So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.


World's Most Beautiful Child

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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For the record

For those of you playing along at home...

Mia hates:
rice cereal
oatmeal
banana
sweet potato
carrot
potato
milk in a bottle
milk in a sippy cup

Mia likes:
boobies!

I know I won't have to go along to college with her so she can breastfeed, but I am starting to get a little worried about kindergarden.

Mia Monday #3

The best part about learning to sit up is the Improved Toe Access.



Alone

Mia is sleeping. Chris is at the grocery store. I have 20 minutes entirely to myself and no idea what to do with them.

I think I'll go watch Mia sleep.

Great big happy (weird) family

Mia's a little blurry because she was trying to get the heck away from her freaky parents.


Most people just buy a lamp

Yesterday's email correspondence between me and Chris:

From: Beth
To: Chris

Good morning - any chance you have my library card?

- - - - -

From: Chris
To: Beth

There's a very good chance...even a certainty.

- - - - -

From: Beth
To: Chris

You library card stealer!

Were you thinking desk lamp or floor lamp for the office?

- - - - -

From: Chris
To: Beth

Desk. With dimming capability ;-)

- - - - -

From: Beth
To: Chris

Are you sure you don't want to reconsider? I think the floor lamp
does a better job of lighting the room, since we only have one light.
(Although I suppose there is no law preventing the application of both
a floor and desk lamp.) (Is there? I would hate to go to prison for
inappropriate lamping.) (What do you get for that? 8 to 12?) (Maybe
they would plea bargain me down to 5 if I did another 3 years
community service speaking to school children about the dangers of
over-lampage.) (Is this going to be one of those times where I feel I
am being devastatingly clever and you are giving me that look and
waiting for me to be done?) (Mia says hi.)

- - - - -

From: Chris
To: Beth

Over- or inadequate lampification would be unfortunate. I originally went for the desk option as it can typically be dimmed however, upon further consideration, a floor lamp has many of the same capabilities. In short, either would work. The current lighting situation concerns me in that the room is either

a) too bright making me feel as though I'm working on the computer on the surface of the sun (although slightly cooler) or

b) dark, and I feel incredibly lonely and scared.

Any lighting solution bridging the gap between those two luminous extremes would be a plesant alternative.

While I didn't find any federal legislation discussing lighting and the legality of the strengths or weaknesses of such lighting, I did manage to stumble upon an obscure Virginia statute from the 1800s which says, in part -

Inadequacy of lighting in any domicile and/or place of business shall be adequate, commensurate with the lighting needs of the primary occupants. Whosoever violates this ordinance shall be flogged mightily and fined two fertile sows.

So, unless you're ready to cough up a couple pigs, I think we better get the right lighting in place.

(Tell Mia hi)

- - - - -

From: Beth
To: Chris

dibs

- - - - -

From: Chris
To: Beth

crap

Tra la la

Hey, I haven't done an entirely random post in what, three days? Time to remedy that!

- Mia had her 6 month check-up yesterday and she weighs (drumroll, please) 19 pounds 12 ounces. Perfect size, for a nine month old. The pediatrician says she is on track to be 6'6".

- On Sunday, I had brunch with Liz from MysteryMommy and her charming son. (He told me the entire story of Jack in the Beanstalk complete with lots of detail and all relevant plot points and without the yammering and rambling that you usually get from young children and he isn't quite 4. I thought it was pretty impressive.) Liz was lovely and didn't even bite me and kindly did not mention that my shirt was stained with baby puke and my jeans were covered in mashed banana and I didn't talk about basements or the weather so all in all I think it was a smashing success. Also, nothing awful has happened in the last few days, so I think I have officially broken the curse of meeting bloggers coinciding with deep personal tragedy. So, you know, bonus.

- Since really a lot of you have asked, my $40 vacuum is a Dirt Devil Power Stick. I am not advocating you all run out and buy one, I'm just saying. It works pretty well for what I need, but I am vacuuming at least once a day, so it isn't exactly heavy-duty work here. Anyway, since there appears to be a surprising amount of interest - here's my take. Pros: good suction, even got up the matted cat hair from the spot under the crib where Pixel likes to sleep; very lightweight; small enough to get all the way under the crib; light and small enough to do stairs; decent-sized dust cup (I can do my entire upstairs without emptying it, but my upstairs is small and like I said I vacuum every day); about as loud as a regular vacuum, meaning not so loud I can't hear the baby cry but loud enough I can pretend that I can't; it was 40 bucks. Cons: the cord is easy to pull out of the socket, so if you get too far away you can unplug yourself with very little effort; filter is hard to clean (but no harder than my other, far more expensive vacuum; no beater (I hardly knew her, ha!) brush, so does not get all those pesky cat hairs that get tangled up in the carpet; cord is a bit short.

- There, since I have given you all my sage advice about vacuums, I hereby solicit your opinions on the best small food processor for making baby food. Extra points if it is cheap.

- I just realized that since I quit my job in October I have bought a flat screen monitor, a DVD burner/VCR, a cordless phone, a vacuum cleaner, a food processor (to be returned pending responses to the above), a new baby monitor, and a clock radio that sets itself. Apparently I have a small appliance fetish, and also apparently I do not understand the concept of a budget.

- And finally, can you all recommend some books on getting Mia to sleep better? I already have The No Cry Sleep Solution (like the attitude but have a hard time putting it into practice) and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (read 5 pages and threw it across the room because it pissed me off). I will not Babywise or Ferberize her and want to do the best we can with as little crying as possible (ideally none, but I am thinking that might not be a realistic goal). If you have any sources that might be helpful, I would appreciate it (and if you think my violent reluctance to let my child cry makes me stupid or a wimp I cordially invite you to keep that to yourself and just be secure in your moral superiority).

Mia Monday #2

Please do not eat her chubby little thighs, I am saving them for when I finish her toes.










Six Months

Mia Bean,

This morning, when you woke up, your father and I sang Happy Half-Birthday To You. You are six months old today and have come so far in the last six months that I barely recognize the baby we first brought home, and I'm sure you will go so far in the next six months that I will barely recognize the baby you are today.

You scored yourself two teeth this month. You started teething right around Christmas and the first little tooth came in right after New Years, followed shortly by the second one. You are acting like there are more on the way, but we haven't seen any proof of that yet. Overall you have taken the teething very well. You have been a little cranky and most days start screaming if I dare to put you down for a second, but you are still generally a happy little girl. The biggest problem has been the sleeping, which you no longer do, but I can't really blame you for that one. Your grandparents were over for dinner last night and Grandma and Papa said that I never slept either, so I guess I am getting my comeuppance. You have been sleeping in bed with us a lot lately because some nights it is the only way you will sleep at all, and when you decide it is time for me to wake up to feed you or just to give you a hug you reach over and yank on my hair. It works.

Last Sunday night, you rolled from your tummy to your back for the first time in a couple of months. It was like a lightbulb went off. On Monday, we spent hours on the floor rolling back and forth or over and over and giggling like crazy. You have figured out that you can roll where you want to go and will fix some far off location or object with your determined stare and roll your pudgy little sausage body right to it. The most fun is when your father and I roll around with you and then we all kick our legs up and play with our toes.

You are a very clever little baby, so clever that sometimes you scare me. Yesterday we played peekaboo with your blanket. I put it over my face then pulled it away and yelled "boo" and you giggled wildly. After a few minutes of that I gave you the blanket; you put it over your face, pulled it off, and giggled. Then you did it again. And again.

You can sit up, but have to be properly motivated to do it. Usually that means there has to be a cat to look at or you have to be wearing your strangely fascinating ladybug shoes. You prefer to sit with me behind you so you can lie back and then sit back up or bounce from side to side. Your balance leaves a little to be desired, but you are incredibly strong and can be lying nearly flat and sit yourself up. As of right this very minute, you can sit up on your own. Way to get it in just under the wire.

We started giving you solid foods this month, just rice cereal and banana so far. You did okay with it the first couple of days, but have lately decided you would prefer to breastfeed forever and whenever I come near you with a spoon you shake your head violently back and forth so I can't get any of that nasty food into your mouth.

You are a grabby little thing lately. You feel you need absolutely everything and anything you get your hands on goes straight into your mouth. I take you shopping in your Baby Bjorn and have to walk down the middle of the aisle to keep you from grabbing things off shelves. Eating with you in my lap has become an elaborate game of Keep Away and usually ends up with me dumping something down my shirt in my effort to keep it out of your mouth.

Mia, you are growing and changing and learning so quickly now that I feel like I could write for hours and not capture everything, and I would rather just play with you instead, so that's what I'm going to do. You are wonderful and fun and glorious, and when I do manage to get away for an hour I miss you the entire time and hurry home so I can hug you and chew your toes and run my fingers through your crazy hair. Yesterday, my friend Bob said to me "you're such a mommy now," and he was right. I am such a mommy, and I love it.

Love,
Mom

Peeved

Things that are annoying me:

- That I am stupid. To everyone who told me my site looked fine to them in IE, of course it did. The problem had nothing to do with the browser, I just happened to be in IE when I saw the problem. Don't worry, I am putting myself in time out for being a moron.

- The story I heard on the radio yesterday where they kept saying Internet Service Provider when they meant Internet Services Provider. More than 24 hours later I am still stewing. I worked for an Internet Service Provider for 7 years and yes, I am a loser to care, but since I know the difference I was really confused.

- (This is not something that is annoying me, but now that I have quit; if anybody was wondering, I was in telecom. And now you know.)

- Baby gates that you can open with one hand. Lovely thought, but since I usually have 20 pounds of squirming, teething baby in one arm and 20 pounds of dirty laundry in the other arm the whole "open with one hand" thing doesn't do me much good. I need a gate that opens with magic words - possibly "move, fucker."

- Did I mention that she's teething again? Sweet Jeebus, enough with the teething already.

- The $40 vacuum cleaner that I bought to keep upstairs since now that Mia is rolling all over the place I am vacuuming at least every day works much better than the $300 vacuum cleaner that I was trying to avoid lugging up the stairs. Anybody wanna buy a vacuum?

- Random people touching my baby, and that they always go straight for her hands which then go straight into her mouth. People, I make my own mother wash her hands before she touches Mia and I am not going to deal with a sick infant because you can't keep your germy mitts to yourselves. I've started smacking hands; I feel it is the only way some of you will learn.

- Mia refuses to let me take a picture of her freaking adorable bottom teeth. Every time I get close enough, she tries to eat the camera. Anybody wanna see a very dark picture of her tongue?

Punished

Ok, how long was my site hosed in IE and nobody bothered to tell me? You can't all just wait around and let DeAnn do all the work. Honestly, 63% of my hits are from IE, so don't tell me nobody else noticed. I fixed it, no thanks to you guys.

That's it, you are all in time out.

Mia Monday

First of all, you all rock. Thank you to everyone who delurked and said hello last week (and thanks also to everyone who did not have to delurk to say hello). I am working on getting around to see everyone who left a site, but it is likely to take me a while. Have I mentioned that my child does not sleep? You probably think I am exaggerating, but let me assure you I am not. Mia and sleep are not acquainted. I have run into a couple of bad links, although I realize you may have done that on purpose so I wouldn't bother you. Anyway, if I don't get around to say hello by the end of this week or so, wouldya leave me another comment so I can find your site?

I also wanted to thank you all for saying such nice things about my baby, and even asking for more pictures of her when I didn't pay you to say that. Sandy even recommended that I start doing Mia Monday to compete with Haiku Monday over at that guy's place. I think that is an excellent idea! So here you go, Mia Monday #1: Mia Meets Rice Cereal.



Took me forever to clean the cereal out of her nose.

Catch-up

People, I have been so busy with the mothering and crankiness due to lack of sleep and shirking of my housewifely duties that there are, I dunno, eighty gabillion things that I have not had time to tell you. Therefore, on the theory that you are all as enamored with every mundane detail of my existence as I am, I present the following catch-up post (in my all-time favorite random list format, of course). Hold on to your hats, we are going to jump around a lot.

- Chris and I went out! To dinner! Without the baby! For the second entire time since her birth nearly six months ago. Chris's parents kindly agreed to babysit and also kindly did not fold, spindle or mutilate the child. Apparently she didn't even notice we were gone for half an hour and when she did notice decided to deal with it by going to sleep. By the time we got home though I could hear her screaming before I even opened the car door. I am traumatized and will never leave her side again, but still we went out and you should be proud of us.

- Speaking of Mia (which we all know I hardly ever do) she has two brand spanking new sharp as all hell teeth (which came in one after the other rather than together). Now Mia is a perfect dream angel child and the light of my life, of course, and overall she handled the teething process very well. You would hardly have even known she was teething except that she didn't sleep longer than 45 minutes at a stretch for two weeks and demanded that I maintain full body contact with her drooly little self for the same period of time. That explains why I have given her to my husband this afternoon with instructions to call me only if her head actually spins around. More than once. Mama needs a break.

- We are now the proud owners of a new carseat since the infant carseat that was meant to last a year was outgrown in less than six months. The new one is like a baby barcalounger and even has its own cup holder.

- Speaking of things Mia has outgrown - here are the clothes that no longer fit her:

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We are into 9 month sizes and I expect she will be in 12 month sizes before she is 6 months old.

- There are certain members of my family with whom I exchange Christmas gifts every year. Every year, I write a thank you note, while these certain family members have never once even asknowledged that I sent a gift. So I decided that this year was the year I would put my foot down and refuse to send a thank you note. After all, I am no longer a child and if someone is going to be rude to me I am free to choose to give as good as I get. Except - I just wrote the thank you notes. I can't decide whether I am polite and well-raised or just a sucker.

- Damn. The baby is fussing and I can't stand it. Breaktime is over.

Stupid things I have done this week

1. Burned the crap out of my finger. With a pacifier. Yup, a pacifier. See, I got some new ones for Mia to use as teething rings (she refuses to use a pacifier as a pacifier or a teething ring as a teething ring), boiled them, and then picked one up barehanded, at which point the very hot water still trapped in the hollow nipple part burned the crap out of me. Clever.

2. Trapped myself in the backseat of my car. I got back there to strap Mia into her Baby Bjorn and shut the door since it was raining. The child locks were turned on. Mia's new carseat is so big I couldn't squeeze around it to get to the front seat so I had to sit there and bang on the window until a kind and confused passing stranger released me from my car. I can hear you wondering "Beth, why didn't you just roll down the window and open the door from the outside?" and to that I say "shut up."

That's all so far, but tomorrow is another day.

Updated to add: Kelley has quite astutely pointed out that in most cars the windows won't open if the car isn't on, so that is now my excuse. Nevermind that my car has a remote start so all I had to do was push a button. Really, that is neither here nor there.

Blogkeeping

Mostly boring stuff - feel free to skip.

I am well aware that I am a whiny, spoiled, ungrateful bitch and have admitted as much on this site on more than one occasion. There is no need for you to trouble yourself to remind me.

You know how some people are really laid-back and open-minded and let you say basically anything you want in their comments? I'm not one of them. If you are rude or hateful I will delete your comment. If you merely hint that my daughter is not fabulously beautiful, astoundingly brilliant, and terribly advanced for her age, I will delete your comment and ban your ass faster than you can say "gosh, touchy much?". If you link to a commercial website I will delete your comment. If you want to advertise on my site, pay me.

Speaking of ads, what do you guys think of them? I considered having ads when I first quit my job and decided against it, but am now reconsidering. I don't really need the money, but since my poor husband is slaving away to support me in the manner to which I have become accustomed, it would be nice to at least be able to pay for my own facials and pedicures. Seriously would like some opinions on this one. Thanks.

Someone recently intimated that I cuss a lot on this site. Do you think I cuss a lot? I mean, sure, there is the occasional post in which every third word is fuck, but other than that?

I recently updated my code so that if you comment and do not leave a url your email address will not be displayed. I know, I know, I am a terrible blogger for not having done this sooner (although there was a bit in there that was supposed to help thwart spammers). You may now rest assured that if you leave a comment with your email, I will be the only one harassing you. As punishment for being such a slacker, you may each flog me with a wet noodle.

Confidential to Gavin: Dude, I was crushed (crushed! I say) to discover you had not left an email address with your comment, as I had already mentally composed a pithy response about how ennui would be far better if it were not so limited. For example, you should be able to say you are "ennuified," or that you were "ennuied," but now you are better. See? Pithy. Put that in your portmanteau and smoke it.

As a prize for reading all that boring stuff and making it this far: Have I told you that Chris and I are having a disagreement as to whether or not I ever had a lesbian experience at summer camp? I mentioned it to him one time and he was not interested in the details, assuming I am sure that such a thing had never happened. However, now he has his doubts (and quite rightfully so). Sadly, once he got around to asking for the skinny, I no longer had any interest in telling him about it. So what do you think? Should I tell him or just let him wonder forever?

Ahem

It seems that my last post may have given the wrong impression (although I cannot for the life of me imagine how). My husband is a kind and wonderful man and an excellent father who loves his daughter madly and works hard to be sure he is doing his fair share of infant entertainment and maintenance. He frequently asks me what he can do to help me with the night-time parenting. However, since Mia is still exclusively breastfed and Chris is sadly lacking in breasts, the answer to that question is "nothing." Additionally, he has to get up early in the morning to go to work in order to keep our little family in, you know, food, since I have steadfastly refused to earn a thin dime in nearly six months. It has not happened often, but every single time I have woken him up at 3 AM because I just could not deal with the baby for another second, he has not only gotten up immediately and taken her downstairs so that her inconsolable weeping would not disturb my sleep, but he has never breathed a single word of complaint. He is a rock star, a prince among men, and a tremendous father and I am impressed and awed by the way he has risen to the demands and challenges of fatherhood.

That said, I stand by my description of his flagrant diaper shirking. He has a different take on it, of course, but it happened exactly as I said it did.

Purely hypothetical question

(Have you Delurked yet? No reading new posts until you delurk, and don't try to cheat because I. Will. Know.)

Ok internets, I am taking a poll. Please review the following hypothetical situation:

You and your charming partner have a baby, let's say she is five and a half months old and as cute as all get out. One night, the baby starts fussing at 11:00. Your charming partner, who had been awake and reading, quickly turns out his booklight, rolls over and pretends to be alseep while you (who actually were asleep) wake up and climb out of bed to attend to the beautiful child's diaper.

What is the appropriate response to indicate your displeasure to your charming partner?

a) swift, hard kick to the nads
b) no sex for one year
c) swift, hard kick to the nads and no sex for one year
d) tell the entire internet what he did

Delurk already!

delurk6.jpg

Don't you know? This week is Delurking Week! That means that if you read me you have to leave a comment or else I am allowed to come to your house and steal your dog. Why? Well, because Sheryl said so, of course. So come on, you know you want to. Leave me a comment? Be your best friend...

(Just kidding about the dog thing, I don't like dogs.)

(Updated to add: I tied my total comments from last year at 2:04 today. You all rock, except now I am feeling a little shy.)

Playgroup, Round 2

Mia and I went to another playgroup today. Remember that thing I said about being idiotic around strangers? Oh yeah. My two best conversational gambits were rambling on for several minutes about how most houses in Virginia have basements but most houses in California do not, followed quickly by a lengthy monologue on how warm it was this fall. They are so going to invite me back.

For her part, Mia, who is so against sleep that we have paid her to do it on more than one occasion and who usually takes nearly an hour to settle down enough for a 20 minute nap fell sound alseep in my arms in the middle of four screeching two year olds. I couldn't decide whether to rejoice or knock myself over the head with a plastic violin.

On the plus side, there were chocolate covered peanut butter Rice Krispie treats.

And by the way, Mia has cut one tooth and has another on the way. Fuckers are sharp.

Personal growth, or some shit like that

Be proud of me. This afternoon, Mia and I went to a playgroup and neither of us cried. This was a playgroup full of people I don't know, and the thing about people I don't know is that I hate them. Seriously. Hate. Of the people I already know, I can't think of a single one of them I actively dislike. (Oh, wait. Thought of one. But if you knew the story you would agree my enmity is justified.) It's just that strangers upset me. I can't ever think of anything to say that isn't idiotic, so I either make a fool of myself or never open my mouth. I hate the people I don't know for making me feel that way - see how it works?

However! I have made A Discovery! When you have a baby, you can talk about the baby! And you can ask about their baby! And you can ask how their pregnancy/delivery/potty training went and most people will get so into it they won't even notice you haven't uttered a word in 20 minutes. And you can use that time to scarf all the cream puffs. We're going to another one on Friday in hopes of more cream puffs.

Anyway, the people were nice, the children were cute, I survived and Mia was so thrilled her little butt was shaking the entire time we were there. She loves kids, especially ones who can walk. I've realized though that finding kids her own age for her to play should not be my goal. I need kids a couple months older than her because most kids her age are half as alert as she is and it just doesn't do it for her.

Finally, if there is anyone among you who does not read my husband you should because he is a lot funnier than I am, but you should also check out the pictures he posted of Mia the other day, because honest to god she is so beautiful they made me cry.

This is random even for me

You want a plot, go read a novel.

While Mia was napping (ever so briefly) on my lap I took notes for this post in Sharpie on the back of a recent bank statement. I present the list verbatim as a sort of Preview of Coming Attractions. I would not blame you a bit if you decided to leave after the previews.

The List:
condoms
RSVP-fuck
cat puke
track suit
teeth
Santa - half my genetic material

Still here? Ready? Ok, here we go.

- Can someone please explain to me why I dreamed that we were having people over and therefore had to hide our monstrous stash of condoms? I haven't seen a condom outside of a drugstore in what? 10 years? Apparently my subconscious is advocating for a change in birth control around the Cactus-Fish household.

- You know what pisses me right the fuck off? People who don't RSVP. I go to the trouble to send you an invitation, how the fuck hard is it to say "thank you for your kind invitation, but I will not be attending?" Or "no thank you." Or "fuck you bitch, I don't want to go to your stupid party." When I had my baby shower last summer, three fucking people did not bother to RSVP. These people are dead to me. Also, failure to RSVP seems to cause me to say fuck a lot. Who knew?

- I went down to the basement this morning to switch the laundry (I don't think my washing machine has stopped running for more than an hour at a time in the last 5 months) and discovered a cat puke fiesta unlike anything I have ever encountered in my 25 years as a cat owner. Ya'll, it's amazing. There are puddles, there is spatter, there is a lovely zig-zag pattern that covers a running 10 feet of carpet. I would post a picture, but I can't get it all into one shot. I just thought you should know.

- Someone dear to me gave me a velour track suit for Christmas. This is the second velour track suit I received as a gift within a year. Um, no. I am not much for fashion and my personal style lately is baby puke chic, but I will not for any reason wear a track suit of any variety. Now if you are a fan of track suits, I'm sure you make it look hot. I look like I have removed my ass and replaced it with Kansas.

- Mia appears to be approximately four minutes away from sprouting a couple of teeth. You all wanna lie to me and tell me it will feel like feathers and angel kisses on my poor, abused boobs? I'm afraid of the teeth, very afraid.

- Santa didn't bring Mia anything this year, and if you have a problem with that you can stuff it. A certain member of my family, and I won't say who but let's just assume this is someone who may have supplied half of my genetic material, will not let it drop. All I have heard since I admitted that Santa was skipping us is "oh poor Mia." Poor Mia my smokin' ass. She is five months old and already has more plastic crap than she can possibly cram into her mouth, and if it isn't going into her mouth, she ain't interested. She was also obscenely spoiled by my entire family and I doubt I have made it longer than two days since she was born without heading out to buy her something. Santa will come next year when at least she can enjoy putting the boxes her gifts come in on her head.

- Excuse typos please, I have typed this entire thing with both of my thumbs in Mia's mouth and it is not quite as easy as it looks.