Friday, March 31, 2006

Butterfly Girl

This is my daughters window. She looks up at these curtains every morning. I've walked into her room many times to find her smiling and cooing at them. I remember the day my mom and I looked for the fabric to use for these curtains and the quilt for her crib. I was immediately drawn to this green and white gingham with butterflies on it. I didn't know that I was having a girl and contemplated whether or not it would be too girlie if I had a boy. I couldn't find anything I liked better so that is what we went with. It seems perfect now. I love her room and wouldn't change a thing. I know there will come a day when she wants to change her room and make it her own. I will gladly help her but I will be sad to see that green paint go.

I often think of my pregnancy. Though getting ready for a baby was stressful, it was also very special. I loved planning her room. The color of the walls, the furniture, the curtains and bedding. I loved stocking up on little face cloths and baby shampoos and lotions. I am always one to mourn times gone by that I can never get back and I am always left wondering if I fully appreciated them. I know I didn't appreciate my first four months when my head was constantly in a bucket. I also know that with our next baby it will be so different. We will be so busy and just won't prepare the same way. I feel a little guilty about it already.

I guess we just have to try to enjoy every stage of our lives as much as we can regardless of what is happening around us. I know that I am terrible at this and hope that I can change. I hate feeling like I have missed out on special moments of my life because I was too worried, depressed or preoccupied to pay attention. My new goal is to work towards living in the moment instead of obsessing over the past (good or bad) or the future. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll stop writing about it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How I Traumatized A 19 Year Old Boy

Todays post is going to be haphazard, disjointed and unfocused. Is that okay?

Let's start with the funny (?) thing that happened this morning. I forgot that someone was coming to pick up my car to take it to be checked out at the the car hospital. (Poor gas mileage) I was in my pajamas, nursing bra – flaps down, bedheaded, etc. I definately did NOT look as sassy as the lovely lady sporting my nursing bra here. If I did, well, this could be a different story.

Knock, Knock.
What the? - head to answer the door thinking it must be my mom stopping by so I'm not too concerned about my boobs swinging around. Peek through the window and see what looks like a hung over 19 year old boy. I crack the door open and hide behind it. “Hi.” I say. I nearly said "You've come to the wrong house, Bambi doesn't live here and she's not impressed that you barfed on her last night."

Doesn't identify himself just says “Uh, do you have the key to your car?”

I'm perplexed for two seconds until, Ah ha! Right, they're picking up my car. “Yeah, hang on a minute.”

I close the door in his face, grab my keys and then realize I left Baby A who can roll now, on my bed, alone. I was so out of it with someone coming to the door. I ran to the bedroom while detaching my car key from my key chain, picked up Audrey and held her in front of me to both shield my unsightly swaying breasts from his innocent (ha ha) young eyes and also to show him that there was a good reason for me to still be in my jammies and looking the way I did. 'See I have a baby, therefore it was impossible for me to be dressed and prepared for your expected arrival to my home.' I wouldn't have felt SO bad if I had at least had my nursing bra buttoned up. Also, to defend myself, usually my car hospital has nice (?), young, skinny, ridiculously attractive (is this in the job description?) girls who come to pick up and deliver vehicles. If it had been one of them I would have been an example of why they should use birth control and not made some young guy want to barf up the 25 beers he drank last night. Sigh.

People had asked what the La Leche League 'enrichment' meetings were all about. I looked on the website to try to find their definition and found nothing. My description would be that they are a more relaxed, less formal meeting for breastfeeding moms. We try to talk about something that is relevant to what we are going through right now. Tuesday's topic was 'Romance and Breastfeeding'. Basically we all shared our own experiences about the difficulties of being 'romantic' after a baby and during breastfeeding as well as any successes any of us might have had. I was still feeling a bit crappy despite my nap, so I didn't really have much to contribute. I like being a part of a group like LLL because I think it is important for moms to share their experiences with other moms. Otherwise we are all out here on our own thinking that we are doing everything wrong. Or, at least, that's what I would be doing.

The plumber is coming this afternoon to try something else to fix our boiler. I really hope this will be it. I am sick of waiting around my house for them to come 'fix' it. Send us your good wishes that today will be the day!

Little A is up from her nap. I hope she is in a better mood than she was earlier this morning when she banged her face into the floor in anger. I fully expected her to have a bloody nose. Her temper frightens me a little. I'm thinking I need to get myself to a bookstore and find a manual for raising children with bad tempers. If it can't help me now, it may help me later.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Drat, Curses etc...

Whew! I was going to post something yesterday but it would have been pitiful. I'm not kidding. So, instead of posting, or reading blogs I napped. That's right. I napped. I don't nap. I like the idea of napping. When I try to do it my body just doesn't usually cooperate. But due to certain circumstances napping yesterday was not a problem. On Monday I did accomplish all of the tasks I had before me. I have my gorgeous, wonderful baby who napped for THREE HOURS to thank for that. During said nap I managed to shower and prepare a double batch of supper and bread pudding - one for the couple with the new baby, one for us. (It was delicious!) I finished cleaning too! Before starting my marathon of tasks I prepared myself for it to take me the entire day to finish. Miraculously I completed everything with time to spare. I sat down to feed Audrey in disbelief. She and I delivered our meal and visited the little tiny cute baby boy. We came home put our supper in oven and hung out together. Dad arrived home from his twelve hour work day in a surprisingly good mood.

It was approximately at this time when I began to have a strange feeling come over me. I surmised that it must be fatigue which would be understandable. I couldn't wait for Audrey to go to bed so I could do the same. Which I did. When I heard her cry sometime later I decided it must be around 5 am. Imagine my shock and disbelief when I looked at the time to see it was only 12 am! I lay there for a while longer and sure enough she was fine. Me on the other hand, I was not. I realized that I was terribly cold and felt awful. I pulled our extra blanket up and tried to get warm. I tossed and turned. I got up eventually and took some Tylenol. Peter woke up at some point and asked if I was okay. I told him I was cold. He felt me and said I was burning up. He tried to cuddle me until the heat of my body had given him third degree burns and he could no longer stand it. I think I fell asleep. I woke up later and was unbearably hot. I shed my shirt and most of the covers and fell asleep again. Peter got up to go to the gym at 5:30. I still felt awful. I slept until 7:30 when she woke up. I determined I had a cold – again.

Peter had the morning off which was fantastic because he was able to come to our appointment with the public health nurse. Since we are not having her vaccinated yet she was weighed and measured. She weighs 18lbs 11 ounces. She is 28 ¾ inches long which is off the charts tall. Is it weird I am happy about this? Having wished I was taller practically my whole life I hope she actually is tall when she's older and loves it. Perhaps this is why I was always attracted to tall men? It was my subconscious goal to procreate with a tall man and have freakishly tall children. * Laughs maniacally *

I wondered about canceling the La Leche League meeting but I decided that I could always go and hide in my bedroom while everyone was in the living room. Since Audrey had a three hour nap again yesterday after lunch that is when my couch called my name. I was sitting at the computer and it said in a soothing voice “What are you doing over there on that uncomfortable chair looking at that painfully bright screen? Come lay on me. I'm so comfortable even with my broken springs. You know you want to be with me. Come on.” I answered the call. I pulled a blanket down on top of me and drifted off to dreamland. Even though I was expecting the plumbers (who never came, they're coming tomorrow. grumble grumble.) I slept soundly until a half hour before the meeting. Just enough time to feed Audrey and set out the snacks. Those naps, they are good.

We had more visitors in the evening. Two ladies from my TaeKwon Do club who I have training with for nearly a decade. I love them dearly and couldn't bear to call and cancel. We had kept postponing the visit so I was really looking forward to seeing them. We had a nice time, they loved Baby A and showered her with attention.

Audrey's teething is reaching a new uncomfortable level for everyone. We finally went and purchased Hylands Teething Tabs last night. I haven't tried them yet but now have another tool in my arsenal. We will see how today goes. I am wondering if I actually had the flu rather than a cold because I actually feel pretty good today. My nose isn't running, I am only mildly stuffed up, no fever, no headache, so sore throat. Almost feeling normal. Strange. I am relieved though. I find looking after a baby while sick the most daunting task of all.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Boiler That Refuses To Be Fixed...and other stories

Bad post... No time... Too much on my plate... Too many fish to fry... blah, blah, blah.

Good things about this morning – I went to the gym and had a good workout.
Bad things about this morning – Baby A woke up in pain, complaining about her gums, Peter went off to work a twelve hour day, his car went to the car hospital and needed $200 medicine for it's brakes, the plumber came back this morning with reinforcements to give our boiler a stern talking to (another part is being ordered and they will be back tomorrow), I tried to pay for the car medicine over the phone by VISA and my card was declined, I talked to at least two people who were both rude and stupid and got it straightened out, I over cooked my leftover spaghetti in the microwave (We have one again!).

I am the queen of biting off more than I can chew. This afternoon I have to shower, clean, call many names to invite people to a Le Leche League 'enrichment' meeting at my house (AHHH!) tomorrow, make supper and dessert for a friend who just came home from the hospital with her baby and I also should take care of my kid or something too. This is my day off. Ouch, I just fell off my chair laughing.

I would cry and feel sorry for myself but I don't have time. Now I must go shower. I wish you all a lovely day!

Audrey and her dad ready to start the day...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Self Improvements

After the post baby trauma subsided a bit I began to notice myself again. I did not like what I saw. There was/is the baby belly, which is to be expected. The stretch marks. May I just take this moment to say that hardly anyone I know got stretch marks while pregnant. But when I think about it I guess it's one of those things where I say “I have a lot of stretch marks!” to which I get “Oh, I never got ANY!” (which, by the way, ranks right up there with my favorite comments. Such as “Oh, I didn't have any morning sickness at all. To that I say “How nice for you.”) but the moms who do have them don't jump to say “Oh I know, I have them too!”. I always forget I seem to be the one of the few people who voluntarily talks openly about my flaws. (What's wrong with me anyway?) And then there was the hair loss. Man! The hair loss! Good thing I started out with far too much hair because it had even me, the woman with too much hair, worried that I was going to be bald. Thankfully that has now stopped. Here's a weird one. My teeth. They seemed discolored. I had a few of my clients tell me horror stories about how they lost teeth during their pregnancies. That's just nutty. No lost teeth here. I just found them to be a bit yellow. Maybe I'm crazy but I kept seeing pictures of myself with my big ol' smile and I thought “Hmmm. My teeth look really yellow.” After many times of saying that about different photos I finally bought this. I took before and after photos but the before one somehow disappeared from my computer. So that blows my comparison out the window. I'll try it again in a few weeks.

So, I took care of the teeth thing. Or at least I took care of it in a way that I could afford. Going off in another direction, since when did celebrities have to have such white teeth? I own a lot of 80's movies and let me tell you it is weird yet refreshing to observe their less than perfect bodies and normal looking teeth. The baby belly is retreating with every bi-weekly trip to the gym. I'm not sure it will ever be jiggle free. The stretch marks? Well, nothing to be done about them except wait and watch them slowly fade from pink to white. The hair. The good news is I'm not bald. I'm actually enjoying this thinner hair I have. It is almost behaving like I always wanted it to. At it's present length I can wear it wavy or straight. I'm curious what all of you prefer. Let me know what you think. Also, as you can see my hair has gotten longer and I have colored it darker since Baby A was born. Wow! I was just looking at my pictures. Could I be any more pale? Not sure why I appear to have so much color in the first one. I progressively get pastier with each photo. The first shot was taken in September when I still had some 'sun'. Ha ha! My poor daughter has the skin color genetics of two of the palest people on the planet. My teeth seem whiter with every shot too. How strange. Perhaps as the pregnancy hormones dissapate the discoloration goes away?

I don't have the highest self esteem but I do what I can with what I have. My husband loves me and thinks I am beautiful. The funny thing is I actually believe him when he says it. Now that's love.

P.S. I know I'm evil for cropping "the show stealer" Baby A out of my pictures. Really, would you really pay any attention to me if she was in the picture? It's all about me you know.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Just Smile

I think I'm stressed but I seem to be handling it well. This boiler thing has been a monkey on my back since last Friday night when it first went berserk. Despite the nice plumber coming back again yesterday and attempting one more procedure on our boiler, at 5:00 am this morning I awoke to the jet engine noise. I hauled my tired behind downstairs to note which burner was spewing blue flame this time, dragged myself back upstairs, turned off the thermostat, turned it back on and went back to bed. Once there my knee began to ache.(Must be the damp weather) I tried turning on each side, my stomach and my back to get comfortable. I contemplated getting up to watch Joyce Meyer on television. I eventually fell asleep again until 7:00 when I heard Audrey playing in her crib. I sat up to pump for ten minutes. When I am nearly finished Peter goes and changes her (poopy diaper!) and brings her to me. I have been thinking a lot lately about how happy I will be when I no longer have to pump every morning. It has grown tedious and annoying. My new goal is to hang in there until Baby A is a year old. I may be able to cut back the nursing a bit towards the year mark and in turn, cut out the pumping. We'll see.

Introducing rice cereal has been interesting. This is week two. I deemed this morning a success and a failure. The start was promising. Audrey opened her mouth and swallowed several times like a pro. Then she blew bubbles with a force I had yet to see. I tried to give the spoonfuls in between the “BBBBBbbbbbbb!” but you know, it didn't really work. By the end of breakfast she and I were covered in a fine mist of cereal. Lovely. I keep reading about how introducing solids is a learning experience. Boy howdy.

And then there is the thumb. I love the thumb. When she found her thumb I was happy. She was happy. A much happier baby. It's cute, it makes her happy. It may very likely be the reason she can sleep through the night. But the thumb is becoming an issue. Last week at swimming lessons, if she didn't have a pool toy in her mouth it was her thumb. When I feed her her cereal I often have to pull the thumb out to get a spoonful in. Lately, when nursing, she wants to suck her thumb for about a minute first but my boob has to be out and ready or else she'll just turn back to her thumb. Or sometimes she's all - boob – thumb, boob – thumb. It's drives me nuts. Let me tell you kid, there is nothing like sitting around with my boobs hanging out waiting for you to stop sucking your thumb. It's a good time. Let's do this in public for fun.

The boiler monkey should be off my back tomorrow when the plumber comes to install a $400 part on it. Yippity do Dah! I wonder how much a new boiler would cost. The plumber is a nice guy though. He has been really good about everything and didn't charge us for coming over yesterday. And hey, he went up on our roof. That deserves a cookie or something. I think he'll have to settle for a smile.

*I posted so many pictures today that I made them small. Just click on them if you want to see them in their glorious enormousness.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It MAY Be Fixed...then again it may not.

Well, the plumber didn't fall off our roof. He thinks he has the problem fixed. Gotta love that. “I don't really have a clue what was causing the blue flames to shoot out of your gas boiler but I THINK what I did has fixed it.” Let's hope so. It cost about $150.00 for the cleaning which I think was actually a good deal since he went up on our snow covered roof. Last year when we had the same thing done it cost the same amount, roof climbing excluded. From now on I am going to request it.

Mama D “Can you go up on the roof and look in our chimney?”
Plumber “Why?”
Mama D “Because I said so.”

I was invited out to a friends for lunch. (Yesterday) This was a nice surprise after the early jet engine wake up call and writing of $150.00 cheque. Audrey was a tad grumpy but my lunch dates enjoy holding her and one of their daughters cracks me up constantly saying “Hi, hi, hi!” to Little A in a high pitched voice. So cute.

I then received this email forward which was SO important I HAD to put it in my blog.

Generally, I hate the warnings that get sent around but I have to admit that this one is important.

Please protect everyone you know by sending this to your entire email list.

If someone comes to your front door and says they are conducting a survey and asks you to show them your bum, do NOT show them your bum.

This is a scam. They only want to see your bum.

I wish I'd got this yesterday, I feel so stupid and cheap.

So funny. It made my day.

But right now it is 15 minutes before my husband is done work and I have not started supper and there are no leftovers except rice pudding. I should really go make something or something.

A picture of Miss A clearly finding her crib more entertaining than her baby gym.

The blue flames came shooting out again last night. The plumber will be back today. Oh, and we do have a carbon monoxide detector so don't worry too much about us y'all.

This And That

I am sitting here waiting for plumbers to come and look at our boiler. When I mentioned in yesterday's post about Little A getting up at 12:00 am on Friday night I didn't mention what happened earlier.

Shortly after putting Audrey to bed at her usual 9:30 time I was sitting at the computer (surprise!) and Peter rushed into the room and said he needed my help. As I followed him down the stairs he filled me in that as he was laying in bed he heard a noise similar to a jet engine taking off downstairs. Clearly I am deaf since I didn't hear this from the living room. We both looked at our boiler in horror and confusion as we observed the blue flame coming out of the front of the burners. *Side note for those of you who have a furnace and don't know about this crazy thing called a boiler. A boiler is what older homes like mine often have which circulate hot water through radiators rather that hot air through vents. This couldn't be good. We proceeded to call a plumber. Why do these things always seem to happen after hours when they charge like a hundred dollars just to come and look at the boiler? The first plumber we called made excuses about how he didn't think he'd have the parts and he'd have to charge us anyway if he came over even if he couldn't do anything etc. I said thanks but no thanks. We called another plumber, this one actually asked us what the boiler was doing. When we described it to him he sounded worried and suggested we call the emergency gas line 1-800 number. Fantastic! I called this number and a nice, calm lady instructed us on what to do until the hydro man arrived. I began to shiver which is a reaction my body has to stress. We waited an hour for the hydro man. When he arrived we turned the thermostat back on and the boiler worked like a dream. He throughly inspected our boiler, chimney, and gas meter. He was perplexed since everything appeared to be fine then advised us to call a plumber this week. That was as long as it continued to work properly. If not, we were to call him again. It worked fine for the rest of the weekend and I called the plumber first thing Monday morning to make an appointment to have it looked at. They were coming tomorrow morning, that was until at 5:30 this morning when the jet engine noise happened again. My husband being the smart man that he is video taped the lovely blue flames. That way if the plumber came and our boiler miraculously worked perfectly there would be proof of it's disobedience. I called the plumber again ten minutes before they opened and explained our predicament. They said someone would be over this morning.

The plumber has arrived and we ate popcorn while we watched the video of our boiler getting ready to explode or poison my family with carbon monoxide gas. He is presently about to climb up on our roof to look down our chimney. Sounds expensive. I'll keep you all posted.

On a happier note Audrey finished her swimming lessons yesterday. I am sorry to report what a slacker she is since she wasn't passed from 'Splashers' to 'Bubblers' and will have to repeat the session. She neglected to meet some of the requirements for this level such as jumping in while holding adult's hands and exiting pool using variety of methods. Currently her only method of exiting the pool is in my arms. Sigh. Of course I am kidding. I think we will skip the next session since I need a break. It makes for another hectic day on one of the days that I'm 'not working'. I hope she enjoys the water the same way when we do another session in the future. Here are some happy swimming pictures for your viewing pleasure. I'll just be here contemplating ways of making extra cash to afford the plumber who is on my roof.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Competency And Incompentcy

After more than six months of motherhood I have become really comfortable. I consider this to be a great accomplishment since during my first month I was seriously contemplating throwing in the towel. I am not a quitter but I have never felt like quitting more than I did during that time. I was convinced that I would never again get any sleep, I would never be able to properly breastfeed my child and clearly, I was a failure as a mother. With baby steps I became more sure of myself. I persevered through my breastfeeding difficulties. Audrey started sleeping through the night at around two months. I began to think that maybe I did know what I was doing after all. This delusion continued until last Friday.

Baby A and I went over to her Grandma's for a visit and while she napped I was going to go out for some groceries. As I was putting her down for her nap she woke up. What did I do? I quickly began to nurse her for about the two seconds required to put her back to sleep. So what's the big deal you may ask. The deal is I am addicted to the Bobby Pillow.

(This is the exact same Boppy we have. I look exactly like that woman except for the tan, the face, the body and the smaller boobs.) After Audrey was born and we were having all of our breastfeeding troubles I asked my mom to get me a Boppy. It made feeding Audrey far less difficult. I could release the tension in my shoulders and back just a little bit and I felt like I was just a bit more coordinated. Since I needed both hands (and three more) to feed her, laying her in front of me on the Boppy made it much easier. The problem? Now I don't know how to feed my child without it. I have forgot it at home a few times when we've gone out or at my mom's. My first instinct when I don't have it is to panic but then I just use a regular pillow. This is a sorry substitute as it is too soft and doesn't fit around my waist. As much as I love my Boppy, I am dependent upon it. I watch mothers nurse their babies 'au natural' and feel a bit inadequate. It's like I still have my breastfeeding training wheels on. So the fact that I was able to nurse Audrey without it and put her back to sleep lickety split made me feel all proud of myself. I am competent of feeding my child without the aid of a croissant shaped pillow. Yay me!

The second thing I accomplished that day was installing Miss A's new car seat. That's right folks, we have ditched the infant carrier and moved onwards and upwards to a rear facing car seat that stays in the vehicle. When we bought our baby carrier I read the booklet that came with it. Perhaps it was my pregnant brain that could not comprehend it but it was practically like reading Japanese. Eventually, with Peter's help I figured out how to use it but those first few times of putting Audrey into it and taking her out... yikes. Not to mention putting it in the car. I remember almost breaking down crying several times because I couldn't get the seat to release from the base. I don't know what I started doing differently but eventually it didn't get stuck anymore. This time when I read the instructions they didn't confuse me (much). And I adjusted the harness and installed it into our car by myself. Not that I want to be a single mom but knowing that I can do this stuff on my own is really empowering. I need to remind myself of those times when I feel like a competent mother. Because those feeling are fleeting.

Putting Audrey in the new seat wasn't so bad. When we got home taking her out and carrying all my stuff was another story. I almost felt my cheeks getting red from embarrassment. I felt like a new mom again, not knowing how to carry my baby and my bag at the same time. Then, that night after she had gone to bed for what usually is until morning she woke up. At 12:00 am. I would feed her, she'd fall asleep, I'd lay her in her bed she'd wake up and cry. I did this about five times. I was incredibly frustrated because the next day was the only day of the week that I get up early to go to work. I felt like we were back in those early days when I tip toed into her room with her asleep in my arms, just praying that she would stay asleep this time so I could get some rest. At 2:00 am she was in bed again for the night. I woke up a very cranky mama the next day.

How quickly I had gone from feeling competent to feeling incompetent again. I guess I might as well get used to it. I think this is going to be a pattern for at least 20 more years.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I'm Not A Violent Person

When you were a little kid did you ever run up the basement stairs because you were sure someone was behind you? I did. I would be fine while I was in the basement, it wasn't really scary down there or anything. But for some reason when I was going up the stairs I always had this terrible feeling there was someone behind me or hiding underneath the stairs just ready to grab me and pull me back down. So I had a ritual of looking around the basement and then sprinting up the stairs as fast as I could convinced that at any second I would be attacked from behind. I would never look back, once at the top I would slam the door behind me. I knew, even then, that it was an irrational fear. I knew there was no one down there to 'get' me. But I couldn't make that feeling go away so I continued my stair sprinting ritual until we moved away from that place.

The reason I'm writing about this is because I experienced that exact same feeling last night when leaving work. I was the last one to leave. My car is parked at the back of the building adjacent to the back lane. There is a sensor light but it is still dark, quiet and a little unnerving. As I was walking to my car, opening the door and getting in I felt that 'someone's going to get you' feeling. I jumped in and immediately locked my doors. I was annoyed at myself for getting freaked out. This is not the way I want to live my life.

When I was a kid I was oblivious to danger, as most kids are. It never crossed my mind that often that anyone would want to hurt me unless I had provoked it in some way. When I was 15 years old a friend and I were walking to the store on a Saturday afternoon. A group of five girls were walking in our direction. We instinctively crossed to the other side of the street. So did they. When we met they surrounded us on someone's lawn. They began to tell us how they had seen us give them the finger from our car earlier that week. This, of course was a total lie and purely an excuse to confront us. I objected to this accusation explaining we didn't give people the finger. (Oh, how naive.) They seemed most interested in my friend who, although she was older, was smaller than me. Two girls stood imposingly on either side of her. I only had one girl standing behind me who kept attempting to get a grip on me in some way but I repeatedly shrugged her off. The remaining two of the girls were much bigger and older than all of us and seemed to be there for 'back up'. My mind was racing. What are we going to do? I thought about fighting back but we were clearly out numbered and as they seemed to be focusing on my friend I imagined them holding me down while I watched her get the crap beaten out of her. I made a decision that if they hit her I would bolt to the nearest house (next door) and ask for help. I waited as they shot their mouths off, trying to intimidate us. Then, they slapped her in the face. I did what I planned I ran as fast as I could to the neighboring house and pounded on the door. A young kid answered. I said “Please, we need help!” I saw his mother pop her head out of the kitchen and quickly come to the door and out onto the step. As I began to explain and point towards my friend being attacked by the girls they saw us and ran away. I said “Thank you!” to the woman and ran off towards my friend. At this point I began to cry. Not in a way where you tear up and wipe the tears away. I was hysterical. I was sobbing and snorting. My friend ran up to me. I asked her if she was okay. She was a bit dirty, she had some scratches and some bruising was beginning to show up on her face. She laughed. “I'm stoked. I have never been in a fight before.” I was shocked. I continued to sob for about an hour while she tried to calm me down, assuring me that she was okay. I was just so shaken. I couldn't believe that these girls had done this with no reason.

From that point on I walked through life worried that everyone was out to get me. I couldn't go for a walk without thinking someone might attack me. The nice looking man pushing his baby in a stroller, the young woman walking to work. In my eyes anyone could be a potential threat. Then at 18 ½ I started TaeKwon Do. I started because my friend was doing it, not because I thought I had any fear issues. Not long after I started doing martial arts I began to notice how much more confident I had become. I felt good that I was getting exercise. I began competing and winning which was so much fun as well as a huge ego boost. I don't think I actually realized what a change had occurred in me until one evening I spent with a friend. I was visiting her in the large city that she lived in. We were meeting some of her friends for drinks at a billiard bar downtown. We parked in a parking lot that was shared by a few different bars and restaurants. One of those places was a pretty dumpy spot. As we were walking to the billiard bar a shifty looking man approached us. He asked us for money or something, we apologized and continued walking. Once inside the bar my friend sighed with relief and told me that guy had totally freaked her out. I stopped in my tracks when I realized that he hadn't freaked me out. My thought process had been as follows. Scary looking guy approaching us, there are lots of people around if he tries anything, we can run to the bar we are going to, I can totally take this guy out if I need to. I assessed the situation, thought of solutions to any problems that might arise and I was ready for whatever might happen. That was a turning point.

It's not that I think I am so tough or anything. There are certain situations that I just wouldn't want to be in. I have taught self defense classes. I know how to protect myself. Peter often asks me what I would do if someone did such and such to me. I usually reply with “stick my thumbs in their eye balls, dislocate their knee, collapse their trachea” and so on. He then winces with pain, covers his eyes and asks me to please stop describing the ways I am able to maim an attacker. I then remind him that he asked me what I would do.

My issue is this. How is it that I found myself feeling so afraid last night? Is it that I am not training in TaeKwon Do right now? That I haven't trained since I was seven months pregnant. Or is it that I am a mother now? The thought of something happening to me and leaving my child without a mother terrifies me. I'm not sure. It makes me want to find a way to be able to start training again. All I know is that whether or not I am afraid, if anyone tries anything with me they better watch out because I have a lot more to fight for these days. Limbs could be broken, eyeballs could be lost.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hello Old/New Friend

Remember this post? If not, you should read it. Because every single word I write is incredibly important you know. Baby A has begun to notice things like never before. Toys, television, people, and our cat. She also has acute hearing. This can be rather interesting when I am trying to feed her and there is some noise, such as a pin dropping next door. She suddenly turns her head almost taking my nipple along for the ride. (Score one point for floppy, stretchy boobs!) (I am so going to get a Google seach for 'Floppy, stretchy boobs'. sigh.)

It is the coolest thing to watch her notice our cat. When she sees him she makes soft high pitched squealy noises and reaches her hands out to him. I have been showing her how to pet him. "Nice kitty, nice kitty." and we pet him softly. She always ends up getting excited and grabbing a handful of fur. If I did that, he would bite my arm off. Her? He looks at her with his eyes half closed in that sleepy cat way and walks away leaving a tiny handful of fur behind. Little A is of course, oblivious. She's just so happy that she got to see him and touch his very soft fur.

I really hope that as she grows and crawls and chases him around that he remains as patient. I worry that they won't be friends anymore that he'll just hide under his chair. I wouldn't blame him. He's like a hundred years old or something, in cat years. I would really like him to live long enough for her to remember him, that he was our cat and we loved him.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I packed Baby A up yesterday and we headed to Wal-Mart for her six month photos. The last time we took 'professional' photos at Wal-Mart I think I spent over a hundred dollars. I hadn't planned on spending that much. We only wanted a family shot to send to our friends and family for Christmas. Audrey was only two months old and she was not nearly as photogenic as she is now. In our family shot she looks like a frightened little monkey. Really. I'm not kidding. So they took the six extra shots of her on her own. Well. Although she looked bored in every picture she was still a whole lot cuter than in the family shot. What could I do? I ended up with a bigger package than I had planned on. I will say that I sent almost every single picture out to my friends and family. So maybe it was worth the money.

Now today, I walked into that store feeling strong, confident. I would tell the photographer that I only wanted the package for $8.95, I would not spend more money. Baby A was wearing the dress seen here. I took off her tights so her cute little bare feet would be in the picture. We picked the background, sat her up against the little baby stabilizer thingy which hides under the fuzzy blanket. The photographer shook a toy, Audrey smiled like an angel, the flash went pop and we had our shot. Thank you and goodbye. The picture showed up on the display screen, I saw that it was adorable. She had a cute smile and her little toes were all spread apart the way the do and I was pleased. That is when I should have picked her up and left, only I didn't.

“I'm just going to take six more shots.” she says. I should have said “Why, so you can bait me into spending more money?” which is exactly what happened. I can't explain it. The very next shot she took was the best one. I don't know what it was. Maybe the lighting was better or she tried a little harder to get a better expression but it was so cute. It was at this point I knew I was in trouble. She tried new backgrounds, new positions. Audrey just kept smiling the same gorgeous smile. I ooohhed and aaahhed. Finally we were done. I knew what was coming. I knew I wouldn't have the willpower to say “No thanks” to the better, more adorable pictures. In the end my $8.95 package was over $50.00.

I know it's not the Wal-Mart photographers fault. They train her to do it. I can imagine the training.

“Okay, make sure the first shot is cute, but not to cute, you know. Like, don't try to hard to make her smile, and make sure you use the crappy lighting. Then, when you start into the extra shots make sure you pull out all the stops. The lights, the toys. Stand on your head if you have to. Just make sure that those customers can't live without EVERY SINGLE EXTRA PICTURE you take. Then show them on the computer just how cute their kid really is. Compliment them. Even if they are the homeliest kid you've ever seen tell them the opposite. Sell, sell, sell. If you don't, we'll need a pound of flesh at the end of your pay period.”

How can any parent resist buying pictures of their beautiful, smiling six month old baby? It was such a welcome improvement to the two month old terrified monkey pictures. I couldn't help myself.

Monday, March 13, 2006

One Half Of One Year

I can't believe she is six months old already. That's half of a whole year!

When I found out I was pregnant I couldn't believe it had finally happened. I then spent the four longest months of my life nauseated every second of every hour of every day and vomiting enough to last a lifetime. I had discharge similar to hydrochloric acid which burned the insides of my legs so badly I walked like I'd been riding a horse all day. My stomach developed deep purple stretch marks despite much slathering of anti-stretchmark cream.

I still remember so vividly that time after she was born when I was so certain that I had made a terrible mistake. That I wasn't meant to be a mother. That she would be better off with someone else. I can still hear your newborn baby cries of protest during those first long weeks of learning to breastfeed. My heart still drops when I think of the disappointment I felt because you didn't seem to want me. When we finally got home from the hospital I wanted everything to be 'normal' and was so devastated to find out I couldn't deal with what 'normal' had become. Eventually we got into our groove and I began to cope with our new life.

I finally started to feel comfortable going out. I began to have confidence in my ability as a mother. Baby A seemed more relaxed and became the baby she always has been if my blood hadn't made her feel so icky. Right when I was about to lose my mind from lack of sleep she started sleeping through the night. As Audrey's personality began to develop I fell even more in love with her. Her first smiles nearly broke my heart.

Now she is so big! She just ate cereal for the first time yesterday. She seemed like such a big girl in her highchair! It's hard to believe that in just six more months she will be a whole year old! I am so proud of both of us for making it this far. Today we are going to have six month pictures taken. It still blows my mind.

From the moment she came into my life I was forever changed. I will always be her mama and she will always be my first born baby girl. I look forward to the continuing adventure that is motherhood.

Explainations and Information

I'm sure you have all been dying of curiosity since Friday when I posted my “Two Lies and a Truth” game. Well, wait no longer! I will satisfy your burning need to know which of the following are lies and which ones are the truth.

1.I come from a family of 5 children.
2.I inherited 50,000 dollars from my grandfather.
3.I have naturally blond hair.

The truth is that I am the youngest of 5 children. Often referred to as 'the baby' (until my daughter was born) and informed that I was/am spoiled. I consider myself to be more spoiled now than I was as a child. And now it seems everyone is 'spoiling' my daughter, both with gifts and with their attention. She doesn't appear to mind. The first three children born were girls all approximately 2 years apart. My brother was born 6 years after that and I was born 10 years after my brother. The age difference between my oldest sister and myself is close to 20 years. It was a strange dynamic growing up. My two oldest sisters were no longer living at home. My other sister was there for the first 2 years of my life and literally acted like a mother to me. The most photographs taken of me are during this period from 0-2 years. She has since told me how difficult it was for her to move away and leave me in a home that she knows was unstable and dysfunctional. My parents were basically alcoholics and were relatively irresponsible in regards to me at that time. Since my brother was my closest to my age and also the only one still living at home I really looked up to him. This may be why I was (am) such a tomboy. I always wanted him to be proud of me and tried to achieve this in the strangest ways. Some of the things I remember doing to impress him were burping and farting really loud. If I had only known that he considers this to be incredibly unlady-like and now brags about how he has never (in ten years!) heard his wife fart or burp in front of him. To this I say whoopitty-doo! I am glad I married a man that embraces my burps and farts because they are normal body functions! In any case I think he found it rather comical back then as well as the times when I would challenge him to a wrestling match. It would always end with him getting me in a headlock and me saying “I give up!” Once he would release me I would jump on him again, convinced that this time I would win!

The first 5 of my ten nieces and nephews were more like brothers and sisters to me since I was closer to their ages. I played Barbies with the girls and sports with the boys. It was difficult when I came to that awkward age when I felt I was too old to play with the kids yet I was still too young for my sisters to include me in their conversations. I often feel jealous of my sisters when they talk about growing up together. They shared a lot of the same friends and they were all very close to each other. I envy that bond that they share. I wish I had had a sister to comfort me when I used to lay in bed listening to my parents fight. I know that we want to try for another baby when Audrey is about 2. I think it will be nice for her to have a brother or sister to love. Whew! I wish I had inherited 50,000 dollars from anyone. And although my three sisters are blond, my brother and I have dark hair. He actually looks Greek or Italian. That must be some of our native heritage coming through in him. I myself have a medium brown colored hair.

1.I love green peppers.
2. I wore a medieval wedding gown.
3. I have a very hairy back.

My other truth is that I did wear a medieval wedding gown. It all started with a song called 'The Sun in the Stream' off this album. I decided at about 16 that I would one day walk down the aisle to that song. If you've never heard it you should and then you would know how it inspired my whole wedding. I did go to a bridal shop to try on 'traditional' gowns but it only solidified the fact that I really wanted something different. I ended up having my gown sewn for me. I took the seamstress this movie and showed her this particular dress. It wasn't quite as fancy, and I picked a champagne colored fabric for the main part and a wheat colored fabric for the accents and the flowing sleeves. It was a fall wedding so my invitations had fall leaves and water droplets on them. We decorated the tables and the cake with silk leaves in rich fall colors. My hair was similar to this or this only instead I had it braided at the back like a crown and there was ivory ribbon wrapped around the braid. It was one of the happiest days of my life and I felt really, really beautiful. Oh and by the way, I hate green peppers and I don't have a hairy back.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Game Friday

I am a bad blogger. I could blame the cold but I am feeling better today. I just always seem to have so much to do on Fridays. We usually go over to my mom's and while Baby A is napping I run out and go grocery shopping and other money spending activities. Today one of those activities was buying a pair of these. I seem to have transfered my shoe fetish from myself to her. She has just grown out of her first pair. She also has these which are strangely still have a bit more room although they are technically the same size. Both pairs were gifts, now I am hooked. Gah! The ones I bought today are not on the website because they are discontinued. That is okay because that means they will be unique. They are white with a star on the top by the ankle and tiny little stars cut out all around the top of the shoe. So cute. Seriously. I need help. Shoes Annoymous.

ANYWAY, since I don't have time for a real, meaningful post I am going to have a little game. I stole it from this show. It's called two lies and a truth. I will give you three statements about me. Two will be lies, one - a truth. Did you figure it out before I finished explaining? Good for you! Okay, here goes.

1. I come from a family of 5 children.
2. I inherited 50,000 dollars from my grandfather.
3. I have naturally blond hair.

1. I love green peppers.
2. I wore a medieaval wedding gown.
3. I have a very hairy back.

That was fun. I think I'll make you wait till Monday to find out what the 'truths' are. Ha ha ha! (maniacal laugh!) I promise to post better stuff next week when I'm feeling better. Besides, isn't it fun when I don't have time to complain?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

News Flash

Young woman collapses at work and is later pronounced dead. Sources say that she had a very bad cold and shouldn't have been there at all. Prior to her collapse she had a coughing fit which caused her to lose consciousness...

Naw, don't worry – I'm still alive! In fact I'm doing pretty well. I went to work and was shocked to find that I hardly coughed at all. Peter and I had prayed for my health and I'm ashamed to admit I didn't have much faith that our prayers would be answered. I just thought that God must have more important things to do than make my cold go away. Goes to show how sometimes we are lucky enough to have our prayers answered without having the faith to back them up. And for those of you who don't believe in the power of prayer all I can say is, believe it! It probably seems goofy that something as simple as my cold symptoms being relieved is miraculous to me, but it is. Let me tell you what should be happening. I should have coughed my guts out at work, especially while breathing in the chemicals from the three color applications I did. I should have spent the last two nights up coughing, unable to sleep – miserable. This is normal for me and for this type of cold I have. Now I'm not saying that I haven't felt bad, I have. But I didn't know how I was going to cope with the lack of sleep that coughing all night was going to cause and have to look after a baby and have to go to work where I would continue to hack up a lung, then come home and put my baby to sleep. The last two mornings I have been awakened by my husbands alarm and can't believe I slept the whole night. To me, this is a miracle and our prayers were answered.

I still don't feel overly inspired to write anything lengthly or interesting. Just thought I'd fill you all in on my miraculous recovery. And leave you with something I found cool. I can't remember whose blog I saw it on. It's a Slogan Generating site. Here are a few slogan's it gave me for my site.

'The Tales of Mama D' tested, Mother Approved – I don't really like this one. It implies I am detested. That's not true is it?

There Ain't No Party Like A 'The Tales Of Mama D' Party
If You've Got the Time, We've Got the 'The Tales Of Mama D' – These one's are funny. Reminds me of stuff on this site. (TURN DOWN YOUR VOLUME AS NOT TO WAKE UP SLEEPING BABIES!)

Fall Into The 'the Tales Of Mama D' – Now this one is my favorite. It's got a nice ring to it, don't you think?

And as always, I aim to please. And you all seem to love the pictures, so I'll keep em' coming! Me and the babe. Notice the 'Ricola' cough drops in the background. There and ready for a middle of night coughing emergency.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I hope you will all excuse my absence, this cold I have has a death grip on me. I hope to soon be recovered and back to my regular blogging self but right now it is taking every ounce of energy I have just to get through the day. Also, today I have to work! Yippee! I am currently in Phase Three of my cold so hopefully it will be over soon.

Phase One
Head fills up with 'cold' and 'cold' begins to drip out of your nose. Thus causing much wiping and blowing of said nose which causes it to become dry, red, raw and flakey. Attractive!

Phase Two
'Cold' moves to chest and is distinctly more solid, as though you have swallowed a brick and it only made it halfway down. Dry cough begins and cannot be stopped by hot beverages or cough lozenges. You continue to blow nose if only to release some of the pressure in your head. Each time you cough the house rattles and the top of your head feels like it will blow off, and you actually wish it would. Otherwise you just have a dull throbbing feeling in your head.

Phase Three
Dry cough has transformed into a wet cough. Head feels clearer and doesn't hurt while coughing. Coughing is more frequent and more powerful causing infant daughter to look at you with surprise.

I'm hoping going back to work won't make it worse, and before you say it - I'm not taking the day off. I'm stupid that way. I have to be bleeding to death from a gunshot wound or quarantined with some incurable virus before I'll miss work. It's dumb. I know. It's the guilty conscious you see... It's much worse than a bad cold.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Post By Baby A

I am writing this post today so that my mom can rest. She has a terrible cold. She better not give it to me! Do any of you have advice on how to deal with taking care of a baby when you have an awful cold? This is the first time she has been sick since I was born. Except for that nasty mastitis which made her all shivery and achy all over. Yuck! Here a few adorable pictures of me. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Am It!

To catch you all up... Audrey is napping. She is still not quite herself. Yesterday we were at Grandma's before I had to go to work. This was a bit of a bad idea since Audrey's refusal to eat while we were there caused my mom to constantly infer that the problem was an absence of milk rather than a teething issue. I became sick with paranoia. She ate fine when I got home from work, went to bed and slept all night. This morning when I put her down for her nap (after some persistant fussing) I called the La Leche League leader and expressed my concern. She reassured me that it did indeed sound like a teething issue rather than a no milk issue, stroked my ego by telling me I was doing a good job and am a good mother. I feel better.

The Mama tagged me so this is my post. It was harder than I initially thought it would be, but fun. To those of you I tagged, don't feel pressured just do it if you get the time. I tag because I love.

5 Things Game

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I had recently started my first hairstyling job in the local dirt mall. I had just been dumped by my high school sweetheart of 2 ½ years and was devastated because I thought I was going to marry him. I was swept off my feet by a man ten years my senior. I soon found out that he was permanently wounded by an ex-girlfriend and he was unable to get over it. I spent about 3 years trying to 'fix' him and left the relationship (and started dating my husband) with terrible self-esteem issues. My husband and I are still friends with him.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Almost certainly vomiting in the toilet at work due to 'morning' (ha ha ha, I wish) sickness.

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Old Dutch Kettle Crunch BBQ Chips
2. Wunderbar
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Sweet Chili Thai Chicken Wings
5. Ketchup Chips

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics:

1. Lovesong- The Cure
2. Bizarre Love Triangle- New Order
3. Fix You- Coldplay
4. Thriller- Michael Jackson
5. Violently Happy- Bjork

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:

1. Gut my house, insulate it properly and redo the interior exactly as it would have been the year it was built (1920)
2. Build a building for our church.
3. Buy a Toyota Prius
4. Get my mom's knee replacement surgery done by the best surgeon in the world.
5. Put enough money away for Audrey to go to University (if she wants to) and for her to buy or build a house for herself.

Five bad habits:
1. Compulsively picking the skin off my thumbs
2. Wasting time doing unimportant stuff
3. Criticizing myself
4. Comparing myself to others.
5. Sometimes talking badly about others when they make me mad

Five things I like doing:
1. Blogging (reading blogs and commenting also)
2. Hair (not so much my own)
3. Talking (boy am I in the right profession)
4. Singing
5. Hanging out in the bedroom with Peter and Audrey.

Five things I would never buy, wear, or get new again:
1. Shoes that are too small only because they are so cute.
2. A really tight perm.
3. An Ashley Simpson Album
4. A Ford Mustang
5. Shiny spandex pants or shorts (yes, I realize how many clothes now have spandex in the mix)

Five favorite toys:
1. The Baby Leap Pad (not really mine I guess.)
2. My 'Trinity' action figure
3. My 'Edward Scissorhands' action figure
4. My Digital Camera
5. My Video Camera, love to catch those incredible moments on tape.

Here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot:
1. Pointless Drivel
2. Disparate Housewife
3. My Blog Is About Nothing
4. The Mama
5. The Tales of Mama D

Then select five people to tag:

1. Just MJ
2. Random Thoughts of the Snickers
3. Toronto Teacher Mom Blog
4. From Her Majesty's Throne
5. Taking the Road Less Travelled