You know what pisses me off about Windows? When you mouse over the "Start" button, it says "click here to begin." Since it is called the "Start" button, would it have killed them to say "click here to start"? Damn you, Bill Gates, I will never forgive you. At least, not until you give me a million dollars. I would forgive you for a million dollars.
Warning, whining ahead!
I've been a little reluctant to ask the internet for advice on my parenting issues lately, because it seems like every time I do, something about it makes me crabby. For example, I will ask for advice about what to do with Mia's hair and will say hey, I am totally opposed to putting it in a big stupid ponytail on the top of her head and then someone will tell me that what I really need to do is put her hair in a big stupid ponytail on the top of her head and then will get all pissy with me when I don't do that. And then I get crabby because I said at the beginning that wasn't an option and I shouldn't be held responsible for your poor reading comprehension and additionally get off my fucking back already. See, crabby. (Incidentally, I have started putting her hair in a big stupid ponytail on top of her head because it is really the only option and it has taken the cuteness around here to a whole new level. Remind me to post a picture.)
That said, I have a quandry and no idea what the right answer is and this isn't the sort of thing that is covered by any of the tomes in my vast parenting library but I think there is a good chance that someone out there in internetland has been here before and can offer very good advice so I am going to ask and hope you will give me advice based on the same or related experience, but for the love of god please try not to piss me off because if you can't already tell I'm starting from a position of crabbiness and if I get any bitchier Chris is going to have a very unpleasant evening dealing with me and I will blame all of you.
Nah, forget that, I love you guys. Nothing wrong with me a bottle of vodka won't cure.
Anyway, the problem. Mia is not a big fan of solid foods. Currently, she loves Cheerios like they are going out of style and usually has a few hidden about her person in case of a snacking emergency. She also loves crackers, goldfish, cheez-its, basically anything hard and crunchy and dry. She used to be all about the avocado, but lately she wants nothing to do with it. She will occasionally eat pureed apples or pears or prunes or sweet potatoes and yesterday even ate yogurt twice. She will not under any circumstances feed herself anything soft, wet, cold, or slimy. And lately, she will not under any circumstances allow me to feed her anything at all while she is sitting in her high chair. The only way to get her to eat a few bites of anything other than carbs is to let her cruise around the kitchen and follow her around with a bowl and a spoon and cram some food into her mouth when she takes a break from making out with the baby in the dishwasher or pushing all the kitchen chairs into the living room.
I've tried the hardline highchair approach, but she just refuses to eat and then starts to howl, which does not make for a pleasant family dinner. My question is, what should I do? Is it more important that she learn to sit in her highchair and eat, or is it more important that we get some food into her no matter what it takes? Am I building a bad habit I will regret deeply by letting her eat standing up, or am I damaging her health by allowing her to eat nothing but Cheerios and breastmilk.
Anybody have the same problem or something close? Anybody have any idea what I should do?
People, my TiVo has a sad and lonely existence. It never gets to do anything anymore. Sure, it got to do some work the last few months, recording shows while we tried to get Mia to go to sleep, but lately it just sits there like a glorified cable box. Poor TiVo is almost empty, and once I finish watching the last season of West Wing (I'm all the way up to March!), well, TiVo will have nothing left other than whatever bad sci-fi saga Chris has decided to record and then delete without watching. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give me some recommendations of tasks I should set for my TiVo. Recording shows only, I'm afraid, as I have had no luck getting the damned thing to do the dishes or take out the trash. Tell me, what's on in reruns right now that I should TiVo and watch over the summer? Pretty much the only things I watched during the year were Lost and House, so you have a lot of leeway here.
I am determined not to turn this site into an endless recitation of the ohmygodsocute thing Mia just did, and nobody will care about this one other than me, so feel free to skip it and come back tomorrow. However, since you have been warned, I don't want to hear a peep about how boring it is to talk about the ohmygodsocute thing Mia just did.
One of Mia's favorite games is to chase me around and around the center island in the kitchen. She loves to peek around the corner and find me and have me yell boo, and then she breaks into her superfly crawl until she gets to the next corner and peeks around and finds me and says boo. She also loves that on one of the long ends she can see my reflection in the oven and we can wave at each other. She'll happily do this for days at a time. Once every 80 or 90 laps, I turn around and sneak up behind her and boo her from there. Never fails to win me gales of giggles.
Today, she figured out what I was doing, and every once in a while she would turn around and sneak up behind me and smack me on the butt.
Have I mentioned how much I love this kid? God I love this kid.
Forgive me, I posted this over at the other place a couple of days ago, but I wanted to have it here too. Nobody reads this thing on weekends anyway, right?
I love her chubby cheeks, the extra chin that turns her neck into a great, hidden mystery, the dimples on her elbows so deep they are really divots. I love the soft, sweet orb of her belly, the creases in her thighs that look as though they were deep-cut by a raging river over millions of years, the way her fat little ankles bulge out over the perfect rectangles of her feet.
I love her eyes, grey then green then brown then blue. I love the long locks of hair that twist into wild ringlets just behind her ears. I love her eight shining white teeth, especially the top two middle teeth that came in so fast and large and forceful and presage the little girl she is quickly becoming. I love the ridiculously long fringe of her eyelashes, her mouth, still slightly crooked that reminds me of the months she spent banging her head up under my ribs, the tiny pink kiss of a birthmark on the side of her nose.
I love how she delights in climbing the stairs but refuses to learn to go back down. I love the dirty look she shoots me when I follow too closely, when I can almost hear her thinking "Mama, I can do it myself." I love the way she holds her hand out to me and squeals, demanding that I escort her on an unsteady promenade across the kitchen. I love the look of determination and bliss on her face as she pushes a toy or a chair or a box along ahead of her as she makes her straight-legged, upright progress around the house. I love that she hasn't learned to turn and must abandon walking whenever her prop hits a wall.
I love the elaborate syncopation of her fingers on the satin trim of her blanket as she falls asleep. I love nursing her to sleep, watching as she struggles to find the energy to keep sucking and then collapses, her head lolling back onto my lap with the last drop of milk rolling down her flushed cheek. I love putting her in her crib and watching her fling herself over onto her stomach and pull her knees up under her like a piston ready to fire. I love going in to get her when she awakes and finding her standing in the corner of her crib, peering around the solid end, watching for the door to open and breaking into grins and giggles when she sees her rescuer has arrived.
I love the way she scoops up handfuls of Cheerios and shovels them into her mouth, always saving one or two in her clenched fist to eat when her supply runs out. I love the way she hands me Cheerios or toys or bits of lint she finds on the floor and then peers into my hands to see what I have, finally thinking better of her generosity and snatching the item back.
I love even the crying, the sad or angry or hurt tears, the temper tantrums, the howling in frustration, the laughing when I tell her no, the hitting my face while she eats, the long nights of no sleep. I love it all.
I love her laugh, not best; I couldn't pick a single thing I love best, but perhaps as first among equals. I love the way it rolls and peals and starts and stops in fits. I love that she is starting to find her own humor. I love when she laughs at me, and even more when she laughs with me.
I love being here every day, for all of it, for every small step and large step and actual step. I love being a mommy, being this kind of mommy, being almost always within the sound of the voice she finds more and more each day.
What do you love?
Chris stole my post, so let's all go over there and make fun of him, ok? I know, I know, my own fault for not properly dibsing.
You wanna know what I did last night? I ate an entire pint of dulce de leche ice cream. I can't say I recommend it. In fact, I started feeling sick before I even finished, but by then there wasn't enough left to save so I was committed.
I haven't been out of the house past 7:30 in almost a year, so how's about you all tell me about your fabulous weekend plans so I can get all jealous and live vicariously through you?
Look, baby cuteness!
You are eleven months old today and every month now flies by faster than the month before. I just went back and read the letter I wrote to you last month, and feel like this month I could just say "last month times ten" and that would cover it. Every day you do something a little new or a little different or a little better than you did the day before and it is so gradual that I barely notice until one day I look up and you are waving at me from the top of the staircase you just climbed.
Speaking of stairs, you learned to climb them this month and it has become one of your favorite activities. One day you climbed three stairs and gave up and then two days later you went from the bottom straight to the top, pausing only to investigate the heating vent on the second landing. You climbed and climbed and climbed for a couple of weeks, but lately have decided it is easier to make me carry you up, so sometimes you go on your own and sometimes you climb two stairs and then sit down and wait for me to take you the rest of the way. You refuse to learn to climb back down and scream and cry when I try to teach you. You seem to believe that going headfirst will be good enough, should the need arise.
Another favorite thing to do is clap your feet. When we are changing your diaper we sing to you, "if you're happy and you know it, clap your feet," and you bang those chubby little dinner rolls together and giggle with glee. Sometimes, if you are in your carseat and upset I sing to you and you will forget about crying and smack your feet together. You did it last night after dinner when I finally freed you from your hated highchair.
The highchair is only good for keeping you contained for a few minutes, and not much help for getting any food into you. You prefer to stand up and hang on to a chair or to my knees or explore the kitchen and stop by occasionally for a scoop of avocado. You love to pick things up and feed yourself, but will only do it with hard, crunchy food. If we give you anything soft you fling it to the floor with a look of utter disgust.
The other big hit this month has been the swimming pool. We go almost every day and plop you into the baby pool in your inner tube. The second your feet hit the bottom of the pool you take off at a run towards the biggest, rowdiest boy you can find, desperately wanting him to pay attention to you. After that, you make your way around and befriend everyone in the pool. Once that is done, you float off to the middle where it is too deep for your feet to touch, lean way back, squint your eyes, and just float with your toes occasionally peeking up out of the water.
You got your eighth tooth this month, after 6 solid months of teething. You learned to point with one finger, or with one finger on each hand, and now every new thing elicits an excited squawk and concentrated pointing. You love to pull cards out of wallets and have three wallets of your own to play with. Your favorite toy is the phone, or anything remotely shaped like a phone that can be held to your head. You like to offer me or your dad the phone, so we talk for a while until you take it away to check to see who is on the other end.
You have recently started walking with me holding just one of your hands, and that just barely. You are so eager to walk on your own that I don't think it will be long now. When you want to move from one place to another, you have started eyeing the distance and I can see you calculating the odds of making it upright and almost deciding to risk it before ultimately dropping to your knees for a quick crawl.
Last weekend we went to a party with 30 people in a fairly small space. I was a little worried how you would react to all the noise and all the strangers, and when it first started getting crowded you got a little upset and we took you off to a quiet corner to play. It only took a few minutes for you to adjust, and soon you we making the rounds, going up to everyone to see if they wanted to give you a hug or a cheerio. You are a happy, friendly, secure baby, and watching you move so easily in a strange situation with only an occasional glance to make sure I was still there made me both happy and sad. Happy that you are learning to be independant, that you trust me enough to be comfortable in new situations, sad that you don't need me as much as you did eleven months ago or last month or last week.
Mia Bean, you are the most amazing person I have ever known, and spending this time with you is the most amazing thing I have ever done.
Oh, what, like you never take a day off?
I couldn't post yesterday because I was too busy scrubbing the hardwood floors, which cover the entire main floor of my house. I mean scrubbing as in on my hands and knees with a rag and a bucket. No, I don't know why either except that I am pretty sure it is a sign of serious mental disease. It can't be too bad though, because Mia peed on the floor in my bathroom four days ago and rather than washing the floor I just put a bathmat over the spot.
Anyway, you know what I really want to do right now? Take a nap. Are you with me? Chris is at work and the baby is asleep in her crib, so I've got room for two of you with me. No snoring, no tickling, and no funny business. I'll go fluff the pillows, please be quiet when you come in and take your shoes off before getting in bed. I have a really comfy couch too. First come, first served.
Hey, go over to my other place and answer my questions, would ya? Do it, like, for science, or something.
Happy first Father's Day. This dad thing agrees with you. It is amazing and wonderful to watch you with our child, to watch her crawl as fast as she can toward you when she hears the door open every afternoon, to watch your face light up when you see her coming. Thank you for taking on this adventure with me, thank you for this beautiful child, thank you for this beautiful life. Thank you for being the best father anyone could ever imagine.
Y'all, I'm pretty embarassed to be asking this, but I was lying in bed this morning trying to take a nap while Mia was sleeping (and of course I couldn't fall asleep) and I for some reason remembered how when I was a little kid my mom always made me put toilet paper down on the seat of a public toilet before I sat on it. And then I started wondering whether I would teach Mia to do that, and then I wondered if anyone had ever really caught some horrible disease from a public toilet seat and then I wondered what other people do, so even though I am embarassed to ask about your toileting habits only one day after I asked about your dirty underwear habits, here I am and I'm doing it.
So, do you cover the seats with toilet paper? Use those paper covers they have sometimes? Hover over the seat? Hold it until you get home? What do you teach your daughters to do?
And I guess it is only fair that I go first. For me, it is case by case. When faced with a nasty, stinky bathroom I either skip it if at all possible or grab a couple paper towels and touch nothing. Places that look pretty clean, I tend to throw caution to the winds.
There are few things in life more boring than somebody describing a dream they had to you, unless that dream directly involved you and also kissing. What's worse, and I'm sorry, but it's true, is a description of a dream on a blog. I immediately click to something else, and I am sure I'm not the only one.
So, I thought I would try a little experiment to see whether describing a dream on a blog could ever be interesting. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to describe a dream or a recurring dream in 10 words or less. If your description is very entertaining or hilarious or involves me and Clive Owen and a bottle of chocolate sauce I may yield a bit and allow you 12 words, but hand to god if you leave a seven paragraph description of the dream you had last night I will delete it without a qualm.
What? My blog, my rules.
I will go first with my frequently recurring dream:
Waiting for fitting room in crowded department store. Losing sweater.
Wait! That's a haiku!
Waiting for fitting
room in crowded department
store. Losing sweater.
Double points if you can do it in a 10 word haiku!
(Y'all, I know I am so lame, but it has been weeks since I have slept more than 2 hours at a stretch and yesterday Mia became a freestanding object and the day before that she climbed her high chair and frankly I am amazed that I can still almost type so deal with it.)
What I have: Pityriasis rosea. (No! For the love of dog, do not goooogle it! You did, didn't you? And now you are grossed out. I don't look like that! On me, it looks totally sexy.)
And the winner is: The beautiful and intelligent Pammer.
And she wins: I dunno. Something or other.
What I tell people I have when they say "ew, what the hell is that?": Eczema.
What I am glad I do not have: The heartbreak of psoriasis. (I don't know either. Jenn, what up wit dat?)
What I am also glad I do not have: Like, ringworm, you know?
What I am additionally glad I do not have: Syphillis. Although it looked sorta fun on that one episide of House, I think I would have some serious splaining to do at my house.
Symptom I am happy to have so far avoided: Christmas tree patterned rash on my back.
Symptom I am least happy to claim: Polka-dot boobs. Aren't you glad you asked?
Time it takes to go away: Two months. Or six.
Next time I will most likely have sex: Two months. Or six. (See above re: polka-dot boobs. If you think that sounds hott, call me, it doesn't seem to be turning my husband on. Can't imagine why.)
Number of propositions I expect to receive from the previous statement: Two.
What I would rather be doing right now: Napping.
If given a choice between napping and an all expenses paid spa trip with manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial, I would choose: Napping.
My priorities are: Whacked.
If napping is not an option, I would rather be: Making out with you.
Because you are: Pretty.
Clearly, it is time for this post to be: Over.
Don't you: Agree?
Quick question for the internet at large:
Say you go swimming in the middle of the day and upon your return home want to change out of your bathing suit but do not want to shower (or are prevented from showering by, say, your 10 month old child). Do you re-don the underwear you were wearing before going swimming, or do you break out clean underwear instead?
Me, I'm a clean underwear kind of girl, but it got me to wondering about you. (I promise I spend very little time wondering about your underwear. This is pretty much the only time. Honest.)
Hi. I have a rash. Cool, huh? It is an odd rash, so odd that I went to the doctor to have it peered at and diagnosed. And now, since I'm bored, I'm going to give you clues and the first person to figure out what I have will win a prize. Unless nobody plays, in which case the first person to bother to guess something that isn't disgusting will win a prize.
I'll try to do this so you can find the answer by asking Dr. Google, but I must point out that if you do get the answer from Dr. Google the images that you will find look considerably worse than I do. I want it on the record that, so far at least, I have a rather mild and not at all nauseating case.
Anyway, on with the hints:
My rash is fairly common, although I had never heard of it, and it is not contagious so you are all still free to make out with me as the need arises. It appears on the upper body, but not on the face.
In the early stages, it is sometimes mistaken for ringworm. Or syphillis.
There's not a damn thing you can do about it, except try to make it stop itching. (I don't itch much, woo-hoo.)
The spots usually form a certain pattern, which I am not going to describe because it is a google give-away. (Also, what the hell? I don't have nearly enough spots to form any pattern, but if I ever do you had better believe I am inflicting pictures of that on all of you.)
Ok, ok, fine. Here are some pictures to make it easier.
This is me:
Man, I sure wish I had hands. And feet.
Here's a artistic representation of my rash:
Also, I really should have brushed my hair first.
And here it is from the back:
Note that I have additional spots on my back, you can't see the spots on my front from the back. That would be weird.
Also, if you are a friend of mine from childhood who now happens to be a doctor, you are disqualified because that would be cheating. Also also, if you are my (ok, Mia's) hotty pediatrician, I think I need a second opinion. Why don't you stop by any time before my husband gets home at 4:00?
If you have a young child and if you decide to take said young child swimming in a public pool, I strongly recommend that you wear a bathing suit with a very secure, tight-fitting top, just in case the child in question decided to grab hold and give a good yank.
Meanwhile, I have got to stop flashing my boobs around town. People are going to start to talk.
I am the second-to-last person in the country to see Brokeback Mountain, which I watched yesterday. (Second-to-last because Chris refused to watch it with me.) Hot dayum, but that was a good movie. It made me want to have an illicit gay love affair in the 60's. Or maybe just jump on top of Heath Ledger and never let him go. (That other guy does nothing for me, you can have him.) Except shit, I just goooooogled Heathey and he is 5 years younger than I am. Can I get a toy boy now that I'm a mom?
Also, The Ha-Ha by Dave King is the best book I have read in a long, long time. Granted, I have been reading pretty light stuff lately since I tend to make it through three pages and then collapse in exhaustion, but that does not diminish the fact that this is a fabulous book that you should all read. Or ideally, get Heath Ledger to read it to you, maybe while he rubs your feet.
He said: What's for dinner?
I said: Pasta primavera.
He said: Oh, that's the good one that I like, right?
I should have said: No, it's the crappy one that you hate. I'm feeling passive-aggressive today.
I really said: Yup.
Gang, I have been avoiding telling you this and even had to work up to it by posting the story as a comment on another blog first.
Lately, Mia has decided that she needs to accompany me to the bathroom every time I pee. She likes to pull up so she is standing next to me and jiggle the handle (or jiggle my thighs, but we'll pretend that part doesn't happen) and then cruise over and dump half a roll of toilet paper onto the floor. The most exciting part, for her at least, is the flushing. She gets an enraptured look on her face and then just giggles uncontrollably. I admit that it is pretty cute, most of the time even cute enough to resign myself to a bathroom "helper," but sometimes I just want to pee by myself like a big girl.
If I am able to find a fascinating toy for her, it sometimes buys me enough time to pee in peace. Not usually, though. Usually, as soon as Mia sees where I'm headed she chugs happily along behind me. Sure, I could shut the door, but I value my hearing and it is threatened by her pissed-off screech. It has gotten so that the only way I can pee without her is if I give her a toy that is not only thrilling, but is also something she has never seen before.
The other day, I really just was not in the mood to have her chubby little fingers grabbing at my, well, you know, so I had to find something new and exciting to give her. Y'all, I gave her the cats. Yes, those cats. She shook them, she banged them on the floor, she probably tried to see if she could cram them entirely into her mouth, and I got two entire minutes to pee all by myself.
On the one hand, I feel pretty bad that I am the mother that allowed, nay, encouraged her child to play with cremains. On the other hand, I have to admit I feel pretty damned clever.
Also, hey, I haven't pimped my other gig in ages. Or days anyway. Check it out would ya? I mean, you don't want to miss hearing about my rash.
So, you wanna know what I did? Well, some of you may be wondering why I am such a snob and haven't blogrolled you yet, even though we trade email every day and I tell you I love you and that one time I was drunk I tried to kiss you. Sorry about that. The thing is that a while ago I decided to change the email address I use on my blogrolling account from the address I never used that I set it up with originally so I could have multiple blogrolls without paying but have since forked out the 19 bucks so I figured I may as well use one of the (several) email addresses that I use all the time. Make sense? No? Well, let's move on anyway, shall we?
You can see this one coming a mile away, right? Apparently I can't remember what email address I used. I have tried every single email address I have without luck, so probably I fat-fingered it when I changed it. I can't get into my account. I have emailed Blogrolling, I dunno, 43 times begging for help and the bastard snob losers haven't responded. Fuckers. I paid you 19 entire dollars and this is the support I get?
I suppose it is time to give up and just set up a new account and spend days upon days rebuilding and updating my blogroll, but frankly the thought of that makes me want to go eat an entire bag of potato chips instead and then collapse in salt shock. (Is there such a thing as salt shock? There should be.) My only question now is whether I should dispute the charge with my credit card company just on principle since I'm pissed that nobody has even responded to say "tough shit, moron, now leave us alone" or just eat the 19 bucks as a sort of stupid tax. Whaddaya think?
Also, can you tell I'm trying to stop swearing in front of Mia? You guys are now the only outlet for my potty mouth, so prepare for me to start blogging like a sailor.
Guess who learned to climb the stairs today? Go ahead, guess.
Mia loves my water bottle. She loves drinking from it, sucking some water out and then spitting it on herself, dragging it around the house, turning it over to make big puddles on the rug. Really, it is the ultimate toy. Well, that and the Elmo cell phone she played with at a friend's house on Saturday and had such a fit when I took it away so we could leave that I made an emergency Elmo cell phone run on Saturday afternoon. That's right folks, we are no longer Elmo-virgins. May god have mercy on our souls.
Hi. This blog sucks.
No, no, don't bother trying to be nice and tell me it doesn't because you would be lying. This blog sucks. But you see, Chris has been off work this week and it has been great because we have been doing fun things and he has gotten to spend so much time with Mia (who is going to be a holy terror on Monday when she wakes up and Daddy isn't here), but somehow it also means that I have much less time to myself to do things like clean the bathrooms and do laundry. Ha-ha, we all know I never do that because I spend all my free time with my friend the internet, but I just haven't had as much time for it this week.
So, sorry about that, and I promise I will try extra hard to come up with some actual content next week (I know! What a concept!) and in the meantime, here's a picture of my beautiful kid.
Yes, she does have her own keyboard and mouse.
Mia just crawled across the kitchen, produced one of her beloved cheerios from her chubby little fist, and gave it to me. Of course I ate the nasty, soggy thing.