal.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Unrelated items

Dang the phone for ringing, I forgot what I was going to write.

I did want to say that at certain stoplight intersections in the Twin Cities they are introducing cameras that supposedly will take pictures of people running red lights and then mail citations to the offenders. If the fundamental point is that red-light-running is dangerous and a crime, doesn't it completely defeat the purpose when you mail the tickets?? Shouldn't they send out a squad car to find the person immediately to stop them in their tracks? Because wherever they were going in such a hurry, I guarantee by the time that ticket arrives in the mail, they either got there on time, or were late, and it's OVER, and they're swearing they'll never run another red light, ever, never again.

So I'm wearing my happy heels today. Not real comfortable, but real, real cute. Black heels with black & white bows at the toes. I wore them earlier in the week, or maybe last week, and went home that day without a single compliment! Shocked to the core, I had to wear them again sooner than usual, just to make sure the previous outing was an anomaly. Indeed, it has proven as such, because the gawking and fawning has resumed. It's nice to have balance restored to the universe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hell's Hairdo

Is anyone watching that show Hell's Kitchen? I happened to see about 15 minutes of it last night, and for those of you who haven't seen Lucy recently, you can get a rough approximation of what her hair currently looks like, by taking a quick gander at Jessica.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Love letter for a Monday morning

Dear Joel,
Thank you for totally, totally rocking. For hollering at me to come into the room when Lucy finally decided to crawl, so I wouldn't miss it. For hugging me when she looked at us to see if she should laugh or cry about the huge fuss we were making. For letting me nap when Lucy wouldn't. For doing the dishes, the vacuuming, the dusting, the laundry. For cutting and blending up pears ALL ON YOUR OWN for the baby. For sitting through the Christian-Bale-a-thon that was this weekend's rented movies. For being so sweet and cute and sorry when you A. ripped the antenna off the car backing out of the garage with the garage door only 2/3 up, and B. called me when I was 1/3 of the way to work this morning because you left your wallet in my car and needed me to drive it back home to you. For teaching Lucy to say "uh-oh." For always thinking of me first.
I love you,
your Beefy

Friday, July 22, 2005

I don't know how they do it.

Joel had an unexpected business trip come up so he's in Harrisburg, PA for about 30 hours, returning today. Once again I am floored by the shock of being a single mom -- it is IMPOSSIBLE. Now, I realize I'm spoiled by a husband who's home every evening right on time, and who does so much cleaning and housework and baby-care. But even given that, I have to say I had a really hard time of it last night with Lu.

We got home after work and she wanted to eat right away. Par for the course -- so I whipped up her bottle, which she drank most of, quickly, and we moved on to cereal, fruits and veggies. Well. That lasted through about 3/4 of the cereal (mixed with pureed banana). All of a sudden, she starts grabbing for the spoon. Great! I think... she wants to feed herself! Well, no... she grabs the spoon and FLINGS it. And grabs a fistful of the cereal mess. And then flings that. And it's on her hand, making it all goopy, so she flails her hand a bit to get rid of it. So there's banana in her hair. All over the chair. Everywhere. On her dress. What a mess. I confess.

Right. So we try green beans -- to the same effect, accompanied by screaming. And she's shrugging one shoulder, and I'm thinking: ear infection? teething? Who even knows. So we toodle around the kitchen, and this makes her happy, and we leave green-bean handprints on the stove and the cupboards and we collapse on a heap in the living room until Jean comes over to save me.

Which she does, of course, with flying colors (she even bought dinner!). Which of course is SUPER AWESOME but I feel so pathetic for needing help so badly! I mean, tons of people do this alone, with four or five or more kids, and I'm sure they're just as tired, and why am I such a wuss??

At this point, the idea of having more kids is really and truly more than I can bear. Because I feel like Lu is pretty well-behaved for a baby. But I cannot even conceive (pun acknowledged) of going through this again... and again(??)... especially having the older one(s) to have to amuse too.

Or maybe she's not that "easy" of a kid. How am I supposed to know? I have NO experience with babies until now. She sleeps great, and has eaten just about everything we've given her. I guess those shouldn't be the only measures. Maybe she should be able to entertain herself a bit better... it does seem to be a theme with our dependents (Hobo is extremely needy and clingy too). I need some objectivity on this. Or maybe it's the subjectivity of an experienced mom to tell me it's going to be okay. I need something! Maybe ice cream.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Fun With People-Food!

Now that the Pants is nearing a year (a year!! My heavens, can you believe it!?!), we're incorporating more and more "table scraps" into her diet.
("And it's about damn time," Lucy adds.)
She ate chunks of Joel's burger at Champp's (or is it Chammp's? Chaamp's?) on Thursday, she chanked on a french fry at Chili's* on Friday; on Saturday, she was gumming some well-cooked buffet corn, and she ate almost an entire fork-mashed mango on Sunday and she just could not be more delighted with herself. (That mango was feasty by the way -- I kind of hated to see it go!)
The most fun part for me has been: I can buy produce!! I've spent all of my grownup years so far attempting to buy fresh fruits and veggies, and much to my dismay they almost always rot away before anyone eats them. Joel's too much of a "prepackaged-food" guy (lord love his poor arteries) to ever pick up an apple and eat it, and though I try I generally end up following his sodium-packed lead. But now Lucy and her Tummy of Steel are in town, and I'm steaming green beans, shredding spinach, ripening mangoes and peeling apples to my heart's content. I even whipped her up some "cantaloupe cereal" on a whim at the Gronaus' yesterday -- of course, as a result I'm changing poopy diapers at an alarming rate, too.
The tough part is finding a balance -- I tend to make a large quantity of something, and then she's eating nothing but carrots for a week straight. But I really can't complain; she's devoured everything we've given her.

She's still in "Toodle Town" -- hanging on for dear life and walking all over the place. I can't really say she's getting any better at it. Oh, and the "baby gibberish" has picked up, both in quantity and variety (i.e. less "dadadadadada, abababababa" and more "digividada. op op wog?"). So that's interesting. Happy Monday!

* I know, it looks like we're eating out a lot. This has been an anomaly and we are planning to have more home-cooked food soon... very soon. As soon as softball ends. Really. :)

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Return of the Albatross!

OK, we are managing a co-rec softball team in Roseville this "Fall." ("Fall" because the season goes Aug. 18-Sept. 22 -- hardly autumnal!!) It's Thursday night doubleheaders at 6 & 7 or 8 & 9. We still have a few openings for guys and girls, subs and regular players, so if you want in, please call me or email me!

Dream Interpretation Needed!

Okay, so I was IN the new Batman movie, but we knew it was a movie, and we were running after Batman but I think we were just following him, not chasing him, down a stairwell on the outside of a tower and then I was at work and my whole office was accusing me of making some REALLY inappropriate joke -- like something about a Cambodian prison and a couple other things that really offended people, but nobody told me they were offended until the boss like announced it, and it was a holiday like Christmas and everyone was handing out candy but I couldn't eat any because I was so sick about making people mad and I really thought the joke was funny and just a joke but nobody else did and I was surprised and then we were at a Ryan family gathering and we were looking at big old houses but they were close to a swamp and maybe going to fall in, and then we were sort of in a candy shop in a theme park like Disney World and we walked out of this huge building and got in a tram or carriage and were sitting there and this bronze death-star but smaller floated down and started shooting at people and one of the blasts went right between our feet and then it started machine-gunning at people and I thought "well, it was only a matter of time" and we started to run back into the building but I couldn't run very fast and I was afraid I was going to get shot, and Lucy wasn't in the back of the tram but I remember thinking, what if she was, would I have gone back and grabbed her? And I hope I would have!!

So that was my dream this morning. What do you think it means? :) :) :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Here we go, loopty Lu!

I feel like we're rounding a corner with our little miss... I am just not exactly sure what the immediate future brings. Eventually, I suppose, she'll dine on chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and jell-o like many little American kids today... it's just hard for me to see the transition as it happens. For the trees... or whatever.

We're still having "liquid issues" -- she hurls her bottle or sippy-cup after just a few sips. So we mix the formula with cereal just to get it in her... but we could use some advice on how to get her to take liquids. Oh, right, I was going to call the doctor. Hm. Well, we're working toward people-food too. She really jaws at just about anything we put in her mouth, so we've experimented with cut-up strawberries, pickle bits, and various other whole foods. Last night I threw some of our dinner (surprisingly good "chicken Stove Top florentine") into a blender and spooned it to her -- our first go with a meat product that actually looked like a meat product when it started. Anyway, she gulped it down, green color and grainy texture notwithstanding. She still only has those two bottom teeth, but she manages to smack those gums around enough to get the food down, I guess.

I gave her a pickle slice the other day and while she didn't eat it, she held on to it for a good 20 minutes, clenched in that little fist. Hobo had a bead on it, though, and managed to extremely gingerly remove it from her grip and devour it himself. I was amazed at how gently (yet determinedly!) he took it from her -- I am hoping theirs will be a symbiotic relationship in the future!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Light-hearted Weekend Round-up!

Hi gang. As promised! It was a gorgeous weekend... to stay inside! Hot, hot, hot (though I don't think it even hit 100... it just seemed kinda muggy). I got a lot of rest on Saturday, and that evening we dressed Lu up and took her out to a friend's birthday party -- SO fun to see all the kiddies (there were at least 10 kids there) running around and playing.
Sunday morning I took Lucy to Cub, where not one but TWO strangers commented on her hair! What the heck! It's just baby hair -- fuzzy, blond, thick, spiky, baby hair. Okay, so maybe I see their point.

We're running into *some* difficulty with our little Pants these days... she's getting, well, kinda whiny. And fussy! She gulps at her bottle but then throws it away vehemently... and then bawls! She NEEDS A CHEERIO and then tosses them all at Hobo. And cries. We just don't know WHAT she wants, most of the time.
I read "What to expect the first year" and THOSE 10.5-month-old babies are all speaking ENGLISH practically... should Lu really be able to say "baba" for bottle, or point to what she wants?? Because she is eons away from that right now. I'm also a *little* concerned that she can't get herself up to sitting from her tummy yet. I think she gets mad that she can't do it, because she's reaching and twisting and squirming and I feel so bad for her! It's very frustrating, not to mention exhausting.

We did buy her a little walk-behind car-toy on Sunday -- she loved riding on it and can sort of toodle along behind it. I think she was surprised to be able to walk attached to something that wasn't Mom or Dad, so maybe it'll open some new doors for her. Poor Hoot!

One day at a time...

Hi everyone --
Well, I hope I didn't make too many people uncomfortable with my last post. It is a very personal thing, of course, and it would be much better to be able to talk about it in person with everyone, but it's the kind of thing that it's good to have support for, while you're going through it. When something similar happened to us two years ago, it was very, very difficult... often because we weren't sure who to tell, or how, and as the weeks went on and life just went on as normal, we couldn't figure out how to bring it up, because it just seemed to really bring down a room, you know?

Do you even want to talk about it?
Of course! You know, I love to talk. When this happened before, and we started to talk to some people about it, I was shocked to discover how frequently this does actually happen. And I thought, man, if someone had only shared their story with me, this experience wouldn't have been half as heartbreaking for me. So I'm game.

Are you feeling okay?
So far, yes. As I mentioned, I was surprised by how NOT ready I am for a second child. The first miscarriage I had, I was emotionally devastated because we wanted a baby so badly. But now all I have to do is look at that little blond head with a Cheerios stuck to her lip and realize how lucky we are to have such a beautiful, healthy baby.
Of course, as I see some friends adding to their families, I think of the (questionable) fun it would have been to have the kids so close together. I worry about when it will feel more "right" to try again. But these are small concerns.
Physically, it has not run its course yet, so my body still kind of thinks it's pregnant. The thought of food still gags me, and I do get tired very quickly.

So, was it, like, a molar pregnancy? A tubal pregnancy? A blighted ovum? Why does Joel keep saying "an egg without a yolk?"
I finally talked to the nurse and she said it's a "blighted ovum." An egg was fertilized (gross!) and my hormone levels were through the roof (hence the tireds and nausea), but there was just no baby forming.

It's so awkward to bring it up! What do I say?
I think this would work: "Hey, I heard the news... how are you doing?"

Is it really a big deal? You seem to be playing it off like it's nothing.
It is a big deal... it's my coping mechanism working overtime to convince me otherwise. :) You think of "what might have been" and even though it's just a blip on a radar screen, it becomes part of your personal history, which will always be a part of you. Plus, I admit I'm a little afraid of the physical pain I still have to go through yet. I would really feel better if that part was over (were over?).

As always, thanks for reading! I promise to have a much more light-hearted "weekend round-up" later today! Much love...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Not ready... and thank God.

Well, kids, for those of you only semi-in-the-loop, it's been a rollercoaster of a last couple weeks, believe me you. I was crying a lot, exhausted a lot, not eating well... why? why? why? Well, it turns out, I was *slightly* pregnant... (!!!) but not.

Long story short: I took a home pregnancy test on 7/6 morning and it came out very, very positive... and I was SHOCKED TO THE CORE. Now, if you'd have asked me beforehand, I would have said "Sure! We could handle another one!" but I was not ready, I am not ready... which we discovered too late... we thought.

So Joel and I went to the doc 7/7 to have an ultrasound to determine how far along I was (since I haven't had a period since November 2003) ... which they determined was about 7 weeks... but it turns out I'm just growing an "empty sac": a pregnancy, but not a baby. So technically I am, or will be, going through a miscarriage -- the nurse expected that my body get rid of the sac on its own in the next couple weeks, though if it doesn't I will have to have a D&C. As always, we will burn that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, I am relieved beyond belief. Finally, an explanation for the bizarre feelings (physical and mental) I've been having for the past month. I mean, you ain't seen rampaging hormones unless you seen me in the last few weeks. I feel like I have a new lease on life. Now, I don't know how YOU get through things like this, but I believe that God has a plan and I really feel like this is what was meant to happen. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Flat-Butt Follies

We knew it was going to be miserable. So miserable, in fact, that we tried to dress it up and give it a name and fool ourselves into believing it was going to be something, ANYTHING other than what it was, which was grueling, exhausting, and ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh! Sorry. Conked out there for a sec. I was talking about our 4th of July weekend -- a lovely, near-perfect-weather, three-full-days away from work, with our baby, enjoying the enjoyments of rural Minnesota.

We set off in a *bit* of a tizzy, from St. Paul on Friday evening. We'd both snuck out of work just a little early, and we thought we could get quickly packed and then just pick up Lucy from day care on the way out of town. Well... Joel got home first and couldn't find my packing list. Or perhaps, couldn't quite interpret my handwriting. So we had the car packed to the gills and I was going "have we packed towels yet?" and he had no idea.

But let's back up. When you have a three-day weekend with more than three destinations planned, it sure would help to have some sort of idea of what to expect when you got there, right? But this is what we knew:
1. Friday night: Driving 3 hours up to Brandon, to Joel's p's lake. Sleeping in the trailer.
2. Saturday A.M.: Driving 1.5 hours to Cushing, to Adam's p's lake.
3. Sunday P.M.: Driving 10 minutes to Motley to visit with family friends. Then driving 2 more hours up to Bemidji, for Joel's "family reunion."
4. Monday P.M. Driving 4.5 hours back home to St. Paul. Sleeping in our own beds.

You'll note that several vital bits of information are missing here, i.e., where we were sleeping Saturday and Sunday nights. And when you don't know where you're sleeping, it's REALLY hard to know:
a. whether or not there will be any refrigeration available for the copious amounts of baby food it is necessary to lug about for a spirited 10-month-old
b. whether or not the following will be necessary to cram into your Toyota Corolla:
- tent
- pillows
- blankets
- air mattress with cumbersome pump
- cooler (well, that was sort of covered in the refrigeration thing)
c. whether or not there will be coffee available IMMEDIATELY UPON AWAKENING. Oh! Sorry. Didn't mean to yell.
d. whether or not there will be any adult food available upon your arrival, and whether or not said food will have been sitting out in the sun for the previous two days.
e. whether or not you will be changing your extremely rolly and squirmy baby's diaper in any of the following places:
- the floor of a trailer
- the wooden slats of someone's deck
- a sand volleyball court
- the grass
- a table in the middle of a SubWay.

So we packed EVERYTHING we could into the poor, creaking, starting-to-rust-out Corolla. And we drove. And drove. And drove.
And then we'd get out of the car and Lucy would want to walk, walk, walk. And eat, eat, eat.
And I was pretty much too exhausted to enjoy any of the time spent with my friends (it was great, gals, really! Sorry I could barely keep my peepers open), or converse with Joel's family (I nodded and smiled a lot -- heck, Grandpa gets away with it!).

So that was our weekend. Would a van have helped? Possibly. Would detailed phone calls with our actual hosts (rather than relying on second- and third-hand info) have helped? Possibly no -- they probably would have thought we were mental control-freaks who can't just "go with the flow."

YOU go with the flow with a 10-month-old, a tick-infested mongrel and a rusted-out Corolla. Call me when you're done picking Cheerios out of your toe-cracks. But leave a message, 'cuz I"ll be napping.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Back in Action

Whoa, I am so sorry, I haven't written in over a month. In my defense, it's been a horrible month:
- almost 40% of my team at work has quit
- we've had water in our basement, a busted garage-door opener, and the washing machine keeps getting unbalanced and jogging across the floor
- my company's been bought out
- I've stopped nursing and my hormones are whacked!
- one of my dearest and most tolerant friends called me on the carpet for not making her a priority
- my softball teams were in gynormous slumps
- I had a birthday

I spent a couple weeks building up to almost a week of crying on and off. Joel was, of course, an angel as always. Go Bonser.

Things are looking up, though -- it's a three-day weekend, and we've been looking at some newer houses in which, when we have people over, they don't all have to stand up crammed elbow-to-eyeball in the kitchen, and it's fun to have dreams! Plus Lucy is keeping us in stitches. She lays on her stomach and "spins" by walking her hands around in a circle -- can't seem to get those hips up into the air, though! She "toodles" now, too -- walking around, holding tightly to our hands. Yelling all the way. She also feeds herself Cheerios -- (and woe to the parents whose muddled brains can't decipher that the "oat-based puff ring cereal" described in BabyTalk magazine actually means "Cheerios or any generic substitute" -- Corporate America is SUCH a thorn in my side!).

Cheerio time is one of the best times of the day. Lu watches as Joel or I spread a very moderate handful of O's on her highchair tray. Then she carefully selects the most worthy O and works it into her mouth, where she has finallly learned to let go of the O so it can actually be eaten. (For weeks she'd just touch it to her lip and look at us triumphantly -- "I'm doing it!! I'm eating!!" No, honey, no, you're not.) When she's full, then one O goes in her mouth, and one goes to Hobo, constantly lurking on the floor beneath. He's delighted.

This morning, she gave us another little hint of fun-to-come. So, it's bottle time -- I fill 'er up and put the bottle right on her tray so she can two-fist it right into her mouth. Buuuut... her little jammy sleeves are covering her hands. And she can't get a grip on the bottle. But would she let me roll up her sleeves? No, way, Jose!! You could just see her stubborn little one-track mind working: "This is MY bottle, I feed MYSELF, I am HUNGRY and I am going to get it in my mouth RIGHT NOW SO STAND BACK." Hoo-ee, you should have heard the hollering. Finally had to firmly grab her flailing little arm to wrestle her sleeve up. Of course it was fine, then -- she jammed it into her mouth, sucked it down in about 5 minutes, and went on with her happy morning.

And Joel and I stared, and watched visions in our heads of future t-ball games, dance recitals, skinned knees, bruised shins, and tears. Lots and lots of big ol' crocodile tears.