Wednesday, March 31, 2010

For the love of my nipples, please stop.

This morning while I was feeding Oliver outside he got distracted and bit me. And I said to him, "No no no, we don't bite mommy." To which he responded, with a very serious expression,

"Ya Ya Ma Ma."

Cheeky little thing, he is.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I have a new mouth hole.

Yesterday I got another one of my wisdom teeth out. It didn't hurt so much at first but after I was home maybe 6 hours later I changed my mind about wanting to bring out the hard core artillery. I think I slept 18 hours, getting up sometimes to feed the baby that lives here.

Today I'm still pretty sore on that side of my face but I wanted to get up and do things anyway. Oliver decided he wanted to get up and punch me on my wisdom tooth hole. Another case of me crying, him laughing. Sadistic, sadistic child.

After his morning nap we went for another walk to enjoy the sunny weather. We have nice areas to walk in, but they're pretty hilly and it gets tiring quick. Walking up the hills makes my calves weep for mercy, but walking down the hills isn't any easier. I sort of ahve to lean back and hold on tight to the stroller to stop it from rolling away. It's tough work, but I guess that is what makes it good exercise. The neighborhood is an old one and it has a lot of character that makes for interesting scenery. The sidewalks are cracked and buckled from all of the old trees roots, but I think Oliver likes the bumps.

Anyway, I must really have gotten my blood pumping because the next thing I know my wisdom tooth hole is bleeding a lot and I somehow managed to drool it onto my chin when I looked down. Only me, Right?

So, on account of bleeding out of my face and all, I decided to go home and lo and behold every single person who lives in that neighborhood had to come out for a walk at that exact moment. Yes, I am that person. The crazy woman bleeding out of her mouth, pushing her baby in a stroller. I'm almost too embarrassed to go walking there again tomorrow, but to maintain some semblance of physical exercise... I must.

Oliver has a doctor's appointment this afternoon for his 6 month check up. I was going to walk to it, but after this morning's walk I think I'll just drive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Avocados are overrated.

I realized that you all haven't seen Oliver's teeth yet. Here he is, chompers gleaming like diamonds. Apologies for the photo quality but... It is a hard shot to capture. The point is, there are his teeth. PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE.

And to make up for the poor photography, here are some wonderful videos of him, enjoying gagging on some avocado for lunch.

He is not ashamed to show how he feels.

I might be biased, but I think that is pretty cute.

Breast milk, the snake oil of 2010?

I like my hippie doctor. Really, I do.. but when she starts telling me to use my own breastmilk to clear up my backne, I think I start to question her judgement. She referred me to this site and I was freaked out. A lot. Let me share with you my own opinions.

Ways to use breastmilk, according to hippies and La Leche League junkies:

1. Treat pink eye. I can see this in an infant. It is a bit gross in theory, but hey.. I'd try it. On myself? On another person? Ew.

2. Mosquito bite, acne, eczema, and rash relief. This is also gross. But again... in an infant? Maybe I'd do it. Maybe. But I definitely wouldn't tell anyone about it.

3. Facial cleanser. As in, on your face. As in, replace your Oil of Olay with secretions from your own body. Yeah, I didn't think so either.

4. Treat sore throats and mouth sores. Ew. I am not drinking my own milk. I am definitely not "swishing" around a mouthful of breastmilk to treat a canker sore or something. Disgusting.

5. Immunity boost. Forget the extra buckwheat shots in your smoothies at Jamba Juice. I will just give you a shot glass full of my own warm, creamy breastmilk.

6. Heal scratches, burns, and scrapes. Like Bactine, but it doesn't sting! Or does it? Who knows, because I am not willing to try this one out.

The list goes on and on... Chicken pox, leg ulcers (!?!), cracked lips, contact lens solution.... All bizarre manner of things that breast milk can be used to treat. The site even mentions the ways in which donor breast milk is used by doctors. (Turns out I should have requested a wetnurse when I got pneumonia a couple of years ago.)

But, the mother of all weird uses? Read this excerpt yourself, becasue I have nothing more to say.

"Sexual Lubricant: Males can squirt the breast milk directly onto the penis in order to use as a lubricant during sexual intercourse. Females can hand express the milk into a sterile cup in order to do this. Breast milk can be used the same as a couple would use Vaseline, KY Jelly, or Astroglide."

No witty remarks necessary, I think this one can stand alone.

(P.S. I would like to add that you should really read that snake oil ad. It has some great advertising that would really make me wnat to buy it. "The strongest and best linement known for pain and lameness!" and "Good for everything a liniment ought to be good for!" Priceless.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting mail is always fun.

I'm back home from my trip to DC. I got a package in the mail today, yay! It was full of cute clothes for Oliver to wear. I was going to put him in an outfit and take a picture this morning, but he decided he would rather take a nap instead. This morning has been baby hygiene day.

I clipped his nails. (Mostly. I still suck at it and I'm terrified ever since I gave him a nasty hangnail.) I combed his hair. I put on baby lotion. And then I brushed his teeth.

I know it is good to brush a baby's teeth but... I feel ridiculous. Brushing two teeth. Two! The only time I've felt dumber was when I brushed my dogs' teeth in an attempt to give them fresh smelling breath. Oliver thinks I'm stupid for doing it, too. He gives me pitying looks before biting at my fingers. (Just like the dogs did.) Maybe if I got that chicken flavoured toothpaste again...

This afternoon I am getting my two remaining wisdom teeth out. I'm not looking forward to it, but I feel pretty well prepared. Yesterday I stocked up on easy to make food options. I bought premade formula just in case I can't/don't want to feed Oliver. I've researched the medicines that I can and cannot breastfeed with. I'm set, but I don't really want to go. I'm hoping that getting my teeth pulled will stop this ear/jaw ache I've been getting lately.

I can't think of anything terribly exciting to post, but I thought I'd update y'all anyway because it has been a while. The 34 hours in the car to DC with a 6 month old baby went pretty well. The bathroom ceiling was leaking again before we left and the landlord fixed it while we were gone. He left a mess again that I had to clean up, again. Even though we specifically asked him to clean up after himself, and he said that he would.  I would recommend the Hoover Platinum Stick Vacuum to anyone who wants a small but powerful cordless vacuum. I've used it about 900 times since I've been back. The snow is gone here now. There is a woodchuck living under our front steps. Oliver sits completely unassisted for long stretches of time. Oliver got a face rash for a couple of days but it seems to be going away now. We're getting family photos taken together on the tenth.

OH YEAH. I just remembered a semi-redeeming story.

A few days ago, I was at Target with Oliver. I was reading the labels on some food when I hear Oliver start to laugh spontaneously. I look up, and I see that there is a man halfway down the aisle waiving his shiny metal hook hand at Oliver. Oliver likes hook hands. He laughs. A lot. I smile at the nice man, who explains that babies love hook hands. I think that is weird, but he is nice and did not try to touch my baby so he is on my good list.

The end.

Friday, March 12, 2010

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I had a dream last night that I was a best-selling author. I had crazy stalker fans. It really scared the crap out of me, even though this dream will never come true because: 1. I have no intentions of writing a book. and 2. If I ever did, I'd lack the ambition and persistence to ever get it published. (Notice that I did not say that I lacked the skill. Forgive me for saying this, but I think most best-sellers are crap. Example? Dean Koontz. I rest my case.) Even still, the whole scenario made me think about what if....

I tried to imagine literature teachers "teaching" my books to their students. The thought is quite ridiculous. Every lit class I've ever taken involves a teacher explaining what thoughts the author put into particular passages. Mr. Rantacler's walking cane is actually a metaphor for the never ending suffering of narwhals. The sky is described as being grey because the character was feeling sad, not because... well. Frequently skies are actually grey. For no reason. Despite how people are feeling.

Now (as I have at times in the past) I find myself wondering, do they make that all up? Are they speculating on things that the authors never in a million years intended? I think they do. I think they are. I think a lot of that is just plain ol' BS. Most authors, especially the dead ones, probably weren't as cerebral as they're made out to be in PowerPoints these days. Sure, you can say whatever you want about a dead author's thoughts, because what is he going to do? Haunt your house? Flicker the lights on and off? Spill water all over your leather-bound first edition copy of his novel? Menacing.

Because I've got to say, if anyone were to analyze my writings and say that I put great thought into them... They'd be wrong. In fact, if I try to think and plan out my writings they're terrible. They don't at all convey the tone or sentiment that I'm going for. Planning is my doom. I sit down and write and I stop when I am done - no thinking required. All of the writing classes that I took which forced me into drafts? I cheated through all of them.

I always wrote my "final" copy first. For my "rough drafts" I simply screwed around with my original, adding in new sections and deleting others. The more drafts I knew I was going to need, the more screwing up I did. And then, POOF! Magically, when I had to turn in my final copy, it was already done. I was quite lazy, but hey... I got good grades.

It isn't just writing that is condemned by my over thinking. My life would suck if I let myself think much more than I do. Counter-intuitive, maybe, but thinking makes me dumber. I am pretty laid back in most things, and I chalk that up to my too-late-now, don't-look-back attitude.

Don't get me wrong, I research my decisions. I weigh my options. But once I've made my choice, that is it. I'm running with it until something stops working. Analyzing things freaks me out too much. Dwelling on my decisions is a dangerous slope for me. If one doubt pops up, I'll be worrying the rest of the day. Then I don't feel well. Then I don't sleep well. Quite frankly, it sucks. Trust me, shutting off my brain is the best defense mechanism I've got. (Think how miserable and dark most of the great intellectuals' works were. I'll choose my moments of stupidity over lifetimes of moody albeit ingenious and artistic brooding.)

The only flaw in my system is this:

I can't tune out other people's worries the same way I can tune out my own. When somebody brings up a perceived shortcoming or criticizes something I'm doing, I doubt myself. I take it personally. I do very poorly when people try to push their anxieties etc onto me. I get paranoid. Outwardly, I might become defensive but in private I will secretly be struggling to correct whatever flaw somebody saw. It sucks. I'm trying to fix that. Example:

Somebody in the grocery store earlier this week heckled me for giving Oliver a plastic measuring cup in the shopping cart. She told me it was bad that he kept whacking himself in the face with it.

When I went to Target tonight I made sure I didn't bring the measuring cup with us. I thought 1. I don't want people to see him whacking himself again with the measuring cup and 2. What if she is right and he is causing permanent brain damage!?

Zubaz Pants: Royal Blue/White Zubaz Zebra Pants - MediumOf course, I realize this is stupid. The measuring cup is actually softer than most plastic baby toys on the market. If he were really hurting himself, he'd either cry or stop doing it. As far as I'm concerned, measuring cup is an even better toy than most. It entertains him just as much as his legitimate toys, and it doesn't even play obnoxious music or drive me crazy. Besides. Seriously? Who heckles people. In the grocery store. Over a plastic measuring cup. I knew the woman was crazy. She was wearing Zubaz pants. Her own children were fighting over what type of Fruit Gushers to get. She had gold grillz. If there is anyone I probably shouldn't take advice from, it'd be that woman.

But she still prevented me from taking ol' measuring cup to Target today.

Sometimes I do the stupidest things.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


For as much as the relatives clamour for Oliver's photos, I think it would be fair for me to take up a collection towards a new camera. Because, honestly? 90% of the photos I take are ruined because they are blurry.  I spent about an hour trying to take a good photo of him and I came out with THREE acceptable ones.  This is because 1. He will not sit still long enough for my three hour long shutter speed setting and 2. I am not skilled in photography and 3. A winter day in Minnesota is not unlike taking pictures in a cave.

I am pretty sure this could be remedied with a new camera. Could I buy one? Yes. I've been selling away our packrat junk on Craigslist and I could purchase a new camera with my earnings. However, at this time I can't justify spending that money on a camera when I know I could instead pay all of our utilities and bills for the month. Instead, I will be charging a $1 fee for sending Oliver photos to the paparazzi. Yeah. That'll buy me a camera pretty soon.

We've actually got quite a bit of junk to sell on Craigslist. Old baby stuff that Oliver is too big for sells like hotcakes. People jumped all over my taking-up-closet-space futon mattress. Some old jeans that don't fit me anymore paid for my tank of gas. Pregnancy books are out of my shelves and I'm $12 richer. It is nice to get rid of the stuff. I feel good clearing out spaces and rearranging the apartment's drawers and cupboards. Jared has a harder time letting things go, though. He has stacks of video games in my cabinets that he never plays anymore and that I doubt he will ever play again... but I'm forbidden from selling them. There are clothes that I have seen him wear maybe once in the three years he's been living in Minnesota, but HEAVEN FORBID I SUGGEST HE DONATE SOME TO GOODWILL. He is good at thinking up reasons of why we should keep things that he probably didn't even know we had until I asked if we could get rid of them. I am going to stop asking.

I'm different, though. I had fun going through my stuff and remembering the "good ol' days" when it served a purpose for me. Some things had some good memories but they just weren't worth keeping around, causing clutter in my brain. When you have three people living in 850 sq feet some things will be sacrificed. So, I've gone through my drawers and boxes, took some time to think about how much I enjoyed those things, and sent them packing. Spring cleaning has never felt so good.

The only items that were harder to get rid of were Oliver's tiny clothes. I have a hard time remembering him being that small. In my mind, he has always been here and he has always been able to sit up, smile, laugh. It doesn't seem like him when I try to remember the age when he just folded into himself in a pile of baby smelling mush, before he could interact or even make eye contact with me. Watching videos from just a month ago makes me think, Wow.. was he ever really like that? I can't even believe that he has been here less than half of a year, when it seems like my life has changed so much that this "new" way is the only way it's ever been for me.

My "new" life is so much better than my old one. For as much as he drives me crazy, I really like hanging out with him and I miss him so much when I'm away. Sometimes I like having him as an excuse for not getting anything done. No one ever accuses me of being lazy, even though we are, spending entire days in our pajamas, playing with Wallace the stuffed moose.

While I was pregnant, one person in particular took every occasion to tell me I was too young to be doing this "all by myself." I had no experience. I was biting off more than I could chew. I was too _____  and too little _____ and nowhere near ____ enough. She really freaked me out and made me feel bad at the time, but I can see how stupid she was now. I'm not too young. I'm not "all by myself" by any means.  And I am definitely ___ enough and totally just perfectly ______.

Sure, being younger means that I'm lacking some bits of age accrued wisdom. It also may mean that, materially and financially, I'm not as well off.  People don't take me as seriously as somebody ten years my senior.

I don't really know what a 401K is. A large portion of our meals out come off of value menus or early bird specials. I was excited when Jared splurged and bought Tropicana brand OJ. Salesmen won't be rushing to my aid, trying to sell me the top of the line anything.


There are so many more important benefits that I do have. My life is flexible. I'm open to new things and I can roll with whatever gets sent my way. Time hasn't had the chance to sour me or make me bitter, and I hope it never will. I have a lot of fun living my life and doing silly things, which is something that Ye Olde Windbag didn't take into account when she unfairly judged me.

I am healthy. More than likely, I will see my grandchildren. I am up to date on technology & entertainment. According to an algorithm I just cooked up in my head, I am 78% more likely to be the "cool parent" when Oliver is in school.

I think he will come to appreciate that.

Because when he says, "Don't step onto the carpet because it is lava and the drones of space fighter technology will sic their half human half porpoise guards on you!" I will be all, "Yes, and let me go get my radiation shield belt to defend myself!"

Monday, March 8, 2010

My baby is a vampire.

We already know that I don't like nursing. I've stuck with it because I know it is good for him and if I distract myself enough each time I feed him, I don't notice that I don't like it. But now I can'ti gnore it. He bites. With a vengeance. This morning he bit me so hard that I bled. I cried.

He laughed.

And my thought was... seriously!?! YOU LAUGH ABOUT MY PAIN?!! I don't think you understand, kid. Even as far back as a year ago, you were making me feel like a disgustingly overstuffed sausage.  You kicked my ribcage to mush. You robbed me of my dignity, making me pee when I sneezed. All summer long I was hot and sweaty and I couldn't breathe. Then, in the culmination of all things uncomfortable, you tore me a new one on my lady bits. Literally.

And, believe it or not, it didn't stop there! You took away my sleep. You've scratched my boobs to ribbons. You killed any semblance of personal hygeine, household cleanliness, presence of mind that I had. My social life is lacking and the costs to keep you are astronomical.

And I accept this. I will smile my way through that. I understand that you had no real say in any of those things... But when you intentionally BITE THE NIPPLE THAT FEEDS YOU, I put my foot down.

Or at least I would, if I knew how. I tried, really I did.  I've shouted OW! I've screamed NO! I've put away my boob and distracted you. Either you bawl or you laugh, with no consistent patterns. I am baffled. I don't know how to stop you, aside from weaning, which I really do not want to do yet.

So maybe, please, you would consider not biting me? Your new teeth are great and all but I cannot rock the bleeding nipples look. I shouldn't have to figure out how to get bloodstains out of my bras.

So, please?  Pretty please? I'll let you have a sip of my water. You can stay up late tonight. You can have two stories before bed. I'll let you take a bath without making you wash your hair. I won't leave you in any mechanical mothering machines all day!!

Can't we reach an agreement?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pre-Bedtime ritual?

Oliver likes to make farting noises. Quite frankly, I appreciate farting noises much more than the crying noises he can make. Tonight, for our pre-bedtime bonding moment, we made fart noises at each other.

Without further ado, I present you with Oliver, I Fart You Goodnight.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Toys. I want them.

Now that Oliver is becoming more person-like and less dog-like, I enjoy playing with him more. I want to play trains with him. And trucks. And marbles. And think of the agony I will cause when I vacuum up teeny tiny Lego pieces! I can't wait.

In the mean time, we've been playing with the few toys he's got. A couple plastic key rings, a few little shaky rattly toys... Thats mostly it. My parents did buy him this Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Waterfall Soother and he loves it. Which made me wonder.... what other toys would he like?

As it turns out, all of them. We walked down the toy aisles at Target and he was reaching out for all of them. He may not be able to do much with them yet, but he already feels that materialistic magnetism towards them. But me? I was largely disappointed by them. Toys, at least to me, seem to suck "these days."

(Go ahead. Give me flack for saying "these days" like I am some crotchety 70 year old. Because I feel like some crotchety 70 year old. Take one good look at me in the morning and you would understand.)

Every toy on the shelf is pretty much just touch a button and it lights up or plays music. What fun is that? Everything looks cool, but seems to do very little. If I'm going to allow a toy to take up space in this tiny apartment, I'd like more interaction and purpose. So, to find a good old fashioned toy...

...I got my parents to buy Oliver a set of wooden blocks. Blocks! Old school, fun timey blocks! Stack them! Bite them! Knock them down! Throw them! Step on them! Hide them in the couch cushions! So many possibilities.

I don't know where my parents found those blocks, but when I looked for them I couldn't find find them anywhere. I did find theese Alphabet Blocks and other varieties of the FP Peek-a-Blocks which look pretty sweet, but they've also got a pretty generous price tag to go along with them. I think I might try to buy him some on Craigslist for his birthday, because they interact with so many fun looking toys. But I couldn't justify buying them for him full price on our income. Plus, they are, after all, just toys.

But you know what isn't just a toy? The Drop & Roar™ Dinosaur! I kid. So, maybe it is just a toy, but it is awesome on all counts.  I played with it at somebody's house.
Fisher-Price® Roll-a-Rounds™ Drop & Roar™ Dinosaur
1. It is a dinosaur. Dinosaurs rock.
2. It lights up nad makes noises.
3. It does different things when you drop in different balls.
4. It is cool. It is a dinosaur. See #1.

Sadly, it has been discontinued and can only be found on Craigslist and Ebay now. I think I like it so much because it is reminiscent of the marble track toys that I never had but always coveted. Having a kid is probably the best way to get everything you ever wanted during your own childhood without looking like an idiot.

Because when I go through the check out with a cart full of plastic dinosaurs and a baby, nobody is going to think I am getting the dinos for myself. Even though I am.

P.S. Where can one buy toys with suction cups on the bottom? We'd like to eat a meal in peace without constantly picking up the toys that are flung out of the high chair.