First Night Away

23 Oct

Last night was my birthday costume party, and it was also the first night that Zoey spent the night away from home without us. It was kind of nerve-wracking, I’m not going to lie! It was probably more difficult for me than it was for her. I missed her most of the night and most of the day today.

The party was fun. My husband and I dressed up as Bill and Ted. About half of the people who rsvpd “yes” didn’t come to the party, so in the beginning I was nervous that no one would have fun. After we all had a few drinks, my worries disappeared. The smaller amount of people was actually a good thing because I was able to hang out with everyone instead of having to bounce around to entertain people. The last people didn’t leave until 3:00am. I definitely missed my baby, but it was nice to be able to sleep in. We really needed it.

Before Zoey left for the day, I was able to take a few pictures of her in her Halloween Costume. I’m so proud of it. I made everything except for the hat. I purchased the owl hat on Etsy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for my little owl to wake up from her late nap. I can’t wait to snuggle her and play with her. I’ve missed her!

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Macaroni Tears

5 Oct

About week ago, I went to lunch with a friend. While we were talking and eating, Zoey tried to grab everything off of the table. Toys didn’t interest her or distract her because she was focused on food. My friend asked if we could get a soft tortilla for Zoey to eat while we had lunch. That would be the perfect distraction to keep the baby’s hands off of the table. At first I was nervous. Before that day, Zoey had never eaten anything except for mashed baby food. I figured that my friend knew what she was doing, since she has two children of her own. I agreed and Zoey ate the tortilla. Guess what? SHE SURVIVED!!

After that experience, I’ve become a little more brave with allowing Zoey to try new foods. I bought cheerios for her, and she loved them. I gave her steamed vegetables without mashing them. I give her little bites of my food. She loves it all.

Tonight, we ate in a restaurant because we were running errands at supper time. My cousin met up with us and mentioned a kid’s menu. I didn’t order anything from the kid’s menu, but it gave us the idea to let her have some macaroni and cheese. My husband ordered it as his side dish and fed her the first bite. She loved it. He kept feeding her, and she continued to reach for more. She liked it so much that she began to shout if her daddy was taking too long giving her another bite of macaroni. It was adorable and she had cheese all over her face by the end of her meal. I’m not sure how it happened, but she even got cheese all over her glasses. I regret not taking a picture.

On our way home, I began to sob. Seriously.

This baby didn’t exist until February 16, 2011. I created her. She wasn’t here, then she formed inside of my body, and then she was here. AND SHE CAN EAT REAL FOOD LIKE MACARONI AND MOTHER FUCKING CHEESE. I know it sounds like a ridiculous reason to cry (I promise I was sober), but it all hit me at once and it kind of amazed me. It is so hard to believe that I made this baby, and she is a functioning human. I’m just plain ole me. How did I create this? (Not literally, I know how that happened.)

It made me so happy.

I usually have a similar emotional experience once every couple of days, but I never sob. I usually just find myself surprised/amazed that I created a baby, smile, and move on. I think the symbolism of her eating fully prepared food for the first time triggered the same type of emotion I’ll feel when she graduates or when she gets married. Oh my god. I created something that will graduate and eventually get married. I need to go and shower all of this emotion off of me right now. Right now.

Attack of the Four Eyed Monster

13 Sep

Here’s the latest: My baby is broken and so she had to get glasses.

When I say that she’s broken, I’m talking about a condition that she has that causes one of her eyes to turn inward. It is hereditary. Many people in my family have had it (on both sides of my family, she was screwed before birth), and many people in my family have gone blind in one eye because of it. When one eye faces inward, you will automatically stop using it and begin to depend on the eye that sees the best. Not using the eye causes it to stop working. The doctor said that it is great that we caught the problem so young, because it can be corrected before she loses vision.

The first step in correction is using glasses. Putting a prescription in front of the eye forces her to focus the eye, which forces her to use it. In 50% of cases caught this young, the eye muscles train themselves back into place because of the glasses causing her to use the eye. In the other 50% of kids, surgery is required. The glasses aren’t pointless in these cases, though. They still force the child to use the eye, which helps to make sure that they do not go blind and that their vision doesn’t get worse. Another thing I learned? Baby glasses cost about twice as much as adult glasses. I’m very thankful for insurance, right now.

Also, I thought it was really neat how the doctor figured out the prescription. I asked a million questions and I’m sure the doctor wanted to throw something at me. She held up a piece of glass with 10 different circles on it to Zoey’s eye. She shined the light through each circle and into the baby’s eye. She explained that these circles were sort of like prisms, and they cause light to reflect from the eye similar to the way your eyes turn red when the flash from a camera goes off. She said that she could tell from the amount of light that came back, which prescription to give to Zoey.

Now I have to admit, while I was expecting some sort of eye issue to be found, I still wasn’t prepared for my daughter to be put in glasses. She was only six months old at the time. It made me feel like I made a baby who wasn’t perfect. Like she was “broken.” It made me so upset because I can remember hating to wear my glasses throughout my entire life. I had always hoped that she would get “perfect” eyes from my husband (I can’t see two feet in front of me without glasses). I was disappointed for a while, until I took my daughter in public for the first time after getting glasses. Complete strangers will shout at you from across the room/doctor’s office/grocery store/any store just to tell you how cute they think your baby-with-glasses is. Seriously! I don’t think that this is just because Louisiana people are overly friendly, either! I think that people just really love babies in glasses! I had no idea, because I had never really paid attention to babies before I had one. I –I mean, she— was getting so much positive attention from the glasses that I began to seriously love them. Now Zoey is “the cute baby with glasses” instead of “the super fat baby with a million rolls all over her body.”

So now Zoey has had her glasses for a few weeks. She’s doing better than I expected. She definitely pulls them off (constantly). She definitely tries to eat them. It just isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I thought she would scream every time we would put them on her. Nope! She gets happy at first. I’m guessing because it really does help her. I’m just happy that she won’t go blind in that eye. I’m also happy about all of those really nice comments from strangers. Not going to deny that.

I’m Genius

8 Sep

I’m so responsible. You have no idea how super-responsible I am. I never forget anything, like ever. Seriously, guys. I’m like the best mom in the world.

Sike.

Today, a friend and I went shopping. Mostly for Halloween stuff (which was cut shorter than expected when we discovered that the Halloween store doesn’t open until TOMORROW), but we got a few other things, too. Zoey was with us, naturally. While preparing for our shopping-date, I packed a pre-made bottle with a lid on it. I put the nipple and other bottle parts in a separate bag so that there wouldn’t be any leaks. I thought that my idea was genius because the bottle wouldn’t leak and the bag wouldn’t get soggy. Again.

Everything was fine. Zoey was well-behaved in every store we went to. Even when we got yogurt. By the way, I let her try some of my yogurt and she liked it so much that I spent the rest of the time keeping her from grabbing it as I ate. She even kept trying to pull the bowl to her so that she could have more. Damn pig.

She was pulling so hard in that picture that I almost lost that battle.

Back on track. We had visited a few stores, gotten a few items for Halloween costumes and the party, and we were in a discount clothing store to find smaller items for our costumes. Zoey began to get very restless and started to shout. A check of my baby care app told me that it was time for her to eat. I took out her sealed bottle and the pieces to go with it. I began to put it together, then I noticed that something was missing. The main part of the bottle. The ring that screws onto it so that the nipple stays on the bottle and so that there are no leaks. How could I forget the main part of the bottle???? Either way, it happened. She was shouting, and I couldn’t feed her. STUPID BREASTS, WHY DON’T YOU WORK?? I decided to try and hold the nipple onto the bottle as tightly as I could and feed it to her. Maybe I could seal it well enough with my hands? No. It leaked out everywhere. We began to frantically search the baby department for bottles or sippy cups. NONE. I tried wrapping paper towels around the top of the bottle. Still leaked. Then we realized that we were near Target. We paid for our items at lightening speed, than pushed the stroller quickly next door. I had to buy a bottle identical to the one I was using, take the ring off of the new bottle and put it on my (already clean) bottle, and feed the hungry beast.

I felt like the worst mom ever. It’s been nearly seven months, shouldn’t I be an expert at this by now? No. Why not, you ask? Well, because of how quickly everything changes. It’s not like it’s seven months of a baby doing the same thing all of the time. No way. It is seven months of constant change and development. When we used to go out, I would pack a giant diaper bag (because moms are “supposed to” do that, right?). I would have the powder formula in one container, the water in another, and an empty bottle. Of course, she used to eat a lot more often back then, so I had to prepare for several bottles away from home. I also used to pack several diapers because she used to fill them a lot more often. Now when we go out, I pack a smaller bag with one bottle, two diapers, a wet bag, an extra outfit, and a toy. In the past when I premade bottles, they would leak everywhere. Today, I decided to leave the lid on (the one that you use when preparing the bottle by shaking it) so that there wouldn’t be anymore leaks. It definitely worked! It was just a new experimental way of carrying Zoey’s meal, emphasis on new. Since it was a new experience, I didn’t remember everything that I needed to remember. It was just a humbling reminder that life is a series of learning experiences and that we can never truly know everything. Now that I’ve made this mistake, I can guarantee that I will always check to make sure that I have the ring for the bottle packed. Next time, I’m sure that I’ll make a different mistake. It happens.

Damn baby. Trying to make me all humble and shit.

Next time you forget something that you “shouldn’t” forget, don’t beat yourself up. It is just another learning experience. I don’t care if you are 99 and a half years old. You are still learning things. You will never learn everything. No need to have a breakdown like I nearly did.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

31 Aug

My favorite holiday is Halloween. It always has been, ever since I was little. I’ve never minded having Halloween themed birthday parties (my birthday is pretty close to it) and I still do it now. Each year, I throw an adult Halloween party that doubles as my birthday celebration. We always have a great turn out and usually end up running out of booze or food. I love to get creative and make my own costumes.

No big deal. Just an alien baby, bursting from my uterus.

Last year I was pregnant, and I didn’t want a cheesy costume (like painting a pumpkin on my tummy or wearing a giant cardboard box: “a bun in the oven!”). Instead, I chopped a baby doll in half, spray painted it green, strapped it to tummy and drenched myself in blood. I got mixed reactions. Some people thought it was the best costume ever. Other people said “I feel sorry for your future child. Never show her pictures of this.” I can’t wait to show her pictures of it! If she is anything like me or my husband, she will think it is the coolest thing ever! I would also like to take a moment to point out how awesome my prego-boobs were in this picture. Best part about being knocked up, if you ask me.

Let me entertain you.

The year before that, I was Freddie Mercury. I even completed my costume with a broken mic stand and mustache. If you don’t know me, let me fill you in on a little secret. I’m obsessed with Queen and it is pretty much the only band I listen to. I watch documentaries and concerts over and over again. I have read several biographies. I could kick your ass at a trivia challenge about Queen or about Freddie. I even own the nursery rhyme versions of their music. You have no idea how sad I am that I will never be able to see Queen perform with Freddie. Our wedding song was even a Queen song. “You’re My Best Friend.”

Want to touch my penis?

Another year, I was Sue Johanson. I was a huge fan of her and she was retiring that year. If you’ve never heard of her, she was the host of “Talk Sex with Sue.” She was a little old grandma who would talk about sex on tv and on the radio. She would take callers’ questions and answer them on air. There were always hilarious questions like “If I pee inside of her, will she get pregnant?” or “Will semen really whiten my teeth? My boyfriend keeps telling me it will.” She was the BEST at answering these questions, and she loved to demonstrate the answers with visual aids, like dolls to model sex positions or a dildo to demonstrate how to pleasure a penis. You haven’t lived until you have seen an old woman stroking a dildo. It’s like your grandmother giving you sex tips. When we went to the bars, everyone wanted to take pictures with me and touch my dildo.

I’m super proud of my creations. They take time and money to create. I usually have an entire costume planned out in (or before) the month of May. This year? Tomorrow begins September and I haven’t decided on what kind of costume to make. I’ve even considered skipping Halloween. If I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it at all. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. I’ve already gotten several text messages asking me if we are having a party. Kind of have no choice, right? Maybe I’ll find a way to reuse my old wedding dress. Well, maybe not. It is huge and I will want to be able to sit. It sucks that I’m not insecure enough to just wear lingerie. That would be an easy way out.

How do all of you celebrate Halloween? Do you go to the bars? Do you attend parties? Do you create or buy your costumes? (If you say buy, I will judge you. You’ve been warned.)

Here’s another “hot topic.” What do you do with your kids? Do you bring them trick or treating? You would be surprised about how many mothers are against Halloween. I’ll write about that another day. That’s another “internet mom war” that annoys me.

Just Tired

29 Aug

I’m tired. Not the same type of tired that I was when Zoey was a newborn. This is a different type of tired.

I’m tired of my living room being covered in toys.

I’m tired of every inch of everything I own being covered in pet fur.

I’m tired of not being able to afford to remodel my terribly ugly bathrooms and kitchen. I’m tired of being embarrassed every time someone new comes to our house and sees how out-dated our kitchen is.

I’m tired of dipping into our savings every month to make sure we don’t go into the red, there’s not much left in our savings anymore.

I’m tired of my baby being fat, and tired of everyone pointing it out.

I’m tired of paying these stupid medical bills from 2008, when we couldn’t afford insurance.

I’m tired of rushing every time I use the bathroom in fear that the baby will start crying.

I’m tired of being unable to be close friends with any other human, because the second they get close, I do something embarrassing and they distance themselves from me.

I’m tired of all of the debates between moms: breastfeeding vs. formula, natural birth vs. epidural, cloth diapers vs. disposables, store bought baby food vs. home made, etc. (Why does it have to be war?)

I’m tired of not going on dates because we can’t afford the date and a babysitter.

I’m tired of the ocean of drool.

I’m tired of having to put on contacts or glasses every day (if I want to see anything).

I’m tired of my husband’s stupid, annoying cat.

I’m tired of the ridiculously over-sized magnolia tree in our front yard.

I’m tired of seeing negativity and tired of feeling it.

I’m tired of people asking “Did you talk to your parents yet?” and “Do your parents know you have a baby?”

I’m tired of worrying about my daughter’s health, or the fact that her eyes do not line up with each other (she has an appointment in the morning).

I’m tired of the heat and the humidity.

I know that I could continue this list all night, but I also know that too-long blogs do not make for good reading. I won’t continue the list. Not because I’m ignoring it, but because I’ve acknowledged enough of it to feel better. Putting these emotions out there publicly helps to take them off of my shoulders instead of stuffing them down and pretending that I’m completely ok. Reading the list to myself reminds me of the good things.

Sure, we may not have money right now, but I want to stay home with Zoey and experience as much of her new life as I possibly can. That’s worth more than money. Money can’t buy memories. I will go back to work one day, and we will have plenty of money. The medical bills may even be paid off sometime next year. The toys in my living room won’t be there forever. It is good to have them in easy reach so that Zoey can play while I watch tv or read.

I still hate my husband’s cat, though. Can’t put a positive spin on that.

Life isn’t so bad. We can’t focus on the bad things, but sometimes it is good to acknowledge them so that we can remind ourselves that we are human. Humans aren’t happy all of the time. Humans sometimes have negative feelings about things they aren’t “supposed” to have negative feelings about. There are always good things along with the bad, you just have to know how to look for them. Make your own list of things you are “tired of”. Be completely honest, even if you say something like “I hate my significant other.” Then, go through the list and think of positive things to balance it out. For me, it lifted unnecessary stress. I hope it will do the same for you. If it doesn’t, you can always tape a picture of someone to a pillow and punch it. Let’s just call that “Plan B.” (Not a reference to the pill)

Don’t forget to destroy your list if there is anything private on it.

Blame the Damn Kindle

18 Aug

I recently got the Kindle app on my phone. After doing this, NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD MATTERED. (You hear a baby crying? What baby.. oh!) You will find me constantly reading. While I’m watching tv: reading. While I’m preparing a bottle: reading. While I’m cooking: reading. While I’m having an important conversation: reading. You get the idea. I’ve been neglecting housework, twitter, and everything else. All I do is read.

Not only do I read, but I get very attached to the characters in the books. One of my favorite characters died in a book I was reading yesterday, and I cried for an hour or two. Today, I cried again.

I’ve decided that I need a break from reading. Maybe like an hour. I’ll get some things done (like write a blog entry for the first time in ages), do some laundry, stuff like that. Maybe I’ll communicate with some real humans instead of spying on fictional ones in these books.

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t written in so long, this is why. Every free moment I have is spent reading. I’m laying off, that way I can write more and family members won’t get mad at me for not keeping them updated on what Zoey is doing. She can sit up without being supported now, by the way. She has been doing this for the last couple of weeks.

Aaaaaaand that would be her shouting from the crib. Naptime is over, which means that mommy time is over.